The Weekly Sports Report

Some stability is returning to the top of the college basketball world. The first three teams in the AP Top 25 poll have not changed in the last three weeks. Duke is still #1, though the Blue Devils struggled to win both of their games during the week. #2 Stanford needed an incredible comeback at Oregon on Saturday to remain undefeated, while St. Joseph's had considerably less trouble keeping their perfect record intact.

The rest of the AP Top 25 was far from stable as a number of upsets occurred during the week, especially on Saturday. Meanwhile, there was big news in the coaching ranks.

Rick Pitino returned to the Louisville bench after missing only one game due to an undisclosed medical condition. Utah coach Rick Majerus announced he will resign at the end of the season after being hospitalized with chest pains on Wednesday. It is not certain if Majerus will return to coach any games for the Utes. Assistant Coach Kerry Rupp will take over during Majerus' absence.

Finally, the romance between Bobby Knight and Texas Tech is on very rocky ground. The volatile Knight got into a heated argument with university chancellor David Smith at a local grocery store yesterday. Today, the school announced that Knight was suspended for five days. Presumably his son Pat, the team's top assistant, will take over the head coaching duties during the suspension. This incident comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with Knight's past record. The only shock is that it took this long for a blow-up to occur. Chancellor Smith and A.D. Gerald Myers, a close friend of Knight's, had to know they were playing with fire when they hired him.


Tuesday
South - #14 Georgia Tech moved to 16-3 by defeating Clemson at home 76-69. Junior guard B.J. Elder shattered his career-high record with 36 points for the Yellow Jackets. His previous high was 25. The loss was the 4th in a row for Clemson. #22 Florida gained a big road win at Alabama, 88-78. Sophomore PG Anthony Roberson led the Gator's attack with 26 points. Another sophomore, forward Kennedy Winston, was the leading scorer for the Crimson Tide with 25 points… In CUSA, Memphis topped South Florida 66-53.

Midwest – In a key Big 10 contest, Indiana hung on at home to beat #21 Purdue 63-58. The Hoosiers needed two clutch 3 point baskets in the final 58 seconds from freshman SG Roderick Wilmont to put the Boilermakers away. Senior guard A.J. Moye was the leading scorer for Indiana with 15 points. This was the first time the Hoosiers have defeated a ranked opponent this season.


Wednesday
East – 7th ranked Pittsburgh extended the nation's longest current home winning streak to 38 games with a hard-fought 68-58 win over Boston College. The Eagles had a one point lead with just under four minutes remaining when the Panthers took control, outscoring B.C. 15-4 down the stretch. Senior SF Jaron Brown led Pittsburgh with 18 points. Pittsburgh is the first Division 1 team to reach the 20 win plateau (20-1)… Also in the Big East, Rutgers snapped a 14 game conference road losing streak by nipping Villanova 71-68. The Wildcats nearly tied the game at the buzzer, but Randy Foye's 3 point attempt bounced off the rim. Junior SG Ricky Shields led the Scarlet Knights with 19 points and freshman guard Quincy Douby added 15. Villanova's sophomore forward Curtis Sumpter led all scorers with 25… The pain continues for St. John's. They are still without a conference win after their 73-64 home loss to West Virginia… In the Atlantic 10, George Washington ripped fading Xavier 81-60, La Salle scored an upset win at Duquesne 74-70, Massachusetts topped Fordham 76-70, and Temple dumped St. Bonaventure 76-57.

South – #4 Louisville captured their 16th straight win, defeating Houston at Freedom Hall 64-48. Assistant Coach Kevin Willard was at the helm for the Cardinals, replacing the ailing Rick Pitino. The Cardinals were also without two injured starters; leading scorer Francisco Garcia (ankle) and Taquan Dean (groin). They weren't missed much as junior forwards Nate Daniels and Larry O'Bannon each scored 17 points to pace the Cardinals' win… In other CUSA games, Charlotte took St. Louis 68-62 and UAB won big over Tulane 80-59… In the ACC, #12 North Carolina barely held on to defeat North Carolina State in the "Dean Dome." The Tar Heels almost let a 10 point lead get away in the final minutes. North Carolina's dynamic sophomore duo of PG Raymond Felton and SG Rashad McCants scored 14 and 13 points respectively. Senior PF Marcus Melvin paced the Wolfpack with 15 points… #6 Connecticut rebounded from their upset by Providence to demolish Virginia Tech 96-60 in Blacksburg. The Hokies were playing shorthanded as reserves Fabian Davis and Shawn Harris were both suspended prior to the game for "conduct detrimental to the team." Rashad Anderson came off the bench shooting for the Huskies. The sophomore hit six 3 pointers en route to a career-high 26 points. Junior SG Ben Gordon, still playing with a mask to protect his broken nose, added 22 points. Senior Bryant Matthews once again was the leading scorer for the Hokies with 25… In the SEC, #5 Kentucky held off Mississippi 71-61 at Rupp Arena. Senior forward Erik Daniels led the Wildcats with 24 points and 6 rebounds. Senior PF Justin Reed scored 15 for the Rebel… #11 Mississippi State manhandled Tennessee 82-60 as junior PF Lawrence Roberts poured in 20 points for the Bulldogs… #24 South Carolina came up with a big road win at Vanderbilt, 57-55. Junior guard Josh Gonner led the Gamecocks with 17 points. Vandy's senior PF Matt Freije had an awesome game in defeat with 26 points and 11 boards. LSU edged Georgia at home, 63-59.

Midwest - #8 Cincinnati overwhelmed East Carolina 80-57, as junior forward Jason Maxiell tallied 14 points and 7 rebounds… In the Big East, Notre Dame handled Miami 72-62… In the MVC, Creighton scored a road win at Indiana State 61-44… #17 Wisconsin won in Columbus 69-57. Junior guard Devin Harris led the Badgers with 29 points… Also in the Big 10, Michigan defeated Iowa 90-84… In Big 12 action, #15 Kansas won at Kansas State 78-70 and Iowa State recorded a 91-82 home win over Texas A&M.

Southwest - #25 Oklahoma had a surprisingly difficult time at home with Baylor. The Sooners finally prevailed 78-67… In CUSA, TCU stopped Southern Mississippi 79-67.


Thursday
South – #1 ranked Duke struggled past Florida State at Cameron Indoor Stadium 56-49. Sensational sophomore SG J.J. Reddick scored 24 points for the Blue Devils and senior PG Chris Duhon added 11. The victory extended 17-1 Duke's winning streak to 14 games. It was also their 37th straight win at home, the 2nd longest current home winning streak behind Pittsburgh's 38… Also in the ACC, #19 Wake Forest topped Maryland in Winston-Salem 93-85.

West - #2 Stanford moved to 17-0 with a 62-48 road win over Oregon State. Junior SF Josh Childress led the Cardinal with 17 points. Sophomore guard Chris Stephens had a game-high 24 for the Beavers… #9 Arizona traveled to Seattle and suffered a 96-83 upset at the hands of Washington. 5'8" sophomore PG Nate Robinson was the big man for the Huskies with 31 points and 5 rebounds. Sophomore SF Andre Iguodala had 17 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists in a losing effort for the Wildcats… In other PAC 10 games, Washington State won at home over Arizona State 63-56 and Oregon topped California 68-56 in Eugene… In the West Coast Conference, #10 Gonzaga scored an 85-73 road win over San Diego. Senior PF Cory Violette led the Bulldogs with 20 points and 7 boards. Junior forward Brandon Gay led the Toreros with 19 points and 10 rebounds.


Saturday
East - #3 St. Joseph's ran their record to 18-0 with an 83-71 win over Temple. The Hawks' star guard combo of Jameer Nelson and Delonte West each scored 21 points and SF Pat Carroll added 20. St. Joseph's set an Atlantic 10 record by hitting 20 three pointers. Senior guard David Hawkins led all scorers with a career-high 36 points. It's the 12th consecutive game Hawkins has scored at least 20 points for the Owls… In another A10 contest, Massachusetts scored an upset road win over Rhode Island 67-63… #6 Connecticut held on for a 63-58 win at Boston College. With the Huskies ahead 58-56, Taliek Brown's missed free throw was rebounded by freshman PF Josh Boone who hit the lay-up with 23 seconds remaining. It was Boone's only basket of the game. Emeka Okafor and Rashad Anderson led the Huskies with 16 points each. Eagles' PF Craig Smith topped all scorers with 18… #20 Syracuse ended a 2 game losing streak with a 76-64 win over Virginia Tech in the Carrier Dome. Sophomore PG Gerry McNamara appeared to be over his recent groin injury. He had 26 points for the Orangemen and junior PF Hakim Warrick added 15 points and 7 assists. The Hokies have now lost 5 consecutive games… Elsewhere in the Big East, sophomore SG Allan Ray scored 20 points to help Villanova to a 73-58 home win over West Virginia. The Wildcats also had four other players score in double figures… Rutgers prevailed over Notre Dame in the RAC, 81-70. The Scarlet Knights rallied from a 38-34 halftime deficit behind 24 points from freshman SG Quincy Douby, who was 4-6 from three point range. Senior PF Herve Lamizana chipped in with 22. Torin Francis had 23 and Chris Quinn added 19 for the Irish… In an OOC game at Madison Square Garden, St. John's broke a seven game losing streak with a 71-55 pasting of UCLA. Sophomore guard Elijah Ingram led the Red Storm with 21 points, matching his season-high.

South - #1 Duke survived another tight game, prevailing over #14 Georgia Tech in Atlanta 82-74. The Blue Devils have now won 15 in a row. The game was close throughout, but Duke went ahead for good with 3:13 remaining on a free throw by freshman Luol Deng. The Yellow Jackets then missed five consecutive shots as the Blue Devils pulled away for the victory. Deng scored 22 points for the winners… Elsewhere in the ACC, Clemson upset #12 North Carolina 81-72. The win ended the Tigers' 4 game losing streak. Sophomore guard Shawan Robinson paced the Tigers with a career-high 24 points including 5-6 three pointers. Overall, Clemson shot an amazing 11-13 from 3 point range. Going into the game, they had the ACC's worst 3 point shooting percentage!.. #19 Wake Forest dumped Virginia 91-78… #5 Kentucky lost to Vanderbilt, 66-60 in Nashville. The Commodores rallied from a six point deficit in the final 4:29, outscoring the Wildcats 14-2. Senior PF Matt Freije had another big game for Vanderbilt with 20 points. Gerald Fitch and Erik Daniels each scored 14 points for Kentucky… #11 Mississippi State came up with another big road win, topping Auburn 73-68… After several near misses, Tennessee finally beat a Top 25 team. The Vols gained revenge on #22 Florida 65-63 in Knoxville. The Gators had defeated Tennessee by 38 points in Gainesville on January 10th! Junior guard Scooter McFadgon scored 24 for the Vols and junior PF Brandon Crump added 11 points and 11 rebounds… Mississippi defeated #24 South Carolina 79-68 in Oxford. Senior PF Justin Reed led the Rebels to victory with a career-high 32 points. Reed also gathered in 11 rebounds. Junior guard Josh Gonner was the leading scorer for the Gamecocks with 20 points. In other SEC games,.. Georgia drubbed Arkansas 71-50 and LSU defeated Alabama 60-54… #4 Louisville was upset at home by Marquette 77-70, spoiling Cardinals' coach Rick Pitino's return to the bench after missing one game due to a medical issue. Soph SF Steve Novak paced the Golden Eagles' win with a career-high 30 points that included eight 3 pointers. The loss ended Louisville's winning streak at 16 games. Senior PF Luke Whitehead scored 14 points and added 19 rebounds for the Cardinals… Elsewhere in CUSA play, DePaul won at East Carolina 70-65, Houston recorded a road victory over South Florida 65-53, and UAB easily bested St. Louis 72-52… In the Big East, Georgetown came up with a thrilling 87-80 overtime win at Miami. Senior forward Gerald Riley had a huge game for the Hoyas with 35 points, including 7 in the overtime session… In Atlantic 10 play, red-hot Richmond topped George Washington 72-65.

Midwest - #8 Cincinnati was upended at home by Charlotte 86-83. It was the first time the 49ers had ever won in Cincinnati. Junior guard Brendan Plavich led Charlotte with 17 points and sophomore PF Curtis Withers added 15 including two clutch free throws in the final minute… In the Big 12, #15 Kansas was upset 68-61 by Iowa State in Ames. The Cyclones rallied back from a 9 point 2nd half deficit led by freshman guard Curtis Stinson. He scored 19 points, 16 after halftime. Senior guard Jake Sullivan added 17 for Iowa State, including five 3 pointers. This was the first conference loss for Kansas… Missouri won at home against Kansas State 62-53… #21 Purdue was shocked at home by Ohio State 65-59. Junior guard Tony Stockman hit 4 free throws late in the game to seal the victory for the Buckeyes. Purdue was missing their leading scorer, senior guard Kenneth Lowe, who is out with an elbow injury… Elsewhere in the Big 10, Illinois topped Michigan 67-52, Iowa handled Penn St. 77-58, Michigan State cooled off Indiana 84-72, and Northwestern defeated Minnesota 61-47… In the Atlantic 10, Xavier's recent tailspin continued as they lost at Dayton 74-67.

Southwest - #18 Oklahoma State won a thriller over #13 Texas Tech. The Cowboys prevailed 70-66 as reserve John Lucas hit all four of his free throws in the final 12 seconds… #16 Texas used a tough defense to secure a 69-59 win at Texas A&M. The Longhorns did not allow a field goal in the final 12:41 of the game. Texas has now won 10 straight in College Station… In CUSA, Memphis scored a 75-69 road win at TCU.

West - #2 Stanford showed plenty of heart. The Cardinal trailed at Oregon by 19 points early in the 2nd half and it appeared certain they'd suffer their first loss of the season. Instead, sophomore PG Chris Hernandez ignited an incredible comeback by scoring all of his 22 points after the half. The Cardinal finally took a 70-69 lead on a 3 pointer by junior forward Josh Childress and went on to stun the Ducks 83-80. Stanford is now 18-0… #9 Arizona also had a scare on the road. The Wildcats pulled out a 61-57 win over Washington State as junior center Channing Frye led the way for the Wildcats with 17 points. Arizona has now defeated Washington St. an amazing 37 consecutive times!.. In other PAC 10 games, Washington toppled Arizona State 90-81 and California won at Oregon State 88-74… In the Big 12, Colorado defeated Baylor 81-66. #10 Gonzaga won at Santa Clara 79-63… Two surprise teams looking to break into the Top 25 came up with impressive wins. Air Force scored a road victory at San Diego St. 57-43 and Utah State improved to 16-1 with an 84-46 destruction of Long Beach State It was the Aggies 13th straight win.


Sunday
East – Seton Hall traveled to #23 Providence and avenged an earlier home loss to the Friars. The Pirates displayed great team defense as they won, 55-46. The loss snapped Providence's six game home winning streak. It was also Seton Hall's first road win over a ranked opponent since February 18th, 2001 when they defeated Notre Dame. Junior SF Andre Sweet led the Pirates with 18 points and sophomore J.R. Morris was again a huge factor off the bench with 13 points. Junior PF Ryan Gomes led all scorers with 28 of Providence's 46 points! The Friars' 2nd leading scorer was junior forward Rob Sanders with 5 points… In the Atlantic 10, Duquesne got back on track with an 85-78 road win over St. Bonaventure.

South – In an OOC match-up, Florida State sleepwalked past Savannah State 88-73… In an ACC contest, North Carolina State won impressively at Maryland 81-69. This was the Wolfpack's first win in College Park since 1989. Junior guard Julius Hodge led the way for the Wolfpack with 28 points and freshman guard Engin Atsur added a career-high 16.

Midwest - #25 Oklahoma survived a 10 minute 18 second scoreless stretch during the 2nd half and edged Nebraska 52-50 in Lincoln. Oklahoma was limited to 16 points overall in the final 30 minutes. Freshman guard Lawrence McKenzie was huge for the Sooners with 18 points and 10 rebounds. In the Missouri Valley Conference, Creighton won at Evansville 74-70.


Monday
East - #6 Connecticut scored a decisive 84-56 win over #20 Syracuse in Hartford. Junior center Emeka Okafor led the way for the Huskies with 25 points and 11 rebounds. UConn's tenacious defense limited the Orangemen to 31% shooting. The only Syracuse player that provided any offense was junior PF Hakim Warrick who scored 26 points… #3 St. Joseph's survived the short trip to Villanova. The Hawks remained undefeated at 19-0 with a 74-67 victory as Jameer Nelson, Delonte West, and Pat Carroll combined to score 60 of St. Joseph's 74 points.

Midwest - #15 Kansas got by Missouri in Lawrence 65-56.

West – UNLV scored a mild upset over red-hot Air Force. The Running Rebels grounded the Falcons 63-50 at the Thomas & Mack Center.


Basketball News & Notes

Ohio State received bad news last week. Sophomore SF Matt Sylvester will miss 4-6 weeks with an injury to his left foot.

TCU announced they will leave CUSA for the Mountain West Conference in all sports effective during the 2005-6 season.

Congratulations to Loyola (Maryland)! The Greyhounds snapped a 31 game losing streak by defeating Marist 63-57 on Thursday. Loyola was in danger of breaking the record for the longest losing streak in Division 1 history held by Grambling (33 games from 1999-2000).

On Saturday, Rhode Island announced 6 possible violations in its men's basketball program had been reported to the NCAA. The possible violations occurred between the 1997-8 and 1999-2000 seasons during the head coaching tenures of both Jim Harrick and Jerry DeGregorio.

Will Tom Izzo's "suicide schedule" prevent Michigan State from getting into the NCAA Tournament? The Spartans are 0-7 so far against ranked opponents.

Don DeVoe announced yesterday that he will resign as Navy's head coach at the end of the season. DeVoe has won over 500 games in his career, which included the top job at five schools including Tennessee.

Here's the new Top Ten from the AP Top 25 Poll. Team records include games through Sunday, February 1st:

1. Duke (18-1)
2. Stanford (18-0)
3. St. Joseph's (18-0)
4. Pittsburgh (20-1)
5. Connecticut (17-3)
6. Louisville (16-2)
7. Mississippi St. (18-1)
8. Gonzaga (17-2)
9. Kentucky (14-3)
10. Cincinnati (15-2)


Football News & Notes

Mack Brown beefed up his coaching staff at Texas, hiring ex-Kansas City Chiefs Defensive Coordinator Greg Robinson and ex-Arizona head coach Dick Tomey.

Congratulations to Rutgers senior CB Nate Jones, selected as the Big East Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Jones will receive a $2,000 scholarship for use in graduate or professional studies.

Cornell appointed Jim Knowles as their new head coach.

The North defeated the South 35-31 on Saturday at the Gridiron Classic played at Lady Lake, Florida. Tony Fleming of Tennessee led to North to victory, rushing for 101 yards and 2 TDs in 19 carries.

I guess it must be the mountain air. Reports out of Boulder allege that Colorado "entertained" prospective recruits with "sex parties" where women claim they were raped. University president Betsy Hoffman plans to create a special committee to investigate the charges. Hoffman reportedly wants the investigation to remain "in house" despite calls for a state legislative probe. With the number of previous problems involving the Buffalos' athletic department, Hoffman should welcome an independent investigation. While the results may be embarrassing, maybe they'd result in a long overdue cleanup of Colorado athletics.


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