**FILE** Brandon Scherff (Daniel Kucin Jr./The Washington Informer)
**FILE** Brandon Scherff (Daniel Kucin Jr./The Washington Informer)

Washington Tags Scherff

The Washington Football Team franchise-tagged offensive tackle Brandon Scherff for the second year in a row.

Scherff, 29, has been a Pro Bowler in four of six years and is regarded by many as one of the best linemen in the league.

He signed the franchise tender on March 12 and will reportedly earn more than $18 million (fully guaranteed). The former University of Iowa standout will have an opportunity to sign a long-term deal later this year.

March Madness, Minus Old Faces

To say that this year’s NCAA basketball season was a unique experience would be an understatement. Last year, during the infancy of the COVID-19 pandemic, conference tournaments were halted, and seasons subsequently completed with no resolution.

Now, blue blood programs such as Duke and Kansas have dropped out of their respective conference tournaments, including the likes of Virginia, who will not play due to positive coronavirus tests.

Duke (13-11), a perennial powerhouse, pulled out of play, ending a streak of 24 tournament appearances. The Blue Devils blew out Louisville 70-56 in the opening round of the ACC tournament.

“While our season was different than any other that I can remember, I loved the 2020-21 Duke Basketball team and was honored to be their coach,” said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. As many safeguards as we implemented, no one is immune to this terrible virus.”

On March 12, Kansas (20-8) and Virginia (18-6) could not play in the semifinal round of their conference tournaments just one day after Duke dropped out of contention.

“Obviously we are disappointed and our players are disappointed that they can’t continue to compete for the Big 12 championship,” said Kansas head coach Bill Self. “While we have been fortunate to avoid this throughout the season, there are daily risks with this virus that everybody participating is trying to avoid.”

Howard Falls in MEAC Championship Game

Despite taking the MEAC by storm this season, the Howard University women’s basketball team (15-4) faltered against North Carolina A&T, losing 59-57 on March 13.

Howard took little time to gain an advantage early by going on a 6-0 run and then went on a 10-6 run to close out the first quarter. However, the Aggies did not want to go down without a fight and finished the second quarter going on a 12-1 run to take the lead.

The game came down to the wire with 1:18 remaining in the match when N.C. A&T hit their first three-pointer with 50 seconds to go. Howard missed two free throws with only 11 seconds left in the contest, and then the Aggies sunk a 3-pointer to end any chances of a comeback.

Howard sophomore guard Iyanna Warren led the way for the Bison scoring 21 points, and she dished out six assists. Senior guard Jayla Thornton was the only other Howard player to score in double-figures with 12 points in the loss.

United Acquires Promising Forward

United acquired Venezuelan forward Jovanny Bolívar from Deportivo La Guaira in the Venezuelan first division on a one-year loan with the option for a permanent transfer on March 9.

The 19-year-old forward will join the team pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Trade Certificate (ITC).

“Jovanny is a young and talented forward who we believe has the tools to succeed in MLS,” said Dave Kasper, D.C. United General Manager and VP of Soccer Operations. “At 19 years old, he already has professional experience in the Venezuelan first division and has also represented the Venezuelan Youth National Team. This is a move that shows our continued commitment to bringing in young players with a high ceiling for success. We’re excited to add him to the roster ahead of the 2021 MLS season.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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