Yankees trying to avoid paying A-Rod $6 million

The New York Yankees are thinking about not making a $6 million payment to Alex Rodriguez if he hits six home runs and ties Willie Mays at 660 for fourth place on the career list.

'Mr. Cub' Ernie Banks dead at 83

Ernie Banks, the Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame slugger and two-time MVP who always maintained his boundless enthusiasm for baseball despite decades of playing on miserable teams, died Friday night. He was 83.

'Mr. Cub' Ernie Banks dead at 83

Chicago — Hall of Fame slugger Ernie Banks, the two-time MVP who never lost his boundless enthusiasm for baseball despite years of playing on losing Chicago Cubs teams, died Friday night. He was 83.

COLUMNS

A chance to answer my fans

It is mid-afternoon Tuesday at this typing. Housebound, pretty much. So what better way to pass the...

MORE PRO BASEBALL

Pedro to sport a Red Sox hat

Pedro Martinezís Hall of Fame plaque will have the cap of the Boston Red Sox and John Smoltzís will have the Atlanta Braves.

UCONN

UConn men hoping for fair weather in Cincinnati

The UConn men's basketball team is shooting for its season-high tying third straight victory tonight, playing AAC foe Cincinnati at 8 p.m. at Fifth Third Arena.

For UConn's Stokes, a triple play

Kiah Stokes had 10 points, 11 rebounds and a school-record 10 blocked shots Wednesday to help the defending national champion UConn women's basketball team to an 87-32 rout of East Carolina in the AAC.

COLLEGES

A look at player of the year candidates in men's hoops

The college basketball regular season has about six weeks left and AP has a look at player of the year candidates. Like last season, there are a couple of front-runners and a handful of players who could make a run at the award with a...

Men's college basketball roundup

Jerian Grant had 23 points and 12 assists and No. 8 Notre Dame made two shots in the final 67 seconds as the shot clock ran out to beat No. 4 Duke 77-73 Wednesday night.

LOCAL ROUNDUP

PROFESSIONAL

Don't count out 'unsung heroes' of Patriots, Seahawks on Super Bowl Sunday

The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks wouldn't be playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday if it weren't for their superstars. But both teams got here with lesser-known players coming up big at key times.

Williams, Sharapova to meet in Australian Open final

Serena Williams came up with a big service winner to close out the tiebreaker, and bounced around behind the baseline like she'd won a title.

ON THE AIR

Basketball

7 p.m., ESPN - NCAA men: Maryland at Ohio State.

7 p.m., ESPU - NCAA men: Dayton at Massachusetts.

7 p.m., FS1 - NCAA women: Oklahoma at Texas.

7 p.m., SNY - NCAA men: Saint Louis at George Mason.

7 p.m., YES - NCAA women: Clemson at Wake Forest.

8 p.m., ESPN2, WTIC (1080-AM) - NCAA men: UConn at Cincinnati.

8 p.m., TNT - NBA: Denver Nuggets at Memphis Grizzlies.

9 p.m., ESPN - NCAA men: Kentucky at Missouri.

9 p.m., ESPNU - NCAA men: Eastern Kentucky at Murray State.

9:30 p.m., FS1 - NCAA men: Colorado at Southern California.

10 p.m., ESPN2 - NCAA men: Utah at UCLA.

10:30 p.m., TNT - NBA: Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Lakers.

11 p.m., ESPNU - NCAA men: San Francisco at Brigham Young.

Golf

5:30 a.m., Golf Channel - European PGA: Dubai Desert Classic from United Arab Emirates.

11 a.m., Golf Channel - LPGA: Coates Championship from Ocala, Fla.

3 p.m., Golf Channel - PGA: Phoenix Open from Scottsdale, Ariz.

1 a.m. (Friday), Golf Channel - European PGA: Dubai Desert Classic from United Arab Emirates.

Hockey

7 p.m., NESN - NHL: Boston Bruins at New York Islanders.

7 p.m., NBCSN - NHL: Montreal Canadiens at New York Rangers.

10 p.m., NBCSN - NHL: Anaheim Ducks at San Jose Sharks.

Tennis

3:30 a.m. (Friday), ESPN - Australian Open from Melbourne.

CT SUN

Sun welcome Little, Stricklen from Seattle

The Connecticut Sun acquired forward Camille Little and guard/forward Shekinna Stricklen from the Seattle Storm on Wednesday in exchange for guard Renee Montgomery and the No. 3 and 15 overall picks in this year's WNBA Draft.

Ogwumike will miss start of Sun's season

Connecticut Sun forward Chiney Ogwumike underwent microfracture surgery Thursday on her right knee.