Freshman center and top NBA prospect Joel Embiid will sit out the final two regular-season games for No. 8 Kansas so that he can rest a lower back strain that has already caused him to miss a game, and it’s possible he could be out through the Big 12 tournament. Jayhawks coach Bill Self said that Embiid aggravated the injury and that experts have told the team’s training staff that the best remedy is simply rest. An MRI on his lower back came back negative . . . Florida, Wichita State, and Arizona are the top three teams in the Associated Press men’s basketball poll for the second straight week. The Gators, who are on a school-record 21-game winning streak, were a solid No. 1, receiving 46 first-place votes. Duke moved up two spots to fourth while Virginia, which won its first outright ACC title since 1981, jumped from 12th to fifth . . . UConn remained at No. 1 in the AP women’s basketball poll. Notre Dame stayed at No. 2 while Louisville, Stanford, and South Carolina round out the first five . . . The Southeastern Conference fined South Carolina $25,000 for the postgame celebration of a men’s basketball upset of No. 25 Kentucky. The SEC announced the fine for violation of the league’s policy restricting access to competition areas. Fans stormed the court to celebrate despite warnings.
BC falls to No. 2 in men’s hockey poll
The Boston College men’s hockey team dropped from the top spot to No. 2 overall in the USCHO.com Division 1 poll after falling to Notre Dame over the weekend. The Eagles (25-5-4) still received 12 first-place votes and are the top seed in the Hockey East tournament. Minnesota (23-4-5) took over on top, though a handful of other New England schools were represented in the poll. Quinnipiac is sixth, UMass-Lowell eighth, Providence 10th, Northeastern 14th, Vermont 15th, Yale 16th, and Maine 20th . . . In the USCHO.com women’s Division 1 poll, Boston College sits fourth, while Harvard and Quinnipiac are sixth and seventh, respectively . . . Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer had a short medical procedure over the weekend to remove fluid from a cyst on his brain. Meyer will be on the field when spring drills begin on Tuesday . . . Former Northeastern athletic director Dave O’Brien died Saturday after a long battle with cancer. He was 57. O’Brien was at Northeastern from 2002-07 and helped the university move to the Colonial Athletic Association.
Predators’ Rinne to return on Tuesday
Predators goalie Pekka Rinne is expected to start on Tuesday against the Penguins in his return from a hip injury that has limited him to only nine games this season. The Predators recalled Rinne from a two-game conditioning assignment Monday. Rinne, a two-time Vezina Trophy finalist, has been recovering from an E. coli infection in his surgically repaired left hip . . . The Oilers and goalie Ben Scrivens agreed to a two-year contract extension reportedly worth $2.3 million per season. Scrivens was aquired from the Kings for a third-round pick in the 2014 draft. He is 10-9-4 this season with a 2.02 goals-against average and an NHL-leading .934 save percentage . . . Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa will miss 2-3 weeks after he left Saturday night’s win over Pittsburgh in the first period with an upper-body injury. Hossa has 24 goals and 26 assists in 57 games . . . The Blackhawks traded prospect Brandon Pirri to the Panthers for a 2014 third-round pick and 2016 fifth-round selection.
Nets giving Collins a new 10-day deal
A person with knowledge of the situation said the Brooklyn Nets will sign Jason Collins to a second 10-day contract on Wednesday. Collins signed his original deal Feb. 23, becoming the NBA’s first openly gay player, and it expires Tuesday. After that, the Nets would have to sign him for the rest of the season if they wanted to keep him. Collins has played in four games, averaging 8.5 minutes per contest . . . LeBron James has been asked to attend Saturday night’s Cleveland Cavaliers jersey retirement ceremony for his former teammate Zydrunas Ilgauskas . James’s Miami Heat have practice in Chicago that Saturday . . . It looks as if the US men’s national soccer team will get to play Ukraine after all. Wednesday’s friendly in Larnaca, Cyprus, appeared to be in jeopardy because of the upheaval in Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. But the US Soccer Federation said in an e-mailed statement that the game would proceed as scheduled . . . Former world champion boxer Antonio Tarver was arrested in Florida Saturday on a felony theft and bad check warrant stemming from unpaid IOUs at a Las Vegas Strip casino . . . Tiger Woods said he would get treatment on his ailing back every day to ‘‘calm it down.’’ As for playing next week at Doral, he said he would wait until Thursday to see how it feels. Woods withdrew from the Honda Classic in the final round because of his balky back . . . Stanford junior Patrick Rodgers, the No. 1-ranked amateur golfer in the world, will forgo his final year of eligibility to pursue a professional career after this season . . . Three-time Grand Slam champ Lindsay Davenport was named to the International Tennis Hall of Fame . . . The German bobsled federation banned driver Manuel Machata for one year for lending a set of bobsled runners to Russia’s Alexander Zubkov, who won two gold medals at the Sochi Olympics. Machata did not qualify for the Olympics. He lent his runners to Zubkov for a fee.