SEC championships start for Gator track and softball, the NBA playoffs role on and the TPC cranks up too in our Thursday Sports News and Notes…
** The Gator track teams begin action today in the SEC Track And Field Championships at Missouri. The action runs through May 12. UF women were second last year and the men fourth.
** The Gator softball team begins play in the SEC Tournament today in Lexington, Kentucky; the top seeded Gators face Alabama who beat Texas A&M in a game yesterday.
** The TPC, considered by some to be the fifth major on the PGA Tour, kicks off today in Ponte Vedra Beach. Former Gators Matt Every, Brian Gay and Billy Horschel as well as Ted Potter Jr. from the Ocala area are among those in the tournament.
** The Gainesville Sun reports today that Gator offensive coordinator Brent Pease and some other assistants received pay raises and/or contract extensions. Among the others to get raises were offensive line coach Tim Davis and tight ends coach Derek Lewis.
** The NBA playoffs see the Miami Heat rip the Chicago Bulls 115-78 to even their playoff series at 1-1 while Golden State evens its series with San Antonio with a 100-91 win.
** In MLB action, San Diego nips Miami 1-0; Atlanta clubs Cincinnati 7-2 and Matt Moore runs his record to 6-0 after a Tampa Bay 10-4 win over Toronto.
** An NFL veteran of 16 years is retiring today as Tampa Bay defensive back Ronde Barber is calling it quits after playing his entire career with the Bucs.