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    by Published on 11-23-2010 08:44 AM

    Cam Newton of Auburn, Andrew Luck of Stanford and Kellen Moore of Boise State are the finalists for the Maxwell Award, which goes to the best player in college football, and the Davey O'Brien Award, which honors the top quarterback.

    The finalists for several college football awards were announced Monday.

    Finalists for the Bednarik Award, which goes to the best defensive player, are Clemson end Da'Quan Bowers, Auburn tackle Nick Fairley and LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson.

    The Doak Walker Award finalists for best running back are Oregon's LaMichael James, Wisconsin's John Clay and Oklahoma State's Kendall Hunter.

    The finalists for the Biletnikoff Award, which goes to the top receiver, are Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles and South Carolina's Alshon Jeffrey.

    Read more: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=5839940
    by Published on 11-23-2010 08:36 AM
    Categories:
    1. MLB

    Joey Votto and Albert Pujols had a long conversation behind the batting cage before a game a few years ago.

    "There's something about a star player of that magnitude kind of pulling you in and saying, it's OK, we can talk, don't be a rookie right now, we're going to talk like men," Votto said. "I think he made me feel comfortable and a little more confident."

    Lesson learned.

    Votto was overwhelmingly elected the National League's Most Valuable Player on Monday, ending the Pujols' two-year reign.

    A first baseman who helped the Reds reach the postseason for the first time in 15 years, Votto received 31 of 32 first-place votes and 443 points in voting announced by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

    Read more: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=5838600
    by Published on 11-23-2010 08:31 AM
    Categories:
    1. Minnesota Vikings

    Brad Childress is gone, one season after he famously picked up Brett Favre at the airport, got a contract extension and came within a field goal of reaching the Super Bowl.

    The Vikings fired Childress on Monday, ending an eventful and often tumultuous run with the team marred recently by player unrest, livid fans and a boss angry over everything from the coach's abrupt personnel decisions to a 31-3 loss at home to rival Green Bay on Sunday that dropped Minnesota's record to 3-7.

    Owner Zygi Wilf read from a script and would not get into specifics after he and team president Mark Wilf, his brother, met with Childress early Monday.

    "It's often difficult to articulate one reason why change is needed," Wilf said.

    Read more; http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5838652
    by Published on 11-23-2010 08:27 AM
    Categories:
    1. Indiana Pacers
    2. Miami Heat

    All the Miami Heat banners, reminders of everything from division titles to the 2006 NBA championship, were missing from the rafters Monday night.

    Fitting, because the Heat look nothing like champions these days.

    Danny Granger had 20 points and 11 rebounds, Brandon Rush added 20 points and the Indiana Pacers added to Miami's week of woe, beating the Heat 93-77 in the worst shooting game of Dwyane Wade's career.

    "We came into their building knowing how good they're supposed to be," Rush said. "And they just had a bad night."

    Back after a one-game absence with a sprained left wrist, Wade finished with three points on 1-for-13 shooting. He had never shot so poorly when taking at least 13 tries, and the point total was the third-lowest of his career. He has been held scoreless twice, once against Washington in 2004, the other in 2006 when he left midway through the first quarter of a game against Chicago.

    Read more: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=301122014
    by Published on 11-21-2010 01:34 PM

    Kyle Busch kept his perfect weekend alive by winning the Nationwide Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday -- a victory that gave Joe Gibbs Racing the owner's championship.

    It was Busch's 13th win of the Nationwide season and career victory No. 43 in that series, second only to Mark Martin's 48 wins. It came on the heels of Friday night's win in the Trucks Series, which also gave Busch the owner's championship in that series.

    Busch headed into Sunday's finale looking for a weekend sweep -- he won three races in NASCAR's three national series at Bristol in August -- but he was thinking about the big picture instead of his own personal accomplishments. JGR teammate Denny Hamlin can win his first Cup title in Sunday's season finale.

    "Wish I had something for tomorrow," Busch told his team as he crossed the finish line, "but we'll play the teammate and get them one."

    Read more: http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/nascar...ory?id=5831905
    by Published on 11-21-2010 01:28 PM
    Categories:
    1. NFL
    2. Denver Broncos

    Former Denver Broncos and Michigan running back Rob Lytle died on Saturday night a heart attack. He was 56.

    According to a statement from Memorial Hospital in Fremont, Ohio, Lytle was brought to the hospital by ambulance on Saturday night with heart-attack symptoms. While at the hospital, Lytle went into massive cardiac arrest and died.

    Lytle was a vice president and business development officer at Old Fort Banking Co., according to The News-Messenger of Fremont.

    An All-American at Michigan, Lytle was drafted by the Broncos in the second round of the 1977 NFL draft. He scored the Broncos' only touchdown in Denver's 27-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XII.

    Read more: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5834879
    by Published on 11-21-2010 01:26 PM

    Sergio Martinez and Paul Williams landed punch after punch a year ago in an instant classic, one of those rare occasions when two of the best boxers in the world come together to create something special.

    Their rematch Saturday night didn't last nearly as long, and only one punch mattered.

    Martinez landed a devastating left hook early in the second round, knocking out one of boxing's most feared punchers while retaining his middleweight championship.

    The sudden outcome left a lively crowd at Boardwalk Hall in stunned silence.

    "I started to attack, and when I did, we knew he was going to make a mistake, because he always makes mistakes," Martinez said. "He left me a lot of room to come in and hit him."

    Williams was looking to land his own hook and instead walked right into the punch, which landed flush on the chin and sent the challenger face-down onto the canvas. Martinez immediately ran across the ring to celebrate while doctors rushed in to tend to Williams.

    Read more: http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/box...ory?id=5833840
    by Published on 11-21-2010 01:23 PM
    Categories:
    1. Memphis Grizzlies
    2. Miami Heat

    Rudy Gay wanted to make up for his mistake that allowed LeBron James to tie the game with 5.5 seconds left.

    Done.

    Gay hit a fadeaway jumper over James at the buzzer, and the Memphis Grizzlies took advantage of Dwyane Wade's absence to beat the Miami Heat 97-95 on Saturday night and snap a five-game losing streak.

    James tied it for the 12th time, dunking off Eddie House's steal of Gay with 5.5 seconds left. Gay came back with the winning 13-foot jumper in front of the Heat bench. Officials reviewed the shot, then ruled it beat the clock.

    "I don't care if James Naismith was guarding me, which would be scary because he's dead," Gay said. "I really don't care who's guarding me to be honest with you."

    Read more: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=301120029
    by Published on 11-21-2010 01:19 PM

    Yuta Ikeda posted a five-under 66 on Sunday to win the Dunlop Phoenix event on the Japan Golf Tour.

    Ikeda, the third-round leader, finished at 15-under 269 and won by two strokes over Kyung-Tae Kim, who fired a final-round, eight-under 63, at Phoenix Country Club.

    The victory was Ikeda's fourth of the year on the Japan Golf Tour and eighth overall.

    Masaya Tomida shot a six-under 65 and finished third at 11-under 273.

    Last year's winner Edoardo Molinari carded a four-under 67 and tied for fourth place with fellow European, Robert Karlsson, who shot a 66 on Sunday. The pair came in at 10-under 274.

    read more: http://www.sportsnetwork.com/merge/t...spx?id=4357799
    by Published on 11-21-2010 01:13 PM

    Ian Poulter held off a spirited challenge from Italian youngster Matteo Manassero to win the Hong Kong Open by one stroke Sunday.

    The 17-year-old Manassero shot an 8-under 62 at the Fanling course and finished at 21-under 259, but Poulter's 67 was enough to secure his 10th win on the European Tour.

    "I felt comfortable the whole day, the way I was hitting it," Poulter said. "I was hitting it inside 12 feet at pretty much nearly every hole out there and I knew if I kept doing that I would be very tough to beat."

    Read more: http://sports.espn.go.com/golf/news/story?id=5834649
    by Published on 11-20-2010 11:40 AM
    Categories:
    1. San Antonio Spurs

    Tim Duncan had just made two free throws when he heard the word "congratulations" from a San Antonio teammate.

    "It took me a second to catch on," Duncan admitted Friday night after the Spurs' 94-82 win over the Utah Jazz.

    After scoring point No. 20,791 to set the Spurs' career record, the star forward can be forgiven for the momentary mental lapse.

    "I'm just happy for him," Spurs coach George Popovich said of Duncan, who now has 20,797, seven more than David Robinson scored in 14 NBA seasons. "You know he is the driving force behind our championships and for him to have the record now with games played and points is appropriate."

    Duncan, who eclipsed the scoring mark with 5:28 left in the third quarter, also became the Spurs' career leader in games played with 988 -- one more than Robinson.

    Read more: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=301119026
    by Published on 11-20-2010 11:36 AM

    For just another game, it sure looked like a significant victory for Minnesota.

    Blake Hoffarber scored 20 points, Ralph Sampson III and Trevor Mbakwe created havoc all over the court and the Golden Gophers beat No. 8 North Carolina 72-67 on Friday night in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament.

    "We had to come ready to play," Mbakwe said. "All the guys were ready, focused. We knew this was a big game for the program."

    The Gophers (4-0) mobbed each other in front of the bench and danced around in a circle to celebrate the win -- and their trip to Sunday's final against West Virginia.

    Coach Tubby Smith had called North Carolina just "another game," but it sure looked like more while Hoffarber was silencing the pro-Tar Heels crowd with 3s. When the early upset was over, it looked as if Smith might have his best team yet in four seasons in Minnesota.

    "I liked our courage, I liked our toughness," Smith said.

    Read more: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/recap?gameId=303230135
    by Published on 11-20-2010 11:26 AM
    Categories:
    1. NFL
    2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Buccaneers rookie receiver Mike Williams was arrested and charged with driving under the influence early Friday morning, according to Hillsborough County Jail records.

    Williams' blood alcohol level was below the state limit of .08, but a sheriff's department spokesman said that Williams was seen speeding and weaving in traffic in a black Escalade around 2:30 a.m. ET.

    Sheriff's deputies said his eyes were glassy and he smelled of alcohol.

    Williams, 23, also submitted to a urine test, which can be requested if the officer suspects a driver is under the influence of something other than alcohol, the spokesman said.

    Toxicology results could take four to six weeks.

    Read more: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5824443
    by Published on 11-20-2010 11:22 AM
    Categories:
    1. NFL

    Former University of Hawaii star and Washington Redskins quarterback Colt Brennan suffered broken ribs, a broken left collarbone and head injuries in a two-car, head-on crash on Hawaii's Big Island on Friday.

    Big Island police say Brennan was a passenger in an SUV driven by girlfriend Shakti Stream. They say she crossed the centerline on Queen Kaahumanu Highway near Makalawena in North Kona and collided with a sedan driven by a Waikoloa woman.

    Police said they had not determined the cause of the accident yet.

    Brennan's agent, Ryan Tollner, issued a statement that said Brennan, 27, was transported to Honolulu for further medical treatment after being taken to Kona Community Hospital on Friday. Tollner said Brennan's condition was serious.

    Read more: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5827047
    by Published on 11-20-2010 11:20 AM
    Categories:
    1. NHL

    Pat Burns, the former Montreal police officer who led New Jersey to the 2003 Stanley Cup title and was the NHL's coach of the year with three teams, died Friday. He was 58.

    Burns battled cancer of the colon and the liver in 2004 and 2005 and hoped he had beaten the disease, but in January 2009 doctors found it had spread to his lungs.

    This time, he decided to forgo further treatment.

    "Just as they will remember Pat for his success as a coach, hockey fans also will remember his humor, his honesty, his humanity and his courage," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "As it mourns the loss of an outstanding contributor to the game, the National Hockey League sends heartfelt condolences to Pat's family and friends."

    Read more:http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=5827137
    by Published on 11-20-2010 11:16 AM
    Categories:
    1. MLB

    A jury in Florida on Saturday acquitted former major league baseball player Jim Leyritz of DUI manslaughter in a 2007 crash that killed a mother of two.

    However, Leyritz was convicted on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail. Leyritz had faced up to 15 years in prison if convicted on the manslaughter charge.

    Sentencing was set for Nov. 29.

    Testimony was inconclusive on whether Leyritz ran a red light on Dec. 28, 2007, when he collided with a vehicle driven by 30-year-old Fredia Ann Veitch, who died.

    Read more: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=5829184
    by Published on 11-20-2010 10:10 AM
    Categories:
    1. New Orleans Hornets
    2. Toronto Raptors

    The New Orleans Hornets and Toronto Raptors have agreed in principle on a five-player trade that would send Peja Stojakovic and Jerryd Bayless to the Raptors for Jarrett Jack, David Andersen and Marcus Banks, a source told ESPN.com Saturday.

    The deal was close to being completed Friday night, but had been held up over the amount of cash the Hornets would send to the Raptors in the trade, according to a source with direct knowledge of the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    In order for the deal to pass muster under league rules, it actually would be executed as two separate trades to get around a restriction preventing Bayless from being included in a multi-player deal prior to Dec. 23 -- two months from the date the Hornets acquired Bayless from Portland.

    A trade call likely will take place Saturday afternoon.

    Read more: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5828835
    by Published on 11-19-2010 03:21 PM

    Even with all of the pomp and circumstance surrounding Nancy Lieberman's groundbreaking debut as coach of the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League, Thursday night's loss was all about basketball for her.

    The Frisco-based Legends fell to the defending champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers 123-115 before a nationally televised audience. The fact that the Hall of Famer became the first female to coach an NBA-affiliated team was an afterthought.

    "It was another game," Lieberman said. "I've been through thousands of them."

    Lieberman's credentials as a women's basketball pioneer stand alone. But sticking her foot into what has been men's-only territory was unique.

    The D-League moved up the game three days in order to carry it live on television. Lieberman, who was coach of the WNBA's Detroit Shock for three seasons, wore a wireless microphone, and a cameraman followed her every move.

    Read more: http://sports.espn.go.com/dallas/nba...ory?id=5823817
    by Published on 11-19-2010 03:18 PM

    Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl has been suspended for the Tennessee Volunteers' first eight Southeastern Conference games as punishment from league Commissioner Mike Slive for violating NCAA rules and misleading investigators.

    "I have been a very public advocate for playing by the rules," Pearl said Friday. "When you don't play by the rules, these are the things that can happen. So while these penalties that we've self-imposed and now the commissioner's imposing are unprecedentedly strong, it sets a very high standard and a high standard that I agreed to."

    Tennessee associate head coach Tony Jones will replace Pearl during those eight games with help from assistants Jason Shay and Steve Forbes.

    Slive, who was given authority to issue suspensions during the SEC's spring meetings, sent a letter Thursday informing Pearl he cannot participate in SEC games between Jan. 8 and Feb. 5 and any related activity or practice on those game days.

    Read more: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=5824966
    by Published on 11-19-2010 12:41 PM
    Categories:
    1. Golden State Warriors

    The Return of WE BELIEVE: Can the Warriors Make the Playoffs "This" Season?

    By Jason


    I modified the WE BELIEVE logo from the 2006 - 07 season to be a symbol of the Warriors hinting that this "is" a playoff team. The logo should be updated to reflect the 2010 - 11 season, but for now, it can serve as a place holder to get the playoff message across.

    In one of my earlier articles, I outlined the following key points that I got from the preseason.

    “First, David Lee and Andris Biedrins were playing TOGETHER. On the court at the same time.”

    So far, they have combined for 169 rebounds, 8 blocked shots and 17 steals in eight games. That averages out to 21.1 reb, 1.0 blk and 2.1 stl per game between our starting big me. If one adds Dorell Wright, at 6-9, he’s gobbled up an extra 40 reb, 8 blk and 10 stl. It means that the Warriors are sixth in the league in defense when counting rebounds, blocked shots and steals. That’s a huge improvement from years past, but the defensive work needs to continue. It can get rusty in a hurry if players do not work at it.

    “Second, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry were starting in the backcourt. Ellis appears to still have a tendency to try and do too much by himself, but he’s gotten better and he may have a 3-pt shot.”

    One usually thinks about offense when Curry and Ellis are mentioned. The dynamic duo has combined for 347 pts, 78 ast, 15 3-ptv after eight games. On defense, they have 39 stl and 3 blk. The 39 steals with 28 from Ellis are impressive numbers.

    Next, the rebounding has improved even though the 3-pt shooting has not. The defense has improved, too, but it can be better. What was disappointing was the Warriors perimeter shooting at times. They were cold and needed a go to guy to get them going again. I’m still not sure who the go to guy will be, but he should be somewhere on the bench this year whether that will turn out to be Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, David Lee or all three. Don’t count on defense, shooting or rebounding to be there at all times, but hopefully during the season, we’ll be able to see what the identity of this team will be and who the real leader or leaders of this team will be.

    The things this year’s team has shown from past year’s teams are — better rebounding, better defense, no Cohan, Larry Riley may be a good GM, no Don Nelson and his weird rotations, pretty good offense and great team chemistry. Take a look at the facts:
    - Offense is 6th in the league at 104.6 ppg vs 102.6 ppg for the opponents
    - FG % is .461 (at about the average of .457)
    - 3-PT% is .361 (thirteeth in the league; .36 is about average)
    - APG is at 23.0 (eight in the league)
    - Rebounding is 44.6 RPG (fifth in the league)
    - 5.8 BLK is (eighth in the league)
    - 9.6 STL (third in the league)
    The big negative is the .72 FT% as the Warriors are twenty fifth. They have Mark Price, who averaged 90% at the free throw line, as coach so he needs to get cracking. The Warriors also need better shot selection and improve their potent offense. On defense, they have to improve their in the paint and perimeter defense. Andris Biedrins still has not gotten his blocks and steals back to where they were during the 2008 - 09 season when he averaged a double-double. He had 1 stl and 1.6 blk back then. When Lou Admundson and Ekpe Udoh return the Warriors should be better in the paint on defense.

    The Warriors can beat the LA Clips and Sacramento, but they will have to beat Houston, Utah, Denver, Memphis and Phoenix to be sure they're in the playoffs. Sure to make it are the LA Lakers, Dallas, Portland, Oklahoma City and maybe San Antonio. New Orleans looks excellent so far. Usually, it takes a .500 record to get in the playoffs, but in the WC, it is better to shoot for beyond that mark. Still, the West has gotten weaker and teams in the East have gotten better, so a .500 record may do it.

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