Thursday, May 28, 2015

Mike Jensen

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Mike Jensen writes "Off Campus," a regular column on college sports for The Inquirer. A staff writer with the paper since 1988, Jensen covered college basketball amd football for 15 years, wrote about soccer from 10 countries on five continents, and was assigned to the Kentucky Derby the year of Smarty Jones. He won Eclipse Awards for his coverage of Smarty Jones and Barbaro.

More recently, he's written longer stories on Eagles decision-makers, a former Eagles lineman who was arrested for stealing prescription painkillers, Charlie Manuel's first managerial job and a Philly high school basketball star who has spent his entire adult life in Sweden.

His easiest assignment: Covering John Chaney for ten years. That was stealing money.

Most emotional March story? Albany's Peter Hooley hit a game-winning three-pointer against Stony Brook to get his team into the NCAA tournament, then explained: "When you have angels watching you, anything can happen." Hooley called it the best moment of his life. He had missed eight games during the season to be with his mother in Australia. She died of colon cancer Jan. 30.
So Kentucky is going to win this thing? Not so fast. Say the Wildcats end up with a path that includes Cincinnati, Maryland, and then Kansas or Notre Dame just to get to the Final Four. UK obviously is the favorite each time, but that's a little bit of a gauntlet, with differing styles and plenty of talent. Notre Dame obviously is the kind of offensive team that could make things interesting for Kentucky if the Irish make it to the Elite Eight game in Cleveland.

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