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Defending champ Florida gets top billing (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070312/ap_on_sp_co_ne/bkc_t25_ncaa_tournament"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070311/capt.axd11903111938.aptopix_sec_arkansas_florida_basketball_axd119.jpg?x=130&y=72&sig=n5pRi6deAdp75bb.R7X.RQ--" align="left" height="72" width="130" alt="Florida's Joakim Noah reacts after scoring in the second half during their Southeastern Conference basketball tournament championship game against Arkansas at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Sunday, March 11, 2007. (AP Photo/Rob Carr)" border="0" /></a>AP - So much for the little guy. Big boys like defending champion Florida and No. 1-ranked Ohio State are among the top-seeded favorites, while the darling mid-major teams get surprisingly few chances to turn the NCAA tournament into a free-for-all for underdogs.</p><br clear="all"/>

Mavs in top form, Yao Ming improving (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070312/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_nba_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070312/capt.las10703120350.mavericks_lakers_basketball_las107.jpg?x=83&y=130&sig=Gey4aYgEMgsRpA5s.JR9_Q--" align="left" height="130" width="83" alt="Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki goes up for a shot against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of a basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, March 11, 2007. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)" border="0" /></a>AP - The Dallas Mavericks vow to keep improving. Same with Yao Ming.</p><br clear="all"/>

Hurricanes have little room for slip-ups (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070312/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_nhl_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070311/capt.nysw10303111937.hurricanes_rangers_hockey_nysw103.jpg?x=129&y=130&sig=Irm1J594lPq.lMR97xKlvw--" align="left" height="130" width="129" alt="Carolina Hurricanes' Cam Ward defends the goal against the New York Rangers during the second period of the NHL hockey game Sunday, March 11, 2007, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)" border="0" /></a>AP - The Carolina Hurricanes let a point get away to their closest rival in the Eastern Conference playoff chase, giving the defending champions little room for slip-ups down the stretch.</p><br clear="all"/>

Federer's 41-match winning streak ends (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070312/ap_on_sp_te_ga_su/ten_indian_wells"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070312/capt.camt11303120249.indian_wells_tennis_camt113.jpg?x=130&y=95&sig=X1lbHKxPCIfP8bSulXB7_A--" align="left" height="95" width="130" alt="Roger Federer of Switzerland wipes his head during his second round match against Guillermo Canas of Argentina at the Pacific Life Open tennis tournament, Sunday, March 11, 2007, in Indian Wells, Calif. Canas won 7-5, 6-2. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)" border="0" /></a>AP - Guillermo Canas snapped Roger Federer's 41-match winning streak Sunday, beating the world's top player 7-5, 6-2 in the third round of the Pacific Life Open.</p><br clear="all"/>

NHL suspends Simon for season, playoffs (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070312/ap_on_sp_ho_ne/hkn_islanders_simon_suspended"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070309/capt.uni10603090330.rangers_islanders_hockey__uni106.jpg?x=130&y=119&sig=jwluWFKZXgswnT3IUf0iUA--" align="left" height="119" width="130" alt="New York Rangers' Ryan Hollweg lands on the ground after being hit by New York Islanders' Chris Simon (12) during the third period of their hockey game, Thursday, March 8, 2007 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. Simon was given a match penalty for intent to injure. (AP Photo/Ed Betz)" border="0" /></a>AP - If Chris Simon plays again for the New York Islanders, or for anyone else in the NHL, it won't be until next season. And it might not even be on opening night. The NHL hit back hard Sunday, suspending the rugged Islanders forward for a league-record 25 games.</p><br clear="all"/>

Source: Pats sign WR Donte' Stallworth (AP)
AP - Donte' Stallworth will be catching passes from Tom Brady instead of Donovan McNabb next year. Stallworth and the New England Patriots agreed Sunday on a multiyear contract. The deal was confirmed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.

Trail Blazers blow out Warriors 106-87 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070312/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_warriors_trail_blazers"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070312/capt.pda10103120249.warriors_trail_blazers_basketball_pda101.jpg?x=96&y=130&sig=rQU88BZFXI2CMrhJ9Phwig--" align="left" height="130" width="96" alt="Golden State Warriors forward Matt Barnes, left, blocks a shot by Portland Trail Blazers forward Zach Randolph during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Sunday, March 11, 2007. Also defending on the play is Warriors Andris Biedrins, of Latvia.(AP Photo/Don Ryan)" border="0" /></a>AP - Portland's Zach Randolph spiced up yet another double-double with something a bit unusual, at least for him.</p><br clear="all"/>

Matsuzaka hits first bump of the spring (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070312/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bbo_spring_training_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070311/capt.flck10703112153.orioles_red_sox_spring_baseball_flck107.jpg?x=130&y=84&sig=N42NlwdQtRQqbdFvKNEhyg--" align="left" height="84" width="130" alt="Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka wears a pair of red contact lenses while sitting on the bench during his outing against the Baltimore Orioles in their spring training baseball game in Fort Myers, Fla., Sunday, March 11, 2007. Matsuzaka, who wore then lenses while pitching, had a rough outing, giving up four runs and two home runs, during his four-inning appearance. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)" border="0" /></a>AP - Chris Carpenter and Roy Halladay were in top form Sunday. Daisuke Matsuzaka could hardly say the same. Boston's $103 million pitcher with the winning smile allowed homers to two non-roster players, struggled with his control and even threw away a potential double-play grounder in his home debut against a major league team.</p><br clear="all"/>

U.S. women beat Finland at Algarve Cup (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070309/ap_on_sp_so_ga_su/soc_algarve_cup"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070309/capt.xaf11203091831.portugal_algarve_cup_womens_soccer_xaf112.jpg?x=130&y=89&sig=OcMrCssxv5V7YltkKoLEOw--" align="left" height="89" width="130" alt="Abby Wambach, Carli Lloyd, Natasha Kai and Kristine Lilly, from left to right, of the United States celebrate after Lloyd scored against Finland during their women's soccer Algarve Cup group B match Friday, March 9 2007, in Ferreiras, southern Portugal. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)" border="0" /></a>AP - Carli Lloyd scored for the second straight game, a 46th-minute goal that led the United States over Finland 1-0 Friday at the Algarve Cup.</p><br clear="all"/>

NHL union leader placed on paid leave (AP)
AP - NHL Players' Association executive director Ted Saskin and senior director Ken Kim, accused of monitoring player e-mails, were placed on paid leaves Sunday night following a vote by the 30 players representatives.

Pats, Stallworth agree
New England and Donte Stallworth agree to a deal that could pay the receiver as much as $33.1 million over six seasons.

Source: Patriots sign WR Stallworth (AP)
Donte' Stallworth will be catching passes from Tom Brady instead of Donovan McNabb next year. Stallworth and the New England Patriots agreed Sunday on a multiyear contract. The deal was confirmed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.

Police arrest man for threatening Pacman (AP)
Adam "Pacman" Jones has drawn the attention of authorities again. This time police arrested a man for threatening the Tennessee Titans' cornerback with a pocket knife. Police arrested Clayton Smith of Spring Hill on Friday night after he pulled a knife on Jones at a bowling alley. Smith "threatened to beat up Mr.

Eagles sign LB Fowler to offer sheet (AP)
The Philadelphia Eagles signed restricted free agent linebacker Ryan Fowler to an offer sheet Sunday, hours after losing wide receiver Donte' Stallworth to the New England Patriots. The Dallas Cowboys have a week to match the four-year offer. If they don't, the Eagles do not owe compensation because Fowler entered the league as a rookie free agent.

Dolphins sign veteran FB Schlesinger (AP)
The Miami Dolphins signed veteran fullback Cory Schlesinger to a two-year contract Sunday, agent Joe Linta told The Palm Beach Post. Schlesinger played 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions, but saw less playing time last season and became a free agent two weeks ago. In Detroit, Schlesinger was used mostly as a lead blocker.

Raiders give 3-year deal to FB Griffith (AP)
The Oakland Raiders added another running back to their roster Saturday, agreeing to a $3.8 million, three-year contract with free-agent fullback Justin Griffith. The deal with Griffith comes a day after Oakland signed running back Dominic Rhodes to a $7.5 million, two-year deal to team with LaMont Jordan as the team's featured runners.

LB Edwards returning to Chiefs (AP)
Donnie Edwards is coming back to Kansas City. Edwards, the free-agent linebacker who spent the first six years of his NFL career with the Chiefs, agreed Saturday to a three-year deal after the San Diego Chargers didn't try to re-sign him. Chiefs spokesman Bob Moore confirmed the agreement, but said reports of the deal being worth about $14 million were wrong.

Plummer officially announces retirement (AP)
Jake Plummer poured a glass of water, took a giant gulp and then talked for almost five minutes about how he was officially retiring from the NFL before stepping away from the podium without answering any questions. The Denver Broncos quarterback was in a hurry Friday. He had a handball tournament he needed to attend.

Kings' crossing


Mavericks hand Lakers worst loss in L.A. (AP)
The Dallas Mavericks are rolling, playing the best ball in team history. The Los Angeles Lakers are nearing the other end of the spectrum, but help might soon be on the way. Josh Howard scored 24 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 19, and the Mavericks took control early in humiliating the Lakers 108-72 Sunday night to extend their franchise-record winning streak to 17 games and match the longest winning...

Artest returns, but Nuggets top Kings (AP)
Before the game, Allen Iverson vowed to help end Denver's league-worst losing streak in Sacramento. After taking care of that key matter, A.I. promised to appeal what he considers the most absurd technical of his career. Iverson had 24 points, seven assists, six rebounds and four steals to spoil Ron Artest's return to the Kings' lineup, and the Nuggets snapped a 20-game losing streak in Arco Arena...

Haslem's bucket lifts Heat by Wizards (AP)
Udonis Haslem doesn't get many plays called for him, and certainly not in game-deciding situations. So when his chance arose Sunday night, Miami's power forward took advantage. His 10-footer in the lane with 0.3 seconds left capped a wild back-and-forth game and gave the Heat a 106-104 victory over Washington -- moving the NBA champions one game behind the Wizards in the Southeast Division race.

Yao scores 37 as Rockets beat Magic (AP)
If Yao Ming still isn't all the way back from his leg injury, the Orlando Magic couldn't tell. Yao had 37 points and four blocked shots in his biggest game since returning to the lineup, leading the Houston Rockets to a 103-92 victory over the Magic on Sunday. Yao, who also had seven rebounds, was playing his fourth game since returning from a broken right leg that caused him to miss 32 games.

Cavs hand Pacers ninth straight loss (AP)
LeBron James didn't want to add any insult to the injured Indiana Pacers. James scored 26 points -- his lowest total in 11 games -- but the Cleveland Cavaliers won their fifth straight, 99-88 over Indiana on Sunday night, the wilting Pacers' ninth straight loss. Larry Hughes added 23 points and Drew Gooden 19 for the Cavaliers, who let the Pacers trim a 23-point, fourth-quarter deficit to nine...

Minus Wallace, Pistons defeat Clippers (AP)
Rasheed Wallace's latest suspension came at a perfect time for the Los Angeles Clippers. They just weren't able to take advantage because the rest of the Detroit Pistons were too much to handle. Richard Hamilton scored 15 of his 23 points in the first quarter, sparking the Pistons to a 98-80 victory Sunday.

Surging Bulls roll past Celtics 94-78 (AP)
Luol Deng seems to have Paul Pierce's number. But with the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics scheduled to play again on Tuesday, there's no way Deng was going to admit it. Deng scored 17 points and held Pierce to eight points on 2-of-14 shooting, leading the surging Chicago Bulls to a 94-78 victory over the Boston Celtics on Sunday.

Davis sits out, Warriors lose to Blazers (AP)
Portland's Zach Randolph spiced up yet another double-double with something a bit unusual, at least for him. He dunked. Randolph has only dunked a handful of times this season. He had 25 points and 13 rebounds in a 106-87 victory over the Warriors on Sunday night. It was his 34th double-double of the season.

Raptors defeat Sonics 120-119 in OT (AP)
TORONTO (AP)-- T.J. Ford was happy to have a game he could feel good about. Ford scored nine points in overtime and finished with 25 overall and the Toronto Raptors overcame a 36-point effort by Ray Allen to beat the Seattle Supersonics 120-119 on Sunday. Ford was frustrated after scoring only four points on nine shots in Toronto's last game, a seven-point win over Memphis on Wednesday.

Simon suspended NHL-record 25 games (AP)
Chris Simon's season is over. His future in the NHL might not be much brighter. The league took its own hard swing at the rugged New York Islanders forward Sunday, sentencing him to a record, 25-game suspension. Simon, 35, will miss the rest of the regular season and playoffs as punishment for his deliberate two-handed stick attack to the face of Ryan Hollweg of the New York Rangers in a 2-1 loss...

Ducks top Canucks, Selanne tops 40 goals (AP)
Age isn't slowing down Teemu Selanne. The All-Star scored two goals to become the first player to have two 40-goal seasons after turning 35, and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 in a hard-hitting matchup of division leaders Sunday night. The 36-year-old Selanne has 41 goals this season after scoring 40 last season.

Nabokov gets third shutout in four games (AP)
Joe Thornton and Jonathan Cheechoo couldn't find the net. Patrick Marleau and Bill Guerin still haven't found much chemistry, either. So while their stars flickered, the San Jose Sharks leaned on their stalwart goalie, his defensemen and an impressive fourth line for a badly needed home victory. Evgeni Nabokov made 22 saves in his third shutout in four games, and San Jose beat the Edmonton Oilers...

Stars beat Kings 4-3 on Modano's OT goal (AP)
Mike Modano has found his scoring touch again, and that's good news for the Dallas Stars. Modano scored his 499th career goal 35 seconds into overtime to give Dallas a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday. Modano's 14th goal of the season and third in five games on a quick shot from the high slot, beating Sean Burke to move three goals behind Joe Mullen for the career lead among...

Stastny sets rookie point streak record (AP)
Colorado Avalanche forward Paul Stastny assisted on a first-period goal Sunday, giving him a point in 18 consecutive games and setting the NHL record for the longest points streak by a rookie. Stastny, the son of Hall of Famer Peter Stastny, broke the mark of 17 straight set by Winnipeg's Teemu Selanne in 1993 in Colorado's 3-2 overtime loss to Minnesota.

Burns' late OT goal lifts Wild over Avs (AP)
The talent has always been there for Brent Burns. Now that the 22-year-old has finally found a permanent home on the blue line for the Minnesota Wild, he is finally starting to play like it. Burns scored off a rebound with 18.9 seconds left in overtime and lifted the Wild to a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

NHLPA leader Saskin placed on paid leave (AP)
NHL Players' Association executive director Ted Saskin and senior director Ken Kim, accused of monitoring player e-mails, were placed on paid leaves Sunday night following a vote by the 30 players representatives. The players also voted to seek independent counsel to help guide them through an internal review.

Sturm lifts Bruins over Red Wings 6-3 (AP)
It was a happy homecoming for Dave Lewis and Tim Thomas. Marco Sturm had two goals and an assist to lift the Boston Bruins to a 6-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday. Lewis was a Red Wing employee for 20 years, as a player, assistant coach, associate coach, head coach and pro scout, from 1986 until he became the Bruins' coach last summer.

Jagr sparks Rangers by Hurricanes in SO (AP)
Jaromir Jagr isn't a fan of shootouts on a good day. Having to take part while skating with a sore right hamstring is really low on his list of favorite activities. But the New York Rangers captain ripped a shot past Carolina backup John Grahame to clinch a 2-1 win over the Hurricanes on Sunday. "Too bad we didn't win in regulation," Jagr said.

Leafs F Peca to be ready for playoffs (AP)
Mike Peca skated for the first time since breaking a leg Dec. 22 and said he'd be ready to return to the Toronto Maple Leafs no later than the first round of the NHL playoffs. The Leafs pulled into a tie on points with Carolina for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference with a 4-3 overtime win over Ottawa on Saturday night.

Las Vegas Observations


Johnson makes it three straight in Vegas (AP)
A new track configuration and hard tires that made it difficult to drive. A pit road penalty and a brush against the wall.

Johnson wins Las Vegas NASCAR race for third straight year (PA SportsTicker)


Lack of crashes doesn't put brakes on tire issue (PA SportsTicker)
By Bruce Martin PA SportsTicker Contributing Editor

Waltrip struggling after missing 2nd straight race (AP)
Michael Waltrip the car owner was at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, his only participation in the Nextel Cup race coming as an announcer for DirecTV.

Burton beats Busch in wild finish at Las Vegas (AP)
Jeff Burton nudged a spinning Kyle Busch across the finish line Saturday to win a chaotic, caution-marred Busch Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Kahne leads Dodge parade in qualifying (AP)
Kasey Kahne won the pole Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, leading a parade of Dodges as Chargers took five of the top seven spots in qualifying.

Anger cools over Montoya's bump and run win: report (AFP)
Former Formula One star Juan Pablo Montoya's bump-and-run victory last Sunday in Mexico City has not been forgotten by US teammate Scott Pruett but the anger has reportedly cooled.

Third Nextel Cup race could be pivotal for some stars (AP)
This is not the kind of start to the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup season that Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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