Thursday's Sports In Brief
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Trevon Bluiett scored 25 points, Sean O'Mara scored inside with 40 seconds left and No. 11 seed Xavier upset No. 2 Arizona 73-71 in the West Region.
Xavier (30-13) stayed with the second-seeded Wildcats behind Bluiett's 18 first-half points and tracked down the Wildcats after they tried to pull away in the second half. O'Mara scored on a power move inside, but missed a free throw to give Arizona (32-5) a final chance.
Allonzo Trier missed a 3-pointer in the closing seconds and Xavier was able to dribble out the clock, earning its first trip to the Elite Eight since 2008.
The Musketeers held Arizona scoreless over the final 2:52 to earn a sport in the West final against No. 1 seed Gonzaga on Saturday.
Trier scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half and Dusan Ristic had 17 for Arizona.
In other NCAA Tournament games, Oregon held on to beat Michigan 69-68; Gonzaga edged West Virginia 61-58; and Kansas routed Purdue 98-66.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The NCAA will start deciding on locations for its upcoming championships next week and has indicated it will leave North Carolina out of that process if the state hasn't changed a law that limits LGBT rights by that time.
In a statement exactly one year to the day after the law was passed, the sports organization said its committees will begin picking championship sites for 2018-22 and will announce those decisions April 18. The statement also noted that ''once the sites are selected by the committee, those decisions are final.''
The NCAA stated its position has not changed since last fall, when it pulled seven championship events from the state because of the law known as HB2.
The law requires transgender people to use restrooms at schools and government buildings corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates. It also excludes gender identity and sexual orientation from local and statewide antidiscrimination protections.
WASHINGTON (AP) - John Thompson III was fired as Georgetown's basketball coach Thursday after two consecutive losing seasons at the school his father led to a national championship.
Thompson said in a statement released by agent David Falk that he was ''honored'' to have been the Hoyas' coach and proud of what his players have ''accomplished on the court and how they are thriving since leaving Georgetown.'' School president John DeGioia told Thompson on Thursday he would not be brought back next year at a basketball program strongly associated with his last name.
Thompson, known as ''JT3,'' was Georgetown's head coach for 13 seasons, including a run to the Final Four in 2007 with future NBA players Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert on the roster. But he went a combined 29-36 the past two years, with some of those defeats punctuated by crowd chants of ''Fire Thompson!''
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The NCAA is standing by its allegations against the Louisville men's basketball program and Rick Pitino, saying the coach failed to notice ''red flags'' in activities by a former staffer who an escort says hired dancers for sex parties with recruits and players.
''If Pitino saw no red flags in connection with (Andre) McGee's interactions with then prospective and current student-athletes,'' the NCAA wrote, ''it was because he was not looking for them.''
The next step is a hearing before the NCAA's Committee on Infractions, but no date was set in the governing body's response that was sent to the school last Friday. The NCAA's response included what it described as aggravating factors that led to its conclusions, along with a detailed picture of its investigation that include an excerpt of an interview with Pitino.
BOSTON (AP) - Tom Brady's stolen Super Bowl jerseys are back with the New England Patriots.
The jerseys worn by Brady during this year's Super Bowl and the 2015 Super Bowl were returned to Gillette Stadium Thursday, the FBI announced.
Brady's 2017 jersey went missing from the Patriots' locker room after the team's win over the Atlanta Falcons on Feb. 5, touching off an investigation stretching from Boston to the Mexican border.
Mexican authorities searched the property of Mexican media executive Martin Mauricio Ortega, where they found the jersey, along with a Brady jersey that disappeared after the 2015 Super Bowl. A Denver Broncos helmet also was found.
Ortega has not been charged in the case and has not commented. An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment on the investigation.
In a statement Thursday, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he looks forward to giving the jerseys to Brady when he returns to New England.
NEW YORK (AP) - NFL owners will consider proposals next week to cut regular-season overtime from 15 minutes to 10; eliminate players leaping over the line on kick plays; and expansion of coaches' challenges and what can be reviewed by officials.
In what promises to be a busy annual meeting next week in Phoenix that will include discussing the Raiders' potential relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas, the 32 owners also will vote on changing the mechanics on replay reviews and other items intended to reduce downtime during games.
The Eagles proposed four rules changes, including abolishing the leaping techniques that league football operations director Troy Vincent said ''don't belong in the game.''
Seattle and Buffalo co-authored a proposal allowing a coach to challenge any officiating decision, whether a foul is called or not.
Another major change would be the reduction of overtime in-season; the extra period in the playoffs would remain at 15 minutes.
The NHL may be nearing a deadline to decide whether to allow the world's best hockey players to participate in the Winter Olympics next year in South Korea.
''I hope we can find a compromise in the next two or three weeks,'' International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Russia. ''We need to know by the end of April if they're coming, or not.''
Fasel said leaders of national teams, including those in Canada and Russia, have recently told him they need to know next month if it is time for them to assemble their Plan B rosters. The IIHF is the game's international governing body and runs hockey tournaments, including those at the Olympics.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has made it clear league owners don't want to stop their season for three weeks again and put their stars at risk of injury without what they consider a tangible return. The reluctance has come up in the past and yet the NHL has participated in every Winter Olympics since 1998. Four years ago, the discussions weren't settled until midsummer 2013 ahead of the Sochi Games.
This time, however, there seems to be an impasse.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Alex Ovechkin is the first NHL player to lace up custom-painted skates, though in a sport that discourages freedom of expression he may not turn out to be much of a trendsetter.
The Washington Capitals superstar celebrated the team's Russian Heritage Night Thursday with skates bearing Moscow's St. Basil's Cathedral, the U.S. Capitol and Russian and American flags. He could only wear them for pregame warmups after receiving special permission from the NHL.
''Obviously I want to play with them, but the league said no,'' Ovechkin said. ''I think they're sick. They're pretty cool. It's something new. Nobody done it before. It's nice to be first guy.''
Ovechkin is following football players, who have embraced custom cleats for everything from breast cancer awareness to Odell Beckham Jr.'s tribute to late basketball broadcaster Craig Sager . The NFL fines players for wearing unapproved cleats, but also instituted a ''My Cause My Cleats'' week where players were encouraged to express themselves with their footwear.