A Q&A Six-Pack of Thoughts

On Saturday, the answer to one of life’s great questions was revealed…dogs (UConn’s Huskies) are better than cats (Kentucky’s Wildcats).  OK, so that’s a bit hokey.  Or a lot hokey.  But it’s as good an explanation as any for why things happen in the sports world.  And it wasn’t the only mystery solved.   

1.      When is an underdog not an underdog?  When it’s a bulldog!  Butler is back in the championship game and this time nobody should be surprised by the Horizon League champions.  Of course, the real question is whether they will become the first non-power conference team since UNLV in 1990 to win it all or the first since Michigan’s Fab Five in ’92 and ’93 to lose back-to-back title games.  Here’s hoping it’s the former and it ends with a happier documentary than the latter.   

Matt Howard and Butler hope to complete the journey against UConn Monday

2.     How was your weekend?  If you’re a fan of UConn Huskies hoops, it depends on which gender you favor.  The men held off Kentucky on Saturday and are now just a win away from their third title in 13 years.  But the women were upset by Notre Dame on Sunday and had their hopes of a third consecutive title dashed.  At least women’s coach Geno Auriemma won’t have to complain about the fans being spoiled anymore.  

3.     Carmelo who? Sometimes all it takes to bring a team together is trading away its supposed superstar.  Denver was 6-7 in its final 13 games before shipping Anthony off to the Knicks.  Since then, the Nuggets are 15-4, have won six straight and beat the Spurs and Lakers in the past 10 days.  Can you say addition by subtraction? (OK, that last one is rhetorical)    

Nelson Cruz and the Rangers din't lie down for the Red Sox this weekend

4.     Remember us? All the talk this offseason was about how the Red Sox added Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez and were going to beat the Yankees and represent the American League in the World Series.  Obviously, somebody forgot to tell the Texas Rangers.  All the defending AL champs did was sweep Boston to start the year, outscoring them 26-11, as Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz became the first teammates in history to homer in each of their first three games.

5.     Will he pull a Phil?  Coming off a spectacular weekend to win the Houston Open, Mickelson is the favorite headed into The Masters.  Not only does he have momentum, he has history on his side, having won at Augusta last year and three of the last seven green jackets.  So why do I expect he’ll be leading Sunday and do something spectacularly stupid?  He has history on his side for that as well!  

6.     Want somebody to root for in sports?  We already knew Ryo Ishikawa was an outstanding golfer.  No we’re finding out he’s an even better person.  Only 19 years of age, the Japanese star announced he’s donating all of his tournament winnings this year, as well as $1,200 for each birdie he makes, to the victims of the recent tsunami.  If he plays as well as he has the last couple of years, that will total more than $2 million.  Consider me a big fan! 


Jake Stevens is the senior columnist for INSIDE SPORTS. Look for his Six-Pack every Monday right here and also look for future gust appearances from Jake on our show as well.

Feel free to leave comments about what Jake has or has not chosen to write about this week. Did he get it right, or is way off base? Let us know!

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