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Monday Sports in Brief

March 22, 2022 GMT

NFL

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts acquired quarterback Matt Ryan in a trade Monday with the Atlanta Falcons.

Indy will send a third-round pick, No. 82 overall, for the longtime Falcons star.

The Falcons wasted no time finding Ryan’s possible replacement — announcing they’d signed free agent Marcus Mariota to a two-year contract.

Ryan, who turns 37 in May, led Atlanta to its second Super Bowl appearance following the 2016 season, the same year he was named the league’s MVP.

Ryan’s arrival means the Colts will be starting a new opening-day quarterback for the sixth consecutive year. Indy traded last year’s starter, Carson Wentz, to the Washington Commanders earlier this month.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Free agent quarterback Jameis Winston has agreed to return to the New Orleans Saints, a person familiar with the situation said Monday.

Winston, who started seven games for New Orleans in 2021 before a season-ending knee injury, has agreed to a two-year contract, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the move has not been announced.

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NFL Network first reported Winston’s deal, which is reportedly worth about $28 million.

— By AP Sports Writer Brett Martel.

NBA

NEW YORK (AP) — Ben Simmons’ back injury is a herniated disk, though Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash still believes the guard can play this season.

Simmons had an epidural recently that Nash said he believed had relieved some of the pain in his back. Nash had revealed that step after it happened last week, but hadn’t disclosed the nature of Simmons’ injury until Monday, when he confirmed a report by The Athletic.

Nash had previously only said pain in Simmons’ back flared up sometime after the Nets acquired him from Philadelphia on Feb 10.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

Lillard had abdominal surgery on Jan. 13, and it was widely expected he would not return. The Blazers made it official on Monday.

NHL

The Minnesota Wild acquired goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks hours before the NHL trade deadline Monday.

The Wild hope he can help them with a late-season playoff push. Fleury is a three-time Stanley Cup winner.

Elsewhere, the Western Conference-leading Colorado Avalanche landed Montreal’s Artturi Lehkonen, who is considered one of the best 200-foot wingers in hockey.

The East-leading Carolina Hurricanes acquired forward Max Domi in a trade with Columbus.

The St. Louis Blues got the defenseman they’ve been looking for, acquiring Nick Leddy from the Detroit Red Wings.

GOLF

Three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson, out of public view since his inflammatory remarks about the Saudi-funded rival league and the PGA Tour, has decided not to play at Augusta National this year.

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Mickelson’s name was moved from the list of players expected to compete in the Masters to a section at the bottom titled, “past champions not playing.”

The club confirmed that Mickelson has notified Augusta National he will not be playing. The Masters is April 7-10.

It will be the first time Mickelson is not at the Masters since 1994, when he was recovering from a broken leg suffered while skiing.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Kevin Willard is taking over as Maryland’s basketball coach after a dozen seasons at Seton Hall.

The Terrapins announced the hire Monday, three days after Seton Hall’s season ended with a loss to TCU in the NCAA Tournament. Willard took the Pirates to five of the last six NCAA Tournaments.

Maryland has been in the market for a new coach since Mark Turgeon’s departure in early December. Assistant Danny Manning took over as interim coach, and the Terrapins went 15-17 for their first losing season since 1993, early in Gary Williams’ tenure.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU is filling its men’s basketball coaching vacancy with Murray State’s Matt McMahon, the university announced Monday night.

The hiring came two days after Murray State’s season ended with a loss to Saint Peter’s in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

McMahon, 43, has coached Murray State for seven seasons, during which the Ohio Valley Conference school located in Murray, Kentucky, has had two first-round victories in the NCAA Tournament.

— By AP Sports Writer Brett Martel.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas State hired Jerome Tang to be its next basketball coach Monday, entrusting a program that’s had plenty of recent success but fallen on hard times to one of the architects of Baylor’s rise to national prominence.

The Wildcats hired Tang to replace Bruce Weber two days after the top-seeded Bears were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament by North Carolina in overtime. Kansas State athletic director Gene Taylor flew to Texas to meet with Tang on Sunday and the two sides finalized a six-year contract that will pay more than $14 million the next morning.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — La Salle fired coach Ashley Howard on Monday after four seasons without a winning record.

Howard, once a top assistant under Jay Wright at Villanova, went 45-71 in four seasons and finished 11-19 this season. The Explorers have been to just one NCAA Tournament since 1992 and have found little success in the Atlantic 10.

Associate head coach Kyle Griffin will serve as interim head coach.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois hired Shauna Green is its women’s basketball coach on Monday, hoping she can lift a struggling program following a winning tenure at Dayton.

Green was chosen Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year three times while leading Dayton to five conference regular-season championships and a 127-50 record over six years. The Flyers went 26-6 this season, finishing first in the league in the regular season and beating DePaul in the NCAA Tournament before losing to Georgia.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Virginia named Amaka “Mox” Agugua-Hamilton, the women’s coach at Missouri State the past three seasons, as its basketball coach on Monday.

Athletic director Carla Williams made the announcement. Agugua-Hamilton replaces Tina Thompson, who was fired on March 3 after her fourth season.

Agugua-Hamilton compiled a 74-15 record with the Lady Bears, who won Missouri Valley Conference regular-season titles in 2020 and 2021 and competed in the past two NCAA Tournaments.

SOCCER

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday dismissed a third request by the Russian soccer federation for urgent rulings to freeze FIFA and UEFA decisions before World Cup playoffs begin this week.

The latest challenge was against a decision by FIFA leaders on March 8 to award Poland a bye into a playoff bracket final scheduled next week without having to face Russia.

The latest dismissal confirms Poland will host either Sweden or the Czech Republic next week with a place at the World Cup tournament in Qatar at stake. All three teams had already refused to play Russia.

COURTS

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal appeals panel on Monday affirmed a lower court’s decision to unseal a letter from baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman detailing an investigation into sign stealing.

The panel made the decision in upholding the April 2020 decision by U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff to dismiss a lawsuit by fantasy sports contestants who claimed they were damaged by sign stealing in Major League Baseball.

The five men who sued participated in fantasy contests hosted by DraftKings from 2017 to 2019.

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