More UConn Madness…5 Months Later

Aaaaaaaand we’re back,

Sorry to my DBS faithful about the no post summer.  Big mistake; big, big mistake (Chris Farley SNL Japanese Game Show: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/7095645/chris_farley_japanese_game_show/  SKIP TO 2 MINUTES).  I’m back and better then ever.  On this lovely Tuesday morning, coming from you in Storrs, CT I’d like to welcome you back to the upcoming school year with a little #TBT to when the UConn Huskies won a national championship and the Husky faithful responded in raucous ways.  I was able to capture this video in the midst of the riot, enjoy.

***WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE IS AN EXCLUSIVE

NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN VIDEO

COURTESY OF DART BOY SPORTS***

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23mrjqQdXkE&feature=youtu.be

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Rate ‘Em: Playoff Rankings

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It’s late at night and I won’t publish this until the morning but you know I’m always thinking of the DBS faithful in the waning hours of the night.  And right now, as I watch Game 4 of the Spurs and Trailblazers series, I thought of a nice little article.  This is going to be tough and I’m gonna bullshit this on the spot so, without further ado, Lange’s playoff rankings between all sports that I want to consider. 

5. Major League Baseball

I don’t know what it is but my love for baseball is dying more and more with each passing year.  The 162 game schedule, with 3 to 3 and a half hour games now becoming a regular just tire me out come October.  The new 1 game wild card playoff adds a much needed excitement element to the MLB playoffs but baseball still doesn’t compare to the top 4.

4. National Basketball Association 

Damn, this is a lot harder than I thought it would be.  Honestly, the top 4 are all so damn close.  Like, I used to HATE the NBA about 2 years ago.  No defense.  No offensive sets.  Just one on one isolation crap.  But I’ve grown to enjoy the NBA game again and these NBA playoffs are insane.  Favorite game thus far? GOTTA be Vinsanity turning back the clock 47 years and hitting that buzzer beating 3 from the corner for the win.

3. National Hockey League

Before I defend the reasoning here, I really want to question my properness of listing these sports by their full name and not the shortened acronym.  I’m such a nerd.  Anyways, I don’t know anything about hockey.  Just learned about icing last week.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t love the intensity and grittiness that comes with an NHL hockey game.  LGR baby!!!! 

2. NFL

As a Giants fan, I’ve experienced some crazy, crazy stuff in the playoffs.  Wild, unexpected, and yes, maybe a little lucky, runs en route to 2 super bowl championships. What I love especially about the NFL playoffs is you play 16 grueling games and only 6 teams from each conference makes the playoffs. I hate hearing the argument that the NFL should expand to 8 team playoffs.  No, shut up America. Everyone doesn’t need a trophy.

1. NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

You knew I was going here didn’t you but can you blame me?  This past NCAA tournament was maybe the best one that ever happened and its not like it was a one time thing.  America lives for the George Masons, the Butlers, the VCUs, the Florida Gulf Coasts. Everyone loves rooting for the underdog.  No better time of the year to root for an underdog than March Madness like the University of Connecticut Huskies. 

P.S. Kevin Ollie is going to stay and UConn is going to become a dynasty.

Remember me?

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Shit, my bad.  I’ve practically been hibernating for the past month and haven’t given the DBS faithful what they deserve in quite some time and for that I am deeply and truly apologetic.

On that note, I just want to give a run-down of everything I’ve noticed in sports since my last article (March 17th)

  • What an NCAA tournament – Best one in recent memory.  7 seeded UConn and 8 seeded Kentucky basically chucking their middle finger up to the seeding committee as they clearly got shafted.  Proud of my school for cutting down the nets.  Everyone played well all tournament long, and like Kevin Ollie said “we have enough, we have enough right here in this room.”  Bazz will be missed. If Daniels and Boatright return I guarantee a return to the final four.  BOOK IT. 
  • MLB season is off for the races.  Lots of ESPN analysts were picking the Dodgers to win the world series to start the year and they’re playing well.  Love the way the Nationals and A’s have been playing.  And my Yanks, the crusty and old Yanks are playing some damn fine baseball.  I’ll take an 11-8 to start the year with your average starters age being somewhere near the 50’s any day of the week.  
  • NBA playoffs kicked off this past weekend and the Raptors GM was excited for that. Too bad Brooklyn is going to beat them in 5 and take Miami to 7.  The King will 3-peat, though.  And then, if anyone is still hating on him, well then, they’re just ignorant. Appreciate the greatness that Lebron and KD are giving us.  I said the other say and I’m sticking to it – when their careers are done, in no particular order the three greatest basketball players of all time will be Jordan, Lebron and KD. Yup.
  • NHL playoffs also started up.  COMPLETE Ranger playoff bandwagon fan right here.  Watch maybe a total of one period in the whole regular season but come playoff time I bleed blue and red.  Playoff hockey is insane.  Love it.  
  • BUBBA!!! Was a little upset that the young gun, Spieth, didn’t come away with the green jacket but how can you not root for a guy who wins his second green jacket in 3 years and then eats at Waffle House.  Respect, but IHop > Waffle House. 
  • Enjoy this, probably my last post for about 2 weeks as the shitty part of college is back when you actually need to study and try hard.  Finals blow.  

PS – UConn women went 40-0.  That’s cool.

Lange’s Final Four

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s finally that time of year.  Selection Sunday has passed and now men and women all around the world are filling out their brackets for their pools.  Many will turn to ESPN for bracket advice, however, that is a mistake.  For all the best coverage, sleepers, upset alerts, final four picks and championship picks come to none of than DBS as our experts will be working long hours this week to help DBS supporters win some money in their bracket pools.

So here we go…my final four picks

South – Florida

They’re the best team in the nation.  Plain and simple.  The Gators have won 26 straight since losing December 2nd at UConn.  SEC Player of the Year Scottie Wilbiken is a true PG that can lead Florida to their first National Championship since 2006-07.  Their toughest potential matchup in the bracket is a healthy Joel Embiid and Kansas Jayhawks squad.

West – Arizona

Even without Brandon Ashley the Wildcats have been playing well of late.  They’re so balanced and have four guys who can score 20+ on any given night.  Besides that, Arizona ranks number one in the nation in defensive efficiency (According to KenPom Rankings).  The Wildcats have the toughest possible matchup in the round of 32 against Marcus Smart and the Oklahoma St cowboys.

East – Michigan State

Talk about timing.  The Spartans, who have been injury plagued all season long, got fully healthy just before the Big 10 Conference Tournament in which they steamrolled teams en route to a Conference Championship.  Led by, in my opinion, the greatest college basketball coach in the nation, Michigan St seems poised to stay hot and make another run to the final four.  Don’t sleep on Virginia from this region – they can give the Spartans a lot of fits defensively. It’s March, though, and coaching means everything now. I take Izzo over Bennett. 

Midwest – Louisville 

Larry Brown and SMU getting snubbed the biggest surprise of Selection Sunday? Yea, I agree. A close second is the committee giving Louisville a 4-seed.  The Cardinals non-conference strength of schedule was a joke but considering the way they played the final month of the season I believe Rick Pitino’s squad is a top four team in the nation.  Russ Smith and Montrezl Harrell are animals and with Hancock stretching the floor out, ya gotta feel for the 34-0 Shockers who have the toughest matchup in the sweet 16 in these Cardinals.

 

Fantasy Baseball

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March Madness means three things:

1. Crazy-ness in the NCAA Tournament

2. Fantasy Baseball is right around the corner

3. Because of 1. and 2., a happy James Langelotti

Many people have a love/hate relationship with fantasy baseball and for reasons I understand. Being far more consuming than any other fantasy sport, it takes a lot of effort to ride to the top come September.  However, I’m one of those people who loves it.  Time for some of my biased analysis.

Top 10 on my do not draft list:

1. BJ Upton –  I don’t know why Upton is the exception to the rule but ever since he was the top prospect in baseball in seemingly 1878 people continue to give him a chance when he just doesn’t deserve it.  Book another .230 average and 18 homer year from Upton.

2. Mark Teixeira – When a player openly admits they’re on the decline…they’re on the decline.  Coming off an injury plagued 2013 I just don’t see the Yankees first basemen putting up great numbers at such a deep fantasy position.

3. CC Sabathia – Am I a Yankees fan? Two in the top 3. This could go either way.  Sabathia lost a lot of weight in the offseason to get in shape and I feel like he could either have another one of his greats years or a repeat of his mediocre 2013.  Deep down I think another mediocre season in store for the Yankees “ace.”

4. Matt Kemp – I’ve had him on my fantasy teams the two years he’s gotten hurt and hasn’t produced.  I no longer trust him to stay healthy and produce…at least for my fantasy team.

5. Robinson Cano – Cano is a top 10 player in baseball.  No doubt about it.  However, with no protection in the lineup or anyone to drive in I don’t see Cano being worth the top 10 pick he has been worth for the past 3-4 years.

6. Domonic Brown – Fluke season.

7. Josh Hamilton – Similar to Teixeira, I think Hamilton is on the decline.  Even with the loaded lineup the Angels had entering the 2013 campaign, Hamilton struggled out of the gates.  I see another mediocre season in store for Hamilton.

8. Jimmy Rollins –  Shortstop is such a thin fantasy position but Rollins just isn’t the same player he was four years ago.  Look towards the Cubs Starlin Castro here, who many will overlook.

9. Brandon Morrow – Similar to Upton, Morrow is consistently drafted year after year because the scouts always talk about how great his stuff is.  Well, maybe his stuff is great but the guy is just never healthy.  Plain and simple.

10. Chase Utley – Hasn’t been healthy for a full season since 2009 and isn’t getting any younger. 

March Madness: Seton Hall Buzzer Beater

This is why we love March Madness. Seton Hall, a squad that finished 17-16 in the regular season and 6-12 in the Big East, upsetting #3 Villanova in the Big East quarterfinals on a step-back “Kemba esque” jumper by Sterling Gibbs – a 6’2″ guard straight outta “New Joysie.” Of course it happened at MSG too, the mecca. And yes, this is the same Pirates team that lost to the 10-21 Fairleigh Dickinson Knights.

Pirates vs my Providence Friars in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament tomorrow at MSG. Let’s go Friars!

NBA MVP: KD or Lebron? *Poll at Bottom*

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This season could be one of the closest MVP voting’s since 1980 when Magic Johnson beat out Charles Barkley by 22 points despite Barkley receiving 11 more first place votes and there’s no question who it’s between: four-time champ Lebron James and Kevin Durant.

I am a Lebron fan, no question.  He is the best player in the NBA , no question. When it is all said and done I truly believe people will be able to say he was one of the top five players of all time, no question.  People hate on me for liking Lebron but I don’t care.  Their was always a void for me once Allen Iverson left the NBA – I couldn’t watch anymore.  No particular player excited me.  Then I really started to watch Lebron and soon thereafter I realized he epitomized everything I wanted to be in a basketball player (no shit, right).

However, with all that love put aside, Lebron James is not the MVP of the NBA right now.  Key word, RIGHT NOW. Right now the NBA’s MVP is Kevin Durant. What he is doing this season is special.  Very special.

Lets take a closer look into their respective seasons:

Kevin Durant

Since the clock struck midnight on January 1st Durant has been on a tear.  In 29 games since the new year began he is averaging 34.86 PPG, 6.4 APG, and 6.8 RPG all the while leading his Thunder to a league best 46-15 record.

For the season as a whole, Durant is averaging 31.7 PPG, 5.5 APG. 7.7 RPG while shooting 51% from the field and 40% from behind the arc.  Durant’s PER (player efficiency rating) is a league high 30.62 while he also hold the highest Win Shares in the NBA at 14.9, 2.7 higher than the second highest total (of course, it’s Lebron).

Oh but Lange, won’t the return of Westbrook slow down Durant and his production allowing Lebron to make the late comeback in the MVP race?  False.  Since Westbrook returned to the lineup on February 20th for the Thunder, Durant has averaged 34.2 PPG, 5.8 APG, and 7 RPG.

Versus Miami, OKC has split, each coming away with the road victory.  In the two games Durant as averaged 30.5 PPG, 4 APG and 7.5 RPG.

Now the other candidate…

Lebron James

Albeit is only six games since the all-star break but I think Lebron may have been asked one too many times his thoughts on Durant being the frontrunner to the MVP race because he as gone berzerk.  Since the break James has averaged 34.8 PPG, 5.2 APG, and 6.2 RPG on 65% shooting overall and 47% from 3.

While playing less minutes than he ever has before (still averaging just over 37 MPG), Lebron is still producing big time numbers for the season. Coming in to today he is averaging 27.4 PPG, 6.4 APG and 6.9 RPG (third lowest mark in his career).

As for the saber metrics, Lebron boasts a PER of 30.25, and 12.2 Win Shares.

Versus the Thunder, Lebron has put up 33.5 PPG, 3 APG, and 5 RPG.

It’s a tough call but if the season ended today and anyone gave two shits about me vote I’d give Durant the nod.  But there’s still plenty of basketball left to play and I’ve seen Lebron play a lot but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him at this level.  If he continues this level for the remainder of the season I see no reason not believe that the King cant win his third straight MVP award and 5th in 6 years.

Crazy Stat of the Day: Career wise (regular season and post season) Lebron has a record of 14-4 versus Kevin Durant’s squads. Didn’t think it would be that lopsided.

Let’s see what the DBS faithful think.  SEASON ENDS TODAY: Who ya got? KD or Lebron?