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National sports briefs

Associated Press
The Big East has acquired all the pieces needed to build a new coast-to-coast conference. Putting them all together, though, is going to take a while.
The conference wanted to rebuild itself into a 12-team football league that can hold a championship game, and Memphis officially became that 12th member on Wednesday when it accepted an invite it has long coveted.
But the new Big East isn’t scheduled to be fully functional until the 2015 football season. As for the next three years, what the Big East will look like is anybody’s guess.
Memphis is the seventh school, and fourth from Conference USA, to sign up since December for future membership in the Big East. The Tigers will compete in the Big East in all sports.
The Tigers were snubbed during the Big East’s last massive expansion in 2005 and lost a longtime rivalry with Louisville in the process.
Now with the Big East in need replacements for West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse, there was finally room for Memphis.
PENN STATE
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Prosecutors asked to have Jerry Sandusky kept indoors as part of his bail conditions, citing complaints that the former Penn State assistant football coach was seen outside and watching children in a schoolyard from the back porch of his home, where he remains under house arrest while awaiting trial on child molestation charges.
UCONN
STORRS, Conn. — Connecticut basketball coach Jim Calhoun will miss Saturday’s game against No. 2 Syracuse while on an indefinite medical leave of absence because of spinal stenosis, a painful condition in his lower back.
• Connecticut has proposed reducing the number of games it will play next season if the NCAA grants a waiver to allow the Huskies to play in the 2013 men’s basketball tournament.
The school currently would be barred from the NCAA tournament, a penalty for years of below-standard academic results, but it requested a waiver last month.
NBA
CHARLOTTE — Bobcats rookie guard Kemba Walker has been selected to play in the 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge on Feb. 24, during NBA All-Star Weekend in Orlando.
Walker, who is averaging 12.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists, ranks second among NBA rookies in scoring and fourth in assists. He is the only rookie to post a triple-double this season after recording 20 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists against Washington on Jan. 28.
Walker is joined by fellow first-year players Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson from Cleveland, Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams from Minnesota, MarShon Brooks of New Jersey, Brandon Knight of Detroit, Kawhi Leonard of San Antonio and Markieff Morris of Phoenix.
• HOUSTON — NBA Commissioner David Stern doesn’t believe this year’s All-Star game in Orlando will be upstaged by Dwight Howard’s uncertain future.
Stern spoke Wednesday in Houston, where he officially announced that the All-Star Game would be held there in 2013. Where Howard is playing by then is anyone’s guess.
The Magic’s six-time All-Star has asked to be traded. This year’s game will be played Feb. 26, less than a month before the March 15 trade deadline.
“We’re going to get a great rating. It’s going to be seen in 200 countries. We’ll have the usual media experiences like the one I’m enduring now,” Stern said.
• GREENBURGH, N.Y. — The New York Knicks say they expect Carmelo Anthony to miss a week or two with a strained right groin.
• DENVER — Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari is expected to miss a month with a sprained left ankle that turned out to be less serious than first feared.
CYCLING
MADRID — Alberto Contador vowed to return to the pinnacle of cycling, maintaining his innocence in the face of a two-year doping ban that stripped the Spanish star of his 2010 Tour de France title.
WINTER CLASSIC
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Michigan Board of Regents called a special meeting to discuss renting Michigan Stadium to the NHL for the Winter Classic.
The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday morning. If the regents give their OK as expected, that would likely be one of the last hurdles to bringing the NHL’s annual showcase to one of the most iconic venues in college sports.
BASEBALL
LOS ANGELES — NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers avoided a salary arbitration hearing next week, agreeing to a $19 million, two-year contract.
• FORT WORTH, Texas — Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton visited doctors for Major League Baseball and the players’ association this week in New York following his admitted relapse with alcohol.
General manager Jon Daniels said that Hamilton was accompanied by Shayne Kelley, the team’s newly hired major league staff assistant whose job includes being in a support role for Hamilton.
SOCCER
ST. LOUIS — Harry Keough, who played for the U.S. soccer team that famously upset England at the 1950 World Cup, died at his home in St. Louis. He was 84.
TENNIS
PARIS — Maria Sharapova beat Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa 6-3, 6-1 on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals of the Open GDF Suez.
NHL ROUNDUP
DETROIT — Drew Miller and Henrik Zetterberg scored in the third period, and the Detroit Red Wings extended their home winning streak to 18 games with a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night.
The Red Wings overcame two more goals by Edmonton’s Sam Gagner to move within two wins of the NHL record of 20 straight home victories, set by the Boston Bruins during the 1929-30 season and matched by Philadelphia in 1976. The Bruins also won 19 in a row in Boston during the 1970-71 season.
SABRES 6, BRUINS 0
BUFFALO, N.Y. — With Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff nursing three broken ribs and watching from the press box, goalie Ryan Miller made 36 saves to earn his second shutout in three games.

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