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Gators returning to national title game (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070401/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/bkc_final_four_ucla_florida"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070401/capt.axd31004010159.final_four_basketball_ucla_florida_axd310.jpg?x=126&y=130&sig=IbHS9vO5yNRJo4b5tI57WA--" align="left" height="130" width="126" alt="Florida coach Billy Donovan gestures during their men's semifinal basketball game against UCLA at the Final Four in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Saturday, March 31, 2007. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)" border="0" /></a>AP - First, an instant replay. Next, a classic repeat? Florida and its in-demand coach, Billy Donovan, moved one win away from a second straight national championship Saturday night, defeating UCLA 76-66 in a game that looked very much like the meeting between these two in last year's Final Four.</p><br clear="all"/>

Buckeyes earn 1st title game in 45 years (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070401/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/bkc_final_four_georgetown_ohio_state"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070401/capt.axd12504010013.final_four_basketball_georgetown_ohio_st_axd125.jpg?x=130&y=113&sig=VgVCSsbCm5LHNiCkFOpHtA--" align="left" height="113" width="130" alt="Ohio State guard Mike Conley Jr. (1), David Lighty (23), center and Ron Lewis (12)celebrate in closing seconds during their men's semifinal basketball game at the Final Four in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Saturday, March 31, 2007. Ohio State defeated Georgetown 67-60 to advance to the championship game.(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)" border="0" /></a>AP - Not even three minutes into the game, and the whistle blew. Greg Oden dropped his head and started a slow walk to the bench. Two quick fouls, and he was done for the half. The turning point in the game, for sure. But not in the way anyone expected.</p><br clear="all"/>

Champ Thorpe confident he'll be cleared (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070401/ap_on_sp_ot/swm_thorpe_doping"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070401/capt.aussw12404010617.australia_swimming_thorpe_doping_aussw124.jpg?x=130&y=90&sig=04sQjAskPqPjqK4ttgX.NQ--" align="left" height="90" width="130" alt="Five-time Olympic champion, Australian Ian Thorpe, listens to a reporter's questions during a press conference in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, April 1, 2007. Thorpe, at the center of a doping controversy five months after retiring, said he's confident he'll be cleared of any doping violation after a test last year showed 'abnormal levels' of two banned substances. 'I have complete confidence that all the medical and scientific evidence will establish that I am innocent,' Thorpe said. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)" border="0" /></a>AP - Clearly distressed, Ian Thorpe said Sunday he's confident he'll be cleared of any doping violation after a test last year showed elevated levels of two banned substances. "I have never cheated," he declared.</p><br clear="all"/>

Phelps' bid for 8 golds ends in relay DQ (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070401/ap_on_sp_ot/swm_world_championships_phelps"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070401/capt.aussw10604010107.australia_swimming_world_championships_aussw106.jpg?x=130&y=93&sig=sJV1dy0Snd9q6tU7dPlzzA--" align="left" height="93" width="130" alt="USA's Michael Phelps races in the Breaststroke leg of the men's 400m Individual Medley heat at the World Swimming Championships in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, April 1, 2007. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)" border="0" /></a>AP - Ian Crocker's eagerness to get back in the pool after losing to Michael Phelps ended up costing his superstar teammate a shot at history &#151; and more gold.</p><br clear="all"/>

Goestenkors, Paris win AP women's awards (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070331/ap_on_sp_co_ne/bkw_final_four_ap_awards"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070331/capt.a84e1dc1412b4eb78e3a767ca485eaf8.final_four_ap_awards_basketball_cd101.jpg?x=90&y=130&sig=w7.RYG3QhGsJtlkuTClanw--" align="left" height="130" width="90" alt="The Associated Press women's basketball coach of the year, Duke's Gail Goestenkors, poses with the trophy Saturday, March 31, 2007, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)" border="0" /></a>AP - Duke coach Gail Goestenkors was the driving force behind the Blue Devils' perfect regular season. Oklahoma sophomore Courtney Paris, too, showed consistent excellence. Their successes were honored Saturday, when they received The Associated Press' women's basketball coach and player of the year awards.</p><br clear="all"/>

Suit against NFL and NFLPA moves forward (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070330/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_hedge_fund_suit"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070328/capt.b6e12d047d70404eaa8411f414699a21.nfl_meetings_football_azmy106.jpg?x=130&y=90&sig=HaA_h0m89WEdAydoD0PymA--" align="left" height="90" width="130" alt="NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addresses the media at the annual NFL meetings, Wednesday, March 28, 2007, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)" border="0" /></a>AP - A lawsuit filed by six current and former players against the NFL and its union seeking to recoup $20 million they lost in an alleged fraud scheme is moving forward.</p><br clear="all"/>

James powers Cavaliers past Bulls (Reuters)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070401/sp_nm/nba_saturday_dc"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/nm/20070401/2007_04_01t022729_310x450_us_nba_saturday.jpg?x=89&y=130&sig=43GQGOFcpq6e00VFmF7EnQ--" align="left" height="130" width="89" alt="Chicago Bulls forward Tyrus Thomas (L) dunks the ball over Cleveland Cavaliers forward Drew Gooden during the fourth quarter of their NBA basketball game in Chicago March 31, 2007. (Frank Polich/Reuters)" border="0" /></a>Reuters - LeBron James scored seven of his 39 points in overtime to help the Cleveland Cavaliers post a 112-108 road victory over the Chicago Bulls in a key Eastern Conference game on Saturday.</p><br clear="all"/>

Colon, Weaver, Figgins on DL for start (AP)
AP - The Los Angeles Angels will begin the season with five players on the disabled list, including 2005 Cy Young Winner Bartolo Colon, the club's opening day starter in each of the previous three years.

Crouch sends Liverpool over Arsenal (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070331/ap_on_sp_so_ga_su/soc_euro_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070331/capt.lon80203311408.britain_soccer_lon802.jpg?x=130&y=96&sig=lEn24VRhNplLo1bXiI1MDA--" align="left" height="96" width="130" alt="Liverpool's Peter Crouch, second from right, scores his third goal of the game and his sides fourth, completing his hat trick against Arsenal in their English Premier League soccer match at Anfield, Liverpool, Saturday March 31, 2007. Liverpool beat Arsenal 4-1. (AP Photo/Peter Byrne/PA) NO INTERNET/MOBILE USAGE WITHOUT FAPL LICENCE - SEE IPTC SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FIELD FOR DETAILS" border="0" /></a>AP - Peter Crouch's hat trick powered Liverpool to a 4-1 victory over Arsenal on Saturday that lifted the club into third place in the Premier League and ended a four-game losing streak against the Gunners.</p><br clear="all"/>

Flames inch closer to clinching playoffs (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070401/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_flames_canucks"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070401/capt.73174d02a82d47a59bab44af73f53cb5.flames_canucks_hockey_vcrx106.jpg?x=130&y=102&sig=YqxkxGshm3uKvtkJTqNaug--" align="left" height="102" width="130" alt="Calgary Flames Roman Hamrlik, center, and Jarome Iginla, right, celebrate teammate Kristian Huselius's (left) goal during second period NHL hockey action in Vancouver Saturday March 31, 2007. (AP Photo/Sam Lung, CP)" border="0" /></a>AP - Seeing the Colorado Avalanche so close behind has scared the Calgary Flames into playing their best hockey of the season.</p><br clear="all"/>

Mislabeled?


Wilkinson fails to report to Broncos (AP)
Dan Wilkinson failed to report to the Denver Broncos, so the trade with the Miami Dolphins was declared void Saturday. The Broncos sent a sixth-round pick to the Dolphins on March 2 for the 14-year veteran defensive tackle. They extended an earlier deadline for the defensive lineman to report but when he failed to show up for his physical, the deal was voided.

Incriminating memo found in Tillman case (AP)
Just seven days after Pat Tillman's death, a top general warned there were strong indications that it was friendly fire and President Bush might embarrass himself if he said the NFL star-turned-soldier died in an ambush, according to a memo obtained by The Associated Press. It was not until a month afterward that the Pentagon told the public and grieving family members the truth -- that Tillman...

Chargers GM: Teams interested in Turner (AP)
Despite the high price tag, San Diego Chargers running back Michael Turner -- the backup to league MVP LaDainian Tomlinson -- could be a hot commodity in the weeks leading up to the NFL draft. General manager A.J. Smith said he fielded several inquiries about Turner, a restricted free agent, during the league meetings earlier this week in Phoenix.

Indy Super Bowl committee to make bid (AP)
Super Bowl committee officials are putting the finishing touches on the biggest sweepstakes in Indianapolis history. The hard part is making sure they hold the winning ticket. Bid committee spokesman Bob Schultz said Friday the group will spend this weekend finalizing details and ensuring that NFL requirements are met when the three-binder proposal is delivered to the league office.

Browns contacted Chiefs about QB Green (AP)
The Cleveland Browns seem to be beating the bushes for a veteran quarterback after all. General manager Phil Savage confirmed Thursday night that that he contacted Kansas City GM Carl Peterson about Trent Green, a two-time Pro Bowl quarterback, during this week's NFL meetings in Phoenix. "I spoke to a number of teams/GMs about players/picks including KC," Savage said in an e-mail.

Goodell to discipline Pacman, Henry soon (AP)
Next week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will hold hearings with Tennessee cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones and Cincinnati receiver Chris Henry. Within 10 days of those meetings, Goodell hopes to have disciplined them. The entire league will be watching. Goodell wants to enforce a stricter player conduct policy and is formulating his plan.

Bucs RB Gates charged with battery (AP)
Buccaneers running back Lionel Gates was arrested and charged with hitting a pregnant woman in the face and pushing her into a wall during an argument. The 25-year-old player was being held Friday with no bond, jail records said. Gates kicked in the front door of Peggie Lavender's apartment Thursday night, destroyed two televisions and two doors, put a hole in the bedroom wall and assaulted her, a...

Warriors, come out and play


James' 39 lift Cavs over Bulls in OT (AP)
With so much on the line and the game slipping away, LeBron James wasn't going to take a back seat. James scored 39 points, including seven in overtime, and Larry Hughes added 21 points to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to 112-108 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday. Trailing 108-104 with a minute left in overtime, James drove toward the basket.

Foul-prone Carter carries Nets by Sixers (AP)
A foul-plagued Vince Carter found that the best remedy to help a sore right knee and the New Jersey Nets' playoff hopes was playing instead of sitting. Carter scored 13 of his 19 points in the third quarter and the Nets posted one of their best defensive games of the season with an 86-82 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.

Knicks go cold in OT, lose to Hornets (AP)
After spending much of the game fighting back from behind, the New York Knicks couldn't counter-punch in overtime. David West scored 20 points and the New Orleans Hornets held New York to one field goal in overtime for a 103-94 win Saturday night in a meeting of teams desperately trying to make up ground in the playoff race.

Maggette sits but Clippers beat Blazers (AP)
Corey Maggette couldn't play, but it didn't matter much for the Los Angeles Clippers because Cuttino Mobley picked up the slack. Mobley had 25 points, Elton Brand added 21 and the Clippers cruised to a 99-86 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night. Quinton Ross added 17 points for the Clippers, who ran out to a huge lead and held on.

Bryant scores 53, but Lakers fall in OT (AP)
Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady helped the Houston Rockets withstand Kobe Bryant's latest 50-point night. Bryant scored 53 points and brought the Los Angeles Lakers back from a late 12-point deficit in regulation, but the Rockets beat them 107-104 in overtime Friday night. Yao had 39 points and McGrady added 30, enough to overcome Bryant's fifth 50-point outing in the last seven games.

Mavericks earn team-record 61st victory (AP)
As much as Stephon Marbury tried, he couldn't keep Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks from a record night. There's a big difference between a team closing in on a No. 1 seed and another just hoping to remain in contention for a playoff spot. Marbury felt he had to do it alone for the injury-depleted New York Knicks.

Heat move back into first in Southeast (AP)
Progressing in their pursuit of home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, the Miami Heat moved back into first place in the Southeast Division. With more complete games like this one, maybe they'll stay there. Udonis Haslem had 19 points and 14 rebounds, and all five starters scored at least 15 points for the Heat, who led from start to finish and beat the Minnesota Timberwolves...

Down 18, Suns rally past Nuggets 125-108 (AP)
After the Phoenix Suns had run past the Denver Nuggets, Shawn Marion slipped into some ripped and worn jeans. The outfit seemed appropriate, since Marion had ripped and torn apart the Nuggets. The All-Star forward snapped out of a prolonged shooting slump with 33 points, and the Suns overcame an 18-point deficit to beat the Nuggets 125-108 Friday night.

Wild play helps Raptors beat Wizards (AP)
Chris Bosh had a huge start and an even bigger finish. Bosh scored eight of his 37 points in overtime, and the Toronto Raptors remained in the third spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race with a 123-118 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday night. The Wizards appeared to have a victory secured until Michael Ruffin's celebratory heave toward the rafters landed in the hands of Raptors...

Leafs' OT win keeps playoff hopes alive (AP)
The Toronto Maple Leafs didn't gain any ground in their bid for a playoff spot, and Tomas Kaberle made sure they didn't lose any either. Kaberle scored his second goal of the game at 3:55 of overtime and the Maple Leafs took a 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night. Pittsburgh's Ryan Whitney tied it with four seconds left in regulation after the Penguins pulled goalie Marc-Andre...

Ducks move into Western Conference tie (AP)
Jean-Sebastien Giguere's big finish helped the Anaheim Ducks pull into a tie for first in the Western Conference. Giguere stopped two short-handed breakaways in the final three minutes of regulation and earned his second assist of the season on Andy McDonald's winner 25 seconds into overtime in a 3-2 victory over the St.

Flames win, close in on playoff spot (AP)
Seeing the Colorado Avalanche so close behind has scared the Calgary Flames into playing their best hockey of the season. Daymond Langkow had a goal and two assists, and Miikka Kiprusoff made 32 saves as the Flames moved closer to clinching a playoff spot with a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.

Surging Avs keep playoff hopes alive (AP)
A magnificent March means the Colorado Avalanche will have something to play for in April. Colorado kept its thin playoff hopes alive Saturday, beating the Minnesota Wild 2-1 behind Peter Budaj's record-tying 10th win in March. The Avalanche also tied a team mark with 11 wins in a month, first accomplished in January 2004.

Thrashers win, move closer to playoffs (AP)
When the Atlanta Thrashers traded for Keith Tkachuk and Alexei Zhitnik last month, they were in the midst of a free fall. Now they're on the brink of clinching their first playoff berth, and have both players to thank. Tkachuk scored the winner, Kari Lehtonen stopped 25 shots, and the Atlanta Thrashers moved closer to clinching their first playoff berth with a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins on...

Rangers chase Biron, defeat Flyers 6-4 (AP)
Jaromir Jagr found it tough to concentrate after the New York Rangers took big leads twice against the last-place Philadelphia Flyers. Jagr had two goals and an assist, and the Rangers chased goalie Martin Biron and beat the Flyers 6-4 on Saturday night. "We had to win this game to stay in the hunt for the playoffs," Jagr said.

Resurgent Canadiens hold off Sabres 4-3 (AP)
The Montreal Canadiens got a huge contribution from their captain and staved off a comeback attempt by the NHL's top team. Saku Koivu scored his 20th goal early in the third period, and Michael Ryder got his team-leading 27th in the first in the Canadiens' 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.

Senators sweep season series from Isles (AP)
No matter who fills in, no New York Islanders goalie can pick up the slack for the injured Rick DiPietro. Wade Dubielewicz got the call Saturday night after Mike Dunham started two games in place of DiPietro, who is sidelined by a concussion. But Mike Comrie scored twice, and Christoph Schubert added a goal and assist as the Ottawa Senators swept the season series from New York with a 5-2 win.

Stars get revenge for hit, top Predators (AP)
The Nashville Predators better quit worrying about chasing the Detroit Red Wings and first place in the Western Conference. Now, home-ice advantage in the playoffs is at risk. Stu Barnes and Mike Modano each had a goal and an assist, and the Dallas Stars got revenge where it counted Saturday night by beating the Predators 4-2.

Playoffs in doubt for defending champs (AP)
The Carolina Hurricanes spent the entire season waiting for the burst that would carry them back into the playoffs and maybe even to their second straight Stanley Cup. It hasn't come yet, and time is running out on the reigning champs. The Hurricanes enter the season's final week on the outside of the playoff picture and needing their strongest surge yet to avoid becoming the first defending...

Petty talk


Skinner posts third straight win, captures Kroger 250 (PA SportsTicker)


Skinner wins in truck at Martinsville (AP)
Mike Skinner started on the pole and stayed out front virtually all day at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, leading all but seven of 253 laps to win his third consecutive NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race.

Stranger in a strange land: Richard Petty at a hockey game (AP)
The sport was unfamiliar and so was the language. That didn't stop Richard Petty from having a good time at a hockey game.

Teams outside top 35 stress over making races (AP)
Wood Brothers Racing didn't get any break from the tensions of qualifying for this weekend's Nextel Cup race at Martinsville Speedway, even though the famous team's shop used to be just a few miles from the track.

Hamlin captures pole for Martinsville COT race (PA SportsTicker)


Hamlin wins pole at Martinsville (AP)
Denny Hamlin bounced back from a difficult 14th-place run at Bristol last week by winning the pole at Martinsville Speedway on Friday.

Officials say Week 2 for new car should be better, safer (AP)
NASCAR says the exhaust problem in its Car of Tomorrow is a simple fix.

Ragan ready to return to Martinsville (AP)
Credit David Ragan for being a good sport.

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