Yahoo Sports AM: Djokovic stunned at Indian Wells

In today's edition: Djokovic's stunning loss, the four-man race for NHL MVP, NFL free agency roundup, the Wooden Award finalists, and more.

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🚨 Headlines

🏀 Tickets punched: James Madison (Sun Belt) and Samford (SoCon) for the men; Marshall (Sun Belt) and No. 10 UConn (Big East) for the women.

⚾️ Surgery for Giolito: Red Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito will undergo right elbow surgery today, which could force him to miss the entire 2024 season after signing a two-year, $34 million deal with Boston this offseason.

🎓 NAACP makes statement: The NAACP is urging Black student-athletes to reconsider attending Florida colleges after the University of Florida and other state schools eliminated their diversity, equity and inclusions programs.

🏈 Prescott lawsuit: Dak Prescott is suing a woman who accused him of sexual assault, claiming she made a false accusation in an attempt to extort $100 million.

🎾 Djokovic stunned at Indian Wells

What a night for Luca. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
What a night for Luca. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Luca Nardi stunned top-seeded Novak Djokovic on Monday night at Indian Wells, beating his childhood idol, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, in the third round of the "fifth Grand Slam."

Historic upset: Nardi is ranked No. 123 in the world, making him the lowest-ranked player to ever beat Djokovic in a Grand Slam or ATP Masters 1000 level event. And to think: he wasn't even supposed to be in the field.

  • The 20-year-old from Italy stumbled in qualifying but was a "lucky loser," making the main draw as an injury replacement for No. 30 Tomás Martín Etcheverry.

  • He beat No. 50 Zhang Zhizhen in his opening match on Saturday, then followed it up by knocking off the best player to ever wield a racket.

What he's saying: "I think this is a miracle," said Nardi, when asked how he went from losing to the world No. 462 four weeks ago to beating the world No. 1. "Before this night, no one knew me. I hope the crowd enjoyed the game. I'm super happy with this one."

🏒 The four-man MVP race

(Gregory Hodge/Yahoo Sports)
(Gregory Hodge/Yahoo Sports)

With five weeks left in the regular season and the trade deadline in the rearview, the race for the Hart Memorial Trophy (NHL MVP) is heating up, Jeff writes.

The contenders: Four superstars, including three past Hart winners, have separated themselves from the pack with dominant campaigns.

  1. Nathan MacKinnon, C (Avalanche): 111 points (1st), 40 goals (5th), 71 assists (2nd)

  2. Auston Matthews, C (Maple Leafs): 80 points (10th), 54 goals (1st), 26 assists (108th)

  3. Nikita Kucherov, RW (Lightning): 107 points (2nd), 38 goals (6th), 69 assists (3rd)

  4. Connor McDavid, C (Oilers): 103 points (3rd), 24 goals (40th), 79 assists (1st)


  • MacKinnon: The two-time runner-up is on pace for 140 points, which would be the second-most this century, trailing only McDavid's 153 points last season.

  • Matthews: The 2022 MVP has nine more goals than anyone else and could become just the ninth player in NHL history with a 70-goal season — and the first since 1993.

  • Kucherov: Where would Tampa be without the 2019 MVP? He has 40 more points than any other Lightning player and has factored on roughly half the team's goals.

  • McDavid: The three-time MVP is on pace for 104 assists, a number only two other players have ever reached: Wayne Gretzky (10 times) and Mario Lemieux.

Hart Trophy winners: Every MVP since 1924

🏈 NFL free agency roundup

(Yahoo Sports)
(Yahoo Sports)

NFL free agency started with a bang on Monday, headlined by former Vikings QB Kirk Cousins agreeing to a four-year, $180 million deal ($100 million guaranteed) with the Falcons, Jeff writes.

Running backs on the move:

  • Josh Jacobs to Packers: 4 years, $48M

  • Saquon Barkley to Eagles: 3 years, $37.8M

  • Tony Pollard to Titans: 3 years, $24M

  • D'Andre Swift to Bears: 3 years, $24M

  • Austin Ekeler to Commanders: 2 years, $11M

Plus: Another six of Yahoo Sports' top 25 free agents agreed to deals worth at least $50 million.

  • DT Christian Wilkins to Raiders: 4 years, $110M

  • EDGE Jonathan Greenard to Vikings: 4 years, $76M

  • S Xavier McKinney to Packers: 4 years, $68M

  • DL Leonard Williams stays with Seahawks: 3 years, $64.5M

  • OT Mike Onwenu stays with Patriots: 3 years, $57M

  • EDGE Bryce Huff to Eagles: 3 years, $51.1M

Best remaining free agents: Danielle Hunter (EDGE, Vikings); Kendall Fuller (CB, Commanders); Marquise Brown (WR, Cardinals); Calvin Ridley (WR, Jaguars); Tyron Smith (OT, Cowboys); Justin Simmons (S, Broncos); Trent Brown (OT, Patriots); Derrick Henry (RB, Titans); Patrick Queen (LB, Ravens); Jerome Baker (LB, Dolphins).

The latest: Free agency tracker

🏀 Wooden Award finalists

(Amy Monks/Yahoo Sports)
(Amy Monks/Yahoo Sports)

Zach Edey and Caitlin Clark headline the Wooden Award finalists, and the two seniors are virtual locks to take home the hardware for the second straight year.

Men's finalists:

  • Seniors (12): Edey (Purdue), R.J. Davis (UNC), Hunter Dickinson (Kansas), Dalton Knecht (Tennessee), Tyler Kolek (Marquette), Jaedon LeDee (SDSU), Caleb Love (Arizona), Kevin McCullar Jr. (Kansas), Tristen Newton (UConn), Antonio Reeves (Kentucky), Mark Sears (Alabama), Jamal Shead (Houston)

  • Juniors (2): Johni Broome (Auburn), DaRon Holmes II (Dayton)

  • Sophomores (1): Kyle Filipowski (Duke)

Women's finalists:

  • Seniors (9): Clark (Iowa), Georgia Amoore (Virginia Tech), Cameron Brink (Stanford), Kamilla Cardoso (South Carolina), Aaliyah Edwards (UConn), Mackenzie Holmes (Indiana), Elizabeth Kitley (Virginia Tech), Ayoka Lee (Kansas State), Alissa Pili (Utah)

  • Juniors (4): Paige Bueckers (UConn), Kiki Iriafen (Stanford), Angel Reese (LSU), Aneesah Morrow (LSU)

  • Freshmen (2): JuJu Watkins (USC), Hannah Hidalgo (Notre Dame)

Back-to-back winners: Edey would join Virginia's Ralph Sampson (1982-83) as the only men to win in consecutive years. Clark would be the sixth woman to do so, joining LSU's Seimone Augustus (2005-06), Tennessee's Candace Parker (2007-08), Baylor's Brittney Griner (2012-13), UConn's Breanna Stewart (2015-16) and Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu (2019-20).

Looking ahead: Voting takes place the first week of the NCAA Tournament, and winners will be announced on April 2.

📆 Mar. 12, 2009: Six overtime thriller

Victory at last. (Michael Heiman/Getty Images)
Victory at last. (Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

15 years ago today, Syracuse beat UConn, 127-117 (6OT), in the Big East tournament quarterfinals. It's the second-longest Division I basketball game ever played, Jeff writes.

By the numbers: The game began at 9:36pm and ended at 1:22am, spanning 3 hours and 46 minutes. 211 field goals were attempted, 102 points were scored in overtime alone, eight players fouled out, and the Orange ultimately prevailed despite never leading during the first five OTs.

More on this day:

*That was just the appetizer: The Huskies went on to win the national championship. Walker averaged 24-6-6 to earn Most Outstanding Player honors.

📺 Watchlist: NBA coast-to-coast

(Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
(Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Tonight's NBA doubleheader on TNT features key conference clashes in New York and Los Angeles, Jeff writes.

  • 76ers at Knicks (7pm ET): New York (37-27) and Philadelphia (36-28) square off at the Garden for the second time in three nights.

  • Timberwolves at Clippers (10pm): Minnesota (44-21) and L.A. (41-22) are both 5-5 in their last 10 games as they fight to keep up with the West-leading Thunder and Nuggets.

More to watch:

  • ⚽️ Champions League: Arsenal (down 0-1) vs. Porto (4pm, Paramount+); Barcelona* (tied 1-1) vs. Napoli (4pm, Paramount+) … For a spot in the quarterfinals.

  • 🏀 NCAAM: Stony Brook vs. Charleston (7pm, CBSSN); Milwaukee vs. Oakland (7pm, ESPN); Wagner vs. Merrimack (7pm, ESP2); No. 17 Gonzaga vs. No. 21 Saint Mary's (9pm, ESPN); Denver vs. South Dakota State (9:30pm, CBSSN) … Conference title games.

  • 🏀 NCAAW: Green Bay vs. Cleveland State (12pm, ESPNU); Portland vs. No. 14 Gonzaga (4pm, ESPNU); North Dakota State vs. South Dakota State (4:30pm, CBSSN); Iowa State vs. No. 5 Texas (9pm, ESPN2) … Conference title games.

  • 🎾 Tennis: Indian Wells (2pm, Tennis)

  • 🏒 NHL: Rangers at Hurricanes (7pm, ESPN+); Panthers at Stars (8pm, ESPN+) … Four of the league's eight best teams by record.

  • ⚾️ Spring training: Yankees at Blue Jays (1pm, MLB); Diamondbacks at Padres (4pm, MLB); Brewers at Cubs (9pm, MLB)

*Three-year drought: Barça reached a record 13 consecutive quarterfinals from 2008-2020 but haven't made it back there since.

⚾️ MLB trivia

(Jeff Roberson/AP Photo)
(Jeff Roberson/AP Photo)

Mets closer Edwin Díaz, who returned to the mound on Monday after missing all of last season due to knee surgery, has the second-most saves in baseball (205) since his 2016 debut.

  • Question: Who has the most?

  • Hint: He's played for three teams.

Answer at the bottom.

🏀 Always proofread your work

(Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)
(Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

The Kobe Bryant statue unveiled last month outside of Arena has several errors etched in the marble base.

Whoopsies: In a replica box score of Bryant's 81-point game, José Calderón is misspelled as Jose Calderson, Von Wafer is "Vom Wafer," and "DNP — Coach's Decicion" has a typo. There's also a formatting mistake in Bryant's career accomplishments. The Lakers are working on a fix.

Trivia answer: Kenley Jansen (278 saves)

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