The Friday Fizz

What do David Beckham, Brandon Lang, Jerryd Bayless, O.J. Mayo, Frank Sancet, Jim Furyk and Willie Tuitama all have in common? Well, they're all in this week's Fizz of course. So is a shout out to Arizona's baseball, softball and track teams, as well as a disturbing fact about the Atlanta Hawks. So, from Steve Alford to the Desert Disaster I humbly present to you the Friday Fizz.

So I tried to pull a Brandon Lang with my NCAA tournament bracket and failed about as miserably as Lang did in the movie "Two for the Money." I picked a measly 22 winners in the first round and did not fair much better in the second. I'm currently 19th in my pool. I'm not dead yet though. I've got 12 teams still standing and could still conceivably get all eight of my teams into the weekend games. If that happens then I'm right back in it.

I still have no Internet connection at home. For sanity's sake, I won't comment on this any further today.

As of this Wednesday Arizona's baseball team was 18-6 and the crown-jewel of Arizona athletics, our softball team, was 21-7.

Let me just say I'm a huge fan of our women's track and field uniforms. Not surprisingly, I'm not so fond of our men's outfits.

Spring football drills began this Wednesday. Frankly, they couldn't have come at a better time. I haven't received or heard any official reports but Willie Tuitama looks a lot slimmer than he did a year ago.

Jim Furyk still has a point-zero two percent stranglehold on the PGA Tour Driving Accuracy category. He's at 77.7 percent. The next time I hit nearly 78 percent of the fairways during a golf round will be the first time.

Speaking of golf, I can't wait for the 15th Annual Desert Disaster to be played in Palm Desert, California on the weekend of June 9. This is where 60 of my high school and childhood friends gather for a weekend of competitive golf and debauchery. A special thanks goes out to our brilliant organizer Duck Lane who so eloquently wrote to all of the invitees earlier this year, "the Desert Springs Marriott did agree to have us again if all participants wear shirts at all times while at the pool."

I know you know that I've been avoiding the inevitable but let me first just say that thank the heavens I'm not an orator because I'm literally speechless about Arizona basketball right now. Soon, I'll be launching my Coach for a Week series where I'll analyze the state of Arizona's basketball program. Until then, I'm pretty much under lock and key so that no thoughts escape me.

Am I the only one who thinks that USC would be better off next season without bringing in one-hit-wonder and uber-ego-maniac O.J. Mayo? If Pruitt and Young stay, that would mean that one of them, in addition to whom I think is there best floor leader, Daniel Hackett, will have to be on the bench for long stretches. Frankly, I don't see the value in stunting Hackett's progression but perhaps my worries stem from me being scarred by the stream of Arizona's own recent NBA defections.

For those who want to view my above thought as being hypocritical in that Arizona is bringing in its own one-season wonder in Bayless next season, the difference is that Arizona is in dyer need of a point guard while USC clearly is not.

I was this close to picking Southern Illinois over Kansas. If I had done that though then that would've meant putting UCLA into my Final Four and I just couldn't do that. Will the Salukis pull off the upset? I guess we'll know in about three hours.

You know what I really hate. I hate it when I'm surfing the net and I get into a sports site and before I can even read the front page I get a pop up ad for a movie, or a hair cream product, or worse. I'm all for advertising but I can honestly say I've never gone to an Internet site to look for one thing and been so easily distracted as to click on a pop up ad that virtually whisks me away to another site that I originally never intended to visit. If I want male enhancement products I know where to go.

No surprise in that 74.8 percent of those polled in a Los Angeles Times online survey said that UCLA would win the West Regional.

Get this: The Atlanta Hawks are 27-42 on the season. With 13 games remaining, the Hawks are only four games back of the Orlando Magic for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. The NBA – It's Fantastic!

The one positive about having very few upsets in the early rounds of March Madness is you get titanic match-ups in the Sweet 16 and beyond. While the Pitt/UCLA game will be a train wreck to watch (unless you're a fan of either) the Memphis/A&M and the Ohio State/Tennessee games should be very entertaining. Friday's contests feature less glamorous teams but should all be more exciting to watch.

Did anyone hear what happened in the NHL last week? No? Me neither.

We're one day closer to Beckham Mania out here in Los Angeles.

The funniest thing I've heard this week was this morning when Duke's Josh McRobert's declared for the NBA Draft. All indications are that this is a permanent decision.

Steve Alford and Tubby Smith have willingly walked away from the limelight to take head coaching jobs at New Mexico and Minnesota, respectively. Both should enjoy success at these schools, especially Tubby whose more physical brand of basketball should fare better in the Big 10 than it did in the SEC.

Guess what. The Salukis did lose in a nail biter.

Guess what II. I think the officials got the call right in the closing seconds of the Memphis/A&M game. What I think they did wrong was take so much time to make their final decision. In the closing minutes of any game, the players are so jacked up with adrenaline it really does them a disservice to halt play for nearly four minutes while two refs try to determine how many tenths of a second should have ticked off the clock.

If anyone still doesn't see the value in having a seven-foot center on your team, watch the replay of Tennessee's final shot attempt in last night's game against Ohio State. Instead of swishing through the net, the basketball wound up five rows deep in the stands.

I know I said I wouldn't but let me sneak in here one tiny comment about Arizona basketball. I sincerely hope the players returning for next season are watching how tough the teams who are still alive in the Big Dance are playing defense.

Also, for those of you calling for Lute Olson's head let me remind you of two clichés that have withstood the test of time, "be careful what you wish for," and "the grass always looks greener on the other side." If you think Arizona is better off without Coach O right now than I've got some oceanfront property you might be interested in just south of campus.

Now that baseball is upon us, I can say that I sincerely miss meeting my old friend Big John after class at Sancet Field to catch the last few innings of a day baseball game during a Wildcats homestand. Ah…the memories.

Speaking of watching sports, I'll be at Smooth's on Pine Avenue in Long Beach tonight watching the remaining four Sweet Sixteen games. Where will you be?

Somewhere fun I hope.

Until Next Week, Bear Down!

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