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Sister Jean No NCAA Title Game Party Plans ... 'Taking a Break'

4/2/2018 12:30 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Sister Jean needs a break -- which means no raging party for the NCAA title game Monday night ... so says a rep for Loyola-Chicago. 

The 98-year-old superstar is apparently exhausted after rolling with the Ramblers during the team's incredible run to the Final Four after traveling with the team for 2 weeks of March Madness.  

"Sr. Jean is getting a much needed break after all of our travel and her media commitments these last few weeks," a rep for the school tells TMZ Sports

"I am not certain if she will be watching the game in the confines of her room, but she will not be watching with the team."

As for her future, the school seems to be easing back on her travel schedule as well -- saying, "[She will not] travel with any our other teams this spring."

Sucks for the Loyola-Chicago track & field team ... Sister Jean was a heck of a good luck charm!

Derrick Williams No Way 'Nova Could Beat NBA Team (Is Totally Right)

4/2/2018 9:06 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Here's former NCAA stud Derrick Williams answering a question that always gets asked -- but to some here at TMZ Sports, it doesn't make any damn sense.

We got Williams at LAX and after talking to him about the turmoil his Arizona Wildcats program is going through -- we wanted to know if he thought Villanova could beat an NBA team.

Before you drag our camera guy, we should say this came after 'Nova obliterating Kansas in their Final Four matchup ... looking every bit like the most dominant team in COLLEGE basketball.

Obviously, Derrick understands that COLLEGE hoops is a different game than the pros, because he says "No way" ... which is obviously the right answer.

BTW ... the worst team in the league right now is the Phoenix Suns, and they're pretty bad so MAYBE if 'Nova got hot from 3 ... they could lose by 30 instead of 40.

Chill out.

Todd Marinovich Arrested Again ... Back In Jail

4/2/2018 8:33 AM PDT

Ex-USC quarterback Todd Marinovich is back in jail after getting arrested twice in 4 days in March.

48-year-old Marinovich -- who has a long history of substance abuse -- was arrested on March 19 (he was released the same day) AND March 23. According to jail records, he's still behind bars.

It's unclear why Marinovich was arrested ... however, in March '17, the former star QB was sentenced to a year probation for an August '16 incident where TM was caught wandering naked in a random person's backyard -- with meth and weed in his possession.

As we reported, Marinovich sought help ... and seemed to be sober and doing well.

In fact, when we spoke with Todd back in April 2017, he told us he was fighting like hell to stay clean for the sake of his kids.

"I've been running [from my addiction] for years and it definitely came a time, especially after the arrest, the humiliation that that brought, the self-loathing that I was feeling, where I was finally willing to do the things necessary to get better."

Story developing ...

Nick Young March Madness? 'I Don't Give a F**k'

4/2/2018 7:07 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Villanova or Michigan??  

Nick Young doesn't give one single "f**k" who wins the game ... telling TMZ Sports he doesn't care for NCAA basketball. 

Swaggy P hit Nightingale nightclub in West Hollywood after his Golden State Warriors beat up on the Phoenix Suns earlier in the day ... so, we tried talking to him about March Madness.

But, Young told us straight-up, "You know, I don't give a f**k about the NCAA."

He didn't explain why ... but maybe it's because his USC Trojans didn't get an invite to the tourney this year. 

Interesting note ... Swaggy's not the only one who's turning the channel -- ratings are reportedly down 3% from last year. 

For those who DO care ... Villanova takes on Michigan in the NCAA Championship Monday night. 

If you're over it ... there's always "American Idol," "Lucifer" or "The Voice." 

Shareef O'Neal LiAngelo Will Make an NBA Roster 'Cause The Balls Have Clout

4/2/2018 12:10 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

LiAngelo Ball will be suiting up for an NBA team next season, and it ain't just 'cause of his talent -- so says Shareef O'Neal.

We spoke to Shareef -- a top NCAA prospect -- after LiAngelo dropped 72 POINTS in an exhibition game out in Lithuania earlier this week ... and asked if he thought the middle Ball bro was NBA-bound.

Reef told us he did, but not because of Gelo's breakout performance. 

"I think he's gonna make it on a team just 'cause his brother's already there, and I feel like just the platform that that family has he can make it on a team," O'Neal told TMZ Sports

We also had to ask Reef if he thinks he could take Gelo 1-on-1, and he was pretty nice about it ... but he didn't take it so easy on his old man, Shaq

Ed O'Bannon College Ain't For Everybody ... LaVar's League Can Help

4/1/2018 12:25 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Former Final Four most valuable player Ed O'Bannon says LaVar Ball's Junior Basketball Association is the answer for a whole host of high school hoopers, who simply don't give a crap about college.

LaVar announced the league a little while back in December, touting it as an alternative for standout prep players who have graduated from high school, but don't want to go to college.

O'Bannon is a longtime critic of the NCAA, having filed a landmark antitrust lawsuit against them back in 2014, and says he's working with LaVar on the league, because he wants players to have options.

"It's an option. Some athletes want to go to college. Some athletes want their education right away, some athletes like to go to class, but some don't.

O'Bannon actually even calls out the name of a guy who's the poster child for NOT wanting to go to school -- Ben Simmons -- saying he's the perfect example of a dude who just wanted his check.

"He said, i'm here because I'm told we have to go," later adding, "Some guys just have no desire to go to school, it's not for everyone."

Kenny Smith Bathes in Duke's Tears ... After They Miss Final 4

3/26/2018 6:45 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Look away, Blue Devils fans -- Kenny Smith is basking in the glory of Duke's Elite 8 loss to Kansas ... and he ain't holdin' back!

"When UNC is out of it, my alma mater, it's like, 'Anybody but Duke.' So, I'm good right now," Kenny told TMZ Sports. "Anybody but Duke -- that's my motto."

You'd think Kenny would be more upset that his Tar Heels got bounced in the 2nd round ... but seems like Duke getting squeezed was just as sweet for The Jet.

In fact, Kenny was pumped to talk hoops about the teams that did make the Final 4. He goes deep on Loyola-Chicago and Sister Jean ... and tells us which team outta the 4 will be left standing.

John Kasich I'm a Big Sam Darnold Fan But IDK If Browns Pick Him

3/22/2018 8:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

It's a good thing John Kasich ain't gonna be in the Browns' war room at the draft next month ... 'cause as much as he loves Sam Darnold, the Ohio Gov. says he has no clue if he's the guy for Cleveland.

TMZ Sports spoke with Kasich -- our unofficial Ohio sports analyst -- about who the Browns should take with the No. 1 overall pick ... and he says the experts have him 2nd-guessing his love for the USC star.

BTW -- Darnold CRUSHED his pro day (in the rain!!) on Wednesday ... and now there's buzz he's a lock for the top pick.

But not for Kasich ... he breaks down his conundrum, but tells us one pick he DID actually get right.

Shareef O'Neal I'm Cool with The NBA Age Limit ... But Hey, Some Kids Need Money!

3/18/2018 12:55 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Here's high school basketball phenom Shareef O'Neal going deep on one of the hottest topics in basketball -- the NBA age limit (19) ... which screws some players and helps others. 

'Reef gets that not everyone grew up with Shaq money and some players need to get those life-changing checks ASAP, instead of spending a year playing for free. 

"They might just do that to feed their families," Shareef told TMZ Sports. "I think that's why a lot of kids go 1-and-done."

But he also thinks NCAA basketball is the best way to prepare players for the pros -- and he points to the current NBA rookie class ... guys like Ben Simmons, Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum -- who are holding their own with the best in the world. 

Recently, there's been a lot of talk about finding alternatives to the NCAA -- even LaVar Ball's trying to get in on the action -- but 'Reef argues that 1 year of college education is better than none.

"I think they should just leave it how it is ... college gets kids ready for the NBA," O'Neal said.

FYI, Shareef previously told us he would be 1-and-done too despite being comfortable financially ... but now, it seems like he ain't so sure.

No doubt UCLA's pumped either way -- after losing BOTH Ball bros.

Barry Switzer I Should've Made WAY More Money ... I Totally Deserved It

3/17/2018 12:05 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Hall of Fame coach Barry Switzer is letting the world know he's been CHEATED by father time, saying the HUGE money that the football coaches are making now should've been his ... and he's got PROOF.

Switzer was on Capitol Hill wheelin' and dealin' with the Washington types (on behalf of search and rescue dogs) when we asked him about the insane salaries some NFL players are making. 

That's not what Barry wanted to talk about, though -- 'cause he let loose on what the guys in the headsets are making ... and how he feels like he got the short end of the money stick.

"What about the coaches?! The salaries these damn coaches are getting! I got paid $24k a year, went 32-1-1, won 2 national championships, 2 undefeated seasons back-to-back ... I didn't even get a bonus! We were on probation (at Oklahoma)."

Just for some comparison, Jimbo Fisher, who has 1 national title, just signed a 10-year $75 MILLION contract to bolt Florida State and head to Texas A&M.

Man might have a point.

Barack Obama Reveals NCAA Bracket ... Picks Mich. State!

3/14/2018 1:26 PM PDT
Breaking News

Donald Trump (45) won't do one ... but Barack Obama (44) is still filling out his March Madness bracket -- and he's picking Michigan State -- a 3 seed -- to win it all!!!

"Just because I have more time to watch games doesn’t mean my picks will be better," Obama wrote ... "but here are my brackets this year."

So, who's he got? There are some upsets in there including Loyola-Chicago (11) over Miami (6). 

He also has Texas (10) over Nevada (7). 

Obama also has Syracuse (11) beating Arizona State in the playoff game and then beating TCU (6). 

His Final Four -- Virginia (1), North Carolina (2), Villanova (1) and Michigan State (3). 

The official tournament starts Thursday.

Of course, President Obama went to Harvard ... but they suck at basketball and didn't make the NCAA tourney. 

Maybe next year?

March Madness White House Has 'High Stakes' Pool ... Says Deputy Press Sec.

3/14/2018 12:20 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Trump's White House ain't playin' when it comes to March Madness -- so says Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah, who tells TMZ Sports a "very high stakes" pool is ON for the tourney.

You might remember -- Donald caused quite a stir last year when he broke Obama's tradition and didn't fill out a bracket.

So ... does this Oval Office pool signal a change of heart for POTUS??

Raj wouldn't say ... but he did reveal his pick -- and told us D.C.'s other power players are split on who's going all the way.

Before you call foul -- Shah did NOT say cash was involved. Plus, it seems like an Executive Order covers them anyway.

Bllionaire Alec Gores Obama's Idea Sucks Just Pay College Hoopers Already

3/10/2018 12:35 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Billionaire dude Alec Gores says Barack Obama's "NBA Junior" idea ain't gonna work ... and if the NBA and NCAA want to fix college basketball there's only one way -- PAY THE PLAYERS!!

Gores is worth a cool $2 bil so, when we got him out on the town in L.A., we wanted to know if he thought it was time for another billion dollar entity -- the NCAA -- to break bread with their players.

"Absolutely they should pay," Gores said ... "It will reduce corruption, they should get paid. Period, end of the story."

Obama has floated the idea the NBA should create a junior league for younger players -- and when we asked Gores about that he showed the ex-Prez absolutely ZERO love.

"No. I don't like that."

As for LaVar Ball's plan to create a semi-pro league -- Gores says he's free to do whatever he wants, "It's a free country" ... but he clearly thinks the best idea is to just pony up to the NCAA players already.  

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