Tigers

J.D. Martinez hit three of the Tigers five home runs Thursday afternoon in a 10-6 victory over a split-squad New York Yankees team. For Victor Martinez, it was his third homer of the spring and his first since returning from a hamstring strain he suffered on March 14.  Victor Martinez and Ian Kinsler also hit home runs for the Tigers.  Tigers right-hander Logan Kensing threw strikes and pitched effectively in two shutout innings. He started the game in place of left-hander Kyle Ryan, who was scratched due to illness.  The Tigers will take on the Rays this afternoon. First pitch is 1:05 p.m.
Women’s Basketball

The Michigan woman's basketball team's season has come to an end as they fell to Florida Gulf Coast 71-62 Thursday night in the WNIT semifinals.   It was the second consecutive year the team reached the WNIT semifinal before falling short of the championship game.

Men’s NIT

George Washington won its first National Invitation Tournament championship,  pulling away in the second half to beat Valparaiso 76-60 at Madison Square Garden.

NCAA Tourney

Villanova will take on Oklahoma and North Carolina will face Syracuse in the Final Four on Saturday in Houston.

Denzel is AP Player of the Year

Michigan State senior guard Denzel Valentine was voted as the AP National Player of the Year on Thursday.  He is the first Michigan State player to win the honor, which has been awarded annually since 1961.  Valentine won the award by a slim margin over Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield. Valentine received 34 of a possible 65 votes, while Hield received 31.   The award marks the sixth national player of the year honor for Valentine. He has also won honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, NBC Sports and Basketball Times.

For the second time, Bill Self of Kansas is AP Coach of the Year Award, finishing six votes ahead of Xavier's Chris Mack.

NBA/Pistons

The Pistons are back on the court tonight when they play the final game of their nine-game home stand against the Mavericks. They are in the seventh playoff spot, one game ahead of the Pacers.   They head to Chicago on Saturday.

Cavs superstar LeBron James has moved past Dominique Wilkins into 12th place on the NBA's career scoring list.

Red Wings

The Red Wings host the Minnesota Wild tonight. The Wild lost to Ottawa 3-2 last night.  With 87 points, the Wings are currently out of the final wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference, behind the Bruins.

MSU Signing

Michigan State landed a significant commit to its 2017 class in the form of Kevin Jarvis, a 4-star offensive guard from Maine South High School in Park Ridge, Illinois.

Jarvis was present at Michigan State's practice on Tuesday on an unofficial visit, looking every bit the 6-foot-5 and 330 pounds he's listed to be.   The Spartans beat several schools for Jarvis' commit, including Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, Minnesota, Tennessee, Rutgers and Toledo.

Jarvis is ranked as the No. 5 player in the state of Illinois according to the 247Sports composite, and his national rank is 283.

Hobey Baker Award

Michigan freshman forward Kyle Connor, Boston College junior goalie Thatcher Demko and Harvard senior forward Jimmy Vesey are this season's finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey's top player.  The Hobey Hat Trick finalists were selected from a list of 10 candidates by a 27-member selection committee and an additional round of online fan balloting.  Criteria for the award include: outstanding skills, character on and off the ice, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements.

This year's Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced April 8 in Tampa, Florida, during the NCAA Frozen Four.

NCAA and NC’s Religious Exemption Law

NCAA President Mark Emmert says he has spoken to North Carolina's governor about the state's new religious exemption law and made clear if it remains in place, it will affect the state's chances to host major college athletic events. Emmert says the NCAA is prepared to refrain from doing business in places that create hostile environments for student-athletes, coaches and fans.

Nascar

Nascar heads to Martinville this weekend.