US women win SheBelieves Cup with 2-1 victory over Brazil
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Alex Morgan and Mallory Swanson scored and the United States defeated Brazil 2-1 to win the SheBelieves Cup for the fourth straight year. Japan, which defeated Canada 3-0 in the earlier match at Toyota Stadium, was runner-up in the four-team, round-robin tournament. All four SheBelieves Cup teams will play in Women’s World Cup this summer in Australia and New Zealand. Morgan scored in first-half stoppage time and Swanson added another in the second half before Brazil’s Ludmila scored in the final moments.
Alabama’s Miller stars amid alleged role in fatal shooting
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Alabama standout freshman Brandon Miller was in the starting lineup and scored a career-high 41 points in a win over South Carolina. It came a day after police said he delivered a gun to a teammate who is charged in a fatal shooting near campus. It also came hours after the university said Miller would remain an “active member” of the No. 2-ranked team and isn’t considered a suspect. The school’s support for one of college basketball’s top players made little difference to Gamecock fans at Colonial Life Arena. The crowd booed each time Miller touched the ball the student section chanted, “Lock him up,” and “Guilty!” several times.
Russia’s sports exile persists 1 year after invading Ukraine
Russia’s reintegration into the world of sports one year after the invasion of Ukraine began threatens to create the biggest rift in the Olympic movement since the Cold War. Russia remains excluded from many international sporting events but that could soon change. Next year’s Paris Olympics are fast approaching and qualifying events are under way. The International Olympic Committee is working to bring athletes from Russia and ally Belarus back into competition but not everyone agrees. Ukraine and several of its allies say any return for Russia would be unacceptable. The IOC says excluding Russian and Belarusian athletes entirely would be discriminatory.
Mavs need wins in tight West as Doncic, Irving try to mesh
DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving are just two games into figuring out how to be co-stars for Dallas. The Mavericks are behind schedule based on last season’s surge that sparked a deep playoff run. Dallas needs to win games while working out the kinks because the Western Conference is tightly packed and a few slip-ups could send the Mavericks tumbling in the standings. Coach Jason Kidd would like to see a surge similar to last season, when the Mavs reached the West finals. Kidd also understands the reality of giving his two All-Stars time to mesh.
MLB curtails infield shift, hopes for more singles, speed
PHOENIX (AP) — One of MLB’s most visible rule changes for 2023 is a sizable curtailing of infield shifts. The practice had grown exponentially over the past several years and has been partially blamed for a steady league-wide decline in batting average. The new rule states that all four infielders must have both feet within the outer boundary of the infield — and two infielders must be on each side of second base — when the pitch is delivered. MLB has also mandated that the infield dirt cutout have uniform dimensions in all 30 ballparks. The outfield edge of the dirt must be 95 feet from the front of the pitching rubber.
NBA teams get ready to make 4th-quarter push for playoffs
There are six teams in the NBA that look pretty comfortably in playoff position. There are four other teams that pretty much know they’re not going anywhere. That leaves 20 teams for the last 10 playoff spots. The NBA’s All-Star break ends Thursday night. And there’s only 28% of the season left, which means it’s time for teams to start really jostling for playoff position.
Coach K stays busy with ‘Basketball and Beyond’, speeches
Mike Krzyzewski isn’t coaching for the first time in 48 years, but that doesn’t mean he has retired. Despite being away from the sidelines, the Hall of Fame coach has been busy with speeches and his “Basketball and Beyond with Coach K” show on SiriusXM satellite radio. Krzyzewski watched his first game post-retirement at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Feb. 14, when Notre Dame faced Duke. Even though Coach K isn’t at the games, he said he has watched every game this season and talks frequently with his successor, Jon Scheyer.
5-way lead to open LPGA Thailand, Ko 3 shots back
PATTAYA, Thailand (AP) — Jennifer Kupcho of the United States has fired a bogey-free 7-under 65 to share the lead alongside four other golfers after the opening round of the LPGA Thailand. With Kupcho in the lead were 2014 champion Anna Nordquist of Sweden, six-time USLPGA Tour winner Nasa Hataoko of Japan, local hope and tour rookie Jaravee Boonchant, and last year’s runner-up, Lin Xiyu of China. The crowded leaderboard is no surprise on the Pattaya Old Course: The average winning score over the past 10 years is 21 under par. World No. 1 Lydia Ko of New Zealand heads 26 of the top 30 at the event. She’s had an error-free round of 68. Ko has won three of her last four starts.
PGA Tour money makes it tough on LIV players’ Ryder hopes
Players who joined Saudi-funded LIV Golf can still play in all the majors. That also includes the Ryder Cup. The PGA of America is the last organization to weigh in on criteria for its major. There was one tweak. Otherwise, the PGA Championship still wants the strongest field. But the Ryder Cup will be a tough road because of all the $20 million purses on the PGA Tour. PGA of America officer Kerry Haigh says a LIV player likely will have to win at least one major to have any chance of earning one of six automatic spots on the U.S. Ryder Cup team.
Djokovic hopes to play in US despite being unvaccinated
BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Novak Djokovic says he has asked American authorities for special permission to enter the United States to play tennis tournaments in California and Florida despite being unvaccinated against the coronavirus. The Transportation Security Administration has said the requirement for foreign air travelers to be fully vaccinated against the disease would be in place at least until mid-April. The tournament in Indian Wells will be played from March 6-19 and the Miami Open is scheduled from March 20-April 2. The top-ranked Serb says “I have a big desire to be there.” Djokovic is one of the most high-profile athletes who is unvaccinated against COVID-19.