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2B | LAWRENCE JOURNAL-WORLD | MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2012

COMING TUESDAY s+ANSASMENSBASKETBALLTURNSITSATTENTIONTO4EXAS!s,ETTHEBASKETBALL#ITY3HOWDOWNHYPEBEGIN

Edwards claims pole for Daytona 500 DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (AP) — Carl Edwards fell bitterly short in last season’s bid to win the NASCAR championship. He’s starting 2012 out front. Edwards, who lost the championship last season on a tiebreaker to Tony Stewart, won the pole for the season-opening Daytona 500, beating teammate Greg Biffle for the top starting spot during a windy Sunday

qualifying session at Daytona International Speedway. Edwards turned a lap at 194.738 mph — the fastest polewinning speed since Jeff Gordon’s lap of 195.067 mph in 1999. Biffle was second at 194.087 to give Ford and Roush Fenway Racing a sweep of the front row. “It’s so neat to come down here and to be so fast and to really have fun qualifying here,�

Edwards said. “These are the best race cars we’ve ever had at Daytona. Coming down here I didn’t even consider the pole, so this is huge.� Biffle was not as thrilled. “I’m a little disappointed,� Biffle said. “I hate the wind. I guess if you’re out sailing, it’s good. It was singing down the back, but coming down the front I just got a big gust of wind com-

ing off of (turn) four ... I knew I didn’t have it.� Edwards and Biffle were the only two drivers to lock down their starting positions in Daytona’s unique qualifying format. The rest of the starting order for Sunday’s race is set through Thursday’s twin 150-mile qualifying races. But only four starting spots are up for grabs.

COMMENTARY

| SPORTS WRAP |

Frozen by disease, Ali still Greatest

Haas holes 45-foot putt in playoff, wins Northern

By Tim Dahlberg Associated Press Sports Columnist

LAS VEGAS — They gathered in the bowels of the arena where most of the great fights of the last two decades have taken place, old men now all sharing one shining moment from years gone by. They had come to honor The Greatest, though whether Muhammad Ali remembered who they were or knew what it was all about was a matter of speculation that on this night would go unanswered. Some, like Chuck Wepner, couldn’t stop talking about the night they won their own personal lottery — a spot across the ring from Ali. Nothing new there, since the Bayonne Bleeder has been talking about it to anyone else who will listen almost every day since. Others, like Leon Spinks, weren’t able to talk much at all. “Leon Spinks is here and he needs help,� Wepner said. “There are a lot of fighters who need help.� This was a night supposed to bring that help, both to fighters like Spinks and those fighting today. Millions would be raised in Ali’s name for the Cleveland Clinic’s new Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in downtown Las Vegas, where researchers are already busy trying to unlock the puzzles of damage to the human brain. A seat for dinner and the show at the MGM Grand hotel started at $1,500. UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta spent $1.1 million in an auction for the gloves Ali used against Floyd Patterson in 1965 in the first heavyweight title fight in a city that would become synonymous with boxing. President Barack Obama wished Ali well in a video greeting, and Stevie Wonder was among those on hand to sing birthday wishes to the former heavyweight champion, who turned 70 last month. At the center of it all was an elderly man, mute and his face seemingly frozen as he sat at a table with his wife, Lonnie, and several other family members. Whether boxing caused Ali’s Parkinson’s is the subject of debate, but it was clear on this night the disease he has fought for three decades has taken a terrible toll on him. He was once a magnificent man with a sculptured body and a mouth that wouldn’t stay shut. He’s still magnificent in the way that his very presence envelopes and engulfs an arena like it did Saturday night, hushing high-rollers and the elite of this gambling town in a way no other man could — and all without saying a word. They used to trot Joe Louis out like this in his final years, too, a heavyweight great and an American hero reduced to drooling in his wheelchair at ringside. With Ali, though, it seems different in a way if only because you get the feeling that the man who was the ultimate people person still enjoys being around people. “I’m not sad about him, just proud to know him,� George Foreman said. “When people ask me if he’s the greatest boxer ever, it’s an insult. He was the greatest everything, just a great man.�

LOS ANGELES — Bill Haas knows anything is possible from even the most dire positions. Remember, this is the guy only five months ago saved par with his ball partially submerged in a lake and won the FedEx Cup. Not even Haas could have imagined such a stunning conclusion Sunday at Riviera. In thick rough behind the 10th green, the second hole of a three-man playoff with Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, Haas smartly played away from the flag with hopes of making par and going on to the next hole. He wound up holing a 45-foot birdie putt across the green to win the Northern Trust Open. “A part of me was saying, ‘I’ve done this once, let’s do it again,’� Haas said. “Another part of me was saying, ‘Don’t screw this up.’� Mickelson and Bradley worked their own heroics just to get into the playoff. Haas, who closed with a 2-under 69, was on the practice range at 7-under 277 as he warmed up for a playoff only he thought might happen. He was trying to convince himself that Mickelson or Bradley — maybe both — would make birdie on the 18th hole, even though it had yielded only six birdies all day. With tournament executive director Jerry West — “Mr. Clutch� from his days with the Los Angeles Lakers — looking on, Mickelson rammed in a birdie putt from just outside 25 feet, pointing his putter and slamming his fist as the gallery packed into the hill below the stately clubhouse let out a cheer that could be heard down Sunset Boulevard. Mickelson bumped fists with Bradley and told his protege, “Join me.� That he did. Bradley’s birdie putt from just outside 12 feet took one last, slow turn at the cup and disappeared, setting off another enormous cheer. No one had to tell Haas what was happening. “You heard the cheers,� he said. They started the playoff on the 18th, and Bradley had the best look at birdie with a 15-footer from just off the back of the green that touched the right side of the cup. It was decided on the 312-yard 10th hole, regarded as the best short par 4 in America, certainly among the most interesting holes in all of golf. It can be reached with a drive, but it’s all about position. Haas went long into thick rough, with enough of the back bunker in his way that he smartly played out to the right and left himself a long birdie putt that at least would assure him par. Mickelson and Bradley each came up short, a horrible angle. Mickelson’s flop shot landed near the hole and rolled into the back bunker. Bradley was in the bunker, and did well to blast out to 15 feet, just through the green. Haas ended the suspense with his putt. Former Kansas University golfer Gary Woodland had his worst round of the tournament Sunday, a 77, and finished at 295. Only five other golfers put up bigger numbers, but he still earned $13,200.

Perry snares Champions title NAPLES, FLA. — Kenny Perry shot a 2-under 70 Sunday for his second Champions Tour title, cruising to a five-shot victory in the ACE Group Classic. Perry birdied three of his first eight holes, and no one ever came closer than four shots after that. Perry totaled 24 birdies — two short of the tour record for a 54-hole event — and tied Allen Doyle (1999) for the largest margin of victory in the 25-year-old tournament. Last year’s Champions Tour rookie of the year set the tour’s 36-hole scoring record in relation to par at 18 under following a 62 in Saturday’s second round.

47/ $!9 30/243#!,%.$!2

+!.3!35.)6%23)49 TUESDAY • Women’s basketball at Texas Tech, 7 p.m.

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TUESDAY • Girls/boys basketball at Shawnee Mission East, 5:30/7 p.m.

,!72%.#%()'( TUESDAY • Girls/boys basketball at Shawnee Mission North, 5:30/7 p.m.

3%!"529!#!$%-9 TUESDAY • Boys basketball at St. James, 7 p.m.

30/243/.46 TODAY College Basketball

Time

Net

Cable

Tex. Tech v. KU replay UConn v. Villanova Tex. So. v. Miss. V. St. Baylor v. Texas DePaul v. St. John’s

8 a.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 8 p.m. 8 p.m.

Knol. ESPN ESPN2 ESPN ESPNU

6 33, 233 35, 235 33, 233 35, 235

Net

Cable

Women’s Basketball Time

Notre Dame v. L’ville 1 p.m. ESPN 33, 233 Ohio St. v. Penn St. 6 p.m. ESPN2 34, 234 Vanderbilt v. Kentucky 8 p.m. ESPN2 34, 234 Pro Basketball

Time

Atlanta v. Chicago Boston v. Dallas Portland v. Lakers

3 p.m. ESPN 33, 233 7 p.m. TNT 45, 245 9:30 p.m. TNT 45, 245

Net

Net

Cable

Pro Hockey

Time

Wash. v. Carolina

6:30 p.m. NBCSN 38, 238

Cable

Chris Carlson/AP Photo

BILL HAAS CELEBRATES winning the Northern Trust Open on the second playoff hole on Sunday at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. 17-season career in which the center fielder won three Gold Gloves. The 39-year-old outfielder signed a minorleague contract with Washington in December and was expected to have a good shot to make the roster with the Nationals unsettled at center field. The 2001 All-Star played for eight franchises, hitting .249 with 278 homers and 968 RBIs. Last year Cameron hit .203 in 78 games for Boston and Florida.

Burnett headed to Pittsburgh NEW YORK — A.J. Burnett’s rocky tenure in pinstripes is over. The Yankees and Pirates completed a trade Sunday that sends the much-maligned pitcher to Pittsburgh for a pair of minor-leaguers. New York is also giving the Pirates nearly $20 million to cover most of Burnett’s hefty salary in a deal that clears the way for the Yankees to sign Raul Ibanez. The teams agreed to the trade Friday, but it was subject to Burnett passing a physical, which he did Sunday at Pirates camp as pitchers and catchers held their first workout of spring training in Bradenton, Fla. Commissioner Bud Selig also had to approve the deal because of the money involved. Burnett goes from a perennial World Series favorite to a club coming off its 19th consecutive losing season, a record for the four major pro sports in North America. The Yankees get 25-year-old right-hander Diego Moreno and 20-year-old outfielder Exicardo Cayones, both low-level prospects. Pittsburgh will pay $13 million of the $33 million salary due Burnett for 2012 and 2013, a person familiar with the negotiations said Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made at that time.

MEDIA

ESPN fires headline writer

BRISTOL, CONN. — ESPN fired an employee responsible for an offensive headline about Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin. The headline Friday on ESPN’s mobile website was used for a story about a New York loss in which Lin had nine turnovers. The headline was an idiom that contains a word that also can be used as a slur against Chinese. “I don’t think it was on purpose or whatever, but (at) the same time they have apologized. And so from my end I don’t care anymore,� Lin said after leading the Knicks to a 104-97 win over Dallas on Sunday. “Have to learn to forgive, and I don’t even think that was intentional. Or hopefully not.� Tseng takes LPGA win Lin is the NBA’s first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent. He captivated CHONBURI, THAILAND — Yani Tseng watched fans by leading the Knicks to seven straight wins Ai Miyazato’s approach on the 18th hole of the before Friday’s loss. LPGA Thailand and knew she had to come up with an equally impressive shot to avoid a possible playoff. COLLEGE BASKETBALL Tseng met the challenge with a shot fitting WKU removes ‘interim’ tag her No. 1 ranking, controlling the spin perfectly to set up a tap-in putt. Western Kentucky is keeping Ray Harper as “It was an incredible shot. I think it’s the shot head coach. of the week,� Tseng said Sunday. Athletic director Ross Bjork announced the The 23-year-old Taiwanese star successfully move Sunday after Harper was named interim defended her title for her 13th LPGA Tour viccoach following the firing of Ken McDonald. tory, matching Miyazato with birdies on the final Harper will be introduced to fans at a pep rally two holes to hold off her Japanese friend by a tonight at E.A. Diddle Arena. stroke. “We have total confidence in his ability to return our program to prominence,� Bjork said in a stateBASEBALL ment. “We put him in a very challenging situation by naming him our interim coach on January 6, but Nats’ Cameron retiring he has performed admirably in these unique cirVIERA, FLA. — Mike Cameron has told cumstances while bringing much-needed energy The Washington Nationals he is retiring after a and excitement to our program.�

College Baseball

Time

Oregon v. Hawaii

5 p.m. FCSP 146

Net

Cable

TUESDAY College Basketball

Time

Net

Cable

Illinois v. Ohio St. Kansas St. v. Missouri Auburn v. Florida Evansville v. Creighton Kentucky v. Miss. St. Virginia v. Va. Tech

6 p.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 7 p.m. 8 p.m. 8 p.m.

ESPN ESPN2 ESPNU FSN ESPN ESPNU

33, 233 34, 234 35, 235 36, 236 33, 233 35, 235

Net

Cable

Women’s Basketball Time Tex. A&M v. Okla.

7 p.m. MS

37

Pro Hockey

Time

Cable

Detroit v. Chicago

7 p.m. NBCSN 38, 238

Boys Prep Basketball Time

Net

Net

Cable

Free St. v. O-N. replay 7 p.m. Knol. 6 College Lacrosse

Time

Del. v. J. Hopkins

4 p.m. ESPNU 35, 235

Net

Cable

,!4%34,).% NBA Favorite ............. Points (O/U)............Underdog a-CHICAGO ................No Line (XXX) .......................Atlanta NEW YORK......................91⠄2 (194)...................New Jersey DALLAS .............................6 (182) ...............................Boston Orlando.............................3 (186) ..................... MILWAUKEE OKLAHOMA CITY ........... 12 (189) .................. New Orleans HOUSTON .........................3 (189) ...........................Memphis San Antonio ....................3 (192) ..................................UTAH DENVER..........................41⠄2 (209) .....................Minnesota PHOENIX ........................51⠄2 (200) ..................Washington LA LAKERS .......................4 (180)........................... Portland LA Clippers......................2 (199) .......................GOLDEN ST a-Chicago guard D. Rose is questionable. COLLEGE BASKETBALL Favorite .................. Points.................Underdog Connecticut ..........................1............................VILLANOVA TEXAS ......................... 2..........................Baylor ST. JOHN’S..........................51⠄2 ..................................Depaul Fairfield ................................. 8 ...................................MARIST MISS VALLEY ST ...............71⠄2 ................Texas Southern NHL Favorite ...................Goals .................Underdog NY ISLANDERS...............Even-1⠄2............................. Ottawa Washington....................Even-1⠄2........................CAROLINA Home Team in CAPS (c) 2012 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

E-MAIL US Tom Keegan, Andrew Hartsock, Sports Editor Associate Sports Editor tkeegan@ljworld.com ahartsock@ljworld.com Gary Bedore, KU men’s basketball gbedore@ljworld.com

Matt Tait, KU football mtait@ljworld.com

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4/$!9).30/243 1887 — The International Association, the first minor league baseball association, is organized in Pittsburgh. 1972 — Larry Brown of the Denver Rockets sets ABA records for assists in a game (23), half (18) and quarter (10) during a 146-123 win over the Pittsburgh Condors at Denver. 2004 — The St. Louis Cardinals give Albert Pujols a $100 million, seven-year contact.

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Lawrence Journal-World 02-20-12  

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Lawrence Journal-World 02-20-12  

Daily Newspaper

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