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CHANG ADVANCES: Defending champion Michael Chang overpowered Thomas Muster in the first set, then took control again in a second-set tiebreaker Sunday to move into the final of the Newsweek Champions Cup in Indian Wells.

Chang, who also won the tournament in 1992, beat Muster 6-1, 7-6 (7-1) and will face Bohdan Ulihrach in Sunday's title match. Ulihrach, from the Czech Republic, downed Jonas Bjorkman 6-3, 6-2.

In the final of the State Farm Evert Cup, held concurrently at the Hyatt Grand Champions Resort with the men's tournament, Lindsay Davenport cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Irina Spirlea.

Chang, seeded third, overcame the biggest obstacle on his way to a second consecutive title with the victory over Muster, who was the No. 2 seed. Although Ulihrach upset top seed Pete Sampras earlier in the tournament, he is unseeded and Chang will be heavily favored against him.


ALL-TIME NIT TEAM: When he played his college ball at DePaul, George Mikan was a basketball anomaly, a 6-foot-10 center who ran the court like a point guard.

The combination was devastating, especially in the 1945 National Invitation Tournament, as Mikan scored 120 points in three games and DePaul won the championship. He was a unanimous choice for the all-time NIT team selected by a media panel as this year's tournament began.

Tom Gola of La Salle and Ralph Beard of Kentucky also were unanimous picks. Completing the team were Maurice Stokes of St. Francis, Pa., and Walt Frazier of Southern Illinois.

Mikan was the tournament MVP in 1945. Gola shared the award with teammate Norm Grekin in 1952. Stokes won it in 1955 and Frazier in 1967.

ABL COACH RESIGNS: Cliffa Foster, who coached the New England Blizzard to a disappointing 16-24 record during the ABL's inaugural season, resigned Saturday.

The Blizzard won five straight games at the end of the season, but finished in last place in the Eastern Conference, 15 games behind the eventual league-champion Columbus Quest.

DREXLER TO TRY OUT HAMMIE: Clyde Drexler, out more than five weeks with a left hamstring injury, is eager to test out the leg Sunday when the Houston Rockets face the Heat at Miami.

"I expect to play, and we'll see how it goes," Drexler said. "If you go out there worrying about what could happen, you need to stay at home, because once you hit the floor, you have to play, bottom line."

Doctors have told coach Rudy Tomjanovich to limit the All-Star's playing time in his first two games back since pulling the hamstring Feb. 4.

Auto racing

LAS VEGAS 300: Joe Bessey led second-round qualifying Saturday for the $885,275 Las Vegas 300 NASCAR Busch Series race Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Bessey, driving a Chevrolet, toured the 1.5-mile superspeedway at 156.191 mph to earn 26th starting spot Sunday. Bessey's speed was 14th-fastest overall.

GORDON TESTS IRL CAR: Robby Gordon, a certain bet to be the busiest athlete in America on Memorial Day weekend, tested his Indy Racing League car on Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The 28-year-old former Indy-car star who now drives full-time on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit, toured the 1.5-mile track in 26.50 seconds for his best lap at 203.77 mph.

On May 25, Gordon will drive in the Indianapolis 500, then hop a jet to Charlotte for the Coca-Cola 600. Both races will be contested in cars owned by Sabco Racing.

12 HOURS OF SEBRING: The Scandia Ferrari 333SP driven by Fermin Velez, Andy Evans, Stefan Johansson and fastest qualifier Yannick Dalmas won the 12 Hours of Sebring sports car endurance race Saturday night in Sebring, Fla.

The margin of victory was a 47.465 seconds - less than a half-lap over a Ford-engined Riley & Scott chassis driven by Butch Leitzinger, Andy Wallace, James Weaver and John Paul, Jr. It was the third-closest finish in the 45-year history of the race.

The winners averaged 84.3 mph.


RACE FOUNDER FINISHES: Eighty-year-old Joe Redington Sr., founder of the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, crossed the finish line at Nome in 36th place on Saturday to crowds that cheered as if he'd won.

Redington of Wasilla began the Anchorage-to-Nome marathon along with 52 other teams on March 1. He arrived on Front Street at 3:18 p.m. (AST), showing no fatigue.

On hand to greet the musher was Iditarod champ Martin Buser, who finished the race Tuesday to claim his third Iditarod win and the $50,000 top prize. Redington's son, Raymie, who finished the race Friday in 25th place, cheered his father in as well.