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Sideline View by Dale McKee

Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 10:42 AM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) -

The buzzer beaters, the upsets and all of those wrecked brackets. CBS sports announcer Brent Musburger nicknamed it “March Madness,” and no truer words can describe this year’s exciting NCAA Basketball Tournament. It is definitely a very good year for the lower seeds as Abilene Christian, North Texas, Oral Roberts, Loyola of Chicago, Rutgers and Ohio University garnered upsets over the weekend. The NCAA adopted the name “March Madness” in 1982 as Musburger got the idea from an auto dealer in Chicago who was describing a local high school basketball tournament in the Windy City.

Round Ball Updates

The Jackson State Lady Tigers (18-6) lost to No. 2 Baylor in the NCAA Tournament this past Sunday. The Ole Miss Lady Rebels (13-11) won their first two games in the Women’s NIT in Memphis, downing both Samford and Tulane.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs (16-14) held off St. Louis, 74-68, to advance to round two of the Men’s NIT. MSU will battle Richmond in Denton, Texas, on Thursday at 5 p.m. Ole Miss’s (16-12) season came to a sudden end as the Rebels fell to La. Tech.

The Jones College Lady Bobcats (14-0) for the first time in school history are the nation’s No. 1 JUCO basketball team. Jones will have a demanding week forthcoming, however, as they play Gulf Coast, Hinds, PRC and Shelton State.

Diamond News

No. 2 Mississippi State (16-4, 2-1) won two of the three games in Baton Rouge this past weekend over LSU to begin conference play. MSU will host Arkansas beginning Friday.

No. 4 Ole Miss (16-4, 3-0) swept Auburn over the weekend and will head to Alabama for a three game set to begin Thursday night.

USM (12-6) swept Missouri State this past weekend as the Golden Eagles downed the alma mater of their coach Scott Berry. USM will travel to Alabama Tuesday before hosting Lane Burroughs’s Louisiana Tech Bulldogs this weekend in a four-game series that will be the conference series opener for both teams.

Jackson State (11-5) enters the week on an eight-game winning streak.

Kiss An Angel Good Morning

The Texas Rangers baseball club honored Sledge native Charley Pride as they named their spring training field in Surprise, Arizona, after the former Negro leaguer and minor leaguer of the 1950s who turned to music full-time in the 1960s.

The Chicago White Sox picked up Taylorsville native Billy Hamilton this past week. Hamilton is known for his speed and has swiped 305 stolen bases in his eight-year MLB career. He has played in 840 MLB games and has a career batting average of .241. The White Sox have three other Mississippians on their roster in former Ole Miss hurler Lance Lynn, East Central’s Tim Anderson and Ocean Springs product Garrett Crochet.

Football News

The Mississippi Raiders held their American Arena League inaugural football game Saturday night in Hattiesburg against the San Antonio Gunslingers but fell to the Gunslingers, 46-23. The Raiders will play their next games at home on April 10 against the Carolina Predators and on April 17 hosting the Tampa Bay Tornadoes. Kickoffs are set for 7 p.m. in the Forrest County Multi-Purpose Center.

Jackson State (3-1) fell for the first time at Alabama State, 35-28. The Tigers will be back home Saturday at 1 p.m. against Southern University. Belhaven (2-2) downed Southwestern, 21-7, and will head to Howard Payne in ASC playoffs action this Saturday.

The USM Golden Eagles will conclude Will Hall’s first spring training as head football coach with a two-hour scrimmage in M.M. Roberts Stadium Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

Mike Leach of Mississippi State has hired former USM and Alcorn coach Jay Hopson as a defensive analyst.

Veteran Hinds CC athletic director and former head football coach Gene Murphy is hanging up the whistle after 38 years. His 172 wins are fourth all-time in the Mississippi JUCO ranks behind George Sekul (204), Bobby Franklin (201) and Sim Cooley (187).

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