How is your bracket doing?
If your bracket escaped being tossed into the trash can or shredder this weekend, congratulations! You have done well to get this far, but the journey is about to become a bit more challenging as we enter the Sweet 16.
ACC dropping like flies as Sweet 16 is set
North Carolina is heading to the Sweet 16, but the Tar Heels will be the only representative from the ACC attending this year’s second weekend of the tournament.
The Sweet 16 Dance has a little bit of everything. pic.twitter.com/hYDlUtgN61
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 20, 2017
UNC looking for the other ACC schools in the sweet 16… pic.twitter.com/Gg2Mm6Rbmu
— Mark Taylor (@MarkusT81) March 20, 2017
The conference recently heralded as one of the best conferences we’ve seen in a long time took some rough hits in the first week of the NCAA tournament. Duke and Louisville each bowed out on Sunday with losses to South Carolina and Michigan, respectively. Michigan has been on a bit of a hot run lately (which may be why John Beilein cooled his team off with a Super Soaker), but upsetting Louisville wasn’t a great big shock. And South Carolina topping Duke in Greenville, South Carolina after the state of North Carolina lost hosting duties for the first week due to its bathroom laws may have given the Gamecocks an advantage, but it was still a significant upset against the Blue Devils. And that was worth giving Frank Martin a water bottle shower in the locker room after the game.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 20, 2017
South Carolina is now heading to its first Sweet 16 in school history, where they will be square off against Baylor in Madison Square Garden. The Garden will also welcome Florida and Wisconsin. No disrespect to any of the four schools heading to New York, but the selection committee had to have its eye on a Villanova-Duke matchup in the Garden. Now it gets Wisconsin, Florida, Baylor and South Carolina. Good luck, scalpers!
With losses by Florida State, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Miami, the conference has been fading fast from this postseason. It’s going to cost them too.
Check that: It's $11.2 million. Still real money. https://t.co/hZ11sXP1bV
— Luke DeCock (@LukeDeCock) March 20, 2017
The ACC is going to stand for ADs Clipping Coupons. The revenue hit they'll take if only UNC is in the Sweet 16 is massive.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) March 20, 2017
ACC lowkey blew the money in this tourney. pic.twitter.com/5RLEvAri0p
— War (@Nike_Bass95) March 20, 2017
Swofford: "Help me, Ol' Roy. You're my only hope." pic.twitter.com/tqi4OfcRae
— Luke DeCock (@LukeDeCock) March 20, 2017
So, how do the conferences stack up in the Sweet 16? Here is the official count:
- Big 12 – 3
- Big Ten – 3
- Pac-12 – 3
- SEC – 3
- Big East – 2
- ACC – 1
- West Coast – 1
S-E-C. Grown ass man basketba hahaha just kidding.
— Good Bull Hunting (@GBHunting) March 20, 2017
Anyway, for those looking to plan ahead, here are the tip times for the Sweet 16 games…
THURSDAY/FRIDAY TIP TIMES! pic.twitter.com/6dThsVtPVw
— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) March 20, 2017
NBA didn’t like Cavs resting LeBron, Kyrie and Love on national TV
It seems there is a growing trend for top teams around the NBA to sit star players on the team and give them some rest during the regular season. It is a sound strategy to keeping players as fresh as possible during the grind of an 82-game season, but sucks for those who buy a ticket to a game to see LeBron James and Kyrie Irving only to find out they’ll be getting the night off. This is a problem the NBA has no solution for, as there is nothing against the rules preventing players from being given a night off.
But the NBA contacted the Cleveland Cavaliers after James, Irving and Kevin Love were said to be getting a night off. You may remember the Golden State Warriors employed a similar strategy last week and the San Antonio Spurs have been known to do this for a while now. The problem for the NBA is not so much that this happens from time to time, but they hope teams will avoid doing so when that team is set to appear on a nationally televised game with a broadcast partner.
When do we all go crazy about the Cavs robbing fans on a nationally televised game?
— Ann Killion (@annkillion) March 18, 2017
The call from the league didn’t work out as the Cavs kept LeBron, Kyrie and Love on the bench in a 108-78 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night. But what happened next? All three played the very next night in the same building in a 125-120 victory against the Lakers, and they combined for 101 points. Maybe it’s because they had the previous night off.
Dwight Clark announces he’s been diagnosed with ALS
Some sad news from the NFL alumni front, as Dwight Clark announced he has been diagnosed with ALS. Clark, who caught one of the more visibly iconic touchdowns in NFL history, said in a statement that he began feeling weakness in his left hand in September 2015 and it took him a while to realize what was actually happening to his body. For a while, Clark thought his body was feeling the effects from his playing days in the league. Unfortunately, that did not appear to be the case.
I’ve been asked if playing football caused this. I don’t know for sure. But I certainly suspect it did. And I encourage the NFLPA and the NFL to continue working together in their efforts to make the game of football safer, especially as it relates to head trauma.
Best wishes to Clark in his battle.
– Not to be completely overlooked from this weekend’s shortcomings from ACC basketball schools was Syracuse losing at home in the second round of the NIT, against SEC member Ole Miss. Never fear though, because Syracuse lost an assistant coach to Washington and Jim Boeheim was given a contract extension. Maybe Boeheim will coach the Orange to an ACC tournament win before the contract is set to expire.
✔ World-Class University
✔ Basketball History
✔ Unbelievable Fan Support@Coach_Hopkins is headed to Montlake.
— UW Men's Basketball (@UW_MBB) March 20, 2017
– With the NCAA holding tournament game sin South Carolina, there were bound to be protesters waving confederate flags. Keep in mind the NCAA moved games to South Carolina after pulling tournament games out of North Carolina due to the state’s controversial bathroom law.
– If you missed the awesome goal scored by Phil Kessel this weekend against the Florida Panthers, well, here you go.
And while on the subject of precision shots on the ice, here’s one heading through the camera cutout and smacking a fan in the face.
– Turns out Shaq is the latest member of the flat earth society.
– Has Giancarlo Stanton’s homer that helped send the USA into the championship round of the World Baseball Classic landed yet? He launched it on Saturday. And yes, Adam Jones made a pretty pivotal play too.
I didn't even include a single crying Jordan. pic.twitter.com/a0fT6Yetgs
— Levi Weaver (@ThreeTwoEephus) March 20, 2017
– Changes are coming to a Monopoly board near you, and Illinois football coach (and former NFL coach) Lovie Smith is not exactly happy about it!
Every time I've played Monopoly I've used the boot so I'm disappointed they are discontinuing some original pieces! #TheBoot
— Lovie Smith (@LovieSmith) March 19, 2017
– Zach Johnson managed to have his golf ball bounce off an opponent’s ball and go in for a birdie. But did he call the shot?
– Here is an MMA fighter choking out a referee. I’m guessing he might get scolded for that.
One last gratuitous moment of procrastination
So I saw the new live action Beauty and the Beast this weekend, and I’ll admit it was pretty well done. If you liked the animated classic, you should enjoy this one as well even with a few updates and tweaks and additional content. But if you ever thought the ending to the story from Disney was a bit off, here’s how it should have ended.