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A Tar Heel's mom, the lazy river and robot referees

Chris Steppig/NCAA Photos/Getty Images
Sports Redef

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rantnrave:// South Carolina shocked the world -- the champion no one would have predicted because they weren't UConn. Dawn Staley and her team should celebrate for the next month straight. They beat Mississippi State to win the NCAA women's championship. But the best moment of the NCAA tournament came two days earlier. I jumped off my couch (literally) when Morgan William's jumper fell through the hoop to beat UConn and set an entire arena into bedlam. It was amazing. This was the biggest Goliath falling in a sport where every opponent had turned into David. Geno Auriemma's reaction was classic. He just smiled, like he enjoyed it too. Mississippi State went bonkers. Just writing this makes me want to watch it again. Consider how monumental the game was: UConn had won 111 straight games and four straight titles. Incredible. South Carolina has the title but Mississippi State made history. ... We're one game away from revealing the winner of our REDEF bracket. Wait, that's not why Monday night is going to be a must-watch. Hopefully Gonzaga-North Carolina gives us a firecracker game to end a mild tournament. A blue-blood program vs. the nouveau riche. A team of vagabonds against a group that has bucked the one-and-done trend. A game where big men still matter. ... With South Carolina already crowned and one more champion in waiting, we have a few more memorable moments banked. Now is a good time to peruse our REDEF SportsSET "The Moments That Made March Madness". ... Hey, baseball is back! How will the 2017 season be remembered? Tom Verducci thinks it'll be about young stars and dingers. The next generation, however, might have some issues. The up-and-comers can hit 'em far and throw 'em fast but can't play catch. ... WrestleMania 33 did not disappoint. It wasn't a barnburner but Shane McMahon put on a show and Brock Lesnar and Goldberg gave us five minutes of fury. If that is how The Undertaker goes out, he ended his career on a high. His exit from the ring was a fitting goodbye for a star of his stature.


The story behind Justin Jackson's shot, which has helped lead UNC to the national title game

North Carolina Tar Heels junior forward Justin Jackson has his mom to thank for a lot of things -- his ability to shoot a basketball included.
Andrew Carter | The News & Observer


U.S. sports leagues, fretting over revenue, warm up to legalized betting (Subscription required)

With TV ratings declining, many top professional sports are softening their stance on gambling, which could help them boost fan interest and forge new licensing and sponsorship deals; all eyes on the NFL.
Brad Reagan & Chris Kirkham | Wall Street Journal


One school's formula for athletic success: Build a lazy river and (hope) the recruits will come

The University of Central Florida is spending millions on amenities to attract athletes to its Orlando campus and help it become a sports powerhouse.
Will Hobson | The Washington Post


How Raiders fans became most disrespected in American sports

The Raiders' latest move, from Oakland to Las Vegas, shows how misunderstood and mistreated the team's fan base really is.
Michael Hafford | Rolling Stone


What if we had perfect robot referees?

Technological innovations have become part of how we experience sports. The problem is that most viewers at home don't realize the imprecision of the machines.
Hua Hsu | The New Yorker


Redef

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