INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL

ALEXANDRIA65ELWOOD28 
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CARROLL (FLORA)45CLINTON PRAIRIE43 
CARROLL (FORT WAYNE)66FORT WAYNE LUERS52 
CHESTERTON69LAPORTE44 
CHRISTEL HOUSE MANUAL78PURDUE POLY ENGLEWOOD50 
CISSNA PARK (ILL.)62NORTH VERMILLION59 
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INDIANAPOLIS WASHINGTON71INDIANAPOLIS SHORTRIDGE40 
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JOHN HARDIN (KY.)84EVANSVILLE REITZ72 
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SOUTHWESTERN (HANOVER)70SWITZERLAND COUNTY47 
SOUTHWESTERN (SHELBYVILLE)60BROWN COUNTY49 
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SPRINGFIELD SOUTHEAST (ILL.)62EVANSVILLE BOSSE51 
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TERRE HAUTE NORTH38TERRE HAUTE SOUTH32 
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TRADERS POINT CHRISTIAN81IRVINGTON PREP ACADEMY61 
TRINITY LUTHERAN63SHAWE MEMORIAL53 
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UNIVERSITY81MUNCIE BURRIS43 
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WABASH58MANCHESTER53 
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INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL

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BLOOMINGTON LIGHTHOUSE48PHALEN ACADEMY37 
CARROLL (FORT WAYNE)62FORT WAYNE LUERS42 
CASCADE61CLOVERDALE35 
CASTON59FRONTIER30 
CENTRAL CHRISTIAN37TRADERS POINT CHRISTIAN28 
CHESTERTON33HANOVER CENTRAL29 
CLINTON PRAIRIE56CARROLL (FLORA)49 
COVENANT CHRISTIAN (DEMOTTE)63HERITAGE CHRISTIAN (DYER)25 
DANVILLE60NORTH MONTGOMERY35 
FISHERS55BROWNSBURG35 
FORT WAYNE DWENGER58FORT WAYNE WAYNE52 
FORT WAYNE NORTHROP72FORT WAYNE NORTH21 
FORT WAYNE SOUTH66FORT WAYNE CONCORDIA59 
GREENWOOD CHRISTIAN55BETHESDA CHRISTIAN45 
HAUSER71CROTHERSVILLE17 
HOMESTEAD71FORT WAYNE SNIDER66 
INDIANA DEAF66INDIANAPOLIS TINDLEY40 
INDIANAPOLIS HERRON45INDIANAPOLIS RIVERSIDE12 
JAC-CEN-DEL57SOUTHWESTERN (SHELBYVILLE)42 
KNOX45LAVILLE39 
LACROSSE45MORGAN TWP.34 
LEO58NEW HAVEN19 
MACONAQUAH61PERU36 
MARIAN CATHOLIC (ILL.)41ANDREAN34 
MISHAWAKA MARIAN87SOUTH BEND CLAY30 
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PENDLETON HEIGHTS67NEW PALESTINE65OT
RIVERTON PARKE47ATTICA41 
ROSSVILLE27TRI-CENTRAL24 
SEEGER50SOUTHMONT34 
SULLIVAN48WEST VIGO39 
TAYLOR47CLINTON CENTRAL40 
TERRE HAUTE NORTH66TERRE HAUTE SOUTH28 
TRI-WEST59LEBANON41 
TRINITY LUTHERAN71BROWN COUNTY58 
TRITON71CULVER34 
VALPARAISO60MICHIGAN CITY35 
WESTERN BOONE63FRANKFORT32 
WESTFIELD49HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN37 
ZIONSVILLE44NOBLESVILLE33 
ALLEN COUNTY CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT
JAY COUNTY64SOUTHERN WELLS22 
WOODLAN58HERITAGE29 
INDIANAPOLIS CITY TOURNAMENT
INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL48INDIANAPOLIS CHATARD44 
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MEN’S TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

NEBRASKA65FINAL
PURDUE92
 
MICHIGAN53FINAL
25 ILLINOIS68

WOMEN’S TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

STANFORD60FINAL
22 COLORADO52

NBA SCOREBOARD

TORONTO87FINAL
DETROIT103
 
PHOENIX112FINAL
INDIANA94
 
BOSTON99FINAL
PHILADELPHIA111
 
ORLANDO116FINAL
CHARLOTTE109
 
GOLDEN STATE138FINAL
CHICAGO96
 
ATLANTA118FINAL
MIAMI124
 
CLEVELAND114FINAL
SAN ANTONIO109
 
HOUSTON114FINAL
SACRAMENTO126
 
DALLAS112FINAL
MEMPHIS85

NHL SCOREBOARD

 
DALLAS1FINAL
FLORIDA7
 
ANAHEIM3FINAL
MINNESOTA7
 
ARIZONA3F-SO
COLORADO4
 
VEGASPOSTPONED
EDMONTON

TOP HEADLINES

No. 7 Purdue dominates Nebraska, Edey and Ivey lead scoring

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) No. 7 Purdue had a point to prove Friday night, and got right to work.

The Boilermakers opened the game on a decisive 23-4 run in their 92-65 rout over Nebraska. Zach Edey scored 22 points and Jaden Ivey added 17 to lead Purdue’s scorers.

“Looking back at the games we lost, I just felt we were getting disrespect from a lot of people saying we can’t do this or can’t do that,” Ivey said. “I just came out fired up today and I’ve got to do that every night.”

The Boilermakers (14-2, 3-2 Big Ten) have won two straight and six of their last seven. Coach Matt Painter also captured his 183rd victory in Big Ten play, which broke a tie with former Michigan State coach Jud Heathcote for seventh in career wins among conference coaches.

Keisei Tominaga led the Cornhuskers with 11 points. Alonzo Verge Jr. and C.J. Wilcher each had 10 points for Nebraska (6-12, 0-7), which has lost five straight and 10 of 11 while dropping to 0-4 this season against ranked foes.

But the Cornhuskers never had a chance and never led after getting into early foul trouble and digging that big deficit in the first 7 1/2 minutes.

“They were in the bonus by the first media timeout in both halves,” Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg said. “It’s awful hard to (win) when you’re giving up extra shots to those guys.”

Nebraska did manage to trim the deficit to 29-17 on Bryce McGowens’ 3-pointer with 7:16 left in the first half, but Purdue went on a 10-2 spurt to make it 48-30. Wilcher closed the half with a long buzzer-beating shot to make it a 15-point game before pulling away in the second half.

“I just want them to understand how hard it is to win one game in the Big Ten,” Painter said after moving within within two wins of matching Ward “Piggy” Lambert (371) for second on the school’s career victory list. “Penn State was a hard game for us, this was a hard game for us, the next game will be a hard game for us. You just have to be able to keep that discipline.”

Purdue also needs six wins to become the first Big Ten team with 1,000 regular-season wins in conference play.

BIG PICTURE

Nebraska: Hoiberg was already at a disadvantage inside and short-handed on the bench. So when three starters each drew two fouls before the first media timeout, it was pretty much over. Nebraska fell to 0-10 all-time at Mackey Arena and hopes to be more competitive in the days ahead.

Purdue: A long break following Tuesday’s postponement against Michigan helped the Boilermakers fine-tune a few things. They were sharp, efficient, took control inside early, and never relented. Sure, it was Nebraska but if Purdue follows this script, it could run away with the conference title.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Wins over Penn State and Nebraska may not be enough to push Purdue back into the top five next week but they’re not likely to be out much longer. Expect the Boilermakers to stay in the top 10 for an 11th consecutive week, matching the second-longest streak in school history. Only a 17-week span from the 1986-87 preseason through the 1987-88 preseason poll was longer. They also had an 11-week streak from January-March 1988.

STAT PACK

Nebraska: McGowens had nine points and Derrick Walker added eight. Lat Mayen led the Cornhuskers with eight rebounds. … Nebraska finished with 17 turnovers and was outscored 28-7 in points off turnovers. … The Cornhuskers only have three road wins against top-10 foes in school history, the most recent coming at No. 9 Michigan State on Feb. 16, 2014.

Purdue: Preseason All-American Trevion Williams had 10 points and five rebounds. … Ivey had four rebounds and five assists, while Edey had nine rebounds and was 9 of 12 from the field. … Sasha Stefanovic finished with nine points and three assists.

UP NEXT

Nebraska: Heads home to face Indiana on Monday.

Purdue: Visits Illinois on Monday.

Cockburn, Frazier lead No. 25 Illinois over Michigan 68-53

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) Kofi Cockburn scored 21 points and hauled in 10 rebounds to help No. 25 Illinois beat Michigan 68-53 on Friday night.

“No matter who is on the court, no matter what player it is, I always go out there and try to destroy them and dominate them,” Cockburn said. “That’s the narrative I’m trying to set. I don’t care who it is.”

Both teams struggled from distance in a foul-plagued first half, combining to go 1 of 20 from 3-point range.

DeVante’ Jones led Michigan with 17 points on a 7-of-16 shooting clip, and was the only Wolverine to make a 3 on 10 attempts. Jones brought the Wolverines back within six points with his jumper with 5:16 left, but from there, Illinois’ Trent Frazier took over.

Frazier scored 16 points in the second half on 5-of-11 shooting, including a stretch where he scored 11 straight points for Illinois (13-3, 6-0 Big Ten). He finished with 18 points and seven assists, the latter a career-high.

“I think it really comes from being a fifth-year, having that experience,” Frazier said. “Having Ayo (Dosunmu) last year, seeing him play with such confidence with the ball in his hands late-game, making plays down the stretch whether he scored or passed.”

Michigan (7-7, 1-3) was without star center Hunter Dickinson due to an undisclosed medical issue, as well as guard Brandon Johns Jr.

Freshman forward Moussa Diabate was hard-pressed to replace Dickinson’s production, finishing with nine points and six rebounds after getting into foul trouble early on.

Illinois coach Brad Underwood credited the short-handed Wolverines for hanging around for most of the game. Michigan held a 16-8 advantage in second-chance points largely due to 15 offensive rebounds.

“They played harder than we did tonight,” Underwood said, “which doesn’t have me very excited and doesn’t happen very often.”

BIG PICTURE

Illinois: After a loss to Arizona on Dec. 11, the Illini have now won six straight games and sit alone atop the Big Ten at 6-0 (at least until 5-0 Michigan State takes on Northwestern on Saturday). The Illini are still without guard Andre Curbelo, who is rehabilitating from an undisclosed injury, but are clicking on both ends as No. 7 Purdue comes to town on Monday.

Michigan: Dickinson can’t return soon enough for the Wolverines, who have now lost four of their last five games. The Wolverines have an opportunity to avoid the Big Ten cellar with winnable games coming up against Maryland, at Indiana and against Northwestern.

UP NEXT:

Illinois: Hosts No. 7 Purdue on Monday.

Michigan: Hosts Maryland on Tuesday.

Booker, Ayton help NBA-leading Suns beat Pacers, 112-94

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Devin Booker scored 35 points, Deandre Ayton had 27 points and 12 rebounds and the NBA-leading Phoenix Suns beat the Indiana Pacers 112-94 on Friday night.

Chris Paul added 12 points and nine assists for Phoenix, and Cam Payne had 11 points and five assists. The Suns finished the first half of the season 32-9, their second-best record in franchise history through 41 games.

“I’m a scoring guard and I get paid to make plays and put the ball in the bucket, that doesn’t come without Deandre setting good screens, Chris getting the ball there on time,” Booker said. “Deandre having a dominant first half (21 points) made things open things up for all of us in the second half.”

Justin Holiday scored 25 points for Indiana, hitting seven 3s, Caris LeVert had 20, and Domantas Sabonis added 14 points and 14 rebounds. The Pacers have lost three in a row and nine of 10.

Booker scored 22 points in the third quarter to help the Suns take an 80-76 lead into the fourth. With the Pacers ahead 76-73, Phoenix had a 23-2 run to take a 96-78 lead.

“(Booker) made some tough shots,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “We gave up 38 points in that third quarter so we needed something to offset that.”

Williams said the defense was the difference in the fourth quarter.

“We kept getting stop after stop after stop and it really helped us,” Williams said.

Neither team shot well in a low-scoring first half, with the Suns ahead 46-38 lead at the intermission. But Ayton kept the Suns in the lead.

“Their pick-and-roll coverage freed (Ayton) up in the middle and we did a good job finding him in the pocket,” Williams said. “He was able to take advantage of a smaller guy guiding him in the middle. The physicality of our guys tonight stepped up.”

Jalen Smith had 12 rebounds off the bench and Jae Crowder had 11.

“That’s what we’ve talked about our team having to be more physical,” Williams said. “We outrebounded them by nine (51-42), that’s huge for us. They had just nine offensive rebounds. Even games we didn’t rebound as well, the effort was there. Tonight we just saw much more will and pursuit of the ball.”

Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said he liked his team’s competitive spirit in the first half.

“We couldn’t get in rhythm offensively and they hit us with (8-0) late in the first half,” Carlisle said. “The third quarter was tremendous. We were able to take a lead as brief as it was. We put defense and offense together and got into the type of game we need to play, which is pace, ball movement and recognition. The end of the third quarter and fourth they hit us with a run they are most capable of doing. They do it on a consistent basis to a lot of teams. It was a tough one to answer. Disappointed with outcome, but not with the effort.”

TIP-INS

Suns: Cam Johnson did not play for the second consecutive game because of a left ankle sprain. … The Suns have a 1 1/2-game lead over Western Conference rival Golden State for top spot in the NBA.

Pacers: Jeremy Lamb was sidelined with a sore left knee. . Malcolm Brogdon, who played 17 minutes Wednesday night in a loss to Boston, was out with a sore right Achilles. The game against Boston was his first since Dec. 21 because of the Achilles injury. . Chris Duarte returned after missing the previous two games because of the birth of his daughter.

UP NEXT

Suns: At Detroit on Sunday.

Pacers: At Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.

Mavs rout Grizzlies 112-85, ending Memphis’ winning streak

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Luka Doncic had 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in his 40th career triple-double, and the Dallas Mavericks used a second-half rally to rout Memphis 112-85 on Friday night and end the Grizzlies’ winning streak at 11 games.

Doncic had 18 points in the second half, connecting on 8 of 10 shots. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 16 points, and Jalen Brunson and Marquese Chriss had 15 points apiece, with Brunson adding nine assists.

“Our defense was amazing,” Doncic said. “(The Grizzlies) have a great offense, and it’s tough to stop them, but I think we did an amazing job in the second half.”

Ja Morant led Memphis with 19 points and eight assists, Desmond Bane had 16 points and Kyle Anderson added 12. The Grizzlies lost for the first time since Dec. 23, getting little help beyond its top three scorers.

The Grizzlies were playing the second night of a back-to-back and their fifth game in a week. Morant said the schedule may have finally caught up with them.

“Pretty much from our legs being heavy and our shots were short,” Morant said, later adding the fatigue contributed to his eight turnovers and other mistakes in the game.

Memphis shot 38% from the field and made only seven of 31 shots from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, the Mavericks were at almost 52% from the floor.

The Mavericks have been playing well. Before losing 108-85 at New York on Wednesday night, Dallas had clicked off six straight victories.

Dallas gained a bit of a cushion in the second half, starting the third quarter shooting better than the first half. That catapulted the Mavs to an 84-73 lead entering the fourth. Doncic scored 10 points in the third to help the Mavericks build their lead, as they outscored Memphis 34-18 in the period.

When Dallas rattled off the first seven points of the fourth, the lead swelled to 18. Grizzlies interim coach Darko Rajakovic called off his starters with five minutes left and Memphis trailing by 24.

The lead would eventually reach 31 as Memphis managed only 12 points in the fourth quarter and 30 after halftime.

“I thought the team rebounding and the team defense was excellent to go with the tempo and pace offensively,” Dallas interim coach Sean Sweeney said. “I thought it was great all around.”

As for Memphis, the longest regular-season winning streak ended, but the stretch moved the Grizzlies into third place in the Western Conference.

“First thing I told guys was congratulations for an amazing streak and making history for our franchise,” Rajakovic said. “Eleven straight wins. It’s a huge thing. We were playing really good basketball.”

TIP-INS

Mavericks: Willie Cauley-Stein (personal reasons) and Kristaps Porzingis (health and safety protocols) were both out. . Dallas has won seven of the last 10 games in the series. .Maxi Kleber started his 10th game of the season.

Grizzlies: The Grizzlies had swept three back-to-backs in the streak. They beat Minnesota on Thursday night. . C Steven Adams returned after missing four games in health and safety protocols. . F Brandon Clarke started his first game of the season.

UP NEXT:

Mavericks: Host Orlando on Saturday night.

Grizzlies: Host Chicago on Monday night.

5 players are unanimous choices for AP’s NFL All-Pro Team

NEW YORK (AP) Five players, including dynamic pass catchers Cooper Kupp and Davante Adams, are unanimous choices for The Associated Press 2021 NFL All-Pro Team.

Joining the Rams’ Kupp and the Packers’ Adams in receiving votes Friday from all 50 members of a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league are Colts running back Jonathan Taylor, Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt, and Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

While Donald is a perennial pick – the three-time Defensive Player of the Year makes the team for the seventh time in his eight pro seasons – Watt is on it for a third time. He tied the NFL record for sacks with 22 1/2. Adams makes it for the second time, and the other two are newcomers as All-Pros. Kupp led the NFL in receptions (145), yards receiving (1,947) and TD catches (16). Taylor was the top rusher by a landslide with 1,811 yards and scored 18 touchdowns on the ground, two as a receiver.

“Obviously, it’s an honor to be recognized, and it wouldn’t be possible without my coaches and incredible teammates, but the awards and accolades aren’t what drives me,” said Watt, whose Steelers play at Kansas City on Sunday. “It’s competing with and for them, this franchise, and this city, that drives me. My coaches and teammates are the people that put me in a position to make splash, help us win, and this recognition honestly doesn’t come without them.”

Like Donald, although not nearly as often as the offense-wrecking DT, several players are making another appearance on the All-Pro Team. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is on for the fourth time, as is Philadelphia center Jason Kelce – one more than his brother, Chiefs’ star tight end Travis. One better than them: Dallas right guard Zack Martin and Baltimore placekicker Justin Tucker at five.

Three-time All-Pros are Colts linebacker Darius Leonard, Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, and Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward. Double All-Pros are Browns edge rusher Myles Garrett and Titans safety Kevin Byard.

The other 14 2021 All-Pros are making their debuts. On offense, 49ers left tackle Trent Williams is a newcomer in his 11th NFL season, joined by Ravens tight end Mark Andrews, Buccaneers right tackle Tristan Wirfs, Browns left guard Joel Bitonio, and 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel. On defense, it’s linebackers Micah Parsons of Dallas, the only rookie on the squad, and De’Vondre Campbell of Green Bay; Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs; Bills safety Jordan Poyer; and five special teamers: Las Vegas punter A.J. Cole, Jets kick returner Braxton Berrios, Ravens punt returner Devin Duvernay, Saints special teams ace J.T Gray, and Colts long snapper Luke Rhodes.

Perhaps the most thrilled player is Williams, whose been a stellar blocker for a decade with Washington and now San Francisco, but never got the All-Pro nod.

“I do feel more comfortable than I’ve ever felt,” he said. “I do feel like I’m as strong as I’ve ever been. I do feel my football IQ is probably better than it’s ever been. As a football player, as a competitor every year you want to be better than the last year. That’s my goal and always has been my goal. So if this year is better than last year, I hope so. That’s the plan.”

Almost as unusual as sweeping the votes is having a rookie on the team. Parsons has been so outstanding he’s also considered a strong contender for the Defensive Player of the Year award.

“I think it’s an extraordinary honor,” he said of being an All-Pro. “It speaks to the work and the position the Cowboys put me in. I think it’s just a true blessing. It just makes you want to go harder.

“I think when you achieve things early, you’ve got to learn how to sustain it. People always say when you get there it gets easier. But I think when you get there, it gets harder. Once you get it, you’ve got it. But it’s hard to sustain it than it is just to get there. I’ve got to just keep working and keep getting better and find a way to beat this season next year, which is the harder part.”

Byard was an All-Pro in 2017, and now he’s back on the roster after what he felt was a down 2020 season.

“It means a lot to me, honestly,” he acknowledged. “I put a lot of work in every single offseason by myself, not necessarily with the team in training camp, but just try to come into the next season to try to play the best I can be for my team.

“I’ve talked about it a lot. Just not felt like I played my best last year. So to be able to bounce back and see the kind of the work that I put in mentally and physically kind of pay off.”

The Packers, Colts, Ravens, Rams and Cowboys each have three All-Pros. There’s an even breakdown by conference of 14 apiece.

Bears interview Flores for coach job, Ireland for GM opening

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) The Chicago Bears interviewed former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores and New Orleans Saints assistant general manager Jeff Ireland for their vacant coach and GM jobs on Friday.

Flores was fired Monday by Miami after leading the Dolphins to a 24-25 record over three years. They went 9-8 in their second straight winning season, but failed to make the playoffs during his tenure. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross indicated the reasons for his dismissal had little to do with the on-field product and more with communication within the team’s brain trust.

Ireland was Miami’s general manager from 2008 to 2013. The Dolphins won the AFC East at 11-5 his first season after going 1-15 in 2007.

Ireland was hired by New Orleans in 2015, basically replacing Ryan Pace when he became Chicago’s GM. Ireland was a Bears ball boy when was 12. His grandfather Jim Parmer worked as a scout for Chicago from 1972 to 1977 and was the team’s director of college scouting from 1978 to 1985.

The Bears fired coach Matt Nagy and Pace following a 6-11 season.

Chicago has also interviewed Doug Pederson for the coaching job, and in-house candidate Champ Kelly and Cleveland Browns executives Glenn Cook and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah for the GM position.

NFL PLAYOFF PREVIEW

The NFL playoffs begin with Super Wild Card Weekend (January 15-17), which for the first time will conclude with a game on Monday night.

The NFL Super Wild Card Weekend schedule:

Saturday, January 15
AFCLas Vegas at Cincinnati4:30 PM ETNBC, Peacock, Universo
AFCNew England at Buffalo8:15 PM ETCBS, Paramount+
Sunday, January 16
NFCPhiladelphia at Tampa Bay1:00 PM ETFOX, FOX Deportes
NFCSan Francisco at Dallas4:30 PM ETCBS, Paramount+, Nickelodeon, Amazon Prime Video
AFCPittsburgh at Kansas City8:15 PM ETNBC, Peacock, Telemundo
Monday, January 17
NFCArizona at Los Angeles Rams8:15 PM ETESPN/ABC, ESPN2, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes

The NFL expanded the playoffs last season for the first time since 1990, adding a third Wild Card team in each conference and in the process creating “Super Wild Card Weekend” – three Wild Card games on Saturday and three games on Sunday.

With the addition of a Monday night game to the 2021 playoffs, Super Wild Card Weekend will now have two Wild Card games on Saturday (4:30 PM and 8:15 PM ET), three on Sunday (1:00 PM, 4:30 PM, and 8:15 PM ET), and one on Monday (8:15 PM ET).

On Saturday, the Las Vegas Raiders play at the Cincinnati Bengals (NBC, Peacock, Universo, 4:30 PM ET) and the New England Patriots visit the Buffalo Bills (CBS, Paramount+, 8:15 PM ET).

Super Wild Card Weekend continues Sunday as the Philadelphia Eagles visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (FOX, FOX Deportes, 1:00 PM ET), the Dallas Cowboys welcome the San Francisco 49ers (CBS, Paramount+, Nickelodeon, Amazon Prime Video, 4:30 PM ET) and the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to face the Kansas City Chiefs (NBC, Peacock, Telemundo, 8:15 PM ET).

Super Wild Card Weekend concludes with the Arizona Cardinals visiting the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night(ESPN/ABC, ESPN2, ESPN+ ESPN Deportes, 8:15 PM ET).

TURNAROUND TEAMS & CONSISTENT WINNERS HIGHLIGHT PLAYOFF FIELD

There are seven new playoff teams in 2021: ARIZONACINCINNATIDALLASLAS VEGASNEW ENGLANDPHILADELPHIA and SAN FRANCISCO.

Since 1990 – a streak of 32 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

The teams since 1990 to make the playoffs a season after failing to qualify:

SEASONPLAYOFF TEAMS NOT IN PREVIOUS SEASON’S PLAYOFFS
19907 (Cincinnati, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles Raiders, Miami, New Orleans, Washington)
19915 (Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, New York Jets)
19926 (Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco)
19935 (Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Los Angeles Raiders, New York Giants)
19945 (Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, New England, San Diego Chargers)
19954 (Atlanta, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Philadelphia)
19965 (Carolina, Denver, Jacksonville, Minnesota, New England)        
19975 (Detroit, Kansas City, Miami, New York Giants, Tampa Bay)
19985 (Arizona, Atlanta, Buffalo, Dallas, New York Jets)
19997 (Detroit, Indianapolis, St. Louis Rams, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
20006 (Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia)
20016 (Chicago, Green Bay, New England, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Francisco)
20025 (Atlanta, Cleveland, Indianapolis, New York Giants, Tennessee)
20038 (Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, New England, St. Louis Rams, Seattle)
20045 (Atlanta, Minnesota, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Diego Chargers)
20057 (Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Tampa Bay, Washington)
20067 (Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, New Orleans, New York Jets, Philadelphia, San Diego Chargers)
20076 (Green Bay, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
20087 (Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia)
20096 (Cincinnati, Dallas, Green Bay, New England, New Orleans, New York Jets)
20105 (Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Seattle)
20116 (Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Houston, New York Giants, San Francisco)
20124 (Indianapolis, Minnesota, Seattle, Washington)
20135 (Carolina, Kansas City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Diego Chargers)
20145 (Arizona, Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Pittsburgh)
20154 (Houston, Kansas City, Minnesota, Washington)
20166 (Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders)
20178 (Buffalo, Carolina, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Tennessee)
20187 (Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles Chargers, Seattle)
20195 (Buffalo, Green Bay, Minnesota, San Francisco, Tennessee)
20207 (Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington)
20217 (Arizona, Cincinnati, Dallas, Las Vegas, New England, Philadelphia, San Francisco)

Two teams won division titles – Cincinnati (AFC North) and Dallas (NFC East) – after missing the playoffs last season. At least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 18 of the past 19 years.

Cincinnati completed the “worst-to-first” turnaround, winning the AFC North the season after finishing in last place. At least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 17 of the past 19 seasons.

The divisions with new champions in 2021:

AFC NORTHNFC EASTNFC SOUTHNFC WEST
2021CincinnatiDallasTampa BayLos Angeles Rams
2020PittsburghWashingtonNew OrleansSeattle

In the 20 seasons since realignment in 2002, 30 of the 32 NFL teams have won a division title at least once.

How the 2021 playoff teams have fared in the 20 seasons since realignment in 2002 (2021 division winners in bold/italics):

TEAMDIVISION TITLESPLAYOFF BERTHS
New England1617
Green Bay1215
Philadelphia812
Pittsburgh812
Kansas City811
Dallas68
Cincinnati58
San Francisco46
Tennessee48
L.A. Rams46
Tampa Bay45
Arizona35
Buffalo24
Las Vegas13

Seven of this season’s 14 playoff teams have won at least one Super Bowl since 1999, capturing 14 of the past 22 Vince Lombardi Trophies. Those teams are the Patriots (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX, LI, LIII), Buccaneers (XXXVII, LV), Steelers (XL, XLIII), Packers (XLV), Chiefs (LIV), Eagles (LII) and Rams (XXXIV).

SUPER BOWLSEASONWINNER
XXXIV1999St. Louis Rams*
XXXV2000Baltimore Ravens
XXXVI2001New England Patriots*
XXXVII2002Tampa Bay Buccaneers*
XXXVIII2003New England Patriots*
XXXIX2004New England Patriots*
XL2005Pittsburgh Steelers*
XLI2006Indianapolis Colts
XLII2007New York Giants
XLIII2008Pittsburgh Steelers*
XLIV2009New Orleans Saints
XLV2010Green Bay Packers*
XLVI2011New York Giants
XLVII2012Baltimore Ravens
XLVIII2013Seattle Seahawks
XLIX2014New England Patriots*
502015Denver Broncos
LI2016New England Patriots*
LII2017Philadelphia Eagles*
LIII2018New England Patriots*
LIV2019Kansas City Chiefs*
LV2020Tampa Bay Buccaneers*
*In 2021 postseason

The New England Patriots (.638), San Francisco 49ers (.604) and Green Bay Packers (.600) have the three highest postseason winning percentages in NFL history, while the Patriots (37 wins), Packers (36) and Pittsburgh Steelers (36) have the most postseason wins all-time.

The 14 playoff teams and their postseason records:

TEAMWINSLOSSESPCT.
New England Patriots3721.638
San Francisco 49ers3221.604
Green Bay Packers3624.600
Pittsburgh Steelers3626.581
Las Vegas Raiders2519.568
Dallas Cowboys3528.556
Tampa Bay Buccaneers109.526
Philadelphia Eagles2323.500
Buffalo Bills1618.471
Los Angeles Rams2227.449
Arizona Cardinals79.438
Tennessee Titans1722.436
Kansas City Chiefs1520.429
Cincinnati Bengals514.263

YOUTH & CONSISTENCY HIGHLIGHT THE PLAYOFF QUARTERBACKS

The 2021 postseason is filled with young stars on the rise and veterans at the top of their game at the quarterback position.

Six starting quarterbacks are under the age of 27 – Buffalo’s JOSH ALLEN (age 25), Cincinnati’s JOE BURROW (25), Philadelphia’s JALEN HURTS (23), New England’s MAC JONES (23), Kansas City’s PATRICK MAHOMES (26) and Arizona’s KYLER MURRAY (24). The only postseason with more was 2020 (seven).

Four quarterbacks have won at least one Super Bowl title, including three that have been named Super Bowl Most Valuable Player:

  • Tampa Bay quarterback TOM BRADY, who has a league-record seven Super Bowl titles after leading the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl LV title last season, led the NFL in passing yards (5,316) and passing touchdowns (43) as the Buccaneers earned their first NFC South division title since 2007. Brady is the postseason’s all-time leader in games played (45), passing yards (12,449) and touchdown passes (83) and has been named Super Bowl MVP five times, more than any player in league history.
  • Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES ranked fourth in the NFL with 4,839 passing yards and tied for fourth with 37 touchdown passes to help the Chiefs earn their sixth consecutive AFC West Division title and fourth since he became the starting quarterback in 2018. In eight career postseason starts, he has 2,324 passing yards (290.5 per game) with 21 touchdowns (17 passing, four rushing) against four interceptions for a 100.4 rating and has led the Chiefs to consecutive Super Bowl appearances. During the 2019 season, Mahomes became the youngest quarterback to win Super Bowl MVP honors as Kansas City earned the Super Bowl LIV title.
  • Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS, who is expected to make his 21st career playoff start in the Divisional round, can tie Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHN ELWAY (21 starts) for the sixth-most in NFL history. Rodgers led the NFL with a 111.9 passer rating and became the fourth quarterback since 1970 to lead the league in the category in at least four different seasons. In 20 career postseason starts, he has 5,669 passing yards (283.4 per game) with 49 touchdowns (45 passing, four rushing) and 13 interceptions for a 100.5 rating. Rodgers earned Super Bowl MVP honors when he led the Packers to a Super Bowl XLV championship in 2010.
  • Pittsburgh quarterback BEN ROETHLISBERGER has 22 career postseason starts, the fifth-most in NFL history, and can tie Pro Football Hall of Famer JOE MONTANA (23 starts) for the fourth-most all by a quarterback. He has totaled 5,757 passing yards and 37 touchdowns (34 passing, three rushing) in the playoffs and led the Steelers to Super Bowl titles in 2005 (XL) and 2008 (XLIII). In 249 regular-season games, he ranks fifth all-time in passing yards (64,088) and eighth in touchdown passes (418).

    Five quarterbacks, including four age 25 or younger, are scheduled to make their playoff debuts:
  • Cincinnati quarterback JOE BURROW (age 25), the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, is slated to make his postseason debut on Super Wild Card Weekend. He finished the 2021 season ranked second in the NFL in passer rating (108.3), sixth in passing yards (4,611) and eighth in touchdown passes (34). In Week 16, Burrow recorded 525 passing yards, the fourth-most in a single game in NFL history.
  • Las Vegas quarterback DEREK CARR makes his playoff debut after ranking fifth in passing yards (career-high 4,804) during the 2021 regular season. He became the fourth player with at least 3,000 passing yards in each of his first eight seasons in NFL history and the fifth player to reach 30,000 passing yards (31,700) in his first eight seasons all-time.
  • Philadelphia quarterback JALEN HURTS (age 23), a second-round selection (No. 53 overall) in the 2020 NFL Draft, looks to make his playoff debut in the Wild Card round. He passed for 3,144 yards and 16 touchdowns in 15 games this season and led all quarterbacks in rushing yards (784) and rushing touchdowns (10). Hurts has five career games with at least two rushing touchdowns, the most by a quarterback in his first two seasons in the Super Bowl era.
  • New England rookie quarterback MAC JONES (age 23) makes his postseason debut after totaling 3,801 passing yards, 22 touchdown passes and a 92.5 rating in 17 starts, all the most among rookies this season. He completed at least 70 percent of his passes in nine games, tied for the most such games by a rookie quarterback all-time. Jones became the third rookie to win each of his first six road starts and the fourth rookie quarterback in the Super Bowl era to win seven consecutive starts (Weeks 7-13).
  • Arizona quarterback KYLER MURRAY (age 24), the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, makes his postseason debut after leading the Cardinals to their first playoff berth since 2015. Murray totaled 3,787 passing yards with 24 touchdowns and a 100.6 rating while adding 423 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. He became the first player with at least 70 touchdown passes (70) and 20 rushing touchdowns (20) in his first three seasons all-time.

    Five starting quarterbacks will be making at least their second career postseason appearance:
  • Buffalo quarterback JOSH ALLEN, who led Buffalo to its second-consecutive AFC East division title, is expected to make his fifth-career postseason start. In his first four playoff starts, he has totaled 1,081 passing yards (270.3 per game) with five touchdowns against one interception for an 87.4 rating and added 237 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown. He also recorded a receiving touchdown in the 2019 Wild Card round. Allen has 103 touchdown passes and 31 rushing touchdowns since entering the NFL in 2018 and is the first player ever with at least 100 touchdown passes and 30 rushing touchdowns in his first four seasons.
  • San Francisco quarterback JIMMY GAROPPOLO is expected to make his fourth-career postseason start on Super Wild Card Weekend. He led the 49ers to a Super Bowl LIV appearance following the 2019 season. Garoppolo, who recorded 3,810 passing yards and 23 total touchdowns (20 passing, three rushing) in 15 starts this season, ranked third in the league with a 103.2 rating over the final 10 weeks of the regular season (Weeks 9-18).
  • Dallas quarterback DAK PRESCOTT makes his third trip to the postseason after leading Dallas to its first division title since 2018. In three career postseason starts, he has seven touchdowns (five passing, two rushing) with two interceptions and a 95.7 rating. Prescott ranked third in the league with a 104.2 passer rating this season and tied for fourth with a franchise-record 37 touchdown passes.
  • Los Angeles Rams quarterback MATTHEW STAFFORD makes his fourth-career postseason appearance and first with Los Angeles. He has at least 300 passing yards and a passer rating of 85-or-higher in two of his first three playoff starts, all of which occurred on the road. Stafford ranked second in touchdown passes (41), third in passing yards (4,886) and sixth in passer rating (102.9) this season.
  • Tennessee quarterback RYAN TANNEHILL is set to make his fifth-career postseason start when the Titans host their the Divisional playoff game after leading Tennessee to consecutive AFC South division titles. He recorded 3,734 passing yards and 21 touchdown passes in 2021 and is the only quarterback with at least seven rushing touchdowns in each of the past two seasons.

BEST NFL PLAYOFF PERFORMANCES

(Single postseason)

PASSING YARDS
PLAYER, TEAMSEASONCOMP.ATT.YARDSTDINT
Eli Manning, New York Giants20111061631,21991
Kurt WarnerHOF, Arizona2008921351,147113
Joe Flacco, Baltimore2012731261,140110
Tom Brady, New England2016931421,13773
Tom Brady, New England2017891391,13280
RUSHING YARDS
PLAYER, TEAMSEASONATT.YARDSTD 
John RigginsHOF, Washington19821366104 
Terrell DavisHOF, Denver19971125818 
Terrell DavisHOF, Denver1998784683 
Marcus AllenHOF, Los Angeles Raiders1983584664 
Eddie George, Tennessee19991084493 
RECEIVING YARDS
PLAYER, TEAMSEASONREC.YARDSTD 
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona2008305467 
Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants2011284444 
Jerry RiceHOF, San Francisco1988214096 
Steve Smith, Sr., Carolina2003184043 
Charlie Brown, Washington1983144011 
RECEPTIONS
PLAYER, TEAMSEASONREC.YARDSTD 
Travis Kelce, Kansas City2020313603 
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona2008305467 
Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants2011284444 
Demaryius Thomas, Denver2013283063 
Steve Smith, Sr., Carolina2005273353 
Wes Welker, New England2007272132 
SCRIMMAGE TOUCHDOWNS
PLAYER, TEAMSEASONTOTAL TDRUSH TDREC. TD 
Terrell DavisHOF, Denver1997880 
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona2008707 
Larry CsonkaHOF, Miami1973660 
Franco HarrisHOF, Pittsburgh1974660 
Sony Michel, New England2018660 
Jerry RiceHOF, San Francisco1988606 
John RigginsHOF, Washington1983660 
Gerald Riggs, Washington1991660 
Emmitt SmithHOF, Dallas1995660 
Ricky Watters, San Francisco1993660 
Damien Williams, Kansas City2019642

Chip Kelly staying at UCLA, agrees to new 4-year contract

LOS ANGELES (AP) UCLA football coach Chip Kelly agreed to a new four-year contract Friday after leading the Bruins to their best season since 2015.

The agreement came two days before the $9 million buyout on Kelly’s original contract would have expired. Kelly said he had discussions about returning to Oregon last month before the Ducks hired Dan Lanning.

“We are extremely appreciative of the entire UCLA administration for their support of our football program,” Kelly said in a statement. “We have a tremendous amount of gratitude for our players and staff. Their tireless work and commitment to our vision have built a great foundation. We are excited to continue to build this program into something that makes the UCLA fanbase proud.”

UCLA had its first winning season in Kelly’s tenure in 2021. It went 8-4 and closed with three straight wins, including a 62-33 blowout over Southern California. The Bruins earned their first bowl appearance since 2017, but could not play in the Holiday Bowl against North Carolina State due to COVID-19 protocols.

Kelly is 64-32 as a college coach but is 18-25 in four seasons at UCLA. He took over after Jim Mora Jr. was fired in 2017 and had a roster predominantly filled with underclassmen his first two seasons.

The Bruins were 3-9 in Kelly’s first year in 2018 and 4-8 the following season. During the shortened 2020 season, a turnaround began with a 3-4 mark.

“This new contract represents the commitment, stability and investment needed to continue the upward trajectory of our football program,” athletic director Martin Jarmond said in a statement. “Since joining UCLA, our football team’s winning percentage has increased every year, including increased momentum in recruiting and strategic use of the transfer portal,”

Kelly will have to make adjustments on his coaching staff after his longtime defensive coordinator Jerry Azzinaro resigned this week. Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson announced that he will return for a fifth season earlier this week.

The Bruins could get off to a quick start next season. They have one of the easiest nonconference slates for a Power Five program, hosting Bowling Green, Alabama State and South Alabama before beginning Pac-12 play at Colorado on Sept. 24.

Graham resigns as Hawaii football coach amid controversy

HONOLULU (AP) Todd Graham resigned as the University of Hawaii’s football coach Friday, stepping down amid controversy after completing the second-year of a five-year contract.

Graham resigned a week after former players and some parents testified before a state legislative hearing, criticizing the coach’s management style and relationships with players. More than a dozen players have entered the transfer portal.

Graham gave up a $1,275,000 buyout by resigning. Assistant Jaocb Yoro will serve as interim head coach while the school searches for a replacement.

“After much prayer and reflection with my family, I have come to the conclusion that I will step away as head coach of the Rainbow Warriors, with a very heavy heart,” Graham said in a statement released by the university. “I want to give my thanks and appreciation to the players, staff and coaches who persevered through all the challenges of 2020 and 2021. It wasn’t easy, but they all fought the good fight and we did things the right way.

“Our staff poured our hearts and souls into our players and truly made a difference in their lives. I could not have asked more of their commitment, work ethic and love for our players and football program. But it is clear to me that I must step away and do what is best for me and my family and my health. I honor, value and love all of my players and coaches and I wish you the very best. The University has not asked me to step down. I am leaving solely for my family and my health. We have laid a strong foundation for future success, and I will always be cheering you on!”

The 57-year-old Graham led Hawaii to a 6-7 overall record this season and 4-7 mark in the Mountain West after going 5-4 overall and 4-4 in the conference in his first season. He previously was a head coach at Rice, Tulsa, Pittsburgh and Arizona State.

“Todd informed me of his decision to resign,” athletic director David Matlin said in a statement. “We enjoyed many successes under his leadership even as he faced pandemic conditions, the withdrawal of Aloha Stadium, and the prohibition of any fans for nearly all his time with us.

“Todd’s tireless efforts as a coach have made a positive impact on many student-athletes. We have talked at length, and it is clear he has taken this action so that the football program can thrive moving forward.”

ACC commissioner says CFP expansion should be put on hold

(AP) — Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner Jim Phillips took the strongest public stance yet against expanding the College Football Playoff by the 2024 season, saying a new postseason format should not be a priority with so much uncertainty throughout college sports.

“To the ACC, we don’t have a College Football Playoff problem,” Phillips said Friday during a conference call with reporters. “We have a college football and collegiate athletics-slash-NCAA problem.”

The NCAA is expected to ratify a new constitution at its convention next week, paving the way for decentralized governance of college sports and a transformation of Division I.

Phillips cited changes to D-I along with the continuing need for federal legislation regarding name, image and likeness compensation for athletes, the lingering ramifications of last year’s Supreme Court ruling that struck down the NCAA’s limits on athletes’ educational benefits, and the possibility of athletes organizing.

“The membership of the ACC is very much aligned in its position that now is not the time to expand the College Football Playoff,” Phillips said.

The 10 conference commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director who make up the CFP management committee wrapped up three days of meetings last weekend before the national title game in Indianapolis with expansion talks still stalled and hopes for implementation of a new format by 2024 dimming.

The door was not fully closed on early expansion by the university presidents who oversee the CFP.

“The board wants us to keep continuing to work,” Phillips said. “We’re not opposed to expansion at some point. Right now, we don’t feel like that’s the right thing to do in college football.”

A 12-team playoff proposal has been on the table since June.

Phillips said the ACC favored expansion only to eight teams, but by November had determined there was too much else going on in college sports to rush to expand football’s postseason.

The 12-year agreement for the playoff runs though the 2025 season. Expanding the playoff before the deal with ESPN is done could be worth an estimated $450 million in additional rights fees to conferences. Major college football operates mostly outside the NCAA’s purview.

Even if the management committee can’t agree on a plan that can be implemented early, it still needs to reach a new deal for 2026 and beyond.

“Membership believes that we have a responsibility in looking at the CFP and college football from a holistic perspective and not just whether to add more teams to the playoffs. There are legitimate concerns about student-athlete welfare, the impact on academics and the length of the season,” Phillips said.

Phillips said before the CFP expands, a full review of how major college football operates – from the recruiting calendar to transfer rules to how spring and preseason practices are scheduled and run – should be done.

This past season was the first season in the eight-year history of the CFP that the ACC did not have a team in the field.

Phillips said he spoke with Clemson players who have played 15-game seasons.

“They don’t want to play any more games. They don’t,” he said. “I don’t know what Georgia and Alabama felt like after Monday night, but Clemson student-athletes that have participated, they don’t.”

Phillips said both Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and new Miami coach Mario Cristobal, who was an assistant coach on Alabama teams that played in the playoff, expressed concerns about having teams that reach the championship game play 16 or possibly 17 games in a new format.

Pittsburgh won the ACC this season, finishing 11th in the playoff committee’s final rankings under coach Pat Narduzzi. The Panthers played in the Peach Bowl without star quarterback Kenny Pickett, who opted out, and lost to Michigan State.

“Coach Narduzzi and all of our coaches are unanimous, that this isn’t the right time,” Phillips said.

Phillips also addressed speculation the ACC favored an eight-team playoff as a way of pushing Notre Dame to join as a football member.

“One is not tied to the other despite what others may speculate,” he said.

Phillips is not alone in wanting to take a broader look at college football during a tumultuous time, with loosened rules around NIL and transfers.

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey have both expressed the need for a comprehensive review.

Sankey said after Monday’s meeting in Indianapolis the increased number of games can be offset by altering rules regarding clock stoppages within games to reduce the number of plays.

“We’ve got 200-something plays in games,” he said. “We can actually reduce the exposures with rules adjustments, expand the playoffs, bring more teams in. That is a vision. But if everyone has to have every item on their Christmas list, it will not be a merry Christmas.”

Report: Djokovic back in immigration detention in Australia

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Novak Djokovic was reported to be back in immigration detention Saturday after his legal challenge to avoid being deported from Australia for being unvaccinated for COVID-19 was moved to a higher court.

A Federal Court hearing has been scheduled for Sunday, a day before the men’s No. 1-ranked tennis player and nine-time Australian Open champion was due to begin his title defense at the first Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year.

Police closed down a lane behind the building where Djokovic’s lawyers are based and two vehicles exited the building mid-afternoon local time on Saturday. In television footage, Djokovic could be seen wearing a face mask in the back of a vehicle near an immigration detention hotel.

The Australian Associated Press reported that Djokovic was back in detention. He spent four nights confined to a hotel near downtown Melbourne before being released last Monday when he won a court challenge on procedural grounds against his first visa cancellation.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke on Friday blocked the 34-year-old Serb’s visa, which was originally revoked when he landed at a Melbourne airport on Jan. 5.

Deportation from Australia can lead to a three-year ban on returning to the country, although that may be waived, depending on the circumstances.

Djokovic has acknowledged that his travel declaration was incorrect because it failed to indicate that he had been in multiple countries over the two weeks before his arrival in Australia.

He has won the past three Australian Opens, part of his overall Grand Slam haul of 20 championships. He is tied with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for the most by a man in history.

In a post on social media Wednesday that constituted his most extensive public comments yet on the episode, Djokovic blamed his agent for checking the wrong box on the form, calling it “a human error and certainly not deliberate.”

In that same post, Djokovic said he went ahead with an interview and a photo shoot with a French newspaper in Serbia despite knowing he had tested positive for COVID-19 two days earlier. Djokovic has been attempting to use what he says was a positive test taken on Dec. 16 to justify a medical exemption that would allow him to skirt the vaccine requirement on the grounds that he already had COVID-19.

Hawke said he canceled the visa on “health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so.” His statement added that Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government “is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The main idea of the appeal of Hawke’s decision, according to the athlete’s lawyers, was that it was not based on the health risk that Djokovic might pose by not being vaccinated, but on how he might be perceived by those who are opposed to vaccine mandates or skeptical of the vaccines’ efficacy.

Morrison himself welcomed Djokovic’s pending deportation. The episode has touched a nerve in Australia, and particularly in Victoria state, where locals went through hundreds of days of lockdowns during the worst of the pandemic and there is a vaccination rate among adults of more than 90%.

Australia faces a massive surge in virus cases driven by the highly transmissible omicron variant. On Friday, the nation reported 130,000 new cases, including nearly 35,000 in Victoria state. Although many infected people aren’t getting as sick as they did in previous outbreaks, the surge is still putting severe strain on the health system, with more than 4,400 people hospitalized. It has also disrupted workplaces and supply chains.

“This pandemic has been incredibly difficult for every Australian, but we have stuck together and saved lives and livelihoods. … Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected,” Morrison said Friday. “This is what the Minister is doing in taking this action today.”

Djokovic’s supporters in Serbia have been dismayed by the visa cancellations.

Everyone at the Australian Open – including players, their support teams and spectators – is required to be vaccinated. Djokovic is not inoculated.

His exemption was approved by the Victoria state government and Tennis Australia, apparently allowing him to obtain a visa to travel. But the Australian Border Force rejected the exemption and canceled his visa when he landed in the country.

Djokovic spent four nights in an immigration detention hotel before a judge overturned that decision. That ruling allowed him to move freely around Australia and he has been practicing at Melbourne Park daily.

“It’s not a good situation for anyone,” said Andy Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion and five-time runner-up at the Australian Open. “It just seems like it’s dragged on for quite a long time now.”

According to Grand Slam rules, if Djokovic is forced to pull out of the tournament before the order of play for Day 1 is announced, No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev would move into Djokovic’s spot in the bracket.

If Djokovic withdraws from the tournament after Monday’s schedule is released, he would be replaced in the field by what’s known as a “lucky loser” – a player who loses in the qualifying tournament but gets into the main draw because of another player’s exit before competition has started.

And if Djokovic plays in a match – or more – and then is told he can no longer participate in the tournament, his next opponent would simply advance to the following round and there would be no replacement.

Avalanche win 13th straight at home, 4-3 over Coyotes in SO

DENVER (AP) Nazem Kadri scored the winner in a shootout and the Colorado Avalanche extended the NHL’s longest home winning streak in nearly four years to 13 games with a 4-3 victory over the undermanned Arizona Coyotes on Friday night.

Mikko Rantanen, Tyson Jost and Andre Burakovsky scored in regulation for Colorado, and Pavel Francouz stopped 23 shots.

The last team to win 13 straight at home was Toronto from Jan. 31 to March 24, 2018. Colorado is 31-2-2 at home since March 10.

“Whenever you win 13 in a row at home, a lot of things are working,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “Different contributions, different guys, good depth going through the lineup. Our top guys have been playing real well and capitalizing on their chances. Different things on different nights.”

Two days after knocking off Toronto 2-1 despite being outshot 46-18, the Coyotes were outshot 47-25 against another top NHL team, but took a 3-2 lead on Shayne Gostisbehere’s goal 39 seconds into the third period.

Burakovsky tied it just 29 seconds later.

All-Star Clayton Keller had his first career short-handed goal and Johan Larsson also scored for Arizona, which went 0 for 3 in the shootout.

Kadri, left off the Central Division All-Star roster, then swung the puck around and beat Ivan Prosvetov with a forehand.

“Kind of a joke he’s not an All-Star with the year he’s having,” Jost said. “The patience he had with the puck, the skill he displayed. He does it every night, does something special with the puck.”

Prosvetov, called up from the minors this week, made 44 stops for Arizona in his second NHL game of the season. That included a sprawling leg save on Valeri Nichushkin in overtime.

Prosvetov has played in five NHL games, and three have been against the Avalanche.

“Back in the day, when I was younger, the best goalie in the league was Semyon Varlamov. I was watching him when I was a very young kid and he played for the Avalanche. So I was always playing for the Avalanche in Xbox and stuff,” Prosvetov said. “Definitely funny how life goes.”

The Avalanche have trailed in every game of their 6-0-1 stretch. This time, they blew a 2-0 first-period lead.

Larsson’s goal at 6:12 of the second tied it at 2. Keller got one back late in the first when he stole the puck from Devon Toews while on the penalty kill and muscled a shot past Francouz that trickled over the goal line.

Colorado’s maligned power play killed off a two-minute 5-on-3 in the second period, but the Avs had trouble shaking off one of the NHL’s worst teams. Colorado went 0 for 5 on the power play.

“Our guys did a heck of a job getting into shot lanes, blocking shots, paying a price. And Provy made some huge saves for us,” said Coyotes acting coach Phil Housley, who filled in for Andre Tourigny (COVID-19 protocol) for a second straight game. “Terrific penalty kill. Big difference in the game why we got that point.”

Colorado jumped on Arizona quickly when Rantanen knocked in a rebound at 4:36 for his 17th goal, and Jost scored off Kurtis MacDermid’s nifty wraparound pass at 12:03 as Arizona’s makeshift defense struggled early.

Kyle Capobianco was the latest Coyotes defenseman to be placed in COVID-19 protocol before the game, joining Jakob Chychrun, Cam Dineen and Anton Stralman.

KADRI ROBBED?

Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon, who will captain the Central Division All-Star team for the third straight time, said it was “silly” that Kadri didn’t make the squad.

MacKinnon added he doesn’t believe each team should be represented.

“It’s an All-Star Game, not a participation game,” he said.

Kadri, who leads the NHL with 35 assists, is one of eight players vying to be voted in by fans as the last Central Division player.

NOTES: Avalanche F Gabriel Landeskog (COVID-19) missed his third straight game, but is expected to return Saturday. … The Coyotes were without assistant coach Mario Duhamel (COVID-19 protocol). … Avs D Bowen Byram sat out his second straight game while on personal leave. Byram has been dealing with the lingering effects of multiple concussions. . Colorado lost D Ryan Murray to an upper-body injury.

UP NEXT

The Coyotes host the Avalanche on Saturday night to complete a home-and-home set. Colorado goaltender Darcy Kuemper, traded by Arizona in the offseason, is scheduled to start.

Stastney Nets Overtime Winner As #13 Irish Down #15 Ohio State 3-2

COLUMBUS, Ohio  — Landon Slaggert had a three-point night and Spencer Stastney scored the overtime winner as Notre Dame posted a 3-2 win at Ohio State in game one of a weekend series at Value City Arena (8,350).

With the overtime win, the Fighting Irish (16-6-0, 9-4-0-4-1-0 B1G) pulled even in the Big Ten standings with the Buckeyes (15-7-1, 7-5-1-0-1-1 B1G) with 24 points apiece.

Landon Slaggert had the primary assist on Stastney’s overtime winner and added another goal and assist to post the career-high three points, while Graham Slaggert had Notre Dame’s other goal.

In net, Ryan Bischel stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced to earn the win, his seventh of the season. Jakub Dobes totaled 34 saves for Ohio State as the Irish outshot the Buckeyes 37-29.

Both Notre Dame and Ohio State went 0-for-2 on the power play,

How It Happened

Midway through the first, Ohio State took a 1-0 lead on a Kamil Sadlocha backhander from the bottom of the circle to Bischel’s right. There was a lengthy offsides review after the goal, but the call on the ice stood.

With 7:09 to play in the first, Landon Slaggert had a good look in the low slot following a centering pass from Graham Slaggert but Jakub Dobes smothered the attempt.

With 4:22 left in the first, Trevor Janicke had the next good Irish chance, following up his own rebound but Dobes made back-to-back stops.

Then Solag Bakich had a breakaway that was stopped with 1:30 left in the first as he attempted a low deke. Ohio State took the 1-0 lead to the locker room, with shots on goal even at 9-9.

Graham Slaggert tied things up early in the second period with his sixth goal of the season, scored at the 3:20 mark. The senior worked a give-and-go with his brother Landon, kicking the pass to himself and beating Dobes five-hole to tie it at 1-1. Chase Blackmun also had an assist on the play, his eighth of the season. .

With 4:13 left in second, Cam Burke had a tip in front off a Bakich pass, but it flashed just wide.

Hunter Strand, Nick Leivermann and Max Ellis all had chances in the final four minutes, but the score remained 1-1 after 40 minutes of play.

In the third, Leivermann had an important block around the seven minute mark on a Quinn Preston wraparound to keep it a 1-1 game.

Two minutes later, the Slaggert-Slaggert-Janicke line tried to do some damage down low but the Buckeyes held the net front and came out of it with a power-play chance. On that ensuing power play, Ryder Rolston had the best look by either team but his shot was kicked aside.

Landon Slaggert then put back a rebound in for his seventh of the year after a Rolston shot on goal to give the Irish a 2-1 lead at 13:36 of the third period. Cam Burke picked up the puck along the boards and found Rolston in the slot for the initial shot that Dobes was able to get a pad on, but Slaggert was there.

Ohio State was able to tie it 2-2 at 17:10 of the third on a delayed penalty when Jake Wise notched his seventh goal of the season. Then the Buckeyes went on that ensuing power play with 2:50 left in the third, but again the best looks were from the Irish as Jake Pivonka and Bakich applied pressure in front.

Trevor Janicke had a partial breakaway as time expired but Dobes turned it aside for his 34th save of the night and to send the game to overtime.

The Irish ran a quick breakout in the overtime, with Pivonka finding Landon Slaggert in the neutral zone. Slaggert then set up Stastney in front on a two-on-one and the senior notched the game winner to hand the Irish the win and an extra Big Ten standings point.

Notes

With a goal, Spencer Stastney extended his point streak to a career-long five games (2-3-5).

It was Stastney’s first game winner of the season and the fourth of his career.

With a goal and two assists, Landon Slaggert had a career-high three points.

It marked Slaggert’s second multipoint game of the season and the ninth of his career while also extending his point streak to three games (2-3-5).

With an assist, Jake Pivonka extended his point streak to three games (0-3-3).

Notre Dame is now 7-2-0 on the road this season.

The Fighting Irish are 4-2-0 in overtime this season.

Next Up

The Irish and Buckeyes close out their weekend series at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 15 at Value City Arena and on Big Ten Network

After the Ohio State series, Notre Dame will play host to Boston College in a midweek makeup game set for 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Jan. 19 at the Compton Family Ice Arena (tickets) and on Peacock.

TV SATURDAY

BOXINGTIME ETTV
TOP RANK: SMITH JR. VS. JOHNSON10:00PMESPN
COLLEGE BASKETBALLTIME ETTV
CREIGHTON AT XAVIER12:00PMFOX
SETON HALL AT MARQUETTE12:00PMFS1
TEXAS TECH AT KANSAS STATE12:00PMESPN2
NORTHWESTERN AT MICHIGAN STATE12:00PMBTN
DAYTON AT DUQUESNE12:30PMUSA
TENNESSEE AT KENTUCKY1:00PMESPN
FLORIDA AT SOUTH CAROLINA1:00PMSECN
NC STATE AT DUKE2:00PMABC
WEST VIRGINIA AT KANSAS2:00PMCBS
WESTERN ILLINOIS AT NORTH DAKOTA STATE2:00PMESPN+
ST. THOMAS AT NORTH DAKOTA2:00PMESPN+
RUTGERS AT MARYLAND2:00PMBTN
UCONN AT PROVIDENCE2:00PMFS1
ARKANSAS AT LSU2:00PMESPN2
FORDHAM AT SAINT LOUIS2:30PMUSA
FLORIDA STATE AT SYRACUSE3:00PMCBSSN
ETSU AT SAMFORD3:00PMESPN+
FLORIDA STATE AT SYRACUSE3:00PMESPN
TEXAS A&M AT MISSOURI3:30PMSECN
LOUISVILLE AT PITT4:00PMACCN
CALIFORNIA AT WASHINGTON STATE4:00PMPAC12N
OKLAHOMA AT TCU4:00PMESPN2
UC RIVERSIDE AT CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD4:00PMESPN+
RHODE ISLAND AT UMASS4:30PMUSA
OKLAHOMA STATE AT BAYLOR5:00PMESPN
NEVADA AT AIR FORCE5:00PMCBSSN
MISSOURI STATE AT VALPARAISO5:00PMESPNU
OMAHA AT SOUTH DAKOTA5:00PMESPN+
VANDERBILT AT GEORGIA6:00PMESPN2
NOTRE DAME AT VIRGINIA TECH6:00PMACCN
STANFORD AT WASHINGTON6:00PMPAC12N
ALABAMA AT MISSISSIPPI STATE6:00PMSECN
SOUTHERN UTAH AT MONTANA STATE6:00PMESPN+
ABILENE CHRISTIAN AT NM STATE6:00PMESPN+
UCF AT USF7:00PMESPNU
LOYOLA (CHICAGO) AT INDIANA STATE7:00PMCBSSN
HOUSTON AT TULSA8:00PMESPN2
UTAH AT ARIZONA8:00PMPAC12N
GEORGIA TECH AT NORTH CAROLINA8:00PMACCN
AUBURN AT OLE MISS8:30PMSECN
SAN DIEGO STATE AT NEW MEXICO9:00PMCBSSN
TARLETON STATE AT GRAND CANYON9:00PMESPNU
COLORADO AT ARIZONA STATE10:00PMESPN2
OREGON STATE AT UCLA10:30PMPAC12N
BYU AT SAN FRANCISCO11:00PMCBSSN
OREGON AT USC11:00PMFS1
COLLEGE HOCKEYTIME ETTV
MAINE AT UMASS LOWELL7:00PMNESN
GOLFTIME ETTV
SONY OPEN7:00PMGOLF
MMATIME ETTV
UFC: CALVIN KATTAR VS. GIGA CHIKADZE (FEATHERWEIGHTS)7:00PMESPN
MOTORSPORTSTIME ETTV
AMA SUPERCROSS10:00PMUSA
NBATIME ETTV
TORONTO AT MILWAUKEE6:30PMSPORTSNET
BALLY SPORTS
PORTLAND AT WASHINGTON7:00PMNBCS-WSH
ROOT SPORTS
NEW YORK AT ATLANTA7:30PMMSG
BALLY SPORTS
NEW ORLEANS AT BROOKLYN7:30PMYES
BALLY SPORTS
PHILADELPHIA AT MIAMI8:00PMNBCS-PHI
BALLY SPORTS
CLEVELAND AT OKLAHOMA CITY8:00PMBALLY SPORTS
LA CLIPPERS AT SAN ANTONIO8:30PMBALLY SPORTS
CHICAGO AT BOSTON8:30PMNBCS-CHI
NBCS-BOS
LA LAKERS AT DENVER9:00PMNBATV
SPORTSNET
ALT
ORLANDO AT DALLAS9:30PMBALLY SPORTS
NFLTIME ETTV
AFC WILD CARD PLAYOFF: LAS VEGAS AT CINCINNATI4:30PMNBC
AFC WILD CARD PLAYOFF: NEW ENGLAND AT BUFFALO8:15PMCBS
NHLTIME ETTV
NASHVILLE AT BOSTON1:00PMNESN
BALLY SPORTS
VANCOUVER AT CAROLINA1:00PMSPORTSNET
BALLY SPORTS
WASHINGTON AT NY ISLANDERS2:00PMNHLN
NBCS-WSH
MSG+
COLUMBUS AT FLORIDA6:00PMBALLY SPORTS
TORONTO AT ST. LOUIS7:00PMNHLN
SPORTSNET
BALLY SPORTS
BUFFALO AT DETROIT7:00PMMSG-BUF
BALLY SPORTS
NY RANGERS AT PHILADELPHIA7:00PMMSG+
NBCS-PHI
DALLAS AT TAMPA BAY7:00PMBALLY SPORTS
ANAHEIM AT CHICAGO8:30PMBALLY SPORTS
NBCS-CHI
COLORADO AT ARIZONA9:00PMALT2
BALLY SPORTS
OTTAWA AT EDMONTON10:00PMSPORTSNET
LOS ANGELES AT SEATTLE10:00PMROOT SPORTS
BALLY SPORTS
PITTSBURGH AT SAN JOSE10:30PMATTSN-PIT
NBCS-CA

NBA STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
 WLPCTCONF GBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
CHICAGO2713.67515-612-75-218-87-32 L
MIAMI2715.6431.013-414-118-118-78-24 W
BROOKLYN2615.6341.511-1115-46-119-84-61 L
MILWAUKEE2717.6142.014-713-106-218-136-41 W
PHILADELPHIA2417.5853.59-915-84-615-118-21 W
CLEVELAND2518.5813.511-914-94-114-95-53 W
CHARLOTTE2320.5355.512-611-145-415-107-31 L
WASHINGTON2220.5246.012-710-136-515-135-53 W
TORONTO2019.5136.512-118-85-512-126-42 L
10 NEW YORK2121.5007.011-1110-104-613-177-32 W
11 BOSTON2122.4887.513-88-145-615-125-51 L
12 ATLANTA1724.41510.58-109-144-510-142-84 L
13 INDIANA1528.34913.512-123-162-78-221-93 L
14 DETROIT1031.24417.57-133-182-77-195-51 W
15 ORLANDO835.18620.52-156-202-105-271-91 W
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 WLPCTCONF GBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
PHOENIX329.78017-515-45-420-76-42 W
GOLDEN STATE3111.7381.518-313-87-116-75-51 W
MEMPHIS3015.6674.016-914-64-323-109-11 L
UTAH2814.6674.514-814-69-018-45-54 L
DALLAS2319.5489.511-812-119-219-108-21 W
DENVER2119.52510.510-711-124-514-126-41 W
LA LAKERS2121.50011.514-117-102-612-155-52 L
LA CLIPPERS2122.48812.014-127-103-513-184-61 L
MINNESOTA2022.47612.511-109-124-415-155-52 L
10 SACRAMENTO1827.40016.012-146-135-613-194-62 W
11 PORTLAND1625.39016.014-112-141-58-193-71 L
12 NEW ORLEANS1626.38116.510-116-152-411-165-52 W
13 SAN ANTONIO1527.35717.57-128-151-58-161-95 L
14 OKLAHOMA CITY1427.34118.08-136-141-510-193-71 W
15 HOUSTON1232.27321.57-135-192-45-182-81 L
 

EIGHT TEAMS IN EACH CONFERENCE QUALIFY FOR THE PLAYOFFS. 

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT,  Y – CLINCHED DIVISION,  Z – CLINCHED CONFERENCE

NHL STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
FLORIDA PANTHERS372575552414910920-3-05-4-57-2-1
NEW YORK RANGERS382410452221109410-3-214-7-26-3-1
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING392595552313211213-4-312-5-26-3-1
CAROLINA HURRICANES34248250241157911-4-113-4-17-2-1
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS35239349221178814-4-19-5-26-3-1
WASHINGTON CAPITALS372089491812510410-4-510-4-44-3-3
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS362110547201189610-5-211-5-38-2-0
BOSTON BRUINS342111244201078711-6-110-5-17-3-0
DETROIT RED WINGS3816175371510112812-6-24-11-33-5-2
10 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS3517171351411412211-6-16-11-04-6-0
11 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS36131673313921226-7-37-9-43-4-3
12 NEW JERSEY DEVILS371418533131071299-7-35-11-24-6-0
13 NEW YORK ISLANDERS2911126281167825-5-36-7-36-2-2
14 BUFFALO SABRES3611196289961266-11-25-8-43-4-3
15 OTTAWA SENATORS3010182229831085-9-05-9-26-3-1
16 MONTREAL CANADIENS367245196761315-10-12-14-41-7-2
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
NASHVILLE PREDATORS3824122502311810311-6-013-6-27-2-1
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS3923142482013811712-9-211-5-05-3-2
COLORADO AVALANCHE342383492114711215-2-18-6-28-1-1
ST. LOUIS BLUES372210549201289915-3-27-7-37-2-1
ANAHEIM DUCKS4019147451612011712-6-47-8-33-5-2
LOS ANGELES KINGS371913543171069613-8-26-5-37-3-0
MINNESOTA WILD3422102461812910512-3-110-7-15-4-1
SAN JOSE SHARKS3820171411910511710-8-110-9-05-5-0
CALGARY FLAMES34171164015105874-4-413-7-22-7-1
10 WINNIPEG JETS341712539161029910-6-17-6-45-4-1
11 EDMONTON OILERS3418142381611311110-6-08-8-22-6-2
12 DALLAS STARS341814238169810314-3-14-11-15-5-0
13 VANCOUVER CANUCKS36161733513931048-7-18-10-27-2-1
14 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS37141853311901237-7-37-11-24-3-3
15 SEATTLE KRAKEN36102242410981336-11-24-11-21-7-2
16 ARIZONA COYOTES358234208771334-12-14-11-33-5-2
 

EIGHT TEAMS IN EACH CONFERENCE QUALIFY FOR THE DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF FORMAT.  THE TOP THREE TEAMS FROM EACH DIVISION MAKE UP THE FIRST SIX SPOTS.   THE TWO REMAINING TEAMS WITH THE HIGHEST POINTS, REGARDLESS OF DIVISION, QUALIFY FOR THE FINAL TWO WILD CARD SPOTS.  

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT, Y – CLINCHED DIVISION, Z – CLINCHED CONFERENCE