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National

  • Men's basketball: No clear-cut team to beat in tourney

    Every year when the NCAA tournament bracket comes out, there’s a team, maybe a couple that stand out.
    Last year, to a certain extent, it was Duke. Kansas, with those five future pros, was the bracket behemoth in 2008 and Florida was the no-brainer in 2007.
    This year, there doesn’t seem to be that one team that’ll be at the top of everyone’s bracket. It’s probably closer to a dozen. Heck, there are five or six teams just in the Big East that could be considered legitimate title contenders.

  • Men's basketball: 'First 4' spark pool debates

    Filling out an NCAA tournament bracket is tougher this year, and it has nothing to do with the caliber of competition.
    It’s the bracket itself that is more maddening.

  • Baseball: Japanese players try to get news

    Boston pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka tried to get in touch with his grandmother. Oakland slugger Hideki Matsui prayed for the victims. Mets reliever Ryota Igarashi stayed up all night to see the devastation.
    All across spring training, Japanese ballplayers worried Friday about those at home. Hundreds of people were killed or missing after Japan was struck by its biggest recorded earthquake and a massive tsunami.

  • Football: Lockout, potential lawsuits put 2011 NFL season in doubt

    WASHINGTON — Welcome to The NFL Lockout.
    As far back as May 2008, it became a possibility.
    As recently as a week ago — when owners and players agreed to extend the deadline for a new collective bargaining agreement — Commissioner Roger Goodell made it sound avoidable.

  • NFL Players' union decertifies as talks break down

    WASHINGTON (AP) — All along, the NFL said it was certain the players' union would decertify and head to court.

    All along, the union insisted the league's owners were planning to lock out the players.

    And that's exactly what happened.

  • Football: Talks continue as deadline nears

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was among a half-dozen team representatives who joined NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at labor negotiations Thursday.
    New York Giants owner John Mara, Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II, Philadelphia Eagles president Joe Banner and Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen also attended the session.
    The twice-extended collective bargaining agreement is due to expire Friday.

  • Football: NFL, union meet again Tuesday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Working to figure out how to divide about $9 billion in annual revenues, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, union executive director DeMaurice Smith and their negotiating teams were at a federal mediator’s office Tuesday for a 13th day of labor talks.
    New York Giants owner John Mara and Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen were also in attendance.

  • Men's basketball: Ohio St. back at top

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — After getting through its toughest stretch of the season, Ohio State is back at No. 1.
    For the third week in a row The Associated Press Top 25 poll has had a new team on top. The Buckeyes climbed a spot over Duke, which lost at Virginia Tech on Saturday night.
    The Buckeyes welcome their return.

  • 10 owners attend NFL mediation with union

    WASHINGTON (AP) — All 10 members of the NFL owners' labor committee and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees attended Wednesday's mediation session between the league and the players' union, with fewer than 40 hours left until the collective bargaining agreement expires.

  • Football: NFLPA still hoping for labor deal as clock ticks down

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — NFL teams want to ignore the clock and keep it business at this week’s annual scouting combine.
    With the league’s collective bargaining agreement expiring at the end of Thursday and the looming lockout less than a week away, the hype over this year’s top draft prospects has suddenly been overshadowed by talk about contingency plans, mediation and unification.
    It’s a whole new universe for the NFL, which hasn’t had a work stoppage since 1987.