After the madness that ensued last weekend, there’s thankfully been a few days to recover. But as the saying goes: We sleep in May.
Four more men’s NCAA tournament games are coming Thursday as the Sweet 16 begins and, as you well know, the NFL news cycle never stops.
Catch up with everything you might have missed and prepare for what’s coming down the pike over the next few days.
In today’s Winners Club you’ll find:
- Sweet 16 teams, ranked
- Re-picking the March Madness bracket
- Thursday NCAA tournament schedule, spreads
- Best Bets for Michigan State-Kansas State, Gonzaga-UCLA
- Underdog picks to cover in the Sweet 16
- Updated national championship odds
- Fantasy football player rankings
How Sweet It Is: Breaking Down the Remaining Field
There was some chalk and plenty of upsets during the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Some top teams fell, like No. 1 seeds Kansas and Purdue. And though our beloved No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson is no longer dancing, what the Knights did will go down in history.
So now, with 16 teams left, Pat Forde has re-ranked the field, starting with Alabama and all the way down to Princeton.
In the same vein, Kevin Sweeney made his picks for how the remaining games will play out. But he’s not wavering from his original pick to cut down the nets.
The two days of Sweet 16 games aren’t as action-packed as the first two days of March Madness. To be honest, few sporting events are. But the evening schedule for Thursday is still loaded. Find the full schedule, complete with spreads and tip-off times, below.
6:30 p.m. ET (TBS): No. 7 Michigan State (-2) vs. No. 3 Kansas State | Total: 137.5
7:15 p.m. ET (CBS): No. 8 Arkansas vs. No. 4 UConn (-3.5) | Total: 139.5
9 p.m. ET (TBS): No. 9 FAU vs. No. 4 Tennessee (-5.5) | Total: 130.5
9:45 p.m. ET (CBS): No. 3 Gonzaga vs. No. 2 UCLA (-2) | Total: 145.5
I broke down the Spartans-Wildcats matchup and the rematch between the Bulldogs and Bruins and came up with a best bet for each game. And Forde singled out four underdogs he likes to cover the spread this round.
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Alabama and Houston are still well ahead of the field in terms of their title odds and both teams are the odds-on favorite to win their respective regions. Below are the title odds for every team that’s still standing as well as the odds for each team to advance to the Final Four.
Updated National Championship Odds
Michigan State +2400
San Diego State +3300
Kansas State +3300
Michigan State +300
Kansas State +350
San Diego State +450
Best Odds to Win Midwest Region
Post-Free Agency Rankings, Winners and Losers
NFL teams have been busy lately. Between free agency and trades (some of which have yet to officially happen), a lot has changed that affects the hierarchy around the league and fantasy football calculus going forward.
The Bears traded for D.J. Moore—what does that mean for Justin Fields? The Cowboys released Ezekiel Elliott, so just how high can Tony Pollard soar with the backfield to himself? And where does Darren Waller rank among tight ends now that he’s a Giant?
Michael Fabiano compiled in-depth fantasy rankings for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends now that the dust has settled on the first wave of free agency.
See who his QB1 is at this point in time and where Austin Ekeler slots in at his position after he requested a trade.
Fabiano also assigned individual winners and losers from the first wave. Among the winners: Daniel Jones, Nick Chubb and K.J. Osborn. As for the losers? D’Andre Swift, Michael Gallup and Hunter Henry.
Even just this week, more news flooded in and Fabiano has reactions for all of it, including wide receiver Adam Thielen signing with the Panthers, the Cowboys trading for Brandin Cooks, Damien Harris joining the Bills and Devin Singletary and Dalton Schultz both inking deals with the Texans.
And speaking of all these rankings and players on new teams, it’s as good a time as any to see where the league’s 32 stack up in relation to one another. Conor Orr ranked them from the Chiefs down to the Cardinals.
In Other News
76ers Surpass Celtics in NBA Power Rankings: After a recent surge, Philadelphia and new MVP favorite Joel Embiid jumped Boston, which has struggled lately. The Kings, who are on the verge of ending their playoff drought, keep inching up thanks to their league-best offense.
Japan Wins World Baseball Classic Championship: Trea Turner set a new tournament record when he smashed his fifth home run, but Team USA still fell short, 3-2, at loanDepot park in Miami. Shohei Ohtani struck out Angels teammate Mike Trout for the final out of the game.
Ja Morant Expected to Return to Grizzlies Wednesday: Memphis’ star guard is set to play his first game since March 3 following an eight-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the league. The Grizzlies, who are in second place in the West, are hosting the Rockets at FedEx Forum.
Rick Pitino Leaves Iona for St. John’s Job: After a first-round exit from the NCAA tournament with the Gaels, Pitino is headed to the Big East to lead the Red Storm. It’s reportedly a six-year deal for Pitino, who has guided three different programs to Final Fours in his career.
Thanks for reading Winners Club! Check back on Friday for more March Madness coverage for Day 2 of the Sweet 16. Until then.