Saturday, January 19, 2008

UCLA & Kansas Emerging As Tournament Nears.

Don't look now but early season prognosticators are tabbing UCLA also Kansas as the two teams most likely to meet in the NCAA basketball finals. A talented bunch, the Bruins are led by bruising center, Kevin Love, and forward, Josh Shipp. The transition game is sparked by versatile guard, Darren Collison, who impressed many scouts in last year's final four match up against Florida. UCLA comes from the deepest conference in the nation: the Pacific Ten; hence they'll be battle tested come tournament time. Kansas is also toned featuring outstanding potential pros like Darnell Jackson, Brandon Rush, also Mario Chalmers, but UCLA dismissed this same Jayhawk club in last year's elite eight showdown. This season's current poll sitter, North Carolina, is solid. The Tar Heels, however, lack depth; therefore it's odds on they'll run out gas just like they did last year. The other contenders are Georgetown, Memphis, also Texas AM but those squads will need a little luck to go the distance. Keep your eyes on UCLA and Kansas; the key will be if the NCAA selection committee puts them in the same regional, otherwise its very foreseeable those two could meet in the final. In the NFL, long time St. Louis Rams owner, Georgia Frontiere, passed away today at the age of 80. She became the first female owner of a professional football team. Frontiere became well known as the dragon lady for moving the Rams from Los Angeles to her hometown, St. Louis. She claims to have relocated the organization because of faltering attendance; Los Angeles based sportswriters however, maintain she couldn't resist the $20-million dollar enticement paid out by St. Louis. Known as Madame Ram, she inherited the club from her late husband, Caroll Rosenbloom, who died in a drowning incident off the coast of Florida. In a bit of irony, he became the second of Frontiere's consorts to expire accidentally. To this day, some of her detractors believe Rosenbloom was murdered. Frontiere, nevertheless, left the Rams with a value of $902-million dollars, and she bestowed her portion of the squad, 60%, to her son also daughter. In the NFC title game Sunday, the young Packers are on a roll and should prevail over the courageous Giants. In the AFC championship, the Chargers would be my pick if they were healthy: their secondary led by Quinton Jammar, is very capable of stymieing the Pats vaunted passing game, but the nagging knee injuries to quarterback, Phillip Rivers, is likely to catch up with the Chargers on Sunday. I like New England, but I don't think they'll cover the spread.

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