This weekend, the No. 18 IU men’s golf team will stay in Indiana as it travels north to its rival’s ground for the Boilermaker Invitational. Purdue will host the event on Kampen Course. \nThe course is a par-72 location, and the Hoosiers will have more than 7,400 yards to play. The 13-team field includes No. 4 Charlotte, No. 23 Michigan State, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Kent State, Iowa State, Eastern Michigan, Xavier, Northern Illinois and Loyola (Chicago).\nThe Hoosiers are coming off a first-place team finish in the UMB Bank-Mizzou Tiger Classic. Junior Jorge Campillo earned his first Big Ten Golfer of the Week award of the season and the sixth of his career. Only Campillo and junior Seth Brandon have earned the honors this season. Campillo shot a 4-under-par 212 and captured his first championship of the season. \nFinishing fifth in the tournament was junior Drew Allenspach, who shot a 219. The Hoosiers took their second team championship of the season.\nThe last time IU saw Purdue was at the adidas Hoosier Invitational where weather took its toll and shortened the tournament. IU took fourth place in the tournament, while the Boilermakers finished four strokes in front of the Hoosiers and took third place.
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Indiana Pacers co-owner Herb Simon thinks he’s found the perfect person to replace CEO Donnie Walsh – himself.\nSimon announced Wednesday that he is moving into day-to-day operations as chairman and chief executive officer of the franchise after years of mostly hands-off ownership. Walsh resigned last month after leading the Pacers for more than two decades, then accepted a job as president of the New York Knicks.\n“When Donnie left, there was some reason for me to get more involved than I ever have been involved, and it’s a time in my life ... where I have more time to devote to it,” the 73-year-old Simon said.\nLarry Bird will remain as the team’s president of basketball operations.\nSimon named Jim Morris as president of Pacers Sports and Entertainment, the Simon-owned company that runs the Pacers, the WNBA’s Indiana Fever and Conseco Fieldhouse. Morris is a former president of the Lilly Endowment and had been an executive with the Pacers for the past year.\nBird and Morris will report directly to Simon.\nThe Pacers reached the Eastern Conference finals six times and won the Central Division four times under Walsh. They made the NBA finals in 2000, when they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers, and had the league’s best record in 2004.\nBut the past three seasons have been a troublesome mix of losing and off-the-court problems. The Pacers have had back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 1987-88 and 1988-89 and missed the playoffs for the second straight year.\nSimon sees potential in the team, which enters Wednesday’s game against New York having won 10 of 15.\n“I’m getting energized myself over this, and I’m getting excited,” he said. “I should have done this a long time ago. It seems like it’s going to be hard work, but it’s going to be rewarding, I believe, for everybody.”\nBrothers Herb and Mel Simon have owned the Pacers since 1983 but have allowed others to oversee things. Now, Herb Simon plans to look at the franchise from top to bottom and make it more responsive to fans and sponsors.\n“Before, I was a ‘hands-on, hands-off’ owner. Now, I’m going to be a ‘hands-on, hands-on’ owner.”
Isiah Thomas sounds like a man resigned to his fate.\nWith speculation swirling about his future as head coach of the New York Knicks, a subdued Thomas spoke philosophically about New York’s dismal season just hours before the team played its season finale at Indiana.\n“What I’ve been asked to do and required to do by the Knicks, I’ve tried to perform to the best of my ability,” Thomas said before the team’s scheduled shootaround. “This is a very disappointing season. I’m not used to being at the bottom. But this is what it’s like on the bottom, and this is how you get treated on the bottom. That’s how it is.”\nNew York must win Wednesday night to avoid tying the franchise record of 59 losses, and many believe Thomas will be gone by Friday.\nThe Knicks’ new president, Donnie Walsh, said Tuesday he has spoken with Thomas about his future, but that the conversations were continuing. Walsh has said he wants the coaching situation cleared up before June’s NBA Draft.\nThomas already has lost one job, as team president, to Walsh. After going 56-107 in two seasons as the Knicks coach, Thomas could be about to lose that job, too.\nTeam spokesman Jonathan Supranowitz said no news conference had been scheduled for Thursday.\nThomas insisted Wednesday his thoughts were still on basketball.\n“The last day (of the season) will be tomorrow,” he said. “Today, I’m worried about how we’re going to play, how we’re going to defend, how we’re going to execute and the game itself.”\nInjuries certainly aren’t helping.\nSupranowitz said backup forward Renaldo Balkman was doubtful for Wednesday night’s game after getting hurt in Monday night’s home finale against Boston. Forward Wilson Chandler also will miss the Indiana game with a sprained left knee, leaving the Knicks short-handed in their quest to avoid the franchise’s dubious record.\nIt has been that type of season.\n“I’m not looking for sympathy or anything like that,” Thomas said. “That’s sports, and basketball has been extremely good to me. You can’t be on top all the time, although I want to be. You’ve got to overcome the bad times and hold onto your dignity.”\nBut can he hold onto his job?\nThomas seemed to acknowledge there have been mistakes.\n“I know in basketball, just like in football or golf or baseball or whatever sport you choose, there are some times you get it right and some times you don’t,” he said. “I’ve had many high points in my life, and I’ve definitely had my low points. But none of it is permanent, and you keep moving forward.”
The U.S. Open figured to be the closest to a sure thing for Tiger Woods in the majors this year, but maybe not anymore.\nTwo days after his quest for a Grand Slam fizzled at the Masters, Woods had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee for the second time in five years and will miss at least four weeks while he recovers.\nThe announcement, which Woods made Tuesday night on his Web site, was a surprise to everyone except those around him.\n“He’s been having a lot of trouble,” swing coach Hank Haney said. “He doesn’t talk about stuff like that. He doesn’t want to use excuses, you know? I don’t think it affected his play. It affected his practice a little bit.”\nThe surgery was performed in Park City, Utah, by Thomas Rosenberg, who also operated on Woods’ left knee in December 2002. Woods also had surgery in 1994 on his left knee to remove a benign tumor.\n“I made the decision to deal with the pain and schedule the surgery for after the Masters,” Woods said on his Web site. “The upside is that I have been through this process before and know how to handle it. I look forward to working through the rehabilitation process and getting back to action as quickly as I can.”\nBut he will not be able to defend his title in two weeks at the Wachovia Championship. And he most likely will miss The Players Championship the week after, one of only three non-majors he has never missed since turning pro. Provided rehab goes as expected, Woods hopes to return at the Memorial on May 29.\nThe U.S. Open begins June 12 at Torrey Pines, where Woods has won six times in the Buick Invitational. Such is his dominance on the cliffside course north of San Diego that when he opened with a 67 on the South Course this year, a caddie standing behind the 18th green remarked, “He just won two tournaments with one round.”\nIndeed, Woods went on to an eight-shot victory in his 2008 debut, the first of four straight victories this year.\nBut it was not necessarily a pain-free affair.\n“Tiger has been experiencing pain in his knee since the middle of last year, and when he had it looked at by his doctors, arthroscopic surgery was recommended,” said Mark Steinberg, Woods’ agent at IMG. “Tiger has played through the pain in the past, but knew it would be better for him to have the procedure done as early as possible.”\nSteinberg said the surgery repaired cartilage damage. The 2002 surgery drained fluid from around the anterior cruciate ligament and removed a benign cyst.\nWoods was limping and wincing toward the end of the ‘02 season, and it was not surprising to find out he had surgery that kept him out two months, most of that over the holidays.\nThis time, it only made sense upon reviewing the past nine months.\nWoods stumbled and grimaced ever so slightly at Southern Hills last August in the PGA Championship, when he chipped in for birdie behind the eighth green in the final round and backpedaled for a fist pump. In the final two PGA Tour events, in Chicago and Atlanta, he occasionally pressed his left foot against a cooler, presumably to stretch his knee.\nBut it sure didn’t affect his golf, not even at the Masters, where he finished three shots behind Trevor Immelman.\n“He hit 14 greens in regulation on Sunday,” Haney said. “Hard to say it was the knee.”\nWoods won the Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship in consecutive weeks, then tied for second behind Phil Mickelson at the Deutsche Bank Championship. That was his last loss until late March, the longest winning streak of his career, which covered five PGA Tour events, the Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour, and his unofficial Target World Challenge in December.\n“I knew he was going to do something this year,” Haney said, referring to surgery. “I just didn’t know when.”\nWoods has a remarkable track record when returning from a long layoff. After the ‘02 surgery, he won three of his first four events, including an 11-shot victory at Bay Hill.\nThis will be the second time in two years, however, that he missed a chunk of time between the Masters and the U.S. Open. He sat out nine weeks in 2006 to cope with the May death of his father, not returning until the U.S. Open at Winged Foot. He missed the cut for the only time in a major since he turned pro.\nOf greater concern might be the fact Woods has gone through surgery twice on the same knee in five years. He has looked immortal at times on the golf course, already winning 64 times on the PGA Tour and 13 majors, second only to Jack Nicklaus.\nWoods won 30 times and five majors since his last surgery, and Haney expects nothing less.\n“This is something he’s already used to,” Haney said. “He deals with stuff incredibly, like you would expect him to.”
After Tiger Woods won his first three events this year, Lorena Ochoa turned to some of her friends and jokingly said, “OK, we need to catch up.”\nNow, Ochoa might be pulling away.\nThe 26-year-old Mexican star has won three consecutive tournaments on the LPGA Tour, including the first major of the year, and acknowledged Wednesday that she’s already thinking about winning a Grand Slam.\n“That’s something that, as a player, would be something great to achieve,” Ochoa said. “And of course my eyes are on that.”\nThe way she’s played in 2008, few would bet against her.\nOchoa has won four of five events – by a combined 34 strokes, no less – and entered this week’s Ginn Open near Orlando looking for a fourth consecutive victory for the first time in her career.\n“I like my chances,” she said.\nOchoa had an opportunity to win four in a row last fall. She won the British Open, the Canadian Open and the Safeway Classic in August, but took the next event off. She returned to the Navistar Classic in Alabama and had a one-stroke lead heading into the final round, but closed with a 73 and finished two shots behind Maria Hjorth.\nAnnika Sorenstam is the last to win four in a row on tour; she accomplished the feat in 2001. She was clearly the top player in the world back then, a title she held until Ochoa took over a year ago.\n“The roles are a little reversed,” said Sorenstam, who missed the Ginn Open last year because of a ruptured disk in her back. “I’m chasing her and I’m not giving up by any means. She’s playing fantastic golf. She’s really, really been consistent, driving and putting well, winning majors and winning consecutive tournaments.”\nOchoa has pretty much dominated the competition recently, winning 18 titles during the last 24 months and solidifying her spot atop the sport.\nShe’s coming off an 11-stroke victory at the Corona Championship in her native Mexico, a win that qualified her for the Hall of Fame.\n“I don’t mind that a lot of players are trying to catch me,” she said. “It feels good to be in the No. 1 position. I’d like to stay there hopefully for a long time. I’m going to do everything it takes to stay in that position.”\nWinning all four majors surely would keep her there for a while.\nWoods felt good enough about his game after winning his first three events that he suggested a Grand Slam was “easily within reason.” His shot ended Sunday at the Masters, where Trevor Immelman held on for a 3-over 75 to win the first major of the PGA Tour.\nOchoa’s chances are still very much alive.\nAnd maybe within reach, even though only two players (Babe Zaharias in 1950 and Sandra Haynie in 1974) have ever swept every LPGA major in a single season. Neither of them did it when there were four majors.\n“Everything that she’s done this year has been phenomenal,” said Brittany Lincicome, who won last year’s Ginn Open after Ochoa and Laura Davies faltered down the stretch.\nLincicome started the final round four shots back, but ended up atop the leaderboard after both faded in blustery conditions.\nOchoa was 6-over-par on her final six holes, capping a 77 by missing a 10-foot bogey putt that would have forced \na playoff.\nOchoa would like to make amends for the stunning collapse this week – and extend her winning streak.\n“What happened last year (was) a learning experience,” she said. “But it was tough losing here with a double bogey on 18. ... So here I am, I’m going to give myself a good chance, and hopefully I can get that beautiful trophy on Sunday.”
INDIANAPOLIS – The NFL has rewarded the Indianapolis Colts’ success by giving them five prime-time games, including one against the rival New England Patriots.\nThe Colts will play under the lights against Chicago, Tennessee, New England, San Diego and Jacksonville.\n“I think the prime-time games are a testimony to our team and the types of players we have,” Colts coach Tony Dungy said Tuesday after the schedule was announced.\nThe Colts face a challenging stretch at the midpoint of the season, starting Oct. 27 at Tennessee in a Monday night game. The Colts then will host the defending AFC champion Patriots at home on Nov. 2 in a Sunday night game.\nAfter that, the Colts play at Pittsburgh and host Houston before playing at San Diego, who beat the Colts in last season’s playoffs, in a Sunday night game.\n“On paper right now, it looks very tough,” Dungy said. “That looks like it’s going to be our toughest stretch of the year, but you never really know,” Dungy said.\nThe Colts will play their first regular-season game at the new Lucas Oil Stadium Sept. 7 against Chicago in another Sunday night game.\n“It should be a great night, and it’ll be emotional,” Dungy said.\nIndianapolis gets a bye in Week 4. The Colts will close the regular season with two division games – a Thursday night contest against Jacksonville and a home game against Tennessee.\n“Like every year I think there are some big challenges, but we’re pretty excited about it,” Dungy said. “We’re looking forward to it, especially the opener.”
Tom Crean and the IU men’s basketball team will travel to Winston-Salem, N.C., to face Wake Forest in the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge this December.\nThe Hoosiers are 3-4 all-time in the Challenge. In 2007, IU edged out Georgia Tech at Assembly Hall, 83-79. Freshman guard Eric Gordon led the Hoosiers with 29 points, and senior forward D.J. White chipped in with 18 points and 14 rebounds in the victory.\nWake Forest, on the other hand, is 7-1 in the made-for-television tournament. It is 4-0 at home and defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa City last season, 56-47.\nThe night before the Hoosiers take on the Demon Deacons, Purdue will host Duke. Last year, the Boilermakers lost to Clemson. \n“I think it’s great for our conference,” Purdue coach Matt Painter told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “Duke is a perennial power in college basketball, so it will be a tremendous challenge for our team.”\nThe first game of the tournament will be on Dec. 1 when Virginia Tech hosts Wisconsin. Times for the Challenge will be announced later.\nIn the marquee matchup of the tournament, Michigan State and North Carolina will play on Dec. 3 at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich. The other matchups are as follows: Clemson-Illinois, Ohio State-Miami (Fla.), Virginia-Minnesota, Iowa-Boston College, Michigan-Maryland, Florida State-Northwestern and Penn State-Georgia Tech.
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DETROIT – The Detroit Titans hired former IU assistant Ray McCallum to be their basketball coach.\nMcCallum was introduced Friday at a news conference after beating out candidates such as Michigan assistant Mike Jackson, who had experience as a Detroit player and coach.\nThe 47-year-old McCallum was Ball State's head coach from 1993-2000 — going 126-76 with two NCAA tournament bids — then led Houston for four seasons and helped the Cougars play in the postseason in 2002 for the first time in nine years.\nHe was assistant at Indiana the past two seasons and also previously on the coaching staffs at Oklahoma, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ball State.\nPerry Watson retired from coaching at Detroit last month with a 258-185 record.
-From IDS reports \nWhile several thousand students will be at Bill Armstrong Stadium this weekend, the men’s soccer team will not. The Hoosiers will instead travel to Fort Wayne where they will face their top in-state competitor, Notre Dame. \nAlthough IU leads the overall series with a record of 24-4-2, Notre Dame has given the Hoosiers trouble in the past few seasons. Two of Notre Dame’s four victories against IU were in the last three years, including a dramatic 5-4 victory in 2006 at the foot of standout Joseph Lapira. Lapira signed a contract with the Norwegian team Nybergsund of the Adeccoligaen at the end of last season and will not be participating in spring games. \nIn their last meeting, the Hoosiers dropped the then-No. 4 Fighting Irish, 3-2, in South Bend. Freshman forward Neil Wilmarth scored his first career goal and the winning point for the Hoosiers after junior forward Kevin Noschang and freshman midfielder Rich Balchan tied things up at two. \nNotre Dame advanced to the third round of the NCAA’s last season before getting knocked off by eventual national champion Wake Forest. The Hoosiers were knocked out in the first round by Bradley. \nThis spring, the Hoosiers boast a record of 2-0-2, defeating University of Illinois-Chicago and Michigan and tying Louisville and Oakland. Both IU and Notre Dame are scheduled to face the Mexican Youth National Team later this month.
Zach Johnson went on the defensive at the Masters, as if trying to show last year’s win was hardly a fluke.\nOn a sunny opening day that featured Ian Poulter’s hole-in-one and overwhelming favorite Tiger Woods needing 15 holes to get warmed up, Johnson was steady all the way around the course on his way to a 2-under 70 at Augusta National. Johnson and Poulter finished two shots behind a two-way tie for first place after day one.\nWoods plodded through the first 12 holes with nothing but pars on a warm, sunny day at Augusta National. He stumbled with two straight bogeys but quickly got back to even when he chipped in from just off the green at No. 15, bringing out his first fist pump of the tournament.\nOf course, it’s early. No matter what happens in the opening round, Woods likely will remain the overwhelming favorite to win his fifth green jacket – the starting point for an unprecedented Grand Slam.\nJohnson was little more than an afterthought, despite his improbable win a year ago. His victory was viewed as a fluke of the weather. Cold, blustery conditions made it possible for him to play it safe and claim the green jacket with a 1-over 289, tied for highest winning scorer in Masters history.\nStill, Johnson was the only player in the field with a chance to win back-to-back titles, a feat accomplished by only three other golfers.\n“All in all, a pretty good solid round,” said Johnson, who shot 35 on the front side and matched it on the back nine. “I’m very, very honored to be the defending champion.”\nPoulter, known as much for his garish outfits and eccentric hairstyles as his shot-making, sent the patrons into a frenzy with his hole-in-one at the 170-yard gem known \nas Redbud.\nWith more fans than ever able to watch from the adjacent hill, Poulter launched an 8-iron over the water that landed about 20 feet right of the hole, curled up and around the ridge – and rolled right in.\n“As soon as it left the club, I knew it was going to be pretty good,” Poulter said. “It was quite nice to see it drop.”\nThe patrons roared as though it was the back nine Sunday.\n“There was an unbelievable buzz,” said Poulter, who actually went a little tame with his attire: lime green pants with matching visor, and a striped white shirt. “That was a special moment. The hairs on the back of my neck were standing up. It was great.”
On April 19, the Business Careers in Entertainment Club will be hosting its fourth annual King of the Court Contest. \nThe three-on-three basketball tournament has grown over the past few years and hopes to have as many as 64 teams this year, similar to the NCAA Tournament that just concluded. About 45 teams participated last year.\nStudents can register for this event at IUKingoftheCourt.com. The tournament will be held at the Health, Physical Education, and Recreational gym and drinks and food will be provided free of charge. All students are encouraged to participate. The team entry fee \nis $20.\nThe tournament is single elimination, and in addition to the actual event, the tournament will hold a 3-point and half-court shooting competition. The tournament is set up similar to street ball rules, with the points being tallied by ones and twos (two points for a 3-point shot). Games are played to 20 points with a 30-minute time limit. \nFree throws will determine a tie after the 30 minutes of regulation. A running clock will be implemented, much like intramural games, with time only being stopped for an injury.\nRegistration ends April 14, and students are encouraged to enter the competition as soon as possible.
SAN ANTONIO – So patient for 20 years, Kansas had no problem working an extra five minutes to bring a long-awaited championship back to the heartland.\nMario Chalmers hit a 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left in regulation to push the game into overtime, and the Jayhawks grinded it out from there for a 75-68 victory Monday night against Memphis in one of the most competitive title games in recent memory.\nThe shot earned Chalmers the most outstanding player honor.\nIt was the first title for Kansas since 1988, when Danny Manning, now an assistant coach for the Jayhawks, led them to an upset against Oklahoma.\nThe most memorable performance in this game came in a losing effort from freshman Derrick Rose of Memphis, who completely took over the game in the second half, scoring 14 of his team’s 16 points during one stretch to lift the Tigers to a 60-51 lead.\nBut Kansas (37-3) used the strategy any smart opponent of Memphis’ would – fouling the heck out of one of the country’s worst free-throw-shooting teams – and when Rose and Chris Douglas-Roberts combined to miss four of five during the last 1:12, it left the door open for the Jayhawks.\nHustling the ball down the court with 10.8 seconds left and no timeouts, Sherron Collins handed off to Chalmers at the top of the 3-point line and Chalmers took the shot from the top. It hit nothing but net and tied the score at 63.
At around 5:30 April 1, I walked from campus to my house to check in for the evening and caught word that Tom Crean had been elected God of Bloomington with his hiring as the newest IU men’s basketball coach.\nIronically, a couple hours before the breaking news shocked Hoosier Nation, I wrote a column about the need for the University to get rid of Director of Athletics Rick Greenspan. I supported this claim with many instances when his questionable decisions left the department with its proverbial tail between its legs.\nNow, a week later, my Crean euphoria has subsided. I’m very proud of the University in making a seemingly good choice, and I have softened my anti-Greenspan stance a bit. But my opinion still resonates loudly – \nGreenspan must go.\nThe Crean hire provides the University with a chance to start anew with its tail-spinning athletic department. The powers-that-be (the IU trustees, IU President Michael McRobbie, etc.) should jump on the chance to get rid of the man who has done nothing during his tenure but leave a hole in our beloved basketball program, as well as an expensive one in the ground on the north side of Memorial Stadium.\nGreenspan doesn’t deserve credit for the Crean hire – Crean does. Greenspan is hanging by a thread because one of the good guys in college basketball decide a once-in-a-lifetime job like Indiana won’t be knocking at Jim Harbaugh’s sister’s husband’s door every day.\nTony freaking Bennett actually turned down the IU job after deciding IU’s future wasn’t brighter than Washington State’s – a nobody in the Pacific 10. \nDuring his tenure, many among the Hoosier faithful have called for Greenspan’s head. How could you really argue against that sentiment for the man who hired Kelvin Sampson? The men’s basketball program has become a laughing stock on the national stage of college athletics and many people argue the uninspired football coaching choice of Bill Lynch was not what the program needed. Yet Greenspan maintains his spot as the athletics director.\nGreenspan didn’t even do his job in the search. How often do you hear of a committee being set up to find a replacement candidate? Usually it is just a one-man job – that of the athletics director!\nA good indicator on the way people feel about the athletics director was at Senior Night against Minnesota. When then-interim coach Dan Dakich had to plead with the crowd to stop booing, Greenspan just sat there reveling in the Hoosier Nation’s dismay. As a matter of fact, the only success IU has had this season in any sport is from coaches who preceded the Greenspan administration. What has this guy done to help the situation?\nThe basketball program \nis at an all-time low. Droves of angry fans have red faces to match their crimson attire. And somehow the maestro of this operation gets to keep his job? \nWith the breath of fresh air that is Crean charming his way through the city, this is a golden opportunity to ride the coattails and fix everything wrong with IU Athletics. Regardless of the financial ramifications, this guy needs to pack up and go.\nIt’s a no-brainer.
Police repeatedly scuffled with protesters as Olympians and dignitaries carried the Olympic torch during a chaotic relay through snowy London on Sunday.\nDemonstrators tried to board a relay bus after five-time Olympic gold medalist rower Steve Redgrave launched a procession at Wembley Stadium – presaging a number of clashes with police along the torch’s 31-mile journey.\nIn West London, a protester tried to grab the torch out of the hands of a TV presenter, forcing police to briefly stop the procession as officers detained the man. Another demonstrator tried to snuff out the flame with what appeared to be a fire extinguisher.\nOthers in the crowd threw themselves at torchbearers running past in official Beijing 2008 Olympics tracksuits, surrounded by a phalanx of security officials jogging alongside them to protect them – and the torch – from protesters.\nThe protests have forced officials to make unscheduled changes to the relay route, Metropolitan Police said. Thirty people have been arrested.\nBritish Prime Minister Gordon Brown briefly greeted the torch when it arrived outside his Downing Street residence as pro-Tibet demonstrators and police clashed yards away near Britain’s Parliament buildings.\nDemonstrators swelled in number near the spot where Chinese Ambassador Fu Ying had been expected to carry the Olympic torch. Instead, Fu emerged with the torch in the heart of London’s Chinatown, managing to jog unhindered before handing it over to the next participant.\nAlong the route, hundreds of protesters chanted “Free Tibet!” “Stop killing in Tibet!” and “China, talk to Dalai Lama!”\nIn London’s historic Bloomsbury area, police separated anti-China protesters from flag-waving Chinese who turned out to support their nation and the Olympics.\n“There was definitely a bit of an edge,” British tennis player Tim Henman, one of the torchbearers, told The Associated Press.\nPolice Cmdr. Jo Kaye said the incidents were minor. \n“It’s going to be a long day, but the torch is progressing on schedule,” Kaye told British Broadcasting Corp. television.\nBrown himself never handled the torch but watched as Olympic gold medalist Denise Lewis handed it to Paralympic hopeful Ali Jawad. Student Scott Earley Jr., from Glasgow, Scotland, then took the torch from Downing Street, needing help from dozens of police to keep baying mobs from snatching it from him as he ran past Big Ben to Westminster Bridge.\n“Everyone was running at you. It was a bit weird,” said Earley, 17. “The police had it covered. They told me when to go and what to do.”\nLater, police hustled a torchbearer onto an official bus after he was surrounded by about 100 activists. The torch then traveled part of the journey toward St. Paul’s Cathedral by bus instead, police said.\nActivists demonstrating against China’s human rights record and a recent crackdown on Tibet have been protesting along the torch route since the start of the flame’s 85,000-mile odyssey from Ancient Olympia in Greece to Beijing, host of the 2008 Summer Olympics.\nThe torch’s global tour – the longest in Olympic history – is meant to highlight China’s growing economic and political power. But it also has offered protest groups abundant opportunity to draw attention to \ntheir concerns.\nMetropolitan Police said it was aware of six organizations – including the Free Tibet campaign, the spiritual group Falun Gong and a group calling for democracy in Myanmar – protesting Sunday. Two thousand police officers were deployed to secure the route.\nThe 80 torchbearers include Olympic champion Kelly Holmes and violinist Vanessa Mae. Several dropped out to protest China’s human rights record – including Richard Vaughan, Britain’s top badminton player, who said China was not doing enough to stop violence in the Sudanese region of Darfur.\nBritish Chinese residents had hoped for a peaceful \ntorch relay.\n“The Olympic games are very important for all Chinese. In Chinatown, everyone is very anxious to see the torch pass,” London Chinese Community Center spokeswoman Annie Wu said before the procession began. “We hope it goes smoothly.”\nThe torch relay is expected to face demonstrations in Paris, San Francisco, New Delhi and possibly elsewhere on its 21-stop, six-continent tour before reaching mainland China on May 4.
Roy Williams taught Kansas all about how to handle cruel, crushing disappointments.\nThis time, the Jayhawks got their chance to make Williams feel the pain.\nKansas left its old coach in the dust Saturday night, getting 25 points and seven rebounds from Brandon Rush to stave off a ferocious comeback by North Carolina for an 84-66 victory in the national semifinals.\nTrailing 40-12 late in the first half, Tyler Hansbrough, Wayne Ellington and the Tar Heels made a valiant rally, getting to within four points with 10 minutes left.\nBut they ran out of steam in their effort to pull off the biggest Final Four comeback ever.\n“We sort of came out a little more casual than we would’ve liked and they hit us right between the eyes,” Williams said.\nNow, the Jayhawks will play Memphis in Monday’s title game.\nKansas moved within a win of its first national championship since 1988, the year before Williams began his storied 15-year tenure in Lawrence – one that ended when he jilted Kansas for his alma mater.\n“I hope it’s set aside and goes away forever,” Williams said of the animosity that has lingered since he left in 2003. “I’m too thin-skinned, probably. ... Let’s don’t focus on that. Focus on the great job done by Kansas.”\nHansbrough had 17 points and nine rebounds for North Carolina (36-3) – a typically gutsy effort – but his next move will be to decide whether to come back for his senior season.\nKansas has more pressing things to deal with – stopping fast-breaking Memphis and its sensational freshman Derrick Rose.\n“We know we’ve got another step to take Monday night,” Sherron Collins said. “It’s going to be a great matchup. They play fast, we play fast.”\nCollins had two assists, a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws during the decisive stretch that saw the Jayhawks (36-3) pad that four-point lead back to 15 and send the Tar Heels into true desperation mode.\nWilliams stood stoically as the clock ticked down, arms folded, nothing much left to do. Tears usually come pretty quickly after the final buzzer of the season for him, and this season ended one game short of where many thought it might.\n“We’ve had a good year, but I don’t think anybody’s goal here was to be one of the top four teams in the country,” Hansbrough said. “It’s to be the top team. I’m frustrated with that.”\nWilliams got out-coached in this one, especially at the beginning, finding no solution for Kansas’ strategy of dumping the ball inside to Darrell Arthur, Darnell Jackson and Cole Aldrich.\nThe Jayhawks also smothered Hansbrough, even flooring him once on a hard foul \nby Mario Chalmers.\n“To start the game, I felt, instead of having 10 hands out there it felt like we had 14 or 16,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “Guys were making a move, a reverse pivot, and there were two hands there waiting for them.”\nDespite North Carolina’s impressive \ncomeback, the final stats painted a picture of Kansas domination. The Jayhawks shot 53 percent from the floor and held the nation’s second-leading offense to 35 percent. They had nine more rebounds, 10 more assists, six more blocks.\n“I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life,” Tar Heel guard Marcus Ginyard said.\nThe basket looked as big as the Alamo for the Jayhawks, who made 12 of their first 16 shots and went on an 18-0 run for a 33-10 lead with 9:31 left.\nMeanwhile, the Tar Heels went a stunning 9:03 without a basket. No team has overcome a deficit bigger than 22 at the Final Four.\nBut Carolina turned this into controlled chaos over the first 10 minutes of the second half, altering Kansas shots and making pretty much everything they threw up – including a 3-pointer by Ellington (18 points) with 9:20 left that made it 58-53 and had the Tar Heel fans in a frenzy.\nThroughout the rally, Self called time-out after time-out and eventually, North Carolina cooled and Kansas ran away.\nAll that might have helped prove Williams’ theory, as he tried to deflect all the talk of himself this week: That the game would be decided by the players.\nThe Jayhawks were simply better.\n“I told my team that I hoped that distraction didn’t bother them, because that would be about as bad as anything you could ever have as a coach,” Williams said.
As hard as it is to imagine, Memphis keeps getting better just when it matters the most.\nThe Tigers claimed their piece of history Saturday, beating UCLA 78-63 in the NCAA men’s semifinals to become, at 38-1, the winningest team ever in a single season. Now they have a chance to do what the other 37-win teams – Duke, Illinois and UNLV – couldn’t do: cap it off with a national championship.\nWith Derrick Rose and Chris Douglas-Roberts taking turns at basketball acrobatics, it’s certainly imaginable. And the Bruins certainly wouldn’t doubt it.\n“Going into the game, we knew that we was going to win. Ain’t too much to say,” Rose said. “We’re just a great team. With the team that we have, it’s hard beating us.”\nCoach John Calipari claimed his Tigers weren’t aware they had set a record for most wins in major college basketball.\n“My team’s like, ‘Is it? That’s the most wins?’” Calipari said. “And then I told them, ‘No, no. You’ve got to get to 39 to have the most wins.’ Hopefully we’ll have one more in us.”\nThe Tigers will get their chance Monday night against Kansas.\nAll season, this Memphis team from lightly regarded Conference USA played along with Calipari’s us-against-the-world theme. Now, the Tigers need only one more victory for their first championship.\nUCLA star Kevin Love put on his own show at practice Friday, hitting a full-court shot. He managed just 12 points – and missed both open 3-pointers – as the Bruins (35-4) again fell short in their third straight Final Four appearance.\n“As disappointing as this loss is, it’s hard to be here three years in a row and not come away with a championship,” coach Ben Howland said. “There’s a reason why they’ve only lost one game and they’ve won 38. They’re a very, very good team.”\nRose and Douglas-Roberts, especially.\nRose finished with 25 points and nine rebounds and a bunch of eye-opening moves that won’t show up in the final box.\n“Every once in a while, I go, ‘Oh my’ and I kind of sit down,” Calipari said. “And they usually come at inopportune times for the other team.”\nRose also hit 11 of 12 free throws. For a team supposedly vulnerable from the foul line, the Tigers did great in making 20 of 23.\nHe fittingly wound up with the ball in the final seconds and heaved it high. Only then did he crack the slightest of smiles.\nDouglas-Roberts played like an All-American, scoring 28 points and Joey Dorsey had the most peculiar line of all – zero points, but 15 big rebounds in keeping Love out of the middle.\n“It’s great, it’s great,” Douglas-Roberts said. “We all believe in each other and we expect great things to happen, so this isn’t new to us.”\nFour other teams had won 37 times in a season – Illinois in 2005, UNLV in 1987 and Duke in 1999 and 1986 – but all lost in the end.\nMemphis has won its five games in this NCAA Tournament by an average of nearly 16 points. The Tigers got off to a slower start this time, falling behind 5-0, before their suddenly chic “dribble drive motion” offense took over.\nMemphis led 50-45 with 13 and a half minutes left before pulling away. Rose made a couple of nifty passes, Dorsey came up with a monster block and later playfully popped Douglas-Roberts on the shoulder after a slam.\nThis was certainly no repeat of 1973, when the Tigers – then known as Memphis State – got routed 87-66 by UCLA in the title game.\nThe Tigers spent the whole season aiming at getting back to San Antonio. They lost to Ohio State on this same court last March in the regional final and adopted “Remember the Alamodome” as their motto this season.\nIn the first Final Four to feature four No. 1 seeds, Rose and Memphis cruised while Love could do little to stop them.\n“At this stage, I feel like Memphis is definitely the best team we’ve played,” Love said.
Derrek Lee found his power stroke quickly this year.\nLee hit a tie-breaking homer in the seventh, Carlos Zambrano struck out seven in seven innings and the Chicago Cubs beat the Houston Astros \n3-2 Sunday.\nLee connected against Oscar Villarreal (0-2) for his third homer of the season. The Cubs first baseman finished 2-for-3 with a walk, and his one out was a long fly to deep center. He didn’t hit his first homer last season until the 21st game and finished the season with only 22.\nThe Astros had tied it when Miguel Tejada hit his first homer with Houston leading off the seventh.\nSlumping Alfonso Soriano homered and made a great throw for the Cubs, and Zambrano (1-0) avoided the cramping that forced him out of the season opener. He allowed two runs and seven hits with \nno walks.\nKerry Wood pitched a perfect ninth for his third save in as many chances, striking out Tejada to end it.\nSoriano was 1-for-24 this season when he lifted a 1-1 pitch from Brandon Backe over the left-field wall in the fifth to put the Cubs ahead 2-1.\nHe also bailed Zambrano out of a first-inning predicament by catching Carlos Lee’s fly ball and throwing out speedy Michael Bourn at the plate for an inning-ending double play.\nZambrano was forced to leave his opening-day start in the seventh with a forearm cramp. Also bothered by cramping last season, he’d been advised by the team’s training staff to cut back on his pregame caffeine intake and drink more water. He threw 106 pitches against Houston.\nBourn led off with a single and made it to third on a double by Hunter Pence. Zambrano fanned Darin Erstad before Carlos Lee lifted a fly to left and Soriano made a perfect throw. Soriano had 19 outfield assists last season.\nBacke went six innings, giving up six hits and two runs with three walks and \nseven strikeouts.\nZambrano’s bases-loaded double-play grounder put the Cubs ahead 1-0 in the second. The Astros tied it when Erstad’s two-out single in the third scored Backe, who led off with a fly ball double to right that got behind \nKosuke Fukudome.\nThe Cubs loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, but Backe escaped by striking out Mark DeRosa and getting Ryan Theriot to ground to shortstop.
Despite grabbing its 15th doubles point of the season, the No. 39 IU men’s tennis team (13-6, 3-3) lost a 4-3 decision to No. 35 Wisconsin Saturday. The Hoosiers also earned a 5-2 victory over Northwestern Sunday.\nThe Hoosiers only managed to earn two points in singles play, as freshmen Lachlan Ferguson and Santiago Gruter won their matches at the No. 4 and No. 5 \nslot, respectively.\nFerguson downed opponent Michael Dierberger in straight sets, 7-6, 6-2. Gruter beat Luke Rassow-Kanter in a straight-set match that required overtime, 6-4, 7-6 (4).\nIt was Ferguson’s third consecutive Big Ten triumph in only five matches this season. \nIU continues to struggle at the top of the lineup early in conference play. Seniors Dara McLoughlin, Thomas Richter and freshman Philip Eilers were unable to win a set, each falling in straight sets.