It’s March and the NFL is still dominating headlines. From Friday until Sunday the sports world wasn’t closely watching the Lakers and Celtics on NBA Saturday Night (again, the same fucking 5 teams play every Saturday. Haven’t even looked at the schedule but I’m guessing the Warriors play the Thunder?), they weren’t watching Duke/UNC or Michigan/Michigan St. No, we were all wonder where the fuck Antonio Brown was going to end up. Well, AB will now be a Oakland Raider for one year, then he will be a Las Vegas Raider.
I wrote a blog in early February about Browns possible destinations, and at that point the Raiders for some reason weren’t mentioned much in the AB sweepstakes. It was all 49ers, Jets, Colts, and even the Eagles and Packers. I suggested the Raiders would be a good fit because of the draft capital. Well, the Raiders didn’t even need to give up much. The Raiders traded a 3rd and 5th round pick for Brown and signed him to a brand new 3 year contract worth up to $54.125 million and over $30 million guaranteed.
The Steelers on the other hand, are going to a pay over $21 million against the salary cap this year for a guy that’s not even on their team, and all they got back is a 3rd and 5th round pick. AB played everything right here to get what he wanted, and he fucked the Steelers too.
So here is what Jon Gruden has done in just a little over a year as the Raiders head coach:
Net for the 3 major Raiders trades.
Raiders give up:
2019 3rd round
2019 5th round
2020 2nd round
2020 6th round
In exchange for:
2019 1st round
2019 1st round
2020 1st round
2020 2nd round
2020 5th round
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) March 10, 2019
You can trash him all you want for trading Cooper and Mack but he has turned those trades around into three extra first round picks, swapping a 2nd round pick next year, and Antonio Brown. Keep in mind the Raiders still have cap space to sign a RB, OL, or anyone on defense here. Watch out for the Raiders in the LeVon Bell sweepstakes, and then go defense heavy in the draft. People have been shitting on the Raiders since they hired Gruden, but if you’re a fan you have to be excited about the future (maybe not them moving out of Oakland). They may not make the playoffs the this year, but next year, first year in Vegas. Watch out.
Men’s College Basketball
This was the last regular season weekend for the majority of college basketball, although there were some conference tournaments and that is where we will start, in the Ohio Valley Conference where Murray St. defeated Belmont to receive the first auto-bid to the tournament. Behind Ja Morant, a likely top 5 pick in the NBA draft, they beat Jacksonville St. in the semis and then beat Dylan Windler (another NBA guy) and Belmont in the finals.
So let’s start here in the semi’s against Jacksonville St. Go to Reddit, go to any lengthy recap about this game, and all you’ll read if how the refs carried Murray St. to the championship. OVC wanted Murray St. and Ja Morant in the tournament and they go it. For one, the foul count was 18 to 12 in favor in Murray St. Murray St. also shot 24 free throws to Jacksonville States 8. Ja Morant had 15 free throw attempts alone. Here’s the link to the thread, if you’d like to read it.
Then Murray St. got another break against Belmont when probably their second best player and really only big man in Nick Muszynski who went out in the semifinal game with an ankle injury. Although Belmont is the probably the better TEAM, Ja Morant on Saturday night was unbelievable and carried them to victory. This is the only highlight video I could find, and of course because its ESPN all you’re going to see is Morant and nothing on Belmont or the rest of the Murray St. team.
So the real question after this game is will Belmont get in as an at large? The answer should be yes. For the OVC, this is the best case scenario because Murray St. had less of chance of getting in as an at large than Belmont. Belmont is one of the best offensive teams in the country, with an NBA player in Dylan Windler, they are 26-5 with losses at Green Bay (bad), at Purdue, vs Jacksonville St. twice (bad), and then against Murray St on Saturday night. So is that resume good enough for Belmont? The big thing the committee looks what now is what’s called the NET rating, which Belmont is sitting at 45 in and you can read about here. Their RPI is at 41, but they have two Quad 3 losses which is bad but are 5-3 in Quad 2 and 3. So would you like to see this Belmont team in the tournament over say a trash big school team like TCU whose 19-12 (7-11) and ranked 48 in NET, or Ohio St. whose 18-13 (8-12) and 52 in NET? I’ll take Belmont but I fear the big boys are going to get the bump this year even though nobody wants to see shitty big conference teams that couldn’t get to .500 or better in their conference.
In other news UNC swept Duke and Duke is fucking trash without Zion. I mean you still have three first round NBA picks on your team and you barley beat Wake Forest at home and look like shit against your rival. Sad to see. BUT, apparently Zion will be back for the ACC conference tournament so all will be well and Duke will probably go to the championship game and ESPN will get on their knees and suck Zion dry. Can’t wait.
UNC and Duke are the big boys in the ACC but Virginia won the regular season outright again after beating Louisville on Saturday. Virginia keeps on rolling but none of it matters until they win a game in the NCAA tournament. They will probably be the overall #1 seed yet again and will have to makeup for last year where they were the first #1 seed to ever lose to a #16 seed.
On the Big Ten front the Michigan Wolverine offense pulled a Amelia Earhart and disappeared from the court yet again, which led to a 12 point loss to rival Michigan St. Michigan St. now splits the Big Ten title with Purdue and received the #1 seed in the Big Ten tournament. Michigan St. was down double digits in the 1st half but shaved away that lead to only 6 at half. In the second half they took over and just dominated Michigan.
Michigan would be a popular pick to make the final four but holy christ does their offense take lunch breaks way to often. Too many times this team is relying on one of the worst shooters in college basketball, Xavier Simpson, to create his own shot which means a hook shot or some type of layup that’s going to get blocked 99% of the time. Just awful. Hopefully Charles Matthews coming back and some more Big Ten tourney magic can get the Wolverines back on track.
In the Big 12, Kansas St. and Texas Tech split the Big 12 title. For the first time since 2004 the Kansas Jayhawks are not champs or co-champs of the Big 12 Regular season. Kansas St. beat Oklahoma and Texas Tech won at Iowa State to clinch those titles.
In the SEC the future winless LSU Tigers won the SEC regular season with only 2 losses edging out Kentucky and Tennessee. LSU beat Vandy at home and got some help from Auburn who beat Tennessee at home. Kentucky will probably end up with a 1 seed while Tennessee and LSU could both get 2 seeds.
Arnold Palmer Invitational
Matthew Fitzpatrick and Rory McIlroy entered Sunday in the final group, one primed for his first PGA tour win and the other looking to go back to back at this tournament. Well, they both shit the bed, and for the second year in a row a guy shot -8 under in the final and won. Francesco Molinari pulled off a 64 at Bay Hill and won at -12 under by two strokes over Matthew Fitzpatrick.
This was a tournament of guys taking the lead, then shitting the bed next day. Rafael Cabrera Bello shot 7 under on Thursday, proceeded shoot +3 Friday. Tommy Fleetwood was 9 under after Friday, and then shot +4 on Saturday. Matthew Fitzpatrick was at -9 under on Saturday, and only managed to shoot -1 under on Sunday. Rory also had a great third round and was sitting at 8 under on Saturday but managed to only shoot even on Sunday, just another meltdown by him – guy couldn’t make a putt.
Meanwhile Molinari is on fucking fire. Dude won two tournaments last year including the British Open and dominated the Ryder Cup. He now wins here and looks just as good as he was last year. Little late bloomer we have on our hands.
Sucks. He’s a corpse. The Lakers haven’t won since February 27th and are not going to make the playoffs and LeBron is fully to blame. He put this team together, he tried to trade all his teammates for one guy, he got himself hurt, and he’s an alcoholic. I am very excited for no big free agents to come to L.A. and watch LeBron just waste away his career in L.A. where all the “fans” hate him.
I opened by talking about the NBA’s Saturday Night schedule. Guessed it was the Warriors and Thunder. I just checked, folks:
What a fucking joke.
The Orlando Apollos are still undefeated and the head ball coach is going to win another national championship. They have the best coach, the best QB, and the best uniforms. A winning combination in any first year league.