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Beside The Points For Thursday, April 5, 2018

Things That Caught My Eye

Villanova team one of the best ever

Villanova defeated Michigan to win the NCAA Men’s tournament Monday evening and in doing so cemented a legendary tournament run for the ages. On average their margin of victory was 17.7 above their opponents — we’d expect only a +7.9 points for that figure — which makes them the fifth-best tourney winners by margin of victory. [FiveThirtyEight]

Sergio donates golf equipment to Georgia pond

Defending Masters champion Sergio Garcia — who recently named his newborn daughter Azalea after the trademark flowers of Augusta National — did his best to erase any fond memories he has of the iconic golf course on Thursday. At a respectable 2-over par to start the 15th hole, the Spaniard hit his second shot into the water that protects the par-5 green. He took a drop and hit his next shot into the water. Then he did it again. And again. And again. He eventually carded a 13 on the hole — tied for the worst score on any hole in Masters history — on his way to finishing a gruesome 9-over par. [ESPN]

Frozen Four coming up

The college men’s hockey championship starts tonight in Minnesota. If you’re looking for the future of the U.S. game, it’s there; while the NHL is 45 percent Canadian and 27 percent American, the Frozen Four teams are 81 percent U.S.-born. Namely, it’s Minnesotans; of the 88 Americans, 26 are from Minnesota. [ESPN]

Try out our interactive, Which World Cup Team Should You Root For?

You can gamble on the draft

The lines are out for what goes down at the 2018 NFL Draft. The over/under for Alabama players selected in the first round of the NFL draft is set at 4, which is oddly higher than the over/under line for running backs (1.5) and wide receivers (2.5) in the first round. [ESPN]

Chaos at UFC 223

Conor McGregor is being stripped of his UFC title because he hasn’t bothered to compete at a UFC event since November 2016. He isn’t taking this well; McGregor and a group of about 20 others allegedly entered the UFC 223 arena area and attacked a bus, and several fighters were injured. [ESPN]

In other ridiculous fighting news

Wrestlemania is this Sunday, a seven hour time slot full of 13 scheduled fights (and purportedly an additional fight between the Undertaker and John Cena). If that last fight does occur, it’s interesting because despite being two of the top draws for the brand, Cena and the Undertaker have not in fact faced one another in a singles match in more than 11 years. [Deadspin]

42 points over the second banana

Taylor Hall is a one-man offense, and in NHL history since 1951 ranks 30th when it comes to the gap between the number of points that the top scorer on the team racked up (93 for Hall) and the second-place scorer on the team (in the Devils’ case, 51 points), at +42. Hilariously, Wayne Gretzky is 10 of those 29 people. [FiveThirtyEight]

Big Number(s)

26 percent

Kyrie Irving is hurt and will miss the playoffs. This is devastating for the Celtics’ chances of a title. Their shot of beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in a seven-game series drop from 41 percent with Irving to 26 percent if Irving is replaced with a -1.0 Real Plus/Minus player. [FiveThirtyEight]

Leaks from Slack

kyle:

geoff:

oof
How surprising is this?

kyle

totally contradicts what celtics had said about it; team doctors are all fired after this season; the same team doctors who let this whole isaiah mess happen

 

Predictions

Oh, and don’t forget
Ugly helmets in vogue

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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