Posted 03/31/2009 at 04:48 PM
March Madness is nearing a close and once again it was a very chalk heavy tournament in terms of the high seeds moving on in the Big Dance. All of the #1, #2, and #3 seeds advancedto the sweet 16 and even the upsets that looked like upsets in terms of seeding, were not major upsets. Cleveland State was a dangerous team and only a modest underdog against Wake Forest and none of the 12/5 upsets had spreads greater than four. Missouri's win over Memphis might qualify as the biggest upset of the tournament. Credit the selection committee for putting together a great bracket, something that is getting easier to do in this day and age as there is much more exposure for the smaller conferences.
Conspiracy theorists may have cried foul on Michigan State's win over Louisville knowing that ticket sales will get a huge boost with the Spartans playing in Detroit. MSU dominated that game thoroughly however and there would be little to point to as evidence as Louisville played a sloppy game and forced awful shots once they got behind. The Kansas game on the other hand featured several questionable calls that helped the Spartans rally from a huge deficit.
Baseball is just around the corner and a popular story has been Curt Schilling's Hall of Fame credentials. Schilling will go down as a postseason legend but his overall numbers don't quite measure up. Schilling will likely get in as the support is strong and like him or not, he was memorable and made a stamp on and off the field.
Kansas City sportswriter Joe Posnanski had an interesting article about Schilling's numbers being frighteningly similar to Kevin Brown's, a pitcher that no one will give serious thought to for the Hall of Fame. Brown had five fewer wins and fewer strikeouts but a significantly lower career ERA. Brown was not a strikeout pitcher but he allowed far fewer home runs and created far more double plays to be just as effective as Schilling. Brown did struggle in his World Series appearances but had glowing numbers in Division Series games and did pick up a ring with Florida in 1997. Obviously there is no set criteria on entry into the Hall, so the less tangible factors will mean that much more.