#SportsReport: Patriots Take On The Jags Next Sunday
Tom Brady and the big game-tested Patriots square off against the sack-happy Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday in the AFC championship game in Foxborough, Massachusetts, with the winner headed to the Super Bowl. Nick Foles and the resilient Philadelphia Eagles (14-3) host Case Keenum and the surprising Minnesota Vikings in the NFC.
The Jaguars are in the AFC title game for the first time in 19 years after rookie running back Leonard Fournette ran for 109 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-42 victory over the second-seeded Steelers in Pittsburgh. Blake Bortles threw for 214 yards, including a 14-yard scoring pass to fullback Tommy Bohanon that made it 42-28 with 4:19 left. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 469 yards and five touchdowns but couldn't get the Steelers closer than seven points until the final play.
Case Keenum connected with Stefon Diggs for a 61-yard touchdown on the game's final play as the Minnesota Vikings stunned the Saints 29-24 in the NFC divisional playoffs at Minneapolis. The game-winning TD came 25 seconds after Wil Lutz nailed a 43-yard field goal that put the Saints ahead. Both the Vikings and Saints lost two leads in the final 3:01.
The Buffalo Bills hired Brian Daboll as offensive coordinator. Daboll was most recently the offensive coordinator for national champion Alabama.
North and South Korea have agreed in principle to field a joint women's ice hockey team during next month's Olympics in South Korea, and have relayed their position to the International Olympic Committee. A South Korean Sports Ministry spokesman confirmed Monday that the two sides had agreed, saying they have been discussing the make-up of a unified women's hockey team since last year. The spokesman, Hwang Seong Un, said the matter would be discussed Saturday when officials from the two Koreas and the IOC meet at IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. A joint team would require IOC approval. If realized, it would be the Koreas' first unified Olympic team.
Meanwhile South Korea says it doesn't plan to field a joint bobsled team with North Korea during next month's Winter Games in the South.
Anthony Davis scored a season-high 48 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, leading the New Orleans Pelicans back from 19 points down late in the third quarter to a 123-118 overtime victory over the New York Knicks. Jrue Holiday added 31 points and DeMarcus Cousins had 15 points, 16 rebounds, seven steals and five assists and for the Pelicans, who were down 16 after one, even further back late in the third and still down nine with 4 1/2 minutes left in regulation.
Goran Dragic scored 11 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter as the Miami Heat picked up their season-high seventh straight win, 97-79 against the Bucks. Josh Richardson had 16 points for Miami, which trailed 43-41 before outscoring Milwaukee 41-21 in the first 16 minutes of the second half. New Orleans outlasted New York 123-118 in overtime, Indiana crushed Phoenix 120-97 and the Timberwolves beat the Trail Blazers 120-103.
Phil Kessel snapped a 2-2 tie in the second period and assisted on Sidney Crosby's insurance goal as the Pittsburgh Penguins dumped the New York Rangers 5-2. Carl Hagelin also had a goal and an assist in the Pens' fourth consecutive win. Sunday's other NHL games had Detroit blanking Chicago 4-0, Calgary beating Carolina 4-1 and Vancouver topping Minnesota 3-2 in overtime.
Montreal Canadiens forward Phillip Danault was released from a hospital after tests for a head injury. Danault was hit in the head by Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara's slap shot Saturday night and taken off the ice on a stretcher.
Alex King scored 15 of his 17 points in the first half and Army held off Navy 64-62. King missed two free throws with seven seconds left and Cam Davis hit a 3-pointer at the other end. Army inbounded the ball with two seconds left and ran out the clock.
Jon Axel Gudmundsson scored 18 points, Kellan Grady added 14, and the pair combined for seven of Davidson's 15 3-pointers in a 75-45 victory over Fordham. Davidson had 25 assists on 28 field goals as the Wildcats shot 52.8 percent, including 15 of 26 from distance.
Third-ranked Virginia is 16-1 after running its winning streak to eight games with a 68-51 trouncing of North Carolina State. Devon Hall scored a career-high 25 points and Kyle Guy added 17 as the Cavs improved to 5-0 in the ACC. N.C. State guard Allerik Freeman was held without a point on 0-for-5 shooting in 29 minutes after entering the game as the Wolfpack's scoring leader at 15.2 points a game.
Cedric Hankerson scored 10 points and reached a milestone to help Boston University stymie Holy Cross 54-40. Hankerson's steal and dunk in the middle of the second half made him the 17th Terrier to reach 1,200 career points.
Jessica Shepard scored 24 points in 22 minutes as No. 2 Notre Dame bounced back from its most-lopsided loss in 16 seasons by routing Boston College 89-60. Coming off a 33-point defeat at No. 3 Louisville, the Irish ran out to a 9-0 start against the young and overmatched Eagles.
Matt Scott scored 23 points, Kahlil Dukes added 21 and the two were the difference down the stretch as Niagara beat Saint Peter's 73-70. Scott's jumper with 1:36 left broke a 70-all tie and Dukes made 1 of 2 free throws with nine seconds to go.
Schadrac Casimir scored 15 points, Deyshonee Much 14 and Iona shot 57 percent from the arc in beating Rider 91-64. The Gaels made 16 of 28 3-point tries with Much and Jan Svandrlik, who scored 12 points, sinking four each.
Jermaine Crumpton scored 23 points, Isaiah Reese added 22 and the pair led a big second-half in a 94-79 Canisius victory over Monmouth that kept the Golden Griffins tied atop the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Trailing 45-43 at halftime, Reese scored 14 points and Crumpton 12 in the second half as the Griffins outscored the Hawks 51-34.
The Arizona Wildcats have hired Kevin Sumlin as their new football coach. The former Texas A&M head coach is expected to sign a five-year contract, pending approval by the Arizona Board of Regents. An introductory news conference is scheduled for Tuesday. He replaces Rich Rodriguez, who was fired Jan. 2 amid sexual harassment allegations. Sumlin was fired in November after six seasons at Texas A&M and had reportedly been in the mix for numerous jobs. He went 51-26 with the Aggies and is 84-43 during a 10-year head coaching career that includes four seasons at Houston.
In other college football news:
— Washington star running back Myles Gaskin will return to school for his senior season rather than enter the NFL draft. Gaskin finished the 2017 season with 1,380 yards and had 24 total TDs.
— Southern California defensive lineman Rasheem Green will skip his final year of eligibility to enter the NFL draft. He's the fourth member of the 2017 Pac-12 champions to enter the draft early, joining quarterback Sam Darnold, running back Ronald Jones II and receiver Deontay Burnett.
— Clemson All-American defensive end Clelin Ferrell has decided to return to the Tigers next season. The 6-foot-5, 280-pound redshirt sophomore was considered a likely first-round selection in the NFL draft after leading the Tigers with 9 1/2 sacks and 18 tackles for loss.
Free agent first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and the New York Mets have reached agreement on a one-year contract. The 35-year-old Gonzalez needs to pass a physical to complete the deal. He was limited to 71 games last season because of a herniated disk in his back, and was left off the Los Angeles Dodgers' postseason roster.
Add Jack Sock's name to the list of Americans departing Monday from the Australian Open. On the same day the U.S. lost eight women's players, including 2017 finalist Venus Williams and U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, Sock was defeated by Japan's Yuichi Sugita of Japan 6-1, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-3 in the first round. Sock, who's never advanced beyond the third round at the Australian Open, was the highest-ranked American man at No. 8 and had his highest seeding at a major. 16th seed John Isner lost 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to Matt Ebden. Third-seeded Grigor Dimitrov advanced to the second round at the Australian Open for the seventh time with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 win over qualifier Dennis Novak. U.S. Open finalist and 11th seed Kevin Anderson lost in five sets to Kyle Edmund on Show Court 3, the first seeded man to lose at the Australian Open.
Also on opening day of the year's first Grand Slam:
— Coco VandeWeghe also fell on opening day, as did countrywomen Alison Riske and Sofia Kenin.
— French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko made a positive start with a 6-1, 6-4 win over 37-year-old Francesca Schiavone.
It took six extra holes to settle the Sony Open at Honolulu. Patton Zizzire outlasted James Hahn to become the first multiple winner on the PGA Tour this season. Kizzire closed with a 2-under 68 before sinking a par putt to win it. Hahn forced the playoff with a 62 to match Kizzire at 17 under.
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