MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#2 Virginia 76 North Carolina State 56

#3 North Carolina 83 Louisville 70

#5 Duke 84 Syracuse 72

West Virginia 79 #7 Texas Tech 74

#12 Florida State 65 #16 Virginia Tech 63 OT

#14 Nevada 77 Boise State 69

#15 Kansas State 70 TCU 61

#17 Kansas 65 Texas 57

#18 Buffalo 82 Akron 46

Nebraska 69 #21 Maryland 61

#22 Auburn 81 Missouri 71

#23 Marquette 86 St. John’s 54

#25 Villanova 73 Providence 62

Rhode Island 76 LaSalle 57

Iowa State 83 Baylor 66

Ohio State 79 Indiana 75

Connecticut 80 S. Florida 73

Florida 66 Arkansas 50

Montana 79 sacramental 73

George Mason 61 George Washington 57

Xavier 63 Creighton 61

Central Michigan 89 Kent State 81

Washington 78 USC 75

Memphis 83 Tulane 68

Weber State 81 Portland State 71

Colorado 73 Oregon State 58

Cal State Fullerton 75 UC Davis 71

San Diego State 63 UNLV 55

Texas Rio Grande 85 Bakersfield 70

St. Joseph’s 92 Duquesne 86

New Orleans 76 Lamar 72

South Alabama 70 Louisiana 69

Northern Illinois 80 Toledo 76

Minnesota 77 Penn State 72 OT

Alabama 62 Ole Miss 57

Old Dominion 57 Louisiana Tech 56

Southern Utah 83 Northern Colorado 64

SMU 74 Tulsa 65

St. Louis 71 Richmond 68

Arizona State 83 UCLA 72

Bowling Green 99 Ball State 86

UC Irvine 63 UC Riverside 44

Utah State 91 New Mexico 83

Utah Valley 71 Missouri Kansas City 64

Alabama Birmingham 85 Texas San Antonio 76

Seton Hall 73 Georgetown 57

Mississippi State 80 Texas A&M 54

Iowa 83 Illinois 62

Eastern Washington 90 Montana State 84

Southern Mississippi 82 Marshall 73

Wichita State 73 E. Carolina 57

Western Kentucky 67 N. Texas 51

Long Beach State 68 Hawaii 66

Grand Canyon 84 Seattle 75

Oregon 66 Utah 54

Fresno State 76 Air Force 50

 

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#24 Rice 61 N. Texas 43

Loyola Chicago 90 Evansville 80

Valparaiso 79 Indiana State 77

Western Kentucky 74 Old Dominion 60

 

NBA SCOREBOARD

Indiana 108 Oklahoma City 106

Orlando 120 Cleveland 91

Boston 126 Sacramento 120

Toronto 111 LA Lakers 98

Utah 120 Minnesota 100

Denver 100 Dallas 99

 

NHL SCOREBOARD

Pittsburgh 5 Buffalo 0

NY Islanders 2 Montréal 1

Washington 5 Philadelphia 2

Ottawa 2 St. Louis 0

Tampa Bay 5 Detroit 4

Dallas 4 Minnesota 1

Winnipeg 4 Boston 3

Arizona 6 Anaheim 1

Nashville 3 Los Angeles 1

Florida 4 San Jose 2

 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL – SPRING TRAINING

Cleveland 9 Colorado 3

Texas 5 Kansas City 4

LA Angels 7 Milwaukee 7

Chicago Cubs 2 Texas 1

Cincinnati 3 LA Dodgers 3

Arizona 3 San Francisco 0

LA Dodgers 12 San Diego 0

Minnesota 7 Baltimore 6

Boston 4 Detroit 4

Washington 10 Minnesota 4

Miami 12 Houston 6

Pittsburgh 11 Philadelphia 2

NY Mets 1 St. Louis 1

Philadelphia 4 Tampa Bay 3

NY Yankees 1 Toronto 1

 

COLLEGE BASEBALL SCOREBOARD

Washington College 5 Earlham 3

Grand Canyon 6 Xavier 0

Michigan 5 Manhattan 1

 

COLLEGE SOFTBALL SCOREBOARD

South Florida 4 Purdue 3 (9)

 

MEN’S COLLEGE TENNIS

Earlham 6 Quincy University 3

 

EARLHAM BASEBALL: QUAKERS LOSE TO WASHINGTON

(EARLHAM RELEASE)

SCORE: Washington (Md.) 5, Earlham 3

LOCATION: Fort Pierce, Fla. (Gladwin Complex)

RECORDS: Earlham 6-5, Washington (Md.) 9-0

THE SHORT STORY: Senior Walter Talcott fanned 11 Washington College (Md.) batters over his seven innings of work, but he also allowed five earned runs on 11 hits and Earlham College was unable to keep pace at the place and the Quakers fell to the Shoremen, 5-3, on Thursday in Fort Pierce, Fla.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

Washington scored three runs on four hits in the top of the first, with Tommy Buckman plating two runs on his single to right field.

Earlham promptly responded in the bottom half of the frame. Isaiah Shake belted a leadoff double, his third of the season, and was singled home on a Danny Dopp shot into left field. Dopp crossed on Brian Pincura’s triple into right-center, cutting the Shoremen lead to one run, 3-2, after the first inning.

The Shoremen went up 4-2 in the third, thanks to a Joe Otto double to right-center that drove in Aaron Barclay. Barclay got aboard with a leadoff single to left field. Washington College late extended its lead to 5-2 with a single run in the top of the seventh.

The Quakers got one run back in the bottom of the eighth. Pincura drew a leadoff walk, and eventually scored on Cameron Wissel’s base hit to right field.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

Isaiah Shake and Danny Dopp each had two hits for the Quakers, with Pincura also recording an RBI. Shake and Dopp now have a team-leading five multiple-hit games this season. Shake had his third double and third triple of the season on Thursday against the Shoremen.

Each team stranded runners on base.

Walter Talcott’s 11 strikeouts versus Washington was his second double-digit strikeout performance in five appearances this season. The righthander now has 211 career strikeouts and is 36 strikeouts shy of setting a new Earlham career record.

Aaron Barclay and Tommy Buckman led the Shoremen with three hits and two runs batted in each. Barclay crossed for two of Washington’s five runs.

NEXT UP:

Earlham wraps up its spring break trip on Friday, March 15, when it faces North Park University. First pitch is scheduled for 10:00 a.m.

 

EARLHAM MEN’S GOLF

(EARLHAM RELEASE)

TOURNAMENT: Savannah State Spring Fling

LOCATION: Savannah, Ga. (Crosswinds Golf Club)

COURSE INFO: Par 72, 6,750 Yards

EARLHAM FINISH: 5th (+33)

TOP QUAKER: Jared Stone, T-8th (+4)

THE SHORT STORY: First year Jared Stone led a contingent of 13 Quakers in Thursday’s Savannah State Spring Fling, finishing tied for eighth overall with a four-over 76. As a team, Earlham was fifth with a 321 (+33).

EARLHAM SCORES

5 – Earlham, 321

T-8 – Jared Stone, 76 (+4)

T-21 – Garrett Schuler, 80 (+8)

T-21 – Graham Sherard, 80 (+8)

T-30 – Nate Mynatt, 85 (+13)

33 – Kim Kang, 86 (+14)

Individuals

T-27 – Jared Birr, 83 (+11)

T-30 – Brevin Smith, 85 (+13)

T-30 – Matt Truex, 85 (+13)

T-34 – Josh Maclin, 87 (+15)

T-38 – Brandon Main, 89 (+17)

T-38 – Patrick Wright, 89 (+17)

T-40 – Matt Bushik, 90 (+18)

46 – Alex Palmer-Truesdell, 107 (+35)

INSIDE THE SCORECARD

Jared Stone’s tied for eighth place is his best finish thus far in his rookie collegiate season.

Earlham was joined in the Savannah State tournament by Division I opponents Butler and Western Illinois, as well as the Quakers’ cross-town rival I.U.-East.

NEXT UP

Earlham picks up its spring slate on Saturday, March 23, and Sunday, March 24, when it competes at the Mount St. Joseph Invitational in Centerville, Ohio, at The Golf Club at Yankee Trace.

 

MEN’S BASKETBALL: IU EAST’S SMITH NAMED NAIA ALL-AMERICAN

(IU EAST RELEASE)

RICHMOND, Ind. – Bishop Smith represented Indiana University East on the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball All-America list announced March 14.

Smith, who was an honorable mention selection, is IU East’s seventh men’s basketball All-American.

“It’s an honor to make the list and have coaches around the country believe in my abilities,” Smith said. “I hope coaches saw my competitiveness, willingness to make the right plays, and my maturity on the court.”

Smith is one of 70 players on the All-America list. He led IU East and was among the top 50 scorers in the country with 18.1 points per game this past season. He also was 16th in the nation with 3.1 3-point field goals per game.

Smith showed both consistency and a flair for the dramatic during his junior season. He scored in double figures in IU East’s first 33 games. He also made game-tying or go-ahead baskets in the final minute in three games, including the go-ahead basket with three seconds remaining in overtime of IU East’s win against Bethel College (Ind.) in the first round of the national tournament.

Smith scored his 1,000th career point in January and enters his senior season with 1,263 career points.

IU East finished 26-9 this past season. The Red Wolves tied for the top record in the River States Conference East Division and reached the Round of 8 at the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship. IU East is one of two programs to reach the national tournament quarterfinals in each of the past four years.

 

IU EAST GOLF, TRACK, TENNIS

(IU EAST RELEASE)

Men’s Golf

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The Indiana University East men’s golf team opened its spring season at the Savannah State University Spring Invitational on March 14.

The Red Wolves finished fourth with a team score of 310 in the event that featured three NCAA Div. I schools and Earlham College at the Crosswinds Golf Club.

Savannah State was Western Illinois University tied for first at 298, while Butler University was next at 299. Earlham had a 321.

Lance Hackman led the Red Wolves with a 74, which put him in sixth place.

The rest of the scores for IU East were Kyle Cochran 77, Kole Schofield 78, Tyler Pearson 81 and Caleb Waugh 83

Kyle Irlbacker of Western Illinois and Dylan Mullaney Savannah State tied for medalist honors with a 71.

The other IU East scores were Ben Tinkle 88, Brandon Bauman 90, Angel Del Valle 92, Caleb Cochran 95, Nick Hayden 96.

The Red Wolves are back in action at the Purgatory Intercollegiate in Noblesville at the Purgatory Golf Club on March 29-30.

 

Women’s Golf

OPELIKA, Ala. – The Indiana University East women’s golf team started its spring slate at the Lawrence Technological University Spring Break Invitational on March 14.

The Red Wolves are fifth in the two-day event on the Lake Course at the Grand National Golf Club that features four NAIA programs that are in the national rankings.

The team scores are No. 4 Dalton State 308, No. 24 Lindsey Wilson College 320, No. 6 University of the Cumberlands 327, No. 17 Morningside College 334, IU East 342, Aquinas College 347, John A. Logan 360 and host Lawrence Tech 397.

Breanna Nowak topped IU East with an 80, which has her in a tie for seventh.

Bo Park of Lindsey Wilson along with Dalton State teammates Hannah Gasaway and Katie Dalton lead the field with a 75 after the first round.

Jo Wisecup was one shot for the Red Wolves behind Nowak with an 81 to put her in a tie for 11th.

The other scores for the Red Wolves were Hannah Johnson 89, Paola Delgado 92 and Lexie Fields at 93.

The final day of the affair gets underway at 9 a.m. (IU East time).

 

Track and Field

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The Indiana University East track and field teams began the outdoor season on March 14.

The Red Wolves had just one participant on the first day of the Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational at the Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium.

Ashley Toschlog competed in the 10,000-meter run. She finished 12th of 22 runners with a time of 41:13.10.

Day two of the three-day affair is on March 15. The races on the track are at 9:30 a.m., while the field events are at 10 a.m.

 

TENNIS

HILTON HEAD, S.C. – The Indiana University East men’s tennis team picked up the first win of its spring break trip by dusting Berry College by a 7-2 score March 14 in a match played on clay courts.

The Red Wolf women also took on Berry on March 14. IU East fell 7-2.

Matches were played on the clay courts at Hilton Head Beach and Tennis.

Both IU East teams are 7-7. The Berry men are 1-2 and the Viking women are 3-0.

The IU East men conclude their spring break schedule with a match against the University of Charleston on March 15. The match against Berry concluded the spring break schedule for the IU East women.

 

Ohio State hangs on to beat Indiana, 79-75 in Big Ten

Rolling along with a 20-point lead in the second half, Ohio State appeared to be in the clear.

That changed in a flash. But the Buckeyes hung on.

Keyshawn Woods scored 18, Kaleb Wesson added 17 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, and Ohio State beat Indiana 79-75 in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday afternoon.

Woods scored a key basket in the closing minute. Wesson provided a big lift inside in his return from a punishment for violating athletic department policy, helping Ohio State stop a three-game losing streak and boost its NCAA Tournament hopes.

C.J. Jackson added 17 points and hit two free throws in the closing seconds to preserve the win for the Buckeyes (19-13) after a 20-point lead in the second half dwindled to two. Ohio State will face No. 6 Michigan State on Friday.

“Everybody here packed for four days,” Wesson said. “We want to get the highest seed we can if we do go (to the NCAA). If they don’t want to put us in the tournament, that’s fine. We’re going to go whatever tournament we go to and play.”

Devonte Green scored a career-high 26 for Indiana and set a Big Ten Tournament record by nailing 8 of 10 3-pointers. But the Hoosiers (17-15) came up short after winning four in a row to jump into the NCAA picture.

 

Williamson has 29 points in return, No. 5 Duke rolls in ACCs

Zion Williamson said he never listened to the analysts who suggested he should forego the remainder of his college career at Duke and focus on the NBA.

“I knew I was going to be back,” Williamson said. “Everybody has their right to their own opinion, but I knew I was coming back the whole time.”

With each soaring dunk Thursday night, Williamson sent a resounding message to the rest of the college basketball world that he is back – and so are the Blue Devils.

In his first game since a bizarre shoe blowout caused him almost six full games with a sprained knee, Williamson was electrifying, breaking a 66-year-old Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament record by going 13 of 13 from the field – with five soaring dunks – and scoring 29 points to propel No. 5 Duke over Syracuse 84-72.

“He was himself,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said of Williamson’s return.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim went a step further, calling Williamson a “different player” than he’s ever seen in his 50 years of coaching college basketball.

He said Williamson is a stronger version of Charles Barkley and unstoppable in the low post.

“He can do things that nobody has done in this game,” Boeheim said. “I mean Charles was close, but this guy’s bigger, stronger. And I mean he’s a crazy different type of player. There aren’t guys like him.”

The Associated Press player and newcomer of the year in the ACC added 14 rebounds, two assists and a block.

 

No. 3 North Carolina beats Louisville 83-70 in ACC quarters

Roy Williams continues to preach to Coby White to play aggressive while staying under control.

The freshman point guard is learning to walk that fine line for third-ranked North Carolina.

Luke Maye had 19 points and nine rebounds, White added 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists – and committed just one turnover – and North Carolina beat Louisville 83-70 on Thursday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference quarterfinals.

“I’m trying to make the easy play,” White said. “I’m trying not to force it.”

White’s controlled play has the second-seeded Tar Heels in line for a run at their second ACC Tournament championship in four years and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

“I get on him about his shots and I get on him about his turnovers,” Williams said. “But he is making much better decisions. It’s attack, attack, attack. That’s what we talk about all the time. We want to attack like crazy and be under control.”

Maye was stellar as he has been for most of his career with the Tar Heels, taking over on the glass in the second half and scoring from all three levels on offense – attacking the basket, knocking down mid-range jumpers and stroking 3-pointers.

Cameron Johnson chipped in with 14 points – all in the first half – to help the Tar Heels (27-5) extend their winning streak to eight games.

Dwayne Sutton had 14 points for Louisville (20-13).

 

West Virginia beats No. 7 Texas Tech 79-74 in Big 12 Tourney

Two down, two to go.

That’s the mindset of West Virginia coach Bob Huggins after his Mountaineers upset No. 7 Texas Tech 79-74 on Thursday night.

The Mountaineers are 80 minutes away from making the NCAA Tournament as the 10th seed in the Big 12 Tournament.

“We’re playing to be in the NCAA Tournament, that’s what we’re doing,” Huggins said. “We had a meeting and sat down and talked about it and this is our chance.”

West Virginia (14-19) advances to the semifinals on Friday night against No. 17 Kansas (24-9), which defeated Texas 65-57.

The Mountaineers were led in scoring by Emmitt Matthews, who had a career-high 28 points. This is only the fourth game this season he’s scored in double figures.

“I think my teammates do a really good job of getting me the ball,” Matthews said. “Without them I would be nothing. Coach Huggins does a really good job of getting me in the good spots to get the right shots off.”

Jarrett Culver scored 26 points, Tariq Owens had 14, and Matt Mooney had 12 for Texas Tech (26-6).

Matthews hit a corner 3 to give West Virginia a 16-point lead with nine minutes to go in the game, but Texas Tech scored 16 of the next 18 to get within four.

The Red Raiders took a 69-68 lead on a basket by Culver, their first lead since it was 7-5. But the Mountaineers scored seven of the next nine to regain the lead, 75-71.

 

Washington State fires Ernie Kent after 5 seasons

Washington State fired basketball coach Ernie Kent on Thursday after five seasons where he was unable to turnaround the Cougars program and had a significant exodus of players under his watch.

Athletic director Pat Chun announced the decision a day after the Cougars finished an 11-21 season with an 84-51 loss to Oregon in the Pac-12 tournament.

“I met with Ernie earlier today and let him know I would be making a change in the leadership of our basketball program,” Chun said in a statement. “We appreciate all that Ernie has done for Washington State but at this time we need a new direction to energize our fan base and return the program to prominence. I am optimistic that our returning students-athletes give us an immediate opportunity to move our program in a positive trajectory.”

Kent was unable to turnaround Washington State in his second stint as a head coach in the Pac-12. The Cougars were 58-98 in Kent’s five seasons in charge in Pullman and were 22-68 in Pac-12 play. Washington State lost its final six games to close this season.

Kent had three years remaining on his contract and will be paid $4.2 million as part of his firing.

Kent was hired in 2014 by former athletic director Bill Moos to replace Ken Bone. Kent and Moos had worked together at Oregon where Kent had led the Ducks to five NCAA tournament appearances and a three Pac-10 regular season or conference tournament titles.

 

Pacers rally from 19-point deficit to beat Thunder 108-106

Paul George figured to be the feature attraction in his second visit to Indiana since a blockbuster trade two years ago.

Domantas Sabonis and Wesley Matthews upstaged the former Pacer on Thursday night.

Matthews tipped in a basket with 1.8 seconds left and Indiana rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 108-106. Sabonis added 26 points against this former team.

“Man, this team fights. That’s one of the big reasons why I chose to come here,” Matthews said. “We fight, we compete. No lead is too much. We needed a win against a playoff team, and that’s what we’ve got to do going forward.”

Without All-Star guard Victor Oladipo, who the underdog Pacers got in the blockbuster deal that sent George to the Thunder in July 2017, Indiana fought its way back over the final 15 minutes behind the other player it acquired in the deal, Sabonis, and Matthews, who the Pacers signed last month as Oladipo’s replacement.

It was Indiana’s second-largest comeback this season.

They did it against George, a six-time All-Star who shrugged off resounding boos to score 36 points, and Russell Westbrook, who added his 27th triple-double of the season but missed a 3-pointer from beyond the top of the key as the buzzer sounded.

Westbrook finished with 19 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists.

George was terrific for the first 47 minutes.

He scored 25 points in the first half and completed a three-point play to give the Thunder a 73-54 lead with 7:18 left in the third quarter. He even made the tying 3-pointer with 1:49 left in the game and two free throws to give Oklahoma City a 106-104 lead with 1:13 to go.

It was a different story in the final minute.

 

Irving’s triple-double leads Celtics past Kings 126-120

The Boston Celtics are running out of time to work out their kinks with the postseason a month away.

For the second time in just over a week, they needed some late-game heroics to fend off a Kings team whose playoff hopes have been fading for weeks.

Kyrie Irving had 31 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds to help the Boston overcome a 17-point first-half deficit to beat Sacramento 126-120 on Thursday night.

It was Irving’s second career triple-double. His first was with Cleveland on Feb. 28, 2014, against Utah.

Jaylen Brown added 22 points, and Marcus Morris finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds.

It was Boston’s second victory over Sacramento in eight days, and the Celtics’ fourth win in five games overall.

As happy as he was with the comeback, Irving said it doesn’t compare to the mentality Boston will need in the postseason to be successful.

“It’s going to be a dogfight, no matter who you are playing against,” Irving said. “Obviously, when you have a team fighting for playoff position, it is going to be that type of intensity and you have to be ready for it.”

Buddy Hield led Sacramento with 34 points. Harrison Barnes added 20, and De’Aaron Fox had 19 points, nine assists and seven rounds as the Kings lost for the 11th straight time in Boston.

The Kings have dropped 13 of 17 road games as their hopes of catching the Clippers for the Western Conference’s final playoff spot took another hit.

 

MLB players, owners to start labor talks 2 years early

Major League Baseball and its players agreed to an unprecedented early start to contract bargaining, a move sparked by union anger that raised the possibility of a return to work stoppages that marred the sport in the late 20th century.

MLB and the union announced modest rule changes Thursday, mostly starting in 2020 such as expanded rosters and a three-batter minimum for pitchers, and the commissioner’s office agreed to drop its push for pitch clocks until 2022 at the earliest.

Players have been furious at slow free-agent markets during the first two offseasons of the collective bargaining agreement set to expire Dec. 1, 2021. The agreement increased the level of the luxury tax and prompted more teams to jettison veterans in favor of rebuilding with youth. None of the previous 11 collective bargaining agreements dating to 1966 was overhauled in mid-agreement, except for limited areas defined by the sides when the deal was signed.

“It remains to be seen what the union’s going to ask for, what we’re going to ask for and whether we reach an agreement,” deputy commissioner Dan Halem said. “It’s a positive sign we were able to reach an agreement with the union on rule changes and hopefully we can build on that.”

Ordinarily, the sides would have started negotiations in March 2021. The union proposed major economic changes this offseason that management refused to consider, such as expanding the designated hitter to the National League, addressing service-time rules that affect eligibility to free agency and salary arbitration. Also, adding provisions to the amateur draft that would make it harder to accumulate high draft picks over several seasons. As part of the deal on rule changes designed to speed the pace of play, management agreed to broader talks.

“I think the common ground that we were able to find here has cracked open a door to a broader conversion,” union head Tony Clark said. “And that broader conversion we believe is necessary and in the best interest of both parties. How things manifest themselves moving forward remains to be seen.”

 

Mickelson ‘shocked’ college company he used caught in scheme

Phil Mickelson says he might be “more shocked than anyone” to learn that a college consulting company he has used the last three years has been accused of orchestrating a massive bribery scheme.

He said he never contributed to William “Rick” Singer’s foundation tied to his California-based company, Edge College & Career Network, but used the service to find the right fit for his children.

His oldest daughter is now a sophomore at Brown.

“We’re not part of this,” Mickelson said. “Most every family that has used his company are not a part of it. That’s why I think we’re all so surprised.”

Federal prosecutors said parents paid Singer millions of dollars to bribe their children’s way into college. Some of the payouts went to coaches and administrators to falsely make their children look like star athletes, and Singer also hired ringers to take college entrance exams for students and paid off insiders at testing centers to correct students’ answers, authorities said.

More than 50 people have been charged.

A note from Mickelson and his wife, Amy, appears as a testimonial to Singer on a website for “The Key,” another name for his company. They thank him for his support in finding their daughter the right college.

“The college process is so layered and confusing. I don’t know what we would’ve done without your insight and belief in our daughter,” said the note, which Mickelson said was a text his wife sent to Singer.

“We, along with thousands of other families, hired he and his company to help us guide through the college application process, and we’re probably more shocked than anyone,” Mickelson said after his first round of The Players Championship. “We’ve been dealing with it the last few days, but that’s about it.”

 

Steelers sign WR Donte Moncrief, bring back WR Eli Rogers

Donte Moncrief can do the math in his head. Yet the newest Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver has no plans to fill the void left by Antonio Brown.

“AB is one of the best if not the best ever,” Moncrief said on Thursday hours after signing a two-year deal with Pittsburgh. “You can’t try to be what he was. You can only be what you are.”

What Moncrief has been during his five-year career is dependable if not always prolific. A third-round pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2014 NFL draft, Moncrief brings 200 career receptions for 2,543 yards and 21 touchdowns to Pittsburgh, where he suddenly finds himself as the most experienced receiver in the room.

The 25-year-old wideout has played in 69 games for Indianapolis and Jacksonville. The group Moncrief joins – rising star JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Eli Rogers (re-signed to a two-year deal on Thursday) – has played in 74 career games combined.

Now, the player who was mentored by longtime Colts star Reggie Wayne finds himself in position to do the mentoring in Pittsburgh. Moncrief said the Steelers have a “great room,” and if he can be “the guy that pushes guy,” it’s a role he’ll gladly accept.

Pittsburgh does provide Moncrief with something he hasn’t enjoyed in recent seasons: stability at quarterback. In the last four years Moncrief has caught passes from Andrew Luck, Matt Hasselbeck, Jacoby Brissett, Blake Bortles and Cody Kessler. Barring injury, there is no such uncertainty in Pittsburgh, where 37-year-old Ben Roethlisberger remains a part of the team’s long-term plans. Roethlisberger is entering the final season of his contract but is expected to sign an extension in the very near future.

That’s fine by Moncrief, who heard from Roethlisberger shortly after the deal was completed.

“He’s ready to get going, get some chemistry, lock in,” Moncrief said.

 

Raiders cut WR Jordy Nelson, QB AJ McCarron to save cap room

After making several big-ticket additions to start free agency, the Oakland Raiders are now making some cuts.

The Raiders released 2018 leading wide receiver Jordy Nelson and backup quarterback AJ McCarron on Thursday to create salary cap space after going on a spending spree earlier this week.

The moves save more than $8.5 million for the upcoming season after the Raiders committed more than $50 million in salary cap space to acquire receiver Antonio Brown, tackle Trent Brown, safety Lamarcus Joyner and receiver Tyrell Williams.

Nelson signed a $14.2 million, two-year deal last March with the Raiders and had 63 catches for 739 yards in his one season in Oakland. The Raiders turned his $3.6 million roster bonus for 2019 into a signing bonus late last season, which leaves them with $1.8 million in dead money this year.

Coach Jon Gruden had planned to keep Nelson before plans changed when Brown became available from Pittsburgh last weekend.

The Raiders traded a 2019 fifth-round pick to Buffalo last year to acquire McCarron as the backup to Derek Carr. McCarron appeared in just two games with three passes before the team decided to go in another direction.

The move leaves Nathan Peterman as the only backup on the roster. Peterman was fifth-round pick by Buffalo in 2017 but was cut last season after beginning the year as the starter. He is 68 for 130 in his career for 548 yards, three TDs, 12 interceptions and a 32.5 passer rating in his career.

 

NFL FREE AGENCY TRACKER

Alex Okafor (DE) agreed to a three-year, $24 million contract with the Kansas City Chiefs, per Ian Rapoport.

Jason Verrett (CB) agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers, per Adam Schefter.

Golden Tate (WR) agreed to a four-year $37.5 million contract with the New York Giants, per Adam Schefter.

Malcolm Brown (DT) agreed to a three-year, $15 million contract with the New Orleans Saints, per Ian Rapoport.

Tyrod Taylor (QB) agreed to a two-year $11 million contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, per Ian Rapoport.

Demetrius Harris (TE) agreed to a two-year, $6 million contract with the Cleveland Browns, per Adam Schefter.

Tyrell Williams (WR) agreed to a four-year, $44 million contract with the Oakland Raiders, per Adam Schefter.

Tevin Coleman (RB) agreed to a two-year, $10 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers, per Adam Schefter.

Adrian Peterson (RB) agreed to a two-year, $8 million contract with the Washington Redskins, per Ian Rapoport.

Pierre Desir (CB) agreed to a three-year, $25 million contract with the Indianapolis Colts, per Ian Rapoport.

A.J. Cann (OG) agreed to a three-year, $15 million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, per Ian Rapoport.

Mark Ingram (RB) agreed to a three-year, $15 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens, per Adam Schefter.

Earl Thomas (S) agreed to a four-year, $55 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens, per Adam Schefter.

DeVante Parker (WR) signed a two-year, $11.18 million deal with the Miami Dolphins, per Ian Rapoport.

Le’Veon Bell (RB) agreed to a four-year, $52 million deal with the New York Jets, per Ian Rapoport.

James Carpenter (G) agreed to a four-year, $21 million deal with the Atlanta Falcons, per Ian Rapoport.

Jamon Brown (G) agreed to a three-year, $18.75 million deal with the Atlanta Falcons, per Ian Rapoport.

Breshad Perriman (WR) agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, per Adam Schefter.

Brett Hundley (QB) agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals, per Ian Rapoport.

Cordarrelle Patterson (WR) agreed to a two-year, $5 million deal with the Chicago Bears, per Adam Schefter.

Lamarcus Joyner (S) agreed to a four-year, $42 million deal with the Oakland Raiders, per Adam Schefter.

Matt Paradis (C) agreed to a three-year, $27 million deal with the Carolina Panthers, per Adam Schefter.

Cole Beasley (WR) agreed to a four-year, $29 million deal with the Buffalo Bills, per Albert Breer.

Rodger Saffold (OL) agreed to a four-year, $44 million deal with the Tennessee Titans, per Adam Schefter.

Bradley Roby (CB) agreed to a one-year, $10 million deal with the Houston Texans, per James Palmer.

Thomas Davis (LB) agreed to a two-year, $10.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Chargers, per Tom Pelissero.

John Brown (WR) agreed to a three-year, $27 million deal with the Buffalo Bills, per Ian Rapoport.

Za’Darius Smith (LB) agreed to a four-year, $66 million deal with the Green Bay Packers, per Ian Rapoport.

Latavius Murray (RB) agreed to a four-year, $14.4 million deal with the New Orleans Saints, per Ian Rapoport.

Jordan Hicks (LB) agreed to a four-year, $36 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals, per Ian Rapoport.

Jesse James (TE) agreed to a four-year, $25 million deal with the Detroit Lions, per Ian Rapoport.

Billy Turner (OL) agreed to a four-year, $29.5 million deal with the Green Bay Packers, per Ian Rapoport.

Adrian Amos (S) agreed to a four-year, $37 million deal with the Green Bay Packers, per Ian Rapoport.

Preston Smith (LB) agreed to four-year, $52 million deal with the Green Bay Packers, per Ian Rapoport.

Tashaun Gipson (S) agreed to three-year, $22 million deal with the Houston Texans, per Albert Breer.

Sheldon Richardson (DT) agreed to a three-year, $36 million deal with the Cleveland Browns, per Ian Rapoport.

JaWuan James (OT) agreed to a four-year, $52 million deal with the Denver Broncos, per Adam Schefter.

Terrell Suggs (LB) agreed to a one-year, $7 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals, per Adam Schefter.

C.J. Mosley (LB) agreed to a five-year, $85 million deal with the New York Jets, per Ian Rapoport.

Mitch Morse (C) agreed to a four-year, $44.5 million deal with the Buffalo Bills, per Tom Pelissero.

Kareem Jackson (CB) agreed to a three-year, $33 million deal with the Denver Broncos, per Ian Rapoport.

Devin Funchess (WR) agreed to a one-year, $13 million deal with the Indianapolis Colts, per Chris Mortensen.

Tyrann Mathieu (FS) agreed to a three-year, $42 million deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, per Ian Rapoport.

Mike Davis (RB) agreed to a two-year, $6 million deal with the Chicago Bears, per Ian Rapoport.

Buster Skrine (CB) agreed to a three-year, $16.5 million deal with the Chicago Bears, per Ian Rapoport.

Tyler Kroft (TE) agreed to a three-year, $18.75 million deal with the Buffalo Bills, per Ian Rapoport.

Adam Humphries (WR) agreed to a four-year, $36 million deal with the Tennessee Titans, per Mike Garafolo.

Nick Foles (QB) agreed to a four-year, $88 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars, per Mike Garafolo.

Jamison Crowder (WR) agreed to a three-year, $28.5 million deal with the New York Jets, per Mike Garafolo.

Frank Gore (RB) agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal with the Buffalo Bills, per Adam Schefter.

Kenny Vaccaro (S) agreed to a four-year, $26 million deal with the Tennessee Titans, per Ian Rapoport.

Bobby Hart (OT) agreed to three-year, $21 million deal with the Cincinnati Bengals, per Ian Rapoport.

C.J. Uzomah (TE) agreed to three-year, $18 million deal with the Cincinnati Bengals, per Ian Rapoport.

Landon Collins (S) agreed to six-year, $84 million deal with the Washington Redskins, per Ian Rapoport.

Justin Coleman (CB) agreed to four-year, $36 million deal with the Detroit Lions, per Ian Rapoport.

Kwon Alexander (LB) agreed to a four-year, $54 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers, per Ian Rapoport.

Trent Brown (OT) agreed to a four-year, $66 million deal with the Oakland Raiders, per Ian Rapoport.

Malik Jackson (DT) agreed to a three-year, $30 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, per Ian Rapoport.

Danny Amendola (WR) agreed to a one-year, $5.75 million deal with the Detroit Lions, per Ian Rapoport.

Carlos Hyde (RB) agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, per Ian Rapoport.

Dwayne Allen (TE) agreed to a two-year, $7 million deal with the Miami Dolphins, per Ian Rapoport.

Eric Weddle (S) agreed to a two-year, $10.5 million deal (can earn up to $12.5 million) with the Los Angeles Rams, per Ian Rapoport.