National briefs

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 3, 2011

Associated Press
LOS ANGELES ó Harrison Barnes and three of his North Carolina teammates are among the 50 players on the Wooden Awardís preseason list.
John Henson, Kendall Marshall and Tyler Zeller of the Tar Heels were also selected for the list by the Los Angeles Athletic Club on Monday.
Ohio State (Jared Sullinger, William Buford, Aaron Craft) and Vanderbilt (Festus Ezeli, John Jenkins and Jeffery Taylor) had three players chosen, while California, Connecticut, Memphis, Syracuse and UCLA all had two.
The Big East had 10 players on the list followed by the Big Ten with nine and the Southeastern Conference with seven players. The North Carolina players were the only ones from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The 36th annual Wooden Award will be presented the weekend of April 6-8.
NCAA FOOTBALL
RALEIGH ó Some of North Carolina Stateís injured players could be back this week.
The team released its updated depth chart Monday and running back Curtis Underwood and punter Wil Baumann were listed on it.
Underwood is listed as the backup to James Washington at tailback while Baumann is the starting punter. Underwood missed the Georgia Tech game with an unspecified knee injury, and in his place, Washington rushed for a career-high 131 yards with a touchdown in the 45-35 loss.
Defensive tackle J.R. Sweezy is scheduled to make his first start of the season. The team co-captain missed four games after breaking a foot during the preseason and played 27 snaps against Georgia Tech.
N.C. State (2-3) plays host to Central Michigan (2-3) on Saturday in its final nonconference game.
GREENVILLE ó Six weeks into the season and East Carolina is finally leaving the state. The Pirates want to find some wins out there on the road.
They had a month-long homestand after opening the season in Charlotte against South Carolina. Now theyíre headed to Houston and are hoping to find the answer to their turnover problems there.
East Carolina (1-3, 1-0 Conference USA) has committed an FBS-worst 17 turnovers. That includes four turnovers in last weekís 35-20 loss to North Carolina and seven giveaways the week before against UAB.
Coach Ruffin McNeill says ěweíve hurt ourselves with mistakesî and he knows he canít afford to give any free chances to the Cougars. Their quarterback Case Keenum leads the nation with an average of 401 total yards.
GOLF
LONDON ó Tiger Woods is out of the top 50 in the world ranking for the first time in nearly 15 years.
Woods, who hasnít won in almost two years, was assured of dropping from the top 50 when Louis Oosthuizen finished in a three-way tie for fifth in the Dunhill Links Championship.
That ends a streak of 778 consecutive weeks inside the top 50, dating to when Woods was No. 61 on Oct. 13, 1996.
Woods, who has not played since missing the cut at the PGA Championship, returns to competition this week at the Frys.com Open at CordeValle in northern California.
NBA
NEW YORK ó With a month until the NBA season, players and owners donít sound much closer to a labor deal than they did when the lockout began. Theyíre so far apart on money they decided to leave it alone Saturday and focused mainly on the salary cap.
They couldnít solve that one, either.
The sides will meet again Monday ó the day training camps were to have begun ó though time is getting short to save the start of the regular season, scheduled for Nov. 1.
BIG EAST
WASHINGTON ó The presidents and chancellors of the 14 remaining Big East members and TCU have authorized Commissioner John Marinatto to ěaggressively pursue discussionsî with certain schools interested in joining the league.
The league released a statement after the meeting Sunday at Georgetown University. The meeting had been scheduled before Syracuse and Pittsburgh announced last month they will leave the conference to join the ACC.
The original purpose of the meeting was to discuss the conferenceís upcoming television rights negotiations, but the defections forced expansion onto the agenda.
1:NHL
NEW YORK (AP) ó With harsher rules regarding hits to the head and boarding, NHL players are slowly getting a grip on what will be whistled on the ice and punished off it.
New NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan already has doled out seven suspensions ó in just the preseason ó and all but one have been the result of head contact or checking from behind.
Under a revised Rule 48, players now will face a minor penalty for any hits that target an opponentís head and make it the principal point of contact. The original wording applied only to hits that came from the lateral or blind side.
After referees issue a minor penalty, the hit will be subject to supplemental discipline.
1:NASCAR
DOVER, Del. (AP) ó Kurt Busch stormed into contention for a second Cup championship, holding off Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards to win Sunday at Dover International Speedway.
Edwards and Kevin Harvick share the points lead in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship standings after three rounds. Harvick is seeded first because of a tiebreaker.
Busch pulled away from Johnson after a late restart to win his second race of the season. Johnson, the five-time defending champion, was second and Edwards was third. Busch moved from ninth to fourth in the standings, only nine points out of first.
Round 4 of the Chase is at Kansas Speedway.
1:RACING
NEW YORK (AP) ó Flat Out took the lead on the turn for home and won the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup to cap a Super Saturday of racing at Belmont Park with Breedersí Cup implications.
Flat Outís 2 1/4-length win over 2010 Belmont Stakes winner Drosselmeyer, with favorite Stay Thirsty third, likely sends the 5-year-old horse into the BC Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5 as one of the favorites.
Earlier, Uncle Mo showed heís back to his winning ways with a three-length victory in the $200,000 Kelso Handicap and the filly Havre de Grace cruised to an 8 1/4-length win in the $350,000 Beldame Stakes.

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