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Cavaliers reportedly parting ways with coach John Beilein ahead of matchup with Wizards

Cavaliers reportedly parting ways with coach John Beilein ahead of matchup with Wizards

As the Wizards continue to enjoy the All-Star break and prepare for the stretch run toward the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, their first opponent following the break just made a significant change to their team. 

According to The Athletic's Shams Charania and Jason Lloyd, the Cavaliers and head coach John Beilein have agreed to part ways after 54 games. It was Beilein's first year on the job after a 12-year run at Michigan. 

Cleveland is expected to promote associate head coach J.B. Bickerstaff to replace Beilein. 

According to The Athletic's report, several factors weighed on Beilein and the Cavaliers' decision to part ways, including the team's on-and-off-court struggles, and his son's resignation at Niagra University. The Cavs were 14-40 under their new head coach this season. 

For the Wizards, they're in a position to build off a two-game winning streak they built going into the All-Star break with a matchup against a bad Cavaliers team going through major structural changes. Though it's possible the Cavs could play better under new leadership. 

Entering Friday's clash with the Cavs, Washington sits three games behind the Magic for the last playoff spot in the East. 

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Today in tournament history: Moe Wagner leads Michigan over Loyola Chicago in the 2018 Final Four

Today in tournament history: Moe Wagner leads Michigan over Loyola Chicago in the 2018 Final Four

Moe Wagner had an outstanding 2018 NCAA Tournament. But after advancing past the Elite Eight, he and the Michigan Wolverines faced their toughest test yet.

Sister Jean and the 11-seeded Loyola-Chicago Ramblers.

Wagner threw a friendly jab at the underdog's 98-year-old school chaplain before the two programs squared off with a shot at the national championship on the line.

Sister Jean, who had more trash-talking experience than the Wolverines' starting five combined, wasn't going to go easy on the Ramblers' Final Four opponent.

Jean's comments must've shaken Michigan before tip-off.

After the ref tipped the ball off to start the first half, it was all Ramblers.

Loyola-Chicago tied up the ballgame at 15-apiece with 5:56 to go in the first half and controlled the game. 

Wagner carried the scoring load in the first half (11 points on 5-for-8 shooting, 1-for-2 from three), but his teammates went a combined 4-23 from the field.

The Ramblers coasted into the halftime break, leading 29-22, despite Wagner controlling the glass with 11 boards, giving him a first-half double-double.

The second half was a different story. 

Michigan cut the Ramblers lead to six with 11:19 to go in regulation and didn't look back.

As crunch time approached, Loyola had no answer for Wagner. 

The Wolverines center was in the zone, out-scoring the Ramblers 11-4 by himself during a four-minute stretch late in the second half. 

From that point on, with an eight-point lead and just 3:03 to go in regulation, Loyola's season was slowly slipping away.

John Beilein's squad would close out on a 10-6 run to take down the Ramblers.

Despite the loss, Sister Jean was all-class, taking the defeat like a champ, as Loyola-Chicago's improbable tourney run had come to an end.

Wagner finished the game with 24 points and 15 rebounds, and singlehandedly catapulted his squad to the national championship game.

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Jordan McRae predicted his own trade from the Wizards, sort of

Jordan McRae predicted his own trade from the Wizards, sort of

During his time in Washington, Jordan McRae was known for getting buckets and for his great sense of humor. However, nobody was aware of McRae's fortune-telling ability.

When a trade at the deadline sent McRae to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Shabazz Napier, McRae had joked about the possibility in the locker room just moments before he found out. 

"I'm in the locker room that day saying, 'Hey man, somebody isn't going to be here at the end of the day,'" McRae told NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller on the latest episode of the Wizards Talk podcast. "Then Troy looks at me and says, 'It might be you.'

"Then I say, 'It might be me, I'm including myself.'"

He was right. 

LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW ON THE WIZARDS TALK PODCAST

"I practiced that day, it was a good practice," McRae said. "I actually stayed really long that day too. I happened to get treatment, I was talking to Sashi [Brown]."

"Then I was outside the building on the phone and someone else was calling me -- it was Tommy [Shepphard]." 

McRae was in the midst of having the best season of his career in Washington. Averaging 12.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists all marked career highs for him and assisted the Wizards in one of the top-scoring offenses in the NBA.  

"Denver was nice, it was cool, but it came to a point when the coach and GM said 'hey, this year you're not really going to play,'" McRae said. "At this stage of my career, and the season I'm having, I would just prefer to have a buyout.

"I'm having the best season I've had. I'm not willing to wait, and I'm a free agent."

All jokes aside, the McRae trade was a bit of a surprise due to his production, leadership and locker room presence. McRae, however, took the move in stride.

"I would have never thought I'd be on three teams in one year," McRae said. "But I chose Detroit because they're in a rebuilding phase and it's always good to go to a team that wants you."

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