13) Welcome to my favorite two weeks of the year, Champ Week and then the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Ton of basketball going to be played; this will be our first normal March Madness in three years. Let’s enjoy it.
There is also supposed to be baseball going on, exhibition games that make us feel warmer up here in the northeast, but that ain’t happening yet. Too bad.
12) Loyola 64, Drake 58:
— Ramblers are in NCAA’s for third time in last four tournaments.
— Coach Drew Valentine is youngest (30) D-I coach in America.
— This was Loyola’s last game in the MVC; they move on to the A-14 next year.
11) Longwood 79, Winthrop 58:
— This is Longwood’s 18th year in D-I, only their second winning season,
— Lancers made the D-III Final Four back in 1980.
— This year, Longwood lost by 33 to Iowa, by 8 to Georgetown; they went 18-1 in their league.
10) NBA commish Adam Silver is a Duke alum; he was at the Duke-UNC game Saturday night. They show him on TV and I’m like, “Guy next to him looks a lot like Jerry Seinfeld”
Turns out it actually was Jerry Seinfeld; stands at Duke looked like a freakin’ Laker game, lot of celebrities. Turns out Seinfeld’s son is a freshman at Duke.
9) With rumors that Troy Aikman is jumping from FOX to ESPN’s Monday Night Football, Brian Griese will leave the TV booth and be the 49ers’ QB coach next season.
8) Florida Gulf Coast went 21-11 this season, but they fired their coach after four seasons of not making the NCAA Tournament. The guy went 30-27 in conference play, gets told to take a hike. Florida Gulf Coast cares about their basketball.
Then there is Georgetown, which just went 0-19 in the Big East; sounds like Patrick Ewing will be back on the Hoyas’ sideline next year. Hmmmm…..
In five years under Ewing, Georgetown is 26-60 in Big East play; they did win the conference tournament last year, making the NCAA’s for first time in six years- they lost to Colorado in the first round, 96-73. Ewing was a great player, might not be that good a coach, but he is the best player in Georgetown history.
7) Jacksonville 54, Jacksonville State 51:
— Second round game in the Atlantic Sun tournament.
— Jacksonville is in Florida, Jacksonville State is in Alabama.
6) Nebraska 74, Wisconsin 73:
— Ten days ago, Nebraska was 1-16 in conference play; since then, they’ve won three games in a row, all as double-digit underdogs.
— Wisconsin star Davis played only 12:00, injured by a flagrant foul.
5) Sun Belt tournament:
— Louisiana 66, Troy State 57— Cajuns never trailed, win for third day in a row.
— Georgia State 71, Appalachian State 66— Panthers have won nine games in a row; they’ll be playing for third straight day Monday night.
4) Arizona State QB Jayden Daniels has committed to LSU, as Brian Kelly bolsters his roster via the transfer portal. Daniels played three years at ASU; Sun Devils lost both coordinators this winter, and the NCAA is lurking around the ASU program.
3) When San Diego State-Fresno State play basketball, things get awkward for Fresno coach Justin Hutson; his wife Stacie is the women’s basketball coach at San Diego State. Maybe it is more awkward for her than him.
2) Was stunned to see that when the baseball owners made their proposal to the players’ union last Monday, four owners voted against that offer, but the owners passed it anyway. What got me was that one of the four owners who voted against it was Arte Moreno, the Angels’ owner.
Angels are a big market team: Trout, Ohtani, Rendon; they’re shouting distance from LA and draw very well. If a big market owner like Moreno is a hard liner, we might not see baseball for a while, maybe May at the earliest.
1) In 1985, Phillies’ 3B Mike Schmidt made $2,130,000; he was the highest-paid player in the big leagues that year. Last fall, Juan Soto turned down a 13-year, $360M deal.
Someone is going to have to compromise in baseball’s labor dispute; I’m thinking it should be the players. If you turn down $360M for 13 years, something is screwed up.