- Associated Press - Thursday, March 26, 2015


Six of the 16 teams in the NCAA Tournament’s regional semifinals this week have 10 or more losses.

That’s the most ever to advance that far in the tourney.

The fact North Carolina State, Xavier and UCLA have lost 13 games apiece elicits little more than a shrug from people in college basketball. They point to there being more opportunities to lose since regular seasons went from 28 to 31 games eight years ago.

Also, top programs are trying to schedule the best possible nonconference opponents to enhance their resumes for NCAA Tournament selection and seeding.

Plus, teams beat up each other playing 18 conference games in the strongest leagues.

Other Sweet 16 teams with double-digit losses are Michigan State and North Carolina, which have 11 each, and Oklahoma, which has 10.



PHOENIX (AP) - Spicing up the NFL’s dullest play, the extra point, appears to be coming for the 2015 season.

While team owners didn’t vote on any extra-point proposals Wednesday, there was so much discussion and interest in potential changes that the issue will be a main focal point for the next set of league meetings in May. In the meantime, co-chairman Rich McKay said his competition committee would “develop alternatives and be ready for a potential vote” in two months in San Francisco.

Among the possibilities are moving the line of scrimmage back for PAT kicks; placing the ball on the 1½-yard line for a 2-point conversion; eliminating the PAT kicks entirely, requiring teams to run a play from scrimmage; and allowing the defense to score, as in college football, if the ball is turned over on a 2-point try.



LOS ANGELES (AP) - The wife of former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling says she sued a woman she believed was his mistress because she defrauded and abused him.

Shelly Sterling told a Los Angeles judge on Wednesday that she was seeking property that her husband gave to V. Stiviano in return for sex.

Sterling acknowledged she had no first-hand knowledge that her husband had a sexual relationship with Stiviano but assumed that’s why he gave her millions of dollars in gifts.

Stiviano has denied the relationship was romantic. She received a two-family home and a Ferrari among other gifts from Donald Sterling.

Stivinano’s recording of Donald Sterling making racially insensitive remarks cost him ownership of the Clippers.

Shelly Sterling said the recording took her husband down, and losing the team was like losing a child.

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Tony Parker had 21 points and six assists, and the San Antonio Spurs stopped Oklahoma City’s four-game winning streak with a runaway 130-91 victory over the Thunder on Wednesday night.

Boris Diaw scored 19 points and Tim Duncan had 16 for San Antonio (44-26), which has won 11 of 13. Kawhi Leonard finished with 14 points in the Spurs’ highest scoring game of the season.

Thunder star Russell Westbrook was held to 16 points on 5-for-16 shooting. He left midway through the third quarter with the Spurs leading by 30.

Westbrook was averaging 32.7 points, 11.2 assists and 9.6 rebounds in his previous 13 games, but the Spurs sent numerous defenders at the MVP candidate to hold him in check.



SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - South Korea’s Olympic body said it is considering easing its eligibility rules for athletes entering international competitions, which would allow banned former Olympic swimming champion Park Tae-hwan a chance at qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

The organization is reviewing whether its rule that bans athletes suspended for doping from competing with the national team for an additional three years after the end of their suspensions is unfair or excessive, Korean Olympic Committee official Park Dong-hee said.

Park Tae-hwan, who won the 400-meter freestyle at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, received an 18-month ban from world swimming governing body FINA on Monday after testing positive for testosterone in an out-of-competition drug test. The KOC’s current rule, which was introduced last year, prevents Park from competing in Rio.



BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) - Andrew McCutchen’s trademark dreadlocks won’t be heading north with the rest of the Pittsburgh Pirates star.

The 2013 National League Most Valuable Player spent a portion of his team’s off day on Wednesday at the mercy of his barber, who clipped off McCutchen’s long locks and gave him a decidedly more aerodynamic do heading into the 2014 regular season.

McCutchen posted a video on YouTube saying “it was time for a new change” before showing the process. He laughed a bit as he watched them getting snipped one by one. The 28-year-old then had a couple of small designs shaved in and clapped his hands after getting a look at the finished product.

McCutchen says he will auction off the dreadlocks through mlb.com, with all proceeds going to Pirates charities.



Nicklas Bendtner scored his first international hat trick, taking advantage of an American defense that gave up two more late goals, and Denmark rallied to beat the United States 3-2 in an exhibition game at Aarhus on Wednesday night.

Jozy Altidore scored in the first half and set up former club teammate Aron Johannsson’s goal in the second. But Bendtner tied the score in the 83rd minute and got the winner in the first minute of stoppage time.

The U.S. has just two wins in 11 games (2-6-3) since beating Ghana in its opener at the World Cup, where it was knocked out by Belgium in the second round. In a worrisome trend for the Americans, they have given up 12 goals from the 80th minute on in their last 12 games.



CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine (AP) - Alice McKennis capped off a comeback season with her first national title, winning the super-G on Wednesday at the U.S. Alpine Championships.

McKennis glided through the course at Sugarloaf resort in 1 minute, 22.48 seconds to hold off Valerie Grenier of Canada by 0.10 seconds. Jacqueline Wiles wound up third.

The 25-year-old McKennis returned to the World Cup circuit this season after a crash in March 2013 shattered the top of her shinbone near her knee into 30 pieces. McKennis, of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, needed 11 screws and a metal plate to stabilize her leg. She tried to make it back for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but it didn’t work out.

McKennis’ best World Cup finish this season was 11th during a downhill race in Italy on Jan. 18.

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