Weekday Morning Sports Report – Monday 4/1/19

NCAAMBB – Men’s College Basketball – Sweet 16
Last Night
East Regional – Capital One Arena – Washington, DC
#2 Michigan State 68, #1 Duke 67

Midwest Regional – Sprint Center – Kansas City, MO
#5 Auburn 77, #2 Kentucky 71 – OT

Michigan State 68, Duke 67 – Michigan State knocks off Duke 68-67 to make Final Four
Cassius Winston put Michigan State on his shoulders and carried the Spartans into the Final Four. The do-everything point guard took over the game when his team faced its biggest deficit and led second-seeded Michigan State to a 68-67 victory over overall No. 1 seed Duke on Sunday in the East Region final.  Duke boasted the biggest stars in Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett, but Winston shined brightest to put Michigan State in the Final Four for the first time since 2015. Winston had 20 points and 10 assists, made nine of his 23 shots and never shied away from shooting.  Michigan State will play Texas Tech in one national semifinal Saturday in Minneapolis. Michigan State is in the Final Four for the eighth time under coach Tom Izzo, who beat Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski for just the second time in 13 meetings and second time in seven NCAA Tournament games. Izzo is in the Final Four for the eighth time in his career and tied Krzyzewski what would have been a record 13th appearance.  Williamson finished with a game-high 24 points and 14 rebounds. Barrett had 21 points _ but not the one that could have sent the game into overtime.

Auburn 77, Kentucky 71 – OT – Auburn tops Kentucky 77-71 in OT for first Final Four trip
Drawing inspiration from injured forward Chuma Okeke, the No. 5 seed Tigers finished off a joyful romp through college basketball royalty by bringing down the winningest program of all. Their 77-71 overtime win over second-seeded seed Kentucky in the finals of the Midwest Region on Sunday came after blowouts of Kansas and North Carolina that served notice: Auburn is more than a football school. Jared Harper led the way with 26 points, including the tying basket in regulation and a crucial series of layups in overtime. Bryce Brown added 24 points and Anfernee McLemore came up big in the extra session, helping Auburn (30-9) set a school record for wins with its 12th straight overall. Okeke was there in more than just spirit, too. The sophomore forward, who tore his ACL in the final minutes against the Tar Heels, was rolled behind the bench in a wheelchair early in the second half. He was still there when the wild celebration finally began.

Saturday – Coverage on 106.1 & 1400 WSJM Sports
Final Four – US Bank Stadium – Minneapolis, MN
#5 Auburn vs. #1 Virginia, 6:09 p.m.
#3 Texas Tech vs. #2 Michigan State, 8:49 p.m.           Superhits 103.7 Cosy-FM

NCAAWBB – Men’s College Basketball – Elite Eight

Last Night
Albany Region – Times Union Center – Albany, NY
#2 UConn 80, #1 Louisville 73

Portland Region – Moda Center – Portland, OR
#2 Oregon 88, #1 Mississippi State 84

Tonight
Greensboro Region – Greensboro Coliseum – Greensboro, NC
#2 Iowa vs. #1 Baylor, 7:00 p.m.

Chicago Regional – Wintrust Arena – Chicago, IL
#2 Stanford vs. #1 Notre Dame, 9:00 p.m.

NBA – National Basketball Association
Tonight
Detroit Pistons at Indiana Pacers, 7:00 p.m.
Chicago Bulls at New York Knicks, 7:30 p.m.

MLB – Major League Baseball – Opening Day
Yesterday
Detroit Tigers 4, Toronto Blue Jays 3 – 11 Innings
Chicago White Sox 6, Kansas City Royals 3
Texas Rangers 11, Chicago Cubs 10

Tigers 4, Blue Jays 3 – 11 Innings – Castellanos lifts Tigers over Blue Jays 4-3 in 11 innings
After getting blanked in back-to-back losses, the Detroit Tigers scored just enough runs Sunday to leave Canada on a winning note.  Nicholas Castellanos had an RBI single in the 11th inning, Jeimer Candelario got five hits and the Tigers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 despite blowing a late lead.  Castellanos drove in catcher Grayson Greiner, and the Tigers salvaged a split of the four-game series to open the season. The decisive hit came off left-hander Thomas Pannone (0-1), Toronto’s eighth pitcher of the game.  Candelario drove in two runs and Daniel Stumpf (1-0) pitched one inning for the win. Toronto put a runner at third with two outs in the bottom of the 11th but Shane Greene got Teoscar Hernandez to line out for his second save.

White Sox 6, Royals 3 – Giolito no-hit bid ends in 7th, White Sox beat Royals 6-3
Lucas Giolito took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning in his first start of the season, and the White Sox beat the Royals 6-3 on Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep in the season-opening series.  Giolito (1-0) walked Whit Merrifield on four pitches to begin the game, but then retired 19 straight before Alex Gordon’s single with one out in the seventh. Gordon fouled off four consecutive pitches before lining a curveball into center field.  Yonder Alonso and Jose Abreu homered on consecutive pitches in the fourth off starter Jorge Lopez (0-1). Alex Colome pitched a perfect ninth for his first save.  Alonso had two hits and three RBIs.

Rangers 11, Cubs 10 – Rangers top Cubs 11-10 after falling behind former ace again
Joey Gallo scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Rangers outscored the Cubs 11-10 on Sunday after falling behind Cole Hamels much the same way they did against Yu Darvish a day earlier. With one out and Chicago playing five infielders, Gallo raced home from third base when Pedro Strop’s pitch to Nomar Mazara bounced past catcher Willson Contreras and high onto the net behind home plate to give the Rangers a series win after the Cubs’ 12-4 victory on opening day.  Jose Leclerc (1-0) stopped a Chicago rally in the eighth and got the last four outs for Texas. Strop (0-1) allowed Gallo’s leadoff double in the ninth, Jason Heyward, Zobrist, Rizzo and Javier Baez drove in a run apiece in the sixth inning before Jeff Mathis, celebrating his 36th birthday, homered to get Texas to 8-6.

Tonight
Chicago White Sox (Nova 0-0) at Cleveland Indians (Clevinger 0-0), 4:10 p.m.
Detroit Tigers (Ross 0-0) at New York Yankees (German 0-0), 6:35 p.m.          WSJM Sports/Cosy-FM 6:10
Chicago Cubs (Hendricks 0-0) at Atlanta Braves (Newcomb 0-0), 7:10 p.m.

NHL – National Hockey League
Last Night
Detroit Red Wings 6, Boston Bruins 3

Red Wings 6, Bruins 3 – Mantha’s 1st NHL hat trick helps Red Wings beat Bruins 6-3
Anthony Mantha scored three goals for his first NHL hat trick, lifting Detroit to a 6-3 win over the Boston Bruins on Sunday night.  Jimmy Howard had 31 saves for the Red Wings, who have won five straight for the first time this season. The run has decreased their odds of getting the No. 1 pick in the draft to possibly select American star Jack Hughes — much to the chagrin of some of their fans.  Taro Hirose scored his first NHL goal early in the third period, just 8 seconds after Mantha completed his hat trick.  The 24-year-old Mantha scored twice in the opening period to give Detroit a 2-0 lead and scored again 1:17 into the third period to tie the game at 3. Hirose, who signed March 12 as a 22-year-old free agent from Michigan State, put the Red Wings up 4-3 while their fans were still roaring after the tying goal.  Filip Hronek, a 21-year-old defenseman, gave Detroit a two-goal cushion with 7:57 remaining in regulation, and 22-year-old captain Dylan Larkin added an empty-net goal in the final minute.

Tonight
Winnipeg Jets at Chicago Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m.

NASCAR – Hamlin wins at Texas despite 2 penalties
Denny Hamlin overcame two penalties on pit road and won the NASCAR Cup race at Texas, where Kyle Busch missed out on the chance for a tripleheader weekend sweep and polesitter Jimmie Johnson’s career-worst winless streak stretched to 66 races.  Hamlin led the final 12 laps, and 45 of the 334 overall at the 1 1/2-mile track Sunday. He also won the Daytona 500 in his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. It was Hamlin’s third win at Texas, his first since sweeping both races in 2010.  Gibbs drivers have won four of the seven races this season, and Team Penske won the other three. Clint Bowyer finished second, followed by Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones and Johnson. Johnson, whose last win was at Dover in June 2017, led 61 laps.  Busch finished 10th after leading six times for a race-high 66 laps before brushing the wall.

Horse Racing – 23rd horse dies at Santa Anita after racing accident
A two-horse spill in the $100,000 San Simeon Stakes at Santa Anita on Sunday led to the 23rd equine fatality at the Southern California track in just over three months.  Arms Runner injured his right front leg and fell in the Grade 3 race on turf, two days after Santa Anita reopened to racing after being closed for nearly a month.   Arms Runner was tended to by track veterinarians and vanned off. Track stewards said the horse trained by Peter Miller was euthanized. Arms Runner had three wins in 13 career starts and earnings of $125,292, according to Equibase.  The accident occurred as the horses crossed the dirt surface during the transition from the hillside turf course to the main turf course.  The majority of the fatalities at the Arcadia track since Dec. 26 have occurred on the main dirt surface.  The track closed March 3 so officials could inspect and renovate the dirt surface after the series of fatalities that have drawn national attention outside the sport and criticism from animal rights groups. Track officials have not announced a singular cause for the unusual number of deaths.  The Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita, announced an immediate reduction in the amount of anti-bleeding medication Lasix allowed on race days. The California Horse Racing Board approved the measure and it took effect Friday. A proposed rule that would eliminate the use of whips, except in cases where a horse’s or jockey’s safety is involved, still requires the approval of various state agencies.

AHL – American Hockey League
Last Night
Milwaukee Admirals 3, Grand Rapids Griffins 1
Chicago Wolves 5, Rockford IceHogs 2

ECHL – ECHL Hockey
Last Night
Wheeling Nailers 1, Kalamazoo Wings 0
Toledo Walleye 2, Cincinnati Cyclones 1 – OT

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