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Happy Friday. In honor of March Madness and the 50th Sprint, we’re launching the Sprint’s first bracket challenge. We think you’ll like it.
Read closely: From today until the Round of 64 tips off next Thursday, readers who share the Sprint can enter the bracket challenge. You get 1 bracket entry for every referral during that time. But, other than your competitive spirit and massive bragging rights, what are you playing for?
A $100 Amazon gift card and our very first Sprint hoodie. Start stacking those referrals now and, come Selection Sunday, get those brackets ready. You’ll get merch even before we do :)
- Nathan
In today's Sprint:
🏀  Kyrie goes off
🃏  Stacked deck
🏈  Odd moves
Trivia: When was the last time Gonzaga did not play in the West Coast Conference (WCC) Championship game?
  1. 1997
  2. 2003
  3. 2008
  4. 2014

AROUND THE LEAGUES
No Hard Feelings
After a brief hiatus, the NBA is back and so are the Earned Edition Jerseys. Each playoff team from the past year gets one to “amplify the iconic elements” of the franchise.
Some say they're odd, some say they're stylish. We’ll let you decide. To the games!
(25-13) Brooklyn Nets 121 vs. (19-18) Boston Celtics 109
  • Kyrie Irving (40 pts, 8 reb, 3 ast) balled against his former team. The icing on the cake, his back-to-back threes that put the game away.
College Basketball - Men's
Duke forfeited its ACC Tournament game against Florida State due to a positive Covid-19 test. For the first time in 25 years, the Blue Devils are going to miss the tournament.
Big 12 Quarterfinal: (18-7) #13 Texas 67 vs. (17-10) #20 Texas Tech 66
  • The Longhorns trailed most of the game before rallying late behind Matt Coleman (19 pts, 6 ast) to reach the Big 12 semis.
Big 12 Quarterfinal: (20-8) #11 Kansas 69 vs. (15-10) #25 Oklahoma 62
  • The Jayhawks nearly blew a 20-point halftime lead but managed to hang on thanks to Oklahoma’s woeful shooting.
Big East Quarterfinal: (11-12) Georgetown 72 vs. (16-6) #14 Villanova 71
  • Patrick Ewing’s Hoyas upset top-seeded Villanova in MSG, a court Ewing called home for many years.
ACC Quarterfinal: (18-6) #16 Virginia 72 vs. (16-9) Syracuse 69
  • Reece Beekman was 0-5 before his game winning 3-pointer helped the still defending national champions knock off Syracuse.
College Basketball - Women's
BIG10 Quarterfinal: (15-7) Michigan State 69 vs. (18-5) #9 Indiana 61
  • All-BIG10 guard Nia Clouden and the Spartans finally broke through after being on the cusp of several upsets this year.
NHL
(17-5-4) Florida Panthers 5 vs. (10-12-6) Columbus Blue Jackets 4 - OT
  • The Panthers, winners of 4 of their last 5 matchups, scored three times in the third period to erase a 4-1 deficit.

WEEKEND WATCHLIST
College Basketball - Men's
SEC Quarterfinal: #6 Alabama (21-6) vs. Mississippi State (15-13) - Fri. 12:00 ET on ESPN
Big 12 Semifinal: #12 Oklahoma State (19-7) vs. #2 Baylor (22-1) - Fri. 6:30 ET on ESPN
Big 12 Semifinal: #13 Texas (18-7) vs. #11 Kansas (20-8) - Fri. 9:30 ET on ESPN
ACC Semifinal: #16 Virginia (18-6) vs. Georgia Tech (16-8) - Fri. 6:30 ET on ESPN2
Conference championships: ACC (Sat. 3:15 ET on ESPN), Big 12 (Sat. 6:00 ET on ESPN), SEC (Sun. 1:00 PM ET on ESPN), BIG10 (Sun. 3:30 ET on CBS)
College Basketball - Women's
BIG10 Semifinal: #7 Maryland (22-2) vs. Northwestern (15-7) - Fri. 2:00 PM ET on FS2
Conference championships: BIG10 (Sat. 2:00 PM ET on ESPNU), Big 12 (Sun. 1:00 PM ET on ESPN2)
NBA
Utah Jazz (27-9) vs. Golden State Warriors (19-19) - Sun. 4:00 ET on NBATV
LA Clippers (25-14) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (15-22) - Sun. 9:00 ET on ESPN
NHL
Chicago Blackhawks (14-9-5) vs. Florida Panthers (17-5-4) - Sat. 7:00 ET on ESPN+
Philadelphia Flyers (13-8-3) vs. Washington Capitals (16-6-4) - Sun. 7:00 ET on ESPN+
Premier League
(38 pts) Arsenal vs. (45 pts) Tottenham - Sun. 12:30 ET on NBCSN
(54 pts) Manchester United vs. (48 pts) West Ham - Sun. 3:15 ET on NBCSN
Golf
The PLAYERS Championship - Final Round - Sun. 1:00 ET on NBC

WATER COOLER TALK
🃏  Seems Trevor Lawrence noticed the sports trading card boom. In a partnership with Topps, he’s releasing 50 unique cards. The best part? His older brother, an artist, designed 20 of them.
🏈  In a bit of a head scratcher, the Chiefs released both Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, their two starting offensive tackles. Both guys missed the Super Bowl, hence why Patrick Mahomes spent the night running for his life.
⚾  The MLB will test a bunch of experimental rules at minor league levels before considering them in the Majors. In general, they look to speed up the game and make it more exciting.
🏀  PJ Tucker becomes the latest athlete to leave Houston. He’ll be a healthy scratch for the Rockets until he is either traded or bought out.
🏀  Michigan State’s basketball team will be known as the ‘MSU Spartans Presented by Rocket Mortgage.’ Let’s hope this is a one off mistake and the rest of college basketball doesn’t jump on the bandwagon.

TRIVIA ANSWER
A. 1997. Not only have the Zags made it to 24 straight (!) WCC Championship games, they have won 18 of those 24.