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Home Sports

Thursday's Results
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Top-25 College Basketball
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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:
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(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
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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:
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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