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This year's George Mason? VCU ousts Duke (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070316/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/bkc_ncaa_vcu_duke"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070316/capt.1b59696000bc42179d7426274b437ab8.ncaa_duke_virginia_commonwealth_basketball_bfa153.jpg?x=92&y=130&sig=bx6Td7nkF2dZERq0D9w9sQ--" align="left" height="130" width="92" alt="Virginia Commonwealth's Eric Maynor, left, celebrates with teammate Jamal Shuler after Maynor hit the game-winning shot in the closing seconds of the second half of a first round NCAA West regional basketball tournament game against Duke Thursday, March 15, 2007, in Buffalo, N.Y. Virginia Commonwealth upset Duke, 79-77. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)" border="0" /></a>AP - First George Mason, now Duke. Virginia Commonwealth sophomore guard Eric Maynor sure has a flair for dramatics in big games. Maynor hit a 15-foot jumper with 1.8 seconds left in the Rams' 79-77 upset victory over the Blue Devils on Thursday night in the first round of the NCAA tournament.</p><br clear="all"/>

Former baseball commissioner Kuhn dies (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070316/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bbo_obit_kuhn"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070315/capt.5073cf0376664b6e9cc26a980a62d3fb.obit_kuhn_baseball_ny155.jpg?x=130&y=92&sig=jnawUiBhXe2EJcW_hwrktw--" align="left" height="92" width="130" alt="Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn looks over Yankee Stadium in New York in this 1969 file photo. Former commissioner Bowie Kuhn, who lorded over baseball during 15 tumultuous years that saw players gain free agency and start the spiral of multimillion salaries, died Thursday, March 15, 2007. He was 80. (AP Photo/FILE)" border="0" /></a>AP - Bowie Kuhn was baseball's bespectacled Ivy League lawyer and looked the part every day of the tumultuous 15 years he ruled as commissioner.</p><br clear="all"/>

Hoosiers' belief helps them beat Zags (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070316/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/bkc_ncaa_gonzaga_indiana"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070316/capt.50f9a33f3b184880b91be8a8d6804616.ncaa_indiana_gonzaga_basketball_sca202.jpg?x=98&y=130&sig=gO4raxY55XhTpXNVC4Bpfg--" align="left" height="130" width="98" alt="Indiana's D.J. White celebrates near the end of the second half against Gonzaga during the first round of the NCAA West Regional basketball tournament at Arco Arena in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, March 15, 2007. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez )" border="0" /></a>AP - Kelvin Sampson preached playing smart and doing things the right way with maximum effort at all times, benching anyone who couldn't oblige. His players bought into his no-nonsense system after hearing the first-year Indiana coach tell them again and again it eventually would pay off. How about a second-round NCAA tournament date with Pac-10 champion UCLA as proof?</p><br clear="all"/>

Izzo beats protege as Spartans advance (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070316/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/bkc_ncaa_michigan_st_marquette"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070316/capt.75e2515780f448efbce512c984cb31e1.ncaa_marquette_michigan_st_basketball_ncdm167.jpg?x=91&y=130&sig=IBQhLfZQfHA4_sm69fsYoQ--" align="left" height="130" width="91" alt="Marquette's Wesley Matthews (23) shoots between Michigan State defenders Maurice Joseph (23) and Idong Ibok (00) during an NCAA East Regional first-round basketball game in Winston-Salem, N.C. Thursday, March 15, 2007. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)" border="0" /></a>AP - Tom Izzo called it one of the toughest games he'd ever coached. Michigan State's dominating defense made things that much harder for his protege. Raymar Morgan scored eight of his 14 points during a dominating first half, and ninth-seeded Michigan State clamped down on eighth-seeded Marquette in a 61-49 win in the first round of the East Regional on Thursday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

Tar Heels give Williams NCAA record (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070316/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/bkc_ncaa_ekentucky_north_carolina"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070316/capt.c078bfdcc3984926b76240be354a37a6.ncaa_north_carolina_e_kentucky_basketball_ncdm196.jpg?x=130&y=104&sig=7XP.q1uExb9R_vDh4c2KBQ--" align="left" height="104" width="130" alt="North Carolina coach Roy Williams and members of his team celebrate their 86-65 win over Eastern Kentucky in their NCAA East Regional first-round basketball game at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C. Thursday, March 15, 2007. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)" border="0" /></a>AP - North Carolina built a big lead with the impressive up-tempo style that coach Roy Williams loves &#151; only to watch a determined opponent nearly come all the way back.</p><br clear="all"/>

Bears' Johnson gets 4 months in prison (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070316/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_bears_johnson"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070315/capt.f0e5e490a7da4b3190e783b59f89d1b8.bears_johnson_football_ilmg103.jpg?x=130&y=101&sig=0k4YcnWy0VEw5I8c3gIikw--" align="left" height="101" width="130" alt="Chicago Bears defensive lineman Tank Johnson, left, enters Cook County Court accompanied by Bears head coach Lovie Smith, right, and linebacker Brian Urlacher, center, Thursday, March, 15, 2007 in Skokie, Ill. The 25-year-old is set to appear before a Cook County judge on probation violations in a 2005 gun case. The judge in Skokie could put Johnson behind bars for up to a year. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)" border="0" /></a>AP - Chicago Bears defensive lineman Tank Johnson was sentenced Thursday to four months in jail for violating probation in a 2005 gun case.</p><br clear="all"/>

Bucks give new coach dream start with victory over Spurs (Reuters)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070316/sp_nm/nba_thursday_dc"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/nm/20070316/2007_03_16t015331_259x450_us_nba_thursday.jpg?x=74&y=130&sig=U7GMXx74g3yyLmLQZ.JZ3w--" align="left" height="130" width="74" alt="Milwaukee Bucks head coach Larry Krystkowiak coaches from the bench in his debut as head coach against the San Antonio Spurs during NBA basketball action in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, March 15, 2007. (Allen Fredrickson/Reuters)" border="0" /></a>Reuters - Larry Krystkowiak enjoyed a dream debut as Milwaukee Bucks coach on Thursday, his team ending the San Antonio Spurs&#39;s 13-game winning streak with a 101-90 home victory.</p><br clear="all"/>

Slammin' Sammy makes Rangers roster (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070316/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bbo_spring_training_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070315/capt.6e34e44ecd124742bcb0345ebe49da8e.rangers_diamondbacks_spring_baseball_azjm105.jpg?x=130&y=123&sig=vY5veiAsxjVsgXCtm.InNg--" align="left" height="123" width="130" alt="Texas Rangers' Sammy Sosa (21) is congratulated by Gerald Laird after hitting a solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game in Tucson, Ariz., Thursday, March 15, 2007. (AP Photo/John Miller)" border="0" /></a>AP - Sammy Sosa is a big leaguer again and Jason Isringhausen appears to be on his way back to closing games for St. Louis.</p><br clear="all"/>

Sevilla reaches UEFA Cup quarterfinals (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070315/ap_on_sp_so_ga_su/soc_euro_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070315/capt.xel11203152049.ukraine_soccer_uefa_cup_xel112.jpg?x=130&y=107&sig=d3qYPZSe65m.8CpMBStR.w--" align="left" height="107" width="130" alt="Goalkeper Andres Palop of Sevilla celebrates with his team mates after scoring against Shakhtar during their UEFA Cup second knockout round, second leg soccer match in Donetsk, Ukraine, Thursday, March 15, 2007. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)" border="0" /></a>AP - Goalkeeper Andres Palop scored an injury-time goal before Uruguay's Javier Chevanton added the winner in extra time to lead defending champion Sevilla past Shakhtar Donetsk 3-2 Thursday and into the quarterfinals of the UEFA Cup.</p><br clear="all"/>

Blackhawks edge past Kings 4-3 in SO (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070316/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_blackhawks_kings"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070316/capt.14349095303e470080676c4558f30aa2.blackhawks_kings_hockey_las110.jpg?x=117&y=130&sig=cDTCMpsUgDRulzvPoFu7Bg--" align="left" height="130" width="117" alt="Chicago Blackhawks center Tuomo Ruutu, left, from Finland, looks at his goal as teammate Jeff Hamilton, right, and Los Angeles Kings defenseman Mike Weaver watch the puck during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 15, 2007. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)" border="0" /></a>AP - Tuomo Ruutu scored the tying goal in the third period and Nikita Alexeev netted the deciding goal in the seventh round of the shootout, giving the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

Curtis signs with Eagles
WR Kevin Curtis, contacted by 11 teams during free agency, has signed with the Eagles in the hopes of becoming their No. 1 receiver.

Bears' Johnson gets four months in jail (AP)
Chicago Bears defensive lineman Tank Johnson was sentenced Thursday to four months in jail for violating probation in a 2005 gun case. Johnson was taken into custody and will spend the next 120 days in the Cook County Jail. He could have been sentenced to up to a year behind bars. He also must pay a $2,500 fine after pleading guilty to violating his probation.

Eagles, WR Curtis agree to 6-year deal (AP)
Wide receiver Kevin Curtis agreed to a six-year contract with Philadelphia on Thursday, giving the Eagles a potential replacement for Donte' Stallworth. Curtis' deal could be worth up to $32 million and includes $9.5 million in guaranteed money, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because terms of the contract weren't released.

Briggs: I will not play for Bears again (AP)
Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs reiterated Tuesday that he will not play another down for the Chicago Bears and is ready to sit out next season after they designated him as their franchise player. "There are a lot of different options, a lot of different decisions, that could happen as the season comes closer," Briggs told ESPN.

Stallworth takes Branch's advice on Pats (AP)
Newly signed New England Patriots wide receiver Donte' Stallworth received a glowing recommendation to join the team from an unlikely source: Deion Branch. Branch left New England last year after a messy holdout that forced the Patriots to deal their former Super Bowl MVP to Seattle. But when Stallworth asked his friend Branch about the Patriots, Branch offered only praise.

Championship throws Manning off routine (AP)
Peyton Manning wants to stick to his offseason routine. Film a few commercials, visit New Orleans, watch some Tennessee basketball, maybe even show up at the Final Four. Even the NFL's best-known workaholic needs a break. But thanks to Manning's first Super Bowl title and his MVP performance, the last month has been anything but typical for the Indianapolis Colts quarterback.

Cardinals re-sign LB Beisel (AP)
The Arizona Cardinals re-signed linebacker Monty Beisel to a two-year contract Wednesday. Beisel played in eight games for Arizona last season, including two starts. He signed with the Cardinals as a free agent last November after being released by the New England Patriots. Beisel had 14 tackles, 12 solos, including a team-high eight when he started at San Francisco in place of the injured Gerald...

Seahawks TE Stevens accused of DUI (AP)
Seattle Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens was accused of driving under the influence and possession of marijuana after police stopped his car in downtown Scottsdale early Tuesday. A Scottsdale patrol officer noticed the car traveling erratically and made the stop about 2:15 a.m. Stevens, an unrestricted free agent after five seasons with Seattle, told the officer he had "four of five margaritas"...

Firing lines
The NBA's coaching carousel got cranked up early with the dismissals of Bernie Bickerstaff in Charlotte and Terry Stotts in Milwaukee.

Nuggets extend Lakers' skid to seven (AP)
Phil Jackson got fined $50,000 for accusing the league of having a vendetta against Kobe Bryant and then lost a seventh straight game for the first time in his 16-year coaching career Thursday night when the Los Angeles Lakers fell to the Denver Nuggets 113-86. Linas Kleiza scored a career-high 29 points and Carmelo Anthony had 26 as the Nuggets handed the Lakers their 13th loss in 16 games.

Krystkowiak wins debut, Bucks top Spurs (AP)
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich warned the Spurs that facing a downtrodden team in its first game with a new coach can be dangerous. Then they saw it for themselves. The Milwaukee Bucks made a winner of Larry Krystkowiak in his NBA debut, ending San Antonio's 13-game winning streak with a 101-90 victory on Thursday night.

Heat win eighth straight , beat Nets (AP)
Being glued to the bench with three fouls for most of the first half didn't sit well with Shaquille O'Neal, and it showed in the second half against the New Jersey Nets. A well-rested O'Neal scored 17 of his 19 points in the final two quarters and the Miami Heat won their eighth straight game with a 93-86 win Thursday night.

Suns end Mavs' home streak at 23 in 2OT (AP)
When the second overtime began in a game that already had plenty of thrills, Amare Stoudemire was ready to settle things. So he went to the basket. Hard. Between points and fouls that got Dallas Mavericks starters disqualified, Stoudemire's strong start got the Phoenix Suns going toward a 129-127 victory Wednesday night in a tense, thrilling game between the league's two best teams.

Hornets' Paul to play through injury (AP)
Hornets guard Chris Paul will try to play the rest of the season despite an injury to his left foot. He will sit out practices to keep the injury from worsening. Paul looked on as his team practiced Thursday, a day after an MRI revealed the stress reaction. "Our doctors have said as long as he feels OK, that he can play," New Orleans coach Byron Scott said.

Wizards hand Pacers 11th straight loss (AP)
Jermaine O'Neal's spirited effort on an injured knee didn't stop the Indiana Pacers from losing their 11th straight game. O'Neal started after sitting out three games with a sprained left knee and had 24 points and seven rebounds, but Gilbert Arenas scored 28 of his 35 points in the second half as the Washington Wizards beat the Pacers 112-96 on Wednesday night.

Pollard says 'Hey kids, do drugs' on air (AP)
Cleveland Cavaliers center Scot Pollard looked into the camera during a recent game and said, "Hey kids, do drugs." Pollard was sitting on the bench in street clothes when he made the remark during a 20-second timeout Sunday against Indiana. The Cavaliers didn't find it funny. "We have spoken with Scot and certainly do not condone his actions," general manager Danny Ferry said in a statement...

James scores 29 in return, Cavs win easy (AP)
The Memphis Grizzlies wish LeBron James' back had bothered the Cleveland Cavaliers' star another night. James recovered from his injury to score 29 points, leading seven Cleveland players in double figures and helping the Cavaliers beat the Grizzlies 118-96 Wednesday night for their season-high seventh straight victory.

Howard leads Magic past Jazz 101-90 (AP)
Coach Brian Hill told his Orlando Magic they needed only one game to shake a losing streak and get back into the playoff picture. It happened Wednesday night, when Dwight Howard had 31 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Magic to a 101-90 victory over the Utah Jazz. The win put the Magic (30-36) back in position for the eighth seed in the dismal Eastern Conference after the New York Knicks and...

Conklin helps Sabres end four-game skid (AP)
Ty Conklin is already winning over his new Buffalo Sabres teammates. Conklin made 42 saves Thursday night and helped the Sabres snap a season-worst, four-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory over the Florida Panthers. "My mind-set going into it was that I want to make a good impression, you want the guys to feel confident with you in the net," Conklin said.

Devils rally past Hurricanes in third (AP)
Martin Brodeur kept stopping the defending Stanley Cup champions and kept the New Jersey Devils in the hunt for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Brodeur stopped 38 shots, and Erik Rasmussen and Zach Parise scored third-period goals in New Jersey's 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night.

Stars' Modano moves closer to milestone (AP)
Mike Modano is a step closer to another milestone. Modano moved within a goal of matching Joe Mullen for the most among U.S.-born players, and the Dallas Stars stretched their winning streak to four with a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night. The 36-year-old Modano, a native of Livonia, Mich., notched his 501st career goal in the first period, then assisted on rookie Junior...

Wild hand Oilers ninth loss in row, 2-1 (AP)
The Minnesota Wild didn't need to be at their beat to beat the plummeting Edmonton Oilers. Marian Gaborik scored an insurance goal 7:22 into the third period and the Wild held on for a 2-1 victory Thursday night that sent the Oilers' to their ninth straight loss. Mark Parrish also scored for the Wild, who led 2-0 and won their fifth consecutive game.

Daniel Sedin gets Canucks by Blues in OT (AP)
Curtis Sanford saved St. Louis for two periods, he just couldn't overcome a power play in overtime. Daniel Sedin scored 1:09 into overtime for the Vancouver Canucks, who recovered from squandering a two-goal lead in the third period and beat the Blues 3-2 on Thursday night. St. Louis tied it with two goals in the final seven minutes, but were short-handed after Eric Brewer received a four-minute...

Flyers sweep Thrashers in season series (AP)
The best team in the Southeast Division just can't beat the worst team in the NHL. Stefan Ruzicka had a goal and two assists to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-2 victory over Atlanta on Thursday night and a season sweep of the Thrashers. Geoff Sanderson had a goal and an assist, and Derian Hatcher scored for the first time in more than a year for the Flyers, the owners of the league's worst...

Thornton, Cheechoo power Sharks in rout (AP)
Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks have four strong lines but they needed only one against the Phoenix Coyotes. Thornton had a goal and three assists, and linemate Jonathan Cheechoo scored twice to lift the San Jose Sharks to a 5-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night. The win allowed San Jose to keep pace with Dallas and Minnesota and remain tied for fifth place in the Western...

Sens score three in third, top Isles 5-2 (AP)
The Ottawa Senators' plan of testing seldom-used goalie Mike Dunham led to the fastest three goals in team history and another blow to the New York Islanders' drive for a playoff berth. Chris Neil, Dean McAmmond and Jason Spezza scored goals 1:16 apart early in the third period, leading Ottawa to a 5-2 win over the Islanders on Thursday night.

Bergeron, Bruins top Caps in shootout (AP)
The Washington Capitals got "Olie the Goalie" back on Thursday night, and it still wasn't enough to stop their slide. Patrice Bergeron scored to tie the game in the third period, then beat Olaf Kolzig again in the shootout as the Boston Bruins overcame a three-goal deficit to beat the Capitals 4-3 and send them to their ninth consecutive loss.

Alexeev helps Blackhawks top Kings in SO (AP)
Tuomo Ruutu scored the tying goal in the third period and Nikita Alexeev netted the deciding goal in the seventh round of the shootout, giving the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night. Alexeev and Denis Arkhipov scored first-period goals for the Blackhawks, who have won four of five -- including two in shootouts.

Beyond Montoya

Toyota struggling to get into Nextel Cup races (AP)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Everyone expected Toyota to storm into NASCAR and quickly buy its way to the top of the Nextel...

France Jr. hospitalized in Daytona (AP)
Former NASCAR chairman Bill France Jr. was hospitalized Wednesday night at Halifax Medical Center, where he was under the care of his personal physicians.

Champ Car makes a quick stop on standing starts (AFP)
Champ Car officials announced on Tuesday that standing starts would not be used for the first three races of the upcoming season, citing the need for greater testing of procedures.

Montoya settling into the NASCAR life (AP)
Juan Pablo Montoya had little time to celebrate his first NASCAR victory -- the Busch Series race in Mexico City -- before traveling to Las Vegas for the Nextel Cup race.

NASCAR's best defy track's perils (AP)
Hours before the race, Brett Bodine gave a pace-car ride around reconfigured Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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

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