NORTH DAKOTA STATE UPSETS IRISH: Marshall Bjorklund scored 26 points Wednesday night to lead North Dakota State to a road upset over Notre Dame, 73-69, in the third round of the Gotham Classic at Purcell Pavilion.
Lawrence Alexander added 16 points and 14 rebounds to help the Bison (7-3) earn their fifth straight win. Pat Connaughton scored 21 to lead Notre Dame (7-3).
Jerian Grant hit a pair of free throws to get the Irish within one point, 67-66, after Bjorklund fouled out with 42.1 seconds left, but Taylor Braun knocked down a pair from the line, then stole the ball as the Irish pressed for a shot. He fed the ball ahead to Kory Brown, who slammed it in with 16 seconds left to seal the victory.
TRESTMAN OPTIMISTIC CUTLER WILL PLAY SUNDAY: Bears coach Marc Trestman is optimistic quarterback Jay Cutler will be ready to return from an ankle injury this week against the Cleveland Browns.
Cutler was to work with the receivers on Wednesday, and Trestman says the Bears will know Thursday if he's ready to start.
Cutler's missed the past four games with a high left ankle sprain and also sat out one with a groin injury. Veteran Josh McCown has played well in his place, but the Bears have repeatedly said they would go with Cutler once he's ready.
A return against Cleveland looks like a good possibility for Cutler — but not Lance Briggs.
Trestman said he's "not in any way as optimistic" about the star linebacker returning this week.
COWBOYS FINED FOR HITS AGAINST BEARS: Dallas defenders George Selvie and Orlando Scandrick have been fined by the NFL for hits in the Cowboys' loss to Chicago.
Scandrick said Wednesday was docked $21,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Bears receiver Brandon Marshall. The cornerback drew an unnecessary roughness penalty on the first play of the fourth quarter Monday night.
Selvie was fined for a hit below the knees against Bears quarterback Josh McCown in the second quarter. The defensive end was penalized for roughing the passer. Selvie didn't specify the amount but said he planned to appeal the fine.
NFL ADMITS REPLAY MISTAKE IN COLTS GAME: Chuck Pagano took no solace in what everybody else at the Colts' complex already knew.
Sunday's replay reversal, which gave the Bengals a touchdown, was a mistake.
On Tuesday night, Dean Blandino, the NFL's head of officiating, told NFL Network there was not enough evidence to overrule the original call that BenJarvus Green-Ellis was stopped short of the goal line on fourth-and-goal. Blandino's explanation didn't matter much to Pagano, who told reporters Wednesday it still doesn't change the result.
Replays appeared to show Colts defensive tackle Josh Chapman getting a hand on Green-Ellis' foot, causing him to stumble. But referee Jeff Triplette said he was only looking to see if Green-Ellis was touched when he was on the ground. That prompted the reversal that gave Cincinnati a 14-0 lead.
KNICKS HOLD OFF BULLS: Carmelo Anthony had 30 points and 10 rebounds, and the New York Knicks pulled out an 83-78 victory over the Bulls on Wednesday night after blowing a 23-point lead.
Amare Stoudemire made the tiebreaking jumper with 2:35 left and finished with 14 points and nine rebounds for the Knicks, who ended a two-game losing streak but made it harder on themselves than necessary with some sloppy second-half offense.
Mike Dunleavy Jr. scored 20 points for the Bulls, who have lost three straight and five of six. They are having a dreadful time scoring, topping out at 75 points in their previous two games and barely surpassing that in this one.
Joakim Noah had 12 points and 11 rebounds in his return after missing a game with a bruised right thigh, but Luol Deng missed his third straight game with a sore left Achilles.
L.C.'S JONGSMA SIGNS WITH VALPO: Valparaiso recently added two recruits, including Lake Central senior Kiana Jongsma.
Jongsma qualified for the IHSAA state meet her last two seasons and finished a personal-best 11th last fall.
The Crusaders also added Katie Willenbrink (Penn), who finished 22nd at the state finals.
Around the horn
The Northwest Indiana Oilmen have announced a retail partnership with The Junkyard in Whiting. Fans looking for official Oilmen merchandise can visit The Junkyard from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays at 1504 119th St. ... The Pacers' 90-84 victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday night was the most-watched game ever on the league's NBA TV outlet. The network says Wednesday that the telecast averaged 920,000 viewers, topping out at more than 1 million from 9:15 to 9:30 p.m.