Sports Update

Dec. 4, 2001 at 12:01 AM
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In Sports from United Press International

Oklahoma going to the Cotton Bowl

PONTIAC, Mich., Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Defending national champion Oklahoma has accepted a bid to appear in the Cotton Bowl, one of eight Big 12 Conference teams that detailed their bowl plans Monday.

Oklahoma (10-2) will participate in the Dallas classic for the first time ever but has played in Cotton Bowl Stadium against Texas every year since 1929. The Sooners will face an opponent from the Southeastern Conference.

The Big 12 will send a league-record eight teams to postseason play with Nebraska (11-1) and Colorado (10-2) assured of berths in the Bowl Championship Series.

Big 12 runner-up Texas (10-2) has accepted a bid to the Holiday Bowl, where it will face Pac-10 conference member Washington.

Texas Tech (7-4) will face Big Ten conference member Iowa in the Alamo Bowl while Texas A&M (7-4) will square off with the winner of Saturday's Texas Christian-Southern Mississippi game in the the Bowl.

Kansas State (6-5) will face Big East conference member Syracuse in the Bowl. That contest is a rematch of the 1998 Fiesta Bowl, which the Wildcats won, 35-18.

I owa State (7-4) earned a spot in the Independence Bowl on December 27. The Cyclones will face an opponent from the SEC.

One other bowl was set Monday as Cincinnati accepted a bid to play in the Motor City Bowl for the second straight year.

Cincinnati (7-4) finished in a tie for second place in Conference USA and will face Toledo in the fifth-annual game in an "All Ohio" affair at the Silverdome on December 29. The Bearcats lost to Marshall, 25-14, in the 2000 Motor City Bowl and brought more than 10,000 fans to the game.

Toledo (8-2) is the champion of the Mid-American Conference and will be the first league team other than Marshall to compete in the game.

Jordan out Tuesday with knee injury

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- The Washington Wizards announced Monday that Michael Jordan will miss Tuesday's game against the San Antonio Spurs with inflammation in his right knee.

Jordan went to Chicago on Sunday to have his aching knees examined by Dr. John Heffron, the former team physician of the Chicago Bulls. He had fluid drained from the knee and an MRI revealed no acute injury and that surgery was not necessary.

Jordan is listed as day-to-day, but Wizards general manager Wes Unseld said he will miss Tuesday's game.

"My body is sending a message and I need to listen," said the 38-year-old Jordan, who has not missed a game due to injury since the 1992-93 season. "I hope to be ready to play on Thursday."

Jordan's playing status for Thursday's game against Houston will be determined based on how his knee responds to prescribed treatment. He was to join the Wizards in San Antonio on Monday night.

Jordan scored just 15 points on 6-of-19 shooting in Saturday's 96-87 loss to Orlando. He missed nine of his last 10 shots and sat out the final 3:50 with the game still somewhat in the balance.

During training camp, Jordan suffered a hyperextended right knee.

Jordan returned to the court this season after a three-year hiatus. He is sixth in the league at 24.8 points per game and has carried the load the for Wizards, who are just 5-11.

He had been averaging 38 minutes per game, far more than he or coach Doug Collins anticipated. The 6-6 guard developed fluid on his knee and had it drained last week.

While contemplating a comeback during the summer, Jordan dealt with bruised ribs and a handful of other physical setbacks during scrimmage workouts with NBA players in Chicago. However, he had time to recover from those ailments.

Even with Jordan, the Wizards have struggled, losing eight in a row at one point. They had won three of four before Saturday's loss. Jordan has struggled at times as well. He has seven 30-point games, including a season-high 44 in a loss to Utah on November 16. But the 10-time scoring champion is shooting less than 41 percent from the field.

Miami, Tennessee lead BCS poll

MORRISTOWN, N.J., Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Miami remained No. 1 and Tennessee moved up into second place in the next-to-last Bowl Championship Series ratings Monday.

As expected, Miami (11-0), which completed its regular season with a 26-24 win over Virginia Tech, stayed atop the poll with 2.50 points.

Following an impressive 34-32 win at Florida on Saturday, Tennessee (10-1) vaulted six spots to second this week with 4.79 points. The Volunteers can secure a date with Miami in the Rose Bowl if they defeat Louisiana State in the Southeastern Conference title game in Atlanta on Saturday night.

The top two teams in the final BCS poll, which will be released Sunday, will play for the national title in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 3.

An LSU victory on Saturday, however, will give critics of the BCS ample fodder. Nebraska (11-1), which was humiliated by Colorado, 62-36, on Thanksgiving weekend, could earn the trip to Pasadena should Tennessee lose at the Georgia Dome. The Cornhuskers rose one spot to third with 8.39 points this week and suddenly find themselves in position to go to Pasadena if they get help from LSU this weekend.

The BCS could be left trying to explain how a team that did not even win its league title could play for the national championship.

Oregon (10-1) is third in the coaches' poll and was thought to be in the national title hunt. But the Ducks are just fifth in the latest BCS poll with 10.44 points and seem to have little chance of making up ground this weekend. A 17-14 win over Oregon State last week did not do enough to boost the Ducks in the latest BCS.

Colorado (10-2), which defeated Texas, 39-37, in the Big 12 Conference title game, is fourth in the BCS with 9.88 points.

Florida (9-2), which was second before last week, fell to sixth this week with 14.645 points.

High school junior wins PGA Tour card

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Ty Tryon, a 17-year-old high school junior, became the youngest player to earn his PGA Tour card Monday when he posted a bogey-free final round and finished tied for 23rd at the National Qualifying Tournament.

Entering the final round tied for 50th place, Tryon shot a 6-under-par 66 to finish at 18-under 414 for the six-day event.

Tryon, an Orlando, Fla., native, needed the big round Monday since the top 35 plus ties in the 166-player field earned tour cards. In March, Tryon, then 16, became the youngest player in 44 years to make a PGA Tour cut at the Honda Classic. He also led after the first round at the B.C. Open in July and tied for 39th.

Pat Perez won the event, shooting an even-par 72 to capture the tournament at 27-under 405 by one stroke over Bob Burns, Pete Jordan and Kenneth Staton. Along with gaining his first card, Perez captured the $50,000 first prize and a higher priority for getting into the tournaments early next year. A member of Arizona State's national championship team in 1996, Perez made $124,818 in 26 starts this past season.

Robert Gamez, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, was unable to capture his card after shooting a 2-over 74, to miss by one stroke.

Among the notables that earned their cards were Tommy Armour III (409), Russ Cochran (410) and Gary Nicklaus (411), defending medallist Stepehen Allen (413) and former NCAA champion Luke Donald (414).

Arlington gets Breeders Cup

CHICAGO, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Arlington International Racecourse will host the 2002 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, it was announced Monday, marking the first new venue in years for what has been called the Super Bowl of horse racing.

Arlington, perhaps the plushest racing venue in the United States, will have to add thousands of temporary seats to accommodate the 19th running of the eight-race series, scheduled for Oct. 26. The track is about an hour northwest of Chicago in suburban Arlington Heights, Ill.

"Arlington is an outstanding, world-class racing facility renowned for hosting top-flight international competition and providing its fans with an excellent presentation of Thoroughbred racing," said D.G. Van Clief Jr., president of Breeders' Cup Limited and vice chairman of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

The 2002 series, with $13 million in purse money, had been scheduled for Santa Anita in Southern California, but renovations at the track made the site unsuitable for a major event.

The state of Illinois is contributing $1 million to help bring the event to Arlington.

Beefed-up security for U.S. team

SEOUL, South Korea, Dec. 4 (UPI) --Soccer players from the United States, which has led the global war against terrorism in Afghanistan, will be under the best security available by South Korean police during next year's World Cup finals, officials said Monday.

Police commandos will be deployed at every stadium, with 1,500 personnel and choppers ready to respond to any terrorist attack, officials said.

Members of the U.S. team will be provided with armed police protection as soon as they arrive in South Korea, the National Police Agency said.

The U.S. team will play Portugal on June 5, South Korea on June 10, and Poland on June 14 at South Korean stadiums in the first round following the draw.

South Korea has agreed with the CIA to seek anti-terror cooperation during the tournament, said a senior official at the South Korean World Cup Organizing Committee's security headquarters.

Panthers name Kennan coach

SUNRISE, Fla., Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Having failed to win a round in the playoffs since advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996, the Florida Panthers have turned to Mike Keenan to lead them back to prominence.

Keenan is replacing Duane Sutter, who was fired after recording a 22-35-8-7 record since taking over for Terry Murray on Dec. 28, 2000.

The Panthers are off to a 6-15-2-3 start--just one point better than the lowest total in the NHL. In addition to the firing of Sutter, Bill Torrey lost the titles of president and general manager and will remain only as governor.

Keenan, 52, coaching his seventh NHL team, is ranked fifth in all-time wins with 539 and fifth in games coached with 1,069. He has won three Presidents' Trophies, six division titles and led teams to the Stanley Cup Finals four times.

Miami turns to Jackson

MIAMI, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- The Miami Heat on Monday signed Jim Jackson, the veteran swingman who has averaged 16.8 points in his nine-year NBA career.

The 31-year-old Jackson will be joining his eighth team. He played for the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers last season and averaged 11.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists, but shot just 38 percent from the field and spent time on the injured list with plantar fasciaitis in his left foot.

The Heat have lost 11 in a row for the first time in more than a decade and averaged just 81 points in the skid. The team hit rock bottom with losses to Chicago and Washington in its last two games.

Miami has hampered by injuries to Alonzo Mourning, Brian Grant and Rod Strickland. Just three players have appeared in all 15 games.

The 6-6, 220-pound Jackson has averaged at least 11.5 points in eight of his nine seasons in a career which has included stops at Dallas (1992-97), New Jersey (1997), Philadelphia (1997-98), Golden State (1998), Portland (1998-99), Atlanta (1999-2001) and Cleveland (2001).

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