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Morning Briefing: Walt Frazier has some strong words for LeBron James

Los Angeles Lakers v Chicago Bulls
LeBron James
(Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images)

It hasn’t been the easiest season for LeBron James. The Lakers have played much worse than expected, he has been injured, and he saw his potential game-winning shot against the Knicks get blocked Sunday. Now, he has to deal with an NBA legend criticizing him.

During Sunday’s game, James was not sitting in the huddle during a timeout. Knicks broadcaster and Basketball Hall of Famer Walt Frazier did not like how that looked.

“When you’re the face of the NBA, I think you should be more a part of your team no matter what is going on,” Frazier said. “In the public, you got to be a part of the team. In the locker room, you’re not, but you have to exude that type of togetherness in public, folks. And right now we see he doesn’t really care.”

When broadcasters for other teams begin to notice. ...

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Seeds of success

Want some extra help on your March Madness office pool? Not that I endorse such potentially illegal activity. No, not at all. But let’s say if you were in an office pool, you might want to know how the NCAA seeded all 68 teams, right? Let’s say the L.A. Times had an annual tournament pool, and let’s say that I won it twice, thanks in small part to having this information. It would be nice of me to share, right? Hypothetically, of course.

Anyway, here’s how all 68 teams were seeded by the selection committee.

1. Duke; 2. Virginia; 3. North Carolina; 4. Gonzaga; 5. Tennessee; 6. Michigan State, 7. Kentucky; 8. Michigan; 9. Houston; 10. Texas Tech.

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11. LSU; 12. Purdue; 13. Kansas; 14. Florida State; 15. Kansas State; 16. Virginia Tech; 17. Marquette; 18. Auburn; 19. Wisconsin; 20. Mississippi State.

21. Villanova; 22. Maryland; 23. Buffalo; 24. Iowa State; 25. Louisville; 26. Nevada; 27. Cincinnati; 28. Wofford; 29. VCU; 30. Syracuse.

31. Mississippi; 32. Utah State; 33. Washington; 34. Central Florida; 35. Baylor; 36. Oklahoma; 37. Iowa; 38. Seton Hall; 39. Minnesota; 40. Florida.

41. Ohio State; 42. Belmont; 43. Temple; 44. St. Mary’s; 45. Arizona State; 46. Murray State; 47. St. John’s; 48. Oregon; 49. New Mexico State; 50. Liberty.

51. UC Irvine; 52. Vermont; 53. St. Louis; 54. Northeastern; 55. Yale; 56. Old Dominion; 57. Georgia State; 58. Northern Kentucky; 59. Montana; 60. Colgate.

61. Bradley; 62. Abilene Christian; 63. Gardner-Webb; 64. Iona; 65. Prairie View; 66. Fairleigh Dickinson; 67. North Dakota State; 68. North Carolina Central.

Extra work for 11s

A big question readers sent in the wake of the men’s bracket announcement Sunday was: Why do No. 11 seeds have to play a First Four game to get into the first round of the tournament?

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It is based on how the tournament selection committee fills out the bracket. The first two things the committee does is select the 36 at-large teams (the other 32 teams receive automatic bids), then seed every team from 1 to 68.

Once the 68 teams are all seeded, seeds 65 through 68 get placed in the First Four. Seeds 65 through 68 are the lowest-seeded automatic-bid teams — ones that get in thanks to winning a conference tournament.

The selection committee then takes the four lowest-seeded teams from the teams receiving an at-large bid. An at-large bid team is one that didn’t get an automatic berth but is in because of how it played during the season. Those teams happen to be seeded 11th.

It’s a fancy way of saying that the four lowest-seeded automatic-bid teams and the four lowest-seeded at-large teams play in the First Four.


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