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Associated Press

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 4:33 PM


Another first for Gonzaga: No. 1 seed in West

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Top-ranked Gonzaga earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, and the Zags will face No. 16 seed Southern in their West Region opener Thursday.

The Zags (31-2) joined Louisville, Indiana and Kansas as top seeds when the 68-team field was announced Sunday.

Gonzaga has been the marker for mid-major success, reaching the NCAA tournament 15 straight seasons and the regional finals four times, including the past two seasons. This season, the Zags, behind Kelly Olynyk, broke through a big barrier on their way to 30 wins and an unbeaten run in the West Coast Conference: the No. 1 ranking.

Southern is going to the NCAA tournament for the eighth time, and first since 2006.

The Jaguars (23-9) beat Prairie View 45-44 for the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament title.


Oregon opens tournament with No. 14 Oklahoma State

(AP) — In the space of a week, Oregon ran an emotional gamut.

The Ducks ended the regular season with a thud — losing their final two games — then turned around and won the Pacific-12 Conference tournament.

Now Oregon heads into the NCAA tournament as the No. 12 seed in the Midwest Region. The Ducks (26-8) will face No. 14 Oklahoma State, the fifth seed in the Midwest, on Thursday in San Jose, Calif.

Coach Dana Altman believes Oregon is stronger because of the roller-coaster they've been on.

The Cowboys (24-8) finished third in the Big 12 behind co-champions Kansas and Kansas State.

The team is led by freshman point guard Marcus Smart, who won the Big 12's Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors.


Washington makes NIT, travels to BYU

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington will play in the NIT for the second straight season and open the tournament on the road at BYU.

Brackets for the NIT were released on Sunday night. The Huskies will be a No. 6 seed in the bracket where Southern Mississippi is the top seed. The Huskies and third-seeded BYU will play on Tuesday night in Provo, Utah.

Washington ended the regular season 18-15 after falling to Oregon in the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals. A year ago, the Huskies were a No. 1 seed in the NIT after becoming the first regular-season champion of a power conference to miss the NCAAs. Washington reached the semifinals of the NIT before losing to Minnesota.

Washington and BYU have not played since Dec. 7, 1998.

That's when the Huskies won 83-68 in Provo.


Beavan pitches 6 solid innings in Mariners' win

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Blake Beavan turned in his best performance of the spring Sunday, allowing one run and three hits in six solid innings to help the Seattle Mariners beat a Texas Rangers split squad 4-3.

Mariners centerfielder Franklin Gutierrez played his first game since March 9. He was out because of tightness in his legs. Gutierrez batted leadoff and went 0 for 2 with a walk.

The 24-year-old Beavan is competing with Jon Garland, Erasmo Ramirez, Jeremy Bonderman and Brandon Maurer for one of two remaining spots in the starting rotation. He was perfect through three innings before running into trouble in the fourth.

Seattle left fielder Raul Ibanez hit a two-run home run off Texas closer Joe Nathan in the fourth inning.

Designated hitter Kendrys Morales added a two-run shot in the eighth.


Shamrock Run kicks off Portland running season

(Information in the following story is from: The Oregonian,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Sunday's Shamrock Run brought about 35,000 people to downtown Portland and kicked off the spring running season.

The 35th annual Shamrock Run closed several streets Sunday morning.

It included five events: from a 15K challenge run to a 1K leprechaun lap.


Iditarod officially ends with last team finishing

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is officially over with the last team to finish in Nome.

Forty-six-year-old rookie Christine Roalofs of Anchorage finished the 1,000-mile race with her 11-dog team at 1:36 p.m. Sunday.

Roalofs gets the race's Red Lantern award for arriving last.

Fifty-three-year-old Mitch Seavey won this year's race, which began with 66 teams March 2 at a ceremonial start in Anchorage. The competitive part began March 3 in Willow 50 miles to the north.

Eleven teams scratched and one musher was withdrawn.

A dog from rookie Paige Drobny's team died after asphyxiating while getting buried in snow during severe wind. Race officials say 5-year-old Dorado was found dead Friday in Unalakleet.

The dog was dropped from the race and was being cared for with other dogs.