Weekday Morning Sports – Monday 3/14/16

Sports Radio 1400 WSJM     @wsjmsports     wsjmsports.com     Monday, March 14, 2016

NCAA Men’s Basketball – Big Ten Conference Tournament
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Yesterday – Finals
#2 Michigan State 66, #4 Purdue 62

#2 Michigan State 66, #4 Purdue 62 –Spartans beat Purdue 66-62 to win Big Ten crown
Denzel Valentine finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists to lead No. 2 Michigan State past No. 13 Purdue 66-62 in Sunday’s Big Ten Tournament championship game. He was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after flirting with triple-doubles on three consecutive days. Michigan State (29-5) has won 13 of 14 and has its fifth tourney title, giving them an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Purdue (26-8) was led by Vince Edwards with 19 points while A.J.  Hammons and Caleb Swanigan had 11 each. Michigan State took control with two 9-0 runs late in the first half and extended the margin to as much as 46-33 early in the second. The Boilermakers charged back and got as close as 62-61 with 2:50 left when Rapheal Davis made two free throws. But Valentine made a 16-footer with 1:45 left and the Spartans didn’t give up another basket.

NCAA Basketball – Virginia No. 1 seed in NCAA Midwest without conference title
Virginia is a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament even without a conference title this season. The Cavaliers (26-7) are the top team in the Midwest Region, and will play Mid-Eastern Conference champion Hampton (21-10) in their tournament opener Thursday in Raleigh, North Carolina. After finishing the ACC regular season a game behind North Carolina, the Cavaliers advanced to the tournament championship game and lost to the Tar Heels 61-57 on Saturday. Michigan State (29-5), which won the Big Ten tournament championship earlier Sunday, is the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region. While an ACC runner-up, Virginia had some impressive non-conference wins. There was a three-game stretch in December when the Cavaliers beat No. 9 West Virginia, No. 3 Villanova and No. 24 California.

NCAA Basketball – Twitter scoops CBS with leaked brackets
The first blockbuster upset of March Madness was Twitter over CBS on Selection Sunday. The NCAA says it is looking into how a copy of this year’s tournament bracket got leaked online during the network’s extended selection show on Sunday. The bracket was being shared on Twitter about 20 minutes after the start of the two-hour broadcast. The NCAA says it takes “this matter seriously and we are looking into it.”  CBS declined comment.

NHL – National Hockey League
Last Night
Toronto Maple Leafs 1, Detroit Red Wings 0

Maple Leafs 1, Red Wings 0 – Bernier makes 38 saves in Toronto’s 1-0 shutout of Detroit
Jonathan Bernier made 38 saves in his 12th career shutout, leading the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 1-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday night. It marked the Maple Leafs’ second shutout of the Red Wings in the last 30 years. The last time was Curtis Joseph’s 3-0 victory on Dec. 6, 2000, in Detroit. Michael Grabner scored at 19:30 of the second. Petr Mrazek made 26 saves for the Red Wings, who had won two in a row.

Tonight
Los Angeles Kings at Chicago Blackhawks, 8 p.m.

NBA – National Basketball Association
Tonight
Chicago Bulls at Toronto Raptors, 7:30 p.m.
Detroit Pistons at Washington Wizards, 8:00 p.m.

MLB – Major League Baseball – Spring Training
Yesterday
Pittsburgh Pirates 9, Detroit Tigers 5
Oakland A’s 3, Chicago Cubs 3 – TIE
Arizona Diamondbacks 11, Chicago White Sox 4

Pirates 9, Tigers 5 – Pirates rally past Tigers after Gerrit Cole’s rocky debut
Gerrit Cole served up wind-blown home runs to Anthony Gose and Casey McGehee in his Grapefruit League debut Sunday before the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied past the Detroit Tigers for a 9-5 win at McKechnie Field. Cole, who finished fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting last season, gave up two hits and struck out one in two innings. A minor ribcage injury in January kept Cole off the mound for the first two weeks of spring training games. With a strong wind blowing out, Starling Marte and Elias Diaz homered for the Pirates and had two hits apiece. Leadoff man Josh Harrison doubled twice as Pittsburgh banged out 14 hits. Tigers left-hander Matt Boyd allowed five hits and four runs in 3 2-3 innings. He walked two and struck out three. Detroit prospect Steven Moya hit his fourth home run of the spring and had two hits.

A’s 3, Cube 3 – TIE – Hendricks solid for Cubs in 3-3 tie with Athletics
Kyle Hendricks allowed one hit in four scoreless innings in the Chicago Cubs’ return to their former HoHoKam Stadium spring home, but the Oakland Athletics rallied for three runs in the ninth for a 3-3 tie Sunday.  Hendricks gave up only a two-out double to Billy Butler in the second inning. He finished with five strikeouts and a walk. The Cubs scored twice in the first. Anthony Rizzo hit the first pitch of the game by Jesse Hahn for a double and came around to score on a wild pitch. Jeimer Candelario’s two-out home run made it 2-0. John Andreoli hit a solo homer in the seventh.  The A’s tied it in the ninth on run-scoring singles by Franklin Barreto and Tyler Ladendorf and a sacrifice fly by Matt Olson.

D’Backs 11, White Sox 4 – O’Brien homers twice, Diamondbacks beat White Sox 11-4
Peter O’Brien homered his first two times up and drove in five runs, overshadowing Austin Jackson’s debut for the White Sox as the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated Chicago 11-4 on Sunday.  O’Brien connected twice off John Danks, hitting a three-run shot in the second inning and a two-run drive in Arizona’s five-run third. Jackson, batting second and wearing No. 10, was 0 for 2 with a walk and scored a run. The 29-year-old center fielder signed with the White Sox a week ago for one year and $5 million. Welington Castillo doubled home two runs in the third, and Rickie Weeks drove in another run with a single for the Diamondbacks. Robbie Ray followed up two scoreless outings by giving up four hits and two runs in 4 2-3 innings. Danks yielded six hits and eight runs in 4 1-3 innings.

Tonight
New York Mets vs. Detroit Tigers at Lakeland, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
San Diego Padres vs. Chicago Cubs at Mesa, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.
Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals at Surprise, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

NFL – Bears agree to terms with free-agent DL Akiem Hicks
The Chicago Bears agreed to terms with free-agent defensive lineman Akiem Hicks on a two-year contract Sunday. The 6-foot-5, 324-pound Hicks has made 33 starts in 61 games in four seasons with the New Orleans Saints (2012-15) and New England Patriots (2015). He has 140 tackles, 9 ½  sacks, 22 tackles for losses, 23 quarterback hits, a forced fumble and an a fumble recovery for a touchdown. In four postseason games, he has 10 tackles. Bears general manager Ryan Pace was in New Orleans’ front office in 2012 when the Saints drafted Hicks in the third round out of the University of Regina in Saskatchewan.

NASCAR – Harvick takes first by one-hundredth of a second.
In another extremely close finish Kevin Harvick has won the Sprint Cup race in Avondale, Arizona. Carl Edwards was second and the two spent the final part of the last lap bumping each other as they fought for the lead. Harvick edged Carl Edwards by one-hundredth of a second — the same margin of victory as Denny Hamlin’s thrilling win last month in the Daytona 500. It’s Harvick’s record eighth NASCAR Sprint Cup victory at Phoenix International Raceway

AHL – American Hockey League
Last Night
Grand Rapids Griffins 4, Chicago Wolves 0

ECHL – East Coast Hockey League
Last Night
Kalamazoo Wings 4, Toledo Walleye 3

NBADL – NBA Developmental League
Last Night
Maine Red Claws 129, Grand Rapids Drive 123

MHSAA – Boys Regional Semifinals
Tonight
Class A at Mason
Battle Creek Central vs. East Lansing, 6:00 p.m.
Kalamazoo Central vs. Lansing Everett, 7:30 p.m.

Class B at Battle Creek Harper Creek
South Haven vs. Three Rivers, 6:00 p.m.                  Superhits 103.7 Cosy-FM, 5:40 (Mark Savage)
Lakeshore vs. Marshall, 7:30 p.m.                           Sports Radio 1400 WSJM, 7:20 (Bret Witkowski)

Class C at Gobles
Constantine vs. Kalamazoo Hackett, 6:00 p.m.
Brandywine vs. Homer, 8:00 p.m.

Class D at Portage Northern
Howardsville Christian vs. Wyoming Tri-Unity, 6:00 p.m.
Countryside Academy vs. Kalamazoo Phoenix, 8:00 p.m.