#SportsReport: Women's NCAA Tournament Set
Everything UConn lost to graduation made another Final Four even more special for Geno Auriemma and his Huskies. Napheesa Collier scored 28 points, Gabby Williams had 25 and the Huskies advanced to the national semifinals for the 10th straight year with a 90-52 victory against Oregon on Monday night. Auriemma said, "There were a lot of question marks going into the season and maybe they didn't have any in their own minds. They seemed to answer every single one of those questions. They deserve to be in the Final Four. They earned it."
The Huskies' 111th consecutive victory moved Auriemma past Pat Summitt for the most NCAA Tournament wins. Auriemma now has 113 and counting. Next up for top-seeded UConn (36-0) is Mississippi State on Friday night in Dallas. It is just two wins away from a fifth consecutive title and 12th overall.
Kaela Davis scored 23 points and A'ja Wilson added 16 and top-seeded South Carolina held off No. 3 seed Florida State 71-64 in a furious finish Monday night to win the Stockton Regional. Davis scored immediately off the tip and again on a timely, brilliant left-handed drive with 1:42 to go. Allisha Gray drove her way to 11 points for South Carolina (31-4) — and Dawn Staley's Gamecocks are back in the Final Four for the first time since 2015 still chasing the program's first NCAA championship.
The NCAA Men's Final Four is set, with both North and South Carolina in the mix. The No. 1 Tar Heels have advanced this far for the 20th time. And the seventh-seeded Gamecocks have earned their first berth in the national semifinals. South Carolina will take on Gonzaga in the first semifinal Saturday at Glendale, Arizona. North Carolina will play Midwest champ Oregon in Arizona.
Another NFL team is packing up and moving. Well, not just yet. The Oakland Raiders on Monday won the approval of the league to relocate to Las Vegas. The vote was a foregone conclusion after the league and Raiders were not satisfied with Oakland's proposals for a new stadium, and Las Vegas stepped up with $750 million in public money. Bank of America also is giving Raiders owner Mark Davis a $650 million loan, further helping convince the owners to allow the third team relocation in just over a year.
The Rams moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles in 2016, and in January the Chargers relocated from San Diego to LA. The Raiders likely will play two or three more years in the Bay Area before their $1.7 billion stadium near the Las Vegas strip is ready. Las Vegas, long taboo to the NFL because of its legalized gambling, also is getting an NHL team this fall, the Golden Knights.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Deonte Thompson has testified in the double-murder trial of ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez. The former New England Patriots tight end played football with Thompson at the University of Florida. Hernandez smiled when Thompson referred to him as "my guy" from the witness stand. Thompson testified yesterday about a Florida party he invited Hernandez to in February of 2013.
In the NBA, the Knicks beat Detroit 109-95, San Antonio topped Cleveland 103-74, Toronto won against Orlando 131-112, Oklahoma City bested Dallas 92-91, Sacramento squeaked by Memphis 91-90, and it was Utah over New Orleans 108-100.
A battle over control of the Los Angeles Lakers is over after an agreement was reached to have Jeanie Buss serve as controlling owner of the storied NBA franchise. Documents filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court state that Jim and Johnny Buss have agreed that their sister will serve as the controlling owner for the rest of her life.
In the NHL, Nashville defeated the Islanders 3-1, Buffalo edged Florida 4-2, Tampa Bay won against Chicago in overtime 5-4, Detroit beat Carolina in overtime 4-3, St. Louis topped Arizona 4-1, and it was Calgary over Colorado 4-2.
The New York Rangers have agreed to a contract with free-agent forward Vinni Lettieri. The 22-year-old Lettieri had 19 goals and 18 assists in 38 games with the Minnesota Golden Gophers this season. The deal was announced yesterday.
Sixteen U.S. senators wrote a letter to USA Hockey's executive director Monday over their concerns about the treatment of the women's national team. Players have threatened to boycott the upcoming world championships over a wage dispute. The senators, all Democrats, urged David Ogrean to resolve the matter and ensure the team receives "equitable resources." They cited the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act. USA Hockey's board of directors meets Monday, and players said Sunday night they hope there's a deal. The senators, all Democrats, joined a chorus of support that includes unions representing players from the NHL, NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball. Those organizations said over the weekend they stood with the women's team and criticized USA Hockey for attempting to find replacement players. Prominent NHL agent Allan Walsh tweeted Sunday, "Word circulating among NHL players that American players will refuse to play in men's World Championships in solidarity with the women."
In baseball’s spring training, the Mets blanked Miami 5-0 and Boston topped Baltimore 11-9.
Royals outfielder Jorge Soler will likely begin his first season in Kansas City on the disabled list after straining his oblique in a minor league game. Soler, acquired from the Chicago Cubs in December for closer Wade Davis, hurt himself on a swing Sunday. Soler went for a MRI Monday, and manager Ned Yost acknowledged Soler was expected to be out of action when the Royals open next Monday at Minnesota.
Veteran reliever Joe Nathan has been released by the Washington Nationals, ending his bid to make the team a week before opening day. The Nationals also unconditionally released another righty reliever on Monday, Matt Albers. Nathan's 377 career saves rank second among active pitchers and eighth in major league history.
PGA Tour star Jason Day says he expects to travel to Augusta, Georgia on Friday to start practicing for the Masters, but could pull still out of the season's first major, depending on his mother's prognosis following surgery for lung cancer last week. Day, who spoke on Monday by video conference about the Zurich Classic in late April, says surgery was deemed successful, and now the family awaits results of tests to see if the cancer has spread to Dening Day's lymph nodes. Day says his mother has been urging him not to worry and focus on his golf, but the Australian, who sits third in the World Golf Rankings says that has been "really difficult" to do. Day says he is "obviously still nervous" with test results pending.
Megan McJames won the women's giant slalom yesterday in the U.S. Alpine Championships at stormy Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine. It was her first national title after seven podium finishes. The two-time Olympian finished with a combined time of 2:05.03, with Dartmouth's Foreste Peterson .33 seconds off the pace. Patricia Mangan, a U.S. ski team member with McJames, claimed the final podium spot for the top junior of the day.
In advance of a hearing that could reshape sex abuse reporting guidelines in Olympic sports, a Senate panel released more than 330 pages about the U.S. Olympic Committee's efforts to make sports safe for children. The hearing is on a bill co-sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., that calls for organizations overseeing Olympic sports to immediately report sex-abuse allegations to appropriate law enforcement or child-welfare authorities.
Earlier this month, CEO Steve Penny of USA Gymnastics resigned under pressure because of the federation's handling of a number of abuse cases. Feinstein has been among those who are critical of how USA Gymnastics has reacted to the cases.
The USOC information was provided to members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. It details the federation's SafeSport program, which included a handbook on how leaders in Olympic sports should handle sex-abuse complaints. It also details the USOC's founding of the U.S. Center for SafeSport, which opened earlier this month. Feinstein's bill would rewrite the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act to streamline the process for victims to report abuse.
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