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Paige Bueckers’ Rising Star


OTD 40 years ago, 19-year-old Michael Jordan hit a game-winning game against Georgetown to win the 1982 NCAA Men’s National Championship. Speaking of college thrillers…

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In the first multiple overtime game in Women’s Regional Final history, Paige Bueckers lifted UConn to their record-breaking 14th straight Final Four.

The reigning Player of the Year scored 15 of her game-high 27 points in overtime in UConn’s 91-87 double OT win over NC State on Monday.

Under league rules, Bueckers not be eligible for the WNBA Draft until 2023. But she’s already a superstar — and arguably the face of women’s college basketball — with the Null success to prove it.

  • The 20-year-old has become Gatorade’s first varsity athlete partner in November, and also has NIL deals with StockX and Cash App.
  • She at the highest earning potential per social media post ($62.9,000) among all the other March Madness athletes.
  • Last summer, the Wall Street Journal predicted Bueckers could make $1 million a year.
  • Under the current WNBA rookie ladder, she would be eligible for a three years, $226,668 deal — with a $91,181 club option for a fourth year.

Of course, Geno Auriemma’s team is bigger than a superstar: guards Azzi Fudd and Christyn Williams combined for 40 points on Monday, leading the offense before Bueckers’ late outburst.

UConn will need all of their depth with trusted forward Dorka Juhasz (wrist) likely out for the remainder of the tournament.

Huskies are second favorites (+250) for a national title and will have to overtake mighty Stanford (+350) on Friday, then likely championship favorite South Carolina (-125).

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After signing a one-year, $2.5 million contract Contract returning to the St. Louis Cardinals, Albert Pujols announced, “That’s it for me.”

In 2021 with the Angels and Dodgers, he hit 17 home runs in 109 games to bring it back less than 21 HRs from club 700.

The infallible Hall of Famer will already be considered one of the greatest hitters of all time – but can he end his career with a milestone achieved only by Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth?

  • Pujols is 42 and hasn’t hit more than 20 home runs since 2019; Baseball Reference projects 16 home runs in 2022.
  • He is actually fifth all-time in HR (679), 17 behind Alex Rodriguez.
  • East Pujols third all-time in RBI (2,150), just 64 behind Ruth, ninth in runs created (2,243) and 12th in hits (3,301).
  • He is a three-time MVP, 10-time All-Star, six-time Silver Slugger winner and two-time World Series champion.

In 2004, the Cardinals made him the league’s ninth $100 million player, and in 2011 he signed a 10 years, $240 million deal – making him the second player in MLB history sign a $200 million contract.

Pujols has earned more than $344 million during his career, and his net worth ($170 million) is the fourth highest among active and retired players.

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Louisville rode the hot hand of its own sophomore superstar on Monday to clinch its ticket to the Women’s Final Four — the fourth in school history.

Hailey Van Lith — the first Cardinal player with four consecutive 20-point tournament games – finished with 22, three rebounds and two steals as the No. 1 seed outscored Michigan 62-50.

Van Lith continues to establish himself as one of the best players in the country – and one of the most marketable, who might be worth an estimate $1 million in fees NIL.

  • Van Lith, the first Louisville athlete with a jersey for sale, is averaging 14.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists.
  • In August 2021, she became the first female college basketball player to sign an NIL representation agreement with Octogone Sports and leisure agency.
  • She has deals with Adidas, Twitch, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Ready Nutrition, among others.
  • Of all the remaining March Madness players, she at the second highest earning potential per social media post ($44.2,000) behind Paige Bueckers of UConn.

The Cardinals are in the hunt for the program’s first title after reaching the title games of 2009 and 2013.

Of the remaining four teams, Louisville has the worst odds (+850) to win the titlealthough at Van Lith’s best – when she scores over 20 – the Cardinals are a perfect 11-0.

NFL: The league approved a proposal to change postseason overtime rules to allow both teams one possession, per multiple reports; the current system will remain in place for the regular season. Also: The league expanded the Rooney rule to include women and mandated all 32 teams to hire a minority coach as an offensive assistant this season.

NBA: Cavs center Evan Mobley (14.9 PPG, 8.3 RPG) is out indefinitely after spraining his left ankle on Monday; the 20-year-old is favorite for Rookie of the Year (-450).

Golf: Tiger Woods has arrived in Augusta for a scheduled practice round, according to Sports Illustrated, fueling speculation he will play in the Masters. The 15-time major winner hasn’t played in a PGA Tour regular event since being injured in a car accident in February 2021.