March Madness in the form of the NCAA Men's Basketball South Regional Championship in Memphis turned into a coronation for the Florida Gators.
The nation's No. 1 ranked team coming into the tournament, Florida – the SEC regular season and tournament champions – beat back the Dayton Flyers 62-52 at the FedExForum on Saturday.
On Sunday, the Gators learned they would take on UConn of the American Athletic Conference in a battle to see which of the teams will get to play for the national championship on April 7th in East Texas. In the other national seminal, Kentucky will take Wisconsin.
Mitchell High School put a big time whippin' on Meigs County, decisively affixing its stamp on the TSSAA Division 1 Class A Boys Basketball State Championship with a 56-27 thump'n.
On Saturday (March 29th), two weeks after the Tigers captured the Southwest Memphis school's first state basketball title, a community celebration will unfold. A parade and a string of speakers – community leaders, previous coaches, former players – will add energy to an experience that already has so many feeling like they are floating on air.
Coach Faragi Phillips engineered the title in his third year at Mitchell.
The New York Jets signed star quarterback Michael Vick on Friday for a reported one-year, $5-million deal; however, animal rights group PETA, who seemingly still holds a grudge against the NFL player as a result of his 2007 conviction for dog-fighting, sent out a tweet upon hearing the news about the signing that clearly shows they are not quite over the nearly seven-year incident, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"At least Michael Vick can't drown, electrocute, hang, or shoot a football the way he terrorized man's best friend."
Vick's younger brother, Marcus, came to his sibling's defense on Saturday, tweeting a response to PETA's jab at his big brother asking the Norfolk, Virginia-based organization if it was "still on that (BS)."
Perhaps it was inevitable. As the first openly gay athlete in a major professional sport, some believed it was a matter of when, not if, Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins would be subjected to prejudice from his peers.
According to the New York Daily News, Collins has endured some homophobic taunting from one of his fellow players.
"One player, one knucklehead from another team," Collins told the Daily News. "He's a knucklehead. So I just let it go. Again, that goes back to controlling what you can control. That's how I conduct myself just being professional."
Starting in the middle of March every year, America's attention is focused squarely on March Madness. Sports – and non-sports fans alike – are tuned in to every bit of news around the tournament in hopes it leads to lucrative bracket paydays.
And in the middle of March each year, there's another story that doesn't get nearly the same attention as the tournament. This week, The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida issued its annual report examining the graduation rates of all of the schools participating in the tournament.
The University of Memphis will play George Washington Friday in the Second Round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in Raleigh, N.C. The Tigers (23-9) learned their fate during the Division I Men's Basketball Selection Show broadcast by March Madness Live and CBS on Sunday.
Memphis is the East Region's No. 8 seed. The winner of Friday's game between No. 9 seed George Washington and the Tigers will take on the winner of Friday's game pitting No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 16 Coastal Carolina on Sunday. The games in Raleigh will be played at PNC Arena.
Times for Thursday and Friday's NCAA Second Round games are still to be determined.
The day before they landed a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Louisville Cardinals took ownership of the hardware that goes with being crowned the winners of the inaugural American Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Championship.
The defending national champions thumped the University of Connecticut 71-61 at the FedExForum on Saturday. It was the seventh win for Louisville in the last eight contests against the Huskies.
The Cardinals (29-5) are set to square off against 13th-seeded Manhattan (25-7) on Thursday in the Mid-West Region in Orlando, Fla. UConn (26-8) is the seventh-seed in the East Region and will play No. 10-seed Saint Joseph's (24-9) on Thursday in Buffalo, N.Y. at the First Niagara Center.