The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports
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The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports

The Derby is one huge frat party but with more bourbon.

The greatest two minutes in sports! Don't know what I'm talking about? Does this ring a bell?

Or how about this?

It's the Kentucky Derby of course! The first picture shows Wes Welker high on molly and handing out $100 bills. He claims he won $50,000, but Churchill Downs claims they overpaid him by $15,000 due to a machine error. So he still won $35,000 fairly, but that's what happens when you play with the big bucks.

The second picture shows Tom Brady at the Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather fight after he had just gotten off the plane from the Kentucky Derby. He lives a pretty tough live, I know.

Anyways, the Kentucky Derby is a spectacular sight. If you've never been, go! And if you've never even watched it on television, you're crazy!

The actual race lasts for two minutes and that is only a tiny part of what makes the Derby so special. The Derby is so appealing to everyone, young and old, because it is pretty much like college. Everyone gets dressed up in their finest outfits and especially hats to drink bourbon and mint juleps all day long. Just look at Wes Welker and Tom Brady to see that going to the Kentucky Derby is well worth your time.

Besides Kentuckians, people do not generally know too much about Kentucky. If you ask a non-Kentuckian about Kentucky, they will probably mention the Derby and be stumped after that. If you talk to a Kentuckian about their state, the Derby will come up, but it will not be at the top of the list. People come from far and wide to see the "Run for the Roses," and for good reason.

Not to mention the betting. Not many places can you legally wager on sports, but horse races are an important exception. Some people analyze every detail and statistic in their programs while others throw their money at their favorite color or number. Don't feel bad for Churchill Downs if you win a big bet, though; they are making plenty of money off of all those drunk people blindly throwing money for the 50-1 horse to win.

The last thing you should know if you will be in the infield if you are like most college students. The infield consists of all the rowdiest people and you guessed it, that is mostly us college students. It is right by the track below the grandstands and it will get wild in there, especially if it is raining.

If I haven't convinced you to skip your finals and buy a Derby ticket yet, I haven't done my job. The Derby is a great American tradition and is an integral part of the horse racing industry that also happens to be a great and rowdy time for young and old. Plus, everyone should have the privilege of drinking bourbon in its home state.

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Tips To Filling Out Your Bracket Using Historical Data

Don't sleep on the Zags.

1. Pick all of the 1 seeds to win.
Since the field expansion, the top seeds are 128-0 against 16 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. A 16 seed may have its glory one day, but there is no reason to think (or bet on) it will happen this year.

2. Pick all of the 2 seeds to win, but if you have a weird instinct such as Duke blowing it to a 15 seed again, do that for one game in only one bracket.
Historically, 15 seeds are 8-120 against second seeded teams. While it would make logical sense to chalk up all the two seed in the first round, 15 seeds do have their glory.

If you are filling out multiple brackets and want to set one of them apart and have an internal sense (instinct) that a second seed is vulnerable, go ahead and pick it with confidence. Always trust your instinct. Also remember that Duke has struggled against low seeds before. (Let's go Troy!)

3. How to handle to notorious 5/12 matchup.
Everyone always hears about the notorious 5/12 upset that you should be picking. Teams seeded fifth are 99-49 against 12 seeds. This is quite a sudden jump from the 80.3 percent mark that four seeds have against 13 seeds.

Why this is the case? Nobody knows, but it is the weird matchup that you should look out for. Based on the statistics, you should pick one and maybe two 12 seeds to win depending on how risk averse your are.

This year's matches are (5) Virginia vs (12) UNC Wilmington, (5) Notre Dame vs (12) Princeton, (5) Iowa State vs (12) Nevada, and (5) Minnesota vs (12) Middle Tennessee. Of those matchups, I like Princeton beating Notre Dame the best despite the Fighting Irish's success in the ACC Tournament. Ivy League teams, especially Princeton, usually give teams a hard time in the tournament.

If I had to pick a second, I would choose Nevada over Iowa State, but this seems like a year in which only one 12 seed will be victorious, but don't be surprised if there are more.

4. Final Four Profile.
Using KenPom data, the median Final Four team since 2002 has an adjusted offensive efficiency rank of 14, adjusted defensive efficiency rank of 15, an adjusted efficiency margin rank of six, three point rate ranking of 183 (low reliance on three-pointers), and a two-point field goal defensive rank of 36. The teams that best fit this data who are in's top 10 odds to win the title are UNC, Kansas, Gonzaga, Kentucky, and Louisville.

The top 10 odds teams that do not fit the profile are Villanova (much too reliant on three-pointers and poor interior defense), Duke (poor interior defense and adjusted defensive efficiency), and Arizona (poor interior defense).

If I am picking a Final Four according to these statistics, I am picking Baylor, Florida, or Virginia from the East; Gonzaga from the West; Kansas or Louisville from the Midwest; and UNC or Kentucky from the South.

5. National Champion Profile.
Using the same statistics, the median national champion since 2002 has an adjusted offensive efficiency rank of five, adjusted defensive efficiency rank of 11, an adjusted efficiency margin rank of three, a three-point rate ranking of 257 (very low reliance on three-pointers), and a two-point field goal percentage defensive rank of 24.

The differences are, of course, better offensive and defensive efficiency ranks with the emphasis on offense, a much much lower reliance on the deep ball, and a significantly stronger interior defense.

The team that fits this specific data the best all around is the Louisville Cardinals from the Midwest region with respective ranks of 23, 6, 6, 269, and 22. has the odds of Louisville winning the title at 15.75:1. That could be a smart bet if you trust the numbers.

Best of luck and remember that while statistics and number are useful, your gut has more weight when it comes to March Madness!

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Wichita State And Kentucky Played Another Absolute Classic

These two teams are so much fun together.

Three years ago, an undefeated Wichita State team and a slow-starting-but-heating-up Kentucky team played an absolutely incredible game of basketball in the second round of the 2014 NCAA tournament. I remember watching it on my couch at home in Pittsburgh, surrounded by relatives who were excited to see me over spring break, and paying literally no attention to anything except the television. (Well, and the buffalo chicken dip.) In the end, Kentucky won out by two points.

This year, 10-seed Wichita State had a chance for vengeance against 2-seed Kentucky, and they dang if they nearly did it.

Yesterday, as the two teams prepared for the "rematch," Wichita State forward Darral Willis, Jr., sparked the quasi-rivalry with some pretty solid bulletin-board material, telling reporters he and the Shockers weren't scared of big, bad Kentucky.

Which meant you KNEW both teams were going to bring it on Sunday.

And it didn't disappoint.

Kentucky held a two-point lead at halftime, the two teams traded leads early in the second half, and neither team ever led by more than seven points the entire way.

And against a team full of first-round NBA draft picks, it was Wichita State's freshman guard Landry Shemet who had the biggest afternoon of all. Shamet hit seven of his 14 shots, scoring 20 points to lead the Shockers within mere points of knocking off one of the 10 best teams in the country this year.

Down the stretch, things got very dramatic, especially in the final two minutes.

After Shamet made three straight free throws, and the teams traded three-pointers on consecutive possessions, Kentucky led by just two points with under 120 seconds to play. Their offense, that three-pointer aside, had been sort of sleepy and it needed something to wake it up.

Enter De'Aaron Fox:


But Wichita wasn't done! Because, like I said, Sunday was all about Shamet, who broke out his super-duper-clutch pants just in time, answering Fox's dunk with this cold-blooded three to make it a one-point game:

But after a Malik Monk block, and then two free throws from the Kentucky freshman, Wichita only had one more chance to tie things up and send it to overtime to get that sweet revenge, and they came thiiiiiiiiiiiiiis close... but couldn't make it happen.

Still, such a tremendous game from two very good teams. Wichita State probably (read: definitely) deserved higher than a 10-seed, but Kentucky was just better on Sunday. Also, these two teams should play each other every day for the rest of time.

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Kentucky Turned The Most Weird, Unlikely Triple Play Against Louisville

Talmbout some weird college baseball!

It's pretty easy to lose it amidst the NBA playoffs, NHL playoffs, beginning of Major League Baseball, and the impending NFL draft, but there's this great thing called college baseball that you most definitely should not forget about because, like all college sports, college baseball usually results in some wild stuff.

Case in point: this insane triple-play in Tuesday's Kentucky vs. Louisville game.

First of all, this is a matchup between two Top 15 teams in the country, which is doubly exciting because Kentucky and Louisville are always, always, always rivals, regardless of the sport being played. So, big ol' stakes going on here

And then Kentucky is beating the supposedly better team, and they decide to turn this absolutely obscene triple play?!

1. Good defensive baseball, Kentucky.

2. @Louisville: WTF WERE YOU DOING HERE?!

In the end: baseball is always fun, and you should not forget to watch college baseball.

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Best Names In The 2017 Kentucky Derby

Aaaand they're off!

The Kentucky Derby is more than just your average horse race. It is a long-standing American tradition with an abundance of rich history. It's a beautiful combination of drinking, gambling, and watching 1,200 pound behemoths sprint around a 1 1/4 mile track.

The Kentucky Derby is a great day for some casual gambling. That being said, much like everyone else who isn't an expert horse better, I don't have any idea who the favorite is. I usually make my pick based solely on which horse has the best name. It's quite a simple strategy.

You can tell a lot about someone from their name.

Irap? Does the name mean the horse actually raps? If this horse has anything in common with some of the SoundCloud rappers from my hometown, then this horse is a loser, and will probably quit halfway through the race.

Stay away from this pick, stay far away.

Classic Empire
This is a boss horse name. If this horse is as powerful as his name, then it's a sure fire lock. Classic Empire has a nice ring to it.

Irish War Cry
I don't know what an Irish War Cry sounds like, but I would imagine it's a loud roar that comes out of someone's mouth after taking a shot of Jameson.

J Boys Echo
I have no idea what this name means, but I love it. J Boys Echo. It's just fun to say. I don't even care that this horse is getting 20-1 odds. With a name this electric, you know he's gonna put on a show for the folks. I wouldn't be surprised if he comes all the way from the back to win, and then takes a filly into the stables after the race. (For you horse rookies, a filly is a young female horse.)

Had to do a little research on this one. Apparently the horse is named Patch because he only has one eye. Now, I'm no horse expert but I don't think missing an eye affects their racing ability. They say that the blind are able to compensate for their lack of sight in other areas. I mean Daredevil is blind and he's a superhero. Patch is only half-blind, think of what he is capable of.

I like to root for the underdog, so that's why I have to go with Patch. One eye or not, put all the money on Patch.

The Kentucky Derby coverage begins Saturday, May 6 at 2:30 p.m. EST on NBC.

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Is This A Real Race Horse Name Or Not? (Quiz)

Seabiscuit. No?

Race horse names can be quite comical. I have no idea why some get the names they get, but they're either puzzling, creative or at least amusing.

This year's crop of race horses include names such as Lookin at Lee, Fast and Accurate, Always Dreaming, Battle of Midway, Practical Joke, and McCracken.

So, let's have some fun with this. I've looked up names of horses from the past four Kentucky Derby's, and made up a bunch of wacky names of my own. Your task: identify real horse names from the said past Kentucky Derby's, and identify those that are fake names.

Enjoy, and good luck!