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Sports Then and Now



30 Years Ago: The Birth of March Madness 5

Posted on March 13, 2011 by A.J. Foss
Lonnie McFarlan passes to John Smith for layup that would shock top seeded DePaul.

Lonnie McFarlan passes to John Smith for layup that shocks top-seeded DePaul.

The NCAA Basketball tournament began with the 1979 national championship game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Indiana State Sycamores, featuring Magic Johnson for the Spartans and Larry Bird for the Sycamores.

But the madness really began on March 14, 1981, when the top two ranked teams in the country and the defending national champions were all knocked off in buzzer beater losses.

All in the same afternoon.

The action began in Austin, Texas when the defending national champion Louisville Cardinals faced off with the Arkansas Razorbacks.

The game was close throughout but it appeared the Cardinals would advance to the Sweet 16 after guard Derek Smith hit the go-ahead basket to give Louisville a 73-72 lead with five seconds left. Read the rest of this entry →

Zultan’s Fearless Big Ten (+) Plus College Football Predictions: Week One 3

Posted on August 28, 2010 by JA Allen

The Mighty Zultan Tells Football Fortunes...

Zultan, the mighty soothsayer, hibernated soundly after a glorious conclusion to Big Ten Football Bowl Season last January.

The all-seeing one remained zoned out for months after admittedly over-indulging in some exotic-looking orange punch with the kick of a kangaroo.

The Big Ten pounded its way to an impressive 4-3 record during post-season play which included wins over some very highly ranked BCS teams at the conclusion of the 2009 football season.

The action culminated with the Iowa Hawkeye’s victory over the Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech. After the Hawkeyes rolled over them, GT may still be putting their “wrecked” offense back together.

When the mighty one’s eyes snapped open this week, ready to dig in for another season of football prognostication –– low and behold, the news was delivered.  The Big Red Machine was going to be joining the Big Ten. What a blow!  After years of living in the shadow of the God Almighty Nebraska Cornhuskers, the all-seeing seer now must feel the singe of the hot poker once again––as Nebraska closes in on the neighboring Hawkeyes starting in 2011.

Putting aside his feelings of betrayal, the all-seeing one now marshals the massive skills that allow him to predict the outcome of football contests.  The Big Ten Conference will be a force to be reckoned with in 2010 along with other highly touted football contests each week.

What he wishes to know is––can you outguess him?  Do you feel lucky, well, do you?  If so click here and you can pit your puny predicting powers against the great Zultan.  If you outguess him, then he will announce that you beat him in next week’s column, plus entering your name for a prize to be awarded at the end of the season.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      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.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

      Read more »

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