Archive for March, 2021

Final Four Set, UCLA’s Remarkable Run, Supremes Rule On Student Athletes, Arians Gets Tattoo

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The Final Four is set. #11 UCLA continued its remarkable run after beating #1 Michigan (51-49) and will now face #1 Gonzaga (who trounced #6 USC 85-66). Rounding out the top 4 is #2 Houston taking on #1 Baylor. UCLA will be making its 18th Final Four appearance, only trailing North Carolina which has racked up 20 Final Four appearances. For more on each team and what to expect this weekend, click here.

In the Women’s tournament, #1 South Carolina will face off against #1 Stanford, while #3 Arizona will play #1 UConn.

In other NCAA news, the Supreme Court will review an antitrust case allowing member schools to offer student-athletes education-related compensation. The NCAA is asking the court justices to overturn this ruling to “preserve the amateur nature of college sports”.

FOOTBALL

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians promised the team he would get a tattoo if they won the Super Bowl (which they did beating the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9). Arians proved he is a man of his word and revealed on Twitter his new tattoo.

 

 

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Houston/Baylor In Final Four, UConn Beats Baylor After Controversial Call, Mulkey Not Fan Of Testing, Mets Big Offer To Lindor, Sabres Winless Streak

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Houston and Baylor moved on in the men’s bracket of the NCAA tournament. Gonzaga vs USC and Michigan vs UCLA will battle it out tonight for spots in the Final Four.

In the women’s bracket, UConn narrowly beat out Baylor to clinch their 13th straight Final Four appearance, however, the win was not without controversy. With seconds left Baylor’s DiJonai Carrington attempted a game-winning basket but appeared to be fouled. The refs did not call it, and UConn came away with a 69-67 win.

In addition to the officiating, people are also talking about the post-game press conference where Baylor Coach Kim Mulkey (who wore her face mask under her chin the entire game) stated the NCAA should get rid of COVID testing for the Final Four.

BASEBALL

The New York Mets offered All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor $325 million for 10 years, but Lindor is reportedly asking for $385 million.

HOCKEY

The Buffalo Sabres continue their 18 game winless streak after blowing a three-goal lead against the Philadelphia Flyers.

 

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Elite Eight Set, 94-Year Old Studies NBA & Selects Danny Green, Dolphins Blockbuster Trade, NFL Adding 17th Game

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After a full weekend of NCAA basketball, the Elite Eight is set. #12 Oregon State and #11 UCLA continue their remarkable runs and will face #2 Houston and #1 Michigan respectively. No.3 Arkansas faces #1 Baylor and #6 USC takes on #1 Gonzaga.

In the women’s field, five of the top eight seeds continue their run. #1 UConn will battle it out vs #2 Baylor, while #4 Indiana faces #3 Arizona. Rounding out the tournament is #6 Texas vs #1 South Carolina, and #2 Louisville vs #1 Stanford.

In a feel-good moment from the weekend, a 94-year-old Grandmother spent the pandemic studying the NBA and decided her favorite player is the Philadelphia 76ers Danny Green. Danny repaid her enthusiasm by sending her a signed jersey. Watch her fantastic response on Twitter.

FOOTBALL

The NFL Draft is fast approaching (April 29th) and teams are busy trading to maximize their options. Over the weekend, the Miami Dolphins maneuvered to gain a handful of future draft picks. Notably, they traded their #3 overall pick to the San Francisco 49ers (who are likely to grab an elite quarterback) for a bunch of 2021, 2022, 2023 picks. Click here for how it all went down.

In other NFL news, the league is expected to add another regular-season game (so 17 games instead of 16). They will then shorten the preseason to three games from four.

 

 

 

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Heat Get Oladipo, Lowry Stays W/Raptors, NCAA Hires Law Firm To Ensure Gender Equity

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The NBA trade deadline has come and gone. In some notable activity, the Miami Heat acquired Victor Oladipo from the Houston Rockets while the much-discussed and sought-after Kyle Lowry remained with the Toronto Raptors.  For more trading news click here.

The NCAA announced they hired a law firm to look into the disparities between the men’s and women’s basketball tournament workout facilities during the NCAA tournament to ensure gender equity.  When photos of the men’s and women’s workout facilities went viral on social media, the NCAA decided to address the issue.

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NHL Fires Ref For Bogus Penalty, Anti-Semitic Audibles, Snyder Spends $1 Bill For 100% Of Team, Lowry Takes Call From Drake, Olympic Torch Lit

HOCKEY

The NHL announced referee Tim Peel would “no longer be working NHL games now or in the future” after he was caught on mic admitting he called an unwarranted penalty because he “wanted to get” a penalty against the Nashville Predators.

FOOTBALL

A high school football coach in Massachusetts was fired for having his team use anti-Semitic slurs such as “rabbi”, “dreidel” and “Auschwitz” while calling audibles.

Washington Football Team owner Daniel Snyder will spend close to $1 billion to buy out his minority partners’ 40% stake in the team.

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The Toronto Raptors Kyle Lowry took a FacetTime call from the musician Drake during his postgame interview where he spoke about his time in Toronto possibly coming to an end. Lowry has been with the Raptors since 2012, but he will now be an unrestricted free agent with several teams interested in trading for him.

OLYMPICS

The Olympic torch was lit in Tokyo and will begin a 121-day trip across Japan arriving back in Tokyo in time for the July 23rd Opening Ceremonies.

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Sweet 16 Set (Duke, Kansas, UNC, Kentucky Not In), LeBron Ankle Injury, LaMelo Out For Season, Deshaun Investigated

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The Sweet 16 is set, and for the first time since 1985 when the NCAA tournament expanded to 64 teams, Duke, Kansas, UNC, and Kentucky are not in the mix. Click here for the Men’s Sweet 16 and here for the Women’s bracket.

In the NBA, LeBron James suffered an ankle sprain and will be out indefinitely. And, with this being LeBron, he sank a three-pointer before leaving the game. This particular injury normally sidelines players for an average of 10 games, but LeBron isn’t accustomed to missing games and has only missed eight or more straight games twice in his 18-year career.

In other injury news, Charlotte Hornets’ rookie LaMelo Ball fractured his wrist and is expected to miss the rest of the season.

FOOTBALL

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has been accused of sexual misconduct and acting inappropriately during private massages. The NFL has opened an investigation, and the situation continues to evolve.

 

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Ohio State, Florida, Virginia, Illinois Among Upsets In NCAA Tournament, Odds Of A Perfect Bracket

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There were many upsets and unpredictable outcomes from the NCAA Tournament this weekend that were sure to ruin many brackets. #2 ranked Ohio State fell to #15 Oral Roberts in the first round. Then Oral Roberts beat #7 Florida and are in the Sweet 16.

In other upset news, #13 Ohio eliminated #4 Virginia (the defending champs) in the first round. And, top-ranked Illinois lost to Loyola Chicago and their iconic superfan Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt (who became famous in 2018 for inspiring the team on their way to the Final Four). Sister Jean delivered the pre-game prayer on Sunday, saying, “As we play the Fighting Illini, we ask for special help to overcome this team and get a great win. We hope to score early and make our opponents nervous. We have a great opportunity to convert rebounds as this team makes about 50% of layups and 30% of its 3 points. Our defense can take care of that.”

For the rest of the NCAA news, click here.

For anyone still thinking they have a chance to have a perfect bracket, consider the odds of filling out a perfect bracket (according to the NCAA) are 1-in-9,223,372,036,854,775,808 (if you just guess or flip a coin) and 1-in-120.2 billion (if you know a little bit about basketball).

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Play In Games Exciting, Filling Out Brackets Drops Due To Legal Gambling, Bills Sign Trubisky

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The four play-in games kicking off the NCAA Tournament yesterday were filled with energy and excitement. All four games featured teams rallying from behind to take the lead in the second half, while three of the four ended up winning. UCLA, Drake (which got its first win in 50 years…exactly to the date), Norfolk State, and Texas Southern all pulled out wins and will now enter the official bracket. For more March Madness news, click here.

According to an American Gaming Association study, 36.7 million Americans will fill out an NCAA bracket this year, which is down 8% from 2019 (the tournament was canceled in 2020). Part of the rationale for the drop in participation is that more Americans will be live betting (which is now legalized in more states).

FOOTBALL

The Buffalo Bills signed Chicago’s Mitchell Trubisky to a one-year $2.5 million deal to backup Pro Bowl quarterback Josh Allen.

 

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A’s Price Suite Packages In Cryptocurrency, March Madness Begins, NFL League Year Begins

BASEBALL

The Oakland Athletics announced they will accept one bitcoin as payment for their full-season luxury-suite packages. The cryptocurrency was worth close to $60,000 (a record high as of Sunday), but if a buyer wanted to purchase the suite package in cash, that would cost $65,000. A’s President Dave Kaval said, “We invite our fans to become the first bitcoin suite holders in sports. We’re excited to be one of a handful of teams to accept cryptocurrency for payment and the first to price tickets in crypto instead of U.S. currency. The price of a season suite may fluctuate depending on when it’s purchased, which adds to the excitement! Suites are the perfect way for groups who want to safely socially distance themselves from other fans to enjoy A’s baseball this season.”

BASKETBALL

The NCAA tournament begins today with four play-in games, so if you haven’t filled out a bracket yet, do so immediately.

FOOTBALL

The NFL league year officially began on Wednesday, so all of the free-agent contracts can now be officially signed.

 

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Andy Dalton Signed To Chicago, LeBron James Part-Owner Boston Red Sox

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NFL free agency continues with a number of quarterback moves including Chicago signing a one-year $10 million dollar contract with the Dallas Cowboys’ backup Andy Dalton.  Chicago fans might be disappointed, as many were holding out hope for Houston’s Deshaun Watson and Seattle’s Russell Wilson.

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LeBron James became a partner at Fenway Sports Group, which runs the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC, so James (who is a NY Yankee fan) is now a part-owner of the Boston Red Sox.

 

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