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🏀D.C.: Dancing away with our hearts

March 22, 2021
Source: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Source: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

MBB: With seven men’s teams in the first round of March Madness, we were hopeful about the DMV’s chances...then only one team advanced to the second round. And that was 10-seed Maryland who took down 7-seed UConn, setting up a second round date with 2-seed Alabama tonight at 8:45 p.m. ET. At least we have the Terps.

  • The most notable loss? Defending champ UVA being upset by 13-seed Ohio on Saturday. On the bright side, the last time the ’Hoos lost in the first round, they bounced back the following season to win the national championship. Bring on 2022.

WBB: Elizabeth Kitley’s 23-point performance helped 7-seed Virginia Tech hold off 10-seed Marquette 70–63 in yesterday’s first round matchup. No nerves in the Hokies’ first March Madness appearance in 15 years.

  • The other three DMV schools play in the first round tonight: 13-seed VCU vs. 4-seed Indiana at 2 p.m. ET, followed by an Old Line State showdown between 2-seed Maryland and 15-seed Mount St. Mary’s at 4 p.m. ET. Dancing queens.

🏀Dallas: Keep it 100

March 22, 2021
Source: NCAA WBB/Twitter
Source: NCAA WBB/Twitter

🎓🏀WBB: With the women’s tourney being held in Texas, No. 2 Baylor clearly felt right at home, handling No. 15 Jackson State with ease in a 101–52 blowout yesterday. Sheesh. Meanwhile, No. 12 Stephen F. Austin nearly pulled off a first-round upset, falling 54–52 in overtime to No. 5 Georgia Tech. What a game.

  • Even more Texas teams are in action today, including No. 2 Texas A&M against No. 15 Troy at 6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT, followed by No. 6 Texas and projected No. 1 WNBA draft pick Charli Collier vs. No. 11 Bradley at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.

MBB: Our hometown teams provided two of the tourney’s biggest upsets so far, with No. 13 North Texas pulling out a convincing 78–69 opening round win over No. 4 Purdue on Friday. But, the Mean Green sadly couldn’t keep the magic going yesterday, falling 84–61 to No. 5 Villanova. 

  • No. 14 Abilene Christian was responsible for the other upset, defeating No. 3 Texas in a 53–52 thriller on Saturday. They’ll look to continue their Cinderella story in tonight’s 5:15 p.m. ET/4:15 p.m. CT battle with No. 11 UCLA. No pumpkins here, please.
  • And in not at all surprising news, No. 1 Baylor breezed through their first two contests, punching their ticket to the oh so Sweet Sixteen. Saturday can’t come soon enough.

🏀Mavericks: The Mavs rebounded from their Friday loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, earning a 132–92 win over the ’Zers last night and continuing their slow climb in the Western conference standings. Next up, the Mavs will face the last-place Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT. Let’s keep it rolling.

🏀Men's March Madness: Livin’ on a prayer

March 22, 2021
Source: Jack Dempsey/NCAA Photos via Getty Images
Source: Jack Dempsey/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The upsets: Indianapolis? More like upset-tropolis. After five (!!!) top-five seeds lost in the opening round, the hits kept coming in the second round with No. 1 Illinois — a favorite to win the entire tourney — losing 71–58 in yesterday’s intrastate battle to No. 8 Loyola-Chicago. Sister Jean for MVP.

  • No. 11 Syracuse joined the party, toppling No. 3 West Virginia 75–72 yesterday, clinching their 24th Sweet Sixteen appearance, and their 20th under head coach Jim Boeheim in the process. Who knew March was prime Orange season? 
  • And No. 15 Oral Roberts followed up their huge first round upset over No. 2 Ohio State with another, defeating No. 7 Florida 81–78 yesterday to become only the second 15-seed to make the Sweet Sixteen. We love a Cinderella story.

COVID-19: ICYMI, on Saturday, the first round matchup between No. 7 Oregon and No. 10 VCU was declared a no-contest due to COVID-19 protocols for VCU. Under the NCAA’s pre-determined COVID-19 plan, Oregon automatically advanced to the next round.

  • The NCAA couldn’t comment further on the situation due to privacy reasons, but VCU reportedly returned multiple positive tests leading up to their first round matchup. Yup, COVID-19 has burst the Indy bubble. Yikes…

What to watch: Second round action continues later today. We’ll have our split screens on all day, TBH, but the game we’re most excited for is the 6:10 p.m. ET matchup between No. 5 Creighton and No. 13 Ohio. 

  • No. 12 UCSB took Creighton down to the wire in the first round, with the Bluejays pulling out a 63–62 nailbiter. Meanwhile, Ohio pulled off a huge win, defeating defending champion, and No. 4, Virginia 62–58. Upset alert, round two, baby.

🏀Chicago: It wasn’t over…it still isn’t over

March 22, 2021
Source: CBS
Source: CBS

🎓🏀The battle of Illinois, MBB: We’re still stunned by the No. 8 Loyola Chicago Ramblers’ huge upset over the U of I Fighting Illini yesterday. Despite high hopes following a stellar regular season, the Illini became the first No. 1 seed to fall  — and it wasn’t really even close. 

  • Loyola led for over 38 minutes of the game and came away with a  71–58 win. Their tough defense stifled U of I’s starpower, limiting superhero NBA prospect Ayo Dosunmu to only nine points. 
  • On the other hand, the Illini had no answer for Cameron Krutwig, who led the Ramblers with 19 points and 12 rebounds. And he’s now a Twitter sensation…talk about versatile. 

WBB: Jumping over to the women’s tournament, the No. 7 Northwestern Wildcats are ready to kick off their own March Madness run vs. the No. 10 UCF Knights. Tip off’s tonight at 4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT.

🏀Sky: Hey Google, play “Homecoming” by Kanye. After one season with the Dallas Wings, Astou Ndour is headed home. The forward played what she says was “her best game” with the Sky during the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and she’s happy to be back in the Windy City where she feels “comfortable on the court and off the court.” Same, Astou, same. 

🏈🏒

Boston: Rumor has it

March 22, 2021
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

🏈Patriots: The NFL free agency period has been open for less than a week, but the Pats have already spent nearly the same amount owner Robert Kraft did when he bought the team in 1994. Talk about money moves.

  • The trend continued late last week, when they re-signed two-time Super Bowl champ and multi-year captain, center David Andrews to a four-year deal. Money well spent. 
  • Sadly, there was a goodbye amid all the signings. Longtime safety and three-time Super Bowl champ Patrick Chung, who opted out of the 2020 season, announced his retirement on Thursday. Miss him already.

🏒College hockey: As mentioned, the Northeastern women came up just short in their herstoric run, losing Saturday night’s NCAA women’s ice hockey championship in a 2–1 overtime battle with Wisconsin. We can’t wait to see the Huskies back on the ice next season.

  • Meanwhile, the men’s championship action is just getting started. Despite their unexpected Hockey East semifinal loss, B.C. grabbed the No. 1 seed in the Albany region and will take on No. 4 Notre Dame this Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.

BU also scored an at-large bid and will compete as the No. 3 seed...in the same region as B.C. Cross your fingers for two first round wins and clear your schedule for a potential rivalry matchup on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ET.