Archive | May 2014

World Cup Preview: Group C

By Vishnu Nagaraj

For Group A, click here.

For Group B, click here.

Group C consists of Colombia, Greece, The Ivory Coast, and Japan. This could be the most wide-open groups in the entire tournament. All four teams can make a legitimate case to advance to the knockout stage. Colombia are led by one of the best strikers in the world, Radamel Falcao, but there is a problem with that. Falcao suffered a horrific knee injury while playing for French club AS Monaco. He was not expected to recover in time to play in the World Cup but modern rehabilitation methods have sped up his recovery process and he has been named in Colombia’s provisional squad. However, this does not guarantee that he will be fully fit in time for Colombia’s first match. His recovery could be the difference for Colombia and how far they advance in this tournament. Greece always seems to find a way to perform at a high level in these types of tournaments and they should definitely be in contention to advance from this group. They have a core of veterans who have been together for the last two world cups and they know how to play with each other, which could be a huge advantage for them. When it comes to star power within this group, look no further than the Ivory Coast. With iconic striker Didier Drogba and powerful midfield anchor Yaya Toure leading them, they could be primed to make a deep run this year. The wildcard in this group has to be Japan. They have a talented duo of midfielders in Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa who will be expected to run the show for the Japanese. This group will be exciting to watch with each team believing that have a chance to win the group and advance to the knockout rounds.

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Vishnu Nagaraj is a finance major at Binghamton University. He is a self-taught DJ and sports fanatic. His favorite teams are the Yankees, Brooklyn Nets, San Diego Chargers, and FC Barcelona. You can follow him on twitter at @DJVishMusic.

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World Cup Preview: Group B

By Vishnu Nagaraj

For Group A, click here.

Group B: Group B consists of Spain, The Netherlands, Chile, and Australia. If you remember, Spain and Netherlands were the two finalists in the 2010 World Cup with Spain emerging as the winner. Spain will be heavily favored to win it all once again and truly cement themselves as one of, if not the greatest national team of all time. They have an ace up their sleeves this year with Brazilian-born striker Diego Costa who was recently nationalized and is now eligible to play for the Spanish team. He brings an element of physicality and power that Spain did not have at the last World Cup. Their incredible arsenal of midfielders cannot be forgotten as the likes of Andres Iniesta, David Silva, Cesc Fabregas, and Juan Mata will be sure the run the game like they so often do. Their number one rival in this group is the very team that they defeated in the 2010 final. The Netherlands, led by outgoing manager Louis Van Gaal, are determined to avenge the emotional defeat in 2010. They are led by the explosive attacking trio of Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, and Robin Van Persie. Look for the Netherlands attack to make up for their inexperience on the defensive end. Chile are also a force to be reckoned with in this group as they possess a complete squad with the ability to score plenty of goals and concede very few. They will look to Juventus’ midfield star Arturo Vidal to run the game from midfield and provide assists to their number one goal scorer Alexis Sanchez. This is a team that could pull off a surprise if they play at their peak level. Lastly, we have Australia. The Aussies aren’t known to be the strongest team in the world but they have enough quality to give the bigger teams headaches on the pitch.

Robin Van Persie leads a Netherlands squad into this year's World Cup (Via AP)

Robin Van Persie leads a Netherlands squad into this year’s World Cup (Via AP)

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Vishnu Nagaraj is a finance major at Binghamton University. He is a self-taught DJ and sports fanatic. His favorite teams are the Yankees, Brooklyn Nets, San Diego Chargers, and FC Barcelona. You can follow him on twitter at @DJVishMusic.

World Cup Preview: Group A

By Vishnu Nagaraj

The 20th FIFA World Cup begins on the twentieth of June from Brazil and it promises to be a spectacular event. Fans from around the world will flock to the so-called “home of soccer” to cheer for their home country. This year’s tournament features an incredible amount of talent, both young and old, that promise to entertain everyone. In the days leading up to tournament, Dabuzzza will release a preview for each group every day following up with my final predictions.

Group A:

Group A consists of Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, and Cameroon. The team to watch in this group is without a doubt the hosts of the tournament, Brazil. Led by Captain and top defender Thiago Silva and exciting young winger Neymar, this team has the talent, the leadership, and hometown advantage to make a strong push to win it all. Croatia are a dark-horse contender in this group. With their big three of midfielders Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, and Striker Mario Mandzukic, this team can be expected to score plenty of goals. Next we have Mexico and Cameroon. Both teams are led by their star strikers, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez for Mexico and Samuel Eto’o for Cameroon. These two teams have the potential to advance to the knockout round from this group but will need big time results to make that happen. Many people will say that Brazil are locks to advance deep in the tournament but they will be under immense pressure to play well. They will be going against teams that have serious talent so keep an eye out on the matches in this group.

Neymar will be a huge key to winning the World cup for a Brazil team that will possess a home field advantage for the tournament (Via Clive  Rose/Getty Images)

Neymar will be a huge key to winning the World Cup for a Brazil team that will possess a home field advantage for the tournament (Via Clive Rose/Getty Images)

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Vishnu Nagaraj is a finance major at Binghamton University. He is a self-taught DJ and sports fanatic. His favorite teams are the Yankees, Brooklyn Nets, San Diego Chargers, and FC Barcelona. You can follow him on twitter at @DJVishMusic.

Two Top Mets Prospects To Debut Against Yankees

By Dan Lagnado

The Mets have decided that the time is right to begin bringing up their top young pitchers. Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom will start the two Subway Series games at Citi Field. Montero was recalled and Jenrry Mejia pushed to the bullpen when Gonzalez Germen was placed on the DL with a virus. deGrom was supposed to make his debut out of the bullpen but in a surprising twist, the Mets placed Dillon Gee on the disabled list as well, creating an opening for deGrom in the rotation. These decisions are both aggressive and surprising.

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In years past, the Mets have lasted into later in the season before calling up their top pitcher. This was the case in both 2012 and 2013 when the team was handling Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler very carefully. In addition to potential innings limits, the delayed call-ups also delayed free agency for the player by a year. With both Montero and deGrom coming up in mid-May it is likely that they will both face arbitration a year early.

These moves, along with the promotions of Wilmer Flores and Eric Campbell show that the Mets want to be competitive this year. This is another stark difference from the past few years. There was no reason to rush Harvey or Wheeler to the bigs because there was nothing to play for. So despite the team’s struggles (though the permanent struggles didn’t set in until later in the year) were not as big of a deal. The Mets have been planning for the future for a long time and the facts are that the future is almost here.

Despite the arrivals of Montero and deGrom, don’t expect to see the biggest gun around Queens just yet. With the arrivals of two young pitchers, the need for arms has been filled. That means Noah Syndergaard is destined for a few more months in Las Vegas. Of course his arrival could be accelerated if an injury occurs, even then it is unlikely as the Mets have both Mejia and Daisuke Matsuzaka who are capable of starting in an emergency.

When Gee and Germen return from the DL, the Mets will have a decision to make. Two players will need to be removed from the roster if to make room for Montero and deGrom. The likely targets will be the struggling veterans in the bullpen: Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth. They earned an extra two weeks in Queens but only time will tell what Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson choose to do.

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Dan Lagnado is studying communications, law economics and government at American University. He’s a fan of both the Mets and Jets and has been writing about sports for four years. You can follow him on twitter at @dlag1995

2014 NFL DRAFT

The NFL Draft starts at 8:00 PM EST tonight. You can follow the draft coverage here

Pick Team Player Position College
1 Houston Texans Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina
2 St. Louis Rams (From WSH) Greg Robinson OT Auburn
3 Jacksonville Jaguars Blake Bortles QB Central Florida
4 Buffalo Bills (From CLE) Sammy Watkins WR Clemson
5 Oakland Raiders Khalil Mack OLB Buffalo
6 Atlanta Falcons Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M
7 Tampa Bay Buccanners Mike Evans WR Texas A&M
8 Cleveland Browns (From MIN) Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma State
9 Minnesota Vikings (From CLE) (Via BUF) Anthony Barr OLB UCLA
10 Detroit Lions Eric Ebron TE UNC
11 Tennessee Titans Taylor Lewan OT Michigan
12 New York Giants Odell Beckham Jr. WR LSU
13 St. Louis Rams Aaron Donald DT Pittsburgh
14 Chicago Bears Kyle Fuller CB VA. Tech
15 Pittsburgh Steelers Ryan Shazier LB Ohio State
16 Dallas Cowboys Zack Martin OT Notre Dame
17 Baltimore Ravens CJ Mosley LB Alabama
18 New York Jets Calvin Pryor S Louisville
19 Miami Dolphins Ja’wuan James OT Tennessee
20 New Orleans Saints (From ARI) Brandin Cooks WR  Oregon State
21 Green Bay Packers Ha-Ha Clinton Dix S Alabama
22 Cleveland Browns (From PHI) Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M
23 Kansas City Chiefs Dee Ford DE Auburn
24 Cincinnati Bengals Darqueze Dennard CB Michigan State
25 San Diego Chargers Jason Verrett CB TCU
26 Philadelphia Eagles (Via CLE) (From IND) Marcus Smith DE Louisville
27 Arizona Cardinals (From NO) Deone Bucannon S Washington St.
28 Carolina Panthers Kelvin Benjamin WR FSU
29 New England Patriots Dominique Easley DT Florida
30 San Francisco 49ers Jimmie Ward S Northern Illinois
31 Denver Broncos Brandon Roby CB Ohio State
32 Minnesota Vikings (Via SEA) Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville

 

Draft Day Trades:

  • Bills acquire No. 4 Pick (Sammy Watkins) from Browns for No. 9 pick (Anthony Barr), plus 2015 1st & 4th round picks
  • Browns acquire 8th pick (Justin Gilbert) from Minnesota for 9th pick (Anthony Barr)
  • The Cardinals traded No. 20 (Brandin Cooks) to New Orleans for No. 27 (Deone Bucannon) and their third-rounder, Pick No. 91.
  • The Browns traded Pick No. 26 (Marcus Smith), and their third-rounder, Pick No. 83, to move up to No. 22 (Johnny Manziel)
  • Vikings acquire the 32th pick (Teddy Bridgewater) for the 40th pick and 108th pick
Amid all of the hype for other players this season, expect Clowney's name to be called first at the NFL Draft (Via Jeff Blake/US Presswire)

Amid all of the hype for other players this season, expect Clowney’s name to be called first at the NFL Draft (Via Jeff Blake/US Presswire)

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Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

 

2014 Mock Draft 2.0

By Ryan Crawford

My mock draft 1.0 was devoid of the early QB run that was expected and mock draft 2.0 follows the same pattern. I think that now that the QB situation has gotten murkier and that there will be a lot of moves both up and down that do not involve the QBs. Houston at 1 and St. Louis at 2 are both candidates to move down. With St Louis having 2 and 13 I believe there is no doubt that Rams GM Les Snead will be moving all over the place. We heard rumors for months that every pick from 3 to 7 could also be in play. Here’s my most recent stab at it.

 

1. HOUSTON TEXANS- Jadaveon Clowney-DL- South Carolina

Clowney is still the best player in the draft. I don’t think it’s a question at this point that he goes number one. I think the question is who makes the pick. Probably will be the Texans but the Falcons are interested and there are a couple of rumors about the unknown suitors as well.

2. ST. LOUIS RAMS- Greg Robinson- Tackle- Auburn

I do not think the Rams make this pick but if they do it will be the manchild Robinson or WR Sammy Watkins. Could Cleveland move up a couple picks?

3. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS- Khalil Mack-OLB- Buffalo

This is what I wrote in Mock 1.0 and I’m sticking with it. “The Jags need a QB bad and if they jump it would probably be Bortles but I think they wait till later rounds to grab the QB and keep building their defense”

Khalil Mack will be one of the first few selected in this year's NFL Draft (Via AP)

Khalil Mack will be one of the first few selected in this year’s NFL Draft (Via AP)

4. CLEVELAND BROWNS- Sammy Watkins-WR-Clemson

I’m convinced the Browns will not pick a QB with this pick and word is they are so intrigued with Watkins that they may move to 2 to get him.

5. OAKLAND RAIDERS- Mike Evans- Wide Receiver- Texas A & M

To me this is the toughest pick of the draft. If one of the elite 4 drop it becomes a no brainer but if not, hmmmm… I’m gonna slot big receiver Mike Evans in here as it is imperative that the Raiders get a receiver, so why not one of the best?

6. ATLANTA FALCONS- Taylor Lewan- Tackle- Michigan

The Falcons need linemen to protect Matty Ice and Lewan is rising up the board. I still think they have a realistic shot at going to number 1 for Clowney.

7. TAMPA BAY BUCS- Odell Beckham Jr- WR- LSU

I think the Bucs will trade down for multiple picks but if not they grab the third wide receiver in seven picks. Don’t sleep on Beckham Jr. One of my favorites in the draft.

8. MINNESOTA VIKINGS- Aaron Donald-DT-Pittsburgh

Vikings need to rebuild the defensive line and this guy is a great place to start. Maybe a QB in round 2?

9. BUFFALO BILLS- Jake Mathews- Tackle- Texas A&M

I had Eric Ebron in Mock 1.0 but that was before I realized Jake Mathews might be available. A no brainer as the Bills need a tackle badly.

10. DETROIT LIONS- Darquez Dennard- Cornerback- Michigan State

The Lions should go for a corner or a receiver here but with the run on receivers, they can get the top rated corner.

11. TENNESSEE TITANS- Justin Gilbert- CB- Oklahoma State

Johnny Manziel? Not yet…. Defense wins championships and a corner is a priority.

12. NEW YORK GIANTS- Eric Ebron- TE- North Carolina

It’s no secret the Giants are in dire need of a top flight tight end. Best tight end in the draft drops into the Giants lap at 12.

13. ST LOUIS RAMS- . Johnny Manziel-QB-Texas A&M

No way the Rams pick at 13. Maybe up or maybe down but not 13. My hunch from Mock #1 had the Cowboys getting Johnny Manziel at 16. It seems my hunch from a month ago has gained a little traction in the media but I’m not sure he gets that far because word is the Rams love him. Could you imagine if the Rams didn’t have to trade a boatload of picks for a running QB with a rocket arm and he turned out better than RGIII?? Is that Daniel Snyder we hear sniffling? Wow.

14. CHICAGO BEARS- Ra’Shede Hageman- DT- Minnesota

Bears need defensive line help. Hageman is a rock on the line and will help.

15. PITTSBURGH STEELERS- Zach Martin –T-Notre Dame

Looking for another Tackle, Martin is being described by pundits as one of the safest picks in the draft.

16. DALLAS COWBOYS- Dee Ford- DE- Auburn

Cowboys are looking for defensive help and Ford will help offset the loss of DeMarcus Ware. I expect the Cowboys to be another team that tries to trade down.

17 BALTIMORE RAVENS- Brandin Cooks- WR- Oregon State

Ravens rumored to be trading down as well but can really use another weapon for Joe Flacco and Cooks is Tavon Austin redux.

18 NEW YORK JETS- Calvin Pryor- S- Louisville

Another quote from Mock 1.0: “Yes I know the Jets need another receiver badly but this guy is a hammer and Rex is drooling at the thought of a young Ed Reed. The Wide Receiver class is very deep and they will get a couple in later rounds”. We will stay with this pick for Mock 2.0.

19. MIAMI DOLPHINS- Morgan Moses-Tackle- Virginia

It’s no secret that the Dolphins need some serious help on the offensive line and this guy should slot in at one of the tackles.

20. ARIZONA CARDINALS- Kony Ealy- DE/LB- Missouri

Could this be a QB landing spot? My guess is there are enough QB prospects for the Cards to look in round 2 or 3. Ealy fills big defensive needs for the Cardinals.

21. GREEN BAY PACKERS – CJ Mosley- ILB- Alabama

The Packers need a lot of help on defense and Mosley makes a lot of sense in this spot.

22. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES- Anthony Barr- OLB- UCLA

A PAC-12 Linebacker for Chip Kelly to help keep Romo, RGIII and Eli in check.

23. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS- HaHa Clinton-Dix- S- Alabama

Chiefs are absolutely thrilled that Dix drops down this far and quickly gobble him up.

24. CINCINNATI BENGALS- Teddy Bridgewater- QB- Louisville

We will see if all the rumors about Bridgewater landing here are true. My gut is no but I’m gonna take a shot anyway.

25. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS- Louis Nix- NT- Notre Dame

It seems that everyone who did a mock draft has Nix going to the Chargers. Can you say Perfect Fit? A strong nose tackle prospect.

26. CLEVELAND BROWNS- Blake Bortles-QB-UCF

In my first mock I had Bridgewater dropping down this far. Now I have Bortles dropping to the Browns. Either way it’s a good spot for the Browns to pick their QB of the future.

27. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS- Ryan Shazier-OLB- Ohio State

Staying with my choice from Mock 1.0: “The Saints need to improve their defense and Shazier is a good step in that direction. He can play inside or move outside if needed at the linebacker spot”. Kony Ealy is now an option here as well.

28. CAROLINA PANTHERS- Kelvin Benjamin- WR- Florida State

Clearly one of the biggest needs on this team is a big go-to target for Cam Newton.

29. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS- Kyle Fuller- CB- Virginia Tech

Too good a player to pass up and of course Revis will be a Free Agent at the end of the year anyway (sound familiar??)

30. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS- Marqise Lee- WR- USC

My first Mock choice for the Niners stays in play. “In need of another young receiver, 49ers are thrilled to get Lee at 30”.

31. DENVER BRONCOS- Kony Ealy- LB/DE- Missouri

Can you ever have enough pass rushers and defenders? I think not.

32. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS- Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE- Washington

They probably trade down a few and pick up a couple of picks from a team looking to jump the top teams in round two for a QB. Think Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, Zach Mettenberger or AJ McCarron??

 

Other Potential 1st Round Picks (besides the QBs)

 

DeMarcus Lawrence DE Boise St

Joel Bitonio G Nevada

Jason Verrett CB TCU

Timmy Jernigan DT Florida State

Bradley Roby CB Ohio State

Davante Adams WR Fresno State