Which teams were left out of Big Dance?


Which teams were left out of Big Dance?

From Comcast SportsNet
NEW YORK (AP) -- Washington and Seton Hall were hoping to get sent anywhere for the NCAA tournament. Instead, they wound up at home with No. 1 seeds in the NIT. Tennessee and Arizona also received top seeds Sunday night for the 75th NIT, which begins Tuesday and concludes with the March 29 championship game at Madison Square Garden. Drexel, snubbed by the NCAA selection committee, got a No. 3 seed and will host Central Florida in the first round. Other notable teams in the 32-team field are Miami, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Nevada, Northwestern and Oral Roberts. Drexel (27-6) and Oral Roberts (27-6) had the most wins among teams not chosen for the 68-team NCAA tournament. Oral Roberts is seeded fourth in the NIT and will play No. 5 seed Nevada in the first round. Washington finished atop the Pac-12 standings, but became the first team to win a regular-season title in a power conference and miss the NCAA tournament. The Huskies (21-10) lost at UCLA in their regular-season finale and then to Oregon State 86-84 in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament. "We had control of the situation and we lost it," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. Arizona reached the Pac-12 title game, but lost to Colorado 53-51. The Wildcats (23-11) will host Bucknell (24-9) in the NIT on Wednesday. "I want to fight and get these guys as far as we can," Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "If that's New York City in the Final Four of the NIT, great. But it has everything to do with trying to have a magical season to win as many games and compete for championships. I think we all know our next loss will be our last." Nine teams from the Big East received NCAA bids. Seton Hall, seeded 10th in the conference tournament, was left out. Next up, the Pirates (20-12) host America East regular-season champion Stony Brook (22-9) on Tuesday night. Washington plays at home the same night against Texas-Arlington (24-8), the Southland Conference regular-season champion. Oral Roberts, Nevada and Drexel also were among the 11 teams to qualify automatically for the NIT because they won their regular-season conference crowns. Drexel won 19 games in a row before losing to Virginia Commonwealth in the Colonial Athletic Association title game. But a low RPI (in the 60s) and weak strength of schedule number (220s) kept the Dragons out of the NCAA tournament again -- they haven't made it since 1996. "My big thing has always been here at Drexel, I can't get nobody to play me at home," coach Bruiser Flint said. But that's where the Dragons will be Wednesday night when they face sixth-seeded UCF (22-10). Drexel, in the NIT for the first time since 2007, is a sparkling 13-0 at home. The NIT field includes 24 teams with at least 20 wins and five schools from the Atlantic 10 Conference. One of them is Dayton, the 2010 NIT champion. Washington and Arizona are joined by two other teams from the Pac-12, Oregon and Stanford. Both received a No. 3 seed. Northwestern, still seeking its first NCAA tournament invitation, is headed to its fourth straight NIT. The fourth-seeded Wildcats (18-13) will host No. 5 seed Akron (22-11) in the first round Tuesday night. The Zips entered the Mid-American Conference tournament with the top seed and lost 64-63 to Ohio in a wild final. 'One thing that hasn't happened here, I don't think there's ever been a postseason champion in basketball, and so we're going to play to win a championship," Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said. Wichita State beat Alabama in last year's NIT championship game.

Durant will play in Game 4 vs Blazers; Livingston, Barnes out

Durant will play in Game 4 vs Blazers; Livingston, Barnes out

After missing the last two games with a left calf strain, Kevin Durant will play Monday as the Warriors try to close out the Blazers in Game 4.

The Warriors made the announcement about two hours before tip-off in Portland.

While Durant is active, Shaun Livingston and Matt Barnes will not play.

More to come...

Giants among teams to see reduction in luxury tax under new CBA

Giants among teams to see reduction in luxury tax under new CBA

NEW YORK -- The Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees are cutting payroll and their luxury tax bills - just as Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and perhaps Clayton Kershaw near the free-agent market after the 2018 season.

The Dodgers are on track to slice their tax bill by about a quarter this year and the Yankees by two-thirds. The San Francisco Giants also are set to slice their payment in the first season of baseball's new collective bargaining agreement, but the Detroit Tigers are slated to pay more despite saying they want to reduce payroll.

If a team doesn't pay tax in 2018, its tax rate would drop to 20 percent in 2019 - allowing perennially high-spending clubs to sign stars at a lower cost.

"What the market produces is what the market's going to produce," baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said.

The Dodgers are forecast to pay a $25.1 million competitive balance tax this year, according to opening-day calculations by the commissioner's office obtained by The Associated Press, down from $43.6 million in 2015 and $31.8 million last year. The Yankees' bill is slated to be just under $9 million, their lowest since the tax began in 2003 and less than one-third of the $27.4 million they owed last season.

"The new CBA has had no influence on my belief that you don't need a 200-plus million dollar payroll to win championships," Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said in an email to the AP.

The tax threshold increased from $189 million to $195 million under the new labor contract, and rates were simplified to three levels: 20 percent for first-time payers, 30 percent for those owing for a second straight season and 50 percent for clubs paying three times in a row or more.

A pair of surtaxes were added to discourage high rollers: 12 percent on the amount from $215 million to $235 million this year and a 42.5 percent and 45 percent above that, depending on how many consecutive years a team is paying.

Another change calls for a team more than $40 million above next year's tax threshold of $197 million to have its top draft pick moved back 10 places - with an exception that if a club has a pick among the top six, that would be protected and its second pick would be moved back 10 slots.

The Yankees appear to be trying to get below the threshold in 2018 to reset their tax rate in anticipation of that fall's free-agent class.

"I think it's too early to make a judgment about the success of the new CBA," Manfred said. "I also think that while there's a lot of change in the CBT area in terms of the structure and rates and whatnot, there has been a certain cyclical nature to the CBA over time, irrespective of the change, right? Clubs get to a certain point, they step to go younger, they come down."

The Dodgers have a major league-high $238 million payroll for purposes of the tax, which uses the average annual values of contracts for players on 40-man rosters and includes $13.96 million per team in benefit costs.

Actual tax is assessed on season-ending payrolls in December.

Los Angeles is projected to pay both new surtaxes. Under transition rules for 2017, the Dodgers' projected tax is at the midpoint of what they would pay under the new rules ($25.58 million) and old ($24.68 million).

Dodgers president Stan Kasten declined comment on the team's payroll and the tax.

With a projected payroll of $216.9 million, Detroit has a tax projected to be $6.8 million, an increase from $4 million. The Tigers pay at a 30 percent rate as an offender for the second straight season while the other teams over the threshold pay at 50 percent because they have been above for three or more consecutive years.

Tigers general manager Al Avila declined comment through club spokesman Craig Hughner.

The Yankees, at $212.9 million, are just under the surtax level. San Francisco is next at $199.6 million, leaving its tax set to decline to $2.3 million from $3.4 million. The Giants could have dropped below the tax threshold entirely, but decided to give reliever Mark Melancon a $62 million, four-year contract.

"The costs add up, as does revenue sharing," Giants general manager Bobby Evans.

The Tigers, Yankees and Giants pay at the new calculation because they would have owed more under the old rules: $11.96 million for New York, $8.4 million for Detroit and $4.2 million for San Francisco.

Washington ($188.6 million), St. Louis ($186.5 million) and Boston ($183 million) have room to increase payroll without incurring a tax. The Red Sox would pay at a 50 percent rate after owing $4.5 million last year and $1.8 million in 2015. The others would pay at 20 percent because they have not been over the threshold.