Breaking down every area of the bracket, plus why you’ll nonetheless be afraid of the Bucs subsequent season


Good morning, Tuesday! Hope all this daylight later within the day helps shift your temper out of seasonal melancholy. Earlier than you recognize it we’ll have significant twilight baseball with heat summer time air creeping in.

Yesterday was a busy day … NFL free company confirmed up and kicked the door down whereas we had been nonetheless busy processing our faculty hoops brackets. We’ll get into a few of the winners and losers from a relatively chaotic opening day of NFL free company, then we’ll dive deeper into March Insanity and study some picks and predictions for every area. 

Here is a reminder that you simply and your mates can have all of the enjoyable by taking part in our CBS Sports activities bracket video games this 12 months. And one other reminder that, because it’s Tuesday, my mailbox is open to your questions about sports activities, The Grammys, motion pictures, video video games and no matter else you would possibly need to choose my mind about. Shoot me an e mail (pete.blackburn@cbsinteractive.com) and I will choose a few of the greatest and most inventive Q’s for inclusion in tomorrow’s mailbag. 

Get together time. Let’s go. 


📰 What it is advisable know

1. The Buccaneers are conserving the band collectively 🏆

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to hold this occasion going, and might you blame them? Recent off the group’s Tremendous Bowl win in February, the Bucs are retaining a majority of their key free brokers heading into subsequent season. Bruce Arians mentioned this could occur throughout the group’s championship celebration and yesterday it proved to be true. 

  • Shaq Barrett agreed to a four-year, $72 million deal to remain in Tampa simply because the authorized tampering interval opened on Monday
  • Rob Gronkowski may even be returning to the Bucs — on a one-year deal
  • This comes after Tampa Bay already retained Lavonte David (two-year extension) and Chris Godwin (franchise tag) earlier within the offseason

To not make every little thing about Tom Brady, however our Will Brinson and Jonathan Jones raised an excellent level yesterday: Brady’s worth to a franchise is “borderline incalculable.” It is one thing that I talked about right here final Friday: After all Brady supplied the Bucs with an improve at QB when he signed there, however he additionally turned Tampa right into a mannequin franchise and made it a premiere vacation spot within the course of. Not solely did gamers rush to signal there, now they’re leaving cash on the desk to remain there. Brady’s worth is much, far higher than the quantity subsequent to the greenback indicators on his contract. 

However the Bucs weren’t the one group to have a powerful opening to free company. In truth, Brady’s former group additionally had themselves fairly a day…

2. Winners and losers from Day 1 of free company 🏈

Oh, you thought that NFL groups could be hesitant to spend cash after a pandemic season, or at the least head into free company with a tentative strategy? Ha, suppose once more.

Day 1 of free company — or at the least the authorized tampering interval (offers cannot turn out to be official till the brand new league 12 months begins on Wednesday) — started with a bang. A lot of free brokers got here flying off the board and there was loads of cash thrown round, and loads of that cash was handed out (relatively uncharacteristically) by Invoice Belichick and the Patriots. As our Tyler Sullivan wrote: “Belichick rolled into free company like his stimulus verify simply cleared.” 

Spending cash does not at all times make you a winner, however it definitely helped the Pats. Let’s get to the winners and losers:

  • Winner: Patriots — New England had loads of cap area heading into yesterday and so they weren’t afraid to make use of it. They signed high TE Jonnu Smith (4 years, $50 million) to fill a serious place of want, then introduced in receivers Nelson Agholor (two years, $26 million) and Kendrick Bourne (three years, $22.5 million). In addition they made vital additions on the defensive finish, signing LB Matt Judon (4 years, $56 million), Jalen MillsHenry Anderson and Davon Godchaux. It was an especially busy day for Belichick & Co.
  • Loser: Ravens’ go rush — Baltimore took an enormous hit defensively on Monday once they misplaced Yannick Ngakoue to the Raiders and Matt Judon to the Patriots. That is arguably their two high go rushers that they’re going to have to interchange 
  • Winner: Patrick Mahomes – The Chiefs minimize each of their beginning tackles forward of free company final week, however they did comply with a five-year take care of left guard Joe Thuney on Monday. That is excellent news for Mahomes, who just lately restructured his contract to provide the group extra cap area 
  • Loser: Seahawks — Amid all of the hypothesis, they did not do a lot to indicate Russell Wilson that they are dedicated to defending him and serving to him thrive in Seattle. Had they inked an offensive lineman like Thuney, Kevin Zeitler or Corey Linsley (all of whom signed elsewhere on Monday), that might have helped mend a few of the tensions between the ‘Hawks and their star QB

As a Patriots fan myself, it feels bizarre seeing Belichick come out of the gate so scorching with the free company commitments. Occurring a wild spending spree in March is not sometimes how the Pats conduct enterprise, however additionally they do not sometimes have a ton of cash after a 7-9 season, both. You do have to wonder if Belichick (or the powers that be) felt slightly further motivation to amass expertise after watching Brady win a Tremendous Bowl in Tampa Bay this 12 months.

3. Area-by-region March Insanity breakdowns 🏀


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I instructed you we might have heaps extra March Insanity protection this week, did not I? When have I ever allow you to down? (Please do not reply that.)

Our faculty basketball employees has come by means of massive time, as this morning I convey to you deep dives into every area of the bracket. Our specialists have supplied evaluation, predictions, picks and gamers to observe for every of the 4 areas within the event this 12 months. I am simply gonna drop these hyperlinks proper right here so you’ll be able to dive in: 

EAST ✅ SOUTH ✅ MIDWEST ✅  WEST

As the last word fan of chaos, I am most within the inevitable upsets. Let’s check out the upset lock of every area:

  • East: Michigan bounced too early — The Wolverines’ ceiling is championship stage, however the group coming into the event is not the identical one which earned a No. 1 seed. Our Chip Paterson believes the standing of Isaiah Livers is sufficient to concern that Michigan has already performed its greatest basketball this season
  • South: (12) Winthrop over (5) Villanova — Winthrop went 23-1 and hit its stride within the Southern Convention Event. Villanova is 0-2 with out Collin Gillespie after the star guard tore his MCL, and our David Cobb believes there’s little signal the Wildcats have the depth to make a severe run with out him
  • Midwest: (12) Oregon State over (5) Tennessee — It does not sound like Kyle Boone believes in Tennessee in any respect, however he additionally enjoys the group basketball that Oregon State performs
  • West: (12) UCSB over (5) Creighton — UCSB has received 18 of their previous 19 video games, with 10 wins coming by double digits. Creighton scored simply 48 factors in an embarrassing Large East title sport loss to Georgetown, so this one could possibly be a preferred upset choose

As you would possibly’ve guessed, we’re gonna have lots extra protection this week. Solely two extra days till this factor truly will get began and I am unable to wait.

4. Firings hit faculty basketball 🏀

It is an thrilling week in faculty basketball … for some. Nonetheless, as 68 groups prepare for the NCAA Tourney, many extra are coming to phrases with the frustration of not listening to their title referred to as on Choice Sunday. And typically once you ain’t dancing, you ain’t working.

A pair of notable firings in faculty basketball went down on Monday:

Typically the enjoyable is over earlier than it actually even begins. 


📝 Odds & Ends


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📺 What to observe in the present day

🏒 Bruins vs. Penguins, 7 p.m. | PIT -118 | TV: NBCSN  

🏀 Jazz vs. Celtics, 8 p.m. | BOS +4.5 | TV: TNT

🏀 Pelicans vs. Path Blazers, 10 p.m. | POR -1.5 | TV: TNT


🥇 The most effective factor I noticed yesterday

The Buffalo Sabres are taking part in a few of the worst hockey I’ve ever seen in my life proper now. This defensive sequence from final evening’s 6-0 loss to the Capitals was simply downright laughably putrid. And for these conserving monitor at house, the Sabres have now misplaced 11 straight video games whereas being outscored 47-7 in that span.   





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