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THE INSIDE TRACK | Newswire

Duke Voted to Top Spot in College Basketball Poll

November 06, 1998|From Staff and Wire Reports

Duke, which has three starters back from the team that fell one game shy of the Final Four last season, was voted No. 1 in the Associated Press college basketball poll Thursday, the fourth time the Blue Devils have held the top spot in the preseason rankings.

This is the first time, though, for Duke since 1991-92, when the Blue Devils stayed on top all season on the way to a second consecutive national championship. Their other preseason No. 1 rankings were in 1978-79 and 1988-89.

The Blue Devils, who were No. 1 for seven weeks last season and finished 32-4, received 34 first-place votes and 1,747 points from the 72 media voters.

Connecticut, which has five starters back from the regional final team that went 32-5 last season, was second with 25 first-place votes and 1,734 points, 82 more than Stanford, which has all its starters back from the team that went 30-5 and reached the Final Four. The Cardinal received 12 first-place votes.

UCLA was 12th.

Stanford was a unanimous choice to win the Pacific 10 championship in a media poll. The Cardinal won its last conference title 36 years ago.

The UCLA women, 20-9 last season, were picked to win their first Pac-10 title.

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The NCAA put the Cincinnati men's basketball program on two years' probation for violating a variety of rules, but spared the Bearcats a ban on postseason appearances.

Bob Huggins' program was found to have violated rules regarding recruiting, extra benefits, ethical conduct and institutional control bylaws.

The NCAA imposed a variety of penalties, including the slashing of three scholarships over the two-year period beginning in 1999-2000.

The university previously had put itself on probation for this academic year and reduced by 25% its expenses-paid recruiting visits. Thursday's sanctions are in addition to those self-imposed actions.

Many of the violations centered on the efforts to assist junior college transfer Charles Williams, who was recruited in the summer of 1996.

Tennis

Todd Martin eliminated third-seeded Patrick Rafter of Australia, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (8-6), from the $2.55-million Paris Open.

Pete Sampras played through pain in his back to beat little-known Frenchman Jerome Golmard, 6-7 (7-4), 6-4, 6-4.

Third-seeded Dominique van Roost of Belarus beat No. 7 Natasha Zvereva of Belarus, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, to become the first to reach the semifinals of the Leipzig Open at Leipzig, Germany.

Miscellany

Reserve Kara Wolters scored 10 points to help spark the New England Blizzard to a 72-63 victory over the Philadelphia Rage in an American Basketball League opener before 8,351 at Hartford, Conn. . . . WNBA players voted overwhelmingly to have the National Basketball Players Assn. represent them, the same union negotiating on the behalf of locked-out NBA players.

Dan Goossen, a successful boxing promoter since 1982, said he will handle those duties for Mike Tyson. Shelley Finkel will continue as Tyson's chief boxing advisor. . . . Promoter Don King settled a complaint that could have cost him his Florida promoter's license, but now he's involved in a dispute with a member of the state agency that governs boxing.

Neal Broten scored two goals and set up another in leading the United States past Kazakhstan, 3-0, in a qualifying tournament at Klagenfurt, Austria, for hockey's world championships.

The Americans were forced to requalify after a poor 1998 world championships in which an NHL-packed team produced only a single victory and finished 12th out of 16 nations.

Elvis Stojko took a big leap down the comeback trail by winning the short program in Skate Canada at Kamloops.

Defending champion Cuba, Japan, Russia and South Korea won and led 12 teams into the quarterfinals of the women's world volleyball championships at Tokyo. The United States was among four winless teams eliminated.

Goalkeeper Kasey Keller, defender Eddie Pope and midfielder Cobi Jones were selected as the finalists for the 1998 Honda player-of-the-year award, which honors the best professional soccer player in the United States. The winner will be announced in Los Angeles on Dec. 14.

Former Galaxy and now Chicago Fire midfielder Chris Armas was added to the U.S. roster for tonight's soccer game against Australia in San Jose.

Dick Trickle won the pole for the Busch Grand National Stihl 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a speed of 186.673 mph.

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Randy Harvey is on assignment.

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