🌞 Happy Monday!
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
The opening weekend of March Madness was somewhat of a letdown, as it produced very little drama and only a handful of upsets. 15 of the 16 second-round games were won by the higher seed! Boring!!!
What happened: This weekend's Elite Eight was the best Elite Eight ever, with all four games coming down to the wire and two going to overtime. Yes, that is my personal opinion, but it's also backed up by #math.
What's next: The Final Four gets underway in Minneapolis next Saturday, with Auburn taking on Virginia and Texas Tech facing off against Michigan State. The theme of this year's festivities: "Firsts."
Roger Federer won his 101st career singles title yesterday, defeating John Isner, 6-1, 6-4 in the final of the Miami Open.
By the numbers: Let's zoom out on the 37-year-old's remarkable career.
UConn was given a No. 2 seed in this year's women's NCAA Tournament, a surprising twist for a Huskies team that was ranked second in the AP poll for the final eight weeks of the season.
The big picture: This is UConn's 12th straight trip to the Final Four, which is preposterous. This is what the world looked like the last time the Huskies weren't among the last four standing (April 2007):
P.S. ... Fellow No. 2 seed Oregon knocked off top-seeded Mississippi State yesterday to reach the program's first Final Four. The field is nearly set, with two more games tonight.
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich has picked up right where his MVP season left off — and heck, he might be even better.
"I've never seen anyone this good at baseball for this long. I mean, maybe [Barry] Bonds in his prime. As great as [Mike] Trout is. I've seen [Albert] Pujols. I've never seen anyone this good for this long."— Yelich's teammate Ryan Braun
From Mike Sykes: With just nine days left in the NBA regular season, nearly half of the league's 32 teams are entangled in a playoff race of some kind.
The bottom of the East: This is the race with the highest stakes, as teams aren't just jockeying for position — they're fighting for their playoff lives.
6. Detroit (39-37)
7. Brooklyn (39-38)
8. Miami (38-38)
9. Orlando (38-39)
10. Charlotte (35-41)
UMass celebrating their first ever Frozen Four berth. Photo: Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images
This weekend: Providence dominated Cornell 4-0, UMass dominated Notre Dame 4-0, Denver dominated American International 3-0 and Minnesota Duluth didn't dominate but still handily beat Quinnipiac 3-1.
The Frozen Four: While perennial powers like Michigan, Boston College, North Dakota and Minnesota are absent from this year's field, there are still some familiar faces — and one newcomer.
What's next: The fun begins on April 11. UMass vs. Denver and Providence vs. Minnesota Duluth. See you there.
Answer at the bottom.
From Mike Sykes: U.S.-based Major League Rugby is halfway through its second season, with last year's sixth-place finisher, Nola Gold, currently sitting atop the league.
The big picture: Major League Rugby plans to expand to 12 teams next season, with new franchises in Atlanta, New England and Washington, D.C.
What does Old Glory D.C.'s target audience look like?
What are your growth goals and how do you accomplish them?
Sell our readers on rugby. Go.
Sicks' Stadium in Seattle, home of the Pilots. Photo: Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images
49 years ago today, the Seattle Pilots relocated to Milwaukee just one year after beginning play.
The backdrop: The Pilots began in Seattle in 1969 as part of a four-team expansion that also saw the debuts of the Montreal Expos, Kansas City Royals and San Diego Padres.
Pro-tip: Download The Action Network app to become a master at all this stuff.
1. Will Cubs vs. Braves go Over/Under 8 runs?
2. Will Notre Dame's Arike Ogunbowale score Over/Under 23.5 points against Stanford tonight?
3. Who will cover the spread in Hornets vs. Jazz (-11.5)?
🎰 Play now: Make your picks (cutoff time: 7pm ET)
Kendall "I wonder if Zion will go to the NBA" Baker
Trivia answer: Muhsin Muhammad in 2004 (1,405 yards, 16 TD)