Tigers

The Tigers and Marlins are the last to open the regular season, with a game tonight at Marlins Park.  Broadcast time is 7:10 on WBCK.   Justin Verlander will start for the Tigers.  The Tigers have a $195 million dollar payroll, the third highest in baseball.  Only the Yankees and Dodgers have a higher payroll. The amount dwarfs the rest of the AL Central.   Kansas City is next highest at $131 million.   Cleveland is 27th in the league with a payroll of about $74 million.

 

NBA/Pistons

The Pistons are tied for 7th place with the Pacers and 2 games ahead of the Bulls for that last playoff spot.  Detroit has 5 games left and a magic number of 3. The Pistons play in Miami on Tuesday night, and then at Orlando on Wednesday. Dwayne Wade is banged up after a fall last Wednesday and Chris Bosh is out with blood clots.   Coach Stan Van Gundy says he thinks Wade will play, as the Heat jockey for home field advantage in the playoffs.

 

NCAA Tourney

One of the great NCAA men's championship games came down to one shot…..we’ll two, really.  North Carolina's Marcus Paige had just tied the game with an off-balanced 3-pointer with 4.7 seconds left.   But Ryan Arcidiacono got the inbounds pass at midcourt quickly and fed Kris Jenkins for the winning basket. The Villanova junior forward canned the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer to send 'Nova to its second national championship with a heart-stopping 77-74 victory over top seed North Carolina.

 

Women’s Final

Tonight, it’s UConn and Syracuse in the Women's NCAA Final.     The Huskies are one victory away from a fourth consecutive national championship, a feat never accomplished before in women's basketball.  A win would give UConn coach Geno Auriemma an 11th national championship moving him past vaunted UCLA men's basketball coach John Wooden for the most all time.

 

Izzo to Hall of Fame

MSU Coach Tom Izzo and former Piston Allen Iverson are among those elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.  Izzo, Michigan's State coach, won a national title in 2000 and has taken the Spartans to the Final Four seven times.  Iverson was named the NBA rookie of the year in ‘96 and was an 11-time All-Star.   Also elected were Shaquille O'Neal, Yao Ming, Sheryl Swoopes, and Jerry Reinsdorf.

 

Red Wings

The Red Wings lead Boston by one point for third place in the Atlantic Division, which would give them an automatic playoff spot.  The Wings are battling Philadelphia for a possible wild card spot, but the Flyers have one game in hand.   The Wings host the Fliers on Wednesday and head to Boston on Thursday.  Detroit will finish the regular season in New York on Saturday against the Rangers, who clinched a playoff spot last night.

 

 

Kadri Suspended for Hit on Red Wing

The NHL has suspended Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri for the rest of the season without pay for cross-checking Detroit's Luke Glendening in the back of the head.

The league also fined Kadri $200,000.   Glendening wasn't hurt on the play.

 

MSU Tennis Coach Dies

Stan Drobac, who spent over three decades as the coach of Michigan State's men's tennis team and became a member of the Intercollegiate Tennis Hall of Fame, has died. He was 88.  Drobac was Michigan State's coach from 1958-89. Drobac was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.

 

Golf

Tiger Woods is out of the Masters due to back trouble and now Fred Couples has pulled out of the Masters this week because of acute back pain. It will be the first Masters the 1992 winner will miss since 1994.

 

Lions Signings

The Detroit Lions have signed two free agents.  Defensive end Wallace Gilberry and tight end Matthew Mulligan played in a most of the games last season for their respective teams, the Bengals and Bills, but didn’t see a lot of action.