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Hope you enjoyed the weekend.

Was a crazy one around these parts.

From the "Talks too much" studios, are your brackets busted?

Who won the weekend

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Wichita State coach Greg Marshall applauds fans following an NCAA tournament college basketball game against Kansas in the Round of 32 in Omaha, Neb., Sunday, March 22, 2015. Wichita State won 78-65. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

UCLA. The Bruins cruised into the Sweet 16, ignoring the noise that they did not need a spot in the Dance. Congrats to scole023 — who is quickly becoming the Michael Jordan of 5-at-10 contests — and Ben C. for tabbing Villanova and UCLA as the first No. 1 seed out and the last double-digit seed remaining in the "Method to the Madness: First Out, Last In." We will pay both places.

Wichita State. The Shockers steam-rolled Kansas, the big-brother state school. As painful as the second-round loss to Kentucky was for unbeaten Kansas last year — a second-round date that the NCAA drew some heat for — was as blissful as this win was for the Shockers. 

Fathers coaching sons. UCLA's Steve Alford coached two sons into the Sweet 16, and Georgia State's Ron and R.J. Hunter were the story of this first round. Makes you remember some of the most important story lines about sports have nothing to do with the final score.

Mocs hoops. Will Wade decided to pull out of the Charlotte job. That makes UTC the favorite in the SoCon next year, which means UTC will be the preseason pick to win titles in football, men's hoops, women's hoops and wrestling. Mocs fever — catch it.

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Who lost the weekend

Cyd Ziegler. Mr. Ziegler is the cio-founder of Out-Sports.com, and at the NFL veterans combine in which defensive end Michael Sam performed, Ziegler said "It's very difficult to argue that him coming out didn't hurt his football career. The NFL set back other gay athletes, now that Michael has been left off an NFL team." Uh, Mr. Ziegler, the NFL does not need undersized pass rushers who run 5.1 40s regardless of whom they take to dinner. 

Photo Gallery

UTC vs. Pitt

Villanova. The Wildcats were the first No. 1 seed go get bounced. They were the pick on more than half the entires in the "Method to the Madness: First Out, Last In" contest, so congrats to everyone who had 'Nova pegged as overrated.

Bill Self. The Jayhawks are the bees' knees during the regular season. The Jayhawks are simply knees-and-elbows awkward during the tournament. Another first weekend exit for Self and Co. leaves the Kansas faithful looking for answers. That it came to in-state foe Wichita State — a team Kansas has refused to play under Self during the regular season — makes it even more painful.

Mocs hoops. UTC's women's basketball team had a record-setting season end too quickly with a cold-shooting morning in Knoxville on Saturday. Great season. Sour ending.

Joey Castleberry. Yes, the former Bloomsburg baseball player was dismissed from the team for a vulgar and insulting Tweet on last year Little League hero Mon'e Davis. 

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Questions about dollars and sense

President Obama is against paying college athletes

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President Barack Obama addresses the nation from the Cross Hall in the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. In a major reversal, Obama ordered the United States into a broad military campaign to “degrade and ultimately destroy” militants in two volatile Middle East nations, authorizing airstrikes inside Syria for the first time, as well as an expansion of strikes in Iraq. (AP Photo/Saul Loeb, Pool)

Man, there are some sticky, decisive issues in sports, and paying college athletes is right up there. We tend to agree with Obama because we feel the athletes are already paid — scholarships are quite pricey mind you.

This is always a big time to discuss paying players and the NCAA model because this is the time of year that the NCAA makes its cash. The football season is a river of money, but that money goes to conferences and schools.

The March Madness checks go through the NCAA, however.

And the model — the monster contracts of billions of dollars from sponsors and TV deals — seems skewed when the players get nothing.

There are merits on each side, but if you are bound and determined to pay the players, what's a fair rate? A stipend that works out to roughly below minimum wage? 

And if you think this ends the under-the-table stuff, well, you're simply wrong.

So what's the answer?

We hate siding with the NCAA, a group that seems to make every decision poorly. 

But pulling the lid off the pay scale seems like it would divide the haves and have nots even more and could ultimately lead to a complete split in college sports.

The NCAA is fighting that tooth and nail because that will eventually destroy the NCAA tournament as we know it.

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FILE - In this March 26, 2014, file photo, Wisconsin's Traevon Jackson dribbles past the NCAA logo during practice at the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Anaheim, Calif. A federal judge ruled that the NCAA can't stop players from selling the rights to their names, images and likenesses, striking down NCAA regulations that prohibit them from getting anything other than scholarships and the cost of attendance at schools. U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken in Oakland, Calif., ruled in favor Friday, Aug. 8, of former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon and 19 others in a lawsuit that challenged the NCAA's regulation of college athletics on antitrust grounds. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

If the big five split, they are not going to just stroll into the current tournament and allow everyone else to drink from their cash spigot.

And once the big five split, the rest of college basketball loses its star power. Yes, everyone loves the David-over-Goliath part of the NCAA tournament, but no one wants to see David over David with the winner getting David.

So we are in the moment that the NCAA makes us all smile.

And we realize this moment is fleeting. Like a bad dream or the smell of fresh bread.

Money is being made, and the players are getting scholarships and a chance for their shining moment.

Some say it's not enough? Others think that once the ATM is turned on, it will be the cash flow that killed the Golden Goose.

Either way, enjoy the moment and the now, for we fear that we may never return to the salad days of college sports.

 

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This and that

— Here are the tip times and announcing teams for the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament starting Thursday. Here, too, are the early betting lines for the games:

Midwest Region -- Cleveland (Thursday)

No. 3 Notre Dame vs. No. 7 Wichita State (-1)

No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 5 West Virginia (+13.5)

West Region -- Los Angeles (Thursday)

No. 1 Wisconsin vs. No. 4 North Carolina (+5)

No. 2 Arizona vs. No. 6 Xavier (+11)

South Region -- Houston (Friday)

No. 2 Gonzaga vs. No. 11 UCLA (+9.5)

No. 1 Duke vs. No. 4 Utah (+4.5)

East Region -- Syracuse (Friday)

No. 4 Louisville vs. No. 8 NC State (TBD)

No. 3 Oklahoma vs. No. 7 Michigan State (-2)

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FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2014, file photo, Kurt Busch looks from the garage after practice for the NASCAR Bank of America Sprint Cup series auto race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. NASCAR lifted its suspension of Kurt Busch on Wednesday, March 11, 2015, and ruled the former champion can compete in the title Chase should he qualify. Busch missed the first three races of the season when NASCAR suspended him for an alleged domestic assault on his ex-girlfriend. (AP Photo/Terry Renna, File)

— Kurt Busch was ever-so-close to winning the NASCAR race Sunday before a caution was thrown with two laps left. Busch, who was passed by Brad Keselowski in Busch's second start since returning from suspension for domestic assault allegations, said clearly "WWE" into the radio when the caution flag was waved.

— Retired linebacker Chris Borland will return most of his signing bonus.

 

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Today's question(s)

Who won the weekend? Who lost the weekend

How's your bracket?

And if we move beyond the men's tournament, what's your grade for the UTC women's basketball season?

Discuss.

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