DAYTON, Ohio (AP) – The NCAA men’s basketball tournament has opened in Dayton, Ohio, where Saint Mary’s knocked off Middle Tennessee 67-54 after North Carolina A&T nipped Liberty 73-72. Matthew Dellavedova shot 5-for-7 from three-point range and finished with 22 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Gaels. Jeremy Underwood scored 19 points to lead A&T to its first ever NCAA tournament victory in 10 tries.
NEW YORK (AP) – Butler, Creighton and Xavier will join the so-called Catholic 7 schools in the new basketball conference keeping the Big East name, a person familiar with the situation said Tuesday. The three schools will join Georgetown, St. John’s, Villanova, Seton Hall, Providence, Marquette and DePaul to form a new league for next season.
NEW YORK (AP) – The New York Knicks have suffered two more injuries as they try to win the Atlantic Division title. All-Star center Tyson Chandler is expected to miss about a week due to a bulging disk, and backup Kurt Thomas could be out as much as four weeks because of a stress fracture in his right foot. Leading scorer Carmelo Anthony has missed three straight games due to a knee problem, and Amare Stoudemire and Rasheed Wallace are out at least the rest of the regular season following surgery.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Indianapolis Colts signed Matt Hasselbeck a day after the 37-year-old quarterback was released by the Tennessee Titans. The Colts have him penciled in as the backup and mentor for Andrew Luck. Hasselbeck is a three-time Pro Bowl selection who led Seattle to the Super Bowl in 2005.
PHOENIX (AP) – NFL owners have approved two rule changes yesterday to enhance player safety. The owners outlawed peel-back blocks anywhere on the field; previously, they were illegal only inside the tackle box. Also banned is overloading a formation while attempting to block a field goal or extra point. Defensive teams can now have only six or less players on each side of the snapper at the line of scrimmage.