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Data: Axios Research; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Welcome to the NCAA Tournament's "First Four" play-in round, the first official day of truTV Awareness Month.

Tonight's slate (all times Eastern):

  • 5:10pm (truTV): No. 16 Texas Southern vs. No. 16 Mount St. Mary's
  • 6:27pm (TBS): No. 11 Drake vs. No. 11 Wichita State
  • 8:40pm (truTV): No. 16 Appalachian State vs. No. 16 Norfolk State
  • 9:57pm (TBS): No. 11 UCLA vs. No. 11 Michigan State

Fun fact: From the tournament's expansion to 64 teams in 1985 through 2019, just two games featured Hall of Fame coaches leading a team seeded No. 11 or lower, per FiveThirtyEight.

  • There will be three such games this weekend alone, with Tom Izzo leading No. 11 Michigan State, Jim Boeheim leading No. 11 Syracuse and Rick Pitino leading No. 15 Iona.

Good read ... ESPN ranked all 68 head coaches based on their playing careers. Georgetown's Patrick Ewing tops the list, followed by Michigan's Juwan Howard and Grand Canyon's Bryce Drew.

Data: Axios Research; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

64 teams will wake up this morning in the San Antonio bubble, where the women's tournament gets underway on Sunday.

  • Quarantine: Teams arrived earlier this week and began quarantining in their hotel rooms. Players must turn in two negative tests over two straight days before participating in team activities.
  • Venues: Teams will travel between San Antonio, San Marcos and Austin with games at the Alamodome (two arenas), UTSA, Saint Mary's University, Texas State and UT Austin.

ICYMI: UConn's Paige Bueckers became the third freshman to make the AP All-America first team, joining Maya Moore and Courtney Paris.

  • First team: Bueckers (UConn), Dana Evans (Louisville), Aliyah Boston (South Carolina), Rhyne Howard (Kentucky), NaLyssa Smith (Baylor)
  • Second team: Elissa Cunane (NC State), Naz Hillmon (Michigan), Aari McDonald (Arizona), Caitlin Clark (Iowa), Charli Collier (Texas)
  • Third team: Natasha Mack (Oklahoma State), Ashley Owusu (Maryland), Michaela Onyenwere (UCLA), Kiana Williams (Stanford), Chelsea Dungee (Arkansas)

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 28 mins ago - Axios Twin Cities

Police: Officer who shot Daunte Wright accidentally pulled gun instead of taser

The officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, outside Minneapolis Sunday appeared to have inadvertently pulled out her gun instead of a taser, police said.

Driving the news: "This appears to me, from what I viewed in the officer's reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright," Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon told reporters Monday.

2 hours ago - World

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to hold strategic Iran talks on Tuesday

Jake Sullivan. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty

Top national security officials from the U.S. and Israel will convene virtually on Tuesday for a second round of strategic talks on Iran, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The talks come two days after an explosion at an Iranian nuclear facility that experts consider a likely act of Israeli sabotage, and one day before the U.S. resumes indirect nuclear talks in Vienna over a return to the 2015 nuclear deal — a prospect that has raised anxiety levels in Jerusalem.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: The warning signs of a longer pandemic — CDC director: Answer to Michigan COVID-19 surge is "to close things down."
  2. Vaccines: Former FDA chief offers reality check on vaccine passports.
  3. Economy: Jobs growth could be curbed by demands for higher wages.
  4. World: Facebook to push notifications about vaccine eligibility to 20 countries outside of the U.S. — Brits flock to pubs for first time in months as U.K. lockdown eases.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.