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The Rundown: Adreian Payne Bonds With 8-Year-Old Cancer Patient

Image: Iowa v Michigan State

Adreian Payne #5 of the Michigan State Spartans walks on the floor for Senior night with Lacey Holsworth, a 8-year-old from St. Johns Michigan who is battling cancer, after defeating the Iowa Hawkeyes 86-76 at the Jack T. Breslin Student Events Center on February 6, 2014 in East Lansing, Mich. Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

1. March Madness Cinderella: 8-Year-Old Cancer Patient

Adreian Payne has a reputation for being one of the toughest players on Michigan State’s basketball team, so it’s OK if you scratch your head at the idea of him befriending an 8-year-old cancer patient named Lacey. The pair first met two years ago during a team visit to her hospital and now they text, tweet and hang out whenever possible. Payne says she’s one of the toughest people he knows and she calls him her “big brother.” Needless to say, MSU is sure to earn even more fans this tournament.

2. Teen Wins $70K Settlement Over School Facebook Scandal

A Minnesota teen is $70,000 richer and it's all because of what she said on Facebook back in the sixth grade. As the Star Tribune reports, Riley Stratton, now 15, first got in trouble at school when she complained on her Facebook page that a hall monitor was mean. She later chatted with a boy in a way one parent claimed was inappropriate. Soon after, Riley says her school demanded she hand over her Facebook password without her parents inclusion or permission. While the school insists they asked for parental permission, they agreed to pay a settlement, saying they’ll “be more cautious about punishing people for things they say off-campus outside of school time.” Should schools have the right to confiscate social media passwords? Let us know what you think @NBCNightlyNews.

3. President Obama Pays Pope Francis a Vatican Visit

What does the leader of the free world bring to the leader of a billion Catholics upon meeting him for the first time? If you answered seeds, you would be correct. President Obama presented the pontiff with fruit and vegetable seeds from the White House garden, in honor of the Pope's announcement that he's opening the papal summer residence gardens to the public. The two met for approximately 52 minutes and covered everything from international relations to contraception. Perhaps to lighten the mood, the President asked Pope Francis to pray for the first family, because they have to “put up” with Obama. The president invited Pope Francis to visit the White House when he travels to the U.S. next year.

4. The McDonalds Want Taco Bell for Breakfast

Talk about taking on the competition. Taco Bell released an ad campaign for their new breakfast menu with a surprising endorsement from none other than McDonalds -- and we’re not talking about the golden arches restaurant chain. A whole cast of regular people from around the country who happen to be named Ronald McDonald are vouching for the Waffle Taco. Sounds like there might be a rumble in the fast food breakfast schoolyard.

5. One-Paragraph Final Essay Earns UNC Athlete an A-

Fair warning: when you see this essay, you’ll want to reach through your screen and fix it, for Rosa Parks’ sake. UNC publicly apologized in January for offering “phony classes” designed to keep athletes eligible to play. Now, ex-UNC football player Deunta Williams and whistleblower Mary Willingham are offering insight as to how these “paper classes” worked. Students would take classes that didn’t really exist called “independent studies.” The classes required one paper and zero attendance. Willingham, who called the classes “scams,” showed ESPN an example of one of these papers: a 148-word essay on Rosa Parks riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes. It earned an A-. So sit back, relax, and give it a read. We promise it won’t take too long, but it will raise eyebrows.

6. The Verdict on Peeing in the Pool: Just Say No

Spring has finally sprung – well, in some parts of the country anyway – which means beach season is upon us. And let’s be honest – climbing out of the swimming pool and taking off your wet bathing suit to relieve yourself is annoying. So why not just pee in the pool? It’s quick and you can swim away when you’re done to avoid the shame. If it’s good enough for Michael Phelps, who admits he’s done it here and there, it’s justifiable, right? Wrong, says a new study. We’ll spare you the details, but according to chemists, mixing urine and chlorine can create “adverse health outcomes” that affect your lungs, central nervous system and cardiovascular system. Maybe, just maybe, it’s worth rethinking the whole “everybody’s doing it” thing when it comes to peeing in the pool.

7. Is the Curved Screen Just Another Gimmick?

We’ve been hearing a lot about curvy tech gadgets lately. And if you’re an early adopter, you’ve probably been wondering if the curved screen is the next big thing for you. About to cave? The New York Times just debunked the curved screen -- and if you’re too busy to take a deep dive, here’s the verdict: While the curved TV does offer a better side view and a curved phone rests better in the hand, it’s probably not worth the extra cash you’ll spend.

NBC News' Katie Reimchen and Alex Presha contributed to this post.