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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / January 22.
  • Kansas coach Bill Self says the fallout of an alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl at a school dorm housing the men’s basketball team is a “huge distraction” as his team heads into Saturday’s SEC/Big 12 game at Kentucky.

    “It certainly is a distraction without question,” Self said Thursday on a conference call. “The Kentucky game is a big game. It’s probably as big a game for fans as it is for players, but certainly players. It’s a game that you circle and you look forward to playing whenever the season begins and whenever we start practicing.

    “Sure, it’s a distraction, I mean how could it not be? But it’s not a distraction from our guys’ standpoint from a film standpoint. It’s a distraction because you have to hear about it and go through it.”

    Roger Federer survived a tough five-set semifinal encounter with his Swiss countryman Stan Wawrinka to advance to the Australian Open final for the first time since 2010.

    Now the question is: Will his longtime rival Rafael Nadal join him for a throwback final?

    Federer, the 17-time Grand Slam champion and No. 17 seed here, looked like he would cruise in straight sets over No. 4 Wawrinka after winning the first two, but ultimately required five sets to take him out, 7-5, 6-3, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3.

    “It feels amazing,” said Federer, who is playing in in his first tournament after a six-month layoff because he re-aggravated a left knee injury. “I never, ever in my wildest dreams thought I was going to be coming this far here in Australia and here I am. I’ve got a couple days off, it’s beautiful. I’m so happy.”

    Federer, 35, will now seek to become the oldest Grand Slam champion since Ken Rosewall in 1972 when he faces the winner between No. 9 Nadal and No. 15 Grigor Dimitrov in Sunday’s final. Nadal and Dimitrov meet in Friday’s second semifinal.


    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Serena Williams is one win away from a record 23rd Grand Slam title after setting up an all-Williams final at the Australian Open. The only person standing in her way is her older sister, Venus.

    No. 2-ranked Serena Williams, a six-time Australian Open winner, overwhelmed Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-2, 6-1 in just 50 minutes in the second of women’s semifinals on Thursday after Venus Williams beat fellow American CoCo Vandeweghe 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-3.

    “She’s my toughest opponent — nobody has ever beaten me as much as Venus has,” Serena Williams said. “I just feel like no matter what happens, we’ve won.

    “She’s been through a lot, I’ve been through a lot. To see her do so well it’s great. I look forward to it. A Williams is going to win this tournament.”

    HILLSIDE, N.J. — Growing up in Kingston, Jamaica, Nick Richards loved competing in soccer, volleyball and track and field.

    He never thought much about the McDonald’s All-American Game until he landed on Long Island in the summer of 2013 ago to pursue his dreams in the game of basketball.

    “I knew what [the McDonald’s Game] was, I just didn’t think that I would get selected for it,” Richards said Wednesday in the gym at The Patrick School.

    Now playing in just his fourth year of organized basketball, the 6-foot-11 Richards proudly slipped on the McDonald’s All-American jersey in front of his mother, his coaches, his teammates and his schoolmates during a ceremony on the stage in the gym.