National Sports Briefs
PRINCETON, N.J. ó Duke, UCLA, Michigan and Southern Illinois will serve as the regional hosts for the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.
The winners of the four four-team tournaments advance to the semifinals and finals at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Nov. 20-21.
The pairings for the regional rounds, which will be held Nov. 10-13, were announced Thursday.
At the Durham regional on Nov. 10, Georgia Southern will play Houston and Presbyterian faces Duke. The winners will meet the next day.
Four Division II teams ó Presbyterian, Arkansas-Monticello, California, Pa. and Michigan Tech ó are in the field.
A total of 10 games in the tournament will be televised on the ESPN family of networks, including the four in New York.
NEW YORK ó David Stern responded to a report on NBA referees Thursday by vowing to build the “most effective possible system” to monitor illegal gambling and preserve the game’s integrity.
The commissioner ordered the investigation last August after former referee Tim Donaghy was accused of betting on games he officiated and providing inside information to gambling associates to win their bets. Donaghy began serving a 15-month sentence on Sept. 23 at a federal prison in Pensacola, Fla.
VERONA, N.Y. ó The sky cleared just in time for Jeff Overton.
Teeing off on what became a bright late afternoon after a cold, soggy morning, Overton shot a 5-under 67 on Thursday to take the first-round lead at the Turning Stone Resort Championship, the second stop on the PGA Tour’s Fall Series.
Overton, who started at the 10th hole, made three birdies on the front side to take a one-shot lead over Michael Allen and Steve Allan.
Tag Ridings, Carlos Franco, and Jason Day were tied for fourth at 69. – SEOUL, South Korea ó U.S. Ryder Cup star Anthony Kim shot a 7-under 64 to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Korea Open.
– HALF MOON BAY, Calif. ó Ji-Yai Shin shot a 5-under 67 on Thursday to take the first-day lead in the Samsung World Championship, topping Paula Creamer’s 68.
STUTTGART, Germany ó Venus Williams reached the Porsche Grand Prix quarterfinals by defeating Kateryna Bondarenko 6-4, 6-2 Thursday, one day after sister Serena was beaten and lost her No. 1 ranking.
Jelena Jankovic won her first match since learning that she will regain the top ranking, defeating Alona Bondarenko 6-2, 6-0.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. ó Eric Staal scored two goals and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Nashville Predators 4-2 Thursday night in a preseason game.Brandon Sutter and Ryan Bayda also scored for Carolina.
Sabres 5, Blue Jackets 2
COLUMBUS, Ohio ó Jochen Hecht and Ales Kotalik had a goal and an assist each to lead the Buffalo Sabres past the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2.
– UNIONDALE, N.Y. ó The New York Islanders signed first-round draft pick Josh Bailey.
TALLADEGA, Ala. ó Fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. hasn’t won at Talladega since the fall of 2004, but he still has one of the best records at the track with five wins, seven top-fives and 10 top-10s in 17 Cup starts. Junior has led 616 laps and has an average finish of 14.1 after finishing 10th there in April.
His five wins are the most for Earnhardt at any track and rank him third all-time at Talladega, trailing only the 10 wins by his late father, Dale Earnhardt, and six by Jeff Gordon.