Brad Evans

  • Reflecting on the greatest Elite Eight game ever played -- Arizona/Illinois '05

    Brad Evans at The Dagger 3 days ago

    Ten years, two kids and an uncountable number of head hairs ago, I plopped down on the couch, turned on the tube and witnessed arguably the single greatest NCAA Tournament Elite Eight game this century, a transcendent battle that still resonates with many casual and dedicated fans today.

    [DraftKings: Play Fantasy College Basketball – Draft your team today!]

    Arizona/Illinois. Allstate Arena. Chicago. March 26, 2005.

    It was a clash of basketball titans. The Wildcats, the No. 3 seed led by legendary silver fox Lute Olsen, were loaded with future NBA talent – Channing Frye, Hasaan Adams, Salim Stoudamire and Mustafa Shakur. They blazed a trail to the Midwest Regional Final by dismantling Utah St. and UAB while sneaking by a fiery three-point shooting club from Stillwater, Oklahoma St.

    And, as an Illinois graduate, Champaign resident and ardent supporter, I was 100-percent emotionally invested in them.

    I relished every moment ... 

    Then the ship slipped into the abyss.

    Indeed it did not.

    Tie game.  

    GAME OVER.

    Bring on the excitement. Bring on new goosebumps. Bring on the Elite Eight. 

    Related Video:

  • Bracket Lames: High-seed Notre Dame to suffer all too familiar fate

    Brad Evans at The Dagger 15 days ago

    Play Tourney Pick'em | Fill out your bracket | Print it | Celebrity Challenge

    Records, they can be deceiving.

    Take Notre Dame for instance.

    On the surface, the Irish’s 29-5 mark and ACC tournament crown are prizewinning. With victories against Michigan St., Purdue, North Carolina and Duke and no unsightly losses, their favorable tourney spot, slotting in as the No. 3 seed in the Kentucky Invitational/Midwest region, was rightfully earned. 

    However, inspect Notre Dame's profile closer and its crookery is unmasked. The Irish are frauds. And it’s only a matter of time before their scam sends them packing to South Bend.

    Unfortunately, though, they posses a fatal flaw, one that historical trends suggest isn't conducive for a fruitful result. 

    It reeks. 

    You think? 

  • Bracket Flames: Boomer Sooner! Oklahoma one of six tourney sleepers

    Brad Evans at The Dagger 15 days ago

    Play Tourney Pick'em | Fill out your bracket | Print it | Celebrity Challenge

    When discussing college basketball’s most successful active coaches, the usual suspects are rattled off – Mike Krzyzewski, John Calipari, Jim Boeheim, Bill Self and Roy Williams. However, Oklahoma’s Lon Kruger is rarely, if ever, mentioned in the same breath as his more publicized colleagues.  

    He deserves to be.

    In his 29 years of head coaching at the collegiate level, Kruger’s list of accomplishments depicts a well-traveled, yet incredibly consistent, career:

    • 549 career wins (39th all-time, ninth-most active)

    • 61.4 win percentage

    • Four conference Coach of the Year awards in three different leagues (SEC, Big Ten, Mountain West)

    • 16 NCAA tournament appearances

    • One Final Four (Florida in 1994)  

  • 2015 NCAA Tournament Tips 101: Understanding March Madness

    Brad Evans at Yahoo Sports 15 days ago

    Play Tourney Pick'em | Fill out your bracket | Print it | Celebrity Challenge

    For years your ears have been bombarded by a foreign language spewed by sports junkies congregating in the office. Every March, talk of "brackets," "seeds" and "Cinderellas" around copy machines and water coolers are inescapable. Badgered repeatedly by the hoop heads to participate in their cutthroat tournament game, you – a diligent worker on the outside dedicated to fattening the company's bottom line but internally yearning for much, much more – have historically stiff-armed their advancements. After all, conformity is a threat to your work ethic and individuality.

    Lace up your Chucks.

    BRACKET BASICS

    What is the NCAA basketball tournament?

    What is March Madness?

  • Rapid React: Fly Eagles, fly! DeMarco Murray lands in Philly

    Brad Evans at Roto Arcade 19 days ago

    In the latest episode of "As the Chip Turns," the unpredictable ball coach pulled one over on one of his biggest rivals.

    Reigning rush king and former Dallas Cowboy, DeMarco Murray, is headed to the City of Brotherly Love.

    [DraftKings: Play Conference Championship Fantasy​ – Free entry with first deposit]

    For Eagles fans, the twists and turns of the NFL free agency period have been gut-wrenching. The nucleus of last year’s offense – LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin and Nick Foles – are gone, leading many to believe Kelly is a deranged egomaniac hell-bent on ruining the franchise. Murray’s acquisition, though, is a true feather-in-the-cap, a paramount signing that should ease concern.

    However, everything may not turn up green for Murray in Philly.

    Because typical fantasy players chase last year’s stats, Murray, who is going inside the top-five on average in early drafts, will be pursued. But the savvy investor, despite nourshing environment, will minimize risk and spend their cash elsewhere.

    Related NFL video:

  • Rapid React: Colts add Gore, Johnson, on fast track to AFC superiority

    Brad Evans at Roto Arcade 19 days ago

    In four weeks, Indianapolis will host the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four.

    Come January, the Colts could again make an appearance in the NFL version.

    [DraftKings: Play Conference Championship Fantasy​ College Basketball. Free Entry to Cash Contest with First Deposit.]

    Indy’s rather young offense added considerable age and potency signing high-performing veterans Andre Johnson and Frank Gore, who spurned Philly.

    [Fill out a Tourney bracket and get a free Big Gulp Drink]

    On the downside, Donte Moncrief dynasty owners are a bit peeved. Johnson is sure to slide into Reggie Wayne’s vacated role leaving the second-year receiver to fight for table scraps. T.Y. Hilton, after all, is the Colts’ best all-around receiver. Given the numerous options on roster, Moncrief may only net a modest increase in targets. Barring unforeseen injuries, it’s hard to imagine him surpassing a 45-650-5 line.

    After its splashy moves, Indy is sure to be the AFC favorite come September. 

  • Rapid React: Graham, Foles, Bradford shockingly change addresses

    Brad Evans at Roto Arcade 20 days ago

    As first reported by Mr. Scoops, Jay Glazer, Jimmy Graham and a fourth-round pick were shipped from New Orleans to Seattle for center Max Unger and a first rounder.

    Well … that was out of left field.

    The move is an enormous shot in the arm for a Seattle passing offense sorely lacking big-play receivers. Doug Baldwin has shown flashes and Paul Richardson and Super Bowl standout Chris Matthews offer upside, but adding Graham is a game changer.  At 6-foot-7, 265-pounds, the man is Groot with a helmet. A touchdown scoring machine, he’s routinely dunked footballs averaging 138.3 targets, 88.7 receptions, 1099 receiving yards and 11.5 scores per season since 2011. As a result, he’s finished inside the tight end top-four in four consecutive seasons. The man is a beast.

    As for Russell Wilson, Graham’s arrival greatly increases his overall value. Already a projected top-five passer by many, he should see an uptick in vertical production, though possibly at a rushing TDs cost. Roughly 27-30 total scores with 4,200-4,500 combined yards are in my fearless forecast. Covet his consistency and multi-dimensional contributions come August.

    Yes, I’m just as perplexed as you.

  • Rapid React: Jets install Marshall plan, acquire WR from Bears

    Brad Evans at Roto Arcade 25 days ago

    Only a couple days removed from the earth-shattering LeSean McCoy-to-Buffalo transaction, another, more predictable player was sent packing to a new team.

    Acquired from Chicago for a fifth-round draft pick, Brandon Marshall is a Jet.

    Geno Smith, you have no more excuses. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today! ]

    With Eric Decker, Percy Harvin (for now) and Marshall on roster, New York’s revamped wide receiver corps, a terrible unit two seasons ago, is now quite respectable. Decker and Marshall are big, physical receivers capable of racking 90-plus catches apiece. They’re adept route runners and strong red-zone targets. Their presence could open up the underneath screen/slant game for the shifty Harvin. In light of Marshall’s arrival, the often disgruntled wideout must be wearing a smile.

    Marshall's move to New York may seem like an enormous downgrade, but the likely discounted receiver should still hold considerable fantasy value this fall. 

    Related video - Yahoo Sports' Frank Schwab on the trade:

  • LeSean McCoy's move to Buffalo could boost running back's fantasy stock

    Brad Evans at Yahoo Sports Fantasy Minute 27 days ago

    In the first jaw-dropping move of what is sure to be a wild and wacky NFL offseason, the Eagles flipped the fantasy world on its collective head.

    Running back LeSean McCoy, off a somewhat disappointing campaign, was shipped to Buffalo for linebacker Kiko Alonso. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today! ]

    At first glance, most would assume swapping Eagles green for Bills blue is a significant downgrade for the multi-time Pro Bowl selection. Philly’s high-powered offense and frenetic pace favored McCoy’s versatile skill set. However, after his yards per carry dropped dramatically a season ago (5.1 in ’13 to 4.2 last year) along with his performance near the goal-line, the rusher became expendable in Chip Kelly’s eyes.

    McCoy was the first shoe to drop. What’s next is anyone’s best guess.

    Buckle up folks. This offseason is going to be one heck of a ride.

    Related video - Shaun King's take on the trade:

  • Interpretive Dance: Little giant Northern Iowa a legit Final Four contender

    Brad Evans at The Dagger 1 mth ago

    Still recuperating from your midweek bar crawl? Are you nostril deep in term paper research? Have no fear, fellow bracketeers. As a companion to the Bracket Big Board, the I.D. is here to highlight all the college hardwood action from the week that was and preview the most pivotal matchups of the weekend. 

    On March 20, 2010, college basketball fans were struck by sudden wonderment.

    Transfixed on a NCAA Tournament second-round game in Oklahoma City, they watched as a classic David vs. Goliath story unfolded.

    Northern Iowa, a No. 9 seed and heavy underdog, waged war against top-ranked Kansas. After falling behind double digits midway through the second half, the Jayhawks, knowing their Final Four hopes were quickly fading, mounted a furious comeback. Within minutes the Panthers’ cushion deflated to one. Momentum swung. For Cinderella, midnight was fast approaching.

    However, with roughly 35 seconds to go, a grind-it-out guard sporting a champion’s name caught a pass from Kwadzo Ahelegbe, toed the arc and, instead of eating clock, let loose, levying a knockout blow of epic proportions.

    DA BULLS (MOVING UP)