Update on the latest in sports:
NCAA-MENS TOURNAMENT-DUKE-VIRGINIA TECH
Duke hangs on against Virginia Tech
UNDATED (AP) — Duke has survived again in the NCAA Tournament. The No. 1 overall seed held off Virginia Tech 75-73 in the East Region semifinals, earning a trip to the Elite Eight to face Michigan State. The Blue Devils had to survive a wild final possession for the Hokies, who missed two 3-pointers for the lead then had Ahmed Hill miss a short putaway on a perfectly executed inbounds lob to the lane to end it.
Duke had already survived UCF missing two attempts for the win in a one-point win in the second round last weekend. The Blue Devils also won games against Wake Forest and North Carolina this year by surviving final-play shots each time.
Zion Williamson scored a game-high 23 points, while fellow freshman Tre Jones scores a career-high 22 points,
Fifth-seeded Auburn upset the Tar Heels 97-80 in the Midwest Region semifinal behind a barrage of second-half 3-pointers. And that sent the Tigers on to the Elite Eight for only the second time and first since 1986. Chuma Okeke had 20 points and 11 rebounds before going down with an apparent knee injury midway through the second half. Auburn led just 41-39 at halftime before taking over. The Tigers hit 12 of 18 3-pointers after halftime and 17 of 37 for the game, scoring 56 points after halftime to take control
Michigan State has advanced to the East Region final. The Spartans beat LSU 80-63 for a 10th trip to the Elite Eight under Tom Izzo. Aaron Henry had 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the second-seeded Spartans. Freshman Gabe Brown also had 15 points, an unexpected contribution from a player who had never scored more than 11.
Tyler Herro and No. 2 seed Kentucky are advancing to the Elite Eight. Herro poured in 19 points, including the go-ahead 3 with 25.8 seconds left and two clinching free throws to help the Wildcats beat third-seeded Houston 62-58 in the Midwest Region. The Wildcats will take on Auburn on Sunday. The Tigers beat region top seed North Carolina earlier in the night.
Collier helps UConn beat UCLA 69-61 in Sweet 16
UNDATED (AP) — Napheesa Collier had 25 points and 10 rebounds to help No. 2 UConn rally to beat sixth-seeded UCLA 69-61 on Friday night in the Albany Regional semifinals.
Trailing 50-49 entering the fourth quarter, the Huskies scored the first six points of the period to start a 15-4 run.
The Huskies will face either No. 1 Louisville or fourth-seeded Oregon State in the regional final on Sunday. UConn will be trying to extend its record Final Four run to 12 consecutive years. During that stretch the team has won six national championships and had a record 111-game winning streak.
In other action on the women’s bracket:
— Sam Fuehring and Asia Durr each had 17 points and top-seeded Louisville clamped down on defense again, beating No. 4 Oregon State 61-44 on Friday night to reach the Elite Eight. Louisville (32-3) will meet UConn (34-2) on Sunday for a berth in the Final Four. The Huskies defeated
Syracuse star Tyus Battle not returning for senior year
UNDATED (AP) — Syracuse star Tyus Battle is not returning for his senior year.
In an open letter to fans published Friday in The Post-Standard of Syracuse, Battle said he made his decision after reports that he’d leave surfaced when the Orange were eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
A year ago Battle entered his name in the NBA draft but didn’t hire an agent and ultimately decided to return for his junior year. He said then that he planned to re-enter the draft in 2019.
Battle’s departure leaves a big void. He’s led Syracuse in scoring for the past two years and averaged 17.2 this season. His 712 points in 2017-18 were the most for a sophomore in school history and he led the nation in minutes played.
In other college basketball news:
— A person familiar with the move says California has hired Mark Fox as its new men’s basketball coach to replace the fired Wyking Jones. Jones was fired on Sunday after back-to-back eight-win seasons at Cal. Fox has a 286-176 record in 14 seasons as coach at Nevada and Georgia.
Irving’s late layup lifts Celtics over Pacers 114-112
UNDATED (AP) — Kyrie Irving hit a driving layup with 0.5 seconds left and the Boston Celtics beat the Indiana Pacers 114-112 on Friday night.
Boston moved into fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Both teams have identical 45-31 records, but the Celtics lead the regular-season series 2-1, giving them the current inside track on home-court advantage in a first-round series.
Irving finished with 30 points and five assists. He has scored at least 30 points in six of his last seven games. Al Horford added 19 points and seven rebounds. Aron Baynes had 13 points and 13 rebounds. Bojan Bogdanovic led the Pacers with 27 points
If the current standings hold, the teams would meet in the first round. Their final regular-season meeting is Friday in Indiana.
In other Friday NBA action:
— Donovan Mitchell scored 35 points, Joe Ingles added 18 points and 10 assists, and the Utah Jazz beat the Washington Wizards 128-124. Rudy Gobert finished with 13 points and 17 rebounds for the Jazz.
— Karl-Anthony Towns made a free throw with 0.5 seconds remaining to lift the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 131-130 overtime victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night
— Jamal Murray scored 27 points, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 115-105. Nikola Jokic added 23 points and 16 rebounds for the Nuggets, who entered the night one game behind Golden State for the best record in the Western Conference.
— Damian Lillard scored 36 points, Al-Farouq Aminu added 17 and 11 rebounds, and the Portland Trail Blazers extended their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 118-98 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. Portland took charge with a 16-0 run in the third quarter that pushed the lead to 21 points.
Knicks’ Ntilikina expected to miss rest of season
UNDATED (AP) — Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina is expected to miss the rest of the season with a groin injury, ending a disappointing second year for the former lottery pick. Ntilikina had just returned from a nearly two-month absence but left again during a loss to the Clippers on Sunday because of more soreness. The Knicks say Friday that after a subsequent evaluation, the team’s medical staff recommends he not play again this season.
Ntilikina, from Belgium, has appeared in just 43 games, averaging 5.7 points. The No. 8 pick in the 2017 draft was the final selection made by Phil Jackson as team president.
In other NBA news:
—The Boston Celtics have banned a fan from its games for two years for being verbally abusive toward the Warriors during their only visit to Boston this season. The team says it didn’t enforce a lifetime ban because its investigation couldn’t prove that the fan used a racial slur toward Golden State forward DeMarcus Cousins.
Morton wins Rays debut 4-2 over former team Astros
UNDATED (AP) — Charlie Morton was solid in his debut for the Tampa Bay Rays, pitching five innings and striking out eight against his former team in a 4-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Friday night.
The 35-year-old right-hander, two seasons removed from helping Houston win a World Series, allowed two runs and three hits in his first start since signing a $30 million, two-year contract as a free agent.
In other Friday MLB action:
— Paul Goldschmidt hit three home runs and then was intentionally walked in the ninth inning with a chance to tie the major league record, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 9-5. Brewers manager Craig Counsell signaled for the free pass with one out and a runner on second. Cardinals fans behind the visiting dugout cheered as Goldschmidt approached the plate and booed loudly when Counsell made the move.
— Matt Shoemaker pitched seven sharp innings to win his Toronto debut and the Blue Jays beat the Detroit Tigers 6-0, giving Charlie Montoyo his first victory as a major league manager. Justin Smoak and Freddy Galvis each drove in two runs, a day after the Blue Jays were blanked in a 10-inning loss.
Brewers reliever Knebel having elbow surgery, out this year
UNDATED (AP) — Brewers reliever Corey Knebel says he will have Tommy John surgery and miss the season, a major setback for the NL Central champions.
Knebel revealed his decision Friday before Milwaukee played St. Louis.
The 27-year-old right-hander had been pitching with a damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow since 2014, when he was pitching for the Texas Rangers. He has been sidelined since March 17, when he experienced discomfort in his elbow while pitching in a spring training game.
Knebel was 4-3 with 16 saves and a 3.58 ERA in 57 games last season. He was outstanding in the playoffs, pitching nine games with a 0.90 ERA in 10 innings as the Brewers relied on a dominant bullpen to come within one win of the World Series.
Knebel had 39 saves and was a 2017 NL All-Star.
In other MLB news:
— Los Angeles Angels outfielder Justin Upton will miss eight to 12 weeks with a turf toe injury. Upton ran into the outfield wall at Angel Stadium while chasing a flyball during an exhibition game Sunday. The injury was initially diagnosed as a sprain and Upton was placed on the 10-day injured list with hopes of returning in mid-April. He was later diagnosed with turf toe on his left foot.
— Danny Farquhar will remain at extended spring training with the New York Yankees rather than start the season with a minor league team. The 32-year-old right-hander collapsed in the Chicago White Sox dugout on April 20 because of a ruptured aneurysm and brain hemorrhage. He appeared in three spring training games.
— A Texas grand jury has indicted former All-Star pitcher John Wetteland (WET’-land) on three counts of continuous sexual assault of a child. The indictments Thursday follow the 52-year-old’s January arrest. Wetteland was the Most Valuable Player of the 1996 World Series when he helped the New York Yankees beat the Atlanta Braves.
Rinne leads Predators to 3-1 win over Penguins
UNDATED (AP) — Pekka Rinne (PEH’-kuh RIH’-neh) stopped 42 shots to lead the Nashville Predators to a 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night.
Rinne was 63 seconds from his fifth shutout of the season when Nick Bjugstad scored for Pittsburgh.
It was the second game in eight days between the teams and a rematch of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, won by Pittsburgh in six games.
Viktor Arvidsson’s 32nd goal of the season - a power-play goal - set a career high and also was the 100th of his NHL career.
In other Friday NHL action:
— Sean Monahan scored twice to set a single-season career high with 33 goals and also added two assists, leading the Calgary Flames to a 6-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Monahan entered the game with just two goals in his last 19 games, but he broke out with a big game, surpassing his previous best of 31 goals.
— Nathan MacKinnon’s shootout goal lifted Colorado over the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 and the Avalanche tightened their grip on the second Western Conference wild-card berth. MacKinnon and Derick Brassard also had power-play goals in regulation for Colorado, which extended its lead over Arizona to three points in the race for the wild-card berth. Oliver Ekman-Larsson had both goals for the Coyotes, including the tying goal with 51 seconds remaining in regulation.
— Jimmy Vesey scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period, helping the Rangers beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2. Ryan Strome, Pavel Buchnevich and Chris Kreider also scored, and Alexandar Georgiev made 44 saves for the Rangers, who had lost two in a row. Vladimir Tarasenko and David Perron scored for St. Louis.
—Jonathan Bernier and Jimmy Howard combined for a shutout, Tyler Bertuzzi had a goal and two assists and the Detroit Red Wings topped the New Jersey Devils 4-0 for their fourth straight win. Bernier made 21 saves in the first two periods before leaving with an upper-body injury.
Police: Late Georgia Tech player collapsed in dance routine
UNDATED (AP) — Police say Georgia Tech football player Brandon Adams was participating in a dance routine when he collapsed suddenly and died last weekend at 21.
Atlanta police spokesman James H. White III says in a statement to The Associated Press that there was nothing in Adams’ autopsy to indicate foul play and no evidence to warrant a criminal investigation.
The autopsy was conducted Monday by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which did not rule on a cause of death. Police are awaiting the results of toxicology and other lab reports before deciding if further action is warranted.
In other college football news:
—Kansas running back Pooka Williams has agreed to diversion terms for a misdemeanor domestic battery charge. The Lawrence Journal-World reports court records show the agreement requires him to complete 40 hours of community service by Nov. 30. He also must submit to domestic violence offender assessment. If that assessment doesn’t result in any recommendations, Williams must take an anger management course. If he successfully completes the diversion, the allegation would be dropped from his record.
Tiger sizzles in match play action
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Tiger Woods sent fans into a frenzy Friday with a sublime stretch of golf that left them wanting more at the Dell Technologies Match Play. And that’s what they’ll get.
Woods won four straight holes with three birdies and an 83-yard lob wedge that spun back into the hole for an eagle , carrying him into the weekend with a 4-and-2 victory over Patrick Cantlay.