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home : sports : college/pro April 14, 2021

Valanciunas leads late burst, Grizzlies beat Bulls
Jonas Valanciunas had 26 points and 14 rebounds, leading a fourth-quarter burst that carried the Memphis Grizzlies to a 101-90 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.

Valanciunas, who had 32 points and 22 rebounds a night earlier in a loss to the Indiana Pacers, scored 10 in the fourth as Memphis used an 18-6 run to break open a close game.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021


Urias drives in 3 and Brewers down the Cubs 6-3
Pinch-hitter Luis Urías drove in three runs with a go-ahead double and the Milwaukee Brewers scored six times in the sixth inning to beat the Chicago Cubs 6-3 on Monday night.

Freddy Peralta (2-0) struck out 10 over six innings of two-hit ball for the victory. Milwaukee has won five of six, while the Cubs lost for the fifth time in six games.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Kyle Schwaber debuts, leads Nationals over Cardinals, 5-2
Kyle Schwarber doubled home a run in his delayed Nationals debut, Andrew Stevenson had a pinch-hit homer and Washington beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-2 Monday night.

Schwarber, Josh Bell and Josh Harrison were in the starting lineup after being sidelined for Washingtons first six games by a coronavirus outbreak that prompted the postponement of the teams season-opening series and left the club short-handed. The Nats ended a five-game skid, while the Cardinals lost their third straight.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

T-wolves owner: A-Rod partner in agreement to buy NBA club
Former baseball star Alex Rodriguez and e-commerce mogul Marc Lore signed a letter of intent Saturday to buy the Timberwolves and keep the NBA team in Minnesota, owner Glen Taylor said.

The agreement, which also includes the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, opens a 30-day window for negotiations to be finalized. If accountants and attorneys for both sides agree, the deal would then need to be approved by the league.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Valanciunas leads Memphis against Bulls following 34-22 showing
Chicago Bulls (22-30, 10th in the Eastern Conference) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (26-25, eighth in the Western Conference)
Monday, April 12, 2021

Cubs break out of slump, slip by Pirates 4-2
Craig Kimbrel's two-year journey through the wilderness appears to be over.

The seven-time All-Star stuff is back. And the Chicago Cubs closer used every bit of it while finishing off the reeling Pittsburgh Pirates in a 4-2 win on Thursday to become the 12th pitcher in major league history with 350 career saves.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Lynn pitches 1st shutout of season, White Sox top Royals 6-0
There wasn't much doubt Lance Lynn would go back out to finish this one. Manager Tony La Russa turned to him and asked how he was feeling.

"He looked at me and said, 'Are you good?'" Lynn said. "I said, 'I'm gonna finish it. Does that sound good?' He goes, 'Sounds good.' And that was pretty much it."

Friday, April 9, 2021

Comeau's two goals, Hintz lead Stars past Blackhawks, 5-1
Blake Comeau scored twice, Roope Hintz had a goal and three assists and the Dallas Stars beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-1 on Thursday to end a two-game slide.

Jason Robertson and Miro Heiskanen also scored to help Dallas pull closer in the battle for the fourth place and the final playoff spot in the Central Division. The Stars (14-14-10) have 38 points, but have played just 38 games because a COVID-19 outbreak delayed their start this season.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Arenado's late HR lifts Cards over Brewers in home debut
Nolan Arenado hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning of his home debut with the Cardinals, lifting St. Louis over the Milwaukee Brewers 3-1 Thursday as fans returned to Busch Stadium for the first time since 2019.

Arenado, a five-time All-Star acquired from Colorado on Feb. 1 after eight seasons with the Rockies, followed a walk to Austin Dean with the score 1-1. Arenado turned on a first-pitch 96.6 mph offering from Drew Rasmussen (0-1) and sent the ball 373 feet to left for his second homer this season.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Molina HR, Carlson slam lead Cards over Marlins 7-0
Yadier Molina hit a two-run homer and Dylan Carlson added a grand slam, leading the St. Louis Cardinals over Miami 7-0 Wednesday for a three-game sweep that dropped the Marlins to 1-5 for the first time since 2015.

Jack Flaherty (1-0) allowed one hit in six innings, a leadoff single by Corey Dickerson, who advanced on a walk before he was caught stealing. After another walk, Flaherty settled down. He allowed only two more runners, both on walks, and struck out six.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Cain homers twice, Woodruff sharp, Brewers beat Cubs 4-2 in 10
Lorenzo Cain hit his second homer of the game, a three-run shot in the 10th inning and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 4-2 on Wednesday.

Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff had a no-hit bid going until Ian Happ led off the seventh with a clean single. It was scoreless until then — after that, the ball began to fly.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Cards rally past Marlins
Yadier Molina hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly off former batterymate Sandy Alcantara to cap a three-run rally in the sixth inning that sent the St. Louis Cardinals over Miami Marlins 4-2 on Tuesday night..

Dylan Carlson hit his second homer of the season for an insurance run in the ninth.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

White Sox topple Mariners 10-4
Jose Abreu hammered a grand slam into the second deck for his 200th career home run, Luis Robert and Zack Collins both went deep for the first time this season and the Chicago White Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 10-4 on Tuesday night.

A miserable night for the Mariners began when starting pitcher James Paxton exited early due to a left forearm strain, and continued with a barrage of long balls from the White Sox.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Peralta, Brewers blank Cubs 4-0
Freddy Peralta pitched five sharp innings, Travis Shaw hit a three-run homer and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 4-0 on Tuesday night to stop a three-game slide.

Peralta (1-0) struck out eight and walked four. Kris Bryant doubled in the fourth for Chicago's only hit of the game.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Golden Knights earn 6-1 win over Blues
Alec Martinez scored two goals and William Carrier added a goal and an assist, sparking the Vegas Golden Knights to a 6-1 victory over the struggling St. Louis Blues on Monday night.

Tomas Nosek, Jonathan Marchessault and Nicolas Hague also scored for Vegas.

Vegas coach Pete DeBoer liked what he saw from his team, which had been scuffling in recent games.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Molina's early double, Cardinals pitching stops Marlins 4-1
Yadier Molina hit a bases-loaded double during a three-run first inning, Daniel Ponce de Leon and the St. Louis bullpen protected the lead, and the Cardinals beat the Miami Marlins 4-1 Monday night.

Molina drove in two runs with his 382nd double, moving past Hall of Famer Johnny Bench for eighth place on the career list among catchers.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Contreras, Báez, Bote HRs lift Cubs over Brewers 5-3
Willson Contreras, Javier Báez and David Bote homered during a four-run fourth inning to lift the Chicago Cubs over the Milwaukee Brewers 5-3 on Monday night.

Trevor Williams pitched perfectly until Omar Narváez's leadoff single in the sixth — Narváez also broke up a no-hit bid in the eighth inning Saturday against Minnesota. Narváez added a three-run homer in the seventh.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Baylor nearly flawless in title game rout of Gonzaga
Baylor knew it would need to play to near-perfection to end Gonzaga's flawless season.

The Bears just about did.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Stanford wins women's NCAA title
Tara VanDerveer hugged each of her Stanford players as they climbed the ladder to cut down the nets, capping a taxing whirlwind journey and ending an exhausting championship drought for the Cardinal.

It took 29 years, that included 10 weeks on the road this season because of the coronavirus, for VanDerveer and the Cardinal to be crowned NCAA women's basketball champions again.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Spieth ends drought, wins Texas Open
Jordan Spieth tapped in for par to win the British Open for his third major and 11th victory in just five years on the PGA Tour. He never imagined he would go 1,351 days before he felt that way again.

He went 82 events on tour without winning. Once the No. 1 player, he was headed out of the top 100 in the world.

And now he's back.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Zach Davies wins Chicago debut as Cubs beat Pirates 4-3
Zach Davies worked quickly. He moved the ball around the plate. He made a couple of big pitches at key moments.

It was a familiar scene for the Chicago Cubs. Only Davies was wearing their uniform this time.

Davies pitched into the sixth inning in his Cubs debut, leading his new team to a 4-3 victory over the short-handed Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Castellanos leads Reds over Cards
Nick Castellanos came out swinging with his bat a day after being ejected for inciting a bench-clearing melee, hitting a three-run homer and triple to lead the Cincinnati Reds to a 12-1 rout over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.

Tyler Naquin also a three-run shot for the Reds, who won two in a row to take the opening series in matchup of NL Central teams that earned wild-card spots last season.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Ohtani, Walsh lead Angels past ChiSox 7-4
In the first inning alone, Shohei Ohtani threw a ball nearly 101 mph and hit a homer that jumped off his bat at 115 mph.

By the time he left, the Los Angeles Angels' two-way star had dazzled on the mound and at the plate in a historic two-way performance.

Monday, April 5, 2021

MLB All-Star Game yanked from Georgia over voting law
NEW YORK (AP) — Atlanta lost Major League Baseball's summer All-Star Game on Friday over the league's objections to sweeping changes to Georgia voting laws that critics — including the CEOs of Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola — have condemned as being too restrictive.
Saturday, April 3, 2021

Utah Jazz beat Bulls for record 21st straight win at home
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz have not lost at home since the calendar turned to 2021. Their latest victory was one for the history books.
Saturday, April 3, 2021

Cards open fast, top Reds 11-6
CINCINNATI (AP) — Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado and the boosted St. Louis Cardinals started with quite a burst.
Friday, April 2, 2021

Hayes homers, Pirates 2-hit Cubs 5-3 on chilly opening day
CHICAGO (AP) — It was breezy and chilly — but not nearly cold enough to contain Ke'Bryan Hayes.
Friday, April 2, 2021

Trout, Pujols lead Angels' late-game rally past White Sox, 4-3
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mike Trout smacked a single down the left-field line to drive in David Fletcher in the eighth inning, and Angel Stadium rocked with the roar of a crowd much bigger than the 13,207 masked people in attendance.
Friday, April 2, 2021

Welcome back! MLB openers bring stars, hope and crowds
(AP) — Great to see ya, Buster Posey. Been a while, Tony La Russa. Good luck, Madison Bumgarner and every other National League pitcher toting a bat.
Thursday, April 1, 2021

Lindor, Mets agree to $341 million, 10-year deal
NEW YORK (AP) — Francisco Lindor and the New York Mets have agreed to a $341 million, 10-year deal, keeping the All-Star shortstop in Queens for the long haul after acquiring him from Cleveland in the offseason, according to a person familiar with the agreement.
Thursday, April 1, 2021

Final Four now set, but can anybody beat Gonzaga?
It's not easy to bury a team as good as USC, let alone in a half, no matter how easy Gonzaga made it look. Somehow, coach Mark Few called it in advance.

While everyone was fixating on the top-seeded Bulldogs' make-it-rain offense, one reporter took the opposite tack. He asked Few the day before their game against the high-flying Trojans whether his defense was getting lost in the shuffle. He replied like he'd been waiting days for that question.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Chicago Blackhawks cool off Hurricanes 2-1
Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat scored in a 3:33 span early in the second period, Kevin Lankinen made 31 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 on Tuesday night.

Chicago ended Carolina's three-game winning streak and handed the Hurricanes their second regulation loss in 15 games (11-2-2) despite being outshot 32-16.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

NFL owners approve 17-game regular season, 3 preseason games
The NFL is increasing the regular season to 17 games and planning to have full stadiums for those games.

While reducing the preseason to three games the league will be able to generate additional revenue, of course. America's most popular sport also will provide more content for the broadcast partners who soon will be spending a total of about $10 billion a year on rights fees.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Big Ten becomes big flop after shut out of Final 4
The Big Ten spent most of this season talking about being the nation's best basketball conference.

It pointed to a league-record nine teams ranked one week in December and how its teams comprised nearly half of the top 10 many more weeks. It sent a conference-record nine teams into NCAA Tournament play, which was being contested entirely in Big Ten country.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Zags trusting defense entering USC game
Gonzaga has spent its entire season pushing tempo, knocking down shots and rolling to comfortable wins with one of the best offenses college basketball has seen in two decades.

The Zags’ push for perfection hasn’t ignored the other end of the court, either.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Houston reaches first Final Four since '84
Kelvin Sampson stood atop a ladder and yanked loose the remnants of the net from the rim. He turned toward the red-clad Houston fans and started pumping his right fist, the net clutched in that hand the entire time.

Years of building a once-proud program back to prominence, of putting together a formula that was about way more than flashy offense — it all led to this breakthrough moment for Sampson and the Cougars.

Yes, Houston is going back to the Final Four for the first time since the famed “Phi Slama Jama” era after Monday night's 67-61 win against Oregon State.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

No. 1 Baylor broils Number 3 Razorbacks
Another contender emerged from the mist at the NCAA Tournament — nothing dramatic, mind you, like in the movies, because we already knew No. 1 seed Baylor was very good.

But so was third-seeded Arkansas. Yet the Bears ran the Razorbacks into the ground early and then again when it got close, posting a comfortable 81-72 win that demonstrated they’re much, much better than good and in the mood for bigger game. They won’t have to wait long.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

UCLA-Michigan conjures up more memorable images of March
The names UCLA and Michigan can't help but conjure up some of the most memorable images of March.

There's the Wizard of Westwood, John Wooden, slapping his rolled up game program in his hands. The grace of Lew Alcindor and the funky persona of Bill Walton. The blur of Tyus Edney racing up the floor for a buzzer-beating layup to beat Missouri, and eventually leading the Bruins to their 11th national championship.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Logano takes checkered flag on Bristol dirt
Somewhere under the thick red haze floating over Bristol Motor Speedway, Joey Logano took the checkered flag for NASCAR's first Cup Series race at a dirt track in 50 years.

He couldn't see much — visibility was next to nothing during this Monday dust storm — but Logano clung to the familiar bottom lane around the bullring to collect the checkered flag on this NASCAR experiment.

Logano got a jump on Denny Hamlin on the overtime restart to earn his third career victory at Bristol. But this was not the Bristol of old, the track had been covered with 2,300 truckloads of red Tennessee clay so that NASCAR could add a dirt track to the Cup schedule for the first time since 1970.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Manson scores in OT to lead Ducks to 3-2 win over Blues
Josh Manson scored in opening minutes of overtime and the Anaheim Ducks rallied from a two-goal deficit and beat the St. Louis Blues 3-2 Sunday night.

Adam Henrique and Can Fowler scored in regulation for Anaheim, which completed a two-game sweep over the Blues. Anaheim won 4-1 Friday.

"Any time you can battle back in a game like that and get both points against a very desperate team is a great thing for our group," Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Hoosiers bring back former star player Woodson as coach
Mike Woodson won one Big Ten title and one NIT championship while playing for Bob Knight.

He's hoping to celebrate a lot more frequently at his alma mater over the next several years.

Indiana hired the former star player as its new coach Sunday, issuing a four-word statement on Twitter — "Welcome home, Coach Woodson" — before the formal announcement.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Tourney hits halfway point, still the field vs. Gonzaga
The Elite Eight marks the halfway point of the NCAA Tournament, but don't blink. It has the shelf life of chicken nuggets.

By the time your head hits the pillow tomorrow night, we'll be down to a Final Four and find out whether the selection committee is any better at seeding teams than the cooks at your local McDonalds.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Josi lifts Predators past Blackhawks 3-2 for fifth straight
Roman Josi scored with 6:33 left in the third period and the surging Nashville Predators beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 on Sunday night for their fifth straight victory.

Viktor Arvidsson and Calle Jarnkrok scored on fluky plays in the first period for Nashville, which won for the seventh time in eight games and moved into a tie with Chicago for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division. Pekka Rinne stopped 27 shots.

Monday, March 29, 2021

49ers trade up to acquire No. 3 pick from Dolphins
The San Francisco 49ers have made a big move to grab their quarterback of the future by trading up with Miami to acquire the No. 3 pick in next month's draft.

The Niners announced Friday they are trading their No. 12 pick along with first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 and their compensatory third-rounder in 2022 to get the third overall pick.

ESPN first reported the deal.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Pac-12's NCAA run could bode well for future
There are many who are basking in the Pac-12 Conference's historic run in the NCAA Tournament. Commissioner Larry Scott is hoping that getting four teams in the Sweet 16 will bode well for the conference's future.

Even if he won't be there to oversee it.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Slugger Jimenez could miss season for White Sox
Chicago White Sox slugger Eloy Jiménez is expected to be sidelined for five to six months after rupturing his left pectoral tendon trying to make a play in the outfield during an exhibition game.

Jiménez needs surgery to repair the injury, putting his season in jeopardy. General manager Rick Hahn said the team will know more when he begins the rehab process.

“Obviously a difficult loss for us, important part of our offense, and one that is a bit of a shock to the system,” Hahn said Thursday on a video conference call, a day after Jiménez was hurt.

Friday, March 26, 2021

All 5 Minnesota teams in NCAA hockey tourney
For all Herb Brooks accomplished in the world of hockey, the Hall of Fame coach of the heralded “Miracle on Ice” team long held a localized goal of growing the college game in his home state.

The NCAA Tournament bracket this year would've made Brooks proud. For the first time, all five of Minnesota's Division I programs made the 16-team field. The regionals start on Friday.

“I think that's a really cool story," said Minnesota coach Bob Motzko, whose team won the Big Ten Tournament and has the No. 3 overall seed.

Friday, March 26, 2021

NASCAR set to play in the dirt for the first time since 1970
Don’t wear white to Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. Pack a pair of goggles and be prepared to get really dirty.

Bristol has trucked 23,000 cubic yards of dirt into its famed bullring to host NASCAR's first Cup Series race on literal earth since 1970. This wild experiment was pushed by broadcast partner Fox at the same time NASCAR was looking to diversify its uninspiring schedule.

Speedway Motorsports said it was game — elbowing out Tony Stewart and his well-established Eldora Speedway dirt track in Ohio — and offered up “The Last Great Coliseum” for Sunday's adventure.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Cavaliers beat Bulls
Darius Garland had 22 points and nine assists, Jarrett Allen added 19 points and nine rebounds, and the Cleveland Cavaliers used a balanced attack to defeat the Chicago Bulls 103-94 on Wednesday night without leading scorer Collin Sexton.

Larry Nance, Jr. had 14 points and pulled down 14 rebounds as Cleveland limited Chicago's top scorers Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen in the second half. Isaac Okoro finished with 12 points for Cleveland, which won for just the fourth time in its last 10.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

NHL ref fired after shining spotlight on 'make-up' calls
The NHL announced Wednesday that Tim Peel's career as a league referee is over after he was picked up by a TV microphone saying he wanted to give the Nashville Predators a penalty, an incident that put the notion of "make-up" calls squarely in the spotlight.

Peel will "no longer will be working NHL games now or in the future," the league said. The 54-year-old Peel had planned to retire next month, but his early exit sparked discussion across the league about the approach and mindset of officials tracking the games.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Senior experience showing big value in NCAA tourney
Michigan's second-round game against LSU was intense from the start. Up and down the court the teams went, trading runs and momentum swings with the season on the line.

One player for the Wolverines seemed calm and steady — guard Eli Brooks.

"I think just all the amount of reps we get in practice and being a senior, you see a lot of things through your time in college," Brooks said. "Just being able to be on the court and have those experiences when I was younger I think really helped me out a lot."

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Kyle Hendricks to start on opening day for Chicago Cubs
hicago Cubs manager David Ross selected Kyle Hendricks to start on opening day last season, and it worked out quite well.

He sees no reason to make a change this year.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Lankinen makes thirty-three saves as Blackhawks beat Panthers 3-2
Kevin Lankinen has been working with Chicago goaltending coach Jimmy Waite on finding the puck in traffic and being more patient.

He put that practice to good use Tuesday night.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Vikings get experience boost with Patrick Peterson
Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman was sitting in a lounge last week at the Atlanta airport, having finished scouting at Georgia's pro day, when his phone buzzed.

Patrick Peterson's agent, Joel Segal, was on the line wondering about the Vikings' interest in the eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Oh, baby! Rahm says he'll leave Masters at once for birth of child
Jon Rahm is the third betting favorite at the Masters, listed by Westgate Superbook at 12-1 behind Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau. The Spaniard might suggest a prop bet on whether he starts or finishes the tournament.

His first child is due on Masters weekend, and Rahm made it abundantly clear where his priorities are..

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Illinois' Cockburn targeted in racist post
Illinois big man Kofi Cockburn is the second player to face racist comments on social media following a loss in the NCAA Tournament.

Cockburn shared on Instagram a racist social media post directed at him after the top-seeded Illini lost to No. 8 Loyola Chicago on Sunday.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Kolesar scores 1st NHL goal, Golden Knights top Blues 5-1
Keegan Kolesar was at the Vegas Golden Knights' first development camp in 2017. That was long before the franchise had a practice facility, embarked on a wild inaugural season that finished in the Stanley Cup Final, and before captain Mark Stone arrived in town.

On Monday night, Stone scored twice and Kolesar was the star of the show.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Big upsets mark 2nd day of women's Tourney
After an opening day of top seeds holding serve, the women's NCAA Tournament became a little less predictable Monday as double-digit seeds BYU, Belmont and Wright State advanced.

No. 11 BYU got things started with a 69-66 victory over sixth-seeded Rutgers for the tournament's first upset. Wright State, seeded 13th, followed a short time later by eliminating No. 4 seed Arkansas 66-62.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Free Agency: Patriots, Bucs making biggest waves so far
Bill Belichick never was one to spend wildly in free agency. Watching Tom Brady win another Super Bowl in another city sure changed that.

The New England Patriots doled out $175 million in guarantees in the first 48 hours of free agency following a 7-9 stumble in 2020 that ended their two-decade dominance of the AFC.

The jaw-dropping spending spree netted tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry and receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne for an offense that went from proficient to pitiful without Brady under center.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

In terms of chaos, this year's Sweet 16 field has been historic
By at least one measure, this is the most chaotic Sweet 16 field to date.

The seed numbers of the 16 remaining teams add up to 94, the highest total since the NCAA Tournament expanded in 1985. The previous record of 89 was set in 1986.

This year's regional semifinals include 15th-seeded Oral Roberts, 12th-seeded Oregon State, 11th-seeded Syracuse, 11th-seeded UCLA and eighth-seeded Loyola Chicago.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Loyola Chicago stuns top-seeded Illinois 71-58
If the pregame prayer sounded more like a scouting report, it was. And if Sister Jean didn't have any plans for next weekend, well, she does now.

Loyola Chicago carried out its 101-year-old superfan's plans to a T on Sunday, moving to the Sweet 16 with a 71-58 win over Illinois, the first No. 1 seed bounced from this year's NCAA Tournament.

Cameron Krutwig delivered a 19-point, 12-rebound masterpiece and the quick-handed, eighth-seeded Ramblers (26-4) led wire to wire. The team with the nation's leading defense befuddled powerful Illinois to return to the second weekend three years after its last magical run to the Final Four.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Big upset day in NCAAs: Has the mid-major revolution begun?
In any other college basketball season, four upsets in the eight second-round games played at the NCAA Tournament would be a sign that something big is brewing.

Were those the opening shots in the long-rumored mid-major revolution? Have enough talented kids and smart coaches finally taken up residence at programs outside the Big Six to nudge the balance of power?

Hard to say. Because this one isn't like any other season.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Freshmen shine in women's NCAA tourney
Several freshmen showed no jitters on the opening day of the women's NCAA Tournament.

In fact, they embraced the bright lights of the Big Dance.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Top-seeded Illini cruise past Drexel 78-49 to open NCAAs
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Kofi Cockburn muscled his way to 18 points and Illinois cruised past 16th-seeded Drexel 78-49 Friday in the Illini's first NCAA Tournament game as a No. 1 seed in 16 years.
Saturday, March 20, 2021

Dalton says Bears told him starting quarterback job is his

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bears apparently won't have a quarterback competition. That job belongs to Andy Dalton.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Norfolk State survives Appalachian State 54-53 in First Four
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Devante Carter made two free throws with 8.6 seconds remaining and Norfolk State held on to beat Appalachian State 54-53 on Thursday night in the First Four after blowing an 18-point second-half lead.
Friday, March 19, 2021

Bills agree to sign former Bear Trubisky as backup to Josh Allen
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — After four sometimes rocky seasons in Chicago, Mitch Trubisky is getting an opportunity to re-establish himself as Josh Allen's backup in Buffalo.
Friday, March 19, 2021

UCLA beats Michigan St 86-80 in overtime in First Four game
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — UCLA showed plenty of fight in its overtime win over Michigan State in a First Four game in the NCAA Tournament.
Friday, March 19, 2021

Doughty, Kopitar lead LA Kings to 4-1 rout of slumping Blues
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Drew Doughty, Carl Grundström and Trevor Moore scored in a dominant first period, leading the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night.
Thursday, March 18, 2021

White Sox set sights on champsionship following breakout year
CHICAGO (AP) — Expectations are soaring on the South Side.

The Chicago White Sox come in with their sights set on a World Series championship perhaps as soon as this year following a breakthrough season.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Ross thinks Chicago Cubs lineup will rebound in full season
CHICAGO (AP) — When it comes to all the questions surrounding the Chicago Cubs these days, there is at least one that doesn't seem to be bothering David Ross very much.
Thursday, March 18, 2021

Cardinals hope Nolan Arenado fills out playoff-caliber team
The St. Louis Cardinals have gotten in the habit the past couple years of plugging their biggest holes by trading for big-name bats that just happen to have had a whole lot of success against them.

Two years ago, they swung a blockbuster trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks for first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. This past offseason, it was a three-team trade for Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolen Arenado.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

LaVine scores 40 as Bulls roll past Oklahoma City 123-102
Zach LaVine scored 40 points on 15-for-20 shooting, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 123-102 on Tuesday night for their second straight win.

LaVine led the way as Chicago shot 51% (48 for 94) from the field. The All-Star guard was 7 for 12 from 3-point range in 31 minutes of playing time.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Barkov, Panthers skate past Blackhawks
Aleksander Barkov scored a tiebreaking short-handed goal in the third period, and the Florida Panthers beat the slumping Chicago Blackhawks 6-3 on Monday night.

Barkov poked in a loose puck from right in front with 6:34 left. It was the Panthers' first short-handed goal this season. Barkov also had a pair of assists.

"Usually on the power play they think more about scoring goals and not to defend, then you get lots of room," said Barkov, who also collected two assists.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

What to watch the first week of the NCAA Tournament
The 2020 NCAA Tournament was wiped out by the coronavirus, robbing the sports world of one of its greatest spectacles.

After a chaotic season through a pandemic, March Madness is back.

You know the players are ready. So are the coaches. The fans, too.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Winston re-joins Saints after Brees retires
The New Orleans Saints are bringing back quarterback Jameis Winston on a one-year contract.

The move announced by Saints general manager Mickey Loomis comes on the heels of Drew Brees' decision over the weekend to retire and provides Winston a chance to compete with Taysom Hill to be New Orleans' next starter under center.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Minnesota fires coach Richard Pitino after 8 seasons
Minnesota fired Richard Pitino on Monday after the coach compiled a 54-96 regular-season record over eight years in the Big Ten and had only three conference finishes higher than 10th place.

The Gophers went 14-15 this season, dropping 11 of their last 14 games. They were 0-10 on the road, one of only three major conference teams in the country without a road win.

Athletic director Mark Coyle was scheduled to address reporters on Tuesday morning. He called Pitino "a tremendous person and coach" in a statement distributed by the university.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

No. 3 Illinois beats No. 9 Ohio State to take Big Ten title
No. 3 Illinois accomplished one major goal. The next one will be even more difficult.

As the Fighting Illini celebrated their first Big Ten Tournament title since 2005 with a 91-88 overtime victory over No. 9 Ohio State on Sunday, they quickly turned the focus to their No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and the opportunity it presents.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Illini rout Rutgers 90-68 in Big Ten quarterfinals
Ayo Dosunmu is convinced tournament time requires a sense of urgency. He was quick to demonstrate that against Rutgers.

The junior guard scored 14 of his 23 points in the first half as No. 3 Illinois built a 19-point lead on the way to a 90-68 rout of the Scarlet Knights in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Friday night.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Butler scores 28, Heat beat Bulls 101-90
Jimmy Butler scored 28 points against his former team, Goran Dragic added 20 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, and the Miami Heat beat the Chicago Bulls 101-90 Friday night for their ninth win in 10 games.

Butler, who played his first six seasons in Chicago, scored 25 through the first three quarters. The five-time All-Star was more than willing to let Dragic take over from there.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Smith's OT goal lifts Knights to 5-4 win over Blues
Reilly Smith's overtime goal lifted Vegas to a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Friday night that snapped a two-game losing streak for the Golden Knights.

Smith's power-play goal with 2:22 left in the extra period came off a one-timer from Jonathan Marchessault's pass. The goal snapped a five-goal stretch without a power-play goal for Vegas.

"Our power play hasn't been clicking the way we want it to and you kind of reinvent the wheel a little bit when you're struggling like that to put puck in the net," Smith said. "But sometimes the best thing to do is just put the puck on the net and score an ugly one.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

No. 12 Oklahoma St beats No. 2 Baylor 83-74 in Big 12 semis
Confidence has never been a problem for Oklahoma State freshman Cade Cunningham.

That came in handy Friday night.

With the No. 12 Cowboys trying to rally from a second-half hole against second-ranked Baylor in the Big 12 Tournament, Cunningham calmly responded with back-to-back 3-pointers to give his team the lead. Then, he stepped to the foul line and calmly made a series of free throws down the stretch that clinched an 83-74 victory in the semifinal round.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Minor leagues now experimenting with robo umps, larger bases
Major League Baseball will experiment with several rule changes in the minor leagues this season, including an automated strike zone, restrictions on defensive positioning and larger bases.

The league said in a statement Thursday the "changes being tested are designed to increase action on the basepaths, create more balls in play, improve the pace and length of games, and reduce player injuries."

Friday, March 12, 2021

Blackhawks score on four of first 8 shots, beat Stars 4-2
Carl Soderberg and Alex DeBrincat scored power-play goals in the second period and the Chicago Blackhawks scored on four of their first eight shots in a 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.

Thirty-seven-year-old defenseman Duncan Keith had his first goal in exactly a calendar year, Dominik Kubalik also scored and rookie Kevin Lankinen made 28 saves.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Blues sign goalie Jordan Binnington to 6-year, $36M contract
Jordan Binnington told family members he signed a $36 million, six-year contract extension with the St. Louis Blues, then went for a solo cruise downtown.

Binnington drove by the hotel he stayed at after earning his first real NHL callup at age 25 and by Enterprise Center, which became his home arena after languishing in the minors for longer than he would've liked. He found it important to look at the notes he saved on his phone over the years and reflect on the memories made.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Boise St., Syracuse, MSU all fall
Now the wait begins for Boise State.

Syracuse and Michigan State, too.

All three of those teams lost in their conference tournaments Thursday, and while each has reasons to think it will be selected for the NCAA Tournament, that's now out of their hands.

Friday, March 12, 2021

ESPN, NHL announce seven-year agreement
Thursday, March 11, 2021

USA Basketball prepping for Tokyo Games
USA Basketball is a step closer to choosing the team that will play in this summer's rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, releasing the names Thursday of 57 players who are part of the pool to fill the squad.

Among the group: 15 players who have already won Olympic gold medals for the U.S., including three-time gold winner LeBron James and two-time gold medalists Kevin Durant and Chris Paul.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Bears franchise star WR Allen Robinson
The Chicago Bears placed the franchise tag on star receiver Allen Robinson on Tuesday, setting up a potential messy situation with their most consistent playmaker on offense.

The sides have until July 15 to reach a multiyear deal. Otherwise, he would play next season for approximately $16.4 million assuming he signs.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Stars dominate Blackhawks 6-1
Joel Kiviranta scored 100 seconds in and added an assist, rookie Jason Robertson had four assists for his first four-point game and the Dallas Stars dominated the Chicago Blackhawks 6-1 on Tuesday night.

Joe Pavelski got his team-best 13th goal for the Stars. Roope Hintz had a goal and an assist, and defensemen Jamie Oleksiak, John Klingberg and Esa Lindell also scored. Anton Khudobin stopped 21 shots for Dallas, which has won two of three by a combined 11-1 after dropping four straight games.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Conference tourneys amp NCAA bubble watch
The suspense begins to build Wednesday for teams on the NCAA Tournament bubble as more of the major conferences begin postseason play.

While the Atlantic Coast Conference began its tournament Tuesday, the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, Southeastern Conference and Big East all open tournament competition Wednesday. Here are some questions regarding the NCAA Tournament field that still need to be answered.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Number 1 Gonzaga rallies to beat BYU 88-78 in WCC title game
Gonzaga was out of sorts for one of the few times this season, falling into its biggest halftime deficit in three years.

Corey Kispert got the Bulldogs back in it. Jalen Suggs finished it off.

The undefeated season is intact. The NCAA Tournament is next.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The NBA returns: Ten things to know entering the second half
The All-Star break, such as it was, is over.

The NBA returns Wednesday with a pair of games: Washington at Memphis and San Antonio at Dallas. Another 21 teams start their second-half slates on Thursday, and the five remaining teams get back on the court Friday.

Here’s 10 things to know about what’s happening, what might happen and what to watch the rest of the way:

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Zags 1, Baylor 2, Illinois 3 in latest AP poll
Gonzaga’s bid to go wire-to-wire No. 1 is in its final week.

The Zags received 61 of 63 first-place votes from a media panel in The Associated Press mens college basketball poll released Monday as they attempt to become the first wire-to-wire No. 1 since Kentucky in 2014-15.

Baylor had two first-place votes and moved back into the No. 2 slot after dropping a spot last week.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

All-Stars, Iowa cornfield, Arenado return spice MLB schedule
After one of its strangest seasons ever, baseball returns to a full schedule this year. The All-Star Game is back. Fans are back, too, at least small crowds in some places. And an Iowa cornfield is about to welcome a bunch of special visitors.

Here are a handful of dates to mark on the calendar:

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Cowboys, Prescott ink $160 million deal
The Dallas Cowboys and Dak Prescott have finally agreed on the richest contract in club history, two years after negotiations first started with the star quarterback.

The team said the agreement was reached Monday. It's a $160 million, four-year contract with $126 million guaranteed and an NFL-record $66 million signing bonus, according to a person with knowledge of the deal who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details weren't announced.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Kane's goal in OT leads Sharks past Blues 3-2
Evander Kane scored 41 seconds into overtime and the San Jose Sharks ended a disappointing homestand on a high note by beating the St. Louis Blues 3-2 Monday night.

The Sharks had lost five of their first six games on their longest homestand of the season before rallying to beat the Blues by getting a tying goal in the third period from Logan Couture and the winner from Kane off a feed from Erik Karlsson on a 2-on-1 rush.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Kansas places Miles on administrative leave after LSU report
(AP) — Kansas placed coach Les Miles on administrative leave Friday night, hours after a report released by LSU revealed school officials there considered firing him in 2013 because of his behavior with female student workers.
Saturday, March 6, 2021

Kurashev scores in shootout, Blackhawks beat Lightning
CHICAGO (AP) — Philipp Kurashev scored the only goal in a shootout and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Friday night.
Saturday, March 6, 2021

At the NBA All-Star Game, HBCUs will take center stage
(AP) — Mo Williams played for the Eastern Conference in the 2009 NBA All-Star Game, and he fully understands the enormity of the event's platform.
Saturday, March 6, 2021

Bruins respond to Wilson's head shot with 5-1 win over Caps
BOSTON (AP) — Brad Marchand had two goals and an assist and the Boston Bruins responded to a head shot from Capitals forward Tom Wilson with a three-goal second period to beat Washington 5-1 on Friday night.
Saturday, March 6, 2021

Lightning top Blackhawks on Killorn OT goal
CHICAGO (AP) — Victor Hedman jumped on the ice and got the puck from Alex Killorn. He heard Tampa Bay's bench yell "Shoot," so he flung the puck toward the net.
Friday, March 5, 2021

No. 5 Iowa runs away from Nebraska 102-64

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Jordan Bohannon has one more home game in his Iowa basketball career.

Friday, March 5, 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







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