Saturday, April 03, 2010

Chelsea: WOW

I made a mistake: I had highlighted the Manchester United-Chelsea game--for months---but I was thinking it was Sunday (tomorrow), and I was working on the preparations for my daughter's birthday party this morning. So I missed it--and I can't see anywhere when it's going to have a repeat telecast.

And I really want to see this one. There is nothing better than watching Man U. go down in a big game--and at home! Usually, watching them at home is a thing of dread, waiting for the inevitable late goal, or the home-crowd-pleasing penalty call.

Chelsea's 2-1 win, at Old Trafford, puts the Blues in the driver's seat, with a two point lead, a significant advantage in goal difference, and only a few games left to play. They're not all easy ones, but now Chelsea could survive a drawn game.

Apparently Manchester United's lacking a bit, too. I saw the finale of their 2-1 loss at Bayern Munich last week. It was golden, a late-game defense lapse: waiting for the whistle to blow, they didn't see the Munich attacker--the hard-working Croatian, Ulic--come from the blind side, take the ball from Rio Ferdinand, and turn and put it in the goal. On the same play sequence, ace striker Wayne Rooney went down with a foot injury (which left them critically short for today's showdown).

Final Four Standing
In a short while the NCAA men's basketball semifinal games will start. After West Virginia's win over Kentucky last weekend in the key game of the tournament (once Northern Iowa had upset Kansas), I am drained of passion, or even strong opinions, about the teams that are left.

On one side of the semifinals bracket, there are two #5 seeds, and the winner will be a huge underdog in the finals. Michigan State has once again overachieved to make a Final Four, with a decent team that barely won its first round game against 12-seeded New Mexico St., and has had a tough game every round since. Butler overachieved as well, the key game being their win over Syracuse in the third round.

The other side has two teams highly-rated teams that have made the most of their matchups, playing good defense and hitting the key shots. I will back West Virginia over Duke; it will probably come down to whether the Blue Devils can break down the Mountaineers' zone with outside shooting, something Kentucky was significantly unable to do.

Most of the rest of my family will be rooting for Butler, who'll be playing something like a home game crosstown in Indianapolis. I'll be happy for them if they can pull off two more big wins.

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