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Friday, April 13, 2018

Episode 115 – Mike Zavagno on the Cavs and the NBA playoffs (and Taylor Swift?)

Mike Zavagno of FearTheSword.com and the Cavalytics podcast joins the show to help the guys get ready for the NBA playoffs. It was a strange season—or maybe even four or five seasons rolled into one—for the Cavs. But as they get ready for the Pacers in the first round, the Wine and Gold appear to finally have their full lineup available for the first time since the trade deadline. The guys discuss players like Jeff Green and Jose Calderon going from afterthoughts at the beginning of the year to key members of the playoff rotation, how the players acquired at the deadline—Larry Nance Jr., George Hill, Rodney Hood and Jordan Clarkson—will fit into the Cavs’ plans, familiar faces who could have reduced (or entirely eliminated) roles, and what more to expect from LeBron James after a tremendous 15th regular season. Plus, a rundown of the rest of the playoffs: Are the Sixers the Cavs’ biggest threat in the East? Was Golden State gifted a path to the Western Conference finals? And can anyone challenge the Rockets or Warriors in the early rounds? ... Oh, and there's also a story in the first five minutes about the time Mike encountered Taylor Swift at customs in the U.S. Virgin Islands and ended up in tabloids around the world. (Yes, really.)


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Episode 114 – Indians/MLB preview with Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com

Ready or not, the Indians begin their 2018 season on Thursday night in Seattle. To ring in the new year, the guys go around the horn on all things Tribe-related with Anthony Castrovince, national columnist for MLB.com and contributor for the MLB Network. How will the Indians replace all of the players gone from last year's 102-win squad? How much can we expect from talented (but injury-plagued) veterans such as Michael Brantley, Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall? Will Greg Allen, Bobby Bradley, Francisco Mejia or other players in the Tribe's system make an impact with the big league club this year? Can the Twins (or anyone else) in the AL Central threaten the Indians' chances of making the postseason for a third straight year? Castrovince answers those questions and covers lots more around Major League Baseball in a packed edition of The Nail.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Episode 113 – A stellar night for the Cavs and a salute to Joe Thomas

Down 15 points at the half to the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors. Playing without Kyle Korver, Larry Nance, Tristan Thompson, Rodney Hood, Cedi Osman and head coach Ty Lue. At another point in the season, this was the kind of night in which the Cavs would unravel. But on Wednesday, LeBron James and Co. had different ideas. The guys discuss one of the team’s most stirring wins of the year, as well as Kevin Love’s return to the lineup, the surprising emergence of Ante Zizic and what’s left of the regular season. After a number of false starts, is this finally the time the Cavs turn the corner? … Plus: Appreciating Joe Thomas’ incredible playing career at one of football’s most hard-to-appreciate positions, a quick survey of the latest buzz around the NFL draft, and a shout-out to the UMBC Retrievers for ridding March Madness of the least watchable major conference powerhouse.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Friday, March 9, 2018

Episode 112 – 'Big' decisions: On Larry Nance, Tristan Thompson and the Browns’ first-round picks

Larry Nance Jr. has been everything Cavaliers fans hoped he would be when he was acquired at the trade deadline. Tristan Thompson, meanwhile, hasn’t been quite up to the form he showed in playing an enormous role in the Cavs’ title run in 2016, and he’s now sidelined with an ankle injury. With Tristan down, Larry Jr. is getting a shot in the starting lineup, and the early returns have been promising. What happens to the Cavs’ frontcourt when TT returns? … Plus: Would the QB-desperate Browns really pass on a quarterback at the top of the draft? Also, was there anything the Indians could have done to better distribute their limited supply of tickets for Opening Day?


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Episode 111 – Talking #MACtion with Jason Arkley of the Athens Messenger

It’s Mid-American Conference tournament week in Cleveland, and Jason Arkley of the Athens Messenger is back on The Nail to set the stage. The No. 1 seed Buffalo Bulls seek their third conference championship in four years, but the rest of the top teams in this year’s bracket – Toledo, Eastern Michigan and Ball State – are all looking to break long droughts. Arkley breaks down Thursday’s quarterfinal matchups and discusses whether a MAC team can win an NCAA tournament game for the first time since 2012. ... Plus: The effect of the graduate transfer rule on college basketball and whether the sport's latest scandals are being felt at the mid-major level.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Episode 110 – A crash course on Ohio State basketball and the Big Ten tournament

Ready or not, it’s time for the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament, as the conference decided to stage its signature hoops event a week early for the sake of getting to play in Madison Square Garden. The Ohio State Buckeyes, one of the great stories in all of college basketball this season, figure to be a big factor this weekend in New York and in March Madness as well. The guys welcome back Josh Poloha of WaitingForNextYear.com to discuss how first-year coach Chris Holtmann has revitalized the program in Columbus, the stellar play of conference player of the year Keita Bates-Diop and others on the roster, and the teams who stand in the Buckeyes’ way in the Big Ten tourney. … Plus: A look at the scandals hanging over college basketball, the impact they could have on the NCAA tournament, and whether a day of reckoning is coming for some of the sport’s biggest names.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Episode 109 – I love these games! Catching up on the Cavs and Olympics

Cleveland is buzzing about basketball again as the Cavs kick off the unofficial second half of the NBA season on Thursday night. As we saw in a two-game preview before the All-Star break, the excitement comes with good reason. LeBron James is engaged, the team is rejuvenated and the games are once again must-see TV. The guys talk about the early returns from Larry Nance, Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood and George Hill, and what to look forward to down the stretch. … Plus: The most fun events to watch in the Winter Olympics, why not even commentary by wet blanket Bode Miller can ruin downhill skiing, and a quick thought on potential free agent QB targets for the Browns.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek