Monday, April 4, 2011, 7:05 a.m.
By Benjamin StandigCSNwashington.com
Forget Cam Newton to the Redskins at No. 10. This NFL draft talent evaluator doesnt consider the Auburn quarterback a top-40 prospect. On the other hand, Russ Lande of The Sporting News views Virginia Techs Ryan Williams as the top running back available.
The Hokies Williams is a potential target for the Redskins in the second round, but even if Washington chooses not to select a running back early in the draft, that doesnt mean its not a pressing need. One NFC East observer views the oft-injured Ryan Torain as just a guy, but has interest in the intriguing Keiland Williams. Whether Mike Shanahan can or wants to upgrade the position with so many other holes to fill remains to be seen.
The Capitals may have earned five of a possible six points during the just completed three-game home stand, but Tarik El-Bashir says its hard not to believe they took a small step backward in the process.
Butler is back to try for that fairy-tale, Hoosiers-like ending, but no way are the Bulldogs an underdog even as they face those potent neutral-court juggernauts, the Connecticut Kembas.
And men, dont forget, tonight is your one free pass to shed a tear or at least get misty over a sporting event not involving your own team. Its time for the tune that puts a smile on your face and a lump in your throat, One Shining Moment. It was reported last week that after a one-year hiatus, CBS will return with the late Luther Vandross version.
The first time the R&Bs singers voice was added over the NCAA tournament highlight package was in 2003, the year Carmelo Anthonys Syracuse Orange knocked off former Washington Wizards guard Kirk Hinrich and the Kansas Jayhawks for the title. Those two players and teams are heavily represented in the footage, but the same goes for Marylands Sweet 16 squad. The Terps make not one (Steve Blake after the tip), not two or three (John Gilchrist getting after it on defense and literally running over a defender), but four appearances in the recap. Im thinking the Fear the Turtle faction can guess what buzzer-beating bomb rounds out the quartet of Maryland clips.
While were at it, here are the other recent versions where locals represented the DMV in the Final Four:
2002: Maryland defeated Indiana for the crown. (Gary Williams cuts down the net, Chris Wilcox and Lonny Baxter rise up, Byron Mouton gets his chest bump and fist pump on, Taj Holden stands his ground and Juan Dixon celebrates the title with a skyward heave. Good times.)
2006: George Mason gets on the map. (Verne Lundquist bellows, By George, the dream is alive! as the Patriots stun the college hoops world with an improbable run to the Final Four. Also, J.J. Redick and Adam Morrison cry, plus America gets Pittsnogled.)
2007: Georgetown reaches the Final Four. (The Thompsons hug it out emotionally, father-son style, Jeff Greens game-winning basket that was not (called) a walk against Vanderbilt, VCUs previous top tournament highlight as Eric Maynor sinks Duke and D.J. Strawberry beats his chest for the Terrapins.)