On Monday, Baylor University beat Gonzaga by the score of 86 to 70, sadly denying Gonzaga their chance to finish with an undefeated season. This result was not that big of an upset because Baylor was the second best team in the country this season. Last year, Baylor was 23 and 0 before the season was cut short due to the pandemic. I also think that Gonzaga was exhausted after their overtime victory against UCLA in the semifinal game. They won by the score of 93 to 90 after a buzzer beater shot by their star point guard, Jalen Suggs. His shot won the game. I was surprised to learn that Baylor is only the second team from Texas to win the men’s NCAA tournament in the seventy year history of this event. The only other Texas team to win this tournament was Texas Western in 1966. There is actually a movie about that season. I would have thought that more Texas teams would have won in the past because the state is so big and there are so many colleges that participate each year.
For the NCAA women's side of the tournament, Stanford won for the first time since 1992. The impressive part of this feat was the fact that they had very few home games this year because of the very strict pandemic rules in California. They beat Arizona in the final. All the women's Final Four games were very close and great fun to watch.
I hope I can say this for a few more weeks at least. The Phillies are in first place with a 5 and 1 record! The starting pitching has been quite good so far, especially the two Zac(k)s; Zack Wheeler and Zac Efron. Up until yesterday‘s game, the offense was just doing enough to support the pitcher so the bats have got to get hotter. The most pleasant surprise so far has been the 180 that the bullpen has done from last year. The big reason why the Phillies missed the playoffs last year was the fact that they had one of the worst bullpens in the history of baseball! Thankfully, it looks like this has improved by leaps and bounds. Time will tell.
It is great to have the Masters week back on schedule this year. The traditional look of the course with the amazing flowers is just something very unique to this specific event. There are even a limited number of fans watching this year after no fans for the rescheduled tournament last fall. The players should not be able to dominate the course as much as they did when it was played back in November. The warmer temperatures now will make the greens much faster and in the fairways, the ball will bounce and travel further because of the dry conditions. You are not going to see a winner with a 20 under par score, that's for sure.
I think Dustin Johnson actually has a decent chance to be a back to back green jacket winner. I also think that some of the past champions will do well. Sergio Garcia, being one of them, played very well in the Match Play event 3 weeks ago. Another player would be Jordan Spieth. He won his first event in 3 1/2 years in Texas last week. He has played really well in all the previous Masters tournaments that he has been in over his career so hopefully that momentum will continue. No matter what, it is always a great event to watch.