The Stack is back on this Thursday with the same as yesterday, more NFL free agency talk and college basketball conference tournament previews so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Thursday, March 14:
Day 2 NFL free agency big signings
Day 1 of NFL free agency was wild. Day 2 could be considered way crazier by some. There was a lot of wheeling and dealing with moves going left and right. Here are some of the bigger signings from the day...
- WR Wes Welker (2 years, $12 million with the Denver Broncos) formerly with New England.
- RB Reggie Bush (4 years, $16 million with the Detroit Lions) formerly with Miami.
- RB Rashard Mendenhall (one year deal with the Arizona Cardinals) formerly with Pittsbugh.
- WR Danny Amendola (5 years, $31 million with the New England Patriots) formerly with St. Louis.
- DE Cliff Avril (2 years, $15 million with the Seattle Seahawks) formerly with Detroit.
- CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (one year, $5 million with the Denver Broncos) formerly with Philadelphia.
That's a lot of good players who were free agents that have come off the market in two days. Things may get a little quieter the next couple of days, but there will still be plenty of moves. Follow sites like PFT for up to the minute news.
Heat win 20th straight, Lakers lose Kobe Bryant
It was a struggle, but the Miami Heat were able to secure their 20th consecutive victory Wednesday night with a 98-94 road win over the Philadelphia 76ers, the first of a five game road trip. The 76ers gave the Heat all they could handle, but LeBron James and company were just too much. The Heat become just the fourth team in NBA history with a twenty game win streak joining the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers (33), 2007-08 Houston Rockets (22) and the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks (20). Pretty exclusive club and the Heat aren't done yet. They'll get past the Bucks I'm sure and the Rockets. The Lakers record will be very difficult. The Heat visit the Bucks Friday at 8:30 PM ET.
Another team that is among the hottest in the NBA is the Los Angeles Lakers, but their season may have taken a disasterous turn Wednesday night when late in the game against the Atlanta Hakws, Kobe Bryant sprained his ankle attempting a game-tying shot. The news is not good, as it is a severly sprained left ankle and Bryant is out indefinitely. For a team that was really starting to find its groove, to lose their best player is not what they need, especially when they are clinging to the eight seed in the western conference. Now, more than ever before, they need Dwight Howard to step up and show is capable of leading this team. This stretch without Bryant may very well decide whether or not Howard remains a Laker past this season or not. Lakers are at Indiana to take on the Pacers Friday at 7:00 PM ET.
Bucknell punches ticket to he big dance
Bucknell is headed to the NCAA tournament following their 64-56 win over Lafayette in the Patriot League title game. Mike Muscala was big for Bucknell as usual, scoring 20 points and grabbing eleven rebounds. Just another ho-hum double-double. This guy is really good. Bucknell is going to be tough out in the NCAA tournament.
ACC tournament preview
The ACC tournament tips off today in Greensboro and quite frankly, I feel it is Duke's tournament to lose. Miami has fallen off a little bit and North Carolina has lost to Duke twice this year. Thanks to Miami's hot start they are the top seed in the tournament, but I don't trust them. With Ryan Kelly, Duke is looking poised for a deep run not just in the ACC tournament, but the NCAA tournament as well. Duke wins the ACC.
Atlantic 10 tournament preview
This year's A-10 tournament promises to be really exciting. The additions of Butler and VCU have made this conference very good. But Temple is leaving at the end of the year for the Big East and Butler is likely to join the "Catholic 7" so enjoy this tournament, because it's one and done. Likely five teams will make it to the tournament. Saint Louis has proven throughout the regular season that they are the top team. They play tremendous defense. Butler has fallen off a bit, but they are still formiddable. And VCU and Temple are great teams. I'm taking VCU to win the tournament. Even if they don't win the conference tournament, look for VCU to make a run in the NCAA tournament.
Big Sky conference tournament preview
In the Big Sky, the tournament is Montana's to lose. They are a very good team. Weber State, the two seed may be able to keep up with Montana for a while, but the Grizzlies are just too good this year. Montana wins the Big Sky.
Big Ten conference tournament preview
True test of grit and determination. That is what the Big Ten tournament is all about. The winner is truly going to earn it. There are so many really good teams in the conference that if one loses, it shouldn't be looked at negatively. Indiana is the regular season winner following their narrow win over Michigan last week. They can win, but don't count out Michigan State or Ohio State. Heck, Michigan can win it. Dare I say Minnesota if they can find it within themselves to play like the team we saw earlier this season and beat number Indiana just a couple of weeks ago? What a fun tournament this is going to be. It's truly a toss up as to who wins. I'll go out on a limb and take Michigan State though I pick them with zero certainty.
Big West conference tournament preview
Long Beach State is the one seed in the Big West tournament and they are a good team. Head coach Don Munson has done a remarkable job with them. They are just flat out better than the rest of the teams in the conference. Pacific may be able to stay with LBSU for a while, but I'm taking Long Beach State to win the tournament.
Coming up Friday: Reaction to top sports headlines in sports