Sunday Link-Off: Thanksgiving Leftovers

Shockingly for only the first time, here’s Natalie Portman.

The boys at Deadspin passed the US Thanksgiving long weekend by posting high school reunion horror stories. Of them all, this was my favourite. (Deadspin)

I don’t suppose anyone can help me find a way to talk EA Sports letting me have a copy of NCAA Basketball 10 to review. I’m not just saying that because my favourite play-by-play man Gus Johnson is calling the action. (Fanhouse)

This stuff never gets old. It’s the second edition of the best things overheard at the U of WO. (Lion’s Den University)

After the jump, some painful sports stories, something else, and the return of a classic WWE announce team. Continue reading

Wednesday Link-Off: Learning Something New

blake-lively-nylon-5When in doubt, Blake Lively is the smart way to go.

So what have we learned about Andre Agassi before reading his book. Well, he took crystal meth and now we know that he was a hustler. (FanIQ)

Want to be on the FOX NFL Pregame show? Then you should review this secret internal memo so you know what you’d be in for. (Sports Pickle)

Hockey is full of weird superstitions. I didn’t know that the order of the team as they walked out of the dressing room was one of them. (Globe and Mail)

After the jump, loads of hockey links, a new way to learn how to drive, and a new way to drive in the snow. Continue reading

The Mustangs Lose A Heartbreaker To Carleton

With 4.9 seconds to go, the bar on the UWO campus erupted in an almost deafening cheer as Matt Curtis drained two free throws to put the Western Mustangs up 65-64.  With the loudest two-dozen people in the world on their feet, Carleton’s superstar player Stu Turnbull would deflate the room by sinking a mid-range jumper as time expired to win the national semi-final for the Ravens. Continue reading

The NBA D-League Rips Off Nick Kypreos

The NBA announced today that their development league, imaginatively called the NBA D-League, will use a new playoff format.  The three division winners will qualify (as seeds #1, #2, and #3) along with the next five highest teams in the standings.  The highest seeded division winner will pick its opponent from the teams from the bottom four seeds.  The #2 seed will pick from the remaining teams followed by the #3 seed with the #4 seed getting the not-so-fat kid everyone is scared of.

Now, some would say that this is ground breaking but I would beg to differ.  In fact, I would claim that the NBA D-League has stolen their idea and not given the originator any credit.

The idea of high seeds picking their opponent was originally proposed by Hockeycentral at Noon host Nick Kypreos.  His proposal had the #1 seed in the NHL picking its opponent from all of the other 15 teams qualified for the playoffs with the next highest remaining seed picking until all eight series were made.  The high seeds would also get this privilege in the second and third rounds.  The only real difference between the D-League system and the Nicknundrum (as it was dubbed by Hockeycentral host Darren Millard) is that the NBA gives a bonus for winning the division and forces the choice to be from the bottom half of the rankings.

I like the idea.  If only Nick would get the credit when one of the big leagues adopt it…

What’s More Embarrassing About This Photo?

Campbell09WilsonCup

Is it the fact that Western Mustang’s coach Brad Campbell can’t hide how upset he is with his team’s performance on Saturday anymore or the fact that I’m excited that I was on the cover of the campus newspaper?  Campbell is in the foreground doing a classic facepalm and I’m in the top-left corner (the brown-haired guy with the beard).

CIS Basketball Finals Set and Ontario is Fuming

With all the league championships and last chance qualifiers decided on Saturday night, the CIS have announced the rankings for this weekend’s Canadian University Basketball championships.  Of course, this being sports run by a faceless committee (e.g. the BCS), fans and pundits were crying foul within minutes of the bracket being announced.

Here are the CIS Final 8 that will battle it out for national supremacy (and how they qualified): Continue reading

OUA Basketball Final Preview – Carleton vs. Western

I’m not entirely sure that my bosses or the OUA would want me to say this, but this Saturday’s basketball game is entirely meaningless.  After all, by winning the OUA West division title, the Western Mustangs have already clinched a spot in the CIS National Championships.  Meanwhile, the #1 ranked Carleton Ravens are hosting the nationals so they were in even if they didn’t rout the OUA East division en route to their eighth crown in ten years.  Still, while this is just a glorified exhibition game, we could be looking at a national championship preview.

Actually, I shouldn’t say that my bosses don’t want me saying the above because one of them pointed this fact out to me.  In fact, if the game wasn’t in London at Alumni Hall or it conflicted with the hockey game later that night, we wouldn’t be broadcasting it at all.  The fact remains that we are, so here’s a preview of tomorrow’s big OUA Men’s Basketball Final.

#1 Carleton Ravens
The Ravens come into action on Saturday as the heavy favourites. They have decimated the whole of the OUA field this season. After losing their first game of the year to Windsor, the Ravens have run up a streak of 23 straight wins which includes a 79-74 win against the Mustangs at Alumni Hall.

The key to the game for Carleton is to use their perfection on offense. The Ravens are the strongest offensive team in the OUA averaging 8 more points per game than any other team in Ontario. Western’s emphasis on rebounding and solid defending in the paint will only get them so far. It will be the ability of Carleton to drown them the Mustangs with offense that could allow them to lift the Wilson Trophy at game’s end. The man leading that attack will be the East division player of the year Stuart Turnbull and first team all-star Aaron Doornekamp.

#4 Western Mustangs
The Mustangs find themselves heading to the national championships after a surprise appearance last season. This year, the Mustangs started and finished the season ahead of the pack in the OUA West. Unfortunately for the Mustangs, they haven’t beaten the Ravens since 2001.

The Mustangs need to win the battles along the glass to pick up the W at the end of the day. Keenan Jeppesen and Brad Smith are two of the OUA’s most dominant big men and can control a game when “el fuego.” OUA West defensive player of the year is going to play an important part of the Mustangs defensive scheme when he tries to shut down Turnbull and will have to be as good on the offensive end of the floor as Wednesday when he was 6-of-10 from beyond the arc.

Of course, you can listen to this game live on 94.9FM CHRW (in London) and at CHRWradio.com starting at about 1:55 PM on Saturday.  And you can spend the following hour-and-a-half wondering who thought it was a good idea to let me be a basketball commentator.

NBA D-Day is a Dud

Well, the NBA trade deadline was largely a dud. Three o’clock rolled up and there isn’t much to say about what happened. And no, that’s not because I’m not a basketball guy.

Today’s deals:
To the Celtics: Will Solomon
To the Raptors: Patrick O’Bryant
Analysis: The Raps make another trade. Not that it’ll help…

To the Bulls: Tim Thomas, Jerome James, Anthony Roberson
To the Knicks: Larry Hughes
Analysis: Who are they and why should I care?

To the Knicks: Chris Wilcox
To the Thunder: Malik Rose, cash
Analysis: I’d give the win to the Thunder because cash is king.

To the Kings: Rashad McCants, Calvin Booth
To the T-Wolves: Bobby Brown, Shelden Williams
Analysis: Wait. Wasn’t Bobby Brown a singer and married to Whitney Houston?

To the Magic: Rafer Alston (Hou)
To the Rockets: Kyle Lowry (Mem), Brian Cook (Orl)
To the Grizzlies: 1st round draft pick (Orl)
Analysis: The biggest trade of the day because it had the most teams. Oh, and a former Rap was traded.

So to make up for this, here’s an appropriate re-imagining of a scene of Return of the Jedi. After all, it’s not like there’s any basketball to talk about.