Athlon's Essential 11 Links of the Day

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Rounding up the web's best sports links so you don't have to.

<p> The best sports links from the NFL, college football and basketball, MLB, the NBA, NASCAR and the world of entertainment.</p>

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for March 8.

• Cuban-American model Yvette Prieto is making an honest man out of Michael Jordan. The two have announced their engagement.

• It's not exactly T.O. and a Sharpie, but JaVale McGee blocked a shot and then pretended to sign the ball.

• The most entertaining showdown of the NASCAR season so far: Denny Hamlin vs. the governing body.

• One more Deadspin link: The glorious nation of Kazakhstan plays soccer even if the fields are under water.

• Mandatory gives us a petition we can get behind.

• Alphabet soup courtesy of Saturdays Down South: CJ and AJ top the list of the SEC's top LBs.

• Renaldo Balkman was once a first-round pick of the New York Knicks. These days, he's melting down and choking teammates in the Philippines League.

Matt Barkley abused one of his biggest detractors, Merril Hoge, in a subtle, understated way. Well played, Matt; you're back on my first-round board.

• Michael Phelps is new to golf, but he's quickly learned how frustrating it is. This is an Olympic-level club toss.

• I know Augusta National has admitted women members, but let's not get crazy.

Could Kentucky miss the tournament the year after winning the thing? Looks that way right now.

• To commemorate Dennis Rodman's bridge-building trip to North Korea, here's the NBA Jam version of his bromance with Kim Jong Un.

 

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com


March 7

• Somehow, highly paid baseball players are able to entice some lovely ladies to date and even marry them. Here's a rundown of the hottest WAGs in the game, including Ryan Braun's finacee Larisa Fraser (pictured).

• Johnny Football's not the only Aggie capable of video magic. A&M wideout Ryan Swope auditions for the all-hands team in this video.

• It's Spring Training, but emotions can still run high. Stephen Strasburg and Roy Halladay exchanged a little purposeful chin music yesterday. Not the guys you want throwing at you.

Nerlens Noel can't play right now, but he can bust rhymes. (Is that still what they call it?)

• Nobody's any good at college basketball this year, but that parity has given us plenty of great moments like this one, where a dismal Georgia Tech team beats Miami at the buzzer.

• Hey, college football players: Just because you don't get a concussion doesn't mean you're not destroying your brain. Thus ends today's buzzkill.

• North Korea has a weird way of scoring basketball games. For instance: Dunks count three points. Three-pointers that don't touch the iron count four. Deadspin re-scored some classic NBA games using North Korean rules, and the results are pretty interesting.

• Every SEC team — even Alabama — has spring concerns. Here are the essential questions facing each team in the SEC East.

• King James is making a lucky woman his queen. LeBron James and girlfriend Savannah Brinson have sent out save the date cards. I'm expecting mine to arrive today.

• Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes went 1-for-10 at the free throw line against Auburn. As a result, he was shooting free throws at 3 am this morning.

Paul Pierce snuck into the Sixers huddle during a timeout. They didn't even seem too mad about it.

• College basketball announcer Dan Dakich got called out by a lone sign-holder for being a Hoosier heartbreaker. Even better, he owned up to it on air.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com


March 6

• Hockey doesn't get a lot of love in this column. I'm addressing that shortcoming today by linking to this slideshow of NHL ice girls and cheerleaders.

SI presents the 50 most powerful people in sports. A glance at the list proves that money equals power.

Hugo Chavez is dead, and as with almost any story, there's a sports angle: He once threw out the first pitch at a Mets game, and he thought golf was a bourgeois sport and said golf carts were proof of laziness. He also banned Coke Zero, but that's another story.

Kevin Costner's making a movie called "Draft Day" where he'll play a fictional GM for the Cleveland Browns. He chose Cleveland over Buffalo. What does that say about Buffalo?

Rory McIlroy faced the music in an hour-long press conference. Says he gives himself a red card for his behavior at the Honda. That's a soccer term for a no-no, in case you're wondering.

• I doubt that this has ever happened before: Indiana lost, and then cut down the nets. In their defense, it was Senior Night, and they were celebrating the fact that they had already clinched a tie for the Big Ten title. Maybe they were also celebrating Victor Oladipo's epic block.

• This doesn't happen very often, either: The cops got involved when players from Notre Dame and St. John's briefly brawled.

Championship Week got off to a rousing start. It was upset city in the Big South, and there was a buzzer-beater in the Horizon.

A BBC reporter started openly hitting on Mila Kunis during an interview, asking her to go to a soccer game and to go drinking with him. Mila proved her awesomeness by playing along.

A ranking of the SEC's best defensive ends. Guess who's No. 1? I'll give you a hint: He weighs 270 pounds and just ran a 4.5 40.

• Yankees GM Brian Cashman made two skydiving jumps for charity. On the second, he severely injured his ankle, to the point that the bone was poking through the skin. Not surprisingly, they only released video of the first jump.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com


March 5

• They say we all have a twin somewhere. Remarkably, that includes Kate Upton. Judge for yourself. That's Kate's doppelganger in the picture.

• When it comes to uniforms, Oregon State has always been the frumpy older sister compared to Oregon — the Wynonna Judd to Oregon's Ashley. But that's changing. The Beaver has gotten a makeover.

• JaMarcus Russell decided that fat and lazy was no way to go through life. His comeback attempt is underway, and NFL QB Jeff Garcia is helping out.

• Any A.J. Greens lurking in the SEC ranks this upcoming season? Here's a rundown of what to expect at the wide receiver position down south this year.

• The countdown begins: Vanderbilt and Ole Miss will kick off the 2013 college football season on Thursday, Aug. 29. That's 177 days from today, in case you were wondering.

• Judging from this clip from the World Baseball Classic, the Chinese team needs to work on baserunning fundamentals.

History's biggest journalism fails. Fortunately, Athlon Sports did not make the list.

• Rory McIlroy realizes he screwed up by quitting at the Honda Classic. Time for some damage control.

Some Northern Iowa receiver you never heard of ran a 4.19 40 at Minnesota's pro day. Wow. Take that, CJ.

• Deadspin has the bizarre saga of former Sonics first-round draft pick Robert Swift. It ain't pretty.

Brittney Griner scored 50 points last night, and two of them came on a dunk.

• The Golf Boys — Bubba Watson, Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler and Ben Crane — are at it again. If you like whitebread golf rap (and who doesn't?), you'll love this.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com


March 4

• It's March. That means Madness. These girls are already excited. Speaking of March, here are the 10 best things about the month. For me, the best thing is that it's not February. It's early, but the month has already had its first shining moment.

• Magic Johnson has apparently seen those LeBron James pregame dunks that are better than anything in the official NBA Slam Dunk Contest. He's willing to pony up $1 million to see King James throw down.

• Remember that short-lived show "$#*! My Dad Says"? Or the uncensored Twitter version that inspired it? That concept works in other settings, since plenty of people say stupid $#*!. Like, say, baseball players.

• JoePos says that Rory McIlroy's mid-round departure Friday shows that he can't handle the truth that he's the No. 1 player in the world. Not yet, anyway.

• Attention, college hoops nerds: Here's a chart that includes a link to every single bracket projection on the Internet.

• If the GIF at this link doesn't get you to watch that stupid celebrity diving show "Splash," then nothing will.

Serge Ibaka went Karate Kid on Blake Griffin's nether regions. Suspension likely to follow.

• Here's a scary thought for SEC coaches: Kevin Sumlin expects Johnny Manziel to improve this spring.

A Division III pitcher took out a baserunner with a textbook cross-check. Trouble was, the ball was nowhere in the vicinity, and there's no tackling in baseball.

• This could be the greatest buzzer beater in basketball history. I defy you to send us a better one.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com

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