Top NCAA Seeds - NFL Draft 11-20
Okay, so Selection Sunday is still more than a month away - see March 17th - but in keeping with our weekly updates of who we see as gobbling up the top four seeds in each region, let's get you to our weekly update on the top four seeds in all the NCAA Tournament regions (for now):
EAST - Duke, Michigan, Iowa State and Houston
MIDWEST - Virginia, Michigan State, Louisville and Villanova
SOUTH - Tennessee, North Carolina, Marquette and Virginia Tech
WEST - Kentucky, Gonzaga, Nevada and Kansas
Biggest Bubble Teams - USF, Temple, N.C. State, Dayton, and St. John's
Non-Power Conference Teams that Should Be in (even if they don't win their conference tournies) - Hofstra and Buffalo
Rating the Country's Top Conferences - ACC, Big 10, SEC, Big 12, Pac-12 and Big East.
THE NBA REPORT
The NBA All-Star Game is set for this Sunday in Charlotte, so there's only a batch of games tonight. Sounds like a good time to examine who are the league's biggest money-burners so far ... and why:
ATLANTA (25-32) - The Hawks are one of a handful of NBA teams that are "tanking" this 2018-19 campaign ... and you'll see a couple more "tank" teams on this list too. Note that Atlanta - playing .439 ball versus the vig -- has failed to cover three of its last four games and eight of its last baker's dozen games as we zoom towards the All-Star Game break and no surprise that the Hawks rank dead-last in the league in points allowed (118.5 pg).
CHICAGO (25-31-2) - The Bulls are playing .446 ball against the spread and that's no surprise when you check out this roster ... ugh! The Windy City Five has major problems "scoring the ball" as Chitown ranks 28th in the league in scoring (102.8 ppg).
WASHINGTON (24-32-1) - Here's yet another NBA Eastern Conference club that's been costing their backers a proverbial pretty penny these days as the woe=be-gone and injury-riddled Wizards are playing .428 ball against the odds and that includes six spread losses in the team's last nine games.
THE NFL DRAFT REPORT
Sure, there's a lot of time between now and the start of the National Football League Draft on April 25th but it's not too early to examine what might happen in Round One. Here's how we see it ... for now (check out our Jim Sez column from Monday, Feb. 11th to review our top 10 selections):
11. CINCINNATI - Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama: The Bengals are in desperate need of a major rebuild but the top priority is getting some heft along the O-line and this dude will slot in just fine either at left tackle or right tackle.
12. LOS ANGELES RAMS (trade with Green Bay) - Ed Oliver, DT, Houston: The defending NFC champs figure to lose DT Ndamukong Suh this off-season and so they swap their Round One pick (#31) plus future goodies to nab the best available D-lineman.
13. MIAMI - Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan: There's a whole lot of chatter about the Dolphins wanting / needing to draft a quarterback here but we're not confident that this AFC East crew will be able to swing a deal and get into the top six-to-eight picks.
14. ATLANTA - Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia: The Falcons stay in state for this selection even though there are some folks hooting-and-hollering for an edge pass rusher.
15. WASHINGTON - Drew Lock, QB, Missouri: Wow, we have this former Mizzou star being the fourth quarterback gobbled up in this draft and better believe the 'Skins will breathe a bit easier after they nab him without having to trade up. P.S., we don't expect QB Alex Smith back anytime soon ... if ever.
16. CAROLINA - Zach Allen, DE, Boston College: There's a slew of directions these Panthers can go here but as long as edge pass rushers are getting selected left and right, might as well dive in!
17. NEW YORK JETS (trade with Cleveland) - Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida: Count on the Jets being uber-active with all that excess money under the salary cap and here they address the O-line after we say Miss State DT Jeffery Simmons goes with that top six pick, bad knee and all.
18. MINNESOTA - Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State: Consider the Vikings "set" at the so-called skill positions but Mike Zimmer's crew must keep QB Kirk Cousins in the upright position.
19. TENNESSEE - Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson: Not sure why we see his stock dropping but the Titans nab this two-time national champion as head coach Mike Vrabel wants more physicality on defense.
20. BUFFALO (trade with Pittsburgh) - Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma: The Bills will toss in a couple of 2020 draft picks for the right to grab this preeminent pass-catcher who will be a major downfield target for developing QB Josh Allen.