The Reuters global sports blog
from Photographers Blog:
Kids playing streetball or millionaires performing in a highly choreographed show? Sport or showbiz? Welcome to the NBA All-Star weekend slam dunk contest.
One of the most satisfying moves to watch in basketball, and one of the easiest to photograph is the dunk, as the player soars above the rim and jams the ball through the net.
The contest pits some of the most athletic NBA players against each other as they compete to execute the flashiest, most difficult, or original dunk.
We’re only given one floor photo position next to the basket, so the challenge is to capture the winning dunk from the best angle. Previous winners have leapt over other players, twisted 360 degrees in the air, extended the height of the basket with a forklift, and jumped over tables.
Now that all of the hype surrounding the Miami Heat’s season opener against the Boston Celtics is over, the question remains: how good is this team?
Clearly the Big Three, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, underperformed, especially the latter two, who combined for just seven of 27 shooting from the floor.
from Reuters Soccer Blog:
Spanish sports fans have never had it so good.
The Iberian nation is celebrating its latest triumphs after a month of success that local media have called a golden age.
On Sunday, Alberto Contador sealed his third Tour de France title, Fernando Alonso won the German Formula One Grand Prix, and Jorge Lorenzo roared to MotoGP victory in the U.S.
For many people, watching a ball game represents a chance to escape the problems of everyday life.
Money problems melt away, at least for a few seconds, when watching LeBron James take off from the foul line and rip down a rim-rattling, backboard-swaying slam dunk. Watching Albert Pujols slug a three-run homer into the upper deck with two runners on in the bottom of the ninth can make one forget, albeit briefly, painful family issues.
Often casual fans define the toughness of a sport by the extent of injury that players are willing to play through.
While basketball is often overlooked, this year’s NBA playoff run is giving us several examples of players placing the goal of a team championship above their own individual bodies.
Despite concerns that the NCAA championship game will not feature an attention grabbing headline (Butler – West Virginia is not a ratings dream for CBS), this Final Four will be memorable, both on and off the court.
For starters, this might be the last year of the current format for March Madness. What started as speculation of expansion of the beloved NCAA Tournament from 65 (including the initial play-in game) to 96 teams is gaining further momentum. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany recently told USA Today that the likelihood of expansion of the tournament for 2011 is “probable”.
It might sound cliché, but who doesn’t enjoy rooting for the underdog? Unless you have a connection to one of the schools still involved or your bracket still has a chance at winning, who doesn’t want to see Northern Iowa, Cornell, or St. Mary’s College push deeper into the tournament?
As the Sweet 16 begins on Thursday there are still 11 conferences being represented (only 7 conferences represented in the Sweet 16 last year). Duke vs. Purdue is the only matchup pitting the two highest possible seeds against one another. My guess is that at least one surprise team will earn themselves a ticket to the Elite 8.
We approach the Sweet 16 having witnessed magical runs by teams like Northern Iowa and St. Mary’s so let’s take a quick look back at two defining players that helped them get here. Tomorrow we’ll review the teams that are left and the possibility of an all mid-tier Final Four.
This year’s NCAA tournament opening weekend pulled out all the stops and set the stage for what could go down as one of the best tournaments ever. In particular there were the thrilling last second heroics of #9 Northern Iowa to defeat #8 UNLV and a dominating win by #10 St. Mary’s over #7 Richmond. Both teams followed up those wins with spectacular surprises against Kansas and Villanova to leap onto the national scene. It has been a good March for students, alumni and fans of both schools.
The madness of March continued today as we saw the fall of the top overall seeded Kansas Jayhawks to the #9 Northern Iowa. Additionally #2 seed Villanova collapsed against #10 St. Marys and #3 New Mexico lost to #11 Washington. Cinderella has arrived to the Sweet 16 and brought along some friends.
Brackets everywhere have been busted wide open.
Northern Iowa was not intimidated by Kansas and played solid all game long. Kansas fought back at the end, but the Panthers’ 3 point shooting solidified the upset. The Jayhawks are now the first #1 seed eliminated and the shocking loss is now the exclamation point on a growing list of surprises helping to establish this year’s tournament as a classic.
We didn’t have to wait long for the thrills and excitement of March Madness to capture the attention of college basketball fans everywhere.
In the first three games of the 2010 NCAA tournament we witnessed an upset, overtime and a double-overtime. Not a bad start.