Week Log: Big Dance Comes To Town

The four top East seeds have advanced to TD Banknorth, where #4 Xavier takes on #1 Pittsburgh and #3 Villanova takes on #2 Duke in Sweet Sixteen action tonight. College Sports Blog has Xavier not wanting to be judged by its conference, and Villanova looking to spend more time in Boston as the Wildcats and BC Eagles talk cross-scheduling next year. Mike Petraglia has Xavier’s rebounding a threat to make Pitt the NCAA Tournament’s Chicago Cubs. Touching them all, Little Man on Campus has Xavier bent about the “mid” in mid-major, Pitt finding it an Elusive Eight these last eight years, Villanova finally having to play a road game, and Duke Coach K juggling his backcourt in search of a friendly ball. Tonight’s Duke game will be a homecoming of sorts for Thanks For Playing‘s Dan, as he holds the ultimate I-was-there-when trump card. WGS Celtics Blog is ripped that a story starting out with Blue Devils’ F/G Gerald Henderson should seguey into a dissing of the Celtics.

Hardwood Paroxysm says a lack of more upsets will sap the nostalgia from the tournament and divert our enthusiasm to individual performances. The Dagger is your program to help sort the good guys from the bad among our 16 survivors.

So, if the UConn Huskies beat Purdue in Phoenix tonight, will the New York Post add their obligatory, never-grows-old asterisk? Sox & Dawgs gives their take on the breaking UConn recruiting violation allegations over short-timer Nate Miles. On his UConn Men’s Basketball blog, David Borges goes out to Idaho where Miles may have his share of court problems but, hey, he still loves the Huskies. Finally, I couldn’t resist adding this In Storrs Now entry from Phoenix that ran a day before the Nate Miles story broke. How’s that for an apocalyptic title? Wishful thinking if you ask me!

Red Sox

Yes, it’s only spring but Clay Buchholtz had another strong outing yesterday. Terry Francona ascribes Buchholtz’s extra work this winter to his spring success. It is John Smoltz who is wowing Don Orsillo this spring with his inner drive and willingness to be held in check. Full Count has a 70%-intense Smoltz struggling to tame the beast within. The Bottom Line says Smoltz is chomping at the bit to get out there. Caught Off The Wall thinks George Kottaras as the next DKC will be Tim Wakefield’s new crutch, though the unkind misspelling of his name tends to demean the catcher’s true value, whether accidental or intentional. Over The Monster has Kottaras calling a good game and giving this Sox season some tremendous upside potential. And Keith Olbermann debuts as Baseball Nerd on MLB.com and is in disbelief that Daniel Bard’s delivery can generate such velocity. Believe, Nerd.

In as unique a post as you’ll find in any market, one of our own bloggers announces his retirement . . . from Major League Baseball. Curt Schilling uses his 38 Pitches to bid us adieu. Red Sox Hen returns the favor, remembering all Curt gave to the Sox, while daughter Cyn on Toeing The Rubber has Schill deeply affecting her life. Year Of The Sox thinks he’ll stay retired. Fire Brand of the American League concedes that not all Hall of Famers are created equal, but Schilling has the stuff to be among them. However, John Chandler stops short of saying Schilling should join his bloody sock in Cooperstown.

Eric Ortiz has our own Mr. March taking home more hardware at this year’s WBC.

Celtics

The C’s went down to the Magic after another gritty near-comeback in Orlando last night, 84-82. Ball Don’t Lie says the battle for home court advantage between these two teams is overrated and is a subordinate concern to KG’s pitch count. Red’s Army points to one key play early in the game that turned this one against the C’s. Green Street isn’t concerned with the Magic come playoff time, while Fantasy NBA Zone has seen enough to pronounce the C’s repeat hopes as DOA. Full Court Press says the C’s will need every advantage if they are to repeat, and that includes homecourt against the Magic.

TrueHoop has the C’s defense throwing fits at the geekometric Player Efficiency Rating. Tommy Heinsohn’s fastball is still popping as Touching All The Bases ranks him and Mike Gorman the best broadcast crew in Boston.

Patriots / NFL

A few new rules changes were handed down this week, ostensibly with the Patriots’ welfare in mind. However, Pats Pulpit suggests they’re more to keep the Steelers in line. PatriotsBlog has more on the second rule to be intimately connected with Tom Brady. National Football Post looks at the issues surrounding an expanded NFL season.

My Two Cents has Bill Belichick a little out of focus yesterday at UConn’s Pro Day. It Is What It Is has Huskies RB Donald Brown the probable apple of Belichick’s eye, but the Courant’s UConn Football reported Belichick juggling lots of balls, working out a QB at safety and D-backs at wide-out. Does Mel Kiper see a Wildcat offense in New England? Apparantly so, as The Point After has him liking West Virginia QB Pat White for the Pats.

First And Ten From Foxborough loves kicking off Monday Night Football with T.O. in the house. Patriots Gab has this an early opportunity for the Pats to try out their new toys against Owens.

Shutdown Corner seems to have found a few morsels of humor in the Donte Stallworth story. I guess that’s how he made the big time.

Bruins / NHL / AHL

For the first time all winter, the B’s are going last today. Sure, we’re a hockey town again, but there’s a bye week on the ice and basketball, baseball, and football never go away. Big Bad Blog looks at how the down time is affecting various B’s heading into the home stretch. Naoko Funayama casts her vote for Most Valuable Bruin. Stanley Cup of Chowder looks in on the B’s college prospects. Puck Daddy acknowledges Tuukka Rask’s recent meltdown after losing a shootout at the Dunk in Providence as a top goalie-gone-wild moment.

Wicked Bruins Fan says the tight packing of playoff contenders renders speculation of a first-round opponent useless, but he doesn’t want it to be the Canadiens. Caveman Strong isn’t worried about the B’s in the playoffs and thinks the Habs will go down faster than his 401(k). Kathryn Tappen says that, between the NCAA tournament and Stanley Cup run, New England is coming into the best time of the year.

That will close things out, but be sure to join Ken Fang with his Megalinks tomorrow afternoon. I’ll be back Monday afternoon with a review of ’78, Bill Reynolds’ new book that will hit the shelves next week. So you see, here at BSMW we’re not just for breakfast anymore.

  • Lance

    It’s so frustrating as a Patriots fan having the personnel guy telegraph every move ala Dan Snyder/Jerry Jones.

    I mean last year who didn’t know the Pats preferred Mayo to Ghoulston, outside the Jets?

    Oh wait, wrong franchise; everything Belichick does in March is a smokescreen. Sure am glad though guys like Kiper and his buddies know what he should do.

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