COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NCAA TOURNAMENT
Huskies, Wildcats advance
UNDATED (AP) — The Final Four is set in the NCAA men's basketball tournament, and it will be seventh seed Connecticut against No. 1 Florida in the first game before eighth seed Kentucky takes on No. 2 Wisconsin. The Huskies and Wildcats advanced by winning close games this afternoon.
Shabazz Napier scored 17 of his 25 points in the second half as UConn downed No. 4 Michigan State 60-54 to win the East Regional at Madison Square Garden. Napier hit three huge free throws with 37.6 seconds left to put the Huskies ahead 56-51.
The 30-8 Huskies rallied from a nine-point second-half deficit to become the first No. 7 seed to reach the Final Four since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
Gary Harris had a team-high 22 points for the Spartans, but Branden Dawson was held to five points on 1 of 3 shooting after scoring 24 points in the regional semifinals against Virginia.
Aaron Harrison and Kentucky ended Michigan's season by defeating the second-seeded Wolverines 75-72 at Indianapolis. The game was tied at 72 until Harrison drained a 3-pointer from NBA range with 2.3 seconds left, moments after Julius Randle inadvertently tipped in the tying shot on Michigan's previous possession. Harrison scored all 12 of his points off 3-pointers in the final 8:05.
Randle was named the Midwest Region's Most Outstanding Player after delivering 16 points and 11 rebounds for his 24th double-double.
Nik Stauskas led all scorers with 24 points but missed a halfcourt shot at the buzzer to set off a Wildcat celebration.
The Final Four is set for Saturday near Dallas. Wisconsin didn't face Kentucky this season, but Connecticut knocked off Florida 65-64 in Storrs on Dec. 2. The Gators haven't lost since, reeling off a school-record 30 consecutive wins.
Padres host Dodgers tonight
SAN DIEGO (AP) — It's opening night in San Diego as the Padres are entertaining the Dodgers. The game doesn't mark the opening of the Major League season as that took place a week ago in Australia, where the Dodgers took two from the Diamondbacks.
On the mound tonight for the Dodgers is Hyun-Jin Ryu (hee-YUHN'-jihn YOO) against Andrew Cashner for the Padres.
Darvish, Harrison heads to DL
UNDATED (AP) — Texas Rangers pitchers Yu Darvish and Matt Harrison have been placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Darvish had been scheduled to start Monday's opener against Philadelphia until neck stiffness two weeks ago. Harrison was last year's opening-day starter but pitched in only two games last year and had a setback early in camp with stiffness in his neck and back.
Also in the majors:
— The Los Angeles Dodgers have placed left-hander Clayton Kershaw on the 15-day disabled list for the first time in his seven-year career because of a swollen muscle in his left upper back. The two-time Cy Young Award winner is eligible to be activated on April 8, the day Los Angeles starts a series at home against Detroit.
— Infielders Gordon Beckham and Jeff Keppinger are opening the season on the Chicago White Sox's 15-day disabled list. Beckhman has a strained left oblique and Keppinger is recovering from right shoulder surgery performed in September.
Pacers lose another while Thunder win
UNDATED (AP) — The Indiana Pacers continued a recent slump that's seen their lead in the NBA's Eastern Conference trimmed to one game over Miami.
The Pacers suffered their fifth consecutive road loss as Dion Waiters scored 19 points and Luol Deng (LOO'-ul dehng) added 15 in Cleveland's 90-76 win over Indiana. Tristan Thompson had 16 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who led by 21 in the fourth quarter and snapped a nine-game losing streak against Indiana.
Oklahoma City has pulled within three games of West-leading San Antonio by drubbing Utah 116-96. Kevin Durant had 31 points and nine assists, Russell Westbrook finished with 19 points and Serge Ibaka (ih-BAH'-kah) had 17 in the Thunder's sixth victory in seven games.
Durant has scored at least 25 points in 38 straight games, the NBA's longest such streak since Chicago's Michael Jordan did it in 40 straight in 1986-87.
Also in the NBA:
— Paul Pierce scored 16 of his 22 points in the first quarter of Brooklyn's team record-tying 13th consecutive home win, 114-99 over Minnesota. Joe Johnson added 19 points to help the Nets match the longest home winning streak in the NBA this season.
B's outlast Flyers in shootout
UNDATED (AP) — The Boston Bruins continue to zero in on clinching the NHL's best record. The Eastern Conference leaders are three points ahead of the West-leading St. Louis Blues after Patrice Bergeron (pah-TREES' BEHR'-zhur-ahn) led the Bruins to a 4-3 shootout win at Philadelphia.
Bergeron scored once in regulation and again in the shootout to send the B's to their ninth straight road win.
Reilly Smith provided the deciding tally as the Bruins improved to 15-0-1 in their last 16 games, giving them an 11-point lead over Pittsburgh for first place in the East. The Penguins are playing Chicago right now.
Elsewhere on ice:
— David Legwand had a goal and an assist as Detroit nipped Tampa Bay 3-2 to move into seventh place in the East. Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist also scored to support Jonas Gustavsson's 26 saves.
— Milan Michalek (mih-HAH'-lehk) and Kyle Turris each scored twice as Ottawa doubled up Calgary 6-3. Jared Cowen notched the tiebreaking goal 72 seconds into the third period.
Bowditch survives bad final round
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — It's not often a player closes with a 76 and wins a PGA event, but Australia's Steven Bowditch (BOH'-dich) did that in capturing the Texas Open.
He bogeyed the final hole for a 4-over-76 that left him at minus-8, one stroke ahead of Will MacKenzie and Daniel Summerhays. Bowditch claimed his first PGA victory and a spot in the Masters.
It was the highest closing score by a winner since Vijay Singh (VEE'-jay sing) finished with a 4-over 76 in the 2004 PGA Championship, and the highest in a non-major since Fred Couples had a 5-over 77 in the 1983 Kemper Open.
Fourth round action for the LPGA
CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) — Sweden's Anna Nordquist was the leader late in the final round of the Kia Classic in California. She was 13-under with one holes remaining, two shots ahead of clubhouse leader Lexi Thompson of the U.S.
Norquist surged to the lead after opening with a 73 on Thursday.
Hamilton takes Malaysian Grand Prix
SEPANG, Malaysia (AP) — Lewis Hamilton led a one-two finish for the Mercedes team at the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix. Hamilton beat teammate Nico Rosberg, who won the first race of the season two weeks ago in Australia, by 17.3 seconds. Four-time defending world champion Sebastian Vettel (VEHT'-ehl) of Red Bull was third with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso fourth.
Johnson moves in front
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) — Kurt Busch took the checkered flag in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Martinsville, Va. Jimmie Johnson led 296 of the laps but finished second as Busch passed him with 10 laps to go.
Busch's 25th career victory ended a winless streak that had reached 83 starts.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. third, followed by Joey Logano and Marcos Ambrose.
The race featured an event-record 33 lead changes and 12 race leaders.
Power takes opening race for IndyCar
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Will Power won the season-opening IndyCar race in St. Petersburg, Fla. The win is his third straight as he won the last two races last season. He passed pole-sitter Takuma Sato for the lead with an outside move headed into the second turn on Lap 31, and the Australian was never really challenged again. Ryan Hunter-Reay finished second, Helio Castroneves (EHL'-ee-oh cas-troh-NEHV'-us) was third and defending IndyCar champion Scott Dixon fourth.
Juan Pablo Montoya finished 15th in his first IndyCar race after seven seasons in NASCAR.