INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

1A LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC (20-9) VS. NORTH DAVIESS (26-3)

GAME TIME: 10:30 AM ET, GAINBRIDGE.

2A CENTRAL NOBLE (28-2) VS. PROVIDENCE (20-6)

GAME TIME: 12:45 PM ET, GAINBRIDGE.

3A MISHAWAKA MARIAN (24-3) VS. BEECH GROVE (21-6)

GAME TIME: 6 PM ET, GAINBRIDGE.

4A CHESTERTON (29-0) VS. INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL (25-6)

GAME TIME: 8:15 PM ET, GAINBRIDGE.

STATE CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW: https://www.ihsaa.org/Portals/0/ihsaa/documents/news%20media/2021-22/2021-22%20Boys%20Basketball%20Preview.pdf

MEN’S SWEET 16 MATCH-UPS/ODDS

THURSDAY, MARCH 24

WEST

NO. 1 GONZAGA (-8.5) VS. NO. 4 ARKANSAS (154.5)

NO. 3 TEXAS TECH (-1) VS. NO. 2 DUKE (136.5)

SOUTH

NO. 2 VILLANOVA (-5) VS. NO. 11 MICHIGAN (135)

NO. 1 ARIZONA (-2) VS. NO. NO. 5 HOUSTON (145.5)

FRIDAY, MARCH 18

MIDWEST

NO. 1 KANSAS (-7.5) VS. NO. 4 PROVIDENCE (141.5)

NO. 10 MIAMI (-1.5) VS. NO. 11 IOWA STATE (133)

EAST

NO. 4 UCLA (-2.5) VS. NO. 8 UNC (142.5)

NO. 3 PURDUE (-12.5) VS. NO. 15 ST. PETER’S (135.5)

WOMEN’S SWEET 16 MATCH-UPS

GREENSBORO, N.C. REGION: GREENSBORO COLISEUM

MARCH 25, 7 P.M. ET: NO. 1 SOUTH CAROLINA VS. NO. 5 NORTH CAROLINA

MARCH 25, 9:30 P.M. ET: NO. 3 IOWA STATE VS. NO. 10 CREIGHTON

SPOKANE, WASH. REGION: SPOKANE ARENA

MARCH 25, 7 P.M. ET: NO. 6 OHIO STATE VS. NO. 2 TEXAS

MARCH 25, 9:30 P.M.: NO. 1 STANFORD VS. NO. 4 MARYLAND

WICHITA, KAN. REGION: INTRUST BANK ARENA

MARCH 26, 4 P.M. ET: NO. 1 LOUISVILLE VS. NO. 4 TENNESSEE

MARCH 26, 6:30 P.M. ET: NO. 3 MICHIGAN VS. NO. 10 SOUTH DAKOTA

BRIDGEPORT, CONN. REGION: TOTAL MORTGAGE ARENA

MARCH 26, 11:30 A.M. ET: NO. 1 NC STATE VS. NO. 5 NOTRE DAME

MARCH 26, 2 P.M. ET: NO. 3 INDIANA VS. NO. 2 UCONN

NBA SCOREBOARD

ORLANDO 94 GOLDEN STATE 90

ATLANTA 117 NEW YORK 111

MILWAUKEE 126 CHICAGO 98

DENVER 127 LA CLIPPERS 115

TUESDAY’S BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/nba/scoreboard.asp

NBA WIRE: http://hosted.stats.com/nba/wire.asp

NHL SCOREBOARD

NEW JERSEY 7 NY RANGERS 4

PITTSBURGH 5 COLUMBUS 1

ST. LOUIS 5 WASHINGTON 2

CAROLINA 3 TAMPA BAY 2

DETROIT 6 PHILADELPHIA 3

NY ISLANDERS 3 OTTAWA 0

WINNIPEG 4 VEGAS 0

DALLAS 5 EDMONTON 3

SAN JOSE 4 CALGARY 3

SEATTLE 4 ARIZONA 2

LOS ANGELES 6 NASHVILLE 1

TUESDAY’S BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/nhl/scoreboard.asp

NHL WIRE: http://hosted.stats.com/nhl/wire.asp

MLB SPRING TRAINING

CLEVELAND 6 SAN DIEGO 1

KANSAS CITY 5 OAKLAND 3

CINCINNATI 10 LA DODGERS 8

LA ANGELS 7 COLORADO 4

CHICAGO WHITE SOX 4 MILWAUKEE 3

CHICAGO CUBS 5 SEATTLE 5 (10)

TEXAS 4 ARIZONA 1

ATLANTA 4 MINNESOTA 0

PHILADELPHIA 7 DETROIT 2

BALTIMORE 10 PITTSBURGH 9

ST. LOUIS 4 MIAMI 3

BOSTON 4 TAMPA BAY 2

TORONTO 9 NY YANKEES 2

NY METS 2 HOUSTON 0

MLB WIRE: http://hosted.stats.com/mlb/wire.asp

*****TOP NATIONAL SPORTS NEWS/HEADLINES*****

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

DALLAS (AP) SMU coach Tim Jankovich announced his retirement Tuesday after six seasons as head coach of the Mustangs, and nearly four decades in a coaching career that included stints as an assistant for Larry Brown and Bill Self.

The 62-year-old Jankovich was head coach at Illinois State from 2008-12, before he left the Redbirds to join SMU’s staff when Brown took the job there. Jankovich succeeded the Hall of Famer as head coach before the 2016-17 season, when the Mustangs went 30-5 and made their last NCAA Tournament appearance.

SMU was 24-9 this season, which ended Sunday in the second round of the NIT with a 75-63 loss to Washington State that was its only home defeat this season. That came a week after being left out of the 68-team NCAA Tournament field, and Jankovich said his team was still “wounded” and disappointed from that snub.

The Mustangs finished second in the American Athletic Conference regular-season standings behind Sweet 16 team Houston, which they beat once. They also beat NCAA tourney team Memphis twice in the regular season before losing to the Tigers in the AAC Tournament semifinals.

(AP) — Dennis Gates was a young standout at Chicago’s Whitney Young High School and mulling college scholarship opportunities when Norm Stewart, late in his coaching career, tried to persuade him to play point guard for Missouri.

Gates was impressed by Stewart’s pitch that day but ultimately signed with California.

More than two decades later, Gates will be the one soon sitting across from Missouri recruits in living rooms.

The 42-year-old Gates was hired to replace the fired Cuonzo Martin on Tuesday, tasked with rebuilding a floundering program that has churned through seven head and interim coaches since Stewart prowled the sideline in Columbia.

Gates is coming off a wildly successful rebuild at Cleveland State, where he inherited a program that won just 11 games in 2019 and engineered one of the biggest turnarounds in Division I basketball. The Vikings went 19-8 and reached the NCAA Tournament last season, then went 20-11 and lost in the first round of the NIT this season.

“I left a special place for a special place,” Gates said during an introductory news conference, where he praised mentors such as George Raveling and Leonard Hamilton. “An unbelievable institution from an academic standpoint, but also being a flagship Power Five institution in this state – it’s only us – that means something. That means a lot.”

NBA NEWS

NEW YORK (AP) The NBA fined Jusuf Nurkic of the Portland Trail Blazers $40,000 on Tuesday for confronting a fan at a game in Indiana and throwing the person’s cellphone.

The incident happened shortly after Sunday’s game between the Blazers and the Pacers. Nurkic approached the fan, walked within a few inches of the person, grabbed the person’s cellphone and tossed it into nearby seats.

It was not clear what preceded the incident, which lasted only a few seconds. A security guard walked between Nurkic and the fan after the phone was tossed, at which point the Blazers’ center walked away.

Indiana won the game 129-98. Nurkic, whose nickname is “the Bosnian Beast,” did not play. He has not played since mid-February because of left foot plantar fasciitis.

NEW YORK (AP) The NBA has fined Minnesota Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverley $20,000 and Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill $15,000 for their roles in an on-court altercation during a matchup between the teams over the weekend.

The league announced the fines Tuesday.

The incident happened with 2:11 left in the first quarter of what became Minnesota’s 138-119 victory on Saturday. Karl-Anthony Towns was shooting a free throw for Minnesota when the Timberwolves’ Taurean Prince and the Bucks’ Serge Ibaka began jostling for rebounding position.

Beverley, the NBA said, “escalated the altercation” by shoving Ibaka from behind. Hill continued the altercation by shoving Beverley, the league said.

Beverley and Hill each received a technical foul and were ejected.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Franz Wagner made three free throws with 12.2 seconds left and dunked on an inbounds play for the final points, leading the Orlando Magic to a 94-90 win over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night.

With the Warriors’ loss, the NBA-leading Phoenix Suns (58-14) clinched first place in the Pacific Division.

Mo Bamba’s 3-pointer with 52 seconds left gave Orlando an 89-88 lead.

Wendell Carter Jr. led Orlando with 19 points and Wagner had 18 points and a big finish.

“Franz can play, man,” said Magic guard Cole Anthony, who had 14 points and five assists. “He can hoop. I saw it here first hand tonight.”

Jordan Poole scored 26 points for the Warriors, who shot 40% for the game and had seven turnovers in the fourth quarter on the way to their third straight loss. Klay Thompson added 15 points and Otto Porter Jr. had 14 points and 15 rebounds.

NEW YORK (AP) Trae Young got a pregame hug from Spike Lee, so there was at least a little love for him inside Madison Square Garden.

Once the game started, so did the boos.

And just like the playoffs, it was Young who had the last word.

Young had 45 points and eight assists in his first game at MSG since becoming a villain to New York Knicks fans, leading a late surge that gave the Atlanta Hawks a 117-111 victory Tuesday night.

Picking up right where he left off last spring, Young made seven 3-pointers, including one that tied the game at 105 with 2:54 to play. He then set up Bogdan Bogdanovic for a go-ahead 3 and followed another by De’Andre Hunter by leaving Taj Gibson behind off the dribble and knocking down a jumper to cap an 11-0 spurt and make it 113-105 with 1:04 left.

“I think the swag and what we were able to do on the court tonight and the energy we had in the huddle, I knew it was just us versus everybody tonight,” Young said. “And I think if we have that type of mindset each and every game, we’re going to give ourselves a chance to win.”

MILWAUKEE (AP) Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points and 17 rebounds in his return to action and the Milwaukee Bucks extended their recent mastery of the Chicago Bulls with a 126-98 blowout on Tuesday night.

Antetokounmpo missed the Bucks’ 138-119 loss at Minnesota on Saturday due to a sore right knee. Milwaukee played without All-Star forward Khris Middleton, who was dealing with a sore left wrist.

“He took a fall in the Minnesota game, and it was pretty sore and stiff, so we’ve had it looked at,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said before the game. “We feel like it’s short term, but we’ll see how he feels the next day or two.”

Jrue Holiday had a game-high 27 points to go along with seven assists and no turnovers as the Bucks won for the 15th time in their last 16 meetings with the Bulls, including all three matchups this season. Chicago’s lone win during that stretch came in the 2019-20 regular-season finale, when the Bucks rested their starters because they were locked into the East’s No. 3 playoff seed.

DENVER (AP) Nikola Jokic bounced back from a rare poor shooting performance, scoring 30 points to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 127-115 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.

It was his supporting cast’s performance that fired up coach Michael Malone, who smiled as he scanned the stat sheet and saw all five starters plus reserves Bones Hyland and Austin Rivers had scored in double figures.

“I’m extremely pleased,” Malone said. “Yes, Nikola is an MVP, but this team with nine games to go, needs everybody to step their game up down the stretch and alleviate some of the pressure that’s put on Nikola every night.”

Denver had lost four of six, including a 124-104 home loss to the Celtics on Sunday night in which Jokic missed 15 shots and blamed himself for the defeat.

Against the Clippers, he was 9 of 15 from the floor – he also had two baskets that were waived off – and sank 12 of 13 free throws. He also pulled down a game-best 14 rebounds for his 59th double-double of the season.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

(AP) — A group that advocates for college athletes has filed a federal complaint that claims NCAA Division I schools are violating the civil rights of Black basketball players and major college football players by prohibiting compensation.

The National College Players Association announced Tuesday it had submitted a complaint to the Office for Civil Rights in the Education Department. The NCPA says NCAA rules prohibiting schools from compensating athletes disproportionately impacts Black students.

“I believe it’s important to first acknowledge the reality of the business that is college football,” Stanford football player Elijah Higgins said in a statement through the NCPA.

Citing a 2018 study by the University of Southern California’s Race and Equity Center, the complaint said “Black men were 2.4% of undergraduate students enrolled at the 65 (Power Five conference) universities, but comprised 55% of football teams and 56% of men’s basketball teams on those campuses.”

“This multibillion college sports enterprise imposes discriminatory practices that disproportionately harms Black athletes, while predominantly white coaches and administrators make millions of dollars,” said NCPA Executive Director Ramogi Huma, a former UCLA football player. “College athletes throughout predominantly white sports receive fair market compensation, but athletes in the only predominantly Black sports do not.”

The NCAA men’s Division I men’s basketball tournament generates more than $800 million in revenue for the association, most of which is distributed to 358 schools that compete at that level.

NFL NEWS

CLEVELAND (AP) The price for Deshaun Watson went up for the Cleveland Browns in 24 hours. Call it football inflation.

Cleveland’s trade for the legally entangled quarterback became official Sunday, when the Browns finalized the complex deal and released statements from owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam explaining their decision to add him to their roster following the team’s own extensive investigation.

A three-time Pro Bowler, Watson has been accused of sexual misconduct by 22 female massage therapists.

The Browns’ announcement also included terms of the deal that turned out to be inaccurate.

On Monday, when the trade hit the NFL transactions wire, the Browns had sent first- and fourth-round draft picks in 2022 (Nos. 13 and 107), first- and third-rounders in 2023 and first- and fourth-rounders in 2024 to the Texans.

In exchange, the Browns got Watson and a sixth-rounder in 2024.

The original deal didn’t include the fourth-round pick this season and had Cleveland getting back a fifth-rounder in ’24.

The team did not provide any reason for the change.

Watson is expected to be in Cleveland later this week for a physical and to be introduced by the Browns at a news conference. Plans are still being finalized by the team, which has received some backlash for their decision to trade for him and give Watson a fully guaranteed $230 million contract.

The Minnesota Vikings and two-time Pro Bowl edge rusher Za’Darius Smith agreed to a three-year contract, the team announced Tuesday.

The deal is worth $42 million and carries a maximum value of $47 million, a source told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. It keeps Smith in the NFC North following his release from the Green Bay Packers.

Smith anchored an effective pass rush during his three seasons with the Packers, who cut him to get under the salary cap. Smith had 26 sacks over his first two seasons with the team before a back injury cost him nearly all of the 2021 campaign – he returned in the playoffs and had a sack against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Vikings will add the 29-year-old to a pass rush that already features Danielle Hunter. Hunter has been one of the NFL’s top sack artists when healthy, though injuries have limited him to seven games over the past two seasons. Minnesota picked up Hunter’s $18-million roster bonus Sunday, all but cementing his return in 2022.

Smith previously appeared to have a deal in place with the Baltimore Ravens but backed out of the agreement to remain a free agent. He was reportedly set to ink a four-year, $35-million pact to return to Baltimore, where he began his career.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Three years ago at the Pro Bowl, Danielle Hunter autographed a jersey and gave it to his NFC teammate, Za’Darius Smith, with an inscription that raised the possibility of a future reunion.

That didn’t take long.

Smith agreed to a three-year contract worth $42 million with the Vikings on Tuesday, giving the team a pass-rushing boost it badly needed to complement Hunter.

Speaking to reporters at Vikings headquarters after his deal was done, Smith shook his head and smiled as he recounted that interaction with Hunter at the NFL’s annual all-star game.

“Big shoutout to Danielle Hunter, man. I’m happy to be here to get a chance to play with him,” said Smith, whose contract has incentives that can boost the maximum value to $47 million.

The 29-year-old Smith was a Pro Bowl pick in 2019 and 2020 with a combined 26 sacks in 32 games for Green Bay, but he had a major back injury last season and appeared in only one game for the NFC North champions.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-signed running back Leonard Fournette to a three-year, $21-million contract that carries a max value of $24 million, sources told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Fournette visited the New England Patriots on Monday before deciding to return to the Bucs.

The veteran has spent the better part of the past two seasons as the primary ball carrier in Tampa. Fournette tallied 1,266 scrimmage yards (812 rushing, 454 receiving) to go along with 10 total touchdowns last season.

The LSU product began his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who selected him with the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. He ran for 2,631 yards and 17 touchdowns while averaging four yards per carry over three seasons with the AFC South franchise.

Fournette has become a versatile weapon for quarterback Tom Brady, who will return for his 23rd campaign after a brief retirement this offseason. Tampa Bay also signed wide receiver Chris Godwin to a new extension.

The Bucs don’t have much depth behind Fournette, as both Giovani Bernard and Ronald Jones are free agents.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) Terron Armstead has become the Miami Dolphins’ latest big free agent move, announcing Tuesday night that he’s joining the team after spending his first nine NFL seasons with the New Orleans Saints.

Armstead instantly becomes the presumed starter at left tackle for the Dolphins, whose offensive line struggled at times last season. His decision came one day after visiting Miami, then leaving without a deal completed.

A person with knowledge of the agreement said Armstead will sign a five-year deal worth nearly $75 million, with about $44 million guaranteed. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither Armstead nor the team revealed those terms publicly.

“I’ll be taking my talents to South Beach,” Armstead said in a video posted to his social media platforms Tuesday night, using the same line LeBron James used in 2010 when he announced he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat. “Miami, what’s up?”

NFL WIRE: http://hosted.stats.com/fb/wire.asp

NFL DRAFT NEWS: PROFILES TOP 5 RUNNING BACKS

BREECE HALL IOWA STATE RATING: 6.38

Hall garnered second-team All-Big 12 honors as a freshman (186-897-4.8, nine TDs rushing; 23-252-11.0, one TD receiving in 12 games, seven starts). He led the FBS with 1,572 rushing yards (279 carries, 5.6 per; also 23-180-7.8, two TDs receiving in 12 starts) and rushed for 21 TDs in 2020. Hall was the first unanimous All-American in Iowa State history, finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting and was a runner-up for the Doak Walker Award (top collegiate running back). He was a Doak Walker finalist, first-team Associated Press All-American and once again the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year in 2021, ranking seventh in the nation with 1,472 rushing yards (253 carries, 5.8 per) and tying for third with 20 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 36 passes for 302 yards and three scores in 12 starts before opting out of the team’s bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft. Hall set an FBS record with 24 straight games with a rushing touchdown. Hall’s cousin, former NFL RB Roger Craig, starred at Nebraska and was a major contributor to the San Francisco 49ers’ championship teams of the 1980s. Hall’s stepfather, Jeff Smith, also was a running back at Nebraska, as well as for the Chiefs and Buccaneers.

Strengths

  • Has the size of a high-volume back.
  • Touchdown monster from all ranges.
  • Finished career with five touchdown runs of 75 or more yards.
  • Gets around the field with good bend and balance.
  • Recognizes lane development before it happens.
  • Changes foot cadence for unpredictable burst point.
  • Sets up second-level tacklers to fail.
  • Patient behind lead blockers, steering them into defenders.
  • Makes rhythmic cuts with no loss of speed to beat open-field tacklers.
  • Powerful base absorbs contact and stays on his feet.
  • Drops pads and hammers through tacklers while falling forward.
  • Set of skills to become an above-average third-down option.

Weaknesses

  • Handled heavier workload with 800 touches over three years.
  • Runs like he’s pacing himself.
  • Not very shifty to elude early traffic in the backfield.
  • Slight hesitation in his initial read at times.
  • Jukes himself out of balance.
  • Average quickness and burst to outpace linebackers laterally.
  • Will need to play faster and more decisively against NFL speed.

KENNY WALKER III MICHIGAN STATE RATING 6.35

Walker is a compact back with a very powerful, sturdy base. He can find his own yards with twitchy directional change when run-blocking breaks down and possesses plus-rated contact balance to add on to his yardage throughout the game. Walker is a very determined runner who is more reactive than instinctive, which leads to wild shifts in his rush track. He can handle RB1 workload in terms of carries but needs work as a third-down option. Walker would benefit from better rush-track discipline, but his explosiveness and unpredictable style should still lead to success as a future starter.

Strengths

  • Compact and powerful with the build to handle a full workload.
  • Scans and picks up run lanes in any direction.
  • Feet are fast and agile in tight quarters.
  • Instant one-cut talent with no gather steps needed.
  • Impressive body control and change-of-direction balance.
  • Able to create something out of nothing.
  • Burst to turn the corner on bounce-out runs when spilled.
  • Instinctive to square pads against tackles on an angle.
  • Transitions into accelerated, powerful finish.
  • Drops pads and batters tacklers in space.
  • Yards after contact will continue as a pro.
  • Only one fumble on 276 touches in 2021.
  • Stop-start experience in Wake Forest run game has helped him.

Weaknesses

  • Herky-jerky running style lacks fluidity.
  • Not a naturally trusting, decisive runner.
  • Quick to get away from play design without a clear point of entry.
  • Prematurely searches for cutback opportunities on backside.
  • Needs to run with more discipline to the track.
  • Allows leakage in pass pro due to failure to square the blitz.

ZAMIR WHITE GEORGIA RATING 6.25

Overview

White is a naturally powerful runner with a lower half that is hard to knock off-balance no matter how clean the shot. He’s not very dynamic as a runner but is a two-way creator with lateral jump-cuts to avoid tackles and the power to run through them. He’s a wide-base runner who should excel in gap and inside zone schemes but his running style might not lend itself to a long career. He has two ACL tears in his background and is unlikely to play on passing downs, but he’s a formidable “thunder” back waiting to be paired with a “lightning” cohort and will give running games a chance to test the resolve of defenses for four full quarters.

Strengths

  • Weight-room warrior with five-star physique.
  • Permanent team captain in 2021.
  • Loves to play the game with elevated physicality.
  • Creates with power and elusiveness.
  • Processes movement and cuts back accordingly.
  • Absorbs contact like it’s nothing.
  • Lateral cuts come easily for being a power back.
  • Can obliterate lesser tacklers or the uncommitted.
  • Vision to find a pathway to open field once he hits second level.
  • Drags tacklers with him to fall forward.

Weaknesses

  • Tore right ACL in 2017 and left ACL in 2018.
  • Running style lacks fluidity and rhythm.
  • Not very creative once he’s in space.
  • Takes time to find acceleration after making a cut.
  • Very little third-down production during career.
  • His pass protection leaves a lot to be desired.

ISAIAH SPILLER TEXAS A&M RATING 6.23

Spiller was a top-10 running back recruit nationally and a first-team all-state pick at Klein Collins High School before signing to play 90 minutes down the road at College Station. He led the Aggies in rushing in each of his first two years on campus, first as a SEC All-Freshman Team pick in 2019 (174-946-5.4, 10 TDs; 29-203-7.0 receiving in 13 games, nine starts) and then as a first-team all-conference selection in 2020 (188-1,036-5.5, nine TDs; 20-193-9.6 receiving in 10 games with eight starts). Spiller was named second-team All-SEC in 2021, again leading A&M with 1,011 rushing yards (179 carries, 5.6 per, six scores; 25-189-7.6, one TD receiving) in 12 starts. The team could not play in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, however, due to COVID-19 issues. Spiller’s father, Fred, played tight end at Texas A&M but was forced to give up the game because of a back issue in 2001. 

Overview

Volume-carry running back with good size and talent for starting consideration as a pro. He was slowed, at times, by inconsistent run blocking but was still productive and consistent for much of the 2021 season. He has interior vision and loose hips, allowing him to locate and get to run lanes regardless of traffic. Spiller runs with good elusiveness but stays in that mode a little too long, which can affect his ability to finish with authority. He’s a solid back but not overly dynamic and lacks the desired third-down value right now.

Strengths

  • Tape from 2020 shows off talent, with better blocking up front.
  • Runs with oily hips and good pad level through the carry.
  • Adequate foot quickness helps to slip backfield leakage.
  • Effective reading and processing for interior lane choice.
  • Balance allows for cuts in downhill slalom.
  • Able to recalibrate his run in the face of sudden roadblocks.
  • Toggles between patient and urgent when needed.
  • Lateral acceleration to successfully bounce runs wide.
  • Uninhibited to make sharp, back-side cuts.
  • Elusive on the second and third levels.
  • Very good scan-and-slide to meet incoming blitz.

Weaknesses

  • Running style lacks tempo and rhythm at times.
  • Less decisive and trusting as inside runner in 2021.
  • Needs to press the line deeper on zone runs.
  • Average vision when run is spilled wide.
  • Some inefficiencies getting into his cuts.
  • Needs to lock into finishing mode sooner to add contact yardage.
  • Loose with football and targeted for forced fumbles.
  • Needs better protection technique and hands to be a third-down option.

BRIAN ROBINSON ALABAMA RATING: 6.21

Robinson was a top-100 recruit who decided to stay in his hometown to play for the Tide. Unfortunately, he was buried on the Tide’s depth chart behind Damien Harris, Najee Harris, Josh Jacobs and Bo Scarbrough. He received limited carries in the Tide’s 2017 national title run (24-165-6.9, two TDs in 11 games) and in 2018 (63-272-4.3, two TDs in 15 games). Robinson was a bit more active his junior year (96-441-4.6, five TDs rushing; 11-124-11.3 receiving) in 13 games. He backed up All-American Najee Harris during the team’s national title run in 2020 (91-483-5.3, six TDs rushing; 6-26-4.3 receiving), giving the team one of the best running back duos in the country. Robinson became the team’s go-to runner in 2021, carrying the ball nearly as many times in 14 starts (271) as he had the previous four years combined (274), covering 1,343 yards (5.0 per) and scoring 14 times. The first-team All-SEC selection also caught 35 passes for 296 yards (8.5 per) and two scores, and was named the Cotton Bowl Offensive MVP for his efforts in the national semifinal win over Cincinnati (26-204-7.8 rushing). Robinson returned 11 kickoffs for 166 yards (15.1 per) during his career. –

Overview

Robinson is an absolute physical unit with good feet and power to add yards after contact, but his running style is predictable and somewhat indecisive between the tackles. Building and maintaining momentum doesn’t always come easily. He’s more fight than flight, but delays in processing and a lack of second-level creativity turn him into more of a road-grader than he needs to be. He is a linear runner who is likely to be utilized as a complementary bulldozer to help wear down defenses, but Robinson might have more potential from sideline to sideline than he receives credit for.

Strengths

  • Built like a linebacker with a broad, tapered chest.
  • Able to take on a heavy workload.
  • Plays the role of battering ram once he’s downhill.
  • Some elusiveness against early penetration.
  • Adequate looseness to transition from cut to cut.
  • Fast feet for a big back.
  • Has build-up speed as an outside runner.
  • Discontented runner through first contact.
  • Breaks tackles and grinds down the front with power.
  • Freight train potential against flank defenders on swing passes.

Weaknesses

  • Running style is begging for durability concerns.
  • Upright runner with a large strike zone to attack.
  • Loses pad-level conflict at impact.
  • Primarily a one-speed runner.
  • Doesn’t press the line deeply enough.
  • Slight hitch in his feet before bursting limits one-cut effectiveness.
  • Inconsistent processing causes indecisiveness as an inside runner.
  • Lacks ability to downshift and re-calibrate his pathway.
  • Hands are likely to disappoint as a pass-catcher.

MLB NEWS

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Kansas City Royals have agreed to a $3 million contract with shortstop Adalberto Mondesi and a $1.3 million deal with first baseman Ryan O’Hearn for the upcoming season, avoiding arbitration with both players before Tuesday’s deadline for teams and players to submit numbers

The 26-year-old Mondesi has been dynamic when he’s been healthy, leading the league with 24 stolen bases during the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season. But he has only played more than 100 games once in six seasons, and he hit just .230 with six homers and 15 steals while limited to 35 games by injuries last season.

Mondesi, who made $2.52 million last year and is eligible for free agency after the 2023 season, spent much of this past offseason working with new trainers in the Dominican Republic in an effort to stay healthy. The culprits last season were his obliques and hamstring, but he’s also had quad and shoulder injuries over the years.

“I changed a lot of things, different trainer – just focused on the things I need to focus on and I feel good right now and see what’s going to happen,” Mondesi said during the first week of spring training in Surprise, Arizona.

“We started with my body,” he explained, “seeing what’s going to work for me or not and go from there. They ask how I feel, what I feel and I just let him know, and we make a program and follow that.”

(AP) — Automatic runners in extra innings are sticking around for a third straight season.

Despite an easing of pandemic restrictions, Major League Baseball and the players’ association reached a tentative agreement to keep the controversial rule starting each team with a runner on second base during extra innings for the 2022 regular season.

The deal is subject to approval by baseball owners, which likely will take place next week, a person familiar with the agreement said Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcement was authorized. The agreement was first reported by the New York Post.

The agreement regarding on-field rules modifications also includes expanding active rosters from 26 players to 28 from opening day on April 7 through May 1 this year, due to the delayed start of spring training.

Another new rule will benefit Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani. With the designated hitter adopted in both leagues, pitchers who start games in the batting order can remain in the game as a DH after leaving the mound. A DH can also enter the game to pitch. That change will apply to multiple seasons.

The “zombie” runner modification was applied to the 2020 and 2021 regular seasons as part of the Operations Manual, which covered procedures to deal with COVID-19. The modification was not applied to the 2020 and ’21 postseasons.

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge and five players from the World Series champion Atlanta Braves are among 31 players headed toward salary arbitration hearings that will occur during the regular season after they failed to reach contracts and exchanged figures with their teams.

Judge can become a free agent after the World Series, and the outfielder and the team say they want to discuss a long-term deal to keep him in the Bronx. Judge has asked New York for $21 million, while the Yankees have offered $17 million, up from $10,175,000 last year.

Meanwhile, Atlanta general manager Alex Anthopoulos could wind up with potentially awkward hearings against third baseman Austin Riley, shortstop Dansby Swanson, outfielder Adam Duvall and pitchers Max Fried and Luke Jackson. Anthopoulos told The Athletic on Tuesday that Atlanta’s clubhouse was “rattled” when popular slugger Freddie Freeman left for the Los Angeles Dodgers as a free agent after Anthopoulos traded for Matt Olson from Oakland.

Riley has asked for $4.2 million and been offered $3.95 million, while Swanson wants $10 million vs. the team’s offer of $9.2 million. Duvall asked for $10,275,000 vs. $9,275,000, Fried $6.85 million vs. $6.6 million, and Jackson $4 million vs. $3.6 million.

White Sox ace Lucas Giolito asked for $7.5 million but was offered $7.3 million, and Cubs catcher Willson Contreras wants $10.25 million against an offer of $9 million. St. Louis has two key players still without deals in Harrison Bader ($4.8 million vs. $3.8 million) and Tyler O’Neill ($4.15 million vs. $3.4 million).

NHL NEWS

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) Jack Hughes scored twice and the New Jersey Devils broke loose for five second-period goals – four in a six-minute span – to erase an early deficit and defeat the New York Rangers 7-4 on Tuesday night.

Nico Daws made 31 saves for the Devils, who snapped an eight-game losing streak to the rival Rangers. Ryan Graves, P.K. Subban, Dawson Mercer, Tomas Tatar and Yegor Sharangovich also scored as New Jersey shelled Igor Shesterkin for five goals on 13 shots in the middle period.

Shesterkin had allowed two or fewer goals in 11 of his past 14 starts. Alexandar Georgiev replaced the usually unflappable Rangers starter to begin the third.

“We just weren’t very mentally sharp,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “I don’t blame the goalie, as good as he’s been this season.”

Shesterkin made 19 saves and Georgiev, who blanked first-place Carolina on Sunday night, stopped five shots in the third. He gave up Hughes’ 20th goal – and 100th career point – at 9:36 on the power play before the 20-year-old forward scored again at 10:46.

PITTSBURGH (AP) Rickard Rakell spent a decade chasing a Stanley Cup in Anaheim. It took him less than 24 hours to jump at the chance to win one in Pittsburgh.

The veteran forward didn’t record a point during his debut with the Penguins in a 5-1 win over Columbus on Tuesday night. It hardly mattered. After watching Jake Guentzel score twice, Evgeni Malkin pump in his 12th goal of the season and Sidney Crosby rack up three assists, Rakell is all in.

“I think growing up those guys (Crosby and Malkin) are your idols and to be in the same room as those guys, (I’m) just going to try and take it all in, try and learn from them and try to pick up small details in the game that could improve my game,” Rakell said. “I’m just going to try and be a sponge and soak it all in.”

Pittsburgh general manager Ron Hextall sent fourth-liners Dominik Simon and Zach Aston-Reese along with unsigned goaltending prospect goalie Calle Clang and a second-round draft pick to Anaheim for Rakell, a speedy, versatile wing Hextall believes will help his team take some of the scoring burden off the top line anchored by Guentzel and Crosby.

WASHINGTON (AP) Ravaged by injuries and other absences all season, the St. Louis Blues may need to fill another big void in the lineup.

They put together a strong 60-minute effort to beat the Washington Capitals 5-2 Tuesday night and snap a three-game skid, but lost defenseman Torey Krug to an apparent left hand or wrist injury.

Krug left the game in the second period after getting slashed by Nick Jensen and did not return. Krug, after getting slashed, skated the rest of the shift holding his stick only in his right hand before going to the bench.

“It’s frustrating,” said captain Ryan O’Reilly, who scored a power-play goal. “Obviously he’s a huge part of our team. … Hopefully a speedy recovery and he’ll be back soon. But it’s always tough.”

Coach Craig Berube refused to say anything more than Krug left with an upper-body injury. His team was already missing winger Rob Thomas to injury and Vladimir Tarasenko for a second consecutive game because of an illness.

Krug going down looks like just another obstacle for St. Louis to overcome.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Martin Necas and Tony DeAngelo scored on Carolina’s slumping power play, and the Hurricanes stopped a four-game slide by topping the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Sebastian Aho also scored for Carolina, and Seth Jarvis had two assists. Frederik Andersen made 27 saves for just his second win this month.

“We played our game and it worked out,” Necas said.

Nick Paul scored in his first Tampa Bay game and Alex Killorn closed the gap with 59.3 seconds remaining. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 38 shots, but the Lightning lost for the fifth time in its last seven games.

“We got on our heels a little bit,” Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos said. “We’re kind of stuck in that rut right now.”

The Hurricanes went six consecutive games without a power-play goal and then scored two of them within a seven-minute span in the second period. Those accounted for the team’s first two goals.

“I thought we had good entries. We moved it around good,” DeAngelo said of the power plays. “When you play a team like Tampa, those need to go in and they did.”

Carolina improved to 11-0-0 when scoring multiple power-play goals.

DETROIT (AP) Jakub Vrana scored twice and the Detroit Red Wings won for the second time in nine games, defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 6-3 on Tuesday night.

Tyler Bertuzzi had a goal and two assists, and Oskar Sundqvist, acquired from St. Louis on Monday, contributed an empty-netter and an assist in his Detroit debut. Rookie Lucas Raymond supplied his 20th goal and Joe Veleno also scored. Dylan Larkin, Pius Suter and Filip Hronek each had two assists. Alex Nedeljkovic made 30 saves for Detroit, which was 1-6-1 in its previous eight games.

The Red Wings were coming off a four-game trip in which they went 1-3.

“It’s huge for our confidence to get the lead and then get the win,” Vrana said. “We have had to be honest with ourselves and know we weren’t playing well enough on the road trip, but tonight we really came to play.”

Coach Jeff Blashill said the expiration of the trade deadline on Monday relaxed the players who weren’t dealt.

“I think we had a tough road trip, plus there is always going to be angst at the deadline, I don’t care who you are,’ he said. “Yesterday was a tough practice to get through, because everyone is wondering what’s going to happen in a few hours, but we worked hard and we came out with a lot of energy tonight.”

NEW YORK (AP) Semyon Varlamov made 24 saves in his first shutout of the season, leading the New York Islanders to a 3-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.

Scott Mayfield, Anders Lee and Zach Parise scored in the third period. Brock Nelson finished with three assists as the Islanders won for the sixth time in eight games.

Varlamov’s 35th career shutout included a key stop on Colin White in the final minute of the second period.

“He’s played some really good hockey of late,” teammate Casey Cizikas said of Varlamov. “For him to get a shutout tonight, it just speaks volumes of his preparation, his mentality and the way he comes to the rink every single day so we’re excited for him.”

Varlamov last recorded a shutout on May 1 of last season, a 3-0 win against the New York Rangers. The Russian goaltender had a career-high seven shutouts during the 2020-21 season.

Mayfield put New York ahead to stay when he picked up a loose puck in the slot and buried a wrist shot 9:49 into the third. Nelson and Lee assisted on Mayfield’s third of the season.

The Islanders improved to 22-7-5 when scoring first this season.

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) Connor Hellebuyck made 42 saves, and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Vegas Golden Knights 4-0 on Tuesday night.

Nikolaj Ehlers and Mark Scheifele each had a goal and an assist for Winnipeg (30-24-10). Pierre-Luc Dubois and Neal Pionk also scored, and Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor each had two assists.

Hellebuyck’s fourth shutout of the season and No. 28 for his career helped the Jets stay in the race for a wild card in the Western Conference.

“We were always in the mix, but now we’re really in the mix,” Hellebuyck said.

“It’s not how we want to play, but wins at this point are huge, and can continue building and get some momentum off of it.”

The Dallas Stars hold the second wild-card spot with 73 points after a 5-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Vegas has 72 points and Winnipeg 70. The Stars have four games in hand over the Golden Knights and two on the Jets.

“How many games we got left? 18 now?” Hellebuyck asked reporters after the game. “Shoot, we need to win maybe three quarters of those because when teams see us coming, they are going to step on the gas, too.”

The injury-riddled Golden Knights dropped to 34-28-4. They extended their road skid to seven games and two shutouts in a row.

Playing in back-to-back games, Logan Thompson stopped 22 shots for Vegas. He was also in net for Monday night’s 3-0 loss at Minnesota.

DALLAS (AP) Roope Hintz and Denis Gurianov scored 24 seconds apart late in the third period, and the Dallas Stars rallied to beat Edmonton 5-3 on Tuesday night, handing their Oilers their first loss this season after scoring first.

Tyler Seguin added an empty-net goal at 19:41 for his 300th career score and Jason Robertson and Joe Pavelski added goals for the Stars, who won consecutive games for the first time since a four-game streak Feb. 27-March 6. Jake Oettinger made 22 saves.

The Stars have 73 points in 62 games, giving them the second, and last, wild card in the Western Conference by one point over Vegas.

“With this league, you can be in and out (of a playoff berth) every game,” Seguin said. “It’s 20 games left, trying to get into that dance.”

“We had some players go out there, and they were determined to make a difference in the outcome of the game,” Dallas coach Rick Bowness said.

Kailer Yamamoto, Leon Draisaitl and Evander Kane scored for the Oilers, who are 21-1-0 when scoring first this season. The NHL record to begin a season is 22-0-0 by the 1944-45 Montreal Canadiens. Mikko Koskinen stopped 23 shots and is 11-2-2 in his last 15 starts.

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Logan Couture and Alexander Barabanov scored in a 28-second span in the third period, rallying the San Jose Sharks to a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.

“Coming into this building after a trade deadline, having guys injured and out of the lineup, I thought it was a great team effort,” San Jose head coach Bob Boughner said.

It’s the third time this season the Sharks beat the Flames, the top team in the Pacific Division. All three wins have been in regulation.

“They’re a very good hockey team and we’ve played them hard now three times this year,” Couture said. “Sometimes the best teams in the league bring the best out of us. It’s a good attribute to have.”

Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Timo Meier also scored for San Jose (28-27-8).

Johnny Gaudreau, Dillon Dube, and Mikael Backlund scored for Calgary (38-17-8), which lost at home in regulation for just the second time in 19 games (15-2-2). Matthew Tkachuk had a pair of assists.

It’s also the first time this season the Flames lost in regulation after heading into the third period with a lead (31-1-2).

“We’re up 3-2 going into the third, at home, that’s a great spot to be in,” said Matthew Tkachuk, who had two assists. “We allow a wide open chance in front, somebody by himself and you can’t do that, you got to make sure that doesn’t happen. Then basically a 2-on-0 at the end, that’s a goal on any goalie in the league.”

After allowing a pair of early goals, Sharks goaltender James Reimer settled in, finishing with 28 stops. He improved to 17-13-6.

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Carson Soucy had two goals and Daniel Sprong scored in his first game with Seattle to lead the Kraken to a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night.

Soucy scored the first and last goal in a five-goal second period and Morgan Geekie added one in the third as the expansion Kraken won their third game in the last four while beating Arizona for the first time in three meetings.

“I’m just trying to make the most of the opportunity,” said Soucy, a defenseman who set his career high with nine goals and took shifts on the power play after captain Mark Giordano was traded Monday.

“Losing Gio, trying to make the most of it on the power play. Just trying to contribute and help the team get a win. Obviously it sucks losing guys, but you have to take it and make the most of your opportunity.”

Soucy’s go-ahead goal late in the second period came seven seconds after the Coyotes killed a penalty but before they could get back into defensive position.

Nick Schmaltz and Nick Ritchie scored for the Coyotes, who have lost three in a row after winning six of seven in their best stretch of the season.

LOS ANGELES (AP) Adrian Kempe and Quinton Byfield both scored twice, and the shorthanded Los Angeles Kings scored three times in the first 11 minutes to defeat the Nashville Predators 6-1 on Tuesday night.

It was the sixth multigoal game this season for Kempe, who leads the Kings with 28 goals. Byfield, the second pick in the 2020 NHL draft, had the first two-goal game of his career along with an assist. He missed the first half of the season after he broke his left ankle during the preseason, but has four goals and seven points in 25 games.

Trevor Moore had a goal and an assist. Arthur Kaliyev also scored for the Kings, who won for the third time in five games despite missing seven players from their lineup. Jonathan Quick stopped 24 shots.

The Kings scored an even-strength, power-play and shorthanded goal during the first period of a game for only the fourth time in 20 years. The last time was Dec. 31, 2019, against Philadelphia.

Philip Tomasino scored for Nashville, which had won two straight and four of five. Roman Josi had the first assist to extend his point streak to 11 games. The defenseman, who has 21 assists during that span, is second in the league with 60 assists and eighth in scoring with 78 points.

David Rittich made 29 saves.

MEN’S TENNIS

MADRID (AP) Rafael Nadal will be sidelined for four to six weeks because of a rib injury, putting in jeopardy his preparations for the French Open in two months.

Nadal said Tuesday he underwent exams after arriving in Spain from the United States and results showed he has a stress fracture on one of his left ribs.

The injury was sustained in the semifinals at Indian Wells against Carlos Alcaraz. Nadal then lost in the final to Taylor Fritz in two sets on Sunday.

“This is not good news and I didn’t expect it,” Nadal wrote on Twitter. “I’m devastated and sad because it comes after a great start to the season.”

Nadal was 20-0 to begin the season, including winning the Australian Open, before losing to Fritz 6-3, 7-6 (5) at the hard-court tournament in California. It was the third-best start to a season since 1990 on the ATP Tour. Nadal also won titles in Melbourne and Acapulco.

“I was getting to a very important part of the season feeling well and with good results,” Nadal said. “But well, I’ve always had this fighting spirit and what I’ll do is be patient and work hard after recovering.”

The 35-year-old Nadal was treated by a trainer during the final against Fritz and afterward said the problem began the night before during the semifinals against Alcaraz.

Nadal had said he was not sure what exactly caused the discomfort, saying it was “painful” and “very uncomfortable” when he tried to breathe.

Nadal’s winning streak to begin 2022 included his record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January.

MEN’S GOLF

DETROIT (AP) Oakland Hills Country Club, reeling from a fire that destroyed its century-old clubhouse last month, has landed the U.S. Open in 2034 and 2051.

“It’s a great day,” said Rick Palmer, president of the Oakland Hills.

The USGA made the announcement Tuesday at the Detroit Athletic Club. The governing body also said Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania, previously scheduled to have the U.S. Open in 2034, will host the major in 2033.

Oakland Hills has hosted six U.S. Opens and has been trying for years to attract a seventh, and first since 1996. The club has hosted a slew of other significant professional and amateur golf events, including three PGA Championships and the 2004 Ryder Cup.

When Ben Hogan won the U.S. Open in 1951 in suburban Detroit, he famously said he “brought this course, this monster” to its knees.

Two-time U.S. Open champion Andy North, who won his second U.S. Open in 1985 at Oakland Hills, said the golf course can safely be considered among the country’s top 10 in historical significance.

“Before the new equipment, this was one of the hardest golf courses in the world,” North said. “It’s one of the great courses, and it’s fantastic that it’s back in the U.S. Open rotation.”

Last year, the club completed a major renovation of its famed South Course that included adding length on some holes, moving fairway bunkers to put them in play for the pros and rebuilt each of its undulating greens.

“If we can get firm greens, I think we’ll have the best challenge possible,” golf course architect Gil Hanse said. “The putting greens are some of the finest anywhere. We’ve got a golf course that will be an appropriate challenge, even in this day and age.”

TOP INDIANA SPORTS NEWS/RELEASES

INDIANA PACERS PREVIEW (PACERS RELEASE)

Matchup

Ever since the Pacers and Kings completed a blockbuster trade on Feb. 8, fans of both teams have had March 23 circled on their calendars. That date arrives Wednesday, when Sacramento (25-48) visits Indiana (25-47).

It won’t quite be the reunion many anticipated, as two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis will not make the trip back to Indiana after bruising his left knee on Sunday. While Pacers fans will be disappointed to not be able to welcome back Sabonis, they will still get to see Justin Holiday and Jeremy Lamb, both of whom spent nearly three years in Indiana.

Holiday, who started 98 of 197 games with the Pacers, has slid into a starting role in Sacramento, where he is averaging 9.3 points per game. Lamb played in 121 games and started 50 for the Pacers despite missing nearly a year due to a torn ACL. The 10-year veteran has averaged 8.4 points and 4 rebounds in eight games off the bench for Sacramento.

Wednesday’s game will also hold plenty of significance for former Kings Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield, both of whom have flourished in expanded roles with the Pacers.

Haliburton was already a rising star in Sacramento, but the second-year guard has risen to another level through his first 16 games in Indiana. The 22-year-old has increased his scoring average from 14.3 points per game with the Kings to 17.4 with the Blue & Gold and his assists from 7.4 per game to 9.1. Haliburton has also improved his field goal percentage from .457 to .495 and remained an elite 3-point shooter, knocking down 41.2 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.

After primarily coming off the bench in Sacramento, Hield has been a primary offensive option in Indiana, taking a lead role as a scorer but also as a distributor. The 29-year-old sharp shooter has improved his averages from 14.4 points, 4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists with the Kings to 18.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 5 assists with the Pacers.

INDY ELEVEN SOCCER

Indy Eleven today announced two transactions involving USL League One sides, including the signing of forward Rodney Michael via transfer from South Georgia Tormenta FC and a loan of midfielder Alann Torres to Forward Madison FC for their 2022 season. Terms involving both transactions will not be released, per club policy.

Michael, 22, joins Indy Eleven after impressing while on trial during the team’s preseason across February and March. Rodney began his professional career in 2021 with South Georgia Tormenta FC, where he originally played for the club’s pre-professional USL League Two side in order to retain his final season of collegiate eligibility before eventually being offered a professional contract to Tormenta’s League One squad.

“I cannot wait to put on the Indy Eleven shirt and give my all for the club,” said Michael. “I know how good this group is and what we can achieve this season, and I’m looking forward to playing my part.”

Michael spent his college career with UC Santa Barbara, where in three seasons with the Gauchos he started all but one of his 59 appearances, netted 23 goals, and tallied 15 assists. His accolades at UCSB included the 2017 Big West Freshman of the Year and nods to the 2017 & 2018 All-Big West First Teams and 2018 All-Far West Region Team. Michael was also an accomplished high school player in the state of California, being named the 2016-17 California Gatorade Soccer Player of the Year after leading Santa Barbara Soccer Club to a U18 National Championship in 2016.

“We’ve had a long look at Rodney throughout preseason and are thrilled to come to an agreement with Tormenta FC that brings his energy and skill into our squad,” said Indy Eleven Head Coach Mark Lowry. “Rodney is a player with fantastic instincts in and around the final third, and he’ll provide danger whether he is playing the final pass or finishing one off.”

INDY FUEL

INDIANAPOLIS – The Rockford IceHogs, proud American Hockey League affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League, announced today that goaltender Cale Morris has been reassigned from the Indy Fuel to the IceHogs.

Morris, 25, returned to the Fuel on March 1 and appeared in five games earning a 3-2 record. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound goaltender has appeared in four games for the IceHogs this season registering a 2.96 goals-against average and a .885 save percentage. Through 19 games with the Fuel, Morris has amassed a 2.83 goals-against average and a .896 save percentage. 

Various ticket options are now on sale for the Fuel’s 8th season at Indiana Farmers Coliseum! Lock up your seat for every second of the action at Indiana Farmers Coliseum with a Fuel Ticket Plan – grab yours by heading to IndyFuelHockey.com or by calling the Fuel front office at 317-925-FUEL. Don’t forget to follow the Fuel on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (IndyFuel) for news, updates, contests and much more throughout the 2021-22 season. 

INDIANA SWIMMING

ATLANTA – Big Ten Champion and No. 4-ranked Indiana men’s swimming and diving will go for an emphatic finish to its season at the 2022 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships, March 23-26 inside McAuley Aquatic Center.

The competition kicks off Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET with the finals of the 200 Medley Relay and 800 Freestyle Relay. The entirety of the event will be streamed live on ESPN+.

Twelve athletes, nine swimmers and three divers, from IU are set to appear as individuals in the four-day event. Indiana is also a top-10 seed in all five relays.

IU diving secured a total of nine bids from its three athletes. Reigning two-time 3-meter champion Andrew Capobianco is joined by freshmen Quinn Henninger and Carson Tyler. The trio tallied six medals at the Big Ten Championships, with Capobianco winning gold in all three events.

“We’re looking forward to a great week,” IU head diving coach Drew Johansen said. “Andrew is leading two to of the country’s most talented freshman to their first NCAA Championships. The men are excited to continue the momentum created by the women last week.”

Including the five relays, IU has swimmers in all 18 events. The 2022 Big Ten Champion in the 100 back, 200 back and 200 fly, junior Brendan Burns will race the 100 back, 100 fly and 200 fly at the national meet. Burns is the No. 1 seeded athlete in the 100 back.

“Our focus this week is moving up from our seeding on the swimming side of the equation,” IU head swimming coach Ray Looze said. “Another major key to our success this week will be placing our relays as highly as possible, ideally top eight for all five.”

MEET INFO

Wednesday, March 23 – Saturday, March 26 | 10 a.m. ET (Prelims), 6 p.m. ET (Finals)

McAuley Aquatic Center • Atlanta, Ga.

NCAA Championships Central: https://bit.ly/3iqkArZ

Live Results (Swim): https://bit.ly/3tvLIfr

Live Results (Dive): https://bit.ly/3qtpl8B

Live Stream: https://es.pn/3Ih6gg3

SCHEDULED EVENTS (FINALS START TIME)

Wednesday (6 p.m. ET) – 200 Medley Relay, 800 Freestyle Relay

Thursday (6 p.m. ET) – 500 Freestyle, 200 IM, 50 Freestyle, 1-Meter Dive, 400 Medley Relay

Friday (6 p.m. ET) – 100 Butterfly, 400 IM, 200 Freestyle, 100 Breaststroke, 100 Backstroke, 3-Meter Dive, 200 Freestyle Relay

Saturday (6 p.m. ET) – 1,650 Freestyle, 200 Backstroke, 100 Freestyle, 200 Breaststroke, 200 Butterfly, Platform Dive, 400 Freestyle Relay

MEN’S QUALIFIERS (SEED)

Bruno Blaskovic – 50 Freestyle (27), 100 Freestyle (15), 100 Butterfly (30)

Michael Brinegar – 500 Freestyle (40), 1,650 Freestyle (9)

Brendan Burns – 100 Backstroke (1), 100 Butterfly (25), 200 Butterfly (5)

Andrew Capobianco – 1-Meter Dive, 3-Meter Dive, Platform Dive

Corey Gambardella – 100 Butterfly (47), 200 Butterfly (26)

Quinn Henninger – 1-Meter Dive, 3-Meter Dive, Platform Dive

Gabriel Fantoni – 100 Backstroke (8), 200 Backstroke (12), 100 Butterfly (13)

Tomer Frankel – 200 Freestyle (27), 100 Butterfly (8), 200 Butterfly (32)

Josh Matheny – 100 Breaststroke (15), 200 Breaststroke (6)

Rafael Miroslaw – 50 Freestyle (45), 100 Freestyle (25), 200 Freestyle (5)

Jacob Steele – 200 IM (44), 100 Backstroke (16), 200 Backstroke (33)

Carson Tyler – 1-Meter Dive, 3-Meter Dive, Platform Dive

Relays: 200 Freestyle (8), 400 Freestyle (9), 800 Freestyle (10), 200 Medley (6), 400 Medley (1)

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS HISTORY

The six-time NCAA Champion IU men’s swimming and diving program has finished top-10 at the national meet in eight of the last nine seasons. For the fifth-straight season, Indiana finished as the top Big Ten team at the NCAA Championships in 2019 – the best stretch for IU since accomplishing the feat for 15 straight seasons from 1964-78.

At the 2021 championships, the Hoosiers finished sixth with 207 points and 10 athletes claimed 35 All-America honors. Capobianco won his second straight NCAA title in the 3-meter dive, scoring a career-high 505.20.

2022 BIG TEN CHAMPIONS

In February, the Hoosier men won the program’s fourth Big Ten Championship in six years after a two-year gap, totaling 1,499.5 points. It was the program’s 28th conference title.

Capobianco became the first athlete since 2011 to sweep the conference diving titles and repeated as the Big Ten Diver of the Championships.

Burns also repeated as the Big Ten Swimmer of the Championships, winning gold in three individual events. On the third day of the event, Burns swam the fastest 100 Backstroke in the country at 44.31 to set a meet record in the event.

PURDUE SWIMMING

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP MEET INFORMATION

Purdue Men at the NCAA Championships

Wednesday to Saturday, March 23 to 26 / ESPN3

10 a.m. Swimming Prelims, 12 p.m. Diving Prelims, 6 p.m. Finals (ET)

McAuley Aquatic Center / Atlanta, Georgia

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A program-record 10 Boilermakers are ready to represent Purdue men’s swimming & diving in a combined nine events on the national stage of the NCAA Championships this week in Atlanta.

The Boilermakers have multiple entries in all three diving events and a quartet in four of the five relays.

The national championship meet begins Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET with a pair of relays and continues through Saturday night at Georgia Tech’s McAuley Aquatic Center, which also served as the host of the women’s NCAA Championships last week. The individual events begin with Thursday’s prelims. Swimming prelims begin daily at 10 a.m. Diving prelims get underway during the noon hour. Finals sessions begin at 6 p.m.

PURDUE ENTRIES & SCHEDULE AT NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS

All Relays are Finals Only again this year

• Nikola Aćin – 50 & 100 Free, 200 & 400 Free Relays, 200 & 400 Medley Relays

• Sam Bennett – 3-Meter Diving

• Ben Bramley – Platform Diving

• Tyler Downs – 1-Meter, 3-Meter, Platform Diving

• Greg Duncan – 1-Meter, 3-Meter Diving

• Keelan Hart – 400 Free & 400 Medley Relays

• Ryan Hrosik – 200 Free & 200 Medley Relays

• Jordan Rzepka – 1-Meter, 3-Meter, Platform Diving

• Brady Samuels – 200 & 400 Free Relays, 200 & 400 Medley Relays

• Nick Sherman – 200 & 400 Free Relays, 200 & 400 Medley Relays

Wednesday, March 23 – 6 p.m. Relays

• 200 Medley Relay – Nick Sherman, Brady Samuels, Ryan Hrosik, Nikola Aćin

Thursday, March 24 – 10 a.m. Swimming Prelims, 12:15 p.m. Diving Prelims // 6 p.m. Finals

• 50 Free – Nikola Aćin

• 1-Meter Diving – Tyler Downs, Greg Duncan, Jordan Rzepka

• 200 Free Relay (Last Event of Finals) – Nikola Aćin, Ryan Hrosik, Brady Samuels, Nick Sherman

Friday, March 25 – 10 a.m. Swimming Prelims, 12:15 p.m. Diving Prelims // 6 p.m. Finals

• 3-Meter Diving – Sam Bennett, Tyler Downs, Greg Duncan, Jordan Rzepka

• 400 Medley Relay (Last Event of Finals) – Nikola Aćin, Nick Sherman, Brady Samuels, Keelan Hart

Saturday, March 26 – 10 a.m. Swimming Prelims, 12 p.m. Diving Prelims // 6 p.m. Finals

• 100 Free – Nikola Aćin

• Platform Diving – Ben Bramley, Tyler Downs, Jordan Rzepka

• 400 Free Relay (Last Event of Finals) – Nikola Aćin, Keelan Hart, Brady Samuels, Nick Sherman

All five of Purdue’s divers qualified on the men’s side this year. Greg Duncan is closing out his career as a five-time NCAA Championships qualifier (4 for Purdue, 1 for North Carolina). He has joined Brandon Loschiavo (2017-19, 2021), Joe Cifelli (2016-19) and Casey Matthews (2009-10, 2013-14) from the women’s program as divers to be four-time NCAAs qualifiers for Purdue. Ben Bramley would also be part of that list had he been able to compete at the Zone C Championships in 2020 prior to the pandemic-related shutdown.

Sam Bennett, Tyler Downs and Jordan Rzepka all qualified for NCAAs as freshmen. Downs and Rzepka are among an elite group of 23 to qualify in all three events this year. Purdue is one of five teams to have multiple divers that qualified in all three events. The 2017 season marked the last time the Boilermakers had two divers qualify in all three events.

Among the Boilermakers’ five swimming qualifiers, seniors Nikola Aćin and Nick Sherman both qualified for the third time in their careers. Classmate Ryan Hrosik is also back at NCAAs for the second year in a row. Brady Samuels becomes just Purdue’s seventh swimmer to qualify as a freshman since 2000.

FRESHMAN SWIMMERS TO QUALIFY FOR NCAAs (Since 2000)

• Tamas Bessenyei – 2001

• Romain Maire – 2005

• Chris Etherington – 2006

• Stephen Seliskar – 2013

• Austin Flager – 2014

• Nikola Aćin – 2019

• Brady Samuels – 2022

All relays are finals-only events again this year. Purdue qualified in a team-record four relays for the second year in a row. The 200 medley relay was moved from Friday to Wednesday this year. That also shifted the 400 medley relay to Friday. The new relay schedule emulates what many conferences utilize at their championship meets.

The Boilermakers earned honorable mention All-America accolades in two different relays – the medleys in 2019 and the freestyles in 2021 – the last two time the NCAA Championships have been held. The 2019 meet marked the first time Purdue earned All-America honors in two different relays in the same season. This year, Purdue won multiple relay medals at the Big Tens Championships for the first time since 2003, setting a team record in the 400 free relay in the process. The Boilermakers also posted top-four times in team history in the other four relays, including another NCAA automatic qualifying time (A Cut) and bronze medal in the 200 free relay.

The Boilermakers’ 10 qualifiers matches a program record from 2014 and 2015. Multiple Purdue divers have qualified for NCAAs each of the last nine years the meet has been held.

Purdue has finished among the top 25 in the team scoring at the NCAA Championships 13 times since 2005. The Boilermakers placed 13th in 2009, 2010 and 2017, winning multiple national titles in diving all three years. Last season, Brandon Loschiavo accounted for the Purdue men’s 12th NCAA title in a diving event, teaming with Bramley for a 1-2 finish on the tower. It was the first 1-2 showing by any school in a diving event since Auburn did likewise on the tower in 2005. It was also a big reason why Purdue finished 17th in the team scoring.

ESPN3 and ESPN’s streaming apps will provide live video coverage of all sessions.

RECENT ALL-AMERICA HISTORY

• The Boilermakers have had at least one All-American (in any event) at the NCAA Championships every year this century the meet has been held. Ben Bramley, Greg Duncan and Nick Sherman were also named All-Americans by the CSCAA in 2020 after the shutdown. Duncan and Sherman had all qualified for NCAAs and Bramley was considered a likely championship finalist on the tower again.

• One men’s diver has earned All-America honors in 15 of the last 16 national championship meets. Olympians David Boudia and Steele Johnson won a combined 11 NCAA titles for Purdue from 2009 to 2018. Before becoming an Olympian in June 2021, Brandon Loschiavo’s big year began with his breakthrough victory on the tower at the NCAA Championships.

• Nikola Aćin was also a championship finalist last season, racing for the national title among the top eight in the 100 free (clinching full-fledged All-America honors). He became the fifth Boilermaker this century to be a championship finalist in a swimming event at NCAAs. Matthew Martin was the last to accomplish the feat in consecutive years – finishing top eight in the mile in 2000 and 2001.

Last week, Purdue divers Maggie Merriman, Sophie McAfee, Jenna Sonnenberg and Maycey Vieta competed at the women’s NCAA Championships in Atlanta. Merriman finished fifth in the championship final of platform diving to earn All-America accolades. The Boilermakers finished 30th in the team scoring.

BUTLER BASEBALL

KNOXVILLE – The Tennessee Volunteers defeated the Butler Bulldogs on Tuesday night by the final score of 13-3. The win moves Tennessee to 20-1 on the year while Butler slides to 9-11. Camden Sewell (3-1) was credited with the win at Lindsey Nelson Stadium and Luke Zmolik was hit with the loss.

Zmolik had trouble finding the strike zone to start the game which resulted in the Vols scoring six runs in the bottom half of the first. BU would climb onto the scoreboard in the second inning after a solo home run from Scott Jones. Yet another solo homer would come for Butler in the fourth off the bat of Aaron Steinhart and the Bulldogs would finish the game with three solo shots over the wall in left after Ryan O’Halloran went yard in the seventh.

Tennessee never trailed in the contest. The Vols added three runs to their total in the third and solo scores in fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh.

Camden Sewell was one of one nine Volunteers to touch the rubber on Tuesday night. Ben Joyce highlighted the bullpen by reaching 103 mph on the radar gun. No UT arm threw more than starter Zander Sechrist. The left-hander exited the game after three full frames. He allowed six BU hits and struck out three batters.

Butler came up with eight hits, just two shy of the Tennessee total. Ryan O’Halloran went 2-for-4 from the plate with the solo homer and Kyle Van Liere was 2-for-3 for the Bulldogs.

Benji Downs did most of the heavy lifting for the BU bullpen. The right-handed senior tossed three full innings. John MacCauley, Derek Drees, Dawson Taylor, Austin Andrishok and Greg Gilbert also made appearances.

The Bulldogs will return to Indianapolis this weekend to play three games against two different opponents. Games on Friday and Sunday will be played against the Northwestern Wildcats. Saturday’s noon start will be against Southern Illinois. 

BUTLER WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Butler Vice President/Director of Athletics Barry Collier announced Tuesday, March 22 that Kurt Godlevske is no longer the head coach of the women’s basketball program, effective immediately.

“On behalf of our university and athletics department, I want to thank Kurt for his efforts,” said Collier. “We wish Kurt and his family nothing but the best moving forward.”

A national search for a new women’s basketball coach will begin immediately.

The Bulldogs have a record of 4-44 over the past two seasons.

In eight seasons as the head coach at Butler, Godlevske posted an overall record of 91-144, which included a 47-97 mark in BIG EAST regular season contests. Godlevske was selected by his peers as the 2019 BIG EAST Coach of the Year as the Bulldogs made an appearance in the WNIT.

Godlevske joined Butler as an assistant coach in the spring of 2013. After one full season as an assistant, Godlevske was elevated to head coach beginning with the 2014-15 season.

BALL STATE GYMNASTICS

INDIANAPOLIS – – Ball State sophomore gymnast Suki Pfister will have at least one more vault this season, as she was selected to compete as an event specialist in the NCAA Norman Regional during the 2022 selection show Tuesday afternoon.

Pfister will compete on vault alongside Boise State in the final rotation of the opening session of Thursday’s (March 31) second round action. The session is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. CT at the Lloyd Noble Center.

The 2022 Mid-American Conference Specialist of the Year, Pfister ranks first in the league and 28th nationally with a NQS of 9.895. In her latest outing, Pfister earned silver at the MAC Championships last Saturday with a score of 9.850.

Pfister was also named to the All-MAC First Team after finishing the regular season as the only vaulter in the league to record more than two scores of 9.900-or-better on the apparatus, scoring four.

In BSU’s regular season finale at Central Michigan (March 11), Pfister turned in the best vault in the MAC this season with a 9.950, which earned the Fort Wayne native her second MAC Specialist of the Week honor.

With the effort, Pfister became only the fifth gymnast in program history to register a routine of 9.950-or-higher in any event. In fact, it was just fifth vault and 11th overall routine in program history to score that high.

If Pfister ends regional competition with the top individual score from a non-championship qualifying team, she will earn the opportunity to advance to the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships April 14-16 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.

BALL STATE BASEBALL

CLEVELAND – The Mid-American Conference announced its weekly Player and Pitcher of the Week on Tuesday. Matthew Rivera was named the MAC Co-Player of the Week after an outstanding weekend at the plate for Ball State.

Rivera led the Cardinals with a .615 batting average and posted a 1.308 slugging percentage. He tied for the team lead with two home runs. He drove in 11 RBIs and led the squad with 17 total bases for the weekend. He was walked a team-high six times. He hit two home runs in the third game of the series, which included a grand slam. He also drew a walk-off walk in the third game of the series as the run-rule was put in effect.

The Cardinals are scheduled to return to action on Friday, March 25, for game one of a four-game series at Western Michigan.

From the Coach – Head Coach Rich Maloney

“Matthew Rivera had an outstanding weekend and gave our team a big lift.”

NOTRE DAME WOMEN’S LACROSSE

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Graduate student attacker Maddie Howe has been named the ACC’s Offensive Player of the Week, it was announced Tuesday afternoon (March 22).

Howe powered the Irish offense with seven goals in Notre Dame’s 17-10 victory over Yale on March 20. Howe in her fifth year, established a new career-high to help power the Irish to their second straight win.

Notre Dame’s 2022 Weekly Honors

Bridget Deehan – ACC Defensive POTW (March 8)

Maddie Howe- ACC Offensive POTW (March 22)

Up Next

The #14 Irish return to Arlotta for a home contest against Duke on March 26..

The Duke contest is slated for 1 p.m. and will be aired on ACCNX and live stats will be available.

NOTRE DAME MEN’S SOCCER

#3 CLASS IN THE COUNTRY

The incoming class is ranked third in the nation according to TopDrawerSoccer and features four players ranked in IMG’s top 200 rankings.

The Irish will add seven players to a program that won its first ACC Championship title and made a run to its second College Cup.

Notre Dame Class of 2026

Midfielder Kelvin Baffour (Southport, Connecticut & Kumasi, Ghana/Black Rock FC)

Midfielder Daniel Boateng (Carpinteria, California & Accra, Ghana/Santa Barbara SC)

Forward Wyatt Borso (Aurora, Illinois/Pittsburgh Riverhounds)

Goalkeeper Owen Cornell (La Grange, Illinois/FC United)

Defender Mitchell Ferguson (Glen Carbon, Illinois/Portland Timbers Academy)

Midfielder Sebastian Green (Black Rock FC)

Forward Nicholas Legendre (Rio Rancho, New Mexico/Colorado Rapids Academy)

NOTRE DAME SOFTBALL

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – After leading the University of Notre Dame softball team to a perfect 5-0 week, sophomore Karina Gaskins was named the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s National Player of the Week for her efforts. This is the first time Gaskins has earned the national award. Gaskins was also named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week for her efforts, the first weekly conference award for the sophomore.

Gaskins led the Irish to a pair of midweek wins in the first games at Melissa Cook Stadium in the 2022 season, before sweeping the Pittsburgh Panthers in all three games at Pitt. She finished the week going 12-for-16, with a double, two home runs, scored eight runs, drove in 11 and earned a 1.188 slugging percentage. She drove in at least one run in all five games, with four multi-RBI games and four multi-hit games.

She started the week against Detroit Mercy, going 1-for-2 as she helped the Irish tie the record for the most runs scored in a game and the largest margin of victory in program history. Gaskins became the second Notre Dame player to earn four hits in a game this year against Western Michigan as she drove in two and scored a run in the win.

In the series with Pitt, every hit she connected on drove in at least one run throughout the weekend. She came up clutch in the first and third games against Pitt, hitting home runs in the seventh and sixth innings of games to add insurance in the victories. Her two-run home in the first game of the series extended the lead to 7-4 as the Irish gave up a run in the bottom of the seventh before earning the win. Finished the week going 3-for-3 with another home run to extend the lead in the sixth inning of the finale.

Up Next

Gaskins and the Irish are scheduled to play DePaul at Melissa Cook Stadium Wednesday evening at 5 p.m.

NOTRE DAME MEN’S HOCKEY

NCAA Preview: No. 3 Seed Notre Dame Faces No. 2 Seed North Dakota In Albany Regional

WHO: #9/10 Notre Dame (27-11-0) vs. #7/8 North Dakota (24-13-1)

WHEN: Thursday, March 24 at 6 p.m. ET

WHERE: MVP Arena in Albany, New York

WATCH: ESPNU

LISTEN: 94.3 FM | UND.com

SETTING THE STAGE

The University of Notre Dame hockey team will be the No. 3 seed at the 2022 NCAA Albany Regional and will face No. 2 seed North Dakota at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 24 in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Championship at MVP Arena (ESPNU).

It will mark the first NCAA meeting between Notre Dame and North Dakota.

The other first round game at the 2022 Albany Regional will feature No. 1 seed Minnesota State versus No. 4 seed Harvard.

The 2022 Albany Regional Final is slated for Saturday, March 26 (time TBA).

The additional 2022 NCAA Regional sites include Allentown, Pennsylvania (March 25 & 27), Loveland, Colorado (March 24 & 26) and Worcester, Massachusetts (March 25 & 27).

The four regional winners will advance to the 2022 Frozen Four on April 7 and 9 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

ND IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT

Notre Dame is making the 13th NCAA tournament appearance in program history, including the 12th under head coach Jeff Jackson.

Notre Dame has a program-best streak of six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances intact.

It is the second-longest active NCAA appearance streak, trailing only Minnesota Duluth (7).

Last season, the Irish were unable to compete due to COVID-19 protocols after making the tournament field and heading to the Albany Regional (Notre Dame had been the No. 4 seed and would have played No. 1 seed Boston College).

Prior to the 2019-20 season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fighting Irish advanced to a regional final for the third consecutive season in 2018-19, having won regional final games in 2017 and 2018 to advance to back-to-back Frozen Fours.

The Fighting Irish have now made nine of the last 11 NCAA tournaments, which is tied with North Dakota and Minnesota Duluth for the second-most (Denver leads with 10).

In addition to 2017 and 2018, the Irish also made Frozen Four appearances in 2008 and 2011.

Notre Dame was a No. 3 seed three previous times and is 3-3-0 as a No. 3 seed, including 2011 (advanced to the Frozen four), 2016 and 2019.

Seniors Nick Leivermann, Cam Burke, Graham Slaggert and Jake Pivonka each played two NCAA games in 2019, while Spencer Stastney played one (none of those five players recorded a point in the NCAA Tournament).

Matthew Galajda was injured during the 2019 ECAC championship game and was unable to play in the 2019 NCAA Tournament for the Big Red.

Jeff Jackson will be making his 18th-career appearance as a head coach in the NCAA Tournament.

The 18 career appearances are the top total among head coaches in the field this season.

In addition to the 12 appearances now with Notre Dame, Jackson took Lake Superior State to the NCAA tournament six times including NCAA Championships in 1992 and 1994.

Formerly the Times Union Center, the regional will take place where Irish head coach Jeff Jackson won his first NCAA Championship as head coach of Lake Superior State in 1992

The Lakers downed Wisconsin 5-3 in the championship game and current Notre Dame sophomore forward Ryder Rolston’s father, Brian, had the game-winning goal in that contest.

FIGHTING IRISH – FIGHTING HAWKS SERIES HISTORY

Notre Dame and North Dakota have met 37 times with the series tied 17-17-3, but the last meetings came on Nov. 23-24, 2012 in a two-game series in South Bend, Indiana.

The teams split that series, with North Dakota taking game one 2-1 before the Irish rebounded with a 5-2 game two win.

In that victory, current New York Islanders captain Anders Lee had two goals and an assist for a three-point night while the Irish roster featured future NHLers Lee, Thomas DiPauli, T.J. Tynan, Steven Fogarty, Robbie Russo, Stephen Johns and Bryan Rust.

The teams have never met in the NCAA Tournament, with their only neutral site meeting coming on Jan. 3, 2010 in the championship game of Notre Dame’s Shillelagh Tournament, which was played at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

Notre Dame and North Dakota skated to a 3-3 overtime tie that day and the Irish went on to win a five-round shootout, 2-1, to claim the Shillelagh Tournament Championship.

The two teams played a majority of the games (28) as members of the WCHA from 1971-81 with the Irish holding a 14-13-1 edge in those games.

STASTNEY’S STARRING ROLE

In the 21 games since the Irish returned from break on Jan. 1, senior defenseman Spencer Stastney has five goals and 13 assists for 18 points, notching at least one point in 14 of the 21 games.

Stastney is now tied as Notre Dame’s second leading scorer with a career-high 27 points on seven goals and 20 assists.

Stastney’s previous career highs were five goals (2020-21), 17 assists (2019-20) and 20 points (2019-20).

Stastney is the only defenseman in the country with multiple shorthanded goals this season (2).

Stastney is averaging 0.56 assists per game, which ranks eighth in the Big Ten.

Stastney has also blocked 62 shots, which ranks third in the Big Ten.

Stastney was named the team’s Most Valuable Player as voted by his teammates following the conclusion of the Big Ten Playoffs.

QUICK HITS

Matthew Galajda has started each of the past nine games for the Irish, posting a 7-2-0 record to go along with a .943 save percentage and a 1.80 goals-against average while only yielding 10 even strength goals in the nine games.

The Fighting Irish are 19-1-0 when scoring first this season and 23-1-0 when scoring at least three goals.

Notre Dame is 6-2-0 in overtime this season, with the OT game-winning goals coming from Cam Burke (at Michigan Tech), Ryder Rolston (at Michigan), Max Ellis (at Michigan and at Penn State), Spencer Stastney (at Ohio State) and Landon Slaggert (vs. Minnesota)

Adam Karashik (0-2-2) and Jack Adams (2-0-2) enter NCAA play on two-game point streaks.

PURDUE FT. WAYNE WOMEN’S GOLF

PROSPECT, Ky. – The Purdue Fort Wayne women’s golf team recorded a 54-hole score of 943 on Tuesday (March 22) at the Nevel Meade Collegiate, which is in the program’s top-10 in history.

Purdue Fort Wayne tied for eighth in the 15-team field with a team score of 943, topping Detroit Mercy (972) and Northern Kentucky (989).

Anna Olafsdottir led the Mastodons for the tournament, finishing with a 75-79-80-234. She tied for 17th after recording 11 pars in her final round of play.

Kennedy Brooker moved up the leaderboard on Tuesday, as she carded an 82-76-77-235. In her last round of the week, she turned in a birdie on the 428-yard 18th hole and the 480-yard seventh. She also had 10 pars to tie for 19th.

Arny Dagsdottir and Laura Caetano tied for 29th after Dagsdottir had her best round of the week. Dagsdottir shot an 81-79-77-237, recording 34 pars for the week, which was the second-most in the field. She also added a birdie on hole two to go with 11 pars in her final round. Caetano had 11 pars en route to her 82-75-80-237.

Taylor Norman rounded out the lineup, firing an 83-79-80-242 to tie for 48th. She had 13 pars in her final round.

Sarah Brenneman competed as an individual, shooting 92-93-85-270.

Host school Cleveland State won the tournament with a score of 918. Bellarmine’s Josephine Bonin won the event with a 221.

Purdue Fort Wayne will play in the Jan Weaver Invitational on April 8-9. This is the last tournament for the Mastodons before the Horizon League Championship.

PURDUE FT. WAYNE BASEBALL

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Mastodons will step out of league play on Wednesday (March 23) with a trip to Michigan State to play the Spartans. It will be a 4 p.m. first pitch.

Game Day Information

What: Purdue Fort Wayne (2-17) vs. Michigan State (10-7)

When: Wednesday, March 23 | 4 p.m.

Where: McLane Baseball Stadium | East Lansing, Mich.

Live Stats: Link

Weather: Rain possible

Series History: Michigan State leads 4-0. The two teams haven’t played since 2004

Scouting the Spartans: Michigan State has won 5-of-6 and three in a row after defeating Houston Baptist three times last week. Mitch Jebb leads the team in hitting with a .393 average and has a team-high 10 walks. Casey Mayers is hitting .381 with zero walks on the season.

Probable Starters:

Purdue Fort Wayne: RHP Bryce Martens (11.05 ERA, 0-3)

Michigan State: LHP Aidan Arbaugh (no appearances)

‘Dons Dig The Long Ball: Purdue Fort Wayne is tied for second in the Horizon League with 17 home runs on the season. Braedon Blackford and Cade Fitzpatrick are tied for second in the league with four home runs. Jarrett Bickel is sixth with three.

‘Dons Dig The Long Ball X2: The four home runs the ‘Dons hit on Sunday in the series finale with Youngstown State were the most home runs a Horizon League team hit in a league game last weekend.

‘Dons Dig The Long Ball X3: Seven different Mastodons have a home run this season.

Is That Good?: Cade Fitzpatrick is 14-of-26 (.538) in his last eight starts with eight runs scored.

One Is Fun: Cade Fitzpatrick is averaging exactly one hit per game with 16 hits in 16 games.

3 In 2 In 1!: Twice this season a Mastodon has hit three home runs in a doubleheader. Braedon Blackford hit three home runs in a doubleheader against California Baptist (Feb. 26). Cade Fitzpatrick hit three home runs in a twin bill against Youngstown State (March 20). Fitzpatrick was named one of the best hitters of March 20th by D1Baseball.com

Mitchell!: Mitchell Spencer is eighth in the Horizon League in ERA at 3.67. He is fifth in innings pitched at 27.0

Miller Time: Justin Miller owns 151 career strikeouts, tied for seventh in program history.

Strikeout Time: Justin Miller is fifth in the league with 25 strikeouts.

New Faces: The 2022 Mastodon roster features 15 returners from last season and 18 newcomers.

Up Next: The ‘Dons travel to Oakland in Horizon League play this week.

IUPUI MEN’S GOLF

GREENVILLE, N.C. – The IUPUI men’s golf team posted a final round 305 at the ECU Intercollegiate on Tuesday (Mar. 22) at Brook Valley Country Club, finishing tied for eighth among the 12-team field at 914 (304-305-305). Sophomore Taylor Gardner capped a top-10 finish with a final round, 2-over 74, ending the event at 220 (73-73-74).

Three others – Matthew Baxter, Colten Girgis and Sam McWilliams – all posted final round scores of 77 to help account for the 305 while Brock Aten posted a score of 78. Gardner had a team-high three birdies on Tuesday, finishing the tournament with a team best nine birdies for the week. Both Baxter and Girgis had seven each for the week.

The Jaguars closed well on Tuesday as McWilliams was 1-under on his final nine holes of the day and Gardner was even on his final nine, closing with seven straight pars. Girgis was 2-over on his final nine, helping offset a double bogey just before the turn.

For the week, Baxter closed at 230 (75-78-77) and Girgis shot 231 (77-77-77). McWilliams finished at 235 (81-77-77) and Aten rounded out the group at 243 (79-86-78).

“I think it was crucial to get a lot of qualifying rounds, or even rounds in general. I think over the winter, some of us focus on our swing a little too much and we have to relearn how to actually score,” Girgis said of completing the Spring Break trip. “So going out and having a week off from school and just playing a bunch of golf really helped us learn what works and what doesn’t.

“Along with that, I think we can vastly improve between now and conference. Some of these problems might take longer to fix than others, but I think we will be in a good spot come late April.”

Southern Miss breezed to the team title, winning by 21 shots over second-place Francis Marion with an even par 864 for the week. Francis Marion finished at 885 and host East Carolina was third at 888. Gardner-Webb’s Zack Byers and West Virginia’s Max Green finished tied atop the leaderboard at 5-under 211 and a pair of players from Southern Miss – Brice Wilkinson and Ryan Dupuy – both finished at 3-under 213.

Gardner finished tied for tenth among the 78-player field for his first top-10 finish of the year and second of his collegiate career.

Selected Jaguars will be back in action next week as IUPUI will send individual entries to the Butler Spring Invitational at Highland Country Club on Mar. 28-29.

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1938       Commissioner Landis releases seventy-four Cardinal minor leaguers from six teams, with their owners fined $2,176 for their non-compliance to the rules. The Redbirds controlled the players in two clubs in each of the three Class D leagues in 1936 and four Class D leagues in 1937.

1951       Brooklyn signs a 21-year lease with the City of Vero Beach to use an abandoned naval base as their spring training facility, which will become known as Dodgertown. The site will be the team’s Grapefruit League home through the 2008 season, with exhibition games played at the 6,000-seat Holiman Stadium.

1959       The Cardinals trade Sam Jones to the Giants for first baseman/outfielder Bill White and third baseman Ray Jablonski. The right-hander, called Toothpick Sam by his teammates, will be the runner-up for the Cy Young Award this season, posting a 21-15 record and an ERA of 2.83 for San Francisco.

1962       The Phillies trade third baseman Andy Carey and second baseman Lou Vassie to the White Sox for right-hander Cal McLish, a 36 year-old Oklahoman who will post an 11-5 record for the seventh-place club. Chicago then trades Carey, who will retire at the end of the season after appearing in 53 games, to the Dodgers for infielders Ramon Conde and Jim Koranda, who play in 14 major league games. (Ed. Note: The Philadelphia new hurler’s father named his newborn Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish, but his teammates call him Buster. -LP)

1963       On the day he is fitted for his big-league Orioles uniform, 23-year-old Steve Dalkowski, pitching in an exhibition against the Yankees, feels something pop in his left elbow, losing feeling in his hand while facing Bobby Richardson. The fireballer from New Britain, Connecticut, who once struck out 24 batters in a minor league game, will never appear in the major leagues.

1973       The Cardinals play three Cruz brothers, Cirilo, Hector, and Jose, all nine innings in the outfield during the team’s 9-2 spring training victory over New York at Al Lang Field. The trio of Puerto Rican siblings, who personally outscore the Mets, bat first, second, and third in the Redbird’s lineup, making all three outs in the first and eighth frames.

1978       The Mets deal an unhappy 33 year-old Bud Harrelson, who lost his starting job when the team obtained Tim Foli from the Giants to Philadelphia for approximately $50,000, and minor-league call-up Freddie Andrews, an infielder who will never play another game in the major leagues. As an 11-year veteran, the fan-favorite shortstop could have vetoed the trade but chooses to go to Philadelphia to play for a contending team, where he will back up Larry Bowa.

1990       The FBI arrest Howard Spira, once an unpaid publicist with the Winfield Foundation who approached George Steinbrenner and received $40,000 to dig up dirt on the outfielder, is arrested after trying to extort money from the Yankees owner. In July, Commissioner Fay Vincent will ban the Boss from playing any role in the team’s day-to-day operations for thirty months upon learning about the arrangement with the Bronx professional gambler.

2009       Thanks to Mariners’ Ichiro Suzuki’s two-out, two-run single in the top of the 10th inning, Japan defeats South Korea, 5-3, to win its second consecutive World Baseball Classic title. South Korea, the reigning Olympic champs, had tied the game 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth on Lee Bum-ho’s two-out RBI single off Japanese closer Yu Darvish in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 54,846 at Dodger Stadium.

2009       The Miami-Dade County commissioners approve the final documents necessary to move forward on the Marlins’ new 37,000-seat home, located on the present grounds of Miami’s Orange Bowl. The long-anticipated retractable-roof ballpark will become a reality in 2012, with the team breaking ground this July.

2019       After acquiring Paul Goldschmidt in an offseason trade with the Diamondbacks, the Cardinals sign him to a five-year (2020-24) contract extension. The National League All-Star first baseman’s contract, reportedly worth $130 million, is the largest in club history, surpassing the seven-year, $120 million deal for left fielder Matt Holliday before the 2010 season.

BASEBALL HALL OF FAME

Walter Emmons Alston
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 1983
Primary team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Primary position: Manager

His big league playing career consisted of exactly one at-bat – one that ended in a strikeout.

But a little more than 46 years after his Sept. 27, 1936 debut for the St. Louis Cardinals, Walter Alston was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In between, Alston established himself as one of the best managers in major league history.

“He might be taken for a farmer who came to manage the town team on a Saturday,” wrote Furman Bisher of the Atlanta Journal.

But beneath Alston’s quiet exterior was the heart of a champion.

In 1954, Alston took over a Dodgers team coming off two straight National League pennants – and two straight World Series losses to the Yankees. Brooklyn finished second in the National League that year, but in 1955 Alston guided the Bums to their only World Series championship in Brooklyn.

After another NL pennant in 1956, Alston moved with the Dodgers to Los Angeles in 1958. The following year, a transitioning Dodger club featuring a mix of veterans and youngsters won the NL pennant – giving Alston three flags in six years. Los Angeles went on the win the World Series over the Chicago White Sox.

Four years later, Alston picked up his third World Series ring when the Dodgers – behind NL Most Valuable Player Sandy Koufax – defeated New York again in the World Series. Alston and the Dodgers then won back-to-back NL flags in 1965 and 1966, winning the World Series over the Twins in ’65.

Alston’s Dodgers picked up one more NL pennant in 1974 before the beloved skipper called it a career and went home to Ohio in the waning days of the 1976 season. His final record: 2,040-1,613, good for a .558 winning percentage, seven NL pennants and four World Series titles.

His four Fall Classic wins are topped by only Casey Stengel (seven), Joe McCarthy (seven) and Connie Mack (five).

Alston was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1983. He passed away on Oct. 1, 1984.

TV WEDNESDAY

COLLEGE BASKETBALL – MENTIME ETTV
ST. BONAVENTURE AT VIRGINIA7:00PMESPN
VANDERBILT AT XAVIER9:00PMESPN
COLLEGE BASEBALLTIME ETTV
NORTHWESTERN AT NOTRE DAME4:00PMACCN
CENTRAL ARKANSAS AT TEXAS7:30PMLHN
COLLEGE SOFTBALLTIME ETTV
LIBERTY AT VIRGINIA7:00PMACCN
OKLAHOMA AT KENTUCKY7:00PMSECN
NBATIME ETTV
GOLDEN STATE AT ORLANDO7:00PMNBCS-BAY
BALLY SPORTS
ATLANTA AT NEW YORK7:30PMTNT
CHICAGO AT MILWAUKEE8:00PMNBCS-CHI
BALLY SPORTS
LA CLIPPERS AT DENVER10:00PMTNT
NHLTIME ETTV
COLUMBUS AT PITTSBURGH7:00PMBALLY SPORTS
ATTSN-PIT
NY RANGERS AT NEW JERSEY7:00PMMSG
MSG+
ST. LOUIS AT WASHINGTON7:00PMBALLY SPORTS
NBCS-WSH
TAMPA BAY AT CAROLINA7:00PMBALLY SPORTS
VEGAS AT WINNIPEG8:00PMATTSN-RM
SPORTSNET
EDMONTON AT DALLAS8:30PMESPN+
HULU
SAN JOSE AT CALGARY9:00PMNBCS-CA
SPORTSNET
SEATTLE AT ARIZONA10:00PMROOT SPORTS
BALLY SPORTS
NASHVILLE AT LOS ANGELES10:30PMESPN+
HULU

NBA STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
 WLPCTCONF GBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
1 XY-MIAMI4725.65326-921-1611-230-146-41 L
MILWAUKEE4527.6252.025-1220-1510-327-188-21 W
PHILADELPHIA4427.6202.521-1623-116-927-176-41 W
BOSTON4528.6162.524-1221-169-630-169-14 W
CHICAGO4230.5835.026-1016-209-527-183-71 L
CLEVELAND4131.5696.023-1318-189-524-195-51 L
TORONTO4032.5567.017-1623-168-524-206-41 L
BROOKLYN3834.5289.016-1922-159-626-186-42 W
CHARLOTTE3735.51410.019-1718-186-722-227-35 W
10 ATLANTA3636.50011.023-1413-228-622-236-41 W
11 WASHINGTON3041.42316.518-1812-236-722-222-81 L
12 NEW YORK3042.41717.015-2115-214-1015-275-52 L
13 INDIANA2547.34722.016-209-272-1311-344-62 W
14 ORLANDO2053.27427.510-2610-272-1110-355-52 W
15 DETROIT1953.26428.011-248-295-915-294-62 L
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 WLPCTCONF GBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
1 XY-PHOENIX5814.80630-828-68-434-98-25 W
MEMPHIS4923.6819.024-1025-139-532-147-31 W
GOLDEN STATE4725.65311.029-918-1610-328-174-63 L
UTAH4527.62513.026-1119-1613-129-156-41 L
DALLAS4428.61114.024-1220-1612-231-157-31 W
DENVER4330.58915.521-1422-165-926-196-41 W
MINNESOTA4231.57516.524-1218-1911-428-198-21 L
LA CLIPPERS3638.48623.020-1516-237-721-263-74 L
LA LAKERS3141.43127.020-1711-243-1116-274-61 W
10 NEW ORLEANS3042.41728.016-2014-226-820-234-61 L
11 SAN ANTONIO2844.38930.014-2314-214-818-244-61 W
12 PORTLAND2744.38030.517-1810-261-1211-302-81 W
13 SACRAMENTO2548.34233.516-239-255-817-292-83 L
14 OKLAHOMA CITY2052.27838.09-2711-254-814-310-1010 L
15 HOUSTON1854.25040.011-257-293-119-363-71 W
 

EIGHT TEAMS IN EACH CONFERENCE QUALIFY FOR THE PLAYOFFS. 

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT,  Y – CLINCHED DIVISION,  Z – CLINCHED CONFERENCE

NHL STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
FLORIDA PANTHERS6242146904025418026-6-016-8-67-2-1
CAROLINA HURRICANES6342156904120615024-5-318-10-35-4-1
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS6439169873621016818-9-521-7-47-2-1
NEW YORK RANGERS6440195853619316720-6-320-13-26-4-0
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING6239176843720717719-6-420-11-24-6-0
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS6239185833722918922-7-217-11-35-4-1
BOSTON BRUINS6339195833719116918-10-221-9-37-2-1
WASHINGTON CAPITALS65352010803121618515-13-520-7-57-2-1
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS6432293672821123918-13-314-16-04-4-2
10 NEW YORK ISLANDERS6127259632616516616-12-411-13-57-2-1
11 DETROIT RED WINGS6326307592318423517-12-49-18-33-6-1
12 BUFFALO SABRES6322338522016722011-16-411-17-46-4-0
13 NEW JERSEY DEVILS6323355512119523015-14-38-21-24-6-0
14 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS63203211512015922013-15-67-17-54-5-1
15 OTTAWA SENATORS6322365492116220712-19-210-17-33-7-0
16 MONTREAL CANADIENS6317361044151602389-18-48-18-64-3-3
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
COLORADO AVALANCHE6345135954224417525-3-320-10-26-3-1
CALGARY FLAMES6338178843621815319-6-619-11-26-3-1
ST. LOUIS BLUES6235189793322217520-7-415-11-53-4-3
MINNESOTA WILD6137204783222819620-7-117-13-36-3-1
LOS ANGELES KINGS6535228783218818217-13-318-9-56-3-1
EDMONTON OILERS6435245753221720419-12-016-12-55-3-2
NASHVILLE PREDATORS6437234783521118419-11-018-12-47-3-0
DALLAS STARS6235243733218418521-8-114-16-26-4-0
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS6634284723020520118-13-316-15-13-7-0
10 WINNIPEG JETS64302410702920119817-12-213-12-86-3-1
11 VANCOUVER CANUCKS6430268682718318614-13-516-13-34-4-2
12 ANAHEIM DUCKS65272711652318621016-13-411-14-72-6-2
13 SAN JOSE SHARKS6328278642616719815-14-413-13-44-4-2
14 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS6322329531916721911-16-511-16-43-6-1
15 SEATTLE KRAKEN6420386461816822811-18-39-20-34-5-1
16 ARIZONA COYOTES632039444191642289-22-111-17-36-4-0
 

EIGHT TEAMS IN EACH CONFERENCE QUALIFY FOR THE DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF FORMAT.  THE TOP THREE TEAMS FROM EACH DIVISION MAKE UP THE FIRST SIX SPOTS.   THE TWO REMAINING TEAMS WITH THE HIGHEST POINTS, REGARDLESS OF DIVISION, QUALIFY FOR THE FINAL TWO WILD CARD SPOTS.  

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT, Y – CLINCHED DIVISION, Z – CLINCHED CONFERENCE