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(Phoenix, AZ)  --  "Deflategate" notwithstanding, the main focus this weekend is on Super Bowl 49.  The defending world champion Seattle Seahawks are hoping to capture their second straight title, while the New England Patriots are looking to earn their fourth Super Bowl victory.  The game is still rated a virtual tossup.  Kickoff Sunday from Glendale, Arizona is set for 3:30 p.m.

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(New York, NY)  --  Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge will play in the NBA All-Star game for the fourth straight season.  Western Conference coaches have chosen Aldridge as a reserve for the game, which will be played on February 15th at Madison Square Garden in New York.  The Blazers' Damian Lillard, who played in last year's All-Star game, wasn't chosen to go there this year.

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(Phoenix, AZ)  --  Seahawks defensive backs Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas appear to be healthy as the team prepares for its Super Bowl Sunday showdown with the New England Patriots.  Thomas suffered a separated shoulder in the NFC Championship game against Green Bay, and Sherman suffered a hyperextended elbow.  SeattlePI.com reports all 53 players on the Seahawks' active roster fully participated in yesterday's practice.

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(Cleveland, OH)  --  The Portland Trail Blazers are losers of six of their last seven games, after falling last night to Cleveland, 99-94.  LaMarcus Aldridge scored 38 points and grabbed eleven rebounds to lead Portland.  Damian Lillard added 14 points and Wesley Matthews scored 11.  The Blazers will visit Atlanta tomorrow night.

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(Phoenix, AZ)  --  Seattle Seahawks star running back Marshawn Lynch always seems to leave them wanting more.  At yesterday's pre-Super Bowl Media Day event in Phoenix, Lynch answered all questions with the same statement: "I'm just here so I won't get fined."  Lynch has been fined tens of thousands of dollars over the past two seasons for failing to comply with NFL policy that requires players to meet with reporters at scheduled times.  Lynch sat at the table yesterday for the allotted four minutes and 30 seconds before the alarm went off on his cell phone and he got up and left.

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(New York, NY)  --  Last night's game between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Brooklyn Nets is being rescheduled due to snow.  A blizzard that's pounding the Northeast forced the game in Brooklyn to be postponed.  The contest will be played on April 6th, when the Blazers were originally slated to have a day off between home games.  Portland's next game is scheduled for tomorrow night in Cleveland.

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(Portland, OR)  --  The Portland Trail Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge says he'll postpone surgery on his thumb.  The All-Star forward says he'll continue to play with a torn ligament and will have the surgery after the season ends.  Team officials say the delay could double Aldridge's recovery time, meaning he could miss the beginning of training camp for next season.



(Phoenix, AZ)  --  The Seattle Seahawks are in their final week of preparation to defend their Super Bowl title against the New England Patriots.  The Hawks arrived yesterday in Phoenix after getting a huge sendoff from 12s at Sea-Tac International Airport.  Thousands of fans lining South 188th Street cheered as team buses traveled to the airport.  Players gave high-fives to fans outside the Delta hangar and posed for pictures with airport employees.



Corvallis, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - Gary Payton II led the way with
21 points and 10 rebounds, as the Oregon State Beavers downed the
USC Trojans, 59-55, in a Pac-12 showdown at Gill Coliseum.

For the Beavers (14-5, 5-2 Pac-12), Jarmal Reid added 14 points,
Olaf Schaftenaar tallied 11 points and Malcolm Duvivier posted nine
points, five rebounds and five assists.

Katin Reinhardt led the Trojans (9-10, 1-6) with 17 points, while
Nikola Jovanovic scored 13 points and Jordan McLaughlin finished
with seven assists.
 



Eugene, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - Joseph Young led five Ducks in
double-figures with 16 points as Oregon dispatched the UCLA Bruins,
82-64, in Pac-12 Conference action at Matthew Knight Arena.

Dwayne Benjamin came off the bench to net 15 points in 19 minutes
for the Ducks (14-6, 4-3 Pac-12), who have now won two in a row.
Elgin Cook added 11 points, while Ahmaad Rorie and Jalil
Abdul-Bassit scored 10 points apiece.

Norman Powell led UCLA (11-9, 3-4) with 23 points on 7-of-14
shooting from the floor. Bryce Alford and Kevon Looney contributed
15 points apiece, with the latter also accounting for a game-high
eight boards.

Oregon knocked down 75 percent of its field goal tries, including a
6-of-7 clip from beyond the arc in the opening 20 minutes of the
contest. The Bruins went into the intermission trailing, 46-31,
after they were limited to 42.9 percent efficiency from the floor
in the first half.

UCLA failed to mount a comeback after the break as it was held to
39.4 percent shooting from the field. The Ducks hit on 51.7 percent
of their field goal attempts in the second period to extend their lead.

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(Portland, OR)  --  Trail Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge is expected to be out of action for six to eight weeks.  An MRI on Aldridge's left hand showed a tear in a radial collateral ligament.  Aldridge suffered the injury during Portland's win over Sacramento.  He'll need surgery to repair the tear, and won't likely be back on the court until March.



(Portland, OR)  --  The Portland Trail Blazers will try to rebound from a disappointing 90-89 loss at home to the Boston Celtics.  Boston won it with a three-pointer by Evan Turner with less than two seconds remaining.  Damian Lillard led Portland with 21 points and seven assists.  The Blazers will host the Washington Wizards tomorrow night.



(Renton, WA)  --  Seattle Seahawks players aren't saying much about "DeflateGate."  That's the tag for the controversy surrounding under-inflated footballs the NFL says were used by the New England Patriots in their AFC title game win over the Indianapolis Colts.  Most of the Seahawks questioned by reporters about the issue yesterday had little to say about it.  But outspoken cornerback Richard Sherman said whether or not it's true that the Patriots intentionally under-inflated most of the footballs they used during last Sunday's game, he's "not sure anything will come of it."



(Phoenix, AZ)  --  The Portland Trail Blazers will turn their attention to tonight's game against Boston, after losing to the Phoenix Suns, 118-113.  The Blazers, who were without LaMarcus Aldridge because of a hand injury, saw their fourth-quarter rally fall short.  Nicolas Batum led Portland with 27 points and ten rebounds.  The Blazers will host the Celtics tonight at seven. 



(Portland, OR)  --  The Portland Trail Blazers' losing streak is over, after last night's 98-94 victory over Sacramento at the Moda Center.  Damian Lillard scored 22 points to lead the Blazers, who had to play most of the contest without LaMarcus Aldridge.  Aldridge scored ten points before leaving the game with an injured thumb.  Portland will visit Phoenix tomorrow night.



(Renton, WA)  --  Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman says he'll be ready to go for the Super Bowl.  ESPN reports Sherman sprained an elbow during Sunday's NFC Championship game against Green Bay, but he says he'll be ready to play against New England on February 1st.  Safety Earl Thomas sustained a separated shoulder in the first half of Sunday's game, but ESPN is reporting he'll also be ready for Super Sunday.



(Seattle, WA)  --  The Oregon men's basketball team is preparing for USC after losing to Washington in Seattle last night, 85-77.  The Ducks led by ten points at halftime, but Washington exploded for 53 points in the second half to earn the win.  Dillon Brooks scored 16 points and Dwayne Benjamin added 15 for Oregon.  The Ducks will host the Trojans Thursday night.



(Seattle, WA)  --  The Seattle Seahawks are heading back to the Super Bowl.  The defending world champs overcame a 16-0 deficit to defeat the Green Bay Packers in overtime, 28-22, to win the NFC title.  A 35-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to Jermaine Kearse, three minutes and 19 seconds into the extra period, assured the turnover-plagued Seahawks of their second straight trip to the Big Game.  Seattle will meet the AFC champion New England Patriots in Super Bowl 49 on February 1st in Glendale, Arizona.
 



(Renton, WA)  --  Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is this year's NFL executive-of-the-year award winner.  But Seattle coach Pete Carroll is wondering why the award didn't go to Seahawks General Manager John Schneider.  Carroll and Schneider arrived in Seattle at the same time, and the Seahawks have racked up multiple playoff appearances and a Super Bowl title since then.  Carroll says Schneider should be recognized as one of the NFL's top executives for helping the Seahawks attain their success and contend for a possible second Super Bowl championship this year.



(Portland, OR)  --  The Portland Trail Blazers will try to regroup after suffering a rare loss at home to the Los Angeles Clippers, 100-94.  LaMarcus Aldridge led all scorers with 37 points while collecting 12 rebounds.  Chris Kaman and Damian Lillard each had 15 points for Portland.  The Blazers will play at San Antonio tomorrow night.
 



As expected, Oregon junior quarterback Marcus Mariota, winner of the Heisman Trophy for the 2014 season, is entering the 2015 NFL draft. Mariota announced his decision in a release Wednesday. Mariota's decision to go pro comes two days after the Ducks' 42-20
loss to Ohio State in the national title game. A three-year starter, Mariota led Oregon to a 36-5 record, and set an NCAA record by passing for a touchdown in all 41 career starts. He
became the first player in Pac-12 history to account for 5,000 yards of total offense in a single season, reaching 5,224 on Monday in the title game, and he became the first player in FBS history to finish a season with a plus-50 ratio of touchdowns (58) to turnovers (seven).

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(Undated)  --  Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is being defended by fans for his past practice of silence to the media, and among those defenders is golf star Rory McIlroy.  Lynch has been slapped with heavy fines by the NFL for refusing to meet with members of the media as required by the league, and fans are petitioning the NFL to "stop bullying" the star running back.  McIlroy recently tweeted in response to Lynch's pat answer of "I'm thankful" to media questions following the playoff game with Carolina, saying "Love this!  Paid to play not answer questions."  The four-time major winner later tweeted that Lynch "has 50 teammates that can answer q's about the game" and that it's unfair that the "media insist that they want him as it's a bigger story."
 

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(Renton, WA)  --  Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll says it's "only fitting" that this Sunday's NFC Championship Game at CenturyLink Field will start at 12.  Carroll says the team negotiated with the NFL to move the start time of the game to noon to honor the 12th Man.  The Seahawks will host the Green Bay Packers in a contest to decide who will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
 



(Arlington, TX)  --  Ohio State is the first national champion in college football's playoff era.  The Buckeyes beat the Oregon Ducks, 42-20, overcoming four turnovers to win the national title.  Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota completed 24 of 37 passes for 333 yards and two touchdowns for the Ducks.  After the game, Mariota said he hasn't made a decision whether to skip his senior year and enter the NFL Draft.



(Seattle, WA)  --  It will be the Seahawks and the Packers for a trip to the Super Bowl.  Green Bay rallied past the Dallas Cowboys yesterday, 26-21, to earn the right to play Seattle for the NFC Championship.  The Seahawks advanced to the conference title game Saturday with a 31-17 win over Carolina.  Kickoff at CenturyLink Field next Sunday is set for 12:05 p.m.



(Corvallis, OR)  --  The Oregon State men's basketball team is riding high, following its 58-56 upset win over sixth-ranked Arizona in Corvallis.  Langston Morris-Walker led the Beavers with 12 points and Gary Payton the Second added ten.  The win snapped a seven-game losing streak for Oregon State against Arizona.  The Beavers will visit Washington Thursday night.
 



(Portland, OR)  --  The Portland Trail Blazers are tied with Golden State for most wins in the NBA this season, after beating the Miami Heat, 99-83.  Portland overcame a slow start and dominated in the second half to improve their record at home to 17-and-3.  LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 24 points and 12 rebounds.  Portland will host Orlando tomorrow night.



(Eugene, OR)  --  The woman who accused three University of Oregon basketball players of raping her last March is suing the university and men's head coach Dana Altman in federal court.  Lane County prosecutors declined to charge the accused, Brandon Austin, Damyan Dotson, and Dominic Artis, citing lack of evidence.  The three have since been kicked out of school.  The lawsuit claims Austin was the ringleader of the sexual assault, and says the University of Oregon was lax in its investigation of allegations that Austin had been investigated for a sex crime at Providence College in Rhode Island.  The suit claims the school and coach violated Title Nine, which is supposed to guarantee a safe learning environment for all students.
 



(Renton, WA)  --  Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll says veteran center Max Unger should be ready to go for Saturday's divisional playoff game with Carolina.  Unger has been sidelined the last six games with ankle and knee injuries.  He participated in practice during the Seahawks' bye week, and says he has a good chance to play Saturday.



(New York, NY)  --  Former Seattle Mariners pitcher Randy Johnson will be inducted later this year into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  The "Big Unit" was a near-unanimous choice of the Baseball Writers' Association of America in his first appearance on the ballot.  Johnson pitched for seven teams during his major-league career, but spent the most time with the Mariners, pitching for Seattle from 1989 to 1998.
 



(Renton, WA)  --  The Seattle Seahawks are eleven-point favorites in this Saturday's NFC divisional playoff game with the Carolina Panthers.  The top-seeded Seahawks will be coming off a bye week, while the Panthers advanced to the divisional matchup with a 27-16 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.  Kickoff Saturday at CenturyLink Field is set for 5:15 p.m.



(Portland, OR)  --  The Portland Trail Blazers are back on the winning track after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers, 98-94.  The Blazers held off the Kobe Bryant-less Lakers as L.A.'s leading scorer sat out the contest to rest.  Damian Lillard led Portland with 39 points and five assists.  The Blazers will host Miami Thursday night.



(Seattle, WA)  --  The Seattle Seahawks will now focus their preparations on the Carolina Panthers.  The two teams will play in an NFC Divisional playoff game this Saturday at CenturyLink Field, after the Panthers defeated the Arizona Cardinals over the weekend in their Wild Card matchup.  The Hawks beat Carolina in Week Eight of the regular season, 13-9, in Charlotte.  Kickoff Saturday is set for 5:15 p.m.



(Portland, OR)  --  Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant will be sitting out tonight's game in Portland against the Trail Blazers.  Lakers coach Byron Scott says Bryant will use the time off to rest in the middle of the team's schedule of three games in four nights.  Bryant has suffered a torn Achilles and broken tibial bone in his left knee over the last two seasons.  Tonight's tipoff at the Moda Center is set for seven o'clock.



(Pasadena, CA)  --  The battle of the last two Heisman Trophy winners was overshadowed by mistakes as Oregon rolled Florida State, 59-20, in the 101st edition of the Rose Bowl. The Ducks advanced to the National Championship Game by forcing FSU into five turnovers, four of which were lost fumbles.  Marcus Mariota threw for 338 yards, ran for 62 and compiled three total touchdowns. Thomas Tyner ran for another two TDs with an additional 124 yards on the ground. Darren Carrington was Mariota's main target hauling in seven receptions for 165 yards and hitting pay dirt twice.


The Seminoles only trailed by five at halftime and then 25-20 midway through the third quarter before allowing the final 34 points.  Jameis Winston threw for 348 yards, one TD, one pick and lost a fumble that was returned for a score. Florida State took their first loss since November 2012, a stretch of 29 games.  The Ducks are 13-and-1 and will face Ohio State on January 12th.
 

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(Renton, WA)  --  After working on days when many fans are off, the Seattle Seahawks are enjoying a long weekend.  The Hawks have a first-round bye in the NFC Playoffs, but they held practice on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day before taking a three-day break.  On January 10th, Seattle will play the lowest-seeded survivor of either tomorrow's Arizona-Carolina game or Sunday's contest between Dallas and Detroit.
 



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