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NEWS FROM 2006-03-11
Pittsburgh Upsets Villanova in Big East
AP - The Big East started its tournament with the top two teams in the country expected to meet for a third time with the championship at stake. It will end instead with sixth-seeded Pittsburgh and ninth-seeded Syracuse playing for the title.
McNamara Strikes Again for Syracuse
AP - Gerry McNamara stood near the Syracuse bench, exhausted and aching while his teammates mobbed him and the crowd chanted his name. It was yet another special moment for the star senior, who's having himself one outstanding Big East tournament.
FBI Warns of Possible NCAA Tourney Threat
AP - The FBI said Friday there is no specific, credible threat of a terror attack aimed at college basketball arenas or other sports stadiums, but acknowledged alerting law enforcement to a recent Internet posting discussing such attacks.
United States Has No Mercy for S. Africa
AP - Oh mercy, a game against South Africa was just what the United States needed. Ken Griffey Jr. went 4-for-4 with two home runs and seven RBIs, and the Americans advanced to the second round of the World Baseball Classic with a 17-0 rout Friday in a game shortened to five innings because of the tournament's mercy rule.
Officials Ban Political Posters at WBC
AP - Security workers confiscated posters from fans at the World Baseball Classic on Friday, the day after an anti-Castro sign appeared in the stands of a Cuba-Netherlands game, provoking an international incident.
Bucs Release Griese in Salary-Cap Move
AP - Quarterback Brian Griese and two other players were released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday in cost-saving moves that freed more than $7 million in salary-cap space.
Artest Breaks Out as Kings Top Grizzlies
AP - Stingy defense. Long streaks of home victories. A playoff berth. Ron Artest made some nutty predictions about the Sacramento Kings when he joined their struggling, jumbled roster six weeks ago. Artest doesn't seem so crazy now to Sacramento's fans. Thanks to the calming influence and gritty play of the NBA's most notorious star, the Kings are starting to look like the team he imagined.
Indians Ink Peralta; Foulke Says He's Fine
AP - Jhonny Peralta and the Cleveland Indians both got the security they sought Friday when the shortstop agreed to a $13 million, five-year contract with a club option for 2011.
N.J. Officials Seeing Red Over Name Change
AP - Red Bull's purchase of Major League Soccer's MetroStars is causing a stir in New Jersey. The team wants to be known as Red Bull New York, effectively disassociating itself from the Garden State, and that's not sitting well with state officials.
Blues Defeat Wild 25 Seconds Into OT
AP - Right now, the St. Louis Blues look like a playoff contender instead of a team whose 25-year postseason run is about to end. Rookie Lee Stempniak scored on a deflection 25 seconds into overtime, giving the Blues a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Friday night and keeping the team's late-season momentum going.
A.J. Hawk's draft stock is soaring after the linebacker ran a faster 40 time at Ohio State's pro day.
Rams hold on to WR Isaac Bruce after all (AP)
The St. Louis Rams agreed to a three-year, $15 million deal with Isaac Bruce on Friday, five days after releasing him. With $7.5 million more available under the new deal between the league and its players union, the Rams were able to welcome back their longest-tenured player, giving him the chance to finish his career where it started.
Raiders release QB Kerry Collins (AP)
The Oakland Raiders released quarterback Kerry Collins on Friday, an expected salary-cap move that got delayed five days after the NFL and its union postponed the start of free agency. The Raiders had to make the tough decision on the fate of Collins, who knew his time was probably up with the Raiders because he would be too expensive.
Agent: Giants, CB Madison agree to deal (AP)
The New York Giants have agreed to a four-year deal with former Miami Dolphins cornerback Sam Madison, giving them the veteran cornerback they badly need. The Giants would not confirm the deal, but Madison's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said they had agreed to terms with the 31-year-old Madison, cut last week by Miami.
Bucs release QB Griese, two others (AP)
Quarterback Brian Griese and two other players were released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday in cost-saving moves that freed more than $7 million in salary-cap space. The club waived Griese rather than pay him a $2.6 million roster bonus, but remained hopeful of re-signing him. The veteran of eight seasons with Denver, Miami and Tampa Bay led the Bucs to a 5-1 start before sustaining a...
Culpepper looks headed out of Minnesota (AP)
One year ago, the Minnesota Vikings dismissed the damage Randy Moss' departure might do to their offense because they had faith in Daunte Culpepper. Now, an angry, injured Culpepper wants out, and the Vikings appear to be working toward giving their once-franchise quarterback his wish. It's yet another reminder of how quickly situations can change, and deteriorate, in the wild, tenuous world of...
Jets DE Abraham to begin team visits (AP)
Jets defensive end John Abraham will visit four teams next week, hoping to work out a deal for a trade, his agent said Friday. Rich Rosa knocked down speculation that Abraham is close to a deal with Denver, not specifying what teams were interested in the three-time Pro Bowl selection. For now, it is up to Abraham to decide where he wants to go, work out a deal with the new club, then go back to...
NFL free agency starts with bigger cap (AP)
After being delayed twice by protracted labor talks, free agency begins Saturday with all 32 teams having $7.5 million more in cap room now that the deal is finally done. But many teams may use the extra money to re-sign their own players before going on a major shopping spree. Indianapolis, for example, has more room to sign running back Edgerrin James.
Changing of the guards?
PHOENIX – Steve Nash is still the MVP, but a point guard in San Antonio is close to assuming that throne.
Kobe outduels Duncan, Lakers top Spurs (AP)
Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers caught the San Antonio Spurs at the right time. Bryant scored 29 points, and the Lakers limited Tim Duncan to only 12 Friday night in a 100-92 victory over the Spurs. The Spurs, who arrived from Thursday's game in Phoenix at 3:30 a.m., dropped a half-game behind Dallas for the lead in the Southwest Division and the best record in the Western Conference.
Richardson, Warriors end Heat win streak (AP)
The Miami Heat were on a roll until they ran into Jason Richardson. The Golden State guard scored a career-high 44 points to win a shootout with Dwyane Wade and spark a 111-106 victory Friday, snapping Miami's 10-game winning streak. Wade scored a season-high 42, making it the first time in the Heat's 18-year history that a player for both teams scored at least 40 points.
Kings extend home win streak to 11 games (AP)
Stingy defense. Long streaks of home victories. A playoff berth. Ron Artest made some nutty predictions about the Sacramento Kings when he joined their struggling, jumbled roster six weeks ago. Artest doesn't seem so crazy now to Sacramento's fans. Thanks to the calming influence and gritty play of the NBA's most notorious star, the Kings are starting to look like the team he imagined.
Anthony hurt in Nuggets win over Raptors (AP)
The Denver Nuggets were missing their starting frontcourt and still easily beat the Toronto Raptors. Andre Miller scored 23 points, and the Nuggets overcame the loss of Carmelo Anthony to beat the Raptors 108-97 on Friday night. Anthony didn't return after leaving the game in the third quarter with a strained left hamstring.
Back may sideline McGrady for 5 weeks (AP)
Houston Rockets star Tracy McGrady could miss up to five weeks with another back injury. The 6-foot-8 McGrady has been sidelined with back problems three different times this season and missed a total of 15 games. The Rockets are 2-13 without McGrady, their leading scorer. McGrady was examined on Friday in Los Angeles by renowned back specialist Dr.
Allen's 38 lift Sonics past Wolves (AP)
With a shot at the playoffs all but gone, Ray Allen and his teammates had their pride and professionalism challenged at halftime. The Seattle SuperSonics responded with an impressive second half that added to Minnesota's road woes. Allen scored 38 points, his best performance in more than a month, and the SuperSonics used a strong finish to beat the Timberwolves 107-96 on Friday night.
Clips' end 5-game road skid, top Bulls (AP)
Sam Cassell showed again what a difference he has made on the Los Angeles Clippers. Cassell scored 32 points and Elton Brand had 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Clippers over the Chicago Bulls 107-96 on Friday night. Vladimir Radmanovic added 14 points for the Clippers, who snapped a five-game road losing streak.
Peja powers Pacers past Hornets (AP)
Fortunately for Indiana, David West's buzzer-beater streak ended. Peja Stojakovic scored 26 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer, and West missed a shot at his fourth game-winner of the season as the Pacers beat the New Orleans Hornets 92-90 on Friday night. "We dodged a hand grenade at the end of the game," Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said.
No thumb surgery for Pacers' Jones (AP)
Guard Fred Jones, Indiana's top reserve, could return as early as next week if an injury to his left thumb heals properly, Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said Friday. Carlisle said Jones, who is averaging 10.5 points, will not need surgery to repair the injury, which was initially reported as a sprain but later described as a tear.
A record number of trades went down Thursday, but will any shift the balance of power in the NHL?
Jokinen sparks Panthers past Hurricanes (AP)
Olli Jokinen gave the Florida Panthers a quick return on his contract extension. Jokinen scored two goals and Florida beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3 Friday night, the Panthers' first victory in six meetings this season. "We haven't been able to get shots and second chances against this team," Jokinen said.
Devils stop Ovechkin, win in shootout (AP)
Martin Brodeur has played more than his share of shootouts lately, so when Friday night's tit-for-tat went to the fifth round, the New Jersey Devils' goalie tried something a little different against Ben Clymer of the Washington Capitals. Brodeur moved forward and waved his glove hand in an attempt to distract Clymer.
Sens strike quick to defeat Thrashers (AP)
Dany Heatley wishes every trip back to Atlanta could be this pleasant. He still heard plenty of boos, but nothing like his first return visit. "Once it happened the first time, I wasn't expecting anything different tonight," Heatley said. "But it was nice to get the win here tonight." Daniel Alfredsson opened Ottawa's three-goal flurry in the first 5:02, and the Senators held Atlanta to just 17...
Bruins' Boynton suspended for gesture (AP)
Bruins defenseman Nick Boynton was suspended for a game without pay by the NHL on Friday for making a threatening gesture toward Montreal's Mike Ribeiro during a game. Boynton was given a game misconduct penalty after spearing Ribeiro during the second period of the Canadien's 3-0 win Thursday. The NHL said Boynton made an "inappropriate, threatening gesture" toward Ribeiro.
DiPietro, Satan power Isles in SO (AP)
Ed Belfour and Martin Brodeur have something else in common other than a lot of NHL victories. Neither can stop Miroslav Satan in a shootout. Satan scored the only goal in the tiebreaker Friday night to give the makeshift New York Islanders a 2-1 win over Belfour and the Toronto Maple Leafs. "The best way to succeed is to try to block it away, try to take it as a practice and have fun with it," said...
Stempniak's OT goal lifts Blues by Wild (AP)
Right now, the St. Louis Blues look like a playoff contender instead of a team whose 25-year postseason run is about to end. Rookie Lee Stempniak scored on a deflection 25 seconds into overtime, giving the Blues a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Friday night and keeping the team's late-season momentum going.
Benching frustrates Leafs' Domi (AP)
Toronto enforcer Tie Domi was a healthy scratch Friday night for the Maple Leafs' 2-1 shootout loss against the New York Islanders, and didn't hide his displeasure. Just one week after celebrating his 1,000th NHL game, Domi took a seat as his teammates began a final push to get back into the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Kiprusoff, Flames shut out Stars (AP)
Once again, Miikka Kiprusoff was unbeatable for the Calgary Flames. Kiprusoff made 39 saves for his league-leading eighth shutout and the Flames beat the Dallas Stars 1-0 Thursday night. Calgary has totaled just 14 goals in Kiprusoff's eight shutouts, including three 1-0 wins. "He was unbelievable again, you can't say enough about him" said the Flames' Daymond Langkow, who provided the scoring with...
Canadiens' Huet shuts out Bruins again (AP)
The Montreal Canadiens solidified their hold on the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot. The Boston Bruins just kept sliding down the standings. Cristobal Huet made 28 saves for his second consecutive shutout over Boston and his fourth of the season, beating the undermanned Bruins 3-0 on Thursday night.
Trading Paint: Location, location, location
NASCAR fans generally are in favor of Charlotte, but they still aren't keen on California.
Biffle wins pole for Nextel UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 (SportsTicker)
Biffle wins pole for Las Vegas race (AP)
Greg Biffle won the pole Friday for the UAW-Daimler-Chrysler 400 with a speed of 172.403 mph around Las Vegas Motor Speedway's 1.5-mile tri-oval.
NASCAR's Dodge teams getting their acts together (AP)
Two races into the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup season, its looking a lot less like a good time to get out of Dodge.
NASCAR Hall of Fame deal all about the branding (AP)
In a sport famous for slapping sponsor names on every available inch of sheet metal and fire-retardant racing...
Who will be the first to enter NASCAR's new Hall of Fame? (AP)
Now that we know where NASCAR's much-ballyhooed Hall of Fame is going to be built, the bigger question remains:...
Move from open wheel to Busch Series tough for Jourdain (AP)
MEXICO CITY – Little has gone right since Michel Jourdain Jr. left a successful open-wheel career to join...
Notes: Gordon gets waxed (AP)
Madame Tussauds was set to unveil a life-size wax statue of four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon this week,...
Bristol puts off resurfacing to 2007 (AP)
BRISTOL, Tenn. – Resurfacing of the half-mile track at Bristol Motor Speedway will be put off until 2007 so...