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Thursday's Results
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College Football Bowl Games
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De'Anthony  Thomas opened  the Fiesta Bowl with a scintillating kickoff return
and  Marcus Mariota combined for three touchdowns, as Oregon controlled Kansas
State,  35-17, to  reach 12  wins for  the third  straight season.  Thursday's
matchup  at University of Phoenix Stadium was destined to take place in Miami,
Fla.  for the national championship after both programs rose to the top of the
BCS  standings in mid-November. But losses in their penultimate regular season
games  on  the same  day knocked  them from their  perch and  out of the title
picture.  Despite that late setback, Oregon reached its fourth consecutive BCS
bowl  game  under the guidance  of head coach Chip  Kelly, whose name has been
heavily  rumored to be on the short lists of several open NFL positions. Kelly
watched  his  fifth-ranked Ducks  (12-1) limit  Heisman Trophy finalist Collin
Klein and the seventh-ranked Wildcats to 23 points below their season average.
In  addition  to his 94-yard  return 12 seconds  in, Thomas caught a touchdown
pass  from Mariota,  who threw for 166 yards  and two TDs and ran for 62 yards
and  another score. Kenjon Barner caught a touchdown pass and gained 167 yards
from  scrimmage in  the convincing  victory. Kansas  State (11-2)  dropped its
fifth  straight  bowl game and  was denied its  first 12-win season. Klein was
held  to 151  passing yards with a touchdown and two interceptions on 17-of-32
attempts and gained just 30 yards on 13 carries.

Top-25 College Basketball
-------------------------
Mark  Lyons poured in  a game-high 24 points to lead third-ranked Arizona to a
92-83  overtime  win over Colorado on  Thursday. Kevin Parrom scored 16 points
and  pulled down  eight rebounds and Nick Johnson added 12 points, five boards
and  three  steals for the  Wildcats (13-0, 1-0  Pac-12). Askia Booker led the
Buffaloes (10-3, 0-1) with 18 points and Sabatino Chen finished with 15 points
off the bench.

Elsewhere in the Top-25:
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(2) Michigan 94, Northwestern 66
(10) Gonzaga 78, Pepperdine 62

National Basketball Association
-------------------------------
Carmelo  Anthony scored  23 points and the  New York Knicks put together a big
second  half to record a 100-83 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in a battle
of division leaders from Madison Square Garden. J.R. Smith netted 15 of his 20
points  after halftime, and the Knicks outscored San Antonio by a 44-31 margin
over the final 17 minutes to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the
season.  Steve Novak  knocked down 5-of-7 shots from three-point range to help
New  York prevail,  while Tyson Chandler contributed 10 points and 14 rebounds
to  the triumph. The  Knicks also held San Antonio to a 36.4 success rate from
the  floor in  putting an end to the Spurs' season-high seven-game win streak.
Gary  Neal paced  San Antonio with 12  points, with Tony Parker and Tim Duncan
each finishing with 11.

Elsewhere in the NBA:
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Minnesota Timberwolves 101, Denver Nuggets 97

=== As of 12:45 a.m. (et) ===

=== COLLEGE FOOTBALL ===

De'Anthony  Thomas opened  the Fiesta Bowl with a scintillating kickoff return
and  Marcus Mariota combined for three touchdowns, as Oregon controlled Kansas
State,  35-17, to  reach 12  wins for  the third  straight season.  Thursday's
matchup  at University of Phoenix Stadium was destined to take place in Miami,
Fla.  for the national championship after both programs rose to the top of the
BCS  standings in mid-November. But losses in their penultimate regular season
games  on  the same  day knocked  them from their  perch and  out of the title
picture.  Despite that late setback, Oregon reached its fourth consecutive BCS
bowl  game  under the guidance  of head coach Chip  Kelly, whose name has been
heavily  rumored to be on the short lists of several open NFL positions. Kelly
watched  his  fifth-ranked Ducks  (12-1) limit  Heisman Trophy finalist Collin
Klein and the seventh-ranked Wildcats to 23 points below their season average.
In  addition  to his 94-yard  return 12 seconds  in, Thomas caught a touchdown
pass  from Mariota,  who threw for 166 yards  and two TDs and ran for 62 yards
and  another score. Kenjon Barner caught a touchdown pass and gained 167 yards
from  scrimmage in  the convincing  victory. Kansas  State (11-2)  dropped its
fifth  straight  bowl game and  was denied its  first 12-win season. Klein was
held  to 151  passing yards with a touchdown and two interceptions on 17-of-32
attempts and gained just 30 yards on 13 carries.

Oregon linebacker Michael Clay says it's been a great four years.
SPT114

===

Two  ranked teams will also face off in Friday's bowl game as No. 10 Texas A&M
and 12th-ranked Oklahoma battle in the Cotton Bowl. With Heisman Trophy winner
Johnny  Manziel  at the helm, the  Aggies come into this contest seeking their
first 11-win campaign since 1998. Texas A&M is appearing in its 34th bowl game
(14-19), and is playing in its 13th Cotton Bowl (4-8). Oklahoma will be led by
coach  Bob Stoops,  who can notch his  150th career win in this clash, and the
team  has been  to a bowl game every  year since his arrival on campus back in
1999.  Overall, OU is  appearing in its 46th bowl game (27-17-1), and the team
is  seeking its fourth straight bowl win, which would match the longest streak
in school history.

Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops says there is a lot of hype around this game.
SPT214
=== NFL ===

The  Kansas City  Chiefs are on the verge of hiring former Philadelphia Eagles
sideline  boss Andy Reid to fill their vacant head coaching position. Multiple
outlets  have reported  that  Reid, who  was  fired by  the  Eagles on  Monday
following   a  mostly   successful  14-year   tenure  in   Philadelphia,  will
agree  to  coach the Chiefs after  undergoing an extensive interview with team
owner Clark Hunt on Wednesday. An official announcement is expected to come at
some  point this week once the deal becomes finalized. The winningest coach in
Eagles  history, Philadelphia  posted a  130-93-1 regular-season  record under
Reid's watch and amassed a 10-9 postseason record. That 140-102-1 overall mark
ranks  him  22nd on the  NFL's all-time coaching  list. Under Reid, the Eagles
made  nine playoff appearances, played in five NFC Championship Games and lost
to  the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX. However, the team slipped to
a 4-12 record -- the franchise's worst since 1998 -- this past season.

=== HOCKEY ===

Jeff Vanderbeek has made a deal which will allow him to retain full control of
the  New Jersey Devils and avoid a looming bankruptcy. In its Thursday report,
a  Newark publication  revealed the deal was settled within the last week, and
that  Vanderbeek was  able to work with the National Hockey League and several
banks  -- including  lead debt  arranger CIT  Group --  to whom  he owed  $178
million. Despite the financial turmoil, New Jersey made it back to the Stanley
Cup  Final  in June,  losing a six-game  series to the  Los Angeles Kings. The
windfall  from  that title  run was  an estimated  $32.3 million, reported the
Star-Ledger.

=== BASEBALL ===

Nick  Swisher is headed back home. The Cleveland Indians officially signed the
Ohio  native  on Thursday to a  four-year contract through 2016 with a vesting
option  for  the 2017 season.  Swisher was born  in Columbus and attended Ohio
State University from 2000-02, earning All-Big Ten honors during his sophomore
and  junior seasons.  The 32-year-old veteran spent the past four seasons with
the  Yankees  and helped New York  to its last  World Series title in 2009. He
batted  .272  with 24 homers and  93 runs batted  in last season. Swisher is a
career  .256 hitter with  209 homers, 673 RBI and a .361 on-base percentage in
1,209 games over nine big league seasons. He broke in with Oakland in 2004 and
spent  four seasons  with the Athletics before playing one year with the White
Sox.

===

The  Houston Astros'  debut as an American  League team will also be the first
game  of the  upcoming Major League Baseball season. MLB announced on Thursday
that  it will  open  the 2013  campaign with  a  nationally televised  matchup
between  the  Astros and  the Texas  Rangers from Minute  Maid Park on Sunday,
March  31.  The game will  begin at 8  p.m. (et) and  will be carried by ESPN.
Houston  was  moved to the  AL West for this  season after spending its entire
previous existence as a member of the National League. The move now gives both
leagues  an even  number  of 15  teams  and will  allow  for interleague  play
throughout the season.

Bears Continue Coaching Search

(Lake Forest, IL)  --  The Bears are continuing to search for a new head coach to replace Lovie Smith.  The "Chicago Sun-Times" reports Chicago interviewed Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael yesterday.  ESPN also reports the Bears have received permission to interview Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians about the job.

Bulls In Miami To Face Heat

(Miami, FL)  -- The Bulls hit South Beach tonight to take on the Miami Heat.  Chicago has won two out of three to improve to 17-and-13 on the season.  The Bulls were 96-94 winners last time out against the Magic.  Miami enters tonight's game with a 22-and-8 record.

NHL Talks Continue As Deadline Looms

(New York, NY)  --  Negotiations between the NHL and players continued on Thursday.  Both sides will reportedly meet again today starting at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.  The players are expected to vote again to give their executive board authority to file a "disclaimer of interest," effectively allowing individual players to file antitrust lawsuits against the league.

Northwestern Blown Out By Michigan

(Evanston, IL)  --  Northwestern suffered a 94-66 home loss in its Big Ten opener to second-ranked Michigan last night.  Jared Swopshire and Kale Abrahamson had 11 points to lead the Wildcats while Alex Olah and Tre Demps each added 10 points.  The 'Cats fell to 9-and-5 on the year.  The Wildcats continue Big Ten action at 13th-ranked Minnesota on Sunday night.

Illini Look To Bounce Back Tomorrow

(Champaign, IL)  --  Illinois looks to bounce back from being upset in its Big Ten opener tomorrow when the Illini host eighth-ranked Ohio State at Assembly Hall.  Illinois fell at Purdue on Wednesday to drop to 13-and-2 overall.  Ohio State rolls into Champaign having beat Nebraska in its Big Ten opener and with an 11-and-2 overall record.

DePaul Plays At Providence Tomorrow

(Providence, RI)  --  DePaul will continue the Big East season at Providence tomorrow.  The Blue Demons suffered a 73-72 setback to Seton Hall in their Big Ten opener on Wednesday to fall to 9-and-5 overall.  The Friars also lost their Big East opener at Louisville on Wednesday and are 8-and-5 this year.

Irish Host Seton Hall Tomorrow

(South Bend, IN)  --  Notre Dame's basketball team starts Big East play tomorrow when it hosts Seton Hall in South Bend.  The Fighting Irish went 12-and-1 in the non-conference portion of their season and are ranked 19th in the country.  Seton Hall won its Big East opener over DePaul and is 12-and-2 on the season.

Notre Dame Makes Final Preparations For Alabama

(Miami, FL)  --  Notre Dame is making final preparations for Monday night's clash with Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game.  The Fighting Irish went 12-and-0 this season on their way to the top ranking in the country.  'Bama was 12-and-1 with a 7-and-1 mark out of the SEC.


 

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