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Mattingly: Jimmy Rollins Will Bat Leadoff

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(GLENDALE, Ariz.) -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has faith in new shortstop Jimmy Rollins and said Wednesday that he'll probably bat leadoff to start the year.

"That’s the one guy we are pretty sure about, Jimmy is that leadoff guy," Mattingly said. "We don’t truly have anyone else that fits in that role."

The 36-year-old veteran has started 1,456 major-league games as a leadoff hitter, which is the most among any active player.

Rollins came over to Los Angeles in a trade after spending 15 seasons with the Phillies.

"To be back there, as of now, you feel like you're that fire-starter again, like you'll be that spark-plug that gets things going," Rollins said Tuesday.

Rollins had a storied career in Philadelphia, winning the National League MVP in 2007 and helping the team win the World Series in 2008. He is the franchise's all-time leader in hits, at-bats and doubles.

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Phil Jackson Fined for Calling Ohio State's Russell a 'Great-Looking Kid'

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The NBA fined New York Knicks president Phil Jackson an undisclosed amount for calling Ohio State freshman D'Angelo Russell "a great-looking kid" and a "great prospect" on Tuesday.

Jackson said those comments to Cleveland.com after watching Ohio State play last week.

The NBA prohibits any scout from giving their thoughts on a player before they declare for the NBA draft.

New York is expected to have one of the top picks in the draft and this is the second time that Jackson has been fined during his tenure as president.

Jackson was fined for tampering with then-Thunder guard Derek Fisher about the open head coaching position last season.

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Kansas Wins Big 12 Title in Dramatic Fashion

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images(LAWRENCE, Kan.) -- The Jayhawks (24-6) overcame an 18-point deficit on Tuesday night to win the Big 12 title after their 76-69 overtime win over No. 20 West Virginia (22-8).

Kansas guard Frank Mason III scored 19 points and forward Jamari Taylor chipped in with 14 in the victory.

"We haven't had a better win here for higher stakes than what that was," Kansas head coach Bill Self said after the game. "As a coach, when you have good players and you play well, you should win. But it always means a little more when you can't get anything going and somehow the kids figure out a way to do it. It was pretty special for me to sit there and watch those guys pull it off."

Kansas standout Perry Ellis sprained his right knee late in the first half and did not return.  Self said that Ellis would not play on Saturday against Oklahoma.

"We played tough, we played hard, but playing without Perry [Ellis] obviously is not good," Self said. "He had the flu and got off to a bad start anyway, then he gets hurt. We don't know the extent of it, but the good news is we think he can be back in a week or so."

This is Kansas' 11th straight conference title, which ties the streak Gonzaga had from 2001-11. 

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Winston 'Would Love' to Play in Tampa

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston had an all-day meeting with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday.

The Buccaneers, who hold the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft, had team officials meet with the youngster who many believe the Bucs will take with that top pick.

"Being able to play three years in Florida, I would love to stay here in this great state," Winston told the Bucs' website. "I've just got to take advantage of this blessing. It's not really important to me to be the first pick, but it is important to me to be picked. I believe that I have been blessed during my years at Florida State to win a national championship and just be a winning quarterback. And I believe this place -- I would love to be here."

The 6-foot-4, 230 pound Winston played two seasons for Florida State, winning a national championship and Heisman Trophy along the way. He finished his time in Tallahassee completing 66 percent of his passes for 7,964 yards, 65 touchdowns, and 28 interceptions.

The NFL Draft runs from April 30 to May 2 in Chicago.

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Panthers Sign DT Cole to 1-Year Deal

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- The Carolina Panthers signed defensive tackle Colin Cole to a one-year contract on Tuesday.

According to ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton, the contract is worth $1.05 million with an $80,000 signing bonus.

After missing the 2011-12 seasons due to a major ankle injury, Cole returned to the NFL in 2013 with the Panthers.

The 35-year-old Cole has played in 31 games for Carolina, starting 23 of them.

"It's hard to get and maintain a job in this business. We're so happy to be a part of this organization and this community. It's a blessing," Cole said. "I'm the oldest player on this team, and I'm just happy to have the ability to continue my career. It's been a long road, but as long as they'll allow me to play, I'll continue to play."

The past two seasons with Carolina, Cole has been used in a four-man rotation at tackle with Dwan Edwards, Kawann Short, and 2013 first-round draft pick Star Lotulelei.

Cole was set to become a free agent on March 10 if he had not reached a deal with the Panthers.

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Report: Eagles Set to Trade RB LeSean McCoy to Bills

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- The Philadelphia Eagles have a trade in place to send running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso, according to ESPN.

The trade cannot be made official until the new league year begins next Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.

The Eagles selected McCoy out of Pittsburgh in the second round of the 2009 NFL draft. In six seasons with Philadelphia, the three-time Pro Bowler has rushed for 6,792 yards and 44 touchdowns on 1,461 carries. He also has 300 receptions for 2,282 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The Bills drafted Alonso out of Oregon in the second round of the 2013 draft.  He missed the entire 2014 season after tearing his ACL last July.

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Eagles Cut CB Cary Williams

Scott Boehmn/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- Philadelphia Eagles cut cornerback Cary Williams on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old spent the past two seasons with the Eagles, playing in all 33 regular season and playoff games for the team.

Williams had one year left on the three-year contract he signed with the Eagles in 2013. By cutting Williams, Philadelphia clears $6.5 million in cap space.

There's a possibility the Eagles will be without three-quarters of last season's starting secondary: cornerback Bradley Fletcher and safety Nate Allen will become free agents on March 10.

Williams joined the Eagles after a 2012 season in which he won the Super Bowl as a member of the Baltimore Ravens. During his two seasons in Philadelphia, Williams had 139 tackles, 22 passes defended, five interceptions, and one sack.

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Scoreboard Roundup - 3/3/15

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: Charlotte Hornets 104 (25-33) – Los Angeles Lakers 103 (16-43)

Cleveland Cavaliers 110 (38-24) – Boston Celtics 79 (23-35)

Sacramento Kings 124 (21-37) – New York Knicks 86 (12-47)

Atlanta Hawks 104 (48-12) – Houston Rockets 96 (41-19)

Chicago Bulls 97 (38-23) – Washington Wizards 92 (34-27)

Utah Jazz 93 (24-35) – Memphis Grizzlies 82 (42-17)

Denver Nuggets 106 (21-39) – Milwaukee Bucks 95 (32-28)

Top 25 Men’s College Basketball: (1) Kentucky 72 (30-0) – Georgia 64 (19-10)

(4) Villanova 76 (28-2) – Creighton 72 (13-17)

(9) Kansas 76 (24-6) – (20) West Virginia 69 (22-8) - OT

(10) Maryland 60 (25-5) – Rutgers 50 (10-20)

(19) North Carolina 81 (21-9) – Georgia Tech 49 (12-18)

Georgetown 60 (19-9) – (21) Butler 54 (21-9)

NHL:  New Jersey Devils 3 (27-27-10; 64pts) – Nashville Predators 1 (41-17-7; 89pts)

Calgary Flames 3 (34-25-4; 72pts) – Philadelphia Flyers 2 (27-26-12; 66pts)

Washington Capitals 5 (35-20-10; 80pts) – Columbus Blue Jackets 3 (26-33-4; 56pts)

Tampa Bay Lightning 3 (39-20-6; 84pts) – Buffalo Sabres 0 (19-40-5; 43pts)

Toronto Maple Leafs 3 (26-33-5; 57pts) – Florida Panthers 2 (28-23-13; 69pts)

San Jose Sharks 6 (32-25-8, 72pts) – Vancouver Canucks 2 (36-24-3, 75pts)

Los Angeles Kings 5 (30-21-12, 72pts) – Edmonton Oilers 2 (18-36-10, 46pts)

Anaheim Ducks 4 (41-17-7, 89pts) – Arizona Coyotes 1 (20-37-7, 47pts)

Dallas Stars 3 (28-26-10, 66pts) – New York Islanders 2 (41-21-3, 85pts) - OT

Minnesota Wild 3 (34-22-7, 75pts) – Ottawa Senators 2 (27-23-11, 65pts) - SO

 

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Report: Cowboys Ink WR Cole Beasley to 4-Year Contract

Football Texture/iStockphoto(IRVING, Texas) -- The Dallas Cowboys and wide receiver Cole Beasley agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $14 million, according to ESPN. The deal includes $7 million guaranteed.

The Cowboys signed Beasley as an undrafted free agent out of Southern Methodist in 2012. In 40 regular-season games with Dallas, he has 91 receptions for 916 yards and six touchdowns.

While at SMU, he had 255 receptions for 2,959 yards and 14 touchdowns in 49 games.

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Nuggets Fire Head Coach Brian Shaw

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(DENVER) -- The Denver Nuggets fired head coach Brian Shaw, the team announced on Tuesday. Assistant Melvin Hunt will take over on an interim basis.

“I want to sincerely thank Brian for his time with our organization,” said Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly in a statement. “You won’t find a better guy than Brian and he is one of the brightest basketball minds I’ve ever been around. Unfortunately things didn’t go as we hoped, but we know with his basketball acumen that he has a very bright future ahead of him.”

The Nuggets are 20-39 on the season and are in a midst of a six-game losing streak. Shaw took over for George Karl on June 25, 2013. During his tenure on the sidelines for Denver, he compiled a record of 56-85.

“This season our management staff has remained patient and supportive as decisions of this nature are never taken lightly,” said Connelly. “Patience is encouraged, as long as the organization continues to show progress toward a greater goal. However, competing for championships is our goal, and therefore we decided to make this decision now and look forward to conducting an extensive head coaching search upon the season's conclusion. This has been a trying season for all of us, and we appreciate Nuggets fans continued faith and patience as we build our proud organization back to the NBA's elite."

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