ST. Biff Pocoroba Braves Jersey . LOUIS -- Julius Randle had 19 points and 15 rebounds, Aaron Harrison finished with 18 points and No. 8 seed Kentucky held on to beat Kansas State 56-49 on Friday night to earn a date with top-seeded Wichita State in the NCAA tournament. The preseason No. 1, Kentucky (25-10) is finally starting to live up to the expectations that came with its heralded recruiting class. John Caliparis bunch nearly knocked of Florida in the SEC title game last week and seemed to carry that momentum right into the Scottrade Center. Now, the question is whether it will continue on Sunday. The Shockers, on the top line of the Midwest Region, rolled over Cal Poly to improve to 35-0. Marcus Foster had 15 points, Shane Southwell scored 11 and Thomas Gipson finished with 10 for Kansas State (20-13), which started in a 1-0 hole after a technical for a dunk in pregame warm-ups. The No. 9 seed then struggled to hit from the perimeter against Kentuckys tall lineup. Kansas State was just 5 of 21 from 3-point range. Foster was 1 of 7. The victory is the start of what Kentucky hopes is an NCAA tournament of validation. The team stocked with highly recruited freshmen has been criticized for failing to live up to lofty expectations, losing several times to overmatched and undermanned opponents. Of course, all of that becomes moot when the NCAA tournament begins. Kentucky has won 21 of its last 22 games to open the dance, when the lights are brightest and the games mean the most. Meanwhile, Kansas State was in trouble even before its tournament began. Sophomore walk-on Brian Rohleder, who played only 31 minutes all season, earned a technical foul for that pre-game dunk. NCAA rules prohibit dunking with less than 20 minutes until tip, and Rohleders dunk came with 19:58 showing on the clock. Andrew Harrison made one of two free throws while fans from both schools showered the officials with derision, and Kentucky led 1-0 when the game finally started. The SEC tournament runner-up built on its advantage through the opening minutes, the Harrison twins each knocking down a series of outside shots. Kentucky pushed the lead to 29-17 with 2:23 to go on Randles basket, but Kansas State answered with six straight points to end the half. Bruce Webers team trimmed the lead to 35-33, only for Kentucky to regain control when Southwell was hit with a technical for arguing a no-call on a drive to the basket. Kentucky stretched its lead to 44-36 midway through the second half, and whenever its rival Wildcats threatened to get closer, Randle was there to answer the call. The bruising forward stuck back a miss to make it 46-38 with 8:02 remaining, converted a three-point play a few minutes later, and then scored again at the rim for a 51-40 advantage. Kansas State closed to 55-49 on Fosters off-balance 3-pointer with 24 seconds to go. But a team that replaced most of its key players from a season ago and defied expectations all year eventually ran out of time on its comeback bid. Brian McCann Braves Jersey . He scored two highlight-reel goals in a three-minute span -- the second on a sideways bicycle kick in the 78th minute -- to give the Whitecaps a 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers before a crowd of 20,303 at B. Grant Dayton Jersey . The flanker began his comeback from a right shoulder injury by coming off the bench on Saturday when Wales opened with a victory over Italy. Warburton replaces Justin Tipuric, one of three changes announced on Tuesday by coach Warren Gatland.GLENEAGLES -- Phil Mickelson couldnt resist a playful shot at the lawsuit involving Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell. Mickelson is playing in his 10th Ryder Cup, so hes not afraid of a little banter. He was asked on Wednesday if it was unfair to suggest the Americans were not as closely knit as Europeans based on success they have in team matches. Lefty replied: "Not only are we able to play togetheer, also dont litigate against each other, and thats a real plus, I feel, heading into this week. Ralph Garr Jersey. quot; McIlroy is suing his former management company. His lawyers have asked for the confidential contracts of McDowell, who was represented by the same company. McIlroy and McDowell have said it has not affected their relationship. Mickelson smiled and said, "Sorry, I couldnt resist." ' ' '
TORONTO -- After taking a sip of water at the start of his news conference, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis made sure to thank the players who were around last season and left on the first day of free agency. Cecil Cooper Brewers Jersey . "I just wanted to thank them for what they attempted to do over the last 12 months and wish them all the best going forward," Nonis said. Attempted might be the most important word after the Leafs went from being almost surely playoff bound to collapsing with an eight-game losing streak. Gone from that group are centres Dave Bolland and Mason Raymond, who signed elsewhere Tuesday. In come defenceman Stephane Robidas, signed to a US$9-million, three-year deal, and forward Leo Komarov, signed to an $11.8-million, four-year deal, along with forward Matt Frattin, re-acquired in a trade that sent winger Jerry DAmigo to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Its Noniss hope that those players change the Leafs mix back to more of what it was like in the lockout-shortened 2013 season, when they made the playoffs. "The compete level that we had two years ago, I think was at or near the top of the league," Nonis said. "We got more out of our players, the coaches did, the players themselves did in terms of pushing each other, than we did last year -- no question about it. Some of the players that were talking about either were here and will help us get that back or have a history of doing that. That was a focus for us." Robidas at 37 brings 885 games of experience to Toronto, along with a right-handed shot. He broke his leg while playing in the playoffs for the Anaheim Ducks but started skating last week and expects to be ready for Day 1 of training camp. Komarov returns from the 2013 Leafs after a year with Dynamo Moscow of the KHL. He had four goals and five assists in 42 games that season, but the 27-year-old Finn is expected to have a much bigger role this time around. "Leo offers a lot more than I think even we got out of him two years ago," said Nonis, who met with Komarov in Finland and "laid that out so that he knew that he wasnt just a fourth-line guy that was playing six minutes a night, that we feel that he can do more." Komarovs return could help fill the void left by the departure of Bolland, who signed for five years and $27.5 million with the Florida Panthers. Bolland said on a conference call with local media that the Leafs were close to bringing him back. "We were getting there," the 28-year-old Toronto native said. "We were just a little bit apart." Nonis did not begrudge Bolland for taking the more lucrative deal with the Panthers. "We feel our offer was very fair, very strong, it reflected his value to us," he said. "He chose to go somewhere else, thats his right. Hell be a good player for them ... The only way to prevent that from happening was to spend more than we felt was appropriate, and I dont think thats something we wanted to get into." Raymond also got more money than the Leafs were willing to pay: three years and $9.5 million from the Calgary Flames. Being closer to home was part of the Cochrane, Alta., natives decision to go there. Even before signing in Calgary, Raymond expected changes around the Leafs under new president Brendan Shanahan and after the teams late-season collapse. "I think we all wouldve loved to finish a lot better," Raymond said in a phone interview. "When you have new management or different changes within the organization, that (roster moves are) susceptible to happen." What Bolland and Raymond have in common is they werent around for the Leafs somewhat-expected 2013 season that Nonis seems to want to replicate. Komarov and Frattin, who was sent to Los Angeles a year ago in the deal that brought goaltender Jonathan Bernier to the Leafs, were. "We talked a little about the chemistry that we had two years ago and the work ethic and i think players playing outside their comfort zone," Nonis said. "Those are two players that played a big part in it." Notes -- Nonis said if a trade for restricted-free-agent goaltender James Reimer was there and made sense, the Leafs would make it. Otherwise, he reiterated, Reimer could be back next season. ... The process of hiring assistant coaches is still ongoing with no resolution as of Tuesday. Rob Deer Jersey . (January 11, 2014) – Once again Kevin Martin proved why he is the all-time TSN skins leader, winning $11,500 in prize money and a spot in the Travelers All-Star Curling Skins Game presented by Pintys final following a semifinal victory over Brad Jacobs earlier this evening at the Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre in Banff, Alta. Eric Thames Jersey . J.J. Hardy drove in a run for the Orioles, who bounced back from an 8-4 loss in the series opener on Friday. Fresh off the 15-day disabled list, Derrek Lee went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Jake Arrieta (7-3) gave up three runs on five hits over six innings to pick up the win.ATLANTA -- A month ago, Jarred Cosart was a struggling pitcher on a team out of playoff contention. Now, he is trying to help Miami inch closer in the wild-card race. Cosart pitched seven effective innings, and the Marlins beat the Atlanta Braves 4-0 on Saturday night to stop a three-game losing streak. Cosart (3-1) allowed seven hits, struck out five and walked one. The right-hander, who was acquired in a July 31 trade with Houston, is 3-0 with a sparkling 0.65 ERA in his last four starts. "This was exactly what we needed," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "Some guys need that adrenaline. He wants it. He wants to help us get to the playoffs." Cosart struggled in July, giving up 19 runs in 21 1-3 innings, but he said the trade to Miami has energized him. "I took it as a slap in the face when I got traded from one of the worst organizations in baseball the last three years," he said. "No disrespect to the Astros, but hopefully one day I can make them feel like they got the bad end of that trade." Donovan Solano hit a solo homer in the first and finished with three hits for Miami, which is 8-7 against Atlanta this year. Giancarlo Stanton had two hits and drove in a run. Atlanta had won three in a row. Aaron Harang (10-9) yielded four runs, three earned, and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings. The Braves were one game out in the wild-card race at the start of the day. Atlanta threatened in the eighth inning, loading the bases with one out. But A.J. Ramos struck out Andrelton Simmons and Mike Dunn retired Freddie Freeman on a groundout to first, preserving Miamis 4-0 lead. Steve Cishek then got three outs for the Marlins, completing the nine-hitter. Cosart has provided a boost for the sagging Marlins since the trade. On Saturday, he induced three double plays to prevent the Braves from putting a rally together. Leading 4-0 in the sixth, Cosart faced his first serious jam of the night. The Braves put runners on first and second with one out, but Cosart struck out Simmons and got Freeman to ground to second to end the threat. "Its not often you see a guy, especially a starter, that throws that many cutters," Braves third baseman Chris Johnson said. "He was good at it, working it inside, outside. Its something weve got to get used too, him being in our division now, and work out a plan for the cutter. Tyrone Taylor Jersey . " Stanton singled in Christian Yelich to make it 2-0 in the third, and Yelich scored again on Solanos base hit in the fifth. Jarrod Saltalamacchia scored the fourth run on a wild pitch in the sixth. Cosart retired 10 straight after giving up a single to Jason Heyward to lead off the game. Four of those came on strikeouts, with Cosart striking out the side in the second. TRAINERS ROOM Marlins: Reliever Dan Jennings made his fourth minor league appearance on Friday since being diagnosed with a concussion on Aug. 8, pitching two scoreless innings. He has pitched seven scoreless innings in four rehab games. ... Reliever Bryan Morris will rejoin the team when it returns to Miami following the series. He has a strained groin but will not be placed on the disabled list. Braves: Reliever Shae Simmons said before the game he has not started throwing off flat ground. He has been on the disabled list since July 27 with a strained right shoulder. It does not appear he will return this season. UP NEXT The Braves and Marlins wrap up their three-game set on Sunday. Braves starter Alex Wood (9-10) has given up just 10 runs in his last six starts for a 2.23 ERA. Nathan Eovaldi (6-9) will take the mound for the Marlins. Eovaldi has faced the Braves four times already this season, limiting them to three runs in 21 innings in his first three starts before being reached for five runs in seven innings in a losing effort on July 23. SEPTEMBER CAN MEAN OCTOBER The last two seasons, the five teams in playoff position in the National League on Sept. 1 have been the five teams to qualify for the post-season. The last team not to make the post-season when in position at the beginning of September was the 2011 Braves, who lost their final five regular-season games. Both the Braves and Marlins currently trail the Cardinals and Giants for the two NL wild cards. FEELING TURNER FIELD Solano has eight career home runs in 280 games with the Marlins. Three have come at Turner Field and seven of the eight have been away from home. PENNY GETTING A START Redmond said veteran Brad Penny will start Tuesday against the Mets. It will be Pennys third start and fifth appearance since Miami brought him up from Triple-A in August. ' ' '