Duke freshmen accounted for 60 points last night, a record for a national championship game. Tyus Jones hit huge shots down the stretch and was named the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Jahlil Okafor was slowed by foul trouble but scored a couple of critical baskets late. And Grayson Allen came off the bench and provided a tremendous offensive boost. The result was a 68-63 win over Wisconsin. Read more about it in my recap for CBS Local.
He’s not even the third best freshman on Duke, but that doesn’t mean Grayson Allen isn’t a talented player with the chance to make an impact on tonight’s national championship game against Wisconsin. He’s my latest Rising Star for CBS Local.
As much as I was looking forward to a Kentucky-Duke final, Wisconsin absolutely deserves its spot in tonight’s national championship. The Badgers have one of the best offenses of all time and proved it against Kentucky’s historically dominant defense. In Saturday’s other game, Michigan State cooled down after a hot start and couldn’t stop Duke. I recapped the action in my Five Things column for CBS Local.
Last season, I profiled UConn’s Breanna Stewart for the website Sports On Earth, culling insights from her parents, teammates, and coaches from all levels, including Geno Auriemma. On Tuesday, Apr. 8, Stewart was named the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player as the Huskies won their third straight national championship. She is the first woman to win the award three times and will have a shot at a fourth next season.
“There was no rush hour in New York that evening,” wrote Roger Angell about Game 6 of the 1986 National League Championship Series, being played by the Mets and Astros in Houston. “So many office workers stayed in their offices to follow the game that the buses and avenues in midtown looked half empty.” He mentions a New Jersey Transit train that just happened to have “signal difficulties” before a long tunnel that would have prevented the game’s radio transmission from coming through, but resumed service as soon as the Mets scored three runs in the top of the 16th. A man running in Central Park was stopped by a “strange, all-surrounding noise…It came from everywhere around the Park, he said, and it wasn’t a shout or a roar but something closer to a sudden great murmuring of the city: the Mets had won.”
It may be hard for anyone under the age of 30 to believe, but there was a time that the Mets, not the Yankees, were New York’s team. The Mets were younger, more entertaining, and better. That hasn’t been the case, at least not the “better” part, for 20 years. That may be changing.
Tom Izzo, the pride of Iron Mountain, Michigan, has somehow taken Michigan State to another Final Four. Don’t get me wrong, this team has some good players, but at no point in the season did it look like it was capable of this kind of run. How do these Spartans compare to the previous six teams Izzo has brought to the Final Four? Check out my story for CBS Local to find out.
The Final Four is set: undefeated Kentucky takes on another No. 1 seed, Wisconsin, and Duke plays the surprise team in Indianapolis, Michigan State. To learn more about the keys to each team winning this past weekend, check out my latest for CBS Local.