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

Cincinnati Bengals: 5 storylines to watch in today’s game at Carolina
Cincinnati Bengals: 5 storylines to watch in today’s game at Carolina

The Cincinnati Bengals are looking for their first 3-0 start in three years when they face the Carolina Panthers on the road Sunday. The Bengals opened the 2015 season 8-0 and went on to make the playoffs for a fifth straight year but haven’t been back since. This season already feels much different than a year ago when they finished 7-9 for...
Ohio State notes: Haskins continues showcase accuracy
Ohio State notes: Haskins continues showcase accuracy

J.T. Barrett broke almost all the school passing records the last four seasons, not to mention a bunch of Big Ten marks. The way he’s playing in his first season as a starter, Dwayne Haskins won’t stick around the college game long enough to challenge any career marks. Haskins continued to compile stats worthy of the Heisman Trophy in his...
HS Roundup 9/22: Packnett paces Dunbar football in win over Woodward

Greg Packnett passed for 145 yards and three touchdowns in helping spur Dunbar football to a 22-20 win versus Woodward at Welcome Stadium on Saturday night. Packnett connected with James Murray and Bryce Smith on TD passes in the first half and hit Jaquan Lusbourgh with the go-ahead score early in the fourth quarter. Aaron Richardson tacked on the...
HS Scores 9/22: Carroll finishes strong in Midwest Catholic race

Football Saturday’s Results Dunbar 22, Woodward 20 Landmark Christian 34, Middletown Christian 13 Friday’s Results Allen East 50, Delphos Jefferson 6 Alter 45, Fenwick 20 Anderson 47, Withrow 12 Badin 42, Roger Bacon 35, OT Bellbrook 21, Franklin 17 Bellefontaine 14, Ben Logan 6 Brookville 42, Carlisle 2 Butler 13, Xenia 7, OT Celina 42...
5 things to know about Ohio State’s blowout of Tulane
5 things to know about Ohio State’s blowout of Tulane

Ohio State rolled Tulane 49-6 on Saturday to end a rocky couple of months for the program.  So maybe it was only natural the state’s official rock song would be what brought Urban Meyer back to normal coaching the fourth-ranked Buckeyes.  “Between the third and fourth quarter, hearing the band play, ‘Hang on Sloopy.&rsquo...
More Stories