Sport Headlines 03 Dec 11

Friday’s Results
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Top-25 College Football
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LaMichael James rushed for 219 yards and three touchdowns, powering eighth- ranked Oregon to a 49-31 win over UCLA in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship game. James, who carried the ball 25 times, was instrumental in delivering the Ducks to a Rose Bowl berth and was named the game’s MVP. Oregon (11-2) will face the Big Ten champion — either Wisconsin or Michigan State — on January 2 in Pasadena. The Bruins (6-7) participated in the championship game as the South Division winner only because of NCAA probations levied against USC. They played their final game under Rick Neuheisel, who was fired as head coach on Monday. Kevin Prince ended 13-of-26 for 164 yards with a pair of scores for the Bruins.

National Hockey League

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Claude Giroux ripped a one-timer into the net 3:29 into overtime to cap a 4-3 comeback victory by the Philadelphia Flyers over the Anaheim Ducks. The Flyers overcame a three-goal deficit to spoil the debut of Anaheim’s new head coach Bruce Boudreau. He was fired as the head coach of the Washington Capitals on Monday and quickly hired by Anaheim early Thursday morning. Jaromir Jagr had two goals and an assist for the Flyers, winners in three of their last four games. Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 19-of-22 shots to earn the win. Andrew Cogliano, Teemu Selanne and Andrew Gordon netted goals for Anaheim, which fell to 7-13-5 on the season. Jonas Hiller allowed all four goals on 47 shots.

Elsewhere in the NHL:

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Detroit Red Wings 4, Buffalo Sabres 1
Minnesota Wild 4, New Jersey Devils 2
Chicago Blackhawks 5, New York Islanders 4 (SO)
Colorado Avalanche 3, St. Louis Blues 2 (SO)
Edmonton Oilers 6, Columbus Blue Jackets 3

Top-25 College Basketball

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Peyton Siva cut through the lane for the game-winning layup with 1.4 seconds left in overtime, delivering sixth-ranked Louisville a 62-60 triumph over No. 20 Vanderbilt as part of the Big East/SEC Challenge. Kyle Kuric canned a big three-pointer in the extra session and finished with a team-high 15 points for the Cardinals (7-0), who received 14 points apiece from Siva and Chane Behanan. John Jenkins scored 27 for the Commodores (5-3), who have lost two straight in OT. Vandy, which fell to Xavier on Monday, wasted a five-point lead in overtime on Friday.

Elsewhere in the Top-25:

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(4) Syracuse 72, (10) Florida 68
(13) Missouri 90, Northwestern State 56

=== COLLEGE FOOTBALL ===

LaMichael James rushed for 219 yards and three touchdowns, powering eighth- ranked Oregon to a 49-31 win over UCLA in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship game. James, who carried the ball 25 times, was instrumental in delivering the Ducks to a Rose Bowl berth and was named the game’s MVP. Oregon (11-2) will face the Big Ten champion — either Wisconsin or Michigan State — on January 2 in Pasadena. The Bruins (6-7) participated in the championship game as the South Division winner only because of NCAA probations levied against USC. They played their final game under Rick Neuheisel, who was fired as head coach on Monday. Kevin Prince ended 13-of-26 for 164 yards with a pair of scores for the Bruins.

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Mathew Sims kicked a 33-yard field goal as time expired Friday night, capping a stunning second half comeback and lifting Northern Illinois to a 23-20 win over Ohio for the Mid-American Conference Championship. Sims’ kick, which followed two Ohio timeouts and came minutes after he missed an extra point, sailed just inside the left upright. The Huskies won the MAC title game for the first time despite trailing 20-0 at halftime. Ohio appeared in its third conference championship game in the last six years, but has yet to win. The Bobcats gave up 23 unanswered points and failed to ice the game twice in the fourth quarter, punting two times in the last five minutes. They had a five- game winning streak snapped.

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It’s championship Saturday in college football as title contests take place in the SEC, ACC, Big Ten and Conference USA. The Big 12 championship is also on

the line.

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The top-ranked LSU Tigers will clash with No. 12 Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. LSU, which enters the day ranked first in the BCS and would likely gain a trip to the national championship game win or lose, carry a 12-0 record into this showdown at the Georgia Dome. Georgia opened the season with back-to-back losses to Boise State and South Carolina, and many fans of the Bulldogs were calling for Mark Richt’s job. The school stuck with its head coach and he has bounced back in a big way, leading the ‘Dawgs to 10 consecutive wins since the slow start.

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The ACC and Big Ten title contests will be played at night. Making their fifth appearance in the ACC Championship Game, the fifth-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies take aim at No. 21 Clemson at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. The inaugural Big Ten Championship Game pits the 11th-ranked Michigan State Spartans against the 15th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts.

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Earlier in the day, the seventh-ranked Houston Cougars will put their unblemished record on the line as they take on the 24th-ranked Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles in the Conference USA Championship Game from Robertson Stadium. Houston, which is 12-0, is predicted to be playing for a BCS berth, which would be the first in school history.

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Far more than state bragging rights will be on the line in Stillwater, as the third-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys and 13th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners do battle in the latest installment of the Bedlam Series. A victory would give Oklahoma its national-leading 33rd 10-win season and its second straight Big 12 Conference title. OU has won four of the last five Big 12 crowns while no other league member has won more than three. The Sooners are 9-2 overall, including 6-2 in conference, and they are coming off a 26-6 victory over Iowa State, the only team to beat Oklahoma State all season. The Cowboys won their first 10 games this season and had the inside track to the national title game. No one believed that Iowa State would be able to hang with Oklahoma State two weeks ago in Ames, but the Cyclones pulled off a major upset with a 37-31, double-overtime win.

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After James Franklin led Vanderbilt to a six-win season in his first year as head football coach, the school has given him a new contract. The school announced the multiple-year deal at a press conference Friday, but did not divulge specifics of the contract. The Commodores went 6-6 this past season to become bowl eligible for just the second time since 1983 and the fifth time in team history. Franklin, 39, had spent the last eight years as the offensive coordinator at Maryland before being hired by Vanderbilt last December.

=== NBA ===

The shortened NBA season will open Christmas Day with five games instead of the three that were originally scheduled for the holiday. The day will open at noon (et) with the Boston Celtics visiting the New York Knicks and will follow with an NBA Finals rematch between the Miami Heat and the reigning champion Mavericks in Dallas. The Bulls and Lakers will then square off in Los Angeles. Those were the three games on the original 82-game schedule for Christmas, but with a compressed time frame to play a 66-game slate, the league added two more for the holiday. At 8 p.m. (et), the Oklahoma City Thunder will host the Orlando Magic and the nightcap will take place in Oakland with the Golden State Warriors welcoming the Los Angeles Clippers.

=== NFL ===

Ndamukong Suh’s appeal of his two-game suspension has been denied. The Detroit Lions defensive tackle was suspended for stomping on a Green Bay Packers player last week and appealed the decision on Tuesday, after NFL vice president Merton Hanks notified him of the discipline. But league spokesman Greg Aiello announced the denial on his Twitter account Friday. He wrote that Art Shell, one of two appeals officers jointly appointed and paid by the NFL and players union, notified Suh of the decision. Suh was ejected from the Thanksgiving Day game after pushing Packers lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith’s head to the turf a couple of times, then stomping on his right arm. Suh sitting out until a December 18 game at Oakland will be detrimental for the Lions, who are 7-4 and battling for an NFC wild card berth.

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Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said Friday he was encouraged by the condition of Ahmad Bradshaw, but whether or not the running back will miss a fifth consecutive game is still very much up in the air. Bradshaw, who is still recovering from a cracked bone in his foot, is listed as questionable on New York’s injury report for Sunday’s contest against Green Bay. He missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, but was a limited participant Friday. Coughlin said trainers and doctors will provide an update Saturday morning, and the team will have several hours to make a decision. Bradshaw has not played since suffering the injury in a Week 8 win against Miami, and the Giants are 1-3 since he went down. They are 6-5, a game behind Dallas in the NFC East.

=== COLLEGE BASKETBALL ===

Jared Sullinger will miss No. 2 Ohio State’s game against Texas-Pan American on Saturday because of back spasms, the school said Friday. Sullinger has averaged 19.1 points and 10.3 rebounds for the Buckeyes (7-0) this season. And if one report is true, he could be out even longer than a game. Sullinger has been receiving treatment “for the last couple of days” and could miss “an extended period of time,” according to a story by CBSSports.com on Friday.

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University of Pittsburgh point guard Tray Woodall is expected to be sidelined for about a month because of a groin/abdominal injury. Woodall was hurt during Wednesday’s game against Duquesne. The 5-foot-11 junior is averaging 14.1 points, 8.3 assists and 3.4 rebounds in seven games this season. He has registered four double-doubles and is shooting 45.7 percent from three-point range for the 17th-ranked Panthers, who will visit Tennessee on Saturday.

=== GOLF ===

Tiger Woods, chasing his first win in more than two years, fired a five-under 67 Friday to grab a three-stroke lead after two rounds of the Chevron World Challenge. Woods, the tournament host, finished 36 holes at eight-under-par 136. He has won the event four times. First-round leader K.J. Choi stumbled to a one-over 73 to slide into a share of second at minus-five. He was joined there by Matt Kuchar, who matched Woods’ 67 at Sherwood Country Club.

=== TENNIS ===

Former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and fifth- ranked David Ferrer were a pair of opening singles winners Friday, as host Spain grabbed a commanding 2-0 lead against Argentina in their best-of-five 2011 Davis Cup final. The match of the day saw Ferrer outlast world No. 11 Juan Martin del Potro in five sets, 6-2, 6-7 (2-7), 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, on red clay at Seville’s Olympic Stadium, where 27,000 spectators were on hand, including King Juan Carlos. Nadal gave the hosts a quick 1-0 lead earlier in the day by thrashing Juan Monaco, 6-1, 6-1, 6-2. Four-time champion Spain can clinch its third Davis Cup title in four years with a doubles victory on Saturday.

=== BOXING ===

Miguel Cotto will defend his WBA super welterweight title against Antonio Margarito Saturday night at a sold out Madison Square Garden. It’ll be the second meeting between the fighters with the first being a battle of epic proportion. Cotto, who is 36-2 with 29 knockouts, will make his second defense of his title. Cotto lost to Margarito in 2008 via 11th round technical knockout, but he captured the WBA super welterweight title with a ninth-round TKO of Yuri Foreman in June 2010 and then defended the championship with a 12th-round TKO of Ricardo Mayorga this past March. Margarito, who is in his 15th title fight and held the IBF, WBA, WBO titles at 147 pounds, enters Saturday’s bout with a 38-7 mark and 27 KOs. Margarito is coming off a 12- round unanimous decision defeat to Manny Pacquiao in November of 2010.