National Sports Headlines from NBC Sports

Gordon races to first win at Michigan since 2001

BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) Jeff Gordon raced to his third NASCAR Sprint Cup victory of the year, holding off Kevin Harvick on Sunday for his first win at Michigan International Speedway since 2001.

Gordon broke the track qualifying record Friday when he took the pole at 206.558 mph. He followed that up with his third Cup victory at MIS.

After a series of cautions, Gordon came off the final restart well and led with 16 laps remaining. He fought off a challenge from Joey Logano and maintained a comfortable margin over Harvick, winning by 1.4 seconds in his No. 24 Chevrolet.

Harvick was second, followed by Logano, Paul Menard and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Gordon completed a sweep at MIS for Hendrick Motorsports. Jimmie Johnson won the June race on the two-mile oval.

BALLOT BREAKDOWN: FSU No. 1 in AP preseason poll

The Associated Press preseason Top 25 is out. Take a look at how the ballots break down, and find out what to watch for when the college football season begins this month:

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`NOLES NATION DOMINATION

Finish No. 1. Start No. 1. Even Bobby Bowden's best Florida State teams never did that.

Jimbo Fisher's Seminoles will. Jameis Winston and the defending national champions are preseason No. 1 for the sixth time.

In two of the previous five seasons Florida State started No. 1, the `Noles went on to finish No. 1, including a wire-to-wire title in 1999. But they never did start the following year top-ranked.

OK, the 2000 Seminoles were preseason No. 2, and after Bowden, the Hall of Fame coach whom Fisher replaced, won his first national championship in 1993, Florida State started 1995 ranked No. 3.

Fisher's Seminoles have a long way to go to compare to Florida State's unprecedented run of national championship contention, a string of 14 straight seasons during which the `Noles finished the season ranked in the top five of the AP rankings.

Still, make no mistake: Florida State 2.0 is built to last.

"We're the second-winningest team in the country the last four years, the winningest team the last two years and have had the most NFL players," Fisher said. "We've recruited well, too. Recruited a lot of great young players we've been able to mentor and develop as we go, so we're very comfortable with the guys who are replacing the guys that left."

The Seminoles were an overwhelming choice as No. 1, receiving 57 of 60 first-place votes from the media panel. No. 2 Alabama, No. 2 Oregon and No. 4 Oklahoma got one first-place vote each.

Ohio State is No. 5 and Auburn, which lost the final BCS national championship game to the Seminoles 34-31, is No. 6.

Last season was a good reminder that preseason rankings can look pretty silly by the end of the season. Four teams that finished in final top 10 last season (No. 2 Auburn, No. 3 Michigan State, No. 5 Missouri and No. 10 UCF) were unranked to start the season. Throw in No. 13 Baylor, No. 20 Arizona State and No. 23 Duke, and seven of the teams that either won or played for the championship in the six conferences with BCS automatic-qualifying status began 2013 unranked.

The Bowl Championship Series is gone now, replaced by the College Football Playoff. The top four teams will be placed into national semifinals to be played on New Year's Day and advance to the championship game about a week and half later.

Expect surprises, though coming up with a scenario in which Florida State is not part of college football's first final four is difficult.

Winston will make a run at his second Heisman behind an offensive line that returns four starters. There's turnover at receiver and running back but still plenty left of four- and five-star talent left behind.

Same goes on defense, where sophomore safety Jalen Ramsey and defensive end Mario Edwards step into leadership roles.

Florida State is the hunted again. Fisher wants them to still act like hunters.

"We better have that attitude. It's got to be your attitude every year," said Fisher, starting his fifth season as Florida State coach. "We call it an attitude of domination. You can never be satisfied."

Florida State starts its season with a rebuilding Oklahoma State team at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which, coincidentally, is also the site of the first College Football Playoff national championship game.

CONFERENCE CALL

Do not think for a second that the end of the Southeastern Conference's streak of national championships means the SEC is slipping.

The SEC begins the 2014 season with eight ranked teams, matching its own record for most teams from one conference in the preseason poll, set in 2011.

After Alabama and Auburn, South Carolina is No. 9, Georgia is 12, LSU is 13, Mississippi is 18, Texas A&M is 21 and Missouri is 24.

The Pac-12, which gave the SEC a good run as the nation's best conference last year, has six ranked teams - No. 7 UCLA, No. 11 Stanford, No. 15 Southern California, No. 19 Arizona State and No. 25 Washington - the most ever for the league in the preseason.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

- No. 7 UCLA has its best preseason ranking since 1998, when the Bruins were also seventh.

- No. 8 Michigan State has its best preseason ranking since 1967, when the Spartans were No. 3.

- No. 10 Baylor is ranked in the preseason for the first time since 1986 and has its best preseason rankings since 1957, when the Bears were No. 7.

- No. 25 Washington, with new coach Chris Petersen, formerly of Boise State, is making its first preseason appearance since 2003.

START TO FINISH

Since the AP preseason poll debuted in 1950, Florida State in '99 and Southern California in 2004 are the only teams to start and end the season No. 1 in the AP poll. Eight other preseason No. 1s have also won the national championship.

STREAKS

- Ohio State has been ranked in 26 straight preseason polls, the nation's longest current streak.

- Alabama has been ranked in the top five in six straight preseason polls, the nation's longest current streak.

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Full poll listing can be found at http://collegefootball.ap.org/poll

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Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter/ralphDrussoAP

Rose hears cheers as US beats Brazil 95-78

CHICAGO (AP) The roars for Derrick Rose started with the pregame introductions and did not fade until the final buzzer.

The Chicago Bulls superstar was back on his court, back in his element.

Rose showed some of his old explosiveness, fellow Chicago product Anthony Davis scored 20 points, and the U.S. beat Brazil 95-78 on Saturday night in a tuneup for the World Cup of Basketball.

With deafening cheers rocking the arena, Rose looked like an MVP at times even if he only had seven points. He also seemed happy to defer to his teammates in his first appearance at the United Center since his latest season-ending knee injury.

"I think everybody's excited," Rose said. "It was cool. At the same time, I can't get big-headed about it or anything like that. I've just got to keep poised."

What he needs to be is the player he was - or close to it -before the knee injuries started to pile up. A torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and a torn meniscus in his right knee two of the past three seasons derailed a rocketing rise from the city's South Side to the No. 1 pick in the draft and stardom with his hometown team.

The Bulls are counting on Rose to lead them back to contention in the Eastern Conference after they added some key pieces, including Pau Gasol.

"For Derrick, there are so many positives for this," said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, a U.S. assistant. "He shakes the rust off. He has a tremendous amount of pride. It's something that he wants to do and believes that he should do. I think this will be great preparation for the season."

Davis, who like Rose grew up on Chicago's South Side, dominated down the stretch, and the U.S. pulled away after Brazil kept it close for three quarters.

With a five-point lead going into the fourth, the U.S. went on a 14-2 run to break open a 68-63 game.

Klay Thompson nailed a 3-pointer to start it, and Davis took over.

He hit two free throws and blocked a shot by Larry Taylor, leading to a three-point play for James Harden.

Davis then threw down an alley-oop dunk to make it a 15-point game, and after Leandro Barbosa scored for Brazil, he nailed a jumper. Harden (18 points) finished the run with two free throws, making it 82-65.

Tiago Splitter scored 16 for Brazil.

Fans started chanting, "We want Rose!" with their favorite player watching from the sideline as the U.S. pulled away. They got their wish when he checked back in with 5:20 left and let out yet another loud roar, although coach Mike Krzyzewski insisted he wasn't catering to the crowd.

That's how it was all night for Rose.

Fans showed up in Bulls No. 1 jerseys - he's No. 6 for the U.S. They gave him a deafening ovation and chanted "MVP! MVP!" during the introductions and went wild again as he grabbed the microphone for a heartfelt address to the crowd before the opening tip. He referenced the violence in Chicago and said this game was "huge for the city."

The U.S. might not have as much star power as it has in the past, particularly with MVP Kevin Durant and others withdrawing and Paul George suffering a gruesome leg injury. Even so, the U.S. was looking good with a 29-15 lead through the first quarter.

Rose really didn't go hard to the rim until early in the second, when he beat Raul Neto with a crossover and got fouled. He made 1 of 2 free throws as the crowd chanted "MVP! MVP!" Moments later, he blew a wide-open tomahawk dunk, sending a groan through the arena, and he also headed to the locker room with a cut near his left eye with about 5 1/2 minutes left in the half.

Brazil, meanwhile got within 35-33 on a basket by Splitter with 4:27 left. But the U.S. led 45-37 at the half after Rose raced up the court for a floater at the buzzer to the crowd's delight after two free throws by Nene.

Rose had them roaring again when he beat Neto and switched to his left hand in midair on a drive with just over 3:30 left in the third, making it 64-53.

"Playing against this competition, I was just trying to get my wind back," Rose said. "I am going hard at practice and pushing myself every day."

Kelly: No change needed in how Notre Dame recruits

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly on Saturday dismissed talk that he needs to do a better job of recruiting players who are better students to avoid the academic problems that have plagued the football program for the past 15 months.

"I think we've brought in the right young men," he said. "I think we have to continue to do a better job educating them. We have to do a better job of providing the resources."

The news conference was the first time Kelly talked to the media since the university announced a day earlier that starting cornerback KeiVarae Russell, leading returning receiver DaVaris Daniels, defensive end Ishaq Williams and backup linebacker Kendall Moore were being withheld from practices and games until the university completes an investigation into whether papers and homework they turned in were completed by others.

Kelly said none one involved in the investigation has asked to talk to him or his staff. He cautioned against assuming the players are guilty, saying the investigation is ongoing.

Kelly said it's his job as head coach to create an environment where players know they can't cut corners.

"If you let your players do whatever they want and they feel like they're not accountable, then I don't think you should be a head coach," he said. "I think if you create an environment and you lay out the expectations of your program and their not met, then they should be held accountable."

"Look, this is never a one-sided issue. We have to internally look at providing our student-athletes all of the resources necessary that, if in fact if they took shortcuts, that they don't. We have to look hard at that," he said.

Players know the high standards of Notre Dame, Kelly said, adding that his rules of conduct for players are posted in the locker room: "Treat women with respect, don't cheat, don't lie and don't steal."

Kelly said he doesn't have any more information about the investigation than what the university announced at the news conference Friday, saying as a coach he will be "on the outside looking in." He said his reaction to the news was "shock and disappointment."

But Kelly said he's proud that Notre Dame has high standards, saying it's one of the reason he accepted the job.

"We don't look the other way," he said.

The players were informed Friday about the investigation and Kelly said he hasn't talked with them since.

The Irish, who open the season against Rice on Aug. 30, have faced other academic problems. Starting quarterback Everett Golson missed last season because of academic impropriety and Daniels sat out the spring semester. Kelly described them as "good kids who made bad decisions."

If the players aren't allowed to return this season as a result of the investigation, it will be difficult to overcome, Kelly said.

"As players, you don't replace KeiVarae Russell. He's one of the best corners we've had here in some time. But we'll find a way," he said. "You don't replace a guy like that."

Replacing Daniels also will be a challenge, but Kelly said the Irish have depth at receiver.

"We're going to have to count on other players to step up and do the job for us," he said.

Kelly said he's not worried about Notre Dame possibly having to vacate some past victories, including possibly from the 2012 season when the Irish went 12-1 and their lone loss was to Alabama in the national title game. He said it wouldn't change his view of that season.

"I've never really counted my victories," he said. "It's not something I really spend much time thinking about."

It's been a tumultuous time at Notre Dame since Kelly arrived following the 2009 season, with a student manager killed when the scissor lift he was on toppled in high winds in 2010, several high-profile players being arrested and the academic troubles. Kelly was asked whether those issues reflected on his leadership.

"This isn't the time to have a debate on what my leadership or lack thereof is. My focus is on my football team and getting this team ready. There's a time and place for that. People have their opinions and certainly they're entitled to them. I'm going to focus on this football team and getting it ready for two weeks for Rice."

Bills rookie Sammy Watkins leaves with rib injury

PITTSBURGH (AP) Buffalo Bills rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins left Saturday night's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first quarter due to a rib injury and will not return.

Watkins, the fourth overall pick in the draft, walked off the field clutching his side during Buffalo's initial drive of the game after Pittsburgh linebacker Ryan Shazier went over his back during a pass play. Watkins spent a few minutes on the sideline before being taken to the locker room.

Watkins sparkled in Buffalo's joint workouts with the Steelers during the week, routinely getting the better of whomever Pittsburgh lined up to cover him during drills.

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AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Van Gaal loses first game at Manchester United

MANCHESTER, England (AP) Louis van Gaal lost his first Premier League game with Manchester United on Saturday, with Swansea winning 2-1 to become the first away team since 1972 to open the season with a victory at Old Trafford.

Gylfi Sigurdsson took advantage of poor defending to score the Welsh club's winning goal in the 72nd minute. United captain Wayne Rooney had tied the match after Ki Sung-yeung opened the scoring.

"We never played as a team, that is our error," Van Gaal told BT Sport television. "But I think we have to always keep the head up and use the second step in our process better than we have done today."

In other games, Arsenal and Tottenham both scored injury-time goals to start the season with wins.

Aaron Ramsey gave Arsenal a 2-1 home victory against Crystal Palace, which had gone ahead on Brede Hangeland's first-half header before fellow defender Laurent Koscielny equalized for Arsenal just before the break.

In Mauricio Pochettino's first game in charge of Tottenham, Eric Dier scored in stoppage time to secure a 1-0 win at West Ham.

There were mixed results for the Premier League newcomers. Queens Park Rangers, which made an instant return after a season in the second tier, lost 1-0 at home to Hull. But Leicester, which has been away from the elite for a decade, earned a point by drawing 2-2 with Everton.

Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion, who both flirted with relegation last season, opened the new campaign by drawing 2-2. Aston Villa, whose owner Randy Lerner is trying to sell the club, began with a 1-0 win at Stoke.

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PARIS (AP) - Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain earned its first win of the season in the French league by defeating Bastia 2-0, but lost star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to an injury.

Ibrahimovic had to come off after just 15 minutes with an apparent abdominal strain, but Lucas Moura and Edinson Cavani provided goals in his absence.

Lucas got a cross from Gregory Van der Wiel to volley into the bottom corner from a tight angle in the 26th minute. Cavani doubled the lead by controlling a long ball from Marco Verratti before firing home in the 57th.

PSG has four points from two matches after drawing 2-2 with Reims in its opening game last week.

The game was marred by an incident after the final whistle, as Bastia striker Brandao waited for Thiago Motta in the tunnel and head-butted the PSG midfielder, leaving him with blood running down from his nose.

PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi told BeIn Sport television that Motta had a broken nose and that Brandao "must be banned for life."

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BERLIN (AP) - Borussia Dortmund defeated third-division Stuttgarter Kickers 4-1 in the first round of the German Cup on Saturday, while Bundesliga side Stuttgart lost 2-0 at second-tier Bochum.

With the exception of Stuttgart's loss to Bochum, the second division's early leader, there were few surprises.

Borussia Moenchengladbach and Hannover had 3-1 victories over fourth-tier sides Homburg and Astoria Walldorf, respectively, and Hertha Berlin beat fourth-tier Viktoria Cologne 4-2.

Cologne, back in the Bundesliga this season, enjoyed a 4-0 win over fourth-division FT Braunschweig.

Eintracht Frankfurt labored to a 2-0 win at fourth-tier side Viktoria Berlin, while second-division city rival FSV Frankfurt defeated fourth-tier Siegen 5-4 on penalties after extra-time finished 3-3.

Bayern Munich, which defeated Dortmund in last season's final, opens its defense at third-division Preussen Muenster on Sunday.

Chris Buescher wins Nationwide race at Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, Ohio (AP) Chris Buescher took the lead on the 62nd of 90 laps and held off Regan Smith and Brian Scott to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday.

The victory in the Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 made the 21-year-old Buescher the third rookie to win in the series this year.

Buescher, driving the Roush Fenway Racing Ford sponsored by - fittingly - Nationwide Children's Hospital in nearby Columbus, took the lead from Brendan Gaughan and weathered a restart to hold on the rest of the way.

There were questions he could finish without running out of fuel, but he had enough to make a celebratory run the wrong way down the home straight.

Ramsey ends Arsenal's 5-year wait for opening win

LONDON (AP) Aaron Ramsey gave Arsenal a winning start to the Premier League for the first time in five years on Saturday, grabbing a stoppage-time goal in a 2-1 victory over manager-less Crystal Palace.

Ramsey emerged as a scoring force in midfield last season, and carried on where he left off with his late intervention.

The goal came just after Palace had been reduced to 10 men in the 90th minute when Jason Puncheon received a second yellow card.

Puncheon had set up Palace's opener in the 35th, whipping in a corner that Brede Hangeland glanced in with a header.

But Arsenal equalized on the stroke of halftime, also with a defender heading in from a set piece. Laurent Koscielny was unmarked when he met a free kick from offseason recruit Alexis Sanchez.

Tanaka has 1st bullpen session since elbow injury

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) New York Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka has thrown 25 pitches in his first bullpen session in a month since going on the disabled list with a partial tear in his right elbow.

Tanaka, 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 18 starts, pitched from the mound before Saturday's game against Tampa Bay. This is the Japanese right-hander's first season in the major leagues.

Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild said Tanaka looked "fine," but that it's "more important how he feels tomorrow."

The Yankees put Tanaka on the disabled list July 9 and hope he can avoid surgery and return next month.

ND looking at 4 football players in academic probe

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Notre Dame is facing the possibility of losing three starters before the football season has even begun after another embarrassing hit for a university that prides itself on high academic standards.

The university on Friday barred KeiVarae Russell, the team's best cornerback, leading returning receiver DaVaris Daniels, defensive end Ishaq Williams, and backup linebacker Kendall Moore from practice and games while it investigates "suspected academic dishonesty."

The Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame's president, said the school is looking into allegations the players had course work done for them.

The news comes a season after quarterback Everett Golson was suspended for the 2013 season for academic impropriety and after Daniels was suspended for the spring semester.

The Irish finished 9-4 behind Tommy Rees last season, but coming off an appearance in the BCS title game in 2012 it was a step back.

Golson has returned, but now coach Brian Kelly could be scrambling to fill holes before opening his fifth season in South Bend at home against Rice on Aug. 30.

Athletic director Jack Swarbrick said Kelly was "devastated" by the news.

Jenkins and Swarbrick expressed support for Kelly.

"We have great confidence in Brian and his staff," Jenkins said. "They have been nothing but supportive."

Jenkins said the investigation shows Notre Dame's honor system works, saying it was started when someone on the university staff became suspicious of papers and homework turned in by the players.

"At any university you're dealing with young people. The vast majority of them make good decisions. But young people sometimes make bad decisions," he said. "Our job is to hold them accountable and to use those incidents as ways to educate them. That's what we're doing."

Jenkins said Notre Dame has notified the NCAA about the inquiry. Because of potential violations, the four players can't compete until the conclusion of the investigation and the university honor code process.

Jenkins said during a news conference that no student has been judged responsible for "academic dishonesty."

"Nobody has been dismissed," Jenkins said.

Jenkins said there is no timetable regarding how long the investigation will take.

"We will take as long as it takes to have a thorough and fair investigation and proceed through our academic honor code process," Jenkins said.

He added that such investigations at Notre Dame aren't common "but it happens."

The university also is investigating if other students are involved. Jenkins said it was too early to say if the four players acted together.

Jenkins said if it is found they violated the school's honor code the penalties could range from an F on an assignment, to an F in the course, to dismissal from school. The penalty would be decided by an honor committee.

Swarbrick said the players haven't been suspended. He said they remain grant-in-aid students and have access to athletic facilities and resources.

Jenkins said he didn't want to speculate on possible NCAA punishment, while Swarbrick said the NCAA usually defers to a university when it comes to academic integrity.

"There are a few narrow instances where that triggers an NCAA concern, but I must stress we have no evidence of most of those here. No involvement by a member of the coaching staff, no transcript impropriety, those sorts of things," he said. "If it has NCAA consequences, we'll let them know."

Jenkins said the school would vacate victories if it is determined players have been ineligible during past competition. All four were members of the 2012 team that played for the BCS national championship.

The investigation is the latest in a series for the Irish in the past 15 months involving academics, starting with Golson.

Jerian Grant, the leading scorer on the basketball team at the time, was suspended in December for the spring semester because of an academic violation. Daniels was suspended two weeks later for the spring semester and was recently reinstated.

Swarbrick said the previous cases were different.

"Let's not confuse academic probation, where you don't make grades in a semester, with academic dishonesty. They are very different things," he said.

Jenkins said he doesn't believe it's a sign Notre Dame has to make changes in the student-athletes it admits.

"We're confident that the students we admit have the capacity to be successful," he said.

Cueto shuts down Rockies to reach 15 wins 1st

DENVER (AP) Johnny Cueto threw eight stellar innings to become the first 15-game winner in the majors and Kris Negron had a career-high four hits, including a tiebreaking single in the ninth, as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 on Friday night.

Cueto (15-6) allowed two runs and six hits to help the Reds snap a three-game skid. He's now 7-0 since a loss at San Diego on July 2.

Negron lined a two-out single up the middle off Adam Ottavino (0-4) to bring in Ramon Santiago with the go-ahead run.

Aroldis Chapman closed for his 26th save in 28 chances. Charlie Culberson drew a one-out walk and pinch-hitter Mike McKenry sent a shot down the line that first baseman Brayan Pena snared as he toppled over. Pena then touched first base with his glove to double up Culberson.

Nolan Arenado homered for Colorado, which has dropped seven of nine.

Jay Bruce brought in a run with a groundout in the Reds third and Santiago another with an RBI single in the fourth.

Cueto worked his way out of a jam in the sixth after giving up a tying RBI double to Corey Dickerson. With one out and the bases loaded, he struck out Culberson with a 95 mph fastball and then fanned D.J. LeMahieu with the same pitch.

The hard-throwing righty splintered quite a few bats with his heavy pitches running in on the hands of hitters. One of his few mistakes was an elevated fastball that Arenado hit into the left-field seats.

The Rockies turned to reliever Matt Belisle into an emergency starter when Franklin Morales was a late scratch after his wife went into labor. Belisle and five other relievers to kept the game close until the ninth.

Belisle allowed one run and tossed a season-high 49 pitches in three innings. It was his first start since May 25, 2008, when he was with the Reds.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Reds: INF Todd Frazier was out of the starting lineup with a balky back, which he hurt the night after hitting a ball off the end of his bat. "Pain shot up the right side of my back," Frazier said. He said he thinks it's a muscle strain in his lower back. He's day to day.

Rockies: Manager Walt Weiss said it "sounds like things went well" with SS Troy Tulowitzki's hip surgery Friday in Vail, Colorado. OF Carlos Gonzalez will have surgery on his left knee Monday. Both are out for the season.

UP NEXT

Reds: RHP Dylan Axelrod is expected to be brought up from Triple-A Louisville on Saturday to fill in for the injured Homer Bailey, who's headed to the DL with a strained right elbow. It will be Axelrod's first major league start since last September.

Rockies: RHP Jordan Lyles (6-1, 3.70) will make his third start since returning from the DL. He missed two months with a broken left hand.

Payton chews out Graham after celebration flags

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Jimmy Graham didn't hesitate to punctuate a pair of touchdown catches with the goal post-rattling, basketball-style dunks that led the NFL to ban such celebrations coming into this season.

Both times, Graham drew penalty flags for unsportsmanlike conduct.

With relatively little at stake in preseason game No. 2 on Friday night, the crowd roared its approval, and the Saints went on to beat the Tennessee Titans, 31-24.

Saints coach Sean Payton, however, wasn't amused after Graham's second dunk, barking at the star tight end as he came to the sideline.

Following the game, Graham fled the locker room without speaking to reporters.

Payton, meanwhile, said he was "particularly" upset with Graham's penalties, but also with much of the team after the Saints (2-0) drew 22 flags for 184 yards.

"Obviously, that was painful to watch," Payton said. "It's the first sign of a team that has no discipline, and that's the first sign of poor coaching. ... I'm very upset."

After holding out the entire offseason for his four-year, $40 million contract, Graham appeared to be in fine form with five catches for 48 yards in limited action, including his TDs of 6 and 19 yards from Luke McCown.

While Payton lost patience with Graham's insistence upon continuing his post-TD dunks, Graham's teammates appeared conflicted, considering it was a preseason game.

"I understand Jimmy's frustration with that rule change," veteran right tackle Zach Strief said. "I don't think Jimmy is a selfish player. ... It's selfish in a real game. I don't think Jimmy is like that. I think that was his one opportunity to make it his statement on it."

Last year, one such dunk bent a goal post out of place, delaying a regular-season game.

"Look, one time in 40 years a goal post gets tilted and all of a sudden we have to change the rules?" Strief said. "People love Jimmy because he gets excited and they love him because he celebrates. The fans love that stuff. And Jimmy is frustrated because they're taking something away that ... adds entertainment to the game."

The penalties after both celebrations were enforced on the kickoff, resulting in returns to the Tennessee 38 and 36 by the Titans' Marc Mariani. Tennessee (1-1) scored touchdowns on both drives.

There were some developments which pleased Payton.

The Saints' defense had five turnovers and four sacks. Offensively, New Orleans produced several long gains, including completions of 52 and 44 yards from Ryan Griffin to Joe Morgan, who missed all of last season with a knee injury.

"It was encouraging that (Morgan) got behind the defense and was able to make a few plays that we've seen him make prior to his injury," Payton said.

The Titans were competitive early when both teams' starters were on the field.

Starting quarterback Jake Locker was 8 of 11 for 75 yards and a touchdown on a 4-yard touch pass along the sideline to Justin Hunter, who made a leaping grab over cornerback Corey White.

"It was great to see the way we came out and started," Locker said. "It was something we can definitely build off of."

Hunter also was on the receiving end of Zach Mettenberger's first touchdown pass as a pro. Mettenberger entered the game earlier than expected after second-string QB Charlie Whitehurst was shaken up on a sack by Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro.

The crowd cheered the former LSU quarterback when he took the field.

"That was a pleasant surprise," Mettenberger said.

Mettenberger completed his first series by rifling a pass over the middle to Hunter, who raced off for a 64-yard score.

Mettenberger finished 20 of 25 for 269 yards, but was also intercepted once and fumbled once. Hunter had four catches for 111 yards.

"We played OK, but we just turned the ball over way too much and ultimately that led to a loss," Mettenberger said. "Offensively we did a lot of good things but we've got a lot to clean up."

Undrafted rookie kicker Travis Coons made a 50-yard field goal for Tennessee.

One of Tennessee's fumbles may have cost more than a turnover. Running back Shonn Greene, who has had right knee surgery twice, appeared to favor his right leg after being stripped by Vaccaro.

McCown started for Brees, who missed his second exhibition game while resting his sore abdomen, and was 12 of 20 for 117 yards. Griffin finished 13 of 19 for 179 yards with touchdown passes of 23 yards to Mark Ingram and 3 yards to Seantavious Jones.

Philly's Mo'ne Davis two-hits Tennessee in shutout

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) Mo'Ne Davis, one of two girls at the Little League World Series, threw a two-hitter to help Philadelphia beat Nashville 4-0 on Friday in the opener for both teams.

The first girl to appear for a U.S. team in South Williamsport since 2004, Davis received rousing cheers during pregame introductions, every time she stepped to the plate and after she struck out the final batter.

"It's very unreal. I never thought at the age of 13 I would be a role model," Davis said. "Hopefully, more girls play Little League."

Davis had eight strikeouts and didn't walk a batter. She retired the first six batters and needed only 70 pitches to complete the game. She was hitless in three at-bats.

Philadelphia shortstop Jared Sprague-Lott hit a three-run home run in the first inning, and outfielder Carter Davis had an RBI sacrifice fly in the sixth.

U.S. marshals capture fugitive fighter War Machine

LAS VEGAS (AP) Fugitive mixed martial arts fighter War Machine was arrested Friday in California on suspicion of beating his ex-girlfriend so severely in Las Vegas that she feared for her life.

The 32-year-old fighter and former porn actor, whose birth name is Jon Koppenhaver, was captured in a hotel room in Simi Valley, a suburb northwest of Los Angeles where he once lived.

Authorities issued a warrant for Koppenhaver on Monday, the same day his ex-girlfriend, adult film actress Christy Mack, posted graphic photos of her swollen, beaten face online.

Mack said in a statement that Koppenhaver showed up unannounced at her house on Aug. 8, found her and a friend unarmed, and beat the friend without uttering a word.

Koppenhaver then sent the friend away and turned to Mack, forcing her to shower before knocking out some of her teeth and breaking bones in her face, the statement said.

She wrote that she feared for her life as he sawed off her hair with a dull knife.

Mack said she managed to escape out a back door and run naked through her neighborhood, knocking on doors until someone helped her get to a hospital.

Koppenhaver had been abusive in the past and broke up with her in May, she said.

"After many months of fear and pressure to keep this man happy, I feel that I can no longer put myself in this situation," Mack wrote.

Koppenhaver did not return a message Tuesday seeking comment about Mack's account, and it's not clear whether he has an attorney.

The welterweight fighter made his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut in 2007. He lost his only pay-per-view bout in 2008 and went on to fight for a variety of promotions over the past five years.

His criminal record includes a 2012 conviction for attempt to commit battery with substantial bodily harm.

U.S. marshals said they worked with police and the Department of Homeland Security to capture Koppenhaver. He was booked into the Ventura County jail while he awaits extradition to Nevada.

"This is yet another example of how our joint agency efforts are apprehending fugitives who think they can hide," District of Nevada U.S. Marshal Christopher Hoye said in a statement.

Rob Manfred elected next MLB commissioner

BALTIMORE (AP) Rob Manfred was elected baseball's 10th commissioner Thursday, winning a three-man race to succeed Bud Selig and given a mandate by the tradition-bound sport to recapture young fans and speed play in an era that has seen competition increase and attention spans shrink.

The 55-year-old Manfred, who has worked for Major League Baseball in roles with ever-increasing authority since 1998, will take over from the 80-year-old Selig on Jan. 25. It's a generational change much like the NBA undertook when Adam Silver, then 51, replaced 71-year-old David Stern as commissioner in February. And like Silver, Manfred was his boss's pick.

Manfred beat out Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner in the first contested vote for a new commissioner in 46 years. The third candidate, MLB Executive Vice President of Business Tim Brosnan, withdrew just before the start of balloting.

"I am tremendously honored by the confidence that the owners showed in me today," Manfred said. "I have very big shoes to fill."

Selig has led baseball since September 1992, first as chairman of the sport's executive council following Fay Vincent's forced resignation and as commissioner since July 1998. After announcing his intention to retire many times only to change his mind, he said last September that he really, truly planned to depart in January 2015.

One baseball executive who attended the meeting, speaking on condition of anonymity because details of the 4 1/2-hour session were not to be divulged, said Manfred was elected on approximately the sixth ballot. The initial vote was 20-10 for Manfred, three short of the required three-quarters majority.

His total increased to 21 on the second and 22 on the third. While teams put written ballots into envelopes, keeping their choices secret, from team official speeches it was evident that Tampa Bay's Stuart Sternberg and Milwaukee's Mark Attanasio likely switched, the person said.

Manfred's total dropped to 20, then increased back to 22 before a dinner break. He got the needed 23rd vote on the next, apparently from Washington. Owners then made the final vote unanimous. The person said it appeared Arizona, Boston, the Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati, the Los Angeles Angels, Oakland and Toronto had been the final holdouts.

"What I said to the owners when I came down after the vote is that I didn't really want to even think about who was on what side of what issue at points in the process," Manfred said, "and that my commitment to the owners was that I would work extremely hard day in and day out to convince all 30 of them that they had made a great decision today."

White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf and Toronto president Paul Beeston spoke out strongly against Manfred, the person said. Angels owner Arte Moreno joined Reinsdorf in leading Werner's support.

"While Rob may not have been my initial choice for commissioner, the conclusion of a very good process was to name Rob as the person best positioned to help baseball endure and grow even stronger for the next generation of fans," Reinsdorf said in a statement. "Today's decision was reached by 30 owners voting separately but speaking, in the end, with one voice."

Werner, who made his career as a television executive, was preferred by those who wanted an owner to follow Selig, who was the longtime head of the Milwaukee Brewers when he took over MLB.

"I think the last two days have been productive because we've been able to share a number of ideas about the game and how to improve it and modernize it," Werner said. "I think that Rob agrees with many of the ideas that I espoused, and I am very confident that we are going to see some things, such as improved pace of play."

Brosnan quit the race when it became apparent he likely had one vote: Cincinnati.

"I cared too much about the game and really wanted the process to be as efficient as it could be," he said.

Manfred started with baseball in the late 1980s as an outside counsel in labor negotiations and was hired by Selig as executive vice president for labor relations and human resources in 1998. He received an expanded role of executive vice president of economics and league affairs in 2012 and last September was promoted to chief operating officer, becoming the likely heir apparent to Selig.

Manfred helped lead negotiations for baseball's last three labor contracts and the first joint drug agreement that was instituted in 2002, a program that has been strengthened repeatedly.

"There is no doubt in my mind he has the training, the temperament, the experience to be a very successful commissioner," Selig said, "and I have justifiably very high expectations."

In the last contested election, in 1968-69, owners turned to their outside labor lawyer, Bowie Kuhn.

Manfred, whose term was not specified, grew up in Rome, New York - about an hour's drive from the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. He must address issues that include decreased interest in baseball among young people and an average game time that has stretched to 3:03 - up 30 minutes from 1981. And he will be leading an opinionated group of multimillionaires and billionaires.

"I think some of Rob's greatest attributes are his ability to reach consensus," said St. Louis owner Bill DeWitt Jr., who chaired the committee that picked the three candidates.

Baseball has had labor peace since a 7 1/2-month strike in 1994-95 that canceled the World Series. Talks to replace the collective bargaining agreement with players that expires after the 2016 season will be conducted with a new union leadership headed by former All-Star first baseman Tony Clark.

"I have known Rob for more than 15 years, and I'm confident that his vast experience in all aspects of the sport will serve his commissionership well," Clark said in a statement.

While average attendance of about 30,500 is not far below the record of 32,785 set in 2007 before the Great Recession, national television ratings for the World Series have dropped by more than 50 percent under Selig - partly because of fractured viewing caused by the vast increase in available networks.

"We have to figure out ways to make it relevant to that 12-year-old," San Francisco Giants President Larry Baer said. "I have four children, and we want to make baseball as relevant as possible to them with their handheld and on television and getting more people playing the sport. Those are all big challenges, and I think Rob sees all of those in his purview, and I think he's ready to attack."

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AP freelance writer Ian Quillen contributed to this report.

Cousins hurts knee in US practice, not serious

CHICAGO (AP) DeMarcus Cousins had a big bag of ice on his right knee while he watched the end of practice Thursday. He briefly covered his face with a towel as trainers milled around his table next to the folded gym bleachers.

Just making it to the World Cup of Basketball is proving to be quite a chore for the U.S. national team.

Cousins was injured when he got tangled with Anthony Davis after both big men hit the floor going after a loose ball during a scrimmage. An MRI on Cousins' knee showed no structural damage, and USA Basketball said the Sacramento Kings star was day to day.

The test result for Cousins was a breath of fresh air for a U.S. team still recovering from the gruesome injury to Paul George.

"He said he got a little scared, obviously, when you go down after we had that prior injury," said Jerry Colangelo, the managing director of USA Basketball.

Cousins yelled out in distress as the practice pileup dissipated, leaving the center on his back near the free-throw line on one side of the court. He was helped off the floor, and then was confined to the training table for the remaining part of the first of two practices in Chicago before Saturday night's exhibition against Brazil at the United Center.

Cousins took a few ginger steps while players were coming off the floor at the end of practice.

"Definitely scary, not just the fact that he went down, but the fact that I actually was the one who dove on him," said Davis, a Chicago native who plays for New Orleans. "I kind of feel bad and I hope he's fine because he really wants to be here. He really wants to play."

It was the first practice for the Americans since George broke his right leg during an intrasquad scrimmage on Aug. 1 in Las Vegas. George had surgery the next day, and the Indiana Pacers say their two-time All-Star is expected to make a full recovery.

Colangelo has guaranteed a spot for George for the 2016 Olympics, and the rest of the national team seems to have rallied around the talented small forward. They are planning to wear a special shooting shirt for him for their games before the Cup, and several players talked about winning the World Cup for him.

"The week off that we had, after we saw what happened to Paul, it kind of calmed us down a little bit because right afterwards it was kind of devastating," Bulls point guard Derrick Rose said. "You put yourself in that position like him - that could have been me - but now that he's had surgery and it seems like he's recovering, our goal is just to come out here and compete for our country."

The U.S. absorbed another big blow last week when NBA MVP Kevin Durant withdrew from the player pool. The Oklahoma City star was the MVP of the world championship in 2010, leading the Americans to that title for the first time since 1994.

Durant said he "could not fulfill my responsibilities to the team from both a time and energy standpoint," joining previous withdrawals by All-Stars Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge.

"It was a surprise, but Kevin is a terrific guy and a terrific USA Basketball guy and he was really despondent about not being able to play," Colangelo said. "He wanted to, but he found himself in a situation where he had no choice."

Asked to elaborate, Colangelo responded: "His contractual situation."

Durant's contract with the Thunder runs through the 2015-16 season, but he is believed to be talking to shoe companies about a new endorsement agreement. Messages were left Thursday seeking comment from Leon Rose, Durant's agent, and Nike, which has outfitted Durant for years.

In the meantime, the roster for the U.S. national team is at 16 players after Rudy Gay joined the pool following Durant's departure. It has to be cut to 12 before the World Cup begins on Aug. 30.

The trip to Chicago is a homecoming for Rose, Davis, Colangelo and U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski, and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau also is back in town as an assistant for the U.S. team. It's especially sweet for Rose, who has missed much of the last two NBA seasons due to knee injuries.

"It's going to be fun," Rose said. "Everybody's been talking about it in the city, it seems like there's a buzz."

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Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap

Rangers ace Darvish has mild elbow inflammation

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Rangers ace Yu Darvish has mild right elbow inflammation that isn't a long-term concern, although there is no timetable for his return to the Texas rotation.

After receiving results from an MRI, Darvish said Thursday through a translator there was "no pain, just discomfort". The Japanese star went on the disabled list Wednesday and will miss at least two starts.

The right-hander allowed six runs and nine hits over four innings in his last start Sunday at Houston. Darvish didn't have issues during the game but felt tightness when throwing on the side Monday.

Darvish is the 14th player currently on the DL for the Rangers, most in the majors. Texas has used 35 pitchers this season, two shy of San Diego's major league record set in 2002.

Stewart sitting out Michigan after dirt-car death

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Tony Stewart will not race Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, skipping a second straight NASCAR Sprint Cup race since striking and killing a driver in a dirt-track race at a small New York track.

Stewart announced the decision in a statement Thursday. His plans for the rest of the season have not been determined.

Jeff Burton will drive Stewart's No. 14 Chevrolet in Michigan.

Stewart also sat out Sunday at Watkins Glen, a day after he struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car event in Canandaigua, New York. After Stewart clipped Ward's car, sending it spinning, Ward got out of the car during the caution period, walked down the track and was hit by Stewart.

Ward's funeral was Thursday in Boonville, New York. He died of blunt force trauma.

Stewart's dirt-racing career is on hold, and he could face criminal charges.

Stewart has not commented since he made a statement Sunday.

"There aren't words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr.," Stewart said in the statement.

The three-time NASCAR champion is winless and 21st in the Cup standings this season. He would have needed a victory in one of the final four races to have a chance to become eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

It's not clear what sitting out does for Stewart's Chase chances. NASCAR rules says a driver must either qualify the car or race the car each weekend. NASCAR does have the power to grant a waiver.

Stewart has 48 career Cup wins in 542 starts.

Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said that investigators don't have any evidence at this point to support criminal intent. The investigation could last another two weeks.

His sponsors have stayed with him as the investigation unfolds. Mobil 1 has served as the primary sponsor of the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 14 Chevrolet for 19 of the 22 Sprint Cup Series races this season.

"The investigation continues, and we are monitoring the situation," ExxonMobil spokesman Christian Flathman said Thursday.

Regan Smith started for Stewart at Watkins Glen and finished 37th.

Burton made only two starts this season, the last coming in July at New Hampshire. The 21-time Sprint Cup winner parted ways with Richard Childress Racing at the end of the season, and Ryan Newman replaced him at RCR. Burton works as an analyst for NBC.

Praise for 'small-town boy' hit by Stewart's car

TURIN, N.Y. (AP) They came to grieve and share stories about Kevin Ward Jr., who was born into a racing family and buried with racing flags in his casket.

A high school auditorium overflowed with friends, family and racing enthusiasts Thursday in tribute to the 20-year-old driver, who was hit on a dirt track by a car driven by NASCAR champion Tony Stewart.

With Ward in an open casket piled with orange flowers, his family's team colors, mourners wept and laughed at favorite stories about the boy who began racing not long after he began walking. The 90-minute service was held at the South Lewis Senior High School to accommodate crowds from this tight racing community in central New York.

"Even if he had rough day, he always had a smile," a tearful Dylan Swiernick said of his best friend and car-obsessed buddy. "We were just two small-town boys trying to make it in the big world. He was always working on something. It was unbelievable how smart he was. He never got down on himself when things weren't going his way."

Ward, a 2012 South Lewis graduate, was buried in his nearby hometown of Port Leyden, 55 miles from Syracuse.

"He was an amazing sprint car driver and had a family like no other," cousin Amanda Ward said in a eulogy. "We used to tell him before every race, `Drive it like you stole it.' He never let us down."

Sister Kayla Herring said the orange and white lapel ribbons worn by family and friends were to signify that the team colors would remain bright, even in the darkest times.

A recording of the Dixie Chicks singing "Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)" was played at the request of Ward's mother.

After the service, as Ward's casket was taken to the hearse for the short trip to the cemetery, mourners let loose helium balloons in orange, white and black.

Ward died Saturday night at a track 140 miles away in Canandaigua, where Stewart was riding a day before the Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen. Stewart did not race at Watkins Glen and said Thursday he won't race this weekend at Michigan.

The accident touched off debates as video of the crash circulated online, with fans questioning whether Stewart, known for his hot temper, tried to send his own message by buzzing Ward, or whether Ward recklessly stepped onto a dark track clad in black.

After a bump from Stewart sent Ward's car spinning into the wall, the young driver climbed out and walked onto the track in his firesuit, gesturing angrily. Stewart's No. 14 car hit him and Ward was thrown through the air as his parents and fans watched in horror.

No charges have been filed, but Ontario County Sheriff's deputies are still investigating.

Ward grew up in a racing family and started racing go-carts at age 4. He moved on to sprint cars and was Empire Super Sprint racing rookie of the year in 2012. He was one of a small, tight group of drivers that traveled to races around New York state and parts of Canada and Pennsylvania.

Racing and working on cars in his father's shop, Westward Painting Co. of Lyons Falls, were his "double love," Ward's father told the Post-Standard of Syracuse this week.

"His goal was to race in the World of Outlaws," the top level for sprint cars, he said.

ASU player gets plenty of support after coming out

CAMP TONTOZONA, Ariz. (AP) Chip Sarafin watched the others before him break down the barriers, athletes like Jason Collins and Michael Sam who let the world know they were gay.

The Arizona State offensive lineman had already told his teammates and coaches long before, without causing so much as a ripple.

But when Sarafin finally took his turn to pass through the door, he was a little surprised to find what was on the other side.

"I was a little nervous when it came to my attention what a big influence this was having," Sarafin said Thursday. "I did not intend for it to get to the magnitude that it did."

Sarafin became the first active openly-gay Division I football player when he talked to Compete, a Tempe-based magazine for gay sports, about his sexual orientation for a story in its August issue.

The fifth-year senior follows in the footsteps of Sam, the St. Louis Rams linebacker who came out after his playing days at Missouri were over. Sam became the first openly-gay player to be drafted in the NFL and is competing for a roster spot with the Rams.

Collins set the original precedent, becoming the first openly-gay athlete in the four major U.S. sports when he came out to Sports Illustrated in April 2013. He broke another barrier when he played for the Brooklyn Nets late last season.

Numerous other athletes have come out since then, including Massachusetts sophomore Derrick Gordon, the first active openly-gay player in Division I basketball.

With so many precedent-setters before him, Sarafin figured his announcement would be treated with little more than a shrug.

It wasn't quite the same fervor as Sam's announcement, but it still was big news, drawing more than a dozen reporters and cameramen to the Sun Devils' fall camp retreat at Camp Tontozona.

"I'm hoping that stuff like this won't be such a big news story, that people will hear stories like this and it won't be such a big thing," Sarafin said. "Eventually, players will be who they are and it's just that, but right now there still needs to be role models for those types of players."

It certainly wasn't a big thing for Sarafin's teammates and coaches.

Sarafin said he began telling teammates in an informal fashion individually and answered questions when people had them, never addressing the team as a group. He told his coaches over a year ago and has had universal support from everyone associated with the football program and the athletics department.

When Sarafin's sexual orientation became public, it barely registered at Arizona State, other than the increased media coverage.

"I'm really proud of our guys. It's not something that's a surprise to us," Arizona State coach Todd Graham said. "Obviously, our guys were aware of that and we're proud of Chip just like we're proud of the rest of our guys. Really proud of him and the courage he has. Our guys are behind him 100 percent."

Reaction to Sarafin's announcement outside of Arizona State was mostly positive, with Sam and Collins both offering encouraging comments on Twitter. Sarafin hasn't seen the posts since players are not allowed to get on the Internet or use cellphones at Camp Tontozona, though he appreciated the support.

But attention wasn't what Sarafin was looking for - at least not the living-in-the-spotlight kind.

Though he hasn't played a down for Arizona State, he's given the Sun Devils some needed depth on the offensive line and worked on the scout team.

Sarafin has been exceptionally productive off the field, graduating with a degree in biomedical engineering last spring before enrolling in Arizona State's master's program. He has been active in the community, particularly in youth sports, and is a member of ASU's prestigious Tillman Scholars program.

Sarafin has helped with research on football-related concussions and has worked with numerous groups to end discrimination and bullying in youth sports.

If the attention that comes with coming out sheds more light on those things, Sarafin is all for it, even if he did feel a little uncomfortable talking in front of so many people.

"It (coming out) was something I initially intended to do, but I didn't intend for it to blow out of proportion like it did," he said. "I originally did it to get some of the stuff I was working on out into the world, bring attention to some of the issues I thought were important. Obviously, it got to the magnitude that it did and I support this."

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