Georgia Tech won its second ACC series of the season over the weekend, claiming two of three against Duke on their way to a 14-5 record for the season. Tech rode strong pitching performances the entire weekend, but Brandon Gold's 7-inning shutout on Sunday really proved which team was better -- the Jackets shut out Duke 4-0 in the rubber game. Gold continues to impress as a two-way player, now having thrown 22 straight scoreless innings as a starter. I keep telling myself that his hot start has to end at some point, but now I'm beginning to believe that he's just this good -- not many guys can go three long starts without allowing a single run.
Former Georgia Tech defensive end Michael Johnson, who was one of the marquee free agent signings last season when he agreed to a huge contract in Tampa Bay, will rejoin his former team in Cincinnati for the next few seasons. Johnson saw his production tank with the Buccaneers, eventually leading to his release just last week. He and the Bengals honestly made off like bandits in this deal -- Johnson's contract had $24 million guaranteed and Cincinnati still gets an upcoming third-round draft pick as compensation for losing him just last season.
The March Madness bracket was released yesterday, and it features some interesting decisions by the selection committee as well as some obvious choices. One surprise is that UVA was snubbed as one seed, instead entered as a two seed for the East Regional along with one seed Villanova. It is safe to say that the ACC won the bracket so far -- the conference has a one seed (Duke), a two seed (UVA), a three seed (Notre Dame), two four seeds (UNC and Lousville), and an eight seed (NC State).
Just the day before the bracket was released, the ACC Tournament concluded with the Irish of Notre Dame claiming the title over UNC. Both teams played arguably their best basketball of the season during the tournament, but Notre Dame ended up being too much to handle late in the game for the Tar Heels. Jerian Grant, who went down in history for dunking on Georgia Tech, led all scorers with 24 points.
What are your bold March Madness picks?
Have a great Monday!