The NCAA hung the popular moniker on the annual March event, Garth Brooks sings a song so titled. Today The Dance is down to sixteen teams. By tomorrow night it will dwindle to the Elite Eight. Sunday nigh there will only be four teams left to dance in next weekend’s Final Four.Continue reading →
March Madness turned into full blown insanity Friday night. For the first time a No. 16 tournament seed beat a No. 1 as UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) embarrassed this year’s top seed Virginia, 74-54.Continue reading →
March Madness was fun, this year’s NCAA Tournament has provided a number of surprising upsets, and down to the wire, competitive games. Highly regarded Michigan State lost its first game while lowly rated Yale won its first contest—–ever. It has been a real Bracket Breaker, with only one No. 1 seed, North Carolina, advancing to the Final Four, and Syracuse becoming the first ever No. 10 seed to reach the “Big Dance”.Continue reading →
Cavaliers Win First College World Series Championship
By John Ventola
“Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus” was the title of an editorial published in 1897, about the time Thomas Jefferson’s carefully planned out university started playing baseball (1889) in Charlottesville. While most Cavalier players and fans feel that Christmas came six months early this year, sports writers across the country can write today about the wonderful present that was unwrapped in Omaha by a relentless, underdog college baseball team. Yes, Virginia, You Are The 2015 CWS Champions!Continue reading →
LSU baseball fans have enjoyed three decades of success and the team annually leads the NCAA in home attendance, but this weekend loyal purple and gold followers will again be streaming into Nebraska for the 2015 College World Series. The Tigers won five national championships under the tutelage of Skip Bertman at old Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium, and added a sixth title in 2009 under Paul Mainieri, a year before the stadium was closed. Now it is time to go for No. 7 in what many consider collegiate “Baseball Heaven”, Omaha, Nebraska, TD Ameritrade Park.Continue reading →
Tournament Parity On Display As Teams Advance To Sweet 16
By John Ventola
After four days of following the bouncing ball, and hearing on-court exploits described with such phrases as dribble drive penetration, kiss off the glass, drive and deliver, crossover dribble, and dominating the boards/tempo, it is time to say goodbye to fifty-two college basketball squads that started the week with various levels of confidence that they would advance to next week’s Sweet Sixteen.Continue reading →
The inaugural College Football Playoff season kicked off last week with a lot of fanfare and anticipation. Starting this year, teams will be playing to ensure they are definitely in college football’s version of the Final Four come late December. Gone will be the unbecoming sports information campaigns to support certain teams and leagues, and coaches brazenly politicking for their own squads. Hopefully.
Sports fans that enjoy close, low scoring athletic events should be happy these days. The World Cup is in full leg-swinging motion in Brazil, and College World Series participants in Omaha are swinging bats in hopes of scratching in a run. Consequently, fans do not have to crane their necks too much doing scoreboard checks. It seems almost every match and game is 1-0 or 2-1. While the scoring in national soccer and collegiate baseball lends itself to such low-scoring affairs, the World Cup and CWS are not lacking for feverish, fanatical fan bases. Each goal and run results in hugs, high fives, and flag waving.
Every kick, every header, every pitch, and every throw are followed with anticipation. Both games feature skilled, well-trained athletes, and strategy that often bores the unfamiliar watcher, but positively thrills the knowledgeable viewer when a point or run is scored. The stadium celebrations are enough to make national soccer and collegiate baseball worth watching. Although one is for national pride and world recognition, and the other is only USA- based, I would hate to explain to a young, college championship shortstop that the trophy he is holding does not mean much. Or mention it to the fans and students of that university at a football tailgate in the fall.Continue reading →