- Associated Press - Monday, February 2, 2015

SUPER BOWL

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Tom Brady threw for four touchdowns, including a 3-yarder to Julian Edelman with 2:02 remaining Sunday night, as New England rallied from a 10-point deficit to beat Seattle 28-24 for the fourth Super Bowl title in the Brady-Bill Belichick era.

But the Patriots (15-4) had to survive a last-ditch drive by the Seahawks (14-5), who got to the 1, helped by a spectacular juggling catch by Jermaine Kearse. Then, Pete Carroll chose to pass instead of handing off to Marshawn Lynch and rookie Malcolm Butler stepped in front of Ricardo Lockette to pick off Russell Wilson’s throw and complete one of the wildest Super Bowl finishes.

Brady, selected the game’s MVP for the third time, surpassed Joe Montana’s mark of 11 Super Bowl touchdown passes with a 4-yarder to Danny Amendola to bring the Patriots within three points.

Seattle, seeking to become the first repeat NFL champion since New England a decade ago, was outplayed for the first half, yet tied at 14. The Seahawks scored the only 10 points of the third period, but the NFL-leading defense couldn’t slow the brilliant Brady when it counted most.



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PRO FOOTBALL

PHOENIX (AP) - Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers won his second MVP award Saturday night, and J.J. Watt swept away the voters the way he sweeps quarterbacks off their feet to take top defensive honors.

Rodgers, also the 2011 Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player award winner, took this one in somewhat surprisingly easy fashion over Watt. The Packers quarterback received 31 votes for the 2014 award from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. Houston’s Watt, seeking to become the first defensive player to win MVP since 1986, got 13 votes.

NFL rushing leader DeMarco Murray of Dallas won Offensive Player, while the Arizona Cardinals swept coaching honors. Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski took the Comeback Player award. Bruce Arians took his second Coach of the Year award in three seasons after leading his injury-ravaged Cardinals to an 11-5 record and a wild-card playoff berth. His defensive coordinator in Arizona, Todd Bowles, won the first Assistant Coach of the Year award. Bowles has parlayed his work with the Cardinals into a head coaching job with the Jets.

PHOENIX (AP) - Junior Seau, Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Charles Haley and Will Shields were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The class of 2015, to be inducted in August in Canton, Ohio, also includes a pair of contributors, Bill Polian and Ron Wolf, along with senior selection Mick Tingelhoff. The announcement was made Saturday, a day before the Super Bowl.

Five nominees were eliminated in the final vote: Tony Dungy, Kevin Greene, Marvin Harrison, Orlando Pace and Kurt Warner.

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (AP) - Ann Mara, the matriarch of the NFL’s New York Giants for the past 60 years, died Sunday. She was 85.

Giants co-owner John Mara announced his mother’s death on Super Bowl Sunday. Ann Mara slipped in front of her home in Rye, New York, during an ice storm two weeks ago and was hospitalized with a head injury the following day. While there were initial hopes for recovery, John Mara said, complications developed and she died early Sunday surrounded by her family.

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TENNIS

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Novak Djokovic won his fifth Australian Open title and his eighth career Grand Slam while extending Andy Murray’s misery at Melbourne Park.

Djokovic beat Murray 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-0 in Sunday’s final, relegating the Scotsman to runner-up status for the fourth time in four tries in the Australian Open final. Murray had lost twice previously to Djokovic - in 2011 and 2013 - and to Roger Federer in 2010.

The No. 1-ranked Djokovic, meanwhile, is a perfect 5-for-5 in Australian Open finals.

In the women’s final Saturday, Serena Williams won her 19th Grand Slam title and continued her unbeaten run in six Australian Open finals by extending her decade-long domination of Maria Sharapova.

She struggled with a hacking cough, she was sick, and she twice celebrated too early, but she held her composure in a 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory.

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GOLF

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Brooks Koepka rolled in a 50-foot eagle putt from the fringe on the 15th hole and closed with a 5-under 66 on Sunday to win the Phoenix Open for his first PGA Tour victory.

The victory ended a journey around the world for the 24-year-old Floridian. He went from the Challenge Tour in Europe to a European Tour card to a victory in Turkey. But this was the pinnacle.

Koepka emerged from a wild final hour at the TPC Scottsdale in which five players had a share of the lead at some point. Martin Laird lost a share of the lead with a bogey on the 17th. Hideki Matsuyama ended 44 holes without a bogey with a three-putt on the 14th. Bubba Watson and Ryan Palmer ran out of holes.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - An unrelenting Rory McIlroy secured his second Dubai Desert Classic title in six years with a 2-under 70 in the final round to win by three shots on Sunday.

The Northern Irishman’s 22-under 266 total matched the lowest in the history of the tournament, set by Stephen Gallacher in 2013 and Thomas Bjorn in 2001.

The top-ranked McIlroy, whose win here in 2009 was his first as a professional, made just three birdies Sunday but kept mistakes off his card. His only bogey of the round came on the par-3 seventh hole at Emirates Golf Club’s Majlis course.

PANAMA CITY (AP) - Australia’s Mathew Goggin won the Web.com Tour’s season-opening Panama Claro Championship on Sunday, closing with a 3-under 67 in hot, windy conditions for a four-stroke victory.

Also the 2011 winner, the 40-year-old Goggin finished at 11-under 269 at Panama Golf Club. He earned $112,500 for his fifth victory on the tour and first since 2011.

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BASEBALL

CHICAGO (AP) - Fans and friends paid tribute to legendary Chicago Cubs slugger Ernie Banks on Saturday, recalling how he helped break baseball’s color barrier during a Hall of Fame career in which he won over teammates and an entire city with the unwavering optimism he brought to the game and life.

At a memorial service in a Chicago church, the buoyant man known as “Mr. Cub” was remembered for his character as much as his accomplishments on the ballfield, including his 512 career home runs. Speaker after speaker recalled Banks’ unflagging spirit and good cheer - he enthusiastically predicted each spring that his team would win the pennant - as well as his humility and care for others.

Banks, a two-time MVP, military veteran and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, died Jan. 23 of a heart attack.

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AUTO RACING

JEREZ, Spain (AP) - Sebastian Vettel posted the fastest lap for Ferrari on the first day of pre-season Formula One testing Sunday, while last year’s championship runner-up Nico Rosberg clocked a massive 157 laps.

Rosberg lost out on the title to Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in a gripping and often tense tussle last year that went down to the final race in Abu Dhabi.

Vettel’s best lap of 1 minute, 22.62 seconds was .157 quicker than Swedish driver Marcus Ericsson and .486 better than Rosberg.

There are four days of testing. Hamilton drives on Monday and Wednesday. The season opens on March 15 in Melbourne.

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