Pittsburgh men reach top ranking for first time

col. basketball


Pittsburgh made it to the top of the Associated Press men's basketball poll for the first time, and it wasn't even close. The Panthers (14-0) took advantage of losses by season-long unanimous No. 1 North Carolina and No. 2 Connecticut to make the jump from third to first yesterday, receiving all but two of the first-place votes from the national media panel. Pitt had been ranked second nine times since 1987-88 but had not reached No. 1 until this week. The Panthers have a lot of familiar names in the Top 25 with them as they are one of a record nine Big East teams in the poll. The 16-team league had a record eight schools ranked for three weeks earlier in the season, but the return of Marquette and the first appearance of West Virginia made it nine Big East teams. The other Big East teams in the Top 25 are Connecticut, Georgetown, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Villanova and Louisville. Duke (12-1) jumped from fifth to second to start a run of three straight teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference. North Carolina (13-1), which lost, 85-78, at home to Boston College on Sunday and received the other first-place votes, was third and Wake Forest (13-0) fourth.

AP women's poll: : Connecticut remained the unanimous No. 1 choice for the sixth straight week, North Carolina was second and Maryland stayed at No. 14 in the latest set of rankings. But the Big 12 dominates the rest of the top 10. Texas A&M; is third, Oklahoma fourth, Baylor sixth and Texas eighth.


North Carolina State: : The school will announce in the next week Hall of Fame women's coach Kay Yow's plans for the rest of the season, a source familiar with the deliberations told The Philadelphia Inquirer. Yow, who missed her fourth game Sunday, has been battling breast cancer.

Report: Jags assistant is Yale's first black coach

col. football

Jacksonville Jaguars assistant Tom Williams has been hired at Yale, becoming the first black head football coach at the Ivy League school. A person familiar with the decision confirmed the choice to the AP on the condition of anonymity because a formal announcement had not been made. The school called a news conference for tomorrow to introduce the new coach. Williams, 38, has spent the past two seasons working with the Jaguars' defense and has been an assistant coach at Hawaii, Washington, Stanford and San Jose State.

North Carolina: : Junior wide receiver Hakeem Nicks said he plans to skip his final season and enter the NFL draft after setting 14 school receiving records. Nicks leaves Chapel Hill as the program's all-time leader in catches, yardage and touchdown receptions.

Washington: : Southern California defensive coordinator Nick Holt has been hired for the same job with the Huskies.

LSU: : John Chavis, the defensive coordinator at Tennessee, has been hired for the same positions with the Tigers.

Southern Mississippi: : Linebacker Gerald McRath is declaring himself eligible for the NFL draft, the school said.


Twins owner Pohlad is dead at age 93

et cetera

Carl Pohlad, a billionaire banker whose Minnesota Twins won two World Series titles during nearly his nearly quarter-century as owner, died yesterday. He was 93. When Pohlad paid Calvin Griffith $38 million for the Twins in 1984, he was widely credited for saving baseball in Minnesota. With the purchase, he inherited a promising group of young players, including Gary Gaetti, Kent Hrbek and future Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett. Minnesota won World Series championships in 1987 and 1991.

Jurisprudence: : Carl Eller, a Hall of Fame defensive end who played with the Minnesota Vikings, sued the Minneapolis Police Department in federal court, alleging that officers violated his civil rights, used excessive force and concealed videotape evidence when they subdued him during an arrest in April. Eller, 66, was arrested after he allegedly drove through a stop sign and narrowly missed hitting a squad car. Officers followed him home, where they say he became combative. He was charged with fourth-degree assault and making terroristic threats, which are felonies, and driving while impaired and refusing to take a chemical test for alcohol, which are gross misdemeanors. Police dismissed the lawsuit as baseless. ... Michael Vick would have to keep a court official informed about his attempts to be reinstated by the NFL after his release from prison, under a revised bankruptcy plan proposed by his lawyers. The amended Chapter 11 reorganization plan was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Newport News, Va. A committee representing Vick's creditors endorsed the plan and urged the creditors to vote for its confirmation.

Horse racing: : Officials at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., have begun an urgent inspection and evaluation of its synthetic Pro-Ride surface after five breakdowns, including three fatalities, of horses in the first two weeks of its winter meeting. Santa Anita has spent more than $15 million on its synthetic track.

NHL: : Henrik Lundqvist became the fifth NHL goalie to start a career with four 20-win seasons, and the host Rangers prevailed, 4-0, over the Penguins. ... The Canucks cleared room for Mats Sundin to join the lineup this week.


Soccer: : Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan will join Bayern Munich of the German Bundesliga on loan during the Major League Soccer offseason. Donovan's loan began yesterday and he is scheduled to return on March 8.