Blues Dominated, Miss Chance to Clinch Central, Lose 4-3 (SO)

The Blues just can’t get it done in Chicago. Something about that building, those colours, that team, and that m**#^&$*@*ing goal song that signify doom for the Note. Whatever it is, it’s an annoying trend. Make no mistake aboot it: the Blackhawks dominated the Blues tonight at the United Center in Chicago, outshooting them 40-20 and winning 4-3 in the shoot out. Yes, the Blues come away with a point, but only on the strength of a 3rd period comeback that, in the grand scheme of the game, was undeserved.

Chicago started the scoring midway through the first on a long wrist shot by Brian Bickell that Jaroslav Halak should have stopped. Alex Steen responded 9 seconds later to tie the game. The 2nd period was sloppy on both sides, but the Blues especially were unfocused and unable to establish a forecheck. So it was unsurprising when the Hawks scored a couple quickies early in the 3rd to build a 3-1 lead.

If there’s one positive from tonight, it’s that the Blues never gave up. Jason Arnott scored on a wraparound midway through the 3rd and then in the last 2 minutes, David Perron tipped home a Kris Russel slapshot to force overtime. Again, the Blackhawks dominated OT but were robbed by several dramatic saves by Jaroslav Halak, the somewhat controversial starter after Brian Elliott’s 3 consecutive shutouts. Halak didn’t disappoint, turning away 7 Chicago shots in overtime, many of them high quality scoring chances.

The shootout…well, who cares? It was scoreless through 3 rounds, some loser for the Blackhawks scored in the 4th round, and Patrick Berglund rang his attempt off the post, and the Blues were denied the chance to clinch the Central Division. They’ll get to try again, this time at home, on Saturday night against the last place Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blues had better start rounding into playoff form, because tonight was bad, and they’ve been inconsistent here down the stretch. Roman Polak’s absence is really hurting this team. When he comes back, a lot of the problems should begin to fix themselves.


The Full Court Press: Special March Madness Edition


This is a special March Madness edition of the Full Court Press.

Our scheduled guests for this week’s show include…

  • Bob Ramsey: play-by-play announcer of the SLU Billikens
  • Ben Weixlmann: SLU writer for
  • Vahe Gregorian: Mizzou reporter for the St. Louis Post Dispatch
  • Austin Kim: sports reporter for WCIA-TV in Champaign, Illinois. In addition to talking tournament, we will also chat about Bruce Weber’s dismissal as head coach at the University of Illinois, as well as some potential replacements with Austin, who helps cover the team.

Before we get any farther, I’d like to let you all know about a new contest that HSB is launching with our newest sponsor: McAlister’s Deli. The fine folks over at McAlister’s in Des Peres have agreed to donate a free fully catered lunch for 5-7 people each month. When I say fully catered, I mean basically their entire catering menu is open AND you can even have it delivered to your home or office completely free of charge!

This month’s prize will be given away to whoever wins our mini-bracket pool. The person who is able to select the most second and third round games correctly will win this month’s McAlister’s catered lunch. All you have to do, is send an email to with either a screenshot or a link to your picks for the second and third rounds of the NCAA tournament. The games officially kick off on Wednesday with the play-ins, but you have until 10:30 Thursday morning to officially submit your picks.

You must follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook to be eligible. Of course, once you do follow slash like us, you are automatically entered to win a free Mizzou flag compliments of the fine folks over at CVS flags.

SEGMENT 1-Show Open

Details on our new contest with our new sponsor McAlister’s Deli!; Recap of Mizzou and SLU games from over the weekend

SEGMENT 2-Bob Ramsey

Bob Ramsey, play-by-play voice of the SLU Billikens joins the program to talk about SLU drawing a 9 seed in the West; Temple dealt the A-10 a death blow when they left for the Big East; Maybe the non-football schools in the Big East will make their own conference and invited SLU; Billikens earned a 9 seed; Memphis has NBA-type players, but college basketball is a team game; The Tigers entire body of work was mediocre; It’s gratifying to see SLU have the successes that they’ve had this year

SEGMENT 3-Ben Weixlmann

Ben Weixlmann of joins the show to break down SLU v. Memphis; The Tigers should have been seeded higher; They at least played good teams; Don’t underestimate Rick Majerus, especially against a team like Michigan State; Billikens are starting to draw in some solid recruits; Butler could be heading to the A-10, that would be nice

SEGMENT 4-Vahe Gregorian

Friend of the show Vahe Gregorian of the St. Louis Post Dispatch joins the show to kick off our Mizzou coverage; KC to Columbia to St. Louis to Omaha, such is the life of a Mizzou basketball writer; Mizzou might be at its peak performance; Kim English and Marcus Denmon will definitely benefit from an extra day of rest; The Selection Committee doesn’t really focus on match-ups;

SEGMENT 5-Austin Kim

Austin Kim hops aboard to talk about Illinois firing Bruce Weber and offer his analysis of the Big Ten teams in the Tournament


The fine folks over at McAlister’s in Des Peres have agreed to donate a free fully catered lunch for 5-7 people each month. When I say fully catered, I mean basically their entire catering menu is open AND you can even have it delivered to your home or office completely free of charge!

This month’s prize will be given away to whoever wins our mini-bracket pool. The person who is able to select the most second and third round games correctly will win this month’s McAlister’s catered lunch.

All you have to do is join the official HSB Bracket Pool on!

The games officially kick off on Tuesday with the play-ins, but you have until 10:30 Thursday morning to officially submit your picks!

Hank’s Sports Blog will be giving away a free University of Missouri flag, compliments of the fine folks over at CVS Flags.

To enter, all you have to do is either follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook! It’s that easy! If you follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook, then you’ll be entered twice.


Breaking Down the Madness: Region-by-Region


SOUTH (Atlanta)

Best of the Best: Kentucky (Overall number 1)-Kentucky is hands down the best team in the field. They have arguably the nation’s best player in Anthony Davis (14.3 PPG, 64.9 FG%, 10 RPG) and a supporting cast that features three other players who average at least 12 points per game.

The Wildcats biggest weakness is their three-point shooting. While they’re good enough in virtually every other aspect of the game to overcome that deficiency, if a team is able to clog the middle and force UK’s shooters out onto the perimeter, the Wildcats could go fall before reaching New Orleans.

Continue reading

Xavier denies SLU trip to A-10 Tournament Finals

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Tu Holloway led all-scorers with 21 points as Xavier knocked off Saint Louis University 71-64 Saturday afternoon to advance to the Atlantic 10 championship game. The loss dropped SLU to 25-7 heading into Selection Sunday.

Jordair Jett hit a pair of free throws to pull the Billikens within two with 2:34 left in regulation, but Mark Lyons responded on Xavier’s next possession with a three-pointer to push the score to 63-58 heading into the final two minutes.

SLU had a golden opportunity to make one last run at Xavier when Holloway’s three-point attempt with 30 seconds left clanked off the basket, but Kenny Frease somehow came down with the rebound to bail out his teammate and kill the Billikens’ chances.

Senior Brian Conklin hit four of nine shots and six of nine free throws to finish the game with 14 points, but he was a non-factor in every other aspect of the game, failing to register a single rebound or assist. He fouled out with 18 seconds left.

Kwamain Mitchell and Dwayne Evans both nearly had double-doubles for SLU. Mitchell finished with 10 points and nine assists, while Evans pulled down eight rebounds to go with 11 points.

Cody Ellis and Jordair Jett both came off the bench and scored in double figures for the Billikens who finished the game shooting 40.7% from the field and hitting just six of 24 three-point attempts as a team.

SLU simply did not have an answer for Xavier’s offense, allowing them to shoot 53.3% from the floor and 45% from behind the arc. They also out-rebounded the Billikens 29-23.

REPORT: Rams send no. 2 overall draft pick to Redskins

The Saint Louis Rams have agreed, in principle, to a deal that would send the second overall pick in this year’s draft to the Washington Redskins in exchange for three first-round draft picks and a second round pick. The trade was first reported by Fox Sports and has since been confirmed by Jim Thomas of the Saint Louis Post Dispatch.

While no official announcement has been made by either organization, the deal cannot be signed off on or even turned in for processing until the new league year begins on Tuesday at 3 pm central, but it is expected to become official then.

If the deal were approved, the Rams would receive the Redskins first-round pick in each of the next three years, as well as Washington’s second-round pick in this year’s draft.

According to ESPN, the Browns were making a major push to get the no. 2 pick in recent days, offering at least three first round picks as well as a second round rounder.

Mike McCall, SLU hold off LaSalle to advance to Atlantic 10 semifinals

Brian Conklin scored 14 points to help SLU knock off LaSalle to advance to the A-10 Tournament semifinals. (Photo: Mel Evans-AP)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Saint Louis University hit nine free throws in the final minute to hold off LaSalle 78-71 Friday night to advance to the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament semifinals.

The Explorers trimmed the Billikens’ lead to just four points with 37 seconds left, then forced Conklin to burn the team’s final timeout on the inbounds play. Mike McCall responded for the Billikens out of the timeout, hitting a fast-break layup and the subsequent free throw to push the score to 74-67 with 28 seconds left.

“Every time the coach would call a time-out when [La Salle] made a run, and we would huddle together and say ‘they just made their run now it’s our turn,’ ” Conklin said. “It’s something that over the course of the season we’ve grown and when teams make a run at us, we just don’t get frustrated, we just make another run back at them.”

LaSalle tried to mount one last charge, but SLU forward Dwayne Evans blocked Ramon Galloway’s three-point attempt into the hands of McCall, who was fouled and hit the subsequent free throws to ice the victory.

“I thought our guys played hard. I thought they played very smart and with toughness,” coach Rick Majerus said. “Credit to La Salle capitalizing on our errors, omissions at times. La Salle is a good team, I hope they can get another chance, they deserve it.”

McCall finished the game with a team-leading 16 points. The sophomore guard hit just five of 11 shots, but was three for three from the charity stripe.

Jordair Jett hit four of five shots from the floor and four of five free throws for 13 points off the bench. Jett, who entered the game averaging six points per game, also had five rebounds for the Billikens, who out-rebounded the Explorers 28-27.

Kwamain Mitchell (15) and Conklin (14) also finished in double figures for the Billikens. SLU finished the game shooting 44.6% (25 of 56) from the floor and 45% (nine of 20) from behind the arc.

Dwayne Evans accounted for nine of SLU's 28 rebounds. (Photo: Mel Evans-AP)

LaSalle guard Earl Pettis led all-scorers with 18 points. He was one of three players to finish in double figures for the Explorers, who hit 25 of 56 shots from the field and eight of 20 from three-point land.

SLU trailed 2-0 early in the first half, but a Rob Loe layup followed by a three-pointer from Mitchell sparked a 14-0 run that put them ahead for good.

Despite limiting their opponents to just two points through the first eight minutes of the second half, the Billikens were unable to pull away, allowing the Explorers to claw within six heading into halftime.

Losses by top-seeded Temple and St. Joseph’s meant that LaSalle was the lone Philadelphia-area representative left in the A-10 tournament. After the game, Conklin and Mitchell admitted that they were surprised by Temple’s early exit.

“Philly has great basketball and, you know, it was surprising to see Temple and St.Joe’s go out, and they are a great team, they’re going to be great in a few years,” Conklin said. “Temple is going to be back next year, along with La Salle.”

Mitchell added: “Brian hit the spot, like he said, Saint Joe’s had a great team. Temple, it’s surprise that go they lost, but they’ll come back.”

SLU will take on Xavier in the semifinals Saturday afternoon at 2:30.


(8) MASSACHUSETTS 77 (1) Temple 71

Jesse Morgan and Chaz Williams combined for 41 points to help UMass knock off top-seeded Temple 77-71 Friday afternoon in Atlantic City. The Minutemen used a 13-2 run, highlighted by three consecutive three-pointers, to build a five-point lead with just under three minutes left.

(4) St. Bonaventure 71 (5) St. Joseph’s 68

Friday’s second quarterfinal game featured 24 lead changes and nine ties, but in the end it was St. Bonaventure who prevailed over St. Joesph’s 71-68. A-10 Player of the Year Andrew Nicholson hit a free throw with 92 seconds left to break a 68-68 stalemate. St. Joes’ Carl Jones scored 24 points, 19 of which came in the second half, in a losing effort.

(3) Xavier 70 (6) Dayton 69

Tu Holloway scored 21 to help Xavier knock off Dayton.

Quotes via Atlantic 10.