N.C. State and its 2 DJs headed to 1st Final Four since 1983 after 76-64 win over Duke

DALLAS (AP) — Bruising big man DJ Burns Jr. scored a season-high 29 points, DJ Horne had 20 and 11th-seeded North Carolina State reached its first Final Four in four decades, beating Atlantic Coast Conference rival Duke 76-64 in the South Region final. N.C. State is back in the national semifinals for the first time since the late Jim Valvano was sprinting around the court looking for someone to hug after winning the 1983 national title. The Wolfpack will play Zach Edey and Purdue in the national semifinals. Jared McCain scored 32 points for Duke, which fell short of its second Final Four in three seasons.

Zach Edey goes big and sends Purdue to first Final Four since 1980 with a 72-66 win over Tennessee

DETROIT (AP) — Purdue big man Zach Edey went for a career-high 40 points along with 16 rebounds and one big block to muscle the Boilermakers into the program’s first Final Four since 1980 with a 72-66 victory over Tennessee. The 7-foot-4 center and the Boilermakers eked out a back-and-forth thriller between the country’s top two players, edging out Tennessee’s All-American, Dalton Knecht, who finished with 37 points. Top-seeded Purdue set aside last year’s grand disappointment — a first-round loss as a No. 1 seed — to book the trip to Glendale, Arizona. On Saturday, the Boilermakers will play either Duke or North Carolina State in the national semifinal.

Undefeated South Carolina women advance to Final Four with 70-58 win over Oregon State

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Tessa Johnson scored 15 points, Kamilla Cardoso added 12 and undefeated South Carolina advanced to the Final Four of the women’s NCAA Tournament with a 70-58 win over Oregon State. South Carolina made it to the national semifinals unbeaten for the second straight season. The Gamecocks lost to Caitlin Clark and Iowa in the Final Four last year. This time, with an entirely new starting lineup, coach Dawn Staley has her group on the verge of the school’s third national championship. The Gamecocks are 36-0 and will play N.C. State on Friday night in Cleveland. Raegan Beers scored 16 points to lead the Beavers.

Aziaha James makes 7 3s with mismatched 3-point lines, leads NC State past Texas into Final Four

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Aziaha James made a career-high seven 3-pointers and scored 27 points, and third-seeded North Carolina State earned its first trip to the Final Four of the women’s NCAA Tournament since 1998, beating top-seeded Texas 76-66. The played with 3-point lines at different distances on opposite ends of the court. River Baldwin added 16 points for N.C. State, which will face unbeaten South Carolina in the national semifinals in Cleveland on Saturday. Freshman Madison Booker finished with 17 points to lead the Longhorns, who were vying for their first Final Four since 2003. Both coaches were informed about the problem with the 3-point lines before the game but decided to play on.

Newspaper edits its column about LSU-UCLA game after Tigers coach Kim Mulkey blasted it as sexist

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The Los Angeles Times has edited a column it published last week about the LSU women’s basketball team ahead of its game against UCLA following criticism from Tigers coach Kim Mulkey, who blasted it as sexist and hurtful. Mulkey defended her players after they were referred to as “villains” and “dirty debutantes” in a piece first published Friday that likened the Sweet 16 game between LSU and UCLA as a battle of good versus evil. The Times removed those references late Saturday as well as one comparing UCLA’s team to “milk and cookies.” It republished the column with a note that said the original version did not meet the newspaper’s standards.

Court for women’s NCAA Tournament in Portland has 3-point lines with different distances

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The 3-point line for the women’s NCAA Tournament at Moda Center had a discrepancy in distance at each end of the court that went unnoticed through four games over two days before Texas and North Carolina State were informed of the problem ahead of their Elite Eight matchup. The NCAA says in a statement that the teams’ coaches agreed to play Sunday’s game as scheduled with the mismatched 3-point lines rather than delay it. Four Sweet 16 games on Friday and Saturday were played without any of the participating teams saying anything publicly about a problem with the court. The line at one end was too close to the basket.

Players, coaches dismiss criticism of trash talking, say it’s part of the game

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — It was the signature moment of last year’s national championship game.With victory assured, LSU’s Angel Reese pointed to her ring finger and flashed the “you can’t see me” gesture (waving her hand in front of her own face) at Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, who had made a similar gesture earlier in the tournament.The move sparked a discussion over trash talk in the women’s game, which is being renewed as the two stars prepare to face off again Monday in the Albany 2 regional final. Reese said Sunday that she a Clark don’t hate each other and that the talk is just part of a competitive game. Clark agrees and said when she trash talks its to fire herself up, not to put down an opponent.

Jaeger wins Houston Open for 1st PGA Tour title. Scheffler’s bid for 3 in a row ends on 5-foot putt

HOUSTON (AP) — Stephan Jaeger of Germany is a PGA Tour winner for the first time and headed to the Masters. His victory at the Houston Open ended Scottie Scheffler’s bid for three straight victories. Scheffler had his chances right to the end. He had a 5-foot birdie putt to force a playoff and missed it left. Jaeger finished with nine straight pars and shot 67 to win on his 135th attempt on the PGA Tour. Scheffler tied for second with Tony Finau, Thomas Detry, Alejandro Tosti and Taylor Moore. Tosti was tied for the lead until a bogey on the 18th.

Nelly Korda rallies to win 3rd straight LPGA Tour start at Ford Championship

GILBERT, Ariz. (AP) — Top-ranked Nelly Korda became the first LPGA Tour player in eight years to win three straight starts, shooting a 7-under 65 in soggy conditions for a two-stroke victory in the Ford Championship. Korda stayed steady through four days in the desert, entering the final round two shots back through weather that got progressively worse at Seville Golf and Country Club. Korda nearly holed out her second shot for birdie on the short par-4 16th to take the lead and birdied No. 18 to finish at 20-under 268 for her 12th career LPGA victory. She’s the first LPGA player to win three straight starts since Ariya Jutanugarn in 2016. Australian rookie Hira Naveed shot 66 to finish second at 18 under in her second career start.

Wemby’s celebratory ball toss into the stands came with a price. The NBA fined him $25,000

NEW YORK (AP) — Victor Wembanyama’s celebratory tossing of a basketball into the stands was costly. The NBA fined the San Antonio rookie $25,000 on Sunday for the act, which came at the end of Friday’s 130-126 overtime win for the Spurs over the New York Knicks. Wembanyama caught a long pass for a steal on the game’s final play, wrapped his arms around the ball, high-fived a courtside fan and then tossed the ball a few rows into the crowd.

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