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Published on NewsOK Modified: April 1, 2015 at 1:16 am •  Published: April 1, 2015
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The supervisor is Vin Cherwoo, followed by Rich Rosenblatt at 9 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800 845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports Photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. AP stories and accompanying photos also can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com . For reruns, call the Service Desk (800 838-4616) or your local AP bureau. All times EDT.

TOP STORIES

BKC--FINAL FOUR-PAYING FOR PARENTS

Getting to the Final Four won't be as costly for the parents of many players this week, thanks to an NCAA pilot program that is helping pay for families of athletes to travel and see their sons and daughters play in the biggest college basketball games of the season. The next step is for the NCAA to decide whether to make it permanent — and some, such as Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, want to expand it to the championships for all sports. By Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 900 words.

HKN--CAPITALS-OVECHKIN'S 50TH GOAL

WASHINGTON — After 10 years in the NHL, one thing that stays the same about Alex Ovechkin is he can get the puck in the net. Putting his name in the company of such past hockey superstars as Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy and Mario Lemieux, the 29-year-old Ovechkin is now one of only six players with at least a half-dozen 50-goal seasons. The Russian wing reached that milestone for the sixth time Tuesday night by scoring in the first period of the Washington Capitals' 4-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. By Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 600 words.

NCAA TOURNAMENT

BKC--RELIGIOUS OBJECTIONS-UCONN

HARTFORD, Conn. — UConn men's basketball coach Kevin Ollie will not be traveling to the Final Four this week, abiding by a travel ban ordered by Connecticut's governor because of Indiana's new religious-objections law. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and other critics contend the law would allow businesses to deny service to gays and lesbians based on religious beliefs. The governor on Monday signed an executive order banning state spending on travel to Indiana. On Tuesday, UConn president Susan Herbst issued a statement saying Ollie and his staff had cancelled plans to attend coaches meetings and other events surrounding this weekend's Final Four. By Pat Eaton-Robb. SENT: 311 words.

BKC--FINAL FOUR-DUKE-PLUMLEE

DURHAM, N.C. — Duke's Marshall Plumlee spends his practices trying to match up with a possible No. 1 overall NBA draft pick and most games seeing only spot duty on the Blue Devils' latest Final Four team. It's not as big of a role that older brothers Miles and Mason once played for coach Mike Krzyzewski. Yet while his brothers are in the NBA, the 7-foot redshirt junior and ROTC cadet — who has committed to enroll in the U.S. Army reserves after graduation — still has a chance to follow their lead on the court and help Duke win a national title in his home state of Indiana like they did in 2010. By Aaron Beard. UPCOMING: 850 words.

Also:

— BKC--MILLION DOLLAR PAYOUT — By Tim Dahlberg. SENT: 540 words.

— BKC--FINAL FOUR-KENTUCKY'S ROTATIONS — By Gary B. Graves. SENT: 690 words.

BASEBALL

BBO--BASEBALL SALARIES

NEW YORK — Even before the first pitch of the 2015 season is thrown, an eye-popping baseball record will be set. The average salary when opening-day rosters are finalized Sunday will break the $4 million benchmark for the first time, according to a study of all major league contracts by The Associated Press. Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw tops players at $31 million and Los Angeles projects to open the season with a payroll at about $270 million, easily a record. By Ronald Blum. SENT: 697 words.

Also:

— BBO--LEADING OFF — SENT: 230 words.

— BBO--ERNIE BANKS-WILL — SENT: 274 words.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

BKC--NIT-STANFORD-OLD DOMINION

NEW YORK — Chasson Randle came into the NIT semifinals 11 points away from setting Stanford's all-time scoring record. The Cardinal needed much more than that from their senior star after blowing a 21-point first-half lead. Randle played through foul trouble to score 24 points Tuesday and carry Stanford past Old Dominion 67-60 with some big second-half shots. The Cardinal face Miami in Thursday's NIT championship game. By Rachel Cohen. SENT: 500 words.

BKC--NIT-MIAMI-TEMPLE

NEW YORK — Already short-handed, Miami lost its starting center to a concussion just over six minutes into its NIT semifinal. Leading scorer Sheldon McClellan was still on the court, though, and he and the rest of the Hurricanes made just enough big plays to rally from an 11-point first-half deficit and beat Temple 60-57 on Tuesday night. By Rachel Cohen. SENT: 575 words.

BKC--TENNESSEE-BARNES

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — When he gave his farewell press conference after an unwanted exit from Texas, Rick Barnes predicted he'd be coaching again "quicker than you probably think." It turns out Barnes already had a pretty good idea where he'd end up. Barnes had begun talking to Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart about the Volunteers' coaching vacancy Saturday, the day before his departure from Texas was announced. His move from one shade of orange to another became official Tuesday when Barnes was introduced as Tennessee's new men's basketball coach. By Steve Megargee. SENT: 797 words.

Also:

— BKC--OKLAHOMA STATE-FORD — By Cliff Brunt. SENT: 260 words.

TENNIS

TEN--MIAMI OPEN

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — Before the first set ended Tuesday, Novak Djokovic had busted a racket in anger, drawn jeers from the crowd and received two code violations, which cost him a point penalty. There were no further outbursts, and as Djokovic's play improved, so did his mood. He rallied from a break down in the second set and beat Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-7 (3), 7-5, 6-0 in the fourth round of the Miami Open. Venus Williams' recent resurgence stalled when she lost in the quarterfinals to No. 12-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro 0-6, 6-1, 7-5. By Steven Wine. SENT: 844 words.

AMERICA'S CUP

SAI--AMERICA'S CUP

SAN DIEGO — America's Cup teams have voted to reduce the size of boats to be sailed in the 2017 regatta in Bermuda, a cost-cutting move that could lead to the two strongest challengers dropping out. In a statement Tuesday night, organizers said only that a majority of teams favored the move from 62-foot catamarans to cats in the 45- to 50-foot range. They also said the majority of challengers favor all racing being held in Bermuda rather than having a qualifying regatta in Auckland, New Zealand. By Bernie Wilson. SENT: 490 words.

___

ALSO

— FBN--JETS-TRAINING CAMP — By Dennis Waszak Jr. SENT: 479 words.

— BKN--LEBRON-CIVIC AWARD — By Tom Withers. SENT: 430 words.

— GLF--WOODS-MASTERS — SENT: 396 words.

— FBC--ALABAMA-JONES ARRESTED — SENT: 450 words.

— FBC--FLORIDA ST-PRO DAY — By Mark Long. SENT: 767 words.

— CAR--NASCAR-NEWMAN-TIRE PENALTY — By Jenna Fryer. SENT: 670 words.

___

Wednesday's Time Schedule

NBA

Philadelphia at Washington, 7 p.m.

San Antonio at Orlando, 7 p.m.

Detroit at Charlotte, 7 p.m.

Indiana at Boston, 7:30 p.m.

Brooklyn at New York, 7:30 p.m.

Dallas at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.

Sacramento at Houston, 8 p.m.

Chicago at Milwaukee, 8 p.m.

Toronto at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Denver at Utah, 9 p.m.

L.A. Clippers at Portland, 10 p.m.

New Orleans at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.

NHL

Toronto at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.

Philadelphia at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m.

Edmonton at Anaheim, 10 p.m.

Colorado at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.

EXHIBITION BASEBALL

Atlanta vs. Philadelphia at Clearwater, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Washington vs. Miami at Jupiter, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Detroit vs. Houston at Kissimmee, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Tampa Bay vs. N.Y. Yankees at Tampa, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Boston (ss) vs. Minnesota at Fort Myers, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Toronto vs. Boston (ss) at Fort Myers, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

St. Louis vs. N.Y. Mets at Port St. Lucie, Fla., 1:10 p.m.

L.A. Dodgers vs. Kansas City at Surprise, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

L.A. Angels vs. Oakland at Mesa, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

Cleveland vs. San Francisco at Scottsdale, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

Arizona vs. Cincinnati at Goodyear, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

Chicago White Sox (ss) vs. Seattle at Peoria, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

San Diego vs. Chicago White Sox (ss) at Glendale, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

Milwaukee vs. Chicago Cubs at Mesa, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

Texas vs. Colorado at Scottsdale, Ariz., 4:10 p.m.

Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore at Sarasota, Fla., 7:05 p.m.