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Posted on: March 18, 2009 3:48 pm
 

The Oil Finally Get it Right

In the midst of a battle for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, the Edmonton Oilers pulled off a key victory with a 2-1 shootout win at home against the St. Louis Blues. The Oilers finally won an extended game, having dropped their previous 3 games in overtime.

At a time when victories are important and the margin for error is extremely slim, the Oilers have not played with a sense of urgency and have looked lethargic and sloppy, especially when trying to maintain a lead. The Oilers scored first again last night, on a rocket point shot by Sheldon Souray during a power play in the first period. It was Souray's 20th goal this season, the kind of production the Oilers envisioned when they signed Souray prior to the 2007-2008 season.

The Oilers were carrying the play to that point, pressuring Blues goalie Chris Mason and throwing everything they could get their sticks on toward the net. After getting the lead, the Oilers actually continued to play with energy and verve, something that's been missing lately.

Maybe the team realizes they need to play hard every night at this point to make the playoffs. The energy that has been sorely lacking lately was noticeable last night. The first line of Hemsky, Horcoff and Patty O'Sullivan looked sharp and focused. Keep up the fight, and let's go Oil!

Posted on: March 18, 2009 3:36 pm
 

North Carolina's Lawson Unlikely Against Radford

If I'm Roy Williams, I don't think there's any scenario in which I let Ty Lawson play Radford on Thursday. Radford isn't a world-beater with ball pressure, and Bobby Frasor is more than capable of running the point for this game. The risk-reward factor is not in the 'Heels favour here, as there is the risk that Lawson could aggrevate the injury in a game in which the 'Heels should easily roll.

I'm not trying to detract from Radford's body of work or suggest that they are a terrible team, but North Carolina has little to worry about in this game with or without Lawson. The only people concerned about Lawson's toe as it pertains to impact on the Radford game are those in the gambling community. How will the line change with Lawson out? Is it worth the risk to take Radford if the line drops significantly? These are the questions being asked, not can UNC beat Radford without Ty Lawson?

As a Raider fan I'll tell you, watching an explosive player labour with a toe injury is very frustrating, and the more rest Lawson can get in before games that should challenge the 'Heels a little more, the better. If Lawson does play, it will be the most head-scratching decision I've seen in some time, and one that could cost the 'Heels in a large way further down the road. Bottom line: rest him up until you need him. Don't look past Radford, but know that you can handle them without Lawson.

Posted on: March 17, 2009 3:32 pm
Edited on: March 17, 2009 3:33 pm
 

NCAA Tournament All-Name Team

 Well, tournament time is upon us again and as usual there is a plethora of interesting, intense, colourful, or just cool sounding names amongst the dancers; however, there seems to be more of a dearth than usual of great college names, so this list won't be as colourful as some in the past. So though you may find yourselves longing for the days of a God Shammgod or the Mapp brothers (Majestic & Scientific) or even former Hoya Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje, there are still enough names to make a couple of fun teams. This list is made under the assumption that Alabama State wins the play-in tonight, or else we'll be robbed of one of the greatest names in NCAA tournament history. I tried to limit the amount of foreign names, but there simply weren't enough good Western names to choose from.

FIRST TEAM ALL-NAME

Chief Kickingstallionsims - Alabama St.

Artsiom Parakhouski - Radford

Kwadzo Ahelegbe - Northern Iowa

Kirill Pishchalnikov - VCU

Humpty Hitchens - Akron

SECOND TEAM ALL-NAME

Olek Czyz - Duke

Wquinton Smith - Wisconsin

Chretien Lukusa - Binghamton (home-town vote from a Canadian here. Chretien...priceless)

Rihards Kuksiks - Arizona St.

Nemanja Calasan - Purdue

ALL-COOL SOUNDING NAMES TEAM

Storm Warren - LSU

Derwin Kitchen - Florida St.

Demontez Stitt - Clemson

Dash Harris - Texas A & M

J'Mison Morgan - UCLA

ALL-NAMES WITH REAL WORDS IN THEM TEAM

Dionte Christmas - Temple

Buford Foote - Morgan St.

Brady Morningstar - Kanasas

Jrue Holiday - UCLA

Maze Stallworth - Morehead St.

Although there isn't the sheer amount of crazy names that there have been in the past, we've got some really good ones in the tournament this season. Let's hope Alabama St. wins tonight so we can see not only first-teamer Chief Kickingstallionsims, but his teammate, the only member of my all-Ironic Names team, guard Ivory White, who is black.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on: March 17, 2009 11:48 am
 

NCAA Tournament Time

The smell of spring is in the air, the light breeze serving as a gentle reminder that the harsh winter is almost buried. Daylight savings time has given us back our evenings, and our sanity, and as we roll into spring refreshed and revived, we are greeted by that most glorious of sporting events: the NCAA basketball tournament.

In early November 340+ teams threw their hats in the ring and proceeded to decimate one another mercilessly. When the smoke cleared this past Sunday, only 65 teams were left standing, with one of those soon to be gone as well. What we are left with is the best of their respective leagues, and the best of the rest. The elite, the cream of the crop in college basketball. Let's dance.

Category: NCAAB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com