UK Basketball recruiting
Memphis shooting guard LaGerald Vick committed to Kansas on Sunday, the same day that he was scheduled to begin an official visit to Kentucky.
Vick — a 6-foot-5 prospect — is currently a member of the class of 2016, though UK was recruiting him as a 2015 addition. It's still possible that he will academically qualify to be a part of the class of 2015 and play college basketball next season.
He is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 49 overall prospect in the 2016 class.
247Sports national analyst Jerry Meyer reported Sunday night that UK is "making inroads" with five-star post player Caleb Swanigan, the only uncommitted McDonald's All-American in the class of 2015.
Meyer said that if UK is able to land Swanigan, that could push returning senior Alex Poythress to a wing position, which is where Vick would have played had he chosen the Wildcats.
Swanigan is also considering California — the perceived favorite in his recruitment — and Purdue, where his legal guardian was a standout football player in the 1980s.
Auto racingDixon tops Indy 500 qualifying
One minute, Scott Dixon thought the numbers were a mistake. The next, he was sitting on the Indianapolis 500 pole.
On one of the strangest qualifying days in Indy history, Dixon overcame rules changes, a revised schedule, the threat of rain and Team Penske's powerful four-car lineup to earn his second Indy pole with a four-lap average of 226.760 mph.
Will Power and Simon Pagenaud, who drive for Roger Penske, will start second and third on May 24 after going 226.350 and 226.145. Penske had won eight straight poles.
"I was definitely a little shocked with the first number when I saw it," Dixon said. "I thought the steering wheel was broken but broken in a good way. Yeah, it's a tough week, no matter which way you look at it, the curveballs that you get with the weather, but you understand that's part of the month of May."
When Ed Carpenter's primary car went airborne in the morning practice, the third Chevrolet car to do that this week, team owners, engine manufacturers and series officials huddled in Gasoline Alley to find a solution. They settled on removing the extra horsepower for qualifying and instructed all teams to use race setups, a combination that sent 34 drivers trying to make the May 24 race scrambling. There was a 5-hour, 15-minute delay.
Despite the steep drop in speeds, Dixon somehow had enough to move into the top spot 25 minutes into qualifying, then hung on as 29 other drivers took shots at knocking him down a notch on the 33-car starting grid. None could.
Three-time Indy champ Helio Castroneves thought he had a shot at a fifth Indy pole but never topped 226 and will start fifth, the middle of Row 2 after averaging 225.502. The Brazilian was trying to break a tie with A.J. Foyt and Rex Mays for the second-most Indy poles behind Rick Mears (six).
■ Denny Hamlin gave Joe Gibbs Racing its first victory in NASCAR's Sprint All-Star race by using clean air to hold off Kevin Harvick at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday night. "It's been a long time coming," said Joe Gibbs, who got his first All-Star victory in 24 races.
McIlroy cruises to 7-shot victory in Charlotte
Rory McIlroy became the first two-time winner in the Wells Fargo Championship with a seven-shot victory Sunday over Webb Simpson and Patrick Rodgers in Charlotte, N.C. The top-ranked McIlory closed with a 3-under 69 to finish at 21-under 267 and break the tournament record by five strokes. He entered the day with a four-stroke lead after a course-record 61 on Saturday.
McIlroy also won the Match Play Championship two weeks ago in San Francisco and has 11 PGA Tour titles. He has six top-10 finishes in his last eight PGA Tour starts.
"Everything is firing on all cylinders for me," McIlroy said.
Phil Mickelson called McIlroy's performance this week "impressive." McIlroy had another word to describe his play on the back nine.
"Boring," he said with a laugh.
Unlike his win in 2010, McIlroy didn't finish in a flurry by carding 3s on the last six holes. On Sunday he played the last half-dozen holes in 1-under. Then again, he didn't really need to shoot lights out with nobody chasing him.
"It was a more controlled run," McIlroy said. "I feel like I'm a more controlled player these days. I've learned how to finish things off."
■ Minjee Lee played a five-hole stretch in 5 under to open a four-stroke lead when final-round play was suspended because of darkness in the LPGA Tour's Kingsmill Championship. After making an eagle on the par-5 15th to cap the five-hole run, the 18-year-old Australian was on the par-4 16th when the horn sounded. She hit her approach to the green, but opted to mark the ball and finish the hole when play resumes at 7 a.m. Monday on Kingsmill Resort's River Course in Williamsburg, N.C.
■ Jeff Maggert won the Regions Tradition for his first Champions Tour major title, beating Kevin Sutherland with a 3-foot par putt on the first hole of a playoff in Birmingham, Ala.
Sutherland two-putted for bogey to set up Maggert for the winning par on the 18th hole at Shoal Creek.
Etc.Georgia eliminates WKU softball from NCAAs
Western Kentucky's softball team (36-14) closed out the program's best season in school history on Sunday, falling in the final two games of the NCAA Athens Regional to host Georgia. The Bulldogs won the first game 12-3 and the second 17-0.
The Lady Toppers finished the year with a program-best .720 winning percentage, plus Conference USA's regular-season and tournament championships in their inaugural year in the league.
■ Top-ranked Novak Djokovic bolstered his clay-court credentials a week ahead of the French Open with a convincing 6-4, 6-3 win over Roger Federer to capture his fourth Italian Open title in Rome. Extending his winning streak to 22 matches, Djokovic proved too consistent and too quick for Federer, who has never won the title at the Foro Italico in 15 appearances.
The only real problem for Djokovic came after the trophy presentation when a champagne cork popped prematurely and appeared to graze his forehead.
"We had an argument, Mr. Champagne and I," Djokovic said. "He threw a punch and I won't forget it."
In the women's tournament, Maria Sharapova rallied to beat 10th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 and win her third Rome title. The victory gives Sharapova confidence as she prepares to defend her title at the French Open.
■ Lexington Legends starter Zach Lovvorn allowed three hits and one run in seven innings in a 3-1 win over the Savannah Sand Gnats on Sunday afternoon in Georgia. Lovvorn walked one batter and struck out three in improving his record to 2-4. Ashton Goudeau pitched two scoreless innings in relief and picked up his first save.
■ Hampus Lindholm, Nate Thompson and Jakob Silfverberg each had a goal and an assist, and the Anaheim Ducks opened the Western Conference finals with a 4-1 victory at home over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. Frederik Andersen made 32 saves and Kyle Palmieri also scored for the Ducks. Game 2 is Tuesday night in Anaheim.
The last word
Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah took Saturday's Preakness by seven lengths over a sloppy track in a driving rainstorm in Baltimore. Trainer Bob Baffert's take?
"He's by Pioneerof the Nile, and it was like he was running in the Nile."