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Update on the latest sports

March 9, 2019


Duke faces North Carolina

UNDATED (AP) — No. 3 North Carolina hosts No. 4 Duke in the best Top-25 basketball matchup of the day.

The Blue Devils will be without Zion Williamson, who is continuing his recovery from a sprained right knee. Williamson has missed four games since he was hurt in the opening minute of last month’s 90-72 loss to the Tar Heels after his shoe came apart.

No. 5 Tennessee is the first top-10 team in action Saturday, taking on Auburn on the road.

Other early top-25 matchups are No. 2 Virginia vs. Louisville, No. 6 Kentucky vs. Florida and No. 8 Texas Tech at Iowa State.


NBA-leading Bucks host Charlotte

UNDATED (AP) — The Charlotte Hornets take on the NBA’s top team when they visit Milwaukee Saturday night. The Bucks have the league’s best record at 49-16, while Hornets are chasing Miami for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Saturday’s NBA schedule starts at noon Eastern time with the Knicks hosting the Kings. The other games on the schedule are at night. The Brooklyn Nets visit Atlanta, Minnesota hosts Washington, Boston is at the L.A. Lakers and Portland hosts Phoenix.


Sharks-Blues outcome could change Western Conference lead

UNDATED (AP) — NHL’s Western Conference lead could change hands following Saturday afternoon’s game between in San Jose between the Sharks and the Blues. San Jose is currently one point behind Calgary for first place in Western Conference and Pacific Division.

Buffalo visits Colorado in the day’s other afternoon game.

Among the late games, the New York Islanders hope to regain share of Metropolitan Division lead when they host the Flyers.


Fleetwood, Bradley share Palmer lead

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Tommy Fleetwood and Keegan Bradley are co-leaders heading into Saturday’s third round of the PGA’s Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Fleetwood used two new clubs to make two eagles on his way to a 6-under 66. Bradley shot a 68 and joined Fleetwood atop the leaderboard at minus-9.

Keith Mitchell is among six players in a third-place tie at 5 under. Mitchell earned his first career victory at the Honda Classic last weekend.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut after following Thursday’s 68 with a 78 that left him 2 over.


Shiffrin clinches record 15th World Cup victory this season

SPINDLERUV MLYN, Czech Republic (AP) — Mikaela Shiffrin has reached another milestone, clinching a record 15th World Cup victory of the season.

Returning to the Czech resort where she started her World Cup career at the age of 15 in 2011, Shiffrin dominated Saturday in the the last slalom before next week’s finals.

No other skier, male or female, has won more than 14 races in a single campaign in the 53-year history of the World Cup.

The American will likely get three chances to further improve the best mark as she is expected to compete in Thursday’s super-G and next weekend’s slalom and giant slalom at the World Cup Finals in Andorra.

Shiffrin had already wrapped up the World Cup slalom season title, her sixth in the last seven years, and her third straight overall championship.

Saturday’s win was Shiffrin’s 39th in slalom, leaving her one short of the 32-year-old World Cup record held by Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark.


Kristoffersen beats Windingstad for Norwegian 1-2 in GS

KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia (AP) — Henrik Kristoffersen continued his strong form in giant slalom on Saturday, winning the penultimate men’s World Cup race of the season.

The world champion held on to his first-run lead to beat Rasmus Windingstad by 0.24 seconds for a Norwegian 1-2 finish. Swiss pair Marco Odermatt and Cedric Noger placed third and fourth, respectively.

Alexis Pinturault of France, who was second after the opening run, dropped to fifth, one place ahead of Marcel Hirscher, who all but secured his eighth consecutive World Cup overall title.


Liu Hong of China sets WR in women’s 50K race walk

HUANGSHAN, China (AP) — Liu Hong of China has set a world record in the women’s 50-kilometer race walk, becoming the first woman to finish the event in under 4 hours.

Liu, the 20K Olympic champion who was competing in her first 50K race, clocked 3 hours, 59 minutes, 15 seconds at the Chinese Race Walk Grand Prix on Saturday. That shaved more than five minutes off the previous mark of 4:04:36, held by China’s Liang Rui.

Li Maocuo also beat the previous record, finishing second in 4:03:51.

For Liu, it was only her third race since returning from a two-year break for maternity leave.


Mixed blessing for cycling from Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has praised cycling for the value it places on discipline, selflessness and courage but warned that the sport can become tainted by doping, dishonesty and corruption.

Francis met Saturday with European and African cycling federations during their annual assembly in Rome.

The Argentine Jesuit cited the team spirit often seen in cycling but warned that it can become distorted when profit and prestige take over. He cited “doping, dishonesty, disrespect for oneself and one’s opponents, and corruption.”

Francis, a known soccer fan, has long promoted sport as an example of solidarity to be nurtured, especially among the young.