SPURS DELIVER MESSAGE TO THUNDER, MARCH MADNESS RESUMES, DEVON STILL’s Daughter In Remission

BASKETBALL

Even though Kevin Durant is currently sidelined, and may even be traded, the Oklahoma City Thunder are playing well behind Russell Westbrook and Enes Kanter.  People are talking about the Thunder possibly upsetting the Warriors or Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs.  On Wednesday, the San Antonio Spurs were tired of hearing how great OKC is, and they delivered a 39-point message to the Thunder establishing that, in case anybody had forgotten, they are still the defending champions.  San Antonio 130, OKC 91.

March Madness resumes on Thursday, and these are going to be some incredible games.  One of the most anticipated matchup is #5 West Virginia vs. the unbeaten #1 Kentucky.  West Virginia is a very tough defensive team and head coach Bob Huggins has a history of upsetting Kentucky, as his Mountaineers’ team toppled a Kentucky squad that included John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, and DeMarcus Cousins (all stars in the NBA).  Plus, a West Virginia guard, Daxter Miles, said publicly that Kentucky is going to be 36-1.  We’ll see if it was a good idea to rile a powerhouse like Kentucky.

FOOTBALL

Devon StillIn some feel-good news, many remember the Devon Still story from last year’s NFL season.  Devon Still is a defensive tackle for the Bengals who had to take time off to help his young daughter with cancer.  It started with a viral video of Still “fist-bumping” his daughter before a difficult cancer operation.  The whole country got behind Still, and his jersey sales soared.  And on Wednesday, it was reported that his daughter Leah’s cancer is officially in remission.  Just wonderful news.

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Love & Lebron Evolving, Redskins’ New QB, Bears Sign McDonald, Deep Fried Nachos On Stick

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Kevin LoveIn the NBA, there is a bit of controversy within the Cleveland Cavaliers’ organization.   In the off-season, the Cavs traded their #1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love in order to try and win championships right now.  Since that trade, his relationship with the Cavs’ Lebron James has been “evolving”. LeBron and Love are not enemies, but they’re not exactly best friends either — as Kevin Love hinted in an interview on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike”.  Love also said that he thought Russell Westbrook was having a better season than LeBron.  Not exactly the best thing to say about your teammate.  Then again, Love was former teammates with Westbrook at UCLA.

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And in the NFL, the historic Washington Redskins are a mess right now.  They are a super popular organization that simply can’t field a good team.  Now their GM is saying that they might pick a quarterback with their #5 overall draft pick.  This certainly sends a mixed message to Robert Griffin III. Earlier this off season, head coach Jay Gruden said that Griffin would be the team’s starting quarterback.  This may not end well.

In a controversial move, the Chicago Bears signed defensive end Ray McDonald. McDonald was released by the SF 49ers in December while he was under investigation for sexual assault. He has not been officially charged in that case and he is suing the woman that accused him.  He was also implicated in a domestic abuse case last August involving his fiancee. He did not face charges in that case either. Many are questioning the Bears’ organization for bringing in McDonald while others are saying that since he hasn’t been found guilty of either charge, he has been unfairly targeted.

BASEBALL

mlb_cornts_600x600The Milwaukee Brewers seem to think there is no limit for what could be considered unhealthy in their ball park  And now, it looks like they are offering deep fried nachos on a stick.  This is their quest to become the most talked about food stadium in the league.

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Sharper Guilty Of Drugging/Raping, Vikings Want Peterson, Princeton Finally Loses Game

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In the NFL, some horrible news. Former New Orleans Saints’ star Darren Sharper pleaded guilty to drugging and raping two women.  Sharper was immediately given 9 years in prison, but that will likely be on the low end of the deal, as more sentences are coming based on how he handles his entire case.  He is likely looking at the range of 33 years according to the reports.
Adrian PetersonElsewhere in the NFL, apparently the Minnesota Vikings want to keep Adrian Peterson. Peterson’s agent, however, said that Minnesota isn’t a good fit for Peterson anymore.   It’s reported that both the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals are very interested — both teams who desperately need a running back.

BASKETBALL

Finally, in women’s college hoops, Princeton University was riding a perfect season coming into March Madness.  Many wondered if they could nab a perfect year, just like Kentucky is trying to do in men’s basketball.   Unfortunately, Princeton got seated in the same bracket as Maryland in the early rounds, a team who had a terrific year, and Monday night the Terrapins put an end to Princeton’s perfect season.   Still a huge accomplishment to finish the regular season without a loss.  Maryland 85, Princeton 70.

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March Madness Big Weekend Games-Kentucky, Notre Dame, Wichita State, Duke, Gonzaga And NC State Over Villanova To Sweet Sixteen

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This weekend, it was all about March Madness.  Of course everyone was aiming to topple the undefeated Kentucky, but that certainly wouldn’t prove easy.  In the 2nd round, Cincinnati gave them a very hard time in the first half, but in the 2nd half, Kentucky was just too dominant, and easily pulled away.

Notre Dame continued their hot streak, and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.  However, they had a very close call with their second round opponent, Butler.  In that same bracket, however, the ailing #2 seed Kansas got beaten badly by their NEW in-state rival Wichita State.  Wichita State will take on Notre Dame, and both teams feel like they can beat anybody right now.

Kyle Wiltjer#2 Gonzaga was able to avoid an early upset.  This team is fantastic offensively, led by former Kentucky recruit Kyle Wiltjer.  They actually look like they have legs this year, and could make a run.  Then again, the #1 seed in their regional, Duke, looks incredible and if that match-up happens, it will definitely be something special to watch.

Three #1 seeds made it to the Sweet Sixteen (Duke, Wisconsin, Kentucky), but even though it always looks good to pick all #1 seeds to advance on paper, it seldom happens.

The big upset of the weekend was the NC State Wolfpack, a team that has beaten both #1 Duke and #2 Virginia this year, played a near perfect game to upset the #1 Villanova Wildcats and advance to the Sweet Sixteen.  That’s two years in a row where Villanova came in as a high seed and left very early.

The action continues next Thursday.

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UAB, Georgia State Pull Upsets, UCLA Barely Survives

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March Madness is upon us, and Thursday marked the first REAL day of action.  People everywhere were calling in sick to catch it all, and there was plenty of craziness to keep us entertained.

#3 seed Iowa State was poised to make a deep run in this year’s tournament.  They have a lot of talent and were completely healthy.  Plus, they are coached by Fred Hoiberg, who many have pegged as an NBA coaching candidate.  But they didn’t expect UAB (Alabama-Birmingham) to come out so strong.  UAB just wouldn’t go away and pulled a major upset.  UAB 60, Iowa State 59.

It looked like the #3 seeds had trouble coming into the tourney, as Baylor also suffered the same fate against #14 seed Georgia State.  Georgia State was completely relentless down the stretch and just kept coming strong at Baylor.  It all came down to one final shot by the coach’s son RJ Hunter.  He shot long with just a few seconds remaining to take the lead and pull the shocking upset.  Georgia State 57, Baylor 56.

UCLAFinally, storied coach Larry Brown finally got his SMU (Southern Methodist) Mustangs into the tournament.  They were lackluster in the first half, but went on an incredible 19-0 run in the second half, and finally looked like the team that everyone thought could go far.  It looked like they were going to lock up the game, but UCLA took one last three, and got the miracle they needed.  No, the shot didn’t go in, but a SMU defender just barely grazed the ball coming down before it hit the rim and was called for goal tending.  That gave UCLA a one-point lead and all they needed to win the game.  Just incredible.  Madness is upon us.  UCLA 60, SMU 59.

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Cowboys Add Controversial Greg Hardy, NFL Mulling “Bonus” Point, March Madness Begins

FOOTBALL

DeMarco MurrayIn the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys have taken a hit in free agency with DeMarco Murray signing with the Philadelphia Eagles.  To make up for that huge loss, the Cowboys have added defensive end Greg Hardy to the mix.  This is a very controversial signing, however, as Hardy is currently under investigation for violating the league’s and the law’s domestic conduct policy.  He may have attacked his partner.  So some critics out there are saying that the Dallas Cowboys sold their soul in an attempt to make their team better.  This is essentially the equivalent of signing Ray Rice, and that is simply bad PR for any organization.

Elsewhere in the NFL, there is a proposal for a very interesting rule change concerning a “bonus” point.  This rule would allow teams that convert a successful 2-point conversion to then have a shot of scoring a 1-point “bonus” by kicking a 50-yard field goal.  This is clearly an attempt by the league to try to make the game more competitive, and allow for late miracle 4th quarter comebacks, as a team down by 9 points could make up for that deficit on one possession.  This is a radical concept, but the league is seriously mulling it over.

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Remember, Thursday marks the start of March Madness.  Everyone is pretty much penciling in undefeated Kentucky as the champion, but make no mistake that March Madness is when crazy things happen.  So when filling out your brackets, keep in mind that it only takes one bad shooting day for a mighty team to fall.  A few years ago, everyone had Kanasas to win it all, and they were stunned by Northern Iowa in the 2nd Round.  So absolutely anything can happen.

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Hampton Celebration With Call To Jesus, 1 in 2.4 Trillion Chance Of Perfect Bracket

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Major LeagueAs of  Thursday all anyone will be talking about is the NCAA tournament.  We’ll see some great upsets and entertaining celebrations. In fact, two of the most memorable celebrations already occurred when Hampton beat Manhattan in a play-in-game giving them the opportunity to play #1 seed Kentucky on Thursday. After a free throw, the Team mimicked the scene in the movie “Major League”.  Then at the end of the game, the Hampton’s coach pretended to have Jesus’ number on speed dial and called to see if they had a chance against Kentucky.

If you’re planning to set your bracket for the tournament, you have until noon on Wednesday.

Just remember, the odds of picking a perfect bracket are staggeringly difficult. One Duke math professor puts the odds at 1 in 2.4 trillion.

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Romney To Box Holyfield, Rose Submits Request For Reinstatement

BOXING

Mitt RomneyMitt Romney isn’t running for President in 2017 but will enter the boxing ring to try and go a few rounds (more like a few punches) with Evander Holyfield sometime in May. The event will raise money for CharityVision, an organization the Romney’s have been involved with that provides healthcare to the vision impaired in impoverished regions.

BASEBALL

Pete Rose, banned from baseball since 1989, has submitted a request to be reinstated.  For 15 years, Rose denied he bet on baseball but then when his autobiography came out in 2004, he admitted betting on the Cincinnati Reds while managing the team. If Rose does get reinstated, it’s unclear if he’ll be eligible for the baseball hall of fame. Rose still holds the record for most hits in baseball history.

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March Madness Field Set

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March MadnessMarch Madness is upon us. The field was set Sunday night and 68 college basketball teams will battle it out over the next few weeks to see which team takes home the title . To no one’s surprise, the Kentucky Wildcats are seeded number 1 in the midwest region and are widely predicted to win the whole thing becoming the first team since 1976 to go undefeated. Of course what makes these games so much fun is there is always a “cinderella” team which against all odds plays out of their minds and defeats a powerhouse. For a list of all the teams selected and their rankings, click here.  If you’re interested in setting your brackets the official tournament starts on Thursday (a few bubble teams will compete starting on Tuesday to get in to the official bracket).

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DeMarco Murray Moves to Eagles, Richardson Released, Cavs Win Big

FOOTBALL

In the NFL, superstars just keep swapping teams.  We haven’t seen this much star movement in quite awhile. Last year’s NFL rushing yards leader, the Cowboys DeMarco Murray, decided to switch teams.  The Cowboys didn’t want to pay up big for him, and now Murray hasn’t just moved anywhere, he’s gone to a division rival: The Philadelphia Eagles.  So in a matter of just 2 weeks, the Eagles lost their star running back LeSean McCoy to the Bills, only to pick up the Cowboys’ star running back.  This is just plain strange.

Elsewhere in the NFL, the Indianapolis Colts have released running back Trent Richardson.  Richardson came into the league as the #3 pick in the NFL Draft.  He was an absolute beast at Alabama, but just couldn’t turn on the jets in Cleveland.  The Browns traded him to the Colts, and the Colts thought he would be their long term solution in the backfield.  Nope — he didn’t work out there either.  Does any team want to take a chance on him?  He isn’t hurt, and he still has “potential”.  It will be interesting to see where he ends up.

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LeBron JamesIn the NBA, we were treated to a rematch of the San Antonio Spurs vs. LeBron James.   Last year, the Spurs took on LeBron when he was a member of the Miami Heat, so how would his new team, the Cleveland Cavs, fare against the disciplined Spurs.  Well it was a neck and neck game, but the Cavs have an incredible weapon named Kyrie Irving.  Irving went crazy for 57 points and helped the Cavs win in overtime.  The way the Cavs are playing, they look like they will be dancing into the NBA Finals come June.  Cleveland 128, San Antonio 125.

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