ARIZONA HIRES ARIANS AS HEAD COACH: The Arizona Cardinals have filled the NFL's final head coaching vacancy by hiring Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
The team confirmed the hiring in a release Thursday night.
The 60-year-old longtime assistant went 9-3 as Colts interim head coach while Chuck Pagono was undergoing treatment for leukemia last season.
Arians also was a finalist for the Bears job that went to Marc Trestman.
TONI KUKOC TO APPEAR AT BRIDGES': Former Bull and three-time NBA champion Toni Kukoc will sign autographs and pose for photos with fans from 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 28 at Bridges' Scoreboard Restaurant & Sports Bar in Griffith.
Admission is $30 in advance, $40 at the door. Call Bridges at (219) 924-2206 for details.
BRYANT GETS RECORD 15TH CONSECUTIVE ALL-STAR START: Kobe Bryant has been voted to his NBA-record 15th consecutive All-Star start, leading four Los Angeles players into next month's game.
Lakers teammate Dwight Howard and the Clippers' Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will join Bryant in the Western Conference lineup for the Feb. 17 game in Houston. Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, the MVP of last year's game, rounds out the five.
Kevin Garnett held off Chris Bosh in fan balloting, giving the East two Boston Celtics and two Miami Heat players. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will represent the defending champions and receive passes from Rajon Rondo. New York's Carmelo Anthony is the other starter.
MOST STAR PITCHERS MISSING FROM WBC: Toronto's R.A. Dickey heads a starting pitching staff missing David Price, Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver, Clayton Kershaw and Matt Cain on the preliminary U.S. roster for the World Baseball Classic.
Milwaukee's Ryan Braun, Miami's Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees' Mark Teixeira and the Mets' David Wright are among 27 players on the roster announced Thursday. The roster also includes Joe Mauer and Jimmy Rollins, and the bullpen is headed by Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel.
LI NA REACHES 4TH ROUND: Sixth-seeded Li Na has advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open with a 6-4, 6-1 win today over Sorana Cirstea of Romania.
Li will next play Julia Goerges of Germany, who beat Zheng Jie 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 earlier Friday.
Li, the 2011 French Open champion, is trying to add a second Grand Slam title, and the Australian Open appears to be her best chance.
WESTVILLE NIGHT AT PNC SATURDAY: Westville Night at Purdue North Central will take place Saturday when the Panthers will play host to Olivet Nazarene at 7 p.m. at the LaPorte Civic Auditorium. Any Westville student and their family will be admitted free to the game when they present a "Westville Night at PNC" flyer at the door. For details, call Westville athletic director Ken Shilt at (219) 785-2531, ext. 223.
K.V. LOOKING FOR COACHES: Kankakee Valley is accepting applications for the positions of head varsity volleyball coach and head varsity girls soccer coach. Applicants should contact Athletic Director Doug Greenlee at email@example.com or (219) 956-3143, ext. 2025.
ELEMENTARY STUDENT NIGHT TUESDAY AT VALPO MEET: Elementary Student Night will take place at Tuesday's meet between host and state No. 1-ranked Valparaiso and Lake Central. Elementary students will be admitted free to the 6 p.m. meet.
SBL SIGN-UPS SATURDAY: The Schererville Baseball League will hold registration for Cal Ripken (ages 4-12) and Babe Ruth (13-15 and 16-18) from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Schererville Town Hall, 10 E. Joliet St.
Checks should be made payable to "Schererville Baseball League." No refunds after March 1. Online registration at www.scherervillebaseball.org will run to Jan. 31. No mail-in registrations will be accepted. For details, call (219) 775-7776, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Around the horn
Purdue Calumet team physician Dr. Lorin Brown will discuss back, spinal and neck injuries on "Purdue Calumet Sports Insight" at 5:30 p.m. today on WJOB-AM (1230). ... New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma's defamation lawsuit against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in connection with the bounty case was dismissed by a federal judge on Thursday. ... Al Pacino will play Joe Paterno in a movie about the late Penn State football coach. Producer Edward R. Pressman confirms Brian De Palma will direct "Happy Valley," the tentative title of the film, based on Joe Posnanski's best-seller "Paterno." ... Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling — whose video game company underwent a spectacular collapse into bankruptcy last year — is selling the blood-stained sock he wore during the 2004 World Series. Chris Ivy, director of sports for Texas-based Heritage Auctions, says online bidding begins around Feb. 4. Live bidding will take place Feb. 23. ... Phil Mickelson opened his season with an eventful even-par 72 on Thursday in the Humana Challenge, leaving him nine strokes behind the first-round leaders. Jason Kokrak, Roberto Castro and James Hahn topped the leaderboard at 9-under 63.