Cincinnati Bengals NFL draft selections and order

Published: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 @ 4:28 PM

Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis discusses new offensive line coach Frank Pollack and other changes to his staff as well as the health of John Ross, last year?€™s No. 1 pick.

The 2018 NFL Draft is set for April 26-28. 

After free agency, that will be the next chance the Cincinnati Bengals have to supplement their roster with the type of talent needed to get back to the postseason after a two-year absence. 

Coach Marvin Lewis’ team has 11 picks, including four compensatory selections gained from free agents lost last offseason. 

READ MORE: Marvin Lewis talks about new assistants, their backup QB dilemma and more

Since two of those and another pick from New England fall in the seventh round, the team will have an interesting opportunity to take multiple players late before they hit free agency. 

Stars from Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Iowa, Texas and Ohio State give some insight into the NFL

What might they do with all those picks? 

Director of personnel Duke Tobin said “everything is on the table” with the first pick, even a quarterbackthough that position is more likely to be filled later in the draft (if at all). 

RELATED: The case for the Bengals to draft Lamar Jackson

They are widely expected to try to address major needs on the offensive line early in the draft and may like to infuse more young talent into the defense. 

Bengals picks 

1-21-21 Cincinnati from Buffalo

2-14-46 Cincinnati

3-13-77 Cincinnati

3-36-100 Cincinnati (Compensatory Selection)

4-12-112 Cincinnati

5-14-151 Cincinnati

5-21-158 Cincinnati from Buffalo

5-33-170 Cincinnati (Compensatory Selection)

7-31-249 Cincinnati from New England

7-34-252 Cincinnati (Compensatory Selection)

7-35-253 Cincinnati (Compensatory Selection)

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March Madness: Another First Four team marches well beyond Dayton

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 11:26 AM

Where to watch First Four games

Syracuse kept up an impressive streak for First Four teams in the NCAA tournament by upsetting Michigan State on Sunday. 

The 11th-seeded Orange became the eighth team in eight years to win at least one more game in the tourney after prevailing in their opener in Dayton. 

That includes the Dayton Flyers, who topped Boise State at UD Arena in 2015 and made it to the round of 32. 

RELATED: So much for Ohio’s high hopes in the Big Dance

Syracuse is the fourth team to advance at least as far as the Sweet 16 but the first since Tennessee did so in 2014. 

Things did not go so well for the other 2018 First Four teams. 

St. Bonaventure, also a No. 11 seed, was crushed by No. 6 Florida in its round of 64 game on Friday. 

The No. 16 seeds that won in Dayton also lost over the weekend. 

Texas Southern lost to No. 1 seed Xavier 102-83 while Radford was no match for Villanova, falling 87-61. 

Of course, with Maryland-Baltimore County shocking No. 1 Virginia on Friday night to become the first No. 16 seed ever to win in the round of 64, you can bet next year’s 16 seeds playing in Dayton will have even more hope of pulling off their own upset if they move on. 

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Sports Today: So much for Ohio’s high NCAA tournament hopes

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 10:18 AM

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 18:  Jarron Cumberland #34 of the Cincinnati Bearcats reacts after falling to the Nevada Wolf Pack during the second half in the second round of the 2018 Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 18, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 18: Jarron Cumberland #34 of the Cincinnati Bearcats reacts after falling to the Nevada Wolf Pack during the second half in the second round of the 2018 Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 18, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

I’ve been putting off starting today’s column because I want to try to write the perfect summation of an amazingly imperfect NCAA tournament weekend. 

Is that possible? 

If you didn’t have any beloved teams in the field  that had to be the most fun four days ever to be a sports fan. 

(Unless, of course, you take your bracket too seriously and actually thought you were going to win your office pool.) 

RELATED: Bet on NCAA long shot retrieves big payday for UMBC fans

The handful of ugly games were more than made up for by the drama and the surprises. 

But of course if you’re from Cincinnati or root for Michigan State or Virginia, well, it was probably the worst...

I’m really dumbfounded by the Queen City collapses.

Conference pride is dumb, but I do like state pride (unless it’s Cleveland, which is pretty much Pennsylvania anyway, right?) so I would rather see both the Bearcats and the Musketeers win than lose even though I didn’t grow up rooting for either of them. 

I can’t decide if it is more fitting or more weird that their losses Sunday night were so similar.

Big leads blown.

Costly foul trouble.

Terrible execution down the stretch.

Mick Cronin correctly called for a two-for-one in the last minute of UC’s loss to Nevada, but the execution was awful on both ends. So instead of getting two good shots, he got none — instead the Nevada got two looks and made the second one count. 

Chris Mack botched the end for the X-Men, bafflingly calling for a foul when he could have let his team play out the defensive possession then running a final play that didn’t involve his best player. 

So strange. 

What’s it mean for the city as a whole?

I really don’t know, but I’m not interested in curse talk or any of that fatalistic garbage. Let Cleveland sports fans continue to corner the market on that stuff. It’s dumb. 

Every team has disappointing losses.

No one has the market cornered on heartbreak.

Obviously some places know a lot more about how it feels to win, but let’s not get too dramatic here.

I mean what happened Sunday was bad enough by itself, right? No need to add some greater meaning… 

I did tweet that it’s never going to happen for the Bearcats, though. 

That was obviously a heat-of-the-moment thought, but there is good reason to wonder. 

I thought this was a team whose ability to score separated it from past Bearcat squads, but ultimately they looked completely clueless on that end of the floor as the game wound down. 

Cronin has done a great job rebuilding the program after the administration botched separating itself from Bob Huggins, but if he doesn’t continue to upgrade the recruiting, Bearcats fans shouldn’t bother getting their hopes up in the future. 

Grit and passion can only take you so far, especially since the efforts to improve freedom of movement were surprisingly successful over the past couple of seasons... 

Meanwhile, Xavier is in an entirely different boat. 

Recruiting has steadily improved over the years, and there’s reason to believe that could continue. 

The Musketeers obviously haven’t had as many legitimate Final Four contenders in their history as Cincinnati, but I would still buy stock in their future. 

That’s still true even if Mack goes elsewhere at some point because the program has already handled multiple coaching changes during its rise… 

Meanwhile, Ohio State fell victim to a more conventional problem: The Buckeyes lost to a team with a better seed and a better roster. 

New coach Chris Holtmann was playing with house money all year, and he came out way ahead even without making the Sweet 16. 

The Buckeyes still played two more NCAA tournament games than most people expected they would, so that’s got to be something to build on. 

He’s proven he can coach ‘em up like Mack and Cronin. 

His success will be dictated by how well he recruits… 

How about my bracket?

Yeah, it’s in pretty bad shape. 

I was actually still optimistic midway through Sunday because even some of the big early upsets didn’t hurt me much. 

I didn’t have Virginia or Michigan State in the Elite Eight, so those upsets hurt others more than they hurt me in the long run. 

READ MORE at Marcus Hartman’s “Cus Words Blog

Then North Carolina got blown out, the Cincinnati teams choked and it’s pretty much over for me even though I picked Villanova to win it all. 

On the bright side, my “final answers” bracket is outperforming my first impressions, so I guess a little extra research wasn’t a total waste of time! 

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Bet on NCAA long shot retrieves big payday for UMBC fans

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 2:34 PM

The UMBC Retrievers were not the only happy campers after their victory against top-seeded Virginia. A group of bettors cashed in handsomely.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
The UMBC Retrievers were not the only happy campers after their victory against top-seeded Virginia. A group of bettors cashed in handsomely.(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Eric Barger figured he was throwing his money away when he and a group of friends bet on a No. 16 seed to upset a top-ranked team in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. But the group’s $800 bet on the University of Maryland-Baltimore County men’s basketball team paid off big when the Retrievers shocked No. 1 Virginia 74-54 on Friday.

>> Read more trending news

No. 16 seeds had been 0-for-135 against No. 1s, but UMBC’s win was lucrative for Barger and friends, who cashed a $16,800 winning ticket at The Venetian in Las Vegas, ESPN reported. 

"I go with my boys to Vegas every tournament, and we did pretty well on Thursday," Barger told ESPN. “Me and my buddy Dan went to UMBC, so we spent all day talking up how much we were going to bet.”

Barger said he did not think he had a winning ticket.

"We, of course, thought we were throwing our money down the drain," Barger, 42, told ESPN. “We expected to be down pretty quickly, but we hung in there, and they won by 20. It was surreal.”

Feeling lucky, Barger said he and his friends took $200 each out of their winnings and gambled it on a game of roulette. Their number hit, so they collected an additional $1,900, ESPN reported.

Barger said his group will bet on UMBC again in the Retrievers’ game Sunday night against Kansas State.

“With odds at about 5-to-1, we'll have at least a couple hundred on the game,” Barger told ESPN. “How could we not?"

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Minster girls celebrate another Wildcats state championship

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 12:55 PM
Updated: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 12:55 PM

            Minster’s Ivy Wolf launches. Minster defeated Ottoville 63-48 to win the D-IV girls state basketball championship at OSU’s Schottenstein Center on Saturday, March 17, 2018. ERIC FRANTZ / CONTRIBUTOR
Minster’s Ivy Wolf launches. Minster defeated Ottoville 63-48 to win the D-IV girls state basketball championship at OSU’s Schottenstein Center on Saturday, March 17, 2018. ERIC FRANTZ / CONTRIBUTOR(ERIC FRANTZ / CONTRIBUTOR)

“Rat 1” and “Rat 2.”

That’s what Minster junior Courtney Prenger affectionately calls freshmen basketball teammates Ivy Wolf and Janae Hoying. They’re always in the gym.

“That’s what they are,” Prenger said. “That’s the best kind of rat.”

Thanks to 15 points from each freshman Saturday, Minster rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit to close with a 16-0 run en route to winning the Division IV state final 63-48 over Ottoville before 4,968 fans at the 43rd annual OHSAA girls basketball state tournament inside Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center.

»RELATED: Girls state final four results

Hoying played 23 minutes, was 6-for-6 from the free throw line and had two steals. Wolf had six rebounds and four assists in 27 minutes.

The state title is Minster’s third and first since 2004. The Wildcats (26-3), ranked No. 1 in the computer rankings, were also state champs in 1998.

Minster beat Ottoville 55-54 during the regular season. At that time Hoying was playing junior varsity. She has since made an ascent.

»RELATED: Boys state final four pairings

“Early in the year we knew that in order for us to make a run with the talent we had in our junior and senior classes, Janae had to be a part of it as an extra guard,” Minster head coach Mike Wiss said. “We already had Ivy up. We started to work Janae in in mid-January and it’s continued to grow. We needed to add her to our mix to make this run. This is how it turned out.”

Wolf and Hoying combined to go 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the final 1:08.

»RELATED: Boys regional results

“I knew it would be hard,” Hoying said. “We just had to be able to push through and control the pressure. We got it under control and settled in. You have to have the right mindset.”

Prenger, a Xavier commit, led Minster with 17 points. Senior Taylor Kogge (Ohio Northern recruit) added 12.

The state title is Minster’s 33rd overall as a school and extends a recent run. Wiss coached Minster’s baseball team to a state title last spring, while the Wildcats girls track team finished state runner-up. Last fall, Minster won state titles in football and girls cross country.

“I got some texts (Saturday) morning saying we got our rings, go get yours,” Kogge said. “It highers the standards for everyone.”

Standards are also high at fellow Midwest Athletic Conference member Versailles. The school houses 17 state titles.

Playing in its fourth D-III state final in five years, Versailles fell 53-47 to Columbus Africentric on Saturday. Attendance was 3,572.

Ranked No. 1 in the MaxPreps computer rankings and AP poll, the Tigers finish 28-2.

Down 30-21 at halftime, Versailles outscored Africentric 26-23 in the second half and held a 43-42 lead with 5:06 left on a Lindsey Winner bucket.

Senior Kami McEldowney scored a game-high 16 for Versailles. Senior Danielle Winner had seven points and eight rebounds. Lindsey Winner had eight and nine, respectively.

Versailles’ senior class ends with 101 wins. The Tigers claimed the D-III state title in volleyball in November.

“I can’t remember any athletes at Versailles that have 100 wins in their career and these girls do,” Versailles head coach Jacki Stonebraker said. “That’s an incredible feat considering the games we play and the strength of schedule we have.”

The MAC owns 126 total state titles among member schools.

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