Open for Madness


By: Jeff Yoder

Welcome Back!

We’re dancing. The NCAA Tournament brackets have been revealed, and every team knows their road to the Final Four in Phoenix (men) and Cleveland (women). It was an action-packed weekend, including conference tournament drama, a sizzling Sunday comeback at TPC Sawgrass, more NFL blockbusters and a pair of must-see NBA buzzer-beaters. But most importantly, the NCAA Tournament is Open for Madness.

Letter Rip!



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Open for Madness

Photo: Sarah Stier / Getty Images

UConn, Houston, Purdue & North Carolina Earn #1 Seeds in NCAA Tournament — 5 Bubble Bids Get Stolen on Final Weekend

Time to dance! The 2024 Men’s NCAA Tournament bracket is finally here after a long weekend of hoops. The top seed in each conference was victorious in just 11 of the 32 conference championships, which meant automatic bids were being stolen left and right. Those bid-stealers shrunk the bubble in the final weekend and left a number of teams out in the cold.

“This is the first time we’ve had five bids that have been stolen. The last two years combined have only been three,” – NCAA selection chair, Charles McClelland

Some of the teams left out included Oklahoma, Seton Hall and Indiana State. Let’s analyze some brackets and tie a bow on the conference championships. The Road to Phoenix begins!

1-Seeds: UConn, Houston, Purdue, UNC

The Huskies were the only top team to speed through their conference tournament, and winning the Big East undoubtedly propelled them above Houston and Purdue into the No. 1 overall spot. Both Houston and Purdue fell in their conference tournaments, but their resumes were certainly strong enough to warrant No. 1 seeds. The Cougars got trounced by 28 against Iowa State in a bit of a shocker while the fourth and final 1-seed went to UNC despite the Tar Heels bowing out of the ACC Tournament against NC State. Overall, three of the four No. 1 seeds didn’t win their conference titles. UConn is the team to beat.

Top Seeds

1s: UConn, Houston, Purdue, North Carolina

2s: Iowa State, Marquette, Arizona, Tennessee

3s: Illinois, Kentucky, Creighton, Baylor

4s: Auburn, Kansas, Alabama, Duke

East Region of Champs: The 1-4 seeds in the East Region (#1 UConn, #2 Iowa State, #3 Illinois and #4 Auburn) were all conference tournament winners over the weekend. It was a bit of a gut-punch for all four teams to be matched with the other conference champs prior to the Final Four. We view the East region as the toughest in the bracket.

Final Bubble

  • Last 4 In: Boise State, Colorado, Virginia, Colorado State
  • First 4 Out: Oklahoma, Seton Hall, Indiana State, Pittsburgh

Breakdown by Conference

Big 12: 8 Teams

SEC: 8 Teams

Big Ten: 6 Teams

Mountain West: 6 Teams

ACC: 5 Teams

PAC-12: 4 Teams

Big East: 3 Teams

Recap: Conference Champions

Big Ten: #13 Illinois def. Wisconsin (93-87)

SEC: #12 Auburn def. Florida (86-67)

Big 12: #7 Iowa State def. #1 Houston (69-41)

Big East: #2 UConn def. #10 Marquette (73-57)

ACC: NC State def. #4 N. Carolina (84-76)

PAC-12: Oregon def. Colorado (75-68)

2024 NCAA Men’s Tournament Schedule

2024 NCAA Men’s Tournament Bracket

More NCAA Tournament Stories

Sporting News: Duquesne Ends NCAA Tourney Drought After 47 Years

ESPN: Yale Earns Ivy League Title & NCAA Tournament Berth With Buzzer-Beater

Yahoo! Sports: Long Beach State Makes NCAA Tournament Five Days After Mutually Parting Ways With Head Coach



The Women’s Bracket

Photo: Eakin Howard / Getty Images

South Carolina, Iowa, USC & Texas Earn No. 1 Seeds

The NCAA women’s bracket was also revealed last night, and it features one unbeaten juggernaut against the field. South Carolina (33-0) was a no-brainer for the top overall seed, while the second 1-seed went to Iowa and Caitlin Clark — the squad that ended South Carolina’s perfect run in last year’s Final Four before losing to LSU. Lo and behold, Iowa finds themselves in the same region as LSU (a 3-seed).

Texas and USC claimed the other two 1-seeds, and they’re no cupcakes. If you don’t know Juju Watkins, you’re about to find out these next few weeks. The USC freshman is averaging 27 points per game, and she’s about to have her national coming out party. The women’s tourney tips off on Wednesday with first-round action Friday-Monday. Let’s dance!

Top Seeds

1s: South Carolina, Iowa, USC, Texas

2s: Notre Dame, UCLA, Ohio State, Stanford

3s: UConn, NC State, LSU, Oregon State

4s: Indiana, Kansas St. Virginia Tech, Gonzaga

Breakdown by Conference

SEC: 8 Teams

Big 12: 7 Teams

Big Ten: 7 Teams

ACC: 7 Teams

PAC-12: 7 Teams

Big East: 4 Teams

2024 NCAA Women’s Tournament Schedule

2024 NCAA Women’s Tournament Bracket

More NCAA Tournament Stories

ESPN: A Look at All 68 Women’s NCAA Tournament Teams

Sporting News: Favorites & Sleepers to Win Women’s March Madness 2024



Another Scottie Sunday!

Photo: David Cannon / Getty Images

Scottie Scheffler (-20) Cards 8-Under Sunday Comeback to Become 1st Back-to-Back Champion at The Players Championship

The World No. 1… for a reason! Scottie Scheffler pulled up to TPC Sawgrass on Sunday morning trailing the leader, Xander Schauffele, by five strokes. There was a gang of names above him on the leaderboard, too, but the best golfer in the world was unbothered before going scorched Earth on a Sunday to remember. Scheffler buried an eagle from 90 yards on the 4th to get things moving. He reeled off six birdies and no bogeys for a final-round 64 (-20). Scheffler took that scorecard to the clubhouse, but he had to watch while Schauffele (-19), Wyndham Clark (-19) and Brian Harman (-19) all came up one stroke short. Scheffler — the 2023 winner of The Players Championship — became the first golfer to repeat at TPC Sawgrass in the tournament’s 50-year history. Simply stunning. 

Another Spring of Scottie? Scheffler not only defended his TPC title Sunday, but he won last weekend’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, too. It’s starting to feel a lot like Spring 2022 when Scheffler won four events in six starts, including The Masters.

The Players (Final Leaderboard)

1. S. Scheffler (-20)

T2. X. Schauffele (-19)

T2. B. Harman (-19)

T2. W. Clark (-19)

5. M. Fitzpatrick (-16)

T6. S.W. Kim (-15)

T6. H. Matsuyama (-15)

Other Notable Scorecards: L. Aberg (-14), S. Theegala (-13), C. Conners (-11), R. McIlroy (-9), C. Morikawa (-4), T. Finau (-4), V. Hovland (-1), R. Fowler (+2), J. Spieth (+2) Full Leaderboard

Watch: Scottie Scheffler (-20) Makes History as Repeat Champion at The Players

Read More

CBS Sports: Scottie Scheffler Becomes First Back-to-Back Winner at TPC Sawgrass

Golf Digest: Xander Schauffele Will Join His Critics in Sipping ‘The Haterade’ After Latest Gut Punch



The Fields Domino Falls

Photo: John Fisher / Getty Images

Steelers Acquire QB Justin Fields From Bears, Trade QB Kenny Pickett to Eagles

Thought the NFL frenzy would simmer down? There was more sizzle throughout the weekend as deals kept coming. The Steelers were at the center of a pivotal moment of young quarterbacks on the QB carousel. Pittsburgh acquired QB Justin Fields from the Bears and sent QB Kenny Pickett to the Eagles. The Steelers actually received more for Pickett than they gave up to get Fields, which was kind of shocking. Their quarterback room now features Fields and Russell Wilson, and it appears Wilson will be the starter while Fields can settle into a backup role with a lot less pressure than he faced in Chicago. Pairing Fields with Mike Tomlin could be a beneficial marriage down the road, but that major domino likely signals what many expected — the Bears are about to draft USC QB Caleb Williams with the No. 1 pick in the draft.

Elsewhere, Rams DT Aaron Donald retired somewhat suddenly on Friday. Donald is a future Hall of Famer and a 10-time pro bowler in his 10-year career (think about that accomplishment). He was the NFL’s defensive player of the year three times.

Notable Trades

Steelers Acquire QB Justin Fields From Bears

Eagles Acquire QB Kenny Pickett From Steelers

Notable Retirement

Rams DT Aaron Donald Retires After 10-Year Career

Notable FA Signings

OT Tyron Smith  Jets

Contract: 1 Year, Up To $20 Million




Warriors def. Lakers (128-121)

Knicks def. Kings (98-91)

Bucks def. Suns (140-129)

Heat def. Pistons (104-101)

*Bam Adebayo Hits Buzzer-Beater 3

Mavericks def. Nuggets (107-105)

*Kyrie Irving Hits Magical Left-Handed Buzzer-Beater


Lightning def. Panthers (5-3)

Bruins def. Flyers (6-5)

Rangers def. Islanders (5-2)

Hurricanes def. Maple Leafs (5-4, S/O)

Avalanche def. Oilers (3-2, OT)

*Colorado Extends Win Streak to 6


FA Cup: Chelsea def. Leicester City (4-2)

FA Cup: Man. United def. Liverpool (4-3)

*Amad Diallo Scores Winner Late in Extra Time

Indian Wells (Champions)

W: #1 I. Swiatek def. #9 M. Sakkari (6-4, 6-0)

M: #2 C. Alcaraz def. #4 D. Medvedev (7-6, 6-1)



Isaiah Thomas Completes NBA Comeback, Signs 10-Day Contract With Suns (SI)

Yankees’ Gerrit Cole Says He’s Dealing With Nerve Inflammation, Edema (B/R)

WR Prospect Jerome Bettis Jr. Follows Father’s Footsteps, Commits to Notre Dame (ESPN)

Temple Basketball Under Investigation for Gambling Scandal (CBS Sports)

Ohio State Basketball Promotes Interim Coach Jake Diebler to Head Coach (Yahoo! Sports)

Florida’s Micah Handlogten Stretchered Off in SEC Title Game With Severe Leg Injury (USA Today)

Rams DT Aaron Donald, 3-Time Defensive POY, Retires After Hall of Fame 10-Year Career (AP News)



Today’s Must-Watch List


Cavaliers at Pacers (7:00 pm ET, NBALP)

Heat at 76ers (7:30 pm ET, ESPN)

Knicks at Warriors (10:00 pm ET, ESPN)


Capitals at Flames (8:30 pm ET, NHLN)

Sabres at Kraken (10:00 pm ET, ESPN+)