Sports News-March 27, 2014

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With ten games left in the regular season, the Indiana Pacers are three games up on Miami in the race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.  The Pacers beat the Heat 84-83 last night as Paul George had 23 for the Pacers, who overcame a 38-point performance by Miami's LeBron James.

In a decision that could change the face of college sports, a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago has ruled that football players at Northwestern University can create the nation's first college athlete's union.  Northwestern officials say they will appeal to the full NLRB in Washington, D.C.

Clayton Kershaw will miss his scheduled start for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the San Diego Padres this weekend because of an inflamed muscle in his back.  The two-time Cy Young Award winner had an MRI yesterday that showed the swollen muscle in his left upper back.  Kershaw had complained of tightness while throwing at a workout on Tuesday.  The team said Kershaw's next start will be decided by his progress while throwing in the next week.  The Dodgers open the North American portion of their schedule at San Diego on Sunday.  They began the season with two victories over Arizona in Australia last week.  Kershaw started the first game Down Under, winning 3-1.

Creighton forward Doug McDermott joined some elite company yesterday as he was named a First Team All-American by the National Association of Basketball Coaches for the third straight season.  Since the awards started in 1946-47, he is just the twelfth man to earn first team accolades three times.  McDermott is joined on the First Team by Arizona's Nick Johnson, Connecticut's Shabazz Napier, Duke's Jabari Parker and Michigan's Nik Stauskas.  McDermott leads the nation in scoring at 26.7 points per game and points with 934.  He is Creighton's only player ever honored by the NABC on its first-team All-America squad.  Creighton finished the 2013-14 season with a 27-8 record before being eliminated in the third round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday by Baylor.  The NABC will name its Player of the Year at the Guardians of the Game Awards Show on April 6th, in Dallas, Texas. McDermott has already been named National Player of the Year by Sporting News, USA Today, Dick Vitale, BleacherReport.com and NBCSports.com this month.

Creighton head coach Greg McDermott is among 15 finalists for the 2014 Jim Phelan award.  The Phelan Award is presented annually to the nation's top Division I coach.  The award is named in honor of Jim Phelan who coached his entire career at Mount Saint Mary's University.  He led the Mountaineers to the 1962 NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Championship.  In his fourth season at Creighton, McDermott led his team to a 27-8 mark as the Bluejays advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.  CU finished second in the BIG EAST with a 14-4 league mark, then were runner-up in its initial appearance at the BIG EAST Tournament. McDermott coached the league's Player of the Year, son Doug McDermott, who has already been named National Player of the Year by five different agencies.  The winner of the 2014 Phelan award will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet on April 4 in Dallas, site of the Division I Men's Basketball Championship.

The Omaha World Herald has updated its high school soccer rankings.  In the boys rankings, Omaha Westside remains first in the 'Nebraska Top 10' & Class 'A'.  In Class 'B', Gretna is once again first, Columbus Scotus moves up from third to second, Schuyler slips from third to sixth, and Columbus remains ninth.  In the girls rankings, Millard West is once again first in the 'Nebraska Top 10' & Class 'A'.  In Class 'B', Elkhorn South stays at number one and Columbus Scotus remains fifth.

The Norfolk High boys golf team gets their season underway today when they compete in the Lincoln High Invitational at Highland Golf Course.  The Panthers return state qualifiers in Alex Strom, Ross Gerber, & Devan Maas from last year's eighth place team finish.  They have 14 golfers total.  Norfolk's remaining schedule has them competing in invitationals at Lincoln High, Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings, Columbus, Lincoln Southeast, Lincoln Pius X, the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference Meet at Kearney, their own invite on May 15, and host a district meet on May 19th.  The Panthers will host a dual with Columbus on April 14, visit Fremont for a triangular with Columbus involved, and visit Columbus for a dual. 

Local Schedule:  Columbus at Nfk High (G&B Socc.-5:00); Nfk High at Lincoln North Star at Sherman Field (Bsbl DH-5:00); Nfk High at Lincoln High Inv. At Highland GC (BG-10:00).

Saturday Morning:  Sportstalk on 106 KIX & 106 KIX.com from 9:00-10:00 from Hy-Vee West.  In the final week, Joe Tjaden will talk high school boys basketball with Wayne's Rob Sweetland, Battle Creek's Trevor Anderson, Mike Sjuts of Bancroft/Rosalie, & Cole Fischer of Howells/Dodge.  Girls hoops will be a topic with Aaron Losing of Crofton & Emerson/Hubbard's Lindsey Burback.

Local Scores:  Kansas St. 12 Nebraska 6 (Bsbl); Kansas 11 Creighton 0 (Bsbl); WSC 9 Morningside 2 (Bsbl); Nebraska 10 Nebraska-Omaha 0 (SB); Drake 4 Creighton 2 (8 Inn.) (SB); Augustana 2-1 WSC 0-2 (SB DH).

     NATIONAL  BASKETBALL  ASSOCIATION
    
      Final  OT    Charlotte        116    Brooklyn            111
      Final          Phoenix              99    Washington          93
      Final          Cleveland          97    Detroit                96
      Final          Toronto              99    Boston                  90
      Final          Minnesota        107    Atlanta                83
      Final          New  Orleans      98    L-A  Clippers      96
      Final          Indiana              84    Miami                    83
      Final          San  Antonio    108    Denver                103
      Final          New  York          107    Sacramento          99
      Final          Memphis              91    Utah                      87
    
    
          NATIONAL  HOCKEY  LEAGUE
    
      Final    Vancouver          5    Minnesota            2
      Final    N-Y  Rangers      3    Philadelphia      1
      Final    Anaheim              3    Calgary                2

     COLLEGE  BASKETBALL  TOURNAMENTS
    
    
          CBI
    
          Semifinals
          at  Fresno,  Calif.
      Final    Fresno  St.        71    Old  Dominion          64
    
          at  Loudonville,  N.Y.
      Final    Siena                  61    Illinois  St.          49
    
          CIT
    
          Quarterfinals
          at  Convocation  Center
      Final    VMI                      92    Ohio                          90
    
          at  Francis  S.  Levien  Gymnasium
      Final    Yale                    72    Columbia                  69
    
          at  Spanos  Center
      Final    Pacific              75    San  Diego                60
    
          NIT
    
          Quarterfinals
          at  Donald  L.  Tucker  Center
      Final    Florida  St.      78    Louisiana  Tech      75
    
          at  Moody  Coliseum
      Final    SMU                      67    California              65

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