AP Sunday Sports Roundup
Alabama, Clemson, Michigan State and Stanford win titles
UNDATED (AP) —Alabama has locked up another trip to the College Football Playoff.
And Derrick Henry may have clinched the Heisman Trophy as well.
Henry rushed for 189 bruising yards and the second-ranked Crimson Tide wore down No. 18 Florida 29-15 in the Southeastern Conference championship game.
The 12-1 Crimson Tide, ranked second in the AP poll and the College Football Playoff rankings, held the Gators to just 3 yards of offense in the second and third quarters. That assures Alabama itself of a spot in the semifinals at either the Cotton or Orange Bowl on New Year's Eve.
In other conference championships:
— Top-ranked Clemson improved to 13-0 by holding off eighth-ranked North Carolina 45-37 to win the ACC championship, and a trip to the College Football Playoffs. Heisman Trophy hopeful Deshaun Watson threw for 289 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two scores. He had 420 total yards and five total TDs.
Prior to the game it was announced that North Carolina coach Larry Fedora has agreed to a seven-year contract extension with the school. Fedora had three years left on his original contract.
— Fifth-ranked Michigan State won the Big Ten championship with a stunning 22-play, 84-yard touchdown drive culminating with L.J. Scott's second-effort 1-yard TD run with 27 seconds left to give the Spartans a 16-13 win over fourth-ranked Iowa. That likely puts the Spartans in the College Football Playoff and Iowa bemoaning its first loss of the year.
— Seventh-ranked Stanford is Pac-12 champion after dismantling No. 24 Southern California 41-22 in that championship. Christian McCaffrey ran for 207 yards and a score, threw a touchdown pass, caught another and broke Barry Sanders' single-season all-purpose yards record to make his Heisman Trophy case.
Kevin Hogan caught the TD pass from McCaffrey, threw one and ran for a third and Solomon Thomas scored on a 34-yard fumble return for the 11-2 Cardinal Stanford will in the Rose Bowl as Pac-12 champ.
— In early action 12th-ranked Baylor was knocked out of Sugar Bowl contention with a 23-17 loss to Texas. Tyrone Swoopes threw for 151 yards with a touchdown and ran for a score in his first Texas start since the opener. The Bears have lost three of their last four games to fall to 9-3 while Texas ends the season 4-7.
— Greg Ward, Jr. ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns as No. 17 Houston got a 24-13 win over 20th-ranked Temple in the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championship game. The victory earns the Cougars a trip to either the Peach Bowl or Fiesta Bowl with a record of 12-1.
— Donny Hageman kicked a 46-yard field goal with 5:10 to go and San Diego State beat Air Force 27-24 to win the Mountain West Conference championship. That's the Aztecs' first outright title since 1986.
Orange land new coach
UNDATED (AP) — Another Mid-American Conference coach has left for a bigger school. Dino Babers is leaving Bowling Green for Syracuse after leading the Falcons to an 18-9 record in two seasons. On Friday night, Babers and the Falcons won the MAC championship with a 34-14 win over Northern Illinois. At Syracuse he replaces Scott Shafer.
In other coaching news:
— The Scarlet Knights of Rutgers are the second Big Ten East team to steal a defensive coordinator away from a division rival, coming to an agreement with Ohio State assistant Chris Ash. Maryland made a similar move earlier this week, hiring Michigan defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin as head coach.
— The North Texas Mean Green wanted to bring a dynamic offense to Denton, Texas, and landed Seth Littrell, the offensive coordinator at North Carolina. The Mean Green went 1-11 this season.
— Arizona football coach Rich Rodriguez has turned down an offer to become South Carolina's coach. Rodriguez is 32-17 in four seasons at Arizona.
Giants hand out big money deal
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Giants and free-agent pitcher Jeff Samardzija have agreed to a five-year, $90 million contract. The deal comes on the heels of the Giants failing to land Zack Greinke. Samardzija won a career-high 11 games this season for the Chicago White Sox, going 11-13 with a 4.96 ERA in 32 starts.
Bethel inks new deal with Cards
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Justin Bethel, who serves as both a cornerback and special teams member, has signed a three-year contract extension with the Arizona Cardinals. The 25-year-old made the Pro Bowl as a special teams player the last two seasons.
'Zona beats the 'Zags
UNDATED (AP) — There was a mild upset in college basketball as 19th-ranked Arizona knocked off No. 13 Gonzaga 68-63. Gabe York scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half and Allonzo Trier added 14 points for Arizona, which improved to 7-1. The two teams went overtime last year with the Wildcats winning that one as well.
—Michigan State, the third-ranked team in the AP men's basketball poll, is off to a 9-0 start. The Spartans defeated Binghamton 76-33 as Denzel Valentine had 13 points and 12 rebounds.
— Frank Mason III scored 21 points and Perry Ellis added 12 as No. 4 Kansas dumped Harvard 75-69. Devonte' Graham also had 12 points for Kansas, which now sports a 6-1 record. The loss dropped Harvard to 2-6.
— Seventh-ranked Duke improved to 7-1 by beating Buffalo 82-59. Freshman Brandon Ingram scored 23. Grayson Allen gave the Blue Devils 22 points and 11 boards.
— Seniors Malcolm Brogdon and Anthony Gill each had 16 points as 10th ranked Virginia beat William & Mary 67-52. The Cavaliers, who are 7-1, have won six straight.
— Purdue's big men came through in a 70-58 win over New Mexico. Seven-foot-two Isaac Haas scored 21 points and 7-footer A.J. Hammons added 16 as the 11th-ranked Boilermakers improved to 8-0 for the first time since the 2009-10 team won 14 straight at the start of the season.
— No. 12 Xavier is 8-0, its best start in four years. Trevon Bluiett matched his career high with 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in leading Xavier to a 95-64 victory over Western Kentucky.
— In the renewal of a longstanding rivalry Georgetown beat 14th-ranked Syracuse 79-72. This was the first meeting of the schools since Syracuse left the Big East for the ACC after the 2012-13 season. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim was nowhere to be seen as the game marked the beginning of his nine-game NCAA suspension.
— Willie Atwood had 15 points to lead Arizona State's balanced offense and the Sun Devils held off a late charge to beat No. 18 Texas A&M 67-54.
— Devin Williams had 26 points and nine rebounds and Jonathan Holton had 17 points and nine rebounds as 20th-ranked West Virginia beat Kennesaw State 87-54. The win gives the Mountaineers a record of 7-0.
— Seven reserves combined for 35 points to help No. 21 Miami beat Charlotte 88-60. The victorious Hurricanes are now 7-1 while the 1-7 49ers have lost four straight.
— Twenty-second-ranked SMU got a big game from Keith Frazier in a 98-44 win over New Hampshire. Frazier scored 20 of his 23 points in the first half to lead the Mustangs to the win as he also grabbed a season-high eight rebounds.
— Ben Bentil tipped in Kris Dunn's missed shot at the buzzer to give No. 23 Providence a 74-72 victory over Rhode Island. Bentil finished with 23 points and eight rebounds to help the Friars improve to 8-1.
— Louisville, the 24th-ranked school in the AP poll, got 24 points from Damion Lee in a 111-63 blowout of Grand Canyon. The victory came just days after the cardinals were clipped by Michigan state 71-67.
Warriors hit on 21
UNDATED (AP) — Stephen Curry made nine 3-pointers and poured in 44 points in leading the undefeated Golden State Warriors to a 112-109 victory over the Toronto Raptors. Curry was 14 for 24 from the field and 9 for 15 from beyond the arc as Golden State pushed its NBA-record start to 21-0.
Klay Thompson scored 26 points, and Draymond Green had 16 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Kyle Lowry had a big game for Toronto in a losing cause -- scoring 41.
The Warriors have won 25 straight dating back to last season.
In other NBA:
— Dwyane Wade scored 19 points and took the fourth quarter off, Tyler Johnson added 19 more and the Miami Heat had little trouble on the way to beating Cleveland 99-84, sending Cleveland to its third straight loss. LeBron James sat this one out for the Cavs.
— Damian Lillard scored 19 points with seven assists and the Portland Trail Blazers rallied from 17 points down in the third quarter to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 109-103.
— Nicolas Batum scored 12 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, and the Charlotte Hornets beat the Chicago Bulls 102-96.
— Milwaukee beat the New York Knicks 106-91. Michael Carter-Williams had 20 points and Jabari Parker added 17 for the Bucks.
— San Antonio improved to 17-4 by holding off the Boston Celtics 108-105. LaMarcus Aldridge led five Spurs in double figures with 17. The Spurs are 11-0 at home.
— The Utah Jazz outlasted Indiana 122-119 in overtime. Derrick Favors had a career-best 35 points and 13 rebounds for the Jazz. That partially offset a 48-point effort by the Pacers' Paul George.
— James Harden scored 31 points, Dwight Howard added 22 and the Houston Rockets outlasted the Sacramento Kings 120-113 for their third straight win. Houston has won seven in a row against the Kings.
— The L.A. Clippers held off Orlando 103-101 behind Jamal Crawford's 32 points. Blake Griffin had 28 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists for the Clippers. — Danilo Gallinari scored 24 points, including the go-ahead slam dunk with under a minute remaining, to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 108-105 victory over the 76ers. The victory ended a five-game road trip for the Nuggets who head home with a two-game winning streak.
Red Wings rally to overcome Weber's hat trick
UNDATED (AP) — Gustav Nyquist scored 1:41 into overtime and the Detroit Red Wings overcame a pair of two-goal deficits to beat the Nashville Predators 5-4.
Shea Weber had a hat trick and put Nashville up 4-2 with his third score 8:03 into the third period.
In other hockey:
— The Pacific Division-leading L.A. Kings scored four goals in the second period and beat Pittsburgh 5-3 for their third straight win. Milan Lucic scored twice in the Kings' fifth straight home win.
— Cellar-dwelling Carolina surprised Montreal 3-2. Jeff Skinner scored twice, including the go-ahead goal on a power play with 7:32 left. It's the Hurricanes first regulation win over Montreal since 2012, ending a five-game slide to the Canadiens.
— Nazem Kadri scored twice and Roman Polak had two assists to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs past his former team, the St. Louis Blues, 4-1. Vladimir Tarasenko scored his 15th goal of the season for St. Louis.
— Nick Foligno scored twice, Scott Hartnell had a goal and two assists, and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1. That ends the Jackets' three-game losing streak.
— Ottawa rallied with two goals in the third period on one in overtime to edge the New York Islanders 3-2. Eric Karlsson scored the game winner 3:44 into OT.
— Winnipeg skated off the ice with a 2-1 overtime win over the Jets in Winnipeg. Mark Scheifele scored the game winning goal with 19.9 seconds remaining in OT.
Darcy Kuemper stopped all nine shots he faced in relief of injured Devan Dubnyk and the Minnesota Wild beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-0.
— Boston blanked Vancouver 4-0. Tuuka Rask gets the shutout, needing to make just 17 saves.
— Tampa Bay scored a 4-3 road win at San Jose. Nikita Kucherov scored his seventh and eighth goals of the season.
GOLF-HERO WORLD CHALLENGE
Low scores in Nassau
NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — Bubba Watson has a two-shot lead after three rounds of the PGA's Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. Watson shot a third-round 9-under 63 to finish play 19 shots under par, two in front of Paul Casey, who shot a 63 as well. Three shots back are Patrick Reed and Chris Kirk while Jordan Spieth is four off the lead.
WORLD CUP SKIING
Vonn wins again
LAKE LOUISE, Alberta (AP) — Lindsey Vonn has completed a World Cup downhill sweep for her 17th victory at Lake Louise, Alberta. The 31-year-old American star won by 1.05 seconds. She has 14 downhill victories and three super-G wins at the Canadian resort. She has 69 overall World Cup victories.
On Sunday in the Super-G, Vonn will try to finish off her third Lake Louise hat trick. She swept all three races in 2011 and 2012.