Thursday’s Sports In Brief
Four games in the NCAA tournament went to overtime Thursday night to set a record for one day, according to STATS.
The last of the day’s 16 games – New Mexico State against San Diego State – broke the previous mark. The fourth-seeded Aztecs pulled out a 73-69 victory, the second consecutive overtime game in Spokane, Wash.
The final game of the First Four also went to overtime Wednesday night, when Tennessee beat Iowa. That means five of the first 20 games in the tournament have extended into an extra 5-minute session.
The last time there had been as many as three overtimes on one NCAA tournament day was March 20, 2010. If there’s a single overtime in any of Friday’s 16 games, the record for the most OT games in the round of 64 will be broken.
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman underwent a 2 1/2-hour operation to repair a broken bone above his left eye but has no other serious injuries after being hit in the face by a line drive in a spring training game.
Team medical director Dr. Timothy Kremchek said Chapman could begin throwing off a mound in six to eight weeks, a timetable that could get him back in games in late May. The left-hander with a fastball that has reached 105 mph could start exercising and throwing on flat ground in a couple of weeks, Kremchek said.
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) – New York Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was sent for an MRI of his ailing right calf, which was negative.
Ellsbury hasn’t played since March 14. He was scratched from Sunday’s game against Atlanta because of right calf tightness.
SYDNEY (AP) – Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly doesn’t expect lower back tightness to keep first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from playing in the Major League Baseball season opener Saturday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) – The Los Angeles Angels and Chicago Cubs included a pair of big names in a minor league trade.
The Angels dealt first baseman Matt Scioscia, the son of manager Mike Scioscia, to the Cubs for outfielder Trevor Gretzky, the son of hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky.
VIERA, Fla. (AP) – Jose Iglesias will be out four to six months because of stress fractures in both legs.
The Detroit Tigers shortstop was examined Tuesday by Dr. Thomas Clanton, a foot and ankle specialist, and is scheduled to be reevaluated in four months.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – Scouts from every NFL team, fans and media packed Missouri’s training facilities to watch former Tigers defensive end Michael Sam and 14 of his former teammates at the school’s annual pro day.
Sam made headlines recently by disclosing he is gay. At the workouts, he lifted 225 pounds 19 times, ran the 40-yard dash in an unofficial 4.69 seconds and jumped 30 inches, all improvements from his statistics at the NFL combine last month. He also tweaked his right hamstring during the run.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) – The Atlanta Falcons agreed to terms with return specialist Devin Hester.
The 31-year-old Hester is a three-time Pro-Bowler who last year tied an NFL record with his 19th scoring return in eight seasons with the Chicago Bears.
HOUSTON (AP) – The Houston Texans signed veteran free agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The nine-year NFL veteran started nine games for the Titans last season and threw for 2,454 yards and 14 touchdowns. He has appeared in 85 games with 77 starts in his career.
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) – Safety Charles Woodson agreed to a one-year deal to extend his second stint with the Oakland Raiders to a second season.
Woodson was flying to the Bay Area and was expected to officially sign the deal Friday, according to his agent, Carl Poston. ESPN first reported the deal.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The Carolina Panthers signed free agent wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery to a two-year contract, helping rebuild a depleted wide receiving corps.
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) – The Arizona Cardinals agreed on the terms of a one-year contract with free agent cornerback Antonio Cromartie.
A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Cromartie spent the past four seasons with the New York Jets. He led the Jets last season with three interceptions. He also had eight passes defensed and one forced fumble. He was released by the Jets on March 9.
PHOENIX (AP) – Former Fiesta Bowl chief executive John Junker was sentenced to three years of probation on a state conviction for his acknowledged role in an illegal campaign contribution scheme.
The sentencing in county court in metro Phoenix marked the second punishment 58-year-old Junker has received in the last week for the contribution scandal that jeopardized the bowl’s NCAA license and led to the ouster of the longtime bowl leader. A week ago, he was sentenced in federal court to eight months in prison on a conspiracy conviction arising from the scandal.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – NFL prospect and former Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan has been charged with assault and battery, stemming from a confrontation with two Ohio State fans on Dec. 1 after the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines.
Lewan is scheduled for an April 8 arraignment on one count of aggravated assault and two counts assault and battery.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Masters champion Adam Scott tied the course record at Bay Hill with a 10-under 62 in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Scott made two eagle putts and had three birdie putts longer than 20 feet, one of them from well off the green on the 15th hole. It gave the 33-year-old Australian a three-shot lead over Ryo Ishikawa and John Merrick.
PHOENIX (AP) – Morgan Pressel had a shot at golf’s magic number of 59 after she played the first 11 holes in 9 under, but she bogeyed the next two holes and closed with five pars for a 7-under 65 in the JTBC Founders Cup.
She ended up a stroke behind Mirim Lee at Desert Ridge.
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) – Bernard Tomic lost the shortest completed ATP match on record, lasting only 28 minutes at the Sony Open in his first tournament since having surgery on both hips.
Ending a two-month layoff, Tomic won just 13 points and lost to Jarkko Nieminen 6-0, 6-1. It was the quickest match since the ATP started keeping such records in 1991.
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) – Serena Williams capitalized on a critical double-fault Thursday by Yaroslava Shvedova to survive a 69-minute first set and win her opening match at the Sony Open, 7-6 (7), 6-2.
No. 4-seeded Maria Sharapova, a five-time runner-up in the tournament, joined Williams in the third round by beating Kurumi Nara 6-3, 6-4. Seeded players had first-round byes.
On the men’s side, Lleyton Hewitt became the third active man to win 600 matches when he rallied past Robin Haase 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – Racing Hall of Fame-nominated trainer Steve Asmussen and his top assistant are being investigated by thoroughbred racing regulators in New York and Kentucky after an animal rights group alleged they mistreated horses.
The investigations were launched after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals provided video evidence from an undercover investigation of Asmussen and some of his associates, the states’ racing commissions said.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
LOS ANGELES (AP) – A Los Angeles jury decided that helmet maker Riddell Inc. isn’t liable for the severe brain injury of a high school football player who suffered a helmet-to-helmet hit during a game.