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MIAMI — An hour after what he called the best regular-season game he's ever played, LeBron James simply explained why this performance was like none other. The basketball, he said, felt small as a golf ball. The basket, to him, looked as wide as the ocean. Best player in the game. Best game of his career. James rewrote his record book Monday night, etched his name a few different times in Miami Heat annals as well, and let the NBA know in crystal-clear terms that his MVP award won't be ceded without a fight this season. He scored 61 points, setting career- and franchise-bests, as the Heat topped the Charlotte Bobcats 124-107. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 1,000 words.
NEW YORK — Jason Collins dealt with the ticket requests, handled the media responsibilities, then moved on to what he most wants to do in the NBA. "Win basketball games," Collins said. He will get at least a few more chances. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. SENT: 750 words, photos.
— MILWAUKEE — BKN--Bucks-Abdul-Jabbar. SENT: 475 words.
— PHILADELPHIA — BKN--Sorry 76ers. By Dan Gelston. SENT: 900 words, photos.
PRETORIA, South Africa — The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius opened Monday in South Africa with testimony from a neighbor who described the sound of what she said were four gunshots and recalled the "blood-curdling screams" of a woman who prosecutors say was the girlfriend slain by the onetime star athlete in his home. By Gerald Imray and Christopher Torchia. SENT: 975 words, photos.
KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Jon Singleton is considered the top first base prospect in baseball — a big, dynamic left-handed hitter with power and composure who can use the entire field. He's one of the players expected to help the Houston Astros back to respectability after three straight 100-loss seasons. All that despite a couple of significant setbacks. And for the first time publicly, he's opening up about his battle with an addiction to marijuana and monthlong stay at a rehabilitation center. By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 1,300 words.
SURPRISE, Ariz. — Russell Wilson has enjoyed spending time with the Texas Rangers. Yet the Seattle Seahawks are never far from the young quarterback's mind. While Wilson sat in the Texas Rangers dugout Monday, fans yelling "Seahawks" filled the spring training stadium. SENT: 550 words.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Challenged for the first time under Major League Baseball's expanded replay system, umpires got it right. The umps went 3 for 3 on Monday as MLB tried out the new format at three spring training games. By Bob Baum. SENT: 800 words.
SURPRISE, Ariz. — Cleveland Indians closer and movie buff John Axford went a perfect 18-for-18 on his Academy Awards picks. Axford made the projections after the Indians game Sunday on his Facebook page. SENT: 200 words.
— TAMPA, Fla. — BBA--Yankees-Jeter-Namath. By Mark Didtler. SENT: 300 words, photos.
— FORT MYERS, Fla. — BBO--First Replay. SENT: 350 words.
— LAKELAND, Fla. — BBA--Tigers-Adjusting to Ausmus. By Noah Trister. SENT: 750 words.
— COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — BBO--Hall of Fame-Thomas. By John Kekis. SENT: 700 words, photos.
— NEW YORK — BBO--Fox-Announcers. By Rachel Cohen. SENT: 350 words.
The 68-team bracket has 36 at-large bids, but there are likely only a dozen or so not all but spoken for at this point. In other words, there's still quite a few teams sweating it out. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. SENT: 875 words.
Breaking down this week's Associated Press college basketball poll; Virginia Rising, first NCAA tournament spot up for grabs Friday, Connecticut and Oklahoma return to the Top 25. By Basketball Writer Jim O'Connell. SENT: 550 words.
Connecticut continued its stay atop The Associated Press women's basketball poll for another week. UConn has won 37 straight games dating to last season's NCAA championship run, the third-longest winning streak in school history. The Huskies routed No. 3 Louisville 68-48 on Monday night. Up next is the American Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinals on Saturday. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: 675 words.
BKC--BIG 12-UP FOR GRABS
The only certainties about the Big 12 are that Kansas will finish in first place and TCU will be last. For everyone else, the final week of the regular season represents a chance to either improve their postseason positioning or win over the NCAA tournament selection committee. By Luke Meredith. SENT: 600 words.
— GAINESVILLE, Fla. — BKC--T25-Florida's Chase. By Mark Long. SENT: 675 words.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The first day of spring practice was a bit surreal for Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson. It had nothing to do with the 4 below zero temperature outside when the Fighting Irish took the field inside at 7:30 a.m. Monday. It had everything to do with that fact he was putting on his gold Notre Dame helmet and red practice jersey for the first time since being suspended from school last May for academic impropriety. By Tom Coyne. SENT: 680 words.
MINNEAPOLIS — The annual pro day workout at Minnesota rarely ranks high on an NFL team's list. The draft prospects participating are usually long shots at best. Here, then, was the latest sign of Ra'Shede Hageman's rising profile: Hageman skipped the skills tests on Monday because they were no longer a necessary part of his audition, his strong impression already made at the league's scouting combine. By Dave Campbell. SENT: 600 words.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Illinois coach Tim Beckman insists there is no shortage of pressure to take the team to a bowl game next season. "We've got to be better, we've got to win more football games. There's no question about that," said Beckman, whose Illini went 4-8 last season. "Is there pressure on me to get to a bowl game? Well, there is from myself." By David Mercer. SENT: 450 words.
— COLUMBUS, Ohio — FBC--Ohio St-Urban Meyer Surgery. SENT: 90 words.
— PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — GLF--On Golf: Wounded Woods. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 850 words.
— ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — FBN--Broncos-Manning. SENT: 625 words.
— SAN FRANCISCO — FBN--49ers-Boldin. By Antonio Gonzalez. SENT: 750 words.
— CLEVELAND — FBN--Browns-Mack. By Tom Withers. SENT: 675 words.
— ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — FBN--Bills-Byrd. SENT: 600 words.
— MIAMI — FBN--Dolphins-Grimes. SENT: 300 words.
— CHARLOTTE, N.C. — CAR--NASCAR-In The Pits. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. SENT: 850 words.
— TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — BBC--Florida St-Winston Watch. By Kareem Copeland. SENT: 375 words.
— COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — FIG--Worlds-Davis-White Out. SENT: 325 words.
— CLEARWATER, Fla. — Boxer Arrested. SENT: 275 words.
— NEW YORK — TEN--Hall of Fame. By Rachel Cohen. SENT: 500 words.
— SAO PAULO — SOC--WCup-100 Days. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 600 words.
— LONDON — SOC--Newcastle-Pardew Charged. SENT: 200 words.
— CHICAGO — SOC--US-Ukraine. SENT: 125 words.
Tuesday's Time Schedule
College Basketball (Top 25)
No. 1 Florida at South Carolina, 7 p.m.
No. 7 Syracuse vs. Georgia Tech, 7 p.m.
No. 12 Michigan at Illinois, 7 p.m.
No. 13 Creighton at Georgetown, 7 p.m.
No. 16 Iowa State at Baylor, 7 p.m.
No. 25 Kentucky vs. Alabama, 9 p.m.
No. 7 West Virginia vs. Kansas, 7 p.m.
No. 9 Baylor at Iowa State, 8 p.m.
No. 25 DePaul vs. Georgetown, 9 p.m.
Golden State at Indiana, 7 p.m.
San Antonio at Cleveland, 7 p.m.
Miami at Houston, 8 p.m.
Philadelphia at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.
L.A. Clippers at Phoenix, 9 p.m.
New Orleans at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.
Florida at Boston, 7 p.m.
Detroit at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Dallas at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Colorado at Chicago, 8 p.m.
Tampa Bay at St. Louis, 8 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Nashville, 8 p.m.
N.Y. Islanders at Winnipeg, 8 p.m.
Vancouver at Phoenix, 9 p.m.
Ottawa at Edmonton, 9:30 p.m.
Carolina at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh vs. Detroit at Lakeland, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Tampa Bay vs. Boston at Fort Myers, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Minnesota vs. Miami at Jupiter, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Washington vs. Atlanta at Kissimmee, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Houston vs. N.Y. Mets at Port St. Lucie, Fla., 1:10 p.m.
Arizona vs. San Diego at Peoria, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.
Cincinnati vs. Kansas City at Surprise, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.
Milwaukee vs. Oakland (ss) at Phoenix, 3:05 p.m.
Oakland (ss) vs. Chicago Cubs at Mesa, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.
Seattle vs. L.A. Dodgers at Glendale, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.
Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland at Goodyear, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.
Texas vs. L.A. Angels at Tempe, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.
San Francisco vs. Colorado at Scottsdale, Ariz., 3:10 p.m.
Toronto vs. Philadelphia at Clearwater, Fla., 6:35 p.m.
Baltimore vs. N.Y. Yankees at Tampa, Fla., 7:05 p.m.
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