National briefs: ACC-Big 10 challenge grows
BRISTOL, Conn. ó North Carolina will host Wisconsin and Duke will play at Ohio State in the 13th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge next season.
The series expands to 12 games with Nebraska joining the Big Ten.
The Blue Devils and Buckeyes combined to be ranked No. 1 in all but one of the AP polls last season. They face off Nov. 29. The other games that day are Miami at Purdue; Northwestern at Georgia Tech; Illinois at Maryland; Michigan at Virginia; and Clemson at Iowa.
The Tar Heels, who return their top seven scorers, take on the Badgers on Nov. 30. The rest of that dayís slate features Indiana at N.C. State; Penn State at Boston College; Florida State at Michigan State; Virginia Tech at Minnesota and Wake Forest at Nebraska.
ESPN, which broadcasts the games, announced the matchups Tuesday.
TORONTO ó Bryan Colangelo will remain in charge of rebuilding the Toronto Raptors.
The teamís president and general manager agreed to a multiyear contract extension with the Raptors on Tuesday. Colangelo has spent five years at the helm of Canadaís lone NBA team, and his contract was set to expire on June 30.
ěIím very pleased to get this resolved and I look forward to following through on the next critical phase of rebuilding our basketball team,î Colangelo said in a statement. ěI am deeply committed to the organization and our fans and Iím even more proud to call Toronto home.î
BOSTON ó Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers is recovering from surgery to remove a benign polyp from his throat.
The team said doctors told Rivers he is cancer free.
Rivers joked that his family will be happy that he canít talk for two weeks. But he also urged all coaches to get their throats checked after the stress put on their vocal cords during the season.
The Celtics were eliminated from the playoffs in the second round by the Miami Heat. Rivers signed a five-year extension with the team last week.
RALEIGH ó Hall of Fame player Ron Francis is giving up his spot on the Carolina Hurricanesí coaching staff to focus on his front-office job with the club.
General manager Jim Rutherford said Tuesday that the mutual decision to shift Francis back into the front office was not in response to the team missing the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons.
ěIt was something that is not new ó it was something that had been planned for over the last couple of years,î Rutherford said. ěItís really what he wants to do.î
Francis was promoted to assistant general manager in 2007 and a year later took on coaching responsibilities when Paul Maurice was hired as head coach. Rutherford said Francis will relinquish his duties on the ice during practices and behind the bench during games. Rutherford declined to discuss his options for filling that coaching vacancy.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the end of the regular season, Rutherford voiced support for Maurice, saying he ěhas done a very good job coaching the Hurricanes two out of the last three years.î Maurice took the Hurricanes to a surprise spot in the Eastern Conference final in 2009, and after taking a clear step backwards in 2009-10, they finished this season one win away from a playoff spot.
CORAL GABLES, Fla. ó Running back Storm Johnson is transferring out of Miami.
Hurricanes coach Al Golden made the announcement Tuesday night, saying the school will assist Johnson in the transfer process.
Johnson discussed the possibility of transferring from Miami at times last season, when he had nine carries for 119 yards as a freshman. Of those nine carries, four were for at least 10 yards, including a 71-yard burst against South Florida for his only Miami touchdown.
Johnson is the fifth Miami player to seek a transfer this month. Johnson is from Loganville, Ga., and was projected to open 2011 as the Hurricanesí third-string running back.
INDIANAPOLIS ó Rain limited Tuesdayís Indianapolis 500 practice to two participants.
Marco Andretti and Mike Conway were the only drivers to take to the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before track officials called off the session in the late afternoon.
Andretti completed five laps in Conwayís car with a fast lap of 220.656 miles per hour. Conway completed eight laps in the same car with a best speed of 219.910 miles per hour.
Rain also eliminated Sundayís practice and 21/2 hours of Saturdayís session.
The teams are preparing for qualifying on Saturday and Sunday, when the order for the start of the May 29 race will be determined.
SILVERSTONE, England ó Silverstone has completed a $43.7 million overhaul of its pits and paddock as part of a 17-year agreement to host Formula Oneís British Grand Prix.
The British Racing Driversí Club unveiled the upgraded Silverstone ěWingî Tuesday after last yearís revamping of the circuit and other facilities.
The complex holds the new pits and paddock alongside media and conference suites, three halls and an auditorium.
Former F1 world champion Damon Hill says the upgrade has ěkept Britain at the forefront of motor sport.î
Britain was in danger of losing its GP when Donnington was stripped of the race in 2009. Silverstone stepped in but needed to improve its aging facilities.
The Associated Press