Henderson, Princeton stun Arizona 59-55 in NCAA Tournament
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Tosan Evbuomwan and Princeton used a late-game run to earn the school’s first NCAA Tournament win in 25 years, topping No. 2 seed Arizona 59-55. The 15th-seeded Tigers scored the final nine points, holding the Pac-12 Tournament champion scoreless over the final 4:43. Evbuomwan scored 15 points in Princeton’s first tournament victory since beating UNLV in 1998 when current coach Mitch Henderson was a player for the Tigers. Princeton advanced to play seventh-seeded Missouri in the second round of the South Region. The Tigers beat Utah State 76-65.
No. 13 seed Furman hands UVA its latest early March exit
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — JP Pegues made a 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds remaining, and No. 13 seed Furman completed a rally from a 12-point second-half deficit to hand fourth-seeded Virginia another first-round NCAA Tournament loss, 68-67. Making their first trip to the NCAA Tournament in 43 years, the Paladins advanced to the second round in the South Region, where they will play either San Diego State or Charleston on Saturday. Kihei Clark threw a bad pass that Garrett Hien intercepted at midcourt with 7 seconds to go, setting up Pegues’ go-ahead basket. Virginia was eliminated in the first round as the higher-seeded team for the third time in its past four NCAA tournaments.
Most March Madness brackets bust before sundown on Day 1
NCAA Tournament brackets were busted early Thursday. No. 13 seed Furman beat fourth-seeded Virginia and No. 15 Princeton defeated second-seeded Arizona. The NCAA March Madness Twitter account posted that only .065% of brackets remained perfect as the first round was still being played. In ESPN’s Tournament Challenge bracket game, 18,078 perfect brackets remained. Just more than 20 million had suffered at least one loss.
Mets' Díaz expected to miss season with torn patellar tendon
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — New York Mets closer Edwin Díaz has a torn patellar tendon and is expected to miss the entire season after hurting his right knee while celebrating a victory in the World Baseball Classic. The Mets announced Thursday night that Díaz had surgery earlier in the day. General manager Billy Eppler said a general timeline for recovery from this type of injury is about eight months. The Mets re-signed Díaz to a five-year, $102 million contract — the largest ever for a closer — after he produced a spectacular 2022 season.
Georgia's Jalen Carter gets 1-year probation, $1,000 fine
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter has pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing related to a crash that killed Bulldogs offensive lineman Devin Willock and a recruiting staff member. Carter has been sentenced to 12 months' probation and a $1,000 fine. Carter is projected as one of the top players in next month’s NFL draft. He must complete 50 hours of community service and a state-approved defensive driving course. Willock and Chandler LeCroy died in the Jan. 15 crash, which happened hours after Georgia celebrated its second consecutive national championship.
Sasser hurt anew as top seed Houston beats Northern Kentucky
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — With All-American Marcus Strasser watching from the bench, top-seeded Houston shook off Northern Kentucky for a 63-52 win opening the NCAA Tournament, Chants of “NKU!” and “Overrated!” filled Legacy Arena as the 16th-seeded Norse trailed by only three at halftime and made it 36-all with 15:44 remaining. But Houston pulled away behind 16 points from Jarace Walker. The Cougars next face Auburn with all eyes on Sasser, the team’s top scorer and its first AP first-team All-American since 1984. He injured his groin last weekend and aggravated the issue against Northern Kentucky. Sasser sat out the second half.
Brehm makes ace for share of lead at Valspar, Spieth 1 back
PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Brehm was having a solid round in the Valspar Championship. One swing made it a memorable round. Brehm made a hole-in-one on the 17th hole. That led to a 66 and gives Brehm a three-way share of the lead with Stephan Jaeger and Adam Schenk. Jordan Spieth is in the group one shot behind. Spieth only hit five fairways. But his putting is starting to look as good as ever. Spieth is a past winner at Innisbrook. He's playing the tournament for the first time in five years. Two-time defending champion Sam Burns and Justin Thomas are at 69.
Ready for Love: Rodgers' exit would mean new era for Packers
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst valued Jordan Love’s potential enough three years ago to trade up in the draft and select him in the first round, catching the Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback already on Green Bay’s roster by surprise. Love finally has a chance to show he was worth the gamble. Four-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers says he intends to play for the New York Jets in the 2023 season and is waiting for the Packers to trade him. That means Love would take over as the Packers starting quarterback in his fourth NFL season.
Pitino again a hot commodity at 70 and with checkered past
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Rick Pitino is once again a hot commodity in college coaching. The 70-year-old, two-time national champion, whose Hall of Fame four-decade career has been sprinkled with scandal, has Iona back in the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons. As Pitino prepares to face fourth-seeded Connecticut in the first round of the West Region, speculation is swirling that he could be heading back to the Big East to become coach of St. John's. Pitino dodged questions about his future other than to say he hopes to coach a dozen more years.
New Mexico St report calls for strengthened culture, values
An independent law firm investigating a fatal shooting by a New Mexico State basketball player recommended the school enhance its weapons policy and “strengthen a culture that encourages student-athletes to adhere to the integrity and values of NMSU at all times.” The school released the report on the first full day of the NCAA Tournament, an event the Aggies were not eligible for after canceling their season in February. An executive summary of the report did not identify any NCAA violations or failure of the school to meet legal obligations. The summary said the report was restricted by the absence of several witnesses, “including multiple basketball coaches and players,” who refused to cooperate or were unavailable.
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