National Sports

Wild and crazy season ends with lots of playoff uncertainty

By BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer In a wild and crazy season, the biggest remaining tumult is in the AFC South. Houston leads and takes the division title by beating struggling Jacksonville. A Texans loss, however, gives the winner of the prime-time game between the Colts and Titans in ...

NCAA confirms suspension of Clemson star DT Dexter Lawrence

By RALPH RUSSO, AP College Football Writer DALLAS (AP) — Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence will not play against No. 3 Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl after the NCAA confirmed a suspension Thursday for a failed test for performance-enhancing drugs, possibly ending the talented junior's ...

Fitzgerald mum, as usual, on whether this is NFL finale

By BOB BAUM, AP Sports Writer TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Someday, obviously, Larry Fitzgerald will play in his last NFL game. Whether that game is Sunday, when his beleaguered Arizona Cardinals play at Seattle, is anybody's guess. And don't expect any hints from him. He doesn't like to talk about ...

Jets’ Darnold wraps up rookie year by facing Rodgers, Brady

By DENNIS WASZAK Jr., AP Pro Football Writer FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Sam Darnold is wrapping up his rookie season with glimpses of greatness. First, Aaron Rodgers. Next, Tom Brady. The New York Jets quarterback's final two opponents are among the best to play the position, and Darnold ...

Rushing leader Elliott wants in vs Giants; do Cowboys agree?

By SCHUYLER DIXON, AP Pro Football Writer FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Ezekiel Elliott insists he's playing and has no hesitation saying the NFL rushing title is on his mind with the Dallas Cowboys locked into the fourth playoff seed as NFC East champions going into their regular-season finale at ...

Virginia looking for better bowl outcome after last year

By HANK KURZ Jr., AP Sports Writer CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Bryce Perkins wasn't with Virginia when the Cavaliers made their first bowl appearance in six years last season, but the quarterback has heard about the disappointing trip and is helping them prepare for a different outcome. The ...

Notre Dame getting 1st title shot since ’12 loss to Alabama

By STEPHEN HAWKINS, AP Sports Writer ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Notre Dame defensive captain Drue Tranquill and leading receiver Miles Boykin weren't even Fighting Irish fans the last time they had a 12-0 regular season. Maybe that was a good thing because those current players didn't have to ...

Luck can extend mastery of Titans, put Colts in playoffs

By TERESA M. WALKER, AP Pro Football Writer NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Andrew Luck is a win away from putting the Indianapolis Colts back into the playoffs for the first time since 2014 while doing something no NFL quarterback has managed since at least 1970. Beat an opponent 11 straight ...

Jones, Duke offense roll past Temple in Independence Bowl

By DAVID BRANDT, AP Sports Writer SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Temple was making big special-teams plays, returning interceptions for touchdowns and looking like a team that might crush Duke for a big postseason win. But the Owls had one problem that couldn't be overcome: Coach David Cutcliffe ...

Steelers hope for a win (and some luck) vs. Bengals

By WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is modifying his jersey, using a marker to add an "s" to the end of his last name. Safety Sean Davis is mulling a present or two to Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield, promising to send the ...

Chiefs aim for AFC West title, No. 1 seed against Raiders

By DAVE SKRETTA, AP Sports Writer KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs could have taken this week off, assured of not only their third consecutive AFC West title but also the No. 1 seed in the playoffs before the Oakland Raiders came to town. Instead, they'll have everything on ...

Broncos keep losing big games, key players

By Arnie Stapleton AP Pro Football Writer ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Eleven months ago, Case Keenum engineered the “Minneapolis Miracle.” Now, he’s one of the architects of the “Denver Debacle.” The Broncos’ 27-14 loss at Oakland ensured the franchise of its first back-to-back ...

Irving scores 40, leads Celtics to 121-114 win over Sixers

By DOUG ALDEN, Associated Press BOSTON (AP) — Kyrie Irving extended the game with a clutch shot, then ended it with two more in overtime. Irving scored six of his 40 points in overtime, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers while leading Boston back from a five-point deficit as the Celtics beat ...

LeBron gets hurt in Lakers’ rout of Warriors

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers lost LeBron James in the third quarter to a strained left groin then went out and beat the two-time defending champions without him Tuesday night, getting King James' 17 points, 13 rebounds and five assists before the injury in a surprising ...

Lindsay heads the list of undrafted rookies making impact

By ROB MAADDI, AP Pro Football Writer Phillip Lindsay didn't receive an invitation to the NFL scouting combine and his name wasn't called during the draft. Motivated by the snub, he made history. The talented Denver Broncos running back became the first undrafted offensive player selected ...

Harden’s 41 helps Rockets beat Thunder 113-109

By KRISTIE RIEKEN, AP Sports Writer HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden is on a roll and it's helping the Houston Rockets get on track after their terrible start to the season. Harden scored 41 points and the Rockets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 113-109 on Tuesday for their seventh win in the ...

UMBC’s win over Virginia was biggest surprise of 2018

By JOHN MARSHALL, AP Sports Writer The University of Maryland-Baltimore County had no chance. Not against mighty Virginia, certainly not against history. No 16th seed had ever beaten a No. 1 in NCAA Tournament history, the lopsided ledger climbing to 135-0 through the opening weekend of ...

Antetokounmpo powers Bucks past Knicks in Christmas debut

By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo was so eager to make a rim-rocking Christmas debut that he overshot the basket on his first attempt, a dunk from one side that ended with the ball all the way in the opposite corner. "I was so excited that I went a ...

Kyler, Tua and ‘Generation Z’ QBs take over college football

By RALPH D. RUSSO, AP College Football Writer Trent Dilfer has been head coach for the national high school quarterback competition known as Elite 11 since 2011, and even in that short period of time the quality of players coming through the program has drastically improved. "We've always had ...

Tomlin trying to keep reeling Steelers focused despite odds

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Mike Tomlin isn't going to complain about the officiating. Or lament the turnovers and missed opportunities over the last month that have the Pittsburgh Steelers on the outside of the playoffs looking in heading into Week 17. The longtime head coach doesn't see the point in ...