Happy Monday! Welcome back.
- Tonight on TNT: Sixers vs. Raptors (8pm ET); Trail Blazers vs. Nuggets (10:30)
- Tonight on NBCSN: Blues vs. Stars (8:00)
Happy Monday! Welcome back.
QB prospect Tyree Jackson forfeited his senior year at Buffalo, then went undrafted. Photo: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
A whopping 49 of the record 144 underclassmen who decided to end their college careers early and enter this year's NFL draft went undrafted, per The Athletic's Max Olson, leaving them without a school to return to or a true developmental league to join.
How it works: Leaving school early is risky for all collegiate athletes, but it's a far tougher and more permanent decision for football players.
The big picture: The number of underclassmen who have declared for the NFL draft has more than doubled since 2011, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down.
The bottom line:
"Every player thinks they're going to play in the NFL, and only 2% make an NFL team. Somebody is creating an unrealistic reality. ... There's no alternative. There's no option where I can go play in Lithuania. There isn't one. You're out."— Nick Saban (via The Athletic)
More NFL draft:
Just like the NFL has no idea what a catch is, the NBA has no idea what a close-out foul is — and it could determine who wins the Warriors vs. Rockets series.
What's happening: In last night's Game 1 loss, the Rockets felt like they were on the wrong end of multiple no-calls involving closeouts by Warriors players on Houston's three-point attempts.
The intrigue: All the NBA rulebook says about this situation is that "a defensive player must allow an airborne player the opportunity to land." Not very helpful.
The bottom line: Look for this storyline to dominate the series, especially now that we know the Rockets have been working on a data-driven case that proves the Warriors benefit from a major officiating advantage.
Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger and reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich both reached 14 home runs over the weekend, joining Albert Pujols (2006) and Alex Rodriguez (2007) as the only players to hit that many before May 1.
By the numbers: Some of the best Aprils ever:
Fast-forward: Pujols would end up slashing .331/.431/.671 with 49 HR and 137 RBI and finishing second in NL MVP voting, while A-Rod (.314/.422/.645, 54 HR, 156 RBI) went on to win AL MVP.
The semifinal round of the NBA playoffs got off to a rousing start this weekend, and we'll spend plenty of time over the next few weeks breaking down the on-court matchups.
By the numbers:
"Hashtag United isn't particularly easy to explain," Adam Elder writes in the Times:
The backdrop: Hashtag United was created by 30-year-old YouTuber Spencer Owen, whose funny FIFA (video game) channel had garnered him a massive following.
Then things got crazy: Last August, Hashtag United hired an experienced manager and entered a real league — the 10th division of English soccer.
The bottom line: In a world overwhelmed with information, the only way to break through is by creating engaging content, and Hashtag United is a perfect example of just how powerful a strong content strategy can be.
58 years ago today, ABC's "Wide World of Sports" debuted with coverage of the Penn Relays at Philadelphia's Franklin Field. The show was a massive hit, and host Jim McKay's introduction soon became a national catchphrase:
"Spanning the globe ... to bring you the constant variety of sport ... the thrill of victory ... and the agony of defeat."
The big picture: Over the course of its 37-year run, "Wide World" fundamentally changed sports television, showcasing events that viewers had previously only been able to read about.
On Thursday night, Michigan LB Devin Bush became the Steelers' first top 10 pick since the year 2000, when they had the eighth pick.
Answer at the bottom
I have no idea what's happening here, but I love it. The blurriness of the video makes it better somehow.
LONDON: Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge won his fourth London Marathon in 2:02:37 — the second-fastest time ever. The world record of 2:01:39 was set by Kipchoge, himself, at last year's Berlin Marathon.
BAKU, Azerbaijan: Valtteri Bottas won the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and his teammate Lewis Hamilton came in second, giving Mercedes its fourth straight 1-2 finish this year.
TALLADEGA, Alabama: Chevrolet's Chase Elliott won the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway to become the first driver not from Team Penske or Joe Gibbs Racing to win this season.