Jon Scheyer. Yeah, there's a lot of tournament discussion to be had, but we must tip the visor to the first-year Duke coach, who under the spotlight of replacing a true legend, he a) swept UNC, b) went unbeaten at Cameron, and c) won the ACC tourney. Yeah, good work sir.
Justin Fields. The Bears QB1 will get a lot of help over the next couple of years since the Panthers sent No. 9 and No. 61 this year, plus a 2024 first and a 2025 second and receiver D.J. Moore for the Bears' No. 1 overall pick. Could the Bears have gotten more if they had waited and dealt the top overall selection closer to the late April draft? Maybe. But slide both ways, too. I also think the Panthers made a pretty sensible move because if their selection pans out, that's not a steep price whatsoever for a franchise QB1.
Scottie Scheffler. Dude turned The Players into a dud, but that's how Tiger rolled, too. If you were forced to pick Scottie and Rahm or the field every week, whatcha got?
Ethan Salas. If you are mumbling, "Who? Did Jay start kicking back CoColas early today?" you likely are not alone. But Salas is a 16-year-old baseball phenom who already looks the part in Padres spring training.
Ther 5-at-10 family activities this weekend. Man, what a great weekend. Saturday, we helped the older with a fundraising car wash and shuffled between Hixson and the hill for the daughter's softball tournament. (She pitched a one-hitter in her first pitching start of the season. Winner.) Sunday we cooked for the church youth group -- and guests -- with more than 60 hamburgers, 40 hot dogs, my hash brown casserole, the Mrs.' pasta salad, fruit and the works. What a fun weekend.
Me, the sports fan. Watched nothing -- other than 12-year-old travel softball -- all weekend.
Also, we'll double dip with Jon Scheyer in both spots. Since the above is 100% true, so is the fact that Duke has won nine in a row, beat Miami and Virginia in back-to-back days for the ACC crown and gets a feisty 30-4 Oral Roberts bunch in round 1. (Side note: I know we made some jokes at his expense during the regular season, but man the committee hates Buzz Williams, who led Texas A&M to 15 SEC wins and the tournament final and was rewarded with a seven seed against a dangerous Penn State crew.)
This college ump, who took it personally and made arguably the worst strike 3 call not involving Livan Herrnandez -- you remember that NLCS game against the Braves, right? -- in my lifetime.
TPC Sawgrass. Scottie Sheffler can be boring. That tournament, not so much. Plus, someone asked late last week if The Players is the fifth major. Yep, like Pete Best is the first Beatle. You can call yourself whatever you like, but that does not make The Players a major as soon as Best starts getting royalty checks. Plus, when all the majors have opened their entries for the LIV guys and The Players (controlled by the PGA, of course) pouts like a kindergartener and refuses even defending champ Cam Smith, well there is nothing major about that.
Jerry Stackhouse. Man, dude has a good case for the 'Dores to be in over a couple of other SEC teams -- an know this, as an Auburn grad, I was sweating the results of Vandy's Saturday SEC semifinal for sure -- and a few other at-large selections. Just too late for Vandy I suppose, but they were playing as well as anyone in the SEC for the last three-plus weeks.
The two knuckleheads in the Alabama T-shirts with the "killing" reference at the SEC tournament. Be better than that, gang. In fact, be a lot better than that because if that's the baseline of decency, then we have fallen way deeper than I thought.
First, our business.
We will have the "First 1 Out, Last One Standing" contest again this year.
The rules are simple. Send me by noon on Thursday, the first No. 1 seed you think will be eliminated and the double-digit seed you think will be playing in the bracket the longest. The double-digit guess is worth 1.1 points and the 1 seed is, naturally, worth one point.
If we have a tie, we'll figure that out later.
As for the draw, missing it was the only drawback about cooking for and serving the kids at church. I mean how in the world can I choose anything over sitting in front of the tube and listening to wealthy dudes complain about the wealthy dudes on the committee who had the audacity to seed Houston a line over Kansas and omit a Rutgers team that has been reeling for since late January? (That said, Kansas got a nasty as can be region with 2 UCLA, 3 Gonzaga and 4 UConn out west. Love the brackets. Love the Drake.)
That said, the brackets are always a ton of fun. The brackets have made this event what it is. Heck, you could make the argument that the brackets paved the way for wide-spread legalized mainstream sports betting every bit as much as Chris Christie did when he and New Jersey won the legal claim to offer sports gambling before the Supreme Court.
And this year will be no different. As forgettable as the regular season can be at times for almost every fan of almost every school, the tournament is the boss sauce that they rub on the bee's knees, people.
Who makes the Final Four? Who do you like for the First 1 Out, Last One In contest?
Who got robbed and who got lucky?
It's bracket time. Make your picks.
This and that
-- I know we think it's fun when golf groupings look like they have a sense of humor -- and please for the love of everything holy, let Patrick Reed and Rory play together in rounds 1 and 2 at Augusta -- but sending UTC to Blacksburg in the women's draw seemed over-the-top to me. First, Shawn Poppie -- UTC's first-year coach who came from Virginia Tech -- gets an unfair knowledge edge against a higher seed. Second, dare I say, it seemed a little Hokie, too?
-- Speaking of the women's tournament, did Geno Auriemma actually say if we weren't UConn we'd be a 1 seed? Yeah, Geno's gonna rally a lot of support and sympathy for the little-engine-that-could underdog story that is UConn women's basketball.
-- The Oscars came and went last night, and that "Everything" movie won pretty much everything. Whatever. The only two movies that were in some of the mix that I have seen were "Top Gun: Maverick" and "Black Panther 2." I still contend that "Maverick" deserved some sort of award for reminding the post-pandemic public how much fun going to the theater is. But that's me. That said, pretty sure those who watched and those who were there thought it was a slappin' good time this year. And the hits just keep on coming.
-- Speaking of golf, Keith Mitchell, the former Baylor School and UGA star, continued to make cuts and cash checks. He finished T35 and made $114,167 for the effort.
-- Jalen Ramsey, the star corner, was dealt from the Rams to the Dolphins. Ramsey is going to have that high-paid, high-end-skill-set at a highly coveted position that teams with cap space and Super Bowl wishes are going to deal for over the next several years, you know?
Weekend winners and losers. Go.
As for multiple choice Monday, which team got done the most wrong by the men's selection committee Sunday?
As for today, let's review.
It was 30 years ago today, the monster snow storm gripped this area and a huge chunk of the South.
"The Searchers" was released on this day in 1956. Spy thinks it's a top movie all-time front-runner.
Let's not over think this one: Rushmore of all-time first-round NCAA tournament games. Go and remember the contest.