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The Hunt Down
Name: Matt Kinney
Claim to Fame, Minnesota: acquired from Boston in the blockbuster Greg Swindell/Orlando Merced deal, Kinney was a starting pitcher for the Twins in 2000 and 2002. He never did pan out, and was sent to the Brewers along with Javier Valentin for Gerry Oakes and Matt Yeatman after the 2002 season.
Did Area High School Guest Speaker Aaron Gleeman Like That Trade: no, he did not.
Claim to Fame, Everywhere Else: in addition to Milwaukee, Kinney pitched for the Royals and Giants before going to Japan and suiting up for the Saitama Seibu Lions. He also received a 50-game MLB suspension in 2010 due to having Adderall in his system. He said it was for ADHD, and there is no evidence that one of the Hold Steady’s better B-sides had anything to do with it.
The Best Google Image Search Result for “Matt Kinney”: here.
Where He Is Now: the new varsity baseball coach for your Hermon (Maine) Hawks.
Is He on Twitter: a preponderance of Matt Kinneys (this is the scientific term for plural Matt Kinneys), but none appear to be him.
Has He Ever Been in a Twitter Feud with Patrick Reusse: no.
Glorious Randomness: Kinney started 12 games for the ALDS-winning Twins in 2002. Johan Santana started 14 (and led the league in wild pitches).
We've looked at the projected NCAA men's basketball field from about 17 angles in trying to figure out if by virtue of their victory over Penn State on Thursday the Gophers are any closer to feeling confident about their chances on Selection Sunday.
All signs point to "no." It's still truly 50-50 right now. Maybe even more like 40-60. ESPN has Minnesota as the very last team out. CBS has Minnesota as the second team out. The Gophers got some good news when Cal, a similar bubble team, was bounced early from the Pac-12 tourney. And, of course, beating Penn State was a must in any of these equations.
But at the end of the day, we have a nagging suspicion it's going to take one more win. A victory over Wisconsin, projected by some as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA field and certainly as a high seed regardless, would come far closer to sealing the deal. We're not sure if it would get the Gophers out of the Tuesday play-in game, but it would make them feel very good about getting in the field.
A close loss? Well, that would sure be better than a blowout loss. How you play is a factor. The Gophers will certainly lobby, too, that one of their best players (Andre Hollins) was out with an injury during a critical stretch of losses (though that argument will also be balanced with the fact that the team's best win, over Wisconsin, came with Hollins playing only a minute).
But if they want to eliminate most doubt and turn 40/60 into, say, 85/15, they need to beat the Badgers again. For all the angles and math, it's about as simple as that right now.
It seemed as though the Ogichidaag would coast to the finish.
And then ...
Canby went on a 19-2 run to tie the game 58-58 with about five minutes left. And that was just the beginning.
Both teams looked gassed toward the end of regulation, but Fond du Lac looked particularly winded. Two of the team's top players ended up fouling out, but it's a good thing Davonte Williamson didn't.
As the game went from regulation (he scored four key points down the stretch to force overtime) to a first OT session (he blocked a shot on a fast break to end the first session knotted at 73) to a second overtime (he had the only basket for his team) to finally a third overtime (he had countless key rebounds and assists), Fond du Lac finally prevailed 85-82 in 3OT.
Williams played all 48 minutes. He was exhausted afterward; he smiled about it when we talked to him afterward, but at the time there was no chance he was running off the court with his teammates. He staggered off slowly, satisfied but dragging.
On a team with virtually no height (6-1 is about as good as it gets), Williamson offered 23 points and 20 rebounds. It was a remarkable performance in one of the most remarkable games we have ever seen.
We'll have video up later on Startribune.com that hopefully captures the spirit of the thing -- not just the game, but what this all means for the Fond du Lac community.
Now that we've answered that question and hopefully avoided a lot of needless comments, the latest mock drafts from ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay are out.
Kiper, who had Johnny Manziel going No. 1 overall in his first two mocks, now has him falling ... wait for it ... all the way ... hang on ... to No. 8 and the ... you know it ... Vikings.
Writes Kiper: As I talk to teams, I get the sense there's a great deal of uncertainty around the quarterbacks in this draft. But there's a point where uncertainty turns into a reasonable bet, and Manziel at this point on the board is closer to the latter. There are some decent weapons in place in Minnesota for Manziel. There's a great deal of uncertainty on the defensive side of the ball here, but it doesn't outweigh the questions at QB. Manziel could be the solution and, drafted here, there's no question he'd come in with a chip on his shoulder.
Also, for what it's worth, both Kiper and McShay have Gophers DT Ra'Shede Hageman going No. 29 overall to the Patriots.
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