The Sports Report: UCLA defeats Michigan State in overtime
Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.
Ben Bolch on UCLA men’s basketball: It was a strange twist, UCLA experiencing the opposite of what it had endured over the previous 2 1/2 weeks.
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The Bruins were the ones down big in the first half. They were the ones who fought back with seemingly no chance.
Once trailing Michigan State by as many as 14 points in the first half and by 11 points at halftime, the Bruins forced overtime, appearing as if they just might extend their first appearance in an NCAA tournament in three years.
They did just that, a loud eight-clap breaking out high inside Mackey Arena after the Bruins prevailed for an unlikely 86-80 victory in the First Four game that came courtesy of making the kinds of plays they couldn’t during a rash of recent collapses.
Bruins players stood with arms draped over one another’s shoulders in the final seconds, swaying back and forth in celebration of their first NCAA tournament triumph since 2017.
It didn’t even matter that Jules Bernard missed two late free throws after the Bruins had dominated the extra period.
UCLA (18-9) will play sixth-seeded Brigham Young on Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis in the first round. It’s the start of what the Bruins hope will be three games in five days that would be needed to reach a regional semifinal.
Some bad news from the Bruins though, Johnny Juzang went down hard along the baseline and had to be helped off the court in extreme anguish. His status for Saturday’s game is unknown.
Check out the men’s bracket here
March Madness: How to watch, stream every 2021 NCAA tournament game
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Helene Elliott on Cal Baptist: If there were some logic involved, if there were compelling reasons to explain why California Baptist’s women’s basketball team wasn’t allowed to take its 24-0 record to the NCAA tournament and compete for a national title, the Lancers might find their strange situation easier to understand.
If they were sure some good would come out of the four-year tournament exclusion the NCAA imposed when the private Christian school from Riverside moved from Division II to Division I in 2018, they might still consider the decree too harsh but they could have accepted the possibility CBU would benefit from a slow transition.
But as with so many NCAA rules, this one doesn’t benefit student-athletes. It’s keeping the Lancers, the Western Athletic Conference’s regular-season and tournament champions, out of the spotlight at the precise moment they’ve earned a chance to shine.
They’re the first team since Connecticut in 2017-18 to go undefeated in the regular season and win the conference tournament in the same season and the fourth since 1998, an elite group that also includes Notre Dame and Baylor. But because they’re still in that transition limbo they’re also the first team to go undefeated and not participate in the NCAA tournament since Oral Roberts in 1983. It’s difficult to see any good coming out of that.
“It’s very, very strange,” said senior guard Ane Olaeta of Spain, whose 7.6 assists per game would lead the nation if the NCAA didn’t exclude the Lancers’ stats because of the same absurd transition rules. “I feel like being 24-0, they should let us go in because I feel like we can compete. But the rule is the rule and they’re not going to change it.”
This one ranks with the most ludicrous of NCAA rules, which is saying a lot. “It’s very bizarre. No one’s really explained a good rationale for it,” CBU coach Jarrod Olson said. “I just always assume it’s got something to do with money because that’s how everything at the NCAA works. Not just them — pretty much the world.
“I always come back to if money is the issue then just take money out of the equation because the kids on the team never see any of the money, anyway, and they’re the ones that are really getting penalized. I can coach as long as I can find a job. They only have four years to play, and when you limit their opportunities, I think you’re just hurting the players more than anybody.”
Broderick Turner on the Lakers: In the Lakers’ fourth game since the All-Star break, LeBron James took a different route to deliver the Lakers to another victory.
This time, James became the offensive force, scoring 37 points to help the Lakers pull out a 116-105 win over the Charlotte Hornets at Staples Center.
James still played his typical all-around game, producing eight rebounds, six assists, one steal and one blocked shot to lead the Lakers to their fourth consecutive win.
In the previous three games, James was more of a facilitator, handing out double-digit assists in those victories.
But James was in attack mode against the Hornets, shooting 14 of 22 from the field and four of nine from three-point range.
Charlotte rookie point guard LaMelo Ball did not disappoint in his return home for the first time since being drafted No. 3 overall last fall.
Ball, who attended Chino Hills High, had 26 points, seven assists and five rebounds.
U.S. MEN’S SOCCER
Kevin Baxter on soccer: It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t efficient, but the U.S.’s performance Thursday in the opening game of the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament was effective, ending in a 1-0 victory over Costa Rica in Guadalajara.
In the second game, Mexico rode three second-half goals from Sebastián Córdova to a 4-1 win over the Dominican Republic.
The only score the U.S. needed came from Jesús Ferreira in the 35th minute. Though the Americans put just one other shot on target, they were bailed out by Oxnard’s David Ochoa, who made nine saves
in a game they couldn’t afford to lose.
“It was an important result for us. But I would say that we would have hoped to have gotten that result in a little bit better fashion,” U.S. coach Jason Kreis said.
Gary Klein on the Rams: Three days after they signed former Rams safety John Johnson, the Brown agreed to terms with cornerback Troy Hill on a multi-year contract.
Hill, 29, played for the Rams for five-plus seasons and intercepted seven passes. In 2020, he returned two interceptions and a fumble for touchdowns while playing in one of the NFL’s top defenses.
Hill’s departure was not unexpected by a Rams team that restructured contracts of star players to get under the salary cap, and then re-signed edge rusher Leonard Floyd and put a first-round tender on restricted free agent cornerback Darious Williams.
Jeff Miller on the Chargers: The turnover along the offensive front for the Chargers continued Thursday when Dan Feeney agreed to a one-year contract with the New York Jets.
The veteran never was much of a fan favorite — except for an extremely popular mullet he grew in 2020 — but always remained available, starting the team’s last 59 games, including the postseason.
Feeney, 26, was unlikely to return to the Chargers because as general manager Tom Telesco has committed to rebuilding the group assigned to protect young quarterback Justin Herbert.
The Chargers also found a replacement for tight end Hunter Henry by agreeing to terms with Jared Cook.
The deal guarantees the veteran $4.5 million and could be worth up to $6 million with incentives.
Stephen Battaglio on the NFL: The NFL has agreed to a new media rights deal that will keep the vast majority of its games on the broadcast TV networks and ESPN through 2033 but that will also give Amazon exclusive rights to stream Thursday night contests.
The NFL did not disclose the financial terms of the deal. The rights holders will see their payment nearly double to around $9 billion a year, according to a person involved in the negotiations who was not authorized to comment publicly. Amazon will pay around $1.5 billion a year.
CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN currently collectively pay $5 billion annually to carry the games. ESPN’s deal takes effect with the 2022 season, while the other agreements take effect in 2023.
The new deal includes two Super Bowl telecasts for ESPN parent Walt Disney Co.’s broadcast network ABC and one international game per season that will be exclusively available on Disney’s streaming service ESPN+.
Adam Henrique scored a power-play goal 43 seconds into overtime, Jamie Drysdale had a goal and an assist in his NHL debut and the Ducks rallied from an early two-goal deficit and beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-2.
Trevor Zegras scored his first career goal, Ryan Miller made 23 saves and the Ducks ended a four-game losing streak. Ryan Getzlaf recorded his 700th career assist on Drysdale’s goal.
Henrique scored on a sharp-angle one-timer on a pass from from Kevin Shattenkirk to complete the comeback for Anaheim, which trailed 2-0 midway through the first period.
NCAA MEN’S TOURNAMENT RESULTS, SCHEDULE
All times Pacific
No. 16 Texas Southern 60, No. 16 Mount St. Mary’s 52
No. 11 Drake 53, No. 11 Wichita State 52
No. 16 Norfolk State 54, No. 16 Appalachian State 53
No. 11 UCLA 86, No. 11 Michigan State 80 (OT)
No. 7 Florida vs. No. 10 Virginia Tech, 9:15 a.m., CBS
No. 3 Arkansas vs. No. 14 Colgate, 9:45 a.m., TBS/TruTV
No. 6 Texas Tech vs. No. 11 Utah State, 10:45 a.m., TBS/TruTV
No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 15 Oral Roberts, Noon, CBS
No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 16 Hartford, 12:30 p.m., TruTV
No. 8 North Carolina vs. No. 9 Wisconsin, 4 p.m., CBS
No. 4 Purdue vs. No. 13 North Texas, 4:25 p.m., TNT
No. 5 Villanova vs. No. 12 Winthrop, 6:45 p.m., TNT
No. 1 Illinois vs. No. 16 Drexel, 10:15 a.m., TNT
No. 8 Loyola Chicago vs. No. 9 Georgia Tech, 1 p.m., TBS
No. 5 Tennessee vs. No. 12 Oregon State, 1:30 p.m., TNT
No. 4 Oklahoma State vs. No. 13 Liberty, 3:25 p.m., TBS
No. 2 Houston vs. No. 15 Cleveland State, 4:15 p.m., TruTV
No. 7 Clemson vs. No. 10 Rutgers, 6:15 p.m., TBS
No. 6 San Diego State vs. No. 11 Syracuse, 6:30 p.m., CBS
No. 3 West Virginia vs. No. 14 Morehead State, 6:50 p.m., TruTV
No. 3 Kansas vs. No. 14 Eastern Washington, 10:15 a.m., TBS
No. 5 Creighton vs. No. 12 UC Santa Barbara, 12:30 p.m., TruTV
No. 6 USC vs. No. 11 Drake, 1:30 p.m., TNT
No. 2 Iowa vs. No. 15 Grand Canyon, 3:25 p.m., TBS
No. 4 Virginia vs. No. 13 Ohio, 4:15 p.m., TruTV
No. 8 Oklahoma vs. No. 9 Missouri, 4:25 p.m., TNT
No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 16 Norfolk State, 6:15 p.m., TBS
No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 10 Virginia Commonwealth, 6:45 p.m., TNT
No. 5 Colorado vs. No. 12 Georgetown, 9:15 a.m., CBS
No. 4 Florida State vs. No. 13 UNC Greensboro, 9:45 a.m., TruTV
No. 8 LSU vs. No. 9 St. Bonaventure, 10:45 a.m., TNT
No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 16 Texas Southern, Noon, CBS
No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 15 Iona, 1 p.m., TBS
No. 7 Connecticut vs. No. 10 Maryland, 4 p.m., CBS
No. 6 BYU vs. No. 11 UCLA, 6:30 p.m., CBS
No. 3 Texas vs. No. 14 Abilene Christian, 6:45 p.m., TruTV’
NCAA WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
All times Pacific
River Walk Regional
No. 5 Iowa vs. No. 12 Central Michigan, 9 a.m., ESPN
No. 7 Virginia Tech vs. No. 10 Marquette, 9 a.m., ESPNU
No. 4 Kentucky vs. No. 13 Idaho State, 11 a.m., ESPN
No. 3 Tennessee vs. No. 14 Middle Tennessee, 11 a.m., ABC
No. 6 Michigan vs. No. 11 Florida Gulf Coast, Noon, ESPN2
No. 2 Baylor vs. No. 15 Jackson State, 1 p.m., ABC
No. 8 Syracuse vs. No. 9 South Dakota State, 2:30 p.m., ESPN2
No. 1 Connecticut vs. No. 16 High Point, 5 p.m., ESPN
No. 8 Oklahoma State vs. No. 9 Wake Forest, 10 a.m. ESPN2
No. 1 Stanford vs. No. 16 Utah Valley, 7 p.m., ESPN
No. 1 North Carolina State vs. No. 16 North Carolina A&T, 1 p.m., ESPN
No. 8 South Florida vs. No. 9 Washington State, 6:30 p.m. ESPN2
No. 5 Georgia Tech vs. No. 12 Stephen F. Austin, 1:30 p.m., ESPNU
No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 16 Mercer, 3 p.m., ESPN
No. 8 Oregon State vs. No. 9 Florida State, 4:30 p.m., ESPN2
No. 4 West Virginia vs. No 13 Lehigh, 5 p.m., ESPNU
No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 14 Drexel, 9 a.m., ESPN2
No. 4 Arkansas vs. No. 13 Wright State, 11 a.m., ESPN
No. 7 Northwestern vs. No. 10 Central Florida, 1 p.m., ESPNU
No. 5 Missouri State vs. No. 12 UC Davis, 4:30 p.m., ESPNU
No. 2 Louisville vs. No. 15 Marist, 5 p.m., ESPN
No. 6 Oregon vs. No. 11 South Dakota, 7 p.m., ESPN2
No. 6 Rutgers vs. No. 11 BYU, 9 a.m., ESPNU
No. 4 Indiana vs. No. 13 VCU, 11 a.m., ESPNU
No. 3 Arizona vs. No. 14 Stony Brook, 11 a.m., ESPN2
No. 5 Gonzaga vs. No. 12 Belmont, 1 p.m., ESPN2
No. 7 Iowa State vs. No. 10 Michigan State, 3 p.m., ESPN
No. 2 Texas A&M vs. No. 15 Troy, 3 p.m., ESPN2
No. 7 Alabama vs. No. 10 North Carolina, 9 a.m., ESPN
No. 2 Maryland vs. No. 15 Mount St. Mary’s, 1 p.m., ESPN
No. 6 Texas vs. No. 11 Bradley, 5 p.m., ESPN2
No. 3 UCLA vs. No. 14 Wyoming, 7 p.m., ESPN
Check out the women’s bracket here
THIS DATE IN SPORTS
1942 — The Thoroughbred Racing Associations of the United States is formed, with John C. Clark as president.
1950 — Babe Didrikson Zaharias shoots a record 298 and beats Clair Doran by eight strokes to capture the U.S. Women’s Open.
1950 — The Rochester Royals close out the season with their 15th consecutive win, 97-66 over the Baltimore Bullets, setting an NBA record for the most consecutive wins at the end of a season.
1955 — San Francisco wins the NCAA basketball championship with a 77-63 victory over La Salle.
1955 — Dick Ricketts and Si Green combine for 56 points to lead Duquesne to a 70-58 triumph over Dayton in the NIT championship.
1956 — The Minneapolis Lakers post a 133-75 victory over the St. Louis Hawks for the biggest rout in NBA playoff history.
1960 — Ohio State wins the NCAA basketball title with a 75-55 victory against California.
1960 — Mach Herndon’s 26 points leads Bradley to a 88-72 triumph over Providence for the NIT title. Lenny Wilkens scores 25 points for the Friars.
1966 — Texas Western wins the NCAA basketball championship with a 72-65 triumph over Kentucky.
1966 — Brigham Young beats New York University 97-84 for the NIT championship.
1972 — The Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women holds its first basketball championship and Immaculata beats West Chester State 52-48.
1972 — The Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors 162-99 for the most lopsided victory in NBA history.
1994 — Hartford’s Brian Propp reaches the 1,000-point mark with a goal in a 5-3 win over Philadelphia.
1998 — The U.S. women’s soccer team sustains the worst loss in its 13-year history, falling 4-1 to reigning World Cup champion Norway in the Algarve Cup.
2004 — Tara Kirk of Stanford sets a world record in the 100-meter breaststroke during the second day of the NCAA Women’s Swimming Championships. Kirk finishes in 1:04.79, becoming the first woman to swim under 1:05 in the event.
2006 — Tennessee’s Candace Parker is the first woman to dunk in an NCAA tournament game, jamming one-handed on a breakaway 6:12 into the second-seeded Lady Vols’ 102-54 victory against an Army team that was making its NCAA tournament debut.
2008 — The Toronto Raptors post a 96-54 victory over the Miami Heat. Miami’s total ties the third-lowest mark in NBA history since the league began using a shot clock in the 1954-55 season.
2009 — The Cleveland Cavaliers commit only two turnovers, tying an NBA record and setting a franchise mark for fewest in a game, during a 97-92 overtime win over Portland. Cleveland matches the record set by Milwaukee against Indiana on April 1, 2006.
2009 — Alex Ovechkin scores his NHL-leading 50th goal to become Washington’s first three-time 50-goal scorer. He adds two assists in the Capitals’ 5-2 victory over Tampa Bay.
2011 — Penn State, led by 184-pound champion Quentin Wright, wins its first NCAA wrestling title in 58 years by outpointing Cornell. In the opening match of the night, Arizona State’s Anthony Robles takes a 7-1 decision from Iowa sophomore Matt McDonough. Robles, who was born without a right leg, has the only takedown in the first period of the match and works a pair of tilts to secure five back points.
2011 — Butler upsets top-seeded Pittsburgh, 71-70, in one of the wackiest finishes in NCAA tournament history. After Andrew Smith gives Butler the lead with 2.2 seconds to go, Shelvin Mack inexplicably runs into Pitt’s Gilbert Brown as Brown tries a half-court desperation heave. Brown makes the first free throw to tie the score at 70 but misses the second, and Butler’s Matt Howard grabs the rebound only to be fouled even more inexplicably by Nasir Robinson with 0.8 seconds left.
2011 — Duke gives coach Mike Krzyzewski his 900th career victory, a 73-71 win over Michigan, and the Blue Devils advance to the round of 16 for the 12th time in 14 years.
2011 — Omar Cummings becomes the first player in MLS history to score a goal in four consecutive season openers with a goal in the Colorado Rapids 3-1 victory over the expansion Portland Timbers.
2012 — Top-seeded Connecticut holds Kansas State to an NCAA women’s tournament record low for points in a game in a 72-26 second-round rout.
The wacky finish to the 2011 Butler-Pitt game. Watch it here.
Until next time...
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