The last week in sports was an eventful one, with the TPC and NBA Playoffs at the front of the action. What made last week so entertaining though, was how often Tech's former athletes were in the spotlight. Matt Kuchar entered the week as the defending TPC champion and received quite the bit of publicity. Tech's NBA players also received crucial minutes in the playoffs, where some shined and others couldn't live up to the moment.
Matt Kuchar entered the week as the defending TPC champion, and gave a valiant effort in his attempt to defend his title. The odds were against him, however, as no golfer has ever successfully repeated at Sawgrass. Through the first two days of the tournament, Kuchar was at -7 and was in good position heading into the weekend. He had a rough round on Saturday though, posting a 75 and losing any chance he had of repeating. His first 16 holes on Sunday were an improvement, but he shot a +5 in his last two holes, and ended the tournament at E.
Roberto Castro was the only other Tech grad to make the cut (five missed it), and a large part of that was due to his 63 on Thursday. Although it was Castro's first time competing at the TPC, he looked like a veteran on the course. He was hit with a dose of reality on Friday, however, and shot a 78, dropping him to -3 on the tournament. Although he was out of contention for the tournament, he showed adversity the next two rounds by recording two 71s. He has a short memory, which is a great attribute for a golfer to have and he should see a big improvement in his game with experience.
Another great aspect of last week was Georgia Tech's involvement in the NBA playoffs. After making short work of the Milwaukee Bucks, the Miami Heat started their series with the Bulls on Monday. The Bulls stole Game 1 of the series, but then decided that fouling and intimidating the Heat was a better course of action. Much to their surprise though, the Heat showed up the last two games and regained home court advantage. A big part of the Heat's success in Games 2 and 3 was the emergence of Chris Bosh's offensive game. When he isn't scoring, the Heat's offense is predicated on drives and kick outs by Lebron James and Dwyane Wade. This formula works against most teams, but the Bulls have an elite defense and can stop a one dimensional offense. Bosh finally "showed up" in Game 3 when he posted a double-double with 20 points and 19 rebounds. Without his excellent play in the paint, the Heat would be down 1-2 in the series.
Jarrett Jack and the Golden State Warriors surprised the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs, but got a tougher matchup with the Spurs in the second round. The Spurs play at a slower pace and have one of the best benches in the NBA. Through the first four games of the series, however, the Warriors have looked like the better team and the series is tied at two games a piece. Jack struggled in Game 3 of the series, wasting two possessions in the last two minutes of the game. He made up for his poor play in Game 3 though by contributing 24 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists for the Warriors in Game 4. When Jack has played well during the season, the Warriors have been a completely different team. They'll need him to be big on the road if they have any chance of moving on.
While the playoffs are going well for Bosh and Jack, things aren't as nice for Iman Shumpert and the Knicks. Shumpert contributed offensively early in the series, but was quieted in Game 3. He forced some quick shots and really struggled on the road. Since the Knicks dropped a home game to the Pacers early in the series, the Pacers now have home court advantage. If the Knicks want to have any chance of winning the series, they will have to take Game 4.
Although it's just the regular season in baseball, it's still important to follow! Many fans and fantasy owners expected big numbers from Matt Wieters this year (considering how protected he is in Baltimore's potent lineup), but for the last month he has suffered through a long and disappointing slump. Over the last 7 games though, his bat has finally shown signs of life. Last week Wieters went 8-26 at the plate (a .308 average) with 1 HR, 5 RBIs and 3 walks. He has gotten on base for the Orioles and the team has won five of their last seven games because of his added production.
In other MLB news, Tyler Greene has made an immediate impact for the White Sox in his limited action. In his three appearances last week, Greene went 2-8 with an RBI. It's very difficult for bench players to be productive when given the chance, since they don't consistently get plate appearances, but Greene has done an excellent job with his limited playing time. After finally getting called up by the Rockies when Michael Cuddyer went to the DL, Charlie Blackmon had a huge first game of the season. He went 2-4 with a HR and 2 RBIs and continued to hit for power. He won't remain on the roster long though, as he will probably be sent down once Cuddyer comes off the 15-day DL.
The next few weeks will be quiet on the PGA Tour since the next major tournament isn't until the US Open in early June. The down time will be easy to handle, however, since NFL OTA's will start in the next week or two and there will be plenty of news to cover. The second round of the NBA playoffs will also continue through next week, so try and keep an eye out for any game changing performances from any of Tech's pros. Are you excited about any of the upcoming events for Tech's pros? Was there a specific performance this past week that most impressed you?