BOYS REGIONAL PAIRINGS-SATURDAY
Valparaiso [20-5] vs. South Bend Riley [18-6]
Gary West [20-4] vs. Elkhart [14-11]
Homestead [25-0] vs. Carmel [22-2]
Carroll (Fort Wayne) [18-6] vs. Lafayette Jeff [24-2]
Lawrence North [25-2] vs. Ben Davis [14-11]
Mount Vernon (Fortville) [17-6] vs. Plainfield [23-2]
Bloomington South [23-4] vs. Jeffersonville [15-6]
Center Grove [14-6] vs. Evansville Reitz [16-4]
SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON
South Bend St. Joseph [19-4] vs. Twin Lakes [21-4]
Hammond [17-1] vs. New Prairie [19-7]
NorthWood [15-8] vs. New Castle [9-15]
Mississinewa [17-8] vs. Leo [21-4]
Northview [17-7] vs. Beech Grove [18-5]
Guerin Catholic [19-3] vs. Greencastle [21-6]
Heritage Hills [19-3] vs. Silver Creek [21-4]
Connersville [17-7] vs. Sullivan [21-3]
Boone Grove [18-6] vs. Bowman Academy [11-12]
Churubusco [21-4] vs. Fort Wayne Blackhawk [24-3]
Blackford [23-4] vs. Wapahani [18-7]
Rossville [17-7] vs. Rochester [18-1]
Parke Heritage [24-3] vs. Triton Central [13-8]
Shenandoah [24-3] vs. Covenant Christian [22-4]
Paoli [16-5] vs. Southridge [15-10]
Southwestern (Hanover) [21-5] vs. Linton-Stockton [23-4]
Triton [19-5] vs. Caston [10-15]
Fremont [12-11] vs. Kouts [26-2]
Cowan [15-8] vs. Lafayette Central Catholic [8-10]
Seton Catholic [9-9] vs. Southwood [15-10]
Southwestern (Shelbyville) [13-10] vs. Bethesda Christian [18-7]
Indianapolis Tindley [16-9] vs. Shakamak [10-12]
Barr-Reeve [25-2] vs. Trinity Lutheran [12-13]
Lanesville [17-7] vs. Evansville Day [13-5]
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
#2 Baylor 74 Kansas State 68
#9 Ohio State 79 Minnesota 75
#12 Oklahoma State 72 #10 West Virginia 69
#11 Kansas 69 #25, Oklahoma 62
#13 Texas 67 #20 Texas Tech 66
Georgetown 72 #14 Villanova 71
#16 Virginia 72 Syracuse 69
#17 Creighton 87 Butler 56
#19 San Diego State 69 Wyoming 66
North Carolina 81 #22 Virginia Tech 73
#23 Colorado 61 California 58
#24 USC 91 Utah 85 2OT
Rutgers 61, Indiana 50
Maryland 68 Michigan State 57
Wisconsin 75 Penn State 74
Toledo 91 Ball State 89 OT
Buffalo 74 Miami Ohio 63
Ohio 85 Kent State 63
Akron 74 Bowling Green 67
Mississippi State 74 Kentucky 73
South Florida 73 Temple 71
Southern Utah 91 Northern Colorado 83
Cal Santa Barbara 95 Long Beach State 87
Georgia Tech 70 Miami, Florida 66
Oregon 91 Arizona State 73
Florida 69 Vanderbilt 63
Seton Hall 77 St. John 69 OT
Montana State 71 Idaho state 63
UC Davis 58 Bakersfield 56
Oregon State 83 UCLA 79 OT
St. Peter’s 75 Rider 60
Nevada 89 Boise State 82
Morgan State 77 Florida A&M 75
Northwestern State 82 New Orleans 79
Western Kentucky 80 Texas San Antonio 67
Central Florida 72 E. Carolina 62
Alabama Birmingham 73 Rice 60
Missouri 73 Georgia 70
Eastern Washington 66 Northern Arizona 60
Niagara 67 Marist 62
UC Irvine 58 Cal Poly 51
Seattle 83 California Baptist 66
Norfolk St. 87 North Carolina Central 58
Connecticut 94 DePaul 60
Utah State 74 UNLV 53
Lamar 70 Sam Houston 69
Grambling 72 Southern 67 OT
Louisiana Tech 75 Florida Atlantic 69
Ole Miss 76 South Carolina 59
North Texas 61 Old Dominion 55
New Mexico State 77 Texas Rio Grande 61
Montana 80 Weber State 75
Colorado State 72 Fresno State 62
UC Riverside 62 Hawaii 52
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL – FRIDAY
Maryland – Michigan 11:30
Mississippi State – Alabama 12:00
Alabama Birmingham – Western Kentucky 12:00
South Florida – Wichita State 12:00
Ohio State – Purdue 2:00
Florida – Tennessee 2:30
Texas Southern – Jackson State 3:00
North Texas – Louisiana Tech 3:00
Cincinnati – SMU 3:00
Ohio – Toledo 5:00
Morgan State – Coppin State 6:00
Iona – Niagara 6:00
Northwestern State – Nicholls 6:00
Georgetown – Seton Hall 6:00
Oklahoma State – Baylor 6:30
Rutgers – Illinois 6:30
Georgia Tech – Virginia 6:30
Missouri – Arkansas 7:00
Tulane – Houston 7:00
Montana State – Southern Utah 7:00
Akron – Buffalo 7:30
Seattle – Grand Canyon 8:00
Oregon State – Oregon 8:30
Fairfield – St. Peter’s 8:30
Lamar – Abilene Christian 9:00
Wisconsin – Iowa 9:00
UC Davis – UC Santa Barbara 9:00
Texas – Kansas 9:30
Ole Miss – LSU 9:30
Nevada – San Diego State 9:30
Grambling – Prairie View A&M 9:30
Central Florida – Memphis 10:00
Montana – Eastern Washington 10:00
New Mexico State – Utah Valley 11:00
Colorado – USC 11:30
UC Riverside – UC Irvine 12:00
Colorado State – Utah State 12:00
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
#7 Maryland 83 Nebraska 73
Michigan State 69 #9. Indiana 61
Northwestern 65 #13 Michigan 49
Iowa 73 #19 Rutgers 62
#20 S. Florida 64 Central Florida 54
#24 Florida Gulf Coast 87 Jacksonville 62
LaSalle 72 Duquesne 68 OT
Southern 73 Alcorn State 59
Hofstra 77 Towson 67 OT
Rice 77 Florida International 60
St. Peter’s 61 Iona 50
Norfolk State 56 Coppin State 45
Central Arkansas 56 Houston Baptist 51
Old Dominion 90 Charlotte 89 2OT
VCU 69 Davidson 52
Morgan State 74 North Carolina Central 64
Delaware 70 North Carolina Wilmington 52
Fairfield 51 Manhattan 40
Middle Tennessee 77 Louisiana Tech 71
Nicholls 67 Abilene 57
UTEP 74 Florida Atlantic 67
Massachusetts 79 St. Joseph’s 69 OT
Southern Illinois 90 Indiana State 89 OT
Boston 72 American 51
James Madison 81 Northeastern 65
TCU 75 Kansas 72
High Point 75 Gardner Webb 58
Grambling 58 Alabama A&M 50
Lehigh 63 Bucknell 54
Campbell 54 Longwood 39
Liberty 88 Bellermine 59
Valparaiso 65 Evansville 52
Kansas State 75 Texas Tech 65
Drexel 65 Elon 59
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL – FRIDAY
Buffalo – Bowling Green 10:00
LaSalle – Dayton 11:00
Fairfield – Marist 11:00
Texas – Iowa State 11:30
Southern – Alabama State 12:00
Central Arkansas – Lamar 12:00
Southern Illinois – Missouri State 12:00
Norfolk State – Howard 12:00
Ohio – Central Michigan 12:30
Rider – St. Peter’s 1:30
Idaho – Idaho State 2:00
Northwestern – Maryland 2:00
Morgan State – North Carolina A&T 2:00
VCU – Rhode Island 2:00
New Mexico State – California Baptist 2:00
Lipscomb – Florida Gulf Coast 2:00
TCU – Baylor 2:30
Hofstra – Delaware 2:30
Hawaii – UC Davis 3:00
Bradley – Northern Iowa 3:00
Nicholls – Sam Houston 3:00
Michigan State – Iowa 4:30
Massachusetts – Fordham 5:00
Stony Brook – Maine 5:00
Grand Canyon – Utah Valley 5:00
Cal Poly – UC Irvine 6:00
Valparaiso – Drake 6:00
Drexel – James Madison 6:00
Grambling – Jackson state 6:30
Old Dominion – Rice 6:30
Kansas State – West Virginia 6:30
North Florida – Liberty 7:00
Richmond – St. Louis 8:00
Loyola Chicago – Illinois State 9:00
UTEP – Middle Tennessee 9:30
Oklahoma – Oklahoma State 9:30
Charlotte 105 Detroit 102
Brooklyn 121 Boston 109
Atlanta 121 Toronto 120
Minnesota 135 New Orleans 105
Philadelphia 127 Chicago 105
Miami 111 Orlando 103
Milwaukee 134, New York 101
Oklahoma City 116 Dallas 108
LA Clippers 130 Golden State 104
Phoenix 127 Portland 121
Sacramento 125 Houston 105
Boston 4 NY Rangers 0
Pittsburgh 5 Buffalo 2
NY Islanders 5 New Jersey 3
Washington 5 Philadelphia 3
Carolina 5 Nashville 1
Florida 5 Columbus 4
Toronto 4 Winnipeg 3
Detroit 6 Tampa Bay 4
Chicago 4 Dallas 2
Calgary 2 Montréal 1
MLB SCOREBOARD-SPRING TRAINING
Oakland 6 Texas 0
LA Angels 5 San Francisco 4
Kansas City 4 Milwaukee 2
San Diego 5 Cleveland 4
Chicago Cubs 8 Colorado 6
Cincinnati 7 Chicago White Sox 4
Seattle 4 LA Dodgers 4
Boston 5 Minnesota 4
Atlanta 2 Tampa Bay 0
NY Yankees 6 Philadelphia 1
Pittsburgh 7 Baltimore 5
Washington 1 Miami 1
Toronto 10 Detroit 6
NY Mets 1 Houston 0
INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL: Hoosiers Fall to Rutgers in Big Ten Tournament, 61-50
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – What do you do in the aftermath of Thursday night’s 61-50 Big Ten tourney loss to Rutgers at Lucas Oil Stadium that left a 12-15 record and a six-game losing streak that could have been so much more?
“It’s very frustrating to not make the NCAA Tournament,” guard Armaan Franklin said. “We have to keep building. We have to trust each other, trust the coaches. Keep moving forward. Not dwell on the past, but look to the future.”
IU played in front of around 3,000 fans, probably 10 times more than most games during this pandemic-altered season.
It didn’t help.
“It felt good to play in front of fans,” forward Trayce Jackson-Davis said. “It’s sad that we disappointed them. It’s something we’ll have to live with.”
Not even career years from the All-America Jackson-Davis, Franklin, Race Thompson, Aljami Durham and Jerome Hunter could overcome bad shooting and the inability to win crunch-time minutes.
“There were expectations coming into this year,” coach Archie Miller said. “We had our opportunities. We didn’t cash in.
“Performance matters. We were inconsistent.
“At the end of the day, we be fine. We’ve got good guys. Guys who battle.”
Big Ten tourney misery remains an unwanted Hoosier tradition. IU is now 13-23 in this event.
Beyond that, the Hoosiers haven’t made the NCAA tourney since 2016, when they won the Big Ten title and reached the Sweet Sixteen.
“The reality is this is what it is,” Miller said. “We weren’t good enough to capitalize on our opportunities. We’ll take some inventory and do everything we can to get better. I know we will (get better).”
Seventh-seeded Rutgers (15-10) beat IU for the third time this season. It advances to play second-seed Illinois (19-6) Friday night.
“Rutgers is a good team,” Miller said. “They can beat you in a lot of ways.”
Season-long problems with free throw and 3-point shooting surfaced for the last time. IU was 6-for-15 from the line and 2-for-16 beyond the arc. It basically didn’t make a field goal in the game’s final 10 minutes.
“We had a lot of good shots,” Jackson-Davis said. “We missed layups. We missed eight free throws down the stretch. The inability to put the ball in the basket just killed us.”
Jackson-Davis finished with 19 points and nine rebounds.
Ferocious early defense rocked Rutgers into 25 percent shooting and six turnovers. Attacking Hoosier offense sparked by that defense made all things possible – for about 10 minutes.
Then Rutgers rallied. Indiana rallied. With 12 minutes left in the game, an 8-0 run gave the Hoosiers a 44-41 lead.
Then it all disappeared.
Miller said he thought “fatigue set in.”
“We didn’t convert around the rim. (Rutgers does) a good job with their defense. We got bottled up in the second half.
“You’ve got to make some free throws. You’ve got to make some open looks to have any chance to advance.”
Pre-game speculation about injuries to Thompson (broken nose, battered face, sprained ankle) and Franklin (foot) was answered quickly. Thompson started. Franklin, who had missed the previous three games, came off the bench five minutes into the contest.
“There was no doubt that I would play,” Franklin said. “I felt good enough to play. They asked me if I wanted to play. I said yes.”
Indiana opened with an inside basket and then a dunk from Jackson-Davis and a 3-pointer from guard Aljami Durham. The 5-for-7 shooting delivered an 11-5 lead.
With Jackson-Davis starting 4-for-4 from the field, the Hoosiers built a 10-point advantage.
Then Rutgers found its 3-point range — making four straight — to rally for a 33-32 halftime lead despite Jackson-Davis’ 13 points and four rebounds.
The Scarlet Knights built a pair of five-point leads to start the second half. IU surged back. A jumper from Franklin and a dunk from Jackson-Davis highlighted an 8-0 run to push the Hoosiers ahead 44-41.
After a brief back-and-forth stretch, Rutgers hit consecutive three-pointers to surge ahead 55-48 with five minutes left.
Durham ended a seven-minute Indiana scoring drought with a pair of free throws with 2:35 remaining to make it 55-50.
The Hoosiers never scored again.
“The game is simple when it goes in the basket,” Miller said. “We were inconsistent throughout the year. You’ve got to shoot it consistently at a high clip from a lot of guys to have a chance.”
PURDUE // Purdue Begins Big Ten Quest in Friday’s Quarterfinals
·  Purdue vs.  Ohio State OR  Minnesota
· Friday, March 12, 2021
· 2 p.m. ET
· Big Ten Network (Brandon Gaudin, Shon Morris, Rick Pizzo)
· Indianapolis, Indiana / Lucas Oil Stadium
INDIANAPOLIS – No. 20-ranked Purdue hopes to begin a long stay in Indianapolis this weekend as it heads to this year’s mecca of college basketball to open play in the 23rd edition of the Big Ten Championship. The Boilermakers will open play against either Ohio State or Minnesota on Friday at 2 p.m. ET, in Lucas Oil Stadium. The game will be aired on the Big Ten Network with Brandon Gaudin, Shon Morris and Rick Pizzo calling the action with no need for undisclosed, secret locations and actually being in the facility watching real-live sporting action.
Should the Boilermakers win their quarterfinal contest, Purdue will advance to Saturday’s semifinals to be played at 1 p.m. ET, on CBS, with Sunday’s Championship game taking place at 3:30 p.m. ET, in Lucas Oil Stadium.
THE KEY TALKING POINTS
1) Purdue enters this week as the No. 4 seed, receiving a double-bye in every tournament that has been played under the current format. It did not receive a double-bye in last year’s tournament that was canceled.
2) Purdue has reached the title game in two of the last four tournaments (2016 – Lost to Michigan State; 2018 – Lost to Michigan). In the other two seasons it did not reach the finals (2017, 2019), Purdue won the regular-season championship.
3) Purdue will be playing in a domed stadium for the first time since the 2010 Sweet 16 game against Duke in Houston.
4) Trevion Williams was named first-team All-Big Ten by the coaches after averaging 15.8 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in league play this season. Zach Edey and Jaden Ivey became the ninth set of teammates in Big Ten history to be named to the All-Freshman team.
5) According to KenPom.com, Purdue ranks 328th (out of 347 teams) in experience (1.04 years). Purdue is the lowest-ranked team via experience that figures to be an NCAA Tournament lock.
6) Purdue has had its full arsenal of rotation players for just 17 of its 26 games this year, missing key personnel for nine games this year. Purdue has gone 13-4 in those 17 games with a full roster, losses coming on the road vs. Big Ten teams (Iowa, Rutgers, Illinois, Minnesota).
7) Four freshmen earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors, the most in league history. Michigan (2012-13) and Ohio St. (2010-11) had 3.
8) A Purdue freshman was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week in seven of a possible 15 weeks this season, bookended by Zach Edey’s honors in the season’s first week (Nov. 30) and the season’s final week (March 8).
9) Purdue freshmen have scored at least 27 points in each of the last nine games (37.7 points per game; 52.4 percent of scoring).
10) Purdue is 1-of-5 teams nationally to rank in the top 25 in both offensive (22nd) and defensive (18th) efficiency according to KenPom.com.
11) Purdue has held 15 straight opponents to 72 or fewer points, the third-longest streak in the country (11-4 record).
12) Purdue will not leave the state of Indiana for the rest of the season, having posted a 14-1 record in games played in Indiana.
13) Over the last five years (since 2016-17), Purdue has the most wins in the Big Ten (67). Michigan State (65) and Michigan (62) are second and third, respectively.
14) Purdue is fighting for a top-five NCAA Tournament seed, currently one of six teams (North Carolina, Kansas, Virginia, Duke, Kentucky, Purdue) to have a top-five seed in each of the last four tournaments. Kansas, Virginia and Purdue are projected top-five seeds this season.
Butler MBB Falls to No. 17 Creighton in BIG EAST Quarterfinals
No. 17 Creighton defeated Butler, 87-56, Thursday night in the BIG EAST Tournament quarterfinals at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The second-seeded Bluejays advance to Friday’s semifinals, where they will face the winner of the UConn-DePaul game that will be contested later Thursday.
Butler’s season ends with a record of 10-15. The Bulldogs were the No. 10 seed in this year’s BIG EAST Tournament and won a first round game against Xavier Wednesday night in overtime.
Creighton improves to 19-7 on the season.
Creighton shot 63 percent from the field and 13-of-24 (54 percent) from three-point range. The 13 three-pointers made by Creighton are a season-high for a Butler opponent, bettering the 12 the Bluejays hit March 6 in Omaha.
Creighton took a 42-26 halftime lead behind 67-pecent shooting in the first half. A 14-0 spurt midway through the half gave the Bluejays a 23-7 advantage.
Bryce Nze led the Bulldogs with 21 points, just one off his high in a Butler uniform and his second 20-point game of the season.
Butler freshman Myles Tate was forced to leave the game with 17:50 remaining in the second half due to a left leg injury. He did not return.
With eight points against Creighton, Chuck Harris finishes the season with 310 points, just two shy of A.J. Graves (2004-05 season) for tenth on Butler’s single-season scoring list for freshmen.
Marcus Zegarowski led the Bluejays with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting (4-of-5 from three-point range). Damien Jefferson had 14 for Creighton, all in the first half.
The teams split the regular season series with each team winning at home. Butler took a 70-66 overtime decision at Hinkle Fieldhouse Jan. 16, while the Bluejays won 93-73 in Omaha March 6.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Georgetown upsets Big East top seed Villanova 72-71 at MSG
(AP) Patrick Ewing and Georgetown are making some noise at Madison Square Garden again.
It has been a while.
The Hoyas are back in the Big East Tournament semifinals for the first time in six years, with the former Georgetown and Knicks star leading the way.
Dante Harris made two free throws with 4.7 seconds left to cap a perfect game from the line for Georgetown, and the Hoyas upset No. 14 Villanova 72-71 in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
The eighth-seeded Hoyas (11-12) will play fifth-seeded Seton Hall on Friday night. Georgetown last reached the Big East semifinals in 2015. The Hoyas have not won the tournament since 2007.
“We took another step – in my house, by the way. This is my house,” Ewing said in a postgame television interview. “It’s a great win. Huge win.”
Before Ewing became a Hall of Fame center for the Knicks, his Georgetown teams in the mid-1980s were the beasts of the Big East. Villanova has taken over that role in recent years, winning the last three tournament titles and dominating the Hoyas in the process.
Villanova had won four straight meetings and 13 of 15 against the Hoyas before Thursday.
“We played against the Cadillac, the Bentley, whatever you want to call them, of the Big East – the class of the Big East. And once upon a time that was us. But we took a huge step to be able to knock them off,” Ewing said.
Harris led the way with 18 points and drew a foul on Jeremiah Robinson-Earl driving to the basket with 4.7 seconds to go and the Hoyas down one.
Harris rattled in the first and swished the second to make Georgetown 23 of 23 from the line, the first time a team has shot 100% on at least 20 attempts in the Big East Tournament.
With no timeouts left, Caleb Daniels rushed up court and got off a long 3-pointer in traffic for Villanova, but it missed badly. The top-seeded Wildcats (16-6), playing without injured star Collin Gillespie, had advanced to the Big East semifinals the last five times the tournament was completed.
Last year’s ended halfway through the noon quarterfinal, when the pandemic brought the college basketball season to a halt.
The quarterfinal day at the Garden is often the best of the Big East Tournament. The marathon quadruple-header keeps MSG buzzing from noon to midnight. Not this year.
With COVID-19 restrictions still in place, the Garden was mostly empty for an old-school Big East rivalry between Wildcats and Hoyas. Ewing’s booming voice echoed through the rafters. “Rebound! Rebound!” he shouted after just about every Villanova shot went up.
Each quarterfinal team was given 100 tickets to Thursday’s games. There were maybe a few dozen people in the stands for the noon tipoff. A “Let’s Go Nova!” chant didn’t last long or find many takers.
“It was pretty cool to have some fans in there,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “Not a lot.”
BALL STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL: Coleman’s Career Day Nearly Pushes BSU Past Top-Seeded Toledo
Ball State pushed MAC regular season champion Toledo to the brink in Thursday’s MAC Tournament opener. The Cardinals never led in regulation, went up by as many as five in overtime, and got a hand on a last-second tip-in attempt that would have forced another extra period.
But when the final horn sounded at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Toledo was moving on with a 91-89 victory.
Jarron Coleman scored a career-high 33 points, the most for BSU (10-13) in a MAC Tournament game in 15 years, and sent the game to overtime with a buzzer-beating layup. K.J. Walton had 23 points before fouling out in the final seconds of regulation.
MAC Player of the Year Marreon Jackson led Toledo (21-7) with 29 points, hurting Ball State by consistently getting to the foul line, while Freshman of the Year Ryan Rollins scored 14 points and came up huge in overtime.
TURNING POINT: After Coleman’s reverse lay-in extended the game, Ball State scored the first five points in overtime. But a Setric Millner 3-point play on the other end sparked a 10-2 run that took the Rockets from down five to up five with just under a minute to play. Rollins had the go-ahead 3-pointer and another clutch jumper in that stretch.
The Cardinals pulled to within three and had the ball in the closing seconds, but 3-pointers from Luke Bumbalough and Ishmael El-Amin were off the mark. After an offensive rebound, Toledo foul and Miryne Thomas free throw, BSU’s last gasp came with an intentional miss with .8 seconds left. Brachen Hazen’s tip hit the rim but caromed away as time expired.
STRAIGHT FROM THE COACH: “I thought it was a great game,” James Whitford said. “It reminds me of a lot of the battles Toledo and us have had over the last five years. It was a barn burner. It could have gone either direction. I thought our guys really competed. It’s never ever easy to lose these games so close, but that’s the nature of sports. We were right there. I thought we really battled, but congratulations to Toledo on the win.”
THE RUBBER MATCH: Friday’s quarterfinal game was the third matchup of the season between Toledo and Ball State. Each won by double digits on their home floor, including a Rockets victory just six days ago in Toledo. The two programs have consistently been on top of what used to be the MAC West Division for the past half decade.
BOGGIE BUCKETS: Coleman did his damage despite sitting the last 7-plus minutes of the first half with three fouls. The sophomore point guard finished the day 12-of-19 from the floor and 4-of-9 from deep while turning it over only once. His 33 points were the fifth-most ever by a Ball State player in a MAC Tournament game and the most since Skip Mills’ BSU tournament-record 38 against Buffalo in 2006.
IF ONLY: Ball State played its best basketball down the stretch this year when it finally had its full allotment of players. Coleman missed the first half of the season with a broken bone in his foot. Walton and others missed significant time due to COVID protocols. The Cardinals were peaking at the right time and were left wondering what could have been if luck had been a little different.
“I’ve been doing this 25 years and never once had a season in the same stratosphere as the one we just had,” Whitford said. “We dealt with a tremendous amount of adversity. We stayed with it all year. The whole goal was to be one of the best teams in the conference when we got to this stage of the season, and I don’t have any question that we are.
“I think it would have been a whole lot different had we had this team together for three months. I’m disappointed that we didn’t have a chance to get into the next round because we felt we were good enough to win it, as Toledo also is.”
MIAMI MEN’S BASKETBALL: Miami Topped 74-63 by Buffalo in MAC Quarterfinal
CLEVELAND, Ohio—The Miami University men’s basketball team staged a late comeback to close within one of the University at Buffalo with just under five minutes to play, but it was not enough as the RedHawks (12-11) dropped a hard-fought 74-63 decision to the Bulls (15-7) in the quarterfinals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Thursday evening.
Senior forward Dalonte Brown amassed 17 points, while sophomore guard Dae Dae Grant chipped in 12 points. Redshirt senior forward Precious Ayah made some key plays down the stretch during the RedHawks’ run and scored all nine of his points in the second half.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Bulls built an early 11-4 lead, but a triple from Brown and a layup by redshirt sophomore guard Myja White put the RedHawks within two at the 15:52 mark, 11-9.
Buffalo added to its lead and held a 31-22 advantage with 5:48 to go in the opening half. Miami used a 5-0 spurt that included another Brown three-pointer and a pair of free throws by redshirt senior guard Milos Jovic to pull within four at 4:02, 31-27.
UB extended its lead to double figures with 1:37 to go in the opening half, 40-29, but a Grant trey at the 1:20 mark put Miami within eight, 40-32, which would be the margin heading into the half.
After Buffalo extended its lead to 13 points midway through the second half, Miami used an 11-0 run, sparked by a pair of Ayah layups and five points from Brown, to close within two with 7:24 to go, 55-53.
The Bulls pulled ahead by four, but the RedHawks persisted. An old-fashioned three-point play by Ayah at the 4:45 mark shrunk the deficit to one, 59-58. A 12-2 spurt by the Bulls pushed their lead to double figures, and the RedHawks got no closer.
Miami concludes its stint in the Mid-American Conference Tournament.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: No. 2 Baylor holds off K-State 74-68 in Big 12 quarters
Baylor coach Scott Drew has always believed the team that advanced the previous night in the Big 12 Tournament has the advantage in the first half over the team that had a bye into the quarterfinal round.
The team with the fresh legs has the advantage down the stretch.
That played out in the second-ranked Bears’ survive-and-advance win over Kansas State on Thursday. It took big games from the backcourt of MaCio Teague, Davion Mitchell and Jared Butler along with some crucial plays in the closing seconds for the Bears to hold on for a 74-68 victory and avoid what would have been one of the biggest upsets in tournament history.
“I thought we were a little tentative,” Drew said. “In the first game you have a little jitters. A lot of our guys hadn’t played in the Big 12 Tournament. They were really excited and sometimes that makes you play hesitant. But give Kansas State a lot of credit. I thought they had a great game plan.”
The top-seeded Bears (22-1) rolled into T-Mobile Arena after their first regular-season conference title since 1950, three straight wins over ranked teams and with a No. 1 seed in next week’s NCAA Tournament nearly locked up.
Yet the Wildcats (9-20), who lost their two regular-season games to Baylor by an average of 40 points, never allowed the high-powered Bears to slip away. The plucky bunch of kids kept answering baskets until the final minute. Freshman Nijel Pack’s sixth 3-pointer got them within 70-66 with just over a minute to go.
Mitchell missed at the other end, but Kansas State couldn’t capitalize when Mike McGuirl threw a wild pass that Pack batted into the air. The Bears came down with the loose ball and Butler made a couple free throws to seal the win.
It sent Baylor into a semifinal matchup with No. 12 Oklahoma State on Friday night.
Teague finished with 24 points, Mitchell had 23 and Butler had 18 as the Bears’ starting backcourt scored all but nine of their points. But while Teague was solid with the ball, Butler and Mitchell had 13 of Baylor’s 21 turnovers.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. It’s hard to beat a team three times,” Mitchell said. “They had a really good plan. They played really hard, really tough. They won yesterday so they had a lot of momentum, so it’s good for us in the long run.”
Pack finished with 18 points, as did Davion Bradford, as the ninth-seeded Wildcats lost their ninth straight game against the top seed in the Big 12 Tournament. Kansas State had beaten No. 10 seed TCU in the opening round.
“It felt good for us to have courage and show the improvement we had from the beginning of the year to now, so it felt good,” Pack said. “It feels like we’re a whole new team. It’s like a preview of the years to come.”
Baylor struggled after a late-season, three-week pause because of COVID-19, barely squeaking past Big 12 bottom-dweller Iowa State and losing its only game at Kansas. But the Bears appeared to get their legs – and lungs – back with an overtime win at West Virginia followed by easy wins over ranked teams Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.
They must have lost their mojo again on the way to Kansas City.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: No. 12 Okla St beats No. 10 West Virginia, 72-69 in Big 12s
(AP) Avery Anderson III hit the go-ahead bucket for Oklahoma State with less than a minute to go, and Sean McNeil’s tying 3-pointer came a split-second after the final buzzer, allowing the No. 12 Cowboys to escape with a 72-69 win over No. 10 West Virginia in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals Thursday.
Anderson and Big 12 player of the year Cade Cunningham had 17 points apiece for the fifth-seeded Cowboys (19-7), who have won seven of their last eight games – including two against the Mountaineers – with the only loss to No. 2 Baylor.
Isaac Likekele and Bryce Williams each added 10 points to help the Cowboys reach the semifinal round, where they will face the top-seeded Bears or No. 9 seed Kansas State for a spot in Saturday’s championship game.
Taz Sherman had given West Virginia (19-8) a 69-68 lead with his 3-pointer with 1:12 to go, but Anderson answered at the other end for Oklahoma State. The Mountaineers squandered a chance to retake the lead when Miles McBride and Emmitt Matthews missed near the bucket, and Williams calmly hit two free throws with 21.3 seconds left to extend the lead.
The Mountaineers drew up a play to get Sherman an open 3 from the corner in the final seconds, but he misfired and the ball found its way to McNeil. He threw a pump fake to get a defender in the air, and the moment it took to do that cost him a chance at the winner – the buzzer had sounded by the time he released his own 3 and it splashed through the net.
McBride and Sherman finished with 19 points apiece for West Virginia. Derek Culver added 11 points and nine boards.
The teams split their regular-season meetings with West Virginia rallying from 19 down to win in Stillwater and Oklahoma State edging the Mountaineers last week in Morgantown without Cunningham or Likekele at their disposal.
Made sense that they would play another nip-and-tuck affair in the Big 12 Tournament.
Both teams were sloppy at the start, and neither gained separation until a disastrous final minute for the Cowboys.
It began when Sean McNeil bounced a 3-pointer about a half-dozen times on the rim before it fell and Cowboys coach Mike Boynton called a timeout with 28 seconds left in the half. Instead of getting a final shot, though, Cunningham turned it over and McBride coasted for a layup. Then the West Virginia guard stripped Keylan Boone and dunked at the buzzer.
Rather than a chance at the halftime lead, Oklahoma State trailed 36-30 at the break.
The Mountaineers pushed the lead to eight and were still in control until Williams hit a 3-pointer with 12:25 to go, triggering a 14-point run interrupted only by McBride’s lone free throw. West Virginia coach Bob Huggins called a timeout to try to slow it down, but Likekele and Anderson responded with breakaway buckets to keep it going.
The Cowboys’ lead reached 64-54 with 5 1/2 minutes to go before Sherman got involved.
The Mountaineers’ senior guard followed back-to-back 3-pointers with another basket, pulling back almost all of their deficit in a matter of 90 seconds and setting up a frantic final few minutes.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Beekman’s 3 helps No. 16 Virginia top Syracuse 72-69 in ACCs
(AP) Reece Beekman hadn’t made a shot all afternoon for 16th-ranked Virginia when the ball swung his way in the final seconds of a tie game.
The freshman didn’t hesitate.
Beekman buried a 3-pointer as time expired to help the Cavaliers edge Syracuse 72-69 in Thursday’s quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament, a shot that sent Beekman and his teammates sprinting around the court in celebration.
Beekman was 0 for 5 from the field when Kihei Clark penetrated to the left elbow and then zipped the ball to Beekman waiting on the right wing. He launched a confident catch-and-shoot 3 with the horn sounding as the ball hit the high point of its arc before dropping cleanly through the net for the top-seeded Cavaliers (18-6).
“I was just thinking: it’s a big shot,” Beekman said. “My coaches, everybody believed in me, so they wouldn’t have me out there for no reason.”
Almost immediately, the 6-foot-3 guard started sprinting towards the other end of the court with his teammates pursuing him at full speed. They finally caught up with him and gathered at the far baseline near the Syracuse bench to celebrate.
“That’s what March is,” said teammate Sam Hauser, who confidently raised his arms signaling the 3 would be good as Beekman launched the winner.
Yet that confidence belied the fact that Beekman had made only 8 of 31 3s (25.8%) all season entering Thursday.
“Beekman’s the one guy we want to shoot it there,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “We don’t want to give anybody a shot, but he’s the one guy we want to shoot it. … That’s the way it goes. He knocked it down.”
Buddy Boeheim finished with a career-high 31 points for the eighth-seeded Orange (16-9), a day after he scored 27 points in Syracuse’s tournament opener. He nearly lifted the Orange to another win to help their NCAA Tournament chances.
After Beekman’s shot fell, Boeheim stood near midcourt, hands on his knees in disbelief, while teammate Quincy Guerrier squatted down a few feet away.
Syracuse: The Orange entered the week near the cut line in most NCAA projections, though a win against fellow bubble team North Carolina State on Wednesday helped that case. Afterward, Boeheim said he thought the Orange “did what we needed to do this year” but with a wait-and-see caveat. Winning this one likely would have eliminated all doubt on that front.
“It’s not up to me,” Boeheim said, adding: “There’s no doubt in my mind, and I don’t think anybody’s mind that follows the sport and knows what they’re doing.”
Virginia: The Cavaliers had won the regular-season race by beating Louisville after No. 15 Florida State lost at Notre Dame on the final day of the schedule. That gave the Cavaliers the No. 1 seed for the fifth time in eight seasons as they pursued a third tournament title under Tony Bennett. They had to rally from 11 down in the first half to advance.
“We survived,” Bennett said.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Duke pulls out of ACC Tournament, NCAA tourney streak ends
(AP) Duke arrived at the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament hoping to make an unprecedented run to extend its long NCAA Tournament streak.
Instead, the Blue Devils abruptly had to pull out of the tournament and end its season due to a positive COVID-19 test and the resulting quarantining and contact tracing.
The ACC announced that the Blue Devils’ quarterfinal game against No. 15 Florida State for Thursday night has been canceled. And athletics director Kevin White said Duke’s season is over, ending the Blue Devils’ streak of 24 consecutive NCAA appearances that began in 1996.
In a statement, White said the positive test for someone within the program came after Wednesday’s win against Louisville, the Blue Devils’ second win in as many days in Greensboro. Before this, there had been no positive tests all season for a player or coach, he said.
“Since last March when the pandemic started, we have listened to our medical experts and always put safety at the forefront of any determinations regarding competition,” White said. “As a result, this will end our 2020-21 season. We wish every team still playing college basketball good health and the very best during the next few weeks.”
The Blue Devils (13-11, 9-9 ACC) failed to live up to their lofty standards, but coach Mike Krzyzewski said he loved this young team and was honored to coach it.
“We have not asked more of any team in our history, and they deserve enormous credit for handling everything like the outstanding young men they are,” Krzyzewski said in a statement. “I feel deeply for our players, who have done a terrific job all season in taking care of each other and the team.
“I am extremely proud of their collective attitudes and effort, which could not have been stronger.”
With Duke withdrawing, the Seminoles advanced to the ACC Tournament semifinals to play the North Carolina-Virginia Tech winner.
“I just think that preparing yourself for the unexpected is what we’ve been trying to do all year long,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “It’s unfortunate that we won’t be able to play this game today. But we have to deal with it in a mature way and just be glad that no one’s put at risk.”
Additionally, Louisville released a statement Thursday saying its tests came back negative following the Duke game and didn’t anticipate any concerns with contact tracing.
“Our group is tested daily and on a path to have the requisite consecutive days of negative tests to be able to compete in the NCAA Tournament,” the school said.
With Duke’s season over, this will mark the first time since 1976 that both the Blue Devils and another basketball blueblood – Kentucky – won’t be in the NCAAs. The Wildcats lost their Southeastern Conference Tournament opener to Mississippi State on Thursday, ensuring that program’s first losing season since 1988-89.
Duke hadn’t missed the NCAA Tournament since the 1994-95 season when Krzyzewski stepped away from coaching following complications from back surgery. Assistant Pete Gaudet took over, with that team finishing 13-18 a year after Duke had played in the NCAA title game.
INDIANA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: 2-Seed Hoosiers Exit Big Ten Tournament In Loss To Michigan State
INDIANAPOLIS – Poor shooting and costly turnovers forced the 2-seeded Hoosiers to bow out of the Big Ten Tournament in the quarterfinal round in a 69-61 loss to Michigan State on Thursday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
With just a one-point lead in the opening quarter, Indiana (18-5) used buckets from sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes and Gulbe to push its lead to five, 11-6. A pull-up by junior guard Grace Berger and another one by Holmes continued to give IU the edge in the frame as it led 16-11 after one.
The Hoosiers hold Michigan State without a field goal for nearly three minutes to start the second quarter as it helped to push its lead up to double digits with 6:17 remaining.
The Spartans made it a six-point game with just under three and a half minutes to play as IU responded with Berger and Holmes connecting at the line for three points. The two teams would exchange 3-pointers in the final minute as Indiana took a 34-26 edge at the break.
But the Hoosiers could never really get anything going in the second half, as it was outscored in total 43-27.
Michigan State jumped on the Hoosiers out of the break, quickly capitalizing on errors which gave them a one-point less than three minutes in to the third. The lead would be exchanged on nine occasions but MSU’s Nia Clouden hit a pair at the line to take a 47-45 to the fourth quarter.
The Spartans would continue to build a lead but senior guard Ali Patberg, who scored nine of the 12 points in the second half, had back-to-back buckets to cut its deficit back to five. A Holmes layup that followed after the media timeout put IU within three, but it would get no closer as it didn’t score in the final 1:43 of play.
Berger led the Hoosiers with 19 points. Berger scored 12 points in the first half to help Indiana to a 34-26 lead at the break.
Holmes scored 17 points on 8-for-12 from the field. Holmes added 10 rebounds for her eighth career double-double.
Patberg scored 12 points and added a team-high six assists.
The Hoosiers held a 40-24 advantage in points in the paint.
The Hoosiers had won nine straight games coming in and had not lost since Jan. 31.
Trailing 59-50 with under eight minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Indiana used a 6-0 run to cut the gap to three at 59-56.
The Hoosiers will await their NCAA Tournament opponent with the selection show set for Monday, March 15 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
NBA NEWS: NBA fines Meyers Leonard $50,000 for anti-Semitic slur
(AP) The NBA has fined Meyers Leonard $50,000, the maximum allowed by league policy, and suspended him from using all Miami Heat facilities and activities for one week in response to his use of an anti-Semitic term.
Commissioner Adam Silver, in announcing those sanctions Thursday, also said that he believes Leonard “is genuinely remorseful” for using the slur.
“Meyers Leonard’s comment was inexcusable and hurtful and such an offensive term has no place in the NBA or in our society,” Silver said.
Leonard will also be required by the league to participate in a cultural diversity program. He has already met with representatives from the Anti-Defamation League, a prominent Jewish organization that works to stop extremism and delivers anti-bias education.
“We have further communicated to Meyers that derogatory comments like this will not be tolerated and that he will be expected to uphold the core values of our league – equality, tolerance, inclusion and respect – at all times moving forward,” Silver said.
Under the league’s collective bargaining agreement, Silver could not exceed $50,000 as a fine for “any statement having, or that was designed to have, an effect prejudicial or detrimental to the best interests of basketball.” He is permitted to combine the fine with a suspension and, because Leonard is already out for the remainder of the season with an injury, his salary will not be affected.
It was not immediately clear how the penalties issued by the NBA would affect Leonard’s standing with the team going forward. The Heat, within hours of the video coming out, said Leonard would be away from the team indefinitely.
They issued another statement Thursday, several hours after Silver announced the sanctions.
“While we remain hurt and disappointed by what he said, we are encouraged that Meyers has started to take the necessary steps to educate himself about why his comments were so offensive,” the Heat statement said. “We will continue to communicate with Meyers and his representatives while he remains away from the team.”
Leonard apologized Tuesday for using the term, insisting he did not know what it meant when he used it one day earlier. The video drew sharp rebukes from league officials, members of other teams, celebrities and even athletes from other sports.
NFL NEWS: AP Source: RB Ingram agrees to one-year deal with Texans
(AP) Running back Mark Ingram has agreed to a one-year contract with the Houston Texans, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Thursday because the agreement hadn’t been announced.
The addition of Ingram gives Houston’s running game a much-needed boost after the Texans averaged the second-fewest yards rushing a game last season that included a weak year from David Johnson.
Ingram, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2009, spent the last two seasons with the Ravens. The 31-year-old Ingram ran for 1,018 yards in 2019 but managed just 299 yards rushing last season when he missed five games with an ankle injury and slipped to third-string.
Ingram was the 28th overall pick by New Orleans in the 2011 draft and spent his first eight seasons with the Saints. He had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2016 and 2017, capped by a career-high 1,124 yards rushing in 2017.
A three-time Pro Bowler, Ingram has 7,324 yards rushing with 62 TDs in his career.
NFL NEWS: Bills re-sign starting linebacker Milano to 4-year contract
(AP) The Buffalo Bills re-signed linebacker Matt Milano to a four-year contract on Thursday, less than a week before the starter was eligible to become a free agent.
The signing comes a day after the Bills freed up more than $14.4 million in space under the salary cap by releasing receiver John Brown and defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson.
Milano had been preparing to test free agency, which opens Wednesday, after believing the Bills wouldn’t be able to match the offers he anticipated attracting on the open market.
Bills general manager Brandon Beane in January even raised the prospect of not being able to afford re-signing Milano by saying: “He’s earned this right and we’ll just have to see how it plays out.”
The 26-year-old Milano has been a starter since the second half of his rookie season in 2017. Drafted in the fifth round out of Boston College, he has developed into a key contributor when healthy. Milano’s versatility at the outside linebacker position to defend against the run and pass made him a valuable three-down player in Buffalo’s defensive system.
An assortment of injuries limited him to appearing in just 11 regular-season games and six starts this past year in which Milano still posted career-bests with 3 1/2 sacks and nine quarterback pressures. Including playoffs, the Bills had a 12-1 record with Milano in the lineup last season.
Buffalo finished 13-3 and then followed by making its deepest playoff run in 27 years by reaching the AFC championship game, which it lost to Kansas City.
In 2018, he was the NFL’s only player with at least 75 tackles, three interceptions and three fumble recoveries. Overall, Milano has five interceptions, five fumble recoveries and a forced fumble in 55 career games, including 39 starts.
NFL NEWS: Chiefs cut starting OTs Fisher, Schwartz to save cap space
The Kansas City Chiefs released starting offensive tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz on Thursday as they sought to squeeze under the salary cap.
Those moves will provide another obstacle in their quest to upgrade an offensive line ransacked by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl.
The Chiefs were more than $22 million over the cap of $182.5 million that was set Wednesday. The release of Fisher and Schwartz saves about $18.3 million, leaving them able to restructure other contracts – and potentially extend players – and create enough financial wiggle room to maneuver in free agency.
Fisher and Schwartz were instrumental in helping the Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers for their first Super Bowl title in 50 years. They also played a big part in helping them return to the big game, though both ultimately missed it with injuries.
Fisher tore his Achilles tendon in the AFC title game and Schwartz missed half the season with a back injury.
Both of them underwent surgery and while general manager Brett Veach said recently that they could be back by the start of the season, the cost of keeping them on the roster coupled with the uncertainty of their recovery made them natural cuts.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for both Eric and Mitchell,” Veach said in a statement. “With Eric, obviously he was the very first player we drafted when we got to Kansas City, and we were able to watch him grow into a solid tackle for us for many years. With Mitchell, his durability and toughness is remarkable and he certainly left his mark on our team. These decisions are never easy, especially with guys like these, but both of these players will forever be a part of our history.”
The Chiefs selected the 30-year-old Fisher first overall in the 2013 draft, shortly after coach Andy Reid was hired and Veach arrived on then-GM John Dorsey’s staff. His rookie season was a bit shaky, but Fisher developed into one of the league’s best left tackles, earning nods to the Pro Bowl in 2018 and last season.
The Chiefs signed the 31-year-old Schwartz in 2016 to bookend with Fisher on a revamped offensive line. He was voted an All-Pro in 2018 and proved to be among the most durable right tackles in the game, starting 134 consecutive games dating to his days with the Cleveland Browns before his back injury occurred in Week 6 against Buffalo.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Kansas picks Emmett Jones as interim football coach
(AP) Emmett Jones was picked as the interim football coach at Kansas on Thursday as the beleaguered school searches for a new athletic director and head football coach following a scandal-plagued week.
Jones is entering his third season with the Jayhawks, serving first as the wide receivers coach and most recently as the passing game coordinator. He also has coached at Texas Tech along with several high schools in Texas.
“Emmett’s relationship with our football student-athletes is vital as we venture through this time of transition within our football program and athletics department,” interim athletic director Kurt Watson said in a statement. “I am confident in his abilities to ensure this program functions at a high level in preparation for the 2021 season.”
Watson also interviewed current defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot, recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach Joshua Eargle and offensive coordinator Mike DeBord, who had been handling day-to-day duties the past week.
The mess at Kansas began last week with the release of two reviews by LSU conducted by separate law firms into football coach Les Miles, who had been accused by two women of making sexual advances during his tenure leading the Tigers.
Miles was placed on administrative leave before agreeing to a buyout of his contract Monday night.
The following day, then-athletic director Jeff Long defended his hiring of Miles – his friend of 30 years dating to their days together at Michigan – and vowed to conduct the search for his replacement. But after significant backlash from fans and prominent donors, Long met with Kansas chancellor Douglas Girod and submitted his resignation.
Watson was placed in charge of the athletic department while Girod, with the help of a panel of advisors, searches for the next athletic director. Whomever is hired will then handle the search for the next football coach.
Jones is among a few coaches on the staff that will likely be interviewed for the permanent job.
He was the head coach at Texas prep powerhouse South Oak Cliff, and he’s used his connections in the football hotbed to help lure a series of strong recruiting classes to Kansas. Jones has done it without the benefit of a winning tradition, either, let alone much fan support or facilities that would be deemed average by Division I standards.
He also spent time on current Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury’s staff at Texas Tech.
“I am incredibly grateful to Chancellor Girod and Mr. Watson for the opportunity to lead this program during a critical time of change,” Jones said. “Since arriving here, I have developed a deep love of this program and university, and it is an honor to be named interim head coach. I will rely on our talented assistant coaches, as well as Ben Iannacchione and the strength and conditioning staff to guide our student-athletes and be there for them on and off the field.”
ND BASEBALL: Series Preview – No. 21 Virginia
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame baseball team is looking to keep the momentum going with the final series of the road trip this weekend. The 25th-ranked Irish travel to Charlottesville for the first time since 2017 to take on the 21st-ranked Cavaliers. Both teams are one of eight ACC teams to be ranked in the Top 25 this week. The series kicks off Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. on the ACC Network Extra.
Irish Close Road Trip Down in Charlottesville
- Notre Dame will close out the early season road trip with a three-game series against Virginia.
- This will be Notre Dame’s third ever trip to Charlottesville, with the Cavaliers winning the previous two series.
- Virginia leads the all-time series 10-5 and are 4-2 in games down in Charlottesville.
- The last time these two teams squared off, Virginia took two games out of three from the Irish at Frank Eck Stadium in April of 2019.
- In game one of that series, Notre Dame won 5-2 on the heels of Tommy Sheehan’s second-career complete game.
- The 21st-ranked Cavaliers entered the series with a 7-5 overall record and 2-4 in ACC play.
- They are coming off a 7-0 midweek win over Richmond after dropping two of three games on the road against Florida State the previous weekend.
Road Less Traveled
- With the 3-2 series clinching win over Clemson on March 7, the Irish won their third-consecutive ACC road series dating back to the 2020 season.
- It is the first time since joining the ACC in 2014 that the Irish have won three consecutive conference road series.
- The last time the Irish won three straight road conference series was back in 2008 when they defeated Villanova, West Virginia and UConn all on the road.
- The Irish have been dubbed the road warriors as they have won six of their last eight ACC road series dating back to the 2019 season.
- In the shortened 2020 season the Irish finished 9-1 on the road, it was their most road wins since the 2015 season.
Top-25, Here Come The Irish
- Following two consecutive ACC road series to begin the 2021 season, people are starting to take note of the Irish.
- Notre Dame appeared in two of the rankings this week as they were tabbed No. 25 by D1Baseball and the USA Today Coaches Poll.
- In the final week of the 2020 regular season, Notre Dame cracked the Top-25 when they were selected No. 24 by Collegiate Baseball News.
- It was the first time the Irish were ranked in the Top-25 since the 2015 season, the last time Notre Dame made an NCAA Regional.
Bullpen Provides Series Win Over Clemson
- The Irish needed a big game from their bullpen in the rubber match against the Clemson Tigers and got it to clinch their second straight series win to begin the season.
- Link Jarrett went to the pen with two outs in the second inning and the Tigers threatened for more runs with a 1-0 lead.
- Joe Sheridan stepped to the mound for the first time in an Irish uniform and got Notre Dame out of the inning.
- Sheridan tossed three shutout innings allowing just one hit before handing the ball to Liam Simon.
- Simon tossed a career-high four innings of relief, yielding just one run and two hits into the ninth inning with a career-high eight strikeouts.
- The Irish tied the game in the fifth with an RBI single from David LaManna and took the lead in the sixth with a two-run double from Carter Putz.
- In the ninth with two outs, the Tigers got the tying run 90 feet away when Jack Brannigan made the move from third base to the mound.
- Brannigan induced a pop up to short for the final out and the series win for the Irish.
- After giving up 13 runs in the first game of the series, the Irish limited the Tigers to just three runs over the last two games.
Bertrand Befuddles Clemson Bats
- Graduate student John Michael Bertrand grew up a little over 100 miles away from Clemson and after playing at Furman, he knew a thing or two about the Tigers.
- The Irish needed a big outing from him on Saturday to even the series and he did just that.
- Bertrand was dominant on the mound over seven innings, constantly having Clemson hitters guess while at the plate.
- The day after Clemson scored 13 runs in the opener, Bertrand limited them to just one run and three hits over his seven innings of work.
- Bertrand struck out eight batters which tied a career high.
- The Irish took the lead in the first inning when Niko Kavadas blasted his third home run of the season to dead center, putting the Irish up 2-0.
- Bertrand gave way to another lefty, Will Mercer, and he allowed just one hit over the final two innings to earn his first career save.
PURDUE BASEBALL: Purdue Faces Michigan in 1st Trip to South Carolina Since 2002
Purdue (1-3 • 7-7 in 2020) vs. No. 19 Michigan (3-1 • 8-7 in 2020)
Friday, March 12 to Sunday, March 14 / BTN+
Series Opener: Friday at 1 p.m. ET
Doubleheader: Saturday at 9 a.m. ET
Series Finale: Sunday at 9 a.m. ET
Fluor Field / Greenville, South Carolina
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday: Trent Johnson (Sr, RHP) vs. Michigan’s Steve Hajjar (R-So, LHP)
Saturday Game 1: Calvin Schapira (Jr, LHP) vs. Michigan’s Cameron Weston (So, RHP)
Saturday Game 2: Calvin Starnes (Jr, RHP) vs. Michigan’s Jacob Denner (So, LHP)
Sunday: Jett Jackson (So, RHP) vs. Michigan’s Blake Beers (Sr, RHP)
All-Time: Michigan leads 146-63
All-Time at a Neutral Site: Michigan leads 6-2
Last Meeting: Purdue 5, Michigan 4 (2018 Big Ten Tournament in Omaha)
Last Series: Purdue swept a 3-game set (May 2018 in West Lafayette)
Last Series in Ann Arbor: Michigan swept a 3-game set (April 2015)
Last Regular-Season Neutral Site Game: Michigan 4, Purdue 3 – 10 Innings (Feb. 2009 in Clearwater, Fla.)
First Meeting: Michigan 18, Purdue 0 (April 1983 in Ann Arbor)
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue and Michigan play at the same stadium for the second weekend in a row, but this time they square off against each other at Fluor Field, a Fenway Park replica in South Carolina’s largest city.
It’s another four-game series at a neutral site, with Michigan the designated home team this weekend. Game times are set for Friday at 1 p.m. ET, a Saturday doubleheader at 9 a.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m. Saturday’s twinbills is again comprised of a seven-inning game 1 and nine-inning game 2. However, the nightcap can be shortened to seven innings if game 1 goes at least nine or a team is leading by 10-plus runs after seven.
Michigan State and Northwestern are also playing at Fluor Field this weekend. The Spartans have been frequent visitors to Greenville over the last decade. The owner of the Greenville Drive, the Boston Red Sox’s High-A affiliate that calls the stadium home, is an MSU alumnus. The Spartans won three of four vs. Maryland at Fluor Field last weekend.
Purdue has played in North Carolina each of the last three years and four times dating back to 2015, visiting Cullowhee (2015), Chapel Hill (2018), Marion (2019) and Buies Creek (2020). However, the Boilermakers have not played in the Palmetto State since the 2002 spring break trip. That was an eight-game tour of the state that featured weekend series at Clemson and Coastal Carolina as well as midweek games at Wofford and South Carolina.
The opening weekend of the Big Ten season saw both Purdue and Michigan emerge victorious on Opening Day, but the Wolverines went on to take three of four from Iowa while the Boilermakers lost three straight to drop their series with Nebraska. Those game were played at the Triple-A ballpark in Round Rock, Texas.
Purdue won all four meetings with Michigan at the end of the 2018 season, punctuated by a walk-off win on day 2 of the Big Ten Tournament. The series sweep at Alexander Field the final weekend of the regular season was the Boilermakers’ first sweep of U-M since 1993.
Purdue’s four wins vs. the Wolverines over a stretch of five games in May 2018 helped propel the Boilermakers to an at-large berth in an NCAA Regional. In many ways, those victories vs. U-M highlighted the memorable 21-2 hot streak the team reeled off. Skyler Hunter, Ben Nisle, Tyler Powers and Trent Johnson are the active Boilermakers that played in those games vs. the Wolverines.
The following year, it was Michigan that earned an at-large bid in a Regional. The Wolverines received a West Coast draw and enjoyed a memorable run to Omaha. They won their Regional at Oregon State and Super Regional at UCLA. Victories against Texas Tech and Florida State in Omaha propelled U-M into the championship series vs. Vanderbilt. The Wolverines won the opener vs. Vandy before running into some hot pitching. From May 17 through June 24 of that season, Michigan posted an impressive 13-4 record while playing in lots of high stakes games.
HIGHS & LOWS ON THE MOUND
• Purdue pitching impressed with its ability to rack up strikeouts in the Nebraska series. The Boilermakers posted top five single-game totals (15 Friday, 16 Sunday) in program history to open and close the series. Their 46 Ks are believed to be a program record for a four-game series and are confirmed as only the second 40-strikeout showing by the staff since 2001. But they also struggled with walks on Saturday. The 14 walks issued (in just seven innings) in the nightcap of the doubleheader matched the most Purdue had allowed in a game since 2001.
• Individually, Jett Jackson was one of six pitchers in the Big Ten to post a double-figure strikeout total during the league’s opening weekend. By striking out 10 of the 20 batters he faced, he became just the seventh Boilermaker since 2005 to strikeout at least half the batters he faced while registering a minimum five strikeouts. Nolan Daniel nearly joined Jackson on the list, fanning four of the six batters he faced in his team debut Sunday.
• Jackson Smeltz and Jackson both struck out three consecutive batters in an inning during the series. Smeltz did it in the ninth inning Friday to set the stage for Purdue’s walk-off win in the bottom half of the frame.
MOST WALKS IN A GAME (SINCE 2001)
• 14 vs Nebraska – March 2020 (L, 10-0)
• 14 Ohio State – March 2013 (L, 10-1; first game at Alexander Field)
• 11 Minnesota – April 2018 (L, 22-7)
• 11 at IPFW – April 2009 (L, 22-19)
• 11 at Texas State – February 2009 (L, 14-10)
• 10 on 11 on occasions since 2001, most recently: at Texas – February 2019 (L, 7-2)
CAREER DOUBLE-FIGURE STRIKEOUT PERFORMANCES (SINCE 2005)
8 – Matt Bischoff, 2007-10
• Career High & Most Dominant: 12 vs Mississippi Valley State, 2009 (28 Batters Faced, 43%)
3 – Matt Morgan, 2008-11
• Career High & Most Dominant: 14 at Ohio, 2010 (31 Batters Faced, 45%)
2 – Lance Breedlove, 2011-12
• Career High & Most Dominant: 11 vs Cincinnati, 2012 (24 Batters Faced, 46%)
2 – Dan Sattler, 2004-07
• Career High: 12 — Northwestern, 2006; Most Dominant: 10 vs. Chicago State (26 Batters Faced, 38%)
2 – Jay Buente, 2003-06
• Career High: 11 at Louisiana, 2006; Most Dominant: 10 vs. Northwestern (21 Batters Faced, 48%)
2 – Matt Jansen, 2007-10
• Career High: 11 at Evansville, 2009; Most Dominant: 10 at Evansville, 2010 (29 Batters Faced, 34%)
1 – Jett Jackson, 2020-Pr
• Career High: 10 vs Nebraska, 2021 (20 Batters Faced, 50%)
1 – Trent Johnson, 2018-Pr
• Career High: 10 at Northwestern, 2019 (15 Batters Faced, 67%)
1 – Tanner Andrews, 2015-18
• Career High: 10 at Santa Clara, 2017 (27 Batters Faced, 37%)
INDIANA STATE BASEBALL: Sycamores Win Fifth-Straight; Claim Series Opener Over #20 FAU
BOCA RATON, Fla. – Indiana State baseball continued its dominance in the state of Florida Thursday evening as the team picked up its fifth-straight victory during a 7-5 win against No. 20 Florida Atlantic at FAU Baseball Stadium.
Indiana State (8-4) tallied 10 base hits in the win marking the fifth-straight game with 10 or more hits for the club. Leading the way at the plate was redshirt freshman Grant Magill who reached base in four of his five at bats with a single, two walks and a hit-by-pitch. The catcher scored three of the seven Sycamore runs. Josue Urdaneta and Max Wright added two hits each while Mike Sears tallied his third home run of the season with a two-run shot in the third.
Cam Edmonson was the pitcher of record for the Sycamores, improving to 1-1 on the season after 1.1 innings of relief work. The redshirt lefty struck out two of the five batters he faced. Connor Cline recorded his second save of the season after closing out the final 1.1 innings of action. He walked one and struck out three in his outing.
Connor Cline made his third start of the season going 6.1 innings and allowing five runs and seven hits. After FAU jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first on a three-run home run, Cline settled in and pitched five scoreless innings, including a stretch in which the right-hander retired nine-straight FAU batters.
Trailing 3-0 in the second, ISU began chipping away at the FAU (8-4) lead as Urdaneta brought home a run on an infield single before Sears blasted his two-run home run over the wall in left in the third inning to tie the game.
The Sycamores took their first lead of the day in the fourth as Magill scored on a wild pitch. Wright put the Sycamores ahead 5-3 with a single up the middle in the sixth that plated Magill once again.
It was not until the seventh that the Owls were able to get anything going offensively – leading the inning off with consecutive singles. Following a sacrifice bunt, Steven Loden singled down the line in left to plate two runs and tie the game at five signaling the end of the day for Cline. Edmonson entered and picked up a groundout and later retired an Owl on a strikeout to end the frame.
Indiana State came back immediately to regain the lead in the eighth as Magill led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Terre Haute, Ind. native, Jordan Schaffer sent him to the plate with a single up the middle. Newcomer Seth Gergely added an insurance run in the ninth with a single to left to plate Tyler Nelson from second.
Cleanup man Bobby Morganson led the FAU attack with a three-run home run while Wilfredo Alverez was 2-for-3 on the day. Hunter Cooley took the loss in relief for FAU, falling to 2-1. Javi Rivera went just three innings in his start as ISU knocked him around for six hits and three runs.
Indiana State will look to clinch the series on Friday with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m.
OHIO STATE BASEBALL: Buckeyes Head to Minneapolis for 4 games inside Us Bank Stadium
Ohio State vs. Iowa
Date: March 12, 2021 | Time: Noon | Watch: BTN Plus+ | Live Scoring
Ohio State – Seth Lonsway (R-Jr. LHP | 0-0 | 16.88 ERA | 2.2 IP | 6 K | 4 BB)
Iowa – Trenton Wallace (R-Jr. | LHP | 0-0 | 3.60 ERA | 5.0 IP | 8 K | 4 BB)
Ohio State vs. Nebraska
Date: March 12, 2021 | Time: 4:00 p.m | Watch: BTN Plus+ | Live Scoring
Ohio State – Garrett Burhenn (Jr. | RHP | 0-0 | 3.00 ERA | 6.0 IP | 3 K | 3 BB)
Nebraska – Cade Povich (Fr. | LHP | 0-0 | 9.00 ERA | 3.0 IP | 4 K | 4 BB)
Ohio State vs. Iowa
Date: March 13, 2021 | Time: 2:00 p.m. | Watch: BTN Plus+ | Live Scoring
Ohio State – Jack Neely (Jr. | RHP | 0-0 | 9.00 ERA | 4.0 IP | 1 K | 2 BB)
Iowa – Cam Baumann (R-Jr. | LHP | 0-1 | 18.00 ERA | 6.0 IP | 6 K | 2 BB)
Ohio State vs. Nebraska
Date: March 14, 2021 | Time: 11:00 a.m | Watch: BTN Plus+ | Live Scoring
Ohio State – TBA
Nebraska – Shay Schanaman (Jr. | RHP | 0-0 | 0.00 ERA | 6.0 IP | 5 K | 3 BB)
COLUMBUS, Ohio – In 2021, playing four baseball games inside one of the newest football facilities in the country shouldn’t come as a surprise and that’s just what Ohio State will do this weekend. The Buckeyes head to Minneapolis, Minn., for four games — two against Iowa and two against Nebraska — inside US Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings. Ohio State will play two games Friday and then one each on Saturday and Sunday.
Iowa opened the season against Big Ten preseason favorite Michigan in Round Rock, Texas and dropped three of four games. Iowa’s lone victory came in the seven-inning contest on March 7.
Nebraska won three of its four games with Purdue last weekend in Round Rock. After a 6-5 walk-off loss in the opener, Nebraska outscored Purdue 21-2 over the final three games of the series.
Good Opening Weekend
The Buckeyes took three of four from Illinois in Greenville to start the season.
Not sure if it was a good omen or not, but the first two games of the season each went to extra innings and the Buckeyes won them both.
That was the first time Ohio State went extra innings on opening day since 2013 and it was the first time the Buckeyes won back-to-back games via extra innings since 2015.
Freshman Kade Kern made quite the debut, going 5-for-6 with a double, triple and three singles in his first collegiate game. He hit .471 on the weekend with a pair of doubles and five RBI. He also had a team-high 10 putouts in the outfield over the four games.
On the middle day of the series, the Buckeyes swept a double-header with Illinois. That was remarkable given the fact its two starting pitchers combined to go just 6.2 innings and allowed nine runs.
Ohio State Quick Hitters
The Buckeyes batted .267 as a team and scored 24 runs (6.0 per game) in the first four games of season.
Senior captain Conner Pohl is batting .353 and has reached base in each of his last 16 games dating back to last season. He is also riding a team-high nine-game hitting streak.
The OSU bullpen has a 1.66 ERA in 21.2 innings with 29 strikeouts and just nine walks.
Wyatt Loncar pitched four scoreless innings in relief last weekend with four strikeouts and no walks.
Three Buckeye freshmen saw action on opening weekend, and all performed well. Kade Kern hit .471 with two doubles, a triple and five runs batted in. Nate Haberthier and Isaiah Coupet combined for 5.2 innings out of the pen, allowing just one earned run and striking out six.
Ohio State pitchers have stranded 42 runners on base through the first four games
HCAC Recognizes 2021 Men’s Basketball All Conference and Awards
CARMEL, Ind. – The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) announced the 2021 Men’s Basketball All-Conference teams and the major award winners.
Lucas Gentry (Mt. Vernon, Ky.) from Transylvania University was named the Player of the Year, in a vote of league coaches. In conference only play, the senior averaged 19.7 points per game behind 54 percent field goal shooting with a 48 percent clip from three-point range. Gentry also pulled down an average of 8.6 boards a contest, while averaging 1.5 assists per contests.
On the other end of the court, Jacob Back (Harrison, Ohio) of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology was selected as the Defensive Player of the Year. The senior averaged 8.2 points per game behind an impressive 66.7 percent shooting, 3.2 rebounds per contest, and added 10 assists, nine blocks and eight steals over the course of the shortened 2021 season.
Fellow Fightin’ Engineer Dillon Duff (Fort Wayne, Ind.) was picked as the Newcomer of the Year. The first-year averaged 12 points per game, shooting 51.0 percent from the field. Duff averaged four rebounds a game, and added 15 steals, 13 assists, and 10 blocks over the course the 2021 season.
After leading Rose-Hulman to a 10-2 record in 2021, Rusty Loyd was voted as the 2021 HCAC Coach of the Year.
Player of the Year – Lucas Gentry, Transylvania University
Defensive Player of the Year – Jacob Back, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Newcomer of the Year – Dillon Duff, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Coach of the Year – Rusty Loyd, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
The HCAC also honors an All-Conference First Team, Second Team and Honorable Mention team. The members of those teams are selected by a vote of league coaches.
For more information on HCAC Men’s Basketball, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, or go to the HCAC’s home on the internet at www.heartlandconf.org. Be sure to stay up to date on all of your Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference news by following @HCACDIII on Twitter and by liking the “HCAC DIII” Facebook page.
2021 HCAC All-Conference First Team
|Jameel Cosby||JR||G||Bluffton University|
|Lucas Gentry||SR||F||Transylvania University|
|Zach Larimore||JR||F||Transylvania University|
|Craig McGee||SR||G||Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology|
|Payton Mills||SR||F||Franklin College|
|Ronny Williams||SR||G||Anderson University|
2021 HCAC All-Conference Second Team
|Jamel Barnes, Jr.||SR||G||Earlham College|
|Dezman Brown||SR||G||Bluffton University|
|Ty Houtson||SO||G||Hanover College|
|Marell Jordan||JR||G||Defiance College|
|Matt Krause||JR||F||Franklin College|
|Brady Thomas||JR||G||Mount St. Joseph University|
2021 HCAC All-Conference Honorable Mention
|Mark Albers||SR||G/F||Hanover College|
|Jacob Back||SR||F||Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology|
|Gavin Dowling||FR||F||Anderson University|
|Cortiz Buckner||SR||G||Manchester University|
|Dillon Duff||FR||F||Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology|
|Sam Gutierrez||SR||G||Franklin College|
|CJ Hampton||FR||F||Manchester University|
|Aaron Rich||SR||F||Bluffton University|
INDIANA MEN’S SOCCER: No. 23 Indiana Routs Wisconsin, 4-0
MADISON, Wis. – No. 23 Indiana (3-1-0) used three second half goals to pull away from the Wisconsin Badgers (0-5-0) at the Rec Well Turf Fields on Thursday afternoon. IU won the match by a final count of 4-0.
• Wisconsin snuck in an early chance off a Hoosier breakdown in the defensive backline. Junior forward Noah Melick of the Badgers wedged himself between two IU defenders and fired a right-footed shot from 18 yards out. The shot sailed slightly wide of frame.
• At the 26-minute mark, sophomore midfielder Brett Bebej scored the first goal of the match off a set piece. He corralled a loose ball in the box and fired a header that deflected off a Badger defender and found the back of the net.
• Sophomore forward Victor Bezerra nearly doubled the Hoosier lead in the 34th minute of the first half. He had a one-on-one chance, shook his defender, and let a shot rip from just outside the 18-yard box. Wisconsin’s grad student goalie Sven Kleinhans was up to the task and made the save.
• Wisconsin registered another dangerous look late in the first 45 minutes of play. Once again, Melick was able to get a shot off right in front of goal. Sophomore keeper Roman Celentano dove on the shot to record his first save of the match.
• Sophomore forward Herbert Endeley capped off a beautiful build-up from the Hoosier attack to score his first goal of the season in the 47th minute. Redshirt senior defender Spencer Glass drove the ball up the left sideline and delivered a pass to Bebej. The goal-scorer tapped the ball to senior midfielder A.J. Palazzolo, who redirected the pass to Bezerra. The Chicago native lofted a crossing pass to Endeley streaking down the right flank. Endeley gathered and beat the keeper to the bottom right corner of goal to put Indiana up 2-0.
• Bebej delivered his second goal of the match on another corner kick setup from Glass. The service cleared the masses right in front of the goal and found Bebej just left of frame, who headed the ball into the back of the net in the 54th minute.
• Freshman defender Joey Maher polished off the Indiana scoring with a third set piece goal for the Hoosier offense. After the corner kick from redshirt junior midfielder Joe Schmidt cleared the mass of bodies, Maher snuck behind the defense and guided the ball to the back of the net in the 81st minute.
• Both Bebej and Maher scored their first career goals in the victory.
• Endeley notched his first goal of the season and third of his career. The tally was the first for the Blaine, Minn., native since scoring IU’s lone goal against No. 16 Notre Dame on Sept. 17, 2019.
• Celentano has recorded three shutout wins this season and has 11 for his career. He has allowed one or fewer goals in 17 of his 18 career starts. He was credited with six saves with five coming in the second half.
• Glass has dished out four assists on the season, matching his total from the 2019 season. The Fort Wayne, Ind., native has 20 career assists, the most of any active Hoosier.
• The Hoosiers have scored three-plus goals in six of the program’s last seven Big Ten regular season wins, including all three victories in the 2020-21 season.
• Indiana is undefeated in the last 11 matches (7-0-4) against Wisconsin dating back to Oct. 13, 2013. IU holds the series advantage with 41 wins compared to five losses and nine draws.
• In the program’s last 40 Big Ten regular season matches Indiana holds a record of 29-2-9.
• Indiana holds a record of 23-11-5 in matches immediately following a loss under head coach Todd Yeagley and has not lost back-to-back matches since 2014.
GOALS: Brett Bebej (2), Herbert Endeley, Joey Maher
ASSISTS: Victor Bezerra, Spencer Glass (2), A.J. Palazzolo, Joe Schmidt
The Hoosiers are next scheduled to play at 2 p.m. ET on March 15 at Armstrong Stadium against the Michigan State Spartans. The match will be broadcasted on BTN. All times, dates, and locations are subject to change.
Consistent with IU Athletics’ ongoing efforts to protect the health and safety of students, coaches, staff, spectators and the local community, men’s soccer matches will be played without fans indefinitely. IU Athletics’ decision is in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and is consistent with what has transpired on all Big Ten campuses.
NOTRE DAME MEN’S HOCKEY: IRISH OPEN B1G TOURNAMENT VS. PENN STATE
WHO: Notre Dame (14-12-2, 12-10-2-2-1-2 B1G) vs. Penn State (9-11-0, 7-11-0-2-1-0 B1G)
WHEN: Sunday, March 14 – Noon ET
WHAT: Big Ten Tournament (March 14-16)
WHERE: Compton Family Ice Arena
WATCH: Big Ten Network (Entire B1G Tournament)
LISTEN: 94.3 FM | UND.com
As the No. 4 seed (based on conference winning percentage), Notre Dame will play fifth-seeded Penn State for the third consecutive game at noon on Sunday, March 14 in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.
It will mark Penn State’s fifth consecutive game against the Irish.
The winner will play top-seeded Wisconsin at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 15 as there is no re-seeding at the 2021 Big Ten Tournament (see page 22 for the bracket).
The teams have met twice previously in the Big Ten Tournament at Compton Family Ice Arena.
In 2018, Notre Dame’s first season in the league, the Irish eliminated the Nittany Lions with a 3-2 semifinal win as Jack Jenkins scored the game winner with 31 seconds left in the third (current NHL defensemen Jordan Gross and Andrew Peeke also scored for the Irish in that win).
Current seniors Matt Hellickson (one assist) and Colin Theisen played in that game, while Dylan St. Cyr was on the bench with Cale Morris getting the start.
Then in 2019, the teams met in the championship game with the Irish once again posting a 3-2 win.
Spencer Stastney opened the scoring in that game with his first career goal, while Theisen and Graham Slaggert added assists.
The Fighting Irish are 7-2-0 all time in Big Ten Tournament games (6-0-0 at Compton Family Ice Arena) and captured the 2018 and 2019 Big Ten Tournament Championships.
Notre Dame carries a five-game unbeaten streak into the tournament (4-0-1), tied for the fourth-longest active unbeaten streak in the country.
Senior goaltender Dylan St. Cyr was named the Big Ten’s Second Star of the Week for the second consecutive week after helping the Irish sweep Penn State to close out the regular season.
St. Cyr led Notre Dame to wins of 5-2 and 7-1 as the Irish improved to 14-12-2 on the year. For the weekend, St. Cyr stopped 75 of the 78 shots he faced for a .962 save percentage to go along with a 1.56 goals against average.
St. Cyr has started 14 of Notre Dame’s last 15 games dating back to the 2-1 win at Minnesota on Jan. 16 while posting a 2.00 goals against average and a .939 save percentage during that span.
Notre Dame finished the regular season tied with Wisconsin, Bowling Green and Michigan Tech for the most games played at 28 (both Notre Dame and Wisconsin were able to play each game on their schedules).
Alex Steeves leads the Irish with 15 goals and 31 points and has at least one point in 21 of 28 games this season.
Steeves’ 15 goals rank tied for fifth nationally, while his 14 goals in Big Ten play rank second to Cole Caufield (24).
Steeves’31 points rank sixth nationally.
Steeves enters the tournament with a six-game point streak (5-4-9), as does Landon Slaggert (3-6-9).
Graham Slaggert leads the Irish with 18 assists and ranks second on the team with 25 points while his 18 assists ranks tied for ninth in the country.
INDY FUEL HOCKEY: FUEL GIVE UP TWO UNANSWERED GOALS IN LOSS TO KOMETS
INDIANAPOLIS – In their second game during a three game week, the Indy Fuel hosted the Fort Wayne Komets for the fifth time this season. Indy would score early in the first period only to give up two unanswered Fort Wayne goals and fall 2-1 on Thursday night.
Taking the lead early in the first period, Michael McNicholas got alone on the power play and one-timed a pass from Mike Lee past Stefanos Lekkas to give Indy a 1-0 lead. The Komets would outshoot the Fuel 9-5 throughout the first period, but Dan Bakala and the Fuel defense would hold on to eventually take the 1-0 lead into the locker room.
Earning a power play early in the 2nd period, AJ Jenks would bury a centering pass from Brandon Hawkins to tie the game at one goal apiece. Throughout the remainder of the period, both teams would trade chances but Dan Bakala and Stefanos Lekkas would hold strong, sending the teams into the locker room tied 1-1.
Outshooting the Komets 6-1 in the first five minutes of the period, the Fuel were held off by Fort Wayne goaltender Stefanos Lekkas. After being dominated at the beginning of the period, Fort Wayne would take the lead when Olivier Galipeau fired a wrist shot past Dan Bakala. Although outshooting the Komets 11-8 in the third period, Stefanos Lekkas and the Fort Wayne defense weathered the storm and defeated the Fuel 2-1 on Thursday night.
Various ticket options are now on sale for the Fuel’s 7th season at Indiana Farmers Coliseum! Lock up your seat for every second of the action at Indiana Farmers Coliseum with a Fuel Ticket Plan – grab yours by heading to IndyFuelHockey.com or by calling the Fuel front office at 317-925-FUEL. Don’t forget to follow the Fuel on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (IndyFuel) for news, updates, contests and much more throughout the 2020-21 season.
PGA: Big finish sends Garcia to big lead at Players Championship
(AP) Sergio Garcia rushed to the first tee and raced to the finish line Thursday in The Players Championship.
Most importantly, he avoided the kind of wreck that allowed the TPC Sawgrass to live up to its reputation as the course where anything can happen to anyone at any time.
Garcia thought he had plenty of time to get from the range to the 10th tee to start his round. The sun was in his eyes when he looked at the clock, he wasn’t sure what he saw, jogged the rest of the way and had a minute to spare. Then he fired off a 7-under 65, capped off by a birdie-birdie-eagle finish for a two-shot lead over Brian Harman.
It was a solid day that became brilliant over the final three holes.
Garcia only had to look next to him to see what kind of damage the Stadium Course inflicted, even on a pristine day of pleasant sunshine and a mild breeze.
Rory McIlroy, the defending champion, opened with a double bogey from the trees. He hit two in the water on the 18th and made a quadruple-bogey 8. He wound up with a 79, his worst score since his opening round at Royal Portrush in the 2019 British Open.
When darkness brought the first round to a halt – 21 players didn’t finish – there already were 13 scores of 80 or higher. That included Henrik Stenson with an 85, his highest score ever on the PGA Tour.
There were 22 scores of triple bogey or worse.
Garcia took eight shots to play his final three holes. Byeong Hun An took 11 shots on the par-3 17th hole.
The Spaniard feels comfortable on a course that causes anxiety even in good weather.
“For some reason, it just kind of fits my eye,” said Garcia, who won The Players in 2008 and has twice been runner-up. “I see what I want to do pretty much every hole, and then it’s a matter of doing it.”
Harman played in the afternoon and was hanging around par until he began the back nine with three straight birdies, shot 31 on the back and wound up with a 67.
British Open champion Shane Lowry took bogey on his final hole for a 68 and was tied with Corey Conners and Matt Fitzpatrick. Bryson DeChambeau, coming off his victory last week at Bay Hill, had to take a little off his driver on the par-5 16th and had 9-iron left, setting up a birdie-birdie-par finish to join the group at 69.
The small number of fans – by Sawgrass standards – saw a little bit of everything.
It started early with McIlroy, who shot 43 on his opening nine holes.
“The big number on 18 didn’t help and then doubling the first wasn’t helpful, either,” he said. “It’s hard to recover when you just haven’t played good. If you take that 18th hole out, it still wasn’t a very good day.”
Stenson hit into the water on consecutive holes for a double bogey and a triple bogey. He put two more in the water, including one of 18 balls in the water on the island-green 17th.
Three of those belonged to Kevin Na, who made an 8 and then withdrew after signing for an 81.
Ian Poulter (77) sat for lunch with McIlroy, Stenson and Tyrrell Hatton (76) and posted video of this fearsome foursome that combined to go 29-over par. “Oh, what a bunch of muppets,” Poulter said.
Rickie Fowler had three double bogeys in his round of 77, leaving him in danger of missing the cut and likely missing out on the Dell Match Play in two weeks.
Dustin Johnson took double bogey on the par-5 11th and eagle on the par-5 16th in his round of 73. Jordan Spieth missed only two fairways and had to settle for a 70.
Garcia’s lone bogey came after perhaps his best shot. From the pine straw next to a tree left of the first fairway, he hooded an iron that came out low and right to left with enough run that it settled 25 feet away. And then he three-putted.
The most remarkable round might have belonged to Hoge, who managed to get through 18 holes without a bogey.
“It was a good, solid day, kind of what you want here on the Stadium Course,” Hoge said. “I haven’t been hitting it that well coming in here, so I just tried to hit a lot of greens and stay out of trouble for the most part.”
Sebastian Munoz was at 4 under with one hole to play, that being the 18th, and a shot into the water led to a triple bogey for a 71. He tried to take out the positives of five birdies, and that’s what makes this tournament so tough to predict. There are plenty of birdies available. It doesn’t take much to erase all the good work.
“You do have a lot of wedges in your hand,” Munoz said. “Par 5s are reachable. So yeah, we do have a lot more chances than a usual course. But I mean, danger is around the corner on every hole.”
TODAY IN SPORTS HISTORY-1966
NEW YORK-His blond hair contrasting with his blood-red Blackhawks jersey, his thick, gloved hands curled around the stick, Bobby Hull is electrifying as he skates down the ice faster than any man in hockey. He shoots at 120 miles an hour-the hardest slapshot in the sport. There is little doubt among his opponents and fans that the 5-foot-10-inch 195- pounder Robert Marvin Hull is the most exciting player in the National Hockey League. With a goal tonight against the Rangers in Chicago, he surpassed Maurice (The Rocket) Richard and Bernie (Boom Boom) Geoffrion as the greatest goal scorer in a single N.H.L. season.
Hull’s record goal came on a deliberate 40-foot, straight-on slap shot at 5:34 of the final period, tying the game at 2‚2. The Blackhawks, who went on to win by 4‚2, had just caught fire on the first of Chico Maki’s two goals and were on the prowl with a power play. Red Hay and Lou Angotti got assists on the historic score. Cesare Maniago, the lanky Ranger goalie, was partially screened by Eric Nesternko when Hull shot. His 51st goal broke the record he had shared with the former great stars of the Montreal Canadiens. Hull, however, did it against defenses rigged especially for him and against the game’s toughest players who were given only one job each time they faced the Chicago left wing: Stop Hull.
Hull is frank about his life’s ambition. He says in his biography, “Bobby Hull,” which will be published March 31, “I want to make a million dollars and retire to a ranch.” From the loneliness of a 14-yearold living 150 miles away from home to play junior hockey, Hull has traveled the long road to acclaim, wealth and stardom. His public image carefully nurtured, he speaks graciously to his fans and accommodates screaming teen-agers after each game with his autograph. He even speaks publicly as if he were a storybook hero, which to Chicagoans he is. He describes his house as “nine rooms, resting on top of a knoll overlooking a lagoon.” Hull, now 27, lives on an island in southeastern Ontario with his wife, Joanne, and their three children-Bobby Jr., 5; Blake, 4, and Brett, 20 months. The island is not far from his 600-acre ranch, which he reaches in an 18-foot runabout.
As a youngster, he had the same ambition as every other boy in Point Anne, Ont.-to play hockey. He was barely into his teens when he went away for a junior team. He would cry nights and look forward to the weekends when his parents would be able to visit him. Four years later Hull was on the Blackhawks. By the time he was 20 he led the league in scoring and two years later he scored 50 goals in a season. Now in his ninth N.H.L. campaign, Hull already holds the Hawks’ record for career goals. Many have zipped past opposing goaltenders because of his custom-made stick, which he uses much like a jai alai player uses a cesta. Hull curves the blade of the stick, and it gives him more whip (at one time he used to bend the blades under a door, but now he has convinced manufacturers to make them curved).
1983: Mike Bossy, the Islanders’ right wing, connected for a pair of goals against the Washington Capitals at Nassau Coliseum, including his 50th of the season, making him the first N.H.L. player to reach the 50-goal level in each of his first six seasons.
1996: Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf of the Denver Nuggets, formerly Chris Jackson, was suspended without pay by the N.B.A. after refusing to stand during the national anthem before games. A compromise was reached when he said he would stand and pray during the anthem; the flag, he said, was a “symbol of tyranny and oppression” and thus his Muslim faith would not allow him to pay respect to it.
1966: The 59-year-old jockey Johnny Longden won the 6,032nd and final race of his career by riding George Royal to victory in the San Juan Capistrano Invitation Handicap at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif.
TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
1903 After the club ceases operations in the Charm City, Frank Farrell and Bill Devery purchase the original American League team in Baltimore, receiving approval from 15 of 16 major league owners to move the team to New York to play as the Highlanders. Giants owner John T. Brush cast the dissenting vote, believing the new club, known as the Yankees starting in 1913, will compete for fans in the Big Apple.
1971 The Cubs catcher Randy Hundley suffers a badly sprained knee and will play only nine games this season. In 1968, the venerable backstop caught 160 games for Chicago, starting 156 of those contests, playing every inning in 146 games.
1980 National League outfielder Chuck Klein, who compiled a .320 batting average during his 17-year career, and former Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey are both elected to the Hall of Fame. Yawkey is the first person to be selected who was not first a player, manager, or general manager.
1982 Ballantine Books publishes the first of seven annual Bill James Abstracts, bringing the author into the national spotlight for his statistical insight into the game. The sabermetrician’s initial self-published efforts, written on the night shift as a security guard at the Stokely-Van Camp’s pork and beans cannery, introduce baseball fans to new ways of measuring a player’s ability, using stats such as such Runs Created.
1991 Jim Palmer’s attempted comeback at 45 comes to an end when the newly elected Hall of Famer tears his hamstring warming up before an exhibition appearance against Boston. The Orioles right-hander, who hadn’t thrown a major league pitch in seven seasons, keeps his 268-152 and 2.86 ERA intact, which he accomplished during a 19-year career on the mound.
2001 Richard Hidalgo signs the third-richest contract in Astro history with a four-year $32 million deal with the club. The outfielder’s pact is less than teammate Jeff Bagwell’s $85 million (5 years) and Craig Biggio’s $33 million (4 years).
2003 The second exhibition season bench-clearing brawl this week occurs when a raging Mike Piazza charges the mound after being hit by a pitch thrown by Guillermo Mota, who makes it to the dugout without being caught. The incident may be a follow-up to a similar event last spring when a shoving match between the two players resulted when the Mets’ All-Star catcher waited for Mota and grabbed the Dodger reliever’s jersey as he was coming off the field in the eighth inning of the game.
2006 Over 15,000 Twins fans attend a memorial service at the Metrodome to pay their final respects to Kirby Puckett, who died unexpectedly, at 45, after suffering a stroke last week. During the emotional ceremony, former teammates and fellow Hall of Famer Cal Ripken lighten the mood by sharing humorous anecdotes about the beloved Minnesota outfielder with the crowd.
2008 The benches clear in a rare spring training brawl when Shelley Duncan slides into second base, with his spikes aimed at Rays infielder Akinori Iwamura after being thrown out by a wide margin. The incident was precipitated by Tampa Bay’s aggressive play four days ago, which resulted in a home-plate collision that injured Yankee catcher Francisco Cervelli.
2010 In the opener of a scheduled three-game exhibition series in Taiwan, the Dodgers are defeated by an All-Star squad from the Chinese Professional League (CPBL) at Taipei’s Tienmu Baseball Stadium, 5-3. The road trip is the team’s second journey to the Chinese island, having finished with one win and two losses during a trio of spring training games in 1993.
2015 Will Ferrell, hoping to raise awareness of organizations trying to cure cancer, plays nine different positions while appearing for ten teams in five Cactus League exhibition games in Arizona. The comedian’s effort, detailed in an upcoming HBO documentary, is severely criticized by former NFL coach and broadcasting legend John Madden, who calls the stunt disrespectful and insulting to the game of baseball.
|New York||19||19||.500||6.5||11-7||8-12||1-3||13-11||6-4||1 L|
|Oklahoma City||16||21||.432||11.5||7-11||9-10||2-6||8-16||5-5||2 W|
|LA Lakers||24||13||.649||1.5||11-8||13-5||1-4||17-8||3-7||2 L|
|LA Clippers||25||14||.641||1.5||13-6||12-8||6-2||15-7||4-6||1 W|
|Golden State||19||19||.500||7.0||12-6||7-13||3-5||9-11||4-6||4 L|
|San Antonio||18||15||.545||—||9-10||9-5||4-6||12-14||5-5||2 L|
|New Orleans||15||22||.405||5.0||10-10||5-12||4-3||8-14||3-7||3 L|
|New York Islanders||27||17||6||4||38||16||80||60||12-0-2||5-6-2||9-0-1|
|New York Rangers||25||10||12||3||23||9||68||71||5-6-2||5-6-1||5-5-0|
|New Jersey Devils||23||8||12||3||19||8||58||76||2-9-1||6-3-2||2-7-1|
|Vegas Golden Knights||23||16||6||1||33||16||73||51||10-2-1||6-4-0||6-4-0|
|St. Louis Blues||26||14||8||4||32||13||83||82||4-6-2||10-2-2||5-3-2|
|Los Angeles Kings||25||11||8||6||28||10||78||72||4-3-4||7-5-2||5-2-3|
|San Jose Sharks||23||9||11||3||21||5||66||88||3-5-1||6-6-2||4-4-2|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||28||19||7||2||40||19||97||70||10-4-1||9-3-1||6-4-0|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||25||18||5||2||38||18||91||57||9-1-0||9-4-2||8-1-1|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||28||10||12||6||26||9||75||94||6-5-4||4-7-2||2-6-2|
|Detroit Red Wings||28||8||16||4||20||8||63||95||5-6-3||3-10-1||4-5-1|