Update on the latest sports
STORRS, Conn. (AP) — UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma has tested positive for COVID-19 and is isolating at home.
The school made the announcement hours before it was expected to be named the top seed in the NCAA Tournament. UConn says the Hall of Famer received a positive result from a test taken Sunday and isn’t experiencing any symptoms.
The team’s head physician says contact tracing protocols revealed that Auriemma didn’t have close contact with any other team member since Friday. The rest of the team, which has tested negative, plans to leave Tuesday for the tournament in San Antonio.
Gonzaga completes season-long run at No. 1 in AP Top 25
UNDATED (AP) — Gonzaga has completed a start-to-finish run atop The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll.
Coach Mark Few’s Bulldogs received all 60 first-place votes to stay atop the final poll. That made them the the first team since Kentucky in 2014-15 to be No. 1 in every poll and the 14th overall.
Gonzaga was named the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday. The Zags are trying to become the first unbeaten national champion since Indiana in 1976.
Illinois climbed to No. 2 in the poll after winning the Big Ten Tournament, followed by Baylor, Michigan and Alabama.
Meanwhile, UConn finished No. 1 in the women’s poll. It’s the 16th time that the Huskies have completed the regular season as the top team in the poll. Stanford, which spent six weeks atop the women’s AP Top 25, finished second. North Carolina State was third, while Texas A&M and Baylor rounded out the top five teams in the poll.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NCAA TOURNAMENT
March Madness: 68 teams punch ticket; the hard part awaits
NEW YORK (AP) — The 68-team NCAA Tournament field is set, but it’s the next few days that could be the most nerve-wracking.
Gonzaga has the top overall seed, trying to become the first team since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers to finish a season undefeated. The other top seeds are Baylor, Illinois and Michigan.
The tournament will be held entirely in the Indianapolis area. And here’s the nerve-wracking part: No player can show up for a game without seven negative test for COVID-19. There are deadlines for teams to be replaced, too.
The first games are set for Thursday.
ACC to allow transfers within conference to play immediately
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — The Atlantic Coast Conference has eliminated its rule requiring athletes to sit out a season if they transfer within the league.
The move is the latest across college sports to loosen restrictions on transferring athletes so they can switch schools and play right away. The NCAA is moving toward making the so-called one-time exception available for all athletes.
Currently, athletes in high-profile Division I sports such as football and basketball must sit out a season when they transfer to another DI school.
The NCAA was expected to vote on transfer rule legislation in January — and it was expected to pass — but a U.S. Department of Justice inquiry delayed that vote.
AP Source: Archie Miller out as Indiana’s basketball coac
UNDATED (AP) — Indiana has fired coach Archie Miller after four mediocre seasons. The move was confirmed Monday by a person with knowledge of the decision who spoke to The Associated Press. Miller was 67-58 with the Hoosiers. His teams never made the NCAA Tournament.
In other moves:
— Boston College has hired Earl Grant from the College of Charleston as its men’s basketball coach. Grant replaces Jim Christian, who was fired with three weeks remaining in his seventh season. Grant had a 127-89 record in seven seasons with the Cougars. They won the Colonial Athletic Association regular season and tournament championship in 2018.
— DePaul fired coach Dave Leitao six years into his second tenure. The Blue Demons went 5-14 overall in a season that started about a month late because of COVID-19 issues. They finished last in the Big East for the fifth straight year at 2-13.
Shaq Barrett re-ups with Bucs, Golden returns to Cards, Ravens add guard
UNDATED (AP) — TLinebacker Shaquil Barrett has agreed to a four-year, $72 million contract to remain with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Barrett has been one of the NFL’s top pass rushers over the past two seasons. The 28-year-old’s new deal includes $36 million guaranteed and was facilitated by Tom Brady signing an extension that cleared $19 million in salary cap space.
— The Arizona Cardinals have re-signed linebacker Markus Golden to a two-year deal. The 30-year-old has spent most of his career with the Cardinals after being selected by them in the second round of the 2015 draft. He returns to a defense that recently signed three-time NFL defensive player of the year J.J. Watt. The team did not disclose financial terms.
— Guard Kevin Zeitler has agreed to a three-year, $22 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens. The nine-year veteran was released by the New York Giants last week. Zeitler just turned 31 and has also played for Cincinnati and Cleveland. The durable guard has started all 16 games in six of his NFL seasons, including five of the past six.
— The Patriots have agreed to sign free agent tight end Jonnu Smith. Agent Drew Rosenhaus tells The Associated Press, Smith agreed to a four-year, $50 million deal. At 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, Smith had been a consistent presence for the Tennessee Titans, with 53 starts over the past four years. He is coming off his best season, catching 41 passes for 448 yards for eight touchdowns.
— A person familiar with the deal says the New England Patriots are trading tackle Marcus Cannon, a mainstay on the right side of their offensive line, to the Houston Texans. The Patriots will send Cannon to Houston in exchange for the swap of fourth, fifth and sixth-round picks with the Texans in next month’s NFL draft. Cannon opted out last season because of COVID-19 concerns.
— The San Francisco 49ers are bringing back Jason Verrett on a one-year deal. NFL Network reported the contract has a $5.5 million base value with the chance to make more. Verrett has been plagued by injuries throughout his career but stayed healthy in 2020 and excelled at cornerback for the 49ers. That made him a high priority to keep this offseason.
— A person familiar with the situation says defensive end Romeo Okwara has agreed to stay with the Detroit Lions. Reports say the unrestricted free agent landed a $39 million, three-year contract. Okwara had a career-high 10 sacks last season in his third year with the Lions and fifth in the NFL.
— Kevin Colbert is sticking with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The team’s long-time general manager has signed a one-year contract extension that runs through the 2022 NFL draft. The 64-year-old Colbert has been with the franchise for more than two decades but has recently started working on a year-to-year basis.
— Linebacker Vince Biegel has agreed to terms on a one-year contract to remain with the Miami Dolphins. Biegel had the best season of his three-year NFL career in 2020 for Miami, starting 10 games while totaling 59 tackles and 13 quarterback hits.
Blues-Kings Monday game canceled
LOS ANGELES (AP) —The Los Angeles Kings’ game against the St. Louis Blues on Monday night has been postponed because the Kings were unable to fly home from their game in Denver on Sunday due to weather conditions. The NHL didn’t immediately announce a makeup date Monday. The Kings’ plane couldn’t leave after their 4-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche due to a blizzard. Los Angeles will return to action Wednesday against the Blues, who were scheduled to open a six-game road trip at Staples Center on Monday.
Yanks lefty Britton has elbow surgery
UNDATED (AP) — New York Yankees left-hander Zack Britton has had surgery to remove a bone chip from his pitching elbow. The reliever is likely to be out until at least May and perhaps until summer. The team has not specified a timeframe. Yankees head team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad operated at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Left-hander Aroldis Chapman is the Yankees’ closer, and manager Aaron Boone said he will mix and match during the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. Boone has said right-hander Chad Green, side-arming right-hander Darren O’Day, right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga and left-hander Justin Wilson are options.
YouTube to broadcast 21 games as part of 3rd MLB season
NEW YORK (AP) — YouTube will broadcast a Major League Baseball package of games for a third season.
The series of 21 telecasts starts April 7 when the Boston Red Sox host the AL champion Tampa Bay Rays in the finale of a two-game series. The games are exclusive and will not be televised by club broadcast partners. YouTube telecasts include live chats. YouTube broadcast 13 games in 2019 and says it generated an average of 1.2 million live views. It broadcast four games last September during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
MLB’s primary national agreements are with Fox, Turner and ESPN.
PGA Tour Champions to hold 3-way cup for all parts of world
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Jim Furyk spent most of his career playing against Europe in the Ryder Cup and the International team in the Presidents Cup. Now he gets to play them both.
Chicago-based Intersport is putting together the World Champions Cup. It will start in the fall of 2022.
Furyk will be playing captain of Team USA, while Darren Clarke will lead Team Europe and Ernie Els is playing captain of Team World.
It will be nine-hole matches twice a day over three days with points earned for each hole that is won. The site of the annual matches has not been announced.
Medvedev 1st man other than ‘Big 4’ in ATP Top 2 since 2005
LONDON (AP) — Daniil Medvedev has moved up to a career-best No. 2 in the ATP rankings. That makes him the first man other than Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer or Andy Murray to hold either of the top two spots in 15 1/2 years.
Lleyton Hewitt was the last man outside of that quartet to be No. 1 or No. 2 He ranked second in July 2005 behind Federer.
Medvedev rose from No. 3 to swap places with Nadal a day after winning a tournament in France. Djokovic is in his 312th week at No. 1. He recently broke Federer’s record of 310 weeks on top.
WNBA 25TH SEASON
WNBA rolls out plans for 25th season celebration
NEW YORK (AP) — The WNBA hopes to be back in home arenas for its 25th season this summer.
The league announced a series of plans for the anniversary season, including a new marketing campaign “Count It,” as well as celebrations of the league’s milestones throughout its history.
When the new season will start is still being finalized. Commissioner Cathy Engelbert says she expects it to begin in May.
Last season, the league played a 22-game schedule at IMG Academy in Florida, scrapping plans for a 34-game schedule because of the coronavirus pandemic. There will be a break this season for the Tokyo Olympics in July.