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Sports Talk

By Nicholas Link
On February 25, 2019

 

Hi, my name is Nick Link and I am an avid sports fan who loves to watch, play and commentate on sports for fun and knows a good game or play when I see it. Growing up, I always loved playing and talking about anything sports related. I was never a great athlete, but If you wanted to talk about or watch sports, I was the guy to see. Sports talk is going to be a blog talking about anything sports related and giving my honest opinion on the sporting event or news.


Posted April 19, 2019

Disclaimer: I am a Detroit Tigers fan so I am just giving my opinion on Tigers.

Baseball is back!

                Hope everyone had a nice winter and stayed warm. Fear no more, baseball is back, and the warmer weather is on its way. Although every year mother nature wants to remind us during spring training games in March and regular season games in April and May that it can still get cold. With all that being said, I will give some of my early season predictions. Even though we are only two weeks into a long 162 game regular season schedule, I am going try my best in my predictions. I will also tell you what I am most excited and not excited in the Detroit Tigers this year.

                In my first early predictions, I am going to try and predict the division winners in both the AL and NL leagues. In the AL East, I think Tampa Bays wins the division because they have some of the best pitching in the American League with Blake Snell and they have some good hitting too. The one thing that concerns me with Tampa Bay is that they do have some good hitters, but do they have enough, in past years they have had good pitching but have struggled with the bats. I think that you still have to watch out for injury-riddled New York Yankees and the defending Boston Red Sox’s. If the Yankees get healthy and Boston ever figures out there pitching, both those teams are going to be dangerous because they can score a lot of runs, I think Boston and New York can overtake Tampa Bay only if they get healthy enough and get more quality starts from there starters. In the American League Central, I think it is Cleveland’s division to lose still. Although, Cleveland has lost some pitching this year either because of free agency or injury. Andrew Miller left Cleveland in free agency this year and Clevenger and Carrasco are already hurt. Cleveland still has the inside track because even though they lost Edwin Encarnacion, they still have a good but not great offense. Another reason I think Cleveland still has a good chance to win the division is that only the Twins and Tigers have caught up to Cleveland.  The White sox’s look improved but still don’t look like a playoff contender, and Kansas City looks awful and has done nothing to improve a from last year 90+ loss season. In the American League West Seattle has been a little bit of a surprise by being on top of AL West at 13-5 two games over defending AL West Houston Astros. It a little bit of a surprise that Seattle is off to a hot offensive start that includes over 25 home runs as a team just 18 games into the season.  It will be interesting to see if Seattle can keep up the amazingly hot start or will they cool off. If I had to make a prediction about the AL West, I would say Seattle is going to cool off a little bit but are still going to score runs and get lots and lots of home runs, but I still think Houston will win the AL West because they got more hitting and pitching, plus Houston has the experience of winning the West last year.

                In the National League East, I think the Philadelphia Phillies are the favorite. The Phillies just picked up Bryce Harper and I think they are going to have a dangerous offense with Harper in the lineup. The one concern I would have for the Phillies is the same as last year, and that is the pitching. Will the pitching hold up? Last year Philadelphia had a strong first half, but in the second half, the pitching fell off the map. I think that if the Phillies get consistent pitching they will have a good chance of winning the division. The New York Mets are the favorite in if you look at just pitching with DeGrom and Syndergaard, my one concern with the Mets is do they have enough hitting. Last year the Mets had some good pitching and got off to a good start just like this year, but can they hit is the question, last year the New York Mets had a lot of low scoring games where they had good pitching but only scored 1-3 runs. Watch out for the Atlanta Braves because even though they are still young, the Braves won The NL East last year and have a lot of the same people back. In the NL Central, I see the Milwaukee Brewers as the favorites with the St Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs right in the mix. San Diego Padres are off to an 11-8 start thanks to some good pitching and good hitting. Even though the Padres have Manny Machado, I don’t see them winning the NL West, but I do see the Padres being contenders this year. In the end, I still see the defending NL West champions Los Angeles Dodgers as the favorites out of the West division. The Dodgers still have plenty of offense even without Machado. The one concern I have for the Dodgers is do they have enough pitching in case Kershaw going down? Kershaw is good when he is pitching but he has been prone to injury, so I think watching how Kershaw is throwing and moving is something to keep an eye on this season.

It is going to be a long season, but it should be an interesting one. One of the many things to watch is the 2019 MLB all-star game in Cleveland, Ohio home of the Cleveland Indians. With the game in Cleveland this year it is a perfect chance to see some of the best players up close, with only a 2-hour drive. Another thing to watch is the defending champions, the Boston Red Sox’s have struggled out of the gate with a record of 6-13. Boston also just got swept by an injury-riddled New York Yankees, which is not a good sign. Can the Dodgers get back to the World Series and win it all this year? In 2 straight years, the Dodgers have lost in the World Series, 2017 to the Astros, and 2018 to the Boston Red Sox’s. with Justin Verlander signing a big 2-year $66 million deal, will he be able to help the Astros get back to the World Series and win his 2nd ring with the team? Look out for Seattle to be contenders this year, with a new roster that includes many new faces led by outfielder Jay Bruce and first baseman Carlos Santana. The Mariners also got a new hitting coach in Edgar Martinez who was a great designated hitter for the team in the 90s. The Cubs have gotten off to slow 8-9 start, but I would not count them out with players like Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant, Jason Heyward, and Jon Lester. Cubs just have too many good players not to contend with the Cardinals and Brewers this year. I am excited about the 2019 MLB season, even if my Detroit Tigers are not supposed to be any good this year. My hope for the tigers is that the young players in Detroit continue to improve, which means laying off bad pitches for hitters, and the young pitchers getting better control of pitches and getting quality outings. For the Minors, I hope young players like Daz Cameron, Casey Mize, and Matt Manning continue to get better and come to the Major Leagues in a couple of years. If I had to make an early World Series and winner, I think in this year Houston Astros hosting 2019 World Series game 1 against the Philadelphia Phillies, with Houston winning the World Series for the second time in 3 years. Have a great time watching baseball all summer into the fall everyone!


Posted April 11, 2019

March Madness and college basketball is over

Virginia player Kyle Guy.

     What a tournament this year’s edition was. Virginia was crowned the 2019 men’s National tournament champions as they beat Texas Tech 85 to 77 in overtime. The road was far from easy for the men’s basketball National champion Virginia Cavaliers, as the Cavaliers almost lost as a 1 seed losing to a 16 seed for the 2nd straight year. Gardner-Webb had a 30-16 lead over Virginia before the Cavaliers went on a 14-6 run to close the half, with Gardner-Webb up 36-30 at Halftime. Virginia feeling better but not great about being down 6 at the break, went on a 25-5 to open the second half went on to cruise down 69-67to 71-56 win over 16 seed Gardner-Webb. Virginia got a little bit of a break as they beat 9 seed Oklahoma 63-51 in the second round.  It was anything but a breeze to the title for Virginia after the first weekend, Virginia after being up by 8 at halftime held on to beat 12 seed Oregon 53-49 in the Sweet 16. It was all sweating bullets and praying for some clutch shots in the last 3 games. First, up for Virginia was Purdue in the Elite 8, Early on it tightly contested game in which Virginia held a 30-29 halftime advantage. Virginia extended the lead in the first part of the second half to an 8-point lead. Purdue, however, had other plans and came back to take a 69-67 lead and a chance to ice the game, but Purdue only hit 1 of 2 free with 17 seconds left in the game. Virginia had one last chance to tie the game with a 3 pointer, but Purdue fouled a Virginia player with 5 seconds left. Virginia made the first free throw but missed the second intentionally, so they would have the chance to tie the game with a two or win it with a 3. Virginia got the tip but had to make a great pass, and a clutch mid-range jumper to force overtime. The overtime period was back and forth before Virginia pulled out and beat Purdue in overtime 80-75. In the final four Virginia again held a slight lead at halftime, this time a 31-28 advantage over Auburn. In the second half, Auburn kept the game kept the game within 5 points for the first 10 minutes of the second. That’s when Virginia got some help from two Ty Jerome 3 pointers, a Ty Jerome and De’Andre Hunter layups to pull ahead 57-47 with 6 minutes left. Auburn would not go down quietly, with a made free throw, 2 Bryce Brown 3 pointers, Damke; Purifoy jumper and a Bryce Brown 3 pointer to get Auburn a 59-57 advantage with 1 minute and 57 seconds left. Auburn would take a 4-point lead with 17 seconds left however, Virginia’s Kyle Guy came up clutch and hit a tough 3 to make it 61-60 Auburn with 9 seconds left. Auburn would hit 1 of two free throws to make it 62-60 with 7 seconds left. After Auburn gave up 2 fouls to give Virginia had 1.5 seconds for a miracle. Auburn would have won the game as Virginia missed a 3 pointer at the buzzer, but the Auburn defender guarding the Virginia player was in the landing area of the shooter and hit his leg. Virginia got 3 free attempts Kyle guy who hit the clutch 3 to make it 61-60 hit all 3 free throws to win the game, with those 3 free throws Virginia beat 5 seed Auburn 63-62 and have a chance to win the schools first men’s basketball title. In the National title game, it was 1 seed Virginia against 3 seed Texas Tech in what turned out to be an outstanding game. Early on Virginia held a slim 32-29 lead over Texas Tech in what was a good defensive battle. In the second half, Virginia tried two take over as their largest lead was a 42-33 lead with 14:59 left. However, Texas Tech started to chip away at the Virginia lead with 5 minutes left and tied the game at 61-61 with 2:38 left. Texas Tech would take a 68-65 lead with 22 seconds thanks to a layup by Jarrett Culver and two free throws from Norense Odiase. Virginia would not back down, De’Andre Hunter came through with a 3 pointer and tie the game at 68-68 with 12 seconds left. Texas Tech had one last chance, but Virginia had a key block as the buzzer sounded. In overtime Virginia pulled ahead in the last minute of the game to beat Texas Tech Overall, it was a really good tournament to watch with some upsets but also a lot of chalk. all 4 1 seeds advanced to the sweet 16. In this year's tournament, there were two 12 seeds that advanced to the second round, with one advancing to the Sweet 16. although we had 12 seed in the Sweet 16 and the 4 one seeds, the highest remaining seed other than 1,2 or 3 was 5 seed Auburn. In the Elite 8, there were 3 one seeds in Virginia, Gonzaga, and Duke along with 2 seeds Kentucky and Michigan State, 3 seed Texas Tech and 5 seed Auburn. After a couple of upsets which included Auburn over Kentucky and Texas Tech, there was 1 seed Virginia vs 5 seed Auburn and Texas Tech and Michigan State in the final four.yes it might have been chalk for most of the tournament but it was far from easy for some teams, especially for 2019 Men's national champions Virginia Cavaliers. 


Posted March 25, 2019

Happy March Madness!

                Welcome to one of the greatest times of the year in my opinion, March Madness! The NCAA tournament is underway with people calling in sick, and trying out any excuse in order to watch the tournament. Some people who can’t call sick, might be watching the NCAA tournament on the phone at school or work. College basketball fans are also staying up late to see how their picks are going. The NCAA tournament is one of the greatest three weeks of the year, because as the nicknames says anything can happen including Madness. Fans want to see the upsets, unless it is their team getting upset. People love March Madness because they can try to predict who is going to win each game, and then follow the games by themselves or with other people at a bar. Another reason March madness is one of the best times of the year is you don’t need to be a sports fan to fill out a bracket or watch the games. Some of the best brackets have come from people who don’t know sports. Even if you know sports, there is still no guarantee that you will be good at predicting who will win and who will lose. I like to think of myself as a person who knows a good amount of basketball knowledge. But I will admit I don’t always predict the right teams to win or have the best bracket record. In 2013, I won the Monroe evening News Bracket Challenge when Louisville beat Michigan in the finals, which was bittersweet because Michigan lost. Then there were other years where I was an overthinker and had a bad bracket, because I was trying to pick too many upsets. Other years where I thought there would be more upsets but turned out to be more of chalk year (Meaning the higher seeds won that year).  Then there are other years, where that one team makes a run nobody saw coming. 11 and 12 seeds are tricky to pick, because will they upset the 5 or 6 seed and make a big run or be one and done.

What I am saying is anything can happen. Sure, most years the 1,2,3 or maybe 4 seeds will win the tournament. But that is not to say that high seeds such as 11 or 12 seeds can go deep into the tournament. Since 2001 there have been 6 11 seeds to make it to the Elite 8. Temple 2001, George Mason 2006, Virginia Commonwealth (VCU) 2011, Dayton 2014, Loyola-Chicago 2018.  LSU 1986, and Loyola Marymount in 1990 also made the elite 8. Only one team 12 seed had made it to the elite 8 and that was in 2002, when Missouri beat 5 seed Miami, 4 seed Ohio State, and 8 seed UCLA before losing to 2 seed West Virginia in the VCU 2011, Loyola-Chicago 2018. If you are were wondering who the highest seed to make it to the Championship game and win, it was #8 seed Villanova in 1985 beat #1 seed Georgetown 66-64. What’s the point in telling you about how 11,12 or the highest seed to win the tournament? It’s anything can happen in the tournament. No matter how high or how low you are seeded, there is a chance you can win. For the first time in 1 vs 16, a 16 seed in UMBC beat #1 seed, Virginia, last year. Michigan who was a #4 seed in 2012 lost to #13 seed Ohio 65-60. In 2016 # 2 Michigan State lost to #15 seed Middle Tennessee State (MTSU) 90-81.

Looking at this year’s bracket after the first weekend, which was mostly chalk except for #12 seed Oregon and #5 seed Auburn. I think that North Carolina and Duke are the favorites in the NCAA tournament. Duke, when they are at full strength, are a dangerous team with Zion Williamson RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish only have 1 loss which came to another #1 seed, Gonzaga. There are some concerns with Duke though. Duke is one of those teams that like to run and score on fast breaks. If you put Duke in a slow-paced game and make them their half-court offense they struggle at times to score and you have a chance to win. UCF did a great job staying in the game, and only had 8 turnovers. UCF also hit some big shots while not letting Duke run the court, and nearly pulled off a massive upset if it was not for one good shot and a great shot missing at the end, However, if you turn the ball over a lot or want to play a high paced game, you are playing right into the hands of Duke. Duke will have their hands full with Virginia Tech who beat Duke 77-72 on February 26, 2019. It will be interesting to see both teams at full strength, as Duke was without Zion Williamson and Virginia Tech was without Justin Robinson.  North Carolina is another team to watch as they beat Duke twice without Zion. North Carolina also beat a good against Washington Huskies team yesterday by a score of 81-59 to reach the sweet 16. A couple of other teams I would watch out for is Gonzaga who beat Duke earlier this season, and have looked to bounce back from a loss to Saint Mary’s in the WCC tournament by winning their first two games Thursday and Friday by double digits. Michigan State is a dangerous team if they stop turning the ball over and get more scoring from Nick Ward and Cessions Winston. Michigan State had 20 turnovers in a 70-51 win over Minnesota. However, Michigan State cannot afford to turn the ball over against Duke in the Elite 8 if both win in the Sweet 16. Michigan is an interesting team, even though they have not looked as good offensively, their Defense has been just as good as last years team that made it to the finals before losing to Villanova. Michigan in their two games this past weekend did not give up 60 points, they beat Montana 74-55 and Florida 64-49. I know both teams Michigan have played are not great, but Michigan shut down a good three-point shooting team in Montana and shut down Florida from deep after allowing 6 three-pointers in the first half. Michigan will face a tougher offensive opponent in Buffalo or Texas Tech. Other teams I don’t think are going to win are LSU, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia. There are some good games on Deck this Thursday and Friday. A couple of interesting games to watch out for on Thursday are LSU-Michigan State, a possible ACC matchup in Duke-Virginia Tech and Michigan-Texas Tech. Happy basketball watching, and good luck in your bracket picking!


Posted March 13, 2019

Erie Mason making history, Lions making big moves.

As the announcers say in horse racing, they are coming down the home stretch in high school basketball. The games are fewer, but while some schools are thinking about the spring sports schedule. Other schools are still dreaming of cutting down the nets, at the Breslin Center home of the Michigan State Spartans. One of the many teams eliminated was my Alma mater school the Summerfield Bulldogs. The Bulldogs put up a good battle but, in the end, lost to Erie Mason in the district finals 56-46. Summerfield finished off an amazing year with a record of 19-3, a 14-0 TCC crown, and a year full of packed crowds at home cheering and supporting the Bulldogs. Erie Mason, on the other hand, continues to roll. After Mason beat Summerfield in districts, they hit the road for a Regional semifinal at Whitmore Lake as they played River View Gabriel Richard. Both teams got off to a slow start as Erie Mason lead 12-11 after the 1st quarter. Erie Mason pulled ahead 25-13 lead just before halftime, then Gabriel Richard went on a 6-0 run to make it 25-19 Mason leading at halftime. Mason and Gabriel Richard kept battling it out in the second half, but Erie Mason pulled away in the 4th quarter and beat Gabriel Richard 47-36. Mason came back on Thursday night at the same court, to take on Detroit Loyola in the regional finals. Early it was a close batter in which neither team took control. Loyola, took a 1-point lead into halftime and a 4-point lead after 3 quarters. Erie Mason finally took control in the fourth quarter and beat Detroit Loyola in the Regional semifinals 59-53. This was Erie Mason’s second regional title, and first Regional title since 1973. Erie Mason had the biggest game of their history yesterday, as they took on Hanover-Horton in the Quarterfinals yesterday at Tecumseh. If Mason won against Horton they could make History, as Mason Consolidated schools have never made it past Quarterfinals. In the early going things were not going great for Mason, as they trailed Hanover-Horton 17-11. Things could have been a lot worse for Erie Mason if it wasn’t for Joey Lindel who scored all 11 his team. The second quarter was much as Mason ended the first half on a 9-0 run, which gave Erie Mason a 27-26 lead at halftime. The Eagles again went on run to end the third quarter, this time on a 6-0 run to even the score at 34-34 at the end of the third quarter. Hanover-Horton for a short took a 47-45 lead, but Erie Mason controlled the rest of the 4th quarter and won 55-48. Erie Mason plays Pewamo-Westphalia, 26-0 on Thursday afternoon at 2 pm at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.

        In NFL news, the free agency negotiating period began at 12 AM on March 11th  and runs through March 13th. Many free agents signed on the first day. Unrestricted free agents can officially sign with teams at 4 PM on March 13. The Detroit Lions were busy during and before the first day of free agency, over the weekend the Lions cut TJ Lang, Nevin Lawson which saved $13.5 million dollars. Over a month ago on February 15 the Lions also cut Glover Quin which freed up another $6.25 million. On the first day of free agency, The Detroit Lions did not let the freed-up money sit for too long. The Detroit Lions improved in a few areas, as they signed veteran 33-year old wide receiver Danny Amendola to a 1-year $5.75 million deal. Amendola, who got released from the Miami Dolphins, fills the slot receiver hole after the Lions traded Golden Tate to the Eagles last year for a 3rd round pick. In addition to singing Amendola, the Detroit Lions also signed Defensive end Trey flowers to a 5-year deal for at least $16 million a year, and Justin Coleman to a 4-year $36 million making Coleman the richest nickel cornerback. Lions also picked also got Tight end, Jesse James. While James was not the main threat last year for the Pittsburgh Steelers he is still a reliable option with good hands as he has 120 catches for 1,189 in 4 seasons with the Steelers. James is also a good blocker which you need in a tight when he is not running a route. I like all this deal for similar reasons. The signing of 25-year old DE Trey flowers makes the D-line stronger, it also acts as a security blanket in case free agent Ezekiel Ansah who was injured for much of last year doesn’t resign with the Lions. 26-year old Justin Coleman is a shutdown cornerback who can tackle, force turnovers, and get to the quarterback. Coleman in my option is an upgrade from Glover Quin. While Quinn was a good defender got beat many times on routes and did not get to the quarterback enough. Jessie James immediately improves the TE position that was okay but not great, that was led by Luke Wilson, and Levine Toilolo. With all these moves in mind, I still can’t tell you for sure if the Lions will be a better team in 2019 than 2018. Because if NFL fans have learned if the season not decided by who made the biggest moves in the offseason, there would be not any reason to play the regular season. Teams can spend all this money on good players, but if the players don’t perform or don’t fit with the team, the team will still not be good. Another key factor in the NFL is you got to have a good core of players that fit the system. With all that, I think the Lions should be improved from last year’s 5-11 record. I think right now I will give a conservative 8-8 2019 record, but it is a long offseason in the NFL with the NFL draft in April and training camp not until July.

The Detroit Lions made some big moves, but they did not make the biggest headline move of the offseason. The Pittsburgh Steelers traded Antonio Brown (AB) to the Oakland Raiders. Antonio Brown or now as he wants to be called Mr. Big chest, and in return the Steelers got a 3rd and 5th round pick from the Raiders. However, even though Antonio Brown getting traded to Oakland was big news, Odell Beckham Jr traded to the Browns was a bigger move. The Odell Beckham trade was huge for Cleveland, because they now get a young and talented wide receiver who can make an immediate impact. It also helps Cleveland because they give second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield another target to throw to, in addition to Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, and Antonio Galloway. The New York Giants, in return, got a 1st round and a 3rd round pick, and Jabrill Peppers from the Cleveland Browns. This trade between the Giants and Browns, seems to favor the Browns in the short term, because they get an all-pro wide receiver with tremendous hands and production. However, the Giants if they draft well and develop their 1st and 3rd round picks, could come away with two good players in place of Odell. In addition to the picks, the Giants also got a young and promising 2nd year player in Jabrill Peppers who has shown he can play. Peppers has shown he can play multiple positions, if the Giants can develop Peppers more, I think the Giants can win the trade in the longer term. Overall there has been a lot of big moves, but there plenty more big moves coming up as unrestricted free agency is only just begging today. Happy NFL offseason watching everyone!


Posted February 21, 2019 

 Michigan and Ohio Basketball update.

This Photo was taken at Summerfield High School, shown here is the Summerfield Bulldogs with the TCC Trophy and championship t-shirts.

Michigan basketball took on Maryland last Saturday, looking to bounce back after a tough loss at Penn State 75-69. Michigan Came out on fire as they forced Maryland Terps to turn the ball over and take an early 16-4 lead. Maryland after turning the ball over, calmed down and was only down 27-18 at the half. The Terps kept Michigan within striking distance, as Michigan had a 6-8 lead the first part of the second half. With the Terps down 42-34, they went on a 5-0 run to make it 42-39 with 10:26 left in the game. Maryland had a chance to tie the game at 42 with a 3 pointer but the ball rimmed off. Michigan then went on its own 5-0 run to the lead back to 8. Michigan, then started to push away and got much needed 65-52 win at home against Maryland. Michigan improves to 12-3, and tied with Michigan State, while Maryland falls behind in the Big Ten race at 10-5. Michigan went 1-1 last week did. Michigan, however, does not get a week off, as they have 2 more tough games this past week. Michigan passed the first test, winning at Minnesota Thursday night 69-60, in a game that was never as close as the final score. The Wolverines, then played in State rivals Michigan State at home Sunday afternoon. Coming into the game, it looked as if Michigan would have the advantage in the game yesterday. Michigan State was without their leading scorer Nick Ward 15.1 points per game and third-leading rebounder at 6.7 rebounds. Nick Ward, who broke his left hand in a game against Ohio State this last Sunday. Ward is expected to be out for a few weeks, as he had surgery on the left hand Monday. Michigan State is already without their third-leading scorer in Joshua Langford since December, who had season-ending surgery to fix his broken left foot. Even with the two injuries, I expected it will be a hard fought game, and a close one between the two in-state rivals. I was not wrong, as Michigan and Michigan State went back and forth in a first half that saw a lead no bigger than 7 points. State led 39-37 at halftime, in a first half that saw the Spartans up by 5 and 7 only to see Michigan take the lead or tie the game. In the start of the second half, it looked as though Michigan might pull ahead for good, as they led 51-45 going into the 16 under timeout. However, State started to lock down on Michigan, and went on 21-7 run and led 66-58 going into the 4 and under timeout. #10Michigan State ended up winning 77-70, and upsetting #7 Michigan on their home court, it was also the first home loss of the year for them. With the Michigan loss, Michigan State is now 14-3 in Big Ten, and one- half game ahead of Purdue 13-3, and 1 game lead over Michigan, 13-4. Michigan and Michigan State meet one more time in the regular season on March 9, this time in East Lansing home of the Spartans.

In Mid-American news, Toledo took on 25th ranked buffalo at home, the early returns looked pretty well as they built a 10-0 lead. The Bulls had other plans, as they slowly fought back and only trailed the Rockets 39-36 at halftime. Toledo maintained a slight lead for the first 7 minutes, but Buffalo took a slight lead for the rest of the second half. Buffalo ended up with an 88-82 win. Buffalo is now 23-3 overall and 11-2 in the MAC East. Buffalo holds a game lead over Bowling Green for first place, after Buffalo beat Kent State 80-57 and Ohio beat Bowling Green 92-87 in overtime. Toledo is now 20-6 overall and 9-5 in the MAC West. Toledo holds a 1 game lead over Central Michigan, 8-6. Toledo is at Ball State, while Central Michigan plays at Eastern Michigan at 7 pm both games are on ESPN+ at 7 pm Tuesday. 

 The Summerfield Bulldogs tune-up game against Erie Mason was originally postponed Tuesday morning. However, the two teams rescheduled the game the next day. Erie Mason 14-2 hit Summerfield early and led 27-15 at halftime. Erie Mason went on to win 64-44, and hand Summerfield 15-1 its first loss of the year.  Erie Mason kept its winning ways going as they beat Onsted 80 59 to improve to 15-2 overall and 12-1 in league play and capture the league championship. Summerfield had little time to dwell on their first loss as they had to get ready for rival Whiteford and a chance of a share of a TCC crown with a win. If Summerfield was down from its first loss of the season it didn’t show, as they got off to an 8-0 in a game that was never close. Summerfield, led 23-10 after the first period and 29-11 at the half. The Bulldogs wound up beating the Bobcats 57-29 to clinch a share of the TCC championship. Summerfield can win the League outright if they win 1 of 2 make-up games scheduled this week. First up, the Bulldogs played at the Sand Creek Aggies at 7 pm Monday night. Summerfield was hot from the start, as they jumped on top 25-2 in the first quarter, and 47-11 lead at halftime over the Aggies. They rode the great first half to improve to 17-1 and 13-0 in the TCC, and clinch the outright TCC championship. They continued the winning play at home against Morenci Tuesday night. The Summerfield Bulldogs jumped out to a 16-7 lead over the Morenci Bulldogs, and easily won the game 48-25. With the win, they improved to 18-1 and 14-0 in the TCC, and it was the Forth TCC title in school history, the first since they shared in 2012. I also learned after the game, that it was the first time Summerfield won the league and went undefeated in the TCC. They had one more tune-up game, Thursday night home against Blissfield.  Summerfield dug themselves a 21-9 first-quarter deficit, and could never recover as Blissfield (11-8) won 72-59. Districts, which are at Blissfield this year, start for (18-2) Summerfield on February 27th at 7 pm, they play the winner of Saint Mary Catholic Central and Blissfield, that game is set for February 25th at 7 pm.

In NBA news, The Pistons are 28-30 and in 3rd place in the East Central division. The Pistons have not played since February 13th, and got a much-needed break, as this past weekend was full of all-star festivities in Charlotte. The Pistons have looked refreshed after the all-star break, as they have won back to back game. First, they beat the Atlanta Hawks on the road 125-122, thanks to new Pistons forward Thon Maker’s game-winning three-pointers with 17.1 seconds left in the game. They then went to the road again, to take on the Miami Heat. The Heat started the game on fire leading ahead 29-20 after the first quarter. The Pistons, however, took control in the second quarter outscoring the Heat 34-17, and took a 64-56 lead at halftime. The third quarter was tied between the two teams at 30-30, but the Pistons took control of the game with a 35-20 advantage. The Pistons went on to win 119-96, and are now 28-30 and now in 7th place, and are a half game above the Charlotte Hornets, who are 28-31 for 8th place. The Pistons 28-30, are home tonight against the Indiana Pacers who are 40-20. it should be interesting to see how the Pistons do against the Pacers in the second of 4 meetings between the teams. In the first meeting on December 28, the Pacers won on their home court 125-88.


Posted February 18, 2019

Basketball news

Image result for crisler arena

    Tired of hearing about how boring and terrible the Super Bowl or halftime show was? Well, I have some good news for you, there is plenty of high school, college or pro basketball to catch up on if you were focused only on the NFL playoffs. Here are some things to watch as high school, college and pros are in the home stretch of conference play and making their roster and resumes stronger for postseason play. 

   Don’t want to travel far. Well, the good news is there are plenty of good teams and races in Monroe County, Ann Arbor, Detroit and even in Northwest Ohio. Monroe County basketball teams have some good teams who are in some tight League races. In the Tri-County Conference (TCC), the Summerfield Bulldogs control their own fate. They are 15-0 overall and 11-0 in the TCC after beating Adrian Madison 56-40 on Tuesday, thanks to Joel Breeding and Brandon Defoe, and Whitmore Lake, 64-37, led by Joel Breeding, who scored a career-high 32 points Thursday night. Summerfield holds a one-and-one-half game lead in the TCC over Adrian Madison, 10-2. Summerfield then beat Clinton 74-55, thanks to a 17-0 start that rocketed Summerfield to another easy win. Next game for Summerfield is home against Whiteford Friday, as their game with Erie Mason was postponed due to ice.  It would have been a very interesting and good non-league matchup for both schools, who are riding in hot. No makeup date has been announced. Whiteford at Summerfield should be interesting despite Whiteford being 6-10 and Summerfield 15-0 because of the rivalry. Whiteford and Summerfield are two small class C schools only separated by 10 miles on US-23, which means a lot of people from both schools know each other. It is also one of the most intense rivalries, as both sides play hard and both fans pack the bleachers, no matter the sport, which makes it super loud.

   In Lenawee County Athletic Association basketball news, Erie Mason is 10-1 and the leader of the LCAA over Onsted, which is 7-4, and Brooklyn Columbia Central, 7-5.  Erie Mason, if they can win Friday, clinches the LCAA for the first time in a while. Saint Mary Catholic Central Falcons have lost 2 games in a row to the Flat Rock Rams and Grosse Ile. With the losing streak, the Falcons are now tied with the Rams for first place in the Huron League. Gibraltar Carlson, 7-1, is just a half game behind Woodhaven in the Downriver League.

    In college ranks, Michigan, Michigan State, Central Michigan are in some tight races. Michigan and Michigan State are tied for first in the Big Ten at 11-3, and both have a half-game lead over Purdue, 10-3. Maryland is third, 10-4. Michigan is looking to bounce back in their first of 2 season meetings vs Maryland, the first meeting a home game Saturday at noon on FOX. Michigan played awful in a terrible loss 75-69 to 2-11 Penn State, a game that saw Michigan Coach John Beilein get ejected for the first time in his Michigan tenure. It was his first ejection since the 70s when he was in his mid-20s, and coach of Erie Community College (NY). Michigan State got a big road win at Wisconsin 67-59 to get even with Michigan last night. MSU looks to stay hot in a home game against Ohio State Sunday 1 pm on CBS. Last time MSU and OSU played Michigan State won in Columbus 86-77, it was tightly contested game until the Spartans took over the last 4 minutes.

     In the Mid American Conference Toledo is having another good year and is in first place in the MAC at 8-3 coming off a big rivalry win 78-73 against Bowling Green in the battle of I-75. Toledo holds a 2 and one half game lead over Central Michigan, 5-5. Central Michigan is coming off a loss to Buffalo 90-76. Buffalo is now tied for first place with Bowling Green in the MAC East after Bowling Green lost to Toledo. Buffalo and Toledo are on for a big game for the two MAC leaders this Friday at the Savage arena this Friday at 7 pm on ESPNU. Toledo is looking for some revenge against Buffalo at home after they lost 110-80 in a game that was a blow out from the start. Toledo has all week to practice and prepare for the game as they do not have a game until Friday night. Buffalo, on the other hand, does not have as much time to prepare as they have a tough road game at Akron who is 6-4 in the MAC West division.

     The Detroit Pistons, for as bad as they have been playing since a 13-7 start are 26-29, and hold a one-game lead for the 8th seed over Miami, 25-30. The Pistons have some tough games coming up mixed in with some winnable games. The Pistons go on the road at Boston tonight then go on the road at Atlanta, Miami, and Indiana.  Miami does not have a much easier schedule though they play at Denver, Dallas and at Philadelphia before hosting the Pistons.  It should be an interesting race who can get the last slot and possibly play either the Bucks or Raptors. Stay warm and happy basketball watching!

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