Saturday links: Zags-Butler, Sonics, Armstrong, M’s & moreJanuary 19th, 2013 by cstark
It’s not Duke-North Carolina, it’s not Washington-Washington State. For me, it’s more compelling than that.
It’s No. 8 Gonzaga (17-1) vs. No. 13 Butler (15-2), two men’s basketball programs that symbolize what’s good about college hoops.
Saturday’s showdown in Indianapolis (ESPN, 6 p.m.) features a couple teams that aren’t afraid to take on the big boys, and they’re not afraid to do it on the road.
Butler’s been to a couple Final Fours, and this could be the year Gonzaga gets there, partly because of Kelly Olynyk, a mobile 7-footer who is the most improved player in college basketball. Olynyk’s already had 33- and 31-point games, and has become the Zags’ best offensive force since Adam Morrison. Figuring he wouldn’t get much playing time a year ago with Robert Sacre and Elias Harris up front, Olynyk decided to redshirst last season.
Here’s an open letter from a Sacramento basketball fan to SuperSonics’ fans, which followed a letter from the producers of Sonicsgate to Sacramento Kings’ fans.
Everybody has an opinion about Lance Armstrong.
Michael Rosenberg of SI.com writes: Without doping, Armstrong would be a nobody.
Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post, author or two books about Armstrong, says the cyclist has apologized to her. In her most recent column about Armstrong, published Dec. 15, Jenkins says she’s not angry at the man who duped the cycling world.
Rick Reilly of ESPN.com is having a hard time forgiving Armstrong. He wrote:
It’s partially my fault. I let myself admire him. Let myself admire what he’d done with his life, admire the way he’d not only beaten his own cancer but was trying to help others beat it. When my sister was diagnosed, she read his book and got inspired. And I felt some pride in that. I let it get personal. And now I know he was living a lie and I was helping him live it.
I’m recently retired, but still writing a weekly Thursday column for The Sun and doing some other stories. A Q&A with Willie Bloomquist of the Arizona Diamondbacks, recently named to Team USA that will play in the World Baseball Classic, will publish on Sunday, Jan. 27.