Kansas claims the final number one ranking of the college basketball season

(Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)(NEW YORK) -- With the NCAA Tournament cancelled, the final AP Top 25 rankings for the college basketball season were released on Tuesday.

The Big Twelve champion Kansas Jayhawks finished the year atop the poll, getting 63 out of the 65 first-place votes. The Jayhawks went 28-3 before the season abruptly ended. It is the fourth time they've finished the year at number one.

"Nobody in America had better season than we did," Self said. "How do you give credit to that effort and have it be recognized? And I don't know exactly how we do it. Do we do it within our own fan base? Do we do it within podcasts or whatnot? Whatever we've come up with so far pales in comparison to the accolades they deserve."

The AP does not, however, declare a national champion because there is usually a tournament to determine that. The NCAA Tournament, however, was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gonzaga and Dayton finished at numbers two and three, each garnering one first-place vote. Florida State and Baylor rounded out the top five.

For Dayton, that finish matches the best in program history, equaling the 1955-1956 team.

Duke finished the season at number 11, their first time ending a year outside the top-ten since 2007.

See the full rankings:

1. Kansas (63)    
2. Gonzaga (1)
3. Dayton (1)
4. Florida State
5. Baylor
6. San Diego State
7. Creighton
8. Kentucky
9. Michigan State
10. Villanova
11. Duke
12. Maryland
13. Oregon
14. Louisville
15. Seton Hall
16. Virginia
17. Wisconsin    
18. BYU    
19. Ohio State    
20. Auburn
21. Illinois
22. Houston
23. Butler
24. West Virginia    
25. Iowa

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Norwegian musher Thomas Waerner wins Iditarod

Jeff Manes/iStock(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) -- Thomas Waerner of Norway won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Wednesday morning, crossing the finish line in Nome, Alaska after 9 days, 10 hours, 37 minutes, and 47 seconds.

The Iditarod is one of the few U.S. sporting events not cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

After finishing the nearly 1,000 mile trek across Alaska, Waerner thanked his ten sled dogs, petting and rubbing them. He then gave each dog a snack, before telling reporters at the finish line that the win felt "awesome."

The 47-year-old had only attempted the race once before, in 2015. He finished 17th in that race, and was named Rookie of the Year.

Fanspoured out of bars and hotels to cheer Waerner on. He will win at least $5,000 and a pickup truck.

Waerner is the third Norwegian musher to win the Iditarod, which began with 57 mushers on March 8.

Fears over the coronavirus altered this year's race, with fans asked not to fly to Nome for the finish, as the city closed buildings to the public. In other villages along the course, official check-in points were moved outside of the community to limit contact.

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Ottawa Senators player is first known coronavirus case in the NHL

Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(OTTAWA) -- The Ottawa Senators announced on Tuesday that one of their players has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, marking the first known case in the NHL.

The team did not identify the player, but said he is showing symptoms and is in isolation.

"The Ottawa Senators are in the process of notifying anyone who has had known close contact with the athlete and are working with our team doctors and public health officials," the team said in a statement. "As a result of this positive case, all members of the Ottawa Senators are requested to remain isolated, to monitor their health and seek advice from our team medical staff."

The NHL paused its season last week, as did most other American sports leagues. It initially told players to remain in their home playing cities, but has since sent a memo to players allowing them to travel anywhere, including overseas, to their home countries. Players are advised to self-quarantine when they got there.

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Five years after traumatic brain injury, Vermont’s Josh Speidel scores first college points

cmannphoto/iStock(BURLINGTON, Vt.) -- Five years after a car accident left University of Vermont basketball player Josh Speidel with a traumatic brain injury, the senior started his first Division I college basketball game.

The Vermont Catamounts honored Speidel by including him in the team's starting lineup on Senior Night against Albany. The former three-star recruit and prep-school standout opened the game by scoring on a layup -- a prearranged moment that sparked a long ovation from the stands.

Players from both teams hugged Speidel, who shared a moment with Albany coach Will Brown, before returning to the Vermont bench to hug each of his teammates and coaches.

After the game, Speidel joked that he briefly thought about missing his first shot on purpose, "maybe to get an offensive rebound in there."

"But I figured I might as well go one-for-one and shoot 100% in my college career," he told ESPN's Michael Lehr.

Josh was injured in a February 2015 crash, after which he spent five weeks in a coma. Doctors told his parents to prepare for the possibility that he would spend the rest of his life in a vegetative state, needing 24-hour care. They also warned that he'd never read about a fourth-grade level.

This spring, Speidel will graduate from Vermont with a 3.4 GPA.

Speidel was emotional after the game, telling Lehr that seeing his name in the box score was "a dream come true."

Head coach John Becker shared his own sentiments on ESPN's SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt, saying that he'd "been part of a lot of championship games here, and a lot of sellout crowds, but this thing...was bigger than all of those things."

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Bill Ripken talks new-school versus old-school baseball, and the future of the sport

Greg Fiume/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- As a former Major League Baseball player, Bill Ripken has strong feelings about the changes in the league in recent years. In his new book, State of Play: The Old-School Guide to New School Baseball, the MLB Network analyst talks about his hesitancy to adopt some of the sport's newest statistics, and the way longtime baseball people see the game.

Ripken, who played 12 seasons in the major leagues, says some of the modern sabermetrics may bring "ideas to the table that provoke conversation with" those he calls "baseball people." Not all of those ideas, however, are new ones, Ripken explains.

"The fact that many in the new school have not been directly involved in the game is far more alarming to me," Ripken writes. "This group is becoming more and more responsible for spreading misleading information about how much the game has changed and how much of an impact their new school methods have had."

Speaking with ABC News, Ripken explains that statistical analysis has long been part of the game, even if some don't realize it.

"I think people have lost sight, or maybe never knew in the first place, that old-school baseball guys have always used numbers," he says, "have always used information, have always been analytic in their cause to go out there and put a better product on the field."

In the book, Ripken goes in-depth on more than two dozen topics that represent shifts in the sport. From an emphasis on launch angle and pitch framing, to what he sees as the waning attention to counting statistics like runs batted in and errors, he makes a pitch for something of a traditionalist approach to the game.

That preference also shapes his beliefs when it comes to one common topic of discussion -- robot umpires.

"I would love to keep robo umps out of baseball," Ripken told ABC News, as he explained how he would create a more consistent strike zone. "I like the look of baseball, and there is something to be said for the element of human error involved."

His idea instead focused on training and compensating the human umpires best able to make correct ball and strike calls.

"I'd like to use the technology to grade the umpires behind home plate better," he begins. "And we do that nowadays, the problem, I believe, is that I don't know what we do with that data when we grade out the umpires."

Ripken's plan also suggests choosing the umpires best-graded for their work at home plate, and having them work that position more often.

"There needs to be a weeding out process and more accountability on their end as well. Umpires will need to perform at a high level to maintain their position in the game."

And when it comes to teams' decision-making, Ripken says the power that has been ceded to front offices and analytics experts needs to shift back towards those he calls baseball men.

"The teams that succeed in the future will be the ones with the outside-of-the-box front office thinkers doing their thing and then turning over the information to the inside-of-the-box thinkers in the clubhouse...Front offices working with managers, not running roughshod over them, will be the key to success moving forward."

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After testing trade market, Indians expect Francisco Lindor to start 2020 in Cleveland

Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(CLEVELAND) -- Despite weeks of trade rumors, Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor seems increasingly likely to begin the 2020 season with the only team he's ever played for.

Indians team president Chris Antonetti told reporters on a conference call Wednesday that he has not yet received a trade proposal to his liking. He didn't, however, disclose any details of the offer or offers he has received.

"I still have every expectation that Francisco will be our shortstop Opening Day," Antonetti said. "I'm more confident today in saying that , as more of the offseason has passed."

The team has reportedly been working to try to sign Lindor to a contract extension, as his current deal ends after the 2021 season. But there have been no signs of those talks getting any closer, and Lindor seems unlikely to re-sign with Cleveland.

The 26-year-old has become arguably the best player on a team that has been in the thick of playoff contention for four years in a row. The 2019 Indians won 93 games but just missed out on the postseason.

"We have a responsibility to be responsive to those teams when they engage with us," Antonetti said about listening to trade proposals. "I can say that we've had conversations on the majority of our major league roster and a bunch of players in our minor league system over the course of the offseason."

"The majority of those guys, other than just a couple," Antonetti noted, "are still with us."

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Georgia QB Jake Fromm entering 2020 NFL Draft

Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images(ATHENS, Ga.) -- Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm will enter the 2020 NFL Draft, the junior announced on Wednesday.

Fromm posted his decision on Twitter, saying it is time for him to "take on the next challenge in my life and pursue my lifelong dream of playing in the NFL."

After taking over the starting job for the Bulldogs during his freshman season, Fromm led Georgia to their first SEC championship in 12 years. The team reached the College Football Playoff National Championship, where they lost to Alabama.

Fromm and the Bulldogs won the SEC's Eastern Division title each of the next two years as well, with the team going 35-6 along the way. Fromm also tallied a 13-5 record against opponents ranked in the AP top-25.

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. ranks Fromm as the fifth-best quarterback in this year's draft -- behind LSU's Joe Burrow, Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa, Oregon's Justin Herbert, and Washington's Jacob Eason.

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Patriots’ QB Tom Brady: ‘I still have more to prove’

Photo by Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- As New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady begins to plan out his plans for the future, he posted to Instagram on Wednesday indicating he might want to return to the field for the 2020 season.

"In both life and football, failure is inevitable," Brady wrote. "You don't always win. You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again. And that's right where you will find me. Because I know I still have more to prove."

The 42-year-old Brady will become a free agent for the first time in his career this March. ESPN notes that the Patriots can not assign Brady the franchise tag, giving the quarterback more leverage to dictate his plans.

"II wish every season ended with a win, but that's not the nature of sports (or life)," Brady continued. "Nobody plays to lose. But the reward for working hard is just that, the work!!"

"I have been blessed to find a career I love, teammates who go to battle with me, an organization that believes in me, and fans who have been behind us every step of the way."

After New England's first-round playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, Brady had told reporters that it was "probably unlikely" that he would retire. His latest social media post expands on that, insisting that he wants to learn from failure, and, he says "I still have more to prove."

Patriots owner Robert Kraft told NBC Sports this week that he strongly hopes Brady either returns to the only team he's every played for, or retires.

Meanwhile, head coach Bill Belichick told reporters on Sunday that the organization would take the time to determine how they view the future of all of their free agents, Brady included.

Belichick additionally referred to Brady as an "iconic figure in this organization."

It's unclear what contract demands Brady would make, should he choose to return. He earned $23 million in 2019, less than 12 other quarterbacks

There has been some speculation that Brady could look to sign with the Tennessee Titans to be reunited with their head coach, and his former Patriots teammate Mike Vrabel. Some have also wondered whether Brady would return to his California roots and sign with the Los Angeles Chargers.  

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Burrow, Fields, Hurts, Young named Heisman Trophy finalists

Photo by Ben Solomon / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- Four of college football's biggest stars are heading to New York City for the Heisman Trophy Ceremony on Saturday.

Three quarterbacks -- LSU's Joe Burrow, Ohio State's Justin Fields, and Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts -- along with Ohio State's defensive lineman Chase Young, were named finalists on Monday for the award given to college football's most outstanding player.

The four players represent three of the teams chosen to play in this year's College Football Playoff. The only CFP team without a representative is #3 Clemson.

Burrow, whos pent three years at Ohio State before transferring to LSU, tossed an SEC-record 48 touchdown passes and 4,715 passing yards this year. His head coach Ed Orgeron said Saturday that Burrow deserves the award.

"In my opinion, he's going to win it. The best thing about Joe is he's a team plaer. All he wants to do is win this game. Individual awards aere not high on his list. That's what makes him such a great team player."

Burrow would be just the second LSU player ever to win the award.

Hurts, meanwhile, could become the third Oklahoma quarterback to win the Heisman. He transferred to Oklahoma after spending his first three college seasons at Alabama, attempting to follow in the footsteps of Baker Mayfield (2017) and Kyler Murray (2018). Mayfield and Murray each went on to become the top pick in the NFL Draft.

Fields also transferred before this season, after playing his freshman year at Georgia. He threw 40 touchdown passes and just one interception this season.

Young, meanwhile, is just the fourth defensive lineman to be named a Heisman finalist. None of the previous three finished higher than fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Burrow, Fields, Hurts, Young named Heisman Trophy finalists

Photo by Ben Solomon / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- Four of college football's biggest stars are heading to New York City for the Heisman Trophy Ceremony on Saturday.

Three quarterbacks -- LSU's Joe Burrow, Ohio State's Justin Fields, and Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts -- along with Ohio State's defensive lineman Chase Young, were named finalists on Monday for the award given to college football's most outstanding player.

The four players represent three of the teams chosen to play in this year's College Football Playoff. The only CFP team without a representative is #3 Clemson.

Burrow, whos pent three years at Ohio State before transferring to LSU, tossed an SEC-record 48 touchdown passes and 4,715 passing yards this year. His head coach Ed Orgeron said Saturday that Burrow deserves the award.

"In my opinion, he's going to win it. The best thing about Joe is he's a team plaer. All he wants to do is win this game. Individual awards aere not high on his list. That's what makes him such a great team player."

Burrow would be just the second LSU player ever to win the award.

Hurts, meanwhile, could become the third Oklahoma quarterback to win the Heisman. He transferred to Oklahoma after spending his first three college seasons at Alabama, attempting to follow in the footsteps of Baker Mayfield (2017) and Kyler Murray (2018). Mayfield and Murray each went on to become the top pick in the NFL Draft.

Fields also transferred before this season, after playing his freshman year at Georgia. He threw 40 touchdown passes and just one interception this season.

Young, meanwhile, is just the fourth defensive lineman to be named a Heisman finalist. None of the previous three finished higher than fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

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