Loyola rambles into Sweet 16
UNDATED (AP) — Loyola of Chicago will be part of the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 after pulling out another close win.
Clayton Custer drained a jumper with 3.3 seconds left to give the 11th-seeded Ramblers a stunning 63-62 win over No. 3 Tennessee at Dallas. Custer’s late basket came two days after Donte Ingram’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer gave Loyola a win over Miami.
Aundre Jackson had a team-high 16 points for the Ramblers, while Custer added 10.
Loyola is in the Sweet 16 for the first time in 33 years, the program’s last appearance in the tournament. Loyola will face either Cincinnati or Nevada in the South Region semifinals.
Texas Tech also won in Dallas as Keenan Evans scored 22 points and nailed a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 2 ½ remaining in the Red Raiders’ 69-66 triumph over Florida. Zhaire Smith had 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the third-seeded Red Raiders, who are in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2005.
Tech heads to Boston to take on either Purdue or Butler on Friday.
Egor Koulechov and KeVaughn Allen both had 3-point attempts in the final 10 seconds that came up short for the Gators.
No. 1 Kansas barely advanced to the Midwest Region semifinals. Malik Newman poured in 28 points and Svi Mykhailiuk (svee mih-KAH’-lihk) chipped in 16 to help the Jayhawks pull out an 83-79 win against No. 8 Seton Hall at Wichita. Kansas was deadly from the foul line in the final minute to earn a meeting against either Auburn or Clemson in Omaha.
Angel Delgado finished with 24 points and 23 rebounds in a virtuoso effort for the Pirates, while teammate Khadeen Carrington added a team-high 28 points.
Michigan needed a buzzer-beater to join Kansas out of Wichita. Freshman guard Jordan Poole squared up and drained a long 3-pointer at the horn to lift the third-seeded Wolverines past No. 6 Houston, 64-63. Poole’s game-winner came after Devin Davis missed a pair of foul shots with 3.6 seconds left.
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Moe Wagner scored 12 points apiece to lead Michigan, which will take on either North Carolina or Texas A&M in the West Region semis in Los Angeles.
Villanova and Duke advanced to the regional semifinals out of Pittsburgh with relatively easy victories.
Mikal Bridges hit five 3-pointers and scored 23 points as the top-seed Wildcats hammered No. 9 Alabama, 81-58. Bridges helped Villanova dominate the second half after he contributed just one point on 0-for-5 shooting in the first 20 minutes.
The Wildcats outscored the Crimson Tide 49-31 in the second half and finished 17-for-41 from 3-point range, with Donte DiVincenzo going 5-for-11 while scoring 18 points.
Next up for Villanova is either West Virginia or Marshall in the East Regional semifinals.
The second-seeded Blue Devils rolled to an 87-62 pounding of Rhode Island as ACC Player of the Year Marvin Bagley delivered 22 points and nine rebounds. Wendell Carter Jr. added 13 points for Duke, which is going to the Sweet 16 for the 24th time under coach Mike Krzyzewski (shuh-SHEHF’-skee). It was Krzyzewski’s 1,099th victory, breaking a tie with late Tennessee women’s coach Pat Summitt for the most wins by a basketball coach in NCAA history.
Freshmen guards Gary Trent Jr. and Trevon Duval combined for 29 points and 11 assists for the Blue Devils. Duke will face either Michigan St. or Syracuse in the Midwest semifinals.
Fifth seed Kentucky advanced to the South Regional semifinals with a victory at Boise. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander shot 10-for-12 and scored 27 points as the Wildcats pulled away in the second half of a 95-75 win against No. 13 Buffalo. The Bulls twice got within five points midway through the second half, one game after blowing out No. 4 seed Arizona. Gilgeous-Alexander put Kentucky back in control both times, including a three-point play that triggered a 12-2 run.
Kentucky will take on either Kansas State or UMBC in the South Region semis.
Gonzaga has also advanced out of Boise. Zach Norvell dropped in 28 points and Rui Hachimura finished with 24 as the fourth-seeded Zags held off No. 5 Ohio State, 90-84. Norvell made 6 of 11 from beyond the arc in helping the Bulldogs reach the Sweet 16 for the fourth straight year.
Keita (KEE’-tuh) Bates-Diop (DEE’-ahp) had 28 points and Kam Williams 19 for the Buckeyes.
Rockets stay hot, top Pelicans
UNDATED (AP) — The Houston Rockets have continued their hot stretch as they try to finish with the first-overall seed in the NBA playoffs.
James Harden’s 32 points and 11 rebounds led the Rockets to their 21st victory in 22 games, 107-101 at New Orleans. Harden provided a 27-foot, straight-on 3 that put the Rockets up by nine with 1:31 left.
Chris Paul added 21 points and Clint Capela had 13 with 11 rebounds as Houston improved to a league-best 55-14.
Checking out Saturday’s other NBA action:
— Quinn Cook furnished a team-high 28 points and the Warriors outscored the Suns 72-49 in the second half of a 124-109 rout at Phoenix. Draymond Green finished with 25 points and Nick Young added 20 to help Golden State win without injured starters Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.
— Portland picked up its 12th straight win behind Damian Lillard’s 24 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in a 100-87 decision over the Pistons. CJ McCollum added 16 points for the Trail Blazers, who are two games ahead of Oklahoma for the Northwest Division lead and the No. 3 seed in the West.
— Jordan Clarkson had a tiebreaking, four-point play with 1:27 remaining and the Cavaliers climbed back into third place in the Eastern Conference by outlasting the Bulls, 114-109. LeBron James recorded his 15th triple-double of the season with 33 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists as Cleveland moved a half-game ahead of the Pacers.
— Washington and Indiana share fourth place in the East after Bradley Beal scored 19 points in the Wizards’ second straight win, 109-102 over the Pacers. Marcin Gortat (MAHR’-shihn GOHR’-that) was 6 of 8 from the field while contributing 18 points and eight rebounds for the Wizards.
— The Spurs were 117-101 winners over the Timberwolves behind a 39-point performance by LaMarcus Aldridge. San Antonio shot 84 percent in the second quarter and moved into fifth in the Western Conference, five days after sliding to 10th.
— The Jazz picked up their ninth straight win as Donovan Mitchell scored 28 points in a 103-97 victory against the Kings. Rudy Gobert had 22 points and 13 rebounds, while teammate Ricky Rubio added 14 points, nine boards and five assists in Utah’s 21st win in 23 games.
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOOM’-poh) had 33 points and 12 rebounds as the Bucks knocked off the Hawks, 122-117. Khris Middleton finished with 23 points, including a free throw that began Milwaukee’s game-ending, 11-5 run.
— Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 25 points and the Knicks snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 124-101 win over the Hornets. Rookie Frank Ntilikina had 15 points for New York, which outscored Charlotte 42-17 in the third quarter.
— Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 23 points and D’Angelo Russell had 22 to lead the Nets past the Mavericks, 114-106. DeMarre Carroll had 19 points and 12 rebounds to help Brooklyn win after blowing a 14-point lead.
— Dillon Brooks delivered 24 points and the Grizzlies ended their 19-game losing streak by topping the Nuggets, 101-94. Tyreke Evans added 20 points and Wayne Selden shot 4-for-5 from 3-point range while contributing 16 points for Memphis.
Suns’ Chriss, Dudley fined $25K
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA has fined Phoenix Suns forwards Marquese Chriss and Jared Dudley $25,000 apiece for their roles in an altercation during Thursday’s loss to the Utah Jazz.
Dudley body-blocked Ricky Rubio in the third quarter, sending the Jazz guard to the floor and sparking a scrum in front of the Suns’ bench. Both Dudley and Chriss were ejected.
Jets acquire No. 3 overall draft pick from Colts
UNDATED (AP) — The New York Jets have shaken up the NFL draft by moving up three spots to No. 3 overall in a swap with the Indianapolis Colts.
The Jets have announced that they are sending the Colts their first-rounder — No. 6 overall — along with two second-rounders this year and a second-rounder next year to complete the massive deal.
By moving up to No. 3, New York assures itself of getting one of the top-rated quarterbacks available in this year’s draft. New York re-signed veteran Josh McCown and has agreed to terms with Teddy Bridgewater, both on one-year deals. But it was believed the Jets would still focus on finding a quarterback of the future with their first-round pick.
In other NFL news:
— Versatile running back Danny Woodhead has announced his retirement from the NFL after 10 seasons. Woodhead had 2,238 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns, along with 300 catches for 2,698 yards and 17 scores.
— The Colts have released defensive lineman Johnathan Hankins, who signed a three-year deal worth $27 million last season. He made 15 starts and finished with 44 tackles and two sacks.
— The Cardinals have signed free agent offensive lineman Justin Pugh to a five-year contract. Pugh can play guard or tackle and spen the past five seasons with the Giants, starting 63 games.
— The Titans have told defensive lineman Sylvester Williams they are releasing him after one season of a three-year deal signed a year ago.
— The Raiders have signed free agent linebacker Kyle Wilber, who recorded 104 tackles and recovered four fumbles in 89 games over six seasons with Dallas.
— The Patriots bolstered their pass rush and backfield depth with the free agent signings of defensive end Adrian Clayborn and running back Jeremy Hill. New England also announced the signing of veteran offensive tackle Matt Tobin.
B’s blank Bolts
UNDATED (AP) — Things are a little tighter in the NHL’s Atlantic Division race after the Boston Bruins dealt the Tampa Bay Lightning their first shutout loss of the season.
Tuukka Rask stopped 23 shots and the Bruins pulled within two points of the first-place Lightning by posting a 3-0 win at Tampa Bay. Torey Krug assisted on goals by David Pastrnak (PAS’-tur-nak), David Backes (BAK’-ehs) and Riley Nash as Boston dealt the Lightning their second straight loss since a 9-0-1 run.
Also in the NHL:
— Curtis McIlhinney stopped 33 shots and Nazem Kadri (NA’-zehm KA’-dree) scored his 28th goal of the season as the Maple Leafs downed the Canadiens, 4-0 to get within seven points of the Atlantic Division lead. William Nylander (NEE’-lan-dur), Andreas Johnsson and Kasperi Kapanen also scored to back McIlhinney’s third shutout in 13 starts this season.
— Columbus ran its winning streak to a season-high seven straight as Sergei Bobrovsky (boh-BRAHF’-skee) turned back 22 shots in a 2-1 decision over the Senators. Markus Nutivaara (noo-tih-VAH’-rah) scored a power-play goal that broke a 1-1 tie in the second period, helping the Blue Jackets stay in a third-place tie with Philadelphia in the Metropolitan Division.
— The Flyers were 4-2 winners over the Hurricanes, thanks to Valterri Filpula’s (val-TEHR’-ee FIHL’-poo-lahz) tiebreaking goal with 5:49 to play. Travis Konecny (kah-NEHK’-nee) and Jakub Voracek also scored as the Flyers scored three times in a 5:52 span to rally for the win.
— Keith Kincaid notched his first shutout of the season by making 38 saves in the Devils’ 3-0 triumph over the Kings. Michael Grabner opened the scoring in the first period with the Devils’ 10th short-handed goal of the season, tying the Panthers and Predators for the most in the NHL.
— Marcus Foligno (foh-LEE’-noh) supplied the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period of the Wild’s 3-1 verdict over the Coyotes. Devan Dubnyk (DOOB’-nihk) stopped 30 shots for his 200th career win, helping the Wild move five points ahead of fourth-place Colorado in the Central Division.
— Alex Pietrangelo (peh-TRAN’-jeh-loh) scored twice before Brayden Schenn’s goal 62 seconds into overtime gave the Blues a 4-3 win over the Rangers. St. Louis moved within three points of idle Dallas and Colorado for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference, but the Blues also lost leading scorer Vladimir Tarasenko to an upper-body injury.
— The Sharks squandered a 3-1 lead before Timo Meier scored his 20th goal of the season just over six minutes into the third period of a 5-3 win at Vancouver. Meier and Logan Couture each had two-goal games in pushing San Jose within six points of the Pacific-leading Golden Knights.
— The Oilers are 4-1-1 in their last six games after Connor McDavid delivered a goal and two assists in a 4-2 victory at Florida. The Panthers suffered their first loss in 24 games when leading after two periods.
— Nicholas Baptiste scored the tying and go-ahead goals in the third period to push the Sabres past the Blackhawks, 5-3.Baptiste snapped a 3-3 tie with 1:56 remaining.
Capitals’ Kuznetsov out vs. Flyers, considered day-to-day
UNDATED (AP) — The Washington Capitals say center Evgeny Kuznetsov is day-to-day with an upper body injury and won’t play Sunday at Philadelphia.
Kuznetsov was injured in Friday’s 6-3 win over the Islanders. He leads the Caps with 50 assists and is second with 21 goals and 71 points, behind fellow Russian star Alex Ovechkin.
In other NHL news:
— Jets defenseman Dmitry Kulikov will undergo back surgery and miss at least eight weeks. Jets coach Paul Maurice said it was the same injury Kulikov suffered last season while with the Sabres.
Cotton to miss 2018 season with torn elbow
UNDATED (AP) — Oakland Athletics pitcher Jharel Cotton will undergo season-ending surgery on his right elbow.
Cotton had been diagnosed with a sprain and had a second scan taken on his elbow on Friday, then was told he would need Tommy John surgery. The procedure is expected to take place next week.
The 26-year-old Cotton was expected to be in Oakland’s starting rotation this season after going 9-10 with a 5.58 ERA average in 24 starts as a rookie in 2017.
In other baseball news:
— Luis Severino will start the New York Yankees’ regular-season opener March 29th at Toronto. Severino was third in the AL Cy Young Award voting after going 14-6 with a 2.98 ERA in 31 starts last season.
Stenson leads at Bay Hill; Woods 5 back
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Henrik Stenson will carry a one-stroke lead over Bryson DeChambeau into the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.
Stenson is 12 under following a 1-under 71 on the Orlando course. He began the round in a first-place tie with DeChambeau.
Rory McIlroy is two strokes back and one ahead of Justin Rose and Ryan Moore.
Tiger Woods goes into Sunday with a shot at winning. He fired a 69 that puts him five strokes back.