The Sports Report: Why UCLA might not get a No. 1 seeding in the tournament

From left to right, UCLA guards Dylan Andrews (2), Jaime Jaquez Jr. (24), David Singleton.
From left, Dylan Andrews, Jaime Jaquez Jr., David Singleton, Tyger Campbell and Amari Bailey of UCLA.
(Ringo H.W. Chiu / Associated Press)

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

From Ben Bolch: Ten consecutive wins and a runaway Pac-12 regular-season championship have vaulted UCLA into a No. 1 seed in scores of projected NCAA tournament brackets.

It may not be enough to keep the Bruins there.

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, one of the nation’s foremost bracket experts, told The Times on Monday that UCLA needed to win the Pac-12 tournament to secure a No. 1 seed on Selection Sunday.

According to Lunardi, the Bruins are jockeying with Purdue, Texas and Baylor for the final No. 1 seed behind Houston, Kansas and Alabama. Bracket Matrix, which tracks scores of projected brackets, showed UCLA as No. 1 seed in 35 of 85 brackets as of Monday.


Lunardi said he elevated UCLA to a No. 1 seed in the West Region in his latest bracket based on its cumulative body of work and strong finish to the regular season combined with Purdue’s having lost four of its last eight games.

UCLA also rose to No. 2 in the Associated Press poll Monday, trailing only Houston. It’s the highest ranking for the Bruins (27-4) this late in a season since they were No. 2 in the coaches’ poll on March 17, 2008.

But the Bruins could lose out on a No. 1 seed if they stumble in the Pac-12 tournament and the other challengers have a better showing in their respective conference tournaments.

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From Jack Harris: Dodgers pitcher Tony Gonsolin suffered a sprained left ankle on Monday that will force him to miss his next spring training start Wednesday, the Dodgers announced.


The team described his status as “day to day,” but didn’t provide any further timeline.

Manager Dave Roberts said the team “feels good” about Gonsolin’s status for the start of the season, but it will depend on how the pitcher progresses in the next couple days.

“I think where he’s built up to, I don’t think that’s a concern right now,” Roberts said.

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Even without that swing, Dodgers’ Miguel Vargas finding ways to nurture his talent

Justin Turner receives 16 stitches after getting hit in face with pitch


From Dylan Hernández: The Clippers’ confounding incompetence in recent weeks has obscured a major development unfolding in plain sight.

Kawhi Leonard has reclaimed his place as one of the best players in the NBA.

He’s averaged 28.4 points in the 22 games he’s played since Jan. 8, converting 52.6% of his field goals, including 49.6% of his threes. Equally important: He missed only four games in that stretch and averaged nearly 37 minutes per contest.


Leonard produced his most recent masterpiece on Sunday night when the Clippers ended a five-game losing streak. Leonard scored 15 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter of the Clippers’ 135-129 victory over a severely short-handed Memphis Grizzlies team.

This wasn’t a blueprint for success or a roadmap to a championship, however. Leonard’s heroics were a bandage that covered up the Clippers’ wounds.

To be clear: The Clippers don’t have a Russell Westbrook problem. The Clippers have a Clippers problem.

They entered the season as projected title contenders, yet here they are, one game over .500 and barely hanging on for a spot in the play-in tournament. What other franchise underwhelms like this, year after year?

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From Helene Elliott: The BNP Paribas Open begins this week just as professional tennis hits a crossroads, navigating toward an uncertain future without the great rivalry among the “Big Three” of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic on the men’s side and without Serena Williams’ charisma and historic feats to set standards for the women.


Stars emerge, peak, decline. It’s the cycle of athletic life on the court, ice, field or pitch. But as main-draw play begins Wednesday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, the sport is facing the absence — whether permanent or temporary — of many of its most recognizable stars from one of its biggest stages.

Tennis urgently needs successful, magnetic players to fill the void as an exceptional generation fades out. Carlos Alcaraz of Spain, last year’s U.S. Open men’s champion at 19, and Iga Swiatek of Poland, who won the women’s titles at Indian Wells and the U.S. Open last year, lead the next-generation conversation but haven’t proved their longevity. They’d move the conversation significantly forward by winning at Indian Wells, where each is seeded No. 1.

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Mikey Anderson scored in the third period and the Kings beat the Washington Capitals 4-2 for their fourth straight win. Adrian Kempe, Phillip Danault and Vladislav Gavrikov also scored, and Pheonix Copley made 20 saves as the Kings won their sixth straight game on home ice.

Alex Ovechkin had a power-play goal and Rasmus Sandin had a goal and an assist for the Capitals, who failed to pick up a third straight road win in California. Darcy Kuemper had 37 saves.


1921 — Cy Denneny of the Ottawa Senators scores six goals in a 12-5 victory over the Hamilton Tigers.


1951 — Ezzard Charles wins a unanimous 15-round decision over Jersey Joe Walcott to retain the world heavyweight title in Detroit.

1954 — The Minneapolis Lakers and Milwaukee Hawks experiment with the baskets raised from 10 feet to 12 feet during an exhibition game. George Mikan and the Lakers win 65-63.

1970 — Austin Carr scores an NCAA tournament record 61 points as Notre Dame routs Ohio University 112-82. Carr hits 25 of 44 field goals and 11 of 14 free throws.

1974 — New Orleans is granted an NBA franchise.

1977 — Anthony Roberts of Oral Roberts scores 65 points in a 90-89 loss to Oregon in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.

1983 — Phil Mahre wins the Alpine World Cup championship for the third straight year to become the third person to win three consecutive titles.

1987 — Thomas Hearns wins his third championship, the WBC light heavyweight title, with a 10-round TKO of Dennis Andries.


1996 — Magic Johnson becomes the second NBA player to reach 10,000 career assists, getting the milestone on the go-ahead basket in Los Angeles’ 102-90 victory over Sacramento.

2012 — Lionel Messi becomes the first player to score five goals in a Champions League soccer match, helping defending champion Barcelona crush Bayer Leverkusen 7-1 to advance to the quarterfinals with a 10-2 aggregate win.

2012 — Kikkan Randall adds a World Cup crystal globe to her stash and carves out another slice of history for the U.S ski team. Randall is the first American in 30 years to win a cross country championship by clinching the overall sprint title. Randall’s 11th-place finish at a race in Norway secures the championship with one race left in the season.

2014 — The U.S. women’s soccer team’s two-year unbeaten streak ends at 43 games with a 1-0 loss to Sweden at the Algarve Cup in Albufiera, Portugal. The U.S. had been 36-0-7 since a 1-0 loss to Japan at the Algarve Cup on March 5, 2012.

2015 — Kentucky (31-0) becomes the first men’s basketball team from a major conference to go undefeated in the regular season since Indiana in 1976. Wichita State of the Missouri Valley Conference went undefeated in the regular season in 2014.

2016 — Stephen Curry scores 41 points and becomes the first player in NBA history to make 300 3-pointers in a season, and the Golden State Warriors set another record by holding off the Orlando Magic 119-113 for their 45th straight home victory.


—Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

Magic Johnson gets his 10,000th assist. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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