Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Canes out in Elite Eight, Fins land Tyreek, Heat unravel, U.S. soccer. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; plus UM hoops column, new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more
GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND
1) It's MONDAY, MARCH 28. Belated happy 75th birthday to one of my heroes, Elton John. Still standing! 2) Visit BIG GAME: THE MUSICAL for Le Batard Show's latest venture -- which includes a song by me and reached No.1 on iTunes chart! 3) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on Twitter, Instagram and now TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins' mega-trade for Tyreek Hill tops latest Mount Gregmore of columns, new Greg Cote Show podcast including emergency bonus episode on Tyreek.
GREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 15th episode of 2022 and 106th overall is out now! A new pod drops each Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 106 we've done so far HERE, free. In the new episode: Golf with Le Batard Show (left), Platonic lip kissing, Does Chris only call his mother when he needs something?, Bowling beef, Early planning stage of Cote Olympics, Another try at Gerdle word game, Mayor of a city in Georgia sings song he wrote about Greg, and Funeral songs. Hit up GCS2215 for full story on the new episode, and watch our weekly YouTube preview of latest episode. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, review and follow. Our pod also simulcasts on Sirius XM every Mondays 5-6 p.m. ET).
Personal note and thanks: I'm honored to have again been named by Associated Press Sports Editors as national Top 10 columnist for 2021 in '22 judging. The four nominated columns that won us APSE distinction: Inter Miami’s David Beckham and Qatar a budding, avoidable controversy / Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson knows biggest victory happened in own family / Scorned, but does he deserve empathy? Behind who Aubrey Huff became and Dolphins sabotaging Tua with interest in Watson
Hilltop: The most recent five after that: Why Do We Love March Madness This Much? First, Look In The Mirror / Brady's Comeback Not About Another Ring. It's About Holding Onto Who He Is / When Spoelstra Joined Heat's 'Inner Circle' And Became Riley's Next Coach / Why Brittney Griner Is Lost In Russia / The Resurgence Of Miami Hurricanes Basketball as March Madness Nears
HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MARCH 27-28): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature --back after a one-week hiatus -- is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. The latest HB10:
1. UM BASKETBALL: Canes' exhilarating NCAA run ends in crushing Elite Eight loss: UM men's basketball crashed the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight for first time and led No. 1 Kansas by six points at halftime on Sunday before eventually falling hard, 76-50 [column link above]. It was a second-half collapse. Still, 20 minutes from the Final Four after going 10-17 a year ago is a hell of a milestone for Coach Jim Larranaga's program.
2. DOLPHINS: Miami makes power-play leap into relevance with Hill, Armstead: The Dolphins quaked the NFL offseason with a blockbuster trade for Chiefs elite WR Tyreek Hill, just hours after signing the No. 1-rated free agent in Saints OT Terron Armstead. Hill has made Pro Bowl all six NFL seasons. Armstead is such an upgrade the Fins quickly released Jesse Davis, who had started 72 games over the past five seasons.
3. NCAA TOURNAMENT: It's Duke-UNC, Kansas-'Nova in Final Four: North Carolina ousted Cinderella St. Peters Sunday and will meet ACC rival Duke and retiring Coach K in the Final Four, while Kansas advanced past Miami and will meet Villanova in the other FF semifinal in New Orleans. And after all the madness ... four pedigreed basketball programs are the only left standing.
4. HEAT: Spo/Butler fireworks in midst of slump jar Heat season: Jimmy Butler gives lousy effort on D on a 3 by Golden State. Timeout. Erik Spoelstra yells at Butler; Butler yells back. It escalates. Udonis Haslem steps in. A clipboard flies. National news! All of this as Miami has now lost four straight and six of nine, along with its lead the East. Heat did clinch division title, but there are bigger problems at the moment. Miami is back at it Monday/tonight vs. Sac-Town as the playoffs draw ever nearer.
5. PANTHERS: Hot Cats land Giroux to fortify Stanley Cup hopes as playoffs near: Florida made a major deadline trade with Philly, obtaining veteran forward Claude Giroux essentially for Owen Tippett and a future No. 1 draft pick. Giroux, with 291 career goals, joins Sasha Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe on the top line. The Cats are 44-15-6 after Sunday's loss in Toronto ended a four-game win streak and still lead by six points in the NHL Atlantic.
6. SOCCER: U.S. all but in Qatar World Cup after Sunday win: Coming off a 0-0 qualifying draw at Mexico, the USMNT on Sunday routed Panama 5-1 behind Christian Pulisic's hat trick to all but clinch a spot in this year's World Cup in Qatar. The U.S., in Wednesday's CONCACAF qualifying finale vs. Costa Rica, will clinch a ticket to Qatar with a win, or a tie, or a loss by five goals or fewer.
7. NFL: Browns introduce Watson, who denies allegations: A second grand jury in Texas declined to pursue criminal charges against Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson. Browns acquired Watson from the Houston for three first-round picks and other draft picks, and a five-year contract worth $230 million guaranteed -- by far the most guaranteed money in one deal in NFL history. When introduced, Watson denied all charges by the 22 women alleging sexual misconduct during massages.
8. TENNIS: Withdrawals, upsets mar Miami Open at its midpoint: Call it a depleted Miami Open, with men's Big 3 Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer not playing, and the women's side missing suddenly retired Ashley Barty, Serena Williams and No. 1 seed Aryna Sabalenka and U.S Open champ Emma Raducanu, both to early exits. Women's side seems wide open, entering round of 16 with Naomi Osaka still alive. Daniil Medvedev appears in control among the men.
9. MARLINS: Is Miami a sneaky-smart playoff darkhorse?: Marlins top an MLB.com list in a story headlined, 'Don't sleep on these 6 teams as playoff contenders,' projecting a 15-win Marlins improvement from last year's 67-95 record to 82-80. Fish are off to a solid spring start at 5-3 on the Grapefruit League diamond.
10. INTER MIAMI: A nightmare start to MLS Year 3 for Team Beckham: Miami has tied one and lost three of its first four MLS matches, been outscored 10-2 and sits dead-last in the East as coach Phil Neville struggles to right the listing ship. Herons are back on the pitch next Saturday April 2 vs Houston, five days before the city of Miami's delayed vote on whether to green-light the club's Miami Freedom Park stadium plans.
Missing the HB10 cut: Penn swimmer Lia Thomas won the NCAA title in the 500 freestyle at the women's national swimming championships, hailed as a trailblazer by some and as a fraudulent winner by others -- because she is transgender ..... Canes baseball is 17-6 and poll-bound after a three-game home sweep of No. 13 North Carolina ..... Quarterfinal matchups are set in the UEFA Champions League, and it will be Liverpool vs. Benfica and Manchester City vs. Atletico Madrid on April 5 and Bayern Munich-Villarreal and Real Madrid-Chelsea April 6. Premier League powers Liverpool and Man City are betting picks to win it all, followed by Bayern ..... Miami UFC star Jorge Masvidal was taken into custody in Miami Beach for aggravated battery for allegedly punching rival Colby Covington outside the Papi Steak restaurant in Miami Beach. Masvidal tagged Covington in a tweet and said, "You talk that s---, you got to back it up. That's how my city rolls, man" ..... Hurricanes spring football neared its midpoint Saturday with the sixth of 15 offseason workdays ..... R.I.P. Taylor Hawkins, Foo Fighters drummer ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode out Monday at 7 a.m. ..... Update: Countdown now 1,555 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.
***** ----- ***** ----- ***** ----- ***** ----- ***** ----- *****
Other recent columns: Chris Cote To Save Sport Of Jai-Alai / Brady A Dolphins Part Owner? Why It Could Happen / Why Derek Jeter-Marlins Marriage Fell Apart / Players Are On Right Side In Labor Dispute, But MLB Has Far Bigger Problem To Fix / Mickelson's Support Of Saudi Tour Mirrors Sports' Blind Eye to Human Rights / Top 15 Figures (Non-Athletes) In Miami Sports History / Who Dolphins, With Windfall To Spend, Should Target In Offseason To Fix Offense Fast / Hall of Fame Keeps Saying No, But Zach Thomas Keeps Feeling Gratitude / McDaniel Overcame Much In Own Life, Now Must Overcome Dolphins' Turmoil And Win / An Inside Preview Of Le Batard Show's Upcoming Musical. Yes, Musical / The Lesson For Dolphins in Rams-Bengals Super Bowl Result / Ranking Flores/Ross Bombshell Among Biggest Dolphins Scandals / Ross Should Be Done As Fins Owner if Flores Allegations Are True / The G.O.A.T. We Never Saw Coming: From 199th Drafted To History, A Salute To Tom Brady / Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce / Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemens A Shame on Voters, Baseball / Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be / Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose /'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consequences as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom / Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.
Select other columns: Dolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.
Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards again this year ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.
Finding Greg: Twitter. Instagram. Facebook. Columns. Podcast. Podcast on Twitter. Podcast on Instagram. LeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).