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Marquette survives a scare from Davidson in NCAA tournament opener

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Marquette survives a scare from Davidson in NCAA tournament opener
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Marquette came back from six points down in the final 70 seconds yesterday, to edge Davidson 59-58 in their NCAA men's basketball tournament opener in Lexington, Ky.

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The Golden Eagles had only made one of 12 shots from three-point range before Jamil Wilson hit a pair of threes in the closing seconds.

Vander Blue had a trey as well, and he made a driving layup with one second left to prevent 14th-seeded Davidson from pulling off a major upset over a No. 3 seed.

Davidson outshot the Eagles 41 to 34 percent from the floor, and 35 to 27 percent from three-point range.

Jake Cohen had a game-high 20 points as the Wildcats ended their season at 26-8.

Blue scored 16 points for Marquette. Wilson added 14, and Chris Otule had 11 points and 11 rebounds, as the Eagles survived and advanced while improving to 24-8. They'll play sixth-seeded Butler Saturday in the next round of the East Regional.

Open against Mississippi

Wisconsin begins its NCAA Tournament run at 11:40 a.m. Friday against Mississippi in a West Regional contest in Kansas City.

The Badgers have the No. 5 seed. That's a dangerous spot to be in, as two other No. 5 seeds lost to a pair of No. 12 seeds on Thursday.

Nevada-Las Vegas was upended by California, while 12th-seeded Oregon eliminated fifth-seeded Oklahoma State.

The only No. 5 to survive so far is VCU, coached by former Dane County high school standout Shaka Smart from Oregon.

Virginia Commonwealth eliminated the 12th seeded Zips from Akron, 88-42.

The Badgers are 23-11 this season under Bo Ryan, the Big Ten's coach of the year.

Ole Miss comes in at 26-8 after winning the SEC Tournament crown last weekend. Today's winner will play either Kansas State or La Salle in the next round on Sunday.

Men's hockey team advance in WCHA Final Five

The Wisconsin men's hockey team scored three times in the first eight-plus minutes Thursday and cruised to a 7-2 win over Minnesota State in the quarterfinals of the WCHA Final Five in St. Paul.

The Badgers' early scoring rush came against all-conference goaltender Stephon Williams. Wisconsin then survived the Mavericks' constant efforts to get back in the game.

The Badgers kept scoring even while being outshot 40 to 27. Jefferson Dahl had a pair of short-handed goals, and Tyler Barnes scored twice for Wisconsin, which improved to 20-12-7.

The loss dropped Minnesota State to 24-13-3, but with a No. 8 national ranking, the Mavericks still expect an NCAA bid on Sunday.

The 14th-ranked Badgers, meanwhile, will play top-seeded St. Cloud State Friday afternoon in the conference semifinals.

Brad Jones staying with Packers

Brad Jones is staying in Green Bay. The Packers re-signed the free agent linebacker to a new contract. Terms were not immediately available.

Jones played on the outside in his first four NFL seasons. He moved inside after linebackers Desmond Bishop and D.J. Smith went out early last season with injuries.

The 26-year-old Jones started the Packers' final 14 games in 2012, including the playoffs. He had two sacks last year, along with four pass break-ups and a forced fumble.

Jones' signing means there will be at least six candidates for the two starting inside linebacker jobs at training camp.

Bishop is due to return, along with starter A.J. Hawk, who took a pay cut to stay with the Pack.

Fourth-year reserve Robert Francois signed a new deal last week. Backups Terrell Manning and Jamari Lattimore are the fifth and sixth possible candidates.

Smith is coming off knee reconstructive surgery and is not due back until after the regular season begins.

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