Yahoo Sports AM: Sweet 16


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๐Ÿšจ Headlines

โšพ๏ธ Ohtani update: Shohei Ohtani will speak to the media today for the first time since the illegal gambling and theft allegations involving him and his ex-interpreter emerged during the Dodgers’ trip to South Korea.

๐Ÿ€ Coaching hires: Michigan is hiring FAU’s Dusty May to replace Juwan Howard; West Virginia is hiring Darian DeVries from Drake. His son, Tucker (21.6 ppg), is expected to follow him.

โ›ณ๏ธ Golf winners: Peter Malnati, who wears a bucket hat and plays a yellow ball, won the Valspar Championship for his first PGA Tour title since 2015; Nelly Korda won the Seri Pak Championship to return to world No. 1.

๐Ÿˆ Sneed to Tennessee: The Chiefs are reportedly trading star cornerback L’Jarius Sneed to the Titans, who plan to sign the 27-year-old to a new contract that will make him one of the highest-paid corners in NFL history.

๐Ÿ’ The field is set: Boston College secured the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA men’s hockey tournament, with BU, Denver and Michigan State getting the other top seeds. Regional play begins Thursday. See the bracket.


๐Ÿ€ The Sweet 16 is set

Who had Clemson in the Sweet 16? Not me. (Justin Ford/Getty Images)

Who had Clemson in the Sweet 16? Not me. (Justin Ford/Getty Images)

Higher seeds took care of business during the first weekend of March Madness. The result? A Sweet 16 full of powerhouse programs and devoid of small-conference charm.

Last teams standing: The top eight overall seeds made the Sweet 16 for just the fifth time since the tournament expanded to 64 teams, joining 1989, 1995, 2009 and 2019. The only double-digit seed is two-time national champion NC State, and the only teams from non-power conferences are Gonzaga, a juggernaut, and last year’s runner-up, San Diego State.

Matchups:

  • Thursday: No. 2 Arizona vs. No. 6 Clemson (Los Angeles); No. 1 UConn vs. No. 5 San Diego State (Boston); No. 1 UNC vs. No. 4 Alabama (Los Angeles); No. 2 Iowa State vs. No. 3 Illinois (Boston)

  • Friday: No. 2 Marquette vs. No. 11 NC State (Dallas); No. 1 Purdue vs. No. 5 Gonzaga (Detroit); No. 1 Houston vs. No. 4 Duke (Dallas); No. 2 Tennessee vs. No. 3 Creighton (Detroit)

Field notes:

  • Big East/ACC redemption: The Big East (6-0) and ACC (8-1) have been dominant and make up seven of the 16 remaining teams. A bit of redemption for a league that felt it should have gotten more bids (Big East) and one that was dismissed as being shallow all season (ACC).

  • Rematch in Boston: UConn and San Diego State will face off on Thursday in a rematch of last year’s national championship game, which the Huskies won by 17 points.

  • Fives still alive: Every seed line from 1-8 has produced at least one national champion โ€” except the 5-seed. Gonzaga and San Diego State will be hoping to break the curse.

Stat of the day: Virginia, Baylor and Kansas have each won titles in the last five tournaments, and they all failed to make it out of the first weekend in any of the four years they didn’t win it all. Really makes you appreciate Gonzaga’s run of nine straight Sweet 16 appearances.

ICYMI: Houston’s 100-95 (OT) win over Texas A&M on Sunday was an instant classic.


๐Ÿ€ Mulkey vs. the media

(Andy Hancock/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

(Andy Hancock/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

LSU blew out Middle Tennessee on Sunday to roll into the Sweet 16, but the biggest story surrounding the Tigers โ€” and arguably the biggest story surrounding women’s basketball โ€” is head coach Kim Mulkey’s clash with the Washington Post.

ICYMI: Mulkey responded to a rumored article from the Post with a seething four-minute statement on Saturday, threatening the outlet with a lawsuit and claiming the reporter involved has acted unethically.

From Yahoo Sports‘ Dan Wetzel:

“Seemingly everything and anything has happened through the years in the men’s and women’s tournaments, but coaches preemptively warring with newspapers over yet-to-be published stories may be a new one. In March’s most unexpected, but already quite heated clash, Mulkey isn’t backing down. Here is guessing the Post isn’t either.”

Sunday scoreboard: Joining LSU in the Sweet 16 are No. 1 South Carolina, No. 1 Texas, No. 2 Stanford (survived No. 7 Iowa State in an OT thriller), No. 3 Oregon State, No. 5 Baylor, No. 5 Colorado and No. 7 Duke (16-point comeback to upset No. 2 Ohio State).


โšฝ๏ธ USA 2, Mexico 0

Christian Pulisic hugs Tyler Adams after his first-half goal. (Stephen Nadler/ISI Photos/Getty Images for USSF)

Christian Pulisic hugs Tyler Adams after his first-half goal. (Stephen Nadler/ISI Photos/Getty Images for USSF)

The USMNT beat Mexico, 2-0, on Sunday night at Jerry World to win its third straight CONCACAF Nations League title.

  • Highlights: Tyler Adams’ sensational long-distance strike put the U.S. up 1-0 in the 45th minute, and Gio Reyna’s half-volley in the 63rd minute made it 2-0.

  • Lowlight: The match was suspended multiple times because of homophobic chants by pro-Mexico fans, a repeat of what happened in last year’s final.

One-sided rivalry: The USMNT has now beaten Mexico in four consecutive regional finals and gone seven games unbeaten in a rivalry that used to be two-sided, but is now very one-sided.


๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Photos across America

(Gil Talbot/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

(Gil Talbot/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Durham, New Hampshire โ€” Ohio State won its second women’s hockey national title on Sunday, beating Wisconsin, 1-0, in a revenge match after the Badgers beat them by the same score in last year’s championship game.

Andre Lima points to the bite mark on his arm. (Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Andre Lima points to the bite mark on his arm. (Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Las Vegas โ€” Igor Severino was disqualified from his first career UFC bout โ€” and later kicked out of the UFC โ€” after biting opponent Andre Lima. Lima was a good sport about it, even getting a commemorative tattoo.

Carter Starocci celebrates his victory. (Brett Rojo/USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

Carter Starocci celebrates his victory. (Brett Rojo/USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

Kansas City โ€” Penn State won its third straight wrestling national championship on Saturday behind seniors Carter Starocci and Aaron Brooks, the sixth and seventh wrestlers ever to win four individual titles.

(Alex Slitz/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

(Alex Slitz/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Athens, Georgia โ€” Virginia won its fourth straight women’s swimming title* on Saturday behind sisters Alex (far left) and Gretchen Walsh (far right), who are expected to be among Team USA’s biggest stars at this summer’s Olympics.

*Exclusive club: The Cavaliers are just the third women’s swimming program to pull off a four-peat, joining Texas (1984-88) and Stanford (1992-96).


๐ŸŒŽ Photos around the world

(Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

(Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Melbourne โ€” Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz won Saturday’s Australian Grand Prix two weeks after getting his appendix removed, snapping Max Verstappen’s nine-race win streak after he was forced to retire (brake malfunction).

(Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

(Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Montreal โ€” American Ilia Malinin, 19, won his first figure skating world championship on Saturday with a record-breaking performance that featured six quad jumps. On the women’s side, Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto became the first woman to three-peat in nearly 60 years.

(Jure Makoveck/AFP via Getty Images)

(Jure Makoveck/AFP via Getty Images)

Planica, Slovenia โ€” Austria’s Daniel Huber clinched the ski flying championship at Sunday’s ski jumping world cup finale.

(Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

(Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

Wevelgem, Belgium โ€” The women’s peloton rides through Flanders Fields during Sunday’s one-day Gent-Wevelgem cycling race.


๐Ÿ“† March 25, 1934: The first Masters

Smith pars the 16th. (Bettmann Archives/Getty Images)

Smith pars the 16th. (Bettmann Archives/Getty Images)

90 years ago today, Horton Smith won the inaugural Masters, sinking a 20-foot birdie on the 17th hole to take a one stroke lead he wouldn’t relinquish.

Prize money: Smith took home $1,500 of the $5,000 purse ($35,000 of $85,000, adjusted for inflation). Last year, John Rahm pocketed $3.24 million of the $18 million purse.

More on this day:

  • ๐Ÿ€ 1961: St. Joe’s beat Utah, 127-120 (4OT), in the NCAA tournament’s third-place game โ€” a forgotten classic soon overshadowed by a game-fixing scandal.*

  • ๐Ÿ’ 1982: Wayne Gretzky became the first NHL player to score 200 points in a season. He’d reach the mark three more times, and remains the only player to do so even once.

*The aftermath: St. Joe’s was stripped of its win after three of its players were found to have shaved points in three games that season. They were among the 37 students from 22 schools that were ultimately arrested for the nationwide scandal. Georgetown forward and future NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue later found out he’d played in one of the fixed games, which helped birth his staunch, anti-gambling stance.


๐Ÿ“บ Watchlist: More Madness

(Taylor Wilhelm/Yahoo Sports)

(Taylor Wilhelm/Yahoo Sports)

The women’s second round concludes today with eight games headlined by Caitlin Clark in primetime.

  • Afternoon: No. 2 Notre Dame (-9.5) vs. No. 7 Ole Miss (2pm ET, ESPN); No. 3 NC State (-5.5) vs. No. 6 Tennessee (4pm, ESPN)

  • Evening: No. 3 UConn vs. No. 6 Syracuse (6pm, ESPN); No. 4 Indiana (-8.5) vs. No. 5 Oklahoma (6:30pm, ESPN2)

  • Primetime: No. 1 Iowa (-15.5) vs. No. 8 West Virginia (8pm, ESPN); No. 2 UCLA (-9.5) vs. No. 7 Creighton (8:30pm, ESPN2)

  • Late night: No. 1 USC (-10.5) vs. No. 8 Kansas (10pm, ESPN); No. 4 Gonzaga (-1.5) vs. No. 5 Utah (10:30pm, ESPN2)

More to watch:

  • ๐Ÿ€ NBA: Celtics at Hawks (7:30pm, NBA); 76ers at Kings (10pm, NBA)

  • ๐ŸŽพ Tennis: Miami Open* (11am, Tennis)

  • ๐Ÿ’ NHL: Golden Knights at Blues (8pm, NHL)

  • ๐Ÿ’ PWHL: Boston at New York (7pm, YouTube)

  • โšพ๏ธ Spring training: Mets at Yankees (1pm, MLB); Cardinals at Cubs (4pm, MLB); Red Sox at Rangers (8pm, MLB)

*Headliners: No. 4 Alexander Zverev vs. No. 31 Christopher Eubanks (12pm), No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz vs. Gael Monfils (7pm) in the Round of 32; No. 3 Coco Gauff vs. No. 23 Caroline Garcia (2:35pm), No. 1 Iga ลšwiฤ…tek vs. No. 14 Ekaterina Alexandrova (8:30pm) in the Round of 16.


โšพ๏ธ MLB trivia

(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Opening Day is this week! Can you name the last five World Series champions?

Hint: Three NL, two AL.

Answer at the bottom.


โค๏ธ Why we love sports

(Frank Franklin II/AP Photo)

(Frank Franklin II/AP Photo)

Northwestern legend Boo Buie shared a beautiful moment with coach Chris Collins on Sunday as the senior came off the floor for the final time as a Wildcat.

“I love you. You’re like family. We did this together. You’ll always be family. I’ve got your back for life.” โ€” An emotional Collins

Do yourself a favor and watch. What sports are all about.


Trivia answer: Nationals (2019), Dodgers (2020), Braves (2021), Astros (2022), Rangers (2023)

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