The Rundown for April 5, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 30,706,121 and the nation’s death toll stands at 555,001, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The U.S. has administered more than 165 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and distributed nearly 208 million doses as of yesterday morning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency said 106,214,924 people had received at least one vaccine dose, while 61,416,536 people have been fully vaccinated… Infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm cited threats posed by variants in claiming yesterday that the U.S. is in “category five hurricane status” with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. During an appearance on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Osterholm noted an ongoing pattern of surges beginning in the Upper Midwest and Northeast then subsiding and surging in the Southern Sunbelt states, before subsiding and then reemerging in the Northeast and Midwest. He expressed hope that a spike in new cases recorded in Michigan on Saturday served as a “wakeup call.”

WHITE HOUSE EASTER MESSAGES… President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden delivered a message of hope in their Easter greetings to Americans yesterday. President Biden released a video on social media urging more Americans to get vaccinated and repeating Pope Francis’ declaration that it is a moral obligation. Vice President Kamala Harris also posted a video, reminding Americans that there is “always reason for hope” amid the Easter holiday.

BUTTIGIEG PROMOTES INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN… Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg continued to press the Biden administration’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan yesterday during an appearance on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.” Buttigieg noted that our nation’s transportation’s decisions were made in the 1950s and argued the Biden plan represents “a generational investment” that can position the country for the future. The plan includes $155 billion earmarked toward repairing roads and bridges; $80 million dedicated to Amtrak repairs; $40 billion for public housing improvements; $111 billion for repairing lead pipes; $42 billion for ports and airports; $100 billion for public school improvements; and $180 billion for research and development.

FLOOD SITUATION IN FLORIDA… Response teams are confronting a “real catastrophic flood situation” in Manatee County, Florida. A toxic wastewater reservoir on the brink of collapse prompted Saturday’s evacuation orders for at least 316 homes. Officials warn that Piney Point Reservoir south of Tampa, could leave homes under up to 20 feet of water if the reservoir gives way. Governor Ron DeSantis took an aerial tour of the area yesterday and clarified that the water is not radioactive. The reservoir holds a mix of saltwater, fresh water, wastewater and fertilizer runoff.

CAPITOL POLICE UNION HEAD SEEKS HELP… The head of the Capitol Police union yesterday pushed Congress for help yesterday in the wake of a most recent fallen officer. Gus Papathanasiou, chairman of the U.S. Capitol Police Labor Committee, issued a statement warning that the Capitol Police Department’s ranks are thinning at an alarming rate. He noted that that the department is 233 officers below its authorized level of more than 2,000. Papathanasiou called on Congress to implement the recommendations presented last month as part of a task force led by retired Army Lieutenant Gen. Russel Honoré that was probing the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol building.

ENTERTAINMENT
‘CHICAGO 7’ WINS BIG AT SAG AWARDS
… The cast of the courtroom drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7” was honored as Best Ensemble last night at a virtual 27th Screen Actors Guild Awards. Also up for consideration for the top prize were “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Da 5 Bloods,” “One Night in Miami” and “Minari.” Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis were honored as Best Male Actor and Best Female Actor, respectively, for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Daniel Kaluuya was awarded Best Male Supporting Actor for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” while Yuh-Jung Youn won Best Female Supporting Actor for “Minari.” The SAG Awards are closely watched as possible harbingers of Oscar wins. This year’s event offers a slightly muddied projection, since the field didn’t include Oscar candidate “Nomadland.”

ROD WAVE TOPS ALBUM CHART… Rod Wave’s new release, “SoulFly,” sold 130,000 copies to give him his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart. Last week’s champ, Justin Bieber’s “Justice,” slipped to second place after selling 100,000 units. NF’s “Clouds (The Mixtape)” opened in third place with sales of 86,000 copies. Another newcomer, Carrie Underwood’s “My Savior, sold 73,000 units to debut in fourth place. Morgan Wallen’s former chart-topper, “Dangerous: The Double Album,” sold 63,000 copies to cap the top five.

SPORTS
STANFORD WINS WOMEN’S COLLEGE HOOPS TITLE
… The Stanford Cardinal built 11-point leads in each half and survived at the end to edge the Arizona Wildcats 54-53 in last night’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship tournament final in San Antonio. The championship is Stanford’s first under coach Tara VanDerveer since 1992. The Cardinal had won both games against the Wildcats during the regular season. Stanford sophomore Haley Jones was honored as the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player after she scored 24 and 17 points, respectively, while shooting 19-of-28 from the field in her team’s two one-point victories.

GONZAGA, BAYLOR BATTLE TONIGHT FOR MEN’S COLLEGE HOOPS TITLE… The NCAA men’s basketball championship tournament concludes tonight in Indianapolis with a pair of No. 1 seeds battling for the title. Gonzaga, the tournament’s top overall seed, brings a 31-0 record against South Region-champion Baylor, which has gone 27-2 on the season. Gonzaga reached tonight’s final with tournament wins over Norfolk State, Oklahoma, Creighton and USC before stunning UCLA in Saturday’s semifinal. Baylor defeated Hartford, Wisconsin, Villanova, Arkansas and Houston en route in its quest for the championship. The game airs on CBS with tip-off scheduled for 9:20 p.m. ET.

MLB SCORES
PHILADELPHIA 2 – Atlanta 1… Alec Bohm singled home Rhys Hoskins with a tie-breaking run in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Phillies held on to complete a three-game sweep of the Braves.

Toronto 3 – N.Y. YANKEES 1… Vladimir Guerrero Jr. smacked a solo homer and Randal Grichuk followed with a two-run shot as the Blue Jays did all their scoring in the top of the second inning.

Baltimore 11 – BOSTON 3… The Orioles opened with a three-run top of the first inning and put the game away with a three-run third. Cedric Mullins went 5-for-5 and scored three runs. Anthony Santander had three hits and two RBIs.

Cleveland 9 – DETROIT 3… The Indians overcame a 3-1 deficit to roll past the Tigers. Yu Chang stroked a go-head two-run single and Jordan Luplow added a two-run homer during a four-run top of the seventh inning. Franmil Reyes also homered with a runner aboard and Austin Hedges connected for a solo shot.

CINCINNATI 12 – St. Louis 1… Nick Castellanos and Tyler Naquin belted three-run homers to lead the Reds in their pounding of the Cardinals.

Minnesota 8 – MILWAUKEE 2… Mitch Garver’s solo homer in the top of the fifth inning gave the Twins the lead for good in their win over the Brewers. Max Kepler singled home two runs and Miguel Sanó hit a two run homer in the sixth.

Texas 7 – KANSAS CITY 3… Nate Lowe opened the scoring with a towering three-run homer in the top of the third inning and the Rangers scored three more times in the fourth to put away the Royals. Isia Kiner-Falefa lined a two-run single and homered.

CHI. CUBS 4 – Pittsburgh 3… The Cubs topped the Pirates despite being held to three hits. Ian Happ walked and came around to score in the top of the first inning and then homered to lead off the third.

L.A. Dodgers 4 – COLORADO 2… Starter Julio Urias pitched into the eighth inning and the Dodgers cruised past the Rockies. L.A. scored three runs in the top the of the first inning on a wild pitch, bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice that resulted in a double play. Will Smith slugged a solo homer in the eighth.

Houston 9 – OAKLAND 2… The Astros battered the Athletics in completing a four-game sweep. Chas McCormick belted a three-run homer. Jason Castro homered with a runner aboard. Kyle Tucker also went deep.

Arizona 3 – SAN DIEGO 1… David Peralta’s two-run triple in the top of the first inning provided the Diamondbacks with all the offense they needed in downing the Padres to salvage the finale of the four-game series. Taylor Widener pitched three-hit ball over six innings in winning his first major league start.

L.A. ANGELS 7 – Chi. White Sox 4… Shohei Ohtani pitched two-hit ball into the fifth inning and blasted a 451-foot solo homer in a two-way performance that helped carry the Angels past the White Sox. Jared Walsh cracked a pair of homers and knocked in four runs.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
Minnesota (Matt Shoemaker) is at Detroit (Jose Uribe)…
Washington (Max Scherzer) hosts Atlanta (Drew Smyly)…
Toronto (Steven Matz) is at Texas (Mike Foltynewicz)…
Cleveland (Logan Allen) hosts Kansas City (Danny Duffy)…
Baltimore (Jorge Lopez) is at the N.Y. Yankees (Jordan Montgomery)…
Cincinnati (Jose De Leon) hosts Pittsburgh (JT Brubaker)…
St. Louis (Daniel Ponce de Leon) is at Miami (Trevor Rogers)…
Philadelphia (Matt Moore) hosts the N.Y. Mets (Jacob deGrom)…
Tampa Bay (Michael Wacha) is at Boston (Nick Pivetta)…
the Chi. Cubs (Trevor Williams) host Milwaukee (Brett Anderson)…
Houston (Luis Garcia) is at the L.A. Angels (Jose Quintana)…
Oakland (Frankie Montas) hosts the L.A. Dodgers (Dustin May)…
the Chi. White Sox (Carlos Rodon) are at Seattle (Justus Sheffield)…
San Diego (Adrian Morejon) hosts San Francisco (Anthony DeSclafani)

NBA SCOREBOARD
CHICAGO 115 – Brooklyn 107… The Bulls gained control with a big second quarter and withstood a fourth-quarter rally to down the Nets and end their six-game skid. Zach LaVine led all scorers with 25 points. Nikola Vucevic finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds.

L.A. CLIPPERS 104 – L.A. Lakers 86… The Clippers cruised past the short-handed Lakers for their first win in three games. Marcus Morris led the way with 22 points. Kawhi Leonard had 19 points and 10 boards.

BOSTON 116 – Charlotte 86… The Celtics made 21 3-pointers to overcome a rough start and blow past the undermanned Hornets. All five starters scored in double figures, led by Jayson Tatum’s 22 points.

Memphis 116 – PHILADELPHIA 100… Dillon Brooks scored 17 points to lead seven players in double figures and the Grizzlies handled the 76ers. Grayson Allen scored 11 of his 15 points during the third quarter as Memphis built a 26-point lead.

ATLANTA 117 – Golden State 111… The Hawks came on strong in the fourth quarter to get past the Warriors for their third straight win. Danilo Gallinari pumped in 25 points. Clint Capela powered his way to 24 points and 18 rebounds.

New Orleans 122 – HOUSTON 115… The Pelicans rallied in the fourth quarter to down the Rockets in a back-and-forth contest. Lonzo Ball knocked down eight 3-pointers on his way to 27 points. Steven Adams had 12 points and 11 boards.

DENVER 119 – Orlando 109… The Nuggets mounted a 14-2 run with 3-1/2 minutes to go to spurt past the Magic. They got 24 points from Aaron Gordon and 22 from Jamal Murray. Michael Porter Jr. finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Washington is at Toronto…
Brooklyn hosts New York…
Utah is at Dallas…
Minnesota hosts Sacramento…
Detroit is at Oklahoma City…
San Antonio hosts Cleveland…
Phoenix is at Houston

NHL SCOREBOARD
Detroit 5 – TAMPA BAY 1… The Red Wings skated past the Lightning for their first win at Tampa in nearly six years. Goalie Thomas Greiss made 24 saves. Luke Glendening and Anthony Mantha both set up two goals.

Washington 5 – NEW JERSEY 4… The Capitals built a three-goal lead midway through the third period and held off the Devils to complete an eight-game sweep of their season series. Alex Ovechkin netted his 265th power-play goal to move into a second-place tie with Brett Hull on the NHL’s all-time list in that category. Ovechkin also had two assists.

FLORIDA 3 – Columbus 0… Goalie Chris Driedger stopped all 32 shots in his third career shutout and the Panthers eased past the Blue Jackets. Aleksander Barkov had a goal and an assist.

CAROLINA 1 – Dallas 0… Jordan Martinook found the net 40 seconds into the second period and the Hurricanes made it stand in blanking the Stars. Petr Mrazek returned after a two-month absence and made 28 saves at goal.

Toronto 4 – CALGARY 2… John Tavares and Auston Matthews scored third-period goals to push the Maple Leafs past the Flames. Alex Galchenyuk netted a tying goal in the second period. William Nylander assisted on two goals.

Arizona 3 – ANAHEIM 2 (OT)… Jakob Chychrun put the Coyotes on the board with a first-period goal, scored they tying goal late in regulation and added the game-winner at 1:47 of overtime in a hard-fought win over the Ducks. Trevor Zegras set up two goals.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Edmonton is at Montreal…
Winnipeg hosts Ottawa…
Philadelphia is at Boston…
St. Louis hosts Vegas…
Colorado is at Minnesota…
Calgary hosts Toronto…
Arizona is at Los Angeles

The Rundown for March 31, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 30,393,001 and the nation’s death toll stands at 550,967, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… All 50 states now have announced when they plan to open up coronavirus vaccinations to everyone eligible under U.S. Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorizations. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced yesterday that his state has joined a dozen others in expanding vaccinations to include anyone 16 and over. Several other states that they are opening up vaccine eligibility at least a month ahead of schedule.

SENATORS SEEK RECURRING RELIEF PAYMENTS… A group of Senate Democrats wants President Joe Biden to include recurring relief payments and extended jobless benefits in his economic recovery plan. In a letter sent yesterday, lawmakers led by Senate finance committee Chairman Ron Wyden of Oregon noted that the $300 weekly unemployment supplement expired on September 6. They also said the $1,400 one-time direct payment in the last coronavirus relief bill isn’t enough for Americans hardest hit by the pandemic.

MORE BACKLASH OVER GEORGIA VOTING LAW… Georgia is facing mounting resistance to its restrictive new voting law. The law, known as S.B. 202, bans mobile voting, limits secure drop boxes and even prohibits volunteers from giving out water and snacks to Georgians who are waiting in long voting lines. The ACLU announced yesterday that it has united with several other civil rights groups in a lawsuit that claims the law is meant to “diminish Black political power in Georgia.” The lawsuit addresses the law’s violation of the First, Second, and Fifteenth Amendments, and the Voting Rights Act. Meanwhile, Atlanta-based corporations Delta Air Lines Inc and Coca-Cola Co continued to face boycott calls from activists seeking their support in opposing the law.

CONGRESSMAN GAETZ UNDER INVESTIGATION… The New York Times reported yesterday that the Justice Department is investigating whether Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz violated federal sex trafficking laws in a 2019 sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl. The investigation is reported to be part of a larger probe into Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg, a Florida tax collector who was charged last year with 14 felony counts that included the sex trafficking of a minor between the ages of 14 and 17. The investigation into Gaetz was launched near the end of President Donald Trump’s term, when William Barr was still attorney general, according to The Times.

NEW YORK PASSES MARIJUANA-LEGALIZATION MEASURE… New York state lawmakers yesterday passed a marijuana legalization measure that eliminates penalties for possession of less than three ounces of cannabis and automatically expunges records for people with previous convictions for decriminalized activities. The measure commits 40 percent of tax revenue to communities disproportionately affected by the policing of marijuana sales and use including funding for schools and public education as well as drug treatment, prevention and education. It also creates equity programs to provide loans, grants and incubator programs for businesses. Governor Andrew Cuomo said the bill will bring “justice for long-marginalized communities.”

ENTERTAINMENT
ARIANA GRANDE JOINING ‘THE VOICE’
… Ariana Grande is replacing Nick Jonas as a coach on the competition show “The Voice.” The 27-year-old Grammy-winning pop singer joins a Season 21 cast that includes regular coaches Blake Shelton, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson. Grande has performed her hit “Into You” on the 2016 series finale of the show but did not take part as a coach.

‘GAME OF THRONES’ HEADED TO STAGE… Author George R.R. Martin announced yesterday that that a stage version of “Game of Thrones” is on its way to Broadway and London’s West End. The play borrows from the popular HBO series that derived from Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” fantasy series of novels. It is expected to debut in 2023 and will reportedly focus on the Great Tourney at Harrenhal, an event that took place more than a decade before the events of the “Game of Thrones” HBO series.

SPORTS
NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL FOUR COMPLETE
… Overall top seed Gonzaga and surprising UCLA advanced to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Final Four with wins in last night’s regional finals. Gonzaga rolled past sixth-seeded USC 85-66 to capture the West Region. UCLA, which had to play its way into the tournament as an 11th seed in the East, fought off top-seeded Michigan 51-49. Gonzaga and UCLA meet Saturday in the national semifinals. Baylor takes on Houston in the other semifinal. The men’s championship game is scheduled for Monday in Indianapolis.

NCAA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL FOUR COMPLETE
A pair of top seeds are moving on to the women’s Final Four after winning their regional finals yesterday. South Carolina breezed past sixth-seeded Texas 62-34 to capture the Hemisfair Region and Stanford thrashed Louisville 78-63 in the Alamo Region. South Carolina and Stanford meet in the national semifinals on Friday. Connecticut and Arizona battle in the other semifinal. The women’s national championship game is scheduled for Sunday in San Antonio.

NBA SCOREBOARD
Charlotte 114 – WASHINGTON 104… The Hornets took control with a 16-2 second-quarter spurt and held off the Wizards. Terry Rozier scored a game-high 27 points. Gordon Hayward finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds.

DENVER 104 – Philadelphia 95… The Nuggets jumped out to a 44-22 lead after the first quarter and withstood a second half comeback to down the 76ers. Jamal Murray led all scorers with 30 points. Michael Porter Jr added 27 points.

Orlando 103 – L.A. CLIPPERS 96… The Magic rallied in the fourth quarter to hand the Clippers their first loss in seven games. Chuma Okeke’s 18 points led a balanced scoring attack.

PHOENIX 117 – Atlanta 110… The Suns held on at the end to down the Hawks. They got 21 points from Devin Booker and 20 from Dario Saric. Deandre Ayton grabbed 14 boards to go with his 13 points.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Portland is at Detroit…
Indiana hosts Miami…
Dallas is at Boston…
Brooklyn hosts Houston…
Utah is at Memphis…
Minnesota hosts New York…
Toronto is at Oklahoma City…
San Antonio hosts Sacramento…
Milwaukee is at the L.A. Lakers…
Phoenix hosts Chicago

NHL SCOREBOARD
BOSTON 5 – New Jersey 4 (SO)… The Bruins came from two goals down in the third period to upend the Devils. David Pastrnak scored the winning goal in the shootout. Matt Grzelcyk netted a tying goal with 4 minutes left in regulation. Brad Marchand had a goal and an assist. David Krejci set up three goals.

N.Y. RANGERS 5 – Washington 2… The Rangers skated past the Capitals after spotting them a two-goal lead. Artemi Panarin scored a goal and assisted on two others. Goalie Igor Shesterkin made 30 saves.

Columbus 3 – TAMPA BAY 1… Oliver Bjorkstrand and David Savard scored second-period goals to provide the Blue Jackets with all the offense they needed in their win over the Lightning. Elvis Merzlikins stopped 37 shots at goal.

FLORIDA 4 – Detroit 1… Carter Verhaeghe found the net twice to lead the Panthers past the Red Wings. Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 35 stops.

MONTREAL 4 – Edmonton 0… Goalie Carey Price stopped all 16 shots in his first shutout of the season and the Canadiens put away the Oilers early with three first-period goals. Brendan Gallagher and Artturi Lehkonen each had a goal and an assist.

CHICAGO 2 – Carolina 1… Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat netted back-to-back goals early in the second period and the Blackhawks made them stand in edging the Hurricanes. Kevin Lankinen stopped 31 shots at goal.

NASHVILLE 3 – Dallas 2 (OT)… Eeli Tolvanen’s goal at 1:29 of overtime sent the Predators past the Stars. Calle Jarkrok scored the tying goal in the third period and had an assist.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Philadelphia is at Buffalo…
Winnipeg hosts Toronto…
Arizona is at Colorado…
Vegas hosts Los Angeles…
Calgary is at Vancouver…
San Jose hosts Minnesota

MLB SPRING TRAINING SCORES (opening day is tomorrow)…
Cleveland, ARIZONA 3, Cleveland 2…
Pittsburgh 1, MINNESOTA 1 (tie)…
Tampa Bay 5, DETROIT 0…
Atlanta 5, BOSTON 3…
Milwaukee 6, TEXAS 3…
COLORADO 2, Chi. White Sox 1…
L.A. DODGERS 6, L.A. Angels 4

The Rundown for March 29, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 30,262,380 and the nation’s death toll stands at 549,395, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… A report released yesterday by the White House COVID-19 team warns of a rise in new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and instances of variants. The number of new people who tested positive was up 9 percent last week and there was a 2-percent increase in hospitalizations. The 8,337 cases of the British B.1.1.7 variant was up from 5,567 last week. The number of cases linked to the South African B.1.351 variant jumped from 180 to 266.

BIDEN PRESSES FOR GUN CONTROL BILL… President Joe Biden yesterday expressed confidence that the Senate would pass a “rational” gun control bill. “The only gun control legislation that’s ever passed is mine,” the president told reporters. “It’s going to happen again.” Biden was a Senator when Congress passed an assault weapons ban in 1994, but it expired in 2005. As president, Biden has unsuccessfully called on the Senate to pass two gun-control bills passed in the House and has considered taking executive action after two deadly mass shootings over the past two weeks left 18 people dead.

4 DEAD IN NASHVILLE FLOODING… Recovery efforts are underway in Nashville following a flash flood that killed at least four people and prompted the rescue of at least 130 others. The more than 7 inches of rain that fell on parts of the Nashville metro area was the city’s second-highest amount on record. Rain let up into yesterday morning but flood warnings remain in place for the Cumberland River at Nashville and other waterways in central and west Tennessee. Mayor John Cooper last night announced he had declared a state of emergency to help get local and federal resources to recover from the devastation.

ALASKA HELICOPTER CRASH KILLS 5… A helicopter crash at a glacier near Anchorage left five people and a survivor hospitalized in serious but stable condition. According to a statement issued yesterday by Alaska State Troopers, searchers had found the crash site and survivor late Saturday night after the chopper was reported overdue. The helicopter was ferrying skiers who had been on a backcountry tour, the statement said.

GAS PRICES UP A NICKEL… The average price for a gallon of regular-grade gas in the U.S. jumped a nickel over the past two weeks to $2.94, according to a nationwide survey of gas stations released yesterday. The Lundberg Survey noted that the price of gas is up 77 cents per gallon since November 20 and is at the highest point since May 2019. The most expensive gas was in the San Francisco Bay Area, where it cost $3.94 a gallon in the San Francisco Bay Area. Baton Rouge, Louisiana, had the cheapest gas at $2.54 a gallon.

ENTERTAINMENT
ALABAMA SHAKES DRUMMER ARRESTED
… The Limestone County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that Alabama Shakes drummer Steve Johnson was arrested last on charges that include willful torture, willful abuse and cruelly beating or otherwise willfully maltreating a child under the age of 18. Arraignment was set for April 7. The 35-year-old Johnson is currently halfway serving two months probation for violating a protection order filed by his ex-wife. Johnson pleaded guilty through a misdemeanor charge. The Alabama Shakes’ 2012 debut album “Boys & Girls” produced the hit song “Hold On,” which earned three Grammy nominations. Their follow up album, 2015’s “Sound & Color,” won four Grammys. The band is on hiatus while lead singer and guitarist Brittany Howard pursues a solo career.

JUSTIN BIEBER TOPS ALBUM CHART… Justin Bieber’s new release, “Justice,” sold 154,000 copies to debut atop the Billboard 200 album chart. Another newcomer, Lana Del Rey’s “Chemtrails Over the Country Club,” opened at No. 2 with 75,000 units sold. Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” sold 66,000 copies in dropping to third place after topping the chart for its first 10 weeks. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” slipped to No. 4 after selling 40,000 units. Dua Lipa’s “Future Nostalgia” fell two spots into fifth place with 36,000 copies sold.

SPORTS
NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCOREBOARD (Sweet 16; winners meet tomorrow in the Elite 8)…
(1) Gonzaga 83, (5) Creighton 65…
(6) USC 82, (7) Oregon 68

EAST REGION
(1) Michigan 76, (4) Florida State 58…
(11) UCLA 88, (2) Alabama 78 (OT)

TODAY’S NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (Elite 8)
WEST REGION
(2) Houston vs. (12) Oregon State, 7:15 p.m. ET…

SOUTH REGION
(1) Baylor vs. (3) Arkansas, 9:57 p.m. ET

NCAA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCOREBOARD (third round; winners meet tomorrow in the quarterfinals)…
HEMISFAIR REGION
(1) South Carolina 76, (5) Georgia Tech 65…
(6) Texas 64, (2) Maryland 61

ALAMO REGION
(1) Stanford 89, (5) Missouri State 62…
(2) Louisville 60, (6) Oregon 42

TODAY’S WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (quarterfinals)…
(1) Connecticut vs. (2) Baylor, 7 p.m. ET…
(3) Arizona vs. (4) Indiana, 9 p.m. ET

NBA SCOREBOARD
Phoenix 101 – CHARLOTTE 97 (OT)… Devin Booker scored a game-high 35 points as the Suns outlasted the Hornets in a back-and-forth contest. Deandre Ayton had 14 points and as many rebounds.

Portland 122 – TORONTO 117… CJ McCollum scored seven of his team-high 23 points in the final two minutes to lead the Trail Blazers past the Raptors. Damian Lillard added 22 points and dished off 11 assists. Five other players scored in double figures for Portland.

DENVER 126 – Atlanta 102… The Nuggets shook off a slow start to roll past the Hawks. Jamychal Green delivered 20 points off the bench to lead a balanced scoring attack.

L.A. LAKERS 96 – Orlando 93… The short-handed Lakers held on down the stretch to top the Magic. Dennis Schroder pumped in 24 points. Kyle Kuzma finished with 21 points and 11 boards.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Indiana is at Washington…
Boston hosts New Orleans…
Minnesota is at Brooklyn…
New York hosts Miami…
Toronto is at Detroit…
Houston hosts Memphis…
Dallas is at Oklahoma City…
San Antonio hosts Sacramento…
Cleveland is at Utah…
Golden State hosts Chicago…
Milwaukee is at the L.A. Clippers

NHL SCOREBOARD
WASHINGTON 5 – N.Y. Rangers 4… The Capitals scored the game’s first four goals and held on to edge the Rangers. Tom Wilson netted two second-period goals. T.J. Oshie scored the decisive goal and had two assists.

DETROIT 4 – Columbus 1… The Red Wings scored three unanswered goals in the third period to put away the Blue Jackets. Michael Rasmussen sparked the surge with a tie-breaking goal.

Anaheim 3 – ST. LOUIS 2 (OT)… The Ducks rallied past the Blues after spotting them a two-goal second-period lead. Josh Manson scored the game-winning goal at 1:42 of overtime. Max Jones had two assists.

New Jersey 1 – BOSTON 0… Goalie Mackenzie Blackwood stopped all 40 shots in his first shutout of the season and the Devils clipped the Bruins. Kyle Palmieri netted the game’s lone goal late in the first period.

Florida 4 – DALLAS 1… Jonathan Huberdeau found the net twice in the first period and had an assist as the Panthers skated past the Stars. Chris Driedger made 33 saves at goal.

Nashville 3 – CHICAGO 2… The Predators recovered to top the Blackhawks after blowing a two-goal third-period lead. Roman Josi scored the game-winner with 6:33 remaining. Viktor Arvidsson had a goal and an assist.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Philadelphia is at Buffalo…
Pittsburgh hosts the N.Y. Islanders…
Edmonton is at Toronto…
Colorado hosts Anaheim…
Winnipeg is at Calgary…
Vegas hosts Los Angeles…
Minnesota is at San Jose

MLB SPRING TRAINING SCORES (opening day is Thursday)…
TAMPA BAY 16, Atlanta 5…
BOSTON 8, Minnesota 3…
PHILADELPHIA 6, N.Y. Yankees 2…
MIAMI 10, N.Y. Mets 2…
Pittsburgh 2, BALTIMORE 1…
WASHINGTON 11, St. Louis 3…
TORONTO 4, Detroit 4 (tie)…
TEXAS 12, Chi. Cubs 8…
MILWAUKEE 7, Cincinnati 1…
CHI. WHITE SOX 7, Arizona 4…
Oakland 9, SAN FRANCISCO 3…
CLEVELAND 3, San Diego 3 (tie)…
Kansas City 6, COLORADO 3…
L.A. ANGELS 6, L.A. Dodgers 5

The Rundown for March 23, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 29,867,689 and the nation’s death toll stands at 542,888, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows seven-day average of daily new coronavirus cases is up by at least 5 percent in 27 states. There is good news on the vaccination front, where the number of shots being given per day has reached about 2.5 million… Trial results have shown that the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford is 79 percent effective in preventing symptomatic illness and 100 percent effective against severe disease and hospitalization. The safety and efficacy analysis was based on 32,449 participants in a phase 3 trial. Several countries have temporarily suspended use of the shot in response to reports of blood clots in some vaccinated people but AstraZeneca says an independent data safety monitoring board identified no safety concerns.

10 DEAD IN BOULDER SHOOTING… 10 people were fatally shot in Boulder, Colorado, yesterday afternoon after a gunman opened fire in a grocery store. The suspected shooter was later taken into custody and treated for injuries at a local hospital. Authorities did not immediately identify the suspect and say they don’t know the motive. The dead included 51-year-old Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley, an 11-year-old veteran.

SENATE CONFIRMS LABOR SECRETARY… The Senate confirmed the last of President Joe Biden’s nominees yesterday by approving Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as Secretary of Labor. The 68-to-29 vote makes Walsh the first former union leader to run the Labor Department in more than 40 years. The Senate last week confirmed Xavier Becerra as Health and Human Services secretary, Katherine Tai as U.S. Trade Representative, Isabel Guzman as the leader of the Small Business Administration and Deb Haaland as interior secretary.

FED CHIEF SAYS ECONONY IS ‘MUCH IMPROVED’… Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says the economy is “much improved” since the first coronavirus relief legislation was enacted a year ago but the recovery is still “far from complete.” In prepared congressional testimony, Powell warned that the country is still facing major economic challenges. Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen are scheduled to testify today before the House Financial Services Committee in an oversight hearing.

NORTH KOREAN NATIONAL EXTRADITED TO U.S… The Justice Department announced yesterday that a businessman arrested in Malaysia in 2019 has become the first North Korean national to be extradited to the U.S. 55-year-old Mun Chol Myong will stand trial for money laundering. He made his first appearance in a Washington, D.C., federal court yesterday and faced charges of conspiring with others to launder more than $1.5 million through the U.S. financial system between April 2013 and November 2018 in an effort to evade sanctions. The court documents also accuse him of being a member of North Korea’s primary intelligence organization, the Reconnaissance General Bureau.

ENTERTAINMENT
FOREST WHITAKER LANDS NEXT ROLE
… Forest Whitaker has joined the cast of the upcoming Netflix crime drama film “Havoc.” He’ll play alongside Tom Hardy in the story about a bruised detective who fights his way through a criminal underworld in order to save a politician’s estranged son. Whitaker currently stars as real life gangster Bumpy Johnson in Epix’s “Godfather of Harlem.”

KENNY CHESNEY STADIUM-TOUR UPDATE… Kenny Chesney is calling off his Chillaxification Tour. The stadium tour was originally scheduled for last year but was postponed a year due to the pandemic. Instead of touring in 2021, Chesney plans to perform in stadiums next year under a new name and with different opening acts. The tour kicks off in Tampa and ends 17 shows later in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

Sacramento 119 – CLEVELAND 105… The Kings handled the Cavaliers to cap a 10-day road trip. De’Aaron Fox pumped in 30 points. Tyrese Haliburton added a career-high 28 points.

Oklahoma City 112 – MINNESOTA 103… The Thunder shot 56.8 percent from beyond the arc in downing the Timberwolves. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the way with 31 points. Moses Brown grabbed 17 rebounds.

Charlotte 100 – SAN ANTONIO 97… The Hornets held on at the end to top the Spurs. They got 27 points from Gordon Mayward and 24 from Terry Rozier. P.J. Washington pulled down 13 boards to go with his 10 points.

Utah 120 – CHICAGO 95… Donovan Mitchell scored 30 points to lead the Jazz in their romp over the Bulls. Rudy Gobert added 21 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocks.

HOUSTON 117 – Toronto 99… The Rockets pulled away in the fourth quarter to get past the Raptors and end their 20-game losing streak. All five starters scored in double figures, led by Jaesean Tate’s 22 points. Sterling Brown added 20 points. John Wall racked up 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

MEMPHIS 132 – Boston 126 (OT)… Jae Morant scored 29 points and Dillon Brooks added 24 as the Grizzlies outlasted the Celtics. Jonas Valanciunas finished with 16 points and 19 boards.

MILWAUKEE 140 – Indiana 113… A Bucks team playing without the injured Giannis Antetokounmpo bombed the Pacers 48-26 in the first period and never looked back in the blowout win. Jrue Holiday scored a game-high 28 points and dished off 14 assists. Khris Middleton added 25 points and Pat Connaughton tossed in 20.

L.A. CLIPPERS 119 – Atlanta 110… The Clippers came from 22 points down in the second half to hand the Hawks their first loss in nine games. Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points. Terance Mann added 21 points and fellow reserve Luke Kennard had 20.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Denver is at Orlando…
New York hosts Washington…
the L.A. Lakers are at New Orleans…
Miami hosts Phoenix…
Philadelphia is at Golden State…
Portland hosts Brooklyn

NBA NEWS… Elgin Baylor, an 11-time All-Star during his 14 seasons at forward with the Lakers from 1958 to 1971, died of natural causes in Los Angeles yesterday. He was 86. After being named Rookie of the Year and All-Star Game MVP in 1958-59, Baylor went on to average 27.4 points and 13.5 rebounds per game in his career. He became an NBA executive following his playing days and was a longtime general manager of the L.A. Clippers.

NHL SCOREBOARD
N.Y. RANGERS 5 – Buffalo 3… Chris Kreider’s second goal of the game broke a third-period tie and the Rangers went on to hand the Sabres their 14th straight loss. Adam Fox had a goal and two assists. Artemi Panarin set up three goals.

Carolina 3 – COLUMBUS 0… Goalie Alex Nedeljkovic stopped all 19 shots as the Hurricanes blanked the Blue Jackets. Jesper Fest had a goal and an assist.

OTTAWA 2 – Calgary 1… Chris Tierney scored with 2:35 remaining to lift the Senators over the Flames. Ryan Dzingel opened the scoring with first-period goal. Mike Reilly assisted on both scores. Filip Gustavsson made 35 saves at goal in his first NHL start.

N.Y. Islanders 2 – PHILADELPHIA 1 (OT)… Anthony Beauvillier wrapped around the winning goal 3:41 into overtime as the Islanders outlasted the Flyers. Oliver Wahlstrom netted a tying goal early in the third period. Goalie Ilya Sorokin stopped 36 shots.

MINNESOTA 2 – Anaheim 1… The Wild got goals from Ryan Suter and Nick Bjugstad in edging the Ducks. Goalie Cam Talbot made 24 stops.

Winnipeg 4 – VANCOUVER 0… Goalie Connor Hellebuyck made 22 saves in his first shutout of the season and the Jets skated past the Canucks. Adam Lowry found the net twice for Winnipeg.

Colorado 5 – ARIZONA 1… The Avalanche breezed past the Coyotes for their seventh straight win. Mikko Rantanen scored his 18th goal of the season.

VEGAS 5 – St. Louis 1… Mark Stone scored two goals and assisted on another to lead the Golden Knights past the Blues. Jonathan Marchessault had a goal and an assist.

SAN JOSE 2 – Los Angeles 1… Ryan Donato netted a tie-breaking goal early in the third period and the Sharks made it stand it topping the Kings. Martin Jones saved 41 shots at goal.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Calgary is at Ottawa…
Minnesota hosts Anaheim…
Edmonton is at Montreal…
Pittsburgh hosts Buffalo…
Winnipeg is at Vancouver…
San Jose hosts Los Angeles

NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCOREBOARD (2nd round)…
WEST REGION
(1) Gonzaga 87, (8) Oklahoma 71
… The Zags play Creighton in the Sweet 16 on Sunday…
(5) Creighton 72, (13) Ohio 58
(7) Oregon 95, (2) Iowa 80… The Ducks take on USC in the Sweet 16 on Sunday…
(6) USC 85, (3) Kansas 51

EAST REGION
(11) UCLA 67, (14) Abilene Christian 47… The Bruins advance to battle Alabama in the Sweet 16 on Sunday…
(2) Alabama 96, (10) Maryland 77
(1) Michigan 86, (8) LSU 78… Next up for the Wolverines is Florida State in the Sweet 16 on Sunday…
(4) Florida State 71, (5) Colorado 53

MLB SPRING TRAINING SCORES (opening day is April 1)…
OAKLAND 4, Arizona 4…
Milwaukee 6, CLEVELAND 3…
KANSAS CITY 9, San Diego 9…
CHI. WHITE SOX 7, San Francisco 2…
L.A. ANGELS 15, Chi. White Sox 7…
COLORADO 5, Texas 4…
MINNESOTA 4, Atlanta 2…
PITTSBURGH 6, Baltimore 5…
Boston 10, TAMPA BAY 4…
HOUSTON 5, N.Y. Mets 4…
MIAMI 7, St. Louis 2…
Philadelphia 4, N.Y. YANKEES 9…
TORONTO 4, Detroit 3…
SEATTLE 7, L.A. Dodgers 3

The Rundown for March 22, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 29,605,933 and the nation’s death toll stands at 538,052, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Covid-19 cases are increasing in 21 states and health officials are alarmed that highly infectious variants are spreading while governors begin to relax restrictions on businesses…. New York has reported its first case of the COVID-19 variant first discovered in Brazil. Scientists at Mount Sinai hospital in New York City discovered the variant in a 90-year-old Brooklyn resident with no travel history. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of last Thursday, there were 48 cases of the P.1 variant in 15 states and territories throughout the U.S.

DEFENSE SEC AUSTIN IN AFGHANISTAN… Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made a surprise visit to Afghanistan yesterday during his tour of Asia. After meeting with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, Austin told reporters, “I am here to listen and learn.” Austin did not answer questions about whether the Taliban have met conditions that would lead full withdrawal of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, per an agreement reached last year.

MAYORKAS SAYS BORDER IS CLOSED… Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas declared yesterday that the U.S. southern border is closed but backed away from other questions about the Biden administration’s handling of the migrant influx. During an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week,” Mayorkas said the administration is doing all it can to encourage migrants not to come. Documents obtained by CNN and CBS News claim more than 5,000 unaccompanied children are being held in Customs and Border Protection facilities. According to the documents, the children are being held in custody for an average of 136 hours, which is nearly twice the 72-hour limit outlined by U.S. law. Mayorkas explained that facilities are being overwhelmed while the administration is “rebuilding the system” left in place by its predecessor.

PROSECUTOR SAYS SEDITION CHARGES COMING… A federal prosecutor believes investigators have found evidence that would likely allow the government to file sedition charges against some of those involved in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. During an appearance last night on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin said facts already support sedition charges and even more facts are being uncovered. The Justice Department has already filed cases against 400 suspects involved in the attack, but charges haven’t included sedition. Most suspects have been charged with trespassing or assaulting officers, with a smaller number charged with conspiracy to obstruct Congress.

MIAMI BEACH EXTENDS CURFEW… Miami Beach officials have extended an 8 p.m. curfew and emergency powers for up to three weeks to help control spring-break crowds. The city’s South Beach District has been overwhelmed by rowdy college-age partiers, leading some businesses to close voluntarily out of concern for public safety. During an emergency meeting of the city commission yesterday, Mayor Dan Gelber said all manner of out-of-town and out-of-state visitors, not just college students, were filling the streets since Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on February 26 called the state an “oasis of freedom” from coronavirus restrictions.

ENTERTAINMENT
MORGAN WALLEN REMAINS ATOP ALBUM CHART
… Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” sold 69,000 to become the first album since Whitney Houston’s “Whitney” in 1987 to spend its first 10 weeks atop the Billboard 200 album chart. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” remained in second place after selling 40,000 units. Dua Lipa’s “Future Nostalgia” jumped to No. 3 on sales of 37,000 copies. The Weeknd’s “After Hours” stayed at No. 4 with 32,000 units sold. R&B singer Giveon’s “When It’s All Said and Done… Take Time” sold 31,000 copies to debut in fifth place.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE… “Raya and the Last Dragon” took in $5.1 million to top the box office for a second straight week. “Tom and Jerry” opened in second place with $3.8 million. Another newcomer, “The Courier,” took in $2 million to finish third. “Chaos Walking” brought in $1.9 for a fourth-place finish. “The Croods: A New Age” capped the top five with $620,000.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

Indiana 109 – MIAMI 106 (OT)… The Pacers recovered to outlast the Heat after blowing a double-digit fourth-quarter lead. Justin Holiday made back-to-back 3-pointers and Malcolm Brogdon hit from downtown during a 9-0 run in overtime. Domantas Sabonis scored 17 points to lead a balanced scoring attack and brought down 11 rebounds.

Oklahoma City 114 – HOUSTON 112… The Thunder held on at the end to hand the Rockets their 20th straight loss. Luguentz Dort pumped in 23 points. Mosses Brown grabbed 14 boards to go with his 13 points.

New Orleans 113 – DENVER 108… Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson scored 30 points apiece to power the Pelicans past the Nuggets. Nickeil Alexander-Walker tossed in 20 points. Steven Adams gathered 13 rebounds.

BOSTON 112 – Orlando 96… The Celtics shook off a slow start to roll past the Magic. Jaylen Brown scored a career-high 10 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 23 points. Jayson Tatum added 23 points.

BROOKLYN 113 – Washington 106.. Kyrie Irving scored 28 points and James Harden added 26 as the Nets fought off the Wizards. Blake Griffin had a dunk in his debut for Brooklyn.

CLEVELAND 116 – Toronto 105… Collin Sexton scored 23 of his game-high 36 points in the second half and the Cavaliers dealt the Raptors their eighth straight loss. Jarrett Allen powered his way to 17 points and 15 boards.

Chicago 100 – DETROIT 86… The Bulls rode their defense to a win over the Pistons. Zach LaVine led a balanced scoring attack with 18 points. Daniel Gafford came off the bench to collect 11 rebounds.

Philadelphia 101 – NEW YORK 100 (OT)… Tobias Harris’ two free throws with 5.3 seconds remaining carried the 76ers past the Knicks. Harris finished with 20 points. Shake Milton delivered 21 points off the bench.

PHOENIX 111 – L.A. Lakers 94… The Suns cruised past a Laker squad that was playing without the injured LeBron James. Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton scored 26 points apiece. Chris Paul racked up 11 points, 10 boards and 13 assists.

Dallas 132 – PORTLAND 92… Luka Doncic let it up for 37 points before sitting out the fourth quarter of the Mavericks’ rout of the Trail Blazers. Josh Richardson added 21 points.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Sacramento is at Cleveland…
Minnesota hosts Oklahoma City…
Charlotte is at San Antonio…
Chicago hosts Utah…
Toronto is at Houston…
Memphis hosts Boston…
Indiana is at Milwaukee…
the L.A. Clippers host Atlanta

NHL SCOREBOARD
New Jersey 2 – PITTSBURGH 1 (OT)… Jesper Bratt’s wraparound at 2:50 of overtime sent the Devils past the Penguins. Sami Vatanen netted a tying goal early in the second period. Goalie Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 35 shots.

TAMPA BAY 5 – Florida 3… Tyler Johnson’s power-play goal midway through the third period gave the Lightning the lead for good in a hard-fought win over the Panthers. Brayden Point added an empty-netter. Yanni Gourde had a goal and an assist.

LOS ANGELES 3 – Vegas 1… Sean Walker and Dustin Brown scored 51 seconds apart in the second period and the Kings held on to edge the Golden Knights. Anze Kopitar assisted on both goals. Calvin Petersen made 41 saves at goal.

Nashville 4 – DALLAS 3… The Predators topped the Stars after letting a pair of two-goal leads slip away. Calle Jarnkrok scored in the fifth round of the shootout. Eeli Tolvanen had a goal and two assists.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Buffalo is at the N.Y. Rangers….
Columbus hosts Carolina…
Edmonton is at Montreal…
Ottawa hosts Calgary…
the N.Y. Islanders are at Philadelphia…
Minnesota hosts Anaheim…
Winnipeg is at Vancouver…
Arizona hosts Colorado…
St. Louis is at Vegas…
San Jose hosts Los Angeles

NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCOREBOARD (2nd round)…
MIDWEST REGION
(8) Loyola Chicago 71, (1) ILLINOIS 58… The eighth-seeded Ramblers became the first team in this year’s tournament to take down a top seed. They advance to play 12th-seeded Oregon State in the Sweet 16 round beginning Saturday. In other scores…
(12) Oregon State 70, (4) Oklahoma State 80…
(11) Syracuse 75, (3) West Virginia 72… Next for the Orange is second-seeded Houston…
(2) Houston 63, (10) Rutgers 60

SOUTH REGION
(1) Baylor 76, (9) Wisconsin 63… The Bears will put their top seed against fifth-ranked Villanova…
(5) Villanova 84, (13) North Texas 61…
(3) Arkansas 68, (6) Texas Tech 66… The Razorbacks move on to battle 15th-seeded Oral Roberts, the tournament’s Cinderella so far…
(15) Oral Roberts 81, (7) Florida 78

TODAY’S NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (2nd round)…
WEST REGION
(2) Iowa vs. (7) Oregon, 12:10 p.m. (CBS)…
(1) Gonzaga vs. (8) Oklahoma, 2:40 p.m. (CBS)…
(5) Creighton vs. (13) Ohio, 6:10 p.m. (TNT)…
(3) Kansas vs. (6) USC, 9:45 p.m. (CBS)…

EAST REGION
(11 UCLA vs. (14) Abilene Christian, 5:15 p.m. (TBS)…
(1) Michigan vs. (8) LSU, 7:10 p.m. (CBS)…
(4) Florida State vs. (5) Colorado, 7:45 p.m. (TBS)…
(2) Alabama vs. (10) Maryland, 8:45 p.m. (TNT)

MLB SPRING TRAINING SCORES (opening day is April 1)…
CHI. CUBS 11, Cincinnati 6…
KANSAS CITY 6, Colorado 1…
San Francisco 10, L.A. DODGERS 4…
CLEVELAND 7, Texas 2…
SAN DIEGO 4, L.A. Angels 1…
ARIZONA 4, Chi. White Sox 4 (tie)…
Seattle 3, MILWAUKEE 1…
Atlanta 11, TAMPA BAY 1…
Detroit 5, PHILADELPHIA 3…
MIAMI 4, Houston 2…
Minnesota 12, BALTIMORE 7…
N.Y. Mets 6, WASHINGTON 2…
Pittsburgh 9, BOSTON 4…
N.Y. Yankees 8, TORONTO 3

The Rundown for March 19, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 29,605,933 and the nation’s death toll stands at 538,052, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… An update released yesterday by Johns Hopkins University revealed the number of COVID-19 cases jumped more than 10 percent in 14 states this week compared with last. Seven of the states are posting a rise of more than 20 percent, the report concluded. Infections are spreading fastest in Michigan, with alarming increases also in Delaware, Montana, Alabama and West Virginia.

SENATE CONFIRMATIONS… The Senate narrowly confirmed Xavier Becerra as Health and Human Services secretary yesterday. The 50-to-49 vote paved the way for California’s attorney general to lead the White House’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Later yesterday, the Senate confirmed William Burns as CIA director and Brian McKeon was as deputy secretary of state for management and resources. Burns is a former ambassador to Russia and Jordan who served at the State Department for more than 30 years under both Democratic and Republican presidents. McKeon has been a longtime Biden aide and adviser who also served as foreign policy adviser for President Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign.

BIDEN TO PICK BILL NELSON AS NASA ADMINISTRATOR… Former Florida Democratic senator Bill Nelson is President Joe Biden’s pick for NASA administrator. Biden is expected to make the announcement as early as today. The 78-year—old Nelson flew to space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1986 during his time in Congress advocated for space programs. He has faced criticism, however for his support of NASA’s troubled Space Launch System. The system’s heavy-lift rocket is years behind schedule, over budget and has yet to launch.

HOUSE PASSES IMMIGRATION BILLS… The House yesterday passed immigration bills that would protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation and offer them a pathway to gain legal status. The House voted 228-197 to approve the Dream and Promise Act, which would help more than 3 million so-called “Dreamers” and other qualifying immigrants remain in the U.S. and offer them a chance for citizenship. Lawmakers also passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which would help another 1 million immigrant agriculture workers and their families stay legally in the U.S. The vote was 247 to 174.

ATTORNEYS GENERAL SUE OVER PIPELINE… A coalition of attorneys general from 21 states is suing President Joe Biden and members of his administration for rescinding the Keystone XL pipeline permit. Their suit seeks to undo Biden’s attempt to effectively cancel the 1,200 mile-long pipeline, claiming the president exceeded his authority with his January 20 executive order revoking permits. Attorneys general say Biden and senior members of his administration flouted rules Congress established to limit actions the president can take regarding Keystone. Former president Trump approved permits for the pipeline in 2019 after the Obama administration had denied them.

ENTERTAINMENT
ARMIE HAMMER FACES RAPE ACCUSATION
… A new and determined accuser has emerged with sexual-misconduct accusations against actor Armie Hammer. A woman who lives in Europe and wants to be known by her first name, Effie, said during a virtual press conference yesterday that Hammer violently raped her and abused her physically and emotionally during their on-and-off four year relationship from 2016 to 2020. Effie claimed she has provided police with evidence that Hammer raped her on April 24, 2017, in Los Angeles. LAPD, meanwhile, confirms that Hammer is the target of a sexual-assault investigation. The actor, whose film credits include “The Social Network,” “Call Me By Your Name” and “Sorry to Bother You,” has come under scrutiny in recent months following the leak of disturbing graphic text messages that he allegedly wrote. Backlash to the allegations prompted him to step away from several high-profile projects, including the upcoming romantic comedy “Shotgun Wedding.” He had been cast as co-star alongside Jennifer Lopez but was replaced by Josh Duhamel.

HBO MAX PLANS BRITTANY MURPHY DOC… A two-part documentary about the late actress Brittany Murphy is in the works at HBO Max. The documentary centers on Murphy’s life prior to her passing in 2009 at age 32. Murphy was best known for her work in the 1995 film “Clueless” and her credits included “8 Mile,” “Just Married” and the Fox animated comedy series “King of the Hill.” Her death was ruled an accident and determined to be the result of a combination of pneumonia and the effects of several over-the-counter drugs she had taken. A year later, the death of her husband fueled speculation about her passing.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

WASHINGTON 131 – Utah 122… The Wizards built an 18-point halftime lead and held off the Jazz. Bradley Beal poured in a game-high 43 points. Russell Westbrook racked up 35 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists. Donovan Mitchell’s 42 points weren’t enough for Utah.

ATLANTA 116 – Oklahoma City 93… The Hawks cruised past the Thunder for their seventh straight win. Trae Young and Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 23 points apiece.

NEW YORK 94 – Orlando 93… The Knicks held on at the end to edge the Magic. Alec Burks had 21 points and 10 boards. Julius Randle had a solid all-around game with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 17 assists.

Minnesota 123 – PHOENIX 119… The Timberwolves used a big fourth quarter to rally past the Suns. They got a career-high 42 points from Anthony Edwards and 41 from Karl-Anthony Towns.

PORTLAND 101 – New Orleans 93… Damian Lillard scored 21 of his game-high 36 points in the first quarter to help the Trail Blazers take an early lead on their way past the Pelicans. Enes Kanter finished with 16 points and 13 boards.

L.A. LAKERS 116 – Charlotte 105… The Lakers came up big in the fourth quarter to put away the Hornets for their fourth straight win. LeBron James led all scorers with 37 points. Dennis Schroder tossed in 20 points.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Sacramento is at Boston…
Cleveland hosts San Antonio…
Indiana is at Miami…
Orlando hosts Brooklyn…
Utah is at Toronto…
Houston hosts Detroit…
Golden State is at Memphis…
Denver hosts Chicago…
Minnesota is at Phoenix…
Portland hosts Dallas

NHL SCOREBOARD
NEW JERSEY 3 – Pittsburgh 2… The Devils scored the game’s first three goals and held on to top the Penguins. Jack Hughes had a goal and an assist. Goalie Scott Wedgewood made 40 saves.

Boston 4 – BUFFALO 1… David Krejci set up three goals to surpass 700 points in his career and the Bruins dealt the Sabres their 13th straight loss. David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist.

Philadelphia 4 – N.Y. ISLANDERS 3… Oscar Lindblom’s second goal of the game broke a tie with 2:22 remaining and the Flyers made it stand in downing the Islanders. Claude Giroux scored a goal and assisted on another.

Columbus 3 – CAROLINA 2 (OT)… Seth Jones netted a pair of goals, including the game-winner with 50.4 seconds left in overtime, to send the Blue Jackets past the Hurricanes. Joonas Korpisalo stopped 25 shots at goal.

TAMPA BAY 4 – Chicago 2… Ross Colton scored a go-ahead goal in the third period and Victor Hedman added an empty-netter to push the Lightning past the Blackhawks. Hedman also picked up an assist.

Nashville 2 – FLORIDA 1… The Predators got a pair of goals from Calle Jarnkrok in tripping the Panthers. Goalie Juuse Saros made 40 stops.

DETROIT 3 – Dallas 2… Robby Fabbri scored a goal in each period and the Red Wings withstood a late rally to edge the Stars. Detroit lost goaltender Jonathan Bernier to an injury late in the second period after he stopped all 22 shots he faced.

EDMONTON 2 – Winnipeg 1… Connor McDavid found the net twice in the second period to carry the Oilers past the Jets. Tyson Barrie assisted on both goals. Mikko Koskinen made 25 stops at goal.

COLORADO 5 – Minnesota 1… The Avalanche got four goals from their top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen in snapping Wild’s five-game winning streak. Rantanen scored twice and had two assists.

ANAHEIM 3 – Arizona 2 (OT)… The Ducks outlasted the Coyotes after spotting them a two-goal lead. Adam Henrique netted a power-play goal 43 seconds into overtime. Jamie Drysdale had a goal and an assist in his NHL debut.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
the N.Y. Rangers are at Washington…
Montreal hosts Vancouver…
Calgary is at Toronto…
San Jose hosts St. Louis…
Vegas is at Los Angeles

NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP UNDERWAY
The NCAA men’s basketball championship tipped off yesterday with First Four play-in games to fill out the 64-team bracket and finalize tomorrow’s first-round matchups…

Texas Southern 60, Mount St. Mary’s 52… The Tigers claimed a 16 seed in the East Regional and advances to play top-seeded Michigan.

Drake 53, Wichita State 52… The Bulldogs secured an 11 seed in the West Regional and moves on to face sixth-seeded USC.

Norfolk State 54, Appalachian State 53… The Spartans nailed down a 16 seed in the West and now must go up against Gonzaga, the tournament’s overall top seed.

UCLA 86, Michigan State 80 (OT)… The Bruins play on as an 11 seed in the East and will battle sixth-seeded BYU.

TODAY’S NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
MIDWEST REGION (Indianapolis)
(1) Illinois vs. (16) Drexel…
(8) Loyola Chicago vs. (9) Georgia Tech…
(5) Tennessee vs. (12) Oregon State…
(4) Oklahoma State vs. (13) Liberty…
(7) Clemson vs. (10) Rutgers…
(6) San Diego State vs. (11) Syracuse…
(3) West Virginia vs. (14) Morehead State

MIDWEST REGION (West Lafayette, IN)
(2) Houston vs. (15) Cleveland State

SOUTH REGION (Indianapolis)
(7) Florida vs. (10) Virginia Tech…
(3) Arkansas vs. (14) Colgate…
(1) Baylor vs. (16) Hartford…
(4) Purdue vs. (13) North Texas…
(5) Villanova vs. (12) Winthrop

SOUTH REGION (Bloomington, IN)
(6) Texas Tech vs. (11) Utah State

SOUTH REGION (West Lafayette, IN)
(2) Ohio State vs. (15) Oral Roberts…
(8) North Carolina vs. (9) Wisconsin

MLB SPRING TRAINING SCORES (opening day is April 1)…
Washington 3, N.Y. METS 1…
Chi. Cubs 4, CLEVELAND 3…
CHICAGO 9, Kansas City 7…
L.A. Dodgers 7, ARIZONA 7 (tie)…
L.A. ANGELS 3, Milwaukee 2…
Oakland 4, SAN DIEGO 2…
ST. LOUIS 7, Miami 5…
TEXAS 12, Cincinnati 9…
SEATTLE 6, San Francisco 3

The Rundown for March 18, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 29,605,933 and the nation’s death toll stands at 538,052, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Age appears to play a role in COVID-19 reinfection, according to new findings published yesterday by the peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet. Researchers in Denmark participating in what’s considered the first large-scale study of coronavirus reinfections found that people under the age of 65 were found to have about 80 percent protection from the virus after an initial infection. Those over 65 were left with only about 47 percent protection, the study concluded.

BIDEN RECOGNIZES ST. PATRICK’S DAY WITH IRISH PM… President Joe Biden recognized St. Patrick’s Day yesterday during a virtual meeting with Ireland Prime Minister Michael Martin. The two leaders also discussed plans to discuss how their nations can work together to fight COVID-19, cooperate on vaccines and improve diplomatic relations. U.S. and Irish involvement on the UN Security Council, their relationship with the European Union, trade and continued support of the “Good Friday agreement” with Northern Ireland were among other topics on the agenda.

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT PASSES… The House voted largely along party lines yesterday in passing legislation that reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act, which lapsed in 2019. Only 29 Republicans joined Democrats in the 244-to-172 vote. The legislation provides grants to state and local governments for programs addressing domestic abuse, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. It also closes the so-called boyfriend loophole to prevent dating partners convicted of domestic violence or abuse from buying or owning guns. Current law only applies the gun purchase restriction to spouses or formerly married partners convicted of abuse or under a restraining order.

REPORT WARNS OF DOMESTIC TERRORISM… In an unclassified report released yesterday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, officials warn that domestic extremists “will almost certainly” attempt to launch further attacks this year. The report claims extremists feel emboldened by the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The Justice Department has accused several members of the so-called Oath Keepers group of conspiracy, spending months planning their part in the attack and coordinating to meet up with others.

IRS PUSHES BACK FILING DEADLINE… Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Chuck Rettig announced yesterday that the IRS is pushing back the official federal income tax filing deadline from April 15 to May 17. He said the move was made to accommodate those who’ve been going through a tough time during the pandemic. Rettig also urged taxpayers to check their individual state’s deadlines for instructions and potential delays of state income taxes.

TAI CONFIRMED AS TRADE REP… The Senate voted 98-0 yesterday to confirm Katherine Tai as the U.S. Trade Representative. The 46-year-old former Congressional staff attorney will advise President Joe Biden on existing trade tariffs and enforcing a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, among other issues. Tai served as the chief trade counsel for the House of Representatives during negotiations on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement in 2019. She also served in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative under President Barack Obama.

ENTERTAINMENT
DISNEY TO REOPEN CALIFORNIA PROPERTIES
… Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California, are planning to reopen at the end of April. Both properties will initially will open with limited capacities to California residents only. Walt Disney World in Florida reopened last July and increased capacity in November, but Disneyland has maintained tighter restrictions.

ANGELINA JOLIE ACCUSES BRAD PITT OF ABUSE… Actress Angelina Jolie alleges that Brad Pitt was abusive during their relationship in new documents filed as part of their ongoing divorce proceedings. Last week’s filing doesn’t detail the allegations but Jolie has boasted that she is willing to provide “proof and authority in support” of the claims. The filing says both Jolie and “minor children” are willing to testify.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

DETROIT 116 – Toronto 112… Saddiq Bey scored 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Pistons topped the Raptors to end a four-game skid. Jerami Grant added 23 points. Norman Powell’s 43 points weren’t enough for Toronto.

Brooklyn 124 – INDIANA 115… The Nets shook off a rough start to rally past the Pacers. James Harden racked up 40 points, 10 boards and 15 assists. Six other players scored in double figures for Brooklyn.

Milwaukee 109 – PHILADELPHIA 105 (OT)… Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 10 of his 32 points in overtime and brought down 15 rebounds to lead the Bucks past the 76ers in a matchup of two Eastern Conference frontrunners. Donte DiVicenzo tossed in 20 points.

Sacramento 121 – WASHINGTON 119… De’Aaron Fox knocked down a jumper with less than a second remaining to send the Kings past the Wizards. His 28 points led six players in double figures.

CLEVELAND 117 – Boston 110… The Cavaliers came up big down the stretch in holding off the Celtics. They got 29 points from Collin Sexton and 25 from Darius Garland. Larry Nance Jr. finished with 18 points and 10 boards.

San Antonio 106 – CHICAGO 99… After trailing by as many as 23 points in the first half, the Spurs bombed the Bulls 39-19 in the fourth quarter to pull out the victory. They scored 17 straight points at one point during the rally. Jakob Poeltl led a balanced scoring attack with 20 points and collected 16 rebounds.

Golden State 108 – HOUSTON 94… The Warriors used a dominant second quarter to build a 24-point halftime lead and coasted past the Rockets. Jordan Poole came off the bench to score 23 points. Draymond Green had 16 points, 12 boards and 10 assists. The loss was Houston’s 18th in a row, setting a franchise record.

MEMPHIS 89 – Miami 85… Ja Morant dribbled the length of the court to lay in a tie-breaking basket with 1.2 seconds left and Kyle Anderson added a steal and two free throws as the Grizzlies fought off the Heat. Morant, Anderson and scored 13 points apiece. Jonas Valanciunas gathered 12 rebounds.

DENVER 129 – Charlotte 104… Michael Porter Jr. had game-highs with 28 points and 13 boards in leading the Nuggets past the Hornets. Will Barton added 23 points. Nikola Jokic finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

DALLAS 105 – L.A. Clippers 89… Luka Doncic poured in 42 points as the Mavericks pulled away from the Clippers. Kristaps Porzingis had 13 boards to go with his 11 points.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Utah is at Washington…
Atlanta hosts Oklahoma City…
Orlando is at New York…
Phoenix hosts Minnesota…
New Orleans is at Portland…
the L.A. Lakers host Charlotte

NHL SCOREBOARD
Vancouver 3 – OTTAWA 2 (SO)… The Canucks recovered to outlast the Senators after letting an early two goal lead slip away. Adam Gaudette scored the winning goal in the shootout. Bo Horvat had a goal and an assist.

N.Y. RANGERS 9 – Philadelphia 0… Mika Zibanejad scored three goals and assisted on three others during a seven-goal second period as the Rangers crushed the Flyers. Pavel Buchnevich had two goals and two assists. Goalie Alexandar Georgiev stopped all 26 shots.

WINNIPEG 4 – Montreal 3 (OT)… The Jets outlasted the Canadiens after blowing a pair of two-goal leads. Nikolaj Ehlers found the net 55 seconds into overtime. Kyle Connor scored twice in regulation.

Edmonton 7 – CALGARY 3… Connor McDavid’s power-play goal sparked a four-goal third period that carried the Oilers over the Flames. McDavid also assisted on two goals. Tyson Barrie had four assists and Leon Draisaitl added three.

VEGAS 5 – San Jose 4… The Golden Knights scored four straight in the third period to erase a two-goal deficit and held off the Sharks. Ryan Reaves’ first goal of the season gave Vegas the lead for good. Shea Theodore had a goal and two assists.

LOS ANGELES 4 – St. Louis 1… The Kings scored three unanswered goals in the first period and never looked back in skating past the Blues. Trevor Moore had a goal and an assist. Jaret Anderson-Dolan set up two goals.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Pittsburgh is at New Jersey…
Buffalo hosts Boston…
Philadelphia is at at the N.Y. Islanders…
Carolina hosts Columbus…
Chicago is at Tampa By…
Florida hosts Nashville…
Dallas is at Detroit…
Edmonton hosts Winnipeg…
Minnesota is at Colorado…
Anaheim hosts Arizona

NCAA TOURNAMENT OPENS TODAY… The NCAA men’s basketball championship gets underway today with four play-in games to fill out the brackets and finalize Saturday’s first-round matchups. Today’s play opens with Texas Southern playing Mount St. Mary’s for a 16 seed in the East Regional, with the winner to play top-seeded Michigan. Drake and Wichita State battle for an 11 seed in the West Regional, with the winner advancing to take on sixth-seeded USC. Norfolk State takes on Appalachian State for a 16 seed in the West, with the winner to face top-seeded Gonzaga. UCLA and Michigan State close out the day with a contest to determine the 11 seed in the East. The winner moves on to play sixth-seeded BYU.

MLB SPRING TRAINING SCORES (opening day is April 1)…
OAKLAND 10, Kansas City 5…
L.A. Dodgers 4, CHI. WHITE SOX 3…
San Francisco 11, COLORADO 8…
BALTIMORE 5, Atlanta 2…
St. Louis 4, HOUSTON 4 (tie)…
PHILADELPHIA 2, Detroit 0…
BOSTON 9, Minnesota 1…
MIAMI 3, N.Y. Mets 2…
Tampa Bay 10, PITTSBURGH 9…
N.Y. Yankees 1, TORONTO 0…
TEXAS 3, Arizona 0…
CINCINNATI 12, Cleveland 7…
CHI. CUBS 8, San Diego 2…
L.A. Angels 7, SEATTLE 4

The Rundown for March 15, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 29,438,222 and the nation’s death toll stands at 534,880, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The U.S. has administered 107,060,274 doses of COVID-19 vaccines and distributed 135,847,835 doses as of yesterday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC said 69,784,210 people had received at least one dose, while 37,459,269 people were fully vaccinated. A total of 7,547,477 vaccine doses have been administered in long-term care facilities… President Joe Biden is expected to name Gene Sperling to lead the implementation of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan. Sperling was a top economic adviser to former Democratic presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

BORDER PRESENTS ‘HUMANITARIAN CHALLENGE’… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday characterized the influx of unaccompanied children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border as a “humanitarian challenge” and said the Biden administration has inherited a broken immigration system. Pelosi’s remarks on ABC News’ “This Week” came a day after Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will begin sheltering and transferring children who arrive at the southern border. More than 3,700 children were in Customs and Border Patrol custody as of last week, with about 450 being apprehended every day.

STACEY ABRAMS CALLS VOTER-SUPRESSION BILLS ‘RACIST’… Former congresswoman and voting-rights advocate Stacey Abrams called Republicans’ efforts to place restrictions on voting with new proposed bills “racist.” During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Abrams called the restrictive efforts “a redux of Jim Crow, in a suit and tie.” Republican lawmakers in Abrams’ home state of Georgia have introduced a slew of bills that would place would impose new restrictions on absentee voting and end early voting on Sundays, a day when Black churchgoers often head to the ballot box as part of “Souls to the Polls” voting drives. Democrats say Republican suppression efforts in Georgia are a response to surprising Democratic wins last November, when Georgians sided with Joe Biden in the presidential race and elected senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in runoff elections.

PLAINS STATES POUNDED BY BLIZZARD… Plains states are digging out from what the National Weather Service called a “historic and crippling” blizzard over the weekend. southeast Wyoming, northern Colorado and western Nebraska were blanketed under as much as 30 inches of snow amid a storm that is forecast to continue through tomorrow. More than 2,000 flights were canceled over the weekend at Denver International Airport. Colorado Governor Jared Polis last night urged that people “Stay home and stay safe while conditions remain poor.”

2 DEAD IN CHICAGO SHOOTINGS… Gunfire at a party in Chicago’s South Side early yesterday morning left two people dead and 13 others wounded. Police say an unidentified suspect began shooting after a disturbance with other people. Victims ranged in age from 20 to 44. As of yesterday morning, at least one of the victims was in critical condition.

ENTERTAINMENT
GRAMMY AWARDS
… Billie Eilish, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift were the big winners at last night’s 63rd annual Grammy Awards. Eilish took home Record of the Year for her song “Everything I Wanted.” Beyoncé made history at the awards show after winning Best R&B Performance for “Black Parade” and Best Rap Song for appearing on Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage.” Her 28 Grammy wins are the most by any artist. Swift won Album of the Year for “Folklore.” H.E.R.’s tribute to George Floyd, “I Can’t Breathe,” won Song of the Year. Trevor Noah hosted the event, which aired live from Los Angeles.

MORGAN WALLEN STAYS ATOP ALBUM CHART… Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” sold 78,000 copies to remain atop the Billboard 200 album chart for the ninth straight week. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” jumped into second place after selling 40,000 units. Pooh Shiesty’s “Shiesty Season” climbed to No. 3 on sales of 33,000 copies. The Weeknd’s “After Hours” rose to No. 4 with 32,000 units sold. Lil Durk’s “The Voice” capped the top five with sales of 31,000 copies.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

OKLAHOMA CITY 128 – Memphis 122… The Thunder used a big fourth quarter to rally past the Grizzlies. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a game-high 30 points. Aleksej Pokusevski added 23 points.

GOLDEN STATE 131 – Utah 119… The Warriors fought off the Jazz to snap a four-game skid. Stephen Curry led all scorers with 32 points. Andrew Wiggins tossed in 28 points. Draymond Green racked up 11 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists.

PHILADELPHIA 134 – San Antonio 99… The Sixers throttled the Spurs in their first game without the injured Joel Embiid. They got 23 points from Tobias Harris and 21 from Seth Curry.

Miami 102 – ORLANDO 97… The Heat pulled past the Magic in the fourth quarter for their fourth straight win. Jimmy Butler led the way with 29 points. Tyler Herro delivered 23 points off the bench.

ATLANTA 100 – Cleveland 82… The Hawks put away the Cavaliers late to win their fifth in a row. John Collins scored 22 points and brought down 12 boards. Danilo Galinari added 20 points.

Boston 134 – HOUSTON 107… Jaylen Brown scored 24 points and Jayson Tatum tossed in 23 as the Celtics dealt the Rockets their 16th straight loss. Tristan Thompson grabbed 13 rebounds.

MINNESOTA 114 – Portland 112… The Timberwolves held on at the end to top the Trail Blazers. Anthony Edwards made six 3-pointers on his way to 34 points.

CHICAGO 118 – Toronto 95… Nine players scored in double figures as the Bulls rolled past the Raptors. Rookie Patrick Williams scored 23 points to lead the balanced scoring attack.

NEW ORLEANS 135 – L.A. Clippers 115… The hot-shooting Pelicans blew the game open in the third quarter and coasted past the Clippers. Zion Williamson made 13 of 16 field goal attempts and finished with a game-high 27 points. Brandon Ingram added 23 points and Lonzo Ball added 20.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Sacramento is at Charlotte…
Washington hosts Milwaukee…
New York is at Brooklyn…
Detroit hosts San Antonio…
the L.A. Clippers are at Dallas…
Denver hosts Indiana…
Memphis is at Phoenix…
Golden State hosts the L.A. Lakers

NHL SCOREBOARD
MINNESOTA 4 – Arizona 1… The Wild put away the Coyotes with a three-goal third period. Kevin Fiala assisted on Nick Bonino’s tie-breaking goal and scored off a power play.

Carolina 2 – DETROIT 1… Nino Niederreiter’s third-period goal proved to be the difference as the Hurricanes held off the Red Wings for their eighth straight win. Dougie Hamilton opened the scoring in the second period.

Dallas 2 – COLUMBUS 1 (SO)… Aleksander Radulov scored in the shootout to send the Stars past the Blue Jackets. Joe Pavelski netted his 14th goal in the first period.

N.Y. Islanders 3 – NEW JERSEY 2 (SO)… Oliver Wahlstrom netted the decisive goal in the tie-breaker as the Islanders outlasted the Devils. Kiefer Bellows and Brock Nelson scored first-period goals. Nelson’s came with two seconds on the clock.

COLORADO 4 – Los Angeles 1… Andre Burakovsky and Nazem Kadri each had a goal and an assist to lead the Avalanche past the Kings. Goalie Philipp Grubauer made 27 saves.

OTTAWA 4 – Toronto 3… The Senators withstood a late rally to edge the Maple Leafs. Drake Batherson scored back-to-back goals 53 seconds apart in the second period. Joey Daccord stopped 33 shots at goal.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Nashville is at Tampa Bay…
N.Y. Rangers host Philadelphia…
Chicago is at Florida…
Pittsburgh hosts Boston…
Vancouver is at Ottawa…
Buffalo hosts Washington…
Montreal is at Winnipeg…
Calgary hosts Edmonton…
San Jose is at Vegas…
Los Angeles hosts St. Louis

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 3 Illinois 91, Ohio State 88 (OT) (Big Ten Tournament final)…
No. 6 Alabama 80, LSU 79 (SEC Tournament final)…
No. 7 Houston 91, Cincinnati 54 (AAC Championship final)

GONZAGA TOP SEED IN MENS COLLEGE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT… Gonzaga was awarded the top overall seed in this year’s NCAA men’s basketball following their undefeated 24-0 regular season. The Zags await the winner of Thursday’s play-in game between Norfolk State an Appalachian State in the West Region first-round contest on Saturday. Baylor, Illinois and Michigan were given No. 1 seeds in other regionals. Baylor opens against Hartford in the South. Illinois drew Drexel as a first-round opponent in the Midwest. Michigan awaits the winner of Thursday’s play-in game between Mt. St. Mary’s-Texas Southern in the East.

NFL NEWS… New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees announced yesterday that he is retiring after 20 seasons in the NFL. The 42-year-old Brees leaves the game as the NFL’s all-time leader in career passing yards (80,358) and ranks second all time in touchdown passes (571) and completion percentage (67.7%). He racked up more than 5,000 yards passing in five seasons, something no other NFL quarterback has done more than once. Brees was named MVP of Super Bowl XLIV in 2010 after leading the Saints past the Indianapolis Colts for the franchise’s only NFL championship.

MLB SPRING TRAINING SCORES (opening day is April 1)…
DETROIT 5, Baltimore 1…
ATLANTA 8, Tampa Bay 7…
MINNESOTA 5, Boston 5 (tie)…
HOUSTON 5, Washington 0…
Philadelphia 6, PITTSBURGH 5…
N.Y. Yankees 5, TORONTO 1…
N.Y. METS 7, St. Louis 5…
CHI. CUBS 1, L.A. Angels 1 (tie)…
TEXAS 3, Colorado 1…
San Diego 10, CINCINNATI 4…
Chi. White Sox 1, OAKLAND 0…
SEATTLE 5, Milwaukee 4…
San Francisco 6, ARIZONA 3…
Kansas City 8, L.A. DODGERS 4

The Rundown for March 12, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 29,285,001 and the nation’s death toll stands at 530,713, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… In his first prime-time address last night, President Joe Biden said he will direct states, tribes and territories to make all American adults eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine by May 1. The president urged that if everyone does their part to slow the spread and get vaccinated, there is a chance that families, friends and neighbors could gather in small groups by the Fourth of July.

BIDEN SIGNS RELIEF BILL… President Joe Biden yesterday signed the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that Congress passed earlier this week. The plan sends Americans direct payments of up to $1,400, extends a $300 per week unemployment insurance supplement, expands the child tax credit and puts funds into vaccine distribution. Biden signed the bill into law on the one-year anniversary of the declaration of the pandemic.

HOUSE PASSES GUN-CONTROL BILLS… The House yesterday approved a pair of gun control bills. The bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, which passed by a 227-203 vote, would require universal background checks on all commercial gun sales. The second bill, which passed 219-210, would give authorities 10 business days to complete federal background checks before a gun sale can be licensed. Currently, such sales can proceed if the government cannot complete complicated background checks of prospective buyers within three days.

MISSISSIPPI GOVERNOR SIGNS TRANS BILL… Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed into law yesterday a ban on transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports. The bill, S.B. 2536, was passed overwhelmingly in the state legislature last week. It prohibits “students of the male sex” from athletic teams or sports designated for women at high schools and universities throughout the state. Human rights and LGBTQ advocacy groups have condemned the bill as anti-transgender legislation.

FOX NEWS HOST COMMENTS ANGER MILITARY OFFICIALS… Fox News show host Tucker Carlson faced severe backlash from Pentagon and military leaders yesterday for mocking women serving in the armed forces. On Tuesday, Carlson said “pregnant women” fighting wars make “a mockery of the U.S. military.” Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said the Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin shared the same “revulsion” that many senior Pentagon officials and military leaders have expressed about comments Carlson made.

ENTERTAINMENT
ACM AWARDS
… Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton have agreed to host the 56th annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 18. The two performed together at last September’s ACM Awards, which Urban also hosted. This year’s event will be broadcast live from three venues in Nashville.

THE WEEKND TO BOYCOTT GRAMMYS… The Weeknd has told the New York Times that he will forever boycott the Grammy Awards. The pop star vowed never to submit songs for the annual awards show after he failed to get a single nomination for his hit single “Blinding Lights,” which has spent 52 weeks in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The 63rd annual event will air this Sunday.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

CHARLOTTE 105 – Detroit 102… P.J. Washington scored 20 points to lead a balanced scoring attack and the Hornets held off the Pistons. Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier added 20 points apiece.

BROOKLYN 121 – Boston 109… Kyrie Irving poured in a game-high 40 points and the Nets handled the Celtics. James Harden finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds.

Atlanta 121 – TORONTO 120… The Hawks came from 15 points down in the final six minutes to upend the Raptors. Tony Snell knocked down a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. Trae Young led all scorers with 37 points.

MIAMI 111 – Orlando 103… Jimmy Butler scored 27 points and dished off 11 assists as the Heat fought off the Magic. Kelly Olynyk tossed in 20 points.

Philadelphia 127 – CHICAGO 105… The 76ers cruised past the Bulls despite playing without Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons due to contract tracing. Tobias Harris scored 27 points to lead seven players in double figures.

MILWAUKEE 134 – New York 101… Giannis Antetokounmpo racked up 24 points, 10 boards and 10 assists to lead the Bucks in their rout of the Knicks. Bryn Forbes delivered 21 points off the bench.

Minnesota 135 – NEW ORLEANS 105… The Timberwolves shook off a slow start to roll past the Pelicans. Jaylen Nowell made six 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 28 points. Anthony Edwards added 27 points and Jaden McDaniels had 20.

OKLAHOMA CITY 116 – Dallas 108… The Thunder got 32 points from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in downing a Mavericks team that was resting Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. Al Horford added 21 points.

L.A. CLIPPERS 130 – Golden State 104… The Clippers blew the game open with a big third quarter and snapped a three-game skid in handing the Warriors their fourth straight loss. Kawhi Leonard scored 28 points before sitting out the fourth quarter. Serge Ibaka had 16 points and 14 rebounds.

Phoenix 127 – PORTLAND 121… The Suns pulled past the Trail Blazers in the fourth quarter and extended their winning streak to five games. Devin Booker led all scorers with 35 points. Six other players scored in double figures for Phoenix.

SACRAMENTO 125 – Houston 105… The Kings took control in the second quarter and went on to hand the Rockets their 14th straight loss. De’Aaron Fox scored a game-high 30 points. Harrison Barnes, Richaun Holmes and Buddy Hield added 20 points apiece.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Philadelphia is at Washington…
Memphis hosts Denver…
Cleveland is at New Orleans…
Chicago hosts Miami…
Orlando is at San Antonio…
Utah hosts Houston…
Indiana is at the L.A. Lakers

NHL SCOREBOARD
BOSTON 4 – N.Y. Rangers 0… Goalie Jaroslav Halak stopped all 28 shots in his second shutout of the season and the Bruins breezed past the Rangers. David Krejci scored his first goal of the season and Brad Marchand had two assists.

Pittsburgh 5 – BUFFALO 2… The Penguins skated past the Sabres to win their fourth in a row. Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist.

N.Y. ISLANDERS 5 – New Jersey 3… The Islanders made it seven straight wins by fighting off the Devils. Matt Martin and Adam Pelech scored first-period goals. Ryan Pulock assisted on two goals.

Washington 5 – PHILADELPHIA 3… Alex Ovechkin netted his 715th career goal to highlight the Capitals’ defeat of the Flyers. Nic Dowd sealed the victory with an 185-foot empty-netter.

CAROLINA 5 – Nashville 1… Morgan Geekie netted a pair of goals in leading the Hurricanes past the Predators. Jake Bean had two assists. James Reimer made 32 saves at goal.

Florida 5 – COLUMBUS 4 (OT)… The Panthers erased a three-goal third-period deficit and outlasted the Blue Jackets. Frank Vetrano scored the game-winner at 2:48 of overtime. Aleksander Barkov’s power-play goal tied the game with 5:34 left in regulation.

TORONTO 4 – Winnipeg 3 (OT)… Auston Matthews scored his NHL-leading 21st goal of the season 59 seconds into overtime to send the Maple Leafs past the Jets. Mitchell Marner had a goal and an assist.

DETROIT 6 – Tampa Bay 4… Anthony Mantha scored a goal and assisted on two others to lead the Red Wings past the Lightning. Filip Zadina had two assists.

Chicago 4 – DALLAS 2… The Blackhawks scored all four goals in their first eight shots and doubled up on the Stars. Carl Soderberg and Alex DeBrincat scored scored off power-plays during a three-goal second period.

CALGARY 2 – Montreal 1… Josh Leivo found the net twice in the second period and the Flames held on to edge the Canadiens. Derek Ryan assisted on both goals. Goalie Jacob Markstrom made 18 stops.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Vegas is at St. Louis…
Nashville hosts Arizona…
Ottawa is at Edmonton…
Colorado hosts Los Angeles…
San Jose is at Anaheim

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 2 Baylor 74, Kansas State 68 (Big 12 Championship quarterfinal)…
No. 9 Ohio State 79, Minnesota 75 (Big Ten Tournament – 2nd round)
No. 11 Kansas 69, No. 25 Oklahoma 62 (Big 12 Championship quarterfinal)…
No. 12 Oklahoma State 72, No. 10 West Virginia 69 (Big 12 Championship quarterfinal)…
No. 13 Texas 67, No. 20 Texas Tech 66 (Big 12 Championship quarterfinal)…
Georgetown 72, No. 14 Villanova 71 (Big East Tournament quarterfinal)…
No. 16 Virginia 72, Syracuse 69 (ACC Tournament quarterfinal)
No. 17 Creighton 87, Butler 56 (Big East Tournament quarterfinal)…
No. 19 San Diego State 69, Wyoming 66 (Mountain West Championship quarterfinal)…
North Carolina 81, No. 22 Virginia Tech 73 (ACC Tournament quarterfinal)…
No. 23 Colorado 61, California 58 (Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinal)…
No. 24 USC 91, Utah 85 (2OT) (Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinal)

MLB SPRING TRAINING SCORES
PITTSBURGH 7, Baltimore 5…
Boston 5, MINNESOTA 4…
N.Y. Yankees 6, PHILADELPHIA 1…
ATLANTA 2, Tampa Bay 0…
MIAMI 1, Washington 1 (tie)…
TORONTO 10, Detroit 6…
Oakland 6, TEXAS 0…
Chi. Cubs 8, COLORADO 6…
SAN DIEGO 5, Cleveland 4…
Kansas City 4, MILWAUKEE 2…
L.A. ANGELS 5, San Francisco 4…
N.Y. Mets 1, HOUSTON 0…
CINCINNATI 7, Chi. White Sox 4…
Seattle 4, L.A. DODGERS 4 (tie)

The Rundown for March 10, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 29,093,946 and the nation’s death toll stands at 527,643, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Alaska has become the first state to make COVID-19 vaccines accessible to all its residents and workers. The Pfizer vaccine is available to anyone over the age of 16. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available to anyone over 18.

HOUSE PASSES PRO-UNION LEGISLATION. The House yesterday passed legislation to expand protections for labor union organizing and collective bargaining. The Protecting the Right to Organize Act was approved by a 225-206 vote along party lines. The Democratic-pushed bill now heads to the Senate, where it needs the support of at least 10 Republicans for passage.

ARKANSAS GOVERNOR SIGNS ABORTION BAN INTO LAW… Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson yesterday signed into law legislation that effectively bans abortions in the state. The bill allows the procedure only when it’s necessary to save the mother’s life and does not provide exceptions for those impregnated in an act of rape or incest. Hutchinson said he supported the bill because of its “overwhelming legislative support and my sincere and long-held pro-life convictions.”

GUARDSMEN TO STAY AT CAPITOL… The Pentagon has agreed to extend National Guard deployment at the U.S. Capitol through May 23, 2021. Capitol police requested the 60-day extension last week based on intelligence that a militia posed a security threat. About 2,300 troops will remain at the Capitol, which is about half the number currently deployed.

SHERIFFS TO BE IDENTIFIED… A federal judge ruled yesterday that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department must identify deputies who allegedly shared photos of human remains in the helicopter crash that killed NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and five others. The decision by District Court Judge John F. Walter is part of a lawsuit against the sheriff’s department filed by Bryant’s widow, Vanessa. The judge ruled that the public has a vested interest in whether agencies that are responsible for investigating and adjudicating complaints of misconduct have acted properly and wisely.

ENTERTAINMENT
‘BLINDING LIGHTS’ SETS MILESTONE
… The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” has become the first song in Billboard’s history to enjoy a spot in the top 10 of the Hot 100 chart for an entire year. The song made its debut in November 2019 and first reached the top 10 in February 2020. Fans were shocked when “Blinding Lights” failed to receive a Grammy nomination.

ROGER MUDD DIES… Former television journalist Roger Mudd died yesterday at his Fairfax County, Virginia, home of complications related to kidney failure. He was 93. Mudd emerged as a hard-hitting political reporter and anchor at CBS News and NBC News. He was co-moderator of “Meet the Press” and hosted occasional specials. Mudd joined the team of PBS’ “MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour” in 1987, then served as the primary anchor of cable’s History Channel.

SPORTS
NHL SCOREBOARD

PITTSBURGH 4 – N.Y. Rangers 2… Kasperi Kapanen netted his fourth goal in five games to highlight the Penguins’ win over the Rangers. Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist. Goalie Tristan Jarry made 33 saves.

N.Y. ISLANDERS 2 – Boston 1 (SO)… Anthony Beauvillier scored the decisive goal in the shootout to send the Islanders past the Bruins. Brock Nelson scored a tying goal late in the second period.

PHILADELPHIA 5 – Buffalo 4 (SO)… The Flyers overcame an early two-goal deficit to outlast the Sabres. Sean Couturier and Nolan Patrick scored in the tie-breaker. Couturier set up two goals in regulation.

WASHINGTON 5 – New Jersey 4 (OT)… The Capitals recovered to top the Devils after blowing a three-goal third-period lead. Jakub Vrana’s second goal of the game won it at 1:30 of overtime.

CAROLINA 3 – Nashville 2 (OT)… The Hurricanes came from two goals down in the second period to down the Predators. Jordan Staal netted his second goal of the game with 34 seconds left in overtime. Sebastian Aho had a goal and an assist.

Florida 4 – COLUMBUS 2… Patric Hornqvist scored his 10th goal in the second period and the Panthers went on to double up on the Blue Jackets. Sergei Bobrovsky made 40 saves at goal.

Winnipeg 4 – TORONTO 3… Mason Appleton’s third-period goal proved to be the difference in the Jets’ win over the Maple Leafs. Neal Pionk set up three goals. Andrew Copp had a goal and an assist.

Tampa Bay 4 – DETROIT 3 (OT)… Blake Coleman found the net 2:17 into overtime to push the Lightning past the Red Wings. Erik Cernak and Blake Coleman both had a goal and an assist.

DALLAS 6 – Chicago 1… The Stars got goals from six different players in skating past the Blackhawks. Jason Robertson assisted on four goals. Roope Hintz had a goal and an assist.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Vegas is at Minnesota…
Edmonton hosts Ottawa…
Arizona is at Colorado…
Anaheim hosts Los Angeles…
Montreal is at Vancouver

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 1 Gonzaga 88, BYU 78 (West Coast Conference Tournament final)

MLB SPRING TRAINING SCORES
MINNESOTA 1, Baltimore 0…
TAMPA BAY 11, Boston 3…
DETROIT 6, N.Y. Yankees 5…
Pittsburgh 10, ATLANTA 1…
TORONTO 4, Philadelphia 1…
N.Y METS 5, St. Louis 3…
Cleveland 9, TEXAS 2…
CHI. CUBS 9, Oakland 8…
San Diego 4, CHI. WHITE SOX 2…
Colorado 11, ARIZONA 4…
SEATTLE 6, Kansas City 3…
MILWAUKEE 13, San Francisco 7…
HOUSTON 4, Washington 4 (tie)…
L.A. Dodgers 5, ARIZONA 3

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Washington is at Memphis…
Dallas hosts San Antonio