Capitals

Top 25 Capsules

Top 25 Capsules

NEW YORK (AP) Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 23 points before he left late in the game after he was kneed in the head, and No. 4 Michigan beat Kansas State 71-57 on Friday night to win the NIT Season Tipoff.

Glenn Robinson III had 12 rebounds, and Trey Burke and Jon Horford had 10 points each for the Wolverines. Hardaway made 10 of 15 shots from the field before he was hurt with about four minutes left.

Rodney McGruder scored 16 points and had seven rebounds, and Angel Rodriguez scored 10 points for Kansas State (5-1).

Michigan (5-0) won the tournament, previously known as the Preseason NIT, for the first time.

NO. 3 OHIO STATE 91, UMKC 45

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Deshaun Thomas scored 15 of his 21 points as No. 3 Ohio State coasted to a huge first-half lead in a victory against overmatched Missouri-Kansas.

Lenzelle Smith Jr. added 13 points and LaQuinton Ross and Sam Thompson had 11 apiece as Ohio State (4-0) experimented with subs for almost the entire second half.

Estan Tyler and Thomas Staton each had seven points for the `Roos (2-3).

NO. 5 DUKE 67, VCU 58

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) - Mason Plumlee, a 6-foot-10 center who helped break VCU's pressure, had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 5 Duke to a victory in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis.

All five Duke (5-0) starters scored at least nine points and they accounted for all but three of the Blue Devils' total. Seth Curry had 15 for Duke.

The Rams (3-2), who beat No. 19 Memphis 78-65 in the first round, hurt themselves at the line, going 12 for 19.

Juvonte Reddic had 16 points and 13 rebounds for VCU.

NO. 7 FLORIDA 79, UCF 66

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Kenny Boynton scored a season-high 24 points, Scottie Wilbekin added a career-best 17 and No. 7 Florida beat UCF.

The Gators (5-0) overcame a sluggish start, dominated the paint and pressed the Knights (3-2) into a bevy of turnovers.

Boynton, three days after spraining his left ankle, made 7 of 15 shots and added eight rebounds. Wilbekin, playing his third game since returning from suspension, chipped in five rebounds and eight assists.

Kasey Wilson led the Knights with 20 points on 6-of-11 shooting.

NO. 15 MICHIGAN ST. 70, OAKLAND 52

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Keith Appling shook off a sprained right ankle in the first half and finished with 20 points to help No. 15 Michigan State beat Oakland.

The Spartans (4-1) have won four straight since starting the season with a loss to Connecticut in Germany.

The Golden Grizzlies (2-4) never led, but didn't make Michigan State's night easy until late in the game.

Michigan State's Adreian Payne scored 15 points, Denzel Valentine had 10 points and 10 assists and Derrick Nix added 10 points.

Duke Mondy scored 16 for the Golden Grizzlies.

NO. 16 N.C. STATE 82, UNC ASHEVILLE 80

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Richard Howell scored 23 points, including the go-ahead basket with 3:06 left, to help No. 16 North Carolina State rally past UNC Asheville.

Howell finished with 15 rebounds and also knocked down two free throws with 5 seconds left to secure the win for the Wolfpack (4-1). UNC Asheville (1-5) led by seven with 8 1/2 minutes left before N.C. State finally went ahead, pushing in front when Howell corralled a deflected pass and scored in the paint while drawing an intentional foul.

Jeremy Atkinson scored a career-high 28 points for the Bulldogs, who lost their fifth straight since beating Western Carolina in the opener.

NO. 17 GONZAGA 72, OKLAHOMA 47

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) - Elias Harris scored 18 points and No. 17 Gonzaga beat Oklahoma in a semifinal matchup at the Old Spice Classic.

Kelly Olynyk, Gary Bell Jr., Kevin Pangos and Przemek Karnowski each had eight points for Gonzaga (5-0).

Oklahoma (3-1) got 13 from Romero Osby. Isaiah Cousins had 10 points.

Gonzaga will play Davidson, which beat West Virginia 63-60, in Sunday night's championship game.

MINNESOTA 84, NO. 19 MEMPHIS 75

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) - Andre Hollins scored a career-high 41 points to lead Minnesota to a victory over No. 19 Memphis in the consolation semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis.

The sophomore guard scored 24 points in the first half - one off his career high entering the game - and he closed strong.

Hollins finished 12 of 16 from the field - making all five of his 3-point attempts - and going 12 of 13 from the free throw line.

Minnesota (5-1) will meet Stanford for fifth place on Saturday.

NO. 22 CINCINNATI 78, IOWA STATE 70

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Sean Kilpatrick made all 16 of his free throws and scored 32 points, leading No. 22 Cincinnati to a win over Iowa State in the semifinals of the Global Sports Classic.

After winning their first four games by an average margin of 34.5 points per game, the Bearcats (5-0) had their hands full with a talented Iowa State (4-1).

Cashmere Wright had 14 points for the Bearcats and Titus Rubles had 10 points.

Iowa State's Tyrus McGee led his team with 22 points, Korie Lucious scored 12 and Melvin Ejim had seven points and 10 rebounds.

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5 reasons the Caps beat the Lightning in Game 6

5 reasons the Caps beat the Lightning in Game 6

After losing three straight, the Capitals battled back in Game 6 on Monday. With their 3-0 win, Washington forced the Eastern Conference Final into a decisive Game 7 on Wednesday.

Here is how the Caps did it.

1. Braden Holtby matched Andrei Vasilevskiy save for save

Andrei Vasilevskiy was just as great in this game as he was in the three previous, but one of the major differences in this one was that Holtby was just as good. He may not have been tested as much (Vasilevskiy made 32 saves, Holtby 24), but he was big when the team needed.

In the second period with the scored tied at 0, Holtby made one of the most critical saves perhaps of the entire season when he denied Anthony Cirelli with the toe on a 2-on-1. When the Caps took the lead, Holtby really shut the door in the third period with 10 saves to cap off what was his fifth career playoff shutout and first shutout of the entire season.

2. T.J. Oshie’s timely goal

Over halfway into the game, it looked like it was just going to be one of those nights. Caps fans know it well by now. Washington outplays their opponent, they get chance after chance and develop a whopping advantage in shots, but they run into a hot goalie and a random play suddenly turns into a goal for the other team, game and season over.

Vasilevskiy was on his way to having perhaps his best performance of the series. Considering how he played in the three games prior to Game 6, that’s saying something. The Caps were doing everything right, but he continued to make save after save. Then on the power play in the second period, John Carlson struck the inside of the post, the horn went off and the roar of the crowd gave way to dismay as the referee waved his arms to indicate there was no goal and play continued. Just seconds later, T.J. Oshie gave the Caps the 1-0 lead.

You have to wonder if doubt was starting to creep into the back of the minds of the players when that puck struck the post as they wondered what else they had to do to beat Vasilevskiy. Luckily, that feeling didn’t last long.

3. Special teams

Braydon Coburn’s tripping penalty in the second period gave Washington its only power play of the night and its first since the second period of Game 4. They had to make it count given how well Vasilveskiy was playing and they did.

Washington now has a power play goal in each of their three wins against the Lightning and no power play goals in their three losses. So yeah, it’s significant.

Tampa Bay had two opportunities of their own, but Washington managed to kill off both power plays in the penalty kill’s best performance of the series.

4. Washington’s physical game plan

On paper, the Lightning are better than the Caps in most categories. One area in which Washington has the edge, however, is physical play and it was clear very early that they intended to use that to their advantage in Game 6. Tampa Bay was pushed around and they seemed to struggle to recover.

Ovechkin was a one-man wrecking ball out there hitting everything that moved. The energy he brought with every hit was palpable and both the team and the crowd fed on it.

Washington was credited with 39 hits on the night compared to Tampa Bay’s 19. Ovechkin had four of those as did Nicklas Backstrom while Devante Smith-Pelly contributed five and Tom Wilson and Brooks Orpik each led the team with six.

5. Fourth line dagger

Tampa Bay’s fourth line was the story of Game 5, but Washington’s fourth line sealed the deal on Monday with its third period goal.

Chandler Stephenson beat out an icing call, forcing Braydon Coburn to play the puck along the wall. Jay Beagle picked it up, fed back to Stephenson who backhanded a pass for the perfect setup for Devante Smith-Pelly.

Smith-Pelly scored seven goals in the regular season. He now has four in the playoffs.

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.