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Notes, quotes and ratings from a dial-switcher during March Madness: At first glance, the NCAA men's basketball tournament is a huge hit, with ratings up 50 percent on the local CBS affiliate, WIVB-TV, compared to a year ago. But a closer look shows that the huge gain is largely the result of the 2016 tournament tanking here a year ago. Going into Saturday's natio…

Position: Quarterback School: Pittsburgh Measurables: 6-foot-2, 226 pounds Combine stats: 40-yard dash: 4.82 seconds. Vertical jump: 31 inches. Broad jump: 9 feet, 2 inches. 3-cone drill: 7.14 seconds. 20-yard shuttle: 4.31 seconds. Career stats: 37 games, 26 starts, 398 of 663, 60.0 completion percentage, 5,236 yards, 47 TDs, 17 INTs, 172 carries, 525 yards, 5 TD…

Get yourself ready for today's #PrepTalkLive action with everything you need to know about the day ahead in high school sports. What to watch for Tuesday 1. Girls lacrosse - Mount St. Mary at Niagara Wheatfield, 5:30 p.m. Mount St. Mary Academy heads to Niagara Wheatfield in a public-private showdown to open their respective seasons. The Thunder had a 14-6 record…

Before during and after the game, this was all about the man they call Gio. As an organization, the Buffalo Sabres honored captain Brian Gionta's 1,000th NHL game with a video tribute and an on-ice presentation featuring his wife, children and parents that drew a standing ovation from the crowd Monday night in KeyBank Center. Gionta's inspired teammates, who respect …

Grand Island girls lacrosse coach Jenn Shalke has a senior-laden squad this season. Two of the 12 seniors on the roster, Marlie Hess and Alyssa Maxwell, scored three goals each Monday as the Vikings opened the season with a 15-3 victory over visiting Lockport on the turf field at Grand Island. Another three-goal scorer for Grand Island was freshman Abby Blair. The Vikings…

On a night matching the NHL's No. 1 power play against its top-ranked penalty killers, the scorers got the upper hand on the defenders. The Buffalo Sabres got goals from Ryan O'Reilly and captain Brian Gionta on their first two power plays and held on for a 4-2 victory over the Florida Panthers Monday before 18,564 in KeyBank Center. Buffalo has won two straight games a…

PHOENIX -- Despite growing speculation that Doug Whaley could soon be on his way out as general manager of the Buffalo Bills, coach Sean McDermott stressed Monday that the two of them are working closely together and expects that to continue. "Doug and I worked together on (free agency), we absolutely worked together on all of this," McDermott told The Buffalo News …

She remembers Draft Day like it was yesterday. That June day in 1998 in Buffalo at what was then called Marine Midland Arena. Brian Gionta wasn't supposed to make the NHL but there he was, being drafted by the New Jersey Devils. Harvest was there that day. She's been there every day during her husband's hockey career. Monday night in KeyBank Center it was as much a cele…

PHOENIX -- The late Al Davis was always considered the maverick among NFL team owners. He was the one who filed multiple lawsuits against his league partners as he moved his club, the Oakland Raiders, back and forth between its original home in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, where they played from 1982 to 1994. He was constantly at odds with the league's commissioners -…

PHOENIX -- The Buffalo Bills added some much-needed depth at defensive end by claiming Scott Crichton off waivers from the Minnesota Vikings, The Buffalo News confirmed Monday. The acquisition was first reported by ESPN's Field Yates reported Monday. The Vikings released Crichton, who spent the past three seasons with them, on Friday. He gives the Bills a fourth de…

We are on hand as the Buffalo Sabres host the Florida Panthers at 7 p.m. It will be Brian Gionta's 1,000th NHL game. Be sure to read Five Things to Know about the game here at [BN] Hockey. Live updates and observations from our team, along with selected other accounts, are below. Tweets from https://twitter.com/TBNSports/lists/sabres-coverage !function(d,s,id){…

PHOENIX -- How are you feeling, Buffalo Bills' fans? That 17-year playoff drought still got you down? Are you uninspired by the free-agency moves that were limited by a tight salary cap? Are you uneasy about the uncertainty over the future of the general manager? Are you wondering about how things are going to work out under a first-time head coach? Well, here's s…

It was a decent year for Big 4 college basketball, and an excellent year for Western New York small college basketball. Hockey, however, tops the winter season-ending College Power 10. 1. Canisius hockey. The Golden Griffins were picked for ninth in the Atlantic Hockey Conference but won the regular-season title for the first time in their 19-year tenure in the league. …

Brad Self’s stay as a member of the Buffalo Bandits ended in less than a season. Self was dealt to the Colorado Mammoth on Monday in exchange for Creighton Reid and a fourth-round draft pick in 2019. Reid then was sent to Calgary for a fourth-round pick in 2017 and a second-rounder in 2019. Self, 36, was acquired from Rochester just before the 2017 National Lacross…

PHOENIX -- One of the natural questions emanating from NFL owners voting their approval Monday of the Raiders' move from Oakland to Las Vegas is whether it sends any sort of message to another team, such as the Buffalo Bills, with an outdated stadium. The league's and the Raiders' inability to work out an agreement with the City of Oakland to build a satisfactory r…