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Saturday, August 23, 2014
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Published: Tuesday, 4/8/2008

You're the best around. No one's ever gonna keep you down ...

Winners of our wildly popular NCAA bracket contest were:

1. Brett Wilhelm, 1200 points

2. Matt Deighton, 1170 points

3. Adam Miezin, 1020 points

In fourth place, thus receiving absolutely nothing

4. Ryan Autullo, 1000 points

Typical.

Anyway, the top three finishers will get the chance to guest blog in the near future, an option I hope they choose otherwise I am required to reward them with a gift certificate. Thanks for all who participated.

Was that title game excellent or what? What it boiled down to, in my opinion, is one team was able to handle pressure and another was not. Withstanding pressure means everything --- in sports and in life. I m reminded of the first time, at 18, when I had to file a game story on deadline. I was a wreck, and I m sure the story was too. But after time you gain experience in these type of situations and start feeling more comfortable and performing better. Kansas was undeterred. Memphis was shell shocked. Guess who played more close games in the regular season?

Remember in 2002 when Ohio State won the national championship in football? The Bucks stood tall against a more talented Miami squad, probably because they (OSU) had thrived in prior moments of trial. But the last two years OSU didn t respond well to adversity in title games, perhaps because they had blown out just about everyone leading up to that game. Mental toughness is monumental in important stretches of important games.

- I m starting to believe Bill Self will stay at Kansas. But should Self leave to coach his alma mater Oklahoma State, KU fans should do nothing but praise this guy. He just led your team to a national championship. If he wants to leave for what he considers a better situation, you should offer to help him pack but not before you send him off with a farewell party. Also, you have to give props to Self for saying all the right things when pressured about the OK State job.

- I had to laugh at Bill Buckner s comments after throwing out the first pitch at Fenway today. Buckner almost declined the invitation, to which he said: "I really had to forgive, not the fans of Boston per se, but I would have to say, in my heart, I had to forgive the media ..."

Considering these words were directed at the media, I m not at all convinced Buckner has decided to forgive.

- Baltimore Ravens Matt Stover is trying to conduct a movement to get Gene Upshaw removed as executive director of the players union. Listen, I m not siding with or against Stover, but I typically give NFL players the benefit of the doubt when they rebel against the league and its owners. Compared to baseball and basketball pros, NFL guys are treated poorly. They are underpaid (again, compared to MLB and NBA guys) and are always at risk of being released from a non guaranteed contract. Is it a tough life? No. But it s obvious that NFL players must protect themselves more so than any other professional athlete.

- The Franchise, a book detailing the Cleveland Cavaliers rise to relevance under LeBron James is an excellent read. Terry Pluto and Brian Windhorst are at their best.

- Today the Tigers dropped to 0-7 on the season. Don t stop there, guys. I wanna see double digits.



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