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On to the Round of 32...NC State hires Keatts...Giants ink JPP

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 18, 2017 at 12:23 p.m.



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UNDATED (AP) — The final numbers from the first round of the NCAA Tournament are in, and the voters in The Associated Press Top 25 poll did a pretty good job of nailing the best teams. Of the 32 teams that advanced to the second round, 30 spent at least one week in the AP Top 25. The ones that didn't — Arkansas and Middle Tennessee. And only one of the teams in the final AP poll failed to make it to the round of 32 — No. 11 SMU, which as a No. 6 seed was upset by 11th-seeded Southern California 66-65 on a late 3-pointer.

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — North Carolina State didn't have to look very far to find its next men's basketball coach. The school has hired UNC Wilmington's Kevin Keatts to take over as head basketball coach, staying in its home state to find a coach who had spent time as an assistant to a Hall of Fame coach before leading his own NCAA Tournament team. The school announced Keatts' hiring in a news release last night, one day after his Seahawks lost to Virginia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Giants have signed defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul to a four-year pact that is theoretically worth about $68 million. Pierre-Paul had seven sacks last season with 53 tackles, eight passes defensed, three forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery despite missing the final four games with a core muscle injury that required surgery. The signing comes less than two years after his right hand was severely damaged in a fireworks accident.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Charley Hoffman had seven birdies in a 6-under 66 that gives him a one-shot lead heading into the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. Hoffman sits at 10-under through 36 holes, just ahead of Emiliano Grillo (GREE'-oh) of Argentina. England's Matt Fitzpatrick is two strokes back.

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Fred Couples shot an 8-under 65 for the first-round lead in the Tucson Conquistadores Classic. The 57-year-old Couples birdied five of the first seven holes and added four more on the back nine before bogeying the par-4 18th. Steve Stricker is two strokes back in his PGA Tour Champions debut.

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The Associated Press

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