Selection Sunday is coming (March 11th to be exact)… meaning for the next month, brackets will dominate the college basketball conversation. But before making a bracket, it helps to know how this whole March Madness thing works.
WHO: 68 teams are invited to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament AKA the Big Dance– 32 automatic bids for conference champions and 36 at-large bids given out by the NCAA Selection Committee based on performance throughout the season.
WHEN & WHERE: The Tournament tips off March 11th with the Final Four in San Antonio, Semi final on March 31st and the championship game on April 2nd.
Here’s a full schedule.
March Madness Schedule
Selection Sunday (March 11)
First four (March 13 and 14)
First round (March 15 and 16)
Second round (March 17 and 18)
Sweet 16 (March 22 and 23)
Elite 8 (March 24 and 25)
Final Four (March 31)
National Championship (April 2)
HOW: They don’t call it March Madness for nothing. If you’re confused about the tourney, that’s ok! We’re here to break down just how the Big Dance works… starting with the First Four.
The “First Four” is exactly what it sounds like– the first four rounds of games between the last four at-large teams selected and the last four overall seeded teams. Losers go home and winners advance to the second round as sixteen seeds.
After the First Four, the regular tournament begins with the remaining 64 teams. There are four quadrants made up of 16 teams who are ranked from first to last in order to determine how teams are paired. The top seed faces off against number 16, number 2 plays number 15…. you get the picture. Only 16 teams make it past the first weekend and are referred to as the “Sweet Sixteen.”
The third round narrows the playing field to eight teams or the “Elite Eight,” and the last four teams standing are the “Final Four.”
If all the times you heard “four” in this article has you dumbfounded, forget the numbers and follow your feels. There is (almost) always a Cinderella story about an under-dog team who defies the odds, strings together a few wins and steals all of our hearts. It’s worth watching for the grown man tears and emotional post-game interviews.
And don’t forget about “One Shining Moment,” the video montage at the end of the title game celebrating great basketball and everything we love about sports. There will locker room celebrations, heads draped in towels after an upset, buzzer beater shots and plenty of coaches yelling passionately courtside.
Now that you’re an expert on how March Madness works, it’s time to predict what will go down in your own bracket. It’s the blind leading the blind here… Each year millions of people try and construct the perfect March Madness bracket but the odds are less than 1 and 9.2 quintillion. No pressure!
ATLANTA – The Atlanta Dream will open its 11th season with a preseason game at Chicago on Sunday, May 6 at 4 p.m. ET. The game will be played at the Sky’s new home, Wintrust Arena.
This will be Coach Nicki Collen’s debut game as the Dream’s head coach.
“I am excited about both opportunities in the preseason,” Head coach Nicki Colleen said. “Both games give us a chance to see who shines when the lights come on and begin the process of finding rotations that work well together. The competition will also help our staff assess who should be on our opening day roster as we begin this 2018 campaign.”
In 2015, Gilbert Arenas, a retired NBA player, who is known for having “no chill” made some very negative remarks about WNBA players. Arenas “recommended that the women dress like they are getting ready to go work at a strip club rather than play basketball to make the league more popular.”, which led me to the question of why women have to look a certain way to get a man’s attention, especially if they play the same sport. The WNBA released a statement about his remarks on the WNBA, in return, defending the players and clarifying that his statements were absolutely wrong.
Recently, Angel McCoughtry, WNBA player for the Atlanta Dream made a statement in an interview where she said “Pay us like you pay the men.”. She went into further detail on how she feels bad about having to go out of the country to get paid more for what she loves to do and wants a solution for the unequal pay situation that is still prevalent for women in professional sports. Also, she responded to negative comments on her Instagram page to speak for all women who feel how she does:
“So basically I have been getting a lot of negative messages lately all because I said I want to get paid more in my own country! In particular I’ve noticed most of the really mean-spirited comments have been coming from men who seem determined to compare us women athletes to our male counterparts. My question is why? Why invest so much hateful energy into knocking the female athlete? Clearly our bodies are not made the same and our games are different so why make the comparison? I wish they would judge us on our own merit, or if not at least judge us in the one area where our game and the men’s game is the same – That is when we go out there our main goal is to entertain! We live for the smiles and the roar of the crowd, we live to win, for ourselves and for our amazing fans! And sure we enjoy the fact that we’re paid to do it, wouldn’t you? Why hate on that? For all the people out there who were upset by me saying I wish I could get paid more I offer this…the next time you go to your boss and ask for a raise for the hard work you do I want you to picture me routing you on. Trust me I route for success, for me and for others. Why should we ever route against one another? As for the game I play, the game I love, if you don’t like it that’s cool but the negativity is so pointless. I honestly feel though that most people who slam the women’s game have never really given it a chance. I always tell people come try a game once, and if you don’t like it then I will refund your ticket myself. Trust me I haven’t had to refund a ticket yet! That being said if you want to get at me with a comment? How about suggesting constructive ways to help us make the game more entertaining? Instead of hurting why not help? Help me continue to help my teams win! Help me to grow my game’s popularity! Help me to continue to help my country win Gold 🥇 ! Help me to continue to be great !! Help ME to entertain YOU!!! Encourage don’t discourage!!”
Questions I have about this include reasons of why we’re still talking about gender equality in sports in 2018?
Why are women so unworthy of attention or equal pay to men in the same exact career field? Why should women have to look a certain way to gain attention from men? Why should men and women be against each other when support could just unite them? How can sports get more entertaining for both genders to gain equal attention? To what extent can women reach men to gather more support for women in the world of sports? Another interesting point I thought of was how come we rarely see players of the same sport but of different gender dating or hanging out? How can we solve this socioeconomic issue and bring both women and men in the same career field closer?
The day started off with a 2 ½ hour rain delay with Kyle Busch leading the starting lineup. But that didn’t stop Harvick, who started in 4th place, from gaining up to a 10 second lead during the race. Harvick has actually led more laps than any of the other drivers at Atlanta with an overall total of 1,152. He celebrated his victory just as he did 17 years ago on his first win of the series, with a 3-finger salute honoring Dale Earnhardt.
Close behind him was Brad Keselowski, who came in 2nd place by 2.6 seconds. Keselowski was one to watch after winning this race last season and racking up 3 straight Atlanta Top 10s. He did jump ahead after a penalty temporarily slowed Harvick. Even though he won stage 2 of the race, he too fell victim to Harvick’s incredible speed.
With 28 laps to go Treyvor Bayne, the 2011 Daytona 500 winner, had a mishap as his engine blew trailing plumes of smoke behind him. This also led Bubba Wallace and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to crash, taking both of them out of the competition.
Austin Dillon, the recent Daytona 500 champion, started from the rear of the field and finished in 14th place. Dillon was also one to watch after winning the first race of the series just a week before.
Next up is the Penzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube which will take place on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday March 4, 2018.
There is no stopping Team USA as the women’s ice hockey team brought home the gold in the Pyeonchang Winter Olympics on February 21st. This is the first time since 1998 that the U.S. has beat out Canada for the win, which happened in overtime on Wednesday.
There was an intense back and forth with the Americans scoring in the first and third rounds and the Canadians scoring twice in the second. Team USA definitely dominated possession of the puck in the second period. However, in overtime, player Megan Killer was hit with a penalty for an illegal play, giving Canada the upper hand. Both teams showed top notch skills making the outcome incredibly unpredictable
For the fans, this was an emotional match on both sides complete with roaring chanting show downs for their respective teams. They were just as hungry as the players for that gold medal win.
After a close game, with a score of 2-2 in regulation time, everything came down to a sudden-death shootout. Even though Canada’s star goalie, Shannon Szabados, showed her amazing skills in the 3-hour game it was USA goalie, Madeline Rooney who made that last winning save.
The U.S. has now racked up 8 gold medals behind Germany, Canada, and Norway. With a 21-medal total, it’s soon to be determined how Team USA will continue in these final days of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Former Atlanta Hawks player Mike Glenn has an exhibit that is on display and it focuses on the bicentennial of Frederick Douglass. Glenn also has on display some of his personal collection of African American history memorabilia for this year’s Black History month recognition.
During the The Spirit of Frederick Douglass lecture, historian Michael E. Crutcher Sr. did a compelling , soul-stirring portrayal of abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
This year marks Gwinnett County’s bicentennial year, one part of the exhibit display — which will also feature some local history — will remain available to the public long after Black History Month ends.
Friday night kicked off the events for the weekend with the NBA All-Stars Celebrity Game presented by Ruffles. Team Clippers (75) took the victory over Team Lakers (66) led by Quavo from the Migos. Also featured on the team was actor Michael B. Jordan, television personality Nick Cannon, and Stranger Things actor Caleb McLaughlin. Team Lakers starred Black-Ish actor Anthony Anderson, singer Jamie Foxx, and Masters Champion Bubba Watson.
Saturday evening was All Star Night which featured three main events: the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, the JBL Three-Point Contest, and the Verizon Slam Dunk. In the first event, Stephen Dinwiddie of the Brooklyn Nets, took home the trophy for his with his major skills. When it came to the second event, Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns made history as he shot 28 points, winning the three-point contest. And Lastly, Donovan Mitchell, from the Utah Jazz, and his impressive second dunk over his son, his little sister, and comedian Kevin Hart, was the proclaimed winner of the dunk contest.
On Sunday, LeBron James gave an MVP worthy performance, leading Team LeBron for a victory over Team Stephen in the 67th NBA All Star Championship Game. With a 148-point James, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Kyrie Irving, and Russel Westbrook dominated on defense and proved their champion status.
“I am thrilled to announce the signing of Damiris Dantas,” head coach Nicki Collen said. “DD has the size, skill, and strength to score in a variety of ways for us. She can knock down the three, attack the basket off the dribble or score on the low block.
“I am excited to see how her game grows as she enters her fourth WNBA season.”
“I am excited to see what Adaora can do in our camp,” head coach Nicki Collen said. “She is a versatile forward that is comfortable on the perimeter or in the post. I believe her greatest strength is her ability to defend multiple positions.”
Elonu, who currently plays for CB Avenida in the Spanish League, was a four-year letterwinner for Texas A&M and a member of the 2010-11 National Championship team. In Spain, Elonu is averaging 10.3 points and 3.2 rebounds for the first-place squad. She has played even better against EuroLeague competition, leading her team with 12.0 points and 4.4 rebounds.