Yahoo Sports AM: Vegas, here we come


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🚨 Headlines

🏀 Silver gets extension: NBA commissioner Adam Silver is reportedly finalizing an extension through the end of the decade. The new deal comes just shy of his 10-year anniversary on the job, which he began on Feb. 1, 2014.

⛳️ A first for France: Rookie Matthieu Pavon (-13) won the Farmers Insurance Open by a stroke, becoming the first Frenchman ever to win a PGA Tour event.

🏈 Moore gets the gig: Michigan promoted offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore to head coach. He went 4-0 last season in place of the suspended Jim Harbaugh.

🏒 BC sweeps BU: No. 2 Boston College swept No. 1 Boston University in their home-and-home series over the weekend, which marked the first time the rivals ever faced off as the nation’s top two teams.

⚽️ Xavi stepping down: Barcelona manager Xavi announced he’ll be stepping down at the end of the season because “the club needs a change of dynamic.” Barça are tied for third in LaLiga, 11 points off the lead.


🏈 The Super Bowl is set

(Yahoo Sports)

(Yahoo Sports)

The last time the 49ers and Chiefs met in the Super Bowl (2020), the rest of the year was pretty terrible. Four years later, they’ll meet again. No pandemic this time, please!

NFC Championship: The 49ers came back to beat the Lions, 34-31, as Detroit tied the record for the largest blown lead in an NFC title game (17 points).

  • Much of the blame is being laid at the feet of Dan Campbell, who twice went for it — and failed — on fourth down despite being in field goal range.

  • In his defense, that’s been Detroit’s philosophy for years and they’ve been really good in those situations. Plenty of other plays (like this one) cost the Lions.

AFC Championship: The Ravens had the presumptive MVP, the league’s best defense and home field advantage. It wasn’t enough, as they fell 17-10 to the Chiefs.

  • Patrick Mahomes beat Josh Allen in Buffalo and Lamar Jackson in Baltimore en route to his fourth Super Bowl in five years. The résumé is getting ridiculous.

  • Andy Reid improved to 6-0 in the playoffs against his former assistants, and Travis Kelce passed Jerry Rice for most catches in postseason history.

This is getting weird… NFL Network’s Peter Schrager has correctly predicted the past four Super Bowl champions before the start of the season. His prediction for this year? Chiefs over 49ers.


🎾 Sinner, Sabalenka win in Melbourne

(David Gray/AFP via Getty Images)

(David Gray/AFP via Getty Images)

Jannik Sinner fought back from two sets down to beat Daniil Medvedev, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3, on Sunday and win his first Grand Slam title, Jeff and I write.

  • Sinner, 22, is the youngest Australian Open champ since Novak Djokovic won his first of 10 titles in 2008, and he joins Carlos Alcaraz as the only men born in the 2000s to win a major.

  • This was the 35th five-set match of the tournament, tying the 1983 US Open for the most at a Grand Slam during the Open Era (since 1968).

On the losing side: It was more heartbreak for Medvedev, who fell to 1-5 in major finals and saw history repeat itself (he also had a 2-0 lead on Rafael Nadal before losing in the 2022 Australian Open final).

  • There were 283 points played on Sunday: Medvedev won 141, and Sinner won 142. Such a cruel game.

  • Medvedev played a lot of tennis these past two weeks, breaking the record for most time spent on court at a major in the Open Era (24 hours, 17 minutes).

End of an era: This was the first Australian Open final not to feature Djokovic, Nadal or Roger Federer since 2015 (!!), when Marat Safin beat Lleyton Hewitt.

(Julian Finney/Getty Images)

(Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Aryna Sabalenka defeated Zheng Qinwen, 6-3, 6-2, on Saturday to win her second straight Australian Open crown.

  • Sabalenka, 25, is the first woman to go back-to-back in Melbourne since fellow Belarusian Victoria Azarenka in 2012-13.

  • She overwhelmed the competition all tournament long, winning 14 of 14 sets and dropping just 31 total games.

  • And she got the job done in a brisk 8 hours, 11 minutes — roughly the same amount of time Medvedev spent in just his semifinal and final (8:02).

Hot streak: Sabalenka, ranked No. 2 in the world behind Iga Świątek, has reached at least the semis of the last six Grand Slams.

  • 2022 US Open: Semifinal

  • 2023 Australian Open: Won

  • 2023 French Open: Semifinal

  • 2023 Wimbledon: Semifinal

  • 2023 US Open: Final

  • 2024 Australian Open: Won

We did it, Dad: Sabalenka fulfilled the dream she shared with her father, Sergey, who passed away in 2019 at just 43: “We had one dream,” she said. “That before 25, I will win a couple of Grand Slams.”


🏀 Another night, another 70-point game

(Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

(Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Luka Dončić went wild on Friday against the Hawks, becoming the 10th player in NBA history to score 70+ points in a game.

Wild stat: Four of those players have joined the 70-point club in the past 12 months. Who did it best?

  • Dončić (Jan. 26, 2024): 73 points (25-33 FG, 8-13 3PT, 15-16 FT), 10 rebounds, 7 assists

  • Joel Embiid (Jan. 22, 2024): 70 points (24-41 FG, 1-2 3PT, 21-23 FT), 18 rebounds, 5 assists

  • Damian Lillard (Feb. 26, 2023): 71 points (22-38 FG, 13-22 3PT, 14-14 FT), 6 rebounds, 6 assists

  • Donovan Mitchell (Jan. 2, 2023): 71 points (22-34 FG, 7-15 3PT, 20-25 FT), 8 rebounds, 11 assists

Watch: All 73 points from Luka’s historic night


⚽️ Maidstone pulls off historic upset

(Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

(Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

The FA Cup began with over 700 teams from all levels of English soccer. One of the few clubs still standing is among the least likely in the competition’s 153-year history, Jeff writes.

ICYMI: Sixth-tier Maidstone United beat second-tier Ipswich Town, 2-1, on Saturday to become the first team from outside England’s top five divisions to reach the Round of 16 since 1978.

By the numbers: Ipswich took 38 shots, including 13 on goal. Maidstone United took a grand total of two — and scored on both. Talk about efficiency!

Just how big of an upset was this? Ipswich are in second place in the EFL Championship, putting them in line for a promotion to the Premier League, whereas Maidstone are fourth place in the sixth-tier National League South.

  • In other words, the Stones — considered a semi-professional team — are currently 103 places below Ipswich on the English soccer pyramid.

  • “For us, for our community, this binds us for life … The magic of the FA Cup is very much alive,” head coach George Elokobi told BBC after the game.

Looking ahead: Maidstone avoided the Premier League clubs in Sunday’s Round of 16 draw, and will play either Sheffield Wednesday or Coventry City — both second-tier clubs like Ipswich — when the fifth round commences in a month.


🌎 The world in photos

(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

San Francisco — LeBron James (36-20-12) and Steph Curry (46-3-7) delivered vintage performances in a double OT classic, with the Lakers coming out on top, 145-144.

(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Aspen — Chloe Kim won her record-tying seventh X Games SuperPipe gold medal in historic fashion, becoming the first woman to land a 1260 (3.5 rotations) in organized competition.

(Dean Treml/Red Bull via Getty Images)

(Dean Treml/Red Bull via Getty Images)

Auckland — Red Bull’s 14th annual Cliff Diving World Series came to an end this weekend as Australia’s Rhiannan Iffland won her seventh straight title and Romania’s Constantin Popovici won his first.

(Millo Moravski/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

(Millo Moravski/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

St. Moritz, Switzerland — Ski cross is awesome.


📆 Jan. 29, 1995: Six scores for Steve

Steve Young after throwing one of his Super Bowl record 6 TDs. (Doug Collier/AFP via Getty Images)

Steve Young after throwing one of his Super Bowl record 6 TDs. (Doug Collier/AFP via Getty Images)

29 years ago today, the 49ers routed the Chargers, 49-26, for their fifth title behind Steve Young’s Super Bowl-record six TD passes, Jeff writes.

By the numbers: Young is one of just six QBs to throw at least four TDs in a Super Bowl, joined by Joe Montana (5), Tom Brady (4), Troy Aikman (4), Terry Bradshaw (4) and Doug Williams (4).

More on this day:

  • 🏈 1963: Sammy Baugh, Jim Thorpe, George Halas and Curly Lambeau headlined the inaugural 17-member class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

  • ⛳️ 2012: 14-year-old Lydia Ko won the Australian Tour’s NSW Open, making her the youngest golfer ever* to win a professional tour event.

*More history to come: Ko made this a trend, later becoming the youngest LPGA Tour winner (15 years, 4 months), the youngest man or woman ranked No. 1 (17 years, 9 months) and the youngest LPGA major winner (18 years, 4 months).


📺 Watchlist: College hoops doubleheader

Duke guard Jared McCain celebrates during Saturday's narrow win over Clemson. (Lance King/Getty Images)

Duke guard Jared McCain celebrates during Saturday’s narrow win over Clemson. (Lance King/Getty Images)

A pair of ranked men’s hoops teams take the court in tonight’s ESPN doubleheader, Jeff writes.

  • No. 12 Duke at Virginia Tech (7pm ET): The Blue Devils (15-4) need a statement win after losing to unranked Pitt and squeaking past* unranked Clemson. Because up next? No. 3 UNC on the road.

  • No. 4 Houston at Texas (9pm): The Cougars (18-2) have put their mini slide in the rearview, winning four straight by an average of 17 points since a two-game losing streak derailed their perfect season.

More to watch:

  • 🏀 NBA: Suns at Heat (7:30pm, NBA); 76ers at Trail Blazers (10pm, NBA)

  • 🏀 NCAAW: No. 9 LSU at Mississippi State (7pm, ESPN2)

  • 🏒 NHL: Predators at Senators (7pm, NHL)

  • ⚽️ FA Cup: Blackburn vs. Wrexham (2:30pm, ESPN+) … Playing for a spot in the Round of 16.

*ICYMI: Duke beat Clemson, 72-71, on Saturday thanks to two last-second free throws after a controversial foul was called.


🏆 Super Bowl trivia

(Yahoo Sports)

(Yahoo Sports)

Nevada will be the 11th state to host the Super Bowl. Which state has hosted the most?

Submitted by: Richard Rothschild (Chicago)

Answer at the bottom.


🍿 Baker’s Dozen: Top 13 plays of the weekend

Shane Lowry. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Shane Lowry. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  1. ⛳️ Albatross!!!

  2. 🏈 Off the helmet

  3. 🏒 “Michigan” goal

  4. 🏒 Another “Michigan”

  5. 🏈 Lamar to Lamar

  6. 🏀 LeBron assist

  7. 🏒 Crosby assist

  8. 🏀 Wemby isn’t fair

  9. 🏀 Ant Man!!

  10. 🤚 Handball goal

  11. 🏀 Ankle breaker

  12. 🏀 Posterized

  13. ⚽️ Long ball assist

Watch all 13 plays.


Trivia answer: Florida (17)

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