Top-25 College Basketball
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 21 points as No. 5 Michigan bounced back from its first loss of the season by posting a 83-75 win over ninth-ranked Minnesota in a key Big Ten clash from Williams Arena. Hardaway made good on 7-of-8 field goal attempts -- including a sharp 4-of-5 from 3-point range -- and the Wolverines shot 50 percent (10-of-20) from beyond the arc in rebounding from Sunday's 56-53 loss at No. 11 Ohio State. Trey Burke added 18 points and nine assists for Michigan (17-1, 4-1 Big Ten), which shot 54.9 percent from the floor as a team. Minnesota (15-3, 3-2) also went 50 percent (8-of-16) from 3- point distance, but was hurt by 15 turnovers that the Wolverines converted into 24 points to hand the Golden Gophers a second straight defeat following an 11-game win streak.
Elsewhere in the Top-25:
(3) Duke 73, Georgia Tech 57
(8) Gonzaga 71, Portland 49
(10) Florida 68, Texas A&M 47
(21) Oregon 76, Southern California 74
(22) VCU 92, Saint Joseph's 86 (OT)
Northwestern 68, (23) Illinois 54
(24) UCLA 74, Oregon State 64
National Basketball Association
Carmelo Anthony scored a game-high 26 points and J.R. Smith netted 16 points, six rebounds and four assists as the New York Knicks outlasted the Detroit Pistons, 102-87, at the O2 Arena in London. Amar'e Stoudemire contributed 17 points and Steve Novak added 13 points on 3- of-6 shooting from 3-point range for the Knicks, who have now won two straight games after a three-game skid last week. Will Bynum led Detroit with 22 points - 18 of which came in the second half - on 10-of-16 shooting from the field. Kyle Singler registered 15 points and four assists for the Pistons, who have lost two straight.
Elsewhere in the NBA:
Los Angeles Clippers 90, Minnesota Timberwolves 77
Milwaukee Bucks 98, Phoenix Suns 94
Miami Heat 99, Los Angeles Lakers 90
=== As of 1:45 a.m. (et) ===
=== CYCLING ===
Lance Armstrong finally admitted that he doped and repeatedly used several banned substances throughout his once-distinguished, now tarnished cycling career, confirming years of rumors and accusations of illegal drug use by the disgraced former 7-time Tour de France champion and putting an end to Armstrong's repeated defiant denials that he cheated. In the first of a two- part interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired on the television personality's OWN Network on Thursday, Armstrong revealed that he did in fact take part in blood doping and transfusions, used EPO, testosterone, cortisone and human growth hormone -- and performed all of the above throughout the entirety of his record-setting run of seven consecutive Tour de France titles from 1999-2005. Armstrong's acknowledgement comes just two months after he was stripped of all seven Tour de France wins following a lengthy and comprehensive investigation of the 41-year-old American and his former teams by the United States Anti- Doping Agency (USADA). The renowned cancer survivor also stated he believed none of his Tour de France victories would have been possible without the aid of performance- enhancing substances, which he said were so prevalent in the cycling profession during his reign of dominance of the sport that it would have been practically impossible to legitimately compete without doping.
=== NFL ===
The NFL's final head coaching vacancy has been filled, as the Arizona Cardinals have chosen Bruce Arians as their next coach. The deal is for four years with a team option for a fifth. Arizona will introduce Arians at a Friday press conference. Arians will replace Ken Whisenhunt, who was fired on Dec. 31 after recording his second losing season in three years. The 60-year- old Arians served as the offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts this past season, and led the team to a 9-3 record as the interim head coach while Chuck Pagano was treated for leukemia. Arians has 20 years of experience as an NFL assistant, but his only other head coaching experience came at the college level when he guided Temple from 1983-88. The Owls had a 21-45 overall record under Arians and finished with a winning record just twice in his six seasons.
Whisenhunt also got a new job on Thursday, with the ex-Arizona head man named the offensive coordinator by the San Diego Chargers. Whisenhunt, who joins the staff of new Chargers head coach Mike McCoy, previously worked as the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2004-06 and was a staff member of the team that captured the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl XL. He was named the Cardinals' head coach the following season and amassed a franchise-record 49 wins during his six season, while guiding the franchise to its only Super Bowl appearance during the 2008 campaign.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have selected Gus Bradley as their new head coach. Bradley spent the past four seasons as defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks. He will replace Mike Mularkey, who was fired last Thursday by new Jaguars general manger Dave Caldwell after a disastrous 2-14 season. It was thought Bradley might be the choice in Philadelphia and reports even circulated that he was close to a deal with the Eagles earlier this week, but Chip Kelly had a change of heart and decided to leave Oregon to replace Andy Reid in Philly.
The Seahawks moved quickly to replace Bradley, hiring University of Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to the same position. Quinn will be starting his second stint with the organization, having served as Seattle's defensive line coach from 2009-10 before joining the Gators' program, and has a total of 10 years of NFL experience with the Seahawks, San Francisco, Miami and the New York Jets.
Norv Turner wasn't out of job long, as the fired San Diego Chargers head coach on Thursday was named the offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns. Turner spent the past six years as the Chargers head coach and will rejoin new Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski. Chudzinski, named Browns head coach last week, was assistant head coach and tight ends coach under Turner with the Chargers from 2009-10.
The New England Patriots officially placed Rob Gronkowski on injured reserve Thursday, four days after the Pro Bowl tight end re-fractured his left forearm in the team's playoff opener. Gronkowski, who missed five consecutive weeks after initially fracturing his arm in a victory over Indianapolis on Nov. 18, broke it once again during New England's second series of last Sunday's 41-28 victory over the Houston Texans in the AFC Divisional Playoffs. Several media outlets reported on Monday that the third-year standout underwent surgery that would keep him out for the remainder of the Patriots' postseason run.
=== NBA ===
The Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant was the leading vote- getter and earned his record 15th straight All-Star selection. The starters for the 2013 All-Star Game were announced Thursday and joining Bryant, who received 1,591,437 votes to edge out Miami's LeBron James (1,583,646), on the Western Conference squad is teammate Dwight Howard. Bryant broke a tie with Jerry West, Karl Malone and Shaquille O'Neal for the most consecutive All-Star nods. The Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul will be Bryant's partner at the guard position in the starting lineup, while Paul's teammate, Blake Griffin, and Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, the reigning All-Star Game MVP, round out the West's frontcourt. In addition to James, the East's frontcourt features New York's Carmelo Anthony and Boston's Kevin Garnett. The guards are Miami's Dwyane Wade and the Celtics' Rajon Rondo. The reserves will be announced on Jan. 24. The 62nd NBA All-Star Game will be played at the Toyota Center in Houston on Sunday, Feb. 17.
The NBA headed across the pond to London on Thursday, with the New York Knicks recording a 102-87 victory over the Detroit Pistons at the O2 Arena in the British Capital. Carmelo Anthony scored a game-high 26 points and J.R. Smith netted 16 points, six rebounds and four assists to lead New York. Will Bynum paced Detroit with 22 points - 18 of which came in the second half - on 10-of-16 shooting from the field, with Kyle Singler registering 15 points and four assists in the loss.
=== BASEBALL ===
Reigning NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey and former MVPs Ryan Braun, Jimmy Rollins and Joe Mauer headline the United States' provisional roster for this spring's World Baseball Classic. Dickey, the knuckleballer who won the Cy Young in 2012 with the New York Mets and was traded to Toronto last month, headlines an American starting pitching staff that also includes Ryan Vogelsong of the World Series champion San Francisco Giants, Atlanta's Kris Medlen and Derek Holland of Texas. Braun, the 2011 NL MVP from Milwaukee, will be joined in the U.S. outfield by All-Stars Adam Jones of Baltimore, Giancarlo Stanton of Miami and Shane Victorino, now with Boston. Rollins, NL MVP with Philadelphia in 2007, is the top shortstop for the U.S. team and could headline a possible starting infield consisting of first baseman Mark Teixeira of the Yankees, Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips and third baseman David Wright of the Mets.
The Washington Nationals and closer Rafael Soriano officially agreed to terms on a two-year contract on Thursday, adding an additional experienced arm to the back end of the defending National League East champions' bullpen. The deal, which also includes an option for the 2015 season, was initially reported on Tuesday, with CBS Sports.com indicating the pact will be worth $28 million over the first two seasons. Soriano comes to Washington off a very strong 2012 campaign with the New York Yankees in which the veteran righty converted 42-of-46 save opportunities after replacing an injured Mariano Rivera. He finished the season with a 2.26 earned run average over 69 appearances and struck out 69 batters over 67 2/3 innings. Over 11 majorleague seasons with Seattle, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and the Yankees, Soriano has registered a 15-24 record with a 2.78 ERA and 132 saves over 453 career appearances, all but eight of which have come in relief. He will presumably take over the closer's role from Tyler Clippard, who led Washington with 32 saves as 2011 closer Drew Storen slowly returned from an elbow injury. Storen had 43 saves with the Nationals in 2011.
The Texas Rangers have signed All-Star pitcher Matt Harrison to a five-year contract extension through 2017. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the Dallas Morning News had reported it to be worth $55 million. The deal also includes a club option that can vest for 2018. Harrison filed for salary arbitration earlier this week and the new deal will take him through his first three eligible years of free agency. The 27-year-old lefty earned his first All-Star nod in 2012 and finished the season 18-11 with a 3.29 ERA in 32 starts. He established career bests in wins, starts and strikeouts (133). His 18 wins also matched the team record for a lefty, set by Kenny Rogers in
2004. Harrison has a career record of 48-30 with a 4.08 ERA in 126 games, including 94 starts -- all with the Rangers. His 32 wins over the past two seasons are surpassed only by Justin Verlander (41), Jered Weaver (38) and CC Sabathia (34) among AL hurlers.
Earlier on Thursday, Armstrong had been stripped of the bronze medal he won in the individual time trial at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The International Olympic Committee made the announcement following the expiration of the appeal deadline. The actual decision to strip the medal came in December at the IOC Executive Board meeting after the United States Anti-Doping Agency disqualified all of Armstrong's results from 1998 onward as the result of an investigation that detailed the seven-time Tour de France champion's intricate doping ring.
=== TENNIS ===
The Australian Open's third round got underway on Friday with top-ranked Serbian Novak Djokovic cruising into the fourth round with a 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 victory over 31st-ranked Czech Radek Stepanek. On the women's side, Fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska and fifth-seeded Angelique Kerber continued to roll as Radwanska bested Great Britain's Heather Watson, 6-3, 6-1, en route to her 12th straight victory after titles in Auckland and Sydney, and Kerber, who turned 25 on Friday, was also a straight-set winner, defeating American Madison Keys, 6-2, 7-5 at Rod Laver Arena. Venus Williams is in action in the night session against second-seeded Maria Sharapova.
=== GOLF ===
Justin Rose and Jamie Donaldson both opened with 5-under 67s on Thursday and they share the first-round lead at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, which features a world class field that includes the top two players in the world in Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods. McIlroy struggled to a 3-over 75 and Woods managed an even-par 72. Thorbjorn Olesen and Pablo Larrazabal are one stroke off the lead at minus-4.