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Harvick charges to wild Daytona victory (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070219/ap_on_sp_au_ra_ra_su/car_nascar_daytona500"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070219/capt.dbr12802190031.nascar_daytona_500_auto_racing_dbr128.jpg?x=117&y=130&sig=BtQNK8vYe5RDjFEfAnZGPA--" align="left" height="130" width="117" alt="Kevin Harvick celebrates his win in the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 18, 2007. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)" border="0" /></a>AP - So focused was Mark Martin on hard-charging Kevin Harvick, he had no inkling of the chaos unfolding behind him.</p><br clear="all"/>

MVP Bryant helps West stomp East 153-132 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070219/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_all_star_game"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070219/capt.nvmt10102190442.nba_all_star_game_basketball_nvmt101.jpg?x=77&y=130&sig=Ifnz1TxqyeyCeKgjZmPfYg--" align="left" height="130" width="77" alt="Western player Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks the ball during the NBA All-Star game against the Eastern players in Las Vegas on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2007. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)" border="0" /></a>AP - Kobe Bryant headlined the biggest act in Las Vegas on Sunday night. Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and the West high rollers lit up the Strip with their own version of Showtime, romping past LeBron James and the East 153-132 in the NBA All-Star game.</p><br clear="all"/>

Buckeyes poised to claim No. 1 ranking (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070219/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/bkc_t25_ohio_st_minnesota"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070218/capt.mnah10602182013.ohio_st_minnesota_basketball_mnah106.jpg?x=79&y=130&sig=yWegAS0iKMB9jvjGMDbkUA--" align="left" height="130" width="79" alt="Ohio State center Greg Oden (20) hangs from the backboard as he rejects a shot by Minnesota center Spencer Tollackson, left, during the second half of a basketball game in Minneapolis, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2007. Oden had a team-high 19 points as Ohio State beat Minnesota, 85-67. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)" border="0" /></a>AP - The last time Ohio State was No. 1 in the AP men's basketball poll, John Havlicek, Jerry Lucas and a sub named Bob Knight were leading the Buckeyes to the NCAA championship game.</p><br clear="all"/>

Lefty falls to Howell in Nissan playoff (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070219/ap_on_sp_go_su/glf_nissan_open"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070219/capt.cars12002190114.nissan_open_golf_cars120.jpg?x=91&y=130&sig=ieScv5sVfPparCA0J3WdoQ--" align="left" height="130" width="91" alt="Charles Howell III holds the trophy high after winning the Nissan Open golf tournament at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2007. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)" border="0" /></a>AP - Charles Howell III felt his heart leap when he realized only 3 feet of green stood between him and an improbable playoff victory over Phil Mickelson in the Nissan Open. That's when he said a silent prayer.</p><br clear="all"/>

Duke gives Coach K his 700th victory (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070219/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/bkc_georgia_tech_duke"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070218/capt.ncgb10802182038.georgia_tech_duke_basketball_ncgb108.jpg?x=130&y=102&sig=pQ0sdmp0qH_DQZE3vv9DNw--" align="left" height="102" width="130" alt="Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski yells at his team during the second half of a college basketball game against Georgia Tech in Durham, N.C., Sunday, Feb. 18, 2007. Duke won 71-62. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)" border="0" /></a>AP - Greg Paulus found his long-distance touch and Mike Krzyzewski reached another coaching milestone. Maybe Duke is finally becoming Duke again. Paulus hit four 3-pointers and finished with 15 points, and the Blue Devils used a fast start to beat Georgia Tech 71-62 Sunday for Krzyzewski's 700th victory at the school.</p><br clear="all"/>

Packers QB Favre to have ankle surgery (AP)
AP - Brett Favre will have ankle surgery in the next few weeks, and Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy says the three-time MVP will have plenty of time to recover for minicamps.

Hardaway apologizes again for remarks (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070219/ap_on_sp_bk_ne/bkn_hardaway_remarks"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070215/capt.ny15702152259.hardaway_remarks_basketball_ny157.jpg?x=101&y=130&sig=kKjoCVDdwtGyXJOa.anAmQ--" align="left" height="130" width="101" alt="Miami Heat's Tim Hardaway moves the ball against the New York Knicks, Sunday, April 8, 2001, at American Airlines Arena in Miami. NBA commissioner David Stern said Thursday, Feb. 15, 2007, it would be 'inappropriate' for Hardaway to represent the league during NBA's All-Star weekend after the retired Miami Heat guard said on a radio show that he hates gay people. (AP Photo/Amy E. Conn,file)" border="0" /></a>AP - Former NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway apologized again Sunday for his anti-gay remarks, telling a Miami television station that he "didn't mean" to say what he said in a South Florida radio interview last week.</p><br clear="all"/>

Bonds heads to San Francisco Giants camp (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070219/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bbo_spring_training_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070215/capt.ny15502152056.giants_bonds_baseball_ny155.jpg?x=125&y=130&sig=aCgq13HiFi1CqMXJN5VEyw--" align="left" height="130" width="125" alt="San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds smiles after walking against the Seattle Mariners in a baseball game, in this June 16, 2006 file photo, in Seattle. Bonds finally signed his $15.8 million, one-year contract Thursday, Feb. 15, 2006, and the slugger is scheduled to report to spring training Monday. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)" border="0" /></a>AP - Barry Bonds is headed to San Francisco Giants camp &#151; the only question is when he'll arrive. Bernie Williams, on the other hand, might not show up for spring training at all.</p><br clear="all"/>

Manchester City gains FA Cup quarters (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070218/ap_on_sp_so_ga_su/soc_euro_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070218/capt.mdt11102181555.britain_soccer_fa_cup_mdt111.jpg?x=130&y=98&sig=8fGbW4Pusy23R9oInE2rDg--" align="left" height="98" width="130" alt="Manchester City's Joey Barton, left, tackles Danny Pugh of Preston North End during their FA Cup soccer match at Deepdale, Preston, England, Sunday Feb. 18, 2007. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson)" border="0" /></a>AP - Manchester City scored twice in the closing minutes to beat League Championship team Preston 3-1 Sunday and reach the FA Cup quarterfinals.</p><br clear="all"/>

Malkin lifts Penguins past Capitals (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070219/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_nhl_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070218/capt.pagp10302182237.capitals_penguins_hockey_pagp103.jpg?x=105&y=130&sig=g9yM7Tq4h1kk8Q6Y7BCSMA--" align="left" height="130" width="105" alt="Pittsburgh Penguins' Evgeni Malkin of Russia sends a slap shot past Washington Capitals goaltender Brent Johnson for a second-period goal in NHL hockey action in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2007. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)" border="0" /></a>AP - Facing fellow Russian Alexander Ovechkin gives Evgeni Malkin a little extra motivation. Maybe it helped Sunday, when Malkin made the difference for Pittsburgh against Ovechkin's Capitals.</p><br clear="all"/>

Rating the running backs
Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch are a step ahead of this year's class of top running backs.

Packers QB Favre to have ankle surgery (AP)
Brett Favre will have ankle surgery in the next few weeks, and Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy says the three-time MVP will have plenty of time to recover for minicamps. The 37-year-old quarterback was supposed to have surgery on his left ankle the day after the season, but skipped it and had yet to reschedule.

Gary Gibbs meets about Chargers job (AP)
The San Diego Chargers finished the first round of interviews for their head coaching vacancy when they met with New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs on Sunday. General manager A.J. Smith and president Dean Spanos -- who fired Marty Schottenheimer on Monday night -- will review what they gleaned from the six candidates before deciding how to proceed, Smith said in a statement...

McNabb supports Reid, backup QB Garcia (AP)
Donovan McNabb is throwing his support behind Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid and backup quarterback Jeff Garcia. McNabb, rehabbing his surgically repaired right knee, said he hopes everything turns out well for Reid, who is taking a one-month leave of absence to deal with his sons' legal problems.

Cardinals let OT Davis become free agent (AP)
The Arizona Cardinals told Leonard Davis that they won't name him a franchise or transition player, clearing the offensive tackle to become an unrestricted free agent. The move, announced in a team news release, was not a surprise because the Cardinals have long felt that Davis would not be worth the huge investment required either to re-sign him or name him a franchise player.

Bears make LB Briggs franchise player (AP)
In an attempt to keep together their Super Bowl defense, the Chicago Bears designated linebacker Lance Briggs their franchise player Friday. Briggs would have become an unrestricted free agent March 2 if he didn't reach a contract agreement with the Bears before then. The franchise tag means Chicago can keep Briggs by matching any offer sheet he might sign with another team.

Patriots put franchise tag on CB Samuel (AP)
The New England Patriots designated Asante Samuel as their franchise player Friday in a move that would keep the cornerback with the team for at least one more season. The 26-year-old has played in 59 regular-season and 11 playoff games with New England since being drafted in 2003, and would have been an unrestricted free agent if the Patriots hadn't designated him as their franchise player.

Bills unlikely to re-sign CB Clements (AP)
The Buffalo Bills will maintain a modest approach to free agency this offseason, all but eliminating their chances of re-signing star cornerback Nate Clements. Following meetings with team owner Ralph Wilson earlier this week, general manager Marv Levy said Friday that the Bills have budgeted about $30 million to spend on acquiring players when the NFL's free agency period opens March 2.

Moving pick


MVP Bryant powers West over East 153-132 (AP)
From Kobe Bryant to the last blackjack dealer, everybody believed the NBA was a big winner after gambling on a 72-hour All-Star extravaganza in Sin City. Sure, the main event was a bit of a bust, but the All-Star game is always a crapshoot. Bryant had 31 points, six assists and six steals in his second MVP performance at the league's midseason showcase, and the West set All-Star records for assists...

Hardaway apologizes again for remarks (AP)
Former NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway apologized again Sunday for his anti-gay remarks, telling a Miami television station that he "didn't mean" to say what he said in a South Florida radio interview last week. Hardaway, in an interview at his home with CBS affiliate WFOR, acknowledged he made a major mistake by saying "I hate gay people" when asked how he would react to having a gay teammate.

Second All-Star MVP sweeter for Bryant (AP)
The first time Kobe Bryant won this award, he got booed in his hometown of Philadelphia. He picked up his second Most Valuable Player trophy from the NBA All-Star game much closer to his West Coast home -- and the Los Angeles Lakers' guard got nothing but love in a city that adores its showmen. Bryant had 31 points and six assists in the Western Conference's 153-132 victory Sunday night, leading a...

Suns' Stoudemire shines in West's win (AP)
Amare Stoudemire said he would be in this All-Star game. Anybody who saw him play last season wouldn't have taken that bet. Stoudemire was one of the dominant players on the floor Sunday night, finishing with 29 points and nine rebounds in the West's 153-132 victory over the East. Not bad for a player who played only three games during the 2005-06 season.

Celtics' Green wins dunk contest (AP)
Boston's Gerald Green capped All-Star Saturday with an acrobatic leap over a table to win the dunk contest, and Miami's Jason Kapono fell just short of an event record while winning the 3-Point Shootout. Green, the Celtics' 21-year-old swingman, performed his two most memorable dunks in the first round before that lengthy final leap over a 3-foot table bearing the All-Star game logo for a windmill...

All-Star game's next stop: New Orleans (AP)
From the blinding lights of the Las Vegas Strip, the NBA makes its next stop for the All-Star game in another city with a long history of knowing how to party: New Orleans. After going most of the past two seasons without pro basketball, the hurricane-damaged city finally gets its home team back next season and hosts the league's All-Stars, too.

Stern chats about pension plan, gambling (AP)
David Stern proudly discussed a new pension plan for former NBA players and spoke hopefully about the futures of teams in struggling markets. As for those gambling questions, the commissioner seems pretty sick of them. Stern was occasionally testy during his annual All-Star news conference Saturday, perhaps fed up with having to discuss, defend and explain the league's stance on betting during his...

Four teams chosen for NBA Europe Live (AP)
Andrea Bargnani can play in front of his home fans. So can Pau Gasol -- if he's not traded first. Toronto and Memphis were two of the four teams chosen Saturday to participate in the NBA Europe Live in October. Boston and Minnesota will also head overseas for training camp and exhibition games against Euroleague opponents in the second year of the tour.

Lee, sophomores win NBA rookie challenge (AP)
David Lee still sports the remnants of a black eye, sustained in a recent game while trying to prevent a dunk. He found things much easier Friday night. The NBA's leading shooter had a field day in a game with no defense, going 14-for-14 from the field and scoring 30 points to lead the sophomores to a 155-114 victory over the rookies in the rookie challenge.

Cooke carries Canucks to Northwest lead (AP)
The Vancouver Canucks beat the Colorado Avalanche at their own game. Henrik Sedin scored the tiebreaking goal 1:31 into the third period, Brendan Morrison added his second of the game on a power play 2:20 later, and the normally stingy Canucks beat the Avalanche 5-4 on Sunday night. "Colorado is a great offensive team and they like to run and gun and we got caught up in that a bit tonight," said...

Rangers beat Blackhawks without Shanahan (AP)
Brendan Shanahan made his mark on the latest New York Rangers' win without even lacing up a skate. A simple hello in the dressing room when none of his teammates expected to see him lit the fuse Sunday and provided a lift in a 2-1 victory Sunday over the Chicago Blackhawks. "It didn't hurt, that's for sure," coach Tom Renney said of Shanahan's impromptu visit.

Penguins win sixth straight, top Caps (AP)
Alexander Ovechkin didn't do much offensively, a commonplace event lately. Instead, it was the runner-up Russian who created a goal out of nothing, keeping the Pittsburgh Penguins' most successful stretch in 14 years going. Evgeni Malkin scored a bad-angle goal to give Pittsburgh the lead in another tightly played game against Washington and the streaking Penguins won their sixth in a row, beating...

Ribeiro, Lehtinen lead Stars past Sharks (AP)
The Dallas Stars keep gaining ground in the Pacific Division. Mike Ribeiro and Jere Lehtinen each scored two goals, Darryl Sydor added three assists and Marty Turco made 17 saves as the Stars beat the San Jose Sharks 5-2 on Sunday. The Stars have 72 points, one behind the second-place Sharks and six behind first-place Anaheim in the Pacific before the Ducks' game against the Los Angeles Kings on...

Rookie G Halak helps Canadiens end slide (AP)
A rookie goalie making his first career NHL start proved to be just what the struggling Montreal Canadiens needed. Jaroslav Halak stopped 31 shots, Michael Ryder and Saku Koivu each had a goal and an assist, and Montreal beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 Sunday night to end a season-worst six-game losing streak.

Blues top Wild for third straight win (AP)
Rookie David Backes has become a scoring machine for a St. Louis Blues team that needs all the help it can get. After mustering one goal in his first 22 games, Backes has scored two goals twice in his last three contests. The 6-3, 200-pound forward was a presence in front of the net in a 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night.

Kings get home-and-home split with Ducks (AP)
A night after the Anaheim Ducks beat Los Angeles in a shootout, the Kings returned the favor. Lubomir Visnovsky scored in the sixth round of the team's second shootout in a row to give Los Angeles a 4-3 victory over Anaheim on Sunday night. "It was apropos for (Visnovsky) to score the winner," Kings coach Marc Crawford said.

Islanders acquire D Bergeron from Oilers (AP)
The Edmonton Oilers sent defensemen Marc-Andre Bergeron to the New York Islanders on Sunday for defenseman Denis Grebeshkov. Bergeron, who has eight goals and 16 assists in 55 games this season, has spent his career with the Oilers. In 189 games over three-plus seasons, he has 33 goals and 88 points. The Islanders also received a third-round draft pick in 2008 in the trade.

Devils' Brodeur blanks Islanders again (AP)
Martin Brodeur isn't content with just beating the New York Islanders, he's not even willing to let them score. Brodeur stopped 26 shots in his NHL-best 11th shutout of the season and third against the Islanders in leading the New Jersey Devils to a 2-0 victory Saturday night. He has allowed just one goal in three games this season at Nassau Coliseum, Miroslav Satan's tally with 0.7 seconds left in...

Panthers end 11-game OT losing streak (AP)
Nathan Horton scored 29 seconds into overtime to lift the Florida Panthers to a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night. Horton picked up a loose puck in front of the crease and poked the puck over the pads of Johan Holmqvist. Ruslan Salei, Stephen Weiss, Bryan Allen and Ville Peltonen also scored for Florida, and Ed Belfour had 16 saves.

Off the Mark


NASCAR writes its own 'Ricky Bobby' ending (AP)
The first 150 laps of the Daytona 500 was like watching drivers circle the lot at the grocery store politely waiting for parking spots to open up. Then the sun went down, a full moon popped up and everybody started behaving like the Wolfman -- suddenly in a hurry and only too eager to mix it up. The last 50 laps featured five wrecks, all involving multiple cars, and small wonder.

Martin nearly gets elusive Daytona 500 win (AP)
Mark Martin went part time and nearly won big time.

Crash-filled race takes out top contenders (AP)
The old saying is as true for Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. today as it was when NASCAR raced on the beach: To finish first, you must first finish.

Daytona 500 Notebook for Sunday, February 18 (PA SportsTicker)
Juan Pablo Montoya arrived in Daytona with nearly unprecedented fanfare for a NASCAR Nextel Cup rookie.

Harvick's win evokes bittersweet memories for Childress (PA SportsTicker)
Perhaps Kevin Harvick's victory in Sunday's Daytona 500 will finally give team owner Richard Childress a sense of closure.

Harvick survives wild finish to win Daytona 500 (PA SportsTicker)


Harvick wins at Daytona as Montoya, Toyota debut (AFP)
Kevin Harvick edged Mark Martin ahead of a dramatic crash to win the 49th Daytona 500, the historic US stock car debut for Japan's Toyota, the first non-US carmaker in the series.

Martin barely misses mark at Daytona (PA SportsTicker)
No driver in the NASCAR garage area is more respected than Mark Martin.

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