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Can Trump Make Sports Happen Again?

Rumblings continue about how and when leagues will be able to start playing again, even in a limited fashion. President Trump got in on that action, hosting a conference call for most major sports leagues (and also the WWE, for some reason). The Hot Takedown crew assesses what he can do — which ultimately isn’t much other than pressuring leagues to explore alternative formats — and the options available to each league. MLB might be able to centralize all of its teams in Phoenix, but even one sick player would likely cause it to stop again. Golf, on the other hand? It’s probably fine.

Next, we wrap up FiveThirtyEight’s simulated March Madness tournament and discuss what a win would have meant for the men’s champion, Michigan State, and the women’s, Baylor. For the former, the title could have a corrective to its “Atlanta Braves Syndrome” of consistently making the Final Four but rarely pulling off a win. And for Baylor, a win might have forced the world to consider it a dynasty, challenging the likes of UConn. From there, we talk a little bit about how we’re already running out of things to simulate and rank and reanalyze, and the need to get more creative about the ways we can keep sports in our lives — or not.

Finally, special guest and FiveThirtyEight designer Emily Scherer takes control of our Rabbit Hole of the Week with a pitch for how to fill the sports-shaped hole in your life right now: Watch “Survivor.”

What we’re looking at this week:

Sarah Shachat is Hot Takedown’s producer.

Sara Ziegler is the former sports editor at FiveThirtyEight.

Neil Paine is a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

Geoff Foster is the former sports editor of FiveThirtyEight.

Emily Scherer is FiveThirtyEight’s senior designer.