Friday, April 3, 2015

Which team do you think will win this year's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament?

Evergreen's Ottis Johnson
After the dust settled from this past weekend’s slate of NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament games, we saw that this year’s slate of Final Four teams would include Kentucky, Wisconsin, Duke and Michigan State. Those teams will meet in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis this coming Saturday to determine which teams will move on to the national title game on Monday night.

Duke, a No. 1 seed, will play Michigan State, a No. 7 seed, Saturday at 5:09 p.m., and in a meeting between two No. 1 seeds, undefeated Kentucky will play Wisconsin at 7:49 p.m. Those two games will be televised on TBS.

The winners of those two games will meet in the national title game on Monday, starting at 8:18 p.m. The championship game will be televised by CBS.

I expect the two semi-final round games to be very close. In the Duke-Michigan State game, I look for the Blue Devils to come out ahead, but not by much. In the Kentucky-Wisconsin game, I predict that the Badgers will upset Kentucky, thereby ruining Kentucky’s bid to have the first undefeated season since the 1976 team at Indiana.

If Duke and Wisconsin end up meeting in the national title game, I predict that Wisconsin will win it all.

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The Major League Baseball season officially starts this Sunday when the St. Louis Cardinals play the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago. That game is scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2. A full slate of season-opening games will unfold around the country on Monday as the rest of the teams get their seasons underway.

Those of you who enjoy listening to the Braves on the radio will have ample opportunity to do so again this year. The Braves have the largest radio affiliate network of any major league team, and more than a few of the stations that carry Braves games are in southwest Alabama.

Those stations include WKNU-FM 106.3 in Brewton, WHEP-FM 92.5 in Foley, WHEP-AM 1310 in Foley, WJDB-FM 95.5 in Thomasville and WJDB-AM 630 in Thomasville. Two AM stations out of Montgomery also carry the Braves – WMSP-AM 740 and WNZZ-AM 950.

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Speaking of baseball, this coming Sunday would have been the 92nd birthday of arguably Evergreen’s greatest baseball player ever, John Ottis Johnson. Born on April 5, 1923, Johnson was the last professional baseball player to die after getting hit in the head by a pitch.

Johnson, who played two seasons of minor league professional baseball for the Dothan Browns, died in June 1951 after getting hit in the temple by a pitch delivered by Headland Dixie Runners pitcher Jack Clifton. Johnson, age 25, died eight days later from the resulting skull fracture. He ended his career with a .336 lifetime batting average and with 17 career home runs.

Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians is the only major league player in history to be killed by beaning, and that incident occurred in 1920.

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