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April 04, 2014

Sat pm 4-5: Gator Nation mourns Final Four loss; plus Marlins' Fernandez-or-Stanton poll, Kiper on Dolphins draft, Heat, Zo, Letterman & more

1) It is SATURDAY, APRIL 5. Heat really missed Dwyane Wade in last night's double-OT loss to Minnesota. Miami three-peats with a healthy Wade, doesn't without him. Period. 2) I was remiss in not remarking yesterday on the 46th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most important people anywhere, any time. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Should-college-football-players-be-compensated with poll, Pat Riley talks Big 3 future & more. 4) Follow on Twitter @gregcote.

1aa1afinal4FINALLY THE FINAL FOUR: GATORS UPSET LOSERS, KENTUCKY IN: No. 1-seed Florida Gators were favored over No. 7 UConn in today's early game but lost 63-53, a surprise if not a stunner. No. 8 Kentucky edged No. 2 Wisconsin 74-73 in in the late game. Our original post on the Final Four from four angles:

Our analysis, predictions: Florida-Connecticut--Gators have won 30 straight since last losing Dec. 2 to UConn on a buzzer beater, and I like Florida here without much hesitation. UConn is a one-man show with Shabazz Napier, while the Gators are so balanced and deep, with Scottie Wilbekin's court command, Casey Prather's offense, Dorian Finney-Smith's rebinding, Will Yeguete's unsung dirty work, and of course man-among-boys Patric Young's power inside. Wisconsin-Kentucky: Fascinating contrast, with Wisconsin's veteran, unheralded bunch vs. Kentucky's young One-and-Done crew of highly recruited stars led by NBA-ready Julius Randle and villain-coach John Calipari. Team vs. Individuals. My picks: Handling the atmosphere, stage and crowd of 75,000 in a football stadium could be a huge factor tonight. That's partly why I like the two older, veteran teams. Make it Florida, 68-58, and Wisconsin, 70-67.

My bracket: Go Gators!: Florida is the only team I have alive in the FF, and I have the Gators winning it all, so my rooting interests are with Gainesville (sorry, Canes fans). I'm out of the running in my lone office pool but it'd be nice to at least say I got the champ right.

1aa1affanimalsFinal Four by influential alumni: Somebody at Time.com had waaay too much free time and came up with a way to compare schools by how many influential alumni each has. Influence in this case was measured (dubiously) by how many alumni had Wikipedia pages and how long they were. Anyway, Florida Gators are 3.66 times more influential than UConn Huskies (220.6 to 60.2), and Wisconsin Badgers are 1.70 times more influential than Kentucky Wildcats (151.2 to 88.7). So there's that.  

Cinderell-O-Meter: Entering the Final Four exactly one-third of men's NCAA Tournament games this year (20 of 60) have been upsets based on seeding. All 20 upsets, ranked by seed differential: +11: 14-Mercer d. 3-Duke; +8: 10-Stanford d. 2-Kansas, 11-Dayton d. 3-Syracuse; +7: 8-Kentucky d. 1-Wichita State, 12-North Dakota State d. 5-Oklahoma, 12-Harvard d. 5-Cincinnati, 12-Stephen F. Austin d. 5-VCU; +6: 8-Kentucky d. 2-Michigan; +5: 7-UConn d. 2-Villanova, 11-Dayton d. 6-Ohio State, 11-Tennessee d. 6-UMass; +4: 7-UConn d. 3-Iowa State, 8-Kentucky d. 4-Louisvile; +3: 4-Michigan State d. 1-Virginia, 6-Baylor d. 3-Creighton, 7-UConn d. 4-Michigan State, 10-Stanford d. 7-New Mexico; +1: 2-Wisconsin d. 1-Arizona, 9-Pitt d. 8-Colorado, 11-Dayton d. 10-Stanford.

WHICH OF MARLINS' BIG 2 SHOULD TEAM PRIORITIZE KEEPING?: The premise of course is that the penurious Marlins won't spend to keep both pitcher Jose Fernandez and slugger Giancarlo Stanton long-

1aa1ajoseright 1aa1agiancarloleftterm. Each will command the kind of financial committment associated with Yankees or Dodgers spending, not with Jeffrey Loria. (I explore all of this in today's latest column; click Marlins Big 2 to read). The likeliest scenario is that Miami will prioritize locking up Fernandez and trading Stanton after this season, but is that wise? Which player would you keep if you thought the team had an equal chance to sign either and planned to keep only one? I know, I know. Why can't they keep both!? But we're trying to deal with reality here. So take a dip in our poll and say why.

DOLPHINS' TOP 3 DRAFT PICKS ACCORDING TO KIPER...: Mel Kiper Jr. on ESPN.com predicts every NFL team's top 1aa1acalvinpthree picks in the May draft and here are his guesses for Miami: 1st round--Safety Calvin Pryor (pictured), Louisville. 2nd round--Offensive tackle Joel Bitonio, Nevada. And 3rd round--Offensive tackle Jack Mewhort, Ohio State. (I should note that the player most early mock drafts have Miami taking first -- Notre Dame OT Zack Martin -- goes 17th, according to Kiper. Dolphins pick 19th).

THANK YOU, ALONZO MOURNING: Comes the news that former Heat star Alonzo Mourning is going into 1aa1aalonzomthe Basketball Hall of Fame, and it is deserved. We're talking about a great player and a better man. On the court he was an inspiring, scowling, biceps-flexing defensive monster. Off the court he encouraged many fighting and overcoming kidney disease, and he has been a community giant with his philanthropy and time-giving. A small snapshot I recall: A brawl in the 1998 Heat-Knicks playoff series found Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy latched onto Mourning's lower leg "like a poodle on a redwood," I wrote in a column. Next day at practice, Mourning started laughing out loud at the reference, saying how much he'd enjoyed it. Thank you, Zo.

THANK YOU, DAVID LETTERMAN': David Letterman, for me the No. 2 late-night icon of all-time after 1aa1adavelJohnny Carson, says he's retiring next year, and that's worth a quick homage here. Letterman is my kind of humor, absurdity meets wise-ass, and I loved him from the start. For years you were a Letterman guy or a Leno guy, and the choice was always a no-brainer for me. There was something about dropping watermelons and TV sets from a three-story building to watch them smash on the ground that appealed to me. I was just out of college when he came on in the early '80s and he's been a big part of the laugh-track of my life ever since. Thank you, Dave.

Poll result: Close call, but don't further compensate college football players: We asked in the wake of the NLRB/unionization ruling (you may still vote) if college football players should be compensated beyond their scholarships, and "no" beat "yes" 49.7 percent to 43.9%. The remaining 6.4% were undecided.

Click back often. Updates/adds coming to this latest blogpost...


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Good pitching beats good hitting every time.

You don't know much about pitching but I'm sure you know something about catching.

You seem like a switch hitter to me good from both sides of the plate.

I agree with you RE: David Letterman. I was listening to Dan LeBatard on the radio Thursday on the way home. He was totally disrespectful discussing DL. The other putz Stugatz was the same. These 2 can be entertaining at times but ZERO class. Won't listen to LeBatard again!

agree with early day Letterman, not so much the last decade when he became a liberal mouthpiece.

Letterman could branch out now and become a male voice on The View or hopey changy preacher on MSNBC.

Kiper says Fins taking a Safety in Rd 1? I don't buy it. My official stand is either MLB CJ Mosely or RT Martin in rd 1. Both are very good, will start day 1, and positions of need. Top end Safety would be more fitting of Ireland's track record, not Hickey's.

Zo in the HOF? NBA HOF has run out of the (former) great elible plays, now includes the good, pretty good.

typo- "eligible players"

Mourning averaged 17.8 ppg and 8.5 rpg for his career. Very Solid. He was also a great defender averaging almost 3 blocks per game. Kidney transplant half way through his career likely caused a decline in his play he would have had much better numbers.

Jimbo, I agree with you on the draft..CJ Mosley or Z Martin would be ok with our numero uno..now don't forget, there's a remote chance that Taylor Lewan the tackle from Michigan falls to our spot..

I would draft him instead..but that's a very big if.

BB..the Dolphins seem to be kicking the tires on a few veteran receivers as of late, maybe they are getting ready to trade away your boy Hartline?

is a possibility you know..

There is no possibility of that happening in any universe under any circumstances. My boy got too much game.

Oh boy a new thread. Ah yeah...

Kiper pipesmoker

Mel Kiper is a biter

So sayz Marv Albert

Dukito..how's your ankle buddy?..boy I'm glad they didn't shoot you like they do horses..hehe

hey the Marlins are 3-1..break'em up!..be going to see my Cubano Fernandez pitch tomorrow, hope is a good game, of course I got free tickets, I wouldn't give any of my dinero to that asswipe Loria.

LOL how sad and miserable must your life be when you're judging ENTERTAINERS by their personal political opinions?

Oh and Zo isn't a hall of famer?!?! What's wrong with this guy?

LOL...how lonely and sad your life must be when you're judging others for judging ENTERTAINERS by their personal political opinions.

No question mark at the end needed.

well..Letterman is an asswipe douche liberal.

Yeah man FZ. I need a nurse or two amigo. Armed to the teeth, round the cock er clock...

Letterman's retirement is 20 years too late. He is horrible.

dukimoto welcome back. WFT did you do to your ankle? Listen to FZB. He doesn't know chit about football but that boy sure can pick nurses. This my favorite...


oh my

Big Baby,

alonzo mourning is a good guy and was a pretty darn good player. great big men get their teams to the final four and i don't think zo did, but neither did shaq who played for the worst offensive coach in college ball at LSU- dale brown. anyway he is in so the voters have spoken.

Tommy-Son ...I may not know as much as you about fusbol ( and that's debatable) ..but I sure know my nurses.hehe

FZB you certainly know your nurses.

Tom I fell at work and broke it in three places. Two long screws and a narrow plate with several small screws later I still haven't been given clearance to put weight on it and I'm, I'm ah all out of narcotics for f***sake! FZ your son is a doctor no?

Dukito I broke the fibia about my right ankle last November. Couple of months with no weight. I got a knee scooter to get around. A life saver. Here is the one I got and it was great


Take care and remember no scootering under the influence.

Dukito...yup FZB Jr is a doctor but he is an anesthesiologist ...( I think that's how its spelled ) anywho..if you're in a lot of pain he can sure put you to sleep...but dude, you broke your ankle in three places?... Chit...

So I'm at the lobby of some Crowne Hotel here on Austin after some function. Anyway, cool place, they're playing Led and Pink in the backround while I'm texting messages back. It's 10 pm and in walks this delivery guy past the front desk toting a full-sized ufemale blowup doll, black bikini and the kind with a hole in her mouth. The lobby erups in laughter.

oh Cote, why I am not surprised you loved Letterman so much, both of you are Lib Loons

that guy Jimbo was right Cote loves Lib Loons.

OC, Austin City Limits sounds alright with Animal House sensibilities...

Heaters had plenty of chances to win last night.Love was clutch.Miami s defense just couldn t come up with the key stop on defense.Great game to watch until the end - when they lost.Anyway....just hope they re healthy and ready come Playoff time.

Anti...in reference to my car...I least you didn't put me in a girls car like OC tried to do a while back...

Yup..that's my ride..

Mel Kiper's Dolphin mock draft seems reasonable. However, if they pass on selecting an offensive lineman in the first round, the danger is that the ones they pick in rounds 2 & 3 have less of a possibility of becoming starters. If this happens, then Tannehill is in for a long season. The Dolphins should move up in the 1st round by trading Dion Jordan and their 19th pick to select Jake Matthews who will be an NFL starter for years to come. The coaching staff doesn't seem to know what to do with Jordan and even Philbin says that he will be only a third down specialist. If that's the case, then trading him now makes more sense considering he still has trade value.

Jeff...you wanna know the reason why our coaches don't know what to do with Dion Jordan?..cause they are clueless...which is the reason I call our HC clueless Joe..

Dion Jordan should be playing outside LB...he is playing out of position...

Mmmm, I wonder if the BSB is the one responsible...what say U guys?

We just gave Florence Henderson Brady Bunches of crabs...

I just gave Bobby, Peter, Greg & dukey Brady Bunches of Aids...

I just gave Captain Kirk, Bob Odenkirk & Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake yellow fever and syph...

Congratulations to UConn.

Congratulations to UConn

Congratulations to Louisville (39-6)

Cote you are a bum for picking the gators. You make me sick!

You should immediately be s*itcanned for your Gator worship!

Just got back from the Marlins game, as usual Fernandez was outstanding..7 innings, no runs , gave up just 3 hits and 7or 8 K's...I say he's already top five in all of beisbol..

On another very happy note..I just found out the swamp lizards laid a complete egg tonight, nice.

Nevin no shame losing to us. We had a great QB and finished the season 12-1 and ranked in the top 15. Now those Gutters.....they lost to Division II Georgia Southern. Yeah Georgia Southern. The same Georgia Southern that lost to WOFFORD, SAMFORD, and FURMAN.

I'm actually sorry the Gators lost......
Where's the PUTZ extolling the virtues of UF sports?
Yes, the Gators ballers did better this year than our Canes last year, but UM did it in the toughest conference overall.

Lettermen will miss all those young female interns, I'm sure. What a piece of work he is.

They'll be even better next year.

lemme guess, u'll be better and back next year riiieeet ?

when's the spring championship game ?

Loser.Too funny.

Sorry to hear about the ankle. Quick mending my friend. Can I offer some advice? Send the wife out to a specialty beer-liquor outlet for some of the best beer ever made.


Pay attention OC!

It seems the coaching staff is set on 4-3 base defense but the talent on the team is more suited for 3-4. Ireland-Hickey-Philbin fault?

Bleacher Report had posted a piece last week that Fins like CJ Mosley & Zack Martin over Mich T Taylor Lewan (report indicated that Lewan plays too stiff, slightly slow footed & short aligator arms)

You live up north, chances are you have a basement. If you stock your brew there, no need to refrigerate. I especially like wheat beer slightly cooler than room temp but not ice cold. Plus you can tell (BS'ing)your wife, your doing your duty cleaning the basement. win-win. My man cave was located in the basement when I lived in CO Springs.

Nurse appreciation day! Thanks Tom, FZB.

Here's the runner up, best served out of the tap over bottled.


I spent a day & evening in the Paulaner beer tent during Oktoberfest 2009.

Is this the first known image of dukey?


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