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.

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.

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.

No transition for Stewart-Haas Racing after switch to Ford

HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) -- So much for a transition period at Stewart-Haas Racing. The NASCAR team hasn't slowed since switching from Chevrolet to Ford. Kurt Busch captured the season-opening Daytona 500, and Kevin Harvick followed up by earning the pole for Sunday's Monster Energy Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "Hopefully this is the start of something great," Harvick said.

Update on the latest in sports:

NBA-SCHEDULE Cavs set 3-point mark in beating Hawks UNDATED (AP) -- The Cleveland Cavaliers set an NBA record for 3-pointers in earning a road win against Atlanta. The Cavaliers drained 25 treys in 46 attempts to hold off the Hawks, 135-130. The Cavs' 3-point assault comes three months after the Houston Rockets hit 24 in a rout of New Orleans. Kyle Korver supplied the record-breaking 3-pointer after the Hawks got within 124-123.

Update on the latest in sports:

NBA-SCHEDULE Cavs set 3-point mark in beating Hawks UNDATED (AP) -- The Cleveland Cavaliers set an NBA record for 3-pointers in earning a road win against Atlanta. The Cavaliers drained 25 treys in 46 attempts to hold off the Hawks, 135-130. The Cavs' 3-point assault comes three months after the Houston Rockets hit 24 in a rout of New Orleans. Kyle Korver supplied the record-breaking 3-pointer after the Hawks got within 124-123.

Going, going, gone: NASCAR stars starting to step away

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Jeff Gordon is working in the broadcast booth. Carl Edwards is spending time with family. Tony Stewart is hanging out at dirt tracks. Some of NASCAR's biggest stars have stepped away over the last 15 months, a thought-provoking trend that doesn't appear to be ending anytime soon. Gordon (2015) and Stewart (2016) retired from full-time racing in consecutive years, walking away with a combined seven championships.