Dakari Johnson shoots between Aaron Harrison, left, and Marcus Lee during… (James Crisp / AP )
Kentucky and its roster full of high school All-Americans is the narrow choice over Michigan State in the Associated Press' preseason college basketball poll.
The Wildcats, who finished last season with an NIT opening-round loss at Robert Morris, received 27 first-place votes and 1,546 points from the 65-member national media panel.
The Spartans, who return four starters from the team that lost to Duke in the NCAA tournament's round of 16, snared 22 first-place votes and 1,543 points.
Guard Isaac Hamilton's effort to become immediately eligible at UCLA ended when the National Letter of Intent appeals board denied his appeal Thursday.
Hamilton, a freshman, walked away from a letter of intent he signed with Texas El Paso, deciding he wanted to stay closer to home. He played at Bellflower St. John Bosco. He enrolled at UCLA, but UTEP had refused to release him from his commitment.
Kevon Looney, a 6-foot-9 senior at Milwaukee Hamilton High, announced he would attend UCLA in a news conference Thursday.
Looney can play guard or forward. He is ranked among the top 15 high school players in the nation by recruiting websites. He averaged 26.1 points, 12.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists last season
Nadal, Djokovic advance
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic overcame big servers to reach the Paris Masters quarterfinals.
Nadal beat last year's runner-up, Jerzy Janowicz, 7-5, 6-4, and Djokovic rallied from a set down to top John Isner, 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-2.
Roger Federer, defending champion David Ferrer, Juan Martin del Potro, Tomas Berdych, Stanislas Wawrinka and Richard Gasquet also won their third-round matches.
Ana Ivanovic beat Sam Stosur, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, for her second straight victory in the group stage in the season-ending WTA Tournament of Champions at Sofia, Bulgaria.
Rory McIlroy looked more like a two-time major champion when he opened with a seven-under-par 65 to build a two-shot lead in the HSBC Champions at Shanghai. The 24-year-old from Northern Ireland has not won all year.
Australia's Peter Senior shot an eight-under 63 to take a one-stroke lead in the Champions Tour's season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship at San Francisco.
Former major league third baseman Matt Williams is the new manager of the Washington Nationals.
The Nationals will hold a news conference Friday to introduce Williams as the team's fifth manager since it moved to Washington from Montreal in 2005. He replaces Davey Johnson, who is retiring.
Buffalo Sabres forward John Scott was suspended for seven games without pay by the NHL for his illegal check to Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson's head.
Scott got a match penalty for the hit Oct. 23.