Monday Morning Coffee

March 22, 2021

Suddenly, things are looking up for the UCLA Bruins basketball team. UCLA stumbled into the NCAA tournament like Joe Biden trying to board Air Force One. Now they are suddenly dripping with self-confidence after a clutch win against Michigan State, and a solid win over BYU. There isn’t a single future NBA player on this team, but that doesn’t matter. Mick Cronin has them believing that if they can play hard defensively, share the ball, and attack their opponents constantly on offense, they will have a chance to win every game. He’s making the Bruin fans believe that too. I actually hate the fact they are favored today against Abilene Christian, because it gives Cronin ammunition to fire up his team as a disrespected underdog. Nevertheless, if the Bruins can pull off the victory today, an appearance in the Sweet 16 is something to feel really good about in this super weird, injury and Covid plagued season.

Elsewhere around the NCAA Tournament, it turns out the Pac-12 is actually really good at basketball, and that nobody really stays up to watch their games. PAC-12 teams are undefeated since the First Four began on Thursday. USC is suddenly a dark horse to get to the Final Four with Evan Mobley on their squad, and they should beat Kansas today as well, who is as overrated as KC BBQ . Then there’s Ohio State, who got Oral and still lost, as in Oral Roberts. I’m old enough to remember when everyone thought the Big 10 had the best college ball in the country. Looks like Texas gave up basketball for Lent. Too bad nobody told them you are supposed to give up things that are bad for you, rather than things you are bad at. I think my favorite part of the tournament so far was watching Wichita State take a 30 footer at the buzzer when they need a 2-pointer and a timeout. This tournament is Gonzaga’s to win until further notice. At this point we are all probably using our bracket’s as toilet paper.

I think it’s probably time to be concerned about the Lakers. Lebron is now out indefinitely with a high ankle sprain, and after seeing that on Saturday, Laker fans are probably blackout drunk. This was already getting dicey with Anthony Davis out, along with other rotation guys in and out of the lineup. Now the Lakers will be lucky to tread water until Lebron and AD come back, and that’s assuming they are able to come back. There’s still 28 games left in the regular season, so nearly two months, but the Lakers need to make sure they don’t free fall to lower than the 7th seed. Then they’ll be forced to play in a play-in tournament. That will cause fans more anxiety than trying to find a parking spot in downtown LA. I’m sure the Lakers are hoping they can sign Andre Drummond. Sure that would be nice, but for the time being, they need the likes of Kyle Kuzma, KCP, and Talen Horton- Tucker to step and and help them win games. That’s going to be a big change for KCP who has mastered the art of getting some good cardio in these games of late, and nothing more.

As for the Clippers, now there’s rumors around Lonzo Ball possibly being traded to LA. This sounds like a rumor that came directly from Lavar Ball, who is probably feverishly trying to end his American Airlines Frequent Flyer program, and get all his kids back to playing ball in LA. Sure Lonzo would be nice, but I don’t see why the Pelicans would trade him, let alone to a Clipper team that doesn’t have the draft capital they would want in return. I still think the Clips have a shot at Kyle Lowry though. The Raptors claim they are aren’t going to move him, but Wells Fargo also told you your stimulus check was already in your account. If the Raptors continue to sink like the Titanic, they could change their mind before this week’s trade deadline. However, if the Clippers can’t come up with another playmaking guard before playoff time, they should be feeling uneasy about the chances.

The Rams needed a deep threat and they got it. Ok, it wasn’t Kenny Golladay. It was a much older but cheaper deep threat in DeSean Jackson. The good news is that Jackson is always one play away from taking it to the house. The bad news is he’s always one play away from pulling a hamstring and being out for the season. The Rams were never going to end up with Randy Moss as their deep threat, and free agents always have their warts in the NFL, so this isn’t a bad option. They just need to keep him in bubble wrap to keep him healthy, and make sure he doesn’t get tackled.

Another week to go before the MLB season is upon us. The Dodgers are looking good in Spring Training, and so is Kenley Jansen. Funny because everybody is looking for every excuse to write this guy off, pretending like he’s incapable of closing a hot dog stand at this point in his career. However, Kenley still deserves every shot to be the Dodger closer this year. If he falters, the Dodgers will come up with other options as they successfully did last year. Nevertheless, he might still have more in the tank than you think.

As for the Angels, it blows my mind that people are ready to pay hundreds of dollars to go see the Halos play baseball in a reduced capacity Anaheim Stadium. Are we this desperate for baseball that we want to see a team with no pitching that will be out of contention in one week? I guess people are that tired of the pandemic. Dylan Bundy is still the best pitcher in their rotation, but something tells me he might revert to being Al Bundy once the season starts. What he did last year feels like somewhat of a flash in the pan. Mike Trout is going to be brilliant as always, but the Halos have given us nothing to believe that we’re going to see some breakout from a young hidden prospect their scouting department uncovered. Here’s to hoping I’m wrong, but don’t count on it.

Finally, the season finale of The Bachelor went down last week. It turns out that Matt really just needed therapy all along instead of going on The Bachelor. Michelle was savage in that episode and rightfully so. However, she and Katie got the golden ticket from Matt by becoming the next Bachelorettes. I’m surprised in all her honesty she didn’t give her true opinion about his beard. RIP to all the turtle necks that we saw Matt wearing this season. The fact he didn’t even try to get engaged was just a waste of time, as was talking to the guy who shows him the rings. Matt’s mom couldn’t even fake it for him. She said “feelings fade.” Matt’s brother also looks like Colin Kaepernick. Props to Emmanuel Acho, who did an amazing job and asked great questions we all wanted to know. He made it an educational experience. I just wish he asked Matt why he couldn’t find a suit that fits him. The Bachelor franchise really stepped in it though. They tried to create a more inclusive experience for the audience, which is admirable, but in the process they pissed off all those people, as well as other people that were fans of the show previously. I’m not sure where they go from here, but it’s going to be an uphill climb.

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