While I agree with my compatriot Zach who said how overhyped the draft was, I was still watching (albeit halfheartedly) just to see the moves teams made. Once upon a time I had the strength to look up and keep track of what every team got in every trade and try to determine the rationale. This year there were simply too many trades, at one point seeing three picks in a row traded. I understand it in such a deep draft, just as I understand the Ravens trading out of the first round- but more on that in a minute. Without an Orioles game to become more depressed about, this was a nice respite from the baseball season. However, there is plenty of other action going on in the sports world, so let’s line up for the kick…
Tebow Goes to the Broncos
I like Tim Tebow, I can’t help it. It isn’t his fault that the media fawns all over him, ESPN drowns him in over-coverage, and that the 4th best quarterback in the draft gets more attention than the other 31 first round picks combined. He seems, by all accounts a genuinely decent human being who is committed to football and wants to do positive things with his life. I was as surprised as anyone when the Broncos jumped back up in the draft to get him, since they don’t exactly have a solid quarterback situation ahead of him that will allow him to develop for a year or two before he has to take the reigns. It isn’t the worst situation for a team in need of leadership and character, but I would’ve liked him sticking around and going to the Vikings.
I won’t pretend to be a draft expert, but as someone who watched Brandon Graham destroy offensive lines despite no help on a historically awful Michigan defense, the Eagles were right to jump up to #13 to get him. He will be an every down linebacker or defensive end- he even played special teams for the Wolverines.
NBA Playoffs Start to Get Interesting
The Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder beat the #1 seeds in Cleveland and Los Angeles to get back in their respective series. The Thunder had played the Lakers tight in Game 2, and I worried that that was the best effort they were going to be able to muster, but Kevin Durant is once again growing up faster than expected and adjusting to Ron Artest’s pressure defense. In Chicago the Bulls hadn’t shown much fight, but in Game 3 they allowed LeBron to get his points while forcing his teammates to make plays. They couldn’t, and the Bulls rode the home crowd o victory. However, the series to watch is still Mavericks-Spurs, which resumes tonight in San Antonio. This is one of the few legitimate rivalries left in basketball, with two teams of established, long-tenured veterans who have clashed throughout the past decade. Add in the Spurs aging roster gasping for one last playoff run and Mavs owner Mark Cuban’s expression of hatred for the Spurs, and this game becomes must-watch for even the most casual fan.
NCAA to Expand Tournament to 68 Teams
Well, I guess they aren’t entirely insane. I thought- and most other people thought- that an expansion to 96 teams was inevitable. The format had been laid out for us, coaches were all over the airways saying what a great idea it would be, and networks were acknowledging the amount of money they would stand to make from it. However, a more reasonable 68 team tournament will take shape in 2011, with a set of four “Opening Round” (play-in) games rather than the one that currently exists. I understand it; they want to weed out some of the automatic bid teams, but to me auto bid teams deserve to be in the field of 64- they have earned their spot. Make the at-large teams have an extra game, since they never actually won their conference. However that won’t happen, so at least I am grateful that the NCAA finally listened to their fans long enough to keep the tournament largely intact for one more year. 2012 is another story. This could easily be used as an incremental expansion, adding 4 or 6 or 8 teams every year until they get to the 96 mark. For now though, basketball fans can breathe a sigh of relief.