NCAA tourney gets under way
By United Press International
Sixteen games Thursday and Thursday night got the 2002 college basketball tournament under way, the first step on the tricky road to the Final Four.
In opening afternoon games, Kentucky, Kent State and Missouri won to advance to the second round.
More first round action is on tap Friday. There'll be many a detour before the champ is crowned on April 1.
The women open their NCAA tournament on Friday.
Meanwhile, the NIT continued around the country with five games on tap Thursday night.
Irwin man to beat in Siebel Classic
SAN JOSE, Calif., March 14 (UPI) -- Hale Irwin tries to continue his remarkable success on the Senior Tour when he defends his title at the $1.4 million Siebel Classic beginning Friday at the Coyote Creek Country Club.
The 56-year-old Irwin holds just about every Senior Tour record and has ben on a roll of late. Already the tour's all-time leader in career victories (34) and money earned ($14.5 million), Irwin is coming off a dominant performance at last week's Toshiba Classic.
Irwin posted a five-stroke victory over reigning Player of the Year Allen Doyle and stands atop the money list with $735,000 earned. In five starts this season, Irwin has two wins and two seconds.
DOHA, Qatar, March 14 (UPI) -- Colin Montgomerie appeared to have his game intact again Thursday when he surged into contention in the first round of the Qatar Masters before fog suspended play.
He had missed the cut last week but extra practice appeared to pay off as the seven-time European No. 1 carded an opening round 4-under-par 68 at Doha Golf Club.
Starting on the 10th hole, Montgomerie opened with three pars before picking up birdies at the 13th and 15th to reach the turn at 34. He carded two more birdies on his back nine.
Montgomerie was outscored by playing partner Adam Scott, who carded birdies at three of the last four holes to finish with a 67, but was still within two shots of the early pace set by Swedish duo Klas Eriksson and Joakim Haeggman.
Rockies sign Pierre to 4-year deal
TUCSON, Ariz., March 14 (UPI) -- Juan Pierre, one of the keys to the "new-look" Colorado Rockies, has signed a four-year, $7.5 million contract with the club.
The 24-year-old Pierre batted .327 and tied for the National League lead with 46 stolen bases last year. The speedy center fielder had 202 hits and is part of the Rockies' new commitment to youth, speed and defense.
Dust and dissent in the desert
INDIAN WELLS, Calif., March 14 (UPI) -- The Pacific Life Open continued Thursday but most talk was about the nasty sandstorm that derailed action on Wednesday. Matches resumed despite player discontent.
Marcelo Rios of Chile refused to resume his match against Michael Kratochvil of Switzerland Wednesday night until blowers cleaned the court. Rios went on to win 6-4, 6-0 when his pleas to postpone the mastch until Thursday were turned down.
"I think it's time the ATP starts listening to players," Rios said. "We're not playing just for fun and you can't play on a hard court with sand. It was dangerous."
Fourth-seeded Monica Seles defeated No. 9 Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario of Spain, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, in one quarterfinal and No. 2 Martina Hingis of Switzerland beat No. 10 Amanda Coetzer of South Africa, 6-1, 6-2.
Seles said she would wipe her face with a towel and the towel would turn black from the dirt. Hingis said she taped her ankle as a precaution because of the slippery court.