Here’s a look at some of today’s big sports headlines.
CAROLINA KEEPS WINNING
Second-ranked North Carolina picked up its 11th consecutive victory by surviving a day of top-25 upsets.
The Tar Heels blew a 20-point lead and trailed 61-59 before pulling out a 75-70 win at Virginia Tech. Brice Johnson scored 19 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to help head coach Roy Williams pick up his 350th victory at North Carolina. The Tar Heels scored 18 points off 20 offensive rebounds, including six grabbed by Johnson.
North Carolina is 18-2 overall and is off to a 7-0 start in the ACC for the first time in 15 years. The Tar Heels’ win, coupled with top-ranked Oklahoma’s loss to Iowa State last week, gives North Carolina a chance to move to the top of the Associated Press men’s basketball poll on Monday.
Meanwhile, the number of Sunday upsets included SMU’s first loss of the season. The eighth-ranked Mustangs had been 18-0 until Devin Coleman shot 7-for-7 from 3-point range while scoring a career-high 23 points in Temple’s 89-80 victory over SMU. Quenton DeCosey added 19 in the Owls’ highest-scoring game of the season.
Fourth-ranked Villanova was an 82-76 loser to No. 16 Providence in overtime. Ben Bentil scored 10 of his 31 points in OT, grabbed 13 rebounds and hit a pair of game-clinching free throws with 14.7 seconds left as the Friars ended the Wildcats’ 22-game winning streak in Big East play.
The other upset occurred at Oregon State as Gary Payton II delivered 22 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists and four steals in the Beavers’ 85-70 win over No. 21 Southern California. Tres Tinkle added 18 points and Drew Eubanks added 12 and three blocks to help Oregon State end a three-game skid.
In other top-25 finals:
EIGHT STRAIGHT FOR RAPTORS
The Toronto Raptors have extended their season-high winning streak by hammering one of the top teams in the NBA’s Western Conference.
Kyle Lowry scored 21 points and had six assists as the Raptors won their eighth in a row, beating the Los Angeles Clippers 112-94. Jonas Valenciunas added 20 points and eight rebounds for the Raptors, who trailed by seven before outscoring the Clippers 35-15 in the second quarter.
Toronto shot 49 percent from the field, including a 12-for-22 mark from 3-point range. The Raptors also outrebounded Los Angeles 44-34 and climbed within two games of the Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland Cavaliers.
In other NBA action:
HAWKS PAD CONFERENCE LEAD
The St. Louis Blues had a chance to pull within two points of the NHL’s Western Conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks when the two tames faced off on Sunday. Instead, the Hawks stretched their lead in the West and Central Division races with a 2-0 win over the Blues.
Corey Crawford handled 25 shots in his league-leading seventh shutout of the season. Artemi Panarin and Andrew Shaw scored as the Blackhawks stopped a two-game skid that followed a team-record, 12-game winning streak.
Chicago paces the West and Central by five points over Dallas, with the Blues six points back.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
DAY 8 PLAY
Seventh seed Angelique Kerber and No. 14 Victoria Azarenka have advanced to the Australian Open women’s quarterfinals.
Kerber opened Monday’s stadium court schedule with a 6-4, 6-0 rout of fellow German Annika Beck. Azarenka had no trouble with Barbora Strycova, winning 6-2, 6-4.
Gael Monfils scored a 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 win over Andrei Kuznetsov to reach the quarterfinals for the first time in 11 trips to the Australian Open.
Johanna Konta’s strong run at the Australian Open has continued with a 4-6, 6-4, 8-6 win over Ekaterina Makarova, advancing her to the quarterfinals.
Milos Raonic beat French Open champion Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. The hard-serving Canadian came into the fourth-rounder winless in four matches against Wawrinka, the 2014 Australian Open champion.
David Ferrer has reached his sixth quarterfinal at the Australian Open, without dropping a set. No. 8-seeded Ferrer beat strong-serving John Isner 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in their fourth-round match.
VONN WINS AGAIN
Lindsey Vonn has won another super-G Alpine race in Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy. It’s her 11th in Cortina, breaking the resort record.
Vonn took the lead in the overall standings from Lara Gut, who finished fifth. Vonn leads her Swiss rival by 45 points.
Vonn also eclipsed Annemarie Moser-Proell’s mark of 36 career wins in skiing’s marquee event.