Friday, April 20, 2018
Sports

Louisville hails champs, runnersup

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — They haven't stopped partying in Louisville as the NCAA champion men's team and runnerup women's squad were welcomed at the KFC Yum Center on Wednesday.

A near-capacity crowd thanked Cardinals players and coaches for providing one of the most satisfying weeks ever, the men delivering Louisville's first championship in 27 years with an 82-76 win Monday over Michigan in Atlanta.

Both programs responded with expressions of gratitude, allowing coach Rick Pitino the final word. Hoarse from a Final Four that included his election to the Hall of Fame and his second title, Pitino asked, "Wouldn't it be great if we somehow got back to Dallas?" for next year's championship.

The stage featured the crystal ball trophy centered in a display that included both Big East trophies and the women's runnerup trophy.

One of the biggest ovations was for guard Kevin Ware, whose horrific right leg break in the Midwest Region final made him a sentimental hero. He reached the steps without crutches before grabbing them to get to his chair, his words drowned out by cheers. Fans didn't forget the women making a memorable charge, highlighted by an 82-81 upset of defending champ Baylor.

UConn eyes more celebrations: With heralded freshman Breanna Stewart, sophomore Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and most of the team that won an eighth women's title back, this could be the next great Huskies era under coach Geno Auriemma.

"We feel like all we can go is up from here," said Mosqueda-Lewis, who scored 18 in the 93-60 rout of Louisville on Tuesday in New Orleans.

Auriemma didn't want to look ahead, but said of Stewart: "Stewie certainly is different than any other college player that's playing right now."

More than 2,000 fans welcomed the Huskies back during a celebration in Storrs on Wednesday, with signs including several marriage proposals for players.

Hoosier leads New pack going pro: Indiana 7-footer Cody Zeller, Syracuse guard Michael Carter-Williams and Missouri guard Phil Pressey were the latest standout underclassmen to declare themselves eligible for the NBA draft. Zeller, a sophomore who led the Hoosiers in scoring (16.5) and rebounding (8.1), was a second-team All-American and is projected as a top-10 pick. "I kind of knew it might be my last year, so I enjoyed every minute of it," Zeller said.

Florida: Forward Will Yeguete may have a second knee surgery this offseason to correct problems that arose during the NCAA Tournament, coach Billy Donovan said. Yeguete, who will be a senior, missed six games after surgery to repair floating bone chips in his right knee. Donovan said pain and swelling, which kept Yeguete out of practice before two NCAA Tournament games, raised concerns about additional surgery.

Frozen Four: College hockey's showcase event will be staged in Pittsburgh in a week of firsts. The Frozen Four has never been to western Pennsylvania. And three of the four teams — Massachusetts Lowell, St. Cloud State and Quinnipiac — have never been to the national semifinals. The fourth member, Yale, hasn't been this far in 61 years. "We were kind of in awe," said Riley Wetmore, captain for Massachusetts Lowell, which plays Yale at 4:30 p.m. today, followed by Quinnipiac-St. Cloud State at 8 (both on ESPN2). The winners meet at 7 p.m. Saturday to produce a first-time champion.

More Colleges: The USF baseball team (19-14) extended its winning streak to five games by beating visiting UCF (18-16) 9-3. … The host Gators softball team (39-4) beat the Bulls (32-12) 9-1.

Times staff writer Antonya English contributed to this report.

Comments
Former Ohio State, University of Tampa coach Earle Bruce dies

Former Ohio State, University of Tampa coach Earle Bruce dies

Former Ohio State football coach Earle Bruce, whose nine-year tenure in Columbus was came after one season as coach of the University of Tampa's now-defunct program, passed away earlier this morning at age 87.Mr. Bruce reportedly had been battling Al...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Rays’ Chris Archer ready to move past messy outing tonight against Twins

Rays’ Chris Archer ready to move past messy outing tonight against Twins

Rays RHP Chris Archer goes into tonight's start against the Twins with no trouble moving on from his messy Saturday performance against the Phillies that included arguably the worst inning of his career."It's already gone," Archer said Wednesday...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Memorable off day for Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough

Memorable off day for Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough

Rays rookie LHP Ryan Yarbrough has enjoyed everything about his first major-league experience, from pitching in the games to traveling in top-notch style to getting to play in front of family and friends to seeing his first paycheck.And then the Lake...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Life got you down? The Miracle League is back and making miracles again

Life got you down? The Miracle League is back and making miracles again

ST. PETERSBURG — An old friend is back in the lineup.The Kiwanis of Gulf Beaches Miracle League, which champions baseball for the physically and mentally challenged, returned with a flourish Saturday morning. We're better for it."This is a big ...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Here’s the Bucs’ full 2018 schedule

Here’s the Bucs’ full 2018 schedule

TAMPA — How good can the Bucs be in 2018? Fans will get a good sense in the first three weeks, as Tampa Bay opens the year with three of its toughest games, all against reigning division champions. The Bucs open 2018 in New Orleans on Sept. 9 ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

ST. PETERSBURG — Mallex Smith has style.Effervescent personality. Pop culture hipness. Sense of fashion with accoutrements.Now the Rays are going to find out if he has game.More specifically, enough game to be a front-line outfielder, even an i...
Updated: 4 hours ago
NHL makes right call in not suspending Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov

NHL makes right call in not suspending Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov

The NHL got it right.Nikita Kucherov, the Lightning's top scorer and best player so far in these playoffs, will play Saturday's Game 5 against New Jersey. He's not going to be suspended for his vicious hit on a Devils player in Tampa Bay's Game 4 vic...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Friday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosXfinity: ToyotaCare 250 qualifying4 p.m.FS1Monster Energy Cup: Toyota Owners 400 qualifying5:30 p.m.FS1Xfinity: ToyotaCare 2507 p.m.FS1BaseballRoyals at Tigers1 p.m.MLBTwins at Rays7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMIndians at Orioles7 p.m.MLBMarlins at ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Bucs linebacker Kendell Beckwith fractured ankle in car accident

Bucs linebacker Kendell Beckwith fractured ankle in car accident

TAMPA – Bucs linebacker Kendell Beckwith had surgery to repair a broken ankle he suffered in a car accident in Louisiana last week, putting his status for the start of the season in question.Beckwith was passenger in car driven by former L...
Updated: 10 hours ago

High school scoreboard for April 19

Thursday’s scoreboardBaseballDixie Hollins 8, Canterbury 0Northeast 13, Lakewood 3Calvary Christian 5, Berkeley Prep 2
Updated: 11 hours ago