AP Sunday Sports Roundup
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NCAA TOURNAMENT
Wolfpack stun No. 1 seed Villanova...Kentucky keeps rolling
UNDATED (AP) — On the 30th anniversary season of their greatest triumph in the NCAA men's basketball tournament, the Villanova Wildcats have suffered one of the most frustrating losses in program history.
The Wildcats are the first No. 1 seed to fall in the tournament, losing 71-68 to eighth seed North Carolina State. Trevor Lacey scored 17 points and Cat Barber added 13 to fuel the upset. Both Lacey and Barber contributed huge baskets down the stretch, allowing the Wolfpack to stay ahead after taking an eight-point lead into the final five minutes.
Abdul-Malik Abu added 13 points and 12 rebounds as NC State advanced to the Sweet 16 in Syracuse.
The Wildcats ended a 16-game winning streak and finished 33-3 despite Darrun Hillard's game-high 27 points. The rest of Villanova's starters combined for just 27 points on 7 of 32 shooting.
Meanwhile, the Kentucky Wildcats continue to chase perfection and a national championship.
The top-seeded Wildcats are four wins from a title after Aaron Harrison scored 13 points in a sluggish 64-51 victory over No. 8 Cincinnati.
Trey Lyles chipped in with 11 points and 11 rebounds to help Kentucky improve to 36-0 and advance to the Sweet 16.
In other tournament play:
— Second seed Arizona is in the Sweet 16 for the third straight year after Gabe York drained five 3-pointers while scoring 19 points in the Wildcats' 73-58 win over No. 10 Ohio State. Buckeyes freshman D'Angelo Russell had just nine points on 3 of 19 shooting after scoring 28 points in the second round.
— Next up for Arizona is No. 6 Xavier, which knocked off 14th seed Georgia State 75-67. Jalen Reynolds came off the bench to score 21 points and lead the Musketeers.
— Notre Dame outlasted Butler 67-64 in overtime as Steve Vasturia contributed 20 points and six rebounds for the third-seeded Irish. Jerian Grant had 16 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Irish, who trailed by six midway through the second half.
— Fifth seed Utah is in the regional semifinals for the first time in a decade after Brandon Taylor scored 14 points and Delon Wright added 12 in a 75-64 triumph against No. 4 Georgetown. Taylor drained a 3-pointer after the Hoyas pulled within 61-57 with 3:40 remaining.
— No. 4 North Carolina was an 87-78 winner against Arkansas as Marcus Paige scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half. Paige scored 13 of his team's 17 points during a 5-minute stretch that helped the Tar Heels build a double-digit lead.
— No. 11 UCLA got 28 points and 12 rebounds from Tony Parker in a 92-75 win over 14th-seeded UAB. The 22-13 Bruins have won six of their last seven games in reaching the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive year.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-MISSISSIPPI STATE
Ray out at Mississippi State
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi State has fired basketball coach Rick Ray after three losing seasons. Ray had a combined 37-60 record, including a 15-44 mark against SEC competition.
The Bulldogs just finished 13-19 this season, which included a 6-12 mark in the conference.
Pistons rally to beat Bulls
UNDATED (AP) — The Cleveland Cavaliers lead the NBA's Central Division by three games following Chicago's collapse against Detroit.
Reggie Jackson scored 17 of his 22 points in the third quarter to help the Pistons erase a 19-point deficit in a 107-91 win over the Bulls. The Pistons trailed 72-53 with 7 minutes left in the third quarter, but got a combined 27 points and 13 assists from Jackson and fellow point guard Spencer Dinwiddie in the second half.
Pau Gasol had 27 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls.
In other NBA finals:
— Golden State is a league-best 56-13 and three shy of the franchise record for victories in a season following a 106-91 decision over Utah. Stephen Curry scored a season-high 24 points and Leandro Barbosa added a season-high 19 off the bench in the Warriors' fifth consecutive win.
— Eric Bledsoe scored 23 of his a career-high 34 points in the first half to lead Phoenix past Houston 117-102. P.J. Tucker made a 3-pointer to spark a 12-0 run that put the Suns ahead 117-100 and drop the Rockets 2 1/2 games behind Memphis for the Southwest Division lead.
— Jeff Green had 23 points and Mike Conley scored 21 with nine assists to lead the Grizzlies past Portland 97-86. The Trail Blazers dropped their fourth in a row despite Damian Lillard's 27 points and seven assists.
— Brooklyn slowed the Pacers' playoff push as Brook Lopez had 26 points and four blocked shots in the Nets' 123-111 triumph at Indiana. George Hill had 18 points and nine assists for the Pacers, who fell a half-game behind Boston in the battle for the final Eastern Conference postseason berth.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lakers guard Steve Nash has announced his retirement after a 19-year NBA career that included two MVP awards. The 41-year-old Canadian made the announcement Saturday in a letter on The Players' Tribune, a website where he is a senior producer.
Nash played in just 65 games over the last three seasons with the Lakers due to injuries. The eight-time All-Star is third in NBA history with 10,335 assists, trailing only John Stockton and Jason Kidd. Nash also is the best free-throw shooter in NBA history at 90.4 percent.
Smart sits for low blow
NEW YORK (AP) — Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been suspended for one game by the NBA for punching San Antonio's Matt Bonner in the crotch. Smart was ejected from Friday night's game when he wound up and delivered an uppercut on Bonner as the Spurs' big man set a screen.
Smart will sit out Sunday's game against the Detroit Pistons.
Busy day on ice
UNDATED (AP) — The Montreal Canadiens continue to lead the NHL's Eastern Conference by two points over the New York Rangers after both teams won tonight.
Carey Price notched his second consecutive shutout and ninth of the season by turning aside 29 shots in the Habs' 2-0 shutout of San Jose. Tomas Plekanec put the Canadiens ahead late in the first period before Brendan Gallagher's empty-netter secured Montreal's third straight win.
The Canadiens lead the Atlantic Division by four points over Tampa Bay.
The Rangers kept pace with the Habs and maintained a five-point lead in the Metropolitan Division by beating Carolina 3-2 on Mats Zuccarello's shootout goal. Cam Talbot had 28 saves as the Rangers improved to 15-2-2 in their last 19 games since Feb. 10.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— Kyle Turris snapped a 3-3 tie late in the second period before scoring into an empty net to cap Ottawa's 5-3 triumph over Toronto. Erik Karlsson had a goal and an assist for the Senators, who've gone 14-1-1 in their last 16 games to pull within one point of Boston for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth.
— The Bruins lost to Florida 2-1 in a shootout, leaving the Panthers four points out of an East playoff berth. Jimmy Hayes scored in regulation, Roberto Luongo stopped 26 shots and Brandon Pirri provided the lone shootout tally as the Panthers won the first of their three remaining games versus Boston.
— Jaroslav Halak picked up his fifth shutout of the season and 35th of his career by stopping 26 shots in the New York Islanders' 3-0 triumph at New Jersey. Ryan Strome scored the game-winner and had an assist as the Isles ended a season-high four-game losing streak and stayed two points ahead of Pittsburgh for second in the Metropolitan Division.
— Second-period goals by Brandon Sutter and Daniel Winnik lifted Pittsburgh over Arizona 3-1. Marc-Andre-Fleury stopped 31 shots and blanked the Coyotes after Tobias Rieder scored a short-handed goal 94 seconds into the game.
— Minnesota currently is seventh in the West and five points clear of the ninth-place Los Angeles Kings following a dominant 6-3 triumph over St. Louis. Justin Fontaine finished with a goal and two assists as the Wild improved to a league-best 22-6-2 since acquiring netminder Devan Dubnyk on Jan. 14.
— The Blues share the Central Division lead with Nashville after Pekka Rinne stopped 24 shots in the Predators' 3-0 shutout of Buffalo. Taylor Beck, Craig Smith and Mike Fisher did the scoring to support Rinne's fourth shutout of the season and 36th of his career.
— Chicago remains four points off the Central Division lead after Jason Spezza and Patrick Eaves each had a goal and an assist in the Stars' 4-0 shutout of the Blackhawks in Dallas. Kari Lehtonen handled 33 shots in his fifth shutout of the season.
— Winnipeg got a 27-save effort from Ondrej Pavelev in a 3-0 shutout of Washington. Mark Schiefele had a goal and an assist as the Jets moved four points ahead of Los Angeles for the final Western Conference playoff berth.
— Vancouver is fourth in the West after knocking off the defending Cup champs, beating the Kings 4-1. Radim Vrbata scored the game-winner on a power play in the third period before Daniel Sedin and Bo Horvat added empty-netters.
— Calgary is just two points ahead of the ninth-place Kings following the Flames' 3-2 overtime loss to Columbus. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 38 shots before Rene Bourque capped his two-goal day by scoring at 4:01 of overtime.
— Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice, including the game-winner at 2:46 of OT to send Edmonton past Philadelphia 5-4. Claude Giroux had two goals for the Flyers.
Wieters may not start season
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter says catcher Matt Wieters is "unlikely" to begin the season with the team.
Wieters underwent Tommy John surgery last June and caught in a game for the first time on Tuesday before reporting no ill effects after the game. But on Wednesday, the Orioles shut him down from catching for at least a week.
Showalter said that if Wieters is unable to catch the team's opening game on April 6 at Tampa Bay, he would not be on the roster as a designated hitter.
— Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale threw a bullpen session Friday and says he's making progress while recovering from a broken foot suffered three weeks ago. Sale says he hopes to be back as soon as the second week of the regular season.
— Washington right-hander Stephen Strasburg will miss Sunday's scheduled spring training start after injuring his left ankle during conditioning work Friday.
Stenson takes over
BAY HILL, Fla. (AP) — Henrik Stenson went 4-under over the final four holes to shoot a second straight 6-under 66 and take the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The Swede's 13-under total for the 54 holes gives him a 2-shot lead over first and second round leader Morgan Hoffman, who shot a 71.
Jason Kokrak fired a bogey-free 7-under 65 and is three back, tied with three others including defending champ Matt Every who shot 69.
Tour rookie Daniel Berger made his mark with the first albatross in Bay Hill history. His 4-iron from 237 yards out landed on the fringe and rolled into the hole for a 2 on the par-5 sixth hole.
Dawson takes lead
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Marco Dawson fired a 5-under 67 to take the second-round lead at the Champions Tour's Tucson Conquistadores Classic.
Dawson has a 10-under 134 total as he seeks his first PGA or Champions Tour victory. He's winless in 412 PGA Tour starts and has one victory in 161 events on the Web.com Tour.
Wes Short Jr. and Bart Bryant are 9 under.
LPGA-JTBC FOUNDERS CUP
Kim leads through 54
PHOENIX (AP) — Hyo-Joo Kim is the leader through three rounds of the JTBC Founders Cup in Phoenix. Kim shot a 6-under 66 for a 16-under total, putting her two shots ahead of Stacy Lewis and three in front of Alison Lee and Kim Kaufman.
Lewis had the lead on the back nine before faltering.
Djokovic reaches final
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Novak Djokovic has defeated Andy Murray 6-2, 6-3 to reach the final of the BNP Paribas Open. Djokovic will play for his fourth career title in the desert in Sunday's final against four-time champion Roger Federer, who beat Milos Raonic 7-5, 6-4.
Eagles: 60-minute man Chuck Bednarik has died at 89
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Pro Football Hall of Famer Chuck Bednarik has died at 89 after a brief illness.
He was one of the last great two-way players as a star linebacker and center with the Eagles from 1949-1962. "Concrete Charlie" is best remembered for his game-saving tackle at the 9-yard line on the final play of the 1960 title game. He threw Green Bay running back Jim Taylor to the ground and refused to let him up while the final seconds ticked off in the Eagles' 17-13 win.
Bednarik flew 30 combat missions over Germany as a gunner during World War II. He played center for Penn from 1945 to 1948, and was selected first overall in the 1949 NFL draft by the Eagles.
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