Update on the latest sports 3/17/2023
The NCAA March Madness Twitter account posted at the end of Thursday says only 787 brackets of unspecified millions remained perfect. Numbers were similar elsewhere. In ESPN’s Tournament Challenge bracket game, only 658 perfect brackets remained by the end of the first day. That’s due in large part to No. 13 seed Furman beating fourth-seeded Virginia and No. 15 Princeton defeating second-seeded Arizona in the early wave of first-round games. More than 20 million people had gotten at least one of the 16 games wrong.
Arizona, Virginia add to reputations for March sadness
Losses by second-seeded Arizona and fourth-seeded Virginia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament won’t help their March reputations. The Wildcats lost for the fifth straight time to a team seeded worse than them. The latest was a meltdown against No. 15 seed Princeton. The Cavaliers lost in the closing seconds against Furman. It was the second straight year they lost a first-round game to a No. 13 seed, and it came five years to the day since becoming the only No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed.
MARCH MADNESS: An AP trivia quiz for the NCAA Tournament
From the First Four to the Final Four, the women’s NCAA Tournament captivates sports fans for more than three weeks every year. How well do you think you know it? Do you know the teams that finished unbeaten? Who’s the leading scorer in a championship game? Which player had 14 steals in a game or 27 rebounds? Which coach had with the most Final Four losses? Try your luck with this AP quiz. No cheating.
NBA feud or rivalry? Warriors, Memphis drama is must-see TV
Stephen Curry has a simple answer for the drama between his four-time NBA champion Golden State Warriors and the upstart Memphis Grizzlies over the past two seasons. For Curry, it’s not a feud or a bitter rivalry. For Golden State, Curry says it’s just a matchup with a talented team because the history to make it anything more isn’t there. Jaren Jackson Jr. says the Grizzlies see it as a rivalry. Whatever it is, the defending NBA champs and young Grizzlies have become NBA must-see TV. Curry is playing well, Ja Morant is still sidelined heading Their final regular-season game Saturday night in Memphis could be a crucial tiebreaker with each team having won on home court each of the first three games.
Wide receiver Allen Lazard signs 4-year deal with Jets
The New York Jets have signed former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard to a four-year contract. Lazard reunites with Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who worked with the receiver in the same role in Green Bay from 2019-21. Lazard could also rejoin quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who said this week on “The Pat McAfee Show” that he intends to play for New York this year. Multiple reports say the 27-year-old Lazard has a contract worth $44 million and includes $22 million guaranteed. Lazard is coming off his best NFL season during which he had personal highs with 60 catches and 788 yards receiving to go along with six touchdowns.
Mets’ Díaz expected to miss season with torn patellar tendon
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — New York Mets closer Edwin Díaz has a torn patellar tendon and is expected to miss the entire season after hurting his right knee while celebrating a victory in the World Baseball Classic. The Mets announced Thursday night that Díaz had surgery earlier in the day. General manager Billy Eppler said a general timeline for recovery from this type of injury is about eight months. The Mets re-signed Díaz to a five-year, $102 million contract — the largest ever for a closer — after he produced a spectacular 2022 season.
Women’s March Madness finds foothold on national TV
Ratings for women’s college basketball are at their highest levels in years. ESPN is putting the women’s NCAA Tournament national title game on network television for the first time since 1995. The ABC broadcast on April 2 from Dallas will include a one-hour pregame show. ABC also will feature at least six games from the women’s tournament. ESPN says advertising for the women’s tournament has sold out for the second straight year. And it’s the third year in a row that all women’s games will have national air time on either ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPNews.
Houston star Sasser now a big question mark at March Madness
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — All-American Marcus Sasser is a big question mark in the NCAA Tournament. Houston’s star guard tried to play against Northern Kentucky, but an ailing groin began acting up again. Sasser spent the entire second half on the bench as the top-seeded Cougars struggled to put away Northern Kentucky, finally prevailing 63-52. Sasser finished with only five points in about 14 minutes of playing time. Coach Kelvin Sampson says Sasser reported that his groin “felt funny.” So he decided to shut it down for the rest of the night. Sasser was injured last weekend in the American Athletic Conference tournament.
Madrid gets Chelsea, City to meet Bayern in Champions League
NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Real Madrid’s path to another Champions League title will have to go through Chelsea in the quarterfinals for the second straight year. The draw takes Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti back to his former club. The first leg between the past two Champions League winners will be in Madrid on April 11 or 12. Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola also has a reunion with a former club. The English champions will face Bayern Munich. AC Milan was paired with runaway Serie A leader Napoli and Benfica will face Inter Milan. The return games are scheduled for April 18 and 19.
Ski resorts are embracing a new role: climate activist
ASPEN, Colorado (AP) — As global warming threatens to put much of the ski industry out of business over the next several decades, resorts are beginning to embrace a role as climate activists. The industry contributes just a tiny fraction of overall greenhouse gas emissions, which cause climate change, but arguably has outsized influence on popular culture and in the business world. While many resorts are focused on reducing their own emissions, others are going much further, leveraging their influence to shift public opinion and pass legislation.