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National Sports

Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks dies at 83

Ernie Banks, baseball Hall of Fame slugger and two-time MVP award recipient, died Friday. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.

Banks, the Hall of Fame slugger and two-time MVP who always maintained his boundless enthusiasm for baseball despite decades of playing on miserable teams, died Friday night. He was 83.

4-time NASCAR champ Jeff Gordon ending career after '15

The 43-year-old Gordon announced Thursday that 2015 will be his final season as a full-time driver, saddening legions of fans, fellow drivers and others who watched him became the face of stock car racing as the sport exploded in popularity a generation ago.

Loyd leads No. 6 Irish to 88-77 win over No. 5 Tennessee

The momentum has come from Notre Dame's star players. Skylar Diggins started to turn the series around by averaging 28 points in three straight wins over Tennessee and then last season Kayla McBride had 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in a win. On Monday night it was Jewell Loyd hitting 13-of-23 shots for 34 points with five rebounds and four assists in an 88-77 victory.

No. 1 South Carolina dominates Florida 77-42, stays unbeaten

Now, South Carolina (18-0, 6-0 Southeastern Conference) gets a week off before starting a considerably tougher stretch that includes games against No. 10 Texas A&M, Mississippi, 22nd-ranked Georgia and No. 2 Connecticut.

Unbeaten Kentucky, Virginia stay 1-2 atop AP Top 25 poll

For the second straight week, Kentucky was No. 1 in 63 of 65 votes cast Monday, while Virginia stayed at No. 2. The Wildcats (17-0) have been No. 1 in every poll and were the unanimous choice for five straight weeks before two voters switched to the Cavaliers (17-0) last week.

No. 4 Duke men's basketball snaps two-game skid, tops No. 6 Louisville 63-52

Staggered by Tuesday's 16-point loss to Miami that ended their 41-game home winning streak, the Blue Devils rebounded to throttle the Cardinals.

Ohio State's Cardale Jones says he'll return to Buckeyes

He surprised a packed crowd again on Thursday, declaring at his old high school in Cleveland that he would return to the Buckeyes rather than jump into the NFL draft.

Georgia snaps 2-game SEC skid by beating Vanderbilt 70-67

Thanks to some timely free throws, the Bulldogs left a gym where they have had little success over the years as winners.

LSU welcomes Steele, Orgeron to defensive coaching staff

Head coach Les Miles formally introduced defensive coordinator Kevin Steele and defensive line coach Ed Orgeron to LSU's staff Wednesday. The hiring of Orgeron, a Louisiana native known to have strong recruiting ties around his talent-rich state, came a day after the announced hiring of Steele, formerly the Alabama assistant.

Mariota declares for NFL draft

Mariota announced his long-awaited decision to forgo his senior season on Oregon's website. The team said he filed paperwork on Wednesday, a day before the NFL deadline.

Quarterback Prescott returning to Mississippi St for senior season

Prescott made his announcement on Wednesday during a news conference at the school. The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder from Haughton, Louisiana, had a breakout season for the Bulldogs in 2014, throwing for 3,449 yards, 27 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also ran for 986 yards and 14 touchdowns.

St. Louis pitches football stadium that would cost at least $860M

St. Louis upped its bid Friday to either keep the Rams or lure a new NFL team, unveiling plans for a new open-air football stadium on the banks of the Mississippi River, not far from the Gateway Arch.

O'Neill leads No. 10 Kentucky women to 78-57 win over Auburn

Kentucky (14-2, 3-0) put up the first five points and outscored the Tigers 21-7 over the final 5 minutes to dispose of struggling Auburn in its final tuneup before Sunday's showdown at top-ranked South Carolina.

No. 1 Kentucky survives Mississippi 89-86 in overtime

Dominant almost all season and facing expectations of going unbeaten, top-ranked Kentucky looked vulnerable and very beatable against a Mississippi team intent on pulling off a seismic upset.

College Football Playoff, NCAA will reimburse athletes' families for travel

The NCAA granted a waiver Tuesday that allows the College Football Playoff to provide a reimbursement of up to $1,250 per parent or guardian that will cover hotel accommodations, travel and meals.

Chiefs beat Chargers 19-7, but both teams miss playoffs

Chase Daniel threw for 157 yards without an interception in the Chiefs' win.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota wins Heisman Trophy

The understated star quarterback became Oregon's first Heisman winner going away Saturday night, capping a three-year climb to college football's most prestigious individual award.

Navy makes it 13 in a row over Army 17-10

After the Midshipmen stood respectfully for Army's alma mater, defensive ends Paul Quessenberry and Will Anthony hoisted Ken Niumatalolo on their shoulders to give the winningest football coach in Navy history a free ride in the wake of a 17-10 triumph Saturday.

Muschamp returns to coaching as Auburn coordinator

Muschamp accepted the job as Auburn's defensive coordinator 13 days after coaching his last game at Florida and following a weeklong vacation in the Dominican Republic. By the second day he was restless and wondering to wife Carol: "What do you do all day?"

No. 1 Kentucky rolls No. 21 North Carolina 84-70

Devin Booker and Willie Cauley-Stein each scored 15 points and Kentucky shook off the shock of losing Poythress by rolling past No. 21 North Carolina 84-70 on Saturday.

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