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Rod Tompkins

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) – The new-look, 68-team NCAA men’s tournament tips off Tuesday in Dayton with a pair of games. There are also two more first-round games on Wednesday. UNC-Asheville plays Arkansas Little Rock in the first game. Then Alabama-Birmingham takes on Clemson out of the ACC in the nightcap. Asked what he thought about pundits who said UAB hadn’t earned its way, point guard Aaron Johnson said, “I’d rather not comment on ignorance.”  The winner of the Clemson-UAB game won’t have much time to celebrate. It moves on to Tampa, Fla., where it plays fifth-seed West Virginia in the first game on Thursday.

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) – Jeff Capel (KAY’-puhl) is out as Oklahoma men’s basketball coach. He was fired after a second straight losing season, the first time that’s happened to the Sooners since 1967. Capel led Oklahoma to the NCAA regional finals two years ago, but his teams have gone a combined 17-36 since then. Capel was 96-69 in five seasons in charge of the Sooners.
 
BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) – Lamar University has fired Steve Roccaforte as men’s basketball coach after a 13-17 season and an 76-78 five-season tenure. Roccaforte spent three seasons on predecessor Billy Tubbs’ staff before succeeding Tubbs as head coach in March 2006.
 
(Undated)  —  NFL agent Drew Rosenhaus says he expects there to be a 2011 season. League owners locked out its players soon after the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement expired late Friday night. The move came after the NFL Players Association decided to decertify earlier in the day.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — After playing a pivotal role in all four Missouri State victories last week, junior softball player Natalie Rose has been named Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week, the league office announced Monday. The Valley honor is the first of Rose’s MSU career and the first for any Bear in nearly two years. Rose won a pair of games and saved two more for Missouri State last week, posting a 1.62 earned run average in 30.1 innings over six appearances.  Rose went toe-to-toe with Oklahoma All-America candidate Keilani Ricketts in a 1-0 loss to the tenth-ranked Sooners Sunday afternoon, allowing just three hits while striking out nine in a complete-game, 1-0 setback.Rose leads Missouri State with four victories, six complete games and 65 strikeouts in 61.1 innings pitched this season.

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) – Former University of Kansas athletic director Lew Perkins is heading back to coaching. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Perkins will be the assistant girls basketball coach at Bishop Seabury Academy. Perkins left the KU job last year amid a ticket scandal in the athletics department.
    
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Creighton is hosting San Jose State today in the opening round of the College Basketball Invitational. The Bluejays finished fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference this season with a 19-14 overall record. The CBI features 16 teams and a best-of-three championship matchup.

(Miami, FL)  —  The “Big Three” tallied 80 points, led by 30 points and 12 rebounds from Chris Bosh as the Heat slammed the Spurs 110-80 in Miami.  Bosh says it was nice to avenge a big loss to the Spurs earlier this month. Dwyane Wade scored 29 points and LeBron James had 21 for the Heat, who lost 125-95 at San Antonio on March 4th.

    BASEBALL SPRING TRAINING
 
  Final     Atlanta        1  St. Louis       1, 10 Innings
  Final     Detroit        4  Washington      2
  Final     Minnesota      9  Florida         0
  Final     Philadelphia   7  Houston         6
  Final     Baltimore      8  Pittsburgh      2
  Final     Seattle        5  Chi Cubs        3
  Final     Texas          5  L.A. Dodgers    4
  Final     Milwaukee     12  San Francisco   8
  Final     Cleveland      9  Oakland         8
  Final     San Diego      7  Chi White Sox   6
  Final     Colorado       3  Cincinnati      2
  Final     Boston         2  N-Y Yankees     1
 
 
    NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
 
  Final     New Jersey      88  Boston         79
  Final     Oklahoma City  116  Washington     89
  Final     Denver         114  New Orleans   103
  Final     Memphis        105  L-A Clippers   82
  Final     Houston         95  Phoenix        93
  Final OT  Utah           112  Philadelphia  107
  Final     Sacramento     129  Golden State  119
  Final     L-A Lakers      97  Orlando        84