The Sideline Sprint logo.
Good morning. While you were watching Oprah bring down the entire internet and the British Monarchy by herself, sports happened. Let’s get to it.
- Nathan
In today's Sprint:
⛳  Long drives
🏀  Threes, threes, threes
⚽️  New Barca President
Trivia: What year had the highest combined scoring in an NBA All-Star game?
  1. 2016
  2. 2017
  3. 2018
  4. 2020

THE OTHER GUYS
Rising Popularity
Along with Peloton, Zoom, and Bitcoin, golf has emerged as one of quarantine’s biggest winners. June - August 2020 saw 27 million more rounds of golf played than the same span in 2019.
The new star: While we were taking quarantine walks and watching Tiger King, Bryson Dechambeau gained 30 pounds and added about 60 yards to his drive en route to becoming golf’s newest superstar and most polarizing figure.
The results are hard to argue. In September, Bryson won his first major, the US Open, in dominant fashion. Yesterday, he held off Lee Westwood to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Almost driving the green on a 555-yard par 5 is quite the advantage.
Lax
The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), co-founded by brothers Paul and Mike Rabil in 2018, is riding quite the heater. Recently, it:
  1. Announced year-over-year viewership growth of 33% from the 2019 to 2020 season
  2. Merged with Major League Lacrosse, forming the largest professional lacrosse league in the world
  3. Signed an exclusive deal with Peacock to host every PLL 2021 game on Peacock Premium
With lacrosse becoming one of the fastest growing collegiate and high school sports, the PLL is set up both in terms of pipeline and viewership for years to come.
Disqualified
The other pandemic winner, the UFC. And this weekend’s UFC 259 did not disappoint. The three biggest fights:
  • Nunes vs. Anderson: Amanda Nunes forced Megan Anderson to tap out in the first round after getting her in an armbar. Nunes easily defended her featherweight, proving she’s the best female fighter of all time
  • Yan vs. Sterling: Aljamain Sterling won the bantamweight title after Petr Yan was disqualified for an illegal knee to the head . It was not how Sterling hoped to win. He dropped the title belt on the Octagon mat after the win and promised a rematch
  • Blachowicz vs. Adesanya: Jan Blachowicz upset Israel Adesanya after going the distance to claim the light heavyweight title. Adesanya, the defending middleweight champion, fought up a weight class but couldn’t quite bring home his second belt

AROUND THE LEAGUES
Splash Bro
Stephen Curry pulled a Larry Bird before the 3-Point Contest, asking the other contestants, “Which one of y’all is shooting for second?” He went on to win the contest on his last moneyball from the corner. The Jazz’s Mike Conley also put on a show, putting up an impressive performance to finish one point behind the greatest shooter of all time.
The winners of the other two contests:
  • Skills Challenge - Indiana Pacers big man Domantas Sabonas
  • Dunk Contest - Portland Trail Blazers G Anfernee Simons
Team LeBron 170 vs. Team Durant 150
  • The combination of LeBron, Curry, Giannis, Jokic, and Doncic plus Dame Lillard, Chris Paul, and Paul George off the bench will go down as one of the best All-Star lineups of all time
  • Because Team LeBron won the first three quarters, the NBA donated $450K to the Thurgood Marshall Foundation College Foundation
  • MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo (35 pts, 7 reb, 16-16 FG)
  • ICYMI: Watch these insane shots from Steph and Dame
NCAAM
(21-1) #3 Baylor 88 vs. (17-9) #18 Texas Tech 73
  • MaCio Teague tied a school record with 10 made 3-pointers as the Baylor Bears took down the Red Raiders to finish undefeated at home. Baylor’s next challenge will be the quarterfinal game in the Big 12 championship on Thursday.
(20-6) #4 Illinois 73 vs. (18-8) #7 Ohio State 68
  • Illinois’ Player of the Year candidate Ayo Dosunmo returned from injury and helped the Fighting Illini close the game with a 9-0 run. With consecutive wins over #2 Michigan and #7 Ohio State, Illinois has tightened its clutch on the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
(20-7) #5 Iowa 77 vs. (16-11) #25 Wisconsin 73
  • Iowa held on against a late push by the Badgers, with the help of some controversial calls from the Big Ten referee crew. Wisconsin coach Greg Gard shared some choice words about the state of college basketball officiating in his postgame presser.
(18-7) #17 Oklahoma State 85 vs. (18-8) #6 West Virginia 80
  • The Cowboys’ two best players didn’t suit up because of injuries, yet the team held on despite facing massive foul trouble to secure one of the biggest road wins in program history.
(15-11) Michigan State 70 vs. (19-3) #2 Michigan 64
  • Michigan needs a good showing in the Big Ten Tournament to guarantee itself a 1-seed. Also, no matter MSU’s record, never bet against Tom Izzo in March.
NCAAW
ACC Title: (20-2) #3 NC State 58 vs. (23-3) #5 Louisville 56
  • Elissa Cunane (20 pts, 9 reb, 3 ast) led the Wolfpack to win its second straight ACC title.
SEC Title: (22-4) #7 South Carolina 67 vs. (20-6) #16 Georgia 62
  • The other USC won its fifth SEC title in the last six behind Aliyah Boston (27 pts, 10 reb).
PAC 12 Title: (25-2) #2 Stanford 75 vs. (16-5) #9 UCLA 55
  • Stanford held UCLA to 20 first half points en route to a dominating win. Expect the Cardinals to be dancing well into March.
NHL
(15-6-4) New York Islanders 5 vs. (6-14-3) Buffalo Sabres 2
  • New York is an NHL best 10-0-2 in Brooklyn but a disappointing 5-6-2 on the road. However, they’ve won five in a row and are standing alone atop the East.
(17-6-1) Carolina Hurricanes 4 vs. (15-5-2) Florida Panthers 2
  • Vincent Trochek and James Reimer continued to torment their former team as they helped Carolina win their fifth game in a row.
Soccer
Premier League: (54 pts) Manchester United 2 vs. (65 pts) Manchester City 0
  • United stopped City’s 21-game winning streak and kept themselves within striking distance of the Premier League’s top spot.
Bundesliga: (55 pts) Bayern Munich 4 vs. (39 pts) Borussia Dortmund 2
  • Dortmund’s wonderkid Erling Haaland scored two goals in the first ten minutes. But Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski wasn’t having it, completing his hat-trick in the 90th minute to secure the victory.

MONDAY WATCHLIST
NCAAM
#1 Gonzaga (24-0) vs. Saint Mary’s (14-8) - WCC Semifinals - 9:00 ET on ESPN
NCAAW
#1 UCONN (23-1) vs. Marquette (19-5) - Big East Final - 8:00 ET on FS1
#20 West Virginia (19-4) vs. #6 Baylor (21-2) - 8:00 ET on Big12 / ESPN+
#1 UCONN (23-1) vs. Marquette (19-5) - Big East Finals - 8:00 ET on FS1
NHL
Arizona Coyotes (11-10-3) vs. Colorado Avalanche (13-7-2) - 9:00 ET on ESPN+
Premier League
(47 pts) Chelsea vs. (46 pts) Everton - 1:00 ET on NBCSN

WATER COOLER TALK
💸  Prior to 2020, only 10 sports trading cards had ever sold for $1M+. This weekend, Goldin Auctions sold 5, including a Kobe Bryant rookie card for $1.8M.
🏈  After an abysmal season by its lofty standards standards, the New England Patriots are trying to bring back a familiar face. No, it’s not Tom Brady. Reports claim they are pursuing 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo, who they traded away in 2017.
🏈  Speaking of the Reigning Super Bowl champion, Tom Brady is working to restructure his contract. He wants to run it back with the Bucs for a couple more seasons.
🏀  After clearing waivers, Blake Griffin agreed to a deal with the Brooklyn Nets to reunite with former Lob City teammate DeAndre Jordan. The Nets may have the deepest team in the NBA.
🏀  Even before playing in the Atlantic Sun Conference title game, the Liberty men’s basketball team earned the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.
⚽️  Barcelona elected Joan Laporta the club’s new president. He vowed to keep Leo Messi with the club.

TRIVIA ANSWER
B. Back in 2017 when the All-Star game featured the West vs. the East, the star studded teams scored a combined 374 points. The West won 192 - 182.
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