Brad Evans

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Brad "The Big Noise" Evans is Yahoo! Sports fantasy’s resident baseball, football and bracketology expert.

  • Deron Williams' clutch three will forever live in Illini lore. (AP)Deron Williams' clutch three will forever live in Illini lore. (AP)

    Ten years, two kids and an uncountable number of head hairs ago, I plopped down on the couch, turned on the tube and witnessed arguably the single greatest NCAA Tournament Elite Eight game this century, a transcendent battle that still resonates with many casual and dedicated fans today.

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    Arizona/Illinois. Allstate Arena. Chicago. March 26, 2005.

    It was a clash of basketball titans. The Wildcats, the No. 3 seed led by legendary silver fox Lute Olsen, were loaded with future NBA talent – Channing Frye, Hasaan Adams, Salim Stoudamire and Mustafa Shakur. They blazed a trail to the Midwest Regional Final by dismantling Utah St. and UAB while sneaking by a fiery three-point shooting club from Stillwater, Oklahoma St.

    Meanwhile their nemesis, No. 1 seed Illinois coached by Bruce Weber, was 35-1 and the college basketball media darling that year. Its charismatic leader Dee Brown, who graced Sports Illustrated’s tournament

    Read More »from Reflecting on the greatest Elite Eight game ever played -- Arizona/Illinois '05
  • Bracket Lames: High-seed Notre Dame to suffer all too familiar fate

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    Records, they can be deceiving.

    Take Notre Dame for instance.

    On the surface, the Irish’s 29-5 mark and ACC tournament crown are prizewinning. With victories against Michigan St., Purdue, North Carolina and Duke and no unsightly losses, their favorable tourney spot, slotting in as the No. 3 seed in the Kentucky Invitational/Midwest region, was rightfully earned. 

    However, inspect Notre Dame's profile closer and its crookery is unmasked. The Irish are frauds. And it’s only a matter of time before their scam sends them packing to South Bend.

    Giving credit where credit is due, Mike Brey’s bunch is one of the most electric offensive teams in the entire field. Their 1.223 points per possession ranks No. 2 in the nation. Jerian Grant, arguably the finest scoring point guard around, has surpassed the 20-point threshold in 11 games this year. Patrick Connaughton, who doubles as a top pitching prospect in the

    Read More »from Bracket Lames: High-seed Notre Dame to suffer all too familiar fate
  • Bracket Flames: Boomer Sooner! Oklahoma one of six tourney sleepers

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    When discussing college basketball’s most successful active coaches, the usual suspects are rattled off – Mike Krzyzewski, John Calipari, Jim Boeheim, Bill Self and Roy Williams. However, Oklahoma’s Lon Kruger is rarely, if ever, mentioned in the same breath as his more publicized colleagues.  

    He deserves to be.

    In his 29 years of head coaching at the collegiate level, Kruger’s list of accomplishments depicts a well-traveled, yet incredibly consistent, career:

    • 549 career wins (39th all-time, ninth-most active)

    • 61.4 win percentage

    • Four conference Coach of the Year awards in three different leagues (SEC, Big Ten, Mountain West)

    • 16 NCAA tournament appearances

    • Only coach in NCAA history to take five different teams (Kansas St., Florida, Illinois, UNLV, Oklahoma) to the Big Dance

    • One Final Four (Florida in 1994)  

    To be fair, his overall profile isn’t devoid of criticism. Only one time during his

    Read More »from Bracket Flames: Boomer Sooner! Oklahoma one of six tourney sleepers
  • 2015 NCAA Tournament Tips 101: Understanding March Madness

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    For years your ears have been bombarded by a foreign language spewed by sports junkies congregating in the office. Every March, talk of "brackets," "seeds" and "Cinderellas" around copy machines and water coolers are inescapable. Badgered repeatedly by the hoop heads to participate in their cutthroat tournament game, you – a diligent worker on the outside dedicated to fattening the company's bottom line but internally yearning for much, much more – have historically stiff-armed their advancements. After all, conformity is a threat to your work ethic and individuality.

    Kentucky is the heavy favorite to win a crown much sweeter than its SEC Championship trophy. (USA TODAY Sports)Kentucky is the heavy favorite to win a crown much sweeter than its SEC Championship trophy. (USA TODAY Sports)However, this time each year you notice productivity around the office slips dramatically. Important meetings are skipped. Lunch rules are stretched. And TPS reports sit unresolved. Enough is enough. You too want to stick it to the man. More importantly, you want to silence the annoying, self-proclaimed experts at their own little game …

    If

    Read More »from 2015 NCAA Tournament Tips 101: Understanding March Madness
  • Rapid React: Fly Eagles, fly! DeMarco Murray lands in Philly

    In the latest episode of "As the Chip Turns," the unpredictable ball coach pulled one over on one of his biggest rivals.

    Reigning rush king and former Dallas Cowboy, DeMarco Murray, is headed to the City of Brotherly Love.

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    For Eagles fans, the twists and turns of the NFL free agency period have been gut-wrenching. The nucleus of last year’s offense – LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin and Nick Foles – are gone, leading many to believe Kelly is a deranged egomaniac hell-bent on ruining the franchise. Murray’s acquisition, though, is a true feather-in-the-cap, a paramount signing that should ease concern.

    Murray was nothing short of spectacular last year. Running behind an elite offensive line, he managed to stay healthy, routinely shed tackles, racked receptions and morphed into a fantasy megastar.  His 19.0 fantasy points per game in standard settings set the pace among RBs. Also ranking favorably in

    Read More »from Rapid React: Fly Eagles, fly! DeMarco Murray lands in Philly
  • In four weeks, Indianapolis will host the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four.

    Come January, the Colts could again make an appearance in the NFL version.

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    Indy’s rather young offense added considerable age and potency signing high-performing veterans Andre Johnson and Frank Gore, who spurned Philly.

    For fantasy purposes, the impacts are far reaching. Gore’s arrival means Trent Richardson’s reign of fantasy suckage has mercifully come to an end. The ex-Niner totaled 255 carries, 1,103 yards and four scores on the Left Coast a season ago, netting a laudable 4.3 yards per carry. His dwindling yards after contact numbers – he gained a bland 53.1 percent of his yards after contact in ’14 – and 31-year-old body raise concern, but much like Ahmad Bradshaw before him, he should be a highly utilized rusher, particularly near the goal-line. Boom Herron will spell him on pass downs,

    Read More »from Rapid React: Colts add Gore, Johnson, on fast track to AFC superiority
  • Rapid React: Graham, Foles, Bradford shockingly change addresses

    As first reported by Mr. Scoops, Jay Glazer, Jimmy Graham and a fourth-round pick were shipped from New Orleans to Seattle for center Max Unger and a first rounder.

    Well … that was out of left field.

    The move is an enormous shot in the arm for a Seattle passing offense sorely lacking big-play receivers. Doug Baldwin has shown flashes and Paul Richardson and Super Bowl standout Chris Matthews offer upside, but adding Graham is a game changer.  At 6-foot-7, 265-pounds, the man is Groot with a helmet. A touchdown scoring machine, he’s routinely dunked footballs averaging 138.3 targets, 88.7 receptions, 1099 receiving yards and 11.5 scores per season since 2011. As a result, he’s finished inside the tight end top-four in four consecutive seasons. The man is a beast.

    Unfortunately, his address change could reduce his numbers measurably. Seattle’s largely conservative offense likely won’t open up, especially with Marshawn Lynch back. Graham will continue to be a red-zone staple and is

    Read More »from Rapid React: Graham, Foles, Bradford shockingly change addresses
  • Rapid React: Jets install Marshall plan, acquire WR from Bears

    Only a couple days removed from the earth-shattering LeSean McCoy-to-Buffalo transaction, another, more predictable player was sent packing to a new team.

    Acquired from Chicago for a fifth-round draft pick, Brandon Marshall is a Jet.

    Geno Smith, you have no more excuses.

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    With Eric Decker, Percy Harvin (for now) and Marshall on roster, New York’s revamped wide receiver corps, a terrible unit two seasons ago, is now quite respectable. Decker and Marshall are big, physical receivers capable of racking 90-plus catches apiece. They’re adept route runners and strong red-zone targets. Their presence could open up the underneath screen/slant game for the shifty Harvin. In light of Marshall’s arrival, the often disgruntled wideout must be wearing a smile.

    Assuming Smith is manning the controls, Marshall’s fantasy value obviously takes a step back. However, all is not entirely lost. New Jets coach, Todd Bowles, is

    Read More »from Rapid React: Jets install Marshall plan, acquire WR from Bears
  • In the first jaw-dropping move of what is sure to be a wild and wacky NFL offseason, the Eagles flipped the fantasy world on its collective head.

    Running back LeSean McCoy, off a somewhat disappointing campaign, was shipped to Buffalo for linebacker Kiko Alonso.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

    At first glance, most would assume swapping Eagles green for Bills blue is a significant downgrade for the multi-time Pro Bowl selection. Philly’s high-powered offense and frenetic pace favored McCoy’s versatile skill set. However, after his yards per carry dropped dramatically a season ago (5.1 in ’13 to 4.2 last year) along with his performance near the goal-line, the rusher became expendable in Chip Kelly’s eyes.

    The offensive philosophy in Buffalo is, for all intents and purposes, polar opposite that of its trade partner. The Bills, under new head coach Rex Ryan and OC Greg Roman, plan to install a "ground and pound" scheme. Recall in Ryan’s last three

    Read More »from LeSean McCoy's move to Buffalo could boost running back's fantasy stock
  • Still recuperating from your midweek bar crawl? Are you nostril deep in term paper research? Have no fear, fellow bracketeers. As a companion to the Bracket Big Board, the I.D. is here to highlight all the college hardwood action from the week that was and preview the most pivotal matchups of the weekend. 

    On March 20, 2010, college basketball fans were struck by sudden wonderment.

    Transfixed on a NCAA Tournament second-round game in Oklahoma City, they watched as a classic David vs. Goliath story unfolded.

    Northern Iowa, a No. 9 seed and heavy underdog, waged war against top-ranked Kansas. After falling behind double digits midway through the second half, the Jayhawks, knowing their Final Four hopes were quickly fading, mounted a furious comeback. Within minutes the Panthers’ cushion deflated to one. Momentum swung. For Cinderella, midnight was fast approaching.

    However, with roughly 35 seconds to go, a grind-it-out guard sporting a champion’s name caught a pass from Kwadzo Ahelegbe,

    Read More »from Interpretive Dance: Little giant Northern Iowa a legit Final Four contender

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