Friday’s Sports In Brief
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Pulling off one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history, the undersized, underdog Fairleigh Dickinson stunned top-seeded Purdue 63-58, becoming the second No. 16 seed to win a game in March Madness.
The shortest of the 363 Division I teams in the country, the Knights (21-15) showed no fear in swarming 7-foot-4 All-America center Zach Edey from the start and simply outplayed the Big Ten champion Boilermakers (29-6).
Sean Moore scored 19 points to lead FDU and a relentless defensive charge — the Knights pressed most of the game — by a team that now has everyone’s attention.
Five years ago, UMBC showed the way for the little guys by overwhelming Virginia in the first 16-over-1 victory after numerous close calls over the years. Still, No. 16s had a 1-150 record against No. 1s and were 1-151 overall before FDU’s shocker.
The Knights will meet FAU — a 66-65 winner over Memphis — on Sunday for a Sweet 16 berth and a trip next week to play at Madison Square Garden in New York.
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Jack Nunge blocked Terrell Burden’s driving attempt at a go-ahead layup in the final seconds, and Xavier dug out of a 13-point hole against surprising Kennesaw State to escape with a 72-67 victory in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Souley Boum hit four clinching free throws in the final 2.6 seconds for the third-seeded Musketeers (26-9), who ran off 15 unanswered points as part of a game-ending 24-6 run. That was enough to turn away the 14th-seeded Owls (26-9) in the program’s first-ever March Madness game.
Xavier moves on to face either Pittsburgh on Sunday in the Midwest Region.
Kennesaw State made just two baskets in the final 9:57 as its chances of a signature March moment slipped away painfully.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Zia Cooke scored 11 points as No. 1 South Carolina moved five wins away from a perfect season after opening the women’s NCAA Tournament with a 72-40 victory over No. 16 seed Norfolk State.
Aliyah Boston had seven points, nine rebounds and two blocks for the Gamecocks (33-0), who won their 39th straight game dating back to last year’s NCAA title run and moved to 11-0 in first-round games under coach Dawn Staley. They’ll face No. 8 seed South Florida on Sunday for a spot in the Sweet 16.
This was a colossal mismatch from the tip like so many other games South Carolina’s been a part of this season.
Norfolk State’s tallest player is freshman forward Skye Robinson at 6-foot-2. South Carolina has seven players that tall or taller.
South Carolina did its best to end any drama early as Boston and Cooke scored five points apiece in the opening quarter for a 20-7 lead. The Gamecock starters picked things up in the third quarter scoring the first six points to lead 40-18 and the Spartans could not hope to catch up. The lead swelled to 30 points after three quarters.
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Haley Jones scored 17 points for a top-seeded Stanford team missing star Cameron Brink because of a stomach bug, and the Cardinal advanced to the second round of the women’s NCAA Tournament by beating 16th-seeded Sacred Heart 92-49.
Freshman Talana Lepolo dished out seven assists in her NCAA debut as Stanford advances to the second round Sunday against No. 8 seed Mississippi.
Stanford, earning a No. 1 seed for a third straight year, notched the program’s 100th NCAA Tournament victory — third most all-time behind Tennessee and UConn. The Cardinal (29-5) have reached the Sweet 16 in 14 consecutive tournaments and haven’t lost in the first two rounds since falling to Florida State at home in 2007.
Freshman Ny’Ceara Pryor scored 12 points to lead cold-shooting Sacred Heart (19-14), which overcame a 2-9 start to the season, won its first NCAA Tournament game and kept surprising all the way to March and extended its visit to the Bay Area.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Allen Lazard enjoyed everything about New York when he visited for the first time a few months ago.
Now, it will be home for the Jets’ newest wide receiver. And he’ll be reunited with his former offensive coordinator in Nathaniel Hackett— and perhaps soon quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Lazard signed a four-year contract with the Jets on Friday, a deal worth $44 million and includes $22 million guaranteed, according to multiple reports.
The Big Apple spotlight might soon shine on Rodgers, Lazard’s former Packers teammate, who said on “The Pat McAfee Show” this week that he intends to play for New York this year after 18 seasons in Green Bay. The sides are still working on compensation details to try to complete a trade.
Lazard knows expectations will rise enormously if Rodgers lands with the Jets, a franchise that hasn’t been to the Super Bowl since 1969 and has the NFL’s longest active playoff drought at 12 seasons.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Eagles and quarterback Marcus Mariota have agreed on a one-year, $5 million contract, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.
The person, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team hasn’t announced the deal, said Mariota’s contract is worth up to $8 million, including incentives.
Mariota, who was released by Atlanta last month, will be the backup for Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia.
Mariota completed 61.3% of his passes last season for 2,219 yards, 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 13 starts for the Falcons. He also had a career-high 438 yards rushing and four TDs.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Maxi Kleber drilled the winning 3-pointer at the buzzer on a crosscourt pass from Kyrie Irving, who scored 38 points in the Dallas Mavericks’ stunning 111-110 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
With Luka Doncic sidelined, Kleber did a remarkable imitation of the injured superstar who has repeatedly beaten the Lakers with big shots over the years. The German big man’s teammates piled on him in celebration after he silenced the Lakers’ crowd with his only 3-pointer of the night.
Kleber first hit three free throws after Anthony Davis unwisely fouled him on a 3-point attempt, and Davis made just one of two for Los Angeles with 6.7 seconds left after getting fouled on the ensuing inbounds pass. Dallas got the ball to Irving, who drew a double-team and found Kleber for an open 3-pointer released over Davis’ outstretched arm just before the horn.
The play also was redemption for Kleber, who threw away an inbounds pass with 1.8 seconds left in regulation against San Antonio on Wednesday night. The Spurs subsequently tied it and went on to win in overtime.
Irving scored 13 points in the fourth quarter of his return from a three-game injury absence for the Mavs, who avoided falling into a three-way tie with the Lakers and the Timberwolves in the tight Western Conference standings.
Davis had 26 points and 10 rebounds before making a handful of enormous last-minute mistakes for the Lakers, who missed 12 of their 31 free throw attempts and couldn’t make a field goal in the final 3:16. Los Angeles lost for the third time in four games.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 28 points and the Memphis Grizzlies completed the largest comeback in franchise history after trailing by 29 in the third quarter, rallying to beat the San Antonio Spurs 126-120 in overtime.
Memphis faced a nine-point deficit in the final minute of regulation before outscoring San Antonio 9-0 to send it to overtime.
Desmond Bane added 21 points, including eight points in overtime, and Tyus Jones had his first career triple-double with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the Grizzlies.
The huge comeback win came as Ja Morant nears his return for Memphis. The All-Star guard missed his seventh game as part of an eight-game suspension for “conduct detrimental to the league.” Memphis improved to 4-3 without Morant.
Devin Vassell had 25 points and Zach Collins added 24 for San Antonio, which fell to 0-5 in overtime.
PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) — Adam Schenk is playing for the 10th consecutive week on the PGA Tour and finally seeing some good results, making enough putts for a 2-under 69 that gave him a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the Valspar Championship.
Schenk had four birdies, all but one of them from inside 10 feet, and finished with a bogey from the bunker short of the 18th on the Copperhead course at Innisbrook. He was at 7-under 135, one shot ahead of Kramer Hickok, who had a 68.
Jordan Spieth is a big part of the weekend, wasting a great round of driving with some suspect short irons. He still posted a 70 and was only two shots behind.