Hoops panel: Ban cheats, end 1-and-done

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The Commission on College Basketball sharply directed the NCAA to take control of the sport, calling for sweeping reforms to separate pro and college tracks, permit players to return to school after going undrafted by the NBA and ban cheating coaches for life.

The independent commission, led by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, released a detailed 60-page report Wednesday, seven months after the group was formed by the NCAA in response to a federal corruption investigation that rocked college basketball. Ten people, including some assistant coaches, have been charged in a bribery and kickback scheme , and high-profile programs such as Arizona, Louisville and Kansas have been tied to possible NCAA violations.

"The members of this commission come from a wide variety of backgrounds but the one thing that they share in common is that they believe the college basketball enterprise is worth saving," Rice told the AP Tuesday night, before addressing NCAA leaders on Wednesday morning. "We believe there's a lot of work to do in that regard. That the state of the game is not very strong.

Cavs confident with Pacers series evened

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Indiana Pacers are in no better position to pull off a historic upset in this first-round playoff series with the Cleveland Cavaliers than when they awoke Sunday morning.

The Pacers had a chance to put the Cavs, at the time reeling with playoff inexperience and the crushing weight of expectations with LeBron James, squarely behind the eight ball in this series by winning Game 4. (MORE)

Rockets aim to close out Timberwolves

HOUSTON -- There was an undeniable inevitability in the Houston Rockets finally unleashing their full potential offensively, with the only legitimate ambiguity being exactly when it would happen.

That moment arrived without warning in the third quarter of Game 4, with Houston producing a 50-point outburst that staggered the Minnesota Timberwolves and gave the Rockets control of their Western Conference first-round playoff series. Houston used that eruption to propel it toward a 119-100 victory on Monday night at the Target Center, giving the Rockets a 3-1 lead in the series. It also gave Houston the opportunity to conclude the series at Toyota Center in Game 5 on Wednesday night. (MORE)

Bruins set to host Maple Leafs in Game 7

BOSTON -- Toronto coach Mike Babcock thinks his Maple Leafs should cherish the chance to play in Wednesday night's Game 7 of their first-round series with the Boston Bruins.

"You're a kid playing outside road hockey, it's the seventh game and you're scoring a winning goal in overtime," Babcock said after his Leafs won their second straight and evened the series with a 3-1 victory in Toronto on Monday night. (MORE)

Kenseth to return to NASCAR with Roush

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Roush Fenway Racing wants to be among NASCAR's elite again and recognized it needed help for its ongoing rebuild.

The organization called on Matt Kenseth, one of its cornerstone former drivers, and asked him to come back. When Kenseth took the call from team owner Jack Roush, he had just one question: What took the team owner so long to reach out? (MORE)

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