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Morning Jolt: Gabbert moves up board, could go No. 1

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Friday, March 18

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Gabbert moves up board, could go No. 1

It didn't take one analyst long to sum up his thoughts on Blaine Gabbert's pro day. NFL Network chief draft analyst Mike Mayock rendered his verdict on QB Blaine Gabbert following Missouri's pro day Thursday. "Bottom line, he's the first quarterback off the board, and it wouldn't surprise me if Carolina takes him at No. 1," Mayock said on Path to the Draft. The Panthers have been scrutinizing Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton in recent weeks and are admittedly considering a quarterback with the draft's first selection. New Carolina coach Ron Rivera did not attend Missouri's pro day, however the Panthers are scheduled to work Gabbert out privately this weekend. Gabbert has had dinners with the Bills and Vikings this week as well. (USA Today)Comment

Pearl's days numbered: Down to one?

Not only does it appear Bruce Pearl's days are numbered, but that number may be down to one. One more loss and his career as Tennessee men's basketball coach will be over. It could come today against Michigan in the NCAA Tournament or it could come on Sunday against Duke. Either way Pearl's days are numbered. The handwriting is on the wall, delivered in a poorly timed, badly worded radio interview by UT Athletics Director Mike Hamilton. It was an irresponsible public relations gaffe by Hamilton, but also an indication of how badly things have deteriorated for Pearl in the last couple of weeks. For months, Hamilton steadfastly stood by his man. Suddenly, on the eve of UT's game in the NCAA Tournament, he flinched. (The Tennessean)Comment

Wainwright done in St. Louis?

Adam Wainwright, heading into Tommy John rehab, isn't thinking about setbacks. "I'm thinking about getting ready. I'm thinking about helping this team next year." He then paused. "Helping some team next year." And that's the rub. Wainwright's second-place finish in the Cy Young Award voting last year vested the $21-million option for 2012 and 2013. Both years must be exercised at the same time, but the club has an escape clause built into the deal signed in March 2008. If Wainwright finishes 2011 on the disabled list, which he will because of the elbow surgery, the team can elect not to take the option. Wainwright, who will be 30 when this current contract expires, would be a free agent. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)Comment

Must-See Photo

No one was immune from the sting of defeat following Louisville's loss to Morehead State yesterday, not even the Louisville mascot. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Must-See Video

There were several game-winners yesterday in the NCAA tournament, but none were better than Matt Howard's putback versus Old Dominion.

Game To Watch

Two Western Conference powers clash as Tim Duncan and the Spurs travel to Dallas to take on Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks, 8:30 p.m. ET

  1. San Antonio Spurs
  2. Dallas Mavericks

SI Vault: More Rick Barry

This Day in Sports

  • 1988 -- The Golden State Warriors retire Rick Barry's uniform No. 24, joining the numbers of only three other former Warrior greats (Al Attles, Tom Meschery and Nate Thurmond).
  • 1991 -- The Philadelphia 76ers retire Wilt Chamberlain's No. 13 jersey, only the fifth jersey ever retired by the Sixers (along with Billy Cunningham, Hal Greer, Bobby Jones and Julius Erving).
  • 1945 -- Montreal's Maurice "Rocket" Richard becomes the first NHL player to score 50 goals in a season.