Saturday, March 28
Atkinson has hat trick, Blue Jackets beat Blackhawks 5-2
CHICAGO (AP) — Cam Atkinson scored twice in Columbus' four-goal first period and added an empty-net goal in the final minute for his second career hat trick to help the Blue Jackets win their fifth straight game, 5-2 over the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night.
Ryan Johansen and Kevin Connauton also connected for the Blue Jackets. They set a team record with their seventh consecutive road victory and have won eight of nine overall.
Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews scored for Chicago, which dropped its second straight.
Columbus' Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves.
Chicago goalie Corey Crawford was pulled with 3:14 left in the first period after allowing four goals on 13 shots. Scott Darling finished, and stopped all 13 shots he faced.
Nets snap Cavaliers' 4-game win streak with 106-98 victory
NEW YORK (AP) — Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez each scored 20 points, and the Brooklyn Nets snapped the Cleveland Cavaliers' four-game winning streak with a 106-98 victory on Friday night.
Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 points for the Nets, who held LeBron James to two baskets in the second half and won for the sixth time in eight games as they chase a playoff berth. They came in tied for ninth in the East, a half-game behind Boston for the final spot.
James finished with 24 points and nine assists for Cleveland, while Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 26 points, and Kevin Love had 18 points and seven rebounds.
The Cavaliers had won the first three meetings this season, outscoring the Nets by about 17 points per game. But Brooklyn turned up its defense in the second half to cool off what had been the NBA's hottest team for more than two months.
Indians send RHP Danny Salazar to minors
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — The Indians have optioned Danny Salazar to Triple-A Columbus.
Salazar had been in the running to win one of the two open spots in Cleveland's starting rotation, but the right-hander has struggled this spring and the Indians sent him back to the minors.
With Salazar out of the running, left-hander T.J. House, Zach McAllister and Josh Tomlin are vying for the starting jobs.
Salazar got roughed up Thursday against Cincinnati, allowing six earned runs — two homers — and six hits in 3 1-3 innings. His fastball was high in the strike zone down the middle. In four spring outings, Salazar is 1-2 with an 8.18 ERA. He has allowed 14 hits and 10 runs in 11 innings.
Salazar bounced between Columbus and Cleveland last season. He went 6-8 with a 4.25 ERA in 20 starts. In 2013, he started the Indians' wild-card game against Tampa Bay.
Kluber, Collmenter pitch well, Diamondbacks top Indians
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Cleveland ace Corey Kluber tuned up for the regular season, striking out nine over six effective innings Friday in the Indians' 3-2 loss to Josh Collmenter and the split-squad Arizona Diamondbacks.
In a matchup between pitchers set to start on opening day, Kluber gave up one run and six hits. The AL Cy Young Award winner walked two.
Collmenter threw three-hit ball in seven shutout innings. He struck out three and walked two.
Arizona scored off Kluber in the first inning on doubles by Chris Owings and David Peralta.
Owings also tripled. Jake Lamb hit two doubles for the Diamondbacks.
Notre Dame eyes history with shot at beating Kentucky
CLEVELAND (AP) — If there's one school unafraid to take on Kentucky, it's Notre Dame.
The Fighting Irish have a history of taking down college basketball Goliaths. There's none bigger or more intimidating right now than the undefeated Wildcats, who are 37-0 and can earn a trip to the Final Four on Saturday with a win over Notre Dame in the Midwest Regional final.
Kentucky demolished West Virginia by 39 points in the semifinals, while Notre Dame outlasted Wichita State.
The Fighting Irish have beaten the AP's top-ranked teams eight times and may be best known for ending UCLA's 88-game winning streak in 1974.
Notre Dame's players don't see themselves as underdogs and are confident they can compete with Kentucky, a team some feel is invincible. Notre Dame coach Mike Brey believes he has the more tested team after playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Dayton trying to knock off second team from Kentucky
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Seventh-seeded Dayton has already upset one team from Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament and the Flyers don't see why a game with Louisville should be any different.
Dayton (27-6), a seventh seed, takes on fourth-seeded Louisville (27-6) Saturday afternoon.
The aptly named Flyers average 76.5 points a game. They take 16.5 shots from the 3-point line and make about 38 percent of those. They are 110-10 over their last 120 games when scoring more than 70 points and 23-1 this season.
Louisville has won 20 games for the fifth straight season in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year. The program is making its sixth Sweet 16 appearance, it's fourth in the last five seasons and third in a row, despite losing four seniors and most of its scoring from last year's team.
Dayton has been to six straight NCAA Tournaments, but this is the programs first Sweet 16.
BKH--HH WAYNE-ST ED
Wayne holds St. Ed scoreless in OT in 57-51 D1 OT win
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Rodrick Caldwell scored 17 points, including two foul shots in overtime, to lead Huber Heights Wayne to a 57-51 win over defending champion Lakewood St. Edward on Saturday night in a Division I state semifinal.
The Warriors (25-4) meet Westerville South (27-1) in Saturday's final between teams in their state tournament debut.
No one scored after Kipper Nichols, who led St. Edward (21-6) with 20 points, hit a layup with 32 seconds left in regulation to tie it. He missed on a desperation 3 at the buzzer.
In the overtime, Ahmad Wagner scored inside over 6-foot-10 Derek Funderburk, D'Mitrik Trice hit two free throws and Caldwell made two more with 13 seconds left.
Xeyrius Williams had 13 for Wayne. Mike Ryan scored 14 and Funderburk 13 for the Eagles.