Improved ChiSox again title-bound
Well, March is over, and with the start of the baseball season, spring is officially here. In a week filled with much drama and excitement, we saw champions crowned, new beginnings and depressing endings. Thus, this week's edition focuses on the difference between projections and reflections.
Truth: The White Sox will repeat as World Series Champions by beating the Braves in the Fall Classic. This is a safe pick for me, because when this is proven to be true or false, I will have graduated and you'll have no way to track me down.
But let's look at this. The best team in the league only got better, adding all-stars in Jim Thome and Javier Vazquez while giving up very little. Sure, they'll be a little slower and the defense may suffer a bit, but stud youngsters Brian Anderson and Brandon McCarthy will help them get out of the loaded American League.
In the National League, the Braves have as good a team as any. The Cardinals got worse, while the Dodgers and Mets got better. But make no mistake about it: The Braves are still the class of the NL East. The horses of Tim Hudson and John Smoltz will get the Braves to the World Series, where they'll lose in seven games to the Southsiders.
Truth: Maryland's women's basketball championship is a bigger local story than George Mason's men's Final Four run.
I don't care that Mason was an 11 seed while the Terrapins were a second seed. I don't care that Mason took out two Final Four teams and a No. I seed on its way to the Final Four. Maryland took our three No. 1's, including powerhouses North Carolina and Duke.
It's all about the bottom line. Maryland won. George Mason did not.
While they had a nice run, were a great Cinderella story and captured the hearts of America, the Patriots didn't capture the national championship.
This argument is not to take away from what Mason did, but rather to build up what the Terps did. Led by coach Brenda Frese and her compelling story (she left Minnesota after one year for Maryland), as well as superstar Crystal Langhorne and fearless freshmen Kristi Toliver, Maryland took on the country's best with no hesitation.
As anyone who knows anything about women's basketball will tell you, a No. 2 seed in the women's game is like a No. 6 or 7 in the men's game. They don't win. Only the No. 1 seeds do. Thus, The Terps' terrific run through North Carolina and Duke in just a three-day span is incredible.
Down by as many as 13 points in the second half in the title game, they clawed back and got the game to overtime on the freshman Toliver's 3-pointer over Alison Bales with six seconds left. Down again in overtime, Toliver and Langhorne just wouldn't let Maryland lose. That, not a compelling Final Four run, is the biggest sports story in the nation's capitol.
Lie: Joni Comstock had no right to be the chairwoman of the Women's Basketball Selection Committee.
A recent Washington Post column asserted that Comstock, AU's athletic director, had no business being the chair of the selection committee because she, in fact, had been a volleyball coach earlier, not a basketball coach.
This assertion is asinine. Comstock is in her second athletic director job, and has become very knowledgeable about all sports at her schools. She's constantly a presence at basketball games, especially the women's.
As the chairwoman, she is responsible only for regulating discussion and thinking logistically about the different scenarios, not saying which team should be placed where. That's what coaches on the committee are for.
In addition, looking at the bracket her committee created, the NCAA tournament was full of excitement, upsets and great matchups, which means her final product was a masterpiece.