THUUZ’s Top 10 Most Exciting Regular Season NBA Games of 2013/2014

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Here at THUUZ we’re all about the excitement that comes from watching sports. Our real-time “excitement ratings” give users the chance to sift through live and upcoming games based on watchability. Users can also look back at completed games to view our “final excitement ratings”. This is especially helpful if you’ve been gone from the sports world for an extended period of time, or are just looking to re-watch a great game. 

The 2013/2014 NBA regular season is now over and the NBA Playoffs start tomorrow! Here is a look back at what THUUZ rated as the top 10 most exciting regular season NBA games of 2013/2014!

    Away Team (score)      Home Team (score)            Date                          Summary 

1. Miami Heat 111 Golden State Warriors 110. February 12th, 2014. (Lebron hits 3 to win)
2. Oklahoma City Thunder 119 Toronto Raptors 118. March 21st, 2014. (Durant scores 51)
3. Oklahoma City Thunder 115 Golden State Warriors 116. November 14th, 2013. (Iguodala hits game-winning 3)
4. Miami Heat 100 Brooklyn Nets 101. November 1st, 2013. (Heat start season 1-2)
5. Golden State Warriors 117 Portland Trail Blazers 119. April 13th, 2014. (Curry drops 47 in a loss)
6. Houston Rockets 112 San Antonio Spurs 106. November 30th, 2013. (Spurs lose 1st home game of the year)
7. Minnesota Timberwolves 122 Miami Heat 121. April 4th, 2014. (T’Wolves pull off upset in 2 OT’s)
8. Oklahoma City Thunder 115 Minnesota Timberwolves 111. January 4th, 2014. (Durant scores 23 in the 4th)
9. Los Angeles Clippers 115 Denver Nuggets 116. February 3rd, 2014. (Nuggets win on Foye buzzer beater)
10. Los Angeles Lakers 99 Houston Rockets 98. November 7th, 2013. (Dwight-less Lakers stun Rockets)
 
*THUUZ acknowledges that identifying the top 10 games out of over 1200 games is a risky business and that there’s no doubt that the “next 10″ games are nearly as exciting if not just as exciting. Happy THUUZings! 

NFL Draft Top 10 Prospects

Top 10 NFL Draft Prospects- prospectorder from CBSSports

With the NFL Draft a little more than a month away, let’s see who the top prospects are in this year’s class.

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1. Jadaveon Clowney- DE, South Carolina

Although all you’ve heard for the upcoming draft is probably about Johnny Manziel, Clowney is easily the most talented prospect this year. Listed at 6’5” and 266 lbs, Clowney ran a 4.53 40 yard dash at the combine, which is insane for someone his size. Even after a subpar season compared to his freshman year, Clowney should still play alongside J.J. Watt as the number 1 pick this year.

 

2. Greg Robinson- OT, Auburn

Offensive linemen can be some of the best talent in the NFL Draft that many don’t know, and Greg Robinson is another example. A key part of Auburn’s fierce running attack, Robinson’s ability to block defenders one-on-one opened up holes in the run game. Wherever he goes, Robinson will be his quarterback’s blind side bodyguard.

 

3. Blake Bortles- QB, Central Florida

A hot topic of conversation is who the best quarterback in the draft is, and that prize falls to Blake Bortles. Build similar to Andrew Luck, Bortles has excellent vision and has an uncanny ability to extend plays for his size. The most well-rounded quarterback in the draft, Bortles has the potential to be a franchise QB.

 

4. Sammy Watkins- WR, Clemson

A speedy receiver with a wide frame, Watkins is the top wide receiver in this year’s draft. Very versatile, Watkins has the explosiveness and speed that a quarterback can throw a deep ball to. Within a few years, Watkins could be a great receiver in the NFL.

 

5. Jake Matthews- OT, Texas A&M

Johnny Football may not even be the best player to come out of College Station. That’s because Jake Matthews owns that honor. A big, physical lineman, Matthews is excellent in run blocking. Although he may not have the quickest feet, he makes up for it with his big body and technique.

 

6. Khalil Mack- OLB, Buffalo

The best player in the draft you’ve never heard of, Mack has the strength and speed to be an elite linebacker. If needed, Mack could also play defensive end. Mack could easily end up as a top 5 pick, depending on the needs of the teams drafting.

 

7. Johnny Manziel- QB, Texas A&M

The most talked about prospect in recent years, Johnny Football impressed at his Pro Day. He showed his arm strength and accuracy, and he all know about his ability to escape pressure and extend plays. Manziel’s one weakness is his height, or lack there of, but regardless it will be interesting to see where he ends up.

 

8. Anthony Barr- OLB, UCLA

One thing coaches and scouts look for in linebackers is their ability to chase down offensive players, and Barr has that trait. If you’ve watched a UCLA football game in the last couple years, you’ve most likely seen Barr all over the field, chasing down running backs and quarterbacks. His size is also another valued quality.

 

9. Teddy Bridgewater- QB, Louisville

After his subpar pro day, many scouts questioned if Bridgewater should even be taken in the first round. Although he had a pretty bad pro day, Bridgewater still could help out a team very much, especially one that needs a quarterback, like the Vikings or the Browns. One aspect of Teddy’s game many don’t know is that he is very mobile.

 

10. Justin Gilbert-CB, Oklahoma State

In a position that is somewhat thin in the NFL, Gilbert possesses some traits that are very useful in the NFL. His speed and quick feet can help many teams, especially those that like to play in the nickel defense. A 4.37 40-yard dash time definitely helped his cause as well.

Final Four Preview

After one of the most exciting tournaments in recent memories, complete with a plethora of overtime games and enthralling upsets, we have reached the Final Four. Florida, Wisconsin, Connecticut and Kentucky survived their respective regions and will play on Saturday in Dallas. All four teams were written off at some point during the season and no one could have predicted that these four would end up playing for the national championship.

Florida vs. Connecticut

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Florida Gators (#1 seed): As the number one overall seed and winners of thirty consecutive games, predicting that Florida would have an easy path to the Final Four would be within reason. But many “experts” cited Syracuse or Kansas as the team most likely to survive the South region, underestimating Florida’s status as the number one team in the country. Granted, four of the top six seeds in the South were eliminated from the tournament after the first weekend, but Florida has remained consistent in its journey to the Final Four, winning every game by double digits. Led by seniors, Scottie Wilbekin, Patric Young and Casey Prather, Florida will look to follow Louisville and Kentucky as another number one overall seed to win the tournament. However, both the Gators’ losses have come against Final Four teams (Wisconsin and UConn).

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Connecticut Huskies (#7 seed): Led by the heroics of senior Shabazz Napier, the Huskies have carved a path to Dallas by upending the #2,3 and 4 seeds in the East region. Napier’s tournament performance have UConn fans remembering the 2011 tournament, where Kemba Walker carried the Huskies to a national championship. Entering the tournament, Connecticut was viewed as a possible upset victim at the hands of St. Joe’s. However, after squeaking by St. Joe’s in overtime, the Huskies laid siege to Villanova and Iowa State with high-powered offensive performances, then punched their ticket to Texas with a gritty win over Michigan State at Madison Square Garden. Look for a heroic performance from Napier in UConn’s rematch with Florida in the national semifinal.

 

The Pick: Florida

 

Wisconsin vs. Kentucky

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Wisconsin Badgers (#2 seed): Wisconsin escaped a tough West region by defeating #1 seed Arizona in the Elite Eight, a team who many thought were destined for a national championship. The Badgers navigated a double digit halftime deficit to Oregon in the round of 32 to reach the Sweet Sixteen, where they held Baylor to 31.6% shooting in a seventeen point blowout. The season has resembled a roller coaster for Wisconsin, starting 16-0, losing 5 of 6, then recovering to take 13 of 15 to reach the Final Four. Frank Kaminsky leads a balanced offensive attack for the Badgers, who will look to slow down a red hot Kentucky team by controlling the pace of the game. Wisconsin may not look like a national championship team, but it’s been a crazy tournament and they’ve gotten this far, so why not?

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Kentucky Wildcats (#8 seed): John Calipari’s “legendary” recruiting class has lived up to their potential at the perfect time of the season to reach Dallas. The most heralded recruiting class since the Fab Five at Michigan failed to live up to their preseason #1 ranking and mutterings of a perfect season, proving early and often that they were too green to contend with the elite teams of college basketball. Maybe Coach Cal lit a spark in the hearts of his Wildcats, or maybe the players realized that they actually have to play well in order to get drafted, but Kentucky has been on a tear, playing its most cohesive and efficient basketball of the year. Julius Randle has been a steady double-double machine, complemented in the post by the emergence of Dakari Johnson and Marcus Lee in the absence of Willie Cauley-Stein. The Wildcats handed Wichita St. its first loss since last March in the round of 32, then defeated cross-state rival (and underseeded) Louisville before Aaron Harrison’s three pointer with under three seconds left dispatched Michigan and paved Kentucky’s road to the Final Four. The Wildcats have had perhaps the toughest road to the Final Four, and with the way they are playing, they cannot be considered an eight seed anymore.

 

The Pick: Kentucky

 

National Championship: Florida over Kentucky

 

 

NFL Free Agency Recap

A week removed from the start of NFL free agency, let’s take a look into the winners and losers from the first week.

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Winners

Denver Broncos- After getting torched for 43 points in the Super Bowl versus the Seahawks, the Broncos front office decided they needed defense. They signed safety T.J. Ward, then got blockbuster deals in cornerback Aqib Talib and linebacker DeMarcus Ware. Also, to make up for the loss of Eric Decker, the Broncos signed speedy wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. With a scary good offense, the Broncos defense has drastically improved.

Atlanta Falcons- The Falcons have shown that free agency is more about bringing in what the team needs rather than just signing big names. Supposed to compete for a championship, the Falcons’ offensive line woes and suspect defense led to a poor record. To fix this, Atlanta signed defensive tackle Paul Soliai and defensive end Tyson Jackson. The Falcons also signed guard Jon Asamoah for their offensive line. With their holes somewhat patch, the Falcons should play at a higher level next year.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The Bucs strategy in free agency was to grab as many players as they could to fill all their holes, and that’s exactly what they did. Starting with the offensive and defensive lines, the Bucs signed tackle Anthony Collins, center Evan Dietrich-Smith, defensive end Michael Johnson, and defensive tackle Clinton McDonald. The Bucs also signed corner Alterraun Verner to replace Darrelle Revis, and quarterback Josh McCown to fix the Bucs’ quarterback problem. The Bucs have to hope that their Buy, Buy, Buy method can help them for the coming year.

 

Losers

Oakland Raiders- Trying out the Tampa Bay buy everything method, the Raiders instead spent their money on questionable signings. Instead of signing younger talent, the Raiders went with players that played well 3-4 years ago, but recently age is catching up. The Raiders signed d-end Justin Tuck, linebacker LaMarr Woodley, and corner Tarell Brown. Unless all three can have breakout years, the Raiders didn’t help themselves very much.

Dallas Cowboys- The Cowboys weren’t a loser because of who they signed, but more of who they didn’t. $13 million over the cap at the start of free agency, the Cowboys didn’t resign Demarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher, probably the two bright spots on one of the league’s worst defenses. To fix their defensive problem, the Cowboys signed draft bust Brandon Weeden, a mind-boggling deal. Unless they can sign Jared Allen, this free agency period will be one to forget for America’s team.

Kansas City Chiefs- Similar to the Cowboys, the Chiefs did not sign any key players. However, the Chiefs lost more assets than the Cowboys did. Offensive lineman Brandon Albert, Geoff Schwartz, and Jon Asamoah all signed elsewhere. The Chiefs will have to fill these holes, or else Jamaal Charles probably won’t perform like he did last year. Also, dynamic speedster Dexter McCluster signed with the Titans, and there aren’t many players similar to McCluster in this league.

 

Early Look Into March Madness

With the conference tournaments heating up, let’s break down the top conferences heading into the NCAA Tournament.

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ACC

1. Virginia- Not in the conversation for the ACC title before the season, the Cavaliers are ACC Champions. After losing to Duke, the Cavs won 13 in a row. Possible National Coach of the Year Tony Bennett has led the Cavaliers into Final Four talks.

2. Syracuse- Syracuse’s first year in the ACC had proved to be an exciting one. Highlighted by two nail-biting games against Duke, the Orange went undefeated for the first 25 games. However, they have lost 4 of the last 6 games. If Tyler Ennis can return to his prior form, the Orange can contend for the Championship.

3. Duke- All eyes were on Duke to see how Jabari Parker would play in his freshman and probably only year at Duke. Well, he’s exceeded expectations, and his supporting cast have played well also. If Parker and Rodney Hood can play well together like they did vs. UNC, the Devils can beat just about anybody.

4. North Carolina- The Tar Heels season has been full of mountains and valleys, and they need to hit one of those mountains come the Tournament. Freshman Marcus Paige has been the one constant for the Heels, who have lost to teams like Belmont and UAB, but also beaten teams like Louisville, Michigan State, Kentucky, and Duke.

5. Pittsburgh- A win against then #1 Syracuse would have taken Pittsburgh off the bubble and locked them into the NCAA Tournament, but a Tyler Ennis buzzer-beater took that away. Now, the Panthers have to have a Top-4 finish in the ACC Tournament to have a good shot into the BIg Dance.

American

1. Cincinnati- Led by senior Sean Kilpatrick, the Bearcats have emerged as a premier team in the American, as well as the country. None of the Bearcats stats jump out at you, but their teamwork and senior leadership make up for it. This should help them in the Big Dance.

2. Louisville- After Peyton Siva graduated, many thought they would have a down year. Chane Behanan being released from the team added to those thoughts. However, Russ Smith and Montrezl Harrell have carried the Cardinals to a top-15 spot behind their 12th best scoring offense.

3. Connecticut- The backcourt duo of Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright have carried the Huskies this season. However, if Napier doesn’t play well, the Huskies don’t play well, and they have to fix that to be a threat in March.

4. Memphis- With “Grown man team” member Shaq Goodwin, the high-flying Tigers are a fun team to watch. Guards Joe Jackson, Chris Crawford, and Missouri transfer Michael Dixon Jr. can all shoot the three and change a game, but their inexperience has caused them to drop some games.

5. SMU- Not even thought to be contending for a NCAA Tournament bid, the Mustangs have surprised just about everybody. Coached by former NBA coach Larry Brown, SMU have shown they should earn a bid into the tournament.

Big 12

1. Kansas- With number one recruit Andrew Wiggins and post presence Joel Embiid playing their first and probably only season, the Jayhawks had very high expectations. Although they didn’t meet those expectations, the Jayhawks still had a good season. With the loss to West Virginia on Saturday, Kansas dropped to a two-seed, according to Joe Lunardi.

2. Oklahoma- Unexpectedly, the Sooners have performed better than their in-state rival, Oklahoma State. Sophomore Buddy Hield leads a Sooners team that wasn’t expected to compete in one of the best basketball conferences in the country.

3. Iowa State- Headed by dynamic duo Deandre Kane and Big 12 Player of the Year Melvin Ejim, the Cyclones have gained national recognition this year. When Kane and Ejim play well together, the Cyclones are a scary team.

4. Texas- Although he does not gain the recognition that freshmen like Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins get, Isaiah Taylor has been a big boost for the Longhorns, who have not had a great point guard the last couple of years. Also, 285-pound Cam Ridley is a big reason the Longhorns are fourth nationally in rebounds.

5. Kansas State- Another great freshman in the Big 12, Marcus Foster leads the Wildcats into a sure NCAA Tournament bid. The Wildcats have multiple quality home wins, including Kansas and Iowa State. However, the ‘Cats don’t have any head-turning away wins.

6. Baylor- Kenny Chery is one of the most explosive and hard-to-handle players in the country. However, he is inconsistent with his performances. The Bears earned a Top-10 ranking before conference play, which included an early-season win over Kentucky. If the Bears can play like they did early in the season, those will be the Baylor that has been a force the last couple of years.

7. Oklahoma State- After Marcus Smart’s well publicized shoving incident with a fan, the skidding Cowboys had to turn things around in order to be recognized by the Selection Committee again. And that they did. Marcus Smart’s suspension not only changed him as a person but also made him a smarter basketball player. A big run in the conference tournament would be a huge boost for the Cowboys.

 

Big East

1. Villanova- Guards James Bell and Ryan Arcidiacono lead the Wildcats, who like many solid teams, don’t have huge stats but play well as a team. Champions of the newly-formulated Big East, Villanova can contend for the Final Four.

2. Creighton- Three reasons why Creighton is even ranked. Doug McDermott, Doug McDermott, Doug McDermott. McDermott is a probable Wooden Award winner, and seventh all-time in points scored. If his teammates can give him some more support, Creighton can be a dangerous team in the tourney.

3. Providence- Another surprise team contending for a tournament spot, the Friars have put together a quality season. The game that will really decide if they’re ready for the tournament is their Big East tourney quarterfinal against St. Johns.

4. Xavier- Just like Providence, the Big East Tournament will determine whether the Musketeers deserve a tournament bid or not.

 

Big Ten

1. Michigan- Losing Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway to the NBA, plus having Mitch McGary get back surgery was supposed to weaken Michigan significantly. Now, they’re Big Ten regular season champs. Nik Stauskas has carried the load this year for the Wolverines.

2. Wisconsin- A 16-0 start had Wisconsin as high as #4, but losses in 5 of the next 6 games took the Badgers off the polls. Now, Wisconsin is mostly back to their old selves preparing to play in the tournament of probably the toughest conference in the country.

3. Michigan State- Starting the season 18-1, the Spartans were living up to their Final Four expectations. However, injuries to many key players have forced the Spartans to change their game plan just about every game, which has throw off their tempo.

4. Nebraska- Their year hasn’t been smooth, but the Huskers are exceeding expectations greatly. Transfer Terran Petteway has helped rejuvenate a Nebraska program which is mostly known for football.

5. Ohio State- Like many teams, Ohio State came out strong from the gate, but have been on and off the past month. However, the leadership of Aaron Craft can help the Buckeyes when times get tough.

6. Iowa- The Hawkeyes are a very unpredictable and inconsistent team. A recent skid has the Hawkeyes looking to fix things.However, a deep run in the Big Ten Tournament should solidify an NCAA Tournament berth.

 

C-USA

1. Louisiana Tech- The big win the Bulldogs have is a road win at Oklahoma. Playing in a somewhat weak conferences, mid-majors need wins against well-known programs to boost their resume. Even with this quality win, a C-USA championship is the only guarantee they will get into March Madness.

2. Southern Miss- Although they have less losses than some Top 25 teams, playing in a conference without much competition doesn’t help the Eagles stock very much. Similar to Louisiana Tech, a championship is the only guarantee they will get into March Madness.  However, they have a 34 RPI, which is a plus heading into the tournament.

 

Pac 12

1. Arizona- As the early season favorite, Arizona has lived up to its prediction. Guard Nick Johnson is a swiss army knife, and freshman Aaron Gordon provides lots of athleticism. However, a season-ending injury to Brandon Ashley has really hurt the ‘Cats this year.

2. UCLA- Guard Jordan Adams leads a Bruins squad that scores 82 points per game. Although impressive, they will play games in the tournament that depend on defensive performance, and the Bruins need to work on that.

3. Colorado- Colorado’s signature win this season was a home win against then #6 Kansas. A big blow to the Buffaloes was the injury to Spencer Dinwiddie, their leading scorer prior to injury.

4. Oregon- The Ducks started the season 13-0 and had many eyes on them. Then, they went 2-8 in the next 10 games and no one paid attention to them. Now, it seems the Ducks have turned things around at the right time, winning the next 8 games, including one vs. Arizona.

5. Arizona State- The Sun Devils haven’t had any bad losses and won most of the games they were expected to win. A win against Arizona boosts their resume. Guard Jahii Carson is a leader on this squad and 7’2” Jordan Bachynski is a huge post presence.

6. Stanford- This season has been an up-and-down year for the Cardinal. Their biggest win was a road victory at then #10 UConn. These kinds of victories can boost you into the NCAA Tournament, and Stanford needs a good showing in the Pac-12 Championship to lock up a spot in the Big Dance.

 

SEC

1. Florida- Ending the season on a 23-game win streak and becoming the first 18-0 team in SEC history, the Gators are heading into the SEC Tournament with momentum on their side. Barring any disastrous injuries, the Gators are a Final Four team.

2. Kentucky- Coming into the season with high expectations and the top recruiting class, Kentucky hasn’t met their expectations this season. However, their talent level is very high, which could surprise some teams.

3. Arkansas- This season for the Razorbacks was highlighted by a last second dunk to beat Kentucky. Quality wins like that can prove to the NCAA Selection Committee they should be in the tournament, and a win or two in the conference tournament could further that plea.

4. Tennessee- The Volunteers are a talented team. However, they don’t have any quality wins that jumps out at the Selection Committee. Like Arkansas, their performance in the SEC Tournament will make or break their March Madness chances.