Shanoff's W.U.C.: UConn, Griffin, Lincecum

Today's Calls: UConn women vs. UNC men, Blake Griffin vs. DeJuan Blair, Tim Lincecum vs. Josh Beckett, Lions vs. Rams, Rockets vs. Magic, Dan Shanoff vs. Dan Levy and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: You might THINK the UNC men were dominant. Compared to the Connecticut women, the Tar Heels were modestly successful. ↵

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↵UConn was just as good as UNC in rolling to an NCAA Tournament title. The difference: The Huskies capped an unbeaten season. ↵

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↵And not just any unbeaten season (as if those are so common): UConn won every game — every game — by double-digits. (UNC may have won every NCAA Tournament game by double-digits, but six of its wins during the regular season were by 9 points or less ... not to mention those four losses. Four losses! Amateurs!) ↵

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↵Hard-core women's hoops fans may be tired of the UConn-Tennessee stranglehold on the sport, but for casual fans, dominance is appealing. I don't know enough about women's hoops, but I know UConn is freaking awesome. You don't have to know anything about sports and you could still recognize "39-0" as something spectacular. ↵

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↵Was this team as good as UConn's own 2002 unbeaten champ? Probably not, but this team has earned its way onto the all-time women's teams list, somewhere. ↵

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↵Unbeaten — and, on top of that, untouchable — wins you that much. ↵

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↵MLB Mania: ↵

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↵— Dustin Pedroia's MVP was apparently no fluke, and the Red Sox start this season against the Rays like they did last season — beating Tampa at Fenway. (Pent-up ALCS frustration, much?) ↵

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↵— How did Tim Lincecum do in his '09 debut? Iffy: 3 IP, 3 ER, 5 K. But the Giants won. ↵

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↵— Defending champs start 0-2: Phillies fans shouldn't be worried. Philly started 0-2 last year, and that worked out pretty well for the franchise. ↵

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↵— Fantasy Studs: ↵

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↵Josh Beckett (7 IP, 1 ER, 10 K) ↵

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↵Jim Thome (3-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) ↵

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↵Erik Bedard (5 IP, 3 ER, 8 K, 0 BB) ↵

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↵NBA Draft: Blake Griffin is turning pro, and he'll be the consensus No. 1 overall pick. I don't think it's even close. (No. 2: Hasheem Thabeet? Eh, not enough upside; I bet Tyreke Evans rises up to pass the UConn center.) ↵

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↵DeJuan Blair turning pro, too? Call him the anti-Tyler Hansbrough — he shows enough NBA potential that he really has no reason to stay in college. Blair will measure up short, but his butt is pro-sized. Is he a poor man's Charles Barkley? ↵

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↵CBB: Mike DeCourcy reviews the 2008-09 season. (My only issue: "Last college player who dominated like Blake Griffin?" DeCourcy says K-Mart in 1999-00, but the stats say you don't have to look any further than last season, Michael Beasley or Kevin Durant the year before.) ↵

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↵NFL Draft: What would YOU do with the No. 1 overall pick if you were the Lions? Given that I have no interest in Matthew Stafford (and certainly in not paying him the premium for being a quarterback taken No. 1 overall), I kind of like the "take my pick, please" option. ↵

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↵(Guess what: The Rams want out of the No. 2 pick, too. Wouldn't it be wild if the first two teams of the draft BOTH passed on their draft slots?) ↵

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↵NBA Instant History: Was I too quick to write off the Rockets last week? They just beat the Magic, who actually have something to play for (that No. 2 seed in the East and home-court advantage over the Celtics in the East semis). ... Meanwhile: Who needs Ginobili? ↵

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↵CFB: It must be nice to live in an alternative reality where Texas won the Big 12. ↵

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↵Me-me-media: If you want a combination of high-talking and Tim Tebow-worship — with some Hansbrough analysis and sports-business forecasting thrown in — check out my long interview on today's edition of Dan Levy's terrific On The DL podcast. (To subscribe through iTunes, click here.) ↵

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↵The Last Word: "These people can't handle it." — Tigers OF Josh Anderson, on fans in Toronto who had to watch yesterday's Jays-Tigers game without beers, after the Rogers Centre temporarily lost its license to sell alcohol after Monday's season-opening debacle. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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