Yahoo Sports AM: Caitlin Clark stands alone at the top

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🚨 Headlines

💔 RIP, Mort: Longtime NFL reporter and ESPN journalist Chris Mortensen, who's been battling cancer for years, died on Sunday. He was 72.

🏀 Perfect, again: The South Carolina women completed their second straight perfect regular season (29-0), and the Gamecocks will now try to become the first undefeated national champion since UConn in 2016.

🏀 25 years later: The UConn men clinched their first outright Big East regular-season title since 1999. Next up: Try to become the first back-to-back national champion since Florida in 2007.

🏈 Manziel boycott: 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel says he will boycott the annual ceremony until the NCAA gives Reggie Bush his 2005 Heisman back because it "doesn't sit right with my morals and values that he can't be on that stage with us."

🥎 Streak snapped: Louisiana beat Oklahoma, 7-5, on Sunday to snap the Sooners' 71-game winning streak, the longest in D-I softball history.

🏁 Historic win: Rajah Caruth won Friday's NASCAR truck series race, joining Bubba Wallace and Hall of Famer Wendell Scott as the only Black drivers to win a NASCAR national series race. It's been quite the journey for the D.C. native, who first fell in love with racing after seeing "Cars."

⚾️ Chapman to SF: The Giants signed four-time Gold Glove 3B Matt Chapman to a three-year, $54 million deal, leaving LHPs Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery as the top unsigned free agents.

🏒 Pettersson inks extension: The Canucks signed four-time All-Star forward Elias Pettersson to an eight-year, $92.8 million extension, the largest contract in franchise history and the fifth-largest in the NHL by average annual value ($11.6 million).

🏀 Caitlin Clark stands alone

Caitlin Clark made history on Sunday (what else is new?), scoring 35 points in No. 6 Iowa's 93-83 win over No. 2 Ohio State to break Pete Maravich's all-time NCAA scoring record in her final regular-season college game.

Top 5 scorers:

Clark, Iowa (2020-24): 3,685 points (and counting)

Maravich, LSU (1967-70): 3,667 points

Antoine Davis, Detroit Mercy (2018-23): 3,664 points

Kelsey Plum, Washington (2013-17): 3,527 points

Kelsey Mitchell, Ohio State (2014-18): 3,402 points

What she's saying: "Honestly, if you would have told me that before my college career started, I would have laughed in your face," Clark said of breaking Pistol Pete's mark. "Hopefully somebody comes after me and breaks my records and I can be there supporting them."

While Clark vs. Maravich is an apples-to-oranges comparison given how few games he played, that shouldn't take away from the historic nature of Sunday's achievement. This is a record that stood for 54 years, and one that many thought would never be broken.

Davis came within three points last year, but he only got there by using his extra year of COVID eligibility, which Clark has elected not to use. Can you imagine if she had a full season next year to add to her points total?

The stars came out: Sunday's game — which was "Senior Night" for Clark — was the hottest ticket in women's basketball history. Rapper Travis Scott was in attendance, as was Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, who reportedly paid $7,000 for five seats, notes Yahoo Sports' Cassandra Negley.

The Caitlin Clark effect: What Clark has done for women's basketball — and women's sports more broadly — during her historic college career cannot be overstated. Asitha Jayawardena, a Minnesota father of two young girls, summed it up perfectly in an op-ed in the Star Tribune:

Our daddy daughter dates occur whenever you play. We sit back, relax, and watch you dominate. I see the same transformation in her as I did in myself when I first learned of the grit and tenacity that was "like Mike."

Before you came along, I was stuck in a rut in my own fatherhood, because I had only ever imagined raising a boy. … Thank you for being an electrifying, transcendent athlete who is actively changing the world of sport. But mostly, thank you for helping me be a better dad.

Looking ahead: There are a maximum of nine games left in Clark's college career, with the Big Ten tournament and the NCAA tournament still to come. Then it's off to the WNBA, where teams are already seeing a surge in ticket sales in anticipation of her arrival.

Worth a watch:

Clark meets her idol Maya Moore

Nike's ad celebrating Clark

In related news… Grace Beyer of the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy concluded her college career on Saturday with a women's NAIA-record 3,961 points. The only four players in college basketball history with more points are John Pierce (4,230 points at NAIA Lipscomb), Philip Hutcheson (4,106 at Lipscomb), Pearl Moore (4,061 at AIAW Francis Marion) and Travis Grant (4,045 at D-II Kentucky State).

🏀 LeBron creates 40K club

LeBron James surpassed 40,000 career points on Saturday (40,017 and counting), creating a new scoring club that won't be adding new members anytime soon — if ever.

By the numbers: James, 39, has nearly 12,000 more points than the next-highest active player, Kevin Durant, who is only four years younger than him.

If you took away all 2,381 of James' career 3-pointers, he would still rank fourth all-time with 32,874 points, 582 ahead of Michael Jordan.

James has scored more points than Larry Bird (21,719) and Magic Johnson (17,707), combined.

James has averaged 27.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.4 assists during his career, but he's never had 27 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists in a game.

James has only led the NBA in scoring once (30.0 ppg in 2007-08), but he's led the playoffs in scoring seven times. If you count his postseason stats, he's scored 48,040 career points.

Will anyone ever catch him? 25-year-old Luka Dončić has perhaps the best chance. His 28.5 career ppg average trails only Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan, and like James, he entered the NBA at age 19. Dončić has 10,930 points through 383 games; James had 10,477.

The most consistent athlete ever: "Most careers have an arc to it. A slow ramp up as an athlete approaches its peak, a steeper incline and then a leveling out as they reach the twilight of their career," writes NBA journalist Tom Haberstroh. Not James, who scored his first 10,000 points in the exact same number of games (368) as it took him to go from 30,000 to 40,000.

Keep reading:40,000 points is more impressive than you think

🏈 40 yards in 4.21 seconds

Texas WR Xavier Worthy ran the 40-yard dash in a blistering 4.21 seconds on Saturday, besting John Ross III's record (4.22) for the fastest in NFL combine history.

Does it matter? While the 40-yard dash remains the combine's headline event, it has become mostly obsolete among NFL evaluators, who have more effective ways to measure speed.

That said, Worthy's draft stock will still likely see a boost — perhaps elevating him from fringe first-rounder to guaranteed first-round pick.

Ross saw his stock skyrocket after the combine, and the Bengals selected him ninth overall in 2017. He retired last year after a disappointing NFL career.

Other NFL combine records:

Broad jump: 147 inches — Byron Jones, CB, UConn (2015)

Vertical jump: 46 inches — Gerald Sensabaugh, S, UNC (2005)

3-Cone Drill: 6.28 seconds — Jordan Thomas, CB, Oklahoma (2018)

Bench Press: 49 reps — Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State (2011)

20-yard shuttle: 3.75 seconds — Dunta Robinson, CB, South Carolina (2004)

Seven years too late… Back in 2017, Adidas offered a private island to anyone who broke the NFL combine 40-yard dash record while wearing Adidas cleats. On Saturday, Worthy did just that. Do the right thing, Adidas! Give the man an island!

Combine notes:Winners and losers

🇺🇸 Photos across America

Los Angeles — The USWNT rebounded from a shocking loss to Mexico with a 3-0 win over Colombia on Sunday night, setting up a Gold Cup semifinal match with reigning Olympic champion Canada.

Boston — The Celtics annihilated the Warriors by 52 points on Sunday (140-88 final score), becoming the first team in NBA history with three 50-point wins in a season and upping their point differential to +11.4, the fifth-best mark ever.

Las Vegas — Carlos Alcaraz won the inaugural "Netflix Slam" exhibition match on Sunday beating his idol Rafael Nadal, 3-6, 6-4, 14-12, in Netflix's second-ever live sports broadcast.

Sandy, Utah — Real Salt Lake beat LAFC, 3-0, on Saturday in the middle of a snowstorm. LAFC manager Steve Cherundolo sounded off after the game: "It was an absolute joke we had to play today. It was one of the worst professional sporting events I've ever seen in my life."

🌎 Photos around the world

Sakhir, Bahrain — Three-time reigning F1 champion Max Verstappen began the 2024 season with yet another dominant victory, but drama surrounding Red Bull boss Christian Horner is threatening to tear the team apart.

Glasgow, Scotland — Grant Holloway won gold in the 60m hurdles at the World Athletics Indoor Championships for his 76th consecutive victory (!!) at that distance. His last loss came as a high school sophomore in 2014.

Manchester, England — Manchester City erased an early 1-0 deficit to beat crosstown rival Manchester United, 3-1, on Sunday behind Phil Foden's second-half brace and Erling Haaland's league-leading 18th goal.

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia — Anthony Kim (+16) finished dead last in his return to competitive golf, 33 strokes behind LIV Jeddah champion Joaquin Niemann (-17) and 11 strokes behind the next closest competitor.

📆 Mar. 4, 1993: Jimmy V's speech

31 years ago today, Jim Valvano delivered his legendary speech at the first annual ESPY Awards*. Two months later, he passed away from glandular cancer, Jeff writes.

"To me, there are three things we all should do every day. … Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think, you should spend some time in thought. And number three is you should have your emotions moved to tears. … If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special."

"Cancer can take away all my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind. It cannot touch my heart. And it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever."

More on this day:

🏒 1960: Middlebury's Phil Latreille scored an NCAA-record 10 goals in a 13-2 win over Colgate. He still holds the NCAA mark (all divisions) for goals in a game (10), season (80) and career (250).

🏈 2008: Brett Favre retired (for the first time), calling it quits after a 17-year career. He returned to play one season for the Jets before retiring again, then returned for two final seasons with the Vikings.

*And the ESPY goes to: Winners that night included Michael Jordan (male athlete), Monica Seles (female athlete), Gary Sheffield (breakthrough athlete), Mario Lemieux (NHL player) and the Dallas Cowboys (team).

📺 Watchlist: Monday finish

The Cognizant Classic concludes today (8am ET, Golf/Peacock) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, after Sunday's final round was delayed due to extreme weather, Jeff writes.

Where it stands: Austin Eckroat holds the overnight lead at 15-under (through seven holes of Round 4), and 14 players are within four shots of him.

More to watch:

🏀 NBA: Clippers at Bucks (8pm, NBA); Thunder at Lakers (10:30pm, NBA) … Tonight's doubleheader on NBA TV features four of the top 10 MVP candidates.*

🏒 NHL: Panthers at Rangers (7pm, ESPN+) … Two of the league's three best records.

🏀 NCAAM: No. 10 Duke at NC State (7pm, ESPN); Texas at No. 15 Baylor (9pm, ESPN)

*Top 10 NBA MVP candidates, per 1. Nikola Jokić (DEN), 2. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC), 3. Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL), 4. Jayson Tatum (BOS), 5. Luka Dončić (DAL), 6. Domantas Sabonis (SAC), 7. Donovan Mitchell (CLE), 8. Anthony Davis (LAL), 9. Kawhi Leonard (LAC), 10. Kevin Durant (PHX)

🏀 College hoops trivia

Purdue clinched its record-extending 26th regular-season Big Ten basketball title on Saturday.

Question: Which other three schools have won at least 20?

Hint: They all wear the same primary color.

Answer at the bottom.

🍿 Baker's Dozen: Top 13 plays of the weekend

🏀 Epic buzzer-beater

⚽️ Goal of the year?

⚽️ Yoane Wissa!

⚽️ Marcus Rashford!

⚽️ Mathys Tel!

🏒 One-handed goal

⛳️ Dunlap's ace

🏀 Ricky Council IV!!!

🏒 Goalie goal

🥎 What a catch

🏀 Through the defender

🏒 Filthy finish

🏀 Broke his ankles

Bonus video: Queen's College won its first Wilson Cup (championship of the Ontario division of Canadian college basketball) since 1957 with an epic buzzer-beater. Thanks to reader Jason Hagholm for putting this on my radar late Sunday night.

Trivia answer: Indiana (22), Ohio State (20), Wisconsin (20)

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