>>NFL Expands Helmet Contact Rule, Approves Simplified Catch Rule
(Orlando, FL) — The NFL is expanding its rules for helmet-to-helmet contact. League owners passed the measure yesterday at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando. Players who lower their head to initiate contact with the crown of their helmet on any play will be flagged 15 yards and be subject to possible ejection. Teams also approved the simplified catch rule, eliminating the “going to the ground” provision.
>>Durant Says He’s Coming Back Tomorrow
(Oakland, CA) — Kevin Durant is tired of watching his teammates play without him. Golden State head coach Steve Kerr said he thinks Durant will play tomorrow night against the Bucks. Durant himself told ESPN he’s going to play right before sitting out his sixth straight game last night. The Warriors have lost six of their last nine games.
>>Heat Pummel Cavs
(Miami, FL) — The Heat defense led the way in a 98-79 win over the Cavaliers in South Beach. Miami held Cleveland’s potent offense to 36.5-percent shooting, including a 7-of-18 effort with six turnovers from former Heat star LeBron James. The Cavs are currently third in the Eastern Conference, but just a half-game ahead of the 76ers and Pacers.
>>Rockets Rout Bulls
(Houston, TX) — Eric Gordon poured in a game-high 31 points to lead the Rockets to a 118-86 rout of the Bulls at the Toyota Center. Gordon finished 8-of-13 from three-point range. Lauri Markkanen netted 22 points to pace Chicago, which fell to 24-and-50 with its sixth straight loss. The Bulls are at the Heat tomorrow night.
>>Blackhawks Host Jets Tomorrow Night
(Chicago, IL) — The Blackhawks play their second-to-last home game of the season tonight against the Jets at the United Center. Chicago has lost six-of-seven and has been eliminated from playoff contention. They start a two-game road trip on Friday versus the Avs.
>>Blues Sink Sharks In Overtime
(St. Louis, MO) — Vladimir Tarasenko tied the game in the second period and won it in overtime as the Blues beat the Sharks 3-2 at Scottrade Center. Oskar Sundqvist also scored as St. Louis won its sixth straight. The Blues hold the top wild card in the West with 91 points and six games to play. They skate in Vegas on Friday.
>>White Sox At Royals Tomorrow
(Kansas City, MO) — Opening Day for the White Sox is early tomorrow evening. Chicago begins a three-game series against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. James Shields toes the rubber for the Sox. Kansas City counters with Danny Duffy.
>>Cardinals Blanked By Blue Jays In Spring Finale
(Montreal, Quebec) — Jack Flaherty gave up a solo homer to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Cardinals closed spring play with a 1-0 loss to the Blue Jays in Montreal. It was the only hit Flaherty allowed in two-and-two-thirds innings of relief. Tommy Pham and Yadier Molina had two hits each for St. Louis.
>>Cardinals To Promote Hicks To 25-Man Roster
(Montreal, Quebec) — Rookie pitcher Jordan Hicks will be on the Opening Day roster for the Cardinals. The “Post-Dispatch” reports the team has decided to promote the 21-year-old right-hander to the 25-man roster, earning a spot in the bullpen. To make room on the roster, pitcher John Brebbia is being optioned to Triple-A Memphis.
>>Cardinals Open Season Tomorrow Against Mets
(Flushing, NY) — The Cardinals start the regular season tomorrow against the Mets in New York. It’s the first of a three-game series at Citi Field. Carlos Martinez draws the Opening Day assignment for St. Louis, while New York starts Noah Syndergaard. The Cardinals’ first game at Busch Stadium is next Thursday against Arizona.
>>Cubs Doubled Up By BoSox In Final Spring Tuneup
(Fort Myers, FL) — The Cubs finished spring play with a 4-2 loss to the Red Sox in Fort Myers, Florida. Mark Zagunis and Chris Gimenez had RBI singles in the eighth to get Chicago close. Justin Hancock took the loss in relief of starter Jose Quintana, who pitched three scoreless innings. The Cubs open the season tomorrow at Miami.
>>Pitt And Louisville Find New Coaches
(Undated) — The college basketball coaching carousel is starting to spin. Pitt has hired Duke assistant Jeff Capel to take over its struggling program. According to ESPN, Louisville has hired Chris Mack away from Xavier. Mack is replacing interim coach David Padgett, who stepped in after Rick Pitino was fired following a FBI investigation into fraud and corruption in college basketball.
This afternoon on Talk 101 FM, Diamond conditions permitting, the Talk 101 High School Game of the Week presented by Landmark of Taylorville is at Eisenhower High School as the Panthers play host to Springfield Sacred Heart Griffin in High School Girls Softball. The Dale’s Southlake Pharmacy Pregame Show gets underway at 4:15p.m. and the first pitch follows at 4:30p.m. Join Scott Busboom and Scott Chapman with the call this afternoon on Talk 101 FM!