National Sports

Zags, Ducks give West Coast flair to Final Four in Phoenix

By DAVE SKRETTA, AP Sports Writer KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Tyler Dorsey had just led Oregon to its first Final Four in nearly eight decades when he looked into a TV camera and passed along a very simple message to all those East Coast fans. The ones who are often asleep before the Ducks have ...

Hamilton makes NASCAR history as first black race director

By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer FONTANA, Calif. (AP) — Jusan Hamilton grew up working on cars in his grandfather's garage, and he has been in love with motorsports ever since. He dreamed of driving all the way from upstate New York's dirt tracks to the bright lights of NASCAR. When it ...

Van Avermaet wins Gent-Wevelgem for 2nd victory in 3 days

GENT, Belgium (AP) — Olympic road champion Greg Van Avermaet won his second race in three days Sunday, beating fellow Belgian Jens Keukeleire in a two-man sprint finish to take the Gent-Wevelgem classic. World champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia, who won last year's race, finished third. The ...

North Carolina, Kentucky face off again for Final Four berth

By TERESA M. WALKER, AP Sports Writer MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Roy Williams wanted another chance at Kentucky after his North Carolina Tar Heels lost to the Wildcats in December. John Calipari is certain someone knew he hoped not to see North Carolina in the same bracket. Well, Williams got ...

Sprint car driver Steele killed in Florida speedway crash

DESOTO, Fla. (AP) — Sprint car veteran David Steele has died during a race in Florida. Desoto Speedway officials said in a Facebook post on Saturday night that track owners and staff were saddened by the crash. The statement says Steele was trying to win his 100th race in Florida. A Manatee ...

Lletget, Brooks dropped from US roster; Arriola added

By RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — An already banged-up U.S. soccer team lost four more players heading into Tuesday's World Cup qualifier at Panama, including two starters from Friday night's 6-0 victory against Honduras. Midfielder Sebastian Lletget, defenders John ...

Canucks top slumping Wild 4-2

By Patrick Donnelly Associated Press ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Brock Boeser’s college career ended in crushing fashion on Friday night. Scoring in his NHL debut the next day in front of his family and friends wasn’t a bad consolation prize. Boeser scored in his first NHL game a day ...

TIPPING OFF: Kansas, Gonzaga, Oregon, Xavier eye Final Four

By AARON BEARD, AP Basketball Writer RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — It's finally time to award the first spots in the Final Four. And for the four teams chasing those tickets Saturday, it's another shot to break through an often frustrating roadblock in the regional finals. Kansas lost in the Elite ...

Jayhawks coach Bill Self has mellowed over the years

By DAVE SKRETTA, AP Sports Writer KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas coach Bill Self has kicked out the signage on scorer's tables, tossed sweat-stained suit jackets and screamed so loudly at players and officials that his face turned beet red. Good thing he's mellowed over the years. These ...

BASEBALL 2017: Sacrifice bunts are a dying art in baseball

By ROB MAADDI, AP Sports Writer CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Get 'em on, move 'em over, drive 'em in. That old-school philosophy doesn't play in the major leagues anymore. Teams rely more on the long ball than small ball. As a result, the sacrifice bunt is a dying art. There were only 1,025 ...

Tipping Off: Reaching the Sweet 16 commonplace for UConn

By DOUG FEINBERG, AP Basketball Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Reaching the Sweet 16 seems to be a rite of spring for Geno Auriemma the UConn Huskies. They've made the regional semifinals in 24 consecutive years. Still, the Hall of Fame coach takes nothing for granted, despite winning 109 ...

Escalator fall ended US ski racer’s career, launched another

By PAT GRAHAM, AP Sports Writer His adrenaline rushing at the top, former U.S. skier Cody Marshall steeled himself to tackle the daunting course. Three deep breaths. A quick pep talk. A determined gaze. Eighteen grueling steps later, he reached the bottom of the stairs at the rehab center ...

Narrow trail is the path to glory at US Alpine Championships

CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine (AP) — To the casual skier, Sugarloaf's storied Narrow Gauge Trail doesn't seem so cramped or crazy. But that changes when it's prepared for competition and skiers are reaching highway speeds. Suddenly those trees seem awfully close. "The name says it all. That ...

Booker scores 70, but Celtics outlast Suns 130-120

By Kyle Hightower AP Sports Writer BOSTON (AP) — Devin Booker scored 70 points, becoming the sixth player in NBA history to reach that total, but the Boston Celtics got 34 points from Isaiah Thomas and outlasted the Phoenix Suns 130-120 on Friday night. Booker joined Wilt Chamberlain, ...

Women’s players decline inquiry from USA Hockey about worlds

By Stephen Whyno and John Wawrow AP Hockey Writers Two players told The Associated Press on Friday they had declined an inquiry from USA Hockey to replace members of the women’s national team at the upcoming world championships. Brittany Ott, a goaltender for the Boston Pride of the ...

Oakland makes last-ditch effort to keep Raiders from Vegas

By Andrew Dalton Associated Press With the Raiders gazing at Las Vegas and sticking one foot out the door, Oakland is making a last-minute plea to hang on to them. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf on Friday shared details of investors’ plans for the first time for a stadium on the current ...

Bettman: Concessions needed for NHL to go to Winter Olympics

By Andrew Seligman AP Sports Writer CHICAGO (AP) — The International Olympic Committee and hockey’s governing body will have to make concessions before the NHL sends the world’s best players to the Winter Games in South Korea next year, commissioner Gary Bettman said on Friday. “As ...

South Carolina upsets Baylor

East Regional semifinal: 7 South Carolina 70, 3 Baylor 50 NEW YORK (AP) — Sindarius Thornwell scored 24 points and seventh-seeded South Carolina cruised past third-seeded Baylor 70-50 on Friday night in the East Regional semifinals. It was the Bears’ worst NCAA Tournament loss. The ...

US routs Puerto Rico 8-0 to win WBC behind dominant Stroman

By BETH HARRIS, AP Sports Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) — The eagle has landed on top. The United States routed Puerto Rico 8-0 to win its first World Baseball Classic in four tries on Wednesday night behind six hitless innings from Marcus Stroman. The Americans planted their eagle statue mascot ...

Tipping Off: Michigan talked Super Bowl on way to Sweet 16

By EDDIE PELLS, AP National Writer When Michigan was slumping earlier in the season, the coach started thinking Super Bowl, not Final Four. John Beilein conjured up the highlight-reel catch that Patriots receiver Julian Edelman made during New England's game-tying drive in the Super Bowl, and ...