NFL Draft Full of Uncertainty at the Top

Luke Joeckel | Prominent Tickets

The NFL Draft is less than a month away, and there is still a huge lack of clarity about what is going to happen at the top of the draft. Because there are no franchise quarterbacks in this draft, the teams in the top five have to look to other areas in order to maximize their value. Kansas City earned the ignominious right to the first overall draft pick after posting a 2-14 record in 2012. Quarterback was the Chiefs’ biggest need going into the offseason, but the trade for Alex Smith takes a little bit of the pressure off the front office to take a signal caller early. Left tackles are generally considered safe options in the first round, and either Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel or Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher would be solid options with the No. 1 overall pick. Blaine Gabbert has been a massive failure in his two seasons in Jacksonville, and the Jaguars could look to add a quarterback with the second pick. However, new head coach Gus Bradley may be willing to give Gabbert one more chance to prove himself with the new staff, and Jacksonville has numerous needs up and down the roster. The Jaguars’ pass rush has long been one of the worst in the NFL, and explosive Oregon DE Dion Jordan has risen dramatically up draft boards. Continue reading

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AL East Power Rankings, Opening Day Edition

Jose Bautista | Prominent Tickets

There might not be a more difficult division to predict this season than the American League East, which could realistically see all five teams win the division. The parity in the AL East is impressive, and should make for a tight race down to the last day of the season. With that in mind, here is how the division appears to stack up with Opening Day just days away. Continue reading

Battle for Atlantic Division Going Down to Wire

New York Knicks | Prominent Tickets

With about a month left in the NBA regular season, the race for the Atlantic Division title appears as if it is going down to the wire. The Knicks, Nets and Celtics are currently only separated by 3.5 games in the standings, with New York holding a razor thin margin after comfortably leading the division for months. Injuries and age have caught up to the Knicks in a big way since their torrid start, with a fairly pedestrian 18-17 record since January 1st. Despite Amar’e Stoudemire’s successful transition to the bench, New York has often had trouble scoring since the New Year rolled around, and Carmelo Anthony’s amazingly efficient start is well in the rear-view mirror. Still, the Knicks built up enough of a cushion in the first months of the season to remain in first place, even if their hold on the division is now tenuous at best. Continue reading

Pro Bowlers on Move as FA Continues

Mike Wallace | Pro Bowl Tickets

The NFL free agency period is now about a week old, and fans who have had Pro Bowl tickets over the last several seasons should be very familiar with some of the names that have been on the move. The position with the most changes for the top free agents was receiver, as several established stars will be suiting up with different teams in 2013. Mike Wallace was the biggest winner of the FA receivers, inking a five-year, $60 million deal with the Dolphins, who were in desperate need for another playmaker. The most surprising move was Wes Welker, who spurned the Pats to sign with Tom Brady’s longtime nemesis Peyton Manning and the Broncos, while Greg Jennings’ move from the Packers to the Vikings was nearly as shocking. Continue reading

Hoosiers Top Seed in East Regional

Victor Oladipo | Prominent Tickets

The brackets are all set, and fans hoping to secure East Regional tickets now know that the road to the Final Four out of this quarter of the bracket runs through the Indiana Hoosiers. Despite a loss to Wisconsin in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament, the Hoosiers did enough throughout the regular season to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Tom Crean has done a great job with this group, and few teams boast a better pair of players than Indiana. Center Cody Zeller came into the season with a ton of hype and has done nothing to disappoint. Zeller leads IU in both scoring and rebounding, with 16.9 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. While his shooting percentage has gone down slightly from last season, he is still making over 57 percent of his attempts, and his 75.5 percent mark from the foul line is particularly impressive for a 7-footer. Continue reading

Big East, Catholic 7 Splitting after Tourney

Big East Tournament Tickets | Prominent Tickets

Conference realignment continues to alter the landscape of college athletics, and the Big East has been the conference most affected by these changes. Because of the massive shakeup in the conference, this will be the last year that fans with Big East Tournament tickets will be able to see many of these teams competing against one another. The conference’s seven Catholic universities, not including Notre Dame, will be leaving the current Big East after this season and forming a new conference, keeping the Big East name in the process. Georgetown, Marquette, Villanova, St. John’s, Providence, DePaul and Seton Hall take with them not only some of the best basketball talent in the country, but a wealth of history and traditional as well. The holdovers from the current Big East (Rutgers, Louisville, South Florida, Connecticut and Cincinnati) will be part of a completely new conference next year. Even Rutgers and Louisville are not part of the long-term plans for the new conference, as the Scarlet Knights are heading to the Big Ten and the Cardinals are moving to the ACC in 2014. Cincinnati, South Florida and UConn will be joined by Memphis, Houston, SMU, Temple and UCF in 2013, followed by East Carolina and Tulane in 2014. Continue reading

Pats Seek First Super Bowl Win Since 2004

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After falling just 30 minutes short of punching their Super Bowl tickets in 2012, the New England Patriots will look to finish the job this season. With the rest of the AFC East in various stages of rebuilding efforts, New England appears to have a great chance at taking their division again in 2013. The Patriots’ offense was spectacular in 2012, as QB Tom Brady posted another MVP-caliber season, and the running game, led by Stevan Ridley, made a surprising resurgence in Foxborough. The healthy return of superstar tight end Rob Gronkowski in 2013 should be a huge benefit to Brady and the offense. Gronk missed significant time last season with a broken arm, so his health will be at a premium in 2013. In fact, the Patriots could need Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez to be more productive than ever, as Wes Welker is an unrestricted free agent who may explore his options on the open market. While Welker is undeniably a perfect fit in the New England offense, he may try to get the most money possible, as the shifty slot receiver is now on the wrong side of 30. The line could also lose starting right tackle Sebastian Vollmer to free agency, making that another position for Pats’ fans to watch this offseason. Continue reading

Kansas Hoops Heating Up down the Stretch

Jeff Withey | Prominent Tickets
Don’t look now, but the Kansas Jayhawks are back in the Top 10 and threatening to snag yet another No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament this month. Head coach Bill Self and his Jayhawks sit atop the Big 12 standings after a dramatic come-from-behind victory over Iowa State, and seem to have righted the ship after an uncharacteristic three-game losing streak in early February. Kansas is the most consistent college basketball superpower of the last decade. The Jayhawks have won or shared the Big 12 conference title for eight consecutive seasons, and won the national championship in 2008 with a thrilling victory over Derrick Rose and Memphis. In fact, since 2004, the Jayhawks have ranked no lower than the fourth seed in the NCAA Tournament.  Self has compiled a 292-57 record in his 10 years in Lawrence, an incredibly impressive mark, especially considering that so many of his players have left school early to enter the NBA Draft in recent seasons. Continue reading