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The Sports Report: It’s time for March Madness

Duke’s Zion Williamson (1) celebrates after Duke defeated Florida State in the NCAA college basketba
Duke’s Zion Williamson.
(Nell Redmond / Associated Press)

Howdy everyone, my name is Houston Mitchell, proprietor of this here newsletter. There appears to be some sort of special tournament going on in college basketball. If only it was covered more so we could learn all about it.

March Madness

It was Selection Sunday, or as most of us call it, “I can finally fill out my office pool bracket Sunday.” Here’s a look at the first-round pairings as well as the TV schedule.

Tuesday, March 19 -- First Four, Dayton, Ohio

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No. 16 Prairie View A&M vs. No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson, 3:40 p.m. -- truTV

No. 11 Temple vs. No. 11 Belmont, 6:10 p.m. -- truTV

Wednesday, March 20 -- First Four, Dayton, Ohio

No. 16 North Carolina Central vs. No. 16 North Dakota State, 3:40 p.m. -- truTV

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No. 11 St. John’s vs. No. 11 Arizona State, 6:10 p.m. -- truTV

Thursday, March 21 -- First Round

No. 10 Minnesota vs. No. 7 Louisville (Des Moines), 9:15 a.m. -- CBS

No. 14 Yale vs. No. 3 LSU (Jacksonville, Fla.), 9:40 a.m. -- truTV

No. 12 New Mexico State vs. No. 5 Auburn (Salt Lake City), 10:30 a.m. -- TNT

No. 13 Vermont vs. No. 4 Florida State (Hartford, Conn.), 11 a.m. -- TBS

No. 15 Bradley vs. No. 2 Michigan State (Des Moines), 11:45 a.m. -- CBS

No. 11 Temple/Belmont vs. No. 6 Maryland (Jacksonville), 12:10 p.m. -- truTV

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No. 13 Northeastern vs. No. 4 Kansas (Salt Lake City), 1 p.m. -- TNT

No. 12 Murray State vs. No. 5 Marquette (Hartford), 1:30 p.m. -- TBS

No. 10 Florida vs. No. 7 Nevada (Des Moines), 3:50 p.m. -- TNT

No. 15 Abilene Christian vs. No. 2 Kentucky (Jacksonville), 4:10 p.m. -- CBS

No. 11 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 6 Villanova (Hartford), 4:20 p.m. -- TBS

No. 16 Prairie View A&M/Fairleigh Dickinson vs. No. 1 Gonzaga (Salt Lake City), 4:27 p.m. -- truTV

No. 15 Montana vs. No. 2 Michigan (Des Moines), 6:20 p.m. -- TNT

No. 10 Seton Hall vs. No. 7 Wofford (Jacksonville), 6:40 p.m. -- CBS

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No. 14 Old Dominion vs. No. 3 Purdue (Hartford), 6:50 p.m. -- TBS

No. 9 Baylor vs. No. 8 Syracuse (Salt Lake City), 6:57 p.m. -- truTV

Friday, March 22 -- First Round

No. 10 Iowa vs. No. 7 Cincinnati (Columbus, Ohio), 9:15 a.m. -- CBS

No. 9 Oklahoma vs. No. 8 Ole Miss (Columbia, S.C.), 9:40 a.m. -- truTV

No. 14 Northern Kentucky vs. No. 3 Texas Tech (Tulsa, Okla.) 10:30 a.m. -- TNT

No. 13 UC Irvine vs. No. 4 Kansas State (San Jose), 11 a.m. -- TBS

No. 15 Colgate vs. No. 2 Tennessee (Columbus), 11:45 a.m. -- CBS

No. 16 Gardner-Webb vs. No. 1 Virginia (Columbia), 12:10 p.m. -- truTV

No. 11 St. John’s/Arizona State vs. No. 6 Buffalo (Tulsa), 1 p.m. -- TNT

No. 12 Oregon vs. No. 5 Wisconsin (San Jose), 1:30 p.m. ET -- TBS

No. 9 Washington vs. No. 8 Utah State (Columbus), 3:50 p.m. -- TNT

No. 16 North Carolina Central/North Dakota State vs. No. 1 Duke (Columbia), 4:10 p.m. -- CBS

No. 14 Georgia State vs. No. 3 Houston (Tulsa), 4:20 p.m. -- TBS

No. 12 Liberty vs. No. 5 Mississippi State (San Jose), 4:27 p.m. -- truTV

No. 16 Iona vs. No. 1 North Carolina (Columbus), 6:20 p.m. -- TNT

No. 9 UCF vs. No. 8 VCU (Columbia), 6:40 p.m. -- CBS

No. 11 Ohio State vs. No. 6 Iowa State (Tulsa), 6:50 p.m. -- TBS

No. 13 Saint Louis vs. No. 4 Virginia Tech (San Jose), 6:57 p.m. -- truTV

You can read a tournament overview by clicking here.

West Regional preview. Click here.

South Regional preview. Click here.

East Regional preview. Click here.

Midwest Regional preview. Click here.

To look at the bracket, click here.

A look inside how the tournament is televised. Click here.

Attention NCAA tournament underdogs: One program’s still schooling the rest on how to do it.

UC Irvine is full of wins and confidence as it heads into NCAA tournament against Kansas State

UC Irvine vs. Kansas State: How the teams match up in the NCAA tournament South Regional

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It was also a busy day for local special events Sunday. Let’s look at the two big ones:

Tennis

The tournament at Indian Wells came to a conclusion Sunday with a couple of upsets.

On the men’s side, Dominic Thiem defeated Roger Federer, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 for the 12th title of his career, compared to Federer’s 100 titles. at Indian Wells Tennis Garden, the 12th title of his career. Federer hadn’t dropped a set in his previous four matches.

“For all of us younger players, it’s really a privilege to still be able to compete with him and to play against him in the finals of big tournaments like this one,” Thiem said. “I hope, and we all hope, that he continues for quite a while still.”

On the women’s side, teenager Bianca Andreescu upset Angelique Kerber, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

Between most of the points late in the third set, Andreescu was stretching and squatting from cramping. A photographer on the press balcony clearly could see her quadriceps cramping.

“I never considered quitting,” Andreescu said later. “I never would.”

Auto Racing

In his green car (perfect for St. Patrick’s Day), Kyle Busch held on to win the Auto Club 400 by 2.4 seconds over Joey Logano.

After Busch took the checkered flag, he was handed another flag that said “200 Wins,” which he carried out the window for his celebration lap in front of the grandstands.

Busch, 33, has won 53 races in NASCAR’s top-level Monster Energy Cup Series. He also has 94 victories in the second-tier Xfinity Series and 53 in NASCAR’s Truck Series.

Busch said that “to win 200, whatever it means, it means a lot to me. It’s certainly a monumental moment for all of us.”

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Clippers

Lou Williams made a three-pointer from the top of the key at the final buzzer to give the Clippers a 119-116 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.

Montrezl Harrell and Danilo Gallinari each scored 20 for the Clippers, who have won seven of their last eight. The victory was Doc Rivers’ 300th as Clippers coach, making him the seventh coach in NBA history with 300 or more regular-season wins with at least two teams. The others:

Don Nelson (Milwaukee, Golden State, Dallas)

Lenny Wilkens (Seattle, Cleveland, Atlanta)

Pat Riley (Lakers, Miami)

George Karl (Seattle, Denver)

Phil Jackson (Lakers, Chicago)

Dick Motta (Chicago, Dallas)

Odds and Ends

LeBron James’ last-second shot snuffed as Lakers blow late lead to get swept by Knicks…. Corey Seager will play opening day for Dodgers, Dave Roberts says…. Andrew Heaney’s elbow injury will keep him off Angels’ opening day roster…. In the case of star South African runner Caster Semenya, a sports arbitration court must determine the definition of a woman…. Errol Spence Jr.‘s domination of Mikey Garcia could be the start of a new era in boxing…. Jakob Silfverberg scores late to give Ducks a 3-2 victory over Panthers…. Kings veterans feel for rookies as team preaches patience during rebuild…. Rams and quarterback Blake Bortles might be a good fit…. Carlos Vela scores twice to help LAFC earn a draw against NYCFC.

Today’s local major sports schedule (all times Pacific)

Dodgers vs. Texas, 7 p.m., Sportsnet LA

Winnipeg at Kings, 7:30 p.m., FSW

Born on this date

1937: Race car driver Mark Donohue

1956: Skier Ingemar Stenmark

1960: NHL player Guy Carbonneau

1964: Speed skater Bonnie Blair

1967: NFL player Andre Rison

And finally

That concludes the newsletter for today. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, please email me here. If you want to subscribe, click here.


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