BC-AP Sports Digest

TOP STORIES BKC--NCAA-CALIPARI'S RETURN MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- John Calipari returns to the town where fans still hate him for ditching the Memphis Tigers for Kentucky in 2009, a decision all the more painful because the coach's best season was wiped off the books months after he left. By Teresa M. Walker. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 7 p.m. BKC--NCAA-MICHIGAN-OREGON KANSAS CITY, Mo.

Latest North Carolina and South Carolina sports

HORNETS-MAGIC Hornets rally in the fourth quarter for 109-102 win ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Kemba Walker scored 22 points and Marco Belinelli came off the bench to add 20 as the Charlotte Hornets pulled off a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat the Orlando Magic 109-102 on Wednesday night. Charlotte won its third straight game and keeps its Eastern Conference playoff hopes alive after entering the night three games out of eighth place in the standings.

Here is the latest Carolinas sports news from The Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Kemba Walker scored 22 points and Marco Belinelli came off the bench to add 20 as the Charlotte Hornets pulled off a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat the Orlando Magic 109-02 last night. Charlotte won its third straight game and keeps its Eastern Conference playoff hopes alive. CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- NASCAR has suspended the crew chiefs for Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick for violations at Phoenix Raceway.

Wednesday's Sports in Brief

WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Marcus Stroman took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, Ian Kinsler slugged a two-run homer and the United States routed Puerto Rico 8-0 to win its first World Baseball Classic in four tries. Stroman dominated the tournament's highest-scoring team. Puerto Rico lost for the first time in eight games after outscoring the opposition 55-26. The U.S.

BC-AP Sports Digest

The supervisor is Dennis Waszak, followed by Fred Lief at 9 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports Photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. AP stories and accompanying photos also can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com . For reruns, call the Service Desk (800 838-4616) or your local AP bureau. All times EDT.

Update on the latest sports

NCAA TOURNAMENT Sweet 16 starts today UNDATED (AP) -- March Madness resumes tonight with regional NCAA semifinals. In West Regional action, top-seeded Gonzaga takes on No. 4 West Virginia, while second-seeded Arizona faces No. 11 Xavier. In the Midwest Regional, Kansas faces Purdue and Oregon takes on Michigan.

BC-AP Sports Digest

The supervisor is Jake Seiner, followed by Fred Lief at 9 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports Photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. AP stories and accompanying photos also can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com For reruns, call the Service Desk (800 838-4616) or your local AP bureau. All times EDT.

Column: Larson finishes 2nd again, takes over points lead

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Kyle Larson finished second at Phoenix International Raceway and then headed to the beach for a brief family vacation. There was no lamenting his third consecutive runner-up finish because Larson is the current points leader of NASCAR's top series. His positioning atop the standings is almost as good as a trip to victory lane.

BC-AP Sports Digest

The supervisor is Fred Lief, followed by Simmi Buttar at 5 p.m. and Jake Seiner at 1 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports Photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. AP stories and accompanying photos also can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com For reruns, call the Service Desk (800 838-4616) or your local AP bureau. All times EDT.

Weekend Sports In Brief

MEN'S NCAA TOURNAMENT A scintillating Sunday of games jolted the men's NCAA Tournament to life like a triple shot of espresso. North Carolina, the South Region No. 1 seed, had the most frenetic finish, blowing a 17-point lead and then scoring the game's final 12 points to hold off Arkansas. South Carolina, the No. 7 seed in the East, had the biggest takedown, knocking off No.

BC-AP Sports Digest

The supervisor is Dennis Waszak, followed by Fred Lief at 9 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports Photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. AP stories and accompanying photos also can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com For reruns, call the Service Desk (800 838-4616) or your local AP bureau. All times EDT. TOP STORIES BKC--NCAA-BIG-JOLT SUNDAY SACRAMENTO, Calif.

All eyes on Max Verstappen as new F1 season gets underway

PARIS (AP) -- Max Verstappen no longer has the element of surprise, and all eyes will be on the Dutch driver when the Formula One season gets underway at the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday. The Red Bull driver has already made Formula One history as the youngest to win a race and the youngest to qualify on the front row of the grid.

Hamilton's F1 title bid might prove harder without Rosberg

PARIS (AP) -- Lewis Hamilton's bid to regain his Formula One title might actually prove harder without Nico Rosberg around. Rosberg retired days after becoming the 2016 world champion and finally getting the better of Hamilton, ending their acrimonious rivalry at Mercedes just as he got the upper hand.

Newman skips late pit stop, stuns NASCAR field in Phoenix

AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- A big gamble in the desert heat ended a long victory drought for Ryan Newman. When just about everybody else decided to take a tire-changing pit stop in the final few laps on Sunday, Newman figured he'd be going in with them. His crew chief Luke Lambert thought otherwise. It was a decision that earned Newman a victory in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, ending his 127-race winless streak.

BC-AP Sports Digest

The supervisor is Fred Lief, followed by Vin Cherwoo at 5 p.m. and Dennis Waszak Jr. at 1 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports Photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. AP stories and accompanying photos also can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com For reruns, call the Service Desk (800 838-4616) or your local AP bureau. All times EDT.

Allgaier holds on to win Xfinity, his 1st victory in 5 years

AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Justin Allgaier held on to the lead in a restart with four laps to go and won the NASCAR Xfinity race in scorching heat, his first victory in five years. Allgaier, who took four tires on his Kelley-Earnhardt-Miller Chevrolet in one of the late cautions, held off Ryan Blaney and Erik Jones.

Fresh generation of drivers emerging on NASCAR circuit

AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- The NASCAR kids keep coming on strong. Five of the highest-starting eight drivers in NASCAR's lineup for its Monster Energy Series race on Sunday are 26 or younger. Ryan Blaney, starting next to pole-sitter and teammate Joey Logano on the front row, is 23. Kyle Larson starts in the second row, and he's all of 24.

Pritchett goes for 3rd straight win at NHRA's Gatornationals

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Leah Pritchett has every reason to feel confident, just not content, heading into the Gatornationals this weekend. She won the first two NHRA Top Fuel races of the year, taking home trophies at Pomona and Phoenix last month. She was the top qualifier at both events and even set the national elapsed-time record at the Arizona Nationals by covering the 1,000-foot track in 3.658 seconds.