- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Led by Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor, Duke’s talented group of potential one-and-doners played like veterans down the stretch, outscoring Wisconsin by 14 points over the final 13 minutes to grit out a 68-63 victory for the program’s fifth national title.

Okafor, the likely first pick in the NBA draft if he decides to leave, got outplayed by Badgers senior center Frank Kaminsky most of the night but came through big when the pressure was highest.

The 6-foot-11 freshman made two straight buckets over Kaminsky, sandwiched between a pair of 3-pointers from Jones, to help the Blue Devils (35-4) turn a one-time nine-point deficit into an eight-point lead with 1:22 left.

A furious Wisconsin rally ensued, but it came up short.

Krzyzewski now has five titles, alone in second place on the all-time list, behind only John Wooden.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The NCAA may be ready to spice up college basketball.

After a feeding frenzy of complaints over reduced scoring and longer games, rules committee members told a small group of reporters that next season’s potential changes could include a shorter shot clock, tighter calls to reduce contact and a different timeout structure to help speed things up at the end of games.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and other leaders involved in the decision-making process are weighing several proposals.

The most discussed ideas are reducing the 35-second shot clock to 30 seconds, moving the restricted area arc from 3 feet to 4 feet to eliminate collisions and better enforcement of rules in regard to defending players without the ball, in the post and on screens.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Kevon Looney is leaving UCLA after one season to enter the NBA draft.

The forward from Milwaukee averaged 11.6 points and a team-high 9.2 rebounds as a freshman. His 15 double-doubles were tops among freshmen nationally and his rebounds were second-best nationally among freshmen. He earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors.


NEW YORK - Alex Rodriguez listened to the cheers and waved his cap. He worked out an eight-pitch walk, lined an opposite-field single into right field and flied out.

After all the huffing and puffing, a grievance, multiple lawsuits and public threats, followed by the inevitable apology, seemingly scripted contrition and never-ending genuflection, A-Rod was back with the Yankees, in pinstripes, in front of the not-quite adoring but forever-forgiving fans on a sunny opening day.

Back from an unprecedented season-long drug suspension, Rodriguez received a loud ovation and, for a designated hitter, a rare shout-out from the Bleacher Creatures. He was dropped to seventh in the batting order during the regular season for the first time in 19 years and he went 1 for 2 in a 6-1 loss to Toronto.

BOSTON (AP) - Before he even made his first start for the Boston Red Sox, Rick Porcello decided he wanted to stay.

The 26-year-old right-hander, who was acquired from Detroit in December and is scheduled to make his Red Sox debut on Wednesday, agreed to a four-year, $82.5 million contract with Boston that runs from 2016-19. The deal was announced hours after the team opened the season with an 8-0 victory over Philadelphia.


AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - Tiger Woods arrived later than usual Monday for a Masters that is different from all the others he has played. No one was sure what to expect from him.

Woods offered a quick glimpse that it could be just about anything. He hooked his tee shot so far left that it nearly went into the ninth fairway. And then he hit a shot to about 6 feet and rolled in the putt for birdie.

More relevant than any of his shots - including his chipping, which looked fine - was the atmosphere.

The first official day of practice at Augusta National was filled with warmth and optimism for the first major of the year. Rory McIlroy, No. 1 in the world and going for a career Grand Slam, played 18 holes with British Amateur champion Bradley Neil. Steve Stricker is playing for the first time all year. Jason Day took four hours on the back nine alone, letting groups through so he could chip and putt, the key to winning a green jacket.

And then Woods arrived.


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - Vowing to put his troubled past behind him, offensive guard Richie Incognito expressed his gratitude for an opportunity to revive his career with the Buffalo Bills.

Incognito was contrite while speaking with a large group of reporters for the first time since signing a one-year contract with the Bills in February. It also marked Incognito’s first opportunity to discuss in detail what he learned during a 15-month stint away from football as result of his involvement in the Miami Dolphins’ bullying scandal in 2013.

Now, the eight-year veteran is working on proving himself while understanding his every move will be scrutinized, and acknowledging that not everyone will be quick to give him the benefit of the doubt.


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Kentucky coach John Calipari and Spencer Haywood are among 11 new inductees going into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this year.

The rest of the class consists of former WNBA star Lisa Leslie, longtime referee Dick Bavetta, Celtics star Jo Jo White and Boston coach Tom Heinsohn, four-time NBA defensive player of the year Dikembe Mutombo, former coach George Raveling, ex-Kentucky and ABA star Louis Dampier, Australian player and coach Lindsay Gaze and John Isaacs, an ex-player who will be inducted posthumously.

The induction ceremony is Sept. 10-12 in Springfield, Massachusetts.


HOUSTON (AP) - Japan’s Go Soeda rallied to beat Lleyton Hewitt 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3 in the first round of the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship.

The 34-year-old Hewitt, a former world No. 1 and the tournament’s 2009 champion, needed two wins here to become the seventh player in the Open Era to have 100 wins each on hard courts, grass and clay. He was a held serve away from getting No. 99 on clay before Soeda broke, won the subsequent tiebreaker, then kept the upper hand throughout the third set. The match ended on a Hewitt double fault.

Hewitt has won 367 times on hard courts and 128 on grass. Boris Becker, Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer, John McEnroe, Stan Smith and John Alexander have previously topped 100 wins on each of the three surfaces.

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