Your bracket is busted, and who can blame you? In hindsight, the only safe bet in this soon-to-be-over NCAA Tournament was that there were no safe bets. So after improbable runs through the competition, seventh-seeded University of Connecticut and eighth-seeded Kentucky will meet Monday night in the title game — a matchup that only 0.016 percent of all brackets submitted to ESPN predicted.
On paper, the two teams may seem evenly matched. And in fact, they pretty much are — at least according to FiveThirtyEight's forecasting model. As Nate Silver explains, Kentucky was a slight favorite to win after both teams advanced Saturday night, but the news that starting center Willie Cauley-Stein would miss the game due to injury dropped the Wildcats' odds to 49.9 percent.
Still, that's much better than the 1.9 percent chance Kentucky had at the tournament's outset to go all the way, per FiveThirtyEight's model. As for UConn: They started off with a 0.6 percent chance to win it all. How far they've both come. Jon Terbush
Congressional Republicans might want to say spasibo to the thousands of Russian bots working to get #SchumerShutdown a trending hashtag.
The Alliance for Securing Democracy, a bipartisan project led by former top national security officials, says that on Sunday night, Russian Twitter bots and trolls were out in full force, and their No. 1 hashtag was #SchumerShutdown, HuffPost reports. The Alliance for Securing Democracy tracks the activity of 600 Twitter accounts that are linked to Russian influence operations, and says these users are often spreading false information about U.S. politics and tweeting conspiracy theories.
Republicans are blaming the government shutdown on the Democrats, using #SchumerShutdown on Twitter as a way of pinning this all on Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and his demand for a compromise on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Democrats, meanwhile, say the shut down is due to the Republicans, who have control of the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives, refusing to work together on a bipartisan bill. Catherine Garcia
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Veep, and This Is Us were some of the big winners Sunday night at the 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, hosted by Kristen Bell.
Three Billboards won Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, with stars Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell winning for best female actor in a leading role and best male actor in a supporting role. This Is Us won Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, while star Sterling K. Brown was named best male actor in a drama series. Veep's Julia Louis-Dreyfus was named best female actor in a comedy series, and the show's cast took home the award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. Morgan Freeman also was honored with a lifetime achievement award.
The Philadelphia Eagles had a huge victory over the Minnesota Vikings, 38-7, in Sunday night's NFC championship game, and will now face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. This will be the team's third trip to the Super Bowl in franchise history. Quarterback Nick Foles completed 26 of 33 passes for 352 yards, with three touchdowns and zero interceptions. Super Bowl LII is set for Feb. 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Catherine Garcia
With no deal reached Sunday night, the Senate adjourned and will vote at noon Monday on a bill to reopen the government for at least three weeks.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wanted to hold a vote at 10 p.m. Sunday, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) objected, saying there still wasn't a plan in place that works for Democrats and Republicans. Earlier in the day, more than 20 senators from both sides of the aisle met in the office of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) to work on a plan that would provide funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program. Democrats have also said any bill that comes forward must address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The government shut down at midnight on Friday after McConnell was unable to get the 60 votes necessary for a bill to keep the government open for a month. On Monday, only federal employees deemed essential will go to work, and several services will be unavailable. Catherine Garcia
Afghan security forces announced Sunday that all six Taliban militants who took over Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel on Saturday night have been killed.
At least 18 people, including 14 foreigners, were killed during the siege, and 10 were injured. The militants were wearing suicide vests and exchanged gunfire with security forces, and witnesses said they went up and down the hallways of the luxury hotel, targeting foreigners and government officials. Several of the victims were employees of KamAir, a private Afghan airline.
A spokesman for the Taliban said that originally they wanted to attack the hotel on Thursday, but they postponed their plans due to a wedding on the premises, wanting to minimize civilian casualties. Catherine Garcia
The New England Patriots defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20 during Sunday's AFC championship game, sending the team to its third Super Bowl in four years.
The Patriots had a late comeback, with two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Quarterback Tom Brady, who has five Super Bowl victories under his belt and has been Super Bowl MVP four times, played with an injured hand, and completed 26 of 38 passes. The Patriots will play the winner of Sunday's NFC championship game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings. Super Bowl LII is set for Feb. 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Catherine Garcia
Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Sunday roundly rejected President Trump's proposal that the Senate GOP go "nuclear" to end the government shutdown without Democrat's help. "I can tell you that would be the end of the Senate as it was originally devised and created going back to our founding fathers," Durbin said in an interview on ABC. "We have to acknowledge our respect for the minority, and that is what the Senate tries to do in its composition and in its procedure."
When Democrats controlled the Senate in years past, Durbin did not seem to hold this view. In 2014, for example, he defended Democrats' 2013 decision to invoke the nuclear option with judicial nominees by arguing Democrats had "no choice" because of Republican obstructionism.
But this time, Durbin has Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on his side; McConnell said through a representative Sunday he "opposes changing the rules on legislation." Watch an excerpt of Durbin's comments on ABC below. Bonnie Kristian
Durbin on Trump calling on Republicans to end the filibuster: “That would be the end of the Senate as it was originally devised and created going back to our Founding Fathers.” (via ABC) pic.twitter.com/SazNujALdp
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 21, 2018