The Bracket Yard Weekend, Feb. 27-28, 2021: March Madness, EA Sports, LeBron
When a snub might not keep you out of the tournament.
The Weekend Daily (which isn’t really a daily because it’s bi-daily) is here, and if you like college sports, then this is the website for you.
Top Sports Stories
|[CBB] Short Window for NCAA Tournament Alternate Teams|
COVID-19 has resulted in a great deal of craziness, and some of it as we know has aimed straight at March Madness. In 2020, we had nothing, so the fact that there will be a 2021 NCAA Tournament is a symbol of joy and hope. However, enter a new weird quirk for this year’s Big Dance: if a team has to drop because of virus protocols, they can be replaced and the field reseeded. However, once the First Four begins, those teams cannot be replaced and any team that has to withdraw during the NCAA Tournament will be forfeiting. So, if you miss the tournament (a so-called snub), you have about two days to hope someone pulls out, otherwise enjoy the NIT.
|[CFB] No EA Sports Game For Northwestern, Either|
College football fans over the age of 30 rejoiced at the news that EA Sports was bringing back their college football game to consoles. However, as a result of “Name, Image, and Likeness” (NIL) decisions, Notre Dame withdrew themselves from being used as a team in the game. Add Northwestern to that mix, as they became the second team to refuse participation in the game. Their reason was much the same as Notre Dame’s, wanting to see official policy on players being able to profit from their likenesses. The obvious issue for EA Sports is that the more schools that pull out, the purpose of the game is defeated. Yet, there is no timetable for its return. That may be a good thing as Congress has a number of other proverbial political fires to put out first.
|[NBA] Soccer Star Scolds LeBron for Political Activism|
This is not the first time you have heard a derivative of “shut up and act”, “shut up and play,” or “shut up and (insert profession).” It will also not be the last, but in the case of LeBron James and European soccer pro Zlatan Ibrahimovic, it’s just the latest. Ibrahimovic, a Swedish player for AC Milan, said that any athlete should keep politics off of the playing surface, but specifically went after future basketball Hall-of-Famer LeBron James. LeBron’s ventures into the political issues of the day are well-documented by media, but sometimes, athletes, singers, and other celebrities draw criticism for speaking freely, just not always from within the same profession. The nice part is that Ibrahimovic did at least acknowledge LeBron as a great player.
Games of the Weekend
[CBB] A Monster College Hoops Slate on Saturday: Michigan vs. Indiana, Texas vs. Texas Tech, Illinois vs. Wisconsin, LSU vs. Arkansas, Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma, Florida State vs. North Carolina, Boise State vs. San Diego State, Baylor vs. Kansas, UCLA vs. Colorado. Pick a game, any game.
[NHL] Toronto vs. Edmonton: Some very good Canadian teams with Cup aspirations.
[NBA] LA Clippers vs. Milwaukee: Could be a Finals preview for all we know.
5 Good Sports Links
- [MLB] “Moses Fleetwood Walker: editor, author and major league baseball’s first black star,” The Guardian (Andrew Lawrence)
- [NHL] “40 years ago, the meek, mild, Minnesota North Stars started the greatest brawl in NHL history,” Star Tribune (Jeff Day)
- [NFL] “Alex Smith reportedly has “no animosity” for Washington Football Team,” ProFootballTalk (Mike Florio)
- [WNBA] “WNBA announces sale of Atlanta Dream from ex-senator Kelly Loeffler,” The Guardian (Bryan Armen Graham)
- [GOLF] “Annika Sorenstam’s return to golf brings ‘Tiger feeling’ after 13-year absence,” CNN (Ben Morse)