The Sweet Sixteen was settled with March Madness last night, and unfortunately the three teams loaded with Canadian content were eliminated in round three. Texas, Syracuse and Gonzaga are all going home.
My heart goes out to Toronto freshman point guard Cory Joseph of the University of Texas Longhorns. I, like many of you, felt he called time out before the five second clock went off in referee Richard Cartmell’s head. Joseph was given a five-second violation, and Texas lost their lead and eventually the game, 70-69 to Arizona.
The Butler-Pittsburgh game was also wacky Saturday evening with Butler winning 71-70. In this game both teams committed inexplicable fouls with 1.4 seconds left to keep the game in complete suspense. Was it good basketball? Not at all. But exciting nonetheless.
In curling, Saskatchewan’s Amber Holland is an awful 2-3 at the World Curling Championships in Denmark. Tomorrow watch out for a blog titled, “What’s wrong with Canadian Curling?”
In hockey, I watched the Oilers game Saturday and the final two periods of the Flames game Sunday. Regarding the Flames, if they end up missing the playoffs, they’ll look back at this disappointing defeat to the Ducks as a major reason why. The Flames were down 3-0, came back to take the lead 4-3, only to see Teemu Selanne tie the game late and Corey Perry win it 5-4 in overtime– only moments after Flames’ goalie Henrik Karlsson made a sparkling save off of Bobby Ryan on a penalty shot. Calgary is now in tenth place in the West, one point back of Anaheim for the final playoff spot.
The Oilers deserved a better fate in their 3-2 overtime loss to Colorado Saturday. Despite being a -1, I was very impressed with Finnish rookie Teemu Hartikainen. At 6’1″, 210 pounds, his size is NHL ready right now. He drew a penalty in the second that led to a Jordan Eberle goal, and delivered a couple of strong bodychecks. The best performance at Rexall Place Saturday night however, came from young singing sensation Lindsay Ell, who sang O Canada and the Star Spangled Banner. I first interviewed Ell in 2007, shortly after she graduated from Calgary’s Bishop Carroll High School. Over the last four years she has quickly made her mark as a premier Canadian blues musician. The only thing Ell was missing during the evening was an Oilers jersey. As a fan of the Octane, beautiful women look great in Oilers jerseys!
Finally in tennis, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic put on a remarkable show yesterday at the ATP Masters Series event in Indian Wells, California. Their rallies were first class and it shows why they are the top two players in the world. That said, it was the second consecutive time that I have seen Nadal not put in a complete effort. He struggled mightily with his serve in the third set and surprisingly didn’t seem to be as fit as Djokovic, who has a history of endurance issues himself.
Tags: anaheim ducks, butler bulldogs, calgary flames, corey perry, cory joseph, gonzaga bulldogs, henrik karlsson, jordan eberle, novak djokovic, pittsburgh panthers, RAFAEL NADAL, syracuse orange, teemu hartikainen, teemu selanne, texas longhorns, women's world curling championship