Sports: March Madness Approaches; Outdoor Hockey

By: ap
By: ap

T25 BASKETBALL-SCHEDULE
(AP) -- Wichita State and Florida were the only top-10 teams to avoid a loss on a wild Saturday of men's college basketball.
Cleanthony Early scored 19 points and Ron Baker added 13 as the second-ranked Shockers hammered Missouri State 68-45 to complete a perfect 31-0 regular season. Wichita raced out to a double-digit lead in the opening minutes after rallying from a 19-point deficit to beat Missouri State in overtime earlier this season. Wichita State becomes the first team since St. Joseph's in 2004 to head into a conference tournament unbeaten.
The Shockers are off to the best start since UNLV began 34-0 and lost in the 1991 national title game. They're also off to the best start by a Missouri Valley team since Larry Bird led Indiana State to a 33-0 record before the Sycamores fell to Michigan State in the 1979 title game.
Dorian Finney-Smith scored 16 points, and top-ranked Florida used a season-high 13 3-pointers to overwhelm LSU 79-61. Casey Prather and Michael Frazier II added 14 points in the Gators' 21st consecutive victory in their 31st straight home win.
But the schedule also included losses by Syracuse, Louisville, Creighton and Saint Louis.
Marcus Smart scored 20 of his 21 points in the second half to help Oklahoma State defeat No. 5 Kansas 72-65. Oklahoma State overcame a 10-point deficit in the second half and improved to 3-0 since Smart returned from a three-game suspension for shoving a Texas Tech fan.
Chris Crawford hit a 3-pointer with 1:36 left to put Memphis ahead to stay on the way to a 72-66 win over seventh-ranked Louisville, completing a season sweep of the Cardinals by the 21st-ranked Tigers. Montrezl (MAHN'-trehl) Harrell scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Louisville.
Xavier pulled out a 75-69 win against ninth-ranked Creighton as Justin Martin provided 19 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. The Musketeers picked up their 20th win despite 27 points by Bluejays sniper Doug McDermott, the nation's scoring leader.
Treveon Graham had 17 points and eight rebounds to carry VCU past No. 10 Saint Louis 67-56. Briante Weber added 13 points and four steals for the Rams, who handed the Billikens their second consecutive defeat following a school-record, 19-game winning streak.
Malcolm Brogdon scored eight of his 19 points during a decisive second-half run as No. 12 Virginia topped fourth-ranked Syracuse 75-56, the third loss in four games for the Orange. The Cavaliers clinched the top seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament and earned the outright ACC regular season title for the first time in 33 years.
Shabazz Napier scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Connecticut to a 51-45 upset of No. 11 Cincinnati. The 23-6 Huskies won despite going without a field goal for the game's final 7 1-2 minutes.
Melvin Ejim (EH'-jihm) had 30 points and 16 rebounds, but it wasn't enough for 15th-ranked Iowa State to avoid an 80-73 loss at Kansas City. Shane Southwell had 13 points in the Wildcats' 15th straight home win at Bramlage Coliseum.

In other top 25 action:
-- No. 13 San Diego State topped Frenso State 82-67 as Xavier Thames delivered 22 points and six rebounds. Ageel Quinn came off the bench to add 17 points for the Aztecs.
-- Melvin Ejim (EH'-jihm) had 30 points and 16 rebounds, but it wasn't enough for 15th-ranked Iowa State to avoid an 80-73 loss at Kansas State. Shane Southwell had 13 points in the Wildcats' 15th straight home win at Bramlage Coliseum.
-- Nik Stauskas scored 21 points and No. 16 Michigan clinched at least a share of the Big Ten title with a 66-56 victory over Minnesota. Caris LeVert added 13 points for Michigan, and Jordan Morgan had 10 rebounds.
-- Brenton Williams dropped in 24 points and South Carolina held Kentucky to 17 percent shooting in the first half of a 72-67 win over the 17th-ranked Wildcats. Kentucky made it close by reeling off a 28-17 run after coach John Calipari was ejected midway through the second half.
-- Tracy Abrams scored 12 points in leading Illinois to a 53-46 win over No. 18 Michigan State. The Spartans are 22-7 following their sixth loss in 10 games.
-- James Michael McAdoo scored 15 points to lead No. 19 North Carolina past Virginia Tech 60-56. The Tar Heels have won 11 in a row.
-- Markus Kennedy scored 18 points, Nic Moore had 11 of his 13 in the second half and No. 23 SMU toppled Central Florida 70-55.
-- Isaiah Cousins scored a career-high 24 points to lead Oklahoma over No. 24 Texas 77-65.

NBA-SCHEDULE
(AP) -- The Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat continued their winning streaks by defeating one of the bottom-feeders in the NBA's Eastern Conference.
Paul George scored 10 of the Pacers' last 12 points to lead a 102-97 victory against Boston. George led the Pacers with 25 points, Evan Turner added 17 and Lance Stephenson scored 15 as Indiana won its fourth straight game and eighth in its last 11.
The Heat have a seven-game winning streak LeBron James finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in a 112-92 romp over Orlando. Dwyane (dwayn) Wade added a game-high 24 points for Miami, which shot 58 percent to overcome 17 turnovers. Wade and James combined to shoot 18-for-24, while Chris Bosh chipped in 17 points.
The results keep the East-leading Pacers two games ahead of Miami.

Also in the NBA:
-- Trevor Ariza (ah-REE'-zuh) hit eight 3-pointers and scored a career-high 40 points in Washington's 122-103 rout of Philadelphia. The Wizards won their sixth in a row and spoiled the 76ers' retirement of Allen Iverson's jersey No. 3.
-- Portland picked up its fifth straight win as Robin Lopez scored 18 points and Damian Lillard added 17 to lead the Trail Blazers' balanced attack in a 100-94 win against Denver. LaMarcus Aldridge played 30 minutes and finished with 16 points after missing the Blazers' previous five games with a groin injury.
-- Houston topped Detroit 118-110 behind 22 points and 10 rebounds from Terrence Jones. James Harden added 20 points and 12 assists to the Rockets' third win in four games.
-- Zach Randolph scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half and finished with 14 rebounds as Memmphis hammered Cleveland 110-96. Mike Conley and Marc Gasol scored 22 each for the Grizzlies, who outscored the Cavaliers 56-31 in the second half and rallied from an early 15-point deficit.
-- Marcus Thornton scored 12 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 107-98 win at Milwaukee. Andray Blatche (AWN'-dray blach) had 19 points and 13 rebounds to help the Nets finish 4-3 on a seven-game road trip.
-- Kevin Love's 22 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists fueled Minnesota's 108-97 triumph at Sacramento. Kevin Martin had a game-high 26 points as the Timberwolves climbed back to .500 at 29-29.

NHL-SCHEDULE
(AP) -- The Chicago Blackhawks were easy winners in the NHL's latest outdoor game.
Jonathan Toews (tayvz) scored twice and had an assist as the Hawks whipped Pittsburgh 5-1 at snowy Solider Field. Patrick Sharp scored in the first period and Patrick Kane set up Kris Versteeg's 100th career goal in the second, helping Chicago to its first win since Feb. 5 at Anaheim.
The flakes came down in waves for most of the first period, floating in circles in front of the upper deck before eventually descending. The small ice crew tried its best to keep up, but it was fighting an impossible battle, and inches of snow piled up on the surface between breaks in the action.
James Neal had the lone for the Penguins, who matched a season high with their third straight loss.
Earlier on Saturday, New Jersey Devils right wing Jaromir Jagr (YAR'-oh-meer YAH'-gur) became the seventh NHL player to reach the 700-goal plateau.
Jagr got his milestone goal in the second period of the Devils' 6-1 rout of the New York Islanders. It was his 122nd career game-winning goal, extending his NHL record set earlier this season.
The 20-year veteran is now just eight goals back of Mike Gartner for sixth on the NHL's all-time goal list. Jagr has scored 61 goals and 148 points in 101 career games against the Islanders.

In other NHL play:
-- Alex Ovechkin (oh-VEHCH'-kihn) scored twice to up his league leading total to 43 in Washington's 4-2 win over Boston. Braden Holtby made 36 saves against the Atlantic Division leaders.
-- Montreal beat Toronto 4-3 on Max Pacioretty's (pash-uh-RET'-eez) goal 3:28 into overtime. P.K. Subban (SOO'-ban) tied the game with a power-play goal midway through the third period before Pacioretty notched his second goal of the night.
-- The Stars had been on a 7-1-2 run until Martin St. Louis (mahr-TAN' san loo-EE') scored two goals for the second consecutive game, leading Tampa Bay past Dallas 4-2. Goalie Ben Bishop cooled off the Stars by making 39 saves for his 29th win.
-- Alec Martinez scored the tiebreaking goal on a power play with 11:45 to play, and the Los Angeles Kings went on to a 3-1 win over Carolina. The Kings have three wins in three cities in about 70 hours since the end of the Olympic break.
-- Artem Anisimov scored a short-handed goal late in the second period and Columbus added three power play goals in a 6-3 win over Florida. David Savard had a power-play goal and an assist as the Blue Jackets ended a three-game losing streak.
--Olli Jokinen (OH'-lee YOH'-kih-nehn), Andrew Ladd and Devin Setoguchi (set-ah-GOO'-chee) provided Winnipeg's goals in a 3-1 verdict over Nashville. Ondrej Pavelec (AWN'-dray PAV-uh-lihk) stopped 39 to help the Jets improve to 11-3-1 since hiring Paul Maurice as coach.
-- Wayne Simmonds had a goal and an assist to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers, who lost for just the second time in nine games. Vincent Lecvalier, Sean Couturier (koo-TOOR'-ee-ay) and Luke Schenn also scored to support Steve Mason's 33 saves.

PGA-HONDA CLASSIC
McIlroy holds lead
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) -- Rory McIlroy shot a 1-under 69 to hold onto the lead after three rounds of the Honda Classic. McIlroy is 12-under par overall and two shots in front of Russell Henley, who posted a 68. Russell Knox is another shot back after posting a 68.
McIlroy is seeking his first PGA Tour title in 18 months.
Tiger Woods fired a 5-under 65 to charge up the leaderboard but still trails by seven shots.

LPGA-HSBC1
Webb remains on top
SINGAPORE (AP) -- Karrie (KAHR'-ee) Webb broke out of a slump with three key birdies on the back nine Saturday to hold onto a one-stroke lead after the third round of the HSBC Women's Champions.
Webb, the 2011 champion, has led every round this week. She shot a 70 to move to 11-under 205 overall. Angela Stanford is second.


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