Sports Digest: Crusaders seek third straight softball league title

2014-05-06T21:30:00Z 2014-05-08T20:50:20Z Sports Digest: Crusaders seek third straight softball league title nwitimes.com
May 06, 2014 9:30 pm

College softball

CRUSADERS SEEK THIRD STRAIGHT LEAGUE TITLE: Valparaiso will be the third seed for this week's Horizon League Championship and will open tournament play at 10 a.m. today in Dayton, Ohio, against sixth-seeded Illinois-Chicago.

With a win against UIC, Valpo would advance to play Wright State in the double-elimination bracket at 3 p.m. today.

The Crusaders are in search of their third consecutive league title.

Men's basketball

DC TO BECOME PART OF BIG TEN TOURNEY 'ROTATION': Big Ten Conference Commissioner Jim Delany says Washington will host the league's 2017 men's basketball tournament and join a "rotation" with Chicago and Indianapolis.

Says Delany: "We've come here not to visit, but to live."

Delany officially announced Tuesday that Washington's Verizon Center — home of the NBA's Wizards and NHL's Capitals, as well as Georgetown men's basketball — will host the Big Ten tournament on March 8-12, 2017.

He is aware some fans would prefer that the event stay in the Midwest. Delany also remembers there were those who thought it was a bad idea to add Penn State as a league member or to create a television network — both of which he says turned out to be successes.

Pro basketball

BALANCED MIAMI TAKES GAME 1: LeBron James scored 22 points; Ray Allen added 19, and the Miami Heat stayed perfect in this postseason by beating the Brooklyn Nets 107-86 on Tuesday night in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Chris Bosh scored 15 points; Dwyane Wade added 14, and Mario Chalmers had 12 for Miami, which was 0-4 against the Nets in the regular season.

Deron Williams and Joe Johnson scored 17 points each for the Nets, who got only eight from Paul Pierce and no points from Kevin Garnett in 16 minutes.

THUNDER STAR DURANT WINS FIRST MVP AWARD: Kevin Durant has plenty of scoring titles. Now, he finally has an MVP trophy to go with them.

The Oklahoma City Thunder star won the NBA's top individual honor Tuesday, grabbing 119 first-place votes. Miami's LeBron James, who had won the last two MVP awards and four of the previous five, finished second with six first-place votes, and Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers was third.

Durant, a 6-foot-9 forward, won his fourth scoring crown in five years this season by averaging 32 points per game. He helped the Thunder finish the regular season with a 59-23 record, second-best in the league, despite playing much of the season without three-time All-Star Russell Westbrook by his side because of a nagging knee injury.

WARRIORS FIRE COACH MARK JACKSON: The Golden State Warriors have fired Mark Jackson, ending the franchise's most successful coaching tenure in the past two decades but also one filled with drama and distractions.

General manager Bob Myers thanked Jackson in a statement Tuesday for "his role in helping elevate this team into a better position than it was when he arrived nearly 36 months ago." Myers says it was a difficult decision but the Warriors "simply feel it's best to move in a different direction at this time."

Jackson's three seasons with the Warriors will be remembered for the way he helped turn a perennially losing franchise into a consistent winner and the bold and bombastic way in which he did it.

Pro hockey

SUBBAN, WEISE LEAD CANADIENS PAST BRUINS: P.K. Subban and Dale Weise each had a goal and an assist; Carey Price made 26 saves, and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Boston Bruins 4-2 on Tuesday night to take the lead in their NHL Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series.

The Canadiens are up 2-1 with Game 4 set for Thursday in Montreal.

Tomas Plekanec and Lars Eller also scored for the Canadiens, who were outplayed for long stretches but made the most of quick-strike attacks.

Patrice Bergeron and Andrej Meszaros scored for the Bruins.

Swimming

PHELPS ENTERS TWO EVENTS AT NORTH CAROLINA MEET: Next up for Michael Phelps' comeback: Two events that produced Olympic gold.

Phelps has entered the 100-meter butterfly and the 200 freestyle at the Charlotte Grand Prix meet in North Carolina next week, his coach, Bob Bowman, told The Associated Press on Monday night.

With both events on May 16, Bowman can stick to the plan of building up Phelps' endurance while staying away, at least for now, from the grueling, multi-day programs that were once the norm for Phelps.

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