Nebraska dominates Arizona in Holiday Bowl

When I woke up this morning and read the headline: “Suh, Nebraska stop Arizona in Holiday Bowl,” I couldn’t help but chuckle a little.

Stop? Stop doesn’t even begin to describe what the Cornhuskers did to the Wildcats on Wednesday night. Stop is something you do when you’ve had too much to eat. Completely shutting someone down to the point of feeling sorry for them is what Nebraska accomplished against Arizona in their 33-0 Holiday Bowl victory. The game was over for Arizona after the coin flip.

The Cornhuskers held the Wildcats to 109 total yards of offense and only 46 passing yards. They also limited Arizona to 3-of-15 on third down conversions, picked off Nick Foles on the third play of the game and held the Wildcats to a messily 63 rushing yards. It was by far the most impressive performance any team this bowl season.

I was a little worried that AP College Football Player of the Year and Heisman finalist Ndamukong Suh was going to come up short in the expectations that were bestowed upon him coming into the game, but he lived up to the hype. He only had three tackles (one for loss), but he was all over the field and exhibited outstanding size and strength.

The Cornhuskers have a bright future under Bo Pelini and even though Suh is on his way out, Nebraska’s defense is loaded with playmakers. Their offense is still a concern (although they looked good last night), but Pelini feels as though his defense matches that of Alabama and Florida. And after their performance last night, it’s hard to argue with him. I realize they weren’t playing an offensive juggernaut in Arizona, but limiting any team to 109 total yards is unbelievably impressive.

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An open letter to the NCAA

Dear NCAA Men’s Tournament Selection Committee,

This weekend, the Final Four will be played at Ford Field in Detroit, and I want to thank you for another lackluster tournament. The aristocrats of college basketball trampled their opponents en route to the Motor City. Your selection process favors the haves (30 of the 34 at-large bids went to schools from the six largest conferences) and discriminates against the have-nots (four at-large bids to mid-major conferences).

An alarming trend has shown that the number of at-large mid-major schools has dwindled from the high water mark of 12 in 2004 to a low of four schools (Xavier, Dayton, Butler and Brigham Young) playing in this year’s tournament. You’re slowly taking away the madness of March. Please don’t BCS the most anticipated playoff format in all sport.

Your chairman, Mike Slive, proclaimed, “It’s all about who you play, where you play, and how you do,” when describing the criteria for selecting the 65-team field. He added that the committee looks at schools individually and not at their conference affiliation. I beg to differ, as a bailout package was handed to a couple of major conference schools (Arizona and Wisconsin) to salvage their seasons, while the mid-major schools were left standing at the altar.

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Couch Potato Alert: 3/27

There is less than three weeks left in the NBA season, and teams are fighting to secure home-court advantage for the gauntlet playoff run. And both conferences have highly contested races for the #2 seed. The Boston Celtics and the Orlando Magic are in a virtual tie in the Eastern Conference, while three teams (San Antonio, Houston and Denver) are battling it out in the Western Conference. At stake is the opportunity to play a seventh game in front your raucous fans, and this prize is well worth the grind of the regular season.

All times ET…

NBA
Friday, 7:30 PM: Boston Celtics @ Atlanta Hawks (NBA TV)
Saturday, 10 PM: Memphis Grizzlies @ Portland Trail Blazers (NBA TV)
Sunday, 1 PM: Dallas Mavericks @ Cleveland Cavaliers (ABC)
Sunday, 8 PM: San Antonio Spurs @ New Orleans Hornets (ESPN)

NHL
Saturday, 1 PM: New York Rangers @ Pittsburgh Penguins
Saturday, 7 PM: Boston Bruins @ Toronto Maple Leafs (CBC)
Saturday, 10 PM: Minnesota Wild @ Calgary Flames (CBC)

NCAA Tournament

Friday, 7:07 PM: (12) Arizona vs. (1) Louisville (CBS)
Friday, 7:27 PM: (3) Syracuse vs. (2) Oklahoma (CBS)
Friday, 9:37 PM: (3) Kansas vs. (2) Michigan State (CBS)
Friday, 9:57 PM: (4) Gonzaga vs. (1) North Carolina (CBS)
Saturday, 4:40 PM: (3) Missouri vs. (1) Connecticut (CBS)
Saturday, 7:05 PM: (3) Villanova vs. (1) Pittsburgh (CBS)
Sunday, TBA: Midwest and West Finals (CBS)

PGA
March 27-29, see your local listings for times: Arnold Palmer Invitational, Orlando, FL. (NBC/TGC)

Tiger’s back!

Welcome Back, Eldrick!

That should be on the marquee outside the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Tucson this weekend, as Tiger Woods makes his return to the PGA tour at the Accenture Match Play Championship. He has completed his rehabilitation from knee surgery and the next step for him is competing inside the ropes of a tournament. It has only been 253 days since Tiger’s tournament victory at the U.S. Open last June, but who’s counting?

The PGA executives were, that’s who. Their sport is back on the front page of websites and newspapers all throughout the world as everyone anticipates Woods’ return. The turnstiles will be ringing in Tucson this weekend, as golf’s main attraction will be on display once again. And the tour’s corporate sponsors will be smiling; television ratings should go through the roof. The tour has struggled to keep its sponsors, but Tiger’s return should give it a much-needed shot in the arm.


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Couch Potato Alert: 2/13

This weekend, you will have a wide variety of sports entertainment to choose from for your viewing pleasure. If you’re in the mood for speed, then the Daytona 500 on Sunday should rev your interest. Or if you’re looking for a good rivalry matchup, then the Georgetown and Syracuse contest on Saturday should be at the top of your list. If you’re longing for a star-studded extravaganza, take a moment to tune into the All-Star Weekend from Phoenix. The NBA gets it right by showcasing the incredible talents of their stars in multiple categories, even though they lose points by changing the game of H-O-R-S-E to sponsor approved G-E-I-C-O.

All times ET…

NBA
Saturday, 8 PM: Slam Dunk Competition, Three-Point Shootout, Skills Challenge (TNT)
Sunday, 9 PM: The NBA All-Star Game from Phoenix, AZ. (TNT)

NHL
Friday, 7 PM: Boston Bruins @ New Jersey Devils
Saturday, 8:30 PM: Dallas Stars @ Chicago Blackhawks
Sunday, 12:30 PM: Philadelphia Flyers @ New York Rangers (NBC)

College Basketball
Friday, 9 PM: #13 Villanova @ West Virginia (ESPN)
Saturday, 12 PM: Georgetown @ #22 Syracuse (ESPN)
Saturday, 1 PM: #6 UCLA @ Arizona (CBS)
Saturday, 4 PM: #25 Florida State @ #8 Wake Forest (ESPN Full Court)
Sunday, 1 PM: #20 Illinois @ Indiana (CBS)
Sunday, 5:30 PM: #5 Duke @ Boston College (Fox Sports)

PGA
Friday-Sunday, see local listings for broadcast times: AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Tournament (CBS/TGC)

NASCAR
Sunday, 2 PM: The Daytona 500 (Fox)

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