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March Madness Final Four, Darkhorses and Champion Predictions

March 15, 2012 Comments off

The SOUTH: Kentucky

Looking at everyone’s brackets, Kentucky is the overwhelming favorite. Though they enter the tournament losing the SEC Championship game to a rising Vanderbilt team, few teams have managed to contain Anthony Davis. If they get matched up with IU in the Sweet 16, it’s hard to see the Hoosiers beating them twice in the same year.

Darkhorse: Duke

The No. 2 seed, Duke, is the only team that could, at will, give Kentucky a run. The Plumlee brothers could contain Davis and have guards to match up with Kentucky’s quick play.

The WEST: Michigan St.

Watching the Big Ten Championship game was enough proof to say the Spartans are Final Four bound. MSU has an all around game that many teams have a hard time defending. When MSU makes runs it is when they are most dangerous as they have streaky shooters along with Green and Nix who can run the floor and play down low.

Darkhorse: Louisville, Missouri

Louisville comes in red hot winning the elusive Big East Tournament and look to keep the momentum going. The team matches up well against MSU with their quick guard, Peyton Siva, and with 6-11 Gorgui Dieng, the lesser-known Anthony Davis, defending down low that boasts one of the best defenses in the country.

Missouri also comes in winning their conference tournament in the Big 12. The Tigers have three players that can knock down the 3 and play fast paced basketball that doesn’t turn the ball over much. They are the safest “live and die by the 3” team out there.

The EAST: Ohio St.

The Buckeyes have a good clear shot at making the Final Four with the absence of Syracuse’s Fab Melo. OSU had a strong showing against the best playing team in America at the time: Michigan St. Sullinger and Thomas come into the tourney playing some of their best basketball. I’m a big fan of a player like Craft who can be a pain to reckon with. He pushes the pace and is in your face, which is a great attribute to have in the tournament setting.

Darkhorse: Florida St.

A team that can beat Duke then North Carolina is no team to underestimate. It was difficult deciding between Florida State and Ohio State because the ‘Noles are the real deal. Both teams are similar, but the edge is to OSU because they create less turnovers and have more consistent offensive threats.

The MIDWEST: North Carolina

The North Carolina story is similar to when they won the whole thing in 2009. A star is hurt and a team’s success is swayed by a player’s health. It was Ty Lawson then, now it’s John Henson. Expecting him to be at least 80% is enough give them the green light to the Final Four. Zeller is playing the best basketball of his career and protects the bucket well. North Carolina always brings their A-game to the Big Dance.

Darkhorse: None

North Carolina will win this Regional.

National Championship Pick: Kentucky

Kentucky has been the team to beat all year, as they are the complete package that can play D, score, and control a game’s tempo, doing it better than any team in the nation. Team-wise, the Wildcats own the best front seven out there; stopping Anthony Davis will not be enough as they have five other scorers than can drop double-digits in any given game.

Kentucky over N. Carolina 66-62

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Join March Madness Bracket and Take on BAJA Sports

March 12, 2012 1 comment

Would you like a chance to compete against BAJA Sports bloggers in the 2012 Men’s NCAA Tournament?

Do you think you have an unbeatable bracket that will top others?

BAJA Sports has created a group via CBSsports.com called BAJA Sports (directed to tournament page). The password to join is bajasports. Anyone can join to take on Thomas Hitch, Zach Hughes and Brian Weiss.

Each round takes a different opportunity to score more points for correct picks. In the first round one point is gained by picking a winning team, two points in the second round, four points in the third round, eight points in the 4th round, 16 points in the 5th round and 32 points in the championship game.

So what do you have to gain for winning the tournament?

The winner will receive a ‘BAJA Sports Face Time’ opportunity to publish an article of their choice or to brag about their winning bracket.

Think you have a chance to predict a perfect bracket? It is like we say, “Perfection is NOT enough.”

We are calling you out, do you have what it takes to win?

Success and failure may make 2012 interesting

November 13, 2010 Comments off

Credit: ESPN.com

Open wheel racing was always thought of as an outlet toward IndyCar racing; however, NASCAR seems to be where more drivers tend to direct their futures.

There are many names that have grown up racing open wheel on dirt and asphalt that have moved to stock cars as their primary source of racing.

John Andretti, Dave Blaney, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart are names that have entered the stock car ranks and have had successful careers in open wheel.

Stewart was one of the names who dipped his feet in IndyCar before heading to NASCAR where he owns two Sprint Cup Series championships. Stewart was one of the most successful open wheel drivers when he raced in USAC and became the first to win the ‘Triple Crown’ which set his future toward IndyCar.

Stewart was the ‘poster boy’ for future open wheelers who want to transition to NASCAR.

A.J. Allmendinger, Dario Franchitti, Patrick Carpentier, Sam Hornish Jr., Scott Pruett and Jacques Villeneuve have come from Champ Car, the IZOD IndyCar Series or Formula One and have not been successful.

Allmendinger and Hornish are still running full-time with limited success. Villeneuve and Carpentier occasionally race in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at road courses.

One of the few drivers who have transitioned well is Juan Pablo Montoya. Formula One was a successful avenue for the Columbian where he recorded seven victories and 30 podium finishes. He has won three times on the NASCAR circuit all on road courses, but he has established himself as an oval racer as well.

Montoya might possibly be the last driver with enough talent to overcome the difficult transition from open wheel to stock cars. Stewart and Montoya have some of the best talent in the garage area, and yet other drivers still come trying to make the transition.

Travis Pastrana
will enter the NASCAR ranks next season for 11 races in the Nationwide Series racing for Pastrana-Waltrip Racing. His first race is yet to be announced, but sources say Phoenix in February is where he will attempt his debut.

Pastrana has 11 career X Games gold medals and has won four consecutive Rally America National Championships between 2006 and 2009. He also broke the world record for ramp-to-ramp (of 269 feet) in Long Beach, CA in a stunt to celebrate New Year’s 2010.

Pastrana will be the next victim to enter the NASCAR ranks. Luckily, he will also be able to find funding, such as Ricky Carmichael and Danica Patrick, to continue his career in NASCAR until he realizes that he will not be successful at the Sprint Cup level.

The transition from IndyCar to NASCAR will hopefully become an ending fad. It would be great to see talent such as Allmendinger, Hornish, Carpentier, and Patrick race IndyCar and make the series better than it has become since the IRL-Champ Car merge.

There is one great thing about so many open wheel drivers in NASCAR and Chevrolet supplying engines in 2012 in the IndyCar Series.

The $20 million prize for winning the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in 2012 is a possible feat.

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