- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 24, 2017


NEW YORK (AP) - The selection committee for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament is getting into the bracketology business and borrowing an idea from the College Football Playoff, hoping it will get more fans thinking about March Madness in February.

The NCAA, CBS Sports and Turner announced that for the first time the committee will give a look at its top 16 seeds one month before the 68-team field locks in on March 12.

The top four teams in each region will be revealed on Feb. 11 during a March Madness preview show on CBS. It’s the first time the men’s basketball selection committee has revealed its thinking during the season, giving teams an idea where they stand heading down the stretch.


SEATTLE (AP) - The Mariners will retire former designated hitter Edgar Martinez’s No. 11 as he continues to move closer to induction into the baseball Hall of Fame.

Seattle President Kevin Mather said Martinez’s number will be retired Aug. 12 as part of a weekend celebration.

Last week, Martinez was named on 58.6 percent of ballots when results of Hall of Fame voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America were announced. It was a major jump that set the stage for Martinez in his final two years of eligibility to potentially become the first player who was primarily a designated hitter to be voted into the Hall of Fame.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Versatile infielder Luis Valbuena and the Los Angeles Angels completed a $15 million, two-year contract.

Valbuena spent the past two seasons with the Houston Astros, batting .260 last year with 13 homers and 40 RBIs despite missing the final two months with a hamstring injury. He plays every infield position except shortstop.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Nick Hundley agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract with the San Francisco Giants to serve as Buster Posey’s backup catcher.

Hundley batted .260 with 10 home runs and 48 RBIs in 83 games for Colorado last season, starting 77 games behind the plate.

NEW YORK (AP) - Billy Bean was given expanded responsibilities by Major League Baseball, which has changed his title to vice president and special assistant to commissioner Rob Manfred.

Bean will handle anti-bullying efforts in addition to his previous work, the commissioner’s office said.

Hired in July 2014 as a consultant and given the title ambassador for inclusion, Bean was promoted last January to vice president for social responsibility and inclusion. He will continue to develop strategies with a focus on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Bean came out as gay in 1999, four years after his final major league season. He will report to Chief Communications Officer Pat Courtney and have streamlined access to Manfred. Previously, Bean reported to Chief Legal Officer Dan Halem.


ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Michigan is committed to paying Jim Harbaugh’s top three assistants $1 million each per year.

Defensive coordinator Don Brown and offensive coordinator Tim Drevno were retained with contracts worth more than $10 million combined over the next five years. Passing coordinator Pep Hamilton was lured away from the Cleveland Browns with a $4.25 million, four-year deal.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Former Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees is returning to his alma mater as an assistant coach.

The Fighting Irish announced Rees is joining Brian Kelly’s staff as quarterbacks coach. He is part of a major overhaul to Kelly’s staff that includes new offensive and defensive coordinators. The Irish went 4-8 last season.


SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - The San Jose Sharks traded forward Tommy Wingels to the Ottawa Senators for two minor league forwards and a 2017 seventh-round draft pick.

Wingels had been a key contributor to the Sharks over the years but his role had diminished this season. He has five goals and three assists in 37 games, playing mostly on the fourth line.


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Erin Andrews says she battled cervical cancer during the NFL season, months after winning a lawsuit against a stalker.

The 38-year-old Fox Sports sideline reporter and “Dancing with the Stars” co-host tells Sports Illustrated’s MMQB she underwent surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Oct. 11.

She was back on the sidelines five days later. She says her doctor didn’t recommend a return to work so soon.

Andrews says she underwent a second procedure Nov. 1 and was told later that month radiation and chemotherapy would not be needed.


LONDON (AP) - Formula One’s new owners plan to add a street race in the United States in an attempt to improve a sport they feel stagnated under Bernie Ecclestone’s control.

Chase Carey, who ended Ecclestone’s four-decade reign as F1’s chief executive, told The Associated Press that the sport will no longer be run as a “one-man show.”


WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) - John Isner, Jack Sock, Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey were named to the U.S. Davis Cup roster that will face a Switzerland team minus Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka next month.

The best-of-five series in the first round will be played on an indoor hard court Feb. 3-5 in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Switzerland-U.S. winner will face Australia or the Czech Republic in the Davis Cup quarterfinals in April.


Rory McIlroy is targeting the Mexico Championship in March as his return to tournament action from injury.

McIlroy aggravated a rib stress fracture while finishing runner-up at the SA Open in Gauteng two weekends ago. Those injuries typically take about six weeks to heal, and he believes he’ll be ready to play again in the first World Golf Championship of the year, from March 2-5.

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