Sports

Sports

Deontay Wilder wants to face the ‘so-called best’ in the ring

10:38 AM ET Dotun AkintoyeESPN It has been nearly three years since Deontay Wilder defeated Bermane Stiverne to become the first American heavyweight titleholder in nearly nine years. He is 38-0 and has stopped 37 of his opponents, some of them, such as Siarhei Liakovitch and Artur Szpilka, in terrifying fashion with the kinds of knockouts that both thrill an audience and partly shame it for applauding such brutality. Yet Wilder is, at 32 years of age and with five title defenses and a nine-year professional career in his wake, an American heavyweight titlist without a country behind him. That he is deeply resentful of that fact is plain upon speaking with him; that he wears that resentment with a sort of verbose, good-natured outrage as opposed to sulking, is to his credit; that it nevert...

Cowboys’ Elliott granted stay, can play Sunday

10:12 AM ET The U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has granted a request for an administrative stay to the NFLPA on behalf of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. The NFLPA filed a motion on behalf of Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday, seeking an emergency injunction to prevent the NFL from enforcing Elliott’s six-game suspension. The decision means that Elliott is eligible to play Week 9 against the Kansas City Chiefs. A panel of federal judges will convene next week to hear Elliott’s request for an injunction that overturns Judge Katherine Failla’s ruling from Monday. Elliott could still start serving the suspension as early as Week 10.

CBBrank: The top 50 players in college basketball

8:43 AM ET The 2017-18 season presents the most intriguing collection of talent the sport has enjoyed in recent years. The freshman class features multiple projected top-five picks in next summer’s NBA draft, players presumed to make the most of their lone seasons at the collegiate level. But the stage is not theirs alone. Michigan State sophomore Miles Bridges, the preseason leader for the Wooden Award, turned down millions to return for another shot at a national title. And veterans like USC’s Bennie Boatwright, Arizona’s Allonzo Trier, Notre Dame’s Bonzie Colson and Kansas’ Devonte’ Graham all came back to chase a ring, too. But who is the best? To determine this, ESPN formed a panel of writers, reporters, analysts and Insiders to rank the top 50. To ...

Sources: Almirola to replace Danica at SHR

10:13 AM ET Bob PockrassNASCAR Close • NASCAR writer for ESPN.com• 2009, 2013 NMPA Writer of the Year• More than 25 years experience covering motorsports FORT WORTH, Texas — Aric Almirola is set to replace Danica Patrick in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 10 car next season and new SHR sponsor Smithfield also has agreed to continue a relationship with Richard Petty Motorsports, sources said. Almirola said last week that he was continuing to work on his 2018 plans, and SHR has announced that it would hold a news conference for Wednesday morning to introduce the driver of its Smithfield-sponsored No. 10 car. Smithfield, which has sponsored Almirola for the past six seasons at RPM, announced in September that it would move to SHR in 2018 but did not announce a driver. At the time, Almirola ...

Meb Keflezighi’s finish line at the New York City Marathon

9:11 AM ET MEB KEFLEZIGHI OPENS the door to a vast hotel suite more than 40 stories above midtown Manhattan. A sitting room, multiple bedrooms, a bar and a conference space wrap around one corner of the building. A fruit basket sits on a grand table. Tasteful art adorns the muted blue-gray walls. A sunlit slice of Central Park, where Keflezighi has crossed the finish line of the New York City Marathon on 10 previous occasions, glows through the windows like a sunken oasis among the skyscrapers. Mundane objects are scattered across the floor in an accidental still life: a regulation softball, a lacrosse ball, a piece of rope, resistance bands and a length of PVC pipe wrapped in worn “Team USA” physio tape. Keflezighi packed them, as he always does, to use as stretching and massa...

Without Kyrie, the Cavs aren’t scaring anyone this season

5:28 PM ET WASHINGTON — Even before the Cleveland Cavaliers stumbled out of the gates to a 3-5 record — owners of the league’s 29th-ranked defense, picked apart by the likes of Orlando, Brooklyn and New York — teams were taking their shots at the three-time defending Eastern Conference champs. “We see an opportunity because there isn’t a Golden State in our conference or San Antonio or Houston,” Miami Heat president Pat Riley said in September. Brian Windhorst, Tim MacMahon, Kaileigh Brandt, Andrew Han and Kevin Pelton discuss Kyrie’s double down on conspiracy theories, the Cavs’ continued struggles and meals on Popovich. LeBron James and the Cavs acknowledge that they’re “definitely struggling” heading into FridayR...

How 30 for 30’s ‘Nature Boy’ became a reality

9:10 AM ET Rory Karpf I grew up a huge wrestling fan during the 1980s. I lived right outside Philadelphia. I used to beg my dad to take me to see the NWA. The WWF used to come to The Spectrum in Philadelphia, which wasn’t exactly a lap of luxury, but the Civic Center, where NWA ran shows, made The Spectrum look like a palace. My dad took me one time to see Ric Flair — May 4, 1986. He was wrestling Ricky Morton for the NWA world heavyweight championship. I was a little kid, 8 years old. I kind of pushed and shoved my way down to the aisle as Flair was walking down to ring. I remember I held my four fingers up and gave him a loud, “Woooo!” He actually turned right at me and stared. I’ll never forget what he said. “Don’t ‘Woooo’ at me you ...

Week 9 NFL predictions: Scores for every game

11:09 AM ET NFL Nation reporters predict the outcomes and scores for Sunday’s and Monday’s Week 9 games. PickCenter Although the Falcons have won three in a row over the Panthers, making it four straight will be difficult, particularly on the road. The Falcons keep talking about establishing their running game to open up play-action passes. But even with the dynamic duo of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman both averaging more than 4.5 yards per rush, it will be tough to run against a Panthers defense that surrenders just 81.6 rushing yards per game. “They’re a heck of a challenge,” Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian said. “We’ve got our work cut out for us.” Not to mention the Falcons have the challenge of containing Cam Newton, wh...

Ten biggest offseason questions, including what Miami will do with Stanton

8:30 AM ET The offseason in baseball is one of the game’s biggest misnomers. There is no offseason. There are no games, but there are trades, signings, awards, changes, meetings, news and on and on. There have been bigger and busier offseasons than this one will likely be, but it will still be busy. It always is. Here’s everything you need to know about Houston’s win over L.A. • Astros win first World Series title »• Astros embrace, enjoy their moment »• Correa proposes on field after WS win »• L.A. did everything right until Game 7 »• How the Astros dominated Darvish »• 2017 produced a record-setting WS »• Way-too-early 2018 power rankings »• Odds to win 2018 World Series »• Schedule » | Complete coverage » Here are 10 questions as the offseason gets underway. Who will w...

Inside Jim McElwain’s final days at Florida

10:00 AM ET Edward Aschoff Close ESPN Staff Writer ESPN.com SEC reporter. Joined ESPN.com in 2011. Graduated from the University of Florida. Mark Schlabach Close ESPN Senior Writer Senior college football writer Author of seven books on college football Graduate of the University of Georgia On Oct. 23, five days before Florida’s annual rivalry game with Georgia, Gators coach Jim McElwain addressed media members during what was supposed to be a routine Monday press conference. He began by praising the Bulldogs, addressing injuries and offering his continued support for starting quarterback Feleipe Franks. What he said next took Florida officials completely by surprise. In response to a question about his team’s perseverance during a disappointing 3-3 season, he said players had ...

Level up: Coaches on the rise

9:00 AM ET Jeff GoodmanESPN Insider Close Joined ESPN as a college basketball Insider in June 2013 Previously wrote for CBSSports.com and FOXSports.com We need to balance out the hot seat, so this here’s a list of coaches on the rise — names you’ll be hearing during the season and when the coaching carousel gets moving in March and April. We’ll give you some expected names, some unexpected, and also hit on different levels so you can get a look at who to track — especially if your team’s coach is on the hot seat. Elite level Gregg Marshall, Wichita State It’s going to take a top-15 job and a ton of money for Marshall to leave Wichita, but this is the time for him to get out — if the right opportunity presents itself. Marshall will likely watc...

The heat is on some big-name coaches despite their success

8:00 AM ET Jeff GoodmanESPN Insider Close Joined ESPN as a college basketball Insider in June 2013 Previously wrote for CBSSports.com and FOXSports.com The hot seat list was supposed to be fairly straightforward this year — until Sept. 26. That’s when the FBI arrested 10 men, including four assistant coaches, as part of a probe into corruption into college basketball. All four assistant coaches are no longer employed by their institutions. One head coach, Rick Pitino, has already lost his job because of his connection to the FBI’s investigation. Now the question becomes whether anyone else will also be implicated. One thing is for certain: The seat got hotter for a lot of people. The non-tradition hot seat Sean Miller, Arizona Miller has been considered one of the game...