Duke’s top-10 streak ends
For the first time since December 2007, the Duke men’s team is not among the top 10 in the Associated Press media poll.
The Blue Devils (11-3) dropped from seventh to No. 16 in the poll released Monday. Duke, coached by Mike Krzyzewski, lost 79-77 at Notre Dame on Saturday.
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Duke’s run started with the fourth AP poll of the 2007-08 season. The Blue Devils were in the top 10 for 122 consecutive polls, the second-longest streak since the AP poll started in January 1949.
UCLA posted the longest run in the top 10, a stretch of 155 polls from the start of the 1966-67 season until January 1976.
Arizona (15-0) leads this week’s poll.
In a high-profile Big Ten Conference matchup Tuesday, third-ranked Ohio State (15-0) visits No. 5 Michigan State (13-1).
Gonzaga (14-2) moved up in both major polls. The Zags advanced from 24th to 22nd in the AP poll and from 21st to 18th in the USA Today coaches poll.
Blatter says Brazil is behind
FIFA President Sepp Blatter criticized Brazil’s slow preparations for this year’s World Cup, calling the country further behind than any other hosting the international event during his tenure.
Brazil has completed six of the 12 World Cup stadiums despite a FIFA deadline to finish all of them by the end of 2013. The 32-nation tournament starts June 12.
“Brazil has just realized what it means to organize a World Cup,” Blatter said in an interview with Swiss newspaper 24 Heures. “They started a lot too late.”
Walcott to miss World Cup
England winger Theo Walcott will miss the World Cup after tearing a ligament in his left knee while playing for Arsenal in a 2-0 FA Cup victory over Tottenham on Saturday. The 24-year-old is expected to be out for at least six months.
U.S. team awaits rules ruling
Picture this for next month’s Sochi Olympics in Russia: American Lindsey Vonn limited to two events and other medal contenders held out of some of their favorite disciplines because of the International Ski Federation’s (FIS) complex qualifying rules for the Games.
“We’re waiting for FIS to clarify what it means and how it works,” U.S. men’s coach Sasha Rearick said three weeks before he has to name his team for Sochi.
In the fine print, the rules require skiers to finish a certain number of races in a discipline over last season and this season — up to Jan. 19 — to qualify for that event in Sochi. It is five races for the technical events of slalom and giant slalom, and three for the speed events of downhill, super-giant slalom and super combined.
Neureuther wins slalom
German Felix Neureuther won a World Cup slalom in Bormio, Italy.
He used the spotlight to announce his opposition to Russia’s human-rights record and a recent law banning gay “propaganda” in the Olympic host country.
Cleveland, 2 players agree
Reliever Scott Atchison, 37, and outfielder Jeff Francoeur, 29, have agreed to minor-league contracts with the Cleveland Indians. They will try to earn spots on the team’s big-league roster.
Atchison, who started his major-league career with the Mariners in 2004, appeared in 50 games for the New York Mets last year and went 3-3 with a 4.37 earned-run average.
Francoeur played for Kansas City and San Francisco last year and in 245 at-bats had a .204 average, 17 runs batted in and three homers. He was released by the Giants in August.
• Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers has been suspended for three games without pay by the NHL for his illegal check to New Jersey forward Dainius Zubrus’ head during Buffalo’s 2-1 home victory Saturday.
• Captain John Tavares scored three goals and added two assists in the host New York Islanders’ 7-3 NHL victory over the Dallas Stars.
• In tennis, American qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands defeated top-seeded and defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 7-5, 6-3 at the Sydney International, a tuneup event for next week’s Australian Open.
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