According to Spotify, in 2018, there were over 1,700 music genres. These include, but are certainly not limited to, Swedish eurodance and indie poptimism. But that number pales in comparison to how many sports there are around the globe. The 2003 edition of the World Sports Encyclopedia reported that — at the time — at least 8,000 indigenous sports were known to man.
When those two things — music and sports — are mixed together, it’s a win-win.
With each being rich in history, good company needs to follow. Billboard, an industry leader in providing content in and around the music industry since 1894, is one piece of the puzzle. For sports fans, the late-March/early-April window has been synonymous with the hobby since 1939.
This week, the women’s Final Four will take place in Tampa, while nominations for the 2019 Billboard Music Awards were announced for the May 1 ceremony. To celebrate the arrival of the two, here is a list of the compatibility between the lyrics in four of Billboard’s chart-toppers to the uniqueness of each Final Four team — Baylor, Notre Dame, Oregon and UConn.
No. 1 Baylor Lady Bears
Wow. by Post Malone (No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100)
The “wow” factor of Baylor makes them the best all-around team in the Final Four.
During the NCAA Tournament, the Lady Bears are averaging 93 points per game and have one of, if not the best, defense among the Final Four teams. It’s easy to predict that Lauren Cox and Kalani Brown will carry the load against No. 2 Oregon on Friday night, but one player to watch on the Bears’ offense is DiDi Richards, who has scored 41 points in her last two games.
Categories where Baylor ranks in the top 10:
1st — Blocks (254), defensive rebounds per game (33), assists per game (22.7)
4th — Field-goal percentage (54.2 percent)
7th — Scoring offense (scores 81.9 points per game), scoring defense (allows 54.3 points per game)
No. 1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
High Hopes by Panic! At the Disco (No. 13 on Billboard’s Hot 100)
Notre Dame hopes to defend its national title with a high-caliber roster.
In order to defend its 2018 national championship, Notre Dame needs an elite and deep roster to compete in the 2019 Final Four. All season long, exorbitant standards from head coach Muffet McGraw have been answered by everyone on her team, as they have had to mentally bounce back from two losses in a four-game span and a near-loss to Texas A&M in the Sweet Sixteen.
The Muffet McGraw approach:
Achieving mental toughness is step one.
Winning isn’t all, but losing is unacceptable — “Losing is failure.”
No “perfect offense” drill execution will result in consequences.
You must practice and preach a fight-for-what-you-want mindset.
Competition is a life lesson and is, therefore, embodied in character.
No. 2 UConn Huskies
Without Me by Halsey (No. 4 on Billboard’s Hot 100)
There’s no rhyme or reason to Final Fours if UConn’s missing.
The Huskies haven’t been absent from a Final Four since 2007, when they lost to LSU in the Elite Eight. From that point on, Geno Auriemma’s crew have failed to get past only five Final Fours — three of them because of Notre Dame. After relieving No. 1 Louisville of its place in the Elite Eight, No. 2 UConn is appearing in its 12th Final Four — a familiar spot with a familiar foe.
Last five UConn Final Four appearances:
2018: No. 1 Notre Dame 91 - 89 No. 1 UConn
2017: No. 2 Mississippi State 66 - 64 No. 1 UConn
2016: No. 1 UConn 80 - 51 No. 2 Oregon State
2015: No. 1 UConn 81 - 58 No. 1 Maryland
2014: No. 1 UConn 75 - 56 No. 2 Stanford
No. 2 Oregon Ducks
Sweet but Psycho by Ava Max (No. 20 on Billboard’s Hot 100)
Generally soft spoken, but doesn’t shy away from competition.
The Ducks were in no way intimidated by the size of No. 1 Mississippi State, leading Oregon to an 88-84 win to advance to its first Final Four in program history. For the most part, the Sabrina Ionescu-led team doesn’t like to showboat or celebrate wins too early. But when the offense dials in, No. 2 Oregon goes through a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde stage and can make an opponent’s day a living hell.
Satou Sabally, Oregon’s other Sabrina Ionescu:
Class/position: Sophomore forward
NCAA Tournament stats: 55 points, 24 rebounds, 10 blocks, 9 assists
2018-19 season: Scored over 20 points (12 times), made over 4 threes in a single game (7 times)