AP COVERAGE

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AP Top Sports News at 3:21 a.m. EST

Tie or no tie? Dress-code flap defines Panthers' 40-7 loss
SEATTLE (AP) -- A missing necktie led to Carolina quarterback Cam Newton getting benched for one series on Sunday night....

Panel's playoff picks came down to Washington vs. Penn State
Conference championships matter. Head-to-head matters. Strength of schedule matters. Every game counts, though some seem to count more than others and good luck figuring out which ones count most....

BOWL STORIES: Finales, contrasts in style, coaching carousel
The Alabama invitational, um, College Football Playoff is set, along with 38 other bowl games big and small....

Loss of Earl Thomas big hit to Seattle's playoff plans
SEATTLE (AP) -- The missing necktie that cost Carolina's Cam Newton one play is insignificant compared to what the Seattle Seahawks lost on Sunday night....

ICYMI in NFL: At site of cancer treatment, KC's Berry excels
As it is, this was going to be an emotional afternoon for Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry, who grew up in suburban Atlanta and was playing at the Falcons for the first time as a pro - and, more meaningfully, the first time since he was treated for cancer in the city....

This time of year, it doesn't hurt to be physical in the NFL
It doesn't hurt to be physical in the NFL....

LEADING OFF: What to watch at the baseball winter meetings
A look at what's happening today at the baseball winter meetings in Oxon Hill, Maryland:...

Westbrook's 5th straight triple-double lifts Thunder
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A few weeks ago, Michael Jordan helped induct Russell Westbrook into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and called himself a fan of the Thunder guard's game....

Washington's schedule becomes focus of playoff debate
SEATTLE (AP) -- Washington's nonconference schedule clouded the Huskies' candidacy for the College Football Playoff for weeks....

Selig, Schuerholz elected to baseball Hall of Fame
OXON HILL, Md. (AP) -- Bud Selig oversaw baseball during a time of transformation and turmoil - wild cards and a ballpark boom, the cancellation of a World Series and the Steroids Era. For much of his reign, though, there was one constant: those first-place Atlanta Braves, built by John Schuerholz....

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