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Update on the latest in sports:

first_img— Kentucky guard Immanuel Quickley will enter the NBA draft and sign with an agent, leaving school after a breakout season in which he was an honorable mention All-America selection by The Associated Press. Southeastern Conference coaches voted the 6-foot-3 sophomore Player of the Year after he wasn’t picked for any preseason all-conference teams. Quickley averaged a team-high 16.1 points per game last season with double-figure efforts in his final 20 contests.NASCAR-LARSON SLURKyle Larson suspended for racial slur in virtual raceCHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kyle Larson has been suspended indefinitely by NASCAR and without pay by Chip Ganassi Racing for using a racial slur on a live stream during a virtual race.Larson apologized in a video posted on his social media accounts. The star driver said there was “no excuse” for his conduct, which drew pushback from sponsors. The team agreed to a four-year, $64 million contract extension with McCaffrey on Monday, a person familiar with the contract negotiations told The Associated Press.The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the Panthers have not announced the extension. Details on how much of the contract is fully guaranteed were unavailable.The $16-million-a-year deal eclipses Ezekiel Elliott’s contract with the Dallas Cowboys that is worth $15 million per season.The extension keeps McCaffrey, 23, tied to the Panthers through the 2025 season. The coming season would be the final year of his rookie contract, and Carolina had the option to pick up a fifth year in 2021.It appeared to a matter of when, not if, the extension was coming after Panthers coach Matt Rhule made it clear last week that he viewed McCaffrey as a vital part of the franchise moving forward. Update on the latest in sports: Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditPANTHERS-MCCAFFREYAP source: Panthers make McCaffrey highest-paid running backCHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Panthers have rewarded Christian McCaffrey for his production and versatility, making him the highest-paid running in the NFL. April 13, 2020 In other virus-related developments:—Washington State athletic director Pat Chun, head football coach Nick Rolovich and men’s basketball coach Kyle Smith are taking voluntary 5% pay cuts through the end of the 2020-21 academic year due to revenue reductions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Chun says all Washington State coaches will voluntarily forgo all bonuses or incentives through the end of the next academic year.— New York Post sports photographer Anthony Causi has died from the coronavirus at age 48. Causi was an exceedingly popular sports photographer who covered the city’s teams for 25 years. He was married with two young children. Many of New York’s professional teams and several players posted messages on Twitter expressing sadness, condolences and paying tribute to him.— The Cleveland Browns will donate net proceeds from sales of their new jerseys to a fund aiding health care professionals, first responders and others who have selflessly served during the COVID-19 pandemic. The team launched the Hats Off to Our Heroes Fund on Monday, two days before it will reveal the new uniforms. The Browns said the team will commit 100 percent of the proceeds “for a significant period of time” to the fund.— Spanish soccer club Real Sociedad (ray-AL’ soh-see-ay-DAHD’) is going back on its plan to resume practicing at the team’s training center during the coronavirus pandemic. The club says it made the decision after discussions with the Spanish government. Spain is starting to loosen some of its lockdown measures this week by allowing non-essential workers to return to their activities while observing social-distancing guidelines. —The mother of Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns has died due to complications from COVID-19. Jacqueline Cruz-Towns had been fighting the virus for more than a month.The native of the Dominican Republic was a fixture at Timberwolves games from the start of her son’s NBA career in 2015. Karl Towns Sr., the father of the two-time All-Star, was also hospitalized with the virus but has since recovered.—The NBA has been sending evaluations to players considering leaving college early and entering the draft. The league will do so for all underclassmen who ask before Thursday’s deadline. The task falls to the league’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee, which understands that what it says in these uncertain times may carry even more weight than usual. No date has been set for the draft.—Houston Rockets star Russell Westbrook has donated 650 computers to children in need so they can continue learning with schools shut down because of the new coronavirus. Westbrook’s Why Not? Foundation teamed with Comp-U-Dopt and Houston mayor Sylvester Turner’s office of education to provide computers to underprivileged children across the city.In NBA draft news:— Kansas guard Devon Dotson is entering the NBA draft after leading the Big 12 Conference in scoring his sophomore season. The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 18.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4 assists and 2.1 steals while helping Kansas go 28-3 and win its final 16 games. In other NFL news:—Former NFL quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has died in a one-car crash outside Montgomery, Alabama. He was 36. The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro that Jackson was driving went off the road, struck a tree and overturned at 8:50 p.m. Sunday.Jackson was hired as quarterbacks coach for Tennessee State last season after a 10-year NFL career with the Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills.—The NFL and its players union have agreed to conduct “virtual” offseason workout programs until every team is permitted to open its facilities. Teams can hold classroom instruction, workouts and non-football educational programs using online platforms.The three-week virtual offseason starts on April 20 and runs through May 15. Teams with a new head coach have the option to also hold a fourth week for a voluntary veterans minicamp.—ESPN and NFL Network will join forces for this year’s NFL draft. They will produce a broadcast that will air on both networks over all three days. The April 23-25 draft was originally scheduled to be in Las Vegas but has been moved due to the coronavirus pandemic. It will now originate from ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.—The San Francisco 49ers have re-signed cornerbacks Dontae Johnson and Jason Verrett to one-year contracts. Johnson and Verrett played sparingly for San Francisco last season but were brought back for depth in the secondary. The Bulls handed the keys to the 48-year-old Karnisovas last week, hoping he can spark a struggling franchise.Paxson is moving into a background role after nearly two decades as the top basketball decision-maker. He took over as general manager for Jerry Krause in 2003 and was promoted to vice president of basketball operations in May 2009 with Forman — who joined the Bulls as a scout in 1998 — becoming GM.But now, Forman is out. And the future of coach Jim Boylen remains unclear.The Bulls thought they were ready to contend for a playoff spot after combining for just 49 wins the past two seasons. Instead, they were 11th in the Eastern Conference at 22-43 when the NBA suspended play because of the COVID-19 pandemic.In other NBA news: The WWE-backed XFL canceled the rest of its return season last month because of the coronavirus pandemic. It suspended operations and laid off its employees Friday.The XFL had eight franchises this season and played five games out of a planned 10-game schedule. It drew decent TV ratings early on and had deals with ESPN and Fox.NBA-BULLS-FRONT OFFICEBulls fire Forman, announce Karnisovas hire, reassign PaxsonCHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls fired general manager Gar Forman on Monday, while officially hiring Denver Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas as their executive vice president of basketball operations and moving John Paxson into an advisory role. NASCAR ordered Larson to complete a sensitivity training course before he’s eligible for reinstatement.Larson was competing in an iRacing event Sunday night when he appeared to lose communication on his headset with his spotter. During a check of his microphone, he asked his spotter, “You can’t hear me?” That was followed by the N-word. The slur was directed at his spotter, who is white.iRacing suspended Larson indefinitely Monday for “offensive and inappropriate” language, and the driver could face short- and long-term sponsorship ramifications.Credit One Bank denounced Larson’s “highly offensive language” and said it supports the “quick actions” by NASCAR and Larson’s team. Chevrolet suspended its personal services relationship with Larson “as we do not tolerate this behavior.” McDonalds is another one of his primary sponsors.VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTS —The Los Angeles Rams have signed kickers Lirim Hajrullahu and Austin MacGinnis as potential replacements for longtime incumbent Greg Zuerlein. Hajrullahu has spent the past six seasons playing for three Canadian Football League teams. MacGinnis kicked in the defunct Alliance of American Football and in the defunct XFL over the past 14 months.XFL-BANKRUPTCYXFL files for bankruptcy, cites COVID-19 crisisUNDATED (AP) — The XFL has filed for bankruptcy, likely spelling the end of the second iteration of the league.The filing Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware estimates the organization has between $10 million and $50 million in both assets and liabilities. Former coaches Bob Stoops and Marc Trestman are among the creditors with the largest unsecured claims. Get ready for the Madrid Virtual OpenUNDATED (AP) — Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray are among 12 players confirmed to play in the virtual Madrid Open tennis tournament, April 27-30.The online competition will be played from players’ homes and is expected to be broadcast live on TV and social media channels.There will be 150,000 euros ($164,000) distributed in prize money for each of the men’s and women’s events. The winners then decide how much they want to donate to tennis players who are having a hard time financially without any tournaments to play.Another 50,000 euros ($55,000) will be donated to reduce the social impact of the pandemic. Associated Press — IOC President Thomas Bach tells a German newspaper that the Olympic body will face “several hundred million dollars” of added costs because of the postponement of the Tokyo Games. Estimates in Japan place the overall cost of the postponement at between $2 billion-$6 billion. All of those costs will be borne by the Japanese side except for the IOC portion. Bach says he is confident the Olympics could be held in 2021 despite the current pandemic caused by the coronavirus.— Athletes completing doping bans over the next year will be eligible to compete in the postponed Tokyo Olympics. It’s an unintended effect of the coronavirus pandemic that has some crying foul. Irish race walker Brendan Boyce says, “It doesn’t seem like a fair punishment.” The 2020 Olympics were officially postponed last month for one year, with the opening ceremony now set for July 23, 2021.— Premier League soccer club Tottenham has reversed a decision to use government money to fund some staff salaries during the coronavirus pandemic. Staff put on furlough during the pandemic receive 80% of their salaries up to a maximum of 2,500 pounds ($3,000) per month from the government. And Tottenham had said non-playing staff not being furloughed would have their pay cut 20%.— A lower-level German soccer team has sold more than 125,000 tickets to a fictional game. Fourth-division club Lokomotive Leipzig says it has set an “attendance record” by selling so many tickets for a “virtual game against an invisible opponent on May 8.” The former East German league club has been selling symbolic tickets for 1 euro ($1.10).,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

Men’s basketball: Wisconsin soars to championship game with dominating win over Purdue

first_imgCHICAGO — The Wisconsin men’s basketball team used a dominant second-half effort Saturday in a 71-51 win over Purdue to advance to the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament.The Badgers were led by sophomore guard Bronson Koenig who scored 14 points on 6 of 8 shooting in the second half on his way to a career-high 19 points.Wisconsin was able to get out to a strong start in the first half, hitting its first three shots from the field, as two easy layups and a three from sophomore forward Nigel Hayes helped them jump out to an early 7-2 lead.However, Purdue responded with authority on both ends of the floor. After those two quick layups, Purdue junior forward and Big Ten blocks leader A.J. Hammond held his own in the paint, rejecting senior forward Frank Kaminsky twice at the rim.After starting the game shooting 3-for-3 from the field, Wisconsin missed its next five shots and 11 of its next 13.Purdue took advantage.In stepping up their defensive effort and continuing to get open looks on offense, the Boilermakers were able to go on a 10-0 run, take a four-point lead and maintain that lead for the majority of the first half.“We were kind of letting them get easy post touches and get two feet in the paint too easily, and they’re too big inside, and if you let them do that, they’re going to win,” junior forward Sam Dekker said.Following the final media timeout of the first half and with Purdue up 28-21, the Badgers made one final push. Five straight UW points from sophomore guard Bronson Koenig and a 9-2 Wisconsin run tied the game with just over a minute remaining.It appeared the Badgers would be heading into the locker room with momentum on their side, but a quick 5-0 burst from the Boilermakers gave all the momentum back to Purdue.That, however, ended up not mattering.The second half was a completely different story for both teams. After allowing Hammons and Purdue to have their way offensively in the first half, Wisconsin took their defensive effort to another level in the second half.Hammons looked lost for the entire second half, as Wisconsin switched on screens, played more aggressively down low and limited his opportunities on the block.After recording 10 points, five rebounds in the first half, Hammons shot 0-for-4 in the second half, scoring zero points and grabbing just two rebounds.“We just tried to make it a little tougher for them to get inside, to stay physical,” Dekker said. “In the second half, we talked it out and we were all on the same page, and when we’re all on the same page like that, we become pretty good defensively.”After recording no steals in the first half, the Badgers had five in the second, and it appeared that UW was taking the ball away every time the Boilermakers touched the ball in the post.Wisconsin’s strong defensive effort helped everything else come easier to them in the second half. The Badgers opened the half on a 10-0 run to take a lead that the team never looked back on.“Defense leads to good offense and we finally got some steals, got out in transition and started running on them, which I wish we would do the whole game, but at least we started doing it in the second half,” Koenig said. “That really gave us a spark.”Koenig was the catalyst of the offensive push in the second half. After scoring just five total points in the first 20 minutes, he matched that mark just five minutes into the second period, scoring five of Wisconsin’s first eight points.From there, Koenig kept rolling, hitting four of his next six shots, with a few of them coming in isolated situations at the end of the shot clock. He finished the half with 14 points and a total of 19 for the game.“I was really confident when the shots finally started falling for me,” Koenig said.As a team, Wisconsin shot 57 percent from the field in the second half and finished the game with 18 assists on 26 field goals to go along with just three turnovers.10 of those assists came from Kaminsky and Hayes, who recorded five each, and passing out of the post and double teams has become a real strength for the both of them.“The way Purdue was playing, we had to do some different things,” head coach Bo Ryan said. “Our bigs being able to find people has been one of our keys for a long time.”Kaminsky and Hayes finished with 12 and 15 points respectively, while Sam Dekker scored 15 points to go along with 8 rebounds.With the victory, Wisconsin is just one win shy of their single-season record of 31, and tying that record would not only mean a Big Ten tournament title, but also the very real possibility of the Badgers getting a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.Despite Wisconsin’s chances of earning a top seed in the tournament, that’s not exactly what is on the mind of Ryan and his team. Their main concern is the next challenge they face.“I never really have talked about seeds ever,” Ryan said. “I stay away from it because I want all my energies to go towards the game tomorrow, and then we find out who we play, and then all our energy is going into, boom, that first opponent. “The next challenge for the Badgers and the final tune-up before the NCAA tournament will be the No. 3 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, Michigan State. Tip-off is set for 2:30 on Sunday at the United Center.last_img read more