INDIANA STATE BASKETBALL 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)  

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL – NCAA TOURNAMENT

North Carolina State 79 S. Florida 67

Iowa 86 Kentucky 72

Michigan 70 Tennessee 55

Georgia Tech 73 West Virginia 56

South Carolina 50

Oregon State 42 Baylor 90 Virginia Tech 48

Stanford 73 Oklahoma State 62

Connecticut 83 Syracuse 47

NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 schedule 

Saturday, March 27 

2:40 p.m.: Midwest (12) Oregon State vs. (8) Loyola Chicago, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, CBS 

5:15 p.m.: South (5) Villanova vs. (1) Baylor, at Hinkle Fieldhouse, CBS 

7:25 p.m.: South (15) Oral Roberts vs. (3) Arkansas, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, TBS 

9:55 p.m.: Midwest (11) Syracuse vs. (2) Houston, at Hinkle Fieldhouse, TBS 

Sunday, March 28 

2:10 p.m.: West (5) Creighton vs. (1) Gonzaga, at Hinkle Fieldhouse, CBS 

NBA SCOREBOARD

Denver 110 Orlando 99

New Orleans 128 LA Lakers 111

New York 131 Washington 113

Phoenix 110 Miami 100

Philadelphia 108 Golden State 98

Brooklyn 116 Portland 112

NHL SCOREBOARD

New Jersey 4 Philadelphia 3

Chicago 3 Florida 2

Nashville 2 Detroit 0

Tampa Bay 2 Dallas 1

Arizona 5 Colorado 4

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL – SPRING TRAINING

San Francisco 7 Cleveland 0

Oakland 4 Colorado 1

Texas 6 LA Angels 4

Chicago White Sox 3 Chicago Cubs 1

Milwaukee 9 LA Dodgers 6

San Diego 5 Cincinnati 4

Seattle 3 Arizona 0

Baltimore 4 Tampa Bay 3

NY Yankees 5 Detroit 5

Boston 7 Atlanta 6

Pittsburgh 1 Minnesota 0

Washington 5 St. Louis 5

NY Mets 5 Miami 3

Toronto 9 Philadelphia 3

TOP HEADLINES

Lawyer: Texans QB’s assault suits followed blackmail attempt

HOUSTON (AP) An attorney for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who’s accused of sexual assault and harassment in lawsuits filed by 16 women, on Tuesday questioned the allegations against the NFL player, claiming they were made following a failed attempt to blackmail his client for $30,000.

The women, in lawsuits filed in state court in Houston, accuse Watson of exposing himself, touching them with his penis or kissing them against their will while he got a massage. All of the women who have sued Watson are either licensed massage therapists or worked in a spa or similar business.

Rusty Hardin, Watson’s attorney, alleged in a statement that his legal team has “strong evidence” an accusation made by a woman they believe filed one of the lawsuits is false.

In her lawsuit, the woman alleged Watson forced her to perform oral sex during a massage in December and that she “blacked out for a few minutes from the fear” of her encounter with Watson, which left her “terrified.”

Hardin alleges that in January, the woman demanded $30,000 in exchange for her “indefinite silence” for a consensual encounter she had with Watson.

Hardin provided a sworn affidavit from Bryan Burney, Watson’s marketing manager, who alleged he spoke with the woman, who told him she needed to be paid for her “silence.”

In his affidavit, Burney alleges he also spoke with the woman’s “business manager” and told him the demand for money “was extortion.”

“He responded, `It’s not extortion, it’s blackmail,'” Burney said.

Hardin said the attempt to blackmail Watson “calls into question the legitimacy of the other cases as well. “

Tony Buzbee, who represents the 16 women, did not immediately return a call or email seeking comment on Tuesday.

Mariota returning to Raiders after taking pay cut

(AP) — Marcus Mariota agreed to take a pay cut on Tuesday to remain as backup quarterback for a second season for the Las Vegas Raiders.

Mariota had been due to be paid $10.5 million in the second year of his contract with the team after making $7.5 million last year. The Raiders were unwilling to pay that much for Mariota to be Derek Carr’s backup and reached agreement to bring him back on a cheaper deal.

NFL Network reported that Mariota will be paid $3.5 million this season with a chance to increase the deal to $8 million with incentives.

“At the end of the day, we’re very blessed to play this game for a living,” Mariota told KHO-TV from his home state of Hawaii. “A lot of us make a really good amount of money. For me, I just love playing the game. The excitement, the opportunity to be a Raider kind of overcame all of that.”

The 27-year-old Mariota was the second overall pick by Tennessee in the 2015 draft but lost his starting job with the Titans to Ryan Tannehill midway through the 2019 season.

He then signed with the Raiders last offseason but only ended up playing in one game. He was slowed in training camp by a pectoral injury that forced him to go on injured reserve early in the season.

He returned to the active roster in October and got his only action in Week 15 against the Chargers after Carr left with a groin injury in the first quarter.

Mariota fared well in relief, going 17 for 28 for 226 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also ran nine times for 88 yards and a score but the Raiders lost the game 30-27 in overtime.

NFL TRANSACTIONS

DatePlayerTeamPosTransactions
3/23Terrence BrooksHouSsigned/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Davon GodchauxNEDTsigned/unrest FA Two-year contract (through 2022)
3/23Kamu Grugier-HillHouLBsigned/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Derek RiversHouDEsigned/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Maliek CollinsHouDTsigned/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Nick FolkNEKre-signed/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Jared CookLACTEsigned One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Hassan RidgewayPhiDTre-signed/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Greg SenatCleTsigned/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Jayon BrownTenLBre-signed/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Jeremiah AttaochuChiLBsigned/unrest FA Two-year contract (through 2022)
3/23Danny JohnsonWasCBre-signed/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Jared NorrisWasLBre-signed/unrest FA
3/23Kevin KingGBCBre-signed/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Mike DavisAtlRBsigned/unrest FA Two-year contract (through 2022)
3/23Geno StoneBalSsigned/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Josh ReynoldsTenWRsigned/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Ryan AndersonNYGLBsigned/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Mack HollinsMiaWRre-signed/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Frankie LuvuCarLBsigned/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Malik JacksonCleDTsigned One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Kai LocksleyMiaWRsigned
3/23Steve NelsonPitCBcut
3/23John MillerCarGre-signed/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Isaiah McKenzieBufWRre-signed/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Kareem JacksonDenSre-signed/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Barkevious MingoAtlLBsigned/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Quinton SpainCinGre-signed/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Eli AppleCinCBsigned One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Zach KerrSFDTsigned One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Chad HansenHouWRcut
3/23Anthony KukwaHouTEcut
3/23Cassh MaluiaNELBcut
3/23Michael PinckneyNELBcut
3/23Justin RohrwasserNEKcut
3/23Deontay BurnettPhiWRcut
3/23Nick VannettDenTEcut
3/23Kyle FullerDenCBsigned One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Tae DavisHouLBsigned/unrest FA
3/23Nick KeizerKCTEre-signed/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Del’Shawn PhillipsNYJLBsigned
3/23Olasunkanmi AdeniyiTenLBsigned/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Elijah WilkinsonChiGsigned/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Nevin LawsonLVCBre-signed/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Oday AboushiLACGsigned/unrest FA One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Sheldon RankinsNYJDTsigned/unrest FA Two-year contract (through 2022)
3/23Geoff SwaimTenTEre-signed/unrest FA Two-year contract (through 2022)
3/23Trent WilliamsSFTre-signed/unrest FA Six-year contract (through 2026)
3/23Christian JonesChiLBsigned One-year contract (through 2021)
3/23Joe FlaccoPhiQBsigned/unrest FA

INDIANA WBB: No. 4 Indiana Plays In NCAA Round of 32 Against No. 12 Belmont On Wednesday

(IU RELEASE)

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – NCAA Tournament second round action is set for Wednesday as No. 4 Indiana faces No. 12 Belmont at the Bill Greehey Arena on the campus of St. Mary’s University. Game time is set for 5 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

NO. 4 INDIANA (19-5) VS. NO. 12 BELMONT (21-5)

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 • 5 p.m. ET • NCAA Tournament Second Round

Bill Greehey Arena • San Antonio, Texas

ABOUT THE Bruins

The automatic qualifier out of the Ohio Valley Conference, Belmont upset 5-seed Gonzaga on Monday to earn its first NCAA Tournament win in school history. They are led by freshman guard Destinee Wells 17.9 points per game while junior forward Conley Chinn adds 12.3 points per game and a team-high 4.8 rebounds per game. The Bruins are currently on an 11-game win streak that dates back to Feb. 13.

SERIES HISTORY

Indiana leads 5-1

LAST MEETING

3/20/14 – W, 48-47 (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 4-6 in the Big Dance and secured its highest ever seed at No. 4 this season.

Indiana advances to the round of 32 for the second-consecutive tournament appearance as it also made it in 2019 when it faced Oregon in the second round in Eugene, Ore. The Hoosiers are looking for its first Sweet 16 appearance in the modern format, making the round of 16 in the 1983 season when the field was just 32 teams.

They secured their stay in San Antonio after a convincing first round win over VCU, 63-32. They held the Rams to the fewest points by an opponent by a Big Ten team in league history. Indiana outscored VCU, 41-15, in the second half behind 20 points from junior guard Grace Berger.

IU and Belmont have faced each other six times before including once in the postseason which happened to be the last time the two teams faced each other. The Hoosiers escaped with a first round WNIT win in Bloomington on March 20, 2014, 48-47.

A win on Wednesday would also secure a 20-win season for the Hoosiers for the sixth-straight season, continuing the longest streak in program history.

UP NEXT

The winner of Wednesday’s game faces the winner of North Carolina State and South Florida in the sweet 16.

WRIGHT STATE WBB: Women’s Basketball set for second round meeting with Missouri State

(WSU RELEASE)

The Wright State women’s basketball team is set to play in the second round of the NCAA Championship on Wednesday afternoon, as the No. 13-seeded Raiders take on No. 5 Missouri State in San Antonio as part of the Alamo Region. Wright State led for over 38 minutes on Monday afternoon on the way to a 66-62 opening round win over No. 4-seed Arkansas, while Missouri State defeated No. 12 seed UC Davis 70-51 on Monday night.

With their win on Monday, the Raiders pulled off the first win by a No. 13 seed over a No. 4 since 2012. Coming into this year’s tournament, No. 13 seeds were just 9-104 all-time.

Wednesday’s tip is set for 3 p.m. ET and will be carried nationally on ESPNU.

Last time out, Wright State tallied its first NCAA Championship win in program history, scoring the first five points of the contest and led throughout the contest, with a couple ties sprinkled in, until Arkansas took a one-point lead at 59-58 with 1:51 remaining. From there, Wright State closed the game on an 8-2 run, including the final five points in the last 29 seconds. Angel Baker knocked down a contested three-pointer in front of the Raider bench with 29 seconds to play, giving Wright State the lead for the final time. Jada Roberson knocked down two free throws with eight seconds remaining to ice the contest. Baker finished with the game’s only double-double, tallying 26 points and 12 rebounds to pace the Raiders, while Emani Jefferson also finished in double-digits with 13 points as Wright State had scoring contributions from seven different players.

The No. 17/20 Missouri State Lady Bears are in the Second Round of the NCAA Championship for the ninth time in school history. Missouri State boasts a rich NCAA Tournament history with 16 total appearances, Final Four trips in 1992 and 2001, and Sweet 16 appearances in 1993 and 2019. The Lady Bears are 17-15 all-time in NCAA play, with records of 9-7 in the first round, 4-4 in the second round, 2-2 in the Sweet 16, 2-0 in the Elite 8, and 0-2 in the Final Four. Missouri State has won the rebounding battle in 21 of 24 games this year and 47 of the last 54, with a plus-11.2 margin this season on pace for a school record and a .803 defensive rebounding percentage that ranks second nationally after leading the NCAA last year with a .773 mark. 

Oregon State president out for handling of cases at LSU

(AP) — Oregon State’s trustees accepted the resignation of university president F. King Alexander on Tuesday, concluding he was unable to rebuild trust at the school because of his role in the mishandling of sexual misconduct cases during his previous tenure at LSU.

The Oregon State board of trustees had placed Alexander on probation last week, but on Sunday, it received his offer to resign, effective April 1.

Board chair Rani Borkar said the outpouring of comments since the probation decision from students, alumni and people who have alleged sexual misconduct led the board to realize “that rebuilding trust is no longer possible.”

The board voted unanimously to accept the resignation.

Alexander, who will be on administrative leave until his departure, said he was sorry to survivors of sexual abuse.

“I offered my resignation to allow us to move on,” he said in a statement after the board’s vote. “Students have and always will be my top priority.”

Borkar said “we admit when we make mistakes and we always seek to improve,” and her thoughts were echoed by the rest of the board.

“I know it triggered a lot,” board member Lamar Hurd said, as he choked back tears. “I know there’s a lot of discussion around how too much gets overlooked. But I want you to know it wasn’t overlooked. I haven’t been sleeping well.”

An investigation into LSU’s response to the misconduct cases found system-wide flaws in the school’s reaction to allegations during Alexander’s tenure there from 2013-19. Alexander told the board last week he was never interviewed by the law firm that did the investigation.

But in an extraordinary move, the chair of LSU’s board sent a letter to Borkar on Monday, saying Alexander denied requests to be interviewed and only would respond to questions in writing.

LSU board chair Robert Dampf said Alexander’s testimony last week to Oregon State’s trustees left him “beyond offended by … arrogant and condescending comments about Louisiana’s culture, our state and our university.”

The board agreed to a severance package that will pay Alexander $630,000 and an additional $40,000 in relocation fees.

WR Corey Davis came to Jets with belief Darnold ‘is the guy’

NEW YORK (AP) Intrigue and uncertainty have surrounded the New York Jets’ quarterback situation all offseason.

Corey Davis might have provided a little clarity. Or just inadvertently added to the mystery.

The former Tennessee Titans wide receiver said Tuesday he signed with the Jets last week with the belief that Sam Darnold will be the team’s quarterback this season – despite speculation New York might go elsewhere with the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL draft next month.

“I’m coming in with my understanding that Sam is the guy,” Davis said during a video conference call. “That doesn’t scare me away at all. I’ve seen Sam do great things. I have every belief in him and whatever direction they decide to go, it’s on me to make sure that I’m ready and control what I can control.

“So, come in and get ready to catch from whoever.”

Davis was asked in a follow-up question to clarify that when he signed his three-year deal worth $37.5 million with the Jets, it was with the thought he’ll be catching passes in Week 1 from Darnold.

“Yes, that’s my understanding,” Davis said. “Correct.”

Darnold, the No. 3 overall pick in 2018, has struggled with inconsistency and injuries during his three seasons with the Jets. He has shown a few flashes of the playmaking ability that made him so coveted by teams coming out of USC, but he has not come close to living up to his lofty draft status.

Darnold has thrown for 45 touchdowns and has 39 interceptions in 38 games. He’s coming off his worst statistical season – nine TDs, 11 INTs – and never meshed with former coach Adam Gase in their two seasons together. Darnold’s lowly 59.8 completion percentage is alarming, and there are concerns whether he needs to go elsewhere to clean up his mechanics and clear his head.

Emmert agrees to meet protesting players after March Madness

(AP) — The National College Players Association said Tuesday that NCAA President Mark Emmert has informed a group of basketball players who started a social media campaign to protest inequities in college sports that he will meet with them after March Madness.

NCPA executive director Ramogi Huma said in a statement he received a letter from Emmert in response to the advocacy group’s request for a meeting between the head of the NCAA and three players who led the (hash)NotNCAAProperty protest that started last week.

Through the NCPA, the players had requested to meet with Emmert and one of the NCAA’s top lobbyists on Tuesday morning.

NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said the association had no comment Tuesday.

Michigan’s Isaiah Livers, Rutgers’ Geo Baker and Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon are pushing for the NCAA to change its rules restricting athletes from earning money for personal sponsorship deals, online endorsements and appearances.

The players responded with a letter back to Emmert, saying they were disappointed he wanted to “delay this important conversation for at least two weeks.”

“From our perspective, it’s difficult to imagine any higher priority you may have at this time than addressing concerns that are at the core of state and federal college athletes’ rights legislation, an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court ruling on college athletes’ economic freedoms, and the NCAA’s ongoing discriminatory treatment of female basketball players in its tournament,” the players wrote in a letter released by the NCPA. “Can you please explain what you will be doing over the next two weeks that is more important than addressing these matters?”

The players also requested that the meeting include other men’s and women’s players, and Huma.

“We look forward to receiving confirmation that you will meet with the group we have described, and that you will demonstrate on behalf of your organization and membership that these issues are in fact a priority by meeting with us by Friday of this week,” the players wrote.

UNC reaches deal on extensions for Brown, assistant coaches

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) North Carolina has agreed to a one-year contract extension for football coach Mack Brown and three-year deals with all 10 full-time assistant coaches.

The school said Monday that the 69 year-old Brown’s deal runs through the 2025 season, staying at a five-year length. It maintains terms from the previous agreement, which paid Brown $2.75 million in base and supplemental pay annually along with performance bonuses.

The staff deals run through the 2023 season, with receivers coach Lonnie Galloway being promoted to assistant head coach. Running backs coach Larry Porter will also serve as assistant special teams coordinator.

The Tar Heels (8-4) cracked the top 10 in the AP Top 25 in Brown’s second season before finishing at No. 18, marking only the second time UNC had finished in the poll since Brown left UNC for Texas in 1997.

Padres SS Tatis Jr. leaves game with shoulder discomfort

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) San Diego Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. left Tuesday’s spring training game with left shoulder discomfort after making a backhanded play.

Tatis fielded the ball hit by Cincinnati’s Jonathan India, made the throw to first base and then began walking off the field. He was met by manager Jayce Tingler and a trainer. After a few minutes in the dugout, Tatis headed toward the clubhouse accompanied by a trainer.

The Padres said Tatis will be reevaluated on Wednesday.

Tingler said Tatis has had a minor shoulder issue for years and has received treatment for it, including taping it for games.

Tatis signed the longest contract in baseball history on Feb. 22, a $340 million, 14-year deal.

Other than that, it hasn’t been a smooth spring for the 22-year-old superstar. He missed time with flu-like symptoms and then jarred himself after diving headfirst into home on a flyball to shallow left field in a game on March 13. That slide might have aggravated the shoulder issue, and it kept him out of several games.

D-backs pitcher Gallen has hairline fracture in forearm

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen has a hairline fracture in his right forearm, casting more doubt on his ability to open the season on the active roster.

The 25-year-old Gallen hurt his forearm after getting jammed while taking batting practice nearly two weeks ago. Gallen said the injury doesn’t affect most of his pitches, but he feels some discomfort when throwing his curveball.

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said he wasn’t sure how much time Gallen will miss. The right-hander is still allowed to play catch, and the injury will continue to be evaluated. He received two different medical opinions and both diagnosed the injury as a fracture.

Gallen was practicing his hitting because the National League will switch back to pitchers batting for the 2021 season after adopting the designated hitter during 2020’s shortened 60-game schedule.

“It’s definitely frustrating considering I’m kind of an advocate for the DH,” Gallen said Monday. “I get paid to pitch, that’s kind of how I look at it. It comes along with the job. I play in the National League, you have to hit, you have to bunt, you have to do those certain things.”

Gallen was the Diamondbacks’ best pitcher last season, finishing with a 3-2 record, 2.75 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 72 innings. He finished ninth in the National League Cy Young Award voting.

Suns stay hot, Heat struggle again as Phoenix rolls, 110-100

MIAMI (AP) The last time the Phoenix Suns won seven consecutive road games, Chris Paul had yet to become an NBA All-Star, Devin Booker and Mikal Bridges were 10, and Deandre Ayton had not even started playing basketball.

That was then. The Suns are rolling now, and the Miami Heat just keep on sputtering as the trade deadline looms.

Booker scored 23 points, Ayton finished with 17 points and 16 rebounds and the Suns added to Miami’s miserable stretch with a 110-100 win over the reigning Eastern Conference champions on Tuesday night.

It was Phoenix’s seventh straight win on the road, the first time the Suns have had such a streak since January 2007.

“I don’t want to make declarations about us,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “I just like winning games and winning with our defense against a really good team – a team with a championship pedigree and a team that’s been where we want to go.”

Former Heat forward Jae Crowder scored 13 points, Bridges added 12 and Paul had nine assists for the Suns (29-13), who moved within two games of idle Utah for the top spot in the Western Conference.

“I felt like we were all engaged mentally with the game plan and it translated out on the court,” Crowder said. “We had control of the game the whole way through.”

Kendrick Nunn scored 25 points for Miami, which has dropped four in a row and continued struggling from the field. The Heat have shot 41% from the field and 28% from 3-point range during this slide, which came immediately after a stretch where Miami won 11 out of 12 games.

“We’ll keep plugging away until we find the right solutions,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We’re certainly better than what we’ve shown over the last four games on the offensive end.”

Indiana guard Armaan Franklin enters transfer portal

Sophomore Armaan Franklin, Indiana’s second – leading scorer, has entered the NCAA transfer portal. Franklin and his mother met with Indiana athletic director Scott Dolson to inform him of his intentions.

“It’s the uncertainty, and just keeping your options open, really. It’s not that he’s definitely leaving IU. It’s more that you’ve got to cover all your bases,” India Franklin said. “It’s more so just to explore options, to build relationships. It’s not, ‘I’m out of IU.’ That’s not the message we want to send to anybody.”

Franklin averaged 11.4 points and 4.1 rebounds this past season.

Purdue’s Aaron Wheeler enters transfer portal

Purdue forward Aaron Wheeler, who appeared in 28 games this season, has entered the NCAA transfer portal. Wheeler averaged 3.9 points and 4.4 rebounds this past season.

Wheeler could return to Purdue next season, but will be competing with Mason Gillis and two top recruits four minutes next season.

Report: Raptors discussing Lowry, Powell trades

The Toronto Raptors are discussing trades involving Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell on multiple fronts, sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The Philadelphia 76ers and the Miami Heat are expressing interest in Lowry but both teams have shown restraint in their efforts to complete a deal, Wojnarowski adds. Lowry is an impending unrestricted free agent.

Lowry is open to a number of destinations, and teams in both conferences have made overtures for the Raptors guard, Wojnarowski reports.

Philadelphia is also reportedly interested in Powell, who’s averaging 23.6 points per game since the start of February. The sixth-year pro has a player option for next season.

Toronto is in the midst of a nine-game losing streak. The team has dropped to 11th in the Eastern Conference.

Gordon confirms trade request, expressed ‘frustration’ to Magic

Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon confirmed reports Tuesday that he requested a trade earlier this season.

“There’s been times where I just expressed my frustration to management, and frustration with the losses, the injuries, the way we’ve been playing, how we’ve been playing, and how many losses have accumulated over the years,” he said when asked why he requested to be moved, according to Adam Shadoff of FOX 35.

“It’s just my frustration kind of boiling over, I would say. I think a lot of people share that sentiment with me of frustration.”

With Thursday’s trade deadline quickly approaching, Gordon didn’t definitively say whether he still hopes to be dealt. He did, however, express gratitude for his time in Orlando.

“I’m focused on tomorrow night,” he said. “As of right now, I’m an Orlando Magic, and I’ve been here for seven years and developed a home here and a sense of love and community here.

“For as long as I have ‘Orlando’ on my chest, ‘Magic’ on my chest, I’m going to give it everything I have. I’m focused on Phoenix tomorrow and getting that win.”

The Boston Celtics are considered the front-runners to get Gordon with an offer containing two first-round picks. In those reported talks, the Magic would also send veteran swingman Evan Fournier to Boston.

Orlando drafted Gordon fourth overall in 2014. He’s registered 12.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game in seven seasons since.

Teams can trade players up until 3 p.m. ET Thursday.

Report: Oladipo trade expected as Rockets warm to current offers

It’s widely expected that two-time All-Star guard Victor Oladipo won’t be a member of the Houston Rockets when Thursday’s trade deadline passes, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Rockets reportedly have received trade offers for the 28-year-old that include young players and first-round pick combinations. Wojnarowski notes the team is getting “increasingly comfortable” with accepting one of the packages.

For his part, Oladipo reportedly prefers a move to the Miami Heat, though he would also be open to joining the New York Knicks. With the latter organization, the interest is reportedly mutual.

However, with both franchises possessing significant cap space heading into the 2021 offseason, neither the Heat nor Knicks reportedly feel compelled to offer the Rockets a premium package.

Injuries have disrupted Oladipo’s development into a two-way NBA star. Since his breakout 2017-18 season – when he averaged 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and a league-high 2.4 steals per game – he’s logged just 84 regular-season appearances over parts of three seasons.

After coming to Houston earlier this campaign as part of the James Harden trade, Oladipo is averaging 21.2 points, five assists, and 4.8 rebounds over 33.5 minutes per night.

Oladipo is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer after reportedly turning down the Rockets’ two-year, $45.2-million extension offer. There’s no guarantee he’ll be more open to a long-term extension during the offseason, leaving the Rockets facing the possibility his departure leaves them empty-handed.

Bueckers, UConn top Syracuse, advance to Sweet 16

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Paige Bueckers scored 20 points and Aaliyah Edwards added 19 to help No. 1 seed UConn beat eighth-seeded Syracuse 83-47 on Tuesday night and advance to the Sweet 16 of the women’s NCAA Tournament.

Once again the Huskies were missing coach Geno Auriemma, who is recovering from COVID-19. Chris Dailey filled in for the Hall of Fame coach, who celebrated his 67th birthday on Tuesday and could potentially rejoin the team this weekend for its next game.

The UConn players sang “Happy Birthday” to Auriemma earlier Tuesday in a video posted on Twitter. They also gave him a present by again showing how well they could play without him.

The Huskies (26-1) got off to a slow start, a bit flummoxed by Syracuse’s zone defense.

With the game tied 8-8, Christyn Williams banked in a deep 3-pointer as the shot clock expired and then Bueckers scored off a steal to give the Huskies a five-point lead. They led 19-14 after one quarter and slowly pulled away from the Orange (15-9) to a 15-point halftime lead.

Bueckers, the freshman All-America guard, had 16 points in the half.

In the second half, the Huskies tore the zone apart with precision passing that led to easy layups. While Bueckers wasn’t scoring as much in the second half, she was passing the ball. She had a nifty no-look pass for a layup and foul, pumping her fist in celebration.

The Huskies led 64-35 after three quarters and cruised into the Sweet 16 for the 27th straight year.

Lightning extend dominance over Stars with 2-1 victory

DALLAS (AP) Steven Stamkos and Yanni Gourde scored in the second period and Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded his franchise-record 12th straight win as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Dallas Stars 2-1 on Tuesday night and extended their dominance in the season series between last year’s Stanley Cup finalists.

Vasilevskiy made 16 saves as the NHL-leading Lightning won their fifth straight overall and improved to 4-0-0 this season against the Stars. Tampa Bay beat Dallas in six games in the fall.

Roope Hintz scored his ninth goal and Anton Khudobin stopped 24 shots for Dallas, which has lost four of its last five games (1-2-2).

The Lightning have opened a five-point lead in the Central Division over Carolina, the Hurricanes with one game in hand.

The Stars are in seventh place in the division, trailing fourth-place Chicago for the division’s last playoff berth by seven points while having four games in hand.

Vasilevskiy is two shy of tying the NHL record for most consecutive goalie wins, most recently set by Sergei Bobrovsky in 2016-17.

“I just didn’t think about it,” Vasilevskiy said of the streak. “I just tried to do my job.”

Lightning coach Jon Cooper noted the streak is no fluke for a goalie with four career double-digit winning streaks. Vasilevskiy went into play leading the NHL in wins (now 21) and save percentage, and was second in goals against average.

“He’s a cornerstone goaltender,” Cooper said. “He just continues to amaze. And I’m glad he didn’t have to stand on his head tonight for this one.”

NHL investigating referee saying he ‘wanted to get’ penalty against Nashville Predators

The NHL is investigating an incident in which one of its referees was caught saying he “wanted to get” a penalty against the  Predators in their win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night in Nashville, Tennessee.

With 15:04 left in the second period, Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson was called for tripping Red Wings defenseman Jon Merrill in the offensive zone, even though replays showed that Merrill embellished the fall to draw the call.

The referees officiating the game were veterans Tim Peel and Kelly Sutherland. Peel appeared to call the penalty on Arvidsson from center ice.

With 12:42 remaining in the second period, the Nashville broadcast captured audio from an on-ice official saying, “It wasn’t much, but I wanted to get a f—ing penalty against Nashville early.”

The NHL told ESPN that it is “taking a look at” the incident.

Nashville won the game 2-0.

Both teams were whistled for three penalties, while the Predators took a fourth for putting the puck over the glass in the third period.

Asked after the contest about what the official was heard saying, Nashville coach John Hynes said, “I think the situation is what it is. I think from our perspective, it probably doesn’t matter how I feel about it, in general; but the referees are employees of the league, and rather than me comment, I think it’s an issue that the league will have to take care of.”

Hynes said “you always want to have things that are fair for your players and for your team” but that there are no excuses.

“We have to find a way to kill the penalty and control what we can control,” he said.

INDIANA MEN’S SOCCER: No. 7 Indiana Smashes Northwestern, 3-0

(INDIANA RELEASE)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – No. 7 Indiana (6-1-0) avenged the program’s only loss of the season with a 3-0 handling of the Northwestern Wildcats (2-5-1) under the lights at Jerry Yeagley Field at Bill Armstrong Stadium on Tuesday night.

KEY MOMENTS

• Freshman forward Nate Ward broke the scoreless tie in the 11th minute. Sophomore forward Maouloune Goumballe held off a Northwestern defender, secured two touches and lofted a cross in front of goal toward Ward. The Connellsville, Pa., native flicked a header beyond the Wildcat keeper to put the Hoosiers up 1-0.

• Goumballe found the back of the net in the 20th minute after defeating an NU defender to the ball off a rebounded shot attempt. Redshirt senior A.J. Palazzolo directed a header on goal that was punched out by Northwestern keeper Miha Miskovic. Goumballe cleaned up the miss and slotted it home for his first goal of the season.

•Sophomore forward Herbert Endeley gave the Hoosiers a third goal in the 51st minute of action off a beautiful solo run down the left flank. He weaved into the box a fired a left-footed strike from 16 yards out that found the back of the net.

NOTABLES

• The Indiana victory gives head coach Todd Yeagley 150 career wins at the collegiate level, including a mark of 143-50-39 in his illustrious tenure at the helm of the Hoosiers.

• In the program’s last 43 Big Ten regular season matches Indiana holds a record of 32-2-9.

• Sophomore goalie Roman Celentano earned his 16th-career victory and the sixth of his sophomore campaign. In 21 career starts, the keeper has conceded just 10 goals with 12 clean sheets. He has allowed a goal or less in 20 of his career starts.

• The Hoosiers have scored multiple goals in all six wins this season, including three-plus goals in five matches. IU is outscoring it’s Big Ten foes by a tally of 18-2 on the year and 37-9 over the last two regular seasons.

• The 19 Hoosier shots marked a season high and the fifth time in seven games in which IU attempted at least 10 shots. Indiana also fired eight shots on frame, the highest figure this season, while holding Northwestern to one shot attempt, the lowest number this season for an opponent.

• The Wildcats did not attempt a corner kick in the match. The game marked the first time an Indiana opponent did not attempt a corner since playing Butler on Sept. 24, 2019. IU held an advantage of 10-0 in corners, the largest disparity since out-cornering UConn (12-1) in the second round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament on Nov. 18, 2018.

• Redshirt sophomore midfielder Ben Yeagley made his first career start in the contest.

HOOSIER POINTS

GOALS: Herbert Endeley, Maouloune Goumballe, Nate Ward

ASSISTS: Maouloune Goumballe, A.J. Palazzolo

UP NEXT

Indiana will take on the Michigan Wolverines at 2 p.m. ET on March 27. The match at U-M Soccer Stadium will be shown on Big Ten Network. All times, dates, and locations are subject to change.

BUTLER BASEBALL: Butler Baseball Takes Tough 6-5 Loss at Kentucky

LEXINGTON – Kentucky scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to come back and defeat Butler by the final score of 6-5. Kessler doubled to left centerfield to deliver the walk-off hit for the Wildcats.

Kentucky scored single runs in the first and third innings to build a 2-0 lead. Butler got one run back in the sixth with Andy Bennett finding room in right field to score Aaron Steinhart.

The Bulldog faithful got excited in the seventh when Brody McGrath tied the game at 2-2 with a home run to left field. After a pitching change, Freddie Matos would give BU a 3-2 lead with a double down the right field line to score Zach Orn. Steinhart followed in the order with a single to right to score James Gargano and the ‘Dawgs would be up 4-2.

Another ball left the diamond in the eighth as Robbie McCargar unloaded on a 0-2 pitch to clear the wall in left. The ‘Dawgs were in the driver’s seat heading into the bottom of the ninth with 5-2 advantage, but they couldn’t seal the deal.

Anu doubled to left to open up the ninth and the next batter would reach after being hit on a full count. The bases would soon be loaded up as Collett drew a walk. Harmon singled to centerfield to collect two RBI and make the game 5-4. The ‘Dawgs made a pitching change, but the next batter would double to left center to score two and win the game 6-5.

Cole Daniels picked up the win while Jack Pilcher was charged with the loss. McGrath and Steinhart each had two hits for BU. All five RBI’s in the contest for the visiting team came from a different player.

Jon Vore got the start for BU and struck out five over 3.2 innings. Cory Bosecker was solid in long relief with four K’s in 3.1 innings of action.

The ‘Dawgs will return to action this weekend with a three-game home series vs. Valpo. Game one is set for Friday at 4 PM.

NOTRE DAME BASEBALL: KAVADAS POWERS NO. 12 IRISH TO 6-3 WIN OVER VALPO

(ND RELEASE)

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The 12th-ranked Notre Dame baseball team got back on track Tuesday evening with a 6-3 win over Valparaiso at Frank Eck Stadium in its first midweek contest of the season.

“There were some bright spots in the win as we never had control of the game until late,” said head coach Link Jarrett. “Will (Mercer) and Liam (Simon) both pitched well out of the bullpen as we navigated the game. Niko (Kavadas) delivered another big blow as he has continued to do since I have been here. It was a solid win against a team they knew exactly what they were doing when they came in here.”

Senior slugger Niko Kavadas continued his torrid pace at the plate as he hit two solo home runs to lift the Irish (10-3, 9-3 ACC) to their 10th win of the season. He has hit five home runs in his last five games and has nine home runs on the season in just 13 games.

The Irish bullpen pieced together the win on Tuesday as five pitchers were used. Will Mercer and Liam Simon combined for the final five innings of work and the pair allowed just two hits and no runs. Mercer tied a career high with five strikeouts to earn his first win of the season. Simon struck out four over the final two innings to earn the save.

HOW IT HAPPENED

The bats for both teams were quiet until the bottom of the fourth inning. Kavadas led off the inning for the Irish and he took the first pitch the other way over the wall for a solo blast. It was his eighth home run of the season and put the Irish in front. Notre Dame tacked on another run in the inning after an RBI single from Zack Prajzner scored Ryan Cole from second.

The lead did not last long as Valparaiso answered right back in the top of the fifth. They took their first lead of the game after plating three runs in the inning.

The Irish jumped back in front in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Irish had the tying run 90 feet away as Jack Brannigan laid down a sacrifice bunt that allowed Cole to score from third and tie the game. After a Spencer Myers walk, Carter Putz laced a single through the right side that Coetzee beat the throw home to put the Irish up 4-3.

The Irish got two more runs the next inning and it was Kavadas again leading off the inning. Just like he did in the fourth inning, Kavadas took the first pitch of the seventh over the wall in left center for his second solo blast. It is his second multi-home run game of the season and the third of his career. Later in the inning, Cole came home to score for the third time on a sacrifice fly from Prajzner to put the Irish up 6-3.

STATS OF THE GAME

Niko Kavadas recorded his second multi-home run game this season and the third of his career in the win.

Kavadas has hit five home runs over the last five games and has tallied nine home runs in 13 games this season.

He currently has 33 home runs for his career which is tied for eighth all-time in program history.

Ryan Cole set a career high with three runs.

Will Mercer tied a career high with five strikeouts.

UP NEXT

The 12th-ranked Irish are set for a top-15 matchup this weekend as they welcome the seventh-ranked Louisville Cardinals into town. It will be the first top-15 matchup all-time at Frank Eck Stadium as both teams own the top-two spots in the Atlantic Division. The series kicks off Friday at 4 p.m. ET and will be aired on the ACC Network Extra.

Hinkle Fieldhouse to Host 2021 State Farm College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships

INDIANAPOLIS (March 23, 2021) – The 32nd annual State Farm College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships will take place at Hinkle Fieldhouse on the Butler University campus in Indianapolis on Thursday, April 1 at 9 p.m. ET. The event will feature some of the country’s top 3-point specialists and high-flying dunkers to help kick off college basketball’s national championship weekend.

It will be the third time Hinkle Fieldhouse has hosted the event, having done so previously in 2006 and 2015. This year’s event will be closed to the public, but fans can watch the action live on ESPN2 beginning at 9 p.m.

Twenty-four of the nation’s elite men’s and women’s college basketball players will compete for slam dunk and 3-point shooting bragging rights. The night features the Great Clips Slam Dunk Championship, the Men’s 3-Point Championship, the Rocket Mortgage Women’s 3-Point Shooting Championship and the IHOP Team Shootout. The winners of the Men’s and Rocket Mortgage Women’s 3-Point Championships will then compete in the Battle of the Champions.

Since the event’s inception, several of the top players in college basketball have competed in the State Farm College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships before moving on to the professional ranks, including Gary Payton, Steve Nash, Jason Terry, Kyle Korver, Bobby Hurley, Michael Finley, Allan Houston, Wesley Matthews, Denzel Valentine, Yogi Ferrell, Cappie Pondexter, Katie Gearlds, Kristi Toliver, Odyssey Sims, Tiffany Hayes, Tiffany Mitchell and Ariel Atkins.

BALL STATE VOLLEYBALL: WVB Falls Short in Five-Set Battle at Miami

(BUTLER RELEASE)

OXFORD, Ohio – – After dropping the opening set 25-13, the Ball State women’s volleyball team battled back to take a 2-1 lead over Miami Tuesday night in a pivotal Mid-American Conference match up.

Unfortunately, the Cardinals (8-11) could not keep momentum on their side as the RedHawks (11-8) stormed back to take the final two frames to win the match 3-2 (25-13, 23-25, 23-25, 25-22, 15-13).

“I am proud of how we battled tonight,” head coach Kelli Miller Phillips said. “We didn’t let the first set rattle us, and played much better volleyball over the final four. Miami is a very talented team and extremely hard to beat at Millett Hall. We did all we could to get the victory, but we fell a few points short in the end.”

With the loss, coupled by wins from Ohio (10-7) and Central Michigan (11-9) in other MAC action this evening, Ball State has been eliminated from contention for one of the four spots in next week’s league championship tournament.

Senior Kia Holder led all players in the match with 19 kills and hit a solid .234 (19-8-47). She also collected three total blocks, including a pair of solo stuffs.

“I thought Kia played one heck of a match,” Phillips added. “She came up with some big momentum plays for us all night long, and did a great job keeping everyone on our side energized.”

In last Tuesday’s (March 16) sweep of the RedHawks in Worthen Arena, it was Ball State’s middle tandem of sophomore Marie Plitt and freshman Lauren Gilliland who dominated play. The pair combined for 17 kills, a .536 (17-2-28) attack percentage and 11 total blocks.

Tonight, Miami was able to essentially shut the pair down, minus a strong run from Plitt early in the fifth set. Plitt tallied six kills and hit .333 (6-1-15) for the match, while Gilliland scored five kills and hit .118 (5-3-17). They did add six and five total blocks, respectively, to keep both of their season averages above 1.00.

Overall, the Cardinals hit .214 (58-24-159) as a team, led by redshirt sophomore setter Esther Grussing who was on point with her dumping game, scoring a career-high six kills and hitting a career-best .714 (6-1-7). She also dished out 44 assists and collected 13 digs for her fifth double-double of the year.

Sophomore opposite Natalie Mitchem added 11 kills, while freshman outside Cait Snyder finished the night with nine.

In the backcourt, sophomore libero Natalie Risi led Ball State with 15 digs, while freshman defensive specialist Kate Vinson added 10.

Despite 13.0 team blocks from Ball State, Miami finished the night hitting .266 (68-23-169). Sophie Riemersma led four RedHawks in double figures with 18 kills, while Abigail Huser was credited with a match-best 17 digs.

The Ball State women’s volleyball team closes the 2020-21 season this weekend with a two-match series at Eastern Michigan. The Cardinals and Eagles will square off at 6 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday inside the Convocation Center.

NOTRE DAME HOCKEY: #4 IRISH MEET #1 BOSTON COLLEGE IN ALBANY REGIONAL

(ND RELEASE)

HO: No. 4 Notre Dame (14-13-2) vs. No. 1 Boston College (17-5-1)

WHEN: Saturday, March 27 – 1 p.m. ET

WHAT: NCAA Tournament – Albany Regional Semifinal

WHERE: Times Union Center, Albany, N.Y.

SETTING THE STAGE

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 on Saturday, March 27 at 1 p.m. ET on ESPNews.

The Regional’s other first round game will feature No. 2 seed St. Cloud State versus No. 3 seed Boston University at 6:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.

The Regional Finals are slated for Sunday, March 28 at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

The games will take place at the Times Union Center, where head coach Jeff Jackson won his first NCAA title as a head coach in 1992 with Lake Superior State with a 5-3 win over Wisconsin.

IRISH NCAA TOURNEY TALK

Notre Dame is making the 12th NCAA tournament appearance in program history, including the 11th time under head coach Jeff Jackson.

With last season being cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Notre Dame has a program-best streak of five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in tact.

It is also the second-longest active NCAA appearance streak, trailing only Minnesota Duluth (6).

The Fighting Irish advanced to a regional final for the third consecutive season in 2019, having won regional final games in 2017 and 2018 to advance to back-to-back Frozen Fours.

Notre Dame is one of three teams to make it to the NCAA Regional Finals in each of the last three NCAA Tournaments, joining Denver (not in the 2021 NCAA Tournament field) and Minnesota Duluth (the No. 3 seed in Fargo).

The Fighting Irish have now made eight of the last 10 NCAA tournaments, which is tied with North Dakota and Minnesota Duluth for the second-most (Denver, 9).

Notre Dame was a No. 4 seed three previous times and is 5-3-0 as a No. 4 seed, including 2004 (lost in the first round to Minnesota), 2008 (advanced to the NCAA Championship game versus Boston College) and 2017 (advanced to the Frozen Four).

Seniors Matt Hellickson and Colin Theisen have the most NCAA experience on the Irish roster, with each player having appeared in six NCAA Tournament games including all four games in Notre Dame’s run to the 2018 NCAA Championship game.

QUICK HITS

Junior forward Alex Steeves and junior defenseman Spencer Stastney earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors, marking their first career Big Ten All-Star nods.

Notre Dame finished its regular season road schedule with a 9-2-1 mark, including series sweeps at then third-ranked Michigan (Nov. 27-28) and at then first-ranked Minnesota (Jan. 15-16).

The nine road wins rank tied for third nationally, while the .792 winning percentage ranks fifth.

After playing mostly in a rotation to start the season, senior goaltender Dylan St. Cyr took over the starting goaltender role in the second semester when sophomore Ryan Bischel missed three weeks due to injury.

St. Cyr has started 15 of Notre Dame’s last 16 games dating back to the 2-1 win at Minnesota on Jan. 16 while posting a 2.21 goals against average and a .933 save percentage during that span.

Notre Dame finished the regular season tied with Wisconsin, Bowling Green and Michigan Tech for the most games played at 28 (both Notre Dame and Wisconsin were able to play each game on their schedules).

Alex Steeves leads the Irish with 15 goals and 32 points and has at least one point in 22 of 29 games this season.

Steeves’ 15 goals rank tied for fifth nationally, while his 32 points rank eighth heading into the NCAA Tournament.

Steeves enters the tournament with a seven-game point streak (5-5-10), as does freshman forward Landon Slaggert (3-7-10).

THE NOTRE DAME-BC SERIES

Longtime rivals and four year Hockey East foes, Notre Dame and Boston College have met every season since 1995-96 with the exception of the 1999-2000, 2005- 06 and 2017-18 seasons.

In Jerry York (1,108) and Jeff Jackson (530), the game will feature two of the top active leaders in NCAA DI head coaching wins.

Boston College holds a slight edge in the all-time series, 23-20-3, which began Dec. 20, 1969.

Last season, Boston College swept a home-and-home series on Dec. 6 and 8, 2020 by scores of 4-0 and 6-1.

Notre Dame posted a 4-0 win at the Compton Family Ice Arena on New Year’s Eve 2018 that featured goals from current Irish Matt Hellickson, Matt Steeves, Colin Theisen.

TODAY IN SPORTS HISTORY-1962

NEW YORK – Emile Griffith of New York regained the world welterweight boxing championship from Benny (Kid) Paret tonight at Madison Square Garden. Paret was knocked unconscious and underwent brain surgery at Roosevelt Hospital. Griffith stopped Paret after 2 minutes 9 seconds of the twelfth round. Paret was out on his feet. When he failed to regain consciousness in the ring, he was taken to his dressing room on a stretcher and later removed to the hospital by ambulance.

At the hospital, Dr. Harry Kleiman reported that the 25-year-old Paret was in serious condition. Dr. Lawrence Schick, a neurosurgeon, then performed surgery to relieve pressure on the brain. Another doctor at the hospital said Paret’s chances to recover were “poor.” In a waiting room downstairs from the operating room, about fifteen fans and friends quietly awaited word of Paret’s condition. This group included Garden officials. Griffith was among those in the waiting room and said: “I’m sorry it happened. I hope everything is being done for him.” Griffith left before the operation began. Before Paret left the Garden, the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church were administered.

Although Griffith had been down for an 8- count in the sixth, his triumph was anything but surprising. He had been in command most of the way, and there had been times when the punishment he inflicted on Paret seemed much more than any normal human could withstand. What finally ended the stubborn Cuban’s reign was a two-handed flurry that started with ten consecutive right uppercuts to the chin. The 23-year-old Griffith punched faster than most observers could count. All told, his winning assault consisted of twenty-five blows.

Long before Griffith had completed this cyclonic sortie, many in the crowd of 7,600 were begging Referee Ruby Goldstein to intervene. Goldstein was not moved to pity until one fact became obvious: The only reason Paret still was on his feet was that Griffith’s pile-driving fists were keeping him there, pinned against the post in a neutral corner. Paret’s eyes were closed. His hands dropped at his sides. His head snapped to the left and to the right as Griffith pounded away. The fact that Paret would not fall seemed to arouse the New Yorker to new heights of fury.

Perhaps he was remembering the split decision he lost to Paret here last Sept. 30. That was the bout in which Paret regained the crown he had lost to Emile on April 1, 1960, at Miami Beach. That fight ended in a thirteenth-round knockout. Whatever it was that Griffith was thinking about tonight, it certainly was translated into something akin to savagery. After the ten rights to the face had failed to do the job, he began alternating the rights with left hooks. All these blows were thrown from behind Emile’s back, it seemed. Paret sagged but still would not go down.

Goldstein finally made his move but had difficulty restraining Griffith. When the referee finally pulled the attacker away, Paret slid slowly down the ropes and to the canvas. He lay on his back unconscious for about eight minutes while physicians worked on him. He still was unconscious when carted to his dressing room. In a sense, it was something of a miracle that Paret had reached the twelfth round. Had he not possessed more courage than skill, he would have been knocked out in the tenth. Griffith punched faster and harder than his opponent. Paret frequently made the mistake of allowing his foe to bore in under slow-motion jabs and pump both hands hard to the body. And at close quarters, Griffith invariably was the man who managed to work a hand free to throw a stiff uppercut.

Griffith weighed 144 pounds and Paret 146 1/4 for the scheduled fifteen-round bout. Paret was guaranteed $50,000, and Griffith’s purse was about $17,000. Griffith was a heavy favorite. The knockout was the fourth of Paret’s professional career. His record now shows thirty-four victories, twelve losses and three draws. Griffith has won twenty-five bouts and has lost three.

Kid Paret remained in a coma until his death in a New York City hospital on April 3. Emile Griffith fought until 1977.

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1933       Babe Ruth, who made $75,000 last season, takes a $23,000 pay cut, a decrease which is indicative of the depression era. The 38 year-old Yankee slugger remains productive, batting .301, hitting 34 home runs, and driving in 103 runs for the second-place club that finishes seven games behind the Senators.

1936       Paul Dean agrees to a $10,000 deal to pitch for the Cardinals after posting a 19-11 record in his sophomore year. After compiling 38 victories in his first two seasons, Dizzy’s 23 year-old right-handed brother will have his career shortened by arm troubles, retiring after a nine-year tenure in the major leagues with a 50-34 mark.

1946       In Birmingham, Alabama, police pull 27 year-old southpaw Edward Klep from the Cleveland Buckeyes lineup, a visiting Negro American League team. The authorities order the first white player in organized black baseball to change into his civilian clothes and sit in the “whites only” section of Rickwood Field away from his teammates.

1947       During a four-hour hearing with Commissioner Chandler at the Sarasota Terrace Hotel, Dodger manager Leo Durocher admits to playing occasional card games for money with Kirby Higbe. Before Opening Day, Chandler will suspend the Brooklyn skipper for the entire 1947 season for “association with known gamblers.”

1952       During spring training at St. Petersburg, Cardinals pitcher Bob Slaybaugh is hit in the face with a line drive during batting practice that will subsequently result in the loss of his left eye. The 21 year-old southpaw will attempt a comeback in 1953 and again in 1954 before retiring from professional baseball.

1959       A photo of Pete Whisenant taken before an exhibition game played against the Dodgers in Havana, Cuba, shows the Reds outfielder toting a machine gun. The weapon shown in the posed picture belongs to a rebel from Fidel Castro’s revolutionary army.

1961       The NY State Senate approves $55 million in funding to build a new stadium in Flushing Meadows Park for the new National League’s expansion team. Until the Queens’ ballpark is completed, which will become known as Shea Stadium, the Mets will play in the Polo Grounds during the first two years of their existence.

1982       When Fernando Valenzuela ends his three-week holdout, the Dodgers automatically renew the southpaw’s contract for a reported $350,000. The National League Cy Young Award and Rookie of the Year Award recipient, after earning just $42,500 in his freshman season, still refuses to sign the deal that makes him the highest-paid second-year player in baseball history, having asked for a raise to $850,000.

1984       The Tigers trade utility player John Wockenfuss and outfielder Glenn Wilson to the Phillies for relief pitcher Willie Hernandez and first baseman Dave Bergman.

2001       During an exhibition game against the Giants, Diamondback hurler Randy Johnson’s fastball hits and instantly kills a dove flying in front of home plate. The bird appears to explode as the National League Cy Young winner’s pitch sends it over catcher Rod Barajas’ head.

2006       At Mickey Mantle’s restaurant in New York City, the U.S. Postal Service unveils the “Baseball Sluggers” postage stamps, which will be issued on July 15th at Yankee Stadium before the game against the White Sox. The four featured Hall of Famers all have roots in New York, with Mickey Mantle (Yankees), Mel Ott (Giants), and Roy Campanella (Dodgers) playing their entire careers in the Big Apple, and the fourth, Hank Greenberg, setting schoolboy records at James Monroe High School in the Bronx.

2008       The Twins agree to a new deal with their All-Star closer, signing Joe Nathan (1.88, 37 saves) to a $47 million, four-year contract, including a 2012 club option. The 33 year-old right-hander’s 160 saves over the past four seasons is tied with Mariano Rivera of the Yankees for most in the American League.

2008       On the South Lawn of the White House, the Washington Nationals Presidential character mascots take part in the traditional White House Easter Egg Roll. Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington all appeared very comfortable in their surroundings.

NBA STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
 WLPctConf GBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Philadelphia3113.70519-412-98-222-79-13 W
Brooklyn3014.6821.017-613-85-216-108-22 W
Milwaukee2814.6672.017-511-99-017-79-17 W
Atlanta2221.5128.511-911-123-313-128-21 L
Charlotte2121.5009.012-89-135-111-96-41 W
Miami2222.5009.012-1110-115-413-145-54 L
New York2222.5009.013-89-141-615-145-51 W
Boston2122.4889.513-78-153-515-125-51 L
Chicago1923.45211.09-1510-83-29-104-61 L
10 Indiana1923.45211.07-1212-114-312-134-61 L
11 Toronto1726.39513.58-109-163-512-161-99 L
12 Cleveland1627.37214.511-125-152-512-124-61 L
13 Washington1527.35715.08-147-131-65-192-82 L
14 Orlando1429.32616.59-145-154-410-171-92 L
15 Detroit1230.28618.07-125-180-88-183-71 L
 
Western Conference
 WLPctConf GBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Utah3111.73816-215-93-213-65-52 W
Phoenix2913.6902.015-814-55-219-88-23 W
LA Clippers2816.6364.015-613-106-216-95-52 W
LA Lakers2816.6364.014-914-72-519-105-53 L
Denver2617.6055.512-914-87-114-118-21 W
Portland2518.5816.514-911-93-415-126-42 L
San Antonio2218.5508.010-1112-74-612-145-52 L
Dallas2219.5378.511-911-105-113-137-31 W
Golden State2222.50010.013-89-143-612-133-72 L
10 Memphis2020.50010.011-139-73-59-145-52 W
11 New Orleans1924.44212.513-106-144-311-165-52 W
12 Oklahoma City1924.44212.58-1211-123-611-165-52 W
13 Sacramento1825.41913.59-129-133-48-115-51 W
14 Houston1230.28619.06-156-154-58-151-91 W
15 Minnesota1033.23321.55-155-183-67-193-72 L

NHL STANDINGS

East
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
New York Islanders3321844619987313-1-28-7-28-2-0
Washington Capitals31207444181069210-4-210-3-28-2-0
Pittsburgh Penguins321911240161008812-3-17-8-17-2-1
Boston Bruins281684361477667-3-19-5-35-3-2
Philadelphia Flyers31151243414971117-6-38-6-13-6-1
New York Rangers3114134321394827-6-37-7-15-4-1
New Jersey Devils3012144281275934-11-28-3-25-3-2
Buffalo Sabres306204164641062-11-24-9-20-9-1
 
West
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Vegas Golden Knights30227145221006713-2-19-5-07-3-0
Colorado Avalanche31208343201067112-4-18-4-27-1-2
Minnesota Wild30191013919897611-3-08-7-17-3-0
St. Louis Blues32161153714971044-7-312-4-24-3-3
Arizona Coyotes33141453311831018-8-36-6-24-4-2
Los Angeles Kings3113126321289866-4-47-8-24-4-2
San Jose Sharks3012144288851044-6-28-8-24-4-2
Anaheim Ducks339186248721125-11-34-7-33-6-1
 
North
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Toronto Maple Leafs322010242201078311-6-19-4-14-6-0
Edmonton Oilers342113042211169712-8-09-5-07-3-0
Winnipeg Jets321911240191049110-5-19-6-15-4-1
Montreal Canadiens3114893713100876-5-28-3-74-2-4
Vancouver Canucks36161733513991159-8-27-9-17-2-1
Calgary Flames3315153331488998-5-17-10-25-4-1
Ottawa Senators3411203259891317-6-34-14-03-5-2
 
Central
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Tampa Bay Lightning32246250231177413-2-011-4-28-2-0
Carolina Hurricanes31217345171047810-1-311-6-07-1-2
Florida Panthers32208444191079110-4-310-4-16-4-0
Chicago Blackhawks33151353513981088-4-27-9-33-6-1
Columbus Blue Jackets33131373311861067-6-56-7-25-3-2
Nashville Predators33151713112791038-7-07-10-15-4-1
Dallas Stars291011828981776-5-64-6-23-3-4
Detroit Red Wings33101942410711067-8-33-11-13-6-1