PACERS IMPROVE TO 9-0: Roy Hibbert scored 24 points and had eight blocks, both season-highs, leading the unbeaten Pacers past Milwaukee 104-77. The Pacers became the first team since the 2002-03 Dallas Mavericks to open a season at 9-0.
BRADLEY OVERPOWERS CHICAGO ST.: Omari Grier scored 19 points to lead Bradley past Chicago State in a 77-64 win on Friday night. Chicago State (2-2) trailed by as many as 25 points but trimmed the gap to seven with a late rally in the second half led by Matt Ross, who finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
JAMES MADISON BEATS NIU: Ron Curry scored 19 points, and Charles Cooke added 13 as James Madison (1-1) held off Northern Illinois (0-2) for a 60-55 victory. Travon Baker finished with 17 points, and Aaron Armstead added 16 for NIU.
HOOSIERS STAY UNBEATEN: Yogi Ferrell scored a career-high 26 points and added six assists to lead undefeated Indiana to a 105-59 rout of Samford (1-1).
Noah Vonleh contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds, his third straight double-double to begin his college career.
IU FACES ROADBLOCK AT NO. 17 WISCONSIN: Improving Indiana needs two wins in its last three games to reach six — the magic number needed to become eligible for a bowl game.
But the Hoosiers (4-5, 2-3 Big Ten) face two big roadblocks starting Saturday at No. 17 Wisconsin (7-2, 4-1).
The Badgers are rolling with four straight wins. James White has taken the lead in Wisconsin's talented backfield with eight touchdowns in the last three games.
Indiana has one of the more prolific offenses in the Big Ten but figures to be without its leading rusher, Tevin Coleman, who has a sprained ankle.
The Hoosiers have lost eight straight to Wisconsin. If they can't break through today, they'll need to win at Ohio State next week to keep their bowl hopes alive.
PENN STATE TRIES TO BOUNCE BACK AGAINST PURDUE: Penn State's ability to rebound after a loss has been a bright spot under coach Bill O'Brien.
The Nittany Lions are 6-1 after a loss under O'Brien, including a win this season against undefeated Michigan.
The rebound wins are one way to avoid the kind of lengthy losing streaks that can doom a program. But the Nittany Lions have been unable to get a winning streak going this year, and have alternated wins and losses, starting with a win in the second game of the season against Eastern Michigan.
Based on the streak, the Nittany Lions (5-4, 2-3 Big Ten) are due for a win after a loss last week at Minnesota.
The right team just might be rolling into Beaver Stadium. Still feeling the impact of drastic scholarship cuts, the Nittany Lions can clinch at least a .500 record with a win today against Purdue (1-8, 0-5).
College cross country
VALPO'S SEASON ENDS AT GREAT LAKES REGIONAL: The Valparaiso men's and women's teams placed 29th and 30th, respectively, at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Friday.
David Rutkowski was Valpo's top male finisher, placing 111th. Jessica Richardson led the Crusader women by finishing 134th. IUPUI's women placed 18th. Rachel Zajac (Lake Central) led the Jaguars by finishing 55th, while Jordan Hanaway (Hebron) placed 90th.
VALPO CLINCHES NO. 2 SEED FOR HL TOURNEY: Janelle Hobbs had a career-best 17 kills Friday in Valparaiso's 27-25, 25-23, 23-25, 25-18 Horizon League win over Wright State, clinching a No. 2 seed in the postseason tournament. Ellen Vanden Berg added 13 kills for the Crusaders (24-6, 10-3).
SOUTH SUBURBAN COLLEGE RECEIVES HONORS: South Suburban College advanced to the national tournament, and the squad also earned individual honors. Larry Babcock was named the Region IV District B Coach of the Year. Players Melva Smith (Thornwood) and Julia Novotny (Illiana Christian) made the Regional All-Tournament team. The national tournament begins Thursday in Toledo, Ohio.
KENSETH WINS POLE AT HOMESTEAD FOR FINALE: Matt Kenseth won the pole Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway for Sunday's season-ending and championship-deciding race.
It was a massive turnaround for Kenseth following his worst performance of the season last week at Phoenix. He finished 23rd to fall 28 points behind championship leader Jimmie Johnson leading into the finale.
Now he's got his third pole of the season and will start in front of Johnson Sunday.
Johnson qualified seventh. But he needs only to finish 23rd or higher to win his sixth championship.
Kevin Harvick is the only other driver mathematically eligible to win the title and goes into the race 34 points behind Johnson. He qualified one spot ahead of Johnson in sixth.
Around the horn
The No. 21-ranked Purdue Calumet women's basketball team upset No. 20 Grace, 76-65, in the opening day of the Terry Polson Hoops for Hope Tournament. ... The Purdue Calumet men's basketball team has gotten off to its best start since the 2001-2002 season after beating visiting Illinois Tech, 111-52. Daniel McGee led the 4-1 Peregrines with 20 points and six assists. ... Notre Dame junior infielder Kevin DeFilippis signed with the Northwest Indiana Oilmen. DeFilippis graduated from Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, Ill. ... The Blackhawks acquired forwards Kris Versteeg and Philippe Lefebvre from the Florida Panthers for forward Jimmy Hayes and defenseman Dylan Olsen on Thursday night.