NCAA MEN'S TOURNAMENT
UNDATED (AP) — Play in the men's NCAA tournament resumes tonight with Regional semifinal games in Washington and Los Angeles.
The opening game in East Regional play in D.C. has second seed Miami playing third seed Marquette, while the second contest features No. 1 Indiana and fourth seed Syracuse.
Of note in the first game, the appearance of Miami in Washington's Verizon Center means Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga (la-ra-NAY'-gah) returns to the scene of his greatest success. It was with George Mason University seven years ago that Larranaga won the regional championship and a spot in the Final Four in Indianapolis.
In the first game of the West Regional semifinals in L.A. Ohio State's Buckeyes, the region's second seed, are playing sixth seed Arizona. The second game in Staples Center features two of the surprise teams in the tournament, La Salle, the 13th seed and No. 9 Wichita State.
The Shockers of Wichita State advanced with that 76-70 win over regional top seed Gonzaga (gahn-ZAG'-uh), while La Salle opened tournament play with a two point win over fourth-seed Kansas State.
Play continues tomorrow with South Regional play in Arlington, Texas and Midwest Regional action in Indianapolis.
New deal for hoops coach
UNDATED (AP) — Bucknell coach Dave Paulsen has been rewarded for taking the program to its second NCAA tournament in three seasons with a five-year contract extension. The new pact keeps him with the program through the 2017-18 season. The Bison finished 28-6 this year to set school and Patriot League records for victories. Their season came to an end with a 68-56 loss last week to Butler.
No twin bill on aircraft carrier this year
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (AP) — There will not be any college basketball games on the deck of the USS Yorktown in Charleston Harbor this year. A doubleheader was slated for last November, but after the women's game between Notre Dame and Ohio State, moisture on the playing surface prompted the cancellation of the men's game between Ohio State and Marquette.
Light schedule for the pros
UNDATED (AP) — Now that the Miami Heat have lost a game it's back to the daily grind of the regular NBA schedule. On tap this evening are just three games with the Lakers playing the Bucks in Milwaukee, the Mavericks home to Indiana and Sacramento at Phoenix.
The game in Milwaukee is important to each team as both the Lakers and Bucks currently hold down the eighth and final playoff spot in their respective conference.
Penguins look to extend Eastern lead
UNDATED (AP) — A pair of divisional leaders face off tonight in Pittsburgh as the Eastern Conference-leading Penguins play host to Winnipeg. The Pens top the Atlantic Division by 15 points over New Jersey, while the Jets lead the Southeast Division by six points over Carolina. In the East, the Pens lead the idle Montreal Canadiens by five points.
Two teams vying for the eighth and final playoff berth in the East are in action tonight. The Rangers start the day holding down the final spot with 35 points and they are playing in Ottawa this evening. The Islanders are two points back of the Rangers and they are visiting the Flyers tonight.
Two of the teams battling for the final spot in the West are facing off in St. Louis tonight as the Blues entertain the Kings. L.A. has 38 points while the Blues, along with the Sharks, have 36. San Jose is home to the Red Wings tonight.
Vancouver's Canucks can take over first place in the Northwest Division tonight by getting at least a point in their game with Colorado. The Canucks are tied with Minnesota for the top spot in the division with 42 points.
Rounding out the rest of the schedule Carolina is at Toronto, Buffalo is at Florida, Phoenix is at Nashville and Columbus is playing at Edmonton.
Opening round today
HUMBLE, Texas (AP) — The first round of the Houston Open is being played today in Humble, Texas. In the very early going Phil Mickelson is 3-under after 7 holes.
The Houston Open became the run-up event to the Masters in 2007 and organizers embraced the niche, trying to create Augusta-like conditions at Redstone. This year, the tournament lost that distinction, with the Masters starting later than usual. The Houston Open stayed put in the week after Bay Hill, while the PGA Tour moved the Texas Open in San Antonio to the week before Augusta.
Rory McIlroy heads the field which includes defending champion Hunter Mahan (MAY'-han), 2011 winner Mickelson and top-10 players Brandt Snedeker, Keegan Bradley and Louis Oosthuizen (WUHST'-hy-zehn). Bradley is up to No. 10 in the world after three straight top-10 finishes.
Murder suspect allowed to travel
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — A judge has ruled that Oscar Pistorius (pihs-TOHR'-ee-uhs) can leave South Africa to compete in international track meets. Judge Bert Bam said Pistorius, who is charged with murder in the Valentine's Day shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, must travel under certain conditions. His passport will be held by a court while he is in South Africa, and he can only leave the country if he provides an itinerary of his travel plans at least a week before he is due to leave.
Pistorius must also hand his travel documents back to the court within 24 hours of returning home.