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home : sports : college/pro March 29, 2020

MLB owners, union talk Christmastime baseball
If the final pitch of the 2020 baseball season comes closer to Christmas than Halloween, that's fine with the players.

Major League Baseball owners ratified a 17-page agreement with the union on Friday in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with players willing to extend the season as long as needed to cover as close to a full schedule as possible.

Even if it involves neutral sites in warm-weather cities and domes. Even if it involves playing in empty ballparks. Even if it involves lots of day-night doubleheaders.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

NBA players adapting to workouts without gyms
Denver's players, if they're so willing, have the same assignment each day: Go to their phone or tablet, launch an app and view their individualized daily workout plan that was created by the Nuggets' strength and conditioning staff.

For now, it's the best idea the Nuggets have — as they, like every other NBA team, are figuring out new ways to do almost everything.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Athletic trainers aiding fight against coronavirus
Athletic trainers across the country are changing their routines and joining the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The National Athletic Trainers Association put together an app aimed at helping trainers assist understaffed hospitals. The app was intended to give health care providers a database to look for help nationwide. More than 950 athletic trainers have signed up over the last week.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

NCAA weighs eligibility extensions
The NCAA Division I Council is scheduled to vote Monday on whether to allow another year of eligibility for spring sport athletes such as baseball, softball and lacrosse players, who had their seasons wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic.

Providing similar relief to winter sport athletes, such as basketball and hockey players and wrestlers, will also be considered. According to a memo recently sent to college sports administrators from the NCAA, there does not appear to be support for that.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Bears finalize 2-year deal with former All-Pro TE Graham
Jimmy Graham insisted he can become a dominant tight end again. And he looks forward to showing it in Chicago.

The Bears finalized a two-year contract with the former All-Pro and one-year deals with six other players on Thursday.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Ovechkin, Crosby favor NHL going directly into playoffs
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby prefers the NHL skip the rest of the regular season and head directly to the playoffs if games resume during this pandemic-interrupted spring.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is on the same page, saying he'd even be willing to finish two goals short of his ninth 50-goal season, which would tie the NHL record shared by Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy.

Friday, March 27, 2020

NCAA slashes distribution by $375 million 
Canceling March Madness because of the coronavirus pandemic will cost the NCAA about $375 million that it would have distributed to 350 schools across the nation.

Some will be able to absorb the losses better than others.

The NCAA announced Thursday it will distribute $225 million to its Division I member schools in June, nearly two-thirds less than the $600 million scheduled to be handed out in installments from April to June.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Expanded playoffs bring new challenges to NFL teams
Lovie Smith's coaching tenure in Chicago might not have ended had the Bears made the playoffs his final three seasons instead of missing out by one spot his last two years.

Playoff droughts in Cleveland and Tampa Bay wouldn't be nearly as long or painful had the Browns and Bucs sneaked their way into the postseason as the third wild card in 2007 and '16, respectively.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Seven-inning doubleheaders? MLBers open to new ideas
If Major League Baseball needs to squeeze more games into a condensed season without exhausting pitching staffs, perhaps this idea could get tossed into play: seven-inning doubleheaders.

"Maybe that's something we have to consider," Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said on a conference call Wednesday.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Game Zero: Spread of virus linked to Champions League match
It was the biggest soccer game in Atalanta's history and a third of Bergamo's population made the short trip to Milan's famed San Siro Stadium.

Nearly 2,500 fans of visiting Spanish club Valencia also traveled to that Champions League match.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Carolina Panthers release 9-year veteran quarterback Cam Newton
The Cam Newton era is over in Carolina, as the Panthers released the 30-year-old quarterback after nine seasons.

The move became a mere formality after the Panthers made it clear last week they were moving on from Newton by giving him permission to seek a trade and then agreeing to a three-year, $63 million contract with free agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater about 90 minutes later.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Mets star pitcher Noah Syndergaard needs Tommy John surgery
Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard became the latest big-name pitcher to need Tommy John surgery, joining the Yankees' Luis Severino and Boston's Chris Sale.

New York said Tuesday that Syndergaard needs reconstruction of his ulnar collateral ligament and will miss the season that's been put on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak. Mets medical director Dr. David Altchek will operate on the right-hander on Thursday.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Olympics officially postponed
The Tokyo Olympics were postponed until 2021 on Tuesday, ending weeks of speculation that the games could not go ahead as scheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Olympic Committee made the decision after speaking with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and local organizers.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Infantino eyes reboot for soccer to avoid crisis
The future of soccer could be fewer games and fewer top competitions to help avoid a financial crisis, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said in a newspaper interview published Monday.

With soccer around the world in near-total shutdown and no end in sight because of the coronavirus pandemic, Infantino said the sport risked going into recession.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Blue and yellow again: Rams unveil new logo
The Los Angeles Rams have unveiled a brand-new logo and some familiar new colors ahead of a milestone season.

The Rams' primary colors are royal blue and yellow again after the franchise's rebranding announcement, which was made Monday with rather less fanfare than the team originally hoped because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Bears give Trubisky competition after disappointing season
The Chicago Bears added competition for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky by trading for 2018 Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles.

They also brought in former All-Pro to boost their pass rush by agreeing to a five-year, $70 million with Robert Quinn and have another former star on the way in tight end Jimmy Graham.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Worldwide athletes group calls for postponement of Olympics
A worldwide group representing Olympic hopefuls is calling on the IOC to postpone the Tokyo Olympics until the coronavirus pandemic is under control — a decision the IOC says could be as much as four weeks away.

"As the world unites to limit the spread of COVID-19 virus, the IOC ... must do the same," Global Athlete said in a news release Sunday.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Barefoot Hamlin wins NASCAR's virtual Homestead race
The stands were packed, Jimmie Johnson caused several wrecks, Denny Hamlin raced barefoot and damaged cars were repaired with the push of a button — a few virtual signs that NASCAR backed quite an unreal race.

NASCAR eased off the brake in the real sports world brought to a sudden halt by the coronavirus and introduced the country to iRacing with some of the sports biggest stars. Hamlin, the three-time Daytona 500 winner, beat Dale Earnhardt Jr. off the final corner Sunday at virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway to win the bizarre spectacle.

Monday, March 23, 2020

'New football journey': Tom Brady officially signs with Buccaneers
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A new look for the NFL: Tom Brady in Tampa Bay pewter and red rather than Patriots red, white and blue.
Saturday, March 21, 2020

How long until news if Olympics will open?
TOKYO (AP) — The Olympic flame has arrived in Japan from Greece. Next comes the torch relay around the country, which is scheduled to start on Thursday from Fukushima prefecture in northern Japan. Organizers have asked crowds to be restrained, but have been imprecise about what that means. Greek officials last week stopped a relay there on the second day and did not resume because of crowd size.
Saturday, March 21, 2020

Source: Falcons agree to 1-year deal with Todd Gurley
ATLANTA (AP) — A person familiar with the deal says the Atlanta Falcons have agreed to a one-year deal with three-time Pro Bowl running back Todd Gurley,
Friday, March 20, 2020

Red Sox ace Sale to have Tommy John surgery
BOSTON (AP) — Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale will have Tommy John surgery on his left elbow, an operation that would keep him out the entire 2020 baseball season if and when it resumes after the coronavirus pandemic.
Friday, March 20, 2020

Jacksonville dumping QB Nick Foles in trade to Bears
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars are trying to mitigate one of the costliest mistakes in franchise history. The Chicago Bears could benefit from the purge.
Friday, March 20, 2020

Kerr says USA Basketball still planning for Tokyo 2020
The USA Basketball coaching staff for the Tokyo Olympics is still preparing as if there will be a gold medal to try and defend this summer, even in highly uncertain times caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. men's assistant coach Steve Kerr, the coach of the Golden State Warriors, said on a conference call Tuesday that he has had some recent contact with U.S. head coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs as plans for the Olympics continue.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

French Open delayed; US Open switch 'possibility'
The French Open was postponed for about four months because of the coronavirus pandemic, shifting from May to September and juggling the tennis calendar.

The French tennis federation said Tuesday it will hold its 15-day clay-court event at Roland Garros in Paris from Sept. 20 to Oct. 4, instead of May 24 to June 7, "to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved in organizing the tournament."

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

NFL considering delaying approval of deals
The NFL is considering delaying the approval of free agent deals being made the last two days because of a lack of signed contracts.

A person familiar with the discussions on Tuesday night tells The Associated Press that due to free agents not being able to travel and actually sign agreements, which is league policy, the deals might not be confirmed by teams Wednesday when the NFL's business season begins. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because such discussions are not made public.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

How will NCAA recoup millions from lost tournament?
The NCAA made more than $1 billion last year, almost $867 million from the men's Division I basketball tournament, and most of that from a massive television rights deal with CBS and Turner that runs through the 2032 tournament.

The cornonavirus not only wiped out the games, but it will create some unexpected red ink on the NCAA's balance sheet this year. Exactly how much is to be determined.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

MLB delays opening day to mid-May at earliest due to virus
Major League Baseball pushed back opening day until mid-May at the earliest on Monday because of the new coronavirus after the federal government recommended restricting events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement following a conference call with executives of the 30 teams.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

April NFL draft on schedule, no public events in Las Vegas
The NFL will proceed with its draft but without public events next month in Las Vegas. It's not yet clear, however, if the draft itself will be held in the city.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday the draft will take place April 23-25 as scheduled, but under a modified format still being developed. The draft will be televised regardless of its venue or format.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

IESA officially suspends winter State series
In a release sent out on Sunday, the IESA officially suspended all winter State series for this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are plans to put on the Spring contests as scheduled, though. The release stated:
Monday, March 16, 2020

NFL players approve labor deal, 17-game season
By a close vote, with some 500 union members not participating, NFL players approved a new labor agreement with the league. It features a 17-game regular season, higher salaries, increased roster sizes and larger pensions for current and former players.

The deal, which runs through the 2030 season, was accepted by the 32 team owners last month. The NFL Players Association's membership spent the last week voting on the 439-page document after its executive board narrowly rejected it by a 6-5 vote, and the player representatives voted 17-14 in favor, with one abstention.

Monday, March 16, 2020

UFC to fight on despite "panic"
The UFC is determined to fight on amid the coronavirus pandemic.

While leagues and organizers across sports canceled or delayed competition this week, the UFC proceeded with its plans to hold a fan-free event Saturday night in Brasilia, Brazil. Next weekend, the promotion still plans to stage a full fight card with fans inside London's O2 Arena.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Cone takes over US Soccer
New U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone's first challenge will be to confront the fallout over the federation's widely condemned legal stance in the gender discrimination lawsuit filed by the women's national team.

The first woman president in the 107-year history of the governing body will also oversee the appointment of a new chief executive and early preparations for the 2026 World Cup.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

NCAA to extend eligibility of spring sports athletes
The NCAA is planning to extend the eligibility of athletes on spring sports teams by one year to make up for the season lost to the new coronavirus.

The details of how the extra eligibility will work are still being ironed out.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

The day the sports world stopped spinning
March 12, 2020 could be a day that lives in infamy in the minds of sports fans all across the country. It was truley the day the sports world stopped spinning as concerns over the COVID-19 virus resulted in cancellations, postponements, or suspensions for nearly all major professional sports, the NCAA, and even high-school athletics.
Friday, March 13, 2020

NBA suspends season over coronavirus
The NBA has suspended its season "until further notice" after a Utah Jazz player tested positive Wednesday for the coronavirus, a move that came only hours after the majority of the league's owners were leaning toward playing games without fans in arenas.
Thursday, March 12, 2020

American women hide US Soccer logo during anthem in protest
The increasingly bitter dispute between American women's national soccer team and the U.S. Soccer Federation spilled onto the field Wednesday night when players wore their warm-up jerseys inside out  in a protest before their 3-1 victory over Japan.
Thursday, March 12, 2020

Directors of hitting, pitching becoming more common
The Chicago Cubs had data. Lots of data. On velocity, pitch shaping and mechanics. Swing path, bat speed and launch trajectory. Numbers on numbers on numbers.

They also had a problem. The pipeline from research and development to their players and coaches wasn't working as well as they wanted.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

White scores 20, Bulls beat Cavaliers 108-103
Coby White scored 20 points to help offset a career-high nine turnovers in his first NBA start, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-103 on Tuesday night.
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Two NCAA conferences bar fans
The Ivy League on Tuesday canceled its men's and women's basketball tournaments and two other Division I conferences announced they will restrict fan access to their postseason games because of concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Ivy League's four-team tournaments were scheduled to be played Friday through Sunday at Lavietes Pavilion in Cambridge. The Ivy League instead will award its automatic NCAA Tournament bids to the regular-season champions, the Princeton women and Yale men.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

MLB: No plans to alter schedule because of outbreak
Major League Baseball says it doesn't plan to alter its schedule because of the coronavirus outbreak.

"While MLB recognizes the fluidity of this rapidly evolving situation, our current intention is to play spring training and regular season games as scheduled," the league said in a statement.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

PGA Tour media deal aims for more video, bigger audience
The PGA Tour announced an expansive media rights deal Monday that brings ESPN back into the fold with its streaming service, joining two networks as part of a package designed to deliver more video content and reach a broader audience.

For regular television, the nine-year deal that begins in 2022 looks the same.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Connolly, Driedger lead Panthers to 2-1 win over the Blues
Brett Connolly scored early in the third period and Chris Driedger stopped 26 shots, leading the Florida Panthers to a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.

Mike Hoffman also scored for Florida and Aleksi Saarela assisted on both Panthers goals, the first assists of his career. He has played in nine regular-season games for the Panthers.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Allen, Blues blank Blackhawks for 9th win in 10 games
Jake Allen stopped 29 shots for his second shutout and the St. Louis Blues blanked the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 on Sunday night for their ninth win in 10 games.

Robert Bortuzzo and Alex Pietrangelo scored for Central Division-leading St. Louis, which killed four Chicago power plays as it rebounded from a 4-2 home loss to lowly New Jersey on Friday. Jaden Schwartz had two assists.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Bradley grabs 2nd successive MVC Tournament crown
Bradley guard Darrell Brown was not happy with his selection to the Missouri Valley Conference all-league second team earlier in week.

He displayed his displeasure in a big way on Sunday.

Monday, March 9, 2020

No. 16 Mich St tops No. 19 Ohio St 80-69, shares B10 title
Cassius Winston kissed Michigan State's logo in the middle of its basketball court, following the school's quarter-century long tradition toward the end of his last game at the Breslin Center.

The senior scored 27 points to help the 16th-ranked Spartans beat No. 19 Ohio State 80-69 on Sunday to win a third straight Big Ten championship.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Dosunmu, No. 23 Illinois hold off No. 18 Iowa 78-76
The rivalry between Illinois and Iowa is heating up.

"Basically, they want to kill us, and we want to kill them," the Illini's Ayo Dosunmu said.

Dosunmu scored 17 points to lead No. 23 Illinois past No. 18 Iowa 78-76 on Sunday, securing the No. 4 seed in the Big Ten tournament for the Illini.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Devils derail Blues' eight-game win streak
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The St. Louis Blues' eight-game winning streak came to an end at the hands of a team very few would have expected to beat them.
Saturday, March 7, 2020

DeBrincat helps Blackhawks top Oilers to win 4th straight
CHICAGO (AP) — Alex DeBrincat scored two goals, rookie Adam Boqvist had two assists, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 on Thursday night.
Friday, March 6, 2020

Assumption's Ryan Dooley named student-athlete of the month
CANTON, Mo. — Culver-Stockton College women's basketball standout Ryan Dooley has been named the student athlete of the month for February. Dooley, a senior guard from Assumption, Ill. is a two-year member of the women's basketball team. Dooley appeared in all 31 games for the Wildcats this season, averaging a team-best 16 points, 4.1 assists and 2.4 steals per game.
Friday, March 6, 2020

No. 19 Ohio State rallies past No. 23 Illinois 71-63
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — With one of Ohio State's key big men out with an ankle injury, freshman E.J. Liddell stepped in and played his best game as a Buckeye so far.
Friday, March 6, 2020

Sticky substances still a problem for MLB
MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Gaylord Perry threw a spitball. Joe Niekro had an emery board and a piece of sandpaper. Whitey Ford used his wedding ring.
Friday, March 6, 2020

Boo Who? Astros already paying price, Red Sox await fate
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — By recent standards, the heckling the Houston Astros heard at JetBlue Park was rather tame. Some boos during pregame introductions, a chant of "cheaters!" in the ninth inning.
Friday, March 6, 2020

MLB Spring Training Round up
Dylan Cease said it was probably the best he had ever commanded his fastball.

Not bad at all for a spring training game in March.

Cease pitched four sharp innings for the Chicago White Sox in a 5-1 win against the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday. The 6-foot-2 right-hander allowed one run on Keston Hiura's long homer in his final inning and three hits in his second exhibition start.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Curry set to return for Warriors on Thursday night
Stephen Curry is scheduled to return from a more than four-month absence with a broken left hand to play for Golden State against the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night.
Thursday, March 5, 2020

An NCAA Tournament with empty arenas? It can't be ruled out
Imagine an NCAA Tournament with no fans in the arenas.

What normally would be thought an impossibility isn't so far-fetched as the United States and the rest of the world attempt to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Kris Bryant ruling: Cubs did nothing 'nefarious'
Arbitrator Mark Irvings accepted Theo Epstein's rationale for delaying Kris Bryant's debut at the start of the 2015 season, concluding there was no proof of "a nefarious motive" by the Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations to delay the third baseman's eligibility for free agency.

In a 42-page decision obtained by The Associated Press, Irvings accepted Epstein's explanation that injuries to Mike Olt and Tommy La Stella prompted the timing of Bryant's call-up to the Cubs in April 2015. Had Bryant been brought up one day earlier, he would have been eligible for free agency after the 2020 season. Instead, he will be eligible after the 2021 season.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Kansas unanimous No. 1 in Top 25; Baylor down to 4
A string of losses to unranked opponents led to upheaval in the AP Top 25 this week.

Kansas kept winning, strengthening its grip on No. 1.

The Jayhawks were the unanimous choice for the top spot in The Associated Press men's college basketball poll released Monday, receiving all 64 votes from the media panel.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Bulls hold off Doncic, Mavericks 109-107
Coby White scored 19 points, Otto Porter Jr. added 18 in his return from a broken left foot and the Chicago Bulls hung on to beat the Dallas Mavericks 109-107 Monday night when Luka Doncic's desperation heave bounced off the rim.

Denzel Valentine added a season-high 17 points and the Bulls won for just the second time in 12 games even though leading scorer Zach LaVine sat out with a strained left quadriceps.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Heat stun Bucks 105-89, hold Antetokounmpo to just 13 points
The Miami Heat stand alone, the first team to beat the Milwaukee Bucks twice this season.

Jae Crowder and Jimmy Butler each scored 18 points, Goran Dragic added 15 and the Heat beat the Bucks 105-89 on Wednesday night — moving to 2-0 against the NBA's best team.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Major League Baseball spring training round up
Joe Maddon hugged Anthony Rizzo, shared an in-game microphone with Kris Bryant, slapped hands with the Cubs' mascot and drew a warm reception from the Chicago fans at Sloan Park.

As if he'd never been away at all.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Bowman holds off Busch bros for 2nd NASCAR win
Before Alex Bowman started looking for tattoo shops somewhere between Los Angeles and Phoenix, he celebrated a win that suggested even more permanent success ahead for the hard-working driver and his resurgent team.

Bowman raced to his second career NASCAR Cup Series victory Sunday, holding off Kyle and Kurt Busch at Fontana.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Dosunmu scores 17 Illini hold off Hoosiers 67-66
Ayo Dosunmu is becoming legendary at Illinois for his hustle, talent and an intangible yet reliable ability to take over a game and win it in the final seconds.

 On Sunday, the sophomore guard (and possibly NBA hopeful either this year or next) added another chapter, scoring a game-high 17 points, including a key 3-pointer down the stretch, to lead Illinois over Indiana 67-66.

Monday, March 2, 2020

With virus in mind, Sungjae Im wins Honda Classic
Moments after getting his first career PGA Tour win, Sungjae Im took a moment to reflect on what it means.

Not for himself — for his homeland, and for those dealing with a virus that has the world on edge.

Monday, March 2, 2020

St. John's hits 14 3s to stop No. 10 Creighton, 91-71
Greg Williams Jr. drained his seventh 3-pointer from right in front of the St. John's bench, springing delirious teammates onto the court as he bounded into their arms during a timeout.

With an out-of-character shooting display from all over the gym, the Red Storm handed No. 10 Creighton a thorough beating that was hard to see coming.

Monday, March 2, 2020

NCAA proposes 2-minute limit on replays
Players ejected from games for targeting will be allowed to remain in the bench area and replay reviews will be limited to two minutes if proposals by the NCAA football rules committee are passed.

The committee wrapped up several days of meetings in Indianapolis on Friday by issuing its recommendations.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Griffin scores 24 as Illinois beats Northwestern
Alan Griffin relaxed with his headphones on and chilled out in bed. By the time he stepped on the court a few hours later, he sure was in tune.

Griffin set career highs with 24 points and six 3-pointers, Ayo Dosunmu scored 21 and Illinois beat struggling Northwestern 74-66 on Thursday night.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Kim works two perfect innings in Cards debut
Nervous or not, South Korean star Kwang Hyun Kim is proving problematic for major league hitters.

The 31-year-old left-hander retired all six Miami batters he faced in his first Grapefruit League start for the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday. It came after he threw one shutout inning of relief against the New York Mets on Saturday.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Parayko lifts Blues to 3-2 win over Islanders in OT
Colton Parayko scored on an unassisted wraparound at 3:23 of overtime, sending the St. Louis Blues to their sixth consecutive victory with a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

"I don't really get that close to the net all the time," Parayko said. "I saw the opportunity I guess and just tried to wrap it. They got a skate on it and kind of went in the corner. It's kind of man-on-man in 3-on-3. Their D-man, I thought he was going to come at me so I kind of held that front, so I just thought it would be a good opportunity to wrap it."

Friday, February 28, 2020

Olympics still assessing Coronavirus threat
It's a spreadsheet that covers 52 sports and nearly six dozen venues — a laundry list of places around the globe where Olympic hopefuls were expected to be competing over the next few months.
Friday, February 28, 2020

Purdue snaps 4-game losing streak, beats Indiana 57-49
Coach Matt Painter appreciated Purdue's defensive effort Thursday.

Indiana's poor shooting made it look even better.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Kubalik's hat trick helps Blackhawks rally past Tampa Bay
Dominik Kubalik recorded a hat trick with three goals in the third period, and the Chicago Blackhawks rallied past the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 on Thursday night.

Slater Koekkoek scored his first goal of the season and Brandon Saad added another score as Chicago beat the Lightning for the first time in regulation since Dec. 13, 2009.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Cubs' Souza Jr. aiming for regular outfield role 
Steven Souza Jr. played in his third spring training game Wednesday, trying to make the most of an opportunity for quality playing time in the outfield for the Chicago Cubs this season.
Thursday, February 27, 2020

Honda Classic: more than 'The Bear Trap'
PGA National's signature test is a three-hole span on the back nine called "The Bear Trap," named for Jack Nicklaus and touted as one of the most demanding stretches in all of golf.
Thursday, February 27, 2020

Blues rule out Bouwmeester for season
St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester has been ruled out from returning to play in the regular season or in the playoffs.

General manager Doug Armstrong made the announcement on Wednesday.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Schroder helps Thunder top Bulls 124-122
When it comes to close games on the road, the Oklahoma City Thunder like their chances.

It helps to have a pair of guards like Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Childress, Demon Deacons stun No. 7 Duke 113-101 in 2OT
Brandon Childress never panicked as shot after shot clanged off the rim. Nor did Wake Forest when it fell behind late in regulation against seventh-ranked Duke.

It turned out Childress and the Demon Deacons had a few big shots left in them — enough to end a long losing streak to the Blue Devils in memorable fashion with a court-storming celebration.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Illinois downs Nebraska 71-59 behind Dosunmu
After a signature road win against then-No. 9 Penn State nearly a week ago, Illinois coach Brad Underwood was concerned about the let-down game.

All the pieces were there on Monday, playing a Nebraska team on an 11-game losing streak at home.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Kansas back atop Top 25 as Baylor slides to No. 2 after loss
Kansas is back on top of the college basketball world after knocking off Baylor in a matchup of Big 12 heavyweights, while the Bears dropped to No. 2 in The Associated Press men's poll Monday after their nip-and-tuck loss in Waco.
Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Jordan's poignant Kobe tribute: 'A piece of me died'
Michael Jordan says he didn't see Kobe Bryant as his rival for the mythical honor of being recognized as the best basketball player ever.

Instead, he came to love Bryant as the little brother he never had, and as a student eager to learn from Jordan's experiences and skills.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Ionescu first to 2,000 points, 1,000 assists, 1,000 rebounds
Sabrina Ionescu's strength inspired her Oregon coaches and teammates all day, from the way she courageously spoke at the memorial service for Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles earlier in the day, then flew back to the Bay Area and took the court shortly after vomiting in the locker room, all before leading the Ducks with yet another brilliant performance on both ends.
Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Nebraska looks to end streak vs Illinois
Nebraska (7-19, 2-13) vs. Illinois (17-9, 9-6)

State Farm Center, Champaign, Illinois; Monday, 8 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: Illinois looks to extend Nebraska's conference losing streak to 12 games. Nebraska's last Big Ten win came against the Iowa Hawkeyes 76-70 on Jan. 7. Illinois is coming off a big 62-56 win over then-No. 9 Penn State on Tuesday.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Big changes coming to the NFL combine this year
Big changes are coming to the NFL scouting combine this year.

There will be more eyeballs on the league's annual gathering of top college talent but fewer assistant coaches watching those prospects run through drills that have been tailored by position and more accurately mimic what they'll be doing in the NFL.

Monday, February 24, 2020

White has 33 again, Bulls beat Wizards despite Beal's 53
Coby White is taking his game to new levels — and reaching some rarified Air.
Monday, February 24, 2020

LeBron's clutch jumper sends Lakers past Celtics 114-112
Although LeBron James is still relatively new to the Los Angeles Lakers' rivalry with the Boston Celtics, he relishes the chance to participate in the history and passion behind this series.
Monday, February 24, 2020

Blues chase Bishop early, rout Stars 5-1 in West showdown 
DALLAS (AP) — David Perron scored his team-leading 24th goal and the St. Louis Blues chased Dallas goalie Ben Bishop early while extending their Western Conference lead with a dominant 5-1 victory over the Stars on Friday night.
Saturday, February 22, 2020

DeBrincat scores twice, rallies Blackhawks past Preds in OT
CHICAGO (AP) — Alex DeBrincat scored in the third period and overtime to rally the Chicago Blackhawks past the Nashville Predators 2-1 on Friday night.
Saturday, February 22, 2020

Miracle on Ice shows how much Olympics on TV have changed
(AP) — When the Summer Olympics begin in Tokyo in July, viewers will be able to watch every event either live or on demand. That wasn't the case in 1980 when the United States stunned the Soviet Union during the Lake Placid Games.
Saturday, February 22, 2020

Jordan Binnington blanks Coyotes as Blues post 1-0 win 

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jordan Binnington had a light night in net for the St. Louis Blues, yet he couldn't relax, even as his teammates peppered Antti Raanta with shots.

Friday, February 21, 2020

NC State routs Number 6 Duke 88-66
North Carolina State overwhelmed sixth-ranked Duke so thoroughly that the Blue Devils' Hall of Fame coach could only describe his team as "never there" after a historically lopsided loss.
Thursday, February 20, 2020

Barbashev scores twice, Blues beat Devils 3-0
Ivan Barbashev said he had a good feeling when he arrived at the Enterprise Center on Tuesday.

It showed in his play.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Illinois beats No. 9 Penn State 62-56
Ayo Dosunmu felt well enough during warm-ups to return to lineup. That was enough for Illinois against No. 9 Penn State.

Dosunmu, the Fighting Illini's leading scorer who missed the previous game with a knee injury, scored 24 points, and Illinois snapped a four-game losing streak with a 62-56 victory over Penn State on Tuesday night.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

New 3-point line leading to lower shooting percentages
The NCAA moved back the 3-point line this season to create more room in the lane and cut down on the barrage of 3s in college basketball.

Shooting percentages are down, historically low. Attempts also have dropped, slightly.

Clogged lanes? Depends on who you ask.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Penn State looks to extend streak vs Illinois
Illinois (16-9, 8-6) vs. No. 9 Penn State (20-5, 10-4)

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

BOTTOM LINE: No. 9 Penn State looks for its seventh straight win in the head-to-head series over Illinois. In its last six wins against the Fighting Illini, Penn State has won by an average of 12 points. Illinois' last win in the series came on Jan. 31, 2015, a 60-58 victory.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Top of AP poll steady as Baylor, Kansas set for collision course
Baylor and Kansas just keep winning, setting up a monumental showdown Saturday between the top-ranked Bears and No. 3 Jayhawks that could help decide not only the Big 12 title but the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA Tournament.

The two teams were separated once again by Gonzaga in the latest college basketball poll from The Associated Press on Monday. The Bears (23-1) had 48 first-place votes from the 63-member media panel, while the Bulldogs (26-1) had 14 first-place nods and the Jayhawks (22-3) had the only remaining first-place vote.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Hamlin and Newman contrast risk and reward at Daytona 500
In a single thrilling lap around NASCAR's most storied track, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman displayed the risks and rewards of the dangerous sport they both love.

Hamlin won his second consecutive Daytona 500 and third in five years on Monday night as he surged past Newman on the final lap of a second overtime shootout. The win came as Newman's car was turned hard into the wall, then flipped onto its roof, where he was helpless as he was hit in the driver's side by another car.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Last shot wins: Team LeBron wins All-Star Game 157-155
Players were taking charges, bodies were hitting the floor, calls and non-calls were being screamed about on both ends. The fourth quarter of the NBA All-Star Game was as intense as the final moments of a playoff game, the biggest stars in the league holding absolutely nothing back.
Monday, February 17, 2020

Cubs 3B Bryant: No hard feelings on losing grievance
Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant realized all along his service-time grievance against the team would be tough to win, and he still believes how he handled himself might help players in the future.
Monday, February 17, 2020

No 'Plan B' for Olympics; questions over Chinese presence
Tokyo Olympic organizers and the International Olympic Committee said Friday there is no "Plan B" for the 2020 Games, which open in just over five months and have been jolted by the outbreak of a virus in neighboring China.
Saturday, February 15, 2020

Daytona 500 up for grabs as no clear theme has emerged 
The first four events leading into the Daytona 500 have produced four different winners. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. put his new team on the pole, while Erik Jones outlasted a crash-fest to win a qualifying race. Joey Logano and William Byron won the qualifying races.
Saturday, February 15, 2020

Kobe Bryant among 8 finalists for Basketball Hall of Fame
The list of finalists for the Basketball Hall of Fame is considerably shorter than usual.

The voters really didn't need more this year.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Logano, Byron win NASCAR's Daytona 500 qualifying races
Joey Logano and William Byron won the qualifying races that set the field for the Daytona 500.

The victory in the first 150-mile race Thursday night earned Logano a spot in the second row for the season-opening Daytona 500. Byron will join Logano in the second row, behind pole-sitter Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and teammate Alex Bowman, who earned the front row in time trials at Daytona International Speedway.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Marchessault's OT goal lifts Golden Knights past Blues 6-5
Zach Sanford had the best game of his young NHL career — even if his thoughts were understandably far from the ice.

Sanford scored four goals in St. Louis' 6-5 overtime loss to Las Vegas on Thursday night, the Blues' first game since teammate Jay Bouwmeester collapsed from a cardiac episode on the bench during a game earlier in the week.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Canucks blank spiraling Blackhawks
Jacob Markstrom had a career-high 49 saves as Vancouver Canucks beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-0 Wednesday night after retiring the numbers of retired stars Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

Brandon Sutter had a goal and two assists, and Bo Horvat and Adam Gaudette also scored to help the Canucks win their second straight after a four-game skid (0-3-1).

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Cards rotation questions center on Carlos Martinez
As far as the St. Louis Cardinals are concerned, how Carlos Martinez feels on days he's not throwing may be as important has how well he performs on the mound.

A healthy Martinez is likely the final piece in the Cardinals' starting rotation. A Martinez whose shoulder, like last year, doesn't recover quickly from starts could reprise his role as the Cardinals' closer.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Dosunmu hurt after Spartans' late dunk; No. 22 Illini fall
Illinois suffered two brutal losses by the final horn Tuesday night.

Star guard Ayo Dosunmu crumbled to the floor clutching his left knee moments after Michigan State's Xavier Tillman threw down a huge dunk that lifted the Spartans over the 22nd-ranked Illini 70-69.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Oilers overpower slumping Blackhawks 5-3
Leon Draisaitl had a goal and three assists, Kailer Yamamoto scored twice and the Edmonton Oilers won without captain Connor McDavid in the lineup, defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3 on Tuesday night.

Riley Sheahan and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also scored for the Oilers (30-20-6), who will be without McDavid for two to three weeks because of a left quadriceps injury.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Blues' D Bouwmeester undergoing tests after cardiac episode
St. Louis defenseman Jay Bouwmeester was hospitalized and undergoing tests early Wednesday after suffering a cardiac episode and collapsing on the bench during the first period of the Blues' game against the Ducks.
Wednesday, February 12, 2020

LeBron James among 44 Olympic basketball team finalists
LeBron James is considering a return to the Olympics.

James — a two-time gold medalist and three-time Olympian — was among 44 players announced by USA Basketball on Monday as finalists for the team that will play in the Tokyo Games this summer. James played in 2004, 2008 and 2012, helping the U.S. win gold in his most recent two appearances.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Michigan State to face tough test against Number 22 Illinois
Michigan State (16-8, 8-5) vs. No. 22 Illinois (16-7, 8-4)

State Farm Center, Champaign, Illinois; Tuesday, 9 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: No. 22 Illinois presents a tough challenge for Michigan State. Michigan State has won two of its four games against ranked teams this season. Illinois has dropped to No. 22 in the latest AP rankings following a loss to Maryland last week.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Philip Rivers will enter free agency after 16 seasons
Philip Rivers' 16-year career with the Chargers has come to an end.

The franchise announced Monday that Rivers will enter free agency and won't return to Los Angeles for the upcoming season. General manager Tom Telesco said in a statement that as they talked through various scenarios with Rivers, it became apparent it would be best for both "to turn the page on what has truly been a remarkable run."

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Busch has done it all in NASCAR, except win the Daytona 500
Kyle Busch has partied in victory lane at every NASCAR track from Darlington to Dover, from Bristol to the Brickyard. Busch has even celebrated at Daytona, with a 2008 summer Cup Series victory on his resume, and trophies from races in other series or exhibitions in his collection.

He has yet to take his traditional bow as the confetti flies at the Daytona 500. He is 0 for 14.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Johnson drops "Chasing 8" motto in last season

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Jimmie Johnson has been chasing NASCAR history for so long that his relentless pursuit of rewriting the record books has become part of his legacy.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Maryland rallies to beat Illini 75-66
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — With Illinois shredding Maryland's man-to-man defense, Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon switched to a zone — something the team rarely uses outside of practice.
Saturday, February 8, 2020

High stakes for No. 9 Maryland vs No. 20 Illini
No. 9 Maryland at No. 20 Illinois. First place will be at stake along with perhaps a Big Ten Tournament tiebreaker when the Fighting Illini (16-6, 8-3 Big Ten) host the Terrapins (18-4, 8-3) on Friday in the only conference game that night.
Friday, February 7, 2020

Connor Hellebuyck makes 35 saves to lead Jets over Blues 4-2

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Connor Hellebuyck wasn't in the mood to celebrate just yet.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Purdue routs No. 17 Iowa 104-68 in offensive outburst
Purdue got off to a fast start against a ranked opponent and never slowed down.

Evan Boudreaux scored a season-high 18 points to lead five Purdue players in double figures in a 104-68 rout of No. 17 Iowa on Wednesday night.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

AP source: Andre Iguodala getting traded to Miami Heat
A person familiar with the negotiations says Andre Iguodala is headed to Miami after the Heat and Memphis Grizzlies agreed Wednesday night on his long-awaited trade.
Thursday, February 6, 2020

McAvoy, Bruins beat Blackhawks 2-1 for 5th straight victory
Charlie McAvoy pointed to Jake DeBrusk in appreciation. DeBrusk then tackled McAvoy, sending the duo to the ice before they were mobbed by the rest of the Boston Bruins.
Thursday, February 6, 2020

AP Source: Red Sox agree to trade Betts, Price to Dodgers
Banking on Mookie Betts to be the missing piece in their World Series pursuit, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally pulled off a blockbluster deal with the cost-cutting Red Sox.

Boston agreed to trade the 2018 AL MVP to the Dodgers on Tuesday night, according to two people with knowledge of the deal, packaging Betts with left-hander David Price in a salary dump designed to save the Red Sox tens of millions of dollars and help them dip below baseball's luxury tax threshold.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Arbitrator: union didn't prove Bryant case
Arbitrator Mark Irvings issued his decision Tuesday to deny the grievance filed by Cubs star Kris Bryant, ruling the players' association did not prove Chicago's reasons for holding the third baseman in the minors at the start of the 2015 season were a pretext to push back his eligibility for free agency.
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Dumba scores overtime winner as Wild beat Blackhawks 3-2
Matt Dumba went to one knee and slid across the ice to celebrate before being mobbed by his teammates.

An overtime goal provided much-needed relief to Dumba and the Minnesota Wild.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Change looming as NASCAR season arrives with Daytona 500
The sky isn't falling — or at least it doesn't feel that way — as NASCAR heads into the first of two seasons full of change.

In the three months since Kyle Busch won his second championship, NASCAR took its awards ceremony to Nashville, Tennessee, and was eagerly embraced. The Hall of Fame ceremony last month focused on Joe Gibbs and his elite organization, which won a record 19 of 36 races last season as Busch earned Joe Gibbs Racing its fifth Cup Series title.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Baylor strengthens hold on Number 1 spot
Baylor has strengthened its hold on No. 1 in The Associated Press men's college basketball poll.

The Bears received 49 first-place votes from the 65-member media panel in Monday's poll to stay comfortably ahead of Gonzaga and Kansas. That was up from 44 first-place votes from the previous week, with the Bears securing a third straight week atop the rankings.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Mahomes comes through with MVP performance
Patrick Mahomes was struggling, and the Kansas City Chiefs were in huge trouble.

Until the young quarterback coolly brushed aside three-plus quarters of frustration and came through in the clutch, that is.

Monday, February 3, 2020

All-Stars to honor Kobe, Gianna
The NBA's All-Stars will be playing this year with Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant in their minds and on their jerseys.

So, coming soon: No. 24 Giannis Antetokounmpo, and No. 2, LeBron James.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Irving scores season-high 54 as Nets beat Bulls 133-118
Kyrie Irving is attempting to process the death of Kobe Bryant by reflecting on the lessons his friend taught him.

He put them to good use Friday and scored a season-high 54 points, making all 10 shots in the first half and 19 of 23 for the game, to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 133-118 victory over the Chicago Bulls.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Dusty Baker takes over scam-marred Astros, set for 'last hurrah'
Before he begins his "last hurrah," Dusty Baker intends to talk to his new team. He hasn't decided exactly what he'll say to the scandal-riddled Houston Astros when spring training starts, but he's certain of the message.
Friday, January 31, 2020

Kris Bryant loses service-time grievance
Kris Bryant has lost his service-time grievance against the Chicago Cubs, providing some clarity for the team and the All-Star third baseman with spring training on the horizon.
Friday, January 31, 2020

Number 19 Illinois holds on to beat Golden Gophers 59-51
No. 19 Illinois did what it took to move back into a first-place tie in the Big Ten.

The Fighting Illini's seventh straight win, though, was not pretty.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Illini a factor as Big Ten race reaches midway point
After a dramatic victory at Michigan last weekend, Illinois coach Brad Underwood was asked about the fact that his team had taken sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.

"I don't even think like that," he said. "I'm thinking about enjoying this one for a minute and figuring out who's next on our schedule. We've got 11 more to go. We're not even halfway through yet."

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Oladipo spurs late rally as Pacers run past Bulls in OT
Victor Oladipo opened the night by smiling and waving to Pacers fans in his return from a lengthy absence due to injury. He finished it by walking off the court in tears.

The two-time All-Star capped his first contest in more than a year by making a game-tying 3-pointer with 10 seconds left, and the Indiana Pacers went on to beat Chicago Bulls 115-106 in overtime.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Sowers 1st woman to coach at Super Bowl
For the full 60 minutes of the San Francisco 49ers' portion of media night on Monday,  Katie Sowers talked with reporters from around the world on making history as the first woman and first openly gay coach to work the Super Bowl.

"I'm waiting for someone to tell me that this is all a joke, and they're going to be like 'Psych! You're not really there. You're not really a football coach,'" Sowers said.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Baseball coach killed with Bryant honored at team's opener
John Altobelli's team knew there was only one way to honor its late coach — by playing on his favorite day.

Altobelli's Orange Coast College baseball team opened its season as scheduled on Tuesday against Chula Vista Southwestern. The game occurred two days after Altobelli, his wife and their 13-year-old daughter were killed in the helicopter crash that also took the life of Kobe Bryant and five others.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Middleton has 51, Bucks win minus Antetokounmpo
Khris Middleton dedicated the best game of his career to Kobe Bryant.

Middleton scored a career-high 51 points, leading the Milwaukee Bucks to a 151-131 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

No. 1 Nadal upset by Thiem in Australian Open quarters
Outplayed at his own brand of physical tennis for much of the match, Rafael Nadal finally claimed a set to try to start a comeback against Dominic Thiem.

Nadal marked the moment by hopping in a crouch at the baseline and vigorously pumping his right arm four times.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

LaVine scores 23, delivers late as Bulls edge Spurs 110-109
Zach LaVine felt he was one shot away. Once they started going in, he took over.

LaVine scored 14 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, including two clutch foul shots with 2.1 seconds left, and the Chicago Bulls beat the San Antonio Spurs 110-109 on Monday night.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Baylor remains No. 1 in AP Top 25 with few changes at top
Baylor is No. 1 for a second straight week in an AP Top 25 poll that had no major changes at the top, a rare bit of stability in a wildly unpredictable season.

The Bears stayed well ahead of No. 2 Gonzaga in Monday's poll, part of an unchanged top seven for the first time this season. The only change in the top 10 came with Villanova moving up a spot to No. 8 to swap positions with No. 9 Duke. That comes in a season that has seen seven different teams reach No. 1 this season, matching a record set during the 1982-83 season.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Miller leads Canucks past Blues 3-1 for 9th straight at home
J.T. Miller scored twice in the second period to help the Vancouver Canucks rally from an early deficit to beat the St. Louis Blues 3-1 Monday night.

Bo Horvat also scored as the Canucks won their ninth straight at home, and 12 in the last 15 overall. Jake Virtanen and Chris Tanev each had two assists.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Afterthought as it is, NFL Pro Bowl still has a rich history
(AP) — With James Lofton's rookie season off to a strong start in 1978, another member of the Green Bay Packers casually tossed some praise his way in the locker room one day in early December.
Saturday, January 25, 2020

Hield scores 21, Kings beat Bulls 98-81 to snap 6-game skid

CHICAGO (AP) — After being pulled from the starting lineup, Buddy Hield proved his value to the Sacramento Kings.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Previewing the 49ers vs the Chiefs
(AP) — It has been a while since a Super Bowl has appeared to be such a toss-up. This one between the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers and the AFC champ Kansas City Chiefs is a difficult game to judge.
Saturday, January 25, 2020

No. 21 Illini in 1st-place tie; Michigan up next

(AP) — What to watch in Big Ten basketball this weekend:

Friday, January 24, 2020

Duarte leads No. 12 Oregon past USC in double OT
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Paying close attention paid off for Oregon's Chris Duarte.
Friday, January 24, 2020

Bittersweet: Caroline Wozniacki's career ends in Australia
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — It was bittersweet, Caroline.
Friday, January 24, 2020

Rematch! James, Antetokounmpo are All-Star captains again
MIAMI (AP) — It'll be an All-Star rematch: Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis.
Friday, January 24, 2020

Indiana uses late charge to beat No. 11 Michigan State 67-63
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Joey Brunk made an immediate impact from the moment he arrived on Indiana's campus.
Friday, January 24, 2020

LaVine scores 25 points, Bulls beat Timberwolves 117-110
The Chicago Bulls envisioned Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen providing a powerful one-two punch and leading them to the playoffs coming off one of the worst seasons in franchise history.

This was more like it.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Zion's exceptional debut provides Pelicans hope
Zion Williamson's sublime 17-point surge in a span of barely more than three minutes could very well become part of New Orleans' pro sports lore — even if the final score won't.

For the Pelicans, a narrow loss to a well-coached, savvy San Antonio Spurs team carried far less weight than the burgeoning form of a young superstar in the making.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Jeter 1 vote shy of unanimous, Walker also elected to Hall
Known for two decades as No. 2, Derek Jeter is now linked to the number 1 — as in, who was the lone Hall of Fame voter who didn't put a check mark next to his name?

Jeter came within one vote of being a unanimous pick, falling just shy of the standard set when longtime New York Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera became the first unanimous selection last year. Larry Walker also earned baseball's highest honor Tuesday in his last chance on the ballot.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Quenneville coaches Panthers to 4-3 win over Blackhawks
Joel Quenneville barking out instructions from behind the bench. A young team with a couple budding stars showing signs of improvement.
Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Antetokounmpo has triple-double, Bucks down Bulls 111-98
The Milwaukee Bucks committed 23 turnovers — and won anyway.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Co. finished strong on Monday.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Baylor now 7th No. 1 this season
Baylor and Gonzaga were the only two teams in the top five that took care of business last week.

That doesn't mean they didn't move around, too.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Nicklaus turns 80 and still remains a part of golf's conversations
Jack Nicklaus turns 80 on Tuesday, no closer to retirement than when he was at the peak of his golf career.

Never mind that he rarely competes, and when he does play the occasional round of golf, he doesn't always finish the hole. His shoulder is sore, but that's more from tennis.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

When it comes to unanimous Hall picks, Jeter could be No. 2.
When it comes to unanimous picks for baseball's Hall of Fame, Derek Jeter quite appropriately has the chance to be No. 2.

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera became the first player to appear on every ballot when he swept 425 votes in last year's election. Ken Griffey Jr. was three votes short perfection in 2016, breaking the mark of five shy that had been held since 1992 by Tom Seaver.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

US Olympic qualifying roster minus 5 from World Cup team
The United States' roster for the upcoming CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament will look very similar to the one that won the Women's World Cup in France, with notable exceptions.
Saturday, January 18, 2020

Garza scores 33, Iowa beats No. 19 Michigan 90-83
Michigan coach Juwan Howard has seen enough of Iowa's Luka Garza this season.

Garza scored 33 points in Iowa's 90-83 win over No. 19 Michigan on Friday night.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Buddy Boeheim playing sweet for Syracuse this season
With the shot clock about to expire in an overtime game on the road against the reigning national champions, Syracuse guard Buddy Boeheim curls far behind the arc on the right wing. He barely glances at his target, then launches a shot over the outstretched arms of a Virginia defender.
Saturday, January 18, 2020

Bettors leaning heavily toward home teams making Super Bowl
Pro Picks is surprised.

Consider that the NFC title game is a matchup of the conferences's top two seeds. The spread favors host San Francisco (14-3) over Green Bay (also 14-3) by 7 1-2 points.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

NBA pushes back plans for April vote on possible schedule changes
The NBA no longer expects the league's board of governors to vote in April on whether to make significant changes to the league's schedule in time for the 75th anniversary season in 2021-22.
Saturday, January 18, 2020

Brandon Ingram scores 49, Pelicans snap Jazz's 10-game win streak
The New Orleans Pelicans wildly celebrated Brandon Ingram's off-balance jumper in the final seconds of regulation, believing it had won the game.

Turns out it didn't.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Conor McGregor finds structure in life as he rolls into UFC 246
Conor McGregor used to train whenever he felt like it, and he stayed up late every night. He would sleep deep into the daylight hours, and he perpetually showed up late for almost any commitment required of a rising mixed martial arts star.

McGregor had reason to believe chaos was his natural environment: He was climbing to the pinnacle of the so-called combat sports, winning two UFC title belts and earning an absurd payday against Floyd Mayweather while becoming the most famous fighter in the world.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Elleby scores 25, Washington State surprises Number eight Oregon
After scoring a season-low in points in his last game, CJ Elleby was the go-to guy for Washington State against No. 8 Oregon.

Elleby scored 25 points and Washington State beat a Top-10 team for just the third time, surprising Oregon 72-61 on Thursday night.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Bears to stay home for training camp
The Chicago Bears will hold their entire training camp at their headquarters rather than spend the first few weeks in Bourbonnais, Illinois.

The Bears announced Tuesday they will remain at Halas Hall rather than practice the first few weeks 90 miles south at Olivet Nazarene University, as they have for 18 years. They held camp at Wisconsin-Platteville from 1984-2001.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Flyers beat Blues 4-3
Jakub Voracek scored in overtime and the Flyers beat the St. Louis Blues 4-3 on Wednesday night.
Thursday, January 16, 2020

MLB could fight sign stealing with tech
If Major League Baseball really wants to stop its teams from electronically stealing signs, it might consider fighting technology with more technology.
Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Consolation prize: Clemson knocks off No. 3 Duke in hoops
What a wild ride the past four days have been for Clemson fans.

The Tigers beat No. 3 Duke 79-72 on Tuesday night to sandwich wins over the Atlantic Coast Conference's basketball blue bloods around Monday's loss in the College Football Playoff title game.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

LSU wears Clemson out in title tilt
Clyde Edwards-Helaire took turns dancing around defenders or churning his legs as he pushed his compact frame through tacklers for extra yards and pivotal first downs.
Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Illini crack AP Top 25; Baylor now 2, Gonzaga stays No. 1
Good luck finding any team in the country that notches a better pair of road wins in the same week than Baylor, which followed up a victory at Texas Tech by invading Allen Fieldhouse and thumping Kansas on its home floor.
Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Hinch, GM fired for Astros sign stealing after MLB bans pair
The Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal cost manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow their jobs, and Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora could be next.

Hinch and Luhnow were fired Monday after being suspended by Major League Baseball for the team's illicit use of electronics to steal signs during Houston's run to the 2017 World Series title and again in the 2018 season.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Encarnación, White Sox complete $12 million, 1-year contract

CHICAGO (AP) — Edwin Encarnación saw the young players the Chicago White Sox have and a bright future for a team eyeing a run at the AL Central championship after seven straight losing seasons. That's why he chose to be a part of it.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

LSU coach Orgeron's success fueling Cajun pride on the bayou
LAROSE, La. (AP) — A cardboard likeness of Ed Orgeron, wearing a purple polo with gold LSU lettering, stands in an entertainment parlor at the home of one of his childhood friends.
Saturday, January 11, 2020

Wieskamp leads Iowa to 67-49 win over No. 12 Maryland
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Hawkeyes were down to eight scholarship players and still outplayed No. 12 Maryland.
Saturday, January 11, 2020

Cubs, star Kris Bryant agree to $18.6 million, 1-year deal
CHICAGO (AP) — Third baseman Kris Bryant avoided arbitration with the Chicago Cubs, agreeing Friday to an $18.6 million, one-year contract.
Saturday, January 11, 2020

Rays get Martinez from Cards for pitching prospect
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired first baseman-designated hitter Jose Martinez from St. Louis in a trade that sends left-hander Matthew Liberatore, one of the club's top minor league pitching prospects, to the Cardinals.
Friday, January 10, 2020

Rinne registers historic score as Predators beat Blackhawks 5-2
CHICAGO (AP) — Pekka Rinne grinned and grinned and grinned.

John Hynes got his first win with Nashville and Colin Blackwell scored his first NHL goal, but the game belonged to Rinne after one historic shot.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Baylor ends Number one UConn's 98-game home win streak
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Kim Mulkey and Baylor are making a habit of ending UConn's streaks.
Friday, January 10, 2020

Ingram scores 29 points as Pelicans top Bulls 123-108
Brandon Ingram had 29 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans defeated Chicago 123-108 on Wednesday night to drop the Bulls to a fifth straight loss.
Thursday, January 9, 2020

Illini snap 15-game losing streak to Badgers
Illinois coach Brad Underwood said he likes the no-fear attitude that sophomore guard Ayo Dosunmu has cultivated this season.

Dosunmu's effort was critical on Wednesday when the Illini needed a clutch basket most.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Maryland grinds past Ohio State
One of these days, Maryland will run the fast break to perfection, show a precise shooting eye from the outside and score a whole bunch of points.
Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Perron, Binnington lift Blues over Sharks
David Perron is making a late push for an All-Star selection.

Perron scored his 18th goal of the season and Jordan Binnington stopped 28 shots, leading the St. Louis Blues to a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Doncic leads Mavericks over Bulls 118-110
Luka Doncic scored 21 of his 38 points in the third quarter and had his NBA-leading 11th triple-double of the season to lead the Dallas Mavericks past the Chicago Bulls 118-110 Monday night.

Doncic scored 17 of the Mavs' 19 points in the final 5:35 of the third to break open what had been a tie game. His 3 gave Dallas a 72-69 lead it would not relinquish.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Dallas picks McCarthy to replace Garrett
Mike McCarthy won a Super Bowl and went to the playoffs eight straight years while coaching two-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The Dallas Cowboys are hoping for similar results from McCarthy with Dak Prescott.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

XFL to unveil bold, new rule innovations when it kicks off next month
When the XFL debuts in February, it will take a “Star Trek” approach of going where no football league has gone before.

The eight-team league will have options for extra points worth one, two or three points. It will allow double forward passes behind the line of scrimmage.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa says he is entering 2020 NFL draft
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa put an end to the initial question about his future, announcing Monday that he is entering the NFL draft and closing the book on a college career that began with a splash and ended with a devastating injury.
Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Undersized and getting it done: Clemson, LSU backs proving they belong
LSU's Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Clemson's Travis Etienne have much more in common than their Louisiana backgrounds heading into the national title game.
Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Griffin's double-double helps Illinois beat Purdue 63-37
Sophomore Alan Griffin has been a crowd favorite in Champaign since last season, and he continues to make a case for breaking into the Illinois starting lineup.
Monday, January 6, 2020

Giants interview former Packers coach Mike McCarthy
Mike McCarthy, who won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers and led them to nine playoff appearances in 13 seasons, has interviewed for the head coaching job with the New York Giants.
Saturday, January 4, 2020

Wisconsin rallies late to upset No. 5 Ohio State 61-57
Nate Reuver's jumper finally wrested the lead away from Ohio State with 1:54 left in the game, and the Wisconsin forward hit four free throws in the last 14 seconds to seal a road upset of the No. 5 Buckeyes.
Saturday, January 4, 2020

Busch brings the Rowdy show to the Rolex 24 at Daytona 
Fresh from a holiday trip to the Bahamas, NASCAR's newest two-time champion raced back to the track to open the new year.

Kyle Busch stepped out of his comfort zone at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, pulling on a white helmet adorned with his nickname "Rowdy" and climbing into a Lexus RC-F to test for the upcoming Rolex 24 at Daytona. The prestigious sports car race always features some of the top talent in the world, and Busch just might be this year's main attraction.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Davis scores 46 against former team as Lakers beat Pelicans
Anthony Davis isn't having any sympathy when it comes to facing his former team.

The Lakers forward had 46 points and 13 rebounds as Los Angeles rolled to a 123-113 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Harden nets 44 in triple-double, Rockets beat 76ers 118-108
Houston Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni is convinced James Harden operates on a different level than most players, especially after his latest dazzling performance.

Harden had 44 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists to lead the Rockets to a 118-108 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Michigan St. tops Illinois 76-56, stays atop Big Ten
Michigan State played perhaps its best game of the season at least in part because Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman were clicking together on the court.

Winston had 21 points and Tillman scored 19, leading the 14th-ranked Spartans to a 76-56 win over Illinois on Thursday night.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Wright takes over late, Colorado beats No. 4 Oregon 74-65
McKinley Wright IV received a little pep talk from none other than himself.

"I told myself I had to get going," he said of his second-half inner monologue.

Wright listened to Wright.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Canucks erase two-goal deficit, rally past Blackhawks 7-5
This Vancouver Canucks' matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks never had the look of a defensive struggle.

Adam Gaudette scored a third-period goal and the Canucks rallied from a two-goal deficit, extending their winning streak to six games with a 7-5 win over the Blackhawks on Thursday night.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Kadri's two goals lead Avalanche to 7-3 win over Blues
With a big offensive push, the Colorado Avalanche turned the page on a tough stretch at home and against the St. Louis Blues in particular.

Nazem Kadri scored twice, Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and three assists, and the Avalanche beat the Blues 7-3 Thursday night to snap a four-game skid at home.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Bama beats Michigan in Citrus Bowl
Jerry Jeudy could have sat out Alabama's bowl game and still almost certainly would have been a first-round draft pick.

Mac Jones threw three touchdown passes, Jeudy became the first Alabama player to top 200 receiving yards in a bowl game and the ninth-ranked Crimson Tide topped No. 17 Michigan 35-16 on Wednesday in the Citrus Bowl.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Oregon beats Wisconsin 28-27 in Rose Bowl
Justin Herbert scored his third rushing touchdown of the 106th Rose Bowl on a thrilling 30-yard run with 7:41 to play Wednesday night, and No. 7 Oregon held off No. 11 Wisconsin 28-27 to win its third straight trip to the Granddaddy of Them All.
Thursday, January 2, 2020

Pickens leads No. 5 Georgia past No. 8 Baylor in Sugar Bowl
Georgia freshman receiver George Pickens left behind his regrettable ending to the regular season and put the rest of college football on notice that he will be an exceedingly tough cover in 2020.
Thursday, January 2, 2020

Garbers' big day leads Cal past Illinois
As a freshman a year ago, Chase Garbers was benched at halftime for ineffectiveness during his first trip to a bowl game. The California quarterback made his second appearance in the postseason much more memorable for both himself and the Golden Bears.
Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Antetokounmpo scores 23, Bucks beat Bulls 123-102
With an NBA-best 30-5 record, the Milwaukee Bucks are off to a great start.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, though, is more concerned with the team's finish this season.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

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