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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Nolan Turner stuck with football after the tragic death of his father, and now he's making quite a name for himself at Clemson. Turner came through with a game-clinching interception in the Fiesta Bowl victory over Ohio State, preserving the Tigers' two-year-long winning streak. Turner and the Tigers are getting set to face top-ranked LSU and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow in the national championship game. Turner kept playing football even though his father was stricken with ALS. After Kevin Turner died in 2016, it was revealed that repeated blows to the head while playing football triggered the deadly disease.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The increased emphasis on the passing game in college football has given rise to a Golden Age of wide receivers. Good teams have at least one. And the very best teams usually have multiple pass-catchers who are some combination of too big, too strong, too fast or too athletic to be contained by one defender. There will be several on the field during the College Football Playoff championship game. No. 1 LSU and No. 3 Clemson are loaded with game-changing receivers like Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — LSU assistant Joe Brady says he intends to remain at the school and coach Ed Orgeron noted the Tigers are finalizing a plan to make that happen. Brady is credited as the catalyst for the Tigers' offensive transformation this season. He says preparing for No. 3 Clemson on Monday has kept him too busy to be distracted by speculation about his future. He has hired an agent to handle inquiries about what's next. A year ago, Brady was working as an analyst with the New Orleans Saints. He helped craft a record-breaking offense, led by Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Aamir Simms hit an overtime-forcing 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds left in regulation and Clemson went on to erase decades of futility at North Carolina by beating the Tar Heels 79-76 on Saturday, earning their first win in 60 tries in Chapel Hill. Simms had 20 points for the Tigers, who trailed by 10 with a about two minutes left in regulation before making a frantic comeback. Brandon Robinson had a career-best 27 points for the Tar Heels, who were 59-0 all-time in the series in Chapel Hill for the longest home winning streak against one opponent in NCAA history.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Buddy Boeheim scored nine of his 14 points in overtime and Syracuse outlasted No. 18 Virginia 63-55. Boeheim hit the third of three consecutive 3s for the Orange and added another when he made a desperate heave from well behind the 3-point line to beat the shot clock late in the extra period. Joe Girard added 19 points and Elijah Hughes 18 for Syracuse. Jay Huff had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Virginia. The Cavaliers lost back-to-back games for the first time since the 2016-17 season.
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Landers Nolley II scored 29 points to lead Virginia Tech to a 72-58 victory over NC State. Nolley hit 8 of 19 from the floor for the Hokies (12-4, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won their second straight game after a 26-point loss to rival Virginia on Jan. 4. Nolley drilled four 3-pointers and hit 9 of 10 from the free-throw line en route to his second-largest scoring game this season. Tyrece Radford added a career-high 18 points for the Hokies. DJ Funderburk led the Wolfpack (11-5, 2-3) with 18 points.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Jordan Nwora led three Louisville players in double figures with 20 points as the No. 13 Cardinals withstood a furious Notre Dame comeback in the second half for a 67-64 victory Saturday. Reserve guard Ryan McMahon scored 17 points and Dwayne Sutton had 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Cardinals. John Mooney had his 10th double-double in a row accomplished by halftime and finished with 15 points and 19 rebounds for Notre Dame. T.J. Gibbs also had 15 points and reserve Dane Goodwin added 14.
BOSTON (AP) — Moses Wright scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Georgia Tech to a 71-52 victory over Boston College on Saturday night. James Banks III and Jordan Usher each added 13 points for Georgia Tech, which had lost three of its last five games. CJ Felder led the Eagles with 13 points. BC shot just 30% (17 of 57). Steffon Mitchell scored 10 with 11 boards.
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