The Sideline Sprint logo.
Good morning. Is your bracket busted? Yours, mine, and the other 14,700,000 brackets submitted to ESPN. Maybe next year.
- Blake
In today's Sprint:
🏈 Media rights 
🏀 Madness 
🤼 Unlikely champ 
Trivia: Oral Roberts owns the biggest upset of this year’s March Madness. When was the last year ORU qualified for the big dance?
  1. 2017
  2. 2008
  3. 2002
  4. 1997

NFL
Still King
Reports of the NFL’s demise may have been a bit overblown. The league agreed to a media rights package worth $110+ billion over the next 10 years with a variety of partners.
Who gets what?
  • Thursday Night: Amazon
  • Sunday Afternoon: CBS, FOX
  • Sunday Night: CNBC
  • Monday Night: Disney (ESPN and ABC)
  • Super Bowl: rotating between CBS, FOX, NBC, and Disney
The future of Sunday Ticket, which is with DirecTV through 2022, has not been decided.
Zoom out: On the surface this looks like a simple, old-school media rights package (outside of Amazon). Not the case. The NFL included lots of hidden gems.
  • CBS will also stream all of its games on Paramount+
  • Disney can simulcast all ESPN and ABC games on ESPN+
  • ESPN+ will exclusively stream one International Series game
  • Peacock, NBC’s streaming platform, will also show Sunday Night Football
The NFL, which knows streaming is the future of TV, gets to test its product on these services in a relatively low-risk manner while also setting itself up for a bidding war of epic proportions 10 years from now.

AROUND THE LEAGUES
After a wild opening weekend to March Madness, let’s take a second to get our bearings. Some facts:
  • Nine double-digit seeds advanced to the second round, the second most since 1985
  • Four teams seeded #13 or lower advanced, an all-time record
Round of 32: #8 Loyola-Chicago 71 vs. #1 Illinois 58
  • Sister Jean’s pre-game prayer, which sounded a lot like a scouting report, came true with Illinois shooting worse than 30% from three.
  • According to DraftKings, Loyola now has the third best odds to win the tournament behind only Gonzaga and Baylor.
Round of 32: #15 Oral Roberts 81 vs. #7 Florida 78
  • After beating #2 Ohio State and #7 Florida, Oral Roberts became the second #15 seed to ever make the Sweet Sixteen.
Round of 32: #12 Oregon State 80 vs. #4 Oklahoma State 70
  • Cade Cunningham (24 pts, 4 reb, 3 ast) and co only shot 27% from the field while Oregon State shot 41%. It’s amazing the game was this close.
Round of 64: #11 UCLA 73 vs. #6 BYU 62
  • A member of the last four in, the Bruins have proven their mettle against both BYU and Michigan State.
Round of 64: #14 Abilene Christian 53 vs. #3 Texas 52
  • Since being hired in 2015, Shaka Smart has won a grand total of zero NCAA Tournament games with the Longhorns.
Round of 64: #13 Ohio 62 vs. #4 Virginia 58
  • The reigning champs are out. Because of UVA’s Covid-19 issues, this was one of the most picked upsets in the tournament.
College Basketball - Women's Tournament
After the NCAA's debacle, brands like Tonal and Orangetheory stepped up to provide the women’s tournament a high-quality weight room.
#3 Tennessee 87 vs. #14 Middle Tennessee State 62
  • The lady Vols literally stopped Lightning in their tracks, en route to an impressive victory. They’ll have to be on top of their game against #6 Michigan.
#5 Georgia Tech 54 vs. #12 SF Austin 52 - OT
  • The Lumberjacks lost a 17-point halftime lead, letting Georgia Tech escape the upset.
NHL
(20-7-4) Washington Capitals 2 vs. (13-13-4) New York Rangers 1
  • Alex Ovechkin scored 2 goals in the final seven minutes to lead the Caps to their seventh straight win.
(16-10-5) St. Louis Blues 5 vs. (11-14-4) San Jose Sharks 2
  • St. Louis capitalized on a rare third period face off penalty to break the 2-2 tie and pull away from the Sharks.
Premier League
(42 pts) Arsenal 3 vs. (49 pts) West Ham 3
  • After going up 3-0 in the 32nd minute, West Ham completely fell apart, giving up two own-goals and a late header to let Arsenal tie the match.

MONDAY WATCHLIST
College Basketball - Men's
#1 Gonzaga (27-0) vs. #8 Oklahoma (16-10) - 2:40 PM ET on CBS
#1 Michigan (21-4) vs. #8 LSU (19-9) - 7:10 ET on CBS
#3 Kansas (21-8) vs. #6 USC (23-7) - 9:40 ET on CBS
College Basketball - Women's
#7 Alabama (16-9) vs. #10 North Carolina (13-10) - 12:00 PM ET on ESPN
#7 Iowa State (16-10) vs. #10 Michigan State (15-8) - 15-8 ET on ESPN
NBA
Charlotte Hornets (20-21) vs. Antonio Spurs (22-17) - 8:30 ET
Atlanta Hawks (22-20) vs. LA Clippers (27-16) - 10:00 ET
NHL
Philadelphia Flyers (15-11-3) vs. New York Islanders (20-8-4) - 7:00 ET
Anaheim Ducks (9-17-6) vs. Minnesota Wild (18-10-1) - 7:30 ET on NBCSN

WATER COOLER TALK
🤼  Iowa's Spencer Lee won his third NCAA wrestling championship with two torn ACL’s. His mantra, “excuses are for wusses.”
🏈  The NFL will expand the 2021 season to 17 games, with the interconference matchup decided based on prior year divisional standings.
🏀  The Virginia State University President crossing up a student while wearing a suit is the news we all need on a Monday morning.
🏀  LeBron James is out indefinitely after a high ankle sprain, as is LaMelo Ball after fracturing his wrist.
🏀  Blake Griffin, who has not dunked since 2019, scored his first bucket for the Brooklyn Nets… as a dunk.

TRIVIA ANSWER
B. 2008 was the last time ORU qualified for the tournament, but their last win came in 1974 when they beat both Syracuse and Louisville to reach the Sweet 16.

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