Evan Mellett: 00:09 Hi everyone, welcome back to the 10th edition of the Sports Run On podcast. Today we will be starting by talking about the sports that are starting up there– the different sports that’ll be starting up their season and we’re finishing by talking about the different sports that will be ending their seasons soon or, going into the postseason. Starting out with the sport that will be starting its season is going to be– we will talk first about the MLB. The MLB just had its opening day. The MLB is getting up and rolling with different players, different stars on different teams such as Manny Machado, on the Padres and Bryce Harper on the Phillies, one of its first games back in DC, one of the second games of the season, as opening day was a couple days ago, he was very much booed by the DC crowd, when his trip back to them, with them wearing Harper t shirts with duct-taped X’s over the Harper part of it. 

Evan Mellett: 01:11 Signifying that they do not want him anymore, and that he betrayed them. Harper took that and proceeded in that game to hit a 458-foot moon-shot home run out of their Park. Probably kind of saying, “you don’t want me anymore. Well, I don’t want to be here anymore anyway”, so he proceeded hit a home run out of the ballpark. There’s still a lot of games to be played with Harper and the Phillies. He will adjust to Philadelphia if they can make a push to the postseason after signing him within one of the big free agents when it comes to the MLB of this postseason. Now, after talking a little bit about the MLB, we will get into the different sports that will have seasons closing. The NFL isn’t closing right now, but you probably have heard the AAF, American Association of Football will be folding very soon, as its sales went under and it will under actually, after three or four games, for it to them fold and go into bankruptcy. 

Evan Mellett: 02:12 It’s not over for these AAF players, as these give NFL scouts more of a chance to analyze, more of a chance to scout them to look for them to maybe come play for their professional ball club in the NFL, to maybe give them a second chance at kind of redemption after this league folded on them. Earlier before I was broadcasting this, there was talk that they would not be able to sign them because it would be– they’re not technically folded, they’ve got very close to it, but they have not technically folded yet. In that fact, it has been a technical fold, they’ve pretty much shut down a lot of things having to do with it, but there’s not been a technical fold. But then about a couple hours before I recorded this, they allowed it, they allowed for these players to be able to be signed by these different NFL organizations, to be able to have a second chance of playing the sport of football in a professional league. Now moving over to the NBA. 

Evan Mellett: 03:10 The NBA also have a season that is coming to the end, as looking at the NBA postseason as certain teams look for push for the seventh and eighth spot in the postseason to try to play for chance at playing in the NBA Finals. The favorites have seen the same over the period of time as it is looking like the Bucks and the Warriors are looking like they will be going in as number one seeds. There could be some mix up because I think there’s some interesting match-ups that could happen which can make this a very interesting playoffs, and the fact that there’s a lot of different great teams out there such as the Bucks and 76ers and Thunder, to name a few. Then there are teams like the Heat or Kings that are trying to fight their way into a chance to play, even as the eighth seed, to play like Milwaukee or Golden State in the first round, in these best out of seven series. That’s why I think that these NBA finals are in like– not NBA Finals, NBA Playoffs are interesting leading up to the NBA Finals, is because it’s not like the NCAA Tournament or if you come in and shoot 70% one night and 30 the other.

Evan Mellett: 04:13 The 30 the other will count, it’s not like, if you come in and shoot 70%, oh, it’s over, I never have to see this team again. No, you have to win four times against this team, Home and Away most likely to be able to be crowned victorious in a series for you to move on to the next one. That’s why I feel like I know it will take longer if it was the best three series, but I feel like if anything, that’s a better way to do it. Try take out the weird games of, “Oh, they kind of like flop there”, or I mean, some people like it. Some people like the drama of, “Oh, you win or your season’s over”, type of thought. But I feel like if you put it in down to a three or five game series, even five getting into the later rounds, I feel like it will really show more who’s the better team than who got a lucky game on who, when a ball rolled out or, who’s just the overall better team. But even though that’s why I do think if we did end up doing that, I feel like more higher seeds would win in that point because I think they’re an overall better team, even if 14 or 15 seed sometimes does get that one game.

Evan Mellett: 05:14 I don’t think they’d be able to win two against like a number two seed, for instance. Speaking of teams that made a push in March Madness as it is not over yet, is in the Final Four which we will talk about later in this podcast. One team that made the push is Murray State. Murray State who’s in some cases, most people would call just a one-man team with the likes of Ja Morant carrying the load for them, taking them to the promise land at this point. He will not be doing that anymore as he will now have said that he will be on his way to the NBA. And he will declare officially for the NBA Draft as he is looking like he will be definitely the lottery pick coming up for a team such as the Knicks or Suns, that is not having very good season so far, or in some cases is going with the mentality of tank for Zion, which is tanking for Zion Williamson, to try to get him as the number one pick because of how much over force he was in college, in the one year he spent at Duke. 

Evan Mellett: 06:15 One of the teams that is tanking right now is the Suns, they only have 14 wins this season, 13 to 14 wins this season, just like the Knicks. As the Suns probably won’t– it will be very hard for them to win, especially win their last couple games, because for the last three games of the season which are left, they will be sitting down their store and pretty much what some people think the guy that should not even be on the Suns, he should be in a way better team, Devin Booker, they’ll be sitting him down after an ankle injury, trying not to lose him for a farther season. Even though he was averaging very good numbers throughout this entire year, most people would just say, if only he was on a good team, they think he could really do a lot and help a team really like make that push that’s on the edge or not making it such as the Lakers, who could really make that push and make a real jump up to the next stage. Speaking of that, it will be interesting this year in the NBA Playoffs, if anything, to see a playoffs without LeBron. Like, to see a playoffs just without LeBron, it was kind of just an anti-climactic season overall in LA. 

Evan Mellett: 07:18 They kind of fell flat, they fell out of the playoff race and they just kind of fell flat. Now, he’s saying he thinks it’s really his duty to go out and recruit to get them a team next year to build to make that run deep, deep into the NBA playoffs. Another person I mean, we’re thinking that Zion will declare, which he most likely already will, is one of his teammates probably also will declare and that would be RJ Barrett, as he, after their loss to UCF in March Madness, after they lost to Michigan State in March Madness, he has declared for the NBA Draft after their bad loss. As it’s looking like Cam Reddish will too as that trifecta of freshman will probably all be going, and you will not see any of them playing again in a Duke Blue Devil uniform. You’ll probably see them play their last game with that loss in the Elite Eight. But just with that, there’s still a lot of basketball being played in the NBA Playoffs.

Evan Mellett: 08:16 It’s coming down to the end, and that’s when the real fun starts with the NBA playoffs, to see what teams can win and be an overall better team in a series, not just one game, as I said before. Moving on, talking about Zion and RJ, we’ll be moving down to March Madness which in this podcast, I will be talking about the Final Four and national championship game because by the time I’d be able to put another one up, I will not be able to put another one up before national championship game to designate one just to the national championship game. So, but as we said, Michigan State is one of the teams coming out on one of the corners after being able to knock off Dukes, be able to take their road into the Final Four, with their stunning one-point win over them, which probably ended the career, as a Blue Devil, but not all together. Especially, as a Duke Blue Devil for Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and most likely Cam Reddish too. 

Evan Mellett: 09:11 But after now the Duke’s out, it’s interesting because people think some of the basketball playoffs are just like interesting this year because NBA wise, we’re getting a playoff without LeBron. Like, no LeBron is in the NBA Playoffs at all this year, and in March Madness we have no Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, we just have like all new teams that play a real– they all play really different styles of basketball, such as Auburn who’s really puts up threes a lot, and Virginia that really likes to slow the game down, being thought of like, such as a team in the NBA wise is like the Spurs in their kind of a slower pace of the game than like some teams would play at. But then, you got Auburn, you got Texas Tech in the other Final Four game that are kind of running gun teams. Texas Tech, a little bit less than Auburn, because Auburn is– some people say is just a true running gun team. It’s like, “I live by the three, die by the three” mentality that they have. I mean, it’s helped them out so far, really getting some big wins.

Evan Mellett: 10:13 You know, they even knocked off North Carolina with that ability to shoot threes and just answer, possession after possession with the three ball, which is a big deal in the tournament of how you can shoot the three ball because it can really be the difference in winning or losing a game. But it’s Auburn-Virginia, I honestly think that Virginia will be able to pull this out the end, I think Auburn’s run might have come to an end. But I don’t know does. I think this is a hard game to pick because I think, it’s really two very different styles of play, and how these two teams like to play their game, it’s more in different styles. I mean, like different tempos. Auburn likes to play a more of an up-tempo kind of game, as Virginia does not like to, they slow it down and take one possession at a time. Where Auburn likes to push the ball off the floor, as I said, more of like a running gun type team, than how Virginia plays where they play a slower, more settled in game. Moving on to the second game of the Final Four, we would have Michigan State and Texas Tech. 

Evan Mellett: 11:14 Texas Tech, another team that definitely likes to put up the three ball, we have a lot of teams that like to put up the three ball in this one, and also a lot of teams with experience, which is why some people are saying they’re not surprised. Some people aren’t surprised these teams are here to beat, because they think that the later and later you get in March, some people do, the more and more that this whole experience thing comes into play. Because like, they’ve been there before, they understand the pressure that’s put on them, they understand the importance of every shot, every possession. I mean if you don’t do it, your season’s over, and sometimes some people like Zion and RJ, it’s kind of hard to realize that because it’s your first March Madness. You’ve been on big stages before playing at Duke in North Carolina but you really haven’t been like this big of stage like March Madness like it’s not like, yeah, you lost a pivotal game North Carolina, but yeah, you’re going to play another game, or you lose in the ACC tournament, at least you probably will still have March Madness, no. That’s just like your season’s over, you’re going back to Duke and you’re like trying for next year.

Evan Mellett: 12:15 As Zion will probably not be going back to Duke, he’ll probably be going to some NBA lottery team, that will win the lottery to have a chance to have him. But in Michigan State-Texas Tech, I like Texas Tech because their defensive presence and when it comes down to this part of the tournament, I really do think defense wins championships at this point because of how many steals they could force that’s what– that’s the big reason that they’re here, not because they out-shot anybody, not because they like fully outplayed anybody either. I think that they just played solid defense and that’s why they’re here. They’re not here for any other reason, besides that. The national championship will be on Monday. It will be a very big game between the winners of these two games, the winner of Auburn-Virginia and Michigan-Texas Tech, both which I just talked about. There’s an actual championship, I think this will be a very fun final four, especially with some different teams as I said no Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, not really a lot of different. 

Evan Mellett: 13:14 There’s a lot of different teams and there’s not a lot of like known like powerhouses in there, they were knockout surprisingly. It’s just you don’t see a lot– where you don’t see at least one of these powerhouses making it down to the end to fight for national championship. And then you have Auburn going to it’s first Final Four in school history, first or second. And then Texas Tech doing pretty much the same, really making a note for these teams and how like– but all these teams are playing very well right now. I think all these teams especially are playing like at the top of their game. I mean, they have to because all these games, none of these teams that are here have taken a cakewalk like road to here. I think they’ve all had to play very tough games such as Virginia, whenever they had to beat Purdue, which Virginia was really pushed to its boundaries, even though, funny enough being the only one seat in here, they were probably pushed more than–. I know Michigan State and Virginia were both pushed very far to their bounds to see, to figure out who would come to this spot.

Evan Mellett: 14:10 So, looking at seating wise, if you’re wondering about seating wise when it comes to these final four and then national championship games, Virginia will be the one to be playing Auburn in the five and Texas Tech being a three seed, playing Michigan State which is the two. So, I think that these will be interesting games, which is why I said that just to reiterate that it’s like they’re kind of different teams and not just all the predicted, “oh, all the number ones, just got there, all the number ones won”, no, woopty-doo. No, a lot has changed. That five, especially with Auburn really making a statement with their– a couple of big wins against like very, very talented teams such as North Carolina. They’ve really made a push to be thought as of maybe a chance as a really big title contender for this year’s tournament. And just saying again, I think the national championship, we don’t know at the point of recording this who is in the national championship, and we won’t know until this Saturday, but I think no matter what, it’s going to be a fun national championship to watch. 

Evan Mellett: 15:09 It’s not going to be like a boring one like, oh, you know who’s going to win going in. Because all these teams play a very different style of game like, how they play. If they slow it down, if they speed up crazy, if they play, I mean, they play at the tempo that is just depends on the opponent, maybe kind of like a Michigan State, or if they’re very strong defensive team. Like a Texas Tech-Auburn would be an interesting final, because Auburn’s a real running gun type team and Texas Tech is a real strong defensive or Virginia-Texas Tech, where, it’s a slow pace against a strong defense and you maybe not going to have 100 in that game, even total score, but it’s going to be like really close coming down to the wire. And with this, I want to thank you again for coming and listening to the 10th edition of the Sports Run On podcast. And looking forward into next week when it comes to podcasting. This is Evan, see you next week.