Update on the latest in sports:
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
Villanova takes the prize
SAN ANTONIO – The Alamodome became Donte’s Inferno as Villanova captured the NCAA men’s basketball championship for the second time in three seasons.
Donte DiVincenzo torched Michigan for 31 points as the Wildcats thumped the Wolverines, 79-62 at San Antonio. The red-headed sophomore scored 18 points in the first half to help Villanova turn an early seven-point deficit into a 37-29 lead at intermission.
DiVincenzo scored nine straight points for the Wildcats, including consecutive 3-pointers. He finished 10 of 15 from the field, including a 5-for-7 mark from 3-point range as the Wildcats went 10-for-27 from beyond the arc.
DiVincenzo was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.
Mikal Bridges added 19 points on 7-for-12 shooting to help Villanova win easily despite limited production from Jalen Brunson. The AP Player of the Year shot just 4-for-13 and finished with just nine points.
The Wildcats were able to contain Moe Wagner (VAHG’-nur), who had an early nine-point outburst before finishing with 16. Wagner had trouble getting back to the rim for defensive rebounds, allowing the Wildcats to grab 12 boards on the offensive glass.
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman had a team-high 23 points for the Wolverines, who shot just 3 of 23 from 3-point range.
It’s the third NCAA championship for Villanova, which won all six games in this tournament by double digits.
Jaren Jackson jumps to NBA draft
UNDATED (AP) – Michigan State freshman Jaren Jackson has announced on Twitter that he is entering the NBA draft.
Jackson just became the second player in Big Ten history to be named the conference defensive player of the year and freshman of the year. He set a single-season team record with 106 blocks and averaged 10.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, making almost 40 percent of the 96 3-pointers he attempted.
In other college basketball news:
– Penn State guard Tony Carr is giving up his last two years of college eligibility and declaring for the NBA Draft. Carr led the Nittany Lions with averages of 19.6 points and 5.0 assists this season to earn All-Big Ten first team honors.
– The University of San Diego has dropped the interim tag for coach Sam Scholl after he guided the team in the postseason. Scholl was elevated to acting head coach on Feb. 26 after Lamont Smith was arrested for investigation of domestic violence the day after the regular-season finale in San Francisco.
– Gonzaga is staying in the West Coast Conference after being courted by the Mountain West. Bulldogs athletic director Mike Roth told The Spokesman-Review that he and university president Thayne McCulloh met Monday to make the final decision on conference affiliation.
Panthers revive faint playoff hopes
UNDATED (AP) – The Florida Panthers have been able to prop up their fading chances to reach the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Alexander Petrovic scored an unassisted, tiebreaking goal with 7:58 remaining to give the Panthers their first win in four games, 3-2 over Carolina. Petrovic had scored just once in 63 games this season before pushing the Panthers within five points of the Devils for the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.
MacKenzie Weeger and Evgeni Dadonov scored for Florida in the first period, but the Hurricanes tied the game on Ryan’s goal in the second period.
The Panthers have four games remaining to catch New Jersey.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
– The Blues damaged their playoff chances as Alex Ovechkin (oh-VEHCH’-kihn) netted his league-high 46th goal and Braden Holtby stopped 34 shots in the Capitals’ 4-2 victory at St. Louis. Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Chiasson (CHAY’-sahn) and Andre Burakovsky scored in the first 7:54 of the second period to give the Capitals a 3-1 lead. The Capitals won for the 11th time in 13 games and left the Blues ninth in the West with 92 points.
– The Kings moved one point ahead of the Ducks for third place in the Pacific Division as Dustin Brown’s short-handed goal helped Los Angeles top the Avalanche, 3-1. Torrey Mitchell and Kyle Clifford also scored and Jonathan Quick stopped 27 shots as the Kings kept the Avalanche one point ahead of the Blues for the final Western Conference wild-card berth.
– Blake Wheeler scored twice and the Jets prevented the Predators from clinching the Central Division title by downing the Senators, 6-5. Andrew Copp had a goal and an assist for Winnipeg, who are five points behind Nashville with three games remaining for each team. Matthieu Perreault’s goal with 5:22 left put the Jets ahead 6-4.
– Zach Parise (pah-REE’-say) scored twice and Devan Dubnyk (DOOB’-nihk) made 22 saves in the Wild’s 3-0 shutout of the Oilers. The Wild reached 98 points to match the fourth-most in franchise history and inch closer to wrapping up third place in the Central Division.
– Auston Matthews and William Nylander (NEE’-lan-dur) each had two goals and an assist as the Maple Leafs dumped the Sabres, 5-2. Andreas Johnsson also scored and Curtiss McElhinney stopped 32 shots to help Toronto tie a franchise record with 103 points.
Canucks’ Sedin twins to retire after this season
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) – Vancouver Canucks forwards Henrik and Daniel Sedin (seh-DEEN’) say they will retire at the end of the season.
The Sedins have spent their entire 17 years in the NHL with Vancouver since being selected with the second- and third-overall picks in the 1999 draft. Each Sedin has scored over 1,000 points, combining for 631 goals and 1,475 assists.
Only Mats Sundin (suhn-DEEN’), Daniel Alfredsson and Nicklas Lidstrom have scored more NHL points among Swedish-born players.
Both Sedins won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s top scorer, doing it one year apart. Henrik Sedin was given the Hart Trophy as the league’s top player in 2009-10, one season before Daniel received the Ted Lindsay Award as the NHL MVP as voted by the players.
Astros unveil banner, thump Birds
UNDATED (AP) – The Houston Astros unveiled their World Series banner before winning their home opener.
Charlie Morton worked six shutout innings and Marwin Gonzalez slammed a solo homer to lead the Astros to a 6-1 whipping of the Orioles. Morton tossed three-hit ball while striking out six to pitch Houston to its third straight win.
Derek Fisher had two RBIs, including an RBI triple that sailed just out of reach of center fielder Adam Jones.
Chris Tillman was tagged for four runs and seven hits in four-plus innings as Baltimore dropped its third in a row since a season-opening victory.
Elsewhere in the majors:
– The Diamondbacks took a wild one from the Dodgers as Arizona scored twice in the bottom of the 15th to pull out an 8-7 win. Nick Ahmed doubled home the tying run and scored on a walk-off single by pinch-hitter Jeff Mathis, a half-inning after Chase Utley’s RBI single put Los Angeles in front . The Dodgers were one out from a 6-3, nine-inning win until Chris Owings launched a three-run homer off All-Star closer Kenley Jansen.
– Edwin Encarnacion (ehn-kahr-nah-see-OHN’) hit the second inside-the-park home run of his career and Mike Clevenger worked into the sixth inning of the Indians’ 6-0 shutout of the Angels. Clevenger scattered four hits and struck out five over 5 1/3 innings as Cleveland spoiled the Angels’ home opener. Tyler Naquin (NAY’-kwihn) and Yonder Alonso hit fourth-inning homers off losing pitcher JC Ramirez, who was reached for four earned runs in five innings.
– Hanley Ramirez belted a two-run homer and Mookie Betts added a solo shot as the Red Sox downed the Marlins, 7-3 in Miami. Brian Johnson allowed one run over six innings, marking the first time all five Boston starters have allowed less than two runs to begin a season. Christian Vazquez hit a two-run double for the Bosox.
– Bryce Harper crushed a three-run homer, walked four times and scored three runs in the Nationals’ 8-1 pounding of the Braves. Harper already has three home runs and seven RBIs in four games this season. Tanner Roark (ROH’-ahrk) allowed one run in seven innings to help Washington improve to 4-0 for the first time since the franchise moved from Montreal.
– Pitcher Mike Mikolas (MY’-koh-lahs) belted a tiebreaking, two-run homer and Paul DeJong added a three-run blast to help the St. Louis Cardinals beat Milwaukee, 8-4 and ruin the Brewers’ home opener. Mikolas got the victory after pitching 5 2/3 innings, allowing homers by Eric Thames, Lorenzo Cain and Manny Pina but leaving with an 8-4 lead. The Florida native spent the previous three seasons with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Pacific League.
– Rookie Tyler Mahle (MAL’-ee) pitched one-hit ball while striking out seven over six innings to pitch the Reds to their first win in four games this season, 1-0 over the Cubs. Raisel Iglesias (RY’-sehl ih-GLAY’-see-uhs) struck out Anthony Rizzo with the bases loaded to end the eighth before picking up the save, closing out Chicago’s second consecutive shutout loss. Eugenio (ay-oo-HAY’-nee-oh) Suarez led the lone scoring rally with a fourth-inning triple before coming home on Adam Duvall’s groundout.
– Homers by Ian Desmond, Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu powered the Rockies past the winless Padres, 7-4. Desmond hit a two-run homer in the fifth and an RBI double in the third to help the Rockies win for the 10th time in their last 16 games at Petco Park. Chad Bettis pitched five effective innings as Colorado dropped San Diego to 0-4.
– The Tigers picked up their first victory under new manager Ron Gardenhire as Victor Martinez drove in three runs and Francisco Liriano pitched into the seventh inning of a 6-1 win over the Royals. Liriano gave up a run and four hits in 6 2/3 innings to win his Tigers debut. Martinez delivered a two-run single in a four-run fifth that put Detroit ahead, 5-1.
– Russell Martin hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh inning to send the Blue Jays to their third straight win, 4-2 over the White Sox. Josh Donaldson and Aledmys Diaz each smacked a solo shot and Jaime Garcia held Chicago to a run over six innings in his first start for Toronto.
– The Pirates rode Colin Moran’s first-inning grand slam to a 5-4 victory against Minnesota. Winning pitcher Jameson Taillon (TY’-ahn) tied a career high with nine strikeouts and held the Twins to two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings of the Pirates’ home opener. Gregory Polanco added an RBI double and reached base five times for the Bucs, who are off to their first 4-0 start in 35 years.
– Jed Lowrie’s two-out, two-run double in the seventh pushed the Athletics past the Rangers, 3-1. Matt Chapman homered for the second consecutive game to help Oakland stop a three-game skid. Texas received a good outing from 44-year-old starter Bartolo Colon, who allowed one run and seven hits in six innings.
– Snow caused the postponement of the Yankees’ home opener against the Rays and the Mets’ series opener versus the Phillies.
Bob Beattie, pioneer of Alpine World Cup circuit, has died
DENVER (AP) – Ski racing pioneer Bob Beattie (bee-A’-tee) has died in Colorado at age 85 after dealing with health issues.
Beattie helped launch the Alpine World Cup circuit more than 50 years ago and served as coach of the U.S. Ski Team and at the University of Colorado, where he led the Buffaloes to a pair of national titles. He also was a commentator at the Olympics and authored several books.