- Associated Press - Monday, March 22, 2021

NCAA BASKETBALL

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - VCU was pulled from the NCAA Tournament because of COVID-19 protocols.

The NCAA says the 10th-seeded Rams’ first-round game Saturday against Oregon was declared a no-contest.



The seventh-seeded Ducks advanced to the second round without playing.

The announcement came a little more than three hours before the teams were set to play in the West Region. The NCAA didn’t offer specific details, citing privacy concerns, and said that the decision came after consultation with the Marion County Public Health Department.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Loyola Chicago carried out 101-year-old superfan Sister Jean’s plans to a T on Sunday, moving to the Sweet 16 with a 71-58 win over Illinois, the first No. 1 seed bounced from this year’s NCAA Tournament.

Cameron Krutwig delivered a 19-point, 12-rebound masterpiece and the quick-handed, eighth-seeded Ramblers (26-4) led wire to wire. They befuddled a powerful Illinois offense to return to the second weekend three years after their last magical run to the Final Four.

Their 2018 trip to the Final Four was headlined by Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, the venerable team chaplain, who received both COVID-19 vaccination shots and clearance to travel to Indianapolis to see what inspiration she could provide in 2021.

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Teams at the NCAA women’s basketball tournament finally have a weight room.

A day after the NCAA was heavily criticized for not having an adequate facility for the women’s teams to lift, the organization created a fully stocked workout room at the convention center near the practice courts.

The NCAA had originally told teams in a manual that there wouldn’t be a weight room facility until after the second round when only 16 teams would remain.

They changed that plan after a tweet from Stanford strength coach Ali Kershner and a video from Oregon’s Sedonia Prince went viral with nearly 16 million views showing off a single rack of dumbbells and yoga mats.

NBA

LOS ANGELES (AP) - LeBron James suffered a high right ankle sprain and left in the second quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 99-94 loss to Atlanta on Saturday.

James was hurt when he rolled his ankle under Solomon Hill, who was called for a foul as he reached awkwardly for a steal. The 36-year-old James screamed and fell to the court clutching at his ankle, yet he got up and briefly stayed in the game.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Charlotte Hornets rookie LaMelo Ball is expected to miss the remainder of the NBA season due to a broken right wrist, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Sunday on condition of anonymity because the team has not made the status of his injury public.

The Hornets said in a release earlier Sunday that Ball had an MRI exam in San Antonio that revealed the injury. The team said he would be listed as out indefinitely.

- By AP Sports Writer Steve Reed.

MLB

VAIL, Colo. (AP) - A minor league baseball player is facing drug charges after police in Colorado found 21 pounds of methamphetamine and 1.2 pounds of oxycodone pills in his Chicago Cubs duffel bag.

The Vail Daily reports Jesus Camargo-Corrales, 25, of Tempe, Arizona, appeared in Eagle County Court on Thursday on charges including unlawful distribution of methamphetamine and oxycodone, both class 1 drug felonies, as well as charges of unlawful possession of each drug, both class 4 drug felonies.

The Major League Baseball website says he was first signed to a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs in 2014.

NFL

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Veteran receiver DeSean Jackson has signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams, returning to his native Southern California after 13 NFL seasons on the East Coast.

The Rams announced the acquisition of Jackson on Sunday, adding him to the targets for new quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Jackson spent his first six NFL seasons and the last two with the Philadelphia Eagles, but he played in just eight games over the last two years due to injuries.

NHL

DENVER (AP) - The Colorado Avalanche acquired Jonas Johansson from the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday in a bid to shore up their shaky backup goaltending.

The Sabres received Colorado’s sixth-round draft pick in a trade agreed to a day earlier. The Sabres had to wait for COVID-19 testing results after the Boston Bruins, their most recent opponent, had four players enter the NHL protocol Friday.

Buffalo also had to wait for goaltender Michael Houser, who was signed Friday, to clear waivers to avoid having to call up a goalie from the minors.

GOLF

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) - Matt Jones won the Honda Classic by five shots Sunday, a final round of 2-under 68 good enough to finish the week at 12-under 268 at PGA National. The margin matched the largest in tournament history, tying the mark set by Jack Nicklaus in 1977 and matched by Camilo Villegas in 2010.

The 40-year-old Australian earned $1.26 million.

Brandon Hagy (66) finished 7 under and alone in second on his 30th birthday, his chance at winning doomed by a third-round 76. Chase Seiffert (64), Brendan Steele (65), C.T. Pan (70), Denny McCarthy (67) and Russell Henley (68) tied for third at 6 under.

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Justin Harding won the Kenya Open for his second European Tour title, closing with a 5-under 66 for a two-stroke victory.

The South African finished at 21 under. He also won the 2019 Qatar Masters

Kurt Kitayama of the United States was second.

NASCAR

HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) - Ryan Blaney became the sixth driver to win in six races to start NASCAR’s Cup season, surging to the front with nine laps to go after Kyle Larson’s dominant performance at Atlanta Motor Speedway fell apart on a fading set of tires Sunday.

Larson easily won the first two stages and led 269 of 325 laps on the 1.54-mile trioval.

But Larson’s tires didn’t stand up to the punishing track after making his final pit stop with 56 laps to go.

Blaney pulled away to win by 2.083 seconds in his No. 12 Team Penske Ford.

HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) - Kyle Busch raced to his 60th NASCAR Trucks Series victory with a dominating performance Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Busch pulled away over the last 30 laps and finished more than 4 seconds ahead of the field. He claimed his sixth career Trucks victory in Atlanta.

The Kyle Busch Motorsports team also picked up a third-place finish from series leader John Hunter Nemechek.

Georgia native Austin Hill finished second in his best showing of the season. Johnny Sauter was fourth followed by Sheldon Creed in a Chevrolet - the only non-Toyota truck to crack the top five.

TENNIS

MIAMI (AP) - Serena Williams is the latest Grand Slam champion to withdraw from the Miami Open.

Williams pulled out Sunday, citing recent oral surgery. Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer announced earlier they would skip the tournament, which begins Tuesday.

Williams, who lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, has won the event a record eight times, most recently in 2015.

OLYMPICS

TOKYO (AP) - Spectators from abroad will be barred from the postponed Tokyo Olympics when they open in four months.

The decision was announced Saturday after an online meeting of the International Olympic Committee, the Japanese government, the Tokyo government, the International Paralympic Committee, and local organizers.

Officials said the risk was too great to admit ticket holders from overseas during a pandemic. The Japanese public has also opposed fans from abroad. Several surveys have shown that up to 80% oppose holding the Olympics, and a similar percentage opposed fans from overseas attending.

Japan has attributed about 8,800 deaths to COVID-19 and has controlled the virus better than most countries.

NCAA WRESTLING

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Iowa clinched its first national team title since 2010 following the medal round of the NCAA wrestling championships Saturday.

The Hawkeyes had 125 points entering the evening finals, where three of their wrestlers were to compete for individual titles. Penn State had won four straight titles and eight of the last nine was second. Oklahoma State was third.

Neither the Nittany Lions nor Cowboys had enough scoring opportunities Saturday night to catch the Hawkeyes, who secured their 24th team title.

SKIING

LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland (AP) - An aggressive second run lifted teenager Alice Robinson ahead of Mikaela Shiffrin to win a giant slalom that ended the women’s World Cup ski season on Sunday.

Robinson had been fourth-fastest in the opening run, trailing 2018 Olympic champion Shiffrin by 0.77 seconds, yet turned it into a victory by 0.28 at Lenzerheide.

It was the 19-year-old New Zealander’s third win in giant slalom on the World Cup circuit.

HORSE RACING

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Hot Rod Charlie led wire to wire to win the $1 million Louisiana Derby by two lengths over Midnight Bourbon Saturday and earn 100 points toward qualification for the Kentucky Derby.

The major prep race for Triple Crown hopefuls was run in front of a mostly empty clubhouse and grandstand at Fair Ground Race Course because of crowd restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trained by Leandro Mora and with jockey Joel Rosario aboard, Hot Rod Charlie went off at 7-1 and ran 1 3/16 miles in 1:55.06. He paid $7.80, $4.40 and $3.60.

OBITUARY

LEEDS, England (AP) - Peter Lorimer, the record goalscorer and youngest-ever player for English soccer club Leeds, has died. He was 74.

Leeds announced Lorimer’s death on Saturday, saying the former Scotland international had been suffering with a long-term illness.

Nicknamed “Hot Shot” and “Lasher” because of his powerful strike of the ball, Lorimer scored 238 goals in 705 games in all competitions across two spells at Leeds after joining in 1962.

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