UNDATED (AP) — Even as college basketball tournaments are getting into full swing, much speculation still centers on the teams considered on the bubble for the Division 1 men’s NCAA Tournament. Several such teams play in the Atlantic Coast Conference, whose tournament is starting. Three members of the ACC — Clemson, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech — started the first round of the Brooklyn tournament with a chance at least of being one of the 37 at-large teams in the NCAA Tournament.
UNDATED (AP) — Two names stand out from last night’s NBA games: Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Dirk Nowitzki (noh-VIHT’-skee) of the Dallas Mavericks. Westbrook, the league scoring leader, posted a career high of 58 points at home, but the Portland Trail Blazers won the game, 126-121. In Dallas, Nowitzki, the veteran, 7-foot German, became only the sixth player in NBA history to score 30,000 points and only the third to accomplish the feat with one team. Nowitzki didn’t even need the whole game to get it done, as he scored the 20 points he needed in the first half.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — One of baseball’s old saws is that a struggling pitcher should come up with a new pitch. Don’t tell that to Washington’s Max Scherzer, last season’s Cy Young Winner in the National League. Scherzer didn’t need a new pitch so much as he needed a new way to throw the stuff he has. Scherzer, who is still questionable as the Nationals’ opening day starter because of injury, has come up with a new grip for his fastball. This is because he’s still suffering from a stress fracture in his right index finger — a problem that didn’t totally heal over the winter.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Top-seeded Gonzaga (gahn-ZAG’-uh) is celebrating its victory Tuesday night over No. 2 seed St. Mary’s, 74-56. It gave the Zags the West Coast Conference Tournament championship and kept alive a banner season in which the team has lost only one game. It seems virtually certain to get a No. 1 regional seed in the NCAA Tournament. Coach Mark Few brought in veteran transfers and one of the best recruiting classes in school history this season, a group that’s been called the best in his 18-year tenure as head coach.
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — Possible rules changes are in the mix as National Hockey League general managers meet in Florida. But it appears many of the GMs want to keep things as they are — for now. While league officials are fully expecting at least one rule to cause consternation in the playoffs, general managers opted against recommending changes to it or anything else on the second day of meetings Tuesday. Arizona Coyotes general manager John Chayka says, “Like anything, it’s better to move slow.”