The Perfect Scare

March 11, 2024 The Perfect Scare

By: Carlos Alvarez

Welcome Back!

What a week we have in store. NCAA conference tournaments, NFL free agency (breaking news this morning) and THE PLAYERS Championship bring an epic sports slate this week as we speed towards Selection Sunday and bracket-mania.

If you know a sports fan who would love to keep up with all the excitement of March, pass The Sportsletter and be a team player.

Selection Sunday: 6 Days

Letter Rip!



The Perfect SCare

Photo: Eakin Howard / Getty Images

The Shot That Kept South Carolina\’s Perfect Season In Tact (And Propelled Them to the SEC Title)

The perfect season lives on! Women’s No. 1 South Carolina (32-0) stayed undefeated through a volatile weekend in the SEC Tournament despite trailing in back-to-back games. The Gamecocks survived Tennessee in the semifinal on Saturday (74-73) thanks to a game-winning buzzer-beater from Kamilia Cardoso  her first 3 of the season! That shot kept SC perfect and put them in the finale against #8 LSU on Sunday, and sparks flew. A hard-fought game between two top-10 teams boiled over into a scuffle in the 4th quarter that got six players ejected. The Gamecocks held off Angel Reese (15 pts, 13 rebs) and the Tigers (79-72) thanks to Milaysia Fulwiley’s career-high 24-point performance in the final. Dawn Staley’s bunch won their 8th SEC crown in the last 11 seasons. After all that drama, South Carolina (32-0) is still perfect heading into the NCAA Tournament.

Watch: #1 SC Beats Tennessee on Cardoso’s Game-Winner (74-73)

Watch: #1 SC Staves Off Late Ejections, #8 LSU to Win SEC title (79-72)

Women’s Conference Tournaments

#3 Iowa Wins the Big Ten

#3 Iowa def. Nebraska (94-89, OT)

Caitlin Clark (34 points) and the Hawkeyes needed extra ball to take down Nebraska and claim the Big Ten title on Sunday. Clark was held to just four points in the first half before exploding for 30. She also broke Steph Curry’s NCAA record for most 3s in a single season the day before (163). The Hawkeyes likely locked down a 1-seed in the women’s NCAA Tournament by winning the Big Ten crown — their third straight.

#5 USC Wins the PAC-12

#5 USC def. #2 Stanford (74-61)

No team had a tougher weekend than USC in the PAC-12 gauntlet. The Trojans narrowly escaped Arizona in the quarterfinals (65-62) before needing double overtime to stave off #7 UCLA on Friday (80-70, 2OT) in a game where Juju Watkins poured in a 33-point double-double. In the finals, they outpaced #2 Stanford (74-61) and held Cameron Brink to just 19 points.

#14 Notre Dame Wins the ACC

#14 Notre Dame def. #10 NC State (55-51)

The Notre Dame women’s squad blitzed through the ACC over the weekend by taking down three ranked opponents in three straight days. The Irish beat #24 Louisville (77-68) and steamrolled #11 Virginia Tech (82-53) before clamping down #10 NC State in the finale (55-51). The Wolfpack had two quarters with single-digit scoring in the final.

Our Picks for Women’s 1-Seeds (NCAA)

South Carolina, Iowa, USC & Stanford

*Big 12 & Big East Women’s Tournaments Continue This Week

(See Today’s Must-Watch List)

NCAA Men\’s Basketball (Regular-Season)

#1 Houston def. #14 Kansas (76-46)

#2 UConn def. Providence (74-60)

#3 Purdue def. Wisconsin (78-70)

#15 Kentucky def. #4 Tennessee (85-81)

USC def. #5 Arizona (78-65)

Kansas State def. #6 Iowa State (65-58)

#7 North Carolina def. #9 Duke (84-79)



Wilson & The Steelers

Photo: Dustin Bradford / Getty Images

QB Russell Wilson Announces Decision to Sign With Pittsburgh Steelers (Plus More NFL Retirements, Extensions & Trades)

The new NFL league year is almost here, and the roster-churning festivities are in full swing. Last night\’s breaking news capped an exciting weekend before free agency officially opens (Wednesday, March 13) when Russell Wilson announced his decision to join the Pittsburgh Steelers on a one-year deal. The Broncos will still have to pay Wilson\’s $38 million salary in 2024, and the new contract can’t become official until Wednesday, but it looks like a match made in heaven between Wilson and head coach Mike Tomlin. That pairing gives Wilson the chance to be a leader on offense, and manage the game knowing he can rely on Tomlin\’s stout defense. Free agency week hasn’t officially began, but it has.

 Breaking News: Russell Wilson Announces Decision to Join Steelers

More retirements, cuts, trades and talks took place over the weekend. Two big trades and one massive extension headline the list, including QB Mac Jones and WR Jerry Jeudy. A pair of Super Bowl-winning veterans also hung it up. Let’s rewind:

Notable Trades

Notable Signings & Extensions

Notable Retirements

Offseason Rumor Mill



Good as Gold!

Photo: Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images

USWNT Tops Brazil (1-0) to Win Inaugural Concacaf W Gold Cup & Release Some World Cup Heartbreak

Back where they belong! The U.S. Women’s National Team has been through a rough year on the global stage, featuring an early exit in last year’s World Cup and a stunning upset in the Gold Cup Group Stage against Mexico. But somehow — in the midst of an era-shift — they can still find gold.

Sunday’s Gold Cup finale against Brazil pitted two of the top women’s national clubs in the western hemisphere for the first-ever Concacaf W Gold Cup trophy. Brazil had a slight advantage in field control (57%-43%) and shots taken (11-7), but the USA needed just one strike from Lindsey Horan (45+1’) just before halftime to get the win. The goal came after a long run by Tiffany Rodman, who corralled it on the end line and dropped it off to Emily Fox. Fox found Horan with a massive cross to the back-post for the header. None of Brazil’s nine shot attempts tested goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher (0 on frame). It\’s more hardware for the USWNT!

Watch: USWNT Wins Inaugural Concacaf W Gold Cup by Beating Brazil (1-0)

Read More

NBC Sports: USWNT Top Brazil on Lindsey Horan Goal to Win Inaugural W Gold Cup

Yahoo! Sports: USWNT Wins W Gold Cup on the Backs of 2 Young Midfielders Once Overlooked for World Cup




Celtics def. Suns (117-107)

Bucks def. Clippers (124-117)

Lakers def. Timberwolves (120-109)

*Anthony Davis Has Wild Stat Line (27-25-5-7-3)

76ers def. Knicks (79-73)

*1st Game Since 2016 in Which Both Teams Scored Less Than 80 Points

Mavericks def. Pistons (142-1124)

*Luka Doncic (39-10-10) 1st Player Ever with 6 Straight 30-Point Triple-Doubles


Lightning def. Flyers (7-0)

Oilers def. Penguins (4-0)

Canucks def. Jets (5-0)

*Vancouver Wins 5th Straight Game

Golden Knights def. Red Wings (5-3)

*Jonathan Marchessault Nets Hat Trick


EPL: Liverpool draw Man. City (1-1)

*Liverpool Clings to 1-Point Lead in EPL Table

MLS: CF Montreal def. Inter Miami (3-2)

*Miami Suffers 1st Loss Without Messi

PGA Tour

Scottie Scheffler (-15) Torches Bay Hill

*Wins Arnold Palmer Invitational by 5 Strokes

UFC 299

Sean O’Malley Tops Marlon Vera in 5-Round Decision

Dustin Poirier Delivers 2nd-Round TKO of Benoit Saint-Denis


F1: Max Verstappen (Again) Wins Saudi Arabian GP

NAS: Christopher Bell Cashes In 1st Win at Phoenix



NHL Trade Deadline Winners & Losers

The 2024 NHL trade deadline has come and gone, and it\’s time to analyze the moves teams did and didn\’t make. Some teams made a splash — or multiple splashes — while others failed to address some glaring needs with the playoffs looming. (CBS Sports)

Pros & Cons of Jake Paul vs. Mike Tyson

Jake Paul vs. Mike Tyson? The social media agitator and undisputed king of the influencer ring is taking an apparent leave from his goal to be taken seriously as a boxer to cash the paycheck that\’s sure to come from stepping in with a guy who\’ll be 58 years old. (Bleacher Report)

Men’s Champ-Week Bracket Watch

Champ Week looms and the bubble is still very crowded. Which teams have the best shot to make a push? Here’s Joe Lunardi’s step-by-step user’s guide to a week of conference tournaments and how they’ll impact the NCAA brackets. (ESPN)



Pacers’ Bennedict Mathurin Out for Season After Shoulder Surgery (FOX Sports)

Timberwolves’ Rudy Gobert Fined $100K for Making Money Gesture at Official (ESPN)

Duke Star Kyle Filipowski Trips UNC Player During Rivalry Game (CBS Sports)

Skiing Legend Mikaela Shiffrin Wins First Race Since January Crash (USA Today)

Colorado Student Applications See Record Numbers After Deion Sanders Effect (Yahoo! Sports)

Flyers’ Head Coach John Tortorella Suspended 2 Games After Viral Ejection (B/R)

Rockets’ Center Alperen Sengun Exits on Wheelchair After Scary Injury (Yardbarker)



Tonight\’s Must-Watch List

Suns at Cavaliers (7:30 pm ET, NBALP)

Warriors at Spurs (8:00 pm ET, NBATV)

Celtics at Blazers (10:30 pm ET, NBATV)


Blues at Bruins (7:00 pm ET, ESPN+)

Devils at Rangers (7:00 pm ET, NHLN)

Islanders at Kings (10:30 pm ET, ESPN+)


EPL: Chelsea vs. Newcastle (4:00 pm ET, NBC)

West Coast Conference Tournaments
M: S. Clara at #23 Saint Mary’s (9:00 pm ET, ESPN+)

M: San Fran. at #19 Gonzaga (11:30 pm ET, ESPN+)

W: Pacific at #15 Gonzaga (3:00 pm ET, ESPN+)

Big 12 Conference Tournament (Semifinal)

W: Iowa State at #19 Oklahoma (2:30 pm ET, ESPN+)

W: #16 Kansas State at #6 Texas (5:00 pm ET, ESPN+)

Big East Conference Tournament (Final)

W: #9 UConn vs. Georgetown (7:00 pm ET, FS1)