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Sports Briefs

 

Ohio sites awarded

NCAA tourney games

COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio will host three levels of tournaments — the First Four in Dayton, second- and third-round games in Columbus and a regional in Cleveland — in the 2015 NCAA tournament.

The NCAA announced the 2015 dates on Monday.

The First Four will be played March 17-18 at the University of Dayton Arena, the second- and third-round games at Nationwide Arena in Columbus on March 20 and 22 and Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena will host the Midwest Regional games on March 26 and 28.

Dayton also hosts the First Four in 2013 on March 19-20 and again in 2014 on March 18-19, in addition to being the venue for the 2013 second- and third-round games on March 22 and 24.

 

 

Lakers hire D’Antoni

as new head coach

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Just when everybody thought the Los Angeles Lakers were getting back together with Phil Jackson, they switched course in the middle of the night and went with Mike D’Antoni.

What a weekend in Hollywood — and the real drama isn’t over yet.

The Lakers reacted with ample excitement and a little bewilderment Monday to their front office’s surprising decision to hire D’Antoni as coach Mike Brown’s replacement over Jackson.

The Lakers’ third coach in four days won’t take over the team until later in the week. D’Antoni still hasn’t been cleared to travel after undergoing knee replacement surgery earlier in the month, although the Lakers are optimistic he’ll arrive Wednesday.

 

 

Rivera fires Murphy

after punt return TD

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Panthers special teams coordinator Brian Murphy on Monday became the latest casualty of Carolina’s disappointing season.

Coach Ron Rivera announced the Panthers (2-7) fired Murphy one day after Carolina surrendered a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown to Trindon Holliday in Sunday’s 36-14 loss to the Denver Broncos.

Rivera said he has promoted assistant special teams coach Richard Rodgers to coordinator. Rodgers, in his first season in Carolina, was a college teammate of Rivera’s at Cal.

Rivera said the decision was made because of “philosophical differences and productivity.”