Yahoo Sports AM: Caitlin Clark stands alone at the top

In today's edition: Caitlin Clark's record-breaking night, Harrison Butker's season for the ages, NASCAR kicks off in Daytona, and more.

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🚨 Headlines

⚾️ Manfred's last term: MLB commissioner Rob Manfred will step down when his current contract expires in January 2029. "You can only have so much fun in one lifetime," he said Thursday.

🎮 College Football 25: EA Sports released a teaser for its first college football video game since 2013, which will come out this summer.

🏒 Another hat trick: Auston Matthews recorded his fifth hat trick of the season on Thursday, becoming the first player since 2006 to have at least five in a season.

🏀 44 rebounds: Lauryn Taylor of D-II Francis Marion grabbed 44 rebounds (!!!) on Thursday night, setting a new NCAA women's record for all divisions.

🏀 Clark stands alone at the top

(Bruno Rouby/Yahoo Sports)
(Bruno Rouby/Yahoo Sports)

Caitlin Clark is incredible.

ICYMI: The Iowa superstar needed eight points on Thursday night to break the Division I women's scoring record.

  • So naturally, she scored the Hawkeyes' first eight points of the game and broke the record on a signature deep three from the logo.

  • Then she went off for a career-high (and Iowa record) 49 points in a 106-89 win over Michigan. Did I mention she also had 13 assists?

Clark: "I don't know if you can really script it any better. Just to do it in this fashion, I'm very grateful. Very thankful to be surrounded by so many people that have been my foundation."

(Amber Matsumoto/Yahoo Sports)
(Amber Matsumoto/Yahoo Sports)

The GOAT is in the building: This is what Clark does. She delivers night in and night out, putting on a show for the sold-out crowds that come to see her play.

  • She's scored 20+ points in all 26 games this season and leads the nation in both scoring (32.8 ppg) and assists (8.5 apg).

  • Her impact on the sport is well-documented, from the ticket sales to the TV ratings to the swaths of young girls who line up to get her autograph.

"One more year! One more year!*" The chants could be heard throughout Carver-Hawkeye Arena after the game. "I paid them," joked head coach Lisa Bluder, wearing the same big smile everyone else had. What a night. What a player.

Clark and Bluder watching a video the team put together. (Iowa Athletics)
Clark and Bluder watching a video the team put together. (Iowa Athletics)


*Clark can return for a fifth season due to COVID eligibility.

🏈 KC's unsung hero: Harrison Butker

One of Butker's four field goals during this year's Super Bowl. (Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
One of Butker's four field goals during this year's Super Bowl. (Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Did Harrison Butker just complete the best kicking season in NFL history? It's certainly up there, Jeff writes.

Butker's golden leg: The seven-year vet had a nearly perfect regular season, making all 38 extra points and 33 of his 35 field goals, including all 12 kicks from 40+ yards.

  • He was even better in the playoffs, going 8-for-8 on extra points and 11-for-11 on field goals.

  • That includes, of course, his Super Bowl-record 57-yarder on Sunday.

Consider this: Butker scored 37% of the Chiefs' points in the regular season (137 of 371), 43% of their points in the playoffs (41 of 95) and more than half of their points in the Super Bowl (13 of 25).

Where his season ranks: Butker's 2023 campaign was one of 14 times in NFL history that a kicker attempted 35+ field goals in the regular season and made at least 94% of them.

  • Of those 14, just eight also featured a 100% success rate on extra points.

  • And of those eight, just three (Butker in 2023, Stephen Hauschka in 2013 and Stephen Gostkowski in 2014) included a Super Bowl victory.

Hall of Fame résumé: Butker's greatness is hardly confined to this season: He ranks second all-time in field goal percentage (89.14%) and his three Super Bowl wins trail only Adam Vinatieri (four) for most by a kicker.

🏁 Gentlemen, start your engines

Last year's Daytona 500. (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Last year's Daytona 500. (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

NASCAR's 2024 season begins Sunday with the 66th running of the Daytona 500, Jeff writes.

The Great American Race: 2015 winner Joey Logano won pole position during Wednesday's qualifier, and he'll be joined by 2021 winner Michael McDowell in the first row for Sunday's race.

  • The starting order for the remaining 38 spots was determined by the results of Thursday night's 150-mile duels, won by Tyler Reddick and Christopher Bell.

  • One of those 38 spots went to newly-inducted Hall of Famer Jimmie Johnson, who snuck into the field thanks to this final-lap pass. He's racing part-time for the second straight season after retiring from full-time racing in 2020.

  • With rain in the forecast all weekend, delays may be unavoidable. NASCAR will put the race under caution for any amount of rain, then wait for the track to dry before restarting.

What to watch this season: The 37-race schedule runs from Sunday through Nov. 10, with races on all but two weekends.

  • Olympics break: Those two weekends off are the last in July and first in August, when NBC — which broadcasts the second half of the NASCAR season — will be busy airing the Paris Olympics.

  • New (and returning) tracks: Iowa Speedway will host its first-ever Cup Series race (June 16) and Indianapolis Motor Speedway's iconic oval returns to the schedule (July 21) after a three-year hiatus.

  • A move to the booth: Kevin Harvick, who ranks 10th all-time with 60 wins, retired at the end of last season and is now on the Fox Sports team.

Title contenders: Kyle Larson (+525) is the favorite at BetMGM, followed by William Byron (+625), Denny Hamlin (+800), Chase Elliott (+800) and Martin Truex Jr. (+900).

More NASCAR: What's new ahead of the 2024 season?

🇺🇸 America in photos

(Michael Owens/Getty Images)
(Michael Owens/Getty Images)

Pacific Palisades, California — In his return to the PGA Tour, Tiger Woods shot a 1-over 72 at the Genesis Invitational, carding seven pars, five birdies and six bogeys on the day.

(Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Salt Lake City — Klay Thompson came off the bench for the first time since his rookie year and had his best game of the season, scoring 35 points in 28 minutes to lead the Warriors past the Jazz, 140-137.

The sun rises over the seats at Fenway South, home of the Red Sox. (Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
The sun rises over the seats at Fenway South, home of the Red Sox. (Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Fort Myers, Florida — Spring (training) has sprung.

(Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

East Rutherford, N.J. — MetLife Stadium hosts this weekend's Stadium Series, with Devils-Flyers on Saturday and Rangers-Islanders on Sunday.

📆 Feb. 16, 1953: Teddy Ballgame's crash landing

Williams preparing for another mission not long after his crash. (Bettmann Archives/Getty Images)
Williams preparing for another mission not long after his crash. (Bettmann Archives/Getty Images)

71 years ago today, Ted Williams crash landed his fighter jet during his first of 39 missions as a Marine Corps pilot in the Korean War, Jeff writes.

What a quote: The 34-year-old Williams, who planned to return to MLB after serving, didn't eject after his plane caught fire for fear of what the landing might do to his knees: "I'd have rather died than never to have been able to play baseball again," he later recalled.

More on this day:

  • 🏀 1972: Wilt Chamberlain became the first player in NBA history to eclipse 30,000 career points. He's since been joined by six others*, all of whom sit above him on the all-time list.

  • 🏒 2005: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman canceled all remaining games after a five-month knockout, marking the only time a major North American league lost an entire season due to a labor dispute.

*The 30,000-point club: LeBron James (39,868), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928), Kobe Bryant (33,643), Michael Jordan (32,292), Dirk Nowitzki (31,560), Chamberlain (31,419).

📺 Watchlist: All-Star weekend

(James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

NBA All-Star Weekend begins tonight in Indianapolis with the Celebrity Game (7pm ET, ESPN) and Rising Stars (9pm, TNT) ahead of All-Star Saturday night (8pm, TNT) and Sunday's main event, Jeff writes.

  • Skills Challenge (Sat.): The host Pacers (Tyrese Haliburton, Bennedict Mathurin, Myles Turner) take on teams of No. 1 picks (Paolo Banchero, Anthony Edwards, Victor Wembanyama) and All-Stars (Scottie Barnes, Tyrese Maxey, Trae Young).

  • 3-Point Contest (Sat.): Defending champ Damian Lillard (MIL), Malik Beasley (MIL), Jalen Brunson (NYK), Haliburton (IND), Lauri Markkanen (UTA), Donovan Mitchell (CLE), Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN), Young (ATL).

  • Steph vs. Sabrina (Sat.): Stephen Curry and Sabrina Ionescu go head-to-head in a 3-point shootout. Ionescu won last year's WNBA 3-Point Contest in historic fashion.

  • Dunk Contest (Sat.): Defending champ Mac McClung (G League), Jaylen Brown (BOS), Jaime Jaquez Jr. (MIA), Jacob Toppin (NYK).

  • All-Star Game (Sun. 8pm, TNT): The game returns to its roots with a classic East vs. West format and no more "Elam Ending." Jennifer Hudson performs at halftime.

More to watch:

  • ⛳️ PGA: The Genesis (Fri-Sun, ESPN+/Golf)

  • 🏁 NASCAR: Daytona 500 (Sun. 2:30pm, Fox)

  • 🏀 NCAAM: No. 4 Marquette at No. 1 UConn (Sat. 3pm, Fox); No. 6 Kansas at No. 25 Oklahoma (Sat. 4pm, ESPN); No. 22 Kentucky at No. 13 Auburn (Sat. 6pm, ESPN)

  • 🏀 NCAAW: No. 9 UCLA at No. 11 Oregon State (Fri. 10pm, Pac-12); No. 12 Virginia Tech at No. 18 Louisville (Sun. 2pm, ESPN); No. 10 USC at No. 11 Oregon State (Sun. 3pm, Pac-12)

  • 🏒 NHL: Kings at Bruins (Sat. 12:30pm, ABC); Oilers at Stars (Sat. 3pm, ABC); Flyers at Devils (Sat. 8pm, ABC); Rangers at Islanders (Sun. 3pm, ABC)

  • 👟 Track & Field: U.S. Indoor Championships* (Sat. 4pm, NBC)

  • ⚽️ Premier League: Man City vs. Chelsea (Sat. 12:30pm, NBC)

  • 🏒 PWHL: Four games (Fri-Sun, YouTube)Schedule.

*Marquee event: The Men's 60m features world record holder Christian Coleman and reigning world 100m and 200m champion Noah Lyles.

🏟️ Ballpark trivia

Kauffman Stadium. (Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)
Kauffman Stadium. (Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)

The Royals plan to build a new ballpark by 2028, leaving behind Kauffman Stadium, which is MLB's sixth-oldest stadium (1973).

  • Question: Can you name the five ballparks older than Kauffman?

  • Hint: Three AL, two NL.

Answer at the bottom.

🍿 Now streaming: "The Dynasty"


"The Dynasty," a 10-part series on the Patriots, premieres today on Apple TV+, with new episodes debuting weekly through mid-March.

From Yahoo Sports' Jay Busbee:

If you're a Patriots fan, you already know you're going to be settling on the couch every Friday night for the next five weeks to watch this. But even if you're not, even if you're fed up with all things New England, "The Dynasty" is worth a watch, just to see how that sausage got made. Whether you love the Patriots or hate them, "The Dynasty" will confirm that you're right.

Trivia answer: Fenway Park (1912), Wrigley Field (1914), Dodger Stadium (1962), Angel Stadium (1966), Oakland Coliseum (1966)

We hope you enjoyed this edition of Yahoo Sports AM, our daily newsletter that keeps you up to date on all things sports. Sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.