The Sports Report: What does UCLA do if Jaime Jaquez Jr. can’t play?

Jaime Jaquez Jr. sits on the bench with ice on his ankle during the Saint Mary's game.
(Craig Mitchelldyer / Associated Press)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Ben Bolch: So, what does Mick Cronin do?

Does the UCLA coach go with his top defender if Jaime Jaquez Jr. is unable to play in the biggest game of the season, inserting Jaylen Clark? Or does he go with the emerging Peyton Watson, whose impossibly long arms and legs make him a human roadblock to the basket?


They are questions Cronin hopes he never has to answer.

If all goes well, Jaquez’s sprained right ankle heals sufficiently. The junior guard has nearly a week to undergo whatever intensive recovery regimen trainer Tyler Lesher devises, be it ice, massage, heat, elevation or maybe even a blessing from a shaman.

Anyone who has watched Jaquez push through a bloodied face, a banged-up head and one ankle issue after another expects him to be on the court Friday in Philadelphia when the fourth-seeded Bruins (27-7) face eighth-seeded North Carolina (26-9) in an NCAA tournament East Regional semifinal at Wells Fargo Center.

“Trust me,” Cronin said Saturday evening after his team had overrun St. Mary’s in the second round, “if he can walk, he’ll play.”

Remember, Jaquez returned only minutes after making fans inside the Thomas & Mack Center squeamish when teammate Myles Johnson elbowed him in the face during a game against Nevada Las Vegas, leading to a stream of blood.


Plaschke: Jaime Jaquez Jr.’s ankle injury brings scary twist to UCLA’s NCAA tournament trail

March Madness: Duke defeats Michigan State; Villanova advances


Enjoying this newsletter? Consider subscribing to the Los Angeles Times

Your support helps us deliver the news that matters most. Become a subscriber.


Results and schedule

Second round
Sunday’s results

No 2 Duke 85, No. 7 Michigan State 76
No. 3 Texas Tech 59, No. 11 Notre Dame 53

No. 3 Purdue 81, No. 6 Texas 71

No. 10 Miami 79, No. 2 Auburn 61
No. 11 Iowa St. 54, No. 3 Wisconsin 49

No 1 Arizona 85, No. 9 Texas Christian 80 (OT)
No. 2 Villanova 71, No. 7 Ohio St. 61
No. 5 Houston 68, No. 4 Illinois 53

Sweet 16
Thursday’s schedule

No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 4 Arkansas, 4:09 p.m., CBS
No. 2 Duke vs. No. 3 Texas Tech, 6:39 p.m., CBS

No. 2 Villanova vs. No. 11 Michigan, 4:29 p.m., TBS
No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 5 Houston, 6:59 p.m., TBS

Friday’s schedule

No. 3 Purdue vs. No. 15 Saint Peter’s, 4:09 p.m., CBS
No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 8 North Carolina, 6:39 p.m., CBS

No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 4 Providence, 4:29 p.m., TBS
No. 10 Miami vs. No. 11 Iowa State, 6:59 p.m., TBS


The UCLA women’s basketball team led by as many as 23 points en route to a berth in the WNIT third round, defeating Air Force by a 61-45 score at Pauley Pavilion.

UCLA (16-12) advances to face Wyoming, which topped Tulsa in three overtime periods on Sunday. The UCLA-Wyoming contest will take place in Laramie, Wyo. on Thursday at 5:30 pm PT.

II’marI Thomas scored a game-high 17 points for the Bruins (16-12). Charisma Osborne added 13 points, while Angela Dugalic provided 11 points, seven rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals off the bench.

Haley Jones led the Falcons (19-14) with 10 points. She also registered a game-high 12 rebounds. Sunday’s meeting was the first between the programs.

NCAA tournament
Schedule and results

Second round
Sunday’s results

Spokane Region
Mo. 1 Stanford 91, No. 8 Kansas 65
No. 2 Texas 78, No. 7 Utah 56
No. 4 Maryland 89, No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast 65

Wichita Region
No. 1 Louisville 68, No. 9 Gonzaga 59
No. 10 South Dakota 61, No. 2 Baylor 47

Greensboro Region
No. 1 South Carolina 49, No. 8 Miami 33
No. 10 Creighton 64, No. 2 Iowa 62
No. 3 Iowa State 67, No. 6 Georgia 44

Today’s schedule

Spokane Region
No. 3 LSU vs. No. 6 Ohio St., 5 p.m., ESPN2

Wichita Region
No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 11 Villanova, 3 p.m., ESPNU
No. 4 Tennessee vs. No. 12 Belmont, 4 p.m., ESPN

Bridgeport Region
No. 1 North Carolina St. vs. No. 9 Kansas St., 1 p.m., ESPN
No. 2 Connecticut vs. No. 7 Central Florida, 6 p.m., ESPN
No. 3 Indiana vs. No. 11 Princeton, 5 p.m., ESPNU
No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 5 Notre Dame, 3 p.m., ESPN2

Greensboro Region
No. 4 Arizona vs. No. 5 North Carolina, 7 p.m., ESPN2


From Jorge Castillo: For the first time in 17 years, after spending half of his life in the Dodgers organization, Kenley Jansen reported to work Sunday for another Major League Baseball club.

He walked into the expansive clubhouse at CoolToday Park, spring training home of the Atlanta Braves a dozen miles from Florida’s Gulf Coast, just after 9 a.m. He found his locker sandwiched between a minor leaguer’s stall and an unoccupied space — prime real estate reserved for an accomplished veteran. A makeshift nameplate was slapped overhead. Jansen was scribbled in black marker. His signature number, 74, was in red.

The 34-year-old closer put on a Braves T-shirt and a blue true spring training cap and spent the next two hours working up a sweat. It was both a jarring sight and a dream fulfilled.

Jansen spent his first 12 major league seasons with the Dodgers, but he grew up rooting for the Braves in Curaçao. His favorite player was Fred McGriff. Andruw Jones, MLB’s first Curaçaoan star, became an idol. When his brother, Ardley, signed with the organization in 1999, he would visit Braves spring training every year.

“That’s where this love started, man,” Jansen said.

And yet Jansen would have ultimately preferred a return to the Dodgers. The two parties were engaged during the offseason, before the lockout and after. Minutes after the lockout was lifted, Jansen recalled, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts sent him a text message with a simple question: “Are you coming back?”


‘All bets are off’: The inside story of how the Dodgers lured Freddie Freeman home


We want to hear from you. Do you think Trevor Bauer should pitch again for the Dodgers? Click here to vote.


From Mike DiGiovanna: When Jared Walsh reported to spring training as a two-way player in 2019, he felt pretty confident about his chances of playing first base and pitching out of the bullpen in the big leagues.

Then Walsh witnessed Shohei Ohtani’s historic 2021 season, when the two-way phenom hit 46 homers with 100 RBIs and was 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 23 starts on the mound, and he realized the folly of his two-way aspirations.

“Oh yeah, absolutely!” Walsh said, when asked if he thought he could be a two-way player before Ohtani’s breakout season. “I was like, ‘This is gonna be no problem.’ Then I saw him, and I was like, ‘Ah, I don’t want to do that much work,’ so I’m not doing it.”

Ohtani morphed into a worldwide sensation last season, his ability to throw baseballs 100 mph and hit them 450 feet producing a season the sport had not seen since Babe Ruth a century ago.

The left-handed-hitting Ohtani batted .257 with a .965 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, 26 doubles, eight triples, 26 stolen bases and 103 runs. The right-hander, limited by elbow injuries to 1 2/3 innings in 2019 and 2020, struck out 156 and walked 44 in 130 1/3 innings.

The growing consensus around baseball was that Ohtani’s remarkable power at the plate and dominance on the mound, which made him a unanimous choice for American League most valuable player, would motivate more young players to seek two-way stardom.

Yet some players in Angels camp wonder if Ohtani might have set the bar so high he could actually discourage kids from riding a two-way track all the way to the major leagues.

“Kids are gonna want to do it, for sure, but it’s the front office that is going to set the bar too high,” said new Angels pitcher Michael Lorenzen, a capable hitter himself with a .233 average, .710 OPS, seven homers and 24 RBIs in 147 career plate appearances.


From Helene Elliott: Taylor Fritz was chosen the Star of Tomorrow by the men’s pro tennis tour at the end of 2016, the year he cracked the top 100 in the rankings. He was 19 and being touted as a beacon of hope in the seemingly impossible task of improving the downtrodden fates of U.S. men’s tennis players.

Tomorrow turned out to be more than a few years off for Fritz, who grew up in the San Diego area and lives in Rancho Palos Verdes. The wait was worth it.

He fell out of the top 100 and climbed back in, taking two steps forward for every one step back. Reaching the semifinals of the pandemic-delayed BNP Paribas Open last October reinforced his confidence, allowing him to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time this year at the Australian Open. He reached a career-best No. 16 in the rankings last month as his forehand became sure and effective, a game-winner. His confidence grew with his game.

That long-promised tomorrow arrived Sunday. Surviving the scare of tweaking his ankle while warming up for his BNP Paribas Open final against childhood idol Rafael Nadal, Fritz out-gritted the grittiest and mentally toughest player in the game. At the end of his 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory, which ended Nadal’s perfect 20-0 start to the year, Fritz threw himself on his back on the court at Indian Wells Tennis Garden and looked up in disbelief.

This was the tournament he had attended as a kid, the title his father, former pro player Guy Fritz, had told him he’d win someday. Someday was Sunday.

“This is seriously like a childhood dream come true, like a wild dream you never expect to actually happen,” Fritz said after becoming the first American man to win the championship since Andre Agassi in 2001.


Elliott: Iga Swiatek adds to her impressive season by winning Indian Wells title


Ryan Hollingshead scored a goal in each half to lead LAFC to a 3-1 home victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Tristan Blackmon staked Vancouver (0-3-1) to a 1-0 lead with a goal in the 12th minute. Hollingshead scored the equalizer for LAFC (3-0-1) in the 27th minute with an assist from Carlos Vela.

Vela scored in the 38th minute and LAFC took a 2-1 lead into halftime. Hollingshead added an insurance goal in the 70th minute.

LAFC outshot the Whitecaps 16-6 and had a 9-2 advantage in shots on goal. LAFC has yet to lose under new coach Steve Cherundolo.


Ovid Maximus wanted to be certain a pair of friends and co-workers noticed him along Sunday’s marathon route. And truly, the 35-year-old was unmissable.

Maximus dressed in a neon-green suit — running shirt, sleeves, shorts and socks — and waved a homemade sign that read: “Hurry Up!!! I need to cross Hollywood Blvd.”

“I wanted to have fun and cheer on my friends,” said Maximus, who had walked from his apartment three blocks south toward Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. “If they’re going to do all this work, at least I can support them.”

As for post-race celebrations, Maximus has an ideal spot. “As soon as my friends pass me, I’m heading back home and getting into bed,” he said. “This is too early.”

Maximus was one of many who lined city streets Sunday to cheer on the estimated 15,000 athletes from around the country — and the world — who ran the 37th annual Los Angeles Marathon.

Delvine Meringor of Kenya emerged Sunday as champion of the race, with John Korir of Kenya finishing second.

Meringor held off Korir’s challenge by about 8 seconds at the finish line, winning the women’s race in 2 hours, 25 minutes and 3 seconds. Korir — for the second consecutive year — won the men’s race, with a time of 2 hours, 9 minutes and 7 seconds. Under marathon rules, elite female runners started the race 16 minutes and 5 seconds before the men.


From Jeff Miller: The Chargers agreed to terms Sunday with tight end Gerald Everett, his representatives, SportsTrust Advisors, announced.

Everett was a second-round pick of the Rams in 2017 and spent four seasons with the team before signing with Seattle a year ago.

He had career highs in receptions (48), yards receiving (478) and touchdown catches (four) in 2021. Everett, 27, also played a single-season career-best 75% of the offense snaps last season.

His deal is for two years and $12 million, with $8 million guaranteed, according to the NFL Network.


1893 — The first women’s collegiate basketball game is played at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. In this game, each basket is worth 1 point and the freshman class defeats the sophomore class 5-4. The game takes place behind locked doors and men are prohibited from watching.

1941 — Joe Louis knocks out Abe Simon in the 13th round at Olympia Stadium in Detroit to retain the world heavyweight title.

1945 — George Mikan of DePaul scores 53 points in the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament. Mikan matches Rhode Island in offensive output and his teammates add another 44 for a final score of 97-53.

1953 — Rookie Bob Cousy sets an NBA record with 50 points and leads the Boston Celtics to a 111-105 victory over the Syracuse Nationals in a quadruple overtime playoff game. Cousy scores 30 of his points from the foul line.

1959 — California edges West Virginia 71-70 for the NCAA basketball championship. Jerry West scores 28 points for West Virginia.

1959 — Oscar Robertson scores the first triple-double in the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four history, tallying 39 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists in Cincinnati’s 98-85 win over Louisville in the third-place game.

1964 — UCLA caps a 30-0 season with a 98-83 victory over Duke in the NCAA basketball championship. UCLA is the third team to go undefeated and win the title. The victory gives coach John Wooden the first of his 10 NCAA Tournament championships.

1970 — Curtis Rowe scores 19 points and Sidney Wicks adds 17 points and grabs 18 rebounds to lead UCLA to an 80-69 victory over Jacksonville for its fourth consecutive NCAA basketball championship. Jacksonville ends the season with a scoring average of 100.4 points per game, the first team to average more than 100 points in a college basketball season.

1973 — Frank Mahovlich scores his 500th goal as the Montreal Canadiens beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2.

1984 — Glenn Anderson of Edmonton scores his 50th goal of the season and helps the Oilers beat the Hartford Whalers 5-3. The Oilers become the first NHL team to have three 50-goal scorers in one season.

1985 — Washington’s Bobby Carpenter becomes the first U.S.-born player in NHL history to score 50 goals in a season. He reaches the milestone in a 3-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

1990 — Brett Hull of St. Louis becomes the sixth player in NHL history to score 70 goals in a season with a goal in the Blues’ 8-6 loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

1996 — Todd Eldredge becomes the first American in eight years to win the gold medal at the World Figure Skating Championships.

2011 — Courtney Vandersloot has 29 points and 17 assists to help Gonzaga beat UCLA 89-75 in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Vandersloot becomes the first player in Division I history — men or women — to record 2,000 points and 1,000 assists in a career.

2014 — Mercer pulls off the biggest upset in the men’s NCAA tournament by knocking off Duke 78-71 in the second round. The 14th-seeded and senior-laden Bears score 11 straight points during the late 20-5 run to clinch the biggest victory in school history.

2015 — Top-ranked Kentucky outworked eighth-seeded Cincinnati for a 64-51 victory to reach the Sweet 16 for the second straight season. The Wildcats improve to 36-0 — the best start to a season for any team.

Supplied by the Associated Press

And finally

UCLA defeats Duke to give John Wooden his first NCAA title. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.