Update on the latest sports
NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
Final Four to be set by end of night
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Pac-12 will make up one-half of the NCAA men’s Final Four if Southern Cal and UCLA can pull off upsets tonight.
The sixth-seeded Trojans were heavy underdogs as they took the court against unbeaten Gonzaga. The Bulldogs are the first overall seed in the tournament and are trying to become the first Division I men’s team to complete a perfect season since Indiana in 1975-76.
The Zags are treating USC as they have treated other teams this season, carrying a 49-30 lead into halftime. Drew Timme (TIH’-mee) already had 15 points by intermission, while Jalen Suggs contributed 13 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Isaiah Mobley was high man for the Trojans in the first half with 11 points.
Game 2 has 11th-seeded UCLA taking on No. 1 Michigan. The Bruins are still alive after coming out of the First Four.
The winner of each game will play each other in one of Saturday’s semifinal games. Top seed Baylor and No. 2 Houston will square off in the other.
NFL season will be 17 games
UNDATED (AP) — The NFL is increasing the regular season to 17 games and reducing the preseason to three games.
Team owners on Tuesday approved the 17th game, marking the first time in 43 years the regular season has been increased. It went from 14 to 16 games in 1978.
The Super Bowl now will move back a week to Feb. 13, which places it directly in the middle of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Coincidentally, NBC has the broadcast rights to both.
Each extra NFL game will be an interconference matchup based on where teams finished in the previous season. AFC teams will be hosting the 17th game in 2021.
In other NFL news:
— The Raiders have agreed to a contract extension with left tackle Kolton Miller that will keep him locked up through the 2025 season. ESPN first reported the deal and said it includes $42.6 million in guarantees and averages more than $18 million a year from 2023-25. Miller is the first member of the 2018 draft class that included quarterbacks Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson to get an extension.
—The San Francisco 49ers have signed wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (sah-NOO’) for a second stint with the team. Sanu played three games for San Francisco last season with one catch for nine yards.
—The Bills have signed offensive lineman Bobby Hart to a one-year contract. Hart is a sixth-year player who spent the previous three seasons starting at right tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals.
—The Minnesota Vikings have re-signed left guard Dakota Dozier. He was the sixth starter at left guard in six seasons for the Vikings.
—The Seattle Seahawks have signed veteran interior offensive lineman Gabe Jackson, who was deemed expendable by the Raiders after seven seasons. Jackson has started 99 of 100 career games and played in all 16 last season for the first time since 2016.
— The Titans have agreed to terms with safety Matthias Farley on a one-year contract. The five-year veteran has started 18 of his 66 NFL games and has 158 tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and 28 special teams tackles.
— Veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis is staying with the Packers, who also re-signed defensive end Tyler Lancaster. The 36-year-old Lewis has spent the last three seasons in Green Bay after playing 12 seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Lancaster has made 18 starts over the last three seasons.
Jazz charter turns back after striking birds on takeoff
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah Jazz have confirmed that their charter flight headed to Memphis had to return to Salt Lake City after the plane struck a flock of birds on takeoff.
No injuries were reported, and several players expressed gratitude for the safe landing. Donovan Mitchell posted a praying hands emoji on Twitter, while Rudy Gobert (goh-BEHR’) wrote “It’s a beautiful day!”
The Jazz were scheduled to play the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
Flyers place Shayne Gostisbehere on waivers
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Philadelphia Flyers have placed defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (GAHS’-tihs-behr) on waivers.
The surprising move comes as the Flyers are attempting to stay in the playoff hunt. Gostisberhere has five goals and six assists in 25 games and was benched for a three-game stretch two weeks ago.
The 27-year-old’s production has dropped off since scoring 13 goals and adding 52 assists for a career-best 65 points in 78 games in 2017-18.
Jays plan more home games for Florida
DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) — The Toronto Blue Jays will play their third homestand of the season at their spring training ballpark in Dunedin, Fliorida, because of COVID-19 restrictions. Toronto had already announced that its first two homestands will be at TD Ballpark, and now it’s added 10 games from May 14-24 against Philadelphia, Boston and Tampa Bay. Twenty-two of 81 home games have been switched to Florida from the Rogers Center. Toronto hopes to return home at some point in 2021. The TD Ballpark seats about 8,500 fans and had a major renovation in 2019-20. The Blue Jays intend to limit capacity to 15%.
In other major league moves:
— Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Ji-Man Choi will have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and is expected to be sidelined at least three to five weeks. Manager Kevin Cash says the extent of the injury will be clearer after Wednesday’s operation.
— Pitcher Brandon Kintzler and outfielder Matt Joyce were selected to the major league roster by the Phillies. The 36-year-old Kintzler had a 1.86 ERA in 10 spring training games, striking out 11 and walking two in 9 2/3 innings. Joyce hit .310 with one homer and four RBIs in 29 spring training at-bats.
— Spring training took its toll on some of the Cincinnati Reds and some players won’t be ready for opening day. Outfielder Shogo Akiyama and pitchers Sonny Gray and Michael Lorenzen will miss the opener Thursday but aren’t expected to be sidelined for long after that.
OLYMPIC MEDALIST-SEXUAL ABUSE CHARGES
Olympic gold medalist charged with child sex abuse in Utah
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A sledding gold medalist at the 2002 Winter Olympics has been charged with sexual abuse of a child in Utah. Court documents show James “Jimmy” Shea made his first court appearance Monday.
Shea’s attorney said Tuesday that the charges are a result of a family dispute and a misunderstanding about what his client contends was loving and affectionate touching. The attorney says the 52-year-old Shea plans to plead not guilty. The Associated Press isn’t identifying the relationship of the alleged victim to Shea to protect the child’s identity.