Thursday Madness, Heat down 27 and win, NFL Rule Changes, Dempsey new US captain + Wednesday Recap: Thursday, March 21, 2013

Louisville and Zags headline Thursday Madness

We got a little taste of Madness the last two nights with the play-in games and minor events. Today we dance for real with Michigan State (-10.5, -127.5) tipping things off at 12:40 PM EST. Tournament top seed Louisville is in action (-26.5, 123.5) taking on Tuesday play-in winner North Carolina A&T. Gonzaga, the No.1 team in the country in the polls and the top seed in the West faces Southern in a 4:10 PM EST tip at Salt Lake City. The Zags will be down 22-0 at the start. Other key Thursday matchups include Missouri (-3, 142.5) and Colorado State. Marquette (-3.5, 132.5) vs Davidson, and Oklahoma State (-2, 134) takes on Oregon.

President Obama analyzes the “Presidential” brackets

Miami down 67-40, storms back to win 24th straight

Down 27 points in third quarter with a 23-game win streak on the line ??? No problem for the Miami Heat who stormed back with a 58-28 run to close the game and beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-95 for their 24th straight win. The Heat now own the second longest win streak in NBA history behind only the 72 Lakers who ran off 33 straight wins. Lebron James Miami back with a 25-12-10 triple-double. Wayne Ellington led six Cavs in double-figures with 20 points. Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert must have loved this one.

NFL drops the tuck rule from the books

Two new rule changes were passed at the NFL owners meetings on Wednesday. The first abolishes the infamous tuck rule. The second eliminates any leading with the crown of the helmet by either an offensive or defensive player. You can read the wording of both rule changes here in an article at CBSsportsline.

Bears part ways with Brian Urlacher

Former All-Pro linebacker Brian Urlacher will not return to the Chicago where has has been the cornerstone of the Bear defense for 13 years. Urlacher and the Bears were not close to ever agreeing to a deal. The former New Mexico star asked for a two-year deal worth $11.5 million to get the ball rolling. Chicago never wavered from its off of one year at $2 million. Age, injuries and money all played key parts in the Bear’s decision.

Klinsmann names Clint Dempsey new US captain

Tottenham Hotspur striker Clint Dempsey has been named the new captain of the US Men’s National Soccer team by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Dempsey will replace former US captain Carlos Bocanegra who was dropped from the team earlier in the week. The US lost its first round World Cup qualifier and plays Costa Rica tonight and Mexico on Wednesday.

From Klinsmann ….

“Clint is one of our most experienced players and ready to assume a more vocal leadership role. … We know he will do a great job for these two important games.”

Free Play

(NCAAB) Virginia Commonwealth -7.5 over Akron (Thursday, March 21, 9:45 PM EST )