Ultimate Pick Up Moment Bracket Challenge

ULTIMATE PICKUP_LOGO_Final

We’re partnering up with Enterprise Rent-A-Car regarding the Ultimate Pick Up Moment Bracket Challenge just released today in connection with the NCAA Tournament starting this week with Kenny Smith as the official spokesperson. Enterprise is an offical partner of the NCAA and naturally is very familair with the notion of the “pick up” since they do that all the time.

Everyone loves filling out brackets, and this is a unique one that focuses on some of the best “Pick Up Moments” in NCAA Tourmanent history. In the frenzied pace of these basketball games, sometimes a player will have a “pick up moment” where he will left his team up and propell them to victory. Fans will be able to visit the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Facebook page and vote on a bracket of the best NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Pick Up Moments.

Below are four of those great Pick Up Moments along with a clip of the first one. Check them out and then use the Facebook app to place your votes for the Ultimate Pickup Moment. Just like the basketball tournament, videos will be paired together and only one of them will advance to the next round based on the voting of followers. In addition to voting, you can enter to win some great prizes, including a free trip for two and tickets to the 2015 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis!

We’ll be following the NCAA Tournament and the Ultimate Pick Up Moment Bracket Challenge on our Twitter account @bullzeyedotcom so join us there along with the other bloggers covering the bracket, including Mike Johnson of Next Impulse Sports, Allen Moll of The Hoop Doctors and Cory Panati of Guys Gab. We’ll be having a Twitter chat on Wednesday, 3/19, at 1pm ET, so visit the app to fill out your bracket and then join us Wednesday on Twitter.

The Shot

Is there a more famous play in the history of the NCAA Tournament? Duke is down one with 2.1 seconds left in overtime against Kentucky and in need of a miracle to go to the 1992 Final Four, but a court-length inbound pass from Grant Hill finds Christian Laettner with his back to the basket at the top of the key, who then hits the incredible, turn-around, game-winning jump shot for Duke.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

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Grub for Guys: March Madness Spread

March Madness, like most big sporting events, has become a free-for-all of food options. But just because the Madison Avenue crowd tries to pump your eyes and ears full of pizza, tacos and subs, you don’t have to fill your belly with that commercially made food (and I use the word “food” loosely). So here are a few options to try and mix things up in your own kitchen, literally.

TANGY SWEET SOY-LIME WINGS

I’ve been trying to create and perfect various wing recipes, and lately I’ve been into the sweet, tangy and spicy notes of Asian flavors, so here is the most ambitious of this group of recipes.

Ingredients:

¼ cup each soy sauce
¼ cup mirin
¼ cup sake (rice wine)
¼ cup brown sugar
1 inch piece of ginger, trimmed and chopped fine
5 lb. bag chicken wing sections (if frozen, thaw in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before using)
¼ cup vegetable oil (such as canola or peanut oil), divided
Salt and pepper to taste
Sriracha hot sauce to taste
Juice of 2 limes
1/3 cup chopped roasted peanuts
¼ cup chopped cilantro

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar and ginger in a small bowl and whisk together. Set aside. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven on medium heat. Lay wings on a large platter or a few plates and sprinkle with salt and pepper. When you put your hand about 2 inches from the oil and can feel the heat, add half of the wings, skin side down. Sear for about four minutes per side and remove to another plate. Repeat with remaining oil, wings and salt/pepper, but after searing the second batch, return the rest of the wings to the pot, and dump in the sauce. Turn down the heat and cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove cover, and let simmer another five minutes, until sauce is reduced and thick. Using tongs, carefully remove wings to a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until browned and crispy. Remove wings to a plate, drizzle with some of the remaining sauce in the pan and Sriracha, and sprinkle with lime juice, peanuts and cilantro.

TRIO OF FAT FINGER SANDWICHES

People like tea-like finger sandwiches. They are also the food of choice for many fancy cocktail parties. But for dudes like us, they should be called something that reflects our caveman instincts, hence the name “fat finger sandwiches.” For the purpose of making this easy for you (and me), I’ll show you how to make about four sandwiches at a time, and you can multiply out as necessary.

Crispy Cristo Sandwich

Is it even worth saying that this may be the single most delicious thing I have ever made or tasted? Because, well, it really was. And after wrestling with the idea that I would have to figure out how to butter the donuts, I realized that with the sugar glaze, the donut as “bread” would become crisp on its own.

Ingredients:

Butter
4 glazed donuts, preferably Krispy Kreme
4 thin slices smoked deli ham
4 slices yellow American cheese
Cooking spray

Directions:

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and throw in a pat of butter. Slice each donut, lay a slice of ham and then cheese on the bottom and replace with the top, and then place donut sandwich in the skillet and press down with a spatula. Repeat with all donuts, and when bottom begins to brown (about 60 to 90 seconds), flip the sandwich over and cook for another 45 seconds to a minute. Move to a plate as is or slice in half or quarters.

Pizza Bagel and Sausage Slider

Another super easy and tasty snack.

Ingredients:

1-2 links (fully cooked) smoked Italian sausage, sliced
8 small pizza bagels

Directions:

In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, fry sausage slices on each side until brown and crispy, then drain on paper towels. Meanwhile, bake pizza bagels according to package directions. Let cool a few minutes, then put a few slices of sausage on four of the bagel halves and top with remaining bagel halves.

Chicken and Wafflewich

I’ve been semi-obsessed with this classic combo lately, and this is about as simple as it gets.

Ingredients:

6-8 small breaded chicken strips
4 double maple waffles (such as Eggo)
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. hot sauce
2 pats butter

Directions:

Bake chicken strips according to package directions and set aside. Meanwhile, combine syrup and hot sauce in a small bowel. Toast waffles and spread butter on each slice. Then, top two waffles with chicken strips and drizzle with syrup. Top with other waffles (they should be those waffles that are perforated that you can break into four large finger sandwiches) and serve.

PIMENTO CHEESE CANOES

Because you need some vegetables (well, maybe not!), here is an easy and tasty way to put three food groups together.

Ingredients:

1 bunch celery
½ cup pimento cheese (in a jar, looks like cream cheese)
Handful of slivered toasted almonds (Trader Joe’s has them pre-toasted like this)

Directions:

Wash and trim celery, leaving them as long “canoes.” Spread cheese on each and sprinkle with almonds.

BLOODY MIKEY SHOOTER

I imagine this would be a kickass hangover cure, although I haven’t tested that theory just yet.

Ingredients:

½ cup tomato juice or vegetable juice
1 Tbsp. Buffalo wing sauce
1 Tbsp. hot pickled cherry pepper juice
Juice of half a lime

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a small juice glass and stir. Drink up! (Note: This makes one shooter, but you can use this guideline to make as many as you want).

  

Why You Should Be Rooting For Saint Louis

You might be the type of person who roots for the underdog. Every year the NCAA Tournament comes along and you are looking for a team to root for with a decent chance to pull off a few upsets making some of the ‘Madness’ happen.

This year that team should be the Saint Louis Billikens. Let me explain to you why.

About six years ago the legendary coach Rick Majerus agreed to become the head coach of the Billikens basketball team. This decision was made largely in part because it allowed Majerus to be closer to his ailing mother in Milwaukee.

Majerus quickly became the most well known figure on the campus of the Jesuit-school. He was universally liked by the community, even after a somewhat controversial start.

The coach implemented his defense-oriented, slow down the game strategy, but his system could hardly make up for the minimal talent he inherited. But Majerus held true to his system and his recruiting. He was confident that in four or five seasons he would have a winner.
The Billikens faced adversary in their first four years under Majerus, but as time went on they improved. And last season, with a roster full of Majerus’ recruits (none of which made much of a buzz coming out of high school) the Billikens won 26 games and made it to the third round of the NCAA Tournament and pushed number one seeded Michigan State to the brink before falling short to the Spartans.

The post-game press conference was emotional. Rick Majerus is known to crack jokes. He’s known to be a tough guy that isn’t afraid to say anything. He wasn’t known for crying. But that’s what happened after that Michigan State loss. Majerus told the world just how much these players meant to him and how proud he was. It was a beautiful tribute and it was a great press conference to cap off a great accomplishment.
It turned out to be the last press conference Majerus was ever a part of. He died on December 1st of 2012.

Majerus had always battled weight issues, which led to heart issues. Just prior to the season, he stepped down as coach (at the time temporarily) and handed the reigns to Jim Crews.

Majerus would never coach again.

The current SLU players were the pallbearers at his funeral. After his death, the Billikens (who were having an average season), followed his death with nine straight wins. They eventually garnered a top 16 ranking in the nation and won the Atlantic 10 conference.

Every single member of the team and coaching staff is there because of Rick Majerus. They were all hired or recruited by him.
Just as he predicted he built a legitimately dangerous team in five years. And dangerous they are. The Billikens play stifling defense and control the tempo against all their opponents.

They are poised to make a run with their late coach as inspiration. Everyone has a team they root for in the NCAA Tournament. But no one should be rooting against the Saint Louis University Billikens.

  

Four Ohio teams lead the Sweet Sixteen

Ohio State Buckeyes. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

March Madness got off to a great start last weekend, with the usual flurry of great games and stunning upsets. In the end, the lead story was how the State of Ohio was represented by four of the sixteen teams still standing, with The Ohio State Buckeyes, Ohio Bobcats, Cincinnati Bearcats and Xavier Muskateers all advancing to the Sweet Sixteen.

As usual there were plenty of bracket-busters with all the upsets, and I’m sure this created quite a frenzy in Las Vegas as well. The first round of the NCAA Tournament is one of the best party weekends in Vegas, and the sportsbooks are totally packed with fans. I’m sure many people around the country will be consulting sportsbook reviews and the best handicappers to figure out how teams like Ohio can match up against a superpower like North Carolina.

Speaking of Carolina, they suffered a huge loss when Kendall Marshall, North Carolina’s sophomore point guard, underwent surgery on his broken right wrist Monday. As of now, his playing status remains unknown according to a statement released by university officials, but this seems like a huge blow for the Tar Heels, who were picked by many including President Barack Obama to win the tournament. Many now believe that the Kentucky Wildcats have the upper hand.

As for Ohio, this tournament gave them an opportunity to assert themselves with their win ober Michigan. Michigan’s football coach, Brady Hoke, had been annoying Ohio State players, coaches and fans by referring to them as “Ohio” instead of “Ohio State.” Naturally, this didn’t please Ohio Bobcats fans either, and this game thus resulted in a barrage of Twitter taunts from Ohio State and Ohio fans against Michigan fans over the weekend.

Twitter has really changed the way many die-hard fans follow sports, and you can now instantaneously rejoice with fellow fans or get into flame wars with fans of the other teams. People crack jokes, provide instant analysis and spread news in a constant stream of information and entertainment. Every major reporter and talking head is now on Twitter as well. Between the NCAA tournament and NFL free agency, this past week was a sports fan’s dream on Twitter. It’s addicting but fun as hell, so if you’re a sports fan you have to check it out.

  

Saturday at the Final Four: Another helping of Mack and Skeen, please

When complete strangers start chucking mini foam basketballs at you on your way down an airport escalator, you know Final Four fever has settled in. Houston was buzzing already, and we were still more than 24 hours away from the tipoff of the Butler/VCU game. Fans were moving through the George Bush Intercontinental Airport with their team affiliations proudly displayed on jerseys, t-shirts, hats, luggage and, of course, directly on their bodies with temporary tattoos and skin paint. Houston was ready to party. And so were we.

After getting settled at the Magnolia Hotel in downtown Houston, we met with our trusty Infiniti rep for the weekend, Ray Daniels, and headed to Cabo for a quick bite to eat and a couple of cervezas. Great way to start a great weekend. A few hours later, we found ourselves at the Sambuca Jazz Cafe for some dinner — the lobster enchiladas come very highly recommended — and stuck around after the meal for a few more drinks and some great live music. If you ever are in Houston looking for a place to spend an evening out, Sambuca should be on your short list.

Of course, Saturday was game day, and after grabbing a quick burger, we hopped onto the shuttle bus and headed over to Reliant Stadium (home of the NFL’s Houston Texans) to check out Infiniti’s Tip-Off Tailgate event, with all sorts of games, activities and, of course, food and drinks. We milled around the tailgate section for an hour or so, our celebrity radar already on high alert since we could safely assume that some big names would be in attendance to take in college basketball’s biggest weekend. Sure enough, just before we made our way to the gate, we saw former NFL defensive lineman Warren Sapp hanging with a group of people in a tucked away corner of the event, but we wisely resisted the temptation to snap a quick picture. We’ve made a point of not irritating 300-pound former NFL players, and it’s worked well for us so far so why deviate now?

Shortly thereafter, we had settled into our club seats, center court, ready to take in the action. The stadium, like the city, was electric, with fans from all four teams — Butler, VCU, Kentucky and UConn — ready to cheer their boys on to Monday’s title game. Up first was 8-seeded Butler vs. 11-seeded VCU, a meeting of Cinderellas that got the evening off to a great start. In fact, while Kentucky vs. UConn represented what many fans considered the primetime highlight of the evening, the Butler/VCU game was the more enjoyable matchup. Butler G Shelvin Mack and VCU F Jamie Skeen exchanged baskets for much of the evening, with Skeen topping Mack in points, 27-24, but VCU stumbled late and Mack’s Bulldogs ultimately wound up with the advantage on the scoreboard. And that, as we all know, is the only thing that matters.

Unfortunately, #3 seed UConn and #4 seed Kentucky couldn’t keep the momentum going, engaging in a sloppy game of ugly turnovers, poor shot selection and overall lackluster play. Despite being cheered on by the weakest student-body turnout of the night (seriously, where was Husky Nation last night??), the Huskies escaped with a 1-point win in the back-and-forth contest thanks, in large part, to some strong defense on freshman PG Brandon Knight, but we left the stadium wishing the Huskies and Wildcats had played first so we could have ended the evening on a high note with Butler vs. VCU. Of course, we won’t dare complain about what’s been a fantastic weekend so far. Fans here are anxious to see what should be a prime matchup Monday night between UConn and Butler with all the marbles on the line. Can UConn carry its defensive momentum into the title game or will Butler capitalize on their second-straight trip to the championship round? See you Monday night!

  

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