Wichita State Shockers: Final Four or Early Exit?

Wichita State is a great team, but are they a Final Four team?

Despite the numerous successes of non power-conference schools in the NCAA Tournament, it has remained rare for a mid-major to assume a top seed. This season, Wichita State looks poised to sit on the top line of their region. Though the 25-0 Shockers are not a lock for a one-seed, their impressive play and talented roster make enter the tournament as a title contender to many, regardless of what seed they are given.

The Good

After last year’s impressive run to the Final Four, the Shockers have returned key pieces for the 2013-2014 campaign – including leading scorer Cleanthony Early. The senior is once again the team’s leading scorer, averaging more than 16 points per game on very efficient shooting (46-35-85). Sophomores Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet both average double digits, while also leading the team in assists. VanVleet, in particular, is lethal from deep, shooting 41%. However, he’s choosy, and Early and Baker take the majority of the outside shots.

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The Green Bay Phoenix: A Potential Cinderella?

Potential Cinderella: The Green Bay Phoenix

The Phoenix (21-5, 11-2) have been waiting for their turn to dance. Last season, Green Bay was seconds away from meeting Wright State in the Horizon League Championship game, before Valparaiso hit a buzzer beating three to break the Phoenix heart. But this year seems different.

Fresh off completing a dominating sweep of second place Cleveland State,  the Phoenix can virtually wrap up the Horizon regular season with a win Thursday, which will grant them an automatic birth in the conference tournament semi-finals and home-court advantage throughout. Assuming they win the tournament – or get an unlikely at-large birth – the Phoenix have a roster that can make some tournament noise. Maybe even second weekend noise.

The Good

Senior Alec Brown has tallied 1,600+ points and bagged more than 750 rebounds in his Phoenix career. A 7’1 senior who shoots 42% from beyond the arc, Brown is equally comfortable stretching the defense or going to work in the paint. Futhermore, his 3.1 blocks per game is a full block per game more than anybody else in the Horizon League. A good finish to the season, especially in the NCAA Tournament, would help Alec Brown earn an NBA draft selection in June. However talented, Brown is not even the go to player for the Phoenix.

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Ahead of the Curve: Why Michael Sam Represents the Future of the NFL

Think of the most generic football player you can. The most cliche composite of every standard jock stereotype there is. You probably see a giant hulk of a man with taped fingers, black out smudged under his eyes, and tribal tattoos peeking out from under his jersey. He’s shouting about something. Probably hustle or “gettin’ his”. If you had to sum the guy up in three words you could use loud, huge, and sweaty. A grizzly bear of a gladiator, thirsty to get out on the field and mess someone up. Also, he is an alcoholic womanizer who acts like he is above the law and starts fights in night clubs with people who don’t respect him. Oh was that not part of your mental picture? Well that has been the cliche football player we have all become accustomed to over the last several decades: a slightly more athletic Rob Ford.

Seriously it’s like someone let a lineman from Miami run a city.

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Derek Jeter: The King Of Cool Calls It Quits

“There are major league ball players, then there are Yankees.”

30 for 30 – The House of Steinbrenner

How would you like to play Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees? In spite of any prior allegiances, the answer is almost always yes; just ask Johnny Damon, Kevin Youkilis, and now Jacoby Ellsbury. When New York comes calling, you can be assured they’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse. Playing for the winningest franchise in sports comes with just one requirement. Be the best player in history (and get a haircut you hippie!). For the last nineteen years, no one has embodied the role and requirements of being a Yankee more than Derek Jeter and yesterday he announced that 2014 will be his last. There isn’t just the end of an era, it’s the end of an institution.

Career .312 BA, 3,316 Hits,1,876 Runs

Before we get any farther into this story, let me be clear. I hate the Yankees. Continue reading

A Fall From Grace: Los Angeles Lakers Edition

What happened Los Angeles? You used to be sexy.  I mean really sexy.  Like the hot girl who sat at the popular kids table and ignored me throughout high school kinda sexy.  I mean you had it all: the best basketball player in the world, the Zen Master at the helm, and the king of courtside celebrities mean mugging opposing coaches through his classic shades.

Even Spike Lee made a movie called Kobe Doin’ Work

You also had a Kardashian, but nobody’s perfect.  Now though, Jesus, what happened? The 2010-2011 season wasn’t that bad. Sure, you got swept by the Mavericks, but finishing 57-25 record, and adding another Pacific Division title is only an off year by extreme standards.   I mean it’s insanely difficult to three-peat in any sport and Dirk Nowitzki definitely sacrificed a first born or two to the basketball gods for that Championship title over the Heat.   Continue reading

Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Preview

Every four years, the NHL suspends play for a couple weeks in February to allow players to participate in the Winter Olympics. There has been much debate over whether to continue this practice or bar players from traveling to the Olympics, but 2014, at least, will continue to feature NHL talent.

In fact, all 12 participating countries – Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Latvia, Norway, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States – have at least one NHLer on their roster. Some, like the US and Canada, are entirely comprised of NHL players; Sweden’s roster has only one player that isn’t currently playing in the NHL, while teams like Russia, the Czech Republic, and Finland have a fairly even balance of NHL players and those from European leagues like the KHL, Liiga, Elitserien, and Extraliga. Some of the lesser-known squads like Austria, Latvia, and Slovenia simply don’t have enough NHL players to fill a roster and, by necessity, are filled with players from their own professional leagues.

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Safety Not Guaranteed: Setting The Stage in Sochi

Every four years the world bears witness to an athletic event that is synonymous with excellence. The unrivaled showcase of the greatest competitors the human race has to offer. With every event, spectators from around the world hold their breath as the men and women wearing the colors of their homeland chase the promise of eternal glory. Then two years later the Winter Olympics happen and everyone is semi-interested but mostly confused.

“Wait is this a sport or are they just filming them

skiing to the event?”

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