|By Marc Lawrence — Continuing our perfunctory peek ahead to Selection Sunday, we share some interesting insight into teams as they prepare for the Big Dance. You can find more winning insight inside this year’s Playbook March Madness Tournament Guide. Liberty enters as double Atlantic Sun champs (won both the regular and postseason conference titles) with a 30-4 win-loss record behind 4 returning starters from last year’s 29-win NCAA tourney squad. The Flames beat five Division-1 teams before finally losing at LSU. They rank No. 2 in the nation in overall scoring defense (53.7 PPG) and figure to be a tough out in the first round of this year’s event. As Patrick Henry would say, “Give me Liberty or give me death!” |
NFL Trade Wins
While NFL free agents cannot sign with new teams until 4 p.m. ET on March 18, trade talks are ongoing and already we’ve seen teams agree to terms on a couple of deals. Carolina is expected to send guard Trai Turner to the Chargers in exchange for left tackle Russell Okung. And the Broncos will acquire cornerback A.J. Bouye from the Jaguars in exchange for a fourth-round pick. Who looks to be next? The Athletic’s NFL writers speculate on 42 players that are on the trade bubble. Included is Derek Carr: the Raiders finished seventh in passing efficiency last season and Carr ranked ninth in adjusted net yards per attempt and 10th in Total QBR. But Jon Gruden appears ready to move on if he can land one of the other quarterbacks he likes in the weeks ahead. Carr is under contract for the next three seasons and was not too long ago the highest paid quarterback in the league (for a few minutes) … Andy Dalton: The Bengals sat on their hands at the trade deadline last year despite being 0-8, saying it wasn’t their job to make other teams better and insisting they intended to keep their good players to win games and build momentum for the new coaching staff. With Joe Burrow waiting on deck, that logic has flown out the window … Odell Beckham Jr.: The front office that traded for him last March is gone, and though the new guys want the talent, do they also want the drama that tends to follow Beckham? The going rate to acquire a No. 1 wide receiver is a first-round pick. That’s where any offer should start. Beckham is signed through the 2023 season on a reasonable deal … To read more on the other 39 likely trade baits, click here.
Stat Of The Day
|From this week’s Playbook Basketball Newsletter: The Chicago Bulls are 1-15 UNDER in their last sixteen games versus Orlando.|