LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) After downplaying the possibility of the achievement in recent weeks, top-ranked Kentucky finally embraced its milestone following the end of Saturday’s 67-50 victory over Florida.
The Wildcats gathered at midcourt and hurriedly donned blue T-shirts with ”31-0 Not Done Yet” in white. For sure, they seek nine more wins to claim the ultimate achievement for the storied program.
Article continues below ...
But taking a moment to recognize Kentucky’s first 31-0 regular season was significant for players who insist that winning the program’s ninth NCAA championship is most important. At the same time this celebration is temporary as the Wildcats will soon resume working toward the only thing that matters.
”We take pride but our journey is not done,” said freshman forward Trey Lyles, who had 14 points and six rebounds for Kentucky. ”We have a lot of work to do and we only have two guaranteed games left in our season, so we have to make sure we go out there and play hard and together.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Syracuse Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim still hasn’t spoken publicly since the NCAA hit the school and his program with penalties for decade-long violations.
Boeheim skipped the postgame news conference after Saturday’s 71-57 season-ending loss at North Carolina State. He instead issued a statement – as he did Friday after the NCAA announced its ruling – saying he would ”more fully comment” on NCAA issues in the future and wanted the focus on his players.
”I’m as proud of this team as any I have ever coached,” Boeheim said. ”I think these players have done everything any and all of us could have asked them to do.”
Boeheim sent longtime assistant coach Mike Hopkins to answer questions about the game, while his players fielded questions from reporters in the visiting locker room.
HOUSTON (AP) – Southern and Texas Southern were battling for the Southwest Conference women’s basketball regular-season title Saturday night when a bench-clearing fight broke out midway through the second half.
Officials ruled the game a double forfeit.
Southern was leading 51-49 at the time, and the league’s official Twitter feed said the score would stand and the teams would share the regular-season title with 16-2 records.
Southern coach Sandy Pugh told The Advocate newspaper in Baton Rouge, where the visiting Jaguars are located, ”I’ve been involved with basketball for 30-plus years and I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s an embarrassment.”
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Portland Trail Blazers knew they were going to miss Wesley Matthews. It didn’t take long for Minnesota to show them how much.
Kevin Martin scored 29 points and Ricky Rubio hit a big 3-pointer with a minute left to help the Timberwolves snap a four-game skid with a 121-113 victory over the Trail Blazers on Saturday night.
Matthews went down with a ruptured Achilles on Thursday night, a big blow to the Blazers’ chances in the powerful Western Conference. He is the team’s best perimeter defender and an extremely versatile offensive player as well, and Portland missed him dearly in its first game without him.
The Wolves’ two shooting guards combined for 56 points and made 19 of 32 shots. Martin hit 11 of 21 and Gary Neal scored 27 off the bench on 8-of-11 shooting.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The Atlanta Hawks decided to rest three starters against lowly Philadelphia, and it cost them.
Hollis Thompson and Luc Mbah a Moute scored 19 points apiece, and the 76ers surprised the short-handed Hawks 92-84 on Saturday night.
Nerlens Noel had 11 points and 17 rebounds for the 76ers, who erased a 16-point deficit to win for the second time in 11 games. Philadelphia (14-49) entered with the NBA’s second-worst record.
MILWAUKEE (AP) – A person familiar with the negotiations says receiver Randall Cobb is returning to the Green Bay Packers after agreeing to a four-year, $40 million deal.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Saturday night because no one was authorized to talk about the deal before it was officially announced.
ESPN.com first reported the agreement.
Cobb capitalized on a career year when he had 91 catches for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns. He joined Jordy Nelson to become a potent receiving tandem during quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ MVP campaign.
The 5-foot-10 Cobb also proved to be an elusive threat in the red zone and over the middle on third downs.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A person familiar with the situation says New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram has agreed to a four-year contract extension.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Saints have not announced a new contract with Ingram, who was due to become a free agent next week.
Ingram later posted a brief comment on the social media site Twitter, writing that he is ”Very excited to stay a Saint!!”
DORAL, Fla. (AP) – J.B. Holmes and Dustin Johnson each made a hole-in-one on the par-3 fourth hole in a span of 20 minutes. Holmes was in a league of his own in the final hour Saturday at the Cadillac Championship.
His advantage down to one shot, Holmes answered by running off four straight birdies in the rain to expand his lead to the largest it has been all week. He closed with a bogey for a 2-under 70, leaving him five shots ahead of Johnson and Masters champion Bubba Watson going into Sunday’s final round.
On a day of two aces, five other eagles on par 4s and even a scuba driver retrieving the 3-iron that Rory McIlroy heaved into the lake the day before, Holmes took some of the drama out of Doral with his late surge.
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) – Rangers ace Yu Darvish might require season-ending Tommy John surgery after an MRI exam revealed partially torn ligaments in his troublesome right elbow.
Texas general manager Jon Daniels said Saturday that Darvish could try to pitch through the injury, rest for up to four months or undergo surgery. Daniels said the club would get a second opinion this weekend but indicated that surgery may be the preferred option.
Darvish, a three-time All-Star, was shut down for the final seven weeks last season with inflammation in the same elbow. He underwent an MRI exam around Thanksgiving that came back clean, and had not experienced any trouble in workouts and bullpen sessions.
He first felt tightness while warming up Thursday. He left the game after 12 pitches. He had his MRI late Friday.