Becky Sullivan

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

All the hype around the new "Star Wars" movie made us think about the last time people were this excited about "Star Wars."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

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A new James Bond movie means a new round of James Bond sounds.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "SPECTRE")

It's not every Final Jeopardy response that goes viral. Mine did. And let me tell you, it is very weird.

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As part of a series called My Big Break, All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Before donning polka dots, pencil skirts, plaid and stylish retro hairstyles on Mad Men, Alison Brie was sporting a far less glamorous look.

She worked the children's birthday party circuit as a clown.

A game-winning home run becomes a game loser — and 25 days later, it's turned back into the game-winner.

That alone would warrant an entry in baseball's history books.

But cast it with David and Goliath, include a temper tantrum of epic proportion, and hinge it all on an obscure old rule — and you've got the infamous Pine Tar Game.

That 1983 game between the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals is recounted in a new book by New York Daily News sports columnist Filip Bondy.

The Context: Rivalries And Rules

It's no secret that cable television is in trouble. With Hulu, Netflix and many networks streaming their shows online, viewers don't have to watch shows like Scandal or American Horror Story live. They can stream it the next day — or the next year.

Nevertheless, one channel had long looked impervious to the trouble: ESPN. Even as other channels suffered losses in subscriptions, the sports network was sitting pretty for one simple reason: People want to watch sports live.

The 2015 NBA Draft took place Thursday night in Brooklyn's Barclay Center. Karl-Anthony Towns from the University of Kentucky was the first pick, drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team that ended last season with a 16-66 record. Nineteen-year-old, 6-foot-11 Towns only played one year at Kentucky, but during that season was named a 2015 Second-Team All-American. He also helped lead Kentucky to the Final Four.

In an interview shortly after his pick, Towns told ESPN, "This is what you live for." He continued, "I'm coming with a winning attitude. I just want to win."

We've got a Final Four.

Michigan State and Duke will join Kentucky and Wisconsin in Indianapolis next Saturday night.

In Syracuse, N.Y., Michigan State and Louisville traded leads all game. As the clock wound down, the Spartans led by one point, 65-64. But they missed their chance to extend the lead when freshman Marvin Clark Jr. missed two free throws with 22 seconds to go.

But just seconds later, they fouled Louisville forward Mangok Mathiang, who made one free throw to tie the game, but couldn't hit the second.

Today, the Kentucky Wildcats sealed a perfect regular season with their 67-50 victory over the University of Florida, putting them one step closer to the first fully undefeated season in men's college basketball in almost 40 years.

Running the table in college basketball is very, very hard. But this Kentucky team has made it look possible.

Today, like every Sunday in the fall, millions of Americans are tuning in to watch some of the country's most popular sport: football.

And for several million of them, your regular ol' football game isn't fast-paced enough: They're tuning in to NFL RedZone.

NFL RedZone is the frenetic channel run by the NFL Network that, for seven hours straight, switches between football games in an endeavor to show every single score of as many as 12 simultaneous games.

The Los Angeles Lakers have played just nine games so far this season — and at 1-8, they're already off to their worst start ever. But off the court, the Lakers have become the leader in something the NBA has been working on for almost 20 years: courting Latino fans.

The Lakers are a perfect fit for the job. First off, despite the last few seasons, they're still 16-time NBA champions, the home of legends like Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson.

For Mike Trout, the outfielder from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the third time was the charm. The star hitter finally won the American League's MVP Award after finishing second in the voting both last year and the year before — not too shabby for a player who just turned 23 in August. He picked up all 30 first-place votes.

In an era when pitchers are increasingly dominant, Trout actually had arguably his worst season yet as a starter. He set career lows in batting average (.287), hits (173), and on-base percentage (.377).

The National League Cy Young award goes to Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw — the third time he's won it. He led both the American and National Leagues in wins this year and also had the lowest earned run average in the major leagues. Kershaw threw a no-hitter in June against the Colorado Rockies, where just one fielding error kept him from a perfect game. He also helped lead the Dodgers to a division title. And he did all of that while missing more than a month with a back injury.

By the looks of the Internet today, no — it's not too early at all. Last night, the San Francisco Giants pitcher delivered a performance that many are calling legendary, as the Giants beat the Kansas City Royals in Game 7 of the World Series. Even NPR's Tom Goldman said Bumgarner's performance was "one of the greatest ever." And the guy's only 25; he might not have even reached his prime yet.

When the Giants' Gregor Blanco hit a home run to lead off the second game of the World Series, millions of viewers heard that satisfying crack of the bat well before watching the ball fall into the Royals' bullpen.

It's baseball's most iconic sound, and it's the No. 1 job for Fox's baseball audio engineer-in-chief, Joe Carpenter.

"The bat crack is really kinda where everything starts for us," Carpenter tells NPR's Arun Rath.