Giant Peanut-Shaped Asteroid to Pass Harmlessly by Earth Wednesday

Asteroid 2014 JO25 will streak past Earth April 19, coming within 4.6 times the distance from Earth to the moon.

A huge, shiny, peanut-shaped asteroid will safely swing by Earth tomorrow morning (April 19), coming within a distance of 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers) of the planet — about 4.6 times the distance from Earth to the moon.

Source: Giant Peanut-Shaped Asteroid to Pass Harmlessly by Earth Wednesday

Malkin will return to Penguins lineup for playoff opener | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan minced no words when addressing Evgeni Malkin’s status for the team’s first game of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

“Geno will be in the lineup and full-go,” Sullivan said after the Penguins’ practice Tuesday at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry.

Malkin also said he will play in Game 1 of the team’s first round series Wednesday against Columbus at PPG Paints Arena. He missed the final 13 games of the regular season with an upper-body injury.

Read More From Source: Malkin will return to Penguins lineup for playoff opener | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

How the U.N.C. Tar Heels Won Their 6th National Championship

The Tar Heels won a sloppy game against Gonzaga, pulling away in the final minutes.

It was a sloppily played game, and at times poorly officiated, as the referees seemed to miss several calls in the second half.

“It was an ugly game,” said North Carolina Coach Roy Williams, who won his third national title with the Tar Heels. “I don’t think either team played well offensively. The magnitude of the game had a lot to do with it.”

You can read the Final Four game report here.

Read the complete story about the origin of the March Madness theme song here.

Source: How the U.N.C. Tar Heels Won Their 6th National Championship

Everything You Need to Know About the 2017 NCAA Basketball Championship Game | Bleacher Report

 

Gonzaga Bulldogs

This is more than just Gonzaga's first trip to the Final Four.

This is more than just Gonzaga’s first trip to the Final Four.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Record: 37-1, No. 1 seed in West Region

Path to Phoenix: 66-46 over No. 16 South Dakota State, 79-73 over No. 8 Northwestern, 61-58 over No. 4 West Virginia, 83-59 over No. 11 Xavier, 77-73 over No. 7 South Carolina

Biggest strength: Ranked No. 1 in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency

Achilles’ heel: Ranked No. 222 in the country in defensive turnover percentage

If Gonzaga wore any other name on the front of its jerseys, no one would be surprised that it’s here. The Bulldogs have been No. 1 on KenPom since mid-January, playing some of the most efficient basketball of the past 15 years.

North Carolina Tar Heels

The Tar Heels are back in the title game

The Tar Heels are back in the title gameRonald Martinez/Getty Images

Record: 32-7, No. 1 seed in South Region

Path to Phoenix: 103-64 over No. 16 Texas Southern, 72-65 over No. 8 Arkansas, 92-80 over No. 4 Butler, 75-73 over No. 2 Kentucky, 77-76 over No. 3 Oregon

Biggest strength: Ranked No. 1 in the country in offensive rebounding percentage

Achilles’ heel: Shooting 70.1 percent from the free-throw line in the NCAA tournament

Read Source: Everything You Need to Know About the 2017 NCAA Basketball Championship Game | Bleacher Report

Final Four superlatives: Who’s the best of the best in Phoenix? | NCAA.com

Final Four superlatives: Who’s the best of the best in Phoenix?

Best intimidator: Jordan Bell, Oregon

“Jordan Bell is a maniac down low,” Justin Jackson said on Friday.

“Just a freak,” Theo Pinson added.

 Outside of Sindarius Thornwell, no player’s stock has risen in the NCAA tournament as much as Bell’s. Truth is, he’s been doing this all year; it just took a little more playing time and a little bigger stage for America to notice.

Bell played Moritz Wagner, who has well on his way to becoming an NCAA tournament darling before facing Oregon, off of the floor in the Sweet 16. In the second round, Louisville switched everything against Michigan. Wagner abused smaller guys in mismatches en route to 26 points.

The Ducks decided to play it straight up, and Bell made Dana Altman look prophetic. Wagner tried to play hero ball against Bell, it didn’t work, and he was summoned to the pine.

Source: Final Four superlatives: Who’s the best of the best in Phoenix? | NCAA.com

Confederate flag flies next to NCAA arena in South Carolina

GREENVILLE, S.C. — A large Confederate flag is flying from the top of a parking garage next to the arena that’s hosting two men’s NCAA tournament second-round games Sunday evening.

The flag is being flown by a small group of protesters, according to the Associated Press, which arrived Sunday morning and plans to say throughout the games Sunday night.

Protesters said they hoped to make their presence known to the NCAA, which lifted its ban against the state of South Carolina last year because the Confederate flag no longer flies at the statehouse.

Source: Confederate flag flies next to NCAA arena in South Carolina

NCAA Tournament 2017: Ranking all the second-round games on Sunday – CBSSports.com

Saturday was fun and brought upsets; Sunday could be even better

SUNDAY

8. No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 8 Arkansas (South). Just don’t think Arkansas is going to be able to keep pace with UNC.

7. No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 11 USC (East). USC beat Providence in the First Four, then won it late vs. SMU. Now the Trojans and their talent go up against a Baylor squad that is led by Johnathan Motley, a potential first-round pick in 2017.

6. No. 2 Duke vs. No. 7 South Carolina (East). A Duke game rated this low speaks to the opponent and just how good the games/matchups listed ahead of it are.

Tatum-giles-duke.jpg
Does South Carolina have the style to slow down Duke?  USATSI

5. No. 3 UCLA vs. No. 6 Cincinnati (South). We have a few contrast-in-style games going down this weekend, and this is one of them.

3. No. 2 Louisville vs. No. 7 Michigan (Midwest).  Michigan’s Derrick Walton Jr. is going to have another tough test, but he fared well against OSU’s Jawun Evans.

2. No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 9 Michigan State (Midwest). Well, this is going to be awesome. You could make the argument that no team looked better in its first-round game than KU, but of course the opponent factors into that. Now Bill Self has to deal with a Tom Izzo team that turned Miami into putty. Josh Jackson vs. Miles Bridges is a lottery pick face-off that could be one highlight after another.

1. No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 10 Wichita State (South). The most anticipated game of any between Saturday and Sunday, without question. The under-seeded Shockers won ugly over Dayton — and it was impressive.

Source: NCAA Tournament 2017: Ranking all the second-round games on Sunday – CBSSports.com

VisitPittsburgh renews bid to increase hotel tax to attract sporting events | TribLIVE

Pittsburgh’s tourism agency is resuming efforts to create a nonprofit commission to attract more major sporting events to the region.

VisitPittsburgh’s effort relies on boosting Allegheny County’s hotel tax by 1.25 percentage points in a move that would generate $1.4 million a year for the proposed Pittsburgh Sports Commission, along with $4.6 million annually for other initiatives.

“Anything that can continue the region’s momentum with bringing more conventions and, in this case, events revolving around sports is a good thing,” Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said.

Source: VisitPittsburgh renews bid to increase hotel tax to attract sporting events | TribLIVE

 Steelers’ Porter is back – Game Time Changed to 8:20 Start| Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Post-Gazette.com – Acting Pittsburgh police Chief Scott Schubert said Friday that he agrees with an officer’s decision to initially charge Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter with assault but also respects the district attorney, whose office plans to withdraw the most serious charges against coach Porter..

That announcement prompted the Steelers to reinstate Mr. Porter, who had been placed on leave. He was at Steelers practice Friday and is expected to travel with the team to Kansas City for Sunday’s AFC divisional-round playoff game against the Chiefs which has been moved back to an 8:20 PM start time because of the weather.

Source: Pittsburgh police chief addresses arrest of Steelers’ Porter | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette