Thursday, February 23, 2012

CU Buffs still have a chance to make the dance

This is going to be short and quick, considering I have to run to class in 10 minutes.

With four games left, and two of them at home, the CU Buffs basketball team has a shot to do something that almost no one thought they would be able to do, and that is making it to the NCAA basketball tourny. After losing almost 50% of their scoring in Alec Burks and Corey Higgins, the buffs start 2 freshmen, 1 sophomore, and 2 seniors. The first three guys off the bench are also two freshmen and a junior power forward. Predicted to finish last in the PAC-12 the buffs have put together an impressive 10-4 conference record, and still have yet to lose at home in the PAC-12 play. Looking to go undefeated at home, the buffs host Stanford tonight, and Cal on Saturday for a NIT quarterfinals rematch which the buffs won by a margin of 8 points. If the buffs win these last two games at home, they should secure a first round bye in the PAC-12 tourny at the Staples Center, which will be huge in their success. Since the buffs have struggled greatly on the road, any game that they do not need to play away from the Coors Event Center will be a blessing in disguise.

SInce the PAC-12 conference is one of the weakest in the nation right now, I predict that maybe two teams will make it to the dance. Even though Arizona was in the top 25 at the beginning of the NCAA polls, they have since fallen off the mark. The buffs do have the talent however to beat every team in the PAC-12, and they have proved it time and time again with wins at the CEC. In order to make it to the NCAA tourny, the buffs need to win these last two games at home, and at least split the road trip at Oregon and Oregon State. If they can win out, then their resume should be good enough to make it to the NCAAs without winning the PAC-12. The buff players still have a chip on their shoulder from being skanked out of NCAAs last year, despite beating Kansas State 3 times, #3 Texas, #11 Missouri, and coming within 2 points of beating #2 Kansas plus making it to the semi-finals of the Big 12 tourny.

Hopefully this year will be different or at least another NIT bid. Let's go Buffs!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Keys to Nova Upsetting #25 Notre Dame

Well, it hasn't been a perfect season or even a winning season, however Villanova has a chance tonight to pull off the upset that the Nova Nation has been craving all season. Although a hot Notre Dame teams comes to Philly, I think that there are three primary keys to the game that Nova must execute for the entire forty minutes in order to have a shot at pulling out a victory.

1) Notre Dame last year rained twenty three pointers in a blowout win at home against the Wildcats. This year they are continuing to light it up from downtown due to their talented guards. Tonight, Villanova must play face to face lockdown defense against their shooters. If you take away their strength and establish tough defense early on, then half the battle is won.

2) On offense, its very simple. JVP has a tough time against the towering USF Bulls, but tonight I'd give him the rock and let him go to the basket until Notre Dame can prove they can stop him. By racking up fouls on their center Jack Cooley (their best player), JVP could have another huge game.

3) Last and certainly not least, the "6th man" is a huge factor in tonight's game. A prime time game at 9 pm, home court advantage and a hostile environment allow for the atmosphere to be electric at Wells Fargo.

One chance to pull an upset and play for pride in the Big East. It's game time. Let's get it Nova!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Baseball World Mourns Loss of Gary Carter

Hall of Fame Catcher Gary Carter, who had a brilliant nineteen year career for the New York Mets, Montreal Expos, San Francisco Giants, and Los Angeles Dodgers passed away Thursday afternoon at the age of 57. He had been battling several brain tumors and had been going through chemotherapy.

Gary Carter's website reported that at 4:10 P.M. today, Gary Carter had passed away after a battle against several brain tumors that lasted several months.

He is the first and only player in Baseball's Hall of Fame to dawn a Montreal Expos cap. But, he is perhaps remembered best for his time with the Mets. His career began his career in 1974 when he broke into the Majors with the Expos. He then played with them for the next ten years doing it all, winning three Silver-Slugger awards, three Gold Glove Awards and being named to the All-Star three times, while winning the All-Star MVP once. But in 1984, after finishing fifth in the NL East, Montreal traded Carter to the Mets at the end of the season.

Carter would play for the New York Mets for the next four years in what might have been his biggest four years of his career. Over his tenure, he was named to the All-Star game four times, won three Gold Gloves, and won the Roberto Clemente Award who "best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to this team." The award is voted on by fans and the media. Carter would join the 300 home run club in 1988, while playing for the Mets against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

But, his performance in the 1986 post-season is what he might be remembered for. Despite slumping heading into the post-season, Carter turned it on in the late. He hit a walk-off single to win game five of the National League Championship Series and hit two home-runs over the Green Monster in Game four of the World Series. In game six, he tied the game in the 8th, then started the Mets 10th inning, two-out rally and scored the first of three runs.

Carter finished third in MVP voting that year. Two years later, after the 1988 season, he was released by the Mets. For the next two years, he would play for the San Francisco Giants followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Carter was claimed off waivers in 1992 by the Expos where he would finish his illustrious career.

Gary "The Kid" Carter left behind a great legacy. He is sixth all time in Home Runs by a catcher. He was a part of "Mike Piazza Night" in which the Mets celebrated Piazza for breaking that very same mark. Besides the Baseball Hall of Fame, Carter is also a member of the Canadian Hall of Fame, the Expos Hall of Fame and the Mets Hall of Fame. Carter requested to wear a Mets hat into the Hall of Fame but controversially the Hall denied his request and he went in as a member of the Montreal Expos. He always a hard worker and was always eager to play. He nickname kid, was given to him in his rookie year in spring training by the veterans of the Expos because he ran out all of his sprints and hit every ball out of the park. He will never be forgotten for all his contributions to and memories given to Baseball and their fans.

Nation's best NCAA basketball student section +

After a long absence from blogging, I have some free time from school, work, and my actual life to dedicate some time to blogging about one of my favorite things in this world which is sports! WooT So to start off this new year with my first post in a long time, it is time to start talking about NCAA basketball, which is coming to the climax of the regular season. Schools are making the final push to become tourny eligible, and one of the most important things these teams must do it win at home. Sure the home court makes the players feel comfortable, but the part that sets the feared road trips from just another game is the student section.

Often placed right next to the visitor's bench, the opposing team can most definitely hear what the fans are saying. It is insane how much we (as students) jeer at the other team. Even though they are told not to listen, and do a good job of doing so, it is extremely hard to ignore 3000 students screaming at you.

For all of you that do not know, I attend the University of Colorado at Boulder currently; however, I am a transfer from Rutgers University. I have only been to five different college basketball stadiums (CU, RU, Monmouth University, Seton Hall, and Air Force). Take it for what it is worth, but CU is by far the king of these five. Yes, Monmouth is not a very big basketball stadium by any means, and none of the other four teams has had much success to draw huge crowds of people. The thing is though, that I attended these places for rivalry games. RU vs SHU, SHU vs RU, RU vs Monmouth, and finally Air Force vs UNC ( I dont count this game since the Cadets are all well behaved). So let me support this with some facts about Coors Event Center, CU Men's and Women's basketball stadium.

CEC holds over 11,000 at capacity, and we have sold out our student section for the last 10 conference home games. Yes, there are traditional basketball powerhouses that have sold 100+ blah blah blah, but for a school that has had only two players drafted in the first round in the past two decades (Billups, Burks)this is quite the accomplishment. Due to the shape of the building, and the fact that the student section faces west, any sound that escapes from the CEC bounces off of the mountains right in our backyard. Once again, this may not seem like it will a difference, but science shows that it does.

With our student section we have a different cheer for everything, and being loud/obnoxious is one of our specialties. We sing the fight song when we are winning, and even louder when we are losing. We rip up paper, and throw it in the air so it snows on the court. We hold signs, and call out players. We have cardboard cut-outs. We have Iron Man, and whoever the hell that dude is with the Master Chief helmet/body armor with horns on it. We have those guys in spandex. We have the painted hippies, the overalls, and the blackouts. We sing loud, and cheer at half-time. We have the roller-coaster, and we have one of the best cheerleaders I have ever seen (he seriously does flips from end-zone to end-zone at football, and across the court at Bball games). Our school spirit has brought us up to the top 10 in the eyes of ESPN. Most importantly, the players know that we have their backs.

On top of everything, our home record proves it all. Only three loses at home in the past two seasons by a combined 15 points. You may not agree, but come to the Coors Event Center, and I can guarantee that your opinion will change just a little bit.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I would like to first apologize for the two week absence for The Point After. The college semester is in full gear right now and all of our writers, including myself, have been swamped with school and work. I promise to make it up to you guys with a lot of content over the next few days.

Not many people showed up to watch two of the worst Big East basketball teams play at the Pavilion last night, but the crowd hadn't been louder all season. Providence and Villanova were a combined 5-17 in Big East play entering the night and represented the 14th and 15th ranked teams in the league of 16. The game throughout the first 15 minutes was back and forth. Both teams turned the ball over, missed shots, and made simple mistakes; however, Providence pulled away a little bit at the end of the half, as Bryce Cotton hit 6 of 7 3-pointers in the half. Villanova had no answer and trailed 44-30 as they went back to the locker room.

While Jay Wright scolded his team for sloppy play and awful perimeter defense, the fans were treated to a ping-pong match, missed half-court shot, and a great Bollywood Fusion performance by Nova Nassa. When the team came out of the tunnel to start their shootaround, some of the student section had already left to go hit the books. But, boy did they regret leaving this one.

The second half started off just like it ended, with Bryce Cotton hitting a perimeter jumper and the Villanova student section shouting at the poor play. The teams traded baskets, but LaDontae Henton hit a couple of three pointers to stretch the lead to 60-41. Moments after a timeout by Jay Wright, Villanova started showing some life. The Wildcats then strung together a 22-3 run to tie the game at 63. After a small Friar run, Villanova trailed 72-67 with the ball. JayVaughn Pinkston was given the ball at the top of the key and he simply abused the lackluster defense. He drove to the basket and was hacked, but nothing was stopping JVP from getting to the hoop. Pinkston absorbed the contact and dropped in the layup with the foul. With the crowd roaring, JVP went up to the line and calmly knocked down his 8th free throw of the game.

Just moments later, James Bell and Ty Johnson executed a perfect trap, stealing the ball at mid-court. Bell then threw a pass to a streaking JayVaughn Pinkston, who threw down the hammer to tie up the game at 72. Villanova then forced another tough shot and got the ball back with a chance to take the lead. Jay Wright called timeout to draw something up, but everybody in the building knew where the ball was going. Wright has been criticized by many, including myself, because of his lack of creative play-calling, but he knew exactly what to do here. Ty Johnson controlled the ball at the top of the key and Mouph Yarou set a pick giving Johnson some room near the right wing. As this happened, JVP rolled to the top of the key where he gained some separation from his defender. Johnson gave the ball to the hot hand and JVP went to work. Pinkston went right to the hoop in a situation where many players settle for a tough jumper. JayVaughn took his man to the rack and dropped in a layup to take the lead.

Providence was forced to take a timeout and Villanova subbed in their defensive unit, led by 6'10, 210 pound Maurice Sutton. The Friars had just over 10 seconds to score and they started with Gerard Coleman going towards the hoop. As Coleman began to shoot a 10 foot running jumper, Maurice Sutton stretched every bit of his mile-long arms and threw Coleman's shot back to the three point line. Bryce Cotton picked up the loose ball and forced up a three-pointer with Ty Johnson up in his grill. The shot hit the left rim and bounced away, as the buzzer sounded.

JayVaughn Pinkston had the game of his life, dropping 28 points, with 8 coming from the charity strike. Pinkston simply was unstoppable in the paint and embarrassed the Friars' front court. It doesn't happen often, but you know you had a good game when the student section is chanting, JVP! JVP! JVP!, while the band is playing the beloved Villanova Fight Song. It was a tremendous win, especially without a healthy Maalik Wayns, who hurt his knee in the contest. It was also nice to see Dominic Cheek not get rattled with all the harsh criticism this year. Cheek has had his fair share of struggles, mostly on the offensive end; however, he continued to shoot and he turned out to be a huge part of the 22-3 run, as he hit two huge threes in that span.

Yes, Villanova will likely not even make the NIT this year, but at least they gave the fans a show last night.