TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
ACC teams Duke, N.C. State win
UNDATED (AP) — Top-ranked Duke needed a second-half rally to stay unbeaten.
Seth Curry scored 12 of his season-high 31 points during a late run as the Blue Devils rallied to beat Santa Clara 90-77. Mason Plumlee had 22 points and 13 rebounds for Duke, which trailed 45-41 with 16 ½ minutes left before holding the Broncos to just one field goal over the next 8 ½ minutes.
The Blue Devils also withstood Kevin Foster's 29 points and improved to 12-0.
Fourth-ranked Louisville won its annual state battle with Kentucky.
Russ Smith had a team-high 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds as the Cardinals beat the Wildcats 80-77. Chane Behanan (SHAYN beh-HAH'-nehn) finished with 20 points and seven boards, while Peyton Siva (SEE'-vah) chipped 19 points to help the Cardinals improve to 12-1.
Also, No. 12 Arizona nipped Auburn 81-79 behind Tracy Abrams' career-high 29 points. The Illini survived a poor shooting day by star Brandon Paul, who finished with 13 points but was 3-for-12 from the field, including an 0-for-5 mark beyond the arc.
P.J. Hairston scored 15 points in his first career start as North Carolina knocked off No. 20 UNLV 79-73 at Chapel Hill. Dexter Strickland added a season-high 16 points for the Tar Heels.
No. 23 North Carolina State was an 84-68 winner against Western Michigan as C.J. Leslie scored 19 points and Richard Howell added 18 on 8-for-8 shooting. The Wolfpack shot 55 percent from the field, padding their NCAA-leading field goal percentage.
Ollie rewarded for strong start
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut first-year men's basketball coach Kevin Ollie has received a new five-year contract.
Ollie was given just a one-year deal in September after Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun retired. He has led UConn to a 9-2 record despite losing five underclassmen from last year's team after it was announced the Huskies were academically ineligible for the upcoming postseason.
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL-CONNECTICUT/STANFORD
UConn ends Stanford's home streak
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Stanford's 82-game home winning streak in women's college basketball has come to a sudden halt.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (mahs-KAY'-dah LOO'-his) scored 19 points and second-ranked Connecticut improved to 11-0 by stifling the No. 1 Cardinal 61-35. Breanna Stewart scored seven straight points during a decisive 17-2 run in the first half as UConn built a 22-7 lead against the cold-shooting Cardinal
Stanford hit just eight field goals and shot just 19.3 percent to set team record-lows in both categories.
It was sweet revenge for the Huskies, who saw their NCAA-record 90-game winning streak end at Maples Pavilion two years ago.
Payton staying put
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Saints have made sure Sean Payton is their head coach next year.
A team spokesman has confirmed Payton has agreed in principle to a multiyear contract extension, pending NFL approval.
Payton is the only coach in Saints history to win a Super Bowl, raising the Lombardi Trophy in February 2010. He was due to begin his seventh season as the Saints' head coach in 2012 before being suspended for the whole season by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in connection with the NFL's bounty investigation.
Payton is 62-34 in regular-season games as Saints coach and 5-3 in the postseason.
Roy ponders retirement
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Brandon Roy isn't sure about his basketball future.
A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that the Minnesota Timberwolves guard is weighing retirement against one last search for a treatment or procedure that could alleviate the chronic pain in his knees.
Roy had another surgery last month and returned to practice for the first time on Thursday. He expressed hope about playing against Phoenix on Saturday, but was unable to practice Friday and wasn't present for Saturday's shootaround.
Will the Bobcats finally end their skid?
UNDATED (AP) — Five NBA franchises have recorded at least two losing streaks of 18 games or more in their history. The Charlotte Bobcats will be in danger of becoming the sixth when they take on the New Orleans Hornets in one of 11 games on today's NBA schedule.
Charlotte's losing skid reached 17 games last night as the Bobcats fell behind by 29 points in a 97-81 loss at Brooklyn. Charlotte was a surprising 7-5 before the streak began with a 114-69 loss to Oklahoma City on Nov. 26. They have a terrific opportunity to end it tonight as they take on a Hornets team that has an even worse record than Charlotte at 6-23.
Also on tap, the Thunder own the league's second-best mark at 22-6 heading into tonight's game against visiting Houston. The Rockets had won five straight before last night's 122-116 loss to San Antonio.
Denver is in Memphis to face the Grizzlies, who are fourth in the West at 18-8 following back-to-back losses. The Nuggets have won two in a row and are three games over .500 despite playing 21 of their first 31 games on the road.
Miami is in Milwaukee one night after the Heat's six-game winning streak ended with a 109-99 loss to lowly Detroit. The Bucks share fifth in the East at a surprising 15-12.
The Celtics will try to move back over .500 when the visit Golden State. The Warriors are 9-4 at home and 20-10 overall following last night's win over Philadelphia
Atlanta hosts Indiana in a matchup of pretty hot teams. The Pacers picked up their fourth straight win with last night's 97-91 decision over Phoenix. The Hawks knocked off Cleveland 102-94 last night for their third consecutive win.
The Magic hope to end a four-game skid when they host Toronto. The Raptors have won six of their last seven.
Phoenix takes a four-game losing streak into its game at Minnesota. The Timberwolves are 13-13.
Cleveland visits the New Jersey Nets, who won their first game under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo (kahr-LEH'-sih-moh) last night to move back above .500.
Portland tries to build on its 10-4 home record as the Trail Blazers entertain Philadelphia.
And Chicago hosts the Washington Wizards, who own the NBA's worst record at 4-23 despite last night's win against Orlando.
TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL-SCHEDULE
Blue Devils, Wolverines in action...Louisville-Kentucky
UNDATED (AP) — The college basketball season heads into the final weekend before the conference schedule gets in full swing.
Top-ranked Duke is home against Santa Clara, and No. 2 Michigan is home against Central Michigan. The Blue Devils are 11-0, and the Wolverines are 12-0 for the first time since 1985-86.
Fourth-ranked Louisville plays its annual game against arch-rival Kentucky, No. 6 Kansas is home against American and No. 9 Syracuse hosts Alcorn State.
Tenth-ranked Ohio State plays host to Chicago State, No. 12 Illinois entertains Auburn, 14th-ranked Florida is on its home floor versus Air Force and No. 16 Creighton faces visiting Evansville.
The rest of the top-25 slate has 18th-ranked Butler at Vanderbilt, No. 20 UNLV visiting North Carolina, 23rd-rated N.C. State home against Western Michigan and No. 25 Kansas State taking on UMKC in Manhattan.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-BOWL SCHEDULE
Rice beats Air Force
UNDATED (AP) — The first bowl game of the day is over.
Backup quarterback Driphus Jackson came off the bench to throw for 264 yards and two touchdowns as Rice whipped Air Force 33-14 in the Armed Forces Bowl at Fort Worth. Jackson replaced Taylor McHargue, who never returned because of an apparent head injury after a helmet-to-helmet collision with about five minutes left in the first half.
Jordan Taylor caught both of Jackson's touchdown passes and finished with nine receptions for 153 yards and three scores.
Two bowl games are going on right now. Syracuse is taking on West Virginia in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium, and the Fight Hunger Bowl has Arizona State taking on Navy.
The best matchup of the day has 8-4 Texas taking on 9-3 Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl at San Antonio. The Longhorns will be without backup quarterback Case McCoy and injured linebacker Jordan Hicks, who were sent home yesterday for violating team rules.
Today's bowl slate concludes with TCU against Michigan State in the Buffalo Wild Winds Bowl in Tempe.
Rare dead heat in Italy
BORMIO, Italy (AP) — Hannes Reichelt (HAH'-nehs RY'-kehlt) of Austria and Dominik Paris of Italy shared the victory in a tightly contested downhill in which the top four finishers were separated by two-hundredths of a second.
Paris took the early lead by clocking 1 minute, 58.62 seconds for his first career win. Reichelt matched him to give Austria its first speed win of the season.
Overall World Cup leader Aksel Lund Svindal (AHK'-sehl loond SVHIN'-dahl) of Norway finished third, 0.01 seconds behind.
U.S., Canada square off tomorrow.
UNDATED (AP) — The United States and Canada have the day off at the junior ice hockey world championships before squaring off tomorrow in Russia.
The Americans are 1-1 in the tournament, crushing Germany 8-0 on Thursday before losing to Russia 2-1 the following day on a tiebreaking goal early in the third period. Canada opened with a 9-3 rout of the Germans and overcame a pair of two-goal deficits to beat Slovakia 6-3 yesterday.
Russia improved to 3-0 with today's 7-0 win over Germany, which has been outscored 24-3 in its three games. Today's other game had Sweden defeating Latvia 5-1.