Want to have your mind blown? Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones paid QB Dak Prescott ($160 million) more than he paid for the team in 1989 ($140 million). The Cowboys are worth $5.5 billion today.
Champ Week: Gonzaga Runs the Table
Gonzaga Stays Perfect; Automatic Bids to the NCAA Tournament So Far
Champ Week is in full effect, and we’ve got tickets being punched to the NCAA Tournament. We’ll start with No. 1 overall where Gonzaga just became the first team in six years to enter the tournament with an undefeated season (Kentucky, 2015). The Zags rallied back from a first-half deficit against BYU to win the West Coast Conference championship on Tuesday night (88-78). They outscored the Cougars by 22 in the second half to claim their 19th conference crown. They’re just the 16th team to enter the NCAA Tournament with an undefeated record. No team has run the table and won the National Championship since Indiana (1975-76) 45 years ago.
Want More Ticket-Punching Celebrations?
We’ve got ‘em. A total of 11 automatic bids have been given out already, including five on Tuesday. And another 10 women’s teams have punched their tickets. Here’s the fast-growing list of conference champions as of Tuesday (Mar. 9).
Conference Champions (So Far)
Gonzaga (West Coast)
Oral Roberts (Summit)
Appalachian State (Sun Belt)
Liberty (Atlantic Sun)
Winthrop (Big South)
Cleveland State (Horizon)
Loyola-Chicago (Missouri Valley)
Mount St. Mary’s (Northeast)
Morehead State (Ohio Valley)
NC State (ACC)
South Carolina (SEC)
UConn (Big East)
Belmont (Ohio Valley)
Wright State (Horizon)
South Dakota (Summit)
Gonzaga (West Coast)
Troy (Sun Belt)
That’s 21 early tickets. Only 115 more to fill out the bracket.
Let‘s Play Tag…
All 9 of the NFL’s Franchise-Tagged Players From Deadline Day
The biggest square in franchise-tag bingo was called early on Monday when Dak Prescott got his money. But what about the rest of the league? Nine total players received the franchise tag before Tuesday’s deadline, meaning their potential long-term contracts are reduced to a mere one-year holding cell.
The 4:00 pm ET deadline snuck up on the NFL with only two teams using the tag prior to Tuesday. Here are all the stars playing on one-year rentals.
Franchise Tagged Players
S Justin Simmons (Broncos)
G Brandon Scherff (Washington)
WR Allen Robinson (Bears)
RT Taylor Moton (Panthers)
DT Leonard Williams (Giants)
S Marcus Maye (Jets)
WR Chris Godwin (Bucs)
OT Cam Robinson (Jaguars)
S Marcus Williams (Saints)
Who Didn’t Get Tagged?
Great question. Among the surprising untagged players were LB Shaquil Barrett (Bucs), WR Will Fuller V (Texans), WR Kenny Golladay (Lions), TE Hunter Henry (Chargers) and RB Aaron Jones (Packers). Those five players will be walking into the free-agent market for a bidding war.
Leg 2: Champions League Stunners
FC Porto Shocks Ronaldo & Juventus; Haaland Strikes Twice as Dortmund Survive
The Champions League returned on Tuesday with no shortage of drama. Leg 2 of the Round of 16 came down to the wire in both matches. Cristiano Ronaldo was held scoreless as Juve won Leg 2 but suffered a stunning upset by away goals to FC Porto (4-4, aggregate). Up in Germany, it was Dortmund’s emerging superstar Erling Haaland who paved the way to the quarterfinals.
Scores & Highlights
Juventus def. Porto (3-2) | Lose 4-4
FC Porto’s stunning takedown of Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus came with excess drama in the waning minutes Tuesday in Italy. Juve needed a two-goal victory to overcome their aggregate deficit, but Sergio Oliveira notched the dagger in the 117th minute. Juve, eliminated. Against all odds, FC Porto is heading to the UCL quarters.
Dortmund draw Sevilla (2-2) | Win 5-4
Erling Haaland sent Borussia Dortmund through with two goals early in Leg 2 that gave the German club a 2-0 lead (5-2 aggregate) over Sevilla, but the Spanish side came roaring back with two goals late in the contest. It wasn’t enough in the aggregate scoreline as Haaland and Dortmund advance to the quarter-finals.
PSG vs. Barcelona (PSG Leads 4-1)
Liverpool vs. RB Leipzig (Liverpool Leads 2-0)
*Both matches at 3:00 pm ET
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What is most surprising about the American’s path to Juventus is not how far he has come, but how effortless he has made the journey look. (NY Times)
The 27-year-old two-time Pro Bowler was playing relatively well last season, but Dallas was not. That’s because the Cowboys weren’t—and still aren’t—a particularly good football team. (Bleacher Report)
Since Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin officially joined forces at the start of the 2006-07 season no team in the NHL has had more success than the Penguins. (NBC Sports)
NCAA Tournament Trivia
Yesterday, we asked: Which college basketball conference holds the record for the most bids in a single NCAA Tournament?
Answer: Big East (11 Teams)
In 2011, the Big East Conference sent 11 of its 16 teams to the big dance. It was 3-seed UConn who won it all that year, but nine of the 11 teams failed to reach the sweet sixteen. Only three times has a conference sent nine teams to the NCAA Tournament; 2012 (Big East), 2017 (ACC) and 2018 (ACC). The Big Ten is likely to get nine bids on Sunday.