Tribune News Service

For the fourth time in a college basketball regular season, the Michigan State men’s basketball team is No. 1 in the rankings. The Spartans moved up from No. 3 to No. 1 Monday in the Associated Press poll, getting 62 of 65 first-place votes. The last MSU team to top the rankings was Tom Izzo’s 2013-14 team, in December 2013. MSU also is No. 1 in the USA TODAY coaches poll. The Spartans (9-0) host Maryland-Eastern Shore (1-6) on Wednesday. Izzo said Monday before the rankings were released that he would embrace being No. 1 but not put too much emphasis on it. “Trust me when I say this: I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, but watching the football final four yesterday and realizing, in the last two years, where some people were ranked at the beginning of the year and where they ended up, it has no bearing on things,” Izzo said.

The Royals are in the process of finalizing a two-year, $11.5 million contract with right-handed pitcher Chris Young, according to people familiar with the situation. The deal is pending a physical, which Young is expected to take on Monday in Kansas City. Young, 36, finished the regular season with a 3.06 ERA. He succeeded as both a starter and a reliever, but he is expected to start 2016 as a member of the team’s starting rotation. The Royals have yet to confirm their three-year, $25 million deal with Joakim Soria, but the contract is expected to be finalized later this week, according to people familiar with the situation.

The three finalists for the Heisman trophy were announced Tuesday. Alabama running back Derrick Henry, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and Stanford running back and kick returner Christian McCaffery are the three finalists for college football’s most prestigious award. Henry and McCaffery were the nation’s leader and runner-up in rushing yards this season. Watson led his team to an undefeated season and the top seed in the College Football Playoff. A running back has not won the Heisman Trophy since Mark Ingram won in 2009. This is also the first time since 2009 that two running backs have been amongst the finalists.

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