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Update on the latest in sports:

December 29, 2018

CFP-CHAMPIONSHIP

College Football Playoff: Bama vs OU; Clemson vs Notre Dame

Oklahoma and Notre Dame are standing in the way of Alabama-Clemson Part IV.

The College Football Playoff semifinals are Saturday, with the top-ranked Crimson Tide facing No. 4 Oklahoma at the Orange Bowl in South Florida and No. 2 Clemson playing No. 3 Notre Dame at the Cotton Bowl in North Texas.

The Tigers (13-0) and Fighting Irish (12-0) meet in the first game of the semifinal doubleheader. The Irish are making their first CFP appearance.

The nightcap will feature Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray of Oklahoma (12-1) against Heisman runner-up Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama (13-0) in a matchup of star quarterbacks.

The winners advance to the national championship game on Jan. 7 in Santa Clara, California. Alabama and Clemson have faced off in the last three playoffs, including splitting two title games.

SPORTS SLATE

Lots of action in NBA, NHL, T-25

UNDATED (AP) — It’s a busy day in the NBA starting with an early evening game between Brooklyn and the Bucks in Milwaukee. Then it’s Charlotte at Washington, Houston at New Orleans, Cleveland at Atlanta, Boston at Memphis, New York at Utah, Denver at Phoenix, Golden State at Portland, and San Antonio at the L.A. Clippers. , 10:30 p.m.

The National Hockey League boasts a 15-game slate including four afternoon games. Those are Carolina at New Jersey, at 1 p.m. followed by San Jose at Edmonton, Minnesota at Winnipeg and Vegas at Los Angeles, all 4 p.m. eastern starts. The rest of the slate includes Boston at Buffalo, the N.Y. Islanders at Toronto, Montreal at Tampa Bay, Philadelphia at Florida, Washington at Ottawa, Pittsburgh at St. Louis, Detroit at Dallas, the N.Y. Rangers at Nashville, Chicago at Colorado, Arizona at Anaheim, and Vancouver at Calgary.

Fourteen Top 25 college hoops games today include four of the Top 10. No. 3 Tennessee hosts Tennessee Tech, No. 5 Kansas welcomes Eastern Michigan, No. 6 Nevada heads to Utah, No. 8 Michigan State is home against Northern Illinois. Also, No. 12 Auburn is home against North Florida, No. 13 Ohio State hosts High Point, No. 14 North Carolina hosts Davidson, No. 15 Wisconsin heads to Western Kentucky, No. 16 Kentucky visits Louisville, No. 17 Arizona State hosts Princeton, No. 19 Mississippi State hosts BYU, No. 21 Buffalo is at Canisius, No. 22 Houston hosts. NJIT and No. 24 Iowa welcomes Bryant, 8 p.m.

MAYWEATHER-NASUKAWA

Mayweather promises entertainment, not a knockout, in Japan

TOKYO (AP) — Floyd Mayweather is promising entertainment when he fights Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in three rounds of exhibition boxing on New Year’s Eve, but not necessarily a knockout.

But the American was adamant that his opponent wasn’t going to knock him out or down on Monday.

The 41-year-old Mayweatherm tells reporters that “Throughout my years at boxing, I never touched the canvas once.” He said, “I can do three rounds in my sleep.”

Neither kicking nor official results are part of the Rizin Fighting Federation match, but a knockout is possible under the special rules.

Mayweather had initially appeared to walk away from the fight, set for Saitama Super Arena, on the northern outskirts of Tokyo.

The Mayweather-Nasukawa bout will culminate an evening of more than a dozen fights, which will be streamed by FITE for a fee, but not in the U.S. Fuji TV is broadcasting the fights in Japan.

Mayweather hasn’t fought since beating Conor McGregor more than a year ago for his 50th win from 50 fights.

WCUP-WOMEN’S SLALOM

American Mikaela Shiffrin wins record 36th World Cup slalom

SEMMERING, Austria (AP) —American Mikaela Shiffrin is the most successful female slalom skier in the 52-year history of the World Cup after winning the last race of 2018 on Saturday.

The American built on a big first-run lead to beat Petra Vlhova of Slovakia by 0.29 seconds and Wendy Holdener of Switzerland by 0.38 for her 36th slalom victory.

Shiffrin previously shared the record with Marlies Raich. Competing as Marlies Schild, the Austrian won 35 times before retiring in 2014.

Only Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark has won more World Cup slaloms — 40, between 1974 and 1987.

By winning Saturday, Shiffrin also became the first skier, male or female, to win 15 World Cup races in a single calendar year, moving one victory past men’s overall champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria, who has won 14 times in 2018.

WORLD JUNIORS

Farabee has natural hat trick, US beats Kazakhstan 8-2

VICTORIA, British Columbia (AP) — Boston University freshman Joel Farabee had a natural hat trick in a 6:52 span of the first period and the United States beat Kazakhstan 8-2 on Friday night to improve to 2-0 in the world junior hockey championship.

Drafted 14th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers this year, Farabee gave the United States a 2-1 lead with a power-play strike at 5:13 and added goals at 8:53 and 12:05.

Boston College’s Oliver Wahlstrom, St. Cloud State’s Ryan Poehling, Northeastern’s Tyler Madden, Michigan’s Josh Norris and Sasha Chmelevski of the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67′s also scored to help the Americans keep pace with Sweden atop Group B heading into their showdown Saturday night.

Sweden has a 46-game preliminary round winning streak in the tournament.

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