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#SportsReport: NCAA First Round Tournament Play Starts Today

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In college men's basketball, Andrew White III made seven of his nine 3-point attempts and scored 34 points in leading Syracuse, disappointed not to be in the NCAA Tournament, to a 90-77 victory over UNC Greensboro in a first-round NIT game last night. White set the Syracuse single-season record with 109 3-pointers, on 269 attempts.

Southern Cal and UC Davis have advanced to the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Bennie Boatwright scored a career-high 24 points and the Trojans turned a 17-point, second-half deficit into a 75-71 win against Providence. Chima Moneke scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Aggies beat North Carolina Central, 67-63.

Tonight, No. 13 Vermont takes on No. 4 Purdue at 7:27 p.m. No. 14 Iona faces No. 3 Oregon at 2 p.m. tomorrow, March 17th.

In the CIT, UAlbany goes head-to-head with Saint Peter’s at 7 p.m. at SEFCU Arena in Albany.

The University of Massachusetts is responding to a lawsuit filed by a woman who alleges she was held against her will by members of the men's basketball staff. UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford said in a statement Tuesday that when the university became aware of the complaint in December, it hired an independent investigator who found no evidence to support the allegations in the suit. Ayanna Hickman's civil rights suit seeks $75,000.

Missouri has found a new men's basketball coach, but a pair of Pac-12 teams now have vacancies. Cuonzo Martin is the new men's basketball coach at Missouri after three seasons at California. The Tigers announced the hiring Wednesday after Cal confirmed Martin's resignation, a day after the Golden Bears' season ended in the first round of the NIT with a loss to Cal State Bakersfield.

Washington men's basketball coach Lorenzo Romar has been dismissed today after 15 seasons at the school. Romar was 298-196 with the Huskies and was responsible for reinvigorating a downtrodden program, taking Washington to six NCAA Tournaments and three appearances in the Sweet 16. But the team missed the last six NCAA tournaments and never advanced to the Final Four despite his strong recruiting.


In the NHL, Boston beat Calgary 5-2, Philadelphia blanked Pittsburgh 4-0, Colorado topped Detroit 3-1, and it was Anaheim over St. Louis 2-1.

The Pittsburgh Penguins were unable to pull into a first-place tie with Washington in the NHL's Metropolitan Division. The Flyers had dropped three in a row until Wayne Simmonds scored his 200th goal and Steve Mason turned back 23 shots in a 4-0 shutout of Pittsburgh. Sean Couturier, Claude Giroux, and Dale Weise also tallied to back Mason, who claimed his third shutout of the season and 33rd of his career.

Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov will be out three to four weeks with a left leg injury suffered in Tuesday's 4-2 win at Montreal. Rookie Nick Schmaltz likely will center Chicago's second line with wingers Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin. Anisimov has 22 goals and a career-high 45 points in 64 games this season.

The Flames' franchise record-tying 10-game winning streak is over after David Pastrnak scored twice and Brad Marchand notched his league-high 36th goal in Boston's 5-2 verdict over Calgary. Anton Khudobin stopped 21 shots and helped the Bruins improve to 12-3-0 under interim coach Bruce Cassidy. The Bruins are within four points of the Atlantic Division-leading Canadiens, while the Flames are two points behind the Ducks for second place in the Pacific Division.


The Boston Celtics have a firmer grip on the No. 2 seed in the NBA's Eastern Conference following Wednesday's action. Isaiah Thomas scored 27 points and Al Horford finished with 20 as the Celtics got past Minnesota, 117-104. Horford also had nine rebounds and eight assists for the Celts, who trailed by a basket before outscoring the Timberwolves by 10 in the third quarter. The outcome leaves the Celtics 1 ½ games ahead of the No. 3 Washington Wizards, the Southeast Division leaders.

The Wizards were losers at home as Dirk Nowitzki scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to lead Dallas over Washington, 112-107. Harrison Barnes had 22 points for the Mavericks, who are three games behind Denver for the final Western Conference postseason berth. John Wall had 26 points and 11 assists in the Wizards' second consecutive loss.

Checking out the rest of the NBA schedule:

— Damian Lillard scored 36 points and C.J. McCollum added 26 as Portland surprised the Spurs, 110-106 in San Antonio. Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 19 points and seven boards after missing two games with a minor heart arrhythmia. Kawhi Leonard had 34 points for the Spurs, who had won 11 of 12 before falling one game behind Golden State for the league's best record.

— Utah was a 97-83 winner at Detroit behind Gordon Hayward's 25 points and George Hill's 17. Hayward added eight rebounds and six assists, while Rudy Gobert had 12 points, nine rebounds and four blocks to help the Jazz win for the sixth time in seven games.

— Lou Williams scored 30 points against his former team and James Harden posted his 17th triple-double of the season to lead Houston's 139-100 laugher over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers. Harden had 18 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds as Houston handed the Lakers their 11th loss in 12 games.

— Memphis got 27 points apiece from Mike Conley and Marc Gasol in a 98-91 decision over the Bulls in Chicago. Conley and Gasol scored 18 of the team's 24 points in the fourth quarter.

— Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton each scored 16 points in Milwaukee's 97-96 win over the Clippers in Los Angeles. The Bucks improved to 11-5 since losing second-leading scorer Jabari Parker to a season-ending knee injury.

— The Heat won for the 22nd time in their last 27 games as Goran Dragic scored 33 points and Hassan Whiteside had another double-double in a 120-112 win against New Orleans. Wayne Ellington scored 19 for the Heat, who made 16 3-pointers in climbing within two games of .500.

— Paul George drained six 3-pointers while scoring 39 points to lead Indiana's 98-77 romp over Charlotte. Jeff Teague added eight points, eight rebounds and 11 assists for the Pacers, who went on a 15-0 run in the third quarter to go ahead by 18.

— Rookie Skal Labissiere scored 21 of his career-high 32 points in the final period of Sacramento's 107-101 victory at Phoenix. Labissiere scored the Kings' first 16 points of the fourth quarter.


The New England Patriots have re-signed Pro Bowl linebacker Dont'a Hightower. The new pact is for four years and $43.5 million. It brings back one of the Patriots' biggest free agents, who has helped New England win two Super Bowls in his five NFL seasons.

A judge has dismissed all charges against former New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis stemming from a fight last month in Pittsburgh. Revis had been charged with aggravated assault and other counts in a fight in which two men were punched and knocked out. A witness testified yesterday that he came to Revis' aid during the fight and was responsible for the knockout punches.

In other NFL moves:

— The Pittsburgh Steelers have added depth at wide receiver by signing free agent Justin Hunter to a one-year deal. The 25-year-old Hunter split time between Buffalo and Miami in 2016, catching 10 passes for 189 yards and four touchdowns.

— The Minnesota Vikings and veteran cornerback Terence Newman have agreed to terms on a new contract, bringing him back for a 15th NFL season. Newman has been a starter for the team the last two years, recording four interceptions and 21 pass breakups.


In baseball’s spring training, Boston tied Tampa Bay 3-3, the Yankees topped Philadelphia 3-1, and it was Miami over the Mets 6-2.

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi says the team has added former Los Angeles Angels closer Ernesto Frieri to the spring training roster. Frieri pitched for Colombia in the World Baseball Classic. The 31-year-old Frieri had 37 saves for the Angels in 2013. The right-hander last pitched in the majors with Tampa Bay in 2015.

The Nationals have unconditionally released catcher Derek Norris, who at one point appeared to be penciled in as Washington's starting catcher but became expendable after the club signed free agent Matt Wieters. Norris batted .186 with 14 homers and 42 RBIs with San Diego last season.

All-Star catcher Salvador Perez should be ready for Kansas City's season opener after tests showed there was no structural damage to his left knee. Perez hurt the knee during the World Baseball Classic. However, the Royals are still concerned about his hyperextended left elbow and don't plan to play him in preseason games for a week.


Slovenian Ilka Stuhec was able to hold off a hard-charging Lindsey Vonn to win Wednesday and wrap up the overall downhill title at the World Cup Finals. Stuhec finished in 1 minute, 36.95 seconds over a sun-splashed course, 0.66 seconds ahead of Vonn. Stuhec finished 137 points in front of Italy's Sofia Goggia for the season-long downhill title.

U.S. Soccer World Cup Roster:

Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard and Geoff Cameron are back on the U.S. roster after lengthy layoffs as coach Bruce Arena made large-scale changes, hoping to spark the Americans to a rebound in World Cup qualifying. Half of the 26 players remain from former coach Jurgen Klinsmann's final roster from last fall. Fourteen of the players are from MLS, up from 10 in November. The U.S. hosts Honduras on March 24 and is at Panama four days later.


NASCAR has declined to penalize Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and their crews for Sunday's post-race scuffle at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. NASCAR says the sport was built on the kind of racing that Busch and Logano did on the final laps of the Monster Energy race. Busch confronted Logano after the race and threw a punch before being knocked to the ground by Team Penske crew members.


A prosecutor and a defense attorney have both told jurors at a New York insider trading trial that a stock trade by golfer Phil Mickelson aids their case. The golfer's name arose as Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Ferrara and defense attorney Barry Berke previewed arguments Wednesday at the trial of professional gambler William "Billy" Walters. Ferrara says Walters wanted friends to share the benefits of his secrets. Berke says no one with secrets would want to attract scrutiny by tipping off a famous golfer. Prosecutors say Walters earned more than $40 million illegally by trading on tips from a former board member at Dean Foods Co., one of the nation's largest processors of milk for retailers. They say the tips occurred from 2008 to 2013. Berke says Walters is not guilty.

©2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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