April 23, 2021

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NCAA championship game, Derek Chauvin murder trial, SAG Awards: 5 things to know Monday

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Perfect season on the line as Gonzaga, Baylor meet in men’s national championship

The stage is set. Monday night’s national championship game between Gonzaga and Baylor is the most anticipated men’s basketball title game in years, matching teams that have been No. 1 and No. 2 most of the season with the Zags trying to finish the first perfect season in the sport since 1976. For both Gonzaga and Baylor, this NCAA Tournament has been about unfinished business. The pathway to the 2021 national championship – not 2020’s – began when March Madness was canceled on March 12 of last year, as both teams returned a chunk of their rosters for 2020-21. What Gonzaga didn’t have last year, though, is freshman standout Jalen Suggs, who is fresh off of etching himself into college basketball history with his incredible overtime buzzer-beater to down upset-minded UCLA in the Final Four on Saturday. Tip-off for the national championship will be at 9 p.m. ET at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The game will air on CBS. 

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Murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin continues 

Jurors will return to the courtroom Monday to hear more testimony from witnesses in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with George Floyd’s murder. Jurors heard from 19 people last week, including several who witnessed Floyd’s death and broke down in tears on the stand as they described their attempts to intervene on his behalf. Several Minneapolis police officers, including Chauvin’s supervisor at the time of Floyd’s death, testified about what they saw at the scene after Floyd was arrested, police training and the officers’ use of force on Floyd. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Floyd, a Black man, died in police custody on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin, who is white, pinned his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. 

History made at the SAG Awards with individual acting wins

A historic night at the Screen Actors Guild Awards was highlighted by the late Chadwick Boseman’s win for best lead actor in a film for his role in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Boseman was one of the four actors of color who earned individual acting honors Sunday — the first time that has happened at the SAG Awards. The other three actors of color who took home wins Sunday were Viola Davis (best actress for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Yuh-jung Youn (best supporting actress for “Minari”) and Daniel Kaluuya (best supporting actor for “Judas and the Black Messiah”). As for casts recognized Sunday, “The Trial of the Chicago 7” snagged the biggest prize, winning best ensemble cast. 

NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers to guest host on ‘Jeopardy!’

Aaron Rodgers can check “Jeopardy!” host off his personal bucket list. The Green Bay Packers quarterback begins his two-week stint on “Jeopardy!” Monday, temporarily filling the wide gap left by the death of Alex Trebek as producers seek a permanent host for the popular quiz show. Rodgers is a longtime fan and has been on the “Jeopardy!” stage before: He bested Kevin O’Leary (“Shark Tank”) and astronaut Mark Kelly as a contestant in 2015 to win $50,000 for charity. “I thought the best way to honor Alex’s legacy was to really understand the game inside out…” the NFL star told USA TODAY. 

Rapper DMX remains hospitalized, as prayer vigil is set for Monday

A prayer vigil is planned for Monday outside of the hospital in White Plains, New York where DMX, whose legal name is Earl Simmons, was rushed late Friday night after suffering a heart attack, his family announced. The 50-year-old rapper’s family released a statement through publicist Angelo Ellerbee on Sunday afternoon saying: “our brother, son, father” was admitted to White Plains Hospital “facing serious health issues.” DMX’s longtime lawyer Murray Richman also told The Associated Press on Saturday evening that the hip-hop star was on life support, but could not confirm reports the heart attack was caused by a drug overdose. 

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