AP Sports

December 18, 2023
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December 18, 2023
AP Sports

Update on the latest sports

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December 18, 2023

AP Sports Story of the Year: Realignment, stunning demise of Pac-12 usher in super conference era

Conference realignment and the downfall of the Pac-12 is The Associated Press Sports Story of the Year. Over a span of six weeks this past summer, the Pac-12 was ripped apart and redistributed by its competitors. Oregon and Washington are going to the Big Ten along with Southern California and UCLA. Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah are going to the Big 12. Stanford and California will join the Atlantic Coast Conference. College sports is heading toward a super conference era. Realignment has laid bare the importance of revenue and the bottom line.

Analysis: Josh Allen and the Bills show how quickly things can turn around in the NFL

Turnarounds happen quickly in the NFL. Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills have quieted talk about coach Sean McDermott’s job security with a pair of impressive wins. The Dallas Cowboys suddenly look like pretenders because they can’t win on the road. Joe Flacco has gone from his couch to becoming a Cleveland folk hero in less than a month. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs just needed a trip to New England to get back on the winning track. Tommy DeVito was the toast of New York and New Jersey until the Saints whipped the Giants and mocked his celebrations. The Eagles are shaking things up. The up-and-down Jaguars still sit in first place despite three straight losses. At least the San Francisco 49ers are consistent.

Ravens beat mistake-prone Jaguars 23-7 for 4th consecutive victory and clinch AFC playoff spot

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Lamar Jackson threw a touchdown pass and made the play of night when he avoided a sack and threw to Isaiah Likely near the goal line, and the Baltimore Ravens clinched a postseason berth with a 23-7 victory at Jacksonville. The Ravens won their fourth in a row and moved a step closer to securing the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. The Jaguars lost their third straight — all against AFC North teams — and are now tied with Houston and Indianapolis atop the AFC South. Self-inflicted mistakes were a common thread in Jacksonville’s skid.

James Cook leads dominant rushing attack as Bills trample Cowboys 31-10

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — James Cook had a career-best 179 yards rushing and scored twice as Buffalo dominated on the ground, and the Bills beat Dallas 31-10, ending the Cowboys’ five-game winning streak. Josh Allen threw for just 94 yards for the Bills, who won consecutive games for the first time since a three-game winning streak ended on Oct. 1. Buffalo gained ground in the AFC playoff race, moving one game ahead of Denver and Pittsburgh. The Cowboys clinched their third playoff berth before kickoff thanks to other results around the league. But nothing else went right for Dallas. The Bills rushed for 266 yards and had 28 first downs to the Cowboys’ 14.

South Carolina is the top team again in the women’s AP Top 25. Washington enters the poll

South Carolina remains the unanimous No. 1 in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll. The Gamecocks received all 36 votes from a national media panel after winning their only game last week in a rout. Many teams were finishing off their break for exams and there wasn’t much movement, with the top 10 unchanged from the previous week. UCLA, North Carolina State, Iowa and Texas followed South Carolina. The second-ranked Bears face No. 13 Ohio State on Monday night. That’s one of the only meetings between two AP Top 25 teams this week because schools have a short week because of the holidays. Washington and TCU entered the Top 25 while Miami and UNLV exited the poll.

Maryland Stadium Authority approves a lease extension for the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards

BALTIMORE (AP) — The Maryland Stadium Authority has approved a lease extension for the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards in one of the final steps formalizing a long-term agreement between the team and the state. The deal is set to go before the state’s Board of Public Works later Monday. The deal extends the lease for 30 years. There’s an option to end it after 15 years if the team does not receive approval from state officials for development plans next to the ballpark.

That’s a wrap: Bryant Gumbel and HBO’s ‘Real Sports’ air their last episode after 29 years

NEW YORK (AP) — Bryant Gumbel’s “Real Sports” airs its final episode on HBO after 29 years this week, and an era in sports journalism ends with it. The newsmagazine used sports as a lens to look through all manners of social issues, and won awards for stories on concussions, camel jockeys and labor abuses in Qatar. For its last few years of operation, it taped episodes on the same Manhattan block that houses the offices of CBS’ “60 Minutes,” with which it shares a sensibility. At age 75, Gumbel takes pride in never having missed a taping and, like many athletes, he said he’d rather leave the field too early than too late.

WNBA changes Commissioner’s Cup format with each team playing 5 games over 2-week period

NEW YORK (AP) — The WNBA is changing its Commissioner’s Cup format, playing half as many games and contesting them all during a two-week period in early June. Teams will play only five games — once against every other team in the conference — which is down from the 10 in the first three years. The old format had teams playing one home game and one road game against each other that counted toward the Commissioner’s Cup. Now, some teams will play three games at home while others will play two. They will alternate each season who has the extra home game. Games will be played between June 1-13. The championship game will be played on June 25 at the home of the team with the best record in Cup play.

Stephen Curry’s 3-pointer streak ends at 268 games in Warriors’ win in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Stephen Curry’s NBA-record 3-pointer streak ended at 268 games Sunday night in the Golden State Warriors’ 118-114 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. Curry was 0 for 8 from 3-point range, 2 for 12 overall and scored seven points. He began the streak Dec. 1, 2018, at Detroit. Curry, the NBA career leader who recently made his 3,500th 3-pointer, last went without one in a regular-season game on Nov. 8, 2018, when he went 0 for 4 against Milwaukee. He also owns the second-longest NBA streak at 157 games.

Antetokounmpo passes Abdul-Jabbar for Bucks’ career rebounding record in victory over Rockets

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 26 points and 17 rebounds, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the Bucks’ career rebounding leader, and Damian Lillard scored 39 points in Milwaukee’s 128-119 victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday night. Antetokounmpo’s highest rebounding total of the season allowed him to pass Abdul-Jabbar after he had already moved past the Hall of Famer for the team’s scoring record. He is also the Bucks’ career leader in assists, joining Michael Jordan (Chicago), LeBron James (Cleveland) and Kevin Garnett (Minnesota) as the only players to lead a franchise in all three categories.