#SportsReport: A High Crimson Tide For Georgia

Jan 9, 2018

NCAA:

A 13-point halftime lead wasn't enough against Alabama. Neither was a 20-7 advantage in the third quarter, or a field goal on the first possession of overtime.

The Crimson Tide earned their fifth national championship since 2009 by outlasting SEC-rival Georgia 26-23 in OT. Tua Tagovailoa threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to DeVonta Smith on the Crimson Tide's second play of overtime to complete the comeback victory over the Bulldogs in Atlanta. The freshman quarterback was sacked for a 16-yard loss on the previous play before sending Alabama to its 11th national championship.

Georgia had the ball first in overtime, and Rodrigo Blankenship kicked a 51-yard field goal. The long kick came after Andy Pappanastos missed from 37 yards out in the final seconds of regulation.

Tagovailoa entered the game at the start of the third quarter with the Tide trailing 13-0. He led Alabama to two touchdowns and two field goals in regulation, including a game-tying, seven-yard scoring strike to Calvin Ridley on fourth-and-4 with 3:49 left in the fourth quarter.

Tagaovailoa was 14 of 24 for 166 yards after replacing Hurts, who completed just three of eight passes for 21 yards.

Jake Fromm was 16 of 32 for 232 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He heaved an 80-yard scoring pass to Mecole Hardman to put Georgia ahead 20-7 with 6:52 left in the third period before Alabama came storming back.

Hardman also had a one-yard TD run for the Bulldogs, who end up 13-2. Georgia is still seeking its first national title since 1980.

It's the sixth national title for Alabama coach Nick Saban, tying him with former Crimson Tide coach Bear Bryant for the most all time.

Basketball:

Sean O'Brien had 18 points and six assists, Will Rayman added 17 points and Colgate beat Navy 70-62. Shawn Anderson pulled Navy within 51-47 on a 3-point play with 7:51 remaining in the second half but the Midshipmen didn't score again until Anderson's 3-pointer at the 3:06 mark.

Matthew Wilson scored 16 and Army overcame 25 turnovers to beat American 58-54. John Emezie's 3-pointer pulled Army within 54-53 with 5:33 left and then, after a scoreless 3 ½ minutes, Babacar Thiombane's jumper gave Army the lead with the final field goal of the game. The Black Knights added 3 of 4 free throws in the final 16 seconds to cap the scoring.

Max Mahoney had 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting and freshman Walter Whyte had his first career double-double to help Boston University beat Lehigh 92-81 for coach Joe Jones' 200th career win. Whyte tied his season high with 16 points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds.

UConn forward Eric Cobb has been suspended indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team. The school announced the move but did not disclose details about Cobb's transgression. Cobb is a junior college transfer from Chipola College in Florida. He also spent a year at South Carolina but left the Gamecocks following an arrest for several vandalism incidents with a BB gun and possession of marijuana.

Rutgers is back in The Associated Press women's basketball poll for the first time since 2015. The Scarlet Knights jumped into the new AP Top 25 at No. 21, riding an 11-game winning streak. UConn is still No. 1, with Notre Dame, Louisville, Mississippi State and Baylor following the Huskies. Stanford and Villanova fell out of the poll while Green Bay re-entered at No. 25.

Olympics:

South Korea says North Korea has agreed to send a delegation to next month's Winter Olympics in the South. South Korea's Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung says the North made such a statement during talks Tuesday. He cites the North Korean officials there as saying its delegation would include officials, athletes, cheerleaders and journalists.

NFL:

Bill Belichick says he "absolutely" intends to return as New England Patriots coach next season despite reports of turmoil involving himself, quarterback Tom Brady and owner Robert Kraft. Belichick says he has nothing to add to the joint statement from the three last week in response to an ESPN report detailing an array of tension.

The Tennessee Titans are underdogs once again, and coach Mike Mularkey says they like that role. A franchise only two years removed from the NFL's worst record over a two-season stretch cares only about winning. The Titans visit the Patriots in the AFC divisional round after one of the biggest comebacks on the road in NFL playoff history. They are an NFL-best 7-1 in games decided by three or fewer points the last two seasons, their latest when trailing by 18 at halftime in the wild-card round.

With their 17-season playoff drought behind them, the Buffalo Bills aren't content with standing pat entering their offseason following a 10-3 loss at Jacksonville. Expect more changes to come as part of coach Sean McDermott's vision after much of the roster was overhauled. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor's future is uncertain after being benched once already.

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue stood by his tweet accusing Buffalo Bills guard Richie Incognito of using "weak racist slurs" during their playoff game. However, he declined Monday to provide more details about what was said. Ngakoue called out Incognito on Twitter hours after Sunday's wild-card game, referring to him by his No. 64 jersey. Incognito was not present in the locker room during Buffalo's hour-long media availability Monday. He also did not respond to a text message from The Associated Press seeking comment.

The Chicago Bears have selected a head coach after going 14-34 in three seasons under John Fox. The Bears have hired Matt Nagy, who spent last season as the Chiefs' offensive coordinator and has been working under head coach Andy Reid for the past 10 years at Philadelphia and Kansas City. Nagy has received praise for his mentoring of Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith and will have the task of developing Mitchell Trubisky in Chicago. Fox had a .292 winning percentage that ranks second-lowest in Bears history.

Pink is heading to the Super Bowl to sing the national anthem. The NFL announced Monday that the pop star will perform "The Star-Spangled Banner" before the game on Feb. 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Justin Timberlake is set to headline the halftime show.

NHL:

The Boston Bruins haven't lost in regulation since mid-December, helping them rise to second in the Atlantic Division. They head into a five-day break with the hopes of advancing in the NHL playoffs for the first time since 2014.

The Buffalo Sabres have called up top defensive prospect Brendan Guhle and goalie Linus Ullmark from their American Hockey League affiliate. The call-ups were made a day after Buffalo closed out seven straight games on the road with a 4-1 loss at Philadelphia. The Sabres host Winnipeg on Tuesday.

MLB:

CC Sabathia can earn $2 million in performance bonuses based on innings as part of his $10 million, one-year contract with the New York Yankees. Sabathia can earn $500,000 each for 155, 165, 175 and 185 innings as part of the deal announced Dec. 26. The 37-year-old left-hander pitched 148 2/3 innings in 37 starts last year, down from 179 2/3 innings in 30 starts in 2016. He has not reached 185 innings since pitching 211 in 2013.

Suspended reliever Jenrry Mejia and the New York Mets have agreed to a one-year contract worth $1,729,000, money the pitcher will not receive because of his three positive drug tests. The deal is the maximum 30 percent cut from his 2016 salary of $2.47 million. Mejia was suspended for 80 games in April 2015, an additional 162 games that July and banned for life in February 2016. Despite the ban, the Mets retain his rights as a player on their restricted list.

Prosecutors have dropped a misdemeanor assault charge against former Major Leaguer and television analyst Ray Knight. The 64-year-old Knight was charged in October after police were called to his home in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County for a reported fight with a 33-year-old acquaintance. Both men had visible injuries. The Washington Post reported Monday that prosecutors dropped the charge after the parties involved reached a deal on their own. Knight spent 13 seasons in the majors.

NBA:

DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points and made the go-ahead three-point play with 26.1 seconds left in overtime, and the Toronto Raptors shook off a late injury to Kyle Lowry to beat the Brooklyn Nets 114-113. The Raptors lost a 10-point lead in the final 4 ½ minutes of regulation and then lost Lowry after a hard fall in OT, but at least won the game. It was their 10th straight win over the Nets.

The Portland Timbers have formally introduced new coach Giovanni Savarese, who takes over following the departure of Caleb Porter. The Venezuela native comes to the Timbers from the North American Soccer League's New York Cosmos. He also played for 18 seasons in the US and abroad.

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