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NCAA BASKETBALL: Arizona remains atop AP poll

on December 27, 2013 10:50 AM

UNDATED (AP) — Arizona is No. 1 in The Associated Press college basketball poll for the third straight week.

The Wildcats (12-0) are again a runaway choice, receiving 63 No. 1 votes from the 65-member national media panel.

Syracuse drew the other No. 1 votes and was No. 2, with the top eight teams holding their spots from last week.

Ohio State is third followed by Wisconsin, Michigan State, Louisville, Oklahoma State and Villanova. Duke drops to ninth after it was tied for eighth last week with Villanova. Wichita State is No. 10, its first top 10 ranking since spending two weeks at No. 8 in December 2006.

• In women’s basketball, UConn remains the unanimous No. 1 in the AP poll after two easy wins over ranked foes.

The Huskies routed then-No. 2 Duke by 22 points Tuesday before defeating then-No. 21 Cal by 33 on Sunday.

Notre Dame moved into the No. 2 slot, while the Blue Devils fell to third. Stanford is fourth after beating Tennessee, which dropped two spots to fifth.

Death Valley puts brakes on races

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It’s the hottest, hardest, most grueling foot race in the world, says Shannon Farar-Griefer, who has run the Badwater 135 ultramarathon through Death Valley five times.

That’s exactly why she keeps coming back, she says, and why every ultrarunner has it on their bucket list.

The race takes the bravest of runners 135 miles through the hottest place on Earth in the middle of the summer.

Next year, for the first time in 37 years, runners won’t be able to tackle the Badwater 135. Death Valley National Park recently put a moratorium on foot and cycling races through the desert hot spot 200 miles east of Los Angeles while they study ways to make the events safer.

The safety study should be done by the spring, and running and cycling events could resume as early as next October, Death Valley spokeswoman Cheryl Chipman said Monday. But sponsors could be faced with enforcing stricter safety rules when events resume.

Chipman said park officials aren’t so concerned about runners and cyclers, who they know arrive prepared to survive the area’s heat and rugged terrain.

But as such events have grown in popularity, she said, participants, their support crews and spectators have begun to jam the park’s narrow two-lane roads, creating a dangerous traffic hazard.

Chris Kostman, whose AdventureCorps sponsors the Badwater 135 and several other endurance competitions in the sprawling desert park, questioned the need for such a review. He said his organization has held 89 such events there since 1990 without a serious incident.

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