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Monday morning. Your alarm goes off for the first time in two days, you head back to the office and spend the first few hours of the workday planning how you’ll survive until closing time on Friday. Luckily, Poker Central and Death Wish Coffee have you covered. The world’s strongest coffee gives you a “Morning Perk,” recapping the weekend sports action on Monday and then the best from across the internet on Friday.

March Madness comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. The first weekend is jam-packed with action but this past weekend saw just two games play out, meaning there was less madness to go around. That gave us a chance to look across the rest of the sports landscape, including Opening Day, another match up of tennis legends and golf news before the biggest tournament of the year tees off next weekend. 

The first of Saturday’s two Final Four games was between two schools making their first ever semi-final appearances. Gonzaga was the #1 seed coming out of the West Region and many expected them to have their way with the lone Cinderella left in the field, South Carolina. The #7 seed from the East Region didn’t go quietly though, storming back late in the second half to give the Bulldogs a sweat. Nigel Williams-Gross, Gonzaga’s best player all year, delivered to lead Gonzaga to their first ever NCAA Championship and many think he’ll have to have a similar performance if Gonzaga is going to win their first title on Monday night.

Coming into the Final Four, North Carolina was the favorite to win it all but they almost didn’t get a chance to even play in Monday’s title game. They had to survive a battle with the pesky Oregon Ducks, who may have been dancing their way to the final, had they been able to capitalize on a few late Tar Heel free throw misses. Instead, Kennedy Meeks snatched a late offensive rebound to seal the game, capping a career best performance to lead North Carolina to their 11th championship game appearance.

The last time tennis made the “Morning Perk,” it was Rodger Federer beating Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final. Those two legends met again and even though it wasn’t the final of a major championship, Federer vs. Nadal will always make headlines. Federer won again, beating Nadal 6-3, 6-4 to win the Miami Open and move to 20-1 on the year. After not winning a major for five years, Federer seems to be the best player in the world, again, heading into the summer’s big events.

Next week, the Masters returns and I won’t be moving from my couch from Thursday to Sunday because of it. This weekend, I didn’t watch any golf but I did see Lexi Thompson was assessed a four-stroke penalty because she incorrectly marked her ball and then incorrectly signed her score card. The above video shows how she incorrectly marked her ball, something we’ve all done on the course. Unfortunately for Thompson, she is playing on the LPGA, not with my buddies and I, so what she did is illegal. I’m fine with that two-stroke penalty. The fact that she wasn’t told about the penalty until the next day, while she was playing the final round of the tournament, I’m not okay with. Thompson said the entire thing was a “joke” and I agree.

Admittedly, few things about baseball get me excited. Opening Day and pitchers hitting home runs are two of them and we had both this weekend. Three games officially opened the season on Sunday before the majority of the league begin play on Monday and San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner went yard not once but TWICE! The Giants eventually lost and no, Bumgarner doesn’t hit home runs every time he pitches but would the Giants ever have him DH or pinch hit just to get him more at bats? I sure hope so. 

The “Morning Perk” is sponsored by Death Wish Coffee, the world’s strongest coffee. Order yours today and follow Death Wish Coffee on Twitter

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