Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (March 21, 2017), we break down the first and second rounds of the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments and talk about where teams stand going into the Sweet 16. Next, we discuss the U.S. women’s hockey team’s decision to potentially sit out the world championships amid negotiations with USA Hockey over pay. Finally, we’re ready for baseball to come back — and preview what to expect in the National League this season. Plus, a significant digit from the NBA.
Links to what we discussed:
- A Duke loss was always going to look like the one they suffered Sunday, writes FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine.
- Neil also wrote about how Wisconsin ousted Villanova.
- Just how mad was the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament? ESPN’s Paul Sabin investigates.
- FiveThirtyEight’s Benjamin Morris noted that despite its continued winning streak, UConn’s chance of winning the women’s tournament dropped after round one.
- The Washington Post took a look at the origins of the U.S. women’s hockey team’s threat to boycott a tournament.
- ESPNW reported on the ongoing negotiations between USA Hockey and the women’s national team.
- Neil, Nate Silver and FanGraphs writer Craig Edwards recently had a chat about why the Cubs are the favorites to win the National League Central.
- Significant Digit: 77.7 percent, the “Charge Rate” of Sacramento Kings forward Anthony Tolliver. FiveThirtyEight’s Chris Herring created the metric — a “simple stat that measures how efficiently a player draws charges” — to try to figure out who the savviest charge-takers in the league are. Tolliver is No. 1.