The Maddest Month in Sports

March 2, 2020

QUOTE OF THE DAY
Pat Forde

“I trust no one this March.”

The madness of March began right from the tip. From upsets across the pond to Tony Romo and the man named ‘Shake,’ let’s run back the weekend in less than five minutes.

Letter Rip!

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NCAAB

Madness Has Arrived: The Top-10 Curse Continues

Photo: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

Four More Top-10 Teams Lose to Unranked Opponents

Last week, we featured the “Curse of the Top-10” after seeing the 37th Top-10 team lose to an unranked foe this season in men’s college basketball. Make it 41. Four more monumental upsets swept the men’s game over the weekend, and March arrived just how we hoped — with full-fledged madness.

Top-10 Upsets

TCU def. #2 Baylor (75-72)
A 54-point second half from TCU gave Scott Drew’s team its second loss in three games after a 23-game win streak from November to February. (Big 12)

Clemson def. #6 Florida State (70-69)
The Tigers slayed another giant in the ACC on Saturday. Al-Amir Dawes hit the game-winning layup with one second left to mark Clemson’s third win against Top-10 conference opponents (Duke, Louisville, Florida State). (ACCN)

Virginia def. #7 Duke (52-50)
Huff with the stuff! Durham, NC native Jay Huff downed his former hometown team with 10 blocks, including the game-saving rejection as UVA gave Duke its third-straight loss to an unranked opponent. (ACCN)

St. John’s def. #10 Creighton (91-71)
The Red Storm went red-hot from 3-point range and hung 91 on 10th-ranked Creighton thanks to 14 3-pointers. (CBS Sports)

Additional Storylines & Highlights
BTN: #24 Michigan State Upsets #9 Maryland
CBS Sports: #8 Kentucky Wins Outright SEC Title
ESPN: #4 Dayton Clinches Atlantic 10 Title

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SOCCER

Watford Wipes the Win Streak!

Photo: Richard Heathcote / Getty Images

Liverpool Suffers First Premier League Loss in 44 Matches

The beginning of March brought a surprising end to a dream run in the Premier League. After sacking two managers and flirting with relegation, Watford shocked the world with a 3-0 victory against Liverpool at Vicarage Road on Saturday. It was the Reds’ first loss in 44 EPL matches (422 days), and it ended an 18-game winning streak. Watford’s Ismaila Sarr sparked the second-half upset with two goals and an assist as Watford needed 18 minutes to find all three goals.

Liverpool were six games away from Arsenal’s EPL record 50-game winning streak. One of the most astonishing runs in English soccer history has come to an end at the hands of an unlikely opponent.

Highlights | Read More (NBC Sports)

Other Soccer Highlights

MLS Openers: Nashville’s Show
The first weekend of MLS games featured two new franchises in action. Even though both lost, Nashville SC’s home game was a sell-out spectacle. A big shoutout to “Soccer Moses.” (MLS)

Real Madrid Wins El Clásico (2-0)
Vinicius Jr. and Mariano tallied two second-half goals to beat Barcelona in the first El Clásico of 2020. (beIN Sports)

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MEDIA

Romo: The Richest Sportscaster in TV History

Photo: Matthew Eisman / Getty Images

CBS Signs Tony Romo to $17 Million Annual Contract

The best play-caller in NFL broadcasting isn’t going anywhere. After rumors swirled about ESPN making a historic pitch to land Tony Romo, CBS struck a $100 million-plus multi-year deal to keep him. The former Dallas Cowboys QB spent the last three seasons in the booth with Jim Nantz at CBS and earned his place as one of the best color commentators in football history.

“I’m ecstatic times 10.” —Jim Nantz

Romo’s new $17 million annual contract nearly matches his annual salary when he was the starting quarterback for the Cowboys. Both John Madden ($8 million) and Jon Gruden ($6 million) were the previously highest-paid football analysts with ESPN’s Monday Night Football. The average NFL player’s salary is just $2.7 million per year.

Additional Storylines
The Ringer: Five Thoughts on Romo’s Record-Breaking Deal
Yahoo! Sports: Romo’s CBS Deal Shows Why Players Should Vote ‘No’ on CBA

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NBA

A Guy Named ‘Shake’ Shook the NBA

Photo: Andy Lyons / Getty Images

The Eruption of Shake Milton & Other NBA Highlights

Roughly 25 games separate us from the NBA playoffs and a busy weekend in the Association generated highlights and storylines galore. Here are a few:

World, Meet Shake Milton: The former G-Leaguer from SMU stole headlines on Sunday when he dropped 39 points out of nowhere for the 76ers. Shake also tied the NBA record for consecutive made 3-pointers in the last two games (13). He was averaging less than seven points per game. (B/R)

LeBron vs. Zion, Part II: The Lakers beat the Pelicans Sunday night (122-114) in another showdown of eras present and future. LeBron James had a 34-point triple double while Zion Williamson recorded a new career-high 35 points. (HoH)

A 40-20 Game for Giannis: The Greek Freak recorded his first 40-point 20-rebound game yesterday in just 35 minutes. Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 41 points, 20 rebounds and six assists in another Bucks win. (NBA)

Westbrook Gone Wild: The Houston Rockets have won nine of their last 10 games thanks to a small-ball adaptation and a scorching run from Russell Westbrook. Russ netted 41 points on Saturday for his seventh 30-point game over the 10-game span. (ESPN)

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OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

🏈 NFL: Clemson LB Dominates Combine
Isaiah Simmons may have won the weekend drills at the NFL Combine with a 4.39 40-yard dash time — the second-fastest linebacker in 14 years. He’s now projected as a top-10 pick. (SI)

🏒 NHL: Back Come the Blues
After winning the Stanley Cup Finals last June, the St. Louis Blues have flown under the radar this season. They just beat the Dallas Stars in a shootout (4-3) to claim their seventh straight win and regain control of the Western Conference. (SportsNet)

⛳️ PGA: Sungjae Im Takes Honda Classic
A 6-under round for 20-year-old Sungjae Im earned a four-stroke comeback win at the Honda Classic. Im becomes the fifth player under the age of 22 to win their first PGA Tour event in the last year. (PGA Tour)

⚾️ MLB: Another Dodger Hitting Dingers
As if Los Angeles wasn’t already loaded. RF Cody Thomas hit two home runs in one inning on Saturday, and he’s now the spring training HR leader with four total bombs. (Yahoo! Sports)

🏀 NCAAW: NC State’s 3-Point Record
The NC State women’s basketball team hit 13 consecutive 3-pointers to set a new NCAA record in a 75-66 win over Virginia on Sunday. The previous record was held by TCU (11) in 1996. (ESPN)

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📰 THE HEADLINES

Cincinnati Bengals Plan to Franchise Tag WR A.J. Green
(Bleacher Report)

Chicago Bears to Add Veteran QB in Free Agency
(ESPN)

Oakland Raiders Flip New Las Vegas Practice Facility for $191 Million
(Yahoo! Sports)

First-Time Marathoner Molly Seidel Qualifies for Tokyo Olympics
(Sports Illustrated)

Deontay Wilder Exercises Rematch Clause With Tyson Fury; Rematch in July
(CBS Sports)

Atlanta United Star Josef Martinez Tears ACL in Season-Opener
(USA Today)

Bill Belichick Skips Combine to Scout Middle Tennessee State Player
(NBC Sports)

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