Update on the latest in sports:
Virginia meets Texas Tech for college basketball crown
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Virginia Cavaliers and the Red Raiders of Texas Tech meet tonight in the NCAA Tournament championship game in Minneapolis.
Neither program has ever been this close to a title, making it a rare matchup of first-timers to the final game of the college basketball season. The last time both teams in the championship game had never been there before was 40 years ago, when Magic Johnson and Michigan State beat Larry Bird and Indiana State.
Texas Tech reached the Elite Eight for the first time last season. This season, with a mostly rebuilt team around star Jarrett Culver, the Red Raiders shared the Big 12 regular-season title for the first time and are now on the cusp of an unlikely championship.
Virginia has been a perennial ACC contender, going toe-to-toe with Duke and North Carolina, but not until this season were the Cavaliers able to break through – doing so on the strength of two improbable last-second plays.
Trout seeks fifth straight game with homer
UNDATED (AP) – Angels star Mike Trout has homered in four straight games, matching a career best. The two-time AL MVP connected five times in that span, and tries to keep up the streak when Milwaukee visits Anaheim. The Angels record for consecutive games with a home run is five by Bobby Bonds in 1977.
Elsewhere in the majors:
– Astros ace Justin Verlander aims to shut down the Yankees when they open a series at Minute Maid Park. Gary Sanchez hit three of New York’s seven home runs Sunday at Baltimore – that matched the most homers in a road game for the Yankees since May 30, 1961, when Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris and Moose Skowron hit two each and Yogi Berra had one at Fenway Park. The Yankees connected 14 times in the three-game series at Camden Yards.
– The Chicago Cubs play their home opener after going 2-7 on an extended road trip to start the season. Jon Lester starts for the Cubs when they host Pittsburgh at Wrigley Field. Chicago’s other team is also playing an afternoon game at home today, as the White Sox host Tampa Bay.
– Philadelphia Phillies fans will have a chance to cheer on Bryce Harper as he plays against his former team, the Nationals. Harper was roundly booed by Nats fans when the Phillies visited Washington last week.
– The Los Angeles Dodgers are coming off of a sweep over the Rockies, during which the Dodgers scored 29 runs. They head to St. Louis to play the Cardinals tonight.
– The Seattle Mariners are off to the best start in team history at 9-and-2. And they are looking to continue that success tonight in Kansas City. The Royals have won just two of their first eight games.
– The Atlanta Braves are now 5-and-1 since they were swept at Philadelphia to start the season. They are in Colorado tonight to take on the Rockies.
– Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner pitches against visiting San Diego. He is 1-5 in his last eight starts against the Padres.
– After being swept by the Yankees over the weekend, the Baltimore Orioles hope to rebound against visiting Oakland.
Panthers hire Joel Quenneville as next coach
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) – The Florida Panthers have hired Joel Quenneville as their coach.
The Panthers announced the move Monday morning and plan to introduce Quenneville later in the day. Quenneville is second on the NHL’s all-time coaching wins list with 890 victories. He also won three Stanley Cups as coach of the Chicago Blackhawks.
The hiring also reunites him with Panthers general manager Dale Tallon, who brought Quenneville to Chicago.
Quenneville replaces Bob Boughner, who was fired Sunday after two seasons.