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    An Overlooked Championship Team’s Final Stop: The White House

    The all-Black Tennessee A&I basketball team won three back-to-back national championships at the height of the Jim Crow era, but were never invited to the White House. That changed on Friday.When Vice President Kamala Harris greeted Dick Barnett on Friday, he was concise in his response.“Finally.”At long last, six surviving members of the all-Black Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State University in Nashville visited the White House, the culmination of a decades-long effort, led by Mr. Barnett, for recognition.The Tennessee A&I Tigers were the first team from a historically Black college or university to win any national championship, and the first college team to win three back-to-back championships, in 1957, 1958 and 1959. The former teammates — Mr. Barnett, George Finley, Ernest Jones, Henry Carlton, Robert Clark and Ron Hamilton — took part in a private ceremony in the Roosevelt Room of the White House with Ms. Harris, who paid tribute to the team during a round-table discussion.“There’s so much that we have accomplished as a nation because of the heroes like those that I’m looking at right now,” Ms. Harris said, adding, “I, like so many of us, stand on your broad shoulders, each one of you.”The Tennessee A&I Tigers in 1957.Live Star EntertainmentHenry Carlton stands outside the White House on Friday with, seated from left, Robert Clark, Ernest Jones, George Finley, Ron Hamilton and Dick Barnett.Michael A. McCoy for The New York TimesEven though nine players from the Tennessee A&I championship teams went on to play professional basketball, their accomplishments quickly receded in the Jim Crow South.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    LSU’s Kim Mulkey Courts Controversy in Style

    Inside the coach’s winning fashion playbook.The smog of a Washington Post exposé may have been hanging over Kim Mulkey’s head during the L.S.U. game on Saturday afternoon, but the highest paid coach in women’s collegiate basketball wasn’t going to hide. How could you tell?Well, in part because at the start of the N.C.A.A. tournament, she had given a news conference threatening a lawsuit about the article, thus calling to attention to it. In part because there she was, running up and down the sidelines and screaming her head off. And it part because … goodness, what was she wearing?A gleaming pantsuit covered in a jumble of Op Art sequined squiggles, as if Big Bird had met Liberace and they’d teamed up for “Project Runway.”Kim Mulkey, resplendent in sequins at the L.S.U. Sweet Sixteen game on March 30.Gregory Fisher/USA Today, via ReutersEven in the context of basketball, a sport in which players and coaches understood the power of personal branding through clothes long before almost any other athletes, Ms. Mulkey stands out. More than perhaps anyone else in the league — possibly in all of women’s basketball — she has made her image a talking point, a reflection of her own larger-than-life personality and a tool to draw attention to her sport. She is basketball’s avatar of the Trumpian era, offering a new version of The Mulkey Show at every game and costuming herself for the moment. As her team meets the University of Iowa again in the Elite Eight, brand Mulkey will most likely be raising the stakes once more.It would be wrong to call her clothes “fashion.” They have little to do with trends or silhouette. But love what she wears or hate it, love how she behaves or hate it, her sometimes ridiculous, always eye-catching outfits are, like her winning record, abrasive personality, problematic comments about Covid-19 and reported homophobia, impossible to ignore.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    How March Madness Upsets Can Bring Attention and Money to Universities

    As administrators at universities like St. Peter’s, Fairleigh Dickinson and Florida Gulf Coast can attest, upset victories bring attention, alumni donations and a lot of work.When Oakland University’s 14th-seeded men’s basketball team defeated No. 3 Kentucky on Thursday night, delivering the first shocking upset of this year’s N.C.A.A. tournament, it cast a spotlight on the relatively anonymous university based in Rochester, Mich.And if history is any indication, the next few days and weeks — and perhaps longer — promise to be a lucrative time for the school.Upset victories by double-digit seeds are not just a big deal for busted tournament brackets. They also raise the profile of the schools who pull off the shockers. Big wins routinely lead to spikes in applications, enrollment and, as the university community rallies around its team, alumni contributions. Media coverage leads to attention that is otherwise hard to come by, and the name recognition can be long lasting.“It was a bit surrealistic,” said Eugene Cornacchia, the president of St. Peter’s, whose men’s basketball team also upset Kentucky in 2022. “It was exciting to win, but I didn’t necessarily understand the onslaught of the attention that would ramp up so quickly.”After the victory, Cornacchia said his phone was ablaze with text messages from friends, alumni and members of the media. His school, a Jesuit university based in Jersey City, N.J., with an enrollment of around 3,000 students and an endowment of less than $40 million, had previously been to three tournaments and won zero games.The team went on to win its next two games, before falling in the regional final to North Carolina.The tournament run was good for business. In the eight months before the win by St. Peter’s over Kentucky, the university sold roughly $58,000 worth of merchandise, Cornacchia said. After the upset and through the end of that month, it sold more than $300,000 worth of merchandise and ran out of its supply in a matter of days. Yearly commitments from donors rose from $450,000 to more than $2 million.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    A Big Year for Women’s College Basketball in New York

    Both the Columbia and N.Y.U. women’s teams made it to postseason tournaments.Good morning. It’s Friday. We’ll look at why this season was a first for women’s college basketball in New York City. We’ll also find out how LaGuardia Community College will spend a $116.2 million grant from a foundation run by Alexandra Cohen, whose billionaire husband bought the New York Mets in 2020.Ryan Hunt/Getty ImagesThis was the first season that Columbia University’s women’s basketball team made it to the N.C.A.A. Division I tournament.New York University’s women’s team, undefeated in 31 games, also made it to the postseason, making this the first year that the two colleges have done so at the same time — Columbia in Division I, with an at-large place in the Big Dance, and N.Y.U. in Division III. N.Y.U. won the national title in Division III by ending Smith College’s 16-game winning streak, 51-41.“We kind of pulled away in the end, and one of the officials congratulated me on winning,” said Meg Barber, the coach of the N.Y.U. team. “This was probably with about 45 seconds left. I said, ‘Not yet.’ I was like, ‘It’s not over yet,’ and he was like, ‘Yes it is.’”And next season?“I’ve barely processed that we won the national championship,” Barber told me on Thursday, “so I haven’t really thought about next year.”We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    For Women’s Basketball, Caitlin Clark’s Lasting Impact May Be Economic

    People have flocked to watch the Iowa star on TV and in person at a time when her sport is more valuable than it ever was before.Caitlin Clark, the University of Iowa basketball player who has dazzled crowds with her deep shooting range and preternatural scoring ability, is one of the biggest draws in sports.Tickets to her games this season were nearly 200 percent more expensive than they were last year, according to Vivid Seats, a ticket exchange and resale company. Fans routinely traveled hundreds of miles to catch a glimpse of her, lining up for hours before tipoff and boosting local economies.Nearly 10 million people, a record, watched her play in last year’s championship game, a loss to Louisiana State. More than three million tuned in this year when she set the career record for points scored by a Division I college basketball player. Ms. Clark and top-seeded Iowa begin N.C.A.A. tournament play on Saturday.Adam Bettcher/Getty ImagesNow, as Ms. Clark prepares for her final N.C.A.A. tournament — No. 1-seeded Iowa plays its first game on Saturday — excitement has reached a fever pitch. It has some wondering if Ms. Clark’s effect on the popularity of women’s sports, and their economics, will linger after her career at Iowa ends.Viewership, juiced by media rights deals, and corporate sponsorships are the key drivers of revenue for college and professional sports. In women’s sports, those have long lagged behind what men’s sports receive. In 2019, for instance, women’s sports programming accounted for less than 6 percent of coverage on ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” according to a study.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Max Hardy, 40, Dies; Helped Bring Chef-Driven Cuisine to Detroit

    With his unique blend of Lowcountry and Caribbean influences, he ranked among the best of a new generation of Black culinary wizards.Max Hardy, who helped bring a new level of chef-driven yet accessible cuisine to his native Detroit, and who was widely considered among the most promising of a young generation of Black culinary stars, died on Monday. He was 40.His publicist, David E. Rudolph, announced the death but did not provide a cause or location. He said Mr. Hardy had been in good health as recently as the weekend.Though he was born in Detroit, Mr. Hardy moved with his family to South Florida when he was young. As a budding chef, he drew on the region’s Latin American influences, as well as his mother’s Bahamian heritage, mastering dishes like jerk pork ribs, fried plantains and ackee and salt fish, the national dish of Jamaica. He married those influences with a deep love for South Carolina Lowcountry cuisine like shrimp and grits, fried fish and hoppin’ John.After more than a decade as the private chef for the basketball star Amar’e Stoudemire, followed by a few years working in New York City kitchens, he returned to Detroit in 2017 to open a string of high-profile restaurants, including River Bistro, Coop Caribbean Fusion and Jed’s Detroit, a pizza-and-wings shop.He worked constantly and with an entrepreneur’s energy. He had his own lines of chef clothing and dry spices. He partnered with Kellogg’s to bring plant-based items from the company’s Morningstar Farms brand to restaurants like his. And he appeared regularly on Food Network programs like “Chopped” and “BBQ Brawl.”Mr. Hardy served a meal made with ingredients from a farm in downtown Detroit for a 2018 taping of the TV show “Scraps: Parts Uneaten.”David E. RudolphWe are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Dawn Staley Is More Than a Basketball Coach for Her Players

    For the veteran women’s coach at the college and Olympic levels, honesty and discipline are central to leadership.This article is part of our Women and Leadership special report that coincides with global events in March celebrating the accomplishments of women. This conversation has been edited and condensed.As coach of the University of South Carolina women’s top-ranked basketball team, Dawn Staley is a dynamic leader at a time of surging global popularity in women’s sports. At 53, she is a Hall of Fame point guard who guided the United States to three Olympic gold medals as a player and one as a coach. And in her 16th year at South Carolina, Coach Staley just led the team to its second straight undefeated regular season. Now she seeks her third national collegiate title. A proud Philadelphia native, Coach Staley is an outspoken advocate for gender and racial equity in sports and beyond.Her secret to guiding young people today? Honesty and discipline, lessons she learned from her mother.You make statements with your coaching wardrobe, and a hoodie you recently wore declared, “Everyone watches women’s sports.” What’s different now?I just feel like there’s more access to our game. There’s more demand. I think it’s OK to tell the stories of our game and people in our game. I hope it’s not a fad. I don’t think it is. Because the fabric of our game is strong. It’s bursting at the seams right now on all levels, not just collegiately, but the W.N.B.A., even high school. Younger girls have grown up on the W.N.B.A., and during my time in college, we didn’t have that. We’ll get a big bump when the Olympics roll around.For the first time, there’s going to be the same number of female athletes as male athletes at the Olympics. Are you amazed it took that long?No. I’m not. I think we have been held back, intentionally, and the numbers and the demand today prove that.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    How to Sit Courtside at Madison Square Garden

    Close to the action at a Knicks game, a writer gets some advice from Kenan Thompson of “Saturday Night Live.”Madison Square Garden went very quiet when my face appeared on the giant screen above center court. The silence was noticeable. A few seconds earlier, Kenan Thompson’s face had brought down the house.It wasn’t like anyone gasped or got angry — no one seemed taken aback. It was just that no one knew who the hell I was. And why should they? I’m not famous. I had no right to be up there in the first place.Still, it was hard not to take it personally. Eighteen thousand people — New Yorkers, no less — had decided to silence their cheers. Eighteen thousand people had agreed, as one, to reject me.The chyron below my face on the GardenVision screen read: “Actor.” That hurt, because I no longer think of myself as just an actor. It also hurt because the subhead read: “‘The Wolf of Snow Hollow.’” Solid movie — I mean no disrespect — but it’s just that I die within the first three minutes.At 4:45 p.m. that day, my manager, Harry, sent me a text: “Is boyfriend still here?”I thought he wanted to hang out with us, which I didn’t feel like doing, so I considered lying. I let my typing bubbles go … and I let them go away. Harry texted again: “I have two extra courtside tickets to the Knicks game.” Honesty is the way, etc.I’ve done my fair share of sitting courtside. I know that sitting courtside is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I can’t think of a more annoying fact, but I’ll come clean: I’ve sat courtside upward of 30 times. What can I say? I’m a good guest.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More