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On the day position players reported to camp, the Washington Nationals finally got around to putting up a sign on the ivy-covered wall near the entrance to their spring training facility with a curly "W," a rendering of the Capitol dome and, most significantly, the proclamation "2019 WORLD CHAMPIONS."
The top three teams in the Southeastern Conference should be in good shape to make the NCAA Tournament. The rest of the conference may still have some work to do. No. 11 Auburn, No. 12 Kentucky and No. 25 LSU should not have to worry when Selection Sunday rolls around. Teams such as Florida, Arkansas and South Carolina could be sweating it out without a strong finish to the regular season.
Luka Garza scored 24 points and Ryan Kreiner added 10 points as No. 21 Iowa came back to beat Minnesota 58-55. Minnesota’s Daniel Oturu missed the front end of a one-and-one free-throw attempt with a chance to tie the game with 3.8 seconds left and the Hawkeyes came away with a rare road win in the Big Ten. Iowa trailed by eight points with 5:25 remaining but finished the game on an 11-0 run. Oturu scored 15 points and Marcus Carr added 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Minnesota.
Jared Butler scored 16 of his 21 points in the first half, and top-ranked Baylor never trailed while tying the longest winning streak in Big 12 history at 22 games with a 70-59 victory over No. 14 West Virginia. The Bears led by 19 in the first half and answered a scoreless stretch of nearly four minutes before halftime by starting the second half on a 20-3 run. Taz Sherman scored a season-high 20 points for the Mountaineers. West Virginia tied a season high with 22 turnovers and shot 35% in a third consecutive loss.
Derryck Thornton had 22 points, five rebounds and five assists, Jay Heath scored 16 points, and Boston College held off a second-half surge from North Carolina State in a 71-68 win. Nik Popovic added 14 points and eight rebounds and Jairus Hamilton scored 11 for Boston College, which has won four of its last seven. The Eagles have not won back-to-back games since a season-high four-game win streak Dec. 7 to 21.
Payton Pritchard scored 25 points and led an early 3-point shooting spree as No. 17 Oregon rolled to an 80-62 victory over Utah. Pritchard made five of six 3-pointers in the first half. Will Richardson, who hit a trio of 3s before the break and finished 4 for 4, added 18 points, six assists and six rebounds to help the Ducks improve to 14-0 at home this season. They shot 58% from the field and made half of their 24 3-point attempts. Oregon also earned its 20th win and regained a share of first place in the Pac-12 with Colorado at 9-4. The Utes were led by freshman Rylan Jones with 18 points.