Update on the latest sports
No fans at NCAA men’s women’s hoops tournaments.
UNDATED (AP) — March Madness is giving way to March Silence.
NCAA President Mark Emmert says its Division I basketball tournament games will not be open to the general public because of concerns about the spread of coronavirus. Emmert said in a statement that he made the decision to conduct both the men’s and women’s tournaments with only essential staff and limited family in attendance.
The decision comes after the NCAA’s COVID-19 advisory panel of medical experts recommended against playing sporting events open to the general public.
Emmert says canceling the two tournaments was considered.
In other virus news:
— The ACC, Big 12 and Big Ten basketball tournaments will proceed without fans beginning with Thursday’s games. ACC games will be played only with teams, player guests, limited school administrators and credentialed media present. Big 12 squads will be allowed 125 tickets on a game-by-game basis beginning with Thursday’s quarterfinals. Big Ten attendance will be limited to team personnel, conference staff, TV network partners, credentialed media and immediate family members of the participating teams.
— The Golden State Warriors’ game against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday will be played without fans in the arena. Four other events scheduled through March 21 at the Warriors’ home arena have been postponed or canceled, including a Post Malone concert.
— The Mariners are moving their home games out of Seattle for the rest of March in an effort to slow the coronavirus outbreak. The Mariners and Major League Baseball have not announced where they will play the team’s season-opening, four-game series against the Texas Rangers scheduled for March 26-29.
— The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that Thursday game against Pittsburgh would be limited “to home and visiting club personnel, credentialed media and broadcast partners, essential club and arena staff and NHL officials.” The Blue Jackets are the first NHL team to say they’ll hold home games without fans in the stands.
— The Ivy League has canceled all spring sports, as many of its schools told students not to return from spring break and prepare for classes to be taught online. The league already had canceled its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.
— Italian soccer club Juventus says one of its players, defender Daniele Rugani, has tested positive for COVID-19. Rugani also plays for the Italian national team and is the first player in the country’s top soccer division to test positive for the disease.
— NASCAR and IndyCar plan to race as scheduled this weekend, with IndyCar continuing to move ahead with its season-opening race through the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida. The three-day downtown street festival draws about 130,000 people. There will be additional hand-washing and sanitizing stations.
— The last races of the women’s Alpine skiing World Cup season have been canceled because of public health concerns related to the spread of the coronavirus. The decision hands Federica Brignone (feh-deh-REE’-kah breen-YOH’-nay) of Italy the overall title and denies Mikaela Shiffrin a return to racing this season.
Antetokounmpo back in practice
UNDATED (AP) — Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) could miss another game due to a left knee sprain suffered in last Friday’s 113-103 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. Antetokounmpo said he practiced Wednesday but remained uncertain about his availability Thursday against the Boston Celtics as the NBA-leading Bucks attempt to snap a season-worst three-game skid.
In other NBA news:
— 76ers center Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’) is back in the lineup Wednesday against Detroit after missing five games with a sprained left shoulder. But Sixers guard Ben Simmons is sitting out an eighth straight game Detroit and will miss at least three more weeks with nerve issues in his lower back. The timeline could have Simmons back just in time for the playoffs. The 23-year-old Simmons averaged 16.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 8.2 assists in 54 games.
T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL-CREIGHTON-ZEGAROWSKI
Creighton hoping Zegarowski ready for NCAA Tournament
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Creighton’s Marcus Zegarowski was scheduled to have knee surgery Wednesday and the Bluejays hope to have him available for the NCAA Tournament next week.
Zegarowski injured the meniscus in his right knee late in the seventh-ranked Bluejays’ game against Seton Hall on Saturday.
Zegarowski has started 30 of 31 games and is second on the team in scoring at 16.1 points per game.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-MICHIGAN STATE-DANTONIO
Ex-Spartans football staffer sues
DETROIT (AP) — A former Michigan State football staff member has filed a lawsuit in which he accused former coach Mark Dantonio of violating NCAA rules by contacting players at other schools to try to get them to transfer.
Curtis Blackwell also suggested in his suit that Dantonio had another team’s practice recorded.
The suit names Dantonio, former school President Lou Anna Simon, former athletic director Mark Hollis and current athletic director Bill Beekman as defendants.
3 former track athletes suing NCAA, coach over alleged abuse
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Three former student-athletes who say they were sexually abused by a track coach are suing the NCAA, its board of governors and a coach. They allege the NCAA didn’t do enough to protect its athletes. Erin Aldrich, Londa Bevins and Jessica Johnson are seeking class action status for the federal lawsuit filed Wednesday in California. The women say they were sexually abused by John Rembao while he worked at the University of Texas and the University of Arizona. They want the suit to include any NCAA student-athlete at any member school since 1992 who say they were put at risk by the inaction of the NCAA.
Elbow woes sideline Goldschmidt
UNDATED (AP) — St. Louis first baseman Paul Goldschmidt will be out for several more games because of a sore right elbow. Goldschmidt’s throwing was limited by the Cardinals during the start of spring training, and he made his first two exhibition starts as a designated hitter. He has not played since Sunday. The six-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner is hitting .300 with two homers in 20 spring training at-bats.
In other MLB news:
— Mets outfielder Michael Conforto would not speculate whether he could return for the March 26 opener against Washington due to an oblique strain. Conforto was injured Saturday against the Nationals and returned to New York on Monday night.
— The Rangers have placed left-hander Yohander Méndez on the suspended list for violating his contract by seeking unauthorized outside medical care. Méndez has been held out of spring training game action with left shoulder inflammation. The 25-year-old Méndez appeared in just three big league games last year due to an elbow injury. He was expected to compete for a bullpen spot this spring.
Blue Jackets to play in nearly empty arena
DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche will be without top scorer Nathan MacKinnon for at least a week after he suffered a lower body injury. MacKinnon was hurt during the second period in Monday’s game against the Kings in Los Angeles. The center ranks among the league’s top 10 with 35 goals, 58 assists and 93 points. MacKinnon has a career-high 29 multi-point games this season, the most by an Avalanche player since Peter Forsberg in 2002-03.
The Avs will have defenseman Cale Makar back in the lineup when they face the Rangers tonight. Makar has been out the last five games with an upper body injury. He’s second among rookies with 47 points.
2-time Pro Bowler Reshad Jones to be released by Dolphins
UNDATED (AP) — Two-time Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones is joining the free agent market after 10 seasons with the Miami Dolphins.
The team has decided to release Jones next Wednesday, the first day of NFL free agency. The move had been expected because Jones battled injuries in recent seasons and played in just four games in 2019 for new coach Brian Flores.
GOLF-HALL OF FAME
Tiger Woods elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Already among the greatest on the golf course, Tiger Woods will join them in the World Golf Hall of Fame. Woods was elected Wednesday by a Hall of Fame selection committee. He will be part of the 2021 class that will be inducted next year at the home of the PGA Tour. The Hall of Fame criteria was changed recently to lower the minimum age to 45 when players are inducted. The selection was hardly a surprise. No one has more than his 82 PGA Tour victories, and his 15 majors are second only to Jack Nicklaus.