Monday Sports Day – Crucial NFC East Clash

Redskins looking to stay in playoff race

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Led by dynamic rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, the Redskins will be trying to join the list of NFC playoff hopefuls at 6-6 with a win tonight over the visiting Giants. New York will be trying to stretch its East Division lead over second-place Dallas to two games. The Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings are all 6-6.

The Giants won the first meeting between the two teams in mid-October, 27-23, on their home field and enter tonight’s contest with a 7-4 mark.

Washington is aiming for a fourth win over a division rival in as many weeks.

King James is SI’s choice

MIAMI (AP) — LeBron James is Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year. The Miami Heat star is the first NBA player to win the award since teammate Dwyane Wade in 2006.

Time Inc. Sports Group editor Paul Fichtenbaum says one thing separating James this year was that when Miami needed him most “he came up the biggest.”

Fichtenbaum says James was the choice not only for his play but also because of his charitable work, especially involving schoolchildren in his native Akron, Ohio.

Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, who coached James and his U.S. teammates to gold at this year’s London Olympics and in 2008 in Beijing, shared the honor with Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summit last year.

12 teams to see action tonight

UNDATED (AP) — There are a-half dozen games on the NBA’s Monday night schedule.

The Clippers and Warriors start play tied for the Pacific Division lead at 10-6. Los Angeles will be chasing a third straight win when it plays at Utah. The Jazz are 9-9 following back-to-back losses. Golden State brings a three-game winning streak into its home game against Orlando. The Magic stunned the Lakers 113-103 last night in L.A. for just their sixth win in 16 games.

Elsewhere on the pro hardwood, Charlotte will be out to end a three-game skid when it hosts Portland, Cleveland plays at Detroit, New Orleans entertains Milwaukee and Denver will be out to avoid a fourth straight loss when it hosts Toronto.

A-Rod needs hip surgery, will miss season’s start 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The New York Yankees say Alex Rodriguez will have surgery on his left hip and will miss the start of the season and possibly the entire first half.

Rodriguez has a torn labrum, bone impingement and a cyst, the team said Monday. The Yankees said he will need to follow a pre-surgery program over the next four-to-six weeks and the team anticipates he will be sidelined four-to-six months. That timetable projects to a return between the start of May and mid-July.

A-Rod had right hip surgery on March 9, 2009, and returned that May 8. The Yankees said this operation will be “similar but not identical.”

Indiana, Duke still 1-2 in AP Top 25 

Indiana, Duke and Michigan remained the top three teams in The Associated Press’ college basketball poll. Look all the way to the bottom and you won’t see Kentucky’s name for the first time since John Calipari became coach of the Wildcats.

The Hoosiers (8-0) received 45 first-place votes Monday from the 65-member national media panel, two fewer than last week.

Duke (8-0) for the second straight week had the other first-place votes.

Kentucky (4-3) lost to Notre Dame and Baylor last week, the latter a loss that snapped the Wildcats’ 55-game home winning streak, the longest in the nation. Kentucky had been ranked in the last 61 polls, 11 of those weeks at No. 1.

Syracuse was fourth followed by Louisville, Florida, Ohio State, Arizona, Kansas and Gonzaga.