Associated Press Sportswatch

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Owners in a quandary over contentious proposal
PHOENIX (AP) -- NFL owners plan to vote today on a controversial rule-change proposal that bans offensive players from using the crown of their helmets against defenders in the open field. There's been spirited discussion at their meetings in Phoenix as to just how the new rule would be officiated. New York Giants owner John Mara is a member of the competition committee and he says the idea might be tabled until the May meetings in Boston.
The owners have outlawed peel-back blocks anywhere on the field. Previously, they were illegal only inside the tackle box.
And they also banned overloading a formation while attempting to block a field goal or extra point.
Making progress
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) -- Two teams advanced to the second round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament last night with wins in Dayton, Ohio, and two more will move on this evening.
Matthew Dellavedova's 22 points led Saint Mary's past Middle Tennessee 67-54 in a battle of No. 11 seeds. The Gaels will face sixth-seed Memphis tomorrow in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
Earlier last night, North Carolina A&T edged Liberty 73-72 to earn a second-round meeting with No. 1 overall seed Louisville on Thursday in Lexington, Kentucky. It's the 16th-seeded Aggies first win in 10 NCAA tournament appearances. The Flames finish 15-21.
Tonight's action in Dayton gets started with another matchup of No. 16 seeds. LIU Brooklyn makes its third straight appearance in the tourney and opens against a James Madison team that's waited 19 years to return to the big dance.
The nightcap is a meeting of No. 13 seeds, with Boise State taking on La Salle.
And the winners are?
BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) -- President Barack Obama is picking Indiana to go all the way in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
And he predicts Louisville, Ohio State and Florida will round out the Final Four.
Obama has made an annual tradition of giving his bracket predictions to ESPN but only correctly picked the winner once -- North Carolina in 2009. He says he thinks he can do better in his second term.
On the women's side, Obama selects Baylor, California, UConn and Notre Dame to advance to New Orleans. Baylor, UConn and Notre Dame are all No. 1 seeds and Cal is a No. 2 seed.
One and done
MOON, Pa. (AP) -- Kentucky's fall from grace ended with a stunning thud last night.
After failing to grab an at-large bid for the 68-team NCAA tournament, last season's national champions got beat 59-57 at Robert Morris in the opening round of the NIT.
The Wildcats lost six of their last 10 games to finish 21-12.
Jeter out again
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Yankees captain Derek Jeter remains out of New York's lineup.
The veteran shortstop was not listed to start for the second consecutive game today because of ankle discomfort. Jeter was scratched from the lineup yesterday for "precautionary" reasons because his surgically repaired left ankle feels "stiff."
An X-ray was negative and he's listed as day-to-day.
The 13-time All-Star broke his left ankle in Game 1 of the AL championship series in October. He played in his first spring game on March 9 and is 3 for 11 so far.
Dominicans win title
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The Dominican Republic completed a perfect run through the World Baseball Classic by blanking Puerto Rico 3-0 in the championship game at San Francisco.
Edwin Encarnacion (ehn-kahr-nah-see-OHN') hit a two-run double in the first inning and Erick Aybar (EYE'-bahr) added an RBI double to support winning pitcher Samuel Deduno, who allowed two hits over five innings.
Watson reverting to old system
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Tom Watson is giving back one of his captain's picks for the 2014 Ryder Cup in Scotland.
In his first big move since he was appointed U.S. captain last year, Watson says he will take the top nine players off the Ryder Cup standings and select three players as captain's picks. For the last three years, only eight Americans qualified for the team and the captain was given four wild-card picks.
Paul Azinger was behind the 2008 change to four picks to help give the Americans the 12 hottest players for the matches.
Watson feels that giving players the opportunity to win one more spot on merit is the way to go.
Heat streak into LeBron's old neighborhood
UNDATED (AP) -- Cleveland fans get another chance to boo former Cavalier LeBron James tonight. King James and the Miami Heat will be out to extend a 23-game winning streak that is the second-longest in NBA history. The 1971-72 L.A. Lakers set the record with 33 consecutive wins.
The Heat are an East-leading 52-14 and a game and a-half better than West leader San Antonio. The 51-16 Spurs will be chasing a third straight win when they host a Golden State team that's also coming off back-to-back victories.
Elsewhere tonight, Oklahoma City hosts Memphis, banged-up New York is home to an Orlando team that's dropped four straight, Charlotte hosts Toronto, Milwaukee plays at Atlanta, Dallas hosts Brooklyn, Utah is at Houston, Boston is at New Orleans, Phoenix entertains Washington and Philadelphia is at the L.A. Clippers.
Showdown in the West
UNDATED (AP) -- The first and second-place teams in the NHL's Western Conference race go head to head tonight in Anaheim. The Ducks trail the league-leading Chicago Blackhawks by five points.
Also on the ice this evening, Tampa Bay is at Toronto, Detroit hosts Minnesota, Dallas skates at Colorado and San Jose is at Edmonton.
AP-WF-03-20-13 1443GMT

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