MEN’S BASKETBALL – NCAA TOURNAMENT

Texas Southern 60 Mount St. Mary 52

Drake 53 Wichita State 52

Norfolk State 54 Appalachian State 53

UCLA 86 Michigan State 80 OT

HOW TO WATCH THE FIRST ROUND OF MEN’S NCAA TOURNEY

1 Michigan (20-4) vs. 16 Mt. St. Mary’s/Texas Southern winner, 3 p.m. Saturday at West Lafayette, CBS

8 LSU (18-9) vs. 9 St. Bonaventure (16-4), 1:45 p.m. Saturday at Bloomington, TNT

5 Colorado (22-8) vs. 12 Georgetown (13-12), 12:15 p.m. Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse, CBS

4 Florida State (16-6) vs. 13 UNC Greensboro (21-8), 12:45 p.m. Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, TruTV

6 BYU (20-6) vs. 11 Michigan State/UCLA winner, 9:40 p.m. Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse, CBS

3 Texas (19-7) vs. 14 Abilene Christian (23-4), 9:50 p.m. Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium, TruTV

7 UConn (15-7) vs. 10 Maryland (16-13), 7:10 p.m. Saturday at West Lafayette, Ind., CBS

2 Alabama (24-6) vs. 15 Iona (12-5), 4 p.m. Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse, TBS

1 Illinois (23-6) vs. 16 Drexel (12-7), 1:15 p.m. Friday at Farmers Coliseum, TBS

8 Loyola Chicago (24-4) vs. 9 Georgia Tech (17-8), 4 p.m. Friday at Hinkle Fieldhouse, TBS

5 Tennessee (18-8) vs. 12 Oregon State (17-12), 4:30 p.m. Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, TNT

4 Oklahoma State (20-8) vs. 13 Liberty (23-5), 6:25 p.m. Friday at Farmers Coliseum, TBS

6 San Diego State (23-4) vs. 11 Syracuse (16-9), 9:40 p.m. Friday at Hinkle Fieldhouse, CBS

3 West Virginia (18-9) vs. 14 Morehead State (23-7), 9:50 p.m. Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium, TruTV

7 Clemson (16-7) vs. 10 Rutgers (15-11), 9:20 p.m. Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, CBS

2 Houston (24-3) vs. 15 Cleveland State (19-7), 7:15 p.m. Friday at Bloomington, Ind., TruTV

1 Baylor (22-2) vs. 16 Hartford (15-8), 3:30 p.m. Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium, TruTV

8 North Carolina (18-10) vs. 9 Wisconsin (17-12), 7:10 p.m. Friday at West Lafayette, Ind., CBS

5 Villanova (16-6) vs. 12 Winthrop (23-1), 9:57 p.m. Friday at Farmers Coliseum, TNT

4 Purdue (18-9) vs. 13 North Texas  (17-9), 7:25 p.m. Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium, TNT

6 Texas Tech (17-10) vs. 11 Utah State (20-8), 1:45 p.m. Friday at Bloomington, Ind., TNT

3 Arkansas (22-6) vs. 14 Colgate (14-1), 12:45 p.m. Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, TruTV

7 Florida (14-9) vs. 10 Virginia Tech (15-6), 12:15 p.m. Friday at Hinkle Fieldhouse, CBS

2 Ohio State (21-9) vs. 15 Oral Roberts (16-10), 3 p.m. Friday at West Lafayette, Ind., CBS

Gonzaga leads the West region and will play winner of Norfolk State/Appalachian State winner. Those two schools will play in the ‘First Four.”

8 Oklahoma (15-10) vs. 9 Missouri (16-9), 7:25 p.m. Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium, TNT

5 Creighton (20-8) vs. 12 UC Santa Barbara (22-4), 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium, TruTV

NBA SCOREBOARD

Washington 131 Utah 122

Atlanta 116 Oklahoma City 93

New York 94 Orlando 93

Minnesota 123 Phoenix 119

Portland 101 New Orleans 93

LA Lakers 116 Charlotte 105

NHL SCOREBOARD

Boston 4 Buffalo 1

Philadelphia 4 NY Islanders 3

Columbus 3 Carolina 2

Tampa Bay 4 Chicago 2

Nashville 2 Florida 1

New Jersey 3 Pittsburgh 2

Detroit 3 Dallas 2

Colorado 5 Minnesota 1

Edmonton 2 Winnipeg 1

Anaheim 3 Arizona 2

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL – SPRING TRAINING

Chicago White Sox 9 Kansas City 7

Chicago Cubs 4 Cleveland 3

LA Angels 3 Milwaukee 2

Oakland 4 San Diego 2

LA Dodgers 7 Arizona 2

Texas 12 Cincinnati 9

Seattle 6 San Francisco 3

Washington 3 NY Mets 1

St. Louis 7 Miami 5

INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL SEMI-STATE

Elkhart (North Side Gym)
Class 2A | Blackford (25-4) vs. Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian (26-3) | 1 pm ET
Class 3A | Leo (23-4) vs. South Bend St. Joseph (21-4) | 4 pm ET

Lafayette Jefferson (Crawley Center)
Class A | Southwood (17-10) vs. Kouts (28-2) | 1 pm ET
Class 4A | Carmel (24-2) vs. Gary West Side (22-4) | 3:45 pm ET

Seymour (Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium)
Class 3A | Silver Creek (23-4) vs. Guerin Catholic (21-3) | 1 pm ET
Class 4A | Bloomington South (25-4) vs. Lawrence North (27-2) | 4 pm ET

Washington (Hatchet House)
Class A | Barr-Reeve (27-2) vs. Tindley (19-9) | 2 pm ET
Class 2A | Southridge (17-10) vs. Parke Heritage (26-3) | 4:30 pm ET

PURDUE MBB: Boilermakers Ready for First-Round Matchup vs. North Texas

INDIANAPOLIS – The South Region’s No. 4 seed Purdue Boilermakers begin its quest toward a deep NCAA Tournament run as it battles No. 13 seed North Texas in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament on Friday. Purdue has won three straight opening-round games by a combined 49 points en route to three straight second-weekend appearances in college basketball’s premier event.

The contest will be aired by TNT, beginning at 7:25 p.m. ET, from Lucas Oil Stadium. Tom McCarthy, Avery Johnson and A.J. Ross will have the call courtside on the TV dial, while Rob Blackman and Bobby Riddell handle the radio call on the Purdue Sports Network.

THE KEY TALKING POINTS

1) Purdue leads the series with North Texas by a 1-0 margin, having defeated the Mean Green in December 1970, 90-73.

2) Purdue is playing the Conference USA Tournament champion in the first round for the second straight time (Old Dominion – 2019).

3) Purdue is one of three programs to have received a top-4 seed in each of the last four NCAA Tournaments. The Boilermakers (4, 2, 3, 4) are joined by Kansas (1, 1, 4, 3) and Gonzaga (1, 4, 1, 1) on that list.

4) Purdue is one of three schools in the NCAA Tournament to make it to the Sweet 16 in each of the last three years (Gonzaga, Michigan).

5) Purdue’s six straight appearances rank as the seventh-longest streak in the country and second in the Big Ten.

6) Head coach Matt Painter needs two NCAA wins to tie Gene Keady (17) for sixth on the NCAA Tournament victories list by Big Ten coaches.

7) Purdue has finished in the top four of the Big Ten standings in 11 of 16 seasons during the Matt Painter era, including six of the last seven.

8) Purdue is 32-9 when scoring at least 70 points in the NCAA Tournament. The Boilermakers are 19-2 when scoring at least 80 points.

9) According to KenPom.com, Purdue ranks 327th (out of 347 teams) in experience (1.05 years). Purdue is the third-least experienced team in the tournament field (LSU, North Carolina).

10) Four freshmen earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors, the most in league history. Michigan (2012-13) and Ohio St. (2010-11) had three each.

11) A Purdue freshman was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week in seven of a possible 15 weeks this season.

12) Purdue freshmen have scored at least 27 points in each of the last 10 games (38.0 points per game), accounting for 52.4 percent of Purdue’s scoring since Jan. 30.

13) Purdue is 1-of-6 teams nationally to rank in the top 25 in both offensive (23rd) and defensive (23rd) efficiency according to KenPom.com.

INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL: NABC Honors Trayce Jackson-Davis

(IU RELEASE)

Indiana University sophomore forward Trayce Jackson-Davis has been named third-team All-American by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).  He also earned the same honor from The Sporting News, USBWA and was an honorable mention selection by The Associated Press.  He is the only high major player to average at least 19 points and 9 rebounds this season and one of four overall players in the country to achieve that standard.

The Greenwood, Indiana native and former Mr. Indiana Basketball (2019) at Center Grove High School is fourth in the Big Ten in scoring (19.1), second in rebounding (9.0), fifth in field goal percentage (51.7) and blocked shots (1.4) and is third in minutes played (34.2).  In league games only, he finished third in scoring (18.4), second in rebounding (9.2), fourth in field goal percentage (50.6) and minutes played blocked shots (1.4) and is third in minutes played (34.2).  He is the fifth most improved scorer in the league showing a 5.6 points per game improvement (13.5 to 19.1) and scored in double figures in 26 of 27 games.

He also is third in the nation in free throws made (150) and first in attempts (229).  He also has had 10 double-doubles this season and 22 in his career.  He also is the only Hoosier in the last 25 years to post three 25-point, 15 rebound games in his career (Nebraska, at Minnesota, at Florida State.  He is a finalist for the Karl Malone Award given to the nation’s top power forward, and the Wooden Award.

2020-21 NABC Division I All-America First Team

Jared Butler, Baylor, Junior, Guard, Reserve, La.

Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State, Freshman, Guard, Arlington, Texas

Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois, Junior, Guard, Chicago, Ill.

Luka Garza, Iowa, Senior, Center, Washington, D.C.

Corey Kispert, Gonzaga, Senior, Forward, Edmonds, Wash.

2020-21 NABC Division I All-America Second Team

Kofi Cockburn, Illinois, Sophomore, Center, Kingston, Jamaica

Hunter Dickinson, Michigan, Freshman, Center, Alexandria, Va.

Evan Mobley, USC, Freshman, Forward, Murrieta, Calif.

Jalen Suggs, Gonzaga, Freshman, Guard, West St. Paul, Minn.

Drew Timme, Gonzaga, Sophomore, Forward, Richardson, Texas

2020-21 NABC Division I All-America Third Team

Collin Gillespie, Villanova, Senior, Guard, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.

Quentin Grimes, Houston, Junior, Guard, The Woodlands, Texas

Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana, Sophomore, Forward, Greenwood, Ind.

Davion Mitchell, Baylor, Junior, Guard, Hinesville, Ga.

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Villanova, Sophomore, Forward, Kansas City, Kan.

UCLA beats Michigan St 86-80 in overtime in First Four game

(AP) UCLA showed plenty of fight in its overtime win over Michigan State in a First Four game in the NCAA Tournament.

The Spartans showed some fight, too – among themselves.

After coach Tom Izzo and forward Gabe Brown carried a shouting match into halftime, the Spartans proceeded to blow an 11-point lead over the next 20 minutes. UCLA forced overtime on Jaime Jaquez Jr.’s three-point play with 3.3 seconds to go, then pulled away in the extra session for an 86-80 victory at Mackey Arena on Thursday night.

“The kids really needed this,” said Bruins coach Mick Cronin, whose team had lost four straight. “They’ve been battling hard. I was really concerned with their confidence being shook with what we’ve been through the last few weeks.”

The Bruins scored the first four points in overtime and led 83-80 when Cody Riley hit a foul shot with 26 seconds left. The Spartans’ Josh Langford missed at the other end, and Jaylen Clark hit two more free throws to send the Bruins into a first-round game against No. 6 seed BYU on Saturday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Jaquez finished with a career-high 27 points, Johnny Juzang added 23, and Riley and Jules Bernard scored 11 apiece for the Bruins (20-7), who had lost to the Spartans (15-13) each of the past two seasons.

“My determination coming into this game,” Jaquez said, “was just to do whatever it took to win.”

Aaron Henry led the Michigan State with 18 points, five rebounds and seven assists. Langford added 12 points and seven rebounds, though he missed a free throw in overtime and another shot in the final seconds.

“Just disappointed,” Izzo said. “We had the game won. We made some of the same mistakes we made two or three times this year, critical situations, and I thought we played incredibly well offensively and incredibly poor defensively.”

Both teams had a chance to end the game in regulation.

The Spartans regained the lead on Malik Hall’s two free throws with 5 minutes to go, then stretched it to five moments later. But after the Bruins came all the way back, and Jaquez’s three-point play knotted the game 77-all with 28.7 seconds left, the Spartans’ Rocket Watts shot an airball on a 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds remaining on the clock.

The Bruins inbounded the ball and got it to Juzang, whose heave from the midcourt line bounced off the rim.

That merely delayed UCLA’s comeback win.

“We came out and had a great run, and that’s one thing we said before the game: We have to sustain the run we are able to create,” Langford said. “Credit to UCLA, they played great tonight.”

Drake tops Wichita State for first NCAA win in 50 years

(AP) Joseph Yesufu scored 21 points and Drake beat Wichita State 53-52 on Thursday night in the First Four, the Bulldogs’ first NCAA Tournament win in a half-century.

Drake’s last tournament victory had been 50 years ago to the day — March 18, 1971, against Notre Dame.

“To get a win for our program that hasn’t happened in 50 years – it’s really exciting,” Bulldogs coach Darian DeVries said. “These guys have fought through so much, and for them to be the ones to get us one, I think is really deserving.”

The Bulldogs were hardly overmatched in this year’s tournament field – they came in with 25 wins, second most of the 68 teams behind top overall seed Gonzaga, and their tense matchup with a longtime Missouri Valley Conference rival brought some early drama to the pandemic-affected tourney.

Wichita State’s Dexter Dennis made a 3-pointer with 8 seconds remaining to trim Drake’s lead to a point. The Bulldogs got the ball in to Yesufu, who was fouled. He missed the front end of a 1-and-1 to give the Shockers a chance, but Wichita State’s Alterique Gilbert settled for a long 3-pointer that hit the front rim as time expired.

“Perseverance,” Yesufu said. “We’ve been doing that all year.”

The win was extra validation for DeVries, who was rewarded this week with a contract extension through 2028-29.

Tremell Murphy added 11 points for 11th-seeded Drake (26-4), which advanced to play sixth-seeded Southern California in the West Region on Saturday.

Morris Udeze scored a career-high 22 points and Dennis added 13 for Wichita State (16-6), which made just 11 of 22 free throws.

It was the 152nd meeting between the former MVC rivals. Wichita State left for the American Athletic Conference in 2017. Both mid-major powers were given at-large bids into the NCAA field, and their matchup was dominated by defense – Drake shot 38% while Wichita State shot 34%.

The Shockers reached the NCAA Tournament after an offseason of turmoil. Seven players left the program, and longtime coach Gregg Marshall resigned before the season amid allegations of verbal and physical abuse. Isaac Brown was promoted to interim coach. Wichita State removed Brown’s interim tag last month as the Shockers won eight straight late in the season before closing with a one-point loss to Cincinnati in the AAC Tournament.

Texas Southern beats Mount St. Mary’s 60-52 in NCAA opener

(AP) Texas Southern forward John Walker III celebrated the program’s second NCAA Tournament win the way he always envisioned – hooting, hollering and just having fun.

Nothing, not even a small, mostly quiet arena, could dampen his enthusiasm.

After scoring a season-high 19 points, grabbing a career-high tying nine rebounds and leading the Tigers back from a 10-point halftime deficit to beat Mount St. Mary’s 60-52 in the first tourney game in nearly two years, Walker let loose.

“I feel like I’m on top of the world,” he shouted. “I just wanted it so bad, it wasn’t even about me. It was about going out there and beating a good team and getting it done.”

The Tigers (17-8) have won 10 straight overall and improved to 2-0 in First Four games. Their win over North Carolina Central in 2018 was the program’s first in the NCAA Tournament. Next up for the No. 16 seed in the East Region is top-seeded Michigan (20-4) on Saturday.

Texas Southern, the champion of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, was the first of two historically Black colleges and universities to win an NCAA tourney game on Thursday, joined later by Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion Norfolk State.

For at least a few moments, the Tigers soaked up their victory. Coach Johnny Jones’ players doused him with a cooler of water.

“They drenched me,” he said. “I’m sitting here all wet, but I’ll tell you what – it’s one of the best feelings I’ve had in cold water in a long time.”

At least that part sounded like the usual March Madness – full of excitement and emotion.

But it wasn’t the same.

In the first NCAA Tournament game since Virginia beat Texas Tech in overtime to win the national championship on April 8, 2019 – a span of 710 days – the atmosphere felt alien at Indiana University’s Assembly Hall. Only players, coaches and staff members were permitted on the court level and an estimated 150 people sat in the cavernous lower bowl. There were no concession stand lines, no pep bands playing music, no raucous cheers, not even boos.

Norfolk State survives Appalachian State 54-53 in First Four

(AP) Devante Carter made two free throws with 8.6 seconds remaining and Norfolk State held on to beat Appalachian State 54-53 on Thursday night in the First Four after blowing an 18-point second-half lead.

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion Spartans completed a sweep by historically Black colleges and universities on the first day of NCAA Tournament play, joining Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Texas Southern, which beat Mount St. Mary’s. Norfolk State advanced to face top overall seed Gonzaga on Saturday.

Beating the powerful Bulldogs will require big-time shooting improvement from the Spartans, who won despite making just 26% in the second half and hitting 35% overall. But they made clutch baskets down the stretch and against the nation’s top team.

“Survive and advance, and that exactly what we did,” Norfolk State coach Robert Jones said. “We knew that that Appalachian State wasn’t going to go away. They came back from a big deficit earlier in the season to another opponent. Then we went cold, and they got hot and made it a basketball game.”

Jalen Hawkins scored 20 of his career-high 24 points off the bench before halftime for the Spartans (17-7), who earned their first tournament win since upsetting No. 2 seed Missouri in 2012. The junior guard near perfect in the first 20 minutes, making 6 of 7 shots and all four 3s as Norfolk State built a 19-point lead.

Hawkins cooled a little after the break but made a key layup during the Spartans’ late rally.

“We were kind of panicking a little bit because we weren’t expecting them to come back so fast,” Hawkins said. “Our coach told us to stay positive, play defense, that’s what we strive on. We knew we had to play defense from the jump.”

Justin Forrest had 18 points for App State (17-12), which shot 27% and missed its final 10 attempts.

The Mountaineers pushed ahead 51-45 on Forrest’s layup with 5:48 remaining, but its only points after that were two free throws by Adrian Delph with 1:03 left that made it 53-52. Carter, who shot 1 of 10 from the field, answered by making his only two free-throw attempts of the game. App State missed two late shots on its final possession, a 3-pointer by Michael Almonacy followed by Forrest’s jumper as time expired.

Tom Izzo, Gabe Brown get into altercation at end of half

Tom Izzo and one of his players got into an altercation at the end of the first half on Thursday night.

Izzo’s Michigan State Spartans were facing UCLA in one of the four play-in games for the NCAA Tournament. Just before halftime, UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. made a deep shot to cut the score to 44-33.

Izzo seemed to be upset with Gabe Brown over the Spartans’ poor defensive rotations that left Jaquez open for the shot. Brown appeared to take issue with something Izzo said or did and didn’t back down from his coach.

Iowa State hires Otzelberger away from UNLV to replace Prohm

T.J. Otzelberger is returning to Iowa State as head coach after two years at UNLV, athletic director Jamie Pollard announced Thursday.

This will be the 43-year-old Otzelberger’s third stint in Ames, his first as head coach. He was an assistant under Greg McDermott, Fred Hoiberg and Steve Prohm, who was fired Tuesday after a 2-22 season in which the Cyclones went winless in the Big 12.

“It’s somewhat rare to get the chance to return home but Iowa State was my first stop as a Division I college coach and it is my wife’s adopted home,” said Otzelberger, whose wife, Alison Lacey, was a three-time All-Big 12 pick for the Cyclones. “The resources are here to build and sustain a program that competes at a high level in the Big 12 and nationally. I’m familiar with the foundation of the school and basketball program and am eager and inspired to sell our vision and re-establish a championship culture.”

Otzelberger left Iowa State in 2016 to become head coach at South Dakota State, where his teams won 70 games in three years.

“I have had a close professional relationship with T.J. for many years and admired his work ethic and commitment to excellence,” Pollard said. “Having watched him grow professionally, I am convinced he is exactly what our program needs at this time.”

Otzelberger’s first UNLV team was 17-15 overall and tied for second in the Mountain West at 12-6, the most conference wins since 1993. This season, the Runnin’ Rebels slipped to 12-15 and 8-10, finishing seventh in the league.

“When our coaches are being pursued by others, it is a testament to what we are building,” UNLV athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois said. “We appreciate Coach Otzelberger’s contributions to our men’s basketball program and we wish T.J. and his family all the best as they continue their journey.”

NCAA sets arena limits for March Madness at 22% capacity

(AP) The NCAA released capacity figures for the six March Madness venues Thursday. Because of restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no arena will hold more than 22% of its capacity.

Lucas Oil Stadium, which will host the Final Four along with games over the first and second weeks, will hold 6,900 fans on one court and 8,500 on the other. That’s 22% of capacity, which is the largest capacity of any of the six arenas.

Games at Indiana University will be limited to 500 attendees, or 3% of capacity. Games at Purdue will be limited to 1,350 fans (9%). Farmers Coliseum will hold 1,200 fans (18%), Hinkle Fieldhouse will hold 1,250 (14%) and Bankers Life Fieldhouse will hold between 2,500 and 3,800 (13-19%) depending on the time of the games and postgame cleanup.

The NCAA had earlier said no arena would hold more than 25% of capacity.

Fans will sit in pods of two, four or six, depending on their living situation. Family members will be barred from walking down to the court to talk to players.

COVID-19 TESTING

NCAA vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said there have been eight positive COVID-19 tests among the more than 9,100 performed since teams started arriving in Indianapolis on Saturday.

Those include tests performed on all individuals affiliated with the schools – not just players, coaches and staff who are part of the schools’ Tier 1 group and get tested daily.

Gavitt said any player who tests positive must isolate for 10 days. They have the choice to stay in the NCAA’s “controlled environment” or be transported back to campus.

Funderburk, Bates spark N.C. State in NIT opener

(AP) DJ Funderburk and Manny Bates combined for 35 points on 15-of-17 shooting and North Carolina State defeated Davidson 75-61 in a first round NIT game on Thursday night.

Funderburk matched his season high with 21 points, hitting 8 of 10 shots and grabbing seven rebounds. Bates went 7 for 7 for 14 points and had seven rebounds.

Jericole Hellems added 13 points for the Wolfpack (14-10), who improved to 11-2 in the first round of their 13 NIT appearances. They will face in the winner of Friday’s game between Buffalo and Colorado State in the second round next Thursday.

Luka Brajkovic scored 15 points for the Wildcats (13-9), who are now 3-9 in nine NITs. Hyunjung Lee added 13 points, Kellan Graby 12 to surpass 2,000 for his career, and Michael Jones 11.

N.C. State, which shot 36.2% in losing its last game in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament, shot 58.8(asterisk) for the game and with seven 3-pointers – in 17 attempts – matched Davidson. However, Davidson put up 24 shots from distance.

The Wolfpack shot 67% (18 of 27) to lead 40-32 at the break.

The tournament, limited to 16 teams instead of 32 this season, is taking place in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area at the University of North Texas Coliseum in Denton and at the Comerica Center in Frisco.

Boise State edges SMU 85-84 in NIT opener

(AP) Devonaire Doutrive scored on a putback with 10.1 seconds to play and Boise State defeated SMU 85-84 in a first-round game of NIT on Thursday night.

Mladen Armus, who made the play to keep the ball alive for Doutrive, also made the defensive play on the other end that forced a turnover.

Boise State will play the winner of Saturday’s Memphis-Dayton game in the quarterfinals next Thursday.

Armus scored 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Broncos (19-8), who hit a season-high 14 3-pointers with 21 assists, their second best. Emmanuel Akot hit a career-high five 3-pointers and scored 17 points to go with a career-high nine assists. Marcus Shaver Jr. and Derrick Alston both added 13 points and Doutrive had 10 with eight assists.

Kendirck Davis scored 23 points with 12 assists and seven rebounds for SMU (11-6). Tyson Jolly added 17 points and Emmanuel Bandoumel 16. All three went 3 of 4 from 3-point range.

Boise State, in its seventh NIT, was 14 of 29 behind the arc and shot 50.8% overall while SMU, in its fourth NIT, made 10 of 17 3-pointer and shot 55.4%.

Boise State led 48-42 after a wild first half.

The Broncos scored the first 14 points of the game and led 30-9 after a Doutrive 3-pointer. At that point, the 11:04 mark, BSU was 11 of 15 and SMU, whose conference tournament loss six days earlier was its first game since Feb. 8, was 3 of 11. However, the Mustangs went on 20-5 run, at one point making six-straight shots, and after back-to-back 3s by Davis and Jolly, only trailed 42-40.

The tournament, limited to 16 teams instead of 32 this season, is taking place in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area at the University of North Texas Coliseum in Denton and at the Comerica Center in Frisco.

NFL reviewing sex assault claims against Texans QB Watson

(AP) The NFL said Thursday that it was investigating allegations that Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson sexually assaulted multiple women after three massage therapists filed lawsuits against the star player.

In lawsuits filed this week, two of the women claim that Watson touched them with his penis during massages last year, and the third alleges he forced her to perform oral sex.

Watson, 25, has broadly denied that he acted inappropriately and said he looks forward to clearing his name.

The women, who are not named in the lawsuits, are represented by Houston lawyer Tony Buzbee, who posted a picture Thursday of a letter from the NFL on his verified Instagram account that said the league had launched an investigation. Buzbee later deleted the post.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed in an email to The Associated Press that the matter was “under review of the personal conduct policy.”

Watson’s attorney and agent did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday.

“I have never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect,” the quarterback said in a statement posted to Twitter Tuesday.

Houston police spokeswoman Jodi Silva declined to comment on whether any of the alleged sexual assaults were reported to police, saying the department does not identify people who have not been charged with a crime.

Buzbee did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday, but wrote in one of the lawsuits that “Watson’s behavior is part of a disturbing pattern of preying on vulnerable women.”

The letter that he briefly posted was from Lisa M. Friel, special counsel for investigations for the NFL. It said it is her job to “look into any allegations that might involve a violation of the League’s Personal Conduct Policy.” The letter went on to say that the league had “opened an investigation into these allegations and to request the cooperation of your clients in our investigation.”

WR Will Fuller agrees to 1-year deal with Miami Dolphins

(AP) Receiver Will Fuller agreed to terms Thursday on a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins, who were eager to acquire a deep threat to stretch the field for Tua Tagovailoa.

Center Matt Skura, a starter with Baltimore for the past four seasons, also agreed to a one-year deal with Miami.

Fuller is coming off his best season of his five-year career, all in Houston, even though he was suspended for the final five games for using performance-enhancers. He made 53 catches for 879 yards and eight scores, all career highs, and had five 100-yard games.

Fuller said the suspension was for a medication he was prescribed that he believed to be permitted, but that was banned under the league’s policy. He still has one game to serve.

A first-round pick by Houston in 2016, Fuller has struggled with injuries and played in fewer than 12 games in each of the past four years.

Skura will replace Ted Karras, who agreed to a $4 million, one-year contract with New England after starting every game for Miami in 2020.

Among the other free agents reaching a deal this week with Miami was Jacoby Brissett, who grinned Thursday about joining his hometown team as the backup quarterback, and offered a sunny forecast regarding his career trajectory after four years in Indianapolis.

“I get to wear shorts in March and see the sun for more than three months out of the season,” he said. “I’m excited. It’s an extremely great opportunity to be back home and be a part of a great organization that’s headed in the right direction.”

Backup duty might not be so bad. By joining the Dolphins, the 28-year-old Brissett embraced a No. 2 role behind Tagovailoa.

“I’ll be the best teammate I can be,” Brissett said. “I’m excited to see how we mesh. I’m sure it will all work out fine after everything I’ve heard about him.”

Dalton says Bears told him starting quarterback job is his

(AP) The Chicago Bears apparently won’t have a quarterback competition. That job belongs to Andy Dalton.

The former Cincinnati and Dallas QB said Thursday he has been assured the top spot is his and he won’t be competing with veteran Nick Foles.

“They told me I was the starter,” Dalton said. “That was one of the reasons why I wanted to come here. So every conversation I’ve had has been that, so that’s the assurance that I’ve gotten.”

That wasn’t the only bit of news involving the Bears on Thursday.

The NFL Network reported star receiver Allen Robinson accepted his approximately $18 million franchise tag. A person familiar with the situation said the Bears are also releasing former All-Pro cornerback Kyle Fuller. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the move – first reported by the NFL Network – has not been announced.

Robinson caught a career-high 102 passes. And his 1,250 yards were second only to the 1,400 he had with Jacksonville in his 2015 Pro Bowl season.

Fuller, drafted with the No. 14 overall pick in 2014, was All-Pro in 2018 when he tied for the NFL lead with seven interceptions. He also made the Pro Bowl the following year when he picked off three passes. Fuller had one interception last season.

As for Dalton?

The former Cincinnati and Dallas QB said he has been assured the top spot is his and he won’t be competing with veteran Nick Foles.

“They told me I was the starter,” Dalton said. “That was one of the reasons why I wanted to come here. So every conversation I’ve had has been that, so that’s the assurance that I’ve gotten.”

A three-time Pro Bowler, Dalton agreed Tuesday to a one-year, $10 million deal. He can earn an additional $3 million in bonuses.

49ers sign 6-time Pro Bowl C Alex Mack to 3-year deal

(AP) Six-time Pro Bowl center Alex Mack is reuniting with coach Kyle Shanahan after signing a contract with the San Francisco 49ers.

The 49ers announced the three-year deal with Mack on Thursday, one day after agreeing to give left tackle Trent Williams a $138.1 million, six-year deal to remain in San Francisco.

Mack said the Niners were his top priority in free agency because he wanted to play for a competitive team with an offense that fit his skills.

“I know it’s a system I can be really good in,” he said. “It’s an offense, I know I could excel at. So it was to me a very good fit between a good team and a good spot with a good coaching staff and some place that I could be a good player.”

The deals with Williams and Mack go a long way to solidifying an offensive line that struggled in pass protection last season. The 49ers still could look to upgrade at right guard if they don’t want to leave that role to Daniel Brunskill or Colton McKivitz.

The 35-year-old Mack returns to the Bay Area after starring in college at Cal and having a successful run in Cleveland and Atlanta. He made the Pro Bowl six times, including four straight from 2015-18. He was also a second-team All-Pro in 2013, ’16 and `17.

Mack has a history with Shanahan, having played for him in 2014 when Shanahan was offensive coordinator in Cleveland and again in 2016 in Atlanta. Mack’s addition was a key part for the Falcons’ offensive improvement that season when they went to the Super Bowl to help Shanahan get the head coaching job in San Francisco.

“I’ve been on that offense before, so I’ve done those plays,” Mack said. “I know how it fits together. I enjoy running the ball. I also just know what goes into putting together an offense. I’ve been part of offenses Kyle’s been part of it. … It’s something I’m comfortable with. I know I’m good at it. I’m confident in it. I know I can do it well.”

Mack replaces the void created by injuries to Weston Richburg, who has struggled to get on the field after signing a five-year $47.5 million deal with San Francisco in 2018. Richburg had a season-ending knee injury late in 2019 and missed all of last season when he didn’t recover.

He reportedly had hip surgery recently and his chances of returning are in doubt.

Bills agree to sign Trubisky as backup to Josh Allen

(AP) After four sometimes rocky seasons in Chicago, Mitch Trubisky is getting an opportunity to re-establish himself as Josh Allen’s backup in Buffalo.

The Bills used what little space they had left under the salary cap to upgrade their quarterback depth by agreeing to sign Trubisky to a one-year contract on Thursday.

The addition provides the championship-minded Bills valuable insurance in the event Allen gets injured in their quest to build on reaching the AFC championship game for the first time in 27 years. Trubisky gets the luxury of developing in Buffalo’s pass-first offense, and a fresh start after the Bears cooled on the North Carolina product they selected with the No. 2 pick in the 2017 draft.

“Listen, I don’t know what all went on in Chicago, good, bad. But he started 50 games and won 29,” general manager Brandon Beane said.

“This is a great reset for him, and we don’t expect him to be here long term,” Beane added. “Hopefully, in a year he’ll get a chance to go back and land a nice contract and a starting job somewhere.”

After going 11-3 and leading the Bears to their first playoff berth in seven years in 2018, Trubisky regressed in going 14-10 over his final two seasons. His future in Chicago was placed into question last year when the Bears declined to pick up the fifth-year option on the quarterback’s contract, while also acquiring Nick Foles in a trade with Jacksonville.

Trubisky was benched in a Week 3 comeback win at Atlanta and didn’t resume playing until late November. He finished 6-3, Chicago went 8-8 and earned a wild-card playoff spot. The 26-year-old was not re-signed and the Bears signed Andy Dalton to a one-year, $10 million contract.

In Buffalo, Trubisky replaces veteran Matt Barkley, who was not re-signed after spending the past two-plus seasons as Allen’s backup.

Beane noted the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Trubisky has similar strong-armed and mobile traits as Allen, who is coming off a breakout season. The third-year starter set numerous single-season passing and scoring records in leading Buffalo to a 13-3 mark.

Trubisky has topped 3,000 yards passing twice, with his best season coming in 2018, when he completed 289 of 434 attempts for 3,223 yards and 24 touchdowns with 12 interceptions.

PURDUE WRESTLING: Four Boilermakers Advance in NCAA Wrestling Session I 

SAINT LOUIS, Mo. – The Purdue wrestling team opened up the 2021 NCAA Championships on Thursday at the Enterprise Center, posting a 4-4 first-round record and 5.0 team points. Sophomore Kendall Coleman highlighted the opening session with a major decision at 157 pounds, while seniors Devin Schroder and Griffin Parriott and sophomore Thomas Penola joined him in advancing on the championship side of the bracket.

Coleman wasted no time in his first match of the championships, rolling out six takedowns in a 15-5 major decision over Sacred Heart’s Nicholas Palumbo. He raced out to an early lead with three first-period takedowns, added another in the second and tacked on two more in the third to account for his fifth major decision of the season and eighth of his career.

Parriott put up similar fireworks at 149 pounds, scoring four takedowns in a 10-7 decision over No. 18 seed Jarrett Degan of Iowa State. Parriott outscrambled Degan for a pair of takedowns in the first period, scored again in the second and opened the third period with a score before Degan posted a reversal and takedown in the final minute to close the gap.

An early takedown and rideout proved pivotal in Schroder’s 5-1 win over Chattanooga’s No. 24 seed Fabian Gutierrez at 125 pounds. Not a lot of the match was spent on the feet as Schroder scored about a minute in and then rode him out for a pair of stalling warnings, a penalty point and a 3-0 edge. In the second, Gutierrez took his turn on top, riding Schroder for nearly the entire period, but the Boilermaker senior got away in the final 15 seconds to extend his lead to 4-0. Schroder went back on top in the third and rode Gutierrez out again, coughing up a stalling point but adding the riding time score to advance.

Penola was the only Boilermaker with a lower seed than his opponent to post a win in the opening session as he took out No. 14 seed Greg Bulsak of Clarion. After a scoreless first period Penola secured a reversal in the second for a 2-1 lead, and then posted two takedowns in the final period to run away with a 6-4 win. He advances to face the No. 3 seed, Kordell Norfleet of Arizona State.

All eight Boilermakers remain alive in the tournament and compete again Thursday evening, starting with the second round for 125 to 157 pounds at 6 p.m. ET. All mats are airing live on ESPN3, with mat assignments and links available at the @PurdueWrestling Twitter account.

2021 NCAA Championships

March 18-20 * Enterprise Center * St. Louis, Missouri

5.0 points * T-19th Place

125: #9 Devin Schrdoer (R-Senior)

First Round: #24 Fabian Gutierrez (Chattanooga) – W, D 5-1

Second Round: #8 Rayvon Foley (Michigan State)

133: #25 Jacob Rundell (Freshman)

First Round: #8 Chris Cannon (Northwestern) – L, MD 10-1

Conso. First Round: #24 Richie Koehler (Rider)

141: #18 Parker Filius (R-Junior)

First Round: #15 Clay Carlson (South Dakota State) – L, D 7-6

Conso. First Round: #31 Julian Flores (Drexel)

149: #15 Griffin Parriott (R-Senior)

First Round: #18 Jarrett Degan (Iowa State) – W, D 10-7

Second Round: #2 Austin O’Connor (North Carolina)

157: #9 Kendall Coleman (R-Sophomore)

First Round: #24 Nicholas Palumbo (Sacred Heart) – W, MD 15-5

Second Round: #8 Jared Franek (North Dakota State)

165: #19 Gerrit Nijenhuis (Freshman)

First Round: #14 Peyton Robb (Nebraska) – L, D 4-1

Conso. First Round: #30 Evan Barczak (Drexel) / #32 Ricky Stamm (Hofstra)

184: #16 Max Lyon (Senior)

First Round: #17 Owen Webster (Minnesota) – L, D 5-3

Conso. First Round: #32 Jhaquan Anderson (Gardner Webb)

197: #19 Thomas Penola (R-Sophomore)

First Round: #14 Greg Bulsak (Clarion) – W, D 6-4

Second Round: #3 Kordell Norfleet (Arizona State)

INDIANA BASEBALL: NOTES: Indiana Baseball Hosts Purdue

(IU RELEASE)

SETTING THE SCENE

• The Indiana Hoosiers will host the Purdue Boilermakers in a three-game, Big Ten series at Bart Kaufman Field in Bloomington, Ind.

• IU has won seven-straight games thanks in part to a four-game sweep of the Penn State Nittany Lions last weekend at Bart Kaufman Field.

• Jeff Mercer is in his third season at the helm of the Indiana baseball program. He led the Hoosiers to a Big Ten regular season title in 2019, earning him Big Ten Coach of the Year honors.

INSIDE #IUBASE

• RHP McCade Brown was named the D1Baseball/AstroTurf Player of the Week, the Perfect Game/Rawlings Pitcher of the Week, Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week and the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week after a school-record performance against Penn State on Mar. 13.

• The sophomore hurler matched the Indiana school record with a career-high 16 strikeouts in seven, no-hit innings. He also broke the IU record for most strikeouts in a Big Ten game, eclipsing the previous record of 13.

• Indiana’s seven game winning streak in the Big Ten is the longest since the team won seven-in-a-row from Apr. 27 to May 13, 2014. The Hoosiers ran off 10-straight wins that same season from Mar. 28 to Apr. 25.

• Indiana is ranked No. 10 in the nation by Perfect Game and No. 30 in the Collegiate Baseball poll. IU is receiving votes in both the NCBWA and USA Today Coaches polls.

• The Indiana pitching staff has been electric this season, posting a team ERA of 2.01 with 89 strikeouts in 67 innings pitched. IU has allowed just 15 earned runs on 28 hits and has limited opponents to a batting average of .127.

• INF/OF Drew Ashley has reached base in 33-straight games dating back to the 2019 season.

• Since the start of the 2008 season, Indiana leads the Big Ten in wins (436) and conference wins (184). The Hoosiers have made seven NCAA Regionals over that span, the most out of any current Big Ten team.

• LHP Tommy Sommer was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week on Mar. 9. Sommer was outstanding for the Hoosiers this past weekend, helping the team defeat Minnesota, 5-2, on Mar. 5. The Carmel, Ind. native tossed eight shutout innings to earn the win, allowing just two hits, while matching his career-high with 10 strikeouts.

• Indiana OF Grant Richardson was named a First-Team Preseason All-American by both Perfect Game and Collegiate Baseball. He was also named Third-Team Preseason All-American by D1Baseball.

• Before the season, Indiana was tabbed to win the Big Ten in 2021 by Perfect Game. OF Grant Richardson was named the Player of the Year and to the Preseason All-Big Ten team. He was joined on the preseason All-Big Ten team by RHP Gabe Bierman and RHP Connor Manous.

• RHP Gabe Bierman, OF Grant Richardson and LHP Tommy Sommer were all named to the Big Ten Preseason Players to Watch List. IU was picked to finish second in the Big Ten behind Michigan in a preseason poll conducted of the league’s coaches.

• After leading the Hoosiers to the 2019 Big Ten regular season championship, Jeff Mercer was named Big Ten Coach of the Year. Mercer became the first Big Ten head coach since 1982 (John Anderson, Minnesota) to win a regular season conference title in his first season as the skipper.  He was just the second coach in IU history – in any sport, men’s or women’s – to win an outright Big Ten championship in his (or her) first year.

NOTRE DAME BASEBALL: PREVIEW VS. DUKE

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The 15th-ranked Notre Dame baseball team makes its long await return to Frank Eck Stadium as the home slate begins this weekend. The Irish will play their first home game in over 670 days as they welcome Duke for a three game series starting Friday at 4 p.m. ET. Friday and Saturday’s game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra while Sunday’s game is airing on the ACC Network.

Home Sweet Home

  • 677 days have passed since Notre Dame baseball has hosted a home game when the Irish take the field at Frank Eck Stadium Friday afternoon against the Duke Blue Devils.
  • Notre Dame never got to its home schedule in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic cut the season short.
  • The Irish last home game was on May 12, 2019, a 3-2 win over Canisius to clinch the series sweep.
  • The final game at Eck actually ended on a play where a pitch was not thrown. The Irish won the game when a walk-off balk in the 11th inning scored Daniel Jung from third base.
  • That capped off a wild series against the Griffons, as the first game of the series was won by the Irish with a walk-off walk with the bases loaded in the ninth inning.
  • Head coach Link Jarret is in his second season as Irish head coach and has yet to coach at home. 
  • The Duke series will kick off a long stretch of Irish home games. Notre Dame’s next seven games and 16 of their upcoming 19 games will be at Frank Eck Stadium.
  • Duke enters the series with a 7-6 record and 3-3 mark in ACC play. They are coming off a 7-4 midweek win over NC Central.
  • This will be the first series between the two schools since 2018.

Road Less Traveled

  • With the 12-4 series-clinching win over Virginia on March 13, the Irish won their fourth-consecutive ACC series dating back to the 2020 season, all of them coming on the road.
  • It is the longest road series winning streak for the Irish since they have joined the ACC back in 2014.
  • The last time the Irish won four straight conference road series was back in 2008 when they defeated Georgetown, Villanova, West Virginia and UConn.
  • The Irish have been dubbed the road warriors as they have won seven of their last nine ACC road series dating back to the 2019 season.
  • In the shortened 2020 season the Irish finished 9-1 on the road, it was their most road wins since the 2015 season.
  • During his two year tenure as head coach for the Irish, Link Jarrett’s squad has a 16-3 record on the road.
  • The 7-2 start to ACC play this season is the best start to a conference slate for the Irish since 2008 when they opener BIG EAST play with an 11-2 mark.

Top-25, Here Come The Irish

  • Following three-consecutive ACC road series wins, including a sweep to begin the 2021 season, people are starting to take note of the Irish.
  • A week after cracking two of the polls after the series win against Clemson, the Irish appeared in all six polls after the road sweep of Virginia.
  • The highest the Irish are ranked is No. 15  by Baseball America, followed by No. 17 by D1Baseball, No. 18 by Perfect Game & USA Today, No. 23 by Collegiate Baseball and No. 24 by NCBWA.
  • The No. 15 ranking is the highest the Irish have been in any poll since March 22, 2013 when they were also ranked No. 15.
  • In the final week of the 2020 regular season, Notre Dame cracked the Top-25 when they were selected No. 24 by Collegiate Baseball News.
  • It was the first time the Irish were ranked in the Top-25 since the 2015 season, the last time Notre Dame made an NCAA Regional.

Irish Close Road Trip With Series Sweep of Virginia

  • Heading into the final game of the series, the Irish had a 2-0 record on Sunday’s and that perfect mark continued with a 8-3 win over the Cavaliers.
  • Home runs were the tune of the day as Notre Dame hit three for the second time in the series.
  • Niko Kavadas wasted no time blasting his fifth home run of the season, a three-run shot, in the first inning.
  • In the later innings, the Irish opened the seventh and eighth innings with a solo shot to increase the margin.
  • On the first pitch of the seventh, Jared Miller blasted his second home run of the series off the batter’s eye in center.
  • In the eighth, Zack Prajzner took the first pitch over the wall in left for his first homer of the season.
  • Aidan Tyrell and Tanner Kohlhepp tossed seven innings of relief and allowed just one run.

Hot Hitting Continued in 12-4 Series Win

  • Following the explosive series opener at the plate, the Irish bats stayed hot to clinch the series over Virginia.
  • Notre Dame scored the first three runs only to see the lead evaporate in the fourth.
  • The very next inning, the Irish exploded for five runs to regain control of the game.
  • Three straight hits to start the inning scored a run, followed by another run on a UVA error.
  • Brooks Coetzee connected for another home run, his second of the series to cap the inning and give the Irish an 8-3 edge.
  • Jack Brannigan finished the day with a career high four hits after a 4-for-5 performance at the plate.
  • John Michael Bertrand tossed his second consecutive quality start to improve to 2-0 on the season.
  • The Irish scored 10 or more runs for the second straight game and they were the first Virginia opponent to do that since April 26-27, 2016.

Home Runs Carry Irish To Friday Win at Virginia

  • The Irish bats started the Virginia series off with a bang, smashing three home runs in the 10-5 win.
  • Jared Miller started it off with his second home run, a two-run shot in the third, to take the initial lead.
  • The Irish lost the lead but battled back with a big fourth inning to regain the lead at 5-4.
  • Niko Kavadas doubled the lead with his fourth home run, a solo shot, in the fifth inning.
  • Brooks Coetzee put the exclamation point on the win with a three-run blast in the eighth.
  • Joe Sheridan tossed five innings of scoreless relief and allowed just one hit to pick up the save.

OHIO STATE BASEBALL: First True Road Test Awaits Buckeyes in Piscataway

(OSU RELEASE)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State will be playing in its first true Big Ten weekend series as it heads to Piscataway to take on Rutgers. That being said, weather has pushed the start of the series back a day and the three-game series will run Saturday through Monday. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. each day.

The Opponents

  • Rutgers has opened the season 4-4 and is coming off a 2-2 weekend at Maryland.
  • Third basemen Chris Brito was named to the Collegiate Baseball National Players of the Week as he had four homers with two doubles in a 9-for-18 series against the Terps.
  • Following a seven-hit weekend at Maryland, Josh Rodriguez was tabbed Big Ten Freshman of the Week.
  • The Scarlet Knights lead the Big Ten in runs scored (7.2 per game) and home runs (17).

Weekend in a Football Stadium

  • Playing in a unique setup at US Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings, the Buckeyes split the four-game series with Iowa and Nebraska.
  • Mitchell Okuley led the team with a .357 average and slugging a pair of home runs.
  • Leadoff hitter Sam Wilson also hit a pair of homers in the series.
  • Conner Pohl’s home run Saturday hit the seat in the upper deck or it would still be flying.
  • Freshman Kade Kern continued to pound the ball, hitting a home run and pair of doubles.
  • Colton Bauer hit his first home run as a Buckeye on Sunday and it could not have come in a bigger spot. With the game tied and two-outs in the eighth, he smoked a drive to straight-away center, putting the Buckeyes in front 6-4.
  • On the mound, Will Pfennig turned in the performance of the weekend, as he retired 15 batters in a row after a shaky first inning on Sunday. In total, he went 6.2, allowing three runs on five hits and striking out seven while not walking a batter.
  • TJ Brock pitched two scoreless innings and picked up his first two saves of the season.
  • Captain Griffan Smith missed the first weekend but made his season debut on Sunday in a scoreless eighth, striking out a pair.

Ohio State Quick Hitters

  • The Buckeyes are batting .244 as a team and has scored 41 runs.
  • OSU is third in the conference in home runs as a team with nine.
  • Sam Wilson and Colton Bauer each have reached base streaks of 16 games dating back to last season.
  • The OSU bullpen has only allowed three of 16 inherited runners to score this season.
  • Ohio State pitchers have stranded 71 runners on base through the first eight games

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY:

1951       In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Fred Hutchinson, the American League player representative, says the players should have input in the selection of the new commissioner replacing A. B. Happy Chandler, who was recently ousted by the owners. The Tigers right-hander suggests that the major leaguers, if not given input, would be inclined to hire and pay their own commissioner, with Chandler being their first choice.

1970       During a spring training game against Oakland, Indians first baseman Ken Harrelson fractures his leg and will not play until September, appearing in only 17 games. Next season, after losing his starting position to Chris Chambliss, the eventual AL Rookie of the Year, the ‘Hawk’ will retire in June to pursue a professional golf career.

1989       Hoping to replace the injured Dave Winfield, the Yankees trade catcher Joel Skinner and a minor leaguer to the Indians for outfielder Mel Hall. The future Hall of Fame outfielder will miss the entire season due to back surgery.

2002       The Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network (YES) makes its debut as a regional cable TV channel. The team-owned network, similar to NESN of the Red Sox, will carry Bronx Bombers games as well as covering New Jersey Nets NBA contests.

2005       After avoiding salary arbitration by signing a one-year $10.5 million deal in the offseason, Lance Berkman agrees to a six-year, $85 million contract. The three-time All-Star outfielder will be an Astro until 2010, with the club holding the option for an additional year.

2008       In protest of their coaches not receiving the same $40,000 stipend negotiated by the players union, the Red Sox players vote to boycott their exhibition game, scheduled to be televised nationally from the City of Palms Park, and tomorrow’s flight to Japan for the season-opening game against the A’s. The delayed game starts an hour later when MLB consents to pay the managers, coaches, and trainers $20,000 each from management’s proceeds, with the team agreeing to make up the difference.

TODAY IN SPORTS HISTORY-1966

This game for the national collegiate basketball championship represented a college basketball landmark: It was the first time that a single team, Texas Western, started an all-black lineup in an N.C.A.A. title game.

COLLEGE PARK, Md.-Texas Western, overlooked in preseason ratings last December, became the collegiate basketball champion for the first time by whipping long-time powerful Kentucky, 72‚65, tonight in the final of the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament. The Miners never lost their poise in the face of a strong comeback attempt by the team rated No. 1 in the nation. Their rebounding strength and fine shooting kept them ahead from after 9 minutes 40 seconds of the first half until the end of the game.

It was a glorious moment for the flashy players of Coach Don Haskins. The El Paso college got its first taste of the glory that Kentucky had fed upon four times in the past. The Wildcats have won more National Collegiate basketball championships than any other team. Kentucky never before went as far as the final of this tournament without winning. But, before 14,253 fans at the University of Maryland’s Cole Field House, Coach Adolph Rupp’s little men, who had done so well against taller teams all season, failed in their biggest game.

Nevil Shed, a New York boy, sank the free throw that put Texas Western into the lead it never relinquished. Few in the capacity crowd believed that this was the beginning of the end for the Wildcats. But the Texans, rated No. 3, believed in themselves and kept a tight grip on the situation. Dave Lattin, a strong 240-pounder from Houston, had too much power under the boards for Kentucky to cope with. Yet it was a little man who filled the hero’s assignment for Texas Western. He was Bobby Joe Hill, who used his cut-and-go skills to run around and through Kentucky. The 5-foot-10-inch junior from Detroit dropped in some of the fanciest shots of the tourney and scored 20 points. He also was a demon on defense, often taking the ball away from Kentucky players.

As the Texans seemed sure of victory in the last minute, their fans began chanting, “We’re No. 1.” And as they left the arena, many were yelling, “We won this one for L.B.J.” Rupp gave Hill credit for the inevitable “turning point of the game.” The Baron referred to Hill’s stealing the ball twice within 10 seconds for layups just after Shed sank the foul shot to give the Miners the lead they never lost.

Years later, Don Haskins, when asked if he had a racial quota, said, “No. No one I worked for has ever mentioned it. I guess I really didn’t give much thought to it….I just thought about beating them. I really didn’t know until after the game, and I got bushelsful of hate mail, how important that game was. All I did was play my best people. It was that simple.”

1991: N.F.L. owners voted to take the ’93 Super Bowl away from Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe and give it to the Rose Bowl because Arizona did not approve a ballot proposition to recognize Martin Luther King Day as a national holiday. After another ballot initiative passed in ’92 following national criticism of the state, the league delivered the ’96 Super Bowl to Tempe.

1995: One day after issuing a press release saying “I’m back” from his 1993 retirement, Michael Jordan, wearing No. 45 instead of his usual 23, scored 19 points for the Bulls in a 103‚96 overtime loss to the Indiana Pacers.

1950: City College of New York, coached by Nat Holman, defeated Bradley, 69‚61, to win the National Invitation Tournament at Madison Square Garden. Ten days later the same teams met there in the then-less-important N.C.A.A. tournament, with C.C.N.Y. winning by 71‚68. The cheers were short-lived because of C.C.N.Y.’s coming involvement in a point-shaving scandal.

NBA STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Philadelphia2813.68318-410-97-221-78-21 L
Brooklyn2813.68316-612-75-215-99-16 W
New York2121.5007.512-79-141-514-136-41 W
Boston2020.5007.512-68-143-514-125-52 L
Toronto1723.42510.58-99-143-512-152-86 L
 
Central Divison
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Milwaukee2614.65015-511-98-016-79-15 W
Chicago1821.4627.59-149-72-28-105-51 L
Indiana1722.4368.57-1210-104-210-122-82 L
Cleveland1525.37511.010-105-152-511-125-51 W
Detroit1129.27515.07-114-180-78-173-71 W
 
Southeast Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Miami2219.53712-810-115-413-128-21 L
Atlanta2120.5121.011-910-113-313-128-27 W
Charlotte2020.5001.512-88-125-111-96-42 L
Washington1525.3756.58-147-111-65-173-71 W
Orlando1327.3258.58-135-144-49-161-99 L
 
Western Conference
Northwest Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Utah2911.72516-213-93-213-65-51 L
Denver2416.6005.011-813-87-114-108-22 W
Portland2416.6005.013-711-93-414-116-42 W
Oklahoma City1724.41512.58-129-122-69-165-52 L
Minnesota1031.24419.55-145-173-57-173-71 W
 
Pacific Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
LA Lakers2813.68314-814-52-419-86-44 W
Phoenix2613.6671.013-813-54-217-87-31 L
LA Clippers2616.6192.513-613-106-216-94-61 L
Golden State2120.5127.013-78-133-611-125-51 W
Sacramento1624.40011.59-127-123-48-114-61 W
 
Southwest Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
San Antonio2116.56810-1011-64-612-145-52 W
Dallas2118.5381.011-910-95-112-127-31 W
Memphis1819.4863.09-129-73-58-135-51 W
New Orleans1724.4156.012-105-144-39-163-72 L
Houston1128.28211.05-136-154-58-140-1018 L

NHL STANDINGS

East
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Washington Capitals2919644217103889-3-210-3-29-1-0
New York Islanders3119844217907112-1-27-7-28-2-0
Pittsburgh Penguins30181113715968512-3-06-8-17-3-0
Boston Bruins281684361477667-3-19-5-35-3-2
Philadelphia Flyers2815103331492997-5-28-5-14-6-0
New York Rangers2812124281185766-6-36-6-15-4-1
New Jersey Devils2710134241068864-10-26-3-23-5-2
Buffalo Sabres296194164611012-11-24-8-20-9-1
 
West
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Vegas Golden Knights2720614120906112-2-18-4-08-2-0
Colorado Avalanche2818823818916511-4-17-4-17-2-1
Minnesota Wild2818913718876910-3-08-6-16-3-1
St. Louis Blues2914105331389964-7-310-3-24-3-3
Los Angeles Kings2812106301183795-3-47-7-23-4-3
Arizona Coyotes3012135291072917-7-35-6-23-5-2
San Jose Sharks271113325780963-5-18-8-24-5-1
Anaheim Ducks319166248701055-10-34-6-33-6-1
 
North
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Toronto Maple Leafs30199240191027910-5-19-4-15-5-0
Edmonton Oilers332013040201129511-8-09-5-06-4-0
Winnipeg Jets30181023818988710-5-18-5-15-4-1
Montreal Canadiens291388341393805-5-18-3-74-2-4
Vancouver Canucks33151623212921049-7-26-9-07-3-0
Calgary Flames3014133311383928-5-16-8-25-4-1
Ottawa Senators3310203238871306-6-34-14-03-5-2
 
Central
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Tampa Bay Lightning29216244201066911-2-010-4-27-2-1
Florida Panthers2919644218100839-4-310-2-16-2-2
Carolina Hurricanes2920724216997510-1-210-6-08-1-1
Chicago Blackhawks31141253312941027-4-27-8-33-6-1
Columbus Blue Jackets31121273111831017-5-55-7-24-4-2
Nashville Predators3013161271173987-7-06-9-14-5-1
Dallas Stars26910725874716-4-53-6-23-4-3
Detroit Red Wings31101742410711017-7-33-10-15-4-1