TOP OF THE TOWN – Yeah, I had my doubts about the Gonzaga-Baylor matchup. I wanted the Zags to complete an unbeaten season, but I had a gut feeling Baylor’s excellent guard play would be troubling for them. Bingo. It was. In a big way. Baylor’s quick and fast and talented foursome – Jared Butler, the tournament’s MVP, MaCio Teague, Adam Flagler and Davion Mitchell – shut down Gonzaga’s three-point shot artists and put on a three-point show of their own and Mark Vital, a 6-foot-5 Charles Barkley type, came off the bench to rule in the inside, grabbing 11 rebounds with a block and two assists, as the Bears clawed the Zags, 86-70 to ruin the Spokane’s school undefeated season (31-1) and claim the NCAA championship.  Baylor clearly was the better team. It’s kind of amusing because coach Scott Drew drew players from other programs to put together his 28-2 national championship team. It’s kind of the same tactic Gonzaga’s Mark Few employs, although Few gets most of his overseas. Drew got Mitchell, a can’t miss NBA player, from Auburn, Teague from UNC Asheville, Flagler from Presbyterian and center Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchous from UNLV. No matter where they came from, they showed an united front in battering what seemed to me at times a team that could not be beaten. Well, clearly I was wrong about that. But the Zags have nothing to complain about, not many teams have a chance to win 31 of 32 teams in a season. Yeah, it didn’t end well for them, but in the bigger picture the little Spokane Catholic school of just over 7,000 students shows it belongs on the big stage of college basketball and not just this year, but year after year. So the Zags will be back. … Money can’t buy everything. It sure can help, though. As MLB tells us. The Dodgers have a 2021 payroll of just under a quarter billion dollars. They are followed by the Yankees at just over $200 million. Houston and the Mets are third and fourth and almost tied at just over $190 million. The Mariners are 25th out of the 30 MLB clubs at $77 million. Cleveland is last at almost $50 million. I used to think that you could win it all with a limited budget. After all, how much better is a player making the most in MLB (Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout, $37,116,666) versus the minimum ($570, 500) that the Mariners’ Jose Marmolejos makes? Sure, Trout may be the best player in the game. I will give you that. Anybody, though, who plays in the league has to be pretty good, relatively, don’t you think? There is a difference, but how much? You sprinkle in some players who make a few million, especially pitchers, and you have a chance in a game that really is a kids’ game. See ball, hit ball. See ball, catch ball. See the base, run to it. Pretty simple stuff. Some are better than others, obviously. When I was a kid I was so much better than anybody else in my neighborhood that there was a Mosher Rule: I could not pitch and when I batted I had to hit left-handed and could only hit the ball to right field. Otherwise, my friends in the neighborhood would not play baseball with me. But put me on a team with eight other kids and the teams equal out some. I was valuable as standalone, more so than the other kids. But on a team that included lesser talented kids, my team might not win. So Trout is really good. But he also strikes out. So does Marmolejos. I will insist Trout is not 75 more times valuable than Marmolejos as their salaries tell us. So one Trout with eight other guys of lesser talent is not as dangerous as you would think. And past history shows that. The Angels have trouble making the playoffs, having missed them for seven straight seasons. … I love the mock NFL drafts that swamp the Internet. That’s a sarcasm. I could do one and be just as relative as the rest of them. I won’t, though, because it’s a waste of my time. Looking at a few of them, I believe there is only one certainty. Trevor Lawrence will be picked No. 1 by Jacksonville. Some mockers are saying Lawrence is the best quarterback prospect in the last 40 years. Wow. No pressure at all on Trevor. Teams throw a lot of smoke out there on these mock drafts to hide what they are really going to do. I’m not going to hide. I like Zach Wilson of BYU and Justin Fields of Ohio State to go second and third, although I’m not certain in what order. The best non-quarterbacks in the draft are tight end Kyle Pitts of Florida, a 6-6, 240-pound monster, and Oregon left tackle Penei Sewell, a 6-6, 330-pound monster. The Seahawks could use both Pitts and Sewell. If they had them I would feel a lot better about the Hawk’s contending in the NFC West. As it is, I feel the Seahawks may finish last behind Arizona, San Francisco and the Rams, all three of which have improved during the off-season and the Hawks have not. Ok. That’s enough. Stay safe.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.