LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Some thought the loss of talented guard Jordan Adams to a broken foot would drop UCLA's stock when the NCAA Tournament selections were announced Sunday.
Turns out, they didn't drop far enough for UCLA coach Ben Howland.
UCLA drew a No. 6 seed and will face No. 11 Minnesota in the South Region of the NCAA Tournament on Friday in Austin, Texas. It's the 43rd trip to the tournament in school history for the Bruins (25-9), who missed out on the tournament in two of the previous three seasons, including last season.
But Howland said he would have preferred a lower seed in order to play closer to home. He said the team hoped it would play in San Jose.
``Two other Pac-12 teams got to go to San Jose,'' he said. ``Honestly, I'd rather be Cal right now playing in San Jose. I'd rather be a 12 seed playing in San Jose.''
Cal is the No. 12 seed in the East Region and will play UNLV in its opening game. Oregon is the No. 12 seed in the Midwest Region and also plays its first game in San Jose against Oklahoma State.
UCLA's standout freshman Shabazz Muhammad agreed with his coach.
``I don't know why they would put us in Austin,'' said Muhammad, who leads the Bruins averaging 17.8 points per game. ``We proved ourselves all year in the Pac-12. You've just got to deal with adversity and handle business.''
Making up for the loss of Adams will be a bigger challenge for the Bruins than where they'll be playing.
Adams broke his right foot in Friday's Pac-12 tournament semifinal against Arizona. His 15.3 points per game are second to Muhammad, but Howland said Adams is more than a scorer.
``He's probably our best all-around player,'' Howland said. ``Not only is he our second-leading scorer, he's our best perimeter defender.''
UCLA did not have time to adjust to playing without Adams in Saturday's Pac-12 tournament title game loss to Oregon, but now Howland and the Bruins will have four days to adjust.
``I have to do a better job of getting Tony (Parker) more minutes, we've got to use Tony for a minimum of 10 minutes in this game coming up,'' Howland said. ``Just play more people. We've got to get Kyle (Anderson) more comfortable playing more minutes.''
Anderson, like Muhammad and Adams, is a freshman and part of a very young Bruins team that has only one player _ senior guard Larry Drew II_ with any NCAA Tournament experience.
``I'm ready to step up for the challenge and be prepared for it,'' said Anderson, who averages 9.8 points per game and a team-leading 8.6 rebounds. ``Our guys just have to be ready to adjust and make changes. They (coaches) will have something ready for us.''
In Minnesota, the Bruins will face a team that lost its last three games, including in the first round of the Big Ten Conference Tournament to Illinois, as well as its final two regular season games to Nebraska and Purdue. The Golden Gophers, however, did beat No. 1 Indiana on Feb. 26 and are coached by Tubby Smith, for whom Howland has immense respect.
``Tubby is one of the best coaches in the country and has proven that during his tenure at Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky and Minnesota,'' Howland said. ``So they'll be very well prepared.''
A big point of focus will be the boards. Minnesota ranks No. 8 in the nation in rebound margin (8.2 per game).
``Everybody's rebounding concerns me,'' Howland said.
If UCLA beats Minnesota (20-12), the Bruins will play the winner of the No. 3 Florida-No. 14 Northwestern State game.
Las Vegas, NV (Sports Network) - Larry Drew II scored 20 points, with four rebounds and four assists, as No. 21 UCLA rallied past Arizona State, 80-75, in quarterfinal action in the inaugural Pac-12 Tournament.
Shabazz Muhammad totaled 16 points and nine boards for the Bruins (24-8), the top overall seed who will take on Arizona in a Friday semifinal.
"I thought Shabazz did a fantastic job taking the game over, especially scoring inside," said UCLA coach Ben Howland. "I mean, we need to score inside, and he's our best player at going to the basket."
Jordan Bachynski's game-best 22 points wasn't enough for the Sun Devils (21-12), who had topped Stanford in a Wednesday matchup. Jahii Carson added 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds in the setback.
"Really proud of our guys' effort. I thought they really battled. Had a couple opportunities on the offensive end that we didn't cash in, and as it turns out, didn't have that room for error," said Arizona State coach Herb Sendek.
Bachynski's bucket just prior to the midway point of the second half staked ASU to a seemingly-insurmountable 62-50 advantage, but UCLA chipped away steadily to wrestle away the victory.
David Wear and Muhammad connected on consecutive possessions to reduce the deficit to eight and start the comeback, and later in the run Muhammad's tip- in pulled the Bruins within two and Drew's three-pointer gave them a 67-66 edge with just under five minutes to play.
Both sides took turns with the lead until two free throws by Evan Gordon made it 74-72 for the Sun Devils inside of two minutes remaining. Gordon then missed the last of two from the line with 1:19 on the clock and it was 75-74.
Wear then connected on consecutive jumpers to put UCLA back on top by a 78-75 margin, and sealed the game with two makes from the charity stripe in the final seconds.
Arizona State used a short 10-5 burst through the mid-point of the first half to take a 25-17 edge on a triple from Jonathan Gilling.
Gordon's make from beyond the arc finished off an 8-2 run and gave the Sun Devils a 37-26 lead, which would be 41-33 at intermission.
Game Notes: UCLA has won 62 of the 81 all-time meetings with ASU ... Wear finished with 15 points and six rebounds ...Gilling had 17 points with seven boards and three assists ... Bachynski totaled a game-high three blocks.
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - The San Diego Chargers released veteran tight end Randy McMichael on Tuesday.
The 33-year-old McMichael spent the past three seasons with the Chargers, catching 59 passes for 543 yards and two touchdowns. He had just nine receptions last season.
Selected by Miami in the fourth round of the 2002 NFL Draft, the Georgia product has posted career totals of 426 receptions, 4,539 yards and 24 touchdowns in 164 games with the Dolphins, Rams and Chargers.
LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Two USC basketball players suspected of being involved in a brawl in Spokane, Wash., were suspended by the team today for violating an unspecified team rule.
Dewayne Dedmon and James Blasczyk were suspended indefinitely from all team activities. The team is scheduled to play Wednesday night against Utah in the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas.
USC interim head coach Bob Cantu announced in a statement that the players had been suspended, and added, ``Separately, we are aware of the Spokane investigation into an alleged incident involving those players and we are cooperating with the authorities to determine the facts. Until we learn all the facts, it would be inappropriate to comment further.''
According to media reports from Washington, at least four people were hospitalized in the fighting, which apparently began in one bar and continued in another early Sunday morning. USC lost to Washington State Saturday afternoon and the team was staying in Spokane that night before returning to Los Angeles.
Dedmon, a junior from Lancaster, is listed as 7 feet tall and 255 pounds on the team's roster. Blasczyk is a senior from Texas, listed at 7-foot-1 and 260 pounds.
As people in Los Angeles await word on the sale of the Anschutz Entertainment Group, the NFL doesn't sound too enthusiastic about the firm's plan to build a downtown stadium.
Less than six months after the L.A. city council voted unanimously to support AEG's plan, the concept is essentially dead to the NFL, according to two sources. The problems with the plan are numerous, but the most essential one is the economics.
"The numbers just don't work, no matter how you look at the deal," a league source said in February. "It's either too hard for AEG to make money [and pay the debt on the stadium] or too hard for the team. I just can't see a way for it to work."
Officially, a league spokesman said Monday that the NFL is still tracking what AEG is trying to do.
"We continue to monitor the AEG situation and remain interested in multiple sites in the Los Angeles area," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement.
Unofficially, the NFL believes that the cost of the AEG plan, which the league believes will be at least $1.8 billion, will make it unworkable.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ Linebacker Shawne Merriman is calling it ``Lights Out'' on his career.
The three-time Pro Bowl selection and 2005 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year said on his website Tuesday night that he intends to file retirement papers.
``I retire today not because I don't feel I can go out there and still play the game at a very high level,'' Merriman wrote. ``I am retiring because I want to retire on my own terms and leave while I know I can still physically play the game.''
The team later confirmed Merriman's intentions in a text message and on its Twitter account.
The 28-year-old Merriman also posted a note on his Twitter account, which included a link to his website (shawnemerriman.com). ``I have a very Big announcement,'' Merriman wrote. ``Thanks everybody.''
The decision comes a week before he was eligible to become a free agent, and after spending parts of the past three seasons in Buffalo. That included last year, when he was cut by the Bills in August only to be re-signed by Buffalo in October to help address the team's injury-riddled defense.
Merriman had expressed surprise he went unsigned for the first six weeks of last season. He returned to the Bills with a noticeably sun-burnt face, sheepishly explaining he had fallen asleep on the beach after working out at his home in Miami.
In signing a one-year $700,000 contract, Merriman finished last season with 17 tackles and one sack in 10 games, including one start. That was a marked drop-off for a player who became an instant NFL star after being selected by San Diego 12th overall in the 2005 draft.
Combining for 39 1/2 sacks in his first three seasons with the Chargers, Merriman earned the nickname ``Lights Out'' as one of the league's fiercest pass rushers.
A series of injuries, however, caught up to him, and he was particularly bothered by a sore right Achilles tendon. It's an injury that led to the Chargers waiving him during the 2010 season.
The Bills acquired his rights soon after, but Merriman never made it past his first practice in Buffalo after aggravating the injury. He was limited to playing five games in 2011 before being placed on injured reserve to have surgery to repair the partially torn tendon.
Each offseason in Buffalo, Merriman declared himself to be fully healthy, and ready to regain his dominant form.
Last spring, Merriman compared himself to Benjamin Button, the fictional movie character who aged in reverse.
``I feel young,'' he said. ``Anybody that will get a chance to watch me this year will see I'm moving around as I did when I came into the league.''
By the end, his play never matched his bold pronouncements.
Merriman was limited to 18 games over his final three seasons. And he finished with 45 1/2 career sacks in 75 games, including 59 starts.
Merriman also made headlines for his on- and off-field troubles.
In 2006, he was suspended by the NFL for four games after testing positive for steroids. He blamed the positive test on a tainted supplement, which he never identified. Despite being limited to playing 12 games, Merriman finished with a career-best 17 sacks that season.
In 2009, Merriman was arrested just before the season after reality television star Tila Tequila accused him of battery and false imprisonment at his suburban San Diego home. No charges were filed, and Merriman and Tequila settled dueling lawsuits.
Though it was unlikely the Bills were going to re-sign him, Merriman's retirement marks the latest change to the team's defense under new coach Doug Marrone, and
new coordinator Mike Pettine.
The Bills this offseason have already released three veteran defensive players: cornerback Terrence McGee, safety George Wilson and linebacker Nick Barnett. Last week, defensive lineman Chris Kelsay announced his retirement after 10 seasons in Buffalo.
In thanking his fans and two former teams, Merriman said he intends to pursue other career opportunities. Merriman has dabbled in acting, is a fan of kick boxing and wrestling and has also worked as a model.
In January, Merriman showed off his tattoos as a model for PETA's ``Ink, Not Mink'' campaign, to encourage people not to wear natural fur coats.
``I feel truly blessed to have been part of the NFL, and to have had the opportunity of a lifetime,'' Merriman wrote. ``I will continue to train with some of the guys not because of football, but it's part of my Lifestyle.''
When USC athletic director Pat Haden fired coach Kevin O'Neil four games into the start of Pac-12 play in January, most believed the Trojans would try to revive interest in their basketball program by targeting splashy candidates for the position.
Sure enough, the first coach to acknowledge he has interviewed for the job would surely create some buzz.
UTEP's Tim Floyd, who coached USC from 2005 to 2009, told the Los Angeles Times on Monday night that he met for three hours with Haden to discuss the job opening, and if you think that's weird, well, you're not alone.
First of all, Floyd resigned at USC in 2009 amid allegations of improper conduct related to the recruitment of ex-Trojans guard O.J. Mayo. Though Floyd was quick to note that the NCAA found no proof he was involved and cleared him of all wrongdoing, it's unusual that the school that essentially sent him packing would now be interested again.
Also strange was the timing of Floyd's on-the-record admission that he has interviewed for the USC job.
CARSON, Calif. (AP) -- The home of the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA Major League Soccer teams is changing its name to StubHub Center in a new naming rights deal.
The 125-acre facility known as Home Depot Center since it opened 10 years ago will change its name on June 1. It is the first naming rights partnership for the San Francisco-based ticketing company.
The price of the multiyear contract wasn't disclosed. However, Home Depot paid $70 million for a 10-year deal. The company declined to renew.
The 125-acre complex includes a 27,000-seat main stadium and also has facilities for tennis, cycling, track and other sports. It's an official training site for U.S. Olympians and also has been used for concerts.
The multi-year agreement announced Monday by AEG, which developed and manages the facility, calls for StubHub to have two ''giant digital freeway marquee signs,'' a presence on the venue's official website, and involvement in the Galaxy's team marketing assets. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
The first scheduled StubHub Center event will be a Galaxy match on June 19.
StubHub Center will remain an official U.S. Olympic and Paralympic training site, and a training center for the U.S. Soccer Federation, the U.S. Tennis Association and USA Cycling.
UCLA freshman sensation Shabazz Muhammad has played his final game at Pauley Pavilion.
Well, at least according to Bruins Coach Ben Howland.
The 6-foot-6 Muhammad is part of a blue-chip freshman class, which includes 6-9 guard Kyle Anderson, on a UCLA team that struggled early in the season but is in the thick of the Pac-12Conference title race. But the explosive swingman appears headed to the NBA next season, if you listen to Howland.
"That was his last game in Pauley," Howland said after a hard-fought 74-69 victory over No. 11-ranked Arizona. "There's no doubt about it. I know that. He knows that. We all know that. So we want this season to go on as long as possible."
READ MORE: LA Times