Gonzaga stays No. 1 in men’s poll
Gonzaga remained at No. 1 in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll for a second straight week, receiving 63 first-place votes from a 65-member panel in the poll released Monday. No. 2 Duke and No. 3 Kansas each had one first-place vote, with Oregon and Ohio State rounding out the top five.
The AP Top 25 had been filled with tumult during a 2019-20 season of parity, with six different teams moving to No. 1 before Christmas. That’s one short of the all-time record of seven, set in 1982-83.
Walker, UConn back atop women’s poll
UConn finished off the decade in the same spot where it began — No. 1 in The Associated Press women’s college basketball poll.
The Huskies received 19 first-place votes, beating No. 2 Oregon and No. 3 Oregon State, which both got five first-place votes. South Carolina and Stanford round out the top five. With few games this week because of the holidays, the first 22 teams in the poll stayed the same as the previous week.
UConn hopes to have coach Geno Auriemma back soon after he missed the Huskies’ final game of 2019 because of surgery to treat diverticulitis. Former Monacan standout Megan Walker is averaging 21.6 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists for the Huskies.
Diamondbacks agree to deal with Calhoun
PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed outfielder Kole Calhoun to a two-year contract worth $16 million that includes a club option for 2022.
The 32-year-old Calhoun, who lives in nearby Tempe, Ariz., has played eight major league seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, batting .249 in his career with 140 homers. In 2019, he hit .232 with a career-high 33 homers while playing mostly right field.
Calhoun is a four-time Gold Glove finalist and won the award in 2015. His new deal is worth $6 million in the first year, $8 million in the second and has a $2 million buyout for 2022. He played in college at nearby Arizona State.
Blue Jays bring in infielder Shaw
TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays agreed to a $4 million, one-year contract with free agent infielder Travis Shaw on Monday and designated infielder Richard Ureña for assignment.
Shaw hit .157 with seven homers and 16 RBIs in 86 games last season for the Milwaukee Brewers.
The 29-year-old has a .243 career batting average over five big league seasons with the Brewers and Boston Red Sox.
Blues to have 3 players at All-Star Weekend
NEW YORK — The host St. Louis Blues will have three players at NHL All-Star Weekend.
Captain Alex Pietrangelo, goaltender Jordan Binnington and playoff MVP Ryan O’Reilly will represent the defending Stanley Cup champion Blues for All-Star festivities Jan. 24-25. Forward David Perron was not chosen as an All-Star despite being in the middle of a career season.
St. Louis native Matthew Tkachuk of the Calgary Flames was also chosen as an All-Star. The league’s hockey operations department filled out the All-Star rosters beyond the captains voted in by fans.
Washington’s Alex Ovechkin was voted in by fans but opted to skip All-Star to rest his body for the stretch drive and playoffs. Capitals teammates John Carlson and Braden Holtby will go instead.
NHL defends official, hits Tortorella for rant
COLUMBUS, Ohio — An angry post-game rant by Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella over clock management late in Sunday’s night’s overtime loss was “unprofessional along with unacceptable,” an NHL official said Monday.
Colin Campbell, the NHL’s director of hockey operations, also defended a referee’s decision not to restore more than 1 second to the clock that ticked off after a whistle was blown to stop play with 18.1 seconds remaining in the overtime period against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Tortorella argued the whistle was blown at 19.2 and the decision not to reset the clock cost his team the game and led to an injury to goalie Joonas Korpisalo, who left the ice after trying to block a shot in the first-round of the subsequent shootout.
An apparent goal by the Blue Jackets’ Zach Werenski at the horn ending the overtime period seemed to seal a victory over the Blackhawks. Instead, it was waved off after a video replay showed the puck crossed the goal line after time expired. Tortorella reasoned that the goal would have counted if the extra 1.1 second had been restored.
Instead, the Blue Jackets lost the shootout and lost Korpisalo for “weeks” with a knee injury, Tortorella said Monday.
Tortorella said Monday that he regretted airing his complaints publicly instead of handling it behind the scenes.
The Buffalo Sabres announced their home game against the Florida Panthers has been moved to 1 p.m. to alleviate any conflict with the Buffalo Bills’ AFC wild card game in Houston at 4:35 p.m. The Sabres game was initially set to start at 7 p.m., which would have overlapped with the end of the Bills game. The Bills and Sabres are both owned by Terry Pegula and Kim Pegula
Ohio State’s Dobbins declares for NFL draft
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Record-breaking Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins is leaving school early to enter the NFL draft.
Dobbins’ decision was expected. He announced it in a Twitter post Monday in which he thanked everyone at the university and said “coming to Ohio from Texas has been nothing short of a dream.”
Dobbins became the first Ohio State player to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. He finished with 2,046 yards and could have had a lot more but sat for the second half of most regular-season games because they were early blowouts. He was a 1,000-yard rusher in each of his two seasons with the Buckeyes.