Fun Fact of the Day: Forget blocking Gchat at work… $1.9 Billion is lost by businesses during March Madness because employees are distracted and unproductive.
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
The Final Four women… Last night in the women’s NCAA tournament #2 Oregon State beat #1 Baylor (60-57) and #1 UConn beat #2 Texas (86-65). Now, Oregon State and UConn will join #4 Syracuse and #7 Washington in the Final Four this Sunday. UConn, U*Yawn* This is nothing new for UConn, who brought home their 73rd straight win last night. Now they are on their way to collecting their 4th straight national championship. Is there such a thing as too much winning? Folks are accusing UConn’s dominance of being bad for women’s basketball because no one will want to watch uncompetitive blowout games. In response, UConn Coach Auriemma said then “don’t watch,” because the Huskies are going to keep right on winning.
The President’s Trophy back in the Capital. Last night the Washington Capitals beat the Columbus Blue Jackets (4-1) to clinch the President’s Trophy (psst—it’s given to the team with the best record each season). This also marked goalie Braden Holtby’s 46th win, which means that he only has to win 2 of the Caps 7 remaining games to tie the single-season record!
Freak of nature = Russell Westbrook. Last night, the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Toronto Raptors (119-110), because of another incredible athletic performance from superstar Russell Westbrook. He collected his 16th triple-double of the season with 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists. He only needs one more triple-double to tie the season-high record held by Magic Johnson.
Meanwhile, in other less impressive records… The Los Angeles Lakers lost by 48 points to the Utah Jazz last night (123-75), tying their worst loss in franchise history. Whomp whomp. It was also Lakers Coach Byron Scott’s birthday… so happy birthday?
Spotlight on UNC v. Syracuse
So this is a little awkward… #1 UNC will play #10 Syracuse in the men’s Final Four this Saturday. The game is a little bit of an eyesore for the NCAA because both teams have had recent academic violations. Here’s what you need to know about their dark pasts:
UNC’s unorthodox “curriculum.” The NCAA is in the middle of a 4-year investigation of fake classes at UNC that gave good grades to basketball players between 1993-2011. No word yet on the punishment. Who’s paying the price? It’s really uncomfortable for UNC’s current b-ball team, who had nothing to do with the scandal and has been meeting revised academic standards. The pending investigation has also affected UNC’s ability to recruit new players. Like who? Expected top-3 NBA draft pick Brandon Ingram said he decided to go to rival Duke over UNC because of the scandal.
Syracuse really preferred its athletes. Syracuse was busted for a decade of rules violations, including impermissible benefits for athletes, academic misconduct, and drug policy missteps. Syracuse paid the price by taking themselves out of the tournament last year and Coach Jim Boeheim was sentenced to a 9-game suspension at the beginning of this year. After all they’ve been through, the Orange was an unlikely Cinderella team this year.
Seen and Heard
Salt in the wound. The Rams are moving to sunny L.A. from St. Louis, after winning the NFL’s relocation bid earlier this year. An L.A. clothing brand took out a billboard over a busy Hollywood intersection to welcome the Rams to town. Aww how nice! …or not. The sign reads “Los Angeles > St. Louis.” Needless to say, Missourians were not amused.