I thoroughly enjoyed March Madness, both the mens and womens versions. Cheap NBA Jerseys . For three weeks in the early days of the spring season, I renew my subscription with college basketball and am edutained on all things March Madness. It is a time that engendered work morale spikes, rooted in imperfect bracket predictions and the chance that overworked, underpaid employees will cash out on an office pool lottery built from their very own desk change cups and afternoon Tim Hortons coffee run allotments. Mini hoops get hung on office doors for impromptu paper ball dunk contests and great plays are re-enacted by local news crews unable to air highlights of the very sport they cover because of the hierarchy of money structured agreements between the NCAA and its multiple March Madness broadcast partners. A bevy of hungry, wide-eyed teams. More Networks. Too many credit card commercials. Too Much Dick Vitale. Not Enough Bill Raftery. No Gus Johnson. Countless floor burns. Multiple tears. Clutch shots. One epic dance. One dream realized. Who knew a school from the former and now defunct Yankee Conference would be one of the most dominant basketball programs in college history? Combined, the University of Connecticut mens and womens teams have been in the NCAA Tournament final game 13 times. Theyve never lost. Ever. I watched as Geno Auriemma and his Lady Huskies won their ninth title in 19 years, defeating Notre Dame easily and once again lording over the womens game with whispers and questions rattling The ladies college hoops kings cage about whether or not his talents could be applied similarly in the mens game. I saw Guelph, Ontarios and Notre Dame senior forward Natalie Achonwa, thrice a bridesmaid, never the bride in the NCAA final, have to endure the insult of her team once again losing a chance at glory and an undefeated season to the schoolyard bully in UConn, in part due to suffering a devastating knee injury during the Elite Eight game that ended her season and college career. I was not in shock or awe that Derrick Gordon, starting guard from the University of Massachusetts, a school where I created and once taught the worlds first university accredited course on hip-hop culture, now also has the distinction of having the first Division I male basketball player to come out as openly gay. I viewed a March Madness tournament where Canadian lights shone brightly in fellow freshmen Kansas Andrew Wiggins and Syracuses Tyler Ennis, senior Melvin Ejim of Iowa State, Michigan sophomore Nik Stauskas and more. Their play shined a collective light on the immense talents north of the 49th parallel who contributed in meaningful ways during the Tournament and offered hope and confidence for young Canadian hoop stars to follow. I reveled in UConn mens coach Kevin Ollies victory over John Caliparis Kentucky Wildcats, despite picking the new Fab Five freshmen from Lexington to win it all on my TSN Radio basketball program, #1On1 with Will and Duane. And the revelry was not rooted in a dislike for Coach Cals crew. The joy was in the knowledge that, 30 years after Georgetowns John Thompson became the first black man to win an NCAA title with a team full of inner city black kids, possibly influenced by the lure of profit from a new player in the illicit drug trade called crack and the music of an emerging and grossly misunderstood subculture called hip-hop, Kevin Ollie joined Thompson, newly minted Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Nolan Richardson and Tubby Smith as the only black coaches to ever win the national title. My merriment was quelled, however, by the admission of the tournaments Most Outstanding Player, UConn senior PG Shabazz Napier. As initially reported by CNNs Sara Ganim, Napiers statement was stunning. “I dont feel student-athletes should get hundreds of thousands of dollars, but like I said, there are hungry nights that I go to bed and Im starving," he said. "I just feel like a student-athlete, and sometimes, like I said, theres hungry nights and Im not able to eat and I still got to play up to my capabilities.” I observed a game with multi-billion dollar stakes in which the players have no financial stake due to the draconian statutes of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which still has them reaching for “One Shining Moment” as the UConn mens program fails to graduate more than eight per cent of its starving, underfed players. I then pondered former March Madness champ and UCLA forward Ed OBannons lawsuit against the NCAA, the Northwestern University athletes who won their fight to unionize against the NCAA and Jalen Roses youthful revelation years ago on how he and his Fab Five teammates were being flagrantly exploited by the NCAA and its corporate stakeholders while a star at Michigan. It occurred to me that the 2013-2014 mens final was possibly a referendum on the future of college basketball profiteering: Caliparis "one and done" regime versus the NCAAs preferred method of currency exchange with the NBA - keeping the student-athletes on campus playing this game for as long as possible. NBA Commissioner Adam Silvers wish to subsidize collegiate student-athletes in order to keep the collusive financial arrangement with the NCAA as close to status quo, without hemorrhaging too much blood, seems relatively progressive at cursory glance. And the new commishs potential good fortune to place a positive stamp on his early tenure may be rooted in Napiers hunger. ESPNs Darren Rovell recently reported that Adam Silver is willing to trade markers with the NCAA, its student-athletes and the NBAPA with concessions on all sides to make the vehicle move. "Rather than focusing on a salary and thinking of them as employees, I would go to their basic necessities," said Silver. "I think if Shabazz Napier is saying he is going hungry, my God, it seems hard to believe, but there should be ample food for the players." Commissioner Silver wants to raise the NBA entry age limit from 19 to 20 and may be able to do so in exchange for his college player subsidy initiative. Silvers very public overtures about changes that can be made to an archaic, rotted NCAA system run by that cabals boss, Dr. Mark Emmert, who, naturally, is vehemently opposed to any sort of compensation for student-athletes, a term created to protect the schools and NCAA itself against the liability of paying workers compensation for injured “student-athletes,” are encouraging, even in theory. But what about offering a “bare necessities” cost of living stipend, daily meal per diems and limited injury insurance to these young men, who may or may not be ready for the fine hardwood courts of the National Basketball Association, but wish to ply their trade professionally? Is it possible for these young men to also get an education with the same subsidies Commissioner Silver is suggesting for the NCAA by giving these monies to the NBAs already-established minor league, the National Basketball Development League? No matter the motivations of Adam Silver, it would seem that the winds of change are on the horizon for intercollegiate athletics and its long partnership with professional sport to finally call it what it really is now. So yeah… Thats what I learned during March Madness this year. I can only hope you learned some things, too. Al-Farouq Aminu Jersey . -- Chad Labelle scored the winner 17:36 into the third period to give Medicine Hat a 2-1 victory over the Swift Current Broncos on Sunday and lift the Tigers into the second round of the Western Hockey League playoffs. Cheap Portland Trail Blazers Jerseys . Van Slyke drove in a career-high four runs with two homers off struggling left-hander Tony Cingrani, and the Los Angeles Dodgers pulled away to a 6-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night, a rare comfortable win in their pitching-dominated series. http://www.cheapblazersjerseys.com/?tag=cheap-evan-turner-jersey . Sources tell TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger that the team is quietly gauging interest on the Senators captain, though Spezza has a limited no-trade clause and carries a large contract.PITTSBURGH -- If the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins meet in the first round of the NHL playoffs, things will be different than they were Wednesday night at Consol Energy Center. The Red Wings will likely have Jimmy Howard in goal and are hopeful captain Henrik Zetterberg will return from an extended injury absence. The Penguins should get Evgeni Malkin back from a foot injury, too. But in outplaying Pittsburgh and tying the score late in the third period before losing 4-3 in a shootout, Detroit showed that it could present serious matchup problems for the Metropolitan Division champions. "I thought our team played real well tonight. I thought we were better than them," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said after the shootout loss clinched a playoff spot. "We carried play, in my opinion, tonight, for sure. I thought we played well." By getting a point on the same night the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Dallas Stars, the Red Wings fell to the Eastern Conferences second wild-card spot, even though each team has 91 points. As Babcock pointed out, the Blue Jackets have the tiebreaker that could give them Pittsburgh, while the Red Wings get the Bruins. "Im not spending a whole lot of time awake worrying about this stuff," he said. "Were just in and whoever we get, were going to be a tough out." Babcock said his Red Wings didnt score as many goals as they should have, partially a product of a strong game from Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. But they also put 37 shots on net to the Penguins 24, giving up two of three goals on the power play and another when Jonas Gustavsson couldnt hang on to a puck and Jussi Jokinen poked it in. "Weve matched up well against them," said forward Riley Sheahan, whose goal with 1:15 left got Detroit the point it needed. "Theyre a really skilled team and weve got some skill as well. C.J. McCollum Jersey. . "If were matched up against them or whoever else, its going to be a lot of fun." Fleury likewise said it would be a "fun matchup," though one that could see him tested a year after another disappointing playoff showing. This is the same team Fleury beat to win the Stanley Cup in 2009, though only a handful of players remain. "I think theres no easy team that will make the playoffs," Fleury said. "Detroits a good team, they play hard, they got some skills. ... Its going to be a good challenge for us." Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said after his teams morning skate that aspects of the game could affect a potential playoff series, like if one team scored three times on the power play or one player won all his faceoff attempts. Pittsburgh went 2-for-4 on the power play, so that was good enough. "I dont think we were going to analyze the score of the game and project forward if it is a possible playoff matchup," Bylsma said. "We wanted to do certain things in areas of the game and maybe have that be a statement for how we played. Tonight we did that with the power play, for sure." Any statements made in the shootout can be overlooked, whether it was Fleury channelling Dominik Hasek for a diving save or Jussi Jokinen scoring the winner off the shaft of Gustavssons stick. If this were a playoff game, the Red Wings and Penguins wouldve kept playing. Thats not necessary yet, as Jokinen thinks these teams know each other well enough. "I think maybe it helps both teams. I think both teams are pretty familiar," Jokinen said. "They are in-your-face all the time. They play that man-to-man, very aggressive all over the ice. At times we did a good job of that, and at times we need to be better and do a better job making sure we get the pucks out and get pucks behind them." Cheap Steelers Jerseys Cheap Patriots Jerseys Cheap Bills Jerseys Cheap Jets Jerseys Cheap Giants Jerseys Cheap Redskins Jerseys Cheap Bears Jerseys Cheap Eagles Jerseys Cheap Cardinals Jerseys Cheap Jaguars Jerseys Cheap Raiders Jerseys Cheap Dolphins Jerseys Cheap Panthers Jerseys Cheap Lions Jerseys Cheap Browns Jerseys ' ' '