The Stack will not be posting anything today. April Fools. Childish, yes. Anyway, The Stack is here with some quick reaction to all of the top stories from the weekend so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Monday, April 1:
Michigan, Louisville complete Final Four
As kind of expected, Michigan kept the momentum from their comeback win over Kansas Friday night by advancing to the Final Four with their win over Florida. But they did it in such dominating fashion that it was a little surprising. They throttled Florida. Did Florida even show up? Nick Stauskas was absolutely amazing for the Wolverines. He was six for six from three, finishing with 22 points. When Michigan is hot from three, they are a very difficult team to beat. Michigan will take on Syracuse in one Final Four matchup. That is a great matchup. Michigan's sharp shooting versus Syracuse's 2-3 zone. Fascinating matchup.
Louisville completes the Final Four after defeating Duke 85-63. The game was tied 42-42 and then Louisville went off. Maybe they had the motivation from playing for teammate Kevin Ware, who suffered one of the most gruesome knee injuries you will ever see. The bone is sticking out. Poor kid. His teammates were beside themselves. Head coach Rick Pitino had tears. It was a tough scene. Louisville struggled a little bit right after the injury in the first half, but after halftime, the team was locked down. So congrats to Louisville and thoughts and prayers to Kevin Ware and his family. Wishing him as speedy a recovery as possible. Louisville takes on Wichita State in the other Final Four matchup. Should be an entertaining Final Four.
Baylor stunned by Louisville in women's basketball tournament
The best team in women's basketball along with the best player in the game will not be winning the NCAA tournament this year. That is because #1 Baylor lost to #5 Louisville 82-81 in the Sweet 16 to advance to the Elite 8 Tuesday night against Tennessee. Louisville had a 17 point lead that they let slip away from them, but battled back to get the win. Brittney Griner was not a big factor, scoring only 14 points and grabbing ten rebounds. The upset of the tournament for sure, perhaps for both the men and the women. Baylor will not win the women's basketball tournament this year. Louisville has two pretty good basketball programs right now wouldn't you say?
Pittsburgh Penguins extend win streak, lose Crosby
The Pittsburgh Penguins extended their win streak to fifteen games Saturday with a 2-0 win over the New York Islanders. But it's what happened to Sidney Crosby that has grabbed more attention than the streak, at least for now. Crosby was hit in the mouth by the puck on a shot in the game and lost not only teeth that required some dental work, but also required jaw surgery. He is out indefinitely. The Penguins hope to get him back for the playoffs. They have a slew of weapons at their disposal, bringing in Jerome Iginla just to name one. Oh yeah, Evgeni Malkin is pretty good. The Penguins will be fine in the regular season. It's the playoffs that could be interesting if Crosby is not able to come back, but it sounds there is hope that Crosby will be back for the playoffs.
Two big deals reached with two of sports biggest players
Two players got paid big time over the weekend. Friday, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo received a six-year $108 million extension that includes some $55 million guaranteed. The deal makes him the highest paid player in franchise history. Now some people will say that that seems like an excessive deal for someone who has only won one playoff game in his career. Fair point. Romo has come up short in many big moments (see last year against Washington in the season finale), but he is not the sole reason the Cowboys haven't reached their full potential. Their defense has been bad, injuries have hurt them, other players haven't lived up to expectations. Romo receives the majority of the blame and that is what's expected when you're quarterback for "America's Team." So in that way the deal is surprising, but Romo has played pretty well and been one of the top ten, fifteen quarterbacks in the league apart from a few bad games which always seems to come up in high stakes situations. We'll see if he can live up to this deal.
The other player that got paid deserved to get paid. He's one of, if not thee best pitcher in baseball. It's Justin Verlander and he has more than lived up to the deal that he received from the Detroit Tigers, seven years for $180 million. The man needed to get paid and he got paid. Verlander has a Cy Young and MVP on his resume (2011) and he has consistently been one of the best pitchers over the last few seasons. He is the cornerstone of the Tigers pitching staff. Barring injury, this is $180 million well spent for the Tigers. Detroit could not let him get away. And they did'nt and that is why the Tigers are once again the favorites to win the AL Central and maybe the World Series this year.
The Miami Heat rested LeBron James, Dewayne Wade and Mario Chalmers last night against the San Antonio Spurs. Some believe that it was the Heat's way of sticking it to the Spurs for them resting several of their starters when they played the Heat in Miami earlier this year. If that's the case, Commissioner David Stern needs to come down hard on the Heat. You're only hurting the fans. Miami won 88-86...and baseball season has officially begun. Houston, newcomers to the American League, knocked off Texas 8-2. Full baseball preview tomorrow.
Coming up Wednesday: 2013 MLB season preview