Arizona, Kentucky, Oklahoma 1-2-3 in college basketball
ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Arizona stayed on top and Oklahoma moved up two spots to third in the latest college coaches' basketball poll released Monday.
Arizona (21-2) routed Arizona State, 92-72, in its only game last week and received 29 of the 31 first-place votes and 773 points from the panel of Division I coaches.
Oklahoma (19-4) defeated ranked foes Oklahoma State and Kansas to rise to third this week, behind No. 2 Kentucky (22-3) with 710 votes. The Sooners built a 32-point lead against the then-No. 6 Jayhawks on Sunday and went on to a 77-70 win.
The most notable fall this week belongs to Louisville (19-4), which lost to Memphis, 80-73, on Wednesday and was routed by Cincinnati, 101-80. The Cardinals fell six spots to ninth in the latest poll.
Kentucky received the remaining two first-place votes and has 746 points. The Wildcats extended their winning streak to 16 games, the longest in the nation, with a 70-62 win over Mississippi State on Sunday.
Florida (22-4) dropped to seventh last week, but rose back to fourth with wins over New Orleans and Vanderbilt.
Duke (19-4) also moved up three spots, rising to fifth thanks to triumphs over Maryland and North Carolina State.
Texas (18-5) fell one spot to sixth this week and is followed by Kansas (20-6), Pittsburgh (19-4), Louisville and Notre Dame (21-5).
Marquette (20-4) is 11th and is followed by Wake Forest (19-4), Xavier (20-4), Maryland (17-7), Syracuse (19-4), Illinois (18-5), Oklahoma State (20-5), Creighton (24-3), Stanford (21-6) and Mississippi State (17-6).
California (19-5), Georgia (16-7), Utah (20-4), Connecticut (17-6) and Dayton (19-5) complete the poll. Utah and Dayton are new to the poll this week while Missouri and Purdue dropped out.
Strong wins add to America's Cup delay
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Expected gale-force winds forced the postponement of racing in the America's Cup for the fifth time on Tuesday.
That stretched delays since the last race out to more than a week.
Swiss challengers Alinghi lead Cup holders Team New Zealand 3-0 in the best-of-nine series and are firm favorites to become the first European team to win world sport's oldest trophy.
No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win the America's Cup.
Light and unpredictable winds forced race officials to postpone the fourth race four times since last Thursday. Race three was sailed on Feb. 18.
That long stretch of calm came before storms which are expected in the Hauraki Gulf off Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, for at least the next three days.
Neither team left their compounds on Auckland's waterfront, with winds expected to gust over 40 knots by the scheduled start time at 1.15 p.m. (0015 GMT) on Tuesday.
Winds were expected to increase even further on Wednesday.
Rubin, Daniilidou advance at Scottsdale
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Chanda Rubin returned from a three-week break Monday to roll past fellow American Jill Craybas, 6-3, 6-1, at the State Farm Women's Tennis Classic.
Rubin defeated Craybas for the second time in as many meetings. She was playing for the first time since losing to Monica Seles in the semifinals of the Pan Pacific Open at Tokyo on Feb. 1.
In addition to her final four showing at Tokyo, Rubin also reached the quarterfinals at Sydney and the fourth round at the Australian Open in January.
Rubin, who turned 27 last week, won two titles last year after undergoing left knee surgery in mid-January.
"I'm healthy and want to stay that way," the American said. "I just want to keep taking advantage of all these opportunities because you never know how many more years you get. So you just enjoy it while you're out there."
In the last evening match, eighth seed Nathalie Dechy of France played Croatian wild card Mirjana Lucic.
Daniilidou has started strongly. She won the Auckland tournament to open the year, reached the fourth round of the Australian Open in January and was a semifinalist at Paris earlier this month.
The 20-year-old from Greece arrived in here Saturday after she was upset by Spaniard Conchita Martinez in the second round at Dubai.
Schiavone reached the final at Canberra in January but arrived at the desert having lost four of her previous five matches. The 38th-ranked Italian had dropped all three prior meetings with Bovina.
World No. 1 Serena Williams of the United States is back in Scottsdale to defend her title. She has won all 15 she has played this season and is the reigning champion at all four Grand Slams after capturing the Australian Open in January.
Belgium's Kim Clijsters is seeded second, followed by 2001 champion Lindsay Davenport of the United States and Jelena Dokic of Yugoslavia. The top four seeds received first-round byes.
NBA fines Van Exel $20,000
NEW YORK, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- The NBA fined Dallas guard Nick Van Exel $20,000 Monday for verbally abusing game officials.
The incident occurred at the end of the Mavericks' victory over the Washington Wizards on Sunday.
The incident took place at the conclusion of Dallas' sixth consecutive victory, a 106-101 overtime triumph in which Van Exel was held to 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting.
The veteran guard is averaging just under eight points per game during the winning streak and 11.7 for the season, almost four points off his career average.
The hefty fine comes after NBA commissioner David Stern promised to crack down more on disciplinary issues. Stern made the comments during his "State of the Game" address on All-Star Weekend.
The Mavericks (44-12), who own the best record in the NBA, are enjoying their longest winning streak since opening the season with 14 straight wins.
Novak, defending champ Santoro advance
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic recorded his first ATP win in more than a month Monday at the $1 million Dubai Tennis Championships.
Novak beat Dominik Hrbaty, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, in first-round play for his second straight victory over the Slovakian. He defeated Hrbaty here in the first round last year.
Although he won both his Davis Cup singles matches earlier this month, Novak had not won since reaching the third round of the Australian Open in mid-January. He lost in the first round of tour events at Milan and Marseille.
France's Fabrice Santoro opened defense of his title Monday, rallying for a 6-7 (1-7), 6-2, 6-0 victory over Austrian Stefan Koubek in a match delayed by rain.
Former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia played to a 6-6 tie with Russia's Andrei Stoliarov, then retired with a right leg injury.
Making his ATP-season debut, Ivanisevic strained a ligament above his right knee during the first point of the first set tiebreaker. He went to a local hospital for an MRI scan shortly after the match finished.
"My knee just topped it, then I heard a click and I don't know if it's a strain or broken," Ivanisevic explained.
Ivanisevic's 2002 campaign was cut short after undergoing left shoulder surgery on May 16. He participated in Davis Cup doubles to help Croatia upset the United States and played in a challenger event.
After losing the first game of his match against German qualifier Maximilian Abel, Ivo Heuberger of Switzerland retired with a lower back ailment.
Also, seventh seed Younes El Aynaoui of Morocco routed local wild card Omar Bahrouzyan, 6-0, 6-3; Spain's Feliciano Lopez topped Uzbekistan's Vadim Kutsenko, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2; and Hicham Arazi of Morocco dispatched Jan Vacek of the Czech Republic, 6-2, 6-1.
Jackson having kidney stone removed
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Los Angeles Lakers Coach Phil Jackson was scheduled to have a kidney stone removed Monday.
When a team official made the announcement Sunday night, Jackson was not expected to miss a game.
The procedure was to be performed by Dr. Lawrence Paletz, a urologist at Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood, Calif.
Jackson will miss practice Monday, but hopes to return for Tuesday's game against the crosstown rival Los Angeles Clippers.
Jackson, 57, is in his fourth season as Lakers' coach. He owns the highest winning percentage in NBA coaching history at .723, and is tied with Red Auerbach with nine NBA championships.
The Lakers have won four straight to climb a season-high five games over .500 at 30-25. They are in seventh place in the Western Conference, one-half game ahead of Phoenix and three games behind Utah.
McMurray wins Rockingham 200
ROCKINGHAM, N.C., Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Jamie McMurray waited two extra days before showing his dominance Monday by winning the rescheduled Rockingham 200 NASCAR Busch Series race.
The race had been rained out on Saturday.
He led 192 of the 197 laps in the race to win for the second-straight Busch Series race at North Carolina Speedway.
The 192 laps led set a Busch series record at this track. McMurray also won at Rockingham last fall.
Monday's win was his third career Busch Series win with two of those coming at the 1.017-mile track located in the Sand Hills region of the Tar Heel state.
"This was an awesome race car," McMurray said. "I have to thank team owner James Finch for hiring me for this ride. We made an adjustment on that final pit stop and nobody could catch me after that."
McMurray is a rookie in the NASCAR Winston Cup series. He finished fifth in Sunday's Subway 400.
He took the lead on the opening lap when he blew past pole-sitter David Green and never really had to look back.
He led the first 118 laps before the race was red-flagged on that lap following a crash in the first turn involving Shane Hmiel and Mike Wallace. Neither driver agreed on the cause of the crash, and had to be separated by Busch Series officials and crew members.
"I got hit in the right-rear corner and pushed up into Mike Wallace," Hmiel said. "I wasn't too happy about it and neither was he."
Replays showed that Larry Gunselman's car clipped Hmiel's after Hmiel tried to clear him following a pass.
After the delay to dry off the track with jet-dryers to blow off the fire extinguisher foam, oil, fluid, and rubber, the race resumed with McMurray once again leading the way, followed by David Green, Scott Wimmer, and Michael Waltrip.
Waltrip moved up through the field and was in second place, ready to challenge McMurray for the lead. With 34 laps to go, Waltrip passed McMurray for the lead, just seconds before a yellow caution flag waved. McMurray had led the first 164 laps.
Valdez quits Texas Tech basketball
LUBBOCK, Texas, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Forward Nick Valdez has decided not to rejoin the men's basketball team at Texas Tech and that means his college career is over.
Valdez, a 6-6 senior, had been suspended for the Red Raiders' game at Iowa State recently for a team rules violation. Turns out that violation was for changing his room assignment before a recent game without staff approval.
Coach Bob Knight told Valdez and guard Andre Emmett, who was suspended before the Texas game, that their teammates would have to vote on whether the pair would be allowed back to the squad. Both players were voted back pending Knight's conditions, although the vote for Valdez unanimous.
According to a statement by the school, the stipulations included fulfilling all his academic responsibilities and following the established team policies. He also would run sprints for the Iowa State incident and for other violations of team policies. If there were any further incidents, which Knight called "irresponsible behavior," he then would be dismissed from the team.
Injury-plagued Karpotsev out again
CHICAGO, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Defenseman Alexander Karpovtsev of the Chicago Blackhawks will miss the next four to six weeks with a fractured cheekbone and a cracked orbital bone.
He already missed more than five weeks earlier this season with a broken ankle.
Karpovtsev suffered the injury in Thursday's 2-0 loss to Phoenix, when was hit in the face with a deflected shot by Coyotes defenseman Danny Markov. He initially was diagnosed with a fractured cheekbone, and another exam this weekend revealed the cracked orbital bone.
Karpotsev, considered one of the better shot-blocking defensemen in the NHL, fractured his right ankle in November when he was hit with a shot by Brett Hull of Detroit.
The native of Moscow has one goal and nine assists in 33 games this season. He missed 16 games in last season with a series of injuries, but made it back for the playoffs.
The Blackhawks already are without veteran defenseman Phil Housley, who broke his right foot last week.
Chicago is ninth in the Western Conference, six points out of the eighth and final playoff spot.