Connecticut banned from NCAA men’s basketball tournament

The NCAA’s new academic requirements could give new meaning to the madness of March.

On Wednesday, three-time national champion Connecticut and nine other men’s basketball teams were banned from the NCAA tournament because of poor Academic Progress Rate scores.

The penalties affect seven conferences, each of which must adapt to a new landscape for their league tournaments. Four conferences — the Big East, Big West, Ohio Valley, Southland and Southwest Athletic — said the banned teams cannot compete in their league tournaments.

Joining the Huskies on the sideline next March will be Arkansas Pine Bluff, UC Riverside, Cal State Bakersfield, Jacksonville State, Mississippi Valley State, North Carolina Wilmington, Texas A&M; Corpus Christi, Toledo and Towson.

Cal State Bakersfield, which became a full-fledged Division I member in 2010-11 and doesn’t have a conference affiliation in basketball, could still be removed from the banned list because some of the school’s data is still being reviewed.

The APR measures the classroom performance of every Division I team. This year’s data calculates rates from 2007-08 through 2010-11.


Zach LaVine, a 6-foot-3 point guard from Bothell (Wash.) High, has committed to play at UCLA, according to Marvin Cater, LaVine’s godfather.

LaVine is ranked 17th among point guards nationally by He also had offers from Arizona, Louisville, Texas and Washington, among others.

LaVine is expected to sign a letter of intent in November.

—Chris Foster


Wizards acquire Ariza, Okafor

The New Orleans Hornets traded forward Trevor Ariza and center Emeka Okafor to the Washington Wizards for forward Rashard Lewis and a second-round draft pick.

Lewis is entering the last season of a $118-million, six-year contract and could be a candidate for the NBA’s amnesty clause, meaning he may end up not playing for the Hornets if New Orleans chooses to cut him loose to clear space under the salary cap.


The Orlando Magic hired Rob Hennigan as general manager.

Hennigan spent the last four seasons with Oklahoma City, including the last two as the Thunder’s assistant general manager/player personnel.

Before joining the Thunder, Hennigan spent four seasons with San Antonio.


The Kent State-South Carolina game at the College World Series was postponed until Thursday because of rain.

Three games will be played Thursday at Omaha.

Kent State-South Carolina will begin at 9 a.m. PDT. Arizona and Florida State will play at 1 p.m. The Kent State-South Carolina winner will play Arkansas at 5 p.m.


Five-time champion Venus Williams and four-time Grand Slam event winner Kim Clijsters are unseeded at Wimbledon for the first time in more than a decade.

The seedings were announced Wednesday for the Grand Slam tournament that starts Monday, with top-ranked defending champion Novak Djokovic heading the men’s list and Maria Sharapova leading the women’s — both for the first time.


Andy Roddick reached the quarterfinals of the Eastbourne tennis championships in England, needing eight match points to overpower Jeremy Chardy of France, 6-2, 7-6 (6).

On the women’s side, Marion Bartoli of France reached the quarterfinals by defeating Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada, 6-2, 6-2.


Top-seeded David Ferrer beat Leonardo Mayer of Argentina, 6-3, 6-1, to reach the UNICEF Open quarterfinals at Den Bosch, Netherlands.

Ferrer is playing his first tournament since losing to Rafael Nadal in the French Open semifinals this month.

On the women’s side, Francesca Schiavone of Italy defeated Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (8).