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12-seed UAB to meet San Diego State in Spokane for 2024 NCAA tournament

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12-seed UAB to meet San Diego State in Spokane for 2024 NCAA tournament


After a one-year absence, the UAB basketball team is back in the NCAA tournament.

The Blazers were announced Sunday as a No. 12 seed in the East region and will meet No. 5 seed San Diego State. The first-round game involving UAB will take place Friday in Spokane, Washington.

Read more on UAB sports:

Alejandro Vasquez scores career high to lift UAB over Temple for AAC tournament title

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Efrem ‘Butta’ Johnson powers UAB to win over South Florida, advances to AAC title game

Yaxel Lendeborg and Daniel Ortiz power UAB past Wichita State in AAC quarterfinal

The tip-off time for the game has yet to be announced. If UAB wins its first-round game, it will play the winner of No. 4 seed Auburn and No. 13 seed Yale on Sunday.

The Blazers are making their second appearance — 17th overall appearance in program history — in four seasons under Andy Kennedy.

UAB finished the regular season with a 20-11 overall record, improving to 23-11 with its first AAC tournament title in program history and seventh conference tournament title in program history.

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The Blazers enter the NCAA tournament on a five-game winning streak, having won its final two games of the regular season and all three games in winning the AAC Tournament.



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San Diego weekend arts events: Photography, flowers, books and more

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San Diego weekend arts events: Photography, flowers, books and more


Top picks

Medium Festival of Photography

Medium Festival highlights:

Photography Pop-Up
6:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25.
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 27.
Marriott Courtyard, 2435 Jefferson St., Old Town. Free.

Open Portfolio Walk
6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25.
Marriott Courtyard, 2435 Jefferson St., Old Town. Free.

Keynote lecture with Cara Romero
7 p.m. Friday, April 26.
San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., downtown. $20 lecture/reception without festival pass.

‘The Artist Speaks: Cara Romero’ exhibition opens
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 27.
MOPA @ SDMA, 1649 El Prado, Balboa Park

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‘Size Matters’ Exhibition Reception
5-7 p.m. Saturday, April 27.
Athenaeum Art Center, 1955 Julian Ave., Logan Heights. Free.

Mónica Arreola Exhibition
5-7 p.m. Saturday, April 27.
Best Practice, 1955 Julian Ave., Logan Heights. Free.

Bus Tour to Tijuana
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 28. $150 without festival pass.

Tickets, festival passes and more information available at mediumphoto.org

Visual art, Photography | The 12th annual Medium Festival of Photography kicks off this week, a locally based convening of photographers and photography lovers worldwide. With a keynote from Indigenous photographer Cara Romero, exhibitions, lectures, studio tours, a Tijuana bus tour, receptions, portfolio reviews, pop-up markets and more, it’s a busy week with plenty to stumble upon, even if you don’t have a festival pass.

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The festival began in 2012 by an organization called Medium Photo, founded by Scott B. Davis.

“Medium started because I knew a lot of people working in fine art photography who didn’t have a platform for their work, and I myself as a photographer learned the most in my career by hearing other artists speak about their work and by attending educational workshops. And those didn’t exist in San Diego,” Davis said. “I really want to see the community feel a shared love of photography. It’s such a dynamic medium and it reaches people on so many different levels — as a storytelling tool, as a tool for creative expression, as a tool for abstract ideas.”

Photography has transformed significantly since the festival originated. Smartphone camera use is not just more widespread, but the technology is much better today than in 2012. Davis has also noticed a resurgence of analog photography. In addition, artificial intelligence has begun to shape the landscape of photography — and a Medium Festival panel on copyright and AI will attempt to help attendees sort through it.

Festival passes are still available, but some of the events are free and open to the public, or — like Romero’s keynote lecture on Friday evening at the Central Library — are ticketed separately at a lower-cost and don’t require a festival pass.

Details: Event link. Thursday, April 25 through Sunday, April 28. Locations vary.

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San Diego Book Crawl and Independent Bookstore Day

For more arts events or to submit your own, visit the KPBS/Arts Calendar. If you want more time to plan, get the KPBS/Arts Newsletter in your inbox every Thursday to see event picks for the weeks ahead.

Books, Poetry | Independent Bookstore Day is back, and with it, every local book lover’s favorite tradition: San Diego Book Crawl. Here’s how it works: visit and support as many of the 13 participating indie bookstores in San Diego as you’d like. Bonus perks may be yours if you make purchases at each shop. This year’s author ambassador is Susan Lee, and a new addition to the crawl this year is a shuttle service, on Saturday. You can learn more in our interview with Book Crawl organizers here.

Details: Event link. Saturday, April 27 through Monday, April 29. Times and locations vary. Free (purchases required at stores to receive prizes).

‘Afterburner’

Courtesy of Techne Art Center

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A sculpture by John Oliver Lewis is shown in an undated photo.

Visual art | Named after the afterburner combustion mechanism on jet engines, this exhibit at Oceanside’s Techne Art Center spotlights artists who push boundaries — with materials and form in art. Artists include Jon Elliott, Jack Henry, Robin Kang, Dave Kinsey, Jason Clay Lewis, John Oliver Lewis, Mônica Lóss, Jessica McCambly, Tim Murdoch, Sasha Koozel Reibstein and Allison Renshaw. Curated by Chuck Thomas. You can view samples of the works by some of the participating artists here. Notable are the intricate, charred-looking relief pieces by Dave Kinsey, the sculptural, textile works of Mônica Lóss, the curious and almost candy-like constructions of John Oliver Lewis and the minimal works on paper by Jessica McCambly — but there’s so much to discover from the 11 artists.

Details: Event link. Opens with a reception from 5-8 p.m. on Saturday, April 27. On view through July 20. Gallery hours are 1-6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; and 1-5 p.m. Saturday. Techne Art Center, 1609 Ord Way, Oceanside. Free.

‘Madama Butterfly’

Opera, Music, Theater | Giacomo Puccini’s masterpiece opera, “Madama Butterfly” returns to the San Diego Opera stage — it was last produced in 2016. The story follows a young woman in Japan, Cio-Cio-San, known as “Butterfly,” who meets an American officer, Pinkerton, falls in love and — so she thinks — marries him. He returns to his American family, while she is left to raise their son alone, awaiting his return. It’s a tragic story, with a gorgeous and quintessential operatic score.

Details: Event link. 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 26, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 28. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., downtown. $13-$340.

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Art Alive

Visual art | San Diego Museum of Art’s annual spring floral show will be on view this weekend. Floral designers are tasked with interpreting works of art in the museum, and those floral arrangements are displayed near the inspiring art. Don’t miss the kid-friendly activities in the sculpture garden. And of course, there’s the ever-dazzling rotunda display in the museum’s two-story entrance lobby — designed this year by Meghaa Modi, Art Alive’s first international selection for rotunda designer.

Details: Event link. 12-5 p.m. Friday, April 26, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 26-28. San Diego Museum of Art, 1450 El Prado, Balboa Park. $40 for general admission, $5 for guests aged 7-17, or free for museum members.

Alejandra Dueñas' sculpture, "¿A dónde se van las lágrimas que nos guardamos?" is shown in an undated photo.

Courtesy of The Front Arte & Cultura

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Alejandra Dueñas’ sculpture, “¿A dónde se van las lágrimas que nos guardamos?” is shown in an undated photo.

Sidro Saturdays

Visual art, Music, Food, Theater | This special community arts event in San Ysidro is a great chance to check out the “Invisible Traditions” exhibition at The Front Arte y Cultura Gallery, curated by Katalina Silva and Arzu Ozkal. Plus, between The Front and the nearby El Salon space, you’ll also find live theater performances, music and lots of food, including tacos from Los Pinches Birrieria.

Details: Event link. 12-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 27. The Front, 147 W San Ysidro Blvd., San Ysidro. Free.

Live music picks

* indicates a local act

Thursday: San Diego Music Awards Showcase: Blair Gun*, Swive*, The Psychlops* and Grampadrew* at Casbah (pop, rock, alternative, folk); Cathedral Bells, Foliage and Rew at Soda Bar (indie); Gone Gone Beyond, Lily Fangz and Jesus Gonzalez* at Music Box (folk/Americana, alternative/hip-hop); Eliza McLamb, Mini Trees and Tan Universe at House of Blues (indie); Kamaiyah at SOMA (rap); Neil Young & Crazy Horse at Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre (rock)

Friday: LA LOM and Radio Malilla at Quartyard (cumbia); Tep No and Sunsets* at Soda Bar (dance/electronic); Guerilla Dragfare: Greenwitch, Lacerated, Agonista* (Tijuana), Angel Guts*, and Violuminescence* at Che Cafe (metal, hardcore/punk, indie); Johnny Dynamite & the Bloodsuckers at Casbah (rock); Songwriter Sanctuary: Lizzie Wann*, Calman Hart*, Bug Guts* and Missy Alcazar* at Normal Heights United Church (singer-songwriter); Bang Yongguk III at Observatory (rap/hip-hop/k-pop); The Gravities* and Jonny Tarr* at Civita Park (funk/blues, pop); The Brothers Burns*, San Diablo Allstars*, Bastard The Enemy* and Katie Ladubz* at Pour House Oceanside (hip-hop)

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Saturday: Rufus Wainwright and Francis Blume* at Belly Up (indie/pop/folk); Choir Boy and Trit 95* at Lou Lou’s Jungle Room (darkwave, goth); Surfer Girl, The Wide Eyed Kids* and Dune Blue at Casbah (reggae/rock); Peter Sprague plays Antonio Carlos Jobim at Dizzy’s (jazz); Julia Wolf, Scro and Zach Palmer at Quartyard (pop, alternative)

Sunday: Nico Play and Aloe Vera* at Soda Bar (indie); A Beacon School at Casbah (pop/dreamwave); PinkPanthress at Observatory (pop); Tenille Townes and Henry Morris at House of Blues (country, indie); Quarters of Change at SOMA (alternative); The Grinnells at Books & Records (jazz).

More arts and culture events this weekend

Adams Avenue Unplugged
Live music, Festivals | Browse the schedule and lineup of bands that will take over bars, cafes, restaurants and performance spaces along Adams Avenue. Event link. 12 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, April 27. Adams Avenue, University Heights, Normal Heights and Kensington. Free (except headliner concert, which is $25). 

Little Italy Mission Fed ArtWalk
Visual art, Festivals | This annual art festival is the longest-running one in the region, and it celebrates its 40th year with more than 250 artists working in painting, sculpture, photography, jewelry and more. Learn about this year’s featured artists here. Event link. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 27; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 28. India St. between Grape St. and Beech St., Little Italy. Free. Free MTS trolley passes while supplies last.

Sazón Live
Dance, Music | Centro Cultural de la Raza will host vibrant performances of Mexican dance along with live music. Event link. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, April 27; and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 28. Centro Cultural de la Raza, 2004 Park Blvd., Balboa Park. $15-$90. 

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‘Tuck Everlasting’
Theater, Music | This weekend, Coronado Playhouse opens their production of “Tuck Everlasting,” a musical adaptation of Natalie Babbitt’s classic book. The story follows 11-year-old Winnie as she gets caught up with a mysterious, immortal family in the woods near her home. Event link. On stage April 26 through May 2. Coronado Playhouse, 1835 Strand Way, Coronado. $27.

Twelfth Night Ensemble: ‘The English Orpheus’
Music, Classical | San Diego Early Music Society presents the debut of a new ensemble featuring harpsichordist David Belkovski and violinist Rachell Ellen Wong. The group will perform works by Purcell and Handel. Event link. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27. St. James-by-the-Sea, 743 Prospect St., La Jolla. $10-$50.

‘Duruflé Requiem’
Music, Classical, Choral | The San Diego Master Chorale will perform Maurice Duruflé’s 1947 “Requiem” along with works by J. S. Bach, Mark Butler, Benjamin Britten, Felix Mendelssohn and Gerald Finzi. 4 p.m. Saturday, April 27 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, 2728 Sixth Ave., Banker’s Hill; and 4 p.m. Sunday, April 28 at St. James-by-the-Sea, 743 Prospect St., La Jolla. $10-$35.



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San Diego lifeguard hit by boat while surfing in “freak accident”

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San Diego lifeguard hit by boat while surfing in “freak accident”


Cute lil joint across the road from Sunset Beach and with tentacles across Oahu valued at an astonishing $22.5 mill.

Eight years back Koa Smith, his bros Alex and Travis, and Koa Rothman, opened up a cute lil coffee and bowls joint called Sunrise Shack amid a plumeria farm and just across the road from world famous Sunset Beach.

The initial offering was pretty basic, coffees, tea, papaya bowls, but the place soon blossomed into the most popular eatery on the North Shore with its zeitgeist-y feel-good menu of wellness shots, smoothie bowls, banana bread and avocado toast.

Now, there’s Sunrise Shacks all over Oahu, Waikiki, Ala Moana Center, Kailua, Shark’s Cove as well as Sunset with predicated revenues set to hit five mill this year.

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The four wildly handsome Hawaiian-born surfers and models are ambitious as hell.

And y’ain’t gonna become a billionaire by shucking coconuts across the road from Sunset the rest of your life. And, so, after valuing ‘emselves at $22..5 mill, the gang used the crowdfund portal start engine to offer shares in their biz.

One share was set at $7.50 with a minimum buy-in of $240.

A raft of bonuses were set to lure investors with anyone dropping one hundred gees on their Ohana package getting “one of the founders’ signed surfboards, a flight to Hawaii from the US to surf and have a surf lesson with one of the founders, a custom Ohana shirt, an invitation to an investor’s party on Oahu, and 12% bonus shares.”

At the close of the offering on April 16, $786,620 had been raised.

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The surfers plan to use the money to expand onto the US mainland.

Koa Smith, meanwhile, a man who is widely regarded “the world’s sexiest surfer” and who ain’t afraid to bareback the biggest waves in the world, is offering seven-day online courses for anyone who might feel a little off kilter.

Smith became qualified to deliver the course after earning a certificate of completion from the charismatic faith healer Joe Dispenza.

The sell is almost as compelling as the Sunrise Shack’s share offer

“Koa Smith is a professional surfer, thirty-second famed barrel rider, entrepreneur and true showman. While his life looks idyllic from the outside; sunshine, nature, travel & nonstop adventure, he struggles to balance it all just like the rest of us.
“Through a severe head injury that left him with crippling depression, the pressure of competition and the bombardment of business demands, he realized that something needed to change. He wanted to take charge of his mental game. In turn, through extensive research and support, he developed a mental exercise routine, something that he commits to every morning.

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“A routine that puts him in the driver seat before the chaos of the world even has a chance to make an impression. His mental game changed everything and now he wants to share his morning routine with you. Are you ready to transform your mental game? $37.”

BeachGrit writer Steve Rees paid his thirty-seven dollars and completed the course a few months back. 

“Koa Smith is a genuinely likeable character who is passionate about helping people get right in the head,” reported Rees. “Maybe a grain of salt is needed to digest Koa’s program, all in good fun, etc.”



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The Juan Soto Trade Has Helped Both The Yankees And The San Diego Padres

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The Juan Soto Trade Has Helped Both The Yankees And The San Diego Padres


The San Diego Padres are a month into life after All-Stars Juan Soto, Blake Snell and Josh Hader. Things are just fine.

The Padres are again in contention in the NL West, and while they lost big bat Soto in the December trade with the New York Yankees, not only are they more balanced after adding starters Dylan Cease and Michael King but also they doing it economically.

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It started with general manager A.J. Preller’s decision to move Soto, which while it seemed inevitable on one level was met with some raised eyebrows.

“At the time, you probably see it (trade) the other way, I’m not going to lie, because I didn’t see up close what these guys were capable of doing.” Fernando Tatis Jr. said, alluding to Cease and King.

“But the more I keep seeing them, they bring the team to a whole different level. We are a really good baseball team. We are a team that can do the big things. This year we are proving ourselves we are having success doing the small things. With that balance and that pitching.

“There is a long road to go. It’s a matter of if we can keep doing the small things and keep ourselves in balance.”

The Padres made the smart fiscal play in trading Soto, who a month into his $31 million walk year is bashing his way toward a top-tier free agent deal, perhaps in the $50 million per year range.

Soto, in his age 26 season, will be the prize in a market that is expected to be as robust as it has been with recent young superstars including Shohei Ohtani, whose 10-year $700 million free agent contract signed last winter is the highest in major league history, even at its $461 million adjusted value due to his extensive deferrals.

At the same time, San Diego already had dedicated big money to run producers Manny Machado ($350 million), Fernando Tatis Jr., ($340 million) and Xander Bogaerts ($280 million), all locked up through at least 2033.

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The Soto deal enabled them to assemble potentially one of the best rotations in the NL, with Cease and King joining Joe Musgrove and Yu Darvish as a foursome capable of cranking out quality start after quality start.

The Padres acquired King and pitching prospects Ian Thorpe, Jhony Brito and Randy Vasquez in the seven-player deal with the Yankees. They then flipped Thorpe in a package to acquire Cease from the Chicago White Sox.

The moves also helped them save a boatload of money while replacing Snell. Cease and King will make a combined $11.5 million this season, about a sixth of what Snell will get after signing a two-year, $62 million free agent deal with San Francisco that includes a opt-out provision after this season.

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Both Cease and King have one more year of arbitration eligibility, which will make them quite affordable again in 2025. Each is three years younger than Snell, who has two more Cy Young Awards than he has complete games in a nine-year career.

Musgrove is signed through 2027 after agreeing to a five-year, $100 million deal last August. Darvish, signed in 2023, is due $83 million through 2028.

Which means that the Padres are still spending money, but the cost of doing business in the wake of their offseason decisions has decreased drastically.

Their $161 million active payroll is just below the major league average, and it is lower than NL West rivals the Los Angles Dodgers ($228 million), the Giants ($197 million) and defending NL champion Arizona ($167 million).

Completing the makeover, closer Robert Suarez has converted all eight of his save chances while taking over the ninth inning from Hader, whose five-year, $95 million free agent deal with Houston was the largest for a closer. Suarez signed a five-year, $46 million contract last season that includes an opt-out after 2025.

Hader made it clear to the Padres that he preferred only one-inning stints, and he pitched more than one inning only once in his 1 1/2 seasons with them. Suarez had two four-out saves and one five-out save in his first 10 appearances this season.

“He’s embraced his role, and … wow,” Tatis said of Suarez. “He’s blowing doors to everybody. Hitters know his fastball is coming and they still can’t hit it.”

Suarez has thrown his 98 mph fastball 87 percent of the time this season, according to FanGraphs.

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Cease, who was second in the AL Cy Young voting in 2022, is 3-1 with a 1.82 ERA in his first five starts this season after winning 3-1 at Colorado on Monday, when he gave up one and struck out eight. He has given up 11 hits in 29 2/3 innings, is averaging 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings and leads major league qualifiers in opponents’ batting average (.113).

King was roughed up in a 7-4 loss at Colorado on Tuesday, dropping to 2-2 with a 4.11 ERA, but took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his previous start at Milwaukee. He is building on a 2.33 ERA he had in nine nine starts with the Yankees after being moved into the rotation in mid-August.

Tatis had one word to describe the two newcomers.

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“Nasty,” he said.

Musgrove, Cease and King were among the top 15 in the NL in innings pitched entering Tuesday, an indication of what they have meant to the team.

“If were are going to go out and grab quality innings and be able to help the team compete, let’s start there,” San Diego manager Mike Shildt said. “That’s a big portion of those guys’ responsibilities that take the ball at the beginning of the game. Both of those guys have done that very, very well.

“They do the things that allow you to get deep in games. They hold runners. They control counts. They have multiple pitches they can throw multiple times for strikes. It’s also clearly helpful to our bullpen to keep those guys fresh as well.”



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