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No. 4 Villanova Beats No. 1 UConn 69-64 (AP)
Villanova's fans cheer their team against Connecticut in the second half Monday, Feb. 13, 2006, during their college basketball game in Philadelphia. Fans stormed the floor after No. 4 Villanova upset No. 1 Connecticut, 69-64. (AP Photo/George Widman)AP - Villanova went inside in the first half and stayed outside in the second. Add some solid defense and an offensive boost from an unlikely source, and the Wildcats came up with a way to beat No. 1 Connecticut.


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Gretzky Sidesteps Questions About Scandal (AP)
Wayne Gretzky responds to a question during a news conference with the media during Team Canada's practice in Toronto, Monday Feb. 13, 2006. Gretzky says the NHL gambling scandal won't be a distraction for Team Canada at the Turin Olympics.  (AP PHOTO/CP, Aaron Harris)AP - Wayne Gretzky sidestepped questions about the gambling investigation that has engulfed him and his wife, and insisted Monday he won't distract the Canadian Olympic team despite a scandal that has shaken all of hockey.


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Tot & Max Add to Russian Skating Dynasty (AP)
Russian gold medalists Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin, right, perform during  the  Pairs Skating final  in Turin, Italy during the Winter Olympic Games on Monday, Feb. 13, 2006. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)AP - The greatest dynasty in Olympic sports has two new members.


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LeBron's 44 Leads Cavs Over Hot Spurs (AP)
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, right, drives to the basket against San Antonio Spurs' Nazr Mohammed, during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Monday, Feb. 13, 2006, in Cleveland. James scored a team-high 44 points for the Cavaliers' 101-87 win. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)AP - LeBron James and the Cavaliers play like title contenders at home against the NBA's best. Monday night was the perfect example.


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After Horrific Crash, Kildow Vows to Ski (AP)
In this image released by the International Olympic Committee and the Torino Broadcasting Organisation (TOBO) shows United States Women's Downhill skier Lindsy Kildow lying in the snow after a fall during  Downhill practice in San Sicario Fraiteve, Italy  Monday, Feb. 13, 2006.  The  American gold medal contender Kildow was injured in a frightening free-fall crash on her downhill training run and airlifted to a hospital on Monday, moments after defending Olympic champion Carole Montillet-Carles of France was hurt in a spectacular fall. (AP Photo/IOC/TOBO)AP - Lindsey Kildow careened out of control and slammed into the frozen downhill course at 50 mph. She had to be carried off the mountain on a stretcher and rushed to the hospital in a helicopter. But even that might not be enough to keep her out of the Turin Games.


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Rams Add Four to Coaching Staff (AP)
AP - The St. Louis Rams added four assistants to new coach Scott Linehan's staff on Monday.

Grizzlies Edge Warriors 81-79 (AP)
Memphis Grizzlies' Pau Gasol celebrates after scoring the winning basket to beat the Golden State Warriors 81-79 in an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Feb. 13, 2006. (AP Photo/John Todd)AP - Pau Gasol has been making big plays all season long for the Memphis Grizzlies. Gasol made a short, spinning jumper as time expired to give the Grizzlies an 81-79 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Monday night.


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Bush Honors White Sox As Series Champs (AP)
President Bush is given a jersey and jacket by World Series MVP Outfielder Jermaine Dye, left, and first baseman Paul Konerko, right, as Bush took part in a photo opportunity with the 2005 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox baseball team, Monday, Feb. 13, 2006, in East Room at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)AP - With much of the team absent and their colorful and quotable manager on a family vacation, the 2005 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox paid a visit Monday to the White House to be honored by President George W. Bush.


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Costa Rica Soccer Shuts Out South Korea (AP)
South Korean fans cheer for their team during an international friendly soccer match against Costa Rica in Oakland, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)AP - Alvaro Saborio scored on a penalty kick 40 minutes into the first half, leading Costa Rica to a 1-0 win over South Korea on Saturday.


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Anaheim's Scott Niedermayer Has Surgery (AP)
AP - Mighty Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Monday and is expected to be sidelined for at least a month.

Upon further review …
Some Super-sized blunders in Detroit have Larry ready to throw the red flag in protest.

Doctor in steroids case to plead guilty (AP)
A doctor accused of writing illegal steroid prescriptions to football players has agreed to plead guilty to one federal conspiracy charge as part of a plea agreement, according to court documents. Alternative medicine physician James Shortt will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids and human growth hormone.

NFL likely to open season in Pittsburgh (AP)
The 2006 NFL season most likely will start in Pittsburgh on Sept. 7, keeping with a recent trend of beginning the schedule with the current Super Bowl champion. The NFL also is considering an ESPN doubleheader for the opening Monday night on Sept. 11, one beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern time and the second at 9 p.m., NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Monday.

Bucs LB Brooks gives NFC Pro Bowl win (AP)
Derrick Brooks was just happy to be on the winning side for a change in the Pro Bowl. Being selected the game's outstanding player was a bonus. Brooks and the NFC's solid defense gave the NFL's so-called inferior conference something to feel good about Sunday, making the big plays in a sloppy 23-17 victory in a game that featured 10 turnovers -- six by the favored AFC.

MVP Alexander willing to leave Seattle (AP)
Shaun Alexander may have Carolina on his mind. Alexander, who sat out the Pro Bowl on Sunday because of a sprained right foot, said contract negotiations with the Seattle Seahawks will continue Monday. But the NFL's Most Valuable Player said he's open to playing elsewhere. "I never really thought up until I got out here that I could be on another team, but it was really neat to see me with Carolina...

Art Shell introduced as Raiders coach (AP)
Al Davis had grown sick of watching his rivals beat up on the Oakland Raiders, outplaying, outcoaching and even out-toughing his team. The swagger that once made the Raiders the NFL's most intimidating team and contributed so much to his mantras of "Commitment to Excellence" and "Just Win Baby" had long left the franchise.

Texans extend Carr's deal three years (AP)
David Carr will be with the Houston Texans another three years, perhaps an indication the team might favor Heisman Trophy running back Reggie Bush over Texas quarterback Vince Young with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. The Texans had the option of extending their quarterback's contract for two seasons, but Friday decided to make it three instead.

Rams add four to new coaching staff (AP)
The St. Louis Rams added four assistants to new coach Scott Linehan's staff on Monday. Joe Baker will serve as the defensive quality control coach, Jim Chaney the assistant offensive line coach, Jeff Horton the special assistant for offense, and Brad Roll the assistant strength and conditioning coach.

Kubiak: Sherman mulling coaching future (AP)
Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Friday that Mike Sherman will decide "over the next three or four days" whether he'll coach next season -- and possibly join the Texans' staff. "Mike's going to make a decision over the next three or four days whether he wants to come back and coach this season," Kubiak said.

Bills coach Jauron adds three to staff (AP)
New Buffalo Bills coach Dick Jauron added Turk Schonert, Charlie Coiner and Alex Van Pelt to his staff on Monday. Schonert will be the team's quarterbacks coach, Coiner the tight ends coach and Van Pelt joins the staff as the offensive quality control coach. Schonert was New Orleans' quarterbacks coach this past season and has 10 years of NFL coaching experience.

Still the one
Even with three losses in five games, including one in Atlanta, the Pistons remain the No. 1 team to beat.

James, Cavs end Spurs' nine-game run (AP)
LeBron James and the Cavaliers play like title contenders at home against the NBA's best. Monday night was the perfect example. James dominated with 44 points and Cleveland defeated defending champion San Antonio 101-87 to end the Spurs' nine-game winning streak. Now, if the Cavs could just be as good against the bad teams.

Mavs send Knicks to 10th straight loss (AP)
The latest game against the Dallas Mavericks showed just how bad things have gotten for the New York Knicks. A month ago in New York, the Knicks scored the most points anybody has against Dallas this season in their fifth of six straight victories. In the rematch Monday night, Dirk Nowitzki had 21 points to lead six players in double figures for the Mavericks in a 100-72 victory.

West's buzzer-beater lifts Hornets (AP)
David West is making a habit of hitting winning shots. For the third time this season, West won a game for the Hornets in the final second, hitting a 20-footer from the top of the key at the buzzer to give New Orleans a 97-96 victory over Washington on Monday night. West previously made last-second shots to beat Milwaukee on Jan.

Cavs' Hughes to have more finger surgery (AP)
Cavaliers guard Larry Hughes will have surgery for the second time in six weeks on his broken right middle finger. The surgery will be performed Tuesday by Dr. Thomas J. Graham, chief of the Curtis National Hand Center at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. The team did not say how long Hughes will be out.

Lakers avenge recent sweep by Jazz 94-88 (AP)
Even a poor shooting night could not damper Kobe Bryant's spirits after the Lakers' victory. Bryant was 6-for-20 from the field and was outscored by Utah guard Devon Brown, but his 23 points were enough to help the Lakers beat the Jazz 94-88 on Monday night. Bryant, whose league-leading scoring average dropped from 35.2 to 34.9, averaged 43.4 points in January -- including a franchise-record...

James leads Raptors past Wolves 98-94 (AP)
Mike James and the Toronto Raptors have clearly forgotten about their 1-15 start. They're even hinting at a playoff run. James scored 27 points, including two key baskets and two free throws down the stretch, to help Toronto beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 98-94 on Monday night for their third straight win and sixth in eight games.

Blazers end skid, beat Bobcats 91-83 (AP)
Charlotte Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff sounded embarassed after his team's poor showing against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Trail Blazers entered the contest having lost their last three games by 33, 32 and 32 points respectively, but shot 46 percent against Charlotte in a 91-83 victory on Monday night.

NBA fines Nuggets' Martin $15,000 (AP)
Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin was fined $15,000 by the NBA on Monday for using inappropriate language, including profanity, during his interactions with fans following a game against the Chicago Bulls last week. Two fans accused Martin of telling a man to confront them after one heckled Martin for sitting out the game Wednesday night with an injured knee.

Wade rallies Heat past Pistons in fourth (AP)
Dwyane Wade led the comeback and then the celebration, skipping along the sideline and high-fiving jubilant fans. The Miami Heat finally showed they can beat the elite, especially when they have Wade as a weapon. He scored the Heat's last 17 points, including the game-winner on a 16-footer with 2.3 seconds left, and they edged the Detroit Pistons 100-98 Sunday.

Power rankings
After opening the season ranked in the bottom five, Carolina enters the Olympic break poised to claim the Presidents' Trophy.

Amid scandal, Gretzky heads to Turin (AP)
With a fixed smile on his face, Wayne Gretzky stepped from behind a black curtain that hid the hockey rink behind him and said, "Wow." The row of two-dozen microphones and an expansive four- and five-deep ring of reporters and cameramen seemed to overwhelm even The Great One. Then again, it's not often that a hockey icon and Hall of Famer of Gretzky's stature is linked to a gambling investigation...

Coyotes lose again, 5-4 to Sharks in OT (AP)
The Olympic break could not have come at a better time for the struggling Phoenix Coyotes. Dealing with allegations of illegal gambling surrounding assistant coach Rick Tocchet and head coach Wayne Gretzky's wife since Tuesday, Phoenix has lost four straight and six of seven, including a 5-4 overtime loss to San Jose on Sunday.

Ducks D Niedermayer has knee surgery (AP)
Mighty Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Monday and is expected to be sidelined for at least a month. Because of the injury, the 32-year-old Niedermayer was unable to join Canada for the Olympics in Turin. Niedermayer, who signed with Anaheim as a free agent last year, won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman during the 2003-04 season with New...

Kings' four-goal third stuns Stars, 6-5 (AP)
With a period to go before the Olympic break, and a three-goal deficit staring at them, the Los Angeles Kings finished up strong. Los Angeles rallied for four goals in the final period on Sunday to beat Dallas 6-5 on Sunday. "We knew it was the last period before the Olympic break, so we had to go all out -- and we did," Luc Robitaille said.

Wings win sixth straight, 6-3 over Avs (AP)
The Detroit Red Wings used a strong finish to make up for a weak start. Tomas Holmstrom broke a tie with a power-play goal early in the third period and Detroit beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-3 on Sunday in the last game before the Olympic break for each team. Detroit, which won its sixth straight, got a goal and two assists from Pavel Datsyuk and a goal and an assist from Holmstrom, Henrik...

Staal SO goal lifts Hurricanes by Sabres (AP)
With six victories in seven tries, the Carolina Hurricanes clearly enjoy the NHL's new shootout. And leading scorer Eric Staal just now got involved. "When I get my opportunity, I want to make it count," he said. "I was glad to get that chance." Staal scored in the sixth round of the tiebreaker after goalie Martin Gerber stopped Buffalo's Jason Pominville, helping the Hurricanes beat the Sabres 4-3...

Ducks continue domination of Blackhawks (AP)
The Anaheim Mighty Ducks are making a push toward the playoffs with some talented young players. Dustin Penner and Corey Perry scored third-period goals lifting, Anaheim to a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night. Penner scored on a wraparound 17 seconds into the third period and Perry tapped in a pass from Ryan Getzlaf 3:03 later to help Anaheim move three points out of the final...

Daniel Sedin lifts Canucks in OT (AP)
Daniel Sedin helped his brother Henrik make up for an earlier mistake. Daniel scored 1:26 into overtime -- 30 seconds after Vancouver finished killing off a late penalty to identical twin Henrik -- to lift the Canucks to a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night. "They got some great chances on the four-on-three and we were able to kill that one off and get the last chance," said Henrik,...

Wideman SO goal lifts Blues over Oilers (AP)
Mike Morrison was perfect in shootouts. Now he has a blemish. The Oilers rookie goaltender suffered his first loss in six shootout tries after Dennis Wideman scored to lead the St. Louis Blues over Edmonton 5-4 on Sunday. "He went East, I went West," said Morrison, who had returned for the shootout after being pulled for allowing two goals on the opening five shots.

Championship contenders
Some of the usual suspects will compete for the '06 Cup championship, but there also could be a few surprises.

NASCAR hits a few bumps before season opener (AP)
Chad Knaus will probably watch the Daytona 500 on television at home. If Tony Stewart really wants to take a stand, he'd join him.

Knaus ejected from Daytona (AP)
Chad Knaus won't be at the Daytona 500. He might miss a few more races, too.

A glance at the drivers competing in NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series (AP)
A glance at the drivers competing in NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series in 2006, listed by car number: Joe Nemecheck,...

Cheater or Innovator? Knaus in trouble again with NASCAR (AP)
Crew chief Chad Knaus calls himself an innovator in the racing world. NASCAR hasn't exactly seen it the same way. Here is a Knaus timeline that includes penalties imposed by NASCAR:

Jimmie Johnson's crew chief suspended for Daytona 500 (SportsTicker)
By Bruce Martin SportsTicker Contributing Editor

Strange, wild day at Daytona (AP)
Disqualifications and complaints about safety issues overshadowed the racing on the first real day of action of the new NASCAR season.

Stewart complains about bump drafting tactics (SportsTicker)
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Ticker) - Ever since Dale Earnhardt was killed five years ago in the Daytona 500, the general consensus in the NASCAR Nextel Cup racing series is the sport has lacked a strong voice.

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