1. North Carolina Wins National Championship-I really enjoyed this game. Both the Tar Heels and Gonzaga played well, and it took significant plays to determine the outcome. A lot of fans complain about the missed out of bounds call by the refs that should’ve given Gonzaga the ball, but what about the missed Gongaza 3-pointer that went out of bounds, and the ball stayed with Gonzaga? Fair is fair.
  2. Redemption-Indeed it was for the Tar Heels who lost last year’s 2016 title game in overtime to Villanova. You can consider it a right for a team to win the title game after losing it the year before, but it’s not always guaranteed. (See Michigan 1992 & ’93, and Butler 2011 & ’12) The Tar Heels got it done.
  3. Roy Williams in unique territory-This 3rd championship win has pushed the Tar Heels HC past his mentor, the legendary Dean Smith’s 2. To be honest, I though Smith had more than those 1982 and 1993 ones, but he’s been runner-up 3 times, the same number as Williams (but 2 were with Kansas)
  4. Great season by Gonzaga-To be honest, I didn’t even have them in the Final Four, because they’ve never been that far, but the Bulldogs truly proved me wrong by making it to the Four, and the National Championship for the first time. Good job by longtime HC Mark Few. I think they will be back next year.
  5. Final Four Venue-We all know that the NCAA has truly stepped it up with having their top tournament games in a football stadium, but it still strikes me that 76,168 was in attendance to watch a basketball game. It’s pretty much on the level of the Super Bowl now.
  6. South Carolina wins the Women’s National Championship-I’m so happy for HC Dawn Staley, who finally wins the Big One, her first-ever title after her South Carolina Gamecocks beat Mississippi State making her only the second African-American HC to win a title, the first being Purdue’s Carolyn Peck in 1999.
  7. Uconn-Yes, I admit that one week ago, I said that the University of Connecticut Huskies would win another National Championship and that they should just give them the trophy while in the Final Four, but Mississippi State made sure that I was a liar as they beat the Huskies on a buzzer-beater in that Final Four game. Wow. Guess, I don’t know everything about sports (smile)
  8. NIT Championship-I guess it’s easy to forget about this game after their version of Selection Sunday, but this year’s championship was pretty significant since former Pitt HC Jaime Dixon and his TCU Horned Frogs won that championship game vs. Georgia Tech. Dixon has turned TCU around and I’m sure they have the Big Dance in their sights next season.
  9. Speaking of Pitt…And yet, another player leaves and this one was a surprise: G Cameron Johnson has decided to move on and play for a contender and since he has 2 years of eligibility renaming, teams will be giving him a call, if they haven’t already. HC Kevin Stallings was expecting to shape the team around their 3rd-leading scorer, but now it’s just Ryan Luther, provided he chooses to stay around.
  10. So where does that leave the team? To be honest, I don’t think it leaves them in good shape. Yes, we still have yet to see how these new recruits do, but to lose 5 players in the span of a month to go along with the 4 (Mike Young, Jamel Artis, Sheldon Jeter & Chris Jones) is a disgrace. I have never seen this happen to a basketball team.
  11. NFL News-Well, the Free Agent period has pretty much slowed down, and now the NFL Draft is about to take center stage as it will take place April 27-29 in Philadelphia. Like the National Championship Game and Super Bowl, it’s really amazing how much attention this event (Because that’s what it is) has garnered over the years. And kudos to the NFL for putting glamor and hype (I really despise that word) into it. And not to mention that the first round has its own night.
  12. Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL Draft-As you know, the Steelers had an excellent season, which had them one win away from the Super Bowl, which gave them the 30th First Round pick in the NFL Draft. In Layman’s terms, you might want to take a nap, set your alarm for around 10 pm, because that’s when the Steelers will probably make their pick.
  13. Who will the Steelers draft in the 1st Round? Good question, but it better not be a QB because they have major defensive needs at LB and CB. Yes, they need to start searching for Ben Roethlisberger’s replacement, but this isn’t a team that’s lacking a current QB (For the last time, Big Ben will be back) Defense still wins Championships and the Steelers better fix theirs if they want their 7th
  14. Pitt RB James Conner visits the Steelers-Not that he doesn’t know that South Side facility, but the Pitt record-setter tried out for the Steelers as a draft hopeful. I honestly hope he’s available for the Steelers to get. He would be a good backup to RB Le’Veon Bell.
  15. Tony Romo Retires-Did he really? I didn’t hear him say those exact words. He just said he was stepping away from the game and into the CBS Broadcast booth (And how does he just get the #1 spot??) Romo didn’t quit with his heart, he did so with his head. He said it himself: “It was a business decision.” We’ll see how he does when NFL teams are looking for a backup QB.
  16. NBA News-It’s getting closer to the end of the regular season as the NBA Playoffs (my favorite time of year) is on the horizon. Defending champ Cleveland (51-27) is back on top in the East after beating up on #2 Boston (50-28) while, Toronto (48-31) and Washington (47-31) have punched their tickets. There are 3 spots left and it looks like Milwaukee (40-38) and Atlanta (39-38) has theirs, but Chicago, Miami, and Indiana (all 38-40) are duking it out for that 8th and final spot.
  17. Western Conference-Of courses its Golden State (65-14) followed by San Antonio (60-18) at the top, followed by Houston (53-25), Utah(48-30), LA Clippers (48-31), OKC (45-33) and Memphis (42-37). In other words, that conference’s postseason spots are set.
  18. Russell Westbrook-Do I have to say this again? The man’s the NBA MVP. He has just tied the Great Oscar Robinson for the most Triple-Doubles in history (41) and you can bet that he will break the record before the season’s end. The kid has truly proven to be a leader and one of the best in the sport.
  19. Pirates Fall to the Red Sox again-Opening Day, they fell 5-3, and Wednesday night, they lost 3-0 in 12 innings. Although it was excellent pitching by Jameson Tallion in that 2nd game, the offense was nowhere to be found. And don’t blame the Red Sox being that good, it’s just the Pirates offense has looked that bad.
  20. Ryan Howard to the Braves? When did this happen? Apparently last Friday as the former Philadelphia slugger signed a minor-league deal with the Braves. He’s excited and he feels that he still has more left in the tank. I think he does have a year or two left. He needed to get out of Philly. Way too many expectations with that contract.

 

 

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

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