Duke seeks to rebound...MGM-MLB...Flyers frosty relations
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — For the first time, Duke’s star-studded freshmen will be looking to bounce back from a loss when the third-ranked Blue Devils face Indiana tonight in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Duke had been unbeaten in five games before the loss to Gonzaga in the title game at the Maui Invitational. It knocked Duke out of the top spot on the AP’s college basketball poll.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — New North Carolina coach Mack Brown says returning for a second stint with the Tar Heels is the right fit for him. The school officially announced the move today, saying they had signed him to a five-year deal that pays him $3.5 million annually. Brown replaces Larry Fedora, who was fired Sunday after seven seasons.
NEW YORK (AP) — MGM Resorts has made its third deal in four months with a major U.S. sports league, becoming Major League Baseball’s official gambling partner in the U.S. and Japan. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says MGM will become an MLB-authorized gambling operator and will promote itself with teams and on the MLB Network, MLB.com and the MLB At Bat app. MGM in August became the official gambling partner of the NBA and WNBA and last month the first official sports betting partner of the NHL.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) —The Philadelphia Flyers say they fired general manager Ron Hextall after 4 ½ seasons on the job because of his “unyielding” approach. Hextall preached patience. The Flyers want to win now. The team is struggling with a 10-11-2 record under coach Dave Hakstol. Flyers President Paul Holmgren says the fate of the coach will be in the hands of the next GM. The Flyers want to make that hire within weeks.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Basketball Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo, a fearsome 7-foot-2 center in his playing days, says he was moved to tears when he visited Jerusalem’s Old City. Mutombo, who hails from a devout Christian community in Congo, said Tuesday that it was an emotional experience knowing that his parents died before they could see the place they spent their lives reading about in the Bible.