Update on the latest sports

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

AP source: CFP expansion to 12 teams on table for discussion

UNDATED (AP) — The College Football Playoff would expand from four to 12 teams, with six spots reserved for the highest ranked conference champions, under a proposal that will be considered next week.

A person familiar with announcement tells The Associated Press that a 12-team playoff would include the six highest-ranked conference champions in major college football, plus six at-large selections.

The CFP’s surprising disclosure comes a week ahead of the planned presentation to CFP officials in Chicago.

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN-DOCTOR SEXUAL ASSAULT

Schembechler son, players say Michigan coach knew of abuse

NOVI, Mich. (AP) — One of legendary University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler’s sons and two of his former players have described in detail how they were molested by the team’s longtime doctor and how Schembechler turned a blind eye when they told him about it.

Matt Schembechler, and former players Daniel Kwiatkowski and Gilvanni Johnson told similar stories during a news conference about how Dr. Robert E. Anderson, who died in 2008, molested and digitally penetrated them during physical exams decades ago.

They also talked about how Bo Schembechler, who died in 2006 and whose statue stands outside a university building that bears his name, refused to protect them and allowed Anderson to continue abusing players and other patients for years.

NBA PLAYOFFS Bucks face character test after getting embarrassed by Nets

MILWAUKEE (AP) — No second-round matchup had more advance billing than the Brooklyn Nets-Milwaukee Bucks series that featured the NBA’s two highest-scoring offenses.

So far it’s been no contest. Brooklyn has been every bit as potent as advertised in building a 2-0 lead.

But the struggling Bucks posted their lowest point total of the season in a 125-86 Game 2 loss.

Tonight’s playoff action has the Bucks hosting the Nets in Game 3 and the Utah Jazz attempting to take a 2-0 lead over the Los Angeles Clippers. That game will be in Salt Lake City.

NHL PLAYOFFS

Vegas looks to close out Avalanche

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche need a win tonight in Las Vegas, or their off-season will begin.

The Golden Knights hold a 3 games to 2 lead in the series after Mark Stone’s breakaway goal in overtime Tuesday.

Not much separated the Avs and the Golden Knights in the regular season as they split eight head-to-head games and finished tied for the most points in the league. Colorado claimed the Presidents’ Trophy based on more regulation wins.

Avs Coach Jared Bednar missed Colorado’s morning skate in Las Vegas after irregularities from a COVID-19 test. The team says Bednar was not at the arena. It’s not immediately clear if Bednar will be behind the bench for Game 6 against the Golden Knights.

Colorado forward Joonas Donskoi says the team thinks Bednar will be back.

With Montreal already into the third round, Canadiens players received their second vaccine doses yesterday.

NHL NEWS

McDavid, Matthews, MacKinnon finalists for NHL MVP honors

NEW YORK (AP) — Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews and Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon have been named finalists for the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP.

McDavid is considered the likely winner of the award after dominating the scoring race with 105 points in 56 games. That’s 21 more than the next-closest player, teammate Leon Draisaitl.

Matthews led the league with 41 goals.

If McDavid wins the Hart as expected, Edmonton will be the first team with different players as back-to-back MVPs since Boston in 1969 and 1970.

MLB SCHEDULE

UNDATED (AP) — Zack Greinke goes for his third straight win when the Houston Astros close out a three-game series against the Red Sox in Boston tonight.

Greinke threw a six-hitter in a 13-1 victory at Toronto on Friday for his first complete game since 2017. He is 4-1 with a 2.37 ERA in his last five starts. Eduardo Rodríguez pitches for Boston, looking for his first win since May 7.

In other American League action, the Mariners and Tigers finish off their series in Detroit with a matinee. Tonight, the Yankees finish up with the Twins in Minnesota, the White Sox host the Blue Jays for one more, while Kansas City is at Oakland for the start of a four-game set.

In the National League, Washington ace Max Scherzer faces San Francisco for the first time in exactly three years when the Nationals get a visit from the surprising Giants. Scherzer is 4-5 with a 3.86 ERA in 10 career starts against the Giants. He has 104 strikeouts in 77 innings so far this year. Anthony DeSclafani gets the start for NL West-leading San Francisco.

There are three afternoon games on the NL schedule, with the Dodgers and Pirates wrapping up their series in Pittsburgh, the Brewers in Cincinnati for one more and Atlanta at Philadelphia. Tonight, the Rockies and Marlins meet one more time in Miami.

MLB NEWS

Alonso makes big allegation

BALTIMORE (AP) — New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso is accusing Major League Baseball of manipulating the baseballs to harm the earning potential for star free agents and players eligible for arbitration.

Alonso’s comments came in response to a question about the crackdown on sticky substances used by pitchers.

“I think that the biggest concern is that Major League Baseball manipulates the baseballs year in and year out depending on the free agency class — or guys being in an advanced part of their arbitration,” Alonso said. “… Maybe if the league didn’t change the baseball, pitchers wouldn’t need to use as much sticky stuff.”

When asked a follow-up question about this, Alonso remained firm. His implication was that the balls are friendlier to hitters in a year when a number of top pitchers are about to hit free agency — and vice versa.

In other MLB news:

The Cleveland Indians have traded first baseman Jake Bauers to the Seattle Mariners for a player to be named or cash. Bauers was named Cleveland’s starting first baseman despite being outplayed by Bobby Bradley in training camp because he was out of minor league options. Bauers batted just .190 with six RBIs in 43 games before the Indians designated him for assignment last weekend and recalled Bradley. Bauers is expected to join the Mariners for today’s game in Detroit, and he’ll be back in Cleveland on Friday when Seattle opens a three-game series.

NFL NEWS

Belichick: Newton not practicing, but fine after hand injury

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Patriots quarterback Cam Newton hasn’t practiced since injuring his throwing hand during voluntary workouts last week. But coach Bill Belichick expects New England’s incumbent starting quarterback to be fine.

Newton was not at the Patriots’ latest workout today, the third session open to media.

This is Newton’s first full offseason with the Patriots after signing with them last July. His absence left New England with three quarterbacks — Jarrett Stidham, rookie Mac Jones and Brian Hoyer with a mandatory, three-day minicamp set for next week.

In other NFL news:

— The offensive line that the Kansas City Chiefs aggressively overhauled this offseason has taken a hit. Veteran Kyle Long suffered a knee injury during voluntary workouts that could require surgery and keep him out of training camp. The 32-year-old Long came out of a one-year retirement designed largely to get him healthy to sign a one-year contract with the Chiefs,

—The Green Bay Packers expect to fill Lambeau Field for games this season. They also plan to welcome fans to training camp and their annual shareholders meeting this year. Fans who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 won’t need to wear masks. Unvaccinated fans will be asked to wear masks. Proof of vaccination won’t be required.

FRENCH OPEN

Pavlyuchenkova advances to French Open final

PARIS (AP) — Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will play her first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros.

The 31st-seeded player defeated unseeded Tamara Zidansek 7-5, 6-3 to become the first Russian woman to reach a final at a major since Maria Sharapova at the 2015 Australian Open.

Both players struggled with their serves on Court Philippe Chatrier but Pavlyuchenkova managed to hold her nerves better on important points.

Unseeded Barbora Krejcikova saved one match point to book the other spot in the French Open final Saturday.

Down 5-3, 30-40 on her serve in the decider against 17th-seeded Maria Sakkari, Krejcikova hit a backhand winner at the net to stay alive in the match. She finally held and broke back in the next game to level at 5-5. Krejcikova then needed five match points to seal the absorbing contest 7-5, 4-6, 9-7.

NASCAR

Race organizers apologize for Confederate flag inside car

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Organizers of a NASCAR racing series in North Carolina have apologized after a car with a Confederate flag decal competed in a race last weekend, violating the governing body’s ban.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports the flag was spotted inside Lee Stimpson’s car Saturday night at Bowman Gray Stadium.

Track spokesperson Gray Garrison says it won’t happen again, adding that track officials must have missed seeing the flag.

NASCAR banned Confederate imagery at all tracks last June after a noose on a garage pull-down rope at Talladega Speedway in Alabama was found in the garage assigned to Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in the series. After investigating, the FBI said the noose was on the garage door rope since 2019 and Wallace wasn’t targeted.

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