The Bracket Yard Weekend, April 3-4, 2021: Final Four, NFL Draft
It’s almost One Shining Moment.
What do we have on our hands with the 2021 Final Four, and what do we know about the upcoming NFL Draft? It’s the first Weekender of April.
Top Sports Stories
|[CBB] Final Four Preview|
On Saturday at 5:14pm Eastern, the first game of the 2021 Final Four tips off. It will be the Battle of Texas between Houston and Baylor. Should the Bears win the game, it will be their first national championship game since 1948. For Houston, it would be their first since Phi Slama Jama in 1984, an era in which they made back-to-back title games and lost.
Houston is led offensively by Quentin Grimes, a guard to averages 18 points per game. Baylor has a couple guys who put up big point numbers, like Jared Butler and MaCio Teague; they have helped make the Bears into a top-five offense in the nation. Houston is 44th in the nation in that area, so they may be able to keep up, but they are also a top-ten rebounding team in Division I.
In the night game, UCLA will have their hands full with fellow West Coast team Gonzaga, the top overall seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Gonzaga is a perfect 30-0, just two wins away from running the table with a national championship. They need no introduction nor a “here’s how Gonzaga is going to win” type blurb. Is 30-0 not enough of an indication? Gonzaga are the favorites.
The Bruins, a team about which many were skeptical on the subject of just making the tournament, streaked all the way to the Final Four. They’ve done it with massive contributions from players like Jaime Jaquez and Johnny Juzang. UCLA has a tall task nevertheless.
By the time we are next with you, we will know the 2021 national champions.
|[NFL] Taking Stock A Month Out From 2021 NFL Draft|
We are a bit less than a month away from the 2021 NFL Draft. Here is what we know, or what we think we know, so far:
- Jacksonville is taking Trevor Lawrence. Next.
- Five teams will draft in the first round in a spot that was not initially theirs, foremost among them is San Francisco at number three. Seems as though the Niners are thinking quarterback, which means bye-bye Jimmy G.
- The New York Jets – well, it may not really matter what they do, anyway – are vacillating on Sam Darnold’s future.
- Some believe the New England Patriots will trade up for a quarterback. It’s not like them to do that, but desperate times.
|[CBB] Bill Self Now Coach-For-Life At Kansas|
Sometimes, you just have a good gig and you know it. Kansas Jayhawks coach Bill Self signed a contract extension that will self-replicate years, making him coach for as long as he wants to be. Since leaving Illinois to take over for another coach we discussed this week, Roy Williams, Self has made the NCAA Tournament 22 straight times with three different schools. Kansas was bounced early in the tournament this year, but were in the Final Four as recently as 2018.
5 Good Sports Links
- [MLB] “MLB moving 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta over Georgia voting law,” ESPN (Alden Gonzalez) – bonus article on sister website Electionarium
- [NHL] “With New Wrinkle, NHL Division Races Heat Up,” New York Times (Gary Santaniello)
- [CBB] “Auburn’s Sharife Cooper entering 2021 NBA draft,” ESPN (Jonathan Givony)
- [COLL] “The NCAA’s ability to properly oversee college sports is ‘terminal’ as further proven by recent events,” CBS Sports (Dennis Dodd)
- [MLB] “Cincinnati’s Plan to Play Without a True Shortstop Backfired Immediately,” SI.com (Matt Martell)
The Bracket Yard Daily returns on Tuesday, April 6.