COLLEGE BASKETBALLAiling Calhoun taking leave of absence

Connecticut basketball coach Jim Calhoun, who missed three games this season because of NCAA sanctions, is taking an indefinite medical leave of absence because of back problems.

The Hall of Fame coach of the defending national champions, who turns 70 in May, has been suffering for several months from spinal stenosis, a spinal condition that causes him severe pain and hampers mobility.

"I had back pain like never before last summer, thought it was back spasms," he told The Associated Press on Friday. "I saw a neurologist and he told me about scoliosis, stenosis and other things and that there could be things like a bone spur and that I could probably need something done at some point. I went for the physical therapy and it worked, but it started to lock up sometimes recently and it was worse."

George Blaney, the team's associate head coach, will lead the team in Calhoun's absence. The Huskies (14-7, 4-5 Big East) have lost four games in a row and fell out of the Top 25 for the first time in 28 weeks. They host Seton Hall on Saturday and play at Louisville on Monday.

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Eagle helps Levin lead Phoenix Open

Spencer Levin holed out from a greenside bunker for eagle on the par-4 17th and shot an 8-under 63 to take a three-stroke lead in the suspended second round of the Phoenix Open. Levin completed a first-round 65 in the morning and was 14 under overall.

-- AP

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