The Sports Report: UCLA, USC, CS Fullerton make men’s tournament field
Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.
From Iliana Limón-Romero: UCLA, USC and Cal State Fullerton all learned on Selection Sunday where they will start their NCAA tournament journeys.
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The Bruins (25-7) are the No. 4 seed in the East Region and will open against No. 13 Akron (24-9) Thursday in Portland, Ore. If UCLA wins, it will face the winner of the No. 5 St. Mary’s (25-7) vs. No. 12 Wyoming or Indiana matchup on Saturday in Portland.
USC (26-7) is the No. 7 seed in the Midwest Region and will face No. 10 Miami (23-10) Friday in Greenville, S.C. If the Trojans advance, they would face the winner of No. 2 Auburn (27-5) vs. No. 15 Jacksonville State (21-10) Sunday in Greenville.
And Cal State Fullerton (21-10), the only other Los Angeles area team to make the field, is the No. 15 seed in the West Region and will face No. 2 Duke (28-6) in Greenville on Friday. It will be Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final NCAA tournament appearance after announcing his retirement at the end of this season.
UCLA flirted with a No. 3 seed and a chance to open the tournament in nearby San Diego, but Texas Tech (25-9) ultimately locked up the spot. The Bruins proved last season they could overcome seeding challenges, going from a First Four matchup to the Final Four.
Gonzaga, which beat UCLA in the Final Four last season, is the No. 1 overall seed atop the bracket. Arizona, which defeated the Bruins in the Pac-12 tournament championship Saturday night, Baylor and Kansas clinched the other No. 1 seeds.
Dayton, Okahoma, SMU and Texas A&M were the last four teams out and were designated first-round replacement teams if any school in field has to withdraw due to COVID-19 issues.
Plaschke: More madness than march? UCLA and USC face tough roads to Big Easy
Instead of a bus ride, UCLA’s March Madness path takes an East Region detour
No respect? USC isn’t complaining about seeding ahead of showdown with Miami
Cal State Fullerton looks to continue spoiler role against Duke in NCAA tournament
March Madness regional breakdowns: Teams and players to watch
March Madness best bets: Five intriguing games, plus UCLA’s Final Four odds
How many times has the UCLA men’s basketball team won an NCAA title?
NCAA tournament bracket takeaways: Selection committee snubs UCLA and USC
March Madness Cinderellas: Who’s the lowest seed to win an NCAA tournament title?
Has a 16 seed ever won an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game?
How many times has the UCLA men’s basketball team won an NCAA title?
How many times has the USC men’s basketball team won an NCAA title?
How many times has a No. 1 seed won the NCAA men’s basketball tournament?
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NCAA MEN’S TOURNAMENT
at Dayton, Ohio
Midwest Region: No. 16 Texas A&M-CC vs. No. 16 Texas Southern, 3:30 p.m., truTV
East: No. 12 Indiana vs. No. 12 Wyoming, 6 p.m., truTV
South: No. 16 Bryant vs. No. 16 Wright State, 3:30 p.m., truTV
West: No. 11 Notre Dame vs. No. 11 Rutgers, 6 p.m., truTV
No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 16 Georgia State, 1:15 p.m., TNT
No. 4 Arkansas vs. No. 13 Vermont. 6:20 p.m., TNT
No. 5 Connecticut vs. No. 12 New Mexico State, 3:50 p.m., TNT
No. 8 Boise State vs. No. 9 Memphis, 10:45 a.m., TNT
No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 16 Norfolk State, 11 a.m., TBS
No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 15 Saint Peter’s, 4:10 p.m., CBS
No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 13 Akron, 6:50 p.m., TBS
No. 5 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 12 Indiana/Wyoming winner. 4:20 p.m., TBS
No. 7 Murray State vs. No. 10 San Francisco, 6:40 p.m., CBS
No. 8 North Carolina vs. No. 9 Marquette, 1:30 p.m., TBS
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Texas A&M-CC/Texas Southern winner, 6:57 p.m., truTV
No. 4 Providence vs. No. 13 South Dakota State, 9:40 a.m., truTV
No. 5 Iowa vs. No. 12 Richmond, 12:10 p.m., truTV
No. 8 San Diego State vs. No. 9 Creighton, 4:27 p.m., truTV
No. 3 Tennessee vs. No. 14 Longwood, 11:45 a.m., CBS
No. 6 Colorado State vs. No. 11 Michigan, 9:15 a.m., CBS
No. 2 Duke vs. No. 15 CS Fullerton, 4:10 p.m., CBS
No. 3 Texas Tech vs. No. 14 Montana State, 10:45 a.m., TNT
No. 6 Alabama vs. No. 11 Notre Dame/Rutgers winner, 1:15 p.m., TNT
No. 7 Michigan State vs. No. 10 Davidson, 6:40 p.m., CBS
No. 3 Purdue vs. No. 14 Yale, 11 a.m., TBS
No. 6 Texas vs. No. 11 Virginia Tech, 1:30 p.m., TBS
No. 2 Auburn vs. No. 15 Jacksonville State, 9:40 a.m., truTV
No. 3 Wisconsin vs. No. 14 Colgate, 6:50 p.m., TBS
No. 7 USC vs. No. 10 Miami, 12:10 p.m., truTV
No. 6 LSU vs. No. 11 Iowa State. 4:20 p.m., TBS
No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 16 Bryant/Wright State winner, 4:27 p.m., truTV
No. 2 Villanova vs. No. 15 Delaware, 11:45 a.m., CBS
No. 4 Illinois vs. No. 13 Chattanooga, 3:50 p.m., TNT
No. 5 Houston vs. No. 12 Alabama Birmingham, 6:20 p.m., TNT
No. 8 Seton Hall vs. No. 9 Texas Christian, 6:57 p.m., truTV
No. 7 Ohio State vs. No. 10 Loyola of Chicago, 9:15 a.m., CBS
NCAA WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT
South Carolina coach Dawn Staley has molded the Gamecocks into the team to beat in the women’s NCAA tournament.
The Gamecocks earned the No. 1 overall seed and will open play against the winner of Howard versus Incarnate Word in Columbia, S.C. The teams are in the Greensboro Region.
Louisville, Stanford and North Carolina State earned the remaining No. 1 seeds. Elsewhere, No. 2 seeds Baylor, Texas, Connecticut and Iowa are all capable of challenging for a championship.
Iowa notably is the No. 2 seed in the Greensboro Region, setting up a potential matchup between the Gamecocks’ Aliyah Boston, a player of the year candidate, and the Hawkeyes’ Caitlin Clark, who has gone viral for her long-range shooting skills.
Los Angeles area teams, however, didn’t benefit from the newly expanded field, with UCLA and USC both missing the cut.
No. 16 Incarnate Word vs. No. 16 Howard, 4 p.m. ESPNU
No. 11 DePaul vs. No. 11 Dayton, 6 p.m. ESPNU
No. 16 Mount St. Mary’s vs. No. 16 Longwood, 4 p.m., ESPN2
No. 11 Florida State vs. No. 11 Missouri State, 6 p.m., ESPN2
Times and TV TBD
No. 1 Stanford vs. No. 16 Montana State
No. 2 Texas vs. No. 15 Fairfield
No. 4 Maryland vs. No. 13 Delaware
No. 5 Virginia Tech vs. No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast
No. 7 Utah vs. No. 10 Arkansas
No. 8 Kansas vs. No. 9 Georgia Tech
No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 16 Albany
No. 2 Baylor vs. No. 15 Hawaii
No. 7 Ole Miss vs. No. 10 South Dakota
No. 8 Nebraska vs. No. 9 Gonzaga
No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 16 Incarnate Word/Howard winner
No. 2 Iowa vs. No. 15 Illinois State
No. 3 Iowa State vs. UT Arlington
No. 6 Georgia vs. No. 11 DePaul/Dayton winner
No. 7 Colorado vs. No. 10 Creighton
No. 8 Miami vs. No. 9 South Florida
No. 3 LSU vs. No. 14 Jackson State
No. 6 Ohio State vs. No. 11 Florida State/Missouri State winner
No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 14 American
No. 4 Tennessee vs. No. 13 Buffalo
No. 5 Oregon vs. No. 12 Belmont
No. 6 BYU vs. No. 11 Villanova
No. 4 Arizona vs. No. 13 UNLV
No. 5 North Carolina vs. No. 12 Stephen F. Austin
No. 1 North Carolina State vs. No. 16 Mount St. Mary’s/Longwood winner
No. 2 Connecticut vs. No. 15 Mercer
No. 3 Indiana vs. No. 14 Charlotte
No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 13 IUPUI
No. 5 Notre Dame vs. No. 12 Massachusetts
No. 6 Kentucky vs. No. 11 Princeton
No. 7 Central Florida vs. No. 10 Florida
No. 8 Washington State vs. No. 9 Kansas State
TOM BRADY RETURNS
From Sam Farmer: After 22 seasons and a record seven Super Bowl rings, Tom Brady began a new chapter Sunday of his storied NFL career.
The 44-year-old quarterback is coming back to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers less than two months after announcing his retirement. Citing “unfinished business,” he announced the news on social media.
“These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands,” he wrote. “That time will come. But it’s not now. I love my teammates and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa.”
The news came a day after Brady attended a Manchester United soccer game. That team, along with the Buccaneers, is owned by the Glazer family.
Reached at home by the The Times on Sunday, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said Brady had given him the heads-up before publicly announcing his decision to return.
“It’s great news,” Arians said. “The city’s going crazy. Our players are excited. Obviously the whole organization is pumped up again. When does the best ever retire and then come back to you? Especially with the way he was playing last year.”
From Andrew Greif: The Clippers left Detroit Sunday with less than a month and little suspense remaining in their season, and the near certainty they will finish eighth in the Western Conference will change how Tyronn Lue approaches the last 12 games, the coach acknowledged.
Among his priorities: Getting more rest for contributors such as point guard Reggie Jackson, who have shouldered a heavier workload during this short-handed season, and the reasoning behind that intent was underscored within the first 18 minutes against Detroit.
Playing their fourth game in six days, the Clippers appeared out of gas in the Motor City, trailing the owner of the league’s third-worst record by 18 points.
What could have been a lifeless loss ended with Jackson blowing a kiss inside his former home arena after a three-pointer pushed the Clippers ahead by four points with 99 seconds to play. And when Marcus Morris Sr. drilled a 16-foot jump shot with 36 seconds left, the Clippers bounced as they entered their huddle, a dramatic difference in energy that said everything about how they captured their 12th victory this season after trailing by double digits with a 106-102 victory.
From Dan Woike: So the Suns are supposed to fear this?
That’s been the prevailing logic, the reason to keep trudging through the final month of the NBA schedule with a team that’s this badly flawed. The Lakers last year, remember, had a 2-1 lead in the first round of the playoffs before Anthony Davis got injured.
And before the game Sunday night in Phoenix, the team got news that should’ve enhanced their beliefs. Anthony Davis, their star big man who has been out since right before the All-Star break, will begin on-court activities on Monday, putting him on track for a pre-postseason return.
But the line between hope and delusion is thin and the first quarter Sunday night made it clear what side the Lakers’ postseason beliefs land on.
The Suns scored 48 points in the first quarter, a reminder of which team is at the top of the league and which one is left to hope that things will get better.
After embarrassing the Lakers in the first 12 minutes, Phoenix dominated for the rest of the night, easily beating the Lakers 140-111 – a possible playoff preview should the Lakers win their way into the postseason via the play-in tournament.
In the first, the Lakers allowed the Suns to shoot 20-of-33 from the field, so many of the shots coming uncontested either at the rim following a turnover or at the three-point line after a botched coverage.
The Lakers, who actually opened the game leading 6-2, went ice cold – struggling to find any signs of success on either side of the ball.
From Helene Elliott: The words had a piercing clarity in the silence dictated by tennis custom. They had the effect of a dagger to the heart of Naomi Osaka, who was regrouping after her serve had been broken by Veronika Kudermetova in the opening game of their second-round match at the BNP Paribas Open late Saturday.
“Naomi, you suck!” came the cry from above the court in Stadium 1 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Osaka, who has been admirably open about battling depression and took a long mental-health break last year, became tearful and agitated. Although other spectators cheered and chanted her name, she was blanked in the first set and outplayed 6-4 in the second by Kudermetova, who’s on the rise but hasn’t approached the level Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam singles champion, can reach at peak form.
It’s important to understand why Osaka was so profoundly upset at something that was far from the worst epithet ever hurled at an athlete or the most offensive sentiment uttered at a game in recent memory.
This season alone, a woman sitting courtside in Indianapolis told Lakers star LeBron James she hoped his son Bronny would die in a car accident. At James’ urging, the woman and her companion were ejected. Lakers teammate Carmelo Anthony asked for the ejection of two fans at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia after he said they called him “boy.” Austin Rivers of the Denver Nuggets, angered by insults targeting his family during a game in Oklahoma City, had two fans ejected from their courtside seats.
Sadly, there’s an ever-growing list of incidents involving spectators who believe the price of admission buys them the right to go beyond routine booing to launch personal insults. Did long months of COVID isolation make us forget how to behave in public and play in the sandbox with other people?
From Jack Harris: The Dodgers added depth to their bench Sunday, agreeing to terms with infielder Hanser Alberto on a major league contract, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
The deal, which is reportedly for one year with a club option for a second, is pending a physical, though Alberto had already reposted several mentions of the signing on his Instagram story by Sunday morning.
The 29-year-old has played in parts of six major-league seasons, including 103 games with the Kansas City Royals last year. He is a career .276 hitter who also has 17 home runs and 106 RBIs. Defensively, he has played mostly at second base, third base and shortstop.
He fits a need for the Dodgers, who saw their normally deep lineup get cut into by injuries last season. On Friday, manager Dave Roberts pointed to bench depth specifically when asked where the team could still add to the roster coming into spring camp.
From Mike DiGiovanna: The Angels know they’ll have to move star center fielder Mike Trout to a corner spot at some point. A right calf strain that sidelined the three-time American League most valuable player for most of 2021 may push that transition up to this season.
“To play center field every day in the big leagues coming off a severe injury, that’s not gonna be easy,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said Sunday in advance of Monday’s first spring training workout.
“Then again, playing left field in our park is not easy. It gets big. No conclusions have been made, but I’d be disingenuous if I didn’t tell you that this hasn’t been part of the conversation, because it has.”
Trout, 30, is scheduled to address the media Monday. The Angels would like to get the 6-foot-2, 235-pounder off his feet with more starts at designated hitter, but that’s rarely an option with two-way star Shohei Ohtani, the 2021 AL MVP, holding down the DH spot.
Kings’ goaltender Jonathan Quick, playing in his 700th game, stopped Anthony Duclair’s shot during the fifth round of the shootout to give Los Angeles a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers.
Trevor Moore went top shelf to help the Kings snap the Panthers’ five-game winning streak. It was the first time in 31 games the Panthers haven’t won when leading after two periods.
Florida’s Aleksander Barkov and Los Angeles’ Adrian Kempe also made their shots in the shootout.
Rasmus Kupari and Martin Frk scored for the Kings. Quick made 28 saves.
Kyle Palmieri scored twice, Ilya Sorokin made 39 saves and the New York Islanders capped a six-game homestand by beating the Ducks 4-3.
Palmieri and Anders Lee scored 25 seconds apart late in the first period to send the Islanders into the intermission with a 3-1 lead before Palmieri scored his second of the contest and ninth of the season at 17:25 of the second.
Josh Manson, Isac Lundestrom and Adam Henrique scored for the Ducks, who lost their fourth straight overall and second in a row in the New York area. They also fell to New Jersey 2-1 in a shootout Saturday and will complete their five-game trip against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. Anaheim also lost the first two games of their trip at Chicago and Nashville.
THIS DATE IN SPORTS
1933 — The Chicago Blackhawks forfeit a game when players refuse to return to the ice after their coach, Tom Gorman, is ejected from the game. Boston, which leads 3-2 at the time of the incident, receives a 1-0 victory.
1944 — In a tennis match to benefit wartime charities, amateur Jack Kramer beat pro champion Don Budge 6-3, 6-2.
1953 — Seton Hall wins the NIT title with a 58-46 win over St. John’s. Walter Dukes, who led Seton Hall with 21 points and 20 rebounds, finishes as the tournament’s high scorer with 70 points and wins the MVP honors.
1954 — Baltimore loses 65-54 at Milwaukee, giving the Bullets their 20th consecutive road loss for the season, and making them the first team in NBA history to go an entire season without winning a game on the road.
1960 — Rookie Wilt Chamberlain scores a playoff record 53 points in the Philadelphia’s 132-112 triumph over the Syracuse Nationals to send the Warriors to the Eastern Division finals against the Boston Celtics.
1962 — Detroit’s Gordie Howe becomes the second player in NHL history to score 500 goals during the Red Wings’ 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers.
1963 — Guy Rodgers of the San Francisco Warriors hands out 28 assists in a 114-109 loss to the St. Louis Hawks, tying an NBA record set by Bob Cousy of Boston in 1959.
1976 — Bill Shoemaker posts his 7,000th victory, aboard Royal Derby II, in the fifth race at Santa Anita Park.
1981 — A date which defines March Madness. The second round of the men’s NCAA basketball tournament features three upsets decided in the late seconds. Saint Joseph’s stuns No. 1 ranked DePaul 49-48 on John Smith’s layup with two seconds left. Arkansas knocks off Louisville 74-73 on U.S. Reed’s half-court shot that beat the buzzer. Moments later, Rolando Blackman of Kansas State hits a fadeaway shot from the corner with two seconds left for 50-48 win over No. 2-ranked Oregon State.
1987 — Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. becomes the first rider in the history of Santa Anita Park to win seven races in a single afternoon. In his only loss of the day, Pincay finishes third aboard Bob Back in the eighth race.
1996 — Princeton upsets defending national champion UCLA, 43-41, in the first round of the men’s NCAA basketball tournament. Gabe Lewullis scores a backdoor layup off a bounce pass from Steve Goodrich with four seconds left and the Tigers hold on for the win.
1997 — Pittsburgh Penguins forward Joey Mullen becomes the first U.S.-born player to score career goals, with a goal in the second period of a 6-3 loss against the Colorado Avalanche. The New York native is the 25th player in NHL history to reach the milestone.
1998 — Harvard women become the first 16th-seeded team, men or women, to win an NCAA tournament game by defeating top-seeded Stanford 71-67.
2008 — Lindsey Vonn wins the overall World Cup skiing to complete the first American sweep of the men’s (Bode Miller) and women’s titles in 25 years. Vonn secures the title finishing tied for 11th in the giant slalom, the penultimate race of the season. It’s the first time Americans took both titles since Phil Mahre and Tamara McKinney accomplished the feat in 1983.
2012 — Lindsey Vonn ends the women’s World Cup downhill season in style by dominating the final race held in Schladming, Austria. The American overall champion, who had already won the downhill title, beats Marion Rolland of France by 0.92 seconds. It’s Vonn’s 12th win this season. Only Vreni Schneider of Switzerland won more races in one year — 14 in 1988-89.
Supplied by the Associated Press
Princeton upsets UCLA in 1996. Watch and listen here.
Until next time...
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