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Associated Press

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 9:36 AM

NCAA-MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

Full speed ahead

UNDATED (AP) — There are 16 second round games on the first full day of the NCAA men's basketball tournament with the action getting started with the Midwest Regional at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Third seed Michigan State and 14th-seeded Valparaiso (val-pur-AY'-zoh) have the first tip off (12:15 p.m. Eastern).

Not long afterwards, sixth-seeded Butler and 11th-seed Bucknell will play an East Regional game in Lexington's Rupp Arena. That's where overall No. 1 Louisville plays North Carolina A&T in a Midwest Regional tonight. The Aggies beat Liberty on Tuesday night in the First Four.

Last night in Dayton, Ohio, James Madison beat LIU Brooklyn 68-55 for its first NCAA tournament win in 30 years. The victory earned the 16th-seeded Dukes a meeting with No. 1 seed Indiana tomorrow.

La Salle shot 63 percent from the field and beat Boise State 80-71 in a First Four matchup of 13 seeds. The Explorers play fourth-seeded Kansas State on Friday.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NEW MEXICO

Alford gets new deal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico basketball coach Steve Alford has agreed to a new 10-year contract that could bring him up to $2 million per season including base salary, bonuses and incentives.

Alford has the Lobos in the NCAA tournament for the third time in four years and their 29 wins this season are the second-most in school history.

PGA-ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL

Woods playing one of his favorite courses

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Round one of the Arnold Palmer Invitational got under way this morning, and defending champion Tiger Woods was among the early starters. He's shooting for an eighth PGA Tour title at Bay Hill and the 77th of his pro career. If he gets it, Woods will overtake Rory McIlroy for No. 1 in the rankings.

Woods is coming off a victory two weeks ago at Doral in the WGC-Cadillac Championship and also won at Torrey Pines in January.

LPGA-KIA CLASSIC

New experience for Lewis

CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) — Stacy Lewis is playing her first tournament as world No. 1. She's part of the field for this week's KIA Classic in California.

Defending champion Yani Tseng (YAH'-nee sehng) was forced to withdraw from the field after missing her tee time for yesterday's pro-am.

Lewis jumped from third to first in the rankings with a win last week at Phoenix, ending Tseng's 109-week run at the top.

NFL-BEARS-URLACHER

Bears, Urlacher split

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bears are parting ways with eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher (UR'-lak-ur) after 13 years.

General manager Phil Emery says the two sides decided to move forward after reaching the impasse in contract talks.

Urlacher started 180 games from 2000 through 2012, recording a team-record 1,779 tackles. He was the AP's defensive player of the year in 2005.

NFL-MEETINGS

Owners have busy last day in Phoenix

PHOENIX (AP) — NFL owners have passed a player safety rule barring ball carriers from using the crown of their helmets to make contact with a defender in the open field.

The owners have also voted to eliminate the tuck rule, which was one of the most criticized rules in pro football. Now, if a quarterback loses control of the ball before he has fully protected it after opting not to throw, it is a fumble.

Video review now will be allowed on plays when a coach challenges even though he is not allowed to. But the coach will be penalized or lose a timeout, depending on when he threw the challenge flag.

The Pro Bowl will return to Honolulu next January and again will be played the week before the Super Bowl.

NBA-SCHEDULE

Nuggets look to extend their streak

UNDATED (AP) — If it weren't for the Heat's 24-game winning streak, the Nuggets would be the talk of the NBA. Denver has won 13 in a row headed into this evening's game against a visiting Philadelphia 76ers team that is 15 games under .500 and just 6-24 on the road. The Nuggets' 30-3 home record ties Miami for best in the league.

The rest of tonight's light pro hoops schedule has Portland playing at Chicago and Sacramento hosting Minnesota.

NHL-SCHEDULE

Canadiens can creep up on Penguins

UNDATED (AP) — The Canadiens will be out to avenge their only regulation loss in their last 18 games tonight on Long Island, where they lost to New York 6-3 early this month. Montreal is 13-1-4 over that span and begins tonight's game second in the NHL East, three points behind idle Pittsburgh.

Boston is just two points behind Northeast Division-rival Montreal headed into its game at Ottawa.

Elsewhere on the ice, Buffalo is home to Toronto, the New York Rangers entertain Florida, New Jersey skates at Carolina, Winnipeg hosts Washington, Calgary is at Nashville, Phoenix is home to Vancouver and the L.A. Kings host Dallas.

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