Shanoff's WUC: Hayward, NBA Playoffs, Fins

Today's Calls: Gordon Hayward vs. the NBA Draft, NBA East vs. NBA West, Reggie Bush vs. the NCAA, Brandon Marshall vs. Chad Henne, Brandon Knight vs. Ray McCallum, Kevin Durant vs. LeBron, Stephen Curry vs. DeJuan Blair, Jorge Cantu vs. Nelson Cruz, Jonathan Sanchez vs. Colby Lewis, Charlotte vs. Philadelphia, Tiger vs. Elin and More. ↵

↵Gordon HaywardThe Opening Pitch: Missing from the "Hoosiers" story line last week was Jimmy Chitwood bolting the team to turn pro. ↵

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↵I don't begrudge Gordon Hayward for testing the NBA draft; he is regarded as a top-half-of-the-draft pick, a status that likely won't change even with a presumptive All-American college season next year. ↵

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↵There are two paths here: ↵

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↵Either this was as good as things are going to get for Hayward — missed buzzer-beaters for the national championship and all ... ↵

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↵... Or there is one more chapter to the Butler story: That Hayward returns to lead a loaded (and now Tourney-tested) Butler team to the national championship. ↵

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↵I can understand the lure of both, particularly the financial security of being a first-round NBA pick that would come a year earlier — in Indy, it would have been hard for Hayward and his family to miss the cautionary tale of Da'Sean Butler. ↵

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↵There is a part of me that wants him to go back to Butler for one more year — this marvelous team can be even better. But that is naive. ↵

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↵Butler staked a claim to its piece of the "big-time" basketball fantasy. Losing star players to the NBA is the reality. ↵

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↵NBA Playoff Pairings: ↵
↵East ↵
↵1 Cavs vs. 8 Bulls ↵
↵2 Magic vs. 7 Bobcats ↵
↵3 Hawks vs. 6 Bucks ↵
↵4 Celtics vs. 5 Heat ↵
↵West ↵
↵1 Lakers vs. 8 Thunder ↵
↵2 Mavs vs. 7 Spurs ↵
↵3 Suns vs. 6 Blazers ↵
↵4 Nuggets vs. 5 Jazz ↵

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↵WUC playoff picks coming tomorrow. ↵

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↵NBA Season Ends: Kevin Durant becomes the youngest scoring champ in NBA history, capping a breakthrough season where I would rank him No. 2 on my MVP ballot, just behind LeBron. ↵

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↵Meanwhile: Can we just take a second to marvel at the 42 that Stephen Curry put up last night? ↵

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↵Or the 27 and 23 from DeJuan Blair that punctuates the mistake made by almost every team not to draft him last summer? ↵

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↵Reggie Bush Scandal: Testify! That's what the judge has ordered Bush to do on April 23 — and something he has been entirely unwilling to do. Guess what: If the choice is between perjury and destroying USC, Bush will take the fall of Troy. ↵

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↵(Let's not overstate: The NCAA has already made it very clear they won't touch the marquee programs — see Alabama's national title while on probation for violations. But about that 2004 national title. ...) ↵

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↵NFL Offseason: Not only does Brandon Marshall get shipped out of a situation he hated in Denver to a situation where he will be beloved in Miami, but he is the NFL's new highest-paid WR, which should make him very satisfied in South Beach. ↵

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↵NFL Draft: All seven rounds of SN's mock draft are now free to view. (For now, they have Tim Tebow going to the Raiders with the 7th pick of the 2nd round.) ↵

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↵CBB Recruiting: As expected, Kentucky landed PG Brandon Knight, the heir to the one-and-done PG lineage from the Rose-Evans-Wall family tree. (Could Josh Selby — heir to Eric Bledsoe — be next?) ↵

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↵More exciting: Burger-worthy PG Ray McCallum decided to head to University of Detroit to play for his dad. He will have an amazing — if off-the-mainstream-fan-radar — experience, but he will end up in the NBA just like the best of them. ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points: Jackie Robinson Day! ↵

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↵— Jorge Cantu streak: Hit/RBI in 9 straight ↵

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↵— Power: Nelson Cruz hits 6th HR ↵

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↵— Rain — glorious rain — fell on Twins baseball ↵

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↵— Wow: Jose Guillen HR in 4th straight game ↵

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↵— Wow, Cont'd: The Astros are terrible ↵

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↵— Fantasy Stud: Jonathan Sanchez (3H SO w/ 11 Ks) ↵

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↵Coaching Carousel: If Larry Brown says he wants to be in Charlotte, it is almost a given he wants to be in Philadelphia. No coach has a more prolific track record of disingenuous statements about job satisfaction. (Oh, and the 76ers are reportedly going to fire Eddie Jordan, so there's that.) ↵

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↵The Last Word: So Elin is going to divorce him, eh? Not sure I entirely believe the reports — although they are certainly believable. No one in the world — perhaps with the exception of Jim Carrey — would blame her. ↵

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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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