3.23.15: How Sweet It Is …

Good morning Team SQ! After a fun first weekend in the NCAA tournament, we’re down to 16 teams that will get a few days to prepare for their next battle: the Sweet 16. Check out this awesome dunk by Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein that emphasizes how awesome the tourney has been so far:

 

 

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

College Basketball

First thing first — March Madness. The NCAA Men’s Tournament has certainly lived up to the hype so far. We’ve seen top seeds fall (see: Villanova and UVA), strong performances (See: Notre Dame and Michigan State), and the best teams dominate (see: Kentucky and Duke), all of which got us here: the Sweet 16.

Who are the lucky teams that made it to the Sweet 16?

  • South:
    • #1 Duke vs. #5 Utah (3/27)
    • #11 UCLA vs. #2 Gonzaga (3/27)
  • Midwest:
    • #1 Kentucky vs.#5 West Virgina (3/26)
    • #3 Notre Dame vs. #7 Wichita St. (3/26)
  • West:
    • #1 Wisconsin vs. #4 UNC (3/26)
    • #6 Xavier vs. #2 Arizona (3/26)
  • East
    • #8 NC State vs. #4 Louisville (3/27)
    • #3 Oklahoma vs. #7 Michigan State (3/27)

The Sweet 16 kicks off Thursday and Friday and the winners will compete in the Elite 8 on Saturday and Sunday… and then it’s onward to Indy for the Final Four!

The Women’s Tournament is still proceeding with 3rd round games.  Make sure to check out undefeated #8 Princeton take on #1 Maryland tonight on ESPN in the Spokane region.

NBA

It was an interesting weekend for the Oklahoma City Thunder, as star point guard Russell Westbrook continued to dazzle with his 10th triple double of the season on Sunday night. The team also announced that star player Kevin Durant would be out indefinitely to recover from the foot injury that has plagued him for much of the season. It’s unclear how far the Thunder can go, but this is without a doubt a storyline to watch.

Steve Nash of the LA Lakers announced his retirement from basketball over the weekend. Nash is a 2-time MVP and one of the most fun to watch point guards in the history of the game.

What’s on deck this week? Check out:

  • Oklahoma City at San Antonio – Wednesday
  • Golden State at Memphis – Friday

Other

In all things NFL, St. Louis Rams’ owner Stan Kroenke is looking to design a football stadium in the LA area, the Pittsburgh Steelers re-signed LB James Harrison to a  2-year contract, and LB Chris Borland of the San Francisco 49ers retired from football at the age of 24 due to concerns about long term health.

Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers is getting closer to a return to the ice. The star goalie is back at practice after damaging a blood vessel in his neck in February, but will take his time before rushing back to the game.

Barcelona defeated rival Real Madrid 2-1 to pick up a huge Clasico win in La Liga on Sunday.

Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs is looking particularly awesome so far in Spring baseball. He hit his 8th home run on Saturday in a win against the Seattle Mariners.

Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer at Indian Wells in a 3-set finale to win the championship trophy.

In case you forgot, Missy Franklin is still an amazing swimmer. She won her third NCAA title for the Cal Bears on Saturday night during the Swimming and Diving Championships.

JUST FOR FUN

When it’s all said and done
Danny Manning on what it feels like to win a national championship

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Why doesn’t Westbrook like you?
The divide between players and the press
A story of a relationship that isn’t bad  – it’s just virtually nonexistent

With skin you’ll win
…but not really
If you’ve watched any March Madness at all, you probably noticed that the players are all covered up

Casualty counts
Baseball isn’t lookin’ as good as it was a month ago
Take a look at all the MLB players headed towards Tommy John surgeries

Real business
The benefits of sports documentaries
They’re inexpensive (in comparison to live television rights) and engage viewers for longer

Get used to it
Being an athlete means coping with both wins and losses
We saw Flavia Pennetta struggle with the same pressure we all feel when we’re in the heat of the moment

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