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Villanova and Michigan head to national title game

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Villanova bombed its way past a blueblood to reach the national title game. Michigan got there by taking away Cinderella's slipper.

This end to March Madness should be good.

A wild NCAA Tournament of upsets comes down to this: Villanova and its squadron of long-range shooters against Michigan and its ultra-stingy defense, Monday night at the Alamodome.

The Wildcats (35-4) turned a Final Four showdown with fellow No. 1 seed Kansas into a laugher, dropping in 3-pointers like they were playing pop-a-shot in the 95-79 rout. Villanova made a Final Four-record 18 3s in a record-matching 40 attempts, its second trip to the title game in three seasons never in doubt.

The third-seeded Wolverines (33-7) had a bit more trouble against the bracket's favorite underdogs, overcoming a frightful first half to send Loyola-Chicago and Sister Jean packing.

The Wolverines had trouble scoring in their Final Four game to trail Loyola-Chicago by seven at halftime, before finding the right gear in the second to run past the underdog Ramblers 69-57 into the title game.

Their next task: Find some way to slow Villanova's 3-ball roll.

The Wildcats were one of the most proficient 3-point shooting teams during the regular season and upped the 3 ante in the NCAA Tournament, knocking down a record 65 and counting. Villanova literally shot the lights out by the second half, when some scoreboards and upper-level lights went out for a few minutes and darkened the upper decks.

Michigan may have a better answer than Kansas had.

The Wolverines have fixed the one thing holding them back in past seasons, developing a lockdown defense so they no longer have to simply outscore opponents.

Michigan had the nation's No. 3 defense efficiency-wise and put Loyola on lockdown in the second half, holding the Ramblers to 1-of-7 shooting from 3 to send Sister Jean Delores Schmidt to the exits early.

The Wolverines are seeking their first national title since Glen Rice and Rumeal Robinson rumbled through the bracket in 1989.





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Stout Defense Helps Danger Clip Barnstormers

Grand Island, NE - The Iowa Barnstormers and the Nebraska Danger both came into their 5th game of the season with a 3-1 record and looking to gain some momentum in the IFL standings. The surging Danger defense led the team to a victory for Nebraska, 43-32.

Iowa came out strong in the first quarter as Barnstormers quarterback, Drew Powell, split the Danger defenders and ran for a 19-yard gain. Iowa took a 7-point lead a few plays later. Nebraska wouldn’t waste any time though, as the ensuing kick was returned 48 yards by Korey Ringer to tie the game at seven points apiece. The Danger defense then made several big plays deep on Iowa’s end of the field, forcing a long field goal that Iowa missed. The Danger, along with the help of some Iowa penalties, marched down the field but only come away with three points on a 19-yard field goal from kicker, Brad Hatfield. The low scoring quarter ended with Nebraska having a slim lead, 9-7.

The Danger defense came out swinging again to start the second quarter, when linebacker Myke Tavarres stripped the ball from Powell and recovered it for Nebraska. After only gaining 8 yards in the first quarter, the Nebraska offense came out hoping to find some rhythm. However, Iowa again forced the Danger into a field goal situation. Brad Hatfield obliged by pushing through a 38-yard field goal, extending the Nebraska lead to five. Iowa then had a drive stall deep in Danger territory before a Nebraska stop on 4th down, but scored on their next possession. The Danger responded almost immediately as Scroggins found receiver Eric Thomas for a 37-yard touchdown. Nebraska’s Kenzel Doe got a huge block, allowing Thomas to get through to the endzone. Nebraska headed to the locker room with a six-point lead, 20-14.

“We really couldn’t find any offensive rhythm in the first half, but Jesse [Scroggins] found the short pass for that touchdown at the end of the half. Kenzel [Doe] also gets some credit for laying down a huge block, otherwise we may not have gotten that one,” said Head Coach Mark Stoute.

Nebraska started with the ball in the second half and drove to the two-yard line before the Barnstormers stuffed back-to-back attempts to get a touchdown. Hatfield got his third field goal of the night, making the score 23-14. After the Danger defense got a turnover on downs, the offense strung a few plays together and Scroggin found Thomas for a 20-yard touchdown pass. This was the second time those two connected on the night, giving the Danger a 30-14 lead. Two quick scores, one for each team, rounded out the quarter, as the Danger led 36-20 heading to the fourth quarter.

Iowa scored in the first two minutes of fourth quarter, but missed the two-point conversion to leave the Danger with a 10-point lead. Scroggins came right back out and found Doe for a 41-yard touchdown pass with 9:49 left in the game. Scroggins finished the game with 154 passing yards and 4 touchdown passes. The Barnstormers did not go away and a Danger roughing penalty helped them get a first down late in the fourth quarter. This continued a six minute Iowa drive, as the clock rolled under four minutes left in the game, with the Danger leading 43-26. Iowa would score once more, but Nebraska would come away with their fourth win of the season, 43-32.

“We pulled it together in the second half. The defense continued to play on point and Jesse found his groove and kept finding ways to move the ball and extend our lead. There are always things to clean up, but this was a good response after our first loss last week,” Stoute said.

The Danger play at home again next Saturday against the Sioux Falls Storm.





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White Sox rout KC on opening day

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Most days, Tim Anderson's performance would have made him the star.

Matt Davidson showed up his Chicago White Sox teammate.

The young designated hitter became the fourth player in major league history to homer three times on opening day , while Anderson had to settle for just two of Chicago's six home runs , and the White Sox pounded the Kansas City Royals 14-7 on Thursday to spoil their 50th anniversary celebration.

Of the four players with three-homer opening days, three have done it against the Royals, while the six homers by Chicago on opening day matched the big league record set by the Mets in 1988.

Jose Abreu also went deep for the White Sox, who picked up James Shields (1-0) in a big way after the former Royals ace surrendered four runs in the first inning. Shields wound up lasting six innings, holding Kansas City without a hit after that shaky first.

Yolmer Sanchez added a three-run single and Yoan Moncada drove in a pair of runs for the White Sox, who forced Royals manager Ned Yost to burn through nine pitchers.

 





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Penn State wins men's NIT

NEW YORK (AP) — Shep Garner hit the 3-pointer that brought cousin Flavor Flav to his feet and helped send Penn State on its way to an NIT championship in an 82-66 victory over Utah on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

The fourth-seeded Nittany Lions (26-13) also knocked off No. 1 seed Notre Dame in the tournament en route to winning their first NIT title since 2009.

Lamar Stevens scored 28 points, Josh Reaves had 18 and Tony Carr had 15 points and 14 assists for Penn State.

Flavor Flav, member of the seminal '80s rap group Public Enemy, sang along to "Fight the Power" as it blasted in the Garden and had the PSU student section chanting "Flav! Flav! Flav!" as the Nittany Lions pulled away for a program-defining championship under coach Pat Chambers.

Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center has a long-standing reputation as one of the dreariest arenas in college basketball. Penn State fans, from rappers to silver-haired alumni, packed the Garden all the way to the last row of the upper deck.

Penn State football coach James Franklin, who led the program to a Pinstripe Bowl victory in 2014, was in the house. Flavor Flav stole the show a few rows behind the PSU bench. Wearing a backward red cap and T-shirt emblazoned that read "33 Shep Garner," Flavor Flav danced all night in his seat. Flavor Flav popped his T-shirt and raised the roof in the same arena where Public Enemy once tore down the house.

The clutch moment came in the third quarter when Garner — Penn State's career 3-point leader — hit a 3 for his first basket of the game and a 49-41 lead that had the fans going wild.

Reaves hit a crashing layup on a three-point play that stretched the lead to 11 and Stevens wagged his tongue toward the PSU fans on a jumper that helped blow open the game.

Flavor Flav raised an arm in the air when Garner sank a 3 early in the fourth for a 68-49 edge that all but put this one away.

The final minutes certainly put some flava in your ear — half the MSG crowd chanted "We Are!" and the other half bellowed "Penn State!"

Sedrick Barefield hit six 3s and scored 22 points for second-seeded Utah (23-12).





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Grand Island baseball rolls over Millard North

Grand Island, NE - Ryder Park 

 

Grand Island - 10  (9 hits/1 error) 

Millard North - 1    (5 hits/2 erros)

 

Highlights: Shay Schanaman 3 run home run. Gage Rose only allows 1 unearned run over 5 innings of work. Cole Evans goes 4-4 at the plate bringing in three RBIs. 

 

Islanders score 4 runs in the first, 2 in the 2nd, 1 in the fifth, 3 in the sixth.

Millard North scored thier lone run of the game in the 1st inning.

 

Grand Island is now (7-3) on the season and will next be in action on Tuesday, April 3rd traveling to Norfolk to take on the Panthers in a doubleheader. Action will start at 5:00 pm. 





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Soccer scores 3/28 & 3/29

Boys Score 3/28 

Lutheran High/Norfolk Catholic 7, GICC 0 

 

Boys Scores 3/29

Omaha South 4, Grand Island 0 

Northwest 2, York 1 (SO) 

 

Girls Scores 3/29

York 3, Northwest 0 

Hastings 3, Kearney Catholic 2 (SO) 





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Moos: Miles deserves chance to keep building Husker program

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Coach Tim Miles will be back for a seventh season at Nebraska and talks about a contract extension will begin after the NCAA Final Four, athletic director Bill Moos said Tuesday.

Miles is 97-97 with one NCAA Tournament appearance in six years. Moos, hired away from Washington State in October, said he liked what he saw this season as the Cornhuskers went 22-11 and finished tied with Final Four-bound Michigan for fourth place in the Big Ten.

"I've always considered him my coach and felt he had a pretty solid year and deserved to continue and to build the program," Moos said in an interview with The Associated Press.

The Huskers went into 2017-18 off three straight losing seasons and finishes of no higher than 11th in the Big Ten. Former athletic director Shawn Eichorst chose not to extend Miles' contract after each of the last two seasons. Miles has two years left on a contract that will pay him $2.375 million in 2018-19.

"I really can't judge what he's done before I arrived," Moos said. "But I thought he did a real nice job this year. He brought in some talent and managed it very well. I really thought we improved during the course of the season, which is something I look for, especially when you have new players who are getting used to each other.

"And, hey, we won 22 games, 13 in the Big Ten and finished in fourth place when we were predicted to finish near the bottom. I didn't see any reason not to continue the course."

Nebraska beat Michigan by 20 points in Lincoln in January but lost by 19 to the Wolverines in the Big Ten Tournament. The Huskers were 16-1 at home, with the only loss by 1 point to Kansas, which also is in the Final Four.

The NCAA selection committee didn't deem the Huskers' resume strong enough for an at-large bid. They went to the NIT and lost at Mississippi State in the first round.

Nebraska is the only school from a power conference that has never won an NCAA Tournament game, and the last time the Huskers claimed even a share of a regular-season conference title was in 1949-50.

The Huskers opened a new practice facility in 2011 and new arena in 2013.

"Really, all we're missing is the tradition, and you've got to start that at some time," Moos said. "Arizona wasn't Arizona before Lute Olson got there. Stanford wasn't Stanford before Mike Montgomery got there. So you've got to start somewhere. Usually it's with stability, if someone is having success."

Nebraska also announced Tuesday that guard James Palmer Jr. and forward Isaac Copeland Jr. will declare for the NBA draft but will not hire an agent, allowing them to maintain their college eligibility if they withdraw their names from consideration by May 30.

Palmer was the Big Ten's fifth-leading scorer, at 17.2 points per game, and a second-team all-conference pick. Copeland averaged 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds.





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Former Husker/Raider Dave Humm dies at age 65

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — David Humm, a former star quarterback at Nebraska who had a long career as a backup in the NFL, has died. He was 65.

The Raiders announced Humm's death on Wednesday, calling him a true Raider for his seven years with the team.

Humm had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1988 and was in a wheelchair for more than 20 years. The Las Vegas Review Journal said he died Tuesday night at a hospital in Las Vegas.

Humm was a starter for three seasons at Nebraska, leading the team to top-10 finishes each season. He was a second-team All-American in 1974 when he finished fifth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy.

"I recall that getting Dave to Nebraska was one of the most intense recruiting battles we ever won," retired Nebraska coach Tom Osborne said. "At the time, you could take as many visits as you wanted, and Dave took 12 or 13 visits, including one to Bear Bryant and Alabama."

Humm was a fifth-round draft pick by the Raiders in 1975 and was a backup on Super Bowl-winning teams in the 1976 and 1983 seasons. He played 95 games over 10 seasons with the Raiders, Buffalo and the Colts. He started one game for Baltimore in 1981 and threw for 753 yards in his career.

"Most importantly, Dave was a very good person, and in our conversations he always talked about how great his life was despite the circumstances of battling multiple sclerosis for many years," Osborne said. "He was also a great father to his daughter, Courtney."

Humm also was part of the Raiders' radio broadcasts for several years after his career ended.





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Northwest boys finish on top at Aurora triangular





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GISH tennis finishes in 4th place





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