Well, I hate to brag (OK, I don't hate it that much), but I did pick three of the four college basketball teams which advanced to the NCAA Final Four.
Only Marquette's big upset of Kentucky kept me from nailing all four predictions, which were in print earlier this month in the Bottom Line.
All that's left now is to see how things play out Saturday and Monday in New Orleans, and I plan to stick with my original choice as champion.
Although Marquette really poses some matchup problems for Kansas, I still think the Jayhawks will prevail. Seniors Kirk Henrich and Nick Collison will find a way to get it done.
Also, I'm sticking with Syracuse to advance to the finals. Texas is strong, and the Longhorns have a rebounding beast in James Thomas, not to mention T.J. Ford, the national Player of the Year.
One problem will hook the 'Horns. Their defensive stopper, Royal Ivey, is not big enough to handle Syracuse super-freshman Carmelo Anthony, who has a 5-inch height advantage over Ivey.
So look for Kansas and Syracuse to square off Monday for all the marbles.
And, as I did on these pages three weeks ago (and back in October as well), I'm picking Kansas. I have a good feeling about the team, and coach Roy Williams. It's always nice to see good guys finish first.
Now that I've gotten all my bragging out of the way, let me be serious for a moment.
Many of you have heard the awful news that Todd Greene and his wife, Vanessa, have been hit hard by the war in Iraq.
Vanessa's 27-year-old cousin, Ronald Young, is one of the American POWs being held hostage in Iraq. News of this story broke late last week on ESPN.
Subsequently, Greene became the focal point for all the journalists covering spring training in Florida. The scribes weren't asking the Evans High School product about his hitting. They wanted to know what his family was going through with a relative in enemy hands.
Certainly, I have no idea what Todd, Vanessa and her family is going through, but I am very proud of how Todd handled the tough questions from the media.
He has never been one to mince words, and he was no different on this issue.
While some celebrities are taking every opportunity to bash President Bush and the war effort, Greene offered a different take, saying to the reporters, "I'm not telling you what to think about the people who ... well, are anti-war. You know when you have a family member who's a POW over there, maybe you have a little more respect for your country.
"I caught the president's first pitch in Game 3 of the World Series in 2001, and I told him then that I thought he was doing a great job, with what was going on in the world. I would tell him the same thing today. I have every confidence in him and the rest of our troops over there, that they'll get Ron and the rest of the POWs out alive, sooner rather than later."
In a day when so many celebrities are protesting or verbally attacking our president, it's great to see a Columbia County native make a stand during a difficult time.
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