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The Reuters global sports blog

from Shop Talk:

Check Out Line: Duke wins, but there’s another bracket to fill

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duke1Check out a different kind of tournament bracket still underway.

The Duke Blue Devils may have won yet another college basketball title Monday night, but consumers can still make their "Sweet 16" picks in Consumerist.com's annual "Worst Company in America"  tournament, which runs through April 26.

In its fifth year, the website, owned by Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, lets consumers vote for their least favorite companies in matchups much like the NCAA tournament. Starting with 32 "teams," the tournament pairs companies in votes in which the "winner" (think about it, in a worst company vote you want to lose) advances to face the next competitor.

In the first round this year, Bank of America beat Citibank, GM beat Toyota and in an "upset" Cash4Gold beat defending "champion" AIG. Other companies that advanced included Walmart, Ticketmaster, United Airlines, Best Buy, Apple and Comcast, which has lost in the title game the last two years.

In addition to AIG, past winners have included Halliburton, Recording Industry Association of America and Countrywide. In last year's final, AIG whipped Comcast 3,528 to 1,968 as voters took their frustration over the recession out on a company that was bailed out by the U.S. government.

Tears as Toyota pull out of Formula One

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Toyota team principal Tadashi Yamashina was in tears as the Japanese company announced it has withdrawn from Formula One with immediate effect.

Japan has deserted motorsport on mass during the economic crisis (Honda and Bridgestone to name just two).

Diffuser confuser for F1 opener

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f1driversThis week’s Australian Grand Prix diffuser controversy was more of a confuser for the casual spectator, even if it was a classic of its kind.

Never mind the talk of air flow and aerodynamic interpretations. The bottom line is that it may be weeks before we know for certain who won Sunday’s Formula One season-opener.

More chaos in Formula One

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The Brawn GP, Toyota and Williams Formula One teams have been cleared by stewards to race in Sunday’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix after protests by three rival teams over the design of their rear diffusers were rejected.

Red Bull, Renault and Ferrari had lodged protests on grounds the rivals’ cars did not comply with technical regulations. The three will appeal the protest’s rejection.

from Raw Japan:

Toyota’s long and winding F1 road

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For not seeing a win since joining Formula One in 2002, Toyota's commitment to the sport is admirable, especially after Honda's pullout in December left the team the last Japanese standing in the glamour sport.

Toyota have been one of F1's biggest spenders, with an estimated annual budget of $300 million, previously exceeded only by Honda. But the question for the sport's perennial underachievers remains just how much cash do they have left to burn?

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