WXXI AM News

Christopher Dean Hopkins

A win or a tie would have done it. Or even one loss or tie by the underdogs in Tuesday night's other two qualifying games.

Or beating Honduras a month ago, or beating Panama in March, or not losing both games to Costa Rica.

A 2-1 loss Tuesday night to Trinidad and Tobago — the only team below the U.S. soccer team in the standings — and wins by Honduras and Panama over the qualifying tourney's best two teams mean the Americans will miss the 2018 World Cup in Russia. They'd played in seven World Cups in a row dating back to 1990.

Updated at 9:30 p.m. ET Saturday

Police in Kissimmee, Fla., just south of Orlando, reported late Friday that two officers there had been shot.

Officer Matthew Baxter, a three-year veteran of the department, was killed, and Sgt. Sam Howard was in "grave critical condition," Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O'Dell told reporters early Saturday.

Seattle Mariners second-baseman Robinson Cano's home run off a changeup from the Chicago Cubs' Wade Davis won the Major League Baseball All-Star game Tuesday night in Miami, but that won't mean as much for the American League as in recent years.

A number of factors contributed to actress Carrie Fisher's death in December, the Los Angeles County coroner's office reported late Friday, including sleep apnea and heart disease. The statement also mentions drug use but doesn't specify which drugs or how long ago they were taken.

The report leaves the cause of death "undetermined" for the 60-year-old, best known as Princess Leia in the Star Wars movies.

President of Brazil Michel Temer won a crucial victory Friday in his battle to keep his job when an electoral court dismissed charges of illegal campaign financing.

The accusation stems from the 2014 presidential election won by Dilma Rousseff. Her impeachment in August 2016 elevated Temer, her running mate, to the top office, but a guilty verdict in the case decided Friday would have annulled the 2014 results entirely, reports NPR's Philip Reeves.

The Cleveland Cavaliers came into the third game of the NBA Finals in a dispiriting but familiar position after two Golden State blowouts. Last year, that led to one of the most stunning comebacks in NBA history

That remained a possibility the entire game Wednesday night — until the closing minutes, when the Warriors ripped the Cavaliers' hearts out. Now Cleveland, which last year became the first team to recover from a 3-1 Finals deficit, faces historically long odds again.

After three consecutive ties, the National Spelling Bee was determined to have a solo winner, so it added a new tiebreaker procedure for Thursday night's finals in Oxon Hill, Md.

They nearly needed it, as finalists Ananya Vinay and Rohan Rajeev burned through round after round of words.

But Rohan tripped on the word "marram" (the Norse-derived word for a type of grass found on beaches), and Ananya was able to capitalize, correctly spelling "marocain" (a heavy crepe fabric, its name derived from the French word for Moroccan) to win.

Monday night's national title game was expected to be a fast-paced, competitive showcase for North Carolina forward Justin Jackson and Gonzaga point guard Nigel Williams-Goss, two of the best players in college this season.

It was certainly competitive, but with both teams' tough defenses locking up the main offensive options, the game turned into a foul-laden slog rather than a shootout. The Tar Heels were able to pin their opponent in the end, 71-65, winning the school's sixth national title.

Before Friday night's national semifinal game, the Mississippi State women's basketball coach gave an unusual motivational speech.

"I will not be scared," Vic Schaefer told his players. "There is no reason to be scared. You are one heck of a basketball team."

The tactic makes more sense in light of the opponent: 36-0 University of Connecticut, riding a 111-game winning streak that included a 60-point thrashing of Mississippi State in last year's Sweet 16. At the time, it was the worst defeat in tournament history.

It may be considered the national pastime, but in the first three World Baseball Classics the United States was far from dominant, with Japan winning twice and the Dominican Republic winning once. The Americans went 10-10 over the course of those tourneys and had never finished better than fourth — until this year.

But facing a Puerto Rican team they'd lost to less than a week ago, the United States left no room for doubt Wednesday, cruising to an 8-0 win and the World Baseball Classic title. It was the most lopsided title game so far in the four runs of the tournament.

Pages