CHICAGO (AP) — Kobe Bryant was one of eight finalists announced as candidates for enshrinement into the Basketball Hall of Fame later this year, a decision that came as absolutely no surprise in his first year of eligibility. Joining Bryant Friday as first-time finalists for the Hall: 15-time All-Star Tim Duncan, fellow 15-time All-Star Kevin Garnett and 10-time WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings. The other finalists have all been to this point previously: Baylor women’s coach Kim Mulkey, former Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich, five-time Division II women’s coach of the year Barbara Stevens of Bentley, and four-time national men’s college coach of the year Eddie Sutton.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Roger Penske is adding about $2 million to this year's Indianapolis 500 purse and the winner will take home at least an additional $100,000. The announcement comes on a day Penske and others laid our a series of changes coming to the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the May schedule. The last row shootout on qualifying weekend will be expanded to 75 minutes. That means all cars will get at least one chance to bump their way into the traditional 33-car grid. Those drivers also will be able to make more than one attempt for the May 24 race.
UNDATED (AP) — Riding a seven-game winning streak and alone atop the Big Ten Conference standings, No. 9 Maryland seeks to keep the momentum going at Michigan State on Saturday night. The Terrapins were winless on the road and mired in a two-game skid before getting on their current roll behind sophomore forward Jalen Smith, who has had a double-double in seven straight outings. The Spartans stopped a three-game slide by beating Illinois on Tuesday. In another big game Saturday, Rutgers looks to stay unbeaten at home in a matchup with Illinois, which has lost three in a row. Also, surprising second-place Penn State hosts skidding Northwestern.