Sports Today: March Madness is upon us


The NCAA tournament field has been revealed, and the outrage meter seems to be lower than usual. 

Maybe that’s just me, though, because I don’t care about major-conference teams who get snubbed. 

RELATED: Knee-jerk reactions to the unveiling of the tournament field

I would have rather seen St. Mary’s and Middle Tennessee State in than Syracuse or Oklahoma, but I’m not losing any sleep over it. 

The seeding seems to have been less offensive this year, unless you’re a Michigan State fan, but overall it’s pretty solid. 

In my first take on filling out this year’s bracket, I went pretty heavy chalk and ended up with a not-at-all-fun Final Four of Villanova, Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina. 

Upsets include St. Bonaventure, New Mexico State and, yep, Wright State. I also put Arkansas past Purdue in the second round. 

RELATED: Did Wright State catch a break with seeding? 

There are a few other matchups I’m intrigued by, but I can’t pull the trigger until doing a little research. That could also result in changing my mind on those aforementioned choices. 

It will almost certainly make my bracket worse in the end, right? 

Well, I’m leaving up my initial picks as an experiment to compare to the ones I make after I’m “more informed.”

Should be fun, right?… 

Sticking with basketball, congratulations are in order for a bunch of area high school teams. 

Springfield and Wayne are still on track for a meeting in a boys’ Division I regional final (if they both win Wednesday night in Cincinnati) while Central Catholic will play Marion Local in a D-IV regional semifinal Tuesday night at Trent Arena. That will also be the site of a D-II semifinal between Trotwood-Madison and Columbus South on Thursday night.  

»RELATED: Girls basketball state final four pairings

The girls’ basketball final fours include from our coverage area Bellbrook, Versailles, Minster and Mason

The girls’ state tournament begins Thursday in Columbus at cavernous Value City Arena. 

You can watch those on TV only if you subscribe to a particular cable operator, which continues to be a disappointment to me…  

Dayton basketball also managed to make the news on Selection Sunday, though not for the right reasons. 

Xeyrius Williams revealed he won’t be finishing his career with the Flyers. 

I have no inside information on this, but I don’t think it came as a shocker to anyone given his lack of a role on the team this season after a breakout 2017 campaign. 

Hopefully the Wayne grad finds a place he can excel in his last year of eligibility then gets a shot in the pros somewhere. 

With his size and 3-point shooting ability, he is sure to be a commodity.  

Roster attrition is inevitable with any coaching change, especially when roles change and minutes fluctuate they did in coach Anthony Grant’s first year on the job. 

I’m sure he knows that as well as anyone, and the key to his success will be getting better buy-in from more players than he seems to have this season. 

Adding a four-star point guard next year shouldn’t hurt, either… 

In other sports things going on right now, the Cincinnati Reds pitchers who are hurt a lot got hurt again

Anthony DeSclafani, we hardly knew ye. 

Brandon Finnegan? Well he’s just a mid- or lower-rotation workhorse anyway. 

The good news is there are still some exciting young arms to fill in for those guys… if they can stay healthy. 

Suddenly, finding spots for Amir Garrett, Tyler Mahle and Robert Stephenson just got a lot easier. 

The better news is Nick Senzel. 

Player movement season has started in the NFL. 

You can tell it’s March because Browns fans are excited and Bengals fans are not. 

I like what Cleveland has done. 

For now, we’ll have to wait and see on Cincinnati. 

This is a case where I find fan angst about the Bengals’ approach pretty justified. 

I was totally on board with their plans for building a team over the last seven years until they, you know, ended in failure. 

Now I find moving “forward” with the trifecta of conservative coach, average quarterback and hope the rest of the roster pans out to be pretty unpalatable, too. 

The problem with sticking with the first two is that it really raises the stakes on the last on the rest of your roster decisions. 

Having a dynamic quarterback (and to a lesser extent a coach who is a difference maker in the way he manages a game or at least gets his guys to play hard and not make numerous mistakes) can cover up for roster issues. 

Andy Dalton doesn’t do that, and at this point in his career there’s no reason to think he ever will. 

You can win a Super Bowl with a great roster and an average quarterback, but you probably won’t because it’s really hard to build a great roster and even if you do some of the players will be hurt by January. 

Of course, finding a great quarterback is no easy task, either, but it’s even harder if you don’t try. 

Other teams have learned finding gems in free agency is more likely than it used to be. 

Will the Bengals try to follow suit? 

We’ll find out soon. 


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