The GIST - Total eclipse of the heart

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Sports News
From The GIST Team

Good morning!

Countless women’s hoops records were eclipsed during this weekend’s grand NCAA finale, culminating in No. 1 overall seed South Carolina maintaining their undefeated season with an 87–75 championship game win over Caitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes. Historic.

Quote of The Day
Quote Unbelievable.
South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley smiles on the sidelines.

— South Carolina head coach (HC) Dawn Staley, fighting through tears and pocketing confetti after becoming the first Black HC, woman or man, to win three NCAA basketball championships. A true national treasure.

The Latest
Women’s March Madness

🏆 Everybody’s hands go up

South Carolina women’s basketball celebrates after winning the national title
Source: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The GIST: After graduating all five of last year’s starters, the Gamecocks went a perfect 38-0 to win their second NCAA title in the last three seasons and third in program history. Some “rebuilding year,” huh?

Championship game recap: Rallied by Caitlin Clark’s 18 first-quarter points (a title game record), Iowa jumped out to a hot start, but Dawn Staley’s squad — buoyed by Raven Johnson’s lockdown defense on Clark — remained as calm as ever to gradually make the comeback.

  • Tourney Most Outstanding Player Kamilla Cardoso was another difference maker, dominating the paint to post a 15-point, 17-rebound double-double.
  • Freshman Tessa Johnson also impressed, coming off the bench to net a team-high 19 points — a testament to South Carolina’s incredible depth.

Looking ahead: The countdown is on to next Monday’s WNBA Draft, where some of the tourney’s brightest stars — including Clark and Cardoso — will hear their names called in the first round. And as GOAT and trans ally Staley said yesterday, there’s no doubt they’ll keep on changing the game at the pro level.

  • As for the college court, despite rising parity, don’t be surprised if South Carolina runs it back next year with this young and now incredibly experienced core.

Zooming out: From Clark’s historic record chase in the regular season to the tournament pulling in astounding viewership numbers, this year was all about the women’s game. And it’s worth a reminder that this incredible growth comes in just the third year the women’s tourney was even allowed to use the March Madness branding.

  • This is not a moment, it’s a movement — and it’s just beginning.
Men’s March Madness

🎓🏀 The last dance

The No. 1–seed UConn men’s basketball team huddles during their Final Four win over No. 4 Alabama on Saturday.
Source: UConnMBB/X

The GIST: For all the recent parity and upsets in men’s hoops, this year’s title game is all chalk. Two highly-decorated No. 1 seeds, UConn and Purdue, will duke it out for the national trophy tonight at 9:20 p.m. ET. One shining moment, loading.

Final Four recap: Purdue stole the glass slippers from this year’s Cinderella, No. 11 NC State, winning 63–50 on Saturday. Though the Boilermakers had 16 turnovers, they won by holding NC State star DJ Burns Jr. to just eight points, largely thanks to repeat Naismith Player of the Year Zach Edey.

  • UConn, on the other hand, was a fine-tuned machine: Led by freshman Stephon Castle’s 21 points, all five starters scored in double-digits to fend off feisty No. 4 Alabama 86–72.

Tonight’s championship: Both teams are lethal from three-point range, so, like most of Purdue’s games, this one will come down to Edey. But if fellow big man Donovan Clingan and the rest of UConn’s elite D can contain him, the Huskies could become the first back-to-back national champs since Florida did it in 2006–07.

  • If not, it’ll be a sprint to the finish. Even an offense as dominant as UConn’s can’t afford to miss many shots against the Boilermakers, so any mistakes could see Purdue cap their redemption run with a program-first natty. Turn up the tunes — it’s time for one last dance.
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Source: The GIST

Did you know that the most distinctive shift in sports in the last 50 years has been the rapid rise in the importance, influence, and value of female fans?*

Did you know that 80% of all consumer spending is controlled by women?**

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If this sounds intriguing to you or your company, let’s talk.

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SheBelieves Cup

⚽ Back at it again

CanWNT’s Simi Awujo attempts a cross in front of the USWNT’s Trinity Rodman.
Source: Harry How/Getty Images

The GIST: The USWNT and CanWNT won their SheBelieves Cup semis over No. 7 Japan and No. 10 Brazil, respectively, setting up tomorrow’s 7 p.m. ET championship — their first meeting since last month’s soaking wet W Gold Cup semis.

  • While it was tough to judge either squad’s puddle-deterred performance in that one, there’s pressure for both teams to put their best feet forward tomorrow — rain or shine. Paris awaits.

No. 4 USWNT: The Americans trailed Japan from the opening minute of Saturday’s semi, but forwards Mallory Swanson (playing in her first game in 364 days) and Jaedyn Shaw played with unfazed confidence, leading the USWNT to a comeback 2–1 win in front of a record-setting 50,644-person crowd in Atlanta.

  • World-class center back Naomi Girma sadly exited the victory early with a thigh injury, so the USWNT may need to shift their defensive strategy as they seek a fifth consecutive tourney title.

No. 9 CanWNT: The red and white launched a comeback of their own over Brazil, tying the semi 1–1 off a defender Vanessa Gilles set piece conversion before advancing 4–2 on penalty kicks (PKs). One standout moment? Goalie Kailen Sheridan saving this PK attempt by Brazilian legend Marta.

  • Win or lose, tomorrow will be CanWNT’s best-ever finish at SheBelieves, yet another strong indicator that the defending Olympic champs won’t go down without a fight this year. Magnifique.
Buzzer Beaters

🏒 No. 2 Team USA topped No. 4 Finland 5–3 in yesterday’s Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship group play action and will battle for first place in the group against their forever rivals, No. 1 Canada, tonight at 7 p.m. ET. Ice, ice, baby.

Several of MLB’s top pitchers are headed to the injured list, including Cleveland Guardians ace Shane Bieber (who’ll miss the rest of the season) and the Atlanta Braves’ Spencer Strider — a trend that’s caught the attention of the league’s players association.

World No. 1 Nelly Korda is her. The American recorded her fourth (!!!) straight LPGA Tour win by beating No. 30 Leona Maguire at the T-Mobile Match Play event in Las Vegas yesterday. A royal flush.

Florida State sophomore, England’s own Lottie Woad birdied three of the final four holes to win the fifth annual Augusta National Women’s Amateur on Saturday. Bloody brilliant.

🎓🥎 No. 5 Texas softball stunned the three-time reigning champions, No. 1 Oklahoma, with back-to-back 2–1 wins this weekend, handing the Sooners their first back-to-back losses since 2020.

🏎 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen returned to form and claimed his third first-place finish of the season at yesterday’s Japanese Grand Prix, while teammate Sergio Pérez and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz finished in second and third.

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😎 What to view

The total solar eclipse. The Cleveland Monsters (the Columbus Blue Jackets' top affiliate) even released a glow-in-the-dark solar eclipse jersey to celebrate.

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Nice News. Give your morning routine a dash of sunshine with their positive and uplifting newsletter.

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Fun & Games

Take Your Pick

No. 1 UConn

vs

No. 1 Purdue

As you read, the men’s March Madness will conclude tonight, so who do you think will have their One Shining Moment in the 9:20 p.m. ET final?

On Friday, we asked which Final Four game you were most looking forward to. 62% voted for UConn-Iowa, 14% voted for NC State-South Carolina, 13% voted for NC State-Purdue, and 11% voted for Alabama-UConn.

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Sunday Scroll: This is what you came for

Sunday, April 7, 2024

South Carolina or Iowa — who ya got? ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

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O captain, my captain ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Sunday Scroll: The managers of Madness

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O captain, my captain ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

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