🗣️ Chalk Talk

Sweet 16 set, March Madness weekend recap, Concacaf final, NBA, NHL, and more...

Good Morning! Sixty-eight teams entered. Only 16 remain. After four days of relentless first- and second-round action, the Sweet 16 is officially set in the men’s NCAA Tournament, and it didn’t come without drama. [Insert, “That’s why they call it March Madness” dad joke here.] The weekend wrapped up with a slew of second-round thrillers, including a trio of overtime affairs, an unbelievable buzzer-beater, and the dismount of some tournament darlings. And while the chalk still stands on the men’s side, we saw our first major upset on the women’s side yesterday, with more second-round matchups set to get underway this afternoon. We’ll recap it all, plus the top games in the NBA and NHL, and the Concacaf men’s final, where the Stars and Stripes reigned supreme. Let’s go!

WTF Stat: For just the fifth time since 1979, all four No. 1 seeds and all four No. 2 seeds have reached the Sweet 16 in the men’s NCAA Tournament - 2019, 2009, 1995, and 1989 are the only other years in which zero teams on the top two seed lines lost in the first two rounds.

Written By: Ian Dardani

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🏀 Ain’t it Sweet?

Photo: Can’t Break the Cougs | Source: USA Today

NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament - Second Round, Top Games

  • South | #1 Houston 100, #9 Texas A&M 95 (OT): A Sunday night dog fight turned into a thriller as Tyrece Radford (27 PTS, 15 REB, 6 AST) and the Aggies trailed 82-71 with 1:29 remaining before going on a massive run capped by Andersson Garcia’s (12 PTS, 5 REB) electric three-point buzzer-beater to force overtime, and although Houston had three starters foul out before the extra period, including star guard LJ Cryer (20 PTS, 4 AST), Jamal Shead (44 MIN, 21 PTS, 5 REB, 10 AST) carried the Cougars in the clutch with a gutsy display of shot-making, and the South’s top seed survived by the skin of its teeth - Shead played the entire game before fouling out in the final minute of overtime, and Texas A&M went 29-for-45 (64.4%) from the free-throw line

  • South | #11 NC State 79, #14 Oakland 73 (OT): After stunning No. 3 Kentucky on Thursday with a bombardment of three-pointers, tournament darling Jack Gohlke (22 PTS, 6-17 3PT, 8 REB) and the Golden Grizzlies’ Cinderella run came to an end Saturday night in overtime at the hands of the red-hot Wolfpack, as the fan favorite big man DJ Burns Jr. (24 PTS, 11 REB, 4 AST) had eight points in the extra frame to spark a 9-0 run, and NC State ousted Oakland for their seventh straight win and first Sweet 16 appearance since 2015 - the 11th-seeded Wolfpack are the only double-digit seed to make the Sweet 16

  • Midwest | #3 Crieghton 86, #11 Oregon 73 (2OT): In another Saturday night OT affair that featured 13 lead changes and 12 ties, Jermaine Couisnard (32 PTS, 6-12 3PT, 8 REB) and Nfaly Dante (28 PTS, 20 REB) put Oregon on their backs in the second half, and Couisnard hit a huge game-tying three with 18 seconds left in the first overtime period to force more extra basketball, but Steven Ashworth (21 PTS, 4 AST) and Ryan Kalkbrenner (19 PTS, 14 REB) put Crieghton up six in double-OT with back-to-back triples, and the Ducks ran out of steam down the stretch, as the Blue Jays narrowly escaped for their third Sweet 16 appearance in four years

  • Midwest | #2 Tennessee 62, #7 Texas 58: Orange you glad it’s March? Ha! The Longhorns trailed nearly the entire game but never truly went away and Max Abmas’ (10 PTS, 8 REB, 2 AST) layup got them within one with just 36 ticks to play; however, SEC Player of the Year Dalton Knecht (18 PTS, 5-18 FG, 9 REB) made up for a tough shooting night with four clutch free throws in the final seconds, and the Volunteers prevailed to book their second straight trip to the Sweet 16 - Tennessee is seeking their first Final Four appearance in program history and will play No. 3 Creighton on Friday

  • South | #2 Marquette 81, #10 Colorado 77: Following KJ Simpson’s (20 PTS, 5 REB) game-winning shot to beat Florida in the first round, the play-in Buffalos were seeking their third tournament win in five days on Sunday and tied the game on Tristian da Silva’s (17 PTS, 5 REB) three with 4:03 remaining. But Tyler Kolek (21 PTS, 5 REB, 11 AST) took over down the stretch, and Marquette squeaked by to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2013

  • East | #5 San Diego State 85, #13 Yale 57: Two days after knocking off No. 4 Auburn, 78-76, in a shocking first-round upset, the clock struck midnight for the Ivy League Cinderellas as Jaedon LeDee (26 PTS, 9 REB) and San Diego State rolled John Poulakidas (9 PTS, 2-9 FG, 2 AST) and Yale from the jump yesterday afternoon - the Aztecs will face No. 1 UConn on Thursday in a rematch of last year’s national championship game

Other Second-Round Results

  • East | #1 UConn 75, #9 Northwestern 58

  • East | #2 Iowa State 67, #7 Washington State 56

  • East | #3 Illinois 89, #11 Duquesne 63

  • Midwest | #1 Purdue 106, #8 Utah State 67

  • Midwest | #5 Gonzaga 89, #4 Kansas 68

  • South | #4 Duke 93, #12 James Madison 55

  • West | #1 North Carolina 85, #9 Michigan State 69

  • West | #2 Arizona 78, #7 Dayton 68

  • West | #4 Alabama 72, #12 Grand Canyon 61

  • West | #6 Clemson 72, #3 Baylor 64

See this weekend’s full scoreboard here and the entire men’s bracket here.

Men’s Sweet 16 - Schedule

Thursday, March 28 

  • West | #2 Arizona vs. #6 Clemson 7:10pm ET, CBS

  • East | #1 UConn vs. #5 San Diego State 7:40pm ET, TBS / truTV

  • West | #1 North Carolina vs. #4 Alabama 9:40pm ET, CBS

  • East | #2 Iowa State vs. #3 Illinois 10:10pm ET, TBS / truTV

Friday, March 29

  • South | #2 Marquette vs. #11 NC State 7:10pm ET, CBS

  • Midwest | #1 Purdue vs. #5 Gonzaga 7:40pm ET, TBS / truTV

  • South | #1 Houston vs. #4 Duke 9:40pm ET, CBS

  • Midwest | #2 Tennessee vs. #3 Creighton 10:10pm ET, TBS / truTV

NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament - Second Round, Top Games

  • Region 3 | #7 Duke 75, #2 Ohio State 63: In the upset of the tournament thus far, Reigan Richardson (28 PTS, 7 REB, 3 STL) and the Lady Blue Devils rallied from 16 points down in the first half to stun Cotie McMahan (27 PTS, 5 REB) and the regular-season Big Ten champs on Sunday in the second round - it’s Duke’s first Sweet 16 appearance since 2016

  • Region 2 | #3 LSU 83, #11 Middle Tennessee 56: Despite managing to knock off No. 6 Louisville in the first round, Savannah Wheeler (21 PTS, 7 REB, 5 AST) and Middle Tennessee were no match for Angel Reese (20 PTS, 11 REB) and the reigning champs, as LSU used a dominant second half to reach their second straight Sweet 16 - LSU HC Kim Mulkey made headlines Saturday by blasting the Washington Post over a “hit piece” about her that has yet to be published

  • Region 1 | #1 South Carolina 88, #8 North Carolina 41: After obliterating No. 16 Presbyterian, 91-39, on Friday in her absence, superstar Kamila Cardoso (25 MIN, 12 PTS, 10 REB) returned from her one-game suspension for fighting in the SEC final and led the top-seeded Gamecocks to an emphatic win over North Carolina, keeping their perfect season intact

Other Second-Round Results

  • Region 1 | #3 Oregon State 61, #6 Nebraska 51

  • Region 2 | #1 Texas 65, #8 Alabama 54

  • Region 2 | #5 Colorado 63, #4 Kansas State 50

  • Region 3 | #5 Baylor 75, #4 Virginia Tech 72

  • Region 4 | #2 Stanford 87, #7 Iowa State 81 (OT)

See this weekend’s full scoreboard here and the entire women’s bracket here.

Today’s Slate - Women’s Second Round

  • Region 1 | #2 Notre Dame vs. #7 Ole Miss 2:00pm ET, ESPN

  • Region 4 | #3 NC State vs. #6 Tennessee 4:00pm ET, ESPN

  • Region 3 | #3 UConn vs. #6 Syracuse 6:00pm ET, ESPN

  • Region 2 | #4 Indiana vs. #5 Oklahoma 6:30pm ET, ESPN2

  • Region 2 | #1 Iowa vs. #8 West Virginia 8:00pm ET, ESPN

  • Region 2 | #2 UCLA vs. #7 Creighton 8:30pm ET, ESPN2

  • Region 3 | #1 USC vs. #8 Kansas 10:00pm ET, ESPN

  • Region 4 | #4 Gonzaga vs. #5 Utah 10:30pm ET, ESPN2

Photo: Three-peat! | Source: USA Today

Men’s International Soccer - Concacaf Final

  • United States 2, Mexico 0: The USMNT continued its reign of the Concacaf Nations League by beating rivals Mexico for their third straight title, as Tyler Adams (45’) delivered a world-class rocket from well beyond the box to draw first blood and then Gio Reyna (63’) added to the lead after the break with a brilliant volley to seal a “dos a cero” victory over El Tri at Dallas’ AT&T Stadium on Sunday night

See the full international scoreboard here.

NBA - Top Games

  • Milwaukee Bucks 118, Oklahoma City Thunder 93: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (12 PTS, 5-12 FG, 2 AST) couldn’t get anything going, while Giannis Antetokounmpo (30 PTS, 13-28 FG, 19 REB) had everything working, and Khris Middleton (11 PTS, 10 REB, 10 AST) added a triple-double to stamp a statement win for the Deer over Oklahoma City in Milwaukee on Sunday - both the Bucks (46-25) and the Thunder (49-21) are in second place in their respective conferences

  • Boston Celtics 124, Chicago Bulls 113: Despite being without Jaylen Brown (sprained ankle) and Kristaps Porzingis (hamstring), the league-leading B’s stretched their winning streak to nine games on Saturday by topping DeMar DeRozan (28 PTS, 6 REB, 9 AST) and the Bulls behind 20-pieces from Jayson Tatum (26 PTS, 6 AST), Sam Hauser (23 PTS, 7-8 3PT), and Al Horford (23 PTS, 5-10 3PT)

  • Minnesota Timberwolves 114, Golden State Warriors 110: In a “West Coast” clash from Minnesota on Sunday, Stephen Curry’s (31 PTS, 5-11 3PT, 3 AST) jumper cut the Dubs’ deficit to one with 14 seconds to spare, but Anthony Edwards (23 PTS, 6 REB, 8 AST) went 3-for-4 from the line in the game’s waning moments to seal the Wolves’ fifth win in six outings - Minnesota (49-22) is a half-game back of OKC for second place in the West, while Golden State (36-34) holds the 10th seed

See the full NBA scoreboard here and the current standings here.

NHL - Top Games

  • New York Rangers 4, Florida Panthers 3 (SO): In a marquee matchup on Saturday night between the East’s two division leaders, Carter Verhaeghe (1 G, 1 A) put the Panthers up 3-2 late in the 3rd period, but Artemi Panarin (2 G) responded just 43 seconds later to force extra hockey, and after a scoreless overtime period, Mika Zibanejad (1 A) and Panarin buried in the shootout to give the Rags an NHL-best 98 points on the season - Zibanejad’s shootout goal was absolutely nasty, and Florida bounced back on Sunday with a 4-1 win over the Flyers

  • Carolina Hurricanes 2, Toronto Maple Leafs 1: In another potential Eastern Conference playoff preview, Brady Skjei (1 G) and Sebastian Aho (1 G) gave the Canes a 2-0 cushion in the 1st period, which was enough for Frederick Andersen (32 SV) to close out a home win over Auston Matthews (1 A) and the Leafs on Sunday, marking Carolina’s sixth straight victory

  • Colorado Avalanche 5, Pittsburgh Penguins 4 (OT): The Avalanche extended their league-best winning streak to nine games on Sunday in thrilling fashion as Nathan MacKinnon (1 G, 2 A) and company rattled off four answered goals to erase a 4-0 deficit and force overtime, where Jonathan Drouin (2 G, 1 A) called game just 54 seconds in to steal one from Sidney Crosby (1 G, 3 A) and the struggling Penguins

See the full NHL scoreboard here and the current standings here.

⛳️ Peter Malnati (-12) won the Valspar Championship at Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor, FL, on Sunday for his first PGA Tour victory since 2015 - Malnati shot a final round 67 to edge out Cameron Young (-10)

🏎️ William Byron won the NASCAR Cup Series Circuit of Americas on Sunday for his second victory of the season - Byron also took the checkered flag at the Daytona 500 in February

🏎️ Carlos Sainz won the F1 Australian Grand Prix on Sunday to end Max Verstappen’s streak of nine consecutive victories - Verstappen entered the race atop the pole but was forced to retire due to a brake issue

🏀 Michigan is hiring Florida Atlantic’s Dusty May as their next men’s basketball coach on a five-year contract worth an average of $3.75M annually - May, 47, spent six seasons at FAU and led the Owls to their program’s first Final Four appearance in 2023

🏀 West Virginia is hiring Drake’s Darian DeVries as their next men’s basketball coach on a five-year contract worth an undisclosed amount - DeVries, 48, spent six years at Drake and led the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament in three of the past four seasons

How many upsets (higher-seed defeats lower-seed) occurred in the first round of the women's NCAA Tournament?

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NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament - Second Round


  • Boston Celtics @ Atlanta Hawks 7:30pm ET, NBA TV

  • Phoenix Suns @ San Antonio Spurs 8:00pm ET, Local

  • Philadelphia 76ers @ Sacramento Kings 10:00pm ET, NBA TV

  • Full Schedule


  • Vegas Golden Knights @ St. Louis Blues 8:00pm ET, NHL Net

  • Los Angeles Kings @ Vancouver Canucks 9:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

Trivia Time Answer

A. 1. It was essentially all chalk in the first round of this year’s women’s NCAA Tournament, as No. 11 Middle Tennessee’s win over No. 6 Louisville was the only upset. Entering this year, the tournament averaged 5.7 first-round upsets in the 64-team era and had never seen a weekend with just one first-round upset! With so many favorites advancing, 57 perfect brackets remained after the first round, but that number is now down to zero following three second-round upsets on Sunday.

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Women’s NCAA Tournament - Second Round

  • #1 Iowa vs. #8 West Virginia: Caitlin Clark Over 4.5 Made Threes (-115)

Houston is just the fifth team to win a men’s NCAA Tournament game while having four players foul out.