The Perfect Season


By: Jeff Yoder

Welcome Back!

What a weekend, team. South Carolina eclipsed the brilliance of Caitlin Clark and sealed the first perfect season in women’s college basketball since 2016. We’ll celebrate, then end the men’s madness with tonight’s heavyweight fight (Purdue vs. UConn). And Coach Cal is on the move in the SEC? Didn’t see that coming.

Brackets & Scheduling

Check tomorrow’s edition to see who comes out on top in our Bracket Challenge. We’ll finish our NCAA basketball coverage tomorrow and shift to NBA/NHL playoff races and The Masters in the week ahead.

Letter Rip!




Photo: Justin Tafoya / Getty Images

After Slow Start, South Carolina Overpowers Iowa & Caitlin Clark to Win 2024 NCAA Women’s Championship (87-75) With Perfect Record (38-0)

The perfect season is complete! South Carolina captured another NCAA title on Sunday afternoon thanks to size and strength on the inside (87-75). The Gamecocks overcame a first-quarter haymaker from the Hawkeyes, and they held Caitlin Clark (30 pts) to somewhat mortal levels of production. Iowa started the game on a 10-0 run and led 20-7 after four minutes, but SC won the last three quarters to stretch a double-digit lead by late in the 4th. Kamilla Cardoso (15 pts, 17 rebs) was relentless for the Gamecocks. South Carolina out-rebounded Iowa (51-29) and dominated in the paint (48-32). Those two statistics told the story of the game. Caitlin Clark was shadowed everywhere she went, and SC’s height advantage was just too much for Iowa. South Carolina’s bench also outscored Iowa’s bench (37-0).

Staley’s Revenge: No. 3 for SC

South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley captured her third national championship in eight years with the win (2017, 2022 & 2024). The Gamecocks were also a 1-seed in the 2020 season that didn’t have a tournament due to COVID-19. But this one was extra special for Staley. Her SC team was undefeated last season before running into Iowa and Clark in the Final Four. It was only fitting that SC-Iowa was the finale this time around.

Caitlin Clark’s Last (College) Dance

There’s no question that Iowa fans have to be a bit sick right now for Caitlin Clark. Back-to-back trips to the championship game ended in losses. The all-time NCAA scoring leader has played her last collegiate game, and she said her goodbyes on Sunday afternoon through tears and social media posts. Despite the loss, Iowa was still the only opponent to beat South Carolina in the last two seasons (74-1) in last year’s semi-final. Clark is the surefire No. 1 overall pick in this month’s WNBA Draft.

“I want to personally thank Caitlin Clark for lifting up our sport. She carried a heavy load for our sport. You are one of the GOATs of our game and we appreciate you.” — SC Head Coach Dawn Staley

The Significance of 38-0

South Carolina became the first women’s undefeated champion since UConn in 2016. The 2023-24 Gamecocks also join an exclusive list of historic undefeated champions. They’re the 10th women’s team (17th men or women) ever to run the table. The most amazing part of this year’s run is that it was somewhat unexpected after SC graduated multiple players the previous year.

Unblemished from November to April… What a run for South Carolina!

Watch: South Carolina Beats Iowa to Win 3rd National Championship (87-75)

Read More

Yahoo! Sports: South Carolina Fends Off Caitlin Clark, Iowa to Win 3rd National Title

CBS Sports: How Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks Compare to Fellow Undefeated Champions

AP: South Carolina-Iowa Championship Sets Sports-Betting Record for Women’s Event

B/R: South Carolina’s Dawn Staley Thanks Caitlin Clark for Lifting Up WCBB After Title Game



The Heavyweight Showdown

Photo: Jamie Squire / Getty Images

#1 Purdue & #1 UConn Set for Epic 1-Seed Showdown in NCAA National Championship (Tonight, 9:20 pm ET, TBS)

After a pair of semifinal tests, it all comes down to tonight. The two best teams all season long in men’s college hoops have reached the final. It rarely turns out that way in the modern NCAA Tournament. Just last year, the Final Four consisted of two 4-seeds, one 5-seed and a 9-seed. This is a heavyweight fight. The No. 1 overall seed and defending champs, UConn, and the redemption tour 1-seed, Purdue, won both of Saturday’s semifinal games by double digits. College basketball fans may have fallen in love with Cinderella, but the juggernaut matchup is here. There’s history on the line, but let’s recap Saturday’s games (quickly) before we crown another March Madness champ tonight.

Edey, Boilers End the Cinderella Story

#1 Purdue def. #11 NC State (63-50)

Saturday’s first game was a wire-to-wire win for 1-seed Purdue against the underdogs, 11-seed NC State. The Boilers didn’t play great (16 turnovers), but NC State didn’t have answers for Zach Edey (20 pts, 12 rebs) on the glass, or the sharpshooters (10-for-25, 3pt). This year marked Purdue’s first Final Four trip since 1980, and it’ll be their first appearance in the title game since 1969 (lost to UCLA). They’ve never won the NCAA Tournament. The Big Ten also hasn’t produced a men’s champion since 2000 (Michigan State).

Huskies’ Late Run Rolls the Tide

#1 UConn def. #4 Alabama (84-70)

In the semifinal nightcap, the Crimson Tide gave UConn their toughest test of the tournament. Alabama trailed by just one point (57-56) with about 12 minutes to play before a 7-0 run put the Huskies in control. All five UConn starters scored in double figures with Stephon Castle (21 pts) leading the charge. The Huskies have the championship pedigree that the Boilers lack. They boast five titles in program history, including last year (2023), and they’re aiming for the first repeat bid in the NCAA Tournament since Florida in 2006-07.

Men’s NCAA Awards

Player of the Year: Purdue’s Zach Edey

Edey is the first player to win back-to-back Naismith Player of the Year awards since Ralph Sampson (Virginia) won three straight from 1981-1983.

Coach of the Year: UConn’s Dan Hurley

Despite UConn’s illustrious history with five national titles, Hurley is the program’s first coach to win the award.

End to the Madness

It’s the big one tonight in Arizona!

Game Notes

Men’s NCAA National Championship

Tonight: #1 UConn vs. #1 Purdue (9:20 pm ET)

Channel: TBS, TNT, truTV

Favorite: UConn (-6.5)

UConn: 36-3 (18-2, Big East) | 5x Champs

Purdue: 34-4 (17-3, Big Ten) | 0x Champs

Read More

B/R: NCAA Championship Game: Preview & Predictions for UConn vs. Purdue

The Athletic: Zach Edey vs. Donovan Clingan is the Big-Man Showdown College Basketball Deserves

CBS Sports: Purdue’s Zach Edey First to Repeat as Naismith Player of the Year in Over 40 Seasons



SEC Stunner: Calipari → Arkansas

Photo: Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari Reportedly Finalizing 5-Year Deal to Join Arkansas

In case you missed it — amid the NCAA Tournament news on Sunday night — John Calipari is reportedly heading to Arkansas. After 15 seasons in Lexington, Coach Cal is jumping to another SEC rival following Kentucky’s loss to 14-seed Oakland in the NCAA Tournament. Both Kentucky and Calipari needed a reboot after early NCAA exits, and Arkansas needed a new coach after Eric Musselman left for USC last week. Expect Big Blue Nation to target a high-profile coach in college basketball with a more traditional approach (instead of Cal’s 1-and-done NBA machine). But in between NCAA title games? This is a shocker.

Cal & UK By the Numbers (15 Seasons)

Record: 410-123 (.769 Win %)

SEC Titles: 6

Final Fours: 4

Championships: 1

1st-Round NBA Draft Picks: 35

*This story broke just before Midnight ET on Sunday night. We’ll have more storylines and conversations in tomorrow’s edition.




Clippers def. Cavaliers (120-118)

Paul George (39 pts) Hits Game-Winner

Knicks def. Bucks (122-109)

Jalen Brunson (43 pts) Dazzles for NY Again

76ers def. Spurs (133-126, 2OT)

Tyrese Maxey Drops 52 in Philly’s 5th Straight Win

Full NBA Scoreboard

*We’ll Update the NBA Playoff Picture This Week


Pirates def. Orioles (3-2)

PIT Wins via Walk-Off Throwing Error, Now 8-2

Yankees def. Blue Jays (8-3)

Giancarlo Stanton Slam Sends NYY to 8-2 Start

Astros def. Rangers (3-1)

Houston’s Ronel Blanco (6 IP, 1H, 4Ks) Flirts With Another No-Hitter

Full MLB Scoreboard

Yankees & Pirates Off to League-Best 8-2 Starts


Rangers def. Canadiens (5-2)

NYR Ties Franchise Record for Wins (53)

Red Wings def. Sabres (3-1)

DET Move Back Into Wild Card Position

Stars def. Avalanche (7-4)

DAL Extends Lead for 1-Seed in West

Full NHL Scoreboard

Lightning, Jets & Maple Leafs Clinch Playoffs


El Trafico: LAFC Best Rival Galaxy (2-1)

Bouanga’s Penalty Gives Galaxy 1st Loss in 2024

EPL: Man. United & Liverpool Draw (2-2)

Man-U Misses Opportunity, Salah Scores Late Penalty

SheBelieves Cup: USWNT def. Japan (2-1)

U.S. Rallies on Horan’s Late Winner (77’ Pen)


Nelly Korda Wins 4th Straight LPGA Event

Akshay Bhatia (-20) Gets 1st PGA Win

22-Year-Old Lefty Defeats Denny McCarthy in Playoff at Valero Texas Open



NHL Ref Steve Kozari Stretchered Off After Collision in Penguins-Lightning Game (B/R)

Patriots Sign Safety Kyle Dugger to 4-Year, $58 Million Contract (SI)

Stephen Strasburg Retires After Years of Injury Struggles, Months-Long Standoff With Nationals (Yahoo! Sports)

Tennessee Women’s Basketball Hires Marshall’s Kim Caldwell as New Coach (ESPN)

Sarah Strong, No. 1 Recruit in 2024, Commits to UConn Basketball (CBS Sports)

Deion Sanders Rips Colorado Football Players After Professor Says Players Disrespectful in Class (USA Today)



Tonight’s Must-Watch List

Men’s NCAA Championship Game

#1 UConn vs. #1 Purdue (9:20 pm ET, TBS)


Celtics at Bucks (7:30 pm ET, TNT)

Warriors at Lakers (10:00 pm ET, TNT)

Full NBA Schedule


Penguins at Maple Leafs (7:00 pm ET, ESPN+)

Golden Knights at Canucks (10:00 pm ET, ESPN+)

Full NHL Schedule


Mets at Braves (7:20 pm ET, MLBTV)

Cubs at Padres (9:40 pm ET, MLBTV)

Full MLB Schedule