UPDATE: Via TheBigLead, here are my official seeds, 1-4 (16 teams in all). Yes, I'm serious about So. Ill. as a 1-seed. I created the seeds very early Friday morning. Based on today's results, I want to make a few changes:
I'm not sure I'm ready to drop UCLA from a 1-seed, but they certainly aren't the top 1-seed anymore. (More importantly, when you watch a loss like that one -- even at a tough place like Washington -- it changes your bracket-picking perception of a team.)
Meanwhile, I'm nearly ready to vault Kansas into a 1-seed, though I'll wait until the Big 12 Tournament is over. I think Georgetown should be a 2-seed, short of an early loss in the Big East Tourney. Wisconsin stays a 2 after beating Michigan St. I need to devalue Virginia after they lost to West Virginia. Vandy ended any shot they had of cracking a 4-seed by getting thumped at Arkansas.
Very quickly this morning on the top storylines:
NFL: Free Agency Mania! CB Nate Clements signed the largest contract for a defensive player ever. (Funny: I didn't see "Urlacher" on the back of his jersey.) 8 year, $80 million (with $22M guaranteed). If nothing else, don't call the 49ers shy about upgrading.
(They also came close to signing Pro Bowl LB Adalius Thomas, who ended up going with the Pats. Given that the Pats usually don't do much spending in free agency, either they went against their usual blueprint to grab Thomas, or swayed him with the promise of a better chance at a Super Bowl ring than he'd get in
Last NFL FA biggie: OG Eric Steinbach signed a 7Y/$49.5M deal with the Browns. Given
Is Jake Plummer retiring rather than being traded to the Bucs?
College Hoops: Southern Illinois wins 12th straight, heading into the brutal Mo Valley Conference Tournament semifinals tomorrow. They are No. 5 in the RPI right now, zeroing in on a lock as a 2-seed. Some (me) even have them slotted as a 1-seed.
(No, I'm not kidding: If they streak to a Mo Valley Tournament title, considering the quality of opponents they'll see in the semis and finals, I think they absolutely deserve a 1-seed. They won't get it, but they should.
See yesterday's A.M. Quickie post for a full preview of the weekend in college hoops. I'm settling in for an afternoon of conference-tournament title games. Bid THIS, bitch!
NBA: Shaq is coming on strong. Season-high 31 poins AND a season-high 15 rebounds leads the Heat over the Pistons. I thought the Heat were supposed to be d-u-n and the Pistons were supposed to have smooth sailing to the Eastern Conference title.
Meanwhile, the Sixers beat the Grizzlies in a battle of bottom-feeders, proving that Philly has no idea how to tank a season, while
MLB Spring: The biggest headline? Matsuzaka makes his debut, and it was a solid one: 25 pitches (19 for strikes), 2 innings and zero runs allowed. I stand by the prediction I made the day he signed with the Red Sox: Matsuzaka is going to be the AL Cy Young winner.
Re-design: USA Today's Sports Section (online) has been a daily staple of my research and reading for years. They just re-launched as part of a larger USAToday.com redesign. Worth your time to check it out, because there's a lot of cool new features in there.
Any other big storylines today? Throw them out there (and discuss) in the comments. DON'T FORGET TO SIGN UP FOR THE "DAILY QUICKIE READERS" GROUP OF THE ESPN.COM TOURNAMENT CHALLENGE!