Posts Tagged ‘ North Carolina ’

Could Irish Eyes Smile At Augusta?

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With Tiger Woods withdrawing from next week’s Masters at Augusta, Irish golf fans will be tingling with anticipation. If history is anything to go by, then one of the Irish players will be the first from this country to don the famous green jacket. The last four majors that Tiger didn’t tee it up in were all won by Irishmen. The 2008 British Open was won by our very own Padraig Harrington, he followed this by claiming the PGA title later in the same year. In 2011 Rory McIlroy decimated a tiger-less U.S. Open field and in the same year Darren Clarke ended his major drought with a win at the British Open. With Clarke and McIlroy already in the field for the trip down Magnolia Lane, they both will try and fine tune their games for this years first major by competing in Houston this week. Harrington will be joining them in Texas but knows that only a win will allow him to extend his unbroken run of majors to thirty four, his exemption from his two major wins in 2008 now expired. The other Irishman in the Masters field are Graeme McDowell who is taking a break this from action this week after his exploits representing Europe in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last week. As the highest ranked of the Irish, Rory McIlroy may have the best chance and he has gained much experience since his Masters back nine collapse in 2011 but McDowell too may have a say. Continue reading

The Globalisation Of The NBA

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Brooklyn Nets kicked off the first global game of 2014 with a resounding 127-110 win over the Atlanta Hawks at London’s 02 Arena last Thursday.

Over the past 35 years the NBA have played 147 games globally, visiting 20 different countries including China, Germany, Italy and Russia amongst others.

Yet the globalisation of the NBA has extended far beyond bringing the game cross continent.  Continue reading

NFL Playoffs: Conference Championships

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We are one week further down the road in the NFL Playoffs, and are considerably lighter now, having let go of the collective bulk of the Panthers, Chargers, Colts and Saints. At this point, as you would hope by Conference Championship weekend, we are left with the very finest teams in the NFL. On Sunday, the AFC will be settled between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots, while the NFC title will go to the winner of the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco Forty-Niners. As much as it’s great to win your conference and receive the trophy that comes with it, the Conference Championship really is just the final hurdle to get over on the road to the Super Bowl. Here is our preview of the Conference deciders. Continue reading

NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round

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Last weekend saw the elimination of the Packers, Bengals, Chiefs and Eagles from the race to the Super Bowl. It did go to show that the suggested changes to the playoff system in future years would be absurd, as it brought about two good games, one great one and one frankly absurd comeback win. Twelve top teams getting the chance to compete for the Super Bowl seems like the right fit, and it would be a shame to see the level of post-season games be diluted in years to come. Whether that matters if more money could be made with changes is an entirely different matter.

This weekend sees the winners of last weekend (Colts, Saints, Chargers and Forty-Niners) progress to the next round, where their reward is to play against the top two sides from their respective conferences. Scant reward, a game against one of the Broncos, Patriots, Seahawks or Panthers, who will be coming off of a week’s rest. But everyone left standing is in with a shot of going to New York for Super Bowl XLVIII. Here, we review the games taking place this weekend, which will set up the conference deciders. Continue reading

NFL Playoffs: Wild-card Round

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The regular season has now ended, and the twelve teams for the playoffs have been settled. While Denver, New England, Seattle and Carolina get a week to rest up, the other eight have to go straight into battle this weekend for the right to play one of them. Here, we examine the fixtures taking place this Saturday and Sunday, and try to predict (in a decidedly unscientific manner) who is likely to emerge, and who will be going home after a one-and-done showing. Continue reading

NFL Playoffs: Runners And Riders

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With only two games left to play in the regular season, it seems time for a comprehensive overview of the runners and riders for the playoff berths that are still to be decided. We already have three teams who have secured some kind of playoff game for themselves in January, but this is one of the most interesting periods in the NFL season, with everyone who is still mathematically in with a shout trying to claw their way forward for a shot at the Superbowl. Continue reading

NBA Eastern Conference Preview Part 2

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Having already assessed the Eastern Conference Atlantic Division , Gareth O’Reilly returns to cast his eye over the remainder of the Eastern Championship.

It would be hard to look beyond the Miami Heat for the winners of the Eastern Championship although I can see the Cavs causing a fair few upsets throughout the season as they look to make a return to the play offs.

The Chicago Bulls have their star man back and look like they will return to the force they were before Derrick Rose went down with a torn ACL. When Rose went down over a year ago so did the Bulls play off hopes for two seasons. The fans may have been extremely frustrated with the delay in getting Rose back for the business end of last season but the extra rehab time should mean that the former League MVP should now be back to his very best. Continue reading