13) Sports is big business, very big business, and business can be cold and calculating. The last few days have reinforced that.
Atlanta Braves won the World Series last year for first time since 1995; their best player was Freddie Freeman, who played in Atlanta for 11 years. Freeman seemed to love playing for the Braves, the Atlanta fans loved him, but they traded for Matt Olson, a younger/similar player who is from Georgia, and Freeman now plays for the Dodgers.
It is considered bad business to pay a fortune to ballplayers in their mid-30’s. Freeman will be 33 in September.
Los Angeles Rams just won the Super Bowl, their first since 1999, but since then, they cut their punter of ten years (Johnny Hekker), traded WR Robert Woods to Tennessee and lost couple more players to free agency (Darious Williams, Austin Corbett, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo).
NFL can be an even colder business because of the salary cap; to pay Matthew Stafford/Aaron Donald, financial corners have to be cut elsewhere.
12) First nine teams to make it into the Sweet 16 came from nine different conferences..
11) Miami 79, Auburn 61:
— Hurricanes outscored Auburn 46-29 in second half.
— Auburn star Smith shot 3-16 from the floor.
— Miami won nine of its last 12 games.
10) Villanova 71, Ohio State 61:
— Villanova won six in row, 11 of last 12 games.
— Ohio State lost five of its last seven games.
— Big East became first league with two teams in Sweet 16.
9) Houston 68, Illinois 53:
— Cougars coasted in two games this weekend, winning by 14-15 points.
— Last three tournaments, Houston is 8-2 SU.
— Illinois went 6-5 in its last 11 games, after a 17-5 start.
8) Texas Tech 59, Notre Dame 53:
— Tech outscored Notre Dame 10-1 over final 2:09 of the game.
— Last four years, Red Raiders are 11-3 in NCAA’s.
— Note Dame was 3-9 this season vs top 5-0 teams.
7) Purdue 81, Texas 71:
— Purdue was 33-46 on foul line, Texas 7-12.
— Boilers had 20-0 run in first half.
— Purdue is 26-0 when it scores 70+ points
6) Duke 85, Michigan State 76:
— Duke outscored Spartans 20-6 over final 5:10 of game.
— Michigan State made 11-22 on arc, still couldn’t cover.
— Last nine tournaments, Blue Devils are 6-3 ATS in second round.
5) Iowa State 54, Wisconsin 49:
— Teams combined to make 5-36 on the arc.
— Badgers scored four points in first 10:00 of second half.
— Cyclones allowed 54-49 points in two games this weekend.
4) Arizona 85, TCU 80, OT
— Arizona survives and advances…..barely.
— Mathurin/Koloko scored Arizona’s last 15 points.
— TCU played their asses off; they had 20 offensive rebounds.
3) Cleveland Browns added Jacoby Brissett as their backup QB, then traded Case Keenum to Buffalo for a 7th round pick.
I seriously hope Keenum writes a book someday; the stories he must have. Here is his career path, after being a big star in college for the Houston Cougars:
2013— Texans 0-8 as a starter
2014— Texans 2-0 as a starter
2015— St Louis Rams 3-2 as a starter
2016— Los Angeles Rams 4-5 as a starter
2017— Vikings 11-3 as a starter
2018— Broncos 6-10 as a starter
2019— Redskins 1-7 as a starter
2020— Browns- threw 10 passes in two games in relief
2021— Browns- 2-0 as a starter
2022— Buffalo fans hope he doesn’t start any games
2) One of the great parts of spring training baseball is listening to Dodger games, hearing Rick Monday broadcast. Monday played for the A’s when I started rooting for them in the 60’s; he was a very good player and he is terrific broadcaster— he has a great voice.
Sunday, he was telling stories about Ernie Banks, Joe DiMaggio; he said that he looked it up, and in his 19-year career, he faced 502 different pitchers.
1) Red Sox signed Trevor Story to a six-year, $140M contract; word is that Story will play second base in Boston, with Xander Bogaerts staying at shortstop.