#SportsReport: Arkansas tops Gonzaga; Houston defeats Arizona
NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT:
Kansas is now the lone No. 1 seed remaining in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament following Thursday’s losses by Gonzaga and Arizona.
Gonzaga absorbed a 74-66 loss to fourth seed Arkansas in the West Region. JD Notae had 23 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Razorbacks. Notae was the team scoring leader despite missing 20 shots.
Jaylin Williams chipped in 17 points, grabbed 13 boards and drew several charging fouls as Arkansas reached the regional final for the second straight year.
Drew Timme had a game-high 25 points for the Bulldogs, who drew the first overall seed after reaching the national championship game last year.
Next up for the Razorbacks is No. 2 Duke, which advanced to the Elite 8 in its final season under coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Jeremy Roach hit a pair of buckets while the Blue Devils put together a late 7-0 run in a 78-73 victory over Texas Tech. Paolo Banchero led Duke with 22 points, Mark Williams scored 16 and Roach added 15.
Krzyzewski moved within one win of his record-setting 13th trip to the Final Four.
The South Region final will have fifth seed Houston taking on No. 2 Villanova.
The Cougars knocked out Arizona as Jamal Shead scored a career-high 21 points in their 72-60 decision over the Wildcats. Kyler Edwards added 19 points with five 3-pointers to help Houston win without much help from Taze Moore, who got into early foul trouble.
Houston lost four starters from last season and then Marcus Sasser, the lone returner and leading scorer who broke his left foot before Christmas. The overhaul hasn’t stopped the Cougars from getting within one victory of their second straight trip to the Final Four.
Jermaine Samuels poured in 22 points and had eight rebounds as Villanova got past Michigan, 63-55 in the South Region. Samuels was 8-of-13 from the floor, with much of it coming on tough drives through Michigan defenders and around Wolverines center Hunter Dickinson.
Justin Moore finished with 15 points and Collin Gillespie provided 12 for the Wildcats.
The Wolverines were led by Dickinson’s 15 points and 15 rebounds.
Creighton coach Greg McDermott has signed a new multi-year contract after leading the Bluejays to the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32.
McDermott owns a 276-137 record with seven NCAA Tournament appearances in 12 seasons at Creighton and has the second-highest win total in program history. Creighton went 23-12 this season and posted a 72-69 overtime victory over San Diego State in the NCAA Tournament before losing 79-72 to Kansas.
In other college basketball news:
Tennessee coach Rick Barnes has received a contract extension through the 2026-27 season after winning the Volunteers’ first Southeastern Conference Tournament championship in 43 years. The SEC Tournament title was the fifth all-time for Tennessee and first since 1979. The Vols went 27-8 this season and finished No. 5 in The Associated Press poll, earning a fourth straight NCAA Tournament berth before losing to Michigan in the second round.
Madison Square Garden won’t host the NIT semifinals and championship game the next two years, according to a person with direct knowledge of the decision. That ends a college basketball tradition that dates to 1938. Potential locations range from resort areas such as Las Vegas to historic arenas like Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The Phoenix Suns have clinched the first overall seed in the NBA playoffs, while the Memphis Grizzlies have wrapped up a playoff berth.
The Suns welcomed back Chris Paul before earning a 140-130 win over the Nuggets. Paul furnished 15 of his 17 points after halftime and finished with 13 assists in the Suns’ seventh straight victory. It was his first game since missing five weeks with a broken thumb.
Devin Booker had a season-high 49 points for the Suns, who went 11-4 without Paul.
The Nuggets got 28 points from Nikola Jokic, 23 from rookie Bones Hyland and 21 from Aaron Gordon.
Desmond Bane scored 30 points on 12 of 15 shooting as the Grizzlies hammered the Pacers, 133-103. Bane was 5 of 7 from outside the arc as Memphis made a season-high 21 3-pointers.
Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with 20 points by hitting seven of his 13 shots, helping the Grizzlies shoot 54% from the field. De’Anthony Melton added 19 and John Konchar matched his career high with 18.
The blowout win came after the Grizzlies announced that Ja Morant will sit out at least two more weeks due to knee soreness. He has missed the Grizzlies’ last three games.
Morant is the Grizzlies’ leading scorer at 27.6 points a game. He missed 12 games earlier this year with a knee sprain.
Checking out Thursday’s other NBA action:
Devonte’ Graham hit five 3-pointers on his way to season-high 30 points in the Pelicans’ 126-109 decision over the Bulls. CJ McCollum scored 25 to help New Orleans win for the fourth time in six games and solidify a playoff spot. Zach LaVine scored 39 points and Coby White added 23 for Chicago, which played without leading scorer DeMar DeRozan and lost for the fifth time in six games.
Jrue Holiday had 24 points and 10 assists to help the short-handed Milwaukee Bucks withstand a late comeback attempt and beat the Washington Wizards 114-102 on Thursday night. Grayson Allen added 21 points and the Bucks never trailed despite playing without either of their two All-Stars: Khris Middleton missed a second straight game with a sore left wrist and Giannis Antetokounmpo was out for the second time in three games with a sore right knee.
Pascal Siakam matched his season high with 35 points and Chris Boucher scored 17 in the Raptors’ 117-104 downing of the Cavaliers. OG Anunoby returned from injury to score 14 points as Toronto won for the first time in four home games. The Raptors tied Cleveland for the sixth-best record in the Eastern Conference with nine games to go in the regular season.
A second grand jury in Texas has declined to indict new Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by 22 women and still faces civil lawsuits.
Only hours before the decision was announced, Watson arrived at Cleveland’s headquarters wearing an orange throwback Browns jacket. His arrival was delayed so Watson could give depositions Tuesday and Wednesday in Houston in the civil lawsuits.
Two weeks ago, a grand jury in Harris County, Texas, declined to indict Watson on criminal charges. That jury considered evidence related to nine criminal complaints that had been filed with Houston police.
Also in the NFL:
The Chiefs have agreed with wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling on a three-year, $30 million contract to help replace the departed Tyreek Hill. Valdes-Scantling caught 123 passes for 2,153 yards and 13 touchdowns during his first four seasons in the league, all with the Pacers. He appeared in all 16 games the first three years before a hamstring injury hampered him last season.
The Bills stand to lose Ryan Bates after the offensive lineman agreed to sign an offer sheet with the Bears. That’s according to a person with direct knowledge of the decision who confirmed it to The Associated Press. Buffalo will have to free up additional salary cap space to match the Bears’ offer.
Kyrie Irving can finally suit up at Barclays Center.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has exempted athletes and performers from the city’s vaccine mandate following weeks of pressure from the sports world. That will let Irving play at home for the Brooklyn Nets again and allow unvaccinated members of the New York Yankees and Mets to play baseball in their home ballparks.
Irving had been barred from playing in New York and Toronto for refusing to get vaccinated.
The exemption took effect immediately.
The Carolina Hurricanes wasted a pair of one-goal leads before losing for the fifth time in six games.
Tyler Seguin provided the lone shootout tally as the Stars downed the Canes, 4-3. Roope Hintz forced overtime with his second goal of the night, beating Frederik Andersen with 8:37 left in regulation.
Jamie Benn also scored and Scott Wedgewood stopped 44 shots in his debut for Dallas.
The Stars retained their hold on the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference.
Nino Neiderreiter had two goals for the Hurricanes, who lead the Metropolitan Division by three points over the Penguins.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
Panthers newcomers Claude Giroux, Brandon Hagg and Ben Chiarot collected at least one point in their team debut, a 4-3 victory at Montreal. Giroux and Jonathan Huberdeau each had two assists for the Atlantic Division leaders, who received goals from Aleksander Barkov, Anthony Duclair, Mason Marchment and Sam Reinhart. Florida improved to 42-14-6 and increased its lead in the East.
David Pastrnak completed his 12th career hat trick by scoring the tiebreaking goal with 4:10 remaining in the Bruins’ 3-2 win over the Lightning. Jeremy Swayman turned back 22 shots and Erik Haula had three assists in Boston’s’ 12th win in 14 games. The Bruins pulled into a second-place tie with Toronto in the Atlantic Division, one point ahead of Tampa Bay.
The Wild posted a 3-2 win over the Canucks on Joel Eriksson Ek’s goal 31 seconds into overtime. Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and an assist, and Kevin Fiala also scored in Minnesota’s fourth consecutive win.
The Flyers’ 13-game road losing streak is over after Travis Konecny scored twice in their 5-2 verdict over the Blues. Hayden Hodgson had a goal and an assist in his NHL debut, helping Philadelphia deal St. Louis its third loss in four games. Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexei Torpchenko scored for the Blues.
One day after his trade to the Ducks was nullified, Evgenii Dadonov had a goal and two assists in the Golden Knight's 6-1 rout of the Predators. Knights forward Brett Howden was wheeled off the ice on a stretcher after going into the boards headfirst near the Vegas bench. The team said he was taken to a hospital and was in stable condition.
Alex DeBrincat had a goal and an assist in regulation before providing the lone shootout tally in the Blackhawks' 4-3 win at Los Angeles. Patrick Kane also had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks, who have won two straight for the first time since getting four consecutive victories in the middle of January. Phillip Danault has a career-high 21 goals after netting a pair for the Kings.
Leon Draisaitl scored a pair of goals to lead the Oilers to a 5-2 victory against the Sharks. Kailer Yamamoto, Derick Brassard and Evander Kane also scored for the Oilers, who had lost their last two games but improved to 6-1-1 in their last eight overall.
Brock Nelson scored twice and Ilya Sorokin handled 37 shots in the Islanders’ 5-2 win against the Red Wings. Anders Lee set up three goals to help New York improve to 7-1-1 in its last nine games.
The Senators scored three times in a 3:15 span in the third period to beat the Jets. 5-2. Brady Tkachuk scored twice as Ottawa won for only the second time in seven games.
Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo will have hip surgery that has an expected recovery time of six months, ending his season.
Korpisalo is in the last year of a two-year contract and was expected to be one of the players Columbus would trade before Monday’s deadline. He struggled in 22 games this season, registering a career-worst .877 save percentage and 4.15 goals-against average while going 7-11-0.
Bob Baffert has transferred four of his promising 3-year-old colts to other trainers, which will allow them to earn qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby while the Hall of Fame trainer appeals his 90-day suspension. All four colts are owned by SF Racing LLC and others.
The moves came four days after a Kentucky judge denied Baffert’s request to stay his 90-day suspension but delayed it until April 4.
NASCAR has issued steep penalties against Brad Keselowski and his new race team for illegally modifying a supplied part on the Next Gen car.
Keselowski was docked 100 driver points and the No. 6 Ford team docked 100 owner points. Crew chief Matt McCall was fined $100,000 and suspended from the next four Cup races.
The penalty plunged the 2012 NASCAR champion from 16th in the current standings to 35th — behind every other full-time driver in the field. Keselowski will also be docked 10 playoff points should he recover to make the playoff field.
The Colorado Rockies picked up a little more power on Thursday while giving the Toronto Blue Jays a bit more speed.
The Blue Jays have traded outfielder Randal Grichuk and just over $9.7 million to the Rockies for outfielder Raimel Tapia and minor league infielder Adrian Pinto. The 29-year-old Grichuk hit .241 with 22 homers and 81 RBIs in 149 games last season. The 28-year-old Tapia hit .273 with 50 RBIs and 20 stolen bases in 133 games last year.
Also around the majors:
Two-time All-Star reliever Andrew Miller has retired at age 36. The left-hander played 16 seasons with seven teams and was the MVP of the 2016 AL Championship Series for Cleveland. Miller had a 4.75 ERA in 40 games last season, his third year with St. Louis.
Right-handed pitcher Zach Davies has agreed to a one-year deal with the Diamondbacks that includes a mutual option for next season. The Diamondbacks hope Davies can have a bounce-back season after a rough 2021 when he was 6-12 with a 5.78 ERA and an NL-leading 75 walks for the Cubs.
Backup catcher Max Stassi has agreed to a three-year, $17.5 million, deal to stay with the Angels, superseding the one-year package the two sides agreed to on Tuesday. He reached new career highs last season with 68 hits, 13 homers, 35 RBIs, 45 runs scored and 28 walks despite missing extensive playing time early in the season after a concussion.
The Mariners have acquired bullpen depth by giving 39-year-old Sergio Romo a one-year, $2 million contract. Romo spent last season with the Athletics, posting a 4.67 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 61 2/3 innings over 66 appearances.
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN:
The University of Michigan has reached an agreement to settle a lawsuit brought by students who sought to force changes in how the school protects the campus from sexual misconduct.
The deal was filed in federal court Thursday. As part of it, the Ann Arbor school will create and pay for a multidisciplinary standing committee designed to protect the university community from sexual abuse. The Coordinated Community Response Team will be comprised of about 30 members, including Title IX and campus sexual misconduct experts, students, community members and select members of the administration and faculty.
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