Read and React: Gordon Hayward feels your pain, UCF

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Good morning, Read and Reactors … So, are you happy that Duke didn’t bust your bracket? Or are you among those thinking UCF got hosed?

Duke vs. UCF: Game of the tournament

Let’s start with this: Duke vs. UCF was peak March Madness. It featured the next big thing (Zion Williamson) showcasing why he’ll be the No. 1 pick; a breakout performance (Aubrey Dawkins) from the son of a former NCAA star (Johnny Dawkins) coaching against his former school; and a gut-wrenching ending that saw Cinderella’s hopes spin out out of the basket not once but twice.

The game was perfect entertainment, except that …

UCF got screwed, right?

Instead of celebrating Aubrey Dawkins’ 32 points to lead UCF, he’s getting crushed for not boxing out R.J. Barrett. Thing is, replay clearly shows Barrett giving Dawkins a push (a little, a lot?) in the back, which made for an easy rebound and putback that ultimately proved to be the game winner.

And Zion could have been called for a charge on the play that led to Barrett’s game-winner.

Sure, blaming the refs is an age-old fallback for the disappointed, but if either foul is called, UCF is moving on. That’s a tough pill to swallow for a team that was thiiiiiiiis close to knocking off the top seed.

Plus, no more Tacko Fall

Zion’s a human highlight reel, but the 7-foot-6 Tacko dunking, blocking shots and grabbing rebounds in crowd spaces without leaving the ground is more unicorn than Giannis or KD. That’ll be missed, but Zion’s not a bad consolation.

— Jay Hart

NFL: Gronk announces retirement

No more speculation: Rob Gronkowski is calling it a career. Gronk took to Instagram to make the announcement, ending the post with this: “… and a HUGE cheers to the uncertain of whats next.” Despite an injury-riddled career — he played 16 games just once in his nine seasons — Gronk is a surefire Hall of Famer, having spent the last decade as the most dominant tight end in the game.

NBA: Ridiculous buzzer-beater keeps Hornets alive

A single game of 82 isn’t our usual headline, but Jeremy Lamb’s buzzer-beater made it so. Here’s the situation: If the Hornets lose, they’re officially eliminated from the playoffs. They trailed the Raptors 114-112 with three seconds left when this happened. Charlotte is still on the ropes, but that’s a heck of a highlight.

NBA report: Jason Kidd in consideration for Lakers job

Despite his sub-.500 career coaching, the Lakers are apparently interested in making Jason Kidd their next head coach … assuming their current head coach, Luke Walton, is done at the end of this season. The Bucks fired Kidd a year ago after he couldn’t raise the level of play for a talented-but-young roster … a talented-but-young roster that now has the best record in the NBA.


KIMBERLEY A. MARTIN: The antics of Rob Gronkowski will be missed

PAT FORDE: How UCF exposed Duke, threatening their title run

MLB 2019: Who will be this year’s breakout stars?

As we say goodbye to Tacko Fall …

… let’s remember the greatest Vine ever.

(Andrew Graus/Vine)
(Andrew Graus/Vine)

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