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Possible snow forecast for AFC, NFC championship games

UNDATED (AP) _ There could be snow at both N-F-L conference championship games. Forecasters are calling for game-time temperatures of 20 degrees and a chance of snow showers for Sunday night's Patriots-Steelers A-F-C championship game. There is a chance of heavier snowfall earlier in the day, but it is expected to stop by kickoff.

The weather could be worse across the state in Philadelphia for the N-F-C championship game between the Falcons and Eagles in the afternoon. Snow is predicted this weekend, with anywhere from a minimal amount to a major storm. The weather could be a factor in Philadelphia, considering the Falcons play in a dome, although they went to Lambeau Field and beat the Green Bay Packers in snow two years ago in the playoffs.

Falcons quarterback Michael Vick said that was the only time he's ever played in snow. Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb grew up in Chicago, so he's used to cold weather.


Roddick and Hewitt post wins

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) _ Second seed Andy Roddick has moved into the third round of the Australian Open after a four-set win over Greg Rusedski. The scores 6-love, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 in a matchup of two of the game's fastest servers. There were few long rallies as the two players combined for 23 aces at up to 137 miles-per-hour. Roddick had 49 winners and only eight unforced errors. Lleyton Hewitt rallied to beat James Blake 4-6, 7-6 , 6-love, 6-3 to advance to the third round.

Other winners on Day Four include top seed Lindsay Davenport, Venus Williams and French Open champion Anastasia Myskina (mehs-KEE'-nah).


Talks resume

TORONTO (AP) _ National Hockey League labor talks have returned to Toronto, where a meeting is under way at an airport hotel.

Commissioner Gary Bettman and N-H-L Players' Association executive director Bob Goodenow are again sitting this one out, as they did yesterday in at Chicago's O'Hare Airport.

It's the first time both sides have had back-to-back meetings since they went three consecutive days beginning on August 31st in Montreal, during the World Cup of Hockey.


First round under way

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Carl Pettersson has a one-shot lead after 12 holes of the first round of the Buick Invitational in San Diego. He was 6-under-par. K-J Choi and Ernie Els were both 5-under. Els had played six holes, Choi was through eleven.

Tiger Woods was even par at the turn. Phil Mickelson was even after ten holes in his first event of the season.


Champions Tour begins tomorrow

KAUPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - The Champions season kicks off tomorrow with the Mastercard Championship in Hawaii. Fuzzy Zoeller (ZEHL'-ur) won the season-opening tournament a year ago, birdieing the final three holes for an 8-under 64. He beat 2003 winner Dana Quigley.

Arnold Palmer is in the 37-man field along with Hale Irwin, Gary Player, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson. The 75-year-old Palmer is beginning his 52nd pro season.


McGrady makes first appearance in Orlando since trade

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ Expect plenty of fan reaction tonight in Orlando when Tracy McGrady makes his first appearance in Florida since he was dealt to Houston. It was just six months ago when McGrady and the Magic parted on bitter terms following a blockbuster seven-player trade with the Houston Rockets. The team didn't think he was a leader; he distrusted the organization's ability to surround him with a decent supporting cast.

But Orlando coach Johnny Davis is most bothered by McGrady's recent comments to Sports Illustrated that the All-star guard "slacked off," disheartened by loss after loss. McGrady claims his remarks were misinterpreted.

The Magic traded McGrady, Juwan Howard, Reece Gaines and Tyronn Lue to jumpstart their rebuilding efforts, and it seems to have worked. On Tuesday night, Orlando defeated Detroit to improve to 21-and-16, equaling last season's win total.

McGrady is averaging just under 25 points per game and have a 20-and-19 mark.


Knight to miss Friday's game with sprained ankle

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Charlotte Bobcats point guard Brevin Knight will miss tomorrow night's game against Dallas with a sprained left ankle.

Knight ranks second in the N-B-A with nine-point-three assists a game. He was hurt in the first quarter of Wednesday night's 107-to-105 loss to Philadelphia. He is also doubtful for Sunday's game against Toronto.


Just four games

UNDATED (AP) _ In a match-up of rated clubs, number-one Illinois takes on number-23 Iowa. The Illini are still unbeaten at 18-and-0. The Hawkeyes are 13-and-3.

Number-eleven Gonzaga plays at San Francisco. The Zags are off to a 13-and-3 start. Number-13 Arizona is 14-and-3. They play at Oregon. The other contest has number-25 Marquette, with a 14-and-2 mark, at DePaul.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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