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This is an article version of the CBS Sports HQ AM Newsletter, the ultimate guide to every day in sports. You can sign up to get it in your inbox every weekday morning here.

🏎 Good morning to everyone but especially ...


A relatively tame Monday afternoon gave way to a hectic evening finish in Daytona Beach. Ultimately, William Byron emerged with his first Daytona 500 victory, winning under caution as chaos ensued behind him.

  • The fourth and final caution flag of the day came with nine laps left: Alex Bowman pushed Byron, who sideswiped Brad Keselowski, then running in second. A 22-car crash ensued, but Byron got out relatively unscathed.
  • On the restart with four laps left, Byron and Ross Chastain battled for first, with Byron crossing the white flag -- signaling one lap to go -- as Chastain and Austin Cindric crashed.
  • It's Hendrick Motorsports' ninth "Great American Race" title, tying Petty Enterprises for most in NASCAR history, and its first since Dale Earnhardt Jr. won in 2014.

It's been a rapid rise for Byron, a self-taught racer who used computer simulation to hone his skills. One year after winning a Cup Series-leading six races, he's off to a flying start to 2024, and "Byron's path to being one of the best drivers in all of NASCAR is validated," Steven Taranto writes from Daytona Beach. Here are his full takeaways.

👍 Honorable mentions

🏀 And not such a good morning for ...

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The Nets are making yet another coaching change. Brooklyn fired Jacque Vaughn on Monday and named Kevin Ollie his interim replacement, the franchise's fourth coaching change in the last five seasons.

  • Brooklyn is 21-33 this season, 11th in the East. Since starting 13-10, the Nets are 8-23, the league's fifth-worst record over that span. They lost by 50 to the Celtics in their final game before the All-Star break.
  • Ollie is a 13-year NBA veteran who coached UConn to a national championship in 2014. He also spent time with Overtime Elite prior to joining the Nets in 2023.
  • Vaughn joins Adrian Griffin (Bucks) and Wes Unseld Jr. (Wizards) as coaches fired this season.

Vaughn got dealt a tough hand multiple times in Brooklyn. He took over for Kenny Atkinson shortly before the 2019-20 COVID break and coached in the bubble before the Nets hired Steve Nash -- who had no coaching experience. When things went south with Nash early last season, Brooklyn elevated Vaughn again, only to trade away Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. Vaughn still managed a 43-32 record before the Nets were swept in the first round. This year's team is an odd amalgamation around potential long-term cornerstones Mikal Bridges and Nic Claxton.

The Nets will have the resources to make some serious moves this offseason, but it's anyone's guess who the coach will be.

👎 Not so honorable mentions

  • Texas A&M-Commerce and Incarnate Word erupted into a massive postgame brawl.
  • The Vikings aren't expected to offer Kirk Cousins another fully guaranteed contract.
  • Nick Bolton got fined for a tackle in the Super Bowl. Can't a guy just enjoy being a world champ in peace?!
  • Could the Diamondbacks leave Arizona?
  • Anthony Rendon's latest comments ... 🤦.
  • Penn State dismissed leading scorer Kanye Clary from the team.
  • The Lerner family reversed course and is no longer selling the Nationals, saying, "It's not the time or the place for it." You know what it is the time and place for? Spending money and actually trying to win. I won't hold my breath, though.

🏀 No. 2 Houston tops No. 6 Iowa State, takes control of Big 12

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The Big 12 has a new leader. No. 2 Houston slugged out a 73-65 win over No. 6 Iowa State to take the conference lead with under three weeks to go in the regular season. The Cougars and Cyclones had been tied atop the standings at 9-3 in league play.

  • Jamal Shead led the way with 26 points, 20 of which came in the second half. He made a ton of tough shots and answered seemingly every mini-run from Iowa State. He is excellent. Remember performances like this when filling out your bracket.
  • Emanuel Sharp added 20, his most since Jan. 9 ... also against Iowa State.
  • The Cougars' terrific defense forced 16 turnovers, which led to 20 points.
  • Houston is now up to 20 straight home wins, the longest active streak in the nation. That includes 15-0 this season.

The race is far from over. The Cougars still have to visit No. 11 Baylor this weekend (on CBS!) and also close the season against No. 9 Kansas. But for now, a newcomer leads the way in arguably the nation's best conference.

⚽ UEFA Champions League Round of 16 expert picks, previews

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The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 continues today on CBS, CBS Sports Golazo Network and Paramount+. Here are the matches:

  • Inter vs. Atletico Madrid (preview)
  • PSV vs. Borussia Dortmund (preview)

Inter is one of three Italian sides left alongside Lazio and Napoli, and Francesco Porzio says the Nerazzurri have the best chance of the three to win it all. But to do so, they'll have to beat an Atletico squad that's always a tough out. Tom Fornelli has made his best bets, and he says ...

  • Fornelli: "Inter have been playing better overall. They've won eight straight and have lost only one match of their last 26, including five Champions League matches. Meanwhile, Madrid picked up a 5-0 win over Las Palmas this weekend but had lost the previous two. Furthermore, Atletico's attack hasn't been nearly as potent away from home, and I wouldn't be shocked if they approach this one just trying to stay within a goal for the return leg at home. The Pick: Inter Milan (-125)"

Our experts are split on both this one and PSV-Borussia Dortmund. Here's more to preview the day:

🏀 Can the NBA All-Star Game be fixed?

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I think I got all my frustration about the NBA All-Star Game out of my system yesterday. But I've also long believed if you don't support a decision in sports -- a vote, an event, etc. -- you've got to propose a way to fix it.

But the NBA All-Star Game? It's not only unwatchable, but it's unfixable, Brad Botkin writes.

  • Botkin: "For most of the game on Sunday night my colleagues and I spent our time dreaming up miracle-pill alternatives to spice up the snoozing game that was playing out in our backgrounds. ... Here's the problem: You can play 1-on-1, or 3-on-3, or 5-on-5, but unless the players care enough to truly compete, the game is going to stink."

I think players might care more about a 1-on-1 tournament, but I also doubt it ever happens. Guys don't want to spend what's supposed to be off time risking losing in a competition that would actually mean something -- but at least it would bring out some competitiveness. It would have to. The Elam Ending was a good addition but got pushed by the wayside. If East vs. West can't do the trick, could USA vs. World? I, like the NBA, have no good, realistic solutions.

📺 What we're watching Tuesday

⚽ Inter vs. Atletico Madrid, 3 p.m. on CBS and Paramount+
PSV vs. Borussia Dortmund, 3 p.m. on Paramount+
🏀 No. 1 UConn at No. 15 Creighton (M), 8:30 p.m. on FS1
🏀 No. 11 Baylor at No. 25 BYU (M), 9 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 No. 18 San Diego State at Utah State (M), 9 p.m. on CBS Sports Network
🏀 TCU at No. 23 Texas Tech (M), 9 p.m. on ESPN2
USWNT vs. Dominican Republic, 10:15 p.m. on Paramount+
🏀 San Francisco at No. 18 Saint Mary's (M), 11 p.m. on ESPN2
🏀 Wyoming at Nevada (M), 11 p.m. on CBS Sports Network