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ST. LOUIS — Wichita State's still perfect. And proudly awaiting a No. 1 seed. After the nation's only unbeaten made another put-away run in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament title game, guard Fred VanVleet fired back at doubters who cast aspersions on a schedule ranked 113th in the nation. "You can debate what you want to debate. Facts are facts, truth is truth," the conference player of the year said after the second-ranked Shockers beat Indiana State 83-69 on Sunday to go to 34-0. By R.B. Fallstrom. SENT: 829 words, photos.
CAR--NASCAR-LAS VEGAS-5 THINGS
LAS VEGAS — When Brad Keselowski blew past Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the backstretch of the final lap to win Sunday, many concerns about NASCAR's new Chase for the Sprint Cup championship rules also got left in the dust. Earnhardt felt confident he could gamble on a near-empty tank at Las Vegas Motor Speedway because his spot in the Chase already is virtually secure, thanks to his Daytona 500 win. The new Chase format rewards victory, pushing drivers to go for every checkered flag — and that usually means better racing. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 845 words, photos by 3:30 a.m.
CHICAGO — Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler get it. The real victory for the Chicago Bulls will come when they're knocking the Miami Heat out of the playoffs, not during the regular season. Even so, they'll take this. Noah had 20 points and 12 rebounds, D.J. Augustin scored 22 and the Bulls beat the Miami Heat 95-88 in overtime Sunday after Butler blocked LeBron James at the end of regulation. By Andrew Seligman. SENT: 759 words, photos.
DORAL, Fla. — Patrick Reed was dripping with confidence even before the final round of the Cadillac Championship. He had two wins in his previous 13 starts on the PGA Tour and knew his game could handle any course, even a new Blue Monster that yielded the fewest 72-hole scores under par in the 52-year history of Doral. And even having Tiger Woods just three shots behind and in the group head of him didn't keep Reed from wearing black pants and a red shirt. He delivered a final round Sunday that even Woods could have appreciated. Doubling his two-shot lead with two quick birdies, Reed hit five quality bunker shots on the back nine that led to pars and closed with an even-par 72 for a one-shot victory. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 904 words, photos by 3:30 a.m.
BKC--PICK SIX-BUBBLE WATCH
The big bubble winner over the weekend: Nebraska. When the NCAA selection committee draws up the brackets next Sunday, it's hard to imagine the Cornhuskers will be on the outside looking in. Led by 26 points each from Shavon Shields and Terran Petteway, Nebraska defeated ninth-ranked Wisconsin on Sunday in what may have been the most important regular-season game in the program's history. Here's a Pick Six of other bubble teams, how they did over the weekend and what they need to accomplish in the upcoming conference tournaments. By National Writer Eddie Pells. UPCOMING: 635 words, photos by 3:30 a.m.
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Notre Dame's Jewell Loyd pulled an Atlantic Coast Conference championship cap over her head. It fit just as well as that old Big East gear did. Make it two tournament titles in two leagues and two years for the second-ranked Fighting Irish, who capped their perfect first run through the ACC by beating No. 10 Duke 69-53 in the final Sunday night. By Joedy McCreary. SENT: 919 words, photos.
— COLLEGE PARK, Md. — BKC--T25-Virginia-Maryland. Maryland wraps up final ACC slate with 75-69 overtime upset of No. 5 Virginia. By David Ginsburg. SENT: 883 words, photos.
— FORT MYERS, Fla. — BKC--ASun-Mercer-Florida Gulf Coast. Revenge for Mercer: Bears earn NCAA berth by winning A-Sun final at Florida Gulf Coast. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 817 words, photos.
NEW AND DEVELOPING:
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Public safety officials are getting ready to release more details about enhanced security for this year's Boston Marathon. Local, state and federal agencies, the Boston Athletic Association and leaders from the eight communities that make up the marathon route are expected to reveal the new security measures during a news conference Monday at the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency's headquarters in Framingham. SENT: 130 words by 1 a.m., then 500 words by 2 p.m. following news conference.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Four-time champion Jeff King took a razor-thin lead in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Sunday, trading places with his closest rival by departing a checkpoint one minute earlier on Alaska's wind-scoured western coast. Aliy Zirkle led hours before when she arrived at the Norton Bay village of Koyuk one minute ahead of King on Sunday afternoon. They are on a 48-mile dash to the next checkpoint of Elim on Golovin Bay, 123 miles from the finish line in Nome. By Rachel D'Oro. SENT: 707 words, photos.
BKN--AROUND THE NBA
When Masai Ujiri left the Denver Nuggets to take over basketball operations for the Toronto Raptors, many saw coach Dwane Casey's departure at the end of the season as a done deal. Then Casey took a team that appeared to be tearing down and rebuilding and steered it up the Eastern Conference ladder. With the Raptors (35-26) in third place in the East and improving as the playoffs approach, Casey isn't just making a strong case for a contract extension, he's getting mentioned as a coach of the year candidate. By Basketball Writer Jon Krawczynski. UPCOMING: 608 words, photos by 5 a.m.
— MINNEAPOLIS — US--Minnesota Legislator-NBA Tweet. Minnesota Rep. Pat Garofalo's NBA tweet called racist, prompts hundreds of responses. SENT: 145 words.
— DALLAS — BKN--Pacers-Mavericks. Ellis, Harris score 20 apiece as Mavs extend Pacers' season-long skid to 4 with 105-94 win. By Schuyler Dixon. SENT: 625 words, photos.
— LOS ANGELES — BKN--Thunder-Lakers. Meeks scores 42 as Lakers knock off Thunder 114-110 despite Durant's triple-double. By Joe Resnick. SENT: 911 words, photos.
US--OBIT-WILLIAM CLAY FORD
DETROIT — Lions owner William Clay Ford, the last surviving grandchild of automotive pioneer Henry Ford, died at 88. By Larry Lage. SENT: 1,555 words, photos.
— PHOENIX — FBN--Mendenhall Retires. Agent confirms Mendenhall retiring from the NFL. SENT: 137 words.
— NEW YORK — FBN--Jets-Cromartie. Jets release CB Cromartie to save millions under salary cap. By Dennis Waszak Jr. SENT: 657 words.
— MINNEAPOLIS — FBN--Vikings-Free Agency. AP sources say Vikings agree with DE Griffen and LB Brinkley. By Dave Campbell. SENT: 669 words.
— GREEN BAY, Wis. — FBN--Packers-Shields. CB Shields returning to Packers. SENT: 136 words.
EDMONTON, Alberta — The Los Angeles Kings are winning game after game — even when they aren't at their best. Jeff Carter had two goals and an assist as the Los Angeles Kings won their seventh straight with a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night. SENT: 848 words, photos.
SOC--CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PREVIEW
LONDON — Protecting 2-0 leads from the first leg of their round-of-16 matches, Barcelona and Bayern Munich are heavily favored to advance in the Champions League this week when they play return matches at home. Yet there's enough evidence to suggest Europe's two heavyweight teams still have plenty of work to do. UPCOMING: 784 words, photos by 3:30 a.m.
— SOPOT, Poland — ATH--World Indoors. US 4x400 relay sets world record at indoor championships. By Raf Casert. SENT: 863 words, photos.
— SAGINAW, Mich. — HKO--Saginaw Player Missing. Saginaw Spirit president: Search underway for center Terry Trafford, 20, last seen 6 days ago. SENT: 112 words.
— CROMWELL, Conn. — US--Hockey Referee Arrest. Connecticut youth hockey referee arrested after escorting player off ice, angering parents. SENT: 141 words.
— MANTES-LA-JOLIE, France — CYC--Paris-Nice. Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni overcomes cut knee to win 1st stage of Paris-Nice race. SENT: 395 words.
Monday's Time Schedule
TOP 25 BASKETBALL
No. 1 UConn vs. No. 3 Louisville at Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Conn., , 7 p.m.
No. 7 West Virginia vs. No. 9 Baylor at Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, 9 p.m.
No. 25 DePaul vs. Marquette at Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Ill., 6:30 p.m.
Denver at Charlotte, 7 p.m.
Toronto at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.
Washington at Miami, 7:30 p.m.
Philadelphia at New York, 7:30 p.m.
Orlando at Milwaukee, 8 p.m.
Atlanta at Utah, 9 p.m.
Phoenix at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Washington, 7 p.m.
Nashville at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Phoenix at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.
Columbus at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Winnipeg at Colorado, 9 p.m.
Los Angeles at Calgary, 9 p.m.
N.Y. Islanders at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Toronto at Anaheim, 10 p.m.
Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh at Bradenton, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Atlanta vs. Philadelphia at Clearwater, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Detroit vs. St. Louis at Jupiter, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Tampa Bay vs. Boston at Fort Myers, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Miami vs. N.Y. Mets at Port St. Lucie, Fla., 1:10 p.m.
Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco at Scottsdale, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.
Cincinnati vs. Texas at Surprise, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.
Chicago White Sox vs. Milwaukee at Phoenix, 4:05 p.m.
Oakland vs. L.A. Dodgers at Glendale, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.
L.A. Angels vs. Cleveland at Goodyear, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.
Kansas City vs. Seattle (ss) at Peoria, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.
San Diego vs. Colorado at Scottsdale, Ariz., 4:10 p.m.
Houston vs. Washington at Viera, Fla., 6:05 p.m.
Seattle (ss) vs. Arizona at Scottsdale, Ariz., 10:10 p.m.
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