Update on the latest in sports:
T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL-SCHEDULE
Cavs, Heels, Devs, Noles play on in ACC Tournament
UNDATED (AP) – The ACC semifinals are set following wins by second-ranked Virginia, third-ranked North Carolina, No. 5 Duke and No. 12 Florida State.
The Cavaliers rolled to a 76-56 victory over North Carolina State as Kyle Guy drained seven 3-pointers while scoring 29 points. Big man Jack Salt provided a career-high 18 points for the top-seeded Cavaliers, who trailed by two at halftime before shooting 63 percent after the break.
The Tar Heels earned an 83-70 victory over Louisville as Coby White furnished 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Luke Maye had 19 points and nine rebounds for North Carolina, and Cameron Johnson scored all of his 14 points in the first half as the Heels ran their winning streak to eight games.
Zion Williamson returned from his six-game injury absence and scored 29 points on 13-for-13 shooting in the Blue Devils’ 84-72 victory against Syracuse. RJ Barrett added 23 points and six rebounds to help the Blue Devils earn a third meeting with North Carolina this season.
The Seminoles pulled out a 65-63 triumph over No. 16 Virginia Tech on Terrence Mann’s off-balance runner with 1.8 seconds left in overtime. Devin Vassell scored 14 points to lead the Seminoles, including a contested 3-pointer with 4.5 seconds remaining in regulation.
There was a stunner in the Big 12 quarterfinals as 10th seed West Virginia knocked off seventh-ranked Texas Tech, 79-74. Emmitt Mathews scored a career-high 28 points for the Mountaineers, who blew a 16-point lead in the final nine minutes before rallying to drop the Red Raiders to 26-6.
Also in the Big 12, Devon Dotson scored 17 points and Dedric Lawson added 16 to send No. 17 Kansas past Texas, 65-57. David McCormack added 13 points and a career-best nine rebounds for the third-seeded Jayhawks, who will face West Virginia on Friday.
Xavier Snead scored 19 points and 15th-ranked Kansas State rallied from a slow start to beat TCU 70-61 to advance to the semifinals. Barry Brown added 12 points, Kamau Stokes had 11 and Makol Mawien had 10 for the tournament’s top seed.
In other conference tournament games involving ranked teams:
– Jazz Johnson scored 20 points and Caleb Martin had 19 to send No. 14 Nevada to a 77-69 victory and a berth in the Mountain West semifinals. Tre’Shawn Thurman added 17 points to help the top-seeded Wolf Pack tie a school record with their 29th win.
– Jeremy Harris scored 23 points and No. 18 Buffalo opened its postseason with an 82-46 thumping of Akron in the Mid-American Conference quarterfinals. Dontay Caruthers added 12 points for the 29-3 Bulls, who built a 20-point lead in the first half and held Akron to 24 percent shooting for the game.
– Unranked Nebraska pulled off the first surprise of the Big Ten Tournament as James Palmer scored 24 points in a 69-61 victory against No. 21 Maryland. Glynn Watson Jr. added 19 points and Isaiah Roby finished with 15 while helping the Cornhuskers hold the Terrapins to 36 percent shooting.
– Bryce Brown scored all 17 of his points in the second half as No. 22 Auburn beat Missouri, 81-71 to reach the SEC quarterfinals. Chuma Okeke added 12 points and helped the Tigers end a three-game skid in the tournament.
– No. 23 Marquette ended its four-game losing streak as Markus Howard scored 12 of his 30 points in a game-breaking 23-2 second-half run that carried the Golden Eagles to an 86-54 romp over St. John’s in the Big East quarterfinals. Fellow guard Sacar Anim added 13 points in helping Marquette reach the conference semifinals for the first time in nine years.
– And 25th-ranked Villanova reached the Big East semifinals behind Eric Paschal’s (PAS’-kulz) 20 points and 10 boards in a 73-62 verdict over Providence. Collin Gillespie added 19 points and six assists for the top-seeded and two-time defending champion Wildcats, who capitalized on a 17-5 run.
T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL-NEWS
Wade suspension continues
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – LSU says Will Wade won’t resume his duties as men’s basketball coach unless he speaks to university officials about the reports of an FBI wiretap that resulted in his suspension.
Thursday’s statement comes amid reports that Wade wants to resume his duties as the ninth-ranked Tigers prepare for the postseason.
LSU suspended Wade indefinitely last week following reports that FBI wire-tap captured his telephone conversations with a person convicted last year of funneling money to the families of basketball recruits.
Pacers rally past Thunder
UNDATED (AP) – The Indiana Pacers are right on the verge of clinching an NBA playoff berth following a comeback win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The magic number is one after the Pacers erased an 18-point deficit over the final 15 minutes of a 108-106 triumph against the Thunder. Wesley Matthews capped the rally by tipping in a basket with 1.8 seconds left.
Domantas Sabonis scored 26 points against his former team to help Indiana move into third in the Eastern Conference by a half-game over Philadelphia.
Thunder guard Russell Westbrook had 19 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists but missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Paul George had a team-high 36 points for Oklahoma City, which fell back into a fourth-place tie with Portland in the West.
Checking out Thursday’s other NBA action:
– Nikola Jokic (NEE’-koh-lah YOH’-kihch) hit a falling one-handed shot as time expired to lift the Nuggets over the Mavericks, 100-99. Jokic scored 11 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, dished out eight assists and shot 4-for-4 in the fourth quarter to help Denver come back from 12 down in the final period. The comeback leaves the Nuggets one game behind the West-leading Warriors.
– The Raptors beat the Lakers for the ninth straight time as Kawhi (kah-WY’) Leonard scored 25 points in a 111-98 decision at Toronto. Norman Powell had 20 points and Pascal Siakam (see-A’-kam) had 16 as the Raptors moved back within 2 1/2 games of East-leading Milwaukee.
– Kyrie Irving recorded his second career triple-double with 31 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in Boston’s 126-120 comeback win over the Kings. Marcus Morris chipped in 21 points for Boston, which trailed by 17 in the first half before winning for the fourth time in five games.
– Donovan Mitchell scored 24 points, Jae Crowder and two other Jazz players had double-doubles in a 120-100 rout of the Timberwolves. Derrick Favors had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Ruby Gobert contributed 10 points and 13 boards as Utah moved a half-game ahead of the eighth-place Clippers in the West.
– Aaron Gordon scored 21 points and D.J. Augustin added 20 with seven assists in the Magic’s 120-91 laugher against the Cavaliers. Nikola Vucevic (NEE’-koh-lah VOO’-cheh-vihch) had 19 points and 11 rebounds as Orlando won for just the second time in six games to get within 1 1/2 games of a playoff berth.
Caps, Isles, Pens win
UNDATED (AP) – The Washington Capitals remain two points better than the New York Islanders atop the NHL’s tight Metropolitan Division race.
Brett Connolly scored twice and Tom Wilson notched his 20th goal of the season in the Capitals’ eighth win in nine games, 5-2 at Philadelphia. Connolly came away with three points for the Caps, who broke it open when Connolly and Wilson scored 65 seconds apart to make it 4-1 midway through the second period.
Lars Eller and Evgeni Kuznetsov (kooz-NEHT’-sahv) also scored for Washington, which has played one more game than the Isles.
Anders Lee’s goal with 2:57 remaining broke a 1-1 stalemate in the Islanders’ second straight win, 2-1 over the Canadiens. Adam Pelech (PEH’-lihk) also scored and Thomas Greiss (grys) handled 33 shots as New York moved eight points clear of a playoff berth with 12 games remaining.
Carey Price made 36 saves for the Canadiens, who remain ninth in the Eastern Conference.
The Penguins stayed four points off the Metro lead as Jake Guentzel (GEHNT’-sul), Phil Kessel and Nick Bjugstad (BYOOG’-stad) each provided a goal and an assist in a 5-0 shutout of Buffalo. Casey DeSmith turned back 26 shots in his third shutout of the season and Pittsburgh’s sixth victory in seven games.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
– Nikita Kucherov (KOO’-cheh-rahv) scored twice in a four-goal third period that propelled the Lightning past the Red Wings, 5-4. Steven Stamkos scored his 383rd goal to tie Vincent Lecavalier (leh-KAV’-ul-yay) for Tampa Bay’s career lead.
– San Jose’s six-game winning streak is over after Mike Hoffman scored a tiebreaking goal and assisted on an insurance tally in the Panthers’ 4-2 victory over the Sharks. The Sharks still lead the West by one point over Calgary after failing to become the first team in the conference to clinch a playoff berth.
– Mark Scheifele (SHY’-flee) scored once and added a pair of assists as the Jets handed the Bruins their third straight loss, 4-3. Blake Wheeler had a goal and assist as Winnipeg kept its one-point lead over Nashville in the Central Division.
– The Predators earned a 3-1 win at Los Angeles as Colton Sissons delivered a goal and an assist. Viktor Arvidsson and Craig Smith also scored, and Pekka Rinne (PEH’-kuh REE’-nay) stopped 25 shots as Nashville stopped a two-game skid.
– Radek Faksa, Roope Hintz and Joel L’Esperance scored in a span of 2:22 early in the second period to push the Stars to a 4-1 win over the Wild. Anton Khudobin (koo-DOH’-bihn) stopped 14 of the 15 shots in relief of Ben Bishop, who ran his shutout streak to a team-record 240:53 before exiting with a lower-body injury.
– Vinnie Hinostroza’s (hihn-oh-STROH’-zahz) first career hat trick sent the surging Coyotes to a 6-1 thumping of the Ducks. Jason Demers added a goal and an assist for the Coyotes, who have won 10 of 12 to move three points ahead of Minnesota for the second Western Conference wild-card spot.
– Anders Nilsson turned back 35 shots as the Senators sent the Blues to their third consecutive loss, 2-0. Christian Wolanin (who-LA’-nihn) and Christ Tierney did the scoring to back Nilsson’s second shutout of the season.
Latest on NFL free agency
UNDATED (AP) – The Seattle Seahawks are keeping a key piece to their offense from last year’s playoff team.
According to a person with knowledge of the deal, the Seahawks have reached agreement on a two-year deal with offensive linemen D.J. Fluker. Fluker was a key influence in Seattle’s resurgence as the top running team in the NFL.
Among other moves:
– Running back Le’Veon (LEH’-vee-ahn) Bell has officially signed with the Jets after agreeing to terms early Wednesday morning. The deal is for four years and $52.5 million. The Jets have released running back Isaiah Crowell, an expected move after the team acquired Bell.
– The Raiders have released 2018 leading wide receiver Jordy Nelson and backup quarterback AJ McCarron to create salary cap space after going on a spending spree earlier this week.
– The 49ers have signed free-agent wide receiver Jordan Matthews to a one-year contract.
– The Dallas Cowboys have reached agreements on one-year deals to keep receiver Tavon Austin and add defensive tackle Christian Covington.
– The Pittsburgh Steelers have added depth at wide receiver, signing former Jaguar Donte Moncrief to a two-year deal. The team also re-signed veteran backup Eli Rogers to a two-year contract.
– The Lions have signed a trio of free agents to address pressing needs: defensive end Trey Flowers, cornerback Justin Coleman and tight end Jesse James.
– The Patriots have completed a trade with the Eagles for defensive end Michael Bennett and Philadelphia’s seventh-round pick in 2020. New England is sending a fifth-round draft pick in 2020 in exchange for the 33-year-old veteran edge rusher.
– The Falcons have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with tight end Luke Stocker. Also, the Falcons have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with running back Kenjon Barner, who played a combined nine games with Carolina and New England in 2018.
– A person familiar with the discussions says the Bills have agreed to sign return specialist and receiver Andre Roberts. Roberts has eight seasons of NFL experience and earned his first All-Pro honors last season after leading the NFL with 1,174 kickoff return yards with the Jets.
– Defensive tackle Malcom Brown has agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the Saints after spending all four of his previous seasons with the Patriots.
-The Bears have signed former Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to a one-year contract.
-The Chiefs have agreed with defensive end Alex Okafor (OH’-kah-fohr) to a three-year, $18 million package, according to a source.
-The Bengals have inked former Giants cornerback B.W. Webb to a three-year deal.
Sipp signs with Nationals
UNDATED (AP) – Left-handed reliever Tony Sipp has passed his physical and signed a one-year contract with the Washington Nationals.
The deal guarantees him $1.25 million and includes a mutual option for 2020.
The 35-year-old Sipp was 3-1 with a career-best 1.86 ERA in 54 games for the Houston Astros last season, with 42 strikeouts and 13 walks in 38 2/3 innings.
In other baseball news:
– Brewers pitcher Jhoulys Chacin (joh-LEES’ cha-SEEN’) will make his third Opening Day start when he takes the mound against St. Louis on March 28. The 31-year-old right-hander was 15-8 with a 3.50 ERA in 35 starts last season.
– Major League Baseball and its players’ union have agreed to discuss renegotiating their labor contract that has three seasons left. This is part of a deal that includes modest rule changes for 2020 and drops pitch clocks until 2022 at the earliest. Players have been furious at slow free-agent markets during the first two offseasons of the five-year labor contract.
– A New Jersey appeals court has upheld a $1.5 million jury award to former Phillies pitcher Mitch Williams over his firing by the MLB Network. The former closer nicknamed “Wild Thing” for his on-field antics was fired in 2014 after reports about his conduct at a youth game where he was coaching his son’s team. MLB Network fired Williams, citing a morals clause in his contract.
– Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer will not pitch in games in the near future, focusing on lower-body mechanics. Fulmer won AL Rookie of the Year honors in 2016 but has struggled to return to that form. He was 3-12 with a 4.69 ERA last year, his season cut short in mid-September because of knee problems.
Fleetwood, Bradley share lead
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Tommy Fleetwood and Keegan Bradley each shot 7-under 65s to take the first-round lead at The Players Championship in Florida.
Fleetwood finished with three straight birdies and Bradley had an eagle on the par-5 16th hole as the pair finished their round one shot ahead of Brian Harman and Byeong Hun An.
Tiger Woods is five strokes back.
URI got positive Georgetown coach recommendation
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -The University of Rhode Island says its athletic director called Georgetown University’s AD this year before hiring a tennis coach now implicated in a college admissions scheme and received a positive recommendation from Georgetown.
Court documents allege Gordon Ernst was paid more than $2.7 million and designated at least 12 applicants as recruits, facilitating their admission to Georgetown. Georgetown has said an investigation found Ernst violated university admissions rules.