Orange scoop up key win over Wildcats

Men’s basketball: Scoop Jardine and Rick Jackson – a couple of hometown Philadelphia kids – combined for 38 points and No. 17 Syracuse, the worst free throw shooting team in the Big East, sealed a 69-64 victory over No. 15 Villanova (21-7, 9-6) at the line Monday night.

Jardine had 20 points and six assists for the Orange (23-6, 10-6), while Jackson had 18 points, five rebounds and four blocks.

Villanova, which entered the game leading the Big East in free throw shooting at 76.8 percent, was 17 of 27 at the line.

Syracuse, last in the 16-team Big East at 65.5 percent, went 13 of 17 from the line, a performance topped off by freshman Dion Waiters making two with 14.1 seconds left for a 67-64 lead, and Jackson making two with 4.6 seconds to go for the final margin.

• Duke jumps to top spot in poll: Duke is No. 1 again after a rare week in which the top four teams in the Associated Press college poll all lost.

The Blue Devils jumped from fifth place after receiving 35 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel.

Ohio State stays at No. 2 while Kansas drops from No. 1 to third. Pittsburgh stayed fourth, while, Texas fell two spots to fifth. San Diego State, BYU, Purdue, Notre Dame and Arizona round out the top 10. BYU had two first-place votes.

St. John’s is No. 23, its first poll appearance since November 2000.

Wolfpack earn upset over No. 13 Tar Heels

Women’s basketball: Amber White scored 23 points to help North Carolina State (12-15, 3-9 ACC) beat No. 13 North Carolina 88-72 in Raleigh, N.C.

She’la White scored a career-high 20 points to lead the Tar Heels (22-5, 8-4).

• Tennessee tops Georgia for SEC title: Meighan Simmons scored 14 points and No. 4 Tennessee (26-2, 14-0) cruised to a 77-44 win over No. 22 Georgia (20-7, 10-4) in Knoxville, Tenn., to win its 16th Southeastern Conference regular season title.

• UConn returns to No. 1 ranking: UConn replaced Baylor – which lost to Texas Tech on Saturday – at the top of the latest poll by the Associated Press.

The Huskies received 37 of 40 first-places votes, with No. 2 Stanford getting the other three. Baylor fell to No. 3, followed by Tennessee and Texas A&M. Completing the top 10 are Xavier, DePaul, Notre Dame, Duke and Michigan State.

Ovechkin, Capitals edge Penguins

NHL: Alex Ovechkin scored the only goal and Michal Neuvirth was perfect for the second straight time against the Penguins, leading the Washington Capitals to a 1-0 win at Pittsburgh.

Neuvirth made 39 saves, including 18 in the first period, for his third shutout of the season. Ovechkin secured the Capitals third win in four games by blasting a 35-footer over Marc-Andre Fleury’s right shoulder late in the second period.

• Toews, Kane lead Blackhawks over Blues: Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane keyed a four-goal second period with a goal and assist apiece as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Blues 5-3 in St. Louis.

Andy McDonald found the net for the Blues, who couldn’t hold a two-goal first-period lead to end a three-game winning streak.

• Penguins, Stars reach deal: Pittsburgh acquired forward James Neal from the Dallas Stars in exchange for offensive defenseman Alex Goligoski.

As part of the deal, the Penguins also acquired defenseman Matt Niskanen.

Cubs call on Dempster to open

Baseball: Ryan Dempster was selected by Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade to start the season opener against Pittsburgh on April 1.

Dempster, 15-12 with a 3.85 ERA last season, was picked over right-hander Carlos Zambrano, 11-6 with a 3.33 ERA last year.

F1 cancels race in Bahrain due to unrest

Miscellany: Organizers say the March 13 season-opening Formula One race in Bahrain has been called off because of anti-government protests in the Gulf kingdom.

Bahrain Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa says the country must “focus on immediate issues of national interest and leave the hosting of Bahrain’s Formula One race to a later date.”

• Wozniaki climbs way to No. 1: Caroline Wozniaki has officially reclaimed the No. 1 ranking in women’s tennis, one week after surrendering it to Kim Clijsters.

The 20-year-old Dane won her first singles title of 2011 on Sunday, beating Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1, 6-3 in the Dubai Championships.


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