Breaking down each region of the NCAA Tournament bracket, plus the latest on Aaron Rodgers

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Happy Tuesday, everyone, and welcome to the Men’s NCAA Tournament! That’s right, the action technically begins tonight. You still have roughly 48 hours to fill out your brackets, so be sure you’re signed up for our Men’s Bracket Games and our Women’s Bracket Games.

Let’s get right to it.

Good morning to everyone but especially to…

COLLEGE BASKETBALL FANS

It’s here! The NCAA Tournament begins tonight with a pair of games, which first and foremost means answering the age-old question: “What is truTV?”

All right, now that you know that answer, time to get into the good stuff. Our college basketball experts have it all broken down, and if you’re still preparing to fill out your bracket, our region-by region previews will help.

In my humble opinion, the West region is absolutely loaded. In the top four seeds alone, there’s…

  • 1-seed Kansas, the reigning national champions.
  • 2-seed UCLA, a super experienced team with a terrific defense.
  • 3-seed Gonzaga, also plenty experienced and possessing arguably the sport’s best offense.
  • 4-seed UConn, a team that’s been as high as No. 2 in the AP Poll.

Our Chip Patterson has it all covered in his regional preview

While top teams always get top billing, it’s the Cinderella teams that steal our hearts. Our David Cobb has identified plenty of Cinderella candidates, including…

  • Cobb: Midwest: No. 13 seed Kent State — This team has the athleticism and toughness to compete at the highest level and represents a difficult draw for No. 4 seed Indiana in the first round. The player to watch is senior guard Sincere Carry, who averages 17.6 ppg. Defense is where this team can hurt you, though. The Golden Flashes allow just 65.7 ppg.”

I love this pick from David. Good, experienced guards, stout defense and battle-tested? Count me in. You can see all of David’s picks here.

As for tonight, we get two games:

Don’t sleep on the First Four. The First Four began in 2011, and a First Four team has advanced to the Round of 32 in 10 of the 11 Tournaments since. I looked at which First Four team could do that this year. My top candidate? Well, I won’t give it away, but it’s in action tonight.

Honorable mentions

Not so honorable mentions

  • There was a big fight at the end of last night’s Bucks-Kings game.
  • The Ravens released Calais Campbell to clear some cap space.
  • Michael Porter Jr. is not happy with his head coach, Michael Malone.

Brackets are here! Get back in your pools and join our Men’s and Women’s Challenges for the chance to win a new SUV and a college basketball dream trip! No purchase necessary. See Terms & Rules for details.


NFL legal tampering period begins: Garoppolo to Raiders, Eagles lose key pieces 🏈

The big news everyone is waiting for hasn’t come yet (any day now, Aaron Rodgers!) but the first day of the legal tampering period was full of surprise signings, wild rumors, restructured contracts and, yes, even some quarterback action. Jimmy Garoppolo is heading to Las Vegas.

The former Patriots and 49ers quarterback will reunite with his New England offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels. Garoppolo signed a three-year, $67.5-million deal.

  • Over six seasons with San Francisco, Garoppolo went to two NFC Championships and accumulated a 38-17 record as starter. The question, of course, is how much of that success was a product of Garoppolo’s play.
  • The Raiders earned a solid ‘B+’ for the move in Tyler Sullivan’s grades.
  • The move also spun the quarterback carousel a bit: Sam Darnold is joining the 49ers, and former Raiders backup Jarrett Stidham is going to Denver.

Speaking of Denver, the Broncos went big trying to upgrade Russell Wilson‘s supporting cast by signing guard Ben Powers and tackle Mike McGlinchey. Head coach Sean Payton certainly isn’t wasting any time, and his team was a big Day 1 winner, writes our Cody Benjamin.

There was so, so much happening on Day 1. Here are some other big moves:

There are so many more moves, but we can’t be here all day! Our NFL team has done a tremendous job keeping up with everything, so I suggest you keep up with our live blog and our team-by-team tracker.

Oh, and as for that Aaron Rodgers guy, there’s still no decision — but if it’s not the Jets, here are their other options.

Champions League preview: Can Manchester City break deadlock vs. RB Leipzig? ⚽


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The Champions League returns today with a pair of Round-of-16 second legs:

Leipzig did a terrific job limiting City in the first leg and essentially nullifying star Erling Haaland, which means it’s time for another key attacker to step up, writes our Chuck Booth.

Our Tom Fornelli, meanwhile, has been on an absolute roll with his Corner Picks, and he’s looking to keep the good times going this week. Here’s his best bet for City-Leipzig:

  • Fornelli: “I don’t mean to disrespect Leipzig when I say I’m nearly certain Man City will win this match and move on because it’s Man City. …They’re a good team that’s had some excellent Champions League runs in recent years! But it’s Man City. …  I don’t hate Both Teams To Score here, but the Over 2.5 feels safer. Man City could get three on their own. They dominated the ball in the first meeting, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they hold onto it even longer this week. The Pick: Over 2.5 (-160)

We also have expert picks and stats to know as the field prepares to shrink again.

Ole Miss hires Chris Beard months after his arrest 🏀


USATSI

Chris Beard was not out of a job for long. Ole Miss hired the former Texas head coach Monday, just three months after he was arrested on an assault charge.

  • Beard was arrested on Dec. 12, 2022 and booked on a felony third-degree assault charge after allegedly strangling, biting and assaulting his fiancée in their home. 
  • Beard’s fiancée, Randi Trew, initially told police Beard “choked me, threw me off the bed, bit me, bruises all over my leg, throwing me around, and going nuts.” Texas suspended him without pay.
  • On Dec. 23, 2022, however, Trew recanted some of her allegations and said Beard was acting in self-defense and did not strangle her.
  • Texas fired Beard for cause on Jan. 5.
  • Felony charges against Beard were dropped Feb. 16.

Beard emerged as the frontrunner in the Ole Miss coaching search last week. He has a 171-73 career record at the D-I level with stops at Little Rock (2015-16) and Texas Tech (2016-21) before his time at Texas. He led the Red Raiders to their first Final Four in 2019, ultimately losing to Virginia in the national title game.

Beard will take over for Kermit Davis, who was fired Feb. 24. Ole Miss went 12-21 this season and has not made the NCAA Tournament since 2018-19, Davis’ first year with the program.

What we’re watching Tuesday 📺

Manchester City vs. RB Leipzig, 4 p.m. on Paramount+
Porto vs. Inter Milan, 4 p.m. on Paramount+
🏀 No. 16 Southeast Missouri State vs. No. 16 Texas A&M Corpus-Christi, 6:40 p.m. on TruTV
🏒 Capitals at Rangers, 7 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 No. 11 Pittsburgh vs. No. 11 Mississippi State, 9:10 p.m. on TruTV





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