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Last Update on March 28, 2015 05:34 GMT

BLUE JACKETS-BLACKHAWKS

CHICAGO (AP) -- Cam Atkinson scored twice in Columbus' four-goal first period and added an empty-net goal in the final minute for his second career hat trick to help the Blue Jackets win their fifth straight game, 5-2 over the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night.

Ryan Johansen and Kevin Connauton also connected for the Blue Jackets. They set a team record with their seventh consecutive road victory and have won eight of nine overall.

Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews scored for Chicago, which dropped its second straight.

Columbus' Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves.

Chicago goalie Corey Crawford was pulled with 3:14 left in the first period after allowing four goals on 13 shots. Scott Darling finished, and stopped all 13 shots he faced.

CAVALIERS-NETS

NEW YORK (AP) -- Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez each scored 20 points, and the Brooklyn Nets snapped the Cleveland Cavaliers' four-game winning streak with a 106-98 victory on Friday night.

Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 points for the Nets, who held LeBron James to two baskets in the second half and won for the sixth time in eight games as they chase a playoff berth. They came in tied for ninth in the East, a half-game behind Boston for the final spot.

James finished with 24 points and nine assists for Cleveland, while Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 26 points, and Kevin Love had 18 points and seven rebounds.

The Cavaliers had won the first three meetings this season, outscoring the Nets by about 17 points per game. But Brooklyn turned up its defense in the second half to cool off what had been the NBA's hottest team for more than two months.

INDIANS-SALAZAR

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) -- The Indians have optioned Danny Salazar to Triple-A Columbus.

Salazar had been in the running to win one of the two open spots in Cleveland's starting rotation, but the right-hander has struggled this spring and the Indians sent him back to the minors.

With Salazar out of the running, left-hander T.J. House, Zach McAllister and Josh Tomlin are vying for the starting jobs.

Salazar got roughed up Thursday against Cincinnati, allowing six earned runs -- two homers -- and six hits in 3 1-3 innings. His fastball was high in the strike zone down the middle. In four spring outings, Salazar is 1-2 with an 8.18 ERA. He has allowed 14 hits and 10 runs in 11 innings.

Salazar bounced between Columbus and Cleveland last season. He went 6-8 with a 4.25 ERA in 20 starts. In 2013, he started the Indians' wild-card game against Tampa Bay.

DIAMONDBACKS-INDIANS

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Cleveland ace Corey Kluber tuned up for the regular season, striking out nine over six effective innings Friday in the Indians' 3-2 loss to Josh Collmenter and the split-squad Arizona Diamondbacks.

In a matchup between pitchers set to start on opening day, Kluber gave up one run and six hits. The AL Cy Young Award winner walked two.

Collmenter threw three-hit ball in seven shutout innings. He struck out three and walked two.

Arizona scored off Kluber in the first inning on doubles by Chris Owings and David Peralta.

Owings also tripled. Jake Lamb hit two doubles for the Diamondbacks.

NCAA-NOTRE DAME-KENTUCKY

CLEVELAND (AP) -- If there's one school unafraid to take on Kentucky, it's Notre Dame.

The Fighting Irish have a history of taking down college basketball Goliaths. There's none bigger or more intimidating right now than the undefeated Wildcats, who are 37-0 and can earn a trip to the Final Four on Saturday with a win over Notre Dame in the Midwest Regional final.

Kentucky demolished West Virginia by 39 points in the semifinals, while Notre Dame outlasted Wichita State.

The Fighting Irish have beaten the AP's top-ranked teams eight times and may be best known for ending UCLA's 88-game winning streak in 1974.

Notre Dame's players don't see themselves as underdogs and are confident they can compete with Kentucky, a team some feel is invincible. Notre Dame coach Mike Brey believes he has the more tested team after playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

National Sports News

Last Update on March 28, 2015 16:30 GMT

NCAA TOURNAMENT

UNDATED (AP) -- The first two teams in the Final Four will be determined this evening, with two of the regional finals set in the NCAA Tournament.

Notre Dame will be the next team to take a stab at bringing down top-seed and unbeaten Kentucky when they meet tonight for the Midwest Regional title in Cleveland. And the Fighting Irish have the DNA to topple the Wildcats. Notre Dame teams have beaten the AP's top-ranked teams eight times, most notably ending UCLA's 88-game winning streak in 1974.

But the 37-0 Wildcats are not those teams. They offered a stark reminder of that with a punishing 39-point demolition of West Virginia on Thursday night.

The 32-5 Fighting Irish are trying to get to the Final four for the first time since 1978.

Top-seed Wisconsin will try to grab the West Regional title when the Badgers take on second-seed Arizona in a showdown of powerhouses in Los Angeles. It's a rematch of last year's regional final won by Wisconsin in overtime.

The 34-3 Wildcats take a 14-game winning streak into tonight's play. Wisconsin is 34-3.

NBA-SCHEDULE

UNDATED (AP) -- Golden State looks to establish a franchise record for wins in a season when the Warriors visit Milwaukee tonight. The Western Conference leaders head into tonight's game with an NBA best 59-13 record and are riding an eight-game winning streak.

That's one of five games on the NBA schedule.

Atlanta heads into their game at Charlotte having clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks locked that up with a win over Miami last night, combined with Brooklyn's win over Cleveland.

Oklahoma City continues its pursuit of a playoff spot one day after finding out that star Kevin Durant is lost for the season. The Thunder hit the road to take on Utah. Durant is the team's leading scorer and rebounder, but is set for bone graft surgery next week that will sideline him for the rest of the season. The Thunder currently hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

NHL-SCHEDULE

UNDATED (AP) -- The battles for first place in both NHL Conferences resume as part of a 13-game schedule today and tonight.

The Western conference-leading Ducks are in New York facing the Islanders, a team that has struggled of late with wins in just two of its last nine games.

Nashville started the day a point back of Anaheim. The Central Division-leading Predators are in Washington this afternoon. Nashville has won its last two.

The Rangers headed into today's game at Boston holding a one-point lead over Montreal in the Eastern Conference. New York has already wrapped up a playoff spot for the ninth time in the last ten seasons. The Bruins are battling Ottawa for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Montreal is expected to have Carey Price back in the nets for its home game this evening against Florida. The Canadiens top goalie got the night off Thursday in a loss to Winnipeg. Price has posted shutouts in his last two games.

GOLF-TEXAS OPEN

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Jimmy Walker is hoping there's no place like home.

Walker takes the lead into today's third round of his hometown Texas Open. The course is a 35-minute drive from Walker's suburban home. The winner of the Sony Open in January is one shot ahead of Charley Hoffman and Aaron Baddeley. Hoffman has two top-three finishes in his previous four appearances at the event.

GOLF-CHAMPIONS TOUR

SAUCIER, Miss. (AP) -- Joe Durant pursues his first Champions Tour title with a share of the lead heading into round two of the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic. He's tied with Colin Montgomerie at 5-under par. Durant won four times on the PGA Tour, but is winless on the 50-and-over tour.

Montgomerie had a breakthrough year in 2014 with wins in the Senior PGA Championship and U.S. Senior Open.

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Sports Director Clay Hall

WSYX - Clay Hall

Clay Hall is the Sports Director for ABC 6 and FOX 28.

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