COLLEGE BASKETBALL PHOENIX (AP) — Consider North Carolina the tour guide at this year's Final Four. The Tar Heels will be making their record 20th trip, and most of the players on this year's roster were on hand last season to find out all about the agony of coming oh-so close to winning it all.
PHOENIX (AP) — Consider North Carolina the tour guide at this year's Final Four. The Tar Heels will be making their record 20th trip, and most of the players on this year's roster were on hand last season to find out all about the agony of coming oh-so close to winning it all.
For the rest of the guests, it's all uncharted territory.
Gonzaga finally parlayed two decades of excellence into its first trip to college basketball's showcase. South Carolina's entire history in the NCAA Tournament could've been compiled on a cocktail napkin. And Oregon? Well, the Ducks have been to the tournament before and won it all. But that was back in 1939, the first year of the event, and decades before the phrase "Final Four" became as common as "dribble," ''pass," or "shoot."
Gonzaga opened as a 6 1/2-point favorite against South Carolina in the opening game next Saturday night at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. According to ESPN Stats & Info, it's the first meeting between Final Four first-timers since 1973. In the second game, North Carolina opened as a 4 1/2-point pick over Oregon.
UNDATED (AP) — Indiana has hired Archie Miller as its new coach.
The move comes less than 24 hours after UCLA coach Steve Alford said he wouldn't take the job and nine days after Tom Crean was fired after nine seasons.
Miller has spent the last six seasons as the coach at Dayton. He led the Flyers to a 139-63 record, the last two Atlantic 10 regular-season titles and NCAA Tournament appearances each of the past four seasons. Before going to Dayton, he was an assistant at Arizona, Ohio State, North Carolina State and Western Kentucky.
The school says it plans to introduce Miller at a news conference Monday.
PHOENIX (AP) — The NFL has hired Dr. Allen Sills as its chief medical officer.
Sills, a neurosurgeon who has specialized in the treatment of athletes, will fill a new full-time position based in New York. He comes to the league from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he serves as professor of neurological surgery, orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitation. He is the founder and co-director of the Vanderbilt Sports Concussion Center.
Sills, 52, will work with NFL team medical staffs, the NFL Players Association and its advisers, as well as experts on the league's medical committees. He will guide the NFL's health and research efforts and is expected to begin his new job in May, but will continue to be active at Vanderbilt.
The U.S. women's hockey team remains hopeful it can resolve its ongoing dispute with USA Hockey in time to participate in the world championships.
The women also might be getting support in their quest for equitable pay from the men who wear the same jersey.
The team met Sunday night to discuss its plan for a meeting with USA Hockey's board of directors on Monday. The players hope USA Hockey will agree to negotiating terms set out recently in Philadelphia to improve their meager financial compensation.
Athletes' unions across the continent have voiced their support of the women's team, urging other players to turn down USA Hockey's overtures to act as replacement players.
Allan Walsh, a well-connected hockey agent, disclosed Sunday on Twitter that American NHL players are thinking about refusing to play in their own world championships in solidarity if the women's dispute isn't resolved.
The women's tournament begins March 31.
DESOTO, Fla. (AP) — Sprint car veteran David Steele has died during a race in Florida.
Desoto Speedway officials said in a Facebook post on Saturday night that track owners and staff were saddened by the crash. The statement says Steele was trying to win his 100th race in Florida.
A Manatee County Sheriff's Office report says Steele was driving a sprint car when his vehicle's left front wheel struck the right rear wheel of another car, causing Steele's vehicle to go up in the air, spin 180 degrees and hit the retaining wall.
Medics attempted to treat him but he was pronounced dead. He was 42.
NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne tweeted that Steele was "one of the best and such a good guy to hang out and have a beer with."
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — It's no secret the Cleveland Indians want to sign All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor to a long-term contract.
Thanks to little Brody Chernoff, the length of that deal may now be known.
On Saturday, the 6-year-old son of Indians general manager Mike Chernof, was invited into the team's broadcast booth during the ninth inning of an exhibition game against the Chicago White Sox. During the visit, Brody Chernoff was asked a few questions by veteran announcer Tom Hamilton, who wanted to know if the youngster's dad was working on any new deals.
"He's trying to get, um, Lindor to play for seven more years," Brody answered.
Hamilton burst into laughter at the response and joked that "we better not talk any more, Brody."