A Weekend Filled With Sports
The Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers are going to Super Bowl 50, and they couldn’t have found more different paths to the big game on Feb. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif.
The Broncos, who will represent the AFC, slipped past the New England Patriots 20-18 in Denver, with Peyton Manning getting the best of longtime adversary Tom Brady. A missed extra point early in the game by the Patriots proved crucial, as their two-point conversion attempt after a late touchdown failed.
“It’s a disappointing loss because this team fought pretty hard, just to come up short on a two-point play,” Brady said. “It would have been a fun overtime, had we had the opportunity. We just came up one play short.”
Manning, 39, is widely expected to retire after the Super Bowl, and going out on top with a win would be fitting after his stellar career.
The Panthers smashed the Arizona Cardinals 49-15 in Charlotte. While Cam Newton was passing for two touchdowns for the NFC champs, Carson Palmer was engaging in a meltdown of Three Mile Island proportions. He threw four interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and lost two fumbles. He threw interceptions on three consecutive series in the second half.
The early line on the Super Bowl favored the Panthers by 4 points.
No. 8 Southern Methodist, which started the season 18-0, absorbed its first loss of the season on Sunday, falling 89-80 to Temple. … No. 9 Iowa won its ninth straight, beating No. 22 Purdue 83-71. … On Saturday, No. 11 Michigan State snapped a three-game losing streak by beating No. 7 Maryland 74-65. And No. 20 Duke ended a three-game skid by beating North Carolina State 88-78.
Rickie Fowler won the Abu Dhabi Championship and moved up from sixth to fourth in the world rankings with this win on the European Tour. … Jason Dufner won the CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, Calif., besting David Lingmerth with a par on the second playoff hole. … Duffy Waldorf, 53, won the Champions Tour’s opening event on Saturday in Hawaii.
The NBA Cleveland Cavaliers fired coach David Blatt on Friday. Blatt guided the team to the NBA Finals in his first season and had a 30-11 record this season but management said he had lost the locker room (meaning LeBron James didn’t like him, and that had been no secret). … Novak Djokovic needed five sets to get past Gilles Simon at the Australian Open and secure his spot in the quarterfinals for the 27th major in a row, tying Jimmy Connors for second place in that arcane concept and trailing only Roger Federer (36).
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman
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