The ESPN Daily: Vanderbilt’s rise from the depths of grief

THINGS TO CARE ABOUT

LeBron’s first assist to AD … Anthony Davis wears No. 23. So does LeBron James. Problem? Not anymore, as LeBron has decided to give his jersey number to his new teammate. Could we see a return of No. 6 from LeBron’s time with the Heat? It’s the least he could do considering Davis has waived his $4 million trade bonus. With the trade of three contracts to the Wizards, Davis’ move gives the Lakers $32 million in cap space and room to sign another max player if they wish. Read More

How each CFB contender can win … Seventeen teams have legitimate odds to win the college football national title this season — if certain things go right for them. We’ve organized them by how many of these “ifs” need to fall their way, from Alabama (two “ifs”) to Nebraska (six). If you read this piece, you’ll be extremely well-prepared for this upcoming season. Read More

A doomed division? UFC’s flyweight division is its smallest despite having once been the home of the electric Demetrious Johnson. Joseph Benavidez and Jussier Formiga will fight Saturday for a chance at that belt, but will the division last long enough for that title shot to materialize? Read More

WEEKEND BINGE READS

Vanderbilt’s rise from the depths of grief … On Wednesday night, Vanderbilt secured the CWS title in what would have been the final game of Donny Everett’s senior season. The joyous feat comes after years of pain and mourning for the Commodores. Three years ago, tragedy struck, as Everett drowned just before his first NCAA tournament. The parents of the freshman phenom — dubbed “the next great one” by his coach — were in Omaha to support the team that has become part of their family. Read More

Fantasy Football, it’s all shades of gray… Matthew Berry’s going to let you in on a secret, dear fantasy football owners: He can make stats say anything he wants. So can a lot of people. So, your job this season? Watch the games. Do the research. Question everything. Alright, now that that’s out of the way, Berry has 100 facts he wants you to know before you draft. What you do with them is up to you. Read More

Megan Rapinoe’s greatest heartbreak — and hope… Growing up, USWNT star Megan Rapinoe “worshipped” her older brother, Brian. So when her hero — who introduced her to soccer — was arrested for bringing meth to school, she didn’t understand. It would be the first of many incarcerations for her beloved big brother. But in 2016, he had a breakthrough and now, after using and selling drugs for 24 years, he’s been clean for 18 months. The bond between brother and sister remains intact, but the roles have changed. Read More

THINGS TO WATCH

OVERHEARD

“The man is a freak … He looks like a defensive tackle more than a basketball player.”
— Karl-Anthony Towns on Zion Williamson, via Complex. Read more

REMEMBER WHEN?

On this date in 1998, The Undertaker threw Mankind off the cage during their Hell In A Cell match. Mankind plummeted more than 16 feet and landed on the Spanish announcers’ table, causing Jim Ross to exclaim, “Good God almighty! Good God almighty! That killed him! … As God as my witness, he is broken in half!” The match remains one of the most legendary — and dangerous — in wrestling history. Watch

WHAT’S ON TONIGHT?

USA vs. France (3 p.m. ET, FOX): The two best teams in the Women’s World Cup face off in this quarterfinal matchup. France are under a lot of pressure as the host team, but the USWNT’s early exit in the Rio Olympics means they definitely have something to prove. Read more

O.J.: Made In America, Part 5 (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2): The fifth and final installment of our reair of the Oscar-winning documentary O.J.: Made In America takes us from the explosive verdict all the way to the present day, revealing both predictable and unexpected fallout. Watch the full series here

Commey vs. Beltran (10 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes): Richard Commey defends his IBF world lightweight title belt against Reymundo Beltran in Temecula, California. You can catch the undercard at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

UFC Fight Night presented by Modelo: Ngannou vs. Dos Santos (Saturday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN): Francis Ngannou might be the hardest striker in MMA today and will have a chance to prove it against Junior Dos Santos, who’s coming off a three-fight winning streak. You can watch the prelims at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Yankees vs. Red Sox (Sunday, 10 a.m. ET, ESPN): America’s greatest baseball rivalry goes across the pond this weekend, as the Yankees take on the Red Sox in London Stadium. Players are pumped for the series … particularly the short porch in center field. Read more

Source: Read Full Article