Men’s basketball: Nolan Smith scored 22 of his career-high 34 points in the second half, and No. 5 Duke rallied from 16 points down to beat No. 20 North Carolina 79-73 on Wednesday night in Durham, N.C.
Seth Curry added a season-high 22 points for the Blue Devils (22-2, 9-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).
The Blue Devils trailed 43-27 in the final minute of the first half and were down 14 at halftime before clamping down on the Tar Heels, outscoring them 50-30 in the final 20 minutes.
Tyler Zeller had 24 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, and John Henson added 14 points for North Carolina (17-6, 7-2), which had its five-game winning streak snapped and lost for the third straight time in college basketball’s fiercest rivalry.
• No. 8 Irish beat No. 16 Louisville in OT: Ben Hansbrough scored 25 points and Carleton Scott had nine of his 16 points in overtime to lead No. 8 Notre Dame (20-4, 9-3 Big East) to an 89-79 win over No. 16 Louisville (18-6, 7-4) at South Bend, Ind.
Tim Abromaitis added 23 points for the Fighting Irish, who extended their overall win streak to six games and their home streak to 17. Kyle Kuric scored a career-high 28 points for Louisville.
• No. 11 Georgetown tops No. 12 Syracuse: Austin Freeman had 14 points to lead four Georgetown players in double figures, and the 11th-ranked Hoyas (19-5, 8-4 Big East) rallied late to beat No. 12 Syracuse 64-56 at Syracuse, N.Y.
Georgetown extended its winning streak to seven games and gave coach John Thompson III his first win in the Carrier Dome in six tries.
Syracuse (20-5, 7-5) saw its two-game winning streak end.
• Four-point play sinks No. 9 Villanova: Jonathan Mitchell’s four-point play with less than a second remaining capped a career-high 25-point performance and gave Rutgers (13-11, 4-8 Big East) a 77-76 victory over No. 9 Villanova (19-5, 7-4) at Piscataway, N.J.
Mitchell, who was coming off a career-best 24 points in a loss to Notre Dame, hit a 3-point shot from about 25 feet and was fouled by Corey Fisher. After a Villanova timeout, Mitchell, a 74 percent free-throw shooter, hit the tiebreaker.
Cavaliers match dubious pro mark
NBA: Forget the NBA record, the Cleveland Cavaliers are officially as bad as any team in any pro sport.
Cleveland’s losing streak reached 26, matching the 1976-77 Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ record for consecutive incompetence with a 103-94 loss to the visiting Detroit Pistons, who were supposedly a beatable opponent for the bottom-dwelling Cavs.
The Cavs (8-45) remain winless since Dec. 18 and have dropped 36 of 37.
Rodney Stuckey (Eastern Washington) came off the bench to score 22 to pace the Pistons.
• Former Jazz players enjoy return to SLC: Derrick Rose scored 29 points and former Jazz players Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer made key plays late to lift the Chicago Bulls to a 91-87 victory over Utah in a game that marked the return of Carlos Boozer to Salt Lake City.
• Blazers’ Roy returns to practice: Guard Brandon Roy returned to practice with the Portland Trail Blazers, but he won’t return to the lineup this weekend as he had hoped.
The three-time All-Star, who had arthroscopic surgery on both knees a little more than three weeks ago, worked out for about a half hour with his teammates. He said afterward that he did not have any pain.
No. 6 Texas A&M humbles Oklahoma
Women’s basketball: Danielle Adams shook off early foul trouble to finish with 30 points and 13 rebounds as No. 6 Texas A&M (20-2, 8-1 Big 12) rolled to an easy 92-71 win over No. 14 Oklahoma (17-6, 7-3) at College Station, Texas.
• Storm sign two Australians: The Seattle Storm of the WNBA took on more of an Australian flair, announcing the signings of Belinda Snell and Erin Phillips.
Both teamed with Australian star Lauren Jackson, the Storm’s three-time MVP, to win silver in the 2008 Olympic Games.
Coyotes power through during OT
NHL: Radim Vrbata scored a power-play goal at 1:13 of overtime to lift the Phoenix Coyotes to a 3-2 victory over the Stars, extending host Dallas’ losing streak to a season-long four games.
Browns release several players
NFL: The Cleveland Browns are cleaning house, terminating the contracts of some big-name players, including their biggest player – enormous nose tackle Shaun Rogers (more than 350 pounds).
The Browns, who are rebuilding once again under new coach Pat Shurmur, also released veteran linebackers Eric Barton and David Bowens, defensive end Kenyon Coleman, tight end Robert Royal and right offensive tackle John St. Clair.
Pirates lose first arbitration case
Baseball: Pitcher Ross Ohlendorf defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first salary arbitration hearing this year, even after going 1-11 last season.
Ohlendorf was awarded a raise from $439,000 to $2,025,000 by arbitrators Steven Wolf, Fredric Horowitz and Robert Herzog, who heard the case a day earlier. The Pirates argued he should be paid $1.4 million.
• Weaver, Angels go to arbitration: Jered Weaver and the Los Angeles Angels have gone to salary arbitration, with the pitcher asking for his salary to be doubled to $8.8 million and the team arguing he should be paid $7,365,000.
The 28-year-old right-hander was 13-12 with a 3.01 ERA in 34 starts for the Angels last season.
• Brewers, Marcum agree: The Milwaukee Brewers and right-hander Shaun Marcum agreed to a $3.95 million, one-year contract on the eve of a scheduled salary arbitration hearing.
Marcum went 13-8 with a 3.64 ERA last season.
Vonn will likely skip super-combined
Skiing: Lindsey Vonn is still struggling to recover from a mild concussion. So much so, the reigning overall World Cup champion likely will skip her next event at the world championships or possibly withdraw.
The super-combined on Friday at Garmisch- Partenkirchen, Germany, is probably off her schedule.
“It’s not official yet, but it’s looking like that,” said Vonn’s husband and chief adviser, Thomas Vonn.