Virginia takes stronger hold…Red Sox finalize deal with Martinez…Ledecka gets hero’s welcome

UNDATED (AP) — Virginia has firmed up its No. 1 ranking in the Associated Press college basketball poll. Virginia received 48 first-place votes from a media panel in the poll released today, up six votes from last week. No. 2 Michigan State received the other 17 first-place votes and Xavier moved up a spot after beating Georgetown in its only game last week. Villanova and Duke round out the top five.

NEW YORK (AP) — Mercer is back in the AP women’s Top 25 for the first time in 38 years. The Bears, riding a 24-game winning streak, entered the poll today at number 25. UConn continues to lead the way as the unanimous No. 1 choice from the 32-member national media panel. The top five remained unchanged with Mississippi State, Baylor, Louisville and Notre Dame following the Huskies.

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — J.D. Martinez is finally a member of the Boston Red Sox. The five-year, $110 million contract that Martinez agreed to with the club a week ago was finalized today, when he was introduced at a news conference at the team’s spring training camp. After hitting 45 home runs in 119 combined games last season for the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks, Martinez became the most prominent position player on the free agent market.

WEEHAWKEN, N.J. (AP) — Police say New York Jets linebacker Dylan Donahue was drunk when he drove the wrong way in the Lincoln Tunnel and collided with a jitney bus, injuring four people. The crash happened around 2 a.m. today. Port Authority police say an officer saw Donahue drive his car around traffic cones and enter the tunnel. Donahue soon collided with the bus that had 15 people on board. Four bus passengers were treated at a hospital for minor injuries. Donahue and a passenger apparently were not injured. He’s charged with drunken driving.

PRAGUE (AP) — Ester Ledecka has received a hero’s welcome in the Czech capital after winning an unprecedented Winter Olympics double in snowboarding and Alpine skiing. Thousands of Czechs who braved freezing temperatures to see Ledecka at Prague’s picturesque Old Town Square today chanted her name. Her victory in the super-G ranks among the unlikeliest in the history of skiing. She came from nowhere to beat a field including Lindsey Vonn and defending champion Anna Veith.

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