CLASS 4A: CHESTERTON (28-0) VS. KOKOMO (19-7), 3 P.M.



CLASS 3A: MISHAWAKA MARIAN (23-3) VS. LEO (21-5), 6 P.M.


CLASS 3A: BEECH GROVE (20-6) VS. SULLIVAN (25-2), 1 P.M. 







#24 IOWA 75 #9 PURDUE 66





#7 TEXAS 67 #4 BAYLOR 58




























Brady unretires, will return to Bucs for 23rd season

Tom Brady isn’t quite ready to walk away after all.

The future Hall of Fame quarterback revealed Sunday that, less than two months after first announcing his retirement, he will be returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 23rd season.

Brady’s initial retirement announcement came after weeks of speculation following Tampa Bay’s divisional-round playoff exit. In turning his attention to the future, the 44-year-old explained he planned to “focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.”

The move to walk away temporarily forced Tampa Bay into an uncertain position at quarterback, with a number of names, including Houston Texans trade candidate Deshaun Watson, floated as potential replacements.

Brady’s surprise decision to return changes everything on the eve of NFL free agency, once again giving the Buccaneers an All-Pro at the most important position and keeping Tampa Bay as a destination for players looking to compete for a Super Bowl.

Brady, the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns, was incredibly still playing as well as ever throughout the 2021 campaign, his second in Tampa Bay.

Leading the Bucs to their first division title since 2007, the seven-time Super Bowl champion threw for a league-high and career-best 5,316 passing yards and 43 touchdowns.

Cardinals agree to reported 3-year, $31.65M deal with Ertz

The Arizona Cardinals are bringing back tight end Zach Ertz, the team announced Sunday.

Ertz, 31, signed a three-year, $31.65-million contract to remain in Arizona, a source told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

The Cardinals acquired Ertz from the Philadelphia Eagles in October for cornerback Tay Gowan and a 2022 fifth-round selection.

The three-time Pro Bowler hauled in 56 receptions for 574 yards and three touchdowns in 11 games with Arizona.

Ertz established himself as a reliable option in the passing game over nine seasons in Philadelphia and won Super Bowl LII with the club. He recorded more than 700 receiving yards in six consecutive campaigns from 2014-19.

The California native set a single-season record for receptions by a tight end in 2018 with 116 catches.

Ertz’s return is a big help for quarterback Kyler Murray. Receivers A.J. Green and Christian Kirk could leave the NFC West club when free agency opens later this week.

AP sources: Cowboys, WR Gallup agree on $62.5M, 5-year deal

(AP) — The Dallas Cowboys agreed on a long-term contract with receiver Michael Gallup a day after agreeing to trade Amari Cooper to Cleveland.

Gallup is returning on a $62.5 million, five-year contract, two people with knowledge of the agreement said Sunday. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal can’t be official until the start of the new league year.

The Cowboys are sending Cooper to the Browns to save about $16 million in salary cap space. With Gallup’s deal done, Dallas will move on to defensive end Randy Gregory and some of the club’s other unrestricted free agents.

Gallup was a focus in free agency for the Cowboys despite tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the second to last game of the regular season. Club officials have expressed optimism about Gallup’s recovery.

The trade of Cooper leaves CeeDee Lamb as the No. 1 receiver for Dallas. A healthy Gallup has shown the potential to be a strong second option for quarterback Dak Prescott.

Before the knee injury last season, Gallup missed seven games with a calf injury. The nine games played were the fewest in his four years. Gallup had 35 catches for 445 yards and two touchdowns.

A third-round pick in 2018, Gallup had his best season in his second year with career highs in catches (66), yards (1,107) and touchdowns (six).

The Cowboys also have an agreement on a one-year deal with receiver Noah Brown.

Gonzaga gets top nod for NCAAs, Arizona, KU, Baylor next

From the familiar names at the top of the bracket — Gonzaga, Kansas, Baylor — to the well-worn debates all across it — why did Coach K get shipped out West? did somebody do Dayton wrong? — this version of Selection Sunday felt as comfortable as a well-worn Air Jordan.

March Madness is back to normal, or as close to normal as it can get, and that means all those stunning upsets and once-in-a-lifetime game-winners will play out in front of crazy crowds for the first time in three years.

“This was a really special year because we all realized what we missed,” said Villanova coach Jay Wright, whose second-seeded team won the Big East title in front of a packed house at Madison Square Garden.

Gonzaga is the overall top seed, with Arizona, Kansas and Baylor joining them on the “1” line for this “seems like old times” NCAA Tournament, the first since 2019 to be played in different cities and different time zone across America. The party lands in New Orleans for the Final Four and championship game April 2-4.

It’s a return to the way things used to be after the pandemic scrubbed the tournament completely off the 2020 calendar, then turned the 2021 event into a one-city-fits-all affair — all the games played in a makeshift bubble in front of limited crowds in and around Indianapolis.

“It’s all about staying in the moment and having more fun than anybody in the tournament,” said John Calipari, the coach of second-seeded Kentucky.

The best way to have fun, of course, is winning it all. Baylor did that last year in a title-game romp over Gonzaga. Just like last year, both are No. 1 seeds again, with the Zags the 15-4 favorite to win it all, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Arizona was next at 6-1, followed by Kentucky (15-2) and Baylor (11-1).

Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s last tournament before retirement has Duke playing as a No. 2 seed in the West, which also includes Michigan State and Texas Tech. Some thought the selection committee might send Coach K to Chicago and the Midwest as a farewell gift, of sorts. Instead, the road to his 13th Final Four would include a trip to San Francisco and a potential meeting with Mark Few’s Bulldogs.

It’s one thing to face a tough bracket, quite another not to be in it at all. Dayton, Oklahoma, SMU and Texas A&M were the “first four out,” meaning there’s still a glimmer of hope for them if a team must make a late withdrawal due to COVID-19.

Xavier wasn’t even on that list, which went down as one of the evening’s biggest snubs, per Dick Vitale, the national treasure who was forced to spell things out on a white board — not shout about it — while he rests his vocal cords after cancer treatments.

Dayton would have been in were it not for an upset in its Atlantic 10 conference tournament. Richmond slipped past Davidson for the title, and while Davidson made the field, Dayton did not.

“Our committee really liked Dayton,” said selection committee chair Tom Burnett. “They were deserving of consideration, but unfortunately, they ended up on the ‘first four out’ list.”

Teams that just slipped in included No. 12 seeds Wyoming and Indiana, who will square off in the First Four. Rutgers and Notre Dame were the other last two teams in, while Michigan was seeded 11th, as well.

The Fighting Irish, Hoosiers and Wolverines are among the nation-leading nine teams to make it from the Big Ten. That’s the same number as last season, but the conference only moved one team to the second weekend. The Big East, Big 12 and Southeastern Conference placed six teams each.

No. 24 Iowa closes out No. 9 Purdue 75-66 for Big Ten title

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Keegan Murray had 19 points and 11 rebounds as No. 24 Iowa beat No. 9 Purdue 75-66 to win its first Big Ten Tournament championship since 2006 and earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.

The sixth-seeded Hawkeyes (26-9) became the fourth team in conference history to claim the title by winning four games in four days. Iowa was also the first school to do it, in 2001, and Michigan repeated the feat in 2017 and 2018.

The Hawkeyes won their first title since 2006, one week after the Iowa women won the Big Ten tourney on the same court.

“We knew this team was destined for greatness,” said Murray, who was selected the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. “And we changed the direction of the Iowa program today.”

Iowa did it with a record-breaking scoring performance and by beating the Boilermakers about a one-hour drive from their campus in West Lafayette. Iowa’s 351 points broke Ohio State’s tournament record of 322, set last year.

Iowa heads into the NCAA Tournament with nine wins in its last 10 games.

Jaden Ivey scored 20 points and Trevion Williams had 11 points and 11 rebounds to lead Purdue (28-7), which failed to capture either the regular-season or tournament title despite spending most of the season as the highest-ranked team in the conference. Purdue hasn’t won the Big Ten Tournament since 2009.

It’s not as if the Boilermakers didn’t have a chance.

But Purdue had nine turnovers, missed four free throws and never led in the first half as the energized Hawkeyes took a 35-32 halftime lead.

With the Purdue-friendly crowd roaring loudly early in the second half, it looked like the Boilermakers would respond when Eric Hunter Jr.’s 3-pointer with 3:13 to play capped a 7-0 run that trimmed the deficit to 63-62.

But Connor McCaffery responded with a three-point play on the ensuing possession. Iowa only allowed four points the rest of the way, closing it out at the line, silencing the crowd and setting off a wild post-game celebration near midcourt.

“It is hard to describe,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “This game is really special, special to me because I get to coach my boys and to see them celebrate with their teammates and celebrate together, there’s no better feeling.”

Indianapolis native Tony Perkins had 11 points and four assists for the Hawkeyes while Payton Sandfort added 10 points.

“We had a lot of goals and sometimes you have to make changes,” Fran McCaffery said. “But this team accepted its roles and we beat a really good team today.”

Zach Edey had 12 points and 14 rebounds for Purdue.


Iowa: A strong finish – and tourney title – could propel the Hawkeyes to a top-five seed, maybe even a No. 4 seed, and a possible trip to Milwaukee. Regardless of who they play or where they land, one of America’s most prolific scoring teams will be a handful.

Purdue: A loss in the championship game could prove costly to the Boilermakers. They could slide from the No. 2 line to the No. 3 line. Will it cost them a second straight bus trip down I-65 to Indianapolis? Maybe. But Purdue needs fewer unforced errors on offense and more production from its 3-point shooters.


Iowa will continue ascending in Monday’s rankings, perhaps even cracking the top 15. The bigger question is whether Purdue did enough to extend its record streak of consecutive weeks in the top 10 to 19.


Murry and Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon, who banked in the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds left to beat Indiana on Saturday, were both selected to the all-tournament team. They were joined by Ivey, Williams and Trayce Jackson-Davis of Indiana.


The teams wait to see where they fit in the 68-team field.

No. 9 Tennessee tops Texas A&M 65-50 for SEC tourney title

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) With the clock ticking down on Tennessee’s first men’s SEC Tournament title in 43 years, freshman Kennedy Chandler dribbled near midcourt with his left hand and popped the chest of his jersey with his right.

Josiah-Jordan James and Santiago Vescovi angled for the sideline, where they tried to lure coach Rick Barnes into Sunday’s celebration.

“This time of year is about players,” said Barnes, who wound up in the mix anyway after the ninth-ranked Volunteers beat Texas A&M 65-50, cut down the nets and the players approached him again to place a portion around his neck.

“I just think it’s their moment. It’s their time to get the trophy. It’s their time to cut down the nets,” Barnes added. “They came to Tennessee to help us make it a special place. They’ve done that. It’s truly their time.”

A short time later, James walked out of Amalie Arena carrying the tournament trophy.

“Taking it back to the crib,” the 6-foot-6 junior guard said.

Tennessee fans have waiting since 1979.

“They beat us from start to finish,” Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams said. “We had no answers for their tactical decisions, nor their talent.”

Vescovi scored 17 points, James had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and the Vols (26-7) rattled off the first 14 points of the afternoon to win for the 12th time in 13 games since a one-point loss at Texas in late January.

Auburn and Kentucky entered the SEC Tournament ranked in the top five and Arkansas was as hot as any team in the country down the stretch, but Tennessee has emerged as the top team in the league after beating each of those rivals in the past two weeks.

Chandler, the tournament MVP, had 14 points and seven assists for Tennessee, which recorded assists on 19 of 22 baskets, including the first 10 the Vols made after halftime.

Playing its fourth game in four days, Texas A&M (23-12) started slowly and never recovered.

The Aggies missed their first eight shots – seven of them 3-point attempts – while Tennessee began the game with Chandler making a 3-pointer, James delivering a three-point play and then hitting a shot from behind the arc for a quick 9-0 lead.

It was 14-0 before Henry Coleman finally scored for Texas A&M, which never trimmed its deficit to fewer than five the rest of the way. The Aggies missed all nine of their 3-point attempts in the opening half while shooting 27% overall (6 of 22) from the field.

Tennessee also was outstanding defending the 3-point line in Saturday’s 69-62 semifinal victory over fifth-ranked Kentucky, which finished 2 of 20 from beyond the arc. Since yielding 80 points in a 10-point victory over Texas A&M in Knoxville on Feb. 1, the Vols have held 10 of 12 SEC opponents under 65.

The closest Texas A&M got after the slow start was five, 34-29, on Tyrece Radford’s 3-pointer early in the second half. Chandler answered with a 3 and Vescovi followed with a another to finish a 9-0 burst that rebuilt the lead to 14.

Chandler, falling out of bounds, shoveled a nifty underhand pass to James in the corner, where the Tennessee guard sank a 3-pointer that gave the Vols, who led by as many as 18, their biggest lead of the day.

Radford led Texas A&M, which beat Florida, fourth-ranked Auburn and No. 15 Arkansas to reach its first SEC Tournament final, with 13 points. Henry Coleman finished with 12 points and seven rebounds for the Aggies, who likely played their way into the NCAA Tournament with three wins in Tampa.

The Vols were in the final for the third time in five years after losing to Kentucky in 2018 and Auburn in 2019. This time, they finished it off.

“Very proud of our team,” Barnes said. “They have worked hard. They deserve what they’ve been able to achieve here.”


Texas A&M: The Aggies finished 4 of 19 from behind the 3-point line. Leading scorer Quenton Jackson never got on track, finishing with nine points on 3-of-9 shooting.

Tennessee: The Volunteers won the SEC Tournament for the fifth time overall. They also won it in 1936, 1941, 1943 and 1979.


Texas A&M: With three wins in the SEC Tournament, the Aggies likely ensured their season wouldn’t end without a NCAA appearance.

Tennessee: NCAA Tournament.

Richmond steals NCAA bid, beats top-seeded Davidson in A-10

WASHINGTON (AP) Jacob Gilyard scored 26 points, Tyler Burton had 16 points and 12 rebounds and No. 6 seed Richmond beat top-seeded Davidson 64-62 on Sunday to clinch the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament and an NCAA Tournament berth for the first time in 11 years.

Richmond (23-12) was playing in the A-10 championship game – needing two 15-point comebacks in the early rounds – for the first time since winning in 2011. The Spiders are making their 10th trip to the NCAAs, the first since making the Sweet 16 in that 2011 season.

With Davidson’s 27-6 record and resume, Richmond’s win likely knocked out a bubble team.

The Spiders lost a home game to Davidson 87-84 on Jan. 14 when Michael Jones hit a game-winning 3-pointer with three seconds remaining. Jones had another chance to win this game, getting an inbounds pass with 1.7 seconds left, but his contested 3-pointer from the corner didn’t hit the rim as time expired.

Richmond went six-plus minutes without a field goal down the stretch until Burton completed three-point plays on back-to-back possession to get the Spiders within 62-60. Davidson dribbled down the clock and missed a 3-pointer and Burton missed a baseline jumper at the other end but his airball went off a Davidson player.

After a timeout, Matt Grace powered into the lane and completed another three-point play – his first points of the game – to give Richmond a 63-62 lead with 19.1 seconds left. Foster Loyer had a good look at a 3-pointer at the other end but it rolled out and Gilyard, an 85.7% free-throw shooter, was fouled before making 1 of 2 free throws at 2.9.

Davidson called a timeout at 2.5 and Richmond called another after seeing how the Wildcats set up. Davidson made a half-court pass and called another timeout with 1.7 left, but Jones’ shot was off.

Gilyard was 9 of 18 from the field, including a long jumper early in the second half to reach 2,000 career points, becoming just the fifth player in program history to do so.

Sam Mennenga scored 18 points and Jones finished with 17 for Davidson. Luka Brajkovic, the A-10 player of the year, had 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Mennenga made his fourth straight 3-pointer to give Davidson a 49-42 lead with 10:03 remaining but the Wildcats didn’t make their next field goal until Brajkovic at 4:45. Richmond tied it on three different occasions during Davidson’s field-goal drought but couldn’t take the lead until the closing seconds.

No. 18 Houston wins AAC tourney 71-53 over Memphis

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) Fabian White Jr. scored 20 points, fellow big man Josh Carlton had 18 and 18th-ranked Houston beat Memphis 71-53 in the American Athletic Conference championship game Sunday.

A day after White played less than three minutes in the Cougars’ semifinal win because of back tightness, the first-team All-AAC forward helped the top-seeded Cougars (29-5) earn the AAC’s automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row.

Memphis (21-10) didn’t have to wait long to find out it had made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014. The Tigers, who have won 12 of their last 14 games and beat Houston by double figures in both of their regular-season games, are the No. 9 seed in the West Region and will play Boise State.

Tigers center Jalen Duren, a 6-foot-11 freshman who was a first-team All-AAC pick, had 14 points and 10 rebounds. DeAndre Williams had 10 points.

Taze Moore had 11 points and eight assists for Houston, which is the No. 5 seed in the South Region and will play UAB. Jamal Shead scored 10 points. Kyler Edwards had eight points, 11 rebounds and five assists.

Duren also had limited time in the semifinal round, playing 17 minutes in a win over SMU. He got two fouls in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the game, and didn’t return until after halftime, when he exited for 6 1/2 minutes after falling hard to the floor after blocking a shot.

The Tigers, after trailing by as many as 15 points in the second half, closed to 51-47 on Duren’s emphatic two-handed dunk with 6:55 left. They never got closer.

Carlton had a three-point play on a slam dunk while being fouled after a nice pass from Moore. Shead then had a hustle play to force a turnover when Memphis had a breakaway chance, and White hit two free throws after a hard tumble when the upper half of his body ended up under the scoring table.

White took a shot to the mouth when fouled in the opening part of the second half. But his jumper right after that ignited a quick 8-0 run in which he also had a layup between Shead making two impressive plays. Shead had a basket high off the glass, then a rebound and a long pass ahead to a breaking Edwards for a dunk.


Memphis: After missing the NCAA tourney last year, when they lost to Houston 76-74 in the AAC tournament semifinals, the Tigers went on to win the NIT championship. … Memphis has won at least 20 games in all four seasons under coach Penny Hardaway, who played in NCAA Tournaments in 1992 and 1993 in his only seasons playing for the Tigers before an NBA career than ended in 2008. … The Tigers’ only other loss the past 14 games was to SMU, which they beat in the AAC Tournament semifinals.

Houston: The Cougars already have one more win than last season, when they won their first AAC tournament championship and then went to their first NCAA Final Four since 1984.


Memphis guard Alex Lomax was called for a flagrant foul after hard contact sent Shead sprawling to the floor with 2:10 left when he was driving toward the basket after a steal by Edwards. Shead jumped up and held up his hand to let his teammates know he was OK, and to ease tensions. Carlton and other teammates hugged Shead as they fired up their fans behind the bench. After referees reviewed the play, Lomax hugged Shead and went to the sideline to shake the hand of Cougars coach Kelvin Sampson.

No. 1 women: South Carolina, NC State, Stanford, Louisville

(AP) — Dawn Staley and South Carolina are once again a No. 1 seed in the women’s basketball NCAA Tournament – a familiar role for the Gamecocks.

South Carolina earned the the top overall seed in this year’s tournament field, which was announced Sunday night. The Gamecocks have been No. 1 in a region six times since 2014.

The women’s tournament itself also is getting back to a familiar setting.

For the first time since 2019, the tournament will feature games on campus sites with fans in the stands.

“I just think the semblance of normalcy, I hope brings back some good feelings and the excitement and the hoopla that is part of this event, which is what makes it so great, is the fans,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “I think having them back is going to make all the difference in the world.”

Auriemma’s Huskies are a No. 2 seed in this year’s competitive field.

North Carolina State, Stanford and Louisville are the other No. 1 seeds.

Staley isn’t buying the argument that as the top seed her Gamecocks will have an easy road to winning their second national championship.

“They said that the No. 1 overall seed has an easier path to the Final Four. I don’t see that,” Staley said. “But I do believe we’re going to play our best basketball from here on out.”

Potentially awaiting Aliyah Boston and the Gamecocks in the regional final could be Caitlin Clark and No. 2 Iowa in a matchup of two top players in the sport.

While there will be much familiarity to the tournament, there also are some major changes – including expanding the field to 68 teams.

This year’s bracket grew to match the men’s field with the play-in games on Wednesday and Thursday. The Gamecocks, who top the Greensboro Region, will face the winner of Howard and Incarnate Word – one of the First Four games.

Expanding the field was one of the many changes to the women’s basketball tournament in the wake of inequities revealed at last season’s NCAAs.

North Carolina State is the top seed in the Bridgeport Region and could face UConn in the regional final. The Huskies finally are getting healthy with reigning Associated Press player of the year Paige Bueckers working her way back from a knee injury that sidelined her for two months.

“They have all the pieces, all of their players playing,’ said women’s basketball selection committee chair Nina King. “Relative to Bridgeport, we place the teams on the seed lines on an S-curve. When we place them in the regionals we try and stay true to the S-curve. … It’s how it fell this year and that’s why Connecticut is in Bridgeport.”

Defending champion Stanford headlines the Spokane Region. The Cardinal cruised through the Pac-12 and will try to win a second straight national title. Texas, which won the Big 12 earlier on Sunday, handed the Cardinal one of its three losses this season.

Louisville is the top seed in the Wichita Region. The Cardinals were the most surprising of the top seeds, edging No. 2 seed Baylor after the Bears lost in the Big 12 title game.

The NCAA announced the selections on Sunday for the first time since 2006 this year. Officials hope to move the announcement back to its normal Monday night slot next year. NCAA officials also would like to play next year’s opening round play-in games at a neutral site, similar to the men’s event in Dayton, Ohio.

As part of a return to normalcy, the top 16 seeds will host the first- and second-round games. Last year the entire tournament was played in a makeshift bubble in San Antonio because of COVID-19 concerns. However, because the coronavirus continues to take a toll on the country, the women’s bracket – just like the men’s tournament – has teams in waiting in case a school can’t play because of COVID-19.

King said that the first four teams in waiting are Boston College, Missouri, South Dakota State and UCLA. But the NCAA expects to be able to play the tournament in all its normal locations, including at campus sites for the first weekend.

Bridgeport, Connecticut; Greensboro, North Carolina; Spokane, Washington; and Wichita, Kansas, will host the regionals and Minneapolis is the site of the Final Four on April 1 and 3.

Longwood, IUPUI and Incarnate Word will all be making their first appearance in March Madness – a phrase the women are allowed to use for the first time. Incarnate Word became the first sub-.500 team to play in the tournament since 2015.

The Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference led the way with eight teams each in the field.

Georgia hires Mike White from Florida to replace fired Crean

(AP) — Georgia has hired Mike White from Florida to provide new leadership to its basketball program only three days after firing Tom Crean.

White’s hiring was approved by Georgia’s athletic association’s executive board in a telephone meeting Sunday.

White was 142-88 in seven seasons at Florida, including a 72-52 mark in Southeastern Conference games. The Gators were 19-13 this season with a 9-9 conference record.

The Gators finished .500 or better in conference games in each season under White.

Florida’s hopes of improving its resume for NCAA tournament consideration this season ended with an 83-80 overtime loss to Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament on Thursday.

Crean was fired Thursday night following a 6-26 season that set a school record for losses. The Bulldogs lost their final 12 games and won only one SEC game, setting another low for the program.

Crean was 47-75 overall and 15-58 in SEC games in four seasons. He was been unable to duplicate the success he enjoyed at Marquette, where he advanced to the Final Four, or Indiana, where he coached three Sweet 16 teams.

Details of White’s contract with Georgia were not immediately available.

Durant scores 53, Nets edge Knicks 110-107 as Irving watches

NEW YORK (AP) A roar arose inside Barclays Center and for one of the few times Sunday, Kevin Durant had nothing to do with it.

This time, it was Kyrie Irving walking through the crowd to take a seat across the court from the Nets bench, an unusual view for his first home game this season.

Durant said he looked over at teammate Andre Drummond on the foul line and they smiled.

“Yo, like this is unreal,” Durant said, describing their exchange. “Like, I’ve never seen nothing like this before.”

He then gave Irving a sensational show.

Durant scored a season-high 53 points, making the tiebreaking 3-pointer, and Brooklyn beat the New York Knicks 110-107.

Durant’s 3-pointer snapped a 103-all tie with 56 seconds remaining. He added four more free throws to keep the Nets ahead, finishing one point shy of his career high.

Durant also had nine assists and six rebounds in his 60th career 40-point performance.

“That man’s insane,” teammate Bruce Brown said. “He makes everything look easy out there.”

Irving had a nice view, still unable to play in New York. There is no longer a mandate that spectators are vaccinated against the coronavirus, but there is still one requiring it for someone who works there. Irving has not been vaccinated.

So the star guard had a seat in the stands, just as he did a night earlier to watch his college team, Duke, lose in the ACC championship game. He walked off arm-in-arm with Durant toward the Nets locker room after the game ended.

Durant then spent a good chunk of his postgame interview calling on New York City Mayor Eric Adams to change the mandate, calling it “ridiculous” that unvaccinated people could be in the arena but not play in it.

Drummond had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets, who won their third straight. Brown scored 15 points.

Julius Randle scored 26 points and Evan Fournier had 25 for the Knicks, who finished 3-4 on their road trip. RJ Barrett had 24.

Durant scored 16 points in the first quarter and Brooklyn was ahead much of the way, but the Knicks rallied to take a 103-101 lead on Barrett’s basket. Drummond’s dunk tied it before Durant sprinted out to the wing to catch and fire in his fourth 3-pointer of the game. He finished 19 of 37 from the field.

“He’s one of the best to ever do it. So it’s tough when he gets hot like that,” Barrett said. “We did hold our own. It was a close game, we had opportunities, we had chances. But especially the shot he hit with a minute left was a big shot.”

It was a two-point game when Irving emerged to walk to his seats with just under 4 1/2 minutes remaining in the first half. He walked through the stands from the further tunnel, with some fans chanting “Free Kyrie! Free Kyrie!” as he walked by. He exchanged some hugs at his seat, where he sat maskless.


Knicks: Obi Toppin returned after missing five games with a strained left hamstring and scored eight points. … Coach Tom Thibodeau said rookie Quentin Grimes, out with a right knee injury, was pretty much going at full speed and his next step was to take part in contact portions of practice. He had no update on Derrick Rose, who had a procedure to address a skin infection on his surgically repaired right ankle.

Nets: Seth Curry was originally in the starting lineup but was scratched because of left ankle soreness. … Nic Claxton scored 10 points. … The Nets are 3-0 against the Knicks this season and have won the last six meetings. It’s their longest win streak in the series since taking six straight during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons.


Coach Steve Nash said it isn’t harder for the Nets to play without Irving than it was when all the mandates were still in effect, because they haven’t allowed themselves to think they’re any closer to getting him.

“We’ve been let down by this process a lot of times in a sense,” Nash said. “We’re hoping and wanting him to be able to return, so we have not really, I think, put ourselves in a position to think it’s happening for sure. We just keep proceeding with the task that we can control. That’s getting better every day and obviously we wish he was back yesterday, but the reality is we only focus on what we can control.”


Nash said Ben Simmons will continue to rehab and strengthen his back this week in hopes of getting more mobility. Simmons’ back began bothering him as he tried to build up his conditioning after not playing at all this season in Philadelphia and it’s unclear when he will be ready to fully practice or play.


Knicks: Host Portland on Wednesday.

Nets: Visit Orlando on Tuesday.

Embiid’s 35 points, 16 points lead 76ers over Magic in OT

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers brought out the best in the Orlando Magic.

Embiid had 35 points and 16 rebounds and the 76ers kept rallying, finally beating Orlando 116-114 in overtime Sunday night.

Down by 17 points in the first half and trailing by 10 in the fourth quarter, the Sixers were behind 113-109 with 1:25 left in OT. Orlando has the worst record in the Eastern Conference at 18-51.

“This was a big win for us. I know people are like: `Oh, it’s the Orlando Magic.’ But they just beat the Timberwolves the other night and the Timberwolves came back and beat the Miami Heat,” said Georges Niang, who hit two big 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to help send the game into overtime. “That should tell you something about the NBA.”

James Harden hit one of two free throws with 6.7 seconds left in overtime to give Philadelphia a two-point lead. Cole Anthony missed a 3-pointer at the horn for Orlando.

Anthony’s three 3-pointers had put the Magic ahead in the final minutes.

“(The final shot) could have gone in and we’d be in a different mood,” Anthony said. “This is a game that easily could have fallen in our favor.”

Harden finished with 26 points and Tobias Harris added 25 and nine rebounds for the 76ers.

Wendell Carter Jr. had 23 points and 12 rebounds to lead Orlando, which fell just short of a second upset in three days.

“We’re giving ourselves a chance in the fourth quarter,” Carter said. “We’re going to be in this position a lot, and we’re going to win some and lose some. It’s good experience.”

Embiid, who also had seven assists, set up Tyrese Maxey for a 3-pointer just before the fourth-quarter buzzer, but Maxey missed. Embiid missed two foul shots with 1:39 left after making his first 15 free throws of the game.

The Magic led 57-40 late in the first half, in which the 76ers shot 33%.

“I would like to get off to a good start, but it’s almost like we’ve got to get punched in the mouth before we turn on our defensive intensity,” Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers said. “That stretch of defense in the third quarter was phenomenal, but we have to start the game that way.”

A 10-footer by Niang and free throws by Harden and Embiid helped reduce Orlando’s lead to 12 at halftime.

The Magic went without a field goal for nearly seven minutes of the third quarter. But Markelle Fultz capped a Magic bench rally with a couple of assists and a 3-pointer of his own for a 10-point lead with 10:03 left.

Harden responded with four free throws and Niang hit two 3-pointers to get the 76ers back in it. Embiid made a 3-pointer to put Philadelphia up 101-98, its first lead since the first quarter.


76ers: Niang had 16 points in 36 minutes off the bench. . . . The 76ers held Orlando without a field goal for the final 3:50 of regulation. . . . F Danny Green missed a third straight game with a finger laceration.

Magic: The Magic have lost eight straight to Philadelphia, including all four meetings this season. . . .. Fultz, playing in his sixth game of the season, had eight points and 11 assists in 19 minutes. . . . After missing their first four attempts, the Magic shot a healthy 42 percent (18 for 43) from 3-point range. . . . Mo Bamba, who had 27 points and 12 rebounds Friday night in the win over Minnesota, did not score in the first half.. But


76ers: Play at home against Denver on Monday night.

Magic: Play at home against Brooklyn on Tuesday night.

Grizzlies lead for all but 25 seconds in win over Thunder

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Dillon Brooks had to wait a few more minutes to make his return.

After being sidelined for 27 games due to an ankle injury, Brooks walked onto the court Sunday only to see that both Memphis and Oklahoma City were wearing white uniforms. The Grizzlies retreated to their locker room to change into their navy blues – a five-minute delay.

The mishap was a rare snag in an otherwise successful night for Brooks and Company. The Grizzlies trailed the Thunder for a total of 25 seconds all night before leaving with a 125-118 win.

Memphis saw a balanced scoring effort: Desmond Bane had 21, Jaren Jackson Jr. 18, Ja Morant 17, Brooks 15, Brandon Clarke and Tyus Jones with and Ziaire Williams had 11.

“Tons of credit to the Thunder,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. “They were just relentless for 48 minutes . We just got enough stops in crucial moments there.”

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 31 points and seven assists, and Darius Bazley had a season-high 29 points to go along with 10 rebounds for Oklahoma City, which has lost six of its last seven games.

Memphis led 38-26 at the end of the first quarter, with former OKC player Steven Adams recording seven points and eight rebounds in nine minutes. He finished with 9 points and 16 rebounds.

“It was beautiful, man,” Adams said of his return. “Nostalgia . It was awesome coming back.”

The Thunder opened up the second quarter on a 7-0 run that Lindy Waters III capped off with a 3-pointer, but the Grizzlies led 61-54 at halftime.

Despite picking up his fourth foul with 6:11 left in the third, Gilgeous-Alexander stayed in the game and scored seven of his team’s next 12 points.

Memphis took a 95-79 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but Bazley scored 12 points to will Oklahoma City into contention. A 3-point shot by Theo Maledon trimmed the deficit to 121-115 with 25.5 seconds left in regulation, but the Grizzlies hung on.

“We needed a lot of things to happen for us and a lot of stuff not to fall for them,” Bazley said of the late push. “(Memphis) is a good team . But I thought we did a good job of just staying together and trying to get all the way back into it.”


Grizzlies: Memphis recorded 20 offensive rebounds in the win. Adams led the way with seven offensive boards, while Bane added three of his own.

Thunder: After scoring a career-high 16 points against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, Waters tied it Sunday with 16 points in 30 minutes off the bench.


Grizzlies: At Indiana on Tuesday night.

Thunder: Host Charlotte on Monday night.

Luka Doncic leads Mavs past Celtics 95-92 on Garnett’s day

BOSTON (AP) Luka Doncic returned from a hamstring scare to hit a tying 3-pointer with a 1:21 left, Spencer Dinwiddie made the winner with nine seconds to play and the Dallas Mavericks spoiled Kevin Garnett’s special day by beating the Boston Celtics 95-92 on Sunday.

With Garnett courtside awaiting the postgame ceremony to retire his uniform No. 5, the Mavericks won for the seventh time in eight games and snapped Boston’s five-game winning streak.

Doncic, who left in the first half rubbing his left leg, finished with 26 points and eight rebounds. He was called for fouling Marcus Smart on the a potential tying 3-pointer with five seconds left, but a review overturned it.

The Celtics won the ensuing jump ball, called a timeout and got the ball to Jayson Tatum, who missed an off-balance 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Tatum had 21 points and 11 rebounds, but made just a pair of baskets in the second half and ended a five-game streak of 30-point performances.

Maxi Kleber had 14 rebounds for Dallas.


Doncic came up limping late in the first quarter and stayed in the game, rubbing his left hamstring. At the next whistle, he walked off and into the tunnel.

The three-time All-Star returned midway through the second quarter and showed no further ill effects. Doncic is fifth in the NBA in scoring with an average of 28.1 points.


Garnett received a standing ovation when he walked in, and he was honored with video tributes during most breaks. But one of the biggest cheers came early in the fourth quarter, when a ball got stuck on top of the backboard on the basket right next to his seat.

A floor crew member came out with a mop and offered it to the Hall of Famer as the crowd rose to its feet to cheer him on.

He declined, smiling. The crew member knocked it loose, then got a bro hug from Garnett.


The Celtics honored public relations vice president Heather Walker during a break in the second quarter. The longtime executive is fighting Glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Garnett gave her several long hugs courtside.

The Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation said it will match all donations up to $100,000 the Heather Walker Glioblastoma Fund at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.


The teams, who are two of the top three in scoring defense, combined to allow just 85 points in the first half. … Al Horford blocked two shots in one defensive stand. He also had five steals. …Doncic hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to beat Boston in Dallas on Nov. 6. … The Celtics were called for a pair of technical in the second quarter, the first on Robert Williams III and the second on coach Ime Udoka.


Mavericks: At Brooklyn on Wednesday night.

Celtics: At Golden State on Wednesday night.

Durant criticizes NYC mayor on mandate after Irving attends

NEW YORK (AP) Kevin Durant is calling on New York City Mayor Eric Adams to figure out what the Brooklyn Nets feel is a confusing vaccine mandate that now allows Kyrie Irving to attend but not play in their home games.

Irving was a spectator at Barclays Center for the first time this season Sunday, sitting across from the Nets bench for Brooklyn’s 110-107 victory over the New York Knicks. Durant scored a season-high 53 points, then took aim at Adams with his postgame comments, even saying the mayor just wanted attention.

“It’s ridiculous. I don’t understand it at all,” Durant said.

Irving has been unable to play this season because he is not vaccinated against the coronavirus. Up until this week, proof of vaccination was required for fans to attend an event in the arena.

Though that mandate has been lifted, there is still one in place for those working at the arena. The Nets were already aggravated because that didn’t apply to visitors, allowing an unvaccinated opponent to play when Irving couldn’t. They seemed even more frustrated after Sunday’s game, when Irving’s arrival created a scene at a nationally televised game.

Durant kept referring to Adams, who took office in January, by his first name.

“But he’ll figure it out soon. He better. But it just didn’t make any sense,” Durant said. “Like, there’s unvaxxed people in this building already. We got a guy who can come into the building – I guess, are they fearing our safety?

“Like, I don’t get it. Yeah, we’re all confused. Pretty much everybody in the world is confused at this point. Early on in the season people didn’t understand what was going on but now it just looks stupid. So hopefully, Eric, you got to figure this out.”

Twins get pitching vet Gray from Reds for 1st-rounder Petty

(AP) — The Minnesota Twins took their first significant step toward restocking their starting pitching, acquiring right-hander Sonny Gray in a trade on Sunday with the Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds included minor league right-hander Francis Peguero in the deal for Twins pitching prospect Chase Petty, who was their first-round draft pick last year.

The 32-year-old Gray, a two-time All-Star, went 7-9 with a 4.19 ERA and 155 strikeouts over 135 1/3 innings in 26 starts last season, his third with the Reds. Over nine years in the majors with the Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees and Reds, Gray has a career record of 82-72 with a 3.61 ERA. Since 2014, he is tied for eighth among right-handers in baseball with 204 starts.

In the final guaranteed season of the deal he signed with the Reds to complete a trade from the Yankees in 2019, Gray will make a little more than $10 million. The Twins hold a club option for 2023 that comes without a buyout. Gray was one of the most obvious and valuable trade chips for Cincinnati, coming off a so-so 83-79 season.

Gray will slot right in at the top of Minnesota’s rotation, which was ravaged last year by the trade of Jose Berrios and the elbow injury to Kenta Maeda that will keep him out for most or all of 2022. Michael Pineda became a free agent and could re-sign if the price is right.

Otherwise, behind Gray, the Twins have Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan coming off promising rookie seasons, Randy Dobnak recovering from an injury-spoiled 2021 and reclamation project Dylan Bundy, who was signed as a free agent right before the lockout.

The 24-year-old Peguero, a native of the Dominican Republic, was signed as an international free agent by the Reds in 2017. He spent the 2021 season as a reliever for High-A affiliate Dayton, posting a 4.96 ERA in 28 appearances.

The 18-year-old Petty was selected by the Twins with the 26th pick last summer out of Mainland Regional High School in Linwood, New Jersey. The right-hander appeared in two minor league games last season.

Yanks get Donaldson from Twins in trade for Sánchez, Urshela

NEW YORK (AP) The New York Yankees remade the left side of their infield, acquiring former AL MVP Josh Donaldson, shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and backup catcher Ben Rortvedt from the Minnesota Twins on Sunday night for catcher Gary Sanchez and third baseman Gio Urshela,

New York jettisoned Sanchez, a two-time All-Star who’s been a defensive liability and slumped at the plate in four straight seasons.

Donaldson, yet another right-handed bat in the Yankees righty-heavy batting order, becomes a teammate of Gerrit Cole after suggesting last June that the Yankees ace had been trying to hide the use of unauthorized grip aides.

Kiner-Falefa was acquired by the Twins just on Saturday from Texas in a deal for catcher Mitch Garver. Earlier Sunday, Minnesota traded last year’s first-round pick in the amateur draft, 18-year-old right-hander Chase Petty, to Cincinnati for starting pitcher Sonny Gray.

No cash was involved in this trade. The Yankees become responsible for Donaldson’s $21 million salary in each of the next two seasons plus a $16 million mutual option for 2024 with a $6 million buyout if declined by the team. He agreed to a $92 million, four-year contract with the Twins, the richest free-agent deal in franchise history.

Donaldson was the 2015 AL MVP with Toronto and was an All-Star in three straight seasons from 2014-16. Now 36, he hit .247 with 26 homers and 72 RBIs last year in his second season with the Twins.

New York is looking to retool an offense that scored two runs or fewer in 44 games and was shut out eight times. Right-handed batters filled 68.6% of New York’s plate appearances last season (4,160 of 6,060), and the Yankees are trying to add a left-handed-hitting first baseman.

Kiner-Falefa, who turns 27 on March 23, was a Gold Glove third baseman during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, then was moved to shortstop last year.

He became expendable when the Rangers signed Corey Seager on Dec. 1, the day before the lockout, and was traded Saturday to the Twns. He hit .271 with eight homers and 53 RBIs last season. Kiner-Falefa is eligible for arbitration for 2022 and ’23, and for free agency after the 2024 season.

New York was looking to add a shortstop after shifting Gleyber Torres to second base on Sept. 13 for the remainder of the season. Torres had 18 errors at shortstop last season, second-most in the AL at the time of his move.

Sanchez, 29, was an All-Star in 2017 and 2019 but has failed to match his production of 2017, when he hit .278 with 33 homers and 90 RBIs. He batted .204 with 23 homers and 54 RBIs last year

Sanchez led the AL in passed balls in three of the last five seasons. He had eight last season, when pitchers threw 60 wild pitches with Sanchez behind the plate, a career high.

He is eligible for free agency after this season.

Beside Sanchez, Ryan Jeffers is the lone remaining option at catcher for the Twins.

Urshela, 30, is a smooth fielder who hit 267 with 18 doubles, 14 homers and 49 RBIs last season. He is signed to a $6.55 million, one-year deal.

After trading their largest contract, the Twins could be setting themselves up to make a run at another high-profile, high-dollar player. They have a big hole at shortstop again, assuming Urshela will slide in at third base, and can certainly use more starting pitching.

Lahiri ahead by shot as Players moves closer to conclusion

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) Anirban Lahiri showed up at the TPC Sawgrass in darkness Sunday morning wearing four layers of clothes – with a fifth layer just in case – to cope with near freezing temperatures he never experienced growing up in Bangalore, India.

He walked off the course in evening darkness with a one-shot lead in The Players Championship and still a long way to go for a career-changing victory.

For him and everyone else still playing, this week is unlike any other.

The longest week at The Players moved closer to a conclusion without much clarity amid the ever-changing names in the chase. Sixteen players were within four shots of the lead, and the third round wasn’t even over.

Tom Hoge and Harold Varner III each birdied their last hole at the par-5 ninth before darkness suspended play. That pulled them within one shot of Lahiri, who moments earlier two-putted for birdie from 30 feet on the 11th hole to reach 9-under par.

Lahiri and Hoge were among those who didn’t even start the second round until Sunday morning because of rain that saturated the Stadium Course earlier in the week. They dodged the worst of the wind, and instead were greeted by 35-degree temperatures.

“I was a bit scared how cold it was going to be. I’m not used to playing temperatures sub-40, and I did struggle a little bit when I came out,” Lahiri said. “But it was nice to just get back into a good process and a good rhythm. Made a lot of good swings today, just kept it in front of me, made good decisions. Yeah, I mean, it was a great day.”

Right behind was Sam Burns, whose heroics toward the end of the second round Sunday – a 75-foot eagle putt on the 16th and an 18-foot par putt on the last hole – gave him a 3-under 69 and a share of the 36-hole lead with Hoge (71).

One more day, and still a long way to go.

Hoge opened with a 66 on Thursday with Lahiri one shot behind. They were among 27 players who went two days before hitting another shot that counted.

“I honestly felt I hadn’t played golf in a year,” said Tommy Fleetwood, who was at 5 under through nine holes and still very much in the mix.

The third round was to finish Monday morning, followed by the final round in pursuit of the $3.6 million payoff to the winner, along with three-year exemptions to the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open.

The Pete Dye design is renowned for not favoring any one style of play, and that much was evident going into the final day of this marathon finish.

None of the leading six players, all separated by two shots, have ever won a major.

Paul Casey has the most experience in pressure situations with his Ryder Cup experience. He was two behind and facing a 5-foot par putt on No. 10 as he tries to extend his amazing streak without a bogey at Sawgrass to 43 holes.

Casey began the championship with a triple bogey.

Lahiri and Varner, who won in Saudi Arabia a month ago, have never won on the PGA Tour. Hoge collected his first win last month at Pebble Beach. Burns has won twice in the last year and is part of the burgeoning class of young American stars.

Also at 7 under was Sebastian Munoz of Colombia with one PGA Tour title.

With so much golf left, possibilities were endless.

The 16 players within four shots of the lead included the resurgent former British Open champion Francesco Molinari and his successor holding the claret jug, Shane Lowry, whose round was highlighted by an ace to a front pin on the island-green 17th.

Lowry had himself a day on one of the most famous holes in golf. He played twice and needed only three shots, having made a 25-foot birdie in the second round earlier in the morning.

“Not only that, it put me back in the tournament somewhat,” said Lowry, who was four shots behind and had four holes left in the third round. “So it was amazing.”

Doug Ghim, at 6-under par, was holding his own despite getting the short end. He was the only player among the top 15 after 36 holes who had the late-early start times and faced the worst of the fickle weather, mainly the 35 mph wind on Saturday.

“Obviously, there’s been a lot of talk of the waves. And yeah, there’s a big difference,” Varner said. “But that’s not my problem. I didn’t make the tee times.”

Lahiri, the 34-year-old son of an Army doctor, prepared Saturday afternoon by going to the back of the range and trying on warm clothes to see how many layers he could handle and keep his mobility. He found the right combination.

Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler can count themselves among the fortunate. They finished the second round Saturday at 2-over 146 and were on the verge of missing the cut with the final two groups finishing up the round.

And then Scott Piercy, who appeared safe at 2-under par, hit two shots into the water on the island-green 17th and made a quadruple-bogey 7 that knocked him to 2 over. Piercy bogeyed the 18th and wound up missing the cut.

Others didn’t get off so easy. The strongest field of the year won’t include three of the top 10 players in the world – Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele.


Trae Young scores 47, Hawks hold off Pacers 131-128

ATLANTA (AP) Trae Young scored 33 of his 47 points in the first half, and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Indiana Pacers 131-128 on Sunday night.

Atlanta, 10th in the Eastern Conference, had seven players score in double figures and shot 54.8% from the field. Danilo Gallinari and De’Andre Hunter had 15 points apiece, and Kevin Huerter finished with 14.

The Hawks have won 13 of 15 at home and two straight overall. They had a season-high 77 points in the first half.

Tyrese Halliburton and Buddy Hield each scored 25 points for Indiana, which has dropped four of five and 13 of 17. The Pacers, 13th in the East, fell to 8-27 on the road.

Young’s 33 first-half points were a career high for either half. He was coming off his NBA-leading 23rd game of at least 25 points and 10 assists in Friday’s win over the Los Angeles Clippers. That’s 10 more than James Harden, the next closest player. He finished with five assists.

Young was forced to make some plays down the stretch after Atlanta nearly blew a big lead.

“When I came back in, they went with the box-and-one,” Young said. “When I say box-and-one, they were face-guarding and not letting me catch it. Everybody didn’t know what to do when we got in that position. We went over it before, but we’ve got to be better in those situations, and I think that’s what allowed them to get back in the game.”

The Hawks’ biggest lead of the first half was 19 in the closing seconds on Young’s two free throws. Atlanta shot 60% from the floor in the first half, 59.1% on 3s.

Young was 9 for 13 from the floor, including 7 for 9 on 3s, in the first two quarters. He did as he pleased most of the game, pulling up for long 3s, showing off his ballhandling ability and scoring with ease.

Indiana went on a 21-10 run to begin the third and pulled within seven at the 6:09 mark, but Young drove the lane for a runner and hit a layup on a fast break to make it 94-82 and cause the Pacers to call timeout.

Young went 14 for 14 on free throws.

“Guy’s a great player and he got comfortable,” Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. “Their entire team was comfortable, so we had to change that and we did. We get another shot at these guys coming up at home, and we’ll be ready.”

The Pacers, down to eight players because of injuries, pulled within two on Duane Washington Jr.’s free throws with 1:09 remaining in the game. Young knocked down a pair of free throws with 28.8 seconds to go and two more with nine seconds left to help close it out.

“At this point in the season, we don’t have to play our best – we have to play our hardest,” Young said. “Good effort and energy and live with the results. I think when you focus on playing your best and playing perfect, that’s when you make mistakes and mess up. If we come out with the mentality of playing hard and playing with energy, everything else will take care of itself.”

Reserve Hawks center Onyeka Okongwu loved watching Young take over the game in the first half.

“Trae was really hot, and we really feed off that when a guy gets hot,” said Okongwu, who finished with 13 points and nine rebounds. “It lifts everybody else up. When he gets in that zone, it’s like let him rock, honestly.”


Pacers: C Goga Bitadze (right foot), G Chris Duarte (left big toe) and G Lance Stephenson (left ankle) were questionable before the game but were ruled out. … G Malcolm Brogdon (concussion), G T.J. McConnell (right wrist), C Myles Turner (left foot), F T.J. Warren (left foot), and G Ricky Rubio (left knee) were out.

Hawks: F John Collins, the team’s second-leading scorer and rebounder, was out with a right finger sprain and a right foot strain. Gallinari started in his spot and scored 11 points in the second quarter. … Atlanta’s previous first-half high was 76 points, coming against Indiana on Feb. 8. … Young reached 40 points for the seventh time this season.


Atlanta coach Nate McMillan has been impressed all season with Young’s ability to run the pick-and-roll and create scoring opportunities for his teammates. The Hawks rank seventh in scoring and Young is fifth in scoring and third in assists.

“I think we’ve seen pretty much everything teams have tried to do,” McMillan said. “Trap, they deny, they try to play box-and-one. Normally he’s going to get the best defender and normally they’ve tried to (use) length. They switch one through five, so Trae has seen really all the defenses this year. Trae does a good job creating offense out of that set so we’re going to continue.”


Pacers: Host Memphis on Tuesday.

Hawks: Host Portland on Monday.

Indiana Earns Bid to NCAA Tournament, Plays Wyoming

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Rob Phinisee gets his NCAA tourney shot. So do all the Indiana Hoosiers, and if it comes with a Last Four-in, First Four play-in tag, no matter.

With a No. 12 seed, Indiana (20-13) is in the NCAA tourney field for the first time since a 2016 Sweet 16 appearance. A Tuesday East Regional matchup with Wyoming (25-8) looms in Dayton, and life is first-kiss good.

“We’re super excited,” Indiana’s senior guard said.

Excitement comes with a formidable schedule challenge.

Beat Wyoming, then fly to Portland, Ore., to face No. 5 seed Saint Mary’s (a 25-7 West Coast team) on Thursday.

Saint Mary’s beat No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga during the regular season, before losing to Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference title game.

“At the end of the day,” coach Mike Woodson said, “we’re in. We’ve got to play the play-in game. That’s my only concern. We have to start studying. Get our guys ready to go, and head to Dayton.”

IU, which has won five national championships, is making its 40th NCAA appearance.

No Hoosier has ever played in the NCAA tourney. Making it, Phinisee said, is special.

“Everyone knows we haven’t been to the tournament since 2016, so it’s huge for our state and huge for our fan base.”

For those unhappy with IU’s draw, consider UCLA reached last season’s Final Four with a similar Dayton First-Four start.

“That was spoken about even before the Big Ten Tournament, how our season isn’t over,” Phinisee said. “You can always make a run.

“We know what happened with UCLA last year, but we’re just focused on Wyoming. We’re looking forward to that game.”

Guard Xavier Johnson, as passionate and as competitive a guy as you’ll ever meet, found motivation in IU’s draw.

“They’ll pay for it,” he tweeted.

Forward Trayce Jackson-Davis used an Instagram video to echo his coach’s thoughts.

“We’re in,” he said. “That’s all that matters.”

IU, Wyoming, Rutgers and Notre Dame were the last four teams to make the field. The Hoosiers wouldn’t have made it without beating Michigan and Illinois (also NCAA tourney teams) in the Big Ten Tournament.

“Winning those two games were huge,” Phinisee said.

The Hoosiers didn’t find out they’d made the field until near the end of Sunday night’s Selection Show. They are one of a record-tying nine Big Ten teams to make it.

“We were super nervous,” Phinisee said. “We were super anxious because we were the last region. Every time a team came up, we thought we would get chosen.

“We have to get ready to work and have a quick turnaround to Dayton. Guys are super excited and ready to go.”

IU seemed NIT bound after losing seven of its final nine regular season games. Everything turned around after the Hoosiers rallied from a 17-point, second-half deficit to stun Michigan in the Big Ten tourney opener.

“Since then,” Phinisee said, “everything has changed. Everyone is building off that momentum.

“Even though we had a tough one against Iowa (an 80-77 Saturday loss to the Big Ten tourney champ), we’ll still build off that because we’re playing really good basketball. Teams don’t want to play us because we’re playing really well. We want to carry that over unto Tuesday.”

Woodson took the IU job last spring to return the program to its previous glory. Making the NCAA tourney was part of that, but he redirected attention.

“This is not about me. It’s about our program and the work these players have put in this season.

“Now we’re here. We’ve got our marching orders, so we have to start prepping.”

It will be an exciting prep, he added in so many words.

“If you come to college to play basketball, you come to make the tournament and get an education.

“A lot of these guys have been sitting on the sidelines for years watching the NCAA tourney being played and never knowing what it’s about.

“Now they get an opportunity on Tuesday to play in the tournament and win and perhaps

move on. I think it’s a beautiful thing. These guys have worked their butts off to get here. I want to see them move on and continue to win. That’s what it’s all about.”

As for the short turnaround since losing to Iowa, Woodson said, “It’s what it is. We’re in. We have an opportunity to win and advance. It won’t be hard for me to get these guys to understand what’s at stake.

“We’re in the tournament. We want to stay in the tournament.”

While Woodson has never coached in the NCAA Tournament (he spent his coaching career in the NBA before taking over the IU program last spring), he did play in it as a Hoosier All-America under Bob Knight.

“Our fan base is like no other fan base,” he said. “You’re playing for a national title.

“You try to get to the Big Dance and get an opportunity to win a title. That’s what it’s all about. Come to try to win a national title, try to win a Big Ten title. We fell short in that area, but it was a nice run for our club.

“Now the stakes are even higher. Nobody wants to go home. Games become even tougher.”

Wyoming won 24 regular-season games, its most since the 1951-52 season. The Cowboys are in their first NCAA tourney since 2015, and 16th overall. It’s their first at-large bid since 2002.

Wyoming is led by Ike Graham, a 6-9, 252-pound forward who averages 19.6 points and 9.6 rebounds. Hunter Maldonado, a 6-7 guard, averages 18.4 points and 5.8 rebounds. Drake Jeffries, a 6-5 guard, averages 10.5 points and 5.7 rebounds.

It has six players 6-8 or taller on its roster.

The Cowboys have Power 5 Conference experience on their resume. They lost at Arizona, a No. 1 NCAA tourney seed, 94-65. They also lost to Stanford, 66-63.

IU has no intention of making this a one-and-done experience, Phinisee said.

“It’s super satisfying. Our goal was to win the Big Ten championship. All of our losses, we could have won. Everyone knows we can compete with anyone in the country.”

Hoosiers Tabbed 3-Seed For First Time; Set To Host 2022 NCAA Women’s Basketball First and Second Rounds

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana women’s basketball will appear in its third consecutive NCAA Tournament as it was selected as an at-large berth into the field on Sunday night. The Hoosiers will be the No. 3 seed and will host NCAA First and Second Round action at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

Their No. 3 seed is the highest in school history as it improves off last season’s No. 4 seed. For the first time ever, NCAA women’s basketball tournament games will be played inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall with No. 6 Kentucky and No. 11 Princeton will also face-off in Bloomington on Saturday.

The Hoosiers will play in its eighth NCAA Tournament in school history. Indiana (22-8) is 6-7 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. They are off the heels of its first Big Ten Tournament championship game appearance in 20 years, making a run in the league’s postseason tournament as the No. 5 seed.  Last season, Indiana advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time in program history which also included upsetting top-seeded North Carolina State in the Sweet Sixteen.

All-session and single game general admission tickets will go sale on Monday (March 14) at 10 a.m. ET through the IU Ticket office. A select number of reserved seats will be available later this week.

Baseball Falls in First Game of Twinbill at Troy

TROY, Ala. – The Indiana baseball program dropped the opener of a doubleheader, 6-4, on Sunday (March 13) at Troy. The two teams will play a second game after being postponed from Saturday due to frigid temperatures in the area.

Indiana (6-8) took an early lead with two runs in the first inning, before Troy (10-5) scored three times in the third. IU answered with two more in the fourth to recapture the lead, but the Trojans scored two in the fourth and one in the sixth to cap the scoring in game one.

Game One Scoring Recap

Top First

Tyler Doanes and Phillip Glasser started the games with base hits and a throwing error on Glasser’s infield hit brought Doanes in to score. A pair of groundouts followed, as Matthew Ellis plated the second run of the game and the first RBI.

Indiana 2, Troy 0

Bottom Third

Troy put two runners on base with one out and Jesse Hall doubled to drive in the first Trojan run of the game. A walk to Rigsby Mosley was followed by a double steal to put runners on second and third. Clay Stearns’ sacrifice fly gave Troy the lead.

Troy 3, Indiana 2

Top Fourth

Ellis doubled and came in to score on a Josh Pyne single to left-center field. Pyne moved to second on an errant throw and, with two outs, Carter Mathison laced an RBI doubled to left field to give IU the lead back.

Indiana 4, Troy 3

Bottom Fourth

A leadoff single from Brandon Schrepf was followed by a pair of outs that put the runner on second base. A pair of wild pitches allowed the tying run to score before Braydon Tucker came on to reliever Bradley Brehmer. A hit batter and infield single loaded the bases and Mosely delivered the go-ahead run with an infield single.

Troy 5, Indiana 4

Bottom Sixth

Another two-out RBI extended the Troy lead as Hall doubled down the left field line to score Donovan Whibbs, who was hit-by-pitch.

Troy 6, Indiana 4

No. 3 Seed Purdue Draws Yale in NCAA Tournament First Round

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue men’s basketball team was rewarded for its strong season on Selection Sunday, by earning the No. 3 seed in the East Region, the NCAA announced Sunday evening.

The 27-7 Boilermakers will play Friday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, against No. 14 seed Yale at the Fiserv Forum, the home of the Milwaukee Bucks. Time and television designations will be announced later tonight or Monday.

The winner will advance to the round of 32, where it will face the winner of No. 6 seed Texas and No. 11 seed Virginia Tech.

The top four seeds in the East are Baylor, Kentucky, Purdue and UCLA.

The Boilermakers finished third in the Big Ten Conference with a 14-6 mark and sit at 27-7 overall after falling to Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament title game. Purdue is led by sophomore All-American Jaden Ivey, who averages 17.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Zach Edey averages 14.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game and Trevion Williams contributes 11.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.

Entering Sunday’s game, Purdue ranked third nationally in field goal percentage and 3-point percentage and currently boasts the nation’s No. 3-ranked offensive efficiency.

Yale earned an NCAA bid after defeating Princeton in Sunday’s Ivy League Championship game, 66-64. The Bulldogs are led by 6-foot, 1-inch senior guard Azir Swain, who averages 19.2 points per game while making 34.9 percent from deep on 195 attempts. Senior guard Jalen Gabbidon averages 11.6 points.

The Bulldogs average 72.3 points per game, while allowing 68.8 points per outing on the defensive side of the ball. They shoot 44.4 percent from the field and 33.0 percent from long range, making just 6.9 trifectas per game. The Bulldogs average almost 13.0 turnovers per game, while forcing 13.2 miscues by their opponents and own a +0.7 rebounding margin. Yale’s tallest starter stands 6-feet, 7-inches and in the title game vs. Princeton, it played just two players that stand at least 6-feet, 7-inches a total of 40 minutes.

Purdue is making its seventh straight NCAA Tournament appearance and has been a top-four seed in each of the last five tournaments.

No. 9 Purdue Falls to Iowa in Big Ten Championship

INDIANAPOLIS – Fifth-seeded Iowa ended the game on a 12-4 run to hand third-seeded Purdue a 75-66 setback in the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament on Sunday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Keegan Murray scored 19 points with 11 rebounds and Tony Perkins added 11 points and four assists as Iowa won its first Big Ten Tournament title since 2006.

Jaden Ivey scored 20 points with six assists and Purdue’s two centers combined for 25 points and 25 rebounds, but the Boilermakers were hampered by 17 turnovers that Iowa turned into 14 points and Purdue shot just 5-of-20 (.250) from 3-point range. Iowa wasn’t much better from deep, shooting 8-of-28 (.286), but had just six turnovers.

Ivey and Trevion Williams were both named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team. Williams had 13 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals and one blocked shot in the title game.

Purdue will face Yale in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday in Milwaukee.

Purdue Accepts Bid to the 2022 WNIT

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – For the 30th time in program history, the Purdue women’s basketball team is heading to the postseason. On Sunday night, the Boilermakers accepted a bid to play in the 2022 WNIT.

First round details of opponent, date, time and location will be announced Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. Ticket information will be released at that time.

The Boilermakers are back in the postseason for the first time since that 2018 WNIT. Purdue has 26 NCAA Tournament appearances and will make their fourth entry into the WNIT.

Purdue continues its streak of every senior class since 1988 playing in at least one postseason tournament during their careers.

Purdue’s previous WNIT appearances came in 1988 (as the National Women’s Invitational Tournament), 2010 and 2018. The 1988 appearance was the first postseason run in program history, falling in the championship game to DePaul. The Boilermakers made it to the third round of the 2018 tournament, before falling to the eventual champion Indiana.

Inheriting a team that won seven games last season, first year head coach Katie Gearlds guided the Boilermakers to a 16-14 overall march and 7-11 in the Big Ten this year. The nine-win improvement was the best by a Purdue coach in her first year and tied for the fourth best in program history.

The season saw Purdue pick up its first ranked win since the 2018-19 season, a 66-61 win over No. 17 Florida State. Transfers Jeanae Terry and Abbey Ellis earned All-Big Ten honorable mention laurels during their first campaign in West Lafayette. Terry etched her name into the record books, climbing up to third in single-season history with 173 assists. The junior is one of three players from the Big Ten in the last decade to amass over 170 assists and 200 rebounds in a season.

Ellis and Madison Layden, the other All-Big Ten honorable mention honoree from Purdue, lead the team with 11.6 points per game. Ellis has been efficient on the offensive end shooting 46% from the field and 87.4% at the line, the latter ranks 22nd in the nation. Layden is one of just six players nationally to have accumulated 130 rebounds (134), 80 assists (80), 60 three-pointers (63) and 45 steals (49).

Fueled by a career-high 76 3-pointers from Cassidy Hardin, the Boilermakers broke the program single-season 3-point marks for makes and attempts, going 230-of-709 on the year. Purdue is on of 28 teams across the country to have four players with at least 30 triples on the year (Hardin – 76, Layden – 63, Brooke Moore – 35, Ellis – 31).

Purdue’s 3-point game has had a major uptick this season thanks to increased ball movement. The Boilermakers are 30th in the nation with 477 assists and 27th with 15.9 helpers per game. Terry ranks 14th and 13th in those individual categories, respectively.

The Boilermakers perimeter defense was the best in the Big Ten this season holding opponents to just 27.6% from distance with just 4.8 makes per game. Purdue held an opponent to six or fewer made 3-pointers in 21 games.

Purdue Scores in 5 of First 6 Frames, Stays Unbeaten

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The bullpen worked six innings of one-run ball after the Boilermakers scored in five of the first six innings, keeping No. 21 Purdue baseball unbeaten on the season with a 7-4 victory vs. Bellarmine on Sunday at Alexander Field.

At 14-0, the Boilermakers continued their best start in program history and moved within one victory of tying the longest win streak (16) in the 135-year history of baseball at the university. With Clemson and Virginia both losing Sunday, Purdue finished the day as the final unbeaten team remaining nationally.

Cam Thompson hit a towering home run to left field in the third inning, giving Purdue the lead for good. He was also hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the first inning, forcing home the Boilermakers’ first run for the second game in a row. Thompson leads the Big Ten with 23 RBI and has joined leadoff man Mike Bolton Jr. as players to reach base safely in each of the first 14 games.

CJ Backer (1-0) punched out seven of the first 11 batters he faced in his Alexander Field debut, working 3 2/3 innings of one-run relief. He struck out the side in the top of the sixth to work around a one-out double.

Eric Hildebrand retired Bellarmine’s 3-4-5 hitters across the seventh and eighth innings, Griffin Lohman stranded a pair of inherited runners in the top of the eighth and Khal Stephen struck out the only batter he faced to leave the bases loaded as the freshman closed out the win in his Alexander Field debut.

Purdue’s leadoff man reached base safely four times and came around to score in all four frames.

Troy Viola doubled and scored on the heels of Thompson’s third-inning homer. He also came through with a pair of sacrifice flies. Viola is riding a 12-game on-base streak. Curtis Washington Jr. gave Purdue three productive plate appearances as well, recording a pair of singles and an RBI ground out. He has scored a run in 13 of the first 14 games.

Evan Albrecht delivered an RBI double to knock in the Boilermakers’ final run in the sixth inning.

CJ Valdez leads the team with a .521 on-base percentage, reaching base safely twice more Sunday to extend his on-base streak to 10 consecutive games. He was hit by a pitch to load the bases in the first inning and came through with a leadoff single in the bottom of the fifth.

The Boilermakers racked up 12 strikeouts, registering a double-figure total for the 10th time in 14 games this season.

Purdue returns to action Tuesday when it hosts Dayton at 4 p.m. ET.


INDIANAPOLIS – The IUPUI women’s basketball team earned a No. 13 seed in the 2022 NCAA Basketball Tournament and will travel to No. 4 Oklahoma (24-8) in the opening round of the Bridgeport Region for the program’s first-ever tournament berth. The Jaguars earned an automatic berth by winning the Horizon League Tournament and will face an Oklahoma squad that’s 13-3 on its home floor this season.

IUPUI (24-4) will take on the Sooners on Saturday, Mar. 19 inside the Lloyd Noble Center with the winner facing the winner of the No. 5 Notre Dame/No. 12 UMass game.

Butler Baseball Sweeps Doubleheader vs. Western Illinois

INDIANAPOLIS – Butler picked up a pair of wins on Sunday to even their overall record at 7-7. The day got underway with an 8-5 victory and ended with a 9-5 win over Western Illinois. These two clubs will come together again tomorrow for a single game beginning at 4 PM.

Game one got off to a rocky start with the Leathernecks opening up a 5-0 lead after the first three innings. Lukas Galdoni got Butler back in the game with a three-run home run in the fourth to make the score 5-4. An Aaron Steinhart double in the fifth would send two runs home to give Butler the lead and the ‘Dawgs got some insurance with two more runs in the seventh.

John MacCauley came in to record his second win on the mound and the save would go to Derek Drees (2). Steinhart would go 3-for-3 from the plate with two RBI and two runs scored.

BU never trailed in game two. They opened up a 9-0 lead after the third inning and would get to the finish line on five strong bullpen innings from Jon Vore (2-1). Vore limited WIU to one run off five hits in relief. He struck out five and only walked one.

Scott Jones was great from the plate, going 2-for-4 with two RBI. His two-RBI single back up the middle of the diamond in the first opened up the scoring for the Bulldogs. Gargano was credited with an RBI in the second before a triple to left centerfield by Robbie McCargar.

Five different Bulldogs would get an RBI in the second game and the top two batters in the order would account for four runs helping Butler earn the sweep.

Cardinals Rely on Strong Pitching, Long Ball with Two Wins Against Eagles

MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State baseball team opened Mid-American Conference play on Sunday with a doubleheader against Eastern Michigan at the Ball Diamond at First Merchants Ballpark Complex. The Cardinals relied on timely hitting, home runs, and strong pitching to claim two victories over the Eagles.

BSU improved to 7-7 overall and started the conference 2-0, while EMU fell to 2-9 and 0-2 in MAC play. Zach Lane led the Cardinals with a 4-for-6 day at the plate. Amir Wright extended his streak of reaching base safely to 14 games. Nick Powell extended his hitting streak to four games.

Game One – Ball State 2, Eastern Michigan 1

The Eagles managed to get on the scoreboard first with a Gabe Denton solo home run to left center in the top of the second.

Tyler Schweitzer did not let the home run faze him and was resilient the remainder of his outing on the mound.

Lane led off the bottom of the fifth with a single to center field. Wright followed with a walk to move a runner into scoring position for BSU. Trenton Quartermaine grounded out to second but moved Lane and Wright up to third and second, respectively. Matthew Rivera came up with a huge pinch-hit single through the left side which scored Lane and Wright.

Schweitzer and Sam Klein held the Eagles scoreless the remainder of the game, as the Cardinals went on to win game one 2-1.

Justin Conant led the team with two hits in game one and posted a 2-for-3 game. Schweitzer recorded the win and improved to 2-2 on the year. He went 5 1/3 innings with six strikeouts and gave up one earned run on just two hits. Klein pitched a perfect 1 2/3 innings in relief with one strikeout on his way to his third save of the year.

Zach Fruit got the loss for EMU with a complete-game effort with five strikeouts. He gave up two earned runs on five hits.

Game Two – Ball State 6, Eastern Michigan 4

Ty Johnson started on the mound for game two for the Cardinals. He did not give up a hit until the third inning.

Trenton Quartermaine made an outstanding defensive play as he snagged a hard line drive down the first base line and stepped on first for an unassisted double play to keep the Eagles off the board in the top of the third. 

Lane launched a no doubter to left field to put the Cardinals on the board first in the bottom of the third. Powell doubled to left center with two outs to keep the inning alive for BSU. Rivera followed with a rocket over the batter’s eye in straight-away center, for a two-run homer, to put Ball State up 3-0.

The Eagles pulled within one, 3-2, in the top of the fourth as Denton hit a two-run shot to center field.

Adam Christianson drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the sixth to start things for the Cardinals. Conant grounded out to the pitcher to move Christianson to second. Lane produced his third RBI of the game with a single to right field that scored Christianson.  The Cardinals were on top 5-2 after six innings of play.

Taylor Hopkins notched a two-run homer in the top of the eighth inning to cut the deficit to 5-4.

Ryan Peltier gave the Cardinals an insurance run with a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the eighth.

Johnson picked up the win and improved to 2-1 on the year. He struck out five batters and surrendered two earned runs on just three hits. Nate Dohm went 2 2/3 innings in relief with three strikeouts. Dohm gave up two runs on two hits. Klein faced faced one batter and struck him out to pick up his second save of the day and fourth of the season.

Denton homered in back-to-back games for the Eagles. Dom Anderson recorded the loss for EMU. He went four innings with one strikeout. Anderson gave up four earned runs on six hits.

The Cardinals return to the diamond on Monday for another doubleheader with the Eagles. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m.

From the Coach – Head Coach Rich Maloney

“I think our guys came ready to play, there’s no doubt about that. Whenever you’re opening in the MAC, it’s a whole new season. I thought Tyler Schweitzer did a really nice job. Sam Klein was outstanding in both games. Ty Johnson settled down and gave us a quality start. The play Quartermaine made in the second game was a game changer for us.”

From the Student-Athletes – Junior Infielder #26 Zach Lane

“It’s definitely awesome being able to help the team out. I knew today it was going to be cold, so every run counts. It means a lot for the team.”

Softball Drops Spring Break Finale at No. 23 Arizona State

TEMPE, Ariz. – – For four-and-a-half innings, the Ball State softball team looked poised to upset 23rd-ranked Arizona State Sunday afternoon at Farrington Stadium.

Freshman pitcher Angelina Russo had the Sun Devils (18-5) on the ropes, allowing no runs and five hits over the first 4.0 innings.

On the offensive side, the Cardinals (6-13) used another two-out rally to score a pair of runs in the top of the third. Junior third baseman Haley Wynn started the rally with a double to right, and sophomore transfer catcher McKayla Timmons opened the scoring with an RBI single to left.

Two batters later, sophomore shortstop Kayla Lissy added an RBI double up the middle, giving Ball State a 2-0 edge.

Unfortunately, one of the nation’s top offenses came to life in the bottom of the fifth using a three-run outburst to take its first lead of the game.

Then, after holding BSU off the board in the top of the sixth, ASU added six more runs in the bottom of the sixth to give the game its final score of 9-2. The game ended before the seventh due to a drop dead time for Ball State to reach the airport in time for its flight back to Muncie.

The Ball State softball team returns to action Friday, March 18, when it opens play in the Mizzou Classic with games versus No. 16 Northwestern (12:30 p.m. ET / 11:30 a.m. CT) and tournament host No. 14 Missouri (5:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. CT).


The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team returns to the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament for the first time since 2016-17 and the 13th time of the Mike Brey era on Wednesday, March 16, 2022, as an 11 seed against No. 11 Rutgers in the First Four at Dayton Arena at 9:10 p.m. ET. The Irish and Scarlet Knights will battle each other for a spot in the First Round against No. 6 Alabama on Friday, March 18, in San Diego at 4:15 p.m. ET.  


Overall Appearances: 37, 10th all-time

Overall Record: 39-40

Appearances in Mike Brey era: 13

Record in Mike Brey era: 13-12


Overall: ND leads 20-13

Mike Brey Era (2000-01-current): ND leads 14-6

As BIG EAST Members: ND leads 15-10

Streak: 3, ND, including last meeting March 13, 2013, in BIG EAST Tournament, 69-61 Notre Dame victory

Mike Brey vs. Steve Pikiell: 3-0, all while Pikiell at Stony Brook



Freshman Blake Wesley is the first rookie in the country this season to reach 450 points, 100 rebounds, 75 assists, 50 3FGM, and 30 steals.  See page 5 for more details.


Irish players received postseason honors from the ACC – Blake Wesley (All-ACC 2nd Team, All-Rookie Team), Dane Goodwin (All-ACC 3rd Team) and Paul Atkinson Jr. (All-ACC Honorable Mention).


Prentiss Hubb’s assist/turnover ratio throughout his career in ACC competition. It is second among all active major conference players (Iowa’s Connor McCaffery is 1st at 4.46).


Notre Dame will confer an NCAA men’s basketball best seven degrees in May, as seniors Robby Carmody, Dane Goodwin, Prentiss Hubb, Nate Laszewski, Cormac Ryan and Trey Wertz all will earn their undergraduate degree while graduate student Paul Atkinson Jr. has finished his work on a Master’s degree.


Associate head coach Anthony Solomon returned to the staff this season for his third stint with Mike Brey. In his 11 full seasons on the Irish coaching staff, Solomon has helped Brey’s team make the NCAA tournament nine times.


Points-per-game average for senior Cormac Ryan since joining the starting lineup on Feb. 9, 2022 (nine games). During that nine-game run, he is shooting .538 from the field. .500 from 3FG range and pulling down 5.6 rebounds per game.


The Irish have connected on 10-or-more 3FGs 15 times this season (and are 14-1 in those contests). The 2016-17 team had 16 such games, while the 2019-20 quad owns the program record at 17.


Minutes played by Paul Atkinson Jr. in the 2019 NCAA Tournament as a sophomore at Yale. The only NCAA tourney experience on the Irish roster.


Notre Dame and Rutgers will be meeting for the 33rd time and the first time since they both left the BIG EAST Conference at the end of the 2012-13 season.


Wins at Notre Dame for Mike Brey – the most for any men’s basketball coach in school history and the ninth-most for any NCAA DI coach at his current institution.


INDIANAPOLIS – It’s time to bust out the green nail polish because the Notre Dame women’s basketball team is back where they belong – the NCAA Tournament. The Fighting Irish were named a No. 5 seed in the Bridgeport Regional.

Notre Dame will head to Norman, Oklahoma for the First and Second Rounds, first matching up with No. 12 seed UMass. If successful, the Irish will play the victors of No. 4 seed and host Oklahoma versus No. 13 seed IUPUI. Exact game times and T.V. designations for the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament will be announced shortly, however, the date has been announced for Saturday, March 19. 

Notre Dame will be making its 27th appearance in the Big Dance, where they are 67-24 all-time. In fact, Notre Dame’s 67 wins rank as the fourth most amongst Division-I programs – only behind UConn, Tennessee and Stanford.

This year’s ticket to the Big Dance also marks the first for Karen & Kevin Keyes Family head coach Niele Ivey, who transformed a 10-10 Irish squad from a year ago to 22-8 this year.

The Irish finished with a NET ranking of 20th, posting a 3-3 record against the top-25 and 7-6 against the top-50.

Lastly, eight ACC teams were selected to the NCAA Tournament, which ties the league record for the fifth time and third consecutive year.


RALEIGH, N.C. — The third-ranked Notre Dame baseball team had a big first inning that propelled it to the 11-4 win over No. 17 NC State Sunday afternoon at Dail Park. The Irish (11-1, 2-0) took both games from the Wolfpack (9-6, 0-2) this weekend and extended their winning streak to nine games.

The Irish took advantage of Wolfpack miscues to score in double figures for the fifth time this season. They scored three runs in the first inning and then seven runs in the final two innings. Carter Putz led the way with three hits and two RBI while Jared Miller scored a team-high three runs.

On the mound, the duo of John Michael Bertrand and Austin Temple limited the damage the Wolfpack could do at the plate. Bertrand pitched 5.0 innings to earn his fourth win of the season and Temple pitched the final 4.0 innings to earn his first save of the year.

How It Happened

The Irish got off to a quick start as they scored three runs in the first inning. Three-straight hits got the first run home for the Irish as Putz singled to right and scored Miller. Ryan Cole came home next after an error from the third baseman. The final run came as Putz scored on the ground out from Brooks Coetzee III.

Notre Dame got another run in the third after Miller led the inning off with a walk. He stole second base and then advanced to third on a passed ball. Putz laced a fly ball out to right but it was deep enough to score Miller to give the Irish a 4-0 advantage.

Bertrand was cruising through the early innings for the Irish. He did not allow a hit through the first four innings and tallied four strikeouts. In the fifth, the Wolfpack strung a few hits together and got three runs home to make it a one-run game. With the go-ahead run at the plate, Bertrand got a strikeout to end the inning and keep it a 4-3 Irish lead.

Austin Temple came on in relief in the sixth and turned two after the strike out at the plate and David LaManna caught the runner stealing. He finished the sixth with his second strikeout of the afternoon to keep the Irish in front.

The Irish added two insurance runs in the eighth after an error by the Wolfpack left fielder. He dropped a fly ball with two outs that allowed Putz and Brannigan to score for the Irish.

Notre Dame added more runs in the ninth off Wolfpack miscues. LaManna and Prajzner both scored on a wild pitch and then TJ Williams drove in Spencer Myers with a triple to the wall in right. Williams later scored in the inning on a wild pitch. Miller scored the final run of the inning on the ground out by Brannigan.

Temple came back out in the ninth for his fourth inning of relief and he secured the win for the Irish and his first save of the season.

Up Next

The Irish return to campus to get ready for the home opener at Frank Eck Stadium. The Irish open the home slate on Tuesday for a midweek matchup with Valparaiso. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra. Admission is free for all fans at each home game during the regular season.


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Notre Dame softball team scratched home a run in the top of the seventh inning and rode a gutsy performance from freshman Shannon Becker in the circle to earn a 3-2 win over the Virginia Cavaliers Sunday afternoon. The Fighting Irish improve to 17-6 on the season, and 1-2 in Atlantic Coast Conference play. Virginia falls to 15-10, and 2-1 in league action.

Becker worked the full 7.0 innings, throwing a career-high 137 pitches. She scattered 10 hits, allowed one walk and struck out five in her first ACC appearance.

The offense was led by a pair of two-for-four games from Leea Hanks and Abby Sweet. Sweet connected on her fourth home run of the season and drove in two. Emma Clark drove in the game-winning run in the top of the seventh. Karina Gaskins added a 1-for-1 performance with a pair of walks. Jane Kronenberger scored the game-winning run, coming off the bench in the seventh inning with a base hit.

Notre Dame jumped on top early, as Hanks led off with a single and was driven home when Sweet connected on her fourth home run of the season to put the Irish up 2-0.

Virginia tied it up in the bottom of the third. A hit batter turned the lineup over and Lauren VanAssche drove a single to left center to score one. A double put runners in scoring position for Gabby Baylog who swung and had the pitch hit her in the wrist, hand area but went into fair territory. Becker fielded it, and tagged Baylog out, but the runner from third took advantage of the confusion during the live ball and scored to tie it.

The Cavaliers threatened in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, with a runner on first, a ground out to third got the second out and the runner from first tried to take third. Gaskins’s throw to third was wide and the pinch runner rounded third hard. Hanks, backing up the throw down the left field line, threw to third and the Irish executed the run down to perfection, getting the runner as she was trying to get back to third.

In the fifth, Virginia loaded the bases with a walk and two singles. The Cavalier clean-up hitter tapped a chopper to Cassidy Grimm who was playing halfway down the line at third base, who fielded it clean and threw to Shelby Grimm for the second out. Becker then got the fifth hitter in the Cavalier lineup to roll over a ground ball to shortstop Anna Holloway for the routine out to keep UVA off the board.

The Irish broke the tie in the top of the seventh, scoring the go-ahead run. Kronenberger got the rally started as she singled on the first pitch of her plate appearance. After a ground out moved her to second, Hanks singled to left to put runners on the corners. Clark chopped a ground ball to third, and Kronenberger slid under the tag to put the Irish up 3-2.

Virginia got a two-out hit in the bottom of the frame, but Becker struck out her fifth hitter of the day with a fastball on the outside corner to end the game.

Up Next

The Irish will open the home schedule this week, hosting Detroit Mercy and Western Michigan on Tuesday and Wednesday at 5 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The #15 Fighting Irish traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina in a neutral site matchup to take on the #20 ranked Jacksonville Dolphins. The Irish had a 20-5 dominating win.

The Irish had eight different goal scorers in Madison Ahern (6), Kasey Choma (6), Kelly Denes (2), Jackie Wolak (2), Maddie Howe (1), Hannah Dorney (1), Mary Kelly Doherty (1) and Jane McAvoy (1).

Madison Mote led the Irish with a career-high eight draw controls while Kelly Denes tallied six.

Both Bridget Deehan and Lilly Callahan saw action today. Deehan collected seven saves while Callahan made five.


The Irish opened their dominating game with two immediate goals from Ahern and Wolak. The Dolphins responded right away but the Irish kept their dominating game and went on to see four more goals from Ahern, Choma, Denes, and Doherty. Jacksonville again responded with one goal but Notre Dame came right back with two goals from McAvoy and Ahern to put them up 8-2 at the end of the first.

The second quarter started with Jacksonville getting to score first. The Irish and Dolphins traded points for a little, with a goal from Dorney, until the Irish pulled away with five goals to end the half 14-4. Goals for the Irish came from Choma, Howe, and Denes.

Ahern opened the second half with an immediate score for the Irish when she found the back of the net at 14:13. Jacksonville responded with a goal after several minutes of neither team scoring. Wolak and Ahern would then add two more goals to the Irish tally for a 17-5 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Choma and Ahern continued to extend the Irish lead when they both tallied goals to open the fourth quarter. Choma scored her second goal of the quarter to give the Irish their 20th goal.  The Irish would dominate through the remainder of the game for an eventual final score of 20-5.

The Irish go on the road again next week when they take on Yale in a neutral site matchup in Naples, Florida. The game will be streamed on ESPN+ and live stats will be available.

Wright State walks off series finale against Indiana State

DAYTON, Ohio – Wright State scored eight runs over the final two innings with Julian Greenwell’s walk-off RBI double the difference as Indiana State fell in the series finale against the Raiders, 11-10.

Indiana State (7-6) utilized a nine-run sixth inning to take a five-run lead midway through the contest and breaking open a pitching duel between the two programs in the final game of the weekend. The Sycamores utilized eight hits in the rally with both Randall Diaz (two-run double) and Josue Urdaneta (two-run single) both driving in multiple RBI to highlight the 13-batter inning as ISU turned a 4-0 deficit into a 9-4 lead.

Wright State (4-9) rallied back with a five-run eighth inning on an Alec Sayre two-run double and Gehrig Anglin’s two-run home run to set the stage for the ninth inning.

The Raiders took advantage of a batter reaching on a strikeout-passed ball combination to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Two batters later, Justin Riemer connected on the game-tying RBI single back up the middle to even the score at 10-10. Julian Greenwell followed two batters later with the game-winning double to left centerfield scoring Riemer to end the contest.

Sean Ross added a late RBI double to finish as one of four Sycamores with multi-hit games on Sunday afternoon. Randall Diaz, Isaiah Thompson, and Tyler Nelson added multi-hit contests, while Diaz and Aaron Beck added doubles in the series finale. Diaz led the team with three runs scored in the game.

Joey Hurth (1-1) took his first loss of the season after allowing two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Jack Parisi went the first 3.2 innings recording five strikeouts while surrendering three runs in the no-decision, while Lane Miller, Jared Spencer, and Connor Fenlong all saw time on the mound.

Sayre, Anglin, Greenwell, and Luikart all recorded multi-hit games to help pace a Wright State offense that picked up six extra-base hits in the loss. Anglin doubled and homered, while Sayre connected on a pair of two-run doubles to highlight WSU in the finale.

Jay Luikart (1-1) picked up his first win of the season after throwing a scoreless ninth in setting the stage for the Wright State comeback. Sebastian Gongora went five innings in the start for the Raiders allowing five hits and three runs while striking out four in the no decision.

How They Scored

Gehrig Anglin doubled home Sammy Sass with two outs in the third inning to give Wright State the early 1-0 lead.

Alec Sayre made it a three-run game in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run double scoring Julian Greenwell and Jay Luikart to put the Raiders ahead 3-0.

Jay Luikart followed Justin McConnell’s triple with a RBI single to left field in the bottom of the fifth inning as the Raiders pushed their lead to 4-0.

Aaron Beck cracked the scoreboard for the Sycamores in the top of the sixth with a double down the left field line scoring Randall Diaz for the first ISU run of the game, sparking a nine-run inning as Indiana State took control of the contest. Diaz and Josue Urdaneta posted two-RBI hits in the sixth inning to highlight 13 different batters that came to the plate as Indiana State went up 9-4.

Sean Ross drilled a two-out RBI double to left field scoring Randall Diaz in the top of the eighth inning putting the Sycamores ahead 10-4.

Wright State battled back with a five-run bottom of the eighth as Alec Sayre connected on a two-run double and Gehrig Anglin drilled a two-run home run to highlight the frame as the Sycamores lead was narrowed to 10-9.

The Raiders walked the game off in the bottom of the ninth as Justin Riemer and Julian Greenwell connected on RBI hits in the frame to secure the 11-10 win.

News & Notes

Jordan Schaffer’s on-base streak hit 25 consecutive games as the redshirt senior infielder was hit by his team-leading eighth pitch of the season in the bottom of the second inning.

Josue Urdaneta ran his on-base streak to 13 consecutive games after drawing a walk in the top of the sixth inning. He continued his 13-game hitting streak in the top of the sixth inning with a two-run single during Indiana State’s nine-run inning

Jack Parisi finished with five strikeouts over his 3.2 innings of work on Sunday afternoon, giving the graduate student 298 career collegiate strikeouts.

Diego Gines saw his on-base streak end at 16 games after failing to reach in either of his two plate appearances on Sunday afternoon.

Isaiah Thompson recorded multiple hits in all three games over the weekend following his 2-for-5 performance in the game.

Randall Diaz connected on his fourth multi-hit game of the season with his two-hit sixth inning. The freshman finished 2-for-4 for the game.

Tyler Nelson added his third multi-hit game of the year with a pair of singles in the contest.

Indiana State’s 12 hits in the contest marked the fourth consecutive double-digit hitting effort by the Sycamores, eighth in the last nine, and ninth in the last 11 contests.

Sean Ross ran his hitting streak to six consecutive games with his 2-for-5 performance from the plate. He also connected on a double for the fourth time in the last five games to tie Diego Gines for the team lead on the year.

Indiana State’s nine-run sixth inning marked the third time ISU has scored at least eight runs in an inning in the 2022 season. ISU previously scored eight runs in the fifth inning on February 26 against Minnesota, and 10 more against the Gophers in the eighth inning on February 27th.

Indiana State falls to 9-3 in the all-time series against the Raiders with the loss.

Up Next

Indiana State will make its home debut on Tuesday, March 15, as the Sycamores prepare for a five game homestand featuring two games against Southeast Missouri State and a weekend series against Kansas. The Sycamores open the stretch with a 3 p.m. first pitch against SEMO at Bob Warn Field. The game will be carried live on ESPN+, while live stats will be provided via

Softball drops Sunday games at Racer Classic

MURRAY, Ky. – It was a day highlighted by pitching at the Racer Classic with the University of Evansville softball team falling in games against St. Thomas and Western Illinois.

Game One – St. Thomas 5, UE 4 (9 innings)

St. Thomas scored a pair of runs in the ninth inning to rally for a 5-4 win.  The Tommies started off strong, scoring twice in the first inning before extending the lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth.

After a hitless four innings, the Purple Aces stormed back in the top half of the fifth with Alexa Davis picking up the hit that her team needed.  With the first two batters striking out, Bella Coffey stepped to the plate and delivered the first hit of the game.  Pinch hitter Jenna Lis and Jessica Fehr followed with singles of their own to load the bases for Davis.  She came through with a bases-clearing triple to tie the game.

Neither team would score until the ninth, Jenna Nink gave UE its first lead of the day, crossing home on an error.  Unfortunately, St Thomas countered with two quick runs in the ninth to clinch the 5-4 win.  Izzy Vetter suffered the loss, pitching 4 1/3 innings and giving up just one earned run.  She struck out 11.

Game Two – Western Illinois 2, UE 0

In the second game of the day, the pitchers had the upper hand through the first half with the game staying scoreless after four innings.  That is when the Leathernecks got on the board, scoring the first run in the top of the fifth.

Western Illinois added a second run in the seventh to double its lead.  Evansville tallied just one hit through the first six frames before Alyssa Barela recorded a pinch-hit single in the seventh.  With the tying run at the plate, WIU forced a pair of flyouts to clinch the 2-0 shutout win.

Sydney Weatherford had a strong start for UE, going the distance allowing two runs on seven hits.

On Monday, the Aces take on St. Thomas and Western Illinois once again.  UE faces the Tommies at 10 a.m. before squaring off against WIU at 2:30 p.m.


ST. LOUIS – The Mastodon baseball team out-hit Saint Louis in both games on Sunday (March 13) but came away with a split with the Billikens. Purdue Fort Wayne won game one 4-1 and fell in the nightcap 5-2.

GAME 1 | Purdue Fort Wayne 4, Saint Louis 1

The Mastodons never trailed in the opener. Jarrett Bickel opened the scoring with a two-run home run in the third inning.

It wound up being all the offense the ‘Dons would need. Sophomore Mitchell Spencer (1-1) started on the mound and picked up the win for the ‘Dons. The right-hander went six innings, giving up one run on three hits, allowing three walks and striking out three.

Purdue Fort Wayne put up two runs in the fifth, punctuated with an RBI triple off the bat of Jack Lang, which brought the score to 4-0 in favor of the Mastodons. Lang finished 2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI. Garett Lake was also 2-for-4. He drove in Lang in the fifth.

Jacob Myer earned the save for the ‘Dons, his first as a Mastodon.


» The Mastodons recorded 10 hits, to the Billikens’ five.

» Kyle Fitzgerald led Saint Louis offensively, going 2-for-3 with a double, a home run and an RBI.

» Trevor Harris started for the Billikens. He suffered the loss and is now 1-3. He went 4.1 innings.

GAME 2 | Saint Louis 5, Purdue Fort Wayne 2

Senior Justin Miller (0-4) started and took the loss on the mound for Purdue Fort Wayne. He went 5.0 innings with four strikeouts, allowing four runs and four walks. Kyle Maurer went 2.2 innings, surrendering one run without allowing a hit, walking two and striking out four out of the pen.

Bickel hit his second home run of the day with a leadoff shot in the third. It put the ‘Dons up 1-0. Saint Louis tied it with a single run in the fourth and then took the lead for good with three in the fifth. Tyler Fogarty hit a two-run home run for the Billikens in the fifth.


» Bickel led the Mastodons at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a single in addition to his home run.

» Alex Evenson went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the eighth inning.

» The ‘Dons didn’t commit an error in either game on Sunday.

» The Mastodons out-hit the Billikens 8-6.

» Purdue Fort Wayne pitchers limited Saint Louis to just 1-for-12 (.083) with runners in scoring position.

» Logan Schmitt went the required 5.0 innings to get the win. He is 3-1.

» Cameron Pferrer picked up his second save of the year, going the final 2.2 for Saint Louis.

» The ‘Dons are now 1-14. Saint Louis is 7-7.


» The Mastodons host Dayton on Wednesday (March 16) in the 2022 home opener at Mastodon Field. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.

Hounds Down #1 Le Moyne in Carrier Dome Victory

SYRACUSE, NY – Le Moyne hadn’t lost a regular season game in 35 straight games, the Hounds snapped it.

An Audrey Moran save finalized the No. 2 Greyhounds 11-10 win over No. 1 ranked Le Moyne on Sunday morning in Syracuse University’s Carrier Dome.  Moran ended the top two match up with seven saves in taking the win.


After being down by two to end the first quarter, after Sarah Klein kicked off a five goal second quarter – the Greyhounds were above the Dolphins by one at half. 

Le Moyne wouldn’t take the loss without a fight, nor would the Hounds. The third quarter bringing three ties before another Sarah Klein goal started the Hounds on a three-goal run for the Greyhounds to extend their lead over the Dolphins 10-to-seven.

 Le Moyne shot back in the fourth tying the game at 10 when Abigail Lagos scored her 25th goal of the season in scoring what would be the last goal of the game in securing the win at the seven-minute mark for the Hounds.

Audrey Moran had three back-to-back saves in the last five minutes of the game.

The Hounds were led offensively by Abigail Lagos who had three goals, two assists, and six shots on goal. Peyton Romig had eight draw controls and caused three turnovers.

Paige Crandall took the loss in goal for Le Moyne with 13 saves.


-UIndy outshot Le Moyne 29-21

-The Hounds won over half of the Draw’s with 16-8.

-The Greyhounds had eight free position shots, while Le Moyne had two.


The Greyhounds will continue their ranked match up’s as they travel to Garden City, NY where they will face Adelphi on Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET.


1954       Hank Aaron, filling in for Bobby Thomson, who broke his ankle yesterday, starts his first game wearing a Braves uniform. The 20-year-old from Mobile, Alabama, makes such an impression the club offers him a major league contract after he collects three hits, including a home run, in the spring training game against Boston.

1961       The Mets lure former Yankee general manager George Weiss out of retirement to become the club’s first president, reportedly offering the four-time The Sporting News’ Executive of the Year a five-year deal at $100,000 annually. During the 67-year-old New Haven native’s five years in the post, the expansion team will compile a record of 260–547 (.322), finishing in last place four times.

1993       The Reds announce the Reds president Marge Schott’s Saint Bernard is being prohibited access to the Riverfront Stadium field for the season. The mandate to ban Schottzie 02 comes from the MLB’s Executive Council, who have received numerous complaints from the players about dogs running on the field.

1995       The players’ union makes it clear if the owners use replacement players during regular-season games and the results count, the strike will continue. The NLRB also announces it will be charging MLB owners with two counts of unfair labor practices.

2003       Cablevision, maintaining its “long-standing philosophy,” of allowing customers to choose to receive paid programming, agrees to a one-year interim deal to offer YES Network to New York Yankees fans for a fee, ending a bitter and costly yearlong feud. The arrangement makes YES a premium channel instead of a basic cable channel, dropping the new network’s previous mandate to make every subscriber pay for regardless of the viewer’s choice.

2003       Baseball suspends Montreal outfielder Vladimir Guerrero for three regular-season games and Marlin starter Brad Penny for five after igniting an exhibition game bench-clearing brawl earlier in the week. After being hit in the chest, the Expo All-Star, with a bat in his left hand, swings his right fist around Florida catcher Matt Treanor, trying to restrain him, missing the starting pitcher, who retaliated with a punch which also missed its mark.

2003       “Must be in the front row!”- BOB UECKER, a quip from beer commercials which has become a famous cry in ballparks around the country.

Bob Uecker, the Brewers’ TV/radio play-by-play announcer, is chosen for induction into the broadcasters’ wing of the Hall of Fame as the recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award. The 68 year-old former backup catcher, a member of Milwaukee’s broadcast crew since 1971, is best known for the humor he has brought to the game through his starring role in the cult movie Major League and the Miller Lite beer commercials.

2003       Dependent on passing a physical, free agent Kenny Lofton agrees to a one-year pact to play with the Pirates this season. The 35 year-old leadoff man would most likely start in center, moving Brian Giles to left field with left fielder Reggie Sanders going to right.

2006       Avoiding a trial scheduled to begin on Opening Day, Major League Baseball settles a lawsuit with an Atlanta-based company that claimed it owned the trademark rights to the name Washington Nationals. MLB sued Bygone Sports LLC, asking the court to declare that the trademark for the name Nationals does not belong to the company because its sole purpose in filing the September 2002 trademark application was to capitalize on the renaming of the team that recently shifted from Montreal to Washington.

2006       Terry Francona agrees to a two-year contract extension keeping the skipper at the helm through 2008. The Red Sox manager replaced Grady Little in December 2003 and promptly brought Boston to its first World Championship in 86 years.

2006       Washington, D.C. officials unveil the designs for a new home for the Nationals, scheduled to be opened in 2008. The glass-and-steel 41,000-seat ballpark will feature pale stone, chosen to complement the nation’s capital’s familiar skyline.

2008       Randy Wolf, the Padres’ new left-hander starter, struggles in a 6-2 spring training loss to the Brewers in Peoria, Arizona. The pitcher’s brother, Jim, isn’t much help as the home plate umpire, an occurrence which isn’t allowed during a regular-season game and is the only time it has ever happened, as the San Diego hurler gives up three runs in four innings.



New York Giants (4) vs Philadelphia Athletics (1)

After refusing an invitation to play the Boston Americans the 1904 World Series, the New York Giants agreed to participate in the 1905 Fall Classic in an effort to win back it’s fan approval. Many were upset by the Giants’ “no thanks” attitude of the previous year and it was clearly visible in their regular season attendance. This time, John T. Brush and company were eager to take on the American League champion Philadelphia Athletics after an National League race in which the Giants won one-hundred five games. The Series would be contested under guidelines drawn up by the Giants’ owner, seeking to stabilize an event he earlier had cancelled. Besides outlining a revenue formula, the John T. “Brush Rules” called for a best-of-seven format.

The Giants were extremely confident going into their first combined post-season championship for obvious reasons. Their pitching rotation read like an All-Star ballot and featured Christy Mathewson (thirty-one victories), Joe McGinnity (twenty-one) and Red Ames (twenty-two) and also included Dummy Taylor (fifteen) and Hooks Wiltse (fourteen). New York wound up using only two of its “big five” as starters in the Series, but that twosome proved more than enough. The Athletics were not as fortunate and were still reeling from the late-season loss of standout lefthander Rube Waddell.

In the opening game, lefthander Eddie Plank, a twenty-five game winner for the Athletics, was matched up against the Giants ace Mathewson. Recalling memories of the first World Series, it remained a pitcher’s duel until the fifth inning when the Giants offense finally broke through for two runs. Game 1 was all Mathewson – on both sides of the ball. At the plate, he contributed a single in the fifth that ignited New York’s scoring drive and a key sacrifice in the ninth. On the mound, he completed a four-hit, 3-0 victory and did no walk a single batter. For Game 2, Athletic’s manager Connie Mack called on righthander Chief Bender to even the score. He obliged the legendary skipper with support from Bris Lord’s run-scoring singles in the third and eighth innings. In the end, Bender out-dueled the Giants’ Joe McGinnity for a 3-0 victory. The Series was now tied and an interesting trend had developed with two shutouts in two games.

With two days rest, Game 1 winner Christy Mathewson was given the start for Game 3. Once again, the righthanded sensation dominated the contest and held Philadelphia to only four hits and one walk. First baseman Dan McGann was the Giants’ big gun in a 9-0 romp, collecting two singles and a double and driving in four runs. New York was now ahead, but the Athletics refused to roll over and entered the following contest with a renewed vigor. Game 4 represented the ultimate pitcher’s duel and to this day, is still considered one of the best match-ups ever on the mound during a World Series. This time McGinnity and Plank hooked up in a contest that allowed only nine hits and one run. Philadelphia matched the Giants play in every aspect of the game and only lost due to a crucial infield error. The 1-0 triumph increased New York’s Series lead to three games to one.

Once again, Mack decided to go with Chief Bender to halt the Giants in Game 5, while McGraw decided to stick with a winner and brought Mathewson back for a third performance. Pitching on only one day of rest, the Giant’s workhorse was again up to the challenge allowing only six hits with no walks. His counterpart was almost as good yielding only five hits, but allowing two runs. The 1905 New York Giants suddenly found themselves the champions of a contest that they had previously boycotted and had a newfound respect for their American League rivals who made them earn it.

Mathewson was clearly the most valuable player of the 1905 Fall Classic although the award had not yet been established. In the space of six days, he pitched three shutouts and permitted only fourteen hits. The Giants’ ace struck out eighteen and walked one in twenty-seven innings. Besides Mathewson and McGinnity, the only other Giants pitcher to see action was Ames, who worked all of one inning (as a reliever in Game 2). Pitching was the most noteworthy aspect of the Series with five shutouts in five games.


Roberto Alomar Velázquez
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 2011
Primary team: Toronto Blue Jays
Primary position: 2nd Baseman

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.




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