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Around & About / News and notes

Baylor will start as No. 1

Brittney Griner and Baylor are starting the season where they hope to end it -- at No. 1.

The Lady Bears are ranked at the top for the first time in the preseason women's basketball poll by The Associated Press. Baylor started last year at No. 2 before ascending to No. 1 in early January for the first time in school history. The Lady Bears finished with a No. 3 ranking.

"Certainly we'd rather it was the last ranking, but it's great recognition for our program and Baylor University," coach Kim Mulkey said. "Regardless of where you're ranked at the beginning of the season it's a positive for your university. We'll embrace it in such a way and understand that it doesn't win basketball games."

Baylor received 33 of 40 first-place votes Saturday from a national media panel. The Lady Bears became the first Big 12 school to be ranked No. 1 to start the season since Texas in 1985 and 1986.

Notre Dame drew six first-place votes and was second, with Tennessee, Connecticut and Stanford rounding out the first five. The No. 2 ranking is the Irish's best since the final poll of 2001 when they also were ranked second.

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Mexico beats U.S. in hoops

The gold-medal drought in men's basketball for the Untied States at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, will last at least another four years after a 71-55 loss to Mexico in Saturday's semifinals.

The United States has not won Pan American gold since 1983.

Jovan Harris led Mexico with 15 points, while Lorenzo Mata added 12 and Paul Stoll scored eight.

Leo Lyons scored 13 to lead the United States, which is using players from the NBA Development League.

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Kvitova reaches WTA final

Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova will meet Victoria Azarenka in the final of the WTA Championships in Istanbul today.

Kvitova rallied to defeat U.S. Open winner

Samantha Stosur of Australia, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3, Saturday, and Azarenka of Belarus defeated Vera Zvonareva of Russia 6-2, 6-3.

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Little racing in New York

Belmont Park in New York ran only three races Saturday, canceling the balance of the card due to inclement weather.

There was no announcement on rescheduling Saturday's feature, the $100,000 Bold Ruler Handicap.

From News Staff and wire service reports