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Sports in brief

COLLEGE BASKETBALLSyracuse rises to No. 1

Quietly, Syracuse has found its way to the top of The Associated Press' Top 25. The Orange (10-0) jumped from third to No. 1 following losses this weekend by Kentucky and Ohio State. They received 51 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel.

The Syracuse program has been in the headlines since former assistant coach Bernie Fine was alleged to have molested two former ball boys. Coach Jim Boeheim credits his players for keeping their focus.

"Young kids constantly have different things going in their lives, school, relationships, how they are playing, a million things go through their minds," Boeheim said. "They have the ability to focus on things they have to do and they get it done. It's a great thing about kids, that older people tend to get caught up or get unfocused, get caught up more in outside influences and can't separate them. Kids aren't like that. They focus on what they control and go forward. It's a good thing about being young."

Syracuse was No. 1 in the 1987-88 preseason poll and for six weeks in 1989-90.

Prosecutor looking at brawl

Hamilton County (Cincinnati) prosecutor Joe Deters said in a statement he will consider criminal charges in the aftermath of a brawl at the end of the Cincinnati-Xavier basketball game on Saturday. He declined further comment.

Officials and coaches for both schools have offered apologies and expressed embarrassment. Xavier senior guard Tu Holloway of Hempstead was one of four players on each team suspended for their roles in the brawl. Suspended Cincinnati forward Yancy Gates (six games) apologized to everyone, from his family to his entire hometown, for throwing punches. Then, he wept. The Bearcats made their four suspended players attend a news conference Monday and apologize for their part in the brawl.


Kings fire coach Murray

The Los Angeles Kings fired coach Terry Murray after a slow start to a season of high expectations. Murray was replaced by assistant coach John Stevens on an interim basis. The Kings (13-12-4) are in 12th place in the 15-team Western Conference. Murray went 139-106-30 with the Kings after taking over the club in 2008. He led Los Angeles to its first two playoff appearances after an eight-year absence, but the Kings lost both first-round series.

Devils beat Lightning

Zach Parise, Adam Henrique and Ilya Kovalchuk scored in the second period to break a tie as the host Devils beat Tampa Bay, 5-4. -- AP


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