Update on the latest in sports:
NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
Top seeded Duke, NC are in play tonight in NCAA sweet 16
UNDATED (AP) – Top-seeded Duke faces a familiar foe tonight when the Blue Devils meet fourth-seeded Virginia Tech. The Hokies won the lone meeting between the ACC teams this season. In the night’s other East Region semifinal, Michigan State faces LSU.
The South Regional game between top-seeded North Carolina and No. 5 Auburn should be the polar opposite of last night’s low-scoring games. The Tar Heels and Tigers like to play fast – as in, look away from your TV and you might miss a basket – or three. North Carolina averages 14.6 seconds per offensive position, fifth-fewest nationally, and is third in Division I with 86 points per game. The other South Region game features Kentucky against Houston.
Syracuse star Tyus Battle not coming back for senior year
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) – Syracuse star Tyus Battle is not returning for his senior year.
In an open letter to fans published Friday in The Post-Standard of Syracuse, Battle said he made his decision after reports that he’d leave surfaced when the Orange were eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
A year ago Battle entered his name in the NBA draft but didn’t hire an agent and ultimately decided to return for his junior year. He said then that he planned to re-enter the draft in 2019.
Battle’s departure leaves a big void. He’s led Syracuse in scoring for the past two years and averaged 17.2 this season. His 712 points in 2017-18 were the most for a sophomore in school history and he led the nation in minutes played.
His career total of 1,647 points is 16th on the school’s scoring list.
NCAA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
Women’s Sweet 16 tips off
UNDATED (AP) – There will be plenty of star power and Pac-12 teams on display when the women’s Sweet 16 tips off on with four games. Napheesa Collier and UConn will get things started when they face UCLA.
In the other game in Albany, New York, Louisville faces Oregon State.
In Portland, Oregon, Mississippi State faces Arizona State and South Dakota State faces Oregon.
Morton faces Cole at Tropicana Field
UNDATED (AP) – Charlie Morton will face his former team and Gerrit Cole when Tampa Bay hosts Houston. Morton went 15-3 with a 3.13 ERA for the Astros last season, then became a free agent and signed a two-year deal with Tampa Bay. The new Rays right-hander said that there’s an element of emotion attributed to this start that wouldn’t be there if he was pitching against a team that he didn’t know on a personal level.
And, Nathan Eovaldi (ee-VAHL’-dee) throws his first pitch that counts since a Herculean effort for Boston in the World Series. Last October, he made relief appearances in the first two games against the Dodgers and then, after one day of rest, worked into his seventh inning and threw 97 pitches in Game 3, giving up a winning home run in the 18th. Eovaldi, who’d had two Tommy John surgeries, was saluted by the Red Sox for saving the bullpen and putting them in position to wrap up the title. Eovaldi was rewarded with a $68 million, four-year deal.
He’ll start at Seattle against Yusei Kikuchi (kih-koo-chee), who pitched well last week in becoming the first Japanese-born player to make his big league debut in his homeland.
Matt Harvey makes his American League debut when he starts for the Angels against the A’s at the Coliseum. Harvey, the former Mets ace who helped reboot his career last summer in Cincinnati, signed an $11 million, one-year deal with Los Angeles in December. Harvey will face Athletics slugger Khris Davis, who led the majors with 48 home runs last year. Davis homered on opening day last week in Japan and connected again Thursday in a win over the Angels.
In other MLB action today, the Detroit Tigers are on the road against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Colorado Rockies are in Miami to face the Marlins, the St. Louis Cardinals play the Brewers in Milwaukee, the Arizona Diamondbacks are on the road to play L.A. Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants travel to San Diego to face the Padres.
Decision day for Knebel
MILWAUKEE (AP) – It’s decision day for Corey Knebel (kuh-NEH’-bul) in choosing a course of action on his ailing right elbow, potentially sidelining a key part of Milwaukee’s vaunted bullpen for the season.
The 27-year-old has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. He could have Tommy John surgery and return at some point next year, or try to rehab the injury.
Knebel had 16 saves and a 3.58 ERA last season, plus a sparkling 0.90 ERA in nine playoff appearances.
He was an All-Star in 2017 with 39 saves and a 1.78 ERA.
Four teams that have clinched a playoff spot are in action tonight
UNDATED (AP) – Four teams that have clinched a playoff spot are in action tonight, Indiana Pacers play Boston Celtics in Boston, the Portland Trail Blazers are on the road against the Atlanta Hawks, the Denver Nuggets play the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Golden State Warriors are in Minnesota to face the Timberwolves.
In other NBA action, the Washington Wizards are on the road against the Utah Jazz and the Charlotte Hornets play the Lakers in Los Angeles.
Two teams that have clinched a playoff spot are in action tonight
UNDATED (AP) – Nashville Predators are on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Calgary Flames host the Anaheim Ducks.
In other NHL action:
St. Louis Blues at N.Y. Rangers.
New Jersey Devils at Detroit Red Wings.
Arizona Coyotes at Colorado Avalanche.
Minnesota Wild at Vegas Golden Knights.
Parents headed to court in college admissions cheating scam
BOSTON (AP) – More than a dozen parents charged in a nationwide college admissions cheating scheme are due in Federal court in Boston today. They’re among 33 prominent parents charged in what authorities have called the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted. Authorities say the parents paid an admission consultant to rig their children’s test scores and bribe coaches at sought-after schools.
The scandal has also snared another coach. Former Yale University women’s soccer coach Rudy Meredith became the third person to plead guilty in the case Thursday.
The admissions consultant at the center of the scheme has also pleaded guilty.