UK tickets on sale Monday for Hall of Fame tournament
Tickets go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. for the Kentucky men's basketball team's Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament games in Uncasville, Conn., Coach John Calipari announced on Twitter Saturday.
The Cats will play Penn State on Saturday Nov. 19 and either Old Dominion or South Florida the next day at the Mohegan Sun Arena. In a separate bracket that weekend, Long Island, Marist, Radford and Vermont will be playing. Four of the tournament's games are slated to be televised on ESPN networks, but times and details haven't been released yet. Tickets will be available at Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster.com.
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Top recruit Muhammad has UK in top 5
Shabazz Muhammad, rated the No. 1 overall prospect for 2012 by Rivals.com, gave Kentucky basketball fans reason for hope on Friday. On the same day the 6-foot-6 swingman scored 38 points in an AAU game in Las Vegas, he was asked whether he'd narrowed his list of college choices.
"If I had to take five (official) visits today, it'd probably be Kentucky, Duke, UCLA, Texas A&M and UNLV," he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
But it could be a long time before decision time for Muhammad, who has room to be picky and won't be feeling any pressure to sign in the fall.
"I might sign early, and I might not," he told Rivals.
Go to the Herald-Leader's Next Cats recruiting blog at UKrecruiting.bloginky.com for links to all the latest news stories from around the country on Muhammad and other UK targets.
Pitino says U of L will skip Maui in 2012
Coach Rick Pitino has decided that Louisville will not be participating in the 2012 Maui Invitational. Kevin Miller, the university's executive senior associate athletics director, told The Courier-Journal that Pitino decided to pull the Cardinals out of the event after looking at the schedule. Miller referred more specific questions to Pitino, who could not be reached by the newspaper on Friday.
It's Tricky upsets favorite Plum Pretty
It's Tricky wore down favored Plum Pretty after a head-to-head battle down the stretch to win the $250,000 Coaching Club American Oaks by three-quarters of a length Saturday at Saratoga Race Course in New York.
Eddie Castro rode It's Tricky, who engaged the front-running Kentucky Oaks winner with 3 furlongs to run and prevailed only in the final strides of the 11⁄8-mile race run in 1:49.15. Royal Delta was third of five 3-year-old fillies.
"Around the three-eighths, I knew Garcia had a lot of horse, too," Castro said, referring to jockey Martin Garcia. "I had to put pressure and ride her really hard. When I hit her left-handed, she came on and fought again."
The victory was the fourth from five starts for the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained It's Tricky and second in Grade I company. She paid $10.60, $4.40 and $3.10. Plum Pretty paid $3.40 and $2.50. Royal Delta paid $2.50 to show.
"This is her third time around two turns that's she's won," McLaughlin said. "We always thought that distance should be no problem. If it's 1¼ miles in a month, we're not worried about the distance."
It's Tricky earned $150,000 for her owner, Godolphin Stable.
Johnson falls in tuneup for nationals
Shawn Johnson's first competition since the Beijing Olympics was a rough one. Johnson fell off the balance beam and pitched forward on the landing of her uneven-bars routine Saturday night at the Cover Girl Classic in Chicago, a qualifier for next month's national championships. She scored a 13.55 on uneven bars and a 13.3 on balance beam, the only two events she did, and will now have to wait to see if her petition for nationals is approved. Johnson took time off after winning the 2007 world title and four medals in Beijing — a gold on balance beam and silvers in the all-around, team competition and floor exercise. She returned to the gym after blowing out her knee during a January 2010 ski trip.
While Johnson was shaky Saturday, her 2008 teammates Chellsie Memmel and Alicia Sacramone were rock-solid. Memmel, the 2005 world champion, got serious about her comeback in January, but it looked as if the 23-year-old had never been away as she finished second in the all-around and qualified for nationals with a score of 56.95. Sacramone finished first on vault and beam and was third on floor exercise.
FIFA bans Qatari official for life
Mohamed bin Hammam's downfall from soccer powerbroker to disgraced outcast was completed Saturday when FIFA banned the Qatari official for life for his role in a bribery scandal. Bin Hammam was found guilty of bribing presidential election voters just months after he helped secure the 2022 World Cup for his tiny Gulf homeland. The scandal forced him to abandon his campaign to unseat FIFA President Sepp Blatter and led to him becoming the most senior official convicted of corruption in the governing body's 107-year history. A FIFA ethics panel ruled after a two-day hearing that the executive committee member conspired to pay Caribbean officials $40,000 cash bribes in May for their support in the election.
Iraq downs Yemen in World Cup qualifier
A goal in each half propelled Iraq to a 2-0 victory over Yemen in the first leg of their World Cup qualifier Saturday. The host team's first goal in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil came in the 10th minute, when Hawar Mohammed scored with a powerful shot after he was fed by team captain Younis Mahmoud. The victory should give a boost to Iraq, which has struggled on the pitch since becoming the surprise winner of the 2007 Asian Cup. The team has fallen victim to the same political tensions that have hit the rest of the country. It failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, and the team was banned by FIFA for five months in 2009-10 after Iraq's Olympic committee disbanded the country's football federation for alleged financial and administrative irregularities.
The last word
Former Oakland Athletics slugger Jose Canseco on Twitter after an apparent breakup:
"A broken heart is kind of like a broken bat, you can use it again but it will never be the same."