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Sports

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Fans are embracing a San Diego group's effort to bring a Major League Soccer team to the city — or at least, they're embracing the most unlikely name for the squad. With the final round of an online vote set to close Friday, Footy McFooty Face has more than twice the votes of any other potential name.

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Good morning, I'm David Greene with some bizarre sports highlights.

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ERIC ALVAREZ: Before you ask, yes, I did make this segment with things I found lying around my desk.

By an overwhelming 31-1 vote, NFL owners have approved the Raiders' move from Oakland to Las Vegas — though the team will still remain in the Bay Area for at least the 2017 season and possibly longer.

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Stare hard at your March Madness brackets because the weekend is over and we are down to the Final Four.

When South Carolina faces Gonzaga in the NCAA final four playoffs in Arizona on Saturday, it will be the first time both the seventh-seeded Gamecocks and the No. 1 seeded Bulldogs have played their way into the semifinals.

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With college basketball in its March frenzy, a new angle on the old question of whether NCAA players should get paid.

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With the start of baseball season in sight, millions of Latino fans in the U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America will be rooting for their favorite players, many of whom are transplants from places like Venezuela, Dominican Republic, and Cuba. But Spanish-speaking fans, millions of whom watch Spanish-language broadcasts of baseball games, will have little idea of the lingering challenge some Latino players in the States have long faced: inadequate language support from the minor and majorleagues.

Here's a quick roundup of some of the mini-moments you may have missed on this week's Morning Edition.

Oh, butter

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And it's time for sports.

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It's hardly unusual for athletes, both amateur and professional, to have pregame rituals. But the NBA's peculiar commitment to one grade-school snack goes deep: ESPN Magazine calls the PB&J sandwich the league's "secret addiction."

"In every NBA locker room, you'll see a variety of different foods on the table, but PB&J — if there's a locker room that doesn't have it, I haven't seen it," ESPN reporter Baxter Holmes tells Scott Simon.

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier was convicted Friday of child endangerment for his role in the sexual abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

In a split verdict, the Pennsylvania jury found that Spanier's handling of a 2001 complaint alleging abuse by Sandusky, warranted conviction on one of three charges against him. The jury did, however, acquit Spanier of conspiracy and a second count of child endangerment, the Associated Press reports.

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The U.S. women's national soccer team got some disappointing (and not unexpected) news Friday — it fell out of first place in the FIFA world rankings for the first time in years. The demotion follows a last-place finish in a U.S.-hosted tournament of some of the world's best teams earlier this month.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

March Madness is back after a few days off. The Sweet 16 starts tonight with four games in the NCAA Men's Division I basketball tournament. And tomorrow the women start their round of 16. NPR's Tom Goldman is with us now to talk about this. Hello.

It may be considered the national pastime, but in the first three World Baseball Classics the United States was far from dominant, with Japan winning twice and the Dominican Republic winning once. The Americans went 10-10 over the course of those tourneys and had never finished better than fourth — until this year.

But facing a Puerto Rican team they'd lost to less than a week ago, the United States left no room for doubt Wednesday, cruising to an 8-0 win and the World Baseball Classic title. It was the most lopsided title game so far in the four runs of the tournament.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Good news for hockey fans. Later this month, the U.S. is hosting the Women's World Hockey Championships. And Team USA is a favorite to win it all - if they play. Commentator Sarah Spain explains.

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Everyone can relax. Tom Brady's Jersey has been found.

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Quarterback Tom Brady led the New England Patriots to one of the greatest comebacks in football history at the Super Bowl this year. Immediately afterward, his game-winning jersey was stolen from the Patriots' locker room in Houston.

Now, police say it has been recovered in Mexico. The NFL stated that it was found "in the possession of a credentialed member of the international media."

Second-seed Duke was knocked out of the men's NCAA basketball tournament on Sunday by No. 7 seed South Carolina, 88-81.

The game was played in Greenville, S.C., effectively giving the South Carolina Gamecocks home-court advantage.

After the game, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said South Carolina's physical nature wore down his team in the second half. "That's the most physical team we've faced all year," he said.

The Wisconsin Badgers ousted the top-seeded Wildcats in a surprising upset in the second round of the men's tournament. The eighth-seeded Wisconsin closed the game at 65-62, thanks to momentum brought by Nigel Hayes in the closing seconds.

Hayes' layup lifted the Badgers from a tie before Vitto Brown's free throw sealed the win for good.

Wisconsin gained the edge when Villanova called a timeout with 11 seconds remaining.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Ah, time for sports.

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To Harrison Browne, hockey has always been a pivotal part of life. He's been in the rink for the past 15 years and currently plays for the Buffalo Beauts, a professional hockey team in the National Women's Hockey League.

The president and CEO of USA Gymnastics has resigned, months after an investigative report by The Indianapolis Star alleged that the organization ignored reports of sexual abuse by adults working in the sport, including coaches and a prominent doctor.

Forget basketball.

March Mammal Madness may be more thrill-packed than the NCAA's version of March Madness.

Sure, basketball players can jump. But can they jump like the giant pouched rat, which leaps 5 feet in the air? Not only that, the mega-rodent, weighing in at around 3 pounds, can sniff out land mines and identify TB in sputum samples.

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Updated at 10:15 a.m ET Thursday

The U.S. Women's National Hockey Team — the reigning world champions — won't be defending their title this year. They announced Wednesday that they will be boycotting the championships later this month as a protest against USA Hockey, citing stalled negotiations for "fair wages and equitable support" from the organization.

Whether you're a Bobcat, Colonial, Catamount or Bulldog, there's nearly no doubt you've heard of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament that kicks off in full on Thursday.

On Tuesday, we asked NPR's Facebook audience to pick all 67 games of the NCAA Tournament, and you came through, ultimately picking the Villanova Wildcats to repeat as men's basketball champions. You can watch the broadcast in the videos attached to the story.

The second video is every pick from the second round until the national championship game.

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