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In today's Sprint:
⚽  Olympic letdown
🏀  Sweetest 16
🥊  A new champ
Trivia: After this weekend, which college program has the highest winning percentage in March Madness (minimum 20 games)?
  1. Loyola-Chicago
  2. Duke
  3. UCLA
  4. Kentucky

The Americans...Are Not Coming
In what’s becoming a concerning trend, the US Men’s National Soccer team failed to qualify for another major tournament. The team lost 1-2 to Honduras in Olympic qualifiers.
  • 2012 Olympics: failed to qualify
  • 2014 World Cup: made it to the Round of 16 where Tim Howard put on a show with 16 saves (a World Cup record) in a loss to Belgium
  • 2016 Olympics: failed to qualify
  • 2018 World Cup: failed to qualify
  • 2021 Olympics: failed to qualify
The drama: The best Americans in the world - Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, and Sergino Dest - are all below the age of 23 (the age limit for Olympic soccer). Yet, they were playing a friendly against Northern Ireland with the senior team while the other U-23s tried to qualify for the Olympics.
The Olympics were a great opportunity for these young Americans to play meaningful international games leading up to World Cup qualifying this fall.
Zoom out: Despite the disappointment, the US team still has reason for hope. More young Americans are playing for Europe’s top teams - Barcelona, Chelsea, Juventus, and more - than ever before.

Dancing On My Own
Michigan, the only remaining Big10 team of the nine that started the tournament, marched on after pounding Florida State. The other storylines:
  • Gonzaga became the third undefeated team in 40 years to reach the Elite 8
  • Houston advanced to its first Elite 8 since 1984
  • The Pac-12 claimed three spots in the Elite 8 - USC, Oregon State, and UCLA
#3 Arkansas 72 vs. #15 Oral Roberts 70
  • Oral Roberts’ epic run came this close to moving past Arkansas.
#1 Baylor 62 vs. #5 Villanova 51
  • Nova led by 7 at halftime and nearly pulled the upset by holding the nation’s best 3-point shooting team to just 15% from deep.
#11 UCLA 88 vs. #2 Alabama 78 - OT
  • Bama is, in fact, a football school. The Tide went 11-25 from the free throw line, the worst free throw percentage in a March Madness game with 25 attempts since Kansas lost to Syracuse in the 2003 national title game.
College Basketball - Women’s Sweet 16
#1 UConn 92 vs. #5 Iowa 72
  • Paige Bueckers (18 pts, 9 reb, 8 ast) outdueled fellow freshman phenom Caitlin Clark (21 pts, 5 ast). The game was much closer than the final score indicated.
#4 Indiana 73 vs. #1 NC State 70
  • NC State became the first #1 seed to fall after committing 17 turnovers to the Hoosiers.
#6 Texas 64 vs. #2 Maryland 61
  • With the game tied at 59 and less than one minute left, a breakaway steal and layup by Kyra Lambert gave Texas the lead.
(31-15) Brooklyn Nets 113 vs. (12-33) Detroit Pistons 111
  • Things got chippy between Blake Griffin and his former team, but another James Harden masterclass (44 pts, 14 reb, 8 ast) led to the Nets win.
(31-16) LA Clippers 122 vs. (32-14) Philadelphia 76ers 112
  • The Clippers got the best of their old coach Doc Rivers, who saw center Dwight Howard ejected for a second straight game.
(3-0) Weber State 28 vs. (1-2) Northern Arizona 23
  • If you’re looking for the best Hail Mary since Kyler to DeAndre, look no further than this 50-yard bomb from Weber State’s Randall Johnson.
(13-16-4) New Jersey Devils 1 vs. (17-9-5) Boston Bruins 0
  • Devils’ goalie Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 40 shots en route to his first shutout of the year.

College Basketball - Men's Elite 8
#12 Oregon State (20-12) vs. #2 Houston (27-3) - 7:15 ET on CBS
#1 Baylor (25-2) vs. #3 Arkansas (25-6) - 9:57 ET on CBS
College Basketball - Women's Elite 8
#2 Baylor (28-2) vs #1 UConn (27-1) - 7:00 ET on ESPN
#4 Indiana (21-5) vs. #3 Arizona (19-5) - 9:00 ET on ESPN
Miami Heat (22-24) vs. New York Knicks (24-22) - 7:30 ET
Milwaukee Bucks (29-16) vs. LA Clippers (31-16) - 10:00 ET on NBATV
New York Islanders (22-9-4) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (22-11-2) - 7:00 ET on NBCSN

🏈  The Tampa Bay Bucs are the first defending Super Bowl champs to bring back all 22 starters since 1979.
⛳️  Michelle Wie West finished +11 through the first two rounds of the Kia Open and missed her first tournament cut in 2 years.
🏀  Bradley Beal gave his AAU team a very real speech about what it takes to reach the NBA.
🏀  Free agents Andre Drummond (Lakers) and LaMarcus Aldridge (Nets) signed with contenders after recent buyouts.
🏀  Aaron Gordon, the new Denver Nugget, switched to jersey number 50. Why? He’s received the most perfect 50s in NBA Dunk Contest history.
🥊  Francis Ngannou knocked out defending heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 to claim the title.

B. With a .750 winning percentage in March Madness history, Duke has a comfortable lead thanks to Loyola’s recent loss.
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