💥 Clark Spark

Hawkeyes hang on, Huskies make history, women's Sweet 16 set, NBA, NHL, NFL news, and more...

Rise and Shine! Keep that chalk right where you left it because the second round of women’s March Madness wrapped up yesterday with a plethora of perennial powers punching their tickets to the Sweet 16. Caitlin Clark and the Hawkeyes were pushed to the brink. Geno Auriemma and the Huskies extended an extraordinary streak. And more top seeds survived into the second weekend. In the NBA, history was made at the Garden, while the C’s earned an inexplicable L. Plus, the coaching carousel continues to turn in men’s college hoops, and a new NFL rule change has defenders up in arms. Oh, also, MLB Opening Day is just two sleeps away. Let’s go!

WTF Stat: The average age of North Carolina’s starting five in men’s basketball is 22.2. The average of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s starting five is 22.6.

Written By: Ian Dardani

Hello. We've been trying to reach you concerning your vehicle's extended warranty. You should've received a notice about your car's extended warranty eligibility. If you believe this is not for you, press "Share the Blitz" to be placed on our do-not-call list.

🏈 NFL owners approved a rule proposal to ban the swivel hip-drop tackle, a technique that league officials have deemed a high threat to ball carriers’ safety - the violation will result in a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down

⚾️ Dodgers OF/SP Shohei Ohtani, said he never bet on sports or knowingly paid any gambling debts accumulated by his longtime interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, who was fired by the Dodgers last week for allegedly stealing money from Ohtani’s bank account to pay illegal bookmakers - Ohtani said he was “saddened” and “shocked” by Mizuhara’s actions

🏀 Raptors F Jontay Porter is under investigation by the NBA following multiple instances of betting irregularities over the past three months - Porter is the younger brother of Nuggets F Michael Porter Jr. and is currently away from the team amid the ongoing investigation

🏀 Washington is hiring Utah State’s Danny Sprinkle as their next men’s basketball coach on a six-year contract - Sprinkle, 47, just finished his first season at Utah State, in which he led the Aggies to their first NCAA Tournament victory since 2001 and was named the Mountain West Coach of the Year

🏀 Stanford is hiring Washington State’s Kyle Smith as their next men’s basketball coach - Smith, the 2024 Pac-12 Coach of the Year, went 94-71 in five seasons at Washington State and led the Cougars to their first NCAA Tournament victory since 2008 on Thursday in a win over Drake

🏀 Vanderbilt is hiring James Madison’s Mark Byington as their next men’s basketball coach - Byington went 82-56 in four seasons at JMU and led the Dukes to their first NCAA Tournament victory since 1983 on Friday in a win over Wisconsin

🏀 16 Still Standing

Photo: Can’t Stop Clark | Source: USA Today

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

  • Region 2 | #1 Iowa 64, #8 West Virginia 54: In the game of the night, JJ Quinerly (15 PTS, 3 STL) and the Mountaineers had Caitlin Clark (32 PTS, 5-14 3PT, 8 REB, 3 AST) and the Hawkeyes on the ropes with the score tied at 52 and just three minutes remaining, but Sydney Affolter’s (13 PTS, 7 REB) and-1 gave Iowa the lead with 2:03 to play, and Clark closed it out from the line to avoid a stunning upset on their home floor - Clark broke Kelsey Plum’s women’s DI single-season scoring record of 1,109 points amid the win, and it’s Iowa’s second berth to the Sweet 16 in three seasons

  • Region 3 | #3 UConn 72, #6 Syracuse 64: Make that 30 straight Sweet 16 appearances for the Huskies — I repeat: 30 straight Sweet 16 appearances! The 2021 Player of the Year Paige Bueckers (32 PTS, 11 REB, 8 AST) dropped 20 in the first half, and Geno Auriemma’s squad held strong in the 4th quarter to top Dyaisha Fair (20 PTS, 6 AST) and the Orange, extending UConn’s record streak to preposterous proportions - 30 consecutive years… that’s longer than I’ve been alive!

  • Region 4 | #3 NC State 79, #6 Tennessee 72: Despite trailing by as many as 20 in the 3rd quarter, Rickea Jackson (33 PTS, 10 REB) and Tennessee clawed back to cut the deficit to four with under a minute to play, but NC State’s Saniya Rivers (20 PTS, 6 REB) came through in the clutch and hit a series of free throws to eliminate the Lady Vols, extending their Final Four drought to 16 years - it’s the Wolfpack’s fifth Sweet 16 appearance in six seasons

  • Region 1 | #4 Indiana 75, #5 Oklahoma 68: In a back-and-forth affair at Assembly Hall, Indiana’s two-time All-American Mackenzie Holmes (29 PTS, 6 REB, 4 BLK) took over when it mattered most, scoring six straight points amid a decisive run in the 4th quarter to lead the Hoosiers past Skyler Vann (20 PTS, 8 REB) and the Sooners, marking Oklahoma’s sixth consecutive loss in the Round of 32 - Indiana will face unbeaten South Carolina in the Sweet 16 on Friday

  • Region 2 | #2 UCLA 67, #7 Creighton 63: The Bruins found themselves down 42-34 at the break, but Kiki Rice (24 PTS, 6 AST, 3 AST) and Lauren Betts (20 PTS, 10 REB, 3 AST) sparked a 20-7 run after recess, and the Pac-12 powers held Lauren Jensen (20 PTS, 4 REB) and the Blue Jays to just seven points in the 4th quarter to complete the rally, as UCLA survived to book their second straight trip to the Sweet 16 - the Lady Bruins are seeking their first Final Four appearance in program history

Other Second-Round Results

  • Region 1 | #2 Notre Dame 71, #7 Ole Miss 56

  • Region 3 | #1 USC 73, #8 Kansas 55

  • Region 4 | #4 Gonzaga 77, #5 Utah 66

See the full box scores here.

Women’s Sweet 16 Schedule

Friday, March 29 - Times and Channels TBA

  • Region 1 | #1 South Carolina vs. #4 Indiana

  • Region 1 | #2 Notre Dame vs. #3 Oregon State

  • Region 4 | #1 Texas vs. #4 Gonzaga

  • Region 4 | #2 Stanford vs. #3 NC State 

Saturday, March 30 - Times and Channels TBA

  • Region 2 | #1 Iowa vs. #5 Colorado

  • Region 2 | #2 UCLA vs. #3 LSU

  • Region 3 | #1 USC vs. #5 Baylor

  • Region 3 | #3 UConn vs. #7 Duke

See the entire women’s bracket here.

Photo: Zero for Three | Source: USA Today

NBA - Top Games

  • New York Knicks 124, Detroit Pistons 99: In a historic performance, Donte DiVincenzo (40 PTS, 11-20 3PT, 5 REB) set the Garden on fire by knocking down a franchise-record 11 threes on his way to a career-high 40 points, as he and Jalen Brunson (28 PTS, 6 AST) led the Knicks to a blowout win over Marcus Sasser (24 PTS, 6 AST) and the Pistons, who were without Cade Cunningham - New York (43-28) has won six of their past seven games and is a half-game back of Cleveland (44-28) for third place in the East

  • Atlanta Hawks 120, Boston Celtics 118: The good news for the Celtics? They scored 44 points in the 1st quarter. The bad news? They scored 44 points in the second half, and their nine-game winning streak is over. In a wild game, Dejounte Murray (19 PTS, 15 AST) and the shorthanded Hawks erased a 30-point deficit by going 18-of-36 (50%) from the beyond the arc, and Deandre Hunter (24 PTS, 4-8 3PT, 7 REB) sunk a dagger three in the final seconds to stun Jayson Tatum (37 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST) and the league-leading C’s in Hotlanta - it’s the Celtics’s largest blown lead in 25 years, and the Hawks are now 8-7 since Trae Young went down with a finger injury

  • Dallas Mavericks 115, Utah Jazz 105: Luka Doncic (29 PTS, 12 REB, 13 AST) notched his eighth triple-double this month, and Kyrie Irving (27 PTS, 4-9 3PT, 5 AST) was operating to propel the Mavs past Lauri Markkanen (34 PTS, 7 REB) and the struggling Jazz, who have dropped six games in a row - Dallas (42-29) is currently tied with Sacramento (42-29) for the sixth-seed in the West

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

NHL - All Games

  • Los Angeles Kings 3, Vancouver Canucks 2: The Kings earned a massive divisional victory in Vancouver as Blake Lizotte (1 G) and Anze Kopitar (1 G) lit the lamp in the 2nd period to take a 3-1 lead, and Cam Talbot (23 SV) stood tall to close out Brock Boeser (1 G) and the West-leading Canucks - Los Angeles (38-22-11, 87 PTS) has won four in a row and is now one point back of Edmonton (42-23-4, 88 PTS) for the second-seed in the Pacific

  • Vegas Golden Knights 2, St. Louis Blues 1 (OT): Vegas’ Logan Thompson (31 SV) and St. Louis’ Jordan Binnington (32 SV) were both outstanding between the pipes, but Thompson made the save a night by turning away Pavel Buchnevich’s penalty shot in overtime to set up Jonathan Marchessault’s (1 G) game-winner just 19 seconds later - the Knights (39-25-7) have now won three straight and hold the final wild-card spot in the West with 85 points

See the full box scores here and the current NHL standings here.

Newsletters we love, and think you will too:

Down To FootballWeekly Fantasy Football and NFL Insights and Rundowns you need to win your Fantasy league and your NFL Bets

Last night, UConn women's basketball advanced to their 30th consecutive Sweet 16, the longest streak in both men's and women's tournament history. Which school holds the men's record for the most consecutive Sweet 16 appearances?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Photo: Mike Trout | Source: Sports Illustrated

On March 26, 2019, the Angels signed 27-year-old CF Mike Trout to a record 12-year, $426 million contract. At the time, it was the largest contract in North American sports history but was later surpassed in 2020 by Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes’ 10-year, $500 million deal. Trout’s contract extends through the 2030 season and is fully guaranteed with an annual average salary of $35.5 million. When healthy, the superstar has lived up to the monster payday; In his five seasons since inking the extension, Trout has batted .290 and been named to four All-Star Games. He is second among all active MLB players in both career slugging percentage (.582) and career on-base percentage (.418), and first in wins above replacement (WAR) by over 20 points at 85.2. However, Trout, now 31, has recently struggled to remain on the field due to injury. In the past three seasons, he’s played in just 237 of the Angels’ 486 games (48.8%) and eclipsed the century mark just once (119 games played in 2022). The Angels haven’t finished a season above .500 since 2015 and have failed to reach the playoffs every year since 2014, which is tied with the Tigers for the longest active postseason drought in the bigs. Trout's former co-superstar, Shohei Ohtani, left the Halos for the Dodgers this offseason in free agency, signing an MLB-record, 10-year, $700 million deal. Despite having Trout under contract for another six years, the organization’s future remains bleak - is it time for Trout to also move on from the Angels?


  • Golden State Warriors @ Miami Heat 7:30pm ET, Local

  • Los Angeles Lakers @ Milwaukee Bucks 7:30pm ET, TNT

  • Oklahoma City Thunder @ New Orleans Pelicans 8:00pm ET, Local

  • Dallas Mavericks @ Sacramento Kings 10:00pm ET, TNT


  • Boston Bruins @ Florida Panthers 7:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • Edmonton Oilers @ Winnipeg Jets 8:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • Montreal Canadiens @ Colorado Avalanche 9:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • Full Schedule

NCAA Men’s Basketball NIT - Quarterfinals

  • Ohio State vs. Georgia 7:00pm ET, ESPN

  • Indiana State vs. Cincinnati 9:00pm ET, ESPN

Trivia Time Answer

C. North Carolina. The Tar Heels hold the men’s record for most consecutive Sweet 16 appearances, having reached the regional semifinals in 13 straight seasons from 1980-81 to 1992-93 under legendary HC Dean Smith. The second-longest men’s streak is actually active, as Gonzaga’s win over Kansas in Saturday’s Round of 32 gave HC Mark Few and the Bulldogs their ninth-straight Sweet 16 appearance - on the women’s side, South Carolina trails UConn’s record with 10 consecutive berths to the Sweet 16, which is also an active streak.

Prime Lock of the Day

Subscribe to Blitz Prime to unlock this betting slip. For those already signed up, enjoy the winner!


  • Lakers @ Bucks: LAL +8.5 (-110)

Thank you for reading!