☀️ Happy Friday! Let's sports.
P.S. Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.
Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
"Ever since Sunday's thrilling win at the Masters, everywhere I've gone, it's been Tiger this, Tiger that, all Tiger, all the time. It's good news. It makes people happy," writes the Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay (subscription).
Speaking of confessions: I haven't been able to stop thinking about Tiger, either. And yesterday, I straight up cried about it.
Or, perhaps the reason I broke down in tears is because Tiger Woods is a champion again, which I imagine makes him endlessly happy after years of being, well, sad.
The bottom line: If Tiger's redemption story doesn't teach you the power of self-belief — or, better yet, teach your children or the children you'll one day have the power of self-belief — I don't know what will.
WBO welterweight champion Terence "Bud" Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs), who many consider the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, will defend his belt against former junior welterweight champion Amir Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden (9 pm ET).
Why it matters: The title fight will mark Top Rank Promotions' first appearance on ESPN pay-per-view after the two sides signed a seven-year deal last August that will see Top Rank put on 54 live boxing events annually on ESPN's suite of networks, including ESPN+.
The big picture: The hope is that the shift from premium networks like HBO to a more broadly distributed model and a more general sports audience will raise awareness and attract new fans.
What they're saying: I spoke with Todd duBoef, President of Top Rank, about the significance of this move to ESPN, and then I had him do what he does best: sell us on the fight.
Q: What's the biggest benefit of being on ESPN compared to HBO?
Q: Sell a general sports fan on why they should buy this fight.
⭐️ Derrick White, SAS: Career-high 36 points (15-21 FG, 5-6 FT), 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals ... Spurs 118, Nuggets 108 (SAS leads series 2-1)
⭐️⭐️ Ben Simmons, PHI: 31 points (11-13 FG, 9-11 FT), 9 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 3 blocks ... Sixers 131, Nets 115 (PHI leads series 2-1)
⭐️⭐️⭐️ Kevin Durant, Warriors: 38 points (14-23 FG, 7-8 FT), 7 assists, 4 rebounds ... Warriors 132, Clippers 105 (GS leads series 2-1)
Go deeper: "Durant is so good, it is nearly impossible to compartmentalize his future from his present," writes ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.
Photo: Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber announced yesterday that the league will be expanding to 30 teams in the coming years, up from the previous expansion target of 28.
The big picture: In 2006, MLS had 11 teams. This season, there are 24, with another three on the way: Inter Miami CF (2020), Nashville SC (2020) and Austin FC (2021).
The bottom line: Professional soccer is thriving in the U.S. and Canada, and expansion during the last decade and a half has been a key driver of MLS' growth. Why not keep it going with investors swarming?
Photo: Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images
Blues 3, Jets 2: St. Louis overcame a 2-0, third-period deficit and Jaden Schwartz scored the game-winner with 15 seconds left to stun Winnipeg at home. Highlights. St. Louis leads 3-2.
Hurricanes 2, Capitals 1: Petr Mrazek made 30 saves as Carolina evened the series in Raleigh. ... Tough night for Washington, which lost T.J. Oshie to a possible arm injury suffered on this borderline dirty play. Series tied 2-2.
Sharks 5, Golden Knights 2: Thomas Hertl scored the first of his two goals just 76 seconds into the game, and the Sharks staved off elimination in front of a sold-out crowd in San Jose. Vegas leads 3-2.
Photo: George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images
122 years ago today, the inaugural Boston Marathon was held. 15 runners started the race but just 10 crossed the finish line.
Details: The race was originally called the "American Marathon" and was 24.5 miles long. In 1908, the distance was changed in accordance with Olympic standards to its current length of 26 miles, 385 yards.
Winners through the years:
Go deeper: Travel back to 1969
Answer at the bottom
Olympic gold medalist Kyla Ross leads a loaded UCLA team. Photo: Katharine Lotze/Getty Images
From Mike Sykes: When the NCAA gymnastics postseason concludes at the national championship final in Forth Worth this weekend, it will feature a "Final Four" for the first time.
Why it matters: The tournament's structural change is designed to make the event more viewer-friendly than it's ever been, while also maximizing the drama.
Go deeper: Storylines to watch
Today's contest will be held within The Action Network app.
Yesterday's results: 41.7% correctly predicted that the Blues would beat the Jets … 49.6% correctly predicted that Nuggets vs. Spurs would go over 210.5 points … 27% correctly predicted that Kevin Durant would lead all NBA players in points.
Kendall "Crybaby" Baker
Trivia answer: Randy Johnson (40 years old)