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Orange Bowl tabs No. 5 Stanford, No. 12 VaTech

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Orange Bowl tabs No. 5 Stanford, No. 12 VaTech

Dec. 5, 2010STANFORD PAGE COLLEGE PAGE

MIAMI (AP) -- The Orange Bowl will be a matchup of turnaround teams: No. 5 Stanford vs. No. 12 Virginia Tech.

Stanford earned a bid Sunday to face the Hokies in the BCS bowl on Jan. 3. The berth caps a remarkable resurgence for coach Jim Harbaugh and the Cardinal, who have gone from 1-11 to 11-1 in four years.

RELATED: Auburn, Oregon set for BCS title game

Virginia Tech is on the rise, too. After stumbling at the start this season, the Hokies (11-2) have won 11 consecutive games, including a 44-33 victory Saturday over Florida State for their third Atlantic Coast Conference title in four years.

Under the BCS format, the ACC winner earns a spot in the Orange Bowl. But until Sunday night, it was uncertain where Stanford was headed. The Cardinal finished fourth in the BCS rankings, and the top four teams are assured of bids to BCS games.

RELATED: Rose Bowl features TCU, Wisconsin

Now Cardinal fans will be traveling across the country for a matchup of standout quarterbacks. Stanford's Andrew Luck is one of the top pro prospects in the country, and Tech's Tyrod Taylor is the ACC player of the year.

Luck broke the Stanford record of 27 touchdown passes in a season held by John Elway and Steve Stenstrom. The Cardinal also have a 1,000-yard rusher in Stepfan Taylor and a defense that posted three shutouts.

RELATED: Arkansas, Ohio State headed to Sugar Bowl

Tyrod Taylor, who draws comparisons to Michael Vick, threw for three touchdowns and ran for another against Florida State. Taylor has thrown 23 scoring passes, one more than Maurice DeShazo's old school record.

Tech's hopes of contending for the national title were dashed in a five-day span at the start of the season. The Hokies lost to Boise State and endured a stunning home upset against lower-tier James Madison.

They regrouped to enjoy the kind of year that has become common under coach Frank Beamer. The Hokies have won four ACC titles since joining the league in 2004, and they're the only team in the country to win 10 games each of the past seven seasons.

Stanford's improvement has been steady since coach Jim Harbaugh took over in 2007. His team won four games that year and five in 2008.

Last season the Cardinal won eight games and made it to the Sun Bowl, their first bowl since 2001.

Kings look to get healthy with opener just days away

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Kings look to get healthy with opener just days away

SACRAMENTO - All hands on deck. The Sacramento Kings open the 2017-18 schedule Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets at Golden 1 Center and it looks like they might do so with a full arsenal of players at their disposal.

Point guard De’Aaron Fox returned to practice on Sunday and then participated in the team’s annual Fanfest. If his dance moves are any indication, the 19-year-old’s back is feeling just fine.

Veteran George Hill tweaked his groin Friday against the Golden State Warriors, leaving his availability for opening night in question. Hill, 31, who has a history of groin injuries, was on the court Monday practicing and said he is ready to play.

“Everything is feeling good right now,” Hill said Monday following practice.

The only player who didn’t practice on Monday is rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic, who sprained his right ankle against the Warriors. According to head coach Dave Joerger,  the team is hopeful that the Serbian sharpshooter will return in time for Game 1.

“We’re still shooting for Wednesday for both of them,” Joerger said of Hill and Bogdanovic.

New look Rockets

The Rockets went 55-27 last season under head coach Mike D’Antoni, but that didn’t stop them from going all in during the offseason. With MVP runner-up James Harden already manning the backcourt, Houston added nine-time All-Star Chris Paul as their new starting point guard.

“Leadership, he’s a floor general,” Hill said about Paul. “Anywhere he goes, he’ll make a team better. We know they were already a good team without him, coming in with him is going to be a bigger task.”

It’s a new look roster and the expectations are huge for the Rockets. Houston averaged 115.3 points per game last season and led the league in both 3-point attempts and makes. This season, they also added two strong perimeter defenders in P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute.

It’s a huge test coming out of the gate for Sacramento. Following the contest against the Rockets, the Kings hit the road for three straight before returning to Golden 1 next Thursday to face DeMarcus Cousins and the New Orleans Pelicans.


Camp notes

With the season just around the corner, the Sacramento Kings made their final roster cuts on Sunday afternoon. David Stockton, Matt Jones and Reggie Hearn were waived, leaving the Kings with 15 rostered players and two two-way players in Jack Cooley and JaKarr Sampson.

Stockton, Jones and Hearn are all expected to join the Reno Bighorns of the NBA’s G-League.

Armstead to undergo surgery on broken hand, out indefinitely

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Armstead to undergo surgery on broken hand, out indefinitely

Defensive lineman Arik Armstead will be out indefinitely with a broken hand, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan announced Monday.

“He’s going to need surgery, so it’s going to be some time,” Shanahan said of Armstead, the 49ers' first-round pick in the 2015 draft.

The 49ers will discuss placing Armstead of injured reserve, which would rule him out for at least eight weeks. The 49ers will also be without defensive end Aaron Lynch this week against the Dallas Cowboys. Lynch is week-to-week with a calf strain.

“The more guys you lose, the less you like that depth,” Shanahan said. “Losing Arik, which could be some time. We’ll have to discuss IR. We have to do that over the next couple of days. We know we’re going to have Lynch out, too, for at least a week or most likely more. That takes away two guys who were helping.”

The 49ers might make a roster move to add a defensive lineman to their 53-man roster. The 49ers also expect outside linebacker/defensive end Dekoda Watson to return to action this week after missing two weeks with a groin strain.