Kentucky freshman forward and the nation’s top-ranked recruit, Nerlens Noel, has been cleared by the NCAA to play this season for the Wildcats. NCAA spokesman Cameron Schuh said Wednesday the 6-foot-10-inch, 228-pound Everett native was ‘‘cleared to practice and play’’ following a probe into the funding of unofficial visits to Kentucky . . . Texas sophomore guard Myck Kabongo will practice until NCAA investigators, who have raised questions about his relationship with professional agent Rich Paul, make a determination in his case. Longhorns coach Rick Barnes said Kabongo has not been declared ineligible . . . Louisville was the unanimous choice for first place in the Big East coaches’ preseason poll. Syracuse was second and Notre Dame was third. Louisville’s Peyton Siva was selected as preseason Player of the Year . . . The Big East and Madison Square Garden have agreed to a multiyear extension of their contract that will keep the conference’s postseason tournament in New York. No details of the extension were given.
UMass, Vanderbilt meet for first time
UMass’s game at Vanderbilt Oct. 27 will kick off at 7 p.m. and be televised on Fox SportsNet and NESN. . . Bryant junior wide receiver Jordan Harris (10 receptions, 202 yards and 2 TDs in a win over Robert Morris) and Springfield College freshman quarterback Jonathan Marrero of Hyde Park (four TD passes, three TD runs in the first half of a victory over US Merchant Marine) received this week’s Gridiron Club of Greater Boston Gold Helmet Awards from the New England Football Writers . . . Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson has been cleared by doctors to practice after he sustained a concussion last Saturday against Stanford and is expected to start Saturday against BYU . . . Former Arkansas players Marquel Wade and Andrew Peterson have been sentenced to six months in jail and five years’ probation for their roles in on-campus burglaries. According to arrest reports, the three stole textbooks, DVDs, laptops, and more than $4,800 in cash from a dormitory . . . Idaho State coach Mike Kramer is being investigated by police and the university for allegedly shoving a player to the ground two weeks ago in an incident caught on video. Senior receiver Derek Graves lodged a complaint with police that he was pushed by Kramer during an Oct. 3 practice.
Lynx top Fever to even up WNBA finals
Seimone Augustus scored 23 of her 27 points in the second half to help Minnesota surge past Indiana, 83-71, to even the WNBA finals at one game apiece. . . Connecticut’s Tina Charles, Indiana’s Tamika Catchings, Los Angeles’s Candace Parker, New York’s Cappie Pondexter and Augustus were named to the All-WNBA first team. . . Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love will miss the next six to eight weeks after breaking his right hand in a workout . . . Sacramento exercised the 2013-14 contract options of center DeMarcus Cousins and guard Jimmer Fredette . . . The Raptors exercised the fourth-year team option on forward Ed Davis’s rookie-scale contract. Davis was the lone Toronto player to appear in all 66 games last season.
Beckett’s companies file lawsuit
Two companies owned by former Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett filed a motion for a temporary restraining order Wednesday in an attempt to bar a Texas pipeline builder from clearing acres of brush on Beckett’s Herradura Ranch that he claims is critical habitat for the endangered ocelot. Eagle Ford Midstream LP and its parent NET Midstream filed a response with the court arguing that the hunting ranch’s activity posed a greater threat than their pipeline. They pointed out that a state court denied Beckett’s similar request to halt their project earlier this month . . . Brian McCann’s agent said the Braves catcher expects to be ‘‘completely healthy’’ for the 2013 season following surgery on his right shoulder. McCann’s rehabilitation could last six months. . . The Blue Jays claimed Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins and Yankees pitcher Cory Wade off waivers.
England, Poland draw in Cup qualifier
Kamil Glik scored on a header in the 70th minute to give Poland a 1-1 tie with England in World Cup qualifying. England (2-0-2) leads Europe Group H by one point over Montenegro (2-0-1) . . . Real Salt Lake and host Seattle FC battled to a 0-0 tie in MLS action . . . Olympic all-around champ Gabby Douglas won Sportswoman of the Year honors from the Women’s Sports Foundation. . . Apprentice jockey Jorge Vargas Jr. recorded the first victory of his career, winning the fifth race at Suffolk Downs . . . Caroline Wozniacki advanced to the quarterfinals of the Kremlin Cup by beating Urszula Radwanska, 6-1, 6-3. Sofia Arvidsson, Dominika Cibulkova, and Klara Zakopalova also advanced to the quarters. In men’s second-round play, Malek Jaziri upset 2010 champion Viktor Troicki, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2. . . Nicolas Almagro, Lleyton Hewitt, Ricardas Berankis and Mikhail Youzhny all advanced to the quarterfinals of the Stockholm Open.