I’ve often said that if you look long and or enough, you’ll find a Las Vegan angle to most major sports stories. It’s hyperbole, of course. But only slight hyperbole.
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One of the first reports out of Cincinnati said little Sammi, the 9-year-old daughter of Mick Cronin, weighed heavily in his decision to stay at the school. Of course she did, and you would think UNLV would have realized this before putting all eggs in Cronin’s basket.
If you squinted from concourse level at Holman Stadium in Vero Beach, Florida, and let your mind wander, you could see the baseball ghosts playing pepper on the field below: Robinson, Campanella, Snider, Koufax, Pee Wee Reese.
You’ve probably seen a hundred interviews during which a ballplayer chats about his faith and family and sport, and talks about them in that order. Maybe you thought it was a cliche; maybe you thought that is how it should be.
Clint Bowyer grew up in Emporia, Kansas, about an hour’s drive from Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, where Bowyer’s beloved Jayhawks hoop it up. He remains a big fan and is predicting a victorious KU burnout.
The Mountain West was granted an automatic tournament bid in 2001. That meant to keep a tidy 64-team bracket, one of the small-fry conferences had to lose their automatic in, or one of the at-large bids would have to be sacrificed, which would mean that somebody such as Michigan or Syracuse might have to play in the NIT.
If those who would crack wise at the Vegas 16’s expense will do the math, they will discover Las Vegas’ inaugural postseason college basketball tournament for teams with directions and ampersands in their name has the highest average power rating of the three non-NCAA supported tournaments.
Now, San Diego State will be relegated to watching on TV when the NCAA Tournament brackets are announced Sunday. Steve Fisher, the venerable Aztecs coach, didn’t sound too optimistic the Selection Show would end well for his guys. The team definitely is on the bubble.
When Peyton Manning officially retired last week, a lot of people were telling stories about him on the Internet, and telling shorter stories on Twitter. About having met him somewhere by happenstance, and having had a pleasant interaction with the most affable of pro quarterbacks.
Chicago State’s record fell to 4 wins, 28 losses, which sounds dire, until you learn Chicago State has declared “a university-wide state of financial exigency.” What this essentially means: Chicago State is broke.
And though young Chase Elliott has shown great speed, and great promise, he’s only 28th in points heading into this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Phoenix.
The Vegas 16 is the latest edition to the roster of college basketball postseason tournaments. You have the Big Dance, which is the NCAA Tournament. You have the NIT, the CBI, the CIT, the Vegas 16. These are Little Dances, lovely parting gifts, the home game of “Concentration.”
As predicted, it started to blow like crazy just before the green flag fell Sunday for the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, delaying the start by 40 minutes. Suddenly, the new low downforce package everybody had been talking about became a footnote.
It’s the wind that has everybody fretting. The forecast is for stiff 30 mph breezes under partly cloudy skies with cooler temperatures. Friday’s high was 80 degrees; it’s supposed to be 64 Sunday.
The Las Vegas native, the only local driver in Saturday’s Boyd Gaming Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, talks about turning 40 and the racing goals he would still like to accomplish.
Only 39 cars and drivers have entered Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. A full field is now 40 cars. Last year it was 43. Participation numbers are down. They were down last year, too. Should NASCAR’s fireproof coveralls be all in a bunch? Yes. And no.
Sprint Cup cars and drivers will be on the track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Thursday to test the low downforce package in advance of Sunday’s Kobalt 400.
It was the legendary Dale Earnhardt who famously said “second place is the first loser.” I’m not so sure that applies in regard to Martin Truex Jr., one of the dark-horse favorites in Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
This is the year that for some crazy reason, NASCAR Weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, USA Sevens rugby at Sam Boyd Stadium, UFC 196 at the MGM Grand Garden and the West Coast Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournaments at the Orleans Arena will be held in Las Vegas, concurrently, or at least within the same 72 hours or thereabouts.
You can almost smell the high octane, the burning rubber, the barbecue on the grill, the suntan lotion. You can almost see the questionable yellow flag that bunches up the field toward the end of the race.
There's a special bond that develops over time between a kid and his baseball glove. Even if the kid is from Canada. So when 17-year-old Jake Polancic of British Columbia lost his glove in Henderson, he was distraught. That glove meant a lot to him. It had sentimental value.
Kyle Busch was all set to make a run on teammate Matt Kenseth on the last lap of the Daytona 500 and bring home the bacon for the Joe Gibbs Racing team. But his other teammate, Denny Hamlin, beat him to it, leaving Busch with scrambled eggs and toast.
The third-to-last time I saw Rich Abajian, the former UNLV assistant football coach and longtime Rebels uber booster whose funeral service is at 11 a.m. today at South Point Arena — he died in his sleep last week at age 62 — was at Findlay Toyota, where he was general manager and part owner.
Sweethearts exchanging chocolates on Valentine's Day. Pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training. NBA all-stars playing matador defense. The Busch Brothers of Las Vegas racing in the Daytona 500. These are rites of February.
It's half past 12 at the gym when the fighter strolls in from brilliant sunshine. He looks spry for 84 years old — and for a guy who fought two wars with Carmen Basilio back in the day