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POSTED April 5, 2013 2:15 a.m.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

• BAYLOR KNOCKS OFF IOWA TO WIN NIT: Pierre Jackson made the National Invitation Tournament his own. The Baylor senior finished his college career in style with his fourth straight double-double, putting up 17 points and 10 assists to lead the Bears to the first NIT title in school history with a 74-54 win over Iowa on Thursday night. Cory Jefferson scored 23 points and Isaiah Austin had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Bears (23-14), who reached the tournament final five years ago, but never had won it before. Mike Gesell led Iowa (25-13) with 13 points and Aaron White had 12. Devyn Marble was held to six points.

CYCLING

• ARMSTRONG BANNED FROM POOL: Lance Armstrong’s doping past got him kicked out of the pool. Armstrong was forced to withdraw Thursday from the Masters South Central Zone Championships this weekend after swimming’s international federation raised objections to his participation. Armstrong has been banned for life from sanctioned Olympic sport competition by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency because of his performance-enhancing drug use during his professional cycling career.

TRACK & FIELD

• PISTORIUS BACK TO TRAINING: Oscar Pistorius has been running on his blades again and his return to regular training is imminent, his agent says. It is the first time it has been confirmed that the athlete has run since he was charged with the Valentine’s Day shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. A grainy cellphone photo of what appears to be Pistorius on the track at the University of Pretoria was published Thursday on the front page of the Afrikaans-language Beeld newspaper in South Africa.

NBA

• THUNDER FEND OFF SPURS: Russell Westbrook scored 27 points, Kevin Durant had 25 and the Oklahoma City Thunder seized control of the race for home-court advantage in the Western Conference playoffs by beating the San  Antonio Spurs 100-88 on Thursday night. …Corey Brewer scored 23 points and got a hand on Anthony Morrow’s last-second shot to preserve the Denver Nuggets’ 19th straight home win, 95-94 over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night. ... Carlos Boozer had 29 points and 18 rebounds, Nate Robinson made the go-ahead basket with 22 seconds left, and the Bulls rallied to beat the Brooklyn Nets 92-90 on Thursday night in a potential preview of a first-round playoff series.



• JAMES AND OTHERS TO SIT OUT: The Miami Heat might be missing four key parts of the rotation when they visit the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers are all expected to be held from the starting lineup again Friday, and now, so is reserve guard Ray Allen, according to Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS

• TWO RUTGERS PLAYERS DEFEND COACH: Two Rutgers basketball players on Mike Rice’s team say the fired coach wasn’t the abusive tyrant he appears to be on a widely viewed video that ultimately cost him his job. “You can’t let those individual moments define what he was,” junior forward Wally Judge said during a telephone interview Thursday. “In my past two years, me being an older guy and being under other coaches, I have grown from the moment I stepped in these doors, not only as a player but also as a person because of how he has treated me.”

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