Bears fall at UCLA 31-14

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Bears fall at UCLA 31-14

BOX SCORE
PASADENA (AP) -- Freshman safety Tevin McDonald made the first three interceptions of his college career, Derrick Coleman scored three touchdowns, and UCLA bounced back from one of its most embarrassing losses in years to beat California 31-14 on Saturday.McDonald's interceptions set up two touchdowns and a field goal for the Bruins (4-4, 3-2 Pac-12), who took the heat off much-maligned coach Rick Neuheisel, at least for the time being, with their most impressive performance of the season.Neuheisel, who has one year remaining on the five-year contract he signed before the 2007 season, has a 19-26 record at UCLA and has led his team to just one bowl game.The Bruins scored 24 of their 31 points after turnovers in handing Cal (4-4, 1-4) its fourth loss in five games. The Golden Bears committed five turnovers, four on interceptions thrown by Zach Maynard, who was 14 of 30 for 199 yards.Coleman scored on a 2-yard run in the second quarter and runs of 20 and 24 yards in the final period. He finished with 80 yards on 16 carries. Kevin Prince gained a career-high 163 yards on 19 carries and completed 9 of 18 passes for 92 yards.Isi Sofele gained 74 yards on 15 carries and Keenan Allen caught seven passes for 83 yards for Cal. Allen entered the game averaging 129.4 receiving yards - tops in the nation.UCLA gained 386 yards to Cal's 333. The Bruins were shredded for 573 yards by Arizona in a 48-12 loss Oct. 20. The Wildcats scored touchdowns on each of their six first-half possessions for a 42-7 lead.The Bears needed less than two minutes of the third quarter to trim UCLA's 17-7 halftime lead to three points, getting a 1-yard touchdown run from C.J. Anderson two plays after Jordon James muffed a punt and D.J. Campbell recovered at the Bruins' 15.Cal had a chance to tie the game late in the third quarter, but Giorgio Tavecchio was wide left on a 42-yard field goal attempt.McDonald made his second interception early in the fourth quarter, picking off Maynard's errant third-down pass and returning it 15 yards to the Cal 20. Coleman scored on the next play to make it 24-14 with 12:45 remaining.The Bears then moved to the UCLA 22-yard line before McDonald made his third pick, setting up an 83-yard scoring drive that clinched the victory.The Bears took a 7-0 lead on their second possession, scoring on a 1-yard run by Sofele that completed a 30-yard, five-play drive after Dan Camporeale recovered a fumble by Prince, who gained 21 yards before a jarring tackle by Steve Williams shook the ball loose.That would be the only time the Bears had the ball in UCLA territory during the first half.UCLA tied it with 6:37 left in the second quarter on an 11-yard run by Johnathan Franklin, capping a 64-yard, seven-play drive highlighted by Prince's 32-yard run.The Bruins scored 10 points in a span of 82 seconds later in the period for a 17-7 lead after Cal committed turnovers on back-to-back offensive plays. First, Tyler Gonzalez kicked a 32-yard field goal three plays after McDonald's first 15-yard interception return to the Cal 15. Then, Coleman scored his first TD four plays after Donovan Carter recovered a botched handoff from Maynard to Sofele at the Bears' 20.UCLA played without wide receivers Randall Carroll, Taylor Embree, Shaquille Evans and Ricky Marvray, suspended one game each for their part in an on-field brawl late in the first half of the Bruins' loss at Arizona. In addition, defensive tackle Cassius March served the first of his two-game suspension and guard Albert Cid was suspended for the first half.The suspensions left Nelson Rosario and Josh Smith as the only available UCLA wide receivers who had played this season. Jerry Rice Jr., a non-scholarship redshirt sophomore, made his collegiate debut for the Bruins and caught two passes for 17 yards. Rice's father had an NFL-record 1,549 receptions during his Hall of Fame career.The younger Rice made his first reception for 7 yards early in the second quarter and received a polite round of applause from the homecoming crowd of 55,604 at the Rose Bowl.The game was held up for over five minutes early in the fourth quarter when Dietrich Riley was injured. The UCLA safety waved to the cheering fans as he was carted off the field. Neuheisel said afterward that Riley injured his neck, but added that it appeared the injury wasn't serious.

Former Napa star Josh Jackson leaving Kansas, entering NBA Draft

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Former Napa star Josh Jackson leaving Kansas, entering NBA Draft

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Josh Jackson declared for the NBA draft on Monday after one of the best freshman seasons in Kansas history, one marked by plenty of highlights on the floor and a few distractions off it.

The 6-foot-8 swingman, who is considered a certain lottery pick, was the Big 12 newcomer of the year after averaging 16.3 points and 7.4 rebounds. He helped the Jayhawks to a 31-5 record and its 13th straight regular season Big 12 title before losing to Oregon in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.

Jackson signed with former NBA player B.J. Armstrong of Wasserman Media Group.

"After thoroughly consulting with my family, I have decided to enter the 2017 NBA draft and pursue my dream of playing professional basketball," Jackson said in a statement Monday.

"I am very thankful for all of the support I have received from my coaches and teammates at Kansas," he said, "and I look forward to starting my career in the NBA."

Jackson was the nation's No. 1 recruit when he signed with the Jayhawks out of Prolific Prep Academy in California. He immediately earned a spot in the starting lineup, teaming with national player of the year Frank Mason III and Devonte Graham to form one of the nation's top backcourts.

With natural athleticism and ability to slash to the basket - not to mention defensive chops that are rare among freshmen - Jackson quickly established himself as one of the nation's top draft prospects.

His importance was never more evident than in the Big 12 Tournament, when he was suspended by coach Bill Self following a series of off-the-court issues. The top-seeded Jayhawks stumbled in a quarterfinal loss to TCU, ending their run at the conference tournament before it really began.

He returned for the NCAA Tournament and played well in wins over UC Davis, Michigan State and Purdue, but was hamstrung by foul trouble and managed just 10 points in a season-ending loss to the Ducks.

Jackson's suspension came following an incident outside a Lawrence bar in December, when a member of the Kansas women's basketball team got into an altercation with Jackson's teammate, Lagerald Vick.

Jackson followed the woman to the parking lot and the woman said he kicked her car and caused hundreds of dollars in damage. He pleaded not guilty last week in Douglas County District Court to one misdemeanor count of criminal damage to property and a trial is scheduled for May 24.

His attorney, Hatem Chahine, said he was planning to file for diversion.

Jackson also was ticketed in February after he struck a parked car and fled the scene, and that drew Self's ire when he didn't tell his coach about the incident until several weeks later.

His decision to declare for the draft came a week after teammate Svi Mykhailiuk announced he would skip his senior season. But unlike Jackson, the 6-8 sharpshooter has not hired an agent and could withdraw his name by May 24 and return to the Jayhawks.

Redemption: Year after heartbreak, UNC outlasts Gonzaga to win title

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AP

Redemption: Year after heartbreak, UNC outlasts Gonzaga to win title

BOX SCORE

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It's OK, Carolina, you can open your eyes.

An unwatchable game turned into a beautiful night for the Tar Heels, who turned a free-throw contest into a championship they've been waiting an entire year to celebrate.

Justin Jackson delivered the go-ahead 3-point play with 1:40 left Monday and North Carolina pulled away for a 71-65 win over Gonzaga that washed away a year's worth of heartache.

It was, in North Carolina's words, a redemption tour - filled with extra time on the practice court and the weight room, all fueled by a devastating loss in last year's title game on Kris Jenkins' 3-point dagger at the buzzer for Villanova.

"Just unreal that we get a second chance at this," junior Theo Pinson said, recounting a pre-game conversation with teammate Joel Berry II. "Not a lot of people can say they can do that. I told him, `We're about to take this thing. I'm about to give everything I got.' I knew he would, too, We just didn't want to come up short again."

But to say everything went right for Roy Williams' team at this Final Four would be less than the truth.

The Tar Heels (33-7) followed a terrible-shooting night in the semifinal with an equally ice-cold performance in the final - going 4 for 27 from 3-point land and 26 for 73 overall.

Gonzaga, helped by 8 straight points from Nigel Williams-Goss, took a 2-point lead with 1:52 left, but the next possession was the game-changer.

Jackson took a zinger of a pass under the basket from Pinson and converted the shot, then the ensuing free throw to take the lead for good. Moments later, Williams-Goss twisted an ankle and could not elevate for a jumper that would've given the Bulldogs the lead.

Isaiah Hicks made a basket to push the lead to 3, then Kennedy Meeks, in foul trouble all night (who wasn't?), blocked Williams-Goss' shot and Jackson got a slam on the other end to put some icing on title No. 6 for the Tar Heels.

Williams got his third championship, putting him one ahead of his mentor, Dean Smith, and now behind only John Wooden, Mike Krzyzewski and Adolph Rupp.

"I think of Coach Smith, there's no question," Williams said. "I don't think I should be mentioned in the same sentence with him. But we got three because I've got these guys with me and that's all I care about right now - my guys."

Berry recovered from ankle injuries to lead the Tar Heels, but needed 19 shots for his 22 points. Jackson had 16 but went 0 for 9 from 3. Overall, the Tar Heels actually shot a percentage point worse than they did in Saturday night's win over Oregon.

Thank goodness for free throws.

They went 15 for 26 from the line and, in many corners, this game will be remembered for these three men: Michael Stephens, Verne Harris and Mike Eades, the referees who called 27 fouls in the second half, completely busted up the flow of the game and sent Meeks, Gonzaga's 7-footers Przemek Karnowski and Zach Collins, and a host of others to the bench in foul trouble.

The game "featured" 52 free throws. Both teams were in the bonus with 13 minutes left. Somehow, Collins was the only player to foul out.

Most bizarre sequence: With 8:02 left, Berry got called for a foul for (maybe) making contact with Karnowski and stripping the ball from the big man's hands. But as Karnowski was flailing after the ball, he inadvertently grabbed Berry around the neck. After a long delay, the refs called Karnowski for a flagrant foul of his own.

"I'm not going to talk about refs," Karnowski said. "It was just a physical game."

Zags coach Mark Few handled it with class, calling the refs "three of the best officials in the entire country," and insisting they did a fine job.

He might have wanted further review on the scrum with 50 seconds left. The refs were taking heat on social media for calling a held ball, which gave possession to the Tar Heels, on a pile-up underneath the Carolina basket. It set up the Hicks layup to put Carolina ahead by 3. One problem: Meeks' right hand looks to be very much touching out of bounds while he's trying to rip away the ball.

"That was probably on me," Few said. "From my angle, it didn't look like an out of bounds situation or I would have called a review. That's tough to hear."

The Bulldogs (37-2), the Cinderella-turned-Godzilla team from the small school in the West Coast Conference, tried to keep the big picture in mind. Twenty years ago, this sort of run at that sort of place looked virtually impossible. With less than 2 minutes left, they had the lead in the national title game.

"We broke the glass ceiling everyone said we couldn't break," junior forward Johnathan Williams said.

And North Carolina got over a hump that, at times this season, felt like a mountain.

"They wanted redemption," Williams said. "I put it on the locker room up on the board - one of the things we had to be tonight was tough enough. I think this group was tough enough tonight."