Update on the latest sports


Highlights of Saturday’s schedule

UNDATED (AP) — Two of the three Southeastern Conference teams locked in a tie for second-place face off today. No. 16 Tennessee visits LSU in a big-league matchup. Both teams are 7-4 in SEC games, and so is Arkansas. Both LSU and Tennessee are coming off high-scoring wins, the Volunteers beating Georgia 89-81 and LSU topping Mississippi State 94-80. Led by the SEC’s top scorer Cameron Thomas, the Tigers are scoring at an 82.2-point clip.

In other SEC action, the Razorbacks face No. 10 Missouri, which is coming off a loss to Mississippi. Meanwhile, the Texas A&M-Florida game was postponed because of COVID-19 issues within the Aggies program.

No. 12 Oklahoma visits No. 14 West Virginia in the rematch of an epic game they played on Jan. 2 in Norman, when the Sooners blew an 18-point halftime lead before hanging on for a 75-71 victory. Other Big 12 games Saturday have Kansas State visiting No. 23 Oklahoma State, Kansas playing Iowa State for the second time in three days and TCU heading to No. 13 Texas.

No. 9 Virginia is in the middle of a tough stretch likely to go a long way toward its hopes of winning the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season crown for the third time in four seasons. The Cavaliers face North Carolina on Saturday. The Tar Heels are 7-4 in the ACC and have not played since beating rival Duke 91-87 last Saturday. If Virginia can win its seventh straight over North Carolina, it sets up an even bigger showdown Monday night at No. 17 Florida State. The defending champion Seminoles are just a game behind Virginia.


Mets’ Lugo needs elbow surgery, will miss start of season

NEW YORK (AP) — The Mets’ pitching staff has taken a hit before the start of spring training. The team says right-hander Seth Lugo needs elbow surgery.

A bone spur will be repaired in his pitching shoulder and he will miss the start of the season. His operation is scheduled for Tuesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Lugo will not throw for six weeks, then will be assessed and transition to a throwing program. He won’t be game ready until well into the season.

Lugo moved into the rotation in mid-August last season. He was one of the most durable relievers in 2019.

In other Mets news, Tim Tebow has been invited to big league spring training. He’ll take one of 75 spots after Major League Baseball limited spring roster sizes as a coronavirus precaution. The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner returned to baseball in 2016 for the first time since his junior year of high school and played 77 games at Triple-A in 2019 before the pandemic wiped out the 2020 minor league season. A lefty-hitting outfielder, the 33-year-old Tebow batted .163 with four homers and 19 RBIs two years ago with Syracuse.


Day 6 starts with an upset

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Day 6 of the Australian Open began with an upset.

No. 6 Karolina Pliskova (PLIHSHS’-koh-vah) blew a 5-0 lead in the second set and lost to No. 25 Karolina Muchova (moo-KOH’-vah), 7-5, 7-5.

Unseeded American Jessica Pegula (peh-GOO’-luh) reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time. The daughter of Buffalo Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula beat Kristina Mladenovic (mluh-DEH’-noh-vihch), 6-2, 6-1. Next up for Pegula is No. 5 Elina Svitolina, who ousted Yulia Putintseva, 6-4, 6-0.

American Jennifer Brady joined Pegula in the round of 16 by beating qualifier Kaja Juvan, 6-1, 6-3. Brady next takes on No. 28 Donna Vekic, who rallied to beat Kaia Kanepi, 5-7, 7-6, 6-4.

Ash Barty took another step toward winning her home major. The top-seeded Australian beat Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia 6-2, 6-4 to reach the fourth round at Melbourne Park for the third straight year.

Elise Mertens continued her winning start to 2021 with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over 11th-seeded Belinda Bencic.

On the men’s side, Rafael Nadal extended his winning streak against fellow left-handers to 16 with a 7-5, 6-2, 7-5 victory over Cameron Norrie. The No. 2-ranked Nadal reached the fourth round at Melbourne Park for the 14th time in 16 trips. He will next play No. 16 Fabio Fognini (FAH’-bee-oh fohn-YEE’-nee), who had a straight-set win over 21st-seeded Alex de Minaur. Minaur was Australia’s last hope in the men’s draw.

Fourth-seeded Daniil (dah-NIHL’) Medvedev achieved a career first by reaching the Round of 16 at Melbourne. Medvedev was 0-6 in five-setters before a 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-0 win over Filip Krajinovic.

Seventh-seeded Andrey Rublev stayed on course for quarterfinal match against ATP Cup-winning teammate Medvedev with a 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 third-round win over 39-year-old Feliciano Lopez.

American Mackenzie McDonald matched his best Grand Slam result by winning his third-round match in straight sets, 7-6, 6-1, 6-4 against Lloyd Harris.

Novak Djokovic’s (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich-ehz) bid for a ninth Australian Open championship has been thrown into doubt after he took a fall Friday during a five-set victory in the third round. The top-ranked Djokovic says he tore a muscle and might not be able to play his next match. Djokovic seemed to be cruising along to a 17th consecutive win when his left foot gave out from under him as he tried to change directions early in the third set against Taylor Fritz.

Day 6 play took place without spectators due to a lockdown imposed by local authorities in response to a sudden outbreak of COVID-19 cases linked to Melbourne’s hotel quarantine system.


Bad back forces Ligety to move up retirement

CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy (AP) — Two-time Olympic champion Ted Ligety (LIHG’-eh-tee) has had to move up his retirement by six days due to a bad back.

The American announced this week that the giant slalom at the skiing world championships would be the final race of his career. But he writes on Instagram that on Friday he “woke up to the worst sciatic pain of my life.” He adds that an MRI revealed his back is “herniated to the point it’s not safe to ski right now.”

Ligety’s final race was slated for Friday. He says that “now it’s time to get my back healthy to support a lifetime of playing and skiing with my kids.”


Suter wins downhill for her 1st gold at worlds

CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy (AP) — Corinne Suter has ended Switzerland’s 32-year wait for a women’s downhill world title. She won her fourth straight medal at a major championship Saturday, but her first gold.

Teammate Lara Gut-Behrami led for most of her run but dropped to third. Gut-Behrami had beaten Suter to gold in Thursday’s super-G. Kira Weidle finished a career-best second for silver to win the second medal for Germany this week.

American Breezy Johnson finished ninth after nearly skiing out early in her run. Sofia Goggia missed the race with a knee injury after dominating the World Cup downhill season. Mikaela Shiffrin sat out the race to train for upcoming events.


Humphries in contention midway through monobob title race

ALTENBERG, Germany (AP) — Kaillie Humphries is headed into the final day of the major international sliding season with a chance at another world championship. Humphries is in second place midway through the inaugural women’s monobob world championship race. Humphries began racing for the U.S. two years ago after getting her release from her native Canada’s national team. She trails Germany’s Stephanie Schneider by 0.04 seconds after Saturday’s first two runs in Altenberg, Germany. The final two runs are Sunday.