Terps women No. 5; Coleman honored
The Maryland women's basketball team rose to No. 5 in the latest Associated Press poll released yesterday, the Terrapins' highest ranking since they stood at No. 3 in the preseason. Ranked No. 9 last week, Maryland won at Georgia Tech on Thursday before routing then-No. 7 Duke, 77-59, on Sunday in College Park. The Terps (23-4, 10-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) are a game behind first-place Florida State (23-5, 11-1) in the league standings. Maryland has won seven in a row, beginning its latest streak with Kristi Toliver's buzzer-beating three-pointer that defeated the host Seminoles, 72-71, on Feb. 2. "I just love how this team is playing," coach Brenda Frese said. "We are just clicking." Marissa Coleman played a big role in the wins over Georgia Tech and Duke, averaging 23.5 points, nine rebounds and five assists, earning ACC Player of the Week honors yesterday for the sixth time.
More AP women's poll: : Connecticut (27-0) made it 13 straight weeks as the unanimous No. 1 team, and Oklahoma (24-2) was a unanimous No. 2 for the third straight week. Meanwhile, Tennessee (19-8) dropped five spots to No. 18 for its lowest ranking since 1985.
AP men's poll: : Pittsburgh jumped from fourth to No. 1 after a week in which the top three teams all lost. The Panthers, who became No. 1 for the first time Jan. 5, are back on top almost two months later after beating Connecticut on Feb. 16. UConn (25-2) dropped to No. 2. Losses last week also by Oklahoma (25-2) and North Carolina (24-3), which dropped to third and fourth, respectively, allowed the Panthers to make the biggest jump to No. 1 since UCLA went from fifth to No. 1 in 2006.
No-show O. Perez let go by Nationals
The Washington Nationals released disgruntled pitcher Odalis Perez, a day after he failed to show up at spring training by the mandatory reporting deadline. Perez signed a minor league contract with Washington on Feb. 5 that would have paid him $850,000 if he made the team. In recent days, however, the left-hander said he wanted a better deal. Perez, 31, hadn't taken phone calls from general manager Jim Bowden or manager Manny Acta in recent days.
More Nationals: : Bowden is part of a federal investigation into the skimming of signing bonuses given to prospects from Latin America, an SI.com report posted Sunday night said. The Web site reported, citing an unidentified baseball executive familiar with the investigation, the FBI is looking at Bowden's actions as far back as 1994, when he was GM of the Reds.
Yankees: : Major League Baseball's investigations team intends to meet with Alex Rodriguez sometime between tomorrow and Friday to discuss his recent confessions of illegal performance-enhancing drug use, a person familiar with the situation told Newsday.
Et cetera: : Blue Jays center fielder Vernon Wells injured his left hamstring during drills and could be sidelined for most of spring training. ... A federal judge in San Francisco has ordered Barry Bonds' personal trainer, Greg Anderson, to court to disclose whether he intends to testify at the slugger's trial next month. ... Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley signed a multiyear extension to serve as an analyst with TBS. ... Tom Ricketts has resigned from TD Ameritrade's board after his family sold $403 million of its stock in the online brokerage to help finance its bid to buy the Cubs franchise.
Colts to release receiver Harrison
The Indianapolis Colts are parting ways with Marvin Harrison. Harrison's agent, Tom Condon, told the AP that the team has agreed to release the franchise's all-time leading receiver. An official announcement is expected by tomorrow. The decision comes one day after team president Bill Polian said he hoped to work out a deal that would keep Harrison, but when Harrison refused to take a pay cut, he asked for and was granted his release. Harrison's salary cap charge this season would have been $13.4 million, the highest of any NFL wide receiver. Releasing Harrison, 36, will save the Colts $6 million. His 1,102 receptions rank second in NFL history.
Eagles: : Quarterback Donovan McNabb might delay further talks over extending his contract until he gets an indication how the team will improve itself in the offseason, ESPN.com reported, citing a source.
Lions: : Quarterback Dan Orlovsky told the AP he plans to test the free-agent market.
Rangers fire Renney, hire Tortorella
Tom Renney was fired as coach of the New York Rangers and replaced by John Tortorella in an attempt to save a season. The Rangers (31-23-7) opened 10-2-1, but 10 losses in the past 12 games have knocked the team out of contention for the Atlantic Division title and placed it in danger of missing the playoffs. Tortorella led the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Stanley Cup in 2004.
More NHL: : Devils goalie Martin Brodeur said he is recovered from having elbow surgery roughly four months ago. Coach Brent Sutter declined to say when the four-time Vezina Trophy winner will return.
Elsewhere: : Vikings great Carl Eller was sentenced to 60 days in the county workhouse for resisting Minneapolis police officers after a traffic stop, a punishment that went beyond prosecutors' recommendations. ... Former Miami football coach Larry Coker is among three finalists to become the first coach of the new Texas-San Antonio program. ... Pennsylvania will allow mixed martial arts events after state officials wrote new safety regulations.