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Scoreboard Roundup - 3/29/15

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: Houston Rockets 99 (50-23) - Washington Wizards 91 (41-33)

Brooklyn Nets 107 (32-40) - Los Angeles Lakers 99 (19-53)

New Orleans Pelicans 110 (39-34) - Minnesota Timberwolves 88 (16-57)

Cleveland Cavaliers 87 (48-27) - Philadelphia 76ers 86 (18-56)

Los Angeles Clippers 119 (49-25) - Boston Celtics 106 (32-41)

Miami Heat 109 (34-39) - Detroit Pistons 102 (28-5)

San Antonio Spurs 103 (47-26) - Memphis Grizzlies 89 (50-24)

Indiana Pacers 104 (32-41) - Dallas Mavericks 99 (45-29)

Oklahoma City Thunder 109 (42-32) - Phoenix Suns 97 (38-36)

NCAA Tournament: South Region: Elite Eight: (1) Duke 66 (33-4) - (2) Gonzaga 52 (35-3)

East Region: (7) Michigan State 76 (27-11) - (4) Louisville 70 (27-9) - Overtime

NHL: Washington Capitals 5  (41-25-10, 92pts) - New York Rangers 2  (47-21-7, 101pts)

Florida Panthers 4  (35-26-15, 85pts) - Ottawa Senators 2 (37-26-12, 86pts)

New York Islanders 5 (45-27-5, 95pts) - Detroit Red Wings 4 (40-23-12, 92pts)

Calgary Flames 5 (41-28-7, 89pts) - Nashville Predators 2 (47-22-8, 102pts)

Boston Bruins 2 (38-25-13, 89pts) - Carolina Hurricanes 1 (28-36-11, 67pts) - Overtime

Anaheim Ducks 2  (49-22-7, 105pts) - New Jersey Devils 1 (31-33-12, 74pts)

Chicago Blackhawks 4 (45-24-6, 96pts) - Winnipeg Jets 3 (39-25-12, 90pts)

Pittsburgh Penguins 3 (42-23-11, 95pts) - San Jose Sharks 2 (37-30-9, 83pts) - Shootout

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Report: Chris Mullin Offered St. John's Job

Jim Rogash/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Chris Mullin has been offered the job to become the next head coach at St. John's, multiple sources told ESPN.

One source told ESPN a deal could be done as soon as Sunday night.

Mullin is one of the greatest players in St. John's history, winning the Big East Player of the Year award three times in the 1980s. He was drafted seventh overall in the 1985 NBA draft by the Golden State Warriors, playing in five straight All-Star Games from 1989 to 1993. Mullin is also a two-time Olympic Gold medalist and was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame.

Since retiring, Mullin has spent time in the front offices of the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings.

Mullin would replace Steve Lavin, who parted ways with St. John's on Friday after five seasons. The Red Storm made two NCAA tournament appearances and two NIT appearances in Lavin's tenure.

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Spartans Move Onto Final Four After 76-70 OT Win over Louisville

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) -- Coach Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans capped an improbable run to the Final Four with an overtime win.

Senior guard Travis Trice scored 17 points and the seventh-seeded Spartans clamped down on defense to pull out a 76-70 victory over fourth-seeded Louisville in a thrilling NCAA Tournament East Regional final Sunday.

The Spartans (28-11), who were counted out of the tournament conversation in February, won for the 12th time in 15 games. It's a run that included them knocking off second-seeded Virginia last weekend and third-seeded Oklahoma in the regional semifinal on Friday.

Michigan State advances to face the winner of the South Regional final between Duke and Gonzaga.

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Red Sox Name Clay Buchholz Opening Day Starter

Jim Rogash/Getty Images(FORT MYERS, Fla.) -- The Boston Red Sox named pitcher Clay Buchholz the Opening Day starter for their game against the Philadelphia Phillies on April 6.

Buchholz will be making his first Opening Day start in nine seasons and edged out free agent addition Rick Porcello, who came over from the Tigers this offseason.

"He came into camp in a good place, both mentally and physically," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "The line score last time out to me doesn't reflect the way the ball came out of his hand. Now, line scores are important. I get it. But he feels good physically. He's confident. We've seen when Clay has been in that place, he's one of the better pitchers in baseball."

Porcello will pitch the second game and Farrell is happy that Buchholz has embraced the role since Jon Lester's departure to the Cubs in the offseason.

"He has lived the changes that have gone on around him," Farrell said. "He's fully aware of everything that is Boston and that goes along with being a starting pitcher for the Red Sox. He doesn't back away from it. He may go about it in his own way, he's not the most vocal guy in the world, but he's been here for a number of years. To me, he's in a position to embrace that and assume that."

Buchholz was 8-11 with a 5.34 ERA last season.

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Justin Verlander's 'Tight' Tricep Shows Improvement

Robert Rogers/MLB Photos via Getty Images(CLEARWATER, Fla.) -- Justin Verlander played catch Sunday morning for the first time since leaving a start with a cramp in his right tricep, but it remained unclear when the Detroit Tigers ace would pitch again.

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Verlander did some light tossing at the team's spring training camp at Lakeland and still felt "a little bit tight," but otherwise reported some general improvement.

"He felt better today," Ausmus said before the Tigers' game Sunday with the Philadelphia Phillies. "Not completely better, but he feels better than he did yesterday."

Verlander is still scheduled to make his final spring start Thursday against the New York Yankees, but the Tigers remain unsure whether he will make it. They also have begun discussing other options to push back his first start of the season, which is currently scheduled for Wednesday, April 8, which would be the Tigers' second game of the season.

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Rick Barnes Departs from Texas

Brian Bahr/Getty Images(TEXAS) -- Rick Barnes parted ways with a team he coached for 17 seasons on Sunday in a classy way.

Barnes and the school agreed to "mutually part ways" and during his tenure he was 402-180 and won three Big 12 regular-season championships.

"I leave this job with no regrets," Barnes said in a statement. "Instead, I look back at our time here and say 'thank you' to all the players, coaches and staff who have worked with our program throughout the last 17 years."

Barnes guided Texas to 16 NCAA tournaments during his time and reached the Final Four in 2003.

"The University owes Rick a great deal of gratitude and respect for all he's done to put Texas on the basketball map," Texas athletic director Steve Patterson said in the statement. "He elevated our program immensely and always did it with class. He put our student-athletes first. He won with integrity. We thank Rick for his many years of service to Texas and wish him continued success in the future."

Texas plans on filling the coaching void soon and VCU's Shaka Smart and Wichita State's Gregg Marshall are the front runners for the position, according to reports.

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Aldridge Powers Trail Blazers over Nuggets, 120-114

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge had 32 points and 11 rebounds as Portland (47-25) outpaced the Denver Nuggets (28-46), 120-114 Saturday night.

In 35 minutes of action, Aldridge was 13-of 20 from the field. Shooting guard Arron Affalo contributed 21 points while point guard Damian Lillard had eight points and 10 assists.

With 5:36 left in the game, Denver cut Portland’s lead to 101-98 on a three-pointer from guard Jameer Nelson. The Blazers would respond with a 7-0 run to put them ahead 108-98 with 2:29 to play.

Nelson finished the game with 22 points and shooting guard Randy Foye had 17 points for the Nuggets.

Portland sweeps the season series, 4-0.

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Koivu & Niederreiter Lead Wild Past Kings, 4-1

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(ST. PAUL, Minn.) -- Center Mikko Koivu and forward Nino Niederreiter each scored two goals as the Minnesota Wild (44-25-7; 95pts) iced the Los Angeles Kings (37-24-14; 88pts), 4-1 on Saturday night.

Niederreiter put the Wild on the scoreboard first at 3:15 into the first period with an assist from Koivu and forward Chris Stewart. Minnesota would increase its lead to 2-0, 10:24 later in the opening period on a backhander from Koviu.

Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk stopped 31-of-32 shots he faced while Jonathan Quick and Martin Jones were a combined 16-of-19 in the net for the Kings.

Koviu now has 14 goals on the season while Niederreiter has 24.

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Mirotic Scores 24 Points in Bulls 111-80 Win Against Knicks

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Six players scored in double-figures for the Bulls led by power forward Nikola Mirotic with 24 points as Chicago (45-29) beat New York (14-60), 111-80 Saturday night. It’s the Knicks franchise-record 60th loss of the season.

Mirotic was 8-for-15 from the field and 3-of-7 from beyond the arc in 26 minutes of action. Bulls power forward Pau Gasol contributed 19 points and 12 rebounds while shooting guard Jimmy Butler had 18 points, four assists and five steals.

Chicago jumped out to a 28-17 first quarter lead and cruised into half-time up, 54-34. Gasol had 13 points in the first half while Mirtoic poured in 11 points.

Center Andrea Bargani led the way for the Knicks with 14 points and seven rebounds. 

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Terence Newman Joins Vikings

NFL via Getty Images(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Cornerback Terence Newman signed a one-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings.

The deal means the 36-year-old Newman will be reunited with Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, who was Newman's defensive coordinator for four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and two with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Newman started 13 games for the Bengals last season, recording 75 tackles, 15 passes defended, and one interception. While that was a down year for the two-time Pro Bowler, Zimmer is still confident he can play.

“That’s the biggest thing. He can still play. He came in the league later. I think he was 25 when he came in,” Zimmer said. “He struggled a little bit in Dallas and then played great in Cincinnati. Last year, he didn’t play quite as good, so seemingly with me, we get things fixed a little bit. I really respect him, and I think he really respects me.”

Newman was selected with the fifth overall pick of the 2003 NFL Draft by Dallas. Since then he's played 12 NFL seasons, nine with Dallas and three with Cincinnati. During that time he's played in 174 games, compiling 744 tackles, 161 passes defended, 37 interceptions, eight forced fumbles, and four defensive touchdowns.

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