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INDIANAPOLIS — Stetson Bennett delivered the biggest throws of his storybook career and Georgia's defense sealed the sweetest victory in program history, vanquishing rival Alabama 33-18 Monday night for its first national title in 41 years.

John Madden, the Hall of Fame coach turned broadcaster whose exuberant calls combined with simple explanations provided a weekly soundtrack to NFL games for three decades, died Tuesday morning, the league said. He was 85.

The NHL is beginning a leaguewide shutdown Wednesday amid a rise in positive COVID-19 test results among players, and with 10 of the league's 32 teams' schedules already paused and their facilities closed.

BUFFALO — The NHL announced it made the wrong call in disallowing what would have been the Buffalo Sabres’ tying goal in the final minute of a 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers.

HOUSTON — Most of the season, it just seemed this wasn’t their year.

HOUSTON — Jose Siri launched himself headfirst into home plate, popped up with arms flexed and screamed with all his might.

HOUSTON — A healthy swing by Jorge Soler powered the Atlanta Braves to a smashing start in the World Series.

“Right now all we have is each other. That’s it. We’re going to play smart, we’re going to play fast and we’re going to play for each other.”

PARADISE, Nev. — In an instant heavyweight classic, and a 2021 fight of the year candidate WBC and lineal champion Tyson Fury defended his titles with a brutal 11th-round knockout over a game Deontay Wilder in front of 15,820 fans, who got their money’s worth at T-Mobile Arena in a fight in …

BOSTON — Gerrit Cole and the New York Yankees took a winding route into the AL wild-card game, squeezing in on the final day of a tumultuous season.

COOPERSTOWN — From second base to a display case.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2020 had to wait until the year 2021 to actually see their names enshrined in Cooperstown. But judging by their speeches and the roars of the thousands of baseball fans who made the trip to Wednesday’s ceremony, it was more than worth the wait.

One of the great things about the NFL in the age of parity and free agency is that the playoff field can change so radically from one year to the next.

NBA referees will all be vaccinated against the coronavirus this season.

Some of the purists aren't that keen about it. But I’m a big fan of the second wild card in Major League Baseball. Adding another playoff spot in both leagues keeps more teams alive late in the summer and gives fans more reason to pay attention down the stretch.

COOPERSTOWN — A $4.7 million grant will help the National Baseball Hall of Fame recover losses incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

I vividly remember being 8 years old in early January 2000 and flipping on ABC to watch the national championship game between the Florida State Seminoles and the Virginia Tech Hokies.

WATKINS GLEN — Three-peat at Watkins Glen? Not on Chase Elliott's radar.

The NHL said it will investigate an allegation made by Evander Kane’s wife that the San Jose Sharks forward bet on his own games and has intentionally tried to lose for gambling profit.

BUFFALO — J.D. Martinez and Hunter Renfroe connected back-to-back as the Boston Red Sox won a home run derby, beating Toronto 7-4 Wednesday night in the Blue Jays' final game at their temporary Buffalo home.

MILWAUKEE — Giannis Antetokounmpo ended one of the greatest NBA Finals ever with 50 points and a championship Milwaukee waited 50 years to win again.

TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays were given approval from the Canadian government on Friday for an exemption on border restrictions that would allow them to play in Canada later this month.

OTTAWA — The Toronto Blue Jays' return to their home ballpark is “trending in a very good direction,” Canada's deputy chief public health officer said Thursday.

After a year’s absence due to COVID-19, the MLB All-Star game returns Tuesday at Coors Field in Denver.

July 4, 1961. The New York Yankees were a game behind the Detroit Tigers in the American League with a doubleheader scheduled at Yankee Stadium. Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris were chasing Babe Ruth's home run record and Whitey Ford was ready to pitch for the Yanks.

The Toronto Blue Jays are opening Sahlen Field to full capacity, consistent with New York State Department of Health guidelines announced last Tuesday, effective immediately.

This has been, if you’ll forgive a time-honored cliche, the best and worst of times for pitchers in Major League Baseball.

I’ve said for years that the NFL’s division round is the most compelling of the playoffs. You have eight teams in four highly competitive games, which tends to produce some of the most memorable moments in the postseason.

DENVER — Nikola Jokic was selected with the 41st draft pick when he entered the NBA seven years ago.

The Toronto Blue Jays will be extending their stay at their adopted home in Buffalo, New York, through July 21.

The NFL is returning to London in October and Tom Brady begins his pursuit of an eighth Super Bowl title against Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys when Tampa Bay hosts the league’s annual kickoff game on Sept. 9.

It’s difficult to fathom now, after all the wins and championships and Halls of Fame. But there was a time, as a young girl newly arrived in Niagara Falls, when Tara VanDerveer told her parents she was finished with basketball. She said she was too old.

INDIANAPOLIS — There was another team out there that was marching through the season undefeated, that looked unstoppable at times, that had all arrows pointing toward a national title.

Last summer, Marty Shimmel took me out golfing with Jack Armstrong and Jay Skurski at Niagara Falls Country Club. Shimmel is the media chairman for the Porter Cup, one of the real good guys in local sports.

NORMAN, Okla. — A member of the crew doing a live stream video of the Norman High-Midwest City's girls basketball game on Thursday night can be heard using a racial slur and foul language in comments aimed at NHS players who knelt during the pre-game national anthem

LOS ANGELES — Golf star Tiger Woods suffered leg injuries Tuesday in a vehicle rollover in suburban Los Angeles and was undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said. His condition wasn't yet clear.

The voters have spoken: They wanted LeBron James of the reigning champion Los Angeles Lakers to be an All-Star captain, again.

A new era has come about in the sports world and it's starting with a more inclusive culture.

ATLANTA — Hank Aaron, who endured racist threats with stoic dignity during his pursuit of Babe Ruth’s home run record and gracefully left his mark as one of baseball’s greatest all-around players, died Friday. He was 86.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The celebration was at once familiar and unique. The confetti cannons sent a crimson and white shower into the air and Alabama players ran to the sideline to grab their championship hats and T-shirts.

LOS ANGELES — Tommy Lasorda looked on from a suite at Globe Life Field in Texas, watching as the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the World Series in Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Rays.

LOS ANGELES — Tommy Lasorda, the fiery Hall of Fame manager who guided the Los Angeles Dodgers to two World Series titles and later became an ambassador for the sport he loved during his 71 years with the franchise, has died. He was 93.

Floyd Little, the versatile running back who starred at Syracuse and for the Denver Broncos, has died after a long bout with cancer. He was 78.

Through plenty of potholes, seas of empty seats and enough piped-in crowd noise to make broadcasts sound like sitcom laugh tracks, the NFL is about to put the wacky and worrisome 2020 season in its rearview.

The playoffs are just around the corner, so squads are gearing up for stretch runs. The AFC is looking as deep as ever, as Kansas City, Buffalo and Pittsburgh all have 11 wins while Tennessee, Indianapolis and Cleveland each have 10.

The National Hockey League and players reached a tentative deal Friday to hold a 56-game season in 2021, pending the approval of each side’s executive board and Canadian health officials.

A bill being introduced Thursday by four Democratic lawmakers would grant college athletes sweeping rights to compensation, including a share of the revenue generated by their sports, and create a federal commission to oversee college athletics.

Week 14 will go down as the week Buffalo rose up as an AFC powerhouse, knocking off Pittsburgh on a primetime stage. More on that game later.

STANFORD, Calif. — Tara VanDerveer and Tennessee's Pat Summitt planned home-and-home series whenever their schedules allowed, two power programs in opposite regions of the country ready to test their teams against a fellow great. Ready to challenge themselves as coaches, too.

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