Houston back at No. 1 in poll as N’western makes debut
Houston returned to No. 1 in the AP men’s college basketball poll on Monday for the third time this season, while Northwestern and Texas A&M barged into the rankings after each had a pair of impressive wins last week.
The Cougars, riding a seven-game winning streak, jumped over Alabama and back into the top spot, where they spent two weeks in November and December and had another two-week stint last month. They picked up 48 first-place votes from the 62-member national media panel to lay claim to No. 1 with just two weeks left in the regular season.
“This is my fourth year coaching these guys. We’ve developed a really good program here,” said Houston coach Kelvin Sampson, referring to his veteran leaders that went to a Final Four two years ago and the Elite Eight last season. “But the emphasis is ‘we have.’ One person doesn’t do it. I’m proud of our program. I’m proud of everyone in it.”
The Crimson Tide dropped only one spot after losing to Tennessee and routing Georgia in their lone week at No. 1. They held onto seven first-place votes, while Kansas also earned seven to climb two spots to No. 3 in this week’s poll.
UCLA remained at No. 4 while Purdue slid two spots to round out of the top five.
SOUTH CAROLINA’S NO. 1 RUN IN WOMEN’S TOP 25 HITS 35 WEEKS >> South Carolina survived one of its stiffest tests of the season to remain No. 1 in The Associated Press women’s college basketball poll released Monday.
The Gamecocks (27-0) topped Mississippi in overtime on Sunday to win their 33rd consecutive game and secure the top spot in the poll for a 35th consecutive week. That is the third-longest run atop the poll, with UConn (51 weeks) and Louisiana Tech (36) having had longer streaks at No. 1. The Gamecocks broke a tie with UConn for third place.
South Carolina received 27 of the 28 first-place votes from the national media panel. It was the first time this season that the team wasn’t a unanimous choice at No. 1.
Indiana got the other first place vote and stayed second in the poll. Stanford, UConn and LSU round out the top five teams.
MLB ANDRUS TO PLAY 2ND BASE WITH CHICAGO WHITE SOX >>
Elvis Andrus enjoyed his short stay in Chicago so much that he decided to return to the White Sox.
Even if it meant changing positions.
Andrus finalized a $3 million, one-year contract on Monday, stepping into team’s opening at second base. The two-time All-Star also finished last season with the White Sox.
Andrus originally joined Chicago after he was cut by Oakland in August. He hit .271 with nine homers and 28 RBIs in 43 games with the White Sox.
NBA LOVE SIGNS WITH MIAMI, MOVING FAST AFTER CLEARING WAIVERS >>
Kevin Love wasted no time. He’s officially a member of the Miami Heat.
The five-time All-Star and 15-year NBA veteran cleared waivers on Monday afternoon, then signed a contract to join the Heat for the remainder of the season not long afterward. The now-former Cleveland forward was in Miami for the signing, with plans to start working out at his new team facility right away.
Love’s first official practice with Miami is scheduled for Thursday when the team returns from its AllStar break, and he could make his Heat debut as early as Friday at Milwaukee.
ANTETOKOUNMPO GOING TO NEW YORK FOR WRIST EXAM >>
Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo was scheduled to be in New York to undergo testing and get further evaluation on his injured right wrist, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday night because neither the Bucks nor Antetokounmpo released the plans publicly.
ESPN first reported that Antetokounmpo was going to New York, and it was later confirmed by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Antetokounmpo injured his wrist Thursday night in Chicago after attempting to block a shot. Antetokounmpo exited after only nine minutes and did not return.
Olympics NATIONS: NO CLARITY ON NEUTRALITY >>
The governments of more than 30 nations released a letter Monday calling on the IOC to clarify the definition of “neutrality” as it seeks a way to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes back into international sports and, ultimately, next year’s Paris Olympics.
“As long as these fundamental issues and the substantial lack of clarity and concrete detail on a workable ‘neutrality’ model are not addressed, we do not agree that Russian and Belarusian athletes should be allowed back into competition,” read the letter, which was obtained by The Associated Press in advance of its wider release.
Among those signing the letter were officials from the United States, Britain, France, Canada and Germany. Those five countries brought nearly one-fifth of all athletes to the Tokyo Games in 2021. Other countries — such as Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, which had suggested an Olympic boycott was possible if the war continues — also signed onto the letter, which did not go so far as to mention a boycott.