Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports headlines from Saturday, highlighted by UConn expecting to rejoin the Big East Conference but the future of their football program remains a question mark.
We also take a look back on an emotional home run hit by Albert Pujols in his second game back in St. Louis and Baker Mayfield paying up on a bet with Saquon Barkley with a flashy piece of jewelry.
All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this Sunday!
HEADLINE NEWS: UConn Expected to Rejoin Big East, Future of Football Team Remains in Question
The UConn Huskies jumped ship to the American Athletic Conference in 2013, but sources tell ESPN that the program is expected to return to the Big East for basketball and other sports in 2020. Nothing is official yet, but a source tells CBS Sports, that a formal announcement from the Big East could come on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.
Since the Big East Conference doesn’t have football, and it’s unlikely UConn would remain in the AAC for football-only (sources told ESPN), the Huskies, who finished 1-11 overall last season, will either need to join another conference or become independent.
UConn was an original member of the Big East conference back in 1979, growing its program and rivalries with Georgetown, Syracuse, and Villanova in men’s basketball and Notre Dame in women’s basketball. The men’s program has won four national championships (one since joining the AAC) and the women’s team, led by Geno Auriemma, won 11 (three since joining the AAC).
With the Huskies playing in the AAC against opponents such as Houston, Memphis and Tulsa, interest from their fans has declined, in comparison to when UConn was facing off against their natural rivals. Men’s attendance reached its lowest number in 30 years during the 2017-2018 season, according to the Hartford Courant.
The pending move was first reported by the Digital Sports Desk, a Boston-based website.
TOP MOMENT: Albert Pujols Homers in Return to St. Louis, Gives Curtain Call to Adoring Fans
Albert Pujols’ 13th home run of the year and 646th of his career will go down as being one of his most special. Playing for the Los Angeles Angels, Pujols made his return to Busch Stadium on Friday night for the first time since leaving the Cardinals after the 2011 World Series title. The St. Louis crowd gave him over a minute-long standing ovation before his first at-bat on Friday.
Pujols would deliver for a packed Busch Stadium on Saturday, hitting a solo home run in the 7th inning off of Dakota Hudson. The crowd exploded and gave Pujols a resounding ovation as he circled the bases. In a phenomenal moment, Pujols came back out for a curtain call to the delight of the St. Louis fans.
“I’m trying to go around the bases and get to the plate and get to the dugout and hold everything in,” Pujols said after the game. “It was hard. That’s pretty special. Too bad we lost the game, but to do something special for the fans, it’s amazing.”
SOCIAL RUNDOWN: Baker Mayfield Settles Bet with Saquon Barkley, Buys Him ‘QUADS’ Chain
Well, we know that Brown’s Quarterback Baker Mayfield is a man of his word. Prior to the NFL Honors show, this past February, Mayfield and Giants running back Saquon Barkley made a friendly wager over who would win the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. The loser would have to pay up by delivering a chain.
As reported on Cleveland.com, Barkley said the following about what was riding on winning the award:
“It’s for a chain,’’ he said. “The loser’s got to get someone else a chain. We get to pick the chain and we get to have fun with it because obviously everyone’s talking about who’s going to win, and at the end of the day we’d love to see each other win, but we’d also love to see ourselves win too, but we made a little bet with it just to show how friendly we are that it’s bigger than just the award.’
Barkley, a Pro Bowl selection in 2018, ended up winning the Rookie of the Year Award, following a season that saw him rush for 1,307 yards and catch 91 passes.
Mayfield came through with his end of the bet, delivering a VERY flashy “QUADS” chain which should go along well with Barkley’s all-world quad muscles.
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Sports Headlines
- Three-time All-Star defenseman P.K. Subban traded to the New Jersey Devils by the Nashville Predators
- David Ortiz moved out of ICU, recovery continues
- Death toll reaches 30 horses at Santa Anita Park since the racing season began; Hall of fame trainer banned
- Chez Reavie matches back nine record at the Travelers Championship, takes six-shot lead into final round
WHAT’S ON TAP
FIFA Women’s World Cup (Round of 16): France vs. Brazil
France, one of the pre-tournament favorites, draw Brazil in an elimination game on Sunday. Will the hosts be able to survive a rough road to the quarters?
Date: Sunday, 6/23
Time: 3pm ET
PGA Tour: The Travelers Championship
Chez Reavie matched the back nine record at the Travelers Championship on Saturday, shooting a 28 and distancing himself from the field. He’ll take a six-shot lead into Sunday’s final round in Cromwell, CT, as he looks for his second career PGA Tour victory and first since 2008.
Final Round: Sunday, 6/23 (1-2:45pm ET, Golf Channel; 3-6pm, CBS)
FIFA Women’s World Cup (Round of 16): U.S. vs. Spain
The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team will face Spain in the round of 16 on Monday afternoon, with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line.
Date: Monday, 6/24
Time: 12pm ET