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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

NFL’s NEW SWEET 16

By Marc Lawrence — As has been expected for months now, NFL owners voted Tuesday to expand the regular season from 16 games to 17 starting this year.

ESPN’s Dan Graziano says, “This is not a drill, people. This is happening.”

And sure, you might have heard that it was going to happen, but you probably still have questions about the specifics.

How will it work? Who plays whom? Who makes money off this deal? Here are some of the answers…

The NFL Preseason Will Shrink: The CBA mandates that the combined number of games per team in a season shall not exceed 20 (with an exception made for the two teams that play in the annual “Hall of Fame” preseason kickoff game). This means that, in any season that includes 17 regular-season games, no more than three preseason games can be played per team.

How Will This Work With An Odd Number Of Games: Adding the extra game means adding an extra opponent.

The league will match each division with a division in the other conference, rotating those matchups each season, and the team that finished first in one will play the team that finished first in the other, and so on.

The current plan is to match inter-conference divisions that played each other two years ago, which means that, in this first 17-game season, meaning: AFC East teams will play NFC East teams NFC North teams will play AFC West teams NFC South teams would play AFC South teams NFC West teams will play AFC North teams.

Trending Today

Roy Williams, who has led North Carolina to three NCAA titles in his 33 seasons as a college basketball head coach, is retiring.

The 70-year-old Williams, after a 48-year coaching career, has spent 18 seasons at UNC, going 485-163 while leading the Tar Heels to national titles in 2005, 2009 and 2017. He also coached the Kansas Jayhawks for 15 seasons, taking them to four Final Four appearances, prior to leaving for his alma mater.

He ranks fourth all time among Division I coaches in wins with a 903-264 record (.774 winning percentage), and he was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007. He is the only coach in NCAA history to post 400 wins at two different schools.

Williams’ 903 wins trails only Mike Krzyzewski (1170), Jim Boeheim (982), and Jim Calhoun (918) among Division-1 coaches.

A class act if ever there was one.

Grinding Out The Profits

From this week’s Playbook NBA Basketball Newsletter: A classic Final Four matchup of a No. 1 and a No. 2 seed finds top-seeded Baylor, looking to improve on its jaw-dropping 18-1 SU and 16-3 ATS mark against .750 or greater teams over the past two seasons, taking on Houston.

Meanwhile, Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson is no slouch himself against quality opposition, going 9-4 SU and 11-2 ATS against .865 or great foes with the Cougars, including 5-0 SUATS the last five contests.

In a tale of the tape tighter than a tourniquet, the bleeding stops with the team that scores last.

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