INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL REGIONAL PAIRINGS
CHESTERTON [20-5] VS. PENN [26-1]
HAMMOND CENTRAL [25-1] VS. MISHAWAKA [20-6]
FORT WAYNE WAYNE [20-4] VS. NOBLESVILLE [19-6]
KOKOMO [21-4] VS. FORT WAYNE NORTH [16-9]
NEW PALESTINE [23-2] VS. BROWNSBURG [20-4]
INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL [19-5] VS. BEN DAVIS [29-0]
EVANSVILLE REITZ [19-6] VS. JENNINGS COUNTY [23-2]
BLOOMINGTON NORTH [18-5] VS. COLUMBUS NORTH [17-8]
SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON
NORTHWOOD [24-2] VS. LAKE STATION [22-3]
JOHN GLENN [16-10] VS. SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON [18-5]
TWIN LAKES [10-14] VS. FORT WAYNE DWENGER [12-13]
DELTA [17-9] VS. PERU [17-7]
LEBANON (BROADCAST ON INDIANA SRN)
DANVILLE [18-7] VS. GUERIN CATHOLIC [17-8]
BEECH GROVE [16-6] VS. INDIAN CREEK [14-8]
GREENSBURG [20-6] VS. SCOTTSBURG [20-5]
NORTH DAVIESS [23-5] VS. GIBSON SOUTHERN [13-12]
NORTH JUDSON [23-3] VS. LEWIS CASS [18-7]
WESTVIEW [17-8] VS. GARY 21ST CENTURY [20-5]
FORT WAYNE BLACKHAWK [23-3] VS. TIPTON [18-6]
WAPAHANI [24-1] VS. CARROLL (FLORA) [22-4]
GREENFIELD-CENTRAL (BROADCAST ON INDIANA SRN)
PARK TUDOR [16-8] VS. INDIANAPOLIS SCECINA [17-6]
PARKE HERITAGE [18-9] VS. NORTHEASTERN [21-5]
FOREST PARK [9-17] VS. BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL [22-4]
LINTON-STOCKTON [26-1] VS. NORTH DECATUR [21-5]
TRI-COUNTY [12-12] VS. MARQUETTE CATHOLIC [19-7]
KOUTS [16-9] VS. BETHANY CHRISTIAN [16-10]
FOUNTAIN CENTRAL [22-4] VS. LIBERTY CHRISTIAN [15-9]
SOUTHWOOD [12-12] VS. BLUE RIVER [20-6]
BLOOMFIELD [24-3] VS. INDIANAPOLIS LUTHERAN [16-7]
JAC-CEN-DEL [17-9] VS. BETHESDA CHRISTIAN [21-4]
LOOGOOTEE [19-7] VS. NORTHEAST DUBOIS [14-10]
NEW WASHINGTON [13-13] VS. ROCK CREEK ACADEMY [10-14]
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
#1 HOUSTON 60 E. CAROLINA 46
#2 UCLA 75 OREGON 56
#3 KANSAS 71 IOWA STATE 58
#4 ALABAMA 72 MISSISSIPPI STATE 49
#5 PURDUE 70 RUTGERS 65
#6 MARQUETTE 70 #11 UCONN 68
#7 TEXAS 66 #22 TCU 60
#8 ARIZONA 78 ARIZONA STATE 59
#13 VIRGINIA 76 CLEMSON 56
#21 DUKE 85 #14 MIAMI FLORIDA 78
#15 XAVIER 82 #24 CREIGHTON 60
#25 MISSOURI 79 #17 TENNESSEE 71
#18 TEXAS A&M 67 ARKANSAS 61
#19 INDIANA 70 MARYLAND 60
#20 SAN DIEGO STATE 64 SAN JOSE STATE 49
VANDERBILT 80 #23 KENTUCKY 73
OHIO STATE 68 MICHIGAN STATE 58
PENN STATE 67 NORTHWESTERN 65 OT
KENT STATE 79 AKRON 73
TOLEDO 82 OHIO 75
CINCINNATI 84 TEMPLE 54
MEMPHIS 81 CENTRAL FLORIDA 76
TULANE 82 WICHITA STATE 76
UTAH STATE 72 BOISE STATE 62
COMPLETE SCOREBOARD: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/CBK/SCOREBOARD.ASP?CONF=-1&DAY=20230310
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
#14 OKLAHOMA 77 TCU 76
#15 TEXAS 60 KANSAS STATE 42
#25 MIDDLE TENNESSEE 68 UTEP 62
BOWLING GREEN 70 BALL STATE 61
TOLEDO 68 STATE 58
OKLAHOMA STATE 62 WEST VIRGINIA 61
I WAS STATE 74 BAYLOR 63
COMPLETE SCOREBOARD: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/WCBK/SCOREBOARD.ASP?CONF=-1&DAY=20230310
PHILADELPHIA 120 PORTLAND 119
ATLANTA 114 WASHINGTON 107
MIAMI 119 CLEVELAND 115
BROOKLYN 124 MINNESOTA 123 OT
SAN ANTONIO 128 DENVER 120
LA LAKERS 122 TORONTO 112
BOX SCORES: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/NBA/SCOREBOARD.ASP
FLORIDA 4 CHICAGO 3
ANAHEIM 3 CALGARY 1
BOX SCORES: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/NHL/SCOREBOARD.ASP
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SCOREBOARD
KANSAS CITY 1 SAN DIEGO 0
OAKLAND 12 TEXAS 11
CHICAGO WHITE SOX 4 CHICAGO CUBS 3
LA DODGERS 6 LA ANGELS 5
MILWAUKEE 12 CLEVELAND 3
SEATTLE 11 CINCINNATI 3
COLORADO 8 SAN FRANCISCO 1
CINCINNATI 6 ARIZONA 5
TORONTO 2 BOSTON 0
NY YANKEES 4 DETROIT 3
PHILADELPHIA 10 PITTSBURGH 4
ATLANTA 3 TAMPA BAY 2
NY METS 7 HOUSTON 2
MINNESOTA 5 BALTIMORE 5
MIAMI 7 WASHINGTON 2
ST. LOUIS 7 NY METS 5
BOX SCORES: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/MLB/SCOREBOARD.ASP
TOP NATIONAL HEADLINES
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
ST. JOHN’S FIRES MEN’S BASKETBALL COACH MIKE ANDERSON
NEW YORK (AP) St. John’s fired men’s basketball coach Mike Anderson on Friday, one day after his fourth season in charge ended with an overtime loss to No. 6 Marquette in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals.
Athletic director Mike Cragg announced the move in a news release, saying the school has begun a national search for a new coach to lead the program.
The decision comes just two years after Anderson was the Big East coach of the year, earning him a contract extension through the 2026-27 season.
But the Red Storm never made the NCAA Tournament under Anderson. They went 18-15 during a rocky 2022-23 season, including 7-13 in Big East play to finish eighth in the conference standings.
“After fully evaluating the men’s basketball program, our University has decided a change is needed in both the leadership and direction of St. John’s Basketball,” Cragg said in the release. “We wish Coach Mike Anderson and his family the best in their future.”
Anderson, the 21st coach in school history, succeeded St. John’s great Chris Mullin at the helm and went 68-56 during his four seasons.
Associate head coach Van Macon will lead the program “for the interim” until a new coach is hired, the school said.
St. John’s won its first-round game in the Big East Tournament over Butler on Wednesday before blowing a 14-point lead against top-seeded Marquette at Madison Square Garden.
After the game, Anderson said his team would like to play in the NIT if invited and he would definitely like to be back at St. John’s.
“Without a doubt. I look forward to this team, guys,” he said.
Even before the move became official there was speculation St. John’s would target Iona coach Rick Pitino as Anderson’s replacement. The 70-year-old former Kentucky and Louisville coach has roots in the Big East and grew up on Long Island, not far from the St. John’s campus in Queens.
Although the Red Storm have won a Big East Tournament game in six of the past seven years, St. John’s still hasn’t reached the semifinals since winning the school’s third championship in 2000 – even though the event is held on one of its home courts.
This season got off to a strong start with a 10-1 record against a weak nonconference schedule, but the Red Storm were a disappointment in Big East competition.
The highlights were wins over ranked opponents in UConn and Providence. But there was trouble off the court.
Junior guard Andre Curbelo, a touted transfer from Illinois who led the team in assists, was suspended for one Big East game and benched for three others. He missed the final three games of the season in concussion protocol.
Reserve guard Rafael Pinzon, a high school teammate of Curbelo’s on Long Island, was suspended indefinitely and sat out the last six games of the season.
Anderson’s dismissal at St. John’s came one day after longtime Big East rival Georgetown fired coach Patrick Ewing.
Anderson has never had a losing season in 21 years as a Division I head coach at UAB, Missouri, Arkansas and St. John’s. He has a 437-256 record overall.
He played at Tulsa and was a longtime assistant for Hall of Fame coach Nolan Richardson, who won the 1994 national championship at Arkansas.
JOSH PASTNER FIRED AFTER 7 SEASONS AS GEORGIA TECH COACH
ATLANTA (AP) Josh Pastner was fired Friday as Georgia Tech’s basketball coach, two seasons after he guided the Yellow Jackets to a surprising Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament title.
Pastner was dumped after seven seasons at the school in midtown Atlanta, his fate sealed by a second straight losing season and few signs of progress in a program that was once a national powerhouse.
The Yellow Jackets capped a 15-18 campaign Wednesday with an 89-81 loss to Pittsburgh in the second round of the ACC Tournament. They finished 12-20 last season.
“We have high expectations at Georgia Tech for all of our sports programs, and it is imperative that our storied men’s basketball program achieves a greater level of success,” athletic director J Batt said.
“Our men’s basketball program is important to our department and to our institution. We will not shy away from expecting to consistently compete for ACC championships, NCAA Tournament appearances and sustained success.”
The 45-year-old Pastner didn’t come close to reaching that standard. His record at Georgia Tech was 109-114, including a 53-78 mark in the ACC. He formerly coached at Memphis, where he spent seven seasons after replacing John Calipari.
Pastner’s lone NCAA appearance at Georgia Tech was one-and-done. The Yellow Jackets followed up their ACC title with a loss to Loyola in the Round of 64 during the pandemic-marred 2020-21 season.
Georgia Tech hasn’t won an NCAA Tournament game since 2010, a sharp drop for a program that rose to prominence in the 1980s and ’90s under Bobby Cremins and reached the 2005 national championship with Paul Hewitt as coach.
Anthony Wilkins, who has been on Georgia Tech’s staff since 2018, will serve as the interim coach while the school conducts a search for Pastner’s successor.
Early speculation has centered on Kennesaw State coach Amir Abdur-Rahim, who guided the Owls to the first NCAA Tournament berth in school history after they won a single game during his debut season in 2019-20.
Abdur-Rahim spent one year as Georgia Tech’s director of player development for former coach Brian Gregory and also worked one year at Georgia under Tom Crean, helping the Bulldogs land eventual first overall NBA draft pick Anthony Edwards.
Pastner, who came to Georgia Tech from Memphis with a reputation as a stellar recruiter, never lived up to that billing in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets were rarely in the mix for the nation’s top high school prospects, and the lack of five-star talent showed in the record.
Pastner managed only three winning seasons records during his Georgia Tech tenure, which was highlighted by a 17-9 mark and a run to the ACC title with an experienced group led by Moses Wright and Jose Alvarado.
But the Yellow Jackets failed to build on that success, dropping off sharply the last two seasons.
After his final loss, Pastner made a plea to keep his job.
“I love Georgia Tech. I love my job. I have a real passion for it, and I believe in it,” he said.
But Batt, who has only been on the job since October, decided to make the school’s second high-profile coaching change in the last six months.
Batt was hired after Georgia Tech dismissed coach Geoff Collins and athletic director Todd Stansbury early in Collins’ fourth season guiding the football program.
Collins posted a dismal 10-28 record before he was replaced on an interim basis by Brent Key, who led the Yellow Jackets to a 4-4 mark over the remainder of the 2022 season.
Key was eventually hired as the full-time coach.
Collins was entitled to a buyout of more than $11 million, which put a strain on the athletic department’s already tenuous finances.
Now, the Yellow Jackets owe Pastner some $2.5 million over the remaining three years of a contract extension he received from Stansbury after the ACC title run.
Pastner was just 31 when he took over at Memphis in 2009, after Calipari left for Kentucky.
The Tigers kept right on winning, going 130-44 with four NCAA Tournament appearances over Pastner’s first five seasons.
But the program dipped his final two years, posting a 37-29 mark while failing to make the NCAAs. After Georgia Tech fired Gregory in 2016, Pastner jumped at the chance to rebuild the program.
“Look, I would tell you that when I got the job, they told me when I came in, and I met with everybody, that it’s going to be … starting from ground zero,” Pastner said this week. “And they said you’re going to lose so much your first three or four years that you’re going to – we’ve got to have someone that’s going to be ultra-positive because you’re going to lose so much.”
Pastner always remained positive. But he didn’t win nearly enough to keep his job.
Georgia Tech slumped last season, going 5-15 in the ACC, and got off to dismal start in conference play this season, dropping 12 of its first 13 league contests – including a nine-game losing streak.
Pastner’s team rallied late in the year. The Yellow Jackets won six of their final eight regular-season games, though that was only good enough for a 6-14 mark in the ACC.
Then, they knocked off Florida State 61-60 in the opening round of the conference tournament.
In the end, Pastner couldn’t overcome a significant drop in attendance and a tenure that was marred by NCAA sanctions linked to a former friend who was accused of recruiting violations.
Georgia Tech accepted a postseason ban in 2020, when the season shut down anyway because of COVID-19, and some of its sanctions were overturned on appeal.
“We’ve really finished really well this year,” Pastner said. “I wish we started better.”
EX-ALABAMA PLAYER MILES INDICTED ON CAPITAL MURDER CHARGES
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Former Alabama basketball player Darius Miles has been indicted by a grand jury on capital murder charges for the January shooting death of a 23-year-old woman near campus, his lawyer confirmed to The Associated Press on Friday.
Michael Davis, who is also charged in the shooting death of Jamea Harris, was also indicted, defense lawyer Mary Turner told the AP. Turner only represents Miles.
Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Hays Webb told AL.com that the indictments against Miles and Davis, who’ve been held without bond since their arrest, were issued on Wednesday.
Harris was sitting in a car when she was struck by a bullet. A police investigator testified last month that Miles provided the handgun Davis allegedly used in the shooting.
During a court hearing last month, Turner suggested Miles was in a defensive posture when he told Davis where the gun was located.
But prosecutors maintained there was ample evidence to pursue charges in the shooting, which happened early Jan. 15 on “The Strip,” a district of bars and restaurants near the Tuscaloosa campus. Testimony at the hearing last month indicated there had been some type of verbal altercation before the shooting.
The Turner Law Group, which is representing Miles, issued a statement Friday, saying they were disappointed by the decision to pursue capital murder charges “considering the evidence uncovered during our investigation and the obvious weaknesses in the government’s case brought to light during the preliminary hearing.”
Miles was a reserve on the Crimson Tide but an ankle injury sidelined him for the rest of the season. After he was charged in January, Alabama said he was “removed from campus” and the team.
During the February court hearing, Tuscaloosa Police investigator Brandon Culpepper testified that Miles texted Tide freshman basketball star Brandon Miller to bring him his gun. Police have said another player, guard Jaden Bradley, also was at the scene.
Neither Miller nor Bradley have been charged with anything.
“This whole situation is just really heartbreaking, but respectfully that’s all I’m going to be able to say on that,” Miller told reporters Wednesday in his first public comments about the case.
Both Miller and Bradley have continued to play as the No. 4 team in the country makes its way through the Southeastern Conference Tournament ahead of the NCAA Tournament. Miller scored 18 points and had nine rebounds in Friday’s SEC quarterfinal win over Mississippi State.
In the postgame news conference, Miller was asked his thoughts on the indictment. He said, “I can’t – I’m not going to be able to say on that.”
Coach Nate Oats was asked whether he has a weapons policy for his team, and said that “our players are required to follow the university policy on guns, which essentially bans them on campus.”
He also was asked who was involved in deciding whether Miller and Bradley could continue to play.
“It’s been a difficult situation, as you understand. I mean, we’re dealing with a criminal matter,” Oats said, adding that as the school received “facts from law enforcement as they do their investigation,” “this was a decision made, based on all the facts we had, with, obviously, my boss, (Director of Athletics) Greg Byrne; his boss, (President) Dr. (Stuart) Bell; and the Board of Trustees.
“And everybody was comfortable, and based on the information we had, Brandon didn’t break any school policy or team policy, so … I was comfortable with the decision that was made.”
Harris’ mother told reporters last month that she is frustrated by the focus on basketball instead of her daughter’s death. She said her daughter was a beautiful person who was trying to have a night out with friends when she was killed.
“She has a 5-year-old son that is still waiting for his mother to come home,” DeCarla Heard told reporters. “I want justice for my grandson.”
Oats was asked Friday whether he has spoken to Harris’ family.
“Listen, this whole situation has been, obviously, as you know, hard to deal with, tragic, to have any involvement in a young woman losing her life. What you ask is a private matter. I’m not going to discuss publicly with everybody,” he said. “A lot of this is just hard to deal with, to be honest with you. But it’s a private matter.”
MILLER SCORES 18 AS NO. 4 ALABAMA CRUISES AT SEC QUARTERS
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Brandon Miller had 18 points and nine rebounds and No. 4 Alabama never trailed in posting a 72-49 victory over Mississippi State in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Friday.
The top-seeded Crimson Tide (27-5) set the pace in the first half hitting 8-of-20 shots from long range. Charles Bediako and Noah Gurley added 11 points apiece for Alabama, and Jahvon Quinerly scored 10.
Alabama will play No. 25 Missouri, a 79-71 winner over 17th-ranked Tennessee, in the semifinal on Saturday.
“I thought our guys did a good job opening the game,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said. “I thought we did a good job closing the half. I think over the final 12 minutes of the first half, they were 3 for 19. We went into the half great.”
Oats had hoped to rest his starters after the first four minutes of the second half but Tolu Smith got hot and changed those plans.
The Bulldogs (21-12) were scoreless in their first six possessions including a pair of turnovers. They hit 8 of 31 field goal attempts and missed all five of their shots from 3-point range.
“It was a tough day,” Mississippi State coach Chris Jans said. “We’re best when we get off to a really good start. Obviously, we didn’t. They had great energy out of the locker room. They kind of punched us in the face. We were playing from behind, playing uphill all night long.”
Smith led Mississippi State with 17 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Dashawn Davis scored 13 points.
Alabama led 41-21 at halftime, too big an advantage for Mississippi State to overcome with the Crimson Tide opening up a 25-point lead with 1:14 left on a layup by Nimari Burnette on a fastbreak.
With 5:40 remaining, Mississippi State trimmed the Crimson Tide’s lead to 57-43 on a layup by D.J. Jeffries. The Bulldogs would not get any closer.
The Crimson Tide made a season-high 20 assists.
“Our guys are unselfish, they move the ball, they care about each other,” Oats said. “We only had seven turnovers. I thought our guards did a great job of taking care of the ball.”
Mississippi State: Shot 31% from the field and hit only one of 13 attempts from 3-point range.
Alabama: Miller, a hometown player, and his team received their share of boos from the crowd.
Miller has continued to play even after Tuscaloosa Police investigator Brandon Culpepper testified that Miller brought a gun to former teammate Darius Miles, who was indicted on capital murder charges this week in the January death of 23-year-old Jamea Harris near the Alabama campus. Michael Davis also was indicted.
Miller has not been charged. He declined to discuss the case in the postgame news conference, which was dominated by questions about the situation. Oats said during postgame remarks that the situation has been “tragic” and that it’s “a private matter.”
Mississippi State: Hopes to hear its name called Sunday as part of the NCAA Tournament field.
Alabama: Moves onto the SEC semifinals Saturday against either Tennessee – which beat Alabama 68-59 on Feb. 15 in Knoxville – or Missouri, which was routed on its own court by the Crimson Tide 85-64 on Jan. 21.
NO. 1 HOUSTON BEATS ECU IN AAC, GETS BACK-TO-BACK 30 WINS
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) Marcus Sasser was playing again in March for top-ranked Houston, and the Cougars could have been in big trouble without him in the American Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinals.
Two days after being named the league’s top player, Sasser scored 24 of his 30 points in the second half Friday as the Cougars overcame their worst-shooting game all season to beat East Carolina 60-46 for their 30th win of the season.
“It just shows his character and the type of person he is,” guard Jamal Shead said. “He never lets a lot of things get to him, and just showing out good he is that second half.”
Sasser was a starter on the Cougars’ 2021 Final Four team but missed their run to the NCAA Elite Eight last year because of a broken bone in his left foot before Christmas.
“Just being back out there with my teammates during March is always a good experience, a fun experience,” said Sasser, who was 9-of-15 shooting.
The Cougars (30-2), a sure-bet No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, have back-to-back 30-win seasons for the first time since their Phi Slama Jama era. Houston made three consecutive Final Four appearances from 1982-84, and were national runner-ups in back-to-back seasons – winning 31 games in 1982-83 and 32 the next season.
Houston plays fourth-seeded Cincinnati in the AAC semifinals Saturday.
East Carolina freshman forward Ezra Ausar had 18 points and a season-high 19 rebounds to set an AAC tourney record in his third double-double this season. The Pirates (16-17) had a season-low scoring total and shot 31.4% (16 of 51).
Take out Sasser, and the rest of Cougars were 7-of-42 shooting to finish at 28.1% overall (16 of 57). Shead’s 12 points on 3-of-10 shooting made him the only other Houston player with multiple made field goals. J’Wan Roberts had 12 rebounds, but was scoreless missing his five shots.
“The shooting percentage isn’t what bothered me. We missed 41 shots, and got six offensive rebounds. … somebody on our team got six misses,” Cougars coach Kelvin Sampson said. “That’s what disappointed me.”
The Pirates jumped out to an early 9-5 lead by making four of their first five shots before they started to struggle against Houston’s tenacious defense. ECU made only four of its remaining 18 shots before halftime, and still only trailed by two because the Cougars were even worse from the field at 25.8% (8 of 31).
After three Pirates turnovers in the first 2 1/2 minutes of the second half, Houston extended its lead to 29-21 when Sasser swished a 3 from the left wing. Another 3 by Sasser pushed it 42-28 with just over 12 minutes left.
“We knew speaking at halftime how aggressive they would come out both offensively and defensively,” first-year Pirates coach Michael Schwartz said. “It’s one thing to be prepared for it, but with a team that hasn’t experienced a whole lot of it, to feel it. … That was clearly the difference in the game, the first 4-6 minutes of that second half because of their intensity.”
East Carolina: Its 16 wins were the most since going 17-17 in 2013-14 – the final season in Conference USA for the Pirates before moving to the AAC. Their 73-58 win over South Florida in the opening round Thursday was their first win in the AAC tournament since 2017.
Schwartz said he was proud of his players for “putting two feet into what we want to accomplish and what we’re going to build here.”
Houston: The Cougars, who are moving to the Big 12 next season, are the only team in the nation that hasn’t lost away from home this season. They were 11-0 in true road games and are now 3-0 in neutral games. Houston has never lost at Dickies Arena on the edge of downtown Fort Worth where the AAC Tournament is played. The Cougars are 10-0 in the building, including the past two AAC Tournaments and regular-season games in each of the past three seasons.
This is the fifth consecutive AAC meeting in which Houston and Cincinnati meet – the first three were in the championship game. The Bearcats won titles in 2018 and 2019, then Houston won in 2021 after no tournament in 2020 because of COVID-19. Cincinnati lost to the Cougars in a quarterfinals game last year.
NO. 7 TEXAS BEATS NO. 22 TCU 66-60 IN BIG 12 SEMIFINALS
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Christian Bishop’s basketball career began in the Kansas City suburb of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, included a three-year stretch at Creighton and ultimately a transfer to Texas, where he found himself in a starring role for the Longhorns before more than a dozen friends and relatives Friday night.
Bishop responded to his hometown crowd with 15 points, and Dylan Disu matched him with 15 of his own, while Tyrese Hunter made two free throws in the closing seconds to help No. 7 Texas edge No. 22 TCU 66-60 in the Big 12 Tournament semifinals.
Now, Bishop and the Longhorns will play third-ranked Kansas – the school just down the road from where he attended high school at Lee’s Summit West – for the tournament championship Saturday night.
“They’re a really well-coached team. A lot of good players,” Bishop said with a grin. “It’s always a great opportunity to play against a team like that. That’s why I came to Texas in the first place.”
The spot in the finals wasn’t in hand until the final minutes, when Micah Peavey’s miss that would have drawn TCU within 60-58 turned into a runout. Marcus Carr converted the layup at the other end for Texas to extend its lead, and Sir’Jabari Rice and Hunter made free throws down the stretch to put the game away.
“It wasn’t perfect,” interim Texas coach Rodney Terry said, “but they gave us incredible effort and determination.”
Mike Miles had 15 points to lead the sixth-seeded Horned Frogs (21-12). Chuck O’Bannon also had 12 points.
“It wasn’t our best game,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said, “but the effort was there. The desire was there. The focus was there. It just didn’t go our way. Maybe Texas had something to do with it.”
The majority of seats were empty for the second semifinal after Kansas and Iowa State fans, who typically snap up huge numbers of tickets, headed for the doors following the Jayhawks’ 71-58 win over the Cyclones. In fact, nearly every sneaker squeak could be heard from the rafters throughout much of the second half.
That probably won’t be the case Saturday night, when the third-ranked Jayhawks – and their boisterous fans – are back in the building to play Texas for a second consecutive Big 12 Tournament title.
“We’ll have an incredible challenge tomorrow against one of the top teams in the country,” Terry said.
The Horned Frogs breezed their way into the semifinals by lighting it up from the 3-point arc against Kansas State, when Miles and O’Bannon had six 3s apiece and each poured in 24 points in the easier-than-expected 80-67 victory.
Not surprisingly, Texas was determined to limit the Horned Frogs’ open looks on the perimeter. And when they went to the paint, the bigger Longhorns had an advantage. So despite missing all six of their own 3s in the first half, the Longhorns managed to forge a 34-26 lead by the break.
Disu and Bishop kept the Horned Frogs at bay during the second half.
Disu, a transfer from Vanderbilt, was at his best around the rim, where TCU’s best defense seemed to be sending him to the foul line. And Bishop, the Creighton transfer, set the tone for the final 20 minutes with a massive putback dunk and another jam a few minutes later, which helped the Longhorns extend their lead.
“Coach talked to us before the game, said we were going to have a heavy dose of putting the ball inside,” Disu said. “He trusted in us and believed in us to go in there and score.”
The belief paid off. And now Texas is playing for its second Big 12 tourney title in three years.
STILL NO ALLEN
Terry continued to rest veteran forward Timmy Allen, who has been dealing with a nagging lower leg injury. Allen said after the quarterfinals that he would have played in an NCAA Tournament game and hopes to be back soon.
TCU had plenty of opportunities to pull ahead down the stretch, but Miles missed an open 3 from the wing that would have made it 60-59 and several others had clean looks that didn’t go. TCU wound up shooting 36% from the field.
Texas overcame a 2-for-14 performance from the 3-point line by riding Disu and Bishop in the paint. The two big men helped the Longhorns to a 42-22 edge in points in the paint.
Texas will play the top-seeded Jayhawks for the tournament title Saturday night.
TCU awaits its NCAA Tournament seeding.
NO. 8 ARIZONA BEATS ARIZONA ST, GETS TITLE REMATCH WITH UCLA
LAS VEGAS (AP) Tautvilas Tubelis scored 17 points and No. 8 Arizona beat Arizona State 78-59 on Friday night in the Pac-12 Conference Tournament semifinals.
The Wildcats (27-6) get a championship rematch with No. 2 UCLA on Saturday night. Arizona beat the Bruins 84-76 last year for the title.
Arizona State (22-12) has to hope its resume is good enough to sway the committee Sunday when it assembles the 68-year NCAA Tournament field.
Arizona second-year coach Tommy Lloyd remained perfect in Las Vegas, where he is 8-0, including 7-0 at T-Mobile Arena and 5-0 in the Pac-12 Tournament.
Oumar Ballo added 14 points, 10 rebounds for the Wildcats. Cedric Henderson Jr. also scored 14 points, and Pelle Larsson had 11.
Frankie Collins and Jamiya Neal each scored 11 points for Arizona State.
Though this game was close most of the way, it wasn’t nearly as intense as the most recent meeting. Arizona State won that Feb. 25 meeting in Tucson when Desmond Cambridge Jr. made a 60-foot shot at the buzzer.
Arizona finally ended any doubts with a 12-2 run late in the second half to take a 68-54 lead.
THE BIG PICTURE
Arizona State: The Sun Devils entered the game 11th nationally by holding opponents to 39.3%, but that defense was more than tested by Arizona. The Wildcats shot 56.4%, including 52.6% from 3-point range, and led for all but 1:43 of the game.
Arizona: As well as the Wildcats shot from outside, they were just as dominant inside. They outscored Arizona State 40-22 in the lane and outrebounded the Sun Devils 44-30.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils might have done enough to get in the NCAA Tournament, having beaten Michigan, Creighton and Arizona in the regular season and beating Oregon State and Southern California this week.
Arizona: The Wildcats could get a No. 2 NCAA seed if they beat UCLA.
NO. 21 DUKE HOLDS OFF NO. 14 MIAMI 85-78 IN ACC SEMIFINALS
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) Duke has spent weeks building consistency and cohesion on the offensive end. That has the 21st-ranked Blue Devils making extra passes, getting better looks and knocking down outside shots.
It also has this freshman-laden bunch within a win of an Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament championship under first-year coach Jon Scheyer.
Kyle Filipowski had 17 points and 11 rebounds, Jeremy Roach hit a huge 3-pointer at the 1:32 mark and Duke held off No. 14 Miami 85-78 in the ACC semifinals on Friday night.
Roach’s 3 from the left wing over Isaiah Wong with the shot clock going down gave Duke a 78-71 lead that Miami couldn’t overcome in a well-played matchup that often resembled a second-weekend NCAA Tournament game.
“I thought it was as high of a level of game as we’ve played,” Scheyer said.
And the fourth-seeded Blue Devils (25-8) did enough late to stay in control, earning a meeting with No. 13 Virginia in Saturday’s final.
Tyrese Proctor hit two free throws with 9.8 seconds left, and Filipowski rebounded Wong’s last-ditch 3-pointer to start Duke’s celebration. Proctor raised his arms and motioned to the home-state crowd for more noise as Duke won its eighth straight game and earned its 17th trip to the title game in the past 25 tournaments.
Wong had 22 points to lead the top-seeded Hurricanes (25-7), who suffered an immediate blow by losing starting forward Norchad Omier to an ankle injury 66 seconds into the game. Miami shot 46.8%, with Wong and Jordan Miller (17 points) leading the attack.
“These guys did a fantastic job of keeping us in the game right until the bitter end and gave ourselves a chance,” Miami coach Jim Larrañaga said. “If we could have forced a turnover or made one or two additional shots, it could have been a different outcome.”
Both teams had five players in double figures, with Duke getting 16 points from Dariq Whitehead and 15 from Proctor. The Blue Devils shot 54.9% and made 8 of 16 3-pointers, a showing coming a day after they shot 62% in a rout of Pittsburgh with a tournament-record 27 assists.
“I just think early in the year we were kind of letting the ball stick, and it was sticking in one guy’s hand and that’s been a big thing this whole season,” Roach said. “(Scheyer’s) been telling us all five guys got to touch it. And when all five guys are touching it, everybody has got confidence.”
Duke: The Blue Devils hadn’t allowed an opponent to reach 70 points during their winning streak. That run ended and Miami spent the game hovering around 50% shooting, yet the Blue Devils won because they played with composure and toughness.
Miami: The Hurricanes had lost just once since late January, falling at home to Florida State after blowing a 25-point lead on Feb. 25. The Hurricanes arrived in Greensboro as the tournament’s No. 1 seed for only the second time in program history, the other coming a decade earlier when Miami completed a three-day run to the program’s lone ACC Tournament championship.
Duke made 14 of 16 free throws after halftime, including Whitehead hitting three after being fouled on a 3-pointer with Duke holding a 66-65 lead with 5:12 left. The Blue Devils also committed four second-half turnovers.
Duke avenged a loss for the fourth time this season. The teams split the regular-season meetings, but Miami beat Duke by 32 points on Feb. 6. The Blue Devils have pointed to that game as a turning point.
“We obviously didn’t put our best foot forward last time against Miami and we knew that,” Proctor said. “We proved today that we are a better team.”
Duke also lost to Virginia in the teams’ only meeting this season.
Omier, a 6-foot-7 third-year sophomore, came in averaging 14 points and a team-high 9.8 rebounds. He was an All-ACC second-team pick by The Associated Press earlier this week.
He went down when he rebounded a missed free throw, landing on the foot of Duke’s Dereck Lively II and rolling his right ankle. That sent him falling to the court and banging his hands on the hardwood in pain.
Omier was helped to the bench, then needed help just to get on his feet before being assisted to the tunnel toward the locker room. The team later tweeted he was out for the game but break any bones.
“Regardless of Norchad playing or not playing, we all got recruited here, we’re all good enough players,” Miller said. “So with that, there’s no excuse. We’ve just got to find a way.”
NO. 6 MARQUETTE HOLDS OFF NO. 11 UCONN IN BIG EAST SEMIFINAL
NEW YORK (AP) After 18 years in the Big East, Marquette has finally made it to Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
Tyler Kolek and David Joplin each scored 17 points, and the sixth-ranked Golden Eagles moved into the Big East championship game for the first time by holding off No. 11 UConn 70-68 on Friday night.
Marquette will face No. 15 Xavier for the title Saturday night. The second-seeded Musketeers blew out third-seeded Creighton, 82-60.
Operating with three key players on the bench in foul trouble for a large chunk of time down the stretch, the top-seeded Golden Eagles (27-6) opened a four-point lead on a 3-pointer by Olivier-Maxence Prosper with 3:39 left and then held on at a raucous MSG.
“At one point, I looked out, and we got a bunch of freshmen and sophomores out there fighting, battling, scratching for their lives,” coach Shaka Smart said. “These guys didn’t blink. They were lost in a fight the entire night. It was a ton of fun to watch.”
UConn had a chance to tie or win in the final 10 seconds, but coach Dan Hurley elected not to call a timeout as his team brought the ball across halfcourt.
Jordan Hawkins missed badly on a contested, desperation 3 at the buzzer – and Smart jumped high and pumped his fist in celebration.
“It felt like a lot of people were giving UConn the game coming in. And there was comments made about who owns The Garden and that kind of stuff,” Smart said. “And, you know, we said wait a minute, we won this league. So we’re not taking a back seat to anybody.”
Marquette limited the fourth-seeded Huskies (25-8) to two points over the final 3:50 and kept them scoreless for the last 2 1/2 minutes, winning for the first time in four semifinal appearances at the Big East Tournament since joining the league in 2005.
Kam Jones added 14 points and Prosper scored 11 for the Golden Eagles.
Adama Sanogo had 19 points and 11 rebounds to pace the Huskies, who had won six straight and nine of 10.
“We came into this being one of the hottest teams in the country. We’re not going to let one game set us back,” said forward Alex Karaban, who scored 10 points.
Marquette, the top seed in this tournament for the first time, has won eight in a row for the first time since the 2018-19 season.
Kolek, Joplin and Golden Eagles starting forward Oso Ighodaro were all sitting with four fouls for a while before getting back in the game with a little more than two minutes remaining. Marquette didn’t score for the final 3 1/2 minutes, but still managed to hang on.
“It’s a testament to the depth that we have on our team,” Smart said. “These guys, if you cut them open, you’ll find inside them championship DNA.”
Hawkins, averaging 16.5 points per game, was held to five on 2-for-11 shooting – including 1 of 8 from beyond the arc.
“That was the defensive key to the game,” Smart said.
Joey Calcaterra had a good look for UConn at a potential go-ahead 3 from the corner with 41 seconds left, but it bounced off the rim.
“It felt like a Sweet 16 type of game, Elite Eight type of game,” Hurley said. “We’re going to get our minds right very quickly and get ready to make a run next week.”
When the Huskies trimmed a 10-point deficit to four in the second half, a screaming, fired-up Hurley came flying onto the court at a timeout, waving his arms to urge on rocking UConn fans. Jones was jawing nose-to-nose with Sanogo right in the middle of Connecticut’s forming huddle before an official came zipping in to break it up.
UConn tied it at 60 on a 3 by Calcaterra with 9:22 left, and again at 64 on Karaban’s putback with 6:34 to go.
Chase Ross drained a tiebreaking 3 for Marquette with 6:13 to play, and the Huskies never pulled even again.
Kolek, the Big East Player of the Year, had 14 points and four assists in a first half that featured eight lead changes and four ties. The teams went into the break even at 38-all.
“This is going to be rough,” Hurley said. “It’s going to be a really terrible mental and emotional hangover I would imagine until Sunday.”
UConn: Fell to 10-5 in Big East semifinal games, but is certainly playing well heading into the NCAA Tournament and appears talented enough to make a run to the Final Four.
“We’re going to bounce back for sure next week,” Sanogo said.
Marquette: Has won 13 of 14 overall. The school’s only league tournament crown came in 1997, with four wins in four days at the Conference USA championship in St. Louis.
Marquette split two close matchups with Xavier during the regular season.
TYGER CAMPBELL LIFTS NO. 2 UCLA PAST OREGON IN PAC-12 SEMIS
LAS VEGAS (AP) UCLA’s future in the Pac-12 Conference Tournament hung in the balance after it lost yet another player to injury and faced an Oregon team that wouldn’t go away.
Then point guard Tyger Campbell began to look for his shot.
Campbell scored 20 points after halftime, including all seven during a key second-half run, and finished with a career-high 28 to lead second-ranked UCLA past Oregon 75-56 in the Pac-12 semifinals on Friday night.
“Coach called some great plays, and our bigs were getting me open on our ball screens,” Campbell said. “Then we were able to get the switch so I could get the shot that I wanted. I was really just trying to make anything happen. I believe in myself as a player, and any shot I take I feel like it’s going to go in, and they just went in today.”
The Bruins (29-4) will play No. 8 Arizona or Arizona State in Saturday’s title game. UCLA has won 12 straight and 26 of 28, and one more victory likely would secure a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Oregon (19-14) had won four in a row but may have needed this win to make the NCAA Tournament.
Campbell’s personal seven-point run gave UCLA a 57-46 lead. The 5-foot-11 guard capped the spurt by dribbling near the key, backing up, looking at the shot clock and then charging ahead for a pull-up 16-footer over Oregon 7-footer Kel’el Ware.
Campbell’s previous best was a 27-point performance on Feb. 12, 2022 against Southern California. He also had six assists against the Ducks.
“Tyger got it going, and we did a poor job of adjusting on him,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “We just didn’t stop him.”
UCLA lost a big defensive presence inside when Adem Bona injured his left arm while diving for a loose ball. He grabbed his arm and shortly afterward was taken to the locker room with 16:14 left in the game. Bona had done a little bit of everything with four points, four rebounds and two blocked shots.
Bona returned to the bench but didn’t re-enter the game. Mac Etienne and Kenneth Nwuba played in his place. Bruins coach Mick Cronin didn’t provide any details on Bona’s injury.
UCLA was already playing the tournament without Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Jaylen Clark.
Campbell helped the Bruins overcome those losses. Jaime Jaquez Jr. added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and David Singleton had 12 points.
“We’ve got guys on scholarship for a reason,” Cronin said. “We tell them all year, ‘Your moment’s going to come in March and we’re going to need you.’”
Quincy Guerrier and Will Richardson each scored 10 points for Oregon, and N’Faly Dante had 10 rebounds.
Oregon: The Ducks ran into one of the nation’s top defenses, and they especially struggled from outside, shooting 3 of 19 from 3-point range. Oregon managed to hang around thanks to a bench that outscored UCLA 26-4.
UCLA: The Bruins have managed to win both games in the tournament without Clark and got by without Bona in the second half against the Ducks. They likely will need to get healthier to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.
Oregon: The Ducks’ next game likely will be in the NIT.
UCLA: The Bruins want the No. 1 seed in the West, which could put them back in Las Vegas in two weeks for the regional. They must win Saturday to ensure that.
MANJON, VANDERBILT JOLT NO. 23 KENTUCKY AT SEC QUARTERS
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Kentucky Wildcats have had their way with Vanderbilt for nearly a century.
Not this season.
Not with coach Jerry Stackhouse and his Commodores, whose confidence keeps growing with each win.
Ezra Manjon scored 25 points and Vanderbilt jolted No. 23 Kentucky, rallying from an early 10-point deficit to beat the Wildcats 80-73 Friday night in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse had been 1-8 against Kentucky, while the Commodores beat the Wildcats at least twice in the same season for only the ninth time in 94 seasons. Vanderbilt senior guard Jordan Wright said it felt good.
“One of the biggest brands in college basketball, any time you get a chance to beat them, feels great,” Wright said. “Especially that loss in the SEC Tournament (a year ago). We had ’em. Felt like we should have won that game.”
Vanderbilt (20-13) followed up its first win at Rupp Arena since January 2007 last week by beating Kentucky to advance to Saturday’s semifinals against No. 18 Texas A&M, a 67-61 winner over Arkansas. The Commodores also posted their first 20-win season since 2014-15.
Stackhouse called this win just another step on the path for his Commodores.
“We still got a plan on something more,” Stackhouse said. “I honestly feel that we can win it all. If we get an opportunity to get in, this team deserves, the country deserves to see.”
Fourth-seeded Kentucky (21-11) appeared ready to cruise early with a 10-0 run going up 14-4. Coach John Calipari knows exactly where his Wildcats lost: by making free throws and beating the shot clock again and again.
“Got to throw daggers this time of the year,” Calipari said. “You got to take care of what’s in front of you, and we didn’t tonight.”
Vanderbilt now has won 10 of its last 11 and never blinked despite making only one field goal in the final 6:29. The Commodores beat Kentucky by going 18 of 20 at the free throw line while Kentucky was 11 of 20.
Tyrin Lawrence and Wright each had 18 points for Vanderbilt.
Antonio Reeves led Kentucky with 22 points. Jacob Toppin had 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Oscar Tshiebwe had 19 points and 15 rebounds.
The Commodores took control scoring the final 12 points of the first half with Colin Smith giving them the lead for good at 36-34 with 32.2 seconds left in the first half on a pair of free throws after a Flagrant 1 on Tschiebwe. Vandy led 39-34 at halftime.
Vanderbilt then opened the second half outscoring Kentucky 13-8 and took its biggest lead at 52-40 with 15:43 left. Then the Commodores went cold, missing six of seven shots with Kentucky whittling that lead down to single digits.
Kentucky got within 63-60 after a pair of free throws by Reeves. But Manjon corralled a loose ball just at the half-court line, then beat the shot clock with a long 3 with 6:30 to go. Lawrence’s jumper with 1:11 left was Vandy’s only other made field goal.
Vandy finished 12 of 14 at the line to seal the win.
The Wildcats were the last team to take the court at this tournament, an event Kentucky has won a league-best 32 times. Yet Kentucky leaves looking for its first tournament title since 2018.
Vanderbilt exposed Kentucky’s perimeter defense going 10 of 25 beyond the arc with five different players knocking down at least one 3 apiece. The Commodores also managed to stay close inside the paint despite being outscored 34-26. … Vandy has won three straight against Top 25 teams for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
Kentucky used its size advantage to absolutely dominate on the boards with a 43-26 edge and a 20-4 edge on second-chance points. The Wildcats also had a 14-4 edge scoring on the fast break.
Vanderbilt has a chance at yet another Quad 1 win in the semifinals to burnish a suddenly impressive NCAA Tournament resume.
Kentucky gets a couple more days to heal up and wait for the NCAA Tournament bracket announcement.
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
WOMEN’S MARCH MADNESS COULD HAVE MORE UPSETS DUE TO PARITY
More March Madness chaos in the women’s NCAA Tournament could be looming on the horizon if the past few months of upsets are any indication.
Upsets haven’t been a hallmark of the women’s tournament. Since 2007, 11 women’s teams seeded 10th or lower have reached the Sweet 16. That’s less than half the number of lower-seeded men’s team that have made that run.
But signs are this year’s tournament is ripe for more surprises.
“The talent is spread out a little bit more now,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “I think this might be one of the more exciting tournaments in recent years.”
This season has been full of eye-popping upsets, including 19 losses by top 10 teams to unranked schools. That was the seventh most in a season since 2000, according to Stats Perform. That continued a trend from the 2021-22 season when there were 24 — the second most over that span.
For the Huskies, it’s already been a historic year — not one they would want to bookmark. Connecticut, beset by injuries for most of the season, lost consecutive games for the first time in 30 years, ending one of the most impressive streaks in sports history. One of those defeats came to unranked Marquette a few days after losing to No. 1 South Carolina — the only unbeaten team heading into the NCAA Tournament.
The Gamecocks were the only team immune to the upset bug this season. Dawn Staley’s squad did face challenges, trailing at the half in three contests and by double-digits in a few others.
“Well, until somebody beats South Carolina, they are still undefeated,” Auriemma said of the defending champions. “They’re still the favorite as they should be.”
The Gamecocks are most likely be in the best position to get to the Final Four in Dallas when the NCAA Tournament bracket is revealed on Sunday night. South Carolina will play its opening two games at home and are a lock to be playing the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games 90 minutes away in Greenville, South Carolina.
The NCAA did its second reveal of the top 16 seeds for the tournament on Feb. 23 and since then only four teams — South Carolina, UConn, Virginia Tech and Iowa — didn’t lose games. It took a last-second shot by Caitlin Clark against Indiana for the Hawkeyes to stay in that group.
It wasn’t just the top-ranked teams that were being beaten. Ten regular season conference champions lost in their postseason tournaments, including several that didn’t even make it to the final. With so many favorites falling, the NCAA Tournament selection committee faces some difficult decisions.
“As challenging as it makes it for us, it’s good for the game,” selection committee chair Lisa Peterson said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. “The only thing we can agree on right away is the number one overall seed. The upsets have inspired a lot more in-depth conversations. There’s so many things that have happened in the last few weeks that are exciting for the game.”
Last season the Creighton women’s team made a run to the regional final as a 10-seed. That was only the fifth time a double-digit seed had made it that far. Auriemma thinks that could happen more often with the right draw.
“Where you’re seeded may be important, but who’s bracket you’re in and if you catch the wrong team at the wrong time could change it,” he said. “Years ago that didn’t matter as much as the favorites just rolled through.”
NO. 15 TEXAS WOMEN TOP K-STATE 60-42 IN BIG 12 TOURNEY
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — DeYona Gaston scored 12 points and 15th-ranked Texas came to life in the second half to defeat Kansas State 60-42 in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament on Friday.
After a miserable first half that saw the top-seeded Longhorns shoot 17% (5 of 30) and barely eke out an 18-all tie at halftime, they outscored the ninth-seeded Wildcats 21-4 in the third quarter and coasted to a semifinal date with fourth-seeded Oklahoma State on Saturday.
Midway through the second quarter Texas (24-8) was down 16-7 but a 32-6 run made it 39-22 entering the fourth.
Kansas State scored 20 points in the fourth to avoid its worst output of the season, which was an 87-41 loss to Texas on New Year’s Eve. In the last game of the regular season the Longhorns won 80-52.
Jaelyn Glenn led the Wildcats (17-16) with 15 points. Through three quarters they were shooting 25% (9 of 35) but went 7 of 14 in the fourth with three of their four 3-pointers.
Texas shot 46% in the second half and finished with a 48-35 rebounding advantage, 16-5 on the offensive end. The Longhorns also forced 22 turnovers, improving to 20-0 when holding opponents under 60 points.
The Longhorns increased their season total to 23 quarters holding an opponent to single digits and had just their second of the season.
Texas was 2-of-10 shooting in the first quarter and 2 of 20 in the second but went 7 of 11 from the foul line in the first half.
VANN’S LATE BUCKET GIVES NO. 14 SOONER WOMEN WIN OVER TCU
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Skylar Vann scored 21 points, including the game-winning layup with 2.2 seconds left and 14th-ranked Oklahoma avoided possibly the biggest upset in Big 12 Tournament history with a 77-76 win over TCU in the quarterfinals on Friday night.
The Horned Frogs appeared poised to be the first 10th-seed to ever beat a two-seed when Lucy Ibeh scored inside with 4.8 seconds to play. But after a timeout, Taylor Robertson threw a deep inbounds pass to Vann, who was set up on the right side of the lane, and she spun to her right and went across the lane for the basket.
Robertson made 5-of-6 3-pointers and scored 17 points for the Sooners (25-5), who will face Iowa State in the semifinals on Saturday. Aubrey Joens came off the bench to score 15 points, going 3 of 5 behind the arc. Madi Williams, who injured a knee in the regular-season finale, scored six points while wearing a brace.
Joens will face her sister, Big 12 Player of the Year Ashley Jones of Iowa State, in Saturday’s semifinal.
Ibeh was 10-of-13 shooting and had 24 points for the Horned Frogs (8-23), who went 1-17 in league playing and losing to Oklahoma 93-66 and 101-78. Tara Manumaleuga had 15 points and seven assists and Tomi Taiwo added 11 points.
The game was also the last for TCU coach Reagan Pebley, who announced last week she was stepping down after nine seasons.
Ibeh was amazing down the stretch, scoring the last 11 TCU points over 3 1/2 minutes. The Horned Frogs were 8 of 9 in the final five minutes.
Van, the league’s Sixth Player of the Year for the second-straight season, had Oklahoma’s final six points.
EMBIID HITS JUMPER TO GIVE 76ERS COMEBACK WIN OVER BLAZERS
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Joel Embiid made a fade-away jumper from the foul line with 1.1 seconds left to give the Philadelphia 76ers a 120-119 comeback victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.
Embiid scored 39 points, shaking off a double-team from Jusuf Nurkic and Damian Lillard on the winner. The basket gave Philadelphia its first lead of the game they trailed by 21 points late in the first half as Embiid – arms extended toward the sky – basked in the glow of the sellout crowds’ chants of “M-V-P! M-V-P!”
“As I dribbled, I knew I had to step back,” Embiid said. “But I knew that I had to get to my spot, which is in that area. That’s a perfect spot from my previous years. At the top of the key, the court is wide open because guys don’t want to give up threes.”
Portland’s last-second attempt after a timeout was tipped away on the inbound play, with Lillard’s shot coming after the horn. It marked the third time this season that the 76ers (44-22) were able to rally from 20 points down.
“Down 20, guys could have been saying the game is over and we moved on to the next one,” Embiid said. “But these guys keep on fighting. But we have to stop putting ourselves in these position.”
James Harden added 19 points for Philadelphia despite struggling from the floor. Tyrese Maxey and DeAnthony Melton each had 13 to help the 76ers win their fourth straight game.
“It was not the prettiest win, but we’ll take it,” Harden said.
Anfernee Simons led Portland with 34 points on 8-of-12 shooting from 3-point range. Jeremi Grant had 24 points and Lillard 22.
“We played a tough game and we played physical,” Lillard said. “Defensively, we got stops. When you play against a good team, it’s going to come down to those possessions at both ends of the floor. And I thought we competed. We had a lot of good possessions.”
Simons was a game-time decision coming into the night after missing seven of Portland’s last eight games because of sprained right ankle sprain. He was 5 of 6 on 3s in the first half as Portland hit 26 of its first 38 shots from the floor to build a 21-point lead.
“For the most part, we had a great game,” Simons said. “They had a little run, but we played hard and we did everything we needed to do to win the game.”
After surrendering 71 points in the first half, Philadelphia made a defensive switch at the start of the second half with Embiid moving to a roving mode out to the perimeter and P.J. Tucker anchoring the middle as the center. In the second half, Portland shot 4 of 17 from 3-point 5range after shooting 11 for 19 in the first half.
“The trapping was effective and trapped Lillard everywhere,” Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers said. “You can’t trap Lillard and Simons when they are both on the floor, but you can trap Simons when Lillard was off. I thought that was very effective.”
Trail Blazers: Matisse Thybulle – who was traded from Philadelphia to Portland as part of a three-team trade at the Feb. 9 trade deadline – made his return to Wells Fargo Center. He had five points in 19 minutes.
76ers: The game was the sixth in the last eight games that Philadelphia has allowed better than 40% shooting from beyond the 3-point arc. The Sixers entered the game with the sixth-best defensive 3-point field goal percentage defense at 35.1%.
Trail Blazers: At New Orleans on Sunday night to complete six-game trip.
76ers: Host Washington on Sunday night.
HAWKS TOP WIZARDS 114-107 TO SWEEP 2-GAME SET AT WASHINGTON
WASHINGTON (AP) If Atlanta and Washington do meet in the postseason, Trae Young and the Hawks should feel pretty confident after this week.
Young scored 28 points, including a key 3-pointer with 1:17 remaining that helped Atlanta hold off the Wizards 114-107 on Friday night.
The Hawks won in Washington for the second time in three days in what may have been a preview of a play-in round matchup in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta is in eighth place, and the Wizards are a half-game up on Chicago for 10th.
“It’s the end of the year, and teams are supposed to be hitting their strides and connecting and clicking,” Young said. “I think we’re just trying to do that on both ends and not just one end. We’ve just got to keep it going. Took care of our two games here.”
The Hawks led by 13 in the fourth quarter, but Washington made a game of it down the stretch. It was 106-104 when Young connected from long distance to push the lead to five.
The Wizards still trailed by just three when Bradley Beal came up empty trying for a quick 2-pointer. Dejounte Murray made two free throws for Atlanta with 12.7 seconds left, and the Hawks closed out the game from there.
“We competed on the defensive end, I think as well as we have, from what I’ve seen in my time here,” said Atlanta coach Quin Snyder, who took over the Hawks late last month. “I was happy with how we competed.”
Beal led Washington with 27 points and Kristaps Porzingis scored 22.
“No moral victories, we’ve got to be a lot better,” Beal said. “We knew and understood the situation, the series coming into tonight, the seeding and what that could do for us. … Laying eggs. We’ve got to fight through it and these next 15, got to really make a push.”
Atlanta outscored the Wizards 32-21 in the second quarter to take a 56-50 lead into halftime. De’Andre Hunter finished with 18 points for the Hawks and Murray contributed 16.
It was the third game between these teams in 11 days. The Hawks won 122-120 on Wednesday, and the Wizards won 119-116 at Atlanta on Feb. 28.
Before the game, Washington coach Wes Unseld Jr. clearly understood the importance of these head-to-head matchups.
“We’ve talked about it a little bit,” he said. “Every game at this point is probably a higher degree of importance, specifically with where we are in the seeding and where they are.”
BEYOND THE ARC
It wasn’t even close from 3-point range, with Atlanta going 15 of 31 and Washington 7 of 27. Young went 6 of 10 and Bogdan Bogdanovic was 4 for 8. Bogdanovic scored 15 points.
“They made theirs, we didn’t make ours,” Beal said. “As crazy as it sounds, probably not as many as we want to shoot. We’ve got to find ways to try to generate them. I think a lot of times we just get stagnant and just watch guys.”
Hawks: Atlanta had 13 offensive rebounds to Washington’s seven. … Saddiq Bey scored 14 points and made three 3-pointers.
Wizards: Washington stayed in the game by shooting 36 of 61 (59%) inside the arc. The Wizards outscored Atlanta 60-32 in the paint. … Kyle Kuzma scored 17 points.
Hawks: Host Boston on Saturday night.
Wizards: At Philadelphia on Sunday night.
BUTLER SCORES 33, HEAT RALLY TO TOPPLE CAVALIERS 119-115
MIAMI (AP) Jimmy Butler did everything right in the final minutes. He knew when to score, knew when to rebound, even knew when and how to foul.
And the Miami Heat needed all of it.
Butler scored 12 of his 33 points in the final 5:11, Tyler Herro added 25 and the Heat rallied from a 14-point, second-half deficit to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 119-115 on Friday night.
“There’s a lot at stake,” Herro said. “Every game counts for us.”
Donovan Mitchell led all scorers with 42 points for Cleveland, which got 16 apiece from Isaac Okoro and Caris LeVert. Evan Mobley added 12 for the Cavaliers.
Cleveland (42-27) fell 3-1/2 games behind Philadelphia in the race for the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference; the 76ers (44-22) edged Portland 120-119 on Friday.
Miami (36-32) remained No. 7 in the East, still three games in the loss column behind No. 6 Brooklyn (38-29) – which won at Minnesota.
“We’re fighting for our competitive lives right now,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Is this the exact position we want to be in? No. But you do have to embrace the competition. When you’re dreaming about things in the middle of the summer, this is what you want, games with incredible pressure and context.”
Bam Adebayo scored 19 points and Max Strus had 14 for the Heat, who split a two-game home set with the Cavaliers.
“We let them get to their spots too easily. … But I thought it was a heck of a game,” Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff said.
Heck of a finish, too.
Miami outscored Cleveland 37-26 in the fourth. Butler returned to the game midway through the final period, then scored eight consecutive Heat points over a two-minute stretch to keep Miami on top, albeit barely.
“That’s why he’s Jimmy Butler,” Bickerstaff said.
But Cleveland made it very interesting. Helped by Miami committing offensive fouls on illegal screens on back-to-back possessions, the Cavaliers cut the lead to one when Mobley got a dunk with 38.3 seconds left.
The Cavs never got the lead back, and a Butler foul helped Miami finish it off. With the Heat up three, Butler fouled Mitchell near midcourt with 5.6 seconds left – not letting Cleveland get any looks at a potentially game-tying 3-point shot.
Mitchell made the first and intentionally missed the second. It was a ploy he’s used before – most notably in the Jan. 2 game against Chicago when he forced overtime in what became his 71-point game by running down an intentionally missed foul shot and scoring. The Heat knew it was coming, Butler controlled the rebound, and iced the game with two last free throws.
“Donovan Mitchell missed that free throw about as perfectly as you could,” Spoelstra said.
Cavaliers: G Darius Garland missed the game with a right quadricep contusion, suffered in Wednesday’s win over Miami. He’s day-to-day. … Jarrett Allen was inadvertently poked in the eye by Adebayo as the two were among those going for a rebound with 3:53 left. The play was reviewed and determined to be a common foul; Allen left the game.
Heat: PG Kyle Lowry missed his 15th consecutive game with left knee soreness. He’s hoping to return at Orlando on Saturday. … Miami was 11 for 19 on 3’s in the second half, after going 3 for 10 in the first half from deep.
It was Miami’s sixth time coming back and winning after trailing a game by at least 14 points this season.
Mitchell scored at least 25 points in a first half for the third time this season – all on the road. He had 27 at Dallas on Dec. 14, 25 in his return to Utah on Jan. 10, and 25 on Friday. He had “only” 16 at the half of his 71-point game in Cleveland against Chicago on Jan. 2.
Cavaliers: Visit Charlotte on Sunday.
Heat: Visit Orlando on Saturday.
BRIDGES SCORES 34 POINTS, NETS OUTLAST TIMBERWOLVES IN OT
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Mikal Bridges scored 34 points, fellow Brooklyn newcomer Spencer Dinwiddie came up with a final stop and the Nets outlasted the Minnesota Timberwolves 124-123 in overtime Friday night.
Dinwiddie blocked Mike Conley’s 3-point attempt as time expired to give the Nets their fourth victory in five outings.
Bridges frequently quieted a raucous Target Center crowd, making 4 of 8 3-pointers and 13 of 24 overall shots. Acquired from Phoenix last month in the deal that sent Kevin Durant to the Suns, Bridges has scored 30 or more points in four of his past five games.
“I don’t think anybody knew that Mikal was was this amazing offensively, just being completely real,” Dinwiddie said. “It’s our job to make sure that he can get to his spots and get his shots and continue to shoot, stack up these thirties as much as he possibly can.”
Dinwiddie, acquired from Dallas in the Kyrie Irving trade, had 29 points and 11 assists. Cam Johnson – also part of the trade with Phoenix – recovered from taking a hit to the face to finish with 15 points and eight rebounds, and Royce O’Neale came off the bench and added 12 points and 15 rebounds.
“I think our biggest thing is just trying to win,” Bridges said. “If I score four or five, I’m not tripping. I just want to go out there and win.”
The outcome spoiled 26 points from Minnesota big man Rudy Gobert – his most in a Wolves uniform since being acquired in the offseason. Anthony Edwards led Minnesota with 32 points, but missed several key shots down the stretch.
The Wolves shot close to 60% in the first half. Brooklyn adjusted, switching more frequently on pick-and-rolls to cause more disruption.
Minnesota finished 49% from the floor and made just 9 of 30 3-point attempts.
“We really wanted to spread the floor, and if they wanted to post Rudy up for the remainder of the game, we would find a solution for that,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said. “But we wanted space for our guys to score.”
Minnesota’s Naz Reid sent it to overtime with a 3-pointer from the top of the key as regulation expired.
The Timberwolves have lost four in a row at home.
“Everybody had a moment,” said Conley, who had 11 points, seven assists, six rebounds and two steals. “We really felt like we played hard enough to win. We just had a couple plays where we had lapses.”
SLOWLY BUT SURELY?
Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns missed his 47th straight game with a severely strained calf. He took a small but measurable step forward this week by taking part in some on-court drills with the team’s player development staff. Coach Chris Finch said Towns would likely need several more days of such action before he’s cleared for an actual practice with his teammates.
“He can feel like he’s got the bit in his teeth right now. He probably wants to do a little bit more than he’s actually allowed. That’s good,” Finch said.
RACING TOWARD THE PLAYOFFS
Brooklyn entered the night in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, 2 1/2 games ahead of Miami, which is currently in the first play-in spot. Minnesota finds itself in a similar battle to avoid the first play-in spot in the West, having entered Friday in a three-way tie with Golden State and Dallas for sixth.
Nets: G Ben Simmons has missed nine games with left knee and back soreness. … After taking a hit to the face and bleeding on the court, Johnson left for treatment briefly during the third period.
Timberwolves: G Jaylen Nowell missed his sixth straight game with a left knee injury Friday. … G Austin Rivers sat out with back spasms.
Nets: At Denver on Sunday.
Timberwolves: At Atlanta on Monday night.
SPURS OVERCOME JOKIC’S TRIPLE-DOUBLE TO TOP NUGGETS 128-120
SAN ANTONIO (AP) Keldon Johnson scored 23 points and the San Antonio Spurs overcame 37 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists by Nikola Jokic to stun the Denver Nuggets 128-120 on Friday night before an announced sellout.
“It felt great,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “The fans were really into it. We put them to sleep in the first quarter and then we woke them up a little bit.
“So it was great to have all those people yelling and screaming. They deserve to have a good night.”
Doug McDermott added 20 points and Jeremy Sochan had 19 points for San Antonio, which shot 54% in a balanced effort with their entire roster available for one of only a few times in an injury-riddled season.
It was enough to overcome Jokic’s 26th triple-double in what could be his third straight MVP season. It was the first time the Nuggets have lost this season when Jokic has a triple-double.
Jamal Murray added 24 points for Denver, which lost its second straight following a four-game winning streak. The Nuggets maintained the Western Conference’s best record at 46-21, but fell 2 1/2 games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the league’s best record.
“I think we have faith in what we can do,” Murray said.
Denver hoped to rebound from an uncharacteristically sloppy outing in a 117-96 loss at home to Chicago on Wednesday, but instead had one of the season’s most unexpected losses.
San Antonio entered having lost two straight and 18 of 20.
Nuggets coach Michael Malone told the team’s staff and players that they needed to “look in the mirror” following the home loss to the Bulls.
“So, you hope the message is delivered,” Malone said before the game.
The message was lost, even as the Nuggets responded to a second-half altercation.
Spurs center Zach Collins and Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. were ejected with 6:57 remaining in the third quarter after having to be separated by teammates, officials, and the coaching staffs.
After Collins and Jokic had a series of hard bumps and shoves, Porter threw down a monstrous one-handed dunk on Collins. Porter glared and said something to Collins, who responded by charging at and bumping him from behind. The two were nose-to-nose before Porter pushed Collins in the throat.
Denver responded with a 5-0 run to trail 85-84, but San Antonio never lost its lead in the second half.
“I don’t want to say the stakes were high, but I feel like everybody wanted to win and everybody was on the same page,” Spurs center Sandro Mamukelashvili said. “Once you’re at that point and you’re up, you just don’t want to lose that game you just kind of do everything to win.”
After not playing in the first three quarters, Mamukelashvili had 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting. He was 2 for 3 on 3-pointers.
Both teams finished with 13 3-pointers, but San Antonio outscored Denver 68-54 in the paint and had 50 rebounds while the Nuggets had 33.
“They lived in our paint, outrebounded us and on top of that we missed some really good looks,” Murray said. “It was tough to try to climb back even when we brought a good attitude and good effort. We just couldn’t climb ourselves out of the hole that we created for ourselves.”
Nuggets: Denver has 15 games remaining, including 12 against teams that currently qualify for the playoffs. … C DeAndre Jordan has played in just 35 games this season, which is on pace to be the fewest in his 15-year career. His lowest total is 48 games, which he had last season while playing with the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers. … Porter had seven points, one rebound and one assist in 20 minutes when he was ejected.
Spurs: San Antonio is 3-46 this season when trailing by double figures during a game. The Spurs have trailed by double figures in 74% of their games this season. San Antonio is 1-35 when trailing by 15 points. … Romeo Langford was eligible for his second straight game after missing 17 consecutive games with left abductor tightness. … Collins had 10 points, nine rebounds and three assists in 21 minutes when he was ejected.
Nuggets: Host Brooklyn on Sunday.
Spurs: Host Oklahoma City on Sunday. –
RUSSELL SCORES 28 POINTS IN RETURN, LAKERS BEAT RAPTORS
LOS ANGELES (AP) D’Angelo Russell had 28 points and nine assists in his dynamic return from a six-game injury absence, and Dennis Schröder added 23 points and seven assists in the surging Los Angeles Lakers’ 122-112 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.
Austin Reaves scored 18 points while Rui Hachimura and Jarred Vanderbilt added 16 apiece as the Lakers won for the seventh time in nine games even with little contribution this time from Anthony Davis.
The superstar big man had only eight points and nine rebounds while struggling against Toronto’s defense, but Russell and the Lakers’ reserves took charge before Davis sealed the win on his only field goal of the second half with 46 seconds to play.
“That we were able to come away with this win against a really good team with only eight from (Davis), that’s a sign of growth,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “That’s a sign of how deep and talented we are.”
Russell was the centerpiece of the Lakers’ activity at the trade deadline, but the point guard appeared in only four games to begin his second stint in Los Angeles before spraining his right ankle. He returned to the starting lineup with a spring in his step, hitting five 3-pointers while both making and celebrating a series of high-difficulty plays that had the Lakers’ home crowd roaring repeatedly.
“I know this from being here (before): The fans are ready to explode at a certain point in the game,” Russell said. “I just wanted to bring that energy and give them that. … It shouldn’t go unnoticed, because our fans are the first to put a battery in someone’s back that has a little momentum, so why not do the right things, bring that positivity and embrace what our fans have to offer?”
The Lakers moved into ninth place in the Western Conference three days ago with a win over Memphis, and they are excelling despite the lengthy absence of LeBron James. Russell and Schröder led an outstanding effort while the Lakers surged away to their sixth win in eight games since the All-Star break. Los Angeles also went 19 for 19 at the free throw line.
Scottie Barnes scored 20 of his career-high 32 points in the second half, and O.G. Anunoby made his first 11 shots while scoring 31 points for the Raptors, who had won seven consecutive road games against the Lakers since 2014.
Anunoby attributed the Raptors’ fourth-quarter struggles to “them getting comfortable, them getting stops and playing with confidence. They hit shots, and it just carried over.”
Toronto went 1-4 on a five-game road swing capped by back-to-back losses in Los Angeles despite long stretches of strong play throughout the trip.
“Sometimes you can play bad basketball and win every game,” Anunoby said. “You just try to take the positives from the losses, carry them over and win the next game.”
Russell racked up 12 points and seven assists in the first half while the Lakers erased an early 15-point deficit in a game with several wild momentum swings. The Lakers managed just four field goals in a nightmare third quarter, but took a nine-point lead midway through the fourth with a 26-8 run.
Raptors: Will Barton scored five points in his return from a one-game absence with a non-COVID illness. … Jakob Poeltl had 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Lakers: Ham said they haven’t decided whether to sign a backup center with new acquisition Mo Bamba possibly sidelined until the postseason by a high left ankle sprain. … Davis turns 30 on Saturday.
Raptors: Host Denver on Tuesday night.
Lakers: Host New York on Sunday night.
AP SOURCES: PANTHERS ACQUIRE NO. 1 OVERALL PICK FROM BEARS
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Carolina Panthers are on the clock.
The Panthers have traded up to acquire the No. 1 overall pick in the draft from the Chicago Bears in exchange for Carolina’s No. 9 and No. 61 overall picks in 2023, a first-round pick in 2024, a second-round pick in 2025 and star wide receiver D.J. Moore, two people familiar with the deal said Friday.
The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been announced.
The move allows the Panthers to acquire a potential franchise quarterback – the sort of player the team has coveted for years – although it remains unclear which QB Carolina prefers. The Bears are committed to Justin Fields at quarterback and that gave them leverage to trade down.
Carolina has its choice of Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s CJ Stroud, Kentucky’s Will Levis or Florida’s Anthony Richardson. The Panthers are considering up to three quarterbacks, one of the people familiar with the deal said.
The Panthers may not have gotten the QB they wanted if they had stayed at No. 9.
“You go get the guy that you want, you know,” Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said last week at the scouting combine about potentially trading up for a quarterback. “If you have a conviction on a guy, you go get him. It’s pretty simple that way. If you don’t know and you’re going to give all these resources to go up and get it, you’re hurting your team in the long run. You better be right. You better have conviction if you do move up. When you do that, you’re all in.”
The Panthers have been seeking stability at quarterback since David Tepper bought the team in 2018.
They have tried several starters – including Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater and even bringing back Cam Newton for a second stint. But none of those options has worked out and Carolina hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2017.
The Panthers decided against making an offer to free agent Derek Carr with an eye toward selecting a quarterback in the draft. Carr got a four-year, $150 million deal from the division rival New Orleans Saints. The Panthers didn’t want to invest that much in a veteran.
Fitterer has repeatedly said in the past that he likes the idea of drafting a QB because it allows for more salary cap flexibility.
The only quarterbacks currently on the Panthers’ roster are last year’s third-round draft pick Matt Corral and Jacob Eason, who saw action in one game as an emergency backup. Darnold and P.J. Walker, who both started at QB last year, are set to become free agents.
Moore gives the Bears a solid receiver to pair with Fields, who lacked reliable downfield options but leaned on his legs and playmaking ability during an electrifying second season.
Moore was considered a must-have by the Bears, one of the people familiar with the deal said. Without him, the deal would not have been completed, the person said.
Moore has been Carolina’s top wide receiver since the Panthers drafted him in the first round in 2018. He has caught 364 passes for 5,201 yards with 21 touchdowns in five seasons.
The Panthers wanted to get the deal done before free agency because they wanted to know how much salary cap space they would have to work with. By trading Moore, the Panthers will free up $10 million under the cap.
The departure of Moore leaves the Panthers with a gaping hole at wide receiver, but the team still has a high second-round pick (No. 39 overall) and could also look to address that position in free agency. Terrace Marshall, a former second-round pick, is Carolina’s top remaining receiver. He had 28 receptions for 490 yards and one touchdown last season.
AP SOURCE: MIAMI TO PICK UP TAGOVAILOA’S FIFTH-YEAR OPTION
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) The Miami Dolphins are picking up the fifth-year option on quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s contract, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press Friday.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Dolphins had not officially announced the deal.
Tagovailoa, who Miami drafted fifth overall in 2020, will enter the fourth year of his rookie deal this upcoming season and will be guaranteed $23.2 million.
The Dolphins have already informed him of the decision.
Tagovailoa set career-highs in passing touchdowns, passing yards and passer rating in a breakout 2022 season that included a couple of concussions. He led the Dolphins to an 9-8 record, a second-place finish in the AFC East and their first playoff berth since 2016. Miami lost to Buffalo in the wild card round of the playoffs.
As the Dolphins entered the offseason, general manager Chris Grier and coach Mike McDaniel remained consistent in their outward support of Tagovailoa, despite skepticism of the quarterback’s durability.
Tagovailoa missed multiple games in 2022, including Miami’s playoff game, with two known concussions, one of which briefly knocked him unconscious in a September game against Cincinnati.
Despite that, the Dolphins’ decision to pick up his fifth-year option shows their commitment to and confidence in Tagovailoa, and that they have little interest in exploring the free-agent quarterback market, which includes big names like Lamar Jackson.
Grier has also said that his quarterback’s injury history would not deter Miami from signing him to a long term deal.
VIKINGS CUT WR THIELEN AFTER 10 YEARS WITH HOME-STATE TEAM
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Adam Thielen grew up in Minnesota as an avid fan of the Vikings, a sports-loving kid who desired to one day catch passes just like Cris Carter and Randy Moss.
His improbable and remarkable run with his home-state team ended with his name right behind them on the career receiving record lists.
The Vikings released Thielen on Friday for salary-cap relief, nearly 10 years after he latched on with them as an undrafted underdog.
Thielen was carrying the second-largest cap hit on the club behind quarterback Kirk Cousins. The move will stick the Vikings with more than $13.5 million in dead money for 2023, but they created $6.4 million in additional space by cutting him.
After playing at an NCAA Division II program on a $500 scholarship at Minnesota State, Thielen considered a career in dental equipment sales before taking part in one of the NFL’s regional scouting combines and landing a tryout invite with the Vikings at their post-draft rookie minicamp in 2013.
Thielen turned enough heads with his hustle, acceleration and agility to make the practice squad that year, before playing his way onto the active roster as a key special teams contributor in 2014 and 2015. He didn’t stop there, totaling 967 yards and five touchdowns in his first season as a starter in 2016 alongside Stefon Diggs at the top two wide receiver spots. The native of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, had his best season in 2018 with 113 receptions for 1,373 yards and nine touchdowns.
Slowed by a hamstring injury that limited him to 10 games in 2019, Thielen still ranked third in the NFL with 14 receiving touchdowns in 2020. The emergence of superstar Justin Jefferson that year began to reduce Thielen’s prominence in the offense, but his sure hands and route-running savvy still made him a valuable target for Cousins with 716 yards and six touchdowns.
“I personally leaned on Adam for his work ethic, leadership, and counsel multiple times to help get our team where we wanted it to be last season,” coach Kevin O’Connell said in a statement distributed by the Vikings.
The Vikings and Thielen’s camp discussed restructuring options for his nearly $20 million cap hit, but the 32-year-old desired a larger role while eyeing a free agent market that’s thin on wide receivers.
Thielen has 55 touchdowns in 135 games with the Vikings, the third most in franchise history behind Carter (110) and Moss (92). Thielen is also third in receptions behind Carter (1,004) and Moss (587).
He created a strong legacy off the field, too, with the foundation he and his wife, Caitlin, started in 2018 to foster youth development. They announced a $1 million donation last fall spread among eight different Twin Cities charitable organizations. Thielen was the Vikings’ nominee in 2022 for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award for community service.
“I have always felt a brotherly kinship with Adam from the day we met,” Cousins posted on Twitter. “So grateful I got to play with him. Lots of great football left up ahead in his career.”
The Vikings cleared an additional $2.7 million by waiving cornerback Cameron Dantzler, who became an instant starter as a third-round draft pick in 2020 but was limited by injuries in each of his three years. Duke Shelley overtook Dantzler in the starting lineup down the stretch last season.
The moves this week, including the release of linebacker Eric Kendricks on Monday, still left the Vikings more than $7 million over their salary cap, according to real-time data compiled by OverTheCap.com.
NFC CHAMPION EAGLES BRING BACK VETERAN GRAHAM ON 1-YEAR DEAL
PHILADELPHIA (AP) The NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles have signed veteran defensive end Brandon Graham to a one-year contract.
Terms were not announced Friday.
Graham, who was eligible to become a free agent next week, enters next season on the brink of setting Philadelphia’s career record for games played. Graham has played in 178 games with the Eagles and is behind only kicker David Akers (188 games), safety Brian Dawkins (183), and wide receiver Harold Carmichael (180) for the record.
Graham, a first-round pick in the 2010 draft, is responsible for one of the greatest plays in team history.
Graham’s strip-sack of Tom Brady with 2:21 left in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl 52 helped the Eagles hang on to win 41-33. It was the first time the Eagles won the Super Bowl. Graham was still productive this season when the Eagles made a return trip and lost to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Graham, who turns 35 next month, had 11 sacks and reached double digits for the first time in his career. Graham had missed most of 2021 with a torn Achilles.
BENGALS MAY LOOK TO UPGRADE SECONDARY, O-LINE IN FREE AGENCY
CINCINNATI BENGALS (13-5)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S Jessie Bates III, S Vonn Bell, CB Eli Apple, TE Hayden Hurst, CB Tre Flowers, RB Samaje Perine, QB Brandon Allen, TE Drew Sample, LS Clark Harris, G Max Scharping, S Michael Thomas, WR Trent Taylor, LB Germaine Pratt, CB Chris Lammons, RB Trayveon Williams.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LB Clay Johnston, TE Mitchell Wilcox.
NEEDS: The Bengals retooled their offensive line with three free agents last year, but ran into depth problems in the playoffs because of injuries. So they may look to add some help there. Bates, Bell and Apple are starters in the secondary, so Cincinnati could be scrambling to fill holes if those players decide to sign elsewhere. The possible departure of Pratt also could have the Bengals looking at linebackers, although they re-signed restricted free agent Joe Bachie. The cost of any free-agent decisions will have to be weighed against a pending contract extension for quarterback Joe Burrow. The team hopes to get that done this summer.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $35.5 million. ___
DOLPHINS MAY FOCUS ON RUNNING BACK, DEFENSE IN FREE AGENCY
MIAMI DOLPHINS (9-8)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: TE Mike Gesicki, S Eric Rowe, OLB Melvin Ingram, CB Nik Needham, OLB Duke Riley, RB Myles Gaskin, OLB Andrew Van Ginkel, C Michael Deiter, WR River Cracraft, DL Justin Zimmer, RB Jeff Wilson, CB Justin Bethel, LT Kendall Lamm, RT Brandon Shell, WR Trent Sherfield, LT Geron Christian, P Thomas Morstead, DL John Jenkins, LB Sam Eguavoen, LT Greg Little, S Clayton Fejedelem, OLB Trey Flowers, RB Raheem Mostert, TE Adam Shaheen, LB Elandon Roberts, LT Eric Fisher, QB Teddy Bridgewater.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: FB John Lovett.
NEEDS: General manager Chris Grier and coach Mike McDaniel have a lot of work to do to improve a roster that made the playoffs but struggled throughout the second half of the season. They already addressed quarterback, picking up the fifth-year option of starter Tua Tagovailoa, who missed a handful of games in 2022 because of concussions. And Grier has reworked the contracts of players including wide receiver Tyreek Hill and left tackle Terron Armstead to clear up millions of dollars in cap space. Addressing the running back position is high on Miami’s list of free agency needs as Jeff Wilson, Raheem Mostert and Myles Gaskin all hit free agency. Miami also needs help at cornerback, safety and linebacker after its defense was decimated by injuries in 2022. The Dolphins don’t have a first-round draft pick this year.
AVAILABLE CAP SPACE (approximately): $28.6 million.
LIONS LIKELY LOOKING FOR HELP ON DEFENSE IN FREE AGENCY
DETROIT LIONS (9-8)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RB Jamaal Williams, WR DJ Chark, LB Alex Anzalone, S DeShon Elliott, CB Will Harris, CB Amani Oruwariye, K Michael Badgley, LB Chris Board, OG/C Evan Brown, DE Austin Bryant, DT Isaiah Buggs, DL John Cominsky, CB Mike Hughes, RB Justin Jackson, CB C.J. Moore, OT Dan Skipper, QB Nate Sudfeld, LB Josh Woods.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: OT Matt Nelson, CB Bobby Price.
NEEDS: The Lions ranked among the league’s worst teams on defense last year, and finding help in free agency on that side of the ball is likely more of a priority than it was a year ago for general manager Brad Holmes. Despite holes on the back end of the defense, Detroit won eight of its last 10 games, falling just short of making the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 season with its first winning record in six years. Williams might be too expensive to keep after he ran for 1,000 yards for the first time in his career and had 17 rushing touchdowns to break Barry Sanders’ franchise record. Recently re-signed restricted free agent OL Ross Pierschbacher adds depth to the offensive line, the strength of the team.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $21 million.
STEELERS NEED HELP ON DEFENSE AS FREE AGENCY BEGINS
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (9-8)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S Terrell Edmunds, CB Cam Sutton, CB William Jackson, S Damontae Kazee, S Karl Joseph, DT Larry Ogunjobi, DT Tyson Alualu, DE Chris Wormley, LB Rob Spillane, LB Devin Bush, LB Malik Reed, LB Marcus Allen, WR Miles Boykin, TE Zach Gentry, QB Mason Rudolph, RB Benny Snell, FB Derek Watt, Trent Scott, OL Jesse Davis.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Steve Sims, DB James Pierre, OL J.C. Hassenauer, RB Jeremy McNichols.
NEEDS: The Steelers thought Devin Bush was going to be a long-term fixture at inside linebacker when they traded up to draft him in 2019. They thought wrong. Bush was never the same after tearing the ACL in his left knee in 2020 and is expected to walk in free agency. They may find a way to keep Spillane, who was solid if not spectacular when his role increased after Bush fell out of favor. The aging defensive line will need to be revamped, though Ogunjobi may have played so well that he priced himself out of Pittsburgh. The secondary is an issue too, particularly at cornerback. The Steelers released veteran William Jackson on Friday, which freed up around $12 million. Jackson, acquired in a trade with Washington, never saw the field for the Steelers but could come back at a reduced price. An offensive line that gelled as the season went along could largely stay intact, at least in free agency. Given more pressing (and potentially expensive) needs elsewhere, it’s more likely the Steelers go looking for a potential starter at left tackle in the draft.
JACKSON’S STATUS LOOMS OVER FREE AGENCY FOR RAVENS
BALTIMORE RAVENS (10-8)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CB Marcus Peters, LB Justin Houston, CB Kyle Fuller, T Ja’Wuan James, WR Sammy Watkins, CB Trayvon Mullen, LB Jason Pierre-Paul, LB Steven Means, TE Josh Oliver, RB Kenyan Drake, LB Vince Biegel, WR Demarcus Robinson, CB Kevon Seymour, RB Justice Hill, G Ben Powers.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: C Trystan Colon, QB Tyler Huntley, S Geno Stone, LB Kristian Welch, LB Del’Shawn Phillips, LS Nick Moore.
NEEDS: After putting the nonexclusive franchise tag on Lamar Jackson, the Ravens enter free agency in limbo in a variety of ways. Jackson can negotiate with other teams, and if he reaches an agreement with one, Baltimore can match it or let the star quarterback leave for two first-round draft picks. No matter who the quarterback is, the Ravens could really use an upgrade at receiver, but that might have to come via the trade route given their salary cap situation.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $8 million over.
NFC CHAMPION EAGLES FACE KEY LOSSES IN FREE AGENCY
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (16-4)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CB James Bradberry, DT Fletcher Cox, T Andre Dillard, LB T.J. Edwards, S Marcus Epps, S C.J. Gardner-Johnson, DT Javon Hargrave, DT Linval Joseph, C Jason Kelce, P Brett Kern, QB Gardner Minshew, WR Zach Pascal, DE Robert Quinn, RB Miles Sanders, RB Boston Scott, G Isaac Seumalo, DT Ndamukong Suh, LB Kyzir White.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: TE Tyree Jackson.
NEEDS: The NFC champions have several high-profile free agents, and general manager Howie Roseman has said the Eagles won’t be able to sign them all. Philadelphia’s needs will depend on how many high-profile free agents leave. Their biggest departures could come on defense. Hargrave had a career-high 11 sacks to help the Eagles to an NFL-leading 70 sacks last season. Gardner-Johnson tied for the league lead with six interceptions despite missing five games late in the season. Bradberry helped secure the back end of a defense that finished first against the pass. Those three players would be the most costly losses, figuratively, and the most costly to re-sign, literally. Edwards led the team with 159 tackles from his middle linebacker position. Although the Eagles don’t value linebacker as highly as other positions in their scheme, Edwards has been dependable since being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2019. Philadelphia could be looking for starters at defensive tackle, cornerback, linebacker and safety if Hargrave, Gardner-Johnson, Bradberry and Edwards walk. Offensively, the 35-year-old Kelce will either retire or will be re-signed. The two biggest names on offense who could be elsewhere in 2023 are Seumalo, an intelligent player and a key part of perhaps the league’s top offensive line; and Sanders, who rushed for a career-high 1,269 yards. Those are potential holes that Roseman will need to fill, and there isn’t money for everyone. Roseman could gain some cap space by restructuring the contracts of CB Darius Slay or Pro Bowl RT Lane Johnson, who have cap hits of $26 million and $24 million, respectively. One position Philadelphia doesn’t need to fill is quarterback. However, MVP runner-up Jalen Hurts is eligible for a contract extension and likely will get a big-money deal this offseason.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $3.8 million.
TITANS NEED HELP ON OFFENSIVE LINE, RECEIVER IN FREE AGENCY
TENNESSEE TITANS (7-10)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RG Nate Davis, ILB David Long, TE Austin Hooper, TE Geoff Swaim, S A.J. Moore, CB Lonnie Johnson, DE DeMarcus Walker, RB Dontrell Hilliard, LB Dylan Cole, RB Trenton Cannon, CB Terrance Mitchell, DE Mario Edwards, C Corey Levin, OLB Joe Jones, S Andrew Adams, RT Le’Raven Clark, DE Da’shawn Hand, CB Joshua Kalu, LT Dennis Daley.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DT Teair Tart, WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine.
NEEDS: Tennessee has started the much-needed overhaul of its offensive line decimated by injuries and a lack of development last season. Three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan already has been released along with C Ben Jones. They also could lose Davis as a free agent. Whatever decision the Titans make with QB Ryan Tannehill and RB Derrick Henry going into the final years of their contracts, adding more talent and speed at WR and TE is a must. They also will need more help at ILB and OLB with OLB Bud Dupree expected to be released freeing up more cap space. They also might look at a veteran kicker to compete with undrafted free agent Caleb Shudak.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $27.2 million.
VIKINGS HIT FREE AGENCY WITH NEED AT CB, SALARY CAP STRAPPED
MINNESOTA VIKINGS (13-5)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DE Dalvin Tomlinson, CB Patrick Peterson, C Garrett Bradbury, RB Alexander Mattison, K Greg Joseph, CB Duke Shelley, TE Irv Smith Jr., CB Chandon Sullivan, LS Andrew DePaola, OT Oli Udoh, DE Jonathan Bullard, QB Nick Mullens, CB Kris Boyd, C/G Austin Schlottman, WR Olabisi Johnson.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: TE Ben Ellefson, DE Kenny Willekes.
NEEDS: The Vikings are mired in a salary cap crunch with a pressing need yet again at a vital position. Their top three cornerbacks from last season are all set to hit the market: Peterson, Shelley and Sullivan. Another key player the Vikings will try to re-sign is Tomlinson, who has been a valuable part of a struggling defense over the past two years. The status of OLB Za’Darius Smith is in doubt given his cap hit of more than $15.9 million, but without him the Vikings would be awfully thin on edge rushers. The Vikings already released LB Eric Kendricks and WR Adam Thielen this week for cap relief, with more maneuvering through restructures or releases left to do. The interior of the OL remains a weakness, with Bradbury’s contract expiring and Ed Ingram Jr. coming off a rough rookie season as a pass blocker at the perpetually unsettled RG spot.
PACKERS NEED HELP AT SAFETY, TIGHT END, OUTSIDE LINEBACKER
GREEN BAY PACKERS (8-9)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S Adrian Amos, WR Randall Cobb, K Mason Crosby, S Rudy Ford, OLB Justin Hollins, WR Allen Lazard, TE Marcedes Lewis, S Dallin Leavitt, DL Dean Lowry, CB/KR Keisean Nixon, DL Jarran Reed, TE Robert Tonyan, OLB Eric Wilson
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LB Krys Barnes, TE Tyler Davis, OT Yosh Nijman
NEEDS: Safety is a major concern that becomes even greater if Amos leaves. The Packers’ main safeties for most of 2022 were Amos and 2019 first-round draft pick Darnell Savage, who struggled enough to lose his starting spot at one point last season. The Packers would have a lack of veteran receivers to complement 2022 draft picks Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs if Lazard and Cobb depart. Lazard is one of the top receivers in the free-agent market, which could make it tough for the Packers to keep him. Tight end also is a huge need that could become even larger depending on whether Tonyan or Lewis stays, though the 2023 draft class is strong at that position. If four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers leaves, the Packers probably would want to sign a veteran quarterback to back up Jordan Love. The Packers also need help at outside linebacker, as Rashan Gary’s season-ending injury last year exposed their lack of pass-rushing depth. The Packers should prioritize holding on to Nixon, who boosted their special teams as an All-Pro kick returner last season.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $17½ million ___
FREE AGENCY KEY FOR BRONCOS WITH SO LITTLE DRAFT CAPITAL
DENVER BRONCOS (5-12)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DE Dre’Mont Jones; S Kareem Jackson, ILB Alex Singleton; RB Latavius Murray; RB Marlon Mack; G Dalton Risner; RB Mike Boone, FB Andrew Beck; TE Eric Tomlinson, T Cameron Fleming; T Calvin Anderson; RT Billy Turner; G Tom Compton; TE Eric Saubert; DE DeShawn Williams; CB Darius Phillips; LB Dakota Allen.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: QB Brett Rypien; S P.J. Locke; CB Essang Bassey; LS Jacob Bobenmoyer; LB Jonas Griffith; P Corliss Waitman; DE Jonathan Kongbo.
NEEDS: New head coach Sean Payton and holdover general manager George Paton have plenty of work to do to upgrade a roster that is paying dearly for Paton’s moves a year ago. They’ll have to make some noise in free agency because they only have five draft picks next month and don’t pick until the 67th overall selection in the third round. Needs include revamping the offensive line and bolstering the defensive front, especially if Dre’Mont Jones bolts in free agency after the Broncos declined to franchise tag him.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $9.5 million. ___
PATRIOTS ENTER FREE AGENCY LOOKING FOR HELP AT WR, OT AND DB
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (8-9)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Nelson Agholor, CB Jonathan Jones, WR Jakobi Meyers, LT Isaiah Wynn, FS Cody Davis, S Jabrill Peppers, CB JoeJuan Williams, LB Raekwon McMillan, DT Carl Davis, RT Marcus Cannon, LS Joe Cardona, C James Ferentz, RB Damien Harris, T Yodny Cajuste, LB Mack Wilson.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CB Myles Bryant.
NEEDS: After a mostly underwhelming 2022 season, the Patriots remain in the market for more playmakers at receiver. Meyers has been New England’s leading producer at the position for three consecutive seasons. But he is an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career and could command more money than the Patriots are willing to pay to retain him. The secondary got great production from Dugger and out of rookie cornerbacks Marcus Jones and Jack Jones this past season. But there will be a void with Devin McCourty deciding to retire. It will also take a big hit if Jonathan Jones leaves in free agency. There’s also likely a lot of shuffling coming at offensive tackle. Wynn has underwhelmed and battled injuries throughout his tenure. Trent Brown has one year left on his current deal, but the team has an opt out and could save around $11 million by waiving him.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $33 million.
LONGTIME CHIEFS WIDE RECEIVER OTIS TAYLOR DIES AT AGE 80
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Otis Taylor, the longtime Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver who along with quarterback Len Dawson formed one of the NFL’s dynamic duos, died Thursday after more than a decade of health problems. He was 80.
Taylor’s family, who had been caring for him as he dealt with Parkinson’s disease and dementia, confirmed that he had passed away a mere seven months after Dawson, his close friend and teammate.
Taylor spent all 10-plus years of his career in Kansas City, where he was a fourth-round pick out of Prairie View A&M in the 1965 AFL draft. He went on to have two 1,000-yard seasons during an era in which the passing game was still evolving, and he finished his career with 7,306 yards and 57 touchdown catches.
“Otis made my job easy,” Dawson once said. “If you got the pass to Otis, you knew he’d catch it.”
Taylor is perhaps best remembered for the 46-yard touchdown pass in the 1970 Super Bowl that clinched the Chiefs’ victory over the Vikings. He was part of two AFL championship teams, was voted to the Pro Bowl after the AFL-NFL merger in 1971 and 1972 and was inducted into the Chiefs’ ring of honor in 1982.
Yet for all the plaudits during his playing days, Taylor continually came up short of enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was a senior finalist this past year but failed to make it through to the final round of voting.
Taylor was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and associated dementia in 1990, and in 2012, his family filed a lawsuit against the NFL claiming it was legally responsible for health issues he experienced beginning with seizures in 1969.
Bedridden and largely unable to talk in recent years, the lawsuit sought financial help for his care, overseen for more than a decade by his sister, Odell, a licensed vocational nurse, along with his wife Regina and son, Otis Taylor III.
After his playing days and before his health problems, Taylor spent 11 years as a scout for the Chiefs.
He found himself at the center of another controversy in 1987, when NFL players had gone on strike. Taylor was arriving to Arrowhead Stadium for work when Jack Del Rio, who had just been traded to the team, mistook him for a replacement player and attacked him. Taylor pressed charges against Del Rio, now the defensive coordinator of the Washington Commanders, and the two settled out of court.
“My family and I would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to Otis’ wife Regina, his sister Odell and the entire Taylor family as we mourn his passing,” Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said in a statement. “He was one of the most dynamic receivers of his era, and he helped revolutionize the position. Off the field, he was kind and dedicated to his community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Otis’ legacy will live forever.”
PATS SAFETY DEVIN MCCOURTY RETIRING AFTER 13 NFL SEASONS
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Devin McCourty has only known one home during his NFL career since being selected by the New England Patriots as a first-round draft pick out of Rutgers in 2010.
Three Super Bowl rings and 13 seasons later, he’s walking away from the sport as one of the Patriots’ most decorated and respected players on and off the field.
The veteran safety announced his retirement in an Instagram video Friday, calling his career “a great ride.”
“It’s always tough to kind of come to the end,” McCourty told his twin brother, Jason, in the video. “This whole offseason has been back and forth for me mentally, probably not even sharing as much of the thoughts that I was just going between from one day to the next day. But ultimately, I think this is the best decision for me, my family, for my career.”
McCourty, 35, went into the offseason wavering about his future with the Patriots along with fellow longtime captain Matt Slater. The 37-year-old Slater ultimately made the decision to return for a 16th season, but McCourty said the timing felt right to hang up his cleats.
He was selected as a second-team All-Pro three times in his career (2010, 2013, 2016) and garnered two Pro Bowl selections in 2010 and 2016. He finishes with 35 career INTs, 938 tackles, three sacks, 110 pass breakups, 11 forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries.
The 35 INTs in the regular season ranked as the most among all active NFL players last season and is behind only Ty Law and Raymond Clayborn (36) for the most in Patriots history. His 42 total takeaways also are second in franchise history.
McCourty’s retirement comes two years after Jason’s final season in 2021. They became the first siblings to earn Super Bowl rings together in 2018.
A longtime defensive captain, McCourty started all 205 games he appeared in, missing just five regular-season games.
“It is a rare group of players who win games at a historic rate, exude team culture, lead, win awards, and win championships,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said in a statement “And then there is Devin McCourty. Devin did all of those things as a player and more.”
But Belichick said he’d most remember McCourty for “his character, his values and how high he raised the bar for spreading goodness and justice in the community.”
“For 13 years, Devin made everyone in our organization feel better and be better because of who he is – a pillar of professionalism, unselfishness, work ethic, preparation, intelligence and performance. I am excited to see him bring those same traits to his next chapter and brighten the lives of even more people.”
Patriots owner Robert Kraft called McCourty’s career “iconic.”
“We couldn’t have asked for a better leader and ambassador, both on and off the field.”
TITANS RELEASE C BEN JONES AS O-LINE RENOVATION CONTINUES
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Tennessee Titans continued the renovation of their offensive line Friday, releasing 11-year veteran center Ben Jones a year after signing him to a two-year extension.
The Titans announced Friday they released Jones after he failed a physical. They also signed five-time Pro Bowl long snapper Morgan Cox to an extension.
Jones started every game he played for Tennessee with 108 games, but the 6-foot-3, 308-pound center was limited by injuries to 12 starts in 2022. Jones finished the season on injured reserve after his second concussion in a month.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel thanked Jones for his time with Tennessee and embodying a lot of the qualities they want in a player.
“He was a great teammate; his toughness was off the charts, and he had a leadership quality that was earned through the relationships he built and the dedication to the game he showed to his teammates,” Vrabel said in a statement.
The center, who turns 34 in July, was the 99th player drafted overall in 2012 by the Houston Texans out of Georgia. He just went to his first Pro Bowl as an injury replacement helping block for Derrick Henry, who finished second in the NFL in rushing.
Releasing Jones frees up $3.7 million in salary cap space, but the move will cost $4.5 million in dead money against the cap according to Spotrac.com. The Titans released three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan on Feb. 22 to start clearing cap space.
Jones started 151 of 172 games played and was a key piece as Tennessee turned around a franchise that went 5-27 in the two seasons before his arrival.
MURPHY SAYS PACKERS WOULD HONOR TRADE REQUEST FROM RODGERS
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Green Bay Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy confirmed that the team granted the New York Jets permission to talk with Aaron Rodgers and would honor a trade request if the four-time MVP quarterback makes one.
Murphy made those comments Friday while speaking during a broadcast of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association girls basketball championships that aired on Green Bay television station WCWF.
“We’re really hopeful that we can reach a resolution that works not only for Aaron but for us,” Murphy said.
Murphy’s comments follow reports that Jets owner Woody Johnson, coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas visited Rodgers’ home in southern California earlier this week.
Rodgers, 39, has said since the end of the season that he’s still deciding whether to return to the Packers, request a trade or retire. Rodgers also has noted the possibility the Packers might want to move on and hand the starting quarterback job to 2020 first-round draft pick Jordan Love.
Murphy was asked if there’s any scenario in which Rodgers returns as the Packers’ starting quarterback. Murphy said he could envision that possibility but added that “I think it’s trying to find what he wants and what we want. Hopefully we can find a win-win situation.”
Murphy said he wanted a resolution on Rodgers’ future by the start of free agency on Wednesday.
“It’s in everybody’s interest to resolve it sooner rather than later,” Murphy said.
Murphy also addressed the topic in a separate interview with Green Bay television station WBAY.
“Very few players play for only one team,” Murphy told WBAY. “Obviously Brett (Favre) had a great career. Aaron had a great career here. Regardless of what happens, Aaron will be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He’ll be in our Hall of Fame. We’ll bring him back, retire his number. This is just one of the things that we go through as a team. We want to try to achieve something that’s good for both Aaron and us.”
Rodgers earned MVP honors with the Packers in 2020 and 2021 but is coming off a 2022 season in which he had his lowest passer rating as a starter and threw 12 interceptions, his highest total since 2008. The Packers went 8-9 and missed the playoffs to end a string of three straight NFC North titles.
FLYERS FIRE EMBATTLED GM FLETCHER, GIVE BRIERE INTERIM JOB
PHILADELPHIA (AP) With the Philadelphia Flyers in need of a complete franchise overhaul, Chuck Fletcher called the shots at the NHL trade deadline and came up empty.
A day later, the Flyers sent Fletcher to represent the team at a town hall meeting for season-ticket holders, where he was about booed off the stage.
His week only got worse.
A series of bad contracts, unfortunate injuries, sagging attendance and one of the worst records in the NHL ultimately doomed Fletcher, whom the Flyers fired Friday from his position as general manager and president of hockey operations.
The team promoted franchise great Danny Briere to the interim general manager role, the latest front-office shakeup for an organization that has not won a Stanley Cup since 1975. Briere, who served as special assistant to the GM, is considered a rising star in the front office.
Maybe he’ll have a concrete plan for a rebuild – which could involve more lean seasons – that Fletcher did not express over his 4 1/2 seasons on the job. The Flyers went 141-145-43 under Fletcher.
The Flyers, who had just one playoff berth in Fletcher’s tenure, play Saturday in Pittsburgh. Philadelphia is 24-30-11 this season under first-year coach John Tortorella and set to miss the playoffs for the third straight season.
“The Philadelphia Flyers organization has always been defined by grit, determination, and a standard of excellence. Over the past several seasons, our team simply has not lived up to that standard, so today, we will begin to chart a new path forward under a new leadership structure for Hockey Operations,” Flyers Chairman Dave Scott said.
Briere, who helped the Flyers to their last Stanley Cup appearance in 2010 when they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks, was promoted last year from his player development role to special assistant to the GM.
“Flyers fans deserve a better team than what they’ve seen on the ice over the past few seasons, and a clear plan to return this team to Stanley Cup contention,” Scott said. “We know that this will be a multi-year process, and we are committed to doing it right, because we want to put this franchise on a path toward winning the Stanley Cup, period.”
Briere didn’t know how he wanted to stay involved with hockey once he retired in 2015 from a 17-year career – with 307 goals and 696 points.
He met shortly with former Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, who signed Briere to a free-agent deal and invited him to spend time on the administrative side of the operation. Briere learned the business from the ground up – marketing, ticket sales, social media, finance – and caught a break in 2017 when the Flyers’ parent company bought an ECHL team in Maine. Briere largely oversaw the day-to-day operations of the team.
Scott said the Flyers will look to restructure the front office and that starts with breaking the general manager and president roles into two jobs.
“We view this as a critical opportunity to not only re-establish the standard of excellence that our fans expect, but also to bring new energy, accountability, and strategic vision to our organization,” he said.
The Flyers haven’t won the Stanley Cup since consecutive championships in 1974 and 1975, and have advanced to the second round only three times since that 2010 run.
Fletcher’s biggest blunders may have come last week, when he failed to receive anything at Friday’s deadline for James van Riemsdyk or other aging, expensive players.
“The deals that were presented to me were not good deals for the Philadelphia Flyers. Last summer, being more aggressive was not going to be good for the Philadelphia Flyers,” Fletcher said last week. “Maybe in the short run it makes me look better, but we don’t want Band-Aids anymore. We want to build this the right way and we’re committed to doing it. Those are my words, my actions will have to back it up, but we’re committed to doing it.”
He went all out in 2021 with a series of moves that didn’t really pay off. His trades for defenseman Ryan Ellis and forward Cam Atkinson yielded nothing because of injuries, and the Flyers have received little production out of the rich contract extensions given to Joel Farabee, Sean Couturier and others.
Scott noted as much Friday, saying Fletcher faced significant challenges, “including some that were outside of his control.”
Fletcher was hired in December 2018 to replace Ron Hextall – now Pittsburgh’s general manager – and soon fired coach Dave Hakstol, who is coaching the Seattle Kraken. Fletcher hired Alain Vigneault as coach but a promising first season that included a trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals in the 2020 COVID-19 bubble unraveled.
The Flyers became the first team in NHL history to have a pair of 10-game losing streaks within the first 40 games of the season and Vigneault was fired early last season.
Scott said he didn’t see the Flyers undergoing “a three-, four-, five-year rebuild at all” while Fletcher continued even early this season to tout the team as a playoff contender.
Tortorella never saw it that way. The blunt coach who won a Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay has insisted he needs time and patience to turn the Flyers into winners. He might get there, eventually. Fletcher just won’t be along for the ride.
MONTOUR SCORES IN OT, PANTHERS BEAT BLACKHAWKS 4-3
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) Brandon Montour scored at 2:43 of overtime to give the Florida Panthers a 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night.
Eetu Luostarinen had a goal and an assist, and Sam Bennett and Sam Reinhart also scored, and Matthew Tkachuk had three assists for the Panthers, who have won three straight. Sergei Bobrovsky finished with 21 saves.
Caleb Jones, Cole Guttman and Boris Katchouk scored goals, and Jujhar Khaira had two assists for the Blackhawks, who lost for the sixth time in seven games. Petr Mrazek stopped 39 shots.
Florida trailed 2-0 going into the third period before Bennett and Reinhart scored 29 seconds apart to tie the score near the midpoint of the period.
“We did not like our start, it was a little sleepy,” Montour said. “But we are a resilient group and we believe in ourselves. We were getting chances so it was just bound to happen for us.”
Bennett scored from in front of the net off a pass from Tkachuk off the back boards to get the Panthers on the scoreboard with his 16th at 8:29, and Reinhart reached out and deflected a point shot from Tkachuk on a power play for his 22nd to tie it less than 30 seconds later
Luostarinen gave the Panthers their first lead with 7:18 remaining as he scored from the high slot after taking a pass from Tkachuk for his 16th.
“We had to play better in the third than we did in the first two (periods),” Tkachuk said. “There was frustration. Let’s be real here, that’s a team ranked 30th in the league. We needed the win more than they did. To be down 2-0 at any point in that game was frustrating. … It was not the start we wanted but we did a good job in the third. We heard some boos there, but turned it around at the end and heard some cheers.”
The Blackhawks pulled Mrazek for an extra skater in the closing minutes and Guttman converted from in front with 44.3 seconds remaining to tie it with his fourth.
Jones got Chicago on the scoreboard first at 6:49 of the first as he scored on a breakaway for his third.
Katchouk knocked in a pass from Joey Anderson to make it 2-0 with 2:07 left in the opening period.
“I thought we had a really good effort,” Chicago coach Luke Richardson said. “I thought we frustrated them in the first half of the game and controlled that part of the game really well. … But they pushed and we knew they were going to be desperate and push. They’re playing for a playoff spot.”
NOTES: The Blackhawks were without G Alex Stalock on Friday night so the team turned to the Florida emergency backup goalie. Zach Andrews, a 31-year-old from nearby Coral Springs, took warmups with the Blackhawks and was assigned No. 80. Andrews played collegiately at UMass-Boston and helps out the Panthers throughout the season at practices. … Florida was missing F Anthony Duclair because of an illness with D Casey Fitzgerald sliding onto the fourth forward line.
Blackhawks: At Tampa Bay on Saturday night.
Panthers: Host Winnipeg on Saturday night.
COMTOIS, GRANT RALLY DUCKS TO 3-1 WIN OVER FLAMES
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Max Comtois and Derek Grant each had a goal and an assist as the Anaheim Ducks rallied to beat the Calgary Flames 3-1 on Friday night.
Brett Leason also scored and John Gibson stopped 34 shots to help the Ducks win for the fifth time in eight games (5-1-2).
“We know this time of year there’s a lot of teams trying to make the push and we’re going to be up against good competition,” said Gibson, who is 4-1-2 in his last seven games. “Whether it’s teams in the playoffs, teams outside of the playoffs, or teams pushing to get into a playoff spot, we know it’s all going to be competitive.”
Mikael Backlund scored for Calgary and Jacob Markstrom finished with 15 saves. The Flames snapped a two-game win streak and lost for the sixth time in eight games (2-4-2).
Calgary remained four points behind Winnipeg for the second wild card in the Western Conference.
“We got to understand that we’re fighting for our lives, and everybody in the room needs to find a way to step up a little bit more,” Flames defenseman MacKenzie Weegar said.
After a scoreless first period, the Flames took a 1-0 lead at 6:43 of the second on a power play when Elias Lindholm’s shot banked in off Backlund in front. It was Backlund’s 15th goal of the season.
It was also Calgary’s first power-play goal in six games after going 0 for 12 over the previous five games.
The lead was short-lived as the Ducks answered back 1:04 later on a deflection of their own. Frank Vatrano whipped a rising shot toward the net that changed directions off Comtois and fooled Markstrom. It was Comtois’ seventh and ended Markstrom’s shutout streak at 98:35.
Leason then put the Ducks ahead with 8:27 left in the middle period as he whacked in a loose puck from the side of the net for his fifth.
The Flames peppered Gibson with 13 shots in the third as they pressed for the tying goal. However, he was perfect, with his best stop coming with less than seven minutes remaining when he snagged a close-in shot off the stick of Tyler Toffoli after the Flames’ leading goal scorer was set up in the slot by Jakob Pelletier.
“He’s probably a top-five, top-three goalie in the league,” Comtois said of Gibson. “He’s always coming up with those big saves and keeping us in it. Even when we play really good teams and teams like today fighting for their lives in a playoff spot, they throw everything at him and he just comes up with the saves.”
In a flurry earlier in the period, Gibson kicked out his left pad to make successive pad stops from in-close on Jonathan Huberdeau and then Nazem Kadri.
“Incredible leader,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “He’s got a fire in him to compete. This year, obviously being in a rebuild, isn’t easy on a guy like that. I think he’s managed his mindset extremely well.”
Calgary fell to 0-16-3 when trailing after two periods. The Flames are the only NHL team without a comeback victory.
“We had a lot of looks, especially in the third,” Flames defenseman Rasmus Anderson said. “We’re dominating the game in the third, and we just can’t get that tying goal or the leading goal so it’s frustrating.”
The Flames snapped an eight-game (7-0-1) point streak against Anaheim that dated back to 2019. It had been their longest active streak against any one opponent.
NEW NO. 1
Gibson’s 13 saves in the first period moved him past Guy Hebert (11,813) and into top spot on the Ducks’ all-time list. Gibson has been busy this season, leading the NHL in saves with 1,516.
Ducks: Host Nashville on Sunday night in the opener of an eight-game homestand.
Flames: Host Ottawa on Sunday night in the finale of a two-game homestand.
HITTING TECHNOLOGY COULD HELP BASEBALL’S STRUGGLING LINEUPS
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Tim Anderson wanted to study his swing. After a season hampered by groin and hand injuries, the Chicago White Sox shortstop wanted to build a more fluid approach at the plate.
That work brought him to Driveline Baseball, first at the company’s main facility in Washington, and then at its outpost in Arizona.
“They showed me a lot of stuff. Just break it down all the way from ground up,” Anderson said. “Really anything that you want to see, they got it.”
At places like Driveline and the Baseball Performance Lab in Louisiana, and behind closed doors in unlabeled buildings around the major leagues, the race is on. Some of baseball’s brightest minds are working on the gap between the technology available to Anderson and other big league hitters, and the technology behind a pitching renaissance.
Forget about tinkering in the batting cage, looking for a lost swing. Hitters now have high-speed cameras to inform subtle mechanical adjustments. They’re using pitching machines that simulate Justin Verlander’s curveball or Shohei Ohtani’s splitter. Some even predict a future where most of the game’s top hitters pick from an array of specialized bats depending on specific matchups or situations — almost like golfers deciding between a pitching wedge and 9-iron.
They need all the help they can get. The major league batting average dropped to .243 last season, its lowest since 1968. The only seasons with lower averages were the record low of .237 in 1968 along with 1967 and the dead-ball era seasons of 1884, 1888 and 1908.
A package of rule changes, including a new limit on infield shifts, could lead to more offense this year, but hitters still have to put the ball in play. There were a record 3,356 pitches of 100 mph of more in 2022, and more than 40,000 strikeouts for the fifth time in the last five full seasons — excluding 2020 — after the sport had never reached that plateau previously.
After years of pitchers using biomechanical analysis to increase velocity and carefully shape their pitches, there are signs that the same or similar technology might hold the key to reversing some of the downward offensive trends in the game.
“There has been, probably, an acceleration in the development of hitting technology and the way organizations and coaches are supporting hitters over the last few years,” said Chris Antonetti, president of baseball operations for the Cleveland Guardians.
Asked if there had been any promising developments on that front recently and for examples he was willing to share, Antonetti cracked: “Yes … and no.”
“That’s all you’re getting on that one,” a laughing Antonetti said.
One reason behind the early adoption of pitching technology was the quantifiable results. Make the right alteration to a curveball grip, one little tweak to a pitching motion, and the data shows an increase in spin rate or velocity almost immediately.
It’s a more tricky, subjective proposition when it comes to hitting.
“It was easier to track the baseball than it was to track the bat,” Chicago Cubs general manager Carter Hawkins said. “Now there are more things that can track the bat, and that’s allowing us to get more information about hitters.
“But the swing is so much more dynamic and contextual relative to the pitch, because the pitch, you’re know you’re fully in control of it, whereas the swing, there’s just so many different places it has to go.”
One of the tools used for hitting data is the Hawk-Eye camera system — which, among other capabilities, calculates exit velocity and estimates how far a batted ball travels. That system and the resulting data gets a significant upgrade this summer with the addition of five high-frame-rate cameras at the majors’ 30 ballparks and Salt Rivers Fields in Arizona.
The HFR cameras, which were tested by MLB last season, can capture video at 300 frames per second. They are capable of providing a more precise picture when it comes to bat speed and bat path.
“Hawk-Eye’s going to be huge, because having in-game data and in-game biomechanics is going to be an absolute game-changer,” said Conner Watson, the lead hitting trainer at Driveline in Arizona.
Watson also is bullish on the prospects for motion capture — a common tool for pitching analysis for years — when it comes to hitting improvements, particularly when it comes to bat path.
“We’re able to quantify it now,” he said. “Where is his speed relative to his bat path? Does it get up to speed back here and then lose speed in the contact? Why is he steep? Why is he losing the barrel back? There’s just, we can answer it better now.
“There are so many things still left to discover within motion capture … and I still think we’re, I mean we are much closer, but we’re still pretty far away from still getting those answers, because you need data, you need big sample sizes.”
Beyond the possibilities with motion capture, Trajekt Sports makes an advanced pitching machine that can replicate aces and their best pitches from around the majors. The technology surrounding bats themselves also has come a long way, too.
Born out of a conversation between Dr. Greg Rose, a co-founder of the Titleist Performance Institute, and Kent Matthes, a baseball agent, at a 2019 PGA show in Florida, the Baseball Performance Lab on the Marucci Sports campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has turned the science behind club-fitting for golf into bat-fitting for major leaguers.
Its list of past or present clients includes some of baseball’s most dangerous hitters. St. Louis Cardinals sluggers Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado and San Diego’s Matt Carpenter visited on the same day before last season. Several stars last season used bats with hockey-puck shaped knobs that they tried in Baton Rouge.
“We’re building bats to combat pitch design,” said Micah Gibbs, the director of player development at the lab. “We’re trying to blow up pitch design. We’re like ‘OK, you want to build pitches? Perfect. We’ll build bats for it.’”
Gibbs said he sees a day coming when it’s common practice for players to use multiple variations of bats in a single game. Providing more support for hitters is a bit of a personal quest for the 34-year-old Gibbs, a former third-round pick by the Cubs who played six seasons in the minors.
“I was a switch hitter and I know for a fact that I probably shouldn’t have been using the same bat from both sides,” he said. “But I used the same bat from both sides. It doesn’t make a ton of sense, and I want every hitter that comes in to be able to go away with that confidence of knowing that when they get in the box, they have the best tool for them.”
US TO LET MLB STARS PLAY FOR CUBA IN WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC
HAVANA (AP) — The United States will permit Major League Baseball players from Cuba to represent their home country in the World Baseball Classic next year.
The decision announced Dec. 24 in a news release by the Baseball Federation of Cuba (FCB) could be a big step in once again turning Cuba’s national team into heavy hitters on an international stage.
Major League Baseball confirmed that the U.S. granted the license to FCB. It clears the way for MLB stars such as José Abreu, Yordan Alvarez, Randy Arozarena, Yoán Moncada and Luis Robert to play for Cuba in the WBC in March if they choose to accept a potential invitation.
It’s up to each country’s national governing body to pick the players on its WBC team. Final 30-man rosters are due Feb. 7 for the WBC, which begins March 8 with Cuba facing the Netherlands in Taiwan.
While the sport of choice for much of Latin America is soccer, baseball dominates in Cuba. The island has gained fame around the world for its baseball talent.
But in recent years, hundreds of those players have defected from Cuba to play professionally elsewhere. Most notably, many have become United States residents and stars with major league teams in the U.S.
The defections are largely due to a not-so-uncommon geopolitical spat between the two seaside neighbors, leaving Cuban players stuck in the middle.
High-performing athletes earn a salary to fully dedicate to train and compete, though Cuba has prohibited professional sports in the island since the Cuban revolution 60 years ago.
Longtime sanctions by the U.S. make it largely impossible for Cubans to play professionally for an American team without defecting. Meanwhile, Cuba historically has not allowed Cuban players who defected on their national team rosters.
The defections have taken a toll on Cuba’s performance in international baseball competitions. For example, the Cuban baseball team failed to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after years of previously winning medals in the sport.
In November, Cuba changed its tune and invited several top players who defected to represent the country in the World Baseball Classic, a tournament that features some of the sport’s top players competing in Japan, Taiwan and the U.S.
Weeks later, Cuban officials accused the Biden administration of blocking those players from representing Cuba.
In a statement, FCB President Juan Reinaldo Pérez Pardo called the permit a “positive step,” and said the Cuban federation should have more information about the team’s WBC roster once it has more details about the license granted by the U.S.
At the same time, Pérez Pardo also criticized the U.S., tweeting that “it is arbitrary and discriminatory that a permit from the government of this country (the U.S.) is needed to attend” the WBC.
OBLIQUE ISSUE COULD DELAY START OF SEASON FOR YANKEES’ BADER
Injuries continue to pile up for the New York Yankees as they get ready to begin their AL East title defense.
Manager Aaron Boone told reporters Friday that outfielder Harrison Bader has an oblique issue. The injury puts Bader’s availability for opening day in doubt.
The Yankees already had said pitchers Carlos Rodón, Frankie Montas, Tommy Kahle and Lou Trivino wouldn’t be ready for the March 30 opener against San Francisco.
Rodón, starting a $162 million, six-year contract, has a left forearm strain that will cause him to open the season on the injured list. Rodón has been an All-Star the last two seasons and is expected to fill a major role on the Yankees’ rotation.
Montas is recovering from shoulder surgery and won’t begin throwing until at least late May. Kahle (biceps) and Trivno (elbow) are expected to be part of the bullpen.
DeGROM COULD START MONDAY
Jacob deGrom could make his first spring training start for the Texas Rangers on Monday.
The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner threw to hitters for the first time on Wednesday, when he was in the upper 90s with his fastball and hit 100 mph on the last of his 35 pitches.
Manager Bruce Bochy said deGrom will throw again Saturday and, if all goes well, could pitch against Arizona two days later.
“He’s in a good place right now,” Bochy said. “Knock on wood, all goes well with him, he’ll have three outings here before he starts the season.”
Texas signed deGrom to a $185 million, five-year contract in December. He spent his first nine big league seasons with the New York Mets. but injuries limited him to 156 1/3 innings in 26 starts over the past two seasons.
The right-hander threw about six bullpen sessions before arriving in Arizona, but was delayed in throwing in camp and reporting stiffness in his left side before the Rangers’ first first workout Feb. 15.
VERLANDER FACES HIS FORMER TEAM
Justin Verlander, the three-time Cy Young Award winner who left Houston to sign an $86.7 million, two-year contract with the Mets, struck out five and allowed one run and three hits over 3 1/3 innings against his former team.
Mets outfielder Starling Marte played his first exhbition game and went 2 of 2 with a homer and a double in a 7-2 victory. Marte said he isn’t at full strength yet but expects to get there by the start of the season.
Marte underwent offseason surgery to repair a core muscle injury.
“As I get stronger, as my body gets stronger throughout the next couple of weeks, I should be ready for opening day at 100%,” Marte told reporters through an intepreter.
RAYS’ DIAZ HIT BY PITCH
Tampa Bay’s Yandy Díaz left the Rays’ exhibition game after a pitch from Atlanta’s Ian Anderson hit him on the left hand.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said during the television broadcast of the game that X-rays appeared to be negative. This game had marked the infielder’s return from a hip flexor injury.
Díaz batted .296 with nine homers, 57 RBIs and a .401 on-base percentage last season.
Tampa Bay got an encouraging performance from Jeffrey Springs, who struck out six of the 10 batters he faced in 3 1/3 innings of no-hit ball.
PHILS’ PAINTER HAS SPRAINED ELBOW
Philadelphia Phillies pitching prospect Andrew Painter has a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow.
The Phillies announced Friday that the 19-year-old had undergone an MRI on March 3. A second opinion confirmed the UCL sprain. Painter made his spring training debut on March 1 and said the next day that he felt tenderness in his elbow.
Painter is expected to rest for four weeks from the date of the injury before beginning a light throwing program.
The Phillies selected Painter with the 13th overall pick in the 2021 amateur draft. He went 6-2 with a 1.56 ERA and 155 strikeouts in 103 2/3 innings last season in 22 starts at Class A and Double-A.
SVENSSON, BEZUIDENHOUT SHARE LEAD WITH ROUND 2 HALTED DUE TO WEATHER
If you like an eclectic leaderboard, then The Players Championship is the event for you this season.
World No. 57 Adam Svensson and 81st-ranked Christiaan Bezuidenhout share a two-stroke lead at TPC Sawgrass with Round 2 suspended for the day due to inclement weather.
While two-time major champion Collin Morikawa’s presence in third is no surprise, Ben Griffin’s spot alongside the young superstar certainly is. The rookie left professional golf a couple of years ago to work in the residential mortgage industry. Now he’s sandwiched between Morikawa and Min Woo Lee at 6-under.
World No. 2 Scottie Scheffler is a mainstay on leaderboards weekly, this time joined by Canadian Taylor Pendrith just three shots off the pace.
First-round leader Chad Ramey fell victim to the iconic island green at No. 17, as the 30-year-old found the water twice en route to a quadruple-bogey 7. He’s in a group at 4-under with eight holes left on his round.
A number of superstar names are absent from the top of the leaderboard in Florida – notably Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm.
McIlroy began the day three shots off the projected cut but went the wrong way early in his round
Play will resume early Saturday morning with about three hours of play left in Round 2 before the cut is made and Round 3 begins.
MIKAELA SHIFFRIN GETS HER RECORD 86TH WORLD CUP VICTORY
ARE, Sweden (AP) — Moments after winning her record-tying 86th World Cup race, Mikaela Shiffrin was asked by a Swedish broadcaster to directly address Ingemar Stenmark, the skiing standout who had promised to watch at home on television.
From one great to another, the 27-year-old American spoke to the 66-year-old Swede of her respect for him and the historic mark he set in 1989 that was long thought to be beyond reach.
“No matter what I do, it doesn’t ever compare to what you achieved,” Shiffrin said into the TV6 camera from the lakeside resort. “Maybe I get the 87th victory, maybe not. But for me the biggest dream is to be mentioned in the same sentence as you.”
Shiffrin matched the Swede’s mark by winning a giant slalom on Friday. She can break the record on Saturday in a slalom race. Those are her specialties, just as they were for Stenmark in the 1970s and 80s.
The reverence between the two goes both ways. Stenmark told The Associated Press in an interview last month that Shiffrin is “much better than I was.”
She was certainly good Friday, especially in a standout first run that was the platform for yet another dominating win in her storied career. Her time in the morning sunshine was more than one second faster than her highest-ranked rivals and eventually left her with a lead of 0.58 seconds to defend in second run.
Clearly pleased with her skiing in the opening run, Shiffrin smiled and said “yeah” to herself after seeing her time in the finish area.
“It’s one of the few runs in my life where, while I was skiing it, I was thinking, ‘This is good,’” Shiffrin told TV6.
Shiffrin went out more cautiously under the floodlights in the fast-darkening afternoon, tapping her ski poles together four times in the start hut before setting out with 1.04 seconds in hand over then-leader Federica Brignone.
The lead was cut to 0.57 seconds midway down the slope before Shiffrin skied cleanly in sections where Brignone’s aggressive pushing had led to mistakes. The winning margin was 0.64 seconds.
Shiffrin crossed the finish line and put her hands to her helmet, then to her face and shook her head slowly while taking in the enormity of her achievement.
“This is just a spectacular day. Oh my goodness,” she said in a course-side interview.
It was Shiffrin’s fourth straight wire-to-wire win in World Cup giant slaloms since January. In that time, she also took gold in the event at last month’s world championships in Meribel, France.
“When I was little I would never have believed some day I would be in this position,” Shiffrin later told Swiss broadcaster SRF. “The whole day I was trying not to focus on that.”
Shiffrin’s 86th victory came in her 245th World Cup race, and on the fifth attempt to equal Stenmark’s record since she won her 85th race in January.
“It’s been on my mind. It’s been quite tough to focus the last few weeks,” said Shiffrin, who hugged her mother and coach, Eileen, in the finish area.
Brignone made a theatrical bow toward Shiffrin in the finish-area ceremony. The podium included Olympic champion Sara Hector of Sweden, who finished 0.92 seconds behind in third.
Shiffrin also clinched the season-long World Cup giant slalom title to secure her 15th career crystal globe trophy. She already won her fifth overall World Cup title and the slalom title this season.
Making even more World Cup history Friday, Shiffrin’s 20th career victory in the giant slalom — six of them this season — matched the all-time women’s mark held by Vreni Schneider.
Schneider got her wins between 1984 and 1992. The Swiss racer, like Shiffrin, also has Olympic and world championship gold medals in both giant slalom and slalom.
Shiffrin won her first World Cup race in Are, a slalom in December 2012, and then earned two gold medals at the 2019 worlds at the Swedish resort. It was also where she was due to race again in March 2020 after the death of her father the previous month, but the races were called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’ve had a quite a few different experiences here,” Shiffrin said after her first run on Friday. “I have felt everything you can feel here so it’s special to be back.”
USYK ACCEPTS FURY’S TERMS FOR FIGHT TO BE UNDISPUTED CHAMP
Oleksandr Usyk took to social media on Friday to accept Tyson Fury’s terms for a fight to become undisputed world heavyweight champion.
Time appeared to be running out to arrange a deal between the titleholders for a proposed April 29 fight in London, with Usyk’s promoter, Alex Krassyuk, saying their latest offer — a 60-40 split to the winner — was rejected by Fury and his camp.
That prompted Fury, the WBC champion, to publish a video on Instagram on Friday, saying he would fight only if there was a 70-30 split of earnings from the bout in his favor.
“I see all this talk about boxing fights, that they want 50%, Tyson being greedy,” Fury said. “Where I’m standing: Usyk, you and your team are worth 30%.
“You either take it or leave it.”
Usyk, a Ukrainian former cruiserweight champion who owns the WBA, IBF and WBO belts at heavyweight, responded with his own video on Twitter. He accepted that split and included a caveat about Fury making a donation of 1 million pounds ($1.2 million) to those affected by the war in Ukraine.
“Hey, greedy belly,” Usyk said. “I accept your offer — 70-30 split the fight with you on April 29 at Wembley (Stadium).
“But you will promise to donate to Ukraine immediately after the fight, 1 million pounds. And for every day of your delay you will pay 1% from your purse to Ukrainian people. Deal?”
That appeared to be a riposte to Fury saying he would deduct 1% of the 30% offered to Usyk for every day the Ukrainian boxer doesn’t commit to the fight.
Krassyuk had said Usyk could instead fight British boxer Daniel Dubois, who holds the WBA regular title and is a mandatory challenger for Usyk.
“If you don’t want it, go and fight Daniel Dubois in the Copper Box (in London) and get a few million dollars,” Fury said on Instagram. “If you want to make some real money, come and fight the Gypsy King.”
The last heavyweight to be the undisputed world champion was Lennox Lewis in 1999-2000.
TOP INDIANA NEWS (RELEASES)
GAME PREVIEW: PACERS AT PISTONS
While there’s only about 20 percent of the 2022-2023 regular season schedule remaining, the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons still have plenty of minutes to play against each other.
The two Central Division teams have three more matchups listed on the calendar, starting with the first of two straight in the Motor City on Saturday. Indiana (30-37) will then play at Detroit (15-52) again on Monday before the Pistons come to Indianapolis on April 7.
Detroit has the worst record in the NBA. The Pistons have not won a Central Division (0-11) game his season and are 8-26 at home.
Indiana will face a much different team from the one they took on in October due to both injuries and a trade.
Among the players who have missed significant time this season for the Pistons is Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, who has been out since December and will not return to action after he had surgery to repair a left tibial stress fracture. Cunningham was averaging 19.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists before the injury.
Another key player who has missed significant time for Detroit is former Pacer Bojan Bodanovic, who hasn’t played since March 1 with an Achilles injury and may not return this season. He has recorded 21.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game this season.
Isaiah Stewart, who recorded a double-double against the Pacers in the first matchup, is also expected to miss the remainder of the season due to a shoulder injury.
Since the last matchup between Indiana and Detroit, a 124-115 Blue & Gold victory, the Pistons were also involved in a four-team trade that landed them former Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman and sent Saddiq Bey to the Atlanta Hawks.
Wiseman, in his nine games as a Piston, is averaging 25.8 minutes, 12.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. The seven-footer was the No. 2 pick in the 2020 draft by the Warriors.
In the previous matchup between the longtime conference rivals, Bey had 20 points and 11 rebounds, Cunningham finished with 22 points, four rebounds and four assists and Bogdanovic recorded 16 points and five assists.
The Pacers enter the game coming off a 134-125 overtime win over the Houston Rockets (15-51). Against Houston, the Pacers went up big early before the Rockets stormed back in the fourth quarter to force extra time.
Pacers point guard Tyrese Haliburton scored 12 of his team’s 19 points in overtime and finished with 29 points overall to go along with a career-high 19 assists. Pacers center Myles Turner had 21 points, five rebounds and seven blocks and Jordan Nwora supplied 18 points off the bench for the Blue & Gold.
Also in the winning effort, however, Pacers standout rookie Bennedict Mathurin exited in the first quarter with a right ankle sprain and did not return. Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said postgame he dosen’t expect Mathruin to play either game in Detroit.
Indiana’s offense has been humming as the season sunsets, averaging 126 points per game since the All-Star break. A large part of that can be attributed to enhanced play by Haliburton, who is averaging 27.8 points on 54.6 percent shooting, 13.3 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game during that span.
Detroit, which has lost 10 straight games, is coming off a 113-103 loss to the Charlotte Hornets. The Pistons trailed by eight after the first quarter and were outscored 28-27 in the second and 34-33 in the third before both teams put up 20 points in the final frame.
Jaden Ivey, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft from Purdue, and Wiseman each scored 16 points and Cory Joseph had 17 points in a reserve role.
Detroit shot 44.9 percent in the loss and made just seven 3-pointers total. The Pistons turned the ball over 19 times in the loss.
Pacers: G – Tyrese Haliburton, G – Andrew Nembhard, F – Buddy Hield, F – Aaron Nesmith, C – Myles Turner
Pistons: G – Jaden Ivey, G – Rodney McGruder, F – Marvin Bagley III, F – Isaiah Livers, C – James Wiseman
Pacers: Bennedict Mathurin – questionable (right ankle sprain), Kendall Brown – out (right tibia stress fracture surgery)
Pistons: Bojan Bogdanovic (out – left achilles tendinopathy), Alec Burks – out (sore left foot), Cade Cunningham – out (left tibia stress fracture), Hamidou Diallo – out (rihgt ankle sprain), Isaiah Stewart – out (left shoulder impingement)
Oct. 23, 2022: Three Pacers recorded double-doubles and Mathurin dropped 27 points as the Blue & Gold earned their first win of the season by downing the Pistons 124-115 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
Indiana trailed 35-25 after the first quarter but held the Pistons to 21 points in the second quarter and 23 points in the third – behind three 3-pointers from Mathurin – to build an 88-79 lead going into the final 12 minutes of play.
In the fourth quarter, both teams scored 36 points as the Pacers held on for the win.
All five Pistons starters scored in double figures. Cunningham led the Pistons with 22 points, Bey added 20 points and 11 rebounds and Stewart had 11 points and 17 boards.
After Mathurin, who also had seven rebounds, Haliburton finished with 24 points and 10 assists, Jalen Smith had 19 points and 15 rebounds and Goga Bitadze – who is now with the Orlando Magic – had 14 points and 15 boards.
Indiana held Detroit to 38.9 percent shooting while outrebounding the Pistons 59-53.
Indiana leads the all-time regular season series against Detroit 106-100.
As of Thursday night, the Pacers were 12th in the Eastern Conference and sat 1.5 games behind the final Play-In Tournament berth.
The Pistons won last year’s series against the Pacers 3-1.
Broadcast Information (TV and Radio Listings >>)
TV: Bally Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)
The Pacers return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to host Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, March 18 at 7:00 PM ET.
INDY FUEL HOCKEY
INDY ELEVEN SOCCER
TENTH SEASON KICKS OFF WITH MARQUEE MATCHUP IN THE SUNSHINE STATE
Indy Eleven at Tampa Bay Rowdies
Saturday, March 11, 2023 – 7:30 p.m. ET
Al Lang Stadium – St. Petersburg, Fla.
2022 USL CHAMPIONSHIP REGULAR SEASON RECORDS
Indy Eleven: 12W-17L-5D (-15 GD), 41 pts.; 9th in Eastern Conference
Tampa Bay Rowdies: 20W-7L-7D (+40 GD), 67 pts.; 3rd in Eastern Conference
Last Sunday, the IndyCar circuit began its 2023 campaign by driving around Al Lang Stadium on the streets of St. Petersburg. Six days later, Indy Eleven will rev up its own 2023 season inside the venerable venue against the Tampa Bay Rowdies in one of the marquee match-ups of a crowded USL Championship opening night slate.
For Indy Eleven, Saturday offers a stiff first test for its new-look side against one of the Eastern Conference’s most steady and successful sides in recent years. While Head Coach Mark Lowry has preached during preseason that Week One will not look like a finished product, the insertion of veterans Cam Lindley, Aodhan Quinn and Jack Blake in the midfield; Sebastian Guenzatti at forward; Adrian Diz Pe, Gustavo Rissi, and Younes Boudadi on the backline; and Yannik Oettl between the posts gives the Boys in Blue tons of added Championship experience and poise up and down the pitch – and the ability to take three points out of any contest, regardless of how it may look aesthetically for the time being.
That’s not to discount the offerings of several key returnees, including a loaded corps of attacking players in MVP Solomon Asante, Jonas Fjeldberg (back from his loan with Rio Grande Valley FC), and Juan Tejada. Defenders Jesus Vazquez, Robby Dambrot (ruled out due to injury for the opener), and Mechack Jerome and goalkeeper Tim Trilk also provide experience in Lowry’s system, with all starting at least 11 contests during their debut seasons in the Circle City last year. Additionally, the return of Eleven Academy product Alann Torres from a season-long loan with USL League One’s Forward Madison FC and loan acquisition of Harrison Robledo from FC Cincinnati gives Lowry some young and versatile options to throw into the mix.
If the preseason is any indication, the Boys in Blue will need fresh legs off the bench thanks to a defensive mentality to turn the ball over as high up the field as possible through swarming pressure that starts with the forward line. While Lowry admits the approach may concede space to the opposition at times, it’s a trade-off he’s willing to make since it should also result in an increased number of attacking chances for the Eleven. That will come as a welcome sign for a club that struggled to produce goals and shots a year ago – and bringing on board last season’s top-two chance creators across the Championship in Lindley (99) and Quinn (83) will go a long way on that front as well.
For the Rowdies, Saturday will provide the first chance to overcome some early adversity caused by a preseason Achilles injury to forward Leo Fernandes that will sideline the reigning USL Championship MVP for the entirety of the 2023 season. However, Tampa Bay has plenty of pivotal new pieces of their own to incorporate into their squad, and three of those – Cal Jennings (11g/5a with Las Vegas in 2022), JJ Williams (12g/1a with Tulsa) and Ariel Martinez (9g/1a with Hartford) – with be tasked with picking up the considerable slack left by the absence of Fernandes’ 19g/9a output last year.
On the backline Tampa Bay welcomes a new/familiar face in Forrest Lasso, who rejoins the squad he suited up for in 2020 & ’21 after a stint with Swedish First Division side GIF Sundsvall last year. The two-time USL Championship Defender of the Year joins an already sturdy backline that included 2022 USL All-First Team performer Aaron Guillen and former Boy in Blue Connor Antley. Goalkeeper may be the most up for grabs position on the Rowdies roster, with former Miami FC backstop Connor Sparrow set to battle it out with Phil Breno, who parlayed a season-and-a-half stint with Forward Madison in USL League One into a loan with Tampa Bay for the second half of last year and a permanent contract over the offseason.
To say the Rowdies’ midfield is experienced would be an understatement, as Lewis Hilton, Yann Ekra, and Sebastian Dalgaard, have racked up 57 goals, 60 assists and over 600 appearances across a combined 25 seasons in the USL Championship. The 2023 campaign will mark their fourth season together in Tampa, while more recent additions Jake Areman, who joined the Rowdies last season, and Zach Herivaux, who alternated stints with San Antonio (2017, 2020) and Birmingham Legion (2019, 2021-22) before coming on board this offseason, will provide added veteran heft to that rock-steady troika.
SERIES VS. TAMPA BAY ROWDIES:
All meetings (2014-22): 3W-4L-8D (18 GF/20 GF)
at TBR: 1W-2L-4D (8 GF/11 GA)
USLC regular season (2018-22): 1W-3L-2D (5 GF/9 GA)
at TBR: 0W-2L-1D (2 GF/6 GA)
NASL regular season (2014-16): 2W-1L-6D (13 GF/11 GA)
at TBR: 1W-0L-3D (6 GF/5 GA)
Tampa Bay represents one of the Eleven’s most well-known foes, the squads meeting 15 times since Indy Eleven debuted back in the NASL in 2014; only Louisville City FC (19) and the Carolina Railhawks/North Carolina FC (16) have squared off more times against the Boys in Blue during their previous nine seasons on play.
The Rowdies broke the stalemate in the all-time series in the previous outing last July 30 at Carroll Stadium courtesy of a 3-1 win. Raul Aguilera’s 24th minute opener pushed Indy into the lead, but that was offset by Steevan Dos Santos (32’) and Leo Fernandes (96+’) penalty conversions and a Jordan Scarlett backbreaker just before halftime in between.
Their last meeting at Al Lang Stadium was another early-season affair last March 19, a 2-0 Rowdies victory that saw current Eleven striker Juan Tejada score inside the first minute and assist on Jake LaCava’s 51st insurance goal.
The Eleven’s Sebastian Guenzatti, Juan Tejada, and Jack Blake have all suited up for Tampa Bay to varying degrees over the years.
The most notable homecoming will be for Guenzatti, who became the Rowdies’ career leading scorer with 65 goals (59 regular season, 6 postseason) from 2017-22, during which he also contributed 19 assists in 160 matches in official competitions. The forward led Tampa Bay in scoring in four straight seasons from 2018-21 and played a vital role in the Rowdies’ success in recent years, which included USL Championship Eastern Conference titles in 2020 and 2021, another Conference Championship game appearance in 2022, and the league’s top regular season mark in 2021.
Tejada is no stranger to Al Lang Stadium either, as the Panamanian striker spent three-and-a-half seasons with Tampa Bay prior to his trade to Indy for Nicky Law last July. Tejada tallied 13 goals and 5 assists in 68 USL Championship regular season appearances for Tampa Bay from 2019-22 and also played in five postseason contests.
Blake began his tenure in the USL Championship by originally heading on loan from Lowry’s Jacksonville Armada FC side prior to the 2018 season, a deal that ultimately saw Blake sign a permanent contract with the Rowdies at the start of the season. However, a midseason trade to Real Monarchs SLC saw his time on the Gulf Cost cut short, ending with a goal and two assists in seven appearances for the Nottingham native.
On the flip side, Tampa Bay technically has two former Boys in Blue on their 2023 roster, although only one ever saw the field for Indiana’s Team. That would be defender Connor Antley, who suited up for the Boys in Blue 12 times during the squad’s COVID-shortened 16-game season in 2020. Meanwhile, the Cal Jennings era in the Circle City never got off the ground, as the forward signed with the squad in December 2020 but was turned around via transfer to Major League Soccer’s Los Angles FC in early March 2021.
ELEVEN PLAYER TO WATCH: FW SEBASTIAN GUENZATTI
We could have been nuanced and subtle here, but let’s not overthink things out of the gate. The Uruguayan striker is the obvious choice, and you can’t help but think our friends USL HQ pounced on the chance for an early storyline by sending the Rowdies’ career leading scorer back to Al Lang Stadium for his Eleven debut (which, by all means, we’re here for!).
We’ve already listed Guenzatti’s impressive stats and contributions to Tampa Bay’s success above, so no need to rehash those here (although we failed to mention he enters 2023 tied for 10th place on the league’s career regular season scoring chart with 59 goals, alongside Birmingham’s Enzo Martinez and the retired Cameron Iwasa). The big thing to watch for on Saturday will be to see how quickly he has gelled with his new Eleven running mates … while the preseason offered glimpses, things are just different when you have to kick an opponent in anger for real and three points are on the line. Guenzatti always paired well with whatever firepower was stocked around him during his six seasons in Tampa, and one look at the Indy roster suggests that should be much the same.
INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL
HOOSIERS TOP TERPS, 70-60
CHICAGO – For Indiana, it’s one down, two to go in its quest for its first Big Ten tourney championship.
The No. 3-seeded Hoosiers (22-10) blasted past multiple demons with their 70-60 victory over sixth-seed Maryland Friday night in the quarterfinals at the United Center. It was their first victory in four attempts as a third seed.
That set up Saturday’s semifinal game with No. 10-seed Penn State (21-12), which upset No. 2 Northwestern on Friday.
Stifling second-half defense set up IU’s seventh semifinal appearance in 25 Big Ten tourney appearances. It held Maryland (21-12) to 26 points and 25 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes to avenge a 66-55 loss to the Terps during the regular season.
“Our defense was where it needed to be,” coach Mike Woodson told Voice of the Hoosiers Don Fischer during the post-game radio show.
Forward Trayce Jackson-Davis took charge with 24 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, four blocks and three steals in 38 minutes. He got plenty of help from freshmen Jalen Hood-Schifino (19 points, six rebounds, three blocks, two assists) and Malik Reneau (eight points, 11 rebounds).
Hood-Schifino buried any memories from his 1-for-14 shooting in the first Maryland game by going 8-for-15 while playing all 40 minutes.
“Jalen played great. Trayce played great. It was a total team effort,” Woodson said.
Reneau’s 4-for-9 shooting left Woodson wanting more.
“Malik gave us some positive minutes off the bench,” Woodson told Fischer, “but I’ve got to get him to finish. He missed four to five chippies around the bucket. His body is too big to leave that on the table. He has to finish those.”
IU turned a seven-point second-half deficit into a double-digit advantage by cranking up the defense and forcing Maryland into a series of one-and-done empty possessions.
Oh, and getting a huge dose of Jackson-Davis dominance.
The Hoosiers will get about 17 hours before facing a Penn State team that beat them 85-66 during the regular season.
“We’ve got to get back, break some tape down and get these guys ready for a quick turnaround,” Woodson told Fischer.
Penn State has won seven of its last eight games.
“We can go bombs away from three,” Nittany Lions coach Micah Shrewsberry said. “We can be a great offensive team, but you can’t have that every night. Recently, our defense has been really good. We can guard people and grind out some tough wins.”
IU hit its first five shots and forced two quick Maryland turnovers to bolt to an 11-5 lead. The Hoosiers made just three of their next 12 shots with three turnovers as the Terps rallied for a 24-17 lead.
The Indiana solution — get the ball to Jackson-Davis. He scored three straight points to end a five-minute scoring drought. Still, Maryland pushed ahead by eight before IU closed.
Hood-Schifino kept attacking and scoring en route to 10 first-half points. Jackson-Davis added nine. Reneau took advantage of Race Thompson’s foul trouble to contribute six points and six rebounds in nine minutes.
By halftime, the Hoosiers trailed 34-32 despite a 20-10 edge in points in the paint and 50 percent shooting. The reason — the Terps were 6-for-13 from three-point range.
Reneau and Hood-Schifino sparked a second-half rally for a 44-43 lead. Jackson-Davis extended it with a rebound basket for a three-point play, then a spinning inside basket, then a pair of free throws for a 51-43 advantage with 10 minutes left. Tamar Bates hit a three-pointer to complete the 15-0 run that gave the Hoosiers control at 54-43.
Three IU turnovers gave Maryland a chance. A shot-clock beating Hood-Schifino three-pointer in the final two minutes crushed that chance.
“Maryland played extremely hard,” Woodson told Fischer. “They force you to play hard. I’m glad we don’t have to face them anymore.”
POST GAME PRESS CONFERENCE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rtLBJYqa48
JACKSON-DAVIS NAMED NAISMITH PLAYER OF THE YEAR SEMIFINALIST
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis has been named a semifinalist for the 2023 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year award, the publication announced on Friday afternoon.
Jackson-Davis ended the regular season averaging 20.5 points (2nd among Major Conference players), 11.0 rebounds (4th), 3.8 assists (2nd among players 6’9 and taller), and 2.8 blocks (3rd) per game. His 16 double-doubles ranked fifth among Major Conference performers.
TJD was one of two high-major players (Zach Edey; Purdue) to average at least 20.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game in the regular season.
Since the beginning of 2023, Jackson-Davis has averaged 22.8 points, 12.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 2.8 blocks per game. His rebounding figure marks the second-highest tally in the NCAA during the 18-game stretch.
Over the last 25 years of basketball only Jackson-Davis (Jan. 2023), Tim Duncan, and Shaquille O’Neal have averaged at least 23.0 points, 14.0 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks per game in a calendar month (min. 5 games) in Division I basketball or the NBA.
TJD is the fifth player in Big Ten history to record 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, joining Joe Barry Carroll (Purdue), Ethan Happ (Wisconsin), Greg Kelser (Michigan State), and Herb Williams (Ohio State).
2022-23 NAISMITH PLAYER OF THE YEAR SEMIFINALISTS
Zach Edey, Purdue
Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana
Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA
Keyontae Johnson, Kansas State
Tyler Kolek, Marquette
Brandon Miller, Alabama
Marcus Sasser, Houston
Drew Timme, Gonzaga
Azuolas Tubelis, Arizona
Jalen Wilson, Kansas
The award’s four finalists will be announced on Tuesday, March 21. The Fan Vote to help narrow the list down to the final honoree will open Tuesday, March 21, and close Tuesday, March 28. The fan vote will account for?five percent of the overall final vote. The 2023 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy for Men’s Player of the Year will be awarded on Sunday, April 2 during the Men’s Final Four.
INDIANA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
HOLMES EARNS SPOT ON THE ATHLETIC ALL-AMERICA FIRST-TEAM
BLOOMINTON, Ind. – Senior forward Mackenzie Holmes has earned a spot on The Athletic Women’s Basketball All-America First-Team, as voted on by a panel of the organization’s writers. Holmes also finished third in the player of the year voting.
Holmes was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and All-Big Ten first team in the annual postseason conference awards. The Gorham, Maine native becomes the program’s first defensive player of the year and is now a two-time All-Big Ten selection in her career. She has also been named to the 2023 Lisa Leslie Award finalist and the first Hoosier to appear on the national ballot. She is also a candidate for a variety of other national player of the year awards including 2023 Wooden Award national ballot, 2023 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy semifinalist, 2023 Lisa Leslie Award finalist and 2023 USBWA Ann Meyers Drysdale Player of the Year watch list. She has previously earned All-American honorable mention honors from the Associated Press (2020-21) and WBCA (2021-22).
The Gorham, Maine native averages a team-high 22.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and is one of the nation’s most accurate shooters by going 68.8 percent from the floor. She is second in the nation and leading the Big Ten in field goal percentage, fifth in field goals made (271), seventh in points per game (22.3) and eighth in points scored (670). Holmes has led the Hoosiers in scoring on 24 occasions this season. She has scored in double figures in all3 30 games, scoring 20 points 17 times and has three 30-point scoring efforts this season. Her nine double-doubles leads her teams as six of her double-doubles have occurred in conference play, which ranks eighth all-time in a single season. She led the league in blocks (56) and blocks per game (1.9) and averages 1.1 steals (33) per game. She set a season-high five blocks against Nebraska and Michigan while recording multiple blocks in 14 games. Holmes is now in the top five in scoring in school history (1,875) and second in all-time blocks (206).
IU OBTAINS EIGHT NCAA BIDS ON FRIDAY
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana swimming and diving flexed its muscles during day to at the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships, improving its NCAA diving roster to eight. Four men and four women qualified for the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in their respective events on Friday (March 10) inside the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center.
After five Hoosiers qualified during the opening day on Thursday, three more – freshman Maxwell Weinrich and sophomores Alaina Heyde and Megan Carter – punched their tickets to the national meet Friday afternoon.
Indiana earned half of the automatic qualifying bids on the men’s 3-meter (four of eight) and two-fifths of the spots on women’s 1-meter (four of 10).
Sophomores Carson Tyler (824.10) and Quinn Henninger (821.65) took the top two qualifying spots on the 3-meter springboard. Tyler’s showed his consistency once again with a low dive of 63.00. Henninger posted two dives scoring 80 points or better in the final as the duo confidently qualified in their second event.
Redshirt senior Andrew Capobianco (757.45) ran into some trouble in the prelim, combining for 66.75 points on his third and fourth dives. The veteran and two-time NCAA Champion in the event did well to recover, bookending the round with dives scoring better than 80 points. Capobianco had four 70-point dives in the final as he finished fifth in the running.
Needing a top-eight finish to qualify, Weinrich (740.75) executed a 5154B in the final round to score 74.80 points and improve from ninth to seventh place. The freshman earned his first-career NCAA bid and also qualified on the 1-meter board in the process; his top-12 performance on Thursday initially didn’t qualify but, paired with Friday’s automatic qualifier, now has him into both competitions.
Junior Anne Fowler was again the top performer on the women’s side with a 625.65 score. Sophomore Skyler Liu also earned her second auto bid Friday, placing third with a 603.95 score. Both divers posted dives scoring 50 points or better on five of six dives in the final.
Carter and Heyde both reached their first national championship meet. Carter stuck with the top of the pack all day, totaling 570.15 points for a sixth-place finish. Her best dive came in the final, scoring 54.60 points on a 5333D. Heyde consistently score at least 40 points on 11-of-12 dives and was the ninth of 10 qualifiers with a 541.30 cumulative mark.
NCAA ZONE C CHAMPIONSHIPS RESULTS
1. Carson Tyler – 824.10 (Automatic Qualifier)
2. Quinn Henninger – 821.65 (Automatic Qualifier)
5. Andrew Capobianco – 757.45 (Automatic Qualifier)
7. Maxwell Weinrich – 740.75 (Automatic Qualifier)
20. William Jansen – 280.10
1. Anne Fowler – 625.65 (Automatic Qualifier)
3. Skyler Liu – 603.95 (Automatic Qualifier)
6. Megan Carter – 570.15 (Automatic Qualifier)
9. Alaina Heyde – 541.30 (Automatic Qualifier)
27. Morgan Casey – 239.25
The NCAA Zone C Diving Championships will conclude Saturday (March 11) as both the men and women complete in the platform diving event. The contest will begin at 11 a.m. ET, with the men kicking things off.
INDIANA WOMEN’S TENNIS
HOOSIERS HANDLE SCARLET KNIGHTS ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON, 6-2
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana women’s tennis (9-4) defeated Rutgers (8-3) on Friday, 6-1, at the IU Tennis Center.
Indiana got off to a great start in doubles play when it won at No. 3 and No. 1 doubles to go up 1-0 prior to singles play.
The Hoosiers took that momentum into singles to win by dominant fashion. Redshirt0junior Rose Hu, graduate Saby Nihalani and freshman Nicole Teodosescu won at No. 6, 2, 5 singles, respectively to clinch the win.
Indiana redshirt-junior Mila Mejic and sophomore Lara Schneider closed out the match with wins of their own and secured the 6-1 final score.
IU improved to 9-4 on the season and 6-2 at the IU Tennis Center.
INDIANA 6, RUTGERS 1
Lara Schneider (IU) def. Jackeline Lopez (RU) 6-3, 2-6, 7-5
Saby Nihalani (IU) def. Tara Chilton (RU) 7-5, 6-4
Amira Badawi (RU) def. Alex Staiculescu (IU) 3-6, 7-5, 6-4
Mila Mejic (IU) def. Mai Nguyen (RU) 6-2, 5-7, 6-4
Nicole Teodosescu (IU) def. Arina Valitova (RU) 7-5,4-6, 6-4
Rose Hu (IU) def. Chloe Brown (RU) 6-1, 6-1
Lara Schneider/Saby Nihalani (IU) def. Mai Nguyen/Tara Chilton (RU) 6-3
Mila Mejic/Nicole Teodosescu (IU) vs. Jackeline Lopez/Arina Valitova (RU) 5-5 unfinished
Alex Staiculescu/Rose Hu (IU) def. Amira Badawi/Minchae Kim (RU) 6-2
ORDER OF FINISH
Singles: 6, 2, 5, 4, 3, 1
Doubles: 3, 1, unfinished
The Hoosiers will take on Maryland tomorrow at noon at the IU Tennis Center.
PROIU: FORMER HOOSIERS ON USL, MLS NEXT ROSTERS
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — With the Major League Soccer season in full swing, 10 more Hoosiers are set to begin new seasons in domestic leagues.
The United Soccer League (USL) Championship is slated to kick off Saturday (March 11), with six Hoosiers rostered among its teams. Notably, goalkeeper Trey Muse has joined former IU teammate Joe Schmidt by signing with the Charleston Battery over the offseason. Schmidt is in his second year with the club. Four former Hoosiers are with new USL Championship clubs, while Rece Buckmaster remains at Memphis 901 FC.
A week later, on March 17, USL League One will begin its 2023 campaign with two IU alums in the league. After an outstanding redshirt senior season, 2023 first-team All-Big Ten honoree Ryan Wittenbrink will start his professional soccer career with the Northern Colorado Hailstorm. Joining him in League One is Timmy Mehl for Forward Madison FC (Wisconsin), his fifth season in pro soccer.
Three Hoosiers are rostered with MLS affiliates in MLS NEXT Pro. Another member of the 2022 NCAA National Runner-up squad, Nyk Sessock signed with Inter Miami II after graduation. Josh Penn moved from Chicago Fire FC II to Portland Timbers II while AJ Palazzolo has settled in at his hometown St. Louis CITY SC II. The league has not announced a start date.
The full breakdown of former Hoosiers in the USL and MLS NEXT Pro can be found below.
MLS NEXT Pro
Josh Penn – Portland Timbers II
AJ Palazzolo – St. Louis CITY SC II
Nyk Sessock – Inter Miami II
Richard Ballard – Detroit City FC
Rece Buckmaster – Memphis 901 FC
Jacob Bushue – Las Vegas Lights
Dylan Mares – Louisville City FC
Trey Muse – Charleston Battery
Joe Schmidt – Charleston Battery
USL League One
Ryan Wittenbrink – Northern Colorado Hailstorm
Timmy Mehl – Forward Madison
INDIANA TRACK AND FIELD
MEN’S DMR TAKES 5TH, FERNANDEZ-SOLA 9TH AT NCAA INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Men’s Distance Medley Relay has been a staple of the Ron Helmer tenure at Indiana. It’s a legacy event in Bloomington.
In his final indoor meet as a collegiate coach, the Hoosiers added one more big performance to a career littered with outstanding relay teams.
IU’s quartet of Camden Marshall, Shaton Vaughn, Parker Raymond and Jake Gebhardt battled an all-star field of runners to score a fifth-place finish in 9:33.32. Originally sixth, the Hoosiers were bumped up a spot after Tennessee was disqualified.
Marshall opened the relay, covering 1200 meters in 2:56.29. Vaughn split 47.22 on the 400-meter leg with Raymond carrying in 1:49.26 at 800 meters. Gebhardt passed North Carolina and Arkansas on the anchor leg to pull the Hoosiers into the top half of the field.
Across 16 seasons as head coach in Bloomington, Helmer has sent 13 men’s DMR teams to the national meet and has scored in 11 of them. His team in 2020 was projected to score before the meet was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was the seventh top-5 finish at the national meet for the Hoosiers in the event under Helmer. IU was top-5 in four-consecutive years from 2011-2014 and then again in 2017 and 2019.
On the women’s side, Paola Fernandez-Sola made her first career collegiate final with her appearance in the final section of the Long Jump.
She entered the final round in seventh place but finished ninth (6.39m/20-11.75) on tie-breaking criteria. Pittsburgh’s Ilse Steigenga recorded an equal mark but finished in eighth due to a better second jump in the series.
Fernandez-Sola becomes the first All-American indoors in the Women’s Long Jump since Rose Richmond finished second in 2003. She is one of just three All-Americans indoors in the event in program history, joining Richmond and DeDee Nathan (1988 and 1999).
She was one of two athletes in the event to record a clean mark on all six attempts and matched her personal best on the opening jump of the series.
Despite entering the meet seeded 16th in the nation, Fernandez-Sola outperformed her qualifying position by seven spots.
Jayden Ulrich will close out IU’s time at the NCAA Indoor Championships tomorrow afternoon in the Women’s Shot Put at 6:00 PM EST/4:00 PM MST.
PURDUE MEN’S BASKETBALL
TOP-SEEDED BOILERMAKERS ADVANCE TO SATURDAY SEMIFINALS WITH WIN OVER RUTGERS
CHICAGO — Zach Edey was surrounded inside, and freshmen Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer were in the middle of a rough day.
That’s when Mason Gillis and David Jenkins Jr. stepped up for No. 5 Purdue.
Gillis had 20 points on 7-for-8 shooting, and the Boilermakers held off Rutgers for a rugged 70-65 victory in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals on Friday.
With Edey drawing his usual attention, top-seeded Purdue (27-5) got a big lift from Gillis and Jenkins. Gillis grabbed nine rebounds, and Jenkins had a season-high 12 points.
“These guys right here stepped up and made big shots,” coach Matt Painter said of Gillis and Jenkins. “David made three 3s. Mason had a huge game. That’s what you’ve got to be able to do.”
Jenkins, a senior who played for South Dakota State, UNLV and Utah before transferring to Purdue, made each of his four shots in 20 minutes. He scored a total of 15 points over his previous six games.
“I just try to do what I can,” Jenkins said. “When my number is called, I’m going to stay ready.”
The 7-foot-4 Edey finished with 16 points and 11 boards. The Big Ten Player of the Year averaged 21.9 points and 12.8 rebounds during the regular season.
Derek Simpson scored 18 points for Rutgers (19-14), which advanced with a 62-50 win against Michigan on Thursday. Cam Spencer had 13 points, and Clifford Omoruyi finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.
Next up for Purdue is 13th-seeded Ohio State, which beat Michigan State 68-58 in the second quarterfinal of the day. The Boilermakers are looking for the school’s second Big Ten Tournament title and a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA tourney.
“We have put together a team that has elite size, but then we have a lot of skill around it,” Painter said. “That’s something for me that we’ve just got to stay with, but then we’ve got to be grimy and tough on the defensive end.”
The loss puts the Scarlet Knights on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament, but they think they’ve done enough to get in for the third straight season for the first time in the history of the program.
“We don’t take the backseat to nobody,” guard Caleb McConnell said. “I feel like March Madness deserves to see us play in it, and I feel like that’s what they’ll get.”
Rutgers had won five of its last six meetings with Purdue, including a 65-64 victory on Jan. 2. But the Scarlet Knights struggled to score down the stretch, shooting 40% (14 for 35) from the field in the second half.
After Simpson’s 3-pointer trimmed Purdue’s lead to 50-49 with 8:29 left, Ethan Morton responded with two foul shots for the Boilermakers. Edey then dunked off a pass from Morton and Braden Smith made a jumper to make it 56-49 with 5:40 to go.
Edey added two more free throws and a jumper that lifted Purdue to a 60-52 lead with 3:21 to go.
“We knew it was going to be a grind-it-out, physical game and it was,” Edey said.
The Boilermakers went 19 for 27 at the line, compared to 9 for 13 for the Scarlet Knights. McConnell fouled out, and Rutgers was whistled for 26 personal fouls.
“We were in foul trouble the whole night,” Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell said. “Two really physical teams, really physical teams. I guess we got caught more than they did.”
Bothered by Rutgers’ swarming defense, Purdue got off to a shaky start. The Boilermakers trailed by as many as 12 in the first half before rallying behind Edey and Gillis.
Edey converted two three-point plays — including a vicious jam inside — and Gillis made a 3-pointer in the final seconds, lifting Purdue to a 29-28 halftime lead. Gillis had 10 points at the break on 4-for-4 shooting.
Rutgers fought hard all the way to the very end, but couldn’t catch the experienced Boilermakers. It was outrebounded by a 35-28 margin.
Purdue split its last eight games of the regular season. It’s looking to become the first No. 1 seed to win the Big Ten tourney since 2019.
POST GAME PRESS CONFERENCE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb7R6UL833A
Purdue advanced to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals for the second straight year with a 70-65 win over Rutgers at Chicago’s United Center on Friday afternoon.
The Boilermakers will be making their ninth semifinal appearance on Saturday, owning a 5-3 record. Purdue has won its last three semifinal games entering tomorrow’s contest with No. 13-seed Ohio State.
Purdue is looking for its fourth championship game appearance in the last seven seasons.
Purdue also won for just the second time in the last seven meetings against Rutgers, now having won two of the last three games with Scarlet Knights.
Purdue fell behind 17-5, six-and-a-half minutes into the game. Over the next 30 minutes, Purdue outscored Rutgers 61-40, before settling in for a 70-65 victory.
Since the start of last season, Purdue is now 56-13 (.812), the fourth-most wins in the country in that span. The Boilermakers are now just one win from the school record for most wins in a two-year span.
Purdue won its 10th quad-1 game with the victory over Rutgers, the first non-Big 12 team with 10 quad-1 victories. Purdue is 10-4 in quad-1 games and 17-5 overall in quad-1 and quad-2 games. The 17 wins are the second-most nationally.
Purdue is 13-5 against KenPom top-50 teams, the most wins nationally against KenPom top-50 teams.
Purdue is now 5-0 in neutral-site games, including 4-0 in NBA arenas (Gonzaga, Duke, Davidson, Rutgers).
Purdue won its 22nd straight game when shooting a higher field goal percentage than its opponent.
Mason Gillis scored 20 points with nine rebounds and an assist. It marked his second 20-point game of his career (29 vs. Penn State).
Zach Edey recorded his 24th double-double of the season with 16 points, 11 rebounds, one assist and a block. Edey now has 1,450 points and surpassed 800 rebounds for his career in the win over Rutgers.
David Jenkins Jr., scored 12 points off the bench, going 4-of-4 from the field and 3-of-3 from long range. He now has 1,972 points and 346 career 3-pointers.
#5 PURDUE READY FOR SEMIFINAL SATURDAY SHOWDOWN WITH OHIO STATE
Saturday, March 11, 2023 | 1 p.m. ET, Noon CT
 Purdue (27-5) vs.  Ohio State (16-18)
Chicago, Illinois | United Center (20,917)
TELEVISION: CBS | RADIO: Purdue Sports Network
ANNOUNCERS: Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery, Grant Hill, Tracy Wolfson
THE NOTES TO KNOW
• After a gritty, come-from-behind victory over Rutgers in Friday’s quarterfinals, the top-seeded Boilermakers look to reach the Big Ten Championship game for the second straight season when it battles Ohio State in Saturday’s semifinals. A win would give Purdue its fourth title-game appearance in the last seven tournaments played (2016, 2018, 2022).
• Purdue leads the all-time series with Ohio State by a 93-92 advantage. Entering the season, Ohio State was the only Big Ten team with a winning record over the Boilermakers, but a pair of regular-season wins (71-69 in Columbus; 82-55 in West Lafayette) has given Purdue the lead. After being just 5-15 against Ohio State in his first 20 games, Matt Painter is 10-4 in the last 14 meetings (since the 2014-15 season).
• The last time Purdue beat a team three times in one season came in 2018 (Rutgers, 3-0). The Boilermakers, which defeated Rutgers in Friday’s quarterfinals, also defeated the Scarlet Knights in the 2018 quarterfinals to give them the three-game sweep. The only other time with a three-game season sweep came in 1998 (Illinois, 3-0).
• Head coach Matt Painter has finished in the top three of the Big Ten standings in seven of the last nine seasons. His 11 top-three finishes are the sixth most in Big Ten history, while his four Big Ten titles are tied for the ninth most in league history (sixth since 1950).
• Zach Edey became Purdue’s fifth Big Ten Player of the Year in school history, joining Caleb Swanigan (2017), JaJuan Johnson (2011), Glenn Robinson (1994) and Steve Scheffler (1990) as recipients. Edey became the fifth player in Big Ten history to win the league scoring title, be a conference champion and win POY honors (Swanigan, Evan Turner, Robinson, Jim Jackson).
• Purdue is 56-13 since the start of last season. The 56 wins over a two-year span are tied for the second most in school history and Purdue needs just one win to tie the record for most wins in a two-year span (57 in 2017, 2018). Iowa is second among Big Ten teams with 45 wins.
• Purdue’s 10 quad-1 wins (at the time of the printing of these notes) are tied for the fourth-most nationally, and Purdue’s 17 quad-1 and quad-2 wins combined are second nationally (Kansas – 20). The Boilermakers’ 13 wins away from Mackey Arena are the most among power-conference squads. Purdue tied a school record with seven Big Ten road victories — the most in the league this season.
• Purdue is 13-5 against KenPom top-50 teams (most wins nationally). Zach Edey is averaging 23.1 PPG, 12.1 RPG and 2.1 BPG in those games.
• Zach Edey has tied Caleb Swanigan (2016-17) for third on the school’s career double-doubles list with 36.
• Fletcher Loyer and Braden Smith have started all 32 games, the second most by a freshman in Purdue history.
• Purdue is now 5-0 in neutral-site games, including 4-0 in NBA arenas (Gonzaga, Duke, Davidson, Rutgers).
• Purdue won its 22nd straight game when shooting a higher field goal percentage than its opponent with the win over Rutgers.
• Mason Gillis scored 20 points with nine rebounds and an assist. It marked his second 20-point game of his career (29 vs. Penn State).
• Zach Edey recorded his 24th double-double of the season with 16 points, 11 rebounds, one assist and a block. Edey now has 1,450 points and surpassed 800 rebounds for his career in the win over Rutgers.
• David Jenkins Jr., scored 12 points off the bench, going 4-of-4 from the field and 3-of-3 from long range. He now has 1,972 points and 346 career 3-pointers.
• Purdue has been ranked in the AP top 5 in 15 straight weeks, more than double the longest stretch in school history. Since the start of last season, Purdue has been ranked in the top 5 in 27 weeks, six more weeks than the next-closest team (Gonzaga).
• Purdue is in search of its fourth No. 1 seed in school history, previously earning the No. 1 seed in 1988, 1994 and 1996. In addition, Zach Edey is the leader to earn consensus National Player of the Year accolades. The last time Purdue earned a No. 1 seed, it was led by its last consensus National Player of the Year recipient, Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson.
EDEY NAMED FINALIST FOR KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR AWARD
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Zach Edey has become the fourth player in school history to be named a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, given annually to the nation’s top center, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced today.
Edey joins A.J. Hammons (2016), Isaac Haas (2018) and Trevion Williams (2021) as players that have been named finalists for the award. No Boilermaker has won the award and only one player, Carsen Edwards (Jerry West – 2018), has won a position award handed out by the Hall of Fame.
Edey has already won National Player of the Year honors by The Sporting News and Big Ten Player of the Year accolades after helping Purdue to a Big Ten regular-season title and a No. 1 national ranking for seven weeks. He becomes Purdue’s first recipient of National Player of the Year honors since Glenn Robinson in 1994.
Earlier this week, Edey joined an exclusive list of Boilermakers to win the Big Ten Player of the Year, joining the late Caleb Swanigan (2017), JaJuan Johnson (2011), Glenn Robinson (1994) and Steve Scheffler (1990) as winners of the league’s top honor.
Edey was also named to the Sporting News’ first-team All-America squad. Should he be named All-American by the AP, the USBWA and NABC in the next few weeks, Edey would become Purdue’s fourth consensus All-American in the last seven years, joining Swanigan (2017), Carsen Edwards (2019) and Jaden Ivey (2022).
Edey, a 7-foot, 4-inch center from Toronto, currently averages 21.9 points, 12.8 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and 1.5 assists per game while shooting almost 60 percent from the field and nearly 75 percent from the free throw line – ranking eighth nationally in scoring and second in rebounds. He also leads the country with 23 double-doubles.
He is one of just two Big Ten players in the last 30 years (Michigan’s Chris Webber) to have at least 600 points, 350 rebounds and 50 blocked shots and is on pace to become the first player since Navy’s David Robinson in 1985-86 to have at least 750 points, 450 rebounds and 50 blocked shots in a season.
His nine games of 25 points and 10 rebounds are the most for a major-college player since the 2006-07 season behind just Luke Harangody, Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant. Lastly, he is on pace to become the first Big Ten player in over 50 years to average 22.0 points and 13.0 rebounds per game in a season.
Edey became the second player in Big Ten history and the first since Ohio State’s Gary Bradds in 1963-64 to lead the league in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage, and he is one of just nine players (Blake Griffin, Ike Diogu, Antawn Jamison, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal, Bill Walton, Lew Alcindor, Gary Bradds) to lead a major-college conference in all three categories in NCAA history. Griffin was the last to do so in 2009.
Edey has also been named a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award.
SOFTBALL PICKS UP DOUBLEHEADER VS. INDIANA STATE
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue softball team will be turning its home opener vs. Indiana State on Tuesday, March 21 into a double-header. Games will now start at 3 p.m. and approximately 5:30 p.m. ET, or 30 minutes following the first game.
The Boilermakers add the game in response to two being cancelled during Week One’s tournament at Florida State due to weather. The games will be streamed on B1G+.
Purdue Athletics is excited to offer free admission to Boilermaker Softball games beginning with the 2023 season at Bittinger Stadium. Softball joins Cross Country, Men’s and Women’s Golf, Soccer, Swimming & Diving, Men’s and Women’s Tennis, Track & Field and Wrestling as non-ticketed sporting events at Purdue.
VANOS FINISHES 11TH AT NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Fifth-year Johnny Vanos of the Purdue track & field team finished 11th overall in the weight throw at the 2023 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Friday night.
Competing at his first NCAA Championships, Vanos earned Second Team All-America accolades. It is the first All-America honors of his collegiate career.
Vanos placed 11th overall with a throw of 21.88 meters, a mark that came on his first of three attempts. He entered the meet seeded No. 15 overall. The top 16 competitors in the country qualified for the championship meet, and the top nine throwers after three rounds advanced to the final.
A native of Forest, Ontario, Canada, Vanos qualified for the national championships after a silver-medal-winning performance at the Big Ten Championships on February 24. His throw of 22.12m ranks No. 2 in school history. Both the Big Ten medal and the NCAA berth is Vanos’ first, indoors or outdoors, in his five-year Boilermaker career.
Vanos was the first Boilermaker thrower to qualify for the indoor championships since 2019.
Up next for Vanos and Purdue is the outdoor track & field season, which commences in one week. The Boilermaker sprinters, jumpers and throwers will compete at the Hurricane Invitational from March 17-18 to conclude a week-long training trip in Miami, Florida. Meanwhile, Purdue’s distance runners will race at the Blizzard Buster in Oxford, Ohio, on March 17.
SOUTHEAST MISSOURI WINS GAME ONE OVER BUTLER 8-0
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Southeast Missouri scored five of their eight runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take an 8-0 win over Butler on Friday night. The Bulldogs were limited to four hits and are now 2-12 on the season.
Scott Jones, Kollyn All, Evan Parks and Dominic Milano all had one hit against the Redhawks. Noah Niznik was hitting his spots as the SEMO ace. He tossed seven full innings and struck out nine Bulldogs while only issuing one walk. Gavin Johnston tossed the final two innings and only gave up one hit.
Cory Bosecker took the loss and Cade Thune would come in to provide relief. Just three of the seven runs Bosecker allowed were earned. He had six strikeouts and Thune added two.
Aranda opened up the scoring in the fourth with a solo home run. He would come around to score again in the fifth off a wild pitch. The fourth and fifth innings were the difference in the outcome. SEMO capitalized on a BU error in the fourth and a two RBI double from Resetich moved the advantage to 5-0.
Insurance runs for the home team came in the fifth and six to take us to the final score of 8-0.
BUTLER MEN’S GOLF
DICKEY BREAKS BUTLER SINGLE-ROUND RECORD AS BULLDOGS TIE FOR SACRED HEART INVITATIONAL CROWN
Butler sophomore Damon Dickey set a single-round scoring record for the Bulldogs Friday on his way to medalist honors at the Sacred Heart Spring Invitational.
Dickey carded an eight-under 64 on the 6,959-yard LPGA International Jones Course in Daytona Beach, Fla. Dickey used an eagle and four birdies to post 30 (-6) on the front nine before adding a pair of birdies on back nine. He finished the 36-hole event at eight-under 136 after shooting even-par 72 in Thursday’s first round.
Dickey was one of three Bulldogs at the top of the leaderboard. Raymond Sullivan, playing as an individual, finished second; he was followed by freshman Connor McNeely in third.
The 64 by Dickey Friday breaks Butler’s single-round scoring mark for a par-72 course. Three Bulldogs had previously posted four scores of six-under 66, most recently by Michael Cascino in the opening round of the 2021 BIG EAST Men’s Golf Championship. The list also includes Clyde McEntire at the 1950 Mid-American Conference Championship and Jeff Chapman, who did it twice during the fall of 2001.
Dickey’s opening-round 72 had him in a tie for 17th after the first round and four shots off the pace of 18-hole leaders Nick Holder (Purdue Fort Wayne) and Brendan Dunphy (Longwood). His Friday round was five shots better than everyone in the field with teammates Sullivan and McNeely the two who posted three-under 69s.
In a similar fashion, the Bulldogs also made a move up the leaderboard as a team. Entering the day in fifth place and seven shots off the lead of Purdue Fort Wayne, Butler climbed into a tie for first behind a six-under score of 282. Combined with the team’s three-over 291 Thursday, the Bulldogs finished at 573 (-3) alongside Purdue Fort Wayne. Longwood and Howard tied for third at 579 (+3).
Sullivan’s 69 Friday included six birdies. His opening round Thursday included five birdies as he posted a 70. He finished at five-under 139.
Both McNeely and Daniel Tanaka registered 71s (-1) Thursday, placing them in a tie for tenth individually. McNeely followed that effort with a Friday 69. Four of his five birdies from the round came on the back nine. He finished at four-under 140 and in a three-way tie for third individually.
Tanaka shot 75 Friday to finish in a tie for 17th at two-over 146.
Freshman Leo Zurovac improved his score by three strokes from Thursday to Friday, carding a two-over 74 in the final round. He finished at seven-over 151 and tied for 32nd. He moved up 12 spots individually Friday.
Henry Quinn finished in a tie for 63rd at 159 (+15).
The Bulldogs return to action later this month, hosting the Don Benbow Butler Spring Invitational March 27 and 28 at the team’s home course, Highland Golf Club.
BUTLER WOMEN’S TENNIS
BUTLER WOMEN’S TENNIS CAPS SPRING BREAK WITH 7-0 WIN OVER VILLANOVA
The Bulldogs concluded a perfect week of Spring Break with their third consecutive victory over a BIG EAST foe as Butler took down Villanova, 7-0, Friday afternoon.
Butler opened the week at the USTA National campus in Florida with wins over Seton Hall and Creighton. The Bulldogs are now 6-9 on the season and have won four straight matches. The team is 3-1 in BIG EAST play this spring.
Butler took the doubles point Friday over Villanova with a pair of 6-3 wins on courts 1 and 3. That momentum carried over to singles play as the Bulldogs took all six matches in straight sets.
The Bulldogs will return to action a week from today, traveling to Miami (Ohio) for a 1 p.m. first serve on Friday, March 17.
Natalie Boesing (Butler) def. Emma Brogan, 6-1, 6-0
Delaney Schurhamer (Butler) def. Emi Callahan, 6-1, 6-2
Chase Metcalf (Butler) def. Maggie Gehrig, 6-4, 6-3
Norah Balthazor (Butler) def. Valieriia Kornieva, 6-2, 6-1
Katie Beavin (Butler) def. Bella Steffen, 6-2, 6-1
Emma Beavin (Butler) def. Caitlin Fisher, 6-0, 6-1
Boesing/Metcalf (Butler) def. Brogan/Kornieva, 6-3
Schurhamer/Bruetting (Butler) and Callahan/Gehrig were tied, 4-4 (unfinished)
Balthazor/Schildcrout (Butler) def. Steffen/Rivera-Gonzalez, 6-3
IUPUI MEN’S TENNIS
MEN’S TENNIS FALLS TO NO. 65 CREIGHTON, 7-0
ORLANDO – The IUPUI men’s tennis team was upended by No. 65 Creighton at the USTA National Campus in Orlando on Friday (Mar. 10), falling to the Bluejays by a 7-0 score. Creighton (9-3) won the doubles point before taking care of business across the six singles matches in the win.
Alex Jochim was the only Jaguar able to split sets in singles play, doing so at the No. 1 spot against Creighton’s Matthew Lanahan.
In doubles play, Creighton won at No. 2 and No. 3 while Jochim and Tom Ciszewski were deadlocked at 4-4 at the No. 1 spot when play ceased.
Jochim picked up the first set at No. 1 singles by a 6-3 score before falling in a tiebreaker in set two, 7-6 (7-4). He then fell in the third, 10-4, in the loss. Kamil Kozerski, the reigning Horizon League Singles Player of the Week, lost a tough first set 7-6 (7-4) before succumbing in set two at the No. 3 spot in the lineup to Creighton’s Alejandro Gandini.
Tom Ciszewski lost at No. 2 singles 6-3, 6-1 and Colton Morehart lost at No. 4, 6-1, 6-3. Nate Day was defeated at No. 5 6-2, 6-2 and Eli Mercer lost at No. 6, 7-5, 6-2.
The Jaguars will continue training during the trip and will face a pair of opponents on Sunday when they play Fairfield at 8:00 a.m. and Lehigh at 3:00 p.m.
BALL STATE WBASKETBALL
WBB FALLS TO BOWLING GREEN IN MAC TOURNEY SEMIFINALS
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Ball State women’s basketball team turned in an all-around strong performance but ultimately was unable to move past second-seeded Bowling Green, losing the contest 70-61 Friday afternoon in the semifinal round of the 2023 Mid-American Conference Tournament in Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
As to be expected, the Cardinals and the Falcons had a back-and-forth affair in the opening quarter which saw the game knotted 18-18 after the first quarter of play.
It was Ball State though that outpaced Bowling Green in second frame action. First Team All-MAC selection Anna Clephane put on a show for the Cardinals with some driving layups which were accompanied by defensive plays to put BSU up 27-18 at the 5:47 mark. BSU’s defense was gave BGSU some major fits which turned into some Falcon miscues that helped the Cardinals’ success.
Ball State would end up outscoring Bowling Green 16-13 to take a 34-31 advantage over Bowling Green at intermission.
After the break, the Falcons were able to control the ball and make some crucial baskets while giving the Cardinals a run for their money on defense. BGSU won the scoring battle in the third frame 19-7, which allowed the Falcons to take a 50-44 edge over the Cardinals heading into the final 10 minutes of regulation.
Intensity was high in the final quarter with Bowling Green having a 10-point lead at the five-minute mark. Ball State kept battling and slowly made its way back into the contest. A clutch basket from sophomore Marie Kiefer got the Cardinals back on track, but the Falcons prevailed down the stretch to seal their fate by advancing the to championship game.
For the game, Clephane led the Cardinals again in scoring with 20 points while Second Team All-MAC honoree Ally Becki finished the day with 11. All-MAC Honorable Mention selection Thelma Dis Agustsdottir chipped in with another 10 points.
The third-seeded Cardinals (25-8) will now await their fate for a postseason bid after falling to the Falcons (27-5).
BALL STATE BASEBALL
CARDINALS BUCK BRONCOS IN MAC OPENER
MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State baseball team returned to the friendly confines of the Ball Diamond at First Merchants Ballpark on Friday for the Mid-American Conference opener. Ryan Peltier launched his sixth home run of the season and Trennor O’Donnell earned his first win of the season, as the Cardinals defeated the Broncos 11-3.
The Cardinals improved to 9-5 overall and 1-0 in MAC play, while the Broncos fell to 3-9 overall and 0-1 in league games.
The Broncos got on the board first with two runs in the top of the third.
Justin Conant singled to the shortstop to lead off the bottom of the third. Adam Tellier followed with a singled to right center and advanced Conant to second. Peltier cut the deficit in half with an RBI single through the left side and scored Conant from second. Tellier and Peltier moved up on a wild pitch. Matthew Rivera followed with a walk to load the bases. Casey Turturici notched a single to center field, which allowed Tellier to score. Hunter Dobbins recorded a sac fly to right center to put the Cardinals up 3-2.
Decker Scheffler followed with a triple to right center and added two more runs. Blake Bevis doubled to left center and drove in Scheffler. Conant picked up his second hit of the inning with a double to right center and traded places with Bevis. Ball State took a 7-2 lead into the fourth inning.
Conant singled and advanced to third on a throwing error by the third baseman to start the bottom of the sixth. Nick Gregory drew a walk. Tellier dropped down a perfect bunt for a single to load the bases. Peltier reached on a fielder’s choice as Conant was out at home. Rivera singled up the middle and drove in two runs. Turturici notched an RBI single through the right side. The Cardinals extended their lead to 10-2 after six innings in the books.
Western Michigan added a run in the top of the seventh and cut the deficit to 10-3.
Peltier pelted his sixth homer on the year with a solo shot to right field. Logan Schulfer picked up his first save of the year in three innings of relief as BSU knocked off WMU 11-3.
O’Donnell got the start and went six innings in the winning effort. He struck out five batters and surrendered just two runs, one earned. He walked three batters and scattered four hits. Schulfer struck out four batters. He gave up one earned run on three hits.
Brady Miller got the start and went five innings for the Broncos. He fell to 0-2 on the season. He stuck out six batters and gave up eight earned runs. Joe Shapiro added an inning in relief and gave up two earned runs. Nolan Vlcek stuck out one in one inning of relief. Drew Szczepaniak added an inning in relief with two strikeouts.
The Cardinals return to the Ball Diamond at First Merchants Ballpark Complex on Saturday for game two of the three-game series with the Broncos. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.
BALL STATE SWIMMING
BLAKE LEADS DIVING ON DAY 2 OF NCAA ZONE C CHAMPIONSHIPS
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – – Senior Wyatt Blake led the Ball State diving program on the second day of the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships, placing 23rd overall on the 3M board with a score of 257.50.
Blake turned in five dives of 42.00 points or higher, led by his forward 2 ½ somersault with one twist pike which netted 49.50 points to open the day.
Porter Brovont closed out his freshman campaign with a 26th-place finish on 3M, scoring 246.00. His best dive was his third, a forward 3 1/2 somersault tuck which scored 46.20.
On the women’s side, sophomore Ashleigh Provan turned in another strong effort, placing 28th among the 55 competitors on 1M with a score of 234.40. Her fifth dive was her best, as she scored 46.00 points on a back 1 ½ somersault pike.
Maddy Hischer completed her freshman season by placing 44th on 1M with a score of 212.10. Hischer’s fourth dive was her best, as she earned 43.20 points with a reverse 1 ½ somersault pike.
Today’s effort in the diving well closed the competitive season for the Ball State swimming & diving programs.
NOTRE DAME BASEBALL
SCHEDULE CHANGE: DOUBLE HEADER SET FOR SATURDAY
Due to inclement weather in the forecast for Sunday, March 12, the Notre Dame and Georgia Tech weekend series schedule has been changed. The second and third games of the series will now be played as a doubleheader on Saturday, March 11, beginning at 2 p.m. Friday’s 6 p.m. first pitch remains unchanged.
The second game of the doubleheader will begin approximately 45 minutes after the first game is completed with the stadium being cleared in-between contests.
Tickets for Sunday’s game will be honored for the second game on Saturday.
NOTRE DAME WLAX
GAME 6 PREVIEW: SYRACUSE
SOUTH BEND, Ind.- The No. 12 Fighting Irish are on the road again as they travel to take on the No. 2 ranked Syracuse Orange.
#12 NOTRE DAME vs. #2 Syracuse
Date/Time: Saturday, March 11 — 12:00 p.m.
Location: Syracuse, NY
Live Stream: ACCN
Live Stats: Click Here
Twitter Updates: @NDWomensLax
For a more in-depth look at the matchup – Game Notes: Notre Dame
The No. 12 Irish will pack up and travel to take on No. 2 Syracuse iat the JMA Wireless Dome.
Live stats will be available for the contest as well as a the game being aired on the ACC Network.
The attacking trio of Choma, Ahern, and Wolak combine for 67 of the 115 Irish points.
While the draw count was even at 12 a piece, the Irish held the national leader in draw controls, Maddie Jenner, to only four in the matchup against Duke.
THE NOTRE DAME- SYRACUSE SERIES
The Irish and Orange will be meeting for the 30th time on Saturday. The Orange hold the advantage in the series and specifially a 11-2 mark at home.
In the last outing, the Irish battled back from a 6-2 deficit to send the game to overtime.
Madison Ahern tied her career high with six goals and led the team in the last matchup with Syracuse.
Choma led the team with six draw controls in the game.
IN THE POLLS
Notre Dame now sits at No. 12 in the ILWomen/IWLCA weekly poll after week three.
Five other ACC programs are currently ranked in the top-25 according to the IL Women/IWLCA Preseason Poll, including #1 North Carolina, #2 Syracuse, #5 Boston College, #9 Virginia, and #13 Duke.
The Irish return 3 of the 4 top scorers from the 2022 season in Kasey Choma, Madison Ahern, Jackie Wolak.
The top scorers were assisted by Kelly Denes who won 100 draw controls and tallied 14 goals of her own.
Choma, Ahern, and Wolak lead the Irish in points combining for 67 points.
Wolak and Choma are both ranked in the top ten in the ACC for goals per game
Wolak is ranked second in the ACC for points per game (5.20).
Denes is ranked fourth in the ACC for draw controls per game tallying 6.40.
Fourteen different players have scored at least one goal this season with 12 having found the back of the net multiple times.
THREE HEADED MONSTER
The attacking trio of Choma, Ahern, and Wolak are combining for 67 points.
Choma leads the Irish with 17 goals and four assists, Wolak has 16 goals and 10 assists, and Ahern has 14 goals and six assists.
Wolak leads the team in points with 26, while Choma has 21 and Ahern has 20.
Choma now has tallied four hat tricks in the 2023 season and Wolak has tallied three in a row.
Choma, Ahern, and Wolak have all been named to the 2023 Tewaaraton Watchlist.
Choma, Ahern and Wolak combined for 15 points in the win over Central Michigan (02/18/23).
They also combined for 14 assists leading to eleven different goal scorers over Central Michigan.
Wolak ranks in the top ten in the ACC for assists per game (2.00) and ranks in the top thirty five nationally.
Choma ranks in the top thirty five nationally for goals with 17.
Ahern ranks in the top five nationally for free position goals.
DEFENSE ON DEMAND
The Irish held the nation’s top scoring offense to just nine goals, which is more than 12 below Clemson’s season average.
Notre Dame is the first team this season to hold the Tiger attack under a double-digit goal total in a game.
Mary Kelly Doherty is ranked fifth in the conference in caused turnovers per game (1.60) and leads the Irish with eight on the season.
The Irish have held four of their five opponents to single digits.
Emma Schettig won ACC Defensive Player of the Week after helping the Notre Dame defense hold Duke to just six goals.
The Fighting Irish defense has been one of the top units in the country in 2023, holding opponents to just 8.0 goals per game, ranking in the top 10 in the country.
Notre Dame has caused havoc on defense, averaging 11.2 caused turnovers per game, a mark that leads the ACC and ranks eighth in the nation.
CALLAHAN in the Crease
Callahan made her first double-digit save performance of her career, finishing with 15 saves against Northwestern. This also established a new career high in saves for her.
Ranks in the top 15 in the country in both goals-against average (7.79) and save percentage (.519)
Lilly Callahan earned her first career win in her first career start while holding the San Diego State attack to just two goals .
The two goals Callahan allowed marked the lowest scoring output in SDSU program history, which dates back to the 2012 season.
DOMINATING THE DRAW
The Irish have won the draw control battle in all their games this season.
Notre Dame currently ranks No. 3 in the country in draw control percentage (.640) and No. 6 in draw controls per game 18.00.
Kelley Denes leads the Irish in draws per game (6.40) and is the primary player used at the draw for the Irish. She ranks in the top 20 nationally for draw controls per game.
The Irish draw control unit held the nations leader on the draw circle to only four draw controls in their matchup against Duke.
The Irish currently have won the draw control battle on the season by a margin of 90-49.
NOTRE DAME MEN’S LAX
GAME 5 PREVIEW: #10/9 OHIO STATE
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – No. 2/2 Notre Dame returns home to welcome No. 10/9 Ohio State to town for a top 10 showdown. Opening faceoff is slated for 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 11. The game will be broadcast on ACCN.
Location: South Bend, Indiana | Arlotta Stadium
Schedule: March 11 — 2 p.m. ET
Live Stats: UND.com
Twitter Updates: @NDlacrosse
For a more in-depth look at the matchup – Game Notes: Notre Dame
THE OHIO STATE SERIES
• Saturday will be the 47th meeting all time between Notre Dame and Ohio State. The Irish lead the all-time series with the Buckeyes, holding a 34-12 advantage in the matchup.
• The most recent installment between the two sides came last season at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes pulled out a tight 14-11 win.
• The Irish have won 16 of the last 19 matchups with Ohio State, including the 9-0 shutout at Arlotta Stadium on March 21, 2015, which is the last time the Irish held an opponent scoreless in a game.
• Notre Dame holds a 17-4 edge over the Buckeyes in the series when playing in South Bend.
THE BROTHERS KAVANAGH
• Pat Kavanagh became the fourth Tewaaraton Finalist in program history in 2021 and his brother Chris joined the 2022 squad as an attackman.
• The two brothers have combined for 41 points over the first four games, Chris recording 21 (15G, 6A) and Pat totaling 20 (4G, 16A).
• Chris and Pat became the first set of ND teammates to each record eight or more points in the same game in program history, each posting eight, in the win over Cleveland State.
• The brothers have linked up on 17 goals during their career, with one assisting the other’s goal.
• The brothers also excel in the ground ball aspect of the game, combining for 25 on the season.
• Pat led the team during the 2022 season in points (64) and assists (39). He was second in goals (24), caused turnovers (12) and ground balls (39) while Chris was second in points (33) and assists (11) while tied for third in goals (22).
• In just 12 games in the 2022 season, Pat became the all-time single-season ND assist record holder with 39, breaking his own record from the 2021 season.
• Pat owns the single-game points record at ND, recording 10 points in a game twice, both against Syracuse and both coming on May 1. He recorded 10 points on May 1, 2021 with 5G & 5A and then matched his record on May 1, 2022 with 4G & 6A.
BEATING THE BEST
• The matchup against No. 10 Ohio State will be Notre Dame’s second game this season against a team ranked in the top 10 in the USILA poll.
• Notre Dame recorded a 13-12 win in triple overtime at No. 4 Maryland earlier this season.
• The Irish have a record of 42-38 against top 10 teams since the start of the 2010 season.
• The Irish have wasted no time jumping on opponents early in games this season, outscoring the opposition by a combined score of 23-10 in first quarters.
• Notre Dame has scored on its first possession in three of its four games this season, with Eric Dobson firing in the first goal in two games.
• Chris Kavanagh has scored five goals in first quarters to pace the team early while Eric Dobson has added four.
FITTING RIGHT IN
• Notre Dame welcomed four transfers to the 2023 roster and each player made has made significant contributions through two games.
• Chris Fake and Chris Conlin have each earned starts as defensemen in every game this season, combining for eight caused turnovers and 16 ground balls.
• Brian Tevlin and Jack Simmons have played major minutes in the midfield, as Simmons has four goals and two assists while Tevlin has four goals and an assist while adding 12 ground balls.
• Tevlin has also traded his short stick in for a long stick on the Irish man-down unit at times this season.
• The Irish enter the weekend allowing just 9.5 goals per game, ranking in the top 15 teams in the country.
• Notre Dame leads the ACC in caused turnovers per game this season, averaging 10.75.
• The Irish have recorded at least 10 caused turnovers in every game this season.
• ND recorded a season-high 12 caused turnovers in the win over Cleveland State.
• The Irish have allowed more than 20 shots on goal in a game just once this season.
• Senior goalie Liam Entenmann was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Week following his season-high 14 save performance in the win over No. 4 Maryland.
SHARING IS CARING
• Notre Dame’s ball movement has been dizzying at times this season, as the Irish have dished out 38 assists this season.
• ND ranks fifth in the country in assists per game, averaging 9.5.
• Pat Kavanagh leads the country in assists per game (4.67).
• Twelve different players have recorded at least one assist this season.
• Pat Kavanagh is one assist shy of the 100-assist milestone for his career and would become just the fifth player in program history to reach the achievement.
ATTACKING MIDFIELD DEPTH
• Despite the Kavanagh brothers earning much of the national headlines, the Irish midfield units have been very productive in 2023.
• The starting midfield trio of Eric Dobson, Quinn McCahon and Bryce Walker have combined for 22 goals in 2023.
• Dobson leads the group with nine goals, while McCahon has posted eight and Walker has added five.
• The second midfield has combined for 15 goals, as Reilly Gray has seven and Jack Simmons and Brian Tevlin have four apiece.
• Notre Dame’s midfield combined for 17 of the 28 goals scored in the wins over No. 15 Georgetown and No. 4 Maryland.
CASHING IN ON THE EMO
• Notre Dame had one of the greatest man-up units in recent memory during the 2022 season, leading the country in efficiency.
• The Irish EMO unit cashed in on 21-of-31 chances (.677) last season.
• The Irish enter the weekedn 7-for-13 on the EMO through this season.
CHALLENGING SLATE AHEAD
• Notre Dame has never shied away from putting together a challenging schedule and the 2023 slate is no different.
• Of Notre Dame’s 12 regular-season opponents, eight are currently ranked in the top 20 in both the USILA or Inside Lacrosse Top 20 Polls.
CORRIGAN ALL-TIME DI PROGRAM WINS LEADER
• With the win over No. 1 Duke on April 10, 2021, Baumer Family Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach Kevin Corrigan broke the NCAA record for most wins at a DI program with 311, passing Bob Shillinglaw (Delaware).
• Corrigan became just the third coach in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse history to reach the 300-win mark at a single school with the win over Marquette on April 10, 2019.
• Corrigan is one of just four active Division I coaches to reach the 300-win mark in his career.
• Corrigan has an overall record of 333-172 in his 37 seasons of coaching.
• The head coach is 323-157 in his 35 seasons at Notre Dame.
• Corrigan is the longest tenured men’s lacrosse coach at the DI level.
PURDUE FT. WAYNE MGOLF
PURDUE FORT WAYNE WINS SACRED HEART INVITATIONAL WITH FIFTH-MAN TIEBREAKER
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Purdue Fort Wayne won the Sacred Heart Invitational on Friday (March 10) after a tie with Butler was decided with a fifth-man tiebreaker.
Butler moved up four spots on Friday with a 6-under performance, bringing the Bulldogs into a tie with the Mastodons. But Burke Pitz was the better fifth man, which ultimately led to the team’s win. Pitz’ 78-75-153 bested Butler’s Henry Quinn’s 78-81-159.
After falling behind with three holes left, the Mastodons had their top two players for the week come in clutch down the stretch. Nick Holder and Hunter Mefford finished the last three holes a combined 2-under to move into a tie with Butler.
Friday’s win is the fifth team tournament title in Mastodon history. The team’s 573 is the ninth-best 36-hole score in program history and the best in a tournament-winning effort.
Holder tied for third individually, turning in a 68-72-140. On Friday, Holder had 14 pars and two birdies. He responded from a bogey on three with a birdie on four, then erased a bogey on 12 with a birdie on 16. He finished the round with six bogey-free holes. This was the first top-10 of Holder’s career. Mefford joined Holder in the top-10, taking seventh with a 70-72-142. Mefford started 2-under in his first seven holes with birdies on two and four. He turned in another birdie on 10. After a tough four-hole stretch, he birdied 17 to move back to even for the round. Mefford’s seventh-place finish was the third top-10 of his career.
Jadden Ousley turned in a 72-73-145 to earn 16th place. He had six pars to start his round. Ousley bogeyed seven, but birdied nine to have an even front nine. After three pars to start the back, he traded bogeys and birdies until 17.
Kasey Lilly tied for 17th with a 74-72-146. His even round on Friday came by way of 12 pars, three birdies and three bogeys. He got birdies to fall on five, 10 and 11.
Pitz finished in a tie for 40th with a 78-75-153, and the team’s win was in large part to his play on the back nine. After starting 3-over on his first 10 holes, Pitz added an eagle to his scorecard, one of just 13 in the field. He birdied 16 as well to secure the win in the tiebreaker.
Reece Compton competed as an individual, turning in a 76-76-152 to tie for 38th.
The Mastodons have 10 days until their next competition: the ECU Intercollegiate in Greenville, North Carolina on March 20-21.
PURDUE FT. WAYNE BASEBALL
MASTODON BASEBALL SWEPT IN DH BY AUSTIN PEAY
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – A one-run decision went to Austin Peay in game two on Friday (March 10) in a baseball doubleheader between the Mastodons and Governors.
The two teams will play another doubleheader on Saturday in Evansville. The start has been moved up to noon ET due to the forecast of rain later in the day.
Game One – Austin Peay 9, Purdue Fort Wayne 0
Jaden Brown knocked in three runs for Austin Peay. He plated two in a four-run second inning.
Mastodon starter JD Deany (1-2) suffered the loss in 4.0 innings of work. Campbell Holt is 2-0 after getting the win for the Governors.
Jacob Walker and Ben Higgins each had a walk and a single for the ‘Dons.
Game Two – Austin Peay 6, Purdue Fort Wayne 5
Purdue Fort Wayne scored the final five runs of the game and nearly erased a six-run deficit. Austin Peay opened the scoring with four in the second and added single runs in the third and fourth innings.
The ‘Dons put two on the board in the fifth. Eli Tencza and Luke Miles each knocked in a run. The sixth saw two more runs come around to score for the ‘Dons. Higgins and Jarrett Bickel knocked in the runs in the sixth.
The Mastodons’ best chance to tie it came in the eighth. Braedon Blackford opened the inning with a solo home run. He now has five home runs this season. It was his second hit of the game after recording a double and scoring in the sixth inning. Down 6-5, Isaiah Hart tripled to right field with one out. The ‘Dons had two chances to knock him in but a strikeout and groundout followed to end the threat.
Rex Stills is 0-4 after suffering the loss. Bryce Martens didn’t allow a run on two hits in 4.1 innings of work. Jackie Robinson (1-1) earned the win for Austin Peay. Davin Pollard picked up the save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Miles joined Hart and Blackford with two hits in the game.
Austin Peay moves to 5-9. The ‘Dons fall to 2-13.
PURDUE FT. WAYNE VB
NO. 2 UCLA TAKES DOWN MASTODON MVB
HONOLULU – No. 2 UCLA beat the Purdue Fort Wayne men’s volleyball team 25-20, 25-21, 25-16 on Friday night (March 10) on the second day of the Outrigger Invitational.
The Mastodons’ offense was clicking in the first set as they hit .360 as a team. The most efficient offense in the country was even better though. UCLA hit .409 in the opening set and finished the match at .463. The Mastodons had a 4-0 run late in the first set, but UCLA still led by a pair and responded with two more.
In set two, the Mastodons charged back from a 6-1 deficit to take a 14-13 lead after a block from Bryce Walker. UCLA rattled off seven in a row to take its lead back. The ‘Dons held off three set points with kills from Jon Diedrich and Mark Frazier and a block from Frazier and Ryan Steponaitis.
The third set was all UCLA, as the Bruins hit a ridiculous .727 in the final frame while holding the ‘Dons to .077.
Frazier had a team-high nine kills with a .533 hitting percentage. Wilmer Hernandez finished with a match-high six digs.
Purdue Fort Wayne falls to 12-7 while UCLA improves to 19-1. The Mastodons will wrap up their appearance in the Outrigger Invitational with a match against No. 3 Penn State tomorrow (Saturday, March 11) at 9 p.m. ET.
BLUE RAIDERS BLANK BASEBALL ACES, 2-0, IN SERIES OPENER
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Middle Tennessee State starter Jaden Hamm tossed a complete-game one-hit shutout on Friday, and Blue Raider lead-off man JT Mabry went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, as MTSU took the opener from the visiting University of Evansville baseball team, 2-0, at Reese Smith Jr. Field in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
“We spoiled a great start today from Nick Smith, and their starter put together a three-pitch mix today that we couldn’t handle,” said UE head coach Wes Carroll. “Big game tomorrow to get back into this series.”
After Hamm set the tone in the first inning by sending the Purple Aces down in order, MTSU got all of the offense it would need for the day on just six pitches. Mabry led off the frame with a line-drive to right that just got past a diving Eric Roberts in right field and rolled all the way to the warning track for a triple. He then trotted home three pitches later on a sacrifice fly by shortstop Brett Coker to give MTSU a 1-0 lead.
From there, Hamm and Smith traded scoreless frames on the mound until the sixth inning. UE sophomore center-fielder Ty Rumsey opened the sixth inning with Evansville’s only hit of the day on a bouncing ball over the mound. UE would put runners on the corners with one out, but Hamm was able to get a double-play ground ball to get out of trouble and maintain a 1-0 lead. Mabry then worked a one-out hit-by-pitch in the bottom of the inning and scored on a double by Coker to push the MTSU lead to 2-0.
Evansville would bring the potential tying run to the plate in the top of the ninth inning with two outs, but Hamm struck out UE junior catcher Brendan Hord to end the threat and the contest. It was a fitting end of the day for Hamm (3-1), who struck out 11 men while walking three in the complete-game victory.
Smith (1-3) was the tough-luck loser for Evansville, as he allowed the two runs on six hits while striking out five in 7.0 innings of work. At one point in the contest, Smith set down 11 MTSU hitters in order.
With the win, Middle Tennessee State improves to 7-6 on the season, while Evansville sees its record even at 7-7. The two teams will continue the series on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m., with UE sending senior LHP Tyler Denu (1-0, 3.45 ERA) to the mound. Saturday’s game can be seen live on ESPN+.
SOFTBALL OPENS LADY BISON CLASSIC
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In Friday’s opening day of the Lady Bison Classic, the University of Evansville softball team fell in contests to Akron and Indiana University at Draper Diamond. The first game of the day saw the Zips hang on for a 3-1 win before the Hoosiers took a 5-2 win in the second contest of the day.
Game One – Akron 3, UE 1
Alexa Davis hit a leadoff home run in the first inning but Akron scored twice in the bottom of the frame before finishing with a 3-1 win. Davis drove a 3-1 pitch over the wall in right center to give the Aces a quick 1-0 advantage.
Akron recorded three hits in the bottom of the first and scored twice to take the lead. Two more hits saw the Zips threaten again in the second but UE starting pitcher Paige McAllister got out of the jam. McAllister settled in and would not allow another run until the sixth when a Madison Dudek RBI single extended the lead to 3-1.
Zoe Frossard led off the seventh with a single while Jess Willsey and Hannah Hood followed with 1-out singles to load the bases. Akron recorded the final outs to clinch the win. McAllister gave up three runs, two earned, on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings. Sydney Weatherford registered the final two outs. Akron picked up 11 hits in the game while UE had four.
Game Two – Indiana 5, UE 2
With the game tied at 2-2 heading to the bottom of the third, Indiana broke the tie and would finish with a 5-2 victory. The Hoosiers had a quick start, plating two runs in the bottom of the first. Evansville’s offense got rolling with two runs to tie the game in the third.
Sydney Kalonihea reached on an error and would score the Aces’ first run of the game on a double by Taylor Howe. Marah Wood, who reached on a 1-out single, tied the game when she scored on a passed ball. IU wasted little time in jumping back in front as Brianna Copeland reached on an error before scoring on a second error in the same play.
Single runs in the fourth and fifth extended the IU lead to 5-2. From there, Copeland took care of business in the circle. She did not allow a UE hit in the final three innings to help the Hoosiers take the 5-2 win. Mikayla Jolly made the start and tossed three innings. She gave up three runs, two earned, on just one hit. Megan Brenton went the final three frames and allowed two runs, one of which was earned.
On Saturday, the Aces face the same two squads with game one against the Hoosiers set for a 10 a.m. start before another meeting against Akron at 5:30 p.m.
VALPO BASEBALL BESTS NATIONALLY-RANKED SOUTHERN MISS IN SERIES OPENER
A special start to the Valparaiso University baseball season continued on Friday night with the season’s biggest feat yet as the Beacons knocked off No. 22 Southern Miss 6-1, handing 2022 consensus All-American Tanner Hall the loss in the series opener. This marked the program’s first win over a nationally-ranked opponent since 2018 and the highest ranked opponent that Valpo has defeated since 2013. Jacob Rosenkranz (Lincolnshire, Ill. / Stevenson) turned in a quality start and garnered the victory, while Brandy Renfro (Antigo, Wis. / Antigo) launched a grand slam.
How It Happened
Valpo jumped out to an early lead, scoring twice in the opening inning. Nolan Tucker (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central) crushed a triple to right that drove in Kaleb Hannahs (West Terre Haute, Ind. / West Vigo), while Jake Skrine (Longmount, Colo. / Mead [Indiana]) grounded a two-out single up the middle to make it 2-0.
Rosenkranz retired the side in order in each of the first two innings. The Beacons had a chance to add to their lead in the third with runners at first and third and nobody out, but Hall wiggled out of the jam.
The Eagles got on the board in the third, but the Valpo middle infield turned an inning-ending double play to keep the guests in front 2-1.
Rosenkranz kept it rolling, sending down the side in order in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. He retired the final 10 Eagles he faced.
Valpo had one runner make an out on the bases, but still loaded the sacks thanks to two singles and two walks in the seventh. That set the stage for Renfro, who belted a 409-foot grand slam with an exit velocity of 104 to stretch the lead to 6-1.
Rosenkranz was lifted after six sound innings, giving way to Ryan Mintz (Lombard, Ill. / Willowbrook) on the mound. The righty posted a zero in the seventh thanks to a pair of strikeouts as the Golden Eagles stranded a runner at third.
Southern Miss had the bases full with nobody out in the eighth, but Mintz worked out of the jam with a strikeout followed by an around-the-horn, inning-ending double play to keep Valpo in front by five.
Southern Miss again threatened in the ninth, but the Beacons once again turned two, this time ending the game.
Inside the Game
This win snapped a streak of 15 straight losses against Top-25 opponents and marked the team’s first victory against a ranked squad since beating No. 25 Illinois on April 17, 2018. Southern Miss’ No. 22 ranking marks the highest by a team that Valpo defeated since the win over No. 9 Arizona State on April 21, 2013.
Southern Miss entered the game ranked No. 22 by Baseball America, the NCBWA and D1Baseball.com, while ranking No. 24 in the coaches’ poll and No. 30 according to Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
Southern Miss starting pitcher Tanner Hall was a Preseason All-American pick by D1Baseball, Perfect Game, Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America. He made the Golden Spikes Award preseason watch list this season after he was a consensus first-team All-American as a sophomore a year ago. He went six innings and allowed two runs on six hits while walking two and striking out five on Friday, taking the loss.
Southern Miss was the preseason favorite to win the Sun Belt Conference and won an NCAA Regional last season before falling to Ole Miss in the Super Regional. They own a streak of six straight 40-win seasons, the longest such streak in Division-I baseball. The Golden Eagles swept former Missouri Valley Conference member (and powerhouse) Dallas Baptist last weekend.
The triple by Tucker was his first of the season and the second of his career. It was the first triple by a member of the Beacons this season.
Valpo scored in the first inning for the fifth time in 11 games this season. In addition, the Beacons have scored first in eight of the team’s 11 contests.
Rosenkranz made his first start of the season and the second of his collegiate career. His previous start was on March 14, 2021 at Middle Tennessee. This start was just a tad bit better than that one, when he did not record an out and was charged with three runs on one hit while walking two.
Rosenkranz’s final line featured one run on two hits while striking out three and walking one over six frames. He picked up the victory, the second of his career, both this season.
Renfro’s grand slam was the first by a Valpo player since Sam Shaikin on March 3, 2019 at UNCW. Renfro’s home run was his second of the season and the 13th of his Valpo career.
Tucker and Alex Ryan (Lake Mills, Wis. / Lakeside Lutheran) both had multiple hits, and both reached base three times in the game.
Mintz pitched the final three innings without allowing a run, striking out three and walking one while yielding two hits and hitting four batters. He was credited with the save, the first of his career.
The Beacons improved to 7-4, the team’s best record through 11 games since 1987 (6-3-2) and highest win total through 11 games since 1985 (seven).
Valpo pitching held Southern Miss to just four hits on Friday.
The series continues as Valpo and No. 22 Southern Miss square off at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+. Please note that Sunday’s start time has been moved up to 11 a.m. due to the weather forecast.
U OF I WOMEN’S GOLF
STASIL RUNNER-UP AS HOUNDS OPEN SPRING SLATE IN CALIFORNIA
PALM DESERT, Calif.—The UIndy women’s golf team kicked off its spring schedule with a trip to Southern California this week for the Augustana Spring Fling. The Greyhounds placed third at the two-day event, with graduate student Elyse Stasil earning runner-up honors.
The Greyhounds carded team scores of 309-308 to finish at +41 over 36 holes. They leapfrogged Colorado State-Pueblo in the final round to snatch third place, two strokes back of host and second-place Augustana.
Stasil (74-73) led the way at +3 to secure second on the individual leaderboard. Sophomore Anci Dy and freshman Alice Webb shared 11th place at +9. Senior Katelyn Skinner tied for 26th and Catharina Graf placed 43rd.
Four other Greyhounds made the trip to compete as individuals. Freshman Ava Ray carded the lowest single-round score of the tournament with a final-round 69 to finish at +9 and make it a trio of Hounds at T-11.
The final individuals included Ellen Caton at 24th, Maggie Schaffer at T-26 and Macey Brown at 35th.
Some of the best DII teams in the country await the Hounds at the upcoming Buccaneer Invitational, set for March 20-21 in Miami Shores, Fla.
U OF I TRACK
ROBISON, PENTECOST NAMED ALL-AMERICANS ON DAY ONE OF INDOOR NATIONALS
VIRGINIA BEACH, V.A. – Zoe Pentecost, Sabrina Robison, and Brittney Clark kicked off action for the UIndy indoor track & field teams on Friday afternoon at the 2023 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships held at the Virginia Beach Sports Center.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Pentecost got things started on day one for the Hounds in the women’s weight throw. On her first toss of the afternoon, she landed a throw of 20.05 meters which ended up being her best of her six total attempts. This would eventually finish her in third place for a podium spot and All-America honors. Pentecost has now made the weight throw podium twice in her indoor career as she corralled a seventh-place finish last year.
The final two Hounds competing on Saturday were Robison and Clark in the women’s pole vault. The strong duo held steady and cleared 3.95 meters which then raised the bar up to 4.05 meters. Clark would bow out at this height which eventually landed her in a tie for ninth, just barely missing the podium alongside All-America honors. As for Robison, she went over 4.05 meters on her first try and would eventually fall short trying 4.10 meters a little later. Despite this, she went on to notch fourth in the event and was tabbed as an All-American in the process.
Action is set to conclude tomorrow for UIndy with Ellie Lengerich competing in the women’s pentathlon and Treyton Arnold in the men’s pole vault. Click here for a complete list of events for day two.
U OF I BASEBALL
STELLAR FIRST INNING GIVES HOUNDS NINTH STRAIGHT VICTORY
INDIANAPOLIS – The University of Indianapolis baseball team moved to 9-0 after a series opening win versus the Davenport University Panthers Friday Afternoon, with half of the teams runs coming in the bottom of the first.
Drew Donaldson was just a homer shy of the cycle, snagging two singles alongside a double and triple. He was joined by Isaac Bair who grabbed three RBIs on the day on two hits. Seth Spencer grabbed his second win of the season, going five innings while striking out nine.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Hounds jumped on the Panthers fast. After a Spencer three-strikeout top of the first, UIndy capitalized on a fielding error and a wild pitch to score two. The fiery bats of the Greyhounds lit up after that with a Nick Lukac double and then a massive two RBI dinger high over the left field wall to make it 5-0 early.
The Panthers answered back with runs of their own in the second, scoring two to try to dig out of the deficit. Like clockwork, however, the Hounds bats stayed hot, scoring two more in the bottom of the fourth, with Bair’s hard hit single up the middle and Donaldson’s deep triple to left center.
Bair added onto to his stellar day in the fifth with yet another single, scoring both Denton Shepler and Brady Ware to find a 9-4 scoring lead.
The Panthers were in for a big inning of their own, scoring three in the sixth to make it close, but shutdown pitching by E.J. White was the difference. Wyatt Phillips picked up the two inning save, shutting down the Panthers, minus a long home run off the dome.
Not content, Donaldson added the tenth run of the contest, shooting a ball into left field, scoring Brandon DeWitt and finding the final 10-6 of the contest.
The Hounds hope to make it to 10-0 and 11-0 with a doubleheader against the Panthers, closing out the series and their opening non-conference slate. The Hounds first pitch is set to be at 11am with the second game beginning 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first.
U OF I MEN’S BASKETBALL
TCHOUA VOTED D2CCA MIDWEST REGION PLAYER OF THE YEAR
INDIANAPOLIS – UIndy junior forward Kendrick Tchoua added another major award to his collection this postseason, earning D2CCA Midwest Region Player of the Year, the organization announced on Friday.
The D2CCA All-Region teams are voted on by the region’s sports information personnel.
Tchoua, who was named GLVC Player of the Year prior to the league tournament, is averaging 14.3 points and 8.2 rebounds game this season to help lead the Greyhounds to the top seed in the Midwest and a 26-4 record. The big man has produced nine double-doubles this winter, posting a career-best 27 points and 14 boards against Drury on Feb. 16.
Joining the Silver Spring, Md., product with the all-region recognition is one Jesse Bingham, who was named to the Midwest’s second team. The Warren Central graduate leads the Hounds with 15.4 points and 32.3 minutes per game through 30 contests, earning a unanimous selection to the All-GLVC First Team last week.
SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETIC SITES:
INDIANA WESLEYAN ATHLETICS: https://iwuwildcats.com/
EARLHAM ATHLETICS: https://goearlham.com/
WABASH ATHLETICS: https://sports.wabash.edu/
FRANKLIN ATHLETICS: https://franklingrizzlies.com/
ROSE-HULMAN ATHLETICS: https://athletics.rose-hulman.edu/
ANDERSON ATHLETICS: https://athletics.anderson.edu/landing/index
TRINE ATHLETICS: https://trinethunder.com/landing/index
BETHEL ATHLETICS: https://bupilots.com/
DEPAUW ATHLETICS: https://depauwtigers.com/
HANOVER ATHLETICS: https://athletics.hanover.edu/
MANCHESTER ATHLETICS: https://muspartans.com/
HUNTINGTON ATHLETICS: https://www.huathletics.com/
OAKLAND CITY ATHLETICS: https://gomightyoaks.com/index.aspx
ST. FRANCIS ATHLETICS: https://www.saintfranciscougars.com/landing/index
IU KOKOMO ATHLETICS: https://iukcougars.com/
IU EAST ATHLETICS: https://www.iueredwolves.com/
IU SOUTH BEND ATHLETICS: https://iusbtitans.com/
PURDUE NORTHWEST ATHLETICS: https://pnwathletics.com/
INDIANA TECH ATHLETICS: https://indianatechwarriors.com/index.aspx
GRACE COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://gclancers.com/
ST. MARY OF THE WOODS ATHLETICS: https://smwcathletics.com/
GOSHEN COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://goleafs.net/
HOLY CROSS ATHLETICS: https://www.hcsaints.com/index.php
TAYLOR ATHLETICS: https://www.taylortrojans.com/
VINCENNES ATHLETICS: https://govutrailblazers.com/landing/index
|W||L||Pct||Conf GB||Home||Road||Div||Conf||Last 10||Streak|
|1 Milwaukee||48||18||.727||—||28-6||20-12||8-4||29-14||9-1||3 W|
|2 Boston||46||21||.687||2.5||26-9||20-12||9-4||28-16||5-5||1 W|
|3 Philadelphia||44||22||.667||4.0||25-10||19-12||7-6||25-15||7-3||4 W|
|4 Cleveland||42||27||.609||7.5||28-7||14-20||12-3||26-14||5-5||1 L|
|5 New York||39||29||.574||10.0||19-16||20-13||8-8||28-17||8-2||2 L|
|6 Brooklyn||38||29||.567||10.5||19-12||19-17||7-8||26-18||5-5||1 W|
|7 Miami||36||32||.529||13.0||22-13||14-19||9-4||19-22||4-6||1 W|
|8 Atlanta||34||33||.507||14.5||18-13||16-20||7-8||21-22||5-5||2 W|
|9 Toronto||32||36||.471||17.0||20-13||12-23||4-9||20-21||5-5||3 L|
|10 Washington||31||36||.463||17.5||15-17||16-19||7-5||18-23||4-6||2 L|
|11 Chicago||30||36||.455||18.0||18-15||12-21||6-8||23-22||4-6||1 W|
|12 Indiana||30||37||.448||18.5||19-16||11-21||5-5||20-19||5-5||1 W|
|13 Orlando||27||40||.403||21.5||15-19||12-21||4-8||14-28||4-6||3 L|
|14 Charlotte||22||46||.324||27.0||11-20||11-26||7-9||13-31||7-3||2 W|
|15 Detroit||15||52||.224||33.5||8-26||7-26||0-11||6-34||0-10||10 L|
|W||L||Pct||Conf GB||Home||Road||Div||Conf||Last 10||Streak|
|1 Denver||46||21||.687||—||30-5||16-16||10-5||32-13||7-3||2 L|
|2 Sacramento||39||26||.600||6.0||21-13||18-13||7-6||26-14||8-2||2 W|
|3 Memphis||39||26||.600||6.0||27-5||12-21||7-2||21-19||5-5||1 W|
|4 Phoenix||37||29||.561||8.5||22-10||15-19||9-1||24-15||7-3||4 W|
|5 LA Clippers||35||33||.515||11.5||17-15||18-18||6-7||20-21||4-6||2 W|
|6 Dallas||34||33||.507||12.0||22-13||12-20||8-3||25-19||3-7||1 L|
|7 Golden State||34||33||.507||12.0||27-7||7-26||5-8||22-18||5-5||3 L|
|8 Minnesota||34||34||.500||12.5||20-16||14-18||8-7||25-20||4-6||2 L|
|9 LA Lakers||33||34||.493||13.0||18-15||15-19||4-9||19-22||7-3||3 W|
|10 New Orleans||32||34||.485||13.5||21-11||11-23||8-4||21-17||3-7||1 W|
|11 Utah||32||35||.478||14.0||20-13||12-22||5-8||21-22||4-6||1 W|
|12 Oklahoma City||31||35||.470||14.5||20-15||11-20||7-7||18-23||4-6||1 L|
|13 Portland||31||36||.463||15.0||17-15||14-21||5-8||21-19||3-7||2 L|
|14 San Antonio||17||49||.258||28.5||11-22||6-27||2-10||7-34||3-7||1 W|
|15 Houston||15||51||.227||30.5||9-23||6-28||3-9||9-35||2-8||2 L|
|1 Boston Bruins||63||49||9||5||103||47||239||135||26-3-3||23-6-2||9-1-0|
|2 Carolina Hurricanes||63||43||12||8||94||39||217||158||23-7-2||20-5-6||8-2-0|
|3 New Jersey Devils||64||42||16||6||90||40||229||176||18-12-2||24-4-4||7-2-1|
|4 Toronto Maple Leafs||64||39||17||8||86||39||216||171||23-6-4||16-11-4||7-3-0|
|5 Tampa Bay Lightning||65||38||21||6||82||36||228||202||23-5-5||15-16-1||3-4-3|
|6 New York Rangers||64||36||19||9||81||32||213||182||17-11-4||19-8-5||4-5-1|
|7 New York Islanders||67||34||25||8||76||34||195||182||20-11-3||14-14-5||7-2-1|
|8 Pittsburgh Penguins||64||32||22||10||74||31||209||207||17-9-5||15-13-5||5-4-1|
|9 Florida Panthers||66||33||27||6||72||31||225||221||19-10-3||14-17-3||6-4-0|
|10 Ottawa Senators||64||33||27||4||70||31||204||202||19-12-2||14-15-2||7-3-0|
|11 Washington Capitals||66||31||28||7||69||30||203||199||15-13-4||16-15-3||3-6-1|
|12 Buffalo Sabres||64||32||28||4||68||31||237||234||13-18-2||19-10-2||4-6-0|
|13 Detroit Red Wings||64||29||26||9||67||27||192||211||16-12-4||13-14-5||3-6-1|
|14 Philadelphia Flyers||65||24||30||11||59||23||168||212||12-15-4||12-15-7||2-7-1|
|15 Montreal Canadiens||65||26||33||6||58||22||179||233||14-15-3||12-18-3||3-5-2|
|16 Columbus Blue Jackets||64||20||37||7||47||19||167||239||13-19-2||7-18-5||4-3-3|
|1 Vegas Golden Knights||65||39||20||6||84||35||208||182||21-13-1||18-7-5||6-2-2|
|2 Dallas Stars||65||35||17||13||83||32||225||175||17-9-8||18-8-5||5-3-2|
|3 Los Angeles Kings||66||38||20||8||84||32||227||219||20-9-2||18-11-6||7-2-1|
|4 Minnesota Wild||65||37||21||7||81||30||186||171||21-10-3||16-11-4||8-0-2|
|5 Seattle Kraken||65||37||22||6||80||37||229||207||16-13-3||21-9-3||6-4-0|
|6 Colorado Avalanche||63||35||22||6||76||31||203||179||17-11-5||18-11-1||6-3-1|
|7 Edmonton Oilers||66||36||22||8||80||36||254||220||16-12-5||20-10-3||6-3-1|
|8 Winnipeg Jets||65||36||26||3||75||35||201||183||21-11-2||15-15-1||2-6-2|
|9 Calgary Flames||66||29||24||13||71||27||201||203||15-14-3||14-10-10||3-5-2|
|10 Nashville Predators||62||31||24||7||69||28||179||184||16-11-3||15-13-4||6-3-1|
|11 St. Louis Blues||64||28||31||5||61||25||197||235||14-14-4||14-17-1||2-6-2|
|12 Vancouver Canucks||64||27||32||5||59||23||216||248||14-17-1||13-15-4||6-3-1|
|13 Arizona Coyotes||65||23||32||10||56||20||181||230||16-11-3||7-21-7||4-4-2|
|14 Anaheim Ducks||66||22||35||9||53||19||168||266||11-16-2||11-19-7||5-2-3|
|15 Chicago Blackhawks||65||22||37||6||50||20||164||233||13-18-3||9-19-3||4-5-1|
|16 San Jose Sharks||66||19||35||12||50||18||191||252||6-18-8||13-17-4||2-7-1|
TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
1901 John McGraw, manager of the new American League’s Orioles, signs Charlie Grant, trying to pass off the black infielder as a Cherokee Indian named Tokohoma. The skipper’s scheme to secretly integrate the major leagues unravels in Chicago when White Sox president Charles Comiskey objects to Baltimore’s new player after recognizing the team’s second baseman’s true identity.
1933 A significant earthquake during an exhibition game in L.A. sends the Cubs and Giants scurrying to second base until the tremors stop. The seismic event, which takes place along the 46-mile-long Newport-Inglewood Fault, is estimated at a magnitude of 6.3.
1933 Rogers Hornsby returns to the Cardinals as a player after being fired as the Cubs’ manager last August. The ‘Rajah’s’ return to the Redbirds, after a six-year absence, will be short-lived when he is claimed on waivers in July by the crosstown AL’s Browns, who make him the skipper of the last-place club, replacing the recently-resigned Bill Killefer.
1953 Braves’ owner Lou Perini proposes a ban on any major league franchise shift to an existing minor league city until October 1st. Boston, who owns the Milwaukee minor league franchise, had invoked its territorial privilege last week to block the Browns’ attempt to shift their franchise to Milwaukee.
1953 The Dodgers defeat the A’s, 4-2, in the first game played in Holman Stadium, their Grapefruit League ballpark at the team’s spring training complex in Vero Beach, better known as Dodgertown. Fifty-five years later, Carl Erskine, the game’s starting pitcher, will return to play the national anthem on his harmonica as an 81-year-old at the club’s last game at the storied facility.
1957 Representative Emanuel Celler, chair of a congressional committee investigating baseball, calls Commissioner Ford Frick a czar. The New York congressman takes exception when the baseball boss cautions the major league owners about commenting on the Supreme Court’s recent decision concerning pro football coming under antitrust rules.
1958 American League president Will Harridge informs the circuit’s umpires that wearing a helmet is mandatory for batters this season, reinforcing the mandate passed by the owners’ 7-1 vote at their December meeting in Colorado Springs. The Red Sox dissent, knowing their slugger Ted Williams adamantly opposes wearing headgear, asserting the protective equipment will interfere with their hitters’ timing.
1961 At Palm Springs, former president Dwight Eisenhower is a no-show at the Angels’ first-ever exhibition game, an 8-3 victory over the Cubs. Ike had been scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch but decided to go fishing instead.
1988 California Angels manager Gene Mauch, citing health issues, takes a leave of absence and is replaced by Cookie Rojas. The Halos’ skipper will officially announce his retirement in two weeks, leaving the game with a managerial record of 1,902 wins and 2,037 losses during his 26-year tenure in the dugout with the Phillies, Expos, Twins, and California.
2001 Preston Wilson, the franchise’s first 30-30 player, signs a $32 million five-year contract with Florida. The 26-year-old Marlin center fielder, the stepson and nephew of former major leaguer Mookie Wilson, was obtained from the Mets in the Mike Piazza deal in 1998.
2002 The Boston replaces Joe Kerrigan, the once-popular skipper fired last week, with Grady Little, who will manage the team for two years, compiling a 188-136 (.580) record and making one appearance in the postseason as the AL wild card. The Red Sox do not renew their new manager’s contract when he becomes the target of fans’ angst for not replacing Pedro Martinez in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the ALCS, a contest the team loses in the eleventh on Aaron Boone’s walk-off home run.
2004 The first contest played at Petco Park, the Padres’ new home, establishes the record for the best-attended game in college baseball history when 40,106 fans watch Tony Gwynn’s San Diego State Aztecs beat the University of Hawaii, 4-0. The previous mark of 27,673 was established in 2002 when state rivals LSU and Tulane met in New Orleans’s Superdome.
2006 First baseman Nick Johnson (.289, 15, 74) and the Nationals agree to a $16.5 million, three-year contract extension. The 27-year-old first baseman, who signed a $3.2 million, one-year deal in January to avoid arbitration, has often been injured since making his big league debut with the Yankees five years ago.
2010 Todd Helton and the Rockies agree to a $9.9 million, two-year contract extension that takes the first baseman through the 2013 season. The 38-year-old fan favorite, who has played his entire career in Colorado, hit .325 with 15 home runs, driving in 86 runs last season after undergoing back surgery at the end of the 2008 season.
2018 Taking a significant pay cut, unsigned free-agent Mike Moustakas signs a one-year contract to stay with the Royals, the team he set a franchise record for home runs (38) last season. The 28-year-old All-Star third baseman agrees to 6.5 million, having turned down a qualifying offer of $17.4 million at the start of the off-season.
BOWIE KUHN BIOGRAPHY
Like his predecessor Eckert, Bowie Kuhn was elected by a unanimous vote of the twenty-four club owners on February 4, 1969 and like Landis, his tenure would span over a decade and a half. Also a businessman, Kuhn’s background was in both law and economics and provided a perfect blend for the ever-changing business climate of baseball. After graduating high school, Bowie attended both Franklin and Marshall College in the Naval V-12 Officer Training Program before going on to Princeton University to study Economics. Upon receiving his Bachelor of Arts, Kuhn went on to the University of Virginia where he earned his law degree and later served on the editorial board of the law review.
He later went on to become a member of the prestigious law firm of Wilkie, Farr and Gallagher in New York and spent the next nineteen years working closely in baseball’s legal affairs. Perhaps his biggest case during that time was serving as counsel to the National League in a lawsuit brought against them by the City of Milwaukee when the Braves were moved to Atlanta. He also acted as a liaison for negotiations between the Major League Players Association and the club owners.
Following the retirement of General William Eckert after only three years in office, the team owners unanimously decided that baseball’s next Commissioner should be someone familiar with the business of baseball. Despite a close popularity race with Mike Burke, president of the New York Yankees and National League President Chub Feeney, Kuhn was elected by unanimous vote on the first ballot. Immediately after taking office he proved his supporters right when he successfully negotiated a new three-year contract between the owners and the Players Association that averted what may have been baseball’s first official strike.
He was also called upon to act as the voice of reason during one of the most disruptive times in the history of the game. The most famous of these disputes was the Curt Flood reserve case of 1970 in which the disgruntled Flood was traded against his will by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Phillies. Refusing to play, he initiated a lawsuit that ultimately challenged the legality of the reserve clause and the right of clubs to trade players. After a heated debate, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the lower courts decisions in favor of baseball, ruling that federal antitrust laws did not apply to the game.
Five years later, the players were granted the right to free agency following the Messersmith-McNally case in which arbitrator Peter Seitz ruled that players were free to negotiate with any club after the option of their contracts had expired. This led to multiple bargaining sessions and an agreement between the players and owners for the right to free agency after six years in the major leagues.
The turmoil off of the field continued in 1976 when the Oakland Athletics’ owner Charles O. Finley was blocked from selling three of his players at a cost of $3.5 million for what Kuhn said was “not in the best interests of baseball.” This ruling diminished Kuhn’s popularity among the owners and he later added the players to his list of growing nemeses after being unable to stop a fifty-seven day players’ strike in 1981.
Despite the struggles late in his career, Kuhn was an effective administrator and was responsible for an astounding growth in the game both on the field and off. During his time in office, Major League Baseball grew from twenty to twenty-six teams and fan attendance rose to over 45 million in 1983.
Grover Cleveland “Pete” Alexander broke into the big leagues with a flourish in 1911 with the Philadelphia Phillies, setting a rookie record with 28 wins.
And Alexander was just getting started. During his 20 seasons in the big leagues, Alexander would become one of the most successful pitchers the game has ever seen.
Using a wide variety of breaking pitches, deceptive speed and pinpoint control, Alexander soon found himself being compared to the top pitchers of his era. He averaged 27 wins per season during his seven years in Philadelphia from 1911-17, including one three-year span in which he won 31, 33 and 30.
“He made me want to throw my bat away when I went to the plate,” said Hall of Fame second baseman Johnny Evers. “He fed me pitches I couldn’t hit. If I let them go, they were strikes. He made you hit bad balls. He could throw into a tin can all day long.”
Alexander was traded to the Cubs in December of 1917. But after only three appearances in 1918, Alexander was drafted into the Army and served as a sergeant in France during World War I. He was gassed during his service and also suffered from partial hearing loss due to a shell explosion, but he returned to the Cubs in 1919 and led the National League with a 1.72 ERA.
Alexander won 27 games in 1920 and led the NL in ERA for the fifth and final time that season with a mark of 1.91. He continued to pace the Cubs’ staff throughout the next few years until – at age 39 – he was claimed off waivers by the Cardinals, who were battling for the NL pennant. He won nine games down the stretch, helping St, Louis get to the World Series against the New York Yankees of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
After complete game victories in the second and sixth games, Alexander was called upon in relief in Game 7. St. Louis was ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh, but starting pitcher Jesse Haines was in trouble, having loaded the bases with two outs. Called in from the bullpen only a day after his Game 6 triumph, Alexander would face rookie second baseman Tony Lazzeri, who had knocked in 117 runs during the season. After nearly giving up a grand slam homer down the left field line on a ball that went foul at the last moment, Alexander would strike out Lazzeri and then retire the next five batters before walking Ruth with two outs in the ninth.
With Bob Meusel at the plate, Ruth was caught stealing second base, ending the World Series and creating a legendary moment for Alexander.
Ruth would write years later: “Just to see old Pete out there on the mound, with that cocky little undersized cap pulled down over one ear, chewing away at his tobacco and pitching baseballs as easy as pitching hay is enough to take the heart out of a fellow.”
Alexander retired with a record of 373-208 with 90 shutouts and a 2.56 ERA. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1938.
Alexander passed away on Nov. 4, 1950.
BASEBALL YEAR IN REVIEW
YEAR IN REVIEW : 1910 AMERICAN LEAGUE
Off the field…
The Boy Scouts of America was introduced inviting boys eleven to seventeen years old an opportunity to join an organization dedicated to improving mental, moral, and physical development while stressing outdoor skills and training in citizenship and lifesaving. Originally, the movement was intended to be nonmilitary and without racial, religious, political, or class distinctions, but the Supreme Court affirmed the organization’s right to limit membership to those who believe in God in 1993.
The “National Association for the Advancement of Colored People” was founded in New York, in November. The N.A.A.C.P. originally published an underground journal called “The Crisis,” and was at the forefront of all the attempts by Blacks to achieve equality. For more than ninety-three years, the NAACP has continued include people of all races, nationalities and religious denominations, while remaining united on one premise, that all men and women are created equal.
In the American League…
Cleveland Indians ace Cy Young won his five-hundredth game on July 19th after beating the Washington Senators 5-4 at American League Park II.
Washington Senators second baseman Red Killefer set a Major League mark on August 27th after sacrificing four times in the first game of a Detroit Tigers doubleheader.
Eddie Collins of the Philadelphia Athletics set an American League record after stealing his eighty-first base of the season, on October 4, 1910, during an 8-1 victory over the visiting Boston Red Sox.
In the National League…
The Braves and Phillies combined on April 22nd for a Major League record fewest at bats by two teams in nine innings: forty-eight (twenty-five for Boston, twenty-three for Philadelphia). The record was tied the following season, but remained unbeaten until 1964.
On August 13th, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Brooklyn Dodgers played in perhaps, the most evenly matched game ever. Both teams finished the 8-8 tie (called on darkness) with exactly eight runs, thirteen hits, thirty-eight at bats, five strikeouts, three walks, one hit batter, one passed ball, thirteen assists, twenty-seven putouts and two errors with two pitchers used. [Box Score]
Around the League…
William Howard Taft became the first U.S. president to throw out the ceremonial “first pitch” after he opened the 1910 season at Washington’s League Park. The Senators’ Walter Johnson christened the tradition by pitching a one-hitter, beating the Philadelphia Athletics and Eddie Plank 3-0.
Both leagues agreed to adopt a resolution that would ban syndicate baseball, which had previously allowed owners to have financial interests vested in more than one team. They also mandated that all umpires were to announce any team changes to the spectators; batting orders were to be delivered to the head umpire at home plate before the game and a base runner was to be called out if he passed another runner ahead of him on the base path.
March 11, 1892 – The first public basketball game was played between the students and the faculty of Springfield College in Massachusetts. Basketball’s inventor, James Naismith taught at the school and also on staff was Amos Alonzo Stagg. The headline from the local newspaper the next day displayed on the Forums realgm reads “Basket Football Game.” The article says over 200 fans watched the contest where the students prevailed by the score of 5-1. That one bucket by the faculty was made by our football hero Coach Stagg according to author Jennifer Taylor Hall in he book Amos Alonzo Stagg; Football’s Man in Motion. The author goes on to say that in the hoops game, Coach Stagg fouled every single one of the student players! It may have truly been a Basket Football Game!
March 11, 1941 – Bronko Nagurski defeated Ray Steele in Minnesota, to become the National Wrestling Champion. Steele stripped Nagurski of the Wrestling Title on March 7, 1940 so in this victory Bronko took the belt back from Steele per the Legacyofwrestling.com. We have learned much about Bronko as a football player from his birthday post on our November 3 blog but many don’t realize that he was quite successful at wrestling as well. According to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s website Nagurski as a member of the Chicago Bears in the late 1930’s approached six-time World Champion Wrestler Lou Thesz about grappling in the football offseason. Bronko attracted large crowds and even gained the World NWA Title on several occasions in the years before World War II. Bronko Nagurski became a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2009 to add to his enshrinements of the College and Pro Football Hall of Fames.
March 11, 1986 – NFL adopts instant replay rule according to an article on Sound Vision. The adoption was by no means what we are used to today as it was experimental and very limited. That first season there was only 374 total plays or an average of 1.6 per game with only 10% being overturned from what was called on the field. This version was dropped by an owners vote in 1992 when a majority 17 teams were against continuing the practice. The debate over instant replay continued and a new system was approved for testing in 1996. In 1999, NFL owners voted 28-3 to reinstate instant replay using the new and improved system which included coaches challenges. The article goes on to say that the NFL’s earliest experiments with instant replay date back to 1976, which led to tests being conducted on a wider scale in 1978, starting with the Hall of Fame game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins.
March 11, 1893 – Nashville, Tennessee – Colgate University Quarterback from the 1910 to 1913 era, Ellery Huntington Jr. was born. Check out more on this gridiron legend by clicking his name.
March 11, 1941 – Florence, Arizona – Rex Mirich the great defensive tackle from 1960 through the 1963 season for Northern Arizona arrived into life.
NUMBERS IN SPORTS
23 – 10 – 36 -22
March 11, 1892 – James Naismith and Amos Alonzo Stagg are part of the first public basketball game in Springfield, Mass.
March 11, 1979 – This is hard to believe but on this day, Randy Holt, wearing Number 23 with the Kings receives 67 min in penalties in a 60 min NHL hockey game. In fact in the first period alone there were (10) NHL single-game penalty records broken. There three fights in the game, and the one that Holt was tossed because of lasted for 12 minutes and Referee Wally Harris issued a total of 290 penalty minutes for that one altercation! The Philadelphia Flyers doubled up the goals of the LA Kings in this contest played in City of Brotherly Love. That is kind of ironic!
March 11, 1981 – Legendary players Johnny Mize (who wore Number 10 with the Cardinals and Number 36 with the Yankees) and Rube Foster who played before mandatory numbers on uniforms, were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame
March 11, 1986 – New York Islander great, Mike Bossy, Number 22 became the first player to score at least 50 goals in 9 straight seasons
|NCAA BASKETBALL GAMES – MEN’S||TIME ET||TV|
|America East Championship||11:00 AM||ESPN2|
|Ivy League Semifinal: Yale vs. Cornell||11:00 AM||ESPNU|
|Big Ten Semifinal||1:00pm||CBS|
|Atlantic 10 Semifinal||1:00pm||CBSSN|
|Ivy League Semifinal: Princeton vs. Penn||1:30pm||ESPNU|
|Big Ten Semifinal||3:30pm||CBS|
|Atlantic 10 Semifinal||3:30pm||CBSSN|
|Mountain West Championship||6:00pm||CBS|
|Big 12 Championship||6:00pm||ESPN|
|Big East Championship||6:30pm||FOX|
|Conference USA Championship||8:30pm||CBSSN|
|Big West Championship||9:30pm||ESPN2|
|COLLEGE BASKETBALL – WOMEN’S||TIME ET||TV|
|Ivy League Tournament||5:00pm||ESPNews|
|2023 Players Championship||12:00pm||NBC|
|MLB SPRING TRAINING||TIME ET||TV|
|Boston vs Minnesota||1:05pm||MLBN|
|Xfinity: United Rentals 200||4:30pm||FS1|
|NBA REGULAR SEASON GAMES||TIME ET||TV|
|New York at LA Clippers||4:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Utah at Charlotte||7:00pm||ATTSN-RM|
|Indiana at Detroit||8:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Miami at Orlando||7:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Boston at Atlanta||7:30pm||NBCS-BOS|
|Chicago at Houston||8:00pm||NBCS-CHI|
|Dallas at Memphis||8:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Milwaukee at Golden State||8:30pm||ABC|
|Oklahoma City at New Orleans||8:30pm||Bally Sports|
|Sacramento at Phoenix||9:00pm||NBCS-CA|
|NHL REGULAR SEASON GAMES||TIME ET||TV|
|Detroit at Boston||1:00pm||ABC|
|Philadelphia at Pittsburgh||3:30pm||ABC|
|NY Rangers at Buffalo||5:00pm||MSG|
|Arizona at Colorado||6:00pm||ALT|
|Chicago at Tampa Bay||7:00pm||NBCS-CHI|
|Edmonton at Toronto||7:00pm||Sportsnet|
|New Jersey at Montréal||7:00pm||MSGSN|
|St. Louis at Columbus||7:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Vegas at Carolina||7:00pm||ATTSN-RM|
|Winnipeg at Florida||7:00pm||Sportsnet|
|Washington at NY Islanders||7:30pm||NBCS-WSH|
|Dallas at Seattle||10:00pm||Root Sports|
|Ottawa at Vancouver||10:00pm||Sportsnet|
|Minnesota at San Jose||10:30pm||NBCS-CA|
|Nashville at Los Angeles||10:30pm||Bally Sports|
|English Premier League: AFC Bournemouth vs Liverpool||7:30am||USA|
|La Liga: Real Madrid vs Espanyol||8:00am||ESPN+|
|Serie A: Empoli vs Udinese||9:00am||Paramount+|
|English Premier League: Everton vs Brentford||10:00am||Peacock|
|English Premier League: Leeds United vs Brighton & Hove Albion||10:00am||Peacock|
|English Premier League: Leicester City vs Chelsea||10:00am||USA|
|English Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur vs Nottingham Forest||10:00am||Peacock|
|La Liga: Elche vs Real Valladolid||10:15am||ESPN+|
|Ligue 1: Auxerre vs Rennes||11:00am||beIN Sports|
|MLS: Charlotte vs Atlanta United||12:00pm||FOX|
|Serie A: Napoli vs Atalanta||12:00pm||Paramount+|
|English Premier League: Crystal Palace vs Manchester City||12:30pm||USA|
|La Liga: Celta de Vigo vs Rayo Vallecano||12:30pm||ESPN+|
|Serie A: Bologna vs Lazio||2:45pm||Paramount+|
|La Liga: Valencia vs Osasuna||3:00pm||ESPN+|
|Ligue 1: Brest vs PSG||3:00pm||beIN Sports|
|Argentina Primera División: San Lorenzo vs Gimnasia La Plata||3:00pm||Paramount+|
|MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps vs Dallas||5:00pm||MLS Pass|
|Liga MX: Atlas vs León||6:00pm||TUDN|
|MLS: DC United vs Orlando City SC||7:30pm||MLS Pass|
|MLS: New York City vs Inter Miami||7:30pm||MLS Pass|
|MLS: Cincinnati vs Seattle Sounders FC||7:30pm||MLS Pass|
|MLS: Toronto FC vs Columbus Crew||7:30pm||MLS Pass|
|MLS: Philadelphia Union vs Chicago Fire||7:30pm||MLS Pass|
|Argentina Primera División: Central Córdoba SdE vs Tigre||7:30pm||Paramount+|
|Argentina Primera División: Belgrano vs Lanús||7:30pm||Paramount+|
|Liga MX: Cruz Azul vs Pumas UNAM||8:05pm||TUDN|
|MLS: Minnesota United vs New York RB||8:30pm||MLS Pass|
|MLS: Sporting KC vs LA Galaxy||8:30pm||MLS Pass|
|MLS: Real Salt Lake vs Austin||9:30pm||MLS Pass|
|Liga MX: Tigres UANL vs América||10:10pm||TUDN|
|MLS: Portland Timbers vs St. Louis City||10:30pm||MLS Pass|
|MLS: SJ Earthquakes vs Colorado Rapids||10:30pm||MLS Pass|
|Houston at Orlando||7:00pm||FX|
|San Antonio at Seattle||10:00pm||FX|