Good morning! Yesterday, I asked you what today's top story should be.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The Carleton University men's basketball team won its 14th national title in the past 17 years (and eighth in the past nine) on Sunday, blowing out the previously undefeated Calgary Dinos, 83-49.
Why it matters: Carleton, a mid-sized public university on the outskirts of Ottawa, competes in U Sports, which is basically the NCAA of Canada. This isn't some intramural league, it's legit college hoops — and the Ravens almost never lose.
The mastermind: Meet Dave Smart. Since taking over as head of the Ravens in 1999, he has won more than 560 games — and lost a grand total of 48.
"Dave is one of the smartest basketball coaches I've ever met."— Villanova head coach Jay Wright
How he does it:
And then there's Smart's patented defense, which relies on "one-word commands to instruct the man on the ball, a basketball shorthand that enables defenders to anticipate rather than react," writes Deadspin's Matt Giles.
The bottom line: Carleton is legit.
The Toronto skyline. Photo: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images
The Toronto Maple Leafs haven't won a championship since 1967, but thanks to a homegrown team president and a roster full of local stars, fans are hopeful that this year's squad might just be the one that ends the drought.
Why it matters: "With apologies to Montreal, the most significant NHL franchise in Canada is the Maple Leafs, who elicit more Canadian madness than any other team," writes Sports Illustrated's S.L. Price.
The backdrop: Prior to 1976, Montreal was Canada's largest and most dynamic metropolis and the Canadiens were arguably the nation's most important team. But then everything changed...
The bottom line: The Toronto Maple Leafs are located in Canada's biggest economic center and play the country's most beloved sport. If they end this drought, the entire country will feel it.
Photo: Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Already in (4 teams): Murray State, Gardner-Webb, Bradley, Liberty.
5. Wofford (Southern)
6. Iona (MAAC)
Zinedine Zidane addresses the media after Real Madrid announced his return. Photo: Quality Sport Images/Getty Images
In the midst of Real Madrid's most disappointing season in recent memory, club president Florentino Perez fired interim coach Santiago Solari yesterday and replaced him with former manager Zinedine Zidane.
Why it matters: Last spring, Zidane shocked the world when he quit Real Madrid just days after becoming the first manager in history to win the Champions League three years in a row. Less than a year later, he's back — under vastly different circumstances.
The backdrop: In the 10 months since Zidane resigned, Real Madrid has been in managerial hell.
The state of play: With no cup competitions or league titles to play for, Zidane's sole job is to make sure Real qualifies for next season's Champions League by finishing in the top four in La Liga. They currently sit in third:
What's next: Once the season comes to a close, Zidane will begin the much more arduous task of reviving one of the world's most famous clubs — and spending hundreds of millions of dollars to do so.
Jonny Flynn and Paul Harris in the 4th of 6 overtimes against UConn. Photo: Jim McIssac/Getty Images
10 years ago today, Jonny Flynn and the Syracuse Orange outlasted Hasheem Thabeet and the UConn Huskies, 127-117, in the Big East quarterfinal at Madison Square Garden. The game lasted six overtimes and pushed both teams to their physical limits.
By the numbers: 244 total points were scored (102 during OT), 211 field goals were attempted (103 during OT), 93 free throws were attempted, 66 fouls were committed, nine players scored in double-figures and eight players fouled out (four from each team).
Answer at the bottom.
Above: OSLO, Norway — Japan's Ryoyu Kobayashi made history on Sunday by becoming the first non-European to win the men's ski jumping World Cup overall title. "This is the biggest [feat] for me personally. It might be even bigger than [winning] the Olympics," he said. What a wild sport.
Below: MAMMOTH, California — Yūto Totsuka (the snowboarder who had to be stretchered off after a nasty fall in Pyeongchang) overcame challenging weather conditions to win the men's snowboard halfpipe finals at the World Cup season finale.
NBA: Clippers super sub Lou Williams passed Dell Curry for most career points scored as a reserve last night.
Tennis: "Board meetings, not backhands, are the talk of men's tennis," writes the NYT's Christopher Clarey. "Tension between the players and the tournaments over prize money and other issues have come to a head after the ouster of the ATP Tour's leader."
CBB: Former Penn basketball coach Jerome Allen, now an assistant with the Celtics, testified during a recent federal trial that he accepted roughly $300,000 in bribes from a Florida businessman to help get the man's son into Penn.
Media: Fox wants to compete with ESPN's "College GameDay, and they're assembling a "Mount Rushmore of college football over the last 15 years" to do it, per the New York Post. The dream team: Urban Meyer, Rob Stone, Reggie Bush, Brady Quinn and Matt Leinart.
NFL: Free agency tracker.
Kendall "Zinedine Zidane and Dick Butkus are two of the best names ever" Baker
Trivia answer: Dontrelle Willis (Marlins)