Tag Archives: Bill Raftery

It’s Duke and Wisconsin for all the marbles, as Kentucky weeps. A boxer drops his cell phone while fighting. And the strangest hockey save you’ll ever see

Duke-Wisconsin

One more game. One more game to determine the national champion in Division I men’s college basketball for 2014-15 (if you say that in Brent Musberger’s voice, you get the effect I am going for).

Duke, who you may have heard is the favorite team of this blogger, plays Wisconsin, who will be the favorite team of 99 percent of the rest of America watching tonight.

Should be a fantastic game. Hopefully as good as that Kentucky-Wisconsin game was Saturday night.

The last night of the season is always so bittersweet for diehard college hoop fans like me.

And with Duke back in the title game? I’ll be a nervous wreck all day. My poor 7-month-old will hear chapter and verse about how Justise Winslow needs to slow down Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker, and how Okafor better not let Kaminsky get him in foul trouble and … ah, he’ll never remember any of this, so I don’t think I’ll be doing any lasting psychological damage…

Some quick-hit thoughts from Saturday’s Final Four games:

— Well, well, well, looks like that guy from Lexington, Ky. with the “40-0” tattoo might need to get some removal work done. Seriously, as a Calipari and UK-hater I so enjoyed seeing them lose, and the most obnoxious fan base in America gets to have their balloon popped a bit (that guy below does look pretty sad).

I gotta say, though, that was an incredible run the Wildcats went on this year, going 38-0. And their kids, for the most part, seem like a classy, good bunch, even if half didn’t shake hands with Wisconsin afterwards.

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— One of many reasons to love the Badgers: They play such pretty basketball. This isn’t like the old Wisconsin teams from 5 years ago, winning 48-46. These guys really pass and shoot beautifully, San Antonio Spurs-like.

— So great hearing Bill Raftery on the call of the Final Four. An absolutely wonderful man and announcer getting to be on the big stage. I didn’t hear any “Onions!” shouts from him, though.

— As for my boys from Duke? They’re playing their best ball of the year. I’m almost afraid to say it for fear of jinxing them, but they are peaking at the exact right time. I know no one will be pulling for them tonight, but if they win K’s 5th national title, you’ll hear me screaming no matter where you live.

— My 2 predictions for tonight: Duke 68, Wisconsin 66. And that Georgia State coach Ron Hunter falling off his stool will be in “One Shining Moment.”

**Next up, the first of two things in this blog post that I’ve never seen before. Check out this pro boxing match from last week between Marvin Jones and Ramon Luis Nicolas.

Watch what falls onto the canvas right at the start of this clip. It’s Jones’ cell phone, falling out of his pocket.
What in the name of Rocky Marciano would a fighter need a cell phone in the ring for? Could his trainer call him during the round with some instructions? (“Yeah, yeah, his jab is giving me problems, I’m going to try to hit him with a left hook soon, got it. Call you later when the round ends.”)

Maybe he wanted to always be reachable to his wife or girlfriend. Or he figured during a slow clench he could call and order a pizza for after the fight.

And also, how would he answer the phone with those unwieldy gloves on?
I’m brimming with questions.

**Finally today, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this in hockey. At a minor league American Hockey League game over the weekend between Manchester (N.H.) and Hartford, Manchester goalie Patrik Bartosak was preparing to face a shootout shot from Joey Crabb.

Bartosak sat staring at the ice as the whistle blew to start the shootout, totally oblivious to the fact that Crabb was barreling toward him with the puck. Bartosak never looked up nor heard the crowd, even as Crabb was right on top of him, as Crabb shot and the puck basically hit Bartosak in the pads. Only then did the goalie realize the shootout had started.

Seriously, the best accidental save ever.

Tweeted Bartosak afterwards: “I guess I need some hearing aids.”

Harvard’s shocking upset caps a great day of hoops. A kid asks Kate Upton to the prom, and she says maybe. And a man proposes to his anchorwoman girlfriend on live TV

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We begin Good News Friday with the glorious news of a huge upset in the NCAA Tournament Thursday.
In case you didn’t stay up late and missed it, after a day of near-titanic upsets that didn’t happen, the scrappy kids from Harvard, a No.14 seed, beat powerful New Mexico, a No. 3 seed, Thursday night just before midnight.

They didn’t do it with anything fancy, no tricks or incredibly unusual plays. Just a solid, well-coached team beating a powerhouse who thought they could just walk in and roll over the “smart kids.”

It was a wonderful topper to a pretty good first day of Madness, of which I imbibed about 9 hours of.
Some quickie thoughts on a fun Day 1 of the Tournament:
— As great as I feel for Harvard, you have to bleed a little for the kids from Davidson and from Southern. Davidson, a 14 seed that’s a mid-major fixture at the NCAAs, was up six points against No.3 Marquette with a minute to go, and lost by a point, 59-58. The Wildcats made only one mistake and it killed them.

And Southern, a tiny school in Louisiana, came thisclose to being the first No. 16 seed to beat a No.1 seed, taking Gonzaga to the wire before falling by six. Southern tied the game at 56 with three minutes to go and upset-lovers like me were going nuts. But the Jaguars just couldn’t quite get it done, and were understandably devastated afterwards.(Here’s a great story from the NYT about what life as a No. 16 seed is like)

— It’s only the first day of the tournament, and I’m already sick of the Charles Barkley/Alec Baldwin Capital One commercials. Good Lord CBS and TNT run those things every timeout, it seemed.
— Thursday night near the end of Louisville’s beatdown of N.C. A&T these guys a few stools away from me started whooping and hollering and screaming “yes” and “no!” in the final minute of a 30-point blowout. Of course, they had money on the game, and only cared about covering the point spread or the over/under or some idiotic thing like that.

Call me a prude or a purist or whatever, but I hate, hate, hate people who watch sports games just because they bet on them. Totally ruins the fan experience to me, if that’s the ONLY reason you care.

— Watching the Tournament at a bar has lots of advantages, but one definite disadvantage is I don’t get to hear the announcers, so I didn’t get to hear Bill Raftery yell “Onions!” all day. I love me some Raftery. Just found out he’s doing the best game of the day on Saturday, VCU vs. Michigan, at 12:15 p.m. Both those teams looked very impressive Thursday.

**This was just the cutest thing. A local television news anchorwoman in Huntsville, Ala. named Jillian Pavlica was reading the news when her teleprompter told her there was some “Breaking News” to report.

Little did she know as she started reading that “she” was about to become the subject of the breaking news, as her boyfriend had planned to propose live on the air.

Pretty awesome.

**Finally, young Jake Davidson needed a date to the prom. So he made this video asking gorgeous supermodel Kate Upton if she’d go with him. It’s hilarious and self-effacing and was just cute enough to work; Upton saw it after it went viral and she said she’d check her schedule but would definitely like to go.
Even better, after watching Jake’s video above, check out this clip from the “Today” show Thursday where Kate Upton called in and talked to Jake while he was being interviewed; so sweet.