NEW ORLEANS (AP)Kansas brought its fourth NCAA title back home thanks to a second-half flurry that erased a 16-point deficit and eventually overcame North Carolina 72-69 in an epic battle of power programs.
David McCormack scored the go-ahead bucket from close range with 1:21 left, then another at the 22-second mark to put the Jayhawks ahead by three. North Carolina missed its final four shots, including Caleb Love’s desperation 3 at the buzzer. His heave barely grazed rim after officials ruled that Kansas guard DaJuan Harris Jr., stepped out on an inbounds pass with 4.3 seconds left.
The Tar Heels went scoreless over the final 1:41.
McCormack and Jalen Wilson led KU with 15 points each. Christian Braun scored 10 of his 12 in the second half and transfer Remy Martin had 11 of his 15 over the final 20 minutes, as the Jayhawks turned what looked like a lost cause into one of the sweetest wins ever.
Carolina had scored 16 straight points late in the first half to open a 40-25 advantage at the break, but top-seeded KU (34-6) went on a 31-10 run over the opening 10 minutes of the second to take a six-point lead and set up a fantastic finish.
NEW YORK (AP) – Iga Swiatek moved up one spot to the top of the WTA rankings, becoming the first tennis player from Poland to be No. 1 in the sport.
The 20-year-old Swiatek – pronounced shvee-ON-tek – takes over from Ash Barty, who announced last month she would be retiring at the age of 25 after more than two years at No. 1.
Swiatek won the 2020 French Open and is currently on a 17-match winning streak that includes the title at the hard-court Miami Open, where she defeated Naomi Osaka 6-4, 6-0 in the final on Saturday. That followed Swiatek’s triumph at Indian Wells, California, last month, making her only the fourth woman to complete what’s known as the ”Sunshine Double,” and another trophy in Doha, Qatar, in February, so she is the first woman to win the first three WTA 1000 events in a year.
She is the 28th woman to lead the rankings.
Osaka is a former No. 1 whose run to her first tour final in more than a year allowed her to go all the way from No. 77 to No. 35 on Monday.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Auston Matthews had three goals to tie the franchise single-season record with 54, and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-2.
Matthews, who also had an assist and extended his goal streak to six games. had his seventh career hat trick – and fourth this season. The center equaled Rick Vaive’s goal-scoring mark set in 1981-82.
Mitchell Marner had a goal and two assists, giving him 22 points (six goals, 16 assists) during a 10-game point streak. He also recorded his sixth straight multi-point game as the Maple Leafs took a two-point lead over Tampa Bay and Boston for second place in the Atlantic Division.
Pierre Engvall and Alexander Kerfoot had the other Toronto goals. Jack Campbell had 32 saves.
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) – The Detroit Tigers acquired outfielder Austin Meadows in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Detroit sent infielder Isaac Paredes and a competitive balance round B pick in the 2022 amateur draft to Tampa Bay for Meadows, who hit .234 with 27 homers and a career-high 106 RBIs last season.
Detroit is much improved after going 77-85 last year in its fifth consecutive losing season. Meadows joins a lineup that includes Javier Baez, who signed a blockbuster deal with the Tigers in free agency, and Spencer Torkelson, one of the majors’ top slugging prospects.
Meadows, who turns 27 on May 3, is a .260 hitter with 70 homers and 225 RBIs in 375 career games over four seasons.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – The New York Yankees acquired right-hander David McKay from the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday for $1.
The 27-year-old had a 6.08 ERA and no record over the 2019 and 2020 seasons with Seattle and Detroit. He signed with the Rays last month.
McKay is 18-11 with two saves and a 4.76 ERA in four minor-league seasons. He missed last season following hip surgery.
NEW YORK (AP) – The Philadelphia Eagles have traded two first-round picks in this month’s draft to the New Orleans in a major swap of assets.
The Eagles sent picks Nos. 16 and 19 and a sixth-rounder (No. 194) to the Saints for the 18th overall pick, a third-rounder (No. 101), a seventh-rounder (No. 237), a 2023 first-rounder and a 2024 second-rounder.
The move leaves Philadelphia with two firsts, Nos. 15 and 18. The Saints also now have two firsts.
CLEVELAND (AP) – Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff was fined $15,000 by the NBA for criticizing the officials following Sunday night’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Upset by inconsistency in calls and the Sixers getting 42 free throws, Bickerstaff said the game ”was taken” from the Cavs, who are trying to hold onto the No. 7 play-in spot with a week left in the regular season.
Bickerstaff also was upset that a foul wasn’t called on Sixers star Joel Embiid in the closing seconds of Philadelphia’s 112-108 win. Cavs guard Darius Garland was bumped on a layup with the Cavs down by a point.
On the two-minute report released Monday, the league agreed with Bickerstaff and said Embiid should have been called for a foul.
However, Bickerstaff was most bothered by the free-throw discrepancy as the Sixers attempted 42 free throws to 31 for the Cavs. Embiid went to the line 21 times, and All-Star forward James Harden attempted 12.