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NCAA-MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

Busy day and night on the college hardwood

UNDATED (AP) —Michigan State rolled into the third round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament with a 65-54 Midwest Regional victory over Valparaiso. Senior center Derrick Nix had 23 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to lead the third-seeded Spartans, who can make it to the round of 16 for the fifth time in six years with another win at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Saturday. The 14th-seeded Crusaders were making their first NCAA appearance in nine years.

Butler is safely through to the third round. The sixth-seeded Bulldogs defeated 11th-seeded Bucknell 68-56 in an East Regional game at Rupp Arena in Lexington. Senior center Andrew Smith had 14 points and a career-high 16 boards to help lead the Bulldogs, who are back in the tournament for the first time since making back-to-back runs to the national title game in 2010 and 2011.

Fourth-seeded Saint Louis dispatched 13th-seeded New Mexico State 64-44 in the Midwest Regional in San Jose, Calif. Dwayne Evans led the Billikens with 24 points.

Ninth-seeded Wichita State dumped No. 8 seed Pittsburgh 73-55 in the West Regional in Salt Lake City.

MLB-DODGERS-RAMIREZ

Dodgers take a hit

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez is scheduled to undergo surgery Friday on his injured right thumb and is expected to be sidelined for eight weeks.

The Dodgers say an MRI indicates that a ligament in Ramirez's thumb was torn.

Ramirez suffered the injury Tuesday night while playing for the Dominican Republic in its victory over Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic championship game in San Francisco.

PGA-ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL

Woods has work to do

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Tiger Woods opened defense of his title in a chilly breeze at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando. The second-ranked golfer in the world was among the early starters for round one and found himself four shots back of clubhouse leader Justin Rose after he signed for a 3-under-par 69. Rose ran off four straight birdies late in his round to pull away.

Woods can recapture the No. 1 ranking with an eighth PGA Tour win at Bay Hill.

LPGA-KIA CLASSIC

New experience for Lewis

CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) — Stacy Lewis had an afternoon tee time for her first LPGA first tournament as world No. 1. She's in the field at this week's KIA Classic in California.

Defending champion Yani Tseng (YAH'-nee sehng) was forced to withdraw from the field after missing her tee time for yesterday's pro-am.

Lewis jumped from third to first in the rankings with a win last week at Phoenix, ending Tseng's 109-week run at the top.

Jane Park is the early clubhouse leader by a stroke after firing a 6-under-par 66.

NFL-NEWS

NFL teams continue to tweak rosters

UNDATED (AP) — Chiefs left tackle Branden Albert has signed his franchise tender, two weeks after the team placed the franchise tag on him.

The former first-round pick has locked down the left side of Kansas City's offensive line the past five seasons. He played all 16 games two years ago, but missed three games last season while dealing with back injuries.

Albert will make $9.828 million if he plays under the one-year contract.

The Chiefs have spoken to his representatives about a long-term deal, and it's also possible that Kansas City will trade Albert in the coming weeks.

In other pro football news:

— The New York Giants re-signed free-agent quarterback David Carr. The 2002 No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft has been Eli Manning's backup in four of the last five seasons. He played for San Francisco in 2010.

— The Titans have agreed to a one-year contract with safety Bernard Pollard. He's the second safety Tennessee has added in free agency this offseason. Pollard is a seven-year pro who spent the past two seasons in Baltimore.

— The Jaguars have signed Jordan Shipley, who played in the final six games for Jacksonville last season. The third-year pro finished with 23 receptions for 244 yards.

— Chicago Bears fullback Evan Rodriguez was arrested early Thursday morning in Miami and charged with disorderly intoxication and resisting an officer. The 24-year-old started five games for Chicago last season.

ALABAMA-ATHLETIC DIRECTOR

Battle receives endorsement

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama President Judy Bonner is recommending former Crimson Tide football player Bill Battle as athletic director.

Bonner says outgoing athletic director Mal Moore strongly endorsed Battle as his successor. Moore is stepping down to become a special assistant to Bonner because of health issues.

The Alabama board of trustees' executive committee scheduled a conference call Friday to vote on the selection.

Battle played with Moore on Bear Bryant's 1961 national championship team. He spent seven years as Tennessee's football coach starting in 1970.

Battle founded the Collegiate Licensing Company in 1981 and served as president and CEO until 2002. He also has served as chairman of the board of Licensing Partners International.

NBA-SCHEDULE

Nuggets look to extend their streak

UNDATED (AP) — If it weren't for the Heat's 24-game winning streak, the Nuggets would be the talk of the NBA. Denver has won 13 in a row headed into this evening's game against a visiting Philadelphia 76ers team that is 15 games under .500 and just 6-24 on the road. The Nuggets' 30-3 home record ties Miami for best in the league.

The rest of tonight's light pro hoops schedule has Portland playing at Chicago and Sacramento hosting Minnesota.

NHL-SCHEDULE

Canadiens can creep up on Penguins

UNDATED (AP) — The Canadiens will be out to avenge their only regulation loss in their last 18 games tonight on Long Island, where they lost to New York 6-3 early this month. Montreal is 13-1-4 over that span and begins tonight's game second in the NHL East, three points behind idle Pittsburgh.

Boston is just two points behind Northeast Division-rival Montreal headed into its game at Ottawa.

Elsewhere on the ice, Buffalo is home to Toronto, the New York Rangers entertain Florida, New Jersey skates at Carolina, Winnipeg hosts Washington, Calgary is at Nashville, Phoenix is home to Vancouver and the L.A. Kings host Dallas.

ATHLETICS-FLORIDA STATE SUSPENSIONS

Celebration goes overboard

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida State has suspended two of the nation's top sprinters after an early morning poolside shooting incident.

Ronell Mance won a silver medal in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and Stephen Newbold was the MVP at the recent Atlantic Coast Conference indoor track and field championships. They were arrested shortly before 4 a.m. Thursday near a student apartment complex. No one was injured.

A probable cause affidavit says Newbold was arrested for discharging a firearm in public and resisting without violence. Mance was arrested for unauthorized use of an ID and resisting without violence.

Thursday was Mance's 21st birthday.



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