NCAA

Landale's double-double leads Saint Mary's past Santa Clara

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USATSI

Landale's double-double leads Saint Mary's past Santa Clara

BOX SCORE

SANTA CLARA -- Jock Landale had 20 points and 11 rebounds and No. 21 Saint Mary's held off a late charge by Santa Clara for a 72-59 victory Saturday night.

The Gaels (19-2, 9-1 West Coast Conference) won their fourth straight game and beat Santa Clara for the 14th time in their past 16 meetings.

Emmett Naar added 15 points and nine assists for Saint Mary's, which led 53-37 with 10 minutes left before the Broncos rallied within 55-50 with six minutes remaining. The Gaels made 11 of 12 free throws in the final five minutes to secure the victory.

Nate Kratch led Santa Clara (12-11, 6-4) with 19 points, including 14 in the first half. Broncos senior Jared Brownridge, a 2,000-point career scorer and No. 4 this season in the WCC at 18.8 per game, made just one of his first 11 shots against defense by Joe Rahon and finished with 13 points.

The Gaels made 11 of their first 16 shots to lead 26-11, but Santa Clara closed strong, pulling within 35-30 by halftime.

BIG PICTURE

Saint Mary's: The Gaels kept pace one game behind WCC leader Gonzaga and moved within one victory of 20 wins for a 10th straight season.

Santa Clara: After beating BYU two nights earlier, it remains alone in fourth place in the WCC after losing for just the second time in seven games.

POLL IMPLICATIONS:
Even with two victories this week, Saint Mary's figures to remain at or around its current spot at No. 21. The Gaels don't get another chance to make a major impression on Top 25 voters until their Feb. 11 home game against unbeaten Gonzaga.

UP NEXT:
Saint Mary's visits Pacific on Thursday. The Gaels led by as many as 19 points on the way to beating the Tigers 62-50 on Jan. 19 in Moraga.

Santa Clara plays Thursday at Portland. The Broncos beat the Pilots 70-42 on Jan. 5 at Santa Clara as Brownridge passed 2,000 points for his career.

Jim Harbaugh vows he'll remain Michigan coach, not plotting NFL return

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USATSI

Jim Harbaugh vows he'll remain Michigan coach, not plotting NFL return

Jim Harbaugh is being proactive in addressing the rumors this year: No, he isn’t leaving Michigan to return to the NFL, he says.

"I can't be any more clear about this -- it's not true," the former 49ers coach told ESPN’s Adam Schefter this weekend. "I'm not going anywhere."

Harbaugh’s success in San Francisco -- a 44-19-1 record and a Super Bowl berth in four seasons (2011-14) -- leads some to speculate each year that an NFL return could be in the cards. Harbaugh hinted that chatter could be planted by others to hurt him in recruiting players to Michigan, where he's 38-13 in four seasons as coach.

"This is a choreographed message that comes up at this time every year before signing day," Harbaugh said. "It's people spreading messages to further their own personal agenda.”

Harbaugh played quarterback at Michigan in the mid-1980s. Schefter, the reporter, also is a Michigan alum.

FL teams that need an offensive-minded coach who can develop a young QB surely will inquire about Harbaugh’s availability, though. For example, should the Arizona Cardinals, who’ve struggled to a 3-9 record, decide one season with coach Steve Wilks is enough, they certainly could consider Harbaugh and the impact he’d have on rookie QB Josh Rosen.

That would mean seeing Harbaugh and his signature pleated khakis on the Levi’s Stadium sideline once per season. Not sure how 49ers fans would feel about that.

Heisman Trophy voting 2018: Why Kyler Murray won college football's top honor

Heisman Trophy voting 2018: Why Kyler Murray won college football's top honor

Everyone knew Kyler Murray was a great college football player. But his Big 12 Championship Game performance, along with Tua Tagovailoa's SEC title game struggles, showed he was the best college football player, thus worthy of the 2018 Heisman Trophy.

Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples shared a graphic that revealed Tagovailoa received the majority of Heisman votes made before and during the conference championship games, but Murray cleaned up after all was said and done.

It makes sense that the majority of Heisman voters who waited to cast their ballots picked Murray. The Oklahoma quarterback completed 25 of 34 passes for 379 yards and three touchdowns last week in a 39-27 win over Texas that pushed the Sooners into the College Football Playoff field.

Tagovailoa, meanwhile, struggled for Alabama, going 10-of-25 passing for 164 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions before leaving the SEC Championship Game against Georgia with an injury. Jalen Hurts relieved Tagovailoa and rallied the Crimson Tide to a 35-28 win that kept them in the CFP field.

Of course, the A's, who voted for Murray to play baseball by drafting him last summer, hope he sticks with his original plan. Or, at the minimum, pull a Bo Jackson and play both sports.