The Women’s Tourney Takeover

March 24, 2021

By: Carlos Alvarez


Mia Hamm

“My coach said I run like a girl. And I said if he ran a little faster, he could, too.”

Tomorrow, we celebrate an Underdog and tackle this week’s hot-button issue on the inequality in women’s sports. But first, the 1-seeds are talking down in Texas.

Letter Rip!



Today’s abbreviated edition is shorter than usual due to unforeseen circumstances. The Sportsletter will return Thursday and Friday with an exciting Underdog feature and in-depth coverage of the NCAA Tournaments, NBA Trade Deadline, MLB Spring Training, NFL Draft Pro Days and more.


The Sportsletter



Sweet 16: The Freshman Takeovers 

Photo: G Flume / Getty Images

1-Seeds Stay Perfect Into Sweet 16, But a 5-Seed’s Star Freshman is Turning Heads


Another day of women’s hoops is upon us with the remaining eight spots in the Sweet 16 on the line. Tuesday’s action saw all four 1-seeds advance with ease once again, but it was 5-seed Iowa and freshman star Caitlin Clark (35 points) who stole the show.


The Sweet 16 Freshman Setup

#1 UConn and #5 Iowa will meet in the Sweet 16 to deliver a matchup between freshmen phenoms Paige Bueckers and Caitlin Clark. Both Bueckers and Clark were AAU teammates in high school, and this could be the best guard-on-guard showing in the tournament.


Hail to the Victors

6-seed Michigan punched their ticket to the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history with a win over 3-seed Tennessee.


Star Player Watch

P. Bueckers (CON): 20 pts, 5 rebs, 4 asts, 3 stls

C. Clark (IOWA): 35 pts, 7 rebs, 6 ats

N. Hillman (MICH): 19 pts, 15 rebs


First 8 Advanced to Sweet 16

#1 NC State

#1 UConn

#1 S. Carolina

#1 Stanford

#2 Baylor

#5 Iowa

#5 Georgia Tech

#6 Michigan


Today’s Schedule

#2 Maryland vs. #7 Alabama (1:00 pm ET)

#3 Georgia vs. #6 Oregon (3:00 pm ET)

#5 Missouri St. vs. #13 Wright State (3:00 pm ET)

#4 Indiana vs. #12 Belmont (5:00 pm ET)

#2 Louisville vs. #7 Northwestern (5:00 pm ET)

#3 Arizona vs. #11 BYU (7:00 pm ET)

#2 Texas A&M vs. #7 Iowa State (7:00 pm ET)

#3 UCLA vs. #6 Texas (9:00 pm ET)


Additional Storylines

SI: UConn Blows Out Syracuse to Reach 27th Straight Sweet 16

Yahoo! Sports: Iowa Freshman Caitlin Clark Puts March Madness on Notice With 35-Point Showcase



The Quiet Trade Deadline is About to Get Loud 🔊

Photo: Jonathan Bachman / Getty Images

No Major Trades Yet, But The Deadline is Fast Approaching


The NBA trade deadline is sneaking up on us (Tomorrow, 3:00 pm ET), and the negotiations are picking up steam. A number of key trade targets are firmly on the block. The only big names involved in trades so far have been P.J. Tucker (Rockets-Bucks) and Blake Griffin’s buyout by the Pistons that landed him with the Nets in free agency.


The rumor mill is running wild, but we’ve narrowed the names to ten targes on the trade block. These players are most likely to be moved in the next 24-36 hours.


10 Biggest NBA Trade Targets

Victor Oladipo (Rockets)

Andre Drummond (Cavs)

LaMarcus Aldridge (Spurs)

Aaron Gordon (Magic)

Lonzo Ball (Pelicans)

DeMar DeRozan (Spurs)

Kyle Lowry (Raptors)

Jerami Grant (Pistons)

Malcolm Brogdon (Pacers)

Lauri Markannen (Bulls)


NBA Schedule (Tonight)

Celtics at Bucks (7:30 pm ET)

Nets at Jazz (10:00 pm ET)


Additional Storylines

SI: Rockets Likely to Trade Victor Oladipo Before Deadline

B/R: Playing ‘Trade or Keep’ With NBA’s Top Trade Assets

The Ringer: The Latest Intel Heading Into NBA Trade Deadline



Skating Towards the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Photo: Glenn James / Getty Images

Lightning, Islanders & Golden Knights Take the Reigns in the NHL Standings With 6 Weeks Left


It’s only late March, but it’s never too early to start thinking about playoffs. The NHL standings have seen a bunch of teams jockeying for position in the first three months of the season, but the contenders are starting to state their case.


Remember: The 2021 Playoff Format is Different

The four divisions — Central, North, East and West — will send four teams from their respective bubbles to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Each of the four groups of four will play a four-team tournament to decide their representative in the semi-finals. The four semi-finalists will then be re-seeded, which means no East vs. West guarantee in the finale. The postseason begins May 11.


NHL Standings

If the Playoffs Started Today (24 Games Left)



Tampa Bay Lightning (50 points)

Carolina Hurricanes (45 points)

Florida Panthers (44 points)

Chicago Blackhawks (35 points)



New York Islanders (46 points)

Washington Capitals (44 ponts)

Pittsburgh Penguins (40 points)

Boston Bruins (36 points)



Vegas Golden Knights (45 points)

Colorado Avalanche (43 points)

Minnesota Wild (39 points)

St. Louis Blues (37 points)



Toronto Maple Leafs (42 points)

Edmonton Oilers (42 points)

Winnipeg Jets (40 points)

Montreal Canadiens (37 points)


Full NHL Standings


Additional Storylines

NHL: Andrei Vasilevskiy Extends Win Streak to 12 in Lightning’s Win Against Stars

Sportsnet: NHL Postpones Canadiens Games Through March 28 Due to COVID-19 Protocols



🏀 This March is Madder Than Ever

If March Madness seems even madder than usual to you, it’s not just your imagination. The upset-filled first two rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament produced a Sweet 16 that is unprecedented in several respects. (USA Today)


🏀 16 Things to Know for the Sweet 16

With the sound of ripping brackets still echoing across the countryside, the Sweet 16 is set after a wild opening weekend of the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Let’s run through the field with 16 things you need to know heading into the Sweet 16. (Bleacher Report)


🏀 Reseeding the Field for the Sweet 16

The men’s 2021 NCAA tournament provided more surprises and upsets in the second round on Sunday and Monday, as March Madness chaos continued to reign. But now, we have a larger sample size with which to analyze the remaining field. (ESPN)