K-Heart Sports – 03/14/23

K-HEART SPORTS – 03/14/22 – 0700
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (UND) – Following a thrilling series win over Omaha in the NCHC Quarterfinals, North Dakota returns to the top-20 rankings on Monday, sitting at No. 16 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll and No. 17 in the DCU/USCHO.com Poll. The Fighting Hawks enter the NCHC Frozen Faceoff with a 6-1-2 record over the last nine games, with five of those victories coming over ranked opponents at the time, to enter the top-20 for the first time since Nov. 14. Last weekend, UND dropped the series opener, 2-1, to the Mavericks, but rallied for a 3-1 win on Saturday before improving to 12-2-0 in Game 3’s in program history with a 5-2 victory in the finale on Sunday to advance to the NCHC Frozen Faceoff for the ninth time in the 10-year history of the league. North Dakota will battle No. 7 St. Cloud State in the semifinals on Friday night at 7:37 p.m. from Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
GRAND FORKS, N.D (UND) – The University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks women’s basketball is heading to the Women’s Basketball Invitational in Lexington KY. This is the 13th annual tournament. Each team will play three games over three days at the Clive Beck Center. North Dakota will take on Cal Baptist at 4 pm central time on Friday, March 17th.
FARGO, N.D. (NDSU) – The North Dakota State women’s basketball team has been selected as an automatic qualifier for the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) for the first time in program history, the organization announced on Monday. The Bison (18-11) totaled their most wins in a season since 2004-05 and finished in second place in the Summit League to earn the automatic qualifier into the WNIT, which goes to the highest-finishing team in its conference regular season standings and is not selected to the NCAA Tournament. NDSU was the only Summit League school selected to the 64-team field. The Bison will travel to Oregon (17-14) on Friday. It will be the first all-time meeting between the Ducks and the Bison. Tip-off is set for 9:00 p.m. CT at Matthew Knight Arena.
ATLANTA (AP) — Anthony Edwards scored 32 points in his hometown, Kyle Anderson had his third career triple-double and the Minnesota Timberwolves cruised to a 136-115 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. Edwards, a former No. 1 overall draft pick who starred at Georgia and grew up in Atlanta, dazzled with several dunks, one of which put the Timberwolves up 91-67 midway through the third quarter. The lead soon swelled to a game-high 28 on a layup by Mike Conley, who finished with 21 points. Anderson finished with 14 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. Trae Young finished with 41 points for the Hawks, who dropped to 3-5 under new coach Quin Snyder and have lost four of six. Atlanta went 4 for 22 beyond the arc and handed out 17 assists compared to 39 for Minnesota. Timberwolves host Boston on Wednesday.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings ramped up their pass rush and run blocking on Monday by agreeing to terms with former New Orleans defensive end Marcus Davenport and former Baltimore tight end Josh Oliver, according to two different people with direct knowledge of each deal. The people confirmed the agreements to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because free agent contracts can’t be finalized until the new league year begins on Wednesday.
Davenport agreed to a one-year, $13 million contract, the person with knowledge of his deal said. Oliver agreed to a three-year, $21 million contract with $10.75 million in guaranteed money and attainable incentives that would push the total value to $24 million, the person with knowledge of his deal said. The 26-year-old Davenport was the 14th overall pick in the 2018 draft by the Saints, but he had trouble staying healthy. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound Davenport had a career-high nine sacks in just 11 games in 2021, but he only had a half-sack last season. He spent the 2022 offseason recovering from shoulder surgery and multiple procedures on his pinky finger, which was partially amputated. The addition of Davenport has put the status of edge rusher Za’Darius Smith further in doubt. Smith had 10 sacks and made the Pro Bowl in his Vikings debut in 2022, but he’s carrying a salary cap hit of more than $15.9 million.
Oliver was the highest-ranked tight end in run blocking in 2022 by Pro Football Focus. The Vikings ranked 26th in the NFL last season with an average of 4.1 yards per rush and tied for 27th in total rushing yards. Oliver was a third-round draft pick by Jacksonville out of San Jose State in 2019, but he played in only four games in two seasons for the Jaguars. He suffered a severe hamstring injury in his first training camp and, after a brief return, saw his rookie season end with a back injury. The following year, he broke a bone in his foot in camp and was again placed on season-ending injured reserve. The Jaguars traded him the next spring to the Ravens, for whom he had a limited role in 14 games in 2021. Oliver flourished as a run blocker last season, playing in all 17 games and 47% of the snaps on offense. He had 14 receptions for 149 yards and two touchdowns.
The move was the first made by Minnesota after the market opened for formal free agent negotiations. The Vikings still needed to clear more than $7 million in salary cap charges when Monday began, even after releasing linebacker Eric Kendricks and wide receiver Adam Thielen last week. Talks can take place over the first two days and agreements in principle can be reached, but contracts cannot be signed until Wednesday. The deal with Oliver all but assures the Vikings will not re-sign tight end Irv Smith Jr., whose injury-limited four years with Minnesota ended with him in a complementary role to Pro Bowl acquisition T.J. Hockenson. Hockenson was sixth overall in the Pro Football Focus tight end rankings for 2022, and Oliver was eighth. The Vikings also have Johnny Mundt under contract at tight end. He primarily is a run blocker as well.
UNDATED (AP) – Eric Kendricks has agreed to terms with the Los Angeles Chargers, giving the franchise a veteran inside linebacker on a unit that has struggled the past couple seasons. Kendricks posted about joining the Chargers on his Instagram account. He was drafted by Minnesota in the second round in 2015 and spent eight seasons with the Vikings before being released on March 6. Kendricks was 14th in the league this past season with 137 total tackles, including 87 solo. He also recorded eight tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, one sack and six passes defensed.
HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Jimmy Garoppolo has agreed to a three-year, $67.5 million contract with the Raiders, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Monday, likely answering the question of who will be Las Vegas’ starting quarterback next season. The person spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity because the deal can’t be announced until Wednesday. Garoppolo’s contract includes $34 million in the guaranteed money, the person said. The Raiders have been linked to Garoppolo almost from the moment coach Josh McDaniels benched nine-year starter Derek Carr with two weeks left in the season. Carr, the Raiders’ all-time leader with 35,222 passing yards and 217 touchdown passes, has since signed with the New Orleans Saints.
McDaniels was the Patriots’ offensive coordinator when Garoppolo backed up Tom Brady in New England beginning in 2014. With Brady locked in as the starter, Garoppolo was traded to San Francisco during the 2017 season and immediately became the 49ers’ starter. He was effective when healthy, going 38-17 and taking the Niners to the 2019 and 2021 NFC championship games. San Francisco made the Super Bowl in the 2019 season. But the 31-year-old Garoppolo has had several significant injuries. In 2018, he suffered a season-ending knee injury in San Francisco’s third game, and in 2020 he missed eight games with ankle injuries.
The 49ers had planned to trade Garoppolo before last season and start Trey Lance, the third overall pick in the 2021 draft whom San Francisco gave up three first-round picks to acquire. Garoppolo underwent offseason shoulder surgery, killing trade interest in him from other clubs, so the 49ers re-signed him at a reduced deal. When Lance was injured two games into the season, Garoppolo agains took over as the starter. He was having his best year, throwing 16 touchdown passes and four interceptions in 10 games, before going down with a season-ending foot injury. Rookie Brock Purdy, the last player selected in last year’s draft, took over and led the Niners to the NFC championship game, where they lost to Philadelphia. Purdy suffered an elbow injury early in that game and had surgery last week, but after he concludes his rehab, the Niners will have two potential starters on the roster in Purdy and Lance.
Garoppolo joins a Raiders team coming off a 6-11 season, but with an offense that includes wide receivers Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow and tight end Darren Waller. Las Vegas also has placed the franchise tag on running back Josh Jacobs, who led the NFL in rushing last season. The Raiders own the seventh pick in the draft and could draft a quarterback with that selection or one in the later rounds. Expected backup Jarrett Stidham agreed to sign with the AFC West rival Denver Broncos. They have plenty of salary cap space, especially after restructuring defensive end Maxx Crosby’s contract to free up $7.5 million, according to ESPN. Including Garoppolo’s deal, Las Vegas has $27.4 million in cap space, according to overthecap.com. The Raiders have plenty of needs to address, particularly on the offensive line and throughout the defense.
PHOENIX (AP) — Mike Trout hit a three-run homer, Lance Lynn threw five impressive innings and the United States used a nine-run first to cruise past Canada 12-1 on Monday night in the World Baseball Classic. The game was called after seven innings because of the tournament’s 10-run mercy rule. In Miami, José De León and three relievers combined on a perfect pitching performance as Puerto Rico routed Israel 10-0 in a matchup called after eight innings because of the mercy rule. Yacksel Ríos, Edwin Díaz and Duane Underwood Jr. closed out the win for Puerto Rico, which did not permit a baserunner. But it will not count as a perfect game in official WBC records because the game didn’t go a full nine innings. That’s the standard established by the Elias Sports Bureau, the official statistician for Major League Baseball.
The U.S. improved to 2-1 and bounced back from an 11-5 loss to Mexico on Sunday with its best offensive performance of the tournament. Canada fell to 1-1 before a crowd of 29,621 at Chase Field. The Americans sent 12 batters to the plate in the first inning. Nolan Arenado had a two-run double to start the scoring and Trout finished it by belting a low fastball into the left-center seats. Lynn got the win, giving up one run and two hits while saving the bullpen for the team’s final game of pool play against Colombia on Wednesday. United States manager Mark DeRosa had to use eight pitchers on Sunday in the loss to Mexico. Canada scored its lone run on Jared Young’s homer. Left-hander Mitch Bratt took the loss, giving up six earned runs while getting only one out.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Felton Spencer, who set Louisville single-season and career records in field goal percentage before playing 12 years in the NBA, has died. He was 55. Spencer’s sister, Tammy Pollock, tweeted of his death on Sunday afternoon and the school confirmed information with the family. No cause of death was given. Louisville tweeted that it was “heartbroken” by Spencer’s passing. Former Cardinals teammate and current coach Kenny Payne expressed love and prayers for Spencer’s family on social media.
The 7-foot Louisville native known as “Chief” scored 1,168 points from 1986-90, including 32 against Tulane on Feb. 27, 1990, that’s tied for eighth all time at the school. Spencer averaged 14.9 points per game as a senior with 188 baskets on 276 attempts (68.1%) to establish the Cardinals’ single-season field goal percentage mark. His career percentage record of 62.8% (409 of 651 shots) still stands. Spencer also averaged a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game and was a first team All-Metro Conference selection with teammate LaBradford Smith.
The Minnesota Timberwolves drafted Spencer sixth overall in 1990, and he made the NBA all-rookie team while playing three seasons there. He also played with Utah, Orlando, Golden State, San Antonio and the New York Knicks. Spencer later worked as an assistant coach at Spalding and Bellarmine universities in Louisville.

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