Top 25 College Basketball
The first time Duke played Belmont, the Blue Devils were nearly shocked by the Bruins in the opening round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament in a one-point decision. On Friday night, Belmont challenged the No. 6 team in the nation yet again, but like before, Mike Krzyzewski’s squad gutted out another tight victory. Andre Dawkins hit a big three-pointer in the final minute, lifting Duke to a 77-76 triumph, the 901st in the career of Krzyzewski. That places him one victory shy of matching Bob Knight as the winningest coach in NCAA Division I history.
Elsewhere in the top 25:
(1) North Carolina 67, Michigan State 55 (San Diego, CA)
(2) Kentucky 108, Marist 58
(3) Ohio State 73, Wright State 42
(4) Connecticut 70, Columbia 57
(7) Vanderbilt 78, Oregon 64
(8) Florida 99, Jackson State 59
(9) Louisville 83, Tennessee-Martin 48
(10) Pittsburgh 89, Albany 56
(12) Baylor 77, Texas Southern 57
(13) Kansas 100, Towson 54
(14) Xavier 74, Morgan State 63
Loyola Marymount 69, (17) UCLA 58
(18) Michigan 59, Ferris State 33
(19) Alabama 64, North Florida 44
(22) Marquette 91, Mount St. Mary’s 37
(23) Gonzaga 77, Eastern Washington 69
(24) California 77, UC Irvine 56
(25) Missouri 83, Southeast Missouri State 68
National Hockey League
James Neal scored twice as the Pittsburgh Penguins took a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars at CONSOL Energy Center. Matt Cooke scored a penalty shot goal while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 19 shots for the Penguins, who have won their past two. Eric Nystrom scored the lone goal for the Stars, who had a four-game winning streak stopped.
Elsewhere in the NHL:
Washington Capitals 3, New Jersey Devils 1
New York Rangers 5, Carolina Hurricanes 1
Buffalo Sabres 5, Ottawa Senators 1
Detroit Red Wings 3, Edmonton Oilers 0
Chicago Blackhawks 4, Calgary Flames 1
Anaheim Ducks 4, Vancouver Canucks 3
=== COLLEGE FOOTBALL ===
An atmosphere of uncertainty is sure to envelop Beaver Stadium on Saturday when 12th-ranked Penn State takes on No. 19 Nebraska. While there has been great anticipation for the Cornhuskers’ first visit to Penn State as a member of the Big Ten and their first trip to University Park since 2002, it’s been a whirlwind week for the Nittany Lions and the entire State College area in the wake of last week’s allegations of sexual child abuse against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. The fallout from the case has cost head coach Joe Paterno his job, as the school’s Board of Trustees fired the 84-year-old legend on Wednesday night. It will be the first time a healthy Paterno isn’t part of a Penn State football game since 1949, the year before he became an assistant coach, and the first time he is not in charge of the program since 1965. Defensive coordinator Tom Bradley has been given the reigns on an interim basis for the 8-1 Nittany Lions, who are unbeaten in Big Ten play and will welcome a Nebraska team coming off a stunning 28-25 home loss to Northwestern last week.
Two other games feature a matchup of ranked teams, as third-ranked Stanford faces its biggest test with a visit from No. 6 Oregon and 14th-ranked Georgia hosts No. 24 Auburn in the 115th edition of the oldest rivalry in the Deep South. Stanford is 9-0 and coming off a 38-13 win at Oregon State, but will have its hands full with an Oregon squad that has ripped off eight straight wins since a season-opening 40-27 setback to current No. 1 LSU. Georgia has won seven straight games after an 0-2 start and owns a half-game lead over South Carolina in the SEC East, although the Gamecocks own the tiebreaker based on a 45-42 win back in September, while Auburn’s three losses this season have come on the road against current members of the top 10 — Clemson, Arkansas and LSU.
The top-ranked LSU Tigers will take a break from the rigors of SEC play and will welcome Western Kentucky to Death Valley on Saturday night. Fourth-ranked Alabama, coming off its 9-6 loss to LSU last Saturday, will visit Mississippi State. In other key SEC action, eighth-ranked Arkansas will host Tennessee and 15th-ranked South Carolina will take on head coach Steve Spurrier’s former team when Florida pays a visit to Columbia.
Second-ranked Oklahoma State will try to avoid a letdown at Texas Tech. The Cowboys are 9-0, but will have to be wary of the Red Raiders, who stunned Oklahoma in Norman earlier this season. The 41-38 triumph on October 22, however, is Texas Tech’s only victory in the past five games. Also in the Big 12, No. 21 Texas travels to Missouri and 17th-ranked Kansas State will try to bounce back from losses to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State the past two weeks when Texas A&M visits Manhattan.
Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary has been placed on indefinite administrative leave, the latest figure in the ongoing sex-abuse scandal to lose at least immediate control of his job. McQueary, the wide receivers coach, was already told not to attend Saturday’s game against Nebraska out of fear for his own safety and based on threats made against him. He was told Friday afternoon by acting athletic director Mark Sherburne that he was being placed on leave. The decision was made by Sherburne and new Penn State president Rodney Erickson. McQueary has come under increasing scrutiny in the abuse scandal that has cost legendary head coach Joe Paterno and others their jobs. The receivers coach was a graduate assistant in 2002 when, according to grand jury testimony, he said he witnessed Jerry Sandusky raping a young boy in the showers. McQueary reported the incident to Paterno, but took no further steps.
=== COLLEGE BASKETBALL ===
The men’s college basketball season kicked into high gear Friday night with 19 games involving top-25 teams, highlighted by No. 1 North Carolina’s 67-55 victory over Michigan State aboard the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego. The outdoor game on the deck of the nuclear-powered carrier was created to celebrate Veterans Day and featured about 7,000 in the crowd, including President Barack Obama.
Oklahoma has received three years of probation and a $15,000 fine, among other penalties, for major violations in its men’s basketball program. The NCAA announced Friday that the case revolved around one athlete who received extra benefits and preferential treatment while ineligible. A former assistant coach, Oronde Taliaferro, failed to disclose his knowledge of the situation and was found to have acted unethically. Other penalties include recruiting restrictions, scholarship reductions and a vacation of records. Most of the penalties were proposed by Oklahoma when it admitted to two major violations in July. The program was already on probation from another infraction, and the school proposed two more years of probation, among other penalties.
=== NFL ===
Some big-name players have been ruled out for Sunday’s Week 10 games. New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw will miss another game on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers with a foot injury. Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) will also be held for a second straight week when Pittsburgh takes on the Cincinnati Bengals. Meanwhile, Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson will miss his sixth consecutive game since suffering a right hamstring injury during the Texans’ Week 4 game against Pittsburgh.
=== BOXING ===
Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez have won world titles in 11 weight divisions between them. The pair of boxers will meet Saturday night in Las Vegas and will battle for the third time, with this encounter for Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight belt. Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs), who returns to the ring for the first time since earning a 12-round unanimous decision over Shane Mosley in May, hasn’t lost since March 2005 against Erik Morales. That’s a 14-match winning streak. Marquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs) took a first-round TKO of Likar Ramos in July. In the first bout between the two in May 2004, Pacquiao knocked Marquez down three times in the opening round, but the match was scored a draw. They fought again in March 2008 with Pacquiao capturing the WBC super featherweight crown in a controversial split decision.
=== BASEBALL ===
Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton had successful surgery to repair a sports hernia. Hamilton was clearly bothered by the problem during the playoffs, but still managed to hit .271 with 13 runs batted in as Texas came within one out of its first World Series title. His power was affected, though, as the 2010 AL MVP hit just one home run during 17 postseason games. He is expected to be fully recovered for the start of spring training. The 30- year-old slugger hit .298 with 25 homers and 94 RBI in 121 games for Texas in 2011 despite missing over a month with a fractured bone in his right arm early in the year.
The Phillies have reportedly reached an agreement to make free agent Jonathan Papelbon their new closer. According to CSNPhilly.com, which cited two unnamed sources with knowledge of the situation, the deal is pending a physical. Papelbon, who will turn 31 years old November 23, has been Boston’s closer for the past six seasons. He helped the Red Sox to a World Series title in 2007 and was selected as an All-Star four times (2006-09). The right-hander posted a 2.94 earned run average in 63 appearances last season, and converted 31- of-34 save chances. He has spent his entire career with the Red Sox since they selected him in the fourth round of the 2003 draft.
Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos has been rescued after being kidnapped in his native Venezuela. Information Minister Andres Izarra said via Twitter that Ramos was freed following an air rescue operation in the Montalban mountain area. Izarra tweeted “Ramos free!” Ramos was reportedly taken from his home Wednesday night by four armed gunmen.
=== GOLF ===
John Senden fired a nine-under 63 to move atop the leaderboard after the third round of the Australian Open, but Saturday was disastrous for Tiger Woods. The second-round leader, who was trying to regain some type of form, struggled to a three-over 75 on Saturday. Woods bogeyed his first three holes and fell into a tie for eighth, six shots behind Senden. Jason Day celebrated his 24th birthday Saturday and shot a four-under 68. He is alone in second place at 11- under 205 at The Lakes Golf Club.
=== TENNIS ===
Former world No. 1 great Roger Federer captured his 800th match win, while second-seeded Andy Murray lost and reigning top-ranked star Novak Djokovic withdrew from his scheduled quarterfinal bout because of a nagging right shoulder injury Friday at the $3.06 million Paris Masters. The third-seeded Federer became only the seventh man to reach 800 wins in the Open Era (since 1968) by getting past gritty Argentine Juan Monaco 6-3, 7-5 in 1 hour, 24 minutes. Federer joined Jimmy Connors, Guillermo Vilas, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, Andre Agassi and Stefan Edberg in the 800-win club. The Swiss icon, who smacked seven aces and was broken only once by Monaco on Day 5, has reached every Masters final with the exception of Paris. Up next for the 16- time Grand Slam champion Federer will be big Czech slugger Tomas Berdych, who upset the Aussie Open runner-up Murray 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 on the indoor hardcourts at Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy.