Falcons could start 5 or more rookies on defense
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - The Falcons are giving rookies bigger roles, especially on defense, down the stretch of a lost season.
Coach Mike Smith says the commitment to youth which was so obvious in last week's loss at Green Bay will continue this week against Washington.
Even as he continues to say his priority is to win this season and establish momentum for 2014, Smith acknowledges there could be "growing pains" as more rookies start and receive significant playing time.
The youth movement is especially obvious on defense. The Falcons could start five or more rookies on defense against the Redskins. Three first-year defensive backs could start against newly installed Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins - cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford and safety Zeke Motta.
Nelson lifts Magic over Bobcats 92-83
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Jameer Nelson had 12 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and the Orlando Magic snapped a six-game losing streak with a 92-83 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.
Glen Davis added 17 points and 12 rebounds and Nikola Vucevic chipped in with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Arron Afflalo had 16 points.
Nelson came up with a big 3-pointer late for the Magic, and also had seven rebounds and six assists while outplaying fellow point guard Kemba Walker.
The Bobcats shot 37 percent from the field to see their two-game win streak come to an end.
Al Jefferson led Charlotte with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Walker, who had 31 points against Stephen Curry on Monday night, was held to 10 points on 4 of 18 shooting.
NASCAR does final test for 2014 rules package
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) - NASCAR took the final step toward setting its 2014 rules package with a critical test session Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The test featured four simulated races with four different configurations on the Gen-6 Sprint Cup Series car. Drivers had to attend a mandatory debrief with NASCAR following each session to give feedback on the aerodynamic, engine and suspension combinations.
NASCAR had 30 cars participating in the test, and planned to choose the configuration most favorable among drivers to test with a tapered spacer designed to reduce engine horsepower.
The goal of the test is to improve the racing at 1.5-mile superspeedways, which has been a stated goal of NASCAR chairman Brian France. He was scheduled to attend the test Monday, but rain postponed it until Wednesday.
NCAA picks MSG for 2016 wrestling championships
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Madison Square Garden will host the 2016 NCAA Division I wrestling national championships - the iconic arena's first NCAA title event since the 1950 Final Four.
The announcement came Wednesday when NCAA officials announced 523 host sites for 82 championships. Sites for the Division I men's basketball tournament, Division I baseball and softball tourneys, Division I football playoffs and women's Final Fours had already been chosen.
Chicago's United Center gets the 2017 men's Frozen Four, a first for the Blackhawks' home arena. The University of Oregon will host Division I outdoor track and field championships from 2015-2021, and all three NCAA divisions will compete for field hockey titles at Louisville in 2017.
The Division III football championship game will stay four more years in Salem, Va.
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