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No. 12 Illini Wins Rematch With Tar Heels (AP)
Illinois' Dee Brown (11) reacts late in the game to clinching Illinois' 68-64 win over North Carolina  in Chapel Hill, N.C. on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2005.  (AP Photo/Sara D. Davis)AP - It wasn't for the national title, and neither roster looked all that familiar. Still, Illinois got a measure of revenge.


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Ginobili, Spurs Hold Off Lakers 90-84 (AP)
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant drives for a layup against the defense of San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili (20) of Argentina during the first half at the SBC Center in San Antonio Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2005.(AP Photo/Doug Sehres)AP - Manu Ginobili scored 15 of his 22 points in the second half for the San Antonio Spurs, who fended off a late charge by the Los Angeles Lakers to post a 90-84 victory on Tuesday night.


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Super Bowl Would Be 'Perfect' for Colts (AP)
Indianapolis Colts' Peyton Manning reacts as he leaves the field following Indianapolis 26-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Indianapolis, Monday, Nov. 28 2005. Manning finished with 245-yards passing and  two touchdowns. (AP Photo/Tom Strattman)AP - Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts would define perfection as winning a Super Bowl title. Anything more would be a bonus.


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Future of Florida Marlins a Big Question (AP)
Two unidentified baseball fans wait out a rain delay at the start of the third inning between the Florida Marlins and the Washington Nationals Saturday, July 30, 2005 in Miami. The traditional wait-'til-next-year mantra doesn't apply these days in South Florida, where three high-priced, standout players have already been traded, where more roster shakeup is almost certain and all while the team says it may relocate by 2008. The Marlins say the lack of a new stadium, too many rain delays and low attendance might lead them to move the team  out of South Florida. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)AP - The offseason is usually when hope truly springs eternal for most baseball fans, the time when rumors run wild about which players will be acquired and when championship dreams are hatched. Not in Miami this year.


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USC Puts 33-Game Streak on Line Vs. UCLA (AP)
Southern California head coach Pete Carroll oversees practice on the campus in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2005. Should Carroll's Trojans beat crosstown rival UCLA at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Saturday, they'll definitely play in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 4 for a shot at an unprecedented third straight national championship. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)AP - Pete Carroll would rather not discuss the Bowl Championship Series and how it works. The Southern California coach says he doesn't understand it, and has no desire to learn what it's all about.


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T.J. More Than Chad's Sidekick on Bengals (AP)
Cincinnati Bengals receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh celebrates after scoring on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Carson Palmer in the second half against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2005, in Cincinnati. Houshmandzadeh caught nine passes for 147 yards in the Bengals 42-29 win. (AP Photo/Tony Tribble)AP - T.J. Houshmandzadeh beamed as he reached out and accepted the scuffed white cleats with black trim and purple padding.


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No Time to Rest for McGrady, Cassell (AP)
Atlanta Hawks' Marvin Williams (24) jumps in the air as he defends against Houston Rockets' Tracy McGrady (1) during the first quarter Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2005 in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)AP - The Rockets are winless with Tracy McGrady on the bench. Sam Cassell wasn't about to find out how the Clippers would do without him.


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Viva pro sports? Vegas makes play for team (USATODAY.com)
USATODAY.com - Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman says he'll wager on anything and everything: football games, the passage of city ordinances, even a cockroach race. Now, Goodman is making the biggest bet of his career - that he can successfully lure a pro sports team such as Major League Baseball's Florida Marlins to Sin City.

HBO Documentary Features Hamm, Team (AP)
Members of the U.S. Olympic gold medal soccer team, Julie Foudy, left, Kristine Lilly, second left, Joy Fawcett, center, Brandi Chastain, second right, and Mia Hamm, right, arrive for the premiere of their HBO sports documentary 'Dare to Dream', Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2005, in New York. ( AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)AP - Mia Hamm and the Fab Five are ready for a little more fame.


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Ray Emery Sets NHL Record With 9-0 Start (AP)
Ottawa Senators goaltender Ray Emery makes a save in the third period against the Montreal Canadiens to make a shutout and a 4-0 win at the Corel Centre in Ottawa Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2005. (AP PHOTO/CP, Jonathan Hayward)AP - Ray Emery had no idea he was on the verge of setting an NHL record.


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Keeping the status quo
The 12 teams that topped last week's rankings held their positions, with the Colts remaining No. 1.

Rams coach Martz wants to return (AP)
Rams coach Mike Martz wants to return to the field after missing the last six games with a heart ailment. Martz said Tuesday he would ask his doctor for permission to return to his job. The Rams are 3-3 under interim coach Joe Vitt since Martz stepped down in October with endocarditis, a bacterial infection of the lining of the heart.

Sen. Specter backs off on T.O. probe (AP)
Sen. Arlen Specter backed off a threat to have a Senate subcommittee investigate whether the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles violated antitrust laws in their handling of Terrell Owens. Specter, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Tuesday that he talked to lawyers in the Department of Justice about the issue.

Colts rout Steelers, improve to 11-0 (AP)
The Indianapolis Colts' unbeaten ride is picking up so much steam that even their opponents see the possibility of perfection. The Colts shoved aside another formidable challenger Monday night, handling the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 26-7 victory. From their first offensive play, when Peyton Manning hit a streaking Marvin Harrison in stride for an 80-yard score, the Colts dominated another good team.

Lions fire coach Mariucci, assistants (AP)
Steve Mariucci's charm and easygoing ways made him popular in his home state. They also may have led to his demise as coach of the Detroit Lions. "I think that's fair to say," offensive tackle Jeff Backus said in an interview with The Associated Press. "My two NFL coaches have been Steve Mariucci and Marty Mornhinweg, and both are players' coaches that treated us like men and let some things slide.

Irvin reiterates pipe belonged to friend (AP)
Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin reiterated Monday that a marijuana pipe found in his car belonged to a longtime friend, not his brother -- and denied any discrepancy between what he told reporters and police. Irvin told The Associated Press late Monday that a police officer apparently took his use of the word "brother" literally when he was arrested Friday after being pulled over...

T.J. more than Chad's sidekick in Cincy (AP)
T.J. Houshmandzadeh beamed as he reached out and accepted the scuffed white cleats with black trim and purple padding. An attendant was delivering the gift he had requested from Deion Sanders. "Deion's my favorite player of all time," the Cincinnati Bengals receiver said. "He started all the flamboyancy in football.

NFL admits errors in Seahawks game (AP)
The NFL denies telling the Seahawks that officials erred when they ruled two New York Giants touchdown receptions complete in Seattle's 24-21 overtime win. Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said Monday that the league took the rare step of admitting officiating mistakes in the game Sunday. The league said in a statement released Tuesday that reports that it told the Seahawks of officiating mistakes on...

Bengals on a roll heading into key game (AP)
Carson Palmer has beaten Baltimore three times in his short career as a starter. He's beaten Cleveland twice in three tries. The only AFC North team that has him stumped is right down the road and next on the schedule. The Bengals (8-3) held onto first place by beating the Ravens 42-29 on Sunday with an offense that's finding its stride.

Raiders' Sapp faces shoulder surgery (AP)
Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Warren Sapp will undergo rotator cuff surgery on his injured right shoulder Wednesday. Sapp, who turns 33 next month, hurt his shoulder on Nov. 21 against the Washington Redskins. The injury isn't considered career-threatening. Sapp is one of two high-profile Raiders defenders to sustain a major injury this season.

Are they worthy?
Despite their rout of Dallas, the Grizzlies must sustain their success to be included among the NBA's elite.

McGrady helps Rockets end 7-game skid (AP)
Tracy McGrady is back. Maybe now, so are the Houston Rockets. Sidelined since Nov. 18 with a back injury, McGrady returned Tuesday night to score 25 points and the Rockets snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 100-85 win over the Atlanta Hawks. Houston lost all eight games McGrady missed after he strained his back in practice on Nov.

Iverson's 38 leads Sixers by Blazers (AP)
Allen Iverson sprinted up court, grabbed an opponent's jersey and got the stoppage he needed to leave the game. By that time, the Philadelphia 76ers were on their way to an easy victory and Iverson got needed rest the final four minutes. Iverson scored 38 points and Chris Webber had 16 points and 15 rebounds, leading the Sixers over the Portland Trail Blazers 107-83 on Tuesday night.

Bogut's block saves Bucks in OT (AP)
With 19 points and 14 rebounds, top draft pick Andrew Bogut had already played perhaps his best game as a pro. A blocked shot to win the game sealed it. Bogut made two free throws late in overtime, then blocked Jason Terry's potential game-tying shot at the buzzer to lift the Milwaukee Bucks past the Dallas Mavericks 113-111 Tuesday night.

Ailing Cassell powers Clips past Wolves (AP)
Kevin Garnett could only say one thing after watching Sam Cassell hit two huge shots down the stretch to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves. "Typical Sam," Garnett said with a shrug. He would know. Cassell shook off flu-like symptoms to hit a 3-pointer and a turnaround jumper to stave off a furious rally by his former team and lift the Los Angeles Clippers to a 93-84 victory Tuesday night.

Kings maul Bobcats to reach .500 mark (AP)
It's strange when the Sacramento Kings are talking about being .500 for the first time almost a month into the season. "I wouldn't have thought it would be a goal of ours," center Brad Miller said. "I assumed we'd be there." A lot earlier, that is. Mike Bibby scored 25 points and the Kings evened their record for the first time with their third straight victory, 110-92 over the Charlotte Bobcats on...

Jazz sets record in loss to Pacers (AP)
Jermaine O'Neal and the rest of Indiana's starters could have gotten a head start on the next leg of the Pacers' road trip. There wasn't a lot of reason for them to stick around in an 84-60 victory over Utah on Tuesday night, Indiana's sixth in a row over the Jazz. "In the second half we came out and we really put our will on those guys.

Ginobili's big second half powers Spurs (AP)
If Tim Duncan keeps it up, he may be able to retire his reputation as a lousy free-throw shooter. Duncan, quiet offensively through three quarters Tuesday night, made three free throws in the final 15 seconds to help the San Antonio Spurs hold on for a 90-84 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. The win was the Spurs' sixth straight over the Lakers, who played their first game in San Antonio under...

Hinrich's big night leads Bulls by Magic (AP)
Kirk Hinrich hit the open shots. He hit the floor chasing loose balls. He hit his teammates with precise passes. That combination lifted the Chicago Bulls over the Orlando Magic 85-76 Tuesday night for their fourth straight victory. Hinrich scored 20 points and tied a career high by finishing with 14 assists for the third time.

Anthony injured in Nuggets' loss to Nets (AP)
The Denver Nuggets lost one star soon after the tip-off and another in the closing minutes on their way to a 101-92 defeat at the hands of the much appreciative New Jersey Nets. Vince Carter scored 25 points and Richard Jefferson 24 as the Nets cruised past the short-handed Nuggets, who added forward Carmelo Anthony to their ever-growing list of injured players.

Power rankings
The Power Rankings wake up to hot streaks from Calgary and Dallas, while San Jose and Boston move perilously close to the basement.

Emery, Heatley power Sens to another win (AP)
Ray Emery was unaware he had a shot at NHL history until just a few moments before he achieved it. Emery won his record ninth straight game to start his career, stopping 27 shots to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 4-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night. "Starting out, you just want to make a good impression and play your best," said Emery, who made 27 saves for his first career...

Gagne scores two, Flyers rally by Isles (AP)
Now Simon Gagne is scoring goals without any help from Peter Forsberg. Playing without his injured linemate, Gagne got his NHL-leading 22nd and 23rd -- including the winner with 7:13 left -- and the Philadelphia Flyers rallied to beat the New York Islanders 4-3 Tuesday night. Forsberg, who assisted on 18 of Gagne's first 21 goals, missed his second straight game with a groin injury.

Sakic snaps tie in third, Avs top Oilers (AP)
The Colorado Avalanche got even with Mike Morrison and the Edmonton Oilers. Joe Sakic scored the tiebreaking goal with 8:37 remaining in the third period, leading Colorado to a 3-2 victory over Edmonton on Tuesday night. "They wanted to get me back for what we did to them in Colorado," said Morrison, who made 31 saves in the Oilers' 5-2 win at Denver on Nov.

Kaberle's early OT goal lifts Hurricanes (AP)
The Atlanta Thrashers refused to offer Frantisek Kaberle a contract in July 2004, so he made his former team pay Tuesday night. Kaberle scored 32 seconds into overtime to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 4-3 victory over the Thrashers. "Personally, it's always nice, the first game back here, to get the game-winning goal," Kaberle said.

Vokoun, Predators shut out Flames 2-0 (AP)
Tomas Vokoun couldn't take it easy while working on his first shutout of the season. Vokoun made 31 saves for his 13th career shutout to help the Nashville Predators beat the Calgary Flames 2-0 Tuesday night. "It's tough to establish yourself," said Vokoun, who improved to 13-4-2 this season. "You just can't relax for a second.

Sabres record rare win in Pittsburgh (AP)
The Buffalo Sabres don't need to give goalie Martin Biron much help these days. A strategical adjustment by coach Lindy Ruff and a fortuitous shot by Ales Kotalik provided exactly that. Kotalik's power-play goal early in the third period put Buffalo back in the lead and the Sabres won in Pittsburgh for the first time in nearly five years, beating the slumping Penguins 3-2 Tuesday night.

Mogilny's last-minute goal lifts Devils (AP)
Alexander Mogilny was nearly knocked out of the game by a hard shoulder check from Boston defenseman Nick Boynton early in the third period. After a brief trip to the locker room, Mogilny returned to score the winning goal with 32 seconds remaining to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 3-2 victory over the Bruins on Tuesday night.

Penguins put G Thibault on waivers (AP)
Struggling goaltender Jocelyn Thibault was placed on waivers Tuesday by the Pittsburgh Penguins, who plan to send him to their top farm club if he goes unclaimed. Thibault declined to accept a demotion to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL on Monday when the team asked him to go down and work on his game.

Leafs' Belfour moves up on wins list (AP)
Ed Belfour knows all about the man he tied for second place on the NHL's career victory list. "I had a chance to read his biography," Belfour said after matching Terry Sawchuk with 447 wins Monday night in the Toronto Maple Leafs' 2-1 victory over Florida. "He was a fierce competitor, very acrobatic and obviously very brave, not wearing a mask most of his career.

Finish with a whimper
The Daytona 500 generates all the buzz in February, while NASCAR's season finale at Homestead just doesn't work.

Stewart's slow start turns into championship season (AP)
What started out as a lost season for Tony Stewart wound up as the best time of his life. Few who saw it will...

In NASCAR, 2005 a season of personality (AP)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The season started with Tony Stewart out front, only to fade at the end of the biggest...

Authorities identify four killed in plane crash off Dana Point (AP)
Off-road racer Jason Baldwin was among four people killed last weekend in a plane crash off the California coast, authorities confirmed Wednesday. Divers recovered the bodies Tuesday, three days after the plane sank in about 200 feet of water off Dana Point. Along with the 35-year-old Baldwin, also identified were pilot Daniel M.

NASCAR's championship format was a winner, and closer than it looked (AP)
There was no last-lap drama in this Chase.

Sister: Racer Baldwin aboard crashed plane (AP)
Off-road racer Jason Baldwin was one of four people aboard a small plane that crashed into the Pacific off the Orange County coast. "It was his time to go," his sister, Kelley Renezeder, said Sunday. "We will all learn in our way why he died. He did not die as though he never lived. He lived each day to the fullest." A dive team will arrive Tuesday to retrieve the wreckage of the plane, which crashed...

Gordon claims coveted 11th spot in NASCAR points (AP)
Four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon has no need for racing's most coveted consolation prize.

Stewart caps second championship with steady final run (AP)
Long before he battled for a second NASCAR championship, Tony Stewart had to fight for his job.

Jimmie Johnson endures more season-finale heartbreak (SportsTicker)
HOMESTEAD, Florida (Ticker) - Jimmie Johnson entered Sunday's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup championship within his grasp. For the second year in a row, he let it slip away.

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