Obama makes picks
President Barack Obama is picking Michigan State to win the NCAA men’s basketball championship over defending champion Louisville. In what has become an annual March Madness tradition at the White House, Obama filled out a bracket in a segment broadcast on ESPN.
Florida and Arizona rounded out Obama’s Final Four picks. But he said the talents of Michigan State coach Tom Izzo made him pick the Spartans to go all the way.
Obama said he knows his picks aren’t imaginative but expressed hope they’d help him win his pool this year. He noted that he hasn’t had a lot of luck with his picks in the past. Last year Obama correctly picked Louisville to play in the championship game, but wrongly said the Cardinals would lose to Indiana.
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• SMU 68, UC Irvine 54: Cannen Cunningham scored 17 points to lead SMU (24-9) over UC-Irvine (23-12) in the first round of the NIT and give Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown his first college postseason victory in 26 years. Ben Moore added 11 points in the Mustangs’ first NIT appearance since 2000. Nick Russell chipped in 10. In the second round, SMU will face LSU, which beat San Francisco 71-63.
• Louisiana Tech 89, Iona 88: Kenneth “Speedy” Smith put back a rebound with 2.2 seconds left to give the Bulldogs (28-7) a victory against the Gaels (22-11) in the first round. Louisiana Tech had six players in double figures led by Jaron Johnson’s 15 points. Smith added 14.
• Georgia 63, Vermont 56: Charles Mann scored a career-high 29 points, including a three-point play with 2:25 remaining that gave Georgia the lead, and the Bulldogs (20-13) beat Vermont (22-11).
• Illinois 66, Boston University 62: Rayvonte Rice scored seven consecutive points late in the game and finished with 28, rallying visiting Illinois (20-14) past Boston University (24-11) in a first-round game.
• Southern Miss 66, Toledo 59: Michael Craig scored 16 points, Neil Watson added 12 and Southern Mississippi (28-6) rallied to beat Toledo (27-7) in a first-round game.
• Texas A&M 59, Wyoming 43: Kourtney Robertson scored 14 points, and Antwan Space and Fabyon Harris each added 11 as the Aggies (18-15) advanced to the quarterfinals of the College Basketball Invitational with a victory over Wyoming (18-15) at Reed Arena.
The TCU men’s and women’s track and field teams will open the outdoor season today and Friday at TCU’s Lowdon Track and Field Complex.
Along with TCU, teams from Kansas State, Baylor, UT Arlington, North Texas and Texas State and the women’s team from SMU will complete in the event.
Competition starts at noon today with the discus, followed by the hammer throw. The remainder of the field events are Friday, starting with the javelin at 9:30 a.m. Running events start at 1 p.m. Friday.
Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children/students ages 3-17. The TCU High School Invitational is Saturday.
• TCU baseball: Coach Jim Schlossnagle’s Talkin’ TCU Baseball radio show will air live from 6-7 p.m. Thursday at The Woodshed Smokehouse. The show can be heard on KTCU/88.7 FM. — Stefan Stevenson
• Florida State football: Coach Jimbo Fisher said quarterback Jameis Winston will miss just one practice and be available for all other spring football activities. The Heisman winner is the closer on the baseball team ranked No. 2 in the country by Baseball America. The Seminoles have a weekend series at Georgia Tech starting April 11, but Fisher said Winston will be at the Spring Game on April 12. The Seminoles quarterback will miss Saturday’s practice because he’ll be returning from Clemson.
• Notre Dame women’s soccer: The Irish hired Dartmouth’s women’s soccer coach Theresa Romagnolo to replace Randy Waldrum, who left to become coach of the expansion Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League. Romagnolo posted a 25-22-3 in her three years at Dartmouth.