Washington’s status in question for Kentucky

First Leaf Desk 2019-03-30 sports

The Latest on the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern):

8:45 p.m.

It looks like it will be a game-time decision whether Kentucky star forward PJ Washington plays in the Midwest Region semifinal against Houston.

Washington, who has the most scrutinized left foot in the NCAA Tournament, was not listed on the Wildcats’ starting lineup passed out to the media 90 minutes before tipoff.

The second-seeded Wildcats (29-6) beat Abilene Christian and Wofford in the first two rounds of the without Washington. The 6-foot-8 sophomore has been out since he sprained his foot against Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinals.

Washington was in a cast until Tuesday and did some jogging and free throw shooting in the portion of Thursday’s practice open to the media.

— Eric Olson reporting from Kansas City, Missouri.

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8:20 p.m.

Auburn scored the final six points of the first half to take a 41-39 lead over top-seeded North Carolina into the locker room in the first Midwest Region semifinal.

There were five lead changes in the up-and-down first half. The last of them came at the buzzer, when J’Von McCormick went the length of the floor and got a finger-roll to go.

The Tigers have already hoisted up 19 3-pointers — the school record for an NCAA Tournament game is 32. The Tar Heels are firing away, too, going 5 of 15 from beyond the arc.

It’s the second time in three games that UNC has trailed at halftime in the tournament.

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8:10 p.m.

With Michigan State freshman Aaron Henry doing his best Draymond Green impersonation, the No. 2 seed Spartans are dominating No. 3 LSU in their East Region semifinal.

The Spartans lead 40-28 at halftime after leading by as many as 17. The 6-foot-6 Henry’s led the way with a do-everything performance of 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists so far that are all game-highs.

A 3-pointer just before the end of the half by Tremont Waters let LSU go into the break with a hint of momentum, but still down by double digits.

Waters leads the Tigers with 10 points as they try to get a step closer to their first Final Four berth since 2006.

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The scoreboards froze inside the Sprint Center with 6:59 left in the first half and Auburn and North Carolina tied 26-all, forcing the public address announcer to continually update the score.

The game continued because the game clock and shot clock above each backboard were correct.

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