NBA fines Raptors coach Nick Nurse $50,000 for throwing mask, directing profanity at refs

I 'strongly believe' Atlanta shootings were hate crimes: Rep. Judy Chu

Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., said she ‘strongly’ believes that Atlanta spa shootings were hate crimes on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday.

“This is a 21 year old white male, who chose as his first victim a business that was called Young’s Asian massage. Then he drove for 27 miles to another spot where he hit two more Asian spas. If his only problem was sex addiction, then he could have had his choice in those 27 miles of any place that he could have gone to. But no, he specifically went to those Asian spas, where it was clear in all three places, there would be many Asian women,” Chu told “This Week” co-anchor Martha Raddatz.

Eight people — six of whom were women of Asian descent — were killed after a shooter opened fire at three different spas in the Atlanta area Tuesday evening. The man suspected of killing the victims admitted to the murders and blamed his “addiction to sex” as the motive, according to authorities Wednesday. He has since been charged with eight counts of murder.

Tuesday’s shooting comes amid a surge in assaults on the nation’s Asian American community. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been nearly 3,800 anti-Asian hate incidents reported in the U.S., according to data from the Stop AAPI Hate coalition. In the first two months of 2021, there were over 500 incidents reported.

ABC News’ Catherine Thorbecke contributed to this report.

March Madness schedule, odds and TV info for Sunday’s men’s NCAA Tournament second-round games

The second round of what has so far been a fairly wild men's NCAA Tournament begins Sunday with a slate of eight games featuring teams from the South and Midwest regions. 

Can Oral Roberts continue its Cinderella run? After knocking off No. 2 seed Ohio State in a first-round shocker, the Golden Eagles return to action Sunday night against the No. 7 Florida Gators. 

Among the other highlights of Sunday's slate is the matchup between No. 1 Illinois and in-state foe Loyola-Chicago. The Fighting Illini might be a title favorite, but Sister Jean still believes in her Ramblers. 

“I believe again we can do it. We’ll try our best and we’ll do our best,” the 101-year-old nun said. 

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March Madness watchability rankings: Best men’s NCAA Tournament games to watch Sunday

The first round of the men's NCAA Tournament is in the books, and just like that the field has been halved to 32 teams after two days. 

Now comes the second round, where the tests get harder for the top seeds that were able to avoid upsets in their first game.

The spotlight is also on the surprise teams that pulled off shockers on Friday. Can they move past the euphoria of their victories to continue their momentum with just 48 hours between their games?

It shapes up for an intriguing day as 16 teams will be hoping to win their way to the Sweet 16.

Ranking all eight of the games on tap Sunday:

No. 1 Illinois vs. No. 8 Loyola Chicago

Time/TV: 12:10 p.m., CBS

This would be a game of intrigue without the added spice of a rivalry between the two best basketball schools in the state. The Illini have to be sharp for the full 40 minutes as the Ramblers have the deliberate style to frustrate them and the clutch shooting to pull off an upset if this stays close. The matchup in the middle between Kofi Cockburn of Illinois and Cameron Krutwig of Loyola should be great to watch. 

Prediction: Illinois 71-65.

Holding out for a holiday? | Ben Wallace & Steve Baker

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace says we “can’t be deaf and blind” to rising coronavirus cases abroad, insisting progress made by the UK’s vaccination programme can’t be put at risk.

He says it’s vital the Government monitors the situation, and he responds to fears the spread of Covid-19 in Europe could put plans to holiday overseas this summer on hold.

Concerns around restrictions at home are also gathering momentum, as a growing Conservative rebellion fights to prevent extending the emergency coronavirus laws until October.

Herald morning quiz: March 22

Test your brains with the Herald’s morning quiz. Be sure to check back on nzherald.co.nz at 3pm for the afternoon quiz.

To challenge yourself with more quizzes, CLICK HERE.

NBA fines Raptors coach Nick Nurse $50,000 for throwing mask, directing profanity at refs

Nick Nurse's mask-throwing outburst is going to cost him.

The NBA on Sunday fined the Toronto Raptors head coach $50,000 for throwing his facemask behind the scorer’s table and toward the spectator stands, and for directing a profanity toward game officials at the end of the Raptors’ 115-112 loss to the Utah Jazz on Friday.

In the game, the Jazz went to the foul line 41 times, compared to 14 by the Raptors, who lost for the seventh consecutive time.

"Outplayed them all over the place. Hard one to win. It just didn't seem like they were gonna let us win tonight," Nurse told reporters after the game. "A lot of calls, man. Every possession was free throws."