There is nothing as exciting as the Final Four basketball tournament, one loss and you are done. Duke faced Central Florida, coached by one of Mike Krzyewski’s early All-Americans Johh Dawkins, escaping 77-76. Central missed two shots in the closing seconds that had a chance, but bounced away from what would have wrecked the bracket picks of millions.During the regular season, UCF was third in the lightly regarded American Athletic Conference, and played with more intensity that the Devils, favored by 13-points. Dawkin’s son tallied 32 points, and 7-6 Tacko Fall was a nemesis in the lane - an area Duke’s Zion Williamson normally controls.Prior to the Duke-Central Florida thriller, Tennessee jumped to a 25-point lead over Iowa and since it was the only game on television at the time, viewers were stuck. Luckily, so. The Hawkeyes put on a second half display of offense and defense that sent the into overtime at 71-71. The miracle ended, UT grabbed the lead and an 83-77 victory.Saturday saw Gonzaga’s leaping giant, Brandon Clarke, put on an athletic performance that totally caught spectators and Baylor by surprise. Recognized for his defensive talent, Clarke missed on just six of 18 shot attempts, ending the game with 36-points. five blocks and eight rebounds. The Zags downed Baylor 83-71 and most of those that inserted Duke as the Final Four champion were having second thoughts.The Final Four West field may be the most challenging, a trio of genuine final game threats are still breathing - Gonzaga, Florida State and Michigan. The Seminoles were almost ignored after the Atlantic Coast’s top trio grabbed No. 1 seedings in all but one bracket. With head coach Will Wade suspended for allegedly breaking an NCAA recruiting violation rule, Louisiana State keeps chugging along. A number of analysts figured the disruption would take the Bengals to the showers, quickly. LSU is growing stronger and is an outsider that could go to the actual Final Four.The Big-10 is still winning more than its share, 10-3 after the first full weekend of action. The SEC and ACC each have three teams still competing.The most impressive team this past weekend? Purdue.
Three days until the start of 2019 baseball’s s e a s o n … d i s c o u n t i n g the two games that were played almost a week ago in Japan.Seattle is 2-0, Oakland 0-2 in the American League.Tuesday will be the last day teams will be either in Florida and Arizona as it is time to break camp (leaving warm to mild weather to be greeted by wind, rain and probably some snow or ice).Baseball in the last of March is as risky as as denying there is a climate change gaining strength.The Cubs and Padres had an unusual spring game yesterday, Chicago winning 24-6 as both team used nine pitchers and none lasted more than two innings. In their two innings, both hurlers gave up seven hits and six runs.