13) Auburn 77, Kentucky 71 OT— Last time they played, Kentucky beat Auburn by 27. Not this time, and Charles Barkley’s alma mater is going to the Final Four for the first time. Auburn beat Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky in its last three games; not bad.
Kentucky poached Stanford’s best player (a senior) and surrounded him with three freshmen and a sophomore; college basketball has become more like baseball, where kids jump to where they think the grass is greener, trying to get to the NBA.
Sometimes that grass is greener, sometimes it isn’t. You can get to the NBA from anywhere.
12) Nine of the 16 coaches in the Sweet 16 had already been to a Final Four. Chris Beard, Bruce Pearl and Tony Bennett will all be going to their first one.
11) Michigan State 68, Duke 67— Spartans trailed by 9 in first half, by 3 with 1:51 left, but survived 2-6 shooting on the foul line to get their first Final Four since 2015.
Final Four is a #1-seed, #2-seed, #3-seed, #5-seed.
10) San Francisco 49ers sold two seats inside their War Room on draft night to two people who paid $11,000 each for that experience. The $22,000 will supposedly go to a charity.
9) SI.com did a survey of NFL scouts about which colleges are the best ones to visit when they evaluate players, and Alabama was far and away chosen as the most accommodating.
On Alabama’s 2012 team, all 22 starters played in the NFL. I’m guessing that hasn’t happened much. It also helps recruiting.
8) West Virginia F Lamont West is transferring to Missouri State, which is not a step up or even a lateral move, but he should score more than the 12.1 ppg he averaged LY, starting 20 of the 36 Mountaineer games.
7) Over half the NFL owners (17 of 32) inherited their teams. Only seven of 30 NBA owners inherited their team.
6) In 20 games for Milwaukee against the Cardinals. Christian Yelich has 10 homers, 23 RBI and 22 runs scored.
5) If I’m a Philadelphia Eagles fan, and I hear coach Doug Pederson say “Carson Wentz has it in him to be a better teammate” well, that would worry me. The last thing you should be worrying about is if your quarterback is a good teammate.
4) Dodgers 18, Diamondbacks 5— Third game of the season Saturday night, and Arizona used a catcher to pitch the 7th/8th innings. Seriously, in the third game of the year?
Then the Dodgers let catcher Russell Martin pitch the 9th inning, when they were winning, albeit 18-5. When was last time both teams used a position player to pitch in same game?
3) Minnesota Twins’ starters Berrios/Odorizzi both struck out 10+ guys in their first start, just 2nd time EVER a team had that happen in their first two games of a season. Diamondbacks in 2001 also did it, with Randy Johnson/Curt Schilling.
2) San Diego Padres’ rookie pitcher Chris Paddack was thrown out at first base by the RF on what appeared to be a sharp single to right in his first MLB at-bat, with the bases loaded. I’m guessing that hasn’t happened very often.
1) Orlando 34, Memphis 31— Memphis was up 31-28 with 2:40 left on a rainy day; the snap goes right through the punter’s hands, and Orlando gets the wet ball on the 26-yard line and wins the game.
Refs missed a delay of game penalty on Orlando on the last play before the 2:00 warning, and Mike Singletary went off, getting two unsportsmanlike penalties during the 2:00 warning. Had the feel of a semi-pro game, which isn’t a good look for a new league.