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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Stories by Larry Brown:

Tom Izzo again takes issue with Michigan State’s draw

Tom Izzo

Tom Izzo was relieved to see his Spartans advance after a mostly close game with Bradley in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, but he couldn’t resist getting in another shot about his team’s draw.

Michigan State will face Minnesota in the second round of the Big Dance, a team from their conference whom they’ve already beaten this season.

“They’re a completely different team than the one we played … I think Richard (Pitino) has done a hell of a job with that team. And now to play another Big Ten team in the second game, (I) question that, but that’s the way it is,” Izzo said in his postgame interview with Dana Jacobson.

Izzo tilted his head as he said “question that,” to show additional unhappiness over the draw.

This isn’t the first time Izzo has expressed frustration with the Spartans’ draw. When the brackets were first released, he was immediately upset. It was commonly believed that they got screwed by being placed in Duke’s bracket despite being the No. 6 overall seed in the tournament.

Watch: Maryland’s Bruno Fernando blows most powerful dunk ever

Bruno Fernando missed dunk

Bruno Fernando nearly buried Belmont with a monster dunk during the second half of Thursday’s first-round game in the NCAA Tournament, but he miscalculated and lost an easy two points.

Take a look at this powerful dunk he attempted and somehow missed:

Fernando is a powerful guy and might have brought down the house if he nailed that authoritative throwdown. Instead he missed and caused a 4-point swing because Belmont made a basket on the other end.

Watch: Tom Izzo gets heated with Aaron Henry, has to be restrained

Tom Izzo restrained

Tom Izzo got heated with Aaron Henry twice during the second half of Michigan State’s game against Bradley in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday.

Izzo went over and got in Henry’s face during a timeout even though Michigan State was on a 10-0 run early in the second half against Bradley. He had to be restrained. Then during a timeout huddle, he lunged at Henry a second time and had to be held back.

Izzo may have been upset with Henry for leaving an opponent open on a 3-point attempt, which could have triggered things. He’s gone hard after the freshman during the season, so this was a continuation of a pattern.

The Spartans were the No. 6 overall seed in the tournament but were not playing like it against Bradley for the first 30 minutes of the game, which likely played a huge role in Izzo’s anger.

Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals reportedly close on contract extension

Paul Goldschmidt

The St Louis Cardinals gave up some assets to acquire Paul Goldschmidt over the offseason and don’t want to lose him anytime soon. That’s why they’ve worked out a deal to sign him long-term.

The Cardinals and Goldschmidt are close to reaching agreement on a contract extension. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal says the deal will be for at least five years. Derrick Goold says the deal will be worth $130 million.

Goldschmidt is making $15.5 million in 2019 and was set to become a free agent. Instead of losing him, the Cardinals are trying to lock him up. A five-year deal would keep him under contract through 2024, which is his age 36 season.

Goldschmidt has been an All-Star for six straight seasons and finished top-6 in the MVP voting in four of those seasons. Despite his high strikeout totals, he still is a career .297 hitter with a .930 OPS. He also has speed for a first baseman and once stole 32 bases in a season.

Goldschmidt has typically batted second in the order for the Cardinals during Spring Training.

Justin Houston signs with Colts for $24 million over two years

Justin Houston

The Indianapolis Colts are picking up a major pass rusher for the 2019 season.

The Colts have signed Justin Houston to a two-year deal worth $24 million, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Houston was released by the Kansas City Chiefs in a cost-cutting move and had taken his time to find a new team. Though he’s been limited by injuries and hasn’t come close to his 22-sack season of 2014, he’s still an effective pass-rusher.

Houston had nine sacks in 12 games last season and 9.5 the year before. He also forced five fumbles and had an interception last season.

This is a big pickup for the Colts.

Watch: Charles Barkley goes through all the emotions during Auburn’s tight win

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley went through all the emotions during Auburn’s close win over New Mexico State during the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday.

Auburn blew a big lead late in the second half of their game, which led the Aggies to make it a one-possession game. One crazy moment happened when Auburn was up 78-76 in the final seconds and New Mexico State had the ball. The Tigers fouled on a 3-point shot, which gave New Mexico State three free throws down two. Barkley was livid over the foul.

Thankfully for Auburn, New Mexico State only made one of the free throws and missed a final 3-pointer to lose 78-77.

This video shows the reaction from Barkley through the suspense and the victory:

Barkley is the best basketball player in Auburn history and remains a big fan of the program. His passion for his school put him through wringer emotionally.

Wife Bre Tiesi scrubs Johnny Manziel from Instagram profile

Johnny Manziel and wife Bre Tiesi appear to be going through a rough time in their relationship.

Tiesi has removed “Manziel” from her name and removed all photos of her husband from her Instagram profile. Johnny Football has also deleted his Instagram profile. The behavior is odd for both of them and seems to signify some problems.

Manziel recently was dropped by the CFL amid bizarre circumstances. He ended up signing with the Memphis Express of the AAF as he continues to try and revive his football career.

The two got together in 2016 and were engaged by March 2017. They got married in a private ceremony at a California courthouse and have been married for over a year.

Joel Embiid takes jab at Terry Rozier on Instagram after win

Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid is the master troll of the NBA and was at it again on Wednesday.

Embiid put up 37 points and 22 rebounds in a 118-115 win over the Boston Celtics in what was the game of the night. Embiid being Embiid of course had to post on social media after the win and was sure to take a shot at an opponent.

The Sixers big man posted photos of the game on Instagram and marked his location as “Lametown.” As Adam Himmelsbach pointed out, that was a reference to Boston’s Terry Rozier calling Embiid “lame” in an interview. Himmelsbach’s post has two screenshots breaking it down:

Embiid and Rozier have history as the two got in a shoving match during the playoffs last year.

Embiid has somewhat taken things easy on social media before ramping back up on Wednesday night. His last great post came after a win over the Timberwolves in January. He better make sure he can continue to back it all up in case the teams meet in the postseason.