👋 Good morning! Let's sports.
Today's word count: 2,042 words (8 minutes).
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
Tom Brady is no longer a Patriot, which is devastating for some (please pray for Mark Wahlberg), exciting for others (huge day for Bills Mafia) and shocking for everyone.
Why it matters: Brady's departure ends perhaps the greatest run in the history of American team sports and leaves New England in unfamiliar territory.
What they're saying:
By the numbers:
The last word, per SI's Michael Rosenberg:
"There have been some storybook endings in sports. John Elway. Jerome Bettis. David Robinson. But those are rare for a reason: So much has to align.
"The player has to be good enough to still win but not so good that he wants to keep playing. The team has to win a championship. And then, when everything is going so well, the player has to be humble enough ... or more focused on other priorities, to walk away. That does not really describe Brady."
From a fan's perspective, Brady in a Buccaneers uniform looks like a Photoshop session gone wrong, and not just because of those hideous uniforms (thankfully, they're getting new ones). This tweet sums it up quite nicely:
The other side: From Brady's perspective, the Bucs have a lot to offer.
Photo: Steven Ryan/Getty Images
Kevin Durant is one of four Nets players who tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total number of positive tests among NBA players to seven (Utah's Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, plus Detroit's Christian Wood).
The big picture: While health officials across the country struggle to find tests for the general public, NBA teams appear to be playing by a different set of rules.
What they're saying: The federal guidelines for all testing still prioritize people who are showing symptoms, but the "alternative sources" supplying NBA teams clearly were willing to make an exception, writes Axios' Sam Baker.
The bottom line: To see NBA teams so easily able to obtain a scarce and potentially life-saving test, while anecdotal reports circulate of doctors who can't get them even for symptomatic patients, does not seem like the neutral, risk-based, status-blind process we want from our public health system during a crisis.
🏥 Go deeper: Read/subscribe to Vitals, our daily health care newsletter.
Note: 🚨 = lower seed won
Highlights: Led by guards Javion Hamlet and Umoja Gibson (combined 42.5 ppg), C-USA regular season champ North Texas — which began the season 4-7 — has been the surprise of the tournament, while Kentucky failed to reach the Sweet Sixteen for just the third time under John Calipari.
Highlights: The top four seeds in the West Regional all advanced to the Sweet Sixteen, with Seton Hall's Myles Powell (24 ppg, 68% FG), Oregon's Payton Pritchard (20.5 ppg, 9 ast) and Gonzaga's Filip Petrušev (19.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg) living up to their All-American billing.
Note: 🚨 = lower seed won
Highlights: Player of the Year candidate Obi Toppin (25.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg) led Dayton past Florida and into the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2014 when they lost in the Elite Eight to ... Florida. Meanwhile, Penn State is in the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2001.
Highlights: Led by first-year head coach John Brannen, Cincinnati's defense has carried the Bearcats to impressive wins over defending champ Virginia and preseason No. 1 Michigan State. Next up: Illinois, which is in the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2005, the year they lost to UNC in the title game.
BOSTON — A sign reading "Thank you Tommy" and a bouquet of flowers sits alongside the TB12 Performance & Recovery Center.
LAS VEGAS — Construction continues at Allegiant Stadium, the $2 billion, glass-domed future home of the Las Vegas Raiders and UNLV Rebels, who are both scheduled to begin play at the 65,000-seat facility this year.
SYDNEY, Australia — The National Basketball League (NBL) called off the remaining games of the grand final series between the Sydney Kings and Perth Wildcats after the Kings withdrew due to coronavirus concerns.
25 years ago today, Michael Jordan announced his return to the NBA after a 17-month retirement with an iconic, two-word phrase that let all challengers to the throne know they were playing on borrowed time: "I'm back."
The book of MJ:
What's weirder: Brady on the Bucs, or Jordan on the Wizards?
🎥 Highlights: MJ's final game (YouTube)
"The coronavirus may take our sporting events, but it will never take our FREEDOM [TO PLAY SPORTS WHILE QUARANTINED]!!!"— William Wallace, "Braveheart"
Go deeper: A running list of makeshift 'sports' being invented due to social isolation (SB Nation)
Answer at the bottom.
Kendall "If North Texas beats Kansas, I might enroll" Baker
Trivia answer: Steve Spurrier