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Good morning. If you’re like us, Selection Sunday and the Grammys left you wanting a personal win. Good thing for the Sprint’s March Madness bracket challenge!
It’s simple: Refer a friend to The Sprint, enter your March Madness bracket(s), maybe win a $100 Amazon Gift Card and a Sprint sweatshirt. More details when you sign up for the Sprint. Also, if you're interested in a unique twitter thread by Nathan, check it out here.
- Blake
In today's Sprint:
🏀   March Madness is back
🏆   Weekend recap
🏒   San Jose... actual sharks?
Trivia: What team broke the longest active NCAA Tournament drought with a bid on Selection Sunday?
  1. Drexel
  2. Appalachian State
  3. Rutgers
  4. Cleveland State

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Road to Indy
Now is a good time to lower your boss’s expectations of you over the next month, specifically on Thursdays and Fridays.
Why?
Because, after a one year hiatus, March Madness is back.
West
  1. Gonzaga
  2. Iowa
  3. Kansas
If a friend tells you Gonzaga is a mid-major, please correct them. Mark Few is building a dynasty from the ground up, reminiscent of what Coach K did with Duke.
This Zags team looks to become the first undefeated national champion since Indiana in 1976.
East
  1. Michigan
  2. Alabama
  3. Texas
Turns out college football’s historic programs know how to play a little basketball, too.
In coach Juwan Howard’s second season, he led Michigan to its first one seed since 1993, when Howard and the rest of the Fab Five ruled college basketball.
South
  1. Baylor
  2. Ohio State
  3. Arkansas
Baylor earned its first one seed in school history by going 22-2 in one of the toughest Big 12’s we’ve seen in years.
Midwest
  1. Illinois
  2. Houston
  3. West Virginia
Illinois has won seven straight, including four against top 10 teams. Plus, Ayo Dosunmu (20.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 5.4 apg) may be college basketball’s best player you haven’t seen play. Don’t worry, he’ll give us plenty more of these highlights in the coming weeks.
Best of the rest
First out: Louisville. If a team drops from the tournament before Thursday due to Covid-19, the Cards take their spot.
Who got snubbed? Belmont (26-4) got left out of both the NCAA and NIT tournaments after losing to Morehead State in the Ohio Valley championship game.

AROUND THE LEAGUES
Sunday Best
Before the selections, we crowned a bunch of new conference champions. Let’s check them out:
ACC: (17-8) Georgia Tech 80 vs. (16-6) #15 Florida State 75
  • The Yellow Jackets snapped an 11-year NCAA Tournament drought.
PAC-12: (17-12) Oregon State 70 vs. (22-8) #23 Colorado 68
  • After being projected among the PAC-12 cellar dwellers, the Beavers won three games in four days to win an outright bid to the big dance.
BIG10: (23-6) #3 Illinois 91 vs. (21-9) #9 Ohio State 88 - OT
  • Illinois captured its first BIG10 tournament championship since 2005.
Big 12: (19-7) #13 Texas 91 vs. (20-8) #12 Oklahoma State 86
  • After passing through the semifinals thanks to a Kansas positive COVID-19 test, the Longhorns more than earned their first ever Big 12 Tournament championship.
SEC: (24-6) #6 Alabama 80 vs. (18-9) LSU 79
  • After winning the SEC Tournament, the Crimson Tide matched their highest ever NCAA Tournament seed. But, until they win a few titles, we can’t quite call them a basketball school.
NCAAW
Big 12: (25-2) #6 Baylor 76 vs. (21-6) #17 West Virginia 50
  • Baylor continued its dominance of the Big 12, winning its 9th Conference Tournament in 10 years.
BIG10: (24-2) #7 Maryland 104 vs. (18-9) Iowa 84
  • The Terps used their superior firepower to set a BIG10 record for first half points with 68.
NBA
(17-20) Indiana Pacers 122 vs. (25-12) Phoenix Suns 111
  • Indiana’s Caris LaVert (13 pts, 7 reb, 2 ast) played his first game after having surgery to remove a mass on his kidney in January.
(22-16) Portland Trail Blazers 125 vs. (9-30) Minnesota Timberwolves 121
  • Blazers’ Carmelo Anthony (26 pts, 6 ast) passed Hakeem Olajuwon to become the NBA’s 11th all-time scoring leader.
Premier League
(41 pts) Arsenal 2 vs. (45 pts) Tottenham 1
  • Without running mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, stand-in captain Alexandre Lacazette put the match away in the 64th minute.
Players Championship
  • Justin Thomas (-14) navigated a terrifying last three holes to hold off Lee Westwood (-13), who has placed second in back-to-back tournaments.

MONDAY WATCHLIST
NBA
New York Knicks (20-19) vs. Brooklyn Nets (26-13) - 8:00 ET on ESPN
LA Lakers (25-13) vs. Golden State Warriors (20-19) - 10:30 ET on ESPN
NHL
Philadelphia Flyers (13-9-3) vs. New York Rangers (11-12-3) - 7:00 ET on NBCSN
Edmonton Oilers (18-12-0) vs. Calgary Flames (13-13-3) - 9:00 ET on ESPN+
Premier League
(35 pts) Wolves vs. (43 pts) Liverpool - 4:00 ET on NBCSN

WATER COOLER TALK
🏒   This television anchor held it together after her station aired real shark reels instead of highlights of the San Jose Sharks.
🏈   Taysom Hill and the New Orleans Saints agreed to a deceiving 4-year, $140 million contract minutes after Drew Brees officially retired. Fun fact: Drew Brees retired 15 years to the day he first signed with New Orleans. Next stop, Canton.
🏈   The Green Bay Packers resigned Aaron Jones to a 4-year $48 million contract, keeping the Packers’ offensive core together for 2021.
⚾️   The Mets’ Luis Guillorme worked an impeccable 22 pitch at bat. He fouled off 16 pitches and saw 10 over 99 mph before being walked.

TRIVIA ANSWER
C. The Scarlet Knights made their first tournament since 1991, the final year of the Cold War.
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