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Joey Logano Wins Pole at Martinsville Speedway

Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR(MARTINSVILLE, Va.) -- Joey Logano edged out Ryan Newman on Friday to win the pole at Martinsville Speedway for Sunday's Sprint Cup race.

Logano finished with a third round lap of 98.461 mph and took home his second pole of the season and tenth in his career.

"You win anything at Martinsville, it's a big deal," said Logano, who already won the Daytona 500 this year.  "Nothing but good things happen from starting first."

Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Martinsville for the first time in his career last October.

"We head to Martinsville," Earnhardt said on the "Dale Jr. Download" on Dirty Mo Radio this week. "We want to try to go down there and win another clock. I think we've got plenty of places we can put one around here so looking forward to this week." 

Both Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson have eight career victories at one of NASCAR's smallest race tracks.

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Winslow Leads Duke Past Utah, Takes on Gonzaga in Elite Eight

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- The Duke Blue Devils (32-4) are headed back to another Elite Eight round after taking care of fifth-seeded Utah (26-9) 63-57 on Friday night.

Justise Winslow had 21 points and 10 rebounds in the win and head coach Mike Krzyzewski was proud of the entire team.

"This has been one of my favorite groups. They've been easy to coach and they really get along. There's only a good attitude, only a good attitude and a willingness to learn," Krzyzewski said. "Sometimes freshmen don't learn that until they're older. But these guys knew it from the beginning. That's why they've had a special year."

Duke will playing in their 20th regional final and 14th under Krzyzewski and will take on second-seeded Gonzaga on Sunday.

"He played phenomenal. He was outstanding. He was the best player on the floor," Duke center Jahlil Okafor said of Winslow's performance. "Maybe because he's in Houston or maybe because he's 19 now. It was fun to watch."

Utes guard Brandon Taylor scored 15 and forward Dallin Bachynski added 11 in the loss.

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Michigan State Beats Oklahoma, Back in Elite Eight

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) -- Tom Izzo has done it again.  Michigan State (26-11) is back in the Elite Eight for the second consecutive year after beating third-seeded Oklahoma (24-11) 62-58 on Friday night.

The seventh-seeded Spartans have won their last 11 of 14 games and can thank junior guard Denzel Valentine for guiding them past the Sooners with his 18-point effort.

"The first half, I felt like that was my first time playing basketball," Valentine said, who scored 13 in the second half. "But I just kind of snapped out of it. I was like, `I'm in Sweet 16, and we've got a chance to go to the Final 4. I'm a junior, what the heck.' I just smacked the ground and I woke up I guess."

Izzo will take on a familiar face in Rick Pitino and the fourth-seeded Louisville Cardinal in the East final on Sunday.

"I get to work another day. I can't tell you how excited that makes me," Izzo said. "I'm just tickled to death to still be playing."

It was a great season for the Lon Kruger led Sooners, who were seeking their first trip to an Elite Eight matchup since 2009.

"Their defense definitely bothered us in the long run," Oklahoma forward TaShawn Thomas said. "They're tough. They got stops when they needed to and we didn't."

Thomas finished with 16 points in the loss.  Sooners guard Buddy Hield added 21.

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Shaq "Sometimes" Regrets Leaving Magic

ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Shaquille O'Neal was inducted into the Orlando Magic's Hall of Fame Friday.

O'Neal was selected with the first pick of the 1992 NBA Draft by the Magic and played his first four seasons in Orlando. During that time, he led the Magic to a berth in the 1995 NBA Finals.

Shaq ultimately decided to leave Orlando for the bright lights of Los Angeles. While he won three titles with the Lakers, he still wonders if he should have ever left the home of Mickey Mouse.

"Do I regret it? I never fully answer it," O'Neal said of leaving Orlando. "I regret it sometimes. Is this where I started and should have stayed? I actually wish they made it a law that whoever drafts you, you gotta stay there your whole career."

O'Neal also believes that 1995 Finals team, which also featured Penny Hardaway and Nick Anderson, could have returned to the NBA's biggest stage.

"That's why I kind of regret it, because we had a young, fabulous team," O'Neal said. "We really did. And it's a shame that we got torn apart. But I think about that all the time. I try not to live my life now on 'ifs' or 'would've, should've,' but do I regret leaving here in '96, yes I do."

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Verlander Leaves Game with Triceps Injury

Robert Rogers/MLB Photos via Getty Images (DUNEDIN, Fla.) -- Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander left his spring training start against the Toronto Blue Jays Friday, with cramping in his right triceps.

Despite leaving the game in the third inning, the former American League MVP doesn't seem too concerned about the injury. He cites not drinking enough water and a tweak in his mechanics as being possible reasons for the cramping.

"I don't think I'm injured," Verlander said. "The only concern I have is if it would linger. Just felt crampy."

Verlander pitched 2 2/3 innings of one-hit ball before exiting.

"Not overly concerned," Tigers skipper Brad Ausmus said. "He said it felt like more of a cramp than a strain. It doesn't mean we're out of the woods. It's not as concerning of an area."

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Rozier Leads Louisville Past NC State, Into Elite 8

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) -- Terry Rozier had 17 points and 14 rebounds to help No. 4 Louisville down No. 8 North Carolina State 75-65 in the East Regional semifinals of the Men's NCAA Tournament, Friday.

Louisville and NC State traded punches throughout the game. After a Ralston Turner 3-pointer put the Wolfpack down one with 4:35 remaining in the game, the Cardinals went on a 9-0 run. NC State could never recover as Louisville heads to the Elite 8 for the third time in four years.

Montrezl Harrell had 24 points for the Cardinals (27-8) in the win.

Trevor Lacey put up 18 points for NC State (22-14) in the loss.

Louisville advances to take on Michigan State on Sunday.

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Gonzaga Stomps Over UCLA and into Elite 8

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- Przemek Karnowski had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead No. 2 Gonzaga to its first Elite 8 appearance since 1999 by beating No. 11 UCLA 74-62 in the Men's NCAA Tournament, Friday.

Gonzaga (35-2) was dominant, never trailing after the 17:14 mark of the first half.

UCLA (22-14) went on a 6-0 run to open the second half and cut the Zags lead to one, but the Bulldogs countered by scoring 12 straight points, blowing the game open for good.

The win marks the first time Gonzaga head coach Mark Few has reached the round of eight. He took over the team the year after it last made the regional final.

Tony Parker had 16 points and 11 rebounds for UCLA in the loss.

Gonzaga will take on Duke Sunday with the winner headed to the Final Four.

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Scoreboard Roundup - 3/27/15

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NCAA Sweet 16:  (1) Duke 63 (32-4) - (5) Utah 57 (26-9)

(2) Gonzaga 74 (35-2) - (11) UCLA 62 (22-14)

(4) Louisville 75 (27-8) - (8) North Carolina State 65 (22-14)

(7) Michigan St. 62 (26-11) - (3) Oklahoma 58 (24-11)

 NBA: Detroit Pistons 111 (28-44) - Orlando Magic 97 (22-52)

Los Angeles Clippers 119 (48-25) - 76ers 98 (18-55)

Atlanta Hawks 99 (55-17) - Miami Heat 86 (33-39)

Toronto Raptors 94 (42-30) - Los Angeles Lakers 83 (19-51)

Brooklyne Nets 106 (47-26) - Cleveland Cavaliers 98 (30-40)

Boston Celtics 96 (32-40) - New York Knicks 92 (14-59)

New Orleans Pelicans 102 (38-34) - Sacramento Kings 88 (26-46)

Washington Wizards 110 (41-32) - Charlotte Hornets 107 (30-41) (F/2OT)

Golden State Warriors 107 (59-13) - Vancouver Grizzlies 84 (50-23)

Houston Rockets 120 (49-23) - Minnesota Timberwolves 110 (16-56)

San Antonio Spurs 94 (45-26)  - Dallas Mavericks 76 (45-27)

Denver Nuggets 107 (28-45) - Utah Jazz 91 (31-41)

Portland Trail Blazers 87 (45-25) - Phoenix Suns 81 (38-34)

NHL: Minnesota Wild 4 (43-25-7, 93 pts) - Calgary Flames 2 (40-28-7, 87 pts)

Columbus Blue Jackets 5 (35-35-4, 74 pts) - Chicago Blackhawks 2 (44-24-6, 94 pts)

Edmonton Oilers 4 (22-40-13, 57 pts) - Dallas Stars 0 (36-29-10, 82 pts) 

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Kevin Durant to Miss Rest of Season

Oklahoma City Thunder/NBA(NEW YORK) --  Kevin Durant will have bone graft surgery on his right foot and miss the remainder of the season, Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti announced Friday.

Durant will have the procedure early next week and is expected to return to basketball activities in the next four to six months.

The news comes a week after Presti announced that Durant been "removed from basketball activities" and said he could be shut down.

Durant underwent surgery Feb. 23 to attempt to alleviate soreness and discomfort in his right foot that was being caused by a screw inserted in October during a procedure to repair a Jones fracture. After the second procedure, Durant was re-evaluated after a week, then re-evaluated again after another week, at which point coach Scott Brooks updated the player's timetable to a "week or two."

Durant had intensified his on-court workouts before being removed from basketball activities last week, even returning to participate in parts of practice, including some 3-on-3. But the soreness that plagued him before the All-Star break and pushed him toward the second surgery was not resolved.

The reigning league MVP, Durant averaged 25.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 27 games this season.

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Volunteers Fire Donnie Tyndall

G Fiume/Getty Images(KNOXVILLE, Tn.) -- After one season on the job, Donnie Tyndall has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers men's basketball team.

The university fired Tyndall Friday after they learned of his unethical behavior while coach at Southern Mississippi from an NCAA investigation. 

"I apologize to my players, assistant coaches, and the entire UT community that past occurrences led to today's result.," Tyndall said in a statement. "I have truly loved my time at Tennessee and appreciated the effort of our players and staff."

The statement acknowledged that Tyndall is "highly likely" to have committed Level I and Level II infractions against NCAA rules. Tyndall will be accused by the NCAA under the new coach control policy, of financial and academic violations, according to ESPN's Andy Katz.

The Volunteers will now be seeking their fourth head coach in four seasons for their men's basketball team.

 

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