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CHARLOTTE — The Hawks appear headed to the postseason, whiile the Hornets are in need of wins to keep their playoff hopes alive. Charlotte enters the game 3 1/2 games back of eighth place Detroit in the East. By Sports Writer Steve Reed. UPCOMING: 600 words, AP photos. Game starts at 7 p.m.
UNDATED — It’s on to the weekend that many consider the defining mark of a season. Reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament and a season is a success. Two wins from the Final Four and all the weekday games are in prime time. “I just told everybody, just wait,” Michigan’s John Beilein, one of three coaches taking a Big Ten team to the round of 16, said of the conference’s early struggles. “The level of coaching in this league, the resources in this league, the level of talent in this league, it will come to the top at the end of the year.” By Basketball Writer Jim O’Connell. SENT: 960 words, AP Photos INMC120, SCCB137, SCA150, INJR142, OKSO136.
UNDATED — The NCAA Tournament needed a jolt after three so-so days of little drama and few big upsets. A scintillating Sunday of games should kick-start the tournament heading into the Sweet 16. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. SENT: 750 words.
GREENVILLE, S.C. — The NCAA Tournament bracket has a different look after top overall seed Villanova’s loss along with the Atlantic Coast Conference’s opening-weekend flameout. No. 1 seeds Gonzaga, Kansas and North Carolina headline a field that still has 12 of the top 16 seeds, while No. 7 seeds Michigan and South Carolina along with 8-seed Wisconsin are looking for more upsets. By Basketball Writer Aaron Beard. UPCOMING: 780 words and photos by 3 p.m.
UNDATED — Duke is facing its annual list of offseason questions — who stays, who goes — much earlier than anyone expected. The Blue Devils started the season as a favorite to win its sixth national title but instead failed to make it out of the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. By Sports Writer Joedy McCreary. SENT: 580 words, AP Photos SCCB151, SCCB135, SCCB134.
DURHAM — Duke looks to return to the Sweet 16 when the second-seeded Blue Devils play No. 10 seed Oregon in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Third-seeded Maryland awaits the winner next weekend. By Sports Writer Joedy McCreary. UPCOMING: 600 words, AP photos from 6:30 p.m. start.
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