NCAA MEN'S FINAL
Louisville and Michigan face off for NCAA title
ATLANTA (AP) — The men's NCAA championship game takes place tonight in Atlanta with Louisville facing Michigan. The top-seeded Cardinals bring a 34-5 mark into the final game of the season. The Wolverines are 31-7.
Louisville blew through its first four opponents before rallying from a dozen points down in the second half to beat surprising Wichita State 72-68 in the national semifinals. Michigan is coming off a win over Syracuse.
Michigan won a national title in 1989, beating Seton Hall in overtime. They've lost three other times in the championship. The program is best known, of course, for the Fab Five, that group of five stellar recruits who led the Wolverines to back-to-back finals appearances in 1992 and '93.
With the NCAA title game in the spotlight, the NBA takes the evening off.
NCAA WOMEN'S FINAL
Louisville meets Connecticut Tuesday
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisville will also be represented in the Women's NCAA title game as they battle Connecticut tomorrow night. The two clubs met earlier this year with the Huskies beating the Cardinals by 14 points. Connecticut knows how little one should read into previous meetings. UConn lost to Notre Dame three times this season, only to beat the Irish handily, 83-65, in Sunday night's semifinal. Connecticut is also looking for an eighth NCAA national title.
The Cardinals beat Cal 64-57 in Sunday night's national semifinal in the latest game they weren't supposed to win. Louisville stunned defending national champion Baylor and knocked off perennial power Tennessee just to get to New Orleans.
NAISMITH HALL OF FAME
Pitino leads class of 7 into Naismith Hall of Fame
ATLANTA (AP) — Rick Pitino, who will coach Louisville in the NCAA championship game Monday night, is among seven people elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Joining Pitino in the class of 2013, are former NBA stars Bernard King and Gary Payton, former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian, North Carolina women's coach Sylvia Hatchell, former University of Houston coach Guy Lewis, former University of Virginia star Dawn Staley.
The inductions will take place in Springfield, Massachusetts in September.
Florida's Young opts to return for senior season
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida center Patric Young is staying in school for his senior season, a decision that should make the Gators one of the favorites in the Southeastern Conference.
Young's choice was no big surprise since he has talked for weeks about wanting to get his degree.
The 6-foot-9 junior from nearby Jacksonville averaged 10.1 points and 6.3 rebounds this season. With seniors Kenny Boynton, Erik Murphy and Mike Rosario graduating, Young could be the focal point of coach Billy Donovan's offense in the fall.
Rutgers commissioning review of basketball scandal
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Rutgers University has announced that it's commissioning an independent review of the conduct of fired basketball coach Mike Rice and the way the university handled the situation when it learned that he was kicking and shoving players and berating them with gay slurs in practice.
Also, a person familiar with the investigation has told The Associated Press that the FBI is looking into whether a former Rutgers basketball employee tried to extort money from the university before he made videos that showed Rice shoving and kicking players. Meanwhile, Robert Morris University is expected to report in coming days what it has learned in its own inquiry on the three years Rice spent as head coach there.
Lackey unlikely to make scheduled start
BOSTON (AP) — Red Sox manager John Farrell says pitcher John Lackey probably won't take his next turn in Boston's rotation.
Lackey walked off the mound with pain in his right arm on Saturday in his first start after major elbow surgery.
Farrell says an MRI showed inflammation but no tear in Lackey's biceps. The manager said before today's home opener against Baltimore that it's unlikely Lackey will make his start on Friday. But the Red Sox aren't ready to put the right-hander on the disabled.
Lackey sat out last season following elbow ligament-replacement surgery in November 2011. He struck out eight Toronto batters before leaving Saturday's game, which Boston lost 5-0.
QB Kevin Kolb officially signs with Buffalo Bills
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Quarterback Kevin Kolb (kahb) has officially signed his two-year contract with the Bills and begins pursuing his latest shot at an NFL starting job. The Bills announced the signing a little over a week after the sixth-year veteran agreed to a two-year contract potentially worth more than $12 million.
Kolb spent the past two seasons in Arizona, where injuries hampered his opportunity to prove himself as a starter. The Cardinals were left with little choice but to release Kolb last month in a move that came before they were set to pay him a $2 million roster bonus. The decision saved the team about $7 million in salary cap space.
In Buffalo, he gets the opportunity to compete for the starting job with Tarvaris Jackson, who was re-signed to a one-year contract in February. The Bills released Ryan Fitzpatrick last month.
Pardee remembered as football innovator
HOUSTON (AP) — Jack Pardee, one of Bear Bryant's "Junction Boys" at Texas A&M who went on to become an All-Pro linebacker and an NFL coach, is being remembered as an innovator, teacher, and loving father and husband.
Pardee died of cancer last Monday at 76. On Monday, he was memorialized at a service in Houston attended by hundreds of people, including former teammates, players and fellow coaches.
Joe Flacco to portray Johnny Unitas in movie
BALTIMORE (AP) — Joe Flacco as Johnny Unitas. The Ravens' quarterback says he'll play the part of Baltimore's greatest quarterback, former Colts star Johnny Unitas, in an upcoming movie entitled "Unitas We Stand."
The movie is being co-produced by Joe Unitas, the late quarterback's son. He tells WBAL-TV that Flacco will portray Unitas in scenes of the 1958 NFL championship game, in which Unitas led the Colts to victory over the New York Giants. The game at Yankee Stadium ended in sudden-death overtime and has been called the greatest NFL game ever played.
Flacco, who led the Ravens to a Super Bowl victory in February and was the game's MVP, said on Twitter that he's excited by the opportunity.
Filming is scheduled to start this summer.
Five games coming up tonight
UNDATED (AP) — One of five games on the ice has Carolina at Boston. This is the second of three meetings this season with the Bruins taking the first game, 5-3, at Raleigh in January. The Bruins try to bounce back from a tough loss to rival Montreal on Saturday as they face a struggling Hurricanes team. Boston won seven of its last eight home games and has the fewest home losses in the Eastern Conference with a 13-2-2 record. Carolina hasn't won a game yet in April and is in the midst of a four-game losing streak.
The other contests have the New York Rangers skating at Toronto, Colorado home to Calgary, Phoenix at Vancouver and Edmonton visiting Anaheim.