*******************THE SCOREBOARD*******************


1. INDPLS BEN DAVIS (14)18-02801
2. PENN10-12322
3. BROWNSBURG14-12263
5. CENTER GROVE14-11565
7. WESTFIELD9-2919
8. KOKOMO10-477NR
10. JENNINGS CO.13-160NR



1. MISHAWAKA MARIAN (13)13-12741
2. NORTHWOOD (1)11-22462
3. N. DAVIESS13-22163
4. NORWELL12-21924
6. W. NOBLE12-11486
8. OAK HILL12-18510
10. SCOTTSBURG12-2749



1. LINTON-STOCKTON (8)13-12681
2. FT. WAYNE BLACKHAWK (6)14-12642
3. S. SPENCER13-12163
4. WAPAHANI12-11874
5. GARY 21ST CENTURY12-31586
6. TAYLOR12-11315
7. BROWNSTOWN9-31277
8. UNIVERSITY11-11238
9. PROVIDENCE8-37110



1. ORLEANS (12)12-12761
2. BLOOMFIELD12-32332
4. LOOGOOTEE10-41734
5. EV. CHRISTIAN8-61446
8. BLUE RIVER8-31098
9. TRI8-210210
10. BARR-REEVE8-6549









3. ZIONSVILLE (18-1)

4. FISHERS (16-2)






10. VALPARAISO (19-1)

11. HOMESTEAD (14-4)


13. CENTER GROVE (16-4)

14. LAKE CENTRAL (16-5)


16. NORTHRIDGE (17-4)

16. MOORESVILLE (14-6)


1. TWIN LAKES (20-0)

2. JAY COUNTY (18-1)


4. INDIAN CREEK (19-1)

5. NORWELL (16-3)


7. FAIRFIELD (18-2)




11. BELLMONT (14-4)

12. DANVILLE (17-3)

13. SCOTTSBURG (16-3)




2. NORTH KNOX (19-1)

3. BLACKFORD (17-1)

4. FOREST PARK (16-3)

5. PIONEER (16-2)

6. ANDREAN (16-3)




9. CARROLL (FLORA) (17-3)

11. LAPEL (14-5)

12. EASTBROOK (12-4)


13. UNIVERSITY (14-4)


15. SEEGER (16-3)


1. TRI (18-0)

2. LANESVILLE (20-2)

3. CASTON (19-0)




7. BLUE RIVER (14-5)


9. KOUTS (12-6)

10. MORGAN TWP. (11-6)

10. TRI-TWP. (14-4)

12. BORDEN (13-5)



15. TECUMSEH (6-12)





***********TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL***********




#12 IOWA STATE 78 #7 TEXAS 67


























************TOP 25 WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL***********







***********NFL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE************










AFC:    6:30 PM (ET)              AFC CHAMPIONSHIP (CBS, PARAMOUNT+)

















************TOP NATIONAL HEADLINES*************

****************NFL NEWS********************


Two things can be true.

The future is now and, at the same time, the future is very bright.

Look no further than this week’s Divisional Playoffs presented by Intuit TurboTax, where 29-year-old DAK PRESCOTT is the oldest starting quarterback remaining in contention for Super Bowl LVII. In fact, the average age of the eight starting quarterbacks this week is 25 years and 278 days. That’s the youngest group since the league began Divisional Playoffs with the 1970 merger. All eight starting quarterbacks in the Divisional Round are under 30 years old, just the second time that’s ever happened (it also occurred during the 2004 postseason).

In the AFC, all four starting quarterbacks – JOSH ALLEN (26 years, 246 days on gameday), JOE BURROW (26 years, 43 days), TREVOR LAWRENCE (23 years, 107 days) and PATRICK MAHOMES (27 years, 126 days) – are under 28. In either conference, that’s only happened twice previously, in the AFC Divisional Rounds of 1984 (MARK MALONE, DAVE KRIEG and Pro Football Hall of Famers JOHN ELWAY and DAN MARINO) and 2020 (Allen, Mahomes, LAMAR JACKSON and BAKER MAYFIELD).

And credit the college scouting and coaching staffs of the remaining organizations that have drafted and developed the core of their rosters. Looking at the final eight teams, from Prescott and EZEKIEL ELLIOTT in 2016 to BROCK PURDY, the final selection in 2022, each of the past seven drafts are well represented in this week’s Divisional Round.

This week’s Divisional Round also features the well-rested KANSAS CITY CHIEFS and PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, the respective No. 1 seeds in the AFC and NFC. But beware: Since the beginning of the 2018 playoffs, No. 1 seeds in the postseason are a combined 7-8 (.467) with zero Super Bowl victories over the past four years.

For a seventh consecutive season, at least two teams have advanced to the Divisional Playoffs that missed the postseason the year before, including JACKSONVILLE and the NEW YORK GIANTS this season. Could one of those teams continue a remarkable march?

Storylines abound. The countdown is on. Strap in for one of the best weekends of the year.

The Starting 11 entering the 2022 Divisional Playoffs…

1.     STAY IN YOUR SEAT: Twelve of the last 13 postseason games have been within one score in the fourth quarter, including five of six Wild Card contests last week.

Four of the six 2022 playoff games so far, and 11 of the last 13 postseason contests dating to the start of the 2021 Divisional Playoffs, have been decided by seven points or less. Eight of those 13 have been separated by no more than three points.

Eight of the last 13 playoff games have also been decided in the last two minutes of regulation or in overtime.

And, teams have scored the winning points on the game’s final play in six of the past 13 NFL postseason contests.

2.     NUMBER OF THE WEEK – 4: The number of teams over the past five postseasons (2017-21) that finished last or tied for last in their divisions and rebounded with a berth in their conference championship games. Both JACKSONVILLE and the NEW YORK GIANTS can join that group this week. The four previous teams to accomplish it: The Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers in 2021, and the Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles in 2017.

Since the 1970 merger, 20 teams have reached their conference championship games after finishing in last place (or tied for last) in their divisions the previous season, including eight that reached the Super Bowl: The 1981, 1988 and 2021 Cincinnati Bengals, the 1999 St. Louis Rams, the 2001 New England Patriots, the 2003 Carolina Panthers, the 2009 New Orleans Saints and the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles.

3.     ROAD SWEET ROAD: Road teams in NFL Divisional Playoff games have won four of the last five games, dating to Tampa Bay’s win at New Orleans in the last contest of the 2020 Divisional Round.

4.     SPOTLIGHT – INDIVIDUAL MATCHUPS: Recently named Associated Press All-Pros will match up on Saturday night when the NEW YORK GIANTS (10-7-1) visit the PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (14-3) at Lincoln Financial Field (8:15 PM ET, FOX, FOX Deportes).

When Philadelphia has the ball, the Eagles’ All-Pro center JASON KELCE draws Giants All-Pro defensive lineman DEXTER LAWRENCE. Then, when the Giants have possession, look for Philadelphia’s All-Pro linebacker HAASON REDDICK lined up across from New York’s All-Pro offensive tackle ANDREW THOMAS.

What’s more, in San Francisco on Sunday, look for 49ers All-Pro tackle TRENT WILLIAMS in a battle against Cowboys All-Pro linebacker MICAH PARSONS, while All-Pro guard ZACK MARTIN anchors a Dallas offensive line tasked with stopping San Francisco All-Pro defensive lineman NICK BOSA.

5.     SPOTLIGHT – TEAM MATCHUP: Also in that Sunday Divisional Playoff finale, when DALLAS (13-5) squares off with SAN FRANCISCO (14-4) at Levi’s Stadium (6:30 PM ET, FOX, FOX Deportes), the teams will tie an NFL record by meeting in a ninth postseason game. The only other pairs of teams to meet nine times in the NFL playoffs are the Cowboys and Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, and the 49ers and Green Bay Packers.

San Francisco’s BROCK PURDY is expected to become the 10th rookie quarterback to start a Divisional Playoff game since the 1970 merger, the first since the Cowboys’ DAK PRESCOTT met the Packers in the 2016 playoffs. The list started with Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO in 1983. Since 1970, only four rookie quarterbacks have started in a conference championship game: SHAUN KING in 1999, BEN ROETHLISBERGER in 2004, JOE FLACCO in 2008 and MARK SANCHEZ in 2009.

Cowboys quarterback DAK PRESCOTT last week became just the fifth player in NFL history to register four passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in the same postseason game, joining AARON RODGERS, TOBIN ROTE, MATT RYAN and Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING. He also became the first player in the Cowboys’ rich postseason history to reach both 300 passing yards and four touchdown passes in a playoff game.

6.     STREAK SPEAK: Chiefs running back JERICK MCKINNON has scored a touchdown in six consecutive games. His nine receiving touchdowns this season matched the highest mark by a running back in the Super Bowl era, tying Pro Football Hall of Famer MARSHALL FAULK (nine touchdown receptions in 2001), CHUCK FOREMAN (nine in 1975) and LEROY HOARD (nine in 1991).

When KANSAS CITY (14-3) hosts JACKSONVILLE (10-8) on Saturday (4:30 PM ET, NBC, Peacock, Universo), the Chiefs’ ANDY REID (35 postseason games entering this week) will tie Pro Football Hall of Famers TOM LANDRY (36) and DON SHULA (36) for the most postseason games by an NFL head coach. Only BILL BELICHICK (44) has more. The Chiefs are 7-2 over their last nine postseason games under Reid, including a Super Bowl LIV victory.

In winning their Wild Card game last week, the Jaguars erased a 27-0 deficit, the third-largest comeback victory in NFL postseason history. The only two greater comebacks were Buffalo’s 1992 Wild Card win over the Houston Oilers (32 points) and the Colts’ 2013 Wild Card win over Kansas City (28).

Jacksonville is the first NFL team since the 1991 Dallas Cowboys to select first in an NFL Draft and win a playoff game in the same season.

7.     DID YOU KNOW?: Jacksonville quarterback TREVOR LAWRENCE is 41-0 on Saturdays since his sophomore season in high school. He was 3-0 on Saturdays over his final three years at Cartersville (Ga.) High School and 36-0 in three seasons at Clemson (his two college losses were on Monday and Friday). He’s also 2-0 so far in his NFL career (each of the last two Saturdays). Lawrence and the Jaguars face a third consecutive win-or-go-home Saturday game this week.

8.     UNDER-THE-RADAR STORYLINE: Buffalo has gotten tremendous postseason production from wide receiver GABE DAVIS, who in last week’s win recorded six catches for 113 yards and a touchdown. In his previous postseason game, at Kansas City in the 2021 Divisional Playoffs, Davis caught eight passes for 201 yards and four touchdowns. Davis is the first player in NFL history to reach 300 receiving yards and five touchdowns over two consecutive postseason games.

When CINCINNATI (13-4) clashes with BUFFALO (14-3) on Sunday at Highmark Stadium (3:00 PM ET, CBS, Paramount+), quarterbacks JOE BURROW and JOSH ALLEN will meet officially for the first time. Burrow, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, became the first quarterback ever chosen first overall to start a Super Bowl within his first two seasons. Allen, meanwhile, enters Sunday’s game as just the second player ever to reach 300 passing yards and three passing touchdowns in three consecutive postseason games, joining MATT RYAN.

On his clutch, 98-yard touchdown return in the fourth quarter of last week’s Wild Card win, Bengals defensive end SAM HUBBARD reached a maximum speed of 17.43 miles per hour, according to Next Gen Stats. Hubbard covered 123.6 yards, the most on a touchdown by a player carrying a football during the 2022 season.

Cincinnati is attempting to become just the eighth team since the 1970 merger to begin a season 0-2 and still advance to its conference championship game. With a win Sunday, the Bengals would join the 1993 Dallas Cowboys, 1996 and 2001 New England Patriots, 1998 New York Jets, 2003 Philadelphia Eagles, 2007 New York Giants and 2014 Indianapolis Colts as teams that lost their first two games and advanced to conference championship games.

9.     TREND TIME: Since the Eagles captured consecutive division crowns in 2003 and 2004, the NFC East has had a different champion each of the past 18 seasons (2005-22). It’s the longest stretch ever without a repeat division winner.

This season’s NFC East champion, PHILADELPHIA (14-3), hosts the NEW YORK GIANTS (10-7-1) on Saturday night (8:15 PM ET, FOX, FOX Deportes). Along with the DALLAS COWBOYS, three teams from the NFC East have advanced to the Divisional Playoffs, the first time since the league expanded to 32 teams and realigned into eight divisions in 2002 that a single division has placed three teams in the Divisional Round. The last Divisional Round with three teams from the same division was 1997, when Green Bay, Minnesota and Tampa Bay represented the old NFC Central.

In each of the prior two seasons in which the Eagles have earned the NFC’s No. 1 seed, they’ve advanced to the Super Bowl (2004 and 2017).

In last week’s win, Giants quarterback DANIEL JONES became the first player in NFL history to reach both 300 passing yards and 75 rushing yards in a postseason game.

The Giants’ BRIAN DABOLL is bidding to become just the 15th rookie head coach since the 1970 merger to lead his team to a conference championship game. However, only one coach has done it over the last 10 years (2012-21): Green Bay’s MATT LAFLEUR in 2019.

10.  THIS WEEK IN NFL HISTORY: Jan. 17, 1993 (30 years ago) – In the NFC Championship Game at Candlestick Park, STEVE YOUNG guides San Francisco on a nine-play, 93-yard drive, culminating in a 5-yard touchdown pass to JERRY RICE. The march cuts the Dallas lead to 24-20 with 4:22 remaining in the fourth quarter. Faced with whether to run time off the clock in conservative fashion or push the ball downfield, Dallas head coach JIMMY JOHNSON tells offensive coordinator NORV TURNER he wants to score. So, on the ensuing play from scrimmage, Turner calls “896 F Flat.” When TROY AIKMAN reads blitz at the line, he realizes ALVIN HARPER on a post route is his best option. Harper races 70 yards to the San Francisco 9-yard line, setting up a Cowboys touchdown that cements a 30-20 victory and a berth in Super Bowl XXVII, the Cowboys’ first Super Bowl title under owner, president and general manager JERRY JONES.

11.  AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST: San Francisco’s BROCK PURDY (selected with the 262nd and final choice of the 2022 NFL Draft) isn’t the only late-round gem who will be in action at this week’s Divisional Playoffs. Other notable “Day 3” selections drafted and developed by their teams expected to make significant contributions this week:

2022: DANIEL BELLINGER, N.Y. Giants (fourth round, No. 112 overall); CORDELL VOLSON, Cincinnati (four, 136); DARON BLAND, Dallas (fifth, 167); JAYLEN WATSON, Kansas City (seventh, 243); ISIAH PACHECO, Kansas City (seventh, 251).

2021: EVAN MCPHERSON, Cincinnati (fifth, 149); TALANOA HUFANGA, San Francisco (fifth, 180); TREY SMITH, Kansas City (sixth, 226).

2020: L’JARIUS SNEED, Kansas City (fourth, 138); TYLER BIADASZ, Dallas (fourth, 146).

2019: JULIAN LOVE, N.Y. Giants (fourth, 108); TONY POLLARD, Dallas (fourth, 128); DRE GREENLAW, San Francisco (fifth, 148); DARIUS SLAYTON, N.Y. Giants (fifth, 171); DONOVAN WILSON, Dallas (sixth, 213).

2018: DORANCE ARMSTRONG, Dallas (fourth, 116); JOSH SWEAT, Philadelphia (fourth, 130); DALTON SCHULTZ, Dallas (fourth, 137); JORDAN MAILATA, Philadelphia (seventh, 233).

2017: GEORGE KITTLE, San Francisco (fifth, 146); MATT MILANO, Buffalo (fifth, 163).

2016: DAK PRESCOTT, Dallas (fourth, 135).


COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) Brandon Staley will be back for a third season as the Los Angeles Chargers head coach.

The same cannot be said for some of his offensive staff.

The team on Tuesday announced that offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and quarterbacks coach Shane Day have been fired after two years.

Staley has a 19-16 record, including playoffs, in his two seasons. He led the Chargers to their first playoff appearance since 2018 with a 10-7 regular-season mark.

The Chargers fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars 31-30 in Saturday’s AFC wild-card round game after blowing the third-largest lead in postseason history.

Los Angeles was up 27-0 late in the second quarter before the Jaguars rallied.

Criticism about Lombardi’s play-calling increased throughout the season. The Chargers were ranked ninth in total offense, but 20th in scrimmage yards per play along with the third-worst rushing attack in the league.

Los Angeles also had the NFL’s second-biggest discrepancy between passing and running plays (65% pass to 35% run).

Lombardi and the offensive staff also were unable to respond to halftime adjustments. The Chargers were outscored 103-52 in the third quarter, including the playoffs. They also only scored one touchdown in the third quarter in the final 13 games.

Staley praised Lombardi late in the regular season for his ability to adjust to changes because of injuries. DeAndre Carter was the only wide receiver who played all 18 games while there were two games where both Mike Williams and Keenan Allen did not play.

Allen missed seven of the first nine games because of a hamstring injury. Williams was sidelined for five, including four because of an ankle injury.

Left tackle Rashawn Slater suffered a season-ending biceps injury in Week 3 and center Corey Linsley was out for three games because of various injuries.

Justin Herbert was second in the league in completions (477) and passing yards (4,739) this season, but was slowed most of the first half of the season after suffering torn rib cartilage after taking a hit during a Week 2 game at Kansas City.

Staley though also noted that he was looking for the unit to turn the corner going into the postseason since the team was mostly healthy.

“Now that we are almost to full strength, we have to make the improvements to be playing our best at the end. I think that is what we are searching for right now is to find a rhythm where we can score the ball at a higher level and be more explosive as a football team,” Staley said on Dec. 28.

It is the second time Lombardi has not made it to a third season as an offensive coordinator. He was fired in Detroit midway through his second year in 2015.

Herbert, who will be going into his fourth season in 2023, will have his third offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in the NFL. Shane Steichen directed the Bolts offense as well as being QBs coach under Anthony Lynn in 2020 before Lynn was fired at the end of the season.

The Chargers though stumbled down the stretch for the second straight season.

Staley went into the playoffs under fire after Williams suffered a season-ending back injury in the meaningless regular-season finale at Denver.

Last season, the Chargers dropped three of their final four games to miss out on the postseason. In the 35-32 overtime loss at Las Vegas in Week 18, Staley called a late timeout when the Raiders were content to play for a tie, which would have put the Chargers in the playoffs.

Players though rallied to the defense of their coach after the loss to the Jaguars, saying Staley is still learning as a head coach.

“He’s a fresh head coach in this league. To expect he’s going to know everything right away is kind of silly,” linebacker Joey Bosa said. “I think we need to just keep building. It doesn’t happen overnight.”

Owner Dean Spanos is also expected to retain Tom Telesco as general manager.

The Chargers have yet to win a division title during Telesco’s 10 seasons as general manager and have only been to the playoffs three times in his tenure. Telesco, who said before the start of the season that the true measuring stick of a GM is wins and losses, has an 81-86 record. The Bolts’ .485 winning percentage since 2013 is 19th.

“I feel like we need to be able to finish late in the season,” safety Derwin James said. “The teams that can do it in December and January, that’s when it really matters.”


CLEVELAND (AP) Jim Schwartz has never been afraid of big challenges. He’s tackling a new one in Cleveland.

Schwartz, who took a winless Detroit team to the playoff in three seasons, has been hired as the Browns’ defensive coordinator, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Schwartz spent the past two seasons as a defensive adviser for Tennessee. The 56-year-old was one of four candidates to meet with the Browns, who went 7-10 this season and had defensive issues from the opener. He previously worked with Cleveland general manager Andrew Berry in Philadelphia.

Cleveland’s search for a coordinator began last week when coach Kevin Stefanski fired Joe Woods after three seasons.

The Browns also met with Steelers assistant Brian Flores, Seahawks associate head coach Sean Desai and Eagles passing game coordinator Dennard Wilson.

Schwartz was by far the most experienced candidate, and his familiarity with the 4-3 defensive scheme aligns with Cleveland’s preference and the club’s personnel. Known for a fiery demeanor, Schwartz also will provide some balance to the Browns staff under the even-keeled Stefanski.

Schwartz began his pro career as a scout with Cleveland in the 1990s. He’ll take over the Browns’ defense once he signs his contract, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because that hasn’t happened yet.

Schwartz previously worked as a coordinator with the Titans (8 seasons), Bills (1) and Eagles (5). He won a Super Bowl running Philadelphia’s defense in 2017.

One of Schwartz’s top priorities will be fixing Cleveland’s run defense. The Browns allowed 135 yards per game under Woods, who was unable to get the most out of a group led by star defensive end Myles Garrett.

The Browns need to upgrade their defensive front in the offseason for Schwartz, who always has had big run-stuffing tackles.

When Schwartz was with Buffalo in 2014, the Bills led the league in sacks and finished fourth in yards allowed. During the Super Bowl season in Philadelphia, the Eagles ranked first against the run (79.2) and were fourth in takeaways (31).


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Buccaneers wide receiver Russell Gage has movement in all of his extremities after suffering a neck injury and concussion in Tampa Bay’s wild-card playoff game against Dallas, the team announced Tuesday.

The Buccaneers said in a statement that Gage remained hospitalized overnight and would undergo more testing a day after being taken off the field by stretcher in a sobering scene that came just two weeks after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed and needed to be resuscitated during a prime-time game.

“I appreciate all of the texts, calls, thoughts and prayers you all have expressed towards my family and I,” Gage wrote on Twitter. “I just wanted to let you all know that I’m doing great and in great spirits! Thank you!”

Gage was injured in the fourth quarter Monday night when he stumbled on a route, went to the ground, couldn’t make the catch and took a hard shot to the neck from Donovan Wilson. He appeared to try to get up but couldn’t and slammed his hand into the ground in frustration.

Players from both teams took a knee and prayed while medical personnel attended to Gage. Tom Brady, who threw the pass to Gage, stood near the medical staff before the game resumed.

“Definitely hope he’s doing well. He was moving so that’s a good sign,” teammate Lavonte David said after the game.

On Jan. 2, Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after making a tackle. Teammates were in tears while he was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Cincinnati. Hamlin has made a remarkable recovery and watched from home as the Bills beat the Dolphins in an AFC wild-card game.

The immediate uncertainty surrounding Gage’s injury sparked an outpouring of support on social media.

Former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III, an ESPN analyst, posted on Twitter: “Prayers up for Russell Gage.”


FRISCO, Texas (AP) A week after one of the worst games of his career, Dak Prescott might have played his best game given the circumstances.

The star Dallas quarterback drew high praise from plenty of important people, including club owner Jerry Jones and the most recent Cowboys QB to win a Super Bowl, ESPN analyst Troy Aikman.

Prescott’s precision in a 31-14 wild-card victory over Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ended an eight-game road playoff losing streak for one of the NFL’s iconic franchises.

“I think you saw the results of just absolutely a focused Dak Prescott that all year continued to strive to get better,” Jones said on his radio show Tuesday. “In my mind, it’s the best game I’ve ever seen him play.”

The bounce-back from Prescott’s horrid showing in a 26-6 loss at Washington to finish the regular season came on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Cowboys’ most recent road playoff win.

Now the Cowboys (13-5) go to the scene of that NFC championship game victory during the 1992 season. Dallas visits San Francisco on Sunday with the 49ers (14-4) riding an 11-game winning streak.

With the long road playoff skid stopped, the Cowboys have to tackle another piece of history. Their six-game losing streak in the divisional round is the longest since the 1970 merger.

“We had our mind set on dominating this game and got the win,” pass rushing star Micah Parsons said. “It’s great to end streaks and start new traditions around here.”

Prescott joined Super Bowl winners Aikman and Roger Staubach as the only Dallas QBs with four touchdown passes in a playoff game, and the first to account for five TDs with his rushing score.

The 76% completion rate (25 of 33) was second to Aikman in club postseason history, a week after the worst of Prescott’s career (38%) against the Commanders.

Oh, and that pesky seven-game interception streak ended for a QB who tied for the NFL lead with 15 picks despite missing five games with a broken thumb.

“I wiped that clean, and I knew what this game meant,” said Prescott, who also had playoff career highs in yards (305) and passer rating (143.3). “I knew how important it was for us.”


Against Tampa Bay, the Dallas defense looked like it did when that unit was carrying the Cowboys early in the season.

There was just one threat from Brady and the Bucs during a stretch of four consecutive touchdown drives of at least 80 yards by Dallas. It ended with an interception in the end zone, the first by Brady inside the 20 since joining Tampa Bay in 2020.

Dallas had the same number of sacks of Brady (two) from the Bucs’ 19-3 win at the Cowboys in Week 1. But consistent pressure forced plenty of incompletions.


Kicker Brett Maher was historically bad with missed extra points on his first four attempts against the Bucs. He made the fifth.

The shocking meltdown led to plenty of in-game speculation that the Cowboys would cut him and sign another kicker before going to San Francisco.

Jones and coach Mike McCarthy said after the game that wouldn’t happen, but Jones was less definitive on his radio show a day later.

“This is a classic case of looking at what he’s done for this team and done on the field all year, not just last night,” Jones said. “I thought when he came out at halftime, watched him warm up out there. He was making all the kicks. I figured that was behind him, but we will take a look at it.”

Maher tied for eighth in field-goal rate in the regular season at 90.6% (29 of 32) while missing three PATs. He didn’t attempt a field goal in the wild-card game.


Dalton Schultz is the first Dallas tight end with multiple touchdown catches in a playoff game. He had the first two postseason TDs of his career against the Bucs.

The Cowboys’ franchise tag player this season has led the team in catches and yards in each of the past two playoff games, including the 23-17 wild-card loss at home to the 49ers last season.


It’s hard to ignore the reality of the fading influence of Ezekiel Elliott in the run game. The two-time rushing champ had just two fewer carries than Tony Pollard but 50 fewer yards. Elliott averaged 2.1 yards per carry (13 for 27) compared to 5.1 for Pollard (15 for 77).

Pollard led the team in rushing during the regular season, the first time Elliott hasn’t done that since getting drafted fourth overall in 2016.


LT Jason Peters is expected to miss the San Francisco game with a hip injury that sidelined him in the first half against the Bucs. … S Jayron Kearse injured a knee, but the team is optimistic about him playing.


36 – The victory was the 36th in the playoffs for the Cowboys, who have five Super Bowl titles and a 36-29 postseason record. Brady, who has seven championships, also was going for his 36th playoff win.


The ninth postseason meeting with the 49ers will tie the Los Angeles Rams for the most of any Dallas opponent. The Cowboys are 4-5 against LA and 5-3 against San Francisco.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — As the Eagles weathered a smidgen of adversity with a late-season losing streak, 76ers coach Doc Rivers stepped in to steady unease that Jalen Hurts & Co. were spiraling toward an early postseason exit.

“They’re going to be in the Super Bowl. Relax,” Rivers told reporters. “It’s a guarantee.”

Bold statement, Doc.

Rivers laughed as he made the prediction “with my limited football knowledge,” but he knew enough to understand the team with the best record in the NFL played across the street.

But how far the Eagles go — and no one in the organization would be so foolish as to make such a bold prognostication as guaranteeing a Super Bowl berth — depends predominantly on Hurts.

And Hurts knows all eyes — and maybe a few rough shots on his banged-up shoulder — are on him.

“I’ve got a bounty on me every week I go out there,” Hurts said Tuesday. “I’m going to go out there and just play my game.”

Fans are clamoring to know if Hurts has recovered enough from a sprained right shoulder to play at full strength in an NFC divisional round game Saturday night at Lincoln Financial Field against the New York Giants.

“Full go,” coach Nick Sirianni said Tuesday.

Hurts was not even listed on the Eagles’ injury report.

Hurts and the Eagles (14-3) enjoyed the spoils of earning the No. 1 seed in the NFC and spent the week scouting — and snacking — while the Giants edged out a 31-24 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

The Giants were one of four potential opponents the Eagles could have played this week and their game last weekend was on the big screen at Philadelphia’s complex while Sirianni reviewed a potential game plan against their NFC East rival.

“We were preparing for the games and did a lot of work on the Giants that day,” Sirianni said. “We got it right there.”

In a city that boasts a robust food scene, Sirianni turned some heads when he revealed he ordered stuffed-crust pizzas from Pizza Hut for his coaching staff as they watched the game. Eagles fans might enjoy some gastronomic second-guessing of a coach who has otherwise largely made all the right calls this season.

The Giants should know as well as any team how often Sirianni and the Eagles seemingly had everything go right. The NFC East champion Eagles already defeated the Giants twice, 48-22 on Dec. 11 at MetLife Stadium and 22-16 on Jan. 8 in the regular-season finale in Philly. Hurts, who returned for the finale after missing two games because of his bad shoulder, mostly ran a vanilla offense against the Giants’ second-teamers.

Make it 3-0, and the Eagles will host the NFC championship game.

The Eagles went 14-1 in games Hurts started.

“He’s better today than he was two weeks ago,” Sirianni said. “He’s continuing to get better and he feels good.”

Hurts could have added protection against the Giants, with All-Pro right tackle Lane Johnson expected to return for the first time since he suffered a torn adductor in a Dec. 24 loss at Dallas. The only starter who might miss a playoff game is cornerback Avonte Maddox (toe), who has not played since he was hurt in the Dallas game.

Johnson was a limited participant in a walkthrough practice Tuesday and Maddox did not participate.

With the Phillies just three months removed from their unexpected run to the World Series, championship expectations gave gripped the area. Just 80 miles north of the city in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts moved its “Alice in Wonderland” mural unveiling up a week to Feb. 5, saying “the Philadelphia Eagles have a pretty good shot of making it to the NFL championship game.”

The Eagles hope they’ll make a pretty important date just west of Phoenix.

The Eagles have made a statement all season that they’re the team beat on the road to the Super Bowl. Sirianni and Hurts wore black sweatshirts with the slogan “It’s A Philly” thing — several Eagles had the merchandise in their lockers — in a nod to the ethos ranging from inside the locker room to the street vendors hawking knockoff T-shirts that has enveloped Philadelphia.

“It’s a swagger,” Hurts said. “It’s kind of in the air of its own when you talk the passion in this city, the support in this city. The love for the Philadelphia Eagles in this city is truly a Philly thing. It’s a special city, it’s a special time. We know we have the support of our city through everything and let’s show up on Saturday.”


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs spent more than five months battering their bodies in an attempt to not only make the playoffs but also ensure that they would get the AFC’s top seed and the first weekend to rest and recover.

The reward comes now: They’re about as healthy as possible as the Jaguars prepare to visit in Saturday’s divisional round.

The only Chiefs player that didn’t practice Tuesday was wide receiver Mecole Hardman, who spent time on injured reserve because of an abdominal issue but was activated for the final week of the regular season.

Otherwise, everyone was on the field — including defensive end Frank Clark, who was banged up two weeks ago — as the Chiefs got back to work.

“We took a week off and it felt like forever,” Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton said. “I’m ready to get back out there.”

The Chiefs even got a surprise Tuesday when running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who has been on injured reserve with a high ankle sprain, and tight end Jody Fortson, who has been on the list with an elbow issue, joined them on the practice field.

Neither is expected to play against Jacksonville, but it increases the chances they will be available later in the playoffs should Kansas City win. Edwards-Helaire started the first six games and was a key part of the offense when the 2020 first-round pick got hurt Nov. 20, and Fortson had been a red zone option before getting hurt Dec. 18.

Healthy Chiefs back to work, eye Jags in divisional round


an hour ago

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, right, wears a shirt paying tribute to Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin as he watches Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes warm up before the start of an NFL football game between the Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

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Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, right, wears a shirt paying tribute to Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin as he watches Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes warm up before the start of an NFL football game between the Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs spent more than five months battering their bodies in an attempt to not only make the playoffs but also ensure that they would get the AFC’s top seed and the first weekend to rest and recover.

The reward comes now: They’re about as healthy as possible as the Jaguars prepare to visit in Saturday’s divisional round.

The only Chiefs player that didn’t practice Tuesday was wide receiver Mecole Hardman, who spent time on injured reserve because of an abdominal issue but was activated for the final week of the regular season.

Otherwise, everyone was on the field — including defensive end Frank Clark, who was banged up two weeks ago — as the Chiefs got back to work.

“We took a week off and it felt like forever,” Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton said. “I’m ready to get back out there.”

The Chiefs even got a surprise Tuesday when running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who has been on injured reserve with a high ankle sprain, and tight end Jody Fortson, who has been on the list with an elbow issue, joined them on the practice field.

Neither is expected to play against Jacksonville, but it increases the chances they will be available later in the playoffs should Kansas City win. Edwards-Helaire started the first six games and was a key part of the offense when the 2020 first-round pick got hurt Nov. 20, and Fortson had been a red zone option before getting hurt Dec. 18.


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“Any time you get talented players back it helps the whole team. Not just the offense but everybody,” said Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who acknowledged the week off did wonders for his own bruised body.

“Both of those guys are special players,” Mahomes said. “Having as many healthy guys as possible is great for us.”

It’s not as if the Chiefs, who lead the league in total offense and scoring, have suffered in their absence.

Seventh-round pick Isiah Pacheco averaged more than 5 yards per carry while rushing for 633 yards and four touchdowns over the last nine weeks of the regular season, and Jerick McKinnon has caught at least one touchdown pass in six straight games while reaching the end zone nine times total over that span.

In the weeks since Fortson went down, the Chiefs returned Blake Bell from injured reserve. And along with Noah Gray, the duo has played well alongside Travis Kelce while also giving the All-Pro tight end a break when he needs it.

“I don’t know much about the situation,” McKinnon said, “but getting all the weapons back is going to be amazing.”

Well, almost all the playmakers.

The Chiefs thought they’d have Hardman back weeks ago. But after returning to practice in mid-December, the speedy wide receiver has experienced a series of setbacks that kept him off the field for the rest of the regular season — he has not played since Nov. 6 against Tennessee — and now threatens to keep him out against the Jaguars.

Asked whether he expects Hardman to play in the postseason, Chiefs coach Andy Reid replied: “He does and we do, yeah.”

“You just want to try to not take steps back,” Reid said. “And it’s not that we’ve taken steps back, it’s just not getting to where it needs to be where he can go. The feeling is if we just back off on it, let it rest here, do his rehab, and he’ll have a chance to get better. We don’t want to put him out there in a bad situation where he can’t play.”

The rest of the Chiefs wide receivers have picked up the slack.

JuJu Smith-Schuster finished just 67 yards shy of his second career 1,000-yard season. Marquez Valdes-Scantling has given them a downfield option.

And perhaps most importantly, Kadarius Toney has returned from a hamstring injury to give them a player capable of filling Hardman’s role on jet sweeps while also making plays in the passing game.

“I think you build up for this all season long,” Mahomes said. “The regular season you take week by week, but you want to be in the playoffs, and you know you’re going to play the best teams, and that’s what you want as a competitor.”

NOTES: McKinnon learned last week that he was the AFC offensive player of the month for December and January after landing from a flight. “I had a whole bunch of text messages. That’s kind of how I found out,” he said. “It’s great, but like I’ve said before, I couldn’t do it without my teammates, coaches, support staff and all of that.” … After hearing Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence celebrated his first playoff win at a Waffle House, Mahomes recalled his own first. “I’m sure there were a couple of Coors Lights,” he said. “I didn’t get Waffle House. That’s a baller move, man.”


Curious decisions defined the NFL’s wacky wild-card weekend, and none more so than Tyler Huntley going high when he should have gone low.

Lamar Jackson’s fill-in had the Baltimore Ravens in position for the go-ahead score early in the fourth quarter at Cincinnati but with several teammates behind him to help him burrow through the line on a quarterback sneak, Huntley extended the ball toward the goal line over the top on third-and-goal from the 1.

Logan Wilson knocked the ball out of Huntley’s hands and directly to defensive end Sam Hubbard, who got enough of a head start to beat the chasing tight end Mark Andrews to the end zone for a 98-yard touchdown that was the pivotal play in the Bengals’ 24-17 win.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said the play was designed for Huntley to go low, but the quarterback had a different idea.

“Just thought I could go over the top,” Huntley said. “I thought I cleared the line.”

Not quite.

In Buffalo, all Miami’s rookie head coach Mike McDaniel had to do was call a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-a-foot at midfield with 2 1/2 minutes left and the Dolphins driving for the game-tying field goal.

There was confusion, he didn’t get the call in on time and a delay of game flag pushed the Dolphins back 5 yards. They failed to covert and the Bills chewed up the rest of the clock to eke out the closer-than-expected 34-31 win.

One game turned on a mishandled sneak, another on a shunned sneak.

Other decisions backfired during wild-card weekend, some more costly than others.

—Star pass rusher Joey Bosa lost his cool in crunch time in the Los Angeles Chargers’ 31-30 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

—Kirk Cousins didn’t throw the ball past the sticks with the Vikings’ season on the line in Minnesota’s 31-24 loss to the New York Giants

—Johnathan Abram’s dirty play cratered the Seattle Seahawks in their 41-23 loss at San Francisco.

—And the Cowboys kept going for the extra point, which was the only thing not working for them in their 31-14 blowout of Tom Brady and the Buccaneers on Monday night as Brett Maher became the first kicker in NFL history to miss four extra points in a single game.


The surprising Seahawks came out of halftime with a 17-16 lead at San Francisco following a gift field goal drive in the final 13 seconds thanks to a personal foul on Jimmie Ward.

Abram grabbed and twisted Deebo Samuel’s previously injured left ankle after tackling him on a 21-yard gain on the 49ers’ opening drive of the second half.

“I don’t know what he was trying to achieve by doing that, but it wasn’t smart,” Niners linebacker Fred Warner said.

The fired up 49ers responded to the dirty play by scoring the next 25 points to cruise to a 41-23 win.


The Chargers blew a 27-0 lead at Jacksonville by allowing Trevor Lawrence to atone for a four-interception first half with a four-touchdown second half, and he got a huge assist from Bosa, who threw his helmet after arguing that two flags should have been thrown on Lawrence’s last TD pass.

That resulted in his second unsportsmanlike penalty and it moved what turned out to be the decisive 2-point conversion from the 2 to the 1. Lawrence reached across the goal line to pull Jacksonville to 30-28.

Jaguars coach Doug Pederson said he probably would have called for the extra point had it not been for Bosa’s penalty.

After the Chargers went three-and-out, Lawrence drove the Jaguars to the winning field goal as time expired, completing the third-biggest comeback in playoff history.


Minnesota’s defense couldn’t stop playoff newbie Daniel Jones, who passed for 301 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 78 yards to lead the Giants’ suddenly productive offense. But it was Cousins’ one gaffe that will be long lamented in Minneapolis.

Down seven in the two-minute mode, Cousins took the snap on fourth-and-8 and dumped the ball to tight end T.J. Hockenson, who was smothered after a 3-yard reception, turning the ball over on downs with 1:44 to go and no timeouts left.

Cousins said he felt he was about to get sacked and had to get rid of the ball.

The Vikings, the rare 13-win team that had a negative point differential during the season, had gone an NFL-best 11-0 in one-score games.

Make that 11-1.


So thorough was the Cowboys’ beatdown of the Bucs it hardly mattered that kicker Maher missed his first four extra points, becoming the first player in NFL history to miss that many in a game.

Maher, who only missed three of 53 PATs during the regular season, finally converted on his fifth attempt after coach Mike McCarthy decided against sending him out to try a field goal from roughly the same distance as a PAT.

Dak Prescott hit CeeDee Lamb for the touchdown from 18 yards out on fourth-and-4 and Maher trotted out and nailed the extra point.

After one of his misses, an angry Prescott was seen on the sideline yelling about just going for 2.

Other than Maher’s confounding kicks, the Cowboys dominated the Bucs in what may turn out to be Brady’s last game in a Tampa Bay uniform.

Dallas beat Brady for the first time in the seven-time Super Bowl champion’s career and won in the postseason on the road for the first time in 30 years to earn a trip to San Francisco to face the 49ers in the NFC divisional round next Sunday.

The Cowboys had dropped eight straight playoff games on the road since winning the NFC championship game in San Francisco on Jan. 17, 1993.


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Daniel Jones’ future with the New York Giants was murky heading into this season with plenty of critics wondering if he could truly ever be a franchise-type quarterback.

Too many turnovers. Too inconsistent. Too few victories.

Jones heard it all, and some was warranted. The Giants not exercising the fifth-year option on his rookie deal last offseason spoke volumes, too. But he has silenced most of the naysayers with a solid season and a history-making postseason debut, leading the Giants to their first playoff win in 11 years.

“Yeah, I don’t think I’ve spent a whole lot of time thinking about that,” Jones said Tuesday as he and the Giants prepare for their divisional round playoff matchup Saturday night with the NFC East-rival Philadelphia Eagles.

“If there’s anything I’ve learned,” Jones added, “it’s about what you do the next week, so I’m focused on that and continuing to try to improve and play as well as I can on Saturday.”

Jones, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 draft out of Duke, threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 78 yards in New York’s 31-24 victory over Minnesota last Sunday. He became the first quarterback in NFL history to have 300 yards passing, two TD passes and at least 70 yards rushing in a playoff game.

“D.J. was amazing, did everything we asked him to do,” left tackle Andrew Thomas said. “When there was nothing open, (he was) scrambling and made plays for us, didn’t turn over the ball.

“When he plays like that, we have a good opportunity to win against anybody.”

It was the latest terrific performance for Jones in a season full of them.

The 25-year-old quarterback’s combination of throwing and running has turned him into an exciting playmaker — one of the most dynamic in the league at his position. And he has come a long way from the game manager label he was being saddled with, particularly earlier this season with his passing numbers unimpressive.

But then the plays and yards starting coming, along with the wins.

And the turnovers stayed way down, with 15 touchdown passes and a career-low five interceptions during the regular season. Jones also lost just three fumbles, a far cry from his 11 lost fumbles as a rookie.

“My focus is just trying to help him be the best he can be,” coach Brian Daboll said. “He’s done everything that he can do since I’ve been here. A great guy to work with. He works extremely hard, and I think that’s where our focus is.”

Even if others outside the Giants facility are casting Jones in a new light — on and off the field — as a quarterback who can carry a team, and perhaps an entire franchise.

“Yeah, you hear some of it, for sure, and notice some of it,” Jones said. “It’s part of it. I can’t control how people respond, positively or negatively. I control how I play and that’s my focus.”

The Giants will face the Eagles for the third time this season, with Philadelphia winning the first two meetings. Jones was 18 of 27 for 169 yards and a touchdown, and also ran for a score in New York’s 48-22 loss at home on Dec. 11. Jones and most of the Giants’ starters were held out of the regular-season finale, a 22-16 loss at Philly.

Still, Jones’ improvement this season is clear to Eagles coach Nick Sirianni.

“Daniel Jones is dangerous in the pocket and when he gets out of the pocket, he’s playing really good football,” Sirianni said. “He’s continuing to get better.”

When the Giants declined Jones’ fifth-year option, it was a clear message the new regime — Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen — needed to see proof the quarterback could elevate his play and be a difference-maker.

Jones has done that, and then some.

He has nine touchdowns — six passing and three running — and just one turnover in his past five games. He’s due to be a free agent in the offseason and could certainly be attractive to plenty of quarterback-needy squads.

Many predicted the Giants would likely be one of those teams shopping for a new QB during the offseason. But it appears they have the guy they were hoping Jones would be all along.

“I know we have an elite quarterback,” running back Saquon Barkley said after the win over the Vikings. “He’s shown that multiple times.”

NOTES: The Giants held a walkthrough practice Tuesday. … S Jason Pinnock, who was evaluated at a hospital after the game at Minnesota for an abdominal injury, was estimated by the team as a full participant. “Pinnock has turned a corner pretty quick here,” Daboll said. … LB Azeez Ojulari (quadriceps), DB Landon Collins (ankle), WR Isaiah Hodgins (ankle), CB Adoree’ Jackson (back), S Julian Love (hamstring) and CB Fabian Moreau (hip) were all listed as limited.


LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Kevin Warren is ready to tackle a new challenge as president and CEO of the Chicago Bears, and he has a big one going from Big Ten commissioner to leading a founding NFL franchise.

A new suburban stadium could be on the horizon. The team owns the No. 1 pick in the draft coming off one of the worst seasons in franchise history.

And he’s looking forward to working with general manager Ryan Poles and coach Matt Eberflus.

“It’s because of the challenge, the opportunity,” Warren said Tuesday at his introductory news conference. “I trust Ryan, I trust Coach Matt that we’re going to do things the right way. We’re not going to take shortcuts. We’re going to build an incredible franchise. I came here to win championships.”

He said he’s a “big believer in challenges” and wouldn’t have wanted the job “if it were easy.” He also predicted: “Greatness is ahead of us. All we need to do now is go and grasp it.”

Warren, who replaces the retiring Ted Phillips, is scheduled to start his new job in April, though chairman George McCaskey said that timeframe could be moved up as long as the Big Ten can make “a seamless transition.” He also said Phillips has agreed to stay on past his Feb. 28 retirement date “to make sure there’s a seamless transition here.”

Warren said he’s already begun work in his new job. He was hired as Chicago’s fifth president and the first from outside the organization last week.

He goes from becoming the first Black commissioner of a Power Five conference to the first Black president of the Bears. He is the team’s second president that was not part of the Halas-McCaskey family tree, joining Phillips.

“Papa Bear is smiling today,” McCaskey said, referring to his grandfather and team founder George Halas.

Warren’s No. 1 task is helping the Bears construct a new enclosed stadium, assuming they finalize the purchase of a 326-acre tract of land in suburban Arlington Heights and decide to move. The Bears hope to close that deal in the first quarter of this year.

He also is joining an organization with the No. 1 pick in the draft following one of the worst seasons in franchise history. The Bears went 3-14, the most losses ever for “The Monsters of the Midway.”

The Bears are going back to their former chain of command, with Poles reporting to Warren. Poles, hired a year ago, had been reporting to McCaskey. But previous general managers were under Phillips.

Poles said he’s fine with the arrangement and “fired up” about working with the team’s new president.

Warren said becoming an NFL owner is “not necessarily” a goal of his. He also insisted he doesn’t see this as a steppingstone to being the league’s commissioner.

“There’s a lot to be done here,” he said. “Last thing I can do is to be looking over the horizon at another job. No. If you talk to anyone like in Minnesota I’m totally in, the Big Ten I’m totally in, I’m totally in with the Bears.”

As for leaving the Big Ten?

“I just felt it was the right time,” he said. “I had done what I was called there to be able to do.”

Warren, a lawyer and former sports agent, worked in the NFL for more than two decades, doing stints with the St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions before settling in with Minnesota in 2005. He was the Vikings’ chief operating officer from 2015 to 2019, before being hired to replace Jim Delany as Big Ten commissioner.

Warren played a big role in Minnesota’s construction of U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened in 2016. With its translucent roof and massive glass panels letting in enough light and air to make fans feel as if they’re outdoors, the Bears see it as a model for their potential new home.

The Bears want to turn the Arlington Heights site, once a jewel of thoroughbred racing, into a different kind of gem, with restaurants, retail and year-round activity — all for about $5 billion, with some taxpayer help. They plan to pay for their stadium but want taxpayer dollars to cover infrastructure costs such as roads and sewers to develop the site.

Warren helped give the Big Ten a coast-to-coast footprint in the nation’s largest markets with the announcement in July that Southern California and UCLA will join in 2024. The conference also landed about $7 billion in media rights deals a month later with FOX, CBS and NBC to share the rights to football and basketball games. The contracts go into effect in 2023 and expire in 2030.

Warren also drew sharp criticism early in his tenure as Big Ten commissioner when he initially called off 2020 fall football season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a move that was ultimately reversed with the league playing an abbreviated schedule. Ohio State star Justin Fields — now Chicago’s quarterback — started a petition that got 280,000 signatures in three days.

“I know if I was in the Big Ten and someone did what I did, yeah, I would’ve led a revolt to be able to play,” Warren said.


TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Monti Ossenfort watched in dismay two years ago as Arizona’s Kyler Murray ripped apart the Tennessee Titans defense, accounting for five touchdowns in Arizona’s 38-13 victory.

He’s much more excited to see the quarterback again now that they’re part of the same team.

The 44-year-old Ossenfort was introduced on Tuesday as the Cardinals new general manager, coming to the organization following three years with the Titans and 15 years with the New England Patriots. He helped the Patriots win four Super Bowls during his time with that organization, and now tries to bring a championship to the Cardinals for the first time since 1947.

Ossenfort has a lot of work ahead. The Cardinals had a dismal 4-13 record last season, which led to the firing of fourth-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury. The team also parted ways with Steve Keim, who had been the team’s GM since 2013.

“No one here is happy about the results of last year,” Ossenfort said. “But it’s not too long ago that this team was in good position. I was witness to it first hand two years ago when this organization came into Tennessee and Nissan Stadium and ran all over us.

“That’s what we’re going to get back to.”

The Cardinals do have some talented cornerstones on the roster, particularly with Murray. The 25-year-old signed a $230.5 million deal last offseason that could keep him in Arizona through 2028.

The two-time Pro Bowl selection tore the ACL and other ligaments in his right knee against the Patriots in December, causing him to miss the season’s final four games. He could also miss the beginning of next season depending on how quickly he recovers.

Ossenfort said Murray’s injury timeline presents a “challenge” for the organization, but “we’ll be ready for it.”

“The first order of business is Kyler’s got to get healthy,” Ossenfort said. “We want to do everything in our power to help him get healthy. We want to see him out on the field. Again, I’ll go back to that game two years ago at Nissan — I’ve seen what a healthy Kyler can do.”

Outside of Murray, the Cardinals also have Pro Bowl safety Budda Baker, young linebackers Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins and three-time All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

But there’s plenty of room for a roster makeover: The Cardinals have the No. 3 overall pick in the upcoming draft. They’ve also got to decide who to bring back among roughly 30 unrestricted free agents.

“We are not just collecting talent, we’re building a team,” Ossenfort said. “We’re going to look for the right type of players. Ego will not be tolerated in this organization. We are going to look for focused, driven people who are willing to put the team first at every step of the way.”

Ossenfort — who grew up in the small town of Luverne, Minnesota — was a fixture in the Patriots’ front office through much of the past two decades. He said the one thing that organization did particularly well was making sure everyone was aligned with the same goals.

“Every day going to work was a masterclass education in how to build a football roster and how to build a winning organization,” Ossenfort said. “There are core beliefs that I’ll take from there, just like I’ll take from every step along my way. I plan to bring it here, put my own spin on it and make it the Cardinal way.”

Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said he interviewed seven candidates for the GM job. Three were internal — Adrian Wilson, Quentin Harris and Matt Harriss — while four were external, including Bears assistant GM Ian Cunningham, Ravens director of player personnel Joe Ortiz, former Giants GM Jerry Reese and Ossenfort.

Now the most immediate task for the Cardinals is finding a head coach. Bidwill said an interview is scheduled with Vance Joseph, who has been the Cardinals defensive coordinator over the past four years and was the Denver Broncos head coach in 2017 and 2018.

Ossenfort said he’ll keep an open mind as he helps Bidwill make the hire.

“Whether it’s an offensive coach or a defensive coach, it frankly doesn’t matter,” Ossenfort said. “We want the best coach.”


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans interviewed Buffalo senior director of pro scouting Malik Boyd on Tuesday for their general manager opening, making him the seventh candidate interviewed since the process started.

The Titans confirmed they completed the interview Tuesday morning.

Bills general manager Brandon Beane hired Boyd in 2017, and Boyd has been part of a front office that transformed Buffalo from perennial losers to a team in the playoffs for the fifth time in six years. The Bills (14-3) won the AFC East this season and will be hosting Cincinnati on Sunday in the divisional round.

Boyd worked for the Arizona Cardinals between 2005 and 2017 as assistant director of pro scouting. He worked with Indianapolis as a scouting assistant between 2003 and 2005.

He is the seventh different candidate to interview with the Titans since Jan. 12 to replace Jon Robinson who was fired Dec. 6. Arizona hired Monti Ossenfort, the Titans’ director of player personnel who also interviewed for the Tennessee GM job, as the Cardinals’ new general manager Monday.

Others interviewed by Titans include vice president of player personnel Ryan Cowden, who took over personnel when Robinson was fired; San Francisco director of player personnel Ran Carthon; Glenn Cook, Cleveland’s assistant general manager and vice president of player personnel; Chicago assistant general manager Ian Cunningham and Quentin Harris, Arizona’s vice president of player personnel.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) A person familiar with the decision says the Tennessee Titans are hiring San Francisco director of player personnel Ran Carthon as their new general manager, giving the NFL nine minority GMs among the league’s 32 franchises.

The Titans interviewed their seventh candidate Tuesday morning in Buffalo senior director of pro scouting Malik Boyd.

The search committee headed by controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk picked Carthon, whose first interview was last Friday, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Titans have not commented on the hiring.

Carthon will be the first minority general manager for the original American Football League franchise founded in 1960 in Houston. He also will be the sixth minority among the past eight GMs hired in the NFL, which has held two programs since late May to promote more minority candidates for front office jobs.

The 49ers will host Dallas on Sunday night in the NFC divisional round after earning the No. 2 seed.

Carthon joined the Niners as pro personnel director in 2017 and has been director of player personnel the past two years. Carthon also interviewed last year for GM jobs with Chicago and the Giants.

He was a pro scout with Atlanta between 2008-11. He played three years in the NFL as an undrafted rookie with Indianapolis between 2004-06. He played running back in college at Florida. His father, Maurice, both played in the NFL and coached with seven teams.

Boyd was the seventh different candidate to interview with the Titans since Jan. 12 to replace Jon Robinson who was fired Dec. 6. Arizona hired Monti Ossenfort, the Titans’ director of player personnel who also interviewed for the Tennessee GM job, as the Cardinals’ new general manager Monday.

Others interviewed by Titans include vice president of player personnel Ryan Cowden, who took over personnel when Robinson was fired; Glenn Cook, Cleveland’s assistant general manager and vice president of player personnel; Chicago assistant general manager Ian Cunningham and Quentin Harris, Arizona’s vice president of player personnel.

**************************COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS*******************************


Georgia football player Devin Willock was not wearing a seat belt when he was ejected from the vehicle in a weekend crash that killed him and a recruiting staff member, police said.

A police report released Tuesday listed excessive speed on a road with a 40 mph (64 kph) limit as one of the primary causes of the crash.

The wreck occurred at 2:45 a.m. Sunday in Athens, less than two miles from the university campus. A few hours earlier, the Bulldogs held a parade through town and a ceremony at Sanford Stadium honoring their second straight national championship.

The 20-year-old Willock, an offensive lineman for the Bulldogs, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the vehicle, 24-year-old recruiting analyst Chandler LeCroy, died shortly after being taken to a hospital.

Two other people were in the car, including offensive lineman Warren McClendon, who had just announced Saturday he will enter the NFL draft.

Like LeCroy, McClendon was wearing a shoulder and lap restraint while seated in the right front passenger seat, police said. He sustained only minor injuries, which the report from Athens-Clarke County police described as a laceration on the forehead.

Another member of the Georgia football staff, Victoria Bowles, was hospitalized with serious injuries. She was sitting in the backseat with Willock and not wearing a seat belt, the report said.

Police investigators said the 2021 Ford Expedition “failed to negotiate a left curve, resulting in the vehicle striking the curb with its front passenger tire and leaving the roadway on the west shoulder.”

The SUV struck a Georgia Power pole and another utility pole, slicing them in half, before striking a tree on the rear passenger quarter panel. That sent the vehicle spinning in a clockwise direction before it slammed into another tree on the driver’s side — where both LeCroy and Willock were sitting.

“This caused the vehicle to rotate counter-clockwise prior to achieving final rest against an apartment building,” the report said, adding that a vehicle parked in front of a unit also was struck by the out-of-control SUV.

The report said no alcohol or drug test was conducted on LeCroy, though the investigation was continuing. Investigators did not give an estimated speed, nor did they know the driver’s condition at the time of the crash.

The report also listed other, unspecified factors as contributors.

The crash suddenly turned a festive mood on the Georgia campus into one of grief.

“Best roommate, teammate, and brother I could ever ask for. I don’t even have words,” Xavier Truss, who played alongside Willock on the offensive line, wrote on Twitter. “Wish I could hear that goofy laugh one last time. Heaven gained a good one. Love you forever Dev.”

Willock was a 6-foot-7, 335-pound redshirt sophomore from New Milford, New Jersey.

He played extensively as a backup during the 2022 season and started at right guard in Southeastern Conference victories over Tennessee and Kentucky.

With McClendon and offensive lineman Warren Ericson both headed to the NFL draft, Willock likely would have been competing for a starting position in 2023 as the Bulldogs go for a third straight national title.

Football programs around the country expressed their condolences. Nebraska posted the names of both Willock and LeCroy on the video board at Memorial Stadium.

“Our Hearts are Heavy Today. No words only prayers for (Georgia athletics) and the families of Devin and Chandler,” Cornhuskers coach Matt Rhule tweeted.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart posted pictures of both victims on Twitter a few hours after the crash.

“Miss you already,” he wrote of Willock. “Thinking of you tonight, Devin.”

Smart said of LeCroy: “Gone far too soon. Chandler, I will always remember you for your kind heart.”


ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) The University of Michigan has placed offensive co-coordinator and quarterbacks coach Matt Weiss on leave, athletic department spokesman Kurt Svoboda confirmed Tuesday night.

ESPN reported the school’s police department is investigating a report of computer access crimes from last month at Schembechler Hall, where coach Jim Harbaugh and his staff have offices and the Wolverines practice.

Weiss said in a statement to ESPN that he is fully cooperating with investigators and looks forward to the matter being resolved.

Weiss and the university police department did not immediately respond to messages from The Associated Press.

Harbaugh hired Weiss nearly two years ago as quarterbacks coach and promoted him to co-offensive coordinator last season, giving him a share of play-calling duties with Sherrone Moore.

Michigan finished No. 3 in the AP Top 25 after winning the Big Ten title and losing in a College Football Playoff semifinal for a second straight year.

On Monday, Harbaugh called the school’s president to say he’s staying to end another round of speculation that he would return to the NFL.

The 39-year-old Weiss was a part of the Baltimore Ravens’ staff, led by Jim Harbaugh’s brother, John, from 2009 to 2020. He also was a graduate assistant for four years at Stanford, working on Jim Harbaugh’s staff for two seasons. Weiss, who is from New Haven, Connecticut, graduated from Vanderbilt in 2005.

***********************MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL***************************


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Investigators said a University of Alabama basketball player charged with capital murder provided the gun used in the fatal shooting, but another man fired the weapon.

Investigators wrote in a court document that Darius Miles admitted to providing the handgun immediately before the shooting. Another man is accused of firing the gun and killing a young woman near the university’s campus, according to court documents filed in Tuscaloosa.

Miles, 21, a junior reserve forward from Washington, D.C., and Michael Lynn Davis, 20, of Charles County, Maryland, are charged with capital murder in the shooting death of 23-year-old Jamea Harris. The shooting occurred early Sunday on the Strip, a student-oriented business district of bars and restaurants near the Tuscaloosa campus. Harris was sitting in the passenger seat of a car when she was struck by a bullet, investigators wrote in the court document.

Tuscaloosa police Capt. Jack Kennedy declined to say Tuesday where Miles got the gun. As of Jan. 1, Alabama stopped requiring a permit to carry a concealed handgun.

Miles and Davis remained in the Tuscaloosa County jail, and Kennedy said a probable cause hearing could take 30 to 60 days in a capital murder case.

The University of Alabama said in a statement that Miles is no longer on the basketball team. The fourth-ranked Crimson Tide are scheduled to play Vanderbilt on Tuesday night in Nashville.

Defense lawyers for Miles released a statement on Monday saying Miles maintains his innocence and that he and his family “are heartbroken” over Harris’ death.

“While Darius has been accused of being involved with this tragedy, he maintains his innocence and looks forward to his day in court,” they said. “Our firm’s own investigation is ongoing, and no further statement will be made at this time,” attorneys William White, Clayton Tartt and Suzanne Norman from the the Birmingham-based Boles Holmes White law firm wrote in the statement.

Basketball coach Nate Oats said Monday his players are going through “kind of a grieving process.”

“They didn’t have too many questions,” Oats said of the players. “It’s really just more of kind of a grieving process. I mean, they understand the severity of the situation with Jamea. They also understand the severity of the situation with Darius. There’s both sides of it, dealing with it.”


MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) Kansas State coach Jerome Tang grabbed a microphone and stood amid a sea of purple, moments after delirious fans had flooded the floor to celebrate the No. 13 Wildcats’ 83-82 overtime win over second-ranked Kansas on Tuesday night.

“You have one court-storming,” the Wildcats’ first-year coach told them over the din. “After this, we expect to win.”

Expectations are sure to soar in the Little Apple now.

After blowing a 14-point first-half lead, the Wildcats responded to every haymaker Kansas threw down the stretch. And when their game went to overtime, and players kept fouling out, Keyontae Johnson delivered for Kansas State, throwing down a go-ahead alley-oop dunk with 25 seconds left that ultimately proved to be the difference.

“In order to elevate,” Johnson said later, “we have to beat teams like Kansas.”

Johnson and Desi Sills finished with 24 points apiece, and Nae’Qwan Tomlin had 15 points and 10 boards, as the Wildcats (16-2, 5-1 Big 12) bounced back from a blowout loss to TCU by beating the Jayhawks for the first time since Feb 5, 2019.

Jalen Wilson tried to take over in overtime for Kansas, converting a three-point play, knocking down a 3-pointer and making a pair of free throws for an 82-80 lead with just over a minute to go. But after Johnson made a free throw at the other end, Wilson missed a deep 3-pointer as the shot-clock expired to give the Wildcats another chance.

After a timeout, Markquis Nowell threw the lob that Johnson slammed down for an 83-82 advantage.

Kansas (16-2, 5-1) also called a timeout to set up its own finishing play, but normally sure-handed Dajuan Harris Jr. lost the ball in traffic, and the Jayhawks never got a chance to put up a potentially winning shot.

“If you told me we’d have the ball with a chance to win twice, that’s something I’d probably sell out for,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “That last possession is one possession I probably wish we could take back.”

Wilson played all 45 minutes and finished with a career-high 38 points for the Jayhawks. KJ Adams had 17 points and Gradey Dick had 16, though both of the key players were riding the bench at the finish after fouling out.

Both teams had chances to win in the final 30 seconds of regulation.

Kansas had possession first with 23 seconds to go and the game tied at 72, only to watch Harris lose control near the midcourt line – much like he did at the finish to overtime. The Wildcats grabbed the loose ball and pitched it ahead to Johnson, but the star forward missed a wild shot at the rim just before the buzzer sounded.

Johnson wouldn’t miss when he got another winning chance in overtime.

It was the most anticipated Sunflower Showdown in years, drawing a capacity crowd that snaked around Bramlage Coliseum hours before tipoff as it waited to get in. and it was the less-regarded Wildcats rather than the defending national champions that demonstrated early poise and precision.

Kansas State made its first five 3-pointers and shot 52% from the field in the first half. It stuffed Wilson, the Big 12’s top scorer, three times before he made a basket. And at one point, the Wildcats led by as many as 14 points.

“They were shooting lights-out,” Adams said.

Yet there’s a reason the Jayhawks entered the night 29-5 in Bramlage Coliseum.

They always seem to deal with the pressure there.

Wilson finally got on track, scoring 12 in the first half, and Adams found success with floaters in the lane, pouring in 15 by the break. The Jayhawks eventually closed down the perimeter, forcing Kansas State to unsuccessfully drive to the basket, and they slowly trimmed away at their deficit, closing within 44-39 by halftime.

Despite foul trouble, the Jayhawks eventually made it all the way back, taking their first lead since the opening minutes at 59-57 with just under 8 minutes to go. But neither team was willing to give up down the stretch.

That’s why 40 minutes wasn’t enough to decide it.

“The great thing about basketball is we’ll have another game in two days, three days. We can’t dwell on this,” Wilson said quietly. “We have another good team coming up and we’ll see them again. That’s the beauty of the Big 12.”


Kansas hung around despite foul trouble, going 24 of 34 on free throws and shooting 6 of 29 from the 3-point arc. The Jayhawks did it by turning around early turnover trouble and effectively getting to the rim on offense, though they weren’t able to do that given one last chance in overtime.

Kansas State relies heavily on Nowell to make things happen, particularly on offense, and his worst games have led to losses. He was held to 13 points by Butler and committed five turnovers against TCU. But despite scoring just four points against Kansas, he piled up seven assists with none more important than the last.


Kansas returns home to play No. 14 TCU on Saturday. Kansas State plays Texas Tech the same day.


AMES, Iowa (AP) Jaren Holmes scored 21 points and No. 12 Iowa State defeated No. 7 Texas 78-67 on Tuesday night.

Holmes hit seven of 13 shots, including two 3-pointers, and Gabe Kalscheur added 16 points.

“We earned this,” Holmes said. “We deserve this, because of our daily habits.”

Caleb Grill contributed 17 and Osun Osunniyi finished with 11 points and seven rebounds for the Cyclones (14-3, 5-1 Big 12).

“There is a rugged toughness to how we do it,” Iowa State coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “But there is a togetherness and a unity that are at a really, really special level with this group.”

Texas (15-3, 4-2) was undone by a second-half scoring drought that lasted nearly 4 1/2 minutes. Iowa State responded with an 8-0 run to seize control.

The Longhorns went 9 1/2 without making a shot from the floor.

“They made plays down the stretch,” Texas interim coach Rodney Terry said. “T.J. had his team ready to play today. Just a highly competitive game in the Big 12.”

A 3-pointer from Grill gave the Cyclones a 64-55 lead with 6:01 to play.

Christian Bishop led Texas with 12 points.

The Longhorns’ Tyrese Hunter scored 10 points – all in the first half – in his return to Ames, after transferring from Iowa State. Hunter was greeted with boos and an occasional obscene chant from the student section.

He responded with six quick points, matching his scoring mark from his previous three games.

“We’re Texas. We get everybody’s big game,” Terry said. “We looked at it like ‘you know what, it’s another opportunity to compete at the highest level.’ (Hunter) attacked it the same way.”

The Longhorns went on to build a 29-18 lead, before Iowa State answered with a 10-0 run, sparked by 3-pointers from Kalscheur and Grill.

Texas went the final 7:28 of the first half without a field goal, but only trailed 36-35.

“The first 10 minutes, they were the aggressor,” Otzelberger said. “That last 30 minutes, how we competed defensively, is the club we are and who we need to be for 40 minutes.”


Iowa State moved into a three-way tie atop the Big 12 standings with Tuesday’s win. The finish came about 30 minutes after Kansas’ 83-82 overtime loss at Kansas State, handing the Jayhawks their first conference loss.


Texas plays at West Virginia on Saturday night.

Iowa State visits Oklahoma State on Saturday.

************************COLLEGE ATHLETICS**************************


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The NCAA will ask a federal appeals court this week to block a lawsuit that seeks to have athletes treated as employees who are paid for their time, the latest high-profile challenge to amateurism in college sports.

The Division I athletes and former athletes who filed the suit being argued in Philadelphia on Wednesday are seeking hourly wages similar to those earned in work-study programs. They say the nation’s colleges are violating fair labor practices by failing to pay them for the time they put into their sports, which their attorney said can average more than 30 hours per week.

The attorney, Paul McDonald, said it’s not about huge payouts, but about the athletes sharing in some of the millions being spent on their coaches, college administrators and facilities. He suggested they might earn about $2,000 per month or $10,000 per school year for sports that stretch across five months.

“It’s about the kids having walking-around money that their parents don’t have to give them, out of their own pockets, just like their fellow students working at the bookstore, the library or at the games,” said McDonald, who filed the suit against the NCAA and member schools including Duke University, Villanova University and the University of Oregon. The NCAA has one eye on the court case but another on Congress, where it hopes to find relief after a series of legal setbacks involving its long-held amateurism model. They include the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision last year that lifted the ban on compensation beyond full-ride scholarships, and lets colleges give athletes education-related benefits such as computers and study abroad program fees.

“Traditions alone cannot justify the NCAA’s decision to build a massive money-raising enterprise on the backs of student athletes who are not fairly compensated,” Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in a concurrent opinion. “The NCAA is not above the law.”

That case stopped short of asking whether college athletes are employees entitled to direct pay but it’s the crux of the issue before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court panel on Wednesday.

Baylor University President Linda Livingston, speaking at the NCAA convention last week in San Antonio, called that notion “deeply misguided” and said it would force coaches to become their players’ bosses.

“Turning student-athletes into employees will have a sprawling, staggering and potentially catastrophic impact on college sports broadly,” said Livingston, chairperson of the NCAA’s Board of Governors. “We need Congress to affirm student-athletes’ unique relationship with their universities.”

It is a relationship under increasing scrutiny.

In September 2021, a top lawyer for the National Labor Relations Board said in a memo that college athletes should be treated as employees of the school. Last month, the NLRB said it will investigate an unfair labor practice complaint involving the rights of University of Southern California football and basketball players.

As of July 2021, college athletes can now earn money through use of their name, image or likeness and the budding industry now sees millions in deals. The NCAA is still working through its oversight of NIL payments after a series of states passed laws permitting them.

And players have meanwhile taken to social media to argue for a cut of some of the hundreds of millions of dollars that NCAA schools earn on sports through marketing, merchandise and television contracts, including one campaign on the eve of the 2021 NCAA basketball tournament that carried the hashtag #NotNCAAProperty.

The NCAA, at its convention, compared the athletes to students who perform in theater groups, orchestras and other campus activities without pay.

“If you’re going to say that a scholarship athlete is an employee, then why isn’t a scholarship trombone player an employee? Why isn’t a scholarship mathematician an employee?” asked incoming NCAA president Charlie Baker, the former Massachusetts governor. “Remember the vast majority of the kids who play sports in college do not play sports in school where schools make money on sports.”

McDonald said those types of campus groups are student led, while athletes have their time controlled by their coaches in a way that resembles employment.

“The most controlled kids on any campus are the student-athletes,” he said.

**************************NBA NEWS*****************************


MILWAUKEE (AP) Jrue Holiday scored a season-high 37 points and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Toronto Raptors 130-122 on Tuesday night.

The Bucks, playing without Giannis Antetokounmpo for the fourth consecutive game, shot 19 for 39 (49%) from 3-point range.

Grayson Allen added 25 points, hitting four of five 3-pointers.

Fred Van Vleet led Toronto with 39 points, tying his season high. Gary Trent Jr. added 28 points and Pascal Siakam had 23.

Play got chippy and action was halted at 6:40 of the fourth quarter with Milwaukee leading 113-110 after an altercation near the Bucks’ basket between Trent and Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez. After a lengthy review by officials, Lopez was whistled for two technical fouls and ejected. Technicals were also called on Toronto’s O.G. Anunoby and Toronto assistant coach Jamaal Magloire on the play. No foul shots were awarded.

Bill Kennedy, the crew chief for the three referees, told a pool reporter that Lopez was given one technical for removing Trent’s headband and one for pushing Anunoby. Anunoby received a technical for pushing Lopez and Magloire for pushing Milwaukee’s Bobby Portis, Kennedy said.

“I can’t expect the refs to get it right,” Lopez said of his first career ejection. “If they’re not going to get it right during the game, why are they going to get it right when they replay it, or any other calls. It’s what it is.”

Lopez scored 15 of his 19 points in the third quarter before being ejected.

The Bucks enter a three-day break having gone 2-2 without Antetokounmpo. The two-time MVP and league’s fourth-leading scorer has left knee soreness. Khris Middleton missed his 17th straight game with right knee soreness.

After a tight first three quarters, Milwaukee never gave up the lead in the fourth, getting nine points from Holiday.

“I know when Giannis and Khris are out, I have to be aggressive at some point, touch the paint as much as I can, try to get as many 3s as I can for other players and myself,” Holiday said.

Holiday also had seven assists, six rebounds and two assists. It was the second straight game that Holiday posted a season-high in points. He had 35 on Monday in the Bucks’ win over Indiana.

“Obviously we’re a little bit down, a little bit undermanned and he’s just stepped up in a big way,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “It’s two games in a row, just vintage Jrue Holiday. He just seems like he’s got a bounce, he’s got a pop. The way he’s shooting the ball and when gets to the rim and to the paint and gives us that presence, too. He’s doing everything.”

The Bucks led by 10 points after the first quarter and the Raptors led by seven at halftime. The Bucks seized the lead in the third period and carried an eight-point advantage into the final quarter.


Raptors: Scottie Barnes had scored 20 or more points in four of his five previous games. Barnes “has just decided to play more aggressive and that’s good,” Nurse said. “We’re finding that he can bring it and be aggressive, we can play through him a little bit, let him kind of play pass-first and if that isn’t there let him be aggressive after that, and play through the low post a little bit, as well.” Barnes scored 14 points and had 13 rebounds Tuesday.

Bucks: Budenholzer said he expects Antetokounmpo “to be ready to go soon, but we’ve just got to take it day by day with him. He’s doing a lot of work in the weight room, he’s doing some work on the court, he’s doing some of his warmups.”


Raptors: At Minnesota on Thursday.

Bucks: At Cleveland on Saturday.


SAN ANTONIO (AP) Keldon Johnson had a career-high 36 points and 11 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs snapped a five-game skid with a 106-98 win over the injury slowed Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night.

“A ton of energy, a ton of confidence, that’s who Keldon is,” San Antonio rookie forward Jeremy Sochan said. “He is great. We all trust him.”

Sochan added 16 points in a physical outing that included a dustup with Brooklyn forward Markieff Morris.

The Nets lost their third straight. They have dropped every game since Kevin Durant suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee. Kyrie Irving was a late scratch due to a sore right calf.

Johnson was 11 for 26 from the field, including two key baskets in the fourth quarter. He hit a 3-pointer following a missed 3 by Seth Curry, giving the Spurs an 87-82 lead. One possession after Nic Claxton blocked his dunk attempt, Johnson threw down a one-handed dunk for an 89-82 lead.

“It felt great. I can’t lie,” Johnson said of his late 3. “They called timeout right after that. I was hyped. My coaches and teammates put the ball in my hands, and I just make something happen.”

Ben Simmons had a triple-double of 10 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists for Brooklyn in the opener of a five-game trip. T.J. Warren added 19 points and Claxton had 15 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks and four assists.

A flare-up midway through the second quarter between Morris and Sochan momentarily sparked the Nets. Sochan held three fingers up near Morris’ face after draining a 3-pointer that gave San Antonio a 39-34 lead with 5:20 remaining in the half. The Nets’ veteran verbally let the rookie know that wasn’t appreciated and then delivered a shoulder into Sochan’s chest on the ensuing possession. The play resulted in an offensive and technical foul on Morris, as well as a Flagrant 1 foul on Sochan, who pulled Morris to the court on the play.

“It’s a different era, man,” Morris said. “You seen the play before that he makes a 3 and he’s pointing in my face. `You made a shot. What is that about?’ So, I mean, I set a hard screen and then he grabbed me. He actually did like a wrestling move on me. I said that’s impressive, I told him. It was impressive because he used a lot of force and he kind of flipped me. He got me.”

Brooklyn went on a 15-3 run following the dustup, erasing yet another sluggish start.

That momentum stopped in the third quarter as the Nets were outscored 25-17.

The Nets were scoreless for four minutes after Simmons made the game’s opening basket on a driving hook shot 23 seconds in. Simmons opened the game shooting 2 for 5 after a series of spin moves and drives ended with most of his shots rolling off the rim.

“With Kevin and Ky out, we have a lot of different lineups that we’re not 100% familiar with,” Nets wing Joe Harris said.

San Antonio led Brooklyn 27-15 after first quarter. It was the fewest points scored by a Spurs opponent in the first quarter this season. The previous low was 23 points by Minnesota on Oct. 30. The Nets were slowed by seven turnovers.


Nets: Irving was not initially listed on the injury report, but was ruled out prior to the game. Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said he does not believe the injury is serious and is hopeful Irving can play Thursday in Phoenix. . Brooklyn’s season-low output in the first quarter is 14 points, on Oct. 19 against New Orleans, and Nov. 23 against Toronto. Its season low for any quarter is 13 points in the third against Miami on Jan. 8.

Spurs: San Antonio has not won consecutive games since winning three straight Dec. 8-12.


Nets: At Phoenix on Thursday.

Spurs: Host Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.


DENVER (AP) Nikola Jokic had 36 points as part of his 13th triple-double of the season to offset a 44-point performance from Damian Lillard, and the Denver Nuggets won their 14th straight home game by topping the Portland Trail Blazers 122-113 on Tuesday night.

Jokic, who was 13 of 14 from the floor, finished with 12 rebounds and 10 assists. The Nuggets improved to 13-0 this season when the two-time reigning NBA MVP records a triple-double.

“We’re going in the right direction,” Jokic said. “We’re playing with a lot of confidence.”

The Nuggets were without head coach Michael Malone, who missed the game after entering the league’s health and safety protocols. Acting coach David Adelman stepped in and the Western Conference-leading Nuggets didn’t miss a beat.

In the locker room after the game, the team dumped a bucket of cold water on Adelman to celebrate.

“It was cold. No, it was cool,” cracked Adelman, who’s the son of longtime NBA coach Rick Adelman. “The guys were excited.”

This was a game that, at times, turned into the Jokic vs. Lillard Show. It was Lillard’s 214th career game with 30 or more points.

But Jokic proved too difficult to contain.

“You call plays for him and those plays sometimes turn into team-conceptual basketball because of him. He gets guys involved,” Adelman explained.

Michael Porter Jr. had 23 points and Jamal Murray added 17 for Denver, which improved to 20-3 at home as a capacity crowd braved a snowstorm that was starting to hit the city.

The Trail Blazers dropped their eighth straight road game.

Denver led by 13 points in the fourth quarter but saw the Blazers slice into the lead. A Bruce Brown dunk helped spark another run by the Nuggets to pull away.

After the game, Lillard voiced his frustration with the officiating late in the game.

“It’s a lot of stuff that we could have done better, but down the stretch I just felt like the refs just decided the game,” said Lillard, who drew a technical foul late in the fourth quarter. “Obviously it’s going to be bumps, it’s going to be a physical game, both teams working hard to win a game. We get down the stretch and it was just like everything we did was a foul. That’s just what it seemed like to me.”

This time, there was no need for any late-game theatrics by Jokic, who hit a last-second, game-winning 3-pointer against Orlando on Sunday.

Lillard had a big first half with 30 points. He’s no stranger to turning in an explosive half against Denver. He had 32 points in the second half against the Nuggets on Dec. 8.

“He’s an all-time, all-time player,” Adelman said of Lillard. “He’s something.”


Blazers: F Jerami Grant had 18 points, while C Jusuf Nurkic grabbed 10 rebounds. … Lillard was 14 of 14 from the free throw line.

Nuggets: F Aaron Gordon had 11 points. … Denver closed out the season series against Portland with a 3-1 mark. … It was Jokic’s 89th career triple-double.


While in town, Denver native and Blazers coach Chauncey Billups attended a pep rally at his old high school, George Washington, where the basketball court was named in his honor. His daughter accompanied him to the event.

“I have some great memories obviously there,” Billups said. “It’s where it all started. It’s where I decided that I was going to take this basketball thing very, very serious and see where it took me. It was fun to go back over there – see the court, see it named after me, the logo on the court. It was cool.”


Blazers: Start a six-game homestand Thursday against Philadelphia.

Nuggets: Host Minnesota on Wednesday night.


LOS ANGELES (AP) Joel Embiid set the tone with 26 points in the first half. Philadelphia’s bench came up big in the late going.

Embiid finished with 41 points and the 76ers recovered after blowing a 14-point, first-half lead to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 120-110 on Tuesday night for their third straight win.

“I was just trying to start off strong because what I’ve come to find out is that my energy kind of drives the whole team,” Embiid said. “If I’m at least being aggressive offensively and defensively, my teammates are going to pick up no matter if I make shots or not.”

Embiid had nine rebounds and made 15 of 18 free throws before leaving the game with 2:53 remaining. Philadelphia fans chanted “MVP! MVP!” as he raised both arms to encourage the cheers.

Embiid had his fifth straight game with at least 30 points.

“It wouldn’t be happening without my teammates,” he said. “James (Harden) is doing a good job of making it easy for me. Guys knocking down shots opens up a lot for me to go out and dominate.”

Tyrese Maxey added 22 points off the bench. Tobias Harris had 20 points as the 76ers closed out a Los Angeles sweep, having edged the Lakers by one point two nights earlier.

After getting outscored 37-27 in the third, the Sixers dominated the fourth. They outscored the Clippers 30-21 in a reversal of the third when LA rallied from 11 points down.

“I told the bench, `It’s very important we build this lead back,’ and that’s what we did,” Maxey said. “Everybody is buying into their roles.”

Maxey carried the 76ers early with Embiid resting. He hit three consecutive 3-pointers and had a pair of free throws to extend the 76ers’ lead to 101-93.

“I liked how we closed the game,” Embiid said. “Tyrese took over to start the fourth. By the time we had to come in, we just had to finish the job.”

The Sixers ran off 11 in a row, including four by Embiid and a 3-pointer by Georges Niang, that extended their lead to 115-98.

“That stretch was huge,” Harris said.

Kawhi Leonard scored 27 points to lead the Clippers. Paul George had 13 points and eight rebounds in his return after missing five in a row because of right hamstring soreness. They’ve lost eight of 10.

Leonard and George combined to score 12 of the Clippers’ first 19 points to open the third. Marcus Morris’ jumper tied the game at 71-all while the Clippers’ defense got stops.

The Clippers took their first lead of the game, 79-78, on Ivica Zubac’s hook over Embiid. On their next possession, Terance Mann scored over Embiid.

Leonard scored four in a row before the 76ers led 90-89 on a pair of free throws by Maxey going into the fourth.

With Embiid and James Harden on the bench, the Sixers ran off seven straight points to open the second and lead 41-27.

The Clippers rallied to get within five, but Embiid scored 15 points over the final 7:13, capped by a 3-pointer, to keep the Sixers ahead 65-52 at halftime.


76ers: Embiid notched his NBA-leading sixth straight game with at least 30 points. He had 35 points and 11 rebounds against the Lakers on Sunday. … Harden’s streak of six straight games with double figures in points and assists ended. He finished with six points and nine assists. … Improved to 23-1 when leading after three quarters, second-best record in the league. … Shot 59% in first half (23 of 39).

Clippers: John Wall (abdominal soreness) is out indefinitely and Luke Kennard (right calf soreness) sat out his sixth straight game.


76ers: At Portland on Thursday.

Clippers: At Utah on Wednesday to open a four-game trip.

**************************NHL NEWS****************************


CHICAGO (AP) Seth Jones was frustrated after he missed the net on a prime scoring opportunity in the second period.

The All-Star defenseman felt a lot better when the game was over.

Jones scored two goals, including the winner 2:24 into overtime, and the Chicago Blackhawks rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.

Philipp Kurashev had a goal and two assists for Chicago, which was coming off an ugly 8-5 loss to Seattle on Saturday. Connor Murphy also scored, and Petr Mrazek made 30 saves.

The Blackhawks (12-26-4) won for the fourth time in five games, closing out a 4-3-0 homestand.

“We’ve been home for a while, so we wanted to leave a good taste in the fans’ mouth and give them a show and give them a win tonight,” Jones said.

Buffalo (21-19-3) lost for the fifth time in six games. Tage Thompson, Victor Olofsson and Peyton Krebs scored for the Sabres, and Craig Anderson stopped 22 shots.

Chicago trailed 3-1 after two periods, but Jones rallied the Blackhawks in the third. Kurashev got a piece of Jones’ shot for his sixth goal at 1:34, and Jones tied it at 3 with a long wrist shot from the from the point with 56 seconds left.

Anderson was screened by Blackhawks forward Tyler Johnson on Jones’ third goal of the season, and the goaltender felt there should have been an interference call.

“On the replay, from what I’m seeing, obviously I don’t make the calls, but his left foot’s in the crease, his elbow goes into my glove, not allowing my glove to make the save,” said Anderson, a native of nearby Park Ridge.

Buffalo defenseman Mattias Samuelsson had a shot go off the post before Jones’ tying score.

“Couple goalposts in the third period, so it wasn’t like we sat back in the third period by any means,” Sabres coach Don Granato said. “But we didn’t bear down on our chances.”

A streaking Jones took a pass from Johnson in overtime, and his backhand got under Anderson before sliding over the line. Jones yelled and pumped his arm after the puck went in.

“It’s nice to see a few go in,” he said.

Chicago jumped in front on Murphy’s fourth of the season. The defenseman got a nice pass from Kurashev and beat Anderson with a wrist shot from the right circle 8:41 into the first.

Olofsson tied it at 1 when he knocked in a loose puck in front at 12:15, and Buffalo grabbed the lead on Thompson’s goal with 6.9 seconds left in the first. Jeff Skinner passed it over to Thompson, who eluded Jones before poking it in.

It was Olofsson’s third goal in his last four games and No. 18 on the season. He has five goals in five career games against Chicago.

Thompson scored his 32nd goal in 43 games after he had a career-best 38 in 78 games last season. He had no goals and two assists in his previous five games.

The Sabres opened a 3-1 lead 6:21 into the second when Krebs converted a slick backhand on a breakaway. Blackhawks forward Max Domi set up Krebs’ first career short-handed goal with an ugly turnover.


Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock was in the mix to start, but he was placed in concussion protocol before the morning skate. Jaxson Stauber was recalled from the minors to back up Mrazek.

Stalock sustained a concussion Nov. 1 against the Islanders, and then returned on Dec. 23 against Columbus. Chicago coach Luke Richardson said Stalock was “bumped in practice” on Monday.

“You never know how things react with people but we’re just going to take precaution and put him on that protocol right now and just hopefully it settles down quicker than last time,” Richardson said.


Sabres: Host the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

Blackhawks: At Philadelphia on Thursday night.


TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Nick Schmaltz and Nick Bjugstad scored on Arizona’s first two shootout attempts and the Coyotes beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 on Tuesday night to end a nine-game losing streak.

Bjugstad, Travis Boyd and Dylan Guenther scored in regulation for the Coyotes. Lawson Crouse had three assists, and Connor Ingram made 37 saves. The Coyotes fell behind 3-1 early in the third period before Boyd and Guenther scored 1:10 apart to force overtime.

“We’re going to play a full 60 minutes no matter what is going on,” Boyd said. “It’s an identity of our team. We might not go out there and out-skill a team every night, but that’s no excuse for not being able to work harder than the other team. To be more resilient. To fight through. We go down 3-1, we could have packed it early.

“I think we’ve been playing better than some of the results that we’ve been getting the last week or so.”

Ingram has started two straight games for the first time this season. He stopped 25 shots in a 2-1 loss Saturday in Minnesota.

“It’s a learning curve for a young goalie who has always been No. 1,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. “You play two, three times a week. You have a rhythm. When you are a backup goalie and you play a bad game, you need to live with for 10 days, two weeks. It’s tough mentally. Now he has a chance to play a little bit more because we play more games, and that’s helps him to get going and be in a more regular situation.”

Dylan Larkin scored his team-leading 15th goal for Detroit. Pius Suter and David Perron also scored for the Red Wings in the second game of a back-to-back. They have lost six of eight.

“Loved their effort,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said. “Probably got a little bit in the third there, which is perfectly understandable in a back-to-back. Ran into a really good goalie tonight. A little unfortunate witn not being able to finish, but the way we played tonight, three goals on the road should be enough.”

The Coyotes had only eight goals in their previous six games before breaking out in the third period. They scored the final three goals of the game while playing their third straight one-goal game.

After a sluggish first two periods, each team scored twice in a 3:03 span early in the third. Suter and Perron scored 58 seconds apart to give the Red Wings a 3-1 lead, and Boyd and Guenther countered in the 1:10 span to tie it.

Guenther scored into an open side at 7:53 after Crouse’s shot from the left circle hit the post and caromed to him.

Magnus Hellberg made 20 saves for the Red Wings in his first start in five games. Hellstrom stopped Guenther’s point-blank shot 3:32 of the third period, the best scoring chance for either team before overtime.

“I’m really disappointed right now,” Hellberg said. “Obviously, when you have the lead 3-1 of course you want to keep them out and win the game in regulation.”


Red Wings D Robert Hagg (undisclosed) was scratched for a second straight game after being activated Monday. Injuries have limited him to one appearance in the last 28 games. . The Coyotes are in a stretch of 15 games in 26 days, a schedule that includes three back-to-backs and no more than one day off between games. . Arizona has a six-game points streak (5-0-1) against Detroit, its longest active streak against any opponent. . Coyotes F Liam O’Brien (upper body) missed his 16th straight game.


Red Wings: At Vegas on Thursday night.

Coyotes: Host Washington on Thursday night.

****************************MEN’S TENNIS******************************


MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) The supportive signs and dozens of Serbian flags and loud chants of Novak Djokovic’s nickname filled Rod Laver Arena, providing a warm welcome marking his return to the Australian Open – a tournament he has dominated in the past but one he could not enter a year ago.

Djokovic acknowledged the greeting with a quick wave of his left hand when he stepped out onto the court at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, then got down to business by playing quite well and only briefly showing a hint of trouble from the balky left hamstring that was heavily taped.

With his parents and brother in the stands at Melbourne Park for the first time since he won his first Grand Slam title there 15 years ago, Djokovic began the first-round match with an ace at 125 mph (201 kph). He held at love there, took control of that set with a 12-point run and was on his way to a 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 victory over 75th-ranked Roberto Carballes Baena that finished after midnight.

“Unbelievable atmosphere. Thank you so much for staying this late, everybody. Also, thank you for giving me such a welcoming and a reception I can only dream of,” Djokovic told the crowd in an on-court interview. “I really feel very happy that I’m back in Australia and I’m back here on the court where I had the biggest success in my career.”

Djokovic’s participation is one of the chief story lines, perhaps the MAIN one, of the first Grand Slam tournament of 2023. That’s because Djokovic never got to play a point last season at the site of nine of his major championships, because his visa was blocked and he was deported from Australia after a legal saga tied to his lack of any vaccination for COVID-19.

He never did get the shots and also missed the U.S. Open because of it. But Australia’s government has since relaxed coronavirus-related restrictions, allowing Djokovic to come to the country, and also waived a rule that could have stopped him from getting in for three years following a visa revocation. He has insisted that whole episode in January 2022 deeply affected him but that he does not hold a grudge; there certainly did not seem to be any hard feelings toward him Tuesday.

Spectators who politely applauded Carballes Baena when he entered the stadium stood and roared for the 35-year-old Djokovic. A sing-song, soccer-style chant of “Ole, ole, ole, ole!” followed by the two-syllable moniker “Nole!” (pronounced NO-leh) echoed under the arena’s closed retractable roof, and would be repeated over and over: during the warmup period; when Djokovic switched sides of the net after the first game; when he was in the midst of climbing out of a love-40 hole in the first set (the only three break points he would face all night); when he broke to lead 4-3 in the second; etc., etc., etc. There were more of those cheers at the end, and Djokovic smiled broadly.

Grading his play, Djokovic said he found he was “kind of going up and down” in the second set, but didn’t give his opponent “too much chance to breathe” in the third. As for his hamstring, Djokovic said he was apprehensive about it going into the match, but afterward this was his assessment: “The leg is good. It’s not ideal, but it’s getting there.”

This was not necessarily Djokovic at his absolute best, and he appeared to show some frustration early on when he kept glaring and muttering in the direction of coach Goran Ivanisevic and the rest of his entourage in the stands. But Djokovic did not necessarily need to be at his absolute best. He certainly produced strong enough tennis to take the initial step toward what he hopes will be a 22nd Grand Slam title to tie rival Rafael Nadal’s record for the most in tennis history by a man.

Djokovic, who has spent more weeks at No. 1 in the ATP rankings than anyone, also has a chance to return to that spot after the upcoming two weeks; the person presently occupying that perch, Carlos Alcaraz, is sitting out the Australian Open with a leg injury.


MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Metal hip, bloody knee and all, Andy Murray produced his biggest victory in years.

Murray built a huge lead, let it disappear completely, then needed to save a match point against Matteo Berrettini – who is nearly a full decade younger and ranked more than 50 places higher – before managing to pull out a 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (10-6) triumph across more than 4 1/2 epic hours on Tuesday in the Australian Open’s first round.

“The last few years, I’ve certainly questioned myself at times. There’s certainly a lot of people (who) questioned me and my ability, whether I could still perform at the biggest events and the biggest matches,” said the 35-year-old Murray, a former No. 1 now ranked No. 66. “I felt very proud of myself after the match. That’s not something that I generally felt over the years at the end of tennis matches.”

This was the three-time major champion’s first defeat of a top-20 opponent at a Grand Slam tournament since 2017. That was before Murray thought he would need to retire – and even was given a career send-off at Melbourne Park in 2019, when he exited in the first round a year after his first hip operation.

After a second surgery inserted an artificial hip, Murray decided to try to continue playing. This sort of evening was likely what he had in mind when he pressed on – and when he spent three weeks in Boca Raton, Florida, practicing under the tutelage of coach Ivan Lendl during the offseason.

“I’ve put a lot of work into the last few months with my team to give me the opportunity to perform on stadiums like this, in matches like this, against players like Matteo,” Murray told a crowd that roared with approval for him. “And it paid off tonight.”

Oh, yes, what a performance it was, filled with the sort of grit that defined much of Murray’s time on tour, that carried him to championships at the U.S. Open in 2012 and at Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016 and to two Olympic singles gold medals.

Murray is also a five-time runner-up at Melbourne Park, with four losses in the final to Novak Djokovic and one to Roger Federer.

“He’s a great champion. I said it so many times,” said Berrettini, an Italian who is one of the players chronicled in the new “Break Point” Netflix docuseries. “Personally, was great to play with that atmosphere against him. Just a great match. Unfortunately it didn’t go my way.”

The night session matches that followed in Rod Laver Arena couldn’t possibly equal the intensity and drama. First came a 7-6 (8), 4-6, 6-1 win for the No. 2-seeded woman, Ons Jabeur, over Tamara Zidansek, followed by nine-time champion Djokovic’s 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 defeat of Roberto Carballes Baena in his return to the Australian Open after being deported from the country a year ago for not being vaccinated against COVID-19. In a match that ended after 1 a.m., the second-seeded man, two-time major finalist Casper Ruud, got past Tomas Machac 6-3, 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-3.

Djokovic received a loud and warm reception when he entered the court from fans who chanted his nickname and waved dozens of Serbian flags.

There were moments Tuesday when Murray played as he did a long time ago, diving to hit a volley before slamming to the blue court – scraping his right leg – or sprinting to somehow reach seemingly unreachable shots, then looking up into the stands at Lendl and shaking a fist while yelling, “Let’s go! Come on now!”

Murray raced through the first two sets in less than 1 1/2 hours before the big-hitting, big-serving Berrettini turned things around and took the match to a fifth, even coming within one point of victory at 5-4 in that set but faltering and flubbing an easy backhand.

By beating the 13th-seeded Berrettini, who was the runner-up at Wimbledon in 2021, Murray became only the fifth man in the Open era with 50 match wins at the Australian Open, joining Djokovic, Federer, Rafael Nadal and Stefan Edberg.

They played under a closed roof at Laver because of temperatures that soared up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) and caused suspensions of play that lasted hours in matches on smaller courts that can’t be covered. Later, a rainstorm came, creating another pause in the action, and several matches were halted in progress, with plans to resume on Wednesday.

This was the most-anticipated match of the afternoon session and lasted so long it finished after 7 p.m. local time, most definitely living up to the hype.

“Some of the tennis at the end was really good,” Murray said. “It felt like that playing; I don’t know what it looked like.”

Looked terrific, Andy.

Murray and Berrettini concluded with the first-to-10-points, win-by-2 tiebreaker formula that all Grand Slam events adopted for the fifth sets of men’s matches and third sets of women’s. Murray said it was his first experience with that relatively new format.

Make no mistake: He was far better in that decisive section of the match, jumping out to leads of 5-0 and 8-3. It ended in a bit of anticlimactic fashion: Murray’s service return clipped the net cord and trickled over for a winner.

“Just a bit lucky at the end,” said Murray, who next will meet Thanasi Kokkinakis or Fabio Fognini. Their match was suspended for the night with Kokkinakis five points from winning.

Murray has wondered aloud whether all of the work he put in to get back to a level of play that satisfied him was worth it.

“I need to give myself some credit, because the last few years have been tough,” Murray said. “I’ve lost a few of those matches, those type of matches, in the Slams the last couple years.”

He arrived in Australia having lost in the first or second round in seven of his nine most recent Grand Slam appearances. The other two ended in the third round.

For now, this one continues.

“It’s impressive what he could do after so many surgeries, after all the kilometers that he ran in his career. It’s impressive,” Berrettini said. “It just shows how much he loves the game, how much he loves these kind of matches.”


MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) A clearly hurting Rafael Nadal lost his second-round match at the Australian Open to Mackenzie McDonald 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 on Wednesday, abruptly ending his title defense and bid for a record-extending 23rd Grand Slam trophy.

It was not immediately clear what was bothering the 35-year-old Spaniard, but he pulled up awkwardly at the end of a point late in the second set against the 65th-ranked McDonald.

The No. 1-seeded Nadal was visited by a trainer on the sideline, then left the court for a medical timeout. Up in the stands, his wife wiped away tears. Nadal returned to play, but was physically compromised and not his usual indefatigable self.

“He’s an incredible champion. He’s never going to give up, regardless of the situation, so even closing it out against a top guy like that is always tough,” said McDonald, a 27-year-old American who won NCAA championships in singles and doubles for UCLA in 2016. “I kept focusing on myself in the end and got through.”

This is Nadal’s earliest exit at any Grand Slam tournament since bowing out in the first round in Melbourne in 2016 against No. 45 Fernando Verdasco. That also made Verdasco the lowest-ranked player to defeat Nadal in Australia – until, of course, McDonald on Wednesday.

McDonald has never been past the fourth round at a major tournament. In his lone previous matchup against Nadal, at the 2020 French Open, McDonald won a total of just four games in a lopsided loss.

“He kicked my butt,” McDonald recalled Wednesday.

A year ago, Nadal won the Australian Open for the second time to earn his 21st major championship, then raised his total to 22 – the most for a man – at Roland Garros.

He is currently ranked No. 2 but was the top seed at Melbourne Park because No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz is sitting out the Australian Open with a bad leg.

Nadal has dealt with a series of health issues recently.

He needed pain-killing injections for his left foot on the way to winning the French Open last June, pulled out of Wimbledon last July before the semifinals because of a torn abdominal muscle and also dealt with a problem with rib cartilage in 2022.

Nadal’s exit drains the tournament of yet more star power. In addition to his absence and Alcaraz’s, 2022 Wimbledon runner-up Nick Kyrgios pulled out because his left knee needs arthroscopic surgery, four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka is off the tour while she is pregnant, two-time major champ Simona Halep is serving a provisional doping ban and Venus Williams is hurt.

That is all on top of this: The 2023 edition of the Australian Open is the first Grand Slam tournament since Serena Williams and Roger Federer announced their retirements.

Nadal arrived in Melbourne with an 0-2 record this season, making him 1-6 dating to September, when he lost to Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round of the U.S. Open.

Even during a first-round victory Monday, a four-setter against a cramping Jack Draper, Nadal never quite seemed to be at his chase-every-ball, put-every-high-spin-shot-on-target best. He looked, somehow, his age.

The same was the case from the outset against McDonald.

“I’m really happy with how I started that match. I thought I was playing really well, serving great, returning well, too,” McDonald said. “So I was really taking it to him.”

**************************MLB NEWS**************************


NEW YORK (AP) Having failed to land Carlos Correa, Mets general manager Billy Eppler says he is satisfied with New York’s offense heading into spring training.

“We have a strong and deep lineup,” Eppler said Tuesday during a news conference to introduce catcher Omar Narvaez and reintroduce reliever Adam Ottavino. “I’m confident in our group’s ability to score runs but, look, this goes without saying, and I think I’ve said in the past relating to any one of the areas of the organization: You can always be better.”

Correa agreed to a $350 million, 13-year contract with the San Francisco Giants on Dec. 13. After the Giants became concerned about a 2014 ankle injury, the Mets reached a $315 million, 12-year deal on Dec. 21.

New York then had similar concerns and offered to guaranteed only $157.5 million, prompting Correa to stay with the Minnesota Twins for a $200 million, six-year contract that could be worth $270 million over a decade.

“I’m not going to go into any detail there just out of privacy reasons as well out of respect to Carlos,” Eppler saId. “I’m not going to elaborate on it.”

The Mets were fifth among the 30 teams in runs last season in their first season under manager Buck Showalter and second in on-base percentage. When they first reached agreement with Correa, Mets owner Steve Cohen told the New York Post: “We needed one more thing, and this is it.”

Correa would have played third base for New York, which lost to San Diego in the first round of the playoffs. Eduardo Escobar remains the incumbent after hitting .240 with 20 homers and 69 RBIs. Rookie Brett Baty made his big league debut in August after Luis Guillorme got hurt, and Baty had two homers and five RBIs in in 11 games.

“These will be conversations that Buck and I’ll have with the staff as kind of camp goes on,” Eppler said. “I will remind people that Escobar had a really strong year last year. Brett’s callup was borne out of necessity last year. … I don’t want to kind of forecast what will come at the end of March.”

Ottavino, a 37-year-old right-hander, joined the Mets ahead of last season. The side-armer had a 2.06 ERA in 66 relief appearances with 79 strikeouts and 16 walks in 65 2/3 innings.

He became a free agent and returned for a $14.5 million, two-year contract. He gets a $7.75 million salary this year, of which $4 million is deferred, and the deal includes a $6.75 million player option for 2024, of which $4 million would be deferred. The deferred money wouldn’t be fully paid until 2035.

“Ultimately got to a number that I thought was a little more representative of my value,” Ottavino said. “Have to wait a little while to collect on all of that, but that’s perfectly fine.”

Narvaez agreed to a deal paying $8 million this year and that includes a $7 million player option for 2024. Narvaez, who turns 31 in February, was an All-Star in 2021 with Milwaukee before batting just .206 with four homers and 23 RBIs in 84 games for the Brewers last season.

He is looking forward to catching Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander.

“It is an honor to be able to behind the plate for them,” Narvaez said.

The Mets are moving in the Citi Field fence for the third time, reducing right-center by 8 1/2 feet to create additional fan gathering space. The team brought in the wall by as much as 12 feet after 2011 and lowered the fence height from 16 to 8 feet in left, then brought in fences by 3 to 11 feet in front of the bullpens in right field ahead of 2015.

“While hitting a 3-pointer is cool every now and again,” Eppler said, “I like contact. I like on-base. I’m kind of greedy. I like it all, but I want to be able to beat anybody in any particular way.”


BOSTON (AP) — Right-hander Connor Seabold was traded by the Boston Red Sox to the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday for a player to be named or cash.

The 26-year-old Seabold was designated for assignment last week to clear room on the 40-man roster following the signing of Corey Kluber to a $10 million, one-year contract.

Seabold spent most of last season with Triple-A Worcester, going 8-2 with a 3.32 ERA and 89 strikeouts. He made six career major league appearances with Boston, allowing 25 earned runs in 21.1 innings with 19 strikeouts.

***************************MEN’S GOLF***************************


HONOLULU (AP) — Activity on the practice range at Waialae used to be predictable. Instead of standing behind players to watch their swings, the more common move was to stand to the side and try to inconspicuously look at the front of the golf bag to see whose name was on it.

Such was the case this year at the Sony Open, even though it was the 11th tournament of the PGA Tour’s final wraparound season.

It was the first time the tour went from an elevated event (Sentry Tournament of Champions with a $15 million purse) to a regular event (Sony Open at $7.9 million).

And it might have the first glimpse of the PGA Tour future.

While 19 of the 38 players who finished at Kapalua made the 22-minute flight from Maui to Honolulu, no one was among the top 10 in the world ranking. The four players from the top 20 — Jordan Spieth, Tom Kim, Billy Horschel and Sungjae Im — all missed the cut.

This is what the PGA Tour could look like going forward. Its response to the threat of Saudi-funded LIV Golf is a schedule that brings together the biggest names as often as possible. No telling what that does to the rest of the tournaments on the schedule.

There remains a lot of work to be done ahead of 2024. Along with when tournaments will be played — this could be a major shakeup — the key decisions are the size of the field, whether there will be 36-hole cut and access for the lesser names who play great golf.

The Hawaii swing was an easy target for the worst-case scenario.

One tournament had only PGA Tour winners from the year before and anyone who made it to the Tour Championship at East Lake. The field was 39 players, with two Irish golfers (Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry) skipping. Three of the top four players going into the final day had won three of the last five majors.

The other had 144 players — the rounds didn’t finish on Thursday and Friday because of darkness — and several of them have yet to leave their mark on the game.

It was a “Who’s Who” at Kapalua and a “Who’s That?” at Waialae.

For those who might have watched in the small space of time between NFL wild-card games Saturday evening, they would have seen a leaderboard in which nine of the top 15 had never won on the PGA Tour, and only two from that group (Chris Kirk and Si Woo Kim) had won more than once.

Oddly enough, both tournaments were compelling and featured comebacks.

Jon Rahm won at Kapalua despite trailing two-time major champion Collin Morikawa by six shots on the back nine, posting a 63 on the final day.

Kim made up his three-shot deficit in three holes (he missed a 4-foot birdie on the par-3 fourth) against Hayden Buckley, and then the final 30 minutes was good theater. Buckley made a 15-foot birdie putt on the 16th to take the lead. Kim heard the cheers from 200 yards away, figured it was birdie or bust, and chipped in from 30 feet from behind the 17th green to tie him.

On the par-5 18th, Kim flushed a 5-iron from the fairway bunker that ran onto the front of the green for a two-putt birdie from 40 feet for a 64. Buckley couldn’t get up-and-down from a tough spot short and right of the green.

Kim was 21 when he won The Players Championship in 2017 against the strongest and deepest field in golf. This one didn’t feel any easier.

“No matter what field it is, it’s so hard to win on the PGA Tour,” Kim said after collecting his fourth tour title. “Still has a lot of good players, big name or not. Still all the players really good out here.”

The American Express is this week in the California desert, and no one will be talking about the perception of a two-tour system because it has five of the top seven players in the world. That includes Masters champion Scottie Scheffler and Patrick Cantlay, both of whom will have a chance to reach No. 1 in the world.

For the players who aren’t getting a little extra under the table — the unofficial term is “cocktail party,” not appearance money — some habits die hard. The desert has always been a good place to start the year. It typically is as close as golf gets to an indoor sport because of the weather.

Torrey Pines will have it share of stars, as will Pebble Beach, until the PGA Tour wraps up the West Coast Swing with elevated events in Phoenix and Los Angeles.

At the Sony Open, Matt Kuchar was as guilty as anyone not knowing some of the players, even after playing three times in the fall against fields when the stars sat out.

“I feel like I get until at least through the West Coast before I feel mostly familiar with getting the names right and the faces right,” Kuchar said. “It’s exciting to see the new crop every year come up and try to figure out which of the guys are going to be here to stay and which of the guys are going to maybe not stay on top of the tour.”




Site: La Quinta, California.

Courses: PGA West-Pete Dye Stadium (Yardage: 7,187. Par: 72); PGA West-Nicklaus Tournament (Yardage: 7,147. Par: 72); La Quinta CC (Yardage: 7,060. Par: 72).

Prize money: $8 million. Winner’s share: $1.44 million.

Television: Thursday-Sunday, 3-7 p.m. (Golf Channel).

Previous winner: Hudson Swafford.

FedEx Cup leader: Seamus Power.

Last week: Si Woo Kim won the Sony Open.

Notes: For a nonelevated event, the field is extremely strong, with five of the top seven players in the world and 10 of the top 20. Among those playing are Kapalua winner Jon Rahm, Masters champion Scottie Scheffler and Patrick Cantlay. … Xander Schauffele is in the field after having tests on muscle spasms in his back. Schauffele has made slight changes to his training. … Rickie Fowler is playing his first tournament of 2023 after having two top 10s in the fall, including a runner-up finish in the Zozo Championship in Japan. … Taiga Semikawa of Japan is making his second straight PGA Tour start on a sponsor exemption. He won twice on the Japan Golf Tour while still in college. … The tournament previously was hosted by Phil Mickelson until The American Express dropped him after his involvement with Saudi-funded LIV Golf. … This will be the second time in three PGA Tour events this year that the previous winner (Hudson Swafford) has been suspended for signing with LIV Golf.

Next week: Farmers Insurance Open.

Online: https://www.pgatour.com/




Site: Orlando, Florida.

Course: Lake Nona Golf & CC. Yardage: 6,617. Par: 72.

Prize money: $1.5 million. Winner’s share: $225,000.

Television: Thursday-Friday, noon-3 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 2-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-5 p.m. (NBC).

Defending champion: Danielle Kang.

Race to CME Globe champion: Lydia Ko.

Last tournament: Lydia Ko won the CME Group Tour Championship.

Notes: The LPGA’s opening event is noticeable for who is not playing, with only three players from the top 10 in the women’s world ranking. … Lydia Ko, who won the CME Group Tour Championship to return to No. 1 in the world, got married last month and is not expected to play until the Saudi Ladies International next month. Ko has a home at Lake Nona, where the tournament is being played. … U.S. Women’s Open champion Minjee Lee and Women’s PGA champion In Gee Chun are not playing. … The Tournament of Champions is the first event, but then it’s a month until the LPGA season resumes in Thailand to start its Asia swing. … Nelly Korda recently signed a deal with Nike and tries to maintain momentum from late last year. Her 2022 season was disrupted by surgery because of a blood clot in her arm.

Next tournament: Honda LPGA Thailand on Feb. 23-26.

Online: https://www.lpga.com/




Site: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Course: Yas Links Abu Dhabi GC. Yardage: 7,425. Par: 72.

Prize money: $9 million. Winner’s share: $1.5 million.

Television: Thursday-Friday, 2:30-8:30 a.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 2-8 a.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Thomas Pieters.

Race to Dubai winner: Rory McIlroy.

Last week: Continental Europe won the Hero Cup.

Notes: The official European tour season begins with its first Rolex Series event … While it typically has one of the strongest fields of the early part of the season, Abu Dhabi will not have anyone from among the top 10 in the world. … Sepp Straka of Austria, a PGA Tour member his entire career, is among those playing with hopes of picking up big Ryder Cup points. … The field includes 10 players who competed in at least four events last year with Saudi-backed LIV Golf, including Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter and Patrick Reed. … Reed, who has fallen out of the top 80, will be competing for world ranking points for the first time in some four months. … Two-time major champion Martin Kaymer, who has won three times at Abu Dhabi, is not playing. … Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald is in the field. Also playing is past European captain Padraig Harrington, who is in Abu Dhabi after his break in Ireland instead of the PGA Tour Champions opener in Hawaii.

Next week: Hero Dubai Desert Classic.

Online: https://www.europeantour.com/dpworld-tour/




Site: KA’UPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii.

Course: Hualalai GC. Yardage: 7,107. Par: 72.

Prize money: $2 million. Winner’s share: $340,000.

Television: Thursday-Saturday, 7-10 p.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Charles Schwab Cup winner: Steven Alker.

Last tournament: Padraig Harrington won the Charles Schwab Cup Championship.

Notes: This is the first tournament of the PGA Tour Champions season and features a Saturday finishing in prime time. … Padraig Harrington takes a long break in Ireland and is not playing the opener. He is playing the European tour this week in Abu Dhabi. … Sponsor exemptions include David Duval, Justin Leonard, Tom Lehman and Jeff Sluman, who is set to join the USGA executive committee. … K.J. Choi and Jerry Kelly played the Sony Open last week and missed the cut. They are in the Hualalai field. … Steve Stricker is in the field. He has not played since winning the Constellation Furyk & Friends in Jacksonville, Florida, in October for his fourth win of the year. He did not play in the PGA Tour Champions postseason. … Bernhard Langer has 44 career victories and needs one more to tie the record held by Hale Irwin. Langer won twice last year and has won every year since turning 50 in 2007. The tour takes two weeks off before resuming in Morocco.

Next tournament: Trophy Hassan II on Feb. 9-11.

Online: https://www.pgatour.com/champions.html



Korn Ferry Tour: The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic (Sunday-Wednesday), The Abaco Club on Winding Bay, Great Abaco, Bahamas. Defending champion: Brandon Harkins. Online: https://www.pgatour.com/korn-ferry-tour.html

**********TOP INDIANA RELEASES************


Two months from now, the NFL’s free agent frenzy will be underway. A lot will happen in Indianapolis between now and March 15 – the Colts’ focus right now is on hiring a head coach, and then putting a coaching staff together.

But when the 2023 league year begins at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15, 17 Colts players will become free agents – either unrestricted or restricted – unless they are re-signed first. Those players:

Unrestricted Free Agents

DE Ben Banogu

  • 2022 stats: 16 games, 231 special teams snaps, 4 special teams tackles

CB Tony Brown

  • 2022 stats: 16 games, 302 special teams snaps, 5 special teams tackles

WR Parris Campbell

  • 2022 stats: 17 games (16 starts), 63 catches, 623 yards, 3 touchdowns

DT Byron Cowart

  • 2022 stats: 17 games, 12 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss

WR Ashton Dulin

  • 2022 stats: 12 games (2 starts), 15 catches, 207 yards 1 touchdown, 5 special teams tackles

CB Brandon Facyson

  • 2022 stats: 16 games (4 starts), 28 tackles, 6 pass break-ups

P Matt Haack

  • 2022 stats: 17 games, 70 punts, 44.8 yards/punt, 28 punts downed inside 20

T Dennis Kelly

  • 2022 stats: 16 games (3 starts), 191 snaps at left tackle, 48 snaps at right tackle

DL Tyquan Lewis

  • 2022 stats: 7 games (4 starts), 1 sack, 2 tackles for a loss, 4 QB hits

K Chase McLaughlin

  • 2022 stats: 16 games, 30/36 field goals (9/12 from 50+), 21/21 PATs, 65.0 yards/kickoff

S Rodney McLeod Jr.

  • 2022 stats: 17 games (15 starts), 96 tackles, 2 interceptions, 6 pass break-ups, 8 tackles for a loss

DE Yannick Ngakoue

  • 2022 stats: 15 games (15 starts), 9.5 sacks, 16 QB hits, 8 tackles for a loss, 1 forced fumble

LB Bobby Okereke

  • 2022 stats: 17 games (16 starts), 151 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 6 tackles for a loss, 5 pass break-ups

G/T Matt Pryor

  • 2022 stats: 16 games (9 starts), 249 snaps at left tackle, 212 snaps at right guard, 113 snaps at right tackle

LB EJ Speed

  • 2022 stats: 17 games (5 starts), 63 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 1 sack, 2 pass break-ups, 7 tackles for a loss, 6 special teams tackles

S Armani Watts

  • 2022 stats: Did not play in regular season after sustaining a season-ending injury in the preseason.

Restricted free agents

DE Khalid Kareem

  • 2022 stats (with Colts): 4 games, 1 tackle, 3 QB hits


The Pacers (23-22) continue their four-game road trip and will try to snap a four-game skid on Wednesday night in Oklahoma City. Indiana is coming off a 132-119 loss in Milwaukee on Monday afternoon in a game that was a tale of two halves.

The Blue & Gold matched their season high with 76 points in the first half, shooting 60.9 percent from the field and going 12-for-22 (54.5 percent) from 3-point range over the first two quarters. Backup point guard T.J. McConnell had the best half of his career to lead the charge, scoring 25 points and going 9-for-9 from the field and 4-for-4 from 3-point range over the first two quarters.

But the tides turned after halftime, as Indiana managed just 43 points the rest of the way and was outscored 39-21 in the fourth quarter. The Bucks (playing without Giannis Antetokounmpo) locked the Pacers down defensively and torched them from beyond the arc down the stretch, making 23 3-pointers en route to victory.

The Pacers will try to put together a full four quarters against the Thunder (21-23), who have been playing some of their best basketball of the season. Oklahoma City has won three straight and five of its last six, with the only loss in that stretch a one-point defeat in Miami. The Thunder have road wins at Brooklyn and Philadelphia and home victories over Dallas and Boston (the latter of which was a 150-117 drubbing) since the calendar turned to 2023.

The Thunder are led by 24-year-old guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who looks on track to make his first All-Star team in his fifth NBA season.

The former Kentucky standout is averaging 30.7 points per game, a full six points higher than his career-best average from last season, and currently ranks fifth in the NBA in scoring. Gilgeous-Alexander is shooting 50.3 percent from the field while also tallying 4.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.7 steals per contest.

Pacers rookie guard Andrew Nembhard will likely draw the initial assignment on his fellow Canadian, but slowing down Gilgeous-Alexander will be a collective effort.

Projected Starters

Pacers: G – Andrew Nembhard, G – Bennedict Mathurin, F – Buddy Hield, F – Aaron Nesmith, C – Myles Turner

Thunder: G – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, G – Josh Giddey, G – Luguentz Dort, F – Jalen Williams, C – Jaylin Williams

Injury Report

Pacers: Kendall Brown – out (right tibia stress reaction), Tyrese Haliburton – out (left elbow sprain/left knee bone contusion), Daniel Theis – out (right knee surgery)

Thunder: TBD

Last Meeting

Feb. 25, 2022: Lance Stephenson hit a three at the end of regulation to force overtime, but the Pacers fell in the extra session to the Thunder at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, 129-125.

The Pacers trailed 123-120 late in the fourth quarter before Stephenson’s trey with 1.6 seconds remaining tied the contest. Both teams struggled to score in overtime, where Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s three-point play with 20.7 seconds left proved to be the game-winner

Buddy Hield led seven Pacers in double figures in the loss, scoring 29 points on 12-of-21 shooting (5-of-9 from 3-point range) to go along with seven rebounds and five assists. Jalen Smith scored 16, Isaiah Jackson added 15, and Stephenson tallied 14 while Tyrese Haliburton (14 points and 11 assists) and Oshae Brissett (10 points and 15 rebounds) both registered double-doubles.

Gilgeous-Alexander led all scorers with 36 points, going 13-for-24 from the field and 9-for-12 from the free throw line. Tre Mann added 22 for the Thunder.


The Pacers have won three straight games in Oklahoma City. Their last road loss to the Thunder came on March 27, 2019.

Pacers guard Bennedict Mathurin and Thunder wing Luguentz Dort both are from Montreal.

Pacers forward Jalen Smith and Thunder forward Aaron Wiggins were teammates at Maryland from 2018-20. Nembhard was teammates at Gonzaga last season with Thunder rookie Chet Holmgren, who is sitting out the 2022-23 season due to a Lisfranc injury in his foot.

Broadcast Information (TV and Radio Listings >>)

TV: Bally Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)

Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (studio host)


After a four-game road trip, the Pacers will be back at Gainbridge Fieldhouse to host DeMar DeRozan and the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 7:00 PM ET.


Opening Tip

• Indiana University continues its 123rd season of competition in men’s basketball with a rivalry matchup at Illinois at 8:30 p.m. ET on Jan. 19 at the State Farm Center. The game will be broadcast on FS1.

• The Illini, led by sixth-year head coach Brad Underwood, enter the Thursday night tilt with a 13-5 record and a 4-3 mark in B1G play. Illinois has won four-straight games.

Game Information

Jan. 19, 2023 • 8:30 p.m. ET

State Farm Center (15,544) • Champaign, Ill.

TV: FS1 (Jason Benetti and Stephen Bardo)

Radio: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Errek Suhr, John Herrick)

Series History: Indiana leads, 94-91

Last Meeting: IU 65, ILL 63 on March 11, 2022 in Indianapolis

Series History

• Indiana holds a narrow 94-91 lead over Illinois. A season ago, the Hoosiers pulled off an upset over top-seeded Illinois in the quarterfinal round of the 2022 Big Ten Conference Tournament. Senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis compiled 21 points, seven rebounds, and three assists in the tournament victory.

• Head coach Mike Woodson scored a career-high 48 points in IU’s 72-60 win at Illinois on March 3, 1979. He averaged 24.1 points per game in his six contests against the Illini.

• Indiana last defeated Illinois in the regular season on March 7, 2019. IU won 92-74 in Champaign.

Last Time Out

• Indiana jumped back into the win column with a 63-45 triumph over No. 18/18 Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon. The win marked the second ranked victory of the season for IU and the largest margin of victory over WIS since Feb. 24, 2001 when the Hoosiers won 85-55.

• Senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis (18 points, 12 rebounds) and junior forward Jordan Geronimo (12 points, 11 rebounds) each recorded double-doubles in the victory. TJD has posted three-straight double-doubles for the second time this season, while Geronimo converted his second career double-double.

• Freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino added 16 points, five rebounds, and four assists.

Fino on the Rise

• After hitting double figures in the scoring column just twice in his first six collegiate games, freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino has scored 10-plus points in eight-straight games.

• During the eight-game run, Hood-Schifino is averaging 17.6 points on 51.5% shooting from the floor and 52.9% shooting from the 3-point line. The Montverde Academy product has made 2.3 3-pointers since returning to the lineup at Kansas on Dec. 17.

• Hood-Schifino scored a career-best 33 points on 12-of-17 shooting from the floor and 5-of-7 shooting from the 3-point line against Northwestern on Jan. 8.

• JHS ranks fourth among all freshmen in the Big Ten in scoring (13.4 points per game), first in assists (4.5), fourth in rebounds (4.4), and fifth in made 3-pointers per game (1.6).

Brotherly Love

• Tayven Jackson, the brother of senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, transferred from Tennessee to Indiana for his second collegiate football season.

• Jackson, a two-time Indiana high school state champion at Center Grove, is expected to compete for the starting quarterback spot in the fall.

Shuffling the Deck

• Indiana has utilized seven starting lineup combinations through the first 17 games of the season, compared to just four different starting units a season ago.

• Junior forward Jordan Geronimo (Jan. 8) and sophomore guard Tamar Bates (Jan. 5) have each earned their first collegiate starts this season.

Chasing History

Up Next: Career Rebounding Leaders

1. Alan Henderson (1,091)

2. Walt Bellamy (1,087)

3. Kent Benson (1,031)

4. Trayce Jackson-Davis (935)

Up Next: Career Blocks Leaders

1. Jeff Newton (227)

2. Trayce Jackson-Davis (219)

Up Next: Career Double-Doubles

1. Walt Bellamy (59)

2. Archie Dees (56)

3. Alan Henderson (49)

4. Steve Downing (43)

5. Kent Benson (42)

6. Trayce Jackson-Davis (39)

• The Center Grove product is the only active player in the country to tally at least 1,800 career points, 900 career rebounds, and 200 career blocks. In the last 25 seasons, only 22 players have achieved those numbers in college basketball. Three (Kyle Hines; UNCG, Shawn Long; ULL, and Nathan Knight; WMU) have produced those numbers on a higher career scoring average.

• Jackson-Davis is one of two Power 5 players (Zach Edey; Purdue) to average at least 17.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game this season.

Double Double, Double Double (CAREER)

Trayce Jackson-Davis: 39; last vs. Wisconsin, 1/14/23

Race Thompson: 9; last vs. Elon, 12/20/22

Xavier Johnson: 4; last at Arizona, 12/10/22

Jordan Geronimo: 2; last vs. Wisconsin, 1/14/23

Other Notables

• Senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis recorded the third triple-double in Indiana basketball history with 12 points, 11 rebounds, and a career-high 10 assists against Nebraska on Dec. 7. He added three blocks and three steals in the win.

• Jackson-Davis joined historic company of triple-doubles in IU history. Juwan Morgan notched a 10-point, 10-rebound, and 10-assist triple-double against Jacksonville on Dec. 22, 2018. Steve Downing tallied 28 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 blocks against Michigan on Feb. 23, 1971.

• TJD is the first player to compile a triple-double with at least three blocks and three steals since Luke Walton accomplished the feat with 27 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, four blocks, and four steals against USC on Jan. 17, 2002.

• Junior guard Trey Galloway scored a career-best 20 points on a career-high 4-of-6 shooting from the 3-point line in the win over the Huskers on Dec. 7.

• Sophomore guard Tamar Bates scored 19 points on a career-high five 3-point baskets on Dec. 7 against Nebraska.

• Senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis secured his eighth-career 30-point game in Indiana’s 91-89 loss at Iowa on Jan. 5. He added a team-best nine rebounds and three blocked shots.

• Freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino became the third Hoosier to score at least 20 points in their Big Ten debut in the last 25 years with 21 points at Iowa on Jan. 5.  He canned 5-of-8 shots from behind the 3-point line.

• Hood-Schifino joined NBA Lottery Draft picks Eric Gordon (25 points at Iowa in 2008) and Romeo Langford (20 points against Northwestern in 2018) on the exclusive list.

• Freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino had a career-high 33 points on 12-of-17 from the field and 5-of-7 from the 3-point line against Northwestern on Jan. 8.

• The 33-point outburst were the highest output by an IU freshman since Eric Gordon also scored 33 on Nov. 12, 2007 against Chattanooga.

• Senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis had 18 points, a career-high 24 rebounds, eight assists, and four blocks against the Wildcats.

• His 24 rebounds were the most by a Hoosier in a single game since Steve Downing had 25 against Kentucky on December 11, 1971 and the most rebounds by a Big Ten player since Aaron Johnson had 24 for Penn State on Nov. 15, 2004.

• Senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis had 18 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocks against Wisconsin on Jan. 14.

• Freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino had 16 points, five rebounds, and four assists against the Badgers on Jan. 14.

• Junior forward Jordan Geronimo recorded his second career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds against Wisconsin on Jan. 14.

• Four of Indiana’s five starters from the start of the season have missed a total of 13 games due to injury.


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – No. 6/6 Indiana hits the road for its first of three ranked matchups when it faces No. 21/23 Illinois in Champaign. Game time is set for 8 p.m. ET on B1G+.


Illinois is 8-1 in its last nine games since meeting the Hoosiers in early December in Bloomington. Their only loss comes against then No. 3/3 Ohio state on Jan. 8. Sophomore guard Makira Cook leads the way with 18.1 points per game while three others average double figures as well including a double-double average from junior forward Kendall Bostic with 10.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. The Illini average 81.3 points per game while shooting 47.6 percent from the floor.


Indiana leads 48-30


12/4/22 – W, 65-61 (Bloomington, Ind.)


The Hoosiers are fresh off a pair of wins at home last week against then No. 9/11 Maryland and Wisconsin. Senior forward Mackenzie Holmes led the way in the pair of games with 22.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and shot 72.0 percent from the floor while freshman guard Yarden Garzon added 15.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and shot 73.3 percent from the floor and 70.0 percent at the 3-point line.

Garzon was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week and the United States Basketball Writers Association (USWBA) Tamika Catchings National Freshman of the Week for her performances last week.

Indiana is looking for its 15th-straight win in the series with the Illini, as it took the earlier meeting already this season. The Hoosiers held off Illinois, 65-61, at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in the Big Ten opener on Dec. 4. Senior forward Mackenzie Holmes paced three players in double figures with 23 points, six rebounds and four blocks. IU’s win streak in the series dates back to the 2013-14 season and is its longest against another Big Ten foe.

Ninth year head coach Teri Moren picked up a record tying 188th career win at the helm of the Hoosiers on Sunday against Wisconsin. She ties Jim Izard’s 188 wins that he amassed over 12 seasons (1988-00). She is already the program’s all-time winningest coach in Big Ten play, pulling in 88 victories in league play.


IU continues its road swing at No. 14 Michigan on Monday night. Scheduled game time is 8 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network.


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Freshman guard Yarden Garzon has been named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week and the United States Basketball Writers Association (USWBA) Tamika Catchings National Freshman of the Week, announced on Tuesday (1/17).

Garzon Averaged 15.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and shot 73.3 percent from the floor and 70.0 percent at the 3-point line as Indiana picked up a pair of wins over No. 9/11 Maryland and Wisconsin. This is her second Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor and her first national honor of her career. She is the first ever player in IU women’s basketball history to be named the national freshman of the week.

The Ra’anana, Israel native went 4-for-6 with 11 points including a 3-for-5 from performance from the 3-point line and grabbed six rebounds along with two assists versus the Terps. In 27 minutes of play against Wisconsin, she came close to a triple double with scored 19 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Garzon shot 77.8 percent from the floor and 4-for-5 from the 3-point line and added a steal in the win over the Badgers on Sunday.

Garzon and the No. 6 Hoosiers return to action on Wednesday at No. 21 Illinois. Tip is set for 8 p.m. ET.



The majority of the conference returned to action for the first time since the winter break, featuring at meets across the Midwest and as far south as Tennessee and Texas.

10 different men’s programs lead the Big Ten in an event including Iowa (60mH, 200 meters and 400 meters) and Ohio State (DMR, Shot Put and Triple Jump) who have three leaders.

Seven different women’s programs lead at least one event in the conference including Michigan (200 meters, 800 meters, 3000 meters and Triple Jump), Iowa (60mH, 600 meters and Long Jump) and Minnesota (60 meters, Weight Throw and High Jump) with three or more.

Indiana’s early Big Ten leaders include Jake Gebhardt in the 800 meters, Nathan Stone in the Pole Vault and Jenna Barker in the Mile.

The Hoosiers host the Gladstein Invitational this weekend roughly one month away from the 2023 Big Ten Indoor Championships in Geneva, Ohio.


• The Hoosiers returned to action at the Commodore Challenge in Nashville on the campus of Vanderbilt.

• Jake Gebhardt (3:59.18) and Camden Marshall (3:59.30) both joined the sub 4-minute mile club on Saturday with impressive showings to take a 1-2 finish. The duo moved into 9th and 10th all-time on IU’s performance list.

• Jenna Barker and Maddie Dalton went 1-2 in both the Mile and the 800 meters. The duo grabbed personal bests in the Mile with Dalton scoring a massive personal best in the 800 meters (2:12.43).

• Mahogany Jenkins recorded a personal best in the Triple Jump with a mark of 12.69m/41-7.75 to move into third all-time on IU’s top-10 list.

• Robert Blue won the Long Jump with an impressive personal best of 7.60m/24-11.25.

• Jayden Ulrich became the fifth Hoosier in program history to eclipse 17 meters in the Shot Put indoors with her toss of 17.14m/56-2.75.

• Nathan Stone was once again victorious in the Pole Vault, clearing the bar at 5.25m/17-2.75.

• Antonio Laidler posted solid season’s bests of 6.74 (60m) and 21.50 (200m) to help pace the Hoosiers’ sprint efforts on the weekend.


Women’s Shot Put

• Three women have already been out over 17 meters this season including IU’s Jayden Ulrich.

Women’s Weight Throw

• Four women have already thrown the weight over 21 meters just over a month into the season.

Men’s Mile

• Four athletes ran under four minutes this weekend including IU’s Jake Gebhardt and Camden Marshall.



• Antonio Laidler (3rd), 60m

• Christopher Grant (8th), 60m

• Antonio Laidler (2nd), 200m

• Trelee Banks-Rose (3rd), 200m

• David Olowookere (7th), 400m

• Jake Gebhardt (1st), 800m

• Keelan Grant (2nd), 800m

• Jake Gebhardt (2nd), Mile

• Camden Marshall (3rd), Mile

• Austin Haskett (7th), Mile

• Dustin Horter (8th), Mile

• Jake Gebhardt (2nd), 3000m

• Gabriel Sanchez (5th), 3000m

• Austin Haskett (6th), 3000m

• Nathan Stone (1st), Pole Vault

• Tyler Carrel (4th), Pole Vault

• Robert Blue (3rd), Long Jump

• Alex Smith (6th), Long Jump

• Robert Blue (3rd), Triple Jump

• Noah Koch (7th), Weight Throw

• Sean Mockler (8th), Weight Throw


• Jenna Barker (5th), 800m

• Maddie Dalton (7th), 800m

• Jenna Barker (1st), Mile

• Jenna Barker (2nd), Mile

• Jenna Barker (4th), 3000m

• Maddie Dalton (6th), 3000m

• Claire Overfelt (9th), 3000m

• Indiana (6th), 4×400 Relay

• Mahogany Jenkins (6th), High Jump

• Jessica Mercier (6th), Pole Vault

• Serena Bolden (3rd), Long Jump

• Paola Fernandez-Sola (4th), Long Jump

• Mahogany Jenkins (3rd), Triple Jump

• Jayden Ulrich (3rd), Shot Put

• Makayla Hunter (7th), Shot Put


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – After a record-setting performance against Nebraska last Friday, Purdue freshman Fletcher Loyer was named the Big Ten Player and Freshman of the Week the league office announced Tuesday.

Loyer wins the Player of the Week award for the first time and the Freshman of the Week award for the third time, tying a school record set by Vince Edwards (2014-15) and Caleb Swanigan (2015-16).

He is just the third Purdue freshman to win Player of the Week honors (E’Twaun Moore, Robbie Hummel) and is the first freshman since Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn (Nov. 2019) to win Big Ten Player of the Week honors.

Loyer scored 27 points with three assists in Friday’s win over Nebraska. The 27 points were the seventh most by a Purdue freshman in school history, while his six 3-pointers were the most by a freshman in school history.

As a note, Monday’s game vs. Michigan State was not included in this week’s award nomination.

For the season, Loyer is averaging 13.4 points, 2.5 assists and 1.5 rebounds while shooting 43-of-115 from 3-point range, already the fifth-most trifectas for a Purdue freshman in school history.

He is even better in conference play, averaging 17.7 points, 2.9 assists and 1.7 rebounds and making 21-of-47 of his 3-point attempts. He is shooting 48.2 percent from the field in league play.

The No. 3-ranked Boilermakers travel to Minnesota for a Thursday, Jan. 19, contest, beginning at 7 p.m. ET, on ESPN2. 


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Fresh off a win on the road at Northwestern, the Purdue women’s basketball team looks to make it two in a row when it squares off with Nebraska on Wednesday night at Mackey Arena. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. on B1G+.

Tim Newton and Jane Schott will have the call for the Purdue Radio Network on 95.3 BOB FM.

The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a Purdue Basketball mini hoop.


Purdue (12-5, 3-4) vs. Nebraska (11-7, 3-4)

Wednesday, Jan. 18

Time: 7 PM 

TV: B1G+ 

Radio: 95.3 BOB FM 

Live Stats: Purduestats.com 


The Boilermakers picked up a 65-54 win at Northwestern on Saturday. Abbey Ellis provided the spark offensively with 24 points, including a trio of 3-pointers and a perfect 7-for-7 mark at the line. Jeanae Terry finished one rebound shy of her third non-point double-double, going for six points, 10 assists and nine boards. Purdue forced Northwestern into 25 turnovers that flipped into 20 points for the Boilermakers.


• Purdue leads the all-time series with Nebraska 10-7. The Boilermakers have won three of the last four meetings.

• Jeanae Terry tallied 10 assists in the win at Northwestern. It was her fourth game with 10 or more, which is tied for fourth nationally.

• Terry ranks second in the Big ten with 123 assists and 7.2 helpers per game and third with an assist-to-turnover mark of 2.51.

• Abbey Ellis was a perfect 7-of-7 at the line at Northwestern to bump her free throw clip to 88.9%, good for second in the Big Ten.

• Despite not scoring in double figures in the last two games, Lasha Petree continues to lead the team with 16 points per game.

• Sitting 25th in the country with 17.1 assists per game, the Boilermakers rank fifth in the league with a dime on 63.5% of its field goals.

• Purdue is 7-2 at home this season and outscoring opponents 77.4 to 64.6 points per game. The Boilermakers have a 50.6% shooting clip at Mackey Arena and have forced 16.8 turnovers per night.

• Redshirt senior Caitlyn Harper is one of five players from the Big Ten to average 10 or more points per game and shoot over 55%.

• Purdue is averaging 18 points off turnovers this season with five games of 20 points or more.

• The Boilermakers have had five different players lead the team in scoring this season, topped by Lasha Petree in nine games.

• Jeanae Terry has posted five rebounds and assists in 12 games this year, ranking second nationally behind Caitlin Clark’s 12.


Butler was picked fourth in the 2023 BIG EAST Softball Preseason Coaches’ Poll, which was announced by the league office on Tuesday (Jan. 17).

DePaul (58 points), Villanova (57), and UConn (56), were all within two points of each other after the final tally and are the trio picked to battle for the top spot. The Wildcats, who won the BIG EAST Championship last season, led the way with four first-place votes. The Blue Demons garnered three, and the Huskies, who won the 2022 regular season, had the remaining two. The BIG EAST Preseason Poll is based on a vote of the league’s head coaches who are not permitted to vote for their own teams.

Butler posted a 31-7 overall record over the 2022 season. The team finished second among BIG EAST teams in the final regular-season standings, and its 16 conference victories were the most in program history. The Bulldogs bowed out of last season’s BIG EAST Tournament in the semifinal round.

For the upcoming season, Butler will be looking for increased production from returning starters Monique Hoosen, Teagan O’Rilley, Ella White, Mackenzie Griman, and Ellie Boyer, along with graduate-transfer pitcher, Sydney Cammon. Returning veterans, who will be looking to build on their experience and move into starting rolls, include Paige Dorsett, Sydney Carter, Loren Simpson, Kaylee Gross, and Mallory McMahon. There are several newcomers to the program as well, and Coach Scott Hall, who is entering his 13th season leading the Bulldogs, expects production from this group, right out of the gate.

Butler opens the 2023 season in Leesburg, Fla., at the Spring Games.  The Bulldogs will face five different teams in six games from Friday, February 10 through Sunday, February 12. BIG EAST play begins March 10 when the Bulldogs host DePaul for a three-game series.

2023 BIG EAST Softball Preseason Coaches’ Poll

(1st place votes)

1. DePaul (3)            58

2. Villanova (4)         57

3. UConn (2)             56

4. Butler                    37

5. Creighton              34

6. Providence           30

7. Seton Hall             28

8. Georgetown          14

9. St. John’s              10


Creighton used a balanced attack to take a 73-52 win over Butler Tuesday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

With the result, Butler falls to 11-9 overall and 3-6 in BIG EAST play.

Creighton, which was voted as the BIG EAST preseason favorite and is receiving votes in this week’s AP poll, improves to 11-8 and 5-3 BIG EAST.

STAT OF THE NIGHT: Creighton scored 44 of their 73 points in the paint and held a 47-24 rebounding advantage against Butler’s front line that was missing Manny Bates for the second consecutive game.

TOP DAWG PERFORMANCE: Sophomore Simas Lukosius followed up his career-high 28 points from Friday night with a team-high 18 points Tuesday for Butler. He went 7-for-12 from the field, including 4-for-5 from behind the arc. He added three assists.

QUOTABLE COACH: “I thought we competed tonight. At some point, you have to put the ball in the basket. We missed a lot of shots at the rim that we normally make, and at critical times. Right now, we’re putting so much pressure on our defense, especially against a team like Creighton that can hurt you in so many ways.” – Thad Matta


Creighton’s Trey Alexander banked in a three-pointer at the first half horn to give the visitors a 36-28 halftime lead, which was the largest advantage of a tightly-contested first half.

Butler kept the lead within single digits throughout the early portion of the second half before a 9-0 Creighton run gave the Bluejays a 62-44 lead, which was the largest of the game at that point in the contest.


Creighton shot 47 percent from the field, and made seven of their 22 three-point attempts (32 percent).

Creighton had seven players score eight or more points, led by Ryan Nembhard and Baylor Scheierman with 12 points apiece. Nembhard finished with a double-double, including 11 rebounds.

Jalen Thomas added 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds for Butler. He added three blocks.

Butler was limited to 35 percent shooting from the field, but did hit their three-pointers at a 57-percent clip (8-14).


Butler was without Manny Bates, who missed his second consecutive game following a knee procedure. The Bulldogs dressed eight players due to five being out with various injuries.

Entering the game, Butler had won seven of the last eight games between the two teams played at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Butler is now 8-3 at Hinkle Fieldhouse this season.

The game served as Butler’s annual Project 44 game, which highlights the legacy of the late Andrew Smith and the organization that was founded in his honor to promote the national bone marrow registry.

Creighton is the first BIG EAST opponent that Butler has now completed the home-and-home series with. Creighton won the first match-up between the two teams in Omaha Dec. 22 by a score of 78-56.

UP NEXT: The Bulldogs travel to No. 15 UConn for a Sunday tip in Hartford. The contest will air nationally on FOX.


INDIANAPOLIS – The Butler women’s basketball team will return to action Wednesday night with a 7 PM tip vs. Providence. Action on FloSports.com will begin at 7 PM. Joey Lindstrom will be on the call with former Bulldog Sydney Buck.


Date: Wednesday, Jan. 18

Time: 7:00 PM

Location: Indianapolis, Ind. – Hinkle Fieldhouse

Live Stats: ButlerSports.com – Statbroadcast

Watch: FloSports/Butler+ – BEDN

Bulldog Bits

– Wednesday will be the 21st overall meeting between Butler and Providence.

– Kendall Wingler was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Monday (1/16).

– Wingler has scored 47 points over her last three games (15.6 ppg).

– Wingler ranks fifth in the BIG EAST in 3-point field goal percentage (41.7).

– Wingler needs five more 3-pointers to reach 100 in her collegiate career.

– Wingler led Butler in rebounding (5) for the first time this season vs. Creighton.

– Sydney Jaynes led Butler with 16 points in the setback to Creighton.

– Jaynes has now scored in double figures nine times this season.

– Jaynes ranks 10th in the BIG EAST in field goal percentage (50.0).

– Jaynes dished out five of Butler’s seven assists in their last game vs. Creighton.

– Jaynes and Rachel McLimore are the only Bulldogs to start in every game this season.

– Trinity White hit multiple 3-pointers in a single-game for the first time this season on FS1. She has now made a 3-pointer in three-straight games.

– Anna Mortag returned to action on Jan. 14. Mortag missed five-straight games from Dec. 28 – Jan. 11.

– Jessica Carrothers returned to Butler’s starting lineup for the first time since Dec. 18 vs. CU.

– Butler shot 54.1 percent in the second half vs. Creighton (13/24).

– Butler is 4-1 this year when playing on a Wednesday.

– Shay Frederick is four rebounds shy of 400 for her collegiate career.

– Six different Bulldogs have led BU in scoring this season and seven players have led the team in rebounding.

BIG EAST Standings

UConn 8-0, 15-2

Villanova 7-1, 16-3

Seton Hall 6-2, 13-5

Creighton 6-3, 12-5

St. John’s 5-3, 14-3

DePaul 4-3, 11-7

Marquette 4-4, 11-6

Providence 2-6, 11-8

Butler 2-7, 7-11

Georgetown 1-7, 8-9

Xavier 0-9, 7-11

Scouting Providence                                                                            

The Friars are 11-8 overall with a 2-6 record against BIG EAST opponents. Conference wins for Providence came against Creighton (79-75) and most recently Xavier (64-50). Michigan State transfer Janai Crooms leads PC in scoring (12.5) and rebounding (7.3) while Florida transfer Brynn Farrell is the top 3-point shooter on the roster (30-82). The start of the conference schedule has been challenging for PC with the Friars playing six of their first nine games on the road. They did upset Creighton in Omaha when the Bluejays were nationally ranked. Providence outscored Creighton 24-11 in the third quarter to come back and claim the road win. Grace Efosa dominated the action scoring a game-high 27 points.

All-Time Series vs. Providence                                                           

Butler leads the all-time series against Providence 11-9, although the Friars have won five-straight over the Bulldogs. Butler’s last win against Providence was on Feb. 23, 2020. BU swept the regular season that year by also claiming a 50-47 win in Providence. The wildest game between the two programs was played in 2019. Butler was receiving votes that season, but fell in triple overtime at Providence with four of their five starters fouling out.

Butler’s Last Game vs. Providence                                                    

Creighton posted a 96-49 win over Butler in the last meeting. The Bluejays scored 33 points in the first quarter and added 31 in the third to take full control of the contest in Omaha. Kendall Wingler scored a team-high 14 points for Butler. She came off the bench to hit four 3-pointers. Tenley Dowell and Sydney Jaynes were in the starting lineup and each played over 20 minutes for the Bulldogs. Lauren Jensen led the Bluejays with 23 points. All seven of her field goals came from behind the arc. Creighton hit 22 3-pointers that day.

Providence’s Last Game                                                                                    

Providence was defeated by Marquette on Jan. 14 by the final score of 80-57. Janai Crooms led the Friars with 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Kylee Sheppard and Olivia Olsen were also impact players in Milwaukee. Sheppard added 14 points, five boards and two assists. Olsen contributed with 13 points six rebounds and two blocked shots. Marquette outscored Providence in each quarter and limited PC to just six first quarter points. Jordan King scored a game-high 31 points on 12-of-23 shooting.

Wingler Named to BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll (1/16)               

Kendall Wingler averaged 15.5 points, three rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals last week to make the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll. She scored a career-high 23 points in the win at Georgetown and followed with an eight-point performance at home vs. Creighton. Wingler shot 50 percent from the field in the 1-1 week while making 45 percent of her 3-point attempts (5-11) and 88 percent of her free throws (8-9).

Balanced Scoring                                                                                                 

Butler and Providence are similar offensively with each program scoring in the low 60’s this season. Neither team has a player averaging more than 12 points per game, but each side has at least three players scoring more than nine. Butler is 6-0 this year when keeping their opponent under 60 points, but are 1-11 when the opponent scores 60 or more.

Move Your Feet                                                                                                   

Providence leads the BIG EAST and ranks third in the country in fewest fouls per game (12.1). The Bulldogs rank third in the BIG EAST and 11th in the NCAA (13.2). There were zero first half free throw attempts when Butler hosted Creighton last week. The Bulldogs have only shot 10+ free throws two times over their last eight games. The team is 7-5 this year when they shoot more free throws than their opponent, but are 0-6 when they shoot less.


Butler and Providence are side-by-side in the BIG EAST standings. If the tournament were to start today, the two teams would play in the No. 8 vs. No. 9 seed game of the first round.

Jaynes Made the Jump                                                                        

Sydney Jaynes has more field goals, 3-pointers, free throws, rebounds, and assists through the first 18 games of this season than she had total during her freshman campaign (28 games).

Mirror Image                                                                                         

Butler and Providence each defeated Xavier this year by 14 points. They each lost to St. John’s by eight. Marquette recently defeated Providence by 23 and the Eagles topped the Bulldogs by 21. DePaul topped Providence by nine and beat BU by six.

Behind The Arc                                                                                      

Butler ranks 7th in the NCAA and second in the BIG EAST in 3-point field goal percentage (38.5). The Bulldogs made six of their 16 attempts (37.5) at home against Creighton on Saturday afternoon. Trinity White came off the bench to hit a pair of shots from behind the arc. The Bulldogs average 7.7 made 3-point field goals per game (3rd in the BIG EAST) trailing only Creighton and DePaul.

Creighton Recap                                                                                                   

The Bluejays shot 48.3 percent from the field and made 14 3-pointers to collect a 75-56 win at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday. Emma Ronsiek led Creighton to victory with a team-best 20 points on 8-of-17 shooting. Ronsiek made a team-high four 3-pointers and added six rebounds and three assists in 29 minutes. Sydney Jaynes made her mark on the game with a team-high 16 points. Jaynes helped BU score 30 points in the paint against Creighton.

BIG Win in the BIG EAST                                                                                    

Butler defeated a BIG EAST opponent by 20+ points for the first time since Feb. 15, 2019 last Wednesday night at Georgetown. The Bulldogs shot 54.2 percent from 3-point range making 13 of their 24 attempts.

Up Next                                                                                                                 

Butler will play at #5 UConn this Saturday, Jan. 21 at 12 PM. Fans can catch the action live on SNY.


INDIANAPOLIS – The IUPUI men’s soccer program and head coach Sid van Druenen have announced a pair of transfers who recently joined the program at the start of the spring semester. Both will begin training with the team immediately and be eligible for the team’s spring schedule as well. They become IUPUI’s sixth and seventh additions for the upcoming 2023 campaign as van Druenen announced the signings of five freshmen earlier this winter.

Emerson Nieto (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger) will join the program from Indiana University, which comes off an NCAA National runner-up finish, and Joseph Roper (Lisle, Ill./Lisle) comes to IUPUI from Canisius.

Nieto, a 5-foot-10 midfielder, spent three seasons at IU, making seven appearances as a reserve. He made six appearances as a true freshman during the COVID shortened Spring 2021 season, totaling 66 minutes of action. After redshirting the Fall 2021 season, he made one appearance this past fall for the Hoosiers, notching a pair of assists in IU’s 3-0 win over Trine University on Oct. 27. Nieto was initially a 4-star recruit and ranked No. 71 nationally by Top Drawer Soccer at the time of his signing. He played for the Indiana Fire Developmental Academy and also appeared as an amateur signee with the Indy Eleven, making his professional debut as an injury time substitute in a 3-0 win over Birmingham Legion on June 26, 2019.

“Emerson is a creative attacking midfielder with high level experience with both the Indy Eleven and at IU,” van Druenen said. “He wants a fresh start and new opportunity and I am convinced we will be a great fit for him.”

Roper, a 5-foot-10 midfielder, appeared in 16 of Canisius’ 17 matches this past season, including 11 starts. He was ninth among the team’s field players in minutes played (966) this past season as a true freshman. He tallied his lone goal of the season against Marist on Oct. 19 while playing a full 90 minutes in that contest. Roper, an Illinois-native, played four years at Sockers FC, helping them to the second round of the MLS NEXT playoffs during the 2021-22 season. He was a four-year captain for the Sockers and led the team in assists each season.

“Joseph is still young, but was a regular starter at Canisius last fall,” van Druenen said. “His experience, versatility and personality are exactly what we look for in a transfer and I am happy to have him with us.”

The Jaguars are coming off a 7-7-6 campaign and finished as runner-up at the Horizon League Tournament in van Druenen’s first season in 2022. IUPUI scored 31 goals, tops in the program’s D1 era, and is expected to return 29 of those tallies and eight starters next season.


Game 18 | Ball State (13-4, 3-1 MAC) vs. Buffalo (8-5, 3-1 MAC)

Jan. 18 | Buffalo, N.Y. | Alumni Arena | 6 pm ET

Opening Tip:

– The Ball State women’s basketball team looks to improve to a 4-1start in Mid-American Conference play for the first time since the 2016-17 season when it travels to Buffalo for a 6 pm ET tipoff in Alumni Arena.

– Redshirt senior Anna Clephane scored her 1,000th career point to help the Cardinals earn a 92-61 victory over the Miami RedHawks in MAC action last Saturday afternoon in Worthen Arena. Clephane’s 1,000th point moment was bittersweet after missing two seasons over her five-year career due to not one but two ACL injuries. Clephane finished the game with 25 points.

– Buffalo has won three-straight and looks to improve to 4-1 as well in league play. The Bulls are coming off of a 78-59 victory over Eastern Michigan Saturday, Jan. 14. UB has also defeated Central Michigan (70-63) and Ohio (69-64). The Bulls lone MAC loss came against Kent State (63-64).

– Ball State and Buffalo’s first-ever meeting was on Jan. 30 at Buffalo in 1998-99. The Bulls won that meeting 71-63 and would go on to win the next two over the Cardinals. Ball State’s first-ever victory over Buffalo was in Worthen Arena on Feb. 9 by a score of 72-59.

– Wednesday’s game against Buffalo will mark the 36th time in program history the two schools have met, with the Cardinals leading the all-time series, 19-16.

– The last time these two teams met was in the Mid-American Conference Tournament title game in Cleveland, March 12. Ball State fell to Buffalo, 75-79, that game. In the MAC regular season last year, the two squads split their two-game series with Ball State winning at Buffalo, 72-70, Jan. 26 and then UB returned the favor in Worthen Arena after defeating BSU, 67-62, Feb. 16. Ball State and Buffalo only play each other once this season.

When BSU Scores 80+ We Win:

When the Cardinals score 80+ points this season it results in a victory for Ball State. The Cardinals are 9-0 when the reach the 80 point plateau with wins over Indiana University East (105-51), Butler (84-68), Utah State (80-55), Western Kentucky (82-76), Saint Louis (85-51), Tarleton State (80-77), Chicago State (119-53), Bowling Green (81-73) and Miami (92-61).

Ball State’s Bench:

The Cardinals bench has stepped up their game this season as they have combined to score 347 points including a season high 59 points against Chicago State. 

Fast Facts:

– Redshirt senior Anna Clephane has 1,008 points for her career and became the 10th player under Brady Sallee to reach the 1,000 point milestone against Miami (1/14/23. Clephane is first on the team in scoring averaging 13.6 points per game.

 – Sophomore Marie Kiefer has proven to be a great defender for the Cardinals. She currently sits in 12th place all-time in blocked shots with 73 and so far has 25 total this season. Kiefer averages 1.4 blocks per contest.

– Graduate senior Thelma Dis Agustsdottir has found her rhythm behind the arc again as she currently leads the team with 53 three’s so far this season.

Agustsdottir has 271 total 3-pointers for her career and sits in third place all-time. She needs 21 more to move up to second place which is currently being held by former Cardinal and current assistant Moriah Monaco (2014-18) with 292 3-pointers.

In The Nation:

Nationally the Cardinals rank 21st in scoring offense (79.2), 22nd in 3-pointers per game (8.5), 38th in 3-point field goal attempts (24.7), 33rd in field goal percentage (45.7), 36th in assists per game (16.5), 63rd in free throw attempts (19.8), 70th in free throws made per game (13.9) and 49th in winning percentage (80.0). The Cardinals currently sit at No. 8 in the latest College Insider Mid-Major Top 25 poll, the highest of any MAC team.


MUNCIE, Ind.  – The Ball State men’s basketball team was back in the friendly confines of Worthen Arena for a Mid-American Conference showdown with Western Michigan. Jarron Coleman led the way with 22 points as the Cardinals knocked off the Broncos, 71-70, on Tuesday.

For the first time since the 2010-11 season, Ball State has started a campaign with a 13-5 record. The Cardinals improved to 13-5 and 4-1 in the MAC, while the Broncos fell to 6-12 overall and 2-3 in conference action.

“Thank you to the crowd,” said Head Coach Michael Lewis. “They played a huge role tonight with their energy, their noise. I love it. The students were fantastic. We’re going to try and play hard, compete, and put a product out there that the fans appreciate. They have to know how much we appreciate them coming out and supporting the team. There’s a lot of excitement going on, it’s our job to keep it rolling. That was a tough game. I thought Western Michigan competed really hard and were well prepared. Norman got going and is as advertised. Defensively late, we got some big stops and really competed. That last possession, keeping the ball out of Norman’s hands was huge. You have to be able to win games when you don’t play your best. You have to be able to protect your home court.”

Coleman has scored double digits in 16 of the 18 games this season after his 22-point effort. He added a game-high seven assists, a game-high four steals, tied for a team-high eight rebounds, and did not have any turnovers. Payton Sparks dropped 14 points with eight rebounds and one block. Demarius Jacobs recorded 10 points, three assists, one block, and one steal. Basheer Jihad also tied for a team-high eight rebounds.

The game started out hot for both teams as neither squad missed a shot in the first 2:43 of play. The Cardinals stretched things out a little bit with a 10-2 run as they claimed a 16-8 lead with 13:27 left in the opening stanza.

The Broncos responded with a 12-2 run that lasted 4:08 and took a 20-18 lead with 9:19 left until the break. Ball State ended the first half on a 13-9 run, capped off by an amazing corner 3-pointer by Coleman. BSU took a 31-29 lead into intermission.

WMU came out swinging in the second half and opened on a 7-3 run. Coleman knocked down a jumper, was fouled, and converted the and-1 opportunity to give the Cardinals a 37-36 lead with 16:49 left in regulation. Sparks came down with an offensive rebound that led to a fastbreak. Coleman made a phenomenal behind the back pass for Jaylin Sellers who slammed it home.

Lamar Norman Jr. got hot and knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to give WMU a 42-41 lead with 14:46 on the clock. It was a back-and-forth battle for the next 4:23 of game time that saw four lead changes and two ties. The contest was tied at 52-52 with 9:39 left in regulation.

After the Broncos hit a 3-pointer, the Cardinals responded with a 10-0 run that put BSU up 62-55. WMU was able to climb back thanks to an 11-4 run, which knotted the game up at 66-66 with 2:20 left to play.

The Broncos managed to take a 70-68 lead with 49 seconds left to play. Mickey Pearson Jr. cut towards the basket and received a great pass from Coleman. Pearson went up for the driving layup, made it, and was fouled. He had ice in his veins and converted the and-1 opportunity to put Ball State up 71-70 with 35 second on the clock.

The Cardinals picked up the defensive intensity and was stout as it prevented the Broncos from recording the go-ahead basket.

Ball State dominated in the paint and outscored Western Michigan 42-20. BSU also utilized a 20-8 advantage in points off turnovers.

As a team, WMU was able to shoot a perfect 17-of-17 from the free-throw line. Norman produced a game-high 31 points and added six rebounds with four assists. Markeese Hastings finished with 12 points and nine rebounds. Titus Wright had a game-high 11 rebounds.

Ball State is back in action on Friday, Jan. 20, for a showdown with Kent State on CBS Sports Network. Tip is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.


SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s basketball team (9-10, 1-7) rallied twice down 24 to cut to six twice, but just couldn’t get over that final hump against Florida State (5-13, 3-4) on Tuesday night, falling 84-71. Both halves of basketball followed nearly the same script.

The Irish were eying the biggest comeback in program history. Down 32-8, the Irish rallied to cut it to 35-29 before settling for a 39-29 halftime deficit. In the second half, the Seminoles ballooned the lead back up to 24 at 66-42 before Notre Dame pulled off a 19-3 run, and later after a trio of threes, was only down 73-67 with 1:15 left.

For the second straight game grad transfer Marcus Hammond led the team in scoring and set a new season high with 19 points. He shot 7-of-17 from the floor and 5-of-12 from three. Right behind him was Trey Wertz with 15 points and team high five assists. Dane Goodwin continues to be Notre Dame’s best rebounder as of late, collecting eight boards to go with his 11 points. Lastly, JJ Starling was back in double figures with 12 points.

How It Happened

It was a tale of two halves in the first half. The first 10 minutes was all Florida State as the Seminoles started red-hot from the floor – 11-for-14 in fact and built a commanding 32-8 lead.

However, the Irish lived up to their fighting moniker and kept pushing and turned the tide. From 10:47 to 2:48, Notre Dame fired off a 21-3 run. It was sparked by Hammond who scored eight of his 10 first half points during that stretch.

The Seminoles who couldn’t miss at first, finished the 1st half on a 3-for-17 shooting stretch. The Irish, once down 24 points, cut the deficit to as low as six, before running into the locker-room at halftime down 10 at 39-29.

The second half was the same script. FSU outscored ND 17-7 to start and eventually pushed the lead back up to 24. Irish found some offensive rhythm thanks to a 12-point second half performance from Wertz, inspiring a 19-3 run which cut it to 69-61.

Starling, Hammond and Goodwin went back-to-back-to-back on treys and it was now just 73-67. The Irish sent the Seminoles to the free-throw line where they staved the nerves and converted, stymying the rally as the Irish fell 84-71.

Up Next

Notre Dame caps off the week with Boston College on Jan. 21 at 2 p.m. on RSN


GREENSBORO, N.C. — After a two-win performance last weekend against Navy and Princeton, Notre Dame freshman diver Daniel Knapp has been named ACC Co-Diver of the Week. Pitt’s Dylan Reed also earned the honors.

Knapp, who hails from Mesa, Ariz., posted a 330.75 in the men’s 1-meter event and a 408.00 in the 3-meter. It was his best 3-meter performance this season. Both scores qualify for NCAA Zones, which will take place for the Irish March 9-11 on the campus of the University of Indiana.

The rookie diver has been a consistent scoring presence for head diving coach Mark Bradshaw. In his inaugural collegiate meet, which was a tri-meet at Pittsburgh and against Penn State, Knapp took second in both springboard events. He won the 3-meter at Notre Dame’s home meet against Louisville, and he took sixth place overall in the 1-meter at the Texas Diving Invitational just before Thanksgiving.

Knapp was the sole Irish diver to compete at the 2022 USA Diving Winter National Championships in December, where he faced the nation’s top divers, many of whom have realistic Olympic aspirations. He placed 17th overall.

The Irish men’s swimming and diving program is currently ranked No. 23 in the country. Next up, Notre Dame hosts the Tim Welsh Classic at Rolfs Aquatic Center on Jan. 27-28.


NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Senior netminder for the Irish hockey program, Ryan Bischel earned his second conference honor of the season following his performance in net against No. 2/2 Minnesota last weekend. The Medina, Minnesota, native registered 57 saves in 124:56 minutes played between the pipes over the weekend series, including 36 saves in Friday night’s overtime contest with the Gophers en route to being named Big Ten Third Star of the Week, the conference announced Tuesday.

Bischel stood tall in net Friday night to lead his team to the shootout victory over Minnesota, posting four saves in the three-on-three overtime session before stifling all three Gopher attempts in the shootout as the Irish took the 1-0 shootout win for the extra conference point in the NCAA recognized 2-2 tie. He was named First Star of the Game Friday night following the shootout victory.

Notre Dame’s last line of defense posted a .919 save percentage over the two-game stretch as the team split the series with the second-ranked Gophers.

In addition to picking up his second conference honor of the season, Bischel was named to the Mike Richter Award Watch List last week. In 24 games played in 2022-23, the starting goaltender boasts four shutouts, ranked second nationally, while his 730 saves is the nation’s third-best total. His .924 season save percentage also ranks among the top goaltenders, as he’s eighth nationally and second in the Big Ten.

Bischel and the rest of his Irish squad are back in action Jan. 20-21 at No. 6/6 Penn State. The two teams most recently split the series in Indiana, with Bischel recording a career-high 47 saves in Notre Dame’s game two victory against the Nittany Lions.


CARBONDALE, Ill. – Marvin Coleman II had the top offensive game of his career, scoring 25 points to lead the University of Evansville men’s basketball team on Tuesday night in a 78-70 defeat to Southern Illinois inside the Banterra Center.

“It would have been very easy to give in with the way we started the game but we fought,” Purple Aces head coach David Ragland exclaimed.  “We gave everything we had and loved our response.  We looked more connected in times of adversity and just tried to find a way.  That is what we have been working on with our group.”

Coleman knocked down 9 of his 13 attempts and was a perfect 3-of-3 from long range.  He added a team-best nine caroms.  Kenny Strawbridge Jr. completed the game with 12 points while Gage Bobe added 11.  Southern Illinois was led by Marcus Domask’s 32-point effort.  He hit 13 out of 18 tries.

The first 10 points of the evening belonged to the Salukis before a free throw from Antoine Smith Jr. got the Aces on the board.  SIU added six more to its lead to go up 16-1.  UE missed its first nine field goal tries before Smith connected on a triple.  Gabe Spinelli hit consecutive shots to cut the deficit to 10 (18-8) as the half approached its midway point.

Southern Illinois took over the next segment, pushing their advantage to its largest of the half at 37-17 with 5:44 showing on the clock.  Evansville never relented and its persistence paid off.  Yacine Toumi picked up a pair of field goals and Gage Bobe drained a three to complete a 9-0 run that saw UE cut the gap to 37-26 with just over two minutes remaining.

Despite the Salukis knocking down three late free throws to hold a 42-30 halftime advantage, the Aces completed the first period on a 13-5 run.

Marvin Coleman II opened the second-half scoring with a triple to get UE back within single digits.  Both defenses held the opposing offense at bay through the ensuing stretch as UE was able to stay within striking distance.  With under 13 minutes left, Kenny Strawbridge Jr. drilled a triple to make it a 53-43 game but the Salukis countered to push the lead back to 15 when an offensive rebound led to a triple with under 10 minutes remaining.

Once again, it was Coleman pacing the offense, connecting on his third triple in as many tries.  Evansville’s deficit continued to hover between 10 and 15 minutes over the remainder of the contest with SIU maintaining a 76-61 edge with 94 ticks left.  Battling right down to the final buzzer, UE rallied once again.  Led by a Strawbridge trey, the Aces scored seven in a row to get within eight points with just over 30 seconds remaining.

Coleman recorded a putback to make it a 77-70 game but SIU was able to prevail by the 78-70 final.  Evansville finished with a 47.4%-46.9% shooting advantage while the Salukis had a 38-29 edge on the boards.  The Aces are back at the Ford Center on Saturday for a 3 p.m. game against Drake.


EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Softball has set its 2023 schedule and first as an NCAA Division I program, opening the 2023 season at the Elon Softball Classic February 10-12.

The 2023 regular season schedule will feature 48 total games with 15 home games at USI Softball Field.

“I feel good about the schedule and the opponents our team will face this season,” Head Coach Sue Kunkle said. “Our preseason tournaments will prepare us for our OVC season and give us an idea of where we are at and what we need to do to continue our success.”

“Our competition will be solid all year and our standards within our program will remain high. I think it will be important to take it one game at a time and look for continued growth throughout the season.”

Opening weekend at the Elon Softball Classic February 10-12 from Elon, North Carolina will include matchups against Winthrop University, Elon University, and Morgan State University.

The following weekend, February 18-19, the Screaming Eagles will return to Evansville but will play across town at the University of Evansville Softball Classic, taking on the University of Wisconsin Green Bay and the University of Evansville.

The non-conference slate will continue at the Bulldog Classic in Birmingham, Alabama, hosted by Samford University, February 24-26. USI will face Samford, the University of North Alabama, and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) while in Birmingham.

USI will conclude the main portion of its non-conference schedule at The Spring Games Tournament March 4-8 in Madeira Beach, Florida. USI will play six schools across eight games in four days.

Southern Indiana’s inaugural series as a member of the Ohio Valley Conference will be March 11-12 at Morehead State University. The conference-opening series will kick off 24 total conference games for the Screaming Eagles.

USI’s first home series at USI Softball Field will be the following weekend, March 18-19, as the Screaming Eagles face off against Lindenwood University. Lindenwood is a fellow newcomer to the OVC and a former NCAA Division II member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference with Southern Indiana.

Two other non-conference matchups for USI will be a home doubleheader against IUPUI on April 4 and a home meeting against Butler University on April 12.

Southern Indiana will finish the regular season May 6-7 in an OVC series hosting Tennessee Tech University.

The Ohio Valley Conference Tournament will take place May 10-14 from Oxford, Alabama.

“We are staying focused on our goals and ready to attack the upcoming season,” Kunkle added. “Everyone is excited about the new experiences that are ahead of us and ready to win some games, making a mark in the OVC.”

USI Softball is coming off a 2022 season that saw the Screaming Eagles capture their third NCAA II Midwest Region title since 2017 and another Great Lakes Valley Conference championship season.

Further information regarding game broadcasts, tickets, and more will become available at a later date.


EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Men’s Basketball looks to take last week’s momentum on the road when it visits Lindenwood University Thursday and Ohio Valley Conference front running Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Saturday. Thursday’s game with Lindenwood in St. Charles, Missouri, is set to start at 8 p.m., while Saturday’s tip against SIUE in Edwardsville, Illinois, is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

USI Men’s Basketball (10-9, 3-3 OVC) is coming off a 2-0 week in conference play after rebounding for a pair of wins, defeating the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 74-67, and the University of Tennessee at Martin, 80-66. Sophomore guard Isaiah Swope (Newburgh, Indiana) led the Eagles last week with 20.0 points per game versus UT Martin and Little Rock. Senior forward Jacob Polakovich (Grand Rapids, Michigan) followed Swope in the scoring column and averaged a double-double with 17.5 points and 13.0 rebounds per game.

Swope became the third USI scoring leader this season with a team-best 13.6 points per game, followed by graduate forward Trevor Lakes (Lebanon, Indiana), who is posting 13.2 points per game. Senior guard Jelani Simmons (Columbus, Ohio) is third with 12.7 points per outing, while Polakovich rounds out the double-digit scorers with 11.9 points per outing and is posting a team-best 11.5 rebounds per game.

The Lindenwood Lions (7-12, 2-4 OVC) are 2-3 in the last five games after falling to Southeast Missouri State University, 94-71, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, 68-58, last week. Lindenwood senior guard Chris Childs leads the Lions and four players in double-figures this season with 14.4 points per game.

USI leads the series with Lindenwood, 4-0, after the Lions joined the GLVC in 2019-20. The Eagles swept last season’s GLVC games with Simmons leading way with 19 points per game.

SIUE (14-5, 5-1 OVC) leads the OVC by winning five of the first six conference games this year and currently tied for the OVC’s best winning streak at four games. The Cougars are led in 2022-23 by sophomore guard Ray’Sean Taylor, who is posting 13.9 points per game.

USI leads the all-time series that started in 1971-72, 44-21.  The Eagles also lead the series, 15-12, in games played at SIUE.

SIUE has won the last two meetings, including the first game in OVC action, 69-62, at Screaming Eagles Arena. SIUE sophomore guard Damarco Minor led all scorers with 27 points, while USI’s Swope led the Eagles with 19 points.


The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team hit big shots down the stretch, pulling away for a 76-66 victory over UIC on Tuesday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Nick Edwards twice beat the shot clock horn with a 3-pointer, Quinton Green (Columbus, Ohio / Homeschool [Cedarville]) converted a 4-point play and Kobe King (La Crosse, Wis. / La Crosse Centrla [Wisconsin]) poured in a game-high 24 points to help the Beacons to their second straight victory. 

How It Happened

Valpo jumped out to a 9-4 lead, and eventually stretched the advantage to 14-6 on a 3 by Connor Barrett (Chicago, Ill. / Loyola Academy) and 17-9 on an Edwards triple.

Valpo had a 19-12 lead at the 11:09 mark of the first half, but UIC ran off 10 straight points to grab a 22-19 lead with 6:59 to go in the half.

Barrett made another big 3 with 4:19 on the clock to make it 31-27. That helped the hosts enter the break ahead 36-33.

Valpo held a slight lead early in the second half, an advantage that was stretched to seven at the 15:14 mark after a triple by Green.

UIC put together a push to tie the game at 51 with 8:23 remaining.

Edwards stemmed the tide with an enormous triple to beat the shot-clock horn to give the Beacons a 54-51 lead with 6:55 on the clock.

With 5:27 remaining and Valpo clinging to a one-point lead, Green completed a four-point play to up the edge to five at 60-55.

Edwards again beat the shot clock at the 2:20 mark, this time building the lead to 65-60 on a Krikke assist. Valpo never looked back the rest of the way, with the final exclamation mark coming on an Edwards steal leading to a Krikke fastbreak layup to make it an 11-point game with 17 seconds to go.

Inside the Game

King tallied 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting and 8-of-8 at the free-throw line. This marked his second-straight game with 20 or more. This was his 20th straight game in double figures. It marked his highest scoring output since 26 on Nov. 13 vs. Western Michigan.

Krikke scored 16 points and went 8-of-10 at the free-throw line. He has scored 15 points or more in six straight. He dished out five assists, his fifth straight game with three or more helpers.

Edwards stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, six rebounds, seven assists and three steals.

Green tallied nine points and tied a season high with seven rebounds, his third game with seven boards this year.

Valpo shot 85.2 percent at the free-throw line (23-of-27), its highest percentage since Nov. 19 vs. Incarnate Word (20-23, 87 percent) and second highest of the season.

UIC’s Toby Okani had 29 points and 11 rebounds.

The Beacons held the Flames to 40.4 percent shooting, the team’s best field-goal percentage defense in conference play so far this season.

Valpo outscored UIC 25-15 over the final eight minutes.

Up Next

Valpo (8-12, 2-7 MVC) will seek a third straight win on Saturday night at Illinois State. The game will tip off at 6 p.m. 


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UIndy men’s basketball team jumped six spots to No. 18 in the latest National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) rankings, announced on Tuesday afternoon.

The 18th position is the highest the Hounds have been ranked this season. Tuesday’s poll also marks the first time that UIndy has appeared in the top 25 in back-to-back weeks since March 2020.

The Greyhounds are in the midst of a nine-game winning streak, highlighted by Saturday’s victory over then-No. 11 Missouri-St. Louis. Despite UIndy’s 77-70 win over the weekend, the Tritons remain the highest-ranked team in the GLVC at No. 16. Meanwhile, the G-MAC’s Hillsdale tops all Midwest Region competitors at No. 7.

Leading scorer Jesse Bingham became the 44th Greyhound in program history to reach 1,000 career points on Monday, just after being announced to the top-100 watch list for the Bevo Francis Award. Also shining for the Hounds is Kendrick Tchoua, who earned GLVC Player of the Week honors after a pair of dominating performances over the weekend against Missouri S&T and UMSL.

The two remaining undefeated programs in DII, Indiana University (Pa.) and Nova Southeastern (Fla.), are first and second, respectively, in the rankings.

The complete poll can be found below.

RKSCHOOL (1st-place votes)RECPTSPREV
1.Indiana (PA) (12)15-03961
2.Nova Southeastern (3)16-03852
3.Lincoln Memorial17-13535
4.Central Oklahoma17-13487
5.Colorado School of Mines16-13416
8.Black Hills State14-12913
9.Northwest Missouri15-22684
10.UNC Pembroke16-125813
12.Fort Lewis15-123015
13.West Virginia State15-119717
14.East Stroudsburg14-117919
15.West Liberty14-21578
16.Missouri-St. Louis14-215511
17.Young Harris14-113222
19.Cal State San Bernardino12-211112
20.Point Loma16-39225
22.MSU Moorhead15-34420
23.Colorado Mesa14-338NR
24.Emporia State14-335NR
25.North Georgia*11-229NR


INDIANA WESLEYAN ATHLETICS: https://iwuwildcats.com/

EARLHAM ATHLETICS: https://goearlham.com/

WABASH ATHLETICS: https://sports.wabash.edu/

FRANKLIN ATHLETICS: https://franklingrizzlies.com/

ROSE-HULMAN ATHLETICS: https://athletics.rose-hulman.edu/

ANDERSON ATHLETICS: https://athletics.anderson.edu/landing/index

TRINE ATHLETICS: https://trinethunder.com/landing/index

BETHEL ATHLETICS: https://bupilots.com/

DEPAUW ATHLETICS: https://depauwtigers.com/

HANOVER ATHLETICS: https://athletics.hanover.edu/

MANCHESTER ATHLETICS: https://muspartans.com/

HUNTINGTON ATHLETICS: https://www.huathletics.com/

OAKLAND CITY ATHLETICS: https://gomightyoaks.com/index.aspx

ST. FRANCIS ATHLETICS: https://www.saintfranciscougars.com/landing/index

IU KOKOMO ATHLETICS: https://iukcougars.com/

IU EAST ATHLETICS: https://www.iueredwolves.com/

IU SOUTH BEND ATHLETICS: https://iusbtitans.com/

PURDUE NORTHWEST ATHLETICS: https://pnwathletics.com/

INDIANA TECH ATHLETICS: https://indianatechwarriors.com/index.aspx


ST. MARY OF THE WOODS ATHLETICS: https://smwcathletics.com/

GOSHEN COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://goleafs.net/

HOLY CROSS ATHLETICS: https://www.hcsaints.com/index.php

TAYLOR ATHLETICS: https://www.taylortrojans.com/

VINCENNES ATHLETICS: https://govutrailblazers.com/landing/index


*************NBA STANDINGS***********

Eastern Conference
 WLPctConf GBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Boston3312.73317-516-75-019-88-27 W
Milwaukee2916.6444.018-511-115-317-126-42 W
Philadelphia2816.6364.517-711-94-317-108-23 W
Brooklyn2716.6285.013-714-95-320-86-43 L
Cleveland2817.6225.019-49-137-317-86-41 W
New York2520.5568.011-1214-82-516-117-31 L
Miami2421.5339.014-99-125-210-136-41 L
Indiana2322.51110.015-98-132-316-125-54 L
Atlanta2222.50010.512-910-135-316-155-53 W
10 Chicago2024.45512.512-108-144-316-135-51 W
11 Toronto2025.44413.014-116-143-814-185-51 L
12 Washington1826.40914.511-107-164-311-155-52 L
13 Orlando1628.36416.510-126-162-57-183-72 L
14 Detroit1235.25522.06-166-190-64-213-72 L
15 Charlotte1134.24422.05-166-183-65-232-85 L
Western Conference
 WLPctConf GBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Denver3113.70520-311-108-323-99-17 W
Memphis3013.6980.519-311-106-215-1010-010 W
New Orleans2618.5915.017-59-137-316-104-61 L
Sacramento2418.5716.014-910-94-512-97-34 W
Dallas2421.5337.516-68-156-218-105-52 L
Golden State2222.5009.017-55-174-413-96-41 W
LA Clippers2323.5009.013-1110-123-413-142-81 L
Utah2324.4899.514-89-164-417-144-61 W
Minnesota2223.4899.514-108-136-514-146-41 L
10 Oklahoma City2123.47710.013-98-143-610-126-43 W
11 Portland2123.47710.011-810-154-715-143-71 L
12 Phoenix2124.46710.514-77-178-018-131-93 L
13 LA Lakers2024.45511.011-109-141-79-156-41 W
14 San Antonio1431.31117.59-155-152-75-242-81 W
15 Houston1034.22721.06-144-201-85-260-1011 L

*************NHL STANDINGS***********

Eastern Conference
Boston Bruins43345472321669421-1-313-4-17-1-2
Carolina Hurricanes442798622414112013-5-214-4-65-3-2
New Jersey Devils4429123612815611611-10-218-2-17-2-1
Toronto Maple Leafs4527117612715212116-3-411-8-35-4-1
Tampa Bay Lightning4228131572715212217-4-111-9-08-2-0
New York Rangers4525137572314412011-8-414-5-36-2-2
Washington Capitals4724176542415013313-8-311-9-34-4-2
Pittsburgh Penguins4322156502113913012-5-410-10-23-6-1
New York Islanders4523184502313612413-7-210-11-24-4-2
10 Florida Panthers4621205472015215811-6-310-14-25-4-1
11 Buffalo Sabres432119345201631509-12-212-7-14-5-1
12 Philadelphia Flyers4519197451912714510-10-19-9-68-2-0
13 Detroit Red Wings4318178441713414911-9-37-8-53-6-1
14 Ottawa Senators4319213411812613911-10-18-11-25-5-0
15 Montreal Canadiens4519233411512016310-11-09-12-34-6-0
16 Columbus Blue Jackets4413292281211117210-14-13-15-13-7-0
Western Conference
Dallas Stars4526127592515611912-5-314-7-46-3-1
Vegas Golden Knights4528152582514713013-12-015-3-25-4-1
Winnipeg Jets4529151592914811817-6-012-9-18-2-0
Seattle Kraken4426144562616113910-9-216-5-28-2-0
Los Angeles Kings4625156562115415714-8-211-7-46-3-1
Minnesota Wild4325144542213812013-8-112-6-36-2-2
Edmonton Oilers4625183532516915111-11-214-7-16-3-1
Calgary Flames4521159512014013512-7-29-8-75-3-2
Nashville Predators4421176481912212811-7-310-10-36-3-1
10 Colorado Avalanche4222173471913112111-8-311-9-03-6-1
11 St. Louis Blues452220347191411609-10-213-10-16-4-0
12 Vancouver Canucks431822339151491708-10-110-12-23-7-0
13 San Jose Sharks451323935121371724-12-79-11-22-5-3
14 Arizona Coyotes441425533121191618-6-26-19-31-9-0
15 Anaheim Ducks45122852991051908-13-14-15-43-6-1
16 Chicago Blackhawks42122642812981579-15-23-11-24-6-0

*******FOOTBALL HISTORY*******

January 18, 1951 – Rules revisions came out of the annual NFL meetings. A rule was instituted that guards, tackles and centers ineligible for forward pass according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This rule change led to make the game what it is today as there can only be 6 eligible receivers on any given play, the widest player on each end of the line and the four in the backfield. The NFL took control of the original failing Baltimore Colts franchise. Colts owner Abraham Watner returned the Baltimore franchise and its player contracts back to the NFL for $50,000. These former Baltimore Colts players were made available in the upcoming 1951 NFL Draft at the same time as college players were picked. The Colts were originally members of the AAFC and when that league disbanded they and the Browns and 49ers were absorbed into the NFL. In 1953 the name of the Baltimore Colts was resurrected when the NFL granted permission for a struggling Dallas Texans franchise to be taken over by the League. NFL Commissioner Bert Bell challenged the city of Baltimore to sell 15,000 season tickets within six weeks and when they succeeded the franchise was sold to Carroll Rosenbloom who then opened up shop as the Baltimore Colts. Robert Irsay acquired the Los Angeles Rams franchise in 1972 and then subsequently engineered a big trade of teams with Carroll Rosenbloom that year. Twelve years later on March 28, 1984, Irsay moved the Colts to Indianapolis.

January 18, 1951 – Speaking of that 1951 NFL Draft it took place right after the meeting above was completed. Kyle Rote from SMU was the first pick by the New York Giants. Future Hall of Famers that came out of this Draft were quarterback Y.A. Tittle as the 3rd overall pick by the 49ers, Dan Stanfel by the Lions at 19 and the Bears taking Bill George with the 23rd pick. The Pro-Football-Reference.com website also tells us that other future Pro Football Hall of Famers Mike McCormack was taken by the New York Yanks, Art Donovan by the Browns, Detroit’s pick of Jack Christiansen and a guy by the name of Don Shula was picked by the Browns.

January 18, 1963 – Al Davis became the head coach and general manager of the Oakland Raiders. Davis had an extremely interesting ride in his pro football career. Al turned the Raiders in 1963 into winners sporting a 10-4 record in the AFL after only managing a dismal 9-33 record as a franchise in the three seasons of existence prior to Davis being hired on as coach. Soon after in 1966, according to a bleacherreport.com article, Al Davis was selected to act as the AFL Commissioner and served in that capacity until the league merged with the NFL. It was after this point that Davis returned to Oakland where he served as a co-owner of the franchise eventually becoming the majority owner and main decision maker.

January 18, 1970 – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – The 20th NFL Pro Bowl took place as the Western teams outlasted those of the East, 16-13. Chicago Bears legendary halfback Gale Sayers and George Andrie, the defensive end of the Dallas Cowboys, were selected as the game’s Most Valuable Players per the Onthisday.com website.

January 18, 1976 – Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida – The NFL World Championship was settled in Super Bowl X. The Dallas Cowboys winners of the NFC were matched up against the AFC champs the Pittsburgh Steelers. These two teams were filled with future Pro Football Hall of Famers. In fact there were 12 in all. The Cowboys fielded Roger Staubach, Rayfield Wright, Mel Renfro and Cliff Harris while the Steelers countered with Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Jack Lambert, Mel Blount, Joe Greene, Jack Ham, John Stalworth, and Lynn Swann. The Head coaches Chuck Noll and Tom Landry also ended up getting their busts in Canton according to the Pro-Football-Reference.com. The Cowboys had a three point lead at the half but the majority of the scoring took place in the final stanza. It was the Steelers who put up two touchdowns in the fourth field by some iconic acrobatic catches by Lynn Swann to overcome the Cowboys late charge. The final score was the Pittsburgh Steelers 21 to the 17 points of the Dallas Cowboys. Lynn Swann was an obvious voice as the game’s MVP.

January 18, 1983 International Olympic Committee restored Jim Thorpe’s Olympic medals for winning both the Pentathlon and Decathlon 70 years after they were taken from him per the NDNsports.com website article. At the 1912 Olympic Games Thorpe became the first Native American to win Olympic gold years before his ethnic group was accepted as American citizens. After his performance at the Games Sweden’s King Gustav V called Jim THorpe “The World’s Greatest Athlete.” The victory and the world acclaim was soured though, about six months later when it was uncovered that in 1909 and 1910 Thorpe had allegedly had his room and board paid for by a semi-pro baseball team he had played for. The IOC almost immediately stripped Thorpe of the medals and took his name out of the record books while refusing to hear Thorpe’s side of the story of allegedly receiving what would amount to be $25 of his expenses being paid for. After decades of petitioning and the release of 1912 IOC documents, the Olympic governing board returned Thorpe’s medals but erroneously listed him as a co-champion of the events. Sorry there should not be any asterisks next to this great athlete’s name!

January 18, 2000- Robert Wood Johnson IV, the heir to the Johnson and Johnson Company, was approved by the NFL at the owner’s meeting to be able to purchase the New York Jets franchise.


January 18, 2004 – Gillette Stadium, Foxborough – The AFC Championship game outcome had the New England Patriots over the Indianapolis Colts, 24-14.

January 18, 2004 NFC Championship was played at Philly’s Lincoln Financial Field where the Carolina Panthers overcame the home team Philadelphia Eagles, 14-3.

January 18, 2009 – Heinz Field, Pittsburgh – The AFC Championship game resulted in a Pittsburgh Steelers 23-14 victory over their AFC North rivals the Baltimore Ravens.

January 18, 2009 NFC Championship was played at the University of Phoenix Stadium. In the game the Arizona Cardinals knocked off the Philadelphia Eagles, 32-25.

January 18, 2015 – Gillette Stadium, Foxborough – The AFC Championship finished up with the New England Patriots outmatching the Indianapolis Colts, 45-7.

January 18, 2015 – CenturyLink Field, Seattle – The NFC Championship resulted in the Seattle Seahawks taking out the Green Bay Packers, 28-22 in overtime!


January 18, 1897 – Houston, Texas – The great Cornell Halfback Eddie Kaw was born. The footballfoundation.com supports the story that in 1921 when the Penn Quakers hosted underdog Cornell Eddie Kaw had what was probably his greatest day in football. The undersized Cornell halfback maneuvered his way through a quagmire of mud and slop on the field, scoring five of Cornell’s six touchdowns as the Big Red handed Penn its worst defeat since the series started between the two schools back in 1893. The final score was 41-0. In that contest. Kaw was named an All-American in 1921 and again in 1922. The National Football Foundation selected Eddie Kaw to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954.

January 18, 1950 – Birmingham, Alabama – The birth of Pat Sullivan the fine Auburn University quarterback is celebrated. Sullivan was a signal calling standout from 1969 through the 1971 seasons with the Tigers. According to his bio on the National Football Foundation website as a sophomore, he broke the school’s records for total offense and passing yardage. The next year, he broke them again as a Junior and was named Most Valuable Player in the Southeastern Conference while earning All-American honors. His Senior season Pat was his best as he was named a unanimous All-America and took home the Heisman Trophy! Pat Sullivan was honored with the entrance of his football legacy in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1991.


1887       Kansas City receives a franchise in the Western League. The minor league team, which will fold after the 1888 season, will be known as the Cowboys, the same name used by the defunct teams representing the city in the National League and Union Association and the franchise that will play in the American Association beginning in 1889.

1938       Grover Cleveland Alexander becomes the tenth and only player this year to be elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA. Old Pete’s 373 victories is the record for the most career wins in the National League, a mark he shares with Christy Mathewson.

1947       Due to his misunderstanding of a photo taken in 1943, believing Hank Greenberg had posed in a Yankee jersey, Tiger owner Walter Briggs sells the 1946 American League home run leader (44) to the Pirates for $35,000 after ensuring that the other AL teams wouldn’t put in a waiver claim. Pittsburgh dissuades the disgruntled Hammerin’ Hank not to retire, and he will join and mentor the National League’s young home run leader, 25-year-old Ralph Kiner, in the Steel City.

1950       “You can call this a very drastic pay cut. Feller thinks it’s drastic, too. But he himself made the suggestion. In fact, he offered to take more than the 25 percent maximum pay cut allowed.” – HANK GREENBERG, Indian GM explaining the reduction in Bob Feller’s salary. Bob Feller asks and gets his salary reduced to $45,000, a $20,000 cut, because he believes his sub-par record of 15-14 doesn’t merit an increase. Right-handed’ Rapid Robert’ rebounds, posting a 16-11 record and an ERA of 3.43 for the Indians next season.

1952       The White Sox board of directors accept the resignation of Charlie A. Comiskey, Jr., the team’s Vice President and secretary, after turning down his request for a promotion and more money. The 25-year-old’s dissatisfaction with the club was a complete surprise to his mother, Grace Comiskey, the Chicago ball club’s president.

1958       Willie O’Ree becomes the first black player in the National Hockey League when he plays left wing for the Bruins in their 3-0 victory over the Canadiens at the Montreal Forum. The 22-year-old’s NHL debut for Boston occurs 18 months before Pumpsie Green breaks the color line of the Red Sox, the last major league team to integrate.

1969       Ted Williams becomes the manager of the Senators, agreeing to a five-year deal for a reported salary of $75,000 per season. The team, which finished in last place in the previous campaign, will post an 86-76 record in Williams’ first year at the helm, accounting for the only .500 season during their 11-year tenure in Washington.

Amazon Ted Williams and the 1969 Washington Senators: The Last Winning Season

1969       Interior Secretary Stewart Udall announces the District of Columbia Stadium will now be known as the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, in memory of the former AG and NY Senator, assassinated last June while campaigning to be president. The renamed ballpark, better known as RFK Stadium, will continue to host the ‘new’ Washington Senators franchise result of a joint action taken by the Interior Department and the DC Armory Board, which operates the stadium under a contract with the National Park.

1973       Former Giant first baseman Orlando Cepeda comes to terms with the Red Sox, making him the first player signed specifically to be a designated hitter. On Opening Day at Fenway Park, ‘Cha-Cha’ will miss an opportunity to make history when three hits and three walks give the Yankees’ Ron Blomberg, batting sixth in the lineup, the distinction of being the first DH to bat in a major league game.

1989       Nearing the end of his second term, President Reagan pardons George Steinbrenner for convictions connected with illegal contributions to the 1972 presidential campaign of Richard M. Nixon. The Yankee owner, who pleaded guilty in 1974 to conspiring to violate federal election laws, was fined $15,000 but did not spend time in jail.

2002       The Mariners avoid arbitration with pitcher Freddy Garcia (18-6, 3.05) by signing him to a one-year, $3.8-million deal. The 25-year-old standout right-handed hurler led the American League in earned run average last season.

2002       Kerry Wood (12-6, 3.36) avoids arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal with the Cubs believed to be worth between $3.5 and 4 million. The right-handed fireballer, who struck out 217 batters in 174.1 innings, is again eligible for arbitration after each of the next two seasons and can become a free agent following the 2004 season.

2002       Scott Rolen (.289, 25, 107) avoids arbitration by agreeing to the largest annual salary in Phillies’ history, an $8.6 million, one-year deal that includes bonuses. The 26-year-old Gold Glove third baseman turned down a 10-year contract worth up to $140 million, making it clear he planned to file for free agency after the season.

2005       Eric Gagne and the Dodgers agree to a $19-million, two-year deal. The 2003 National League’s Cy Young Award winner, who set a major league record with 84 consecutive saves from August (2002) to July (2004), made $5 million last year after arbitrators ruled in favor of the club’s offer over the $8 million requested by the LA closer.

2008       Mark Teixeira signs a one-year contract worth $12.5 million to play for the Braves. The slugging first baseman, acquired from the Rangers at the trading deadline last season, added a much-needed punch to the Atlanta lineup.

2008       Avoiding arbitration, Justin Morneau (.271, 31, 111), a potential free agent after the 2010 season, comes to terms with the Twins on a $7.4 million one-year deal. The 26-year-old Canadian first baseman was the American League MVP in 2006.

2008       The Tigers avoid arbitration with their new third baseman when Miguel Cabrera agrees to an $11.3 million, one-year deal. The All-Star infielder was acquired, along with southpaw Dontrelle Willis, from the Marlins in exchange for six highly-touted prospects, including Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller, as part of a blockbuster trade during the winter meetings last month.

2008       The A’s sign Joe Blanton (14-10, 3.95) to a $3.7 million, one-year deal, avoiding arbitration with the 27-year-old right-hander. The Oakland workhorse, throwing the second-most innings in American League with 230, has been the subject of trade talks as Oakland continues to rebuild for the future.

2008       The Rockies, still hoping to come to terms on a longer-term deal with their All-Star outfielder, sign Matt Holliday for two more years for $23 million. The agreement is reached just a few hours before the arbitration deadline for exchanging salary figures between players and teams.

2008       The Rays avoid arbitration with two key players when the club reaches agreements with southpaw Scott Kazmir (13-9, 3.48) and infielder Carlos Pena (.282, 42, 99). The left-hand hurler, who led the AL in strikeouts last season, inks a $3,785,000, one-year pact while the club’s first baseman, the American League comeback player of the year, signs a $24+ million, three-year deal.

2008       Thirty major league owners voted unanimously to extend Bud Selig’s contract by three years at their quarterly meetings, retaining him as commissioner through 2012. In the post since 1992, the 73-year-old has championed change in baseball, supporting the wild card, interleague play, and the World Baseball Classic in a sport not known for innovation.

2009       Cole Hamels agrees to a three-year contract with the Phillies valued at $20.5 million. The 25-year-old southpaw, who posted a 4-0 record with a 1.80 ERA in five postseason starts for the World Champions, pitches poorly in the first year but rebounds by compiling an overall 36-31 (.537) record with a 3.36 ERA during the three seasons of the deal.

2010       Thinking two Hairstons must be better than one, the Padres obtain utilityman Jerry Hairston Jr. (.251, 10, 39), the older brother of Scott, signed by the club three days ago. The siblings are sons of former major leaguer Jerry Hairston and Sammy Hairston’s grandchildren, who played in four games with the White Sox in 1951.

2010       After agreeing to spend more money on their payroll this season, the Marlins keep their word to the players’ association when they sign second baseman Dan Uggla to a $7.8 million, one-year contract. Recently, the tight-fisted Fish also agreed to a $39 million, four-year deal with right-hander Josh Johnson.

2011       Royals’ starter Gil Meche, who signed a controversial five-year, $55 million free-agent contract before the 2007 season, announces his retirement from baseball due to ongoing troubles caused by a shoulder injury. With this decision, the 32-year-old right-hander forfeits the remaining $12 million on his contract, but he believes Kansas City has been fair to him and does not want to take the club’s money when he cannot pitch effectively.

2011       The Yankees sign Rays’ free-agent Rafael Soriano to a $35 million, three-year deal. The All-Star right-handed reliever, who led the AL in saves last year with 45, will be used by New York as a set-up man to Mariano Rivera, the team’s 41-year-old iconic closer.

2012       Just minutes before the signing deadline, the Rangers and right-hander Yu Darvish agree to a six-year, $60 million contract. The 25-year-old Japanese, who posted an 18-6 record along with an ERA of 1.44 superstar with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters last season, will cost Texas more than $111 million with the $51.7 million posting fee owed to his former team.

2014       St. Louis officials reveal details about the team’s new Hall of Fame that will be established this spring at the dedication of their new museum at the Cardinals Nation in the Ballpark Village. The team’s initiative will immortalize the greatest players and other key figures in franchise history, starting with the twenty-two individuals selected due to their previous induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame or having their number retired by the club.

2014       The Dodgers confirm Clayton Kershaw’s record-breaking $215 million seven-year contract, the largest deal ever given to a pitcher. The two-time National League Cy Young Award, who will earn $30.7 million annually, requested and received an opt-out clause after five years, making the right-hander eligible to become a free agent at the of age 30.

******SPORTS IN NUMBERS*******

5 – 21 – 18 – 44 – 21 – 16 – 66 – 88 – 00 – 35 – 30 – 7

January 18, 1896 – First college basketball game with 5 players on each side is conducted by the University of Iowa; invites student athletes from University of Chicago for an experimental game; Chicago beats Iowa 15-12

January 18, 1938 – Pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander was elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

January 18, 1947 – Hank Greenberg was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Detroit Tigers. The righthanded batting first baseman, garnered $35,000 in cash for the Tigers. Greenberg wore Number 5 for both clubs. In his one season for the Buccos he hit 25 Homeruns and had 74 RBIs with the lowest batting average of his career at .249.

January 18, 1951 -Kyle Rote Number 44 of the SMU Mustangs was the first overall pick by New York Giants in the 1951 NFL Draft.

January 18, 1951 – NFL takes control of failing Baltimore Colts

January 18, 1955 – Bill Sharman, Number 21 is voted as the MVP of the NBA All-Star game as the Celtics Guard helped the East claim a 100-91 victory over their West counterparts.

January 18, 1958 – The NHL’s first African-American skater, Willie ORee makes his debut with the Boston Bruins as then blanked the host Montreal Canadiens 3-0. O’Ree wore the Number 18 sweater in the game.

January 18, 1967 – 20th NHL All-Star Game, Montreal Forum, Montreal, QC: Montreal Canadiens beat All-Stars, 3-0. Montreal Canadiens, Center, Number 16, Henri Richard.

January 18, 1970 – 20th NFL Pro Bowl, LA Memorial Coliseum: West beats East, 16-13; MVPs were on offense Chicago Bears, HB, Number 40, Gale Sayers Dallas Cowboys, DE, Number 66, George Andrie for the defensive side.

January 18, 1972 – 22nd NBA All Star Game, The Forum, Inglewood, Ca: West beats East, 112-110: MVP: LA Lakers, G, Number 44, Jerry West, hits a last-second, 20-foot game-winning jumper

January 18, 1976 – Super Bowl X, Miami Orange Bowl, Miami, FL: Pittsburgh Steelers beat Dallas Cowboys, 21-17; MVP was Pittsburgh, Wide Receiver, Number 88, Lynn Swann.

January 18, 1992 – 43rd NHL All-Star Game, Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA: Campbell beats Wales, 10-6. St. Louis, RW, Number 16, Brett Hull was selected as the game’s MVP.

January 18, 1998 – Boston Celtics retire Robert Parrish’s Number 00

January 18, 2001 – New York Rangers G, Number 35, Mike Richter picks up his 267th career NHL win to become the winningest goaltender in team history; passes Ed Giacomin; Rangers beat the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs, 2-1 in overtime

January 18, 2017 – Baseball Hall of Fame adds Jeff Bagwell (Number 5), Tim Raines (Number 30), and Ivan Rodriguez (Number 7)

January 18, 2022 – Boston Bruins retire Willie O’Ree’s Number 22 jersey, on the 64th anniversary of his becoming the NHL’s first Black player

*********************TV WEDNESDAY*************************

Bucknell at Army West Point6:00pmESPN+
Hartford at Morgan State6:00pm
UConn at Seton Hall6:30pmFS1
Virginia Tech at Virginia7:00pmESPN2/U
Auburn at LSU7:00pmESPN2/U
Florida at Texas A&M7:00pmSECN
Ohio State at Nebraska7:00pmBTN
Pitt at Louisville7:00pmACCN
Saint Louis at Loyola Chicago7:00pmCBSSN
Duquesne at St. Bonaventure7:00pmESPN+
Cincinnati at South Florida7:00pmESPN+
East Carolina at Temple7:00pmESPN+
Winthrop at High Point7:00pmESPN+
TCU at West Virginia7:00pmESPN+
Gardner-Webb at Longwood7:00pmESPN+
Presbyterian at USC Upstate7:00pmESPN+
Radford at Campbell7:00pmESPN+
UNC Asheville at Charleston Southern7:00pmESPN+
Lafayette at American7:00pmESPN+
Colgate at Holy Cross7:00pmESPN+
Boston University at Navy7:00pmESPN+
Bradley at Indiana State7:00pmESPN+
Furman at Chattanooga7:00pmESPN+
Samford at ETSU7:00pmESPN+
Wofford at Western Carolina7:00pmESPN+
Missouri State at Drake8:00pm
Illinois State at UNI8:00pmESPN+
SMU at Tulsa8:00pmESPN+
North Alabama at Central Arkansas8:00pmESPN+
Abilene Christian at Utah Valley8:00pmESPN+
Xavier at DePaul8:30pmFS1
Oklahoma at Oklahoma State9:00pmESPNU
Arkansas at Missouri9:00pmSECN
Northwestern at Iowa9:00pmBTN
Providence at Marquette9:00pmCBSSN
Utah Tech at Grand Canyon9:00pm
Oregon at California10:00pmPAC12N
San Diego State at Colorado State10:30pmFS1
Atlanta at Dallas7:30pmESPN
Washington at New York7:30pmNBCS-WSH
Charlotte at Houston8:00pmATTSn-SW
Bally Sports
Cleveland at Memphis8:00pmBally Sports
Indiana at Oklahoma City8:00pmBally Sports
Miami at New Orleans8:00pmBally Sports
LA Clippers at Utah9:00pmBally Sports
Minnesota at Denver10:00pmESPN
Sacramento at LA Lakers10:30pmNBCS-CA
Pittsburgh at Ottawa7:00pmATTSN-PIT
Boston at NY Islanders7:30pmTNT
Colorado at Calgary9:30pmALT
Dallas at San Jose10:00pmTNT
Tampa Bay at Vancouver10:00pmBally Sports
First Division A: KV Oostende vs Antwerp12:30pmESPN+
Copa del Rey: Sporting Gijón vs Valencia1:00pmESPN+
Supercoppa Italiana: Milan vs Internazionale2:00pmParamount+
Copa del Rey: Athletic Club vs Espanyol2:00pmESPN+
England FA Cup: Leeds United vs Cardiff City2:45pmESPN+
English Premier League: Crystal Palace vs Manchester United3:00pmPeacock
Copa del Rey: Real Betis vs Osasuna3:00pmESPN+
Copa del Rey: Levante vs Atlético Madrid3:00pmESPN+

*************************TV THURSDAY************************

UMBC at UMass Lowell6:00pmESPN+
Rutgers at Michigan State6:30pmFS1
Michigan at Maryland7:00pmESPN/2
Purdue at Minnesota7:00pmESPN2/U
Wichita State at Memphis7:00pmESPN2/U
UNCW at Hofstra7:00pmCBSSN
Northeastern at Stony Brook7:00pmSNY
Hampton at Drexel7:00pm
Cleveland State at Northern Kentucky7:00pmESPN+
Oakland at IUPUI7:00pmESPN+
Purdue Fort Wayne at Wright State7:00pmESPN+
NJIT at Bryant7:00pmESPN+
Binghamton at UAlbany7:00pmESPN+
Maine at Vermont7:00pmESPN+
Queens at North Florida7:00pmESPN+
Kennesaw State at Stetson7:00pmESPN+
Liberty at Jacksonville7:00pmESPN+
Jacksonville State at FGCU7:00pmESPN+
Charlotte at Middle Tennessee7:00pmESPN+
ULM at Georgia Southern7:00pmESPN+
Mercer at VMI7:00pmESPN+
The Citadel at UNCG7:00pmESPN+
App State at Coastal Carolina7:00pmESPN+
Georgia State at Old Dominion7:00pmESPN+
James Madison at Troy7:00pmESPN+
William & Mary at Delaware7:00pmFloSports
Charleston at Monmouth7:00pmFloSports
Towson at North Carolina A&T7:00pmFloSports
Stephen F. Austin at Sam Houston7:30pmESPN+
Denver at South Dakota8:00pm
Kansas City at North Dakota8:00pm
Oral Roberts at North Dakota State8:00pm
A&M-Commerce at New Orleans8:00pmESPN+
A&M-Corpus Christi at Lamar8:00pmESPN+
McNeese at Nicholls8:00pmESPN+
South Alabama at Southern Miss8:00pmESPN+
Louisiana at Arkansas State8:00pmESPN+
Marshall at Texas State8:00pmESPN+
UIW at Houston Christian8:00pmESPN+
Rice at North Texas8:00pmESPN+
Robert Morris at Milwaukee8:00pmESPN+
Youngstown State at Green Bay8:00pmESPN+
UT Martin at Southeast Missouri8:00pmESPN+
Florida Atlantic at UTSA8:00pmESPN+
Eastern Washington at Northern Colorado8:00pmESPN+
Idaho at Northern Arizona8:00pmESPN+
Eastern Kentucky at Lipscomb8:00pmESPN+
Bellarmine at Austin Peay8:00pmESPN+
Omaha at South Dakota State8:00pm
Indiana at Illinois8:30pmFS1
Morehead State at SIUE8:30pmESPN+
Tennessee Tech at Little Rock8:30pmESPN+
Northwestern State at Southeastern Louisiana8:30pmESPN+
Loyola Marymount at Gonzaga9:00pm
Washington at Colorado9:00pmESPNU
WKU at Louisiana Tech9:00pmCBSSN
Washington State at Utah9:00pmPAC12N
USC at Arizona9:00pmPAC12N
San Diego at Portland9:00pmKRCW
NM State at Southern Utah9:00pmESPN+
Southern Indiana at Lindenwood9:00pmESPN+
Eastern Illinois at Tennessee State9:00pmESPN+
Portland State at Weber State9:00pmESPN+
Sacramento State at Idaho State9:00pmESPN+
FIU at UTEP9:00pmESPN+
UC Riverside at UC Davis9:00pmESPN+
UC San Diego at Cal Poly10:00pmESPN+
Cal State Fullerton at Long Beach State10:00pmESPN+
CSUN at UC Santa Barbara10:00pmESPN+
Hawai’i at UC Irvine10:00pmESPN+
Tarleton at Seattle U10:00pmESPN+
UCLA at Arizona State10:30pmFS1
Saint Mary’s at Pepperdine11:00pmESPNU
BYU at Santa Clara11:00pmCBSSN
Oregon State at Stanford11:00pmPAC12N
Pacific at San Francisco11:00pmNBCS-CA
PGA: The American Express3:00pmGOLF
PGA Tour Champions Golf: Mitsubishi Electric Championship7:00pmGOLF
Chicago at Detroit3:00pmNBATV
Bally Sports
Golden State at Boston7:30pmTNT
Toronto at Minnesota8:00pmSportsnet
Bally Sports
Brooklyn at Phoenix10:00pmTNT
Philadelphia at Portland10:00pmNBCS-PHI
Root Sports
Anaheim at Columbus7:00pmBally Sports
Boston at NY Rangers7:00pmNESN
Chicago at Philadelphia7:00pmNBCS-CHI
Florida at Montreal7:00pmBally Sports
Minnesota at Carolina7:00pmBally Sports
Winnipeg at Toronto7:00pmSportsnet
NY Islanders at Buffalo7:30pmMSGSN
Nashville at St. Louis8:00pmBally Sports
Tampa Bay at Edmonton9:00pmESPN
Washington at Arizona9:00pmNBCS-WSH
Bally Sports
Detroit at Vegas10:00pmBally Sports
New Jersey at Seattle10:00pmMSGSN
Root Sports
Dallas at Los Angeles10:00pmBally Sports
Coppa Italia: Atalanta vs Spezia9:00amParamount+
Coppa Italia: Lazio vs Bologna12:00pmParamount+
Copa del Rey: Ceuta vs Barcelona2:00pmESPN+
First Division A: Sint-Truiden vs Club Brugge2:45pmESPN+
English Premier League: Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur3:00pmPeacock
Copa del Rey: Villarreal vs Real Madrid3:00pmESPN+
Coppa Italia: Juventus vs Monza3:00pmParamount+