Maryland almost made it two enormous upsets in a row but lost to Duke in game at College Park that was closer than the final, 93-84. The Terrapins led by nine at the half, 51-42, but let that advantage slip away as Duke rallied early in the second half, went on a 22-12 run and built its own nine-point lead with about five minutes left.

Even at that, Maryland (12-8, 2-3) -- which had stunned No. 1 North Carolina in its previous game -- had a chance to knock off another high nationally ranked  opponent (Duke is 17-1, 5-0).  The Terps sank a couple of three-pointers and closed to within three but their foul shooting was spotty and they failed to get a handful of key rebounds on the defensive side.

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*  The controversy that surrounded Tiger Woods and the "lynching" remark made by TV golf analyst Kelly Tilghman was eclipsed by Woods' dominant performance in his first start of the PGA season. Woods won the Buick Invitational at San Diego's Torrey Pines by sprinting away from the field and winning by eight shots. Woods turned the final round into more of a victory lap after pulling away with rounds of 67-65-66 over the first three days and then coming in with a 71 yesterday. It was his 62nd tour win, which ties him with Arnold Palmer for fourth on the all-time list. Ben Hogan (64) is within sight. The all-time leaders are Sam Snead (82) and Jack Nicklaus (73).

Novak Djokovic  and Maria Sharapova were winners at the Australian Open. Djokovic defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga yesterday, a day after Sharapova swept Ana Ivanovic in straight sets. The winners had to battle their way past the top seeds. Djokovic eliminated crowd favorite Roger Federer in the semifinals and Sharapova dispatched the machine-like Justine Henin in the quarterfinals.

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