National Sports

UCLA’s Ball, Villanova’s Josh Hart lead list of top players

By AARON BEARD, AP Basketball Writer RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — It didn't take long to spot college basketball's top performers this season, not with star UCLA freshman Lonzo Ball flirting with a triple-double and Kansas' Frank Mason III scoring 30 on opening night. That duo is part of a standout ...

Kerr keeps Warriors winning with yoga, creative approach

By JANIE McCAULEY, AP Sports Writer OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Anderson Varejao lowered his 6-foot-11 frame into a runner's lunge and raised one arm high into the air to add a twist, demonstrating after a recent shootaround the new yoga pose he just learned. Then, he took it up a notch and ...

Venus focused on tennis, not age, in record 73rd Grand Slam

By JUSTIN BERGMAN, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — One could never accuse Venus Williams of being sensitive about her age. Not the way she keeps making self-deprecating jokes about it at the Australian Open. Case in point: Asked about the Australian great Margaret Court after ...

No. 10 FSU’s visit from No. 12 Louisville tops ACC weekend

By The Associated Press A look at things to watch this week in the Atlantic Coast Conference: GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 12 Louisville at No. 10 Florida State. The Seminoles' brutal run of six consecutive games against Top 25 opponents comes to a close with a visit from the Cardinals. FSU ...

FIFA ethics judges ban Bin Hammam aide for life for bribery

ZURICH (AP) — A former aide to one-time FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam has been banned for life in a bribery case. FIFA ethics committee judges said Friday that Najeeb Chirakal was involved in "several unethical payments made on behalf of a third party to various football ...

Trumbo, Orioles reach $37.5 million, 3-year deal

By DAVID GINSBURG, AP Sports Writer The Orioles have agreed to a $37.5 million, three-year contract to keep major league home run champion Mark Trumbo. Trumbo hit 47 home runs last year for Baltimore and became a free agent. The 31-year-old did not accept the Orioles' qualifying offer of a ...

Cloud of steroids hovers above Hall of Fame voting

By RONALD BLUM, AP Baseball Writer NEW YORK (AP) — The cloud of steroids hovers above Hall of Fame voting, much as it shrouded baseball in the 1990s and early 2000s. Tim Raines, in his 10th and final year of eligibility, appears likely to gain election along with Jeff Bagwell when the ...

As Isner falters, Sock poised to take next step for US men

By JUSTIN BERGMAN, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — John Isner has long been accustomed to carrying the torch for U.S. men's tennis, dealing with the heightened expectations at the Grand Slams and the inevitable questions that follow early losses. Isner again faltered at the ...

Europe announces changes to Ryder Cup qualifying system

By STEVE DOUGLAS, AP Sports Writer ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Europe's team for the 2018 Ryder Cup in France will have an extra captain's pick and is set to contain more in-form players following a revamp of the qualifying system in the wake of a big loss to the United States ...

Longtime baseball executive Dan O’Brien Sr. dies at 87

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Longtime major league executive Dan O'Brien Sr. has died at 87. The Texas Rangers said he died Monday in Dallas. The Rangers were one of four major league teams with whom O'Brien held front-office jobs over 45 years in professional baseball. O'Brien was the Rangers' ...

Motley 32 points, 20 rebounds, No. 6 Baylor 74-64 over Texas

By STEPHEN HAWKINS, AP Basketball Writer WACO, Texas (AP) — Johnathan Motley really couldn't explain that feeling he had when he kept scoring points and grabbing rebounds. Baylor's big forward just knew he wanted to play better than his last couple of games. "You don't really remember what ...

AP source: Bautista, Blue Jays agree to $18M, 1-year deal

By ROB GILLIES, Associated Press TORONTO (AP) — Jose Bautista is staying with the Toronto Blue Jays after all. The free agent slugger agreed to an $18 million, one-year contract with Toronto that includes mutual options for more years, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The ...

Warriors rout defending champion Cavaliers 126-91 in rematch

By JANIE McCAULEY, AP Sports Writer OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Now, everybody can sit back for a few months and envision the possibility of another scintillating NBA Finals between Cleveland and Golden State. LeBron James vs. Stephen Curry for the third straight time, complete with the ...

Young Americans coming of age at Australian Open

By JUSTIN BERGMAN, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — More than 13 years after Andy Roddick won the 2003 U.S. Open, the last time an American man triumphed at a Grand Slam, the future of U.S. men's tennis appears bright. The next generation of young players, all aged between 18 ...

6-time champions Djokovic, Williams open with wins

By JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — There was no easing into a title defense for Novak Djokovic, starting his Australian Open against the man who upset Rafael Nadal here last year in the first round. Djokovic lifted when he most needed to Tuesday night, holding off ...

Penguins halt Capitals’ win streak at 9 in wild 8-7 victory

By WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer PITTSBURGH (AP) — The goals kept coming. One after another. A dizzying three periods of shots followed by baffled goaltenders fishing pucks out of the net wondering how things got out of hand so quickly. When Pittsburgh's Conor Sheary ended it 34 seconds ...

Steelers downplay Tomlin’s vulgar description of Patriots

By WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer PITTSBURGH (AP) — Antonio Brown wanted to let the world in on the party when he live-streamed the giddy celebration in Pittsburgh's locker room after an 18-16 playoff win over Kansas City. The All-Pro wide receiver also happened to catch coach Mike Tomlin ...

No. 2 Kansas beats Iowa State 76-72 for 17th straight win

By LUKE MEREDITH, AP Sports Writer AMES, Iowa (AP) — No. 2 Kansas passed its biggest Big 12 road test of the season, winning in a gym where losing was threatening to become a trend. Frank Mason III had 16 points, Landen Lucas scored 14 and the Jayhawks held off Iowa State 76-72 on Monday ...

Packers-Falcons, Steelers-Patriots for Super Bowl berths

By HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Pro Football Writer Tom Brady vs. Ben Roethlisberger. Aaron Rodgers vs. Matt Ryan. Quite a quartet of QBs is heading to the NFL's conference championship games next weekend: Brady's New England Patriots host Roethlisberger's Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC, and Rodgers' ...

Bell carries Steelers into AFC title game in New England

By DAVE SKRETTA, AP Sports Writer KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Le'Veon Bell deftly danced his way through the teeth of the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. Next, he'll carry Pittsburgh Steelers off to New England. With his amusingly patient, maddeningly effective running style, Bell followed ...