🌞 Good morning! Before we begin...
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos came before a congressional subcommittee yesterday to defend a budget proposal that would eliminate all $17.6 million in federal funding for the Special Olympics.
Photo: Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images
For just $39 a month, Mets fans can score standing-room-only tickets to nearly every regular-season home game this season. The Cardinals and Twins have launched similar programs in recent years.
Why it matters: Baseball is looking for a way to reach a younger and more unconventional audience, and targeting millennials and fringe sports fans with cheap tickets might just be the answer.
The big picture: Assuming I'm not the only one who treats baseball games this way, I think it's fair to suggest that these insanely cheap tickets could help turn a "post-work trip to the ballpark" into the new "post-work trip to the bar" for some people.
Yes, but: In order for this ticket deal to reach its full potential, the stadium must be conveniently located, ideally downtown. That way, fans can make game-time decisions as they're leaving the office.
P.S. In related news, the Mets actually paid Jacob deGrom!!!
Every year, the NCAA distributes hundreds of millions of dollars to Division I conferences based on which teams made the tournament and how far they advanced.
How it works: Conferences are paid out based on total number of "units," which is what the NCAA calls its tally of wins, automatic qualifiers and at-large bids.
By the numbers: Loyola Chicago's Final Four last year will be worth at least $8.5 million to the Missouri Valley Conference over the next six years. Some other recent windfalls:
The big picture: From 1997-2018, the Big Ten has been paid the most ($340.4 million), followed by the ACC ($316.3 million) and the Big 12 ($307.3 million).
The bottom line: College basketball's power conferences send multiple teams to the tournament annually, so money comes in fairly consistently.
NFL owners voted 31-1 to approve a rule proposal that will allow coaches to ask for a video review of possible pass interference plays, whether they have been called on the field or not.
One caveat: Giving coaches the option of throwing their challenge flag on Hail Mary finishes could result in every losing coach throwing the red flag just for the hell of it.
More NFL meetings:
Giannis and the Bucks got the best of Harden and the Rockets in Milwaukee last night. Photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images
The Bucks hosted the Rockets last night, giving NBA fans the rare opportunity to watch the two MVP frontrunners — Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden — go head-to-head.
By the numbers: Let's compare their advanced stats.
Players revealed at the bottom of the newsletter.
For much of the 20th century, sports gambling was a static experience. You bet on a team hours before the game started, and then you waited to find out if you were right.
How it worked: "Instead of offering point spreads, World Sports Exchange operated like a commodities market," writes the NY Times' Bruce Schoenfeld.
"But here was the novelty: You didn't have to wait until the game was over to cash in," writes Schoenfeld. "If the Lakers scored the first eight points, the value of that $60 option might grow to, say, $72. You could sell it and pocket your $12 gain."
The big picture: In 1998, the founders of World Sports Exchange were charged with violating the anti-mafia Wire Act, which outlawed taking bets across state lines (which is precisely what they were doing).
Go Webfoots! Photo: NCAA Photos/Getty Images
80 years ago today, the Oregon Webfoots beat the Ohio State Buckeyes 46-33 to win the inaugural NCAA Tournament championship. This remains Oregon's only national title.
P.S. Think students back then weren't just as crazy as they are now? Think again. AP reported that the Oregon faithful climbed "fire hydrants, parked cars and magazine stands" in celebration.
The well is drying up. Need your help.
With skateboarding set to make its Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games, the U.S. recently announced its inaugural national team.
What's next: The 16 skaters will receive support from USA Skateboarding while they attempt to qualify for the 2020 Olympics. A maximum of 12 Americans can qualify.
Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Pro-tip: Download The Action Network app to become a master at all this stuff.
1. Who will cover the spread between Lipscomb and NC State (-2.5) in the NIT quarterfinals?
2. How many points will Paul George score against the Pacers? Over/Under 30.5?
3. Who will cover the spread between the Rangers and Bruins (-1.5)?
🎰 Play now: Make your picks (cutoff time: 7:30pm ET)
Kendall "Did a kickflip one time" Baker
Players revealed: Player A is Harden, Player B is Antetokounmpo.