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March to Maddyness | Sports Daily Newsletter

Siegrist’s path from CYO to Villanova stardom.

Maddy Siegrist has led Villanova into the NCAA Tournament, where it will take on Cleveland State in the first round Saturday at Finneran Pavilion (5 p.m., ESPNU).
Maddy Siegrist has led Villanova into the NCAA Tournament, where it will take on Cleveland State in the first round Saturday at Finneran Pavilion (5 p.m., ESPNU).Read moreCharles Fox / Staff Photographer

The list of records, at Villanova and in the Big East, men’s or women’s, that Maddy Siegrist holds is lengthy. The senior’s trophy case is full, too.

But before all the accolades and the spotlight of leading a top-10 team into the NCAA Tournament, who was she?

The Inquirer’s Meghann Morhardt traveled to Siegrist’s hometown of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., to find out. She talked to family, former coaches, and teachers to tell the story about how a CYO hooper who loved the game grew into the best player in Villanova women’s basketball history.

— Maria McIlwain, Inquirer Sports Staff, @phillysport,

There’s still time!

Submissions for the women’s Bracket Jawn challenge are still open. Submit your brackets by noon today for a chance to win a $1,000 Visa card. For more information and to enter the challenge, click here!

Darius Slay never really left, but he’s now staying with the Eagles after agreeing to a two-year contract extension. While at one point he was expected to be released, he’s back on a new deal new deal worth up to $42 million with $23 million guaranteed, a source told Jeff McLane.

The Eagles weren’t done at the position and agreed to terms with free-agent cornerback Greedy Williams, who played in a reserve role for the Cleveland Browns, a source told EJ Smith. Next up, the question is: Can the Eagles retain safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson?

Running back Rashaad Penny spoke of the fresh start he’ll get with the Eagles after some injury-plagued seasons. Was his signing a good move? It’s certainly a low-risk move that could pay off. For free-agent signings of that nature, history shows they can result in big things for the Eagles.

Want more Eagles?

The Inquirer is debuting a new podcast, Uncovering the Birds, with Eagles beat writer Jeff McLane. The first episode drops March 24; check back in for more information and to sign up!

Led by Joel Embiid and James Harden, it should come as no surprise that the 76ers are chasing history at the free-throw line — and using it as a weapon. With their stars at the forefront of their attack from 15 feet, the Sixers entered Thursday leading the NBA in free-throw percentage (83.6%) — well within striking distance of the 2020-21 Los Angeles Clippers’ NBA record of 83.9% — and makes from the foul line (21.3 per game).

Next: The Sixers’ next game is against the Charlotte Hornets on Friday, one of the few sub-.500 opponents on their March schedule (7 p.m., NBCSP).

Imagine how the Mets must feel after losing All-Star closer Edwin Díaz to a knee injury that he suffered while celebrating Puerto Rico’s win over the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic on Wednesday. This isn’t just a player we are talking about. This is a $100 million investment. At that level of money, even a minor level of risk can feel intolerable with the WBC. If it doesn’t make sense for the players or the teams to play October baseball in March, then why even try to make it happen? But here’s the point that us cynics should consider. The point of the WBC isn’t to appeal to those of us inside of Major League Baseball’s orbit. The point is to expand that orbit and broaden the fan base so that it someday includes folks who currently are outside of it. It does not matter if it doesn’t feel serious to you, as David Murphy writes, that’s not who it’s meant for.

Garrett Stubbs is the Phillies backup catcher and clubhouse DJ extraordinaire. Now, after his experience in the WBC, he can add another moniker: Israel sports sensation.

With depth becoming an issue among their starters, the Phillies have turned to reliever Matt Strahm to pitch multiple innings. And he’s OK with that.

Next: The Phillies play split-squad games against the Blue Jays on Friday. Their 1:05 p.m. game in Clearwater, Fla., will be televised on NBC Sports Philadelphia+.

When Ronnie Attard was a kid, he hated hockey because his feet “were always cold.”

He soon grew to love it, and, despite being a late bloomer, eventually was drafted by the Flyers in 2019. This season, his first full professional one, he has taken the latest step in his development.

Giana Han dove into the rise of one of the Flyers organization’s top defensive prospects, as Attard continues to knock on the door of an NHL recall.

The Flyers face a tough decision on Attard on several of their other top prospects over the final few weeks of the season. Is it better to get a look at them in the NHL or for them to experience a playoff run with the Phantoms?

Next: The Flyers host the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night (7 p.m., NBCSP).

It’s 405 miles from Philly to Montreal, and it’s 2,005 miles from the city to San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. Even though the Union just played and eliminated Alianza FC in Concacaf Champions League action, at least Tuesday’s game was in the friendly confines of Subaru Park in Chester. Now the team is back on the MLS grind and taking on CF Montreal, which ran a close second to the Union in the Eastern Conference standings all last season.

Union fans, wherever they’re located, can follow their team like never before on the Apple streaming MLS Season Pass service.

Next: The Union take on Montréal on Saturday (7:30 p.m., Apple TV, MLS Season Pass).

Worth a look

Mom’s wish: Neumann Goretti’s Sultan Adewale is grieving the loss of his mom, but he knows she’d want him to continue striving to play basketball in the U.S.

Leaving the nest: A fourth Temple men’s basketball player is entering the transfer portal.

What you’re saying about who you’re rooting for:

We asked you: With no City 6 men’s teams in the Big Dance, who are you rooting for? Among your responses:

I live in Prescott Arizona now so I will root for the U of Arizona Wildcats although I am not a huge fan of any of the teams. Although I have lived the last 45 years here in the West first in L.A. and Orange County and now northern Arizona I have never forgotten my Philly teams and never rooted for the teams where I lived. I think the only team I ever really rooted for was the Cal State Fullerton baseball program where my oldest daughter went to school. Every year regardless of where i lived I rooted for the Phillies, Eagles, Sixers, and Flyers and got to see all of them at various locations in L.A. Orange County, San Diego, and Phoenix whenever possible. For college sports I have been a die hard Penn State football fan since the days of Lenny Moore. I got to see the Nittany Lions play in L.A. at least four times, twice at the Coliseum against the Trojans and then twice in Rose Bowl games in Pasadena. During college basketball season I was always rooting for our Big Five teams and very much enjoyed the great success that Jay Wright’s Villanova Wildcats brought to Philadelphia fans.

Always a Philly sports guy no matter where I lived. — Everett S.

We compiled today’s newsletter using reporting from Meghann Morhardt, EJ Smith, Jeff McLane, Josh Tolentino, Ed Barkowitz, Gina Mizell, David Murphy, Scott Lauber, Giana Han, Jonathan Tannenwald, Isabella DiAmore, and Cayden Steele.