Update on the latest in sports:
NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
First round begins
UNDATED (AP) – The madness has begun in earnest as 32 men’s basketball teams battled Thursday to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
No. 12 Murray State was among three double-digit seeds to win. Ja Morant recorded the ninth triple-double in NCAA Tournament history, delivering 19 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds in the Racers’ 83-66 win over No. 5 Marquette. Markus Howard scored 26 points for the Golden Eagles but shot 9 of 27 as Murray State moved into the next round against No. 4 Florida State.
The Seminoles withstood a barrage of 3-pointers from 13th-seeded Vermont as Mfiondu Kabengele (kab-ehn-GAY’-lee) scored a team-high 21 points in FSU’s 76-69 victory. The Catamounts went 16 for 32 from 3-point range but cooled in the second half just enough for the Seminoles to take over.
Dedric Lawson had 25 points and 11 rebounds while No. 4 Kansas shot 56 percent in an 87-73 drubbing of Northeastern. The Jayhawks outscored the Huskies 50-16 in the paint while grabbing 17 more rebounds to advance to face Auburn.
Jared Harper made all four of his 3-pointers in the second half and had a team-high 17 points to help fifth-seeded Auburn survive a wild finish in a 78-77 triumph over New Mexico State. The Aggies had a chance to tie or win in the closing seconds, but Terrell Brown missed two of three free throws with 1.1 seconds left before Trevelin Queen’s 3 at the buzzer was an air ball.
Skylar Mays hit four free throws in the final 15 seconds to help embattled third seed LSU secure a 79-74 win over Yale. Mays scored 19 points and sealed the game from the charity stripe after the Bulldogs hit four 3-pointers in the final minute. Yale trailed by as many as 18 in the second half.
Maryland will take on LSU on Saturday after Jalen Smith scored 19 points on 8 of 9 shooting to lead the sixth-seeded Terrapins to a 79-77 squeaker over Belmont. Smith threw down a thundering two-handed dunk and drew a foul for a three-point play that gave Maryland a 77-73 lead with 1:41 to play.
No. 10 seed Minnesota won its first NCAA Tournament game in six years behind 24 points from freshman Gale Kalscheur in an 86-76 victory against Louisville. Jordan Murphy and Amir Coffey each had 18 points for the Golden Gophers, who knocked down 11 3s despite entering play ranked 344th nationally in made 3s per game.
Next up for Minnesota is No. 2 seed Michigan State after Big Ten Player of the Year Cassius Winston scored 26 points to lead the Spartans past Bradley, 76-65. Xavier Tillman had 16 points with 11 boards for the Spartans, who trailed by one with seven minutes to go before embarking on a 9-0 run.
Rui Hachimura provided 21 points and eight rebounds to lead top-seeded Gonzaga in a wire-to-wire 87-49 pounding of Fairleigh Dickinson. Killian Tillie came off the bench to add a season-high 17 points for the Bulldogs, who led 53-17 at the break before earning a meeting with Baylor.
Makai Mason scored 22 points and the Bears set a school NCAA Tournament record with 16 3-pointers to beat Syracuse, 78-69. Mason and Jared Butler each hit four 3-pointers, with Butler finishing with 14 points for Baylor.
Kevarrius Hayes had 16 points and Jalen Hudson scored 15 for No. 10 Florida in a 70-61 victory against Nevada. The Wolf Pack trimmed an 18-point deficit to two before the Gators closed the game with an 11-2 run.
The Gators next face second-ranked Michigan, which received 22 points and 10 boards from Charles Matthews in a 74-55 rout of Montana. Ignas Brazdeikis (braz-DAY’-kihs) added 14 points and seven rebounds for the Wolverines, while Jon Teske chipped in 11 points and nine boards.
Keldon Johnson scored 25 points and Reid Travis had 15 as second seed Kentucky hammered Abilene Christian, 79-44. The suspense was gone by intermission as the Wildcats shot 60 percent and held Abilene Christian to 5 of 26 from the field to take a 39-13 lead into the locker room.
Fletcher Magee buried seven 3-pointers and scored 24 points to lead Wofford to an 84-68 victory Seton Hall and set up a meeting with Kentucky. Magee became the most prolific 3-point shooter in Division I history, going past the mark of 504 set by Oakland’s Travis Bader in 2014.
Phil Booth scored 20 points and fellow senior Eric Paschell (PAS’-kul) added 14 for No. 6 seed Villanova in a 61-57 victory against Saint Mary’s. The Gaels led 30-28 at the half, but Booth scored the first five points after intermission to ignite a 12-3 run that put the Wildcats up 40-33.
Purdue will go up against Villanova after Carsen Edwards scored 26 points and the third-seeded Boilermakers coasted to a 61-48 victory against Old Dominion. The junior guard had shot 32 percent in his last 11 games and was 7 for 33 from 3-point range in his last three contests.
Duke gets Bolden back
UNDATED (AP) – Top-seeded Duke will have 6-foot-11 center Marques Bolden back for its NCAA Tournament opener against North Dakota State, but will be minus forward Jack White. White hurt a hamstring in the ACC championship game and won’t play against the 16th-seeded Bison in the East Region game tomorrow night. Bolden missed the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament with a sprained ankle.
In other Top 25 basketball news:
– Washington has rewarded coach Mike Hopkins for getting the Huskies back to the NCAA Tournament. Hopkins has received a contract extension worth $17.5 million through the 2025 season.
– Jamion Christian has been hired as head coach of George Washington, less than a week after the school parted ways with Maurice Joseph. Christian went 17-16 in his lone season with Siena after inheriting a squad that was 8-24 under Jimmy Patsos last year.
Warriors dump Pacers, Nuggets outlast Wizards
UNDATED (AP) – The Golden State Warriors have hung onto their half-game lead over Denver in the NBA’s Western Conference.
Kevin Durant had 15 points, six assists and three blocked shots as the Warriors blew out the Pacers, 112-89. Durant decided to play hours after childhood friend Cliff Dixon was shot to death in Atlanta.
Stephen Curry scored 12 of his 15 points with four 3-pointers while Golden State outscored Indiana, 35-19 in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, Nikola Jokic (NEE’-koh-lah YOH’-kihch) had 15 points and 11 assists to lead the Nuggets’ balanced attack in a 113-108 win at Washington. Paul Millsap, Gary Harris, Jamal Murray and Torrey Craig also added 15 points for the Nuggets, who had eight players score in double-figures.
Checking out Thursday’s other NBA action:
– Trae Young scored 23 points, including a go-ahead three-point play in the Hawks’ 117-114 win over Utah. The Jazz ended a five-game winning streak despite Donovan Mitchell’s 34 points.
– Wayne Ellington scored 23 points and the Pistons drained 17 3-pointers in a 118-98 romp over the Suns. Andre Drummond contributed 16 points and 19 boards for Detroit, which turned a five-point lead into a 13-point advantage in a span of less than two minutes in the fourth quarter.
– The Hornets won for just the fifth time in 16 games as Kemba Walker scored 31 points in a 113-106 win over the Timberwolves. Rookie Miles Bridges had 11 points and 12 rebounds for his first career double-double on his 21st birthday.
– Marvin Bagley III had 22 points and 12 rebounds in the Kings’ 116-100 victory against the Mavericks. Buddy Hield (heeld) scored 11 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter.
M’s beat A’s in Ichiro’s likely farewell
TOKYO (AP) – Ichiro Suzuki (EE’-cheer-oh soo-ZOO’-kee) was showered with cheers and chants while taking what appeared to be his final bow in a magnificent career that lasted nearly three decades.
The 45-year-old went 0 for 4 before his Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics, 5-4 in 12 innings on Thursday. He drew a huge ovation from fans and teammates when he was pulled from right field in the bottom of the eighth.
Domingo Santana beat out a double-play relay with the bases loaded to drive in the go-ahead run.
Ryon Healy and Mitch Haniger homered for the Mariners, who are off to their first 2-0 start since opening 3-0 in 2014.
Snell gets extension
UNDATED (AP) – The Tampa Bay Rays have worked out a new contract with their top pitcher.
AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell and the Rays have accepted a five-year, $50 million deal that covers three seasons of arbitration eligibility plus one year after he could have become a free agent. The package includes a $3 million signing bonus and a raise to $1 million for this season. He gets $7 million in 2020, $10.5 million in 2021, $12.5 million in 2022 and $16 million in 2023.
The contract was finalized less than two weeks after the team renewed Snell’s 2019 contract at a salary of $573,700.
The 26-year-old left-hander went 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA last year, setting franchise records for wins and ERA.
Elsewhere in the majors:
– Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia (suh-BATH’-ee-uh) has returned to the mound for the first time since undergoing a heart procedure in December. Sabathia allowed one run and two hits over two innings in a minor league exhibition game, striking out three for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Toledo, Detroit’s Triple-A affiliate.
B’s dump Devils
UNDATED (AP) – The Boston Bruins have strengthened their chances for home-ice advantage in the first round of the Stanley playoffs by improving to 16-3-1 in their last 20 games.
Patrice Bergeron (pah-TREES’ BEHR’-zhuh-rahn) reached the 30-goal mark for the fifth time by scoring twice in the Bruins’ 5-1 rout of the Devils. David Pastrnak (PAHS’-tur-nak), Danton Heinen and David Backes (BAK’-ehs) also scored to support Tuukka (TOO’-kah) Rask, who made 22 saves to improve to 18-2-3 in his last 23 games.
The win leaves the Bruins six points ahead of Toronto for second place in the NHL’s Atlantic Division.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
– The Flames cruised to a 5-1 win over the Senators as Andrew Mangiapane, Garnet Hathaway and Matthew Tkachuk (kah-chuhk) each had a goal and an assist. Mark Giordano scored Calgary’s league-leading 18th short-handed goal.
– The Flames now lead the West by five points over San Jose after Anze Kopitar (AHN’-zhay KOH’-pih-tahr) had a goal and an assist in the Kings’ 4-2 victory over the Sharks. Matt Roy scored his first career goal and Jonathan Quick made 23 saves in the win.
– Ryan Callahan scored the tiebreaking goal midway through a four-goal third period that sent the Lightning to their seventh consecutive victory, 6-3 against Carolina. Steven Stamkos had a goal and two assists for Tampa Bay, which trailed 3-2 entering the third period.
– The Islanders were shut out for the second straight game as Carey Price stopped 27 shots in the Canadiens’ 4-0 victory. Joel Armia (ahr-MEE’-ah), Shea Weber, Jonathan Drouin (DROO’-an) and Jordan Weal (weel) also scored to back Price’s fourth shutout of the season. The Isles remain three points off the Metropolitan Division lead.
– Pittsburgh has pulled into a virtual second-place tie with the Islanders by getting a shootout goal from Sidney Crosby in a 2-1 win at Nashville. Bryan Rust also scored for the Pens, but Ryan Ellis tied it with 3:01 left in regulation to allow Nashville to get within two points of the Central-leading Jets.
– Malcolm Subban (SOO’-ban) stopped 20 shots for his first NHL shutout as the Golden Knights ripped the Jets, 5-0. William Karlsson and Reilly Smith each scored twice for the Golden Knights, who are 10-1 since acquiring Mark Stone at the trade deadline.
– The Blues rode Ivan Barbashev’s three goals to a 5-2 win against the Red Wings. Barbashev scored twice in the second period and completed his hat trick with 49 seconds remaining.
– Colorado picked up its third straight win as Philipp Grubauer made 23 of his season-high 44 saves in the third period to preserve a victory over the Stars, 3-1. Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie and Carl Soderberg scored to help the Avalanche vault into eighth place over the Wild in the West.
– Leon Draisaitl (DRY’-sy-tul) assisted on third-period goals by Zack Kassian, Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to push the Oilers past the Blue Jackets, 4-1. Kyle Brodziak also tallied and Mikko Koskinen (MEE’-koh KAHS’-kih-nehn) stopped 18 shots as Edmonton dropped Columbus one point behind the Canadiens for the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.
– Aleksander Barkov scored two goals and Jonathan Huberdeau (HOO’-bur-doh) had three assists for the Panthers in a 4-2 verdict over the Coyotes. Mike Hoffman and MacKenzie Weegar also scored for Florida.
– Carter Hart handled 40 shots and James van Riemsdyk (REEMZ’-dyk) broke a 1-1 deadlock midway through the third period of the Flyers, 3-1 win at Chicago. Sean Couturier (koo-TOOR’-ee-ur) furnished the insurance goal and had an assist.
NHL heading to Europe again
UNDATED (AP) – The Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers will open the 2019-20 season in Prague on Oct. 4.
The Blackhawks and Flyers will finish training camp in Europe and play an exhibition game against a local team.
Also, Buffalo and Tampa Bay will square off in Sweden’s capital on Nov. 8 and 9, also part of the NHL’s Global Series.
Raiders OK’d for 2019 Oakland stay
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – The Raiders have gotten final approval for their lease to remain in Oakland for at least one more season.
The Oakland City Council has OK’d the lease for 2019 with an option for 2020. The Alameda Board of Supervisors had voted earlier in the week in favor of the lease that had been formally approved by the Coliseum Authority last week.
The Raiders will pay $7.5 million in rent for the Coliseum and the practice facility in Alameda in 2019. The team also has a $10.5 million option for 2020 in case their new $1.8 billion, 65,000-seat stadium in Las Vegas isn’t ready by then.
Also in the NFL:
The Colts have signed free agent defensive end Justin Houston, who spent the past eight seasons with the Chiefs. The four-time Pro Bowler has made 96 career starts, recording 377 tackles and 78 1/2 sacks.
– The Colts have signed free agent defensive end Justin Houston, who spent the past eight seasons with the Chiefs. The four-time Pro Bowler has made 96 career starts, recording 377 tackles and 78 1/2 sacks.
Dahmen, Straka lead through 18
PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) – Joel Dahmen and Sepp Straka are co-leaders through the opening round of the PGA’s Valspar Championship in Florida.
Dahmen and Straka each fired 5-under 66s for a one-shot edge over Luke Donald, Kevin Kisner and Russell Knox.
The lead stood when the wind picked up in the afternoon. Of the 28 rounds in the 60s, only eight were in the afternoon.
Racetrack owner: No plan to keep Preakness in Baltimore
(Information in the following story is from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com)
BALTIMORE (AP) – The Pimlico Race Course owner says there’s no plan to keep the signature Preakness Stakes race in Baltimore, despite what Mayor Catherine Pugh has said.
The Baltimore Sun reports Pugh told members of the Legislative Black Caucus on Thursday that her team successfully negotiated to keep the race at Pimlico. But the race course owner, Stronach Group, says that’s not true.
The company says it has met with Pugh and other city officials, but there was never a proposed plan that was financially feasible.
A proposed state bill would make state funds available for the company to revamp another property in Laurel Park, possibly moving the Preakness from its historic site. Pugh sued the company this week in an effort to keep the race in Baltimore.