AP Sports Wrap from March 11, 2016
UNDATED (AP) — West Virginia is in Saturday night's Big 12 final against Kansas by a split second.
A half-court shot by Oklahoma's Buddy Hield at the buzzer was ruled too late by video replay and the ninth-ranked Mountaineers edged sixth-ranked Oklahoma 69-67.
Jevon Carter led the Mountaineers with 26. Hield, the leading scorer in the Big 12, was held to six points on 2 of 14 shooting from the field, including 1 of 6 from beyond the 3-point line. It was his final miss, which would have given the Sooners the win, that will be remembered most of all.
In other tournament action:
__ Top-ranked Kansas survived a late run by 22nd-ranked Baylor to beat the Bears 70-66 to reach the Big 12 tournament final. Perry Ellis had 20 points. Devonte (deh-VAHN'-tay) Graham added 14 points and eight assists.
— Second-ranked Michigan State routed Ohio Staet 81-54 to reach the Big Ten semifinals against Maryland. Denzel Valentine hit for 19 to lead the Spartans, who've won 11 of their last 12.
__ Third-ranked Villanova got 21 points from Kris Jenkins and reached the Big East championship game by beating Providence 76-68. The Wildcats will try to win their second consecutive tournament title when they face the Seton Hall on Saturday night.
— Unranked Seton Hall gained the Big East final by upsetting fifth-ranked Xavier 87-83. It's the first Big East final appearance for the Hall since 1993. Khadeen Carrington led the Hall with 23.
— It will be fourth-ranked Virginia against North Carolina in Saturday night's ACC final. The Cavaliers eliminated 14th-ranked Miami 73-68. Malcolm Brogdon led the Cavaliers with 24.
No. 7 North Carolina scored 24 consecutive points over a 9 1/2-minute span bridging halftime and easily beat defending champion Notre Dame 78-47 for a spot in the ACC Tournament final. Marcus Paige had half of his 16 points during that run.
— Elgin Cook scored 22 points and No. 8 Oregon survived a wild closing sequence in regulation to beat No. 15 Arizona 95-89 in overtime in the Pac-12 semifinals.
— No. 12 Utah is in the Pac-12 championship for the first time since joining the league. The Utes outlasted No. 24 Cal 82-78 in overtime to reach the championship. Pac-12 player of the year Jakob Poeltl (YAH'-kuhb POH'-tihl) led the Utes with 29.
— Conference regular season champ Indiana didn't last long in the Big Ten Tournament. The 10th-ranked Hoosiers fell 72-69 to Michigan on Kameron Chatman's 3-point field goal with two-tenths of a second left. The win boosted the 22-11 Wolverines into the semifinals. Indiana falls to 25-7 while they await the NCAA tournament selection announcement on Sunday.
— No. 13 Purdue shot a torrid 58.3 percent on the way to an 89-58 romp over Illinois in the Big Ten quarterfinals. Reserve center Isaac Haas set the pace with 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting for the 25-7 Boilermakers.
— No. 16 Kentucky routed Alabama 83-61 to reach the semifinals of the SEC Tournament. Jamal Murray scored 23 and Alex Poythress nailed four 3-pointers among his 20 points.
— No. 17 Texas A&M held off Florida 72-66 in the SEC Tournament. Jalen Jones hit the go-ahead layup with 2:08 to go to spark a late 7-0 run for the top-seeded Aggies. Florida finishes 19-14 with hopes of getting an NCAA Tournament bid.
— No. 18 Maryland, which entered the Big Ten tournament having lost four of its last six, outscored Nebraska 97-86. Jake Layman scored a season-high 26 points. Freshman center Diamond Stone had 23 for the Terps, who take on Michigan State in Saturday's Big Ten semifinal.
— Jalen Adams banked in a 3-pointer from beyond half court at the buzzer to send the game into a fourth overtime, and Connecticut went on to surprise Cincinnati 104-97 in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament. The 22-10 Huskies moved into the semifinals against Temple. Cincinnati fell to 22-10, but still has a shot to get into the NCAA Tournament.
Warriors ride 81-point first half...Hornets streak to 6th straight win
UNDATED (AP)— Stephen (STEH'-fihn) Curry scored 34 points, Klay Thompson had 37 and the Golden State Warriors avenged their worst defeat of the season by beating the Portland Trail Blazers 128-112. That extends their record regular-season home winning streak to 47 games.
The Splash Brothers combined to shoot 15 for 25 on 3-pointers and went 26 for 55 overall.
The Warriors put this one away early. They scored 81 points in the first half to take a 20-point lead and Portland never really got back in the game.
In other NBA:
— Marvin Williams tied a career high with five 3-pointers and scored 22 points, and the Charlotte Hornets beat the Detroit Pistons 118-103. That's the Hornets' sixth straight win.
— Houston upset Boston 102-98 behind 32 points from James Harden. He scored the Rockets' eight final points. That ends the Celtics' 14-game home win streak.
— Ricky Rubio's 3-pointer with two-tenths of a second remaining lifted the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 99-96 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Rubio finished with 13 points and 12 assists for his eighth double-double of the season. The Timberwolves snapped a 10-game losing streak against the Thunder.
— Lance Stephenson scored a career-high 33 points, and the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 121-114 in overtime. Matt Barnes recorded a triple-double with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
— For the first time in more than a month, the Philadelphia 76ers won a game. Carly Landry scored 16 points, Nerlens Noel had 13 points and 11 rebounds and the 76ers snapped a 13-game losing streak with a 95-89 victory over Brooklyn.
— Aaron Gordon had 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Orlando Magic to a 107-100 win over the Sacramento Kings. Victor Oladipo (OH'-luh-dee-poh) scored six of his 18 points during a 40-second stretch of the fourth quarter.
— The L.A. Clippers topped the New York Knicks 101-94. Chris Paul had 24 points and 15 assists. J.J. Redick added 20 points.
— The Miami Heat walloped the Chicago Bulls 118-96. Goran Dragic (GOHR'-uhn DRAH'-gich) led the Heat with 26,
— Shelvin Mack scored a season-high 27 points as the Utah Jazz beat the Washington Wizards 114-93.
Sixers rookie done for season
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia 76ers rookie center Jahlil Okafor will have season-ending surgery on his right knee, and is expected to resume basketball activities in about six weeks. Okafor, the No. 3 overall pick of the 2015 draft, leads the NBA-worst Sixers with 17.5 points and averaged 7.0 rebounds in 53 games.
Stars back on top in West...Milestone night for Fleury
UNDATED (AP) — Tyler Seguin (SAY'-gihn) and Jamie Benn ended goal-scoring slumps and the Dallas Stars regained the Western Conference lead by beating the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2. Jason Spezza scored in his fifth straight game.
Dallas improved to 41-20-8 with 90 points, two more than Central Division-rival Chicago and three more than third-place St. Louis. Each team has 13 games remaining.
In other hockey:
— Marc-Andre Fleury (marhk-ahn-dray FLOOR'-ee) became the 20th NHL goalie with 350 victories and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2.
— Vladimir Tarasenko had two goals and an assist, Jake Allen got his fifth straight win with 26 saves and the St. Louis Blues beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-2.
— Steve Mason made 18 saves, Sam Gagner and Matt Read both scored power-play goals and the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1.
— Arizona routed Calgary 4-1. Antoine Vermette had a goal and one assist.
Suspension for Calgary defender reduced... Sabres' Kane won't face charges
UNDATED (AP) — An independent arbitrator has reduced Dennis Wideman's suspension from 20 games to 10 based on the determination that the Calgary Flames defenseman did not intend to injure linesman Don Henderson.
In an 18-page ruling, James Oldham wrote that he agreed with the NHL's decision to suspend Wideman for abusing an official. He disagreed that there was sufficient evidence to show he deliberately wanted to injure Henderson when he hit him during a game Jan. 27.
In other hockey news:
— Buffalo Sabres forward Evander Kane will not face criminal charges following an investigation into a possible sexual assault after prosecutors decided there is no evidence to support the allegation.
Sanchez to Denver...Johnny Football sacked
UNDATED (AP) — After losing two quarterbacks in one week the NFL champion Broncos have secured the services of Mark Sanchez in a trade with the Eagles. Five-time league MVP Peyton Manning retired earlier in the week and then heir apparent Brock Osweiler (AHS'-wy-lur) signed with Houston as a free agent.
The 29-year old Sanchez spent his first five seasons with the Jets before going to the Eagles where he went 4-6 in the last two seasons.
In other NFL moves:
— Johnny Football is unemployed. Cleveland has released troubled 23-year-old Johnnny Manziel (man-ZEHL') after two disastrous seasons. The former Heisman Trophy winner wore out his welcome with the Browns with a steady stream of problems. He currently is the subject of a domestic violence incident in Texas.
— Bills receiver Chris Hogan has signed a three-year, $12 million offer sheet with New England, a present with direct knowledge of the decision has told The Associated Press. Buffalo has five days to match offer or they will lose Hogan's services.
— Four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes and former Giants defensive end Robert Ayers Jr. have agreed to contracts with Tampa Bay in free agency. Grimes agreed to a two-year, $13.5 million deal, while Ayers landed a three-year, $21 million contract.
— The Redskins have signed defensive end Kendall Reyes, their first free agent addition of the offseason. The 26-year old spent his four seasons in the league with the Jets and hasn't missed a game.
— The Tampa Bay Buccaneers believe they now have a dynamic edge pass rusher. Robert Ayers, Jr. has agreed to a three-year, $21 million contract in free agency after posting a career-best 9 1-2 sacks with the New York Giants last season.
Kyle Busch on pole as Sprint Cup hits Arizona
AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Kyle Busch earned the pole and Jimmie Johnson escaped serious injury after a scary crash in Sprint Cup qualifying for Sunday's race outside Phoenix. Busch won his 18th career pole, his first since Pocono in August, with a lap at 138.387 mph.
Carl Edwards qualified second and Denny Hamlin third, giving Toyota the top three spots for the race Sunday. Kurt Busch was fourth, and Johnson fifth.
Johnson was on his second lap in the final round at Phoenix International Raceway when he had an issue on the left side of his car and rammed into the second-turn wall at full speed. The right front of the No. 48 car took the most damage and Johnson was able to climb out after the car slid onto the grass.
The six-time Cup champion was treated and released from the infield care center.
This is the fourth race of the 2016 season with a different driver winning each event.
NL champs lose shortstop
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — New York Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (ahs-DROO'-buhl kah-BREHR'-uh) has a strained patella tendon in his left knee and will be sidelined for at least two weeks. Cabrera was injured in the first inning of Thursday's spring training game while he was running from first to second base and decided at the last second not to slide.
Cabrera signed an $18.5 million, two-year deal with the Mets during the offseason as a free agent.
In other spring training news:
— Infielder David Freese (FREEZ) and the Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract. The 32-year-old, an All-Star with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012, hit .257 with 27 doubles, 14 homers and 56 RBIs last year with the Los Angeles Angels.
Delegation to Cuba taking shape
NEW YORK (AP) — Retired Yankees captain Derek Jeter will be part of Major League Baseball's delegation to Havana for the Tampa Bay Rays' exhibition game against Cuba's national team on March 22. He'll be joined by former big leaguers Luis Tiant (LOO'-ee TEE'-ahnt) and Jose Cardenal (KAHR'-dehn-al), who were both born in Cuba.
The game will be the first for a big league team in Cuba since the Baltimore Orioles played Cuba's national team in Havana in March 1999.
Stricker, MacKenzie share lead
PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) —Steve Stricker and Will MacKenzie share the 36-hole lead at the Valspar Championship at 5-under par.
Stricker's 5-under 66 included a hole-out eagle from 150 yards on the par 4 10th hole. MacKenzie shot a 67.
Defending champ Jordan Spieth (SPEETH) recovered nicely from his opening 76 with a 68 that leaves him 2-over par and made the cut.