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This is my ?Anchorman? moment.Iconic newscaster Ron Burgundy famously proclaimed that he wanted to shout his love for female co-worker Veronica Corningstone from a mountaintop, but he didn?t have a mountaintop ? he had a newsroom.I feel the same way about the NCAA Tournament, and like Burgundy, I don?t have a mountaintop. Unfortunately, I don?t have a newsroom either.Instead I have a 600 to 1,200-word column in a student newspaper.The following is how I make do: 65 reasons I love March Madness.(In no specific order)1. The possibility the Badgers get a sunny draw and go to Anaheim and then Phoenix.2. That it?s just as possible for the Badgers to go to Omaha ? and lose in the first round.3. That Joe Lunardi has already upset every fan base across the country with his weekly Bracketology seedings.4. That no matter what happens, somebody is going to make him eat crow.5. Michael Beasley is going to be nationally televised.6. Ditto for O.J. Mayo, Kevin Love and Derrick Rose.7. Developing man-crushes on freshmen, Carmelo Anthony-style.8. This is the one time of the year when it?s cool for guys to talk about Cinderella.9. Watching Bobby Knight doing commentary and taking bets on how long it will take him to curse.10. No matter what happens, I can count on Kansas and Duke to be upset early on.11. Picking the Jayhawks and Blue Devils to go to the Final Four again anyway.12. Using the phrase ?bracket-buster.?13. Greg Gumbel?s dramatic reading of the bracket on ?Selection Sunday.? The guy should win an Emmy for it.14. Using a yellow highlighter to mark wins and a blue one to mark losses on my brackets.15. When there are more yellow lines than blue ones.16. Never marking a win or a loss until the game is 100 percent over.17. Skipping classes to watch the first- and second-round games, especially when the teacher does it, too.18. Seeing clips of Bryce Drew, Christian Laettner and Jim Valvano run on an endless loop.19. Praying that I grow another foot before my college eligibility runs out ? and actually believing it.20. Having baseball?s Opening Day waiting at the end of the tournament like a long-lost friend.21. No. 12 seeds over No. 5 seeds that live up to the hype.22. Being right when the experts aren?t. (It did happen? once.)23. Not knowing anyone that goes to the school that wins it all.24. The first five minutes of the No. 1 vs. No. 16 games when it is a close game.25. Thinking ?What if?? when it is still close in the last five minutes.26. Thinking I know everything and actually knowing nothing.27. Picking with my heart and not my head.28. Boston College not getting a bid this year so I can avoid another heart-attack in the first round.29. Explaining the difference between dark horses and sleepers.30. Coach K inevitably playing one of his proteges, and the commentators making a huge deal out of it.31. SEC cheerleaders. Also UCLA’s.32. Watching mid-major coaches play for a job at a bigger school.33. Rooting for the underdog, even when it means ruining my bracket.34. Getting at least one team in the Final Four right, so I can live with myself during the other 11 months.35. Correctly picking Florida as the national champion the last two years.36. Florida not having much of a chance to make it a 3-peat this year.37. Maybe picking Florida anyway?38. Fans of losing teams crying on camera and knowing that there’s always next year.39. 64 mascots and fight songs.40. Facebook?s bracket application so I can see how random people I don?t really know are doing.41. Losing to said random people because the tournament is so unpredictable.42. The term ?Big Dance.?43. The footwear terms: ?dancing shoes,? ?Cinderella?s slippers? and ?jumping out of his sneakers.?44. Endless advertisements for whatever show CBS is pushing for this spring.45. Even more advertisements for ?a tradition unlike any other.?46. Gus Johnson.47. Buzzer beaters and overtime.48. Teams that play near home but lose anyway.49. The NIT having some underrated and cool matchups.50. Jumping on the Davidson bandwagon along with the rest of America.51. My mom calling me, worried about how our bracket is doing in her office pool? after just one day of games.52. Filling out three brackets that are only slightly different from each other.53. Singing ?Rockin? in the NCAAs? in the shower, on my way to class and generally every time I have a free moment.54. Frantically analyzing every matchup in the few days between the bracket?s release and the first game.55. Watching the scores in the top right-hand corner more closely than I am the game that?s actually on.56. Scenario generator.57. Celebrity fans that aren?t really fans or celebrities.58. Shots of players? parents. Especially Mr. Neitzel, Mr. Hansbrough and Mr. Ewing.59. Rooting against my friends’ picks ? even when I picked the same teams.60. Contributing to the $2.5 billion in illegal gambling across the nation by joining a $5 pool.61. Debating whether a player has NBA potential, and seeing scouts in the stands wondering the same thing.62. Growing a tournament beard even though I?m not playing in it. Not changing underwear either.63. Using every superstition imaginable, and having none of them work.64. ?One Shining Moment? playing at the end of it all.And, as an added bonus, the play-in reason:65. The fact that one team gets eliminated from the tournament before it even starts. That?s rough.Mike is a sophomore majoring in political science. If you have a different reason why you love the NCAA Tournament he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When the Giants (2-10) take the short trip down from New Jersey to take on the Eagles (5-7) in Philadelphia on “Monday Night Football” (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN), there will be only playoff implications for one sub-.500 team. The visitors will try to play spoiler against their NFC East rivals.The Giants were eliminated from contention last week and are turning back to Eli Manning at quarterback with rookie first-rounder Daniel Jones dealing with an ankle injury. The Eagles can still win the division over the Cowboys and will be trying to pull even in the standings, down only a head-to-head tiebreaker with the teams set to play again in Week 16. Carson Wentz hasn’t had the easiest season with injuries around him, but the Eagles’ quarterback himself is healthy to try to guide his team to a profitable end despite all the frustrations of the 2019 NFL season so far.Here’s a guide to betting on Giants vs. Eagles in Week 14, including updated odds, trends and our expert’s prediction for “Monday Night Football.”MORE: Get the latest NFL odds & betting trends from Sports InsiderEagles vs.Giants odds for ‘Monday Night Football’Spread: Eagles by 9.5Point total: 44.5Odds: Giants -115, Eagles -105The Eagles started around touchdown favorites and the line has moved up to 8 to now above 9 closer to kickoff. Manning playing over Jones doesn’t change too much. The game is expected to be played in rainy conditions in Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles’ offense has sputtered, but the Giants’ defense is bad. The Eagles’ defense continues to have issues on the back end.Eagles vs. Giants all-time seriesThe Giants and Eagles are tied all-time, 85-85-2. The Eagles have won five consecutive games in the series and 9 out of 10 to even things up. The Giants last won in November 2016. Manning was the starting quarterback in that game. He is 10-20 against the Eagles in his 30 starts.Three trends to know— 55 percent of spread bettors like the Giants to cover the near double-digit number on the short road trip. 61 percent of moneyline bettors like the Giants to pull the upset straight up.— Something has to give in terms of the cover, because the Giants and the Eagles are both 4-8 against the spread this season. In terms of over/under, 7 of 12 Giants have gone over, while only 6 of 12 Eagles games have gone over.— The Giants have lost eight consecutive games. They are only 2-6 against the spread in those games. The Eagles have lost three in a row and are 2-5 against the spread in their last 7 games.Three things to watchCan Saquon get going?Saquon Barkley has had a tough sophomore season after a spectacular rookie campaign. Marred by a midseason ankle injury, the Giants’ running back has averaged only 4.0 yards per carry, down a full yard from last season and hasn’t been nearly involved as a receiver after catching 91 passes in 2018. For the Giants to pull the upset he needs to do something significant from scrimmage against the Eagles’ No. 3 run defense.Eli at .500Manning has a career regular-season record of 118-118. With Jones taking over after two games, it was expected the 38-year-old’s number would stay that way given his retirement is imminent. But now he has a chance to rise out of mediocrity or further sink his shaky at best Hall of Fame resume.The Eagles’ receiversThe team should be without wide receiver Nelson Agholor and top power back Jordan Howard. That means a lot more of Alshon Jeffery and tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert in the passing game for Wentz, as well as rookie Miles Sanders, who will handle most of the backfield duties with Howard staying on the shelf again. Philadelphia has struggled to find explosive plays. That won’t change here outside of Sanders after the catch, but it can dominate moving the ball all the way through the red zone. Stat that mattersWentz is 4-1 against the Giants. In those five games, he’s posted a combined 1,206 passing yards for 6 TDs and 3 INTs, with a 90.6 passer rating and 7.27 yards per attempt. He’s coming off his best game in weeks, throwing for 310 yards and 3 TDs and rating 93.6 in the loss to the Dolphins.Eagles vs. Giants predictionThe Giants’ defense cannot stop the Eagles’ running game, Ertz, Goedert and Jeffery. The Giants will have some success throwing the ball, but Barkley should be contained on the ground. Doug Pederson’s team gets closer to another division title, while Pat Shurmur’s team makes him feel even more heat on the hot seat.Eagles 27, Giants 17
Story Links Drake (28-9, 11-0 MVC), which has won 14 consecutive games, scored both of its run early. Junior Taryn Pena (Columbia, Ill.) continued her streak of driving in key runs by providing the Bulldogs’ first run. In the first inning, Pena doubled as junior Kennedy Frank (Chesterfield, Mo.), who reached on a one out fielder’s choice and then stole second, scored for a 1-0 lead. Drake added to its advantage as senior Tasha Alexander (Eddyville, Iowa) crushed a solo home run in the third inning to make it 2-0. Alexander leads the team with three home runs this season. Print Friendly Version CARBONDALE, Ill. – The Drake University softball team edged Southern Illinois, 2-1, Sunday in the finale of a Missouri Valley Conference series. SIU (20-15, 4-6 MVC) scored its only run to cut its deficit to 2-1 in the fifth inning as Kyle Decker hit a leadoff home run off of Drake starter Kailee Smith (Murrieta, Calif.). Smith then got two outs before redshirt junior pitcher Nicole Newman (Davenport, Iowa), who threw her first career no-hitter Saturday in the first of the two wins, came on in relief with a runner on third. Newman escaped the jam with a flyout and later struck out five of the final six Salukis to earn her first save of the year. Full Schedule Roster vs. Valparaiso 4/15/2018 – 2 PM PDF Box Score Next Game: Preview Live Stats Following Sunday’s win, Drake is scheduled to play at South Dakota State April 11 at 3 p.m. The Bulldogs then return to Buel Field to host Valparaiso, April 14-15, in a three-game MVC series. Smith improved to 7-3 with the win after she pitched 4.2 innings and allowed one run on five hits with three strikeouts and zero walks. Newman went 2.1 innings and finished with five strikeouts.