Nationals

Top 25 Capsules

Top 25 Capsules

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Trey Burke had 18 points and eight assists, and No. 1 Michigan was nearly flawless at the start Wednesday night en route to a 68-46 victory over Northwestern.

The Wolverines made 10 of their first 11 shots and went the entire first half without a turnover. They didn't commit a foul, either, until the final minute of the half.

Michigan (20-1, 7-1 Big Ten) took over the top spot in the AP poll this week for the first time since the 1992-93 season. The Wolverines can now prepare for Saturday night's showdown at No. 3 Indiana.

Michigan played without forward Jordan Morgan, who sprained his right ankle last weekend.

Alex Olah scored 10 points for Northwestern (12-10, 3-6).

The Wolverines finished with only two turnovers. They didn't have any until 6-foot-10 freshman Mitch McGary tried to start a fast break himself by dribbling up the court and lost the ball with less than 12 minutes left.

The two turnovers in a game equaled a national low for any team this season, according to STATS.

NO. 3 INDIANA 97, PURDUE 60

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Cody Zeller scored 13 of his 19 points in the first half, Christian Watford added 17 points and Indiana handed Purdue its worst loss at Mackey Arena.

The Hoosiers (19-2, 7-1 Big Ten) have won four straight overall and five consecutive road games in league play dating to last season. They remained tied for the Big Ten lead with No. 1 Michigan.

The Wolverines also won Wednesday night, beating Northwestern 68-46, to set up a Saturday night showdown between the league leaders in Bloomington.

Purdue (11-10, 4-4) was led by freshman center A.J. Hammons, who had a career-high 30 points, but couldn't avoid a second straight home loss to the Hoosiers.

NO. 4 FLORIDA 75, SOUTH CAROLINA 36

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario scored 15 points apiece and Florida dominated another Southeastern Conference opponent with a rout of South Carolina.

The Gators, who won their ninth game in a row, led 33-10 at halftime and made their first five shots after the break. They opened a 31-point lead that seemingly couldn't get any more lopsided.

Florida (17-2, 7-0 SEC) pulled ahead 55-15 on Scottie Wilbekin's floater in the lane with 12:32 remaining, sending the happy home crowd to the exits even earlier than usual this season.

The Gamecocks (12-8, 2-5), meanwhile, seemed dazed on the floor and the bench.

Michael Carrera led South Carolina with 13 points and nine rebounds.

NO. 5 DUKE 75, WAKE FOREST 70

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) - Mason Plumlee scored a career-high 32 points and Seth Curry added 21 to help Duke hold off Wake Forest.

Curry hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer in the final minutes for the Blue Devils (18-2, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who shot nearly 52 percent.

Duke struggled from 3-point range, going 2-for-14, but got a huge night from their senior big man to earn their first road victory of the season. Plumlee finished 12 of 15 from the field and 8 of 10 at the free throw line.

Freshman Devin Thomas had 15 points for the Demon Deacons (10-10, 3-5).

STANFORD 76, NO. 10 OREGON 52

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Chasson Randle scored 17 points, Josh Huestis had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Stanford stunned Oregon on the big stage again.

More than two months after Stanford's football team handed Oregon its only loss of the season, the Cardinal (13-8, 4-4 Pac-12) dominated the Ducks from the start for the program's first victory over a top 10 team in almost five years.

Carlos Emory scored 12 points for the Ducks (18-3, 7-1), whose nine-game winning streak ended. Oregon had matched its highest ranking since March 2007 this week but surely will take a tumble in the AP poll now.

Dwight Powell added 12 points and 13 rebounds, and Aaron Bright finished with 12 points as Stanford built a 25-point lead early in the second half and coasted to the buzzer.

NO. 14 MIAMI 73, VIRGINIA TECH 64

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - Shane Larkin scored 25 points and Miami took command with a 13-2 second-half run to beat Virginia Tech for its eighth consecutive victory.

Kenny Kadji added 18 points and Trey McKinney-Jones had 12 for the Hurricanes (16-3, 7-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who trailed by 12 in the first half before getting a 22-6 burst spanning halftime.

National scoring leader Erick Green led the Hokies (11-9, 2-5) with 30 points and Jarell Eddie had 14, but Virginia Tech's other scorers struggled after a fast start. The loss was the seventh in nine games for Tech.

LSU 73, No. 17 MISSOURI 70

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Anthony Hickey scored 20 points and Andre Stringer added 18 to lead LSU over Missouri.

Hickey had 14 points in the second half and Stringer converted a key four-point play late in the game for the Tigers (11-7, 2-5 Southeastern Conference).

Phil Pressey scored 25 for Missouri (15-5, 4-3) and Jabari Brown added 19.

Missouri, which trailed by as many as 16 early in the second half, pulled to 61-58 on a basket by Pressey with 3:37 left. Two possessions later, Stringer made his fourth 3-pointer. He was fouled on the shot and added the free throw.

NO. 18 KANSAS STATE 83, TEXAS 57

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) - Thomas Gipson had 17 points off the bench, Angel Rodriguez added 11 points and eight assists, and Kansas State routed Texas to snap a two-game skid.

Omari Lawrence also scored 12 in a reserve role for the Wildcats (16-4, 5-2 Big 12), who built a 38-19 lead by halftime despite playing long stretches without three key players.

Rodney McGruder, the Big 12's third-leading scorer, picked up two fouls in less than 2 minutes and spent the rest of the half on the bench. Martavious Irving joined him with two fouls moments later, and Will Spradling went to the locker room after getting smacked in the head.

Sheldon McClellan had 15 points for the Longhorns (9-11, 1-6), who committed 18 turnovers.

NO. 20 NEW MEXICO 63, WYOMING 59

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - Cameron Bairstow scored 17 points and New Mexico handed Wyoming its third straight loss.

Hugh Greenwood added 13 points, Kendall Williams 12 and Alex Kirk 10 for the Lobos (18-3, 5-1 Mountain West). New Mexico has won 10 of its last 12 games against Wyoming and five of the past six in Laramie.

The Cowboys (15-5, 2-5) were led by Derrious Gilmore's 15 points, all of which came on 3-pointers. Wyoming shot 12 of 22 on 3s but New Mexico dominated play in the paint, outscoring the Cowboys 28-12 inside and winning on the boards 35-23.

NO. 21 CREIGHTON 91, MISSOURI ST. 77

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Doug McDermott scored 29 points and made five of Creighton's 15 3-pointers in the Bluejays' victory over Missouri State.

Ethan Wragge added 15 points, Austin Chatman had 14 points and 10 assists for his first double-double, and Grant Gibbs had 10 points for the Bluejays. Creighton (19-3, 8-2) moved into a tie for first place with Wichita State in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Gavin Thurman scored 21 points to lead the Bears (6-16, 4-6), who dropped to 1-10 on the road.

McDermott, who also had 10 rebounds and four assists, got better as the game progressed. He scored 18 points and made 3 of 4 3s in the second half.

NO. 24 CINCINNATI 62, RUTGERS 54

CINCINNATI (AP) - Sean Kilpatrick scored 19 points and Cincinnati intensified its defense in the second half, overcoming a 10-point deficit to beat Rutgers for a sweep of their season series.

Cincinnati (17-4, 5-3 Big East) blocked eight shots, forced 21 turnovers and held the Scarlet Knights to 24 points in the second half. The Bearcats also won at Rutgers 68-58 on Jan. 12.

Myles Mack scored 15 points to lead the Scarlet Knights (12-8, 3-6), who have lost four in a row with an offense that can't find any consistency.

The Bearcats trailed by 10 early in the second half and didn't lead until Kilpatrick's fastbreak layup put them ahead with 11 minutes left. Cashmere Wright hit a 3 that put them ahead to stay.

Quick Links

Cubs drop protest, but not stance about Sean Doolittle's delivery

doolittle-umpires.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Cubs drop protest, but not stance about Sean Doolittle's delivery

WASHINGTON -- Sunday afternoon’s discussions still revolved around Saturday night’s close, which Washington manager Davey Martinez referred to as a “fiasco” on Sunday.

Chicago manager Joe Maddon started a chaotic situation when he popped out of the dugout following Sean Doolittle’s first pitch in the ninth inning Saturday. Maddon contended Doolittle’s “toe-tap” was an illegal delivery, akin to when Chicago reliever Carl Edwards Jr. tried to add a pause in spring training, but was told the move was illegal.

The umpires told him, and Doolittle, the delivery was legal. Chicago filed a protest with the league. After consulting with Major League Baseball and MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer, Joe Torre, the Cubs dropped their protest Sunday morning.

A point of differentiation is whether the pitcher is taking a second step. Umpires previously determined Edwards was taking a second step. They determined Doolittle was not. This is a judgment call for the umpires and is not reviewable.

Official Baseball Rule 5.07(a) states in part: “The pitcher may not take a second step toward home plate with either foot or otherwise reset his pivot foot in his delivery of the pitch. If there is a runner, or runners, on base it is a balk under Rule 6.02(a); if the bases are unoccupied it is an illegal pitch under Rule 6.02(b).”

The league, according to Maddon, said there is a difference between Edwards placing his full foot on the ground and Doolittle grazing the mound with a cleat when he delivered. Maddon continued to not agree with the interpretation.

“We went through the whole process,” Maddon said. “Our guys in the office spoke to MLB and I talked to Mr. Torre. The whole thing I wanted to really get done was protect Carl. I really didn’t anticipate a whole lot to be done with it. Even though I still don’t agree with the conclusion, because I think it’s exactly what Carl did, only a different version of it. But the point was, I would not be a good parent if I had not spoken up for my guy. And that’s what I was doing last night and, again, it’s just to eliminate any gray area there just for future because it’s going to happen again down the road somewhere and you’re just trying to delineate what is right and what is wrong. In my mind, it wasn’t a judgment call, I thought it was black-and-white. It wasn’t gray.”

Maddon said multiple times that Doolittle tapped with his toe in addition to grazing the mound, both of which, he contended, were not legal or different than Edwards' attempt at deception.

The congenial Doolittle was steamed postgame Saturday and remained irritated Sunday. Saturday, he took multiple shots at Maddon during his postgame commentary. He also taunted the idea when throwing warmup pitches while Maddon argued with umpires by making exaggerated kicks with his leg and multiple stops with his foot. Doolittle switched to a delivery without any stops -- one he often uses -- after the protest as a way to show Maddon he didn’t need the tweak to be successful.

“In that moment, he's not trying to do anything other than rattle me and it was kind of tired,” Doolittle said Saturday. “I don't know. Sometimes he has to remind people how smart he is and how much he pays attention to the game and stuff like that. He put his stamp on it for sure.

"I actually have to thank him. After they came out the second, the [Kyle] Schwarber at-bat, I threw two fastballs and a slider and a fastball to [Kris] Bryant and those were probably the best ones I've thrown in a while. I don't do the tap when there's somebody on base so I can keep my pickoff move available if I need it. I've had a lot of traffic recently, so I've had practice doing it, so it wasn't like a huge adjustment to me. I don't know. In a way, I kind of need to thank him."

Asked Sunday if Doolittle’s comments were relayed to him, Maddon smiled and said yes.

“Listen, I have no issue with that whatsoever,” Maddon said. “We’re all emotional. I’ve said a lot of things I didn’t want to say years ago -- even in this ballpark. I think if he understood the entire context, he might have had a different opinion. Even if he was the manager himself -- if he was me -- or if he was being protected by his manager under similar circumstances, I think his stance may be different.”

No one -- the league, Maddon or Doolittle -- changed their perspective a day later.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

 

Quick Links

NHL Playoff 2019 Roundup: Blues shutout Sharks 5-0 to win Game 5

usatsi_12741143.jpg
USA TODAY sports images

NHL Playoff 2019 Roundup: Blues shutout Sharks 5-0 to win Game 5

The St. Louis Blues won a decisive Game 5 against the San Jose Sharks 5-0, pushing the Sharks to the brink of elimination.

The Blues are now one win away from their first Stanley Cup Final since the 1969-70 season, where they lost to the Boston Bruins in a sweep.

St. Louis started the scoring early when Oskar Sundqvist netted his second goal of the series in the first five minutes of the game. 

Jaden Schwartz then tallied his first goal of the game off a juicy rebound in front of Martin Jones to start the scoring in the second period. It was Schwartz's 10th goal of the playoffs, which tied him for third all-time in Blues history for goals in the postseason.

Vladimir Tarasenko added to the Blues lead off a penalty shot. He's the first player in Blues franchise history to score a penalty shot goal in the playoffs.

Schwartz then added two more goals in the third period for a hat-trick. The first came on a 5-on-3 power play advantage off a scramble in front of the net, and the second came from a backdoor one-timer pass from Tarasenko.

Schwartz now has 12 goals these playoffs, and it's his second hat-trick of the playoffs.

Blues goalie Jordan Binnington recorded 21 saves for a shutout, and he's the first rookie goalie to accomplish that feat for the Blues.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS: