Friday Sports in Brief – Washington Times


COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Three premier programs were forced to abandon their conference tournaments because of positive coronavirus tests.

No. 16 Virginia – the most recent national champion – and No. 11 Kansas were forced out of the semifinals of their tournaments on Friday, a day after Duke also dropped out, ending a disappointing season for coach Mike Krzyzewski’s storied program.

There’s no guarantee that Kansas or Virginia will be back for the NCAA Tournament, potentially depriving the sport’s annual showcase of two title contenders as well as the five-time national champion Blue Devils, who were unlikely to make this year’s field.

The Atlantic Coast Conference and Big 12 tournaments continued without the virus-affected schools.

NBA

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis will be out for at least two more weeks with the leg injuries that have kept him sidelined since Feb. 14.

The defending NBA champions announced Friday night that Davis is making progress and has been cleared to enter the next phase of his rehabilitation after an examination by team doctors. He will be re-evaluated in late March.

DETROIT (AP) – The Detroit Pistons have agreed to trade Svi Mykhailiuk and a 2027 second-round draft pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for guard Hamidou Diallo, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Friday night because the deal had not been announced.

The 22-year-old Diallo is averaging a career-best 11.9 points this season. The 6-foot-7 Mykhailiuk, who is 23, is averaging 6.9 points.

– By AP Sports Writer Noah Trister.

NFL

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Tom Brady has agreed to a contract extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that provides the Super Bowl champions with much-needed salary cap relief and will help the seven-time NFL champion reach a goal of playing until he’s at least 45.

Brady posted a picture of himself on Twitter, signing the extension Friday with the message: “In pursuit of 8 … LFG@ Buccaneers we’re keeping the band together.”

The extension confirmed by the team frees about $19 million in salary cap space, a move that improves Tampa Bay’s chances of returning as much of its championship roster as possible for 2021.

BOSTON (AP) – The New England Patriots are completing an agreement to re-sign free-agent quarterback Cam Newton, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press.

The one-year deal is worth close to $14 million, the person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because new signings can’t be announced until the league year begins Wednesday. The deal was first reported by The Boston Globe.

With the new pact, the Patriots bring back the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player after an up-and-down 2020 season.

NEW YORK (AP) – The NFL has informed teams they can gather in person for the draft, unlike last year when they had to connect via videoconference from their homes because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a memo sent to all 32 teams Friday, the NFL said team personnel will have to socially distance and wear masks at all times regardless of their vaccination status.

Eating and drinking will be prohibited in the draft room, according to the memo, which was obtained by The Associated Press.

MLB

NEW YORK (AP) – Major League Baseball will experiment with several rule changes in the minor leagues this season, including an automated strike zone, restrictions on defensive positioning and larger bases.

The league’s automatic ball-strike system will be used at some Low-A Southeast League games, the closest that computer umpires have come to the majors.

Infielders at Double-A will have to keep both feet in the infield at the start of every play.

Triple-A is getting larger bases, expanding first, second and third from 15 by 15 inches to 18 by 18.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

The NCAA Football Rules Committee on Friday recommended a slight change to overtime rules that would require a team to try a two-point conversion after a touchdown when a game reaches the second overtime instead of the third.

The committee also addressed the problem of teams faking injuries to slow an opponent’s momentum and blocking below the waist, among other areas.

Changes must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which is scheduled to discuss football rules recommendations April 22.

SOCCER

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Former U.S. right back Steve Cherundolo is leaving his job as assistant coach of Germany’s under-15 national team to become head coach of the Las Vegas Lights of the second-tier United Soccer League Championship.

The team starts play this season as the affiliate of Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles FC.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – An announcer for a live stream of an Oklahoma girls high school basketball game cursed and called one team by a racial epithet as the players kneeled during the national anthem.

The incident occurred Thursday before the Norman High School-Midwest City quarterfinal game in Sapulpa as “The Star-Spangled Banner” began to play. The broadcasters told their listeners on the NFHS Network stream that they would return after a break. Then one, apparently not realizing the audio was still live, used an expletive and the epithet as the Norman players kneeled.

“They’re kneeling? (Expletive) them,” one of the men said. “I hope Norman gets their ass kicked … (Expletive) (epithet).”

Matt Rowan, the owner and operator of the streaming service OSPN, told The Oklahoman he was the person who made the racially insensitive remarks. Rowan apologized Friday and blamed his use of racist language on his blood-sugar levels.

SPORTS PEOPLE

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez called off their two-year engagement, according to multiple reports based on anonymous sources. The former slugger proposed to the actor a couple years ago after the celebrity couple started dating in early 2017.

The New York Post’s Page Six was the first to report on the couple’s breakup. A representative for Lopez did not return an email request for comment.

The last time Lopez and Rodriguez posted a photo together was last month in the Dominican Republic.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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