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Kentucky-Louisville rivalry takes center stage

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky coach John Calipari began a list when he was asked whether he and Louisville coach Rick Pitino are too much alike to get along.

"Similarities? We've both taken three teams to the Final Four, we both got fired in the NBA and we're Italians with big noses," Calipari said Friday. "I respect what he's done, respect the program, respect the city and the school."

No. 3 Kentucky (12-1) and No. 4 Louisville (12-1) renew their rivalry in the most anticipated yearly game in the Commonwealth today at Rupp Arena (noon, Ch. 10)

This time, the two schools have the highest combined ranking in series history. But Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis said he has recognized the passion simply by the amount of tweets he has received from fans about beating Louisville.

"We guess it's a big deal for them," Davis said.

Louisville has been quiet since its 20-game home winning streak ended in a 71-68 loss to No. 12 Georgetown on Wednesday. The Cardinals have lost the last two in the series.

"I think Kentucky is the better basketball team right now," Pitino said after the loss to the Hoyas. "Running up and down and trying to outscore Kentucky would be a futile attempt to try to get a 'W.' "

Kentucky is led by Doron Lamb, averaging 15.8 points, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who is chipping in 13.5 points. Davis is averaging a double double with 11.6 points and 10.2 rebounds.

No. 7 Duke 110, W. Mich. 70: Seth Curry scored a season-high 22 and the host Blue Devils (11-1) built a 30-point first-half lead.

No. 8 Missouri 75, ODU 68: Marcus Denmon scored 19 and hit the go-ahead 3 with 61 seconds left as the Tigers (13-0) averted an upset on the road.

No. 20 Murray St. 73, E. Ill. 40: Stacy Wilson scored 16 as the Racers (14-0, 2-0 Ohio Valley) continued the program's best start in 75 years. The Racers' start this season trails only the 1935-36 team that started 16-0.

No. 23 Va. 57, Towson 50: Sammy Zeglinski scored 20 as the host Cavaliers (12-1) survived a scare from the winless Tigers (0-13), who extended their overall skid 32 games.

UCF 65, Rhode Island 54: Isaiah Sykes scored 14 and Marcus Jordan added 12 as the host Knights (10-3) held off the Rams in the title game of the UCF Holiday Classic. A.J. Rompza, who returned from a 12-game suspension for violating NCAA rules, had seven points, six assists and three steals for UCF.

Miami 84, App. St. 54: Durand Scott scored 17 as the host Hurricanes (8-4) overcame a cold shooting start.

Tampa 64, Winston Salem St. 61: Callum Townsend scored 15 of his game-high 19 in the second half as the host Spartans (4-7) won their Tampa Classic.

USF women win tournament finale

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Jasmine Wynne scored 20 and Kaneisha Saunders added 18 as the Bulls (8-6) beat host Saint Peter's 68-52 in the consolation game of the St. Peter's Holiday Classic.

Wynne posted her 10th straight game in double figures, and Saunders scored 11 straight at one point in her first game coming off the bench for USF, which forced 29 turnovers against the 0-11 Peahens.

"We need (Saunders) to do that in BCS conference (play)," USF coach Jose Fernandez said.

FSU 60, UCF 47: The Seminoles' full-court press produced an opening 11-1 run and Natasha Howard scored 20 with 10 rebounds as Florida State (8-6) coasted by the host Knights.

"It wasn't the prettiest game, but I thought we came out and stuck to our game plan," FSU coach Sue Semrau said. "We made them shoot hard shots."

UCF (5-7) was led by Andrea Hines' 14 points.

No. 1 Baylor 93, Miss. Valley St. 55: Brittney Griner scored 20 in 27 minutes as the Bears reached 13-0 for the second time in the program's history.

No. 3 Notre Dame 128, Mercer 42: Markisha Wright scored 24, Skylar Diggins had 21 and the visiting Irish (13-1) scored the most points in school history. Notre Dame set a school record with 72 points in the first half.

No. 8 Duke 65, Temple 54: Tricia Liston scored 20 as the visiting Blue Devils (9-2) reinstated guard Shay Selby from a five-game suspension for violating unspecified team rules.

No. 9 Ohio St. 77, Wis. 61: Tayler Hill scored 21 and the visiting Buckeyes (14-0) won the Big Ten opener for both teams.

No. 10 Texas A&M 72, McNeese St. 62: Tyra White scored 19 to lead the host Aggies (9-2)

No. 11 Rutgers 75, GW 54: Monique Oliver tied her season high with 23 points for the visiting Scarlet Knights (11-2).

No. 15 G'town 77, Dartmouth 38: Sugar Rodgers hit 6 of 12 3-pointers to score a career-high 39 and the visiting Hoyas (12-2) won the final of the Blue Sky Classic in Hanover, N.H.

No. 20 Purdue 57, Minn. 53: Antionette Howard scored the go-ahead basket as the host Boiler­makers (11-3) prevailed.

No. 23 Neb. 71, No. 16 Penn St. 63: Jordan Hooper scored 31, including a clinching 3-pointer with 17 seconds left, and the visiting Cornhuskers (12-1) won their Big Ten debut over the Nittany Lions (10-3).

No. 24 UNC 79, N.C. Central 42: Chay Shegog scored 20 for the host Tar Heels (10-2).

Tampa 43, Grand Valley St. 37: Jaleesa Harmon scored a career-high 23 as the host Spartans (6-5) pulled away late.

Kentucky-Louisville rivalry takes center stage 12/30/11 [Last modified: Friday, December 30, 2011 11:17pm]
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