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Weekly sports update April 1-7

NCAA national championships

The University of Kansas Jayhawks beat the North Carolina Tar Heels to win the 2022 men’s national championship. Kansas overcame a 15-point halftime deficit to win the game 72-69. The comeback is the biggest in championship game history. It is the Jayhawks’ fourth national title and first since 2008. 

The South Carolina Gamecocks won the women’s national championship, beating the UCONN Huskies 64-49. The UCONN loss marked the first championship game loss for head coach Geno Auriemma; he was 11-0 in championship games. The win marked South Carolina’s second championship in the last five years. 

The Talon’s full recap of the men’s and women’s Final Four can be found here. 

Opening Day

Opening day for the 2022 MLB regular season was on Thursday, April 7. After an offseason featuring a long, drawn-out work stoppage and more trades and free agent signings than expected,power shifted throughout the league. The current favorites to win in each division are:

National League West: Los Angeles Dodgers

National League Central: Milwaukee Brewers

National League East: Atlanta Braves

American League West: Houston Astros

American League Central: Chicago White Sox

American League East: Toronto Blue Jays

In the regular season, the top 3 favorites to win the world series are the Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays and the Houston Astros. The defending World Series champions, the Atlanta Braves, are the fourth favorites to win it all. 

Bobby Witt Jr.

The No. 1 prospect in the MLB, Bobby Witt Jr., has been called up to the major leagues after just one full season in the minor leagues. Witt was drafted as the second overall pick in 2019 to the Kansas City Royals. The 21-year-old hit for a .290 average and had 33 home runs last season in the Royals minor league affiliates. 

Witt was called up after hitting .406 in 34 plate appearances and 12 games played over the course of spring training and is set to start at third base and bat second on opening day.

NBA playoff picture

With just days remaining in the NBA regular season, the playoff picture is starting to form. Playoff games begin on April 16. 

The top two seeds for the Western Conference are the Phoenix Suns and the Memphis Grizzlies. The Eastern Conference holds the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics as the top two teams. 

As of April 7, the play-in games would be the New Orleans Pelicans vs. the San Antonio Spurs and the Minnesota Timberwolves vs. the Los Angeles Clippers for the Western Conference. Atlanta Hawks vs. Charlotte Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Brooklyn Nets would be the games for the Eastern Conference.  

Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers were eliminated from playoff contention after losing to the Suns on Tuesday, April 5. This marks the second time James has missed the playoffs since 2005.  

The full playoff picture as of April 7 can be found here.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods is competing in the 2022 Masters. Woods was hospitalized due to a car wreck on Feb. 23, 2021, suffering multiple severe leg injuries. After playing his practice rounds throughout the week, Woods decided he felt healthy enough to compete. 

The 2022 Masters tournament will be Woods’s first major tournament since the accident 14 months ago. Woods will tee off on Thursday, April 7 at 10:04 a.m., looking to win his sixth Masters and add to his 15 total major wins. 

The 2022 Masters starts on Thursday, April 7 and will go until Sunday, April 10.

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