Archive for March, 2018

March Madness Kicks Off, #16 Penn Gets High Praise, Benched Butler Signs With Titans

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March Madness kicks off today, so if you haven’t set your brackets yet, you’ll need to do so before 12;15 ET. The most exciting part of the tournament is watching a “Cinderella” team rack up wins against higher seeds. Picking the “sleeper” is difficult but rewarding, and everyone has an opinion. Consider this statistic, “In the 33 years since the NCAA tournament’s expansion from 48 teams, No. 16 seeds have never won a game. They’ve rarely come close; the average margin has been about 25 points.” Even with that daunting prospect, many are touting the University of Pennsylvania Quakers and speculating whether they’ll be the first ever #16 seed to advance in the tourament. In order to do so, they’ll have to beat #1 seed Kansas. This game will air at 2:00 pm ET on TBS.

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During this year’s Super Bowl, the Patriots star cornerback Malcolm Butler only took the field once for a special teams play. Butler’s lack of play still remains a mystery, as he was the cornerstone of their defense all season. After the fact, and now that he’s a free agent, Butler worried coach Belichick’s decision would affect his market value, but that was clearly not the case. Butler just signed a five year contract worth $61 million ($30 million guaranteed) with the Tennessee Titans.

 

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Major Moves In Free Agency, Curry And Combs Interested In Buying Panthers

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Free agency officially kicks off today and there have already been some major moves. Among the biggest stories: Former Redskins’ quarterback Kirk Cousins is expected to sign a whopping (guaranteed) 3 year $84 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings. Quarterback Sam Bradford will sign with the Arizona Cardinals, replacing a retired Carson Palmer. Wide Receiver Sammy Watkins (who suffered a foot injury in 2016) will sign with the Kansas City Chiefs for a reported 3 year deal for $48 million ($30 guaranteed). As expected, quarterback Drew Brees will re-sign with the New Orleans Saints for a $50 million 2 year deal. For other free agency moves (and professional opinions on these moves), click here.

The Carolina Panthers are up for sale, and one potential buyer, Michael Rubin, has reportedly brought in Stephen Curry and Sean “Diddy” Combs as co-investors. Rubin, has part ownership in three other franchises, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils and the Premier League’s Crystal Palace. Combs tweeted his desire to buy the team, saying “I would like to buy the @Panthers. Spread the word. Retweet!”, while Curry responded by saying, “Obviously I have a day job, but I’ve got people that are plugged in and are trying to see how to make that happen. Nothing really to say about it besides that I’m very interested and very willing to do what it takes to make that happen.”

 

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UCONN #1 Seed, Broncos To Sign Case Keenum, Cousins Says Goodbye To DC, Browns’ Trades

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To no one’s surprise, UConn took the number one seed (for the 5th year in a row) for the NCAA women’s tournament. The tournament begins on March 16th with the finals on April 1st in Columbus, OH.

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Free agency officially begins on Wednesday and teams are scrambling to make deals. Quarterbacks Drew Brees, Case Keenum and Kirk Cousins are the hot commodities. The Denver Broncos reportedly worked out a deal to officially sign Minnesota Vikings QB Keenum, who replaced an injured Sam Bradford and helped propel the Vikings to the NFC Championship game.

All eyes are on where Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins will eventually end up (and how much he’ll make). On Monday, Cousins posted on social media, “The team has decided to move on to another option and, in turn, my family and I will be moving on as well,” He originally tagged the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings in his post called “Farewell, Washington”.

The winless Cleveland Browns are trying to shake things up and avoid being the laughing stock of the NFL. With new general mangager, John Dorsey, the team will trade for Bills quarterback Tyron Taylor, Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry and Green Bay Packers cornerback Damarion’s Randall. And, they’re not done yet. Expect more wheeling and dealing in the next few weeks.

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68 Teams Selected For March Madness, Sherman Snubs Seahawks And Signs W/49ers, Tiger Woods Back

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NCAA March Madness is officially here. With  68 teams selected and brackets set, the tournament begins March 15th and ends with a National Champion on April 2nd in San Antonio. For a rundown of every team and a look at which team(s) might have a chance of survival, click here. One of the best parts of the tournament, however, is spotting the team that defies odds and becomes a Cinderella story.  There were also many obvious snubs in the final selection. One of the most notable was USC not getting a bid. USC came in 2nd in the PAC 12 (a major conference), while other teams got bids playing in much less competitive conferences.

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Former Seattle Seahawks cornerback, Richard Sherman, agreed to a deal worth (with incentives up to $39.5 million) with the San Francisco 49ers. Seattle fans weren’t too happy with Sherman signing with an NFC West rival, but according to the cornerback, he  didn’t abandon the team. He said, “People are out there burning my jersey. Come on.  I’m not the one who let me go. They let me go. I didn’t abandon anybody.” He also admitted signing with a rival was calculated and said, “I’m vengeful in that way.”

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A healthy Tiger Woods tied for second at the Valspar Championship over the weekend. Paul Casey took the prize, but Tiger wow’d the crowd and showed he’s healthy and back. He said, “As a whole, I felt very good about what I did this week. I believe my game is progressing.”

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Jalen Hurts Pays Off Bet To Barkley In Style, Sherman To Be Released, Curry’s Ankle

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Football season is over, but it’s never too late to pay off a bet. Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts recently paid off a well-known bet against former Auburn basketball star (the legendary Charles Barkley), but not without adding his own flair. Alabama lost the rivalry game against Auburn (known as the Iron Bowl), but went on to win every game the rest of the season including the National Championship. Watch the clip to see how Hurts had fun and paid off his bet at the same time.

Richard Sherman, the Seattle Seahawks’ pro-bowl cornerback, expects to hear soon that he’s been released. Sherman turns 30 on March 30th and has been dealing with an injury to his Achilles. The Seahawks are the only team Sherman has played with in his 7 years in the NFL. There’s lots of speculation as to where he’ll end up.

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The Golden State Warriors were cruising through the regular season with high hopes for the post-season. Now, with Steph Curry out with recurring ankle issues (the 4th injury since beginning of December), the team might not be so confident, especially looking at the Houston Rockets’ 17-game win-streak. The team doesn’t appear too concerned yet, however, as they have a history of their other superstars (Kevin Durant and Draymond Green) stepping up.

 

 

 

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March Madness Selection Sunday, Buffett Offering $1-$2 Million For Perfect Brackets

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March Madness is almost here and selection day where all 68 college teams earn a bid is Sunday March 11th. The NCAA is changing up the format this year where they’ll announce all teams wishin the first 10 minutes then announce the brackets later. In the past the brackets and teams were announced together, but it took awhile for certain teams to know if they were in. Now with social media, the teams will be leaked anyway, so the NCAA figured they would mix it up this year.  According to the executive VP and chief content officer at Turner Sports, Craig Barry, “Our decision came down to, No. 1, getting the information out there as fast as possible. The second part was really to have an impact on the first segment. It’s been something we’ve been talking about since we began the partnership (in 2011).”

If you’re an employee of Berkshire Hathaway the NCAA tournament could be even more exciting. Warren Buffett is offering up $1 million and potentially $2 million for life if you have perfect pics. So this is how it works: If you pick a perfect Sweet 16 bracket, you’ll get the $1 million for life, and if you get all the way with a perfect bracket, you could win the $2 mill. According to the Washington Post stats, “Only 18 of the 18.8 million brackets completed on ESPN.com last year got the Sweet 16 correct, and no one made it to the end blemish-free”, so it’s long haul.

 

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DeRozan And Kevin Love Admit To Depression, Rockets Streak Continues, McCaffrey Saves Life

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Last week Toronto Raptors DeMar DeRozan gave an interview about his mental health issues and how he has had to deal with bouts of depression. DeRozan’s admission influenced Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Love to admit he had a panic attack during a game this season and now sees a therapist to deal with any issues that arise. His message to his colleagues and fans was, “So if you’re reading this and you’re having a hard time, no matter how big or small it seems to you, I want to remind you that you’re not weird or different for sharing what you’re going through. Just the opposite. It could be the most important thing you do. It was for me.”

The Houston Rockets streak continues with a win Tuesday night over the Oklahoma City Thunder, They’ve now recorded their 16th straight victory. This is the franchise’s longest streak since they won 22 games in the first quarter of 2008.

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Carolina Panthers’ running back Christian McCaffrey (son of Denver legend Ed McCaffrey), his brothers and a friend are credited with saving a man’s life last weekend while hiking in Colorado. Dan Smoker Sr fell while hiking with his 13-year old grandson Eli. The McCaffrey group saw the fall and immediately rushed to the 72-year-old Smoker Sr. They called 911 and gave him chest compressions until paramedics survived. According to reports, Smoker Sr is in critical but stable condition, and according to the family, the McCaffrey’s saved his life.

 

 

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SNL’s LaVar On Inside the NBA, LeBron Calls Philly Rumor “Disgusting”

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The Saturday Night Live version of LaVar Ball (played by Kenan Thompson) made a guest appearance on Inside the NBA. Charles Barkley is hosting SNL this week, so the Inside the NBA co-hosts filmed their show on the SNL set. Keenan played a great version of the ridiculous Ball.

LeBron James could be a free agent this summer and rumors keep spreading as to where he may end up if he leaves the Cavaliers. The most recent rumor has him checking out schools in the Philadelphia area for his kids. James vehemently denied this rumor calling it “disgusting”, but he did say he was flattered that other teams (and fans wanted him).  He said,  “It is actually very flattering that I’m sitting here at 33 and in my 15th year and teams or guys – I don’t want to say teams because that becomes tampering. But people in their respective city want me to play for their team. That’s cool I think. That’s dope.”

 

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Rockets Win 14 In Row, Warriors Visit DC, Martinez Uses Camels To Motivate

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The Houston Rockets are on fire. They’ve now won 14 games in a row putting them 1/2 point ahead of the Golden State Warriors for the best record in the NBA. James Harden scored 25 points while Clint Capela and Eric Gordon each scored 22 points in the win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.

The NBA Champions traditionally visit the White House the following season when they are scheduled to play the Washington Wizards. This year was a bit different, however. After their Championship win last June, the Golden State Warriors discussed the idea of not visiting the White House, because they didn’t agree with President Trump’s policies. Trump then disinvited the team. The Warriors decided not to politicize their trip further by meeting with any politicians, so they took a bunch of kids to the National Museum of African American History and Culture instead. According to the official statement, the team will “constructively use our trip to the nation’s capital in February to celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion — the values that we embrace as an organization.”

 

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