Author Archives: Navin Krishnan

March Madness Elevates, Delivers

Indianapolis — After a yearlong hiatus from intercollegiate athletics, one of the most hyped tournaments, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, also known as March Madness, returned to form in a thrilling exposition. The teams accumulated throughout the process of Selection Sunday, a tradition by which the most impressive 68 contenders were selected to participate in the tournament, posted a flurry of electrifying matchups that went down to wire.

On March 21, 2020, the NCAA announced it would postpone the convention, leaving many athletes that were college seniors having to decide how to continue their careers.

Of the 68 teams competing, 32 teams received an automatic bid from winning their conference tournaments. The remaining 36 teams received a bid from the NCAA selection committee.

Historically, the college with the most championships is UCLA, with 11 total championships.

UCLA made a historic run in the 2021 ‘Big Dance.’ They were selected as a member of the First Four but annihilated their way through the tournament. 

They advanced all the way to face no. 1 seed Gonzaga, who was undefeated during the matchup with UCLA. In an astounding thriller that went down to the wire, Gonzaga’s guard Jalen Suggs hit a desperation three from just past half-court to win the game.

Unfortunately for the powerhouse Gonzaga Bulldogs team, the championship game after that featured a battle-tested and weathered Baylor Bears team that so decisively pounded Gonzaga from the beginning of the match up until the final buzzer. In the end, Baylor emerged victorious and ended Gonzaga’s winning streak.

The final night of the NCAA tournament was a stunning ride. “We’re really good defensively. I thought we made things tough tonight,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “Gonzaga missed some shots that they probably normally make. But credit our guys for making everything difficult.”

“They were just so much more aggressive than us,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “They just literally busted us out of anything we could possibly do on offense.”

“They punched us in the mouth right at the get-go,” Gonzaga star Corey Kispert said. “And it took a long, long time for us to recover and start playing them even again. But then it was too late.”

According to CNN reporter Steve Almasy, Few said he never saw his team play as if they were weighted down by the pressure to go undefeated.

Baylor star Jared Butler explained his insights from the game, “I was struggling the whole tournament probably until the Final Four,” Butler said. “And as a shooter, it’s hard. Like, it just makes the days longer, and you think about it all day long. But I knew … I couldn’t go the whole tournament and not shoot well.” Butler had 22 points to lead the Bears.

Few explained his team ” … loves one another. Just such a positive spirit yet such a competitive spirit.”

Nonetheless, Drew acknowledged the historic run for the Bears and how it felt for Texas. “Look at how much great basketball we have (in Texas) from high school, AAU, junior college, college,” Drew said. “And we haven’t won a national championship since ’66. It’s long overdue for the state, and I’m so pleased for all of them.”

The Baylor Bears’ season was justified after giving up their perfect record to Kansas and Oklahoma State. They retaliated against this star-studded Gonzaga offense and prolific Gonzaga defense to capture the 2021 NCAA title. This was Baylor’s first Intercollegiate title for Men’s Basketball. The Baylor Women’s Intercollegiate Basketball team has won the tournament three times, including one in 2019.

Texas Storm Impacting COVID-19 Patients

Texas — Severe winter storms continue to bombard Texas statewide as the vaccine distribution and supply chain comes to a halt.

According to CNN’s Miguel Marquez, Texas is dealing with burst water pipes, lack of boiling water, and low water pressure as of Feb. 24.

As stated by Texas Hospital Association’s Carrie Williams, this condemnation has arrived on top of the intense COVID-19 situation.

Hospitals in Texas are running low on supplies of food, linen, and water. The shelter-in-place progressed from a suggestion to stay inside to a compulsory safety warning for Texans.

“This was a sprawling natural disaster that has hit us statewide and arrived on top of the pandemic,” Williams said.

According to Williams, power outages and food shortages are just the shallow elements of the Texas situation. Dialysis patients are contemplating shortages of dialysis equipment and a crucial treatment shortage in Texas.

According to Dr. Ben Saldana, Houston Methodist’s emergency department’s medical director, water was back on for a while. Still, hospitals were in a dilemma with low water pressure.

According to CNN’s Marquez, around 13 million Texans, nearly half the state’s population, were under a boil-water advisory. Almost 25 million people were “under a hard freeze warning” for Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

However, Saldana did state, “COVID-19 vaccine administration is full speed ahead at all Houston Methodist sites.”

According to the CNN, this Texas weather situation shows that a major global warming solution such as the Green New Deal, a spirited solution for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, would not effectively draw up by Democratic dynamos, would be ineffective.

CNN’s Zachary Wolfe articulated that the Green New Deal is a strict proposal to convert America’s energy sources into more effective and safer alternatives. It would involve tackling the United State’s energy policy and evolving it into a more futuristic, cleaner approach.

This would involve creating millions of American jobs and would attempt to solve the greenhouse gas issues.

According to Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbot, “This shows how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal for the United States of America. Our wind and our solar got shut down, and they were collectively more than 10% of our power grid, and that thrust Texas into a situation where it was lacking power on a statewide basis.”

CNN’s Theresa Waldrop reported FEMA is sending help to Texas as relief for the harsh winter meteorological conditions.

CNN’s Waldrop also stated that the distribution of the vaccine throughout the South has evolved, and while power outages continue in Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, states such as Florida are being affected by the inability of vaccines coming from the Midwest and Southwest.

Even places like Illinois, Kentucky, and South Carolina are being indirectly affected by the dismaying state of Texas.

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the legitimate distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine won’t be available to the ‘general public’ until early June.

A statement released by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, the weather and situation throughout the states affected in America “makes driving dangerous and threatens the health and safety of anyone exposed to the cold.”

According to CNN’s Waldrop, Dallas officials said specific vaccine centers closed due to severe weather conditions.

“We understand the urgency to administer second doses of the vaccine, but we must also balance people’s safety. As soon as we can safely open again, we will.”

Prominent NBA Writer Sekou Smith Lost His Battle With COVID-19

Atlanta —- On Jan. 26, NBA writer Sekou Smith died of COVID-19 complications at the age of 48. 

Based in his hometown of Atlanta, Smith was a rising journalist and voice for the entire NBA. 

The Atlanta Hawks, the NBA TV Atlanta studios, and Turner Network Television (TNT) studios will honor Smith by renaming the broadcasting workroom in State Farm Arena, home of the Atlanta Hawks, after him. 

In addition, the Atlanta Hawks yearly summer league team, which coincidentally was deactivated for the past summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be named after Smith.

Also, according to NBA.com, one journalism student will be selected from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) will be chosen to be a beat writer for the Atlanta Hawks NBA Summer League team.

Turner sports released a statement via CNN detailing, “We are all heartbroken over Sekou’s tragic passing.” 

According to the same source, Smith covered NBA action for more than two decades, including 11 years with Turner Sports.

According to CNN and Smith’s LinkedIn profile, Smith “started his career as a sports reporter at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1994.” 

He also worked as a journalist in Indianapolis and Atlanta before representing Turner Sports.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement specifying Smith’s role and place in the NBA family.

“The NBA mourns the passing of Sekou Smith, a beloved member of the NBA family. Sekou was one of the most affable and dedicated reporters in the NBA and a terrific friend to so many across the league.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Heather, and their children, Gabriel, Rielly, and Cameron.

Although Smith was never a player at the highest level, the NBA, or a player at any professional stage, his passion for the game was illustrious and renowned. 

Silver continued a statement entailing Smith’s eternal connection to the game, “Sekou’s love of basketball was clear to everyone who knew him, and it always shined through in his work.”

The Hawks also released a statement via CNN, “The Hawks organization is heartbroken by the passing of Sekou Smith. 

The Hawks’ beat writer for the AJC from 05-09, Sekou provided our fans with honest & fair coverage, sharing incredible insight on the team while establishing himself as one of the NBA’s top personalities.” 

While COVID-19 protocols have been thoroughly established in the NBA, professional sports, intercollegiate sports, and sports worldwide, necessary precautions and testing tend to obstruct sports, and sports, in general, tend to interrupt the intention of medical advice.

“I think for all of us, this COVID thing has been painful, to say the least. But when you lose somebody that you know, and that you admire and respect and who is young,” said current New Orleans Pelicans Head Coach Stan Van Gundy in a statement released by ESPN, “This thing is so scary and has brought so much grief to so many people. Today is one of those days. There’s a lot of people in Atlanta today grieving a great man in Sekou.”