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    The top of The Associated Press Top 100 all-time college basketball ranking is filled with blueblood programs that followed those strong regular seasons with runs to the Final Four or even a national championship. Still, all those poll appearances didn't guarantee postseason success. Or foreshadow it, for that matter. While Kentucky, North Carolina and Duke have recent titles and Final Four trips to go with their long-running success, things have slowed of late in the postseason for UCLA and Indiana. Powers such as Kansas and Arizona have frequently seen promising recent seasons end with postseason stumbles. And then there are teams like Connecticut, with a knack for surprising everyone. The AP released its Top 100 on Wednesday to combine more than 1,100 polls worth of history dating to January 1949. The AP counted poll appearances (one point each) to mark consistency and No. 1 rankings (two points each) to acknowledge elite programs in a poll that ranged between 10 and 20 teams before expanding to its current 25-team size during the 1989-90 season. But the AP doesn't release a poll after the NCAA Tournament, making the Top 100 only a snapshot of which teams have thrived the most during the regular season while not measuring how many of those seasons ended — whether by hoisting a trophy or suffering a shockingly early exit. So how did the teams stack up? The ones at the top matched the hype, starting with No. 1 Kentucky. The Wildcats won their eighth NCAA title in 2012 to rank second all-time, making John Calipari the third UK coach to win a championship in a two-decade span (Rick Pitino in 1996 and Tubby Smith in 1998 were the others). Kentucky is also second in Final Four appearances with 17 — including four in eight seasons under Calipari — while posting a record 124 tournament wins. Second-ranked North Carolina is in this weekend's Final Four for a record 20th time and the second straight year. Before that, UNC had won NCAA championships in 2005 and 2009 to offer some more recent success to go two NCAA crowns under Dean Smith in 1982 and 1993. And third-ranked Duke has the long-term success (12 Final Fours since 1986) to go with the recent wins (titles in 2010 and 2015) under Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski. As for fourth-ranked UCLA and sixth-ranked Indiana, they have the overall resume to rival anyone, but they lack the recent success to go with it. UCLA owns the record for No. 1 rankings (134) and NCAA championships (11), but the Bruins have won a single title (1995) and reached four Final Fours since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985 — the last in 2008. As for the Hoosiers, they have five NCAA titles — three under long-departed coach Bobby Knight — and eight Final Fours. But Thursday marks the 30th anniversary of Indiana's last national title, and the Hoosiers haven't been to a Final Four since 2002. When it comes to Kansas and Arizona, there's a history of seeing big regular seasons end in frustration. The fifth-ranked Jayhawks have the nation's longest active poll streak dating to February 2009, and a postseason resume of 14 Final Fours with three national titles. But the Jayhawks have had their share of terrific seasons fall short of potential in March, with coach Bill Self falling to 2-5 in regional finals with Saturday's lost to Final Four-bound Oregon. And who can forget title contenders led by Paul Pierce and Raef LaFrentz getting tripped up by Arizona in the Sweet 16 (1997) and by Rhode Island in the second round (1998) under then-coach Roy Williams? At eighth-ranked Arizona, Lute Olson spent the late 1980s and 1990s building a national power that won the 1997 title. But the Wildcats haven't reached a Final Four since playing in the 2001 title game — including three regional-final losses for current coach Sean Miller. Lastly, there's a team that stands out as an overachiever: No. 16 Connecticut. The Huskies went 35 years with only two poll appearances before Jim Calhoun got things rolling. Once he did, Connecticut hoisted the trophy four times in five Final Four trips. As if that 80-percent conversion rate wasn't impressive enough, they've done it from both extremes. Their 1999 and 2004 titles came as a 1- or 2-seed, their 2011 title came on a momentum wave following a five-games-in-five-days Big East Tournament title run behind Kemba Walker, and their 2014 crown came as a No. 7 regional seed. It just shows: all those regular-season rankings don't mean everything come March. ___ Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap ___ More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • Longtime friends Leonardo DiCaprio and Q-Tip hung out at an intimate showcase for an Australian band making its New York City debut late Wednesday. The Oscar-winning actor and Grammy-winning rapper were in the small audience at Ludlow House as trio Chase Atlantic performed songs in a stripped, raw form. DiCaprio bobbed his head from his plush chair while sitting next to Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Nina Agdal and chatting with the leader of A Tribe Called Quest. Q-Tip went to the stage to watch when the band asked people to come closer, as DiCaprio, in a fedora, sat back. The audience included music industry insiders, record label players and some press. Chase Atlantic performed songs from its three-song project released in January, 'Part One,' as well as tracks from another three-song album, 'Part Two,' to be released Friday. The group's genre-bending sounds echo The Weeknd and The 1975. Band members include brothers Clinton Cave and Mitchel Cave, and Christian Anthony.
  • South Korea's disgraced ex-President Park Geun-hye was being questioned Thursday by a court that will decide if she should be arrested over corruption allegations that have already toppled her from power. Live TV footage earlier showed a stern-looking Park entering the Seoul Central District Court building amid a barrage of camera flashes. She did not comment to reporters. The court is expected to decide by Friday morning whether to approve her arrest. If the court approves the arrest warrant requested by prosecutors, Park will be immediately sent to a detention facility as prosecutors can detain her for up to 20 days before laying formal charges. If the court rejects the arrest request, prosecutors can still indict and charge her. Prosecutors accuse Park of colluding with a confidante to extort from big businesses, take a bribe from one of the companies and commit other wrongdoings. The allegations prompted millions of South Koreans to stage streets protests every weekend for months before the Constitutional Court ruled to dismiss her on March 10. Park's presidential powers had already been suspended after parliament impeached her in December. It was a dramatic setback to Park, South Korea's first female president who rose to power four years ago amid conservatives' nostalgia for her late dictator father who is credited by supporters for pulling a war-torn country out of poverty in the 1960-70s. Liberal critics revile her father as a ruthless leader who tortured and imprisoned his opponents. Earlier Thursday, hundreds of her supporters, mostly elderly conservative citizens, gathered near her Seoul home, waving national flags and chanting slogans when she left for the court. Prosecutors say they want to arrest Park because her alleged crimes are 'grave' and other suspects involved the scandal, including her confidante Choi Soo-sil, have already been arrested. In the coming weeks, prosecutors are expected to formally charge Park with extortion, bribery and abuse of power. A bribery conviction alone is punishable by up to life in prison in South Korea. Park and Choi deny most of the allegations. Park has said she only let Choi edit some of her presidential speeches and got her help on 'public relations' issues. Choi made similar statements. The women, both in their 60s, have been friends for 40 years. Park once described Choi as someone who helped her when she had 'difficulties,' an apparent reference to her parents' assassinations in the 1970s. Park's father Chung-hee was gunned down by his own intelligence chief in 1979, five years after his wife was killed in an assassination attempt that targeted him. Park Geun-hye served as first lady after her mother's death. While in office, Park Geun-hye had refused to meet with prosecutors, citing a law that gives a leader immunity from prosecution except for grave crimes such as treason. South Korea is to hold an election in May to choose Park's successor.
  • Federal investigators are getting their first look Thursday at the scene of a head-on collision involving a small church bus and a pickup truck that killed 13 senior adult church members onboard the bus. The Texas Department of Public Safety reported the lone bus survivor remains hospitalized in critical condition, and the pickup truck driver is in stable condition. The National Transportation Safety Board sent investigators to the scene to begin seeking the cause of the crash, NTSB spokesman Terry Williams said Wednesday. Twelve bus occupants, including the driver, were dead at the scene of Wednesday's crash, DPS Lt. Johnny Hernandez said. One bus passenger died later at a San Antonio hospital. The wreck happened about 12:30 p.m. on U.S. 83, a two-lane highway, outside Garner State Park in northern Uvalde County. The area is about 75 miles (120.7 km) west of San Antonio. It was not immediately clear what caused the collision about 120 miles (193.1 km) from the church, where the members were headed. Photos and video of the crash's aftermath showed heavy damage to the front drivers' sides of both vehicles where it appeared the two had collided. The back of the bus was up on a guardrail, with glass and debris scattered onto the grass below. Hein said the small bus was a 2004 Turtle Top, though he did not know the specific model. Turtle Top's website features shuttle buses with capacities ranging from 17 to 51 passengers, which they bill as 'a great alternative to the standard 15-passenger van.' Safety concerns have long surrounded the 15-passenger vans, also frequently used by churches and other groups, with advocates saying they can be difficult to control in an emergency. Church officials said in a statement on the First Baptist website that the members were returning from a three-day retreat at the Alto Frio Baptist Encampment in Leakey, about 9 miles (14.5 km) north of where the crash happened. The church officials were 'ministering to family members to help them deal with this tragedy,' according to the statement. Counselors also were scheduled to be available Thursday at the church. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and his wife, Cecilia, offered their condolences in the hours after the crash. 'We are saddened by the loss of life and our hearts go out to all those affected,' their statement said. 'We thank the first responders working on the scene in the wake of this unimaginable tragedy, and ask that all Texans join us in offering their thoughts and prayers.
  • Republican political operative Roger Stone is so busy preparing for a possible grilling by the U.S. Senate intelligence committee about Russian hacking, that he does not have time to attend the opening of his civil defamation trial in New York City, according to his lawyer. Stone, a longtime political provocateur and adviser to President Donald Trump, is being sued over a flyer sent to 150,000 New York households during the state's 2010 election that called the Libertarian Party candidate for governor, Warren Redlich, a 'sick twisted pervert.' 'This man constitutes a public danger,' said the mailing, which included Redlich's photo and the header 'Sexual Predator Alert.' It purported to come from an organization called People for a Safer New York. 'If you see this man in your neighborhood, CALL THE POLICE!' it warned. Redlich's lawsuit claims that Stone and several accomplices were responsible for the flyer. At the time, Stone was advising two other candidates for governor: Kristin Davis, a former madam of a prostitution ring, and the Republican nominee, Carl Paladino. Redlich also is suing Paladino and his former campaign manager, Michael Caputo. Stone was subpoenaed to testify in the trial this week, but his lawyer, Benjamin Burge, told the judge Wednesday that he would prefer to appear Monday or Tuesday because he is busy complying with a notice from the U.S. Senate intelligence committee asking him to retain any documents that might be related to its investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. Stone has said he communicated with Guccifer 2.0, the shadowy hacker credited with breaking into the Democratic National Committee's email servers. 'He can't be here until next week,' Burge said of Stone during Wednesday's court hearing. Justice Richard Braun declined to give him more time, saying Stone must appear whenever he is called as a witness. Jury selection is scheduled to begin Thursday morning, so opening statements in the trial could start as early as Thursday afternoon. If Stone does not appear, he could face sanctions including a warrant directing a sheriff to bring him to court. Stone has said in interviews that he was not behind the anti-Redlich flyer. He did not answer calls to his cellphone Wednesday. Redlich, who is representing himself at the trial, and is seeking unspecified damages, said he wants to call Stone as his first witness. He said Stone's failure to appear Wednesday was part of a defense strategy to prolong what should be a speedy trial. 'I'm seeing a pattern — delay, delay, delay, delay,' Redlich said. Stone, 64, got his start in politics working as a political operative for President Richard Nixon, where he developed a reputation as someone who specialized in campaign trickery and spreading dirt on opponents. He is the subject of an upcoming Netflix documentary, 'Get Me Roger Stone.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is meeting Turkish leaders in Ankara for talks on the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria and Turkish requests for the extradition of U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused of staging a failed coup attempt last year. Tillerson is scheduled to meet President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday. Turkey is pressing the United States to mount a joint fight to retake the IS Syrian stronghold of Raqqa and wants U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters to be excluded from the operations. Cavusoglu said Turkey would also take up the issue of the arrest in New York of a senior executive of Turkish state-owned bank Halkbank. The executive is accused of helping Iran violate U.S. sanctions against the country.
  • Stephen Curry scored 29 points, Klay Thompson had 23 and the Golden State Warriors rallied from a 22-point deficit in the opening quarter to beat the San Antonio Spurs 110-98 on Wednesday night for their ninth straight win. Golden State extended its lead over San Antonio to 3 1/2 games for the league's best record, beating the Spurs for the first time in three meetings this season. Kawhi Leonard had 19 points and five assists for San Antonio. Leonard shot 7 for 20 from the field while being guarded by a rotation of defenders. The Spurs had a five-game winning streak halted in inglorious fashion. San Antonio got off to its best start of the season two days after dismantling Cleveland in a 29-point victory. The Spurs raced to a 33-17 lead in the opening quarter, matching their largest lead of the season after the first quarter. Andre Iguodala's 20-foot fadeaway jumper off one leg in the final seconds kept the Warriors from matching a season-low for points in the opening period. Iguodala finished with 14 points. Golden State rallied from that horrendous start, overcoming a 22-point deficit in the first quarter to take its first lead at 59-57 on Thompson's 3-pointer 1:20 into the second half. The Warriors outscored the Spurs 93-65 after the first quarter. Golden State finished 13 for 26 on 3-pointers after shooting 2 of 5 on 3-pointers in the first quarter. San Antonio had 14 turnovers in the final three quarters. Warriors forward David West, who was met with a chorus of boos upon entering the game, finished with 15 points. West signed with Golden State in the offseason after playing for San Antonio last season on a discounted contract. Manu Ginobili had 18 points for San Antonio, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 17. TIP-INS Warriors: Golden State forward Kevin Durant worked out on the court before the game, but remains sidelined by an injured left knee. Warriors coach Steve Kerr said there is no update on a possible return, but is encouraged that Durant is moving well and progressing. Durant played a 'hard' 1-on-1 against Golden State assistant coach Willie Green earlier in the day. 'Kevin got him pretty good,' Kerr said. 'It's a good sign. If Willie had beaten him, I would have been worried.' ... Curry has 289 3-pointers this season, second-most in league history, surpassing the 286 he made in 2015. Curry set the league record with 402 3s last season. ... Golden State has seven winning streaks of at least seven games in three seasons under Kerr. Spurs: Ginobili has played 987 regular-season games in his career, tying Hall of Famer David Robinson for third all-time in franchise history behind Tony Parker (1,136) and Tim Duncan (1,392). ... PG Patty Mills has 582 career 3-pointers, one more than Hall of Famer Michael Jordan. ... San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said rookie Dejounte Murray is progressing slowly, but remains out with a left groin injury. ... San Antonio has eight games remaining, including four at home. ... The Spurs are 106-57 overall against the Warriors. UP NEXT Warriors: Host Houston on Friday night. Spurs: At Oklahoma City on Friday night.
  • The sentencing of two former aides to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for creating traffic jams at the busiest bridge in the U.S. for political revenge may not prevent the scandal from hanging over the Republican's final year in office. 'I will not allow myself to be the scapegoat in this case,' Bridget Kelly told reporters after the sentencing Wednesday, where her attorney pointed out that testimony that she told Christie about the traffic jams while they were happening was never contradicted. Kelly, Christie's former deputy chief of staff, was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Bill Baroni, Christie's appointee to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, was sentenced to two years. Both are appealing their convictions. They were charged with conspiracy, wire fraud and other offenses for causing the gridlock near the George Washington Bridge in September 2013 to punish a Democratic mayor who didn't endorse Christie's re-election. A spokesman for Christie, who was not charged, responded after Kelly's testimony in October that he had 'no knowledge prior to or during' the lane realignment. She testified that he authorized what she claimed was a traffic study. The scandal sank Christie's White House bid and likely cost him the chance to be President Donald Trump's running mate. Christie has since turned his attention in his final year in office to addressing the state's opioid epidemic, and on Wednesday he was at the White House, where he was selected to lead a drug addiction task force. While his press office hyped up the White House event, it did not comment on Wednesday's sentencing. Christie, who is term-limited, has seen his approval ratings hover around 20 percent recently. His future after politics is unclear, although he has said he plans to make money in private life after nearly two decades in the public spotlight. He was U.S. attorney for New Jersey before running for governor in 2009. U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton said Wednesday it was clear there never was a legitimate traffic study, as Baroni and Kelly claimed during the trial, and said the defendants sought to mislead the jury with their testimony. Wigenton also blamed the political culture in Trenton, the state capital. Trial testimony described angry tirades by Christie and detailed his subordinates using the Port Authority as a source of political favors for politicians whose endorsements they sought. 'It's very clear the culture in Trenton was 'you're either with us or you're not,'' Wigenton said, telling the 44-year-old Kelly that she 'got caught up in a culture and an environment that lost its way.' Kelly and Baroni were sentenced the same month that another Christie ally, former Port Authority chairman David Samson, was sentenced to probation and a year of home confinement for using his position to pressure United Airlines to reinstate a money-losing flight route to give him easier access to his weekend home. 'I'm not surprised by anything,' said Democratic state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, who co-chaired Legislature's inquiry into the political payback scheme. 'The whole situation was sad. It was sad for New Jersey, and it gave us a real bird's eye view of the Christie administration that's also sad.' Kelly and Baroni were convicted in November of all counts against them. The government's star witness, David Wildstein, said he conceived the plot to retaliate against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, but that Kelly and Baroni were willing participants. Texts and emails produced at trial showed Sokolich's increasingly desperate pleas for help being ignored. Kelly, who sent the infamous 'time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee' email, wiped her eyes with a tissue and apologized during sentencing, saying she never intended to cause harm. Assistant U.S. Attorney Vikas Khanna called Kelly 'the impetus behind the crime.' 'If it was David Wildstein's idea, it was Ms. Kelly who greenlighted the idea,' he said. 'Without her instructions — 'Time for traffic problems in Fort Lee' — the lane reduction would never have taken place.' Baroni also apologized before sentencing, saying he accepted responsibility and made 'the wrong choice.' ___ Contact Porter at https://www.twitter.com/DavidPorter_AP
  • A leading U.S. fishing magnate known as 'The Codfather' is scheduled to plead guilty to federal charges of evading fishing quotas and smuggling money to Portugal. The U.S. attorney's office says Carlos Rafael has a change of plea hearing scheduled for Thursday. Rafael is the owner of one of the nation's largest commercial fishing operations. It includes a fleet of more than 30 vessels, 44 commercial fishing permits and the Carlos Seafood business in New Bedford. Federal authorities say Rafael falsely claimed his vessels caught haddock or pollock, when they had actually caught other species subject to stricter quotas. He then sold the fish for cash, some of which was smuggled overseas. He was indicted on 27 counts last May and is free on $2 million bond.
  • Pedestrian deaths are climbing faster than motorist fatalities, reaching nearly 6,000 deaths last year — the highest total in more than two decades, according to an analysis of preliminary state data released Thursday. Increased driving due to an improved economy, lower gas prices and more walking for exercise and environmental reasons are some of the likely reasons behind the estimated 11 percent spike in pedestrian fatalities in 2016. The figures were prepared for the Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents state highway safety offices. But researchers say they think the biggest factor may be more drivers and walkers distracted by cellphones and other electronic devices, although that's hard to confirm. Walking and miles driven are up only a few percentage points, and are unlikely to account for most of the surge in pedestrian deaths, said Richard Retting, safety director for Sam Schwartz Transportation Consultants and the author of the report. Meanwhile, texting and use of 1wireless devices have exploded, he said. 'It's the only factor that that seems to indicate a dramatic change in how people behave,' Retting said. The report is based on data from all states and the District of Columbia for the first six months of 2016 and extrapolated for the rest of the year. It shows the largest annual increase in both the number and percentage of pedestrian fatalities in the more than 40 years those national records on such deaths have been kept, with the second largest increase occurring in 2015. Pedestrian deaths as a share of total motor vehicle crash deaths increased from 11 percent in 2006 to 15 percent in 2015. 'This latest data shows that the U.S. isn't meeting the mark on keeping pedestrians safe on our roadways,' said Jonathan Adkins, the safety association's executive director. 'Every one of these lives represents a loved one not coming home tonight, which is absolutely unacceptable.' Traffic fatalities overall jumped 6 percent last year, pushing deaths on U.S. roads to their highest level in nearly a decade and erasing improvements made during the Great Recession and economic recovery, according to data released last month by the National Safety Council, a leading safety organization. The council estimates there were more than 40,200 traffic deaths in 2016. The last time there were more than 40,000 fatalities in a single year was in 2007, just before the economy tanked. There were 41,000 deaths that year. But pedestrian deaths are sharply outpacing fatalities overall, climbing 25 percent from 2010 to 2015, according to Retting's research. Total traffic deaths increase about 6 percent over the same period. 'We cannot look at distracted driving solely as an in-vehicle issue,' said Kelly Nantel, a spokeswoman for the safety council. 'That discounts the impact distraction could have on pedestrians.' On the other hand, 'walking is working,' she said. 'Just as we need drivers to be alert, pedestrians have to be, too.' Another factor in pedestrian deaths is alcohol. Thirty-four percent of pedestrians and 15 percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes were intoxicated at the time, Retting said. But there is no indication that there has been a change in drinking habits that would account for the spike in deaths, he said. More than twice as many states reported an uptick in pedestrian fatalities than had decreasing numbers. The problem is greatest in large population states that have urban areas where people do a lot of walking. Delaware, Florida and Arizona had the highest rates of pedestrian deaths relative to their populations, while North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming had the lowest. The striking increase in pedestrian deaths has grabbed the attention of the National Transportation Safety Board, the government panel that investigates accidents and makes safety recommendations. The board held a forum on pedestrian safety last year, and currently has an investigation underway to broadly examine the causes and potential solutions to the problem. Pedestrians 'are our most vulnerable road users,' said NTSB member Bella Dinh-Zarr. People are 'more easily distracted than when we didn't have so many easily accessible, essentially, computers in our palms,' she said. 'We look at that as an increasing risk for pedestrians.' ___ Follow Joan Lowy at http://twitter.com/AP_Joan_Lowy. Her work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/joan-lowy