Sports Today: Here are upset picks, the Final Four and your national champion


I had the brilliant idea to do bracket picks immediately and lock those in then come back and do another set that would be my official picks then compare the two. 

I ended up hardly making any changes. 

This morning I put Seton Hall in the Elite Eight, and a larger part of the reason than I would like to admit is that I felt like I needed to make SOME change to justify the entire experiment. 

That said, I do like the Pirates against Kansas since the Jayhawks have questions in the front court and they usually disappoint in the tournament under Bill Self. 

Seton Hall has been around for a little while now, has veterans and is due to break through. 

I saw Auburn against Dayton, of course, and was really impressed, but I am still nervous about having them in the Sweet 16 anyway since they limped down the stretch. 

I have talked myself into the Tigers being able to use a couple of days off to come back to the tournament rejuvenated. 

I considered taking Wright State out of the Sweet 16 because I’m not sure if the Raiders can get enough offense two games in a row to win two games in a row… but I have Loyola knocking out Da U in the first round. 

Wright State nearly beat the Ramblers in the season opener, and the Raiders are a much better team now than they were then, so it only makes sense to pick them in the rematch. 

Plus, how tantalizing would a Wright State-Cincinnati Sweet 16 game be? 

I mean, it would be horrible to watch from a style standpoint, but the subplots would be great and the irony insane if the Raiders pulled off another upset. 

That’s way down the road, though, and of course my confidence WSU can knock off Tennessee probably means I will be wrong right off the bat. 

My other first-round upset winners are St. Bonaventure and New Mexico State. I guess Providence counts, too, since they are a 10 seed against Texas. 

RELATED: 10 potential upsets ranked by likelihood

My national championship pick is Villanova over North Carolina in a rematch of the 2016 title game. 

The Wildcats and Tar Hells are part of an all-blue Final Four with Duke and Kentucky. 

Should be good for ratings, eh? 

In non-basketball news, some new rules were announced for minor-league baseball yesterday

I summed them up and added some takes, but it is worth revisiting. 

Trying to rig the end of the game stinks in general. 

I get why they are doing it, but I don’t like it. 

I do find the pitch clocks necessary given how many pitchers have taken to slowing down the game to a crawl. 

I am totally with the people who love the timelessness of baseball, but pitchers have taken it too far (with a huge assist from batters who step out way too often and umpires who let them) over the past 10 years or so.

Hopefully teaching them different habits earlier in their careers will prevent needing them in the majors, but I’m skeptical… 

We can’t get out of here today and hunker down for basketball without looking back at a busy first day of the 2018 NFL league year. 

The Bengals didn’t do anything new but confirmed their trade for Cordy Glenn

The Browns signed Carlos Hyde but lost Joe Thomas to retirement and finalized all the other stuff that had already been reported. 

RELATED: Comparing Hyde to Jeremy Hill

AJ McCarron found a new home with the Buffalo Bills, but it doesn’t look like it will be long term. 

He probably could have gotten the same money to stay in Cincinnati as a backup, but I’m sure his desire to prove himself as a starter was greater than any concern about money. 

One has to assume Buffalo is going to draft a quarterback in the first round, which will immediately start the clock on McCarron’s time there. 

As I’ve said before, I am in favor of giving any rookie QB a year to sit, but teams rarely do that. 

I guess the best-case for McCarron is he is lights out this fall so someone else wants to give him more money after he is released by the Bills in 12 months. 


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Rookie quarterback sends Bengals to fourth loss in five games
Rookie quarterback sends Bengals to fourth loss in five games

Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson juked and sprinted for 117 yards in his first NFL start, Gus Edwards ran for 115 and the Baltimore Ravens ground out a 24-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday to end a three-game losing streak. Flashing the moves that enabled him to win the 2016 Heisman Trophy at Louisville, Jackson zipped in and out of...
Football playoffs: Sites, matchups announced for state semifinals
Football playoffs: Sites, matchups announced for state semifinals

Home team listed first. Pairings include AP state rank and record. Powell Olentangy Liberty (9-4) vs. 9 Lakewood St. Edward (9-3) at Mansfield Arlin Stadium 8 Pickerington Central (11-2) vs. 1 Cin. Colerain (13-0) at Piqua Alexander Stadium 6 Cin. Winton Woods (12-1) vs. 3 Massillon Washington (13-0) at Gahanna Lincoln Wilbur C. Strait Field 1 Akron...
Dayton captures Atlantic 10 volleyball tournament title for 13th time
Dayton captures Atlantic 10 volleyball tournament title for 13th time

The Dayton Flyers won the Atlantic 10 Conference volleyball tournament championship Sunday, beating Virginia Commonwealth 18-25, 25-15, 19-25, 25-16 and 15-12 at the Siegel Center in Richmond, Va. Dayton (23-7) avenged a loss to VCU in the 2017 championship game and two losses this season to VCU in the regular season. Dayton won its 13th championship...
Report: Browns could interview Condoleezza Rice for head coach job
Report: Browns could interview Condoleezza Rice for head coach job

The Cleveland Browns would like to interview former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to fill the team’s head-coaching job, ESPN reported Sunday citing an anonymous source. John Dorsey, the Browns general manager, said last week the team was open to hiring a woman as head coach, ESPN reported. Rice, who grew up in Alabama, is a longtime...
High School Football: State playoffs scoreboard

Region 13 — Girard 43, Hubbard 18 Region 14 — St. Marys Memorial 38, Bellville Clear Fork 7 Region 15 — Newark Licking Valley 30, St. Clairsville 0 Region 16 — Cin. Wyoming 28, London 0 Region 17 — Orrville 43, Akron Manchester 19 Region 18 — Genoa Area vs. Liberty Center Region 19 — Johnstown-Monroe 45, Byesville...
More Stories