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National Sports Briefs

Associated Press
MIAMI — LeBron James expects his uniforms and sneakers to be on display when the nets are cut down to celebrate this year’s NCAA title.
Predictably, James expects Ohio State to win the national title. This should come as no surprise, of course, given that James is from Ohio, is a longtime Buckeyes fan — oh, yeah, and the team wears his apparel.
Equally predictable his Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade says Marquette is the last team standing on his bracket. Wade led Marquette to the Final Four in 2003, the year James decided to skip college and go right into the NBA draft, where he was the No. 1 overall pick.
“If I could have not went to school all the way until March and then played in March Madness, then I would have done that. But I have no regrets not going to school,” James said Tuesday, before turning a bit and looking directly into a long row of television cameras that surrounded him. “Now, let’s play this when the kids are asleep. ‘Go to school, guys.’ I was just fortunate.”
Wade and James had a playful back-and-forth about the tournament Tuesday. Wade was asked if he still follows the tournament and fills out a bracket.
“I always follow Marquette,” Wade said. “You follow some of the good teams, the good players that are playing in college. But I’m not a guru. I can’t break down every (team). I’m like Charles Barkley. I don’t know that many of them.”
Chimed in James: “You’re a lot better than him, though.”
TENNIS
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Rafael Nadal breezed past American qualifier Ryan Sweeting 6-3, 6-1 in a third-round match as the second week of the BNP Paribas Open began.
Women’s top seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark advanced with a 6-1, 6-3 victory against Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain that took just over an hour.
HOCKEY
PITTSBURGH — Penguins center Sidney Crosby returned to the ice for the first time since missing 29 games with a concussion. But if you’re looking for the Pittsburgh captain’s return date, it’s still anyone’s guess.
“I have no clue,” Crosby said. “I’m not thinking too far ahead as far as a time frame. I just want to get better. This is part of the way to do that. I’m just kind of taking that step and seeing how it goes.”
Crosby, who last played on Jan. 5 in an 8-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, practiced in full gear for about 15 minutes at the Consol Energy Center.
AWARDS
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Olympic champion Evan Lysacek won the 2010 Sullivan Award, becoming the fourth figure skater to be honored as the top amateur athlete in the United States.
NIT
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Tony Mitchell, Charvez Davis and Trevor Releford all scored 12 points to lead Alabama to a 68-44 victory over Coastal Carolina on Tuesday night in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.
The top-seeded Crimson Tide (22-11), which felt jilted at being left out of the NCAA field after winning the SEC West, built a 20-point lead late in the first half and never let the short-handed Chanticleers (28-6) get anything going.
Now 17-0 at CoColiseum, Alabama will host New Mexico in the second round.
Oklahoma St 71, Harvard 54
STILLWATER, Okla. — Marshall Moses had 18 points and eight rebounds, and third-seeded Oklahoma State had its highest-scoring first half of the season in a victory over sixth-seeded Harvard.
Oklahoma State (20-13) scored 41 points in the first half and won an NIT game for the first time since 1997. The Cowboys had lost three straight from 2006-08.
Reger Dowell went 6 for 7 from the field and scored 15 points, and Matt Pilgrim added 12.
Kyle Casey led Harvard (23-7) with 13 points, while Ivy League player of the year Keith Wright scored 10 and hit double figures for the 15th straight game.
College of Charleston 94, Dayton 84
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Andrew Goudelock had a career-high 39 points, including eight 3-pointers, and College of Charleston beat defending champion Dayton.
The sixth-seeded Cougars (25-10) will take on No. 2 seed Cleveland State in the next round.
Goudelock put on a show in his final game at Carolina First Arena. His first 3-pointer gave Charleston the lead for good, 20-18. The senior hit two 3s just 3 minutes later that pushed the lead to 31-21.
Goudelock kept it up after halftime, adding a 3 and a jumper that gave the Cougars their largest lead at 73-55 with 8 minutes left.
Chris Wright had 21 points for Dayton (22-14), which normally would have been at home as the higher seed but its arena was being used for the NCAA tournament’s opening games.
1:Cleveland State 63, Vermont 60
CLEVELAND (AP) — Norris Cole scored 27 points, including the go-ahead basket with 1:23 remaining, and Cleveland State beat Vermont.
Cole, the Horizon League player of the year, took a pass from Aaron Pogue and drove the lane to score, breaking a 57-all tie.
Cole hit two free throws with 26.5 seconds left, giving the Vikings (27-8) a 61-57 lead. Brendan Bald’s 3-pointer with 11 seconds remaining cut the lead to one, but Coles added two more free throws with 4.4 seconds to go.
A 3-point attempt by Matt Glass at the buzzer bounced on the rim four times before falling off.
Pat Bergmann, who came into the game averaging 1.1 points, scored 16 to lead Vermont (23-9), the America East regular-season champion. The Catamounts played without leading scorer Evan Fjeld, who missed the game with an injury.
1:Missouri State 89, Murray State 76
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Jermaine Mallett scored a career-high 23 points to lead Missouri State over Murray State.
Missouri State (26-8), the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season champion, held a double-digit lead through most of the first 10 minutes of the second half before Murray State (23-9) went on a 14-2 run to cut it to 68-66 with 6:09 left.
But the Racers, who led only once early in the game, were never able to go ahead. Mallett guided the third-seeded Bears to a 13-4 run and an 81-70 lead with 2:01 remaining.
Kyle Weems finished with 14 points for Missouri State and Will Creekmore added 13. Next up, the Bears will play the Miami-Florida Atlantic winner.
Ivan Aska led No. 6 seed Murray State with 16 points and Jewuan Long added 15. The Racers were regular-season champions of the Ohio Valley Conference.
1:New Mexico 69, UTEP 57
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Kendall Williams and Drew Gordon scored 18 points each to help New Mexico beat UTEP.
The fourth-seeded Lobos (22-12), playing their first game without injured senior point guard Dairese Gary, opened the second half with a 6-0 surge to extend their lead to 40-30 with 16:35 left.
Later in the half, Phillip McDonald hit three consecutive 3-pointers in a 9-2 run that extended UNM’s lead to 54-41 with 6:41 to go.
Randy Culpepper led the fifth-seeded Miners (25-10) with 23 points.
1:Fairfield 62, Colorado State 60
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — Yorel Hawkins scored 17 points and Fairfield’s defense shut down Colorado State.
Ryan Olander added 12 points and 10 rebounds for Fairfield (25-7), winners of six of seven. The Stags forced 20 turnovers but had their string of consecutive games holding opponents under 60 points snapped at 41.
Andy Ogide led Colorado State (19-13) with 13 points. The Rams were denied their first 20-win season since 1997-98.
The Associated Press
03/15/11 23:51
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