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Maybe you're not a careful curator of basketball brackets. Maybe you've been depressed since your bracket (along with millions of others) was destroyed by the defeat of No. 1 Virginia by No. 16 University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Or maybe you've said to yourself already once this week, "If I hear 'Final Four' one more time ..."

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This story comes from Religion News Service. A version originally appeared in USA Today.

"OK, this is it, girls."

With 41 seconds left in Loyola-Chicago's Sweet 16 game with Nevada, Sister Mary Fran McLaughlin points out just how close the game is — just like Loyola's two previous games in this unexpected NCAA Tournament run.

After weeks of play, four teams are left standing: Villanova, Kansas, Michigan and Loyola-Chicago.

The Villanova Wildcats and Kansas Jayhawks aren't really a surprise — they were both top seeds heading into the tournament.

They will play each other on Saturday in San Antonio, Texas, and then only one top seeded team will remain. The other semifinal game features No. 3 Michigan Wolverines and No. 11 Loyola-Chicago Ramblers.

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And now it's time for sports.

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In 2009, the former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon took on the NCAA in a lawsuit that challenged the organization's ability to profit from the likenesses of college athletes in a video game. But as the case heated up, its stakes and scope began to sprawl, opening a can of worms that threatened to upend one of the bedrock principles of college sports: amateurism.

Loyola Upsets Nevada

Mar 23, 2018

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Now, we've got a quick update on March Madness. The 11th-seeded Loyola Ramblers are one of the biggest surprises of the NCAA men's basketball tournament this year.

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A single four-letter word — added to a provision of the tax code — has professional sports leagues scrambling, as teams face what could be millions of dollars in new taxes.

"Real."

The revision changed a section of the tax code that applies to "like-kind exchanges." Under the old law, farmers, manufacturers and other businesses could swap certain "property" assets — such as trucks and machinery — without immediately paying taxes on the difference in value.

A Chaplain Talks March Madness

Mar 21, 2018

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The Puzzle Of Quantum Reality

Mar 20, 2018

There's a hole at the heart of quantum physics.

It's a deep hole. Yet it's not a hole that prevents the theory from working. Quantum physics is, by any measure, astonishingly successful. It's the theory that underpins nearly all of modern technology, from the silicon chips buried in your phone to the LEDs in its screen, from the nuclear hearts of the most distant space probes to the lasers in the supermarket checkout scanner. It explains why the sun shines and how your eyes can see. Quantum physics works.

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy ended his drought in convincing fashion Sunday.

The four-time major tournament winner went on a final-round birdie binge to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla. It was his first victory since 2016. McIlroy pulled away at the end with five birdies on the last six holes for an 8-under par 64.

As dominant as his win was, McIlroy shared the spotlight with Tiger Woods, who finished eight shots back.

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Saturday Sports: NCAA Shocking Upset

Mar 17, 2018

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Now time for sports.

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The NCAA men's basketball tournament has included 64 teams every year since 1985, split into four quadrants and seeded 1-16. In all those years — in 135 tries — no 16 seed had ever beaten a top-seeded team.

Until the University of Maryland, Baltimore County beat the stuffing out of Virginia, the best team in the country, 74-54 on Friday night.

All of which is to say, if anyone claims they picked against Virginia in their tournament pool, you should feel comfortable not believing them.

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God Intervenes In Basketball Game ... Maybe

Mar 16, 2018

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As Alex Rivero biked around town raising money for the Newton North High School football team last fall, the 17-year-old started getting pretty good at guessing which houses were worth the door knock. He'd look for lights on and listen for kids' voices.

When he found a house that looked promising, he would stop.

At one place, Dr. Lee Goldstein opened the door. Goldstein cares a great deal about high school football. It's what he was thinking about when the doorbell rang.

Strap in, purists. This game is about to get a good deal faster.

At least, that's what Minor League Baseball officials are hoping. The league announced Wednesday that it plans to institute some pretty big rule changes for the 2018 season — including beginning extra innings with a runner automatically on second base and, in certain situations, shaving five seconds off the pitch timer the league had already instituted in triple- and double-A ball.

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Billionaire CEO Warren Buffett has an NCAA men's basketball bracket challenge that just may blow other office pools out of the water.

Buffett told CNBC last month that any Berkshire Hathaway employee who accurately predicts all Sweet 16 teams will receive $1 million per year for the rest of his or her life.

The Oracle of Omaha went on to say that "if either Creighton or Nebraska ends up winning the tournament, we're going to double the prize."

Buffett, a Nebraska native, is also offering a $100,000 prize to the employee whose bracket stays intact the longest.

The slots in the NCAA women's basketball tournament bracket have been filled and Connecticut is the first overall seed.

At 32-0, they are the only team to enter the NCAA tournament unbeaten.

The Huskies are aiming for their 12th national championship. Last season, UConn was the overwhelming favorite but lost to Mississippi State in the Final Four.

This year's other No. 1 seeds are Notre Dame, Louisville and Mississippi State.

Greece has suspended indefinitely its Super League after the team owner of PAOK walked onto the pitch apparently carrying a gun in a holster to protest a referee's call in a match against AEK.

With much fanfare, brackets for the men's NCAA basketball tournament were released on what has come to be known as Selection Sunday. Virginia, Villanova, Kansas and Xavier are the No. 1 seeds.

The tournament begins Tuesday with opening-round games in Dayton, Ohio, and then gets into full swing Thursday and Friday at eight sites across the country. Final Four action is set for March 31 and April 2 in San Antonio, Texas.

Bored? Try Ax Throwing

Mar 10, 2018

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And it's time now for sports.

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GONYEA: Tiger Woods is building another comeback, and the Paralympics are intersecting with global politics. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins me now. Good morning, Tom.

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The Paralympics begins a 10-day run Friday in South Korea, featuring the world's best athletes with disabilities. Close to 700 athletes are gathered in Pyeongchang, where they'll compete in six sports, including alpine skiing, biathlon and snowboarding.

Most of these athletes have dramatic stories — about succeeding in sport despite physical disabilities, and about the journeys that led them to South Korea.

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