National Sports

Patriots owner Kraft pulls some punches, throws others

By BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer HOUSTON (AP) — Robert Kraft is pulling his punches over "Deflategate." Well, some of them. While the New England Patriots owner and once close confidant of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants to celebrate yet another trip to the Super Bowl this ...

No. 2 Baylor, No. 3 Kansas headline week ahead in AP Top 25

By AARON BEARD, AP Basketball Writer RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Kansas didn't get long to savor a win at Kentucky, not with another top-five matchup looming to headline this week's schedule for AP Top 25 teams. The third-ranked Jayhawks host No. 2 Baylor on Wednesday night, topping a heavy ...

Some Baylor assistants finding jobs and mixed reactions

By JIM VERTUNO, AP Sports Writer AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Former Baylor coach Art Briles conceded months ago that the sexual assault scandal that led to his firing likely ended his career. That's not the case for some of his former assistants, including his son. At least three former ...

Super Bowl opening night a bit more tame than usual

By KRISTIE RIEKEN, AP Sports Writer HOUSTON (AP) — A man traipsing around Monday's Super Bowl opening night in a full-length gown declaring himself "The Empress of Austria, Elizabeth I" was the most outrageous guest at what was a rather tame media night compared to the circus this event has ...

Gonzaga moves to No. 1 for second time in school history

By JIM O'CONNELL, AP Basketball Writer Being the top-ranked team in the country was new to Gonzaga in 2013. The Zags were considered one of the best teams in the West and had a long string of NCAA Tournament appearances, but going to No. 1 carried with it a new level of expectations. They ...

Oklahoma State wins at Oklahoma for 1st time since 2004

By CLIFF BRUNT, AP Sports Writer NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Moments like these are why Phil Forte came back for his sixth year. The 23-year-old senior's 3-pointer with 11 seconds to play was the difference in Oklahoma State's 68-66 win over rival Oklahoma on Monday night for the Cowboys' first ...

NHL luminaries praise All-Star Game’s 3-on-3 format

By DAN GREENSPAN, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — When it comes to the NHL All-Star Game, less is definitely more. While the NFL's Pro Bowl spent years struggling with ballooning scores, little defense, a lack of effort and concerns over its long-term viability, the NHL seemingly ...

Dahlberg: A preview of things to expect during Super Bowl week

By TIM DAHLBERG, AP Sports Columnist There have been 50 of these already, making this Super Bowl LI in the roman numerals the NFL uses to make sure no one forgets just how important the game really is. And important it is, at least as a national holiday of sorts to the 100 million Americans ...

ICYMI: One streak ends, another just keeps going

By DOUG FEINBERG, AP Basketball Writer NEW YORK (AP) — One streak ended while another one just keeps going and going and going. Clemson snapped its 41-game losing streak in ACC play with a 62-61 win over Georgia Tech on Sunday. The Tigers hadn't won a conference game since Jan. 2, 2015 when ...

49ers make surprise hire of John Lynch as general manager

By JOSH DUBOW, AP Sports Writer SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers made a surprise hire to fill their general manager void Sunday, hiring former NFL safety and Fox television analyst John Lynch to replace Trent Baalke. Lynch comes into the job with no front-office ...

Curry out, but Warriors hold off Blazers 113-111

By ANNE M. PETERSON, AP Sports Writer PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Warriors coach Steve Kerr was already thinking of his next play when Evan Turner's potential go-ahead 3-pointer was in the air. It wasn't needed, as the shot bounced off the rim and Golden State held off the Portland Trail Blazers ...

AFC holds on to defeat NFC 20-13 in Pro Bowl

By TERRANCE HARRIS, Associated Press ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Pro Bowl has long been more about showmanship than competition. Clearly, that memo missed Lorenzo Alexander. The Buffalo Bills linebacker could have just sat on a late interception for the win, but instead opted to return the ...

Federer beats Nadal in epic Aussie final to win 18th major

By JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Roger Federer won his 18th Grand Slam title and put some extra distance on the all-time list between himself and Rafael Nadal, the man he beat 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in a vintage Australian Open final on Sunday night. It was the ...

No. 3 Gonzaga could lead Top 25 after thumping Pepperdine

MALIBU, Calif. (AP) — Gonzaga sure tried to present itself as the top team in the country Saturday night. Now to see if they've convinced the voters. The No. 3 Bulldogs are the last unbeaten team in the country and looked every bit of it in a dominant 96-49 victory over outmanned ...

Jeff Gordon races in the rain at Daytona

By JENNA FRYER, AP Auto Racing Writer DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The one thing Jeff Gordon didn't particularly want was to race in the rain at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The weather didn't work in his favor, and the semi-retired driver did a Saturday night stint in the wet during the ...

Mayweather: Fight against McGregor “can happen”

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Floyd Mayweather Jr. says facing UFC star Conor McGregor in a boxing ring "can happen" and is something that would "give the fans what they want to see." In a question-and-answer session Saturday in England, McGregor said he plans to put his UFC career on hold to pursue ...

Venus’ run to a Grand Slam final is victory in itself

By JUSTIN BERGMAN, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — More than seven years after her last Grand Slam title match, Venus Williams would be forgiven for being a little nervous when she stepped inside Rod Laver Arena to face her sister, Serena, for the Australian Open ...

Tiger leaves Torrey Pines early, and he wasn’t alone

By DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer SAN DIEGO (AP) — At least Tiger Woods was in good company at Torrey Pines. More surprising than Woods missing the cut in his return to the PGA Tour after 17 months away was that Jason Day and Dustin Johnson joined him. Day is the No. 1 player in the world ...

As Falcons return to big game, remembering the Dirty Birds

By PAUL NEWBERRY, AP Sports Writer ATLANTA (AP) — The last time the Atlanta Falcons made it to the Super Bowl, they put on quite a show. Just not when it mattered. The team known as the "Dirty Birds" capped off a remarkable season in 1998 by doing almost everything wrong once they claimed ...

The NHL 100: Hockey’s greatest players honored in centennial

By GREG BEACHAM, AP Hockey Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) — Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr were among the easiest choices for The NHL 100, the group of enduring superstars chosen and honored by the league Friday night as the best players in hockey history. Yet if the Great One, Super ...