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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

MLB The Show 11 vs MLB 2K11 - Seth Davis Sweet 16 Predictions - Emanuel Steward trains Tom Zbikowski - List of Barry Bonds Jury Members

Emanuel Steward trains Tom Zbikowski

The NFL lockout has allowed Tom Zbikowski to pursue his passion for boxing. He already has won one fight this year and now he's being trained by a Hall of Famer for his next bout.
Emanuel Steward told SI.com that he is training the Baltimore Ravens safety and will be in his corner for his fight Saturday night in Atlantic City, N.J., on the Yuri Gamboa-Jorge Solis undercard. He is training Zbikowski in Detroit at the Kronk Boxing Gym.
"He told me boxing was his first love," Steward told SI.com. "I don't know where this is going to go right now but he seems committed to it."
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti has no problems with Zbikowski boxing during the lockout.
"I think it's awesome," Bisciotti told The Baltimore Sun. "I wanted to walk him into the ring but I'm not allowed to communicate with him. I would get the Don King hair going."
Fighting for the second time as a pro, Zbikowski barely broke a sweat earlier this month when he stopped Richard Bryant at 1:45 of the first round of a scheduled four-round fight on the undercard of the Miguel Cotto-Ricardo Mayorga 154-pound title fight.
Steward told SI.com that he watched tape of Zbikowski's victory and was impressed, saying his movements were "beautiful."
The former Notre Dame star had a stellar amateur boxing career, going 75-15 and reaching the finals of the Chicago Golden Gloves, where he had to withdraw because of a family emergency.
He turned professional before his senior season with the Fighting Irish, and knocked out Robert Bell in the first round at Madison Square Garden on June 10, 2006. He then shelved his boxing ambitions when it became apparent that he would be a high NFL draft pick.
Baltimore selected him in the third round in 2008, and he's made 10 starts in 39 games.
Before his first fight this month, Zbikowski said he believes he has the Ravens' support based on his previous boxing experience.
Steward says Zbikowski looks like he belongs in the ring.
"He has such beautiful balance. He has a great natural rhythm and he's always in position when he is punching," he told SI.com. "He doesn't box like a football player. He boxes like a boxer."

Seth Davis si.com
Friday, 7:15 p.m. ET, CBS

Marquette is such a scary and unconventional team that if North Carolina had just two days to prepare instead of five, I would pick the Golden Eagles to pull off the upset. This team is not particularly big, but it's loaded with a bunch of junkyard dogs. Jimmy Butler was brilliant in forcing Xavier guard Tu Holloway into shooting 1-for-8 (though he had a lot of help), and the Eagles harassed Syracuse into committing 18 turnovers in a low-possession game. I think the extra days of practice and preparation will allow North Carolina's edge in personnel to be decisive. The Heels' big men have been playing big in this tournament, and Kendall Marshall has been magnificent at the point. Despite being a freshman, Marshall had 24 assists to just six turnovers in North Carolina's two wins in Charlotte. The Tar Heels will leave the court with more points on the scoreboard, but they'll know they've been in a fight.

North Carolina 69, Marquette 67

Friday, 9:45 p.m. ET, CBS

Between Jared Sullinger's power, Jon Diebler's shooting and Aaron Craft's, well, craftiness, nobody seems to spend much time praising Ohio State's defense. So let me do that. The Buckeyes are ranked eighth in the country in defensive efficiency, and they're first in both steals per possession and defensive free-throw rate. In other words, they shut you down, turn you over and keep you off the foul line. They're also playing their best basketball of the season, as evidenced by their bone-rattling routs of UTSA and George Mason. In that first game the Buckeyes had 26 assists on 29 made field goals, and against the Patriots it was David Lighty, not Diebler, who drilled all seven of his three-point attempts. This is the worst kind of team for a young Kentucky squad to face in the Sweet 16. The Wildcats have gotten by for most of the season on pure talent, and while they have played much smarter basketball the last three weeks, they still can't match the poise and efficiency -- not to mention the pure talent -- that Ohio State will put on the floor.

Ohio State 80, Kentucky 68


The East might be the toughest region, but Ohio State will be fortunate to have faced two of the youngest teams in the country in Newark. Like Kentucky, North Carolina has gotten past a lot of teams because of its superior talent, but in the Buckeyes it will play a team that can match its talent but exceed its experience. As long as Ohio State stays focused enough to prevent North Carolina from getting lots of runouts after made baskets, the Buckeyes can win this game by out-executing the Heels in the half court. I also think Sullinger and Dallas Lauderdale will be able to get John Henson and Tyler Zeller into foul trouble.

Ohio State 77, North Carolina 70

MLB The Show 11 vs MLB 2K11

With spring training under way, it's time to brush off the cleats, dig into the batter's box, and step into another season of baseball video games.
The usual suspects are at it again: 2K Sports' MLB 2K11 and Sony's MLB 11: The Show. Both games introduce some new features and gameplay, so let's go head to head to see which game hits for the cycle.
As it's been for some time now, Xbox 360 owners will only have one choice for a baseball game: MLB 2K11. Because MLB 11: The Show is developed by a Sony property, the game is only available on PlayStation 3.

MLB 2K11:
If you're one of the millions of players last year who didn't win a million dollars pitching a perfect game in MLB 2K10, the contest is back again this year, though we wouldn't be shocked if the promotion ends before this post goes live.
Marketing strategies aside, MLB 2K11 does make a few noticeable tweaks in presentation and gameplay to improve the overall realism of the experience. Fielders will respond a bit more lifelike this time around, though there still were a few unnatural-looking instances that just didn't make sense.
Regardless, it's clear that a fair amount of attention was devoted to correcting some of last year's fielding issues, and we're happy to report things are much better in 2K11.
Animations are markedly smoother in 2K11 and the batting and pitching elements feel more real-world than in year's past. MLB Today is back, too, arguably the game's most unique feature, allowing in-game players to reflect the seasons they're having in real life.
We also really enjoyed seeing the same camera angles used in-game as their broadcast-specific counterparts. Instead of a generic camera location, the 2K team emulated each team's local broadcast viewing angle. While certainly a seemingly minute detail, such an addition really adds to the overall presentation.

MLB 11: The Show

Last year's king of the diamond, MLB: The Show returns with a fair amount of its own tweaking that focuses on realism as well. However, the most notable addition this year has got to be the introduction of analog hitting, pitching, and fielding.
While a logical evolution of the game, the controls just feel too difficult when played on the medium setting. After playing eight games with the new system in place, we still felt frustrated when on defense. It appears the controls will take some time getting used to, something veteran fans of The Show may not be thrilled about.
You can still use the old button-press metered scheme, but the analog pitching system is easy enough to figure out and use proficiently, though it's hard to master, especially as you get later into a game and find your mind wandering a bit (there's a tendency in baseball video games to get a little bored of pitching). To make your pitch, you flip the right analog stick down for your wind up (power), then push it quickly forward to deliver the pitch. Where you follow through with the stick also helps determine how accurate your pitch ends up being.
With batting moving into the analog realm, you'll rock the batter back by pulling the right stick down and swinging by jamming it forward at just the right time. You choose between a contact and power swing and, as usual, have the option of trying to guess the pitch type before its delivered.
So why didn't SCEA just make it so you could swing with the Move motion controller? Well, it did. You can play with your Move controller in the Home Run Derby mode. It's actually pretty fun, though it's unclear if the way you swing--and the timing--truly correlates to how far and hard you end up hitting the ball. But it would be great if you could play the full game using the Move controller (at least for batting) instead of just the Derby mode. We get the feeling Move batting still needs some tweaks, but the potential is there for it to make the game more interesting--and fun--to play.
So there you have it; if you're lucky enough to own both systems, we'd recommend going with MLB 11: The Show. Xbox 360 owners won't be let down by 2K11, we just don't think it's a big enough jump from last year's effort. That said, neither game really makes any groundbreaking leaps. If anything, these anticlimactic offerings leave 2012 up in there air, a year where it'll truly be anyone's game.

List of Bonds perjury trial jurors
The composition of the jurors, identified publicly only by number, judging Barry Bonds in his trial on perjury and obstruction charges:

• Juror 56: Woman, 57, nurse.
• Juror 42: Woman, 19, college student.
• Juror 36: Woman, 25, aid-giver to developmentally disabled.
• Juror 6: Woman, 30, autism support specialist.
• Juror 97: Woman, 27, phlebotomist.
• Juror 69: Man, 68, temporary shipping clerk.
• Juror 66: Man, 60, data center engineer.
• Juror 3: Woman, 51, client service administrator.
• Juror 19. Woman, 26, food server.
• Juror 90: Man, 57, IT manager.
• Juror 73: Woman, 28, nurse.
• Juror 21: Man, 68, retired cashier.

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