The timing could possibly land him on an already loaded UFC 100 card featuring Georges St. Other than Westbrook, Durant and Jeff Green have solidified their spots on this team. But they’ve lost to Kentucky, won by 2 at LSU, and escaped vs.
There’s certainly not going to be much defense going on in the Oakland Region. That seems fitting for the laid-back Left Coast, and Memphis, UCLA and Gonzaga are all capable of scintillating offensive play.
The only other game on Saturday involving top-25 opponents is No. 21 Michigan (ranked for the first time since 1998) at No. 23 Iowa (5:00 ET). The Wolverines and Hawkeyes join Illinois (6-2) in a three-way tie for first place in the Big-10. Iowa is 13-0 at home this year, winning by an average of just over 16 PPG and has already beaten four ranked opponents in Iowa City this season. The Hawkeyes are favored by 3 1/2 points with a total of 130.
Houston features several personalities with Northwest ties, including two former A-League/USL-1 Sounders. Central defender Craig Waibel played for Seattle from 1999-02 following his collegiate career at Washington. Forward Cam Weaver was the Sounders’ top scorer in 2005 as a rookie out of Seattle University. Weaver had helped the Redhawks win the NCAA Division II championship in 2004. Brian Ching, currently with the U.S. National Team for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, starred at Gonzaga and made the all-league team with the Sounders in 2002. Dominic Kinnear, the Dynamo head coach, played for the Sounders’ 1995 A-League championship team.
The Jayhawks are the hottest team entering the NCAA Tournament, winning 15 of their previous 16 games. They have 10 freshman or sophomores on their roster, which makes me extremely nervous. But what they lack in experience they make up for with the hustle, determination and grit that you’d expect from a veteran club. They are the best team in the country in field goal defense, holding opponents to a miserable 36.8 percent shooting. They are also the one of the ten best rebounding teams in the nation.
Kansas City’s return to the Northwest conjures not-so-fond memories. Seattle’s dream 3-0-0 start to the season ended on April 11 when the Wizards won, 1-0, against the 10-man Sounders FC. Goalkeeper Kasey Keller’s red card in the 29th minute left Seattle shorthanded. Davy Arnaud’s long-range blast past substitute keeper Ben Dragavon in the 80th minute proved the difference. Despite playing the final hour with 10 men, Sounders FC finished level on shots, 9-9, and with a 7-5 advantage in corner kicks.
My free play on Friday is Cornell over Princeton at 7:00 ET. The Bulls’ easy win (117-84) upped my current NBA run to 13-2-1 since Feb 3. However, I’ve struggled in college hoops lately, with last night’s half-point loss on Washington (a 22* play), being fairly TYPICAL of my recent LUCK, or lack thereof. I’m passing on Friday, getting ready for a BIG Saturday.
I noticed something about the Zags while watching them play in the WCC Tournament: Adam Morrison’s teammates don’t look like they enjoy playing with him. I’m dead serious. I’m a big Morrison Fan, but he’s like a prima donna wide receiver that is always open and always wants the ball. I think it wears on his teammates. Did you see them when their seed was announced on Selection Sunday? No emotion. They still don’t defend very well, and they think they can outscore opponents. That doesn’t win titles.