Sports round-up: What you missed week of April 3

UConn, South Carolina named national champions

On Sunday afternoon, the South Carolina Gamecocks were crowned NCAA Champions for the third time under head coach Dawn Staley. Their 87-75 victory came against the Iowa Hawkeyes and superstar guard Caitlin Clark.

South Carolina proved to be too much for Iowa thanks in large part to Kamilla Cardoso, who dominated inside with 15 points and 17 rebounds. Additionally, guards Te-Hina Paopao and Tessa Johnson combined for 33 points. Clark contributed 30 points and eight assists, which gives her the most points ever in NCAA tournament history, men or women.

As for the men’s bracket, UConn took down the mighty Zach Edey and Purdue on Monday night, marking the first back-to-back champions since the 2006-2007 Florida Gators. The Huskies were led by guards Tristen Newton and Stephon Castle, who combined for 35 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds. Edey was able to dominate to his typical level with 37 points, but only one other Boilermaker scored in double figures.  


John Calipari ends legendary run at Kentucky for Arkansas

After a run that included four Final Four appearances, six SEC titles, an NCAA title and a Naismith College Coach of the Year honor, Kentucky coach John Calipari has decided to take the head coaching position at the University of Arkansas. Calipari’s Wildcats have been bounced from the first round of the NCAA March Madness tournament in two of the past three years and have not made the Sweet Sixteen since 2018.

Under Calipari, Kentucky has produced the most NBA players and NBA All-Stars, followed closely by Duke. In 2012, Calipari led the Wildcats to their first NCAA title since Tubby Smith in 1998. In 2015, Calipari was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach.

Calipari’s decision to join Arkansas means he will stay in an SEC division that has seen a massive rise in talent and competition. Teams such as Alabama, Tennessee, Auburn, Texas A&M and South Carolina have all become basketball powerhouses in the past few seasons. The Arkansas Razorbacks are coming off a disappointing 16-17 season.


Rising arm injuries leads to MLBPA response

Spencer Strider, Framber Valdez, Gerrit Cole and Shane Bieber are just a handful of All-Star pitchers who have been placed on the injured list this season with some sort of elbow inflammation. Bieber, along with Eury Pérez, Jonathan Loáisiga and Asa Lacy, already underwent Tommy John surgery, meaning they’ll miss the 2024 season.

The rise in elbow injuries has become a cause for concern amongst players, teams and fans, and many have questioned what has led to the rise. Some have argued that the increased focus on velocity is a cause, while others say it could be a result of baseball’s lockdown on foreign substances. 

The MLB Players Association (MLBPA), however, seems to think the implementation of the pitch clock last season is to blame. In a statement, MLBPA director Tony Clark said, “Despite unanimous player opposition and significant concerns regarding health and safety, the Commissioner’s Office reduced the length of the Pitch Clock last December, just one season removed from implementing the most significant rule change in decades.”


Vince Carter, Chauncey Billups among 2024 hall of famers

The 2024 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced their annual class, with NBA stars Vince Carter and Chauncey Billups, along with Walter Davis, Doug Collins and Herb Simon, having been elected. Additionally, Jerry West has now been inducted a record three times, as a player in 1980, as a member of the Olympic team in 2010 and now as a contributor to the game.

Carter played 22 seasons, including five for the New Jersey Nets from 2005-2009. Though he never won a championship, his 22 seasons are an NBA record. Billups, who retired in 2014, was a five-time All-Star and the 2004 Finals MVP.


Featured photo courtesy of @gamecockWBB, X