AP Sports SummaryBrief at 10:50 p.m. EST
Analysis: Bills, Bengals look shaky in wins, set up rematch
The Bengals-Bills rematch coming next week almost didn’t happen. Both teams squeaked past undermanned opponents on Sunday, beating backup quarterbacks to advance to the AFC divisional round. First, the Bills blew a 17-0 lead against Miami and had to rally for a 37-34 win over the Dolphins. Then, the Bengals were 1 yard from trailing the Ravens in the fourth quarter before Sam Hubbard returned a fumble 98 yards for the decisive score, and Cincinnati barely held on for a 24-17 victory. This time, the Bengals will visit Buffalo. They met in Cincinnati on Jan. 2 when the game was stopped after Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed in the first quarter and needed to be resuscitated on the field. Hamlin is home following a remarkable recovery.
Cowboys kicker Brett Maher misses 4 straight extra points
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher has missed all four of his extra points in Monday night’s NFC wild-card game against Tampa Bay. Maher is the first player in NFL history to miss three or more in a playoff game. His misses were the only thing going wrong for the Cowboys, who led the Buccaneers 24-0. Maher made 50 of 53 extra points in the regular season, missing his last one in Week 18 — meaning has missed five in a row. He was wide right on his first two kicks Monday night, pulled his third try wide left and then hit the top of the right upright on his fourth attempt.
NFL playoffs: No lead safe, drama abounds in wild weekend
The Buffalo Bills blew a 17-point advantage before recovering to win. That narrow escape came less than 24 hours after the Jacksonville Jaguars overcame a 27-point deficit and pulled off one of the most stunning comeback victories in playoff history on Saturday. No lead is safe and the drama abounds so far in the NFL playoffs. A loaded Sunday schedule saw the Bills hang on for a 34-31 win over the Miami Dolphins, the New York Giants upset the Minnesota Vikings 31-24 and the Cincinnati Bengals hang on to beat the Baltimore Ravens 24-17. One more game in the round remains: Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night.
Jim Harbaugh calls Michigan president to say he’s staying
Jim Harbaugh is staying at Michigan, a decision he personally gave the school president on Monday to end another round of speculation that he would return to the NFL. Harbaugh says his heart is at the University of Michigan. Harbaugh and the school have not reached an agreement on a contract extension but both sides plan to work on a new deal this week, according to a person familiar with the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details of the negotiations were not announced.
Houston, KU stay atop Top 25 while FAU enters for 1st time
Houston and Kansas remain firmly atop The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll after a record weekend of Top 25 losses. Florida Atlantic took advantage of the chaos to crack the rankings for the first time in school history. Eleven ranked teams went down Saturday, tying a record that has stood for nearly 12 years, while UConn and Marquette lost Sunday to help give the AP poll one of its biggest shakeups in recent history. Clemson, Baylor and Rutgers joined FAU in entering the poll. That came at the expense of San Diego State, Duke, Wisconsin and Missouri.
Zach Edey scores 32, No. 3 Purdue beats Michigan State 64-63
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Zach Edey made a go-ahead shot at the front of the rim with 2.2 seconds left and finished with a career-high 32 points and 17 rebounds to help No. 3 Purdue hold off Michigan State 64-63. Tyson Walker put the Spartans ahead with 11 seconds remaining with a mid-range jumper, giving him a season-high 30 points, but they could not stop the 7-foot-4 Edey on the ensuing possession or make a shot just before the buzzer. The Boilermakers have won 17 of their first 18 games. The Spartans dropped a second straight game.
At Australian Open, some players say they ignore the bracket
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Some players at the Australian Open claim they do not want to know which opponents could stand between them and a championship. And so they say they try to avoid looking at the bracket at the Grand Slam tournament that began this week at Melbourne Park. Some say they do that for superstitious reasons. Others insist that policy allows for better focus. But there are players, such as U.S. Open semifinalist Frances Tiafoe, who say that is all nonsense. He says it just makes sense to know what the potential path through the field entails.
Baylor out of women’s AP Top 25 for 1st time since 2004
Baylor’s 19-year run in The Associated Press women’s college basketball poll is over. The Bears had been ranked for 365 consecutive polls before falling out Monday after losing twice last week. Baylor had been in the AP Top 25 since January 2004, including a 21-week run at No. 1 in 2011-12. Only Tennessee and UConn have had longer streaks in the 46-year history of the poll. While Baylor is out, South Carolina continued its stay at No. 1. The Gamecocks were the unanimous choice again from a 28-member national media panel. They have held the top spot for 30 consecutive weeks. Ohio State, LSU, Stanford and UConn round out the top five teams.
Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud declares for NFL draft
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud will give up a final year of eligibility to enter the NFL draft. The two-year starter for the Buckeyes made the announcement via social media on Monday, the last day eligible players can declare for the draft. He is projected to be a top-five pick. Stroud led the Buckeyes to back-to-back 11-2 seasons but lost to Michigan twice. Ohio State made it to the College Football Playoff in 2022 but lost to eventual national champion Georgia 42-41 in a semifinal.
Coach: Alabama ‘grieving’ after teammate charged with murder
Alabama men’s basketball coach Nate Oats says the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide is going through “kind of a grieving process” after player Darius Miles and another man were charged with capital murder following a fatal shooting near campus. Oats spoke Monday in a news conference. He said he couldn’t discuss any specifics related to the case. He said he spoke with Miles’ mother multiple times Sunday before meeting with the team that night. Oats said the players “understand the severity of the situation.” He said the team would practice later before Tuesday’s game at Vanderbilt. The university has said Miles is no longer a member of the team.
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