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BC-Sports Briefs

March 13, 2019
By The Associated Press

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — The NCAA Tournament selection show is returning to CBS and its traditional bracket-first format for revealing the field for March Madness.

Last year, the Selection Sunday show aired on TBS for the first time since CBS and Turner became broadcast partners for the men’s basketball tournament in 2011. The presentation of the 68-team field was tweaked, first showing the teams that had earned automatic bids in alphabetical order, and then revealing the 36 at-large selections in alphabetical order. After the teams were announced, the matchups were revealed region-by-region and the bracket was filled in.

The plan for Sunday is to drop the alphabetical reveal and get right to the bracket. The show will be one-hour, hosted as usual by Greg Gumbel.

PRO BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA has fined Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook $25,000 for the language he directed toward a fan in Utah.

Meanwhile, the Jazz have banned the fan from all events at their arena permanently and effective immediately.

Westbrook says the fan made racial comments toward him during the Jazz-Thunder game on Monday night. The NBA and the Jazz both investigated the matter and released decisions Tuesday afternoon. Westbrook was fined for using both profanity and threatening language, which he did from the sideline.

The Jazz say that the fan was banned for “excessive and derogatory verbal abuse” during the game.

NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA has suspended Toronto’s Serge Ibaka for three games and Cleveland’s Marquese Chriss for one game for their involvement in an on-court fight.

Chriss sat out Cleveland’s game Tuesday in Philadelphia. Ibaka will miss Toronto’s games against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, at Detroit on Sunday and against New York on Monday.

The NBA says Ibaka drew the stiffer penalty for several reasons. The league found he was the instigator and threw a punch at Chriss. The league also cited his history of fighting during games. Chriss’ suspension was for throwing a punch at Ibaka.

The suspensions are without pay. Ibaka will lose about $448,000 and Chriss about $22,000.

GOLF

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Tiger Woods says a sore neck that kept him out of Bay Hill last week is no longer painful.

That doesn’t mean the end of neck pain down the road. Woods says with a fused lower back, the stress from a golf swing has to go somewhere. He says it started to bother him a little at Riviera, and then more the following week in Mexico City.

Woods says his job is to make sure to stay fit and flexible. He used the word “pliable” three times during his news conference at The Players Championship.

Woods is the only player in the 144-man field at the TPC Sawgrass who has won The Players in March and in May. The tournament returns to March for the first time since 2006.

PRO FOOTBALL

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos will play in the Hall of Fame game Aug. 1 to open the preseason.

Each team will be making its fourth appearance in the preseason game, which this year will launch the NFL’s 100th season.

Two days after the game in Canton, Ohio, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, former Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey and former Kansas City Chiefs and Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez will be among those enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Falcons are 1-2 in the Hall of Fame game, with a win over San Diego in 1994. They lost to Cleveland in 1981 and Green Bay in 1969.

The Broncos also are 1-2 in the summer game. Denver beat Detroit in 1976 and lost to the Lions in 1991 and to San Diego in 1994.

The other members of the Hall of Fame class are Gil Brandt, Ty Law, Kevin Mawae, Ed Reed, and Johnny Robinson.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ryan Shazier will be a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2019 as he continues his recovery from a spinal injury.

The team tolled the linebacker’s contract for next season, meaning it will be carried over from 2018. Shazier did not play last season while recuperating from a spinal injury suffered in Cincinnati on Dec. 4, 2017. The deal allows Shazier to continue having medical coverage and gives him another season toward his league pension.

The move keeps Shazier on Pittsburgh’s 90-man roster, though he eventually will be placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list.

The 26-year-old Shazier spent last season as a de facto coach and scout for Pittsburgh, reviewing film with teammates and mentoring inside linebackers Jon Bostic, Vince Williams and Tyler Matakevich.

BASEBALL

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia threw 20 pitches during his first batting practice session since a heart procedure in December.

Sabathia, expected to miss his first two or three regular-season starts, is slated to throw a simulated game Saturday.

The 38-year-old, who is retiring after the season, had a stent inserted Dec. 11 after a blockage was found in an artery from his heart. He has had chronic right knee problems that required several operations.

“He’s really responded well to everything,” Yankee manager Aaron Boone said. “He’s doing well.”

Sabathia also is suspended for five games for hitting Tampa Bay’s catcher Jesus Sucre with a pitch on Sept. 27.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) —Tim Tebow has been reassigned to minor league camp by the New York Mets after hitting .267 with one RBI in eight spring training games.

The 31-year-old outfielder attended big league camp for the second straight year and is expected to start the season at Triple-A Syracuse. The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner for 4 for 15 with no extra-base hits in 18 plate appearances during spring training.

Tebow batted .273 with six home runs, 14 doubles and 36 RBIs in 84 games for Double-A Binghamton last year.

New York also optioned right-handers Paul Sewald and Jacob Rhame to Syracuse and re-assigned right-hander Arquimedes Caminero, infielder Andres Gimenez, infielder Dilson Herrera, outfielder Rymer Liriano and catcher Ali Sanchez to minor league camp.