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ACC dominates final poll...Women’s tournament pairings set...Caps sign local product

March 19, 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — Duke is back on top followed by Virginia and North Carolina to give the Atlantic Coast Conference a 1-2-3 showing in the final AP Top 25 poll this season. The Blue Devils jumped from fifth to first Monday after winning last week’s league tournament with the return of freshman star Zion Williamson from a knee sprain. The Cavaliers and Tar Heels stayed in their positions in what is believed to be the first time a conference has claimed the top three spots in the final AP poll. Gonzaga fell from first to fourth, while Michigan State climbed to fifth.

NEW YORK (AP) — Baylor, Notre Dame, Mississippi State and Louisville are the top seeds in the women’s NCAA Tournament. The bracket was mistakenly put out early on ESPNU several hours before the network had its selection show on Monday night. It’s the first time since 2006 that the Connecticut Huskies aren’t a No. 1 seed. UConn will try to continue its record Final Four run from the No. 2 seed in the Portland regional, looking to advance that far for the 12th consecutive year.

ARLINGTON, VA (AP) - The Washington Capitals have snared a local product. They signed college free agent forward Joe Snively to a two-year entry-level contract that begins next season. Snively is 23 and a native of nearby Herndon, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, DC, and played his youth hockey at the Capitals’ practice facility as part of the Little Caps program. He was Yale’s leading scorer in each of his four seasons there and reportedly drew interest from two-thirds of the NHL.

UNDATED (AP) — Union head Tony Clark is applauding the Toronto Blue Jays’ decision to give minor league players a 50 percent raise, and he hopes other clubs will do the same. Many players have made as little as $1,100 per month in recent seasons and don’t get paid during spring training or the offseason. Those who don’t receive lucrative signing bonuses often struggle to afford meals, rent and basic equipment like cleats and bats. Toronto is the first club to announce such a raise.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — In a possible playoff preview, Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault each had four points and the Vegas Golden Knights won for the ninth time in 10 games, beating the San Jose Sharks 7-3 on Monday night. The win moved the Golden Knights within seven points of the Sharks with nine games to play in the race for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. San Jose remains one point behind Pacific Division-leading Calgary, with the Flames holding a game in hand.