The NCAA conference championships are this week and some basketball teams have punched tickets to the big dance. The Liberty Flames, Winthrop, Bradley, Belmont and Utah State, who upset the Aztecs of San Diego State last Saturday night. I think Utah State would have received an at-large bid anyway but it’s a moot point now. There will be more tickets punched this week for some of the smaller conferences. The big conference tournaments start mid week and of course, the Big Ten Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. will draw my attention.
The Big Ten ended up in a threeway share for the title with Michigan State, Maryland and Wisconsin grabbing pieces of the title. The Big Ten Tournament’s top four seeds with byes in order one through four are: Wisconsin, Michigan State, Maryland and Illinois. The top three seeds were decided by a tie-breaker system. The Wolverines, for those of you interested, are the nine seed. This Big Ten Tournament is so wide open that nine or 10 teams have a shot at winning it.
The Wolverines open up Thursday at high noon with Rutgers, the eight seed. The winner of that basketball game will play Wisconsin at noon on Friday. The loser of this hoop game will still make the NCAA Tournament, in my opinion.
The Michigan State Spartans will play Friday night at 6:30 p.m. and play the winner of Purdue and Ohio State. The championship game will be played at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. I think the Michigan State Spartans and Wisconsin are my two choices to win this tournament. The Selection Show is Sunday and then bracket mania busts out and filling in brackets becomes the craze. I wish you all luck on your brackets and I will break down each bracket next week.
Roll the dice, everyone
The NCAA Tournament will kick off legalized sports gambling in Michigan. The three casinos in Detroit will be open for action on Wednesday at 1 p.m. The online gambling in the State of Michigan will not happen until the year 2021 so you will have to drive down to place your wagers. Here is a numb jaw-dropping figure to swallow. Between brackets and wagering, the NCAA Tournament is a staggering $8.5 billion! I say WOW to that number! I will be curious to see the handle done by the casinos over the next four weeks.
More bad news for horse racing
The horse racing industry hit the news on Monday and none of the news was good. The FBI brought charges against 27 people in the horse racing industry. The two high-profile trainers involved were Jason Servis and Jorge Navorro, both charged with using performance enhancing drugs and pain killers in horses. The performance enhancer was SGF-100, which could not be found in the testing process. The performance enhancer makes horses run faster, however it also hard on the horses’ heart and overall health. The pain killers block pain while they run, which can lead to leg fractures and other problems. The bottom line is that the horse racing industry is trying to clean up the sport and it’s been a long time coming. The health of the animal is by far the most important part of horse racing. The fact that two bad guys are involved should not reflect upon the trainers who do play by the rules. The horse Maximum Security, who was trained by Jason Servis, will now be trained by Bob Baffert.
Hold the phone!
What?? The Detroit Red Wings won two hockey games in a row?! The Red Wings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning. How bad are the Red Wings? The Wings have 39 points and the nextworst point total is 62 points? Let that sink in for a second. I can honestly say I have watched the least amount of Red Wings’ hockey this year than I have in the last three decades! Oh and the Detroit Pistons are un-watchable, too!! My, oh my, they are awful. The winter has been a struggle for both teams and their fans. The Tigers offer us no hope this summer, either! firstname.lastname@example.org