National Sports

West will be wild, but Duke will win

Think of the greatest rivalries in college sports. Michigan vs. Ohio State. Alabama vs. Auburn. Miami vs. Florida State. Everybody vs. Notre Dame. Duke vs. North Carolina is as good as any, if not better. They have met in basketball 251 times. They now have a combined 93 NCAA Tournament ...

Kyle Busch ties Petty’s record

FONTANA, Calif. — Kyle Busch was dominating yet another race when a speeding penalty on pit road dropped him to the middle of the pack at Auto Club Speedway. Busch had to pass 17 cars in 73 laps on sizzling old asphalt to get his landmark 200th victory across NASCAR’s three major ...

McIlroy emerges to take Players

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — His best swing was followed by his biggest drive, both setting up birdies, and from there Rory McIlroy knew how to finish. Suddenly staked to a one-shot lead, McIlroy had a 125-yard walk along the water to the 17th hole to face an island that never looks smaller ...

McQuaid, Winston lead Spartans over Michigan

CHICAGO — Michigan State coach Tom Izzo had one simple question for his team. He got the answer he wanted, and the sixth-ranked Spartans picked up their sixth Big Ten Tournament championship. Now, they’ll try to bring home the biggest prize of all. Matt McQuaid scored a career-high ...

Jimenez, Guerrero among top rookies

CHICAGO — Family ties, big bats and powerful arms are once again all over this year’s group of prospects on the brink of major league stardom. A closer look at baseball’s next wave of young talent: OF Eloy Jimenez, Chicago White Sox: While Chicago lost out in its pursuit of Manny ...

Hendrick looks for 1st win under new rules

FONTANA, Calif. — Four drivers have earned a victory in the first four weeks of what’s shaping up as a competitive NASCAR Cup Series season. Only two teams have reached Victory Lane, however. Two other giants of the sport are eager to join them. Stewart-Haas Racing and Hendrick ...

Harper sits with ‘sore’ ankle

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Bryce Harper sat out the Philadelphia Phillies’ game against the Houston Astros on Saturday, saying he’s “a little sore” one day after getting hit by a pitch and bruising his right ankle. Manager Gabe Kapler said he had no concerns about Harper being ready for ...

Rahm takes lead at Players

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Jon Rahm felt like every shot would be good and most of them were Saturday as he posted an 8-under 64 and built a one-shot lead over Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood in The Players Championship. Five shots behind going into the third round, Rahm shot 30 on the back ...

Dahlberg: Real change yet to come in baseball

Five seconds hardly seems worth talking about, and in a way it’s not. Trimming the time between innings might save a minute or two over the length of a game, but the real heavy lifting toward solving baseball’s many issues is still to come. Eliminating one mound visit for the upcoming ...

X-rays negative after Harper hit during at bat

The Associated Press CLEARWATER, Fla. — New Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper sustained a bruised right foot when he was hit by a pitch during a spring training game Friday, but manager Gabe Kapler said the team wasn’t overly worried about the injury. Initial X-rays were negative, ...

Opera pays tribute to Black Sox

By Ronald Blum The Associated Press Joel Puckett was in the stands at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium on July 4, 1985, for the famous rain-delayed 19-inning game that ended with the New York Mets beating the Braves at 3:53 a.m. followed by postgame fireworks. “I had a long history of ...

Houston Astros manager ejected after just one pitch

The Associated Press WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch was ejected by plate umpire Angel Hernandez one pitch into the bottom of the first inning of Friday night’s split squad game against St. Louis. Hernandez called Daniel Ponce de Leon’s first pitch to Astros ...

Ex-coach expected to plead guilty

The Associated Press NEW YORK — Former Auburn assistant basketball coach Chuck Person is scheduled to plead guilty on Tuesday to a conspiracy charge in a scandal that involved bribes paid to families of NBA-bound young athletes to steer them to top schools and favored money managers and ...

Chiefs’ star under team investigation

The Associated Press OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The Kansas City Chiefs are investigating an incident in which star receiver Tyreek Hill was involved in a domestic battery episode in suburban Kansas City earlier this week. The team said in a statement to The Associated Press that it was aware ...

Spartans, Michigan to meet for Big Ten title

CHICAGO — Once Cassius Winston and Kenny Goins powered Michigan State to a fast start, Wisconsin was in deep trouble. Tough to chase down the Spartans in March. Winston scored 21 points and Goins had 13 points and 12 rebounds, helping No. 6 Michigan State beat No. 19 Wisconsin 67-55 in ...

Fans boo during qualifier

By Greg Beachum The Associated Press FONTANA, Calif. — Austin Dillon won the pole for the NASCAR Cup Series race in Auto Club Speedway on Friday after no drivers completed a lap in the final round of qualifying. Dillon got his fourth career pole essentially by default after a bizarre ...

Duke tops FSU for ACC crown

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Zion Williamson proved he’s back and healthy with a dominating three-game show at the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. And that has fifth-ranked Duke celebrating yet another championship in its already-record haul. Williamson had 21 points to help the Blue Devils ...

Villanova captures Big East again

NEW YORK — Villanova became the first team to win three consecutive Big East Tournaments, beating Seton Hall 74-72 on Saturday night behind seniors Eric Paschall and Phil Booth and key contributions from freshman Saddiq Bey. Seton Hall star Myles Powell, guarded closely by Booth, missed a ...

Duke holds on to beat NC

The Associated Press CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Zion Williamson had the go-ahead tip-in on his own miss with 30.3 seconds left and fifth-ranked Duke held off third-ranked North Carolina 74-73 on Friday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference semifinals. Williamson had 31 points and 11 rebounds and ...

Labor talks getting started early

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball and its players’ union reached an unprecedented agreement Thursday to discuss renegotiating their labor contract that has three seasons remaining, part of a deal that includes modest rule changes for 2020 and drops pitch clocks until 2022 at the ...