There is simply no reason to be out of touch with all the excitement of the NCAA tournament, no matter where you are when the action is taking place.
To help you find the best of connections out there, we have listed a few of our favorite ways to stay abreast of what’s happening on the court.
NCAA Men’s Basketball Facebook Fan Page:
Live stream audio from Opening Game:
Printable NCAA 2010 Bracket Chart here:
CBS Sports has a neat set-up with a bracket manager that can be customized:
Last night the Charlotte Checkers hosted the first ever midnight hockey game in team history.
Okay, technically not midnight, but over 4,500 hockey fans were on hand to watch the first puck drop at 11:59 Thursday evening. Toledo opened the scoring a little over two minutes into the first period. That was all Toledo would need as they went on to beat the Checkers 7-0 in a game that ended sometime after 2:15 Friday morning. Evan Rankin led Toledo with five goals for the evening, while Maxime Tanguay led with four assists. Toledo goalie Jordan Pearce shut the door, making all 33 saves on the way to his second shutout of the season. Charlotte was never in this game, almost as if they were still in bed.
The game was a blowout, yet it couldn’t dampen the uniqueness of a game starting a minute before midnight. A few took advantage of the five dollar ticket by showing up in their pajamas. Alcohol sales were cut at 1 in the morning and the crowd, while boisterous for that hour of the morning, was never out of hand. The midnight hockey game should be considered a success, hopefully Charlotte hosts more at that hour.
Toledo Walleye 7 At Charlotte Checkers 0
Feb 18, 2010 – Time Warner Cable Arena
1st Period-1, Toledo, Rankin 22 (Tanguay, Smith), 2:35. 2, Toledo, Rankin 23 (Sawyer, Tanguay), 8:37. 3, Toledo, Nesbitt 11 (Piche, Keefe), 15:05. Penalties-Piche Tol (hooking), 15:27; Keefe Tol (roughing), 19:19; Piche Tol (high-sticking), 19:19; Stefanishion Chr (roughing), 19:19.
2nd Period-4, Toledo, Rankin 24 (Tanguay, Sawyer), 3:00. 5, Toledo, Charlebois 4 (Nesbitt, Piche), 6:00 (pp). 6, Toledo, Rankin 25 (Tremblay, MacMillan), 15:53. Penalties-Ward Chr (holding), 5:24; Keefe Tol (fighting – major), 9:15; Reynolds Chr (fighting – major), 9:15; Leveille Chr (hooking), 10:50; Brouillette Chr (tripping), 13:42; Leveille Chr (tripping), 19:53.
3rd Period-7, Toledo, Rankin 26 (Tanguay, Piche), 16:27. Penalties-Slattengren Chr (high-sticking), 3:05; Piche Tol (delay of game), 8:27; Zarb Tol (tripping), 9:36; Berube Chr (slashing ), 14:58; Nebus Tol (tripping), 15:41; Rankin Tol (high-sticking), 19:14; Reynolds Chr (slashing ), 19:14; Keefe Tol (spearing major, game misconduct – spearing), 20:00.
Shots on Goal-Toledo 9-15-14-38. Charlotte 13-6-14-33.
Power Play Opportunities-Toledo 1 of 6; Charlotte 0 of 5.
Goalies-Toledo, Pearce 10-12-1-0 (33 shots-33 saves). Charlotte, Munce 13-10-1-1 (38 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Steve Patafie (29).
Linesmen-Mathieu Chenier (71), Paul Reid (97).
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Formed when both Dale Earnhardt, Inc. and Chip Ganassi Racing found it difficult to secure sponsorships, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, with Felix Sabates, is one of the most unassuming stops along the NASCAR race shop circuit. If it weren’t for the smaller sign embedded near the grassy lot entrance, you’d never know you were heading towards the race shop of the #42 Target car driven by Juan Pablo Montoya, and the #1 Bass Pro Shops car driven by Jamie McMurray.
The interior of the facility is very simple, greeted with one of Montoya’s cars as you walk inside. There’s nothing flashy going on here beyond a few trophies; however there is one aspect of this shop that makes it quite unique.
Upon walking in you’re hit with a large glass wall allowing you a great view of the shop itself. The better view is just on the other side. As you walk into the gift shop you’re directed to another entrance leading out to the viewing platform, raised some six to ten feet above the floor. Being on the other side of the glass, this gives one the most unique, not to mention completely unobstructed, view of their facility. Every clang of the wrench, every buzz, every sound of the mechanics hard at work to make their drivers more competitive, to me, enhances the experience.
There isn’t a lot going on with Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing facility. The showroom floor is as humble as it gets, but the viewing platform here is where the action really is. It’s a couple of minutes away from Rousch-Fenway in Concord, North Carolina, and the unobstructed view of the facility makes visiting this shop worthwhile.
Timed to coincide with the NASCAR Sprint Cup media tour, the name change for Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, became visually official this weekend. Each sign–from the reserved parking spaces to the large sign on Highway 29–reverted to its original moniker, Charlotte Motor Speedway, presumably until a new sponsor is found. In an age of corporate sponsored arenas and stadiums, there’s a certain warmth seeing one of the grander sports venues return to its roots, even if it’s due to a corporation not renewing sponsorship rights.
Merchandise bearing the Lowe’s name has been greatly discounted at the track’s gift shop.
So you have your beer. The pizza guy has just delivered to your door. You have your favorite player’s uniform on. You adjust your ballcap, wring your hands and settle in for the evening’s big matchup. However, you have this feeling that something isn’t quite the same. Not better or worse, just different. Then it hits you: you know you’re going to open up your morning paper and get one or two paragraphs on your team. You’ll tune into the local sports station and hear talk about every team but yours. Is there even anyone around that can be the target of some of your best sports trash talking? We’ve all had more than one outstanding zinger cocked and loaded, waiting to let fly on an unsuspecting fan, yet the search for the victim of your carefully constructed verbal bomb seems to take a little longer than usual.
Such is life for those of us who have moved hundreds of miles away from our home team’s fan base. Sports fans have a need to be able to follow their favorite teams. Had NHL Center Ice not been available to me, any chance of living in Charlotte would’ve gone up in flames. Either I get to follow my New York Rangers down South or I’m staying put. I know more than one New York Giants fan who would not move if they didn’t have the ability to get a DirecTV signal and NFL Sunday Ticket. Color us crazy, but our sports allegiances are powerful enough to cloud better judgment.