Heat Still Blazing, Steam Roll Timberwolves
(Miami, FL) — Hassan Whiteside and reserve Tyler Johnson each scored 23 points to lead the Heat to a 123-105 victory over the Timberwolves in Miami. Goran Dragic contributed 19 points and 10 assists. Miami won for the sixth time in seven games. Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with 31 points and 11 boards . Andrew Wiggins had 26 points and Ricky Rubio 20 for the Timberwolves. Minnesota is 1-and-3 in its last four games.
Celtics Hang On, Clip Nets
(Brooklyn, NY) — Jae Crowder scored 24 points and pulled down 12 rebounds as the Celtics hung on the clip the Nets 98-95 in Brooklyn. Avery Bradley added 16 points for Boston, which played without Isaiah Thomas who sat with a bruised knee. Al Horford scored 14 with eight boards and four blocks. The Celtics won their third-straight to improve to 44-and-25 overall. Brook Lopez paced the Nets with 23 points in defeat. Brooklyn’s NBA worst home record fell to 8-and-26.
Pelicans Cruise Past Rockets
(New Orleans, LA) — The Pelicans were without DeMarcus Cousins but still cruised past the Rockets 128-112 in New Orleans. Cousins was held out of the contest with a rib contusion and left knee soreness. Solomon Hill led the Pelicans with 30 points. Anthony Davis scored 24 with 15 rebounds. New Orleans has won three-of-four. James Harden paced Houston with 41 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists in defeat. The Rockets fell to 47-and-22.
76ers Crush Mavericks
(Philadelphia, PA) — The 76ers have no brotherly love for their former teammate Nerlens Noel or his new team as they crushed the Mavericks, 116-74, in Philadelphia. Seven Sixers scored in double figures, led by former Maverick Justin Anderson’s 19 points. Robert Covington scored 18 points and Philly shot 52.5-percent from the field. The Sixers allowed just 34 points in the second half and improved to 25-and-43. Dwight Powell led Dallas with 14 points off the bench. Noel had nine points and five rebounds in his return to Philadelphia. Dallas is just 9-and-24 away from home.
Wall, Wizards Knock Off Bulls
(Washington, DC) — John Wall posted a big double-double as the Wizards knocked off the Bulls, 112-107, at the Verizon Center. Wall finished with 14 points and a career-high 20 assists, while Bradley Beal scored 24 in the win. Washington led by a dozen entering the final quarter and held off a late rally. The Wiz are 27-and-10 at home. Jimmy Butler led Chicago with 28 points, and Robin Lopez posted 25 points plus 12 rebounds. The Bulls have lost seven of their past eight games.
Magic Drop Suns
(Phoenix, AZ) — Evan Fournier poured in 25 points to lead the Magic past the Suns 109-103 at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Nikola Vucevic racked up 18 points and 17 rebounds for Orlando, which snapped a four-game losing streak. Aaron Gordon added 17 points in the victory. T.J. Warren netted 26 points and Tyler Ulis had 19 for the Suns, who have lost three in-a-row. Marquese Chriss posted 13 points, eight boards and four blocks in the setback.
Bucks Bounce Lakers
(Los Angeles, CA) — Khris Middleton scored a season-high 30 points as the Bucks bounced the Lakers, 107-103, in Los Angeles. Middleton netted 14 in the fourth quarter to lead Milwaukee. Giannis Antetokounmpo added 26 points for the Bucks, who have won eight of their past nine games to even their record at 34-and-34. Jordan Clarkson led L.A. with 21 points, and Ivica Zubac added 18 plus eight rebounds in defeat. The Lakers fell to 20-and-49 with their 12th loss in 13 games. D’Angelo Russell, Nick Young and Greg Monroe were all ejected for shoving at the end of the third quarter.
Flames Cruise Past Stars
(Calgary, Alberta) — The Flames opened up a three goal lead after two periods and held on to cruise past the Stars 3-1 in Calgary. Mark Giordano and Matthew Tkachuk each had a goal and an assist in the second period. Giordano also assisted on Michael Frolik’s first period goal. Brian Elliott made 24 saves as the Flames won for the 11th time in 12 games. Brett Ritchie netted the lone Dallas goal in defeat. The Stars have lost four-of-five.
Penguins Top Devils In High-Scoring Tilt
(Pittsburgh, PA) — Sidney Crosby scored two goals and doled out an assist as the Penguins defeated the Devils 6-4 in Pittsburgh. Crosby is tied for the NHL lead with 37 goals. Carter Rowney had his first career goal and an assist for Pittsburgh. The Penguins won for the sixth time in eight games. Kyle Palmieri had two Devils’ goals. New Jersey suffered its 11th loss in its last 12 games.
Panthers Edge Rangers In Shootout
(New York, NY) — Aleksander Barkov scored the lone goal in the shootout to lift the Panthers past the Rangers 4-3 at Madison Square Garden. Barkov also tallied in the third period, while Jonathan Huberdeau and Jussi Jokinen scored in the second for Florida, which sits five points out of the final Wild Card spot in the East. James Reimer stopped 29 shots plus all three shootout attempts in the victory. Mats Zuccarello had two goals and J.T. Miller also scored for the Rangers, who hold the top Wild Card with 91 points. Antti Raanta made 34 saves in defeat.
Baylor Rallies Past New Mexico State
(Tulsa, OK) — Third-seeded Baylor caught fire in the second half to rally past 14th-seeded New Mexico State 91-73 in the East Regional in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Aggies led by two points at half, but were outscored by 20 after intermission. Al Freeman led the Bears with 21 points off the bench. Baylor moves on to play 11th-seeded USC in Sunday’s second round. Ian Baker and Braxton Huggins had 19 points each for the WAC champions, who finish 28-and-6.
USC Rallies Past SMU
(Tulsa, OK) — Elijah Stewart hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 36 seconds left as 11th-seeded Southern California rallied past sixth-seeded SMU 66-65 in the East Regional in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Shake Milton missed a layup for the Mustangs as time expired. Stewart scored 22 points, while Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu netted 14 each for the Trojans. USC meets third-seeded Baylor on Sunday. Semi Ojeleye [[ ohj-AH-lay ]] had 24 points and 10 rebounds for SMU, which had its 16-game winning streak snapped. The Mustangs end the season 30-and-5.
Duke Pummels Troy
(Greenville, SC) — Grayson Allen scored 21 points off the bench as Duke pummeled Troy, 87-65, in the East Regional in Greenville, South Carolina. The second-seeded Blue Devils took a 14-point halftime lead and never looked back. Jayson Tatum posted 18 points, 12 rebounds, four steals and four blocks. Duke will face South Carolina on Sunday. Jordon Varnado led the Trojans with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Troy ends the year at 22-and-15.
South Carolina Slams Marquette
(Greenville, SC) — Seventh-seeded South Carolina is celebrating its first NCAA Tournament win in 44 years. The Gamecocks crushed 10th-seeded Marquette 93-73 in East Region action in Greenville, South Carolina. Sindarius Thornwell dropped in 29 points to pace the Gamecocks, who advance to face second-seeded Duke in round two on Sunday. P.J. Dozier donated 21 points in the victory. Jajuan Johnson scored 16 points off the bench for the Golden Eagles, who finish their season 19-and-13. Markus Howard and Andrew Rowsey added 13 points apiece in the setback.
Michigan Holds Off Oklahoma State
(Indianapolis, IN) — Derrick Walton Jr. had 26 points and 11 assists as Michigan held off Oklahoma State 92-91 in the Midwest Regional in Indianapolis. D.J. Wilson added 19 points for the Wolverines, who hit 15-of-26 shots from three. Seventh-seeded U-of-M will play second-seeded Louisville in the second round on Sunday. Jawun Evans had 23 points and 12 assists for the Cowboys, who lost despite a 40-to-21 edge in rebounding. OSU finishes its season 20-and-13.
Oregon Ousts Iona In First Round
(Sacramento, CA) — Tyler Dorsey dropped in a game-high 24 points as Oregon cruised to a 93-77 win over Iona in the Midwest Regional in Sacramento. Dillon Brooks added 18 points for the third-seeded Ducks, who built an 18-point lead at the half. Oregon will play Rhode Island in the second round on Sunday. Jordan Washington logged 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Gaels, who were outrebounded 40-to-27. Iona finishes its season 22-and-12.
Balanced Louisville Eases Past Jacksonville State
(Indianapolis, IN) — Second-seeded Louisville has a date with seventh-seeded Michigan in the Round of 32. The Cardinals eased past 15th-seeded Jacksonville State 78-63 in the Midwest Regional in Indianapolis. Mangok Mathiang had 18 points, while Quentin Snider and Deng Adel each scored 16. Norbertas Giga poured in 30 points for the Gamecocks in the loss. The Ohio Valley champions finish the season 20-and-15.
Rhode Island Upends Creighton
(Sacramento, CA) — Freshman Jeff Dowtin poured in 23 points to lead 11th-seeded Rhode Island to an easy 84-72 upset over sixth-seeded Creighton at the Midwest Regional in Sacramento. Dowtin went 10-for-10 from the free-throw line in the win. E.C. Matthews added 16 points and seven boards for the Rams, who face third-seeded Oregon on Sunday. Marcus Foster scored 15 points for the Bluejays, but shot just 1-of-7 from three. Creighton finishes 25-and-10.
Kansas Thrashes UC-Davis
(Tulsa, OK) — Kansas had little trouble against UC-Davis, earning a 100-62 win in the Midwest Regional from Tulsa. Frank Mason the Third led the Jayhawks with 22 Points and eight assists as all five KU starters scored in double figures. Josh Jackson added 17 points. Top-seeded Kansas plays Michigan State in the round of 32 on Sunday. Chima Moneke led the Aggies with 20 points and nine rebounds. UC-Davis ends the year with a record of 23-and-13.
#9 Michigan State Mauls #8 Miami
(Tulsa, OK) — The ninth-seeded Michigan State Spartans are moving on to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Nick Ward netted 19 points and Miles Bridges added 18 as the Spartans mauled eighth-seeded Miami 78-58 in Midwest Region action in Tulsa. Joshua Langford donated 13 points for MSU, which will face top-seeded Kansas in round two on Sunday. Ja’Quan Newton scored 16 points to pace the Hurricanes, who finish their season 21-and-12. Davon Reed had 12 points in defeat.
Arkansas Pulls Out Tight Affair Against Seton Hall
(Greenville, SC) — A controversial flagrant one foul call in the final seconds helped push eighth-seeded Arkansas past ninth-seeded Seton Hall 77-71 in the South Regional in Greenville, South Carolina. The call resulted in the Razorbacks receiving two free throws and the ball while up one point with 18 seconds left. Moses Kingsley led all scorers with 23 points, and Jaylen Barford added 20 points. Arkansas will face top-seeded North Carolina on Sunday. Angel Delgado had 12 points and 13 rebounds to lead Seton Hall, which ends its season 21-and-12.
Top-Seeded Carolina Blasts Texas Southern
(Greenville, SC) — Justin Jackson led six Tar Heels in double-figurers with 21 points as top-seeded North Carolina blasted 16th-seeded Texas Southern 103-64 in the South Regional in Greenville, South Carolina. Jackson made five three-pointers in the victory. Isaiah Hicks added 17 points for UNC, which meets eighth-seeded Arkansas on Sunday. Kevin Scott led the Tigers with 19 points. Texas Southern finishes its season 23-and-12.
Wichita State Shocks Dayton
(Indianapolis, IN) — Wichita State pulled off the shocker by beating seventh-seeded Dayton, 64-58, in South Regional action from Indianapolis. The 10th-seeded Shockers pulled away late with a balanced effort, led by 13 points from Landry Shamet. Zach Brown scored 12 points and Wichita State moves on to play Kentucky on Sunday. Scoochie Smith led the 24-and-8 Flyers with 25 points, but the team shot just 31-percent from the field. Kendall Pollard was the only other Dayton player in double-figures with 13 points.
Cincinnati Blows Past Kansas State
(Sacramento, CA) — Cincinnati locked up its 30th win as it blew past Kansas State, 75-61, in South Regional action in Sacramento. The sixth-seeded Bearcats led by 11 at halftime, and kept up the pressure thanks to 23 points from Troy Caupain. Kyle Washington scored 16 as Cincinnati shot just under 63-percent from the field. The Bearcats will face UCLA in the round of 32. Wesley Iwundu was the only K-State player in double figures with 19 points. The Wildcats fell to 21-and-14.
UCLA Breezes By Kent State
(Sacramento, CA) — UCLA never trailed as it breezed by Kent State, 97-80, in South Region action from Sacramento. The third-seeded Bruins got 23 points from T.J. Leaf, and Aaron Holliday added 15 points and 11 assists off the bench. Thomas Welsh posted 16 points and eight boards in the win. UCLA moves on to face sixth-seeded Cincinnati on Sunday. Jaylin Walker led the Golden Flashes with 23 points, and Jimmy Hall added 20 points and 15 rebounds in defeat. Kent State ends the year at 22-and-14.
#2 Kentucky Holds Off #15 Northern Kentucky
(Indianapolis, IN) — Second-seeded Kentucky is on the second round of the NCAA Tournament following a 79-70 win over 15th-seeded Northern Kentucky in South Region action in Indianapolis. “Bam” Adebayo racked up 15 points and 18 points for the Wildcats, who move on to play 10th-seeded Wichita State in round two on Sunday. De’Aaron Fox netted 19 points and Isaiah Briscoe added 17 in the victory. Lavone Holland the Second dropped in 22 points to pace the Norse, who end the year 24-and-11. Carson Williams had 21 points and nine rebounds in defeat.