Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Sports

Hard to pick favorite in wide-open Big Ten

INDIANAPOLIS — Michigan State's Tom Izzo has never seen anything like this.

He says he can't remember a Big Ten season where the top of the league was so balanced and the bottom-tier teams so competitive. Not since he became a head coach, not since he joined the Michigan State staff in 1986. He believes the Big Ten is the nation's best conference.

"I don't think there's any question, and you'll get arguments until the cows come home about what conference is the best, this and that, I still say, you look top to bottom, and if it isn't the best, this year is the best of the 27 years I've been here," Izzo said.

It also means that the Big Ten tournament, which begins today at Banker's Life Fieldhouse, is one of the most unpredictable ever.

"In years past, you would say, these two teams and maybe a surprise here and there," Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said. "This year, I really wouldn't know what to say. Anybody could beat anybody. I think all the way down, there could be some upsets. It's going to be a fun tournament."

Play begins today when No. 8 seed Iowa faces No. 9 Illinois, followed by No. 5 Indiana against No. 12 Penn State. The evening matchups are No. 7 Northwestern against No. 10 Minnesota and No. 6 Purdue vs. No. 11 Nebraska.

BIG SKY: Kareem Jamar scored 23 and Montana (25-6) beat Weber State 85-66 in the tournament final in Missoula, Mont.

NORTHEAST: Fast-breaking Long Island University (25-8) made it two straight conference titles with a 90-73 victory over Robert Morris in New York.

PATRIOT: Gabe Knutson blocked Cameron Ayers' baseline layup attempt with seven seconds left to help Lehigh (26-7) hold off Bucknell 82-77 to win the league tournament in Lewisburg, Pa.

BIG 12: Dash Harris and Khris Middleton hit key 3-pointers in the last four minutes and Texas A&M (14-17) hit 14 straight free throws to beat Oklahoma 62-53 in the opening round in Kansas City, Mo. … Keiton Page scored 20 and Oklahoma State (15-17) knocked off Texas Tech 76-60.

PAC-12: Oregon State (18-13) won 69-64 over Washington State in the first round in Los Angeles. … UCLA (19-13) recovered from an awful first half to beat USC 55-40. … Chasson Randle scored 27 of his 30 in the first half as Stanford (21-10) beat Arizona State 85-65.

WAIT OVER FOR CRIMSON: Harvard is going to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1946. It clinched the Ivy League title Tuesday night when Princeton beat Pennsylvania 62-52.

ARIZONA: Freshman point guard Josiah Turner was suspended for the second time this season for violating team rules.

MINNESOTA: Center Ralph Sampson III (knee) might miss the Big Ten tournament.

Titans fall: Santa Fe beat St. Petersburg 57-56 on a tip-in in the final seconds at the Florida College System Activities Association state tournament in Marianna.

Women

NO. 10 WIS.-GREEN BAY 77, VALPO 53: The host Phoenix (28-1) advanced to the semifinals of the Horizon League tournament.

Comments
Carlos Gomez says he was guilty of only one thing in Sunday’s epic walkoff homer celebration

Carlos Gomez says he was guilty of only one thing in Sunday’s epic walkoff homer celebration

BALTIMORE – Carlos Gomez is perfectly willing to explain the specific elements that went into his epic celebration tour around the bases following Sunday's walkoff home run.The bat flip and raised arms were his initial reaction to how well he h...
Updated: 4 hours ago

High school scoreboard for April 24

Tuesday’s scoreboardBaseballCalvary Chr. 8, Jesuit 1Boys TennisClass 3A, District 9-10 Regional Semifinal: Osceola 4, King 1Girls TennisClass 3A, District 9-10 Regional Semifinal: Osceola 4, Freedom 1...
Updated: 6 hours ago
NBA players talking a very good game in playoffs

NBA players talking a very good game in playoffs

Boring interviews have been a hallmark of sports for decades. The art of the non-answer was undoubtedly developed as a defense mechanism — and it was perfected by Derek Jeter during his tenure with the Yankees — but every now and again pl...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Softball: Haley Murphy, East Bay back in top form

Softball: Haley Murphy, East Bay back in top form

PLANT CITY — East Bay senior Haley Murphy had to take a few games off early this season to give the flaring tendinitis in her left knee a rest.When Murphy did come back around midseason, East Bay coach Glenn Rodriguez eased her into the fl...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Wednesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBaseballMariners at White Sox2 p.m.MLBNationals at Giants (in progress)5 p.m.MLBTwins at Yankees6:30 p.m.1040-AMRays at Orioles7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMCubs at Indians7 p.m.ESPNMarlins at Dodgers7:30 p.m.FSFCollege baseballIndiana at Purdue7 p.m.ESP...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Softball: Boca Ciega gets a shot at defending district champ

DUNEDIN — Standing in centerfield during her team's Class 6A-9 district semifinal Tuesday night, Boca Ciega's Mia Blasingane had one dominating thought: "We want Tarpon Springs real bad. I was saying that to myself. I want to see Tarpon Springs...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Softball: Alonso knocks off defending state finalist PHU in 9A-8 semifinals

PALM HARBOR — To get an idea of just how tough the competition is in Class 9A, District 8, consider that there has been a different tournament champion each of the past three seasons.All three — Newsome (2015), Alonso (2016) and Palm Harb...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

BALTIMORE – If the Rays were going to get rained out Tuesday, they were happy  the Orioles made the decision at a good hour, around 5 p.m."I think they probably did the right thing in the fact that they knew there's a bunch of rain coming,...
Updated: 7 hours ago
ESPN: Antonio Callaway tested positive for marijuana at NFL combine

ESPN: Antonio Callaway tested positive for marijuana at NFL combine

Former Florida Gators receiver Antonio Callaway's off-field struggles continue.ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Tuesday evening that Callaway tested positive for marijuana at the NFL's scouting combine.Former Florida WR Antonio Callaway -- who some cons...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Lightning opens second round Saturday; time depends on opponent

Lightning opens second round Saturday; time depends on opponent

Game 1 of the Lightning's Eastern Conference semifinals begins Saturday at Amalie Arena regardless of whether the Maple Leafs or Bruins win Wednesday's first-round series Game 7 to advance.Still in question is the start time.If the Bruins advanc...
Updated: 9 hours ago