Emoji madness: My bracket’s Final Four

The NCAA tournament has begun (Hampton just beat Manhattan for the honor of being slaughtered by Kentucky in the Second Round), so this is the Final Four I’m looking for:

In the East

louisvilleCardinals

In the Midwest

kentuckyWildcats

In the West

uncTarHeels

And in the South

dukeBlueDevil

Yes, I know some of these picks are insane, but that’s why they call it March Madness. (For the emojis for every team in the tournament, click here and make your own bracket.)

Catching up on the Ronda Rousey phenomenon

Honestly, two weeks ago, I had no idea who Ronda Rousey was. Then the Washington Post did this major production on her:

The best mixed martial arts fighter in the world might be a woman, and Ronda Rousey shrinks from neither identity. As a stylist spritzes hairspray and a makeup artist dabs a brush across Rousey’s face for a fashion shoot, it’s easy to forget she can snap an opponent’s arm in an Ultimate Fighting Championship match.

That’s exactly how Rousey wants it. She wasn’t always comfortable with the baggage that came with these truths — not girly enough for teenage cliques, too pretty to be taken seriously as a fighter in a combat sport that combines disciplines such as boxing, jujitsu and karate — but today she embraces both. It’s her modern-day take on what exactly femininity entails: the beauty and the beast.

And then, a few days later, she went into the ring for a championship fight and did this:

About three days ago, someone put out a Claymation version of the fight.

And two days ago, some guy interviewing her said she was just a girl and couldn’t hit, so she did this:

Dude’s an idiot. Anyone who gets in the ring with her is an idiot.

In the meantime, she’s a sports darling, appearing in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and getting ready for a career in action movies. I hope she makes lots of movies and gets outrageously rich.

The best thing about her, though, is this quote from her mom, AnnMaria De Mars (who was a judo champion), after she let her know she was going into MMA:

“I told her, ‘It’s the stupidest [expletive] idea I’ve ever heard in my life,’ ” De Mars recalls. “ ‘And coming from you, Ronda, that’s saying something because you’ve had some dumb ideas in your life.’ Oh, I just thought it was the stupidest thing.”

I guess moms can be wrong.

If college basketball players were paid …

… Montrezl Harrell of the Lousiville Cardinals would be a multimillionaire (via NerdWallet):

NU.march-madness-study-infographic-030215-g

It’s striking what he’d make, but the revenue figure for Louisville basketball is up in the stratosphere. Let’s watch Montrezl in action:

Definitely a first-round draft pick.

Otto Porter is in the zone

He’s just not in the same zone as the rest of the game. This happened in the last minutes of the Washington Wizards loss to the Chicago Bulls this week.

But, as bad as that was, you see the shot didn’t result in points, so the Bulls’ Tony Snell sucks for missing. And the brain freeze by Porter still comes in second to the Philadelphia 76ers total defensive breakdown earlier this season against the Portland Trail Blazers (If it’s not moving, click the image below).

NewVeneratedBlackfly

Deflategate: An analysis by Shaq

So, Shaquille O’Neal and the folks over at the NBA on TNT wondered what would happen if there was an advantage to using a deflated basketball for free throws, given that the New England Patriots were do successful using deflated footballs:

So as Shaq proves, it doesn’t matter if a ball is deflated, he can’t hit free throws anyway.

I figure there’s cheating in all professional sports, but either New England does it more, or it’s worse at hiding its cheating. I tried to think back to the Patriots cheat I first remembered. It had to be this:

The 1982 Snow Plow game against the Miami Dolphins. Long before Belichick and Brady. If you go over to NFL.com (click this link) you’ll see that Don Shula is still pissed off about that one.

Meanwhile the Oakland Raiders are piss off over this:

Ah, yes! The “Tuck Rule.”

But honestly, wasn’t Eric Allen cheating by hanging out on the sideline and listening to the play call?