Staley: South Carolina's Gray will play in Sweet 16

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina has dodged what could have been another major blow to its championship hopes as the banged-up Gamecocks have learned that injured guard Allisha Gray will be able to play in the Sweet 16. It was good news for the Gamecocks, as the situation looked anything but positive a few days ago.

Feeling the love: Men's hoops squad toast of South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Sindarius Thornwell knew South Carolina fans would be excited about the team's Sweet 16 appearance. The response since he has been on campus, though, surprised even him. As Thornwell walked to the student union after class, he couldn't take more than a couple of steps without students swarming him for selfies or asking for some tidbit about the win against Duke on Sunday.

Update on the latest in sports:

BASEBALL-SPRING TRAINING-WBC As regular season beckons, competition for jobs intensifies in Major League Baseball UNDATED (AP) --New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius has a bruised right shoulder, ending his time at the World Baseball Classic and leaving his status for opening day in doubt. Yankees manager Joe Girardi didn't put on a timetable on a return, only saying, "He's going to be sidelined for a bit.

Update on the latest in sports:

NCAA TOURNAMENT-MEN No games today UNDATED (AP) -- They're still talking about the big upset in the NCAA -- no Duke. Duke lost yesterday, 88-81 to South Carolina. After the game, coach Mike Krzyzewski (shuh-SHEF'-skee) said, "at the end of the season I want my guys to either be crying because we've lost or crying because we've just won." Krzyzewski said, "This is one of the most proud teams for me.

Key injuries could derail South Carolina, Notre Dame women

NEW YORK (AP) -- South Carolina and Notre Dame both survived upset bids in the second round of the women's NCAA Tournament. The two No. 1 seeds may have trouble advancing much further because of knee injuries to key players. The Gamecocks rallied to beat Arizona State 71-68 without starting guard Allisha Gray.

No. 1 seed South Carolina avoids upset against Arizona St

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Top seeded South Carolina again appeared to have a dominant regular season turn into a surprisingly early NCAA Tournament exit. But that's when two-time Southeastern Conference Player of the Year A'ja Wilson rescued her team. Wilson scored 21 points and had 11 rebounds, including the put back that gave South Carolina the lead for good and the free throws that sealed it, as South Carolina (29-4) beat No.

South Carolina, Arizona St aren't same teams as before NCAAs

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Like all teams, South Carolina and Arizona State are watching a lot of film to get ready for their second round NCAA Tournament game Sunday. But all that scouting might not help much. The top-seeded Gamecocks are getting smaller and more aggressive after losing all-Southeastern Conference second team center Alaina Coates to a foot injury this month, while the No.

No. 1 seed South Carolina cruises to 90-40 opening NCAA win

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- With half of its twin tower frontcourt out for the NCAA Tournament, South Carolina coach Dawn Staley is trying out some different lineups. Almost everything she tried worked Friday as the top-seeded Gamecocks (28-4) beat No. 16 seed UNC Asheville 90-40 in their biggest victory ever in the NCAA Tournament. Staley started four guards to join Naismith national player of the year finalist A'ja Wilson.

South Carolina tips off tourney without half of low-post duo

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina coach Dawn Staley is ready to move past the recent distractions and see what her top-seeded Gamecocks can do without half of the country's best low-post duo. Since South Carolina (27-4) won the Southeastern Conference Tournament on March 5, there has been a flurry of activity around the program. -- Staley was named the next coach of the U.S.

Latest North Carolina and South Carolina sports

ISLANDERS-HURRICANES Tavares scores in OT, lifts Islanders over Hurricanes 3-2 RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- John Tavares scored 34 seconds into overtime, and the New York Islanders beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 on Tuesday night. Joshua Ho-Sang and Jason Chimera scored in the final 65 seconds of the second period to help the Islanders erase a 2-0 deficit and eventually claim what interim coach Doug Weight called a must-win game.

South Carolina's Coates to miss NCAA Tournament with injury

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina's road to a possible return to the Final Four just got a little more difficult. Gamecocks forward Alaina Coates has been ruled out for the NCAA Tournament because of a right ankle sprain. The 6-foot-4 Coates has missed three of the past five games since first suffering the injury in a 62-60 loss at Missouri on Feb. 19.

Heading West: No. 1 seed Gamecocks top Stockton Regional

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- This is one trip West that South Carolina coach Dawn Staley believes her top-seeded Gamecocks should not have to make. South Carolina earned its fourth straight No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament on Monday night, topping the regional in Stockton, California. Staley thinks her four-time defending Southeastern Conference champions should've been located closer to home instead of three time zones away.

UConn, Irish, South Carolina, Baylor top seeds in NCAAs

NEW YORK (AP) -- UConn's drive for five will begin at home. Winners of 107 straight games, coach Geno Auriemma and the Huskies won't have to leave the state of Connecticut in the NCAA Tournament until the Final Four as they try for an unprecedented fifth consecutive national championship. The top seed will open at home on Saturday against Albany and if they advance to the Bridgeport Regional would have a short drive.

Latest North Carolina, South Carolina sports

PANTHERS-FREE AGENCY-TRADE After Ealy traded to Pats, Peppers returns to Panthers CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- After eight years, Julius Peppers is returning home to play for the Carolina Panthers -- and he'll be joined by a few other free agents, too. The Panthers agreed to terms on a contract Friday with Peppers, said to a person familiar with the negotiations.

Friday's Sports in Brief

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- During his two-decade career representing Kobe Bryant and other prominent NBA players, Rob Pelinka developed an enormous respect for the Los Angeles Lakers, both as a team and a global phenomenon. Pelinka is getting the chance to restore that tarnished brand as the Lakers' new general manager, and he is approaching his new job with evangelical zeal. "It didn't feel like a decision," Pelinka said Friday.

BC-AP Sports Digest

The supervisor is Fred Lief, followed by John Nicholson at 5 p.m. and Jay Cohen 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 EST.

AP-SC--South Carolina News Digest,1st Ld-Writethru, SC

Hello! The Carolinas News Editor is Tim Rogers. The supervisor is Skip Foreman. A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with updates.

AP-SC--South Carolina Sports Digest, SC

The sports editor is Pete Iacobelli. Please send your best stories of the day for the South Carolina report. If you have any questions about the report, please call the AP at 800-922-1565 or 803-799-5510. Pete Iacobelli can be reached via email at piacobelli at ap.org for messages -- not stories. Reruns of stories are available from http://apexchange.com or from the service desk at 877-836-9477.

Staley introduced as coach of US national women's hoops team

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- For all that Dawn Staley has accomplished in her Hall-of-Fame career, she believes her latest achievement may have topped them all. "It is basketball utopia for me," Staley said Friday after being introduced as coach of the U.S. women's national basketball team. "For me to sit here as coach of USA Basketball is surreal." And a long time coming. She first began playing for USA Basketball in 1989.

BC-AP Sports Preview Digest

Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Friday. A full Sports Digest will be sent by about 3 p.m. All times EST: -- NEW YORK -- College basketball's greatest rivalry comes to Brooklyn when No. 14 Duke plays No. 6 North Carolina in the ACC Tournament semifinals. Game starts 7 p.m. -- Two other men's tournament games featuring ranked opponents: No. 3 UCLA vs. No. 7 Arizona in Pac-12 (11:30 p.m.); No.