THE BLOG
04/08/2013 10:35 am ET Updated Jun 08, 2013

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for April 8, 2013 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

  • Tonight's NCAA championship game is between Louisville and Michigan.
  • Louisville coach Rick Pitino is expected to be selected for the Basketball Hall of Fame today. Tonight, he could become the first coach to win national titles for two different schools (1996 Kentucky). Others making the Hall reportedly include Bernard King and Gary Payton.
  • It's Louisville vs. U-Conn for the women's title tomorrow night.
  • The president of Rutgers still has his job but athletic director Tim Pernetti walks the plank.
  • The L.A. Clippers clinch their first ever Pacific Division title fittingly enough by beating the Lakers 109-95.
  • Not a bad day. Boston third baseman Will Middlebrooks hit three homers as the Red Sox routed R.A. Dickey and Toronto 13-0.

2. The Final Two

Louisville and Michigan are worthy contenders for the NCAA championship tonight. Of the 8.15 million entries into the ESPN contest, 1.4 percent correctly picked a Louisville/Michigan final.

3. Gay Pride

Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo suggested not one but four active gay NFL players will come out together to "share the backlash." Outsports.com, which calls itself "the galactic leader in gay sports," is dubious. They thought Ayanbadejo backtracked on CNN Friday. Actually, it would be a great idea, but why limit it to the NFL? Why don't gay players in all sports hold a coming out party and get this over with once and for all?

4. A Word From Our Sponsors

Ah the good old days, when commercials played between innings of baseball games. Now it seems there's more sponsorship during the inning. I was listening to a ballgame on the radio the other day, and in one half inning: 1) The first walk of the game "brought to you by..." 2) The first hit of the game "brought to you by..." 3) "We're coming to you live from the (sponsor's name) broadcast booth" and perhaps the most egregious, during the play-by-play the pitcher "painted the corner for strike three... brought to you by (a paint manufacturer)." I wondered if the pitcher had really "painted the corner" or the play-by-play had been skewed as an accommodation to the sponsor. Hey it was radio. Maybe the pitch was right down the middle but they didn't have anyone to sponsor that... yet.

5. Kleenex Alert

Seven-year-old Jack Hoffman is a cancer patient. He suited up for one play in the Nebraska Cornhuskers spring game on Saturday. I dare you not to well up.

Happy Birthday: King Felix. Seattle Mariners star pitcher Felix Hernandez. 27.

Bonus Birthday: One of my all time faves, Boston Celtics great John Havlicek. 73.

Today in Sports: Hank Aaron slugs homer number 715 surpassing Babe Ruth. 1974.

Bonus Event: Dodgers executive Al Campanis resigns over racial remarks he made on Nightline. 1987.

Time to kvetch again. The Top 5 was opened this weekend in Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Argentina and China. But not in South Dakota or New Mexico.

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