How's that bracket looking? If you picked all the top seeds to make it to Indianapolis for the Final Four, you were so, so close to being right! Three of the four number ones in the tournament are still standing — Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Duke. But after NC State shocked Villanova in the third round, the door was open for a Cinderella. And that team is Michigan State.
The seven-seed Spartans defeated 10-seed Georgia in the second round and upset number two Virginia in round three. This weekend, MSU topped third-seed Georgia in the Sweet 16, 62-58, then on Sunday shocked fourth seed Louisville in overtime in the Elite 8, 76-70.
I went to McKechnie Field, spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, Florida, this past weekend. Using these five strategies, I got a ball and three autographs. You don’t always get something, but try these tips to increase your odds. (These are good things to keep in mind during the regular season, too!)
One team is a powerhouse No. 2 seed trying to break a nasty streak of choking in the NCAA tournament. The other is a No. 11 seed most analysts left out of their predictions for the 68-team field. Only one team can advance to the South Regional final; only one team can truly become Elite.
The Sweet 16 round continues tonight when Gonzaga faces UCLA in Houston, Texas. Gonzaga is the trendy pick, especially since the Zags defeated the Bruins 87–74 on December 13. Junior forward Kyle Wiltjer seems unstoppable, having put up 23 and 24 points in the team’s first two games of the tournament, against North Dakota State (an 86–76 win) and Iowa (an 87–68) respectively.
Texas baseball fans know they can find big league teams in Arlington (Texas Rangers) and Houston (Astros). But for two days last week, San Antonio became the state’s third major league city.
On March 20 and 21, the city hosted the Rangers and the Los Angeles Dodgers in an exhibition series called Big League Weekend. The games — the Dodgers won both — were played in the Alamodome, which underwent a considerable transformation to host baseball in a stadium originally designed for football.
A sold-out crowd of 19,914 basketball fans erupted in a standing ovation as soon as the words flashed on the stadium monitors during the second quarter of the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers game last Monday. The Oklahoma City Thunder had just lost to the Dallas Mavericks, automatically securing the Warriors’ third consecutive playoff spot.
That special moment was one of many highlights that day for Golden State. The Warriors beat the Lakers 108–105, behind Klay Thompson’s 26 points. And their ability to hang on for the win after the mid-game good news reflected the team’s mindset: they can’t relax anytime soon.
In each issue of Sports Illustrated Kids, we feature three kids who excel in sports, does well in school, and gives back to the community. These young athletes do it all — on and off the field! Meet this month’s SportsKids of the Month!
Ethan Leach, 10
Pleasant Hill, CA
Last spring, Ethan hit for the cycle as a pitcher for the Pleasant Hill Baseball Association's Rangers team. He scored five runs, stole two bases, and retired the side twice in two innings pitched.
It’s hard being a Cleveland fan. The longtime suffering of the Browns, Indians, and Cavaliers has made for many heartbreaking moments and a 51-year title drought.
But on Friday, the Cavs were able to ease that pain by defeating the Indiana Pacers, 95–92, and clinching a playoff spot. LeBron James contributed 29 points in the win after being listed as a game-time decision due to illness.
This is only the third playoff appearance for a Cleveland sports team this decade (the 2010 Cavs and 2013 Indians also made the postseason). To compare, New York teams have made 15 postseason trips over that same span.
“It feels great, clinching a playoff spot,” said forward Kevin Love, who has been a key contributor for the Cavs this year. “It was a big win on our home floor, you know. We have to protect the home floor.”