National Sports Headlines from NBC Sports

Dayton's future bright after Elite Eight run

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) After Dayton's best postseason run in 30 years, coach Archie Miller is confident it won't take the Flyers nearly as long to repeat that success.

No. 11 seed Dayton knocked off Ohio State, Syracuse and Stanford before falling to top seed Florida 62-52 Saturday night in the NCAA tournament's South Regional.

The scrappy team from the Atlantic 10 was the tournament's favorite underdog by the end of its run - blasting past big-name programs and all the way to the Elite Eight with a deep rotation that specialized in defense and energy.

The architect was Miller - an intense 35-year-old from Pennsylvania who comes from a coaching family. Older brother Sean guided Arizona to the same point in the NCAA tournament, exiting just hours after his sibling when the Wildcats lost to Wisconsin 64-63 in overtime.

"I think the blueprint is now set that we know how to do it, and we can do it," Archie Miller said after Saturday's loss. "That's going to be a credit to these guys who have taken us across the bridge, so to speak."

The Flyers' success also has made their coach a hot commodity. Dayton athletic director Tim Wabler announced earlier this week that Miller's contract had been extended through the 2018-19 season, though a bigger-name program could be interested in the coming weeks.

Dayton should be good again next season. The Flyers expect to return three starters, including sophomore Dyshawn Pierre, who scored 18 against the Gators. Five more from the bench who saw regular minutes also will be back.

One of the three departing seniors - guard Vee Sanford - said those who view Dayton as a small-time program are misinformed. Dayton was one of six teams from the Atlantic 10 that received an NCAA tournament bid this year.

"Nothing about the University of Dayton is Cinderella or small," Sanford said Friday when talking about the team's unexpected run. "We have the best facilities and we're on top of our things academically."

Junior Devin Oliver scored 12 points in Saturday's loss to Florida. He said Miller's work ethic has been crucial to the team's development.

"(He's) a guy who comes to work every day and that trickles down to his players," Oliver said. "He'll get in a drill and box you out - whatever it takes. He's just a guy that loves to win more than anything. He never wants to be looked over or anything like that. It's just a toughness and a passion that has trickled down to his team."

Miller said he appreciated the sacrifice his players made to play his style. The Flyers used 11 or 12 players on most nights and playing time could vary widely depending on who was being productive on a given night.

The approach has been successful, and the expectations for the program have risen exponentially.

"The vision will never change," Miller said. "We'll try to get back here and break through one day."

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Follow David Brandt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/davidbrandtAP

Kershaw headed to DL for 1st time in career

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is headed to the 15-day disabled list for the first time in his seven-year career because of a swollen muscle in his left upper back.

The 26-year-old left-hander, coming off his second Cy Young Award in three years, already had been scratched from his scheduled start in San Diego on Sunday after an MRI revealed the problem.

"I'm not going to get into specifics," Kershaw told reporters. "I can't pitch right now. It's frustrating. I've been hurt before where I knew when I'd be able to pitch. I'm getting better right now, just not fast enough. You don't feel like you're a part of the team when you're hurt. It's not a good feeling."

Kershaw was on a throwing program and was tossing the ball at different distances Saturday before the team's Freeway Series finale against the Angels when he experienced some discomfort on his 27th throw. The team said he will be placed on the DL on Sunday.

"He felt it, and that was the last straw," manager Don Mattingly said. "So at that point, we knew we couldn't have gone any farther and that it was a DL situation. It's a situation - not just for me, but for everyone - that we've got to save Clayton from Clayton at this point and be cautious. We can't allow him to try to keep pushing and go forward. If it was up to him, I'm sure he'd want to go farther. But we can't allow him to do that right now."

Kershaw, who signed a $215 million, seven-year contract on Jan. 15, won the Dodgers' season opener 3-1 against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia last weekend.

The three-time All-Star was hoping to get back in the rotation for Friday's home opener against San Francisco, but instead it will be Hyun-Jin Ryu, who also will get the assignment Sunday in San Diego against Andrew Cashner. Ryu started and won the second game of the Australia trip, but tore a toenail while running the bases that day and wasn't sure he'd be able to fill in for Kershaw until after his side session Friday.

"I think that once Clayton felt something, he knew that he wasn't going to make his start on Friday," Mattingly said. "With his throwing progression, the fact that he stopped right away is all we've asked of him from the beginning: `If you feel it at all, you've got to stop.' And he stopped right away."

Kershaw has made 33 starts, struck out at least 229 batters and logged 227 2-3 innings or more in each of the last three seasons - including a career-high 236 innings last year, when he finished 16-9 with an NL-best 232 strikeouts and a 1.83 ERA.

Kershaw led the majors in ERA for the third straight year, becoming the first pitcher to accomplish that feat since newly elected Hall of Famer Greg Maddux did it from 1993-95.

Mattingly wouldn't make any predictions about when Kershaw will return to the rotation. The Dodgers have five off days scheduled between now and April 15.

"This is not something that we say, `OK, we think he'll be ready by this date' - and if he doesn't get there, then it's like, `Oh, Clayton's had a setback,"' Mattingly said. "We should just let it do what it's supposed to do and let the medical staff do their work let them tell us what he could do.

"And because of all the days off we have and the schedule we have, it's really not worth pushing him."

Wisconsin beats Arizona 64-63 in OT in West Region

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Wisconsin bumped and grinded its way into the Final Four.

Frank Kaminsky had 28 points and 11 rebounds for Wisconsin, rallying the Badgers to a 64-63 overtime victory against Arizona in the West Region final Saturday night.

The Badgers (30-7) advanced to their first Final Four appearance since 2000 on Saturday night, and first for 69-year-old coach Bo Ryan, who earned his 704th career victory.

Nick Johnson had the ball with a chance to win, but he missed a shot that came just after the buzzer for Arizona (33-5), the top-seeded team that has yet to win a West Region final in Anaheim in four tries. Johnson led the Wildcats with 16 points, and Aaron Gordon had 18 rebounds in the relentlessly physical game.

Clippers in playoffs with 118-107 win over Rockets

HOUSTON (AP) Chris Paul had 30 points and 12 assists, Jamal Crawford added 22 points and the Los Angeles Clippers clinched their franchise-record third straight playoff appearance with a 118-107 win over the Houston Rockets on Saturday night.

The loss broke a five-game winning streak for Houston, which was without two of its starters as Dwight Howard and Pat Beverley sat out with injuries.

The Clippers trailed by as many as 15 points in the first half before using two big runs to take the lead. Houston stuck around for most of the second half before consecutive 3s by Matt Barnes and Darren Collison made it 114-101 late in the fourth.

But it wasn't all good for Los Angeles, as Blake Griffin left in the first quarter with back spasms and didn't return, and Glen Davis missed the second half for disciplinary reasons after throwing a temper tantrum in the second quarter.

James Harden led the Rockets with 32 points, and Chandler Parsons had 28. DeAndre Jordan added 20 points with 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who are third in the Western Conference.

Crawford scored all of the Clippers' points in an 8-1 run to start the fourth quarter and leave them up 96-85. An 8-3 run by Houston cut the lead to 102-96 with five minutes remaining. Harden capped it with a free throw after a technical foul on Paul.

The Rockets scored the first five points of the third quarter to take a 63-61 lead. The teams exchanged the lead several times in that quarter before a layup by Ryan Hollins left Los Angeles up 88-84 entering the fourth quarter.

The first half was filled with drama for the Clippers, who lost Griffin in the first quarter before the incident with Davis in the second.

There appeared to be minimal contact between Griffin and Donatas Motiejunas before Griffin dropped to his hands and knees on his way to the bench after a timeout was called midway through the first quarter.

He was clutching his lower back and remained on the court for a couple of minutes before being helped to his feet. He was biting his jersey as he gingerly walked off the court and to the locker room.

Davis, whose nickname is "Big Baby," was apparently upset after being taken out in the second quarter and threw a temper tantrum at coach Doc Rivers. Rivers immediately sent him to the locker room and the team announced that he would not return after halftime.

Davis was 0-for-2 with a steal in less than four minutes in the first half.

With Griffin out, Houston used a 7-2 spurt to start the second quarter and extend its advantage to 40-25.

The Rockets were still up by 15 points a couple of minutes later when the Clippers used an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 44-37. Harden made three free throws before another run - this one 14-2 - gave Los Angeles a 51-49 lead. Paul, who had 17 points in the second quarter, scored the first 10 points in that span with two 3s and he dished an alley-oop to Jordan to cap it with a dunk.

Los Angeles led by a point soon after that before scoring six straight points to extend the lead to 61-54 Houston scored the last four points of the quarter to cut the lead to 61-58 at halftime.

NOTES: Jordan went to high school in Houston and college at nearby Texas A&M. ... Howard is day to day with a left ankle strain and Beverley has a torn meniscus in his right knee and is out indefinitely.

76ers end 26-game skid, pound Pistons 123-98

PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Philadelphia 76ers snapped their NBA record-tying, 26-game losing streak, routing the Detroit Pistons 123-98 on Saturday night to avoid establishing a new longest skid in U.S. major pro sports history.

Michael Carter-Williams and Thaddeus Young each scored 21 points for the 76ers, who won for the first time in exactly two months and did it with surprising ease, leading by as much as 32 points. They also ended an 18-game home losing streak, which was one shy of another NBA record.

Beaten badly a number of times during their skid, the 76ers got to experience life on the other side, ringing up a season-high 70 points in the first half.

Their 26 straight losses equaled the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers.

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Follow Brian Mahoney on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Briancmahoney

Trout, Angels both thrilled with big new contract

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Mike Trout gave a big wave when he bounded onto the stage at the Los Angeles Angels' fan fiesta Saturday, a plaid dress shirt tucked underneath his red No. 27 jersey. The crowd responded with wild cheers and "M-V-P!" chants for the best young player in baseball.

Trout is beloved at the Big A, and now he can stay under that comfortable halo for at least another seven years.

The 22-year-old center fielder formalized his new six-year, $144.5 million deal shortly before the Angels' final exhibition game, committing to the club through 2020.

"I love it here," said Trout, who makes $1 million this season. "I think it's the best opportunity for me to be here, and over the next seven years, it's going to be a big jump in my life."

Trout had no problem giving up a few years of free-agent freedom in exchange for lifelong financial security and a chance to keep playing in sunny Orange County for a wealthy franchise capable of winning World Series. He praised Angels owner Arte Moreno for giving the club every chance to succeed despite its current four-year absence from the postseason.

Trout gets $2 million of his $5 million signing bonus within 30 days of the contract's approval, and the rest by Oct. 15. His salaries are $5.25 million in 2015, $15.25 million in 2016, $19.25 million in 2017 and $33.25 million in each of the final three seasons.

"When the owner comes out and puts up these big numbers, like $33 million, it's hard to turn down," Trout said. "For security as well, obviously, you never know what could happen. You could get hurt during the season. You never know."

He also receives a full-no trade provision, and the right to a luxury suite at Angel Stadium for 20 games per year starting in 2015.

Trout is the first player with less than three years of service time to sign a deal worth more than $20 million annually, but nothing about Trout has much precedent.

The two-time AL All-Star finished second to Detroit's Miguel Cabrera in the MVP voting in each of the past two seasons while putting up astronomical offensive numbers and playing above-average defense. He is batting .314 with 62 homers and 196 RBIs in just 336 career games.

The Angels' nine-figure commitment definitely didn't scare Moreno, who would have liked to lock up Trout for even more years.

"Let's put it this way: We definitely didn't want to go shorter, and we would have liked to have gone longer, so we sort of compromised here," Moreno said.

Moreno acknowledges he could have gone to arbitration with Trout for the next three years to limit the Angels' financial exposure, but he wasn't interested. After doling out lavish free-agent deals to Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, Moreno was grateful to reward the Angels' homegrown talent.

"I would like to tell you that there was some map to go by, but we really were in uncharted waters," Moreno said. "What we want to do is make a fair deal. We had all their proposals, and they had all of ours, and when we sat down, we were really very close at the end. Both of us kept inching toward the middle."

Trout's salary decision could have a trickle-down impact in future seasons in arbitration on up-and-coming stars like Washington's Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper or the Mets' Matt Harvey.

Trout's father, Jeff, was involved in negotiations along with his agent, Craig Landis, since shortly after Thanksgiving. While Landis realizes the deal will be criticized by other agents who believe Trout should have milked every dollar out of his unique talent, Trout wasn't interested.

Trout also consulted with former Angels outfielder Torii Hunter, a mentor and friend.

Trout said Hunter told him "it's my choice. It doesn't matter what anybody else thinks. If I think it's the right choice, do it. With the security it's given me and my family, it's unbelievable."

Trout acknowledged the "last month has been crazy," but it didn't prevent him from batting .407 in spring training.

"I'm relieved, man," Trout said. "I'm going to play loose, and it's going to be fun. I think I play loose anyway, so I think it won't affect me. I'm just going to play like I've been playing, and it won't change."

Trout doesn't plan to buy anything special with his newfound wealth, but he has one pressing financial commitment to his teammates. Pujols, Jered Weaver, Erick Aybar, C.J. Wilson, Kole Calhoun, Raul Ibanez and several other Angels sat in the audience at Trout's news conference, goofing on their young teammate from the crowd.

"When I go out to dinner now, they're just telling me, `We'll wait. We're waiting, we're waiting,"' Trout said. "`Whenever you get that big contract, you're going to start buying."'

Mickelson withdraws from Texas Open with injury

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Phil Mickelson withdrew from the Texas Open after pulling a muscle in his right side teeing off on his 10th hole in the third round Saturday.

"I pulled a muscle on my downswing trying to hit it hard," Mickelson said a statement. "It just killed and it wouldn't subside for 10 or 12 seconds. I'm going back to San Diego (for) a couple of days and have a doctor look at it, but there's really not much you can do for a pulled muscle. I hope I'll be OK to play the Shell in Houston, but I just don't know."

Mickelson is entered in the Houston Open next week, the last event before the Masters.

Lefty was 1-over par in the round and 4 over overall when the three-time Masters champion was taken off the course in a cart. His caddie, Jim Mackay, said Mickelson felt a twinge on his tee shot on No. 1 - his 10th hole - and that the pain wasn't going away.

"It's definitely not his back," Mackay said. "It's his right side. The thing he had been talking about is how good his back had been feeling here. He'll definitely play Houston, if he can."

It's the second time this year Mickelson has withdrawn in the middle of a tournament. He pulled out at Torrey Pines after making the cut because of a back injury.

On Friday, Mickelson made the cut on the number, following an opening 77 with a 70 at TPC San Antonio. He blasted out of a greenside water hazard to 5 feet to set up a birdie on the final hole.

Bruins top Capitals 4-2, clinch Atlantic Division

WASHINGTON (AP) Carl Soderberg and Jarome Iginla scored 41 seconds apart in the second period to break open a close game, and the Boston Bruins clinched the Atlantic Division title Saturday with a 4-2 win over the Washington Capitals.

Iginla scored twice to reach the 30-goal mark, and Patrice Bergeron added a goal as the Bruins won for the 14th time in 15 games. Chad Johnson made 31 saves, and he and Tuukka Rask have combined to allow only 13 goals over 11 games.

Jason Chimera and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored, and Braden Holtby stopped 32 shots for the Capitals, who were down 3-0 before they could find any traction against the possession-heavy Bruins.

Serena Williams beats Li Na for Sony Open title

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- Serena Williams won a record seventh Key Biscayne title Saturday when she overcame a slow start and a set point to beat Li Na 7-5, 6-1 at the Sony Open.

The No. 1-ranked Williams surpassed the tournament record of six titles she shared with Andre Agassi. By beating the No. 2-ranked Li, Williams extended her winning streak against top-10 opponents to 15 matches.

The world's top-ranked players will also meet in the men's final Sunday, when No. 1 Rafael Nadal tries for his first Key Biscayne title against No. 2 Novak Djokovic, a three-time champion.

Williams lives 90 minutes up Interstate 95 from Key Biscayne and considers it her home event. She has played in the tournament 14 times and also won the title in 2002-04, 2007-08 and 2013.

A-Rod shows up at Stanford, wears team T-shirt

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) Suspended slugger Alex Rodriguez is supporting Stanford baseball - for one game, at least.

In the Bay Area for a visit, the New York Yankees star took a campus tour Friday, then spontaneously stopped by for Game 1 of Stanford's doubleheader sweep against Oregon at Sunken Diamond and stayed for about half the game.

The three-time AL MVP chatted with Cardinal coach Mark Marquess and deputy athletic director Ray Purpur. A-Rod posed for photos, many of which quickly hit Twitter and became popular talk around the university.

Rodriguez is suspended for the entire 2014 season for violating baseball's drug agreement and labor contract. Last month, he withdrew two lawsuits against Major League Baseball in his effort to overturn the season-long ban.

A year after injury, Ware to leave Louisviile

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) A year after his gruesome leg injury in the NCAA tournament, Kevin Ware is transferring from Louisville.

Ware became Louisville's rallying point on the way to the national title after he broke his leg in a win over Duke in the finals of the Midwest Regional last season.

He had a rod inserted in the leg and tried to come back this season. But he averaged 1.7 points over nine games and eventually took a medical redshirt.

He wasn't seen with the team over the past several weeks. On Saturday, the day after Louisville's season ended with a loss to Kentucky, the junior from the Atlanta area announced his decision.

"We wish Kevin Godspeed," coach Rick Pitino said.

Trout, Angels agree to $144.5 million, 6-year deal

LOS ANGELES (AP) Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels agreed Friday night to a $144.5 million, six-year contract, keeping baseball's brightest young star under club control through 2020.

The Angels said the 22-year-old outfielder and his family will be at a news conference Saturday in Anaheim to formally announce the contract along with owner Arte Moreno, manager Mike Scioscia and general manager Jerry Dipoto.

Few players in major league history have approached Trout's accomplishments in his first two full major league seasons. The speedy center fielder is both a spectacular five-tool player and the darling of baseball's sabermetrics crowd, putting up old-fashioned highlights and statistical superlatives on a weekly basis.

"I think everybody is obviously thrilled that it got done," Scioscia said at Dodger Stadium after the Angels' exhibition game, which Trout missed with a stomach virus. "He's a special player and a special person."

The Millville, N.J., product was a unanimous choice for AL Rookie of the Year in 2012, and he finished second in AL MVP voting to Miguel Cabrera the past two years.

Trout's deal came on the same day Cabrera finalized a $292 million, 10-year deal with the Detroit Tigers, the richest contract in American sports.

The free-spending Angels were determined to reward Trout while locking up their prized possession beyond his first few years of eligibility for arbitration and free agency. Los Angeles has been quietly negotiating with Trout's representatives throughout spring training, and the club closed the deal three days before opening day at Angel Stadium.

Trout agreed on Feb. 26 to a $1 million, one-year contract for 2014, much more than the Angels were required to offer him. His new deal runs from 2015-20.

The outfielder would have been eligible for arbitration for the first time after this season, and for free agency following the 2017 World Series. Now, he can't become a free agent until at least age 29.

It's the latest big-money deal for the Angels, who are entering the third season of a $240 million, 10-year contract with first baseman Albert Pujols, the second season of a $125 million, five-year agreement with outfielder Josh Hamilton and the third season of an $85 million, five-year contract with pitcher Jered Weaver.

But while the Angels' deals for Pujols and Hamilton have been criticized for their lavish nature and the thirty-something sluggers' ensuing lack of production, Los Angeles is locking up Trout early in an uncommonly promising career.

Trout's contract isn't worth as much as Cabrera's lavish deal in Detroit, but it still would allow Trout to hit free agency at an age when he could still be in the prime of his career.

And when his new deal ends, Trout will still be younger than the 30-year-old Cabrera is now.

Trout's average salary of $24,083,333 under the new deal is ninth in the majors, trailing only those of Clayton Kershaw, Cabrera, Alex Rodriguez, Justin Verlander, Ryan Howard, Hamilton, Felix Hernandez and Zack Greinke.

Trout is batting .314 with 62 homers and 196 RBIs in just 336 career games, including 40 games in 2011. The speedy center fielder also has stolen 86 bases while playing stellar defense and making two All-Star teams, starting for the AL last summer.

He is one of four players in baseball history to bat .320 with 50 homers and 200 runs in his first two full seasons, joining Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Pujols.

Trout has accomplished just about everything except team success during his short major league career. The Angels have missed the playoffs in four consecutive seasons, and they finished 78-84 last year, their worst record in a decade.

The deal provides huge security for Trout. He received a bonus of $1,215,000 when he signed after the Angels selected him with the 25th overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft. He made $482,500 two years ago and earned a $10,000 bonus for winning the rookie award, then was unilaterally renewed by the Angels last year at $510,000 - $20,000 above the big league minimum at the time.

That deal sparked criticism from many Angels fans who thought Trout deserved more compensation for his outstanding play. They also worried the relatively meager deal - and the Angels' decision to move Trout from his preferred center field to left last season - might sour the budding superstar on the team.

Trout is back in center field this season, and Moreno made sure Trout couldn't doubt the Angels' financial commitment to him.

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AP Sports Writers Ronald Blum and Mike Fitzpatrick in New York contributed to this report.

Michigan holds on late to beat Tennessee 73-71

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Michigan coach John Beilein had watched his team blow almost all of a 15-point lead, and he was sure he knew how Tennessee would try to take the lead.

With 6 seconds left and trailing 72-71, Cuonzo Martin would probably send the ball into Jarnell Stokes, who would try to back into the post or drive. Beilein urged his defenders to buckle down and keep Stokes away from the rim.

Jordan Morgan, who scored 15 points, heeded his coach's advice and stood his ground until Stokes lowered his shoulder. The senior forward immediately crashed to the floor - perhaps embellishing the contact - but drawing the call that saved the game for Michigan and infuriated Tennessee's "Rocky Top" contingent.

Big Ten player of the year Nik Stauskas made a late free throw and nobody was more relieved than Beilein when Jordan McRae's 70-foot heave fell harmlessly to the floor as the buzzer sounded on a 73-71 Michigan victory.

"We got just enough stops," Beilein said.

Tennessee thought they got one stop unfairly.

"With the magnitude of this game, I don't think you could call a charge at that point," McRae said dejectedly after scoring 24 points.

But the officials did call it, allowing Michigan to reach a second straight regional final.

The Wolverines (28-8) have won 10 of their last 11, none as tenuous or excruciating as this one to set up a Sunday showdown against eighth-seeded Kentucky, the 2012 national champion. The Wildcats won 74-69 over fourth-seeded Louisville, which beat Michigan in last year's national championship game.

Tennessee almost pulled off one of the most stunning comebacks in recent regional memory.

With 10:55 to go, Spike Albrecht's layup gave Michigan a seemingly insurmountable 60-45 lead.

When Stauskas made the last of his three 3-pointers with 3:40 to go, the Wolverines still led 70-60. Stauskas finished with 14 points.

For some reason, Michigan went into panic mode and, just two weeks after nearly blowing two big leads in the Big Ten tournament, they nearly threw this one away.

The Volunteers staunch defense limited Michigan to just one basket over the final 3:40 and forced four turnovers in the final 97 seconds to give themselves a chance in the closing seconds.

"I don't think I fouled him," said Stokes, who had 11 points and six rebounds after two straight double-doubles. "But it was a smart play for him to try to take the charge. He pretty much anticipated it."

Just as Beilein had predicted.

For most of the night, Michigan relied on its shooting stars to stay in control against a defense that had allowed just 54.0 points in its previous eight games.

The Wolverines took a 13-point lead in the first half and still led 45-34 at halftime because they were shooting 61.5 percent from the field and made 7 of 9 on 3-pointers. Michigan didn't slow down early in the second half, either, taking the biggest lead of the game at 60-45.

But somehow Tennessee played itself right back into the game.

The 11th-seeeded Vols, who had a first-round game in overtime at Dayton, Ohio, just to start their surprising postseason run, cut the deficit to 62-56 with 6:45 left. They got within 72-67 when McRae completed a three-point play with 1:56 to go. They made it 72-69 when Josh Richardson scored the last of his 19 points on a layup with 24.6 seconds left. McRae's layup following another Michigan turnover made it 72-71 with 10.8 seconds remaining.

So when the officials ruled Michigan's Caris LeVert caught the ball with one foot on the baseline and 9.6 seconds left, Martin made the smart call by giving Stokes a chance to win it with a basket or draw the foul.

"We got the ball to Jarnell. Jordan set a screen for him to get him right to isolate him, attack him in the middle," Martin explained. "Obviously we got the ball where we wanted."

However, the call went against them.

"We heard all week about they had mismatches and how we couldn't guard them inside," Morgan said after letting out a scream at the end. "We're not really soft around here. That's not who we are."

Michigan State beats Virginia 61-59

NEW YORK (AP) Branden Dawson had 24 points and 10 rebounds and Michigan State beat top-seeded Virginia 61-59 on Friday night to advance to East Regional final.

The fourth-seeded Spartans (29-8) will play Connecticut (29-8) on Sunday with a Final Four berth at stake. The seventh-seeded Huskies beat third-seeded Iowa State 81-76 on Friday.

Michigan State overcame a horrible start to the second half and then withstood a late run by the Cavaliers (30-7) to advance to the regional finals for the eighth time since 1985 - all under coach Tom Izzo.

Joe Harris and Malcolm Brogden both had 17 points for Virginia, which became the second No. 1 seed to be eliminated, joining Wichita State.

These were the first NCAA tournament games played at Madison Square Garden since 1961.

Fan critically injured in Olympic Stadium fall

MONTREAL (AP) Police say a man is fighting for his life after falling from the stands at Olympic Stadium during an exhibition game Friday night.

Police spokesman Danny Richer says the approximately 40-year-old man fell 10 to 15 yards to the ground behind the perimeter fence in center field near the end of the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets.

The man was rushed to a hospital in critical condition with injuries Richer described as life-threatening.

Kentucky tops Louisville 74-69 in Midwest Regional

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Aaron Harrison made a 3-pointer with 39 seconds left to give Kentucky the go-ahead points Friday night in a 74-69 victory in the Midwest Regional over in-state rival Louisville.

Harrison, Julius Randle and Dakari Johnson, all finished with 15 points for the eighth-seeded Wildcats (27-10), who will play Michigan in Sunday's regional final.

Fourth-seeded Louisville (31-6) got 23 points from senior Russ Smith, who missed a late 3 with a chance to tie.

The Wildcats, who start five freshmen, led for a grand total of 65 seconds and took the lead for the last time when Randle found Harrison in the corner and Harrison spotted up and swished the shot for a 70-68 lead.

UConn holds off Iowa St 81-76 in Sweet 16 at MSG

NEW YORK (AP) DeAndre Daniels' UConn teammates were going to keep passing him the ball until he cooled off.

By the time that happened, it was too late for Iowa State.

Daniels scored 19 of his 27 points in the second half, and the Huskies hung on for an 81-76 victory Friday to reach the East Regional final a year after UConn was barred from the NCAA tournament.

"DeAndre's a scorer, and once you feel that you have that confidence, the next shot's going to go in," said senior Shabazz Napier, who knows a thing or two about scoring himself. "We kept feeding him, and he got super hot."

Daniels hit his first six shots after halftime, the only Husky to make a field goal for over 8 1/2 minutes. His 3-pointer gave seventh-seeded UConn a 49-32 lead.

The third-seeded Cyclones rallied late, pulling within 67-63 with 2 1/2 minutes remaining. But senior Niels Giffey hit a 3 in the corner for his first points since the game's opening moments, and when the Huskies (29-8) made their free throws in the final minute, the UConn fans packing Madison Square Garden could celebrate.

The Huskies will face fourth-seeded Michigan State on Sunday for a trip to the Final Four after the Spartans beat top-seeded Virginia 61-59 in the late game.

Dustin Hogue scored a career-high 34 points for Iowa State (28-8), but Big 12 player of the year Melvin Ejim was 3 of 13 for seven points, more than 11 below his average.

The Cyclones, in the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2000, were playing their second game without third-leading scorer Georges Niang, who broke his foot in their tournament opener.

They trailed by 16 with less than 7 1/2 minutes to go but nearly came all the way back behind Hogue's scoring inside.

"That's who these guys are, they're fighters," coach Fred Hoiberg said.

With UConn clinging to a 70-65 lead and less than a minute left, Iowa State's Naz Long missed a 3-pointer, and the 6-1 Napier pulled down the rebound and was fouled by Hogue. The guard calmly drilled both free throws.

UConn was 20 of 22 from the foul line, while Iowa State was 6 of 15.

Napier, the American Athletic Conference player of the year, drained four early 3-pointers, then made only one more field goal the rest of the way. But the quick start by Napier and backcourt mate Ryan Boatright opened up space for the 6-foot-9 Daniels, an inconsistent junior who can score all over the court when he's on.

Since a stretch in late February and early March when he failed to reach double figures in four straight games, Daniels had averaged 15 in his last six outings before Friday. Then against Iowa State, he shot 10 of 15 and pulled down 10 rebounds.

"With our seniors on this team, I just want them to go out with a bang," Daniels said.

Ejim and DeAndre Kane, Iowa State's top scorers, were a combined 9 of 31. But Hogue, from nearby Yonkers, found plenty of space, shooting 15 for 19.

"To play in the Garden, it's something I dreamed about as a kid," he said.

After Napier's difficult early 3-pointers - he was falling away on two of them and stepping back to open a sliver of space on a third - Boatright and Daniels took over. The three combined for all but six of the Huskies' points as they built a 36-26 halftime lead.

Second-year coach Kevin Ollie is now 3-0 in the NCAA tournament after taking over for mentor Jim Calhoun, who gave him a big hug after this one was over. The last time UConn made it this far, the Huskies won a national title when Napier and Giffey were freshmen.

The current upperclassmen could have transferred after the program's low scores on the NCAA's academic progress measure kept UConn from last year's Big East and NCAA tournaments.

"We were banned from a lot of things," Ollie said. "We couldn't come here for the tournament, but they weren't banned from loving and pushing and encouraging each other, and that's what it's all about. Those dark times, if you don't give up in the dark times, it will reverse, the wind will start going in your favor, your direction.

"And I think that's what's happened now."

Peverley hopeful, patient over return to hockey

DALLAS (AP) Rich Peverley wants to play hockey again.

The Dallas Stars forward won't know for a while whether his health will allow him to continue his career.

Peverley said Friday his recovery is "going to take time" in his first meeting with reporters since collapsing on the bench during a game March 10 because of an irregular heartbeat.

The 31-year-old Peverley said he skated Thursday for the first time since the incident. That was 10 days after he underwent a procedure in Cleveland designed to correct his condition. He won't play again this season.

"The recovery process is going to take time and as cliche as it sounds, I've really learned this in the past week that it is day by day," Peverley said at a news conference before the Stars' game against Nashville. "Ultimately my goal would be to come back if it's the right time."

Peverley said he remembered everything from before and after he lost consciousness against Columbus. The game was postponed and will be played April 9.

The understated veteran didn't offer a dramatic re-enactment of the critical moments when his life was in danger. He simply said he remembered "feeling like kind of like almost like I was seizing up a little bit," and leaving it at that.

After he collapsed, Peverley was rushed to a nearby hallway, where he was quickly stabilized before going to a hospital.

"I don't want to say I keep replaying it in my head but sometimes you think about it," Peverley said.

Dr. Robert Dimeff, the team physician, said the success rate for Peverley's procedure is 85 percent in otherwise healthy young adults. But it will be months before doctors know whether Peverley's heart will stay in rhythm when he's competing.

Peverley can't go through any contact drills until he's finished with blood thinners required by the procedure, which Dimeff said takes about a month.

"We're really just ramping up his exercise activity slowly and monitoring him closely at this point," Dimeff said.

Peverley said his wife supports what he wants to do and it'll be a while before they seriously discuss his future in the sport.

"I think it is traumatic for the family, I think having that possibility of me not being around," said Peverley, who has two young children. "I was very lucky that the NHL and all the doctors and all the trainers were very prepared because they did save my life."

Although he won a Stanley Cup with Boston in 2011 and has played 442 games over eight seasons, Peverley's never been in a spotlight quite like the one he was in after the collapse.

Dallas teammates and their families brought meals for days after he got out of the hospital and he said he's heard from "so many teams and people I don't even know." He didn't want to say he hated the spotlight, but he was hoping Friday's session would put the issue to rest.

"I feel horrible for the team," Peverley said. "I don't want this to be a sideshow. They're going for the playoffs. They're only a few points out. The focus should be on them and them trying to make the playoffs for the city."

Northwestern to appeal players union ruling

CHICAGO (AP) Northwestern University on Friday criticized a federal agency's landmark ruling giving Wildcats football players the green light to form the nation's first college athletic union, also confirming that it will appeal.

If it withstands an appeal, the dramatic decision this week by the regional director of the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago, Peter Ohr, could fundamentally change a college sports industry worth billions of dollars.

Vice President for University Relations Alan Cubbage said in a Friday statement that Ohr had "applied incorrect legal standards."

"Northwestern believes the decision overlooked or completely ignored much of the critical testimony supporting the University's position that student-athletes are not employees of Northwestern," he said.

Reached by telephone later Friday, Ohr declined comment.

The core question Ohr had to answer was whether football players who receive full scholarships to the Big Ten school are employees under federal law and, thereby, are allowed to unionize. In his 24-page opinion, released Wednesday, Ohr concluded the players did "fall squarely" within the broad definition of employee.

The Evanston, Ill.-based university said Friday, as it had immediately after the NLRB ruling, that it will file a request for the full board in Washington, D.C, to review Ohr's decision. It has until April 9 to file that request.

In the meantime, preparations were underway for a vote by scholarship football players on whether to authorize the College Athletes Players Association, or CAPA, to represent them. A vote normally happens with 30 days of the regional ruling.

Typically, NLRB agents help schedule the voting process according to agreements between the employer and the union-mined employee; its agents would also oversee the vote. One possibility is that the process could be stayed pending a review by the full board in Washington.

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Follow Michael Tarm at https://twitter.com/mtarm

Phil Mickelson makes cut in Texas Open

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Phil Mickelson made the cut on the number in the Texas Open on Friday, blasting out of a greenside water hazard to 5 feet to set up a birdie on the final hole.

Mickelson shot a 2-under 70 after opening with a 77 at TPC San Antonio's AT&T Oaks Course. Lefty was 11 strokes behind leader Steven Bowditch, the Australian who had a 67 to reach 8-under 136.

Mickelson was in the stream that runs in front of the 18th green after attempting to reach the par 5 in two from 288 yards with a 3-wood.

Bowditch holed out from 83 yards for an eagle on the par-4. The 30-year-old topped the leaderboard at the end of a round for the first time in his PGA Tour career.

Chad Collins and rookie Andrew Loupe were a stroke back. Collins shot 66, and Loupe had a 70.

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