AFC and NFC championship games
UNDATED (AP) — By the end of the day we will know which teams will be taking part in the Super Bowl.
In the opening contest the Broncos are playing host to the Patriots in the AFC title game. They met back on Nov. 24 with the Patriots coming out on top 34-31. Tom Brady had a much better game than Peyton Manning did, outgunning the Denver quarterback for 344 yards and three touchdowns. Manning had just 150 yards passing and two scores. The Patriots trailed in the game 24-0 before scoring the next 31 points. Manning then threw his second score to tie the game at 31 before Stephen Gostkowski booted the game-winning 31-yard field goal.
Much has been made about the rivalry between the two quarterbacks and so far Brady has gotten the better of the series. Manning and Brady have squared off 14 times with the New England signal-caller coming out on top 10 times. Brady has won three Super Bowls while Manning has just one, while with Indianapolis.
Today's second game has San Francisco playing at Seattle. This is the third time these NFC West teams have met this season. The Seahawks won the first meeting 29-3 while the Niners came back in the second game 19-17. This game features two young quarterbacks in Russell Wilson of the Seahawks and Colin Kaepernick (KAP'-ur-nihk) of the 49ers.
The coaching matchup goes back to college when Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers coached at Stanford and Pete Carroll of the Seahawks was at Southern Cal. From all indications they are not the best of friends. Since taking over the Niners Harbaugh has built a consistent winner as this is the team's third straight appearance in the NFC championship game. That said, the Seahawks have dominated play between the two teams in games played in Seattle, losing by the combined score of 71-16.
Hawkeyes host lone top-25 game
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa is the 14th-ranked team in The Associated Press basketball poll and in today's only game featuring a ranked school, the Hawkeyes are home to Minnesota in a Big-Ten game. The Hawkeyes are 14-3 on the season while the Golden Gophers are 13-4.
No more Williams
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — With the upset loss by Serena Williams, the highest remaining seed for the women in the Australian Open is No. 2 Victoria Azarenka (ah-zah-REN'-kuh). She is back in action this evening, U.S. time, with a match against 13th-seed Sloane Stephens of the U.S.
Women's No. 3 Maria Sharapova also has a match. She is taking on 20th seed Dominika Cibulkova (doh-mih-NEE'-kuh see-bool-KOH'-vuh).
For the men, top seed Rafael Nadal (rah-fay-ehl nah-DAHL') is playing 16th seed Kei Nishikori of Japan while in doubles the top-seeded Americans, the Bryan twins Bob and Mike, are facing the duo of fellow American Eric Butorac and Raven Klaasen of South Africa.
One matinee in the NBA
UNDATED (AP) — The first place Toronto Raptors of the NBA's Atlantic Division are home this afternoon to the Lakers. The Raptors lead the mediocre Atlantic with a record of 20-18. That's good for a four-game lead over Brooklyn, which is 16-22.
Two more first-place clubs are on the court tonight as the Southwest-leading Spurs are home to Milwaukee. At the same time, Oklahoma City, which leads the Northwest Division, is hosting Sacramento.
In the final games of the night, Boston is at Orlando and Denver is playing in Phoenix.
Good contest in Chicago
UNDATED (AP) — Of the three games in the NHL, the best matchup is being played in Chicago this afternoon. In that game the Blackhawks, who lead the Central Division, are entertaining Boston, which tops the Atlantic Division.
Tonight Tampa Bay is at Carolina and the Rangers are playing host to the Capitals.
Reed leads the way
LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) — Patrick Reed has the lead after three rounds of the PGA's Humana Challenge. He had a 9-under 63 yesterday and starts the fourth round with a seven-stroke lead. Charley Hoffman and Brendon Todd are tied for second.
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Spain's Pablo Larrazabal shot a final-round 67 to finish on top of the Abu Dhabi (AH'-boo DAH'-bee) HBC Golf Championship. He finished a stroke in front of Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy.
Americans do well
NAGANO, Japan (AP) — Shani (SHAH'-nee) Davis and Heather Richardson of the United States have won their 1,000-meter races at the world sprint speedskating championships.
Davis clocked a time of 1 minute, 08.96 seconds to win his race while Richardson posted a time of 1:15.28 to win the women's 1,000.
The world sprint speed skating championships features 50 of the fastest sprinters in the world competing in 500 and 1,000 meter races.
Good show by Americans
IGLS, Austria (AP) — U.S. women have done well at a World Cup bobsled competition in Austria. Jamie Greubel and Lauryn Williams won a World Cup race for their first gold medal for each this season. Greubel's first gold as a pilot came with a two-run time of 1 minute, 46.28 seconds. For Williams, an Olympic track gold medalist in the 4x100-meter relay at the 2012 Summer Games, it was her first gold as a push athlete and likely enhanced her bid to qualify for next month's Sochi Games.
The U.S. also took the silver medal, with Elana Meyers and Aja Evans finishing 0.13 seconds back. Also for the U.S., Jazmine Fenlator and Lolo Jones placed seventh, posting the second-fastest time in the second heat.