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No. 17 Notre Dame beats No. 21 Cincinnati 66-60

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No. 17 Notre Dame beats No. 21 Cincinnati 66-60

CINCINNATI (AP) Jerian Grant scored 19 points and No. 17 Notre Dame used its patient offense to get open shots for a 66-60 victory Monday night that extended No. 21 Cincinnati's home-court misery.

Notre Dame (14-1, 2-0 Big East) has won 12 straight for the first time since 2006-07. The 14-1 mark is the best start during coach Mike Brey's 13 seasons.

The Fighting Irish did it their way, passing for open shots on the perimeter and spreading out a defense that has been Cincinnati's strength. Notre Dame shot 50 percent from the field and went 9 of 16 behind the arc.

Cincinnati (13-3, 1-2) wore new, all-black uniforms - Notre Dame wore white - for a home game that took on extra significance. The Bearcats opened the season 12-0, then lost two of their last three games, falling to New Mexico and St. John's at home.

They have lost three straight at home for the first time since 2006-07, coach Mick Cronin's first season picking up the pieces from coach Bob Huggins' ouster.

The school celebrated its impressive start by having President Santa J. Ono get his head shaved on the court afterward. Ono agreed to lose his hair if the Bearcats won 10 in a row, turning the streak into a fundraising opportunity for a charity.

Then, the Bearcats went out in their new uniforms and lost again. Sean Kilpatrick led Cincinnati with 15 points.

The Bearcats extended their man-to-man defense beyond the arc, trying to take away Notre Dame's best feature. They couldn't do it.

The Fighting Irish lead the Big East and rank fifth nationally shooting 59.8 percent from the field. They went 12 of 18 from behind the arc during a 93-74 win over Seton Hall on Saturday, setting a school record for a Big East game. Scott Martin made six of his seven 3-point attempts in that one.

When Cincinnati clamped down on the perimeter, 6-foot-9 forward Jack Cooley got openings inside. He finished with 11 points and eight rebounds

The Bearcats' halfcourt offense has been their biggest problem the last few games. They had another setback when Kilpatrick landed awkwardly and limped off the court midway through the first half, favoring his right foot. JaQuan Parker replaced him and hit consecutive 3s that put Cincinnati ahead 20-11, its biggest lead of the game.

Kilpatrick returned and Notre Dame found its long-range touch. The Fighting Irish made their last six shots from behind the arc in the half - two by Martin - to pull ahead 32-28.

Martin opened the second half with a 3-pointer. The Fighting Irish made five passes before finding Grant open for another 3 that gave Notre Dame its biggest lead at 40-29 with 18 minutes left.

Kilpatrick hit two 3s and made a fastbreak layup off Cashmere Wright's steal during a 13-3 run that evened the game at 47.

Point guard Eric Atkins had a driving bank shot and made an over-the-shoulder pass to Cooley for a layup during a 10-point run that put Notre Dame ahead to stay at 59-49 with 5:42 left. Grant hit a fade-away jumper that kept Notre Dame ahead 64-56 with 1:32 left.

Cronin benched forward Justin Jackson, who had started the first 15 games but failed to score in three of the last five.

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Follow Joe Kay on Twitter:http://twitter.com/apjoekay

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Stefon Diggs is unsure about the NFL starting up with 'so many unanswered questions'

Stefon Diggs is unsure about the NFL starting up with 'so many unanswered questions'

On Tuesday, Cleveland Browns center and NFLPA president J.C. Tretter penned a letter questioning if the NFL is truly prioritizing player safety in its return to work plan, which is expected to begin with training camp at the end of the month.

Hours later, Buffalo Bills wide receiver and former Maryland Terrapin standout Stefon Diggs voiced similar concerns on Twitter, stating "I’d be lying if I said I was comfortable starting back up."

Earlier in the day, he tweeted that he missed football and that he loves the sport.

If and when the NFL does resume this fall, games will be played without fans in some stadiums. Diggs mentioned that it would be "weird" to play in front of an empty stadium, something he's never done before at any level of football.

Even if there are fans at NFL games this fall, they will be away from the playing field. The league has already announced that the first 6-8 rows of each lower bowl section will be blocked off from fans to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Instead, those sections will be covered with advertisements, similarly to how the Premier League has done during its restart.

Training camp is set to being on July 28, around the same time both the MLB and NBA will begin/resume their respective seasons. With live-action just a few weeks away, we've seen multiple players across both sports opt-out from playing, including Nationals infielder Ryan Zimmerman and Wizards sharpshooter Davis Bertans.

As the NFL season begins to get closer, it's likely only a matter of time before a few players opt-out, too.

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Wizards Moe Wagner to wear 'Vote' on jersey as social justice statement, per report

Wizards Moe Wagner to wear 'Vote' on jersey as social justice statement, per report

When the NBA returns to action in Orlando later this month, some players will have the option to replace their last name on their jerseys with social justice statements. 

Washington Wizards' Moe Wagner will be one of those players that will be opting to do so, according to the TNT's Chris Haynes. Wagner will have 'Vote' on the back of his jersey.

The second-year player will join several other stars that will be speaking out by virtue of their jerseys. As of now, he joins Rudy Gobert, C.J. McCollum, Pat Connaughton and others who will have a social justice message on their threads. 

Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz) - "Equality"
CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers) - "Education Reform"
Jusuf Nurkic (Portland Trail Blazers) - 'Equality"
Kent Bazemore (Sacramento Kings) - "Education Reform"
Matisse Thybulle (Philadelphia 76ers) - "Vote"
Pat Connaughton (Milwaukee Bucks) - "Equality"
Meyers Leonard (Miami Heat) - "Equality"
Ivica Zubac (Los Angeles Clippers) - "Enough"
Moe Wagner (Wizards) - "Vote

More players will likely join-in to wear these statements. The NBA and NBPA agreed to this option allowing the players to inspire change on a large platform while restarting the 2020 season. The players can continue important conversations regarding race and social injustice as opposed to basketball serving as a distraction to larger issues within the country.

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Some players are "disgruntled with the lack of options" the NBA provided, according to Haynes. There are 28 options for players to chose from, along with their regular last name. According to ESPN, here are the phrase options:

-Black Lives Matter
-Say Their Names
-Vote
-I Can't Breathe
-Justice
-Peace
-Equality
-Freedom
-Enough
-Power to the People
-Justice Now
-Say Her Name
-Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can)
-Liberation
-See Us
-Hear Us
-Respect Us
-Love Us
-Listen
-Listen to Us
-Stand Up
-Ally
-Anti-Racist
-I Am A Man
-Speak Up
-How Many More
-Group Economics
-Education Reform
-Mentor

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