Five Things I’d Change in Sports (Updated)

NOTE: I wrote this story last year before the articles were posted on 1580TheFanatic.com. I’ve updated a few parts since then…but a year later, I couldn’t agree more with all of these suggestions!

Don’t get me wrong – sports are my world…but they’re far from perfect. A few tweaks here and there might make all the difference. While I’m glad the Suns got the #1 pick (and yes, I’ll eventually pay off my Daily Blender Carl’s Jr. bet based on that), watching their obvious tanking from February onward was mildly disgusting. So what can be done to remedy the situations? Here are some solutions:

ce_af2rwoaauz4d

 

Continue reading “Five Things I’d Change in Sports (Updated)”

Predicting Tonight’s National Championship Game Winner + This Weekend’s Masters Contenders

Always a fun sports week with college basketball’s National Championship Game on Monday night followed by the best week of the pro golf weekend, or at least the most prestigious, The Masters.

Masters

Starting off the week with the final game of a tumultuous NCAA Basketball season – the sport has been through the ringer since October when the FBI launched a raid into a handful of schools including Arizona. But at least we get to see a fun battle of the blue bloods – Michigan and Villanova in the final.

The Wolverines have been on a heck of a run, having lost only once since the calendar turned to February – and that loss was only five days into the month (at Northwestern). Basically what I’m saying is they’ve been undefeated for two months despite the fact Jordan Poole literally saved their season in a second round stunner against Houston.

But the truth is that Michigan hasn’t faced a seed HIGHER than #6 Houston this tournament – with victories over 14, 6, 7, 9, and 11 seeds in The Big Dance. Has any team ever had an easier road to the championship game? No way.

Villanova just looks the part…as they have all season. Led by star PG Jalen Brunson, the Wildcats are the perfect hybrid of solid offense and defense and I’d be shocked if they didn’t take home their second championship in three years on Monday night.

The Wildcats haven’t been tested all tournament and completely ran away from Kansas in the first few minutes on Saturday leaving the Jayhawks never having played within single-digits for the final 35 minutes of the game (or if they did, I must’ve been taking a bathroom break).

While I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Wolverines keep it close at halftime, Villanova wins 74-66.


Off the top of my head, this year’s Masters looks to be the most anticipated golf tournament in recent memory. Tiger Woods is back and in good form…can he win his fifth green jacket? Or will Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, or Justin Rose win their first?

Last year I was fortunate enough to have Sergio Garcia at 40-1 to win in Augusta by virtue of a dramatic playoff with Justin Rose. This year I’ll present my five top bets to win golf’s most celebrated tournament:

5. Louis Oosthuizen (50/1) – Here’s one of my two long shots for this weekend. Oosty lost in a playoff to Bubba Watson in 2012 and also finished in the top-25 each year from 2014-16. He’s one of the most rock solid putters around and that’s what it takes to win at Augusta. Might be worth a bet for a top-10 as compared to straight winning it.

ncs_modified20150624210357maxw640imageversiondefaultar-150629402

4. Matt Kuchar (40/1) – Four top-10 finishes in his last six trips to Augusta and played an excellent final 63 holes in the Houston Open last weekend. Combination of good form and good record in The Masters is appealing at these long odds.

kuchar_2

3. Rickie Fowler (18/1) – Finished tied for 11th here last year and has faded on the weekend of late, including this past weekend in Houston. Can be electrifying if on his game, though, and is worth a long look at nearly 20-1 odds.

usatsi_10113283_153192880_lowres

2. Justin Rose (14/1) – Has finished in the top-25 each year since 2009 at Augusta with two top-2s in the last three trips. I feel like Rose is a virtual lock for the top-10 at this point.

715e6004c722db2f8dac29252c8be82e

1. Jordan Spieth (10/1) – Three top-3 finishes in four trips to August = sign me up again this year. Faded to 11th last April with a final round 75. If he can keep it out of the water on the back 9 come Sunday, watch out. Was razor sharp in Houston securing a top-5 finish this past weekend. All systems go for his second green jacket.

18377303_303

As for good ‘ole Tiger Woods, a top-10 can’t be discounted as I feel like he’s a good bet to at least make the cut and play on the weekend. But I just don’t see him being the Tiger of old who dominated Augusta time after time. In the fairly unlikely event that he’s truly contending on Sunday though, watch out…

To read previous entries of my blog, click here. Also make sure to follow me on Twitter @eacohen83.

March Madness: Breaking down the bracket + my picks to win

Seriously…could the selection committee have done a WORSE job putting together this bracket? Leaving out USC was bad enough (I know they didn’t have many Quadrant 1 wins but they certainly passed the eye test to me) but seeding Arizona 4th in the SOUTH bracket with Virginia AND Kentucky!? Stupid.

Don’t tell me there wasn’t a bias against the schools investigated by the FBI earlier in the season. Oklahoma State and USC were left out. Arizona and arguably Auburn were underseeded. It was a colossal dumpster fire on Sunday…and these clowns in charge of putting it together should be ashamed of themselves.

Nonetheless everyone I know (that likes college basketball) fills one of these brackets out…so here are a few tips from me:

click01-idc-110116-istock

Continue reading “March Madness: Breaking down the bracket + my picks to win”

Predicting the Future of the University of Arizona’s Basketball Program

Was Saturday’s final 2017-18 home game against California the end of an era at McKale Center? Unfortunately the answer is yes and here’s what I think happens next:

1. Regardless of what happens in the NCAA Tournament, I’d be surprised if Sean Miller returned as Arizona’s head coach.

sean-miller-shirt

Continue reading “Predicting the Future of the University of Arizona’s Basketball Program”

Monday Musings – December 11th: Are the Eagles toast without Wentz? And is ASU basketball top-5 worthy?

Well folks, the answer to both questions to lead off this column is unfortunately yes.

-If Eagles QB Carson Wentz sustained a torn-ACL as feared late-Sunday, Philadelphia’s chances at winning the NFC are all but over. Sorry Eagles fans, while I’m somewhat of a Nick Foles believer (considering he’s a fellow Arizona Wildcat), he’s not going to be able to win your team a big game in January. Sorry, just not happening. The Eagles defense, as we saw on Sunday vs. the Rams is good, but far from elite. To win the NFC, the Eagles will have to rely on running the ball 65% of the time. Good luck if and when they get behind.

ap-carson-wentz-eagles-rams-injury

Continue reading “Monday Musings – December 11th: Are the Eagles toast without Wentz? And is ASU basketball top-5 worthy?”

Friday, 9/29 Quick Hitters: My Thoughts on the scandal involving UofA Basketball + Best Bets

What’s happening with college basketball and the FBI scandal that broke on Tuesday isn’t good for the sport. That might be an understatement. College basketball may be wrecked to shreds sooner than later. The pride and spectacle of March Madness may fade into oblivion.

It’s no secret that players have long been paid to go to school. If you think the likes of UCLA, Duke, Kentucky, and Kansas won’t eventually be involved, you’re likely wrong.

But for now they’re not and Arizona is…due to assistant coach Book Richardson, who was arrested and faces up to 60 years in prison. Arizona basketball, the pride and joy of Tucson for now is facing an uncertain long term future. Is this a rogue assistant who is the only one in the program having committed wrongdoing? Or is it more internally widespread than we know? These are the million dollar questions. And head coach Sean Miller’s job might eventually be hanging in the balance.

usa_today_8946797-0

While it’s impossible to know what’s true and what’s false…here is what I think (pure opinion):

Continue reading “Friday, 9/29 Quick Hitters: My Thoughts on the scandal involving UofA Basketball + Best Bets”