Associated Press Sportswatch

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Plenty of ranked teams in action
UNDATED (AP) -- If number of ranked teams means anything, the Big East tournament is the one to watch as college basketball conference tournament play picks up today.
The Big East has six of the top 25 teams in action at Madison Square Garden including a pair of match-ups of ranked teams.
Quarterfinal play begins with fifth-ranked Georgetown taking on Cincinnati, followed by No. 17 Pittsburgh taking on 19th-ranked Syracuse. Tonight, it's No. 4 Louisville and Villanova with 12th-ranked Marquette and No. 24 Notre Dame batting clean-up.
Sixth-ranked Michigan takes on Penn State as part of the Big Ten action in Chicago.
The Big 12 Conference tournament features a trio of ranked teams in Kansas City. No. 7 Kansas meets Texas Tech, 11th-ranked Kansas State square off against Texas and No. 14 Oklahoma State takes on Baylor.
Pac 12 teams are rolling the post-season dice in Las Vegas. The quarterfinals feature No. 18 Arizona against Colorado and 21st-ranked UCLA against Arizona State.
Kobe Bryant to miss time because of ankle injury
ATLANTA (AP) -- The Lakers are hoping Kobe Bryant's recovery time is quick after the All-Star guard went down with a severe ankle sprain in last night's loss to Atlanta.
Bryant called it the worst sprain of his 16-year NBA career. X-rays were negative but he's out indefinitely.
That's not good news for the Lakers who have crawled out of an early-season funk to slip into the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They hold down that eighth spot by a half game over Utah with 16 games left in the regular season.
What's up with the Spurs?
UNDATED (AP) -- They have the best record in the NBA's Western Conference, but the San Antonio Spurs has posted a couple of stinkers in their last three games. They're hoping to get things right when they host Dallas tonight as part of an abbreviated two-game schedule.
The Spurs got pounded by 24 points by lowly Minnesota Tuesday night which followed a stunning 30-point blowout at the hands of Portland Friday.
The Spurs were without Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard for the Timberwovles debacle due to sore knees. Coach Gregg Popovich could have just been giving them a mid-season rest and it wouldn't be a surprise to see both back in the line-up, healthy tonight.
Dallas has won four in a row and trails the Lakers by 2 1/2 games for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Portland is a game back of Dallas as the Trail Blazers head into tonight's home game against the Atlantic Division-leading Knicks who are nursing a game-and-a-half lead over Brooklyn.
Blackhawks back in action
UNDATED (AP) -- The Chicago Blackhawks should be refreshed after three days off. The NHL's top team is back in action for the first time since Sunday when they visit Columbus toniht as part of an 11-game NHL schedule. And the Blackhawks probably needed the rest. After opening the season with a league record 24 straight game in which they earned a point, Chicago started showing the wear and tear by dropping two straight games in regulation. The Blue Jackets are on a roll, earning points in a franchise-best eight straight games.
Anaheim also has picked up points in eight straight. The Pacific Division leaders take that run into Dallas tonight. The Ducks will be without Corey Perry who will be sitting out the first of a four-game suspension for a high, late check on Minnesota's Jason Zucker Tuesday night.
Pittsburgh is flying high with a six-game winning streak as the Atlantic Division leaders prepare to play at Toronto.
Donald defending title
PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) -- Luke Donald is in the field trying to defend his title in the Tampa Bay Championship that's underway near Tampa. The former No. 1 player in the world highlights a field that includes Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar and Sergio Garcia. But Tiger Woods isn't around. He's taking the week off to gear up for the Masters after rolling to a win at the Cadillac Championship last week for his second win of the season.
Tseng tops field
PHOENIX (AP) -- Yani Tseng (YAH'-nee SEHNG) is hoping to regain that winning touch this week at the Founders Cup. The former No. 1 player is the defending champ as the LPGA Tour hits U.S. soil for the first time this season after a three tournament run in Asia.
Tseng has gone 50-weeks and 22-events without winning, a rarity for a the Taiwanese star who was No. 1 in the world for 109 weeks.
Conversely, Stacy Lewis enters the tournament on a winning run after a victory March 3 in Singapore. That was her third win in 22 weeks.
NY AG seeks clarification from NFL
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has urged the NFL to investigate whether possible draft picks were improperly asked about their sexual orientation during the league's combine, which he said would be illegal in New York.
Schneiderman asked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to call him by next Wednesday to schedule a meeting on the matter. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league was already looking into the issue and would discuss it at its meeting next week in Phoenix.
Last month, Colorado tight end Nick Kasa told ESPN Radio in Denver that during interviews with team officials at the combine in Indianapolis: "(Teams) ask you, like, `Do you have a girlfriend?' `Are you married?' `Do you like girls?"'
He did not identify who asked him.
Since then, Michigan's Denard Robinson and Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell each have indicated in radio interviews that they were asked similar questions.
High school coaching great dies
NEW YORK (AP) -- Jack Curran, among the nation's winningest high school coaches in basketball and baseball, has died. He was 83.
His death has been confirmed by Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens, where he coached for more than a half century. The school said the family has yet to release further information, but more details are to come later in the day.
Curran had been weakened by lung and kidney problems and fell on the ice last month.
Among the players he coached at Archbishop Malloy who went on to the NBA were Brian Winters, Kevin Joyce and Kenny Anderson.

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