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No. 1 USC Steamrolls Path to Title Game (AP)
Southern California's Reggie Bush, left, rushes past UCLA defender Rodney Van for a 13-yard touchdown during the first half at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2005. (AP Photo/Kim D. Johnson)AP - Run, Reggie, run — all the way to the Rose Bowl and probably with the Heisman Trophy in tow. A step away from playing for an unprecedented third straight national title, Reggie Bush and No. 1 Southern California stomped into the championship game by overpowering their crosstown rivals Saturday.


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Texas Gets Ready for USC After Colo. Rout (AP)
Texas quarterback Vince Young celebrates the Longhorn's 70-3 win over Colorado in the Big 12 championship game in Houston, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2005. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)AP - With a Texas-sized trouncing, the Longhorns got their tuneup, sent a message and punched their ticket to the Rose Bowl to play for the national title that has eluded the storied program for decades.


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Georgia Upsets LSU 34-14 in SEC Title Game (AP)
Georgia players celebrate their 34-14 win over Louisiana State University  during the Southeastern Conference Championship game Saturday Dec. 3, 2005  in Atlanta, Ga. From left to right, are: Mike Gilliam, Mikey Henderson, Leonard Pope, and T.J. Gartrell. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)AP - Georgia won at its home away from home for the second week in a row. Now, the Bulldogs will have to make the short trip to Atlanta one more time — for the transplanted Sugar Bowl.


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Carolina Upends No. 10 Kentucky 83-79 (AP)
North Carolina's Reyshawn Terry shoots over Kentucky's Bobby Perry for two of his game-high 25 points during the second half of unranked  North Carolina's 83-79 upset win over the nations 10th ranked team  Saturday, Dec. 3, 2005, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo\Ed Reinke)AP - Reyshawn Terry scored 25 points to help North Carolina jolt No. 10 Kentucky 83-79 on Saturday, giving the Tar Heels a big road victory that ended the Wildcats' 11-game winning streak at Rupp Arena.


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Villanova Wins Top 5 Matchup Against Okla. (AP)
Villanova's Kyle Lowry, left, and Oklahoma's David Godbold, right, step over Oklahoma's Michael Neal as they go for the loose ball during the second half Saturday, Dec. 3, 2005, in Villanova, Pa. Villanova won 85-74. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)AP - Randy Foye was the best of Villanova's four guards on Saturday and the fourth-ranked Wildcats beat No. 5 Oklahoma 85-74 in the season's first matchup of teams ranked in the top five.


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Woman Sues Ex-Panthers Cheerleader (AP)
AP - A woman sued a former Carolina Panthers cheerleader, contending she was punched at a bar and seeking more than $15,000 for her injuries.

Nets' Carter Injured in Raptors Game (AP)
AP - New Jersey Nets guard Vince Carter left Saturday night's game against the Toronto Raptors with an apparent right ankle injury.

Astros Sign Springer to One-Year Deal (AP)
AP - The Houston Astros signed veteran right-handed pitcher Russ Springer to a one-year, $750,000 contract Saturday.

Hamburg Player Hit by Drumstick During Win (AP)
AP - Hamburg SV's Alexander Laas was hit by a wooden drumstick thrown from the stands during his team's 3-1 victory over Cologne on Saturday, sending him to the sidelines with blood streaming down his face.

Panthers Get 4-3 OT Win Over Blackhawks (AP)
Florida Panthers center Olli Jokinen (12), of Finland, attempts to swing a shot past Chicago Blackhawks center Curtis Brown (37) and goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, of Russia, during the first period Saturday, Dec. 3, 2005 in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)AP - Olli Jokinen scored a power-play goal at 3:57 of overtime to give the Florida Panthers a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night.


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Showdown Sunday
Four divisional matchups in Week 13 could go a long way in determining who finishes first.

Eagles withdraw tampering complaint (AP)
The Philadelphia Eagles have withdrawn a tampering complaint against the Cowboys filed after Dallas owner Jerry Jones suggested on a radio show that his team is often interested in players such as suspended wide receiver Terrell Owens. "At the time, the Eagles were concerned that the nature and timing of the comments could affect the outcome of the arbitration hearing involving Owens," the team...

Fitzpatrick to start for Rams on Sunday (AP)
St. Louis Rams rookie quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was finally declared the starter for Sunday's game against the Redskins. "Do you want a drum roll?" interim coach Joe Vitt said Friday. "Yes. I think he gets better every day, he really does." Two days away from a likely playoff elimination game between the Rams (5-6) and Washington Redskins (5-6), the status of several teammates remained unclear.

Jags RB Taylor to miss Browns game (AP)
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Fred Taylor will not suit up for Sunday's matchup against Cleveland, meaning he will miss his third game in the last four weeks. Taylor injured his ankle on Nov. 6 against Houston. Since then, he has played just once, against Tennessee. He had six carries for minus-8 yards in that game, sitting out most of the second half with a thigh bruise.

Panthers advised on beating drug tests (AP)
The doctor accused of writing illegal steroid prescriptions for three former Carolina Panthers advised the players how to take the drugs without failing league tests, The State reported Friday. A judge heard tape-recorded conversations Thursday between Dr. James Shortt and the three players, in which Shortt details how he could help them avoid being detected for performance-enhancing drugs, the...

Von Oelhoffen: Palmer is NFL's top QB (AP)
Only six days after going against Peyton Manning, the Pittsburgh Steelers defense contends Sunday with the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer. At least one Steelers defensive starter isn't certain which challenge is greater. "You have to get after him," defensive end Kimo von Oelhoffen said of Palmer, the NFL's top-rated passer.

Johnson calmly guides Vikings to success (AP)
Brad Johnson acknowledged this week he has been taking a beating -- from his two sons, at home playing in the snow. Since their dad took over as Minnesota's quarterback a month ago, defenses around the NFC don't seem to have anything on little Max and Jake. "I feel great right now," said the 37-year-old Johnson, who is 4-0 for the Vikings since replacing the injured Daunte Culpepper as the starter.

ESPN suspends Irvin for one week (AP)
Michael Irvin says he has been suspended by ESPN for one week for not telling the network about his arrest last week, when police found a drug pipe hidden in his car during a traffic stop. Irvin, who has maintained that the pipe belonged to a friend, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he won't return to the air until Dec.

Big Ben's thumb painful, but he'll play (AP)
Another week, another injury for Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger's right thumb injury "is pretty painful," he said Thursday, but the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback is hopeful it won't severely affect his throwing in Sunday's key AFC North game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The injury, not disclosed until Wednesday, follows injuries to both knees that kept Roethlisberger out of four games.

McNabb's doctor wants QB to take it easy (AP)
The doctor who performed season-ending surgery for a sports hernia on Donovan McNabb said the Eagles quarterback should "take it easy" before returning to the field. Dr. William Meyers, who operated Monday at Hahnemann University Hospital, said McNabb had multiple tears and needed surgery immediately.

Life after Larry
The Pistons have hardly been lost without Larry Brown, discovering a new winning style under Flip Saunders.

Knicks lose in Brown's return to Detroit (AP)
The Detroit Pistons spent much of last season answering questions about Larry Brown. They hope they won't have to anymore. The Pistons hugged their former coach before facing him for the first time -- and then played like the team that won him his only NBA championship. Richard Hamilton scored a season-high 40 points to lead Detroit past Brown and the New York Knicks 106-98 Friday night, following a...

Nets' Carter leaves game with injury (AP)
New Jersey Nets guard Vince Carter left Saturday night's game against the Toronto Raptors with an apparent right ankle injury. Carter was taken to the dressing room with 8:03 left in the third quarter after he fell to the ground after getting tangled up with Toronto center Rafael Araujo in the lane under the Nets' basket.

Warriors make rare appearance in first (AP)
The Golden State Warriors in first place? Believe it. "Pinch me," eight-year veteran Adonal Foyle said. "It's a great feeling. It's a testament to a bunch of hardworking guys who are beholden to each other." Baron Davis had 21 points and 14 assists to lead the Warriors to their fifth straight victory, 107-100 over the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night.

Timberwolves rally past Lakers 113-108 (AP)
The Lakers blew a big lead for the second straight game. This time they didn't win. Wally Szczerbiak scored 34 points, Kevin Garnett added 29, and the Northwest Division-leading Minnesota Timberwolves rallied for a 113-108 victory Friday night over Los Angeles. Troy Hudson's shooting brought the Wolves back in the second half and he finished with 18.

James scores 34, but Cavs fall to Sonics (AP)
A blowout loss was personal and became just the motivation the Seattle SuperSonics needed to play their best game of the season. After losing to Cleveland by 27 in early November, the SuperSonics responded with their most impressive win, a 115-108 victory over the Cavaliers on Friday night, despite 34 points from LeBron James.

O'Neal powers Pacers past Blazers 98-78 (AP)
Jermaine O'Neal didn't have it out for Portland. Quite the contrary. O'Neal scored 27 points and had 15 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season and the Indiana Pacers beat the Trail Blazers 98-78 on Friday night. It is the first time that O'Neal has won in the city where he played his first four years in the NBA.

Mo Williams' 3 lifts Bucks over Wizards (AP)
Mo Williams capped his career scoring performance with a game-winner at the buzzer. Williams scored 14 of his career-best 35 points in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer as time expired, to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 105-102 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday night. "I thought they were going to foul, so that's why I attacked," Williams said of his initial move to the basket...

West lifts surging Hornets over 76ers (AP)
David West and the New Orleans Hornets got aggressive when it counted, and it helped them to their sixth win in eight games. West scored 22 points, including a tiebreaking layup with 50.4 seconds left, to lift the Hornets to an 88-86 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night. After struggling against Philadelphia's zone defense the entire second half, the Hornets scored the final nine points...

Deng, Gordon lead Bulls past Celtics (AP)
Not even a 43-point performance from Paul Pierce could unnerve Luol Deng, Ben Gordon and the Chicago Bulls. "It's an advantage that we've played in so many tight games," said Deng, who scored 10 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter in leading the Chicago Bulls to a 106-102 victory over the Boston Celtics on Friday night.

Power rankings
Will the arrival of Joe Thornton in San Jose rescue the Sharks from the bottom third of the Power Rankings?

Thornton again leads Sharks to win (AP)
The San Jose Sharks look nothing like the low-scoring team that lost 10 straight before acquiring Joe Thornton this week. Thornton had two assists for the second straight night with his new team, helping the Sharks rally to a 5-4 victory Saturday over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Alyn McCauley scored twice for the Sharks, who ended a 10-game losing streak Friday with a 5-0 win at Buffalo -- Thornton's...

Ovechkin, Caps end Rangers' win streak (AP)
Rookie Alexander Ovechkin had a goal and three assists, Olaf Kolzig stopped 37 shots, and the Washington Capitals ended the New York Rangers' six-game winning streak with a 5-1 victory Saturday night. Ovechkin had gone six games without a goal before converting a New York mistake into his 16th of the season at 12:11 of the first period.

Langkow, Flames down Penguins (AP)
Daymond Langkow scored twice in less than two minutes early in the third period and the Calgary Flames -- helped by a goal that may not have gone into the net -- won in Pittsburgh for the first time in nearly 16 years, beating the struggling Penguins 3-2 Saturday night. Kristian Huselius, acquired Friday from Florida in a three-player deal, enjoyed a big debut game in Calgary's 12th win in 15...

Dagenais scores twice, Habs beat Kings (AP)
Pierre Dagenais scored twice and Jan Bulis got a short-handed goal early in the third, sending the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night. Montreal snapped a season-high, four-game losing streak, getting production from a pair of players who were expected to generate more offense than they have through the first part of the season.

Kozlov lifts Devils with tying, SO goals (AP)
Viktor Kozlov fought to keep his mind clear while waiting his turn as the first player to test Minnesota goalie Manny Fernandez in the shootout. "Every shootout is a stressful situation," Kozlov said. "It's a lottery, especially against the good goalies in this league. I just try to not think too much and just go by what's happening." Kozlov, who also tied the game late in the third, hit the target...

Penguins send G Caron to minors (AP)
Penguins goaltender Sebastien Caron cleared waivers Saturday and was assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL. Caron is the second Penguins' goalie to pass through waivers this week. The Penguins asked struggling goalie Jocelyn Thibault to go to Wilkes-Barre to work on his game. But Thibault, 1-7-2 with a 4.38 goals-against average, refused the assignment and went on waivers.

Khabibulin sits, Tampa Bay tops Chicago (AP)
John Grahame was not out to impress anyone. All he wanted was another victory. Grahame won his seventh straight decision, and Brad Richards scored the deciding goal in the shootout in the Tampa Bay Lightning's 3-2 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night. Blackhawks goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin didn't play, but got his 2004 Stanley Cup ring before the morning skate from Tampa Bay...

Senators' Chara suspended, Murray fined (AP)
The NHL suspended Ottawa's Zdeno Chara for one game Saturday and fined coach Bryan Murray $10,000 for Chara's fight during a game against Los Angeles. Chara scuffled with Kings defenseman Tim Gleason in the Senators' 5-1 win on Friday night. The 6-foot-9 Chara was given an instigating penalty, a fighting major, a misconduct and a game misconduct for the incident at 16:39 of the third period.

Stars' Modano caps big game with SO goal (AP)
Mike Modano carried his team through regulation with a pair of goals, then pulled out his best move in the shootout. Modano ended Dallas' first home shootout in the third round, lifting the Stars to a 5-4 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in dramatic fashion on Friday night. In a move Modano practices, he yanked the puck from his forehand to his backhand and returned to the forehand, pulling...

Good time
NEW YORK – NASCAR's year-end banquet isn't always a hit, but this year's edition was on the mark.

Stewart cashes in on record year (AP)
Tony Stewart's best year in NASCAR's Nextel Cup series reached the bottom line Friday, with the two-time champion setting a record for single-season earnings.

Earnhardt named most popular once again (AP)
Dale Earnhardt slipped this season in the points standings, but not in the popularity department.

Humbled Busch on hand for season-ending ceremonies (AP)
It took two quiet weekends out of a race car for Kurt Busch to realize he needed an attitude adjustment.

NASCAR champion ready to get in shape (AP)
Tony Stewart went on a shopping spree last week that he hopes will lead to a new and improved Nextel Cup champion.

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.

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