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Temple basketball teams — men and women — to reach NIT semifinals

It’s time for end-of-the-year fantasy awards. After handing out some hardware and selecting his All-NFL Fantasy Team, Jacob Fischer recaps Thursday’s top fantasy performers, implies that Aaron Rodgers will have a big game against the Bucs and suggests a lineup for Sunday.

Eric Fisher’s weekly column on a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on fans’ limited access to Eagles training camp, a trade that could benefit the Sixers and Flyers, and Tiger Woods’ British Open woes.

The Eagles are in first place in the NFC East midway through their season, but Gordon Glantz points out the statistics demonstrate that they need to reduce their turnovers — while creating more turnovers — and improve their red-zone efficiency in order to continue their success.

First-and-10

A quick look at 10 sports stories in the news…

1. Kentucky survives scare from Irish Andrew Harrison sinks 2 free throws with 6 seconds remaining to lift top seed Kentucky past 3rd-seeded Notre Dame, 68-66, in Eastern Regional final, keeping Wildcats’ dream of undefeated season alive. Kentucky’s opponent in Final Four will be Wisconsin, top seed from West Region. Badgers defeat 2nd-seeded Arizona, 85-78, in West Regional final. Today, 7th-seeded Michigan State pulls out 76-70 overtime victory over 4th-seeded Louisville in East Regional final to reach Final Four. Spartans will face top seeded Duke, a 66-52 winner over No. 2 Gonzaga in South Regional final.

2. Eagles extend Ryans, may sign Austin Multiple reports say Eagles will sign WR Miles Austin if he passes physical. Austin has been plagued by hamstring injuries. Eagles sign LB DeMeco Ryans to 1-year extension, meaning he will be with Eagles through 2016 season.

3. Cavaliers edge Sixers Sixers, Cavaliers fail to score during final minute as Cavaliers hang on for 87-86 victory. Sixers only make 8 of 15 free throws, including 4 of 10 during 4th quarter. Robert Covington paces Sixers with 19 points. Furkan Aldemir, starting at center, adds 11 points, 10 rebounds. LeBron James leads Cavaliers with 20 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists. Sixers host Lakers tonight (7 p.m.).

4. Owls advance to semifinals Quenton DeCosey scores 21 points, grabs 11 rebounds while leading Temple to 74-59 triumph over visiting Louisiana Tech to reach NIT semifinals. Temple (26-10) will face Miami on Tuesday (7 p.m.) at Madison Square Garden. Senior guards Jesse Morgan, Will Cummings contribute 17 and 15 points, respectively, for Owls.

5. Listen to Fisher flying solo Listen as Eric Fisher discusses the NCAA Tournament, Temple’s men’s team advancing in NIT, the Eagles, the Flyers, the Sixers and Phillies during Philly Phanatics.com’s Blog Talk Radio show. To listen to the show, please click here(To listen to past shows, please click here)

6. Sharks edge Flyers Brent Burns scores in 5th shootout round to lift visiting Sharks past Flyers, 3-2. Sharks win shootout, 2-1. Jakub Voracek involved in all Flyers’ scoring. His 2 assists have him in 2nd place in NHL in points. Voracek scores in 1st round of shootout, but Flyers don’t score again. Michael Raffl scores 20th goal of season in 1st period. Claude Giroux scores tying goal on power play midway through 3rd period, giving him goals in 4 straight games. Sharks have 44-18 edge in shots on goal, including 5-0 in overtime, but goalie Steve Mason makes 42 saves. With injuries and Mark Streit, Carlo Colaiacovo out with flu, defensemen Oliver Lauridsen, Mark Alt, Brandon Manning in lineup, with Alt making NHL debut. This is 25th Flyers game this season not to end in regulation, a franchise record. Flyers, who are officially eliminated from playoffs Sunday, return to action Wednesday (8 p.m.) at Pittsburgh.

7. Pirates pulverize Phillies Freddy Galvis hits his 1st homer of spring for Phillies, but Pirates crush 6 homers en route to 18-4 triumph. Phillies coach Juan Samuel ejected as benches empty several times. Prospect Zach Eflin allows 4 runs (1 earned) in 3 innings. Sean O’Sullivan, trying to make roster as No. 5 pitcher, to pitched Tuesday (1 p.m.) as Phillies visit Blue Jays. Pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez among those sent to minors by Phillies. Gonzalez in 2nd year of 3-year contract for $12 million. Also sent to minors: pitchers Paul Clemens and Hector Neris; first baseman Chris McGuinness; infielder Chris Nelson; catcher Koyie Hill.

8. Temple women reach NIT semifinals Temple’s men’s team isn’t only one going to NIT semifinals. Temple women race out to 20-point lead by halftime en route to 69-57 victory over host Middle Tennessee St. to reach Women’s NIT semifinals. Tyonna Williams leads Owls with 23 points, 5 assists. Temple’s NIT semifinal opponent Wednesday (7 p.m.) will be West Virginia, a 75-70 overtime winner over Villanova despite  career-high 29 point by Wildcats senior center Emily Leer.

9. Fire beats shorthanded Union Union fails to register shot on goal during 1-0 loss to host Chicago. Union (0-2-2), already missing midfielder Zach Pfeffer due to suspension from red card in previous match and several players due to injuries, forced to play final 20 minutes with 10 men after Fred receives red card for throwing punch at Chicago player.

10. Soul win opener Soul score game-winning TD with 12 seconds remaining as they open season with 70-63 triumph over host Orlando.

(Listen live to PhillyPhanatics.com’s weekly Internet Blog Talk Radio program this Sunday from 6:30-7 p.m. — or call in to express your opinion or ask a question — by calling 805-727-7014. To listen to past shows, please click here)

WEEKEND RESULTS

Friday
Clippers 119, Sixers 98
Yankees 10, Philllies 0
(Spring Training)

Saturday
Sharks 3, Flyers 2 (Sharks win shootout, 2-1)
Twins 7, Phillies 1
(Spring Training)

Sunday
Cavaliers 87, Sixers 86
Chicago 1, Union 0
Soul 70, Orlando 63
(Season opener)
Tigers 4, Phillies 4
(Spring Training)
Women’s Basketball
NIT
Quarterfinals
W.Virginia 75, Villanova 70 (OT)
Temple 69, Middle Tennessee 57

LOCAL SCHEDULE

Monday
Lakers at Sixers, 7 p.m.
Pirates 18, Phillies 4
(Spring Training)

Tuesday
Phillies at Blue Jays, 1 p.m.
(Spring Training)
Men’s Basketball
NIT
Semifinals
Temple vs. Miami, 7 p.m.
(at Madison Square Garden)

Wednesday
Sixers at Washington, 7 p.m.
Flyers at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m.
Braves at Phillies, 1 p.m.
(Spring Training)
Women’s Basketball
NIT
Semifinals
Temple at W.Virginia, 7 p.m.

Thursday
Rays at Phillies, 1 p.m.
(Spring Training)
Men’s Basketball
NIT
Championship game
(at Madison Square Garden)

Friday
Pirates at Philllies, 7 p.m.
(On Deck Series at Citizens Bank Park)

Saturday
Flyers at Carolina, 1 p.m.
Sixers at Charlotte, 7 p.m.
Pirates at Phillies, 1 p.m.
(On Deck Series at Citizens Bank Park)
Soul at Spokane, 10 p.m.

Sunday
Penguins at Flyers, 12:30 p.m.
Sixers at New York, 7:30 p.m.
Union at Sporting KC, 7 p.m.

FOR LEAGUE-WIDE SCORES AND STANDINGS, CLICK ON THE LINKS UNDER THE “STANDINGS” HEADING IN THE SIDEBAR TO THE RIGHT, OR IN THE HEADING AT THE UPPER-RIGHT OF THIS PAGE

Sixers Notebook: Less than full joy

Nerlens Noel has improved so much since the All-Star break that he has entered the rookie of the year conversation, but Sixers fans may not be emotionally  invested in Noel's improvement for fear that he is becoming a more valuable trade ...
Sixers Notebook: Less than full joy

Predict Phillies’ record

Expectations aren’t high for the Phillies this season. What are your expectations? Predict the Phillies’ record for 2015 in Voice of the Phanatics.

Everyone into the pool!

Jack Brauner solidified his lead in the pool with Wisconsin’s win over Arizona, although Notre Dame’s near-upset of Kentucky had to make him nervous. Jack can wrap up the title with a Duke win today, but a Gonzaga win breathes life into Ari Dardik’s comeback hopes.

Pessimism rules

These are good times for Joe Pessimist, who is reveling in Philly’s sports misery.

WrestleMania Top 31

WrestleMania XXX provided three additions — two involving Daniel Bryan (pictured) — to our list of the greatest WrestleMania matches in history. Where do they debut on the list? Which matches get moved to honorable mention? Check out the list to find out.

WrestleMania 31: Lesnar signing adds intrigue

March - 28 - 2015 Reporter: Achilles Heel Respond

Brock Lesnar (pictured), who ended Undertaker’s perfect record at WrestleMania last year, defends the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Roman Reigns on Sunday at WrestleMania 31. Lesnar’s new 3-year contract with WWE my alter plans for WrestleMania’s main event. Other matches include Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins, Sting vs. Triple H and a ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship. Achilles Heel provides a comprehensive preview of WrestleMania 31 and Saturday’s Hall of Fame ceremony.

Fish ‘n Chips

March - 26 - 2015 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Eric Fisher’s weekly column dealing with a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on Chip Kelly’s power base with the Eagles, the punishment a Bloomsburg player received for criticizing Mo’ne Davis and Maikel Franco’s reputation as a future big-league star.

Flyers Notebook: No offense taken

March - 24 - 2015 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

With so much emphasis on the Flyers’ problems on defense, not enough attention has been paid to the Flyers’ scoring woes. In addition to examining the scoring slumps of so many forwards, Eric Fisher highlights Kimmo Timonen’s return to Wells Fargo Center, another red flag for head coach Craig Berube and a meaningful donation to Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Heel Turns: Elevating championships

March - 24 - 2015 Reporter: Achilles Heel Respond

The Greek God of Wrestling sees the promotion of the Intercontinental and U.S. championship matches at WrestleMania 31 as a positive sign that the profile of these once-prestigious titles will be elevated. Achilles Heel also breaks the news that Brock Lesnar has re-signed with WWE, recaps the tragic death of Perro Aguayo Jr. last week in Mexico and previews numerous events leading up to WrestleMania.

Top-seeded Wildcats sent packing

March - 21 - 2015 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Despite 27 points from senior guard Darrun Hilliard (pictured), top-seeded Villanova is upset by 8th-seeded North Carolina State, 71-68, in East Region. Villanova’s winning streak ends at 16 games.

Bednarik one of a kind

March - 21 - 2015 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Chuck Bednarik, who died Saturday at age 89, was the embodiment of a bygone era in which NFL players served in the military, worked offseason jobs and, in his case played offense and defense. There may never be another player like him.

The life of Chuck Bednarik