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Michigan head coach John Beilein speaks during a news conference at the NCAA men's college basketball tournament, Wednesday, March 21, 2018, in Los Angeles. Michigan faces Texas A&M in a regional semifinal on Thursday. (Mark J. Terrill / AP)

Elite defense enables Michigan to win ugly

UPDATED: Wed., March 21, 2018, 9:23 p.m.

When Jordan Poole’s long 3-pointer dropped through the net for Michigan, a whole lot of unsightly shooting beforehand was forgotten.

Gonzaga tangles with athletic Florida State in Sweet 16 showdown

UPDATED: Wed., March 21, 2018, 6:24 p.m.

Gonzaga has seen just about everything possible on the basketball court during coach Mark Few’s tenure. However, Florida State, Thursday’s challenger in the Sweet 16 at the Staples Center, qualifies as unique in one regard.
Louisville head coach David Padgett watches his team play during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Virginia in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament Thursday, March 8, 2018, in New York. (Frank Franklin II / Associated Press)

Louisville parts ways with David Padgett, begins search for coach

Louisville has let David Padgett go after one season as the Cardinals’ interim men’s basketball coach. Padgett went 22-14 after being elevated from second-year Louisville assistant last fall. He replaced Rick Pitino after the school placed the Hall of Fame coach on unpaid administrative leave following its acknowledgement that it was being investigated in a federal corruption probe of college basketball.
Italy’s Carolina Kostner acknowledges the applause at the end of her performance during women’s short program at the Figure Skating World Championships in Assago, near Milan, Wednesday, March 21, 2018. (Antonio Calanni / Associated Press)

Italy’s Carolina Kostner leads Olympic champ Alina Zagitova at worlds

UPDATED: Wed., March 21, 2018, 10:20 p.m.

Italy’s home favorite Carolina Kostner skated a perfectly executed and evocative program to take a surprise lead over Olympic champion Alina Zagitova of Russia in the short program Wednesday at the world figure skating championships. In the pairs, Olympic champions Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot scored a personal best with a crowd-pleasing routine to take the lead in a very tight field.
Naomi Osaka, right, of Japan, shakes hands with Serena Williams after winning their match at the Miami Open tennis tournament, Wednesday, March 21, 2018, in Key Biscayne, Fla. Osaka won 6-3, 6-2. (Lynne Sladky / Associated Press)

Serena Williams loses in 1st round at Miami Open to Naomi Osaka

UPDATED: Wed., March 21, 2018, 5:03 p.m.

Serena Williams lost in the first round of the Miami Open, still rusty in her comeback from pregnancy and unable to overcome a tough draw against Naomi Osaka, who won 6-3, 6-2. The 20-year-old Osaka, who earned her first career title Sunday at Indian Wells, showed no signs of letup and overpowered the erratic Williams.
Florida State guard Braian Angola works from the free-throw line during practice Wednesday  at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Nigel Williams-Goss keeps close eye on Gonzaga, former prep teammate Braian Angola

UPDATED: Wed., March 21, 2018, 5:22 p.m.

Former Zag Nigel Williams-Goss is 6,420 miles from here but he feels connected to Thursday’s Gonzaga-Florida State matchup at the Staples Center. Williams-Goss, who is in his first professional season with KK Partizan in Belgrade, Serbia, keeps a close eye on the Zags, one year removed from helping the team reach the national title game.
The Press Box, with Larry Weir