HOUSTON (AP) Mike Krzyzewski and Duke are one win away from getting back to the NCAA Final Four, this time with a talented group of freshmen.
Justise Winslow, the freshman from Houston playing at home the day after his 19th birthday, had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the South Regional’s top-seeded Blue Devils in their 63-57 Sweet 16 victory over revived Utah on Friday night.
Duke (32-4) is going to its 20th regional final, the 14th under Coach K for the most by any active coach. The last Final Four appearance was in 2010, when the Blue Devils also went through Houston on way to their fourth national title.
The Blue Devils play No. 2 seed Gonzaga (35-2) on Sunday in the South Regional final, with the winner going to Indianapolis for the Final Four.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) – Denzel Valentine scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half to lead Michigan State to a 62-58 win over Oklahoma in an NCAA Tournament East Regional semifinal on Friday night.
Counted out for nearly done in February, the Tom Izzo-coached Spartans (26-11) are instead headed to the Elite Eight for the second straight year and fourth time since 2009. And they’re going as a seventh-seeded team that knocked off the third-seeded Sooners (24-11), a week after knocking off No. 2 Virginia.
Michigan State is the lowest-seeded team still in the tournament, and advances to face Louisville on Sunday.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee has fired basketball coach Donnie Tyndall after one season.
Tyndall’s firing comes as the NCAA investigates his two-year stay at Southern Mississippi, where he coached before coming to Tennessee last year.
Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart said in a statement Friday it is ”highly likely” Tyndall will face ”significant penalties” after the NCAA completes its inquiry. He added that the decision by the school is ”in the best interests of the University of Tennessee.”
Michael Sam says there are ”a lot” of gay players in the NFL and some have reached out to him.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Sam gave a speech Thursday at the Dallas Holocaust Museum and took questions from the audience.
Sam said: ”I’m just saying there is a lot of us.” He added he’d never out a player who confided in him, but ”there’s some famous people.”
Sam came out before last year’s NFL draft. The defensive end from Missouri was selected in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams and cut in training camp. The Dallas Cowboys signed him to their practice squad but released him in October.
He’s currently a free agent.
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) – The fiancee of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez has testified that after she dropped him off at a police station to be questioned over the slaying of her sister’s boyfriend, he told her to meet one of his co-defendants and give him money.
Shayanna Jenkins was granted immunity to testify in Hernandez’s murder trial Friday.
Hernandez is accused in the June 17, 2013, killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating Jenkins’ younger sister.
Jenkins says Hernandez told her to meet Ernest Wallace after she dropped him off. Wallace and a third man, Carlos Ortiz, have pleaded not guilty in the killing and will be tried later.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – NBA MVP Kevin Durant will miss the rest of the season and have bone graft surgery next week to treat a fractured bone in his right foot.
The Oklahoma City Thunder had said last week he likely would be shut down for the season. The team was trying to figure out why his pain remained long after he was supposed to be able to play.
General manager Sam Presti said Friday the team expects Durant to return to basketball activities within the four to six months.
He said this decision was aimed at Durant’s ”long-term health and stability.”
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – If he had it to do over again, Shaquille O’Neal says he wishes he would have been more patient before leaving the Orlando Magic.
O’Neal said Friday after an ”unexpected” induction into the Magic’s Hall of Fame, that being young and wanting to win right away prompted him to leave for the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency in 1996.
O’Neal became the third inductee into the Magic’s Hall, joining co-founder Pat Williams and Nick Anderson, the Magic’s first-ever draft pick.
PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) – The European championship qualifying match between Montenegro and Russia was abandoned Friday after two Russian players were struck by objects thrown from the crowd, including its goalkeeper being hit in the head by a flare.
The Group G game was called off with the score at 0-0 after Dmitry Kombarov became the second Russian player to be struck by an object, sparking a mass brawl between the teams. Earlier, goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was taken to a hospital and the match suspended for about 30 minutes when a flare struck him on the head.
Russia’s Roman Shirokov had his penalty saved by Vukasin Poleksic in the 66th minute and Kombarov was hit shortly afterwards, prompting a brawl between both teams’ players and staff. Pyrotechnics were used by fans and there were also clashes in the stands.
The Russian players left the pitch, later followed by the Montenegrin team.
MIAMI (AP) – A cousin of New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez who was the star’s longtime personal assistant pleaded guilty Friday to a federal drug charge, the last remaining defendant in the probe into steroids illegally provided to athletes through a South Florida clinic.
Yuri Sucart, 52, admitted Friday in Miami federal court that he conspired with others to distribute human growth hormone to athletes, some of high school age. Seven others, including former Biogenesis of America clinic owner Anthony Bosch, have previously pleaded guilty and received sentences ranging from probation to four years in prison.
Under a plea agreement with prosecutors, Sucart faces between eight and 14 months in prison at sentencing June 4.
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) – Seattle Mariners reliever David Rollins was suspended for 80 games on Friday for the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Major League Baseball announced Rollins’ suspension, saying he tested positive for Stanozolol, a synthetic anabolic steroid. Rollins will not appeal the suspension.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Michael Johnson was hospitalized after breaking his hip and pelvis in a crash in the Pro Mazda Series at St. Petersburg.
Johnson hit the Turn 3 wall in the opening practice session Friday on the temporary street course through the streets of St. Petersburg.
Dr. Jeffery Johnson of the Bayfront Medical Center said Johnson is in the intensive care unit undergoing observation.
Johnson was paralyzed from the mid-chest area down in a 2005 racing accident on a motorcycle when he was 12.