Everything you need to know heading into the weekend in the world of sports.
Earlier this week, the University of Connecticut completed an improbable run to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. Along the way, they beat some of the top programs and coaches in the country, including Villanova (Jay Wright), Iowa State (Fred Hoiberg), Michigan State (Tom Izzo), Florida (Billy Donovan) and John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats in the National Championship.
Kevin Ollie, head coach of the Huskies, has done a sensational job since taking over for the legendary Jim Calhoun. He got Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright to buy in, and as Adam points out, Ollie deserves a ton of credit for getting seventh-seed UConn to play together as a championship team.
Interview of the Week
Baltimore Orioles CF Adam Jones was in center field when two fans ran onto the field at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. After the game, he went on a tirade regarding that very subject.
Video courtesy on MASN.
On Wednesday, Jones joined Schein on Sports and elaborated on his comments.
Jones is correct that you never know somebody’s intent when they do run on to the field. Most of the time, it’s because a fan had a couple drinks too many, and is egged on by their friends to hop the wall and run around until security chases them down. But we’ve seen some ugly incidents too, both in baseball, and in other sports.
Underrated Story of the Week
Detroit Tigers closer Joe Nathan joined the show on Wednesday, and told Adam that he has been pitching through “dead arm.” Later that night, Nathan blew a save against the Los Angeles Dodgers. It could just be a blip on the radar, as the Dodgers are one of the most talented teams in baseball and Nathan has been one of the best closers in baseball over the last decade, but it’s worth noting that the Tigers have had issues closing out games over the last few years. The Tigers might be fine if they have to go with other options such as Al Alburquerque or Phil Coke short-term while Nathan gets back on track, but this is a story worth keeping an eye on as the MLB season progresses.
GIF of the week
Reds OF Billy Hamilton is fast. Really fast. This is not news. Sometimes his speed does make news when he decides to test an opposing outfielder’s throwing arm.
Nobody should be able to tag up from third and score on a pop-up that barely gets out of the infield. If Hamilton can get on base more consistently, he is going to force his way into the “Most Exciting Player in MLB” discussion.
5 Things to Watch This Weekend
- The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox met each other for the first time in the 2014 season Thursday night, with the Yankees winning 4-1. The game included some controversy as it appeared Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda used pine tar for a better grip. Pitching probables for the three remaining games in the series feature Jon Lester vs. CC Sabathia, John Lackey vs. Hiroki Kuroda and Felix Doubront vs. Ivan Nova on Sunday Night Baseball.
- The Masters tournament is this weekend. As you know by now, Tiger Woods is not in Augusta. If you’re a casual golf fan like Adam Schein, what will it take for you to get into it on Sunday? Do you need to have a big name like Phil Mickelson or Rory McIlroy in the hunt on Sunday to care?
- The Indiana Pacers have two huge games this weekend. On Friday night, they take their talents to South Beach to take on LeBron James and the Miami Heat in what could be a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals. This game has extra meaning, with both teams trying to secure home-court advantage through the Eastern Conference playoffs. If that isn’t enough to get you fired up, the Pacers return home on Sunday to take on MVP candidate Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Indiana has struggled over the last few weeks, but a pair of wins this weekend would go a long way toward getting on the right track with the playoffs around the corner.
- Speaking of playoffs, the NHL regular season comes to an end on Sunday. The Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes will face each Sunday night in the desert with the final playoff spot in the Western Conference up for grabs. Their potential first-round opponent is still to be determined, but anticipate a Schein Nine: NHL Edition when Adam, Nick and I make our Stanley Cup first-round playoff predictions sometime next week.
- If you need to get out of the house this weekend and see a movie, Draft Day hits theaters Friday. I love the NFL Draft. I don’t know if it’s withdrawal from the NFL or me just getting excited to see who the New York Giants are going to take, but the drama that unfolds while watching the NFL Draft is amazing. The trades! Who will have an Aaron Rodgers-esque draft-day slide? How will the New York Jets get their fan base to turn on their first round pick? Who will the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys take, so I know who to despise going forward? I LOVE IT!!! If this movie captures even one tenth of the drama of the NFL Draft, it should be worth going to see.
As always, you can hear our predictions every Friday on the Schein Nine!