BALTIMORE -- As perhaps the most revered Baltimore Oriole in history, Cal Ripken Jr. remembers well what it took to get there. But before he was a Baltimore icon, before he was an Iron Man, even before he was an established big leaguer, Ripken was a 21-year-old rookie mired in a horrific slump and unsure of how to get out of it.
ATLANTA -- Not much has changed for Paul Johnson. The new Georgia Tech coach stands on the sideline with his hands on his knees, looking out onto the practice field. With their plain gold practice helmets and blue and white jerseys, the Yellow Jackets look very similar to the Navy team that Johnson coached for six seasons.
Georgia Tech played both Kansas and North Carolina tough this season before losing. With the two powerhouses set to face off in Saturday's national semifinal in San Antonio, SI.com's Bill Trocchi caught up with Yellow Jackets coach Paul Hewitt to discuss the matchup, plus his own Final Four experience in 2004, when Georgia Tech won its semifinal game against Oklahoma State before falling to UConn in the national championship.
ATLANTA -- Walk up to an NFL fan on the street, ask him who Tom Shaw is and be prepared for a shrug of the shoulders. Ask Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Reggie Bush about Shaw and the answer will be much different.
Happy New Year, Hoopheads. As we all know, the new year signifies a new season in college hoops as conference play finally gets underway. That means teams are going to have to board real buses and airplanes to play real games against real teams.