Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Professional Realist Bracket Projection Dec. 27th, 2016



I've been very competitive both years of doing Bracketology on the Bracket Matrix and I'm proud of those scores - I'd encourage anyone to check out the Bracket Matrix, always very accurate and updated! http://bracketmatrix.com

Seeds

1
Villanova
Duke
Kentucky
Baylor
2
Kansas
Gonzaga
Louisville
UCLA
3
North Carolina
Purdue
Virginia
Xavier
4
Creighton
Florida
Indiana
Wisconsin
5
Florida State
USC
Maryland
Butler
6
West Virginia
Minnesota
Notre Dame
South Carolina
7
Arkansas
Arizona
Saint Mary’s
Cincinnati
8
Oregon
Iowa State
Miami (FL)
Virginia Tech
9
Wichita State
Michigan State
Dayton
Texas A&M
10
Clemson
Northwestern
Oklahoma State
Ohio State
11
Wake Forest
SMU
Rhode Island/ Seton Hall
VCU/ Michigan
12
UT-Arlington
Harvard
Fort-Wayne
Monmouth
13
Chattanooga
Akron
Oakland
Middle Tennessee State
14
Winthrop
Nevada
Florida Gulf Coast
Hawaii
15
Bucknell
UNC Wilmington
Sam Houston State
UT Martin
16
LIU Brooklyn/
Portland State
Southern/
NC Central
Long Beach State
New Hampshire
First Four Out:
Houston
TCU
Colorado
Temple

Monday, October 17, 2016

Don't Sleep on the Bears!

In a state where everything stops around the play of the Arkansas Razorbacks, it's easy to forget about the successes of some of the other programs in the state. Don't get me wrong, I'm one of the biggest Razorback fans around, but I'm really excited to get to see another team play this weekend.
Sitting at 5-1 overall (4-0 Southland Conference play) and ranked in a tie for #18 in the Football Championship Series, the University of Central Arkansas Bears are on the track for high levels of success in 2016.
Entering back into the FCS Rankings last weekend while on their bye week, this week's 35-0 pummeling of Southland Conference rival McNeese State in Lake Charles, Louisiana solidified the Bears place right in the middle of the FCS Playoff Race.
McNeese State, projected as many to be the #2 team in the Southland Conference, went undefeated last season, during the regular season, losing to Sam Houston State in the second round of the FCS Playoffs.
The road ahead matches up the Bears with the Lamar Cardinals at Estes Stadium in Conway, AR, on Saturday, October 22nd, 2016. The Cardinals are 3-3 overall and 3-1 in Southland Conference play.
This game is Homecoming for the UCA, with kickoff at 6:00 C.T.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

AND THE WINNER IS........

Well, now that it's Monday, it's the big day. It's the day that Kevin Durant is defining his career in one respect or another, either to stay with the team that he's been with since his first day in the league, or follow a new adventure to another location.
Back in 2008, when the Seattle Supersonics relocated to Oklahoma City, I started watching the games casually. They were a close team and it was a big deal. Not much time passed before I fell in love with the team. Since that year, when they were a miserable 23-59, I've been glued to this franchise. Through the James Harden trade, Scott Brooks firing, among all the other external noise.
Today, the Oklahoma City Thunder face the biggest day in the history of the Franchise, and it's not any longer in their control.
Does KD stay? Does he go? Who knows.
This team will still be my team regardless of the decision, but it's sure going to make a tough pill to swallow if Durant goes to a fellow West power.
After spending the last four days stressing over the decision, fighting back and forth on which way he would lean, I had convinced myself he was leaving OKC. Convinced he was going to be swayed by the lights and money offers from elsewhere, but then I started thinking about what he means to Oklahoma City and what Oklahoma City means to Kevin Durant.
I don't own this tweet, but it sure resonated with me earlier.
Now, we just wait to see if KD realizes that he is OKC.

I then read about the connection that he's made with the kids of the community.
From there, I read his mom's connection and love for this Franchise and the reciprocated love from the fans to her. Durant is a sentimental guy, not like most superstars. This all means something to him. So while this is the toughest day on OKC, its fans, staff, and players, this is also hard on KD. Do you stay with the good thing that you've been a part of for eight years, or do you take a new path?
I hope that Durant loves OKC as much as the city loves him. Same for Mama Durant.

Yes, this was just after the Thunder were eliminated; however, I don't think it's just an emotional tweet. This team and city has embraced both KD and Wanda Durant.

I've been terrified to even put it into words, but I've got to for my own sanity, just to stop bouncing back and forth on what the decision will be. After reading about it, thinking about it, and watching predictions and salary cap projections, I really think that my prediction is ready.
Prediction: Kevin Durant STAYS in Oklahoma City.
and the WINNER IS? Sports fans around the United States and abroad. A small market team and franchise. Most of all though, Kevin Durant himself.

Monday, May 30, 2016

It's Time to Make a Thunderous Statement.

Tonight's about way more than a Game 7.
As Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and all of the Oklahoma City Thunder players make that walk into Oracle Arena, they know that they are about to play one of, if not THE biggest game of their career.
Since moving to Oklahoma City in 2008, the core of this team has stayed complete and always been known as a force in the Western Conference.
But tonight, as they take the court in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, only one thing is certain for Oklahoma City players - our time is NOW.
Four days ago, when Oklahoma City took a 3-1 lead back to Oakland, we as fans felt an aura of confidence, but somewhere deep within, we all knew this wasn't over - not by a long-shot.
So after two hard-fought battles, there are 48 minutes separating one of these teams from the NBA Finals.
It's 3 wins to 3 wins. Can't get any closer than that.
While we're all watching the grinding out of Game 7, we can't forget what all is at stake here.
There is way more on the line than just a win or a loss, even with the NBA Finals waiting for the winner.
We might have already seen the last game in Oklahoma City where Kevin Durant is in a Thunder uniform. There's no more sugar coating it - this could be the end of an era.
On the other hand, the Golden State Warriors are the best team in the basketball. Perhaps in history.
Defending Champions. 73-9 record on the year. Does that come to a crashing halt before they get to the Finals?
It's nearing in on the moment of truth - but when that ball gets tossed up in the air at 8:00 CT, Thunder Nation needs to get up, get loud, and get behind this team.
It's almost time to THUNDER UP.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

It's time to applaud the job that Billy Donovan has done as the OKC Thunder Head Coach.

Wow. What a game.
After following this team avidly since 2008, I can tell you that there have been ups and downs each and every year. We began the transition with the year to forget, the first year of Durant and Westbrook, when the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise relocated from the Seattle area, and the Supersonics legacy was molded into what this Thunder franchise has become today.

We've had our lumps over the years. Starting with P.J. Carlisemo, transitioning to Scott Brooks, who gets so much credit for laying the foundation for these players mindsets of never looking back, but I just have to give a big shoutout to Billy Donovan.
Coaches are the first to get criticized when things aren't going right, and they are the last to get credit when the success is to the expectation of the fan base.

As a Razorback fan, I've had the pleasure of seeing Billy Donovan coach at the University of Florida since I began watching basketball. He's the ideal coach and an absolute class act.
Words couldn't describe how happy I was to see him take the helm of my favorite NBA Team last April and after just one season, he's already left his mark on the hearts of our team, our fans, and most of all, our franchise.
Every game, I get more impressed with the coaching moves that Coach Donovan makes. Totally turning around a game plan or scheme because it starts going wrong, something that Scott Brooks wasn't ever comfortable doing.
Tonight, in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, I saw something new that gave my already amazing respect for Coach Donovan another boost. Instead of taking the role of some coaches and players in the league, as is expected by a First-Year NBA coach, Coach Donovan gave a response that really stuck with me.

It's no secret that during the games' second quarter, Golden State Warriors' Forward Draymon Green went up for a shot and left a pretty direct kick to the groin of Steven Adams, the Thunder big man.
In Game 2, this happened, but it was obviously an inadvertent - basketball play - which is rough, but I'm 100% okay with a basketball play because it's a risk of the game.
In Game 3 tonight, it didn't look so inadvertent.
I'm not saying it was intentional, I don't see Green has a dirty player, but it didn't look good.
Instead of using his post-game press conference to call out Green though, Donovan once again took the high road.

When asked about the "kick" Coach Donovan chose to respond with the following:
"Honestly, I was coaching my team when it happened and when it was shown on the screen, I was in the huddle lecturing the guys. I saw replays at halftime, but I know that the League Office reviews all of those types of plays, so I know that they'll take a look. I have no idea nor will I speculate what the intent of the play was, but I do know that this is the second time in two games that Steven has gotten kicked below the belt by the same player and as a coach, that's pretty concerning. But like I said, I have the utmost confidence that whatever the league decides, it'll be the right call, and we are focused onGame 4 just like we did Game 3, and keeping the home court advantage we grabbed in Game 1."

So in a world of criticism toward coaches and firings after winning seasons, I think it's time we acknowledge the type of system that Billy Donovan has already established in Oklahoma City and commend him on taking a team of superstars and pulling us at the very least, two wins away from the NBA Finals.