Sports gambling in North Carolina has soared over a major hurdle as the House voted for legislation to permit, regulate and tax wagering activities. The 66-45 vote on Tuesday came less than a year after the chamber scuttled a similar effort. One more House vote is needed Wednesday before the legislation can move to the Senate, which voted for sports betting in 2021. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper also supports sports wagering legislation. A coalition of Christian conservatives and liberal Democrats turned back a measure in 2022 but this year gambling proponents have brought together nearly half of the House as bill sponsors.
CHARLOTTE — Receiver D.J. Chark had been on Panthers head coach Frank Reich’s radar for a while.
Shohei Ohtani watch is on. Not Ohtani’s home runs or strikeouts or any of his magnificent numbers from the field. Nothing like that. It’s all about how much his next contract will be worth. Ohtani is among a group of players going into their final season before they are eligible for free agency. There is still time for signatures and press conferences before opening day, but history shows a new contract becomes less likely once the real games begin. The list of impending free agents also includes Aaron Nola, Matt Chapman, Teoscar Hernández, Ian Happ and Julio Urías.
Aliyah Boston had 22 points and 10 rebounds, Zia Cooke scored 18 points and top-seeded South Carolina used its smothering defense to outlast second-seeded Maryland 86-75 to reach its third straight Final Four. The Gamecocks improved to 36-0 on the season with their 42nd straight win dating to last year's NCAA title run. They're now just two victories away from consecutive titles and the 10th undefeated season in the history of the women's game. Maryland used a fast pace to lead in the opening period. But South Carolina turned on its trademark defense to grab control.
Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said he’s not requiring a first-round pick in a potential trade sending four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets but added he’d want “fair value.” Gutekunst and Jets general manager Joe Douglas both discussed trade talks involving the 39-year-old Rodgers on Monday at the NFL annual meeting. Rodgers said March 15 during an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” on SiriusXM and YouTube that he intends to play for the Jets in 2023.
Baseball has transformed in the 145 days since Dusty Baker and the Houston Astros sealed the franchise’s second title in six seasons. As New York Mets owner Steve Cohen dominated an offseason that saw billions spent, the sport braced for a new world that includes pitch clocks, bigger bases, limits on defensive shifts and pickoff throws, and an overarching attempt to reverse decades of lengthening games and the Analytics Era domination of the Three True Outcomes — strikeouts, walks and home runs. No player will be watched more closely this season than Shohei Ohtani, a two-way megastar in the final year under contract with the Los Angeles Angels.
Lamar Jackson says he has requested a trade from the Baltimore Ravens, saying the team “has not been interested in meeting my value.” The star quarterback said Monday in a series of tweets that he requested a trade as of March 2. On March 7, the Ravens put the nonexclusive franchise tag on Jackson and said they were still hopeful they could reach a long-term deal with him. That version of the franchise tag allowed Jackson to negotiate with other teams, but it also gives Baltimore a chance to match any agreement he makes.
Angel Reese had 18 rebounds and LSU returned to the women’s Final Four for the first time in 15 years by beating Miami 54-42. The victory concludes a rapid rise for the Tigers under second-year coach Kim Mulkey, who won three NCAA titles at Baylor. Alexis Morris scored 21 points and Reese added 13 for the third-seeded Tigers, who asserted control of a grinding, defense-first game. LSU shot 30.2% and went 1 for 12 from 3-point range, including misses on its first nine attempts. But Miami was even worse from 3, missing all 15 tries. Reese was named the most outstanding player of the Greenville 2 Region. Jasmyne Roberts scored 22 points for Miami.
David Pastrnak eclipsed the 50-goal mark by scoring twice and the Boston Bruins won their seventh game in a row by defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in a shootout. Charlie Coyle and Jake DeBrusk converted in the shootout in a matchup of Eastern Conference division leaders. Jakub Lauko also scored for the Bruins who earned their 57th victory and are five wins shy of matching the all-time NHL record with nine regular-season games to play. Charlie McAvoy provided two assists. Boston's Jeremy Swayman made 34 saves. Jack Drury, Brady Skjei and Sebastian Aho scored for the Hurricanes.
Tyler Reddick scored his first victory with new team 23XI Racing by holding on over multiple late restarts to win in triple overtime Sunday at Circuit of the Americas. The race was the first on a road course on this year’s NASCAR schedule. Reddick’s victory was the first of the year for Toyota and his first since joining the team co-owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan. It was Reddick’s third career Cup Series, all on road courses; Reddick won a year ago at Road America and on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in his final season with Richard Childress Racing.
Jordan Miller scored 27 points and made a series of crucial foul shots down the stretch as Miami rallied to an 88-81 victory over Texas for a spot in the Final Four. Miller finished 7 of 7 from the field and 13 of 13 from the foul line, while Isaiah Wong scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half for the Hurricanes. They are headed to NRG Stadium in Houston for a date with UConn on Saturday night. Two more first-time Final Four participants, San Diego State and Florida Atlantic, will play in the other national semifinal. Marcus Carr had 17 points to lead the Longhorns.
Darrion Trammell converted a go-ahead free throw after he was fouled on a floater with 1.2 seconds left, and San Diego State muscled its way into its first Final Four, grinding out a 57-56 victory over Creighton in the South Region final. Lamont Butler scored 18 points and Trammell had 12 for the fifth-seeded Aztecs (31-6), who slowed down the high-scoring, sixth-seeded Bluejays (24-13) and became the first Mountain West Conference team to reach the national semifinals. The experienced Aztecs, in their sixth season under coach Brian Dutcher, will play Florida Atlantic on Saturday in Houston for a spot in the national title game.
The Charlotte Hornets overcame a 40-point outing from Luka Doncic to defeat Dallas for the second time in three days 110-104. It also is another costly blow to the Mavericks’ playoff hopes. Gordon Hayward scored 22 points and P.J. Washington added 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Hornets. The Mavericks entered the day tied with Oklahoma City for the 10th best record in the Western Conference but the Thunder hold the head-to-head tiebreaker. Doncic picked up his 16th technical foul of the season in the third quarter, meaning he will face a one-game suspension on Monday night unless the technical is rescinded by the league office.
The hoopla and energy and story of Bank of America Stadium on Saturday night could be separated into two eras:
Georgia Amoore scored a career-high 29 points and top-seeded Virginia Tech advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in school history with a 73-64 win over No. 4 seed Tennessee. The Hokies won their 14th straight game overall and advanced to a matchup with No. 3 seed Ohio State in the Seattle 3 Regional final on Monday night. Ohio State topped UConn in the first semifinal, ending the Huskies’ streak of 14 straight Final Four appearances. Kayana Traylor added 14 points and Elizabeth Kitley scored 12 points. The ACC Tournament champions had reached the Sweet 16 only once previously in school history. Jordan Horston led Tennessee with 17 points.
What is normally one of the quietest weeks of the ACC basketball offseason turned out to be not only busy, but historic.
This was going to be the plan anyway.
CHARLOTTE — With the first pick in the 2023 NFL draft, the Carolina Panthers will select one of four quarterbacks. Bryce Young (Alabama), C.J. Stroud (Ohio State) Anthony Richardson (Florida) and Will Levis (Kentucky) all have a case to be the top pick.
Adam Fox ended a 24-game stretch without a goal and the New York Rangers overcame the Carolina Hurricanes for a 2-1 victory. Fox scored at 4:01 of the third period and the Rangers forged a split of a two-game set this week among Metropolitan Division contenders. Artemi Panarin also scored and assisted on the goal-ahead goal. Mika Zibanejad had two assists for the Rangers. Sebastian Aho had Carolina’s goal and Frederik Anderson stopped 14 shots. The Hurricanes could have clinched an Eastern Conference playoff spot with a victory, but they’ll have plenty more chances as this was the beginning of a four-game homestand.
Michael Jordan is considering selling the Charlotte Hornets. The six-time NBA champion is in negotiations to sell at least a portion of the franchise to a group that includes Hornets minority owner Gabe Plotkin. Jump Management, Jordan's family office, says in a statement that “four years ago, Michael Jordan sold a stake in the Charlotte Hornets to a Gabe Plotkin-led group” and that "as a natural step in a process due to that transaction, Michael and Gabe are in discussions about his group potentially buying an additional stake.” No deal is imminent. Jordan purchased the expansion team from Bob Johnson for $180 million in 2010.
March Madness has reached the Sweet 16 and so-called super seniors have had a huge impact on the teams that made it this far. Nine of the 16 teams have players in fifth seasons granted by the NCAA due to the pandemic. They bring experience, leadership and presence with them on these deep runs into the bracket. Kansas State has four, leading the Wildcats from the Little Apple to the Big Apple in coach Jerome Tang's first season. Texas also has four, led by high-scoring guard Marcus Carr. Xavier's Souley Boum, Miami's Jordan Miller and Gonzaga's Rasir Bolton also have had huge impacts on their teams in their fifth seasons.
Brad Keselowski knew there was going to be a long rebuilding process when he left Team Penske after 12 years for an ownership stake in Jack Roush's once proud NASCAR team. He just wasn't clear on how much work needed to be done. The 2012 Cup champion is now part of the ownership group at rebranded RFK Racing and 16 months into his new role, the team is finally seeing some results. Keselowski was passed by former teammate Joey Logano on the last lap for the win Sunday at Atlanta, and RFK heads to Circuit of Americas in Texas this weekend believing Chris Buescher has a shot at the win.
An injury to Cade Cunningham limited him to 12 games this season. Now the Detroit Pistons have lost 14 of their last 15 to fall to 16-56. The Eastern Conference’s second-worst record belongs to the Charlotte Hornets at 23-50. They've dealt with their own major injury to LaMelo Ball. Instead of showing progress in 2022-23, both teams have had to spend another season being patient. The injuries to Cunningham and Ball have made this season another dreary one for the Pistons and Hornets, but the presence of those two players mean improvement could certainly come quickly if they’re back to full health.
The Carolina Panthers aren’t making any secrets about their plans to select a quarterback with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, even if they aren’t saying which one. So, this offseason has been about putting the right pieces around him to help him win right away. The Panthers have added running back Miles Sanders, wide receiver Adam Thielen, tight end Hayden Hurst and backup quarterback and mentor Andy Dalton in free agency, and also plan to add another vertical threat at wide receiver in the draft or later in free agency. Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Alabama’s Bryce Young, Florida’s Anthony Richardson or Kentucky’s Will Levis are the four QBs the Panthers are considering with the No. 1 overall pick.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Jacy Sheldon made a tiebreaking jumper in the lane with 1.8 seconds left to lift No. 3 Ohio State to a 71-69 win over No. 6 seed North Carolina on Monday and help the Buckeyes advance to the Sweet 16 for the second straight season.
For the past five years, the Carolina Panthers have never had a chance to sit in the NFL’s catbird seat.
The New York Rangers are suddenly scoring touchdowns, or so it seems.
LaMelo Ball anticipates being ready for the Charlotte Hornets training camp in September after suffering through an injury-plagued season in which he sprained his left ankle three times and fractured his right ankle. Ball has been limited to just 36 games this season. He said he hasn't decided whether he'll wear ankle braces moving forward to help prevent future injuries. Ball called the season tough and said he's now focused on working to get stronger for next year. He wore walking boot on his right foot and leaned on crutches during an interview on Monday after undergoing surgery on March 1 to repair the fracture.
Adama Sanogo scored 24 points and UConn pulled away from Saint Mary’s for a 70-55 win that put the Huskies in the Sweet 16 for the first time in nine years. No. 4 seed UConn (27-8) advanced to the West Regional in Las Vegas on Thursday. Next up is eighth-seeded Arkansas, which knocked off No. 1 seed Kansas. Sanogo followed up his 28-point game in UConn's NCAA Tournament opener against Iona with another powerful and efficient performance in the paint. Saint Mary’s of the West Coast Conference failed to get out of the first weekend of the tournament for the second straight season as a No. 5 seed.
Tyson Walker scored 23 points and No. 7 seed Michigan State beat second-seeded Marquette 69-60 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, sending coach Tom Izzo’s squad back to the Sweet 16 for the first time in four years. Marquette transfer Joey Hauser had 14 points for the Spartans and A.J. Hoggard had as 13 Michigan State took over in the last three minutes. The Spartans advanced to play third-seeded Kansas State in the East Region semifinals on Thursday at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The 68-year-old Izzo won his record 16th March Madness game with a lower-seeded team and reached his 15th regional semifinal. Olivier-Maxence Prosper led Marquette with 16 points.