Update on the latest sports


Michigan takes number-2 spot

UNDATED (AP) — Michigan has finally broken the stranglehold of Gonzaga and Baylor atop The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll, taking advantage of the Bears’ loss at Kansas to leap into the No. 2 spot behind the Bulldogs.

Illinois climbed one spot to fourth and Iowa gave the Big Ten three teams in the top five. West Virginia continued its steady climb, up four spots to No. 6 after its third straight win. Ohio State fell three spots to seventh after losing to the Hawkeyes. Alabama, Houston and Villanova rounded out the top 10.

Oklahoma State, Purdue and Colorado joined the poll while Southern California, Tennessee and Missouri dropped out.


Washington State-Arizona State game canceled

UNDATED (AP) — The men’s basketball game between Washington State and Arizona State scheduled for Monday has been canceled due to COVID-19 issues in the Cougars’ program.

Arizona State won 77-74 in overtime when the teams played on Saturday, but a Washington State player tested positive for COVID-19 Monday morning.

The game had been rescheduled from earlier in the season due to coronavirus issues at Arizona State.

The Sun Devils close out the regular season against Colorado and Utah this week.


Watt signs with Cardinals

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — J.J. Watt has agreed to a two-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals. The team announced the deal with the free-agent edge rusher on Monday.

Watt was released last month by the Houston Texans, for whom he won three NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards. The 31-year old Watt has been one of the NFL’s best players for a decade, but asked out in Houston, which is undergoing a roster upheaval.

Watt joins another former Texans star, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, in Arizona. Hopkins was acquired by the Cardinals in a one-sided trade a year ago.


Chiefs expect Mahomes by summer; Fisher, Schwartz by fall

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs expect Patrick Mahomes to be ready for offseason workouts following surgery on his toe, and they are optimistic that offensive tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz could be available for the start of training camp.

Mahomes had surgery on Feb. 10, shortly after the Chiefs were walloped by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl, to repair a turf toe injury that had hobbled him throughout the playoffs. Fisher had surgery for the Achilles tendon he tore in the AFC title game while Schwartz recently had back surgery.


Soto misses spring opener

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Washington Nationals slugger Juan Soto had to sit out the team’s exhibition home opener because he fouled a ball off his right foot a day earlier.

Manager Dave Martinez said the 2020 NL batting champion originally was scheduled to play Monday against the Houston Astros. But then the mishap happened during live batting practice Sunday. Martinez said the team was “just being cautious” with the slugging outfielder. Martinez said the ball went underneath the shin guard the left-handed-hitting Soto wears on his front foot while batting.

The 22-year-old Soto hit .351 with a 1.185 OPS that also led the NL last season.


Mets to remember Tom Seaver with patch

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Mets will honor the late Tom Seaver by wearing a “41” patch on their home and away jerseys this season. The Mets say they’ll pay tribute to the Hall of Fame pitcher by putting his number on the right sleeves of their uniforms.

Seaver died Aug. 31 at age 75. The right-hander is the Mets career leader in wins, ERA and strikeouts. He earned three Cy Young Awards with the Mets and pitched them to their first World Series championship in 1969.

The Mets plan to unveil a Seaver statue at Citi Field this year.


Vi Ripken, mother of Cal Jr. and kidnap victim, dies at 82

ABERDEEN, Md. (AP) — Vi Ripken, matriarch of the famed Orioles family that includes Hall of Fame son Cal Ripken Jr. and once the victim of a bizarre kidnapping, has died. She was 82.

Family spokesman John Maroon said she died Friday, a day before her birthday. Violet and Cal Ripken Sr. married in 1957 and he managed in the late 1980s, when sons Cal Jr. and Billy played for him.

In 2012, police said Vi Ripken was kidnapped at gunpoint at her home in Aberdeen, Maryland, and driven around blindfolded by her abductor. She was found bound and unharmed about 24 hours in her car near her home. The case was never solved.


Federer won’t play in Miami

MIAMI (AP) — Roger Federer’s agent tells The Associated Press the 20-time Grand Slam champion is withdrawing from the Miami Open so he can spend extra time preparing to “work his way back out on tour.”

Federer has not competed in more than a year after having two operations on his right knee during last season. He is scheduled to make his return to the tour next week at Doha, Qatar.

Federer had been on the entry list for the Masters 1000 stop in Miami that starts March 24. But his agent, Tony Godsick, wrote Monday in an email to the AP that Federer will not play there.

Federer turns 40 in August.


Trainer banned from entering horses while photo investigated

UNDATED (AP) — The image of Grand National-winning trainer Gordon Elliott seemingly posing for a photo while sitting on a dead horse has provoked horror and and led to the Irishman being banned from entering runners into British races while he is investigated by Irish authorities.

Elliott has apologized while confirming the authenticity of an undated photo that was shared across Twitter showing him sitting on a horse that had just died of a heart attack.

Bookmaker Betfair dropped Elliott as an ambassador saying his actions were not consistent with its “values.”