Omaha exits, Bryson 'De-Champion' and hair loss advice in the sports moments of the week ::

Omaha exits, Bryson ‘De-Champion’ and hair loss advice in the sports moments of the week ::

The internet is a big place. Unless you’re 100% plugged in all the time (and let’s be clear, that is NOT recommended), you’re going to miss some stuff.

Let us do that work. You can be a well-adjusted human being and still catch all the best sports moments of the week, with a quick review …

NC State bows out after pair of heartbreakers

After a dominant showing in the Regional and Super Regional rounds, the NC State Wolfpack certainly showed that they were ready to make some noise at the College World Series.

They just couldn’t quite find a way to win.

The Wolfpack opened play on Saturday in Omaha against the No. 2 national seed Kentucky.

After falling behind early, State staged a late rally thanks to a 2-run home run by Alec Makarewicz and a ninth inning wild pitch that allowed Garrett Pennington to score the go-ahead run.

Unfortunately the Wolfpack bullpen, which has been lights out all postseason, couldn’t close the deal.

Jacob Dudan gave up a game-tying solo home run in the bottom of the ninth, then Derrick Smith did the same in the 10th as the Wildcats walked it off to advance to the winners bracket.

In Monday’s elimination game against Florida, it was starter Dominic Fritton who ran into trouble.

The freshman All-American had a rough 2nd inning, allowing three walks, a single and a towering 3-run home run to Gators star Jac Caglianone (whom coach Elliott Avent compared to a horror movie villain) as the Wolfpack fell behind, 4-1.

True to form, the “Pack 9” refused to go away and managed to cut their deficit to one after a Brandon Butterworth RBI double in the fifth.

After that, however, the bats faltered. NC State managed only one hit over the last four innings of play, and struck out six times in the last three.

It was a bitter way to end a great run, but there is a silver lining Wolfpack nation because, after speculation that he might retire, Avent confirmed that he will be back next season to coach another roster that should be loaded with talent.

Two College World Series trips in four years is unprecedented at NC State, but under Avent, that kind of success is becoming the new standard in Raleigh.

They’ll be back sooner rather than later.

North Carolina’s magic runs out in Omaha

On Friday night, I would have bet you a substantial amount of money that North Carolina was going to win the national championship this year.

The Tar Heels found a way to win late AGAIN, as Vance Honeycutt delivered yet another walk-off winner to beat ACC rival Virginia 3-2 in the opener.

(Incidentally, this kicked off a string of three straight walk-off winners to open the College World Series. That’s never happened before.)

UNC simply could not lose. No matter what, they always found a way.

But on Sunday, a highlight-reel grab seemed to turn things sour for Carolina.

In the top of the second inning against No. 1 seed Tennessee, Anthony Donofrio smoked a pitch to center field that looked certain to be an extra base hit.

Volunteers’ outfielder Hunter Ensley had other ideas. The junior never broke stride as he sprinted back for an impressive catch that sent him crashing into the wall.

The Tar Heels were mostly shut down for the rest of the game, managing only five hits in a 6-1 loss.

Carolina didn’t find their offense until the second half of Tuesday’s elimination game against Florida State, but by then it was too late.

The Seminoles built an early 7-1 lead, which proved to be too much to overcome in a 9-5 defeat.

I’d argue that this CWS exit stings just a tiny bit more for UNC simply because they were a top three seed and they are losing an unbelievable talent in Honeycutt (who finished the postseason with a .350 batting average, 13 runs scored, 13 RBI, 6 home runs and 3 walk-off winners).

This seemed like as good a year as any to finally breakthrough and win it all.

But don’t weep for the Tar Heels.

The cupboard is not bare in Chapel Hill by any means and they have an established track record of bringing in elite talent and winning a lot of baseball games.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see multiple in-state teams make the College World Series again next year.


Bryson DeChambeau wins thrilling US Open at Pinehurst

Pinehurst No. 2 has been home to some pretty incredible golf moments over the years.

The 2024 US Open is now on the very short list with the best of them.

Fans were treated to some Sunday drama with a very memorable finish that saw Bryson DeChambeau scramble for a tournament-winning par on the final hole, while Rory McIlroy suffered an all-time collapse.

For a long stretch in the middle of the round, it looked like those roles would be reversed as DeChambeau squandered a 3-shot lead and McIlroy seemingly could not miss a putt.

After his fourth birdie in five holes at the 13th, Rory held a two-shot lead and looked to be a shoo-in for his first major title in a decade.

But moments later, McIlroy suddenly just fell apart.

It started at the 15th as a questionable club choice off the tee led to a bogey.

On the 16th, he had a 3-foot par putt and somehow lipped it out for another bogey.

DeChambeau also bogeyed 15 around the same time, so McIlroy was still in position to at least force a playoff, but at the 18th hole — the last hole of the tournament — he missed a second short putt for his third bogey in four holes.

All of a sudden, DeChambeau had regained the lead and needed only a par to win his second career major championship.

He didn’t make it easy on himself.

DeChambeau drifted right off the tee (something he had been doing a lot) and wound up with a difficult lie in the “native area.”

He punched out from there and landed in a green-side bunker, leaving himself with a ridiculous up-and-down to save par.

I still can’t believe what happened next.

DeChambeau hit one of the best bunker shots I’ve ever seen to get within about five feet of the hole, then calmly nailed the putt to win the US Open.

McIlroy looked absolutely sick as he watched from the clubhouse (and instantly became an internet meme), then got out of dodge as quickly as possible.

Can’t blame him.

For DeChambeau, getting a second major is obviously a huge step because it cements you as an elite golfer (not just a pretty good one who randomly got hot one weekend).

This weekend also seemed to be Bryson’s coming out party as a fan favorite, which I did not see coming.

Just a few years ago, DeChambeau was one of the most polarizing people in the sport. Now he seems to be one of the most beloved (and after going over to LIV no less).

Good for him.


Baseball legend Willie Mays passes away

I would be remiss not to mention the passing of Willie Mays, who died Tuesday at the age of 93.

Mays is deservedly mentioned on the short list of baseball legends, but really he belongs to an even shorter list with Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Nolan Ryan and probably Pete Rose — candidates to be seriously considered in the “best ever” argument.

Mays was a true “five-tool” player. He could run, field, throw, hit for average and hit for power.

He was a 24-time All-Star, 12-time Gold Glove winner, four-time home run leader, four-time stolen base leader, two-time MVP and made one of the greatest catches ever to help the New York Giants win the 1954 World Series.

Oh, and his 660 career home runs rank sixth all-time.

As fate would have it, the San Francisco Giants (who moved from New York in the ’50s with Mays as their star player) are set to take on the St. Louis Cardinals at historic Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama, on Thursday.

Mays was an Alabama native who started his playing career at Rickwood Field with the Birmingham Black Barons in 1948.

What a scene that will be.

RIP to a true legend of the game.

The Celtics are champs while the Oilers are still kicking

I thought I might have two championships to write about this week, but the Edmonton Oilers had other plans.

After trailing Florida three games to none in the Stanley Cup Final, Connor McDavid and Co. have come alive, combining for 13 goals over the last two games to keep their season alive.

The Oilers are now just the fourth team in history to force a Game 6 after going down 3-0 in the Cup Final.

Just one of them (the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs) finished the job and won it all.

You can bet on a incredible atmosphere in Edmonton on Friday night for Game 6.

Meanwhile, the NBA Finals is a wrap as the Boston Celtics finished their demolition of the Dallas Mavericks to win their 18th championship.

(Side note: I saw that LA Lakers fans were upset because this broke a tie with them for most championships all-time … but Lakers fans, are you seriously including the five Minneapolis Lakers titles? I get that it’s the same franchise, but that’s like the Oklahoma City Thunder celebrating the 1979 Seattle SuperSonics title or LA Rams fans celebrating the 2000 St. Louis Super Bowl — it’s not your city!)

Anyway, after getting blown out in Game 4, the Celtics turned Game 5 into one big party at TD Garden, starting with another halftime buzzer beater from Payton Pritchard.

Kristaps Porzingis made a surprise appearance off the bench, Derrick White chipped his tooth and smiled, former Duke star Jayson Tatum channeled Kevin Garnett and Jaylen Brown won Finals MVP.

Everyone is happy!

Unless you hate Boston sports, which is basically everyone outside of Boston.

Landon Donovan’s hair style is … interesting

U.S. Soccer legend Landon Donovan went viral for his work as a color analyst at the UEFA European Championship, but not for anything he said.

It was because of his haircut.

Donovan showed up for the France-Austria game sporting a rather bold look. He has a giant bald spot just behind his right ear, which was very noticeable on camera and left the internet bewildered.

Turns out, Donovan had a hair transplant just a few days ago (he’s getting kind of thin up top) and thought it wouldn’t show up on camera.

Well, it did.

While we’re here, a word of advice to those who might find themselves in a similar situation to Donovan in the hair department.

(As someone who went bald in his early 30s and tried to hang on for too long, I feel qualified to give this advice.)

If your hair is absolutely crucial to your self-confidence and personality — and you have the means to make a big investment to keep it — then by all means, knock yourself out.

However, if you’re in a situation where you can see you’re going bald and you don’t want to spend thousands on a procedure like this, I promise you it’s best to just shave it all off as quickly as possible.

I get it. It’s a scary and likely permanent step.

Everybody has to accept it at their own pace.

But if you notice that it’s starting to look bad, then it’s probably already been bad for a while. And other people have noticed that you’re trying to hide it.

A shaved head is going to look so much better, especially if you can grow a nice beard. It might not seem like it, but again, I promise it does and you’ll get used to it quickly.

Plus, you never have to pay for a haircut, or worry about those “volumizing” shampoos that are a complete lie, ever again.

So, that’s a plus.

Ok, soap box speech over. We’ll see you next week.