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Good morning and congratulations! You’re one of the 10 players whose bracket still has a shot at a million bucks on Yahoo Sports!
Or …. you’re one of the people smart enough to sniff out an April Fool’s joke! Either way you’re a winner in our books.
The Elite Eight was just that
Wow. We’re not quite sure how the Final Four will match the basketball we just saw over the past few days, but we really want to see it try. Two of the Elite Eight games went to overtime, another was decided by a single point. A No. 1 seed (Virginia) who lost to a 16 last year bounced back in the best way possible while two schools known more for football (Auburn, Texas Tech) cashed the first Final Four trips in program history. A team that felt it deserved a No. 1 seed (Michigan State) got its revenge by bouncing the No. 1 overall seed (Duke) and the presumptive No. 1 overall draft pick from the money-lined dreams of every single CBS executive.
It’s a shame the weekend had to end.
So who’s the favorite in Minneapolis?
Virginia and Auburn will kick things off in the Twin Cities at 6:09 ET Saturday night, followed by the Michigan State-Texas Tech nightcap. It might not produce the ratings juggernaut that the Zion Carnival would have, but it still should be some good basketball.
And honestly, all four teams have a great chance — and loads of experience, as Pat Forde writes. Virginia and Texas Tech are two of the best defensive teams in the country, Michigan State boasts a lot of balance and Auburn got here by bouncing three of the bluest bluebloods (Kansas, UNC and Kentucky) in three straight games. Our own Jeff Eisenberg makes his case for and against each school, noting this is one of the most evenly-matched Final Fours we’ve ever seen.
Vegas has installed Virginia — the only No. 1 seed remaining — as a slight favorite to cut down the nets, followed by Michigan State. We’re fine with any outcome, so long as it’s half as good as the hoops we just enjoyed the past 48 hours.
One of next winter’s top free agents is already off the board as the shortstop plans to stay with the Red Sox. The loyalty didn’t come cheap, however. Reports peg the deal at $132 million with an opt-out. Reports peg the deal at $132 million with an opt-out.
MLB: Christian Yelich ties record with homers in first four games
The 2018 National League MVP has a good start toward winning the award again in 2019. Only five other players have started the season with homers in the first four games and Yelich could separate himself from that pack with a homer against the Reds tonight.
The Huskies might not have been a No. 1 seed this year, but their end destination is again the same. They haven’t missed a Final Four since 2005. They’ll be joined in Tampa by Oregon and Monday night’s winners of Baylor/Iowa and Stanford/Notre Dame.