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In Sports from United Press International

  |   March 23, 2003 at 11:45 PM
Defending champs still playing

NASHVILLE, March 24 (UPI) -- The defending champion Maryland Terrapins touched off Surprise Sunday in the NCAA Tournament.

Maryland, Auburn, Butler and Michigan State all pulled off upsets as the tournament's second round came to a close, setting up a interesting variety of matchups for next week's regional semifinals.

The Big East, meanwhile, remained perfect in the tourney and its teams will take up 25 percent of the Sweet 16. In addition, the past seven NCAA champions are all still in the chase.

Two double digit seeds (Butler at No. 12 in the East and Auburn at No. 10 in the East) remain in the field, but the favorite is unchanged going into the tournament's second week.

Kentucky, celebrating its 100th year of basketball, won its 25th straight game Sunday in downing Utah, 74-54. It was the fifth time in 11 years Kentucky has eliminated the Utes from the tournament.

Kentucky will face Wisconsin in the Midwest semifinals in Minneapolis, where Marquette will take on Pittsburgh.

In the South, with the games to be played in San Antonio, top-seeded Texas will play Connecticut and Maryland will meet Michigan State.

The East semifinals in Albany will find Syracuse taking on Auburn and No. 1 Oklahoma playing Butler. And in the West, with the games being played in Anaheim, top-seeded Arizona will play Notre Dame and Duke will battle Kansas in a meeting of college basketball kingpins.

The Big East, with an 8-0 record in the tournament, will have four teams among the final 16, three will come from the Big 12, two each from the Big Ten, ACC and SEC and one each from Conference USA, the Pac-10 and Horizon Conference.

Butler, representing the Horizon, rode the hot hand of Darnell Archey to a 79-71 upset of Louisville. Archey made a career-high eight three-pointers to produce 26 points.

The Bulldogs trailed by 15 points early in the first half before they warmed up from beyond the arc. Archey hit six three-pointers in the second half and made eight of nine for the game.

Auburn, which was generally criticized for receiving an at-large bid to play in the tournament, stayed alive by beating ACC regular-season champion Wake Forest, 68-62; and Michigan State shocked second-seeded Florida, 68-46.

Maryland, meanwhile, kept its hopes alive for a second straight championship with a 77-64 whipping of Xavier.

The other results from Sunday saw Pittsburgh storm past Indiana, 74-52; Syracuse rally from a 17-point deficit to down Oklahoma State, 68-56; and Texas outbattle Purdue in an extra-physical contest, 77-67.


Woods wins despite food poisoning

ORLANDO, Fla., March 24 (UPI) -- Tiger Woods, even though he was suffering from a bout of food poisoning, added to his list of historic achievements Sunday.

A home-cooked pasta meal sent Woods' stomach into revolt, but he still shot a 4-under 68 to pull away for an 11-stroke victory at the Bay Hill Invitational. On top of that, the final round was played in persistent heavy rain on the waterlogged course.

After starting the day five shots ahead, Woods became just the third player -- and the first since Gene Sarazen in 1930 -- to win the same PGA Tour event four consecutive times.

"The night was long and the day was probably even longer," Woods said. "I wasn't feeling my best. That said, I'm very happy with the way I played today."

Woods finished at 19-under 269 while Kirk Triplett (70), Kenny Perry (71), Brad Faxon (74) and Stewart Cink (72) tied for second at 280. Triplett and Faxon bogeyed the final hole.

Woods estimated he vomited between 20 and 30 times overnight and even considered checking himself into the hospital. However, he did not want to risk missing the final round, no matter how ill he felt.

"I thought about going to the hospital, but the problem is that it's so easy to check in, but getting out is the hard part," he said. "I wanted to get on an IV drip, get my fluid levels up, but I didn't know if they were going to let me go, so I decided not to do that.

"I'm very proud of this round. I didn't feel my best and was still able to go out there and make no bogeys. Just about every tee shot hurt because my abs were sore from last night. I wasn't looking forward to hitting drivers."

Woods is a combined 65-under-par over the past four years at Bay Hill. He collected $810,000 for his 37th victory on the PGA Tour and third in four starts this year. Only 10 players have won more on tour than the 27-year-old superstar.

On the LPGA Tour, Se Ri Pak of South Korea staged an impressive comeback, rallying from a three-shot deficit at the start of the day to post a one-stroke victory over countrywoman Grace Park at the Safeway PING.

Pak posted an 8-under-par 64 -- the best round of the day -- at Moon Valley Golf Club to put the finishing touches on her 19th career victory. She completed 72 holes at 23-under 265.

Pak stole the thunder from superstar Annika Sorenstam, recording two eagles, three birdies and a bogey on the front nine to make the turn at 6-under 30.

She led a Korean sweep of the first three spots as Hee-Won Han tied for third with Frenchwoman Patricia Meunier-Lebouc and Sorenstam at 268.

It marked the second straight year Sorenstam lost a lead in the final round here. Last year, the Swede squandered a five-shot advantage, losing in a playoff to Rachel Teske.


Kurt Busch survives wild scramble

BRISTOL, Tenn., March 24 (UPI) -- Kurt Busch led 112 laps in an incident-filled race Sunday and captured the NASCAR Food City 500.

He won at Bristol Motor Speedway for the second straight year.

Driving a Ford Taurus, Busch became the second driver in the last five years to win this event in consecutive seasons. Short-track specialist Rusty Wallace won in 1999-2000.

Busch has been a runner-up three times this season and has won four times in his last 11 races. He lost last week by the closest of margins to Ricky Craven at Darlington Raceway.

The 500-lap race had 17 cautions for a staggering 120 laps. It was three cautions short of the race record, but only one was serious.

The most notable accident took place with 75 laps to go when Kyle Petty bounced off Ward Burton's Dodge and hit the wall hard in turn 1. Petty was carefully helped out of the car and later was taken by ambulance to Bristol Medical Center for precautionary reasons. He was alert and responsive.

On the busiest day of motor racing this year, Tony Kanaan got a fantastic restart for a two-lap finishing sprint that allowed him to pull away from Helio Castroneves and win the IRL Purex/Dial Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway.

In Monterey, Mexico, Paul Tracy of Canada became the first driver in 21 years to win the opening two races in the Champ Car World Series.

Tracy took the checkered flag at the Grand Prix of Monterrey at Fundidora Park and shook off a humiliating victory lap, during which he stalled twice. The 34-year-old Tracy won the season opener in Florida.

And in Malaysia, Kimi Raikkonen became the third-youngest winner in Formula One history as he cruised to victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The 23-year-old Finn took the checkered flag more than 39 seconds ahead of the Ferrari of Brazil's Rubens Barrichello to give McLaren its second win in as many F1 races this season.


Duncan carries Spurs past Lakers

SAN ANTONIO, March 24 (UPI) -- Tim Duncan had 27 points and 17 rebounds Sunday to help San Antonio complete a season sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers, 98-89.

Duncan scored 16 points in the first half, during which the Spurs built a 39-36 lead they never lost. Rookie Emanuel Ginobili came off the bench and scored 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter as the Spurs held off a Kobe Bryant-fueled rally.

Tony Parker was 10 of 10 from the free-throw line, including six in the final minute, as San Antonio swept Los Angeles for the first time since the 1993-94 season.

Bryant, who was hounded by Bruce Bowen and limited to two-of-12 shooting in the first half, had 11 straight Los Angeles points in the fourth. After Parker slipped and lost control of his dribble, Bryant completed a fast break with a dunk to pull Los Angeles within, 84-79, with 2:48 remaining. But the Lakers got no closer as Duncan hit a one-handed jumper in the lane 17 seconds later.

Shaquille O'Neal had 32 points and 12 rebounds and Bryant added 31 and nine for the Lakers, who fell one game behind Utah for sixth place in the Western Conference.

Other NBA results: Philadelphia 112, Toronto 95; Detroit 105, Chicago 82; Orlando 96, Miami 74; Cleveland 93, New Jersey 88.


Stars clinch division crown

DALLAS, March 24 (UPI) -- Marty Turco needed to make just 12 saves Sunday and Brenden Morrow scored twice, giving Dallas a 3-1, fight-filled win over St. Louis.

It was Turco's first start since suffering an ankle injury more than a month ago and he helped carry Dallas to its sixth division title in the last seven years.

The league-leader in goals-against average with a mark of 1.77, Turco played for the first time in 18 games since sustaining his injury on Feb. 11 against the Carolina Hurricanes. He came back to extend his unbeaten streak to 15 games (11


4).

At the time he went down, the Stars owned the NHL's best record at 33-11-12-1, but went 7-6-3-2 without him. Turco's return came at a perfect time as backup goaltender Ron Tugnutt has dropped three of his last four decisions.

Defenseman Sergei Zubov snapped a 12-game goalless drought in the second period for Dallas, which became the third team in the NHL with 100 points. The Stars have reached that total for the sixth time in seven seasons and are now tied with the Detroit Red Wings for the top spot in the Western Conference.

Other NHL results: Pittsburgh 1, Chicago 1; Minnesota 4, Detroit 0.


NFL overtime up for debate

PHOENIX, March 24 (UPI) -- Altering the overtime rules and expanding the playoffs will be jp for discussion at the NFL owners meetings beginning Monday.

The eight-member NFL Competition Committee, which concluded eight days of meetings last Wednesday in Naples, Fla., split on changes to the overtime format and was not in favor of adding two playoff teams.

Last year, the NFL had a record 25 overtime games. Ten of those were decided on the first possession and 15 were won by the team that won the coin toss.

"There is a concern that the first possession is becoming too much of an advantage," said Tampa Bay Buccaneers General Manager and Competition Committee co-chairman Rich McKay. "I'm sure it will be debated, and we'll have a vote on it."

Since overtime was instituted in 1974, a coin toss has determined which team gets the ball. the club that scores first wins. Under the new proposal, a two-possession system would give both teams a chance to score, with the game reverting to sudden death thereafter.

The New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs are responsible for submitting a proposal to add a wild-card playoff team in each conference, expanding the postseason to 14 teams. But that may not even get voted upon by the owners before the meetings conclude on Wednesday.

The NFL realigned to eight four-team divisions last season with the division winners and two wild cards in each conference advancing to the playoffs.

© 2003 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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