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In this week’s episode of Slate’s sports podcast Hang Up and Listen, Stefan Fatsis, Josh Levin, and Mike Pesca discuss the seeding of the NCAA Tournament, the snubs and the questionable inclusions, and the insanely difficult Midwest region. They are also joined by former Green Bay Packers executive Andrew Brandt to analyze the NFL salary cap, the supposed billion dollars in contracts signed in the first week of free agency, and if any of the numbers actually mean anything. Finally, they talk about the start of Major League Soccer’s season, and whether American soccer fans should feel obligated to support the league.
Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned on the show:
- The bracket for the NCAA Tournament was revealed on Sunday night.
- Selection committee chairman Ron Wellman indicated that the group favored a “body-of-work argument” in several seeding decisions, including issuing Louisville a No. 4 seed.
- Larry Brown’s SMU Mustangs became the first ranked team to miss the tournament since 2004.
- Ken Pomeroy’s rankings have SMU as the nation’s 32nd-best team.
- Andy Glockner pointed out the incredible difficulty of Wichita State’s region, and just how surprising it was that NC State made the tournament.
- Andrew Brandt is ESPN’s NFL business analyst, writes the “Business of Football” column for MMQB, and is the director of Villanova’s Center for the Study of Sports Law.
- Brandt recently wrote articles explaining the NFL salary cap and the franchise tag.
- Darrelle Revis and the Patriots came to an agreement on a very confusing contract.
- The Broncos signed DeMarcus Ware after the Cowboys cut the defensive star.
- Clint Dempsey’s Seattle Sounders fell to Michael Bradley’s Toronto FC on Saturday.
- Deadspin deconstructed a poll claiming MLS is as popular with kids as MLB.
- Last week, the New York Times wrote that MLS is starting to attract more elite talent.
- MLS signed a new deal with ESPN and Fox for its broadcast rights, which will reportedly pay $70 million per year.
- Keegan Pierce wrote a piece for Sports Illustrated in February on whether MLS’s Chivas USA experiment failed.
- Deadspin’s Billy Haisley published a column titled, “Getting Ready For MLS? Allow Us To Convince You Otherwise.”
- Former MLS player Bobby Warshaw responded with a piece titled “Reading Deadspin? Allow A Former MLS Player To Convince You Otherwise.”
- Watch Mike explain how to fill out an NCAA bracket.
Hang Up and Listen’s weekly Chivas USA Goats:
Mike’s Goat: Revealing the secret factor that can sink Amazon book reviews.
Stefan’s Goat: Suggesting the best sports words for Hasbro’s contest to put a new word in the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.
Podcast production and edit by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Casey Butterly.
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