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March 11, 2013 at 5:15 PM   |   Comments

Gonzaga No. 1 in final regular-season poll

MCLEAN, Va., March 11 (UPI) -- Gonzaga retains the No. 1 ranking in the final regular-season USA Today coaches' basketball poll, updated Monday.

Gonzaga (30-2) pulls in 29 first-place votes, as it did last week when it took over the poll's top spot for the first time.

The Bulldogs were preparing to play No. 21 St. Mary's (Calif.) in Monday's final of the West Coast Conference tournament.

Duke (27-4), which gets the other two first-place votes, jumps three places to No. 2 while Indiana (26-5) drops from second to third and Louisville is up to fourth from No. 6 a week ago. Georgetown (24-5) keeps the No. 5 ranking.

Kansas (26-5) won a share of a ninth consecutive Big 12 regular-season title despite a loss to Baylor that dropped the Jayhawks three places to sixth. Michigan State (24-7) posts the week's biggest gain -- five places -- and is voted seventh, ahead of Big Ten rivals No. 8 Michigan (25-6) and ninth-ranked Ohio State (23-7). Miami (Fla.) (24-6) slips three places to No. 10.

Florida (24-6) is 11th and Kansas State (25-6) 12th after both fall two places this week. Marquette (23-7) is up from 17th to No. 13 followed by No. 14 New Mexico (26-5) and 15th-ranked Oklahoma State (23-7).

St. Louis (24-6) takes the 16th spot with Memphis (27-4) in 17th and Arizona (24-6) at No. 18 while Pittsburgh (24-7) comes in 19th and Syracuse (23-8) is 20th after a four-rung fall.

St. Mary's (27-5) is 21st and Virginia Commonwealth (24-7) is No. 22 ahead of Wisconsin (21-10). Creighton (27-7) in 24th and 25th-ranked UCLA (23-8) return to the Top 25.


Woods tightens race for No. 1 in golf

VIRGINIA WATER, England, March 11 (UPI) -- Tiger Woods pulls closer to Rory McIlroy this week in the battle for the No. 1 spot in the world golf rankings.

Woods led after every round of the Cadillac Championship in Florida and ended up winning the event Sunday by two strokes. It was his 76th PGA title. Only Sam Snead (82) has more.

Steve Stricker was second, with Phil Mickelson among three players tied for third. McIlroy, with a final-round 65, ended up tied for eighth at the TPC Blue Monster.

Woods owns the record for weeks at No. 1 with 623; Greg Norman, with 331 weeks on top, is the only other player to hold the spot for more than 100 weeks. Woods is tightening the race with McIlroy to regain the top ranking.

McIlroy's rankings points average is 11.47 and he has been No. 1 for 38 weeks. He's just about one point ahead of Woods (10.48), who was at 8.75 a week ago.

Luke Donald is third at 7.08 followed by fourth-ranked Brandt Snedeker (6.56) and No. 5 Justin Rose (6.53). Louis Oosthuizen (6.23) comes in sixth and Adam Scott remains seventh at 6.00.

Stricker, with an average of 5.93, jumps from 13th to No. 8 this week, knocking Matt Kuchar (5.44) down a spot to ninth. Mickelson, at 5.41, goes from No. 12 to 10th. Lee Westwood (5.34) and Ian Poulter (5.24) drop out of the Top 10.


Pettersen now 7th in women's golf rankings

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., March 11 (UPI) -- Suzann Pettersen's tournament victory in China pushes her to No. 7 in the women's world golf rankings.

With the LPGA taking the week off between its series of Asian tournaments and this week's RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup in Phoenix, many of the top women's players took part in the World Ladies Championship in Haikou, China.

The tournament is on both the China LPGA and Ladies European Tour schedules.

Pettersen fired a final round of 6-under-par 66 and won the event Sunday by one stroke over Inbee Park with 2012 tournament champion Feng Shanshan coming in third.

It marked the 17th professional victory for Pettersen and lifts her up one spot to seventh in the rankings. Ryu So-yeon is pushed to the No. 8 ranking.

Yani Tseng leads the rankings with a points average of 9.33. No. 2-ranked Choi Na-yeon is second at 8.71 with Stacy Lewis right behind in third at 8.70.

Park's average is 8.16 and she's No. 4 with Feng in fifth at 6.64 and Jiyai Shin (6.51) at No. 6. Pettersen's average is 6.38 and Ryu comes in at 6.20. Ai Miyazato (5.89) and Mika Miyazato (5.11) are ninth and 10th, respectively.


Pine marten interrupts soccer game

ZURICH, Switzerland, March 11 (UPI) -- A pine marten, a member of the weasel family, twice interrupted a Swiss soccer game, leading players to chase and capture the small mammal.

The pine marten darted onto the field during the Swiss Super League game between Thun and Zurich and initial attempts to catch it with training bibs failed, leading Zurich defender Loris Benito to grab the animal with his hands, Sky News reported Monday.

Benito was treated on the sidelines for a bite to his finger. The animal escaped once more during the game and was finally captured by Zurich goalie David Da and handed over to officials.

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