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home : sports : college/pro March 3, 2021

Illini drub No. 2 Michigan
Trent Frazier, Andre Curbelo and No. 4 Illinois arrived at Crisler Center ready to make a point.

"We're the hardest-playing team in the country. That's our statement," Frazier said. "Even without our best player, we've got a lot of guys on this team."

Duly noted.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021


Jokic scores 39, Nuggets beat Bulls 118-112
Nikola Jokic dominated with 39 points and 14 rebounds, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Chicago Bulls 118-112 on Monday night.

Jokic finished with nine assists, just missing his 50th career triple-double. The three-time All-Star came up huge in the fourth quarter, scoring 17 to help the Nuggets come away with the win after blowing a 15-point lead.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

MLB spring games begin with fans, new faces, moment for Mancini
Nolan Arenado in his new Cardinal red, Mookie Betts back in Dodger blue. October breakout star Randy Arozarena with a hit in his first February at-bat, Buster Posey returning from an opt-out year.

And a socially distanced standing ovation for Trey Mancini.

All over spring training, baseball enjoyed a bevy of reassuring signs Sunday on the opening day of Grapefruit and Cactus league play.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Rizzo hopes to get long-term deal with Cubs
For the all of the uncertainty surrounding the future of the Chicago Cubs, Anthony Rizzo is sure of one thing.

The star slugger wants to stay put.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Cockburn scores 24 as No. 5 Illinois tops Nebraska 86-70
Kofi Cockburn scored 24 points, freshman Adam Miller added 18 and No. 5 Illinois beat Nebraska 86-70 on Thursday night.

Illinois (17-6, 13-4 Big Ten) was without national player of the year candidate Ayo Dosunmu, who broke his nose Tuesday against Michigan State. Dosunmu is expected to miss at least two more games and possibly more.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Kane's 399th goal pushes Blackhawks past Blue Jackets 2-0
Patrick Kane broke a scoreless tie in the third period for his 399th career goal, Malcolm Subban got his first shutout of the season and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0 on Thursday night to sweep a two-game series.

After combining for 11 goals in the Blackhawks' shootout win Tuesday night, the teams grinded through scoreless hockey before Kane grabbed a loose puck in the neutral zone and beat Joonas Korpisalo  with a wrist shot from the right circle at 8:45 of the third.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Jazz set records for 3s, beat Hornets 132-110
Once again, Utah overwhelmed Charlotte with a barrage of 3-pointers.

Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz enjoyed another record-breaking performance from long range Monday night in a 132-110 victory against the Hornets. Utah set a franchise mark for 3s with 28, including 19 off the bench  the most by any teams backups in NBA history, according to STATS.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

South County defends traveling trophy, tops Lincolnwood
RAYMOND — The MSM Conference has a rich history of their traveling trophy: a conference-based title that is carried by the victor and defended at every conference contest they are in. Think of it as a UFC title belt, defended at each fight.
Saturday, February 20, 2021

AP source: Eagles send Carson Wentz to Colts for draft picks
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Carson Wentz helped steer the Philadelphia Eagles to the franchise's only Super Bowl title and later received the richest contract in team history.
Friday, February 19, 2021

LaVine leads Bulls over Pistons in newly scheduled game
Zach LaVine scored 37 points and the Chicago Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons 105-102 Wednesday night on short notice.

The Bulls were scheduled to visit Charlotte, with the Pistons at Dallas. Those games got called off Tuesday by the NBA because of COVID-19 contact tracing concerns with the Hornets and power outages in Texas. The Bulls and Pistons were then scheduled to play each other, instead.

Bulls coach Billy Donovan benched his young players at the start of the second half but they came through with big shots late.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Blackhawks down Red Wings 2-0
Kevin Lankinen made 29 saves for his first career shutout and fellow rookie Philipp Kurashev scored a pretty goal in the Chicago Blackhawks' 2-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night.

The Blackhawks are 4-0 against the Original Six rival Red Wings this season. They have won three straight overall and six of their last seven.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Tim Tebow retires from baseball after five years with Mets
Tim Tebow is retiring from baseball after five years as a minor leaguer with the New York Mets.

The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner returned to baseball in 2016 for the first time since his junior year of high school and reached Triple-A, encouraged by then general manager and current team president Sandy Alderson.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

College baseball: Vandy set for deep run, but Gators early favorites
Vanderbilt returns most of its everyday lineup, features the top two pitchers in college baseball and won the most recent national championship.

Still, the Commodores aren't even considered the team to beat in the Southeastern Conference, let alone the nation, not with Florida's roster overflowing with talent at nearly every position.

Among other top contenders to reach the College World Series in Omaha in June are UCLA, Texas Tech and Louisville. The season opens Friday.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

McIlroy to become 1st international player on PGA Tour board
Rory McIlroy was on a shuttle ride back to the Liberty National clubhouse in August 2019 when he was surprised to hear during a chat about tour policies that no foreign-born player has ever served on the PGA Tour policy board.

"That's going to change," McIlroy said with a smile.

The change arrived Tuesday when McIlroy, from Northern Ireland, won a player election as chairman of the Player Advisory Council, the 16-man committee that provides input to the four players who serve on the board.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Cockburn leads No. 5 Illini past Northwestern
Kofi Cockburn had 17 points and 10 rebounds, Ayo Dosunmu added 13 points and No. 5 Illinois beat Northwestern 73-66 on Tuesday night.

Cockburn's double-double was his 14th of the season for the Illini (20-5, 11-3 Big Ten), who took control early in their sixth straight win.

Chase Audige scored 22 points for Northwestern (6-13, 3-12). Pete Nance added 14 points for the Wildcats, who lost their 12th straight.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Georgia tops Mizzou 80-70
Losing a big second-half lead made Missouri's third consecutive loss even more painful.

Toumani Camara scored 15 points, including a big three-point play, and Georgia rallied to beat No. 20 Missouri 80-70 on Tuesday night.

Missouri (13-6, 6-6 Southeastern Conference) blew a 48-35 lead following a dominant start to the second half.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Cubs' Jed Hoyer to discuss futures with Bryant, Baez, Rizzo
Jed Hoyer plans to chat with Kris Bryant about his future during spring training. Also on deck for the top baseball executive for the Chicago Cubs: similar discussions with Javier Báez and Anthony Rizzo.

All three sluggers have contracts set to expire after this season, when they can become free agents. How much longer they remain in Chicago are big questions as the Cubs open spring training on Wednesday in Arizona.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

New coordinator Sean Desai trying to tune up Bears defense
There's good reason for the Chicago Bears to think some of Vic Fangio's defensive knowledge rubbed off on new defensive coordinator Sean Desai.

The two were close during Fangio's time with the Bears as defensive coordinator.

"We were both in the booth and he sat next to me," Desai said. "Well, I sat next to him, I should say. He got to choose where he wanted to sit. I was just put next to him."

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Bulls run past Pacers with late flurry for 120-112 overtime win
Zach LaVine wants to be more than just a flashy scorer. It's a work in progress, but he showed Monday night how much he has improved this season.

After scoring 12 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter to help Chicago force overtime, LaVine dug in defensively and helped lead the Bulls to a 120-112 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Kubalik scores 2, lifts Blackhawks to 3-2 win over Red Wings
Dominik Kubalik scored his second goal of the game 4:43 into overtime, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 on Monday night.

"It wasn't our best, but we still found a way to win it and that's huge," Kubalik said.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Coyotes close out 7-game series with 1-0 win over Blues
The Arizona Coyotes won Game 7 and will not move on to the next round.

Strange as it sounds, that's life in a pandemic-altered NHL season.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

McDowell beats 100-1 odds for upset Daytona 500 win
Michael McDowell was glued to Brad Keselowski's bumper, watching and waiting for his chance to win the Daytona 500.

Joey Logano was the leader, the laps were winding down and yet no one had the nerve to pull out of traffic. McDowell was certain Keselowski would go for it eventually, and when he did, McDowell would play his hand.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Elite programs stuck on the NCAA Tournament bubble
The NCAA Tournament bubble is typically populated with teams from small conferences and middle-of-the-pack big conference schools.

A pandemic that has wreaked havoc on the college basketball season is also reshaping the curve.

Perennial power Duke is currently bubbling. So is North Carolina. Kentucky is so far down it can't even see the bubble.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Dosunmu gets hot late, No. 6 Illinois tops Nebraska in OT
Illinois' Ayo Dosunmu had a conversation with himself after he missed a free throw and Nebraska hit a 3-pointer to take a five-point lead with under four minutes left in regulation.

"I told myself it was time to lock in," he said. "Trust in yourself. Believe your instincts. You got this. Let's try to will my team to victory."

Saturday, February 13, 2021

AP source: Chicago Cubs, Jake Arrieta agree to reunion
Jake Arrieta is returning to the Chicago Cubs, agreeing to a $6 million, one-year contract on Friday.

Arrieta can earn $1 million in performance bonuses, according to a person familiar with the situation who confirmed the deal on condition of anonymity because it is pending a physical.

The 34-year-old Arrieta won the NL Cy Young Award with Chicago in 2015 and helped the Cubs win the 2016 World Series for their first championship since 1908. He went 68-31 with a 2.73 ERA in 128 starts over five years in his first stint with the team.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Blue Jackets use 4-goal third period to beat Blackhawks 6-5
When Mikko Koivu announced his retirement Tuesday, it created an opportunity for Kevin Stenlund to take on a more regular role with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

So far, so good.

Stenlund capped Columbus' big third period with the game-winning goal with 1:14 left, and the Blue Jackets stopped Chicago's three-game win streak with a 6-5 victory over the Blackhawks on Thursday night.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Hiccup for Hendrick Motorsports ahead of Daytona 500
What should have been a tune-up for the Daytona 500 might have cost Hendrick Motorsports the front row for NASCAR's version of the Super Bowl.

Alex Bowman and William Byron were slated to lead the Daytona 500 field to green but that's in danger following Thursday night's qualifying races. Bowman had an engine problem in the first 150-mile race and, if his motor needs to be changed, he'll forfeit Sunday's pole.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Suter scores winner as Blackhawks edge Stars 2-1 in OT
Pius Suter scored 2:15 into overtime Tuesday night to give the Chicago Blackhawks their second straight 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars in the extra period.

The rookie skated toward the net with a pass from Brandon Hagel and slid the puck beneath goalie Jake Oettinger to complete a comeback win.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Kyle Busch streaks past Elliott, Blaney to win Busch Clash
Kyle Busch snagged the first win of the new season, streaking past NASCAR champion Chase Elliott after Elliott spun leader Ryan Blaney in the final stretch of the exhibition Busch Clash.

Blaney had chased down Elliott on the road course at Daytona International Speedway to take the lead with two laps remaining in Tuesday night's 35-lap Speedweeks opener. Elliott, winner of NASCAR's last four road course races dating to 2019, didn't let Blaney pull away and set himself up for one final chance at the win.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Brady wins Super Bowl No. 7, Buccaneers beat Chiefs 31-9
Tom Brady made the Buccaneers, their fans and their city believe from the moment he arrived in Tampa Bay.

With help from old friend Rob Gronkowski and a ferocious defense, Brady and the Buccaneers are Super Bowl champions

Monday, February 8, 2021

Cy Young winner Bauer joins Dodgers
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Trevor Bauer is coming home to pitch for the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
Saturday, February 6, 2021

Cubs ink deals with Pederson, 2 pitchers
CHICAGO (AP) — Joc Pederson joined the Chicago Cubs on Friday, finalizing a one-year contract with the NL Central champions.
Saturday, February 6, 2021

DeBrincat helps Chicago Blackhawks beat Hurricanes 6-4
CHICAGO (AP) — Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane combined for a strong finish for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Friday, February 5, 2021

Balanced Ohio State rallies past Iowa in Top-10 matchup
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — No. 7 Ohio State spent part of its time before its game at No. 8 Iowa stuck in the snow.
Friday, February 5, 2021

Angels get Fowler from Cardinals
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels acquired veteran outfielder Dexter Fowler from the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night for cash or a player to be named later.
Friday, February 5, 2021

Julius Randle scores 27 as Knicks hold off Bulls 107-103
Julius Randle scored 27 points and tied a career high by hitting five 3-pointers, and the New York Knicks beat the Chicago Bulls 107-103 on Wednesday night.

New York outscored the Bulls 34-17 in the first quarter. The Knicks withstood a huge run in the fourth and came away with the win after losing two nights earlier in Chicago.

Randle made 5 of 7 from beyond the arc to equal his career best at Brooklyn on Dec. 26, 2019. He hit three in a row late in the opening quarter.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Illinois-Wisconsin highlights weekly Big Ten schedule
A look at the upcoming week around the Big Ten Conference:

GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 19 Wisconsin (14-5, 8-4) at No. 12 Illinois (12-5, 8-3), Saturday. The Badgers are in a win-one, lose-one pattern now and need to get on a roll if they hope to stay in the Big Ten race. The Illini are in a nice rhythm, having picked up a huge win over Iowa last week and an overtime win at Indiana Tuesday. The game matches the Big Ten's No. 2 offense in Illinois against the No. 1 defense. In the previous meeting, in January 2020, Illinois won 71-70 for its first victory over the Badgers since 2011.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Illini outlast Indiana 75-71 in OT
Illinois coach Brad Underwood challenged his defense at halftime.

The 12th-ranked Fighting Illini responded like champions.

Trent Frazier scored Illinois' final 10 points in regulation and put the Illini ahead with a free throw in overtime, and the defense took care of the rest in a 75-71 victory over Indiana on Tuesday night.

"It was the first time in a while I've been really, really upset with my basketball team at halftime," Underwood said. "Giving up 41 points in the first half is not real conducive to winning on the road. We looked lost. It was just real lethargic and they whipped us (inside). But we responded."

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Texas Tech wins 57-52 to end No. 9 Oklahoma's streak
No. 13 Texas Tech put an end to an impressive streak that had quickly pushed Oklahoma into the Top 10, in an offensive struggle for both teams.

Terrence Shannon Jr. scored all 15 of his points after halftime, with four free throws in the final 39 seconds, and the Red Raiders pulled out a 57-52 victory Monday night. That ended a five-game winning streak by the No. 9 Sooners, who had won three in a row over Top-10 teams but were without two starting guards because of COVID-19 protocols.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Markkanen, LaVine lead way as Bulls beat Knicks 110-102
Lauri Markkanen scored 30 points, Zach LaVine added 17 of his 21 in the second half and the Chicago Bulls beat the New York Knicks 110-102 on Monday night.

Markkanen delivered another blistering performance coming off a season-high, 31-point outing. The 7-footer from Finland made six 3-pointers.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Done deal: Arenado traded from Rockies to Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals completed their blockbuster trade to acquire All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado from the Colorado Rockies on Monday night.

St. Louis dealt left-hander Austin Gomber and four minor leaguers to the Rockies: infielders Elehuris Montero and Mateo Gil along with right-handers Tony Locey and Jake Sommers.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Lions trade Stafford to Rams for Goff and 2 first rounders
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Detroit Lions are trading quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for quarterback Jared Goff, two future first-round draft picks and a third-round pick, a person with knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press.
Monday, February 1, 2021

Lankinen makes 32 saves, Blackhawks beat Blue Jackets 3-1
CHICAGO (AP) — Kevin Lankinen was steady for Chicago — all night long.
Monday, February 1, 2021

Schenn stays hot, Husso gets 1st win as Blues beat Ducks 4-1
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Brayden Schenn scored twice, Ville Husso got his first win as an NHL goaltender and the St. Louis Blues defeated the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 on Sunday night.
Monday, February 1, 2021

AP source: Cardinals to acquire Arenado from Rockies
The St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to acquire All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado from the Colorado Rockies in a trade needing approvals before it can be finalized, a person familiar with the swap tells The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Friday night because the trade had not yet been finalized.

Arenado, an eight-time Gold Glove winner, signed a $260 million, eight-year deal with Colorado in February 2019 and is owed $199 million for the six remaining seasons.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Dosunmu, Frazier lead No. 19 Illinois over No. 7 Iowa
Ayo Dosunmu scored 25 points, Trent Frazier had 24 and No. 19 Illinois upset No. 7 Iowa 80-75 on Friday night.

In one of the most entertaining games of the Big Ten season, the teams traded leads for most of the game. Illinois finally took command in the final two minutes but was up by only three points when Iowa's Jordan Bohannon missed a hurried 3 pointer with 11 seconds left..

The Illini's Kofi Cockburn was immediately fouled and missed his free throw but grabbed the rebound. Cockburn was fouled again with 2 seconds left and sank both shots to seal the win.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Korpisalo makes 31 stops, Blue Jackets beat Blackhawks
The Columbus Blue Jackets had tired legs and a fresh Joonas Korpisalo.

On Friday night, at least, it was enough.

Korpisalo made 31 saves and Oliver Bjorkstrand had a goal and an assist, sending Columbus to a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Garza still stewing over blocked shot as Illini loom
For all the success Luka Garza has experienced at Iowa, he can't forget one moment of failure.

With 1.6 seconds left against Illinois last March, Garza had a chance to tie the game when he took an inbound pass near the basket.  Kofi Cockburn blocked his shot, and the Illini won 78-76.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Steelers want Big Ben back ... if the math works
The Pittsburgh Steelers want Ben Roethlisberger to return in 2021.

It's the money, however, that makes it tricky.

Team president Art Rooney II admitted on Thursday there is work to be done to lower Roethlisberger's scheduled $41.2 million salary cap hit before Roethlisberger can begin work on his 18th season in Pittsburgh.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Goodrum 1st female minor league hitting coordinator
Sara Goodrum has been promoted to minor league hitting coordinator by the Milwaukee Brewers, apparently making her the first woman to have that role in any Major League Baseball organization.

Goodrum's official new title with the Brewers is coordinator for hitting development initiatives, but she essentially will be filling the role of a minor league hitting coordinator. Brewers vice president of minor league operations Tom Flanagan said Thursday that "to our knowledge, she would be the first" woman to hold that position in an MLB organization.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Illini, Bielema want to win now
It's going on 40 days since Bret Bielema was announced as Illinois' football coach, and since then he has assembled a staff, met returning players, recruited new ones, persuaded a top player to pull his name out of the transfer portal and made the rounds getting to know administrators and alumni.

Bielema has no plans to slow down. The team started winter conditioning this week, and he still has to finalize a spring roster after he adds a couple more players to the 2021 recruiting class.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Preds beat Blackhawks
For Matt Duchene, confidence was the difference.

Duchene scored the only goal of the shootout to give the Nashville Predators a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.

Nick Cousins had the regulation goal for Nashville.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Illinois-Iowa highlights Big Ten schedule
A look at the upcoming week around the Big Ten Conference:

GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 7 Iowa (12-3, 6-2 Big Ten) at No. 19 Illinois (10-5, 6-3), Friday: Both teams will be playing their first games in over a week after Illinois' scheduled matchup with Michigan State and Iowa's planned matchup with Nebraska were postponed. Iowa is attempting to bounce back from an 81-69 loss to Indiana in its last outing back on Jan. 21. Illinois won its last game 79-65 over Penn State  on Jan. 19 but had lost two straight before that.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Baseball Hall gets no new members; Schilling 16 votes shy
The baseball Hall of Fame won't have any new players in the class of 2021 after voters decided no one had the merits — on the field or off — for enshrinement in Cooperstown.

Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were the closest in voting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America released Tuesday, and the trio will have one more chance at election next year. It's the first time the BBWAA didn't choose anyone since 2013.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Blues beat Golden Knights 5-4 in shootout
David Perron and Brayden Schenn scored in a shootout Tuesday to give the St. Louis Blues a 5-4 victory over Vegas. Max Pacioretty got his seventh career hat trick for the Golden Knights, who were without their entire coaching staff because of COVID-19 concerns.

General manager Kelly McCrimmon took over head coaching duties and was assisted by staff from the team's minor league affiliate in the AHL, the Henderson Silver Knights.

Vegas players said they didn't even know about the situation until they got to the arena.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Predators dispatch Blackhawks 3-2 in OT
Roman Josi saw an opening and took it.

Josi, the reigning Norris Trophy winner as the NHL's top defenseman, scored at 2:57 of overtime to give the Nashville Predators a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Greene leads No. 14 Ohio State over No. 7 Maryland
Madison Greene and No. 14 Ohio State made enough plays to hold off No. 7 Maryland.

Barely.

Greene scored 24 points and Jacy Sheldon had 21, helping the Buckeyes top the Terrapins 88-86 on Monday night.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Brown, returning Tatum lead Celtics over Bulls 119-103
The toughest part of having COVID-19 for Jayson Tatum wasn't the headache, the high temperature and chills he experienced. Those symptoms went away after the first night.

Most difficult was the mental toll.

"It was tough, especially your initial reaction once you find out," he said. "I don't know if it's panic. But you definitely worry because of everything you read about it and hear, how many people it's affected and how many people didn't make it."

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Number 11 West Virginia rallies past No. 10 Texas Tech
Miles McBride and No. 11 West Virginia got hot near the end, spoiling a family reunion for Mac McClung.

McBride made a go-ahead jumper with 6 seconds left and finished with a season-high 24 points, helping West Virginia rally for a wild 88-87 victory over No. 10 Texas Tech on Monday night.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

MLS to open season on April 3; title game set for Dec. 11
Major League Soccer will open next season on April 3, a month later than normal, and conclude with the MLS Cup title game on Dec. 11.

Teams will be allowed to start preseason camps on Feb. 22.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Chiefs dump Bills 38-24 in AFC title game
It took the Kansas City Chiefs five frustrating decades to make their third Super Bowl appearance.

Now, the defending champs are headed there for the second straight year.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Bucs win 31-26 at Green Bay, reach Super Bowl
Tom Brady has a new team, in a new town. The destination is the same: another Super Bowl.

At home, too.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Blackhawks beat Red Wings 6-2
Pius Suter exhaled after he scored his first NHL goal. Once he got his second, he started thinking about another one.

Suter collected his first three goals in his sixth game and Kevin Lankinen made 25 saves, helping the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Detroit Red Wings 6-2 on Sunday for their second straight win.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Hank Aaron, baseball's one-time home run king, dies at 86
ATLANTA (AP) — His name is all over the baseball record book and, indeed, Hank Aaron could do it all.
Saturday, January 23, 2021

IHSA greenlights return of high school sports
ILLINOIS — IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson released the following statement Friday afternoon after the IDPH provided their Sports Guidelines update earlier in the day. The full statement from the IHSA is as follows:
Saturday, January 23, 2021

Blackhawks beat Red Wings 4-1 for 1st win
CHICAGO (AP) — Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 on Friday night for their first win of the season.
Saturday, January 23, 2021

All eyes on QBs as Packers host Bucs for NFC championship
(AP) — For as much as Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers have accomplished in their Hall of Fame-caliber careers, they've rarely faced off on the field.
Friday, January 22, 2021

Indiana shuts down No. 4 Iowa for 81-69 road upset
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Perhaps, coach Fran McCaffery said, his Iowa team got too comfortable.
Friday, January 22, 2021

Wisconsin overwhelmsNorthwestern
Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said his team was better defensively in the second half. That was a bit of an understatement.

Tyler Wahl paced a balanced attack with a career-high 14 points and the 10th-ranked Badgers pulled away in the second half for a 68-52 victory over Northwestern on Wednesday night.

Wisconsin allowed just 18 second-half points in holding the Wildcats to their lowest point total of the season.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Super Host? Bucs can become 1st to play Super Bowl at home
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a chance to make history at Green Bay on Sunday. If they do, it might come with an asterisk.

No team has ever played a Super Bowl in its home stadium. Tom Brady and the underdog Bucs (13-5) will try to become the first to do so by winning the NFC championship game against the Packers (14-3). The Super Bowl will take place two weeks later at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

It would be some feat for the wild-card Bucs to reach the NFL finale after playing three road playoff games. The prize would be much different this year, though, because the Super Bowl will be played in front of a far smaller crowd than usual.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

AP source: Quintana agrees to $8M deal with Angels
Left-hander José Quintana has agreed to an $8 million, one-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday night.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement is subject to a successful physical.

Los Angeles was looking to boost its rotation following a fourth-place finish in the AL West at 26-34, 10 games behind first-place Oakland. Angels' starters had a 5.52 ERA in the shortened 2020 season, 29th among the 30 major league teams and ahead of only Detroit's 6.37.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Cockburn leads Illini to 79-65 win over Penn State
Kofi Cockburn had 21 points and 12 rebounds, leading No. 22 Illinois to a 79-65 victory over Penn State on Tuesday night.

Cockburn leads the nation with 11 double-doubles this season. Ayo Dosunmu and Trent Frazier scored 13 points apiece for Illinois (10-5, 6-3 Big Ten).

"We were better tonight (after two consecutive losses)," Illinois coach Brad Underwood said.. "The biggest challenge in this game is the mental preparation. I told the guys I would coach them hard this week."

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Vatrano scores overtime goal, Panthers beat Blackhawks 5-4
Frank Vatrano scored 2:50 into overtime, and the Florida Panthers beat the winless Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 on Tuesday night.

Patric Hornqvist and Carter Verhaeghe each scored two goals for Florida (2-0-0). Keith Yandle had two assists.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Tiger Woods has fifth back surgery, will miss Torrey Pines and Riviera
Tiger Woods has suffered a setback with his back, disclosing Tuesday that he recently had a fifth surgery that will keep him from starting the year until after the West Coast Swing on the PGA Tour.

Woods will not play next week in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, which he has won seven times, most recently in 2013. He also won the U.S. Open in 2008 at Torrey Pines, which hosts the U.S. Open again in June.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Philip Rivers announces retirement after historic 17-year NFL career
Longtime NFL quarterback Philip Rivers has decided to retire after playing one year in Indianapolis.

"Every year, January 20th is a special and emotional day. It is St. Sebastian's Feast day, the day I played in the AFC championship without an ACL, and now the day that after 17 seasons I'm announcing my retirement from the National Football League," Rivers said in a statement on the Colts' website. "Thank you God for allowing me to live out my childhood dream of playing quarterback in the NFL. I am grateful to the Chargers for 16 seasons, and the Colts for the 17th season."

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Warriors rally from 14 down in 4th to beat Lakers 115-113
Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors are starting to make a habit of fourth-quarter rallies against teams from Los Angeles.

Curry scored 26 points on Monday night as the Warriors rallied from a 14-point, fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers 115-113.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Bulls beat Rockets 125-120; Oladipo solid in Houston debut
Zach LaVine scored 33 points, and the Chicago Bulls overcame a strong effort by Victor Oladipo in his Houston debut, beating the Rockets 125-120 on Monday night.

LaVine led seven Bulls players in double figures and added seven assists. He scored nine points in the closing minutes of the third to help send Chicago to the final quarter with a 93-86 lead.

The Bulls made enough shots down the stretch to win for the second time in as many days after losing four straight by four points or fewer.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Kyrou lifts Blues to 5-4 comeback win over Sharks
Jordan Kyrou got the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period, Justin Faulk scored twice and the St. Louis Blues rallied to beat the San Jose Sharks 5-4 Monday night.

Mike Hoffman scored his first goal as a Blue and Brayden Schenn also scored for St. Louis, which beat San Jose for the fourth straight time on home ice. Jordan Binnington made 22 saves.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

AP source: Jon Lester, Nats agree to deal, pending physical
Left-hander Jon Lester and the Washington Nationals have an agreement in principle in place for a one-year contract, pending the successful completion of a physical exam, a person with knowledge of the deal confirmed to The Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity on Monday night because the contract was not yet official.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Brady, Buccaneers end playoffs for Saints, Brees, 30-20
Tom Brady's best game in three tries against New Orleans kept the Buccaneers moving on in the NFL playoffs, and has Saints quarterback Drew Brees headed home — perhaps for good.

Brady and the Bucs' offense turned three of four Saints turnovers into touchdowns and Tampa Bay beat New Orleans 30-20 in the divisional round of the playoffs Sunday night.
Two of those touchdowns came on short passes to Mike Evans and Leonard Fournette. And after linebacker Devin White snagged the second of thee interceptions thrown by Brees, Brady drove the Bucs to the 1, from where he scored himself with 4:57 left to virtually ensure his 14th trip to a conference championship game — his first in the NFC.

Monday, January 18, 2021

After losing Mahomes, Chiefs hold off Browns 22-17
The Kansas City Chiefs had lost Patrick Mahomes to a concussion and were in danger of losing the game.

Then their defense and Chad Henne — their defense and Chad Henne?! — along with a gutsy call by Andy Reid kept their hopes of a Super Bowl repeat alive, holding off the Cleveland Browns 22-17 on Sunday to advance to their third straight AFC championship game.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Bulls roll past Mavs 117-101
Lauri Markkanen had 29 points and 10 rebounds, Garrett Temple scored 15 of his season-high 21 points in the second quarter and the Chicago Bulls ended a four-game losing streak with a 117-101 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

Dallas star Luka Doncic passed Michael Jordan on the career list with his 29th triple-double, finishing with 36 points, 16 rebounds and 15 assists, including a behind-the-back pass to Willie Cauley-Stein for a dunk. Doncic is tied with Grant Hill for 15th place.
The Slovenian sensation, who had 30 points at halftime, didn't get nearly enough help with the Mavericks missing five rotation players because of COVID-19 protocols and guard Tim Hardaway Jr.. with a left groin strain.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Stamkos, Palat lift Lightning over Blackhawks in 5-2 win
Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat had a goal and an assist each, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 on Friday night.

Yanni Gourde and Blake Coleman added a goal and an assist and Alex Killorn also scored as Tampa Bay completed a sweep in a season-opening two-game set against Chicago. The Lightning are 16-1-2 against the Blackhawks since the 2010-11 season.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Landeskog scores 200th goal, Avalanche rout Blues 8-0
Gabriel Landeskog scored two goals to reach 200 for his career, helping the Colorado Avalanche rebound from an opening-night loss with an 8-0 rout of the St. Louis Blues on Friday.

Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and two assists, Mikko Rantanen scored the 100th goal of his career and added an assist, and Nazem Kadri also had a goal and an assist.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Cubs avoid arbitration with Bryant, Báez, Contreras
The Cubs avoided arbitration with three of their biggest stars, agreeing to one-year deals with third baseman Kris Bryant, shortstop Javier Báez and catcher Willson Contreras on Friday.

Bryant, who struggled through injuries in his worst season, is set to earn $19.5 million. Baez is due $11.65 million and Contreras $6.65 million.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Packers' potent offense faces big test from Rams' D
No NFL team scored more points during the regular season than the Green Bay Packers. Nobody has played better defense than the Los Angeles Rams.

That sets up an intriguing showdown of strength vs. strength when MVP favorite Aaron Rodgers  and the Packers (13-3) host All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald and the Rams (11-6) in an NFC divisional playoff game Saturday.

"This is what you love," Rams coach Sean McVay said. "These are the type of matchups and opportunities that as a competitor, you can't wait for."

Both of these units are at the top of their game.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Similarities abound for Browns, Chiefs in first playoff game
Despite their long and storied histories, with the Cleveland Browns having joined the NFL in 1950 and the Kansas City Chiefs with the AFL-NFL merger some 16 years later, the two franchises have rarely met — and never in the playoffs.

They are certainly familiar with each other headed into their divisional-round showdown Sunday, though.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Blackhawks place Toews on long-term IR
Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will miss at least 10 games and 24 days after the team placed him on long-term injured reserve Thursday because of an unspecified illness.

The 32-year-old Toews announced prior to the start of training camp last month he was experiencing symptoms that left him feeling "drained and lethargic."

Friday, January 15, 2021

Epstein hired as MLB consultant
Former Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox executive Theo Epstein has been hired by Major League Baseball as a consultant for on-field matters and will evaluate possible rule changes.

Epstein will work with baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, the owners' competition committee and analytics experts, MLB said Thursday,

Friday, January 15, 2021

Blues open with 4-1 win over Avalanche
Elevated to the second line on short notice, Oskar Sundqvist just wanted to do his part.

He certainly did that and more — with a bruise to show for it.

Sundqvist scored twice and blocked four shots, Jordan Binnington made 26 saves and the St. Louis Blues beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 on Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Bears plan to keep Nagy, Pace for at least 1 more season
Chairman George McCaskey insisted the Chicago Bears have the right culture to become a winning franchise. So the team is sticking with general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy for at least another season.

What helped convince him to stay the course rather than make sweeping changes? A six-game losing streak — and how the team responded to it.

"The leadership, the collaboration, the adaptability, the ability to handle adversity," McCaskey said. "Listen, we all want things to get better, and a lot of times you have to go through tough times before they get better. The way they handled success in 2018 and the way they've handled adversity the last two seasons lead us to the conclusion that they're the best people to lead us in 2021."

Thursday, January 14, 2021

No. 7 Michigan routs No. 9 Wisconsin 77-54
Juwan Howard watched his team turn another highly anticipated matchup into a blowout.

First, Michigan pushed its lead to 17 at halftime. Then it was 30. Then, unbelievably, the Wolverines led No. 9 Wisconsin by 40 points near the midway point of the second half.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

IOC, Japan press ahead with already postponed Tokyo Games
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared a state of emergency last week for Tokyo and surrounding areas. Amid the surging virus, he again promised the postponed Tokyo Olympics would be "safe and secure" and tried to disconnect the state of emergency from the fate of the games.

But opposition to the Olympics is growing with calls mounting for a cancellation. The International Olympic Committee and local organizers have already said another postponement is impossible, leaving cancellation — or opening on July 23 — as the only options.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Colliton gets extension as Blackhawks coach
Jeremy Colliton replaced a beloved figure with the Chicago Blackhawks. Then his first full season with the team was interrupted by a pandemic.

That's a lot of adversity for a first-time NHL coach, but Colliton thinks it made him better at his job. He is looking forward to putting everything he learned to good use.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Bama routs Ohio St for national title
The celebration was at once familiar and unique. The confetti cannons sent a crimson and white shower into the air and Alabama players ran to the sideline to grab their championship hats and T-shirts.

It's a rite of passage if you have played for the Crimson Tide under coach Nick Saban.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

NCAA D1 Council holds off on student-athlete compensation
The NCAA delayed votes on legislation that would permit college athletes to cash in on their popularity for the first time and to transfer to another school without having to sit out one year.

The issues, originally scheduled to be voted on by the Division I Council on Monday, were expected to be the main storylines of this week's NCAA annual convention. There was no announcement on when a vote might be taken.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Saints pull away late for 21-9 playoff win over Bears
Drew Brees will get to celebrate his 42nd birthday by preparing for a playoff game that will also feature the one active NFL quarterback older than him.

Brees completed 28 of 39 passes for 265 yards, connecting with Michael Thomas and Latavius Murray for touchdowns, and the New Orleans Saints defeated the Chicago Bears 21-9 in an NFC wild-card game Sunday.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Number 1 Alabama looking for 6th title under Saban
Trying to figure out which of Nick Saban's Alabama teams is best is akin to picking Michelangelo's greatest work of art or Ernest Hemingway's best novel.

They are all excellent in their own way.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Morsell scores 19, Maryland upsets No. 12 Illinois
Darryl Morsell scored 19 points, Donta Scott added 16 and Maryland upset No. 12 Illinois 66-63 on Sunday.

The game was fast-paced and close throughout. Hakim Hart hit a 3-pointer with 4:08 left to give the Terrapins a 62-61 lead, which Maryland didn't relinquish.

Monday, January 11, 2021

'Work to be done": Harbaugh has new, 5-year deal at Michigan
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan has decided to stick with coach Jim Harbaugh, finalizing a new, five-year deal that cuts his guaranteed compensation but gives him an opportunity to make up for the financial loss if he can start winning championships.
Saturday, January 9, 2021

Chiefs enter playoff race as favorite for rare Super Bowl repeat
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — It took five decades for the Kansas City Chiefs to win a second Super Bowl. Now they have the audacity to shoot for two in two years.
Saturday, January 9, 2021

Williams-led Purdue rallies to beat No. 23 Michigan St.
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Trevion Williams knew no one doubted he would get the ball when Purdue had a chance to score a go-ahead basket against No. 23 Michigan State.
Saturday, January 9, 2021

IHSA offers update following meeting with IDPH
ILLINOIS — Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Executive Director Craig Anderson, members of the IHSA staff, and Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) staff members met virtually with Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Deputy Governor Jesse Ruiz, and IDPH Chief of Staff Justin DeWitt on the evening of January 6, 2021.
Saturday, January 9, 2021

Favored Saints brace for Bears team with 'nothing to lose'
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Saints linebacker Demario Davis' largely productive NFL career also has had its share of disappointing, teachable moments.
Friday, January 8, 2021

Mega deal: Indians trade star Lindor to Mets
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Indians drafted and developed Francisco Lindor, who blossomed into an All-Star shortstop and one of baseball's best all-around players.
Friday, January 8, 2021

Cockburn leads No. 12 Illinois past Northwestern
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Illinois coach Brad Underwood went to talk to his team at halftime and saw exactly what he needed to see.
Friday, January 8, 2021

Ticking clock? Time running out for Steelers veterans
The opportunities are dwindling.

Ben Roethlisberger knows it. Cam Heyward and David DeCastro too.

It's been a decade since the Pittsburgh Steelers have reached the Super Bowl and a dozen years since they've won it. In most places, that's hardly a drought. Not in a place where players, coaches and front office members walk past six Lombardi Trophies each day when they get to work.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

'A sad day': NBA reacts to Capitol protest, Blake decision
With words and actions, several NBA teams showed dismay Wednesday hours after a violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump was able to storm the U.S. Capitol and in response to a decision by a Wisconsin prosecutor not to charge a police officer who shot a black man last year.
Thursday, January 7, 2021

Whan makes surprise decision to leave as LPGA commish
Mike Whan has been commissioner longer than anyone in the 70-year history of the LPGA Tour. Guiding it through its toughest year amid the COVID-19 pandemic made him realize the tour was strong enough for him to move on.

In a surprise announcement Wednesday, the high-energy, fast-talking Whan said he will be leaving after 11 years.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Big Ten preview: Iowa-Minnesota rematch looms
Here's a look at the upcoming week around the Big Ten Conference:
Thursday, January 7, 2021

Bears' postseason saved by newly created seventh seed
While Matt Nagy gets to coach Chicago in the playoffs despite a middling 8-8 record that could help save his job, former Bears coach Lovie Smith can only wonder if the extra team in the postseason could have helped him eight years ago.

The addition of a seventh playoff team in each conference this season helped make sure Indianapolis wouldn't become the fourth team in the Super Bowl era to miss the postseason despite winning 11 games, and let the Bears sneak in as the eighth 8-8 team ever to earn a wild-card spot.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

White scores 21, Bulls rally to beat Blazers 111-108
Zach LaVine was blunt: The Chicago Bulls of the recent past wouldn't have come back to beat the Trail Blazers like this.

The short-handed Bulls rebounded from a 20-point first-half deficit to down Portland 111-108 on Tuesday night.

Coby White had 21 points and a career-high 10 rebounds, while Otto Porter Jr. added 19 points and 13 rebounds. The Bulls had seven players in double figures.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Henry scores 20, Michigan State beats No. 15 Rutgers
Aaron Henry did it all for No. 23 Michigan State.

For much of the night against No. 15 Rutgers, he had to while teammates turned the ball over and missed shots.

Henry had 20 points, eight rebounds, four blocks and two steals to help the Spartans pull away and beat the Scarlet Knights 68-45 on Tuesday night.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Reported virus issues at Ohio St. could spell CFP delay
College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said Tuesday the national championship game between Alabama and Ohio State is still a go for Monday night amid a report that the Buckeyes are having COVID-19 issues.

AL.com reported that Ohio State has been in contact with CFP officials about possible player availability problems that could force the game to be delayed. Those discussions were confirmed to The Associated Press by a person with knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because no one had been authorized to speak publicly about the details.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Bears not sweating how they reached postseason
The Chicago Bears aren't worrying about how they made the playoffs. They're in and that's what matters most to them.

"It's not perfect," coach Matt Nagy said.

It's far from that.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Alabama, Ohio State traveled different paths to title game
Alabama breezed through the regular season and college football's semifinals, surviving a solitary scare in the Southeastern Conference championship game to reach its expected destination.
Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Saints passed tests of resilience before making the playoffs
New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton can draw encouragement from the fact that his team enters the playoffs having won 11 of 13 games despite a lack of stability at several key positions.
Tuesday, January 5, 2021

No word on Toews as Blackhawks start practice
When it comes to when Jonathan Toews might return to the Chicago Blackhawks, everyone around the team is staying quiet.

They are more concerned about the health of the franchise's longtime captain than his playing career.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

LaVine scores 39, Bulls beat Doncic-less Mavericks
CHICAGO (AP) — Zach LaVine had 39 points and Coby White scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 118-108 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night.
Monday, January 4, 2021

Heisman Trophy Preview: Loads of offense in four finalists
(AP) — Two Alabama teammates, quarterback Mac Jones and wide receiver DeVonta Smith, join Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Florida quarterback Kyle Trask as the finalists for the 86th annual Heisman Trophy. The winner will be announced Tuesday. A rundown of the finalists:
Monday, January 4, 2021

Rodgers throws 4 TDs, Packers beat Bears 35-16

CHICAGO (AP) — Aaron Rodgers saw teammates hugging and dancing and coach Matt LaFleur break out a few impressive moves in the locker room celebration.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Fields' day: No. 3 Ohio State routs No. 2 Clemson
Numbers have fueled Ohio State all year.

There was 29-23, the score of last season's painful playoff loss to Clemson.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

No. 1 Bama beats Notre Dame 31-14 in Rose Bowl
A truly untraditional Rose Bowl setting, a very common result for Alabama in the College Football Playoff.

With Heisman Trophy finalists DeVonta Smith and Mac Jones, the top-ranked Crimson Tide rolled into its fifth CFP championship game in six seasons.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

No. 6 Cinci comes up short vs. Georgia as unbeaten season ends
Cincinnati came oh so close to toppling a Power 5 opponent on a big stage.

The sixth-ranked Bearcats blew a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter of the Peach Bowl on Friday, losing their perfect record when Jack Podlesny kicked a 53-yard field goal in the final seconds of Georgia's 24-21 victory.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Ramsey leads No. 15 Northwestern past Auburn in Citrus Bowl
Northwestern's defense sent coordinator Mike Hankwitz into retirement as a winner.

Peyton Ramsey threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score, and the 15th-ranked Wildcats clamped down defensively to beat Auburn 35-19 in the Citrus Bowl on Friday.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

No. 8 Oklahoma routs Florida in Cotton Bowl

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Lincoln Riley will remember this Oklahoma season for a long time. It took a lot to get to the end of it — with two significant trophies.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Ball drop: Wisconsin wins Duke's Mayo Bowl, breaks trophy
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Wisconsin Badgers captured the Duke's Mayo Bowl and the trophy that came along with it.
Thursday, December 31, 2020

Hammon becomes 1st woman to direct NBA team
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Becky Hammon became the first woman to direct an NBA team, taking over the San Antonio Spurs after coach Gregg Popovich was ejected in a 121-107 loss to LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.
Thursday, December 31, 2020

Quarterback Peters to return for third season at Illinois
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois quarterback Brandon Peters will return for a third season with the Illini and play for new coach Bret Bielema, the team announced Tuesday.
Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Bulls win 1st game as Wizards lose 4th straight, 115-107
WASHINGTON (AP) — Zach LaVine scored 23 points, including nine straight in the third quarter, and Coby White added 18 to lead the Chicago Bulls to their first victory of the season, 115-107 over the winless Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.
Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Padres acquire Darvish in blockbuster trade with Cubs
CHICAGO (AP) — San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller reunited with an old friend in another blockbuster move Tuesday night.
Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State beat Miami 37-34 in Cheez-It Bowl
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Oklahoma State went to the air early and often to finish its season on a high note.
Wednesday, December 30, 2020

No. 10 Iowa beats No. 19 Northwestern 87-72 in Big Ten showcase
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Fran McCaffery knows he doesn't have to tell Jordan Bohannon all that he has accomplished in his career at Iowa. Yet the Hawkeyes coach felt the to talk to Bohannon after his recent struggles.
Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Steelers to sit Roethlisberger for regular season finale against Browns
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers are going to let Ben Roethlisberger rest up for the playoffs.
Wednesday, December 30, 2020

No. 21 Minnesota beats bad-shooting No. 17 Mich. St. 81-56
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Three days after surging back to beat Iowa in overtime behind a stream of 3-pointers, Minnesota followed with a decisive victory over Michigan State on the strength of a stifling defense.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Bills earn 1st sweep of Patriots since '99 with 38-9 win
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills put a cherry atop the changing of the guard in the AFC East.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Maryland upsets No. 6 Wisconsin
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Maryland coach Mark Turgeon wasn't exactly pleased that the Big Ten schedule had his team on the road for a Christmas Day game followed by a trip to Wisconsin three later.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020

NFL has pulled off task playing in a pandemic

(AP) — It took playing games on all seven days of the week, a wide receiver starting at quarterback, numerous schedule changes and constant revisions to health and safety protocols for the NFL to reach Week 17 on time.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Practice time will be in short supply in NBA this season
(AP) — The Miami Heat just wrapped up two consecutive days of practice, which is significant for this reason: It might not happen again for a while.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Lee's late 3 lifts Warriors over winless Bulls
CHICAGO (AP) — Although Stephen Curry is one of the best finishers in NBA history, he was more of a decoy late on Sunday night.
Monday, December 28, 2020

Bears close in on NFC playoffs, beat Jags 41-17
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jimmy Graham disappeared into a tunnel following his second touchdown catch of the day. He re-emerged after what seemed like forever and found a group of Chicago teammates waiting to celebrate.
Monday, December 28, 2020

NFL Sunday recap: Chiefs, Steelers clinch top seeds
(AP) — CHIEFS 17,
FALCONS 14

 Kansas City clinched the top seed in the AFC and the only playoff bye when Patrick Mahomes threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Demarcus Robinson with just under two minutes for a 17-14 win over Atlanta on Sunday.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Minnesota beats No. 4 Iowa 102-95
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Brandon Johnson joined Minnesota as a graduate transfer in this pandemic-altered season, the adjustment to Big Ten play made even more challenging by a recent ankle injury.
Saturday, December 26, 2020

Steelers versus Colts headlines NFL week 16 preview
(AP) — Now this is a week NFL fans can truly celebrate.

First off, it appears the league will complete the 2020 portion of the schedule on time and with no cancellations. Secondly, there are only two games in Week 16 that have no postseason implications.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Kamara's 6 TDs tie NFL record; Saints beat Vikings
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Alvin Kamara expects a fine for wearing a pair of Christmas-themed shoes that, as it turned out, would also be worthy of a Hall of Fame display.
Saturday, December 26, 2020

Dosunmu, Cockburn lead No. 18 Illinois past Penn State
Illinois coach Brad Underwood isn't going to change his mind or his tune all season, especially if Ayo Dosunmu keeps playing like this.

Dosunmu scored 21 of his 30 points in the second half to lead the No. 18 Fighting Illini past Penn State 98-81 on Wednesday night.

"He's the best guard in the country," Underwood said. "He scores it in a lot of ways. When we get Ayo locked in at the defensive end, he might be as good as I've coached."

Thursday, December 24, 2020

After 2 straight wins, Trubisky, Bears' offense suddenly thriving
From the doldrums of three weeks ago to now, the Chicago Bears' offense led by quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has made a major turnaround.

After reaching at least 30 points in three straight games for the first time since 2013, the offense has revived playoff hopes for the Bears (7-7) heading into Sunday's road game against the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-13).

"Guys are excited to be on the field," Trubisky said. "We're excited to have the football, and there's just a strong, quiet confidence about us that all 11 guys in the huddle are going to get the job done."

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Trae Young scores 37 as Hawks pound Bulls 124-104 in opener
Trae Young was tough to stop in his first two NBA seasons. Surrounded by more talent than ever before, he could become a nightmare for the league in his third year.

Young scored 37 points and the revamped Atlanta Hawks pounded Chicago 124-104 on Wednesday night, spoiling Billy Donovan's debut as Bulls coach.

"Just being able to go out there and put on a show in the first game was really good," Young said. "Not every night obviously is going to be like this, but it's really good to have an opening game like this."

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Wisconsin-Michigan St. headlines Big Ten's Christmas slate
GAME OF THE (HOLIDAY) WEEKEND: No. 9 Wisconsin (7-1, 1-0 Big Ten) at No. 12 Michigan State (6-1, 0-1): This Christmas Day matinee — one of four Big Ten games taking place Friday — features the teams that shared the league's regular-season title with Maryland last season. Wisconsin has nine consecutive Big Ten victories but owns a 4-22 record at the Breslin Center. The Badgers had lost eight straight matchups with Michigan State before edging the Spartans 64-63 in Madison on Feb. 1. Michigan State is trying to bounce back from a stunning 79-65 loss at Northwestern in its Big Ten opener. The Big Ten's other Christmas Day games include Maryland at Purdue, No. 19 Michigan at Nebraska and No. 4 Iowa at Minnesota.
Thursday, December 24, 2020

George scores 33, Clippers beat Lakers on ring night
After the Los Angeles Lakers got their championship rings, the Los Angeles Clippers gave a performance that showed this retooled team is determined to contend for its own jewelry several months from now.

Paul George scored 26 of his 33 points in the second half, Kawhi Leonard added 26 points and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied past the Los Angeles Lakers on the NBA champions' ring ceremony night for a 116-109 victory Tuesday.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

No. 9 Wisconsin opens Big Ten play, beats Nebraska 67-53
Struggling mightily to sink a jump shot, Wisconsin never stopped playing well on the other end of the floor.

That approach helped the ninth-ranked Badgers overcome an ice-cold start to beat Nebraska 67-53 on Tuesday in the Big Ten opener for both teams.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Penn State faces tough test vs No. 18 Illinois
No. 18 Illinois (5-3, 1-1) vs. Penn State (3-2, 0-1)

Bryce Jordan Center, University Park, Pennsylvania; Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: No. 18 Illinois presents a tough challenge for Penn State. Illinois came up short in a 91-88 game at Rutgers on Sunday.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Luke Garza scores 22 points as number four Iowa beats Purdue 70-55
Offense has spurred No. 4 Iowa's hot start this season. The Hawkeyes ramped up on defense and rebounding to open Big Ten play.

Luka Garza scored 22 points, Joe Wieskamp added 17 and Iowa beat Purdue 70-55 on Tuesday night in the lowest scoring game of the season for the Hawkeyes, who entered leading the nation with 98.7 points per game.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Bengals ride big first half to shocking win over Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers' December swoon is looking more like a collapse.

The Steelers lost their third straight — getting thumped 27-17 by the last-place Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night — after ripping off 11 straight wins to start the season. They couldn't generate any offense early, and the opportunistic Bengals took advantage of their mistakes.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Basketball is back: 10 things to know about the NBA season
And ... it's back.

The NBA's new season starts Tuesday with a pair of games; Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets welcoming Durant's former team in Golden State, while the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers open with the Los Angeles Clippers in the renewal of rivals who share a building.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Bielema wants to prioritize homegrown talent
New Illinois coach Bret Bielema said Monday he hopes to have a staff in place by early January and is already concentrating on homegrown recruiting.

"I called (the Illinois Department of Transportation) and told them to put up roadblocks so kids won't be allowed to leave the state," he joked at his introductory news conference. "Seriously, I can't tell you how many Illinois high school football coaches I have talked to already. We are making Illinois kids a priority here."

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

College hoops: No. 19 Rutgers beats No. 13 Illinois
Rutgers entered the season with great expectations. Six games in, the Scarlet Knights look like they could exceed them.

Ron Harper Jr. scored 28 points, Jacob Young added 24, and No. 19 Rutgers (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) overcame a double-digit first-half deficit to beat No. 13 Illinois 91-88 on Sunday.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Illinois hires Bielema as coach to lift struggling program
Bret Bielema, who led Wisconsin to three Rose Bowls before a disappointing run at Arkansas, is returning to the Big Ten and his home state to coach Illinois.

The Illini hired Bielema to replace the fired Lovie Smith on Saturday, hoping he can turn around a program with nine consecutive losing seasons.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Bears beat Vikings 33-27 to stay in stride in playoff race
David Montgomery burst through a big hole in the defense and carried most of Minnesota's secondary with him across the goal line. That 14-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, his second score of the game, put Chicago ahead again by double digits.

Every time the Vikings made a push, this once-flailing Bears offense had an answer.

Montgomery rushed 32 times for a career-high 146 yards as Chicago trampled Minnesota's depleted defense and hung on for a 33-27 victory on Sunday to stay in the hunt for the expanded playoffs.

Monday, December 21, 2020

NHL, players finalize a deal for 56-game season in 2021
Hockey is set to return Jan. 13 after the NHL and players completed a deal Sunday to hold a 56-game season that would include playoffs lasting into July to award the Stanley Cup.

The league's Board of Governors voted to approve the agreement that was backed by the NHL Players' Association executive board Friday night. The regular season is scheduled to go until May 8 with a 16-team playoff to follow..

Monday, December 21, 2020

Buie, Northwestern beat number four Michigan State 79-65
Northwestern coach Chris Collins wants his team to take a step forward this year after struggling last season.

It's early yet, but the Wildcats made quite a statement Sunday night.

Boo Buie scored a career-high 30 points and Northwestern beat Michigan State for the first time in almost a decade, holding off the No. 4 Spartans for a 79-65 victory.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Chiefs-Saints highlights NFL weekend, Bears-Vikings clash
A rite of December in the NFL, along with Christmas, Hanukkah and meaningless games for the Jets, Bengals and Lions, is the release of playoff scenarios.

Those scenarios become less complicated as the league gets deeper into the month. Suffice to note that eight of the top teams can clinch something this weekend.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

NHL eyeing 56-game season
Drop the puck in mid-January? The National Hockey League is well on the way to making that happen.

The NHL and players reached a tentative deal Friday to hold a 56-game season that would begin Jan. 13. The NHLPA executive board gave the agreement a green light to proceed, but players and owners must hold formal votes and Canadian health officials give their approval before it becomes reality.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Successful season? College football played 500-plus games
Back in August, when there was still doubt about whether a college football would be played during the pandemic, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said he would look at the season as a success if he could hand out a championship trophy in December.

The virus is not going to allow for traditional trophy presentations, but Bowlsby and most of his 10 fellow commissioners in major conferences will reach that goal this weekend.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

LPGA comes out of COVID pandemic strong with 34-event schedule
LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan no longer measures success by making it to the end of year disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A schedule for 2021 he released Friday suggests the LPGA Tour came out stronger than ever.

The LPGA Tour has added two tournaments and didn't lose any of the ones that had to cancel because of the shutdown.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Cleveland manager Terry Francona says team's name change "correct"
Manager Terry Francona praised the Cleveland Indians for trying to "do the right thing" with a name change that was inevitable — and necessary.

On Friday, Francona complimented the team's decision to drop its name after 105 years, a switch that came after months of internal discussions, meetings with numerous groups and one that will signal a new beginning for the AL club.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Penn State, Illinois ready to close out regular season
James Franklin has felt the heat before, as recently as a few weeks ago when Penn State was stuck in its worst ever losing streak to start a season.

The seventh-year head coach hasn't felt it quite like Illinois' staff, which will be led by offensive coordinator Rod Smith when the Illini (2-5) visit Beaver Stadium on Saturday. Franklin is expecting a fired-up group after head coach Lovie Smith was let go on Sunday following four losing seasons.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Coaches' challenge stays in NBA
The NBA coach's challenge is back, and here to stay.

Following the recommendation from the league's competition committee, the NBA's board of governors voted Thursday to keep the challenge.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Ramsey, No. 15 Wildcats try to end No. 3 Buckeyes' title run
Northwestern quarterback Peyton Ramsey grew up around the Ohio State mystique, the son of a high school football coach in Cincinnati.

As others in the football-crazed state gathered round television sets to watch their beloved Buckeyes each weekend, Ramsey was never much of a fan. Still isn't.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Packers continue quest for No. 1 seed as they host Panthers
The Green Bay Packers' path to the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs is straightforward.

Win their final three regular-season games, and the Packers (10-3) have the opportunity to earn a Super Bowl berth without leaving Lambeau Field. That's a tantalizing possibility for a franchise that has lost on the road in three of the past six NFC championship games.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Raiders lose QB Carr, fall in overtime to Chargers, Herbert
Justin Herbert's brilliant rookie season is now a record-setting campaign.

Herbert scored on 1-yard plunge to give the Los Angeles Chargers a 30-27 overtime victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night.

"It was pretty crazy," said Herbert, who set an NFL rookie record with his seventh 300-yard game and has 27 passing scores on the year, tying Baker Mayfield (2018) for the most by a rookie in NFL history. "I kind of waited to see the replay and guys didn't really know what had happened. So I got up and started shaking hands and kind of saw the game was over.

Friday, December 18, 2020

American Magic wins 1, loses 1 at America's Cup World Series
United States challenger American Magic had its first loss but stayed atop the leaderboard after the second day of racing Friday in the America's Cup World Series off Auckland.

American Magic, backed by the New York Yacht Club, won one and lost one of its two tight races against Italy's Luna Rossa, ending the day with a 3-1 record.

Friday, December 18, 2020

MLB reclassifies former Negro Leagues as official major leagues
Willie Mays will add some hits to his record, Monte Irvin's big league batting average should climb over .300 and Satchel Paige may add nearly 150 victories to his total.

Josh Gibson, the greatest of all Negro League sluggers, might just wind up with a major league record, too.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Booker, Dem. lawmakers introduce NCAA reform bill
A bill being introduced Thursday by four Democratic lawmakers would grant college athletes sweeping rights to compensation, including a share of the revenue generated by their sports, and create a federal commission on college athletics.

The College Athletes Bill of Rights is sponsored by U.S. Senators Corey Booker (D-N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.). If passed it could wreak havoc with the NCAA's ability to govern intercollegiate athletics, and the association's model for amateurism.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Trubisky, Bears trying to battle through distractions
If the Chicago Bears can get beyond off-field distractions, they think a revised offense with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky can put them in position to beat the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday in a key NFC North game.

Getting past those off-field situations can be a problem, though.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Big Ten weekend preview
Things to watch during the ninth week of play in the Big Ten Conference:

GAME OF THE WEEK

No. 15 Northwestern vs. No. 3 Ohio State, at Indianapolis

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Winter X Games on, but fans not part of the show
The 2021 version of the Winter X Games promises lots of flipping and spinning, not so much singing and dancing.

ESPN announced Tuesday that the first major action-sports contest since the COVID-19 pandemic started forcing major cancellations will take place during its usual slot in Aspen, Colorado, from Jan. 29-31, but will be closed off to fans.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

VanDerveer becomes winningest women's basketball coach
Tara VanDerveer made history, and then took a moment to tell her Stanford players what they mean to her.

"The most important thing I can do as a coach is love you," VanDerveer said. "I love the game of basketball and I want to help you be the best you can be. You're the people that I care about. Thank you."

Typical Tara, wanting to share the joy on a night when the spotlight shined brightly on her — and her alone.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Cockburn scores 33, No. 13 Illini rout Minnesota
Kofi Cockburn scored a career-high 33 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in only 25 minutes to lead No. 13 Illinois past Minnesota 92-65 in the Big Ten opener for both teams Tuesday night.

Freshman guard Adam Miller added 14 points, while Trent Frazier and Ayo Dosunmu each scored 10 for Illinois (5-2). Dosunmu also had seven rebounds and five assists.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Number three Buckeyes have something to prove in Big Ten title game
A group of university administrators on a Zoom call decided Ohio State would play in the Big Ten championship game. Now the No. 3 Buckeyes are eager to show that not only are they the dominant team in the conference, but they also unequivocally deserve a spot in the College Football Playoff.

They do that by winning big Saturday.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Chicago Bulls set different course with new management team, coach
The Chicago Bulls made sweeping changes to their front office and snagged one of the top coaches on the market, hoping an overhaul in leadership will carry them back to respectability.

After the past few seasons, that would be a huge improvement.

Though their roster remains largely intact, the Bulls come into the season with a new direction and a different outlook.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Alabama, Irish, Clemson, OSU enter champ weekend in CFP position
Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson and Ohio State will enter championship weekend in position to make the College Football Playoff with very little drama.

In fact, where the semifinals will be played might be more in doubt than who will play in them.

The top five teams were locked into their places Tuesday night for the fourth straight week, with the Crimson Tide (10-0) leading the way as it prepares to play Florida for the Southeastern Conference championship.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Jackson saves Ravens in 47-42 win over Browns
Lamar Jackson's only thought was to rescue his teammates.

Like any other superhero.

Jackson emerged from the locker room, saved the game and maybe Baltimore's season with a 47-42 win over the Cleveland Browns in a wild, back-and-forth Monday night game in which the teams combined to tie a 98-year-old NFL record.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Indians owner says name won't change in 2021
The Cleveland Indians are changing their name — they just don't know to what or when.

Expressing that "it's time," owner Paul Dolan said that after months of internal discussions and meetings with groups, including Native Americans who have sought to have the team stop using a moniker many deem racist, the American League franchise is dropping the name it has been known by since 1915.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Illinois fires coach Lovie Smith after 5 seasons
Illinois fired coach Lovie Smith on Sunday with a game left in its ninth consecutive losing season.

Smith became Illinois' first Black head football coach when he was hired by athletic director Josh Whitman in March 2016. The longtime NFL coach went 17-39 in five seasons at the school.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Trubisky outplays Watson, Bears throttle Texans 36-7
All Mitchell Trubisky cared about was helping the Chicago Bears get back to winning. He insisted the other story that got most of the attention during the week wasn't on his mind.

Trubisky threw three touchdown passes to outplay Deshaun Watson in their first meeting since they entered the NFL, and the Bears snapped a six-game losing streak with a 36-7 victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Rogers, Packers beat Lions 31-24 to clinch NFC North title
Aaron Rodgers has played for the NFC championship four times without having his cleats in the turf at Lambeau Field once.

He hopes to change that fact next month.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Bills improve to 10-3 with 26-15 win over sloppy Steelers
Don't think safety Jordan Poyer and other members of Buffalo's secondary didn't notice Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster dancing on the Bills logo at midfield during pregame warmups on Sunday night.

Come the fourth quarter, after Levi Wallace intercepted Ben Roethlisberger to essentially seal Buffalo's 26-15 victory, it was the Bills' turn to break out into a dance along their sideline.

"It was tight energy. The song playing. We felt the momentum of the game swing," Poyer said, before noting a TikTok video of Smith-Schuster posted on social media.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Stung Steelers seek to rebound when they face Bills
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Bills coach Sean McDermott wouldn't go as far as to describe Mike Tomlin's sometimes gruff demeanor as intimidating.
Saturday, December 12, 2020

Packers set for Lions, look to secure NFC North title
DETROIT (AP) — Aaron Rodgers had his 37th birthday recently and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Saturday, December 12, 2020

QB choice looms as Bears host Watson, Texans
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bears went into the 2017 draft with their sights set on landing a franchise quarterback to serve as a building block for a struggling organization.
Saturday, December 12, 2020

Stung Steelers seek to rebound when they face Bills
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Bills coach Sean McDermott wouldn't go as far as to describe Mike Tomlin's sometimes gruff demeanor as intimidating.
Saturday, December 12, 2020

Pittsburgh players opt out of potential bowl game
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Six months working inside the confines that came with playing college football in the middle of a pandemic was enough for the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Saturday, December 12, 2020

Steelers -Bills headlines weekend NFL slate
Friday, December 11, 2020

Army to host Navy for 1st time in 77 years
(AP) — Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo never tires of the feeling that permeates the locker room in the moments before the opening kickoff of the annual matchup against Army.
Friday, December 11, 2020

MLB plays hardball with minor leagues
(AP) — Minor league baseball hasn't been able to take the field in more than a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Thursday, December 10, 2020

Big Ten weekend preview
ERIC OLSON
AP College Football Writer

(AP) — Things to watch during the eighth week of play in the Big Ten Conference:

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Big Ten audible: Ohio State will play for title vs Wildcats

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Big Ten Conference dropped its six-game minimum requirement for the league championship game Wednesday, clearing the way for No. 3 Ohio State to take on No. 15 Northwestern in another chance for the Buckeyes to burnish their playoff credentials.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Trubisky understands storyline when Bears face Texans
(AP) — Mitchell Trubisky insisted it doesn't bother him that the 2017 draft remains such a hot topic in Chicago. The temperature is getting turned up a few degrees this week.
Thursday, December 10, 2020

Ravens run past Cowboys 34-17 to end 3-game slide
Back in action after a 15-day layoff, Lamar Jackson directed a relentless rushing attack that the Baltimore Ravens hope will be the first big step in a run to the playoffs.

Jackson ran for 94 yards and a touchdown, and the Ravens returned from a COVID-19 outbreak to amass 294 yards rushing in a 34-17 rout of the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday night.

Playing for the first time since Nov. 22 following a positive test for the potentially deadly virus, Jackson carried 13 times and threw for two scores. He was one of 23 Ravens to spend time on the reserve/COVID-19 list while four different strains of the virus swept through the organization.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Michigan cancels Ohio St. showdown, citing COVID-19 cases
Citing a rising number of COVID-19 cases in its program, Michigan canceled its annual showdown with Ohio State on Tuesday as college football lurches toward the end of the season without one of its cornerstone rivalry games.

The season-ending grudge match known as "The Game" won't be played for the first time in 102 years.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Jets fire Gregg Williams after call on defense costs team 1st win
Adam Gase thought through the final agonizing moments of the New York Jets' stunning loss and tried to not make a rash decision.

The coach got a little bit of sleep before he headed to the team's facility Monday morning — with the same conclusion he had Sunday night: defensive coordinator Gregg Williams had to go.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Dosunmu, balance help No. 6 Illinois beat No. 10 Duke
Ayo Dosunmu had 18 points and a career-high 12 rebounds while sixth-ranked Illinois shot 58% to beat No. 10 Duke 83-68 on Tuesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Kofi Cockburn added 13 points for the Fighting Illini (4-1), who jumped to a 14-2 lead and never looked back to regroup from last week's loss to No. 2 Baylor.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Cardinals' Adam Wainwright wins Roberto Clemente Award
Longtime St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright has won the Roberto Clemente Award, given annually by Major League Baseball for community involvement and philanthropy.

Wainwright's Big League Impact foundation and recording artist Garth Brooks' Teammates for Kids Foundation teamed for a Home Plate Project with Texas pitcher Kyle Gibson, and raised money from more than 150 big leaguers that let to the donation of about $5.8 million donated to 94 charities. The effort provided more than 4 million meals to prevent childhood hunger during the coronavirus pandemic and nearly 8 million meals in all.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Alabama, Irish, Tigers, Buckeyes hold steady atop CFP rankings
For the third straight week, Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson and Ohio State held on to the top four spots in the College Football Playoff rankings.

The selection committee's second-from-last rankings had only a little movement in the top 10. Texas A&M is still fifth and Florida held at sixth.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

NFL union sees no current need for bubble to slow COVID-19
The NFL players believe the season can be completed on time without the league moving into a version of a postseason bubble like other sports have as long as everyone follows the rules already in place meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

NFLPA President JC Tretter and Executive Director DeMaurice Smith held a virtual news conference on Tuesday to discuss the challenges the players have felt this season while playing during a global pandemic and address how things will change in the future.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Washington ends Pittsburgh's perfect season 23-17
The Pittsburgh Steelers spent three months shaking off whatever 2020 threw at them. Schedule changes. Injuries to a handful of impact players. The ever-present threat of COVID-19.

Through the chaos, they kept winning. Sometimes pretty. Sometimes ugly. Sometimes a little of both in the same game. Through it all, they insisted they were well aware of their flaws. pointing out time and again the only thing perfect about them was their record.

So much for that.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

AP source: Rangers trading RHP Lance Lynn to White Sox
The Chicago White Sox are set to acquire a big workhorse for their starting rotation.

Lance Lynn is being traded from the Texas Rangers to the White Sox, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press late Monday night, at the end of the first day of Major League Baseball's virtual winter meeting, because there was no announcement from either team.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Allen throws for 4 TDs, Bills beat 49ers 34-24 in Arizona
The passes zipped through the air one by one, almost always finding their intended target right on the hands and in stride.

By the time Josh Allen was done, the quarterback had finished one of the best games of his young NFL career, and the Buffalo Bills once again looked like one of the league's elite teams.

Allen threw for 375 yards and tied a career high with four touchdown passes as the Bills stayed in sole possession of first place in the AFC East with a thoroughly impressive 34-24 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Zags, Baylor remain atop AP Top 25
Gonzaga and Baylor remained atop the AP Top 25 men's basketball poll Monday after their hotly anticipated weekend game in Indianapolis was called off about 90 minutes before tipoff because of positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing within the Bulldogs' program.

Gonzaga received 54 of 61 first-place votes from a national media panel while the Bears had the other seven. Iowa remained third after Luka Garza's monster week powered the Hawkeyes to a pair of easy victories, Michigan State climbed four spots to No. 4 and Kansas jumped two spots to round out the top 5.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Stafford throws 3 touchdowns and the Lions rally to beat the Bears 34-30
Darrell Bevell had a hard time processing everything from his first game as an NFL coach.

He watched as the Detroit Lions wiped out a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter, recovered a strip-sack in the closing minutes to set up the go-ahead touchdown, and squeezed out a 34-30 victory over the Chicago Bears.

"My emotions right now, I can't even think straight," Bevell said. "I'm just trying to wrap my head around this whole thing on what just happened."

So were the Bears.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Packers withstand last-minute rally and outlast Philadelphia Eagles 30-16
On a day when Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams reached personal milestones, the Packers needed a long run from Aaron Jones to put the Eagles away.

Jones rushed for 130 yards and delivered a game-clinching 77-yard touchdown with 2:36 left as the Packers produced seven sacks and withstood a fourth-quarter comeback attempt to defeat Philadelphia 30-16 on Sunday.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Nagy not throwing in towel as Bears face Lions
Matt Nagy saw it five years ago when he was an assistant on Andy Reid's staff in Kansas City. The Chiefs answered a big slump with a massive turnaround, catapulting them to the playoffs.

Nagy is hoping for something similar in his third season coaching Chicago.

The Bears look to break a five-game losing streak when they host the Detroit Lions in a matchup of struggling teams on Sunday.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Dupree's injury latest hurdle for unbeaten Steelers
Bud Dupree slammed the turf in anger, well aware of what the pain in his right knee meant.

One bad step in the fourth quarter against Baltimore on Wednesday put an end to the Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker's season. Maybe his time with the only franchise he's played for too.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Longtime Cubs TV announcer Kasper joins White Sox
Len Kasper, the longtime TV play-by-play broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs, is joining the radio booth of the crosstown White Sox.

Kasper, who spent 16 seasons on the North Side, will call games alongside former major leaguer Darrin Jackson. He replaces Andy Masur, who took over after longtime announcer Ed Farmer died in April. Kasper also will work 20 to 25 games as a member of the TV broadcast team.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

NFL further limits player access to facilities amid virus
The NFL is further limiting player access to team facilities as it attempts to enhance safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a memo sent to the 32 clubs and obtained by The Associated Press, teams must close their facilities for two days after games, with some exceptions.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

No. 24 Iowa taking nothing for granted in match against Illinois this weekend
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz is taking nothing for granted after seeing what Illinois did to a Nebraska team his Hawkeyes hung on to beat 26-20 last week.

The Illini beat the Cornhuskers 41-23 two weeks ago and were idle this past weekend after their game against Ohio State was canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak among the Buckeyes.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Nagy not throwing in towel as struggling Bears face the Lions
Matt Nagy saw it five years ago when he was an assistant on Andy Reid’s staff in Kansas City. The Chiefs answered a big slump with a massive turnaround, catapulting them to the playoffs.

Nagy is hoping for something similar in his third season coaching Chicago.

The Bears look to break a five-game losing streak when they host the Detroit Lions in a matchup of struggling teams on Sunday.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Matchup of division leaders not what you'd expect
In this strangest of NFL seasons in this weirdest of years, here's a matchup of division leaders you wouldn't expect: Seattle hosting the New York Giants.

Certainly the Seahawks on top of the tough NFC West is no stretch. They are 8-3, have a dynamic offense and improving defense, and plenty of pedigree under coach Pete Carroll. It's their opponent that makes little sense — except in 2020.

Friday, December 4, 2020







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