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BOSTON COMPLETES A 6-0 SEASON SWEEP OF THE THREE TEXAS TEAMS
The Celtics defeated the Mavericks on Thursday night, culminating a sweep of their six games against Dallas, San Antonio and Houston this season. It was the 13th time that a team went 6-0 in one season against the Texas Triangle, but the first time since Milwaukee did it in the 1999-00 season. Boston has accounted for five of those 13 season sweeps, also doing it in 1980-81, 1982-83, 1984-85 and 1986-87.
THREE CELTICS SCORE 20+ POINTS FOR THIRD STRAIGHT GAME
For the third straight game three different Celtics scored at least 20 points: Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett did it on Monday in San Antonio; Leon Powe, Pierce and Garnett did it on Tuesday in Houston and Ray Allen, Pierce and Garnett turned that hat trick on Thursday night in Dallas. It's the first time since April 1989 that Boston had three players each score 20-or-more points in three consecutive games.
THE LAST OF THE INTERCONFERENCE GAMES FOR THIS REGULAR SEASON
The Senators beat the Blues, 3-2, in Ottawa on Thursday night in the last interconference game on the NHL schedule this season. Starting Friday, all 113 games over the final 17 days of the season be will be intraconference games. In fact, all but one of those games will be intradivision games. The only game between teams from different divisions will be on April 2 when the Bruins play the Devils in New Jersey.
PRICE IMPROVES TO 4-0-0 VS. BOSTON THIS SEASON
Montreal rookie Carey Price made 34 saves in his 4-2 win in Boston on Thursday night. Price is 4-0-0 in four games against the Bruins this season. He's the first rookie goaltender to win four consecutive games against the Bruins in one season since the Canadiens' Rick Wamsley was 4-0-0 in four games versus Boston in 1981-82.
THREE DEFENSEMEN SCORE FOR THE RED WINGS
Defensemen Niklas Kronwall, Chris Chelios and Brian Rafalski each scored a goal for the Red Wings in their 6-3 win at Nashville. It was the first time that Detroit had goals from three different defensemen in one game since Nov. 28, 2005, when Chelios, Nicklas Lidstrom and Mathieu Schneider each scored a goal for the Wings in a 5-2 win at Los Angeles.
SMITH'S SIXTH LOSS SINCE JOINING TAMPA BAY
Mike Smith has a respectable 2.57 goalsaagainst average in the nine games he's played since he was traded by Dallas to Tampa Bay last month, but Smith's 4-2 loss in Pittsburgh on Thursday dropped his record with the Lightning to 3-6-0. Smith's six losses since February 27 (the day he debuted for Tampa Bay) tie him for the NHL high over that span with his former goaltending partner with the Stars, Marty Turco (2-6-0).
NCAA Men's Basketball
DUKE'S FIRST TOURNEY WIN BY ONE POINT SINCE LAETTNER'S BUZZER BEATER
Duke's 71-70 victory over Belmont was its first NCAA tournament victory by one point since Christian Laettner's game-winning basket gave the Blue Devils a 104-103 overtime win over Kentucky in the Regional Finals in 1992.
Duke became the first team in 11 years to escape with a one-point win against a team seeded 15th or 16th. Texas beat 15th-seeded Coppin State in the Round of 32 by an 82-81 score in 1997.
Belmont was seeking its first-ever NCAA Tournament win. Duke is now 15-0 in the tournament against teams that have never won a tournament game, but its average margin of victory in the previous 14 games was 24 points.
UCLA'S LARGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY SINCE 1967
UCLA defeated Mississippi Valley State 70-29. That 41-point margin of victory was the second-largest for the Bruins in their history in an NCAA tournament game. UCLA beat Wyoming 109-60 in 1967, with Lew Alcindor scoring a game-high 29 points.
BEASLEY AND MAYO EACH SCORE 20+ POINTS IN THEIR TOURNAMENT DEBUTS
Michael Beasley scored 23 points and O.J. Mayo had 20 in Kansas State's win over USC. Over the last 10 years, there was only one other game in which a pair of freshmen on opposing teams both scored at least 20 points in their NCAA Tournament debut: Tim Smith of East Tennessee State (22) vs. Eric Williams of Wake Forest (20) in 2003.
Beasley also had 11 rebounds. The last freshman with a 20/10 (points/rebounds) game in his NCAA tournament debut was Torin Francis (23/14) for Notre Dame against Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2003.
KENTUCKY IS "ONE-AND-DONE" FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1987
Kentucky's loss to Marquette ended the Wildcats streak of 17 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances with at least one victory, which was the longest current streak in the country. Kentucky's last loss in the first round came in 1987 to Ohio State. The longest current streak of consecutive wins in the opening round now belongs to Connecticut, which enters Friday's game against San Diego with a win in 14 straight tournament openers (1990 to present).
JERRELLS IS FIRST PLAYER SINCE D-WADE WITH 27 POINTS AND EIGHT ASSISTS
Curtis Jerrells scored 27 points and had eight assists in Baylor's loss to Purdue. He's the first player with at least 27 points and eight assists in an NCAA tournament game since Dwyane Wade had 29 and 11 for Marquette in an Elite Eight win over Kentucky on March 29, 2003.
MARQUETTE'S SIXTH WIN AGAINST KENTUCKY
Marquette's win was its sixth victory over Kentucky in the tournament, tying the record for most victories by one school over another in the history of the NCAA tournament. Kentucky has six wins against Utah.
CRAWFORD'S 35 POINTS ARE A KENTUCKY RECORD IN AN NCAA TOURNEY LOSS
Joe Crawford scored 35 points for Kentucky, the most points by any player in school history in a NCAA tournament loss.
WASHINGTON STATE CRUISES TO WIN AFTER A HALFTIME TIE
Winthrop and Washington State were tied at the half, 29-29, but the Cougars won easily, 71-40. It's the first game in NCAA tournament history that was decided by at least 25 points after being tied at halftime.
XAVIER RALLIES TO BEAT GEORGIA
Xavier trailed Georgia 35-26 at the half, but rallied to win, 73-61. It was the first NCAA tournament game in eight years in which a team recovered from a halftime deficit of at least nine points to win by 12-or-more points. That last happened in the Sweet Sixteen in 2000, when Michigan State was down by 10 points against Syracuse after 20 minutes, but came back to win, 75-58.
CHRISTMAS SHOOTS 1-FOR-12 FROM THE FIELD
Temple's Dionte Christmas was 1-for-12 (.083) from the field in the Owls' loss to Michigan State. In the last six years only one player had a lower field-goal percentage (min: 10 FGA) in an NCAA tournament game: On March 17, 2005, LSU's Darrell Mitchell was 1-for-14 (.071) in a loss to the University of Alabama-Birmingham.
NINE STRAIGHT LOSSES FOR DUNPHY
For head coach Fran Dunphy it was a case of new school, same result. With Thursday's loss to Michigan State, Dunphy is now 0-1 as Temple's head coach in the NCAA tournament after he lost his last eight tournament games at Penn. His nine consecutive defeats are a record for a head coach. Three coaches are next-worst with seven straight losses in the tournament: Danny Nee (1983-1998), Mike Vining (1982-1996) and Don Corbett (1982-1988).
KENT STATE SCORES 10 POINTS IN THE FIRST HALF
UNLV led Kent State 31-10 at the half on the way to a 71-58 victory. It was the seventh time in the history of the NCAA tournament, and only the third time since the introduction of the shot clock in 1986, that a team scored 10-or-fewer points in a half. The two prior instances in the shot-clock era occurred on the same day: on March 16, 2001, Alabama State (vs. Michigan State in the second half) and Wake Forest (vs. Butler in the first half) were both held to 10 points in a half.
20 YEARS LATER, ANOTHER RESOUNDING LOSS FOR CORNELL
Stanford beat Cornell 77-53, the largest margin of defeat for an Ivy League school in an NCAA tournament game in 20 years, since Cornell lost by 40 points to Arizona in the first round in 1988. In the 19 years between those two performances by the Big Red, from 1989 through 2007, either Penn or Princeton represented the Ivy League in the tournament every year.