- Associated Press - Monday, March 13, 2017

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Villanova took the overall top seed on Selection Sunday, with Kansas, North Carolina and Gonzaga joining the defending national champions on the No. 1 line for the NCAA Tournament.

Not many surprises there, though Duke - left at No. 2 despite a four-win-in-four-night performance in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament - and Syracuse and Illinois State, who got left out altogether, may have been searching for answers.

Northwestern was plenty happy: Though it was no surprise, the Wildcats were jumping up and down, taking selfies and celebrating after being officially invited into March Madness for the first time in the program’s history. The Wildcats were seeded eighth in the West, and will open against Vanderbilt on Thursday.

With the brackets set, the action begins Tuesday and Wednesday with opening-round games that will include matchups between the last at-large teams invited into the draw: No. 11 seeds Providence vs. Southern California and Kansas State vs. Wake Forest.

The Final Four is April 1 and 3 in Phoenix.

NEW YORK (AP) - Greensboro is getting its shot at Jim Boeheim.

Four days after the Hall of Fame coach from Syracuse angered an entire city by saying there was “no value” in the Atlantic Coast Conference holding its postseason tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina, the Orange were matched up Sunday night against UNC Greensboro in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.

Among the final few teams left out of the NCAA Tournament, top-seeded Syracuse (18-14) will host the eighth-seeded Spartans (25-9) at the Carrier Dome on Tuesday night.

Reggie Minton, chair of the selection committee, insisted the NIT did not pair up the teams on purpose when the bracket was set.

AUTO RACING

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Martin Truex Jr. passed Brad Keselowski with two laps to go and avoided a last-lap wreck that led to a pit-road brawl and left Kyle Busch bloodied in a wild finish to the NASCAR Cup race Sunday.

An aggressive Joey Logano spun out Busch, sending him spinning down pit road at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Moments later, Busch and Logano tangled, with crew members pulling Busch away as blood ran down his forehead.

Keselowski appeared to be pulling away on a restart when he ran into mechanical problems. Truex shot past and held on to become the first driver to win all three segments in NASCAR Cup’s new stage racing.

Kyle Larson was second, followed by Chase Elliott, Logano and Keselowski.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Sebastien Bourdais pulled off a major upset Sunday by driving from last place to win the IndyCar season-opener at St. Petersburg.

Bourdais made an offseason move to Dale Coyne Racing, convinced he could help turn around the small team. The French driver brought two engineers from his glory days and was determined to recreate his early success.

But few expected it to come Sunday on the temporary street course in St. Pete, the town Bourdais calls home. Team Penske was seeking its fourth consecutive victory in the event. A problem in qualifying meant Bourdais started last in the 21-car field.

It made no difference. He earned his 36th victory, breaking a tie with Bobby Unser for sixth on IndyCar’s career win list. It was the fifth win for the Coyne team.

Simon Pagenaud finished second, almost 10 seconds behind.

BASEBALL

MIAMI (AP) - The United States bounced back to move on.

Nolan Arenado and Buster Posey homered and drove in three runs apiece to help Team USA shake off a deflating defeat and earn a berth in the second round of the World Baseball Classic by beating Canada 8-0 on Sunday night.

The Americans finished 2-1 in pool play and rebounded after blowing a five-run lead Saturday and losing to the Dominican Republic 7-5.

The U.S. is trying for a WBC breakthrough after failing to reach the final in the three previous events.

The Dominicans also advanced to the second round in San Diego by beating Colombia 10-3 in 11 innings Sunday. The Dominicans, who won the 2013 tournament, finished 3-0 in the first round.

Canada went 0-3 and has never advanced beyond the opening round.

GUADALAJARA, Mexico (AP) - St. Louis Cardinals star Yadier Molina has criticized Major League Baseball and the local authorities for a lack of security around the families of Puerto Rico’s players at the World Baseball Classic.

A fight broke out in the stands Saturday night before the ninth inning of the game between Puerto Rico and Mexico at the Charros de Jalisco stadium. Players from Puerto Rico came out of the dugout because many of their families were seated close to the disturbance - Molina was visibly upset and Javier Baez attempted to jump the fence.

“MLB, it’s a shame that you are more interested in making money and not in the security of our family,” Molina said Sunday via his Instagram account. “It’s a shame that the players have to be worried about the safety of our family when you were supposed to have security for them. Horrible organization for this event, no security for the players families, it’s a shame MLB.”

The game was stopped for nearly five minutes while the police came to calm things down. The stadium announcer repeatedly asked for players to return to the dugout.

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez is set for another test on his left knee after getting injured in a collision with Royals backup catcher Drew Butera in the World Baseball Classic.

Perez is returning to the Royals’ spring training camp on Monday and will have an MRI. The four-time All-Star and 2015 World Series MVP was hurt Saturday in Mexico while playing for Venezuela and is out of the tournament.

GOLF

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) - Adam Hadwin of Canada overcame a late double bogey to win the Valspar Championship for his first PGA Tour title and a trip to the Masters.

Hadwin had a two-shot lead with three holes to play when he hit his tee shot into the water on the 16th hole and made double bogey to fall into a tie with Patrick Cantlay.

Down to the final hole at Innisbrook, Hadwin went just over the green against the collar and used the leading edge of his wedge to putt the ball down to a few feet. Cantlay came up short into the bunker, blasted out 15 feet short and missed the par putt.

Hadwin, who started the final round with a four-shot lead, closed with an even-par 71.

NEW DELHI (AP) - S.S.P. Chawrasia successfully defended his Indian Open title on Sunday, finishing with a 10-under-par 278 for a comfortable seven-stroke victory.

Chawrasia held a two-shot lead when he completed his weather-delayed third round on Sunday morning and continued his fine form before signing off with 71 in the last round.

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP) - Olivia Jordan-Higgins won the season-opening Florida’s Natural Charity Classic by a stroke Sunday for her third Symetra Tour title.

Jordan-Higgins closed with a 2-under 70 to hold off Christine Song (66) and China’s Yu Liu (67). The winner finished at 10-under 207 at the Country Club of Winter Haven and earned $$18,750.

PRO FOOTBALL

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that free agent running back Adrian Peterson has visited with the Seattle Seahawks.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the details weren’t being made public on Sunday, when Peterson was at Seahawks headquarters. This was his first in-person meeting with a team since the Minnesota Vikings declined their option on his contract for 2017 and made him a free agent for the first time.

The Vikings have said they’re open to re-signing the soon-to-be-32-year-old Peterson for the right price, but they hosted free agent running back Eddie Lacy for a visit on Sunday. Lacy began the weekend by meeting with the Seahawks. He was on to Green Bay next to speak with the Packers about returning.

PRO BASKETBALL

PHOENIX (AP) - Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner signed a multiyear contract with the team Sunday.

Griner, a three-time All-Star and two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, signed the deal during the pregame TV show leading up to the Phoenix Suns’ game against the Portland Trail Blazers. She also attended the game.

The 26-year-old Griner has the WNBA record for blocked shots in a single season with 129, blocks in a single game with 11 and career blocks-per-game average, 3.49. The 2013 first overall pick in the WNBA draft was the fastest player in league history to reach 400 career blocks, doing so in 115 games.

HOCKEY

HAMAR, Norway (AP) - Joakim Jensen finally ended what is believed to be the longest game in hockey history, scoring in the eighth overtime in the Norwegian League playoffs.

More than 8 1/2 hours after the game started - and after 217 minutes, 14 seconds of play - Jensen broke through to give the Storhamar Dragons a 2-1 victory over the Sparta Warriors early Monday morning. The game ended at 2:32 a.m.

In the longest game in NHL, the Detroit Red Wings beat the Montreal Maroons 1-0 in a 1936 Stanley Cup final game on Mud Bruneteau’s goal at 16:30 of the sixth overtime.

Storhamar leads the best-of-seven quarterfinal series 3-2.

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