Sports round-up: What you missed over spring break

March Madness begins

Both the men’s and women’s NCAA March Madness playoffs began over the weekend, and upsets were seen all over the two tournaments. In the men’s bracket, some of the first-round upsets included No. 13 Yale taking down No. 4 Auburn, No. 11 Duquesne beating No. 6 BYU, No. 12 Grand Canyon over No. 5 Saint Mary’s, No. 12 James Madison over No. 5 Wisconsin, No. 11 NC State over No. 6 Texas Tech and the biggest upset of the weekend coming from No. 14 Oakland beating No. 3 Kentucky.

The second round of the men’s bracket did not see many upsets, with the most notable victory coming from No. 11 NC State, who kept their run alive by defeating No. 14 Oakland. All four No. 1 seeds, UConn, Houston, Purdue and UNC, have all stayed out of trouble for the most part, aside from Houston going to overtime against No. 9 Texas A&M on Sunday night.

As for the women’s bracket, the upset of the tournament so far has come from No. 7 Duke taking down No. 2 Ohio State in the second round. Additionally, No. 11 Middle Tennessee took down No. 6 Louisville in the first round. Aside from those two, the tournament has seen the majority of higher seeds advance.

The favorites for the women’s tournament still revolve around the expected top picks in April’s WNBA draft, including Caitlin Clark’s Iowa, Angel Reese’s LSU, Cameron Brink’s Stanford and Kamilla Cardoso’s South Carolina.


MLB to investigate Ohtani

MLB’s largest international superstar, Shohei Ohtani, will be under investigation by both the league and the IRS. The investigation follows a story initially broken by ESPN on Wednesday where Ohtani’s lawyers claim he was robbed of $4.5 million by longtime friend and team-associated interpreter Ippei Mizuhara.

Mizuhara was fired by the Los Angeles Dodgers shortly after their first game of the season in South Korea. The story by both Ohtani and Mizuhara has come into question after it changed multiple times upon release. Initially, it was reported that Ohtani loaned Mizuhara the money to cover gambling debts but was quickly changed to accusing Mizuhara of “massive theft.”

In ESPN’s article, which features an email interview with Mizuhara, the interpreter claims he never bet on baseball, but rather soccer matches, which does not break any MLB rule. Additionally, Mizuhara claims the money sent was on Ohtani’s own accord, agreeing to cover his debts. 

In a statement released Monday afternoon, Ohtani claimed that Mizuhara has lied throughout this entire process and that he has never bet on baseball or any sport. 


NFL rule changes

On Monday, the NFL announced three new rule changes for the upcoming 2024 season. The approved changes come from a list of 10 that were reviewed by the league’s Competition Committee. 

The first approved change is that the league is now banning the hip-drop tackle. It is now a foul if a defender “grabs the runner with both hands or wraps the runner with both arms; and unweights himself by swiveling and dropping his hips and/or lower body, landing on and trapping the runner’s leg at or below the knee.” This change is an attempt to improve player safety.

The second approved change is that coaches will be allowed a third challenge if they are successful on one or both of their first two challenges. Finally, the league added a “double foul” rule, which will replay a down on what would be a change of possession if both teams commit a foul.


Featured photo courtesy of @iowaWBB, X