Update on the latest sports 3/23/2023
DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he plans to protest a two-point loss to Golden State after a confusing sequence led to an uncontested basket for the Warriors. Kevon Looney had an easy dunk on an inbounds play with the Mavericks lined up on their offensive end after a timeout late in the third quarter of Golden State’s 127-125 victory. The Mavericks thought they had the ball after official Andy Nagy pointed in Golden State’s direction for possession but then quickly pointed to the Dallas bench to indicate a timeout. Cuban says it was the “Worst officiating non call mistake possibly in the history of the NBA.”
March Madness: Sweet 16 begins from NYC to Las Vegas
The NCAA Tournament has reached Sweet 16 weekend in the battle for the national championship in men’s basketball. Top seeds Purdue and defending champion Kansas did not make it. This weekend will see games in New York City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Missouri, and Louisville, Kentucky. The Final Four is in Houston. The semifinals are on April 1, with the championship game on April 3.
March Madness: Sweet 16 arrives with a twist: 2 sites, not 4
The battle for the national championship in women’s basketball is on. Sweet 16 weekend has arrived with a twist this year: There are two regional sites instead of four: Greenville, South Carolina, and Seattle each will host eight teams. The Final Four is in Dallas on March 31 and the championship game is two days later on April 2.
Morant scores 17 off bench in return to Grizzlies’ lineup
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Two-time All-Star guard Ja Morant was welcomed back Wednesday night with a standing ovation and cheers throughout the arena in his first action after missing nine games — eight because of an NBA suspension. Morant, who was not in the starting lineup against the Houston Rockets, entered the game after a timeout with 3:05 left in the first quarter, replacing starter Tyus Jones. The cheers began building as Morant rose from the bench and made his way to the scorer’s table, adjusting the specially fit mask from a previous nasal fracture. The standing ovation and the cheers reached their peak even before Morant was announced as entering the game.
UEFA to investigate Barcelona for its referee payments
NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Barcelona is facing a new legal threat from UEFA because of its payments of millions of dollars to a company linked to a Spanish refereeing official. It could include a Champions League ban. The European soccer body has asked for an investigation into the matter. The case is already being pursued by prosecutors in Spain.Champions League regulations in effect since April 2007 allow UEFA to ban teams from the competition for one season if they were involved in fixing matches. UEFA says it asked disciplinary inspectors to “conduct an investigation regarding a potential violation of UEFA’s legal framework.” Court documents show Barcelona paid about $7.7 million to the company of a senior refereeing official.
Women hope Sweet 16 next step to own March Madness TV deal
Women’s college basketball believes it has the makings for a hit reality TV show. Those engaged in the sport hope to give network execs another glimpse this weekend of why they need to ante up during March Madness. The TV contract is up next summer and the NCAA is expected to decide by the fall if the women’s tournament will become a separate entity or continue to be bundled with all the other championships excluding men’s basketball and football. With many of the metrics heading in a positive direction, the amount of money the NCAA could get for television or streaming rights could easily offset the financial losses the tournament has every year and make it profitable.
Princeton Tigers add to their March Madness lore
PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) — The Princeton Tigers are the biggest surprise of March Madness. The No. 15-seed Tigers knocked off Arizona and Missouri to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1967. The Tigers are heavy underdogs to No. 6 seed Creighton on Friday in Louisville, Kentucky. New Jersey’s governor visited practice this week and many players have become social media stars. They’re still trying to earn a bigger fan club on campus where studies still rule at the Ivy League school.
Ethics agency to better protect gymnasts for LA Olympics
GENEVA (AP) — The Gymnastics Ethics Foundation was created in 2019 to help protect athletes after the American sexual abuse scandal and it has now published its strategy to set new safeguarding standards with a view to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. The “Gymnasts 2028” plan sets goals to better protect athletes from harassment and abuse, investigate complaints, prosecute disciplinary cases and monitor national federations. Alex McLin is the independent foundation’s director. He says the GEF wants “to really put gymnasts at the center of our thinking throughout everything we do.” A generation of leaders have left USA Gymnastics since U.S. team doctor Larry Nassar’s abuse of hundreds of athletes emerged in 2016.
Sixers star Joel Embiid exits with mild right calf tightness
CHICAGO (AP) — Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid left the team’s 116-91 victory over the Chicago Bulls with mild right calf tightness. Embiid, one of the front-runners for the NBA MVP award, finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in just over 16 minutes of playing time. The 7-foot center says it was a precautionary move. Philadelphia visits Golden State on Friday night for its next game. Embiid says he likely will be able to play against the Warriors, but isn’t exactly sure how the injury would react.
World Baseball Classic keeps growing despite injury risks
MIAMI (AP) — This year’s World Baseball Classic left lasting memories, 47 games over two weeks that restored Japan’s supremacy and reinforced Shohei Ohtani’s unmatched ability while expanding the sport’s global footprint. While not a global fixation like soccer’s World Cup, the event has grown though its five editions since launching in 2006. Memories include Ohtani’s strikeout of Mike Trout in Japan’s championship victory, Trea Turner’s go-ahead, eighth-inning grand slam against Venezuela, Japan’s walk-off semifinal win and Mexico’s comeback from a four-run deficit against Puerto Rico. Those ended up overshadowing injuries to star players Edwin Díaz and Jose Altuve. Attendance of 1,306,414 was the tournament’s highest, 20% over the 1,086,720 for 40 games in 2017.