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Good morning, frents!
Breaking news overnight: Javy Baez and the Tigers are close to completing a six-year deal that would make him a centerpiece of Detroit's up-and-coming team.
That means the Tigers, Mariners and Rangers combined to spend over half a billion in the last 24 hours to improve their teams in the pre-lockout rush while the Sox and Cubs spent less than a morning run to Dunkin'.
Bulls 133, Hornets 119
Illinois 82, Notre Dame 72
Northwestern at Wake Forest (8, ESPNU)
Brian Kelly chases the green
Call it the Immaculate Defection.
Notre Dame's Brian Kelly shocked the sports world on Monday night, reportedly agreeing to become LSU's next coach. Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports had it first.
On one hand, the move is a surprising one. Kelly just became the all-time winningest coach in Notre Dame history this season and his athletes are still in the running for the College Football Playoff. I wouldn't trust most college football coaches to watch my kids for more than the time it takes to look around a corner, but that's still pretty low.
On the other, the move shouldn't have caught anyone off guard. Kelly was reportedly paid "just" $2.67 million a year in South Bend and LSU looks like it's willing to sign him to a 10-year deal worth more than $100 million. Lincoln Riley's shuffle from Oklahoma to USC earlier in the day kicked off a college coaching arms race that won't end with Kelly suddenly getting a hankering for gumbo. (Matt Nagy to the Irish, anyone?)
Also consider: Kelly reached the sport's highest stage three times when you count the 2012 title game appearance against Alabama. Notre Dame was outclassed each time by a stronger opponent from the South. Kelly is 60 but still has plenty of time to win a national title. Maybe he's taking a page from the Kevin Durant playbook. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
The biggest questions: How attractive does the Notre Dame job remain? And are Irish boosters willing to open their wallets wider if this new era holds?
The Irish post obviously comes with its share of advantages and history that will get candidates through the door. Luke Fickell could keep the ND-Cincinnati pipeline flowing. Iowa State's Matt Campbell has said ND is a destination job.
Both are hot names this offseason. Will they command a salary in the Kelly, Riley and Mel Tucker universe? How much would their staffs cost?
The Irish may still be gunshy after writing $65 million of worthless checks to Charlie Weis, but that doesn't change the fact that money talks.
Notre Dame learned that last night.
Michigan will be making its first Big Ten title game appearance this Saturday since the event began in 2011. Can you name the six schools still waiting for their first appearance?
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News and results
Bulls: Nikola Vucevic bounces back big in Hornets win
Did Vooch read yesterday's Minute? The previously struggling center put up 30 points in a 133-119 win over Charlotte and made all six of his three-pointers. Older brother Lonzo Ball (16 points, eight assists) moved to 2-1 in meetings against Lamelo (18 points, 13 assists). Father Lavar says he wants all three of his sons on the Bulls someday.
Next: The Bulls head to New York on Thursday for their third meeting against the Knicks.
Illini: Kofi Cockburn posts 28 against Irish
The big man made it an awful day for Notre Dame. Despite not taking a shot in the first 12 minutes, Cockburn finished with 28 points in a 82-72 win and leads the nation in scoring at 26.6 points per game. Illini are 5-2.
Bears: Teven Jenkins' decision coming
The Bears have until next Monday to active the rookie tackle from the IR. If they don't, he'll miss the rest of his first season. Jenkins has been active in practice at Halas Hall and been spotted warming up before games, but it remains to be seen if he's ready for actual competition.
1. Matt Brown says Chicago State isn't crazy for thinking about starting a football team and gives a few reasons why. Extra Points
2. The "Fire Nagy" chants are hurting Eddie Jackson's feelings. BearsWire
3. Former Wrigley Field PA announcer Andrew Belleson is the new host of the Locked On Cubs podcast. Locked On Cubs
4. Khalil Mack just sold his mansion in Glencoe for $3.9 million. But no worries: He still has the $7 million condo downtown. Tribune
5. In honor of this Sunday's game, Joe Ziemba has a good podcast on the history of the Bears-Cardinals rivalry. When Football Was Football
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Trivia answer: Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Purdue and Rutgers