Update on the latest in sports:
NBA, NHL, Bowls and T-25 action
UNDATED (AP) – The NBA has a 10-game slate for tonight including the LA Clippers against the LA Lakers who are without LeBron James. In other games, Brooklyn is at Charlotte, Chicago visits Washington, Indiana hosts Detroit, NBA best Toronto visits Orlando, Atlanta is at Minnesota and Miami hosts Cleveland. Also, Dallas is at New Orleans, Oklahoma City invades Phoenix, and San Antonio visits Denver.
There’s a light schedule in the NHL tonight. The three games include Montreal at Florida, Toronto at Columbus and Ottawa at the N.Y. Islanders.
Five Top 25 College basketball teams are set to see action today. It’s No. 7 Gonzaga vs. North Alabama, No. 10 Virginia Tech vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore, No. 11 Texas Tech vs. Texas-Rio Grande Valley, No. 18 Marquette vs. Southern University, and No. 20 N.C. State vs. Loyola (Md.). p.m.
There are three football bowl games. Purdue and Auburn clash at the Music City Bowl in Nashville, West Virginia meets Syracuse in the Camping World Bowl in Orlando and Iowa State takes on Washington State in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio.
College Football Playoff teams go national to stock rosters
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – The College Football Playoff teams have cast wide nets to recuit their players.
The first Notre Dame team to reach the College Football Playoff has players who were signed to scholarships out of high school by the Irish from 24 states, plus Washington D.C. and Canada.
No. 1 Alabama’s roster includes recruits signed from 22 states. No. 4 Oklahoma has developed productive pipelines into California and Florida to complement a stronghold across the border in Texas. No. 2 Clemson has lately been taking advantage of a raised profile to stretch outside its Carolinas/Georgia home base.
Over the last decade under coach Nick Saban, Alabama has won more than any program. The Tide have 20 players signed from Alabama on their roster, nearly double the second-most from a state (Florida, 11). But Alabama also has as many signees from California, five, as it has from neighboring Mississippi.
Mike Farrell, national recruiting director from Rivals says, “It comes with winning. You don’t recruit nationally first. You win first and then you recruit nationally if you’re in one of those areas that have a lot of talent.”
And because Alabama churns out NFL players much the way it racks up championships, Saban’s staff can get into the conversation with any recruit anywhere – like quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, whose family moved with him from Hawaii to Tuscaloosa. His brother, Taulia Tagovailoa, is part of Alabama’s latest signing class.
Oklahoma has 23 players on its roster signed from Texas, more than any other state. But under former coach Bob Stoops, the Sooners took advantage of staff connections in California to make it a reliable source of talent.
Among the playoff teams, none has a roster more loaded with players signed from its backyard than Clemson. The Tigers have 48 players signed out of North Carolina (10), Georgia (18) and home-state South Carolina (20). Throw in another five from Florida and four from Virginia.
UConn asks federal court to dismiss Ollie complaint
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The University of Connecticut is asking a federal judge to dismiss a complaint filed by former basketball coach Kevin Ollie, who claims his firing was in part racially motivated.
In documents filed Thursday, the school argues, among other things, that the federal court doesn’t have jurisdiction and that Ollie doesn’t make a specific claim under federal law. It also says the former coach never notified the school he planned to bring the complaint.
UConn fired Ollie in March, citing NCAA violations, allowing the school to forgo paying him $10 million left on his contract.
Ollie argues he was treated differently from former coach Jim Calhoun, who wasn’t fired after being penalized for recruiting violations. Ollie also says that the university has illegally tried to deter him from filing a racial discrimination complaint.
Bills tackle Kyle Williams retiring after 13 seasons
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) – Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams is retiring after completing his 13th season.
Williams announced his retirement at age 35 through the team Friday, saying Buffalo’s season finale against Miami on Sunday will be his last game.
He says it wasn’t an easy decision and there’s no ideal time to retire, before adding: “It’s time to hang up my cleats.”
Williams is the team’s most respected leader and longest-active tenured player. He was drafted out of LSU in the fifth round in 2006.
Williams briefly considered retiring after the 2016 season before returning to play after Buffalo hired coach Sean McDermott. He then signed a one-year contract this past March after the Bills reached the playoffs to end a 17-season drought.
Italians Paris and Innerhofer finish 1-2 in Bormio downhill
BORMIO, Italy (AP) – Competing on home snow, Dominik Paris and Christof Innerhofer of Italy finished 1-2 Friday in the physically demanding World Cup downhill on the Stelvio course.
The festivities for the host nation were interrupted when Slovenian skier Klemen Kosi was airlifted by helicopter with suspected facial trauma to a local hospital after crashing.
Kosi lost control toward the end of the course and tumbled through two layers of safety netting before coming to a stop.
Race organizers said that Kose had suspected facial trauma, a broken nose and tooth, adding that he did not lose consciousness.
Paris trailed Innerhofer on the upper section of the icy course but was faster at the bottom and finished 0.36 seconds ahead of his teammate.
Beat Feuz, the Swiss racer who won the season-long World Cup downhill title last season, finished third, 0.52 behind.