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Scoreboard Roundup – 1/27/15

Scoreboard Roundup – 1/27/15

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Men's Top 25 College Basketball: (14) VCU 72 (17-3) - George Washington 48 (16-5)

(17) West Virginia 65 (17-3) - Kansas State 59 (12-9)

Xavier 66 (14-7) - (21) Georgetown 53 (14-6)

NBA: Toronto Raptors 104 (30-15) - Indiana Pacers 88 (16-31)

Cleveland Cavaliers 103 (26-20) - Detroit Pistons 95 (17-29)

Milwaukee Bucks 109 (23-22) - Miami Heat 102 (20-25)

NHL:  Columbus Blue Jackets 4 (21-22-3, 45pts) - Washington Capitals 3 (24-14-9, 57pts)

Pittsburgh Penguins 5 (27-12-8, 62pts) - Winnipeg Jets 3 (26-15-8, 60pts)

New York Islanders 4 (32-14-1, 65pts) - New York Rangers 1 (27-14-4, 58pts)

Philadelphia Flyers 4 (20-22-7, 47pts) - Arizona Coyotes 3 (16-25-6, 38pts) - SO

Carolina Hurricanes 4 (17-25-5, 39pts) - Tampa Bay Lightning 2 (30-15-4, 64pts)

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Patriots Owner Wants Apology if No Findings in Deflate-Gate

Patriots Owner Wants Apology if No Findings in Deflate-Gate

iStock/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) -- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft says the NFL will owe the team an apology if its investigation into deflated footballs doesn't find any wrongdoing on his team's part.

"If the Wells investigation is not able to definitively determine that our organization tampered with the air pressure on the footballs, I would expect and hope that the league would apologize to our entire team and, in particular, coach [Bill] Belichick and Tom Brady for what they have had to endure this past week," Kraft said during an news conference on Monday.

Attorney Ted Wells, along with NFL executive vice president Jeff Pash, are heading up the investigation.

The league found that 11 of the 12 footballs used during the Patriots' 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game were not inflated by the minimum level of 12.5 pounds per square inch, according to ESPN. In that game, Brady passed for 226 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

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Reds Agree to 4-Year Contract with C Devin Mesoraco

Reds Agree to 4-Year Contract with C Devin Mesoraco

Thinkstock(CINCINNATI) -- The Cincinnati Reds and catcher Devin Mesoraco agreed to a four-year contract extension, the club announced late on Monday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Reds selected Mesoraco with the 15th overall pick in the 2007 MLB amateur draft. Last season, the 26-year-old batted .273 with 25 home runs and 80 RBIs in 440 at-bats. He was named to his first All-Star team in 2014.

"This is another example of rewarding a player we drafted and developed," Cardinals president of baseball operations and general manager Walt Jocketty said in a statement. "We are pleased to be able to sign him for the next four years and expect him to be an integral part of the team."

Mesoraco was set for arbitration this off-season, but his new contract will keep him in Cincinnati through the 2018 season.

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Former NFL Commissioner Tagliabue Critical of Goodell

Former NFL Commissioner Tagliabue Critical of Goodell

NFL Shield (NFL)(NEW YORK) -- Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue provided a candid view of the NFL under the leadership of current Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL ownership.

Tagliabue expressed concern for the league and of Goodell in a GQ article that profiles the current commissioner. Among the chief concerns Tagliabue noted was Goodell's obsession with the NFL gaining profit and finding larger revenue streams; even at the expense of the game itself. Goodell has stated that he would like the NFL to be a $25 billion industry by 2027.

There has been an increasingly hostile relationship between Goodell and NFL players. Goodell has handed out uneven punishment to players for on-field and off-field infractions, depending on his attitude towards the offending party. 

Where Goodell handed out Draconian punishments to the New Orleans Saints in the wake of the Bountygate scandal, he seemingly did a favor to the Baltimore Ravens organization by suspending Ray Rice after a domestic violence incident with his now wife, Janay Palmer.  

Tagliabue, who was appointed by Goodell to hear appeals for Bountygate, sees this as a major flaw.

"If they see you making decisions only in economic terms, they start to understand that and question what you're all about," he said. "There's a huge intangible value in peace. There's a huge intangible value in having allies."

Tagliabue served as commissioner from 1989, succeeding Pete Rozelle, through 2006, when Goodell took over.

"We haven't talked much since I left. It's been his decision," said Tagliabue. "Bountygate didn't help."

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Berdych Upsets Nadal In Quarterfinals

Berdych Upsets Nadal In Quarterfinals

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(AUSTRALIA) -- The 2015 Australian Open has had a major upset.

In straight sets, Tomas Berdych defeated No. 3 ranked Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-0, 7-6, Tuesday to move on to the semi-finals.

"I was ready for everything and I think that was the difference," Berdych said. "I started pretty well, but when you're playing Rafa you have to keep going to the last point."

Berdych, a 29-year-old from the Czech Republic, had lost 17-straight times to Nadal.  The 18th time, Berdych was focused, showing little emotion during the match and kept Nadal off balance.

"I'm feeling ok, just was not my day," said Nadal, the 2009 winner of the Australian Open. "I didn't play with the right intensity, the right rhythm and the opponent played better than me."

Berdych will face Andy Murray in the next round. 

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Lance Armstrong: I Would Dope Again

Lance Armstrong: I Would Dope Again

Gary Miller/FilmMagic

(NEW YORK) -- Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted he would cheat again if the circumstances were right.

"If I was racing in 2015, no, I wouldn't do it again because I don't think you have to do it again," Armstong said in an interview with the BBC. "If you take me back to 1995, when it was completely and totally pervasive, I would probably do it again."

Armstrong admitted to Oprah Winfrey in January 2013, after years of denying any wrongdoing, that he did dope while winning seven straight Tour de France championships.

Armstrong blames the culture of racing back in the 2000s, during which time he claims the vast majority of cyclists were using some sort of performance-enhancing substance to get an advantage.

"When I made that decision, when my teammates made that decision, the whole peloton made that decision, we get it," Armstrong said. "It was a bad decision in an imperfect time, but it happened."

Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and was removed as chairman of the Livestrong Foundation, the charitable organization he founded, after evidence proved he cheated.

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Raiders Bring Back Woodson

Raiders Bring Back Woodson

Jeff Gross/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Ca.) -- The Oakland Raiders are bringing one of the most recognizable names in franchise history back for another season.

The Silver and Black announced via Twitter Monday that Charles Woodson had signed a one-year deal that will see him play his 11th season in Oakland. 

Woodson, 38, left the Raiders in 2006 to spend seven seasons with the Green Bay Packers.  He earned his first Super Bowl ring with Green Bay in 2010.

Last season, Woodson led the Raiders with four interceptions.

Woodson was drafted fourth overall in 1998 by the Raiders after winning the Heisman Trophy at the University of Michigan.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 1/26/15

Scoreboard Roundup – 1/26/15

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Top 25 Men's College Basketball: (13) North Carolina 93 (17-4) - Syracuse 83 (14-7)

(15) Iowa State 89 (15-4) - (19) Texas 86 (14-6)

NBA:  Sacramento Kings (16-27) @ New York Knicks (8-37) - Postponed

Portland Trail Blazers (32-13) @ Brooklyn Nets (18-26) - Postponed

Oklahoma City Thunder 92 (23-22) - Minnesota Timberwolves 84 (7-37)

New Orleans Pelicans 99 (24-21) - Philadelphia 76ers 74 (8-37)

Memphis Grizzlies 103 (32-12) - Orlando Magic 94 (15-33)

Boston Celtics 99 (16-27) - Utah Jazz 90 (16-29)

Los Angeles Clippers 102 (31-14) - Denver Nuggets 98 (18-27)

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Report: N.Y. Yankees Preparing to Challenge A-Rod

Report: N.Y. Yankees Preparing to Challenge A-Rod

iStockphoto(NEW YORK) -- The New York Yankees are preparing to contest the validity of a marketing contact with third baseman Alex Rodriguez, according to ESPN.

In 2007, Rodriguez entered into a deal with the Yankees that would pay the 14-time All-Star a bonus for each milestone home run he reached.

Rodriguez is six homers away from tying Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time home run list, which will make him eligible for a $6 million bonus. The bonus is part of the 10-year, $275 million extension he signed with New York.

The Yankees are devising legal arguments against paying the bonus, because of Rodriguez's steroid revelations and year-long ban he received from Major League Baseball.

Rodriguez will also receive an extra $6 million each if he ties Babe Ruth at 714 home runs, Hank Aaron at 755 home runs, and Barry Bonds at 762 home runs, and breaks Bonds' all-time record.

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Bengals Linebacker Vontaze Burfict Recovering from Microfracture Surgery

Bengals Linebacker Vontaze Burfict Recovering from Microfracture Surgery

David Lee/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It is unknown when one of the NFL's top linebackers will see the field again as Vontaze Burfict of the Cincinnati Bengals is recovering from microfracture surgery.

Microfracture surgery is a procedure performed on knees that have suffered cartilage damage. It is viewed as a serious surgery that has derailed the careers of various athletes in other sports, including football.

Still, the surgeon who performed the procedure, Dr. Neal ElAttrache, is hopeful Burfict will be ready to go by training camp.

"I don't see any reason, if this thing heals like we want and we think it will, why he won't be back like he was," ElAttrache told the NFL Network. "Microfracture has a bad connotation, but there are plenty of guys who have come back and been able to play like before. But it's not really news when it works out."

Burfict was limited to just five games in 2014, but in 2013 he recorded an NFL-high 171 tackles.

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Suns’ Goran Dragic Looking Forward to Free Agency

Suns’ Goran Dragic Looking Forward to Free Agency

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Phoenix Suns point guard Goran Dragic will be one of the top free agent names on the market this summer as he has the opportunity to opt out of his contract after this season. And he's embracing the chance to explore his playing options.

“Every team in the NBA is an option to me, because it is a privilege to play for any team in the NBA," he told the Houston Chronicle. "When the time comes I’m going to sit down with my family and my agent and try to make the best decision for myself.”

Now in his seventh NBA season, the 28-year-old Dragic has flourished in his second tenure with the Suns. In 44 games this season, Dragic is averaging 16.5 points, 4.1 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game in the guard-heavy Suns rotation. Last season, Dragic averaged a career-high 20.3 points per game.

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Team Toews Tops Team Foligno in NHL All-Star Game

Team Toews Tops Team Foligno in NHL All-Star Game

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- If you're a fan of low-scoring hockey, then the NHL All-Star Game isn't for you. On Sunday, Team Toews came out on top over Team Foligno, 17-12.

It was the highest-scoring All-Star Game in NHL history.

New York Islanders center John Tavares scored four goals in the game, which matched a record for the game.

There was so much offense that Tavares didn't even win the MVP Award. That honor went to Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen, who was playing in front of the Blue Jacket fans. He was given the award after the fans voted him the winner on Twitter.

"It's meant a lot, being a part of it -- seeing the fans and how much they've been enjoying all the festivities," he said. "We did a two-hour (autograph) signing. Everybody just seemed to be having a great time. All the kids were laughing and having a lot of fun."

Philadelphia Flyers winger Jake Voracek had a memorable game as he tied another record with six points.

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Report: Dan Quinn to Be Named Falcons Head Coach

Report: Dan Quinn to Be Named Falcons Head Coach

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

(ATLANTA, Ga.) -- Once the Super Bowl has concluded, the Atlanta Falcons are expected to name Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as their head coach, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Quinn, 44, has served as defensive coordinator of the Seahawks defense for the past two seasons after replacing Gus Bradley, who took the head job with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Falcons have already named Kyle Shanahan as the team’s offensive coordinator, though it has been rumored that his hiring is contingent on Quinn being hired.

Raheem Morris, a former player of Quinn at Hofstra in 1990, will likely join the Falcons as defensive coordinator.  Morris was previously head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2009-2011.

Quinn has been in a bit of a tricky situation because of NFL rules. As a member of a coaching staff that is actively in the postseason, Quinn was only available to interview during the Seahawks bye weeks -- the wild card round and this week leading up to the Super Bowl.  No team was able to hire him until the Seahawks season concluded.

He will replace Mike Smith, who served as Falcons head coach for the past seven seasons. 

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Whiteside Posts Triple Double in Heat Win

Whiteside Posts Triple Double in Heat Win

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(CHICAGO, Ill.) -- On way to a victory over the Chicago Bulls, a remarkable event occurred for the Miami Heat. Hassan Whiteside, a center who has worked on his craft in the Developmental League, recorded a triple double for the Heat in their 96-84 win.

By putting up 14 points, 13 rebounds and 12 blocks, Whiteside recorded his first career triple-double. He also did this in 25 minutes of action; achieving the feat in the second shortest period of time in the shot clock era. 

"It's a blessing. Like I told my teammates, you won't believe how things work out in life," said Whiteside. "Three months ago I was at the downtown Y just chilling, working on my game. I couldn't get a team to pick up the phone."

A second round pick of the Sacramento Kings in 2010, many teams chose to steer themselves away from Whiteside because of questions about his attitude. After working on his craft overseas and in the D-League, Whiteside signed with the Heat in November.

“That’s what the team needs,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. “It gives us a very different dimension. It’s a credit to him for continuing to work hard and match it with his talent.”

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Report: Mavericks Likely to Sign Jermaine O’Neal

Report: Mavericks Likely to Sign Jermaine O’Neal

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images Sport(DALLAS, Tx.) -- The Dallas Mavericks are inching closer to signing center Jermaine O'Neal.

The 36-year-old center, who is currently rehabilitating from numerous injuries and chronic ailments, is likely to join the Mavericks around the All-Star break, according to ESPN.

O'Neal, an 18 year veteran, last played in the 2013-2014 season with the Golden State Warriors. He has had multiple surgeries to repair both wrists and undergone plasma-rich therapy on both knees to alleviate tendinitis.

After acquiring Rajon Rondo from the Celtics on Dec. 18, the Mavericks are now seeking to add depth to their front line.

For his career, O'Neal has averaged 13.2 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game. 

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Team Irvin Wins Pro Bowl

Team Irvin Wins Pro Bowl

NFL Shield (NFL)(GLENDALE, Az.) -- The NFL's annual All-Star competition concluded with Team Irvin defeating Team Carter 32-28.

Under the leadership of Hall of Fame wide receivers, Michael Irvin and Cris Carter, the NFL's most popular players put on a show for the fans.

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford took home MVP honors for their respective side of the ball.

"I just tried to enjoy it," Watt said, who intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble in the game. "That's what the Pro Bowl is all about, giving the fans a good show. Everybody worked so hard to get here, you want to enjoy yourself and play some good ball. Guys are dancing around and having a good time, that's what it's all about."

Stafford, who tossed two touchdowns and threw for 316 yards in the game, said: "It was a blast. To able to play with the best in the world is a whole lot of fun, and everybody is such good people, too. I am out here having a good time."

This year, the Pro Bowl was held in the host city of the Super Bowl, Glendale, Arizona, taking a one year break from its usual destination of Honolulu, Hawaii.

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Browns W.R. Josh Gordon Facing One-Year Ban

Browns W.R. Josh Gordon Facing One-Year Ban

Matt Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon failed another drug test and will now face a one-year suspension, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reports.

Gordon tested positive for alcohol, a source said, confirming a report by Pro Football Talk. 

Gordon was suspended at the end of the season for violating team rules after missing the first 10 games of the season, to go along with being arrested for driving while impaired after speeding down a street in Raleigh, North Carolina during the summer.

Prior to that arrest, he was suspended the first two games of the 2013 season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

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Mike Krzyzewski Wins 1,000th Game in Duke’s 77-68 Victory over St. John’s

Mike Krzyzewski Wins 1,000th Game in Duke’s 77-68 Victory over St. John’s

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The wait is over.  Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski won his 1,000th game after his team beat St. John's 77-68 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

The Blue Devils were down 61-51 with 8:36 left in the game and had a furious rally and Quinn Cook's three pointer gave them their first lead of the second half with 5:15 left in the game.  They'd go on to have a 26-7 run to end the game and give Coach K the milestone victory.

Tyus Jones finished with 22 points and six assists and Cook and Jahlil Okafor each added 17 in the win.

Sir'Dominic Pointer had 21 points in the loss for St. John's.

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Ohio State gets Past (23) Indiana, 82-70

Ohio State gets Past (23) Indiana, 82-70

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- D'Angelo Russell wasn't a heralded player heading into this season, but that's all changed as he continued his great play during the Buckeyes 82-70 win over 23rd ranked Indiana on Sunday.

Ohio State has now won three-straight games for the first time in nearly a month, improving to 16-5, and 5-3 in the Big-Ten.

Russell led the way for Ohio State as he scored 22 points, dished out 10 assists, pulled down six rebounds, and also had two steals. He had 13 of the Buckeyes' first 19 points

Forward Jae'Sean Tate also had a big game for the Buckeyes, scoring 20 points on 9-10 shooting.

Entering the game, Indiana averaged just 11.1 turnovers per game, the second-fewest in the Big-Ten. Ohio State forced 15 Hoosier turnovers, which turned into 26 points.

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Pistons’ Point Guard Brandon Jennings out 6-9 Month with Achilles Injury

Pistons’ Point Guard Brandon Jennings out 6-9 Month with Achilles Injury

NBA via Milwaukee Bucks(MILWAUKEE) -- The Detroit Pistons' biggest fears have come true as point guard Brandon Jennings will miss the next 6-9 months with an Achilles injury.

"6/9months." Jennings posted on Twitter on Sunday afternoon, confirming the injury.

Jennings fell to the floor during the team's game against the Milwaukee Bucks Friday night after he planted his left leg while he was guarding on inbounds pass. He had to be carried off the court by teammates.

"We gotta just keep pushin' WE (Pistons) worked to hard to get down about anything right now. We gotta stay focus on the main Goal. Playoffs!" Jennings tweeted after the game.

Since waiving forward Josh Smith, Jennings has played some of the best basketball of his career for the white-hot Pistons.

This past Wednesday, he dished out a career-high 21 assists and was coming into his own in his second season with the team.

In 41 games this season, Jennings averaged 15.4 points and 6.6 assists per game.

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