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#SportsReport: NCAA Ice Hockey Tourney Starts

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Last night's NCAA regional semifinals consisted of three close games and a blowout. Xavier, Gonzaga and Oregon managed to win their NCAA Tournament games by a combined six points, while Kansas enjoyed a 32-point blowout over Purdue.

No. 8 Wisconsin takes on No. 4 Florida tonight at 10 p.m., No. 3 Baylor faces No. 7 South Carolina at 7:30 p.m., No. 1 North Carolina goes head to head with No. 4 Butler at 7 p.m., and No. 2 Kentucky faces No. 3 UCLA at 9:30 p.m.

In women’s college basketball, No. 1 UConn faces No. 4 UCLA tomorrow at 2 p.m. and No. 1 South Carolina takes on No. 12 Quinnipiac at 4 p.m.

Minutes before an introductory conference for the new men’s basketball coach at UMass Amherst, the man picked for the job called the Athletic Director to tell him he would not be taking the job. AD Ryan Bamford said Thursday that Kelsey asked to be let out of his contract that was signed Tuesday, making clear that it was for "very personal" reasons. Kelsey said in a statement released by the university that he is sorry and felt welcome while on campus.

The NCAA will start deciding on locations for its upcoming championships next week and has indicated it will leave North Carolina out of that process if the state hasn't changed a law that limits LGBT rights by that time. The NCAA said its committees will begin picking championship sites for 2018-22 and will announce those decisions April 18. The NCAA says its position has not changed since last fall, when it pulled seven championship events from the state because of the law known as HB2.

Georgetown has opened its search for a new men's basketball coach, while Massachusetts is back in the market for a hoops coach. John Thompson III has been dismissed by the Hoyas after the team posted back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since the early 1970s. The son of Hall of Fame coach John Thompson was 278-151 in 13 seasons at Georgetown, going to eight NCAA tournaments and reaching the Final Four in 2007.

Play in the NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament starts today. Union College will take on Penn State at 4:30 tomorrow afternoon. Cornell faces UMass Lowell at noon.


In the NBA, Brooklyn won against Phoenix 126-98, Portland beat the Knicks 110-95, Toronto bested Miami 101-84, Dallas topped the Clippers 97-95, and San Antonio defeated Memphis 97-90.

Rutgers sophomore guard Corey Sanders is entering the NBA draft. In making the announcement Thursday, the university said Sanders will not sign with an agent. Sanders will be able to attend workouts scheduled by NBA teams and will be eligible for invitation to the league's combine next month. Players have until 10 days after the combine to remain in the draft or return to school, as long as they don't sign with an agent.


In the NHL, Tampa Bay doubled up Boston 6-3, Toronto beat New Jersey 4-2, Washington defeated Columbus in a shootout 2-1, Florida won against Arizona 3-1, Carolina beat Montreal 4-1, Ottawa bested Pittsburgh in a shootout 2-1, Philadelphia topped Minnesota 3-1, St. Louis defeated Vancouver 4-1, Nashville beat Calgary 3-1, Chicago edged Dallas in a shootout 3-2, Edmonton won against Colorado 7-4, and it was the Kings over Winnipeg 5-2.

The New York Islanders have recalled veteran goalie Jaroslav Halak for their push for a playoff spot. Halak, sent down to the minors on December 31st, was called up by the NHL club on Thursday. In his last game with the Islanders, Halak gave up four goals in less than two periods of a 6-4 loss at Minnesota on December 29th. He was waived the next day.

The NHL has until the end of April to decide whether league players will be cleared to participate in the South Korea Olympics next year. International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel announced that timeline to The Associated Press on Thursday as the NHL and its players remain divided on participation. Union chief Donald Fehr (feer) says players want to compete in the Winter Games, but team owners have made it clear they don't want to stop their season again for the Olympics and put their stars at risk of injury.


In baseball’s spring training, the Yankees tied Tampa Bay 5-5, Washington edged the Mets 1-0, and Boston topped Pittsburgh 10-7.


Jurors in the double-murder trial of ex-Patriots star Aaron Hernandez have heard dramatic testimony from the girlfriend of a man who claims he saw Hernandez fatally shoot two men in 2012. Alexander Bradley, a former close friend of Hernandez, finished his testimony Thursday by insisting he is telling the truth about the shootings of two Boston men.

Tom Brady's stolen Super Bowl jerseys are back with the New England Patriots. The FBI in Boston announced that jerseys worn by Brady during this year's Super Bowl and the 2015 Super Bowl were returned to Gillette Stadium Thursday. Brady's 2017 jersey went missing from the Patriots' locker room after the team's Super Bowl win over the Atlanta Falcons February 5th. That sparked an investigation stretching from Boston to the Mexican border.

The New York Jets have signed former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton. The team announced the signing Thursday. Patton, who spent his first four NFL seasons with the 49ers, visited the Jets last Saturday as an unrestricted free agent.

Also in the NFL:

— The Jets have signed 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton, who had 37 catches for 408 yards last season. Patton has 73 career receptions for 880 yards and one touchdown since he was taken by San Francisco in the fourth round of the 2013 draft.

— The Bears have re-signed receiver and kickoff returner Deonte Thompson to a one-year contract. He had 22 receptions for 249 yards and finished second in the NFL with 804 kickoff return yards last season.

— The Bengals have announced the re-signing of unrestricted free agent Cedric Peerman to a one-year deal. The eight-year veteran was a Pro Bowl special teams pick in 2015 and was limited to six games last season because of a broken forearm.


Trey Mullinax opened with a 9-under 63 to grab the first-round lead in the Puerto Rico Open. Mullinax carded nine birdies and no bogeys and taking a one-stroke lead over D.A. Points.

Soren Kjeldsen and Alex Noren have won their groups in the Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Texas. The 62nd-seeded Kjeldsen had four straight birdies in a 4-and-3 win over Emiliano Grillo to advance one day before group play is completed. Kjeldsen's Friday match was supposed to be against Gary Woodland, who had to withdraw from his second-round match with Rory McIlroy due to a personal matter. McIlroy was eliminated by Kjeldsen's birdie run. Noren got through because Francesco Molinari withdrew with a wrist injury. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson and 14th seed Phil Mickelson had another easy time and remain undefeated. Johnson earned a 3-and-2 win over Martin Kaymer (KY'-mur).

©2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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