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NC State Upsets (2) Duke, 87-75

NC State Upsets (2) Duke, 87-75

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images(RALEIGH, N.C.) -- In an ACC showdown, NC State handed Duke their first loss of the season as they knocked down the 2nd ranked Blue Devils, 87-75.

Duke was one of three undefeated teams left in the country heading into Sunday. Third-ranked Virginia and top-ranked Ranked Kentucky remain the final unbeaten teams in college basketball.

The Wolfpack shot 55 percent from the field during the game,  and went 10 for 16 from the 3-point line. Trevor Lacey scored a team-high 21 points.

Despite the loss, Duke freshman center Jahlil Okafor was dominant once again. Okafor registered 23 points, 12 rebounds, three steals, and three blocks.

At one point, NC State led by as many as 19 points. Duke made a late run, trailing by just three points with less than two minutes left in the contest, but the Wolfpack refused to relinquish the lead.

Duke drops to 14-1 while NC now stands at 12-5.

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Seahawks Rip Panthers to Advance to NFC Championship

Seahawks Rip Panthers to Advance to NFC Championship

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(SEATTLE) -- Russell Wilson throws for 268 yards and three touchdowns to lead the top-seeded Seattle Seahawks past the No. 4 seed Carolina Panthers 31-17 Saturday in their NFC divisional playoff game.The game was tight at first. Nobody scored until 56 seconds were remaining in the first quarter when Doug Baldwin caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Wilson. Carolina answered back on their next drive when Cam Newton led the team on a 79-yard drive ending with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin.Seattle would score a touchdown on their next drive, but Carolina's Graham Gano kicked a 35-yard field goal as time expired sending the Panthers into the half down four.The third quarter was a defensive battle with neither team scoring. Seattle erupted in the fourth quarter for 17 unanswered points, the final seven coming off a Kam Chancellor 90-yard pick-six to seal the game.Newton completed 23 of 36 passes for 246 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the loss.Seattle becomes the first team since since New England in January 2006 to win a playoff game the year after winning a Super Bowl.Seattle will take on the winner of Sunday's playoff matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers next weekend in the NFC  Championship game.

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Dick LeBeau Resigns as Steelers Defensive Coordinator

Dick LeBeau Resigns as Steelers Defensive Coordinator

Pittsburgh Steelers/NFL(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) -- Dick LeBeau and the Pittsburgh Steelers are going thier separate ways. 

The longtime Steelers defensive coordinator told the Urbana Daily Citizen:

“I’m resigning this position, not retiring,” LeBeau said. “I had a great run in Pittsburgh. I’m grateful for all the things that have happened to me and thankful for all the support I had in Pittsburgh.”

The Steelers hired LeBeau as a defensive backs coach in 1992 and he was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1995.  He would leave the Steelers in 1996 to join Cincinnati for the next six seasons, including leading the Bengals as head coach from 2000-2002.  

LeBeau rejoined the Steelers in 2004 as their defensive coordinator. In that span Pittsburgh has had three Super Bowl appearances, including two victories over the Seahawks and Cardinals. 

In 1959, The Cleveland Browns drafted LeBeau in the fifth round.  He was cut in training camp, but caught on with the Detroit Lions.  For the next 14 years, LeBeau was a part of a secondary that included Dick "Night Train" Lane, Yale Lary and Lem Barney. 

LeBeau is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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RB Chris Johnson Arrested For Carrying Unconsealed Handgun

RB Chris Johnson Arrested For Carrying Unconsealed Handgun

Leon Halip/Getty Images

(ORLANDO, Fl. ) -- New York Jets running back Chris Johnson was arrested Friday after a police officer discovered a handgun in his car.

The officer pulled Johnson's car over after he passed through a traffic stop.  Upon approaching the car, the handgun was discovered between the seats.

Johnson was charged with the open carry of a firearm -- a second degree misdemeanor. According to ProFootballTalk.com, Johnson does have a license to carry the gun in the state of Florida.

In 2014, Johnson rushed for 663 yards on 155 carries and one touchdown.

If the Jets were to cut Johnson this offseason, they could save $3.75 million.

 

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Scoreboard Roundup – 1/10/15

Scoreboard Roundup – 1/10/15

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NFL: New England Patriots 35 - Baltimore Ravens 31

Seattle Seahawks 31 - Carolina Panthers 17

NCAAM: (1) Kentucky 70 (15-0) - Texas A&M 64 (9-5)(F/2OT)

(3) Virginia 62 (15-0) - (13) Notre Dame 56 (15-2)

(18) North Carolina 72 (12-4) - (5) Louisville 71 (14-2)

(6) Gonzaga 79 (16-1) - Santa Clara 57 (7-10)

(8) Villanova 81 (15-1) - DePaul 64 (9-8)

Oklahoma State 69 (12-3) - (10) Texas 58 (12-4)

(11) Maryland 69 (15-2) - Purdue 60 (10-7)

(12) Kansas 86 (13-2) - Texas Tech 54 (10-6)

Kansas State 66 (9-7) - (16) Oklahoma 63 (11-4)

(19) Seton Hall 68 (13-3) - Creighton 67 (9-8)

(20) VCU 89 (13-3) - St. Joseph's 74 (6-8)

(21) Baylor 66 (12-3) - TCU 59 (13-3)

Indiana 69 (12-4) - (22) Ohio State 66 (13-4)

(23) Arkansas 82 (13-2) - Vanderbilt 70 (11-4)

Western Kentucky 72 (10-5) - (25) Old Dominion 65 (13-2)

NHL: Nashville Predators 3 (28-9-4, 60 pts) - Minnesota Wild 1 (18-17-5, 41 pts)

Boston Bruins 3 (22-15-6, 50 pts) - Philadelphia Flyers 1 (16-19-7, 39 pts)

Pittsburgh Penguins 2 (25-10-6, 56 pts)- Montreal Canadiens 1 (26-12-3, 55 pts)

Ottawa Senators 5 (17-16-8, 42 pts) - Arizona Coyotes 1 (16-21-4, 36 pts)

Washington Capitals 3 (22-11-8, 52 pts) - Detroit Red Wings 1 (22-11-9, 53 pts)

New York Islanders 5 (28-13-1, 57 pts) - Columbus Blue Jackets 2 (18-19-3, 39 pts)

Calgary Flames 1 (22-18-3, 47 pts) - Vancouver Canucks 0 (23-14-3, 49 pts)

NBA: Charlotte Hornets 110 (15-24) - New York Knicks 82 (5-35)

Los Angeles Clippers 120 (25-12) - Dallas Mavericks 100 (26-12)

Philadelphia 76ers 93 (7-29) - Indiana Pacers 92 (15-24)

Detroit Pistons 98 (13-24) -  Brooklyn Nets 93 (16-21)

Toronto Raptors 109 (25-11) - Boston Celtics 96 (12-23)

 Chicago Bulls 95 (26-12) - Milwaukee Bucks 87 (20-19)

Houston Rockets 97 (26-11) - Utah Jazz 82 (13-25)

San Antonio Spurs 108 (23-15) - Minnesota Timberwolves 93 (5-31) 

Portland Trailblazers 103 (29-8) - Orlando Magic 92 (13-27)

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Blue Jackets Reward Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky with Four-Year Extension

Blue Jackets Reward Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky with Four-Year Extension

Len Redkoles/NHL via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Columbus Blue Jackets have locked up goalie Sergei Bobvrovsky to a new contract extension that will keep him in a Blue Jackets uniform through the 2018-2019 season.

The 26-year-old Bobrovsky and the team agreed on a four-year contract worth $29.7 million.

"We believe he's only going to improve," Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. "Obviously, it's ultimately it's up to the player to prove that he's worth the contract that he gets. That's the way we operate, we operate on giving them the futures and that's how we evaluate these players every day, but we believe with his hard work and dedication he's going to be one of the top goalies in this league for a long time."

Bobrovsky was acquired by the team prior to the 2012-2013 from the Philadelphia Flyers. Last season "Bob" won the NHL's Vezina Trophy, which is given to the NHL's top goalie.

Bobrovsky is 15-11-2 with a 2.80 goals-against average, .915 save percentage and one shutout in 28 games this season.

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Athletics Acquire Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar from the Rays

Athletics Acquire Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar from the Rays

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Oakland Athletics make over continues this offseason as they've acquired infielder Ben Zobrist and shortstop Yunel Escobar from the Tampa Bay Rays.

In exchange for the two players, the A's sent back catcher John Jaso as well as minor league prospects Daniel Robertson and Boog Powell.

Zobrist is a two-time All Star who had spent his entire nine-year career with the Rays. He is a valuable piece to any team due to his versatility. This past season he saw time at second base, shortstop, and all three outfield spots.

In 2014, the 33-year-old hit .272 with 10 home runs and 52 RBIs.

Escobar bring a veteran presence to the Athletics as well as a solid bat. In 2014, Escobar hit .258 with seven home runs and 39 RBIs.

After a quick exit in the 2014 postseason, the Athletics have made a slew of moves including trading away Josh Donaldson and Jeff Samardzija.

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Celtics Trade forward Brandan Wright to the Suns

Celtics Trade forward Brandan Wright to the Suns

Christopher Trotman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Brandan Wright's tenure with the Boston Celtics lasted just eight games as the team has traded the forward to the Phoenix Suns.

In exchange for Wright, the Suns have sent a protected first-round pick to Boston. he pick is protected within the first 12 selections for the next two seasons and then turns into a pair of second-rounders in 2016 and '17.

Wright was one of the players the Celtics received from the Dallas Mavericks in the Rajon Rondo trade.

"I have known Brandan since he entered the NBA in 2007," Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby said. "He is a person of the highest character who will fit perfectly into our burgeoning Suns culture. We look forward to welcoming him to Phoenix."

"The way Dallas played last year is somewhat similar to what we play -- being in the open court and pick-and-rolls," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said.

In 35 games this season for the Celtics and Mavericks, the 27-year-old Wright is averaging 7.5 points and 3.6 rebounds per game off the bench.

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Bears Introduce Ryan Pace

Bears Introduce Ryan Pace

iStock/Thinkstock(LAKE FOREST, Ill.) -- The Chicago Bears introduced the youngest general manager in the NFL, Ryan Pace, on Friday.

Pace replaces Phil Emery, who was fired after the season ended, and spent the previous 14 seasons working in the New Orleans Saints front office, the last two serving at the director of player personnel.

Pace will now have the duty of finding a head coach after the Bears fired Marc Trestman when the season ended.

"It doesn't matter if it's an offense or defensive coach, if it's a 3-4 or 4-3 [defensive system]," Pace said. "I'm looking for the head coach that has the traits we're looking for. That's confidence, charisma, discipline, leadership; the best man for the job."

Pace will have to decide the future of starting quarterback Jay Cutler, who was benched late in the season because of poor play. He will also have to improve a defense that ranked 30th overall in the NFL.

"In 2005, we came into that season when Sean [Payton] got there in '06 and everyone thought, 'This is a massive rebuild," Pace said.  "This team has been decimated.' And we quickly put together a team to go the NFC championship that very next year." 

"But then if you think about the next two years, we were continuing to build, continuing to progress. So 2007, [we were] progressing, 2008 progressing, 2009 we won a Super Bowl," Pace continued.  "The most important thing is we have an aggressive plan and we're improving, [we] developed an organizational philosophy right then and there on the players that we wanted to acquire, and the whole building was on the same page. Everything was focused on winning games, everyone dropped their egos, and the rest is history."

Chicago has missed the postseason seven out of the last eight years.

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Nationals’ Jayson Werth Expected to Miss 3-4 Months After Shoulder Surgery

Nationals’ Jayson Werth Expected to Miss 3-4 Months After Shoulder Surgery

Eliot Schechter/MLB Photos via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth is expected to undergo shoulder surgery on Friday and will miss around 2-3 months.

The 35-year-old Werth will undergo arthroscopic surgery on the AC joint of his right shoulder. He had battled some shoulder issues back in August, even missing about a week as a result.

Because of the surgery, it is unknown just when Werth will be ready to resume baseball activities, but the hope is that he'll be ready to join the team once the regular season starts in April.

In his 12th Major League season, Werth is still a very productive all-around outfielder for the Nationals. In 147 games this past season, Werth hit .292 with 16 home runs, 82 RBIs, and a .394 on base percentage.

Werth still has three years left remaining on his seven-year, $126 million contract he signed with the Nationals back in 2011.

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Trail Blazers Extend GM Neil Olshey

Trail Blazers Extend GM Neil Olshey

Christopher Trotman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- As the Portland Trail Blazers continue to ascend as one of the best teams in the Western Conference, they've rewarded general manager Neil Olshey with a contract extension.

“Our team has made great strides under Neil’s leadership, and I am excited to extend his contract,” said owner Paul Allen. “Neil has done an outstanding job as General Manager by quickly rebuilding our team into a playoff contender. The franchise is clearly on the upswing, and I hope to see further improvements in the years to come."

Olshey took over GM duties for the team prior to the start of the 2012-2013 season, and he's played a huge role in the team's rise in the standings since then.

One of Olshey's first moves was drafting Damian Lillard sixth overall in 2012. He's become one of the best point guards in the NBA.

At 28-8, the Blazers have the second-best record in the NBA entering Friday.

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Patriots Reward Patrick Chung and Brandon Bolden with Contract Extensions

Patriots Reward Patrick Chung and Brandon Bolden with Contract Extensions

Jim Rogash/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The New England Patriots are already looking ahead to the future as they have agreed on contract extensions with safety Patrick Chung and running back Brandon Bolden.

ESPN reports Chung's deal is for three years and worth up to $8.2 million, with $3.4 million of that guaranteed.

Meanwhile Bolden signed a two-year deal worth $2.32 million

Chung spent the first four years of his career with the Patriots and was a solid defender for them as they made the playoffs on an annual basis. He played for the Philadelphia Ealges in 2013, but re-signed with the team in 2014 and recorded 85 tackles -- the most he's had in a season 2010.

The 24-year-old Bolden is in his third season with the Patriots. He had just 28 carries for 89 yards and a touchdown, but his true value comes on special teams. He's considered one of the team's best special teams players so his value does not also show up in the box score.

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Red Wings Place Franzen on IR

Red Wings Place Franzen on IR

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- The Detroit Red Wings placed center Johan Franzen on the injured reserve list due to an upper body injury.Franzen was injured in Tuesday's 4-2 win over Edmonton.The Wings called up forward Teemu Pulkkinen from their AHL team in Grand Rapids to cover.Pulkkinen leads the AHL in goals (20) and is second in points (39). He also set a Grand Rapids rookie record last season with 31 goals.This season, 35-year-old Franzen has seven goals and 15 assists in 33 games for Detroit (22-10-9, 53 pts).

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ESPN: Kyle Shanahan Parts Ways with Browns

ESPN: Kyle Shanahan Parts Ways with Browns

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Kyle Shanahan has resigned as the Cleveland Browns' offensive coordinator, according to ESPN.ESPN also reports quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains has been fired.Shanahan spent only one season in Cleveland and, according to ESPN, left because he did not agree with the front office about Johnny Manziel. Shanahan didn't believe the team could win with Manziel as the starter, but the front office insisted on starting him.The Browns' offense was 20th in passing yards per game and 17th in rushing yards per game last season.

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Nets Lose Williams to Fractured Rib

Nets Lose Williams to Fractured Rib

NBA via Brooklyn Nets(NEW YORK) -- Brooklyn Nets guard Deron Williams is out indefinitely with a fractured rib, the team announced Thursday.The 30-year-old Williams suffered the injury in Sunday's game against Miami. He then sat out Monday's loss to Dallas but returned for four minutes in Wednesday night's loss to Boston before having to leave the game because of the injury.Williams had an MRI that revealed a fracture in the left 12th rib."Deron reported some soreness above this area over the weekend and as a result underwent imaging studies on Monday, which were negative," Team physician Riley Williams III said in a statement. "Yesterday during the game, he reported a new onset of symptoms below the prior area of soreness. New imaging studies done today demonstrated the fracture. There is no timetable for his return."Williams has played in 32 games this season, averaging 13.9 points, three rebounds, and 6.3 assists per contest.Williams' rib will be re-evaluated in a week.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 1/8/15

Scoreboard Roundup – 1/8/15

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: Charlotte Hornets 103 (14-24) – Toronto Raptors 95 (24-11)

Houston Rockets 120 (25-11) – New York Knicks 96 (5-34)

Top 25 Men’s College Basketball: (25) Old Dominion 72 (13-1) – Marshall 51 (4-11)

NHL: Boston Bruins 3 (21-15-6; 48pts) – New Jersey Devils 0 (15-21-7; 37pts)

Carolina Hurricanes 5 (13-24-4; 30pts) – Buffalo Sabres 2 (14-25-3; 31pts)

Philadelphia Flyers 3 (16-18-7; 39pts) – Washington Capitals 2 (21-11-8; 50pts) OT

Chicago Blackhawks 4 (27-12-2; 56pts) – Minnesota Wild 2 (18-16-5; 41pts)

St. Louis Blues 7 (25-13-3; 53pts) – San Jose Sharks 2 (22-15-5; 49pts)

Nashville Predators 3 (27-9-4; 58pts) – Dallas Stars 2 (18-15-7; 43pts) OT

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Bears Name Saints Executive Ryan Pace General Manager

Bears Name Saints Executive Ryan Pace General Manager

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LAKE FOREST, Ill.) -- The Chicago Bears have named New Orleans Saints executive Ryan Pace as general manager, replacing the fired Phil Emery, the team announced on Thursday.

Pace spent the previous 14 seasons working in the Saints' front office, the last two serving as the director of player personnel. From 2007 to 2012, he was New Orleans’ director of pro scouting.

The Bears fired general manager Phil Emery and head coach Marc Trestman in late December after they finished the 2014 season with a 5-11 record.

Pace will have to decide the future of starting quarterback Jay Cutler, who was benched late in the season because of poor play. He will also have to improve a defense that ranked 30th overall in the NFL.

The Bears have missed the postseason seven of the past eight seasons.

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Andrew Luck: Broncos Present ‘a lot of Challenges’

Andrew Luck: Broncos Present ‘a lot of Challenges’

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) -- The Indianapolis Colts' trip to the AFC Championship game will have to go through Denver on Sunday in the divisional round.

It's the third showdown between Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and former Colt, now Bronco, Peyton Manning.

Luck said this week that the game isn't about their matchup, but rather him facing their defense.

In speaking about the defense he'll be facing, Luck said there's "a lot of challenges, [it's] hard to say the biggest one. I think obviously [Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware] stand out and their d-line is very good."

"I think our offensive line is up for that challenge," Luck continued. "[There's a] bunch of good players all over the field."

Manning and the Broncos lost to Luck in their first game 39-33 last season and bounced back this year with a 31-24 win on Sept. 7.

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Joe Flacco: Need a Fast Start Against Patriots

Joe Flacco: Need a Fast Start Against Patriots

Rob Carr/Getty Images(BALTIMORE) -- The Baltimore Ravens will have the tough task of beating the New England Patriots on the road Saturday in the divisional round.

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco stressed the importance of getting off to a fast start.

"It's great when you can score a touchdown and then put another on top of that," Flacco said of quieting the home crowd. "I don't think I'm always thinking about that, but it is pretty cool."

The Ravens have yet to beat the Patriots in the playoffs on the road, but Flacco is looking forward to the opportunity of going up against Tom Brady.

"Tom was playing for who knows how many years before I got in here," Flacco said. "I was in high school, sitting there watching him watching those guys win Super Bowls."

"It's not really about me outdueling Tom or him outdueling me," Flacco continued. "We're not playing against each other. I think these guys on defense present more challenges then they normally do."

This will be the fourth postseason meeting between the two teams. The Patriots are 18-8 in the playoffs since 2000.

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Cavaliers Trade for C Timofey Mozgov

Cavaliers Trade for C Timofey Mozgov

National Basketball Association(NEW YORK) -- The Cleveland Cavaliers traded two protected first-round picks to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for center Timofey Mozgov and a 2015 second-round pick.

It's the second trade the Cavs have made in a week. They were part of a three-team deal that got them J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, and a first-round pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Dion Waiters.

"It was a deal that we worked on for quite some time," Cavaliers GM David Griffin said. "We're very excited about this. It fits our needs."

The Cavaliers were in need of a center after losing Anderson Varejao for the season due to a torn Achilles.Mozgov reunites with Cavaliers' coach David Blatt, who coached him on the Russian national team in the 2012 Olympics in London.The Nuggets also receive a $4.6 million trade exception from the Cavs in the deal.The 7-foot-1, 250 pound Mozgov has played in 35 games this season, averaging 8.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game.

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