INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL STATE FINALS-SATURDAY

Class A State Championship | 10 am ET
Kouts (29-2) vs. Barr-Reeve (28-2)  

Class 2A State Championship | 1:30 pm ET
Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian (27-3) vs. Parke Heritage (27-3) 

Class 3A State Championship | 5 pm ET
Leo (24-4) vs. Silver Creek (24-4)  

Class 4A State Championship | 8:30 pm ET
Carmel (25-2) vs. Lawrence North (28-2)  

MEN’S NCAA TOURNEY

Loyola Chicago 71 Illinois 58

Baylor 76 Wisconsin 63

Syracuse 75 West Virginia 72

Arkansas 68 Texas Tech 66

Houston 63 Rutgers 60

Oral Roberts 81 Florida 78

Villanova 84 N. Texas 61

Oregon State 80 Oklahoma State 70

WOMEN’S NCAA TOURNEY

Iowa 87 Central Michigan 72

Virginia Tech 70 Marquette 63

Oklahoma State 84 Wake Forest 61

Kentucky 71 Idaho State 63

Tennessee 87 Middle Tennessee 62

Michigan 87 Florida Gulf Coast 66

North Carolina State 79 North Carolina A&T 58

Baylor 101 Jackson State 52

Georgia Tech 54 Stephen F Austin 52 OT

Syracuse 72 South Dakota State 55

South Carolina 79 Mercer 53

Oregon State 83 Florida State 59

West Virginia 77 Lehigh 53

Connecticut 102 High Point 59

South Florida 57 Washington State 53

Stanford 87 Utah Valley 44

NBA SCOREBOARD

Indiana 109 Miami 106 OT….https://www.thescore.com/nba/events/522308/stats

Oklahoma City 114 Houston 112….https://www.thescore.com/nba/events/522309/stats

New Orleans 113 Denver 108….https://www.thescore.com/nba/events/522310/stats

Boston 112 Orlando 96….https://www.thescore.com/nba/events/522311/stats

Cleveland 116 Toronto 105….https://www.thescore.com/nba/events/522313/stats

Chicago 100 Detroit 86…..https://www.thescore.com/nba/events/522314/stats

Brooklyn 113 Washington 106….https://www.thescore.com/nba/events/522312/stats

Philadelphia 101, New York 100 OT….https://www.thescore.com/nba/events/522315/stats

Phoenix 111 LA Lakers 94….https://www.thescore.com/nba/events/522316/stats

Dallas 130 Portland 92….https://www.thescore.com/nba/events/522317/stats

NHL SCOREBOARD

New Jersey 2 Pittsburgh 1….https://www.thescore.com/nhl/events/24233/stats

Tampa Bay 5 Florida 3….https://www.thescore.com/nhl/events/24174/stats

Los Angeles 3 Vegas 1…..https://www.thescore.com/nhl/events/23844/stats

Nashville 4 Dallas 3….https://www.thescore.com/nhl/events/24255/stats

MLB SCOREBOARD-SPRING TRAINING

Cleveland 7 Texas 2

Kansas City 6 Colorado 1

Chicago Cubs 11 Cincinnati 6….https://www.thescore.com/mlb/events/75377/stats

San Francisco 10 LA Dodgers 4

Seattle 3 Milwaukee 1

San Diego 4 LA Angels 1

Chicago White Sox 4 Arizona 4

TOP HEADLINES:

Nun-and-done: Loyola Chicago stuns top-seeded Illinois 71-58

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) If the pregame prayer sounded more like a scouting report, it was. And if Sister Jean didn’t have any plans for next weekend, well, she does now.

Loyola Chicago carried out its 101-year-old superfan’s plans to a T on Sunday, moving to the Sweet 16 with a 71-58 win over Illinois, the first No. 1 seed bounced from this year’s NCAA Tournament.

Cameron Krutwig delivered a 19-point, 12-rebound masterpiece and the quick-handed, eighth-seeded Ramblers (26-4) led wire to wire. They befuddled a powerful Illinois offense to return to the second weekend three years after their last magical run to the Final Four.

A hard habit to break for these Ramblers. And a classic case of nun-and-done for the Illini.

Loyola Chicago will next play either Oklahoma State or Oregon State, who were set to meet later Sunday.

“We just executed, played our game and controlled the game from the start,” Krutwig said. “Nobody was really doing anything out of body or out of mind. We just stuck to the game plan.”

Who wrote it?

Some of Loyola’s wisdom comes from Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, the venerable team chaplain, who headlined the team’s 2018 run to the Final Four and received both COVID-19 vaccination shots so she could travel to Indianapolis to see what inspiration she could provide in 2021.

Before taking in this game from the luxury suite – sitting in her wheelchair and decked out in her trademark maroon and gold scarf – Jean delivered a pregame prayer that could’ve been stripped straight from a John Wooden handbook.

“As we play the Fighting Illini, we ask for special help to overcome this team and get a great win,” she said. “We hope to score early and make our opponents nervous. We have a great opportunity to convert rebounds as this team makes about 50% of layups and 30% of its 3 points. Our defense can take care of that.”

From her mouth to their ears.

Illinois (24-7) earned top seeding for the first time since its own Final Four run in 2005, but fell behind by 14 in the first half and never got within striking range. The Illini committed 16 turnovers and scored 23 points fewer than their season average. A team that lives for easy buckets in transition got two fast-break points.

Illinois’ 7-foot second-team All-American Kofi Cockburn finished with 21 points on 7-for-12 shooting, but worked hard for every shot against the pestering presence of Krutwig and Co.

Loyola’s handsy guards, Lucas Williamson (14 points) and Keith Clemons (two steals), kept first-team All-American Ayo Dosunmu from ever finding his comfort zone. He finished with nine points, 11 under his season average. Illini guard Trent Frazier went 1 for 10 for two points.

Loyola held its lead in the 8-to-12-point range through most of the second half, and though Illinois made a few 4-0 flurries, it never made this a one-possession game.

“We tried everything in the bag,” Illinois coach Brad Underwood said. “Everything that’s made us one of the most efficient offensive teams, today, just for whatever reason, didn’t work.”

Krutwig is also an All-American – a third-teamer who looked all-world in this one.

Sweet 16 bound: No. 15 seed Oral Roberts tops Florida 81-78

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Dunk City, say hello to Max Abmas and soaring Oral Roberts.

The fraternity of No. 15 seeds to reach the second week of the NCAA Tournament has its second member.

“It’s really just mind blowing,” forward Kevin Obanor said. “We’re grateful. Just happy that we got the win.”

Abmas and Obanor led the way as Oral Roberts pulled off another surprise Sunday night, reaching the round of 16 with an 81-78 victory over Florida.

The Golden Eagles erased an 11-point deficit on the way to their seventh straight victory. Next up for the Summit League Tournament champions, who eliminated No. 2 seed Ohio State in the first round, is a matchup with No. 3 seed Arkansas next weekend.

“As I told the guys, we’re not going to let somebody put a number in front of our name and tell us that that’s our worth, or that’s our value,” Oral Roberts coach Paul Mills said. “We’re not capitulating to anybody here.”

Obanor scored 28 points and Abmas (pronounced ACE-mus), the regular-season national leading scorer, finished with 26 as the Golden Eagles (18-10) closed the game on a 25-11 run to overcome the 11-point lead Florida held with less than 10 minutes remaining.

Oral Roberts joins Florida Gulf Coast – those guys from “Dunk City” – as the only No. 15 seeds to reach the round of 16 in tournament history. The private evangelical university in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has won twice in the tournament for the first time since 1974 when it reached the region final before losing to Kansas.

The Oral Roberts fans inside Indiana Farmers Coliseum chanted “Cinderella” during a wild celebration after the victory.

The chance to reach the Sweet 16 was a message hammered home by Mills after the opening victory over Ohio State. If they enjoyed beating the Buckeyes, Mills said, a week reveling in moving onto the next round would be even better.

They’ll get that chance.

“I told them, `I told you so,’ when we got to locker room,” Mills said. “I told you the Sweet 16 was a much better feeling.”

Oral Roberts took a 77-76 lead – its first lead since late in the first half – on Obanor’s basket with less than 3 minutes remaining. Noah Locke answered for the Gators, but DeShang Weaver, who missed his first five shots, hit an open 3-pointer for an 80-78 lead with 2:08 remaining.

Florida had a chance but failed to get good shots on its final few possessions. The Gators had a pair of turnovers, Locke missed a corner 3-pointer and, after Obanor split free throws, difficult 3-point attempts by Tre Mann and Scottie Lewis were off line.

Mann led the Gators (15-10) with 19 points, but went quiet late in the second half, failing to score over the final 17 minutes.

“I just missed shots,” Mann said. “We made the same plays we did in the first half. I got the same shots. I just missed shots. I didn’t get the wide-open looks I was getting.”

Locke finished with 17 points and Colin Castleton and Tyree Appleby both added 14 for the Gators. But there will be plenty of anger and frustration after losing in the second round for the third straight NCAA appearance and a game Florida felt it gave away.

Oregon State bounces Oklahoma State, Cunningham from NCAAs

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Ethan Thompson scored 26 points and No. 12 seed Oregon State neutralized Oklahoma State and star freshman Cade Cunningham, rolling to an 80-70 upset in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday night.

Maurice Calloo, who transferred from Oklahoma State, scored 15 points and Jarod Lucas also had 15 for the Beavers, who advanced to play eighth-seeded Loyola Chicago in a Midwest Region Sweet 16 matchup that few could have predicted. Loyola overmatched No. 1 seed Illinois earlier Sunday.

Cunningham, a first-team All-American and possible top NBA draft pick, scored 24 points for Oklahoma State (21-9), but the fourth-seeded Cowboys wasted possessions down the stretch by failing to get him the ball.

Avery Anderson scored 16 points and Keylan Boone added 13 for Oklahoma State in a game that was delayed for 20 minutes at the start by a power outage.

Oregon State (19-12) was picked to finish last in the Pac 12 and had to win the conference tournament just to make the NCAA field. The Beavers pulled that off, then rolled past No. 5 seed Tennessee in the first round. They became the third double-digit seed to reach this year’s Sweet 16, joining 15 seed Oral Roberts and Syracuse, an 11.

Oregon State went ahead 26-15 after an early 22-6 run.

A 3-pointer by Lucas rolled out, then in to give the Beavers a 32-19 edge. Minutes later, Lucas drove took contact, drew a foul and scored in close, energizing the Oregon State fans. His free throw pushed Oregon State’s lead to 38-22. The Beavers led 44-30 at halftime.

Oklahoma State began pressuring late in the first half with some success, and it continued in the second half. Cunningham made two 3-pointers in the opening minutes – the second of which cut Oregon State’s lead to 50-42.

The Cowboys got as close as two points on a basket by Cunningham before Oregon State responded and went up 11, leading the players to exhort their fans during an Oklahoma State timeout with about five minutes to play.

Oklahoma State made one last rally. Boone made a 3-pointer, then Cunningham stole the ball and made a 3 to trim Oregon State’s lead to 70-67 with 3:39 remaining. Oregon State pulled away at the free-throw line.

Buddy Boeheim gets dad back to Sweet 16 as Syracuse tops WVU

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Buddy Boeheim kept shooting, carrying his Hall of Fame father and 11th-seeded Syracuse back into the Sweet 16.

The Orange, a top program for four decades under Jim Boeheim, once again showed they’re just as dangerous as an NCAA Tournament afterthought.

“To win two games and be doubted in both, the underdog, this means everything,” Buddy Boeheim said. “If you were to ask me a month or two months ago where I think we would be, I don’t think I would say Sweet 16, that’s for sure.”

“Buckets” Boeheim scored 22 of his 25 points after halftime to lead the Orange past third-seeded West Virginia 75-72 on Sunday. Syracuse (18-9) advanced to face second-seeded Houston in a Midwest Regional semifinal.

The Orange were a bubble team this year, a familiar spot of late. They won their last two regular-season games and once in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament to sneak into the field.

Now they’re heading to Jim Boeheim’s 20th Sweet 16, thanks to his 6-foot-6, sweet-shooting son.

“I mean, he’s just been playing great,” Jim said. “He’s been putting the ball on the floor and getting his own shot. Teammates have been looking for him.

“He had some really good looks today. He was 6 for 13 (on 3-pointers). I’m surprised he wasn’t 10 for 13, really, the way he’s been shooting it. And I know he was disappointed in himself at halftime, but he showed kind of what he’s made of.”

The Orange moved on at the expense of another coaching legend, Bob Huggins, in the second March Madness meeting between coaches with at least 900 Division I victories. Huggins won No. 900 when West Virginia beat Morehead State in the first round on Friday. Boeheim got his 982nd at Huggins’ expense.

Buddy Boeheim made two straight 3s just after halftime. His jumper and 3 on consecutive possessions put Syracuse ahead 63-59 with 4:55 left, and he helped put the game away with three late free throws.

After his quiet first half, Boeheim got a pep talk from former Orange sharpshooter Gerry McNamara, who won the 2003 national championship as Carmelo Anthony’s wingman and is now one of Jim Boeheim’s assistants.

“G-Mac just came up to me at halftime and said, `Keep going. I don’t care if you miss 200. Just keep shooting,'” Boeheim said. “I just said, all right, if I get clean looks, I’m going to have to take them and I’m going to start making them.”

Grimes helps No. 2 seed Houston rally past Rutgers, 63-60

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Houston coach Kelvin Sampson wasn’t about to apologize for an ugly win over Rutgers on Sunday night.

After all, it sure beats feeling good about a pretty loss.

After scrapping for every loose ball and rebound just to stay in the game, the second-seeded Cougars got a clutch three-point play from freshman Tramon Mark with 24 seconds left, then watched as Ron Harper Jr.’s tying 3-point try bounce off the rim at the buzzer to escape with a 63-60 victory and earn another trip to the Sweet 16.

“We have some of these occasionally. We have a lot of pretty ones, too,” Sampson said. “On nights we shoot well, we look good, but there’s not a lot of teams that can play as poorly as we did and still win, and we’ve done that a lot.”

Quentin Grimes led the Cougars’ comeback with 22 points, and DeJon Jarreau overcame a severely bruised hip to score 17 with a key bucket down the stretch, as Houston (26-3) marched on to play No. 11 seed Syracuse next weekend.

“I can’t even tell you how bad we wanted it,” Jarreau said. “Just will to win, will not to go home.”

The 10th-seeded Scarlet Knights (16-12) still had a chance after Mark’s free throws, but Geo Baker turned the ball over and Marcus Sasser made two more foul shots to extend Houston’s lead. Rutgers rushed back up the floor and Harper let a good look fly from the wing, but it bounced off the rim as the final seconds ticked off.

Baker, who finished with 14 points, pulled his jersey up over his face to hide his tears as he walked off the court. Montez Mathis added 10 points for the Scarlet Knights, who still have not reached the Sweet 16 since 1976.

“We played our hearts out. This team made history,” said coach Steve Pikiell, who also had to tell his team afterward that beloved Rutgers announcer Joe Boylan had died earlier Sunday following complications from a stroke suffered last week.

“They got through a two-year journey, COVID, never missing a day, never having a pause,” Pikiell continued. “All of those obstacles they had to fight through, they now become the standard for what we want to be at Rutgers.”

The difference in program pedigrees was evident by the way they hit the floor of Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Cougars had the swagger of a school that knew it belonged: five trips to the Final Four, the halcyon days of Guy V. Lewis and their rebirth Sampson, and the Phi Slama Jama teams of the Dream, the Glide and the Silent Assassin.

The Scarlet Knights bounced out moments later as if riding pogo sticks, boundless joy and energy borne of the fact that they had already done something Rutgers hadn’t accomplished in 38 years: win a single NCAA tourney game.

Their showdown for the Sweet 16 was physical enough it made sense to play it in a football stadium.

Caleb McConnel hit the deck a half-dozen times for Rutgers. Houston big man Reggie Chaney was ready to throw down with anybody wearing red. By the time the first half ended, and the Scarlet Knights had forged a 30-27 lead, Rutgers and Houston each had two regulars mired in foul trouble and it seemed that everyone was carrying a bruise.

“They were being physical,” Sampson said, “and Rutgers is just so big.”

No. 1 seed Baylor beats Wisconsin 76-63 to reach Sweet 16

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Davion Mitchell scored 16 points and spearheaded a dominant defensive first half, helping top-seeded Baylor avoid another NCAA Tournament upset with a 76-63 win over Wisconsin on Sunday.

The 2021 bracket has been filled with surprises, the latest by lovable Loyola Chicago over Illinois.

Not long after the Illini became the first No. 1 seed to bow out, the Bears (24-2) looked every bit a Final Four favorite in the first half, smothering Wisconsin with the type of defensive pressure they played before a late-season COVID-19 pause.

Led by Mitchell’s never-give-an-inch style, Baylor made Wisconsin’s senior-heavy lineup uncomfortable with its athleticism and all-out defensive effort.

The Badgers (18-13) showed a bit of fight after being backed into an 18-point corner, rallying to within seven midway through the second half behind D’Mitrik Trice (12 points).

The Bears answered the run with a dash of more D to reach the Sweet 16 for the fifth time under coach Scott Drew. They’ll get Villanova or North Texas next.

The knock on Baylor entering the NCAA Tournament was that the Bears weren’t quite as good coming off their second COVID-19 pause as they while were winning the first 18 games of the season.

Dominant Baylor showed up in the opener after a shaky start, hitting 11 3-pointers in a 79-55 win over Hartford.

A short turnaround to prepare for Wisconsin’s grinding style is never easy, which countless teams learned during the Bo Ryan years.

These Bears had no trouble on little rest.

Baylor was at its chest-to-chest best on defense, limiting Wisconsin’s open looks and jumping into passing lanes to create turnovers. Those led to easy transition baskets, like the alley-oop from MaCio Teague to Mark Vital that had the basket still wobbling as the Badgers set up on offense at the other end.

In the half court, Baylor repeatedly got into the lane, setting up a series of lobs and short-range floaters. When Wisconsin packed it in, the Bears went to the 3, the last by Adam Flagler at the buzzer to put Baylor up 42-29.

Smith, Arkansas hold off Texas Tech 68-66 in NCAA 2nd round

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) His players began spilling onto the court at the horn, and Arkansas coach Eric Musselman was right there with them – only to break away to climb atop a table with arms raised.

The moment certainly deserved a let-it-loose celebration.

The Razorbacks are going back to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 for the first time since the “40 Minutes of Hell” days a quarter-century ago.

Justin Smith had 20 points and played a key role in a final defensive stop, helping Arkansas beat Texas Tech 68-66 on Sunday.

The South Region’s No. 3 seed is off to the regional semifinals for the first time since 1996 under famed former coach Nolan Richardson, a season that marked the end of a nine-year run that included a Final Four trip in 1990, a national championship in 1994 and a runner-up finish in 1995.

Now Musselman’s Razorbacks can dream a little bit, too.

“Words can’t describe it, man,” Musselman said as he munched on a piece of pizza after the game. “Myself, the staff – I mean, we’re so excited. It’s hard to make the tournament. It’s hard to win a game. It’s hard to win two games.”

The postgame celebration came after a tense finish, which began with Smith defending Kyler Edwards beyond the 3-point arc. Edwards drove into the paint with Smith on his hip and missed a layup, with Arkansas guard JD Notae snagging the rebound and sprinting up court to run the final seconds out.

“Our big thing was we did not want to give up a 3 under any circumstances,” Musselman said.

After his table hop, Musselman stopped on his way off the court to mark the moment once more by ripping off his mask to yell to Razorbacks fans and repeatedly pump his fist in exuberance.

Next up for Arkansas (24-6) is No. 15 seed Oral Roberts, which advanced with an 81-78 win over Florida.

Villanova hits 15 3s to knock off upstart North Texas 84-61

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) As Villanova rained down 3s on North Texas, it was as if the Wildcats were channeling their recent NCAA championship teams.

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl scored 18 points, Jermaine Samuels Jr. had 15 and the Wildcats knocked down 15 3-pointers, emphatically ending the 13th-seeded Mean Green’s bid for a second NCAA Tournament upset with a 84-61 victory Sunday night.

The fifth-seeded Wildcats (18-6) move on to the Sweet 16 to face top-seeded Baylor. Villanova will play the second weekend of the tournament for the third time in the last five. Coach Jay Wright’s team won the whole thing the last two times it got this far in 2016 and ’18.

Are the Wildcats on their way again?

“I hope so, man,” Wright said with a laugh. “I don’t remember all those types of stats but I like when you guys bring them up.”

The Mean Green (18-10) got off to a nice start with Javion Hamlet making some nifty moves and putting UNT up 21-13. Then Villanova tightened its defense and started making everything the way those title teams seemed to in March.

“I thought we were pretty good defensively, but it sure does help when the shots are going in,” Wright said.

With quick ball movement and excellent spacing, the Wildcats went 9 for 15 from 3-point range for in the first half and finished the first 20 minutes on a 34-6 run. And that was it for North Texas.

The older players on this Villanova team like Samuels were mostly little-used reserves on that 2018 championship team. In a way, this is their first trip to the Sweet 16.

“It’s surreal,” Samuels said.

A stifling defensive performance by the Mean Green got them into the second round, upsetting No. 4-seed Purdue for the first NCAA Tournament victory in school history.

Against Villanova, North Texas seemed to be a step behind the extra pass, scrambling to get a hand into the face of open shooters.

Villanova finished 15 for 30 from 3-point range, with Cole Swider (nine points) and Caleb Daniels (11 points) each hitting three. Eight different Wildcats hit from long range.

Hamlet scored 25 points on 8-of-16 shooting, but the rest of the Mean Green made only 13 field goals.

“We weren’t supposed to be here,” Hamlet said. “We came here and made it to the second round. That’s not something I came here to do. I came to win it all. (But) I have nothing to be mad about.”

UNLV promotes Kruger to head basketball coach

LAS VEGAS (AP) UNLV has promoted assistant Kevin Kruger, putting a familiar name in charge of a program trying to regain its former luster.

The school announced Sunday that Kruger will replace T.J. Otzelberger, who left to become the head coach at Iowa State.

Kruger spent the past two seasons as an assistant at UNLV after returning to his alma mater in 2019. The former Runnin’ Rebels point guard is the son of Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger, who led UNLV to four NCAA Tournament appearances between 2004-11.

Kevin Kruger worked under his father for three years at Oklahoma before moving to Las Vegas. He previously worked as an assistant coach at Northern Arizona from 2014-16 after serving as a graduate assistant for the Sooners.

Kruger started his playing career at Arizona State before transferring to UNLV for one season. He played professionally from 2007-13 with stints in Bulgaria, Italy, China, Mexico, Belgium and Germany. He also played with the Utah Flash and Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA D-League before starting his coaching career.

UNLV went to the NCAA Tournament the two years after Kruger left for Oklahoma in 2011, but hasn’t been back since. The Runnin’ Rebels finished 12-15 this season.

INDIANA WBB: No. 4 Hoosiers Open Up Play In NCAA Tournament On Monday Against No. 13 VCU

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – 4-seeded Indiana will play in its seventh NCAA Tournament when it faces off against 13-seed VCU on Monday, March 22 at the UTSA Convocation Center. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

NO. 4 INDIANA (18-5) VS. NO. 13 VCU (16-12)

Monday, March 22, 2021 • 2 p.m. ET • NCAA Tournament First Round

UTSA Convocation Center • San Antonio, Texas

ABOUT THE RAMS

VCU, the automatic qualifier from the Atlantic 10, enters the tournament having won seven of its last eight dating back to Feb. 18. They are making their second NCAA Tournament appearance all-time, also making the dance in 2009 when it faced Rutgers. They are led by senior guard Taya Robinson’s 14.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game and senior guard Tera Reed who averages 11.5 points per game. As a team, the Rams are averaging 65.1 points per game.

SERIES HISTORY

Indiana leads 2-0

LAST MEETING

12/22/04 – W, 63-41 (Bloomington, IN)

NOTES

  • The Hoosiers will make their seventh all-time NCAA Tournament appearance on Monday and back-to-back tourney bids for the first time since 2003 and 2004. All-time, IU is 3-6 in the Big Dance and secured its highest ever seed at No. 4 this season.
  • Indiana is 2-0 all-time against the Rams coming in to Monday’s first round post-season action. The two teams met in a home-and-away series in 2003-04. This will be the first meeting between them in the postseason.
  • Sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes became the program’s first Associated Press All-American honorable mention on March 17. The Gorham, Maine native is averaging a team-high 18.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.9 blocks and shoots 60.3 percent from the floor and earned All-Big Ten First Team honors as well.
  • Also highlighting the Hoosiers this season are all All-Big Ten selections Grace Berger (15.3 ppg.), senior guard Ali Patberg (13.9 ppg.) and junior forward Aleksa Gulbe (9.5 ppg.).
  • IU is coming off another historic regular season where it finished a program-high second in the Big Ten and won 16 league games which also set a school record.

UP NEXT

The winner of Monday’s matchup faces the winner of No. 5 Gonzaga and No. 12 Belmont in the second round with a time and date TBD.

Raptors’ Nurse fined $50,000 for mask-throwing, profanity

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The NBA has fined Toronto coach Nick Nurse $50,000 for throwing his facemask behind the scorer’s table and toward the stands, plus for directing profanity toward game officials before leaving the floor at the end of a game Friday night.

The league announced the fine Sunday.

Nurse was upset at the end of Toronto’s 115-112 loss to the Utah Jazz, a game in which the Jazz took 41 free throws, compared with the Raptors’ 14.

After the game, Nurse said it “just didn’t seem like they were going to let us win tonight,” without offering specifics. The 27-shot difference in free throw attempts between the teams was the second largest in the NBA this season, topped by the 28-shot difference Houston had over Golden State on Wednesday.

Entering Sunday, the Raptors were shooting 4.5 free throws per game fewer than opponents this season, the second-largest disparity in the league. Chicago takes 5.0 fewer per game than its opponents.

INDIANA PACERS BASKETBALL: Game Rewind: Pacers 109, Heat 106 (OT)

(PACERS RELEASE)

Game Recap

Despite a late push from Miami (22-21), the Pacers (19-22) enjoyed sunshine and a sweep down in South Beach, as the squad muscled out a 109-106 victory in overtime over last year’s Eastern Conference champions Sunday afternoon at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Trailing 103-98 with 3:40 to go in the extra frame, coach Nate Bjorkgren called a timeout to regroup the squad. The Pacers then found their flame.

Sandwiching two massive swats from Myles Turner on a single Heat possession, Justin Holiday nailed consecutive threes from the right side to give Indiana a 104-103 advantage. Later, after missing the potential game-winning shot in the closing moments of the fourth, Caris LeVert redeemed himself, nailing a 13-foot dagger with 48.2 seconds left to keep Indiana in front for good. In line with its performance for the entire game, Miami missed two potential game-tying threes as time expired. The hosts finished just 9-for-37 (24.3 percent) from deep.

“There was just no quit, honestly,” T.J. McConnell said postgame. “We went down five and came together in the huddle and said, ‘There’s a lot of time left.’ We said, ‘That’s plenty of time, don’t give up, don’t quit.’ And that’s exactly what we did.”

For the second consecutive outing, seven Pacers finished in double figures. Sharing the wealth, nobody scored more than 17 on the team — the team-high total Domantas Sabonis claimed. The big man also hauled in 11 boards for his 31st double-double of the season. Turner finished with 16 points, including three triples, six boards, and five blocks. The final two were the most important.

“I’m a shot blocker,” Turner said of his block sequence. “It’s just timing. The best way I can describe it is that I’m just ready at all times.”

The bout started similar to Friday’s contest, as neither squad hit double digits until Kendrick Nunn hit a pair of free throws at the 7:48 mark of the first. Although struggling from the paint early, the Blue & Gold found success beyond the arc to hang tough. Turner recorded the squad’s third trey of the frame, a rainbow from the left wing, to give Indiana a 12-10 lead with 7:34 to play.

The three-ball continued to be kind to the Pacers as the quarter continued. Trailing 15-12. the squad fired off three more, including a pair from Holiday on opposite baselines, to anchor a 14-4 run that extended Indiana’s lead to 26-19 with 2:49 left.

The energetic second unit finally ignited the Pacers’ close-range offense to close out the frame strong. Doug McDermott, T.J. McConnell, and Jeremy Lamb connected on three consecutive buckets inside the arc with less than 1:30 to play. The run secured a 32-26 Indiana lead after one.

However, the Heat bounced back early in the second. Consecutive and-one finishes and a Gabe Vincent 3-pointer to earn a 37-36 advantage with 9:39 remaining.

Despite Miami’s defensive efforts, the Blue & Gold kept a slim lead midway through the second. Leading 44-43, Indiana used the long ball to create a bit of separation again. LeVert knocked in a pair of threes from the left side to give the Pacers a 50-43 lead with 4:37 remaining. The triples started a string of nine unanswered for Indiana.

Indiana’s starters pushed the lead to double figures, 57-47, with 2:05 to go on a 16-footer from Malcolm Brogdon. The Blue & Gold’s defense limited the hosts to just one field goal over the final two minutes of the frame to keep a 57-49 lead heading into halftime.

But Miami did not let the Pacers off easy. Using a 9-0 run, including seven straight from Bam Adebayo, the Heat grabbed a 58-57 lead with 8:02 remaining in the third. At the 9:34 mark, Adebayo received a reversal of fortune when Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra called for a coach’s challenge to reverse an offensive foul on the talented center. His high-flying dunk over Sabonis stood, and he received a free throw to complete the and-one play. Nunn followed Adebayo’s run with a finger-roll layup to give Miami the one-point edge.

But the Pacers continued to fight. The squad then used a 10-5 run, including a pair of threes from Brogdon and Turner, to regain a 67-63 lead with 4:32 left in the frame.

Leading 69-68, Indiana’s bench went to work. McDermott scored five points, including an alley-oop slam, as part of a 10-2 run to end the third and secure a 79-70 advantage entering the final frame.

McDermott continued to find success at the rim, scoring the first four Pacers points of the fourth. The latter bucket came off a beautiful, no-look pass from McConnell that pushed Indiana’s lead to 83-72 with 9:24 to go. After Miami called a timeout, McConnell celebrated with his team by pantomiming a pair of goggles while smiling.

Inside the Numbers

Malcolm Brogdon recorded his third double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 assists.

Doug McDermott (15) and T.J. McConnell (12) matched the entire Heat’s bench points. Overall, the Pacers’ bench outscored the Heat’s 36-27.

The Blue & Gold’s defense held Miami to just 18-of-71 (25.3 percent) shooting from 3-point range over the two-game set.

AP Source: LaMelo Ball expected to miss rest of season

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Charlotte Hornets rookie LaMelo Ball is expected to miss the remainder of the NBA season due to a broken right wrist, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Sunday on condition of anonymity because the team has not made the status of his injury public.

The Hornets said in a release earlier Sunday that Ball had an MRI exam in San Antonio that revealed the injury. The team said he would be listed as out indefinitely.

Ball appeared to be hurt after a fall in the Hornets’ 125-98 loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles on Saturday. Ball appeared to be in discomfort playing into the second half.

AP source: Jets agree to terms with former Saints DT Rankins

NEW YORK (AP) The New York Jets reached an agreement with former New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins on a two-year deal, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal.

The contract is worth up to $17 million, said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on Sunday on condition of anonymity because the team hadn’t announced the deal.

NFL Network first reported the agreement between the Jets and Rankins, who was the Saints’ first-round pick in 2016 out of Louisville.

Rankins will join recently signed Carl Lawson to beef up an already strong defensive line that includes Quinnen Williams, Folorunso Fatukasi, John Franklin-Myers, Nathan Shepherd, Bryce Huff, Kyle Phillips and Jabari Zuniga. That was always a strength of new Jets coach Robert Saleh’s defenses when he was the coordinator in San Francisco.

The 6-foot-2, 305-pound Rankins, who turns 27 on April 2, had 17 1/2 sacks in five seasons with the Saints but only 3 1/2 the past two years as injuries and inconsistency limited him to just 22 games – and just one start – during that span.

The 12th overall pick five years ago has dealt with several injuries in his NFL career, including a broken leg as a rookie. He showed promise over the next two seasons, including a career-best eight sacks and 12 tackles for losses in 2018. But he tore his Achilles during New Orleans’ divisional playoff win over Philadelphia, and he was inactive until Week 4 of the next season. Rankins then missed the final three regular-season games and the playoffs with an ankle injury that landed him on injured reserve.

Last year, he spent four weeks on IR with a knee injury before returning and finishing the season.

The Jets’ hope is that the injury issues are a thing of the past for Rankins, and he can perform like the player he was three years ago when he appeared to be one of the league’s ascending young defensive linemen.

Infant son of Browns WR Ryan Switzer back in hospital

CLEVELAND (AP) Cleveland Browns wide receiver Ryan Switzer said his infant son has been hospitalized again and is undergoing a blood transfusion.

Switzer posted the latest Twitter update about Christian on Sunday, saying he’s having another transfusion after his hemoglobin dropped overnight. Switzer said doctors need to get the boy’s blood count up so he’s stable enough to undergo further testing.

Switzer asked his followers for prayers.

Earlier this week, the 26-year-old father posted a video thanking the public for its overwhelming outpouring of support for Christian, who underwent surgery last week after being hospitalized for bleeding. Switzer had said doctors still weren’t sure what was causing the bleeding.

Switzer wrote Saturday night that Christian had more “significant bleeding” and was back in the hospital.

“We’re frustrated but more so just exhausted seeing our son suffer,” Switzer wrote. “We’re asking for prayers for the doctors as they work to find a diagnosis & strength for Christian as he battles.”

Switzer spent last season on Cleveland’s practice squad. He was with the Pittsburgh Steelers for two seasons after being drafted by Dallas in the 2017 NFL draft out of North Carolina.

Royals give Pérez 4-year, $82M deal; richest in team history

(AP) — Salvador Perez still remembers growing up in the coastal Venezuelan city of Valencia, where as a youngster he would take batting practice against his mother with a broomstick and later play organized ball with the likes of Jose Altuve.

He never thought a day like Sunday could be possible.

That’s when the Royals gave the six-time All-Star catcher a four-year, $82 million deal – the richest in club history – that will begin after his current contract in 2022. The deal ties Perez to the only organization for which he’s played until at least 2025, though a club option worth $13.5 million could keep him around for that season, too.

“It’s hard to believe where I’m coming from, where I grew up, to see the situation I have right now, it makes me feel super happy,” Perez said from the Royals’ spring training home in Surprise, Arizona. “My mother is going to be happy. I know my grandma is going to be happy. I know they’re excited for me to be here for four more years, maybe five.”

Perez is due a base salary of $13 million as he completes his current contract. He will make $18 million next season, $20 million in 2023 and 2024, and $22 million in 2025 with a $2 million buyout for 2026.

The value of the new deal surpasses the four-year, $72 million contract the Royals gave outfielder Alex Gordon in 2016.

“Nobody loves to play baseball more than Salvador Perez. There are players that like it just as much but nobody loves it more,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. “Nobody can imagine him not being here.”

Perez, who turns 31 in May, has not only established himself as one of the game’s premier catchers but also one of the most beloved players in Royals history. He was World Series MVP in 2015, when the club broke its 30-year title drought, and is coming off a season in which he hit .333 with 11 homers and 32 RBIs to win his third Silver Slugger.

He also has five Gold Gloves to his name, and the Royals are counting on his ability to bring out the best in their pitchers to help a young and promising starting rotation that they hope will lead them back to the playoffs.

“I mean, the catching position is without a doubt the most demanding position in our game,” Moore said. “It’s hard, I think almost impossible, to win championships unless you have somebody behind the plate, somebody at the catcher position, that’s a leader – that brings out the confidence in your pitching staff. And Salvy does all that.”

GOLF

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Matt Jones won the Honda Classic by five shots Sunday, a final round of 2-under 68 good enough to finish the week at 12-under 268 at PGA National. The margin matched the largest in tournament history, tying the mark set by Jack Nicklaus in 1977 and matched by Camilo Villegas in 2010.

The 40-year-old Australian earned $1.26 million.

Brandon Hagy (66) finished 7 under and alone in second on his 30th birthday, his chance at winning doomed by a third-round 76. Chase Seiffert (64), Brendan Steele (65), C.T. Pan (70), Denny McCarthy (67) and Russell Henley (68) tied for third at 6 under.

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Justin Harding won the Kenya Open for his second European Tour title, closing with a 5-under 66 for a two-stroke victory.

The South African finished at 21 under. He also won the 2019 Qatar Masters

Kurt Kitayama of the United States was second.

NASCAR

HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) — Ryan Blaney became the sixth driver to win in six races to start NASCAR’s Cup season, surging to the front with nine laps to go after Kyle Larson’s dominant performance at Atlanta Motor Speedway fell apart on a fading set of tires Sunday.

Larson easily won the first two stages and led 269 of 325 laps on the 1.54-mile trioval.

But Larson’s tires didn’t stand up to the punishing track after making his final pit stop with 56 laps to go.

Blaney pulled away to win by 2.083 seconds in his No. 12 Team Penske Ford.

HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) — Kyle Busch raced to his 60th NASCAR Trucks Series victory with a dominating performance Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Busch pulled away over the last 30 laps and finished more than 4 seconds ahead of the field. He claimed his sixth career Trucks victory in Atlanta.

The Kyle Busch Motorsports team also picked up a third-place finish from series leader John Hunter Nemechek.

Georgia native Austin Hill finished second in his best showing of the season. Johnny Sauter was fourth followed by Sheldon Creed in a Chevrolet — the only non-Toyota truck to crack the top five.

MEN’S SOCCER: US scores late, beats Dominican 4-0 in Olympic qualifying

U.S. coach Jason Kreis was dismayed by his team’s scoreless first half against the Dominican Republic in qualifying for the Olympic men’s soccer tournament.

“I felt that we were just way too cautious about the game,” Kreis said. “We just weren’t getting the job done. So for me it was mostly about positioning but also about intent and attitude.”

Jackson Yueill redirected Sebastian Salcedo’s cross for the go-ahead goal in the 60th minute to get the offense untracked, and second-half substitute Hassani Dotson added a pair of goals in a 4-0 victory on Sunday night at Guadalajara, Mexico, that advanced the U.S. to a qualification match on March 28.

Djordje Mihailovic, another second-half sub, had a goal and two assists for the U.S., trying to reach the Olympics for the first time since 2012.

In the second game of the doubleheader, Mexico beat Costa Rica 3-0 on goals by Uriel Antuna, Alexis Vega and Sebastián Córdova.

Mexico leads Group A on goal difference over the U.S. and meets the Americans on Wednesday to determine matchups in the semifinals against teams from Group B, most likely Honduras and Canada. Semifinal winners qualify for the Olympics.

“We will want to beat Mexico. We will want to win this group,” Kreis said.

Serena Williams latest star to withdraw from Miami Open

MIAMI (AP) Serena Williams is the latest Grand Slam champion to withdraw from the Miami Open.

Williams pulled out Sunday, citing recent oral surgery. Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer announced earlier they would skip the tournament, which begins Tuesday.

Williams, who lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, has won the event a record eight times, most recently in 2015.

“Miami is a special tournament for me because it’s my home,” she said in a statement. “I am sad I won’t be able to see the incredible fans this year, but I look forward to coming back soon.”

Williams’ most recent match was a month ago at the Australian Open, where she lost to Naomi Osaka in the semifinals.

NOTRE DAME HOCKEY: Irish Make Fifth Consecutive NCAA Tournament

(ND RELEASE)

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame hockey team has made the NCAA Championship field for a fifth consecutive edition of the tournament.

The Fighting Irish will be the No. 4 seed in the Albany Regional and will take on No. 1 seed Boston College in the first round. The Regional’s other first round game will feature No. 2 seed St. Cloud State versus No. 3 seed Boston University. The Regional will take place on Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28.

With the Pairwise not utilized to select the NCAA field this season due to the lack of non conference play across the country this season, the Irish had to wait until Sunday evening’s NCAA Selection Show (ESPNU) to learn their fate after a challenging Big Ten season in which Notre Dame tied for the national lead with 28 regular season games played. 

Notre Dame, which made back-to-back Frozen Four appearances in 2017 and 2018 and advanced to the 2018 national title game, has made the NCAA tournament for the 12th time in program history and for the 11th time under head coach Jeff Jackson. The Irish have also appeared in seven of the last 10 NCAA Tournaments (due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 NCAA tournament did not take place and all appearance streaks remain intact). 

Jackson guided the Irish to Frozen Four appearances in 2008, 2011, 2017 and 2018. Notre Dame is 12-11-0 all-time in NCAA Tournament games (12-10-0 under Jackson).

Boston College enters the NCAA Tournament with a 17-5-1 mark and having won the regular season Hockey East crown. The Irish and Eagles have met on 46 previous occasions, with Boston College holding a slight edge in the all-time series, 23-20-3.

The series began Dec. 20, 1969 and, since 1995, the teams have met every season except for three (1999-2000, 2005-06 and 2017-18).

INDIANA BASEBALL: Hoosiers Take Down Purdue, 9-4, to Win Series

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana University baseball team clinched the series with Purdue on Sunday afternoon with a 9-4 victory at Bart Kaufman Field in Bloomington, Ind.

With the win, the Hoosiers improve to 9-2 on the season overall and in Big Ten conference play. The Boilermakers fall to 2-9 on the year and in league action.

KEY MOMENTS

• Trailing 2-0, in the bottom of the second inning, INF Jeremy Houston tied the game with a clutch, two-out hit. With the bases loaded, Houston slapped a 3-2 offering through the left side of the infield for a two-run single.

• OF Grant Richardson gave the Hoosiers the lead in the third inning with a towering, solo home run to center field. Richardson’s bomb was his team-leading third of the season. INF Jordan Fucci added to the advantage with a RBI single up the middle, which was followed by a sacrifice fly off the bat of DH Kip Fougerousse to make the IU lead 5-2.

• After Purdue cut the advantage to 5-4, OF Morgan Colopy made the Hoosier lead two with a sacrifice fly to right field.

• In the bottom of the eighth, C Collin Hopkins doubled the IU advantage to 8-4, cranking a two-run homer over the left field fence. The long ball was the first for Hopkins as a Hoosier.

• Richardson added another insurance run for IU in the eighth, plating a run with a bloop single to left center, scoring OF Drew Ashley.

NOTABLES

• RHP Gabe Bierman (1-1) earned the win for the Hoosiers, pitching six innings, allowing four runs, three earned with seven strikeouts.

• LHP Ty Bothwell pitched two perfect innings of relief, striking out three.

• RHP Matt Litwicki tossed a perfect ninth inning with one strikeout.

• Ashley extended his on-base streak to 36-games dating back to the 2019 season.

• Ashley and INF Paul Toetz have at least one hit in all 11 games this season for the Hoosiers.

• Indiana’s 9-2 start in Big Ten play is the best for the team since starting 11-2 in league action in 2016.

• Indiana had a season-high nine runs and 14 hits in the win.

UP NEXT

• The Hoosiers will head north to face Michigan State for a three-game series in East Lansing starting on Friday, Mar. 26. All three games will be streamed live on Big Ten Network+.

NOTRE DAME BASEBALL: No. 15 Irish Fall to Duke, 2-0

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The 15th-ranked Notre Dame baseball team had a tough time at the plate in the series finale and dropped Sunday’s matchup 2-0 to Duke at Frank Eck Stadium.

The Irish (9-3, 9-3 ACC) bats were shut down by the pitching duo of Jack Carey and Marcus Johnson. Notre Dame only managed one hit and two baserunners the entire ballgame. Duke (8-8, 3-4 ACC) pushed out in front with runs in the first and second inning and it was all they needed to salvage the series.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Duke jumped on the Irish early, scoring in the first inning. A leadoff double by Ethan Murray got him into scoring position and then a sac bunt moved him 90 feet away. Rothenburg brought him home on a sac fly to center and the Blue Devils had an early 1-0 lead.

The Blue Devils added a run in the second when RJ Schreck hit a solo home run to right and doubled the lead to 2-0.

That was all the offense the Blue Devils needed as the duo of Carey and Johnson held the Irish bats in check the entire game.

Notre Dame only mustered one hit and never had a runner reach second base.

Alex Rao was strong in relief for the Irish. He came on in the third inning and tossed 5.1 innings of work while allowing just one run and only three base runners the entire outing. He kept the Irish in it but the bats were unable to get anything going against the Blue Devils.

UP NEXT

The Irish will look to get back on track Tuesday night when they have their first midweek contest of the season. Notre Dame hosts Valpo Tuesday evening from Frank Eck Stadium. The game is set for a 5 p.m. ET start and will be aired on the ACC Network Extra.

INDIANA WOMEN’S SOCCER: Early Goal by Bennett Leads Indiana Women’s Soccer Past Wisconsin, 1-0

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The gamewinner by freshman Anna Bennett in the 12th minute and a shutout by senior Bethany Kopel led Indiana (4-3-0) past Wisconsin (4-3-1) at Bill Armstrong Stadium on Sunday afternoon. This victory marks the first time the Hoosiers have defeated the Badgers since September 25, 2016.

KEY MOMENTS

• In the 12th minute, sophomore Alaina Kalin took a shot on target, but the Badgers’ goalkeeper Jordyn Bloomer dived for the save. However, Bloomer didn’t have possession of the ball before freshman Anna Bennett swooped into the goalie box and netted her first goal career goal deep into the far-right side of the net.

• The best chance for the Badgers came in the 22nd minute as Wisconsin’s Cameron Murtha ran into the goalie box for a loose ball, but goalkeeper Bethany Kopel earned her first save as she was there for the block.

• After a foul Wisconsin would look for the equalizer in the 44th minute before heading into the locker room, but Kopel was once again there for the save.

• Indiana looked to push the lead as they fired six shots in the second half to Wisconsin’s three.

• The Badgers would see their last opportunity in the 85th minute as Wisconsin’s freshman Porter List took a shot on goal to give Kopel and the Hoosiers the victory.

NOTABLES

• Indiana women’s soccer improves to 4-3-0 on the season while the Badgers drop to 4-3-1.

• Today’s victory marks the first time Indiana has defeated Wisconsin since the 2016 season in Bloomington, Ind. This was also the first matchup between the two teams since the 2018 season.

• Freshman Anna Bennett scored her first career goal of the season. She is the second freshman to record a goal this season behind Jen Blitchok with two.

•Indiana outshot Wisconsin 11-7 this afternoon with six on goal shots.

• The Hoosiers gave the Badgers’ goalkeeper Jordyn Bloomer five saves but ended her back-to-back game shutout streak.

• Senior Bethany Kopel earns her fourth victory this season.

HOOSIER POINTS

GOALS: Anna Bennett

UP NEXT

• The Hoosiers will travel to Columbus, Ohio to battle the Buckeyes on March 25th at 2 p.m. The match is set to air live on Big Ten Network.

BUTLER BASEBALL: Purple Aces Win Sunday Matinee over Butler 10-1

EVANSVILLE – The Purple Aces scored four runs in the first inning and three more in the seventh to record a decisive 10-1 victory in game three of the weekend series. The ‘Dawgs move to 3-4 overall while the Aces improve to 9-10.

Pitching was the difference in this one as the Bulldogs were limited to just three hits. Andy Bennett doubled with two outs in the second inning and Brody McGrath would do the same after him in the order to get Butler on the scoreboard. James Gargano would record the third hit of the day for BU in the fifth with a single to right.

The Purple Aces homered twice in the fourth and once more in the seventh to put the game away. John MacCauley was charged with the loss (1-1) while Donovan Schultz picked up his first win of the season. Schultz threw five innings and struck out five. Eric Roberts and Jakob Meyer didn’t allow a single hit once entering the game from the Evansville bullpen.

Butler will get back on the diamond Tuesday with a road trip to Kentucky. First pitch is set for 6:30 PM.

INDIANA STATE BASEBALL: Sycamores Unable to Secure a Sweep of UAB After Falling in Series Finale

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Indiana State baseball fell in the series finale with UAB Sunday afternoon at Young Memorial Field, 11-4. With the win, the Blazers ended a six-game losing skid and moved to 7-10 on the season while ISU fell to 11-6.

Indiana State jumped out to an early lead, scoring two runs in the first inning. Jordan Schaffer reached on a fielder’s choice and eventually came in on a wild pitch to give ISU the lead. Diego Gines drove in the second run of the frame with a single to left field to score Brian Fuentes. UAB answered with a two-run home run in the bottom of the first from Colton Schultz.

ISU reclaimed the lead in the third with back-to-back doubles. Max Wright recorded a two-out double down the line in right before coming in to score on Fuentes’ double to left. UAB came back in the bottom of the third to run Javin Drake out of the game. Following a double and a walk, the Sycamores went to the bullpen for Will Buraconak.

UAB was able to load the bases as Buraconak hit the first batter he faced before Thomas Johnston doubled in two runs. After another ISU pitching change, Ian Lander would bring in the third run of the inning for UAB and the Blazers never looked back.

UAB went on to score a run in the fourth and four more runs in the fifth to clinch the series finale. In all, the Blazers outhit Indiana State 12-7 on the day while also taking advantage of a pair of timely hit-by-pitches and walks to extend innings.

Drake took the loss for the Sycamores, falling to 1-2 on the year. The right-hander went 2.1 innings, allowing three earned runs and three hits while striking out one. Redshirt freshman Cam Edmonson pitched two perfect innings in relief, striking out three.

Carson Knight (2-1) earned the victory on the mound after pitching five complete and allowing just three earned runs on six hits. Lander led UAB with a 4-for-4 day to go along with two RBIs.

The Sycamores will be in action again April 1 when the team travels to St. Louis for a three-game series with the Billikens.

PURDUE FT. WAYNE BASEBALL: Mastodons Tough Out 8-7 Win Over Oakland to Take Series

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – A pair of seventh inning runs gave the Purdue Fort Wayne baseball team the lead for good on Sunday (March 21) afternoon in an 8-7 victory over Oakland at Mastodon Field.

The victory clinched a series win for the Mastodons over the Golden Grizzlies. The ‘Dons now have back-to-back series wins after taking two-of-three from Butler last weekend.

Justin Miller stepped on the mound with the ‘Dons down 7-6 in the seventh and runners on first and second for Oakland with no outs. Miller worked out of the jam with a sacrifice bunt, a strikeout and a fly out to end the frame. Once he returned to the mound in the eighth he did so with an 8-7 lead. He sat the Golden Grizzlies down in order in the final two innings and finished with four strikeouts over his 3.0 innings of work. He moved to 3-2 with the victory.

The ‘Dons took the lead in the seventh with two runs without the benefit of a hit. Seth Tucker started the game for Oakland in right field. He came to the mound in the sixth and closed out the frame. He returned to right field to start the seventh, and after Bryce Konitzer hit Justin Greene to start the inning, Tucker came back to the mound. Tucker wound up giving up the eighth Mastodon run and took the loss. He is now 0-3.

When the ‘Dons weren’t manufacturing runs, they were hitting it out of the ballpark. Dylan Stewart had a solo shot for the Mastodons in the fourth. Andrew Lawvere cranked a home run over the center field wall in the fifth. His home run put the ‘Dons up 6-4. It was short lived as Oakland responded with three in the sixth to take the lead.

Jack Lang had a walk and a bases clearing three-RBI double in the second inning for the ‘Dons.  Lang hit .538 with seven hits in the four-game series against Oakland.

Gerald Pintarich started for the ‘Dons and earned a no decision. He threw 5.1 innings, and gave up seven runs (four earned) on seven hits.

The Mastodons improve to 7-8 (4-4 Horizon League). Oakland falls to 8-11 (2-6 Horizon League). The ‘Dons are at Milwaukee next week.

VALPO BASEBALL: Valpo Tops Western Kentucky in Extra-Inning Thriller

The Valparaiso University baseball team enjoyed a successful Saturday for the second consecutive week, this time edging Western Kentucky 8-6 in 11 innings thanks in part to a go-ahead single by Steven Fitzsimmons (Golden Valley, Minn. / Robbinsdale Cooper) in the top of the 11th to snap a six-all tie. Quality relief work from Jon Tieman (Crystal Lake, Ill. / Prairie Ridge) played a key role as the veteran right-hander stymied Western Kentucky to the tune of no runs on two hits and no walks over the game’s final 3 2/3 innings.

How It Happened

The day got off to a strong start for head coach Brian Schmack’s team as Valpo jumped in front with a four-run first. Jeremy Drudge (Plymouth, Ind. / Plymouth) pounded a bases-loaded double to plate a pair, then Parker Johnson (Golden Valley, Minn. / Hopkins) lashed a two-out single that doubled the lead.

Starting pitcher Colin Fields (Libertyville, Ill. / Libertyville) followed his no-hitter from a week ago with five innings of two-run, six-hit ball to receive no decision. He left in position for the win as his team held a 5-2 edge through five frames at the time of his departure.

WKU scored single runs in the third and fifth innings, while Valpo’s fifth tally came in the top of inning number five on a Damon Jorgensen (Blair, Neb. / Blair [Coffeyville]) single up the middle.

The Hilltoppers scored three times against the Valpo bullpen in the sixth to level the score at five, but Riley Dent (Long Beach, Calif. / Wilson) vaulted his team back on top with a solo home run to center with two outs in the seventh. 

The 6-5 Valpo edge lasted until the bottom of the eighth, when a Western Kentucky runner boogied home on a wild pitch to create a 6-6 deadlock.

After coming in to record the final two outs of the eighth inning, Tieman posted a zero in the bottom of the ninth to get the game to extras. The righty notched a clutch strikeout as WKU stranded the winning run at second in the 10th.

Valpo took advantage of two Western Kentucky errors in the top of the 11th as Fitzsimmons singled through the right side to drive in the go-ahead run, then Dent delivered a sacrifice fly on a line drive to left to make it 8-6.

Tieman (1-1) mowed down the side in order in the bottom of the 11th to notch his first victory of the season.

Inside the Game

Valpo banged out a season-high 15 hits, eclipsing the team’s previous watermark of 10 on Feb. 27 at Jacksonville State. The 15 hits were the team’s most since also totaling 15 on Feb. 29, 2020 vs. Southern Miss. The eight runs also marked a season best.

Tieman struck out five to move into the top 10 in program history in career strikeouts. He now has 205, usurping Jim Pomeroy (202, 1996-1999) for 10th. Tieman’s next target is Chuck Donley (1991-1995), who is ninth with 212.

Fitzsimmons and Kaleb Hannahs (West Terre Haute, Ind. / West Vigo) led the way with three hits apiece, while Johnson, Jorgensen and Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central) all boasted multi-hit contests.

Jorgensen enjoyed his team-leading fifth multi-hit output of the year, while Schmack, Fitzsimmons and Johnson all had their fourth. Johnson is 5-for-9 in the series, while Jorgensen has hit safely in six straight games and has multi-hit outputs in four of his last five.

This marked Valpo’s first game of 10 or more innings since last year’s series at Western Kentucky, a 5-3, 10-inning victory in the series finale on Feb. 17. The Brown & Gold did have an “extra-inning” game last week when the nightcap of a doubleheader at Middle Tennessee was slated for seven frames and required eight.

This marked the first time a Valpo game went to the 11th inning since a 14-inning marathon vs. Southern Illinois on May 10, 2019.

Up Next

Valpo (4-8) and Western Kentucky (9-9) will play the rubber match of the three-game series on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Nick Denes Field in Bowling Green, Ky. Links to live stats and audio can be found on ValpoAthletics.com.

MIAMI BASEBALL: Baseball Finishes Weekend with 5-2 Win Over Rockets

OXFORD, Ohio —  Graduate student Kevin Napoleon dominated out of the bullpen for the Miami University baseball team, throwing 4.1 scoreless innings in a 5-2 win against the University of Toledo on Sunday afternoon. The RedHawks improve to 10-8 overall and 3-1 in Mid-American Conference action, while the Rockets fall to 3-14 on the season and 1-3 in MAC play.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

Graduate student Will Vogelgesang drove in freshman Dalton Back to get the RedHawks on the board in the first inning and even the scoring at 1-1.

In the bottom of the fifth, Back homered to center field, tying up the game at two apiece.

In the bottom of the sixth, senior Nate Stolze doubled to left field, driving in junior Cole Andrews, giving the RedHawks their first lead of the game, 3-2.

Vogelgesang tripled deep to center field in the bottom of the seventh, driving home senior Michael Morisette and redshirt freshman Nate Stone to extend the RedHawk lead to 5-2.

GAME NOTES:

Back went 3-for-4 with his third home run of the year. He scored Miami’s first two runs of the game.

Stolze went 2-for-4 with an RBI double in the sixth. He was also excellent behind the plate, catching two Rockets trying to steal second base.

Napoleon was dominant out of the bullpen, striking out six over 4.1 scoreless innings. This was his first win in a RedHawk uniform.

WHAT’S NEXT:

The RedHawks host the Northern Illinois University Huskies on Friday, March 26. The first pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. at McKie Field at Hayden Park.

DAYTON BASEBALL: Baseball Drops Series Finale Against Central Michigan

DAYTON – The University of Dayton baseball team fell in the series finale with Central Michigan 15-4 on Sunday afternoon.

The Flyers move to 4-14 with the loss.

KEY STATS

Sophomore Nick Wissman made his first career start on the mound for the Flyers, getting through the first inning before being relieved in the second.

Graduate student Alex Brickman gave the Flyers the lead after the first inning with a three-run home run to left field. It was Brickman’s fourth home run on the season. Senior Mitchell Garrity brought home the other run on the day with his first home run of 2021 in the bottom of the sixth inning. Garrity went 3-4 on the day and now has nine career home runs as a Flyer.

Junior Marcos Pujols also picked up three hits in the contest, scoring on Brickman’s home run and senior Riley Tirotta drew four walks and scored a run in the loss.

UP NEXT

The Flyers will head to Richmond, Ky. to take on Eastern Kentucky on Wednesday. First pitch for that contest is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Turkey Hughes Field at Earle Combs Stadium.

EARLHAM BASEBALL: Baseball rebounds with game two win and split versus Rose-Hulman

(EC RELEASE)

SCORES: G1 – Rose-Hulman 8, Earlham 2 / G2 – Earlham 6, Rose-Hulman 2

LOCATION: Terre Haute, Indiana – Art Nehf Field

RECORDS: Earlham 7-3 / Rose-Hulman 4-3

TERRE HAUTE, Indiana – For the third straight doubleheader, Earlham College baseball took a split out of a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference twinbill thanks to a 6-2 triumph over Rose-Hulman in the second game of Sunday’s series at Art Nehf Field. Austin Hatfield and Michael Medley each belted round-trippers for the Quakers in the victory.

Rose-Hulman won the day’s first game, 8-2, despite a pair of Earlham home runs from Brian Pincura and Brandon Lucero.

GAME 1

Rose-Hulman scored at least one run in each of the first six innings of game one, including two-run uprisings in the third and fifth innings.

Earlham answered with Pincura’s solo blast in the fifth inning, cutting the Rose-Hulman lead to 7-1, and Lucero’s solo shot in the eighth to make the score 8-2.

The Quakers had their chance for a big inning in the top of the sixth with bases loaded and one out after leadoff pinch hitter Maxwell Fries was hit by pitch, and Jeordan Kuderer and Tristan Taylor followed up with singles. However Rose-Hulman went to the bullpen and reliever Schuyler Wilcox, who got a strikeout and a ground out to get the Fightin’ Engineers out of the jam.

Earlham starter Aidan Talarek lasted four innings and took the loss, falling to 0-1 on the season. Rose-Hulman’s Ben Yoss got the start and the win, and combined with Wilcox and Michael Yager to hold the Quakers to six hits.

GAME 2

Earlham put up two runs in the top of the first to jump all over Rose-Hulman, with an Easton Embry double plating Hatfield and Pincura.

The Quakers gave one of the those runs back in the bottom of the second on a leadoff double by Logan Cody, who later crossed on a Luke Calabrese grounder to short.

Medley homered to lead off the Earlham fifth inning, and Hatfield’s RBI double later in the frame forced Isaiah Shake across to extend the Quakers’ lead to 4-1.

Back-to-back doubles by the Engineers’ Colter Couillard-Rodak and Shaine Mitchell in the seventh trimmed the Quaker lead to 4-2, but Earlham responded with another two-run frame for Earlham in the eighth.

Pincura opened the eighth with a lead-off double, chasing Rose-Hulman starter Josh Erpenbeck from the game with Hatfield coming to the plate. Hatfield went yard on the Engineer reliever Quintin Bynum, padding the Quakers’ lead at 6-2.

Earlham starter Nick Carrizales went six-and-a-third with three strikeouts to get the win, while Chance Strickley picked up the save after working two-and-two-thirds innings of no-hit ball in relief. He fanned two Rose-Hulman batters on his way to his first save of the season.

Hatfield led Earlham with a 3-for-4 ledger at the plate with two runs and three RBI, while Kuderer was 2-for-4 in game two.

NEXT UP:

Earlham baseball continues its five-game road swing on Wednesday, March 24, when it travels to Anderson, Indiana, to face the Anderson Ravens in a single game. Game time is 4:00 p.m.

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1939       The 20 year-old injury-plagued Pete Reiser homers in his first at-bat during the Dodgers’ second game of spring training, beginning a streak of ten consecutive hits. ‘Pistol Pete,’ one of 74 minor-leaguer free-agents when Commissioner Landis ruled the Cardinals signed too many players to play on multiple teams in the same leagues, hits .301 in 38 games with the Elmira Pioneers, the team’s Eastern League Single-A affiliate.

1962       In the first meeting between the two New York clubs, the Mets defeated the World Champion Yankees in a spring training game with a dramatic walk-off 4-3 victory at Al Lang Field. Casey Stengel, the former skipper of the Bombers, now the expansion team’s manager, clearly wanting to beat his old club, calls upon veteran Richie Ashburn, who delivers a ninth-inning pinch-hit single for the Amazins’.

1962       Roger Maris declines to pose with Mets coach Rogers Hornsby because the veteran had criticized him in the recently published autobiography, My Wars with Baseball. In the book, the 65 year-old Hall of Famer dismisses the Yankees slugger as a mediocre hitter who couldn’t bat .400 even with all of his averages added up.

1972       The Yankees trade first baseman Danny Cater to the Red Sox for lefty reliever Albert Walter Lyle. Over the next seven years, Sparky will pitch in 420 games in relief with a 57-40 record and a 2.41 ERA, notching 141 saves as he helps the Bronx Bombers to appear in three World Series.

1986       The Yankees announce Britt Burns, an 18-game winner with the White Sox last season, will miss the entire season due to a degenerative hip condition. The 26 year-old southpaw will never throw another major league pitch, ending his eight-year career, played entirely with Chicago, with a 70-60 (.538) won-loss record.

2002       After a miserable spring trying to make the Dodgers as a bench player, 38 year-old Dante Bichette (.299, 274, 1,141) announces his retirement. The four-time affable All-Star, who played with the Angels, Brewers, Rockies, Reds, and Red Sox during his 14-year major league career, will have a brief stint as the Rockies’ batting coach in 2009.

2005       Giants’ slugger Barry Bonds, 11 home runs shy of passing Babe Ruth on the all-time list, indicates he may not play this season. The 40 year-old National League MVP, who has had two knee operations and implicated in the sport’s steroids scandal, cites being physically and mentally “done,” and blames the media for much of his unhappiness.

2010       With the same pen he used to sign his rookie contract in 2001, Twins catcher Joe Mauer (.365, 28, 96) signs a $184 million, eight-year contract extension, keeping him with the small-market team through 2018. Last year, the 26 year-old backstop, after starting the season on the DL as a result of back surgery the previous year, captured his third batting crown and was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player.

2016       In a game attended by Barack Obama, the first sitting United States president on Cuban soil since 1928, the Rays beat the Cuban National team, 4-1, marking the first time in 17 years a major league team has visited the island nation. In 1999 at Havana’s Estadio, the Orioles edge the home team, 3-2, thanks to a Harold Baines’ eventual game-winning hit in the 11th inning.

TODAY IN SPORTS HISTORY-1989

PALM DESERT, Calif.-Pete Rozelle announced today that after 29 years as commissioner of the National Football League he would resign as soon as a new commissioner was found.

“I decided in October, but I didn’t want to become a lame-duck commissioner,” Rozelle told a news conference here, where league owners are meeting. “My health is no problem except for the 20 pounds I gained from quitting smoking. It’s just a matter of wanting to enjoy my free time. Even my close personal friends did not know. It’s going to be a shock to them and that hurts me. I just think you only go through life once. I just think it is the overall period of time that has accumulated.” Rozelle turned 63 years old on March 1.

Wellington Mara, the New York Giants’ co-owner, and Lamar Hunt, the Kansas City Chiefs’ owner, were to form a committee to search for Rozelle’s replacement. A news conference is scheduled for tomorrow at which Rozelle will again talk about his resignation and Mara and Hunt, presidents of the National and American Football conferences, respectively, will announce the members of the search committee. Hunt said a replacement would probably be named before the beginning of the season.

Among the first names to surface in speculation about a successor were those of Tex Schramm of the Dallas Cowboys and Jack Kemp, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who is a former professional quarterback. “Well,” said Schramm, “it has to be someone younger than me and somebody willing to go 20 or 30 years again. I think that’s important. It is a role that has to be filled for several years.” Schramm is 68 years old. Bill Bidwill, the Phoenix Cardinals’ owner, said: “I, nor anyone else, has even had time to give a thought about his replacement. But soon, we all will. We’ll have to.”

Rozelle said the court cases between the Los Angeles Raiders and the league beginning in 1980 and the N.F.L.‚ United States Football League trial in 1986 helped him make his decision. “When you talk about three trials in five years, it seemed for a while they were never going to end,” he said. “And we had to do our job on top of that. These have not been pleasant times for the owners, myself or a lot of people close to football.

“I wanted everything solved on a high note with no outstanding litigation,” he added. “But in October I just realized it’s not going to be like that anymore. There is always going to be something. The next 30 years we’ll see as much growth and change as ever before. I don’t think the last 30 will compare to the next 30 years.”

Rozelle, who was elected commissioner in January 1960, left the news conference teary-eyed. His announcement, which he conveyed privately to the owners of the league’s 28 teams only minutes before the news conference, caught the owners completely off guard. Art Modell, the Cleveland Browns’ owner, said: “He went I’m sure the only way he felt he could go. But he’s been terrific, phenomenal.”

Pete Rozelle died at age 70 of brain cancer at his home in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., in December 1996.

1968: U.C.L.A., behind junior Lew Alcindor, snapped the University of Houston’s 32-game winning streak with a 101‚69 victory in the N.C.A.A. semifinals at Los Angeles. The next day the Bruins defeated North Carolina for their second straight national title and fourth in five years under Coach John Wooden.

1994: The N.F.L. made its first scoring rules change in 75 years, allowing the option of a 2-point conversion after touchdowns. The revision, which all college divisions had adopted in 1958, brought more strategy to the game-as well as strife, when coaches played safe for a tie instead of risking defeat for victory.

1973: Chris Evert played Martina Navratilova of Czechoslovakia for the first time in what became a storied rivalry, defeating her by 7‚6, 6‚3, in Akron, Ohio. Evert won 21 of the first 25 matches they played, though Navratilova later firmly turned the tide. In their 80 head-to-head matches over all, Martina prevailed, 43‚37.

NBA STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
 WLPctConf GBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Philadelphia3013.69819-411-98-222-78-22 W
Brooklyn2914.6741.017-612-85-216-108-21 W
Milwaukee2714.6592.016-511-98-016-79-16 W
Atlanta2220.5247.511-911-113-313-128-28 W
Miami2221.5128.012-1010-115-413-146-43 L
Boston2121.5008.513-78-143-515-126-41 W
New York2122.4889.012-89-141-614-145-51 L
Charlotte2021.4889.012-88-135-111-95-53 L
Indiana1922.46310.07-1212-104-212-124-62 W
10 Chicago1922.46310.09-1410-83-29-104-61 W
11 Toronto1725.40512.58-109-153-512-161-98 L
12 Cleveland1626.38113.511-115-152-512-125-51 W
13 Washington1526.36614.08-147-121-65-182-81 L
14 Orlando1428.33315.59-135-154-410-171-91 L
15 Detroit1230.28617.57-125-180-88-183-71 L
 
Western Conference
 WLPctConf GBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Utah3011.73216-214-93-213-65-51 W
Phoenix2813.6832.015-813-55-219-88-22 W
LA Lakers2815.6513.014-914-62-519-96-42 L
LA Clippers2716.6284.014-613-106-216-94-61 W
Denver2517.5955.512-913-87-114-118-21 L
Portland2517.5955.514-811-93-415-127-31 L
San Antonio2217.5647.010-1012-74-612-145-51 L
Dallas2219.5378.011-911-105-113-137-31 W
Golden State2221.5129.013-79-143-612-134-61 L
10 Memphis1920.48710.010-139-73-59-145-51 W
11 New Orleans1824.42912.512-106-144-310-164-61 W
12 Oklahoma City1824.42912.58-1210-122-610-165-51 W
13 Sacramento1725.40513.59-128-133-48-115-51 L
14 Houston1130.26819.05-156-154-58-150-1020 L
15 Minnesota1032.23820.55-145-183-57-183-71 L

NHL STANDINGS

East
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Washington Capitals31207444181069210-4-210-3-28-2-0
New York Islanders3220844418967213-1-27-7-28-2-0
Pittsburgh Penguins321911240161008812-3-17-8-17-2-1
Boston Bruins281684361477667-3-19-5-35-3-2
Philadelphia Flyers29151133314931057-5-28-6-14-6-0
New York Rangers3013134301289796-6-37-7-15-4-1
New Jersey Devils2911144261171904-11-27-3-24-4-2
Buffalo Sabres296194164611012-11-24-8-20-9-1
 
West
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Vegas Golden Knights2921714321956612-2-19-5-07-3-0
Colorado Avalanche2919824019976512-4-17-4-18-1-1
Minnesota Wild29181013718877510-3-08-7-16-4-0
St. Louis Blues3116105371496994-7-312-3-25-2-3
Los Angeles Kings3013116321288846-4-47-7-24-4-2
Arizona Coyotes3113135311177927-7-36-6-24-4-2
San Jose Sharks2911144267831033-6-28-8-23-5-2
Anaheim Ducks329176248711105-11-34-6-33-6-1
 
North
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Toronto Maple Leafs322010242201078311-6-19-4-14-6-0
Edmonton Oilers342113042211169712-8-09-5-07-3-0
Winnipeg Jets311811238181009110-5-18-6-15-4-1
Montreal Canadiens3114893713100876-5-28-3-74-2-4
Vancouver Canucks35161633513991119-7-27-9-17-2-1
Calgary Flames3215143331487978-5-17-9-25-4-1
Ottawa Senators3310203238871306-6-34-14-03-5-2
 
Central
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Tampa Bay Lightning31236248221157313-2-010-4-27-2-1
Florida Panthers31207444191058810-4-310-3-17-3-0
Carolina Hurricanes30207343161017810-1-310-6-07-1-2
Columbus Blue Jackets32131273311861037-5-56-7-25-3-2
Chicago Blackhawks32141353312951067-4-27-9-33-6-1
Nashville Predators32141712911771037-7-07-10-14-5-1
Dallas Stars281010828980756-4-64-6-24-2-4
Detroit Red Wings32101842410711047-8-33-10-14-5-1