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Weekly Sports Update March 25-31

Final Four

The 2022 NCAA men’s and women’s Final Four is set. For the men: Kansas, Duke, North Carolina and Villanova each won their respective regions. Kansas and Villanova will play on Saturday, April 2 at 5 p.m. with North Carolina vs. Duke to follow. 

The winners of the two games will meet for the national championship on Monday, April 4. 

For the women: Connecticut, Stanford, South Carolina and Louisville will make the trip to Indianapolis to compete in the 2022 Final Four. South Carolina will take on Louisville on April 1 at 6:30 p.m. with Connecticut vs. Stanford following. The women’s championship game will tip-off on April 3.

USA soccer

The United States men’s national soccer team officially qualified for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Despite a loss to Costa Rica on Wednesday, March 30, the U.S. did enough to qualify for the first time since the 2012 World Cup in Japan. 

The World Cup will kick off on November 21, 2022 and go until mid December. 

Kyrie Irving

New York City lifted their vaccine mandate for athletes and performers in arenas, allowing Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving to play his first home game of the season. Irving has only played in away games all season due to not receiving the vaccine. Despite admitting to hurting the team by only playing in half the games so far this season, Irving has no regrets in the way things have played out. 

“Me being in and out hasn’t helped the team in terms of continuity,” Irving said. “But there is no guilt that I feel.”

Irving will play in all games from here on out. The Nets sit in the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, which could give them a playoff berth. 

NFL overtime changes

The NFL owners voted in favor of changing the overtime rules for the 2022-2023 season. The new rules will guarantee both teams get an offensive possession in overtime during playoff games. Regular season games will continue to use the current rules, which do not guarantee both teams a chance on offense during overtime. 

Out of 32 NFL owners, 29 voted in favor of the new rule.

Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols signed a 1-year deal with his former team the St. Louis Cardinals. Pujols left St. Louis in 2011 when he signed with the Los Angeles Angels. Pujols won the MVP Award twice and led the Cardinals to two World Series titles during his 11-year tenure with the team. 

Pujols also announced this year would be his last in professional baseball at the age of 42. 

MLB rankings

The 2022 MLB regular season begins in one week as the first power rankings have been released. has the Los Angeles Dodgers as the No. 1 team in the league. The Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees and New York Mets round out the top five. 

The full first power ranking of the 2022 season can be found here. 

NBA playoff picture

The NBA playoffs begin on April 16 and teams begin their final push of the 2021-2022 season.  

The Phoenix Suns and the Miami Heat currently hold the No. 1 seeds in their respective conferences. The Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat are currently the only teams to officially clinch a playoff berth. 

The play-in games for the Eastern Conference would include the Cleveland Cavaliers, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets and the Atlanta Hawks.

The play-in games for the Western Conference would include the Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Clippers, New Orleans Pelicans and the San Antonio Spurs. A full report on the current playoff picture can be found here.

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