Midweek Update - NBA & MLB Notes
Hurley Goes 2-0 On NBA Wednesday!
Lakers/Warriors (Under 203) 95-87 WON!
Pistons (-6) Nets 116-109 WON!
EXTRA, EXTRA: OUR JIM SEZ MID-WEEK COLUMN HAS IT ALL - THE FINAL WORD ON UCONN'S ULTRA-UGLY TITLE GAME WIN AGAINST BUTLER
PLUS NBA UPDATES AND MAJOR-LEAGUE BASEBALL NEWS/NOTES TOO
By Jim Hurley:
Pick a sport - any sport - and here's one question that often surrounds the aftermath of a championship season:
Did you see it coming?
If you were a hard-core College Basketball fan in this just-completed 2010-11 season the answer would have had to be an emphatic "no"!
The Connecticut Huskies (32-9) - who closed out this momentous season on an 11-game winning streak (all in elimination games, to boot) including Monday's 53-41 slugfest triumph over 3-point underdog Butler - never showed any signs during the course of regular-season play that this was gonna be a storybook season but as often the case in sports these days it's merely a question of who's playing their best ball of the year at the right time.
No doubt that Hall of Fame head coach Jim Calhoun had his Huskies playing their best ball at the precisely correct time this spring with those five wins in five days at the Big East Tournament the springboard for this NCAA Tournament run but just consider this: What happens if one of those two three-point shot attempts by the Arizona Wildcats goes through the nets two weekends back in the Elite 8 game in Anaheim... and ditto for that Kentucky triple try by DeAndre Liggins last weekend in Houston?
Obviously, Connecticut would not be getting fitted for championship rings at this time but it just goes to show you that the Huskies survived a pair of ball-in-the-air shots in the waning seconds of those games and so the hands of fate surely were on UConn's side and - yes - we firmly believe that the oft-grumpy Calhoun will now call it a career and ride into the sunset with his family and you can expect current Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore (a once-upon-a-time assistant to Calhoun) to wind up being the next sideline boss-man of the Huskies.
One final note on this NCAA Tournament Championship Game:
Sad to say but a whole lot of people are gonna remember Butler's putrid 18.8 percent accuracy rate from the floor in that title-game loss than they are the fact the Bulldogs toppled the likes of Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, Florida and VCU in this year's tourney - the Horizon League club didn't shoot it well for most of the tourney but the ability to snag offensive rebounds and put back in "garbage" baskets enabled Brad Stevens' squad to keep on surviving and advancing until this major pothole called Connecticut.
Call it a case of really bad timing.
Lots more goodies from the NBA and MLB comin' your way but first this important reminder: Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you all the NBA and Major-League Baseball daily winners when you check in either right here online or at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 after 11 a.m. ET for weekday afternoon Baseball, after 1 p.m. ET for all weeknight action and after 10 a.m. ET on Saturdays/Sundays. Hey, don't kick back and take any time off now just ' cause the NCAA Tournament is history as there's still plenty of winning to be done -- so make sure you're all aboard with America's #1 Handicapper.
THE NBA MID-WEEK REPORT
Finally, someone out there threw a monkey wrench into the life of the Denver Nuggets.
George Karl's club had reeled off a six-game winning streak until the 4-point underdog Oklahoma City Thunder downed Denver 101-94 on Tuesday night at the Pepsi Center.
The Nuggets had won all 10 of their games at home since the much-ballyhooed trade of star scorer Carmelo Anthony to New York back on Feb. 22nd but in a showdown of teams that figure to play one another in the opening round of the NBA's Western Conference Playoffs later this month, the Thunder scored the KO blow as forward Kevin Durant poured in 32 points while Denver played without both G Aaron Afflalo (strained left hamstring) and forward Chris "Birdman" Andersen (ankle).
Oklahoma City (51-26) - which hosts the heavy-duty underdog Los Angeles Clippers on this Wednesday night - banged the boards to the tune of 50 rebounds including 14 rebounds by Kendrick Perkins (miss 'em yet, Boston?) and another 11 rebs by Serge Ibaka and no question about it that this is a "bad matchup" for the Nuggets when contemplating a potential opening-round series.
Then again, any series might be a bad matchup if Nuggets' Nene and Wilson Chandler are gonna combine to shoot 5-of-19 from the floor as was the case on Tuesday night.
|Hurley's NBA handicappers have won 5 of the last 7. You can click here and win with us starting tonight and go all the way through the Finals, including bonus baseball for just $179. Or just play tonight's TNT doubleheader of Celtics-Bulls & Jazz-Blazers for $15 by clicking here.|
BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES
Everyone's getting all hot-and-bothered over the start this season by the Baltimore Orioles who enter Wednesday night's home game against the Detroit Tigers at a sizzling 4-0... but might folks be short-changing the born-again Kansas Royals?
The annual basement dweller in the American League Central has been a gritty bunch so far with three wins in a season-opening four-game home series against the Los Angeles Angels and than KayCee snagged a wild 7-6 win in 12 innings Tuesday night against the visiting Chicago White Sox. No question that the Royals' lineup is littered with "projects" and one of 'em - OF Melky Cabrera (3-for-6 with three RBI in the extra-innings win) - drove home Chris Getz with an RBI single to settle matters against thee Chisox.
Heck, already the Royals have a longer winning streak - four in a row - than they enjoyed all of 2010 when Kansas City won three in a row on six different occasions and so no wonder there's a certain giddiness in the "Show Me State" these days. One major part of KC's team this year is a revamped bullpen that threw six scoreless innings in relief of RHP Luke Hochevar whose been one of the team negatives so far while pitching to a bloated 6.17 ERA in his early-season starts against the Angels and White Sox.
The Hurley Network stays on top of all develppments day-to-day and has a special Daynight Baseball Bonanza planned for Thursday. Win a game during the day and cash in the MLB TV game of Tigers-Orioles at night. Click here and win both for $10.
In other MLB News & Notes...
Speaking of bullpens, the San Diego Padres' relief corps is back up to its old tricks as Luke Gregerson, Mike Adams and closer extraordinaire Heath Bell combined to throw three scoreless innings in Tuesday's 3-1 opening home game win against the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants. The Pods' three relievers combined to throw 32 strikes in 43 pitches while wrapping things up for RHP Aaron Harang and - tell us right now that Bud Black's bullpen will be every bit as good as it was in 2010 -- and San Diego could challenge for this ultra-competitive National League West crown.
NOTE: Catch the first edition of our NFL Draft Previews in the next Jim Sez as we begin our Position-by-Position look at who's the hot picks in the April .
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