Virginia Overcomes A Year Of Heartbreak To Become National Champions, Trump Rescinds Cuba Deal

BASKETBALL

With an 85-77 overtime win over Texas Tech, Virginia becomes the NCAA Men’s Basketball Champion. The win marks a year of redemption for the Cavaliers after last seasons embarrassing loss to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (the first time a #1 seed lost to a #16 seed). After last season’s loss, the team received death threats, and according to UVA’s Kyle Guy, “It was humiliation, embarrassment for ourselves and our families and the program. To be able to redeem all that and get this program something that’s never happened before is all that I could ever want.” Monday’s final started off slowly, but then the teams came alive and battled it out forcing overtime where Virginia surged ahead for the win. Congrats to Virginia for winning their first national championship in school history.

BASEBALL

The Trump administration is rescinding a deal made during the Obama administration allowing Major League Baseball to sign Cuban players without having them defect first (which made them targets for human traffickers). The deal had separated Cuba’s baseball league from the Cuban government, making an agreement with MLB and the Cuban Baseball Federation much easier. According to the Treasury Department, “A payment to the Cuban Baseball Federation is a payment to the Cuban government.”

 

 

 

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Baylor Beat Notre Dame For Women’s Championship, Guy Hits 3 Clutch Shots Amid Controversy,Virginia Vs Texas Tech, Auburn Coach Running For Senate

BASKETBALL

It was an exciting weekend of college basketball with Baylor beating Notre Dame to win its third NCAA women’s basketball championship under current coach Kim Mulkey. With the win, Mulkey joins UConn’s Geno Auriemma (with 11 wins) and Tennessee’s Pat Summitt (with 8 wins) to become the third head coach to win more than two national titles. Baylor 82, Notre Dame 81.

In the men’s division, March Madness is almost over with Monday night featuring Virginia vs Texas Tech in the finals. There was a big controversy over the weekend, however, with Virginia’s win over Auburn. With .6 seconds left in the game and Auburn up by 2, the refs called a foul on Auburn’s Samir Doughty. Kyle Guy went to the line and, under immense pressure, made three free throws to win the game 63-62. In addition to the controversial last-second foul, there was also a missed double-dribble violation on Virginia’s Ty Jerome in the last few seconds which would have prevented Guy from going to the foul line. After the game, Guy reflected on the pressure he felt to make the shots and said, “I just literally told myself that we dream of these moments, and to be able to make one happen was special.” He went on to say, “This is the stuff that kids dream of, and I’m just very thankful to be here.”

Virginia will compete with Texas Tech Monday night at 9:20 pm for the National Championship. Neither team has ever won a National Championship, so Monday’s winner will make history.

In other Auburn news, former head coach Tommy Tuberville tweeted he will be running for the US Senate in Alabama against Democratic Senator Doug Jones. Jones won a special election in 2017 and will be running for a full term next year.

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Antetokounmpo Leads Bucks To Best Record, Curry’s Behind Back Pass, KD & LeBron Whisper, Final Four Weekend Lineup

BASKETBALL

In a hard fought game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo led the team to victory with an impressive 45 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 blocks (four of which were on the Sixers big man Joel Embiid) and 0 turnover performance. With the win, the Bucks clinch the best record, (59-20), in the NBA for the third time in franchise history. Bucks 128, Sixers 122

In a 108-90 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, the mighty Steph Curry put on a show at Staples Center with his acrobatic behind the back pass to Kevin Durant. The most intriguing part of the game, occurred at the end of the second quarter when Durant and LeBron huddled together whispering behind towels so no one could lip read what they were saying. Many were wondering if LeBron was trying to convince KD to opt out of his contract and join the Lakers at the end of the season. Durant told reporters, “Everybody wants to know what we’re talking about. It wasn’t even that serious. Just laughing and joking and catching up.”

Enjoy the weekend of NCAA Final Four games

In the women’s bracket, watch Baylor vs Oregon at 7:00 pm and Notre Dame vs UConn at 9:00 pm, Friday, April 5th, with the winners playing for the championship on Sunday, April 7th at 6:00 pm.  And, in the men’s bracket, watch Auburn vs Virginia at 6:09 pm and Texas Tech vs Michigan State at 8:49 pm on Saturday, April 6th. The winners will play for the National Championship on Monday, April 8th at 9:00 pm.

 

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WWE Offers Tryouts To AAF, Dolly Parton’s Sponsorship, Popovich Ejected Again

WRESTLING

After the Alliance of American Football disbanded this week, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) announced they would offer tryouts to AAF players for spots in wrestling. WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon intends to launch another alternative football league (XFL) in the spring of 2020, but the tryout offer was only for his wrestling company not for the XFL.

NASCAR

If you tune in to the race at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend, you’ll notice a very different looking paint job on driver Tyler Reddick’s Chevy. The defending Xfinity Series champion, Reddick, has a new sponsor; nine-time Grammy Award winner Dolly Parton. Reddick was effusive in speaking about the iconic Parton’s sponsorship. He said, “Dolly is an icon and has had a lot of success in her career, which is something I admire while trying to build my own success in NASCAR. Hopefully, we can take Dolly and the No. 2 Camaro to Victory Lane this weekend in her home state of Tennessee. I think that would be really special for everyone who is a fan of hers.”

BASKETBALL

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was ejected from the court for the second time this week. Wednesday’s ejection was surprising in that it came at just 1:03 minutes into the game against the Denver Nuggets. Popovich is likely feeling the pressure as he’s intent on his team securing the #7 seed vs #8 seed in the playoffs in order to avoid playing the Golden State Warriors. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, “Popovich is the first coach to be ejected within the first two minutes of a game since the late Flip Saunders was excused early in a 2012 game (1:46 in) while head coach of the Washington Wizards.” Nuggets 113, Spurs 85

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Harpers Memorable Return To DC, Lonzo Ball Suing BBB Co-Founder, AAF Folding

BASEBALL

Bryce Harper had a memorable return to Washington on Tuesday night. Harper played for the Washington Nationals his whole career (selected in 2010) until he signed a whopping $330 million 13-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2018. The Nationals fans booed him throughout the game, but after two early strikeouts, he came back with vengeance. After a couple of hits beginning in the 5th inning, Harper made his big statement in the 8th with a massive 458 ft home-run (and cool looking bat flip). After the game, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said, “It was pretty powerful, for him to do what he did tonight. In the dugout, (the booing) made us all want to step up and support Bryce.” Phillies 8, Nationals 2

BASKETBALL

LA Lakers guard Lonzo Ball is suing his Big Baller Brand (BBB) co-founder Alan Foster for conspiring to embezzle money and divert funds for his personal use. According to ESPN, Ball and his family did not know Foster had a criminal past, and when he was released from prison, he “embarked on his plan to target Ball and his family and fleece them of millions of dollars.”

FOOTBALL

Well, that didn’t last long. The Alliance of American Football (AAF) has folded with two weeks left in the regular season. The AAF was founded last year with the goal of becoming a feeder league for the NFL.  According to reports, when the NFL Players Association announced that sending their young players to the AAF would violate terms of their collective bargaining agreement, the AAF decided to suspend operations.

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UConn, Notre Dame, Baylor & Oregon In Women’s Final Four, Calipari Signs Lifetime Contract, Murray Dines With Raiders

BASKETBALL

The Women’s Final Four is set, and to no one’s surprise, UConn made the semis for the 20th time. In fact, UConn has been in the Final Four for the past 12 years in a row. Making their ninth trip to the semis, Notre Dame will face their rival UConn. UConn and Notre Dame have played each other 50 times with UConn leading 37-12.  Notre Dame, however, holds bragging rights in Final Four wins at 4-3.  The other matchup features Baylor (4th trip to the semis) taking on Oregon who is playing in the Final Four for the first time.

Tune in Friday, April 5th, 7:00 pm Baylor vs Oregon, 9:00 pm UConn vs Notre Dame on ESPN2

In other NCAA news, Kentucky’s longtime coach John Calipari signed a contract extension to stay with the school for the remainder of his career. According to reports, UCLA was interested in speaking with Calipari for its head coaching position, but Kentucky offered a financial extension and a promise to “serve as an ambassador for the university after his retirement”. At $9.2 million, Calipari is listed as the highest-paid coach in the country.

FOOTBALL

Top quarterback prospect for the NFL draft, Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray, had a workout and dinner with the Oakland Raiders on Monday, raising eyebrows on whether they would trade up from their 4th pick to take him.  Their interest in Murray could also be part of a ploy to make sure other talent is available for their pick. Expect some interesting maneuvers in the next few weeks in anticipation of the April 25th NFL draft.

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Michigan State Ousts Duke, Auburn OT Victory Over Kentucky, Texas Tech & Virginia Round Out Final Four, Luck Marries College Sweetheart

BASKETBALL

An exciting weekend and some big upsets in the NCAA tournament.  Michigan State beat #1 seed Duke and advanced to its first Final Four appearance since 2015 (their 10th all-time).  Michigan State’s Kenny Goins, a redshirt senior who was a walk-on, shot the three-pointer that sealed the win. According to NBA Legend and Michigan State alum, Magic Johnson, “College basketball won today. You see the team that’s been together for a long time win, and maybe that will help guys to say ‘well, I’m OK to stay, maybe I’ve got to work on my talent and my game.’ Because Michigan State (has) got a team full of those guys, and they did OK today.” Michigan State 68, Duke 67

In other NCAA Final Four news, #5 Auburn overcame #2 Kentucky 77-71 in a thrilling overtime victory, clinching its first final four berth in school history.

Rounding out the semis is Texas Tech and Virginia.

On Saturday, April 6th In Minneapolis, Virginia will face Auburn at 6:09 pm EST and Michigan State vs Texas Tech at 8:49 pm. EST.

FOOTBALL

Over the weekend in Prague, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck married his longtime girlfriend Nicole Pechanec. Luck and Pechanec were both elite athletes and classmates at Stanford University. Pechanec was captain of the gymnastics team and represented the Czech national team in the World Games and European Championships.

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Virginia, Texas Tech, Purdue, Gonzaga Advance, Dodgers Historic Opening Day, “Baby Shark”

BASKETBALL

Four teams so far are heading into the Elite Eight. Virginia is on a redemption tour after falling to a much lower seed last year and beat Oregon to advance and take on Purdue on Saturday. In other games, Texas Tech demolished Michigan,  Purdue barely squeaked out an overtime win over Tennessee, and Brandon Clarke was the difference maker in Gonzaga’s win over Florida State. The rest of the Elite Eight teams decided on Friday.

BASEBALL

The Los Angeles Dodgers grabbed opening day headlines with their eight home runs (an Opening Day record) in a win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In other opening day news, 30-year old Texas Ranger shortstop Elvis Andrus debuted his new walk-up song, and it’s a bit out of the ordinary. Andrus’ 20-month old son loves the song “Baby Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo” and according to Andrus, “If you don’t like it, you better get used to it, it’s not going away. Hopefully ‘Baby Shark’ can hit well. … At least get me one hit a day, it’s going to stay.” So far the song seems to be working, as he hit two singles and a home run in a loss to the Chicago Cubs.

 

 

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Outlaw May Be Out Of Tournament, Booker Makes History, MLB’s Opening Day

BASKETBALL

NCAA Sweet 16 rounds continue today and throughout the weekend.  For a ranking of the most exciting of the 8 games to watch, click here.

One of the most watched games will feature top-seeded Duke battling it out with Virginia Tech Friday night in Washington D.C.  Unfortunately for the team, however, one of their top scorers, Ty Outlaw, has been charged with possession of marijuana, and his status for the remainder of the tournament is uncertain. Outlaw is Virginia Tech’s best 3-point shooter and averages 8.7 points and 5.4 rebounds.

In the NBA, Devin Booker became the first Phoenix Suns player to record consecutive 50-point games.  Booker is one of only 10 players in the League to have consecutive 50-point games and is in great company as the other nine are: Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, James Harden, Elgin Baylor, Rick Barry, Bernard King, and Antawn Jamison.

BASEBALL

It’s opening day for Major League Baseball! For predictions on the season, click here.

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Expanded Instant Replay, Mets Sign DeGrom For $137.5 Mill, Avenatti Indicted For Nike Extortion

FOOTBALL

After last year’s NFC Championship game where the New Orleans Saints lost to the LA Rams after the Rams cornerback was not called for a pass interference penalty in the final two minutes of the game, the NFL owners voted to allow expanded instant replay allowing offensive and defensive pass interference penalties to be challenged. Coaches can now “challenge any flags or missed penalties until the final two minutes when such instances are subject to booth review only.”

BASEBALL

The New York Mets signed reigning National League Cy Young Award Jacob DeGrom to a contract extension for five years, $137.5 million.  According to Mets COO Jeff Wilpon,  “This is a tremendous day for Jacob, his family, our fans and the entire Mets organization. Mets fans can celebrate knowing their ace will remain in Flushing.” The season begins on Thursday against the Washington Nationals.

OTHER

New York attorney Michael Avenatti, most famous for representing porn star Stormy Daniels, was indicted for allegedly trying to extort up to $25 million from Nike. Avenatti claims he has evidence against Nike that will “disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal” and even name-dropped two Phoenix Suns rookies, Deandre Ayton and Bol Bol. According to prosecutors, Avenatti “threatened to release the evidence in an attempt to damage Nike’s reputation and market capitalization unless the company paid them at least $22.5 million.”

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