Selection Sunday for the 2020 NCAA tournament was scheduled for March 15. We never got there. Selection Sunday for the 2021 NCAA tournament is scheduled for March 14. We’re only three weeks away (and only five days away from the start of the first conference tournament).
As of Friday, 32 teams were included in each of the 106 brackets compiled by Bracket Matrix, among them, obviously, Ohio State. The Buckeyes, a near-consensus 1-seed, are still outside the NET top five but continue to lead all teams in Quadrant 1 wins (nine). Gonzaga is the only other team with more than six Quadrant 1 wins.
One of the weirdest résumés belongs to Creighton. The Bluejays have strong metrics, including top 15 in KenPom, Sagarin, and BPI, and a 4–1 record in Quadrant 1 games. They also have several terrible losses; they’re the only NET top-100 team with four Quadrant 3 losses. Only three top-200 teams have more Quadrant 3 losses: No. 114 Tulsa, No. 122 Wofford and No. 125 Chattanooga. Nonetheless, Creighton is widely projected as a 5-seed, which would be the second-highest seed in program history.
Other tourney résumé notes: Of the 210 teams with at least two Quadrant 1 games played, Baylor (6–0) and Gonzaga (7–0) are the only teams undefeated in those games … The NET rankings love Colgate for some reason … The Big Ten could rule this year’s tournament.
At least 30 people have died in Texas as major winter storms swept the state and wiped out essential resources. An 11-year-old boy froze to death, as did a 75-year-old Vietnam veteran in search of an oxygen tank, and a 60-year-old man lying beside his wife. It’s been a week of hell for millions of Texans and others across the country. For some oil and gas producers, it’s been a jackpot.
“Obviously, this week is like hitting the jackpot,” Roland Burns, the president and CFO of Comstock Resources, Inc., a shale driller that operates in Texas and Louisiana, told investors.
“Comstock was already ramping up production in anticipation that natural gas prices would increase, and now finds itself benefiting from what it described as ‘super-premium prices’ of ‘anywhere from’ $15 per thousand cubic feet to as much as $179 per thousand cubic feet,” wrote NPRs Camila Domonoske.
Comstock’s largest shareholder: Jerry Jones. The longtime Dallas Cowboys owner is making millions from a 7,500% markup in gas prices. He’s making millions because people are literally starving and freezing to death in his state, a state that contributed $325 million to AT&T Stadium.
“Jones knew what he was doing then, and he surely knows what he is doing now. If all the clothing suddenly disappeared from the state, Jones would start selling Cowboys sweatshirts for $1,000 each,” wrote SI’s Michael Rosenberg.
“Jones should be embarrassed, but billionaires don’t get embarrassed by what they see as good business deals. They get embarrassed when many people call them out, or when the public shame is so great that the good business deal morphs into a lousy one. Cowboys fans can show Jones how angry they are by cutting down on their financial support of the team. Logic says they should. History says they will not. Jones is betting that he can make money by price-gouging the very people he purports to represent."
Odds & Ends
Carolina is clearing cap space to make a QB push … West Virginia head coach Neal Brown has remarkable family planning … Kellen Winslow Jr. accepted a new plea deal for sex crimes… The Nets are now 10–1 against above-.500 teams and 7–0 against the top-eight teams in the Western Conference … Jamal Murray is the first player in NBA history to score 50 points without any free throws … Most intriguing NFL free agents this offseason … Fauci is optimistic about fans returning to MLB stadiums this season.
Dunk of the Year?
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