Markakis heads to ATL; UAB Football; Duke cruises; Sixers Win

Its a sad day in the city of Baltimore. We have lost another one of our great players to free agency. Longtime Oriole, Nick Markakis, will take his talents down to the ATL and I can say I'm sad to see him leave. The O's declined $17.5 million option that made Markakis a free agent. I'm not sure what the O's offered Markakis but I don't we should have lost him to another team when it only cost them $10.4 million a season. His loyalty alone is worth $10 million, not to mention he is a very good outfielder. This is a business and I guess the O's felt he cost too much, along with Nelson Cruz. Nelson a few days ago signed a 4-year $57 million deal with the Mariner, which I think is a steal. I'm not sure what the O's front office is thinking but I will be patient. There are still a few solid players in the free agency pool the O's could go after to help keep the team relevant but letting these two go was two steps backwards. 

I thought this was very disheartening. You never want to hear a program being cut because that means kids won't be ble to play ball anymore. Money is the reason for this tough decision and I feel for every UAB player that has to go through this terrible process. At the end of the days these kids wanted to play ball at UAB and because of numbers, that will no longer be an option for them. President Ray L. Watts said that the "financial realities" they face made the program unsustainable along with this strong statement,

As we look at the evolving landscape of NCAA football, we see expenses only continuing to increase. When considering a model that best protects the financial future and prominence of the Athletic Department, football is simply not sustainable.

I see a telling future in that statement. One that says the end is near for college football, and when I say end, I mean no longer with this be consider "amateur athletics". 

This game was a little boring to me, even though it was close, the Wisconsin crowd never was as active like I thought they would be. Duke became the first team to shoot 60% from the field in Kohl Center, which I guess is a crazy. I expected Duke to win this game and in the second half they showed their dominance. If there is a team that could Kentucky's Blue and White platoons, its the Dukies for two reasons; 1. They are very athletic on the defensive end, and 2, Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones. Jones and Okafor have been playing together since high school and you can tell watching them play together. They might not be as deep as the Wildcats, but their deep enough. Rasheed Sulaimon, who was a starter, is now the 6th man, and a very good one in my opinion. I see Duke making it to the title game, and I hate to say it, they'll probably win it. 

BIG 10-ACC challenge scores:

  • #7 Virginia 76 - #21 Maryland 65 
  • #19 Michigan State 78 - Notre Dame 79 OT 
  • Iowa 60 - North Carolina 55 

Sixers finally win a game, YAY!