Bat Cats' sweep of Gamecocks earns them respect in polls
The Kentucky baseball team's undefeated start to the season, including a three-game sweep of two-time defending champion South Carolina this past weekend, landed them the No. 2 spot in the Collegiate Baseball poll and the 16th spot in Baseball America's rankings, both of which were released on Monday.
The Wildcats (21-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) trail only Florida in the Collegiate Baseball poll and advanced from 16th last week. They weren't ranked in the previous Baseball America poll.
UK's 21-game winning streak to open the season ranks third in SEC history behind the 23-game winning streak by 2010 NCAA champion Louisiana State and a 22-game streak by South Carolina in 2000.
Also, freshman standout A.J. Reed was named the SEC Freshman of the Week. Reed, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound left-handed pitcher and first baseman, picked up two wins in his two pitching appearances and delivered the game-winning RBI in both of his victories. He led UK in hitting during the week with a .526 average (10-for-19) with two doubles, one home run and five RBI and was 2-0 with eight strikeouts and a 1.12 ERA in eight innings.
Kentucky's next game is at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Cincinnati.
Patterson fined for criticizing officiating
Houston Rockets forward Patrick Patterson was fined $25,000 Monday for publicly criticizing officiating, said Stu Jackson, NBA executive vice president of basketball operations. Patterson, a former Kentucky standout, was fined for comments made on his Twitter account.
■ Ray Allen hit two three-pointers in Boston's 13-0 run in the fourth quarter and protected the lead with two free throws in the final seconds as the Boston Celtics held on to beat the host Atlanta Hawks 79-76. Rajon Rondo had 10 points, 13 assists and six steals for Boston, which took charge with a 17-2 run, including 13 unanswered points, after a 56-56 tie in the final period.
■ Carlos Boozer scored 24 points and had 13 rebounds, John Lucas scored 20 points off the bench, and the visiting Chicago Bulls beat the Orlando Magic 85-59. Chicago Coach Tom Thibodeau also became the fastest coach in NBA history to earn 100 career victories. The Bulls won for the fifth time in six games. Dwight Howard had 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Magic, who had 19 turnovers.
■ Tristan Thompson scored a career-high 27 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and gave Cleveland the lead with a tip-in with 1:11 to play, leading the Cavaliers to a 105-100 victory over the host New Jersey Nets. Fellow rookie Kyrie Irving added 26 points, seven assists and five rebounds as the Cavaliers snapped a three-game losing streak and sent the Nets to their third straight loss.
■ Jrue Holiday had 20 points and six assists as the first-place Philadelphia 76ers defeated the host Charlotte Bobcats 105-80 to snap a three-game losing streak. Thaddeus Young also had 20 points, and Louis Williams chipped in with 19 for the 76ers. Philadelphia also got a solid effort from Elton Brand, who scored eight of his 16 points in a pivotal third quarter as the 76ers outscored the Bobcats 30-19 to break open a two-point game.
■ Boston Celtics forward-center Jermaine O'Neal will have surgery on his left wrist and miss the remainder of the season.
Missouri QB needs shoulder surgery
Missouri quarterback James Franklin will undergo surgery on his right shoulder and miss the rest of spring practice, but he's expected to be ready for the start of next season. The junior threw for 2,865 yards and 21 touchdowns and ran for 981 yards and 15 TDs as a first-year starter in 2011. Franklin was injured last Tuesday during practice when he jumped on a fumble at the end of a play and a defender landed on his outstretched throwing arm.
Sportswriter Furman Bisher dies at 93
Famed Georgia sportswriter Furman Bisher, who covered everything from major golf tournaments to the Triple Crown during a career that spanned six decades, died Sunday of a massive heart attack outside Atlanta. He was 93.
Former Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor Jim Minter said family members told him that Bisher had planned to watch golf at home on Sunday but complained of feeling ill, at which point his wife, Lynda, called 911. He died at a nearby hospital.
"He put more quality words on newsprint than any other writer in the last half of the 20th century," Minter said late Sunday, according to the newspaper. "He never wrote a bad column."
Bisher retired in 2009 after 59 years at the Georgia newspaper, writing his final column on the same typewriter he used in 1950.
The North Carolina native wrote hundreds of articles for national magazines including Sports Illustrated and the Saturday Evening Post. He also authored several books, including an autobiography of baseball great Hank Aaron.
In 1949, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson gave Bisher and Sport Magazine his only interview since being ousted from baseball 30 years earlier in the "Black Sox" scandal.
After his official retirement, Bisher continued to write occasionally for the Journal-Constitution and to cover golf tournaments. He was hoping to cover this year's Masters tournament.
KGA-PGA names new executive director
Steve McMillen was named executive director by KGA-PGA Inc., the governing body of amateur and professional golf in Kentucky.He had served as the executive director of the Kansas City Golf Association since 2002. McMillen, 42, is a golf industry veteran and a Class A member of the PGA of America. He is also recognized by the USGA as an expert on the rules of golf.
The last word
Baylor women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey has been on pins and needles watching the school's men's team win its first two NCAA Tournament games. In fact, she found herself hollering at her television, offering some advice to Bears Coach Scott Drew:
"He finally listened; I just knew we had that rapport through the television."