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National

  • Danica Patrick wins pole for NASCAR's Daytona 500

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Danica Patrick has won the Daytona 500 pole, becoming the first woman to secure the top spot for any race in NASCAR's top circuit.

    It was the biggest achievement of her stock-car career.

    "We have a lot more history to make and we're eager to do it," Patrick said.

    Patrick went out eighth in the qualifying session Sunday and covered the 2½-mile superspeedway in 45.817 seconds, averaging 196.434 mph.

    She waited about two hours as 37 fellow drivers tried to take her spot. Only four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon even came close to knocking her off.

  • Pistorius' girlfriend was a model, law graduate

    JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The leggy blonde model tweeted that Valentine's Day should be "a day of love for everyone."

    Instead Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead in the home of her boyfriend, paralympian superstar Oscar Pistorius, who was charged with her murder.

    Steenkamp, South African model with a law degree, campaigned against rape and violence against women. Thursday morning, Reeva Steenkamp was to give an inspirational talk at a Johannesburg school. The next day she was going to wear black to protest the brutal rape and mutilation of a 17-year-old.

    But the glamorous South African celebrity was found dead in the early hours from four bullet wounds in the Pretoria home of Pistorius. The two had been dating for only a few months.

    She was one of FHM magazine's 100 Sexiest Women in the World for the past two years, appeared in international and South African advertisements and was to make her debut next week as a celebrity contestant on the reality TV show "Tropika Island of Treasure" filmed in Jamaica. She was also the South African face of Avon cosmetics. Police said the model was 30.

    The freckled blonde who appeared in scanty bikinis on magazine covers and sashayed down fashion ramps was "continuously breaking the model stereotype," said her publicist Sarit Tomlinson.

  • Men's basketball AP Top 25 02-12-13

    The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Feb. 10, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week's ranking:

  • Vonn Tears Ligaments in Knee, Out for Season
  • Parcells, Sapp, Carter among 7 Hall inductees

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Coach Bill Parcells, Warren Sapp, Cris Carter, Jonathan Ogden and Larry Allen were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.

    The class of 2013 also included a pair of senior selections, Curley Culp and Dave Robinson. The announcement was made in New Orleans, site of Sunday's Super Bowl.

    Five players failed to get in on the final vote: Jerome Bettis, Charles Haley, Andre Reed, Michael Strahan and Aeneas Williams.

    Earlier Saturday, the selection committee eliminated Tim Brown, Kevin Greene, Will Shields and former owners Edward DeBartolo Jr. and Art Modell.

    Parcells reversed the fortunes of four teams — New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys — during 19 years as a head coach. He finished with a record of 172-130-1, leading the Giants to a pair of Super Bowl titles.

  • Spoiler alert! The Ravens will win

    I’ll admit it.
    I’ve been back and forth on this a hundred times. I’ve checked the injury report. I’ve compared stats. I busted out the divining rod and poked some goat entrails with it.
    In fact, as I sat down to write this, I very nearly talked myself out of this pick.
    But, like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, I won’t back down.
    Ladies and germs, the Baltimore Ravens will win today’s game.
    In case you hadn’t heard, Super Bowl Some Roman Numeral is today. It’s kind of a big deal.
    This one has been a tough one to call for me. I literally couldn’t even decide what I wanted to eat for the game, let alone decide who I thought was going to win. Of course, the food associated with the game is just as important as the game itself but that’s another issue.
    My dilemma boils down to this: my head says the San Francisco 49ers should win. My gut says the Baltimore Ravens.
    And, since my gut is bigger than my head, I have to go with Baltimore. Just kidding. That was just one factor in my decision.
    Actually, my thought process was more along these lines: I generally like the team that seems to have its mojo working heading into the playoffs. By that standard, the 49ers should be a shoo-in.

  • Woods wins at Torrey Pines for 8th time

    SAN DIEGO (AP) — Tiger Woods is a winner again at Torrey Pines, and the only question Monday was how long it would take him to finish.

    Woods stretched his lead to eight shots in the Farmers Insurance Open before losing his focus and his patience during a painfully slow finish by the group ahead.

    Despite dropping four shots over the last five holes, he still managed an even-par 72 for a four-shot victory on the course where he has won more than any other in his pro career.

    He won the tournament for the seventh time, one behind the record held by Sam Snead, who won the Greater Greensboro Open eight times. It was the eighth time Woods won at Torrey Pines, which includes his playoff win in the 2008 U.S Open.

    This one was never close.

  • Schools must provide athletic opportunities for the disabled

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Students with disabilities must be given a shot to play on a traditional sports team or have their own leagues, the Education Department said.
    Disabled students who want to play for their school could join traditional teams if officials can make “reasonable modifications” to accommodate them. If those adjustments would fundamentally alter a sport, the department is directing the school to create parallel athletic programs that have comparable standing to traditional programs.
    “Sports can provide invaluable lessons in discipline, selflessness, passion and courage, and this guidance will help schools ensure that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to benefit from the life lessons they can learn on the playing field or on the court,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement Friday.
    The groundbreaking order is reminiscent of the Title IX expansion of athletic opportunities for girls and women four decades ago and could bring sweeping changes to school budgets and locker rooms for years to come.
    “This is a landmark moment for students with disabilities. This will do for students with disabilities what Title IX did for women,” said Terri Lakowski, who for a decade led a coalition pushing for the changes. “This is a huge victory.”

  • Ravens upset Patriots 28-13 to make Super Bowl

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Joe Flacco outdueled Tom Brady, throwing three touchdown passes in the second half and leading the Baltimore Ravens to their first Super Bowl in 12 years with a 28-13 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday for the AFC championship.

    The win sets up the first Super Bowl coached by brothers, Baltimore's John Harbaugh and San Francisco's Jim. The 49ers won the NFC title earlier Sunday 28-24 at Atlanta.

    The 49ers have been listed as 5-point favorites.

    Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis' final season will conclude in two weeks in New Orleans; he was the MVP of the 2001 game, the Ravens' only Super Bowl win.

    Flacco had two touchdown passes to Anquan Boldin and one to Dennis Pitta as the Ravens outscored the Patriots 21-0 in the second half. Baltimore's defense made Brady look ordinary and stymied the league's top offense. Brady was 67-0 at home when leading at halftime.

  • 49ers head to Super Bowl, beating Falcons 28-24

    ATLANTA (AP) — Frank Gore ran for a pair of second-half touchdowns and the 49ers rebounded from a 17-0 deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 28-24 in the NFC championship game Sunday, sending San Francisco to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1995.

    The top-seeded Falcons (14-4) tried to pull out another season-saving drive at the end, but Matt Ryan's fourth-down pass for Roddy White with 1:13 remaining was knocked down by San Francisco linebacker NaVorro Bowman.

    The 49ers (13-4-1) will meet the winner of the AFC title game between New England and Baltimore. San Francisco will be trying to join Pittsburgh as the only teams with six Super Bowl championships.

    The victory was sweet redemption for the 49ers, who lost an overtime thriller to the New York Giants a year ago in the NFC title game.