Review Category : National Sports

Former North Carolina Head Coach Dean Smith Dies at 83

Photo by David T. Foster III/Charlotte Observer/MCT via Getty Images(CHAPEL HILL, N.C.) — Former North Carolina men’s head basketball coach Dean Smith passed away Saturday night. He was 83.

Smith roamed the sidelines for the Tar Heels from 1961 to 1997, compiling a record of 879-254. During his tenure, he appeared in 11 final fours and won two NCAA titles.

“He was the greatest there ever was on the court but far, far better off the court with people,” North Carolina head coach Roy Williams said in a statement. “His concern for people will be the legacy I will remember most.”

Among the players Smith coached at North Carolina, Michael Jordan and James Worthy.

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Rangers Sign OF Nate Schierholtz to Minor-League Contract

iStock/Thinkstock(ARLINGTON, Texas) –The Texas Rangers signed free agent outfielder Nate Schierholtz to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In 122 games last season with the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals, Schierholtz batted .195 with seven home runs and 37 RBIs. He also scored 32 runs and had an on base percentage of .243.

During his eight-year big league career, Schierholtz has suited up for the San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, Cubs and Nationals. He owns a career .253 batting average with 52 homers and 228 RBIs.

Schierholtz won a World Series championship with the Giants in 2010.

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Rangers Sign OF Nate Schierholtz to Minor-League Contract

iStock/Thinkstock(ARLINGTON, Texas) –The Texas Rangers signed free agent outfielder Nate Schierholtz to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In 122 games last season with the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals, Schierholtz batted .195 with seven home runs and 37 RBIs. He also scored 32 runs and had an on base percentage of .243.

During his eight-year big league career, Schierholtz has suited up for the San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, Cubs and Nationals. He owns a career .253 batting average with 52 homers and 228 RBIs.

Schierholtz won a World Series championship with the Giants in 2010.

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Nowitzki & Parsons Lead Mavericks Past Trail Blazers in OT, 111-101

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(DALLAS) — Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki had 25 points on 11-of-19 shooting as Dallas (35-8) outlasted the Portland Trail Blazers (34-17) in overtime Saturday night, 111-101.

Trailing the Trail Blazers, 94-83 with 2:49 to play in the fourth quarter, the Mavericks went on a 13-2 run, capped off by a three pointer from Nowitzki to force overtime. In the extra period, forward Chandler Parsons scored 10 of his 20 points, sending Dallas to their second consecutive victory.

Guard Damian Lillard led Portland with 26 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and four steals while forward LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 14 rebounds.

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Reds Bolster Bullpen by Adding Gregg and Badenhop

Thinkstock(CINCINNATI) — The Cincinnati Reds signed relievers Burke Badenhop and Kevin Gregg to contracts Saturday.

The 32-year-old Badenhop receives a one-year, $1 million contract with a $4 million option for 2016. Meanwhile Gregg, 36, gets a minor league contract with an invite to spring training.

Badenhop has played for the Marlins, Rays, Brewers and Red Sox during his seven big league seasons. During that time he’s pitched mainly as a reliever throwing 446 innings while compiling a 3.71 ERA, 314 strikeouts and a 1.30 WHIP.

“He’s able to pitch a lot,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “He has very good numbers. He is a groundball pitcher that throws a lot of sinkers and sliders. He’s a very good fit for our ballpark.”

Meanwhile Gregg has pitched 12 seasons in the major leagues, mainly as a reliever. He has 177 career saves and a lifetime 4.15 ERA. His season was cut short last year when he needed surgery in August to remove bone chips from his pitching elbow.

If Gregg makes the 40-man roster he will receive a one-year, $1.5 million contract.

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Reds Bulster Their Bullpen by Adding Gregg and Badenhop

Thinkstock(CINCINNATI) — The Cincinnati Reds signed relievers Burke Badenhop and Kevin Gregg to contracts Saturday.

The 32-year-old Badenhop receives a one-year, $1 million contract with a $4 million option for 2016. Meanwhile Gregg, 36, gets a minor league contract with an invite to spring training.

Badenhop has played for the Marlins, Rays, Brewers and Red Sox during his seven big league seasons. During that time he’s pitched mainly as a reliever throwing 446 innings while compiling a 3.71 ERA, 314 strikeouts and a 1.30 WHIP.

“He’s able to pitch a lot,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “He has very good numbers. He is a groundball pitcher that throws a lot of sinkers and sliders. He’s a very good fit for our ballpark.”

Meanwhile Gregg has pitched 12 seasons in the major leagues, mainly as a reliever. He has 177 career saves and a lifetime 4.15 ERA. His season was cut short last year when he needed surgery in August to remove bone chips from his pitching elbow.

If Gregg makes the 40-man roster he will receive a one-year, $1.5 million contract.

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(7) Villanova Routes (24) Georgetown

Frederick Breedon/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) — Darrun Hilliard had 15 points, six rebounds and four assists to help No. 7 Villanova route No. 24 Georgetown 69-53 Saturday.

Villanova (21-2, 8-2 Big East), which lost to Georgtown by 20 earlier in the season, held the Hoyas to 30 percent shooting from the field and 1 of 17 from 3-point range.

“When you play a good defensive team like they are, you’re not going to get one pass, two pass, open looks,” Georgetown head coach John Thompson III said. “You have to have the discipline to stay with what you’re doing. Keep moving, keep executing and hopefully something will open up.”

Villanova took the lead for good on Hilliard’s 3-pointer with 13:34 remaining in the first half. The Wildcats have now won eight of their last nine games.

L.J. Peak led Georgetown (15-8, 7-5 Big East) with 15 points.

Josh Hart scored 13 and JayVaughn Pinkston added 10 points and eight boards for Villanova in the win.

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Pirates Come Out on Top in Arbitration Case with Walker

Paul Spinelli/MLB Photos via Getty Images(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) — The Pittsburgh Pirates won their arbitration case with second baseman Neil Walker Saturday.

The 29-year-old Walker asked for $9 million but will instead receive $8 million for the 2015 season. Walker is a Super 2 player meaning he is eligible for arbitration in 2016 as well.

The new deal is still a raise for Walker, who made $5.75 million last season.

Walker was selected by the Pirates with the 11th overall pick of the 2004 amateur draft. He played in 137 games last season compiling a .271 batting average, 23 home runs, 76 RBIs and a .342 on-base percentage.

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Arizona State Upsets Rival (6) Arizona

G Fiume/Getty Images(TEMPE, Ariz.) — Bo Barnes scored 18 points, three of which coming of a momentum-killing long-distance shot with 55 seconds remaining, to help Arizona State upset No. 6 Arizona 81-78 Saturday, at Wells Fargo Arena.

Last month the Sun Devils lost to the Wildcats 73-49 in Tucson, hitting just 14 of 43 shots from the field. But ASU hit 50 percent of its shots in this game to pull the upset for the second-straight season.

“We did not get the job done on the defensive end, really in any way,” Arizona head coach Sean Miller said. “Around the basket we had no rim protector, we had no physicality and it seemed a little too easy.”

The Sun Devils led for the final 23 minutes of the game.

Freshman Tra Holder had 15 points and eight assists for Arizona State (12-11, 4-6 Pac-12).

T.J. McConnell had 25 points, five boards and four assists for Arizona (20-3, 8-2 Pac-12) in the loss.

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Arizona State Upsets Rival (6) Arizona

G Fiume/Getty Images(TEMPE, Ariz.) — Bo Barnes scored 18 points, three of which coming of a momentum-killing long-distance shot with 55 seconds remaining, to help Arizona State upset No. 6 Arizona 81-78 Saturday, at Wells Fargo Arena.

Last month the Sun Devils lost to the Wildcats 73-49 in Tucson, hitting just 14 of 43 shots from the field. But ASU hit 50 percent of its shots in this game to pull the upset for the second-straight season.

“We did not get the job done on the defensive end, really in any way,” Arizona head coach Sean Miller said. “Around the basket we had no rim protector, we had no physicality and it seemed a little too easy.”

The Sun Devils led for the final 23 minutes of the game.

Freshman Tra Holder had 15 points and eight assists for Arizona State (12-11, 4-6 Pac-12).

T.J. McConnell had 25 points, five boards and four assists for Arizona (20-3, 8-2 Pac-12) in the loss.

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