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UCF meets Duke...Alabama parts ways with basketball coach...Giants get Kratz from Brewers

March 24, 2019

UNDATED (AP) — The NCAA Tournament continues today with eight more second-round games. The matchup between Duke and University of Central Florida features college basketball’s tallest player going against its most dynamic star. Top-seeded Duke has explosive freshman Zion Williamson, while UCF has Tacko Fall, a 7-foot-6 center with an 8-foot-4 wingspan. Two other top seeds from the Atlantic Coast Conference are in action today: North Carolina faces No. 9 seed Washington and Virginia meets No. 9 seed Oklahoma.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Avery Johnson is out as Alabama’s coach after making the NCAA Tournament only once in four seasons. Athletic director Greg Byrne announced today that the Crimson Tide and Johnson “made the decision to mutually part ways.” Johnson’s buyout under a contract extension reached in August 2017 would be $8 million. Alabama lost five of its last six games this season, including a first-round upset by Norfolk State in the NIT on Tuesday night.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco Giants have acquired veteran catcher Erik Kratz from the Brewers, sending minor league infielder C.J. Hinojosa to Milwaukee. The Giants were looking for an experienced catcher to provide depth behind Buster Posey, who is back from right hip surgery that ended his 2018 season in late August. The 38-year-old Kratz batted .236 with six home runs and 23 RBIs in 67 games for the Brewers last season.

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Mark Trumbo will start the season on the injured list. The 33-year-old had surgery on his right knee in September and Orioles manager Brandon Hyde says Trumbo hasn’t played enough to be ready for opening day. Trumbo led the major leagues with 47 home runs in 2016.

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) — Joey Logano leads two rows of Ford drivers to the green flag today at Martinsville Speedway, the first stop at a short track in this young NASCAR season. Logano won at Martinsville last fall by bumping Martin Truex Jr. out of the lead in the final turn of the playoff race. The maneuver earned Logano a slot in NASCAR’s championship and he won his first Cup title three weeks later. He is starting from the pole in his No. 22 Team Penske Ford for the fifth time in the last nine races at Martinsville.