The Upsets Continue – AP Sports Wrap from March 18, 2016
UNDATED (AP) — The early upset trend has claimed a popular choice to win the national championship.
No. 15 seed Middle Tennessee State raced out to a 15-2 lead and never trailed in a stunning 90-81 win over second-seed Michigan State.
Reggie Upshaw led the way for the Blue Raiders with 21 points.
Middle Tennessee held in check Spartans player of the year candidate Denzel Valentine, who managed 13 points and 12 assists. But he committed six turnovers, including one with Michigan State down by 3 points with less than three minutes to go.
Middle Tennessee became the eighth 15 seed to beat a two seed in tournament history.
The Spartans' loss busted national title picks in roughly one-quarter of brackets picked by Yahoo! and ESPN users.
In other tournament play:
— Another shocking upset KO'd West Virginia. The 14th-seeded Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks rolled the Mountaineers 70-56. Thomas Walkup scored 33 points to lead the 28-5 Lumberjacks, who've won 21 in a row -- longest win streak in the nation.
— Next up for the Lumberjacks is sixth seed Notre Dame, which eliminated Michigan 70-63. The Irish rallied from a 12-point deficit. V.J. Beacham scored 18 points, including the 3-pointer that gave Notre Dame the lead for good.
— The shot of the tournament belongs to Northern Iowa's Paul Jesperson. He banked in a half-court shot at the buzzer to give 11th seed Northern Iowa a 75-72 victory over Texas. He finished with 14. Next up for Northern Iowa is Texas A&M.
— Danuel House scored 20 points as Texas A&M pulled away in the second half to win its first NCAA tournament game since 2010 with a 92-65 victory over Green Bay. The third-seeded Aggies trailed by eight in the first half before using a 26-9 first-half run to take control.
— West No. 1 seed Oregon showed no nerves playing as a top seed and rolled past No. 16 seed Holy Cross 91-52. Chris Boucher led Oregon with 20 , while Dillon Brooks and Elgin Cook both added 11. The Ducks won their ninth straight and advanced to the round of 32 for the fourth straight season.
— Next up for Oregon is St. Joseph's. The Hawks edged Cincinnati 78-76. Cincinnati's Octavius Ellis made a dunk at the finish, but it was ruled just after the final buzzer.
—Fifth seed Maryland had all it could handle in holding off 12th seed South Dakota State 79-74. Maryland needed a turnover in the closing seconds to ensure it would advance. Jake Layman scored a career-high 27 points for the Terps, who face Hawaii on Sunday.
— No. 13 seed Hawaii won its first tournament game ever, knocking off fourth-seed California 77-66. Quincy Smith's career high 19 points led the way for the Big West Conference regular season and tournament champ. Cal was without standout Jabari Bird who suffered back spasms in warm-ups and top scorer Tyrone Wallace who broke his hand two days ago.
— Adam Woodberry put back a missed shot at the overtime buzzer to give Iowa a 72-70 victory over Temple. Jarrod Uthoff led Iowa with 23 points. Quenton DeCosey, who made three free throws with 2.1 seconds left in regulation to tie the game, had 26 points for the 21-12 Owls. Iowa next plays Villanova.
— Daniel Ochefu had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead second-seed Villanova to an 86-56 rout of UNC Asheville. Ryan Arcidiacono (ahr-chee-dee-ah-KOH'-noh) added 14 points for the 30-5 Wildcats.
— Syracuse got 21 points from Malachi (MAL'-ih-ky) Richardson in a 70-51 win over Dayton. Tyler Roberson added 10 points and 18 rebounds for Syracuse.
— No. 10 seed Virginia Commonwealth kicked off their sixth straight appearance in the tournament with a 75-67 first-round victory over seventh-seed Oregon State. JeQuan Lewis had 21 points to help hand first-year coach Will Wade his first tournament victory.
— Next up for VCU is a date with Oklahoma, which eliminated Cal State Bakersfield 82-68. Buddy Hield (HEELD) poured in 27 for the second-seeded Sooners. The senior guard made 8 of 14 shots, including 3 of 6 3-pointers.
— James Farr had 18 points and 15 rebounds, fellow big man Jalen Reynolds added 12 points and No. 2 seed Xavier pulled away late for a 71-53 victory over 15th-seed Weber (WEE'-bur) State. Next up for Xavier is Wisconsin.
— In the lowest-scoring game of the tournament, Wisconsin outlasted Pitt 47-43. Ethan Happ had 15 points and nine rebounds for the seventh-seeded Badgers.
Cougars advance to third round
PROVO, Utah (AP) — Chase Fischer scored 12 of his 24 points in the final six minutes, and BYU held on to beat Virginia Tech 80-77 in the second round of the NIT.
The second-seeded Cougars will host the winner of Saturday's game between No. 8 seed Wagner and fourth-seeded Creighton (KRAY'-tuhn) in the NIT quarterfinals on Tuesday.
Well-rested James keys Cavaliers...Bombs away for Warriors
UNDATED (AP) — Kyrie (KY'-ree) Irving scored 26 points and LeBron James had 18 to help the Cleveland Cavaliers hold off the Orlando Magic 109-103.
The Cavs beat the Magic for the 14th consecutive time. A rested James returned to the lineup after taking off Wednesday's home victory over Dallas and finished 6-of-15 shooting with eight assists and seven rebounds.
Victor Oladipo (OH'-luh-dee-poh) had a career-high 45 for Orlando.
In other NBA:
__ Stephen (STEH'-fihn) Curry poured in 31 points, Klay Thompson scored 39 and the Golden State Warriors tuned up for Saturday night's showdown in San Antonio with a 130-112 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. The Warriors made 14 of their first 17 from long range, finished 22 of 38 from 3-point land.
— Russell Westbrook recorded his league-leading 13th triple-double with 20 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder past Philadelphia, 111-97. Kevin Durant had 26 points and 13 boards.
— Kyle Lowry scored 32 points, Luis Scola had all of his 17 in the first quarter and the Toronto Raptors beat the Boston Celtics 105-91. That's the Celtics' fifth loss in six games.
— Marcus Morris scored 20 of his 24 points in the first half, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 23 to lift the Detroit Pistons to a 115-108 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
— James Harden had 29 points and 14 assists as the Houston Rockets bounced back from an ugly loss to the L.A. Clippers the other night and beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-111.
— The Phoenix Suns edged the L.A. Lakers 95-90. Brandon Knight had 22 for the Suns, who held the Lakers to just 32 points in the first half.
__ Portland recovered from a blown 20-point lead and finish off a feisty New Orleans Pelicans squad, 117-112. Damian Lillard hit for 33.
Caps cool off Predators
UNDATED (AP)— Daniel Winnik scored two goals as the Washington Capitals cooled off the hottest team in the NHL by beating the Nashville Predators 4-1.
Braden Holtby made 20 saves to register his league-best 43rd victory.
Nashville entered with 27 points in its previous 17 games.
In other hockey:
— The Chicago Blackhawks ended a four-game losing streak by blanking Winnipeg 4-0. Scott Darling made 28 saves for his first shutout of the season. Andrew Ladd scored against his former team.
— Rookie Sam Reinhart had a goal and an assist and the Buffalo Sabres defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-1.
— Edmonton blanked Vancouver 2-0. Cam Talbot gets his third shutout of the season with 40 saves.
— Anaheim blanked Boston 4-0. Frederik Andersen gets his fifth career shutout with 38 saves.
— Mikkel Boedker scored the only goal of the shootout and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Calgary Flames 4-3.
Dallas loses Seguin to injury
UNDATED (AP) — All-Star forward Tyler Seguin (SAY'-gihn) of the Dallas Stars will miss 3-4 weeks because of a small cut of his left Achilles tendon. Seguin has undergone surgery after getting hurt late in the Stars' 4-3 victory over Tampa Bay Thursday.
Seguin is third in the NHL with 73 points, and second on the Stars behind All-Star teammate Jamie Benn's 80.
In other hockey news:
— The NHL has suspended Philadelphia Flyers forward Chris VandeVelde two games for elbowing Chicago Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews (TAYVZ) in the head. VandeVelde received a minor penalty for elbowing Toews in the first period of Philadelphia's 3-2 win Wednesday night.
Colts to honor former quarterback
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Colts owner Jim Irsay says the team will retire Peyton Manning's No. 18 and build a statue of the record-setting quarterback outside Lucas Oil Stadium. Less than two weeks after announcing his retirement from Denver, Manning returned to his first NFL home to thank his supporters.
The announcement took place in the same room that an emotional Irsay announced the Colts would release their star quarterback to clear the path for Manning's successor, Andrew Luck.
In other NFL news:
— Two people with knowledge of the agreement say the Dallas Cowboys have signed defensive end Benson Mayowa, a restricted free agent, to an offer sheet. The Oakland Raiders have five days to match the three-year, $8.55 million deal reached Friday.
— Joe Haden hasn't quite put an injury-filled 2015 season behind him. The Browns' star cornerback underwent surgery on his left ankle earlier this week and will be sidelined until training camp.
Sale speaks out on LaRoche's son issue
UNDATED (AP) — White Sox All-Star pitcher Chris Sale says a team executive vice president lied to the players about the reason Adam LaRoche's son needed to spend less time around the clubhouse. Sale says first the players were told coaches were behind the issue, then the coaches were told it was the players and finally the players were told it was the owner's idea.
Vice President Kenny Williams disputes Sale's story.
The request to have his son spent less time around the team led LaRoche to announce his retirement this week.
In other spring training happenings:
— Tampa Bay closer Brad Boxberger will miss at least eight weeks after having abdominal muscle surgery. Manager Kevin Cash says there is no timetable for the return of last year's American League save leader.
— Blue Jays pitcher Brad Penny is retiring after 14 seasons in the majors. Penny was part of two World Series teams with the Marlins and the Giants. He has not pitched in the majors since Se
Dillon has pole as Sprint Cup series hits California
FONTANA, Calif. (AP) — Austin Dillon has won the pole for Sunday's Sprint Cup race in Fontana, California.
Dillon turned a lap in 38.2 seconds in his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. He edged Kevin Harvick by .031 seconds for his second career pole.
The winner of the race a year ago was Brad Keselowski while Harvickwas the winner last week in Phoenix. This is the final race of a three-race West Coast swing for NASCAR as the next race is the STP 500 in Martinsville, Virginia.
Another good day for Day
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — First round leader Jason Day picked up where he left off in the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational as he shot a 7-under-65 to take the 36-hole lead. Though two rounds Day stands 13-under, two shots in front of Henrik Stenson and three up on Justin Rose.
Kim has lead
PHOENIX (AP) — Sei Young Kim made two eagles in a 6-under 66 in the JTBC Founders Cup to take a two-stroke lead into the weekend at Desert Ridge. American Brittany Young is second.
The 23-year-old South Korean player had a tournament-record 15-under 129 total. She opened with a 63 on Thursday.
Austin takes lead
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) —Woody Austin fired a 7-under 65 to grab the lead after the opening round of the Champions Tour Conquistadores Classic. Scott Verplank and Billy Andrade (AHN'-drayd) are one shot back.
First-year Ravens cornerback dies after dirt bike crash
BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore Ravens cornerback Tray Walker died Friday of injuries he sustained in a dirt bike crash in Miami.
The 23-year-old Walker played one season in the NFL. The Ravens say his godmother confirmed "that he had passed."
Miami-Dade Police say Walker was riding a Honda dirt bike with no lights and wearing dark clothing when he collide with an SUV Thursday night.