The G20 NCAA pool

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The G20 NCAA pool

By Adam Hart
CSNNE.com

Look at the President's bracket. Go ahead, I dare you. The left side is a sea of correct picks.

How does he have the time to watch enough basketball to make a bracket superior to mine?

It is not "how," but "why."

LOCATION: White House Situation Room, March 16th. President Barack Obama sits in a luxurious chair, behind which rests a giant poster board covered by a sheet. In walks Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner.

Obama: You know why you're here, right?

Geithner: To learn about your plan for reducing the deficit.

Obama: No, I mean as Treasury Secretary. Why you have the job? . . . Because you remind me of that guy from Ghostbusters II -- the "If I want to bring the baby" guy. He's hilarious . . . I wish you were funny like him.

Geithner: Oh.

Obama: But, yes, you're in the Situation Room to learn of my plan. Aside. Reggie, the sheet.

Presidential aide Reggie Love, a former Duke basketball player, removes the sheet covering the poster board.

Geithner: A March Madness pool? That's your plan?!
Obama: Not just any March Madness pool; it's the richest pool in the history of the world. It's a G20 pool.

Geithner: Wait. I can't even get the G20 to listen to my speeches. How'd you get all 20 member nations to join the pool?

Obama: Not all 20, dummy. Japan is a little busy trying to repair itself.

Love: Scoldingly. Be considerate, Tim.

Geithner: . . . Sorry.

Obama: Staring at Geithner with disappointed eyes for exactly 17 seconds. We don't want Japan to feel bad, so we're still calling it a G20 pool. But 19 is good enough. At 52.6 billion apiece, first place takes home one trillion dollars.

Geithner: No. NO! We are not doing this; no way, no how. I can't justify gambling 52.6 billion on a basketball tournament.

Obama: Too late. Everyone's already put their money in the pot.

Love: Does the 'make it rain' hand gesture.

Geithner: But!

Love: Snorts. The President's not done.

Obama: Thanks, Reggie. To Geithner. It comes down to this, Tim. I still need to get payback on Lula for that Confed Cup stunt he pulled a few years back. I know he's not in charge anymore, but I've been itching to get Brazil. Oh, they'll pay. They'll pay real bad.

Geithner: Is this about shrinking the deficit or revenge?

Obama: Reve . . . the deficit. Yeah, shrinking the deficit. Nasty deficit, always ruining our fun. Whispers to Love. I want a plane flying a sign over Lula's house after Thursday's game. Morehead St. beating Louisville?! Pssh. Brazil's bracket looks like a 2nd grader filled it out. I bet they think you kick the ball into the basket or something. To Geithner. Don't worry, Tim. You'll get your money. I've been studying these teams all season long.

Love: Let's just hope Kansas wins it all.

Geithner: Gulp. Hope?! I thought you left hope on the campaign trail. We can't "hope" when it comes to 52.6 billion.

Obama: Fine. D'you want to me to enter a second bracket?

Geithner: Faints.

A hungry ballplayer: Ex-Sox prospect Moncada sometimes eats 85 Twinkies a week

A hungry ballplayer: Ex-Sox prospect Moncada sometimes eats 85 Twinkies a week

This isn’t your average young and hungry player on the brink of the big leagues.

Yoan Moncada, the ex-Red Sox prospect who was one of the principal pieces in the trade for Chris Sale, has sometimes eaten as many as 85 Twinkies in a week, his agent told ESPN The Magazine

He's still in great shape. Moncada had a huge spring training with the White Sox after a disappointing major-league debut with Boston in September. 

"It's fair to say that Yoan took it as a very personal rejection," his agent, David Hastings, told ESPN The Magazine.

The 21-year-old third baseman has been optioned out of big-league camp, so he’s slated to start the year in Triple-A. But he hit .317 with a .391 on-base percentage and .683 slugging percentage and 3 home runs in 41 at-bats.

Moncada took a $31.5 million signing bonus from the Red Sox, money that the Sox turned into Sale. Moncada, meanwhile, didn’t exactly invest every cent.

Twinkies weren’t his only overindulgence. Per the ESPN The Magazine story, Moncada placed a call in 2015 inquiring about 10 customized cars. 

More from the story: 

Moncada had money to spend on drones, video games, toys and clothes. He sometimes spent $1,500 or more during nights out, David says. After he purchased the second $200,000 car, Josefa [Hastings, David’s wife] tried to talk some sense into him.

"You are being an idiot, just wasting all this money," she told him. "What are you even thinking?”

"Go big or go home," he told her with a smile.

Belichick headlines big-name crowd in attendance at Ohio State pro day

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Belichick headlines big-name crowd in attendance at Ohio State pro day

Bill Belichick has counted both Urban Meyer and Greg Schiano among the list of coaches he trusts. On Thursday, the Patriots coach was in attendance at Ohio State's pro day to watch players who've been coached by both. 

Belichick has been closely tied to both Meyer and Schiano over the years, drafting multiple players from their programs when Meyer was at the University of Florida and Schiano was at Rutgers University. The Schiano connection has been particularly strong in recent years as Belichick's son, Steve, played for Schiano, and the Patriots had three key players in their secondary -- Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon and Logan Ryan -- for the last four seasons who studied under Schiano. 

Now the head coach and associate head coach/defensive coordinator, respectively, Meyer and Schiano have tutored some of this year's top draft prospects. Here's a quick breakdown of some of the top-tier talent hailing from Columbus this year . . . 

Malik Hooker, safety: The 6-foot-1, 206-pounder is expected to be the first true free safety off the board. His impressive ball skills made him a turnover waiting to happen in the Big Ten. 

Marshon Lattimore, corner: With a 38.5-inch vertical and a 4.36-second 40-yard dash time, Lattimore is one of the best draft-eligible athletes this year. He was hampered by hamstring injuries in college, but he's still projected to be one of the first defensive backs taken. 

Gareon Conley, corner: Among the draft's fastest risers after putting together a strong combine (4.44 40-yard dash, 6.68-second three-cone), Conley will give his next team good size (6-feet, 195 pounds) and length (33-inch arms). He may not be as polished as Lattimore, but still could very well be a first-round pick.

Pat Elflein, center: This smart, hard-working pivot may not have the world's best footwork, but he should be among the first players taken at his position. Elflein (6-foot-3, 300 pounds) is a former wrestler who has experience at both center and guard. 

Curtis Samuel, receiver: A true all-purpose threat in college (AP All-American, first-team All-Big Ten), he could have trouble adapting to life as a full-time receiver in the NFL. At 5-11, 196 pounds that's probably where he'll end up.

Raekwon McMillan, linebacker: At 6-2, 240 pounds McMillan was a second-team All-American and a first-team All-Big Ten choice. He's instinctive, but there's some concern as to whether or not he has the strength to hold up inside at the next level. The Patriots, as we've noted, have been looking at the linebacker position throughout the pre-draft process.