Update on the latest in sports:


Associated Press

Posted on March 15, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 15 at 9:06 AM


Georgetown and Syracuse, one more time

UNDATED (AP) — Georgetown and Syracuse will meet in the Big East tournament for the 14th and final time Friday at Madison Square Garden. The Orange earned a berth in the semifinals of what will be their last Big East tourney before leaving for the ACC.

James Southerland and Michael Carter-Williams kept No. 19 Syracuse's run at one more Big East title going as the Orange beat No. 17 Pittsburgh 62-59 to advance to a semifinal date with the Hoyas. Southerland had 20 points and Carter-Williams scored the Orange's last seven points.

Meanwhile, Otto Porter Jr. scored 18 points and Markel Starks added 14 as the fifth-ranked Hoyas advanced with a 62-43 win over Cincinnati. D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera added 13 off the bench, including a tiebreaking 3-pointer that sparked a game-turning run after the Hoyas blew a 16-point lead.

The Hoyas and Orange have combined for 12 Big East crowns, with Georgetown winning seven times. The Hoyas are 7-6 versus Syracuse in the tournament.

The other Big East semifinal will have fourth-ranked Louisville against No. 24 Notre Dame.

The Cardinals took advantage of 25 turnovers in a 74-55 rout of Villanova. Russ Smith scored 28 points and Luke Hancock came off the bench to add 14 in the Cardinals' eighth straight win.

Pat Connaughton scored 18 points on six 3-pointers as Notre Dame downed No. 12 Marquette 72-65. Jerian Grant shot just 4-for-15 but finished with 17 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Irish.

In other tournament action involving AP Top-25 teams:

— Trey Burke scored 21 points and the sixth-ranked Michigan Wolverines beat Penn State 83-66 in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.

— Ben McLemore scored 24 points to lead No. 7 Kansas to a 91-63 rout of Texas Tech in the Big 12 quarterfinals. Joining the Jayhawks in the semifinals is 11th-ranked Kansas State after Rodney McGruder scored 24 points and sparked an 11-0 run in the second half of the Wildcats' 66-49 dismantling of Texas.

— Oklahoma State also reached the Big 12 semis, although the 14th-ranked Cowboys squandered a 20-point lead before Phil Forte hit two free throws with 2.9 seconds left to seal a 74-72 win over Baylor.

— Nick Johnson scored 18 points and No. 18 Arizona beat Colorado 79-69 to reach the Pac-12 semifinals.

— Chris Crawford set career highs with six three-pointers and 24 points as 20th-rated Memphis dumped Tulane 81-68 in the Conference USA quarterfinals.

— Freshman Shabazz Muhammad scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half, Travis Wear hit a jumper with 11 seconds left and No. 21 UCLA rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat Arizona State 80-75 in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament.


Spurs nip Mavericks...Knicks lose again

UNDATED (AP) — The San Antonio Spurs have padded their lead in the NBA's Western Conference by sweeping their season series with Dallas for the first time in 15 years.

Tim Duncan's 29 points and 19 rebounds led the Spurs in a 92-91 decision over the Mavericks. Gary Neal had 16 points for San Antonio, which withstood the Mavs' game-ending 7-0 run and improved to 50-16 to move 1 ½ games ahead of Oklahoma City.

Dallas ended a four-game winning streak once Vince Carter missed a long three-point heave at the buzzer.

The New York Knicks absorbed their third straight loss after Damian Lillard torched them for 26 points and 10 assists in Portland's 105-90 victory. LaMarcus Aldridge chipped in 22 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks as the Trail Blazers halted a two-game skid.


Bryant tries to hurry back from ankle injury...League admits officials missed call

UNDATED (AP) — Kobe Bryant received several hours of treatment on his severely sprained left ankle Thursday in hopes of a speedy return to the Lakers line-up. The All-Star guard suffered what he called the worst sprain of his 16-year career late in the Lakers loss to Atlanta Wednesday night. Bryant tweeted the ankle was very swollen today. The team says he's out indefinitely.

Meanwhile, the NBA says officials missed a foul call when Bryant was injured.

The Los Angeles Lakers star complained he was fouled when he landed on the foot of the Hawks' Dahntay Jones with seconds left in the Lakers' 96-92 loss Wednesday night. The NBA agrees, saying "video replay confirmed that referees missed a foul call on Jones as he challenged Bryant's shot and did not give him the opportunity to land cleanly back on the floor.


Falcons get Jackson

UNDATED (AP) — Stephen Jackson will be carrying the ball for the Atlanta Falcons after accepting a three-year, $12 million deal. The 29-year-old Jackson had 1,042 yards rushing and four touchdowns with the Rams last season, his eighth straight season with more than 1,000 yards on the ground.

Jackson has 10,135 yards rushing, the most of any active player.


— Houston made a big pitch for free agent safety Ed Reed on Thursday, although no deal was finalized. Reed was picked up by general manager Rick Smith in the private jet of Texans owner Bob McNair before a series of meetings that included defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.

— The New England Patriots and free-agent receiver Danny Amendola have agreed to a five-year deal reportedly worth $31 million. The Pats also have signed seven-year veteran running back Leon Washington.

— Kansas City has cut quarterback Matt Cassel (KA'-sul) with two years left on his contract. The Chiefs also agreed to terms with cornerback Sean Smith on a three-year deal to help shore up the secondary.

— The Washington Redskins have signed free agent offensive lineman Jeremy Trueblood to contend for the vacant right tackle position. Trueblood has started 84 games over seven NFL seasons, all with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He lost his starting job after one game last year and finished the season on injured reserve.

— Denver Broncos safety Quinton Carter is facing felony charges in Nevada alleging that he cheated at a craps game last weekend at a Las Vegas-area casino. Carter was arrested late Saturday at the Texas Station casino in North Las Vegas after security officials reported he was videotaped adding a $5 chip to three bets after the dice already rolled, according to a police report.

— The tuck rule could disappear from NFL games if owners approve a proposal from the competition committee to dump it. The owners also will consider a change to instant replay rules allowing for a video review even when a coach makes an illegal challenge. The league meetings are next week in Phoenix.


Pens catch Habs, B's on their tails...Hawks, Ducks win

UNDATED (AP) — Just one point separates the top three teams in the NHL's Eastern Conference following wins by Pittsburgh and Boston.

The Penguins pulled even with Montreal for first place by scoring three times in the final 7:18 to beat Toronto 3-1. The Maple Leafs led 1-0 until Pascal Dupuis (doo-PWEE') scored twice during a 5:08 span. Chris Kunitz (KOO'-nihts) and Sidney Crosby assisted on both the tying and winning goals.

Tuukka (TOO'-kah) Rask turned back 29 shots and Patrice Bergeron (BEHR'-zhur-ahn) scored twice as the Bruins beat Florida 4-1. The Bruins are one point out of first following their 10th victory in 13 games.

Chicago has resumed its winning ways by outlasting Columbus 2-1 in a shootout. Patrick Kane scored the decisive shootout goal after setting up Johnny Oduya (oh-DOO'-yuhz) tally late in the second period.

The Blackhawks had dropped their previous two games in regulation after opening the season 21-0-3.

Sergei Bobrovsky finished with 39 saves for the Blue Jackets, who set a franchise record by picking up a point in their ninth game in a row.

Anaheim remains four points behind the West-leading Hawks. Jonas Hiller stopped 33 shots before handling each of the Dallas Stars' two shootout attempts to backstop the Ducks' 2-1 victory. Andrew Cogliano tied the game in the second period.

Also on ice, rookie Jake Allen posted his first NHL shutout by stopping 28 shots in the Blues' 3-0 win over Phoenix. Chris Stewart had two goals and an assist to help Allen win his fourth straight decision.

Andrew Ebbett and Jannik Hansen each had a goal and two assists in Vancouver's 7-4 pounding of Nashville. Henrik Sedin (seh-DEN') scored on a penalty shot to put the Canucks ahead 6-4 with 2:34 remaining.

Jonas Brodin's first NHL goal highlighted a three-goal second that pushed Minnesota past Colorado 5-3. Ryan Suter had a season-high three assists and Matt Cullen and Zach Parise each had two assists to help the Wild improve to 10-3-1 at home.

Logan Couture (koo-CHOOR') collected two goals and an assist while San Jose was building a 4-1 lead in a 4-3 win over Los Angeles. Antti Niemi (AN'-tee nee-EH'-mee) handled 34 shots in helping the Sharks end a four-game losing streak.

Washington spotted Carolina a 2-0 lead before posting a 3-2 win on Mike Ribeiro's (rih-BEHR'-ohz) goal with 2:16 remaining. Alex Ovechkin and Joey Crabb also scored to support Michael Neuvirth (NOY'-vurth), who made 36 saves and was perfect after Patrick Dwyer scored 8:17 into the game.

Ondrej Pavelec (AHN'-dray PAV'-lehk) handled 28 shots in Winnipeg's 3-1 verdict over the New York Rangers. Antti Miettinen's (AN'-tee MEH'-tih-nehnz) first goal of the series was the game-winner.

John Tavares scored the game-winner and Evgenki Nabokov (nah-BAH'-kahv) stopped 18 shots as the New York Islanders blanked Tampa Bay 2-0. Brad Boyes had an empty-net goal and an assist to help the Islanders improve to 7-4-1 on the road.


Owners OK realignment

NEW YORK (AP) — NHL owners have signed off on realignment for next season, sending Detroit and Columbus to the Eastern Conference.

The new format will feature two eight-team divisions in the Eastern Conference, and two seven-team divisions in the West. The Winnipeg Jets will move into the Western Conference.

The top three seeds in each division and two wild cards from each conference will qualify for the playoffs.

The NHL Players' Association signed off on the realignment format, which will be in place for at least three seasons.


Kings, Staples Center company off market

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Billionaire Philip Anschutz (AN'-shoots) says he is pulling AEG off the market and the company that owns the Los Angeles Kings and the Staples Center is no longer for sale.

Anschutz says in a statement that he had made clear that he wouldn't sell the company unless the right buyer came forward.

AEG's holdings also include the Los Angeles Galaxy, part-ownership of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers, and major entertainment and real estate holdings in Los Angeles.

AEG also is spearheading a stadium proposal to bring back a professional football team to Los Angeles.


Charlie wants to stay

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Charlie Manuel says he has no plans to retire after this season and wants to continue managing the Philadelphia Phillies.

The franchise's all-time leader in wins, is entering the final season of his contract and it's widely assumed that the team's new third base coach, Ryne Sandberg, will eventually replace him.

Manuel told The Associated Press that he still wants to manage and isn't ready to get out of the game.

Manuel has led the Phillies to five straight NL East titles, two pennants and the 2008 World Series title.


Cards skipper rejoins team

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Cardinals manager Mike Matheny (muh-THEE'-nee) has returned to the club after undergoing back surgery Monday in St. Louis.

Matheny was beset with severe pain for several days, stemming from a ruptured disc in his back that caused particles to come into contact with a nerve. Surgeons found and removed four particles during a 90-minute procedure.


Dominicans beat Americans

MIAMI (AP) — The United States will have to win Friday to advance to the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic for the first time.

The Dominican Republic scored twice in the top of the ninth to beat the Americans 3-1 and reach the semis in San Francisco. Erick Aybar (EYE'-bahr) snapped a 1-1 tie with an RBI single before scoring on a Jose Reyes single.

The U.S. failed to score after Eric Hosmer walked with the bases loaded in the first inning.

Team USA third baseman David Wright missed the game due to an injured ribcage after collecting a tournament-leading 10 RBIs in four games. Manager Joe Torre doesn't expect him to rejoin the lineup.


Stefani tops Tampa Bay leaderboard

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) — PGA rookie Shawn Stefani is the leader through 18 holes of the Tampa Bay Championship.

Stefani opened with a 6-under 65 for a two-shot edge over Brian Harman. Tag Ridings, Brendan Steele and Harris English are three shots back.


Miyazato on top

PHOENIX (AP) — Ai Miyazato in the first-round leader of the LPGA's Founders Cup following a 9-under-par 63.

Jee Young Lee is alone in second, two shots back and one ahead of Candie Kung, Brittany Lang, Gerina Piller and Pornanong Phatlum.