Monday’s Sports in Brief
NEW YORK (AP) UConn’s drive for five will begin at home.
Winners of 107 straight games, coach Geno Auriemma and the Huskies won’t have to leave the state of Connecticut in the NCAA Tournament until the Final Four as they try for an unprecedented fifth consecutive national championship.
The top seed will open at home on Saturday against Albany and if they advance to the Bridgeport Regional would have a short drive.
While the Huskies won’t have to leave the state until potentially heading to Dallas for the national semifinals, the other No. 1 seeds aren’t as lucky.
South Carolina is the top seed in Stockton, California. The Gamecocks are headed out of the Eastern time zone for the third time in four seasons. The Gamecocks’ lone trip to the Final Four came when they played a regional in Greensboro in 2015.
Baylor is the No. 1 in the Oklahoma City Regional and Notre Dame is the top choice in Lexington, Kentucky.
NEW YORK (AP) – The postseason WNIT isn’t challenging the fierce storm bearing down on the Northeast that’s expected to dump up to two feet of snow in some places and create blizzard-like conditions.
The women’s basketball postseason tournament is having its 10 teams that could be effected by the storm play their games on Friday.
Harvard is at New Hampshire, Sacred Heart visits St. John’s, Fordham travels to Georgetown, Rider plays at Virginia Tech, Villanova goes to Princeton, Drexel hosts Duquesne and Saint Joseph’s plays Virginia.
Michigan, George Washington, South Dakota State and Virginia, who were the first four teams left out of the NCAA field all are playing in the WNIT.
The 64-team tournament will begin Wednesday with the championship game being played on April 1.
UNDATED – Villanova, the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, is No. 1 in the final Associated Press college basketball poll of the season.
The Wildcats (31-3) were a runaway choice, receiving 59 first-place votes from the 65-member media panel.
Gonzaga (32-1), which received the other six first-place votes, and Kansas, two No. 1 seeds for the tournament, were second and third, but the poll and the selection committee disagreed on the fourth No. 1.
Arizona was fourth in the poll, while North Carolina, the fourth No. 1 seed, was ranked fifth.
Kentucky was sixth, followed by Duke, UCLA, Oregon and Louisville.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – DeMarcus Ware won’t be returning to either the Dallas Cowboys or the Denver Broncos as expected.
The 12-year NFL veteran is instead retiring from the NFL. Ware announced his decision Monday on Twitter.
Next to a split image of the Cowboys and Broncos, Ware wrote, ”After a lot of thought and prayer, I’ve decided to accept the unknown and retire from my NFL career. Tempting opportunities still present themselves for me to play and I feel better than I have in years. However, long-term health of quality of life outweigh the spark and passion to play that I once had.”
Ware’s decision is a shocker. Just two months ago, he scoffed at those suggesting he might have played his last NFL game after he missed the Broncos’ season finale to undergo lower back surgery.
PENN STATE ABUSE SCANDAL
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Two former Penn State administrators accused of covering up child sexual abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky pleaded guilty to reduced charges, more than five years after the scandal rocked the university and led to the downfall of football coach Joe Paterno.
Tim Curley, a 62-year-old former athletic director, and Gary Schultz, 67, a one-time vice president, could get up to five years in prison for misdemeanor child endangerment. No sentencing date was set.
They struck a deal in which prosecutors dropped three felony charges of child endangerment and conspiracy that carried up to seven years each.
Former Penn State President Graham Spanier, 68, was also charged in the scandal, and the case against him appears to be moving forward, with jury selection set for next week. His lawyers and the lead prosecutor had no comment.
The three administrators handled a 2001 complaint by a graduate assistant who said he saw Sandusky, a retired member of the coaching staff, sexually abusing a boy in a team shower. They failed in their legal duty by not reporting the matter to police or child welfare authorities, prosecutors said.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) – Sepp Blatter was ”reckless” when he paid $2 million to Michel Platini in a transaction that led both to be banned from world soccer, according to a Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling.
The former FIFA president also bypassed the body’s executive committee to extend Platini’s pension plan by four years – unlawfully adding more than $1 million to the former UEFA president’s retirement fund.
Details of the hearing in August were revealed in a newly published 68-page verdict written by CAS judges to explain why they dismissed Blatter’s appeal to overturn a six-year ban in December.
As an executive committee member since 2002, Platini was due a pension of 3 percent of his final FIFA stipend – $300,000 in 2015 when he was first banned – for each year of service. It would be paid annually for an equal number of years. By unilaterally supporting Platini’s request to start the plan in 1998, Blatter unlawfully created a pension fund for his former protege of $2.6 million in 2015 instead of $1.52 million, the judges noted.