Update on the latest sports
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NCAA TOURNAMENT
Kansas wins title with historic comeback
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Kansas has claimed its fourth NCAA men’s basketball comeback by engineering the greatest second-half comeback in finals history.
The Jayhawks turned a 16-point, second-half deficit into a 72-69 victory over North Carolina. David McCormack scored the go-ahead bucket from close range with 1:21 left, then another at the 22-second mark to put the Jayhawks ahead by three. McCormack and Jalen Wilson led KU with 15 points each. Christian Braun scored 10 of his 12 in the second half and transfer Remy Martin had 11 of his 15 over the final 20 minutes.
Carolina had scored 16 straight points late in the first half to open a 40-25 advantage at the break, but top-seeded KU went on a 31-10 run over the opening 10 minutes of the second to take a six-point lead.
The Tar Heels went scoreless over the final 1:41 and missed their last four shots, including Caleb Love’s desperation 3 at the buzzer.
Armando Bacot (BAY’-kaht) provided 15 points and 15 rebounds for North Carolina to become the first player to record double-doubles in all six tournament games.
The Tar Heels were seeking their seventh national championship and could have joined the 1985 Villanova Wildcats as the only No. 8 seeds to win the title.
Brooks to enter draft, but without agent
UNDATED (AP) – Kentucky forward Keion Brooks Jr. will enter the NBA draft but does not plan on hiring an agent. That leaves open the possibility of returning to school.
Brooks averaged career bests in several categories as a junior, including 10.8 points per contest on 49% shooting. His best performance was 27 points and eight rebounds in Kentucky’s 80-62 rout of Kansas in Lawrence in the Big 12/SEC Challenge in January.
In other college basketball developments:
– Alabama leading scorer Jaden Shackelford says he plans to enter the NBA draft and sign with an agent. The Crimson Tide junior guard announced his decision Sunday on Instagram. Shackelford averaged 16.6 points per game last season, earning second-team All-Southeastern Conference honors for the second straight year.
– Syracuse forward Cole Swider will forgo his final year of eligibility and declare for the NBA draft. Swider announced his decision on social media and said he would sign with an agent. The Rhode Island native transferred to Syracuse last year from Villanova and started all 33 games for the Orange.
– Western Michigan has hired longtime Michigan State assistant Dwayne Stephens to lead its basketball program. The former Spartans forward was on Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo’s staff for 19 seasons, including the last decade as an associate head coach. Clayton Bates resigned as Western Michigan’s coach last month after winning eight games in his second season.
Pujols to make 22nd Opening Day start
UNDATED (AP) – Albert Pujols (POO’-hohlz) will be in the starting lineup for the St. Louis Cardinals against the Pittsburgh Pirates when he begins his final big league season Thursday.
Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol announced Monday that Pujols will be the designated hitter for his 22nd consecutive opening day start. That matches Hank Aaron and Carl Yastrzemski (ya-STREHM’-skee) for second-most behind only Pete Rose, who made 23 straight during his career.
In other news from the majors:
– Mariners’ top prospect Julio Rodriguez will be on the opening day roster following a torrid spring training performance. Entering Monday’s spring training game, Rodriguez was hitting .419 with three home runs, eight RBIs and a 1.310 OPS.
– All major league players, managers, coaches and umpires will wear Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 in Dodger blue for the first time on April 15, the 75th anniversary of his breaking the major league color barrier. Major League Baseball retired Robinson’s number in 1997 and all uniformed personnel have worn 42 on Jackie Robinson Day since 2009.
– Outfielder/first baseman Danny Santana, pitcher Richard Rodriguez and infielder Jose Rondon have been suspended for 80 games each for a positive test of the performance-enhancing substance Boldenone. It was the first discipline since the major league drug testing program resumed March 11 following a 99-day suspension during the lockout. All three are free agents.
– Two-time National League batting champion Tommy Davis has died at age 83. Davis won batting titles with the 1962 and 1963 Dodgers and helped them win the World Series in 1963 and ’65. He was the Orioles’ first regular designated hitter and ended his career with a .294 batting average.
Leafs, B’s win
UNDATED (AP) – The Toronto Maple Leafs have taken control of second place in the NHL’s Atlantic Division, moving two points ahead of Tampa Bay and Boston by defeating the Lightning.
League goals leader Auston Matthews recorded a hat trick as the Leafs earned their fifth straight win, 6-2 in Tampa. Matthews now has 54 goals, four ahead of Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl (DRY’-sy-tul).
Mitch Marner had a goal and three assists for the Maple Leafs, who also received tallies from Pierre Engvall and Alex Kerfoot.
The Bruins pulled even with the Bolts be defeating Columbus, 3-2 on Jake DeBrusk’s goal 63 seconds into overtime. DeBrusk scored twice, Craig Smith had a goal and Linus Ullmark (LEE’-nuhs OOL’-mahrk) stopped 20 shots in Boston’s third straight win and 17th in 21 games.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
– The Flames extended their lead in the Pacific Division to five points over the Kings with a 3-2 victory in Los Angeles. Johnny Gaudreau had two goals and an assist, opening the scoring just 10 seconds into the game for Calgary’s quickest goal since 1987. Adrian Kempe (KEHM’-peh) had two goals for the Kings, who had earned at least a point in five of their previous six contests.
– Pavel Buchnevich (booch-NEH’-vihch) and Vladimir Tarasenko led the Blues’ scoresheet in a 5-1 downing of the Coyotes. Tarasenko scored twice and provided the eventual game-winner while St. Louis netted four unanswered goals in the second period. Buchnevich added a goal and two assists for the Blues, who moved within three points of the Wild for second place in the Central Division.
Commanders deny withholding visiting team revenue
UNDATED (AP) – The Washington Commanders are refuting a report that alleged they withheld ticket revenue from visiting teams.
A team spokeswoman said in a statement there was absolutely no withholding of ticket revenue at any time. She added that anyone who testified to Congress suggesting that committed perjury.
The lawyer for a former Washington VP of sales and customer service said her client testified truthfully and accused the NFL club of defamation.
Front Office Sports citing sources reported the House Oversight Committee received information to indicate Washington withheld ticket revenue. The league pools 40% of all ticket revenue for the road team.
Congress began investigating the team earlier this year after the league did not release a written report of an investigation into sexual harassment inside the organization.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
– The Saints have acquired two first-round picks from the Eagles in a major swap of assets. The Eagles sent picks Nos. 16 and 19 and a sixth-rounder to the Saints for the 18th overall pick, a third-rounder, a seventh-rounder, a 2023 first-rounder and a 2024 second-rounder. The move leaves both teams with two firsts later this month.
-The Jets have released tight end Ryan Griffin, who became expendable when the team signed free agents C.J. Uzomah (yoo-ZOH’-mah) and Tyler Conklin last month. Griffin had 70 catches for 667 yards and seven touchdowns in three seasons with New York.
– The Raiders signed quarterback Nick Mullens to serve as Derek Carr’s backup and brought back defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins for a fifth season with the team. Mullens has made 17 starts for San Francisco and Cleveland since being signed by the 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2017.
– The Browns have signed free agent punter Corey Bojorquez to a two-year contract. Bojorquez spent last season with Green Bay, where he averaged 46.5 yards on 53 punts and drilled an 82 yarder.