Thursday, June 12, 2014

2014 World Cup

Admission: I'm not a big soccer, er..., futbol guy. That said, I find the World Cup immensely entertaining for various reasons. The somewhat bracket format has a March Madness feel and there are always sports books eager to take action on individual games as well as the entire tournament.

All in all the World Cup has become a must-see at the Mackinder household.

Here's my best crack at predicting the this year's results in Brazil. (GO ARGENTINA?)

Let the games begin!

[UPDATE] - Here's a great interactive infographic via that breaks down each country's odds of advancing at the World Cup:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Way-Too-Early College Hoops "Sweet 16" for 2014-15

For a "way-too-early" rankings list to really have any substance it can't be posted until after the NBA Early-entry Draft deadline. We're past that point now, meaning this "Sweet 16" should be fairly close to what the initial polls look like in October. 

After falling just short of his second title in 2014 -
as a No. 8 seed no less - John Calipari will lead the
Wildcats to another national championship in 2015.

1. Kentucky
Analysis: While a runner-up as a No. 8 seed in 2014 it can't be forgotten that Kentucky was a preseason No. 1 before the season. Things clicked a little late and going 0-for-3 against SEC rival Florida - a team that really dominated teh season start to finish (until a Final Four loss to UConn that is) didn't help perception. Reality was that Kentucky was always a little better than the 24-10 pre-NCAA Tournament record. The sophomores who stated for another season plus a top-notch recruiting class should be enough to lead Kentucky to the 2015 title. 

2. Kansas
3. Duke
4. Arizona
5. Louisville
6. Wisconsin
7. North Carolina
8. Texas
9. Virginia
10. Villanova
11. Wichita State
12. Syracuse
13. Ohio State
14. SMU
15. Michigan State
16. Iowa State
OTHERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON:  Dayton, Gonzaga, Illinois, Notre Dame Oklahoma, Oregon