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NEWS REAL

• FIFA has postponed plans to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams for the 2022 event in Qatar. The plan is still being considered for the 2026 World Cup, which will be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. According to FIFA, “(There was not enough) time for a detailed assessment of the potential logistical impact.” The World Cup is scheduled for Nov. 21-Dec. 18, 2022.

• The NFL and NFL Players Association have unveiled two joint agreements that are intended to “support further resources directed to address pain management and behavioral health.” Full story here.

• The U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and social impact education innovator EVERFI, Inc. have oined the students of Santee Elementary School in San Jose to launch The Compassion Project for the 2019-2020 school year, described as a “national nonprofit dedicated to providing compassion education to elementary school students across the U.S.”

• The U.S. Golf Association has aligned with Marvel Entertainment to create exclusive golf education products to “engage junior golfers on the essential elements to learning the game." Scheduled to launch in June at the 2019 U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach, the collaboration features printed and digital comic books with many of Marvel’s super heroes The story follows Tony Stark (Iron Man) and other Avengers as they teach the next generation of Marvel Super Heroes about golf. Limited-edition Marvel-themed golf posters will be distributed (while supplies last) at the Junior Experience at the 2019 U.S. Open.

• Major League Lacrosse has signed a deal with Anheuser-Busch to have its Bud Light brand become the official beer partner for the 2019 MLL All-Star Game, being played in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD on July 27. The deal includes “prominent signage on the playing field, fan zone activation and various on-site promotions at several sports bars and retail locations in the Greater Annapolis area leading up to the All-Star Game.”

• Stating that “we are continually seeking opportunities to evolve our product offerings,’ Kohl’s has signed an exclusive long-term alliance with Fanatics, a global leader in licensed sports merchandise with the addition of “hundreds of thousands of items.” Full story here.

• Pete Frates and Pat Quinn, co-founders of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, have launched with The ALS Assn. the 5th anniversary of “Challenge Me” with a “new call to action to reignite the passion and generosity of the millions of people who dumped ice water on their heads in the summer of 2014.” 

POLL POSITION

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named the 23 players who will represent the U.S. in France and seek to defend their FIFA Women’s World Cup crown (July 7-Aug.7).

GOALKEEPERS

Adrianna Franch* (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris** (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher** (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS
Abby Dahlkemper* (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson* (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn* (NC Courage), Ali Krieger*** (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara*** (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn*** (Utah Royals FC), Emily Sonnett* (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS
Morgan Brian** (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz** (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan* (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle* (Washington Spirit), Allie Long* (Reign FC), Samantha Mewis* (NC Courage)
FORWARDS
Tobin Heath*** (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd**** (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald* (NC Courage), Alex Morgan*** (Orlando Pride), Christen Press** (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh* (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe*** (Reign FC)
* First Women’s World Cup
** Second Women’s World Cup
*** Third Women’s World Cup
**** Fourth Women’s World Cup

KEEPING SCORE

Luka Dončić, Trae Young Head NBA All-Rookie Team
Dallas Mavericks guard-forward Luka Dončić and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young have been unanimously selected to the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Dončić and Young both received NBA All-Rookie First Team votes on all 100 ballots to finish with 200 points each.  They are joined on the NBA All-Rookie First Team by Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (195 points; 95 First Team votes), Memphis Grizzlies forward-center Jaren Jackson Jr. (159 points; 60 First Team votes) and Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III (156 points; 56 First Team votes).

The 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Second Team includes LA Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (138 points), Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (132), Clippers guard Landry Shamet (85), New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (77) and Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (45).

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office May 17-19
1. John Wick 3 $57M
2. Avengers: Endgame $29.4M
3. Pokemon Detective Pikachu $24.8M
4. A Dog’s Journey $8M
5. The Hustle $6M
6. The Intruder $4M
7. Long Shot $3.4M
8,. The Sun Is Also A Star $2.6M
9. Poms $2M
10. Uglydolls $1.6M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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COLLEGE

BodyArmor Into NCAA
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
Men's Hoops Are 'Toxic'

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Channel Chasers

NFL UK 2019
• Oct. 6 Chicago Bears v Oakland Raiders Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 13 Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 27  Cincinnati Bengals v Los Angeles Rams Wembley Stadium
• Nov. 3 Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars Wembley Stadium

NFL Mexico 2019
• Nov. 18 Kansas City  Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers Mexico City Estadio Azteca (ESPN Monday Night Football).

Thursday
Mar262015

March Madness: People Show Duke Love, But Not As Tournament Champions

By Barry Janoff

March 26, 2015: The 2015 Men's Div. I Basketball Tournament is drawing record numbers for the NCAA and its media partners, CBS and Turner Sports, not only via on-air broadcasts but also through March Madness Live and other digital, mobile and fan-specific activations.

That is due in no small part to the fact that, entering the Sweet 16 games, many of the most popular men's college basketball teams are still in contention for the national championship.

The list is topped by the Duke Blue Devils, which has for the sixth year in a row been declared as America's favorite men's college basketball team.

Not far behind are the Kentucky Wildcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels at No. 2 and 3, respectively, according to a new Harris Poll from Harris Interactive.

However, people surveyed this year showed head coach John Calipari's team a  lot of love, with 48% picking them to win the tournament.

Duke was second here, with 6% picking them to win the national title, followed by Wisconsin (5%).

The rise in TV and digital numbers also coincides with numbers from The Harris Poll showing that 47% of those surveyed follow college sports, the highest number ever from Harris in polls dating back to 2007.

College football is No. 1, with 39%, followed by men's basketball (25%), baseball (10%) and women's basketball (7%).

Also among the Top Ten favorite men's teams that made it to this year's March Madness Sweet 16: UCLA (6), Michigan State (8), Notre Dame (9) and Wisconsin (10).

Filling out the Top Ten favorite squads are thee that did not make it to the Sweet 16: Connecticut (4), Ohio State (5) and Michigan (7).

Notre Dame has not been in The Harris Poll since 2004.

Conversely, two teams from last year's Top Ten failed to make in this year: Syracuse (no. 6 in 2014) and Wichita State (no. 9).

On the women's side, the Connecticut Huskies were ranked No. 1 for the seventh consecutive time and eight time since 2003, with the team coming in No. 2 all other years, according to The Harris Poll.

Duke's popularity among people surveyed by The Harris Poll traces back to 1993. In the 16 college basketball polls conducted since then, Duke has finished No. 1 a dozen times and was ranked as low as No. 3 only once (1996).

During that period, under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, Duke's men's team has won two national championships (2001, 2010), made the Final Four five times and has had 15 appearances in the Sweet 16.

Kentucky has not been No. 1 in The Harris Poll since 1998, and as recently as 2013 was ranked No. 10 among men's college basketball teams.

On the women's side, 33% picked Connecticut to win their tournament, followed at 3% each by Notre Dame, Tennessee, Maryland and Duke.

The growing popular in college sports among those surveyed by Harris supports statistics from marketing, licensing and sponsorship company IMG College, whose numbers show that more than 190 million people are fans of college sports and that sales of college merchandise is a $4.6 billion industry.

CBS and Turner, which is showing games on TBS, TNT and truTV, said they are seeing the highest viewership since they combined to show March Madness in 2011. March Madness Live, which streams all games to computers and mobile devices, has seen to date more than 11 million hours worth of viewer consumption, up 8% from the record set last year, according to Turner Sports.

The Harris Poll was conducted among 2,244 adults, of whom 588 follow college basketball, surveyed online between March 11-16, 2015.

See full results from The Harris Poll here.

CHART COURTESY THE HARRIS POLL

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