John Clay's notes: Look for Spurs-Heat to go seven

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistJune 3, 2014 

Random notes:

■ With the opening tip slated for Thursday night, my NBA Finals pick: San Antonio turns the tables and beats Miami in seven games this time around.

Or maybe it's just my hope that "The Big Fundamental," otherwise known as Tim Duncan, and the crabby Gregg Popovich and the splendid Tony Parker will this time complete the job they left unfinished a year ago and keep the Heat from a three-peat.

■ By the way, the NBA knows how to change. The league has returned to the 2-2-1-1-1 format for the Finals. Good move.

■ I would love to know the percentage of those on social media ripping UK softball coach Rachel Lawson for not removing pitcher Kelsey Nunley in the Women's College World Series who even knew UK had a softball team before this postseason. Instant experts, all.

■ Misery loves company. Kentucky had plenty of conference company. Only two of the SEC's 10 invited baseball teams made it out of last weekend on to the NCAA Tournament's super-regional round. Vanderbilt will play Stanford. Ole Miss will play Louisiana-Lafayette.

■ A No. 2 national seed, playing at home, SEC regular-season champ Florida failed to win a single game. And Will Muschamp had nothing to do with it.

■ With a couple of more contract extensions, Nick Saban might not be able to buy the Los Angeles Clippers, but he could probably snap up the Milwaukee Bucks.

■ Speaking of the Clippers, when news broke that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was purchasing the team, Twitter came alive with plenty of jokes involving "user errors" and "crashes" and renaming the three-point line the "3.1 line."

■ Looking forward to the World Cup, which is just eight days away, by the way.

■ Shane Battier will join Jay Bilas and Jay Williams as former Duke Blue Devils who are doing college basketball commentary for ESPN next year. What's that they say about three of something constituting a trend?

■ Finally, a sporting event pricing itself out of the market. Inside Lacrosse is reporting that the NCAA will drastically drop ticket prices for the sport's championship weekend after attendance declined for the seventh year in a row.

■ Baylor football coach Art Briles says he would like to see the NCAA give all players five years of eligibility. Now that would shake things up.

■ Why are the Knicks and Lakers so bad when the Rangers and Kings are so good?

■ Word is the SEC Basketball Tournament title game will move back to 1 p.m. on Sunday, which is a good move. A better move would be to play the final game on Saturday.

■ SEC Commissioner Mike Slive, who knows of what he speaks, says there could be a "Division IV" of the NCAA if the so-called Power Five conferences don't receive more autonomy.

■ ESPN is ranking the top college basketball coaches from 1-50. I'm waiting for a website to rank the rankings of all the other websites' coaching rankings.

■ Did you see where a diary by the late Harry Caray showed he visited bars for 288 consecutive days. Are we supposed to be surprised?

■ Any day that a Kentucky Derby owner doesn't come out publicly ripping Churchill Downs is a good day for Churchill Downs.

■ Michigan quarterback commitment Alex Malzone participated in an Elite 11 event in Columbus, Ohio, and tweeted afterward, "Won't be the last time I'm in a good mood driving home from Columbus."

■ An Auburn football fan had a groom's cake made that looks just like Jordan-Hare Stadium with the scoreboard clock showing 0:01 remaining and Alabama and Auburn tied 28-28, the moment when Chris Davis returned that missed Alabama field goal 109 yards for a touchdown. Now there's someone who knows how to put on a wedding.

■ With that in mind, how much would Saban make if he had taken a knee instead of trying that field goal?

John Clay: (859) 231-3226. Email: jclay@herald-leader.com. Twitter: @johnclayiv. Blog: johnclay.bloginky.com.

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