Pac-12, Baseball Tonight, MLB Spring Signings, March Madness Round Two Picks


March 23rd, 2019

Welcome back!

Have a Great Saturday and Sunday Watching March Madness!

What’s New In Sports:

  • The American Athletic Conference will get $1B for its media rights from ESPN over 12 years, according to sources. The average of $83.3M per year is about four times what the AAC was making in its previous rights agreement with the net, which paid the league just over $20M annually. The new agreement begins in ’20-21 and runs through the ’31-32 academic year.

On This Day In Sports:

  • 1938 Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis frees 74 St L Cardinals minor leaguers
  • 1946 8th NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship: Oklahoma State beats North Carolina, 43-40
  • 1948 10th NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship: Kentucky beats Baylor, 58-42


Larry Scott at the 2018 Pac-12 Media Days.


  • The Pac-12 is seeking $750M from investors, considerably more than the $500M it originally discussed four months ago, according to multiple sources. The conference will distribute $700M of that investment to its 12 schools. The other $50M will go into a new entity to manage the conference’s media rights and networks. The breakdown is detailed in official bid books that the conference sent to potential investors in recent days. (Read More) By Michael Smith and John Ourand
  • It seems the Pac-12 has decided to target even more money from investors. News that the conference was looking to sell a 10 percent equity stake first came out in December, but a former hedge fund manager told CBS’ Dennis Dodd in February the Pac-12’s terms (10 percent for $500 million) were something that was “probably not going to happen,” adding “There’s a big disconnect between what they’re talking and what a fair valuation might be” and that the conference was probably “going to have to give up more than 10 percent [at a] $500 million valuation.” (Read More) By Andrew Bucholtz 
  • Three Pac-12 men’s basketball programs earned bids for the 2019 NCAA Tournament on Selection Sunday with ARIZONA STATE, OREGON and WASHINGTON chosen to represent the league in March Madness. Additionally, COLORADO was selected for the 2019 National Invitation Tournament.
  • In a letter sent to Pac-12 executives following the 2018 season, three former football officials offered a sharp, detailed critique of the conference’s officiating program and asked “for necessary changes in a positive manner.” Mack Gilchrist, Charles Czubin and Fred Gallagher, who have more than 100 years of experience as Pac-12 officials, directed their criticism at commissioner Larry Scott and vice president for officiating David Coleman, but they did not let general counsel Woodie Dixon off the hook. (Read) By

    Photo: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports


  •  Karl Ravech has spent 27 years at ESPN, 25 of those have been spent as the primary studio host of Baseball Tonight. He is the public face of America’s Pastime on ESPN’s MLB coverage. The network plans to use a new SportsCenter segment and increased travel to keep its flagship baseball show fresh in its 30th season. Ravish, “We, as a network, have been criticized as an NFL network or an NBA network and, ‘You’re not a baseball network,” he says. “That’s the one thing that I’ve heard more than anything… ‘You guys don’t do it anymore.’” (Read More) By
  • ESPN’s Baseball Tonight returns for 30th Season with More Roadshows & Daily Segments within SportsCenter. Baseball Tonight Increases its On-Site Presence at Boston Red Sox Home-Opener, London Game, Women’s & Men’s College World Series, Little League World Series, World Series & More. Daily Baseball Tonight Report Segments within SportsCenter to Air throughout the Season. ESPN is strengthening its commitment to Baseball Tonight as it returns for its 30th season of MLB coverage, with more shows, a deeper roster and added daily segments within SportsCenter. Baseball Tonight continues to bring fans closer to the game, televising episodes tied to marquee baseball events all season long, including Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet – the weekly, hour-long Sunday Night Baseball pre-game show. (Read More) By


    Photo: (Getty Images)


  • Chris Sale has passed his physical with the Boston Red Sox, his contract will be announced soon. Sale will earn $30MM in each of the first three seasons of the deal, after which time he has the right to opt out of the remaining two seasons. Those campaigns are valued at $27.5MM, meaning Sale will be deciding on two years and $55MM versus a trip onto the open market. It includes a vesting option at a floating value (minimum $20MM) based upon games started. There are also Cy Young-based escalators in years 2021-24 and in the option year. Sale receives full no-trade protection beginning in the middle of the 2020 season.
  • Astros Justin Verlander are close to an extension, the deal is two years and something around $66MM in guaranteed money. Verlander has now reached his 36th birthday, but you wouldn’t know it from the way he pitched last year. Over 214 frames, he worked to a 2.52 ERA with 12.2 K/9 against just 1.6 BB/9. Verlander averaged over 95 mph with his dominating fastball and jumped to a 14.5% swinging-strike rate easily the highest mark of his storied career.
  • Ichiro Suzuki is a Hall of Famer. That’s not really debatable: Parts of 19 seasons, 3,000-plus hits, Rookie of the Year, MVP, 10 All-Star appearances. But what’s remarkable is that he would’ve been an easy Hall of Fame choice had he retired nearly a decade ago. (Read More) By Keith J. Kelly


Winning Picks-Red, Losing Picks Black

First Round Picks (22 of 32 Winners) Duke, VCU, Miss St., Virginia Tech, Maryland, LSU, Louisville, Michigan State, Tennessee, Cincinnati, Purdue, Villanova, Kansas State, Oregon, Mississippi, Virginia, Gonzaga, Syracuse Murray State, Florida State, Buffalo, Texas Tech, Florida, Michigan, Kentucky, Wofford, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas, New Mexico State, Utah State, North Carolina

  • Saturday Sunday Winners: Duke, Virginia Tech, LSU, Michigan State, Virginia, UC Irvine, Villanova, Tennessee, Gonzaga, Florida State, Texas Tech, Michigan, North Carolina, Kansas, Houston, Kentucky

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