NFL

CINCINNATI (AP)Buffalo defensive back Damar Hamlin was in critical condition after the Bills say he suffered a cardiac arrest on the field after making a tackle hours earlier, leading to the indefinite postponement of Buffalo’s pivotal Monday night showdown against the Cincinnati Bengals.

In a chilling scene, Hamlin was administered CPR on the field, ESPN reported, while surrounded by teammates, some of them in tears, while they shielded him from public view. He was hurt while tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins on a seemingly routine play that didn’t appear unusually violent.

The NFL announced Hamlin’s condition shortly after he was taken to a hospital, but neither the league nor the hospital released any other details about the 24-year-old’s medical condition. The team’s statement was released before its flight arrived back in Buffalo early Tuesday. There was also no immediate update about the future status of the game.

On the play Hamlin was injured, Higgins led with his right shoulder, which hit the defensive back in the chest. Hamlin then wrapped his arms around Higgins’ shoulders and helmet to drag him down. Hamlin quickly got to his feet, appeared to adjust his face mask with his right hand, and then fell backward about three seconds later and lay motionless.

Hamlin was treated on the field by team and independent medical personnel and local paramedics, and he was taken by ambulance to University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Teammate Stefon Diggs later joined Hamlin at the hospital.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Tulane tight end Alex Bauman caught a 6-yard touchdown from Michael Pratt with 9 seconds left to cap a frantic finish by the 14th-ranked Green Wave in a 46-45 win over Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams and No. 8 Southern California in the Cotton Bowl.

Bauman’s contested catch, with linebacker Eric Gentry draped over him, was initially ruled an incompletion, but a replay review showed the ball never touched the ground as the players rolled over in the end zone. The Green Wave scored 16 points in the final 4:07, the game-winning touchdown coming after they got the ball back following a safety.

Williams was 37-for-52 passing for 462 yards and a Cotton Bowl-record five touchdowns, exactly one month after the quarterback suffered a hamstring injury in USC’s loss to Utah in the Pac-12 championship game.

Tyjae Spears ran for 205 yards and his career-best fourth touchdown started the final scoring surge for the Green Wave (12-2), who completed an FBS-record 10-win turnaround around after going 2-10 last season. They were in the New Year’s Six game as the highest-ranked Group of Five team.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Malik Nabers threw for a touchdown, caught one and had 163 yards receiving in No. 16 LSU’s 63-7 rout of Purdue in the Citrus Bowl.

LSU never trailed against the Boilermakers, recording 594 yards of offense and concluding the scoring with Quad Wilson’s 99-yard interception return for a touchdown.

The Tigers (10-4) finished with at least 10 wins for the first time since the 2019 season, when Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson led undefeated LSU to a national title.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Massimo Biscardi made a 27-yard tiebreaking field goal with 4 seconds left, Marcus Banks returned a fumble 60 yards for a touchdown on the game’s last play and No. 24 Mississippi State rallied to beat Illinois 19-10 in the ReliaQuest Bowl in the Bulldogs’ first game since coach Mike Leach’s death.

Banks’ score came on Illinois’ fifth lateral following a completed pass after the Fighting Ilini got the ball at their own 29. There was a scrum on the field as the game ended, but order was restored after a couple of minutes.

Will Rogers was 29 of 44 yards for 261 yards and one touchdown for Mississippi State (9-4, No. 22 CFP). Simeon Price had 68 rushing yards, including a key 28-yard dash on the go-ahead fourth-quarter drive, on seven attempts.

Tommy DeVito completed 23 of 34 passes for 253 yards for Illinois (8-5). Reggie Love III rushed for 40 yards on 11 carries. Fighting Illini running back Chase Brown, the nation’s second-leading rusher in the regular season with 1,643 yards, sat out to prepare for the NFL draft.

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) – KeAndre Lambert-Smith had the longest touchdown reception in Rose Bowl history on an 88-yard pass from Sean Clifford, freshman Nicholas Singleton broke a tiebreaking 87-yard touchdown run, and No. 9 Penn State rallied past No. 7 Utah 35-21 in the 109th edition of the Granddaddy of Them All.

Clifford passed for 279 yards and two touchdowns in an impressive farewell to Penn State, and Singleton rushed for 120 yards and two more scores on a rainy day filled with spectacular big plays by the Nittany Lions (11-2).

Utah couldn’t rally with quarterback Cameron Rising sidelined by a second-half injury, and coach James Franklin’s exuberant group comfortably won the Rose Bowl for the second time in school history and the first since Jan. 2, 1995.

NBA

NEW YORK (AP) – Kyrie Irving made his first seven shots, sparked a big bench celebration with a one-handed follow slam after he finally missed and scored 27 points as the Brooklyn Nets beat the San Antonio Spurs 139-103 for their 12th straight victory.

Kevin Durant added 25 points and 11 assists for the Nets (25-12), who have ridden the longest winning streak in the NBA this season to within a game of Boston for the best record in the league. Brooklyn has won 16 of its last 17 games.

Irving shot 11 for 14, Durant was 10 for 14 and neither played in the fourth quarter for the Nets, who are 23-7 under Jacque Vaughn. T.J. Warren finished with 18 points and Brooklyn shot 62% from the field.

CLEVELAND (AP) – Donovan Mitchell set a Cleveland record with 71 points, most by an NBA player in 17 years, and the Cavaliers rallied from 21 down to beat the Chicago Bulls 145-134 in overtime.

Mitchell’s total matched the eighth highest in league history since Lakers legend Kobe Bryant had 81 points against Toronto on Jan. 22, 2006. Wilt Chamberlain owns the NBA record with 100 for Philadelphia against New York on March 2, 1962, at Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Mitchell scored 13 points in the extra session after forcing OT by grabbing his own intentionally missed free throw and making a circus-shot with 3.0 seconds left, tying the game at 130-all and breaking the Cleveland record with 58 points.

In OT, Mitchell became the seventh player in the 70-point club. Chamberlain did it six times, while Bryant, David Thompson, Elgin Baylor, David Robinson and Devin Booker reached the figure once apiece.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) – Purdue solidified its No. 1 ranking in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll following UConn’s first loss of the season, while No. 23 Charleston moved into the rankings for the first time in 20 years.

The Boilermakers remained No. 1 for the fourth straight week, receiving all but one first-place vote from a 61-person media panel in the poll released Monday. No. 2 Houston and No. 3 Kansas each moved up a spot, and No. 4 UConn dropped two spots after losing to Xavier, which moved up from No. 22 to No. 18. Arizona rounded out the top five.

Purdue (13-0, 2-0 Big Ten) dominated Florida A&M 82-49 last Thursday in its first game in eight days to join No. 21 New Mexico as the nation’s only remaining undefeated Division I teams.

UConn (14-1, 3-1 Big East) had been off to its best start since 1998 before losing 83-73 to Xavier, which has won eight straight.

NEW YORK (AP) – South Carolina finished 2022 how it started the year: No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 women’s basketball poll.

While the top-ranked Gamecocks cruised to a win in their lone game last week, then-No. 4 Indiana, No. 6 N.C. State and No. 7 Virginia Tech all lost as they scrambled to replace injured players.

There were 22 losses by teams in the AP top 10 this season before Jan. 1. That was tied for the most in the past 23 years before January, matching the 2014-15 season, according to ESPN. Seven of those losses came to unranked teams, tied with 1999-2000 and 2004-05 for the most ever.

The New Year didn’t start off any better for top teams as then-No. 10 UCLA lost to Oregon State.

Stanford, Ohio State, Notre Dame and UConn round out the top five teams in the poll released Monday. With the Hoosiers’ defeat, that left only five unbeaten teams, including the top-ranked Gamecocks, who were once again a unanimous choice at No. 1.

No. 3 Ohio State, No. 7 LSU, No. 8 Utah and 24th-ranked St. John’s are the other undefeated teams heading into 2023. Utah is making its first appearance in the top 10.

Indiana dropped to sixth with Virginia Tech and North Carolina State finishing off the top 10.