The Sports Report: A bad day for USC (men’s and women’s) basketball

Michigan State guard Tyson Walker flexes in front of USC's Tre White during an NCAA tournament March 17 in Columbus, Ohio.
Michigan State guard Tyson Walker flexes in front of USC’s Tre White.
(Paul Sancya / Associated Press)

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

From Ryan Kartje: A season spent climbing back from the brink, scratching and clawing its way from one week to the next, had given USC every reason to believe it could circumvent whatever setbacks might still stand in its way. So often had it survived slow starts or prolonged slumps that comebacks had come to seem like second nature for the Trojans, whose coach had recently called them his most improved in a decade.

But there were no footholds to be found Friday, or any emergency plans to put into motion. Months spent tempting fate finally foiled USC, which fell in the first round of the NCAA tournament to Michigan State, 72-62.

For the second consecutive season, the answers to what ailed the Trojans eluded them at the worst possible time, with their NCAA tournament lives on the line.


“It’s just how the ball rolls sometimes in March,” senior guard Drew Peterson said.

This loss wasn’t a matter of a few bad bounces, though. It was a summation of all of USC’s worst tendencies this season, neatly packaged into a devastating defeat.

The Trojans once again started slow, digging themselves an 11-point hole early. Then, after finishing the first half on a tear, they settled for too many bad shots and sloppy possessions in the second, shooting 11 of 32 after the half. They gave the ball away 11 times, too, handing Michigan State 16 extra points off turnovers.

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Jaylen Clark is out but still inspiring defense-minded UCLA in NCAA tournament

UC Santa Barbara falters in second half against Baylor in NCAA tournament

NCAA tournament: No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson stuns No. 1 seed Purdue


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Men’s tournament results, schedule
All times Pacific
First round
Friday’s results

East Regional
No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson 63, No. 1 Purdue 58

No. 2 Marquette 78, No. 15 Vermont 61

No. 3 Kansas St. 77, No. 14 Montana St. 65

No. 6 Kentucky 61, No. 11 Providence 53

No. 7 Michigan State 72, No. 10 USC 62

No. 9 Florida Atlantic 66, No. 8 Memphis 65

Midwest Regional
No. 3 Xavier 72, No. 14 Kennesaw St. 67

No. 4 Indiana 71, No. 13 Kent State 60

No. 5 Miami 63, No. 12 Drake 56

No. 11 Pitt 59, No. 6 Iowa State 41

South Regional
No. 3 Baylor 74, No. 14 UC Santa Barbara 56

No. 6 Creighton 72, No. 11 N.C. State 63

West Regional
No. 3 Gonzaga 82, No. 14 Grand Canyon 70

No. 4 UConn 87, No. 13 Iona 63

No. 5 Saint Mary’s 63, No. 12 VCU 51

No. 6 TCU 72, No. 11 Arizona St. 70

Second round

South Regional
No. 5 San Diego St. vs. No 13 Furman, 9:10 a.m., CBS

No. 7 Missouri vs. No. 15 Princeton, 3:10 p.m., TNT

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 8 Maryland, 6:40 p.m., TBS

West Regional
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 8 Arkansas, 2:15 p.m., CBS

No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 7 Northwestern, 5:40 p.m., TNT

East Regional
No. 4 Tennessee vs. No. 5 Duke, 11:40 a.m., CBS

Midwest Regional
No. 1 Houston vs. No. 9 Auburn, 4:10 p.m., TBS

No. 2 Texas vs. No. 10 Penn St., 4:45 p.m., CBS


East Regional
No. 3 Kansas St. vs. No. 6 Kentucky 61, 11:40 a.m., CBS

No. 2 Marquette vs. No. 7 Michigan State, 2:15 p.m., CBS

No. 9 Florida Atlantic vs. No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson, 4:45 p.m., TruTV

Midwest Regional

No. 3 Xavier vs. No. 11 Pitt, 9:10 a.m., CBS

No. 4 Indiana vs. No. 5 Miami, 5:40 p.m., TNT

South Regional


No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 6 Creighton, 4:10 p.m., TBS

West Regional

No. 3 Gonzaga vs. No. 6 TCU, 6:40 p.m., TBS

No. 4 UConn vs. No. 5 Saint Mary’s, 3:10 p.m., TNT

Women’s tournament

From Mitchell Northam: Destiny Littleton’s game-tying three-pointer with seven seconds left in regulation gave USC’s women’s basketball team extra life.

But the Trojans squandered it. USC will have to wait another year for a chance at its first NCAA tournament victory since 2006.

Despite a record effort from Rayah Marshall, the eighth-seeded Trojans were ousted in the first round of the NCAA tournament by No. 9 South Dakota State, losing 62-57 in overtime at Virginia Tech’s Cassell Coliseum on Friday night.

“Credit South Dakota State. They are a really good team. We knew that. They are poised and experienced and we tried to make it really hard for them, and I thought when they needed to, they made the winning plays,” second-year USC coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. “I’m really proud. I’m proud of our team and I’m proud of the people in the locker room. The journey we went on was an exceptional one. We wish it were longer.”


Continue reading here

All times Pacific
First round
Friday’s results
Regional (Greenville 1)

No. 1 South Carolina 72, No. 16 Norfolk State 40

No. 2 Maryland 93, No. 15 Holy Cross 61

No. 3 Notre Dame 82, No. 14 Southern Utah 56

No. 11 Miss. St. 81, No. 6 Creighton 66

No. 7 Arizona 75, No. 10 West Virginia 62

No. 8 South Florida 67, No. 9 Marquette 65 (OT)

Regional (Greenville 2)
No. 2 Utah 103, No. 15 Gardner-Webb 77

No. 3 LSU 73, No. 14 Hawaii 50

No. 6 Michigan 71, No. 11 UNLV 59

No. 10 Princeton 64, No. 7 N.C. State 63

Regional (Seattle 1)
No. 1 Virginia Tech 58, No. 16 Chattanooga 33

No. 9 South Dakota St. 62, No. 8 USC 57 (OT)

Regional (Seattle 2)
No. 1 Stanford 92, No. 16 Sacred Heart 49

No. 2 Iowa 95, No. 15 SE Louisiana 43

No. 10 Georgia 66, No. 7 Florida State 54

No. 8 Ole Miss 71, No. 9 Gonzaga 48

Regional (Greenville 1)
No. 5 Oklahoma vs. No. 12 Portland, 6 p.m., ESPNU

No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 13 Sacramento State, 8:30 p.m., ESPN2

Regional (Greenville 2)
No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 16 Tennessee Tech, 8:30 a.m., ESPN2

No. 8 Oklahoma State vs. No. 9 Miami, 11 a.m. ESPN

No. 5 Washington State vs. No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast, 11:30 a.m., ESPNU

No. 4 Villanova vs. No. 13 Cleveland State, 2 p.m., ESPNU

Regional (Seattle 1)
No. 4 Tennessee vs. No. 13 Saint Louis, 10 a.m., ABC

No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 14 James Madison, 10:30 a.m., ESPN2

No. 2 UConn vs. No. 15 Vermont, noon, ABC

No. 5 Iowa State vs. No. 12 Toledo, 12:30 p.m., ESPN2

No. 6 North Carolina vs. No. 11 St. John’s, 1 p.m., ESPN

No. 7 Baylor vs. No. 10 Alabama, 2:30 p.m., ESPN2

Regional (Seattle 2)
No. 6 Colorado vs. No. 11 Middle Tennessee, 4 p.m., ESPNEWS

No. 5 Louisville vs. No. 12 Drake, 4:30 p.m., ESPN2

No. 3 Duke vs. No. 14 Iona, 6:30 p.m., ESPN2

No. 4 Texas vs. No. 13 East Carolina, 7 p.m., ESPN

Second round

Regional (Greenville 1)

No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 8 South Florida, 10 a.m., ABC

No. 3 Notre Dame 82 vs. No. 11 Miss. St., 12:30 p.m., ESPN

No. 2 Maryland vs. No. 7 Arizona, 2:30 p.m., ESPN

Regional (Greenville 2)

No. 2 Utah vs. No. 10 Princeton, 4 p.m., ESPN2

No. 3 LSU vs. No. 6 Michigan, 4:30 p.m., ESPN

Regional (Seattle 1)


No. 1 Virginia Tech vs. No. 9 South Dakota St., 2 p.m., ESPN2

Regional (Seattle 2)

No. 2 Iowa vs. No. 10 Georgia, noon, ABC

No. 1 Stanford vs. No. 8 Ole Miss, 6:30 p.m., ESPN


From Dan Woike: Anthony Davis sliced through the lane and finished at the basket for an easy two points on one possession in the first quarter Friday night and deterred Dallas’ Josh Green and grabbed a defensive rebound on the very next trip down the court.

It was the kind of impact that Davis can offer, his unique two-way impact on a game the reason why the Lakers can still credibly be optimistic about their season even if they’ve never been over .500.

But a part of the reason why the Lakers have more losses than wins was Wednesday in Houston, when Davis didn’t play in the Rockets victory.

With him, it wasn’t any better.

The Lakers lost a heart-breaker, Maxi Kleber swishing a three at the buzzer to beat the Lakers 111-110.

The Lakers have been clear in their strategy over the past month, prioritizing health ahead of the standings. With no restrictions, no back-to-back games to hold anyone out, Friday, the Lakers just had an opportunity.


Playing the Dallas Mavericks, a team just a single game ahead of them in the standings entering Friday’s game, the Lakers had a chance to make a real move. Minnesota, Golden State, New Orleans and Portland all lost, giving the team a precious chance to gain ground.

They didn’t take it.

Continue reading here


From Thuc Nhi Nguyen: The Sparks waived guard Chennedy Carter on Friday, undoing one of the residual mistakes from the Derek Fisher era.

After joining the team in a trade from Atlanta, Carter played in 24 games during her one-year Sparks tenure, averaging 8.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 16.4 minutes per game.

She was benched for poor conduct during the season as the Sparks missed the playoffs for a second consecutive year, and Fisher was dismissed as head coach and general manager in June.

Fisher, whose mis-steps last season included the star-crossed signing of center Liz Cambage, sent former All-Star MVP Erica Wheeler, a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 first-round pick to Atlanta in the deal. The transaction primarily served as a salary dump for the Sparks, who instead tried to tout the potential of Carter, a former No. 4 overall pick who averaged 16.1 points and 3.4 assists in two seasons with the Dream.


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From Mike DiGiovanna: Manager Dave Roberts confirmed what has become apparent for the past week or so: Tony Gonsolin, who suffered a left ankle sprain while jogging off the practice field March 6, will start the regular season on the injured list, opening the fifth rotation spot for prospects Ryan Pepiot or Michael Grove.

“To say that he’s going to start the season, obviously we know that that’s not gonna happen,” Roberts said of Gonsolin before Friday’s Cactus League game against the Chicago Cubs in Mesa, Ariz. “So what that means beyond that, I just don’t know right now.”

Gonsolin, who had a breakout season in 2022, going 16-1 with a 2.14 ERA in 24 starts and making the National League All-Star team for the first time, has extended his long-toss program to 150 feet and been able to bear weight on the ankle.

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From Jeff Miller: The Chargers announced Friday they have agreed to terms with punter JK Scott and tight end Donald Parham Jr.


The Chargers also lost their first internal free agent Friday when linebacker Drue Tranquill agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the AFC West-rival Kansas City Chiefs.

Scott had a net average of 41.5 yards and consistently drew praise for his hang time last season. The Chargers led the NFL by forcing the opposition to make 33 fair catches.

Continue reading here


Max Jones scored the tiebreaking goal on a breakaway with 2:37 remaining, and the Ducks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-4 on Friday night in a matchup of teams near the bottom of the NHL standings.

Jones got the puck at center ice and beat Michael Hutchinson on his stick side for his seventh goal of the season.

Scott Harrington had two goals for the Ducks (23-36-10), who ended a two-game losing streak. Troy Terry and Ryan Strome each had a goal and an assist, Trevor Zegras and Max Comtois also scored, and Simon Benoit had two assists for Anaheim. Lukas Dostal stopped 38 shots.



For a map of street closures during Sunday’s L.A. Marathon, please click here.


1945 — Maurice Richard of the Montreal Canadiens becomes the first NHL player to score 50 goals in a season during a 4-2 triumph over the Boston Bruins in the final game of the season.

1950 — CCNY beats Bradley 69-61 for the NIT championship.

1953 — Don Schlundt scores 30 points to lead Indiana to a 69-68 victory over Kansas for the NCAA basketball championship.

1990 — Jeff Fryer’s 41 points leads Loyola Marymount to a 149-115 victory over defending national champion Michigan in the highest-scoring game in NCAA tournament history.

1993 — Santa Clara beats Arizona 64-61 to become the second 15th-seeded team to win a first-round game in the NCAA tournament.

2001 — Indiana’s Reggie Miller becomes the first player in NBA history to make 2,000 3-pointers after hitting four in a 101-95 win over Sacramento.


2008 — The Houston Rockets’ 22-game winning streak comes to an end. Kevin Garnett scores 22 points and Paul Pierce adds 20 as the Celtics beat the Rockets 94-74, stopping Houston’s remarkable run.

2009 — New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur breaks Patrick Roy’s NHL record for career wins by a goaltender. Brodeur records his 552nd win in a 3-2 decision over the Chicago Blackhawks.

2013 — LeBron James and the Miami Heat escape Boston with their 23rd win in a row, the second longest win streak in NBA history. James scores 37 points and makes the go-ahead basket with 10.5 seconds left in Miami’s 105-103 victory.

2015 — Lindsey Vonn wins the World Cup downhill title for the seventh time, winning the last race in the discipline at the World Cup finals in Meribel, France.

2016 — Middle Tennessee State sends a big shock through the men’s NCAA tournament, topping second-seeded Michigan State 90-81 in the first round. Middle Tennessee never trails the Spartans (29-6) in one of the biggest upsets since the tournament began seeding teams in 1985.

2016 — Thomas Walkup scores 33 points and 14th-seeded Stephen F. Austin takes down West Virginia’s full-court pressure with some of its own in-your-face defense, pulling off a 70-56 first-round upset of the third-seeded Mountaineers in the NCAA tournament.


2017 — Kalani Brown scores 21 points and top-seeded Baylor overwhelms much smaller Texas Southern 119-30, the most lopsided women’s NCAA tournament game. The 89-point margin breaks the previous record 74-point win by Tennessee over North Carolina A&T (111-37) in 1994. Baylor’s 119 points are the most scored in regulation of a women’s NCAA Tournament game, surpassing the previous record 116.

2017 — Texas A&M pulls off the biggest comeback in women’s NCAA tournament history, rallying from a 21-point deficit for a 63-61 victory over Penn to close out the first round of the NCAAs. The fifth-seeded Aggies finish the game on a 25-1 run to beat the 12th-seeded Quakers.

2018 — Tennessee loses for the first time at home in women’s NCAA tournament history. Marie Gulich has 14 points and 12 rebounds to lead sixth-seed Oregon State to a 66-59 win. The third-seeded Lady Vols had been 57-0 at home, with most of those victories coming under late Hall of Fame coach Pat Summitt.

—Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

Loyola Marymount overwhelms Michigan in the 1990 men’s tournament. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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