Marquette University men's basketball. A- The Golden Eagles (ugh) have turned it up a notch on the effort level these last couple of weeks. Since the loss at Notre Dame they have won 6 out of 7 the only loss coming at home to 10th ranked Georgetown. Only game left is away against a reeling Syracuse team that probably fell off the bubble last weekend. That should be a win also (should be but never take Boeheim and the Orange at home to lightly). And as I noted before it looks like Crean has the team peaking at the right time so it looks like there is still hope for a decent seeding. By the way that was an extremely tough loss to Georgetown Sat. night. Unbelievable that they call the foul on the three point attempt (definitely could have been a no call) even more unbelievable that James puts himself in the position to be whistled. Surely Crean said foul in the backcourt or don't foul at all. But perhaps the most unbelievable development was that Marquette was in a position to win the game at all after shooting just over 60% at the charity stripe. The outcome did yield one unexpected positive result, the emergence of junior Dwight Burke from Brooklyn who had been quietly lobbying Crean for playing time.
Green Bay Packers. So. This is how it ends. Feels kind of like the end of the Sopranos. I mean we all knew this day would come but never really prepared for it. We were all thinking 'he wouldn't retire now, not after a season like this!', but that's exactly when stuff like this happens: when you least expect it. Describing this adequately calls for a seperate post. Of course this totally changes the speculation on who the Packers will be drafting ( or signing in free agency). Naturally people will be looking at our prospects of picking a QB but there are two problems with that. It's not really a talent rich draft as far as signal callers go, and I've heard that the Packers have enough hope in Aaron Rodgers potential to give him a legit shot at being the next 'great one'. I mean if Eli Manning can get you a ring there's pretty much hope for everyone at first right? Right!!!??? Man we are going to really suck. Can someone kidnap Ron Wolf and make him rebuild our team please?
University of Wisconsin men's basketball. B+ Badgers have clinched a share of the regular season championship and will close out the Big Ten regular season at Northwestern Saturday afternoon in preparation for the Big Ten Tournament next week. It seems like the general consensus, in the media, is that the Badgers are a 2-3 seed and will probably not be playing in the Midwest. Which is no problem to me. We've had suckier seedings and have had to go to all ends of the country before. Plus Wisconsin fans travel well, so wherever they end up they will feel at home. I've been looking forward to the Madness this year but I can't believe it's here already. The season goes so quick to me because I am hanging on every game relieved when we win. I don't know if I'll ever take 20-win seasons and the great job Bo Ryan is doing with this program for granted, and I don't really want to. Wisconsin basketball was simply irrelevant for so long I still remember what a big deal it was when we started being ranked in the polls. Every since former chancellor Donna Shalala did UW a huge favor by hiring Pat Richter as AD all the right personnel moves have been made in regards to coaching. Barry Alvarez got the ball rolling and the culture started changing and Bo Ryan has done a great job building on the successes of Stu Jackson, Stan Van Gundy, and Dick Bennett before him. All that said this is probably as good as it gets for Wisconsin until Bo starts to land some higher profile recruits.
Brewers. B+ Looking pretty good so far in spring training. I heard Peter Gammons say the Brewers were his dark horse for this season so I guess we are gaining some national respect; and we're not worried about the Cubbies either. Well with all this success you know something jacked up has to happen to even it out and it's happening to the Brewers in the form of Prince Fielder's steadily increasing ego. I guess he found out that he was the first rookie to hit 50 home runs since Willie Mays and figures he's the shiznit now. I don't know its just the team is doing really good right now. This team is the one that drafted you when everyone said you were too fat. You came up thru the team's farm system, helped implement this team's turnaround from rumors a couple of years ago that they could be contracted like Toronto, built some shit here as a team. Now you're going to abandon that and go for individualism??! Why!? If this continues I feel it ending badly. Like Gary Sheffield all over again badly. (I know. You didn't even know it was Milwaukee that drafted him)
Bucks. C- That's pretty average I guess as the Bucks are 4 out their last 10 continuing this abysmal season where the only ray of light is the deep draft coming up. They did summon up their bi-weekly where-did-that-come-from effort last night though, beating the Sonics at the BC with perpetual lazy ass Charlie V. leading the way with 32. Charlie Bell even had a steal and a dunk. No new developments about the quagmire that is our front office. Still looks like Larry Harris is on his way out and the end of the season. Still doesn't look like any major trade/acquisitions will be happening in the near future. Meanwhile BucksDiary has come up with yet another metric to assess exactly just how much the Bucks suck. Now revisit The Bratwurst's thoughts on the team before the season began. What were they smoking? (and can I get a hit?)
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball. C On the season. It was an up and down injury filled 3rd year for Rob Jeter. They are one of the first casualties of March Madness getting bounced from the Horizon Leauge tournament after a strong performance from Loyola's J.R. Blount, a Milwaukee native who turned traitor and went to school out of state. UWM ends the year at 14-16, 7th in the league. Possibly good enough for the NIT but don't hold your breath. But things could possibly look up next year. The Panthers have some good younger players that now have some experience under their belt and Jeter is a good coach (mentored by Bo Ryan).
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay men's basketball. C Too. Also got bounced in the first round of the Horizon League tournament by Valpo. Had a slightly better season at 15-15, 9-9 in league so at least it's not a losing record. Not a whole lot to say about this team other than that they are young (one senior) so it's possible they can get better. To me this will always be Tony Bennett's (yes the current coach at Wazzu) school. The team that got to the tournament '92 and almost beat Steve Smith's Michigan State team.