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Same series, different year: Penguins-Capitals meet again

The Washingon Times + 107 other

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - Like tourists flocking to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom, the Pittsburgh Penguins making a trip to Washington in the playoffs has become a rite of spring. The Penguins and Capitals will face off in the second round for the third consecutive year with the core groups changed only slightly from past battles. Back-to-back Stanley Cup-champion Pittsburgh still has playoff MVPs Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, and Washington still has stars Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom trying to make the Eastern Conference final for the first time. “We faced each other for a lot of games, and we should know each other right now inside out,” Backstrom said. “That’s just how it is. It’s usually tight series and one-goal games. We’re excited about this one.” It’s hard not to get the “Groundhog Day” feeling about these teams meeting for the fourth time in the past 10 years. The Penguins won the previous three series despite not having home-ice advantage, twice winning Game 7 in Washington on the way to capturing the Stanley Cup. But this year is different in many ways, most notably on the Pittsburgh injury front. Malkin and winger Carl Hagelin will miss Game 1 on Thursday night in Washington. Coach Mike Sullivan said Malkin will travel, making him a possibility to play in Game 2 this weekend after missing th…

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One-and-dones will be gone: Plan to overhaul NCAA hoops is unveiled

New York Post + 9 other

The commission offered harsh assessments of toothless NCAA enforcement, as well as the shady summer basketball circuit that includes AAU leagues and brings together agents, apparel companies and coaches looking to profit on teenage prodigies. It called the environment surrounding college basketball “a toxic mix of perverse incentives to cheat,” and said responsibility for the current mess goes all the way up to university presidents. The group recommended the NCAA have more involvement with players before they get to college and less involvement with enforcement. It also ack…

Capela scores 26; Rockets eliminate Wolves with 122-104 win

The Washingon Times + 1 other

HOUSTON (AP) - James Harden had another huge third quarter to propel the Houston Rockets to their latest win, and coach Mike D’Antoni wants to know what’s behind those scoring bursts. “When you do talk to him about it, would you let me know, because I’m dying in the first half. My health is an issue,” D’Antoni said with a laugh. Clint Capela had 26 points and 15 rebounds, Harden added 24 points and the Rockets pulled away in the third quarter to get another lopsided win and eliminate the Minnesota Timberwolves with a 122-104 victory in Game 5 of the first-ro…

Dozens of schools keep ties to coach accused of sexual abuse

The Washingon Times + 1 other

CHICAGO (AP) - Several dozen colleges have kept ties to an influential volleyball coach long after he was publicly accused of sexually abusing and raping underage girls who trained with him in the 1980s. The coach’s accusers, who have been pressing Michigan State University for months to sever all ties with Rick Butler, say all schools have a moral obligation to end their relationships with him. The campaign against Butler comes as Michigan State deals with questions about whether it could have done more to thwart Dr. Larry Nassar from abusing scores of young gymnasts over 20 years. In a…

Track’s New Gender Rules Could Exclude Some Female Athletes

The New York Times + 1 other

In an effort to address questions about fair play, track and field’s world governing body will publish regulations on Thursday that could force some elite female athletes with naturally elevated testosterone levels to lower the hormone with medication, compete against men in certain Olympic events or effectively give up their international careers. The rules, scheduled to take effect in November, will initially be enforced in middle distance races of 400 meters to one mile. These distances, which synthesize the need for speed, power and endurance, are events in which raised testosterone levels…

Walker remains glued to bench as Yankees await word on Austin

New York Post + 2 other

Boone looked even smarter for the decision as Austin hit a big three-run homer in the Yankees’ 7-4 win over the Twins on Wednesday night. The Bombers finish their series with the Twins Thursday and then head west for series with the Angels, starting Friday, and then on to Houston. They play seven straight days on the trip without a scheduled off-day. So the Yankees want to keep Walker fresh. “I like the matchup with Tyler as well, but I just felt not knowing the suspension situation — let’s say it came down [Thursday] for example,” Boone said. “Then all of a sudden I got [Walker]…

Former substitute teacher bests Kershaw, Marlins top Dodgers

The Washingon Times + 1 other

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Trevor Richards has worked as a substitute teacher and in a brewery, just trying to make ends meet while he chased a major league career. He outworked three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday night, and it seems his days of offseason odd jobs to help pay rent might be behind him. Richards outpitched Clayton Kershaw just months removed from working as a substitute elementary school teacher, and the Marlins took advantage of a wild outing from the Dodgers’ ace to beat Los Angeles 8-6 on Wednesday night. Richards struck out 10 and pitched one-hit bal…

Didi goes deep again, Austin powers Yankees past Twins 7-4

The Washingon Times + 1 other

NEW YORK (AP) - Didi Gregorius homered for the fourth straight game and added two RBIs to his major league-leading total, sending the New York Yankees past the Minnesota Twins 7-4 in a hazy fog Wednesday night for their fifth consecutive victory. Tyler Austin hit a three-run shot and made a sparkling defensive play at first base to stop a Twins rally. With a fine effort from the bullpen, New York handed Minnesota its sixth defeat in a row - the team’s longest skid since a seven-game slide in September 2016. Slumping slugger Miguel Sano launched an early two-run homer for the Twins, who l…

14 ACC players who could break out during fall camp

The Washingon Times + 1 other

A look at football players in the Atlantic Coast Conference this spring who are poised to break out this fall: ATLANTIC DIVISION BOSTON COLLEGE ELIJAH ROBINSON, WR, Sr. - Robinson had two long catches during the spring game - including a 44-yard touchdown. After being converted from quarterback, the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder had problems with drops as a freshman but could find a spot in the receiving corps this year. CLEMSON TREVOR LAWRENCE, QB, Fr. - Lawrence should seemingly wait his time on the bench behind returning starter in senior to be Kelly Bryant. Instead, Clemson fans have swooned over…

Reuben Foster’s accuser recants domestic violence accusations

New York Post + 1 other

Prosecutors said earlier this month Foster attacked his girlfriend in February at their Los Gatos home, leaving her bruised and with an injured eardrum. The 28-year-old woman told responding officers that Foster dragged her by her hair, physically threw her out of the house, and punched her in the head eight to 10 times. Foster was also charged with felony possession of an assault weapon after officers found a Sig Sauer 516 short-barreled rifle in his home while investigating his girlfriend’s domestic violence report. If convicted on all charges, He faces up to 11 years in pris…