Larry Martino

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Three children who battle serious disease and illness recently learned they will be traveling to watch their favorite college b-ball teams contend in the next round of the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament.

Team Impact is the non-profit organization which matches these kids with their favorite college sports teams to help give them these life-changing experiences. The college athletes who are involved in these programs also receive inspiration from their relationships with these special children.

15-year old Brennon from Ave Maria, Florida recently learned that he will be traveling to Kansas City to watch his favorite team and players on the University of Miami Hurricanes take on the number one seeded University of Houston Cougars. You can watch the heart-warming video of Brennon learning about this trip by CLICKING HERE. 

I love how he kind of knew something was going on, but he still got a little emotional when he found out for real that he would be going to Kansas City. The guys on the team sure seem like they know Brennon real well. Very cool. Incidentally, Brennon was born with a heart condition which seriously impacts his health.

A second child, Jace from Houston, Texas, will also be traveling to Kansas City. He will be rooting against Brennon’s team on Friday when the University of Houston battles the University of Miami. Jace suffers from nephrotic syndrome and lupus and he has been the lead ball boy for the Cougars since last summer. Team Impact did not supply a video of Jace learning about his trip to watch his favorite team.

The third child to receive a big surprise was 12-year old Rylan from Ellington, Connecticut. He got his Zoom call on his birthday! Rylan suffers from a chronic immune condition, and he is a big fan of the University of Connecticut Huskies men’s b-ball team. You can watch the video of Rylan’s sheer joy when learning he was traveling here to Las Vegas to watch his favorite team and players beat the University of Arkansas Razorbacks on Thursday at T-Mobile Arena by a score of 88-65. CLICK HERE to watch Rylan’s Zoom call.

Now we know UConn players are much better at basketball than they are at singing “Happy Birthday!”

To learn more about Team Impact and what they do for over 2,600 children around the United States, CLICK HERE.


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Larry Martino is the long-time Afternoon Drive personality on 96.3 KKLZ. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of Larry Martino and not necessarily those of Beasley Media Group, LLC.

Ranking All 68 of the 2022 NCAA Tournament Teams By Their Mascots

The NCAA Tournament is here, and it’s time to rank the most important part of the tournament: the mascots.

Sure, there’s plenty of basketball analysis to be had this week, as Baylor aims to repeat, while Gonzaga looks for its first championship. But we’re not here for that right now.

We need to take a look at the stuff that matters. Is a Blue Devil more fearsome than a Tiger? Is a Zip more powerful than a Hokie? Wait… what’s a Zip?

So let’s rank all 68 teams in the 2022 NCAA Tournament based on the all-important mascot factors. For the sake of this discussion, this is completely arbitrary. Sometimes it’ll be whether one might win in a fight. Other times it might be because we’re really tired of cat-based teams (we see you Wildcats, Tigers, Cougars, Catamounts, etc.).

And now, on to the important rankings: