NEW YORK (AP) Phil Jackson is back in New York, providing the Knicks stability, championship-building ideas and a link to the franchise’s best days.
Jackson was introduced as team president of the Knicks, in the midst of another difficult season and with no easy path to a quick fix.
But Jackson has won here before, done plenty of it since and says a couple of years off have left him ready to take on what might be his toughest challenge, turning this dysfunctional franchise into a champion again.
Jackson was a member of the Knicks’ title teams in 1970 and 1973, and they haven’t won since.
The 11-time champion as a head coach will be an executive for the first time, and the Knicks say he will be in charge of all basketball decisions.
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) – Auburn hired former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl to revive a struggling basketball program that hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament in more than a decade.
The school announced the hiring of the charismatic coach, who remains under a show-cause penalty from the NCAA into August. Pearl had plenty of success on the court, taking Tennessee to the NCAA tournament in each of his six seasons before getting fired in March 2011 in the wake of an NCAA investigation.
NCAA spokeswoman Emily James said Auburn has 30 days to file a report to the Committee on Infractions either contesting or accepting the show-cause penalty barring Pearl from recruiting until Aug. 23.
Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said he believes Pearl ”has learned from his mistake.”
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) – D.J. Evans scored 22 points, including two clinching free throws with 12.6 seconds left, to lead Albany to its first NCAA tournament victory, 71-64 over Mount St. Mary’s in the First Four.
The Great Danes advance to meet overall No. 1 seed and top-ranked Florida on Thursday in Orlando.
It was a wild game of incredible turnarounds, with the Great Danes bolting to leads of 13-0 and 21-2, only to have Mount St. Mary’s bounce back with a 21-2 run of its own to pull even.
Peter Hooley had 20 points and Gary Johnson 13 for Albany, winless in its three previous NCAA trips.
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) – Given a second chance, T.J. Warren put on a show in the NCAA tournament.
The hard-to-guard sophomore forward scored 16 of his 25 points in the second half, and North Carolina State led most of the way in a 74-59 victory over Xavier in the NCAA tournament’s First Four.
N.C. State didn’t have much time to celebrate. The 12th-seeded Wolfpack headed to Orlando, Fla., for a game on Thursday against St. Louis in the Midwest Regional.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Tiger Woods withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational because of persistent pain in his back, creating even more uncertainty for golf’s No. 1 player with the Masters only three weeks away.
And that’s if Woods can even play in the Masters.
Woods had to withdraw after 13 holes of the final round at the Honda Classic three weeks ago because of what he called back spasms and pain in his lower back. He tried to defend his title the following week at Doral, only for his back to flare up again in the final round. He closed with a 78, the highest Sunday score of his PGA Tour career and the first final round without a birdie.
After a week of rest and treatment, he didn’t feel fit to play Bay Hill, where he is an eight-time winner, including the past two years.
MIAMI (AP) – Free-agent guard Richie Incognito made his first public comments since undergoing treatment in the wake of the team’s bullying scandal, saying he looks forward to landing a spot with an NFL team as soon as possible.
Incognito’s comments on Twitter were his first since Feb. 18, before he underwent unspecified treatment.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Cam Newton will undergo surgery on his left ankle and will be sidelined for four months, the Carolina Panthers announced.
The team said the Pro Bowl quarterback has experienced soreness in the ankle since the end of last season and the problem simply wasn’t getting better.
The surgery will be performed by Panthers team physician Robert Anderson at Carolinas Medical Center. If all goes as expected, Newton could return before training begins at the end of July.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Roman Harper is headed to a place he was once loathed by fans in hopes of rejuvenating his NFL career.
The Panthers announced they signed the longtime New Orleans Saints safety and division rival to a two-year contract. Financial terms were not released.
Harper was a mainstay at safety in New Orleans for the past eight seasons starting 104 games. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Harper has 17 career sacks, the most by any defensive back since 2006.
He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2009 and 2010.
However, injuries limited him to five games in 2013 and he was phased out in favor of rookie Kenny Vaccaro.
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) – Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan defeated 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy 6-4, 6-2 to advance to a second-round match against top-seeded Serena Williams at the Sony Open.
Williams, who will open defense of her title against the 59th-ranked Shvedova on Thursday, has won all three matches they’ve played.
American Varvara Lepchenko defeated Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium, but fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands fell to Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
Monica Puig of Puerto Rico, who lives in Miami, defeated Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-1, 7-6 (7).