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Article:Armchair Weekend in Review (March 28-30, 2008)

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NCAA Elite 8

  • North Carolina won the East Regional and punched their ticket to the Final Four for only the second time in four years with an 83-73 win over Louisville. Tarheels fans had Tyler Hansbrough to thank, as he led the way with 28 points.
  • Davidson got another 30-point game out of Stephen Curry in Friday Sweet 16 win over Wisconsin, but he and the Wildcats wound up being no match for Kansas, as Bill Self's Jayhawks escaped with a 59-57 Midwest region clincher and Self's first-ever trip to the Final Four.
  • The bugaboo (last week, "kerfuffel", now this) surrounding Memphis during this tourney was their free throw shooting; many college hoops pundits believed that charity stripe was anything but charitable as far as the Tigers were concerened. Well, the Fighting John Caliparis made 30 of 36 freebies (Chris Douglas-Roberts going 14-17 all by himself) gave the weekend's biggest beatdown, 85-67, over Texas. It will be Memphis' first FF appearance since 1985, back when Ronald Reagan was President and Memphis was called Memphis State. CDR and backcourt mate Darren Rose combined for 46 points, BTW...

On to the pros

  • In the Eastern Conference, the Cleveland Cavaliers clinched a playoff berth despite an 85-71 loss to the Detroit Pistons. The Cavs locked up the fourth seed with a 110-104 defeat of the New Jersey Nets by the Phoenix Suns. That game saw Suns center Shaquille O'Neal delay the game by nine minutes by shredding the net while battling for a rebound. Less destructive compared to many years ago at the Meadowlands, when the Diesel brought down a whole backboard!

Across the Pond

  • Five points behind them in second place are Chelsea who got an very early goal by striker Ricardo Carvalho in Blues' 1-0 win over Middlesbrough. Another 1-0 score with an early goal came from Liverpool's Fernando Torres, whose goal came in the seventh minute and was enough to beat Merseyside rival Everton, who are fourth and fifth in the FAPL standings, respectively.
  • Arsenal retained third place, but had to come from behind away at Bolton. Gunners overcame Matthew Taylor's first-half double with a penalty kick equalizer by Robin van Persie in the 68th minute and got some help from Jlloyd Samuel's own goal at injury time for a 3-2 comeback win.

MLB: Spring Training ends, the season begins

  • Over 115,000 fans packed the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to see the Dodgers face the Boston Red Sox on Saturday. However, the Sox were the most gracious of guests, beating the Dodgers (who celebrate 50 years in Southern California this year) 7-4 on home runs by Kevin Cash and Kevin Youkilis.
  • Major League Baseball hosted its second annual "Civil Rights Game" and after last year's debacle with the Cleveland Indians playing in the game (by name only), the organizers decided to pit the Chicago White Sox against the New York Mets. The Metropolitans won the game, played like last year at Memphis' AutoZone Park, 3-2.
  • The Washington Nationals opened both the 2008 MLB regular season and their new playpen, Nationals Park (how cleverly named!), in memorable fashion. Ryan Zimmerman hit the first home run in the new ballpark, a walkoff that gave the Nats a 3-2 win in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves.

Fast Track

  • It was shaping up to be a season of frustration for Denny Hamlin, so it was rather cathartic that he take the checkered flag in the mist at Martinsville, Virginia. This was Hamlin's first win of the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and his fourth career win overall.
  • Dani Pedrosa won MotoGP's first European event of the season at Jerez, Spain, while last week's winner Casey Stoner finished in the middle of the pack.
  • MLB wasn't the only series to open up its season over the weekend; the new and improved IRL IndyCar Series kicked off 2008 with Scott Dixon winning the first event at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Time to pass out the honors for the weekend

Template:Dude of the Weekend

  • Australian daredevil Robbie Maddison. When last this reporter saw him, he jumped the length of a football field to usher in the New Year. On Saturday, Maddison outdid himself by smashing his own world record for a motorcycle jump, setting the bar at an astounding 322 feet, 7 1/2 inches (98.3 meters)!

Template:Dope of the Weekend

The two gangbanging thugs who swiped the Mercedes-Benz of San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman. Click here for details.

That's all for this week

Until next week, as always, let's all be good sports...

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