Hold steady: UGA, Ohio St, Michigan, TCU remain CFP top 4
Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan and TCU held on to the top four spots in the College Football Playoff rankings. The Bulldogs’ Southeastern Conference rivals Tennessee and LSU are at Nos. 5 and 6, respectively. With three of the top six teams and only three weeks left until Selection Sunday, the SEC appears well positioned to put two teams in the CFP for the second straight season and third time overall. USC, the Pac-12′s best and probably last hope to make the final four, is seventh.
Michigan State outlasts Tshiebwe, No. 4 Kentucky in 2OT
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Malik Hall forced two extra periods with dunks off inbounds plays, and Michigan State outlasted No. 4 Kentucky 86-77 in double overtime after Oscar Tshiebwe concluded his strong season debut by fouling out. Tshiebwe, last season’s consensus national player of the year, had 22 points and 18 rebounds for the Wildcats before picking up his fifth foul late in the first overtime. Michigan State, coming off a one-point loss to No. 2 Gonzaga on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, appeared headed for another tough nonconference defeat. But the Spartans tied the game in the final seconds of regulation and overtime thanks to Hall, who finished with 20 points.
Veteran skippers Francona, Showalter voted Managers of Year
Terry Francona of the Cleveland Guardians and Buck Showalter of the New York Mets have been voted Managers of the Year, improving the already sparkling resumes of both veteran baseball leaders. Showalter narrowly won the National League award in a wide-open race, becoming the third person to take the prize four times and the first to do it with four different franchises. He won in the American League with the New York Yankees in 1994, Texas Rangers in 2004 and Baltimore Orioles in 2014. The other four-time winners are Hall of Famers Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa. Baltimore’s Brandon Hyde finished second to Francona in the American League, while Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers was runner-up in the NL.
McCollum, Pelicans beat Grizzlies without injured Williamson
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — C.J. McCollum scored 14 of his 30 points in the third quarter and the New Orleans Pelicans overcome Ja Morant’s 36-point effort to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 113-102 on Tuesday night. McCollum had averaged just 9.5 points on 27% shooting in his previous four games, was 7 of 13 from long range to help make up for Zion Williamson’s scoring absence with the star forward out with a bruised right foot. The Pelicans also got 19 points each from Brandon Ingram and Larry Nance Jr., and they held Memphis to 15 fourth-quarter points. Dillon Brooks added 19 for Memphis.
Murray shines in return to Pittsburgh as Leafs top Pens 5-2
PITTSBURGH (AP) — John Tavares scored his 400th goal as the Toronto Maple Leafs raced by the Penguins 5-2. Tavares became the 107th player in NHL history to reach 400 goals when he beat Casey DeSmith in the first period. Michael Bunting scored twice for the Maple Leafs, who won for the fifth time in seven games. Matt Murray stopped 34 shots in his first game against Pittsburgh, who he won a pair of Stanley Cups with earlier in his career. Sidney Crosby and Rickard Rakell scored for the Penguins.
Unvaccinated Djokovic set for visa to play Australian Open
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic is set to be granted a visa to play in the Australian Open in January despite his high-profile deportation from Australia this year because he isn’t vaccinated against COVID-19. The Australian Broadcasting Corp. says it has confirmed newspaper reports that the immigration minister is putting aside Djokovic’s potential three-year exclusion period from Australia. Djokovic is a 35-year-old from Serbia who had faced that lengthy ban because he is a foreign citizen whose visa was revoked. The Australian Border Force previously said an exclusion period could be waived under certain circumstances. Immigration Minister Andrew Giles has declined to comment on privacy grounds.
McIlroy says Norman needs to ‘exit stage left’ from LIV Golf
Rory McIlroy says golf cannot begin to come together as long as Greg Norman is running Saudi-funded LIV Golf. McIlroy says no one is going to talk unless there’s an adult in the room and that Norman needs to go. McIlroy is in Dubai for the DP World Tour Championship that ends the European tour season. McIlroy says it will be difficult to get anywhere until lawsuits in the U.S. and the U.K. are sorted out. He also takes issue with Norman saying Tiger Woods should be thankful for LIV forcing the tour to provide more money to plays.
Rams’ Kupp to IR after ankle surgery; OL Jackson, Brewer out
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Rams receiver Cooper Kupp will have surgery on his sprained right ankle. That will sideline the Super Bowl MVP for at least the next four weeks while on injured reserve. Coach Sean McVay says left tackle Alaric Jackson will miss the rest of the season because of blood clots while right guard Chandler Brewer will be out four to six weeks after knee surgery. Kupp was the AP’s Offensive Player of the Year last season after winning the triple crown of receiving. He sprained his ankle in the Rams’ loss to Arizona. Kupp is currently second in the NFL with 75 catches.
Steinbrenner met with Judge, says ‘we’ve got a good thing’
NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner held a one-on-one meeting with Aaron Judge to make sure the star free agent slugger knows how much New York wants him back. Steinbrenner says: “I do believe he wants to be a Yankee. I think we’ve got a good thing going here.” Judge turned down an offer from the Yankees ahead of opening day that would have been worth $213.5 million from 2023-29. Steinbrenner says other commitments wouldn’t restrain the Yankees in talks with Judge: “We know where we’re at, and I can tell you that that’s not going to stop us.”
Rizzo, Yankees agree to $40M, 2-year contract
NEW YORK (AP) — First baseman Anthony Rizzo is staying with the New York Yankees, agreeing to a $40 million, two-year contract. Rizzo gets $17 million in each of the next two seasons, and the deal includes a $17 million team option for 2025 with a $6 million buyout. Rizzo had opted out of his previous contract with New York, giving up a $16 million salary for 2023. Since joining the Yankees at the 2021 trade deadline, Rizzo had provided needed left-handed power for New York.