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Beside The Points For Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018

Things That Caught My Eye

Team USA did it!

In a thrilling finish to what’s become one of the greatest rivalries in international sports, the Americans beat Canada 3-2 in a shootout after overtime to win the gold medal in women’s ice hockey. Four years ago, Canada beat the U.S. in Sochi 3-2, and in this game, the Americans had to overcome a fierce Canadian power play with less than 2 minutes to go in overtime to win. [SB Nation]

Russia, not so much

Russia has never won a gold medal in Olympic ice hockey. Naturally, the Soviet Union was an international ice hockey juggernaut, but the Russian Federation hasn’t had their luck, winning only a silver and a bronze over the past six games. Moreover, while the Russians at this games are playing great, they aren’t actually playing for Russia, more just the Olympics in general. [FiveThirtyEight]

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

U.S.A. not so much either

This is poised to be a rather disappointing games for the United States, with the Americans (as of Tuesday) coming in 10.8 fewer medals than we’d expect at this point given the team’s historical performance in the winter games. Norway is sucking up all the gold in the room, with 9.3 medals above expectations. [FiveThirtyEight]

Louisville actually didn’t win that time it turns out

The Louisville men’s basketball program’s 2013 national championship — and it’s 2012 appearance in the Final Four — will be wiped from the books, as the team was ordered by the NCAA to vacate the wins in light of penalties levied against the school. The allegations that lead to the penalties include a report that “a former Louisville staff member arranged for striptease dances and sex acts for players and recruits.” [ESPN]

Try out our brand new super fun quiz, Which Winter Olympic Sport Is Best For You? I got ski jumping!

The mom did it!

Cross-country skier Kikkan Randall, the only mom on the U.S. Olympic Team, gave birth since her last appearance at the games in Sochi but still managed to not only return to the Olympics but win gold as part of the women’s team sprint race with Jessie Diggins. It’s the first time an American woman won a medal in cross-country skiing, and Randall’s trip back to competition can tell us lots about work-life balance. [Anchorage Daily News, FiveThirtyEight]

U.S. curling makes the final

A 5-3 upset over defending world champion Canada puts the United States in the final against curling juggernaut Sweden. The team never beat Canada before and hasn’t made the podium since 2006. [ESPN]

Big Number

56.3 percent

The percentage of 2017 MLB revenue that went to players in the form of overall compensation, including MLB player compensation, benefits, postseason payments and minor league signing bonuses, salaries and benefits. Looking strictly at the majors, that figure is 50.1 percent of revenues, down about a point since 2010. [The Ringer]

Leaks from Slack:




yes that story rules she’s a criminal


Oh, and don’t forget
Is this the secret to ice dancing?

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.