>>Illinois Knocks Off NC State In ACC / Big Ten Challenge
(Champaign, IL) — Illinois outscored North Carolina State 56-to-41 in the second half to post an 88-74 home win in the ACC / Big Ten Challenge. Malcolm Hill had 22 points and nine rebounds for the Fighting Illini, who are now 5-and-3. Illinois plays VCU on Saturday in the HoopHall Miami Invitational in Florida.
>>Blackhawks Pick Off Panthers In Shootout
(Chicago, IL) — Richard Panik scored in regulation and in the shootout to lift the Blackhawks to a 2-1 win over the Panthers at the United Center. Panik lit the lamp late in the first for Chicago, which won in its return from a seven-game road trip. Corey Crawford made 38 saves in the victory. The ‘Hawks host the Devils tomorrow night.
>>’Bama, OSU, Clemson, UW Top-Four In CFB Playoff Rankings
(Undated) — Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and Washington are the top-four in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. ‘Bama and OSU remain first and second, while Clemson and Washington each moved up one spot to three and four. The final rankings and bowl matchups will be released on Sunday.
>>Oregon Fires Helfrich
(Eugene, OR) — Oregon is looking for a new head football coach. The Ducks have fired Mark Helfrich following a 4-and-8 season, the program’s worst since 1991. Oregon will not appear in a bowl game for the first time in 12 years.
>>Cardinals Reportedly Interested In Justin Turner
(St. Louis, MO) — The Cardinals are apparently showing some interest in free-agent third baseman Justin Turner. MLB Network reports the club has at least some interest, but would likely have to trade Jhonny Peralta to make room. The 31-year-old Turner hit .275 with 27 homers for the Dodgers last season.
>>Cubs Ink OF Jon Jay
(Chicago, IL) — Outfielder Jon Jay is joining the World Series champion Cubs. He’s agreed to a one-year deal worth a reported eight-million dollars. Jay hit .291 with two homers and 49 runs scored last season for the Padres. The 31-year-old spent his first six seasons with the Cardinals.
>>Bears Turn Attention To 49ers
(Chicago, IL) — The 2-and-9 Bears are turning their attention to Sunday’s home game against the 49ers. In roster news, the Bears placed linebacker Danny Trevathan on injured reserve and promoted wide receiver Daniel Braverman to the active roster. Chicago also signed tight end Justin Perillo to the practice squad.
>>Colts Shift Focus To Jets
(Indianapolis, IN) — With Andrew Luck’s status still up in the air, the Colts have begun preparations for their trip to New York. Indy is in a virtual must-win situation at 5-and-6, the Jets sit at 3-and-8 losers of seven in the last nine. The teams will have an extra day to get ready as they meet on “Monday Night Football.”
>>Sharper Gets Prison For Raping Women In WeHo
(Los Angeles, CA) — Former NFL safety Darren Sharper will spend years behind bars for drugging and raping women in the Los Angeles area. He’s been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Sharper will serve the time concurrently with a prison sentence he’s already serving after he was convicted of similar crimes in Louisiana.