INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL SEMI-STATE MATCH-UPS
FORT WAYNE WAYNE (21-4) VS. KOKOMO (22-4)
PENN (27-1) VS. HAMMOND CENTRAL (26-1)
BROWNSBURG (21-4) VS. JENNINGS COUNTY (24-2)
BEN DAVIS (30-0) VS. BLOOMINGTON NORTH (19-5)
DELTA (18-9) VS. JOHN GLENN (17-10)
NORTHWOOD (25-2) VS. FORT WAYNE DWENGER (13-13)
SCOTTSBURG (21-5) VS. NORTH DAVIESS (24-5)
GUERIN CATHOLIC (18-8) VS. BEECH GROVE (17-6)
GARY 21ST CENTURY (21-5) VS. FORT WAYNE BLACKHAWK (24-3)
WAPAHANI (25-1) VS. LEWIS CASS (19-7)
BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL (23-4) VS. INDIANAPOLIS SCECINA (18-6)
PARKE HERITAGE (19-9) VS. LINTON-STOCKTON (27-1)
SOUTHWOOD (13-12) VS. FOUNTAIN CENTRAL (23-4)
MARQUETTE CATHOLIC (20-7) VS. KOUTS (17-9)
INDIANAPOLIS LUTHERAN (17-7) VS. LOOGOOTEE (20-7)
JAC-CEN-DEL (18-9) VS. ROCK CREEK ACADEMY (11-14)
NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT DRAW
SOUTH – NO. 16 TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI VS. NO. 16 SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE
MIDWEST – NO. 11 MISSISSIPPI STATE VS. NO. 11 PITTSBURGH
WEST – NO. 11 ARIZONA STATE VS. NO. 11 NEVADA
EAST – NO. 16 TEXAS SOUTHERN VS. NO. 16 FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON
(16) TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI/SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE
(9) WEST VIRGINIA
(5) SAN DIEGO STATE
(11) NC STATE
(14) UC SANTA BARBARA
(10) UTAH STATE
(16) NORTHERN KENTUCKY
(13) KENT STATE
(6) IOWA STATE
(11) MISSISSIPPI STATE/PITTSBURGH
(14) KENNESAW STATE
(7) TEXAS A&M
(10) PENN STATE
(5) SAINT MARY’S
(11) ARIZONA STATE/NEVADA
(14) GRAND CANYON
(10) BOISE STATE
(15) UNC ASHEVILLE
(16) TEXAS SOUTHERN/FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON
(9) FLORIDA ATLANTIC
(12) ORAL ROBERTS
(3) KANSAS STATE
(14) MONTANA STATE
(7) MICHIGAN STATE
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
MEMPHIS 75 #1 HOUSTON 65
#1 ALABAMA 82 #18 TEXAS A&M 63
#5 PURDUE 67 PENN STATE 65…MATT PAINTER POST GAME: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnvvWDPkNiE
VCU 68 DAYTON 56
COMPLETE SCOREBOARD: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/CBK/SCOREBOARD.ASP?CONF=-1&DAY=20230312
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
IOWA STATE 61 #15 TEXAS 51
COMPLETE SCOREBOARD: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/WCBK/SCOREBOARD.ASP?CONF=-1&DAY=20230312
BROOKLYN 122 DENVER 120
CLEVELAND 114 CHARLOTTE 108
PHILADELPHIA 112 WASHINGTON 93
NEW ORLEANS 127 PORTLAND 110
OKLAHOMA CITY 102 SAN ANTONIO 90
NEW YORK 112 LA LAKERS 108
BOX SCORES: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/NBA/SCOREBOARD.ASP
DETROIT 5 BOSTON 3
PITTSBURGH 3 NY RANGERS 2
NEW JERSEY 3 CAROLINA 0
VEGAS 5 ST. LOUIS 3
WINNIPEG 3 TAMPA BAY 2
CALGARY 5 OTTAWA 1
NASHVILLE 5 ANAHEIM 4
ARIZONA 5 MINNESOTA 4
BOX SCORES: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/NHL/SCOREBOARD.ASP
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SCOREBOARD
LA ANGELS 1 CHICAGO WHITE SOX 1
KANSAS CITY 7 CLEVELAND 6
OAKLAND 8 SAN DIEGO 6
MILWAUKEE 5 CHICAGO CUBS 3
LA DODGERS 8 CINCINNATI 1
SAN FRANCISCO 4 OAKLAND 3
SEATTLE 11 TEXAS 10
ARIZONA 10 COLORADO 9
BALTIMORE 6 BOSTON 4
NY YANKEES 3 BOSTON 3
DETROIT 8 MINNESOTA 7
HOUSTON 5 MIAMI 1
TORONTO 8 PHILADELPHIA 3
ATLANTIC 11 PITTSBURGH 3
ST. LOUIS 5 WASHINGTON 1
TAMPA BAY 10 NY METS 4
BOX SCORES: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/MLB/SCOREBOARD.ASP
TOP NATIONAL HEADLINES
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
HOUSTON, KANSAS, PURDUE JOIN ALABAMA AS NCAA TOURNEY’S NO. 1 SEEDS
INDIANAPOLIS — Alabama is the overall top seed in the NCAA Tournament after cruising through the end of a season clouded by a murder case over the past two months.
The Crimson Tide was awarded the top spot Sunday over Kansas and Houston, each of whom exited their conference tournaments without the titles and missing key cogs on their teams. Purdue secured the final No. 1 seed.
It was a day full of good news for Alabama, which defeated Texas A&M to win the SEC tournament before gathering to watch the selection show.
The defending national champion Jayhawks lost by 20 to Texas on Saturday in the Big 12 tournament. They played without their coach, Bill Self, who suffered an undisclosed medical issue but was discharged from the hospital and is expected back this week. Houston was without leading scorer Marcus Sasser, who went down with a groin injury Saturday.
Action in the 68-team tournament begins Tuesday with two games in the “First Four.” March Madness gets into full swing Thursday and Friday with 32 games spread over eight cities. The Final Four is set for April 1 and 3 at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Though not the overall No. 1 seed, Houston, which could be playing what amounts to two home games at the Final Four, came in as the favorite per FanDuel Sportsbook at 11-2. Next was Alabama at 15-2, followed by Kansas, which is trying to become the first team to win back-to-back titles since Florida in 2007, and is listed at 9-1.
The Tide will play in the South Region and will open Thursday in Birmingham, Alabama, against the winner of a First Four game between Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Southeast Missouri State.
Among those teams making it off the bubble included Mississippi State and Pitt, who will square off Wednesday in a play-in game. Houston will open against Northern Kentucky on Thursday.
Midwest Regional Overview: https://www.collegesportsmadness.com/article/21575
East Regional Overview: https://www.collegesportsmadness.com/article/21573
West Regional Overview: https://www.collegesportsmadness.com/article/21577
South Regional Overview: Coming soon
NO. 4 ALABAMA FINISHES OFF SEC TITLE DOUBLE DIP AT TOURNEY
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Brandon Miller scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as fourth-ranked Alabama smothered No. 18 Texas A&M 82-63 on Sunday for the Crimson Tide’s second Southeastern Conference Tournament championship in three seasons.
The Crimson Tide also capped their second SEC double dip in three seasons after picking up their regular-season trophy before Friday’s quarterfinals. The Tide (29-5) extended the program record for wins while adding its eighth tournament title in its 15th appearance; both are second only to Kentucky in the SEC.
Miller, the tournament MVP and AP All-SEC player and newcomer of the year, posted his ninth double-double of the season. Jahvon Quinerly, who was 0-of-9 shooting with one point in the semifinal, made his first three 3s and scored 13 of his 22 points in the first half. Charles Bediako had 12 points and 13 rebounds.
The second-seeded Aggies (25-9) dropped to 0-3 in the tournament finale, losing for a second straight year. Dexter Dennis led Texas A&M with 14 points, Wade Taylor IV had 13 and Tyrece Radford 12.
Alabama snapped a five-game skid to Texas A&M, which included a 67-61 loss in College Station on March 4 in the regular season.
Mark Sears opened with a 3-pointer, and Alabama never trailed, making four of its first six 3s. The Tide led by as many as 33-17 with 4:10 left on a pair of free throws by Miller and 34-23 at halftime.
The Aggies could not knock down shots, shooting a season-low 29.7% (19-of-64) from the floor, and never got closer than nine in the second half.
The Tide padded their lead to as much as 25 before coach Nate Oats pulled his starters.
Alabama is chasing a top seeding in the NCAA Tournament despite a season that has been challenging. Former Tide player Darius Miles and another man were indicted earlier this week on capital murder charges for the January shooting death of 23-year-old Jamea Harris.
In February, an investigator testified that Miles texted Miller to bring him his gun. Police also said that Jaden Bradley also was at the scene. Neither Miller nor Bradley have been charged, and both have been playing – Miller, especially.
Texas A&M: The best the Aggies could do in the first half was force a shot clock violation with 1:37 left. The SEC leader in free throws attempted – and among only three teams nationally with more than 800 free throws attempted this season- stayed close at the line, making 10 of 12 in the first half.
Alabama: Oats improved to 6-1 in the SEC Tournament, and his winning percentage is second since 1979 only to Rick Pitino who went 17-1 for a 94.4% mark at Kentucky. … The Tide also improved to 9-0 in Nashville under Oats, including 6-0 at Bridgestone Arena where the SEC Tournament is scheduled to be held through 2030 with an option to extend to 2035.
BIG 10 MEN’S BASKETBALL
EIGHT TEAMS SELECTED FOR THE 2023 NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
ROSEMONT, Ill. – Eight Big Ten schools have been selected to compete in the 2022 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, it was announced Sunday on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Selection Show on CBS. Maryland, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State, and Purdue will all be taking part in this year’s tournament. All games will be televised on CBS Sports, TBS, TNT or truTV beginning on Tuesday night.
This marks the fourth consecutive year that at least Eight Big Ten teams have been selected for the tournament. Only 14 times has a conference received at least eight bids to the tournament, with the Big Ten accounting for four of those, each in the last four tournaments.
Purdue secured the Big Ten’s automatic qualifier into the tournament and a No. 1 seed in the East region after topping Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament championship. The Boilermakers won their second tournament title after claiming their conference-leading 25th regular season crown. Purdue will open the tournament on Friday in Columbus, Ohio against the winner of a First Four game between Fairleigh Dickinson and Texas Southern.
Indiana earned a No 4 seed in the Midwest after finishing third in the Big Ten during the regular season and will face Kent State on Friday in Albany, N.Y.
Michigan State and Northwestern claimed No. 7 seeds, with the Spartans slotted in the East and the Wildcats in the West. Michigan State will face USC in Friday’s opening round in Columbus, while Northwestern will meet Boise State on Thursday in Sacramento, Calif.
No. 8 seeds Maryland and Iowa will open tournament play on Thursday, as the Terrapins will face West Virginia in South region action, while the Hawkeyes will meet Auburn in the Midwest region, with both games slated to take place in Birmingham, Ala.
Illinois was selected as a No. 9 seed and will face Arkansas on Thursday, while Big Ten Tournament runner-up Penn State earned a No. 10 seed and will meet Texas A&M on Thursday. Both games are slated to be played in Des Moines, Iowa.
VCU BEATS DAYTON 68-56 TO WIN A-10 CHAMPIONSHIP AND NCAA BID
NEW YORK (AP) — Jalen DeLoach had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and top-seeded VCU beat second-seeded Dayton 68-56 on Sunday to win the Atlantic 10 Tournament for the first time in eight years.
Ace Baldwin added 16 points and seven assists, sending the Rams (27-7) to the NCAA Tournament with a nine-game winning streak and a title that has often alluded them during an otherwise impressive run of consistency.
VCU had played in the A-10 final six times from 2013-21, winning just once in 2015 when it beat Dayton.
DaRon Holmes II tried to carry the Flyers (22-12) to their first A-10 title since 2003 and first NCAA bid in six years. Holmes had 28 points and 16 rebounds, but didn’t get enough help in the second half. The 6-foot-10 sophomore was named the tournament’s most outstanding player, averaging 22 points in three games at Barclays Center.
The Rams and Flyers split two regular-season games, decided by a total of three points. The rubber match was more of the same.
The Flyers bolted to a 10-point lead early in the second half, but Baldwin tied it at 47 with a 3 with 11:50 left in the second half and the Rams slowly edged away from there.
VCU converted three straight second-chance opportunities into seven points in the final 3 1/2 minutes, with DeLoach’s work on the offensive glass spurring the effort. Brandon Johns muscled in a layup that gave the Rams a 65-56 lead with 1:57 left.
A day after Dayton’s Toumani Camara went 12 for 13 from the floor in the semifinals against Fordham, he got into foul trouble and went scoreless in the first half against VCU. He fouled out with six points and six rebounds.
The 6-9 Mustapha Amzil stepped up to pair with Holmes to wear out the Rams inside. The two bigs combined to shoot 10 for 14 from the floor and score 29 points as Dayton took a 36-30 lead at halftime.
The Atlantic 10 is all but certain to be a one-bid league in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005.
Typically one of the strongest mid-major conferences, the A-10 put six teams in the NCAA field in 2014 to cap a run of three years in which it had a total of 15 bids.
Dayton was 28-2 and on its way to being one of the top seeds in the 2020 NCAA Tournament before March Madness was cancelled by the pandemic.
But the conference has slipped over the past couple of seasons, putting only two teams in the NCAAs the last two seasons. And last season the A-10 needed a championship game upset by Richmond over Davidson to get that second team in via its automatic bid.
KANSAS COACH BILL SELF OUT OF HOSPITAL AFTER HEART PROCEDURE
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) Kansas coach Bill Self was discharged from a Kansas City-area hospital Sunday, where he had been recovering after a procedure to treat blocked arteries in his heart, and the Hall of Famer plans to rejoin the No. 3 Jayhawks as they begin defense of their NCAA championship this week.
Self went to the emergency room Wednesday night, shortly after watching his team in a final shootaround ahead of the Big 12 Tournament, and was complaining of chest tightness and concerns with his balance.
Dr. Mark Wiley, the chief of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Kansas Health System, said Self underwent a standard heart catheterization and had two stents placed to help treat the blocked arteries.
“Coach Self responded well to the procedure and is expected to make a full recovery,” Wiley said.
The Jayhawks were coached in the Big 12 Tournament by Norm Roberts, who also served as acting coach earlier in the season, while Self was serving a school-imposed four-game suspension. They beat West Virginia and Iowa State before getting blown out 76-56 by seventh-ranked Texas in Saturday night’s championship game.
Afterward, Roberts said he expected Self to coach the Jayhawks in the NCAA Tournament.
“I’m so thankful for the amazing staff at the University of Kansas Health System for the excellent care I received,” Self said in a statement. “I am proud of our team and coaching staff for how they have handled this and am excited to be back with them as the best time of the season gets underway.”
The 60-year-old Self is 581-130 during his two decades at Kansas, and is 788-235 in his 30 seasons as a head coach, which includes stops at Oral Roberts, Tulsa and Illinois. He led the Jayhawks to their fifth national title in 2008 with an overtime win over Memphis. Kansas hung its sixth banner in Allen Fieldhouse after its win over North Carolina last April.
The Jayhawks, who won the regular-season Big 12 title, hardly seemed to be bothered by their lackluster loss to Texas, when they were also missing injured defensive stopper Kevin McCullar Jr. Instead, they were looking forward to the NCAA tourney and getting both McCullar and their coach back on the court.
“We already brushed it off,” Kansas guard Dajuan Harris Jr. said in its mostly empty locker room Saturday night. “We’ve just got to get ready for March Madness. It’s a quick turnaround and a new season.”
WASHINGTON TO BRING BACK COACH MIKE HOPKINS FOR 7TH SEASON
SEATTLE (AP) — Washington men’s basketball coach Mike Hopkins will return for his seventh season in charge of the Huskies despite four straight years without an NCAA Tournament appearance.
Washington athletic director Jen Cohen said in a statement Sunday that though the recently concluded season did not meet expectations, the school was sticking with Hopkins.
“After completing a postseason review of the program and after several in-depth discussions with coach Hopkins, I am hopeful that next season will once again see the Huskies competing for a Pac-12 championship and back in the NCAA Tournament,” Cohen said. “Coach Hopkins understands our expectations and is committed to make any and all necessary changes to get us there.”
Hopkins is 101-91 in his six seasons at Washington. The Huskies were 16-16 this season, finished eighth in the Pac-12 Conference and lost in the opening round of the conference tournament.
After a promising opening act with 20-plus wins in each of his first two seasons, the program has been stuck on a downward trajectory that’s led to calls from fans for a change in leadership.
Hopkins signed a six-year contract extension in 2019 and has two years remaining on the deal that pays him more than $3 million per season.
The 53-year-old had his most success in his first two seasons, going 21-13 in 2017-18. The following year, he went 27-9, winning the Pac-12 regular season title and taking the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in eight years.
But those two seasons always came with an asterisk attached as Hopkins’ success came mostly with older players that came to Washington under former coach Lorenzo Romar. Once Hopkins’ recruiting became responsible for the bulk of the roster, the Huskies have struggled even with a handful of players that went on to be high NBA draft picks.
Washington went 15-17 in 2019-20 and a miserable 5-21 in the pandemic year of 2020-21. The Huskies were a .500 team the past two seasons, but struggled badly in showcase opportunities with convincing losses to the likes of Auburn, Gonzaga, UCLA and Arizona.
Before taking the head job at Washington, Hopkins was the top assistant and the coach-in-waiting at Syracuse. Instead of waiting for Jim Boeheim to retire, Hopkins jumped at the chance to take over a Pac-12 program when the Huskies moved on from Romar after the 2016-17 season.
CLEMSON, OKLAHOMA STATE AMONG NO. 1 SEEDS IN NIT
Although Clemson was ranked as high as No. 19 in the AP Top 25 poll earlier this season, a trip to the NCAA Tournament was not in the cards for the Tigers.
Clemson will instead have an opportunity to make noise in the NIT, where it will play as a No. 1 seed along with Oklahoma State, Oregon and Rutgers.
The Tigers (23-10) lost six of their final 11 games, but coach Brad Brownell still believed his team was worthy of getting a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
“Eye test — just our team playing right now — I mean, Hunter Thompson and PJ Hall are voted as two of the top 12 or 13 players in the (Atlantic Coast Conference). We have the second-best defense, the fifth-best offense. We won 14 ACC games,” Brownell said ahead of Selection Sunday.
“I just think that if you watch our team play and have seen us throughout the year, we have been one of the top teams in the country to be in this tournament.”
But Brownell’s words fell on deaf ears, and now Clemson is set to face Morehead State (21-11) on Wednesday in the first round of the NIT.
Oklahoma State (18-15), which is the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, will play Youngstown State (24-9) in its first-round matchup on Wednesday. Rutgers (19-14) will take on Hofstra (24-9) on Tuesday, and the Ducks (19-14) will attempt to fend off UC Irvine (23-11) on Wednesday.
“We’re excited about the field that we were able to put together,” said Wren Baker, who serves as the chair of the NIT committee. “There are going to be some great early-round matchups, and I think our semifinal teams are going to have a great experience in Las Vegas.”
As one of the first four teams out of the NCAA Tournament, North Carolina would have been a top-seeded team, but the Tar Heels declined an invitation to participate in the NIT.
“All season, our focus and goal have been on being the best team we can possibly become and reaching our full potential to give us another opportunity to compete, play for and win an NCAA championship,” UNC coach Hubert Davis said in a statement. “Although we no longer have that opportunity and this season wasn’t what we had hoped for, I want to thank our players and staff for their hard work and love for Carolina Basketball.
“Many factors go into postseason play, and we believe now is the time to focus on moving ahead, preparing for next season and the opportunity to again compete for ACC and NCAA championships.”
Sam Houston (25-7), Liberty (26-8), Colorado (17-16) and Michigan (17-15) enter the field as No. 2 seeds.
Wisconsin will also be participating in the NIT as a No. 3 seed, and the Badgers will be looking to somewhat make up for a less-than-impressive season that featured them getting bounced from the Big Ten tournament in the first round. Wisconsin (17-14) had made the NCAA Tournament in 23 of the past 24 seasons, but has recorded its fewest wins since the 2017-18 season.
The NIT semifinals are set for March 28, with the championship game to be played two days later in Las Vegas.
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
RECORD-TYING SEVEN BIG TEN CONFERENCE SCHOOLS HEADED TO NCAA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
ROSEMONT, Ill. (March 12, 2023) – A record-tying seven Big Ten Conference schools received berths into the 2023 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship, it was announced Sunday night. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State and Purdue earned their way into this year’s tournament, led by No. 1 seed Indiana, No. 2 seeds Iowa and Maryland and No. 3 Ohio State.
This marks the first time a Big Ten program has earned a No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament since 2015, when Maryland was a top seed in its first season as a conference member and ultimately reached the Final Four.
The Big Ten also produced a record-tying four top-16 NCAA Tournament seeds for the second consecutive year, while the seven NCAA selections ties the conference record for most teams selected in one season (also set in 2012, 2015 and 2021).
This represents the fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament, as well as the 18th in the past 22 and 25th time in Big Ten history that at least six current conference members have been selected to compete in the NCAA Tournament.
The First Four will be played Wednesday-Thursday (March 15-16) at four of the top 16 host sites, with first- and second-round games played on the campuses of the top 16 seeds from March 17-20. Tournament play then shifts to two eight-team regional sites in Greenville, S.C., and Seattle, Wash., during the weekend of March 24-27. The four regional winners will advance to the NCAA Final Four, which will take place March 31 & April 2 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
The 2023 NCAA Tournament will be televised live on the ESPN family of networks and can also be seen on the ESPN app.
The majority of start times and TV coverage will be announced later Sunday evening.
Illinois returns to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003, having received the No. 11 seed in the Greenville 1 Region, and the Fighting Illini will play fellow No. 11 seed Mississippi State in a First Four matchup at 7 p.m. (ET) Wednesday in South Bend, Ind. The winner of that contest moves on to a first-round game Friday against No. 6 seed Creighton, also in South Bend, while host and No. 3 seed Notre Dame takes on 14th-seeded Southern Utah. Illinois earns its ninth NCAA Tournament berth overall, having posted an 8-8 record in NCAA Tournament games, highlighted by back-to-back trips to the Sweet Sixteen in 1997 and 1998.
Indiana, which captured its first Big Ten title in 40 years and second in school history, earned the No. 1 seed in the Greenville 2 Region, securing the highest seed in program history for the third year in a row (the Hoosiers were a No. 3 seed last year and a No. 4 seed in 2021). Indiana will also play host to NCAA Tournament games for the second time in program history, beginning Saturday at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., when it takes on the winner of Thursday’s First Four contest between No. 16 seeds Tennessee Tech and Monmouth, also in Bloomington.
The winner will advance to play No. 8 seed Oklahoma State or ninth-seeded Miami (Fla.) in the second round on March 20. The Hoosiers are appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time overall and are making a fourth consecutive appearance for the first time in school history. Indiana owns an 8-8 record in the NCAA Tournament, including an Elite Eight appearance in 2021 and a spot in last year’s Sweet Sixteen.
For the second consecutive year, Iowa is the Big Ten’s automatic qualifier into the NCAA Tournament after the Hawkeyes won their fifth Big Ten Tournament title and third in five years. Iowa is the No. 2 seed in the Seattle 4 Region and will take on 15th-seeded Southeastern Louisiana on Friday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. The winner of that game will face either No. 7 seed Florida State or 10th-seeded Georgia on March 19. Iowa is making its 29th NCAA Tournament appearance and fifth in a row. The Hawkeyes have a 27-28 (.491) record in NCAA Tournament play, including recent trips to the Elite Eight (2019) and Sweet Sixteen (2021). Iowa is also one of eight current Big Ten schools who have advanced to the NCAA Final Four during their program’s history, doing so in 1993.
Maryland is the No. 2 seed in the Greenville 1 Region and will play host to 15th-seeded Holy Cross Friday in the first round at the XFINITY Center in College Park, Md. A victory would send the Terrapins into a second-round matchup against either No. 7 seed Arizona or 10th-seeded West Virginia on March 19. Maryland is set to make its 30th NCAA Tournament appearance (the most by any current Big Ten school) and the Terrapins’ 12th in a row. Maryland has compiled a 50-28 (.641) record in the NCAA Tournament, having reached the Sweet Sixteen the past two years and winning the national championship in 2006 while reaching the Final Four five times.
Michigan secured the No. 6 seed in the Greenville 2 Region and will face No. 11 seed UNLV Friday in the first round in Baton Rouge, La. The winner of that contest will play the winner of No. 3 seed LSU vs. 14th-seeded Hawai’i on March 19. Michigan is making its 11th NCAA Tournament appearance and fifth in a row, the program’s longest stretch of consecutive tournament trips. The Wolverines are 10-10 in their 10 previous NCAA Tournament appearances, most recently earning the first Elite Eight berth in program history last year, following their first-ever Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2021.
Ohio State garnered the No. 3 seed in the Seattle 3 Region and will play host to first- and second-round games for the first time since 2018. The Buckeyes will tip off Saturday with a first-round matchup against No. 14 seed James Madison at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State is preparing for its 27th NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2018, with a 28-26 (.519) record in tournament games, advancing to the NCAA national championship game in 1993 and reaching the Sweet Sixteen last year.
Purdue received the No. 11 seed in the Seattle 3 Region and will play fellow No. 11 seed St. John’s in a First Four game at 7 p.m. (ET) Thursday in Columbus. The winner of that contest moves on to meet No. 6 seed North Carolina on Saturday, with a potential second-round matchup against Ohio State looming on March 20. The Boilermakers have earned their 27th NCAA Tournament berth, returning to the event for the first time since 2017. Purdue is 47-25 (.653) in NCAA Tournament games, highlighted by the 1999 NCAA national championship and three Final Four appearances (most recently in 2001).
BRIDGES, NETS WITHSTAND JOKIC’S TRIPLE-DOUBLE, BEAT NUGGETS
DENVER (AP) Mikal Bridges scored 25 points and the Brooklyn Nets withstood a late rally and another triple-double by Nikola Jokic to beat the Denver Nuggets 122-120 on Sunday.
Nic Claxton had 20 points and Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie added 15 points each for Brooklyn, which has won five of its last six games.
Bridges and Dinwiddie, acquired in trades last month that sent Kevin Durant to Phoenix and Kyrie Irving to Dallas, have played a key part in Brooklyn’s resurgence even as they’re still adjusting to their new team and teammates.
“Even if we don’t know what we’re doing sometimes, just scrambling, all five guys help each other,” Bridges said. “Sometimes, it’s not going to be perfect, but I think just the next guy stepping up is the biggest thing.”
Jokic had 35 points, 20 rebounds and 11 assists for his league-leading 27th triple-double of the season but missed a contested 14-foot jumper with 5 seconds left that would have given the Nuggets the lead.
Michael Porter Jr. added 23 points for Denver, which matched a season high with its third consecutive loss.
“Tough loss,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “Our guys fought back, gave ourselves a chance at the end.”
Nets coach Jacque Vaughn described his team’s third quarter, in which it outscored the Nuggets 37-18 and shot 63%, as one of the most impressive quarters he’s seen in his time with the team.
“We started to fly around, 15 turnovers we produced tonight, our ability to be disruptive,” Vaughn said. “We stayed together for an impressive win on the road.”
Denver’s Jamal Murray, who finished with 16 points, was forced to sit out the fourth quarter because of left knee soreness. Malone said Murray, who missed the last part of the 2020-21 season and all of last season after having surgery to repair a torn ACL in the same knee, would be evaluated.
Trailing by eight points at the break, Brooklyn fought back to take an 80-77 lead on Bridges’ jumper midway through the third quarter. The Nets stretched their advantage to 98-87 as Royce O’Neale and Joe Harris connected on successive 3-pointers in the final 40 seconds of the period.
Harris hit another 3-pointer to give the Nets a 109-94 advantage with 8:11 left, Brooklyn’s biggest lead to that point. The Nuggets didn’t go away, though, pulling within 116-110 on a three-point play by Christian Braun and Jokic’s floater with 4:41 remaining.
Denver got within 121-120 on a pair of free throws by Jokic with 41.6 seconds remaining and the Nuggets won a challenge with 23.2 seconds left to reverse a foul call on Jokic and gain possession, but Jokic then missed the potential go-ahead shot. The Nuggets fouled Bridges with 1.8 seconds remaining and he made one of two free throws.
Jokic’s jumper at the buzzer fell short.
Brooklyn opened a 49-39 lead on Seth Curry’s 3-pointer with 7:23 left in the second quarter but the Nuggets closed the period on a 30-12 run to take a 69-61 halftime lead. Jokic ignited the flurry, scoring 10 of his points in that span, and capped it, pulling up from 33 feet to hit a 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer.
Nets: G/F Ben Simmons was sidelined for a 10th consecutive game with left knee and back soreness. “He’s back home in Brooklyn. We’ll get a chance to kind of see where he’s at when we get back home after this trip,” Vaughn said.
Nuggets: F Vlatko Cancar was back in action after missing the past four games with a right wrist sprain. … F Zeke Nnaji, a key part of the team’s rotation for most of the season, has been sidelined since Feb. 7 with a right shoulder sprain. He is expected to have the injury re-evaluated soon to determine if he can return before the end of the season. “Obviously what we’ve tried to do is not have surgery and give his shoulder time to heal and get better to see where he’s at,” Malone said. “After tonight, there’s still 14 games left so there’s still time left in the season.”
Nets: Conclude a five-game trip Tuesday night at Oklahoma City.
Nuggets: At Toronto on Tuesday night in the opener of a five-game trip.
GARLAND, CAVALIERS BATTLE BACK FROM 16 DOWN TO BEAT HORNETS
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Darius Garland had 28 points, Donovan Mitchell added 23 and the Cleveland Cavaliers overcame a 16-point second-half deficit to beat the Charlotte Hornets 114-108 on Sunday for their fourth win in the last five games.
Evan Mobley added 18 points and nine rebounds for the Cavaliers (43-27), who trailed most of the game while playing without Jarrett Allen.
Garland, who sat out Friday night’s loss to Miami with a quad injury, shot 8 of 20 from the field and was 10 of 13 from the foul line, including a free throw with 10.7 seconds left to seal the win.
“We made adjustments and the guys are figuring things out,” Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “We know who we are and what we are capable of, and as ugly as things get at times, our guys don’t quit. And you have that type of mentality where you know you can defend and get stops, you’re going to give yourself a chance. And tonight was another example of that.”
With 12 games remaining, Garland said the Cavaliers are peaking at the right time.
“I think so,” Garland said. “We are really finding ourselves as a team, as a unit, as a whole. Guys are starting to figure out their roles.”
Terry Rozier had 27 points to lead the Hornets, who were playing their second game in less than 24 hours. P.J. Washington added 19 points and Nick Richards had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Charlotte (22-48).
The Hornets led 89-81 heading into the fourth quarter and appeared in control following a strong third quarter from Rozier, who had 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting including three 3s.
But the Cavaliers would come back to take the lead with 5:42 remaining on Mobley’s rolling two-handed dunk off a feed from Garland. The Cavaliers would extend the lead to seven after two Charlotte turnovers led to layups for Mobley and Mitchell in transition.
Charlotte had 19 turnovers leading to 29 Cavaliers points.
Charlotte made one last burst and had a chance to tie the game after Richards scored on a dunk and was fouled. But the 7-foot center missed the free throw.
Mitchell scored on a jumper to put the Cavaliers up by three with 44 seconds left and Rozier missed a tying 3 at the other end. Garland made 1 of 2 free throws to make it a two-possession game and Rozier’s airball on the other assured the Cavaliers the win.
“In the fourth quarter they were terrific,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said of the Cavaliers. “That team right there, they can be a factor in this whole thing. That’s a great team.”
Despite playing a game 22 hours earlier, the Hornets shot 74% in the first quarter. Charlotte led by 14 after a 15-2 run run sparked by Dennis Smith Jr., who got the start over the injured Kelly Oubre Jr., and had eight points during the stretch.
Ricky Rubio had nine of his 11 points in the fourth quarter for the Cavs, perhaps his best game since returning from an injury.
“It does a lot for us just having that spark off the bench,” Garland said. “We have been missing him and it was great having him back out there just running the show, making really good reads and competing on the defensive end.”
Cavaliers: Allen did not play after getting poked in the eye in Friday night’s 119-115 loss at Miami. … Cleveland has won 14 this season after trailing by 10 or more points.
Hornets: Oubre, was ruled out before the game with a back tightness, while Mark Williams missed his third straight game with a thumb injury. Oubre had led the Hornets in scoring the past six games. … Dennis Smith Jr. had 14 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in place of Oubre.
The Cavs and Hornets meet again Tuesday night in Charlotte.
EMBIID, HARDEN HELP 76ERS CRUISE PAST WIZARDS 112-93
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Joel Embiid scored 34 points, James Harden had 18 points and 14 assists and the Philadelphia 76ers cruised to a wire-to-wire 112-93 win over the fading Washington Wizards on Sunday night.
Tobias Harris added 11 points and De’Anthony Melton 10 for the 76ers (45-22), who have won five in a row to keep pressure on Milwaukee and Boston for the top two seeds in a crowded Eastern Conference. Philadelphia now plays seven of its next eight games on the road.
“When you are not playing the fourth quarter, that usually means something good,” said Embiid, who was 12 for 21 from the floor in 31 minutes. “Everyone contributed for us.
Washington (31-37) got a career-high 25 points from Corey Kispert and 13 from Bradley Beal, but dropped its fifth game in its last six. The Wizards also fell out of a tie for the 10th and final spot in the Eastern Conference’s play-in tournament, a half-game behind idle Chicago.
“The biggest thing was that we didn’t have any pace in the half court,” Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. “Beyond just getting the ball up, but trying to play off the dribble too much instead of the power of the swing pass and letting the offense work for you.”
Philadelphia’s defense had struggled despite its winning ways in recent weeks. In six games during March, the Sixers had allowed 119.2 points a game and 41% from behind the 3-point line.
That wasn’t the case against Washington, which could not generate anything beyond the 3-point arc. The Wizards shot 6 for 26 from beyond the arc. The Sixers had forward P.J. Tucker more as a rim protector matching up against Washington’s Kristaps Porzingis, ending Embiid away from the basket to provide length against Beal and Washington’s 3-point shooters.
“We did a really good job of being physical and switching,” Harden said. “We were able to guard shots, spread the floor and get dribble penetration. It’s just beautiful basketball.”
Embiid and Harden did the bulk of their damage in three quarters, sitting out large portions of the fourth as stretching the Philadelphia lead to 81-69. Embiid added eight rebounds and four assists despite not playing any time in the final 12 minutes.
After that, the Sixers’ bench widened the lead to 25 thanks to Melton, Shake Milton and Paul Reed contributing on the offensive end before Unseld Jr. had his starters sent to the bench late.
“It was more the offense tonight than anything,” Unseld Jr. said.
Wizards: Porzingis entered the night with three solid games against the Sixers this year, averaging 28.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Foul trouble limited Porzingis on Sunday night, picking up his fourth early in the third quarter. He finished with nine points on 4-of-15 shooting. It was his second-lowest point total this season.
76ers: Jalen McDaniels left in the second quarter with a right hip contusion. Since coming to Philadelphia, McDaniels has averaged 6.1 points in 16 minutes per game in 12 games.
Wizards: Host Detroit on Tuesday.
76ers: Begin a three-game road trip at Cleveland on Wednesday.
MURPHY HITS 9 3S, SCORES 41, PELICANS DOWN BLAZERS 127-110
NEW ORLEANS (AP) Pelicans second-year pro Trey Murphy III was only beginning to earn regular minutes off the bench as a rookie last spring.
Now he’s the type of player who – on a good night – can whip a crowd into a jubilant frenzy with a stirring, momentum-driving mix of deep shots and flamboyant finishes at the rim.
Murphy hit a career-best nine 3-pointers to highlight his career-high 41 points, and the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 127-110 on Sunday night.
“Trey was incredible,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said of the club’s 2021 first-round draft choice. “He’s a shot-maker and he’s having an unbelievable year. I’m extremely proud of him.”
Murphy, who participated in the dunk contest during NBA All-Star weekend last month, also had a couple baskets of the high-flying variety, scoring his final points on a driving, two-handed reverse dunk before checking out of the game for good to a standing ovation.
“My game is a very diverse game,” Murphy said. “I can score in many different ways. So, I guess ending with an exclamation point like a dunk is pretty cool.”
CJ McCollum had 22 points and 11 assists for New Orleans, which made 18 of its first 30 3-point attempts as a team before finishing 19 of 40 (47.5%) from deep.
Josh Richardson scored 19 points for the Pelicans, who won for the second time in two games as they try to stay in contention for a Western Conference postseason berth.
Herbert Jones added 16 points, and Jonas Valanciunas had 11 points and 12 rebounds to help New Orleans win handily despite playing for a second straight game without high-scoring wing Brandon Ingram (right ankle).
The Blazers played without star guard and leading scorer Damian Lillard, who sat out because of tightness in his right calf.
Anfernee Simons scored 17 for Portland, while Shaedon Sharpe and Kevin Knox each scored 14 points and Cam Reddish added 11.
“Trey Murphy had a night; guys are going to have a night, but we didn’t challenge him enough,” Portland coach Chauncey Billups said. “We didn’t try to be aggressive at all and we didn’t make the adjustments. Those are the things that are difficult for me as a coach.”
Coming off a lackluster, double-digit home loss to Oklahoma City on Saturday night that saw them trailing by 21 in the first half, the Pelicans flipped the script against Portland.
Murphy hit five of his 3s and scored 25 points in the opening 24 minutes, when New Orleans led by as many as 20.
“I definitely felt like we responded very well” to the previous night’s loss, Murphy said. “We had a lot of pace today.”
McCollum had all of his points in the first half and the veteran guard was able to go to the bench for good after playing just 30 minutes.
“We’ve been a bit inconsistent in our play but tonight was a game that we were locked into the details and the game plan was excellent. That’s what it takes,” Green said. “And it’s fun when we can play like that.”
New Orleans led 74-54 at halftime and led by as many as 39 points in the second half, too much for Portland to overcome.
“I feel like we didn’t get out to the start we needed and we were just putting a lot of pressure on the bench,” Portland wing player Nassir Little said. “It’s tough trying to overcome that type of deficit and then maintain that through the course of the game.”
Trail Blazers: Fell to 5-9 without Lillard. … Little, Matisse Thybulle and Trendon Watford each scored 10 points. … Committed 19 turnovers, which led to 27 Pelicans points. … Outscored New Orleans in the paint, 64-44.
Pelicans: Larry Nance Jr. returned after missing six games with a left ankle injury. He played eight minutes in a reserve role and had 2 points and 2 rebounds. … Have a 10-21 record since Williamson went out with an injured right hamstring on Jan. 2. … Improved to 9-11 in games without both Williamson and Ingram.
Trail Blazers: Host the New York Knicks on Tuesday night.
Pelicans: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.
WILLIAMS LIFTS THUNDER PAST SPURS AND INTO WEST’S 10TH SEED
SAN ANTONIO (AP) Jalen Williams scored 21 points and had 10 assists, and Oklahoma City used a balanced effort on offense without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to beat the San Antonio Spurs 102-90 on Sunday night as they compete for a berth in the Western Conference play-in tournament.
“It’s good to win when Shai doesn’t play as well,” Williams said. “Just kind of lets us know that we are doing the right things and playing hard in that way. I think we’re doing a good job kind of staying together. I think that’s been our biggest thing through the ups and downs.”
Ousmane Dieng had a career-high 17 points and Josh Giddey added 15 for the Thunder, who won their second in a row and fifth in six games. Oklahoma City tied Utah and New Orleans for 10th place in the West at 33-35.
Coming off a 110-96 victory in New Orleans on Saturday, Oklahoma City rested Gilgeous-Alexander for injury management. Gilgeous-Alexander, an All-Star who has missed 11 games this season, recently returned from an abdominal strain.
“The way we started the game was very positive,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. “Tough back-to-back with tough travel, short turnaround, finished late last night, lost an hour sleep, played at 6 o’clock. I thought just our readiness compared to earlier in the week (a 31-point loss Wednesday) in Phoenix, we brought the fight to the game and set a good tone early.”
San Antonio’s Zach Collins had 23 points and 11 rebounds for his ninth career double-double. Devonte’ Graham added 20 points.
The Spurs, who shot 10 for 35 on 3-pointers, were without Keldon Johnson, Jeremy Sochan and Tre Jones, and lost Malaki Branham to injury midway through the second quarter.
Losing four of their top ball-handlers resulted in the Spurs committing 18 turnovers.
The Thunder only shot 38 percent from the field but had five players score in double figures.
“When everybody is scoring, it makes us harder to guard,” Williams said. “Regardless of how we shot, we were able to move the ball really well, especially in key moments of the game.”
The Thunder went on a 14-0 run bridging the first and second quarters after Sandro Mamukelashvili cut their lead to 22-19 with a cutting layup. Dieng had six points in the run that spanned just over four minutes.
“Good guys that can stretch the floor and do a good of just getting downhill,” Graham said. “Each one of them can get into the paint and finish.”
The Spurs are closing out their worst season since finishing 20-62 in 1997, the season before they selected Tim Duncan with the No. 1 pick.
Spurs point guard Blake Wesley was 1 for 12 from the field while scoring two points in 30 minutes.
Graham said he advised the rookie not to let a rough shooting night impact his confidence.
“Let it go,” Graham said. “I know he will go back to the gym. He might even go to the gym tonight. He goes to the gym almost every day. I just told him to keep shooting. We all go through it.”
Thunder: Oklahoma City snapped a two-game skid in San Antonio. The Thunder’s last victory at the AT&T Center was March 4, 2021.
Spurs: Coach Gregg Popovich was assessed a technical foul with 4:18 remaining. Popovich was screaming at the officials after no foul was called when Collins was smacked across the head on an attempted short jumper. … Branham left with a sore right shoulder 7:16 remaining in the first half. … Jones missed the game with a non-COVID illness. … Collins has 41 3-pointers this season, besting his previous career high of 40 set in 2019 with Portland. Collins was 40 for 121 in 77 games during his second season in the NBA with the Trail Blazers. He is 41 for 111 in 55 games with the Spurs this season.
Thunder: Host Brooklyn on Tuesday.
Spurs: Host Orlando on Tuesday.
RANDLE, KNICKS HOLD OFF LAKERS 112-108 TO SNAP 3-GAME SKID
LOS ANGELES (AP) Julius Randle scored 33 points in a bounce-back performance, RJ Barrett got 20 of his 30 in the second half, and the New York Knicks snapped their three-game losing streak with a 112-108 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night.
Immanuel Quickley had 15 points as the Knicks survived a ferocious late rally by the Lakers to salvage a weekend split in Los Angeles without second-leading scorer Jalen Brunson, who has a bruised left foot.
Los Angeles scored eight straight points down the stretch, trimming New York’s lead to two points on Dennis Schröder’s layup with 19.3 seconds left. After Los Angeles needed 14 seconds to commit a foul to stop the clock, former Lakers guard Josh Hart hit two free throws to seal it.
“We did enough to win, and the tone was set at the beginning by Julius,” New York coach Tom Thibodeau said. “It gave us the confidence that, you know, ‘We’re here.’ … We have a very young team, so when you have a young team and Julius is just going into his prime, the only way they’re going to get better is by working. If they’re not working, they’re not going to get better.”
New York hadn’t won since its impressive nine-game winning streak ended a week ago, but Randle added eight rebounds and five assists one day after struggling through a 5-for-24 shooting effort in a loss to the Clippers.
“Shooting the ball the way I did yesterday, I wanted to be a little bit more in attack mode and aggressive going to the basket,” Randle said.
D’Angelo Russell had a season-high 33 points and eight assists despite managing just two points in the fourth quarter for the Lakers, whose three-game winning streak ended with only their fourth loss in 12 games since the trade deadline. Russell said the Lakers struggled against the Knicks’ trap defense in the fourth quarter.
“That one hurt for us,” Russell said. “We were battling, trying to do everything we could. Couldn’t get enough rebounds, enough stops. Making those shots just didn’t go our way, I guess. Can’t pinpoint anything, really. It’s tough.”
Randle and Russell spent two seasons together as teammates with the Lakers. Russell got off to a scorching start in his highest-scoring performance since rejoining LA, but went 1 for 5 and missed three 3-point attempts in the fourth quarter.
Anthony Davis had 17 points and 16 rebounds, but the Lakers fell behind during an erratic shooting performance by three starters: Malik Beasley, Troy Brown Jr. and Jarred Vanderbilt were a combined 5 for 23, missing 14 of their 16 3-point attempts.
“I played terrible,” Davis said. “I couldn’t find my shot. Free throws. Layups. Everything. Guys did their job. I didn’t do my job tonight.”
Los Angeles dropped to 4-3 during the latest injury absence for LeBron James, who missed his seventh straight game with a sore right foot.
Knicks: Thibodeau gave no timetable for Brunson’s return, saying the guard will “continue to do treatments and see where he is.” Brunson has missed four of New York’s last five games. … New York beat the Lakers in Los Angeles for the first time in four meetings since 2019.
Lakers: James wasn’t wearing a walking boot on the Lakers’ bench when he returned after not attending their previous two games. Coach Darvin Ham said James’ rehab is “going according to plan,” but it was good for the NBA’s career scoring leader to “unplug a little bit.” … Los Angeles got 43 combined points from the only four bench players used by Ham.
Knicks: Host Portland on Tuesday.
Lakers: At New Orleans on Tuesday.
AP SOURCES: RAMS TRADING ALL-PRO CB JALEN RAMSEY TO DOLPHINS
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) The Miami Dolphins are acquiring All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey in a trade with the Los Angeles Rams, two people with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Sunday.
The Rams will get Miami’s third-round pick in the 2023 NFL draft and tight end Hunter Long, according to the people, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because neither team had announced the deal.
Shortly after news of the trade broke, Ramsey indicated on social media that Miami was his preferred destination.
“I prayed for this specifically for about a month & now it’s happening! MiamiDolphins LETSGO!” Ramsey tweeted Sunday.
The Rams went 5-12 last season and missed the playoffs just one year after winning the Super Bowl, and they’ve have been making changes to their roster this offseason. Los Angeles parted ways with veteran linebacker Bobby Wagner last month after one season.
The Rams traded for Ramsey in the middle of the 2019 season after he spent the first four years of his career in Jacksonville. Ramsey, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, had 77 tackles and four interceptions during the Rams’ Super Bowl-winning 2021 season. Last season, he had a career-high 88 tackles and four interceptions.
Adding Ramsey is another step for Miami in rebuilding a defense that had a down year in 2022, by its standards.
After Miami finished last year ranked 18th in total defense, 24th in scoring defense and 27th against the pass, the Dolphins parted ways with defensive coordinator Josh Boyer and brought in former Denver head coach Vic Fangio to lead the defense.
Miami needed to bolster a secondary that was decimated by injury last year and was without cornerback Byron Jones, who the team is expected to release on Wednesday, when the NFL’s new year begins, in a cost-cutting move. Jones missed the entire 2022 season after undergoing Achilles surgery last March.
Ramsey is expected to play alongside Miami’s Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard, who had 45 tackles and an interception in 2022.
BILLS SIGN MILANO TO 2-YEAR EXTENSION IN CAP-SAVING MOVE
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The Buffalo Bills agreed to sign starting linebacker Matt Milano to a two-year contract extension on Sunday, a move that frees up $6 million in salary cap space before the NFL’s signing period opens this week.
The Bills announced the signing, but a person familiar with the contract details confirmed the salary cap savings amount to The Associated Press. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Bills did not publicly reveal that information, which was first reported by ESPN.com.
The extension locks up a six-year starter – who is coming off his first All-Pro season – through 2026, and just as importantly helps ease the Bills’ immediate payroll restrictions. Buffalo is still projected to be about $11 million over the cap, leaving general manager Brandon Beane more work to do before he can begin filling several anticipated roster holes for the three-time AFC East defending champions.
Buffalo is already challenged to re-sign two key returning starters, middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and safety Jordan Poyer, who are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on Wednesday.
Milano was selected in the fifth round of the 2017 draft out of Boston College and eventually established himself as a starter during his rookie season. He and Edmunds, drafted a year later, formed a three-down linebacking tandem that helped the Bills finish third or better in the NFL in fewest yards allowed three times in the past five years.
Capable in both run- and pass-defending situations, Milano has eight career interceptions and his 27 tackles for a loss over the past two seasons are tied for third among NFL players over that span.
REPORT: BUCS EXPECTED TO TARGET MAYFIELD IN FREE AGENCY
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are expected to target former Los Angeles Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield when free agency begins, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo.
Tampa Bay is reportedly seeking a veteran passing option following the retirement of Tom Brady in February. Kyle Trask is currently the only quarterback under contract.
The Buccaneers are also expected to look at a few other options at the position, Garafolo reports.
The legal negotiating window is set to commence on March 13 at noon, with free agency opening on March 15 at 4 p.m. ET.
Mayfield would provide plenty of experience under center for the Buccaneers, with 69 career starts in 72 regular-season games, along with two postseason contests.
Mayfield was drafted by the Cleveland Browns with the No. 1 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. He racked up 14,125 passing yards, 92 touchdowns, and 56 interceptions over four seasons with Cleveland.
The Oklahoma product was dealt to the Carolina Panthers not long after the Browns exercised his fifth-year option and acquired Deshaun Watson in a trade with the Houston Texans.
In 2022, Mayfield started six of seven games for the Panthers before the team released him. He was claimed off waivers by the Rams. Mayfield went on to start for L.A. following a season-ending injury to Matthew Stafford. He passed for 850 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions with a 63.6% completion rate.
REPORT: COMMANDERS, PAYNE AGREE TO 4-YEAR, $90M DEAL
The Washington Commanders and franchise-tagged defensive tackle Daron Payne reached an agreement on a four-year, $90-million deal that includes $60 million guaranteed, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The reported deal makes Payne the second-highest-paid defensive tackle in NFL history behind Aaron Donald, who easily tops his position with a $31.67 million average annual salary, according to Spotrac.
The Commanders tagged Payne on Feb. 28 after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on a long-term extension. The franchise tender for defensive tackles in 2023 is worth $18.9 million.
Payne, a first-round pick in 2018, earned his first Pro Bowl berth last season after racking up a career-high 11.5 sacks. The 25-year-old, who’s started every game for Washington over the last three years, also amassed 64 tackles (18 for loss) and 20 quarterback hits in 2022.
With Payne and Jonathan Allen, the Commanders boast one of the NFL’s premier defensive lines, featuring four former first-round picks. Washington also rosters pass-rushers Chase Young and Montez Sweat, among others.
MENESES HOMERS TWICE AS MEXICO THUMPS USA AT WBC
PHOENIX (AP) — Joey Meneses hit two homers, including a crucial three-run shot in the fourth inning, to lead Mexico to an 11-5 win over the United States in the World Baseball Classic on Sunday at Chase Field.
Meneses got the sellout crowd of 47,534 — mostly cheering for Mexico — on its feet in the first inning with his first homer, which gave Mexico a 2-0 lead. Those cheers got even louder in the fourth for his encore, which was a blast deep into the left-center seats that brought home Randy Arozarena and Alex Verdugo and made it 7-1.
Meneses hit his first homer off starter Nick Martinez, who took the loss, and the second off Brady Singer. Mexico starter Patrick Sandoval gave up one run over three innings, earning the win.
The 30-year-old Meneses became an unlikely MLB slugger in 2022 after spending over a decade in the minors and playing overseas. He debuted with the Nationals last season, batting .324 with 13 homers in just 222 at-bats.
Mexico kept piling onto the lead in the eighth, sending nine players to the plate and scoring four runs off Daniel Bard to make it 11-2.
The Americans scored three runs in the eighth to make the final outcome more respectable. Tim Anderson had two hits and three RBIs, while Will Smith hit a solo homer.
OHTANI LONG HR POWERS JAPAN; ITALY ADVANCES AT WORLD CLASSIC
TOKYO (AP) — Shohei Ohtani hit a three-run homer that landed just below his image on a video advertising board, sending Japan to a 7-1 victory over Australia in the World Baseball Classic on Sunday night.
Ohtani also walked twice and finished with four RBIs. His first-inning drive traveled an estimated 448 feet.
Japan won Group B with a 4-0 record and will play a quarterfinal Wednesday against Italy, which advanced along with Cuba from Group A on tiebreakers. Matt Harvey got the win as Italy defeated the Netherlands 7-1, causing all five teams to finish 2-2.
South Korea beat the Czech Republic 7-3 in the day’s other Group B game, and Cuba defeated Taiwan 7-1 in Group A.
Ohtani turned on a hanging curveball from Will Sherriff, who didn’t even watch the flight of the ball into the Tokyo Dome’s right-field seats, bending and putting hands on his knees. It was the first home run of the tournament for Ohtani, who is 6 for 12 with eight RBIs and seven walks.
Winner Yoshinobu Yamamoto struck out eight in four scoreless innings, allowing one hit and no walks. He threw 42 of 60 pitches for strikes, averaging 95.2 mph with his fastball and topping out at 96.9 mph. The 24-year-old right-hander was the Pacific League’s MVP for the Orix Buffaloes in 2021 and 2022, and pitched a no-hitter last June 22 against the Saitama Seibu Lions.
Robbie Perkins was the only Australia batter to reach against Yamamato, on a one-out single in the third. Alex Hall homered in the ninth off Hiroto Takahashi, who finished a five-hitter.
Australia (2-1) is second in Group B, ahead of the Czechs and South Korea (both 1-2) and eliminated China (0-3). Australia would advance with a win over the Czechs on Monday, when South Korea plays China.
ISRAEL 3, NICARAGUA 1
MIAMI (AP) — Garrett Stubbs hit a two-run double in a three-run eighth inning, helping Israel rally for the win in its WBC opener.
Stubbs had two of Israel’s seven hits. His bases-loaded double off New York Yankees reliever Jonathan Loáisiga drove in Spencer Horwitz and Noah Mendlinger with two out in the eighth. Horwitz tied it earlier in the inning with an RBI single.
Winner Richard Bleier had two strikeouts in one relief inning.
Nicaragua took a 1-0 lead in the fifth when Steven Leyton’s double scored Sandy Bermudez. But it dropped to 0-2 in WBC pool play.
ITALY 7, NETHERLANDS 1
TAICHUNG, Taiwan (AP) — Harvey pitched four innings of one-run ball for Italy, and Milwaukee Brewers prospect Sal Frelick had three hits and two RBIs.
Italian players had to wait a few minutes after the final out to find out they advanced with Cuba while the Netherlands, Taiwan and Panama were eliminated. The group was decided by runs allowed divided by outs, and Cuba (15/108, .139) finished first, followed by Italy (17/108, .157), Netherlands (19/102, .186), Panama (21/105, .200) and Taiwan (31/105, .295).
Chadwick Tromp homered in the third for the Netherlands, but Italy went ahead to stay with six runs in the fourth.
Nicky Lopez had two hits and two RBIs for the Italians, managed by Mike Piazza.
The Netherlands, needing three runs to advance, put two on with no outs in the ninth against Mitchell Stumpo. Juremi Profar struck out, Tromp popped out to the pitcher in foul territory near the plate and Ray-Patrick Didder struck out.
Dutch left fielder Jurickson Profar made a sprawling backhand catch on Dominic Fletcher’s two-out fly in the eighth, saving two runs.
Padres infielder Xander Bogaerts went 4 for 15 (.267) with one RBI for the Netherlands in the tournament. Jurickson Profar was 3 for 13 (.231) with one RBI, Didi Gregorius was 3 for 12 with three RBIs and Jonathan Schoop 1 for 13 (.077) with no RBIs.
SOUTH KOREA 7, CZECH REPUBLIC 3
TOKYO (AP) — Ha-Seong Kim of the San Diego Padres hit two solo homers for South Korea.
Se Woong Park struck out eight in 4 2/3 innings for South Korea, which improved to 1-2 in Group B and will play winless China in its final group game. The Czechs are also 1-2.
St. Louis Cardinals infielder Tommy Edman hit a two-run single for South Korea. Kim’s homer in the sixth made it 6-0.
Matej Mensik put the Czech Republic on the board with a two-run double in the seventh. Kim hit his second homer of the game in the bottom half.
Loser Lukas Ercoli allowed six runs in 1 1/3 innings.
CUBA 7, TAIWAN 1
TAICHUNG, Taiwan (AP) — Yoán Moncada and Erisbel Arruebarrena homered, leading Cuba to the win.
Cuba broke out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Alfredo Despaigne drove in Moncada and Luis Robert with a double, and Arruebarrena added a two-run shot.
Moncada and Robert play for the Chicago White Sox.
Cuba starter Elian Leyva pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out four. Loser Shih-Peng Chen allowed five runs — four earned — and five hits in 1 1/3 innings.
RED WINGS BEAT BRUINS 5-3, A DAY AFTER LOSING TO NHL’S BEST
DETROIT (AP) Dylan Larkin scored to help his team take a four-goal lead, and his second assist of the game allowed the Detroit Red Wings to hold on for a 5-3 win over Boston Bruins on Sunday.
The Red Wings were ahead 4-0 late in the second period, but the NHL-best Bruins pulled within a goal midway through the third.
Boston pulled backup goaltender Jeremy Swayman with 2:23 left to add an extra skater. Detroit’s Andrew Copp, with an assist from Larkin, put the puck into the empty net with 23.1 seconds left to seal the win.
“Great effort, just a little too late,” said Matt Grzelcyk, who ended the Bruins’ scoreless start with a goal nearly 37 minutes into the game. “We kind of put ourselves behind the eight-ball, but really proud of the guys for not giving up.”
Detroit’s Alex Chiasson broke a scoreless tie midway through the first period on a power play. Moritz Seider had a short-handed goal and Larkin scored with an extra skater midway through the second period, putting the Red Wings ahead 3-0.
Adam Erne gave Detroit its four-goal lead late in the second. Ville Husso finished with 31 saves for the Red Wings.
“We got a little loose, but once they got it to 4-3, we just dug in and got the job done” Larkin said. “I think that starts with Huss making some big saves and we stayed out of the box.”
A day after losing at Boston 3-2, Detroit won for just the second time in nine games.
Swayman stopped 21 shots for the Bruins, who had won 11 of their last 12.
Grzelcyk scored with 3:08 left in the second period, and the Bruins pulled within two goals early in the third when Jake DeBrusk’s wrist shot beat Husso on a breakaway.
Larkin had a chance to restore a three-goal lead on a breakaway, putting the puck between Swayman’s pads only to see it bounce off the left post. Soon after, David Pastrnak scored to cut the deficit to a goal.
Boston beat Detroit on Saturday to take over the record for fewest number of games to reach 50 wins. The Bruins reached the milestone in their 64th game, beating the previous mark by two games set by the 1995-96 Red Wings and 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning.
“I thought our six periods as a whole were great,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said. “Obviously, that’s a very good team. They have a chance to be remembered as one of the best teams in league history, and we never backed down over these six periods.”
Boston winger Tyler Bertuzzi faced his former team for the first time at Little Caesars Arena, and was warmly welcomed when his return was recognized on the videoboards. Bertuzzi, drafted by Detroit a decade ago and traded earlier this month, responded by tapping his stick on the ice and waving to the fans.
“I knew they’re going to do something,” he said. “Very grateful for my time here as a Red Wing. It was a it was a nice tribute.”
Boston scratched D Hampus Lindhom with a swollen foot, but expects him to miss only one game. … Chiasson signed a contract with the Red Wings to bolster their depth up front after trading Bertuzzi, Jakub Vrana, Oskar Sundqvist and the 32-year-old winger scored his second goal in five games. … The Bruins assigned Jakub Lauko to the AHL’s Providence Bruins after the 22-year-old forward had three goals and five points in 12 games.
Bruins: Play at Chicago on Tuesday.
Red Wings: Play at Nashville on Tuesday.
DOROFEYEV’S 1ST NHL GOAL HELPS GOLDEN KNIGHTS TOP BLUES 5-3
ST. LOUIS (AP) Pavel Dorofeyev scored his first NHL goal and Jiri Patera made 30 saves in his debut to help the Vegas Golden Knights beat the St. Louis Blues 5-3 on Sunday night.
Michael Amadio, Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson and Alex Pietrangelo also scored to help Vegas win for the sixth time in seven games to expand its lead over Los Angeles atop the Pacific Division to three points.
“They were trying to play the rush hockey,” Patera said. “It’s not always ideal for a goaltender, but we kept them on the outside and I saw all the shots, so the guys made it a lot easier for me.”
Jordan Kyrou, Jakub Vrana and Tyler Pitlick scored for St. Louis, and Jordan Binnington stopped 26 of 30 shots as the Blues dropped to 3-7-2 since Feb. 18.
“We’re playing some good hockey,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “We did some real good things in the offensive zone tonight. I really liked our game. It was unfortunate we didn’t get the win.”
Pietrangelo sealed the victory when he scored an empty-net goal with 7 seconds remaining.
“We just kept playing,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said. “It was a good goal by them. I don’t look at it as a huge breakdown after breakdown after breakdown. That’s when you get worried. So they made a good play. They can score, but we also know they can give up some goals so we just said let’s just stick with it, get back to work, and we did.”
Dorofeyev, playing in his fourth game this season, used his helmet to deflect Karlsson’s rebound past Binnington in the third period just 1:42 after Pitlick tied the game at 3 at the 3:41 mark.
“He’s a really good kid, really skilled,” Vegas forward Ivan Barbashev said of Dorofeyev. “He scored a pretty nice goal today off the head. I think it’s really nice to see for him. He was actually working really hard today and the guys were really happy for him.”
Kyrou scored his team-leading and career-best 30th goal on a pass from Robert Thomas to cut Vegas’ lead to 3-2 with 4:41 remaining in the second period.
“I think tonight was a good message,” Thomas said. “They’re at the top of the standings. They’ve been playing well all year, and we were right in it all the way to the end.”
Marchessault scored his 21st of the season, and Amadio netted his 13th in the third period to give Vegas a 3-1 lead.
Vrana scored his third goal of the season and second with the Blues on a power play 13:26 into the first period to tie it at 1.
Karlsson, playing in his 600th career NHL game, scored his 13th goal to give Vegas a 1-0 lead 8:05 into the game.
Barbashev received a standing ovation from the St. Louis crowd after he was honored with a tribute video in the first period in his first game back in St. Louis since being traded to the Golden Knights for 2021 first-round draft pick Zach Dean on Feb. 26.
“I’ve been here for seven years,” Barbashev said. “I really tried to play my best over here. Sometimes it wasn’t really good, but at the end it was really exciting to see.”
Blues C Pavel Buchnevich assisted on Kyrou’s goal to register a point in his ninth consecutive game. Buchnevich has four goals and 11 assists during that span.
Knights: At Philadelphia on Tuesday night to close a five-game road trip.
Blues: Host Minnesota on Wednesday night.
LETANG’S OT WINNER LIFTS PENGUINS BY RANGERS 3-2
Kris Letang knows the Pittsburgh Penguins have the NHL’s oldest team. The 35-year-old defenseman is one of the reasons why.
The Penguins have never missed the playoffs during Letang’s 17-year career. They know what it takes to get there, even if this time around it may have taken a little longer than usual for that postseason push to begin.
It’s well underway now, and Letang is right in the middle of it.
Letang’s blast from the point 1:38 into overtime lifted Pittsburgh to a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Sunday, strengthening his team’s grasp on the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Not bad for a team that looked lost after getting blown out at home by Edmonton on Feb. 23. The Penguins are 7-1-1 since.
“I think if you look at our age average, a lot of guys have the experience and they know what to do to turn it on and make sure we get in the postseason and we start getting confident,” Letang said after his third overtime winner of the season. “Everybody has a role and they have to do it the best they can and I think that’s what we’re doing right now.”
Jason Zucker scored for the ninth time in eight games for Pittsburgh and Rickard Rakell added his 23rd. Tristan Jarry made 27 saves as the Penguins improved to 3-0-1 during a five-game homestand.
“I think we’re just playing more of a team game, getting (forward Mikael Granlund and defenseman Dmitry Kulikov at the trade deadline) really sparked our team and it showed us and the organization that we want to win,” Jarry said. “Every game we’re trying to win and every night we’re trying to get two more points.”
Barclay Goodrow picked up his 11th goal of the season for New York and Chris Kreider’s goal midway through the third period tied it. Jaroslav Halak made 32 saves for the Rangers, including a glove save on Alex Nylander to snuff out a 2-on-1 break with less than a minute to go in regulation.
New York is 4-5-2 over its last 11 games to fall off the pace a bit behind Carolina and New Jersey in the race for the Metropolitan Division title.
“We haven’t played well, we admit to that, but we’re still winning hockey games, too,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “Tonight, we still got a point against a real good team over there. We’re battling hard. We have to be better. We know that. I think everybody in that room knows it.”
The NHL’s oldest team looked decidedly fresh despite its third game in less than 72 hours. A day after dominating hapless Philadelphia, the Penguins dictated the pace for much of the first two periods against the Rangers, who were playing their third game in four days, all on the road.
The teams traded goals in the first period even as the Penguins carried play. Zucker’s 24th goal and fourth in his last four games – a long shot from the point that was going wide before being redirected by the skate of New York’s Mika Zibanejad – early in the second seemed to wake the Rangers up.
The intensity ramped up immediately. Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba hit Nylander with a shoulder to the chest at near full speed. The collision evoked memories of a hit by Trouba on Sidney Crosby during last year’s playoffs that forced the Penguins star to miss two games with a concussion in a series Pittsburgh would go on to lose in overtime of Game 7.
The hit and the aftermath seemed to give the Rangers a welcome jolt and New York sprung to life, particularly in the third period.
The Rangers tilted the ice heavily in their favor over the final 20 minutes, and Kreider evened the game at the end of a sequence that began with New York’s Vincent Trocheck hitting Malkin in the back in the Rangers’ zone, leading to a transition that ended with Kreider all alone in the slot, giving him plenty of room to tie it.
The sometimes chippy play could set the table for an interesting week. The Penguins visit Madison Square Garden twice over the next six days.
“There is still a lot of hockey to play and we need the points more than they do,” Jarry said. “So I think we were just a little more desperate tonight and hopefully that continues throughout the week.”
Rangers: Host Washington on Tuesday night.
Penguins: Wrap up their homestand on Tuesday against Montreal.
SCHEFFLER FIRES SUNDAY 69 TO RUN AWAY WITH PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP
Scottie Scheffler fired a final-round 69 on Sunday to pull away from the field and win The Players Championship by five shots over Tyrrell Hatton.
It was just 392 days ago that Scheffler began the final round of the Phoenix Open without a PGA TOUR victory, but Sunday’s win at TPC Sawgrass is his sixth title in that span.
Scheffler sank five straight birdies from the eighth to 12th holes in the final round as he cruised to the title.
Scheffler will take over the top spot in the World Golf Rankings for the second time this year as a result of the win. He entered the tournament as the No. 2 behind Jon Rahm, who withdrew due to illness.
Sunday’s champion took home $4.5 million for his efforts. His five-shot edge was the largest margin of victory at The Players Championship since Stephen Ames won by six in 2006.
Hatton posted the best final round, firing a 7-under 65 to grab second place. He ended the day with five consecutive birdies of his own.
Scheffler held a two-shot lead after the third round Saturday. Tom Hoge set the course record that day with a 62.
SAUDI ARABIA’S GOLF CASE THREATENS TO SPILL KINGDOM SECRETS
WASHINGTON (AP) — Officials who oversee Saudi Arabia’s tens of billions of dollars in U.S. investments haven’t been shy about flaunting their ties with top American business and political figures, down to wearing MAGA caps as they swing golf clubs alongside former President Donald Trump. But they’ve been silent about many of the details of these relationships.
That’s changing as a result of a federal lawsuit in California pitting the Saudi-owned golf tour upstart LIV against the PGA Tour. A judge, citing what she described as the kingdom’s hands-on management of LIV, found that when it came to the new golf league, Saudi officials and the Saudi government aren’t shielded from U.S. courts the way sovereign nations usually are.
While Saudi Arabia is fighting the decision, insisting U.S. courts have no jurisdiction over its high officials, the ruling means lawyers for the PGA Tour would be able to question top officials about business secrets that the Saudis have held close, such as details of deal-making involving 2024 presidential candidate Trump and others.
U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman found that the Saudis had smacked up against a commercial exception to U.S. laws on sovereign immunity.
Yasir al Rumayyan, appointed under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to manage the oil-rich Saudi government’s $600 billion-plus stockpile of wealth, is “up to his eyeballs” in managing the golf tour, Labson Freeman declared.
The finding follows PGA Tour claims that al Rumayyan himself recruited LIV players, approved LIV contracts and was otherwise the golf league’s decision-maker and manager. Lawyers for Saudi Arabia counter that Rumayyan’s actions were those of an eager investor, not of someone actually running a business.
The case matters beyond the world of golf. Saudi Arabia has been assertive in U.S. business investments and political relationships and could now face court demands for greater transparency and accountability.
The insistence by Saudi officials that U.S. courts have little or no say over their actions is especially sensitive. Last year, the kingdom, with legal backing from the Biden administration, successfully argued that American courts had no authority to try the prince in a lawsuit over the 2018 killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi. U.S. intelligence officials had concluded that aides and other Saudi officials sent by the prince killed Khashoggi. The slaying has opened a lasting rift between the Biden administration and Prince Mohammed, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler.
Longstanding international law generally protects the leaders and government of one country from being hauled into another country’s courts. Congress carved out commercial activity as an exception to that sovereign immunity in 1976.
-The PGA Tour argued in a filing Friday that Saudi Arabia and its sovereign wealth fund under the prince have a record of flip-flopping on insisting upon sovereign immunity, depending on whether doing so works to their advantage in various business deals and lawsuits.
Saudi Arabia’s critics and independent legal experts and analysts say the kingdom may be in a tough spot legally.
“It seemed to me very clear that it wasn’t immune” from U.S. courts when it came to operating the LIV golf tour and tournaments, said Donald Baker, a lawyer and a former head in the Justice Department’s antitrust division who is not involved in the case.
Baker projected the case could lead to California’s Northern District federal court seeking depositions from Saudi royals. Any decisions on whether other Saudi government business deals in the United States have similarly lost their immunity from U.S. courts would have to be made on a case-by-case basis, he said.
Sarah Leah Whitson, who runs the Democracy for the Arab World Now rights group founded by Khashoggi, said that “if they want to have sovereign immunity from their business transactions, it means they can sue people, they can demand that the judicial system enforces contracts and the laws governing contracts, but nobody can impose that against them. Nobody can hold them accountable.”
The Saudi-funded professional golf tour, now in its second season and with a slogan of “Golf, but louder,” is known for its blaring music, record multimillion-dollar purses, ties with Trump and unfriendly rivalry with the PGA Tour. Trump courses this year will host three LIV tournaments, in deals whose financial terms have not been publicly disclosed.
Saudi Arabia’s immunity problem comes in an antitrust lawsuit that was initially brought by LIV players against the long-established PGA Tour. The case already has revealed that the Saudi government’s sovereign wealth fund owns 93% of LIV.
A lawyer for Saudi Arabia’s side of the case did not respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment. A LIV spokeswoman referred questions to the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, which also did not respond to requests for comment.
Under the now eight-year rule of Saudi Arabia’s king, Salman, his son Prince Mohammed has made the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund a primary tool of Saudi investment at home and abroad. The prince is the fund’s chairman. Saudi officials say the aim is to diversify the kingdom’s oil-funded economy.
Under Prince Mohammed and fund governor al Rumayyan, the fund has more than $30 billion invested in Uber, Meta, luxury electric car brand and Tesla rival Lucid, Paypal, Costco and other publicly traded U.S. businesses.
The fund also has consolidated Saudis’ relationship with the Trump family, using Trump golf courses and directing $2 billion to the investment firm of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Rumayyan sits on the board of Uber. He plays golf with Trump. He triggered one of Elon Musk’s biggest tweet storms and legal cases, when Musk tweeted about what he later testified was the prospect of a Saudi sovereign wealth fund deal to take Tesla private.
The Saudi sovereign wealth fund also is spending heavily on sports. In addition to creating the LIV golf tour, the Saudis have bought the Newcastle United soccer team in Britain’s Premier League and hosted Formula One races, horse races with record prize money, and other tournaments and matches, from snooker to boxing and chess.
Saudi Arabia is presenting itself as an energetic, youthful and business-friendly government. Human rights groups counter with the word “sportswashing,” saying the kingdom under Prince Mohammed’s influence is trying to distance itself from the killing of Khashoggi, the jailing of other rights advocates, and a failed war in Yemen. U.S. critics paint Saudi Arabia’s financial deals with Trump and Kushner as the oil kingdom backing one side in America’s highly partisan politics.
“They’re really trying to rebrand the kingdom … using sport to reach a much wider public audience and trying to tap into some of the passion that people have,” said Kristian Ulrichsen, a fellow for the Middle East at the Baker Institute in Houston.
To close the deal buying Newcastle United, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund provided what authorities said were “legally binding assurances” that the kingdom would not be involved in running the team, even though Rumayyan serves as team chairman. Rights advocates argued unsuccessfully for a reexamination of that deal in light of the rulings of the California federal court.
Critics — and the PGA Tour lawyers in Friday’s filing — also contend Saudi Arabia willingly waived sovereign immunity when it submitted government documents in another U.S. case, against a Saudi who had served as a top intelligence official under the previous king. The United States intervened to quash the case on the grounds it threatened to reveal national security secrets.
In the golf lawsuit, LIV players and the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, formally called the Public Investment Fund, argue that unfair practices by the PGA are harming LIV. PGA lawyers respond in filings that it’s the reputations of Saudi Arabia and Prince Mohammed that are scaring away business.
‘NOT DONE YET:’ SKIER SHIFFRIN CONTINUES QUEST FOR RECORDS
Does getting a record 87th World Cup win make Mikaela Shiffrin the greatest ski racer of all time?
Shiffrin doesn’t think so, despite congratulations pouring in from the likes of tennis stars Roger Federer and Iga Swiatek, actress Kate Winslet, and fellow skiing standouts Lindsey Vonn and Bode Miller.
In fact, Shiffrin laughs off the G.O.A.T. talk.
“Because all I can really see in my mind is an image of a baby goat, or like a fainting goat. That’s what comes in my head,” Shiffrin said after surpassing Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark as the winningest ski racer in the 56-year-history of Alpine skiing’s World Cup.
“That image is sort of scarred into my mind and the first thing I think about when I hear people say ‘G.O.A.T.’, I just kind of laugh.”
She adds that the ‘greatest’ label doesn’t belong to just one skier.
“After all these years racing and getting to this point now, I realize no matter what I accomplish, people root for who they want to win – for whatever reason,” she said.
“It could be something that doesn’t have anything to do with me, or doesn’t have anything to do with Ingemar, or Lindsey, or Marcel (Hirscher), or Bode, or whoever. It is a personal thing, and that’s what is so beautiful about sport.”
Shiffrin won Saturday’s slalom in Are in Stenmark’s native Sweden to break the 34-year-old record, which is comparable with a tennis player earning a 25th major singles title to surpass Australian great Margaret Court, who for five decades has held the record of 24 titles.
Another comparison underlines Shiffrin’s dominance of her sport. In the time since her first victory on December 20, 2012, Shiffrin won more than twice as many World Cup races as the entire Austria women’s ski team, which has managed 43 victories.
With Shiffrin turning 28 Monday, the American is bound to add to her tally of 87 and other milestones will come her way.
“I think she can win more than 100,” Stenmark said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.
“100 or more,” was also the prediction of Austrian former slalom specialist Marlies Raich, one of Shiffrin’s early idols.
Best marks are also on the cards for Shiffrin when it comes to the number of crystal globes – the award for winning the season discipline or overall title.
By winning the overall, slalom and GS titles this season, Shiffrin has extended her collection to 15 globes – five short of Vonn’s 20.
Shiffrin, with seven slalom globes, is one short of Vonn and Stenmark, who each had eight titles in a single discipline — Vonn in downhill, Stenmark in both slalom and GS.
Also, Shiffrin’s five overall titles rank her one behind the women’s record of six, set by Annemarie Moser-Proell in the 1970s.
Across genders, Shiffrin still needs three more to match another Austrian standout, Marcel Hirscher, who racked up eight men’s overall titles in a row from 2012-19.
Away from World Cup racing, two-time Olympic champion Shiffrin has nine gold medals and 17 in total from major championships. She won’t be able to add to those for nearly two more years, with the 2025 world championships in Saalbach, Austria, and the 2026 Milan-Cortina Olympics next up.
Despite setting many of the sport’s records, Shiffrin said she still feels “that anticipation, that nervousness, that I want to race.”
“For me that is a sign I have no lack of motivation,” she said. “It’s the skiing that I want to do. Every day I wake up and want to do it, again and again. That is not done yet, it’s stronger than ever.”
BYRON WINS 2ND STRAIGHT CUP RACE, BEATS LARSON AT PHOENIX
AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) William Byron took advantage of a late restart to earn a Cup Series victory, just like last weekend.
Kyle Larson was the victim of Byron’s late restart prowess, just like last weekend.
It was a strange bit of déjà vu at Phoenix Raceway, as Byron won his second straight Cup race by beating out his Hendrick Motorsports teammate in overtime on Sunday.
“I don’t love winning races that way, it’s very stressful,” Byron said, grinning. “A lot of tactics going on with the restarts.”
Late restarts may add to Byron’s stress, but they’re also adding to his win total.
His No. 24 Chevrolet got a great start in overtime with two laps left, and just like he did a week earlier at Las Vegas, he overtook Larson for the win. He also had to hold off Ryan Blaney, who finished second in his Penske Ford, while Tyler Reddick was third in the No. 45 Toyota for 23XI Racing.
Byron’s victory also denied Kevin Harvick his 10th win at Phoenix. Harvick’s Stewart-Haas No. 4 Ford passed Larson for the lead with 44 laps remaining, taking advantage of the long run under green-flag conditions that favored his car all afternoon.
But a yellow flag with 10 laps remaining dashed Harvick’s hopes.
Several drivers changed just two tires on the ensuing pit stop, but Harvick took four, falling back to seventh place for the restart with three laps left. He finished fifth.
Another caution immediately after the restart sent the race to overtime.
Larson – whose No. 5 Chevrolet was the fastest during Friday’s practice and also during Saturday’s qualifying – was fading after Harvick’s pass, but the late yellow flags gave him a chance until Byron snatched away the victory.
Larson finished fourth, capping a frustrating finish.
“Restarts are just tough,” Larson said. “I felt like I ran William up pretty high and was expecting him to lose some grip. But he did a really good job of holding and cleared me down the backstretch.”
All four Hendrick cars were inside the top 10. Alex Bowman was ninth while Josh Berry – filling in for the injured Chase Elliott – was 10th.
Harvick was attempting to become the sixth driver in Cup history to win 10 times at one track, an exclusive club that includes Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt and David Pearson. The 47-year-old has said this will be his final season.
Byron and Larson had the fastest cars for most of the race. It continued a dominant stretch by the two Hendrick drivers, who were 1-2 for much of the Las Vegas race.
Byron won the first stage, leading 59 of the first 60 laps. Larson won the second stage.
Harvick’s attempt at a 10th win at Phoenix understandably attracted the most attention, but the race was also his 20th straight top-10 finish at the track. That streak dates back to 2013 and is the most top 10s in a row at one track in Cup history.
NOT ALL ROSES
Hendrick Motorsports is on a roll, but the team’s week in Phoenix wasn’t totally filled with good news.
NASCAR officials took the hood louvers from the four Hendrick cars Friday and will bring them to the NASCAR Research & Development Center in North Carolina for inspection. Any potential penalties would be announced next week.
If that caused any distractions, it certainly didn’t show on Sunday.
“It’s a test of mental strength,” Byron’s crew chief Rudy Fugle said. “That’s what it takes to win in this series.”
It was one of the hottest days of the year so far in Phoenix, with the temperature climbing around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
That made for some uncertainty about how the cars would handle, particularly since the weather was much cooler for Friday’s practice and Saturday’s qualifying.
NASCAR was also debuting a new rules package for short tracks and road courses, limiting the downforce that helps gives the cars traction. Byron said he wasn’t sure the changes led to better racing.
“I thought it was really difficult to drive,” Byron said. “From an objective standpoint – I know we were competitive – but I didn’t think we could pass any better. So there’s still some work to do there.”
ODDS AND ENDS
Green-flag pit stops around the 120-lap mark led to pit road speeding penalties for multiple drivers, including Kyle Busch, Michael McDowell, Erik Jones and Austin Cindric. Busch was also penalized on the same stop for an uncontrolled tire on pit road. He recovered to finish eighth. … Elliott is expected to be out at least another month because of a broken leg suffered while snowboarding. Berry’s 10th place finish came in his second Cup start. … Phoenix Raceway is the once again the site of the Cup championship in November.
The three-race West Coast swing is over. NASCAR moves to Atlanta Motor Speedway next weekend.
COLUMN: INDYCAR BULLISH ON FUTURE EVEN AFTER SLOPPY OPENER
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Michael Andretti had his head in his hands nearly every time the camera showed him during the IndyCar season-opening race.
He started with at least three true challengers to win Sunday on the downtown streets of St. Petersburg, only to see two of his cars involved in airborne accidents and the other two crashed into tire barriers.
Colton Herta was furious with reigning IndyCar champion Will Power, who received an avoidable contact penalty for knocking Herta into the tires. Romain Grosjean was enraged with Scott McLaughlin when a game of chicken between the two for the race lead ended with both drivers in the tire barrier.
Pato O’Ward, meanwhile, could barely speak after a brief power failure while leading with four laps remaining cost him the win. Five drivers failed to complete even the first lap of the race, and a total of 10 didn’t finish. Of the 27 drivers in the field, only 12 finished on the lead lap.
It was a sloppy opener, to say the least.
But did it matter?
“It was a wild weekend I think for everybody, having leaders crash out, it was all over the shop,” six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon said. “Hopefully it played well on TV.”
Indeed, how the race was received by viewers is all that ultimately matters as IndyCar heads into its fourth season under Roger Penske’s ownership rather bullish about its future. IndyCar firmly believes its racing product is the most competitive in all of motorsports and has taken huge steps to showcase it this year.
The drivers at the end of last season collectively sent a formal request for an improved marketing effort that wasn’t received very well by series leadership, mostly because IndyCar already had plans in motion.
Penske Entertainment partnered with Vice Media Group as producers of a docudrama on the buildup to the Indianapolis 500 that debuts in late April. IndyCar also held its preseason testing at the Thermal Club near Palm Springs, California, to spotlight its series for the members of the private club. Membership to Thermal requires the purchase of property inside the club and a standard membership starts at $85,000.
It was at Thermal where IndyCar presented its plans and visions to drivers and team owners, and Mark Miles, CEO of Penske Entertainment, confirmed the financials of the endeavor this past weekend. IndyCar reduced the guaranteed payout it gives to 22 full-time entrants in its “Leaders Circle” program by $150,000 a car to add $3.3 million to its marketing budget.
Miles said he believes the paddock trusts the direction IndyCar is going.
“I understand that we went through the period of planning and could we get the unscripted series done so it was reliable, it was going to happen, and could we put the revenue, the money together really, to fund the investments to do all this?” Miles said. “So we were quiet. So people wondered what was going on.
“I have only seen support. I think the drivers are certainly aligned, and I think the team owners are, too.”
Although Miles said he had heard of some grumbling among team owners about the financial hit, Chip Ganassi swatted away the criticism.
“If that’s making or breaking a team, they’ve got bigger problems,” said Ganassi, the team owner who celebrated the win Sunday with driver Marcus Ericsson. “Granted, it helps, and it does hurt a little when they take it, but if that’s a death blow to your team, you shouldn’t be here anyways.”
One of IndyCar’s biggest challenges is building momentum and, unlike NASCAR and its packed 38-race schedule that has only one off weekend all year, IndyCar races only 17 times. Its follow-up to Sunday’s opener isn’t for nearly a month, with its second race scheduled for April 2 at Texas Motor Speedway.
But IndyCar is off and running from there with an excitement level shared throughout the industry.
“I’m very bullish on the series,” Andretti said. “I’ve always said that I think we have the best racing in the world. I think people are starting to notice it more and follow it more. I feel really good about the future of IndyCar racing.”
HAGAN TAKES TONY STEWART TO WINNER’S CIRCLE IN NHRA OPENER
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Tony Stewart ended up in the NHRA winner’s circle to start 2023 — as a team owner.
Stewart red-lighted in the second round of eliminations in the Top Alcohol class Saturday, but the three-time NASCAR champion finished drag racing’s season opener with Matt Hagan, one of his drivers at Tony Stewart Racing, winning the Funny Car finale at the Gatornationals on Sunday.
Hagan covered the 1,000-foot strip in 3.926 seconds, just enough to drive around JR Todd and leave Stewart hugging and high-fiving his team at Gainesville Raceway.
“Bossman’s happy,” Hagan quipped.
Stewart is beginning his second season as an NHRA team owner. The 1997 IndyCar champion added to his storied racing resume by getting behind the wheel for a full season driving for McPhillips Racing in a lower division.
Little went right during his first two weekends in Gainesville: He lost in the opening round last week at the Baby Gators, an NHRA regional event, and then bowed out earlier than a sellout crowd had hoped for on Saturday.
It was a stark contrast to his first professional drag-racing event last October, when Stewart made the final in his debut at the Nevada Nationals. He lost to college student Madison Payne by an inch — officially a difference of .0002 on the clock.
Stewart hoped to get another shot in Gainesville. But he settled for winning with Hagan, who notched his 44th Funny Car victory and fifth in two years with Stewart. This one moved him into fourth place in Funny Car history, breaking a tie with Tony Pedregon.
It was his second straight victory at the Gatornationals, an event that eluded him for the first 14 years of his NHRA career.
“To win back-to-back Gators, man, tried pretty much my entire career just to win one,” he said. “Super special deal.”
Mike Salinas won the Top Fuel division, with Troy Coughlin Jr. taking Pro Stock and Gaige Herrera claiming Pro Stock Motorcycle.
None of the four reigning series champions even made the semifinals. Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Mike Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were upset in the first or second rounds Sunday.
Force’s trouble was one of many for powerhouse John Force Racing. Austin Prock (Top Fuel) had an issue on the starting line, Robert Hight (Funny Car) spun his tires early in his run and John Force (Funny Car) got edged at the line.
For decades, Force has been the sport’s biggest draw. But Stewart, who married Top Fuel driver Leah Pruett in 2021, has become a fan favorite in a hurry. It was noticeable by the cheers in the stands and the lines throughout the garage.
“When I sign at the T-shirt trailer, my line versus when Tony signs, his line’s a lot longer,” Hagan said. “He’s great for the sport and now he’s involved in driving, so he’s really bitten by the bug. …
“You don’t get a golden goose very often, you know what I mean? You got to support it.”
TOP INDIANA NEWS (RELEASES)
COLTS BRINGING BACK LEWIS
The Colts are bringing back veteran defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis on a one-year, $2.1 million deal re-signing the former second-round pick under circumstances that are very similar to last season.
Lewis’s contract has a $1.08 million base salary, including $500,000 guaranteed, and then carries another potential $1.02 million in per-game roster bonuses
INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL
MEN’S BASKETBALL HEADED TO ALBANY TO FACE KENT STATE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana Hoosiers (22-11) earned a spot in the in the 2023 Men’s NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season.
The Hoosiers will be the No. 4 seed in the Midwest Region. IU will take on the No. 13-seeded Kent State Golden Flashes on Friday, March 17 in Albany, N.Y. The other two teams in Indiana’s pod are No. 5 Miami and No. 12 Drake.
Indiana head coach Mike Woodson is the second coach in program history (Mike Davis, 2001-03) to make the NCAA Tournament in each of his first two seasons at the helm.
Senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis will make his second trip to the Big Dance. In his nine career postseason games, TJD has averaged 21.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 2.1 blocked shots on 63.2% shooting from the floor. He was recently added to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team.
COACH MIKE WOODSON PRESSER ON NCAA TOURNEY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tpGyVPX_GE
INDIANA PLAYERS PRESSER ON TOURNEY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEaJ0HRrgRY
INDIANA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
INDIANA EARNS NO. 1 SEED IN 2023 NCAA TOURNAMENT; SET FOR FIRST ROUND ACTION ON SATURDAY
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana women’s basketball earned the program’s first-ever No. 1 seed as it was selected as one of the top teams in the 2023 NCAA Tournament bracket on Sunday night. IU enters the tournament as the national overall No. 2 seed in the field behind South Carolina.
The Hoosiers will face the winner of the play in game between 16-seeds Tennessee Tech and Monmouth. in the first round on Saturday. First and second round action will happen inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall for the second-straight season.
IU will appear in the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time in school history and its fourth-straight tournament appearance. With an overall record of 27-3, the Hoosiers won the Big Ten regular season championship, its first in 40 years. Overall, they are 8-8 all-time in the NCAA Tournament while ninth year head coach Teri Moren holds a record of 7-4 in her five appearances.
COACH TERRY MOREN PRESSER ON TOURNEY #1 SEED: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjwkCtmzsiY
Series Sweep Complete
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A pitcher’s duel closed out a competitive four-game series on Sunday (March 12) at Bart Kaufman Field as the Indiana baseball program wrapped up a perfect week and four-game series sweep with a 3-2 victory over Bellarmine.
A single run in the third inning gave Indiana (10-6) the early edge and was the only tally through the first six frames. The Hoosiers added two runs in the seventh inning to grab a 3-0 lead and prove to be the eventual game-deciding runs. Bellarmine (5-10) capitalized in the ninth inning with a pair of unearned runs but left the tying run stranded on third.
Freshman Tyler Cerny continued his solid weekend at the plate and in the field with a 3-for-4 day and two runs scored. He also converted all seven fielding attempts, including the final out of the game. He singled and scored in the third inning, tripled in the fifth inning and singled and scored the eventual game-winning run in the seventh inning.
Senior Phillip Glasser drove in one RBI and extended his hitting streak to five games and his reached base streak to 16 with a 1-for-3 day at the plate with one RBI. Senior Hunter Jessee drove in one RBI with a two-hit gay, while freshman Devin Taylor added his second career multi-hit game.
Starting pitcher junior Seti Manase didn’t factor into the decision with 4 1/3 shutout innings and two hits allowed. He walked two and struck out seven. Freshman Evan Whiteaker (1-0) picked up the victory with 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. He allowed just one base runner – an eighth inning walk – and struck out two to earn his first collegiate victory.
Sophomore Ryan Kraft (5) came on after a leadoff walk in the eighth inning and closed out the game for his fifth save of the season. He threw two innings and allowed a pair of unearned runs on two hits. He struck out two batters.
Casey Sorg had two of the four Knight hits in the game, while Brady Morse and Dylan Byerly each drove in RBIs. Gavin Braunecker (0-3) took the loss with three runs – two earned – allowed on nine hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out nine in the start.
Tyler Cerny and Phillip Glasser singled with one out and moved to second and third on a wild pitch. Hunter Jessee grounded out to second base to push the first run of the game across.
Indiana 1, Bellarmine 0
Matthew Ellis got the inning started with a one-out base hit and Cerny followed with a base hit and moved to second on a throw to third base. With runners on second and third, Glasser drove in the second run of the game with a sacrifice fly and Jessee reached on an error to push the third run across.
Indiana 3, Bellarmine 0
Bellarmine would not go quite and broke up the shutout in the ninth inning thanks to a pair of hits and an Indiana error. An error started the inning and a fielder’s choice and single put runners on the corners. A pinch-hit souble from Brady Morse scored the first run and Dylan Byerly singled to make it a one-run game. Reliver Ryan Kraft finished off the game with a ground out to Cerny.
Indiana 3, Bellarmine 2
Indiana will take its winning streak on the road for a midweek matchup at Kentucky on Tuesday, March 14, for a 5 p.m. first pitch from Kentucky Proud Park. The game can be seen on the SEC Network+ and heard on the Indiana Sports Radio Network via IUHoosiers.com/Audio.
HOOSIERS SHUT OUT AKRON ON THE FINAL DAY OF THE LADY BISON CLASSIC, 5-0
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Indiana Softball (14-9) shutout Akron (10-8) to end the Lady Bison Classic with an undefeated 5-0 record at Draper Diamond.
INDIANA 5, AKRON 0
• It was a slow start on either side with no runs scored. Indiana had three hits to Akron’s two through the first three innings as both sides were looking to gain momentum.
• Sophomore Brianna Copeland got it going for the Hoosiers offense in the bottom of the fourth as she homered over the right center wall for the lead.
• In the bottom of the fifth, IU scored three runs on four hits. Senior Cora Bassett hit an RBI double down the right field line before freshman Taryn Kern earns two RBI on a single through the right side, 4-0.
• Freshman Avery Parker hit her second home run this weekend in the bottom of the sixth to take a 5-0 lead.
• Johnson closed out the game in the circle, striking the last batter for the shutout win.
• Indiana improves to 14-9 on the season with a win streak of seven.
• Parker hit her second career home run.
• Copeland improves to 6-0 in the circle this season totaling seven strikeouts against the Zips.
Indiana will head to Bowling Green, Kent., tomorrow for a game with the Hilltoppers. The first pitch is set for 7:00 p.m. ET at WKU Softball Complex and will be broadcasted on Hilltopper Satellite Sports Network on Facebook live.
INDIANA MEN’S GOLF
INDIANA HEADS TO SEMINOLE INTERCOLLEGIATE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana Hoosiers men’s golf program is set to compete in Seminole Intercollegiate hosted by Florida State. The 15-team event will be played from March 13-14 at the Seminole Legacy Golf Club in Tallahassee, Fla.
Seminole Intercollegiate • Tallahassee, Fla.
Seminole Legacy Golf Club
Par 72 • 7,505 yards
Live Scoring via GolfStat
TEAMS COMPETING (15)
Arkansas State, Boston College, Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida State, Indiana, Jacksonville, Lamar, Lipscomb, North Alabama, Ole Miss, Southern Illinois, Troy, UAB, VCU
1. Drew Salyers
2. Mitch Davis
3. Noah Gillard
4. Thomas Hursey
5. Eric Berggren
Ind. Harry Reynolds
• No. 8 Florida State and No. 24 Ole Miss are the lone programs ranked inside the top-50 of the latest GolfStat poll (March 7). Indiana ranks No. 64 in the poll.
• Cole Anderson (Florida State) is the highest ranked player in the field at No. 6, per GolfStat. The next highest rated player is Indiana junior Drew Salyers (33). Three additional players are ranked inside the top-50.
• Indiana will be paired with Florida Golf Coast and Lipscomb for the first two rounds of action. Continuous play will begin at 8:15 a.m. ET off the first tee. The final round will begin at 8 a.m. ET on March 14.
PURDUE MEN’S BASKETBALL
PURDUE EARNS NO. 1 SEED IN EAST REGION
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue men’s basketball team was rewarded for its historic season on Selection Sunday, by earning the No. 1 seed in the East Region, the NCAA announced Sunday evening.
The 29-5 Boilermakers will play Friday in Columbus, Ohio, against the winner of a First Four game between Fairleigh Dickinson or Texas Southern. Tip will be at 6:50 p.m. ET, from Nationwide Arena in Columbus.
The winner will advance to the round of 32, where it will face the winner of No. 8 seed Memphis and No. 9 seed Florida Atlantic.
The top four seeds in the East are Purdue, Marquette, Kansas State and Tennessee. The East Regional semifinals and finals will be played in Madison Square Garden in New York City on March 23 and 25.
The Boilermakers earn their fourth No. 1 seed in school history and first since the 1996 tournament after winning the Big Ten regular-season title by three games and the Big Ten Tournament title with a win over Penn State. Purdue’s 29 victories are the second most in a season in school history.
Fairleigh Dickinson enters Wednesday’s First Four game with a 19-15 overall record and the Northeast Conference Tournament runner-up. The Knights actually lost their league’s championship game to Merrimack, but is making an appearance due to Merrimack not being eligible for the NCAA Tournament. The Knights are led by 5-foot, 8-inch senior guard Demetre Roberts, who averages 16.7 points and 4.3 assists per game. FDU’s best win of the season came in a 97-80 win over Saint Joseph’s.
Meanwhile, Texas Southern enters the tournament with a 14-20 overall record, winning the SWAC Tournament championship. The Tigers are paced by 6-foot, 5-inch sophomore Davon Barnes at 13.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Texas Southern’s best win came against Arizona State, 67-66, in the third game of the season.
Purdue is making its eighth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and has been a top-four seed in each of the last six tournaments.
#5 PURDUE WINS BIG TEN TOURNAMENT TITLE FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2009
CHICAGO — Zach Edey draped the net around his neck and had no plans to relinquish it until whenever coach Matt Painter asked for it.
He wanted to soak up every last drop of this moment.
Edey scored 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, and No. 5 Purdue hung on to beat Penn State 67-65 in the Big Ten Tournament championship game Sunday.
The Boilermakers (29-5) led by as much as 17 in the second half, only to have the lead shrink to one in the closing seconds. They came away with their second title to go with one in 2009. Not long after, Purdue was named a No. 1 seed in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Edey, who was wearing a tournament championship cap and T-shirt to go with the net dangling from his neck. “Obviously we’ve got two nets, we’ve got two hats with the netting on them, we’ve got two trophies. It rewards the work that you’re putting in and validates all of it.”
Purdue won the Big Ten regular-season championship by three games and looked like it was well on its way to an easy victory in the conference tournament final. But Penn State (22-13) made things interesting down the stretch, particularly in the final minute.
Purdue led 66-60 when Myles Dread nailed a 3 with 16 seconds remaining. Evan Mahaffey then stole Brandon Newman’s inbound pass and fed Camren Wynter for a layup that made it a one-point game with six seconds remaining.
Purdue’s Fletcher Loyer then made a free throw before missing the second. Penn State’s Andrew Funk got the rebound, but after a timeout, Wynter got called for traveling just before the final buzzer.
“We’re fighters, man,” Penn State star Jalen Pickett said. “We got down, but we didn’t want it to end. We wanted to raise that trophy at the end, and we just kept fighting. Made our way back. We started pressing a little bit, causing them problems. That’s us gonna be us. We’re going to try and figure something out and we’re not going to give up until the end.”
Purdue won its second Big Ten Tournament title with a 67-65 win over Penn State in Chicago on Sunday afternoon. The title was Purdue’s first since the 2009 season.
Purdue became the first Big Ten team since 2019 (Michigan State) to win both the regular-season title and tournament titles. The Boilermakers are the first Big Ten team to win the regular-season title by at least three games and win the tournament title.
Purdue won its 29th game and has set the school record for most victories in a two-year span (58). Purdue is now 58-13 since the start of last season.
The Boilermakers were making their fourth title-game appearance in the last seven tournaments, and is now 2-4 all-time in Big Ten Championship games.
Purdue improved to 30-6 under Matt Painter against Penn State. The Boilermakers have won 16 of the last 17 games against the Nittany Lions.
Purdue is now 5-1 in the last two Big Ten Tournaments.
Purdue will enter the NCAA Tournament with a 17-5 record against KenPom top-50 teams – the most wins in the country against the top 50.
The Boilermakers improved to 7-0 in neutral-site games and lead the country in wins away from home with 15.
Zach Edey was named tournament MVP after averaging 26.0 points and 12.7 rebounds in the three tournament games.
Edey became the first Purdue player to score 30 or more points in consecutive games since Glenn Robinson in 1994.
Edey now has eight 30-10 games this season, the most for a major-college player in the last 15 years, surpassing the seven by Duke’s Marvin Bagley and Texas’ Kevin Durant.
Edey surpassed 1,500 career points in the win over Penn State, and now has 736 points (6th in school history), 423 rebounds (2nd in school history), 69 blocks and 51 assists this season. He needs 14 points and 37 rebounds to become the first player since Navy’s David Robinson (1986) to have 750 points, 450 rebounds and 50 blocks in a season.
Edey’s 78 points and 38 rebounds in a single Big Ten Tournament are both the most in school history. The 78 points are the 7th most by any player in Big Ten Tournament history while the 38 rebounds are 4th.
Braden Smith’s 17 assists in the three games were the most for a Purdue player in a single Big Ten Tournament.
PURDUE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
BOILERS BACK IN NCAA TOURNAMENT AS 11 SEED
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue women’s basketball team is going dancing. For the first time since 2016-17 season, the Boilermakers heard their named called on the ESPN NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday Show to head to their 27th NCAA Tournament in program history.
Purdue will open its March Madness run on Thursday in the First Four as an 11 seed against 11th-seeded St. John’s on ESPN2. Tipoff from Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio, is set for 7 p.m.
Tim Newton and Jane Schott on the Purdue Radio Network on 95.3 BOB FM will provide the radio call.
The winner of Thursday’s matchup will take on No. 6 North Carolina on Saturday. Site host 3rd-seeded Ohio will face No. 14 seed James Madison in the nightcap. The winners of the two games will meet on Monday.
Head coach Katie Gearlds and the Boilermakers are 19-10 on the year and went 9-8 in Big Ten play, Purdue’s first winning record in league play since the 2017-18 campaign. Much of Purdue’s success in the Big Ten was on the road as five league victories came away from Mackey Arena. Two of those road wins were against No. 21 Illinois and No. 2 Ohio State, the latter being Purdue’s first ever true road win against an AP Top-5 opponent.
Gearlds joined Purdue greats Lin Dunn and Carolyn Peck as the only head coaches in program history to improve the Boilermakers’ win total in each of their first two seasons.
Senior Jeanae Terry was tabbed Second Team All-Big Ten by the league’s coaches and Big Ten All-Defensive Team by the media after averaging 6.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 2.4 steals per game. Terry, Iowa’s Caitlin Clark and Notre Dame’s Olivia Miles are the only players in the country to average over six points, rebounds and assists this season. Fellow senior Abbey Ellis garnered Big Ten honorable mention status after scoring in double figures in 10 league games.
Transfers Lasha Petree and Caitlyn Harper made their impact in their first season in West Lafayette, combining to average 24.8 points per game, led by Petree’s team-high 14.5 points per night.
Fifth-year senior Cassidy Hardin delayed her start to medical school to return to Purdue for a final campaign with the goal of reaching the NCAA Tournament.
The Boilermakers are 47-25 in their previous 26 NCAA Tournament appearances. The 1999 NCAA National Champions, Purdue is the only team from the Big Ten to win a national title in women’s basketball. The Boilermakers’ trio of Final Four appearances is also a Big Ten record.
Purdue is an 11 seed for the second time in program history, following the 2016 tournament. It will be the Boilermakers’ first appearance in the First Four. Purdue is 26-12 all-time on neutral floors in the NCAA Tournament.
The Boilermakers and Red Storm have met just once before in the Paradise Jam in 2018. St. John’s edged Purdue 68-62.
PURDUE SOFTBALL FALLS AT LONG BEACH STATE
LONG BEACH, Calif. – After two days of being rained out, the Boilermaker softball team (11-7) fell at Long Beach State (8-13) in the first game of the weekend with a 1-8 decision.
After a double by Tyrina Jones and the first home run of the season by Alex Echazarreta to start the game, the Boilermakers were held hit-less as Long Beach State racked up runs in the first, second, third and sixth innings, a lead Purdue could not come back from.
Receiving the loss is Echazarreta (4-6). Echazarreta pitched the first .2 innings before Madi Elish (1.0 inning) and Alexa Pinarski (4.1 innings) each took a turn in the circle.
PURDUE WOMEN’S TENNIS
BOILERS UPSET TERPS TO SWEEP THE WEEKEND
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – In its first ranked matchup of the year, the Purdue women’s tennis upset No. 46 Maryland 4-2 in a highly competitive match on Sunday.
The Boilermakers got off to a fast start as Liz Norman/Csilla Fodor took their doubles match at No. 1 with a comfortable 6-4 result. The duo earned just their second victory in as many days, bringing their record to 2-1 at the lead position.
After starting with a 0-1 deficit, Carmen Gallardo Guevara got the Boilers on the board with a quick win in straight sets to tie the match at one-all. She’s now 3-1 at No. 3 and has built a two-match win streak to start conference play.
With a tied match, everything came to a stalemate. Five of the six singles matches went to three sets, with the Boilermakers winning three of them.
The crack in the dam began with Juana Larranaga Battling from a set down and dominating in the final set for a 6-1 win that gave Purdue the edge.
Maryland snuck a victory in at No. 4 but it wouldn’t matter as Liz Norman and Kennedy Gibbs flipped their matches on their heads.
Norman took her first set and lost the second by a score of 6-3, but absolutely crushed the final set. Her 6-1 score in the final set gave the Boilers all the momentum they needed to take down the Terps.
Gibbs proved to be the hero of the day by never giving up the fight. She dropped her first set 4-6 and trailed by a game for most of the second, but she dug deep and powered her way to a second-set victory and never looked back. In the final set to decide the match, she rallied from a 3-1 deficit and never allowed her opponent another game. As she took match point, her teammates raced towards her with emphatic energy as the Boilers pull the upset over #46 Maryland.
The Boilers close out their non-conference slate with a trip to California as they take on San Diego State this Friday, March 17 at 5 p.m.
No. 50 Purdue (11-1, 2-0)- 4, No. 46 Maryland (10-3, 1-1)- 2
1. Liz Norman (PU) def. Marta Perez Mur (UM)- 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
2. Selma Cadar (UM) vs. Csilla Fodor (PU)- 6-3, 6-7(5), 2-1 (Unfinished)
3. Carmen Gallardo Guevara (PU) def. Minorka Miranda (UM)- 6-2, 6-4
4. Kallista Liu (UM) def. Tara Milic (PU)- 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
5. Kennedy Gibbs (PU) def. Francesca Feodorov (UM)- 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
6. Juana Larranaga (PU) def. Hannah McColgan (UM)- 1-6, 6-4, 6-1
1. Liz Norman/Csilla Fodor (PU) def. Marta Perez Mur/Minorka Miranda (UM)- 6-4
2. Jojo Bach/Hannah McColgan (UM) def. Tara Milic/Carmen Gallardo Guevara (PU)- 7-6(3)
3. Selma Cadar/Francesca Feodorov (UM) def. Juana Larranaga/Kennedy Gibbs (PU)- 6-4
Singles- 3, 4, 6, 1, 5, 2 (Unfinished)
Doubles- 1, 3, 2
SEMO SWEEPS BUTLER WITH 2-1 WIN ON SUNDAY
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Southeast Missouri came up with a two-RBI single in the sixth inning to break a scoreless tie and the Redhawks would hang on to defeat Butler on Sunday 2-1. The Bulldogs end the weekend with a 2-14 overall record.
Andrews singled to center to score Cameron and Mason to give SEMO the 2-0 lead. Butler got a run back in the eighth when Joey Urban found room in right to score DeFries. The game came down to the wire with BU advancing a runner to third in the top of the ninth inning with two outs. The count was full for the final at-bat, but a fly out to left would end the action.
Haden Dow earned the win on the mound and Logan Katen was in the box score with the save. Dow struck out 10 and only walked two. He limited BU to just one run off three hits.
For Butler, Alex Voss got the start and went 5.1 innings before exiting the hill for Aaron Barokas. The duo combined for seven strikeouts.
BUTLER MEN’S BASKETBALL
MYLES TATE TO TRANSFER
Butler Junior guard Myles Tate has entered the transfer portal according to 247Sports.
The guard averaged 2.5 points per game in 7.7 minutes per game. Tate averaged 25 minutes per game as a freshman but suffered a knee injury his sophomore season that cost him most of the season.
TATE QUOTE: “I can’t really put into words the frustration that I’ve been through,” Tate said. “Through injuries and all that. But it all works out at the end because you just stay down, stay patient and just stay ready. It’s all easier because you already got the mindset to do it.”
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL RECEIVES POSTSEASON WNIT BID
MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State women’s basketball team has accepted an invitation to play in the upcoming Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) that consists of 64 teams. The WNIT will announce matchups, full bracket and round one game times Monday.
Ball State will be making its eighth WNIT appearance under Ball State 11th-year head coach Brady Sallee and 11th overall (all since 2002). The Cardinals are 6-10 all-time in WNIT play winning a first round game in 2018 and then won two games to reach the final 16 of the 2013 event.
Ball State enters the WNIT with a 25-8 overall record. The Cardinals went 14-4 in Mid-American Conference play and made it to the semifinal game of the 2023 Mid-American Conference Tournament for the second-straight season which was also under Sallee. The 20-win season marks the sixth time within the last eight campaigns he has reach the 20-win plateau.
Sallee, is the only head coach in program history to take the Cardinals to eight WNITs. He is also the program’s winningest coach with 208 victories.
The 2023 WNIT field features 64 NCAA Division I women’s basketball teams. The field includes 30 teams that receive automatic berths – one berth from each of the nation’s established conferences – and 33 at-large selections. All teams at the NCAA Division I level are considered for at-large berths, including those who are independent and/or are in the process of reaching full NCAA Division I status.
BALL STATE GYMNASTICS
GYMNASTICS CAPS REGULAR SEASON WITH PROGRAM RECORD & MAC CO-CHAMPIONSHIP
MUNCIE, Ind. – – Sunday was another record-setting afternoon for Ball State gymnastics, which used a program record team score of 196.900 to capture a share of the 2023 Mid-American Conference regular season championship at Worthen Arena.
While the Cardinals (16-6; 5-1 MAC) came up 0.050 short of visiting Western Michigan, which scored 196.950, BSU was able to secure a share of the league crown with the Broncos (11-4; 5-1 MAC).
“We knew coming into the day that we needed to get our jobs done, and that’s what they did,” head coach Joanna Saleem said. “They came in focused on the gymnastics and the things they had control over. While there were a few mistakes, at the end of the day we did not get caught up in them and continued to battle until the very last routine. It’s a big deal at this point in the season to see that kind of growth and the success it brings them.”
In a battle of the league’s top ranked teams in the NQS, Ball State started off hot with a 49.200 on vault, highlighted by another 9.950 and event win from junior Suki Pfister.
The Cardinals carried the momentum over to bars, landing five routines of 9.825-or-higher for the third-best bars score in program history at 49.225. Senior Grace Evans was BSU’s top gymnast in the event, landing a 9.875.
On beam, the Cardinals used 9.900s from senior Taylor Waldo and sophomore Grace Sumner to finish with a mark of 49.100.
Ball State’s seniors would shine again on floor, led by a career-best tying score of 9.925 from Megan Teter which locked up the event victory. Waldo added her second solid performance of the day with a 9.875.
Overall, Ball State’s seniors shined on senior day, including a 9.825 on beam from Lauren Volpe. In fact, the Cardinals four seniors accounted for seven of the team’s 18 scores of 9.800-or-higher on the day.
“The growth of each of our seniors, from freshman year to now, has been something really special to be a part of,” Saleem added. “I am glad we were able to celebrate their contributions with the type of performance we had today.”
Rotation 1 – Vault (49.200)
– The Cardinals started the meet strong, earning the fourth-best vault score in program history at 49.200.
– Suki Pfister led the way, earning her seventh vault victory of the season and tying her career-best score with a 9.950
– Junior Victoria Henry, who had won the last two vault competition entering the day, was right behind in second at 9.875.
– The Cardinals also counted 9.800s from junior Hannah Ruthberg and Megan Teter, as well as a career-best tying 9.775 from freshman Leah White.
Rotation 2 – Bars (49.225)
– The Cardinals followed the opening rotation with the third-best bars score in program history at 49.225.
– Grace Evans led the way for BSU with her 9.875, tying for second in the meet.
– BSU also counted 9.850s from Hannah Ruthberg and Megan Teter, as well as 9.825s from Grace Sumner and freshman Zoe Middleton.
– Middleton’s 9.825 tied her career-best effort on bars.
Rotation 3 – Beam (49.100)
– BSU continued strong with the ninth-best beam score in program history at 49.100.
– Taylor Waldo and Grace Sumner each registered 9.900s on the apparatus to tie for second.
– Lauren Volpe added a 9.825, while BSU also counted a 9.750 from Victoria Henry and a 9.725 from Hannah Ruthberg.
Rotation 4 – Floor (49.375):
– Ball State saved its best for last, however, tallying a 49.375 on floor which is the fourth-best floor score in the BSU record book.
– Megan Teter shined in her Senior Day routine, picking up the event win with a 9.925.
– Victoria Henry and Taylor Waldo were not far behind, each scoring a 9.875.
– The Cardinals were also able to count 9.850s from Zoe Middleton and Hannah Ruthberg.
– Hannah Ruthberg had another solid all-around performance, following her program record effort from Friday with a 39.225 this afternoon … The effort included 9.850s on floor and bars, as well as a 9.800 on vault and a 9.725 on beam.
– Victoria Henry chipped in a 38.625 in the all-around, led by 9.875 performances on vault and floor.
More From Saleem:
What impresses you the most about our team’s performance?
– What impresses me the most about our team is that week after week, they are coming out and not only performing well, but able to adapt when things aren’t quite perfect. In this sport, it’s so hard to have that mentality, to continue to work towards your goals without letting the pressure get to you. That is what has led to our success, the way they handle the bumps in the road. I just love working with this group.”
What’s the mindset heading into the MAC Championships?
Heading into the MAC Championships, the plan is to continue to do what we’ve been doing. That’s what has gotten us here. That’s continuing to focus on the details, supporting each other, and keeping ourselves included in our own little bubble. It’s not just one person, it’s the whole team. We need every one of them to be engaged, plugged in, because they all bring something unique and special. It’s been a real joy to be able to work with this group.
Next Time Out:
The Ball State gymnastics team returns to action Saturday when it travels to Kent State for the 2023 Mid-American Conference Championships. Action is slated to start at 2 p.m. at the M.A.C. Center.
NOTRE DAME WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
IRISH TO HOST NCAA TOURNEY FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2019
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A number of firsts were knocked out on Sunday night, as No. 11 Notre Dame (25-5) found out it will host the first and second rounds of the 2023 NCAA Tournament as a No. 3 seed. It is the first time the Irish will welcome teams to South Bend for the event since 2019 when the group was a No. 1 seed.
In addition to the aforementioned first, this is Karen and Kevin Keyes Family Head Coach Niele Ivey’s first time at the helm when the Irish are hosting. Finally, Notre Dame has never been a No. 3 seed. It is the group’s highest seed since 2019.
Notre Dame will face Southern Utah (23-9) on Friday, and should the Irish win, they would see Illinois, Mississippi State or Creighton on Sunday. All times remain TBD. If the group survives until the Sweet 16, they will head to Greenville. Greenville and Seattle are the only two regional destinations for this year’s tournament.
The Irish are coming off of an ACC Tournament semifinal loss to Louisville last weekend. They beat NC State to get there, and sophomore Sonia Citron ran the point and posted a season-high 28 points in that contest.
Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament by the Numbers
All-time record: 69-25 (.734)
First-round record: 23-4 (.852)
Home record: 22-2 (.917)
523: Notre Dame’s 523 points in the 2018 NCAA Tournament ranks fifth all-time
155: Arike Ogunbowale’s 155 points in the 2019 NCAA Tournament ranks fourth all-time
73.4: Notre Dame’s 73.4 winning percentage in the NCAA Tournament ranks fifth all-time
54.3: Notre Dame’s 54.3 FG% (102-188) in last year’s NCAA Tournament ranks sixth all-time
54: Sonia Citron is one of 54 players to go at least a perfect 10-10 from the free throw line in the NCAA Tournament (11-11 vs Oklahoma in 2022)
20: Niele Ivey’s 20 steals in the 2001 NCAA Tournament ranks sixth all-time
1: Olivia Miles is the only freshman to ever record a triple-double in the NCAA Tournament
NOTRE DAME SWIMMING
NOTRE DAME TO SEND THREE DIVERS TO NCAAS
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — After a lengthy dual meet season, ACC Championships and Zone C Championships, three Notre Dame divers have punched their tickets to NCAAs.
On the women’s side, graduate Allie Klein and sophomore Calie Brady both qualified in the 1-meter and 3-meter events this week at Zones, which were held at the University of Indiana in Bloomington.
Klein, who is from Australia and transferred to Notre Dame this year after four years at Michigan, finished ninth in the 3-meter and 12th in the 1-meter in Bloomington to punch her ticket for the second straight year. She posted final scores of 597.15 and 529.90, respectively.
Brady will also be headed to NCAAs for the second consecutive season, as she is now 2-for-2 in making NCAAs in her college career. Her 1-meter score of 567.85 earlier this week was good enough to finish seventh, and she added a bonus event in the 3-meter with a 10th place finish and a score of 587.85. Brady finished eighth in the 3-meter at ACCs.
The women will join senior swimmers Coleen Gillilan and Ellie Jew in Knoxville for a total of four participants. The event will be held at the University of Tennessee from March 15-18.
Freshman Daniel Knapp will be the sole diving representative for Notre Dame when the men head to Minneapolis from March 22-25. The University of Minnesota is the host this year.
Knapp took fifth place in Bloomington this weekend in the 1-meter with a score of 688.00. He finished 16th in the 3-meter, just outside of the qualifying list. Knapp, who hails from Arizona, took fourth place in the 1-meter at ACCs, topping off an impressive freshman season.
INDIANA STATE BASEBALL
FENLONG DOMINATES, POTTINGER HOMERS AS SYCAMORES COMPLETE SWEEP OF MEMPHIS
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Connor Fenlong went a career-long 8.2 innings in a dominant start and Adam Pottinger homered as Indiana State completed the weekend sweep at Memphis with a 5-2 win on Sunday at FedExPark Avron Fogelman Field.
Fenlong (1-1) surpassed his previous career-long outing, a 7.0-inning start last season at Bradley, on his way to posting a masterful performance on the mound. The redshirt senior scattered seven singles and struck out eight on the way to nearly posting the first complete game of his career. Jared Spencer closed out the game on the mound getting the final strikeout to end the contest.
Memphis took the early lead thanks to an Anthony Hansen RBI single in the bottom of the second, but the Sycamores battled back to take the lead in the fifth on Pottinger’s second home run of the season. His two-run shot scored Miguel Rivera and gave ISU the 2-1 lead.
Fenlong retired 12 batters in a row from the final out of the second until two outs in the sixth inning in shutting down the Tiger offense. ISU pieced together three insurance runs late and held off a late Memphis rally in securing the win.
Luis Hernandez and Mike Sears both posted multi-hit games on Sunday afternoon while Seth Gergely and Sears both doubled in the win. Pottinger was the team RBI leader courtesy of his two-run home run.
Cameron Benson posted three of Memphis’ eight hits in the loss, while Hansen added a pair of singles for the Tigers’ offense.
Seth Garner (1-1) took the loss after surrendering five hits and two runs over 6.1 innings. Dalton Kendrick and Carson Stinnett closed out the final 2.2 innings on the mound for Memphis.
How They Scored
Anthony Hansen connected on an RBI single in the bottom of the second inning to put Memphis ahead as Braden Webb came across to score and take the 1-0 lead.
Adam Pottinger gave Indiana State its first lead of the game in the top of the fifth as the junior left fielder connected on a 1-0 pitch and drove it over the left field wall for a two-run home run scoring Miguel Rivera to put ISU ahead 2-1.
Luis Hernandez added to the Sycamore lead in the top of the eighth with an RBI single to right field scoring Randal Diaz to put ISU ahead 3-1.
The Sycamores plated two more insurance runs in the ninth with Mike Sears doubling home Seth Gergely and Grant Magill bringing Sears home with a sacrifice fly to make it a 5-1 game.
Webb scored the final run of the game coming around to score on a throw down to second in the bottom of the ninth to provide the final margin.
News & Notes
Seth Gergely’s on-base streak reached 22 consecutive games as the redshirt senior doubled to lead off the top of the ninth inning. Gergely has reached base safely in all 15 games in the 2023 season.
Adam Pottinger connected on his second home run of 2023 and first since February 25 against Northeastern.
Pottinger becomes the third Sycamore to post multiple home runs on the year joining Mike Sears (4) and Randal Diaz (2).
ISU’s sweep over Memphis marked the Sycamores’ first weekend sweep since taking all three games at Valparaiso last year over April 9-11, 2022.
The three-game sweep also was Indiana State’s first non-conference sweep since the Sycamores took all three games at Florida International back on March 5-7, 2021.
Indiana State homered in all five games this week with Mike Sears, Randal Diaz (twice), Adam Pottinger, and Grant Magill all going deep against SEMO and Memphis.
The Sycamores’ five-game winning streak equals the longest winning streak in 2022 when Indiana State took the final against Illinois State, a midweek at Purdue, and the three-game sweep at Valparaiso from April 6-10.
Connor Fenlong’s 8.2 inning start was the longest of his Indiana State career and marked his first win as a starting pitcher in the Blue & White.
Indiana State closes out its season-opening road trip on Tuesday, March 14, as the Sycamores travel to Champaign-Urbana, Ill. to take on the University of Illinois. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT.
PURDUE FT. WAYNE WOMEN’S GOLF
PURDUE FORT WAYNE WOMEN’S GOLF VISITS SUNSHINE STATE THIS WEEK
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Purdue Fort Wayne women’s golf team is hitting the links on Monday and Tuesday (March 13-14) in Orlando, Florida at the Peggy Kirk Bell Invitational.
Event: Peggy Kirk Bell Invitational
When: March 13-14 | 36 holes on Monday, 18 holes on Tuesday
Where: Orlando, Fla.
Course: Orange Tree Golf Resort
Format: Play five, take four
Live Results: Link
Purdue Fort Wayne, Rollins, Nova Southeastern, West Georgia, Saint Leo, Florida Southern, Lynn, Barry, Lee, Wingate, Eckerd, Columbus State, Palm Beach Atlantic.
About the Course
Orange Tree Golf Club is a family owned and operated private golf club in the heart of the Dr. Phillips area. Designed in 1972 by Joe Lee, Orange Tree Golf Club features 7036 yards of gorgeous fairways and greens; and with six sets of tees to choose from, Orange Tree Golf Club is the perfect course for players of all ages and skill levels. For 48 years we have been considered the “hidden gem” of Orlando, with a well-deserved reputation for excellence in design and course maintenance. We are a U.S. Open Local Qualifier, and a Florida State Senior Open Qualifying course. We are widely known for having excellent greens, and we feature what many consider to be the best three finishing holes in all of Florida… “The Loop.”
Arny Dagsdottir, Anna Olafsdottir, Laura Caetano, Luiza Caetano and Taylor Norman will compete for the Mastodon team score. Natalie Papa will play as an individual.
Golfer of the Week!
Arny Dagsdottir was the first Mastodon to be named the Horizon League Golfer of the Week on February 16. She tied for eighth at the Utah Tech Cafe Zupas Trailblazer Invitational with a two-round score of 77-76-153. She was one of just six players in the field to record an eagle, and the only one in the first round. She finished the week with four birdies and 19 pars in addition to her eagle.
One in a Brazilian
Laura Caetano, a native of Brasilia, Brazil, has the third-best career average in Mastodon history. She has an average of 79.43, which only trails Holly Anderson’s 77.39 and Anna Olafsdottir’s 79.18. Anderson played for the Mastodons from 2018-21. Caetano’s career-best of 72 came in her first round at Purdue Fort Wayne at the Golfweek Program Championship in 2019.
Anna Olafsdottir ranks just behind Anderson in career scoring average. The junior from Iceland is averaging 79.18 strokes per round. She has a top-five and four top-10 finishes in her career, the most recent of which came at the Dayton Flyer Invitational on October 18, where she took ninth.
Down Go The Records
Purdue Fort Wayne had nearly all of its tournament records fall at the Cardinal Classic on September 20.
18-Hole Individual: Anna Olafsdottir – 69 – tied two other Mastodon players
36-Hole Individual: Anna Olafsdottir – 140
54-Hole Individual: Anna Olafsdottir – 217
36-Hole Team: 596
54-Hole Team: 910
Last Time Out
Anna Olafsdottir led the Mastodons with an 11th-place finish at the Bright’s Creek Women’s Intercollegiate.
The Mastodons have a familiar destination next week at the Nevel Meade Collegiate. Several Horizon League schools play in Cleveland State’s event every year.
SCHULTZ, HUG, RUMSEY POWER UE PAST MTSU, 5-3, TO WIN SERIES
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – University of Evansville junior starter Donovan Schultz tossed seven shutout innings on Sunday, and fifth-year first baseman Chase Hug and sophomore outfielder Ty Rumsey launched home runs, as the Purple Aces downed the host Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders, 5-3, to win the weekend series at Reese Smith Jr Field in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
“This was a great series win on the road for this team,” said UE head coach Wes Carroll. “I really am proud of the effort and energy this squad showed the last two days after losing the opener on Friday. Donovan Schultz had an outstanding effort today, and Chase Hug just continues to stay hot at the plate.”
Evansville jumped out early, scoring a run before Schultz even took the mound. UE loaded the bases on a hit-by-pitch, a walk, and a bunt single by junior shortstop Simon Scherry, before junior catcher Brendan Hord plated a run with a run-scoring fielder’s choice to give UE a 1-0 lead.
MTSU would threaten with two men on in the bottom of the inning, but Schultz worked out of it. Then, a lead-off double in the bottom of the second inning put Schultz in another jam, but he bounced back to retire the next three men in order, and retired the next six men overall to set the tone for the contest.
Hug would then manufacture two runs for Schultz and the Aces in the fourth inning. With two outs, he roped an RBI double into the right-field corner to move UE’s lead to 2-0. Then, Hug scampered home from second on a wild pitch to move the lead to 3-0.
Schultz kept the Blue Raiders at bay through the middle innings, again retiring six-straight men at one point, before Hug would crush a solo home run to right field to give UE a 4-0 lead. Schultz then worked around a lead-off walk in the seventh inning to keep the Blue Raiders scoreless in his final inning of work. Schultz (2-1) scattered three hits and three walks in 7.0 scoreless innings while striking out four to earn his second-straight victory on the mound.
Rumsey would cap UE’s scoring with a solo home run of his own to right field in the eighth inning to push the lead to 5-0. The Blue Raiders would score three runs in the ninth inning, but reliever John MacCauley got MTSU shortstop Brett Coker to ground out to Scherry at short to end the contest.
Hug went 2-for-3 with a double, a home run, two runs scored and two RBI to lead UE. Rumsey also went 2-for-4 with a home run – his first of the year. Scherry, senior second baseman Brent Widder and sophomore third baseman Ben Stuart also had hits for UE.
With the victory, Evansville improves to 9-7 overall and has won nine of its last 11 games overall. MTSU, meanwhile, falls to 7-8 with the loss. UE will wrap up a five-game road trip on Tuesday afternoon by traveling to Louisville, Kentucky to take on the Bellarmine Knights. First-pitch is set for 1 p.m. central time.
SOUTHERN INDIANA SOFTBALL
USI SOFTBALL CLAIMS FIRST OVC SERIES WIN ON SUNDAY
MOREHEAD, Ky. – University of Southern Indiana Softball captured a 9-5 win in the rubber match at Morehead State University on Sunday, claiming the Screaming Eagles’ first Ohio Valley Conference series win in program history.
Sunday’s win improved USI’s overall record to 8-11 and 2-1 in OVC play. Through the opening weekend of the OVC season, USI sits in the top half of the standings. Morehead State dropped to 5-8 overall and 1-2 in the OVC.
Southern Indiana struck first in the top of the second inning on an RBI single rocketed into centerfield by sophomore outfielder Kennedy Nalley (Huntingburg, Indiana). USI added two more runs in the third inning to take a 3-0 lead off an RBI hit by freshman third baseman Carlee Effinger (Evansville, Indiana) and a defensive error by Morehead State.
The Screaming Eagles surged ahead to a 5-0 advantage through the top of the fourth inning. With two outs, another defensive error by Morehead State allowed one run to score, and then junior catcher Sammie Kihega (Greenfield, Indiana) drilled an RBI double into right-center field to score the second run of the inning for USI.
In the meantime, USI sophomore pitcher Josie Newman (Indianapolis, Indiana) was in control in the circle, holding Morehead State scoreless and hitless through 3.2 innings. With two outs and a baserunner at second, Morehead State doubled to record its first hit and run of the contest.
Southern Indiana tacked on two more runs in the top of the fifth, extending USI’s lead to 7-1. Junior outfielder Mackenzie Bedrick (Brownsburg, Indiana) tripled to the left-center gap to drive in both runs. The Screaming Eagles’ offense continued its string of two-run innings in the sixth, growing Southern Indiana’s lead to 9-1.
Offensively, Bedrick and Effinger led USI in the game with two RBIs each. In the hit column, senior designated player Allie Goodin (Evansville, Indiana) paced USI with a 3-for-5 day. Kihega and senior infielder Rachel Martinez (Chicago, Illinois) also had multi-hit games with two hits each.
Morehead State did not give up, making some noise in the bottom of the sixth and scoring four runs in the inning off a pair of two-run home runs.
Newman settled back in to retire the side in order in the bottom of the seventh inning to finish off the complete game and the 9-5 win for USI.
Sunday was Newman’s sixth complete game of the season, as her record improved to 7-4 with the win. The sophomore struck out seven in the contest.
Morehead State’s freshman pitcher Jessie Begley was charged with the loss, moving her record to 2-1. Begley went 3.2 innings, giving up five runs – two earned – off eight hits.
The Screaming Eagles will host their home-opening series next weekend on Saturday and Sunday against Lindenwood University in an OVC series. Saturday’s doubleheader starts at 12 p.m., and Sunday’s first pitch is also scheduled for 12 p.m. from USI Softball Field. Admission to all 2023 USI Softball home spring games is free, courtesy of The Women’s Hospital Deaconess. All three games can be seen with a subscription to ESPN+ and heard on The Spin 95.7 FM. Additional coverage links can be found on the USI Softball schedule page on usiscreamingeagles.com.
SOFTBALL DROPS SERIES FINALE AT EKU
The Valpo softball team fell in its series finale Sunday afternoon at Eastern Kentucky by an 8-0 final.
How It Happened
Junior Alexis Johnson (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) picked up a one-out single in the top of the first, but was unable to advance past first base.
The Colonels took the lead with three runs in their first time at the plate, all with two outs on an RBI double and a two-run homer.
Junior Regi Hecker (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Blue Springs South) went the other way for a two-out single in the top of the third.
EKU connected on a three-run homer in the third and scored a pair of unearned runs in the fourth to cap the scoring.
Inside the Game
Hecker has tallied at least one hit in six of Valpo’s last seven games and has reached base safely in eight straight contests.
Johnson is reaching base at a .429 clip over Valpo’s last five games.
The Beacons were limited to just the two hits and failed to draw a walk for just the second time this year.
Valpo (3-14) takes to the diamond for its final game before the start of MVC play on Wednesday afternoon with a 1 p.m. game at Illinois.
MARIAN ROLLS PAST MIDLAND 15-8
INDIANAPOLIS – The Marian women’s lacrosse team jumped back in the win column on Sunday afternoon, putting up early goals on the Midland to coast to a 15-8 victory against the Warriors. Marian’s win improves their record to 4-2 overall on the year.
The Knights worked through a three possessions before cracking the goose egg on the scoreboard, as a pair of turnovers and empty possession with three wide shot attempts kept the Knights off the board in the opening 3:30 of play. A turnover caused by Madison Ash helped spark the offense, as the scoreless start was snapped with Grace Martin’s goal, as she claimed the opening score of the day. Marian would work a pair of possessions before getting back into scoring territory, as Madeline Dumke notched her lone goal of the day with 8:58 to play in the first half. The Warriors would answer on a breakaway goal just 38 seconds later, but Marian had an answer as Ashlynn Gray scored a man-advantage goal.
Ella Grace Giedd capped the first quarter scoring with a score at the 4:38 mark, with Marian missing shots wide of the goal on three of their four possessions. The offense continued to stay aggressive as the game progressed into the second quarter, with Marian adding to their lead on a Ruby Mason goal. The Knights gained a six goal lead soon after Mason’s goal, as Madison Ash ripped a pair of shots that found the back of the cage within 11 seconds of each other, pushing the Marian total to seven. Midland would score twice before the half’s end, but a goal with 45.4 seconds remaining from Taleah Nool helped Marian take an 8-3 lead into the halftime break.
The Knights put the game away in the third quarter, making their mark as they out-scored the Warriors 7-1. Ashlynn Gray completed the hat trick with two early goals, while a score by Martin put Marian in the lead 11-3. Injuries plagued the short-handed Warriors in the third quarter as they played most of the second half man-down, and Marian took advantage with Martin scoring her second of the quarter on a free position shot. The Warriors would break up the Knights run with a goal, but it was not enough to slow down the home team as Katelynn Gray, Giedd, and Mason scored before the conclusion of the quarter, starting the running clock with Marian on top 15-4.
The lead allowed Marian to rotate players around on offense and defense in the fourth quarter, allowing different Knights to work on the attack. Midland would score the final four goals of the game in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough to complete a comeback as the Knights prevailed 15-8.
Both Martin and Gray scored three goals each, with Giedd, Ash, and Mason notching two scores each. Katelynn Gray and Giedd led the Knights with three assists each. Four different Knights caused a turnover in the game, and Mason led the Knights with four ground balls. Katherine Hirsch earned the win in goal, allowing three scores in first half work while making six saves.
Marian will travel to Wittenberg on Wednesday, completing their non-conference schedule at 6 p.m.
SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETIC SITES:
INDIANA WESLEYAN ATHLETICS: https://iwuwildcats.com/
EARLHAM ATHLETICS: https://goearlham.com/
WABASH ATHLETICS: https://sports.wabash.edu/
FRANKLIN ATHLETICS: https://franklingrizzlies.com/
ROSE-HULMAN ATHLETICS: https://athletics.rose-hulman.edu/
ANDERSON ATHLETICS: https://athletics.anderson.edu/landing/index
TRINE ATHLETICS: https://trinethunder.com/landing/index
BETHEL ATHLETICS: https://bupilots.com/
DEPAUW ATHLETICS: https://depauwtigers.com/
HANOVER ATHLETICS: https://athletics.hanover.edu/
MANCHESTER ATHLETICS: https://muspartans.com/
HUNTINGTON ATHLETICS: https://www.huathletics.com/
OAKLAND CITY ATHLETICS: https://gomightyoaks.com/index.aspx
ST. FRANCIS ATHLETICS: https://www.saintfranciscougars.com/landing/index
IU KOKOMO ATHLETICS: https://iukcougars.com/
IU EAST ATHLETICS: https://www.iueredwolves.com/
IU SOUTH BEND ATHLETICS: https://iusbtitans.com/
PURDUE NORTHWEST ATHLETICS: https://pnwathletics.com/
INDIANA TECH ATHLETICS: https://indianatechwarriors.com/index.aspx
GRACE COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://gclancers.com/
ST. MARY OF THE WOODS ATHLETICS: https://smwcathletics.com/
GOSHEN COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://goleafs.net/
HOLY CROSS ATHLETICS: https://www.hcsaints.com/index.php
TAYLOR ATHLETICS: https://www.taylortrojans.com/
VINCENNES ATHLETICS: https://govutrailblazers.com/landing/index
|W||L||Pct||Conf GB||Home||Road||Div||Conf||Last 10||Streak|
|1 Milwaukee||48||19||.716||—||28-6||20-13||8-4||29-14||8-2||1 L|
|2 Boston||47||21||.691||1.5||26-9||21-12||9-4||29-16||6-4||2 W|
|3 Philadelphia||45||22||.672||3.0||26-10||19-12||7-6||26-15||7-3||5 W|
|4 Cleveland||43||27||.614||6.5||28-7||15-20||12-3||27-14||5-5||1 W|
|5 Brooklyn||39||29||.574||9.5||19-12||20-17||7-8||26-18||5-5||2 W|
|6 New York||40||30||.571||9.5||19-16||21-14||8-8||28-17||7-3||1 W|
|7 Miami||36||33||.522||13.0||22-13||14-20||9-5||19-23||4-6||1 L|
|8 Atlanta||34||34||.500||14.5||18-14||16-20||7-8||21-23||5-5||1 L|
|9 Toronto||32||36||.471||16.5||20-13||12-23||4-9||20-21||5-5||3 L|
|10 Chicago||31||36||.463||17.0||18-15||13-21||6-8||23-22||5-5||2 W|
|11 Indiana||31||37||.456||17.5||19-16||12-21||6-5||21-19||6-4||2 W|
|12 Washington||31||37||.456||17.5||15-17||16-20||7-5||18-24||3-7||3 L|
|13 Orlando||28||40||.412||20.5||16-19||12-21||5-8||15-28||4-6||1 W|
|14 Charlotte||22||48||.314||27.5||11-22||11-26||7-9||13-32||5-5||2 L|
|15 Detroit||15||53||.221||33.5||8-27||7-26||0-12||6-35||0-10||11 L|
|W||L||Pct||Conf GB||Home||Road||Div||Conf||Last 10||Streak|
|1 Denver||46||22||.676||—||30-6||16-16||10-5||32-13||6-4||3 L|
|2 Sacramento||40||26||.606||5.0||21-13||19-13||8-6||27-14||8-2||3 W|
|3 Memphis||40||26||.606||5.0||28-5||12-21||8-2||22-19||6-4||2 W|
|4 Phoenix||37||30||.552||8.5||22-11||15-19||9-2||24-16||7-3||1 L|
|5 LA Clippers||36||33||.522||10.5||18-15||18-18||6-7||20-21||5-5||3 W|
|6 Golden State||35||33||.515||11.0||28-7||7-26||5-8||22-18||6-4||1 W|
|7 Minnesota||34||34||.500||12.0||20-16||14-18||8-7||25-20||4-6||2 L|
|8 Dallas||34||34||.500||12.0||22-13||12-21||8-4||25-20||3-7||2 L|
|9 Utah||33||35||.485||13.0||20-13||13-22||5-8||21-22||5-5||2 W|
|10 Oklahoma City||33||35||.485||13.0||20-15||13-20||7-7||20-23||5-5||2 W|
|11 LA Lakers||33||35||.485||13.0||18-16||15-19||4-9||19-22||7-3||1 L|
|12 New Orleans||33||35||.485||13.0||22-12||11-23||8-4||22-18||3-7||1 W|
|13 Portland||31||37||.456||15.0||17-15||14-22||5-8||21-20||3-7||3 L|
|14 San Antonio||17||50||.254||28.5||11-23||6-27||2-10||7-35||3-7||1 L|
|15 Houston||15||52||.224||30.5||9-24||6-28||3-9||9-35||2-8||3 L|
Eight teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs.
X – Clinched Playoff Spot, Y – Clinched Division, Z – Clinched Conference
|1 x-Boston Bruins||65||50||10||5||105||48||245||142||27-3-3||23-7-2||8-2-0|
|2 Carolina Hurricanes||65||43||14||8||94||39||217||165||23-8-2||20-6-6||6-4-0|
|3 New Jersey Devils||66||44||16||6||94||42||235||177||19-12-2||25-4-4||7-2-1|
|4 Toronto Maple Leafs||65||40||17||8||88||40||223||175||24-6-4||16-11-4||7-3-0|
|5 New York Rangers||66||37||19||10||84||33||217||186||17-11-4||20-8-6||4-5-1|
|6 Tampa Bay Lightning||67||39||22||6||84||37||233||206||24-6-5||15-16-1||3-5-2|
|7 Pittsburgh Penguins||66||34||22||10||78||33||217||210||19-9-5||15-13-5||7-2-1|
|8 New York Islanders||68||34||26||8||76||34||196||187||20-12-3||14-14-5||6-3-1|
|9 Florida Panthers||67||33||27||7||73||31||229||226||19-10-4||14-17-3||6-3-1|
|10 Washington Capitals||67||32||28||7||71||31||208||200||15-13-4||17-15-3||4-5-1|
|11 Ottawa Senators||66||33||29||4||70||31||207||212||19-12-2||14-17-2||6-4-0|
|12 Buffalo Sabres||65||32||28||5||69||31||238||236||13-18-3||19-10-2||4-5-1|
|13 Detroit Red Wings||66||30||27||9||69||28||199||217||17-12-4||13-15-5||3-6-1|
|14 Philadelphia Flyers||66||24||31||11||59||23||169||217||12-15-4||12-16-7||2-7-1|
|15 Montreal Canadiens||66||26||34||6||58||22||180||236||14-16-3||12-18-3||3-5-2|
|16 Columbus Blue Jackets||65||20||38||7||47||19||169||244||13-20-2||7-18-5||3-4-3|
|1 Vegas Golden Knights||67||41||20||6||88||37||217||185||21-13-1||20-7-5||7-2-1|
|2 Dallas Stars||66||36||17||13||85||33||229||178||17-9-8||19-8-5||6-3-1|
|3 Los Angeles Kings||67||38||20||9||85||32||228||221||20-9-3||18-11-6||6-2-2|
|4 Minnesota Wild||67||38||21||8||84||31||195||178||21-10-3||17-11-5||7-0-3|
|5 Seattle Kraken||66||37||22||7||81||37||232||211||16-13-4||21-9-3||5-4-1|
|6 Winnipeg Jets||67||38||26||3||79||37||209||189||21-11-2||17-15-1||3-5-2|
|7 Edmonton Oilers||67||36||23||8||80||36||258||227||16-12-5||20-11-3||6-4-0|
|8 Colorado Avalanche||64||36||22||6||78||32||206||181||18-11-5||18-11-1||6-3-1|
|9 Nashville Predators||64||33||24||7||73||29||186||189||16-11-3||17-13-4||7-2-1|
|10 Calgary Flames||67||30||24||13||73||28||206||204||16-14-3||14-10-10||4-4-2|
|11 St. Louis Blues||66||29||32||5||63||26||205||242||14-15-4||15-17-1||3-5-2|
|12 Vancouver Canucks||65||28||32||5||61||24||221||250||15-17-1||13-15-4||7-2-1|
|13 Arizona Coyotes||67||24||32||11||59||21||188||237||17-11-3||7-21-8||4-4-2|
|14 Anaheim Ducks||67||22||35||10||54||19||172||271||11-16-3||11-19-7||5-2-3|
|15 Chicago Blackhawks||66||22||38||6||50||20||165||236||13-18-3||9-20-3||3-6-1|
|16 San Jose Sharks||67||19||36||12||50||18||193||257||6-19-8||13-17-4||2-7-1|
Last updated Mar. 13, 1:12 ET
Eight teams in each conference qualify for the divisional playoff format. The top three teams from each division make up the first six spots. The two remaining teams with the highest points, regardless of division, qualify for the final two wild card spots.
X – Clinched Playoff Spot, Y – Clinched Division, Z – Clinched Conference
TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
1915 “Help me, Lads, I’m covered with my own blood!” – WILBERT ROBINSON, reacting to the fluid dripping down from his chest before quickly realizing it’s only grapefruit juice.
Dodger manager Wilbert Robinson, thinking he will catch a baseball dropped from a plane, is surprised and splattered when the sphere turns out to be a grapefruit. Although legend has it that Casey Stengel is behind the prank, the pilot, Ruth Law, a pioneer in American aviation, substituted part of her lunch when she realized she forgot to bring a baseball.
1944 It’s True, Cy Young’s middle name is not Tecumseh, as sometimes listed, but the initial T stands for True. The Hall of Fame right-hander’s middle name mixup may result from his teammates calling him ‘The Chief,’ the English word for Tecumseh.
1953 On the day that will become known as ‘Black Friday’ in Boston, Lou Perini announces he will seek permission from the National League to move his franchise to Milwaukee, home of the team’s top minor-league affiliate. The Braves owner cites low attendance as the reason for relocating the club after being in the New England city for 82 years.
1954 During an exhibition game against the Yankees, recently acquired Brave Bobby Thomson breaks his ankle in three places, sidelining him until July 14. The ’51 National League playoff hero is replaced in the Braves’ lineup by a promising prospect named Hank Aaron.
1960 Much to the chagrin of other owners and most of his players, Bill Veeck’s White Sox becomes the first team to put the players’ names on the back of the jersey, unveiling the new look on their road uniforms in an exhibition game against Cincinnati in Tampa. After the rest of the league’s clubs protest the Chicago owner’s innovation, the commissioner’s office will rule that in addition to displaying traditional numbers, each team will have the option to use monikered uniforms.
1979 The Tigers and Mets swap relievers, with Detroit sending Ed Glynn to the Big Apple in exchange for Mardie Cornejo, who, after posting a 4-2 record as a rookie last season, will never play in another major league game. The latest addition to the New York bullpen will make 84 appearances, compiling an ERA of 3.53 during the two years with his new club.
1986 Designated hitter Hal McRae, 39, and Brian, his 18-year-old second baseman son, play in a Royals preseason game against the Phillies at Terry Field to become the first father and son combination to appear as major league teammates. Kansas City manager Dick Howser refers to the pair as a ‘Big Mac Attack.’
1987 The Phillies sign Tiger free-agent catcher Lance Parrish to a one-year deal worth $800,000, plus another $200,000 if the 31-year-year-old does not have any problems with his chronic back. The former six-time All-Star backstop, a winner of five Silver Slugger Awards and three Gold Glove Awards playing for the Tigers, proves to be a bust in Philadelphia, batting .230 in his two seasons in the City of Brotherly Love.
1997 In their first-ever minor league spring training game, the Rays defeated Philadelphia, 6-0. John Kaufman, Tom Bergan, Matt Williams, and Jamie Ybarra combine to throw a no-hitter in the exhibition contest against the major league team.
2001 Rick Ankiel makes his first appearance since last year’s playoffs, throwing 22 strikes out of 29 pitches while tossing two innings of shutout ball in his surprise start against the Mets at Roger Dean Stadium. The 21-year-old southpaw starter lost his control at the end of last season, throwing nine wild pitches in three postseason appearances last year.
2006 Three pitches into the top of the seventh inning, the stadium lights at Tradition Field partially fail. With fifty percent of the lighting not functioning, the exhibition game ends, after a 15-minute delay, with the Mets leading the Nationals, 10-4.
2008 Joining the ranks of Garth Brooks and Tom Selleck as celebrities who have appeared in a spring exhibition game, Billy Crystal strikes out in the first inning as the Yankees’ leadoff batter. The comedian, who signed a one-day contract with the Bronx Bombers, wears the number sixty in honor of his 60th birthday tomorrow.
2008 The pitching-poor Cardinals bolster their rotation by agreeing to a preliminary one-year deal with Kyle Lohse (9-12, 4.62). The 29-year-old right-hander, who pitched for the Reds and Phillies last season, will make $4.25 million hurling for the Redbirds.
2009 “Through good times and bad, I never doubted the support that all of you had for my teammates and me…I hope to see you in October.” – PAT BURRELL, former Phillies outfielder thanking the Philadelphia fans. Pat Burrell takes out ads in two of Philadelphia’s largest newspapers, the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, to thank Phillies fans for their support during his nine years with the team. The 32-year-old slugging ‘Pat the Bat’ signed a free-agent deal in the off-season with the Rays, the club the Phils beat in last season’s World Series.
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali once called Hank Aaron “The only man I idolize more than myself. ” For many, Aaron was everything an athlete – and a human being – should be. Aaron grew up in humble surroundings in Mobile, Ala. He passed through the sandlots with brief stops in the Negro Leagues and the minor leagues before he settled in with the Braves, where he ultimately became one of baseball’s most iconic figures. He was a consistent producer both at the plate and in the field, reaching the .300 mark in batting 14 times, 30 home runs 15 times, 90 RBI 16 times and captured three Gold Glove Awards en-route to 25 All-Star Game selections. Nineteen fifty-seven was arguably Aaron’s best season. He hit .322 that year with 44 home runs and 132 RBI, captured the National League MVP Award and led the Braves to their first World Series Championship since 1914. Despite his consistent production, it wasn’t until 1973 that Aaron was thrust into the national spotlight as he neared the finish of a successful assault on one of sport’s most cherished records: Babe Ruth’s mark of 714 home runs. It was on April 8, 1974, that Hammerin’ Hank sent a 1-0 pitch from Dodgers hurler Al Downing into the left field bullpen at Atlanta-Fulton Count Stadium, giving Aaron 715 career home runs. He would finish his career with 755. Aaron remains baseball’s all-time leader in RBI (2,297) and total bases (6,856). If each of his 755 home runs were removed from his statistical record, Aaron would still have 3,016 hits. It was shortly after Hank Aaron’s record-breaking home run that Georgia congressman Andrew Young declared: “Through his long career, Hank Aaron has been a model of humility, dignity, and quiet competence. He did not seek the adoration that is accorded to other national athletic heroes, yet he has now earned it.” Aaron was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1982. He passed away on Jan. 22, 2021.
For most of his career, the only time the word “second” appeared in the same sentence as Roberto Alomar was when someone was describing his position in the field.
At the plate, with the leather or in the final standings, Alomar was usually on top.
Born Feb. 5, 1968 in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Alomar had baseball in his blood. His father, Sandy Alomar Sr., was an All-Star second baseman in his 15-year major league career. Like his father, Roberto played second, threw right-handed and switch-hit. Alomar’s brother, Sandy, Jr., also starred in the big leagues as a catcher.
At 18, Roberto Alomar signed with the San Diego Padres and won the California League batting title in his second year in the minors with a .346 batting average. By 1988, he was with the parent club, making a splash with his defense and speed and finishing fifth in National League Rookie of the Year voting. He earned his first All-Star selection in 1990.
Following that season, Alomar was traded to Toronto – where his offense took off. Alomar raised his average over .300 in 1992-93, helping the Blue Jays to back-to-back World Series titles while finishing in third in the AL batting title race in 1993 with a .326 mark. He hit a combined .354 in four postseason series in those two championship seasons,winning ALCS MVP honors in 1992.
“Everybody can see the skills on the field,” said teammate Dave Winfield. “He’s acrobatic, flamboyant, he’s got his style.”
Following the 1995 season, Alomar signed with the Baltimore Orioles. Forming a Hall of Fame double-play combination with Cal Ripken Jr., Alomar helped his team get back to the playoffs – advancing to the ALCS in 1996 and 1997. Following the 1998 season, Alomar signed with the Cleveland Indians and teamed up with his brother Sandy for the first time since 1989.
“He reminds me of some of the great players that I’ve played with, who seem like they write their own script,” said Davey Johnson, who managed Alomar with the Orioles. “Frank Robinson’s one, Henry Aaron was the other.”
It was in Cleveland that Alomar had two of his best seasons. In 1999, he hit .323 with 24 homers, 120 RBI and 37 stolen bases. He finished third in MVP voting and led the league in runs scored (138) and sacrifice flies (13). In 2001, he hit .336 with 20 homers, 100 RBI and 30 stolen bases.
Teamed with Omar Vizquel, the double-play combo won three consecutive Gold Glove Awards together. The Indians advanced to the postseason in both 1999 and 2001.
Alomar was traded to the Mets following the 2001 season before later stops with the White Sox and Diamondbacks. He retired during Spring Training of 2005.
In 17 major league seasons, Alomar tallied 2,724 hits, 210 home runs, 1,134 RBI, a .300 batting average and .984 fielding percentage. He earned 12 consecutive All-Star Game selections and 10 Gold Glove Awards.
Alomar was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2011.
BASEBALL YEAR IN REVIEW
YEAR IN REVIEW : 1910 AMERICAN LEAGUE
Off the field…
The Boy Scouts of America was introduced inviting boys eleven to seventeen years old an opportunity to join an organization dedicated to improving mental, moral, and physical development while stressing outdoor skills and training in citizenship and lifesaving. Originally, the movement was intended to be nonmilitary and without racial, religious, political, or class distinctions, but the Supreme Court affirmed the organization’s right to limit membership to those who believe in God in 1993.
The “National Association for the Advancement of Colored People” was founded in New York, in November. The N.A.A.C.P. originally published an underground journal called “The Crisis,” and was at the forefront of all the attempts by Blacks to achieve equality. For more than ninety-three years, the NAACP has continued include people of all races, nationalities and religious denominations, while remaining united on one premise, that all men and women are created equal.
In the American League…
Cleveland Indians ace Cy Young won his five-hundredth game on July 19th after beating the Washington Senators 5-4 at American League Park II.
Washington Senators second baseman Red Killefer set a Major League mark on August 27th after sacrificing four times in the first game of a Detroit Tigers doubleheader.
Eddie Collins of the Philadelphia Athletics set an American League record after stealing his eighty-first base of the season, on October 4, 1910, during an 8-1 victory over the visiting Boston Red Sox.
In the National League…
The Braves and Phillies combined on April 22nd for a Major League record fewest at bats by two teams in nine innings: forty-eight (twenty-five for Boston, twenty-three for Philadelphia). The record was tied the following season, but remained unbeaten until 1964.
On August 13th, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Brooklyn Dodgers played in perhaps, the most evenly matched game ever. Both teams finished the 8-8 tie (called on darkness) with exactly eight runs, thirteen hits, thirty-eight at bats, five strikeouts, three walks, one hit batter, one passed ball, thirteen assists, twenty-seven putouts and two errors with two pitchers used. [Box Score]
Around the League…
William Howard Taft became the first U.S. president to throw out the ceremonial “first pitch” after he opened the 1910 season at Washington’s League Park. The Senators’ Walter Johnson christened the tradition by pitching a one-hitter, beating the Philadelphia Athletics and Eddie Plank 3-0.
Both leagues agreed to adopt a resolution that would ban syndicate baseball, which had previously allowed owners to have financial interests vested in more than one team. They also mandated that all umpires were to announce any team changes to the spectators; batting orders were to be delivered to the head umpire at home plate before the game and a base runner was to be called out if he passed another runner ahead of him on the base path.
March 13, 1960 – NFL’s Chicago Cardinals announce the move to St Louis. This was not a total shock to the fans as rumors had been circulating for years. George Halas an the Bears had also been clamouring for the Redbird’s owner, Mr. Bidwell to leave the South Side of Chicago so that the Bears could expand their fan base. I defer the rest of this story to the Sports History Network’s Joe Ziemba who has a blog page and an entire podcast episode on the subject. Joe as you have heard on his program and his guest spots on many other podcasts, including this one as well as radio and television is the premier authority on the Chicago Cardinals. After all he wrote the book on them, “When Football Was Football: The Chicago Cardinals and the Birth of the NFL.”
March 13, 2000 – Miami Dolphins long time record setting Quarterback, Dan Marino officially announced his retirement.
HALL OF FAME BIRTHDAYS FOR MARCH 13
March 13, 1918 – GEORGE MCAFEE – Born March 13, 1918, in Corbin, Kentucky was Duke University’s play making half back of 1937 to 1939 George McAfee. The footballfoundation.org website says that George struck fear into opposing defenses because they had to respect his sudden burst and quickness that could catch them off guard and turn into a long gain on any play. Sportswriter referred to George as “ One Play McAfee ” as he had the potential for a big play available constantly. Besides his speed and agility the southpaw also was deadly with a halfback pass that employed from time to time to burn defenses with. McAfee made up half of a formidable back field tandem along with fellow Hall of Famer Eric Tipton that formed a significant one-two punch of the great Duke teams of the late 1930s. When we say great teams we have to mention the 1938 Blue Devils who went undefeated, untied and unscored upon in the regular season, easily taking the Southern Conference crown only to be knocked off in the Rose Bowl by USC 7-3 in a heartbreaker. The streak of being unscored upon lasted for 58 minutes into the Grand Daddy of them all too. After a scoreless first half according to the golden rankings site, the Blue Devils finally caught the break they’d been waiting for in the form of a midfield INT late in 3rd quarter. Eric Tipton then fired a high, arching pass to George McAfee who hauled it in to put the ball on the Trojan 24. Roger Robertson and Tipton punched their way to the 16. On fourth-and-2, third-string G Tony Ruffa booted a FG from the 24 on the second play of the last period. It looked that might be the ticket to complete perfection for Duke, that was until Southern Cal’s fourth-string quarterback Doyle Nave drove his team down the field for a game-winning touchdown in the game’s final seconds. The National Football Foundation selected George McAfee to join other gridiron legends in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1961. George ended up being the second overall pick in the 1940 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears and even the wise Coach George Halas was unsure if he had made a mistake because McAfee was a bit smaller than the prototypical NFL size for a durable back. One-Play-McAfee did not disappoint though as in 8 seasons according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame George scored 253 points and gained 5313 total yards in the NFL. The two way player also picked off 25 passes and led the League in punt returns in 1948 finishing his career with an average of 12.78 yards per punt return. As a side note he was also the player that made the trend of wearing of low cut shoes popular in the NFL. At a small ceremony in Canton, Ohio in 1966 the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrined George McAfee.
JOE BELLINO: Born March 13, 1938, in Winchester, Massachusetts was the swift Navy halfback for the era of 1958 to 1960 Joe Bellino arrived into this world. Joe was a special talent as shown when in 1958 he scored the Midshipmen’s only TD in a 22-6 loss to rival Army only to come back the next season and pop off 115 yards and 3 scored to lead Navy over the Cadets per the story on the National Football Foundations website. Bellino followed that performance with one in 1960 where he rallied the Middies to a 17-12 win over Army and then inspired the Naval Academy to a 14-7 victory over an always tough Notre Dame team as well. Joe’s Collegiate football highwater mark according to the NFF’s bio on him was a four touchdown performance against Virginia in 1960 or the diving catch he made in the Orange Bowl against Mizzou for a score. Navy retired his beloved number 27 from being used in the future after the last game Joe played. Bellino was rewarded for his talented performances by winning not only the Maxwell Award but the Heisman Trophy as well! The NFF voters summed up their desire for Joe Bellino to enter into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1977. After he was done in Annapolis he served his four year obligation to the Naval Branch and then played for the Boston Patriots in the AFL for three years.
March 13, 1977 – Alvin, South Carolina – Georgia Tech’s quarterback from 1996 through 1999 Joe Hamilton was born. The NFF tells of how Joe became Georgia Tech’s all-time leading passer and how he won the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award his senior season of 1999. That same year Hamilton was also a Consensus First-Team All-American, the ACC Player of the Year, he was the Heisman Trophy runner-up. Joe holds the Yellow Jacket’s career records of passing yards (8,882), touchdown passes (65) and completion percentage (62.0). Joe got his big shot in the pros when he was picked in the seventh round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Hamilton spent two seasons with the Buccaneers and one with the Indianapolis Colts. Hamilton also played for the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League for three seasons. The National Football Foundation placed the career of Joe Hamilton into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
NUMBERS IN SPORTS
34 – 5 – 44 – 22
March 13, 1954 – The Milwaukee Braves Number 34, Bobby Thomson breaks his leg and off the bench to replace the outfielder is a young ball player named Hank Aaron, a rookie that wore Number 5 that season but in the following season switched to Number 44 and started making history
March 13, 1960 – The Chicago White Sox unveiled their new road uniforms that had the players’ names above numberMarch 13, 1979 – Mike Bossy who wore Number 22 for the New York Islanders scord his fifth career hat trick.