What’s real is no slam dunk in coaching searches

As always with contemporary coaching searches, the vacuum of actual news and a hunger for substance propels speculation cloaked as certainty around the internet. So it is with the search for the next University of Missouri’s men’s basketball coach.

Royals can overcome the error of their ways

Despite a base-running blunder by Eric Hosmer in the fourth inning, the Royals didn’t get hung up on what they did wrong Saturday. Instead, they they gritted out a 4-3 win on back-to-back two-out doubles by Gordon and Salvador Perez in the eighth and because Nori Aoki made a fantastic catch to bail out wobbly winner Wade Davis.

Central Missouri’s Anderson wins one for the good guys

For most of the frantic Division II national title game Saturday, Central Missouri coach Kim Anderson radiated his customary pose of poise. There he stood on the sideline, stoic, his arms crossed, projecting a restrained strength he wanted his team to absorb all through the dizzying nine lead changes and 14 ties in the Mules’ 84-77 win over West Liberty.

Ron Baker embodies spirit of Wichita State’s second March in the national spotlight

About the time he was in eighth grade, Wichita State’s Ron Baker almost died when he suffered an allergic reaction to wheat dust. That bears a certain irony as the sophomore guard from Scott City, Kan., has become an icon of the school with the Wheatshocker mascot. His distinct combination of game, mane and disposition — plus his rise from walk-on status — have made him a cult figure.

NIT is no irrelevant tourney to the Missouri Tigers

Say this for what’s been a meandering Mizzou: With ample excuse to shrug or wilt as Davidson led by as many as 13 points in the second half, the shorthanded Tigers instead played with a certain desperation and unity uncharacteristic of their season to fend off the Wildcats 85-77 on Tuesday night in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.

Gregg Marshall, the man behind Wichita State’s No. 1 seed: ‘Nothing’s ever been given to me’

But one of the most fundamental reasons Wichita State’s success is being harvested now — a 34-0 record and No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament — is because it was sown in the opposite stuff: improbable roots, seemingly disparate parts and grinding work by the coach who calls himself a “29-year-overnight sensation.” “Nothing’s ever been given to me,” Gregg Marshall said. And that reverberates through the type of team he has assembled.

Andrew Wiggins delivers when it matters most for KU

Andrew Wiggins stepped nimbly into the postseason with a 30-point, eight-rebound performance in KU’s 77-70 overtime win over Oklahoma State in a Big 12 quarterfinal at the Sprint Center. It was pivotal because KU was coming off two losses in its last three games and doubts were surfacing about its trajectory and NCAA-seeding traction minus Joel Embiid.

Wheelchair basketball players forge path to success at Missouri

At a simplistic glance, wheelchair basketball looks like chaos. “It might seem as rough and tumble as any sport out there. But when you really break it down … it really is a synchronized thing,” said U.S. Paralympic hopeful Carter Arey, who led Missouri to fourth in the national tournament Saturday and was chosen player of the year.

Infante should plug a big hole for Royals

In the first seven full seasons of general manager Dayton Moore’s tenure, 19 men have started games at second base for the Royals. Only two did it for more than 100 games in a season in that span. But former Detroit Tiger Omar Infante should shore up that position, as long as he stays healthy.

Royals lefty pitcher Danny Duffy is hard-wired with resilience

Left-hander Danny Duffy, who is vying for the final spot in the Royals' starting rotation, has battled back from adversity time and again. That’s worth remembering after an unsettling performance Tuesday against the Cincinnati Reds. Yes, it’s only spring training, but every impression counts for Duffy, 25.

With Luke Hochevar thriving, Royals shouldn’t rock the boat

After being nurtured on a diet of low-stress situations, one-time struggling starting pitcher Luke Hochevar came to thrive as a setup man in the Royals’ best season in 25 years. This was an identity-changing transformation, really. Hochevar found a nice niche and rehabilitated his career. But it’s at a different sort of crossroads now as the Royals consider him a contender to rejoin the rotation.

Unbeaten but not finished: Wichita State recognizes fame is fleeting

With its 68-45 victory Saturday over Missouri State, Wichita State became the first college basketball team in a decade to finish the regular season unblemished. It was special in its own right, regardless of what it all may or may not say about the Shockers’ chances of a second straight Final Four or becoming the first team since Indiana in 1976 to win the title without so much as a smudge.

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