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North Dakota State, Arizona State advance...Rays’ Lowe, Astros’ Pressly get extensions

March 21, 2019

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — It will be Duke against North Dakota State and Buffalo versus Arizona State in the first round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament tomorrow. Tyson Ward scored 23 points and North Dakota State earned the right to face the Blue Devils by posting a 78-74 victory against North Carolina Central. Luguentz Dort overcame a hard foul and a leg injury to score 21 points and lead Arizona State to a 74-65 win over St. John’s.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays have wasted no time handing Brandon Lowe a contract extension, working out a six-year, $24 million contract with the infield. Lowe’s deal includes club options for 2025 and 2026 with escalators that could make the agreement worth $49 million over eight seasons. He made his major league debut last August and batted .223 with six home runs and 25 RBIs in 43 games for the Rays.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Houston Astros and right-hander Ryan Pressly have agreed to a three-year, $20.4 million contract - a deal that adds $17.5 million over an additional two seasons. He was 2-1 with a 2.54 ERA for the Astros and Minnesota Twins last season, appearing in a league-high 77 games. Pressley would have been eligible for free agency after this season.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury. Girardi has missed the past five games. Tampa Bay also is without defenseman Anton Stralman, who has missed the past seven games with a lower-body injury. The Lightning have won six straight, including last night’s 5-4 overtime win against the Capitals in Washington.

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The University of San Diego says former basketball coach Lamont Smith was the previously unnamed “varsity coach” alleged to have taken a kickback in what federal authorities called the largest college admissions cheating scam ever prosecuted in the United States. The private school said it was able to publicly identify Smith only after the U.S. Department of Justice modified a confidentiality order. The school says the only other people involved in the scandal who were connected to the school are a current student and one who was denied admission.