- The Final Four is Set! Michigan dominated Florida from the opening bell and cruised to a 73-53 win to earn a trip to Atlanta. With my bias aside (and for the record, I'm writing this while jumping up and down), it was a wildly impressive performance by the Wolverines, as they shut down a quality Florida offense (41% FG, 20% 3's) while getting big-time outputs from Nik Stauskas (22 points, 6-6 3-PT) and Mitch McGary (11 points, 9 board, 5 steals in 25 minutes). It was another example of what this team looks like when they are "on", and they're a real threat to the actual "favorite". Speaking of favorites, #1 overall seed Louisville pulled away from Duke late and cruised to a 22-point victory. Though the day was "highlighted" by a gruesome injury to Louisville's Kevin Ware (which I won't link to, but will instead pray for), the Cardinals played big-time basketball in the second half. Louisville shot a blistering 53% from the field, won the rebounding battle 35-26, and generated 10 live-ball turnovers to pulse their fast break. What a performance.
- There was live baseball last night! The Houston Astros "shocked" Texas with an 8-2 victory in the season opener. Matt Harrison allowed 6 runs (5 earned) over 5.2 innings for the Rangers, and Derek Lowe surrendered a 3-run homer to former teammate Rick Ankiel in the 6th inning to bust it open. Erik Bedard snatched the rare 10-out save for Houston, as he finished what Bud Norris started with 3.1 innings of 1-hit ball for the win. It's always great when baseball gets it going, and I can't wait for Monday's slate.
- Speaking of baseball, there is another contract to discuss. Elvis Andrus and the Texas Rangers are reportedly close to an 8-year, $120 million contract. I honestly don't understand this one at all (if it's true) as the Rangers have the #1 prospect in baseball in Jurickson Profar... and he's a shortstop. Even if we set that aside, Andrus' production (esp. with the bat) doesn't match a contract this size in my opinion, but there is an argument for him, as he's #3 in baseball among shortstops in WAR for the past two seasons and there's value there at a premium position.
What to watch for on Monday...
- 1:00 - MLB - Red Sox @ Yankees (ESPN) - Jon Lester vs. CC Sabathia - The battle for 3rd place in the AL East!!! (lol) The most talked-about rivalry in baseball starts the season just as it should.
- 4:00 - MLB - Giants @ Dodgers (ESPN) - Matt Cain vs. Clayton Kershaw - Another big-time rivalry, and this one features one of the best 5 pitchers in baseball in Kershaw against another elite guy in Cain. Awesome.
- 7:00 - MLB - Philles @ Braves (ESPN) - Cole Hamels vs. Tim Hudson - I can't explain how excited I am for Braves baseball, and it's fitting that Huddy is taking the hill. He's been overlooked through the entire off-season, but he's still uber-solid and I love him.
- 7:30 - NBA - Cavs @ Hawks (SportSouth) - Traffic will be immense in downtown Atlanta, as the Hawks tip off 30 minutes after the Braves sell-out. Enjoy.
- 8:00 - NBA - Spurs @ Grizzlies (NBATV) - San Antonio comes off of that inexplicable loss to Miami, and they get the joy of facing Memphis on the road.
- 10:00 - MLB - Cardinals @ D-Backs (ESPN2) - Adam Wainwright vs. Ian Kennedy - Looking forward to seeing how Wainwright looks, and the new, grinding D-Backs line-up will be a test.