Weekday Morning Sports – Thursday 3/12/15

Sports Radio 1400 WSJM     @wsjmsports     wsjmsports.com     Thursday, March 12, 2015

NFL – Ndamukong Suh signs $114 million deal with Dolphins
Ndamukong Suh is coming to Miami, where he and his new team will both try to end their playoff droughts. The 305-pound heavyweight in this year’s free agent class signed a $114 million, six-year deal with the Dolphins on Wednesday, and a news conference was scheduled. The contract made Suh the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history, surpassing J.J. Watt’s $100 million, six-year deal with Houston. The Detroit Lions went 0-2 in the postseason in Suh’s five years with them, and Miami hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2008. But the Dolphins believe the three-time first-team All-Pro defensive tackle can transform them into a contender after consecutive 8-8 seasons. Suh was hailed by many as the best defensive free agent in a generation.

NFL – As Suh makes departure official, Lions welcome Ngata
The Detroit Lions have introduced their replacement for Ndamukong Suh. As Suh was being welcomed in South Florida, the Lions held a news conference with defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, whom they acquired in a trade with Baltimore. The 31-year-old Ngata is a five-time Pro Bowler, and the Ravens dealt him to Detroit to help free up space under the salary cap. Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said bringing in Ngata helps limit some of Detroit’s concern about the defensive tackle spot after Suh’s departure. Suh signed with Miami on Wednesday. The Ravens hoped to renegotiate Ngata’s contract, but they ended up trading him instead. He says he’s glad the uncertainty over his situation didn’t linger deep into the offseason.

NFL – Bears say Cutler will be their QB next season
The Chicago Bears have said that Jay Cutler will be their quarterback going into the 2015 season. Bears general manager Ryan Pace said the team did not attempt to trade Cutler. Pace and coach John Fox analyzed Cutler’s play going back to his rookie season before determining he should be their quarterback for next season.

NFL – Colts land WR Johnson
The Indianapolis Colts have found their replacement for Reggie Wayne. The Colts signed former Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson to a three-year contract, where he’s expected to team with quarterback Andrew Luck to form a potent passing duo.

NBA – National Basketball Association
Last Night
Chicago Bulls 104, Philadelphia 76ers 95 – OT
Golden State Warriors 105, Detroit Pistons 98

Bulls 104, Sixers 95 – OT – Brooks scores 31 points, Bulls beat 76ers in OT
Aaron Brooks scored seven of his season-high 31 points in overtime to help the short-handed Chicago Bulls beat the Philadelphia 76ers 104-95 on Wednesday night. Pau Gasol had 27 points and 16 rebounds, and Nikola Mirotic finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Bulls. They snapped a three-game skid without four regulars and three of their top five scorers.

Warriors 105, Pistons 98 – Thompson, Warriors hold off Pistons for fifth straight win
Klay Thompson reached the 5,000-point milestone and knocked down two late 3-pointers in a 69-second span, leading the Golden State Warriors past the Detroit Pistons 105-98 on Wednesday night for their fifth straight win. Thompson finished with 27 points on 11-for-19 shooting in the Warriors’ 51st victory, matching their total from last season, and their eighth straight against Detroit, Golden State’s second-longest streak in the series. Andre Drummond had a career-high 27 rebounds, 17 offensive, to go with 22 points in the Pistons’ eighth straight loss. Thompson’s two 3s came during a decisive 18-2 run, including one with 5:37 left to put Golden State ahead by 10 as Detroit couldn’t fight back.

NBA – Pistons to keep forward Quincy Miller remainder of season
Forward Quincy Miller will stick with the Detroit Pistons for the remainder of the season and have an opportunity to be part of summer league and then training camp. Coach Stan Van Gundy said Miller had earned the opportunity to have a long look. Miller signed his second 10-day contract with the Pistons on March 3rd.

NHL – National Hockey League
Tonight
Columbus Blue Jackets at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m.
Chicago Blackhawks at Arizona Coyotes, 10:00 p.m.

NCAA Basketball – Men’s – Big Ten Conference
Last Night
Big Ten Tournament – Round 1 – (United Center, Chicago, IL)
#13 Penn State 68, #12 Nebraska 65
#11 Minnesota 80, #14 Rutgers 68

Today
Big Ten Tournament – Round 2 – (United Center, Chicago, IL)
#8 Illinois vs. #9 Michigan, 12:00 p.m.         Sports Radio 1400 WSJM 11:30
#5 Iowa vs. #13 Penn State, 25 minutes after Illinois/Michigan
#7 Indiana vs. #10 Northwestern, 6:30 p.m.
#6 Ohio State vs. #11 Minnesota, 25 minutes after Ohio State/Minnesota

NCAA Basketball – Men’s – Mid American Conference
Last Night
Mid American Conference Tournament – Round 2 (Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH)
#8 Eastern Michigan 73, #5 Bowling Green 67
#7 Akron 58, #6 Western Michigan 45

EMU 73, BGSU 67 – Lee scores 27, Eastern Michigan beats Bowling Green 73-67
Raven Lee scored 27 as Eastern Michigan beat Bowling Green 73-67 in the Mid-American Conference tournament’s second round yesterday. EMU closed on a 6-0 run while holding Bowling Green scoreless for the final 4:46. Anthony Henderson scored the Falcons’ final points to tie it at 67.

Akron 58, WMU 45 – Akron holds down Western Michigan 58-45 in MAC 2nd round
Kwan Cheatham Jr. had 11 points and 10 rebounds as Akron beat Western Michigan 58-45 last night in the second round of the Mid-American Conference tournament. Reggie McAdams led Akron with 15 points. Thomas Wilder had 12 points and seven rebounds for Western Michigan.

Today
Mid American Conference Tournament – Quarterfinals (Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH)
#8 Eastern Michigan vs. #4 Toledo, 6:30 p.m.

NCAA Basketball – Buffalo’s Moss, Central Michigan’s Davis earn MAC awards
Buffalo forward Justin Moss has been named the Mid-American Conference’s player of the year and Central Michigan’s Keno Davis is the MAC’s top men’s coach. Moss is averaging 18.4 points and 9.4 rebounds for the Bulls, who have the No. 2 seed in this week’s tournament. Moss received 21 of 27 first-place votes from a media panel. Central Michigan’s Chris Fowler received three votes and finished second. Buffalo coach Bobby Hurley called Moss “the anchor of our team.” Moss scored a career-high 33 against Toledo and had a 31-point, 15-rebound game in a win over Miami. Davis has turned around the Chippewas. Picked to finish 10th in the preseason poll, they’re the top seed in this year’s MAC tourney. Central Michigan also earned a share of the MAC regular-season championship and an outright MAC West title. Davis was the AP’s national coach of the year in 2008 at Drake.

NCAA – Unusual selection weekend looming for NCAA committee
Scott Barnes says this weekend promises to be the most unusual selection process of his five-year tenure on the NCAA Tournament committee. The committee chairman acknowledges Kentucky starts out as the top overall seed, something that might not change even if the Wildcats lose in this week’s SEC tournament. And the most intense work might come in filling seed lines three through nine instead of the top two lines. Barnes says he’s never seen anything like it as the committee begins its most important work week of the year. Committee members are scheduled to meet in Indianapolis through Sunday and took their first vote on the 68-team field yesterday afternoon.

MLB – Major League Baseball – Spring Training
Yesterday
Washington Nationals 9, Detroit Tigers 2
Chicago White Sox 4, Texas Rangers 4 – TIE
Chicago Cubs 4, Los Angeles Dodgers 3

Tigers 6, Phillies 0 – Fields, Martinez, Moya hit homers, Tigers beat Phillies 6-0
Daniel Fields, J.D. Martinez and Steven Moya hit homers to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 6-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies yesterday. Tigers starter Alfredo Simon tossed three scoreless innings. Martinez and Moya connected for solo shots off Sean O’Sullivan in the sixth.

White Sox 4, Rangers 4 – TIE – Rangers get to Rodon, tie White Sox 4-4
Prince Fielder had an RBI single and scored a run in Texas’ three-run first inning as the Rangers and Chicago White Sox played to a 4-4 tie yesterday. Texas starter. Yovani Gallardo provided a bright spot for the Texas rotation. The newcomer pitched four innings in a morning “B” game against the White Sox. Rangers manager Jeff Banister says he’s in the mix to replace Darvish as the team’s opening-day starter.

Cubs 4, Dodgers 1 – Greinke struggles, Lester shines in Cubs’ win over Dodgers
Zack Greinke gave up two runs in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 4-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs yesterday. Greinke allowed two hits and two walks in two innings. Mike Baxter singled home two runs off Greinke in the second. The Cubs added a run in the third on a sacrifice fly by Chris Coghlan.

Today
Detroit (ss) vs. Houston at Kissimmee, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Philadelphia vs. Detroit (ss) at Lakeland, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Chicago White Sox (ss) vs. Texas at Surprise, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.
Chicago Cubs vs. L.A. Angels at Tempe, Ariz., 4:10 p.m.
San Francisco vs. Chicago White Sox (ss) at Glendale, Ariz., 7:05 p.m.

MLB – White Sox ace Sale to miss opener
Chicago White Sox All-Star left-hander Chris Sale will miss the start of the season because of a broken foot. Sale, who was injured Feb. 27 in an accident at home, was expected to miss the April 6 opener in Kansas City but the team made it official on Wednesday. He will not resume baseball activities for at least 10 more days. White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams told MLB Network on Wednesday that the team was taking Sale on “a little slower road” rather than rush him back in time for the opener. Manager Robin Ventura said after Wednesday’s game against the Texas Rangers that Sale is not going to start. It is not certain who will, but Jeff Samardzija, who opened the last two seasons for the crosstown Chicago Cubs, is a leading candidate to face the Royals.

NASCAR – Daytona making safety changes
Daytona International Speedway will install energy-absorbing SAFER barriers to the concrete wall that Kyle Busch hit last month before NASCAR returns in July.   Busch broke his right leg and left foot Feb. 20 when he crashed into a retaining wall that lacked a SAFER barrier. Daytona president Joie Chitwood says the track completed an extensive safety review after Busch’s accident and will make numerous changes before the race in July.  The track also will install SAFER barrier on the outside backstretch wall.

AHL – American Hockey League
Last Night
Chicago Wolves 2, Utica Comets 1 – OT

Tonight
Grand Rapids Griffins at Charlotte Checkers, 7:00 p.m.

ECHL – East Coast Hockey League
Last Night
Kalamazoo Wings 8, Fort Wayne Komets 4
Toledo Walleye 1, Orlando Solar Bears 0 – Shootout

MHSAA – Michigan High School Athletic Association – Boys Basketball Districts
Last Night – District Semifinals
CLASS A
Class A at Portage Northern (1)
Kalamazoo Central 58, Mattawan 38
Portage Northern 56, St. Joseph 36
St. Joe only held the lead once, a 1-0 lead and Northern led the rest of the way, beating St. Joseph 56-36 in the Class A District Semifinals. Max Schueman had 15 points to lead Northern.  St. Joe was led offensively by sophomore Javion Ballard’s 9 points.  St. Joe finishes the season with an 11-11 record.

Class A at Kalamazoo Loy Norrix (2)
Jackson 83, Gull Lake 49
Kalamazoo Loy Norrix 71, Holt 66

CLASS B
Class B at Benton Harbor (33)
Buchanan 74, Berrien Springs 64
Tyler Flynn scored a game high 36 points as Buchanan beat Berrien Springs 74-64.   Robert Johnson led Berrien Springs with 24 points.

Benton Harbor 78, Dowagiac 74
Malik Hall and Jaton Gunn each had 24 points as Benton Harbor beat Dowagiac 78-74 in the Class B District Semifinal at Farnum Gym.  Dowagiac got 23 points from Brandon Wincheser-Jones, and another 20 points from Harry Reed.  Benton Harbor will face Buchanan in the District title game Friday at 7 p.m.

Class B at Coldwater (34)
Edwardsburg 75, Three Rivers 53
Sturgis 47, Coldwater 41

Class B at South Haven (49)
Otsego 82, Allegan 47
Paw Paw 54, Hopkins 53

CLASS C
Class C at Cassopolis (65)
New Buffalo 69, Dream Academy 48
Cassopolis 67, Bridgman 64 – OT

Class C at Gobles (76)
Kalamazoo Christian 61, Hartford 54
Kalamazoo Hackett 61, Gobles 24

Class C at Lawton (66)
Constantine 60, White Pigeon 30
Marcellus 58, Decatur 43

Class C at Grandville Calvin Christian (79)
Fennville 59, Grand Rapids Covenant Christian 38
Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian 71, Grandville Calvin Christian 52

CLASS D
Class D at River Valley (97)
Lawrence 62, River Valley 29
lmc-covert-031115Covert 57, Lake Michigan Catholic 42
Lake Michigan Catholic’s six game winning streak came to an end as they fell to Covert 57-42 in the District Semi-Final.  The Bulldogs dominated the boards as they pulled away in the second half.  Monroe Tubner led Covert with a game high 17 points.  DeKurtis Murphy paced Catholic with 13 points with Danny McEachen adding 11.

Class D at Athens (98)
Mendon 53, Colon 44
Athens 65, Howardsville Christian 38

Class D at Climax-Scotts (109)
Kalamazoo Heritage Christian 54, Climax-Scotts 51
Martin 73, Battle Creek Calhoun Christian 16

MHSAA – Michigan High School Athletic Association – Girls Basketball Regionals
Tonight – Regional Championship
CLASS A at Portage Central
Kalamazoo Central (20-3) vs. DeWitt (22-1), 7:00 p.m.

CLASS B at Hopkins
Benton Harbor (18-5) vs. Plainwell (23-0), 7:00 p.m.       Sports Radio 1400 WSJM and wsjmsports.com

CLASS C at Brandywine
Brandywine (22-1) vs. Grandville Calvin Christian (19-4), 7:00 p.m.

CLASS D at Mendon
Michigan Lutheran (20-1) vs. Wyoming Tri-unity Christian (18-6), 7:00 p.m.

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