Tom Goldman

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Now it's time for sports.

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And what better to follow Nina Totenberg than sports?

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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You know what time it is? Time for sports.

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And I wait all week to say, and now it's time for sports.

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Basketball fans love two types of March Madness matchups.

David vs Goliath. The classic little school against big school with the hope that little prevails.

And then there's power vs power. While we may lose the shock of an underdog win, we gain the potential awesomeness of two complete, deep basketball teams going at each other and seeing who's left standing.

In other words, Gonzaga vs Baylor 2021.

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And we have to make a transition now. It's time for sports.

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For college basketball fans, March Madness is back and a historic wait is over. Last year, for the first time ever, the wildly popular men's and women's Division 1 basketball tournaments were canceled because of the pandemic. Play starts today in the main draw of the men's tournament; the women start Sunday.

A year's worth of pent up excitement is about to burst, although still muted somewhat by the coronavirus.

Here to help guide, an A – Z of March Madness.

March Madness Gears Up

Mar 17, 2021

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The head coach for the top-ranked team in women's college basketball has tested positive for the coronavirus. Geno Auriemma of the University of Connecticut confirmed the diagnosis just days before the NCAA championship tournament is set to begin. UConn is a number one seed.

Auriemma is isolating at home. "I feel great – I don't have any symptoms so it came as a complete shock to me and my medical staff. We've been testing every day," Auriemma told reporters Monday evening via teleconference.

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The boxing world is mourning the sudden death of one of the sport's greatest fighters. Marvelous Marvin Hagler died Saturday in New Hampshire. He was 66. Hagler helped popularize the sport in the 1980s. Here's NPR's Tom Goldman.

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And now, as they say on T-shirts all over America, it's time for sports.

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It appears, with less than five months to go, the Tokyo Olympics will happen.

Organizers continue to insist the Games that were postponed last year, are on, despite lingering uncertainty.

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Across the country, coal-burning power plants are closing. Wind turbines and solar farms are expanding. This transition cleans the air. It reduces greenhouse emissions. But it can also be painful. In North Dakota, some local officials are trying to keep a coal plant alive by blocking construction of new wind power. NPR's Dan Charles has more.

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When Tiger Woods conquered the golf world a couple of decades ago, it spurred a wave of minority participation in a game historically closed to people of color.

That wave still hasn't hit the sport's highest levels.

But some are making inroads, including African American golfer Kamaiu Johnson.

When the 27-year-old tees off on Thursday, in the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, it'll mark his debut on the PGA Tour.

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Sunday, the Super Bowl will offer up history when the Kansas City Chiefs play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa.

That alone is historic. It's the first time a team has played a Super Bowl in its home stadium.

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No matter what happens during the week, I love to say it's time for sports.

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And now it's time for sports.

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