By: Dennis Fithian
This is the March #Trending. Trending is a poll which ranks who is getting talked about the most on the Detroit sports scene. Last month’s rankings are in parentheses. Comments and suggestions are welcome.
(Rankings are compiled after meetings with on-air hosts, producers and call screeners at 97.1.)
Top 25 #Trending
1. (13) Tom Izzo: Mr. March ready to roll in a wide open NCAA tourney field.
2. (9) Jimmy Howard: Wings fighting to make the playoffs for 22nd consecutive season.
3. (18) Bruce Rondon: Tigers anointed closer struggling with his control in spring training.
4. (2) Trey Burke: Player of the year candidate props UM back up with clutch plays.
5. (7) Gary Harris: Freshman two guard is a star who can do it all.
6. (17) Mike Babcock: Juggling lines every night with steady stream of injuries.
7. (8) Keith Appling: Spartan trigger man is key if MSU is to make a NCAA tourney run…
8. (20) Tim Hardaway Jr: UM can be dangerous if he can get hot.
9. (12) John Beilein: Needs more than fast breaks and perimeter shooting if UM wants to make some noise.
10. (15) Dave Dombrowski: When will Tigers GM make a move?
11. (21) Adreian Payne: Spartan big man has impressed all with his inside/out game.
12. (10) Mitch McGary: Wolverines need freshman big man to rebound, defend and make critical free throws.
13. (25) Nick Kronwall: Wings top defensemen has tough skates to fill with Lidstrom’s retirement.
14. (NR) Jonathan Ericsson: In spotlight nightly matching up with the best opponents.
15. (NR) Rick Porcello: Where and who will he be with on Opening Day 2013?
16. (5) Martin Mayhew: Ready to reshape defense with free agency and the draft.
17. (NR) Ray McCallum: UD guard named Horizon League Player of the Year.
18. (NR) Devin Gardner: News of extra year of eligibility is cause for celebration in Ann Arbor.
20. (22) Pavel Datsyuk: Making strong case for being named the greatest Russian Red Wings player ever.
21. (NR) Denzel Valentine: Pride of Lansing and a coach’s son has the trust of Izzo.
22. (NR) Nick Castellanos: Will be in the big leagues before long if he keeps connecting like he has lately.
23. (16) Damien Brunner: Swiss forward shows speed and skill like a top line NHLer.
24. (NR) Tomas Tatar: Taking advantage of opportunity and leads Wings rookies in points.
25. (19) Glenn Robinson III: Is he an NBA lottery pick or an undersized four that gets exposed in big games?
Dropping out of the top 25: Manti Te’o, Joe Dumars, Jeff Backus, Denard Robinson, Andre Drummond, Matthew Stafford, Jim Schwartz and Henrik Zetterberg.
Also receiving votes this month: Justin Verlander, Jarvis Jones, Conner Cook, Nick Lidstrom, Ndamukong Suh, Nick Stauskas, Mike Ilitch, Lawrence Frank, Titus Young, Calvin Johnson, Anibal Sanchez, Scott Linehan, Tom Gores, Gary Bettman, Scott Boras, Jim Leyland, Brandon Dawson, Greg Monroe, Derrick Green, Bjoern Werner, Ken Holland, Gunther Cunningham, Dominic Raiola, Al Borges, Brady Hoke, Mark Dantonio, Kyle Singler, Miguel Cabrera, Torii Hunter, Jose Calderon, Manti Te’o and Kyle Vanden Bosh.