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Sports Rundown - March 12, 2024

The Seawanhaka Sports Rundown is a weekly roundup of five stories that examine developments in sports news at the local, state, national and international levels.


By: COOPER ALBERS / CHIEF SPORTS EDITOR



Anthony Joshua Sleeps Francis Ngannou


Anthony Joshua returns to his corner after knocking Francis Ngannou out cold, March 8, 2024 (CNN)

Knockout Chaos lived up to its name. 


On Friday, Anthony Joshua defeated Francis Ngannou in the second round of their highly anticipated heavyweight boxing match in Saudi Arabia. AJ didn’t take long to give Ngannou a taste of his own medicine, knocking him out cold in highlight-reel fashion.



Joshua remained calm and collected, poised to halt any chatter of an MMA fighter taking over boxing. The 34-year-old did just that, picking apart the former UFC Heavyweight Champion and landing at will. Joshua sent Ngannou to the canvas twice before delivering the final blow that sealed the deal. 



Iowa Women’s Basketball Wins Big Ten Title


Caitlin Clark recreates the iconic Kobe Bryant photo after winning the Big Ten tournament, March 9, 2024 (@iowawbb)

What can’t she do?


On Sunday, Iowa Women's Baseball defeated Nebraska 94-89 to win the Big Ten tournament. Trailing late in the game, the Buckeyes rallied behind NCAA all-time leading scorer Caitlin Clark to force overtime and win the conference title for the third straight year.


"We just found a way to win, and that speaks to the team that we have, the maturity we have on this group," said Clark, who posted 34 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds and 3 steals. "I just think this team is never out of a game. We have the offensive firepower to be in any game, and we all believed that, we all knew that and we never gave up."


Finishing the season at 29-4, the Big Ten champs are confident they will be named a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1992.



Athletics Unveil Renderings for New Ballpark in Las Vegas


Rendering of the new ballpark for the Las Vegas A’s (Athletics)

A new era of Athletics baseball is on the horizon. 


On Tuesday, Athletics released renderings for their new ballpark in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bearing a striking resemblance to the Sydney Opera House, the new stadium will feature 33,000 seats, a dome with overlapping layers and a record-setting 18,000 square-foot video board. 


“The collaboration between BIG’s creativity and HNTB’s technical expertise allows for a truly innovative and bold design while ensuring an unmatched fan experience,” A’s owner John Fisher said in a statement. “We hope to add to the dynamic atmosphere and liveliness of the Las Vegas Strip, creating a welcoming environment for all of Southern Nevada.”


The sleek new ballpark will cost upwards of $1.5 billion, with $380 million coming from taxpayers. The stadium will overtake the 35-acre Tropicana site and is expected to open its doors for the 2028 season.



Sean O’Malley Defeats Marlon Vera at UFC 299


Sean O’Malley knees Marlon Vera at UFC 299, March 9, 2024 (The Ringer)

Revenge is sweet like Sugar.

 

On Saturday, Sugar Sean O’Malley successfully defended his UFC Bantamweight Championship in a dominant performance over Marlon Chito Vera at UFC 299 in Miami, Florida. With the victory, O’Malley avenged his only career loss. 


The pair first met in 2020, where Vera compromised O’Malley with a kick to his peroneal nerve that allowed him to secure a first-round TKO victory. 


This fight, however, was far different and saw O’Malley outclass the challenger for five straight rounds. Although he didn’t get the knockout, O’Malley landed devastating shots at an unrelenting pace to secure a unanimous decision victory over his former adversary (50-45, 50-45, 50-44). 



Edwin Diaz Returns From Injury


Edwin Diaz in his first outing this season, March 11, 2024 (New York Post)

Sound the trumpets!


Yesterday, Mets closer Edwin Diaz made his Spring Training debut, returning to the mound for the first time since tearing his patellar tendon in the World Baseball Classic one year ago. The two-time All-Star relieved starter Tylor Megill against the Miami Marlins in Port St. Lucie, Florida. 


"Excited for the boys, for the whole team, for himself," manager Carlos Mendoza said Sunday. "The fact that he gets to pitch in a major league game for the first time after, you know, a long year of rehab and all that, I think is important for all of us."


Entering in the fifth inning, the right hander wasted no time returning to form. In just 14 pitches, Diaz struck out the side while averaging an impressive 97.2 mph on his patented heater. 

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