Update on the latest sports
Buffalo stuns Arizona; Loyola-Chicago ousts Miami
UNDATED (AP) – Buffalo and Loyola of Chicago authored the biggest stunners during the first round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
The 13th-seeded Bulls hammered No. 4 Arizona as Wes Clark delivered 25 points and Jeremy Harris added 23 to lead Buffalo’s 89-68 rout of the Pac-12 Tournament champs at Boise. CJ Massinburg had 19 points and Buffalo shredded Arizona’s defense at a 55-percent clip for the program’s first NCAA Tournament win.
Arizona went 2 for 18 from 3-point range, while the Bulls knocked down 15 of 30.
The Bulls now prepare to take on Kentucky in Saturday’s South Regional action at Boise.
The Wildcats avoided an upset as Kevin Knox provided 25 points in a 78-73 win against Davidson. Kentucky won despite going 0-for-6 from beyond the arc, ending a nation-best streak of 1.047 games with at least one 3-pointer.
Loyola pulled off an early stunner as Donte Ingram nailed a long 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds left to give the 11th-seeded Ramblers a 64-62 victory over No. 6 Miami in the South Regional at Dallas. Ingram’s game-winner came after Lonnie Walker IV missed a free throw that would have put the Hurricanes ahead by three with nine seconds left.
Clayton Custer hit a tying 3 in the final 2 minutes and led Loyola with 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Ingram had 13 points for Loyola, which will take on Tennessee on Saturday.
The Volunteers rolled to a 73-47 rout of Wright State as Admiral Schofield contributed 15 points and 12 rebounds. Lamonte Turner had 19 points and a career-high nine assists for Tennessee.
Rhode Island and Duke were the winners in the NCAA Midwest Regionals at Pittsburgh.
E.C. Matthews hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:54 left in overtime and finished with 16 points as the seventh-seeded Rams beat No. 10 Oklahoma, 83-78. Fatts Russell hit three clutch 3s and scored 15 points to help Rhode Island withstand Trae Young’s 28 points for the Sooners.
Marvin Bagley III poured in 22 points to go with seven rebounds as the No. 2 Blue Devils thumped 15th seed Iona, 89-67. Grayson Allen scored 16 points and added a game-high nine assists for the Blue Devils, while teammate Trevon Duval finished with 19 points and eight assists.
Kansas and Seton Hall have advanced to the second round of the Midwest Regional in Wichita and will square off on Saturday.
Devonte Graham delivered a game-high 29 points and Lagerald Vick chipped in 14 as the top-ranked Jayhawks coasted to a 76-60 victory against Penn. Kansas trailed the Ivy League champs by 10 before going on a 19-2 run late in the first half.
Khadeen Carrington scored 26 points and Desi Rodriguez added 20 in guiding the No. 8 Pirates to a 94-83 win against North Carolina State. Myles Powell added 19 points and Angel Delgado scored 13 to help Seton Hall stay in front the entire game.
Fourth seed Gonzaga barely advanced to the second round of the West Region in Boise, where the Bulldogs are joined by No. 5 Ohio State.
Zach Norvell’s 15-point performance included the go-ahead, 3-pointer with 20.8 seconds left in the Zags’ 68-64 triumph over UNC Greensboro. Gonzaga blew a 12-point, second-half lead and trailed 64-62 with 1:48 remaining before scoring the final six points to earn a meeting with Ohio State on Saturday.
Kam Williams made a tiebreaking four-point play with 1:36 left and added three free throws to push the Buckeyes past South Dakota State, 81-73. Keita (KEE’-tuh) Bates-Diop (DEE’-ahp) had 24 points and 12 rebounds for OSU, which scored 16 straight points midway through the second half to go up by 13.
Third seed Texas Tech struggled before earning a meeting against Florida in the second round of the East Regional Saturday in Dallas.
Keenan Evans scored 19 of his 23 points after halftime to push the Red Raiders past Stephen F. Austin, 70-60. The Lumberjacks took a 39-31 lead early in the second half before Evans led Tech’s rally.
St. Bonaventure’s postseason run is over after Egor Koulechov scored 20 points to carry the Gators past the Bonnnies, 77-62. Jalen Hudson scored 16 points and Chris Chiozza had 11 assists for Florida, which scored 15 straight after falling behind 22-21.
It will be top seed Villanova against No. 9 Alabama in the second round of the East Regional Saturday at Pittsburgh.
Jalen Brunson contributed 16 points and the Wildcats nailed 14 3-pointers in an 87-61 thrashing of Radford. Mikal Bridges had 13 points for the Wildcats, who shot 75 percent while building a 69-37 near the midway mark of the second half.
The Crimson Tide gained its first NCAA Tournament win in a dozen years as Collin Sexton scored 21 of his team-high 24 points after halftime of an 86-83 squeaker against Virginia Tech. John Petty chipped in 20 points while draining six of his eight 3-point attempts.
The second round of the West Regional at Wichita will have Houston facing Michigan on Saturday.
Rob Gray capped his 39-point eruption by hitting a scooping layup with 1.1 seconds left to send the sixth-seeded Cougars to a 67-65 triumph over San Diego State. Trey Kell’s off-balance 3-pointer at the buzzer was no good, giving Houston its first NCAA tourney win since 1984.
The Wolverines were able to grind out a 61-47 win over Mongtana behind Charles Matthews’ 20 points and 11 rebounds. Michigan trailed by 10 in the opening minutes before the Big Ten Tournament champs forged a 31-28 lead.
Crean takes over at Georgia
UNDATED (AP) – Georgia has hired former Indiana coach Tom Crean as its head basketball coach, capping a fast-paced search that began when Mark Fox was fired on Saturday.
Crean was 356-231 record in 18 seasons at Marquette and Indiana from 1999-2017. He has led teams to nine NCAA appearances, four Sweet 16s and the 2003 Final Four with Marquette.
Raptors extend win streaks
UNDATED (AP) – The Toronto Raptors now own a five-game lead over Boston in the NBA’s Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division races.
DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points and the Raptors earned their 10th consecutive victory by rallying against the Pacers, 106-99. Jonas Valanciunas (YOH’-nuhs val-ehn-CHOO’-nuhs) added 16 points and 17 rebounds for Toronto, which is one away from tying the team’s longest winning streak.
C.J. Miles made three 3-pointers during a 12-3 spurt that turned an 85-81 deficit into a 93-88 lead with 5:21 to play. The Raptors never trailed again en route to their team-record eighth straight road win.
Darren Collison scored 22 points and Al Jefferson had a season-high 20 for the Pacers, who remain a half-game ahead of Cleveland for first place in the Central Division.
Checking out Thursday’s other NBA action:
– James Harden delivered 24 points and Eric Gordon had 23 in the Rockets’ 20th win in their last 21 games, 101-96 against the Clippers. Clint Capela finished with 19 points and a team-high 12 rebounds as Houston moved a season-high 40 games over .500 for a two-game lead over the Warriors in the battle for the league’s best record.
– CJ McCollum scored 29 points and the Trail Blazers won their 11th straight game with a 113-105 victory over the Cavaliers. Damian Lillard added 24 points for the Northwest Division leaders, whose longest winning streak in five years gives them a two-game edge over Oklahoma City.
– The Jazz picked up their eighth straight win as Donovan Mitchell scored 23 points and Rudy Gobert (goh-BEHR’) had 21 and 13 rebounds in a 116-88 drubbing of the Suns. Joe Ingles hit four 3s and finished with 17 points to help Utah win for the 20th time in 22 games.
– Ben Simmons had a triple-double and the 76ers went on a 20-6 run over the last five minutes of a 118-110 comeback against the Knicks. Simmons finished with 13 points, 12 assists and 10 boards, while Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’) had 29 points and 10 rebounds to help Philadelphia maintain the sixth seed in the East.
– LaMarcus Aldridge scored 25 points and the Spurs moved into a virtual tie for eighth place in the West by holding off the Pelicans, 98-93. Dejounte Murray had 18 points and 12 rebounds for San Antonio, which blew most of a 15-point lead before winning their second straight since a 3-11 skid.
– Nikola Jokic notched his eighth triple-double of the season by getting 23 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in the Nuggets’ 120-113 verdict over the Pistons. Jamal Murray added 26 points as Denver stayed within one game of the final Western Conference playoff berth.
– Dwight Howard scored 20 of his season-high 33 points in the second half of the Hornets’ second victory in eight games, 129-117 in Atlanta. Nic Batum (bah-TOOM’) had a triple-double and set a career high with 16 assists, while Charlotte teammate Kemba Walker added 24 points.
– The Grizzlies absorbed their 19th consecutive loss as Antonio Blakeney made two of three free throws with 1.8 seconds left to give the Bulls a 111-110 victory over Memphis. Zach LaVine led Chicago with 20 points while playing only three quarters.
Vikings sign Cousins to 3-year deal
UNDATED (AP) – The Minnesota Vikings have finalized a three-year contract with Kirk Cousins, securing their latest franchise quarterback to try to fetch that elusive first Super Bowl victory. Cousins is reportedly getting an $84 million contract that’s fully guaranteed.
In other NFL moves:
– The Washington Redskins have signed their new starting quarterback Alex Smith to a four-year contract extension.
– Washington has signed former Seahawks wide receiver Paul Richardson, who had 95 catches for 1,302 yards and eight touchdowns in four seasons with Seattle.
– The Buccaneers have signed former Eagles run-stopper Beau Allen to a three-year, $15 million contract.
– Wide receiver Tavon Austin has restructured his contract to remain with the Rams.
– A person familiar with the move says the Raiders are signing Jordy Nelson to a two-year contract and releasing fellow receiver Michael Crabtree.
– Three-time Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey has been released by the Dolphins as part of their offensive line makeover. Miami also acquired center Daniel Kilgore in a trade with the 49ers, and four-time Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton agreed to terms on a two-year deal.
– The Chiefs have agreed to a three-year, $7.5 million contract with Dustin Colquitt, who has one of the best punting careers in franchise history.
– Cairo Santos has signed a one-year contract with the Jets, who were in need of a kicker after Chandler Catanzaro signed with Tampa Bay.
– A person familiar with the situation says the Panthers and unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Dontari Poe have agreed to a three-year, $28 million deal.
– The Browns have traded cornerback Jason McCourty to the Patriots, reuniting him with his brother, Devin. Cleveland also sent a seventh-round pick to the Patriots to get a sixth-rounder in return.
Saints, Pelicans owner Tom Benson dies at age 90
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson has died at age 90.
Benson brought the New Orleans Saints several winning seasons after purchasing the team in 1985, when it appeared the franchise would be sold and perhaps moved out of Louisiana. He bought the Saints for $70 million and saw its value rise by more than $1 billion.
Panthers blank B’s
UNDATED (AP) – The Florida Panthers bolstered their Stanley Cup playoff chances while preventing the Boston Bruins from catching Tampa Bay for first place in the Atlantic Division.
James Reimer posted a 46-save shutout and Aaron Ekblad scored the game-winner early in the first period of the Panthers’ ninth win in 11 games, 3-0 over the Bruins. Reimer closed out his third shutout of the season and 20th of his career by handling 20 shots in the third period.
Ekblad opened the scoring 6:25 into the game before Nick Bjugstad tallied about 2 1/2 minutes later. Vincent Trochek also scored and Evgeni Dadonov had two assists as Florida improved to 16-4-1 since a loss to Washington on Jan. 25.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
– T.J. Oshie (OH’-shee) had two goals and the Capitals scored five times in their first 12 shots to chase Christopher Gibson in a 7-3 rout of the Islanders. Dmitry Orlov and Nicklas Backstrom each had a goal and two assists as the Caps handed New York its ninth loss in 10 games.
– The Penguins fell behind 2-0 after 6 1/2 minutes before rallying for a 5-3 victory at Montreal, keeping Pittsburgh in a tie with Washington for the Metropolitan Division lead. Evgeni Malkin notched his 40th goal of the season and Patric Hornqvist scored twice including the game-winner with 7:36 to play.
– James van Riemsdyk (REEMZ’-dyk) scored twice in the first 6 1/2 minutes and added an assist to lead the Maple Leafs past the Sabres, 5-2. Connor Carrick, Tyler Bozak and Patrick Marleau also scored, while Curtis McElhinney stopped 38 shots in Toronto’s third consecutive win since a four-game skid.
– Cam Atkinson registered his fourth career hat trick and Columbus moved into a third-place tie with Philadelphia in the Metropolitan Division by topping the Flyers, 5-3. Oliver Bjorkstrand and Boone Jenner tallied 11 seconds apart midway through the first period to put the Blue Jackets ahead 2-0 in their sixth straight win.
– Kyle Turris and Kevin Fiala assisted on each other’s third-period goals to help the Predators turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 win at Arizona. Turris also set up a goal by Ryan Ellis, and Pekka Rinne (PEH’-kuh REE’-nay) handled 32 shots as the Central Division leaders won for the 12th time in 13 games to stay eight points ahead of Winnipeg.
– The Jets allowed a goal just 11 seconds after the opening faceoff before exploding for five goals in the first period of a 6-2 pounding of the Blackhawks. Conner tallied twice after Paul Stastny (STAS’-nee) and Armia scored 1:35 apart early in the opening period to put Winnipeg ahead to stay.
– Anze Kopitar (AHN’-zhay KOH’-pih-tahr) scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period and had three assists in leading the Kings to a 4-1 win against the Red Wings. Tyler Toffoli and Dustin Brown iced the victory by scoring 18 seconds apart late in the game, helping the Kings move two points ahead of Anaheim for third place in the Pacific Division.
– The Avalanche were 4-1 winners at St. Louis behind Semyon Varlamov’s (SEHM’-yahn vahr-LAH’-mahvz) 44-save effort. Nathan MacKinnon furnished two goals and an assist to help Colorado win their third in a row and take over the first wild card spot in the West.
Predators forward Calle Jarnkrok out rest of regular season
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Nashville Predators say forward Calle Jarnkrok (KAL’-ee YAHRN’-krahk) will miss the rest of the regular season with an upper-body injury suffered in Tuesday’s win over Winnipeg.
The forward had tied his career-high with 16 goals and already has a career-high 35 points to rank eighth on the Predators.
Orioles slugger Trumbo out 3-4 weeks with strained quad
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) – Baltimore Orioles slugger Mark Trumbo will start the season on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right quad.
Manager Buck Showalter says Trumbo will miss a minimum of three to four weeks.
Trumbo missed a week with the quad injury and returned to action Wednesday against the New York Yankees. He felt discomfort after the game and had an MRI on Thursday.
Trumbo led the majors with 47 homers in 2016 and hit .234 with 23 home runs and 65 RBIs last season.
Other MLB news:
– The Cubs have released veteran reliever Justin Grimm, who was a part of teams that made three straight NL Championship Series appearances and won the World Series in 2016. He struggled last season with a 1-2 record and 5.53 ERA in 50 appearances.
– Chris Archer has been named the Rays’ opening day starter for a franchise-record fourth consecutive season. Archer is set to pitch against the Boston Red Sox on March 29 at Tropicana Field, the team announced Thursday.
Stenson leads, Woods 4 back
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Henrik Stenson collected nine birdies in an 8-under 64 that gives him the first-round lead at the PGA’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Orlando.
Tour rookies Aaron Wise and Talor Gooch share second, two strokes ahead of Jimmy Walker, Rickie Fowler and Bryson DeChambeau.
Tiger Woods is four shots back after opening with a 68 on the course where he has won a record eight times.
Icher, Choi share lead
PHOENIX (AP) – Karine Icher (EE’-chur) and Chella Choi each shot 5-under 67 to share the first-round lead in the LPGA Tour’s Founders Cup.
Ariya Jutanugarn was a shot back with Inbee Park, Lizette Salas, Cydney Clanton, Mariajo Uribe and Hee Young Park. Defending champion Anna Nordqvist and Jessica Korda topped the group at 69.
Report: ESPN president resigned over cocaine extortion plot
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The former president of ESPN says he resigned from the network after an extortion plot by his cocaine dealer.
John Skipper told the Hollywood Reporter on Thursday that “they threatened me.” Skipper says he understood the threat put himself, his family and his professional life at risk.
Skipper says he used drugs recreationally and that it never impacted his work at ESPN.