Greg Cote

March Madness, WBC Miami, hot Heat, El Clasico, spending Fins top this week’s Hot Button list

Miami guard Ja'Quan Newton (0) goes to the basket against North Carolina forward Theo Pinson (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, Thursday, March 9, 2017, in New York.
Miami guard Ja'Quan Newton (0) goes to the basket against North Carolina forward Theo Pinson (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, Thursday, March 9, 2017, in New York. AP

1. NCAA TOURNAMENT: Hurricanes await Selection Sunday: After beating Syracuse then losing to North Carolina in ACC Tournament, Canes men expect to be seeded around 8th this evening as Selection Sunday sets the field for March Madness. Gentlemen (and ladies) … start your brackets!

2. WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC: First-round in Miami wraps up: Four-team round robin play at Marlins Park ends Sunday night with U.S. vs. Canada – unless a tiebreaker game is needed Monday. U.S. invented baseball but has never won the WBC, an anomaly surely in need of correction.

3. HEAT: Hot Miami on edge of playoff pace: Heat was on a 20-4 run and had drawn within a half-game of the 8th seed and playoff pace entering Saturday's game vs. Toronto. Now there is coach-of-the-year talk for Erik Spoelstra. That's the plus side of starting 11-30. Nowhere to go but up.

4. SOCCER: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona confirmed for Miami: Months of rumors have turned to reality. “El Clasico,” the best rivalry in international club soccer, is coming to Hard Rock Stadium July 29. Major event? Put it this way. I'd liken it to a Super Bowl, but that might flatter the NFL.

5. NFL: Free agency underway for Dolphins, others: Miami spent big to re-sign safety Reshad Jones and receiver Kenny Stills as free agency began. A team that made the playoffs for first time since 2008 is acting like it's serious about building something. Dolfans call that “a pleasant change.”

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