National Sports Headlines from NBC Sports

Manziel struggles, flips bird in Browns' loss to Redskins

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer didn't make Mike Pettine's decision any easier. Good luck picking a starting quarterback after this mess, Coach.

Manziel struggled to hit open receivers and added another gesture to his repertoire - a middle finger apparently aimed at the Washington Redskins' bench - while Hoyer completed only two passes in five series. Neither the hot-shot rookie nor the nondescript sixth-year veteran looked ready to claim a No. 1 NFL gig, failing to live up to the big-time setting of a final audition in the Cleveland Browns' 24-23 Monday night loss to the Washington Redskins.

Pettine has said he plans to announce his regular season starter Tuesday. His choices are Manziel, the No. 22 overall pick in the draft who completed 7 of 16 passes for 65 yards and an touchdown, and Hoyer, who was 2 for 6 for 16 yards.

And those stats were padded by series against the Redskins' backups. In the first quarter - when Washington's starters were in the game - Manziel was 2 for 7 for 29 yards, while Hoyer was 0 for 2. Manziel was even mocked by Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo, who raised both hands and performed the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner's "money" gesture after a sack by teammate Ryan Kerrigan.

Manziel appeared to have a message of his own for the Redskins. He raised the middle finger of his right hand as he jogged away from the Washington sideline after a play late in the third quarter.

To be fair, the first two passes by Hoyer could be classified as drops by his receivers, but he also failed to move the team when an interception gave the Browns the ball at Washington's 15 in the second quarter. After a running play and two incompletions, including a pass high and through the hands of Andrew Hawkins in the end zone, Cleveland had to settle for a field goal.

Looking for a hint as to which way Pettine is leaning? It's worth noting that Hoyer started for the second consecutive game and played mostly with the first-team offense, while Manziel was sent out with the backups to play in the second half. Manziel took advantage by leading a 16-play, 68-yard drive capped by an 8-yard pass to Dion Lewis for Cleveland's first touchdown.

In a sloppy game that included 21 penalties and five turnovers, anyone using a nickname like "Johnny Football" at times seemed like an insult to the sport. The Browns were particularly susceptible to the NFL's new emphasis on hindering receivers: Cleveland's defense was whistled five times for holding or illegal contact in the first quarter alone, including twice on one play.

The Redskins don't have a quarterback competition, but their former Heisman winner - Robert Griffin III - also needs some work to get to regular season form. He finished 6 for 8 for 112 yards, including an unwise off-balance throw that was picked off by Joe Haden. RG3's three drives ended with a fumbled pitch by Alfred Morris, the interception, and a goal-line stuff by the Browns defense when Morris was unable to punch it on four runs from first-and-goal from the 3.

The designed runs are being marginalized under new Redskins coach Jay Gruden, but Griffin was nevertheless hit hard several times as he scrambled four times for 24 yards.

At least the game had an exciting ending. Connor Shaw hit Emmanuel Ogbuehi on a 45-yard Hail Mary at time expired. The Browns' 2-point conversion attempt failed.

Report: Ohio State QB Miller reinjures shoulder

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) With just over two weeks remaining before its season opener, it appears No. 5 Ohio State has already sustained a devastating loss.

Two-time Big Ten offensive player of the year, quarterback Braxton Miller, considered among the top contenders for the Heisman Trophy, reportedly reinjured his throwing shoulder in practice on Monday.

Ohio State officials declined to confirm Miller was hurt or speak to the severity of the injury, first reported by The Columbus Dispatch.

Miller, a senior, had missed all of spring practice after what was termed "minor, outpatient surgery" on his right shoulder. When workouts resumed in August, he had been held out of a scrimmage and a few practices after experiencing some soreness in the shoulder. But he proclaimed last week and again on Monday that he was healthy and ready to go.

Head coach Urban Meyer said last week that the soreness was an expected result of Miller's throwing in practice.

"I anticipated this," Meyer said. "I've dealt with guys with arm issues before, and we're being very cautious. He could have practiced (in one of the workouts in which he didn't play) but we're in it for the long haul. So he's right on schedule."

Speaking briefly with reporters after Monday's first practice of a two-a-day session, Miller said he was feeling fine and would be in good shape for the season opener on Aug. 30 against Navy in Baltimore.

At the Buckeyes' media day last week, Miller said his arm felt good and he was able to throw as much as he liked.

"After my rehab, I was throwing to guys at least four days out of the week," he said. "Our timing and our situation-wise, when I get back in there it'll be like I never left."

If Miller is unable to play in the Buckeyes' opener, redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett would likely get the start, backed by sophomore Cardale Jones.

But the falloff in experience would be precipitous.

Miller has thrown 666 passes in his glittering three-year career. Barrett has never played in a game, and Jones has thrown only two passes.

Barrett, a 6-foot-1, 225-pounder out of Wichita Falls, Texas, was an acclaimed recruit who watched along with Jones last year as Miller took most of the snaps in the Buckeyes' 12-2 season. When Miller was hurt for most of the San Diego State, California and Florida A&M games with a sprained knee, senior Kenny Guiton had big games while leading Ohio State to victories.

But now Guiton has graduated, and the Buckeyes might have to adapt on the fly to a new signal-caller.

Making that even more difficult is that Ohio State is without four of its five starting offensive linemen, its leading receiver (Corey Brown) and 1,500-yard rusher Carlos Hyde from last year's team.

Oklahoma RB Mixon suspended for season

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) Oklahoma has suspended freshman running back Joe Mixon for the season after he pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of assault.

Mixon, one of the nation's top recruits and a potential starter, is accused of knocking a woman unconscious with a punch and breaking several bones in her face last month.

A release from the school Monday said university President David Boren accepted the recommendation of athletic director Joe Castiglione and coach Bob Stoops to suspend Mixon. He will be excluded from all team activities and removed from the team roster.

After Monday's practice, Stoops chose not to talk about Mixon.

"That's not something I'm going to delve into right now, because it leads to further questions in that regard, and I'm going to talk about the guys that are eligible to play right now," Stoops said.

The school said with appropriate conditions, Mixon will be permitted to continue as a student, eligible for financial aid.

"As the university has demonstrated in the past, we are committed to winning the right way," the school said in the release. "As an example to others, OU sets the highest possible standards for its student athletes, coaches and staff."

According to a probable cause affidavit released by the Cleveland County District Attorney's office, the alleged victim told police Mixon directed a homosexual slur at her friend and there was an argument. The affidavit said that according to surveillance video, the woman then pushed Mixon and Mixon lunged at her. The woman then slapped Mixon in the face, and he reacted by punching her in the face. She fell onto a table, then to the ground, and Mixon then left the scene. The woman suffered a fractured jaw, broken cheek bone, fractured sinus and `fractured orbit' near her left eye.

Mixon's lawyer, Kevin Finlay, said in a statement last week that he felt the woman should have been charged with assault and battery. He was disappointed that Mixon was charged with the misdemeanor.

"As we have maintained from the beginning, it is our belief that Joe reacted instinctively after being racially slurred and physically assaulted by a highly intoxicated young woman and her male friend," Finlay said. "We strongly disagree with the series of events as portrayed by Norman PD. Justice knows no gender bias, and we do not believe that Joe's actions were criminal in nature."

Stoops wouldn't say why he suggested the one-year ban.

"I'm not going to address the timetable," he said. "It is what it is. We made a decision here today that was announced and that's all I'm going to say about it. I can't say anything else in regard to it."

The decision is important for a team that opens the season ranked No. 4 and has national championship aspirations. The team lost its top two rushers from last season. The coaches say Keith Ford and Alex Ross have been the top two in camp so far, but they combined for just 26 carries last season. Freshman Samaje Perine also is in the picture.

"A lot of those guys are gonna need to play for us," quarterback Trevor Knight said. "Samaje Perine's been a hammer in there, just pounding the football, doing a really good job. Keith Ford's been doing a great job. Alex Ross has been doing a great job and Daniel Brooks and David Smith - they're getting in there and making plays."

Co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said he doesn't expect the running back competition to be decided before the season starts.

"Ultimately, on game day, we're going to find out who the guy is," he said. "Hopefully, somebody gets the hot hand and we can ride him that way."

Gronk in contact drills for 1st time since surgery

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Go ahead and hit Rob Gronkowski on his right knee. See if he cares.

The tough tight end is anxious to get into a game and take his chances less than eight months after surgery.

"If I'm ready to get out there, I'm ready to get out there," the Patriots' star said Monday after his first contact drills in training camp. "It's just like any other part of the body getting hit now. So once I get rolling like that, it'll just be like another day getting hit."

Playing in New England's third preseason game Friday night against the Carolina Panthers seems unlikely.

Playing in the regular-season opener Sept. 7 against the Miami Dolphins? That's still his goal, although the coaches and training staff will have the final say.

"I just love playing the game of football," Gronkowski said. "So whenever they let me have a chance, I definitely want to play."

The contact was light, but it was encouraging after his last two seasons were filled with injuries.

He missed the first six games last year recovering from forearm and back surgeries. In his seventh game back, the ACL and MCL in his right knee were torn on Dec. 8 on a hit by Cleveland safety TJ Ward, now with Denver.

Gronkowski underwent surgery on Jan. 9, was cleared to participate in non-contact drills when training camp opened and spent time running routes and catching passes from Tom Brady without defenders. He recently started doing that against cornerback Darrelle Revis.

That was a necessary step before getting into team drills.

"It's huge," Gronkowski said. "It's always good to do everything I was doing leading up to it, so when I went out there today I felt like I was prepared."

Monday's drills were just another step in his progression to playing without restrictions.

"It wasn't like full (contact) or anything," Gronkowski said. "It was just little routes and stuff, but (I'm) feeling good, progressed a lot out there doing routes versus the defense."

He did that in 11-on-11 drills for the first time and expects to step up his activities Tuesday.

Now come more repetitions and some blocking as he takes more small steps toward being the major part of the Patriots offense that he was when healthy.

"It's going well so far, no setbacks or anything," Gronkowski said, "just having a blast competing back out there and having fun catching some balls and making some plays."

The Patriots had just one healthy tight end for Friday night's 42-35 preseason win over the Philadelphia Eagles, converted tackle Steve Maneri. And he signed with the team just five days earlier.

Michael Hoomanawanui, the No. 2 tight end, has been out for much of training camp. He had a brace on his left knee on Monday and didn't participate in team drills. Another tight end, D.J. Williams, is out with a left leg injury.

So on Monday the Patriots re-signed tight end Justin Jones, a rookie free agent from East Carolina, just eight days after cutting him and released long snapper Tyler Ott, a rookie free agent from Harvard.

"You obviously want to be out there whenever you can so that's the passion I have and will always have to this game and for this position," Hoomanawanui said. "To watch other guys go out there and take all those reps, you want to be out there and helping this team."

That also drives Gronkowski.

"You want to be out there together helping each other out," he said. "Maneri did a great job for just being here for a couple of days and going in and playing. He did a great job on assignments and he did a great job blocking."

Gronkowski seems much further ahead in his rehabilitation than he was last summer but wouldn't compare the two comebacks.

"We're not allowed to do that. We're not allowed to compare," he said with his usual smile. "That was a good question, though. Better answer."

The best answer for the Patriots would be for him to be productive in the opener. Before camp, Gronkowski said his goal was to play in all 16 regular-season games.

"Yeah," he said. "I'm still operating off the same plan."

Newton, Stewart lead Panthers past Chiefs, 28-16

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Cam Newton made a successful return following ankle surgery, Jonathan Stewart ran for two touchdowns and the Carolina Panthers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 28-16 on Sunday night.

Newton completed 4 of 9 passes for 65 yards and led a pair of touchdown drives in the preseason game before exiting late in the second quarter with Carolina (1-1) up 14-6.

Stewart ran for 26 yards on four carries and made a strong case to be the Panthers' goal-line back - if not their primary ball carrier - with scoring runs of 3 and 2 yards.

Carolina's first three possessions netted a yard and no first downs. Newton compounded the problem by overthrowing Kelvin Benjamin on a deep ball after the rookie receiver got behind the secondary.

But Stewart replaced DeAngelo Williams and immediately gave the Panthers a boost with a 17-yard carry around left end. The Panthers found their rhythm after that, driving 66 and 50 yards for touchdowns on their next two possessions.

"We had a slow start tonight, which is unacceptable," Newton said. "We have to stay on schedule and not waste opportunities like the shot to Benji. Kansas City's a good football team and we didn't match their intensity early, but it was good to put a few drives together and score some points."

Kansas City's Alex Smith finished 14 of 22 for 127 yards.

The Chiefs (1-1) moved the ball well early on without star running back Jamaal Charles, but were forced to settle for a pair of field goals - one of them a 54-yarder by Ryan Succup.

Kansas City's search for a reliable No. 2 receiver continues.

Dwayne Bowe, who will miss the first game of the regular season because of an NFL-imposed suspension, had five catches for 62 yards but none of the Chiefs' other wide receivers stood out.

Rookie quarterback Aaron Murray's first NFL pass was for a 43-yard touchdown strike to tight end Travis Kelce, but he later threw an interception leading to a Carolina touchdown.

Newton had to shake off some early rust.

He missed on five of his first six passes and was sacked for a 13-yard loss, leading to three straight three-and-outs to start the game. He didn't run the ball at all because coach Ron Rivera didn't want to chance him reinjuring his left ankle.

Carolina benefited from a 32-yard pass interference penalty on Chiefs cornerback Ron Parker that set up Stewart's first TD - a run in which the 5-foot-10, 235-pounder bounced off a defender and bowled his way into the end zone.

Newton connected on a 24-yard pass to Benjamin over the middle on Carolina's next series leading to Stewart's second score.

It was an encouraging return to the field for Stewart, a former first-round draft pick who has missed 17 games the past two seasons with foot and ankle injuries. Stewart has been limited to 516 yards rushing and one touchdown the past two seasons after rushing for 3,500 yards and 26 TDs during his first four seasons in Carolina.

"It's been a while since I've touched the end zone," said Stewart, who sat out the first preseason game because of a hamstring injury. "It's the preseason so it's good to get my feet wet and get back into the groove."

The Panthers had a chance to extend their lead before halftime, but Benjamin lost his cool and head-butted Chiefs defensive back Chris Owens. That cost the Panthers 15 yards and took them out of field goal range.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Inbee Park wins LPGA Championship

PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) Inbee Park successfully defended her title in the LPGA Championship, beating Brittany Lincicome with a par on the first hole of a playoff Sunday to end the United States' major streak at three.

On the playoff hole on Monroe Golf Club's par-4 18th, Park hit her second into the rough behind the hole. Lincicome hit her approach to the left fringe, nearly identical to her position on the final hole of regulation when she made a bogey to fall in the playoff.

Lincicome chipped 6 feet past the hole and failed to convert for bogey. Park, the winner last year at Locust Hill in a playoff with Catriona Matthew, chipped to 3 feet and calmly sank her par putt for the victory.

Park finished with a 2-under 70 to match Lincicome at 11-under 276. Lincicome had a 71.

The South Korean player won her fifth major title and fourth in the last two seasons

Seventeen-year-old rookie Lydia Ko of New Zealand, seeking to become the youngest major winner in LPGA history, shot a 70 to finish third at 8 under.

Pole-sitter Power wins at Milwaukee Mile

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (AP) Pole-sitter Will Power fended off Juan Pablo Montoya to win Sunday at the Milwaukee Mile, giving a huge boost to Team Penske's chances for the IndyCar season title.

The 33-year-old Australian added to the slim lead he had in the standings over teammate Helio Castroneves. A Penske driver has finished second each of the previous four seasons and five of the last six.

Power raced to his third victory of the season, and his first on an oval. He has said his top priority is to win a title for Penske.

Montoya, another Penske driver, finished second. Tony Kanaan was third.

Power's victory ended Ryan Hunter-Reay's two-year winning streak at the Mile. Hunter-Reay won the Indianapolis 500, but his championship hopes took a hit after exiting following 168 laps with mechanical problems.

Hunter-Reay was third in the standings entering the race. His day had started on a high note after signing a three-year extension with Andretti Autosport to stay in the No. 28 car.

The day belonged to Power, who was in familiar territory after also having led the standings with three races to go in 2012 and 2010. Power crashed in the finale both years.

Once again, Power is in control going into this season's final two races in California- next week at Sonoma and the following week in Fontana.

Plus, he proved doubters wrong who said he couldn't win on ovals.

"Yes! I love winning on ovals! I love winning on ovals!" he yelled on his radio after taking the checkered flag.

Power led by 2 seconds late before Montoya was able to shave about a half-second from the lead around lap 238.

Soon, Power and Montoya were the only two cars on the lead lap, with traffic ahead. It could have provided Montoya with a prime opportunity to get by.

Instead, Power started pulling away again and won by 2.7 seconds.

"We asked him today to drive on an oval like he would on a road course," team president Tim Cindric said about the fuel strategy Power used Sunday.

Gordon races to first win at Michigan since 2001

BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) Jeff Gordon raced to his third NASCAR Sprint Cup victory of the year, holding off Kevin Harvick on Sunday for his first win at Michigan International Speedway since 2001.

Gordon broke the track qualifying record Friday when he took the pole at 206.558 mph. He followed that up with his third Cup victory at MIS.

After a series of cautions, Gordon came off the final restart well and led with 16 laps remaining. He fought off a challenge from Joey Logano and maintained a comfortable margin over Harvick, winning by 1.4 seconds in his No. 24 Chevrolet.

Harvick was second, followed by Logano, Paul Menard and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Gordon completed a sweep at MIS for Hendrick Motorsports. Jimmie Johnson won the June race on the two-mile oval.

BALLOT BREAKDOWN: FSU No. 1 in AP preseason poll

The Associated Press preseason Top 25 is out. Take a look at how the ballots break down, and find out what to watch for when the college football season begins this month:

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`NOLES NATION DOMINATION

Finish No. 1. Start No. 1. Even Bobby Bowden's best Florida State teams never did that.

Jimbo Fisher's Seminoles will. Jameis Winston and the defending national champions are preseason No. 1 for the sixth time.

In two of the previous five seasons Florida State started No. 1, the `Noles went on to finish No. 1, including a wire-to-wire title in 1999. But they never did start the following year top-ranked.

OK, the 2000 Seminoles were preseason No. 2, and after Bowden, the Hall of Fame coach whom Fisher replaced, won his first national championship in 1993, Florida State started 1995 ranked No. 3.

Fisher's Seminoles have a long way to go to compare to Florida State's unprecedented run of national championship contention, a string of 14 straight seasons during which the `Noles finished the season ranked in the top five of the AP rankings.

Still, make no mistake: Florida State 2.0 is built to last.

"We're the second-winningest team in the country the last four years, the winningest team the last two years and have had the most NFL players," Fisher said. "We've recruited well, too. Recruited a lot of great young players we've been able to mentor and develop as we go, so we're very comfortable with the guys who are replacing the guys that left."

The Seminoles were an overwhelming choice as No. 1, receiving 57 of 60 first-place votes from the media panel. No. 2 Alabama, No. 2 Oregon and No. 4 Oklahoma got one first-place vote each.

Ohio State is No. 5 and Auburn, which lost the final BCS national championship game to the Seminoles 34-31, is No. 6.

Last season was a good reminder that preseason rankings can look pretty silly by the end of the season. Four teams that finished in final top 10 last season (No. 2 Auburn, No. 3 Michigan State, No. 5 Missouri and No. 10 UCF) were unranked to start the season. Throw in No. 13 Baylor, No. 20 Arizona State and No. 23 Duke, and seven of the teams that either won or played for the championship in the six conferences with BCS automatic-qualifying status began 2013 unranked.

The Bowl Championship Series is gone now, replaced by the College Football Playoff. The top four teams will be placed into national semifinals to be played on New Year's Day and advance to the championship game about a week and half later.

Expect surprises, though coming up with a scenario in which Florida State is not part of college football's first final four is difficult.

Winston will make a run at his second Heisman behind an offensive line that returns four starters. There's turnover at receiver and running back but still plenty left of four- and five-star talent left behind.

Same goes on defense, where sophomore safety Jalen Ramsey and defensive end Mario Edwards step into leadership roles.

Florida State is the hunted again. Fisher wants them to still act like hunters.

"We better have that attitude. It's got to be your attitude every year," said Fisher, starting his fifth season as Florida State coach. "We call it an attitude of domination. You can never be satisfied."

Florida State starts its season with a rebuilding Oklahoma State team at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which, coincidentally, is also the site of the first College Football Playoff national championship game.

CONFERENCE CALL

Do not think for a second that the end of the Southeastern Conference's streak of national championships means the SEC is slipping.

The SEC begins the 2014 season with eight ranked teams, matching its own record for most teams from one conference in the preseason poll, set in 2011.

After Alabama and Auburn, South Carolina is No. 9, Georgia is 12, LSU is 13, Mississippi is 18, Texas A&M is 21 and Missouri is 24.

The Pac-12, which gave the SEC a good run as the nation's best conference last year, has six ranked teams - No. 7 UCLA, No. 11 Stanford, No. 15 Southern California, No. 19 Arizona State and No. 25 Washington - the most ever for the league in the preseason.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

- No. 7 UCLA has its best preseason ranking since 1998, when the Bruins were also seventh.

- No. 8 Michigan State has its best preseason ranking since 1967, when the Spartans were No. 3.

- No. 10 Baylor is ranked in the preseason for the first time since 1986 and has its best preseason rankings since 1957, when the Bears were No. 7.

- No. 25 Washington, with new coach Chris Petersen, formerly of Boise State, is making its first preseason appearance since 2003.

START TO FINISH

Since the AP preseason poll debuted in 1950, Florida State in '99 and Southern California in 2004 are the only teams to start and end the season No. 1 in the AP poll. Eight other preseason No. 1s have also won the national championship.

STREAKS

- Ohio State has been ranked in 26 straight preseason polls, the nation's longest current streak.

- Alabama has been ranked in the top five in six straight preseason polls, the nation's longest current streak.

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Full poll listing can be found at http://collegefootball.ap.org/poll

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Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter/ralphDrussoAP

Rose hears cheers as US beats Brazil 95-78

CHICAGO (AP) The roars for Derrick Rose started with the pregame introductions and did not fade until the final buzzer.

The Chicago Bulls superstar was back on his court, back in his element.

Rose showed some of his old explosiveness, fellow Chicago product Anthony Davis scored 20 points, and the U.S. beat Brazil 95-78 on Saturday night in a tuneup for the World Cup of Basketball.

With deafening cheers rocking the arena, Rose looked like an MVP at times even if he only had seven points. He also seemed happy to defer to his teammates in his first appearance at the United Center since his latest season-ending knee injury.

"I think everybody's excited," Rose said. "It was cool. At the same time, I can't get big-headed about it or anything like that. I've just got to keep poised."

What he needs to be is the player he was - or close to it -before the knee injuries started to pile up. A torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and a torn meniscus in his right knee two of the past three seasons derailed a rocketing rise from the city's South Side to the No. 1 pick in the draft and stardom with his hometown team.

The Bulls are counting on Rose to lead them back to contention in the Eastern Conference after they added some key pieces, including Pau Gasol.

"For Derrick, there are so many positives for this," said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, a U.S. assistant. "He shakes the rust off. He has a tremendous amount of pride. It's something that he wants to do and believes that he should do. I think this will be great preparation for the season."

Davis, who like Rose grew up on Chicago's South Side, dominated down the stretch, and the U.S. pulled away after Brazil kept it close for three quarters.

With a five-point lead going into the fourth, the U.S. went on a 14-2 run to break open a 68-63 game.

Klay Thompson nailed a 3-pointer to start it, and Davis took over.

He hit two free throws and blocked a shot by Larry Taylor, leading to a three-point play for James Harden.

Davis then threw down an alley-oop dunk to make it a 15-point game, and after Leandro Barbosa scored for Brazil, he nailed a jumper. Harden (18 points) finished the run with two free throws, making it 82-65.

Tiago Splitter scored 16 for Brazil.

Fans started chanting, "We want Rose!" with their favorite player watching from the sideline as the U.S. pulled away. They got their wish when he checked back in with 5:20 left and let out yet another loud roar, although coach Mike Krzyzewski insisted he wasn't catering to the crowd.

That's how it was all night for Rose.

Fans showed up in Bulls No. 1 jerseys - he's No. 6 for the U.S. They gave him a deafening ovation and chanted "MVP! MVP!" during the introductions and went wild again as he grabbed the microphone for a heartfelt address to the crowd before the opening tip. He referenced the violence in Chicago and said this game was "huge for the city."

The U.S. might not have as much star power as it has in the past, particularly with MVP Kevin Durant and others withdrawing and Paul George suffering a gruesome leg injury. Even so, the U.S. was looking good with a 29-15 lead through the first quarter.

Rose really didn't go hard to the rim until early in the second, when he beat Raul Neto with a crossover and got fouled. He made 1 of 2 free throws as the crowd chanted "MVP! MVP!" Moments later, he blew a wide-open tomahawk dunk, sending a groan through the arena, and he also headed to the locker room with a cut near his left eye with about 5 1/2 minutes left in the half.

Brazil, meanwhile got within 35-33 on a basket by Splitter with 4:27 left. But the U.S. led 45-37 at the half after Rose raced up the court for a floater at the buzzer to the crowd's delight after two free throws by Nene.

Rose had them roaring again when he beat Neto and switched to his left hand in midair on a drive with just over 3:30 left in the third, making it 64-53.

"Playing against this competition, I was just trying to get my wind back," Rose said. "I am going hard at practice and pushing myself every day."

Kelly: No change needed in how Notre Dame recruits

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly on Saturday dismissed talk that he needs to do a better job of recruiting players who are better students to avoid the academic problems that have plagued the football program for the past 15 months.

"I think we've brought in the right young men," he said. "I think we have to continue to do a better job educating them. We have to do a better job of providing the resources."

The news conference was the first time Kelly talked to the media since the university announced a day earlier that starting cornerback KeiVarae Russell, leading returning receiver DaVaris Daniels, defensive end Ishaq Williams and backup linebacker Kendall Moore were being withheld from practices and games until the university completes an investigation into whether papers and homework they turned in were completed by others.

Kelly said none one involved in the investigation has asked to talk to him or his staff. He cautioned against assuming the players are guilty, saying the investigation is ongoing.

Kelly said it's his job as head coach to create an environment where players know they can't cut corners.

"If you let your players do whatever they want and they feel like they're not accountable, then I don't think you should be a head coach," he said. "I think if you create an environment and you lay out the expectations of your program and their not met, then they should be held accountable."

"Look, this is never a one-sided issue. We have to internally look at providing our student-athletes all of the resources necessary that, if in fact if they took shortcuts, that they don't. We have to look hard at that," he said.

Players know the high standards of Notre Dame, Kelly said, adding that his rules of conduct for players are posted in the locker room: "Treat women with respect, don't cheat, don't lie and don't steal."

Kelly said he doesn't have any more information about the investigation than what the university announced at the news conference Friday, saying as a coach he will be "on the outside looking in." He said his reaction to the news was "shock and disappointment."

But Kelly said he's proud that Notre Dame has high standards, saying it's one of the reason he accepted the job.

"We don't look the other way," he said.

The players were informed Friday about the investigation and Kelly said he hasn't talked with them since.

The Irish, who open the season against Rice on Aug. 30, have faced other academic problems. Starting quarterback Everett Golson missed last season because of academic impropriety and Daniels sat out the spring semester. Kelly described them as "good kids who made bad decisions."

If the players aren't allowed to return this season as a result of the investigation, it will be difficult to overcome, Kelly said.

"As players, you don't replace KeiVarae Russell. He's one of the best corners we've had here in some time. But we'll find a way," he said. "You don't replace a guy like that."

Replacing Daniels also will be a challenge, but Kelly said the Irish have depth at receiver.

"We're going to have to count on other players to step up and do the job for us," he said.

Kelly said he's not worried about Notre Dame possibly having to vacate some past victories, including possibly from the 2012 season when the Irish went 12-1 and their lone loss was to Alabama in the national title game. He said it wouldn't change his view of that season.

"I've never really counted my victories," he said. "It's not something I really spend much time thinking about."

It's been a tumultuous time at Notre Dame since Kelly arrived following the 2009 season, with a student manager killed when the scissor lift he was on toppled in high winds in 2010, several high-profile players being arrested and the academic troubles. Kelly was asked whether those issues reflected on his leadership.

"This isn't the time to have a debate on what my leadership or lack thereof is. My focus is on my football team and getting this team ready. There's a time and place for that. People have their opinions and certainly they're entitled to them. I'm going to focus on this football team and getting it ready for two weeks for Rice."

Bills rookie Sammy Watkins leaves with rib injury

PITTSBURGH (AP) Buffalo Bills rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins left Saturday night's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first quarter due to a rib injury and will not return.

Watkins, the fourth overall pick in the draft, walked off the field clutching his side during Buffalo's initial drive of the game after Pittsburgh linebacker Ryan Shazier went over his back during a pass play. Watkins spent a few minutes on the sideline before being taken to the locker room.

Watkins sparkled in Buffalo's joint workouts with the Steelers during the week, routinely getting the better of whomever Pittsburgh lined up to cover him during drills.

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AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Van Gaal loses first game at Manchester United

MANCHESTER, England (AP) Louis van Gaal lost his first Premier League game with Manchester United on Saturday, with Swansea winning 2-1 to become the first away team since 1972 to open the season with a victory at Old Trafford.

Gylfi Sigurdsson took advantage of poor defending to score the Welsh club's winning goal in the 72nd minute. United captain Wayne Rooney had tied the match after Ki Sung-yeung opened the scoring.

"We never played as a team, that is our error," Van Gaal told BT Sport television. "But I think we have to always keep the head up and use the second step in our process better than we have done today."

In other games, Arsenal and Tottenham both scored injury-time goals to start the season with wins.

Aaron Ramsey gave Arsenal a 2-1 home victory against Crystal Palace, which had gone ahead on Brede Hangeland's first-half header before fellow defender Laurent Koscielny equalized for Arsenal just before the break.

In Mauricio Pochettino's first game in charge of Tottenham, Eric Dier scored in stoppage time to secure a 1-0 win at West Ham.

There were mixed results for the Premier League newcomers. Queens Park Rangers, which made an instant return after a season in the second tier, lost 1-0 at home to Hull. But Leicester, which has been away from the elite for a decade, earned a point by drawing 2-2 with Everton.

Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion, who both flirted with relegation last season, opened the new campaign by drawing 2-2. Aston Villa, whose owner Randy Lerner is trying to sell the club, began with a 1-0 win at Stoke.

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PARIS (AP) - Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain earned its first win of the season in the French league by defeating Bastia 2-0, but lost star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to an injury.

Ibrahimovic had to come off after just 15 minutes with an apparent abdominal strain, but Lucas Moura and Edinson Cavani provided goals in his absence.

Lucas got a cross from Gregory Van der Wiel to volley into the bottom corner from a tight angle in the 26th minute. Cavani doubled the lead by controlling a long ball from Marco Verratti before firing home in the 57th.

PSG has four points from two matches after drawing 2-2 with Reims in its opening game last week.

The game was marred by an incident after the final whistle, as Bastia striker Brandao waited for Thiago Motta in the tunnel and head-butted the PSG midfielder, leaving him with blood running down from his nose.

PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi told BeIn Sport television that Motta had a broken nose and that Brandao "must be banned for life."

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BERLIN (AP) - Borussia Dortmund defeated third-division Stuttgarter Kickers 4-1 in the first round of the German Cup on Saturday, while Bundesliga side Stuttgart lost 2-0 at second-tier Bochum.

With the exception of Stuttgart's loss to Bochum, the second division's early leader, there were few surprises.

Borussia Moenchengladbach and Hannover had 3-1 victories over fourth-tier sides Homburg and Astoria Walldorf, respectively, and Hertha Berlin beat fourth-tier Viktoria Cologne 4-2.

Cologne, back in the Bundesliga this season, enjoyed a 4-0 win over fourth-division FT Braunschweig.

Eintracht Frankfurt labored to a 2-0 win at fourth-tier side Viktoria Berlin, while second-division city rival FSV Frankfurt defeated fourth-tier Siegen 5-4 on penalties after extra-time finished 3-3.

Bayern Munich, which defeated Dortmund in last season's final, opens its defense at third-division Preussen Muenster on Sunday.

Chris Buescher wins Nationwide race at Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, Ohio (AP) Chris Buescher took the lead on the 62nd of 90 laps and held off Regan Smith and Brian Scott to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday.

The victory in the Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 made the 21-year-old Buescher the third rookie to win in the series this year.

Buescher, driving the Roush Fenway Racing Ford sponsored by - fittingly - Nationwide Children's Hospital in nearby Columbus, took the lead from Brendan Gaughan and weathered a restart to hold on the rest of the way.

There were questions he could finish without running out of fuel, but he had enough to make a celebratory run the wrong way down the home straight.

Ramsey ends Arsenal's 5-year wait for opening win

LONDON (AP) Aaron Ramsey gave Arsenal a winning start to the Premier League for the first time in five years on Saturday, grabbing a stoppage-time goal in a 2-1 victory over manager-less Crystal Palace.

Ramsey emerged as a scoring force in midfield last season, and carried on where he left off with his late intervention.

The goal came just after Palace had been reduced to 10 men in the 90th minute when Jason Puncheon received a second yellow card.

Puncheon had set up Palace's opener in the 35th, whipping in a corner that Brede Hangeland glanced in with a header.

But Arsenal equalized on the stroke of halftime, also with a defender heading in from a set piece. Laurent Koscielny was unmarked when he met a free kick from offseason recruit Alexis Sanchez.

Tanaka has 1st bullpen session since elbow injury

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) New York Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka has thrown 25 pitches in his first bullpen session in a month since going on the disabled list with a partial tear in his right elbow.

Tanaka, 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 18 starts, pitched from the mound before Saturday's game against Tampa Bay. This is the Japanese right-hander's first season in the major leagues.

Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild said Tanaka looked "fine," but that it's "more important how he feels tomorrow."

The Yankees put Tanaka on the disabled list July 9 and hope he can avoid surgery and return next month.

ND looking at 4 football players in academic probe

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Notre Dame is facing the possibility of losing three starters before the football season has even begun after another embarrassing hit for a university that prides itself on high academic standards.

The university on Friday barred KeiVarae Russell, the team's best cornerback, leading returning receiver DaVaris Daniels, defensive end Ishaq Williams, and backup linebacker Kendall Moore from practice and games while it investigates "suspected academic dishonesty."

The Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame's president, said the school is looking into allegations the players had course work done for them.

The news comes a season after quarterback Everett Golson was suspended for the 2013 season for academic impropriety and after Daniels was suspended for the spring semester.

The Irish finished 9-4 behind Tommy Rees last season, but coming off an appearance in the BCS title game in 2012 it was a step back.

Golson has returned, but now coach Brian Kelly could be scrambling to fill holes before opening his fifth season in South Bend at home against Rice on Aug. 30.

Athletic director Jack Swarbrick said Kelly was "devastated" by the news.

Jenkins and Swarbrick expressed support for Kelly.

"We have great confidence in Brian and his staff," Jenkins said. "They have been nothing but supportive."

Jenkins said the investigation shows Notre Dame's honor system works, saying it was started when someone on the university staff became suspicious of papers and homework turned in by the players.

"At any university you're dealing with young people. The vast majority of them make good decisions. But young people sometimes make bad decisions," he said. "Our job is to hold them accountable and to use those incidents as ways to educate them. That's what we're doing."

Jenkins said Notre Dame has notified the NCAA about the inquiry. Because of potential violations, the four players can't compete until the conclusion of the investigation and the university honor code process.

Jenkins said during a news conference that no student has been judged responsible for "academic dishonesty."

"Nobody has been dismissed," Jenkins said.

Jenkins said there is no timetable regarding how long the investigation will take.

"We will take as long as it takes to have a thorough and fair investigation and proceed through our academic honor code process," Jenkins said.

He added that such investigations at Notre Dame aren't common "but it happens."

The university also is investigating if other students are involved. Jenkins said it was too early to say if the four players acted together.

Jenkins said if it is found they violated the school's honor code the penalties could range from an F on an assignment, to an F in the course, to dismissal from school. The penalty would be decided by an honor committee.

Swarbrick said the players haven't been suspended. He said they remain grant-in-aid students and have access to athletic facilities and resources.

Jenkins said he didn't want to speculate on possible NCAA punishment, while Swarbrick said the NCAA usually defers to a university when it comes to academic integrity.

"There are a few narrow instances where that triggers an NCAA concern, but I must stress we have no evidence of most of those here. No involvement by a member of the coaching staff, no transcript impropriety, those sorts of things," he said. "If it has NCAA consequences, we'll let them know."

Jenkins said the school would vacate victories if it is determined players have been ineligible during past competition. All four were members of the 2012 team that played for the BCS national championship.

The investigation is the latest in a series for the Irish in the past 15 months involving academics, starting with Golson.

Jerian Grant, the leading scorer on the basketball team at the time, was suspended in December for the spring semester because of an academic violation. Daniels was suspended two weeks later for the spring semester and was recently reinstated.

Swarbrick said the previous cases were different.

"Let's not confuse academic probation, where you don't make grades in a semester, with academic dishonesty. They are very different things," he said.

Jenkins said he doesn't believe it's a sign Notre Dame has to make changes in the student-athletes it admits.

"We're confident that the students we admit have the capacity to be successful," he said.

Cueto shuts down Rockies to reach 15 wins 1st

DENVER (AP) Johnny Cueto threw eight stellar innings to become the first 15-game winner in the majors and Kris Negron had a career-high four hits, including a tiebreaking single in the ninth, as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 on Friday night.

Cueto (15-6) allowed two runs and six hits to help the Reds snap a three-game skid. He's now 7-0 since a loss at San Diego on July 2.

Negron lined a two-out single up the middle off Adam Ottavino (0-4) to bring in Ramon Santiago with the go-ahead run.

Aroldis Chapman closed for his 26th save in 28 chances. Charlie Culberson drew a one-out walk and pinch-hitter Mike McKenry sent a shot down the line that first baseman Brayan Pena snared as he toppled over. Pena then touched first base with his glove to double up Culberson.

Nolan Arenado homered for Colorado, which has dropped seven of nine.

Jay Bruce brought in a run with a groundout in the Reds third and Santiago another with an RBI single in the fourth.

Cueto worked his way out of a jam in the sixth after giving up a tying RBI double to Corey Dickerson. With one out and the bases loaded, he struck out Culberson with a 95 mph fastball and then fanned D.J. LeMahieu with the same pitch.

The hard-throwing righty splintered quite a few bats with his heavy pitches running in on the hands of hitters. One of his few mistakes was an elevated fastball that Arenado hit into the left-field seats.

The Rockies turned to reliever Matt Belisle into an emergency starter when Franklin Morales was a late scratch after his wife went into labor. Belisle and five other relievers to kept the game close until the ninth.

Belisle allowed one run and tossed a season-high 49 pitches in three innings. It was his first start since May 25, 2008, when he was with the Reds.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Reds: INF Todd Frazier was out of the starting lineup with a balky back, which he hurt the night after hitting a ball off the end of his bat. "Pain shot up the right side of my back," Frazier said. He said he thinks it's a muscle strain in his lower back. He's day to day.

Rockies: Manager Walt Weiss said it "sounds like things went well" with SS Troy Tulowitzki's hip surgery Friday in Vail, Colorado. OF Carlos Gonzalez will have surgery on his left knee Monday. Both are out for the season.

UP NEXT

Reds: RHP Dylan Axelrod is expected to be brought up from Triple-A Louisville on Saturday to fill in for the injured Homer Bailey, who's headed to the DL with a strained right elbow. It will be Axelrod's first major league start since last September.

Rockies: RHP Jordan Lyles (6-1, 3.70) will make his third start since returning from the DL. He missed two months with a broken left hand.

Payton chews out Graham after celebration flags

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Jimmy Graham didn't hesitate to punctuate a pair of touchdown catches with the goal post-rattling, basketball-style dunks that led the NFL to ban such celebrations coming into this season.

Both times, Graham drew penalty flags for unsportsmanlike conduct.

With relatively little at stake in preseason game No. 2 on Friday night, the crowd roared its approval, and the Saints went on to beat the Tennessee Titans, 31-24.

Saints coach Sean Payton, however, wasn't amused after Graham's second dunk, barking at the star tight end as he came to the sideline.

Following the game, Graham fled the locker room without speaking to reporters.

Payton, meanwhile, said he was "particularly" upset with Graham's penalties, but also with much of the team after the Saints (2-0) drew 22 flags for 184 yards.

"Obviously, that was painful to watch," Payton said. "It's the first sign of a team that has no discipline, and that's the first sign of poor coaching. ... I'm very upset."

After holding out the entire offseason for his four-year, $40 million contract, Graham appeared to be in fine form with five catches for 48 yards in limited action, including his TDs of 6 and 19 yards from Luke McCown.

While Payton lost patience with Graham's insistence upon continuing his post-TD dunks, Graham's teammates appeared conflicted, considering it was a preseason game.

"I understand Jimmy's frustration with that rule change," veteran right tackle Zach Strief said. "I don't think Jimmy is a selfish player. ... It's selfish in a real game. I don't think Jimmy is like that. I think that was his one opportunity to make it his statement on it."

Last year, one such dunk bent a goal post out of place, delaying a regular-season game.

"Look, one time in 40 years a goal post gets tilted and all of a sudden we have to change the rules?" Strief said. "People love Jimmy because he gets excited and they love him because he celebrates. The fans love that stuff. And Jimmy is frustrated because they're taking something away that ... adds entertainment to the game."

The penalties after both celebrations were enforced on the kickoff, resulting in returns to the Tennessee 38 and 36 by the Titans' Marc Mariani. Tennessee (1-1) scored touchdowns on both drives.

There were some developments which pleased Payton.

The Saints' defense had five turnovers and four sacks. Offensively, New Orleans produced several long gains, including completions of 52 and 44 yards from Ryan Griffin to Joe Morgan, who missed all of last season with a knee injury.

"It was encouraging that (Morgan) got behind the defense and was able to make a few plays that we've seen him make prior to his injury," Payton said.

The Titans were competitive early when both teams' starters were on the field.

Starting quarterback Jake Locker was 8 of 11 for 75 yards and a touchdown on a 4-yard touch pass along the sideline to Justin Hunter, who made a leaping grab over cornerback Corey White.

"It was great to see the way we came out and started," Locker said. "It was something we can definitely build off of."

Hunter also was on the receiving end of Zach Mettenberger's first touchdown pass as a pro. Mettenberger entered the game earlier than expected after second-string QB Charlie Whitehurst was shaken up on a sack by Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro.

The crowd cheered the former LSU quarterback when he took the field.

"That was a pleasant surprise," Mettenberger said.

Mettenberger completed his first series by rifling a pass over the middle to Hunter, who raced off for a 64-yard score.

Mettenberger finished 20 of 25 for 269 yards, but was also intercepted once and fumbled once. Hunter had four catches for 111 yards.

"We played OK, but we just turned the ball over way too much and ultimately that led to a loss," Mettenberger said. "Offensively we did a lot of good things but we've got a lot to clean up."

Undrafted rookie kicker Travis Coons made a 50-yard field goal for Tennessee.

One of Tennessee's fumbles may have cost more than a turnover. Running back Shonn Greene, who has had right knee surgery twice, appeared to favor his right leg after being stripped by Vaccaro.

McCown started for Brees, who missed his second exhibition game while resting his sore abdomen, and was 12 of 20 for 117 yards. Griffin finished 13 of 19 for 179 yards with touchdown passes of 23 yards to Mark Ingram and 3 yards to Seantavious Jones.

Philly's Mo'ne Davis two-hits Tennessee in shutout

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) Mo'Ne Davis, one of two girls at the Little League World Series, threw a two-hitter to help Philadelphia beat Nashville 4-0 on Friday in the opener for both teams.

The first girl to appear for a U.S. team in South Williamsport since 2004, Davis received rousing cheers during pregame introductions, every time she stepped to the plate and after she struck out the final batter.

"It's very unreal. I never thought at the age of 13 I would be a role model," Davis said. "Hopefully, more girls play Little League."

Davis had eight strikeouts and didn't walk a batter. She retired the first six batters and needed only 70 pitches to complete the game. She was hitless in three at-bats.

Philadelphia shortstop Jared Sprague-Lott hit a three-run home run in the first inning, and outfielder Carter Davis had an RBI sacrifice fly in the sixth.

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