ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta United has signed free-agent midfielder Derrick Etienne, who scored a career-best nine goals for the Columbus Crew this past season. The three-year deal announced Wednesday includes options for 2026 and '27. Etienne has spent his entire professional career in Major League Soccer, the last three seasons with Columbus.

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Braelen Bridges had 21 points and 16 rebounds, Terry Roberts added 16 points, and Georgia defeated Hampton 73-54 on Wednesday night. Bridges, a 6-foot-11 senior, made 9 of 13 shots, and was 3-for-3 from the free-throw line. Roberts added six rebounds and five assists for the Bulldogs (6-2) and reserve forward Jailyn Ingram scored 14 points, which included 4-of-5 from 3-point range. Justin Hill led Georgia with six assists.

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Lionel Messi will grace the World Cup stage at least one more time. The Argentina great had a penalty saved but his team still beat Poland 2-0 after second-half goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez and advanced to the last 16. Argentina finished in first place in Group C to set up a match against surprise qualifier Australia. Poland also advanced despite the loss.

Rarely does a college football season enter the weekend of conference championship games with its playoff picture this clearly in focus. No. 1 Georgia and No. 2 Michigan figure to have playoff bids locked up no matter how they fare this weekend. No. 3 TCU also is unbeaten and would have a pretty strong argument it belongs in the field even if it falls to No. 13 Kansas State in the Big 12 championship game. No. 4 Southern California's situation is a little trickier because the Trojans aren't undefeated.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts is done for the season because of a knee injury. Coach Arthur Smith updated Pitts’ status after the second-year player revealed on social media that he had a procedure on his right knee. Pitts was hurt in a Nov. 20 win over the Bears and placed on injured reserve amid reports that he sustained a torn MCL.

Georgia Tech falls to Iowa, 81-65

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Kris Murray had career highs of 31 points and 20 rebounds and Iowa defeated Georgia Tech 81-65 on Tuesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Murray was 11-of-18 shooting, including 4 of 8 on 3-point attempts. Filip Rebraca added 13 points and seven rebounds.

Ohio State was No. 5 in the second-to-last College Football Playoff rankings, positioned to possibly take advantage if one of the top four slips up on championship weekend. Georgia was No. 1 again. No. 2 Michigan and No. 3 TCU both moved up a spot, and Southern California (11-1) climbed two spots into the fourth slot. The Buckeyes dropped three spots after losing 45-23 to the rival Wolverines on Saturday at home. Alabama moved up a spot to No. 6 and was followed by Southeastern Conference rival Tennessee, which beat the Crimson Tide in October.

Georgia Tech has promoted interim coach Brent Key to head coach. Key led the Yellow Jackets to a 4-4 record after Geoff Collins was fired in September. The 44-year-old Key is a former Georgia Tech player. He had been assistant head coach, run game coordinator and offensive line coach before Collins was fired. The Yellow Jackets' improvement under Key earned him the chance to take over the full-time leadership of the team.

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Christian Pulisic scored while crashing headfirst into the goalkeeper late in the 38th minute and the United States advanced to the knockout rounds of the World Cup with a 1-0 win over Iran in a politically charged rematch of their famous meeting a quarter-century ago. Pulisic sprawled on the field and was replaced at the start of the second half.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid sank the go-ahead 14-footer with 18.6 seconds left and scored 30 points in his return from a sprained left foot to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 104-101 win over the Atlanta Hawks. Embiid scored seven points in the final minute as the Sixers rallied.

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