Random Late March Thoughts

Will Freddy be in or out of the Yankees rotation next week when the season starts?

Today I will talk about a few different New York and national sports topics, starting with the NCAA Tournament.

This year’s NCAA Tournament has kinda been a dud. Not to say that people aren’t watching, but it hasn’t been a classic year. The final four has no cinderella, and the tournament has lacked any instant classics. With that said, it’s still the greatest tournament of the year and I’ve enjoyed watching it. The final four is not too surprising to me as I picked three of the four, but Missouri and Duke losing to 15 seeds was very entertaining. Kentucky has looked like the best team so far and is most likely to take home the title. I will not be rooting for the Wildcats though, as they are my least favorite of the final four teams. I picked Ohio State and will stick with that pick, to advance to the finals to face Kentucky. We’ll see what happens this weekend, my hope is that the tournament will give us three very exciting games.

Jim Nantz will be on the Mic this weekend, but his wonderful voice will be more readily used next week at the Masters. By far the greatest golf tournament of the year at the prettiest course, this year’s Masters is due to be epic with the current state of the PGA tour. Tiger Woods has finally broken through and looks poised to be the favorite but Rory McIlroy is playing just as well and will look to revenge last year’s collapse.

In New York the sports scene is getting pretty exciting these days. The biggest story this week was the trade of Tim Tebow to the Jets. It’s hard to not believe they did this for the publicity, but at the same time Sanchez isn’t exactly Peyton Manning. I predict that Tebow will start for the Jets by midseason due to the pressure to replace Sanchez who will have his share of struggles. This works out well for  a Giants team as well, who are happy to have the crosstown rivals receive all the attention for a third straight year. The Giants free agency saga has lost Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs, but their departure shouldn’t be too big a deal. The Giants will return multiple players from injury on defense, as well as a deep and well renowned defensive line. The Offensive Line needs help and a big time Tight End would be nice. The Giants will look to address some issues in draft as well as the remaining free agency period. While the Giants won’t be favorites to repeat, they should be considered one of the top NFC contenders for next season.

The Knicks are back on the upswing after Mike D’Antoni’s departure, and this time its due to defense. While the offense has been inconsistent, a renewed energy on the defensive end has led them to a 7-1 record since Mike Woodson took over. Jeremy Lin has continued to perform but will miss a second straight game tonight against the Magic due to a sore knee. Amare Stoudemire is now going to miss 2 to 4 weeks and this is a cause for concern. He had just started to turn the corner, but now the bulging disk in his back could cause him to be out the rest of the way. Carmelo is going to have to step up and start scoring more efficiently, while the rest of the team does as well. The Knicks face a tough schedule the rest of the way and must continue to win to just make the playoffs. If they can continue to play well and get healthy then perhaps they could make some noise come playoff time.

The Rangers are even closer to the playoffs now and they’re battling for the top seed in the east. The second place Penguins are only 3 points behind with 6 games to play. Falling behind the Penguins would drop the Rangers to the 4 seed and a likely matchup with the tough Flyers. Either way the Rangers need to find their flow again and try to make sure they are playing at a high level come playoff time. The Sabres are currently in the 8th spot and are firing on all cylinders and would be a big challenge for the Rangers as well.

Finally baseball season is right around the corner, and spring training is wrapping up this week. The Mets are in trouble this year as they are arguably the worst team in a tough division. Their training camp has been quiet so far, and the expectations are the lowest they’ve been in a while for the Mets. Maybe they have a little surprise in them, and that will have to start with good pitching and situational hitting. The Yankees biggest headlines have centered around their rotation. The spring has been good for the starters and the decision will be tough who will get the nod. I’m not sure who I want to see out there, and Andy Pettitte’s return in a month or so should complicate things even more. Injuries might end up working things out, but we’ll see what happens soon enough. The Yankees are looking the best they’ve looked in a long time coming out of spring training and if things can mold then this could be the AL favorite. The Red Sox, Rays, Rangers, Angels and Tigers all look like good teams too though, so we’ll see.

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