👊 MSG Mayhem

Rangers-Devils brawl, women's Final Four preview, NBA, MLB, EPL, NFL news, and more...

It’s already Thursday! And as John Buccigross would say, “Holy Schnikes!” It only took two seconds for gloves to drop at the Garden last night between the Rangers and Devils in a belligerent full-blown brawl. Fisticuffs, uppercuts, and ejections — oh, the good ol’ hockey game. How can you not love it? In the NBA, players prefer to just almost fight, but we still had fireworks, as Wednesday produced one of the most unlikely 50-pieces the league has ever seen. On the diamond, the O’s are addicted to walk-off W’s. On the pitch, the Premier League table is getting top-heavy. And in Houston, we have a problem, because the Texans are stacked. Last but not least, the women’s Final Four is just one day away, and we have a full preview coming your way. Let’s go!

WTF Stat: In both 2004 and 2014, UConn won the national championship in both men’s and women’s basketball. In 2024, UConn is back in the Final Four in both men’s and women’s basketball - UConn is the only school to win both the men’s and women’s titles in the same year and has never failed to do so when both teams make the Final Four.

Written By: Ian Dardani

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🏈 Texans acquired WR Stefon Diggs, a 2024 sixth-round pick, and a 2025 fifth-round pick in a trade with the Bills for a 2025 second-round pick - Diggs, 30, has made the Pro Bowl in each of the past four seasons after being traded to Buffalo from Minnesota in 2020

🏀 Hornets HC Steve Clifford is stepping down at the end of the season and working to finalize a front-office role with the team - after coaching the Hornets from 2013-2018, Clifford returned last season and has led Charlotte to an 18-58 record this year

🏀 LSU F Angel Reese announced she is forgoing her final season of college eligibility to enter the 2024 WNBA Draft - Reese was named the 2024 SEC Player of the Year and helped lead the Tigers to a national title in 2023

Photo: MSG Mayhem | Source: USA Today

NHL - Top Games

  • New York Rangers 4, New Jersey Devils 3: After a pair of chippy bouts earlier this year, it didn’t take long for tensions to boil over between rivals at MSG, as an epic five-on-five line brawl broke out just two seconds into the game, leading to a whopping eight ejections. And the hockey wasn’t too bad either! Nico Hischier (1 G) and the Devs rattled off three straight goals in the 2nd period to erase a 2-0 deficit, but Kaapo Kakko (1 G) tied things up early in the 3rd, and then Chris Kreider (1 G) buried the game-winner with 4:57 remaining to complete the Blue Shirts’ season sweep of New Jersey - this angle of the brawl is even better (NSFW)

  • Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Toronto Maple Leafs 1: Auston Matthews (1 G) netted his league-leading 63rd gino of the season, but that was the only good news for Toronto, as Nikkita Kucherov (3 A), Steven Stamkos (1 G), and the Bolts lit them up on their home ice for Tampa Bay’s eighth win in 10 games - the Lightning (42-26-7, 91 PTS) are now just four points back of the Leafs (43-23-9, 95 PTS) for third place in the Atlantic

  • Dallas Stars 5, Edmonton Oilers 0: The Stars are scorching hot, folks! Radek Faksa (1 G, 2 A) lit the lamp two minutes into the game and then teamed up with Wyatt Johnston (1 G, 1 A) to help Dallas hang four more goals in the 2nd period, while Jake Oettinger (35 SV) stood on his head to shutout the Oilers for the Stars’ eighth win in a row - Dallas (48-19-9, 105 PTS) is one point shy of the Rangers (51-21-4, 106 PTS) for the most in the NHL

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

NBA - Top Games

  • Atlanta Hawks 121, Detroit Pistons 113: Detroit’s backup point guard Malachi Flynn woke up yesterday averaging 4.6 points per game this season. He’s not anymore. Flynn (50 PTS, 18-25, 6 REB, 5 AST) came off the bench last night and dropped a spontaneous 50-piece while shooting 72% from the field in an utter outburst, but it still wasn’t enough to take down Jalen Johnson (28 PTS, 14 REB, 11 AST) and the Hawks, who clinched a play-in spot with the win - Flynn entered the game with 98 points on the season, and it’s just the third 50-point game by a non-starter since 1971!

  • Boston Celtics 135, Oklahoma City Thunder 100: In an interconference clash between two of the league’s top teams, Kristaps Porzingis (27 PTS, 11-14 FG, 12 REB), Jayson Tatum (24 PTS, 7-15 FG, 7 REB) and the Celtics took advantage of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s absence and overpowered Chet Holmgren (11 PTS, 5-14 FG, 7 REB) and the Thunder from start to finish at TD Garden - Boston (60-16) clinched the league’s best record with the win, and SGA was out with a quad contusion for the second straight game

  • Los Angeles Lakers 125, Washington Wizards 120: Jordan Poole (29 PTS, 5 AST) and the ‘Zards gave the Lakers everything they had, but Anthony Davis (35 PTS, 18 REB) and LeBron James (25 PTS, 7 REB, 9 AST) were too much in the end, and Los Angeles stayed hot with their eighth win in nine games - the Lakers (44-33) currently hold the ninth seed in the West but are only 1.5 games back of the sixth-seeded Suns (45-31), with the Pelicans (45-31) and Kings (44-31) wedged in between

  • Phoenix Suns 122, Cleveland Cavaliers 101: Just how fluid is the West right now? Well, Phoenix entered the night as the eighth seed, then Devin Booker (40 PTS, 13-25 FG, 8 AST) and Kevin Durant (32 PTS, 6 REB, 7 AST) went to work and beat Donovan Mitchell (24 PTS, 2 AST) and the Cavs in the Valley. Now, Phoenix is the sixth seed and only a half-game back of Dallas for the fifth seed - Booker has scored 92 points in the Suns’ last two games

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

MLB - Top Games

  • Baltimore Orioles 4, Kansas City Royals 3: The O’s walked it off again! Maikel Garcia’s (2-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI) solo shot put Kansas City up 3-0 in the 7th, but Baltimore cut the lead to one in the 8th, and then James McCann (2-4, 2 RBIs) said goodnight with a two-run single in the bottom of the 9th, marking the Orioles’ second walk-off win in three days at Camden Yards - sidenote: the O’s triple-A lineup is ridiculous; No. 4 prospect Heston Kjerstad had five hits, two homers, and 10 RBIs in a 26-11 win yesterday

  • Los Angeles Dodgers 5, San Francisco Giants 4: Shohei Ohtani’s (2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI) first home run as a Dodger was a moonshot and put the Dodgers up 5-3 in the 7th inning before the bullpen sealed the deal to complete LA’s three-game series sweep of Jorge Soler (2-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI) and the Giants at Dodger Stadium - Tyler Glasnow (6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Ks) went six strong on the bump for the Blue Crew, who are now 7-2

  • New York Yankees 6, Arizona Diamondbacks 5: In a wild rubber match, Aaron Judge (2-4, 1 HR, 3 RBIs) belted his first homer of the season in the 4th inning, and after both teams traded a pair of runs in the 10th, Judge delivered a clutch RBI double in the 11th to ultimately outlast Ketel Marte (2-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI) and the Snakes in Arizona, closing the Yankees’ opening road trip at 6-1 - the D-Backs exhausted their bench and had to send pitcher Scott McGough to the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th… he struck out

  • Minnesota Twins 7, Milwaukee Brewers 3: Twenty-year-old rookie Jackson Chourio (1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI) spanked his first career dinger to give the Brewers a 3-1 lead in the 3rd, but the Twins erupted for five runs in the 7th, capped by Ryan Jeffers’ (2-4, 1 HR, 4 RBIs) three-run shot, and Minnesota handed Milwaukee their first loss of the year - Chourio is the youngest MLB player to homer since Juan Soto went deep as a 19-year-old in 2018

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

English Premier League - Top Matches

  • Manchester City 4, Aston Villa 1: After an early Rodri (11’) goal, Aston Villa’s Jhon Duran (20’) soon retaliated with an equalizer to put City on their heals, but it turned into the Phil Foden (45+1’, 62’, 69’) show from there, as the 23-year-old star delivered a sublime hat trick in just 23 minutes of play, capped by a rocket from Arsenal’s D to send the Etihad crowd into ecstasy - it’s City’s first Premiership win over a top-five team this season

  • Arsenal 2, Luton Town 0: Martin Odegaard (24’) drew first blood, and Emile Smith Rowe forced a Daiki Hashioka (44’ OG) own-goal to double the lead for the Gunners, which was enough for them to topple relegation-threatened Luton Town and jump Liverpool atop the table - both Liverpool (20-7-2, 67 PTS) and Man City (20-7-3, 67 PTS) are now one point back of Arsenal (21-5-4, 68 PTS) for the top spot

See the full international scoreboard here and the current EPL table here.

🏀 Four All the Marbles

Photo: 2024 W. Final Four | Source: NCAA March Madness

The women’s NCAA Tournament hasn’t just exceeded the hype, it’s blown expectations out of the water. Record ratings, transcendent talent, scintillating showdowns — and it’s not done yet. The national semifinals are just one day away, featuring a generational superstar, the sport’s two unquestionable juggernauts, and an unlikely underdog. Welcome to the Final Four.

NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament - Final Four Preview

Friday, April 5 - Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (Cleveland, OH)

#1 South Carolina (Region 1) vs. #3 NC State (Region 4) 7:00pm ET, ESPN

  • Iowa and LSU dominated last week’s headlines, but there’s something special brewing on the other side of the bracket. South Carolina is 36-0 and just two games away from completing the first perfect season since 2016 UConn. All-American center Kamilla Cardoso is a force to be reckoned with inside, Te-Hina Paopao has the second-best three-point percentage in the country (46.3%), and the Gamecocks are so deep that their second-leading scorer, freshman MiLaysia Fulwiley, comes off the bench. This could be one of the best teams the sport has seen in quite some time, but a narrow 79-75 victory over No. 4 Indiana in the Sweet 16 proves they aren’t invincible.

  • NC State was projected to finish eighth in the ACC this season. Now, they're playing in the Final Four for the first time since 1998. Aziaha James is a superstar and can pull up from anywhere. The junior guard dropped 29 points in an upset over No. 2 Stanford in the Sweet 16 and then hit seven triples on Sunday against No. 1 Texas. The Wolfpack won’t beat themselves; they’re averaging just 8.2 turnovers in their last five games, and their defense is elite. Slowing down South Carolina’s arsenal of weapons will be a daunting task, but if James is on, this game could be closer than people think.

#1 Iowa (Region 2) vs. #3 UConn (Region 3) 9:00pm ET, ESPN

  • If you’re looking for storylines, look no further. After avenging last year’s national title loss to LSU, Caitlin Clark will now face her childhood dream school that never came calling — almighty UConn. Instead of offering Clark out of high school, Geno Auriemma went after Paige Bueckers, another former player of the year who has become a legend in her own right. Likely the next two No. 1 WNBA draft picks, Clark and Bueckers will be meeting for the second time in the Big Dance, with Bueckers and the Huskies taking the first chapter in the 2021 Sweet 16.

  • UConn will have the size advantage, with All-American Aaliyah Edwards controlling the paint and lengthy defenders on the perimeter. However, the Huskies give up at a high volume of threes, which is a bad recipe against not only Clark but a rotation of guards who are all shooting at least 36% from beyond the arc. Auriemma’s bench is also extremely thin due to a slew of injuries, and foul trouble could become an issue. Assuming the all-time DI leading scorer will get hers, UConn will have to clamp down on the Hawkeyes’ supporting cast, while Bueckers and Edwards match Clark’s production on the offensive end. The game’s current get-in price is $334, and even in the nosebleeds, fans are going to get their money’s worth. Buckle up!

See the entire women’s bracket here.

Blitz Prime - Women’s Final Four Picks

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  • #1 South Carolina vs. #3 NC State: NCSU +11.5

  • #1 Iowa vs. #3 UConn: IOWA -2.5

Which sportscaster is credited for coining the term "March Madness"?

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Photo: Jimmy V and the Cardiac Pack | Source: Sports Illustrated

On April 4, 1983, Jim Valvano and NC State defeated Houston, 54-52, in the national championship to complete one of the greatest Cinderella stories in college basketball history. After a 26-10 season, including a mediocre 8-6 conference record, the Wolfpack — just like this year — surprisingly won the ACC tournament to secure a No. 6 seed in the Big Dance, which at that point consisted of 54 teams. Three of their first four NCAA Tournament games were decided by one point, and the other went into overtime, which earned them the nickname “The Cardiac Pack” for their many close calls and dramatic finishes. In the title game, they faced Clyde Drexler, Hakeem Olajuwon, and the No. 1 overall-seeded Cougars, who were 31-2 and known as "Phi Slama Jama" for their high-flying style. Valvano had the Wolfpack play a deliberate, slow-paced tempo to limit Houston's fast-break opportunities, and with the score tied at 54 with 42 seconds remaining, NC State effectively played keep-away until Derrick Wittenberg heaved up a prayer with three seconds left that fell short of the rim. However, nobody on Houston accounted for NC State's Lorenzo Charles, who was standing under the rim as the ball missed the cylinder. Charles calmly went up and threw down a game-winning alley-oop to shock the Cougars at the buzzer. Valvano famously ran onto the court in celebration, and the image of him looking for someone to embrace has become an iconic moment in college basketball lore. Ten years later, at the 1993 ESPY Awards, Valvano delivered his legendary "Don't ever give up" speech amid his battle with cancer. He passed away less than two months later at the age of 47 - now on another Cinderella run, NC State is back in the Final Four for the first time since ‘83… can they pull off a second miracle?


  • Detroit Tigers @ New York Mets (Doubleheader) 12:10pm / 3:10pm ET, Local

  • Pittsburgh Pirates @ Washington Nationals 4:05pm ET, ESPN+

  • Chicago White Sox @ Kansas City Royals 7:40pm ET, Local

  • Full Schedule


  • Sacramento Kings @ New York Knicks 7:30pm ET, TNT

  • Philadelphia 76ers @ Miami Heat 7:30pm ET, Local

  • Denver Nuggets @ LA Clippers 10:00pm ET, TNT

  • Full Schedule


  • Pittsburgh Penguins @ Washington Capitals 7:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • Boston Bruins @ Carolina Hurricanes 7:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • Colorado Avalanche @ Minnesota Wild 8:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • Full Schedule

English Premier League

  • Sheffield United @ Liverpool 2:30pm ET, Peacock

  • Manchester United @ Chelsea 3:15pm ET, NBC Sports

Men’s College Basketball - NIT Championship

  • Indiana State vs. Seton Hall 7:00pm ET, ESPN

Trivia Time Answer

C. Brent Musberger. The term "March Madness" was first used to describe the NCAA Tournament by Brent Musburger during his coverage of the dance with CBS in 1982. The term soon caught on with fans and media outlets but was not officially adopted by the NCAA until 1993, when it was used in their marketing campaign for the first time - sidenote: who else misses Musburger calling college football games? An iconic voice!

Prime Locks of the Day

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Women’s NCAA Tournament - Final Four

  • Iowa vs. UConn: Caitlin Clark Over 9.5 Assists (-110)

Who will win the women's NCAA Tournament?

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PS: The Bucks lost again last night… to the Grizzlies! Men’s Final Four preview coming tomorrow, thanks for reading!