Two home victories lift UNLV
to No. 17 in national rankings
The UNLV men’s basketball team, coming off home Mountain West Conference victories over Boise State and Air Force, climbed to No. 17 in both The Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls released Monday. The Rebels (24-6) were No. 21 in the media poll and No. 20 in the coaches poll last week.
The Rebels bounced back from a pair of league losses the previous week — which resulted in them tumbling in the national rankings — with a 75-58 win over Boise State on Wednesday and a 68-58 victory over Air Force on Saturday. UNLV is locked in a three-way tie with New Mexico and San Diego State for first place in the Mountain West.
San Diego State (22-6), which won two conference games last week, moved up to No. 21 (from No. 24) in the AP poll and up to No. 23 (from No. 25) in the coaches poll.
New Mexico (22-6) dropped out of both polls after suffering a pair of road losses last week. The Lobos were ranked 18th in the media poll and 21st in the coaches poll entering the week.
The top five in this week’s AP poll are Kentucky (28-1), Syracuse (29-1), Duke (25-4), Kansas (24-5) and Michigan State (24-5). The top five in the coaches poll are Kentucky, Syracuse, Kansas, Duke and Michigan State.
Also: Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun underwent what the school said was successful surgery to address the spinal condition that has forced him to miss the Huskies’ past seven games.
The two-hour surgery was performed at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York and involved removing a “large extruded disk fragment” that had been pressing on a spinal nerve, the school said. The surgeons then decompressed the area around the nerve.
Calhoun had been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spine, normally associated with aging and sometimes with arthritis.
Sandusky’s lawyer asks for
delay in child sex-abuse case
Jerry Sandusky’s lawyer asked the judge in his child sex-abuse case to delay the start of his criminal trial until mid-July, saying he needed more time to prepare.
Defense lawyer Joe Amendola said the additional two months would help him contact and interview witnesses, subpoena records and hire experts. Judge John Cleland this month tentatively scheduled jury selection in the former Penn State assistant coach’s trial to begin May 14.
Sandusky, 68, faces 52 criminal charges he sexually abused 10 boys over a 15-year period, allegations he denies.
Also: UNLV linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator Robin Ross was hired by Wyoming to also coach linebackers. Ross was with the Rebels for one season.
There was no immediate word from UNLV on his replacement.
The Cleveland Browns signed linebacker D’Qwell Jackson to a multi-year contract extension.
Jackson made a strong comeback last season, making 158 tackles — second in the NFL — after missing nearly two complete seasons with chest injuries.
The Washington Redskins re-signed center Will Montgomery and defensive end Darrion Scott.
The 29-year-old Montgomery started all 16 games last season, 14 at center and two at left guard. The 30-year-old Scott spent the last two seasons with Washington.
Predators, Canucks bolster
offenses for NHL playoff runs
The Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks added some reinforcements for a playoff run, while Rick Nash’s wish for a deal didn’t come to fruition as the NHL trade deadline passed without any blockbuster moves.
The Predators beefed up their offense with left wing Andrei Kostitsyn from Buffalo and two-way forward Paul Gaustad from Montreal.
The Canucks, sitting atop the NHL standings with 19 games left in the regular season, fine-tuned their roster with three deals that added four players: checking-line center Samuel Pahlsson, rookie forward Zack Kassian, defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani and forward Andrew Gordon.
But the player expected to be the big catch of the day went nowhere. Nash, captain of the league-worst Columbus Blue Jackets, requested a trade last month, according to general manager Scott Howson. Howson said there were “significant discussions,” but no deal was struck.
Also: Bode Miller is setting aside his skis for the rest of the World Cup season because of a balky left knee.
The five-time Olympic medalist had a minor arthroscopic procedure performed on the knee earlier this month with the hope of quickly returning to the circuit. But when Miller arrived back in Europe, he experienced more discomfort in the knee and opted for another season-ending surgery.
No date for the second surgery has been set.