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As one would expect from a defending World Series champion, the Chicago Cubs arrived in spring training with few questions to answer.
With no major injuries suffered, not a whole lot has changed since then. Out of 25 total roster spots, it still looks like only three are up for grabs.
With Opening Day of the 2017 season now less than two weeks away, the goal here is to predict which players are going to win each of those three spots. As a bonus, the question of who'll be batting leadoff for the Cubs will also be answered.
The NFL's leader in free agent signings made another interesting addition Thursday.
The 30-year-old completed 10-of-18 passes for 93 yards and two interceptions last season as a backup quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys.
Sanchez is in for another backup role, after the Bears signed Mike Glennon to a three-year, $45 million pact earlier this month. The Bears are Sanchez's fifth different team in five seasons. He played the first four years of his career for the New York Jets, before joining the Philadelphia Eagles for two seasons, and the Cowboys for a short stint in 2016. He was also a member of the Denver Broncos.
Iowa City (Iowa) West linebacker Dillon Doyle announced his commitment to the Hawkeyes on Monday evening.
The 6-foot-3, 214-pound standout is the son of Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle.
Central Florida, Northern Illinois and Harvard among others were showing strong interest.
"I've always looked up to the Hawkeyes and I've always wanted to play in black and gold," the younger Doyle told 247Sports. "The thing that was tough for me was turning down a Harvard education, but I believe I made the right decision. I'm getting the opportunity to carry out a dream I've had for my whole life."
Ranked by 247Sports as the No. 3 prospect in the state, Doyle helped lead his team to the state championship game in the fall.
While the Hawkeyes season is finished, there is no shortage of hope for the future.
With all but Jok and (very likely) Dale Jones returning, Iowa will have all but 19.8 points per game coming back.
Jordan Bohannon finished Sunday’s game with 25 points and 13 assists – his third straight double-double – on 7 of 12 shooting from 3-point range. Tyler Cook had 16 points and five rebounds on 7 of 7 shooting – though he did have seven turnovers.
• Iowa opened with an 87-75 victory over South Dakota on Wednesday in a game that drew by far the biggest crowd (12,864) of any NIT first-round game. Peter Jok led the Hawkeyes with 20 points but Jordan Bohannon added 19, Tyler Cook 18 and Isaiah Moss 16. Bohannon added a career-best 11 assists and Cook was 8 for 8 from the field while also grabbing 8 rebounds.
• TCU, under former Pitt coach Jamie Dixon, had a seven-game losing streak to finish the regular season, then upset Kansas in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament. The Horned Frogs defeated Fresno State 66-59 in the first round of the NIT as Kenrich Williams registered his 15th double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Following his team's 64-58 win over Dayton on Friday night, Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall criticized the NCAA tournament selection committee -- again -- for slotting the Flyers as a 7-seed against the Shockers, a team many believe deserved better than a 10-seed.
"And I would like to finish by saying that, once again, I think Dayton deserved a better draw in this tournament," said Marshall, whose team advances to face Kentucky. "I'll finish with that."
Dayton coach Archie Miller, meanwhile, noted the Shockers deserved a higher seed and could beat any team in the country on a neutral floor.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Before Wichita State's 64-58 win over Dayton on Friday in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, coach Gregg Marshall lamented the woes of life outside the Power 5 conferences, such as the challenges of scheduling high-major programs that have no interest in facing dangerous underdogs like the Shockers.
Tulsa, Okla. — Josh Jackson insisted a season’s worth of distractions wouldn’t take away from his focus in his first, and likely last, NCAA Tournament.
The standout Kansas freshman proved true to his word in an opening-round 100-62 victory over UC Davis on Friday night, scoring 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting in his return from a one-game suspension for an accumulation of embarrassing incidents.
The 27-year-old has appeared in 51 games with 22 starts over four seasons with the New Orleans Saints (2013-16) and Seattle Seahawks (2016), recording 113 tackles, 1.5 sacks, two pass breakups, six tackles-for-loss, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Jenkins was selected by the Saints in the third round of the 2013 draft out of Georgia when Bears general manager Ryan Pace worked in New Orleans' personnel department.
The 6-3, 359-pounder was released by the Saints last Nov. 9 and signed by the Seahawks Nov. 15. Jenkins played in nine games with one start last year, registering 13 tackles.