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UW Women Sweep Gophers, Clinch 2017-18 WCHA Title
mickjagger wrote:
The UW Badger Women's Hockey Team swept the Minnesota Gophers on the season, 4 games to none, to give UW its first season sweep of the Gophers in the 19-yr history of the UW Women's Hockey program. 

In doing so, the #1 nationally ranked Badgers (29-3-2 overall, 20-2-2-2 WCHA) clinched their 3rd consecutive and 4th WCHA regular-season championship over the last 5 seasons.

Story:
http://host.madison.com/wsj/sports/college/hockey/uw-women-s-hockey-team-caps-season-sweep-of-rival/article_7d42a2cd-971a-5ff1-a95c-317d3e65d3d8.html#utm_source=host.madison.com&utm_campaign=%2Femail%2Fbadgerbeat%2F&utm_medium=email&utm_content=5D559092085BC880050104111A26A8920ACCC4B8

Game Recap & Box Score:
http://uwbadgers.com/news/2018/2/17/womens-hockey-senior-sendoff-no-1-badgers-shutdown-no-7-golden-gophers.aspx?path=whockey
        Now can the Badger women win it all in the NCAA playoffs or will they get knocked off yet again? Hoping they can win it all, but they seem to always stub their toes in the tourney in recent years.
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Changing Various NBA Formats
cameroncrazies02 wrote:
I'm all for that playoff change.  It would ensure that teams with the best records aren't playing each other early in the playoffs.

The NBA can't do playoffs the way NHL does it for scheduling purposes.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but most NHL games are played in arenas for the NHL.  NBA teams primarily play in multi-purpose arenas, or arenas shared by more than just the NBA team.  If you re-seeded, you'd have to schedule on the fly.  

I wouldn't be opposed to moving away from the top 8 in each conference format, whether that's 7 and the top seed earns a bye or it's top 6 and 12 teams make it in, but it's probably just not going to happen.

And the argument for the NBA season is too long is preposterous.  The NBA season is 7 months.  The NFL season is just over 5 months.  The MLB season is 6 months.  The NBA has the most travel of any sport which figures into that little bit of extra time.  To want to reduce it slightly to say 70-75 games to shorten it 2-3 weeks is fine, but the point to reducing the NBA schedule would be to provide longer breaks in between games and prevent back to backs wouldn't reduce the schedule at all.  And to add to the argument, MLB has two months of spring training.  That makes it the longest season extending it to 8 months.
            Using the length of the MLB season to rationalize that the NBA season isnt too long is what is preposterous. I see no reason for a 6 month regular for MLB either. The Bucks started the regular season on Oct 18, 2017 and their last REGULAR season game will be April 11, 2018. That is entirely way way way too long when you add in the preseason and the post season. Last season the 5th game of the NBA finals(last game) was on June 13th. If it had gone 7 games, you  can add another week to it. With the preseason workouts, preseason games, regular season and the playoffs -we end up with nearly a 9 month season. I KNOW MLB is just as long OR longer. That doesn't justify it for me. Both the NBA and MLB have nearly 9 month season which is just too long. In the NFL, the Packers played their first regular season game on Sept 10th and their last regular season game on Dec 31st - this is SANE regular season - less than 4 months. I concede the preseason for the NFL is a joke and not needed, but that doesn't justify the long long long NBA season. It is almost getting to the point that the NBA might as well play year round. By the time the NBA finals are over in June - it is about 3 months till preseason workouts begin in Sept. I am just getting to wonder why 82 regular season games need to be played as many of the games are meaningless. NFL has many meaningless games regular season games, but they aren't stretched over 6 months. The NFL regular season runs a bit less than 4 months.

The $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$  is obviously working for the NBA and the big money owners don't mind spending their cash, so it will continue. I just think it makes for a weaker league when you have so many teams and such a long regular season with tons of meaningless games. I realize more teams in the playoffs means more $$$$$$$$$$, but so many of these early playoff series are just BAD BAD basketball.

I like the moniker of having the consumer 'want more' and the NBA and MLB don't do that. Who the hell wants more NBA or MLB games?? Virtually no one I talk too. I lost interest in the NBA when they kept expanding and expanding. Also have lost a lot of interest in MLB because they have expanded and expanded to too many teams. Has to be a reason the Miami Marlins cant draw fans with the guys they had on that team?? You see lack of crowds at many of the stadiums in baseball - not so much in the NBA(I do realize that).
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Changing Various NBA Formats

Either shorten the regular season or go back to 8 teams in the playoffs. Having playoff series in late May and into June is just insane.

I suspect teams would rather keep the 16 teams in the playoffs, so they could go back to playing about 70 games or less for the regular season. Many(if not most) of the regular season games are meaningless anyway. I think many people in the NBA front offices dont realize how many fans they are losing to MLB by the middle of the NBA playoffs.  16 out of 30 teams make the playoffs?  seems ridiculous - I agree that if they stay with 16 teams those 1st 2 series need to be best of 5.

MLB has 32 teams and 10 make the playoffs. NFL has 32 teams and 12 make the playoffs. Both have play in games or 1st round byes for top teams. I could see going with 6 teams out of both conferences with the 1st place team in each conference getting a bye. Still would have 4 series, but it would make games mean more during the regular season.

Yep, I know it wont happen UNTIL(or if) a serious lack of interest shows up on the bottomline$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
As long as networks throw out big bucks for carrying games, things will continue 'as is' for the NBA. I just don't see that continuing
with so many media outlets out there. Eventually these networks are going to see red on their bottom lines. Great times don't continue
forever.

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Brewers Hot Stove 2017-18 Edition
yzerman1 wrote:

Lorenzo Cain has a full no trade clause so there is no chance he will be traded.  If Braun is going to play first base then Jesus Aguilar will have to be released since he is out of minor league options.  No one is going to trade for him since every team knows the Brewers situation.  Last year the Thames/Aguilar platoon had a slash line of .268/.360/.544.  Braun had a slash line of .268/.336/.487 for the season.  The platoon of Thames/Aguilar produced better results last year than Braun.  I think Braun's days as an elite hitter are behind him, you can really only count on 120 games out of him now.
         I am fully aware of the 'no trade' thing in Cain's contract, but do you honestly think he would turn down a trade to the Dodgers, Cubs, Astros, Nationals or the Yankees??  I kinda doubt that. It would have to be to a team that loses a top level outfielder and IS  team with a good shot at winning it all. I agree it sounds bizarre, but signing him to me was just as bizarre when 2 top level OF's were simply not needed on the Brewer team to give them the push to the playoff or further. I wouldnt say there is NO chance. Probably a very slight chance, but a chance none the less.  The way this is going, I wonder if the Brewers are considering just paying Braun off and ending that story?
I thought the Brewers should have moved Braun to 1st base about 3-4 years ago, yet they didn't. Just don't understand it at all. So many 1st basemen have come and gone.......................
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2017-18 Wisconsin Badger Basketball
banks93 wrote:

banks93 wrote:

 

Yes, the replay showed that whoever was late on the help defense tripped Mason.  

       I am probably biased, but it looked like Davison wasn't moving. He leg was stuck out, but I didn't think he was moving. It appeared to me that Davison was moving his arms, but the leg he had stuck out was stationary(might be wrong, but that is how I saw it). The guy from Minny was forced toward Davison by Happ. I guess it could have gone either way. It would have been a 'cheap' foul call, but we see that call made all the time. The Minny guy was a bit out of control and I think that probably figured in with the ref too. Tough call for a ref to make(or not make when the game is tied at the buzzer). It would have been a shame to lose the game that way, but Bucky had some periods in this game where they  did play poorly and losing would not have surprised me. Bucky dominated the OT, but I don't think that sums up just how close this game was. There was some bad basketball on both sides because both teams are forced to play guys that they probably didn't see playing at this time in the season. Pritzl hitting 2 3-point shots in the first 2 minutes of the OT was great to see, but it still isn't something I will count on. Gotta see if he can do that against MSU, OHS, Purdue or the like in OT.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Badger Basketball
The stat line(points and rebounds) doesn't show it, but I thought Happ played a fantastic overall game. Had he made a couple of the close shots that rolled off the rim and his free throws, it would have been even better. Happ does so many good things during a game that don't show in the stat line. You see it when you watch and he justs get better and better. He doesn't look athletic, but he is. He steals balls, blocks passing lanes, blocks shots, makes tremendous passes, etc etc etc. If he ever develops 'an' outside shot and shots ft's better, he will be almost unstoppable. Many of his best passes didn't get Bucky buckets because the guys missed the wide open shots and Iverson had 'butter' hands again at times under the bucket. I hope they figure out Iverson's lack of holding onto the ball over the off season.
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Brewers Hot Stove 2017-18 Edition
Dont forget that the Brewers 'could' hang onto all those OF's and trade one when some team loses a guy to injury early in the season. Hopefully a trade for a SP. Teams only really need 4 starters to start the season, so perhaps the Brewers will look at that angle. Have to think Santana is the guy they trade, but just imagine the kind of pitcher trading Cain could bring back?? Seems obtuse, but it could be an angle. I also think there will be guys WO contracts by the time the spring season gets going and probably guys not signed(pitchers) by the start of the season. There is really no reason for the Brewers to be in a hurry. The only thing that took me by surprise that the Brewers have done is signing Cain. I just didnt think he was needed if they were going to get Yelich. I think Braun belongs at 1st base, but I dont think we will see him there early in the season much unless both Thames and Aguilar flame out(a DISTINCT possiblity).  I think giving both Guerra and Villar hard looks and shots is just sensible. You don't really ever give up on pitchers and I don't see giving up on Villar either. Brewers hopefully learned their lesson with a previous young 2nd baseman that had a struggling season, then saw the guy come back and be an above average 2nd baseman and leadoff hitter on another team when the Brewers basically gave up on him.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Badger Basketball
thecrackerjack wrote:
UW won their second straight game last night beating Minnesota in OT. It looked like UW was going to squander the game away in the middle of the 2nd half, but from the 6 minute mark on, the Badgers stepped up their defensive game. Continued progress on the defensive end is very encouragin. I believe Minnesota scored 5 points from the 6 minute mark of the 2nd half through OT. 

Happ played facilitator tonight as Minnesota came with doubles as soon as he touched the ball. Ford struggled for the 2nd consecutive game, but Pritzl and Davison (mostly in the 1st half) were brilliant. If both Pritzl and Ford can shoot with confidence, that will really help the offense. 
          I was a little surprised Ford played as much as he did and Reuvers played as little as he did. Reuvers did struggle on the defensive end, but he didnt get in foul trouble. Reuvers DID have some bad TO's though. I guess the combo of Pritzl playing about the best I have ever seen him play in college and Reuvers struggling(perhaps a bit fatigued too) with the defensive end. It did look like Reuvers could score against Minny though. Wondering if Reuvers is hurting?  This is what we all hope happens next year when Happ is AGAIN double and triple teamed. The team didnt play great, but they are starting to do things that the individuals havent been consistantly able to do. Have to admit that Minny is limited with hurt and suspended players out AND having Richie Pittino as their head coach.  Even Iverson played pretty well. If Pritzl, Ford, Reuvers, Iverson, etc can all continue to mesh better with Happ and Davison, next year's team with Anderson, Trice, King and Currie coming back/in; they could be a pretty solid team. I honestly dont see ANY difference in the coaching of Gard. I see alot of improvement/progress from the players. Players are now sucking it up and just playing the game. Alex I. is showing he can play some limited D on big guys off the bench - perhaps he can be a help next season. Guys are finally doing the things they need to do. It took all season, but this team is much improved from the team at the start of the season even factoring in that King and Trice went down.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Badger Basketball

roadkill1 wrote:

I agree, it's called "COACHING."
I may have mentioned that before and you argued coaching has nothing to do with it.

What changed your mind?
         

The PLAYERS have to be willing to play the defense, not the coach. You always like to bang on Gard, yet Gard doesnt PLAY the game. Gard can only teach and show the players what to do - it is up to the players to actually do it. You are trying to conflate two different concepts into one thought and it only makes you come across as a dufus. Tell us how coaching gets Happ making his free throws -  it doesnt. Tell me how coaching gets Iverson to play consistently - it doesnt. You seem to like to blame the coaching of Gard for ALL of this Wisconsin teams woes, yet you dont seem to understand that the players actually win and lose the games. Nice way to try to take a simple concept(players playing tough defense) and finding a way to bag on Gard.  My points about 'coaching' had to do with EFFORT primarily. You cant coach a player to give effort. That is a simply concept that comes from within the play and NOT the coach. It has ALWAYS been known that players of lesser talent can still play defense no matter if they are a 5 star blue chip player or a walk on. For the most part the PLAYERS were simply not giving the effort they needed too.  Gard inherited a group of players that for the most part(other than Happ) have not developed. I dont blame him for that as you do. It happens with teams - sometimes you get a bunch of guys who dont develop. Gard's biggest coaching mistake was to try to keep playing the game that he used with 3-4-5 star players when there is only one such player(Happ) on the team. Coaches also dont cause guys to get injured. Many things combined to make this year's Wisconsin team become a bottom tier team in the Big 10. The biggest problem is lack of true D-1 talent. I think Gard has done a fairly decent job coaching this year given all the things that went against him and the team. When I watch these games I see tons and tons of basic mistakes that players continue to make even though many have been in the system for 2-3-4 years. The best thing that will happen is the junior level class guys using up their eligibility(other than Happ). Some of these guys a coach could coach for years and years and they still wont 'buy in'. That is an individual thing. I never needed a coach to motivate me and the top athletes I played with and against didn't either. We self motivated ourselves. Didn't have to have a coach hold our hands.

The next time they play Purdue, they may well get blown out. That is how this team is. Poor or good coaching isnt causing those problems for the most part - the lack of true talent is. They caught Purdue playing poorly and Gard's approach to the game worked - that game. It may well not work the next time because for the most part the offense of Wisconsin sucked BECAUSE of minimal talent on the team. You can stay in and win games with defense, but it is the players doing it NOT the coach. Only so much you can do and expect with almost all mediocre(and many very young too boot) play by the players. The team could well have played the defense they played and still lost IF Purdue plays even average offense. Purdue played poorly and I think their coach even mentioned that. The talent levels on Purdue and Wisconsin are not even close to being equal.

It is great to coach elite or premire level talent. I have done that with men's fast pitch softball. That kind of coaching is easy. Coaching low level talent to play consistently is almost impossible to do. This was one game. Gard's coaching approach was primarily the same as he has used the rest of the year, other than slowing the game down; which allows Wisconsin to stay in the game(hard to coach the opposing team to shoot and play poorly - that is just dumb luck when it happens). This game the players actually did what Gard coached them to do. The players have to take that upon themselves EACH game. Blaming the coaching is just a copout, but an easy out for most people. I didn't see a lot of change in Gard's coaching this game. I saw a lot of change in effort given by the players and that is why the team pulled the upset. Will the players put out this effort the next game???  I would say it is 50-50. Just too many inexperienced/young and mediocre players to actually know that answer. John Wooden would have trouble with this group of players.

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2017-18 Wisconsin Badger Basketball
traviswilson wrote:
It's amazing what happens when Iverson gives average to above average effort on defense. 
     This group of guys that Gard has CAN play defense like they did against Purdue EVERY nite. Gard just has to get the players to buy into it. The team is limited offensively at this time, but defense can always be played in games. Players just have to buy in and DO it. If they can ever get more than 1 or 2 guys producing offensively, the team would beat many of the teams in the present Big 10. Happ always can score. Davison is 'usually' a guy who can score. They need Iverson and Pritzl to step up on the offensive side and be more consistent. Add in Reuvers, King and Ford for next year and there is hope there. It will all come down to playing defense. IF they decide to actually play tough D next season ALL the time, they actually might return the the NCAA tourney a year earlier than most of us expect.
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Brewers Hot Stove 2017-18 Edition
wiscopetty wrote: Not sure about Moustakas, but Hosmer allegedly had a 7-year offer from the Padres and Royals. Sorry, but if you're approaching 30 like those guys are, you have to be crazy to turn down a deal that will pay you until you're 35. These contracts made more sense when guys were pumping themselves with steroids and playing into their mid-30s. Now you're lucky if a guy doesn't fall off a production cliff after 29.      I realize Hosmer has put together 7 pretty good seasons and he is at his athletic apex, but it makes one wonder who is advising these guys when they turn down a $140 million 7 year contract that takes him to age 35.  Cant believe he is as dumb as Jonathon Villar, but it does make me wonder how bright the guy is. Just because Boras wants more, doesn't mean the player has to be stupid. I think the huge huge multi-year contracts are going to decline every year. Teams will pay big money for a year or 2-3, but I don't think the mega contracts are going to be seen very often anymore because almost all of them have come back to bite the teams.
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Brewers Hot Stove 2017-18 Edition
wiscopetty wrote:
Here are the pitchers remaining on the market deemed worthy of a market valuation from Spotrac:
  • Jake Arrieta, 31, $26 million AAV
  • Alex Cobb, 30, $18 million AAV
  • Lance Lynn, 30, $16 million AAV
  • Jeremy Hellickson, 30, $16 million AAV
  • Chris Tillman, 29, $9 million AAV
Frankly, I don't think Arrieta is THAT much better than the other guys to warrant such a big discrepancy in salary. I'd rather the Brewers take a chance on Cobb, Lynn, or Hellickson on a short-term deal.
      Tillman looks enticing if you can sign him for a year. I dont know the extent of his previous shoulder injury, but he is a big guy who has decent velocity and throws 4 pitches. Perhaps the Brewers could sign him for a year for $5-6Million for one year. A risk, but again a possible big upside. Guy will soon turn 30, so he still has age on his side for awhile. Have to wonder about all the pitchers the Orioles have as free agents though. Is it the players or possibly the pitching coach/coaches and other coaching/managing. Sometimes guys just need to go to another team. He has been in the Oriole system for about 10 years now. Perhaps a a change of scenery can get him to 12-14 wins?
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Brewers Hot Stove 2017-18 Edition
wiscopetty wrote:
I am surprised that someone like Mike Moustakas remains unsigned. He put up maybe his best numbers in 2017, and as a power lefty, there's gotta be a spot out there somewhere for him. The Yankees or Twins would make sense.

Oh wait, his agent is Scott Boras? Never mind then.
      Is he the guy who 'turned down' a 7 year - $140 million deal because he wants 8 years? Hard to see collusion when a contract like that is offered. That may be Eric Hosmer - one of them did turn down a contract as I listed. Boras just chases away teams.
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2018 Winter Olympics

I have never been a big follower of the winter olympics(summer a bit more), but this year I just dont find it compelling at all.

I honestly thought it would be good with Costas gone. Cant stand that sanctimonious midget.

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Brewers Hot Stove 2017-18 Edition
wiscopetty wrote:
The Brewers sign LHP Wade Miley to a minor-league deal: $2.5 million salary if he makes the Brewers roster with another $3.2 million incentives, which top out at 190 innings pitched or 55 relief appearances.

https://www.jsonline.com/story/sports/mlb/brewers/2018/02/14/brewers-sign-veteran-left-hander-wade-miley-minor-league-deal-invitation-camp/335494002/
        These are the kinds of pitchers I personally like to see the Brewers take a shot at, at this point in the 'rebuild'. Low risk with a possible high reward. A lot of guys like this out there. They need to bring in as many as possible. Miley has gone downhill as a pitcher(by stats) over past 4-5 years, but with lefties; you just never know when they figure it out. I am not aware that he has had any major injuries, but I may be wrong on that. Looks like a good guy to at least give a good look at. Just damn glad they didn't end up with Darvish and his astronomical contract.
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