Sports Today: Bracket busted yet? NFL bonuses paid, coaching moves and more

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Sports Today: Bracket busted yet? NFL bonuses paid, coaching moves and more

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SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 16: Bryant McIntosh #30 of the Northwestern Wildcats celebrates with teammates after defeating the Vanderbilt Commodores during the first round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 16, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

How’s your bracket? 

I had a solid first day that would have been great if Providence hadn’t thrown its game against Northwestern and the kid from Princeton had made his potential game-winner. 

All of my Sweet 16 teams are still alive, and that’s the most important thing at this point. 

This must have been a fairly predictable day as I am still only in the 31st percentile on the ESPN bracket challenge, and considering the only upsets by seed were Xavier and Middle Tennessee State (who was favored over Minnesota), that probably makes sense. 

Day one of the 2017 tournament was not overflowing with excitement, but it wasn’t bad. It was just kinda there. 

Most of the games were competitive, there just wasn’t a lot of excitement at the end. 

Xavier’s win was a prime example. The Musketeers scored an upset over Maryland, though the Big Ten being down this year lessened the surprise. Down to the final minutes, a Terrapins run could have changed things in a hurry.  

Nonetheless, we will be back this afternoon with another live blog to help you follow along in case you’re stuck at work or just can’t watch for some reason. 

Be sure to follow along! 

Of course today is the day the tournament starts for the Dayton Flyers. 

They will take on Wichita State at 7:10 tonight, and our people in Indianapolis are all over it. 

David Jablonski has seven things to know about the game, and UD senior Kyle Davis says the Flyers are going to shock the world

Also, did you know tournament appearances really can boost a colleges profile with prospective students? Dayton got a bump in applications a couple of years ago... 

The Raiders play at Michigan in the second round Saturday. 

The women’s NCAA tournament starts today with Ohio State facing Western Kentucky. The Dayton women play Louisville tomorrow. 

We’ll have more on both later this morning… 

Indiana added some spice to the first day of the tournament by firing coach Tom Crean right about the time the first game tipped off. 

What that means for Archie Miller remains to be seen, but you can be sure there will be stories calling him a candidate for the job no matter how much interest he may or may not have. 

“I’m not attached to any of that,” he said yesterday. “I think everybody else attaches me to them. I think it speaks volumes about how we do things at Dayton. That's the only thing I concern myself with.

“Growing up as a player, we were taught to eliminate noise and distractions and bring your best to the floor every day and sort of treat that with our players the same way. It wouldn't be right as a coach if you were thinking about anything other than them. That's all I really concern myself with.” 

At this time it’s also interesting to think about the speculation Thad Matta might be interested in taking over at Indiana when Crean was hired... 

The NFL announced its annual performance-based pay increases for the 2016 season, and there were at least two Cincinnati connections. 

Bengals center Russell Bodine got the 12th-biggest bump in pay, earning an extra $314,040.72 for his third year in the league. 

Andrew Norwell, an offensive lineman from Ohio State and Cincinnati Anderson High School, was 20th on the list. The Carolina Panther got a bump of $291,975.48. 

Also on the list: New England Patriots rookie offensive lineman Joe Thuney. The Alter High School grad not only got a Super Bowl ring this year but also a bonus of more than $300,000. 

Jordan Hicks, a linebacker from Lakota West, received a bonus of more than $80,000 after completing his second season with the Philadelphia Eagles… 

Local gems: The Wright State men’s basketball team is not in the NCAA tournament, but former Raiders coach Billy Donlon is. He reflected on his time at WSU while preparing for today’s game between Michigan and Oklahoma State… Alter’s girls are playing for a third straight state championship this morning at Ohio State. This is their fourth consecutive season in the title game… Either Trotwood-Madison or Dunbar will be going to the boys’ state tournament next week. The Rams and Wolverines play Saturday afternoon in a regional final in Kettering… The Reds are having arm troubles throughout the team again, but Brandon Finnegan is there for them to count on

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