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) 

NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL

Gonzaga 85 USC 66

UCLA 51 Michigan 49

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

South Carolina 62 Texas 34

Stanford 78 Louisville 63

NBA SCOREBOARD

Charlotte 114 Washington 104

Denver 104 Philadelphia 95

Orlando 103 LA Clippers 96

Phoenix 117 Atlanta 110

NHL SCOREBOARD

Boston 5 New Jersey 4

NY Rangers 5 Washington 2

Columbus 3 Tampa Bay 1

Florida 4 Detroit 1

Montréal 4 Edmonton 0

Chicago 2 Carolina 1

Nashville 3 Dallas 2

MLB SPRING TRAINING

Milwaukee 6 Texas 3

Colorado 2 Chicago White Sox 1

Arizona 3 Cleveland 2

LA Dodgers 6 LA Angels 4

Pittsburgh 1 Minnesota 1

Tampa Bay 5 Detroit 0

Atlanta 5 Boston 3

INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL

New Castle 6 Pendleton Heights 3

Southwood 8 Shenandoah 3

OHIO HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL

Arcanum 2 National Trail 1

INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL

East Central 21 Richmond 1

Union County 23 New Castle 0…Patriots 21 hits (Sophia Knock 4, Annalea Adams 3, Tori Russell 3)…Knock 2HR 4RBI, Adams 2HR 4RBI, Bailey Mathews 5RBI, Russell 4RBI

OHIO HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL

Arcanum 8 National Trail 0

TOP NEWS HEADLINES:

Juzang sends No. 11 seed UCLA past Michigan to Final Four

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) UCLA has made more trips to the Final Four than any program but North Carolina.

None of the 19 was more surprising than this one.

After sneaking into the NCAA Tournament off four straight losses, and barely surviving Michigan State in their First Four game, the Bruins took down top-seeded Michigan on Tuesday night to continue a run for the ages.

Johnny Juzang poured in 28 points while playing most of the second half on a hurt ankle, and coach Mick Cronin’s bunch of stubborn overachievers survived a set of nail-biting misses by the Wolverines in the final seconds for a 51-49 victory that made the Bruins only the fifth No. 11 seed to reach the national semifinals.

“These guys get all the credit,” said Cronin, who had never been to the Elite Eight in 18 years as a college head coach, much less the Final Four. “Unbelievable heart, toughness. Nobody picked us. Nobody believed in us. That’s how we like it.”

They’ll be big underdogs again Saturday night: Overall No. 1 seed Gonzaga is up next.

“We know our next assignment is tough,” Cronin said, “but their resiliency is unbelievable.”

The Wolverines (23-5) missed their final eight shots, including a 3-pointer by Mike Smith with a couple seconds left and another by Franz Wagner at the buzzer, sending the Bruins (22-9) flying off the bench in a wild celebration.

They’re the second First Four team to make the Final Four after VCU a decade ago.

“This is something growing up you dream about,” said Juzang, the first player to score at least half of his team’s points in a regional final victory since Cincinnati’s Oscar Robertson in 1960. “It’s just so wonderful. It’s beautiful. It’s beautiful sharing this moment with your brothers.”

After dictating the pace all game, eschewing the slick style of Michigan in favor of a rock fight, it only seemed fitting that the underdog Bruins – having won two tourney games in overtime already – would take another to the buzzer.

They were clinging to a 50-49 lead when Michigan called a timeout with 19 seconds to go, intending to set up the game’s final shot. Wolverines coach Juwan Howard set up an open 3-point look for the cold-shooting Wagner, who missed almost everything, and Eli Brooks also missed a put-back before UCLA finally corralled the rebound.

It was merely the start of a chaotic finish.

The Wolverines quickly fouled and sent Juzang to the line, where he missed the second of his two free throws with 6.3 seconds left. Michigan grabbed the rebound and called another timeout. This time, Howard had Smith race up court and unload a good look from the wing that was halfway down before bouncing back out.

The buzzer sounded and UCLA began to celebrate, only for the officials to put a half-second back on the clock.

That was enough time for Michigan to inbound one last time to Wagner, who again let fly a 3-pointer that clanked off the iron – and finally gave the Bruins freedom to spring from their benches for their first Final Four trip since 2008.

“We got the look, got the shot we wanted,” Howard said. “There’s not much you can do with a point-five, but that shot, it was a nice little heave. Unfortunately it didn’t go in.”

Hunter Dickinson led the Wolverines (23-5) with 11 points, but nothing came easy for the Big Ten freshman of the year – or anyone else in maize and blue. They were 3 of 11 beyond the arc, shot 39% overall and couldn’t make one at the end.

“They played extremely hard. They earned that win,” Brooks said. “I’m not going to take anything away from them. They made everything challenging.”

Quite a show: Zags stay undefeated with 85-66 win over USC

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Can anybody stop these guys?

For the 30th straight time this season, Gonzaga answered that question with a resounding “No.”

The Bulldogs got on a roll and put on a show, cruising into the Final Four with an 85-66 beatdown of a Southern California team that was nowhere near ready for what it ran into Tuesday night.

Drew Timme had 23 points and five rebounds and, after one dunk, pretended to slick down his handlebar mustache for the few thousand fans in the stands.

“This is a really, really big deal,” coach Mark Few said of the program’s return to the Final Four after a four-year hiatus. “And Zags know how to celebrate, OK?”

The top-seeded and top-ranked Bulldogs (30-0) will be the third team to bring an undefeated record into the Final Four since the bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985. The last team to go undefeated was Indiana in 1976. On Saturday in the national semifinals, the Zags will face 11th-seeded UCLA, which beat Michigan 51-49 in a later Elite Eight game.

In the early contest, Timme did whatever he wanted against the nation’s fourth-ranked defense – a team that won its first three tournament games by an average of 21 points – as did pretty much everyone else in a white uniform.

Jalen Suggs finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. All-American Corey Kispert had 18 points and eight boards on an “off” night – only 6 for 19 from the floor. Gonzaga shot 44% in the second half and “only” 50% for the game. That was five under its nation-leading average, but it didn’t matter much.

“We just tried to stay moving,” Suggs said about attacking the USC zone, which had been shutting down teams all month in Indy. “We didn’t let the ball get too sticky. We kept moving, flashing into the high post. It was a lot for them to deal with – good cuts off the baseline, vertical cuts off the wings.”

Blowouts are supposed to be boring, but this had the feel of a Globetrotters game at times, filled with fancy bounce passes through traffic, reverse layups, a swooping power dunk from Joel Ayayi (nine points) and the occasional post-basket flex from the 6-foot-10 Timme.

Gonzaga led sixth-seeded USC 7-0 after two minutes, 25-8 after 8:30 and 36-15 after Kispert took a nifty dish from Timme for an easy layup with 6:03 left in the half.

“It was a little surprising,” USC coach Andy Enfield said, “because we’d been playing great basketball.”

The Zags have a way about doing that to people.

They walked into the locker room at halftime ahead by 19 and with a big fat zero in the turnover column – a gold-standard stat for a team that thrives on offensive efficiency.

The last 20 minutes were extended garbage time — plenty of time for the Bulldogs to pad the stats.

They are a statistician’s dream – a team that came in No. 1 scoring (91.8), that has won 29 of its 30 games by double digits, and that wasn’t going to be slowed by the Brothers Mobley – Isaiah and Evan – who roam the middle for one of the country’s tallest teams (Average height, 6-7).

Official collapses, wheeled off court on stretcher

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Official Bert Smith collapsed on the floor early in the Elite Eight game between Gonzaga and Southern California and had to be taken off the court on a stretcher.

Smith had just set up on the baseline as the Trojans were moving onto offense when he collapsed and hit his head on the floor.

He stayed down for about five minutes, and then was able to stand up and move to a nearby stretcher. He was alert and sitting up with his arms crossed as he was taken off the court.

In a statement, NCAA spokesman David Worlock said Smith is “alert and stable,” and won’t be transported to a hospital. Worlock also said Smith has been in contact with his family.

Worlock’s statement didn’t specifically state the nature of Smith’s “medical issue,” though CBS Sports rules analyst Gene Steratore said on the TBS broadcast that Smith was feeling “lightheaded,” leading to the fall. He said Smith was being treated by trainers in the locker room.

Smith was officiating his second Elite Eight. He was replaced by an alternate, Tony Henderson, who had been at the scorer’s table. Additionally, Tony Chiazza – the standby official for the UCLA-Michigan game later Tuesday – would also serve as the standby official for the remainder of the USC-Gonzaga game, Worlock said.

The matchup was the 70th game Smith has worked this season, according to kenpom.com. He has officiated in multiple conferences.

Stanford rallies to beat Louisville 78-63, reach Final Four

SAN ANTONIO (AP) After one of Stanford’s worst halves of the season, coach Tara VanDerveer challenged her team to just compete.

The Cardinal responded.

Lexie Hull had 21 points, Ashten Prechtel scored each of her 16 in the second half and Stanford reached the Final Four by rallying for a 78-63 victory over Louisville on Tuesday night.

“To play a second half and beat them by 27 really says a lot about how hard people were playing,” VanDerveer said. “How much they wanted to do it for each other. They were willing to listen to me, My dad would always say it’s not the start of the race, but the finish.”

Next up for the top-seeded Cardinal is South Carolina on Friday night in a rematch of the 2017 national semifinals. Stanford dropped that one 62-53, ending its previous appearance in the Final Four. UConn and Arizona meet in the other national semifinal.

Stanford (29-2) trailed by 12 midway through the third quarter before scoring 13 consecutive points to take its first lead since early in the game. Prechtel was a big part of that success after she didn’t play in the first half.

“Ashten was a two-way player, her 3 was the shot that just said alright we’re back,” VanDerveer said. “We can win this game. Really exciting to see her play well. She’s been doing great things for us all year. She really picked a great time to shine.”

The teams traded baskets the rest of the period, and No 2 seed Louisville (26-4) was up 50-48 heading into the final quarter.

The Cardinal scored the first 10 points of the fourth to go up 58-50. The run was started by a Prechtel 3-pointer.

“For sure, it was tough not to play in the first half. I was nervous,” Prechtel said. “We didn’t want to go home. Coming out of halftime, there was urgency.”

Louisville coach Jeff Walz said the move to put Prechtel in was the key to Stanford’s win.

“What a great substitution that was. She changed the entire game,” Walz said. “Her 15 minutes, she’s plus-27 on the plus-and-minus side. She won the game for them. … She was remarkable there in the second half.”

Kiana Williams capped the burst with a 3-pointer. The San Antonio native had a rough start to the game, missing 11 of her first 12 shots. She finally got going offensively, hitting four shots in a row to help Stanford build its lead.

“I just had to change my mentality. I was forcing things, I wanted it too bad,” Williams said. “I didn’t let the game come to me. Tara got on me, my coaches got on me, and my teammates picked me up. I just had to change my mentality coming back in the second half.”

Stanford was up 68-60 with just over 3 minutes left when Williams hit a step-back 3 that sealed the victory. She finished with 14 points.

The win moves the Cardinal one step closer to VanDerveer’s first national championship since 1992 and No. 3 overall.

The loss ended the stellar collegiate career of All-America guard Dana Evans. The senior guard scored 24 points for Louisville, but got little help on offense.

“I’m going to go on and enter my name into the WNBA draft,” Evans said. “My senior year was everything I asked for except a national championship.”

South Carolina drubs Texas 62-34 to reach Final Four

SAN ANTONIO (AP) One by one, South Carolina players walked through the confetti and climbed the ladder to cut down the net in the Alamodome.

It was only fitting that the Gamecocks got to keep the nylon. They used it way more than Texas did.

Zia Cooke scored 16 points and South Carolina used its stifling defense to advance to the Final Four for the third time, shutting down Texas for a 62-34 victory Tuesday night.

Top-seeded South Carolina blocked 14 shots, nine by Laeticia Amihere, and held No. 6 Texas to 23% shooting. The Longhorns were outscored 10-0 in the fourth quarter.

The Gamecocks have been on a mission ever since they felt they were denied a real chance at the national title last season when the NCAA Tournament was cancelled because of the pandemic. It showed all night long, but especially during the first scoreless quarter in the tourney since the women’s game went to quarters in 2016.

“It says they’re locked in,” South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. “They have been focused, they wanted the opportunity to get to the Final Four. They know nothing about what they just accomplished. I like who we’re bringing into this Final Four.”

South Carolina (26-4) won the Hemisfair Region to advance to Friday’s national semifinal against Stanford, the tournament’s overall No. 1 seed. UConn and Arizona meet in the other national semifinal.

Destanni Henderson and Victaria Saxton each scored 12 for the Gamecocks, and Amihere also had 10 points and eight rebounds in a terrific all-around performance.

South Carolina ran out to an 19-point lead in the third quarter, and responded to a Texas run with a burst started by a 3-pointer from Henderson. Then it put a lid on basket in the fourth.

“We don’t back down from anyone,” Cooke said. “We just made sure that we put our foot on the gas, kept our guard up and did what we needed to do.”

Staley ran her championship game record against Texas’ Vic Schaefer to 6-0, dating to when they faced each other in the SEC when Schaefer was at Mississippi State. That includes beating Schaefer in the 2017 national final.

“They can test you at everything that you do. Whether 3-point range or at the rim,” Schaefer said. “That’s a reflection of Dawn. To me, those kids really embody probably how she was as a player.”

Schaefer took the Texas job in April 2020 and coaxed an impressive postseason run out of the Longhorns behind a grinding defense that carried the school to the brink of its first women’s Final Four since 2003.

Texas was looking to become just the third No. 6 seed to make the Final Four since Notre Dame in 1997.

“This feeling right now, it’s tough,” said guard Kyra Lambert, who played at least 38 minutes in Texas’ last three games and provided the go-ahead basket against Maryland in the Sweet 16. “This is not how I pictured this to end.”

The Longhorns looked tired and a step slow after tough wins over UCLA and Maryland. They may have simply been worn out by the time they matched up with the big and quick Gamecocks, who pressured the ball on the perimeter and denied shots inside.

Audrey Warren led the Longhorns (21-10) with 13 points.

PLAYERS TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND IN THE STATE FINALS

Hunter Kneifel, Kouts: 10.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, 62% FG

Parker Kneifel, Kouts: 9.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 62.2 % FG,  48.7 %-3FG

Kooper Jacobi, Silver Creek: 21.4 points, 11.2 rebounds,  64% FG

Christian Johnson, Parke Heritage: 16.3 points, 6.8 rebounds.

Trey Kaufman-Renn, Silver Creek: 25.0 points, 11.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.

Curt Hopf, Barr-Reeve: 19.4 points and 9.2 rebounds, 64% FG

D.J. Hughes, Lawrence North: 13.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, 68.2% FG

Connor Gioia, Carmel: 6.5 points, 3.3 assists and 1.9 rebounds per game

Brycen Graber, Barr-Reeve: 8.0 asst., 6.6 points, 2.7 rebounds

C.J. Gunn, Lawrence North: 13.8 points, 4.6 rebounds

Blake Davison, Leo: 16.8 points, 3.2 assists, 4.8 rebounds

Riley Ferguson, Parke Heritage: 12.4 points, 2.7 assists, 4.0 rebounds

Caleb Furst, FW Blackhawk Christian: 21.5 points, 14.3 rebounds, 66.4% FG

Marcus Davidson, FW Blackhawk Christian: 12.9 points, 3.6 assists and 2.9 rebounds

Connor Davis, Parke Heritage: 14.6 points, 8.0 rebounds,  64% FG

INDIANA STATE BOYS BASKETBALL FINALS-SATURDAY APRIL 3

IHSAA RELEASE

(1A CHAMPIONSHIP)

KOUTS (29-2) vs. BARR-REEVE (28-2)

SATURDAY, APR. 3  10 AM ET  BANKERS LIFE FIELDHOUSE

KOUTS MUSTANGS

Head Coach: Kevin Duzan Record at Kouts: 107-43 (6th Year) Overall: 150-105 (11th Year)

Associated Press Poll (Four Classes): #3, Coaches Poll (Single Class): NR

An IHSAA member school since 1919, Kouts is playing in the state finals for the first time in any sport.  With a victory, Mustangs would become first 30-win Class A state champion of the multiple class era.  Mustangs rank fourth in the state in scoring (75.8 ppg) and fifth in margin of victory (23.1 ppg).  Team has reeled off 20 straight victories to reach the state championship game.  Champions of the Porter County Conference with a 7-0 record this season.  The state championship game against top-ranked Barr-Reeve will be the first ranked team the Mustangs have faced this tournament.  Won first sectional championship since 2012 with its 67-53 win over Washington Township on March 6.n Won first regional title since 2001 with its 56-42 victory over Triton on March 13.

Season Results (29-2)

11/24 Marquette Catholic W 87-71

11/27 at Hebron W 90-63

12/4 at Covenant Christian W 92-30

12/5 Kankakee Valley W 85-43

12/11 South Central W 91-58

12/12 South Bend Clay W 93-59

12/26 Bloomington South L 50-41

12/28 Terre Haute South Vigo W 80-61

12/29 Cloverdale W 68-50

12/30 Linton-Stockton W 40-35

1/12 Andrean L 73-59

1/15 at Washington Township W 92-53

1/16 Rensselaer Central W 72-53

1/19 Westville W 84-60

1/21 at South Central W 69-44

1/23 at Boone Grove W 79-50

1/29 at Boone Grove W 63-52

1/30 Westville W 87-60

2/11 Morgan Township W 58-44

2/12 at 21st Century Charter – Gary W 68-67

2/17 at Lake Station Edison W 89-46

2/19 Hanover Central W 62-32

2/20 Lowell W 69-62

2/23 at River Forest W 78-49

2/26 LaCrosse W 83-42

Kouts Sectional

3/2 Hammond Academy W 112-45

3/5 Morgan Township W 85-56

3/6 Washington Township W 67-53

Triton Regional

3/13 Fremont W 66-62

3/13 Triton W 56-42

Lafayette Jefferson Semi-State

3/20 Southwood W 86-70

BARR-REEVE VIKINGS

Head Coach: Josh Thompson Record at Barr-Reeve: 79-6 (3rd Year) Overall: 189-162 (14th Year)

Associated Press Poll (Four Classes): #1 Coaches Poll (Single Class): #9

Top-ranked Barr-Reeve making school’s seventh state championship game appearance and looking for second title in boys basketball.  School looking for second state championship this school year after volleyball team won the Class 2A crown on Nov. 7.  Vikings have appeared in five Class A title games in last 12 years.  Team’s only losses have come to other state finalist teams. Lost at 4A finalist Carmel 57-55 in OT on Dec. 23 and lost to 2A finalist Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian 75-66 as part of the Hall of Fame Classic in New Castle on Dec. 30.  Ranked teams they’ve faced this tournament: def. #4 North Daviess 40-38 in the sectional semifinal def. #2 Loogootee 56-38 to win fourth straight sectional title def. #8 Tindley 72-25 to claim semi-state championship  Champions of the Blue Chip Conference with an 7-0 record this season. Head coach Josh Thompson is in his third year coaching Barr Reeve and 14th season overall. He was a member of Bloomfield High School’s Class A state runner-up team in 1998.

Season Results (28-2)

12/5 at Vincennes Rivet W 75-26

12/8 Bloomington South W 41-36

12/11 Southridge W 52-19

12/12 North Harrison W 61-38

12/15 North Knox W 81-30

12/17 Northeast Dubois W 77-25

12/23 at Carmel L 55-57

12/30 Fort Wayne Blackhawk L 66-75

12/30 Blackford W 71-46

1/2 at Washington W 72-45

1/5 at Orleans W 53-42

1/8 Evansville Mater Dei W 67-31

1/15 Loogootee W 67-64

1/16 at North Daviess W 39-38

1/23 Heritage Hills W 59-35

1/29 at Shoals W 78-27

1/30 Castle W 61-54

2/1 at Wood Memorial W 67-28

2/4 at Jasper W 56-54

2/12 South Knox W 51-32

2/13 Eminence W 96-47

2/20 at Rock Creek Academy W 71-45

2/26 at Bloomfield W 54-41

2/27 Shakamak W 69-39

North Daviess Sectional

3/2 Washington Catholic W 81-24

3/5 North Daviess W 40-38

3/6 Loogootee W 56-38

Loogootee Regional

3/13 Trinity Lutheran W 63-38

3/13 Lanesville W 64-34

Washington Semi-State

3/20 Indianapolis Tindley W 72-25

(2A CHAMPIONSHIP)

FORT WAYNE BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN (27-3) vs. PARKE HERITAGE (27-3)

SATURDAY, APR. 3  1:30 PM ET  BANKERS LIFE FIELDHOUSE

BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN BRAVES

Head Coach: Marc Davidson Record at Blackhawk: 173-50 (8th Year) Overall: 258-120 (18th Year)

Associated Press Poll (Four Classes): #1 Coaches Poll (Single Class): #5

Top-ranked Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian making school’s third appearance in state finals and first in Class 2A. Team has won 10 straight games. School chasing second state championship in three years. High-scoring Braves lead state in that category at 82.7 points per game and also lead state in margin of victory at 25.5 points per game. Braves have defeated three other state finalist teams this season, two in overtime. Beat 3A Silver Creek 94-84 in 2OT on Dec. 12, beat 1A Barr-Reeve 75-66 in OT in the HOF Classic on Dec. 30, and beat 3A Leo 74-42 on Feb. 23. Team outscoring six tournament opponents by 29.8 ppg (80.1- 50.3 ppg). n Ranked teams they’ve faced this tournament: def. #8 Blackford 88-61 for the semi-state championship.

Season Results (27-3)

12/1 FW North Side W 98-48

12/4 New Haven W 86-33

12/5 Hamilton (OH) W 57-30

12/12 Silver Creek W 94-84

12/18 at FW Canterbury W 82-42

12/22 Gary Lighthouse CPA W 118-75

12/30 Barr-Reeve W 75-66

12/30 Shenandoah W 66-59

1/7 at FW Wayne W 77-42

1/9 FW Concordia W 107-63

1/12 at Homestead L 72-60

1/16 FW Luers W 87-71

1/21 Bowman Academy W 91-63

1/23 Lakewood Park Christian W 107-26

1/26 FW Dwenger W 57-49

2/4 at FW South Side W 89-44

2/6 Indianapolis Tindley W 67-50

2/9 at FW Snider W 88-81

2/12 Indianapolis Cathedral L 86-78

2/13 Elevation Prep L 90-82

2/17 at Marion W 89-71

2/20 at Indianapolis Attucks W 75-72

2/23 at Leo W 74-42

2/25 FW Northrop W 95-53

Bluff ton Sectional

3/2 Bluffton W 86-44

3/5 Whitko W 78-39

3/6 FW Canterbury W 93-51

North Judson-San Pierre Regional

3/13 Churubusco W 68-55

3/13 Bowman Academy W 68-52

Elkhart Semi-State

3/20 Blackford W 88-61

PARKE HERITAGE WOLVES

Head Coach: Rich Schelsky Record at PH: 58-22 (3rd Year) Overall: 77-52 (5th Year)

Associated Press Poll (Four Classes): #5 Coaches Poll (Single Class): NR

Fifth-ranked Parke Heritage making school’s first state finals appearance in any sport. Parke Heritage is a two-and-a-half year old consolidation of Rockville and Turkey Run high schools in west central Indiana. Team aiming for state championship in just its third state tournament. One of two three-time state finalists (Kouts, Leo) in this year’s event. Wolves rank 12th in state in points allowed (42.1 ppg).  Champions of the Wabash River Conference with a 7-0 record this season. Ranked teams they’ve faced this tournament: def. #2 Shenandoah 52-33 to win its first regional crown on March 13. Wolves won school’s first sectional championship a year ago prior to the pandemic.

Season Results (27-3)

11/28 North Knox W 60-53

11/28 at Linton L 56-65

12/4 at Riverton Parke W 82-45

12/5 South Vermillion W 56-42

12/12 North Putnam W 57-44

12/19 at South Putnam W 74-36

12/26 North Central (Farmersburg) W 60-47

12/28 Greencastle L 51-63

12/29 Northview W 47-45

1/2 Crawfordsville W 60-52

1/8 at North Vermillion W 81-33

1/15 at Covington W 62-48

1/16 at Cloverdale W 65-48

1/23 Cascade W 64-41

1/26 South Vermillion W 50-38

1/29 at Riverton Parke W 73-44

1/30 at Lafayette Jefferson L 49-54

2/4 Attica W 63-15

2/6 Tri-West W 62-48

2/12 Fountain Central W 74-36

2/13 Lafayette Central Catholic W 46-30

2/19 Seeger W 64-38

2/23 at Southmont W 64-54

Cloverdale Sectional

3/2 Cloverdale W 48-25

3/5 Southmont W 66-34

3/6 North Putnam W 48-42

Greenfield-Central Regional

3/13 Triton Central W 47-30

3/13 Shenandoah W 52-33

Washington Semi-State

3/20 Southridge W 40-36

(3A CHAMPIONSHIP)

LEO (24-4) vs. SILVER CREEK (24-4)

SATURDAY, APR. 3  5 PM ET  BANKERS LIFE FIELDHOUSE

LEO LIONS

Head Coach: Cary Cogdell Record at Leo: 240-151 (17th Year) Overall: 251-181 (19th Year)

Associated Press Poll (Four Classes): #9 Coaches Poll (Single Class): NR

Leo making school’s first appearance in the boys basketball state finals. Lions rallied from a 16-point halftime deficit to defeat South Bend St. Joseph 61-59 in the semi-state championship. Blake Davison connected on a runner high off the glass with 1.3 seconds remaining for the final margin. Lions won first 11 games of the season but dropped three of the last four regular season games before getting hot in the tournament. Leo is one of three first-time state finalists (Kouts, Parke Heritage) in this year’s event.  Champions of the Northeast 8 Conference with a 7-0 record this season. Ranked teams they’ve faced this tournament: def. #5 South Bend St. Joseph 61-59 for first semi-state title n Fell to 2A finalist Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian 74-42 on Feb. 23. Avenged a regular season loss to Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger with a 55-45 win for its second straight sectional crown on March 6. Head coach Cary Cogdell is a 1994 graduate of Leo High School and played on sectional championship teams as a junior and senior.

Season Results (24-4)

11/28 at Fort Wayne South Side W 66-56

12/2 Fort Wayne Wayne W 49-39

12/4 Fort Wayne Snider W 91-84

12/8 Fort Wayne Bishop Luers W 57-51

12/19 Shenandoah W 59-43

12/21 Fort Wayne Concordia W 75-57

12/30 at Warsaw W 69-55

1/5 at Fort Wayne Canterbury W 74-33

1/9 Norwell W 53-43

1/15 New Haven W 68-52

1/23 at East Noble W 46-30

1/25 at Fort Wayne North Side L 68-72

1/27 at Huntington North W 44-37

1/30 Bellmont W 47-43

2/6 Carroll (Fort Wayne) W 39-37

2/8 at DeKalb W 57-53

2/9 Angola W 62-43

2/12 Columbia City W 69-52

2/17 at FW Bishop Dwenger L 56-60

2/19 at Lakewood Park W 70-35

2/23 Fort Wayne Blackhawk L 42-74

2/26 at Woodlan L 43-46

Woodlan Sectional

3/3 Angola W 64-38

3/5 Fort Wayne Bishop Luers W 76-70

3/6 FW Bishop Dwenger W 55-45

New Castle Regional

3/13 Mississinewa W 79-43

3/13 Northwood W 47-46

Elkhart Semi-State

3/20 South Bend St. Joseph W 61-59

SILVER CREEK DRAGONS

Head Coach: Brandon Hoffman Record at SC: 200-73 (11th Year) Overall: 200-73 (11th Year)

Associated Press Poll (Four Classes): #2 Coaches Poll (Single Class): #9

Silver Creek returns to boys basketball state championship game for second time in three years aiming for second title. Dragons will look to replicate the school’s girls team which won the 3A state title on Feb. 27. With a victory, Silver Creek would become third school to achieve the girls-boys sweep in the same year (Oregon-Davis 2007, Warren Central 2018). Team enters state championship game on a 13-game win streak. n Finished second in the Mid-Southern Conference with an 8-1 record this season.  Silver Creek avenged one of its regular season losses defeating #8 conference champion North Harrison 44-41 in the sectional semifinals. Ranked teams they’ve faced this tournament: def. #8 North Harrison 44-41 in the sectional semifinals def. #4 Heritage Hills 52-48 in the regional semifinals def. #6 Guerin Catholic 54-46 for semi-state crown. Fell to 2A finalist Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian 94-84 in 2OT on Dec. 12. Head coach Brandon Hoffman is a 1998 Silver Creek graduate where he play basketball all four years for the Dragons.

Season Results (24-4)

11/25 at Columbus East W 106-81

12/1 at Charlestown W 78-31

12/4 Clarksville W 76-38

12/11 at North Harrison L 61-63

12/12 Fort Wayne Blackhawk L 84-94

12/18 Jeffersonville W 77-67

12/29 Providence W 62-41

12/30 Clarksville W 95-49

01/02 Bedford North Lawrence W 74-51

1/8 Eastern (Pekin) W 95-34

1/15 at Brownstown Central W 61-40

1/16 Bloomington North W 94-74

1/22 at New Albany L 72-81

1/29 at Madison W 69-56

1/30 at Bloomington South L 41-42

2/4 at Salem W 105-66

2/9 at Floyd Central W 68-59

2/12 Scottsburg W 94-46

2/19 Corydon Central W 92-54

2/20 Plainfield W 68-61

2/24 Austin W 87-51

2/26 Seymour W 72-56

Charlestown Sectional

3/2 Corydon Central W 77-42

3/5 North Harrison W 44-41

3/6 Madison W 83-71

Washington Regional

3/13 Heritage Hills W 52-48

3/13 Connersville W 31-30

Seymour Semi-State

3/20 Guerin Catholic W 54-46

(4A CHAMPIONSHIP)

CARMEL (25-2) vs. LAWRENCE NORTH (28-2)

SATURDAY, APR. 3  8:30 PM ET  BANKERS LIFE FIELDHOUSE

CARMEL GREYHOUNDS

Head Coach: Ryan Osborn Record at Carmel: 90-18 (4th Year) Overall: 90-18 (4th Year)

Associated Press Poll (Four Classes): #2 Coaches Poll (Single Class): #2

Carmel returns to its third state championship game in four years aiming for school’s fifth boys basketball crown. With a win, Carmel would become fourth school with five or more state championships (Marion, Muncie Central, Washington). Greyhounds will face conference rival Lawrence North in the third straight 4A title game between Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference teams. Second meeting this season between the two schools following the Greyhounds’ 63-49 road win on Feb. 4. Ranked teams they’ve faced this tournament: def. #1 Homestead 60-49 in regional semifinals def. #8 Lafayette Jefferson 50-49 for regional title def. 10 Gary West Side 53-50 in OT for semi-state crown Carmel defense ranks sixth in the state allowing only 40.4 ppg. Both regular season losses were one-point decisions – 51-50 vs. Indianapolis Cathedral and 35-34 at Fishers. Champions of the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference with a 7-0 record this season.

Season Results (25-2)

11/24 Columbus North W 61-51

12/4 Lawrence Central W 64-35

12/5 Zionsville W 49-34

12/11 at Noblesville W 64-36

12/18 at North Central W 56-49

12/19 at New Albany W 50-42

12/23 Barr-Reeve W 57-55

12/30 Anderson W 44-30

1/8 at Center Grove W 51-44

1/9 Westfield W 54-30

1/13 Cathedral L 50-51

1/19 at Perry Meridian W 58-34

1/22 at Pike W 73-55

1/23 Brownsburg W 58-45

1/29 Ben Davis W 67-41

1/30 at New Castle W 72-25

2/4 at Lawrence North W 63-49

2/5 at Fishers L 34-35

2/12 Hamilton Southeastern W 49-30

2/13 at Carroll W 43-34

2/19 Warren Central W 56-47

2/23 at Crispus Attucks W 64-32

Carmel Sectional

3/5 Hamilton Southeastern W 46-33

3/6 Westfield W 53-27

Logansport Regional

3/13 Homestead W 60-49

3/13 Lafayette Jefferson W 50-49

Lafayette Jefferson Semi-State

3/20 Gary West Side W 53-50

LAWRENCE NORTH WILDCATS

Head Coach: Jack Keefer Record at LN: 787-304 (45th Year) Overall: 848-330 (49th Year)

Associated Press Poll (Four Classes): #3 Coaches Poll (Single Class): #3

Lawrence North making its fifth appearance in the state finals, aiming for fifth crown in boys basketball and first since 2006.  With a win, Lawrence North would become fourth school with five or more state championships (Marion, Muncie Central, Washington).  Wildcats, riding a 12-game winning streak, are 4-0 in previous state championship games.  Second meeting this season between the two schools following the Wildcats’ 63-49 home loss on Feb. 4.  Ranked teams they’ve faced this tournament: def. #5 Indianapolis Cathedral 75-63 in sectional first round def. #7 Warren Central 46-45 in sectional semifinals def. #6 Plainfield 43-39 for its first regional crown in 15 years. Finished second to Carmel in the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference race with a 6-1 record this year. Head coach Jack Keefer, in his 45th season, has been the only coach in school history, and is the second-winningest coach in state history (848 wins). He trails only J.R. Holmes of Bloomington South (861 wins), LN’s opponent in the semi-state.

Season Results (28-2)

12/5 Hammond W 52-51

12/9 Lawrence Central W 58-53

12/12 Cincinnati Moeller (Ohio) W 58-57

12/19 at Fort Wayne Northrop W 89-42

12/22 Fishers W 65-60

12/29 Indianapolis Tindley W 84-49

12/30 Gary West W 61-60

1/2 at Indianapolis Attucks W 67-56

1/8 Warren Central W 63-43

1/12 North Central (Indianapolis) W 69-59

1/13 at Lawrence Central W 81-67

1/15 Pike W 64-62

1/16 Warren Central W 59-56

1/22 North Central (Indianapolis) W 64-60

1/23 Homestead L 50-55

1/29 at Center Grove W 45-35

1/30 Jeffersonville W 55-50

2/4 Carmel L 49-63

2/6 at Connersville W 40-36

2/12 at Ben Davis W 57-39

2/13 at Fort Wayne Snider W 95-70

2/19 at Pike W 75-67

2/20 Floyd Central W 66-49

2/23 at Hamilton Southeastern W 68-42

Indpls. Aresenal Tech Sectional

3/3 Indianapolis Cathedral W 75-63

3/5 Warren Central W 46-45

3/6 North Central (Indianapolis) W 62-49

Southport Regional

3/13 Ben Davis W 58-44

3/13 Plainfield W 43-39

Seymour Semi-State

3/20 Bloomington South W 54-52

NFL owners approve 17-game regular season, 3 preseason games

Commencing with the upcoming 2021 campaign, the NFL is expanding its regular season to 17 games per team.

NFL owners voted in approval of the change Tuesday at the Annual League Meeting, which is taking place virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a monumental moment in NFL history,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “The CBA with the players and the recently completed media agreements provide the foundation for us to enhance the quality of the NFL experience for our fans. And one of the benefits of each team playing 17 regular-season games is the ability for us to continue to grow our game around the world.”

Each club will now take part in an additional AFC vs. NFC game based on division standings from the prior season and on a rotating divisional basis with AFC teams as the home squad for the additional game this season. The preseason schedule will now consist of three games per team. All 32 teams will play in at least one international game once every eight years, per the new enhanced schedule.

NFL Kickoff Weekend will begin Thursday, Sept. 9, and the regular season will end Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022.

Super Bowl LVI will take place Feb. 13, 2022 at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. The 2022 Pro Bowl will be played Sunday, Feb. 6 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

The new schedule brings about a historic change for the league, though one that has been expected.

Since 1978, the league has played a 16-game regular season, as it added two games to the previous 14-contest slate. Now it will add one more.

Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement from March 2020, the NFL first had to negotiate at least one new media contract to make the move to expand to 17 games. The league’s new media deal came to fruition and was announced on March 18, setting in motion the shift to 17 games.

Following the league’s drop in salary cap for the 2021 season as a result of COVID-19, the schedule expansion is expected to partially lighten the effects of the cap drop and create new revenue. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero noted the approval of the new media deal and the 17-game schedule will trigger the “media kicker” in the CBA, which will increase the players’ share of all revenue to more than 48 percent.

2021 NFL season: Team-by-team opponents for every game

AFC East

Buffalo Bills

  • Home: Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Football Team.
  • Away: Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans.

Miami Dolphins

  • Home: Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants.
  • Away: Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Las Vegas Raiders, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans.

New England Patriots

  • Home: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans.
  • Away: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Chargers.

New York Jets

  • Home: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans.
  • Away: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts.

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans.
  • Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings.

Baltimore Ravens

  • Home: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings.
  • Away: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, Miami Dolphins.

Cleveland Browns

  • Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Las Vegas Raiders.
  • Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots.

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers.
  • Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, New York Jets.

AFC South

Tennessee Titans

  • Home: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers.
  • Away: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks.

Indianapolis Colts

  • Home: Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • Away: Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers.

Houston Texans

  • Home: Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks.
  • Away: Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers.

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Home: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Atlanta Falcons, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers.
  • Away: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks.

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Home: Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • Away: Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans, Washington Football Team.

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Home: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.
  • Away: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers.

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Home: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • Away: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.

Denver Broncos

  • Home: Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.
  • Away: Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers.

NFC East

Washington Football Team

  • Home: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Away: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Las Vegas Raiders.

New York Giants

  • Home: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams.
  • Away: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Dallas Cowboys

  • Home: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders.
  • Away: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Home: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Football Team, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • Away: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Football Team, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, New York Jets.

NFC North

Green Bay Packers

  • Home: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, Washington Football Team.
  • Away: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers.

Chicago Bears

  • Home: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers.
  • Away: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Minnesota Vikings

  • Home: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks.
  • Away: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Chargers, San Francisco 49ers.

Detroit Lions

  • Home: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers.
  • Away: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks.

NFC South

New Orleans Saints

  • Home: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants.
  • Away: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans, Washington Football Team.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Home: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants.
  • Away: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.

Carolina Panthers

  • Home: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.
  • Away: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Home: Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.
  • Away: Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers.

NFC West

Seattle Seahawks

  • Home: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, Tennessee Titans.
  • Away: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Football Team.

Los Angeles Rams

  • Home: Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans.
  • Away: Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants.

Arizona Cardinals

  • Home: Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings.
  • Away: Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans.

San Francisco 49ers

  • Home: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings.
  • Away: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans.

Commissioner Roger Goodell: NFL expects to have full stadiums for 2021 season

(NFL RELEASE)

After a season unlike any other, with tarped-off rows of seats and fans spread sporadically with limited capacity at best, the NFL is preparing for a return to normalcy.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday the league expects to have full stadiums during the 2021 season.

The statement is a significant departure from the reality of the 2020 season, in which some teams went entirely without fans for a whole season, while others allowed reduced capacities in accordance with local and state guidelines.

When fans were in the stands, they were masked and required to remain distanced, and by the time Super Bowl LV arrived, a good portion of Raymond James Stadium’s seats were filled not with humans, but cardboard cutouts scattered among the fans lucky enough to secure a seat to watch the sport’s most significant contest. Despite these circumstances, the league was still able to welcome a total of 1.2 million fans to its games in 2020.

Goodell said much time was spent Tuesday at the Annual League Meeting — which is taking place virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — speaking about vaccines and education for players, coaches and staff to encourage all to get vaccinated, NFL Media’s Judy Battista reported.

Goodell’s Tuesday tone was, as NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted, strikingly optimistic with kickoff just five months away. Thanks to ramped up vaccination efforts across the nation, the hope is the football world can return to life as it knew it before the pandemic by the time kickoff weekend arrives.

With progress still to be made on the vaccination front and nearly half of a year’s worth of time remaining, a positive, hopeful approach is understandable. And while the NFL did a remarkable job in devising and directing testing, distancing, masking and quarantining efforts that set a standard other sports have since replicated, the league will again aim to take a leading role in the push toward a return to a more normal reality for sports and American life.

While at this point it’s too early to say for certain whether this will become a reality, it’s at the very least an optimistic approach following a year spent away from friends, family and for many, football. Here’s to hoping plenty can return to the ever-growing game in 2021.

NFL NEWS: Raiders extend LT Kolton Miller for three years, $54.015M

(NFL RELEASE)

Kolton Miller became the first 2018 draft pick to sign a multi-year extension.

The Las Vegas Raiders agreed to a three-year extension worth $18.005 million average per year in new money ($54.015 million total) with $42.6 million guaranteed, NFL Network Tom Pelissero reported, per a source informed of the deal.

ESPN first reported the news.

The pact keeps Miller in a Raiders uniform through the 2025 season. The No. 15 overall pick in 2018 had two years remaining on his rookie contract, including the fifth-year option, which the Raiders haven’t officially picked up yet but would have been a formality.

Miller’s $18 million per year in new money places him fifth among left tackles.

After struggling as a rookie, Miller is an excellent example of a young player growing into the job. The first-round pick has become one of the better left tackles in the league, with room to continue developing. He ranked 10th in the NFL last season in pass blocking among tackles, per Pro Football Focus. After allowing 65 pressures his first season, Miller has cut that number by more than half, allowing just 31 in 2020.

The extension continues the Raiders’ effort to go young on the offensive line. By 2025, $18 million per year could look like a bargain for a left tackle for Vegas.

2021 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE-JUSTIN FIELDS, OHIO STATE

Justin Fields projects as a franchise quarterback at the NFL level — he offers the blend of throwing ability, athleticism, stature and clutch play that will cause NFL teams to fall in love with his evaluation, even if his 2020 campaign showed some cracks in his play. Fields’ ability as a passer is top shelf when accounting for his natural delivery and how easily he’s proven to be able to throw around defenders or work himself into generating velocity and accuracy when on the move; the Buckeyes embraced rolling pocket with Fields at quarterback to take advantage of his arm strength and the subsequent access he’ll get to all areas of the field as a passer. Fields will kill man-coverage heavy teams with his legs; he’s big, strong and yet still quite dynamic as a runner — so breaking contain and converting third downs with his legs is a large staple of the conflict Fields is capable of putting you into as a player. There’s also plenty of examples of Fields successfully engineering option-based reps in the mesh point between zone read, RPO concepts and extending even to sparing use of the speed option, giving his NFL coordinator the full bag of tricks to create conflict defenders and isolate them in the game plan. It’s what Fields has largely done best. There are instances of overconfidence in his arm and continuing to quicken his process beyond the first read is a needed point of emphasis for Fields to stay “on schedule” and keep his sack totals down, but that is inevitably going to be part of his game that his pro team will have to be ready to live with in the same way it it true for quarterbacks like Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson and others. Their play can be a double-edged sword at times and so it will be for Fields, who is every bit as physically gifted as those previously mentioned named passers. Fields will need to arrive to a destination that embraces his ability to win with his legs and the QB run game or else run the risk of a bumpy road early on as a starting NFL quarterback; but if he is paired with a head coach or offensive coordinator who can pull the best parts of his college game and implement them in the NFL, Fields has the potential to splash early.

2021 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE-PENEI SEWELL, OREGON

Penei Sewell aligns at left tackle and is a good athlete overall, as evidenced in his initial quickness of the snap and his body control and balance in his set. In the run game, he demonstrates his physical toughness as an in-line blocker. He comes off the ball with the intent to maul you inside and he’s dominant on combo blocks. In the passing game, he demonstrates his competitiveness and length on the perimeter. He’s rarely on the ground, but has a few reps where his technique falters a bit and puts his body in tough positions. Later in his career, he will easily kick inside to guard if athletic edge rushers start to give him issues. He may ultimately prove to be a better fit inside. 

2021 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE-JAYLEN WADDLE, ALABAMA

Jaylen Waddle is a dynamic wideout that’s spent time on the outside, in the slot, and periodically as a chess piece in the backfield. Possessing a unique skill set, he’s a smaller wideout that contains a well diverse skill set. With notches of speed that most defenders are incapable of reaching, he plays the game with a jetpack. The former Crimson Tide wideout makes his surroundings look as if they’re moving in slow motion compared to his high level controlled speed. Containing consistent hands, he also has a wide catch radius that enables him to attack the ball at its apex when entering his target range. A player that can be used as an ultimate decoy with various types of motions, he forces defenses to always account for where he is on the field no matter where he aligns. His experience and vision as a return specialist carry over to his ability after the catch as he’s a “slice and dice” ball carrier that’s able to knife through defenses with ease no matter if he’s operating in tight spaces or with lots of green grass in front of him. Capable of running a variety of routes, he’s an all-levels threat that can have an equal impact as an explosive play generator no matter which domain he catches the ball in. An easy separation generator, he’s wise with his approach to running routes and plays the game in a controlled manner despite it looking like he’s in fast forward compared to everyone else on the field alongside him. Still needing polish on his routes in the intermediate areas as he can take extra steps at the top, the good far exceeds the bad in that department. Waddle only played in four games during the 2020 season as he suffered a fractured right ankle that resulted in surgery (Oct. 2020) to repair.

2021 NFL MOCK DRAFT UPDATE

1. Jacksonville Jaguars — Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

2. New York Jets — Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

3. San Francisco 49ers (via Houston and Miami) — Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

4. Atlanta Falcons — Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

5. Cincinnati Bengals — Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

6. Miami Dolphins (via Philadelphia Eagles) — Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

7. Detroit Lions — Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

8. Carolina Panthers — Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

9. Denver Broncos — Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC

10. Dallas Cowboys — Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

11. New York Giants — Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami

12. Philadelphia Eagles (via San Francisco and Miami) — DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

13. Los Angeles Chargers — Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

14. Minnesota Vikings — Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami

15. New England Patriots — Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern

16. Arizona Cardinals — Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

17. Las Vegas Raiders — Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

18. Miami Dolphins — Teven Jenkins, OL, Oklahoma State

19. Washington Football Team — Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

20. Chicago Bears — Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

21. Indianapolis Colts — Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

22. Tennessee Titans — Jalen Mayfield, OL, Michigan

23. New York Jets (via Seattle Seahawks) — Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

24. Pittsburgh Steelers — Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams) — Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

26. Cleveland Browns — Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State

27. Baltimore Ravens — Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

28. New Orleans Saints — Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

29. Green Bay Packers — Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama

30. Buffalo Bills — Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

31. Kansas City Chiefs — Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Aaron Robinson, CB, UCF

PURDUE MBB: EMMANUEL DOWUONA ENTERS PORTAL

Purdue sophomore forward Emmanuel Dowuona is the second Purdue player to enter the transfer portal.

Dowuona last played in the 2018-19 season playing in only nine games.

He redshirted during the 2018-19 season. 

PURDUE WBB: KAYANA TRAYLOR NOW IN TRANSFER PORTAL

Purdue’s leading scorer has decided to enter her name in the NCAA transfer portal. Kayana Traylor announced her plans to transfer Tuesday and use her final two years of eligibility to play elsewhere.

Overall, there are five players from last year’s team currently in the portal.

Traylor averaged 15 points per game and was named second-team All-Big Ten by the coaches.

INDIANA GUARD AL DURHAM HAS A NEW SCHOOL

Senior guard Al Durham won’t return to Indiana next season. He has chosen Providence for his fifth season of eligibility.

“First, thank you Hoosier Nation for 4 years full of lessons and growth that I will take on my next journey,” Durham posted to social media Tuesday.

Durham was the Hoosiers’ third-leading scorer last season at 11.4 points per contest, hitting 38% of his 3-point shots. 

The NCAA is expected to pass legislation this spring giving all athletes a one-time transfer without having to sit out one season.

PURDUE SWIMMING: Soldati Big Ten Coach of the Year for 10th Time

(PURDUE RELEASE)

ROSEMONT, Ill. – Purdue’s 13th NCAA championship title and the historic 1-2 finish by Brandon Loschiavo and Ben Bramley on the tower helped earn Adam Soldati his 10th career Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year award.

Soldati was recognized as the men’s Diving Coach of the Year after the Boilermakers scored in all three diving events at NCAAs for the 10th under his tutelage. His 10 career Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year honors are most among the league’s active coaches.

In Soldati’s 16 seasons at Purdue, he has won the award seven times (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2017, 2021) for his work with the men and three times (2009, 2014, 2020) with the women. The 10 total awards are believed to the second most in conference history, behind only Indiana’s Jeff Huber (13). The Big Ten’s end-of-the-year awards for swimming & diving were established for the women in 1984 and 1987 for the men.

Loschiavo capped his college career with a breakthrough victory on the tower, becoming Purdue’s fourth NCAA diving champion. He entered the meet as a three-time Big Ten champion and a USA Diving national champion in 10-meter events, but had not qualified for the championship final at NCAAs since his freshman year in 2017.

Bramley joined Loschiavo on the top spots on the podium, winning silver while improving on his prelim score by 60.9 points. Their 1-2 feat had not been accomplished by a set of teammates in any men’s diving event at NCAAs since at least 2007. They also won gold and bronze on the platform at the Big Ten Championships in February.

Greg Duncan was also an All-American on 1-meter this season, finishing in fifth place for the best individual showing at NCAAs of a distinguished springboard career. Duncan was able to overcome a back injury that severely limited his ability to hurdle, most prominently at Big Tens.

PURDUE’S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS UNDER SOLDATI

• 2009 – David Boudia on 3-Meter & Platform

• 2010 – David Boudia on 1-Meter & 3-Meter

• 2011 – David Boudia on 1-Meter & 3-Meter

• 2013 – Casey Matthews on 3-Meter

• 2015 – Steele Johnson on 1-Meter & Platform

• 2017 – Steele Johnson on 1-Meter & 3-Meter

• 2018 – Steele Johnson on 3-Meter

• 2021 – Brandon Loschiavo on Platform

While the accomplishments of the Purdue women were not factored into the voting this week, the Boilermakers also had a historic showing in the women’s platform at NCAAs this season. Maycey Vieta, Maggie Merriman and Emily Bretscher all finished among the top seven in the championship final of the event. A trio of Purdue divers in the platform final at NCAAs had also been achieved by the Purdue men in 2011 and 2015 – years that Soldati was also recognized as the league’s coach of the year.

Beginning in 2015, the Big Ten coaches opted to move the voting for swimming & diving’s yearly awards until after the NCAA Championships. Indiana’s Andrew Capobianco, the NCAA champion on 3-meter and Big Ten champ on 1-meter, was named the men’s Diver of the Year. He scored in all three events at both championship meets and was a unanimous selection for the Big Ten award.

Purdue divers accounted for 52 points at the men’s NCAA Championships this year, good for fourth most at the meet. They played a big role in the Boilermakers finishing 17th overall in the team scoring, the program’s ninth top-20 finish since 2005.

At the Zone C Championships (March 7-9), all six Boilermakers that competed qualified for NCAAs. They were also perfect 10-for-10 in event qualifications overall at Zones. Dating back to 2017, every Boilermaker that has competed at Zones has qualified for NCAAs.

Soldati also continues to mentor Olympic medalists David Boudia and Steele Johnson at the Morgan J. Burke Aquatic as they pursue a return trip to the Olympic Games this summer. Boudia, Johnson and Loschiavo will all represent USA Diving in synchronized events at the FINA Diving World Cup (April 18-23 in Tokyo). The U.S. Olympic Team Trials are set for June 6 to 13 in Indianapolis.

NOTRE DAME VOLLEYBALL: #22 IRISH CLOSE REGULAR SEASON VS. GEORGIA TECH & DUKE

(ND RELEASE)

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — No. 22 Notre Dame closes out the regular season with matchups against No. 23 Georgia Tech and Duke this Thursday & Friday (April 1-2) in Atlanta, Georgia. The Irish meet the Yellow Jackets on Thursday (April 1) at 6 p.m. ET in a match that will be streamed via ACC Network Extra. Then, Notre Dame takes on Duke in its regular-season finale on Friday (April 2) at 4 p.m. ET. That contest will not be streamed.

#22 NOTRE DAME vs. #23 GEORGIA TECH & DUKE

Location: Atlanta, Ga.

FOR STARTERS

The Irish enter the weekend at 12-3 (12-3 ACC) and have earned victories in three of their last four outings.

Notre Dame’s home contest against Virginia, originally slated for last Sunday (March 28) has been declared a no contest following Virginia’s cancellation of their spring season. The Irish receive a win for the sole purpose of ACC Standings, making them 12-3 in conference play, but not an official victory on their record.

Last weekend, the Irish honored their Class of 2021 and earned a four-set triumph over Clemson on Senior Night (March 26).

Charley Niego enters the weekend having earned a double-double in six of her eight seven outings.

Niego has totaled 60 kills and 32 digs in her last three matches.

TROPHY HUNTING

Entering the final weekend of the regular season, the Irish are in the mix to capture their first ACC Championship.

The Irish clinch the ACC crown, and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, with a pair of wins over Georgia Tech and Duke and one Louisville loss to either Miami or North Carolina.

The feat would mark the 18th regular season conference crown in program history, and first since joining the ACC.

Before joining the ACC, Notre Dame captured 17 regular season Big East titles and 15 Big East Tournament crowns.

HISTORY VS. GEORGIA TECH

The Irish and Yellow Jackets will be meeting for the 11th time on Thursday in Atlanta with Georgia Tech holding a 6-4 edge in the all-time series.

Notre Dame, which has won two of the past three meetings with Georgia Tech, will be looking to avenge a five-set defeat last season (11.24.19) in Atlanta.

In that matchup, Charley Niego paced the Irish with 23 kills while Caroline Meuth notched 15 kills and Zoe Nunez racked up 53 assists.

HISTORY VS. DUKE

Notre Dame & Duke will be closing the regular season against each other for the third consecutive campaign.

Duke earned a five-set win in Durham to close out 2018 before Notre Dame took down the Blue Devils in four sets on Senior Day 2019.

The Irish also downed Duke in Durham last October to take both matches in last year’s season series.

In that 2019 regular-season finale, Charley Niego became the first Irish player to have a 20-20 outing since Kristen Dealy did so in five sets against Delaware on Sept. 17, 2010.

Friday will be the 19th meeting between Notre Dame and Duke with the all-time series even at 9-9.

VALPO VOLLEYBALL: Volleyball Prepares For MVC Tournament

(VALPO RELEASE)

Valparaiso (11-9, 10-8 MVC)
at MVC Championship (Normal, Ill.)
Thursday, April 1 – vs. Bradley (12-6, 12-6 MVC) – 2 p.m.
Friday, April 2 – vs. Illinois State/Indiana State – 2 p.m.
Saturday, April 3 – MVC Championship Match – 5 p.m.

This Week in Valpo Volleyball: The Valpo volleyball team looks to bring home the spring 2021 Missouri Valley Conference title this week, as the Brown and Gold head to the MVC Championship in Normal, Ill. Valpo enters the tournament as the fifth seed in the eight-team field and will open tournament action Thursday afternoon against fourth-seeded Bradley.

Previously: Valpo concluded the regular season last weekend with a split of its two-match series at Evansville, falling to the Purple Aces in straight sets on Saturday before rebounding with a four-set victory in the regular season finale.

Looking Ahead: The winner of the MVC Championship earns the Valley’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Following the Action: Every match of the MVC Championship will be broadcast live on ESPN+. Live stats for all of Valpo’s matches will also be available via ValpoAthletics.com.

Head Coach Carin Avery: In her 19th season as head coach at Valparaiso, Carin Avery has won 423 matches (423-207, .671) at the helm of the Brown and Gold and has led Valpo to three league regular season and tournament titles, as well as three NCAA Tournament appearances. A two-time league Coach of the Year, Avery has coached 61 All-League recipients over her tenure at Valpo. She is Valpo’s all-time leader in both victories and winning percentage, and owns a 478-231 (.674) record overall as a head coach.

Series History: Bradley – 12-11 overall; 8-4 under Coach Avery; 5-4 since joining MVC; Valpo won 3-0 on March 7, BU won 3-1 on March 8 [at Valpo]
Illinois State – 3-10 overall; 3-10 under Coach Avery; 1-8 since joining MVC; ILS won 3-1 on Feb. 21, Valpo won 3-2 on Feb. 22 [at ILS]
Indiana State – 15-15 overall; 10-4 under Coach Avery; 5-3 since joining MVC; Valpo won 3-0 on March 21, INS won 3-1 on March 22 [at Valpo]
Drake – 10-4 overall; 9-3 under Coach Avery; 6-2 since joining MVC; Valpo won 3-1 on Feb. 28, Valpo won 3-2 on March 1 [at Drake]
UNI – 2-14 overall; 2-7 under Coach Avery; 2-7 since joining MVC; Valpo won 3-2 on March 14, Valpo won 3-0 on March 15 [at Valpo]
Missouri State – 3-8 overall; 3-7 under Coach Avery; 3-6 since joining MVC; MSU won 3-1 on Feb. 7, MSU won 3-2 on Feb. 8 [at MSU]
Loyola – 20-30 overall; 17-8 under Coach Avery; 5-3 since joining MVC; LUC won 3-2 on Jan. 25 [at LUC], Valpo won 3-1 on Feb. 1 [at Valpo]

Valpo In The Postseason: In 15 of head coach Carin Avery’s 18 seasons, Valpo has advanced to at least its conference tournament semifinal match. Valpo is 2-3 in its first three years as an MVC member in the conference tournament and advanced to the semifinals last season with a win over Bradley before falling to UNI. In 10 years in the Horizon League, Valpo was 11-10 in the HL Tournament and advanced to the semifinals nine times – including four berths in the title match. Prior to that, Valpo went 7-2 in its final five years in the Mid-Continent Conference in the Mid-Con Tournament, winning three tournament titles.

Outperforming the Preseason Poll: For the fourth time in as many seasons as an MVC member, Valpo outperformed its preseason pick in the coaches poll. This year marks the second straight year the Brown and Gold finished in fifth place after being projected seventh in the preseason, as the 2019 squad enjoyed the same finish. In 2018, Valpo closed the regular season in fourth position after being picked fifth in the preseason. Valpo was picked seventh in its first season as a conference member in 2017 before finishing in a tie for fifth place.

Another Top Half Finish: Valpo’s split of its final series of the regular season at Evansville ensured it of not only a winning record in conference play, but a top-half finish in the MVC standings, as the Brown and Gold closed the regular season in fifth position. Valpo has now finished in fifth or better each of its four years in the Valley, joining Illinois State as the other two programs who have finished in the top half each of the last four years. Going back further, Valpo has enjoyed a top-half finish in its league standings in 27 of the last 28 seasons.

Looking Back at 2019: Valpo finished the 2019 campaign with a 14-20 overall record and posted an 8-10 mark in MVC play to finish the regular season in fifth place in the conference standings, outperforming its preseason poll rank for a third straight year. The Brown and Gold advanced to the MVC semifinals for the second consecutive season. Rylee Cookerly was tabbed the MVC Libero of the Year and an AVCA Honorable Mention All-Region honoree and was joined by Peyton McCarthy as a First Team All-MVC member – giving Valpo multiple First Team All-MVC choices for the first time as an MVC program..

Digging Deep: Valpo has continued its long tradition of strong back row play this spring, entering the MVC Championship ranked third nationally and second in the Valley with 20.37 digs/set. The Brown and Gold have ranked among the top-30 nationally in digs/set in each of the last 10 seasons, including leading the nation with 20.03 digs/set in 2017 to go along with a fourth-place rank in 2010 and a sixth-place finish in 2015. 2018 saw Valpo lead the nation in a digs category as well, as it posted 2,613 total digs – a mark which not only ranked first nationally for total digs, but also set a program single-season record and a Division I record in the 25-point era.

Raking In Players of the Week: Valpo has racked up seven Player of the Week honors from the MVC office this season, with four different players receiving at least one award.
February 3 – Rylee Cookerly – Defensive Player of the Week – 5.71 digs/set, 33 serve receptions w/o error vs. Butler and Loyola
February 3 – Victoria Bulmahn – Freshman of the Week – 11.43 assists/set, 2.86 digs/set vs. Butler and Loyola
February 23 – Rylee Cookerly – Defensive Player of the Week – 6.79 digs/set, 40 digs at #13 Notre Dame, 32 digs in five-set win at Illinois State
March 2 – Bella Ravotto – Defensive Player of the Week – 6.22 digs/set in first career matches at libero at Drake
March 2 – Victoria Bulmahn – Freshman of the Week – 11.89 assists/set, 5.22 digs/set at Drake
March 23 – Victoria Bulmahn – Freshman of the Week – 11.14 assists/set, 5.14 digs/set vs. Indiana State
March 30 – Peyton McCarthy – Defensive Player of the Week – 1.71 blocks/set at Evansville

A Program First: Valpo earned its first-ever wins over UNI earlier this season, as the Panthers had owned a 14-0 record in the all-time series, which included a 1995 NCAA Tournament play-in match and eight meetings in Valpo’s first three years in the MVC. The Monday win over the Panthers was especially notable, as it was the first three-set win by an MVC program over UNI in regular season conference play since November 2017. Valpo also beat Illinois State earlier this year for its first MVC win over the Redbirds, meaning that the Brown and Gold have now beaten every Valley team at least once since joining the conference.

What A Comeback It Was: Valpo volleyball fans hadn’t seen the type of comeback that the Brown and Gold put forth in the Monday match at Drake in quite some time. Valpo held off four Drake match points in the fourth set before eventually earning the win, the first time since September 2010 versus EKU it had won a match where it stared down four match points. In fact, the last time Valpo won a match where it was on the wrong end of even just one match point opportunity previous to the win over the Bulldogs came in October 2013.

A Record-Setting Performance: The story of that come-from-behind win at Drake was the Valpo back-row defense. The 134 digs Valpo totaled set a program record for not just the 25-point era but any rally-scoring match, besting the mark of 129 set against Wright State in October 2016. The 134-dig mark is also fourth-most across all eras in program history and is the most in a single match since September 1994. No NCAA D-I team has bettered 134 digs in a single match since Missouri State did so at Drake in October 2017.

Dominant Close to the Match: Never before in the rally scoring era had Valpo delivered as crushing a fifth-set victory as it did in the Monday win at Illinois State. Valpo finished the match with a 15-2 win in set five to earn its first win over the Redbirds since joining the MVC. The defense got the job done in the final frame, as ISU hit -.438 and committed eight attack errors – four of which were Valpo blocks. Valpo previously owned two fifth-set wins in the rally scoring era by 15-3 finals.

Cookerly Continues to Dig: It’s been another stellar season in the back row for senior libero Rylee Cookerly. Cookerly enters the MVC Championship atop the conference and ranked 10th nationally with 5.78 digs/set. She has been in double figures in digs in each of the 18 matches she has played in, including 12 efforts of 20+ digs and four outings with 30 or more – highlighted by a 40-dig performance in an upset bid at #13 Notre Dame. With 2,514 career digs, Cookerly is the D-I active career leader in the category by over 400 digs. She enters tournament play second in program history and third in Valley history in career digs, and will enter the top-15 in NCAA history this weekend.

Bulmahn Sets Things Up: Freshman setter Victoria Bulmahn has looked like an old pro running the Valpo offense this spring. Bulmahn currently leads the Valley and ranks 24th nationally with 10.84 assists/set, second-most among all D-I freshmen. Valpo’s offense has averaged 13.22 kills/set in MVC play this spring, its highest total since joining the conference. Also strong in the back row, Bulmahn ranks second on the team and 12th in the MVC with 3.57 digs/set and has been in double figures in digs 14 times.

A Big Senior Year: Senior outside Jaclyn Bulmahn has enjoyed by far her best season in her time in the Valpo uniform this spring playing alongside her sister. Bulmahn leads Valpo with 3.05 kills/set – nearly a full kill per set higher than her 2019 average – and enters the tournament ranked seventh in the Valley with a .264 hitting percentage. She has reached double figures in kills 12 times and has hit .400 or better on five occasions. Bulmahn has led Valpo in the kills category nine times this spring, highlighted by a 23-kill effort against Southern Illinois and a 20-kill performance in a sweep of Indiana State – tying Valpo’s record for most kills in a three-set match in the 25-point era.

Balanced Offense: While Bulmahn has led the way offensively, she has not had to shoulder an onerous load on the attack, as on any given day, any of Valpo’s four primary attackers can step up and lead the offense. All four are averaging at least 2.30 kills/set, with three of the four hitting .240 or better. Junior outside Jillie Grant is averaging 2.83 kills/set, has been in double figures in kills 12 times and has led Valpo on five occasions. Grant has also reached 10 or more digs 16 times and owns 12 double-doubles. Junior middle Haley Hart has tallied 2.55 kills/set on .263 hitting, good for eigthh among MVC players. Hart has posted 10+ kills 13 times and has led Valpo in the category in three matches while also averaging 0.94 blocks/set. Finally, senior middle Peyton McCarthy hits .240 with 2.30 kills/set, has nine matches with 10+ kills and has led Valpo five times while also averaging 0.87 blocks/set.

Champions in the Classroom: Valpo had multiple players honored as the Valley unveiled its Scholar-Athlete Teams this week, highlighted by the selection of Rylee Cookerly as the conference’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Beyond her exploits on the court, Cookerly carries a 3.97 GPA as a nursing major, is a three-time Scholar-Athlete First Team honoree and has twice earned First Team Academic All-District recognition. Jillie Grant joined Cookerly as a Scholar Athlete First Team choice, as she owns a 3.83 GPA as an accounting and marketing double major. As a whole, the program prides itself on its success in the classroom, as Valpo has earned the AVCA Team Academic Award in 15 of the last 17 seasons.

VALPO FOOTBALL: Football Travels to Drake for Week 4 Showdown

(VALPO RELEASE)

Valparaiso (2-1, 2-1 PFL)
at Drake (1-1, 1-1 PFL)

Game #4 Saturday, April 3, 1 p.m.
Drake Stadium (14,557) – Des Moines, Iowa

This Week in Valpo Football: The Valparaiso University football team will attempt to build on its strong start to the season this week as the squad makes its way to Des Moines, Iowa to match up with Pioneer Football League foe Drake. Valpo will look to avenge its lone loss of the season thus far, which came at the paws of the Bulldogs in Week 2. If the Brown & Gold can build on their Hoosier Helmet victory from last week by topping Drake, it will mark the program’s first ever win in Des Moines. Valpo will face a team known as the Bulldogs for the fourth consecutive week.

Previously: Valpo defeated rival Butler for the second time this season, winning the Hoosier Helmet rivalry trophy in a 28-25 thriller this past Saturday at Brown Field. Valpo faced an 11-point second-half deficit, but scored 21 unanswered points en route to the victory. Robert Washington (120) and Chris Duncan (94) led the rushing attack and helped Valpo outgain Butler on the ground 220-115. Jaxon Peifer and Evan Annis had nine tackles apiece, while Keyon Turner made a key fourth-quarter interception to help seal the victory. Valpo’s Braden Contreras recovered a Butler onside kick with less than two minutes remaining to put the finishing touches on the significant triumph.  

Series Notes: Valpo will look to reverse its fortunes in the all-time series as Drake holds a 25-3 mark against the Brown & Gold. Valpo’s 17-6 setback in Week 1 marked the team’s 17th consecutive defeat against the Bulldogs, a skid that dates back to a 51-45 overtime victory on Oct. 25, 2003 at Brown Field. Valpo’s struggles in Des Moines have been even more pronounced as the program is 0-13 all-time at Drake Stadium, setting the stage for the current group to make history on Saturday. Valpo has been visiting Drake since 1994 and has never come home with a win. 

Following Valpo Football: The game will be broadcast on Bulldog Vision, which is available free of charge courtesy of Drake Athletics. Todd Ickow (play-by-play) and Paul Oren (analyst) will handle the Valpo Sports Network radio call, which is available on 95.1 FM Valparaiso and via the TuneIn Radio app. Links to live video, audio and stats are available on ValpoAthletics.com.

Head Coach Landon Fox: Landon Fox (3-12) completed his first season as the head coach of the Valparaiso University football program in 2019. In Year 1 of the Fox Era, Valpo ranked in the Top 5 in the PFL in scoring defense (32.0, fifth), total defense (381.6, fourth), rushing defense (184.2, fourth) and passing defense (197.3, fifth). The defense also thrived in critical down-and-distance situations, as the team’s opponent third-down conversion percentage of 32.4 ranked second in the league and its opponent fourth-down conversion percentage of 46.2 was third. After spending the previous 11 seasons as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at the University of Dayton, Fox was named the head football coach at Valpo prior to the 2020 season. His teams held opponents to an average of 19 points per game during his time as the defensive coordinator at Dayton. He helped the Flyers finish with 10 winning seasons in his 11 years on staff and guided a defensive backfield that produced one All-American, four Academic All-Americans, two PFL Special Teams Players of the Year and three corners who were invited to NFL Rookie Minicamp. Prior to joining Dayton’s staff, Fox served as the linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at Wayne State University in Detroit from 2005-2007. He also spent time as a defensive graduate assistant at Ball State University (2004), Dayton (2002-2003) and Lakeland College (2001). Fox began his coaching career as an assistant varsity coach at Preble Shawnee High School in Camden, Ohio during the 2000 season. During his playing days, Fox was a team captain and all-conference performer at Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio from 1995-1999 and graduated with a degree in physical education and health in May 2000 before earning his master’s degree in education from Lakeland in May 2002.

Washington Sweeps Weekly Honors

  • Junior running back Robert Washington was named the Pioneer Football League Offensive Player of the Week following his three-touchdown performance (two rushing, one receiving) that lifted Valpo to the 28-25 victory over Butler on March 27.
  • Washington also earned the College Sports Madness PFL Offensive Player of the Week distinction for the second time in the first three weeks of the season.
  • In addition, Washington received the team’s Offensive Player of the Week award and the Marines Valpo Valor Player of the Game honor from Valpo Athletics.
  • The Old Dominion transfer accounted for three touchdowns – two rushing and one receiving – in the Hoosier Helmet victory. He ran for 120 yards to help the Brown & Gold outrush the Bulldogs 220-115.
  • Washington accrued 26 carries and a long of 21 while adding one reception, the 9-yard TD catch. His touchdown runs came from 5 yards and 1 yard out.

Turner Turns Over Opponents

  • Valpo freshman Keyon Turner has been involved in a key turnover in each of his first three collegiate games. He recovered a fumble in Week 1 at Butler before notching an interception in Week 2 vs. Drake and Week 3 vs. Butler.
  • Turner’s interception on March 27 vs. Butler came with 6:09 remaining in the fourth quarter and Valpo leading 21-17. He made the interception at the Butler 13 and returned it 12 yards to the 1, setting up an insurance score that made it 28-17. The play proved pivotal in the eventual three-point triumph.
  • After his key pick that went along with five tackles and a pass breakup, Turner was named PFL co-Offensive Player of the Week on March 28.

#HELMET

  • For the first time in program history, Valpo faced Butler twice in the same season. The Brown & Gold created another first by sweeping the season series from their instate rivals with a 24-14 victory on March 13 in Indianapolis and a 28-25 win on March 27 at Brown Field.
  • The matchup has occurred every season since 1951.
  • This marks the first time Valpo has won four of five over Butler since winning seven straight from 1994-2000. Valpo’s only defeat in the last five matchups came by three points in 2019.
  • The Hoosier Helmet rivalry trophy will officially reside in Northwest Indiana through at least next autumn, as the March 27 game at Brown Field decided which school would own the Hoosier Helmet for this season.

A Strong Spring Start

  • Valpo holds it best record through three games since 2007 and its best league record through three PFL contests since 2003.
  • If the team can win on Saturday and get to 3-1, the Brown & Gold will own the program’s best mark through four games since those same years, as Valpo began the 2007 season with an overall record of 3-1 and the 2003 PFL season with a league mark of 3-1.
  • A win on Saturday would mark Valpo’s first set of back-to-back victories since beating Butler and Dayton in the final two games of the 2017 campaign.
  • A win on Saturday would assure Valpo of at least a .500 record, securing at least the team’s second-best winning percentage over the last 17 seasons.

Winning the Turnover Battle

  • Valpo has forced six turnovers and committed only two this season, a +4 turnover margin and a +1.33 turnover margin per game.
  • Landon Fox’s squad is one of nine teams in the nation with a turnover margin of +1.33 per game or better. Among teams that have played more than one game this spring, Valpo is one of six squads nationally in Division-I FCS with a per game turnover margin of +1.33 or better.
  • Valpo is one of 14 teams nationally that has not lost a fumble, and one of three teams in the nation that has no fumbles lost and three or more fumbles recovered.
  • In Valpo’s two victories over Butler, the Brown & Gold did not commit any turnovers while forcing a combined four.

National Notes

  • Valpo defensive back Keyon Turner is one of seven freshmen in the FCS nation with multiple interceptions this season, and he’s the lone rookie on that list who has played three games or fewer.
  • Valpo punter Ben Niesner continues to lead the PFL at 41.8 yards per punt, an average that ranks 14th nationally in Division-I FCS.
  • Robert Washington’s 199-yard rushing performance from March 13 at Butler is the eighth-highest single game rushing output in the FCS nation so far this season and the highest among PFL players.
  • Washington is averaging 113.3 rushing yards per game, a number that ranks ninth nationally in Division-I FCS.
  • Valpo has allowed just one sack per game, tied for ninth nationally in that area. In addition, the team ranks 26th in the nation in rushing offense at 180.7 yards per game. Those numbers attest to the performance of Valpo’s young offensive line so far this season.

Winning a Close One

  • Valpo lost three straight games by six points or fewer late in the 2019 season before closing the year with a 12-point setback that was closer than the final score would indicate.
  • That was the first time Valpo lost three straight by seven points or fewer since 1960.
  • Those struggles in tight games made winning close contests an important key entering the 2021 spring season, and Valpo came through in that regard on March 27 vs. Butler, prevailing 28-25.
  • The three-point win was Valpo’s closest triumph in a head-to-head meeting with Butler since a 19-17 victory on Oct. 18, 1997.
  • The Week 3 victory over the Bulldogs also marked Valpo’s first win in a game that featured a single-figure margin since Nov. 18, 2017, an 8-7 win over Dayton.

WRIGHT STATE WSOCCER: Kemp and Krupp help women’s soccer ice penguins Tuesday afternoon

(WRIGHT STATE RELEASE)

Two late second half goals were the difference for the Wright State women’s soccer team as they defeated Youngstown State 2-1, Tuesday afternoon at Alumni Field.

With the win, Wright State improves to 4-4-0 overall with the same mark in Horizon League play while Youngstown State falls to 0-7-1 overall and 0-7-1 in the conference. The Raiders are currently in seventh place in the Horizon League standings heading into their final game of the season. This year’s Horizon League Tournament is taking the top four teams only, based on league points per match.

Youngstown State was first to score after a scoreless first half, as the Penguins found the center of the next just 43 seconds into the second half to put the visitors up 1-0. Wright State found the momentum following halftime to outshoot YSU 12-4 and record two corner kicks.

In the final seven minutes of the contest, Wright State tallied both its goal to earn the victory. Sidney Kemp headed a corner kick from Regan Clark in the 84th minute to tie the match at 1-1 with just over seven minutes to play. Notably, Kemp’s goal marked her first as a Raider. Just over three minutes later Wright State took the lead as Josie Krupp’s shot bounced into the goal off a Penguin defender in the 87th minute.

BY THE NUMBERS

Wright State found the advantage in total shots 20-14 (11-7 on goal). The Penguins found the edge in the first half 10-8, but the Raiders came back to find a 12-4 leverage in the second half.

Lauren Borchert tallied a team-leading six shots (one on goal), while Kaley Mincy added four shots (three on goal). Lena Jenssen recorded three shots (two on goal) for the Raiders.

Prior to an injury that took her out for the remainder of the match, Jessika Seward tallied six saves for the Raiders while YSU’s Brooklyn Kirkpatrick tallied nine.

UP NEXT

Wright State hits the road for the final contest of the regular season as they will make the short trip to Northern Kentucky. The Raiders and Norse will kick off at 1:00 p.m. from Highland Heights, Kentucky.

WRIGHT STATE MEN’S SOCCER: Conrad leads Raiders past Robert Morris Tuesday

(WRIGHT STATE RELEASE)

The Wright State men’s soccer team tallied its fourth victory of the spring season on the road over Robert Morris 1-0, Tuesday morning.

With the win, the Raiders improve to 4-3-1 overall (4-3-1 HL) while Robert Morris falls to 1-5-1 overall (1-5-1 HL). Wright State is now in sixth place in the Horizon League standings heading into the final game of the season. This year’s Horizon League Tournament is taking the top four teams only, based on league points per match.

Robert Morris earned an early corner kick in the 2nd minute but could not convert and was cleared out by the Raiders. Wright State earned a corner of their own in the 12th and just narrowly missed on converting when Rody Harrison pushed his effort wide.

After taking a ball at midfield, Ludwig Conrad cut through the Colonial defense on a pass from Presten Manthey in the 29th minute before pulling up near the corner of the 18-yard box, firing a hard strike that past RMU’s keeper into the upper left-hand corner to give the Raiders a 1-0 advantage. Conrad’s goal in the 29th minute also marked both his first goal of the season and of his career.

Notably, Tuesday marked Isaiah Slabaugh’s first shutout of the season.

BY THE NUMBERS

Wright State found the advantage in total shots 18-10, while also earning a 9-3 edge in shots on goal. The Raiders outshot the Colonials 10-4 in the second half.

Presten Manthey tallied a team-leading four shots (one on goal), while Joe Kouadio and Chris Geddis each recorded two shots (two on goal). Jared Edmonson and Zion Beaton also took two shots, with Edmonson had one shot on goal.

In route to earning his first shutout of the season, Slabaugh tallied three saves.

Notably, Tuesday’s match marked the second consecutive victory over Robert Morris dating back to a 2-0 victory over RMU on September 5, 2014.

UP NEXT

The Raiders will remain on the road for their final contest of the spring season, as they will make the short trip to Fort Wayne and take on Purdue Fort Wayne – Monday, April 5 at 1:00 p.m.

Indiana and Penn State Claim Weekly Men’s Soccer Awards
Hoosiers’ Celentano and Wittenbrink, Nittany Lions’ Reedy and Shakes earn weekly honors

Co-Offensive Players of the Week
Ryan Wittenbrink, Indiana
F – So. – Libertyville, Ill. – Libertyville

  • Scored a golden goal in the 101st minute to give the Hoosiers a 1-0 victory against No. 11 Michigan in double overtime
  • Netted his third goal of the season, good for second on the team
  • Added three shots in a win against Northwestern
  • Claims his first career Offensive Player of the Week award
  • Last Indiana Offensive Player of the Week: Brett Bebej (March 16, 2021)

Pierre Reedy, Penn State
M – Sr. – Kutztown, Pa. – Kutztown Area

  • Registered the game-winning goal for Penn State against Wisconsin on a penalty kick in the 87th minute to secure the Nittany Lions’ fourth-straight win
  • Tallied his second game-winning goal of the season
  • Tied for second on the team with three goals on the year
  • Earns his first career Offensive Player of the Week award
  • Last Penn State Offensive Player of the Week: Peter Mangione (Feb. 24, 2021)

Co-Defensive Players of the Week
Roman Celentano, Indiana
GK – So. – Naperville, Ill. – Neuqua Valley

  • Recorded a pair of shutouts as the Hoosiers defeated Northwestern and No. 11 Michigan
  • Extended his shutout streak to 346:30, including three consecutive clean sheets
  • Improved his career shutout total to 13, including six in eight appearances this season
  • Claims his fourth career Defensive Player of the Week award and third in as many weeks
  • Last Indiana Defensive Player of the Week: Roman Celentano (March 23, 2021)

Kris Shakes, Penn State
GK – So. – Sunrise, Fla. – YSC Academy

  • Posted two shutouts in net last week for Penn State against Ohio State and Wisconsin to improve to 5-0-0 this season and 14-1-0 in his career
  • Made five saves against the Buckeyes and three stops against the Badgers
  • Has not allowed a goal in 307:40 of action
  • Earns his first career Defensive Player of the Week award
  • Last Penn State Defensive Player of the Week: Josh Levine (Oct. 1, 2019)

Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Purdue Earn Big Ten Men’s Swimming and Diving Awards

Hoosiers’ Capobianco named Diver of the Year and Golden Gophers’ McHugh titled Swimmer of the Year

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced the 2021 Big Ten Men’s Swimmer, Diver, Swimming Coach and Diving Coach of the Year awards, as voted on by the conference coachesIndiana’s Andrew Capobianco was awarded Diver of the Year, Michigan’s Mike Bottom was honored as Swimming Coach of the Year, Minnesota’s Max McHugh earned Swimmer of the Year and Purdue’s Adam Soldati was named Diving Coach of the Year.

McHugh earned unanimous Swimmer of the Year plaudits after earning gold in the 100-yard breaststroke (50.18) and 200-yard breaststroke (1:49.02) at the NCAA Championships. With his 50.18 time in the 100-yard breaststroke on Friday night, McHugh earned Minnesota’s first NCAA individual men’s swimming title in 57 years (Walt Richardson, 1967 – 100-yard butterfly) and set a Minnesota-best in the event. The junior posted Greensboro Aquatic Center pool records in both events and became the first swimmer in Minnesota men’s history to win two NCAA titles.

McHugh also swept the breaststroke events at the 2021 Big Ten Swimming Championships, finishing the 100-yard breaststroke in 50.59 and the 200-breaststroke in 1:50.93. The Sturgeon Bay, Wis., native set a new Big Ten Championships meet record in the prelims of the 100-yard breaststroke by touching in 50.19.

Capobianco was voted Diver of the Year unanimously after winning the 3-meter event (505.20) at the NCAA Championships for the second time in his career. He became only the second Hoosier in men’s program history to defend their title (Jim Henry, 1969-70). The junior finished first at the Big Ten Diving Championships on the 1-meter board with 437.35 points and fourth on the 3-meter board with 414.80 points, earning him Co-Diver of the Championships honors.

Bottom earned Big Ten Swimming Coach of the Year honors for the second season in a row after the Wolverines won their second conference title in as many years. Bottom received Big Ten Men’s Swimming Coach of the Year accolades for the seventh time in his career and second since earning five consecutive honors from 2011-15. Michigan earned its 42nd Big Ten Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships title under Bottom’s guidance in 2021, when the Wolverines won three Big Ten individual or relay titles, set 49 new career bests and had 11 swimmers reach the all-time top performers list. Michigan and Bottom finished their season 12th at the NCAA Championships with four All-Americans. 

Soldati earns his seventh Big Ten Men’s Diving Coach of the Year title (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2017, 2021). Soldati claims the award after helping Brandon Loschiavo and Ben Bramley finish first and second, respectively, on the platform dive at the NCAA Championships. Adding to the All-American count, Greg Duncan finished fifth on the 3-meter. Soldati guided the duo of Loschaivo and Bramley at the Big Ten Diving Championships as they finished first and third on platform and Loschaivo picked up 23 more points with a seventh-place finish on the 3-meter.

Swimmer of the Year

Max McHugh, Jr., Minnesota*

Diver of the Year

Andrew Capobianco, Jr., Indiana*

Swimming Coach of the Year

Mike Bottom, Michigan

Diving Coach of the Year

Adam Soldati, Purdue

Michigan State, Nebraska and Northwestern Earn Baseball Weekly Honors

Wildcats’ Goosenberg named Player of the Week; Huskers’ Povich earned Pitcher of the Week; Spartans’ Powers and Scarlet Knights’ Lasko split Freshman of the Week 

Player of the Week
Shawn Goosenberg, Northwestern

SS – Jr. – Encino, Calif. – Calabasas

  • Delivered a 1.313 slugging percentage to help the Wildcats win at Illinois for their third series win in a row
  • Went 9-for-16 (.563) at the plate, with six runs scored, eight RBI, three doubles and three home runs
  • Led Northwestern in Monday’s series finale with a five-RBI day, belting a pair of two-run home runs, as well as an RBI double
  • The Academic All-Big Ten honoree wins his first career Big Ten Player of the Week award
  • Last Northwestern Big Ten Player of the Week: Jack Dunn (May 6, 2019)

Pitcher of the Week

Cade Povich, Nebraska

P – Jr. – Bellevue, Neb. – Bellevue West

  • Struck out 10 over a career-high 7.0 shutout innings in a March 26 series-opening win vs. Minnesota
  • Has now recorded double-digit strikeouts in two of his last three starts, including a career-high 12 against Ohio State on March 12
  • Put the Gophers down in order three times on Friday and allowed just four hits and no walks
  • Wins his first career Big Ten Pitcher of the Week award
  • Last Nebraska Big Ten Pitcher of the Week: Nate Fisher (March 11, 2019)

Co-Freshmen of the Week
Nick Powers, Michigan State

P – Flushing, Mich. – Flushing

  • Fired 6.2 shutout innings in earning the win against conference leader Indiana on Sunday, running his scoreless inning streak to 15 consecutive innings
  • Struck out three and did not allow an Indiana runner past second base until the seventh, limiting the Hoosiers to a season-low four hits while tying a season low with just one run 
  • Earned win in his first home game inside McLane Stadium at Kobs Field, retiring Indiana in three-up, three-down fashion in both the first and second innings, and didn’t face more than four batters until the sixth inning
  • Wins his first Big Ten Freshman of the Week award
  • Last Michigan State Big Ten Freshman of the Week: Mason Erla (March 12, 2018)

Ryan Lasko, Rutgers

OF – Jackson, N.J. – Jackson Memorial

  • Tallied six RBI on four hits and scored four runs while batting .429 last weekend vs. Purdue to lead Rutgers to its best start to a Big Ten season through 14 games (8-6) since joining the conference
  • Hit two home runs and three doubles as he registered a .467 on-base percentage and 1.071 slugging percentage
  • Collected three doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored in the rubber-game win on Sunday, becoming the first Scarlet Knight with three doubles in a game since 2010
  • Wins his first Big Ten Freshman of the Week award
  • Last Rutgers Big Ten Freshman of the Week: Josh Rodriguez (March 16, 2021)

Michigan, Nebraska and Northwestern Earn Big Ten Weekly Softball Awards

Wolverines’ Storako, Huskers’ Andrews and Wildcats’ Newport secure this week’s conference plaudits

Player of the Week

Morgan Newport, Northwestern

Grad. – OF/LHP – DeKalb, Ill. – DeKalb – Major: Biological Sciences

• Batted .615 with a 1.154 slugging percentage and .667 on-base percentage, along with two home runs, eight hits, three RBI and four runs scored in NU’s four-game sweep of Wisconsin last weekend

• Also shone in the circle with a 2-0 record, tossing 9.1 scoreless innings, including a three-hit complete-game shutout in the nightcap of a March 27 doubleheader

• A three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection (2018, 2019, 2020)

• Earns her first career Player of the Week honor

• Last Northwestern Player of the Week: Rachel Lewis (Feb. 17, 2020)

Pitcher of the Week

Alex Storako, Michigan

Jr. – RHP – Frankfort, Ill. – Lincoln Way East – Major: Sport Management

• Went 2-0 with a 0.49 ERA, one complete game, one combined shutout, 23 strikeouts and only four walks in 14.1 innings last week, helping the Wolverines sweep a four-game weekend series at Indiana

• Allowed just one run on four hits and struck out 17 in a nine-inning win on March 27

• Shared shutout in series finale on Sunday, yielding only two hits and fanning six in the first five innings

• Named an Academic All-Big Ten selection in 2020

• Collects her second career Pitcher of the Week plaudit

• Last Michigan Pitcher of the Week: Meghan Beaubien (March 2, 2021)

Freshman of the Week

Billie Andrews, Nebraska

IF – Gretna, Neb. – Gretna – Major: Graphic Design

• Posted a .667 batting average, 1.133 slugging percentage and .667 on-base percentage with a home run, 10 hits, five RBI and six runs scored as the Huskers took three of four games vs. Penn State last week

• Had multi-hit games in all four outings against the Nittany Lions, led by a career-high three-hit outing (including a triple and home run) and career-best three RBI in the opener of a March 27 doubleheader

• Scored a career-high two runs in both games of that same twinbill

• Receives her first career Freshman of the Week award

• Last Nebraska Freshman of the Week: Lindsey Walljasper (Feb. 18, 2019)

Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin Collect Big Ten Weekly Women’s Soccer Honors

Golden Gophers’ Boman and Stekr, Buckeyes’ Flotre, Nittany Lions’ Tagliaferri and Badgers’ Bloomer earn this week’s conference accolades

Offensive Player of the Week

Frankie Tagliaferri, Penn State

Sr. – F – Colts Neck, N.J. – Colts Neck – Major: Kinesiology-Movement Science

• Registered a goal and an assist in Penn State’s two wins last week, securing the Nittany Lions’ 20th Big Ten title and 16th outright championship

• Scored PSU’s opening (and eventual game-winning) goal in Sunday’s 3-0 title-clinching victory at Nebraska

• Set up Ally Schlegel’s 21st-minute goal in 1-0 win at Iowa on March 25

• Named an Academic All-Big Ten selection the past two seasons and a 2018-19 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar

• Earns her first career Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week award

• Last Penn State Offensive Player of the Week: Ally Schlegel (March 22, 2021)

Defensive Player of the Week

Delaney Stekr, Minnesota

Jr. – D – Omaha, Neb. – Marian – Major: History

• Started and played every minute on Minnesota’s backline in the Golden Gophers’ shutout wins over Purdue and Maryland last week

• Recorded her first career point on March 25, assisting on Sophia Boman’s 83rd-minute goal in Minnesota’s 1-0 win over Purdue

• Earned recognition as a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and Academic All-Big Ten honoree last year

• Secures her first career Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week award

• Last Minnesota Defensive Player of the Week: Katie Koker (March 9, 2021)

Goalkeeper of the Week

Jordyn Bloomer, Wisconsin

Sr. – Hartland, Wis. – Arrowhead – Major: Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis

• Posted a pair of shutouts (giving her a conference-high seven this year) and made a combined 11 saves in Wisconsin’s victories over Maryland and 19th-ranked Rutgers last week

• Recorded six stops (five in the second half) of Sunday’s 1-0 win over the Scarlet Knights

• Added five saves in a 2-0 win over the Terrapins on March 25

• Earns her third career Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Week award

• Last Wisconsin Goalkeeper of the Week: Jordyn Bloomer (Oct. 29, 2019)

Co-Freshman of the Week

Sophia Boman, Minnesota

M – Edina, Minn. – Edina – Major: Undeclared

• Netted the lone goal with 7:52 remaining to lift the Golden Gophers past Purdue on March 25

• Played every minute in Minnesota’s two conference wins last week over the Boilermakers and Maryland

• Helped the Golden Gophers blank Maryland on Sunday for their sixth shutout this season

• Collects her second career Freshman of the Week accolade

• Last Minnesota Freshman of the Week: Sophia Boman (March 16, 2021)

Co-Freshman of the Week

Kine Flotre, Ohio State

M – Fjellhamar, Norway – Vaalerenga – Major: Undeclared

• Scored an unassisted goal 9:14 into Sunday’s game vs. Northwestern, giving the Buckeyes all the offense they would need in a 1-0 victory

• Contributed in securing the midfield in OSU’s 2-0 win over Indiana on March 25, limiting the Hoosiers to two shots on goal (one in each half)

• Helped the Buckeyes extend their unbeaten streak to five games and their winning streak to three in a row

• Receives her first career Freshman of the Week plaudit

• Last Ohio State Freshman of the Week: Emaly Vatne (Sept. 4, 2018)

HCAC Spring 2021 Football Notebook, Week 4 

Athletes of the Week:
Offensive:
Tyson Harley (New Palestine, Ind.) Anderson University | Quarterback | Sophomore – Harley threw for 379 yards and five touchdowns during Anderson’s 55-27 win against Manchester. He also rushed for 22 yards and another touchdown. Harley completed 32-of-43 (74.4 percent) passes.
Defensive:
Kreevon Maple (Eustis, Fla.) Anderson University | Defensive Back | Senior – Maple picked off two passes and recorded 59 interception return yards during Anderson’s 55-27 win against Manchester. He also recorded nine tackles, Anderson’s second-highest total of the day.
Special Teams:
Austin Steurer (Warsaw, Ky.) Hanover College | Kicker | Senior – Steurer broke the Hanover College record on Saturday with 178 career kicking points to propel the Panthers past Rose-Hulman. Austin converted all three extra point attempts and made two field goals in the contest. The first field goal was for 24 yards while the second was a pressure-packed attempt for 29 yards with 13 seconds left in the game. Austin broke the school record and nailed the game winning field goal after a midweek accident left him with several stitches in his left leg.
 
Notable Performances:

  • Bryce Williams (Fort Branch, Ind.) Anderson University | Kicker | Sophomore – Williams converted 7-of-8 extra-points in Anderson’s 55-27 win against Manchester.
  • Jarrett Gibson (Angola, Ind.) Franklin College | Wide Receiver | Sophomore – Gibson hauled in a career-high 11 passes for 155 yards for Franklin on Saturday afternoon in a 26-21 win over Bluffton.
  • Kody Wilkerson (Chesterton, Ind.) Franklin College | Linebacker | Sophomore – Wilkerson led the way for the Franklin defense in their 26-21 win over Bluffton on Saturday, recording a career-high 12 tackles and forcing a critical turnover in the first half that ended a Bluffton drive near the Franklin goal line.
  • Dylan Boswell (Butlerville, Ind.) Franklin College | Punter | Sophomore – Boswell recorded four punts that totaled 165 yards in the Grizzlies’ win over Bluffton on Saturday afternoon. He stuck three of his four punts inside the Bluffton 20 yard line and set a new career record with an 81-yard punt late in the third quarter, flipping the field in Franklin’s favor.
  • Matthew Weimer (Georgetown, Ind.) Hanover College | Quarterback | Junior – Weimer tallied a game-high 284 yards through the air with one passing touchdown to lead the Blue and Red past Rose-Hulman for sole possession of first place in the HCAC. He finished the afternoon 20-for-36 with his longest pass registering at 37 yards. The junior added eight carries for 25 yards.
  • Cam Maier (Mount Vernon, Ind.) Hanover College | Linebacker | Senior – Maier led the defensive efforts for Hanover as he tallied eight total tackles including two solo to lead Hanover past Rose-Hulman. He also registered a sack for a loss of five yards.
  • Julius Fisher (St. Mary’s, Ohio) Mount St. Joseph University | Linebacker | Junior – Fisher led the Lions defense in the team’s 41-21 win over Defiance on Saturday. He was outstanding against the Yellow Jackets potent rushing attack. Registering 14 total tackles (eight solo) and a pair of tackles for loss.
  • Troy Speakman (Grove City, Ohio) Mount St. Joseph University | Return Specialist | Senior – Kick/Punt returner Troy Speakman was outstanding for the Lions. In the win over Defiance he returned five punts for 119 total yards for a 23.8 yard average. Which included a 55-yard punt returned for a touchdown.
  • Adam Saliu (Java, Va.) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology | Wide Receiver | Sophomore – Saliu had career-highs of seven receptions for 128 yards, including a 50-yard catch, to lead Rose-Hulman’s offense in a narrow 27-24 loss at Hanover.
  • Kyzer Bowen (Centreville, Mich.) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology | Linebacker | Sophomore – Bowen had a career-high 15 tackles and a team-high three tackles-for-loss to lead the Rose-Hulman defense in a narrow 27-24 loss to Hanover. Bowen had seven solo and eight assisted tackles on the day.
  • Adam Clark (Sherman, Ill.) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology | Kicker | Senior – Clark finished a perfect 3-3 on extra points for Rose-Hulman and hit a 33-yard field goal with 6:31 remaining to tie the score – in what became a narrow 27-24 loss to Hanover. 

HCAC Spring 2021 Men’s Soccer Notebook, Week 4

Athletes of the Week:
Offensive:
Takezo Kelly (Cincinnati, Ohio) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology | Forward | Sophomore – Kelly scored a hat trick in the first half of Rose-Hulman’s 9-0 win over Earlham. He also contributed two shots in a 2-2 draw against Hanover. For the week, Kelly helped Rose-Hulman finish 1-0-1 with three goals, six shots, five shots on goal and one game winning score.
Defensive:
Elliott Clark (Brownstown, Ind.) Franklin College | Goalkeeper | Junior – Clark turned in two more strong performances in goal as Franklin went 1-0-1 on the week. He allowed one goal in each game and stopped 18 total shots and made eight saves on Wednesday night as Franklin battled Bluffton to a 1-1 draw. He matched a career-high with 10 saves in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Anderson and leads the HCAC in qualified keepers with 7.33 saves per game and an .846 save percentage.
 
Notable Performances:

  • Hunter Coffey (Wapakoneta, Ohio) Bluffton University | Forward | Sophomore – Coffey netted Bluffton’s only goal of the week in a 1-1 tie at Franklin on Wednesday night under the lights.
  • Bennett Pack (Glasgow, Ky.) Defiance College | Defense | Senior – Pack led the Defiance back line to a 1-0 shutout win against Mount St. Joseph last Wednesday and then scored the Yellow Jackets’ first goal to change the momentum and get DC back in the match at Transylvania on Saturday. Down 3-0 to Transy, Defiance wound up losing, 3-2.
  • Jacob Thompson (Salem, Ind.) Franklin College | Forward | Senior – Thompson scored a pair of goals in the final 10 minutes for Franklin in their 3-1 win over Anderson on Saturday afternoon, recording the first two-goal game of his career and scoring his first ever game-winning goal.
  • Luke Eppler (Evansville, Ind.) Hanover College | Forward | Junior – Eppler played a key role in helping guide the Panthers to a 1-0-1 week. He netted two goals with an assist as the junior tallied a team-high five points. In the 2-2 tie with Rose-Hulman, Eppler delivered the first blow just 10 minutes into the contest. He carried the momentum into the weekend adding a goal and an assist as Hanover defeated Bluffton 5-0.
  • Will Bedel (Walton, Ky.) Hanover College | Goalkeeper | Senior – Bedel posted a 1-0-1 week in goal for the Panthers as he charted 10 saves. He finished with a .833 save percentage through 169 minutes of work.
  • Harley Kruschwitz (North Manchester, Ind.) Manchester University | Forward | First Year – Kruschwitz scored a pair of goals for Manchester in it’s lone game of the week on Saturday against Mt. St. Joseph. Harley scored in the 37th and 81 minutes as MU improved to 4-3 this season. Kruschwitz now has four goals this season.
  • Elliott Mozingo (Fishers, Ind.) Manchester University | Defense | First Year – Mozingo anchored a Manchester defensive line that not only shutout Mt. St. Joseph on Saturday, but held the Lions to just five shots, none of which were fired on goal. MU stands 4-3 with the win heading into Wednesday’s game against Bluffton.
  • Evan Hofer (St. Louis, Mo.) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology – Hofer had a 1.16 Goals Against Average and a pair of saves as Rose-Hulman finished 1-0-1 last week. Hofer had two saves in a 2-2 draw with Hanover and played the first 45 minutes in a 9-0 win over Earlham.
  • Max Nusbacher (Lexington, Ky.) Transylvania University | Midfield | Junior – Nusbacher had the go-ahead goal in Transylvania’s 3-0 win at Earlham on Wednesday with the first score of the game in the 27th minute to spur a 2-0 week in HCAC play to push the Pioneers’ record to 7-1. In Saturday’s 3-2 win over Defiance, Nusbacher provided an assist for the second goal of the match for the Pioneers. Nusbacher finished the week with three points, the most of any Pioneer over this week’s two matches.
  • Zach Hill (Mt. Sterling, Ky.) Transylvania University | Defense | Senior – The senior led the Pioneers to another shutout victory and a 2-0 week in HCAC play by anchoring a lockdown Pioneer defense. Hill steered Transylvania to its fifth shutout victory of the season on Wednesday in a 3-0 win at Earlham. Hill’s backline held Earlham without a shot over 90 minutes while the Pioneers crafted a 13-shot advantage and an eight shot on goal advantage. Hill also added a goal in the 72nd minute for an all-around performance. In Saturday’s 3-2 win over Defiance, Hill’s backline stood strong again, holding Defiance to just two shots total on the afternoon as the Pioneers outshot Defiance, 14-2.

HCAC Spring 2021 Women’s Soccer Notebook, Week 4 

Athletes of the Week:
Offensive:
Lilly Haines (Lebanon, Ind.) Franklin College | Midfield | Sophomore – Haines potted three goals and handed out an assist for seven points as Franklin rolled to shutout wins over Bluffton and Anderson. She scored her first goal of the year and handed out an assist in Franklin’s 3-0 win over the Beavers on Wednesday night. She buried both goals in the Grizzlies’ 2-0 win over Anderson on Saturday, recording the first two-goal game of her career.
Defensive:
Brianna Rogers (Dublin, Ohio) Franklin College | Goalkeeper | Sophomore – Rogers did not allow a goal over 148:15 of action in Franklin’s two shutout wins against Bluffton and Anderson and made three saves in each appearance.
 
Notable Performances:

  • Taylor Fort (Pendleton, Ind.) Anderson University | Midfield | Sophomore – Fort racked up two goals and two assists in Anderson’s 5-1 win against Manchester.
  • Bryn Rolfsen (Loveland, Ohio) Hanover College | Defense | Junior – Rolfsen helped propel the Panthers to the top spot among the HCAC as they defeated Rose-Hulman and Bluffton. The junior was a key factor in the team’s success as she tallied two assists. The first assist came on a pivotal goal against Rose-Hulman that tied the contest in the 68th minute. She finished the week with seven shots, three of which landed on frame for a .429 shot on goal percentage.
  • Jayden Murray (Delphi, Ind.) Manchester University | Forward | Junior – Murray found the back of the net in both of Manchester’s game this week. She scored in the 67th minute against Anderson on Wednesday and netted another goal in the 35th minute on Saturday against MSJ.
  • Maggie Sheerin (O’Fallon, Ill.) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology | Forward | Senior – Sheerin matched her jersey number with two goals and two assists in the Rose-Hulman’s 5-0 win over Earlham. She also contributed 80 minutes in the midfield in a 1-1 draw against Hanover. For the week, Sheerin scored two goals with two assists and five shots for the Engineers.
  • Natalie Dillon (Rochester, N.Y.) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology | Goalkeeper | Sophomore – Dillon had a career-high 13 saves to lead Rose-Hulman in a hard fought 2-1 loss at Hanover, and recorded a 90-minute shutout against Earlham last week. For the week, Dillon finished with a 0.95 GAA and an .867 save percentage with a 1-1 record.
  • Abby Baker (Corbin, Ky.) Transylvania University | Midfield | Junior – Baker tallied seven total points as the Pioneers picked up victories over Earlham and Mount St. Joseph this week. The junior opened the week with a goal and assist in Transylvania’s 4-0 victory over the Quakers. Baker capped off her impressive week by scoring both goals in the Pioneers’ 2-0 victory over the Lions on Sunday night.
  • Morgan Patton (Lexington, Ky.) Transylvania University | Goalkeeper | Junior – Patton tallied seven saves and did not allow a goal in 135 minutes of action across two Transylvania victories this week. The junior’s signature performance came in the Pioneers’ 2-0 victory over the Mount St. Joseph Lions on Sunday afternoon where she collected seven total saves in a shutout victory. 

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1948       At Ebbets Field No. 2, the Dodgers play their first exhibition game at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, which will remain the team’s home for 61 years. Amidst much fanfare, including Governor Millard Caldwell throwing the ceremonial first pitch, Jackie Robinson homers in the first inning when Brooklyn beats its top farm club, the Montreal Royals, 5-4.

1958       Larry Doby returns to the Indians when the Orioles trade him to Cleveland, along with Don Ferrarese, in exchange for Gene Woodling, Dick Williams, and Bud Daley. The 34 year-old veteran outfielder, who broke in with the Tribe in 1947 as the American League’s first black player, will have a solid season, hitting .284 in a part-time role with the fourth-place team.

1961       The Professional Baseball Rules Committee rejects the Pacific Coast League’s proposal to use a designated hitter for the pitcher by a vote of 8-1. The first use of the DH will occur in the American League in 1973.

1968       The American League’s new franchise in Seattle chooses Pilots as the team’s nickname. The name originated from the coastal seaport city’s association with the airplane industry and co-owner Dewey Soriano’s part-time job as a harbor pilot.

1982       The Rangers trade outfielder/first baseman Al Oliver to the Expos for outfielder/third baseman Larry Parrish and minor league first baseman Dave Hostetler. Oliver will capture the National League batting crown, hitting .335, in the first of his two seasons with Montreal.

1984       On a televised episode of ABC’s Sports Beat, Howard Cosell informs interviewee Roger Maris of the Yankees’ plan to retire the slugger’s number 9 in July at the Old Timers’ Game ceremonies. At first, the former Bronx Bombers’ reaction is disbelief, followed by a genuine pleasure for the recognition of his achievements during his seven years with the team.

1993       Bill White, the first black to serve as a league president, resigns from his National League post. The former Cardinal first baseman will remain at the job until next March, being replaced by Leonard S. Coleman, MLB’s director of market development.

1994       The Mets trade hard-luck right-hander Anthony Young to the Cubs for shortstop Jose Vizcaino. While with New York, A-Yo dropped 27 consecutive decisions, 14 as a starter and 13 as a reliever, establishing the major league record for the most consecutive losses by a pitcher.

1994       The White Sox assign NBA superstar Michael Jordan to the Birmingham Barons of the Class AA Southern League. Before returning to the NBA, the 31 year-old outfielder, will play just one season of professional baseball, hitting .202 in 134 games for the minor league team.

1995       A crowd of 47,536 attend the first game ever played at Coors Field. The exhibition contest, played with replacement players due to the strike, ends with the Rockies beating the Yankees, 4-1.

1996       At the Kingdome, the Mariners beat the White Sox in 12 innings, 3-2, marking the first time a season begins with a game played in March. In 2018, except for international openers, Opening Day for all 30 teams will be March 29, becoming the earliest start in major league history.

1998       On Opening Day at Cinergy Field, Pokey Reese, filling in for shortstop Barry Larkin, who is on the DL, makes four errors on his first three chances in the Reds’ 10-2 loss to San Diego. The 25 year-old infielder will win the Gold Glove as a second baseman in 1999 and 2000.

1998       In the longest scoreless opener in National League history, pinch-hitter Alberto Castillo’s 14th-inning single with two outs and the bases loaded gives the Mets a 1-0 victory over the Phillies. The most extended Opening Day game in major league history occurred in 1926 when the Senators blanked the Philadelphia A’s in 15 innings, 1-0.

1998       In front of a sellout crowd of 47,484 at Bank One Ballpark, the Arizona Diamondbacks lose to the Rockies, 9-2. The seven-run difference matches the ’62 Mets and the ’77 Mariners for the most-lopsided loss by an expansion team in its first game.

1998       The Tigers spoil the Devil Rays’ major league debut, beating the American League’s newest team, 6-2 at Tampa’s Tropicana Field. After Hall-of-Famers Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Al Lopez, and Monte Irvin throw out ceremonial first pitches, Wilson Alvarez, the losing pitcher, hurls the first pitch in franchise history – a ball to Detroit’s center fielder Brian Hunter.

1998       With a rare on-the-field appearance, Hank Aaron helps to mark Milwaukee’s historic return to the Senior Circuit as the Brewers play their inaugural game as a National League team, losing to the Braves at Turner Field, 2-1. Milwaukee is the first team since the inception of the American League in 1901 to switch leagues.

1998       Mark McGwire hits the first of his historic seventy home runs when he goes deep off Ramon Martinez in the fifth inning of the Cardinals’ 6-0 victory over L.A. at Busch Stadium. The Redbirds’ first baseman becomes the first player in franchise history to hit a grand slam on Opening Day.

2003       On Opening Day for most of the clubs, MLB.com, the website of major league baseball, has more than 10 million hits, setting a new record. The previous mark was set last season on the final day of online voting for All-Star Game starters when 3.6 million visitors were attracted to the site.

2003       Substituting for his son, a former Yale left-handed first baseman named George Bush throws the ceremonial first pitch when the Reds play the first game their new home, Great American Ball Park’s. The former president and the sellout crowd of 42,263 flag-waving fans enjoy the patriotic pregame ceremonies and then watch the Pirates rout Cincinnati, 10-1.

2003       🇵🇷 At Shea Stadium, the Mets Opening Day lineup includes the first regular starting double-play combination in major league history featuring natives from Puerto Rico. Second baseman Roberto Alomar and shortstop Rey Sanchez combine to make two twin killings as the Cubs drub New York, 15-2.

2004       With a 12-1 defeat of the Devil Rays in Tokyo, Kevin Brown becomes the second pitcher in history to have defeated all of the thirty major league teams. The 39 year-old right-hander joins Al Leiter, who accomplished the feat last season pitching for the Mets.

2005       The Orioles and MLB agree on a deal which will allow the televising Nationals games. A joint venture backed by MLB will let fans in the Baltimore-Washington area enjoy both franchises’ telecasts, ensuring the Orioles fans in the nation’s capital will still have an opportunity to watch their ‘Birds.’

2007      In the MLB’s inaugural Civil Rights Game, the Cardinals beat the Indians at AutoZone Park in Memphis, 5-1. The exhibition game, planned to be an annual event, is designed to celebrate and honor baseball’s historical role in the nation’s civil rights movement.

2008       On Opening Day, the Reds pay tribute to Joe Nuxhall by wearing the number 41 on their uniforms. The team’s beloved broadcaster, who spent over 60 years with the organization, including his major debut as a 15 year-old hurler, died during the off-season at the age of 79.

2008       Outside of Wrigley Field, the Cubs unveil the seven-foot bronze sculpture of Ernie Banks by 46 year-old Lou Cella, a passionate fan who idolized ‘Mr. Cub’ as a kid. The typographical error on the statue’s granite base, “Let’s play two,” is quickly corrected when the sculptor comes down to the ballpark two days later and carves the needed apostrophe.

2009       The Tigers unexpectedly release Gary Sheffield despite having $14 million left on the $28 million, two-year contract extension given to the DH/outfielder after being acquired from the Yankees in a trade for prospects. The 40 year-old nine-time All-Star needing one more dinger to become the 25th major league player to hit 500 career home runs reaches the milestone as a pinch-hitter in a Mets uniform on April 17 at Citi Field.

2010       In the first inning of an exhibition game in Tampa, Denard Span hits a hard foul line drive that strikes his mother while watching him play. The Twins’ stunned leadoff batter runs into the crowded stands, staying with his mom while paramedics treat her until she returns to her seat, slightly shaken but intact.

2013       Shintaro Fujinami, a first-round draft selection, sets a record for players drafted out of high school when he makes his first professional start, a game sooner than Daisuke Matsuzaka (1999) and Hideaki Wakui (2005), pitching for the Hanshin Tigers just three games into the season. The 18 year-old Japanese rookie right-hander will allow two runs in six innings, taking the loss in the team’s 2-0 loss against Tokyo Yakult Swallows at Jingu Stadium.

2013       In their American League debut, the Astros beat the Rangers, 8-3, victory in a nationally televised game at Minute Maid Park. After 51 years of playing in the National League, Houston agreed to move from the NL Central to the AL West to give each league 15 teams with an equal number of teams in each division, as a condition for the approval of the sale of the team to Jim Crane.

2014       A video review overturns an umpire’s decision for the first time using MLB’s expanded replay system. Brewers’ outfielder Ryan Braun, initially called safe by first base by ump Greg Gibson, on a sixth-inning leadoff infield single, is ruled out after the Braves manager Freddi Gonzalez challenges the play.

2018       Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who goes 3-for-4 in the team’s 3-2 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field, becomes the first American Leaguer to have multiple extra-base hits in the first three games of the season. In 2015, Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez also accomplished the feat, collecting at least two safeties in each of LA’s first three contests when he compiled ten hits his first 14 at-bats of the season.

TODAY IN SPORTS HISTORY-1975

SAN DIEGO – The University of California, Los Angeles won the National Collegiate basketball championship tonight for the 10th and last time under the direction of Coach John Wooden. The Bruins, proving speed more valuable than muscle, raced up and down court from start to finish to beat a powerful University of Kentucky team, 92-85, in Wooden’s final game before retirement. When it was done, the crowd of 15,153 at the San Diego Arena remained to give Wooden, the Wizard of Westwood, a standing ovation for about four minutes.

In increasing their record of national basketball titles to 10 in the last 12 years and 8 in the last 9, the Bruins beat the school closest to them in national titles. The Wildcats have four. Although he would not admit it, this victory in his final game of 27 seasons as the U.C.L.A. coach may have been Wooden’s most satisfying. This was a team not as strong as many of his former national champions-one not rated certain of the crown when the season began.

Wooden said following the thrilling triumph, “To say I thought we would win [the title] back then would be stretching a point.” But Dave Meyers, the senior star of the team, said: “I wanted to do it for Coach all season. He’s done a masterful job with the team that lost [Bill] Walton and [Keith] Wilkes,” stars of the three preceding seasons.

Most unexpected of all, however, was the fact that U.C.L.A. beat Kentucky using only six players. This was the first time Wooden used only six players in a national championship game. It paid off as the half dozen slim, tall men kept up an unusually fast pace and achieved what U.C.L.A. teams in 1964 and 1965, and from 1967 through 1973, had achieved. And those teams had such star players as Walt Hazzard, Lew Alcindor, Sidney Wicks and Bill Walton. The mighty six who won this year’s crown were Meyers, Marques Johnson, Rich Washington, Pete Trgovich, Andre McCarter and Ralph Drollinger, the man who came off the bench and had the finest game of his career.

Drollinger, the 7-foot-1 junior who has been criticized because he was not an Alcindor or Walton, was unusually strong under the boards. The frail Drollinger stood in there for 16 1/2 minutes and beat off the Kentucky rebounders Coach Joe Hall kept fresh by sending them into the game in relays.

Trgovich, a 6’4″ senior guard, had an excellent night on defense and scored 16 points. Washington, the 6’9″ sophomore who was voted the outstanding player of the tournament, paced U.C.L.A.’s scoring with 28 points. Meyers had 24 points, Drollinger 10, McCarter 8 and Johnson 6. It just didn’t matter that Kevin Grevey, Kentucky’s leading scorer, had 34.

ALSO:

1931: Knute Rockne, the 43-year-old Notre Dame football coach, was killed with seven others when the commercial airplane in which they were flying lost its engines and crashed in a pasture in Kansas. The three-time national champion coach was en route from Kansas City to Los Angeles, where he was going to make a football movie.

1980: Jesse Owens, the legendary sprinter and long jumper whose four gold medal victories in the 1936 Berlin Olympics undercut Hitler’s doctrine of Aryan racial supremacy, died of lung cancer at age 66 in Tucson, Ariz.

1993: The N.H.L. changed the face of its divisions, discarding names like “Prince of Wales” and “Smythe,” realigning teams and adopting a new playoff format in which qualifiers are seeded according to their records, N.B.A.-style. The move was an attempt to simplify the league’s structure and increase its popularity, though it continued to trail pro basketball in attendance and television exposure by the end of the decade.

NBA STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
 WLPctConf GBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Philadelphia3215.68119-413-118-222-77-32 L
Brooklyn3215.68118-614-95-217-108-22 W
Milwaukee2917.6302.518-711-109-018-97-33 L
Charlotte2422.5227.513-911-137-113-96-41 W
New York2423.5118.014-910-141-617-155-51 L
Atlanta2324.4899.011-912-153-313-126-42 L
Boston2324.4899.013-810-163-516-134-61 L
Miami2324.4899.012-1211-125-514-154-61 W
Indiana2124.46710.08-1213-125-313-145-51 L
10 Chicago1926.42212.09-1610-103-39-113-74 L
11 Toronto1829.38314.09-129-173-512-171-93 L
12 Washington1729.37014.510-157-141-77-213-71 L
13 Cleveland1730.36215.011-126-183-513-123-73 L
14 Orlando1631.34016.010-156-164-410-173-71 W
15 Detroit1333.28318.58-135-200-99-213-71 W
 
Western Conference
 WLPctConf GBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Utah3511.76120-215-93-215-68-26 W
Phoenix3214.6963.016-816-65-219-87-33 W
LA Clippers3217.6534.517-715-106-218-97-31 L
LA Lakers3017.6385.516-1014-72-519-106-42 W
Denver2918.6176.514-915-97-115-117-33 W
Portland2818.6097.014-914-93-415-127-33 W
Dallas2421.53310.511-1013-115-215-145-51 W
San Antonio2321.52311.011-1412-74-612-174-61 L
Memphis2222.50012.011-1311-94-511-165-51 W
10 Golden State2324.48912.514-99-153-712-144-61 W
11 Sacramento2225.46813.512-1210-134-410-117-35 W
12 New Orleans2125.45714.014-117-145-312-176-42 W
13 Oklahoma City1927.41316.08-1511-123-611-184-63 L
14 Houston1333.28322.06-177-164-69-172-81 L
15 Minnesota1136.23424.56-175-193-68-213-72 L

NHL STANDINGS

East
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Washington Capitals352384502112110413-4-210-4-28-2-0
New York Islanders362210448201068413-1-29-9-26-4-0
Pittsburgh Penguins362311248201179416-3-17-8-17-2-1
Boston Bruins321895411588779-4-29-5-35-3-2
Philadelphia Flyers341713438161061238-7-39-6-14-5-1
New York Rangers35161543615112948-6-38-9-16-3-1
New Jersey Devils34131653113831064-11-29-5-35-3-2
Buffalo Sabres346235174711222-11-34-12-20-9-1
 
West
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Vegas Golden Knights33248149241087514-2-110-6-08-2-0
Colorado Avalanche34228448221187714-4-28-4-28-0-2
Minnesota Wild33211024421978213-3-08-7-27-2-1
St. Louis Blues351613638141001134-8-412-5-22-5-3
Arizona Coyotes351614537139210310-8-36-6-24-4-2
Los Angeles Kings3313146321292946-4-47-10-23-6-1
San Jose Sharks3414164329951186-6-28-10-24-5-1
Anaheim Ducks37112062810831235-11-36-9-33-7-0
 
North
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Toronto Maple Leafs352210347221169112-6-210-4-14-5-1
Winnipeg Jets362212246221199910-5-112-7-16-4-0
Edmonton Oilers3722141452212210712-8-010-6-16-3-1
Montreal Canadiens3215893914104877-5-28-3-75-2-3
Calgary Flames37161833515961129-7-17-11-24-6-0
Vancouver Canucks371618335131001209-9-27-9-16-3-1
Ottawa Senators36122042810941358-6-44-14-04-3-3
 
Central
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Tampa Bay Lightning35249250231248513-3-011-6-26-4-0
Florida Panthers36239450221199911-4-312-5-16-4-0
Carolina Hurricanes34238349191138611-1-312-7-06-2-2
Nashville Predators371917139169510910-7-09-10-18-2-0
Chicago Blackhawks3717155391510611510-6-27-9-34-6-0
Columbus Blue Jackets37141583612941187-6-67-9-24-3-3
Dallas Stars33111210321091917-6-74-6-33-3-4
Detroit Red Wings37122142812801199-8-33-13-15-5-0