Sports: Pistons, Red Wings on Playoff Bubble
The Pistons have home games tonight and Wednesday against the Bucks and the Magic. They beat the Kings and Nets over the weekend and have 12 games left in the season, and 8 of them are home games. Detroit is still just out of the playoff picture, trailing Chicago by a couple of percentage points in the standings.
The Red Wings finish a 4-game road trip tomorrow in Tampa. The Wings came from behind with three third period goals to beat first place Florida 5-3 on Saturday. With 10 games left in the regular season, the Red Wings are holding on to the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, just 3 points ahead of Philadelphia, which has 2 games more to play than Detroit. Philadelphia learned Sunday that it will have to make its playoff push without goaltender Michal Neuvirth, who is out for the season.
No Canadian teams are likely to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 1970. Last season five clubs from Canada — Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver — qualified for the post-season. One year earlier it was only one — Montreal, also the last Canadian team to capture the Stanley Cup in 1993.
After 52 NCAA Tournament games, the Sweet 16 is set. Three Big Ten teams are left: Maryland, Wisconsin and Indiana.
The round of 16 will include the following matchups by region:
In the South, it's No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 5 Maryland and No. 3 Miami vs. No. 2 Villanova.
In the West, its No. 1 seed Oregon vs No. 4 seed Duke and No. 3 Texas A&M vs. No. 2 Oklahoma.
The East has No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 5 Indiana and No. 6 Notre Dame vs. No. 7 Wisconsin.
And the Midwest has No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 4 Iowa State and No. 11 Gonzaga vs. No. 10 Syracuse.
MSU Women Lose
Mississippi State got a crucial 3-pointer with 34 seconds to oust No. 4 seed Michigan State 74-72 on Sunday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Tigers won two games on Sunday in Florida. Ian Kinsler and Jose Iglesias got hits to start a five-run first inning and a split squad of Detroit Tigers beat the Atlanta Braves 8-2. Iglesias had three hits and Kinsler scored twice. Detroit starter Shane Greene went five innings in his second start, giving up one run and three hits and striking out four. In the other spit-squad game, the Tigers came from behind to beat the Washington Nationals' 7-6. Bryce Harper two home runs off Justin Verlander. Verlander hadn't allowed a run in three starts of exhibition play, but gave up 3 runs on 6 hits over 5 innings. Reliever Drew Verhagen was touched up for 3 runs on 5 hits. A 4-run 8th pulled out the win for the Tigers. Anibal Sanchez makes his first start of the spring today as Philadelphia comes to Lakeland for an afternoon game.
High School Basketball
The Marshall Redhawks are Girls’ Class B State basketball champions. Marshall beat Grand Rapids South Christian, 51-42 on Saturday night. Marshall Head coach Sal Konkle played for Marshall when the team just missed winning it all at the State Final 25 years ago. Her daughter, junior Jill Konkle was one of three Redhawks in double figures, leading with 13 points. The lone senior, Emily Delmotte, and Taryn Long each added 10 points on the night. Nikki Tucker had eight points. The new champs finish their season at 26-1. Marshall lost the first game of the season to Williamston and then reeled off 25 straight wins.
Jimmie Johnson pulled away in overtime to beat Kevin Harvick on Sunday for the Southern California native's record sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at Fontana.
Johnson earned his 77th career victory, passing Dale Earnhardt Sr. for seventh place in NASCAR history. Harvick finished second to Johnson for the ninth consecutive time that the California natives have occupied the top two spots. That's the final race of a three-race West Coast swing for NASCAR. The next race is the STP 500 in Martinsville, Virginia.
Jason Day survived going into a sand bunker with his second shot on the par four 18th hole to par the hole and win the Arnold Palmer Invitational by a stroke. It was another great moment for Palmer, the 86-year-old tournament host who watched it unfold on the 18th green.
White Sox Flap
The chairman of the Chicago White Sox says he has "complete faith" in his team's front office in the aftermath of the Adam LaRoche flap. Jerry Reinsdorf released a statement Sunday saying he's met with LaRoche, team executives and some players. He said he has "complete faith" in the skills and abilities of club's leadership group. LaRoche left the team earlier this week after being told by executive Kenny Williams to cut down his 14-year-old son's clubhouse access. The first baseman said he planned to retire. The situation quickly bubbled up, with many White Sox players backing LaRoche. Star pitcher Chris Sale implied Williams had misled the team. "As with many things in life, much of this was a result of miscommunication and misunderstanding rather than this being a case of anyone not telling the truth," Reinsdorf said. "I do not believe there is anyone to directly blame in this situation. While there is no doubt this might have been handled differently ... this is an internal matter that we have discussed and now resolved," he said.
The sixth-ranked Michigan Wolverines, fresh off their Big Ten Championship, will be a number-two seed in the NCAA Tournament. They'll take on three-seed Notre Dame in a Midwest Regional semifinal on Friday in Cincinnati.