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Hoop-o-rama 2010: Men's Collegeinsider.com Tournament

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First Round
Fairfield at George Mason
Western Carolina at Marshall
South Dakota at Creighton
Harvard at Appalachian State
Middle Tennessee Stateat Missouri State
Portland at Northern Colorado
Pacificat Loyola Marymount
Southern Mississippi at Louisiana Tech

Harvard at Fairfield
Creighton at Marshall
Louisiana Tech at Missouri State
Portland at Pacific

Harvard at Marshall
Pacific at Missouri State

Missouri State over Harvard

Hoop-o-rama 2010: Men's College Basketball Invitational

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First Round
Indiana State at St. Louis
Wisconsin-Green Bay at Akron
VCU at George Washington
College of Charleston at Eastern Kentucky

St. Louis over Akron
VCU over College of Charleston

VCU over St. Louis

First Round
Boston U. at Oregon State
Colorado State at Morehead State
IUPUI at Hofstra
Duquesne at Princeton

Oregon State over Morehead State
IUPUI over Duquesne

IUPUI over Oregon State


Hoop-o-rama 2010: Women's National Invitation Tournament

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Eastern Washington (19-11, 12-4 Big Sky) at Oregon (16-15, 7-11 Pac-10)
SMU (20-10, 10-6 Conference USA) at New Mexico (18-12, 9-7 Mountain West)
UC Davis (21-10, 12-4 Big West) at California (18-13, 11-7 Pac-10)
Utah (22-11, 10-6 Mountain West) at St. Mary's (21-9, 12-2 West Coast)
New Mexico State (18-13, 8-8 WAC) at Arizona State (17-13, 9-9 Pac-10)
Pepperdine (20-11, 9-5 West Coast) at BYU (20-9, 11-5 Mountain West)
Houston (17-14, 10-6 Conference USA) at Texas Tech (17-14, 5-11 Big 12)
Nevada (17-15, 10-6 WAC) at Wyoming (19-11, 9-7 Mountain West)

Second Round
New Mexico over Oregon
California over Utah
Arizona State over BYU
Texas Tech over Wyoming

Third Round
California over New Mexico
Arizona State over Texas Tech

Fourth Round
California over Arizona State

Butler (23-9, 14-4 Horizon) at Illinois State (24-7, 16-2 Missouri Valley)
Eastern Michigan (22-8, 11-5 Mid-American) at Purdue (14-16, 9-9 Big Ten)
Prairie View A&M (15-13, 12-6 SWAC) at Kansas (15-15, 5-11 Big 12)
Stephen F. Austin (18-10, 13-3 Southland) at Creighton (20-10, 13-5 Missouri Valley)
Eastern Illinois (23-10, 16-2 Ohio Valley) at Marquette (16-15, 6-10 Big East)
Illinois (16-14, 7-11 Big Ten) at Western Kentucky (21-10, 14-4 Sun Belt)
Oral Roberts (23-9, 15-3 Summit) at Missouri State (20-10, 12-6 Missouri Valley)
Mississippi (17-14, 7-9 SEC) at Samford (22-10, 14-6 Southern)

Second Round
Illinois State over Purdue
Kansas over Creighton
Illinois over Marquette
Mississippi over Oral Roberts

Third Round
Kansas over Illinois State
Illinois over Mississippi

Fourth Round:
Illinois over Kansas

EAST Iona (18-13, 13-5 Metro Atlantic) at Maryland (19-12, 5-9 ACC)
East Carolina (22-10, 10-6 Conference USA) at Drexel (17-13, 11-7 Colonial)
Providence (16-14, 7-9 Big East) at Boston U. (16-14, 11-5 America East)
American (22-9, 13-1 Patriot) at Old Dominion (18-13, 14-4 Colonial)
Gardner-Webb (28-4, 15-1 Big South) at Charlotte (17-13, 9-5 Atlantic 10)
North Carolina A&T (21-10, 14-2 MEAC) at Wake Forest (18-13, 7-7 ACC)
South Florida (15-15, 6-10 Big East) at Florida (14-16, 7-9 SEC)
Florida Gulf Coast at Miami (FL) (17-13, 4-10 ACC)

Second Round
Maryland over Iona
Drexel over Boston U.
Old Dominion over Gardner-Webb
Florida over Miami (FL)

Third Round
Maryland over Drexel
Florida over Old Dominion

Fourth Round
Maryland over Florida

Robert Morris (23-8, 17-1 Northeast) at St. Bonaventure (22-9, 9-5 Atlantic 10)
Duquesne (20-11, 9-5 Atlantic 10) at Northwestern (16-14, 7-11 Big Ten)
Kent State (20-10, 12-4 Mid-American) at Michigan (17-13, 8-10 Big Ten)
Pittsburgh (16-14, 5-11 Big East) at Toledo (24-8, 12-4 Mid-American)
Harvard (20-8, 11-3 Ivy) at Syracuse (22-10, 7-9 Big East)
Richmond (19-12, 7-7 Atlantic 10) at Delaware (21-11, 11-7 Colonial)
VCU (20-12, 12-6 Colonial) at St. Joseph's (17-14, 9-5 Atlantic 10)
Hofstra (19-13, 11-7 Colonial) at Penn State (17-13, 8-10 Big Ten)

Second Round
St. Bonaventure over Northwestern
Toledo over Kent State
Syracuse over Delaware
Penn State over VCU

Third Round
Toledo over St. Bonaventure
Syracuse over Penn State

Fourth Round
Syracuse over Toledo

WNIT Semifinals
California over Illinois
Syracuse over Maryland

WNIT Championship
Syracuse over California

Hoop-o-rama 2010: Women's Basketball Invitational

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#8 UMKC (16-15, 12-6 Summit) at #1 Memphis (17-13, 10-6 Conference USA)
#5 Akron (18-13, 11-5 Mid-American) at #4 Wichita State (17-14, 8-10 Missouri Valley)
#7 Cal-State Bakersfield (16-12 independent) at #2 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (22-10, 12-4 Southland)
#6 Portland Pilots (18-12, 7-7 West Coast) at #3 Washington (12-17, 7-11 Pac-10)

West Second Round
Memphis over Wichita State
Washington over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

West Championship
Washington over Memphis

#1 Appalachian State (19-12, 14-6 Southern) at #8 seed Charleston Southern (17-13, 9-7 Big South)
#4 Towson (15-15, 9-9 Colonial) at #5 Fairfield (19-13, 11-7 Metro Atlantic)
#2 College of Charleston (19-11, 13-7 Southern) at #7 Morehead State (22-10, 14-4 Ohio Valley)
#6 Bradley (16-13, 12-6 Missouri Valley) at #3 Louisville (14-17, 5-11 Big East)

East Second Round
Appalachian State over Fairfield
Louisville over Bradley

East Championship
Louisville over Appalachian State

WBI Championship
Louisville over Washington

End of an era: Barrel Man passes away

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Yes, I'm still more or less boycotting the NFL, but I see today that Tim McKernan, famous as the Barrel Man, the Denver Broncos fan who wore a orange and blue barrel (and little else) for decades, is dead at 69.

Truly, the end of an era . . .


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Zack Greinke, that is: the best pitcher in the major leagues right now. Here's an "unofficial top ten" Zack Greinke quotes, passed on from Royals Corner by the Kansas City Star's Royals Blog:

10. "I could hit me if someone were on base. It wouldn't be easy, but I could do it. If no one were on base, I wouldn't care as much, so I could get me out."

9. Upon hearing then-Royals GM Allard Baird was going to watch him throw: "And you're gonna be impressed,"

8. "I'd say the average person wouldn't eat a Chipotle burrito and still do his running, full speed, like me. That's why they call me special."

7. "I was giving (Royals pitcher) Brian Bannister all the credit for being the best-hitting pitcher on the team, until today. Now, I've got my confidence back. They're throwing me sliders, and it doesn't matter."

6. "For the first month of the season, (young, big-hitting Royal Billy Butler) has definitely been an above-average first baseman. That's hard for me to say because I never thought anyone would say that but him and his family."

5. Two years ago, with (young Royal 3rd baseman) Alex Gordon struggling, Greinke pulled him into the video room to show him a clip of Greinke hitting his home run. "In case you forgot," Greinke said, "this is what a home run looks like."

4. "Nice effort by the defense. They didn't get tired of running after balls to the wall. I was pretty impressed by that."

3. To (former Royals reliever) Jeremy Affeldt after Affeldt gave up a homer on what he thought was a good pitch. "Really, I went back to the clubhouse and looked at the pitch on video. It was a really bad pitch. Right over the middle of the plate, and you got it up. I mean it was a bad pitch."
Affeldt: "Thanks, Zack."
Zack: "Right down the middle. I could have hit it out."
Affeldt: "Thanks, Zack."
Zack: "Yeah."

2. On making the Sports Illustrated cover: "There's a lot more interesting stuff going on right now. They should have something else on the cover. Playoff basketball or something else. So it's a mistake. They'll probably sell their least amount of magazines in a long time -- except when NASCAR was on the cover."

1. On hoping President Obama would cuss him out at the All-Star game: "Because none of the White Sox guys like me. So I was hoping that he'd recognize me and be like, 'You punk, I hate you.' But he didn't do that."

Zack Greinke was the only thing that could get me out to a Royals game the last third of the season. Even the Friday night fireworks couldn't do it.

Kansas City Royals: exceptionally bad

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Some numbers, from Joe Posnanski. The question: Has there ever been a team in Major League history that has lost 90 games with a starting pitcher and a "closer" reliever both of which have ERAs of under 2.25, as the Royals' Zack Greinke and Joachim Soria both have this year?

The answer:

Using 2.25 ERA as a cutoff point, no team with what you might call a dominant starter and closer has come close to losing the 93 games (so far) that the Royals have lost.

If you click through to the article, you find that not only has it never happened before, but as Posnanski notes, it's never even come close to happening.

In other words, a baseball team this bad doesn't just happen. It takes work. This year's Royals--except for Grienke and Soria--can therefore stake a good claim to being the Worst Major League Baseball Team Ever.

Well done, guys, well done.


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Kansas City Star:

Even if you’re not big on nicknames, you’ve got to like the moniker given to Saturday’s Kansas State-Iowa State football game at Arrowhead Stadium: “Farmaggedon.”

Neither team may not be that good on the field this year, but somebody behind them has a dangerous wit.