January 24, 2012, 12:51 pm
Mountain View got all they wanted from the pesky Capital Eagles who actually held a 10 point lead in the middle of the 2nd quarter. If you were at this game, you wouldn't have been able to guess that Capital was in last place. They played inspired in the first half and their zone defense really seemed to bother the Mavericks until Mountain View broke through in the 2nd half in route to a 10 point win.
In the only showdown between teams in the top half of the conference, Centennial gritted out a road victory against Eagle winning by just four points. The key for the Patriots again was balanced scoring. Aaron Maffey had 16 and Daryl Robertson added 12 as Centennial stayed tied with Mountain View at 9-3 in conference play. For the Mustangs, they were led as usual by Braiden Shaw who had another double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Both teams will have to improve quickly as they will each play at Borah this weekend.
Boise High wasted little time in putting away Vallivue on Friday as the final score was 54-31. The Falcons again struggled to score and their leading scorer, JT Fowers, had just six points. The Braves needed this rebound game and are in the "middle" tier right now at 7-5 in conference play.
The upset of the weekend was the Rocky Mountain Grizzlies finally breaking through by beating Timberline on Friday. The Grizzlies had a huge 2nd quarter and road the coattails of Bryce Feist and David Trompke for their third conference win. Timberline had way too many turnovers to win on the road and was looking for answers on Saturday night.
The lone game to be played Saturday was Vallivue at Timberline in a rescheduled game that was originally going to take place over Christmas break. Vallivue brought their offense to the table but ultimately fell up short, 61-58. All three of Timberline's weapons were on as Jarid Downey, Jordan Hall and Jackson Reed all had 13 points or more.
With six games left, there is a two way tie for second place between Mountain View and Centennial, a three-way tie for fourth between Boise, Eagle and Timberline AND a three way tie for seventh place between Rocky Mountain, Vallivue and Meridian as one of those three teams will be left out of the district tournament
March 26, 2012, 1:06 pm
Make no mistake about it, this is Kentucky's tournament to lose. If you watched or listened to either of their games this weekend, you could tell this team was head and shoulders above the competition. Indiana even scored 90 points on the Wildcats on Friday, but Kentucky responded with 102 to move on to the Elite 8. Then from there, the Wildcats dismantled Baylor Sunday to reach the Final Four. If there ever was a big difference between Kentucky and the other three teams taking the floor in New Orleans on Saturday, it is that the Wildcats truly will not be satisfied unless they win the National Championship. With just two games standing in their way of accomplishing the ultimate goal, the Wildcats will have to first get past rival Louisville, who seems to find ways to win, especially at this point in the season.
As for the Louisville Cardinals, I can tell you first hand that their style of play is like no other team left in the Tournament. I watched them in person over the weekend and the manner in which they beat Michigan State was unparalleled to anything else I have seen the last two weeks. Holding a squad to just 44 points that is used to dominating opponents was mind blowing and then to follow it up in the Elite 8 against Florida was even more impressive. They always say that defense wins championships and Louisville's style of play is no exception, so don't be surprised if the Cardinals shock Kentucky on Saturday.
The other National Semifinal will feature the two big men for each team and we can only hope that neither of them get into foul trouble because it would certainly ruin this heavyweight matchup.
The Ohio State Buckeyes had the easiest road to New Orleans and when you take that into account along with the fact that they are jelling as a team, it parlays into success. The Buckeyes beat Syracuse in the Elite 8 despite Jared Sullinger picking up two fouls in the first 6 minutes of action and they were able to keep it close before Sullinger stole the show in the 2nd half. Having the most favorable road to the Final Four is nice, but will Ohio State be ready for a definite step-up in competition Saturday? We will find out soon enough.
The final piece of this year's Final Four puzzle is the Kansas Jayhawks. Much like Ohio State, many people wrote off this Jayhawk team back in December saying it was one of the least talented squads in Lawrence in quite some time, but after yesterday's thrilling win over North Carolina, Kansas is one of the last four standing. They are led by the only unanimous All-American player in the nation: Thomas Robinson, and with the way they played yesterday offensively, they have just as good of chance as anyone to be cutting down the nets Monday night.
Our Final Four coverage will begin at 1:30 PM on Saturday and will continue on with both National Semifinals from New Orleans. Tune into 630 The Fan all week long or you can listen online at 630thefan.com.
January 23, 2012, 12:46 pm
If there are any more doubters about Joe Flacco's ability to win in the playoffs, I would love to hear what you have to say now. Flacco played great yesterday and did enough for his team to win the game. Lee Evans dropped the go-ahead touchdown in the final 30 seconds that would have sent the Ravens to the Super Bowl and many perceptions would have been changed about Flacco. He made some key third down throws in tight coverage and made a fantastic throw down the field to Torrey Smith that would have been a touchdown, but Smith could not haul it in.
The biggest question I have for the Ravens is what happened to Ray Rice? He led the league in total yards this year and was virtually non-existent in their two playoff games. If he would have even gotten close to his season average, the Ravens would have ran away with the game. The defense was solid as usual. When you hold New England to just two offensive touchdowns, you are doing something right and I am sure Tom Brady is glad he will not have to face them again for ten months or so.
The Patriots did not play their best game, but regardless of that, they are a three point favorite in the Super Bowl. Tom Brady admitted that he "sucked" but he will now have two weeks to regroup for the rematch of when the New York Giants ruined their perfect season.
The Giants had to work twice as hard yesterday to beat the 49ers than they did to beat the 15-1 Green Bay Packers. San Francisco's defense was incredible and basically shut down the Giants all game. Fortunately for New York, Kyle Williams fumbled two punts, including one in overtime that sealed the game. No matter what happens in the Super Bowl, the 49ers were the best story in the NFL this season. To go from 6-10 to 14-4 is amazing and with their style of play, expect the 49ers to be contenders for many years to come.
Now the hype begins. We are 13 days away from the Super Bowl and even though the Pro Bowl is sandwiched in between, we will hear about every player that has a runny nose throughout the next two weeks. Plenty more previewing to come, but for now its time to take a breath and reminisce about the great games we were treated to yesterday.
March 21, 2012, 1:45 pm
It has been well documented that the Jets have two major flaws: locker room issues and uncertainty at quarterback. By acquiring Tim Tebow, they might be able to fix both problems. There is no doubt that Tebow would help the image of the team's locker room, but I'm hard pressed to believe thats the only reason they traded for him. Mark Sanchez was drafted too high originally and I have always believed the reason he has underperformed is because he has had no true competition. Just as an example, the ageless wonder, Mark Brunell was his backup for two years.
Now, Sanchez will at least be pushed by Tebow purely based on the fact that the media will be calling for Tebow if Sanchez struggles this season. I have said all along that Tim Tebow will improve and if that is the case, he could be starting by the sixth week of the season. At the very least, Tony Sparano and Rex Ryan will be able to be more creative on the offensive side of the ball which is something they haven't done the last few seasons.
As for Denver, the circus is finally over. They have pushed all their chips in on Peyton Manning because in all reality, they did not get compensated very well for Tebow. By only receiving a 4th and 6th round draft pick for Tebow, they basically are saying that they wanted to get rid of him and start a new chapter in Broncos history because apparently a 4th round pick is worth more than at least exploring the idea of having Tebow be Manning's backup.
Nonetheless, I don't remember a week in March where there was so much NFL drama, but it sure will provide for an interesting 2012 NFL season.
January 20, 2012, 12:18 pm
Its only fitting we start by talking about the best matchup of the night and that involves Centennial and Eagle. The first time these two played, the Mustangs nipped the Patriots by the slimmest of margins and are looking for a season sweep. With that being said, these two teams are completely different than when they faced off the first time. Centennial was still trying to find its identity after losing two close games to 4A schools and Eagle was undefeated and clicking on all cylinders. The biggest thing for both of these teams is finding consistency. When they both are on top of their game, they can beat anyone, but we have also seen them at their worst with some questionable losses.
Vallivue makes the trip over to Boise High tonight and the Falcons are in desperate need of a victory to create some breathing room as they push towards the district tournament. The Falcons have two tough games this weekend as they will also play Timberline tomorrow night in a makeup game that was supposed to be played between Christmas and New Years. If the Falcons can come away with a split, things will be looking good for the district tournament, but if they drop both contests, they will be fighting until the very end to qualify. The Braves can all but secure their spot in the district tournament with a victory tonight. It would take a monumental collapse for them to not make it in the first place, but once everything is clinched the Braves can then focus on seeding. They are in a unique spot because they are all but guaranteed a spot in the postseason and will most likely not win the conference so its all about seeding for the Braves in their final seven games.
What's wrong with the defending State Champions? The Mountain View Mavericks have lost two games in a row and are looking for a solid performance tonight against the Capital Eagles. The Mavericks have lost to Borah and Timberline their last two times on the floor and the biggest problem has been trying to get Brandon Luedtke and Tanner Percifield both clicking in the same game. When one is on, it seems that the other has an off night and that needs to change in the next few weeks if the Mavericks want to make a serious push at defending their title. Capital needs to start winning games fast if they want to make the district tournament. Currently, they are two games out of 8th place and they will need Hunter Young to erupt tonight to have a chance. The sophomore transfer from Kuna had 30 points last time out against Boise High. You can listen to the game on 630 The Fan starting at 7:30.
Borah Head Coach Cary Cada promised me nothing will change for the Lions now that they are the new #1 team in the state and we will see if he is right as they take on Meridian tonight. This is a potential first round preview as these two teams are sitting #1 and #8 in the conference. The Warriors need to get going early as they fell behind by 15 points to Centennial last weekend only scoring 10 points in the first half.
The final game is Timberline at Rocky Mountain and the biggest question will be what Rocky team will show up. The Grizzlies have taken Mountain View and Eagle down to the wire, but have nothing to show for it as they are in 9th place with seven games remaining. Timberline gets their leading scorer back in Jarid Downey, but maybe their offense should run through Jordan Hall considering he had 28 points against Mountain View. The Wolves have a great opportunity this weekend to get two wins over teams below them in the standings and if thats the case, they could be right in the mix to potentially take the #2 seed going into the district tournament.