IRVING, Texas (AP) — Oklahoma is the favorite to win another Big 12 football title, according to the conference’s preseason media poll. The Sooners have won the league the last four years and 12 Big 12 championships overall. Texas was picked second by media covering the league. The top two teams meet in the conference championship game on Dec. 7. The Longhorns lost to the Sooners in the title matchup in 2018. The preseason rankings had Iowa State, TCU and Oklahoma State rounding out the top five.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The longtime coach of the Nebraska softball team has been placed on administrative leave while school officials address concerns raised by or about players. The athletic department declined to detail what led to the action against Rhonda Revelle, saying it was a personnel matter. The department released a statement saying that administrators “take seriously any concerns raised regarding our student athletes.” Attempts to reach Revelle were unsuccessful.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The National League Central is providing Major League Baseball with a needed dose of pennant fever. All five teams are separated by just 4 1/2 games coming out of the All-Star break. The other five divisions have at least a 5 1/2-game gap between first and second. Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon says the division is tight because all five teams are trying to win. That includes upstart Cincinnati and resilient Pittsburgh, which are in the thick of the race with the Cubs, Milwaukee and St. Louis.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver wants the hat game fixed. Silver is mindful that it was awkward for draft picks this year who were selected by one team and had already been traded to another. Because of league rules, the players were unable to be introduced by their actual franchise for more than two weeks. Silver says a discussion at the league’s board of governors meeting in Las Vegas was about how to change that going forward.
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) _ Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will square off at Wimbledon for the first time in 11 years when they battle Friday for a spot in Sunday’s final. Federer’s 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Kei Nishikori gave the No. 2 seed his 100th match win at the All England Club, the first man to reach that total at any Grand Slam tournament. Not long after that ended on Centre Court, the No. 3-seeded Nadal finished off Sam Querrey 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 at No. 1 Court.
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) _ Top-ranked Novak Djokovic has advanced to Friday’s Wimbledon men’s semifinals as he attempts to win the title for the second straight year. Djokovic is two match wins away from his fifth Wimbledon crown following a 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 romp against 21st-seeded David Goffin. Next up for Djokovic is Robert Bautista-Agut, who earned a 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory against Guido Pella.
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. (AP) _ Former New York Yankees pitcher and controversial baseball author Jim Bouton has died at age 80. His playing career was forever eclipsed by his 1970 book “Ball Four,” the first tell-all baseball memoir that angered many in the game’s establishment. Bouton’s family said he died Wednesday at the home he shared with wife Paula Kurman after fighting a brain disease linked to dementia.
LAS VEGAS (AP) _ The Los Angeles Clippers have completed their blockbuster trade with Oklahoma City, acquiring Paul George from the Thunder for guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, forward Danilo Gallinari and five first-round draft picks, along with the chance to swap draft places in two other years. The Clippers also formally signed Kawhi Leonard to a three-year max contract that could be worth nearly $110 million, though the third season is at Leonard’s option. Leonard scored 26.6 points a game last season, while George averaged a career-best 28 points.
LAS VEGAS (AP) _ The Dallas Mavericks have signed Seth Curry to a four-year, $32 million package, completing the guard’s return after a year away. The brother of two-time MVP Stephen Curry had the best year of his career with Dallas in 2016-17, averaging 12.8 points, 2.7 assists and 29 minutes per game. He averaged 7.9 points for the Portland Trail Blazers last season after missing all of 2017-18 with a stress reaction in his lower left leg.