Sunday, February 18, 2018
Sports

Spartans survive scare

SPOKANE, Wash. — For 18 seconds Saturday, it was happening. Harvard owned basketball, too.

The school that churns out U.S. presidents, Supreme Court justices, billionaire CEOs and Nobel Peace Prize winners was taking a serious run at altering the discourse on this year's NCAA Tournament, as well.

Harvard guard Laurent Rivard made a 3-pointer from the corner, looped his thumb and finger together around his eye — the "3-point goggles" — and flashed a determined glare toward a group of Crimson fans in the stands who were coming unhinged. The Ivy Leaguers had overcome a 16-point deficit to take a two-point lead over Michigan State, a team that often comes up big on college basketball's biggest stage.

The next time down the floor, Spartans guard Travis Trice came back with a 3 to put his team back in the lead. A few minutes later, Michigan State was out of danger — not by much, though — on the way to an 80-73 victory that sent Harvard home, but not without making a statement.

"We showed everybody that we can come all year and play with the best," sophomore guard Siyani Chambers said.

Led by a career-high 26 points from Branden Dawson, the fourth-seeded Spartans (28-8) moved onto the Sweet 16 for the 12th time in the past 17 seasons. They play Virginia or Memphis on Friday at Madison Square Garden.

A lot of fans thought 12th-seeded Harvard could win its first game against No. 5 Cincinnati. But even President Obama had picked Michigan State to eliminate his law school on the way to the national title.

Even in a loss, Harvard (27-5) hoops proved it is here to stay.

"I thought our kids competed," coach Tommy Amaker said. "We knew we would."

The program Amaker took over seven years ago was in its third straight NCAA Tournament and two nights removed from only the second March Madness win in school history. Last year, the encore was a disheartening 23-point loss to Arizona. This time, it was something much different against an opponent that might have been even better.

"That's one thing Coach Amaker talks about, that we're not just built for the Ivy League, we're built to go past that," junior forward Jonah Travis said. "That's one of our main goals, to match up with teams like that and beat teams like that."

UCONN 77, VILLANOVA 65: Shabazz Napier scored 25 to lead the seventh-seeded Huskies over the second-seeded Wildcats in Buffalo, N.Y.

Villanova became the highest seed to be knocked out of the tournament.

In the Sweet 16, Connecticut (28-8) plays the winner of today's game between Iowa State and North Carolina.

Ryan Arcidiacono scored 18 for Villanova (29-5) in a matchup of former Big East rivals. The Huskies are now in the American Athletic Conference.

UConn coach Kevin Ollie improved to 2-0 in his tournament debut, two years since taking over after Jim Calhoun stepped down because of health issues and a year after the Huskies were barred from postseason play because of academic sanctions.

Comments
What were Rays thinking in ditching Odorizzi, Dickerson, adding Cron?

What were Rays thinking in ditching Odorizzi, Dickerson, adding Cron?

PORT CHARLOTTE – Rays officials insisted Sunday they made the best deals they could in a bad market, trading No. 2 starter Jake Odorizzi for an unheralded Class A shortstop prospect and DFA-ing 2017 All-Star Corey Dickerson in essentially a swa...
Updated: 4 minutes ago
Bubba Wallace emotional after Daytona 500 runner-up finish

Bubba Wallace emotional after Daytona 500 runner-up finish

DAYTONA BEACH – No, Bubba Wallace did not win the 60th running of the Daytona 500.But you wouldn't have known that after seeing his emotions after he placed second – the highest finish ever by a black driver in the Great American Race.Wal...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Winter Olympics: First Russian fails drug test at Games

Winter Olympics: First Russian fails drug test at Games

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea ó A Russian has failed a preliminary doping test, the first athlete from the country to come under investigation for using a banned substance at the Games, putting in jeopardy Russiaís efforts to move past a vast, state-backe...
Updated: 18 minutes ago

Mondayís sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballWomen: Florida State at Duke6 p.m.ESPN2Miami at Notre Dame7 p.m.ESPN; 620-AMMaryland at Northwestern7 p.m.FS1Howard at N.C. Central7 p.m.ESPNUWomen: Georgia at Mississippi7 p.m.SECWomen: Syracuse at Pittsburgh7 p.m.Fox SunWomen...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
Donít like Rays moves? Youíve got company in Longo

Donít like Rays moves? Youíve got company in Longo

Evan Longoria has said pretty much all the right things since the Rays traded him in December to the Giants.But the former franchise cornerstone felt strongly the Rays made the wrong move in designating for assignment Corey Dickerson and spoke out on...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Winter Olympics: U.S. freestyle skier Nick Goepper conquers his demons and ends up a medalist again

Winter Olympics: U.S. freestyle skier Nick Goepper conquers his demons and ends up a medalist again

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea ó Nick Goepper met Jeret "Speedy" Peterson only once.The larger-than-life Olympic aerial skier left a powerful impression on Goepper, an Indiana kid on his way to his own whirling fame.So when it got bad four years ago, when ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Austin Dillon wins Daytona 500 after Aric Almirola wrecks late

Austin Dillon wins Daytona 500 after Aric Almirola wrecks late

DAYTONA BEACH – As Austin Dillon celebrated his Daytona 500 win Sunday, he couldn't help but remember the time he was standing there, in Victory Lane, 20 years ago this week.He was 7 then, and his index finger jutted into the air triumphantly t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Shooting from the Lip

Shooting from the Lip

Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.Worst newsSaturday night could not have been fun for Rays fans. Their team traded solid pitcher Jake Odorizzi and essentially let go of 2017 All-Star Corey ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Flats coming to life in north Pinellas County

The flats are really coming to life in north Pinellas County. Our main focus this time of year is spotted sea trout, though redfish are cooperating and schooling a bit. Snook are also responding to the warm weather, occasionally eating on the falling...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Jim McElwain reportedly joining Jim Harbaugh at Michigan

Jim McElwain reportedly joining Jim Harbaugh at Michigan

Former Florida Gators coach Jim McElwain is joining Jim Harbaugh's Michigan staff as an offensive assistant, according to a report from ESPN.The Wolverines have not yet formally announced the move.It's the first job for McElwain since he and the Gato...
Updated: 5 hours ago