Kentucky still perfect…Wisconsin advances…Iowa St. takes Big 12 crown
UNDATED (AP) — The top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats remain perfect on the season and one win away from capturing the SEC tournament.
Willie Cauley-Stein scored 18 points and Andrew Harrison added 15 as the Wildcats clobbered Auburn 91-67 to reach the conference title game against No. 21 Arkansas. The Wildcats shot 56 percent and outrebounded the Tigers 39-25 for the tournament’s most lopsided victory.
Kentucky now sits at 33-0 as it tries to become the first team to finish an entire Division I season unbeaten since Indiana in 1976.
The Razorbacks advanced with a 60-49 triumph over Georgia as Michael Qualls delivered 15 points for Arkansas. The Razorbacks prevailed despite the shooting of Bobby Portis, who scored just four points on 1 of 14 shooting but grabbed 12 rebounds.
In other men’s basketball action:
— Fourth-ranked Villanova is celebrating a Big East title after Dylan Ennis scored 16 points and had six rebounds in the Wildcats’ 69-52 win against Xavier. Josh Hart chipped in 15 points on 7 of 9 shooting and grabbed seven boards off the bench to help the Wildcats earn their 15th straight victory and improve to 32-2.
— Fifth-ranked Arizona crushed Oregon 80-52 to win the Pac-12 championship and bolster its chances for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Brandon Ashley dropped in 20 points, Stanley Johnson had 14 and T.J. McConnell delivered 12 and six assists in the blowout.
— Sixth-ranked Wisconsin will take on Michigan State for the Big Ten title. Bronson Koenig scored a career-high 19 points and the Badgers claimed their 30th win by thumping Purdue 71-51. Nigel Hayes had 15 points for the Badgers, who trailed by five at halftime before holding the Boilermakers to 24 percent shooting the rest of the way.
— The unranked Spartans knocked off No. 8 Maryland 62-58 as Travis Trice scored a team-high 20 points for Michigan State. The Terrapins led by eight at the break before damaging their shot at a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament.
— Notre Dame is the reigning ACC champion after reeling off a 26-3 run in the second half of a 90-82 triumph over No. 19 North Carolina. Jerian Grant had team highs of 24 points and 10 assists for the 11th-rated Irish, while Pat Connaughton finished with 20 points on 4 of 5 shooting from 3-point range.
— The Big 12 title belongs to Iowa State after Georges Niang (nee-ANG’) scored 19 points and the 13th-ranked Cyclones rallied from a 17-point deficit in the second half to beat No. 9 Kansas 70-66. Adbel Nader contributed 13 points, including the go-ahead foul shots with 48 seconds remaining.
— No. 20 SMU is in the American Athletic Conference title game after Markus Kennedy scored 17 points in the Mustangs’ 69-56 victory over Temple. Cannen Cunningham and Yanick Moreira each added 11 points for the Mustangs, who will take on unranked Connecticut for the conference crown.
— No. 24 Davidson was hammered in an Atlantic-10 semifinal by VCU 93-73. Mo Alie-Cox and Treveon Graham each added 18 to lead the Rams to the conference title game for the third straight year.
— Albany, Alabama-Birmingham, Hampton, Wyoming and Buffalo earned automatic berths in the NCAA tournament by winning their conference tourneys on Saturday. New Mexico State, Texas Southern, Eastern Washington, UC Irvine and Stephen F. Austin also won their conference tournament to reach the NCAAs.
Grizzlies handle Bucks
UNDATED (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies have ended a two-game skid and increased their lead in the NBA’s Southwest Division to 2 ½ games over Houston.
All five Grizzlies starters scored in double figures to lead a 96-83 win over slumping Milwaukee. Courtney Lee had a team-high 17 points for Memphis, while Jeff Green and Zach Randolph each added 15.
The Bucks lost for the ninth time in 12 games, putting them four games behind sixth-place Washington in the Eastern Conference.
In other NBA action:
— Klay Thompson and Stephen (STEH’-fehn) Curry each hit six of Golden State’s 19 3-pointers in a 125-94 pounding of New York. Thompson finished with 27 points, Curry provided 25 points and 11 assists to help the Warriors improve to a league-best 52-13.
— Washington beat Sacramento 113-97 as John Wall had 31 points and 12 assists, while Paul Pierce scored 17 points. The Wizards rallied from a 21-point, third-quarter deficit en route to their third straight win.
— Indiana had won seven straight until Tyler Zeller scored 18 points and three other Celtics added 16 in Boston’s 93-89 triumph over the Pacers. The Celtics took control with a 17-4 run that started late in the first quarter of their fourth consecutive win.
— Thaddeus Young scored 21 points and Brooklyn snapped a five-game skid by downing the 76ers 94-87 in Philadelphia. Joe Johnson added 15 points as the Nets moved within three games of eighth place in the East.
— Derrick Favors poured in 26 points and Rudy Gobert grabbed 19 rebounds as Utah handed Detroit its 10th consecutive loss, 88-85.
Bruins blank Pens
UNDATED (AP) — The Montreal Canadiens have reclaimed sole possession of the NHL’s Atlantic Division lead by knocking off the suddenly-slumping New York Islanders.
Carey Price stopped 35 shots and Max Pacioretty (pash-uh-RET’-ee) scored a short-handed goal that gave the Canadiens a 2-0 lead in the second period of a 3-1 win over the Isles. Price stifled the Islanders until Josh Bailey scored with 2:18 remaining.
The Canadiens won for just the second time in their last seven games and moved two points ahead of Tampa Bay. The Isles have dropped three straight, putting them three points behind the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Rangers.
The Lightning lost their share of the Atlantic Division lead by falling 2-1 to Winnipeg. The Jets trailed 1-0 until Drew Stafford and Blake Wheeler scored 2:44 apart midway through the third period,
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— Nashville is back atop the Western Conference and Central Division standings after Craig Smith and Viktor Stalberg scored 66 seconds apart in the third period of the Predators’ 2-1 triumph at Los Angeles. Pekka Rinne’s (PEK’-uh REE’-nayz) 23 saves helped the Predators move two points ahead of Anaheim in the West and St. Louis in the Central. The Kings are a point behind the Jets for eighth in the West.
— Mackenzie Skapski stopped 20 shots and the Rangers padded their lead in the Metropolitan Division to three points by downing Buffalo 2-0. Keith Yandle and Martin St. Louis (mahr-TAN’ san loo-EE’) had third-period goals to back Skapski’s first career shutout and help the Blueshirts finish 4-0-1 on their five-game road trip.
— Eddie Lack handled 28 shots and Vancouver won for the third time in four games by topping Toronto 4-1. Derek Dorsett provided a goal and two assists for the Canucks.
— Minnesota and St. Louis were tied 1-1 until Nino Niederreiter (NEE’-dur-eye-tur) and Kyle Brodziak scored 17 seconds apart to send the Wild past the Blues 3-1. Devan Dubnyk (DOOB’-nihk) stopped 41 shots for the surging Wild, who are 18-4-1 in their last 23 games
— Tuukka Rask (TOO’-kah rask) picked up his third shutout of the season and 26th of his career by stopping 30 shots in the Bruins’ 2-0 win at Pittsburgh. Milan Lucic (LOO’-cheech) scored the game-winner 9:53 into the game as the Bruins improved to 7-0-1 and moved into a tie with Washington for seventh in the Eastern Conference, six points ahead of Florida.
— Semyon Varlamov (vahr-LAH’-mahv) stopped 27 shots and Alex Tanguay (TAN’-gay) furnished a goal and an assist as Colorado downed Calgary 3-2. The Flames drop to third in the Pacific Division, one point behind the Canucks.
— The Panthers were 2-0 winners over Carolina as Dan Ellis stopped 24 shots for his first shutout of the season. Brandon Pirri scored the game-winner on a power-play in the second period to help Florida improve to 5-1-1 in its last seven games.
— Detroit was blown out in Philadelphia as Brayden Schenn (shehn) scored twice and had an assist in the Flyers’ 7-2 laugher. Wayne Simmonds had a goal and an assist to help the Flyers improve to 10-0 at home against the Wings since 1997.
— Patrick Sharp scored his first two goals since January and Duncan Keith also broke a long scoring drought to help Chicago whip San Jose 6-2. The game was tied 2-2 until Brandon Saad (sahd) scored 81 seconds into the third period, propelling the Blackhawks to their sixth victory in eight games and currently putting them within three points of the Central Division lead.
— New Jersey beat Arizona 4-1 behind Cory Schneider’s 30-save effort.
More NFL maneuvering
UNDATED (AP) — Wide receiver Greg Jennings has been released by the Minnesota Vikings. Had he been retained he would have counted $11 million against the team’s salary cap this season. Jennings totaled 1,546 yards and 10 touchdowns receiving in two years with Minnesota. He led the Vikings last season with 742 yards and six touchdowns.
Also in the NFL:
— The Kansas City Chiefs are bringing back defensive back Ron Parker on a five-year, $30 million contract, a person familiar with the deal has told The Associated Press. Parker had 94 tackles and an interception while splitting time at cornerback and safety for the Chiefs last season.
— The Baltimore Ravens and safety Kendrick Lewis have reached agreement on a three-year contract. The 26-year-old started 16 games with the Houston Texans last season, recording 84 tackles, three forced fumbles and two interceptions.
Former MLB great passes away
CLEVELAND (AP) — Former Indians great and 1953 American League Most Valuable Player Al Rosen has died at 91. Rosen spent his entire career with Cleveland and was part of the 1948 Indians team that won the World Series.
Rosen hit .336 with 43 homers and 145 RBIs in 1953, coming within one point of winning the batting title and a triple crown.
The four-time All-Star drove in 100 runs in five straight seasons. Following his playing career, Rosen became a successful front-office executive.
Moore to start final round in first
PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Moore stands on top after three rounds of the PGA’s Valspar Championship. He completed play at 9-under following a third round 4-under-67.
Jordan Spieth (speeeth) is alone in second at 8-under after a 3-under-68. A shot back of Spieth is Derek Ernst, who carded a third-round 69.