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Friday, April 4, 2014

Must See Sports - First Weekend of April 2014

Last week's advantage/disadvantage record, excluding series: 5-5
2014 Advantage/Disadvantage Record, excluding series: 28-25
2014 Advantage/Disadvantage Record (series only): 1-0

Friday, April 4


Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets

The Thunder look unstoppable right now. The Rockets have been streaky of late, particularly against playoff bound opponents. I'll throw my lot in with front-running MVP candidate Kevin Durant (32 PPG, 8 RPG, 6 APG) right now.

Advantage: Thunder

Russell Westbrook and the Thunder ended the San Antonio Spurs' 19-game winning streak on Thursday night. 1
Saturday, April 5

2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

Final Four from Arlington, TX

National Semifinal – (7) Connecticut Huskies vs (1) Florida Gators

The Huskies have had a remarkable run to the Final Four. Spearheaded by senior point guard Shabazz Napier (18 PPG, 5 APG, 6 RPG), the Huskies have gone from a good team that had a good regular season to looking like they belong in the Final Four.

That said, Scottie Wilbekin (13 PPG, 4 APG, 2StlPG) and the Gators have a aura of destiny about them. I don't think Connecticut's defenders can keep up with the power of Florida's front court or the dynamics of Wilbekin's ball handling.

Advantage: Florida

National Semifinal – (8) Kentucky Wildcats vs (2) Wisconsin Badgers

Kentucky is the lowest seed in the Final Four. Considering the "Region of Death" from which they advanced, their seeding is nothing but a number. This team is battle tested, having beaten previously unbeaten Wichita State and defending National Champion Louisville.

Wisconsin has had a little roller coaster action in their season, having lost five of six as of early February. They have only lost two games since. This is going to be a Frank Kaminsky (F, Wisc. - 14 PPG, 6 RPG, 2 BlkPG) vs Julius Randle (F, Ky. - 15 PPG, 11 RPG) matchup. Experience under pressure matters and while both star players have passed their testes, Randle and company have withstood more fire during this tournament.

Advantage: Kentucky

Aaron Harrison,center, after hitting the game winning shot against Michigan to advance Kentucky to the Final Four. 2

Sunday, April 6


New York Knicks at Miami Heat

The good news in Gotham is that the Knicks have clawed their way back into playoff positioning after a first half (really, first two-thirds) of the season that can only be described as disappointing and catastrophic. Winners of 14 of their last 17, the Knicks have come back from the dead and now have a potseason pulse.

The even better news for New York is that the two-time defending champion Heat have been lulled to sleep and/or rested starters against opponents with inferior records. That is the end of the good news. The bad news piles up high and quickly. LeBron James (27 PPG, 7 RPG, 7 APG, 2 StlPG) and the Heatles, winners of four straight, are going to be on national television. The Knicks, were the season to end today, would be Miami's first foe to try to take their title away. Expect the peasant revolt to be crushed.

Advantage: Heat

Sorry Gotham City, but that's LeBron coming to town, not Batman. 3

San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers
Matt Cain - Giants (0-0, 3.60 ERA) vs Zack Greinke (1-0, 3.60 ERA, 5Ks, 5.0 IP)

The Dodgers appear to have picked up where they left off after last season. L.A. has gotten off to a 4-1 start. The Giants, on the other hand, had a very disappointing 2013 season with an anemic defense of the their 2012 World Series championship. The Giants have started off 3-1 and, so far, have hit the ball well. How long that lasts remains to be seen.

Advantages: Game - Dodgers, Series - Dodgers 

Yasiel Puig already has a home run and four RBI's this year. 4

Monday, April 7

2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

Final Four from Arlington, TX

National Championship Game – To be determined

On Monday, someone will cut down the nets and someone will just be cut down. Log on to on Monday for the lowdown.

Wednesday, April 8


Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Clippers

Winners of 17 of their last 19 (as of 11:00, CDT, last night), the Clippers have proven that their game is more than just "Lob City". Clippers power forward Blake Griffin's (24 PPG, 10 RPG) development has been rapid and breathtaking. They have proven that they can hold their own without point guard Chris Paul (19 PPG, 11 APG, 4 RPG, 3 StlPG). By the way, they'll have Chris Paul for this game.

The Thunder have been similarly dominant. After ending the 19-game winning streak of the San Antonio Spurs last night, they appear to ever-so-slightly be the stronger team in the Western Conference at this time. Russell Westbrook (21 PPG, 7 APG, 6 RPG, 2 StlPG) has played in four straight games, but is day-to-day with nagging injuries. Still, he rose to the occasion last night, dropping 27 points, 6 dimes, and 4 steals in just 31 minutes of play. He'll be up for this game.

I think OKC is the better team on paper, but the Clippers are hot right now and at home.

Advantage: Clippers

The Clippers have danced over the rest of the Pacific Division to a second consecutive division title for the first time in franchise history. 6
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