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Sports Then and Now



Runnin’ Rebels Fall Just Short In NCAA Tournament 0

Posted on March 20, 2010 by Richard Marsh
Northern Iowa v UNLV

Tre'Von Willis and the Runnin' Rebels could not pull out a victory in their NCAA Tournament opener against Northern Iowa.

Junior forward and UNLV’s team leader Tre’Von Willis put it best. “Losing in the first round is a little disappointing,” Willis said. “But overall, we had a good season. We’re definitely going to have our good days ahead of us.”

That is exactly what this Rebels fan and reporter will focus on within the scope of this report.

Yes,surely the 69-66 loss to a very good Northern Iowa team was disappointing and yes there were enough flaws in the Rebels performance that the outcome was anticipated early enough in the game when the Runnin’ Rebels jumped out to an eight point lead, despite some very erratic shooting, and couldn’t continue the onslaught.

Let’s give the Northern Iowa Panthers credit. They played a very smart defensive game which is their signature and when it came down to the last 11 seconds left in a tie game with no time outs remaining, they were able to find an open man 26 feet from the basket and Ali Farokhmanesh, try saying that name five times fast, simply fired away to put the Panthers up by three. Read the rest of this entry →

2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament: Let The Madness Begin 7

Posted on March 14, 2010 by Dean Hybl
Big 12 Basketball Tournament - Kansas State v Kansas

The experts predict that Big 12 Champion Kansas will be holding up an even bigger trophy in three weeks.

America’s work productivity will take a big hit this week as people across the country contemplate their brackets for the 2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

While Kansas is the prohibitive favorite, there seems to be plenty of programs with a chance to put together a run and reach the Final Four in Indianapolis.

In addition to Kansas, Kentucky, Duke and Syracuse earned spots at the top of the four brackets. Some experts thought West Virginia and even Ohio State deserved a spot among the top four, but based on overall season performance, I think the committee got it right.

It is always funny to listen to the “experts” talk about which teams are on the bubble as it is a moving target that changes almost daily over the last couple weeks of the season.

Despite nearly upsetting number two ranked Kentucky, Mississippi State will be toiling away in the NIT. Same is true for Virginia Tech (23-8, tied for third in ACC) and Illinois (19-14, 10-8 in Big Ten), both of which seemed destined for the NCAA before suffering some late season losses.

Among the teams that did make the field of 65, UTEP, Minnesota and Florida were among the last to get at-large bids.

If history is any guide, the first two days will include some surprising upsets with lower seeds proving they belonged while some higher seeds prove unworthy of their lofty perch.

The 12-5 matchup is traditionally one where upsets happen. Last year three of the four matchups went to the lower seed. Among those games in 2010, #12 Cornell against #5 Temple and #12 UTEP against #5 Butler would seem to be the ripest for upset. Read the rest of this entry →

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      Cuba is known for producing great baseball talent and there has arguably been no one from the island better than the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

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