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This is an article version of the CBS Sports HQ AM Newsletter, the ultimate guide to every day in sports. You can sign up to get it in your inbox every weekday morning here.

🏀 Good morning to everyone but especially ...


Caitlin Clark is running out of history to make, but you had to know whatever she would claim next, it would come in grand fashion. And Monday, it did indeed, with a side of revenge served cold, too. The Iowa superstar exploded for 41 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds to lead the top-seeded Hawkeyes to a 94-87 Elite Eight win over No. 3 seed LSU in a rematch of last season's title game.

Here are the latest accolades for Division I's all-time leading scorer:

  • Second career 40-point, 10-assist NCAA Tournament game; all other players -- men and women -- have zero
  • Third career 40-point NCAA Tournament game, most all-time
  • Nine 3-pointers, tying a women's tournament record (and her own career high)
  • Most career 3-pointers (540) in women's Division I history
  • Most career assists (140) and 3-pointers (70) in women's NCAA Tournament history

With all eyes on her, Clark was simply marvelous. From Albany, Erica Ayala writes about how the Hawkeyes used pace to wear down the Tigers.

  • Ayala: "[Iowa coach Lisa] Bluder knew that for her team to be successful against LSU, she had to get Clark moving downhill -- not only to get her to the foul line, but also to break down opposing team's defense. Mission accomplished."

She'll get a similarly marvelous opponent in the Final Four. Paige Bueckers (28 points, 10 rebounds) led No. 3 seed UConn to an 80-73 win over No. 1 seed USC and freshman phenom JuJu Watkins in the last regional final of the Elite Eight.

The Huskies are into their 23rd Final Four appearance (most ever) and their 15th in the last 16 tournaments. The fact that they did it this year in particular, with so many injuries -- five players out for the year -- is a testament to Bueckers and Geno Auriemma, Isabel Gonzalez writes from Portland.

Jack Maloney has the early preview of a Final Four for the ages.

😃 Honorable mentions

🏀 And not such a good morning for ...

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"The crown she wears is heavy."

That was Flau'jae Johnson talking about Angel Reese postgame. But really, she could have been talking about LSU as an entire program. There's a reason going back-to-back is so hard. So many things have to go right to win one championship, let alone two, and despite the Tigers' valiant effort, too many things went wrong.

  • They couldn't stop Clark. Hailey Van Lith drew the primary assignment and struggled. (Clark also dropped 41 on Van Lith's Louisville team in the Elite Eight last year.) Then again, who wouldn't struggle? Last-Tear Poa tried without much more success, if any. Johnson didn't get her chance until late in the game.
  • Reese recorded 17 points,  20 rebounds and three blocks but was hampered by an ankle injury she sustained in the second quarter. She scored 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the opening frame, but went two of 14 thereafter. Her night -- and maybe her LSU career -- ended on a tough charge with 1:45 left to play.
  • Van Lith, battling illness, shot just two for 10. Johnson (10 for 18) was the only Tiger to make at least half of her shots.

It was a trying year for all involved. Reese was away from the team early in the season, and Kateri Poole was kicked off of it entirely. Reese's tearful press conference -- she talked about death threats she's received and much more -- was heartbreaking. She and her teammates never deserved the treatment they've received.

Even with some big names back, this LSU team was not last year's LSU team, and, therefore, it could not repeat last year's result. But there's honor in going down competing as hard as you can. LSU did just that. But that doesn't make the end any easier.

😔 Not so honorable mentions

⚾ Astros' Ronel Blanco throws no-hitter in eighth career start

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✅ Become a father
✅ Make an MLB roster
✅ Throw a no-hitter

All in a week's work for Ronel Blanco. The 30-year-old Astros righty tossed a 105-pitch, seven-strikeout, two-walk no-no in a 10-0 win over the Blue Jays, marking April 1 as the earliest calendar date for a no-hitter in MLB history.

  • Blanco was making his eighth MLB start. He had never thrown more than six innings in a single outing.
  • Blanco wouldn't have even made the team had it not been for injuries to Justin Verlander, José Urquidy, Lance McCullers Jr., and Luis Garcia. He only made the roster after a strong performance against the Astros' Triple-A team on March 26, hours after his daughter was born.
  • If you're wondering where the Astros keep finding these guys, I wish I had an answer. All I know is they're really good at it: This is their 17th no-hitter, most of any franchise since they joined MLB in 1962.

Blanco's incredible performance was much needed after the Astros were swept by the Yankees to open the season. He leaned on one pitch especially to get Houston into the win column and make some history in the process, R.J. Anderson notes.

  • Anderson: "Blanco's changeup proved to be the key to his evening. He threw it 36 times, or two more than any other pitch in his arsenal. He generated 10 swinging strikes on the cambio and showed an improved appetite for using it against same-handed batters. Indeed, Blanco threw his changeup all of 13 times last season against righties; on Monday night, he threw it 25 times."

🏈 NFL mock draft, plus inside how teams are preparing for the draft


If March is synonymous with madness, then April stands for all. MLB is up and running. The NCAA will crown two basketball tournament champions, and that leads straight into the Masters. Then comes the WNBA Draft, followed by the NBA and NHL playoffs beginning. And then at the very end of the month comes the NFL Draft, a three-day, 257-selection affair.

So the "With the First Pick" podcast crew -- former Vikings GM Rick Spielman and Ryan Wilson -- as well as two-time Super Bowl champion Bryant McFadden did a mock draft to kick off draft month. Here's the top five.

  1. Bears: QB Caleb Williams
  2. Commanders: QB Jayden Daniels
  3. Patriots: QB Drake Maye
  4. Vikings (via mock trade with Cardinals): QB J.J. McCarthy
  5. Chargers: WR Marvin Harrison Jr.

One player we've seen mocked as high as No. 5 is Brock Bowers. But in this mock he falls all the way to the Chiefs at 32. If that happens, just start inscribing the Lombardi Trophy.

With the combine and most Pro Days in the rearview, NFL teams are grinding behind closed doors. But what, exactly, does that grinding entail? Eric Galko explains.

  • Galko: "After final position coach and coordinator -- as well as scout -- feedback, most teams then begin to have more closed door, smaller group meetings about two weeks before the draft to really 'finalize' the big board. For some teams, the board may change substantially in areas after assessing all the information from their staffs as well as interjecting their own viewpoints (it is, after all, the GM and head coach who the board's accuracy rests on). For others, it's more of taking a few days to refresh and make sure there's proper perspective."

🏈 Former Pro Bowl cornerback Vontae Davis found dead at 35 years old

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Former NFL cornerback Vontae Davis has died. Davis, 35, was found unresponsive by police on Monday in his Florida home, located outside of Fort Lauderdale. Police have released few details, but said they do not suspect foul play.

  • Davis starred at Illinois before the Dolphins selected him 25th overall in the 2009 NFL Draft. He spent three years with Miami and then six with the Colts, earning Pro Bowl nods in 2014 and 2015.
  • In 2018, Davis joined the Bills but retired at halftime of the second game of the season. He later said, "I went to the bench after that series and it just hit me. I don't belong on that field anymore." He later called the decision "therapeutic."
  • He was the younger brother of longtime NFL tight end Vernon Davis.

Colts owner Jim Irsay and former teammates Reggie Wayne, TY Hilton and Pat McAfee were among several people in and around the NFL world who shared their condolences.

📺 What we're watching Tuesday

Reds at Phillies, 6:40 p.m. on TBS
🏀 Thunder at 76ers, 7:30 p.m. on TNT
🏀 Mavericks at Warriors, 10 p.m. on TNT
Giants at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. on TBS