Virginia is ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press men's college basketball poll for the first time in more than 35 years. The Cavaliers rose one spot Monday despite an overtime home loss Saturday to Virginia Tech in an upset-filled week that saw last week’s top three teams all lose. The Cavaliers (23-2, 12-1 ACC) earned 30 of 65 first-place votes to reach No. 1 for the first time since December 1982, when the poll ranked only 20 teams. That team fell out of the spot after its improbable upset loss to Chaminade in Hawaii, regarded by many as the biggest upset in the history of college sports. Virginia plays with the top ranking for the first time since that loss at Miami on Tuesday. Michigan State (24-3, 12-2 Big Ten) earned 21 first-place votes to climb two spots. Villanova (23-2, 10-2 Big East) fell to third after a five-week stay at No. 1, earning nine first-place votes. Xavier (23-3, 11-2 Big East) inched up a spot to fourth with five first-place votes, followed by Cincinnati (23-2, 12-0 American) at No. 5. This is Xavier’s highest ranking in its history, while Cincinnati is in the top 5 for the first time since spending a good chunk of the 2001-02 season there.
Belmont women ranked for first time
Belmont (24-3) was No. 24 in the women’s poll, marking the first AP Top 25 ranking in school history. The Bruins have won 15 consecutive games. The top five remains unchanged with UConn leading the way as the unanimous choice of the 32-member national media panel. Mississippi State, Baylor, and Notre Dame round out the top five . . . Mississippi men’s basketball coach Andy Kennedy said he will step down after the season. In 12 seasons, Kennedy is the winningest coach in school history with 245 wins. He earned his 100th SEC regular season win this season, the only Ole Miss coach to hit the milestone . . . Georgia Tech point guard Jose Alvarado will miss the rest of the regular season and postseason with a fractured left elbow he suffered in Sunday’s loss to Duke. The freshman is second on the Yellow Jackets with a 12.1 points per game average . . . Brookline native Michal Alge set a school record Sunday with her 832nd career rebound in Yeshiva’s 86-44 women’s basketball loss to Mount Saint Vincent in Throggs Neck, N.Y. The senior had a double-double in the game with 12 points and 19 rebounds and now has 849 career boards . . . Nevada’s football team reached an agreement to play at Penn State on Sept. 5, 2020 in the first meeting between the two programs.
Former All-Star Loaiza arrested on drug charges
Former All-Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza was arrested on suspicion of trafficking drugs after packages containing a white powder believed to be cocaine were found at a home he rented in Southern California, officials said. The 46-year-old was booked Friday on charges involving the possession, transport, and sale of 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of suspected cocaine worth an estimated $500,000, according to the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. Loaiza played for eight teams from 1995-2008, going 21-9 with the White Sox in 2003 and starting the All-Star Game. He was being held for lack of $200,000 bail pending a court appearance on Wednesday . . . The Toronto Blue Jays will retire Roy Halladay's No. 32 before their opener against the New York Yankees on March 29. Halladay died at age 40 on Nov. 7 when the plane he was piloting crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. Toronto will wear a No. 32 patch on its uniforms this season. Roberto Alomar's No. 12 in the only other player whose number was retired by the Blue Jays . . . Former National League Rookie of the Year Wally Moon died Friday at his home in Bryan, Texas. He was 87. Moon played for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1954-58 and was NL Rookie of the Year in 1954, when he batted .304 with 12 homers and 76 RBI. He then moved on to the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he was part of World Series-winning teams in 1959, 1963, and 1965 . . . Former NBA executive Chip Bowers, who most recently spent five years as chief marketing officer for the Golden State Warriors, was hired as president of business operations for the Miami Marlins.
Manziel reveals bipolar diagnosis
Speaking with Good Morning America for a piece that aired Monday, former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel said he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about a year ago and that he has stopped drinking. The 2014 first-round draft pick detailed his downward spiral, alcohol use, depression, and hopes for a return to football. He hasn’t played in the NFL since 2015, and was cut by Cleveland in March 2016 while under investigation for domestic assault against his former girlfriend . . . The Arizona Cardinals extended general manager Steve Keim’s contract through 2022. Since Keim became general manager in January, 2013, Arizona has a regular-season record of 49-30-1 Keim and team president Michael Bidwill recently hired Steve Wilks to replace the retired Bruce Arians as head coach . . . Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is donating $25,000 to establish the Edwin Jackson Memorial Scholarship in memory of the 26-year-old linebacker who was killed in a traffic accident Feb. 4. Jackson was on injured reserve last season.
Devils’ Schneider on injured reserve
The New Jersey Devils placed starting goalie Cory Schneider on injured reserve with groin and hip injuries. The team said Schneider is expected to start skating next week. The Marblehead native was hurt in a Jan. 23 loss at Boston . . . A person familiar with the move told The Associated Press that Anaheim will waive forward Dennis Rasmussen, who signed a one-year, $725,000 contract in July after playing the previous two seasons with Chicago . . . Forward Mike Fisher practiced with the Nashville Predators for the first time since he announced he was coming out of retirement Jan. 31. Since then, he had been skating on his own. Fisher has not signed a contract and must do so by Feb. 26 to be able to play the remainder of the season . . . Goalie Corey Crawford practiced with the Chicago Blackhawks for the first time since sustaining an upper-body injury in late December.
US soccer to host Paraguay in exhibition
The United States men’s national soccer team will host Paraguay in an exhibition on March 27 in Cary, N.C. The US Soccer Federation also confirmed exhibitions against Ireland in Dublin on June 2 and versus France at Lyon on June 9 . . . Hoping to bolster their playoff chances, the Philadelphia 76ers signed veteran 3-point specialist Marco Belinelli. The move was expected after Belinelli was bought out last week by the Atlanta Hawks . . . The 150th British Open will be held at St. Andrews, Scotland, in 2021. It will be the 30th time the world's oldest major is played on the Royal and Ancient Golf Club’s Old Course at the home of golf, ending the cycle of St. Andrews staging the Open every five years since 1990. It first hosted the event in 1873, with Tom Kidd winning when an 18-hole course was used in the championship for the first time.