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  1. Florida beats Texas A&M, faces Kentucky next


    GAINESVILLE — In a season in which very little has gone its way, Florida ended on a high note in its final regular-season game at the O'Connell Center.

    The Gators avenged an earlier loss to Texas A&M with a 66-62 victory Tuesday night. The Aggies (20-9, 11-6 SEC) came in as the No. 3 team in the conference.

    The Gators close the regular season at 2 Saturday at Kentucky, which remained undefeated Tuesday with a tough 72-64 win at Georgia....

    Florida guard Chris Chiozza (11) dribbles up court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas A&M, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/The Gainesville Sun, Matt Stamey) FLGAI106
  2. Softball: Palm Harbor holds off East Lake


    PALM HARBOR — After playing in the Lake Mary Invitational three weeks ago, Palm Harbor University's softball team was 2-2, with both losses coming against non-area opponents.

    Since then, the Hurricanes have been on a roll, winning six straight against Pinellas County teams. That streak was extended to a county-best seven games after Tuesday's 6-4 win over East Lake that put PHU (9-2) at the top of the North Division in the Pinellas County Athletic Conference standings....

  3. Wednesday's sports on TV/radio

    TV and Radio


    Baseball, spring training
    Phillies at Yankees1 p.m.MLB
    College baseball
    USF at Florida State4 p.m.1040-AM
    College basketball
    ACC women's tournament: Boston College vs. Wake Forest1 p.m.Sun Sports
    ACC women's tournament: North Carolina State vs. Virginia Tech3:30 p.m.Sun Sports
    Ohio State at Penn State6 p.m.Big Ten
    ACC women's tournament: Georgia Tech vs. Clemson6:30 p.m.Sun Sports
    UCF at USF7 p.m.ESPNU; 1010-AM
    SEC women's tournament: Florida vs. Auburn7 p.m.SEC Alternate
    Notre Dame at Louisville7 p.m.ESPN2
    Tennessee at LSU7 p.m.SEC
    Providence at Seton Hall7 p.m.FS1
    La Salle at St. Joseph's7 p.m.CBSSN
    Purdue at Michigan State8 p.m.Big Ten
    Houston at Tulane8 p.m.ESPNews
    USC at UCLA9 p.m.ESPN2
    TCU at Oklahoma State9 p.m.ESPNU
    Mississippi State at Vanderbilt9 p.m.SEC
    St. John's at Marquette9 p.m.FS1
    Cincinnati at Tulsa9 p.m.CBSSN
    Nebraska at Illinois10 p.m.Big Ten
    Oregon at Oregon State11 p.m.ESPNU
    San Diego State at UNLV11 p.m.CBSSN
    LPGA: HSBC Champions11 p.m.Golf
    High school softball
    Orange City University at Oviedo Hagerty7 p.m.BHSN
    Suns at Magic7 p.m.FSF
    Lakers at Heat8 p.m.ESPN
    Trail Blazers at Clippers10:30 p.m.ESPN
    Rangers at Red Wings8 p.m.NBCSN
    Women, Algarve Cup: United States vs. Norway2 p.m.FS1
    EPL: Chelsea at West Ham2:30 p.m.NBCSN
    German Cup: Eintracht Braunschweig at Bayern Munich2:30 p.m.ESPND
    Mexican Cup: Toluca at Puebla8 p.m.ESPND
    CONCACAF Champions League: Alajuelense at D.C. United8 p.m.FS2
    Mexican Cup: UNAM at Chiapas10 p.m.Galavision
    Mexican: Coras Tepic at Necaxa10 p.m.ESPND
    CONCACAF CL: Saprissa at America10 p.m.FS2

  4. 17 points down, they acted like they won


    If you believe the excitable West Tampa crowd crammed into a side room at Montauro’s Ristorante Tuesday night, then second place was a win.

    Because finishing second kept Guido Maniscalco alive to face Jackie Toledo in a runoff on March 24. The crowd was vocal in its relief that Maniscalco, who raised less than $43,000, managed to hang on against Toledo, who had raised about $138,000....

    Tampa City Council candidate Guido Maniscalco (left), supporter  Joseph Procopio and Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Bob Henriquez listen to council candidate Tommy Castellano endorse Maniscalco in council District 6. Maniscalco, who finished second in Tuesday's primary, faces first-place finisher Jackie Toledo in a March 24 runoff.
  5. Largo woman killed in hit-and-run on Seminole Boulevard


    LARGO — A pedestrian on Seminole Boulevard was struck and killed by a driver who then fled the scene Tuesday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

    Cheryl Lynn Small, 36, of Largo was walking or standing in the roadway south of Caribbean Way "for unknown reasons" around 8 p.m. when the car hit her, the FHP said. She died at the scene.

    No information was available about the car or driver involved in the crash. ...

  6. Vasilevskiy earns first NHL shutout in Lightning's victory over Sabres

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — After goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy and the Lightning both struggled in their last games, Tuesday night's 3-0 win over the Sabres was the kind of bounce-back victory they both needed.

    Vasilevskiy starred, rebounding from the five goals he allowed in a defeat on Feb. 22 at Colorado to earn the first shutout of his NHL career, in only his ninth start.

    "He bounced back," Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman said. "We knew he was going to do that. That's what he's all about."...

    New Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn drops the gloves to fight Buffalo’s Marcus Foligno in the second period.
  7. Setting a picturesque pace


    Tim Walters of Tampa is framed by the sculpture "The Wave" as he jogs north on Bayshore Boulevard.  Joggers, walkers and bikers flocked to Bayshore Boulevard on Tuesday morning 3/3/15 as the Bay Area is experiencing a warming trend. According to Bay News 9 there is little chance of rain and temperatures will stay near 80 through Thursday.
  8. Braydon Coburn makes Lightning debut

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — A day after an early-morning deal sent him from Philadelphia to the Lightning, D Braydon Coburn was still coming to terms with a rollercoaster 24 hours.

    "It feels a little different," Coburn said. "I'll adjust quickly."

    The Lightning is counting on it.

    Coach Jon Cooper said he believes in his team's ability to score, and Tampa Bay's 3.25 goals a game are the most in the league. But defense is always at a premium, so acquiring a top-four defenseman pleased Cooper, even if it meant losing injured D Radko Gudas, a first-round pick and a third-rounder....

    Defenseman Braydon Coburn says of his Lightning debut, “It’s  good to get that one under the belt.”
  9. Rays' John Jaso looks good in outfield drills

    The Heater

    PORT CHARLOTTE — Rays officials didn't know what to expect when they raised the idea of putting DH John Jaso, who has spent most of his career as a catcher, in the outfield. And, to be honest, neither did Jaso.

    But, after a week of slow-paced drills, the experiment has gone better than anyone could have expected.

    "He's looked really good," manager Kevin Cash said. "He was reading balls off the bat (in batting practice) and he looked great, and (Monday) the outfielders did their first kind of light throwing, and every ball he threw was right on the line. I think from speaking with him, he's been comfortable with it....

    John Jaso, expected to mostly DH against righties, is showing surprising skills in outfield drills.
  10. USF-UCF basketball preview



    USF vs. UCF

    When/where: 7; Sun Dome

    TV/radio: ESPNU; 1010-AM

    Records: USF 8-21, 2-14 AAC; UCF 12-16, 5-12

    Notable: UCF won 73-62 in Orlando three weeks ago. … The Bulls will play their second straight game without top rebounder Chris Perry (unspecified health issue) and top scorer Corey Allen (suspension). As a result, PG Anthony Collins will be called on to transition from distributor (5.1 assists per game) to rim attacker. The Bulls also could use another sparkling night from freshman Troy Holston, who had a career-best 22 points (including five 3-pointers) in Sunday's 72-55 loss at Houston. … UCF, loser of three in a row, will try to attack the basket with its guard-heavy lineup. The Knights' top three scorers are guards....

  11. Bald eagle released in Oldsmar after bone heals


    JIM DAMASKE | Times

    Volunteers with the Clearwater Audubon Society's Eagle Watch program released a rehabbed bald eagle Tuesday afternoon in a vacant lot next to Tampa Bay in Oldsmar.

    The eagle was found in November with a broken humerus near Tower Lake in Oldsmar.

    Dr. Peter Black and Dr. Dominique Keller of Busch Gardens repaired the bone in a three-hour surgery and the eagle was taken to the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, where it was rehabbed until it could be released....

  12. Rays: Wide-open field for annual charity golf event

    The Heater

    Taking their swings

    The Rays will leave the fields early today to hit the fairways as all 40-man rostered players and staff will take part in the team's annual charity golf tournament at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club. With David Price traded and Jake McGee sidelined, the field seems wide open, with C Curt Casali, RHP Matt Andriese and C Rene Rivera considered among the Rays' best, though they compete with teams of corporate and community partners. "Since David's not here I think I have a good chance to win it," Casali said. "I'm looking forward to having some fun out there."...

  13. Things to do in north Pinellas


    06 Today

    Tommy Emmanuel: The two-time Grammy-Award winner and acoustic guitarist returns to the historic theater for two performances. 8 p.m. $45. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 791-7400.

    Other Desert Cities: A woman returns to Palm Springs after a six years to celebrate Christmas with her family, announcing she will publish a memoir dredging up a tragic event in the family's history. Through March 22. 8 p.m. $19. West Coast Players Theatre, 21905 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater. (727) 437-2363....

  14. Car slams into several vehicles on Belleair Beach Causeway Bridge


    LARGO — An overturned vehicle on the Belleair Beach Causeway Bridge blocked traffic Tuesday night and almost cost one young man his life.

    Bobby Stoychev, 19, was driving to work at a gas station Subway around 5 p.m. when he saw a black Mustang hurtling toward him on its side at 40 or 50 mph, he said.

    When the sliding car slammed into his Toyota Camry, Stoychev blacked out for a second, he said, and his car ricocheted to the other side of the bridge. He regained consciousness and, with bleeding knees, got out of his car, now totaled....

  15. Jameis Winston visits One Buc Place


    TAMPA — Former FSU quarterback Jameis Winston, potentially the Bucs' choice as the No. 1 pick next month in the NFL draft, spent Tuesday at One Buc Place for a one-day, face-to-face meeting with team officials.

    Winston, who met with the Bucs two weeks ago in Indianapolis during the NFL combine, spoke about his interest in becoming the top pick and showing the Bucs he's the right man to lead their franchise in a video posted on the team's official site....

    Former Florida State QB Jameis Winston says he wants to be the “face of this franchise.”