Tuesday, May 31, 2016

2010 Little League World Series Schedule; Day 6 of Little League World Series Schedule Ready

The 2010 Little League World Series schedule heads to day 6 on Wednesday. The Little League World Series schedule has already been extremely exciting, providing five great days of Little League Baseball over the weekend, and now we have only a few games left before the championships. The 2010 Little League World Series Schedule for day 6 has three games on Wednesday, August 25, with a consolation game and several key match-ups in the schedule.

Tuesday night had some exciting finishes, including Washington beating Connecticut 9-5. It kept Washington alive, but eliminated Connecticut from play.

Then there was Japan, which beat Mexico for the second time, and did so with great pitching and defense. Japan won Pool C over in the International side of things, and now awaits the winner of Pool D to decide the International champion. Washington will now play Texas to decide who advances from Pool B, Latin America (Panama) beat Canada to set up a game against Chinese Tai Pei for the Pool D title, and Georgia awaits the winner of Ohio vs. Hawaii now to decide the Pool A title. The semi-finals are almost ready at the 2010 Little League World Series, and that puts us right on the doorstep of learning which team will go home with the World Series title this year.

2010 Little League World Series Schedule (Day 5 — Tuesday, August 24)

New Jersey 10 — Saudi Arabia 0

Panama 4 — Canada 2

Texas 6 — Ohio 0

Japan 3 — Mexico 0

Washington 9 — Connecticut 5

2010 Little League World Series schedule (Day 6, August 25)

Ohio vs. Hawaii — 1 p.m. PST on ESPN

Chinese Tai Pei vs. Panama — 3 p.m. PST on ESPN

Texas vs. Washington — 5 p.m. PST on ESPN

Reference:

Full_WS_Schedule

Tags:2010 Little League World Series Schedule; Day 6 of Little League World Series Schedule Ready

2010 Honda Civic Sedan Review

I purchased a 2010 Honda Civic Sedan in January and honestly it’s okay, but no gold star. I’d been a loyal Nissan customer for years and decided to try something a little different this go ’round. I’ve had 3 Nissan Sentras and a Nissan Altima and I’ve driven a Nissan Pathfinder many times.

I was expecting a Honda in the low-end price range to at least “feel” as good as my Nissan Sentra, but it doesn’t, but maybe that’s just a me thing.

Okay, so I get my Honda Civic home only to find out the gas mileage is not great. I’ve read some reviews that say the gas mileage is exceptional, but not mine. Then again, I do mostly local driving and very little highway driving.

Maybe it’s just me, but the exterior of this car feels cheap, but I guess in the low-end price range, I got what I paid for.

Twice the panel over the front left wheel has popped up and almost off for no reason (no, I didn’t hit anything). I had to snap it back into place.

I find the drive of this car somewhat sluggish and the acceleration is not great. Don’t even think about pulling out onto a busy highway into traffic unless you’ve got a whole lot of leeway. This car also does not like hills, so if you live in San Francisco or some other hilly terrain, don’t even think about it. It also has several blind spots in the front and back.

On the upside, it’s a decent-looking car – a bit non-descript, but decent nonetheless. It has a nice dashboard that’s user-friendly and it’s comfortable with a good-sized back seat and reasonable trunk space. It handles well in the snow and it’s relatively easy to handle overall as far as steering and control go. The interior is roomy and I’m tall for a female (5’9″). I’ve had people in the car up to 6’3″ and they were comfortable also.

Whenever I come to a slow stop in this car, the brakes make this annoying rumbling sound as if I’m driving over cobblestones. None of the other cars I’ve owned ever made that noise with or without anti-lock brakes.

The radio and speakers are okay. No complaints there. I wasn’t expecting a Bose System.

This car is also missing common features which come standard and free in most cars in the same price range ($15,000 to $25,000). I know, I know…it’s a cheap car.

The reason I purchased it was the price, Honda’s reputation and the fact that it had a good crash test rating.

The front end of this car is a bit low, so you’ve got to be cautious when going in and out of driveways or over ramps.

Obviously, I’m not expecting to have the quality, features and grace of a Lamborghini, but sheesh.

I want my Nissan back! Well, I really want a Lamborghini Gallardo, but I’m being realistic.

Tags:2010 Honda Civic Sedan Review

2010 Grammy Awards Honor Michael Jackson with Lifetime Achievement Grammy

The 2010 Grammy Awards not only reminded us of all the great music that hit the airwaves and music stores last year, but it also reminded us of something we lost — Michael Jackson, the King of Pop. The 2010 Grammy Awards honored the pop legend with a 3-D tribute of a never before seen mini-movie that would have been included in his fall “This Is It Tour.” The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences bestowed upon Michael Jackson this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award and his children were there to accept it for him.

In a manner that belied his 12 years, Prince stepped the microphone after accepting the Grammy. “We would like to thank the fans. Our father loved you so much, because you were always there for him.”

“To all his songs, his message was simple, love,” Prince Michael told the audience at the Staples Center Sunday evening. “We will continue to spread his message and help the world.”

Paris, 11, followed her brother. “Daddy was supposed to be here…”

Michael Jackson’s children were part of a group of Jackson family cousins that wore black and stood behind them during the small speech. Each had on a red armband.

The presentation of the Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement came after the 3-D tribute that incorporated a recorded Michael Jackson performing his song “Earth Song,” accompanied by performances by Celine Dion, Usher, Carrie Underwood, Smokey Robinson and Jennifer Hudson.

It has only been seven months since Michael Jackson was rushed to the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles and pronounced dead from a cardiac arrest. A media firestorm ensued that ran the gamut of speculation as to how Michael Jackson died to where he might be eventually buried, from retrospectives about his storied life and portions of his career (both the good and the bad) to news pieces about his estate, his will, and what it all meant to his family.

In the intervening months, the estate was settled, the children went to live with Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine, and a homicide investigation into Michael Jackson’s death resulted in charges of manslaughter being considered against his private doctor. In the music world that he was such a driving force within for so many years, sales of his albums and singles after his death skyrocketed, setting new records. “Thriller” became the #1 bestselling album of all time in the United States, surpassing the Eagles. His catalog of albums sold millions worldwide. And Sony distributed the film, “This Is It,” made from the footage of the rehearsals taking place in the Staples Center for his tour that was to be held in the fall, and saw it become the #1 movie in box office sales the week of its release. The soundtrack album would also top the charts in several countries, including the United States.

One thing remained certain: Michael Jackson was still the King of Pop.

For his four decades of contribution to the music industry, from his work as part of the Jackson 5 to his amazing success as a solo artist, the King of Pop was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the industry’s most prestigious organization Sunday evening. He was joined by six other music legends in receiving the Grammy Awards honor for 2010: Leonard Cohen, Loretta Lynn, Bobby Darin, Andre Previn, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, and Clark Terry.

******

Sources:

“52nd Annual Grammy Awards,” CBS Television
YouTube.com
Billboard.com

Tags:2010 Grammy Awards Honor Michael Jackson with Lifetime Achievement Grammy

2010 Little League World Series Schedule; Day 4 of Little League World Series Schedule Ready

The 2010 Little League World Series schedule heads to day 4 on Monday. The Little League World Series schedule has already been extremely exciting, providing three great days of Little League Baseball over the weekend, and now we head into a full week of games. The 2010 Little League World Series Schedule for day 4 has five games on Monday, August 23, with a consolation game and several key match-ups in the schedule.

The first game of the day on Monday is between two teams that have already been eliminated from contention (Midwest vs. Europe) and serves as a consolation game for the two teams. They are both looking to emerge with their first win of the tournament, but hopefully both teams still have a lot of fun taking the field one last time to enjoy Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

The Great Lakes vs. Southeast game could be the most interesting on Monday, as the two teams are looking to win the top bracket of pool play for United States Pool A. Both teams have nice offenses as well, so this could be an epic battle between Georgia and Ohio. Look for Monday to be an exciting day, as two of the games still involve undefeated teams at the 2010 Little League World Series.

Day_1_and_2_Results

Day_3_World_Series_Results

Day 4 2010 Little League World Series Schedule

9 a.m. PST — Midwest vs. Europe

11 a.m. PST — Canada vs. Asia-Pacific

1 p.m. PST — Caribbean vs. Mexico

3 p.m. PST — Great Lakes vs. Southeast

5 p.m. PST — New England vs. Northwest

Reference:

Full_WS_Schedule

Tags:2010 Little League World Series Schedule; Day 4 of Little League World Series Schedule Ready

2010 Heisman Trophy Contender Watch List

The 2010 Heisman Trophy candidates list is a bit longer and the race is a bit more wide open than in recent years.

But in what has become a trend in college football, a past winner could be the favorite again this time around on the Heisman Trophy watch list for 2010.

Here is a list of Heisman Trophy contenders as college football heads toward camp season.

Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

Last year’s winner and a Flint, Michigan native who went south to help Alabama win the title, Ingram has a slashing, punishing running style that reminds many of Emmitt Smith. He’s the favorite but Alabama could take away some carries this year to keep him fresh.

Terrelle Pryor, QB, Ohio State

The former all-world recruit needs to show more consistency and improve his passing a bit more but he has the overall skills to be the best offensive player in the Big Ten this season.

Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State

Each year it seems the mid-major schools gain more credibility, and Moore could score a big Heisman Trophy win this year if Boise goes undefeated and he continues to put up big numbers.

Case Keenum, QB, Houston

Another QB who will put up gigantic numbers this season. Voters could become swayed by his stats if none of the major conference Heisman Trophy watch list contenders step up and make big plays in big games this year.

Dion Lewis, RB, Pitt

The shifty sophomore had almost 2,000 yards from scrimmage last year and he could surprise and pass other Heisman Trophy contenders and candidates on the watch list this year if Pitt makes a run at a BCS game.

Source: USA Today 2010 College Football Guide

Tags:2010 Heisman Trophy Contender Watch List

2010 MLB Awards

It’s the end of the season, who should the award winners be this year? A number of the award races came down to the wire with some very tight races. The following are my picks for the American and National League MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year awards.

AL MVP – Miguel Cabrera

As the season wound down, two players came out as the favorites in the MVP discussion, Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers and Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers. Statistically, they were in a dead heat to each other. Josh Hamilton finished first in batting average (.359), fifth in home runs (32), twelfth in RBIs (100), second in OBP (.411), first in SLG (.633), and first in OPS (1.044). Miguel Cabrera finished second in batting average (.328), third in home runs (38), first in RBIs (126), first in OBP (.420), second in SLG (.622), and second in OPS (1.042).

While you might want to give some edge to Miguel Cabrera on the stats, there are several other considerations to consider. First, Josh Hamilton plays more important defensive positions, as he regularly played left and sometimes center field compared to Miguel Cabrera’s regular play at first base. On the other hand, Josh Hamilton barely played in the month of September as he was recovering from an injury. It’s sometimes hard to give an MVP to someone that basically missed a month of the season. Ultimately, this factor is why I’m giving the edge to Miguel Cabrera in the MVP race and making him my top pick.

People may note that Joe Mauer won the MVP in 2009 despite similarly missing a month of the year. So why are we giving the nod to Miguel Cabrera over Josh Hamilton? While Josh Hamilton lead the league in OPS like Joe Mauer did in 2009, Joe Mauer didn’t just lead the league in OPS, he owned it. In 2009 he lead the AL with a 1.031 OPS, which was .70 points higher than second place Kevin Youkilis. Josh Hamilton lead the league in OPS by beating out Miguel Cabrera by only .02 points and only .49 points ahead of third place Jose Bautista. To win the MVP while missing a month of the year, you need to really dominate the MVP race to make up for the lost month.

NL MVP – Joey Votto

As I discussed in my mid-season awards article, it’s almost cliche to pick Albert Pujols for the MVP. He’s won 3 NL MVP awards over the last 5 years, and he’s come in second place 3 other times in his career. However, Albert Pujols should fall short to his central division rival Joey Votto this year.

Joey Votto finished in the top three of virtually every offensive category in the NL. He finished second in batting average (.324), third in home runs (37), third in RBIs (113), first in OBP (.424), first in SLG (.600), and first in OPS (1.024). How close was Albert Pujols to Joey Votto? Pretty damn close. He finished sixth in batting average (.312), first in home runs (42), first in RBIs (118), second in on OBP (.414), third in SLG (.596), and second in OPS (1.011). While Albert Pujols did have more home runs and RBIs, he did fall short to Joey Votto on batting average, OBP, SLG, and OPS. While this race was really close, you got to give the edge to Joey Votto. He gets bonus points for leading the Cincinnati Reds to their first post season birth in ten years. Another bonus point you can give Joey Votto is his consistency over the entire year. He had an OPS over 1.000 for 5 of the 6 months this year and never had a month with an OPS below .900. Albert Pujols had an OPS over 1.000 in only 3 months, having an OPS below .900 in one month.

For those wondering about where Carlos Gonzalez is in this discussion, the answer is he shouldn’t be. Offensively he was near the top of most major offensives categories. He finished first in batting average (.336), fourth in home runs (34), second in RBIs (117), fourteenth in OBP (.374), second in SLG (.598), and third in OPS (.974). Those numbers are certainly great. While they aren’t enough to challenge Votto or Pujols for the MVP, normally folks would think it should put him in the picture. However, these statistics don’t tell the entire story. Carlos Gonzalez’s numbers were a definite product of playing at Coors Field. He had a 1.162 OPS at home, but a paltry .775 OPS on the road. That’s an OPS difference of .387 points. It’s hard to give Gonzalez MVP votes when he can’t play on the road. As a comparison, when Matt Holliday finished second in MVP voting in 2007, he had an OPS of 1.157 at home in Coors Field and .860 on the road. That’s still a significant spread of .297, but still not as as statistically biased as Carlos Gonzalez. As another comparison, when Larry Walker won the MVP in 1997, he had an OPS of 1.169 at home and a 1.176 OPS on the road.

AL Cy Young – Felix Hernandez

I have a bit of a confession to admit. In Felix Hernandez’s last start, I was secretly hoping that he would lose the game to fall to 12-13 for the year. I wanted it to be done to see if the Cy Young voters would still be brave enough to select Felix Hernandez for the Cy Young award despite having a losing record for the year (not to mention only 12 wins). Alas, he won his last start and finished with a 13-12 record. With the exception of wins, Felix Hernandez finished with the lead or close to the lead in virtually every other pitching category in the AL. He finished first with a 2.27 ERA, first with 249.2 innings pitched (12 more than second place CC Sabathia), a close second in strikeouts (1 less than Jered Weaver’s 233), second to Cliff Lee in WHIP, second in complete games, and first in quality starts. While there were great years by others such as Jered Weaver, David Price, and CC Sabathia, Felix Hernandez was clearly above the pack. It’s unfortunate that many Cy Young voters will not be able to look at anything besides the win column, because Felix Hernandez clearly deserves the Cy Young.

NL Cy Young – Roy Halladay

A number of pitchers had great years in the NL, however there are really only three candidates to consider for the NL Cy Young award. They are Roy Halladay, Adam Wainwright, and Ubaldo Jimenez. Josh Johnson, who lead the league in ERA, really isn’t under consideration with only 183.2 innings pitched for the year. Some may wonder why Ubaldo Jimenez should be in the discussion. While his overall numbers aren’t in the class of Adam Wainwright and Roy Halladay, he did pitch half of his games in Coors Field, so it is worth considering how he performed when he was away from Coors Field.

Lets first take a look at Roy Halladay and Adam Wainwright. They are neck and neck in virtually every pitching category. Adam Wainwright finished with a slightly better ERA to Roy Halladay (2.42 vs 2.44), while Roy Halladay had a slightly better WHIP (1.04 vs 1.05), a few more strikeouts (219 vs 213), and he did have one extra win (21 vs 20). Both had the same number of quality starts at 25.

Ubaldo Jimenez finished the year with 19 wins, 2.88 ERA, 214 strikeouts, 1.15 WHIP, and 25 quality starts. However, lets take a look at just his road stats. On the road, he a 2.63 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. Those numbers definitely put him closer to Adam Wainwright and Roy Halladay’s numbers. If he didn’t pitched half of his games at Coors Field, it stands to reason he could have had a few more strikeouts and quality starts to lead the league in those categories, and perhaps make the contest even closer.

Ultimately, there’s one key differentiator that makes me give the award to Roy Halladay. Roy Halladay pitched an incredible 250.2 innings. That’s 20 innings more than Adam Wainwright’s 230.1 and 29 more than Ubaldo Jimenez’s 221.2. That’s over two full games more than Adam Wainwright and over three full games more than Ubaldo Jimenez. Performing at such a high level and being such a workhorse gives Roy Halladay that edge for the Cy Young award.

One might ask, if Ubaldo Jimenez had not pitched in Coors Field, could he have pitched more innings? No one will ever know for sure, but it’s doubtful. Jimenez actually averaged more innings per start at Coors Field than on the road (6.7 innings vs 6.6 innings).

AL Rookie of the Year – Neftali Perez

There were a number of good rookies this year in the AL. Austin Jackson had a solid rookie year, hitting .293, posting a .745 OPS, and played an incredible 151 games for the Detroit Tigers. Wade Davis and Brian Matusz both also had a solid rookie years for Tampa Bay and Baltimore. They posted 4.14 and 4.30 ERAs respectively and both pitched enough to qualify for the ERA title.

However, Neftali Perez of the Texas Rangers was the clear Rookie of the Year winner in the AL. Neftali Perez didn’t have just a good year as a closer, he was one of the best closers in the American League in 2010. In 69.1 innings, he had a 2.73 ERA, 40 saves, 71 strikeouts with only 18 walks, and a phenomenal 0.88 WHIP. How does that compare to the rest of the league? Amongst closers he had the third best WHIP, falling only behind Rafael Soriano and Mariano Rivera. He had the third most saves, only behind Rafael Soriano and Joakim Soria. Saves aren’t the greatest statistic in the world, since they matter so much on team. However, he had only 3 blown saves all year. That’s the best in the AL for any closer who had more than 17 saves during the year. His 69.1 innings pitched was also very impressive. That lead all AL closers who had atleast 8 saves.

NL Rookie of the Year – Jaime Garcia

Wow, the NL Rookie of the Year picture was far different than the AL one and far less clear. Amongst pitchers, you have one standout with Jaime Garcia of the St. Louis Cardinals. He finished the season with a 13-8 record and an amazing 2.70 ERA, that’s the fourth best ERA in the National League. That’s quite an accomplishment for a rookie, however, he only barely qualified for the ERA title with 163.1 innings pitched.

Amongst position players, there were a number of great rookies this year in the NL, but three separated themselves from the pack. Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants lead all NL rookies with an impressive .305 batting average, .505 slugging percentage, and .862 OPS. He did all this while handling 76 games behind the plate and helping the San Francisco Giants get into the playoffs. However, he only played four months out of the year. Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves played the majority of the year, had a .277 batting average, impressive .393 OBP, and .849 OPS. Starlin Castro just had enough at bats to qualify for the batting title and finished 10th in the batting race with a .300 average and a solid .755 OPS, all while playing over 120 games for the Chicago Cubs at shortstop.

As you can see from the above, it’s pretty hard to pick out the Rookie of the Year in the NL, as no clear candidate really stood out from the rest. The eventual tie breaker went to Jaime Garcia. He gets the nod for several reasons. First, he played the entire year for the St. Louis Cardinals, giving him extra points compared to Buster Posey and Starlin Castro. The second reason is his amazing 2.70 ERA. It’s one thing to be a rookie and have a good year such as Buster Posey, Jason Heyward, and Starlin Castro did. It’s simply another to rank fourth best in a major category such as ERA in the league.

Sources

“ESPN Statistics”, ESPN

“Baseball-Reference.com – Major League Baseball Statistics and History”, Baseball-Reference

Tags:2010 MLB Awards

2010 Mazda CX-9: Best Crossover Vehicle in Its Class

Move over German crossover vehicles, you’ve got a competitor in town: the 2010 Mazda CX-9. While the brand may not evoke thoughts of luxury and ingenuity, jump into one of these masterpieces for a test drive and you’ll reconsider. From the sporty and sleek redesigned exterior to the upgraded interior materials from their flagship 2007 model to the smooth ride and tight steering, this car has got it all. It will transition from a functional family car to a sexy night on the town without missing a beat.

The Exterior
Based on Mazda’s press release on the 2010 CX-9, the model promises a bolder and more sophisticated design–indeed it has delivered. Since its silhouette looks strong and sturdy while maintaining a sleek flow throughout the body, it can easily be mistaken for a luxury brand name car. The side windows also are wide and wrap all around, enhancing the sleek flow, and also allowing for a clear view from inside the car, diminishing blind spots while creating a feel of airiness.

The Interior and the Drive
With the use of upgraded materials and subtle stitching for the leather seats, chrome accents, and smaller print on their dials, the interior feels rich and beautiful. Just like its exterior, it has a sleek flow. The second and third row has an economical pull and release feature that will allow the seats to flatten against the floor when you’re carrying cargo. According to Edmunds.com, with the second and third row folded flat, the car allows for up to 101 cubic feet of cargo space which allows for a weekend of transporting materials for home improvement.The second row sliding feature also allows for more leg room in the third row, enhancing the comfort level for long rides. Even as a third row passenger, with the seemingly taller ceiling, he or she will not feel claustrophobic.

According to Mazda’s 2010 press release on the CX-9, as a passenger, you’ll enjoy a quiet ride since the CX-9 model is also equipped with:

-Acoustical foam filler applied to internal cavities to block noise transmission from underbody into cabin areas.

-Highly rigid damping sheet applied to large expanses of the floor pan to eliminate resonance and to block road noise.

While the passengers are comfortable and relaxed, the driver gets all the fun in maneuvering through town in this 273-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 engine. There is power and zip to this crossover, so no matter who you’re driving or to where you’re driving, it is always a fun ride.

Safety Features
In the 2010 model, Mazda engineers enhanced their safety features worthy of receiving the highest rating of five stars from the U.S. government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In addition, there are numerous anti-rollover features. To increase safety, Mazda also includes a Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) system in all their CX-9’s. This system alerts the driver with a blinking of a light on the side mirror when there is a car in their blind spot. When the driver is ready to change lanes and clicks the signal lever, the system will beep if there is a car in the blind spot. For the price of this car, this is an addition that other luxury cars may not have.

This crossover really has it all. With an MSRP starting at $29,135, you can’t get better than the CX-9.

Sources:

www.edmunds.com
http://ift.tt/1dKUiG3

Tags:2010 Mazda CX-9: Best Crossover Vehicle in Its Class

2010 MLB World Series Set - ALCS Texas Rangers Vs NLCS San Francisco Giants

The 2010 World Series is ready to go – the Texas Rangers are playing the San Francisco Giants, after the Giants beat the Phillies 3-2 tonight to move on. The Rangers closed out the New York Yankees on Friday night to become the American League representative to the Series. The first game of the Major League Baseball World Series is scheduled for next Wednesday, Oct, 27, in San Francisco.

Giants Win NLCS 4-2 Over Phillies

The pitching rich Giants flexed their bats a bit to take control of this National League series and never look back. While the Phils put up a good fight, the Giants win tonight was emblematic of the series – good pitching, and small ball or whatever kind of hits it takes to win. This is the first time back to the Series for the Giants since 2002.

Rangers Beat Yanks to Win ALCS 4-2

The Texas Rangers had been pointing this direction all season long and they got it done against the Yankees in the ALCS. It was their usual combination of strong pitching and timely hitting, with Josh Hamilton stepping to the fore on that count. The Yankees kind of looked flat throughout the series, and could not get the clutch hits when they needed them.

2010 MLB World Series – Rangers vs Giants

The 2010 Major League Baseball World Series begins in five days and both teams will be well rested and ready to play. The first game pitching match up on Wednesday will very likely be Cliff Lee vs Tim Lincecum, and it should be a doozy!

For more on baseball and sports see:

MLB Scores – San Francisco Wins to Take 2-1 NLCS Lead; Texas Wins to Take 3-1 ALCS Lead

NCAA Football Scores – Complete Top 25 College Football Scores and Analysis

Tags:2010 MLB World Series Set - ALCS Texas Rangers Vs NLCS San Francisco Giants

2010 Mississippi's 1st District Race: Alan Nunnelee May Take District from Travis Childers

This race should be considered a toss-up; it is strongly conservative in nature and the incumbent, Travis Childers, has demonstrated himself to be a very conservative Democrat. But Alan Nunnelee is a tough competitor and this race could come down to the wire.

Candidates for Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District (two-year term)
(This district includes all or part of De Soto, Marshal, Tate, Panola, Lafayette, Yalabusha, Grenada, Benton, Tippah, Alcorn, Tishomingo, Itawamaba, Lee, Union, Pontotoc, Calhoun, Webster, Choctaw, Clay, Chickasaw, Monroe and Lowndes counties. Additionally, the cities of Oxford, Corinth, Tupelo, and Columbus are in this district. See a boundary map here.)

Candidate: Travis Childers

Party: Democrat

Political experience: Before becoming the district’s representative in 2008, Childers served for 16 years as Prentiss County Chancery Clerk and was president of the Mississippi Chancery Clerks Association.

Professional experience: Childers owns a personal care home, Landmark Community, and the Landmark Nursing Center.

Key issues: Childers says he feels shoring up Medicaid shortfalls and closing the Medicare Part D donut hole is a part of looking out for his senior constituents, though he did vote against the health care reforms. He wouldn’t raise the retirement age or privatize Social Security.

He has an A+ from the NRA for his pro-gun voting record and has a 100 percent pro-life voting record, according to his website.

Endorsements: Childers has earned endorsements from the NRA and the National Right to Life.

Chances of maintaining his seat: As an incumbent, Childers has the natural advantage of incumbency, which provides name recognition. Given the atmosphere of this election, it could be a real disadvantage as well. Despite trying to make a name for himself as a conservative Democrat with key conservative endorsements like the NRA and National Right to Life, Childers will have a difficult October.

Candidate: Alan Nunnelee

Party: Republican

Political experience: Nunnelee is a Mississippi state senator and chairman of the Committee on Appropriations.

Professional experience: Nunnelee is vice president of Allied Funeral Associates, a life insurance firm. He is also a deacon and Sunday School teacher at Cavalry Baptist Church in Tupelo.

Key issues: Nunnelee says he agrees health care reform is necessary, but he doesn’t like the way it’s been handled. He says insurance should be portable across jobs and state lines, and that insurers shouldn’t drop individuals or families due to illness. Small businesses should be able to purchase coverage at the same rates large corporations are able to, he says, and tort reform is an important part of health care reform.

He says government should be more transparent and elected officials to be held to a higher ethical standard. He says on his website that he is pro-life and for the traditional definition of marriage.

Endorsements: Nunnelee has been supported by Concerned Women Political Action Committee and Mike Huckabee.

Chances of unseating Travis Childers: Childers appears to still be better funded than Nunnelee; he has $903,469 remaining, while Nunnelee has $233,205, according to OpenSecrets.org. But Nunnelee has outspent his opponent thus far, having cashed out $665,390, as opposed to Childers’ $396,434. The spending will have helped him get his message out, which can only help his cause. Add in that it’s a tough year for Democrats in a district that favors Republicans, and Nunnelee has good odds to pull out an upset.

Key Differences between Alan Nunnelee and Travis Childers

Jobs: Childers feels his No. 1 job is jump-starting the economy. He wants to make sure that small-business tax credits and loans are used to help stimulate the economy, while fighting to end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs out of the country. Nunnelee wants to create a pro-jobs environment by reducing regulatory restrictions and change tax policy to be more conducive to small business.

Deficit reduction: Nunnelee wants a top-to-bottom spending review of all federal agencies — not to cut spending, but to reconsider how government operates. Calling himself a fiscal hawk, Childers highlights that he is against taxpayer dollars being wasted; he opposed bailing out Wall street banks. He wants to cut non-defense spending and balance the budget.

Mississippi‘s 1st U.S. Congressional District

Location: The Mississippi’s 1st District is located in the northern part of the state. It borders Tennessee and Alabama and includes Tupelo and Oxford.

2008 results: Childers received 54 percent of the vote to Republican ‘s Greg Davis 44 percent.

Demographics: According to the U.S. Census, 69.1 percent of the district is white, 27.1 percent black, 3.2 percent Asian, and 2.1 percent Hispanic.

The Cook Partisan Index gives the Mississippi 1st District a rating of R+14, providing Republicans with a very strong advantage in this district.

Tags:2010 Mississippi’s 1st District Race: Alan Nunnelee May Take District from Travis Childers

2010 Makeup and Hair Trends from the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Show

After looking through many pictures from the New York Mercedes-Benz Fashion Show in September, I noticed some new makeup trends and the continuation of others. I tried to focus on the trends that are the most wearable and easy to achieve with only a few products. Below is a summary of the most notable trends I found:

The Natural, No-Makeup Makeup
This trend was seen at various shows, including Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch, Alexander Wang, Stella McCartney and Thakoon. The look features a natural face with slightly flushed cheeks and a hint of clear gloss. To achieve this look, apply a tinted moisturizer, such as Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, all over the face. Next, with a light hand, apply a blush in a peachy-pink tone such as NARS blush in Orgasm, to the apples of the cheeks. I noticed that in Thakoon, the makeup artists seemed to use only a bronzer applied as contour and did not use blush. Apply one coat of mascara, using a lengthening mascara instead of a volumizing one. I suggest Cover Girl LashBlast Length Mascara, or Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara. Finish the look with a clear lip gloss and out the door you go!

The Peach Lip
I certainly love this shade and I am so excited to see it as part of a fresh, new look for Spring. I’ve seen the peach lip featured on J. Crew’s most recent Fall 09 Catalog, and I have been wearing this shade just about everyday – why wait for Spring? You have the option of going with a punchy peach, almost orange gloss as seen at Nanette Lepore’s show, or with a muted, matte lipstick as seen at Vivienne Tam’s show. Two suggestions that fit each option are Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss in Temper and Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Lipcolor in Prized Peach, #065.

The Bold Eyeliner
With this look, you can opt for a bright, almost-neon eyeliner, or go with the classic black eyeliner. There is also the option of choosing to line your upper or your lower eyelid. The eyeliner application is heavy and dramatic as it features the classic wing at the outward corner of the eye – think Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. The bold eyeliner was prominent at the L.A.M.B, Nanette Lepore, Donna Karan and Badgley Mishka shows, to name a few. To achieve the look, choose the eyeliner of your choice and line heavily; don’t forget to wing it! Product suggestions include MAC Technakhol liners in Artistic License (bright turquoise blue) and Color Matters (bright lime), and MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack for your classic black eyeliner.

The Bright Lip
This could certainly be an extension of the peach lip, but this trend includes other colors, particularly those in the red family. The bright lip was seen in many collections including Marc Jacobs, Derek Lam, and Rebecca Taylor. The key to wearing this trend is to keep your eye makeup clean and simple, since the focus is on the lips. For an orange-hued lip, try Kat Von D Painted Love Lipstick in A-Go-Go, a reddish coral. For a pale cranberry-red hue, try a stain such as Benefit’s Benetint, or Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey.

The Wavy Hair
While not a new trend, the wavy, beachy hair trend continues strong. This trend was seen at Pamela Roland and Twinkle by Wenlan to name a few of the designer shows. The look can easily be achieved by using Velcro rollers to get a soft wave plus volume. Start with a volumizing mousse applied to the roots of the hair, and proceed to curl your hair using big Velcro rollers. Spray your hair with hairspray, followed by a hot air blast from your hair dryer. Let the hair cool off and undo the rollers. Separate your curls only using your fingers. Set your ‘do with more spray and your are done. If you already have natural curls, you are set for the season!

Tags:2010 Makeup and Hair Trends from the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Show

2010 MLB Preview - Los Angeles Angels Offense

The Los Angeles Angels are nothing if not creative. Even in the face of losing one of their top offensive stars in Chone Figgins and one of the best pitchers in the game in John Lackey, the optimism is running high in Los Angeles – and why not? The Angels have won three straight divisional titles, and owner Arte Moreno seems dedicated to winning a fourth. The pitching staff is still sound, but the offense may need some help. If the Angels dive further into the free agent market, then they may solve it directly. Otherwise, some youngsters will need to step in. Here is a look at the Los Angeles Angels offense heading into Spring Training in 2010:

First Base
Probable Starter – Kendry Morales

Morales burst onto the Major League scene seemingly out of nowhere in 2009 posting career numbers in virtually every category. While certainly one must look at the numbers and wonder if he can repeat them, the fact is he looked like he was for real. So much so that he nearly won the AL MVP race. In 2010, the Angels will need him to be all of that and more.

Catcher
Probable Starter – Mike Napoli

Napoli is a bit of a wild card here. He is capable of putting up fantastic power numbers, especially in streaks. The issue with Napoli is staying on the field, though he did play in a career high 147 last season. If he stays on the field, the Angels become much more formidable offensively. Prospect Hank Conger may make a late season appearance, but with Napoli hitting like he has the youngster may be at DH for a bit.

Second Base
Probable Starter – Howie Kendrick

While Kendrick is far from an offensive force, he is a pretty decent bat to plug in at the two spot. He reaches base as his .300 career batting average shows, but his strikeouts are concerning. Hopefully Kendrick will find his comfort level sooner rather than later and show some of the pop he did in 2009.

Third Base
Probable Starter – Brandon Wood

Youngster Brandon Wood is finally set to take a stab at the big leagues, and many consider him to be the key to the Angels’ offense. Wood has been a monster in the minors, but he is beginning to near the age where he could be termed a bust. In his time in the Show, Wood has not hit the broad side of a barn. If he can keep the ball in play, he will get the confidence needed to hit in the Big Leagues. Wood is a sleeper pick and might surprise some folks.

Shortstop
Probable Starter – Erick Aybar

Aybar is only now beginning to show flashes of the speed and gap power that made him one of the finest Angels prospects in recent years. If he continues to hit the other way, Aybar could well end up an Angels surprise at the bottom of the lineup. Aybar could potentially be a leadoff man if he could make contact a little more often.

Outfield
Probable Starters – Juan Rivera, Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter

The outfield is the Angels strength in the offensive categories as they sport two of the most consistent players in the game. Abreu and Hunter have shown year in and year out that they can be counted on for run production and leadership. Rivera showed that he is far from done as well posting career highs in most every offensive category last season.

DH
Probable Starter – Hideki Matsui

Matsui is the logical choice here, as he is unable to play the outfield as well as he once did. He can, however, swing the bat with the best of them. Matsui will be a consistent bat in the middle of that Angels lineup, and could be set for a huge year in spite of his age.

While the Angels are far from struggling in the offensive areas of the game, they do have enough question marks to make us wonder. If Brandon Wood materializes as a viable force, and Aybar and Kendrick continue to grow as they have the last couple of years, the Angels should be in position to defend their title admirably.

Tags:2010 MLB Preview - Los Angeles Angels Offense

Monday, May 30, 2016

2010 Men's SEC Basketball Tournament: Preview and Prediction - Round Two

The men’s Southeastern Conference basketball tournament begins March 11, 2010, in Nashville, Tennessee; second round (quarter-final) games will be played March 12. Following is a review of the teams playing in the second round and predictions of the potential match-ups.

Game 5: Kentucky v. South Carolina or Alabama

Ranked 2nd in both national polls, Kentucky finished the season with an overall record of 28-2 and a conference record of 15-2. The Wildcats won 19 games before losing to South Carolina by six points, 68-62, in Columbia. Kentucky’s winning streak included a two point victory over North Carolina, 68-66, and a nine point victory over in-state rival Louisville. After defeating Mississippi State by six points, 81-75, in overtime, the Wildcats lost to the Volunteers by the score of 74-65 in Knoxville. Earlier, Kentucky had beaten Tennessee 73-62 in Lexington.

Kentucky has four players who have averaged over 10 points per game: John Wall (16.8), DeMarcus Cousins (15.6), Patrick Patterson (14.9), and Eric Bledsoe (10.4). Cousins also has averaged over 10 rebounds per game; the second best average in the conference. Patterson pulls down another seven. Wall has averaged over six assists per game; the best in the SEC. Count on Cousins to block at least one shot.

Prediction:

Kentucky v. South Carolina – This should be the best of two possible match-ups. Look for Kentucky to win, unless Devan Downey, who leads the SEC in scoring (22.6) and steals (2.8), has an outstanding game and leads South Carolina to an upset.

Kentucky v. Alabama – The Wildcats should duplicate their regular season victory over the Tide.

Game 6: Mississippi v. LSU or Tennessee

After only two non-conference losses, on the road against Villanova and West Virginia, the Rebels lost to in-state conference rival Mississippi State twice, Tennessee in overtime, Arkansas, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and Florida, before finishing the regular season with four straight wins for an overall record of 21-9 and a conference record of 9-7.

Mississippi has three players who have averaged 10 or more points a game: Chris Warren (17.2), Terrico White (14.4), and Murphy Holloway (10). Eniel Polynice scores 9.8 a game and contributes 4.1 assists. Holloway leads the Rebels in rebounds with 7.6 per game.

Prediction:

Mississippi v. LSU – Mississippi over LSU; this hasn’t been LSU’s year.

Mississippi v. Tennessee – The Rebels will be out to avenge their early season overtime loss to the Volunteers, but look for Tennessee to prevail.

Game 7: Mississippi State v. Auburn or Florida

Mississippi State completed the regular season with an overall record of 21-10 and a conference record of 9-7. The Bulldogs got off to a strong conference start with three wins, including a victory over in-state rival Ole Miss, before dropping two against Alabama and Arkansas. After beating LSU, State lost to Vanderbilt and Florida, and then won two over Mississippi and Auburn, before losing to Kentucky 75-81 in overtime. After Kentucky, the Bulldogs won three in row against LSU, Alabama, and South Carolina, before losing their last two games to Auburn and Tennessee.

Mississippi State has four players who have averaged over 10 points per game: Jarvis Varnado (13.5), Ravern Johnson (13.5), Dee Bost (12.9), and Barry Stewart (11.5). Varnado, who leads the conference in rebounds with 10.6 per game, is second in the nation in blocked shots with 4.8 per game. Bost has averaged 5.4 assists per game; the third best in the SEC.

Prediction:

Mississippi State v. Auburn – Mississippi State, eager to impress NCAA selection officials will be looking to avenge its late regular season loss to Auburn.

Mississippi State v. Florida – As with Auburn, State will be looking to make amends against Florida as well.

Game 8: Vanderbilt v. Georgia or Arkansas

Vanderbilt posted an overall record of 23-7 and a conference record of 12-4, the second best record in the SEC behind Kentucky. Among conference teams, the Commodores lost to Kentucky twice and to Georgia and South Carolina. While Kentucky beat Vanderbilt by 13 points in Lexington, they won by only two points in Nashville. The Commodores nearly lost to Georgia for a second time in Nashville, but instead beat the Bulldogs by the score of 96-94, in overtime. Two decisive victories over instate rival, Tennessee, highlighted Vanderbilt’s season.

Vanderbilt has four players who have averaged over 10 points per game: Jermaine Beal (14.5), Jeffery Taylor (13.9), A.J. Ogilvy (13.9), and John Jenkins (10.6). Ogilvy has averaged over 6 rebounds per game. Vandy has the best three-point shooter in the conference, John Jenkins, who stands 22nd in the nation at .467%.

Prediction:

Vanderbilt v. Georgia – Although Georgia will be looking to upend Vanderbilt; the Commodores have not lost in Nashville all season, and should not this time out.

Vanderbilt v. Arkansas – Vanderbilt beat Arkansas in Fayetteville during the regular season by 17 points; look for a repeat performance in Nashville.

References:

ESPN, Alabama Crimson Tide, ESPN Men’s Basketball Website

ESPN, Arkansas Razorbacks, ESPN Men’s Basketball Website

ESPN, Auburn Tigers, ESPN Men’s Basketball Website

ESPN, Florida Gators, ESPN Men’s Basketball Website

ESPN, Georgia Bulldogs, ESPN Men’s Basketball Website

ESPN, Kentucky Wildcats, ESPN Men’s Basketball Website

ESPN, LSU Tigers, ESPN Men’s Basketball Website

ESPN, Mississippi Rebels, ESPN Men’s Basketball Website

ESPN, Mississippi State Bulldogs, ESPN Men’s Basketball Website

ESPN, South Carolina Gamecocks, ESPN Men’s Basketball Website

ESPN, Tennessee Volunteers, ESPN Men’s Basketball Website

ESPN, Vanderbilt Commodores, ESPN Men’s Basketball Website

SEC, 2010 Men’s Basketball Tournament, SEC Sports Official Website

Tags:2010 Men’s SEC Basketball Tournament: Preview and Prediction - Round Two

2010 MLB Playoffs ALDS Prediction: New York Yankees Vs. Minnesota Twins

The New York Yankees have only missed the playoffs once since 1995. The Minnesota Twins have made the playoffs six times over the past nine seasons. The 2010 MLB ALDS features two teams that have become staples in the AL playoffs over the past decade, but only one of these teams can advance to the ALCS.

New York Yankees 2010 MLB NLDS Playoffs Preview

The Yankees led all of baseball in runs scored in 2010, scoring 859 runs over the course of the season (41 more than the second place team, the Boston Red Sox). They also led the majors in run differential, sitting at +166 at season’s end (+13 better than the Tampa Bay Rays). So, the Yankees are a shoe-in to make the World Series, right?

New York’s biggest weakness is their pitching. C.C. Sabathia has been brilliant this season, but behind him the Yankees’ starting rotation is barely treading water. Andy Pettite missed significant time with a groin injury. A.J. Burnett and Javier Vazquez have been inconsistent and, at times, downright awful. Phil Hughes has pitched extremely well, but he’s never logged more than 86 innings in a major league season before this year, when he finished with 176 1/3 innings. Hughes’ strikeout rate dropped steadily through the season, and although he’s a better option than Burnett or Vazquez, Hughes isn’t exactly unbeatable.

Minnesota Twins 2010 MLB NLDS Playoffs Preview

The Minnesota Twins survived the 2010 MLB regular season with what at times amounted to a ragtag group of castoffs. Their best starters were Carl Pavano, who finished with his best full-season ERA since 2004, and Francisco Liriano, who lowered his ERA by over two full points after sporting a 5.80 ERA in 2009 after recovering from arm surgery. Their leader in home runs was Jim Thome, whose career looked like it was winding down after last year’s stint as a pinch hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Former #1 overall draft pick (for the Tampa Bay Rays) Delmon Young led the Twins in RBIs. They also played the entire season without closer Joe Nathan and have not had former MVP Justin Morneau since he suffered a concussion in July. It’s scary to think of how good this team could have been if everyone had stayed healthy.

Yankees vs. Twins Conclusion

The Yankees have a strong offense, but their pitching behind C.C. Sabathia might not be able to hold up. New York ended up with the AL Wild Card (and thus will have not have home field advantage) after going 9-17 over their final 26 games. The Yankees seemed to give up once their place in the playoffs was assured, and although they have a lot more playoff experience on their roster than the Minnesota Twins, it’s tough to see New York flipping a switch and suddenly becoming a top-tier team again after their disastrous September.

2010 MLB NLDS Playoffs Prediction: Minnesota Twins defeat New York Yankees, 3-2

Source(s):

All statistics retrieved from ESPN.com

http://ift.tt/1soqNZr

Tags:2010 MLB Playoffs ALDS Prediction: New York Yankees Vs. Minnesota Twins

2010 Mazda RX-8 Review

The 2010 Mazda RX-8 Sport comes with a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission. Standard equipment includes cloth-trimmed upholstery; air conditioning; AM/FM/CD stereo with six speakers and steering-wheel mounted controls; cruise control; power windows, mirrors and locks; leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel and shift knob; floor and overhead consoles; rear window defroster; variable speed intermittent windshield wipers; alarm with immobilizer; and 225/45R18 tires on alloy wheels. Manual-shift models also get aluminum/rubber pedals, torque-sensing limited-slip differential and a rear lip spoiler.

Engine

RX-8’s rotary engine efficiently performs the four processes of intake, compression, combustion and exhaust. The RENESIS engine is remarkably smooth and high revving all the way to 9,000 rpm and offers a smaller engine footprint than traditional internal combustion engines (some 60 percent smaller and lighter than a comparably powered V-6, and 40 percent smaller and lighter than a four-cylinder). In fact, the packaging and styling that define the RX-8 would not have been possible had Mazda engineers chosen a conventional piston engine.

The rear-wheel-drive 2010 Mazda RX-8 is offered in Sport, Grand Touring and R3 trim levels and is powered by a 212-horsepower, 1.3-liter rotary engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Opting for the six-speed manual version bumps output up to 232 horses. The 2010 Mazda RX-8 boasts a standard sport-tuned suspension and EPA estimated fuel economy ratings are 16 mpg in the city and 22-23 on the highway

Exterior

Standard exterior features include 18-inch wheels and performance tires, and a rear lip spoiler available to those who pick the manual transmission. Automatic xenon headlights, fog lights, a sunroof and heated side mirrors with rain-sensing wipers are additional features offered as standard on the Grand Touring trim. The RX-8’s unique “freestyle” four-door design is proof that a true sports car does not need to sacrifice space or convenience for performance. The advanced design of the rear-hinged rear doors, provides a large door opening, allowing adult-sized passengers to easily enter and exit the vehicle.

Interior

Interior, the 2010 Mazda RX-8’s list of standard features includes bucket seats in the front and back split by a full-length center console, a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, air conditioning, and MP3 input jack. The Grand Touring trim adds a rear limited-slip differential, automatic xenon headlights , fog lights, heated side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, a sunroof, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, and eight-way power driver seat with memory The most interesting feature to the RX-8’s interior is the usable backseat. While it doesn’t offer an extreme amount of interior space like you’d find in an SUV, perhaps, there is enough room for large children or smaller adults to feel comfortable. Cargo space is fairly limited, however, which is something of a problem if you actually planned on using the RX-8’s rear seat to get your family somewhere. The seats do not flip down to give extra trunk capacity, so owners will often find themselves needing to store groceries and other cargo in the backseats. So if you are in the market for a sporty car with good gas mileage, check out the2010 Mazda RX-8.

Tags:2010 Mazda RX-8 Review

2010 Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament: Midwest Region Final - Preview and Prediction

Tennessee (6) v. Michigan State (5)

The number six and number five seed teams in the Midwest Region Final, Tennessee and Michigan State, will play for the Midwest Region title.

Tennessee upset Ohio State 76 – 73 to advance to the Midwest Region Final, and Michigan State defeated Northern Iowa 59-52 to qualify for the Midwest title game. In my preview of these games, I failed to correctly pick the outcome of these games; however, I am Tennessee fan and was extremely glad see the Volunteers win, but did not select them to win because I did not want to be disappointed if they failed.

Tennessee 76 – Ohio State 73

Ohio State had a 13-7 lead over Tennessee early in the first half, before it hit a five minute dry spell, when the Volunteers took the lead at 17-14, their largest of the first half, which ended in the Buckeyes’ favor 42-39. Ohio State seemed to in control of the second half until the last six minutes, when Tennessee tied the score at 62. Again the Buckeyes scoring stalled, and the Volunteers grabbed a five point lead, 68-63, with less than four minutes to play. With two minutes left, Ohio State regained the lead, 70-68, off a three-pointer by David Lighty. A two-point tip by Brian Williams with 35 seconds left put Tennessee into the lead for good, and two successful free-throws by Bobby Maze, with 13 seconds left, iced it for the Volunteers. In the final six seconds, Ohio State’s Evan Turner missed a three-pointer, and then had a two-point jumper blocked by J.P. Prince. Wayne Chism led the Volunteers in scoring with 22 and Brian Williams led in rebounding with 12. Evan Turner led Ohio State in scoring with 31 and in rebounding with 7.

Northern Iowa 52 – Michigan State 59

From the start of the first half, it seemed that Northern Iowa would pull off another upset and advance to the Elite Eight, as it jumped out to 7-0 lead, before Michigan State tied at 12-12. Whereas the Panthers controlled the first half, which ended in their favor 29-22, the Spartans dominated the second, outscoring their opponent, 37-23. Although Northern Iowa closed to within one point, 51-50, with less than three minutes left, it could not overcome Michigan State, which went on to win by seven points. Ali Farokhmanesh, who scored 17 against Nevada-Las Vegas, and 16 against Kansas, scored only nine points against Michigan State, so much for having his picture on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Prediction: Michigan State has played in the Regional Final 11 times since 1957, winning seven titles. Under coach Mike Izzo, the Spartans have a 5-1 record in the Regional Final. For this reason I will predict Michigan State wins the game, but don’t discount Tennessee, who will be making its first appearance in the Elite Eight, to pull off an upset.

References:

ESPN, Michigan State Spartans, ESPN Men’s Basketball

ESPN, Northern Iowa 52 – Michigan State 59, ESPN Men’s Basketball

ESPN, Northern Iowa Panthers, ESPN Men’s Basketball

ESPN, Ohio State Buckeyes, ESPN Men’s Basketball

ESPN, Tennessee 76 – Ohio State 73, ESPN Men’s Basketball

ESPN, Tennessee Volunteers, ESPN Men’s Basketball

Adam Hornbuckle, 2010 Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament: Midwest Region Semi-Finals – Preview and Prediction, ESPN Men’s Basketball

Tags:2010 Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament: Midwest Region Final - Preview and Prediction

2010 NBA All-Star Game Starters

The starters have been selected for the 59thNBA All-Star Game. The All-Star Game is a showcase of the best players from this season. It is played about halfway through the NBA season. In theory, it should put the best players of the court for an exciting match. However, this is not always the case due to the selection process. The starters are selected by the fans. Like many All-Star Games in the past, there has been some controversy about this year’s selections. Currently, the starters for the Eastern Conference are Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers, Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat, LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics and Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic. For the Western Conference, the starters are Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets, Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs and Amare Stoudamire of the Phoenix Suns.

For the majority of these names, there is little issue taken, especially when looking over the Western Conference starters. Steve Nash is having a typical season for him with lots of scoring, assists and leading his team to playoff contention in a hotly contested Western Conference. His teammate, Amare Stoudamire, is also having a good season that was expected. Kobe Bryant, a very popular player for the last decade, has been his productive self this season. The same applies to Carmelo Anthony, who has been on the big stage since his college days at Syracuse University. Tim Duncan’s selection is also expected and well-deserved for his consistency this season. All of these selections are appropriate. Perhaps, there is some debate for a few of the positions (e.g. maybe Chris Paul over Steve Nash, Brandon Roy over Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant over Carmelo), but all of these players combine star power and on-court production-they qualify as All-Star starters.

The Eastern Conference starters are much more controversial (fun fact: This year’s Eastern Conference All-Star Starters are the exact same as the 2009 lineup). Dwight Howard is an excellent selection and the best overall center in the Eastern Conference. His popularity soared after his time in the Slum-Dunk Competition. The same applies to Dwayne Wade and LeBron James, who may be the best players at their position as well as the entire league. The controversy starts with Kevin Garnett who selected for the Power Forward position. Garnett has been a top player for the last decade and a half. He undoubtedly helped cause defensive resurgence in Boston. However, his selection as a starter in this year’s All-Star Game is a bit faulty when one looks at the amount of games he missed (11 games halfway through the season) and other possible candidates: Chris Bosh, Gerald Wallace, Josh Smith, and Joakim Noah are all arguably more worthy than Kevin Garnett.

The biggest controversy is the selection of Allen Iverson. While Iverson can still play, his numbers and his team are not spectacular by any metric. His selection results from his popularity from the last decade and a half when he deserved to be selected. Oddly enough, he was on another team at the beginning of the year before retiring after a few games. He came out of retirement after signing with the Philadelphia 76ers in December. Not only are there Guards who are more worthy with their numbers and winning teams, but also have allotted far more playing time.

It is clear the fan voting is broken. Selections like Kevin Garnett and Allen Iverson (as well as the near-selection of Tracy McGrady, who has scored a total of 19 points) show fan voting is heavily skewed towards popularity and not necessarily production. If there is going be changes to make the NBA All-Star Game starters about the best players from the current season, the influence of the fan vote must be lowered. One last point: Allen Iverson is not to be blamed. He was selected and never asked to be. It is not his duty to turn down an invitation to the All-Star Game because of his popularity.

National Basketball Association, “NBA.com 2010 All-Star Game Starting 5.” NBA.com

Tags:2010 NBA All-Star Game Starters

2010 MLS Draft Taking Place Live; Danny Mwanga Taken with #1 Pick

The 2010 MLS Draft is already underway, and the #1 pick was forward Danny Mwanga to the Philadelphia Union. The 2010 MLS Draft will be four full rounds for the 16 MLS teams to all select players which they hope will make a big difference in the coming years. The MLS Draft will take place in reverse order, with the team that has the worst pick going first, followed in order until the best team drafts. 64 players will be taken in the 2010 MLS Draft before everything is said and done, and it looks like the Philadelphia Union will walk away with the best picks, as they have three of the first seven overall picks in the first round.

With the first pick of the 2010 MLS Draft, the Philadelphia Union went with forward Danny Mwanga. They were also able to pick-up midfielder Amobi Okugo with the #6 picks, and forward Jack McIerney with the #7 overall pick. The New York Red Bulls went second in the first round, taking midfielder Tony Tchani, and they were followed by the San Jose Earthquakes who took defender Ike Opara in the hopes of improving their defense.

There were a number of transactions that took place prior to the draft that saw picks go to various different teams. Philadelphia got the sixth pick from Dallas and the seventh pick from D.C. United, Columbus got the eight pick from New England Revolution, FC Dallas got the fifth pick from Toronto, New York got the 14th pick from Houston, Real Salt Lake got the 15th pick from Los Angeles, and Los Angeles got the 16th pick from Real Salt Lake.

The 2010 MLS Draft

First Round

1. Danny Mwanga — F — Philadelphia Union
2. Tony Tchani — M — New York Red Bulls
3. Ike Opara — D — San Jose Earthquakes
4. Teal Bunbury — F — Kansas City Wizards
5. Zach Loyd — M/D — FC Dallas
6. Amobi Okugo — M — Philadelphia Union
7. Jack McInerney — F — Philadelphia Union
8. Dilly Duka — M — Columbus Crew
9. Zach Schilawski — F — New England Revolution
10. Blair Gavin — M — Chivas USA
11. David Estrada — F — Seattle Sounders FC
12. Bright Dike — F — Columbus Crew
13. Corben Bone — M — Chicago Fire
14. Austin da Luz — M — New York Red Bulls
15. Collen Warner — M — Real Salt Lake
16. Michael Stephens — M — Los Angeles Galaxy

Source:

2010 MLS Draft

Tags:2010 MLS Draft Taking Place Live; Danny Mwanga Taken with #1 Pick

2010 NBA Draft Order Rare Win for Wizards, Sixers

The 2010 NBA draft order was determined in the latest NBA lottery. But the NBA draft order 2010 did not go as everyone expected. The Nets threatened the all-time worst record in league history most of the year, while the Timberwolves still almost challenged them for the year’s worst record. Yet neither of them came close to winning the No. 1 pick or even the No. 2. The best of the worst were two teams that weren’t as historically awful, but still reached new lows even by their woeful standards. But with the NBA draft order, the Wizards and Sixers can use John Wall and Evan Turner to get well again.

In spite of the Nets having the most ping-pong balls, they could only place third in the lottery. This left the Wizards and 76ers, whose records were hardly as abysmal, to take the top two picks. For all the suspicion that bad teams tank late to get the most lottery balls, having the worst record isn’t always the best strategy.

As such, the 2010 NBA draft order will be led by the Wizards, as they are widely expected to take Kentucky’s John Wall. The next closest candidate is Evan Turner, who may fall No. 2 to the Sixers instead. Afterward, the Nets, Timberwolves and Kings will make up the top five, although they each had hopes of going higher.

This victory for the Wizards comes after the Gilbert Arenas scandal, and the death of owner Abe Pollin, destroyed their season. After a few years in the playoffs, where they fought Cleveland tooth and nail, the Wizards took giant steps back to the point where they could get the No. 1 pick. But since they led the 2010 NBA draft order, either Wall or Turner can be the franchise’s new face instead of Arenas.

As for the Sixers, their high standing is no less of a surprise or a relief. They too took a giant step backward this year as former Wizards’ coach Eddie Jordan failed miserably with his Princeton offense. Bringing Allen Iverson back didn’t help either, as the Sixers became an afterthought next to the other pro sports contenders in Philadelphia. But if Wall or Turner is drafted by Philadelphia, the Sixers could make a dent in their own city again.

Now that the NBA draft order 2010 is set, the mock draft stage can begin. Wall and Turner are already projected to be in Wizards’ and Sixers’ uniforms, but Derrick Favors, Wesley Johnson, DeMarcus Cousins and others make this a deep draft. Yet given the injuries that struck top picks Greg Odon and Blake Griffin, going No. 1 or No.2 may be a curse.

The winners on the 2010 NBA draft order will have a month to take advantage, as they get to choose their future stars on June 24.

Sources

NBA.com- “2010 NBA draft order”

Yahoo Sports- “After turbulent year, lottery luck for the Wizards”

FanHouse- “NBA Mock Draft 2.0: Snappy Judgment”

Tags:2010 NBA Draft Order Rare Win for Wizards, Sixers

2010 National League MVP Candidates

Lately, the National League MVP race has been more of a race to see who can finish second to Albert Pujols. This is the case once again in 2010 as Pujols continues to set the pace in various offensive categories. It isn’t a blowout, however, as leading 2010 NL MVP candidates include Pujols as well as high-powered outfielders Andre Ethier, Jason Heyward, and Ryan Braun.

Albert Pujols:

A three time winner of the award, Albert Pujols is once again a leading 2010 NL MVP candidate. The best all-around hitter in baseball is once again filling up the stat sheet with a .316 average, 12 home runs, 13 doubles, 39 RBI, and a .430 on-base percentage. Through early June, Pujols is the only qualifying hitter in the NL with an OPS above 1.000.

Andre Ethier:

Dodgers’ outfielder Andre Ethier won his first Silver Slugger in 2009 and is on pace to do much more in 2010. With a .380 average, 11 home runs, and 1.165 OPS, Andre Ethier has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball through the first two months of the season. Despite missing two weeks of the young season with a hand injury, Ethier remains sixth in the NL in RBI with 38 in 34 games played.

Jason Heyward:

Braves’ outfielder Jason Heyward is making a case to become only the third player to win Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same year. The addition of Heyward to the Braves’ offense is a major reason for their move into first place in the NL East. At just 20 years of age, Jason Heyward has the third highest OBP in the league at .410. He has ten home runs and ten doubles in 161 at-bats, driving home 38 runs and scoring 29 of his own. Jason Heyward is a leading 2010 NL MVP candidate.

Ryan Braun:

One of the top 2010 NL MVP candidates is Brewers’ outfielder Ryan Braun who has been one of the league’s best hitters since his rookie year. Braun is third in the National League in batting average at a .318 clip. Braun is second in the NL in runs scored with 39 and his power numbers include eight home runs, 16 doubles, and 33 RBI. He is also fifth with 11 stolen bases and he has yet to be caught stealing.

Joey Votto:

The Cincinnati Reds are in first place in the NL Central and first baseman Joey Votto is leading the way as a 2010 NL MVP candidate. Votto ranks in the top ten in the National League in several offensive categories including batting average (.312), on-base percentage (.408), slugging percentage (.553), and home runs (ten). He has driven home 33 runs through his first 46 games.

Other possible 2010 NL MVP candidates include Jayson Werth and Chase Utley of the Phillies, along with Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Dunn, and Josh Willingham who have the Nationals playing .500 baseball through the first two months of the season.

Tags:2010 National League MVP Candidates

2010 NBA Mock Draft - Top 5 Center Prospects

The top 5 2010 NBA centers have a few well-known names in it from last year’s 2009 Mock Drafts, notably Cole Aldrich, Solomon Alabi, and A.J. Ogilvy. A newcomer to the top 5 list, is Kentucky freshman star, Demarcus Cousins. Cousins is listed second on the top 5 center prospects for the 2010 NBA Mock draft, but there has been significant conjecture on Cousins being taken above Aldrich depending on the final draft order in the lottery.

2010 NBA Mock Draft Top 5 Center Prospects

#1 2010 NBA Mock Draft Center Prospect – Cole Aldrich – Kansas Jayhawks

Cole Aldrich came back for one more year at Kansas in order to pursue another NCAA Tournament championship. He comes in at 6’11” and 245 lbs. Aldrich’s numbers for the regular season were 11.3 ppg, 9.7 ppg, 3.5 bpg, and was 54.3% from the field and just under 70% from the free throw line. His scoring was down a tad from past years, but that was to be expected this season with Kansas adding Xavier Henry to the starting lineup. Look for Aldrich to be picked in the mid-to-late lottery round of the 2010 NBA draft.

#2 2010 NBA Mock Draft Center Prospect – DeMarcus Cousins – Kentucky Wildcats

DeMarcus Cousins has progressed from a projected late first round draft pick to a potential 2010 NBA lottery pick. He comes in at 6’11” and 270 lbs. Cousins number for the regular season were 15.9 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 1.8 bpg, 54.5 % from the field, and 64% from the free throw line. With guard, John Wall projected to be the first pick in the 2010 NBA draft, if Cousins gets drafted second it would be the first time in NBA draft history that two teammates have gone 1-2.

#3 2010 NBA Mock Draft Center Prospect – Solomon Alabi – Florida State Seminoles

Solomon Alabi is projected to be a late lottery to mid-teens NBA draft pick. He is 7’1″ tall and weighs 241 lbs. During his sophomore year, Solomon averaged 11.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.2 bpg, 54.6% FG, and 80% FT. Alabi has the best free throw shooting percentage of all of the 2010 NBA draft center prospects, and has been the leading scorer for the Seminoles this year.

#4 2010 NBA Mock Draft Center Prospect – A.J. Ogilvy – Vanderbilt Commodores

A.J. Ogilvy finished his third year at Vanderbilt with a 13.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg, and 1.6 bpg average. He comes in at 6’11” and weighs 250 pounds. He shot 73.2% from the free throw line and 51.2% from the field. Ogilvy is projected to be a late first round or early second round draft pick in the 2010 NBA draft.

#5 2010 NBA Mock Draft Center Prospect – Jerome Jordan – Tulsa

Jerome Jordan is another 7 footer and weighs 245 lbs. During his senior season at Tulsa, Jordan has averaged 14.4 ppg, 8.8 rpg, and 3.9 bpg while shooting 52.7 from the field and 69.8% from the charity stripe.

Tags:2010 NBA Mock Draft - Top 5 Center Prospects

2010 NBA Draft Lottery Results

Washington won the 2010 NBA Draft Lottery results today. The 2010 NBA Draft Lottery results were good for three teams, while the remaining 11 teams will just have to rely upon their drafting skills to make sure that they can find some key players in the 2010 NBA Draft Class. The 2010 NBA Draft Lottery was used to help decide which team would have those first three overall picks in the draft, giving every team that didn’t make it into the 2010 NBA Playoffs a chance to get the No. 1 overall pick. Coming into the Lottery, it seemed that John Wall, a phenomenal point guard out of Kentucky, would be the No.1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. Now we know which team will have to make that ultimate decision when the draft comes along on June 24th. The 2010 NBA Draft Lottery results were quite good for Washington, Philadelphia, and New Jersey.

The New Jersey Nets had the best chance at getting the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, and were given a 25% chance of getting that first pick. The worst chance belonged to Houston, which only had a 0.5% chance (5 out of 1,000) of getting that No. 1 pick. It’s a fair way to make sure that a team doesn’t just lose all of their games on purpose to get a really nice draft pick each year, and it also potentially rewards teams that have suffered through injuries over the past couple of seasons. Now that we know what the 2010 NBA Draft Order is going to look like, the theories about who will go to what team can start coming out in 2010 NBA mock drafts.

2010_NBA_Draft_Schedule

The Full 2010 NBA Draft Order (Post Lottery)

1. Washington
2. Philadelphia
3. New Jersey
4. Minnesota
5. Sacramento
6. Golden State
7. Detroit
8. L.A. Clippers
9. Utah
10. Indiana
11. New Orleans
12. Memphis
13. Toronto
14. Houston
15. Milwaukee
16. Minnesota
17. Chicago
18. Miami
19. Boston
20. San Antonio
21. Oklahoma City
22. Portland
23. Minnesota
24. Atlanta
25. Memphis
26. Oklahoma City
27. New Jersey
28. Memphis
29. Orlando
30. Washington

Reference:

nba.com

Tags:2010 NBA Draft Lottery Results

Sunday, May 29, 2016

2010 NBA Draft Needs: Boston Celtics

There were times this past NBA season when the Boston Celtics just looked old. It was as if they rapidly aged right before our eyes. I can remember at the beginning of the season some people were talking about a 65 to 70 win season, they finished with just 50. The Celtics have been here before, watching a dynamic trio quickly age, with Robert Parish, Larry Bird, and Kevin McHale in the late 1980’s. The modern big three, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett are all over the age of 32. Add to that Rasheed Wallace at the age of 35 and you can see why the Celtics need someone who doesn’t remember what parachute pants are.

Celtics management needs to first of all decide whether they want to re-sign Ray Allen, who is a free agent after this season. This decision will greatly impact their needs on draft day. If they let Allen go the Celtics will need to pick up a shooter, possibly someone like an Avery Bradley out of Texas. They could also address the need for a shooter through free agency.

If Allen returns than the Celtics will probably need to address some need in the backcourt. This is where a player like Virginia Commonwealth University’s power forward Larry Sanders known for his shot blocking ability could come into play.

We haven’t even addressed the Celtics need for a back up point guard to give Rajon Rondo a breather from time to time. A player like Armon Johnson out of Nevada could fit the bill here.

Whatever the case may be the Celtics need to secure a good player that will actually stay on the roster and be able to contribute. With names like Gabe Pruitt, and J.R. Giddens littering recent drafts it is important that Boston manages to make the 19th pick count. Boston’s General Manger Danny Ainge might have to get creative to keep the team competitive in the near future. Only time will tell if he has the talent to make it happen.

Sources:
www.nba.com 2009-2010 Celtics Roster

Tags:2010 NBA Draft Needs: Boston Celtics

2010 Multi-Cultural Festival for the Mid-Ohio Valley

Irish rock music. African drummers. Italian, Middle Eastern, and Indonesian dancers. Polish kielbasa. Asian puff bread. Cajun red beans & rice. And an all-American hot dog. Winthin Footsteps of each other! You can enjoy all this and more at The Mid-Ohio Valley Multi-Cultural Festival at City Park in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Add in the Children’s hands-on art and craft activities from different countries, a kid’s Train ride and more and you’ve got a fun and fantastic weekend for the entire family.

Schedule of Events:

Date: Friday, June 18 till Sunday, June 20, 2010

Location: City Park, Parkersburg, WV

Directions: From I-77, take 7th Street Exit

From Rt. 50 , take 7th Street Exit

Parking: Available. Wheelchair accessable. Additional needs available

Opening Ceremonies: Friday 7:15 PM

Live Music and Entertainment All Day!

Admission: Free to the public. There is no admission fee.

Celebrate, perpetuate and preserve

Source:www.movmcf.org/

Tags:2010 Multi-Cultural Festival for the Mid-Ohio Valley

2010 NBA Draft Lottery Has Surprise No. 1 Pick

The 2010 NBA Draft Lottery, which has been termed by some the “John Wall Lottery” took place this Tuesday the 18th at 8 p.m. in Secaucus, N.J. The lottery kicked off amidst great expectations from the NBA’s worst team, the New Jersey Nets, who fully expected to gain the rights to draft Kentucky phenom John Wall and contend to sign Lebron James in free agency this summer. Yet, as many know, even the best laid plans go awry and such was the case in New Jersey’s hopes to garner the number one overall pick.

In what was surprising night to the odds makers, New Jersey dropped to the #3 pick, despite their 25% chance of winning the lottery. The Philadelphia 76ers took the #2 spot despite a 5.3% chance and the Washington Wizards, with a menial 10.3% chance, won the rights to the coveted #1 overall pick.

The only question that remained was: Would the Wizards still take John Wall despite having All-Star Point Guard Gilbert Arenas on their roster? Team President Ernie Grunfeld went a long way to answering that question in his post-lottery comments: “We’re going to take the best player available, regardless of position,” he said. “This is a player that we intend to have with us for a long, long time. So whoever the best player we feel is available to us, that’s the one we’ll pick.” Asked whether he’s concerned about positional redundancy, Grunfeld simply said “No.”

Though John Wall’s status at #1 overall is all but certain, 13 other teams in the lottery have still yet to make their absolute decision for draft day. The result of this year’s deep, but relatively star-free draft, will be teams selecting according to their needs more than base talent. As Jeff Goodman put in his draft class preview, “The 2010 NBA draft may lack star power for the time being, but it’s deep and there are plenty of guys who will have lengthy and successful careers in the NBA.”

The consensus is most of the top 14 will draft players that can come in right away and contribute, here is a preview of who the top 14 will draft to improve their teams on June 24th:

14. Houston Rockets – Ed Davis (PF North Carolina)

Although the Rockets would prefer drafting Hassan Whiteside to fill their need at center, I expect him to be gone at this point. Thus, the Rockets will settle for Ed Davis, a talented young player who adds length to their roster and doesn’t have to start right away.

13. Toronto Raptors – Hassan Whiteside (C Marshall)

With Chris Bosh likely leaving for greener pastures the Toronto Raptors need to address their interior and Hassan Whiteside does that for them. Whiteside gives the Raptors the defensive presence they need and allows Bargnani to move to the PF position if desired to create further mismatches and play to Bargnani’s strengths.

12. Memphis Grizzlies – Donatas Motiejunas (PF/C International)

Assuming the Grizzlies retain Rudy Gay, which I expect them to, they have the chance to add needed depth to an already fantastic core of players. Motiejunas will not be expected to start and will be able to sit behind Hasheem Thabeet and Zach Randolph to further hone his skills.

11. New Orleans Hornets – Xavier Henry (SG Kansas)

The Hornets desperately need to add scoring threats to their SG and SF positions and Xavier Henry does just that for them. He isn’t projected to be a star per se, but he will do enough to pull some pressure off of Emeka Okafor and Chris Paul next season.

10. Indiana Pacers – Ekpe Udoh (PF Baylor)

With Roy Hibbert not progressing as quickly as the Indiana Pacers have hoped, I expect them to draft Udoh here to further bolster their interior rebounding and athleticism. Udoh brings a decent offensive game with some mid-level range and is a good fit here.

9. Utah Jazz – Cole Aldrich (C Kansas)

Cole Aldrich is the perfect fit for the Utah Jazz. He brings rebounding, toughness, a moderate offensive game and fits well into their mostly half-court offense. Once considered a top 5 pick, Aldrich has considerable talent and is a great bargain for Utah. Assuming the Jazz can’t afford to keep Carlos Boozer in the off-season Aldrich is at worst a good consolation prize.

8. L.A. Clippers – Patrick Patterson (PF Kentucky)

The Clippers greatest need is small forward, but the two best players at that position, Aminu and Johnson will be gone before they pick so they will revert to their second need, power forward. Patterson isn’t a star at the PF position but he is solid and will give the Clippers much more production at that position than Drew Gooden has.

7. Detroit Pistons – Greg Monroe (C Georgetown)

The Pistons need a center. Greg Monroe is their man. Since the Pistons don’t rely on scoring points via post-ups (ala Ben Wallace) Monroe is a great fit for them. His offensive game is limited, but he rebounds effectively, disrupts shots and runs the floor well. His game is a good match for the Piston’s style of play.

6. Golden State Warriors – Al-Farouq Aminu (SF Wake Forest)

Aminu has been projected as a SF in the NBA but can conceivably play both forwards positions well. Golden State needs length and rebounding to shore up their team and Aminu can bring that. With Corey Maggette losing several steps, the time for a replacement is now.

5. Sacramento Kings – Demarcus Cousins (C Kentucky)

Demarcus Cousins is a no-brainer pick for the Kings here. They desperately need a center who can present a challenge down low for opposing teams and Cousins fits that mold. Cousins can rebound, dominate the paint and has a solid offensive game to boot. His maturity has been questioned but he generally has shown to have a good head in tough situations and should be fine.

4. Minnesota Timberwolves – Wesley Johnson (SF Syracuse)

Wesley Johnson is an athletic scorer who wowed at Syracuse and should continue to do the same at Minnesota. With this young core, Johnson can really help this team win games right away with his offensive game. Great pick here for the Timberwolves.

3. New Jersey Nets – Derrick Favors (PF Georgia Tech)

Picking third overall could be a blessing for the Nets. Now they don’t have to worry about where to send All-Star PG Devin Harris after picking John Wall, this draft is all about need for the Nets and their greatest needs are at the forward positions. Favors has been compared by some to Chris Bosh and even if he doesn’t achieve that level of play he is still a great fit for the Nets, allowing them to move Yi Jianlian from the F spot where he is often overmatched.

2. Philadelphia 76ers – Evan Turner (SG Ohio State)

The 76ers may be preparing for a future without Andre Iguodala more than anything with this pick, but assuming he stays Turner is still a great player to have. Evan Turner has shown tremendous poise and scoring ability while at Ohio State and is as close to a no-miss pick as you can make.

1. Washington Wizards – John Wall (PG Kentucky)

If there ever was a can’t miss pick it is John Wall. Although the Wizards have Gilbert Arenas still under contract, they are passing up this great of a talent. John Wall will end up starting for them and being a solid point guard for years to come.

References:

Henry Abbott Good luck at last for the Wizards- TrueHoop Blog ESPN.com

Jeff Goodman 2010 NBA draft class lacks stars, but not talent – CBK News FOX Sports

John Schuhmann NBA.com: Wizards’ future brightens; Nets’ bad luck continues NBA.com

Tags:2010 NBA Draft Lottery Has Surprise No. 1 Pick

2010 Mock Draft 4.0

This is my 2010 NFL mock draft, version 4.0. To see the 3rd of my 4 mock drafts click this link. My current and last 2010 NFL mock draft is post Donovan McNabb trade and was updated on April 12th 2010. If you want to see my live blogging coverage of the 2010 NFL draft then click this link and save it.

1 Saint Louis Rams- Sam Bradford QB- Oklahoma

I had the Rams taking Suh in my previous two 2010 NFL mock drafts but I think Bradford will be the man. As you can read here franchise quarterbacks are too important to pass up on. Bradford is accurate but coming off an injury and also played in a gimmick offense which hurts college quarterbacks in the NFL. The Rams could still take Suh or try to trade down in hopes of having a rookie salary cap after the 2011 NFL strike. I didn’t have Bradford listed as the best quarterback in the draft but the Rams do.

2 Detroit Lions- Russell Okrung OT- Oklahoma State

The Lions need to protect their investment in Matthew Stafford and Okrung can help them do that. At 6ft 5 Okrung can add more weight and strength to help in the running game as well. Stafford has some quality targets but the Lions need to keep him healthy to find them on the field. Okrung is the best left tackle in the draft and he will help Stafford for years.

3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Ndamukong Suh DT- Nebraska

Look for the Bucs to try to trade down in order to save money but if they pick here in the 2010 NFL draft they will take Suh. I think either Suh or Joe Haden will be the best NFL player out of this draft and he will make the Bucs forget about Warren Sapp.

4 Washington Redskins- Bryan Bulaga, T, Iowa

Washington had the worst offensive line in football in 2009. If new coach Mike Shanahan and new QB McNabb are to flourish that has to be addressed here.

5 Kansas City Chiefs Jimmy Clausen QB-Notre Dame

The Chiefs have Matt Cassel but only under contract for one more year. Cassel is somewhat of a bust anyway and new offensive coordinator Charlie Weiss coaches Jimmy Clausen at Notre Dame. Clausen can step right in and know a good part of the Chiefs offense and shorten the learning curve.

6 Seattle Seahawks- Joe Haden CB-Florida

I think Joe Haden is one the best players in the 2010 NFL draft and the Seahawks will be thrilled to grab him here. Clausen could be a pick here but I think new Coach Pete Carroll will go DB. If Haden drops due to his slow speed in the 40 shown at the combine look for the Seahawks to go with an offensive lineman.

7 Cleveland Browns- Gerald McCoy DT-Oklahoma

If Bradford or Clausen slips this far then the Browns would take either of them. Failing that my 2010 NFL mock draft has the Browns going for McCoy as he is the best available player. The Browns could reach for Dez Bryant to give Seneca Wallace or Jake Delhomme a target but I don’t see that happening.

8 Oakland Raiders- Bruce Campbell OT- Maryland

The Raiders have lots of holes to fill but the offensive line can use the boost that Campbell can provide. A possible franchise left tackle like Campbell can’t be ignored here. Russell may be given one more year to prove he is a franchise quarterback and Campbell will help protect him

9 Buffalo Bills- Trent Williams OT- Oklahoma

I had Anthony Davis here but his stock fell due to attitude and weight issues. Williams can help a Bills offense under a good mind like Chan Gaily go far. Williams is a safe pick and could be a starter for the next ten years.

10 Jacksonville Jaguars Eric Berry S- Tennessee

If Berry falls this far then the Jaguars will snap him up rather quickly. Look for the Jags to hope Tebow falls to them in the second round.

11 Denver Broncos- Rolando McClain ILB- Alabama

Denver needs linebacker help in a big way and McClain can provide it with the 11th pick in the 2010 NFL draft. Most 2010 NFL mock drafts I have seen share my opinion on this pick. McClain has revealed that he has Crohn’s disease but I don’t think it will hurt his draft status.

12 Miami Dolphins-Brandon Graham OLB-Michigan

The Dolphins need a wide receiver but won’t pick anyone other than Bryant here, so will address their linebackers. Graham will make a solid addition to a unit getting younger and better.

13San Francisco 49ers-Anthony Davis OT-Rutgers

With 2 number one picks the team could package them to move up to grab somebody they really like, but I don’t think so. Anthony Davis is my pick for the 49ers in this 2010 NFL mock draft. Davis has weight and possible attitude issues but I think he makes sense here.

14 Seattle Seahawks- Derrick Morgan DE-Georgia Tech

With Patrick Kerney’s retirement from a bad defensive line, Morgan makes the most sense here. Morgan will start right away and help a less than average Seahawk’s defense.

15 New York Giants-Brandon Spikes LB-Florida

The Giants could go for Dez Bryant if he falls this far but he won’t Spikes will help shore up a Giants defense that fell to average in 2009.

16 Tennessee Titans- Dan Williams D-Tennessee

Dan Williams adds some much needed depth and pop to the Titans defensive line. It won’t hurt that he is a local player who played college ball in the state.

17 San Francisco 49ers C.J. RB-Clemson

Gore has battled injuries and is approaching old age for a running back. Spiller is the best back in the 2010 NFL draft and will add to an improving 49er’s offense.

18 Pittsburgh Steelers- Taylor Mays FS- Southern California

If an elite offensive tackle falls this far (yeah right) the Steelers will pounce on him. But I my 2010 NFL mock, Taylor Mays is the right pick for the Steelers. Their secondary sucks and Mays brings some young blood into the mix.

19 Atlanta Falcons Dez Bryant WR-Oklahoma State

Bryant’s off the field issues and his dislike for slant patters will drop him, if he falls this far the Falcons won’t turn down adding a nice weapon for Matt Ryan.

20 Houston Texans- Jahvid Best RB-California

Yeah I know the Texans have other needs but their running game has been their downfall on offense. I think they go RB here and Best is the best (pun intended) on the board. The team could go offensive line at this pick though.

21 Cincinnati Bengals- Earl Thomas S-Texas

The Bengals addressed their wide receiver issue with Antonio Bryant and now Thomas will try to shore up a suspect secondary for the Bengals. I wouldn’t be shocked however if the Bengals went for a running back here, if they love one that is available.

22 New England Patriots-Jason Pierre-Paul, DE/OLB**, South Florida

Jason Pierre-Paul can be a beast in the right defense and if he falls this far the Patriots will grab him up and turn him loose.

23 Green Bay Packers- Charles Brown OT-USC

Brown will help keep the big nasties away from Aaron Rodgers and let the Packers build that great offense up some more.

24 Philadelphia Eagles- Mike Iupati G-Idaho

This could be a reach but the Eagles have an explosive offense in place that can only get better with some line help. The Eagles could well go after a running back here but I think that will come later in the 2010 NFL draft.

25 Baltimore Ravens- Golden Tate WR-Notre Dame

The Ravens did resign Derrick Mason and traded for Anquan Boldin but Tate makes sense here. Wide receivers tend to be non factors as rookies and Tate could be a backup for a year then replace Mason when he retires, which will be soon.

26 Arizona Cardinals-Sean Weatherspoon LB- Missouri

The Cardinals need some linebacking help and I think Weatherspoon can do the job here.

27 Dallas Cowboys- Dallas Cowboys Vladimir Ducasse OG-U-Mass

The Cowboys offensive line has had some issues and Ducasse can help out here pretty quickly.

28 San Diego Chargers- Ryan Matthews RB- Fresno State

Matthews is a must pick here as the Chargers are replacing LaDainian Tomlinson and possibly Darren Sproles.

29 New York Jets- Brandon LaFell WR-LSU

LaFell gives Mark Sanchez a tall fluid target and one more weapon for a Jets offense that needs them desperately.

30 Minnesota Vikings Brian Price DT-UCLA

The two Williams boys are getting long in the tooth and adding Price to a good D line rotation could make them the best in the NFL. Even if people really believe Brett Favre is retired for real, I don’t expect qb to be a priority. However the Vikes could go for a CB here.

31 Indianapolis Colts-Chad Jones S-LSU

The Colts can use a playmaker who can hit in their secondary since Sanders is hurt all the time. Jones is a good fit here for the Colts in my 2010 NFL mock draft.

32 New Orleans Saints- Greg Hardy DE-Ole Miss

Hardy on a nice Saints defensive line rotation can only make this improving defense, better.

Thanks for reading my updated first round 2010 NFL mock draft. To see many other great mocks check out the websites listed in the sources below. See the 2nd round my my 2010 mock draft here.

Sources for great Mock Drafts

Interview with Walter from Walterfootball.com

Walterfootball.com

Fftoolbox.com

Hailredskins.com

http://ift.tt/1X1BrCo

Sportsjabber.net

Footballdogz.com mock draft database

Tags:2010 Mock Draft 4.0

2010 NBA Playoff Power Rankings

After 1,230 regular season games only 16 teams remain standing. The NBA playoffs begin this weekend and over the next two months those 16 teams will compete for the coveted Larry O’Brien Trophy. The team that wins 16 games will win the NBA Championship. Here is a ranking of the 16 playoff teams based on the likelihood of becoming the 2009-2010 NBA Champions.

NBA Championship Contenders-One of These Three Teams Will Win the Larry O’Brien Trophy

Rank 1: Los Angeles Lakers (Record: 57-25, West’s First Seed)
The defending NBA Champion Lakers were inconsistent throughout the regular season. Once the playoffs begin their focus and consistency will improve. Whether or not it improves enough for them to repeat remains to be seen; but until someone beats Kobe, Phil, and company in a seven-game series the Lakers will remain the champions.

Rank 2: Cleveland Cavaliers (Record: 61-21, East’s First Seed)
The Cavaliers once again have home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. LeBron and the Cavs are hoping that Shaquille O’Neal and Antawn Jamison will be difference-makers this postseason.

Rank 3: Orlando Magic (Record: 59-23, East’s Second Seed)
The Magic look to make it to the NBA Finals for the second consecutive season and they hope the results will be different this time around.

Possible Conference Finalists

Rank 4: San Antonio Spurs (Record: 50-32, West’s Seventh Seed)
The Spur’s will open the playoffs on the road against the same team that eliminated them in the first round of last year’s playoffs, the Mavericks. If this veteran squad makes it out of the first round and remains healthy they will be a team to be reckoned with.

Rank 5: Atlanta Hawks (Record: 53-29, East’s Third Seed)
The Hawks have improved and matured right before our eyes. But have they grown enough to get by either the Cavaliers or Magic?

Rank 6: Dallas Mavericks (Record: 55-27, West’s Second Seed)
The Mavericks open the playoffs against their intrastate rivals the San Antonio Spurs. The winner of this matchup will probably meet the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.

Everyone Else

Rank 7: Phoenix Suns (Record: 54-28, West’s Third Seed)
The Suns drew the hobbled Trail Blazers and should run by them in the first round.

Rank 8: Miami Heat (Record: 47-35, East’s Fifth Seed)
Dwyane Wade has carried the Miami Heat all season long. If he carries them past the Celtics the stage will be set for the first playoff meeting between LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Rank 9: Denver Nuggets (Record: 53-29, West’s Fourth Seed)
With George Karl on the bench the Nuggets will have a chance to make it to the Western Conference Finals; without him they could possibly lose to the Jazz in the first round.

Rank 10: Utah Jazz (Record: 53-29, West’s Fifth Seed)
With Carlos Boozer the Jazz can beat the Nuggets; without him they have no chance.

Rank 11: Boston Celtics (Record: 50-32, East’s Fourth Seed)
The Celtics will open the first round against Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat. If they survive that series LeBron James and the Cavaliers will be awaiting them.

Rank 12: Milwaukee Bucks (Record: 46-36, East’s Sixth Seed)

The Bucks return to the playoffs for the first time since 2006. Without Andrew Bogut to patrol the paint their chances of escaping the Hawks are slim at best.

Rank 13: Portland Trail Blazers (Record: 50-32, West’s Sixth Seed)
The Trail Blazers have survived multiple injuries this season. But losing Brandon Roy may be just a little too much to overcome.

Rank 14: Charlotte Bobcats (Record: 44-38, East’s Seventh Seed)
The Bobcats will make their first playoff appearance against the defending Eastern Conference Champion Magic.

Rank 15: Chicago Bulls (Record: 41-41, East’s Eighth Seed)
The Bulls earned the right to play the Cavaliers in the first round by winning their final three games. Those may be their last wins of the 2009-2010 season.

Rank 16: Oklahoma City Thunder (Record: 50-32, West’s Eighth Seed)
Oklahoma City fans will get their first taste of the NBA playoffs. The Thunder will host at least two playoff games and with a lot of luck maybe more.

Information from ESPN.com’s 2010 NBA Playoff Match ups was used for this article.

Tags:2010 NBA Playoff Power Rankings

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