Shaka Smart officially turns down Marquette

March 28, 2014 – 2:56 am by Ryan Phillips

Shaka Smart

On Thursday night, Marquette finally got its answer from Shaka Smart, and it wasn’t the one the school was hoping for. Smart called Marquette Thursday to officially turn down the school’s head basketball coaching job and he will return to Virginia Commonwealth next season.

Former Marquette coach Buzz Williams bolted for Virginia Tech last week and the Golden Eagles quickly identified Smart, a Wisconsin native, as his possible successor. The 36-year-old coach was reportedly offered a very lucrative deal but ultimately opted to remain at VCU.

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NCAA Tournament East Regional ticket prices skyrocket

March 27, 2014 – 3:19 am by Ryan Phillips

Shabazz Napier

New York is going crazy for March Madness. Madison Square Garden will host the East Regional of the NCAA Tournament on Friday and Sunday, and as of Wednesday night ticket prices were going through the roof.

The median price paid on StubHub for a full set of Sweet 16 and Elite Eight tickets at MSG is currently $500. That price also includes tickets purchased before the matchups were set, which means the true current price is certainly much higher.

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Los Angeles Dodgers have baseball’s biggest payroll

March 25, 2014 – 10:08 pm by Ryan Phillips

Zack Greinke

The New York Yankees had owned baseball’s biggest payroll in each of the past 15 seasons. That streak ended on Tuesday, as the Los Angeles Dodgers and their projected payroll of $235 million topped all of Major League Baseball.

The last time the Yankees weren’t atop the payroll rankings was way back in 1998. This year they came in a distant second at $208 million, while the Philadelphia Phillies ($180 million), Boston Red Sox ($163 million) and Detroit Tigers ($162 million) rounded out the top five.

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The best and worst of March Madness, Week 1

March 24, 2014 – 2:12 am by Hickey

APTOPIX NCAA Kentucky Wichita St Basketball.JPEG-0dcf7

It is joy. It is pain. And we cannot get enough.

Every NCAA tournament opening weekend is memorable, but 2014 was particularly hellbent on taking the cake with its mix of upsets, overtime games and improbable buzzer beaters. Yet for all that brilliance, there is an equal amount of sorrow.

Sure, no team from North Carolina has reached the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1979, giving the impression that the meek are inheriting the March earth. Yet at the same time only one true Cinderella remains in the field — Dayton — erasing hopes this year can reprise the mid-major glory that saw the likes of Butler and VCU in the same Final Four.

Here’s a region-by-region look at the best and worst moments, and most dominant performances, of Week 1.

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Jeanie Buss says she’s the boss of the Los Angeles Lakers

March 20, 2014 – 11:42 pm by Ryan Phillips

Jeanie Buss

This hasn’t been a good year for the Los Angeles Lakers. While the team languishes near the bottom of the NBA standings, stars Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash have missed most of the season due to injuries. On top of that, fans of the team just had to watch Laker coaching legend Phil Jackson take over basketball operations for the New York Knicks. But now Jackson’s fiancee is reasserting control of the franchise.

On Thursday Lakers president and governor Jeanie Buss made it clear that the final say with all team matters lies with her now. She invoked a phrase her father, Dr. Jerry Buss, used when referring to his actions involving the franchise, calling her power the “final hammer.”

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2014 NFL Draft: St. Louis Rams “actively” shopping No. 2 pick

March 19, 2014 – 3:44 pm by Ryan Phillips

St. Louis Rams

With the 2014 NFL Draft still more than a month away, there are plenty of rumors out there connecting teams to multiple prospects, and those reports seem to change daily. But one story that has remained the same for weeks now is that the St. Louis Rams are looking to trade the second overall pick. That was further confirmed on Wednesday.

Draft insider Tony Pauline claims the word around Orlando at UCF quarterback Blake Bortles’ pro day, was that the Rams are “actively” shopping the No. 2 pick in the draft. We’ve been hearing that story for quite a while and now Pauline is confirming it.

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68 facts for the 68 teams in the 2014 NCAA Tournament

March 17, 2014 – 8:56 pm by Hickey

2014 NCAA Tournament

With $1 billion potentially on the line, filling out an NCAA tournament bracket takes on more meaning this year than ever before. And thus you will be looking up obscure numbers such as RPI and BPI and offensive and defensive efficiency as you try to fill out that perfect bracket.

Well, numbers are a waste of time. What you need is cold, hard facts. And at Rumors and Rants we are dedicated to delivering you the one vital fact about each school in this year’s tournament that could ultimately be used as the tiebreaking choice as you make your picks. If it helps you get Warren Buffett’s billion, just remember to cut us a little seven-figure piece of that pie for the advice.

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