News Summaries from The Sports Network - Monday, January 26

Report: Video shows Pats moved game balls

( - Surveillance video shows a New England Patriots locker room attendant moving game footballs from the officials' locker room into another room at Gillette Stadium before bringing them out to the field for the AFC Championship Game, according to a report.

The NFL has been investigating whether or not the Patriots used underinflated footballs in the AFC title game against Indianapolis. New England won the game 45-7 to earn a berth in this week's Super Bowl against Seattle.

According to on Monday, the NFL has already interviewed the locker room attendant and is trying to determine if the individual has done anything wrong.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said during an impromptu news conference on Saturday that he's confident the Patriots did everything by the letter of the law.

Belichick and New England quarterback Tom Brady both denied last week any knowledge of deflated balls being used during the Jan. 18 game, which was played in the rain at the Patriots' home stadium. reported last week that the NFL found 11 of the 12 balls used by the Patriots were deflated. The league announced that it's early findings suggest the Patriots used underinflated balls in the first half before they were replaced by properly inflated balls, which were used in the second half and retained their air pressure.

The report said the NFL found that 11 of the 12 balls used by the Patriots during the game were underinflated by two pounds of air pressure per square inch (PSI).

NFL rules mandate game balls, which are inspected by the referee hours before kickoff, be inflated between 12 1/2 to 13 1/2 PSI.

Underinflated balls are said to help a player better grip the ball in inclement weather.

The league said Friday the investigation is being led jointly by NFL executive vice president Jeff Pash and Ted Wells of the law firm of Paul Weiss. Wells was the league's investigator into last season's bullying scandal involving the Miami Dolphins.

If the NFL finds the Patriots deflated footballs intentionally, they could be subject to penalties similar to ones levied after the team was found to have videotaped defensive signals used by the New York Jets during a game in September 2007.

Those penalties included a $500,000 fine for Belichick, a $250,000 fine for the team and the loss of a draft pick.

Raiders re-sign Woodson for next season

Alameda, CA ( - The Oakland Raiders announced Monday that they have re-signed safety Charles Woodson for next season.

Woodson, 38, was set to be a free agent in March after re-signing with Oakland on a one-year deal last year.

He had a career-high 113 tackles in 16 games for the Raiders this past season and added one sack, four interceptions and eight passes defensed.

It was his second season back with the Raiders after seven with Green Bay. Woodson, who was drafted No. 4 overall by the Raiders in 1998, has 929 tackles, 60 interceptions and 20 sacks in 17 NFL seasons.

Dennison returns as Broncos' offensive coordinator

Englewood, CO ( - The Denver Broncos named Rick Dennison as their new offensive coordinator on Monday.

Dennison will return to the Broncos, where he played and coached previously. He was the club's offensive coordinator from 2006-08 and was most recently the quarterbacks coach for the Baltimore Ravens this past season.

The longtime coaching veteran will rejoin new Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak in Denver. He was Kubiak's offensive coordinator with the Houston Texans from 2010-13 and also coached with Kubiak last year in Baltimore.

During Dennison's tenure in Houston, the Texans ranked eighth in total offense, averaging 369.5 yards per game over the four seasons. While offensive coordinator in Denver, the Broncos had the seventh-ranked offense in the NFL over the three-year period and led the AFC with an average of 395.8 yards in 2008.

Dennison played nine seasons with the Broncos as a linebacker from 1982-90, then returned to the club as a coach in 1995 as an offensive assistant and was the special teams coach from 1997-2000 before taking the position as offensive line coach from 2001-05. He was on the staff that won back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 1997-98.

Lakers' Bryant to have shoulder surgery

El Segundo, CA ( - Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will undergo surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, the team announced Monday.

A timetable for the veteran's recovery won't be known until after Wednesday morning's procedure. Bryant suffered the injury in last Wednesday's 96-80 loss at New Orleans.

Bryant could be facing a third consecutive season-ending injury. He suffered a torn Achilles tendon in April 2013 and a broken bone in his knee last season.

The 36-year-old Bryant has averaged 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists in 35 games this season.

Kemba Walker to have knee surgery

Charlotte, NC ( - Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker will have surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee, the team announced Monday.

Walker, who is scheduled to undergo the procedure Wednesday in New York, had missed three of the last five games with a cyst on the knee.

A timetable for Walker's recovery will be determined following the surgery.

The fourth-year UConn product is averaging 18.8 points, 5.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game so far this season.

Brian Roberts will start at point guard during Walker?s absence.

Hornets' Williams has concussion, Biyombo bone bruise

Charlotte, NC ( - Charlotte Hornets forward Marvin Williams has been diagnosed with a concussion and a broken nose, and center Bismack Biyombo has a bone bruise in his right knee, the team announced Monday.

Both players were injured in Saturday's 76-71 win over the New York Knicks.

Williams, who has averaged 6.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in 43 games this season, won't be able to return to practice or game action until he passes the NBA concussion protocol.

Biyombo will be re-evaluated in approximately 10 days. He is averaging 4.6 points and 6.2 rebounds in 38 games.

James, Thompson named NBA Players of the Week

New York, NY ( - Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James and Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson were named NBA Players of the Week on Monday.

James averaged 27.8 points, 6.8 assists, 6.3 rebounds and 2.25 steals as the Cavaliers won all four of their games last week.

The Warriors also went 4-0 behind Thompson, who averaged 33.0 points and connected on 21-of-38 three-point attempts.

LA Kings waive F Richards

Los Angeles, CA ( - The Los Angeles Kings have waived former All-Star center Mike Richards, according to multiple reports Monday.

Richards will be on waivers until noon on Tuesday. If he is not claimed by another team, he will be assigned to the Kings' AHL affiliate in Manchester.

Richards, who turns 30 in February, has seen his production decline in recent seasons with just five goals and 15 points in 47 games for Los Angeles this season. He was an All-Star in two consecutive seasons from 2009-10 with the Philadelphia Flyers and had a career-high 80 points in the 2008-09 season.

The Kings acquired Richards from the Flyers before the 2011-12 season for forwards Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn as well as a second-round draft pick.

He is owed $23 million over the final four years of his contract and counts for $5.75 million against the salary cap, the apparent reason he was waived.

In his 10-year career, Richards has 179 goals and 481 points in 704 games. He has won two Stanley Cups with Los Angeles, won an Olympic gold medal with Team Canada in 2010 and served as the Flyers' captain.

Blue Jackets' Bobrovsky out 4-6 weeks with groin injury

Columbus, OH ( - The Columbus Blue Jackets placed goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky on injured reserve Monday.

Bobrovsky is expected to be sidelined 4-to-6 weeks with a groin injury that he suffered during last Wednesday's 4-0 loss at Winnipeg. The injury forced him to miss this past weekend's All-Star festivities in his home city.

The 2013 Vezina Trophy winner has compiled a 16-15-2 record with a 2.85 goals- against average and .913 save percentage this season.

The Blue Jackets have also recalled goaltender Anton Forsberg and forward Josh Anderson from Springfield of the American Hockey League.

Isles' Okposo sidelined 6-8 weeks

Uniondale, NY ( - New York Islanders forward Kyle Okposo is expected to be sidelined 6-to-8 weeks with an upper-body injury, head coach Jack Capuano announced Monday.

It's a significant blow for the surprising Islanders, who sit atop the Metropolitan Division. Okposo, 26, has registered 14 goals and 30 assists in 46 games this season.

The former first-round pick has 113 goals and 185 assists in 436 career games with the Islanders.

Avs All-Star Johnson out 3-to-8 weeks

Denver, CO ( - The Colorado Avalanche could be without top defenseman Erik Johnson for up to two months after the 2015 All-Star underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Monday.

Johnson, who was unable to take part in this past weekend's All-Star festivities in Columbus due to the injury, is expected to be sidelined anywhere from 3-to-8 weeks.

The 2006 No. 1 overall pick has already set a career high with 12 goals through just 47 games, tied for the most in the NHL by a defenseman this season.

Johnson leads the Avalanche in average time on ice (24:25) and blocked shots (107) as well while recording 23 points thus far in 2014-15.

The 26-year-old is the first Colorado defenseman to be named an All-Star since Hall of Famer Rob Blake during the 2003-04 season.

Leafs D Phaneuf out with upper-body injury

Toronto, ON ( - Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf will be sidelined with an upper-body injury, interim coach Peter Horachek said Monday.

The defenseman has been termed as week-to-week with the injury, which he suffered prior to the NHL All-Star break.

Phaneuf, 29, has two goals and 20 assists in 48 games this season.

Flyers' Rinaldo suspended 8 games

New York, NY ( - The NHL suspended Philadelphia Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo eight games on Monday for an illegal hit on Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang last week.

Rinaldo left his feet on a check and was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding Letang during the first period of a game last Tuesday.

Letang left the game and did not return. He also sat out the Penguins' game Wednesday against Chicago.

Rinaldo waived his right to an in-person hearing and had a phone hearing on Monday with the NHL Department of Player Safety.

He has been suspended before, including a four-game ban last April -- the remainder of the season -- for an illegal check on Buffalo defenseman Chad Ruhwedel.

Rinaldo was also suspended two games in February 2012 for an illegal check on Detroit defenseman Jonathan Ericsson.

He signed a two-year extension with the Flyers in September. He will forfeit more than $73,000 because of the suspension.

Sabres suspend D Zadorov

Buffalo, NY ( - The Buffalo Sabres have suspended defenseman Nikita Zadorov for failing to report to the team on time following the NHL All-Star break.

Sabres general manager Tim Murray said that he expects Zadorov, who missed Monday's practice, to join the club during its upcoming road trip through western Canada.

The Sabres also recalled goaltender Matt Hackett from Rochester of the American Hockey League to replace Michal Neuvirth, who Murray said will "miss some time" with a lower-body injury that he suffered while working out during the break.

Johansen, Karlsson, Parise capture NHL weekly honors

New York, NY ( - Columbus Blue Jackets forward Ryan Johansen, Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson and Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise were named the NHL's players of the week on Monday.

Johansen was selected as the First Star after being named -- by a fan vote on Twitter -- the MVP of the 2015 NHL All-Star Game in his home city. He had two goals and two assists for Team Foligno in a 17-12 loss to Team Toews.

Karlsson picked up the Second Star after scoring three goals in two games prior to the league's All-Star break.

Parise also scored three goals to garner the Third Star.

Reds reach deal with C Mesoraco

Cincinnati, OH ( - The Cincinnati Reds and catcher Devin Mesoraco have avoided salary arbitration, agreeing to a four-year contract extension on Monday.

According to multiple media outlets, including, the deal is worth $28 million.

Mesoraco, 26, was an All-Star for the first time last season when he batted .273 with 25 home runs and 80 RBI over 114 games.

Selected 15th overall by the Reds in the 2007 draft, Mesoraco has hit .245 with 41 homers and 142 RBI in 289 career games.

O's strike deals with Norris, Flaherty

Baltimore, MD ( - Pitcher Bud Norris and infielder Ryan Flaherty agreed to one-year contracts with the Baltimore Orioles on Monday, allowing both to avoid arbitration.

Norris, 29, was 15-8 with a 3.65 ERA in 28 starts last year for the Orioles. The 15 wins were a career high for the right-hander, whom Baltimore acquired from the Houston Astros on July 31, 2013.

The 28-year-old Flaherty hit .221 with seven home runs and 32 RBI in 102 games for the Orioles last season.

Padres ink Valverde to minor league deal

San Diego, CA ( - Three-time All-Star closer Jose Valverde was among eight players the San Diego Padres signed to minor league contracts on Monday.

Veteran infielder Ramiro Pena and reliever Scott Elbert also agreed to deals with the Padres along with first baseman Brett Wallace, pitchers Marcos Mateo, Jay Jackson and Jason Lane and catcher Griff Erickson.

Valverde was released by the New York Mets in May of last season after posting a 5.66 ERA over 21 appearances. He also struggled with the Detroit Tigers the previous year, recording a 5.59 ERA and nine saves in 20 outings prior to being sent to the minors in June.

The 36-year-old led the majors with a career-best 49 saves with the Tigers in 2011, and also topped all of baseball with 47 while with Arizona in 2007. Valverde's 44 saves with Houston the following year was the most in the National League.

Pena hit .245 in 81 games with Atlanta in 2014, but was outrighted off the Braves' 40-man roster in November.

Elbert returned from Tommy John surgery that sidelined him the entire 2013 season to pitch in seven games for the Dodgers last year. The left-hander owns a 3.54 ERA over 127 career appearances, all with Los Angeles.

Lane hit 26 homers as an outfielder with the Astros in 2005, then returned to the majors after a seven-year absence as a pitcher in the Padres' organization last season. The 38-year-old spent most of 2014 at Triple-A El Paso, compiling a 9-9 record with a 4.52 ERA over 24 starts.

Tigers avoid arbitration with Alburquerque

Detroit, MI ( - The Detroit Tigers and pitcher Al Alburquerque have agreed to a one-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but reported it to be worth $1.725 million.

Alburquerque was 3-1 with a 2.51 ERA in a career-high 72 games last season. He struck out 63 in 57 1/3 innings.

The 28-year-old right-hander owns a career record of 13-5 with a 2.82 ERA and 218 strikeouts in 174 big league games, all out of the bullpen, since making his debut with the Tigers in 2011.

Former Red Sox pitcher Monbouquette dies

Boston, MA ( - Bill Monbouquette, a 20-game winner for the Boston Red Sox and a member of the team's Hall of Fame, died Sunday. He was 78.

The Red Sox said Monbouquette died due to complications from leukemia.

Monbouquette, a native of nearby Medford, Massachusetts, spent the first eight seasons of his 11-year career with the Red Sox. He was a four-time All-Star and led the team in wins three times.

The right-hander did not miss a start from 1960-65 and threw a 1-0 no-hitter against the White Sox on Aug. 1, 1962. He won a career-best 20 games the following year.

Monbouquette also pitched for the Tigers, Yankees and Giants from 1966-68 and finished his career with a 114-112 record and a 3.68 ERA.

Kentucky, Virginia remain 1-2 in men's hoops poll

New York, NY ( - Kentucky and Virginia remain the only two undefeated teams in Division I men's basketball and both are still atop the latest Associated Press poll.

Kentucky was a near-unanimous selection, earning 64 of the 65 first-place votes and a total of 1,624 points from a nationwide media panel. Virginia picked up the other No. 1 vote, losing one from last week, and 1,561 points.

Gonzaga, Duke, Wisconsin, Arizona, Villanova, Notre Dame, Kansas and Louisville round out the top 10. Villanova dipped three spots from fourth after a loss to Georgetown last week.

The second 10 consists of Utah, Wichita State, North Carolina, VCU, Iowa State, Maryland, West Virginia, Northern Iowa, Texas and Baylor. Iowa State had the biggest drop within poll, falling six places from ninth after losing to Texas Tech on Saturday.

Georgetown, Indiana, Miami-Florida, Oklahoma and Butler are the last five teams ranked this week. Georgetown, Miami and Butler are this week's newcomers, while Oklahoma tumbled five places from 19th after road losses to Kansas and Baylor last week.

Dayton, Seton Hall and Iowa all fell out of this week's rankings. Dayton entered the poll last week for the first time this season at No. 22 and lost to Davidson, while Seton Hall was 24th and has dropped three in a row after Sunday's loss to Butler. Iowa also joined the rankings last week at No. 25 and lost at Wisconsin and Purdue.

This week's schedule features Duke with a pair of matchups against fellow top-10 opponents. The Blue Devils gave coach Mike Krzyzewski his 1,000th career win on Sunday with a victory over St. John's and this week will visit Notre Dame on Wednesday and Virginia on Saturday.

Also Saturday, North Carolina visits Louisville, Baylor hosts Texas and a ranked matchup of Missouri Valley teams pits Wichita State at Northern Iowa.

Djokovic, Wawrinka, Nishikori reach Aussie QFs

Melbourne, Australia ( - Four-time champion Novak Djokovic, reigning titlist Stan Wawrinka and Japanese star Kei Nishikori highlighted Monday's fourth-round winners at the Australian Open.

The world No. 1 Djokovic got past Luxembourg left-hander Gilles Muller 6-4, 7-5, 7-5 in Monday's nightcap at Laver Arena to reach his 23rd consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal.

The seven-time Grand Slam champion and reigning Wimbledon titlist is seeking his fourth Aussie championship in five years, having captured three straight of his four Melbourne crowns from 2011-13.

Up next for the great Djokovic, who has yet to drop a set through four matches here, will be eighth-seeded big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, who is 0-4 lifetime against the Serb.

Meanwhile, the fourth-seeded Swiss slugger Wawrinka pulled out a 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (10-8) victory over Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

Garcia-Lopez won the first five points of the fourth-set tiebreak and had five chances to force a fifth set at Melbourne Park, but Wawrinka saved all five before moving on.

Garcia-Lopez stunned Wawrinka in the first round at last year's French Open.

Wawrinka's quarterfinal opponent on Wednesday will be the fifth-seeded U.S. Open runner-up Nishikori, who handled ninth-seeded former French Open finalist David Ferrer of Spain 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 on Day 8 of the fortnight.

Looking ahead to his clash with Wawrinka, Nishikori said, "It's going to be a really tough match because I have seen him play on TV a couple of matches. Even today he was playing really good. He can hit balls forehand, backhand -- great backhand actually. He can hit from anywhere at the back. It's going to be a tough match. But obviously I'm in the quarterfinals, so no easy matches coming up. Hopefully I can play another good match.

"For sure it gives me confidence that I beat him in the U.S. Open. It's not like I can't beat him. It's going to be a fun match for sure."

Nishikori made history as he became the first Asian man to contest a Grand Slam final last year when he defeated three Top-10 players, including Wawrinka in five sets in the quarters, to reach the U.S. Open final.

The aforementioned Raonic had to outlast 12th-seeded Spanish lefty Feliciano Lopez, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, to reach the round of eight. Lopez saved seven match points before succumbing to the big Canadian.

Raonic became the first Canadian man in the Open Era to reach the Aussie Open quarters and is also the second Canadian man in history to reach three major quarterfinals, following in the footsteps of Robert Powell at Wimbledon in 1908, '10 and '12.

"It's great to be doing what I'm doing and that it is making a difference," said Raonic. "It is, I guess, part of some history, if you look really deep. But at the end of the day, at the same time, I'm always pushing myself for what I want to achieve. I'm always sort of looking in the mirror and saying, 'That's who I have to compare myself to: to myself.'"

The quarterfinals will commence Tuesday, as third-seeded former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal will take on seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych and sixth-seeded Andy Murray will battle 19-year-old heavy Aussie crowd favorite Nick Kyrgios. Nadal beat Berdych in the 2010 Wimbledon final and is 18-3 lifetime against the big Czech.

The reigning French Open king Nadal is a 14-time Grand Slam champ, including an Aussie title in 2009. He's also a two-time runner-up in Melbourne, including last year when he was stunned by Wawrinka in the final.

Murray is a two-time major titlist who's lost in three Aussie Open finals.

Serena, Venus land in Aussie quarters

Melbourne, Australia ( - World No. 1 Serena Williams and former top-ranked star Venus Williams secured berths in the quarterfinals at the 2015 Australian Open.

Serena dropped the first set before rallying to top rising 24th-seeded Spaniard Garbine Muguruza 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in two hours at Melbourne Park on Australia Day.

Muguruza stunned Serena at the French Open last year, handing the American, who won just four games in that match in Paris, the worst loss of her Grand Slam career in the process.

The 33-year-old American great blitzed her 21-year-old opponent with 17 aces and won 38 of 49 first-serve points on Monday.

"It was a great match -- congratulations to Garbine, she played so well," Serena said.

The 18-time Grand Slam champion and reigning U.S. Open titlist owns five Aussie Open titles, but none since 2010.

Her quarterfinal opponent will be 11th-seeded Slovak Dominika Cibulkova, who doused on-the-mend Belarusian star Victoria Azarenka, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Azarenka led 2-0 in the third set, but couldn't hold on against the diminutive Cibulkova.

"Today I wasn't thinking about the score, I was just going for it," Cibulkova said. "And when I was up, I was going for it even more.

"I always have tough matches with Vika. The tennis she plays goes well with mine," Cibulkova added.

Cibulkova was last year's Aussie runner-up to since-retired Chinese star Li Na.

The former world No. 1 Azarenka is a two-time Aussie Open champ and two-time U.S. Open runner-up. Her 2014 season was interrupted by a foot injury and she's been trying to re-locate her game since last spring.

This marks Azarenka's earliest exit from the Aussie since 2011.

"I take it as progress. I think there are a lot of the positive things to take from here," she said. "Overall, I can be pretty happy."

In other fourth round action on Day 8 of the fortnight, an 18th-seeded Venus reached her first major quarterfinal since 2010 and remained undefeated in 2015 by surprising sixth-seeded former Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 and rising Madison Keys vanquished fellow American Madison Brengle 6-2, 6-4. Brengle reached her first-ever WTA final in Hobart two weeks ago.

Venus will clash with the 19-year-old Keys in an all-American quarterfinal on Wednesday.

Venus is a seven-time Grand Slam champion who was the 2003 Aussie runner-up to her younger sister. She's a perfect 9-0 this year, including a title in Auckland three weeks back.

The 34-year-old Venus was asked what her inspiration has been to keep plugging away all these years.

"Definitely my sister Serena," she replied. "She's just the ultimate champion. She definitely gives me a lot of inspiration. And of course all of my fans, who've always stayed behind me."

Keys will play in her first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal when she faces Venus.

"It feels really good," she said. "My mom texted me before the tournament. She said, 'It's your last Grand Slam as a teenager,' and sent me a bunch of grandma faces. I'm like, 'Thanks for reminding me mom! Thank you. Love you.' But it's huge. It's my last Slam as a teenager. I hope I can keep it up."

The quarterfinals will get underway Tuesday, as second-seeded former No. 1 Maria Sharapova will battle seventh-seeded Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard and third-seeded French Open finalist Simona Halep will take on consistent 10th-seeded Russian left-hander Ekaterina Makarova.

Sharapova is 3-0 all-time against the Canadian Bouchard, including some French Open match wins in 2013 and last year, while Halep is 1-0 lifetime versus Makarova.

The reigning French Open champion Sharapova was the Aussie champ in 2008 and runner-up in 2007 and 2012.

Bryans sent packing Down Under

Melbourne, Australia ( - Six-time Australian Open doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan were third-round upset victims on Monday.

A 14th-seeded tandem of Brit Dominic Inglot and Romanian Florin Mergea stunned the world No. 1 twin Bryans in 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 fashion in just over an hour at Melbourne Park. The reigning U.S. Open champion Bryans also fell in the third round here a year ago.

It's also the first time the Bryan brothers have made consecutive pre- quarterfinal exits at a Grand Slam event since Roland Garros in 2000 and 2001.

The 36-year-old Bryans own a Grand Slam-record 16 men's doubles titles.

Defending champs Errani, Vinci exit Oz

Melbourne, Australia ( - The top-seeded two-time defending champion duo of Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci came up a third-round loser Monday at the Australian Open.

A 16th-seeded German tandem of Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld doused Errani and Vinci 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 at Melbourne Park.

The 27-year-old Errani and 31-year-old Vinci had won their last 14 matches in Melbourne, including back-to-back titles here in 2013 and last year. The gritty Italians are also the reigning Wimbledon women's doubles champions and own five major titles overall.

Haas improves to 23rd in world rankings

Philadelphia, PA ( - Bill Haas won the Humana Challenge for a second time on Sunday and that helped him return to the top-25 in the world rankings.

Haas closed with a 67 and ended one stroke clear of five players. He improved from 41st to 23rd in the new rankings.

Rory McIlroy maintained his big lead atop the rankings, and he is back in action this week in Dubai. McIlroy was again followed by Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Jim Furyk, Jason Day and Jordan Spieth, who remained second to ninth.

Matt Kuchar shared second place behind Haas and inched up to No. 10. That bumped Rickie Fowler down a spot to 11th.

Martin Kaymer stayed put at No. 12 and he was trailed by Jimmy Walker, Billy Horschel and Patrick Reed. Victor Dubuisson and Phil Mickelson exchanged spots with the Frenchman up to 16th. Hideki Matsuyama and Graeme McDowell were 18 and 19 again this week.

Chris Kirk moved up one to 20th and that pushed Zach Johnson out of the top-20 to 21st.

Branden Grace picked up his sixth European Tour title on Saturday in Qatar, and he jumped 35 places to No. 44 in the new rankings.

South Carolina still No. 1 in women's hoops poll

New York, NY ( - South Carolina remained the top-ranked team in the latest Associated Press women's college basketball poll.

The Gamecocks are the No. 1 team for a 10th straight week, receiving 27 first- place votes and a total of 867 points from a nationwide media panel.

South Carolina is again followed by Connecticut and Baylor. The Huskies picked up the remaining eight first-place votes.

Notre Dame, Maryland, Tennessee, Oregon State, Louisville, Florida State and Kentucky completed this week's top 10. Louisville fell four spots from fourth after a loss to Florida State.

The second 10 consists of Arizona State, Stanford, Texas A&M, Texas, Nebraska, North Carolina, Duke, Mississippi State, Princeton and Iowa. Stanford and Texas A&M are tied for 12th.

Georgia, Rutgers, Syracuse, Oklahoma and Chattanooga are the last five teams ranked. Oklahoma and Chattanooga are this week's newcomers. It's the Lady Mocs' first appearance in the poll since 1984.

Minnesota and Western Kentucky dropped out of this week's poll.

01/26 19:51:27 ET

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