Good morning! Hope you had a relaxing weekend. Let's sports.
Oregon, an athletic powerhouse which played in the FInal Four in 2017, is your "Cinderella." Photo: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Heading into yesterday's slate of games, "One Shining Moment" felt way too literal, with LSU's Tremont Waters producing the only truly iconic moment in a tournament that typically churns them out.
Recap: Just two teams from outside the NCAA's power conferences survived the weekend, and one of them was annual heavyweight and top-seeded Gonzaga. (Houston was the other.)
What's next: The Sweet Sixteen starts on Thursday.
The bottom line: Oregon, an athletic powerhouse which played in the Final Four no less than two years, is your "Cinderella."
P.S. Over in the women's bracket, we're midway through the second round. Today's games, all airing on ESPN:
The final 128 seconds of Duke's thrilling 77-76 victory over UCF were full of what-if moments.
The bottom line: Sports are about winning, so credit to Duke's youngsters for coming out on top. But sports — and particularly college sports — are also about learning tough lessons and coming together as a family.
Illustration: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios
Patriots tight end and national hero Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement on Instagram last night, concluding a career marked by on-field dominance and off-field goofiness that was always so genuine — hence why we love him.
The big picture: "Despite his relatively short career, Gronk seems like an ironclad lock for the Pro Football Hall of Fame," write FiveThirtyEight's Neil Paine and Michael Salfino.
By the numbers:
The bottom line: "With those rates of great things happening whenever he was involved in the play, it's easy to make a case that Gronkowski was the most efficient receiver (of any type) in NFL history," write Paine and Salfino.
What's next: If Gronk isn't in the WWE or starring alongside The Rock in "Baywatch 2" within the next year, I will be both shocked and appalled.
The St. Cloud Huskies are the top overall seed. Photo: Justin Berl/Getty Images
The 2019 men's hockey bracket is out, with three Minnesota schools — St. Cloud State, Minnesota Duluth (defending champs) and Minnesota State — earning No. 1 seeds. Games start on Friday.
The big picture: Thanks to an expanded pool of players coming from Europe and emerging markets like California and Florida, the sport's balance of power has shifted in recent years.
West Regional (Fargo, North Dakota)
Midwest Regional (Allentown, Pennsylvania)
East Regional (Providence, Rhode Island)
Northeast Regional (Manchester, New Hampshire)
More college hockey:
85 years ago today, Horton Smith (-4) won the first Masters golf tournament, then known as the Augusta National Invitational Tournament.
By the numbers:
Answer at the bottom.
Lake Baikal, located some 2,700 miles east of Moscow. Photo: Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images
"Marathon runners often use races to explore the world, and every March the Baikal Ice Marathon attracts a small group to the lake ... both for its exotic, ethereal beauty and the unpredictable, grueling conditions," writes the NYT's Neil MacFarquhar.
Fun fact: Lake Baikal is Earth's largest, deepest body of fresh water, holding roughly 20% of our planet's fresh surface water.
Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
1. NCAA Tournament action is on hold until Thursday, but the NIT rolls on. Who will cover the spread between Colorado (-10) and Norfolk State?
2. Will Brooklyn's D'Angelo Russell record a double-double (points + assists) vs. the Trail Blazers?
3. Who will cover the spread between the 76ers and Magic (+2.5)?
🎰 Play now: Make your picks (cutoff time: 7pm ET)
P.S. Want more betting content? Download The Action Network app.
Kendall "Love you, Coach K" Baker
Trivia answer: Albert Pujols