National Sports

SOPHIE IN THE SPOTLIGHT: In final night on McDonald's All-American stage, Cunningham embraces every moment

Sophie Cunningham, Rock Bridge senior, is the first McDonald's All-American from Columbia. Cunningham played in the McDonald's All-American game Wednesday at the United Center in Chicago.

Sophie Cunningham had one more thing to do after she finished playing in the McDonald's All-American Game at the United Center in Chicago. She needed to visit with Bradley Godish, a 4-year-old boy with leukemia she had met days before.

Indiana law calls into question where women's Final Four will be played in 2016

NCAA President Mark Emmert has indicated the Indianapolis-headquartered organization would consider relocating all types of college sports events out of Indiana if state's new religious objection law doesn't change. But none on the calendar is quite as urgent as next year's women's championship.

Marshall Plumlee, Duke's selfless leader, looks to join brothers' legacy

It's not as big of a role that older brothers Miles and Mason once played for coach Mike Krzyzewski. Yet while Marshall Plumlee's brothers are in the NBA, the 7-foot redshirt junior and ROTC cadet — who has committed to enroll in the U.S. Army reserves after graduation — still has a chance to follow their lead on the court. He wants to help Duke win a national title in his home state of Indiana like they did in 2010.

SOPHIE IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Lindsey Cunningham paved the way for All-American younger sister

Sophie Cunningham credits her older sister as her only role model in her athletic success.

SOPHIE IN THE SPOTLIGHT: During McDonald's All-American festivities, Cunningham revels in support of family, fans

Sophie Cunningham was shocked when her mother, Paula Cunningham, challenged her to a dance-off in front of thousands of spectators Monday at the Powerade Jam Fest at the Gerald Ratner Athletics Center at the University of Chicago.

SOPHIE IN THE SPOTLIGHT: McDonald's All-American Sophie Cunningham wants 'everything'

Rock Bridge High School star Sophie Cunningham will be the first person from Columbia to ever compete in the McDonald's All-American Game, an ESPN-televised exhibition in Chicago featuring the top basketball players in the country that will take place Wednesday. The confidence she shows on the court developed when she was still just in middle school.

SOPHIE IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Cunningham makes connections during charity visit

Players in the  McDonald's All-American exhibition game spent Sunday morning touring a Chicago Ronald McDonald House. The game on Wednesday will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities, which provides housing for sick children and their families. .

Jason Heyward fills needed presence for Cardinals

When Grapefruit League games begin on Thursday for the Cardinals, one of manager Mike Matheny's more interesting tasks will be determining where Jason Heyward's speed and power best fit in the batting order.

Late coaching changes expose flaw in early signing period

A handful of assistant coaches at high-profile programs such as Ohio State and Texas changed jobs less than 24 hours after Wednesday's national signing day, leaving behind the players they recruited.

Philadelphia University Hall of Fame coach Magee set to join 1,000-win club

Just nine days after Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski earned his 1,000th career win, Magee can hit the same mark for Division II Philadelphia University.

Duke's Coach K happy 1,000th win is behind him

Krzyzewski became the first NCAA Division I men's coach to get 1,000 wins when No. 5 Duke surged past St. John's late in the second half Sunday for a 77-68 victory at Madison Square Garden.

Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks dies at 83

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.