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National Sports Briefs

Associated Press
North Carolina broke a tie with its fiercest rival and moved into one with one of college basketball’s most storied programs.
The Tar Heels, who return all five starters from the team that reached the regional finals last season, were the runaway No. 1 in The Associated Press’ men’s preseason Top 25 on Friday. It is the eighth time they have received that honor since the preseason poll started in 1961-62.
That breaks a tie with Duke, North Carolina’s Tobacco Road rival, and moves them into a tie with UCLA, the program that dominated the sport unlike any other under coach John Wooden.
“It shows that North Carolina basketball has had a tremendous level of success over a long, long period of time,” coach Roy Williams said. “We are very proud of that and this is another indication of the program’s great history.”
North Carolina received all but three of the No. 1 votes cast by the 65-member national media poll, finishing well ahead of Kentucky, the team that eliminated the Tar Heels last season one step from the Final Four.
BIG EAST
BOISE, Idaho ó Big East officials visited Boise State, giving President Bob Kustra an informational pitch on the beleaguered conference and its plans to add more teams.
Kustra said he appreciated the visit, but emphasized he’s in no hurry to make a decision on Boise State’s future conference membership.
FAN BEATING
LOS ANGELES ó Two men accused of brutally beating San Francisco fan Bryan Stow in a Dodger Stadium parking lot on opening day should be held liable for potentially tens of millions of dollars in a family lawsuit
Lawyer Jerome Jackson filed a cross-complaint last week that argues Marvin Norwood and Louis Sanchez ó not the Dodgersó are to blame for the brain damage that Stow sustained.
COLLEGE
INDIANAPOLIS ó The NCAA’s Division I Board of Directors approved a package of sweeping reforms that gives conferences the option of adding more money to scholarship offers.
The board approved a measure allowing conferences to vote on providing up to $2,000 in spending money, or what the NCAA calls the full cost-of-attendance.
NFL
SAN DIEGO ó San Diego Pro Bowl left guard Kris Dielman had a grand mal seizure on the flight home Sunday after sustaining a concussion in a loss to the Jets, a person with knowledge of the situation said.
GOLF
SHANGHAI ó U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy shot a 3-under 69 on Friday to increase his lead to two strokes after the second round of the Shanghai Masters.
After opening with a bogey-free 64, the 22-year-old star from Northern Ireland recorded four birdies on the back nine to finish at 11-under 133 on Lake Malaren’s Jack Nicklaus-designed Masters course.

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