Weekend Wrapup

The weekend is nearly over — and Opening Day is finally here.  So let’s take a quick look at what’s happening before we get settled in front of the television for two big days of sports — and my live blog update of Opening Day around the majors coming tomorrow!

— A pair of outstanding games yesterday in the NCAA Final Four.   I thought Connecticut was going to have too much muscle inside for Michigan State, but the Spartans managed to pull out the win with a spirited effort to send them into the title game rematch against North Carolina, which outlasted Villanova in the second game.  The Heels weren’t at their best, but they were just too much for the Wildcats.  Now, North Carolina gets a team in the final that they whomped by 35 points way back in December.  But don’t expect this game to be anything near a repeat of their first matchup.

The Spartans have matured as a team since then, and they’ve saved their best basketball for last, beating two number one seeds and the defending National Champion to get to this point.  In addition, this will for all intents be a home game for Michigan State;  the crowd in Ford Field last night was definitely a factor in their win against the Huskies, and it should be even more of one against the Tar Heels tomorrow.

While I’m definitely impressed with the job coach Tom Izzo’s done with his squad, I’m going to go with my original pick and say that North Carolina wins tomorrow night.  They were the pick of most experts before the season began, and they were my pick when the tournament started to go all the way (and for those of you who remember me talking about my bracket before, I’m going to end up in the top-4 of the group, but all of the guys in front of me went with North Carolina also, so I have no chance to win — stupid Louisville saw to that).  I think tomorrow’s game will be a close one, but I’m going with North Carolina in a game they’ll pull away late in to win.

— Tonight may be the first game of the regular season, but tomorrow is the real Opening Day for me.  Thank God, it’s here — I don’t think I could have waited another week (or done another ESPN fantasy league).  I have one more draft to do tonight (during the game, no less) and then it’s finally time to start the march through another season.

This time of year is truly a favorite of mine.  There’s a sense of optimism on Opening Day that’s hard to match anywhere else, and coupled with the onset of spring and the approach of summer, it’s truly a time of year to feel alive and reborn.  Or at least until your favorite team starts the year with a four-game losing streak.

With bigger fantasy baseball implications in play for me than ever before (I’m in a record-for-me nine leagues), Opening Day is going to be a blast.  So to bring home the excitement, I’m going to be blogging live tomorrow throughout the afternoon as the day unfolds (with an assist from DirecTv and the Extra Innings Package), so don’t forget to check in and feel like you’re actually there as the major league season kicks off!  Until then, enjoy the rest of your weekend and tonight’s Phillies-Braves tilt (while Jimmy Rollins starts earning some of that big money I spent on him pretty much everywhere I drafted!).

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