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Late-game tech sparks No. 2 UCLA to win (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070208/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/bkc_t25_usc_ucla"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070208/capt.lap10302080452.southern_cal_ucla_basketball_lap103.jpg?x=130&y=125&sig=x5O.C0ybGdg6Ug9A2SCAsA--" align="left" height="125" width="130" alt="Southern California's Lodrick Stewart, center, keeps his balance as he drives to the basket while UCLA's Darren Collison, right, looks on during the first half of the college basketball game in Los Angeles Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2007. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)" border="0" /></a>AP - A technical foul against senior co-captain Lodrick Stewart undid everything Southern California had built for 75 minutes against No. 2 UCLA.</p><br clear="all"/>

Celtics set franchise mark for futility (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070208/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_heat_celtics"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070208/capt.bxg10202080207.heat_celtics_basketball_bxg102.jpg?x=92&y=130&sig=JrNaySPwI..VAarPaXiHPA--" align="left" height="130" width="92" alt="Boston Celtics' Ryan Gomes (4) tries to drive to the basket over the arms of Miami Heat's Shaquille O'Neal (32) in the second quarter of NBA basketball, in Boston, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2007. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)" border="0" /></a>AP - Sixteen losses in a row. That's one for each of those shiny gold trophies the Boston Celtics have been lording over the rest of the NBA for all these years. The league's most decorated franchise, the Celtics extended their team-record losing streak to 16 games on Wednesday night with a 91-79 loss to the Miami Heat.</p><br clear="all"/>

Young Tar Heels go into Duke and win (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070208/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/bkc_t25_north_carolina_duke"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070208/capt.ncgb11002080314.n_carolina_duke_basketball_ncgb110.jpg?x=97&y=130&sig=G3GUDYfdKmtVH1_pf8hHmg--" align="left" height="130" width="97" alt="North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough (50) dunks during the half of a college basketball game against Duke in Durham, N.C., Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2007. (AP Photo/Sara D. Davis)" border="0" /></a>AP - The crowd was rowdy and hostile. Duke, determined to end a nagging losing streak, had built a big lead behind a surge of emotion. Yet North Carolina's youngsters kept coming. And by the end, those Tar Heels had escaped one of college basketball's most intimidating arenas with a confidence-building win Wednesday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

Florida Gators win recruiting title too (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070208/ap_on_sp_co_ne/fbc_t25_signing_day"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070207/capt.laab10302071916.signing_day_mcknight_usc_football_laab103.jpg?x=97&y=130&sig=aRGBn4aAOWKZdcBSmCt6wg--" align="left" height="130" width="97" alt="John Curtis High School senior Joe McKnight puts on a University of Southern California hat during the ceremony where he signs a letter of intent to attend Southern California, in River Ridge, La., Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2007.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)" border="0" /></a>AP - Florida won the recruiting crown in nearly as dominating fashion as the national championship. The Gators capitalized on last month's national title win over Ohio State and down years from Sunshine State rivals Florida State and Miami to bring in the top recruiting class in the country Wednesday.</p><br clear="all"/>

Ex-NBA player Amaechi comes out publicly (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070208/ap_on_sp_bk_ne/bkn_amaechi_out"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070207/capt.ny15202071855.amaechi_out_basketball_ny152.jpg?x=85&y=130&sig=Rzb_eyRv9_iCuVVW6pvSRw--" align="left" height="130" width="85" alt="Utah Jazz center John Amaechi, of Great Britain, shoots against the Sacramento Kings during the fourth quarter in this Dec. 14, 2002 file photo, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)" border="0" /></a>AP - The small, exclusive club of openly gay professional male athletes has a new member.</p><br clear="all"/>

Peyton gets champions' welcome in Hawaii (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070208/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_pro_bowl_aloha_peyton"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070207/capt.hirs10602072305.pro_bowl_aloha_peyton_football_hirs106.jpg?x=130&y=85&sig=4uqnA_zGp7HqvdMcU4yycQ--" align="left" height="85" width="130" alt="Peyton Manning, quarterback of the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts, talks with reporters following AFC practice for the Pro Bowl football game at Ihilani Resort in Kapolei, Hawaii, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2007. The Pro Bowl will be played Saturday, Feb. 10. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)" border="0" /></a>AP - Peyton Manning always wanted to be late to the Pro Bowl. He finally got the chance to make the dramatic entrance reserved for champions thanks to the four teammates with him in Hawaii and the other 48 who delivered a title to Indianapolis.</p><br clear="all"/>

Mason's putback caps wild Hornets' win (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070208/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_hornets_nuggets"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070208/capt.dxa10102080251.hornets_nuggets_basketball_dxa101.jpg?x=86&y=130&sig=x7QWYs_bgxxyAVsfGcl_7A--" align="left" height="130" width="86" alt="Denver Nuggets forward Nene, left, of Brazil, blocks a shot put up by New Orleans Hornets guard Devin Brown in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2007, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)" border="0" /></a>AP - Desmond Mason didn't wait to celebrate his first NBA game-winner.</p><br clear="all"/>

Reds ace Harang gets $36.5 million deal (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070207/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bbn_reds_harang"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070206/capt.ohab10502062020.reds_harang_ohab105.jpg?x=93&y=130&sig=A9BAMVt8lPcxRwMlT.14eQ--" align="left" height="130" width="93" alt="Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aaron Harang smiles during a news conference, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2007, in Cincinnati, where the Reds announced they had signed Harang to a four year contract. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)" border="0" /></a>AP - Right-hander Aaron Harang avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $36.5 million, four-year contract Tuesday that made him the Cincinnati Reds' highest-paid pitcher.</p><br clear="all"/>

U.S. beats regional rival Mexico 2-0 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070208/ap_on_sp_so_ga_su/soc_mexico_us"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070208/capt.pnu10402080338.mexico_us_soccer_pnu104.jpg?x=130&y=85&sig=MuNvwRbdMOwG7IzugROQhg--" align="left" height="85" width="130" alt="United States soccer fan Bryan Whitney, 24, of Tucson, Ariz. cheers while watching his team play against Mexico in the first half of their exhibition soccer game on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2007, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)" border="0" /></a>AP - The sellout crowd belonged to Mexico. The game went to the United States, as usual.</p><br clear="all"/>

Lalime has shutout in season debut (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070208/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_blackhawks_canucks"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070208/capt.rxl10202080401.blackhawks_canucks_rxl102.jpg?x=130&y=97&sig=4HOwNidCcbUitA8RJdSb7g--" align="left" height="97" width="130" alt="Chicago Blackhawks goalie Patrick Lalime makes a glove save during the first period of NHL hockey action against the Vancouver Canucks in Vancouver, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2007. (AP PHOTO/CP, Richard Lam) CANADA" border="0" /></a>AP - It didn't take Patrick Lalime long to shake off the rust &#151; and some early nerves &#151; after a long absence from the NHL.</p><br clear="all"/>

Sources: Phillips leading candidate to land Cowboys job


Caldwell is 10th candidate for Cowboys (AP)
Forget Disneyland. Since the Colts won the Super Bowl, assistant head coach Jim Caldwell has gone from rainy Miami to frigid Indianapolis for a victory celebration and now to sunny Dallas to interview for the Cowboys' head coaching vacancy. Caldwell on Wednesday became the 10th and likely last candidate to interview with Dallas owner and general manager Jerry Jones in the search to replace Bill...

Manning gets champ's welcome at Pro Bowl (AP)
Until this season, Peyton Manning was the quarterback who excelled in games that didn't matter -- and no game matters less than the Pro Bowl. Manning would grind through every practice in his six previous trips to Hawaii, even showing up early on game day for extra work with the NFL's best. His singular dedication earned the MVP award in the 2005 game, but didn't translate into playoff success.

Chargers S Kiel could avoid jail time (AP)
Chargers safety Terrence Kiel pleaded guilty Wednesday to felony and misdemeanor drug charges for shipping codeine-based cough syrup to Texas, part of a plea bargain that could allow him to avoid jail time. One of six Chargers involved in eight run-ins with police since April, Kiel was ordered to do 100 hours of volunteer work, including talking to young people about the dangers of drugs, and...

Bears fan to become Peyton Manning (AP)
How do you spell Scott Wiese? In a few weeks, that'd be P-e-y-t-o-n M-a-n-n-i-n-g. Wiese, a die-hard fan of the Chicago Bears, signed a pledge in front of a crowd at a Decatur bar last Friday night that if the Bears lost Sunday's Super Bowl, he'd change his name to that of the man who led the Indianapolis Colts to victory.

Schottenheimer hires two assistants (AP)
Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer hired Clancy Barone as tight ends coach and Matt Simon as running backs coach Wednesday. Barone replaces Rob Chudzinski, who left to become the Cleveland Browns' offensive coordinator. Simon replaces Clarence Shelmon, who was promoted to offensive coordinator after Cam Cameron left to become the Miami Dolphins' head coach.

Reid's son faces drug, weapons charges (AP)
The 21-year-old son of Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid was charged Tuesday with drug and weapon offenses stemming from an incident in which he is accused of pointing a gun at another motorist. Britt Reid was arraigned on nine counts including making terroristic threats, possession of a controlled substance and a felony charge of carrying a firearm without a license.

Bears' Briggs, Kreutz to miss Pro Bowl (AP)
Chicago linebacker Lance Briggs and All-Pro center Olin Kreutz dropped out of the Pro Bowl on Tuesday because of injuries. Four of the NFC champion Bears' eight Pro Bowl selections have been forced to give up starting jobs in the NFL's all-star game because of injuries, including three in the last two days following their loss to Indianapolis in the Super Bowl.

London ticket requests high for NFL game (AP)
The NFL's first regular-season game outside North America already looks like a big hit. More than 500,000 tickets were requested by about 160,000 fans in the three days following Friday's official announcement, the NFL said Wednesday. The ticket request process ends Feb. 18, two months before tickets go on sale for the Oct.

Legal sports books win big on Super Bowl (AP)
Nevada's legal sports books won big on Super Bowl bets as gamblers made a near-record $93.1 million in wagers. Figures released Tuesday by the state Gaming Control Board showed the state's 176 licensed books won $12.9 million -- for a 13.9 percent win percentage -- Sunday in the Indianapolis Colts' 29-17 victory over the Chicago Bears.

Basketball's virtuoso
Pete Maravich's sweet musical moves from the '60s and '70s are still being copied by aspiring artists of today.

Hornets ruin A.I.'s return at OT buzzer (AP)
Desmond Mason didn't wait to celebrate his first NBA game-winner. While the officials huddled to review his scrambling putback as overtime expired, Mason was already enjoying the New Orleans Hornets' 114-112 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night. "I knew it went in on time," said Mason, who led the Hornets with 23 points.

Amaechi comes out publicly as being gay (AP)
The small, exclusive club of openly gay professional male athletes has a new member. Former NBA center John Amaechi, who spent five seasons with four teams, on Wednesday became the first NBA player to publicly come out. His admission comes three years after his playing career ended, making him the sixth professional male athlete from one of the four major U.S.

Dirk's Mavs win 16th straight at home (AP)
For all the Dallas Mavericks have done right this season, from the NBA's best record to 16 straight home victories, they're still a long way from completely satisfying coach Avery Johnson -- or themselves. Dallas hasn't lost at home in two months, matching a franchise record by extending its winning streak with a 113-97 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.

Heat extend own win streak, Celts' skid (AP)
Sixteen losses in a row. That's one for each of those shiny gold trophies the Boston Celtics have been lording over the rest of the NBA for all these years. The league's most decorated franchise, the Celtics extended their team-record losing streak to 16 games on Wednesday night with a 91-79 loss to the Miami Heat.

Police: Three Pacers part of bar fight (AP)
Indiana Pacers guard Jamaal Tinsley and teammates Marquis Daniels and Keith McLeod were involved in a fight with a bar manager after a home loss to Golden State, police said. No one was immediately arrested or charged after the Tuesday fight. Indianapolis police Lt. Doug Scheffel said Wednesday it would take several days to complete the investigation to determine if charges would be filed.

LeBron struggles but Cavs rip Clippers (AP)
LeBron James did not lead the Cavaliers in scoring, rebounds, assists, dunks or anything vital. And this time, it didn't matter. Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 16 points with a season-high 16 rebounds, Larry Hughes added 15 points and the Cavs hardly needed James in an easy 94-77 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.

Bosh's 41 power Raptors over Magic (AP)
Chris Bosh's career night was better than Dwight Howard's. Bosh scored a career-high 41 points and outplayed Howard in a matchup of All-Star big men as the Toronto Raptors won their season-high fourth straight with a 113-103 victory over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night. Howard had a career-high 32 points on 13-for-14 shooting.

Carter helps Nets end four-game slide (AP)
Vince Carter couldn't bear the thought of a fifth straight loss. "At this point in the season for us, the way things are going, we can't make excuses," Carter said. "Every basket for us counts and every situation counts." Carter made the go-ahead layup with 7.6 seconds remaining, grabbed a critical rebound on Atlanta's final possession, and the New Jersey Nets stopped a four-game losing streak with...

Spurs pull even on trip, rout Wizards (AP)
The San Antonio Spurs had five days to prepare, allowing them to spend some time at home during their make-or-break rodeo road trip. The Washington Wizards were missing Antawn Jamison, and they've mostly looked like a team playing 4-on-5 since he got hurt. But those reasons alone can't account for San Antonio's 110-83 manhandling of Washington on Wednesday night.

Unhappy anniversary
Gary Bettman's reign as NHL commissioner will enter its 15th year on Thursday. His misguided marketing continues to mar the game.

Sharks salvage split with Ducks, win 3-2 (AP)
Jonathan Cheechoo was worried because his scoring was down this year after he led the league with 56 goals last season. He made up some ground on Wednesday night, scoring twice in San Jose's 3-2 victory over Anaheim. Milan Michalek scored on a power play with 3:46 remaining to give the Sharks the win and a split of their two-night, home-and-home series against the Ducks.

Wings win fifth straight, beat Coyotes (AP)
The Great One is a fan of Henrik Zetterberg. Zetterberg scored twice, including a go-ahead goal early in the third period that was the 100th of his career, to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday night. "He doesn't get enough credit for being the elite player that he is," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said.

Vanek helps Sabres edge Senators 3-2 (AP)
Look out NHL, the Buffalo Sabres are showing signs of getting back on track. Thomas Vanek scored twice, including the game-winner with 4 minutes left, in lifting the Sabres to a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night. Besides opening a season-high six-game homestand with a victory, the Eastern Conference-leading Sabres won for the fourth time in five games, beginning to put behind a...

Lalime shines as Blackhawks beat Canucks (AP)
It didn't take Patrick Lalime long to shake off the rust -- and some early nerves -- after a long absence from the NHL. Lalime stopped 34 shots in his season debut to earn his first shutout in almost three years, lifting the Chicago Blackhawks to a 3-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night.

DiPietro, surging Isles shut down Flyers (AP)
Rick DiPietro saw the pass come out of the corner and knew he had one chance to protect his shutout. He did the splits to keep R.J. Umberger and the rest of the Philadelphia Flyers off the scoresheet. DiPietro also stopped the remaining 26 shots that came his way Wednesday night and the Islanders finally figured out the Flyers at home in a 2-0 victory.

Sather to Messier: I'm not stepping down (AP)
New York Rangers general manager Glen Sather said Tuesday that he is not ready to surrender his job to Mark Messier, the man who delivered a long-awaited Stanley Cup to the Rangers. Messier caught many in the Rangers' organization off guard Monday by telling the Toronto Sun that he planned to talk to Sather about taking his job when he left the team.

NHL draft to be June 22-23 in Columbus (AP)
The NHL draft will be held June 22-23 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The first round will be Friday night and broadcast live on VERSUS, with rounds two through seven held Saturday morning, the NHL said Wednesday. Angelo Esposito, a center for the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, is the top-ranked North American skater by the NHL Central Scouting Service.

Young Penguins coming of age quickly (AP)
Nashville coach Barry Trotz doesn't want to play Pittsburgh in a couple of years. The way these growing-up-fast Penguins are performing, maybe he should amend that to a couple of months. With their four top players all 22 or younger -- including NHL scoring leader Sidney Crosby, who is all of 19 -- the Penguins anticipated going through a transition season before developing into one of the league's...

Stars sign Mike Smith to two-year deal (AP)
Stars backup goaltender Mike Smith signed a two-year deal Wednesday to stay with Dallas through the 2008-09 season. Smith, who would have become an unrestricted free agent when his previous contract expired June 30, will make $950,000 per year. Smith is the first goaltender in team history to record a shutout in his debut.

Offseason capsule: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
If Dale Earnhardt Jr. is to win the Cup title this season, he needs to find victory lane more often.

NASCAR extends agreement with Goodyear (PA SportsTicker)


DEI signs Earnhardt -- Jeffrey Earnhardt (AP)
As Dale Earnhardt Jr. continued contract extension negotiations with DEI, the company came to terms with another driver named Earnhardt.

Kyle Petty to work as part-time NASCAR analyst for TNT (PA SportsTicker)
DAVIDSON, North Carolina (Ticker) -- After racing in NASCAR's top series for nearly three decades, Kyle Petty will try his hand in the broadcast booth as well.

Kyle Petty taking part-time television job (AP)
Kyle Petty will trade in his fireproof driving suit for a microphone -- a part-time job for now.

NASCAR drivers on their own to plan for 'worst-case scenario' (AP)
In a world of million-dollar motorhomes, private jets and McMansions on nearby Lake Norman, it's hard to argue NASCAR drivers are underpaid.

With no pension plan, NASCAR's first stars are easily forgotten (AP)
The living room of Sam Ard's brown doublewide trailer speaks to his short but successful NASCAR career. Trophies surround the fireplace and crowd its mantel. Plaques and pictures dot the living room walls.

Major sports leagues' pension plans (AP)
An overview of major sports leagues' pension plans:

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