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Tide rolls to No. 1 in AP poll for record 9th time

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Tide rolls to No. 1 in AP poll for record 9th time

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) Alabama is No. 1 at being No. 1.

The Crimson Tide (13-1) was voted national champion by The Associated Press for the ninth time, more than any other program in college football, after routing Notre Dame 42-14 on Monday night.

Notre Dame, No. 1 coming into the BCS championship, dropped to No. 4.

The Tide entered the title game with as many AP titles as the Fighting Irish, and emphatically broke the tie for first. It's Alabama's second straight title and third in four years. The only other team to win three AP titles in four seasons was Notre Dame from 1946-49.

``It won't sink in until everything settles down,'' Alabama senior linebacker Nico Johnson said. ``To play for three national championships in my career ... that's special.''

Alabama finished No. 1 five times under Paul ``Bear'' Bryant during his 25 years as coach, and Gene Stalling coached to the Crimson Tide to another championship in 1992.

Saban is now more than halfway to matching the Bear in six seasons as Alabama coach.

The Tide received all 59 of the first-place votes in the final media poll of the season, and will be a candidate to start next season No. 1. This season Alabama started second, was ranked No. 1 for 10 weeks before losing to Texas A&M in November and falling to fourth. The Tide quickly moved back to No. 2 and for the second straight season beat No. 1 in the BCS title game to finish on top.

Oregon (12-1) finished second, matching its best final ranking from 2001. Ohio State (12-0), the only undefeated team in major college football but banned from the postseason because of NCAA sanctions, was third. Georgia and Texas A&M tied for fifth to cap another banner season for the Southeastern Conference.

Alabama is the seventh straight SEC team to finish No. 1 and the toughest conference in college football also became the first league to have five of top 10 teams in the final rankings.

South Carolina was No. 8 and Florida was ninth.

Texas A&M, in its first season in the SEC, finished with its best final AP rankings since 1956.

The SEC also matched a record with seven teams in the final Top 25. LSU was 14th and Vanderbilt was 23rd. The SEC and Big Ten both finished with seven teams in the final rankings of the 1999 season.

Stanford was seventh and Florida State was 10th.

The Seminoles' ACC rival, Clemson, was 11th, followed by Kansas State and Louisville.

After LSU, was Oklahoma at No. 15. Utah State is the highest ranked team from a conference without a BCS automatic qualifying bid. The Aggies won the Western Athletic Conference in its last season as a football league.

Northwestern was 17th, Boise State was No. 18, Texas was 19th and Oregon State 20th.

The final five were San Jose State, another WAC team, Northern Illinois from the Mid-American Conference, Vandy, Michigan and Nebraska.

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Washington Mystics set WNBA record for most 3-pointers in a single game without Kristi Toliver

Washington Mystics set WNBA record for most 3-pointers in a single game without Kristi Toliver

WASHINGTON – Shey Peddy rarely gets to see the floor as a part of the WNBA-leading Washington Mystics. Sunday was only the 10th game of her WNBA career, playing in garbage time of what was going to be another dominant Mystics victory. 

She only managed three points on one made basket, but it was perhaps the biggest basket of the night. As Peddy, 30, caught a pass at the wing in her right hand, she quickly squared up and delivered a 3-point basket for Washington. It was the Mystics’ 18 such basket from range on the day, a new WNBA record. 

This is just the latest in the plethora of record-breaking performances for the Mystics in 2019. A massive 107-68 victory over the Indiana Fever is starting to feel habitual for those in the Entertainment and Sports Arena. More records falling on a daily basis.

Which, by the way, winning by 39 points also gave the Mystics their 11th win of 20 points or more to build on their current WNBA record. There are seven games still left on the schedule.

“When you shoot 39 threes and make 18 of them and you have 30 assists for the game, coach has to be pretty happy,” Mystics head coach Mike Thibault said postgame. “The world looks really good when you’re making shots.”

Even more impressive is that the Mystics accomplished such a feat without one of their star players Kristi Toliver. Entering the contest she had made the second most 3-point baskets on the team and did so at a 36% clip. But had the Mystics had Toliver, Peddy would not have been in the lineup. She recently signed a seven-day player contract with the team to fill Toliver’s roster spot. 

Production was from all corners of the roster to set the 3-point mark. Ariel Atkins and Aerial Powers both had four each as the bench added six.  Emma Meesseman, who came off the bench, led the unit as they combined for 36 points. 

In total, nine of the 10 eligible players on the gameday roster made a 3-pointer, with all 10 scoring a point. The only one who didn’t get one long ball was center LaToya Sanders, and she didn’t even have an attempt. 

And while the team was unaware of the record, they consciously knew that Sanders was the only one who didn’t make a 3-point shot.

“We’re going to get [LaToya] to shoot one. I’m going to give it to her real late in the shot clock, watch,” Natasha Cloud said postgame. 

She’s attempted two threes in her entire seven-year career. 

Like all games throughout the season at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Southeast DC, there was a match lit underneath the Mystics (20-7) in the opening moments of the contest. They jumped out to a 24-4 lead over Indiana and held the Fever without a basket from the floor for the first seven minutes. 

An admirable 13-0 run by the Fever (9-17) momentarily made it a game in the second quarter. However, right after the run the Fever’s top player Candice Dupree exited the game with a finger injury. She spent the rest of the game courtside sporting a splint. 

Elena Delle Donne contributed to three of the team’s recording-breaking 3-point baskets. She also recorded her 11th game with 20-plus points as she led all scorers with 25. 

In addition to the setting the WNBA’s 3-point record, having nine separate players hit one also set another record. Recording 30 assists also put them two shy of another single-game high. 

It all came as the Mystics closed their toughest stretch of 2019: three games in five days. Their next goal? Rest, and they’ve earned it on their six-game winning streak.

“We can’t take our foot off the gas no matter what. Once we clinched a playoff spot, we didn’t come into this game thinking ‘alright let’s relax.’ We came into this game, ‘okay let’s continue to separate ourselves.” 

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Alex Ovechkin's son Sergei has an enormous first birthday bash

Alex Ovechkin's son Sergei has an enormous first birthday bash

Alex Ovechkin’s son Sergei turned one this week. And the celebration? According to Ovi’s wife’s Instagram, it was a success:

The caption translates to 'Happy birthday, our beloved boy! Grow healthy and the happiest!' 

In typical Ovechkin fashion, a simple celebration just won't suffice, so the Caps' star made sure to make it a day to remember.

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