6:17 PM ET Tim BontempsESPN BOSTON — Unlike the two higher-seeded Eastern Conference teams that began their playoff campaigns Saturday, the Boston Celtics started theirs with a victory Sunday afternoon. But after an up-and-down regular season that often felt like an underwhelming, extended prelude to the playoffs, things didn’t feelRead More →

Some bookmakers, from Nevada to New Jersey, didn’t believe Tiger Woods would win the Masters. It was an expensive miscalculation. Woods captured the Masters on Sunday, his first major title since the 2008 U.S. Open and first win at Augusta National since 2005. Woods was listed among the top tierRead More →

The Colorado Avalanche are hoping defenseman Cale Makar can do for them what he did for UMass this season. The Avs signed the reigning Hobey Baker Award winner Sunday, and he will join the team immediately for its playoff series against the Calgary Flames. Colorado tied the series 1-1 SaturdayRead More →

7:30 AM ET Kevin SeifertNFL Nation CloseESPN.com national NFL writer ESPN.com NFC North reporter, 2008-2013 Covered Vikings for Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1999-2008 Four years ago, a group of University at Buffalo researchers submitted a paper to the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, outlining a mathematical approach by which the NFLRead More →

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Before Jack Nicklaus authored the most iconic moment in Masters history, when he charged back from 4 shots down and shot 6-under 30 on the second nine to win his sixth green jacket in 1986, he was considered nothing more than a long shot at age 46.Read More →

Hafthor Julius Bjornsson, the man known to “Game of Thrones” fans as “The Mountain” and the reigning World’s Strongest Man, says he is willing to do whatever is necessary to win — including taking steroids. In a lengthy interview with ESPN’s E:60, Bjornsson was asked whether he had ever takenRead More →

The Bryce Harper era in Philadelphia is off to a rousing start with Harper raking, getting on base almost half the time and the Phillies winning despite some shaky performances from the rotation and bullpen. There are other stories developing in the National League East, however. Here are 10 earlyRead More →

9:42 AM ET Emily KaplanESPN Three games went to overtime Saturday. The other was a physical battle that brought drama and a potentially costly suspension. Here’s a recap of last night’s action (check out replays of every playoff game on ESPN+), and what to watch for today, in Sunday’s editionRead More →

TORONTO — For a fleeting few moments Saturday, Kawhi Leonard looked like the exorcist the Toronto Raptors brought in to help them cast off years of postseason torment. But a frenzied fourth quarter that featured some vintage Leonard, timely shot-making from a feisty, young Orlando Magic squad and a coupleRead More →

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Scott Sandelin acknowledged having his doubts through several low points of the season as to whether his Minnesota Duluth players were motivated enough to repeat as college hockey champions. On Saturday, the Bulldogs coach could finally breathe easy after getting his answer. Leaning on the leadership ofRead More →

PHILADELPHIA — About an hour before the Philadelphia 76ers tipped off Game 1 of their first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday, Sixers owner Josh Harris tried to project an air of triumph. Only there was plenty of cause for trepidation when examining his team. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia’s force-of-natureRead More →

BOSTON — When the longest hitless streak in major league history ended and when the Baltimore Orioles wrapped up their sixth victory of the season with a 9-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox, Chris Davis channeled his inner Rocky Balboa and walked into the visitors clubhouse with his fistsRead More →

PHILADELPHIA — Amir Johnson was busted for showing Philadelphia 76ers All-Star teammate Joel Embiid his cellphone on the bench late in a Game 1 playoff loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday, leading to a fine from the team and an apology from the veteran center. Johnson was caught byRead More →

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Beads of sweat dripped from his face, dotting the lavender mock turtleneck he wore Saturday, a throwback to the last time Tiger Woods won the Masters and a sign of the hard work put in on another thrilling day at Augusta National. Woods put himself in positionRead More →

12:02 AM ET Adrian WojnarowskiESPN The Los Angeles Lakers have been granted permission to discuss the franchise’s head-coach opening with Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams, league sources told ESPN. Williams and former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue are the focus of the Lakers’ search, and general manager Rob Pelinka isRead More →

In his teens, Virgil van Dijk worked part time washing dishes in a small-town restaurant. Nobody at Willem II, his mid-table Dutch club, saw much future in him. He was a well-liked but occasionally difficult kid — “a real little rat,” according to his youth coach, Robby Hendriks. Willem IIRead More →

The NFL draft can be relentless, maddening, career-defining or career-crushing. For scouts and general managers, so much rides on getting things right. And there are very few sure things. So when the opportunity or necessity comes around to draft a pass-rusher, it can be met with a sigh of relief.Read More →