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Dean Smith
UNC-Chapel Hill

Thousands of people celebrated the life of legendary basketball coach Dean Smith yesterday. His family, former players and longtime friends paid tribute to the man, coach and leader at a memorial service in Chapel Hill. Smith passed away earlier this month following a long neurological illness. He was 83.

Inside a building that bears his name and beneath dozens of banners he helped to raise, Dean Smith was memorialized on Sunday.

The men's basketball teams from UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University battle each other tonight for the 239th time.

The storied rivalry is notorious for dividing friends, family and coworkers over which shade of blue is best.

But in a rare collaboration, Tar Heel sportswriter Art Chansky and Blue Devil sports marketer Johnny Moore chronicled the history of the rivalry in the book, The Blue Divide (Triumph Books/2014). 

Host Frank Stasio talks with Chansky and Moore about the Tobacco Road rivalry that many call the greatest in sports.  

Dean Smith during his conversation with William Friday.
UNC-TV

North Carolina and Duke continue their storied rivalry in men's basketball tonight.

But tonight's match-up in Durham comes 11 days after the passing of legendary UNC coach Dean Smith.  Many Duke fans are expected to wear dark blue t-shirts with the name "Dean" in the place of "Duke."

Dean Smith during his conversation with William Friday.
UNC-TV

William Friday talks with UNC Chapel Hill Head Basketball Coach Dean Smith in this 1994 UNC-TV interview.

UNC Athletic Communications

    

North Carolina coaching legend Dean Smith died this weekend. As a coach for the Tar Heels men's basketball team, he won two national championships, his trademark "Four Corners" offense frustrated opponents, and his 879 wins were the most in Division I basketball history when he retired.

But his friends, his family and his players often point to what he did off the court as a sign of who Dean Smith was.

Dean Smith passed away Saturday night in Chapel Hill. By Sunday afternoon a memorial had been created outside of the Dean E. Smith Center.
Jeff Tiberii

College basketball fans, alumni and students are remembering the iconic Dean Smith as an innovative coach and a man of integrity. People brought flowers, balloons and wrote messages in chalk outside the building that bares his name in Chapel Hill. Jeff Tiberii spoke with a few of those Carolina followers who paid tribute on Sunday.  

Leon Keys, Ginny Moses and Tom Gahagan were among the dozens of people paid tribute to Dean Smith on campus yesterday. Smith died Saturday night. He was 83.

Dean Smith
UNC-Chapel Hill

Dean Smith, the legendary men's college basketball coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has passed away. He was 83 years old.

"Coach Smith passed away peacefully the evening of February 7 at his home in Chapel Hill, and surrounded by his wife and five children," his family said in a statement. "We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers, and appreciate the continued respect for our privacy as arrangements are made available to the public."

Remembering Dean Smith

Feb 8, 2015
15 Mar 1997: Coach Dean Smith of the North Carolina Tarheels gives instructions to his players during a playoff game against the Colorado Buffaloes at the Lawrence Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Tarheels won the game 73 - 56 giving
Bo Gordy-Stith (PBoBS) / Flickr/Creative Commons

Induction into a sports Hall of Fame is a reflective moment for any athlete or coach. Nine Tar Heel players or coaches are in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and eight of them either had some connection to Dean Smith or were Dean Smith. And none missed the opportunity to thank him during their acceptance speeches:

Michael Jordan: “Coach Smith… what else can I say about him? He’s legendary in the game of coaching.”

A picture of Mike Krzyzewski.
Duke Photography

Duke Men's Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski now has one thousand career victories.

The Blue Devils defeated St. John's yesterday in New York City, 77-68.  Fans have been on the edge of their seats leading up to this thousandth win. (Twitter exploded with the news, with photos and videos being shared under the hashtag #Coach1K

Coach K in the locker room, 1983. This was his third year as the Duke head coach.
Duke University Archives

This weekend, Duke's legendary basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, or Coach K, might net his 1,000th career win, and there is a lot of buzz.

Coach K has 999 career wins. His first 73 victories came at West Point coaching Army, between 1975 and 1980.
Jeff Tiberii

Mike Krzyzewski leads the Duke men's basketball team into Madison Square Garden this weekend. The legendary Coach K is simply treating it as the 19th game of this season for his Blue Devils. However a milestone is within reach.

The preeminent coach in college basketball was up to the usual this past Monday – glaring at officials, instructing future multi-millionaires and enjoying the home-court advantage his devoted student followers helped create. Duke’s back court played well, helping to end a rare two-game losing streak by polishing off the Pitt Panthers.

A picture of Duke fans holding a cutout of Mike Krzyzewski's face.
goduke.com

Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski is now a win shy of career victory one thousand. 

The Blue Devils topped Pitt 79-65 last night at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Afterward, Coach K downplayed any special meaning for win 999. 

"It means we’re 16-and-two. That’s exactly what that means," Krzyzewski says. "And hopefully we can be 17-and-two in the next game we play." 

Krzyzewski has more wins than any college basketball coach in men's history. Duke's next game is in New York against St. John's on Sunday.

U.S. Figure Skating

The U.S. Figure Skating Championships begin this weekend in Greensboro. This same event came to the city four years ago.

Bob Dunlop, Senior Director of Events for US Figure Skating, says that now is a good time for the skaters and fans to come back to North Carolina:

"[It's the] start of a new Olympic cycle for us. New faces - some of the people who competed in '11 are gone from the sport. So, a great re-start for us."

Competitors will skate in singles, pairs and ice dancing divisions.

A handful of people were arrested in Arlington, Texas prior to college football's national championship game. They were arrested for unauthorized sale of  items with college logos.

Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) is a partner organization of Winston-Salem based IMG College. They are responsible for helping schools to protect and enforce against unauthorized use of their valuable trademarks.

Ralston Turner takes a shot.
NC State

There was a major upset in men's college basketball on Sunday, when unranked NC State beat the previously undefeated Duke, 87-75.

The Wolfpack's Trevor Lacey scored 21 points, and Ralston Turner added 16. The team overall shot 55 percent.

NC State Coach Mark Gottfried says his team knocked down some tough shots, and kept heavy pressure on Duke's preseason All-American Jahlil Okafor.

Update January 7, 2015:

In the summer of 2014, we heard about a vintage photo that was found tucked away in one of the books at the Chapel Hill Public Library. No one knew how long the picture had been there, but the photo caught our imagination. Who was this Duke Blue Devil?

For a time, the mystery appeared to be solved.  The son of a Duke alum, Donald Brandon, wrote to say, "It looks like Bill Werber."

OpenDurham.org via the Duke Archives

This week marks the 75th anniversary of Cameron Indoor Stadium, home to Duke University Basketball. In that time, the Blue Devils have won 4 national championships, and made 38 NCAA Tournament appearances. But the building itself has as much history as the teams that have passed through it.

At its founding, the stadium was the largest south of Philadelphia. It flaunted some of the most modern conveniences of any venue.

Longtime ESPN anchor Stuart Scott died of cancer Sunday morning. He was 49 years old. Scott was known for his on-camera presence, and the catch-phrases he coined. 

"Boo-Yah!" 

"He must be the bus driver cuz he was takin' him to school."

The broadcaster was beloved in the Carolina community. He went to high school in Winston-Salem, and later attended University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he worked at the campus radio station, WXYC.  After graduation, he worked at stations around the country, and then was hired to help launch ESPN 2.

A group photo of the Panthers.
Panthers.com

The Carolina Panthers and their fans celebrated the team's first playoff victory in nine years over the weekend.  They beat the Arizona Cardinals, 27-16, in the first round of the NFC Playoffs Saturday.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton says the team had stretches of good play against the Cardinals, but they have to step up their game.

“This one was great for a lot of reasons,” Newton says. “Yet, we didn't come here just to end it.  We have to have a great week of practice.  The things we didn't do great we have to come back and get coached up and ready to go.”

A locker room picture of the Panthers.
panthers.com

In the NFL, the Carolina Panthers celebrated a 34-to-3 victory over the Atlanta Falcons to win the NFC South yesterday.

The Panthers will host a wild-card playoff game next week. Coach Ron Rivera called his team resilient.

“The beautiful thing is, the record doesn't matter. That's the best part. It's about the fact that we've won the South two years in a row. We're the first team to do it, from the South. That's something for us to build on as we go forward as a football team.”

Spencer Herlong / GoHeels.com

UNC can cap off a turbulent season with a bowl victory in Detroit. The Tar Heels will take on Rutgers in the Quick Lane Bowl after going 6-6 in the regular season. Head Coach Larry Fedora says the opportunity is as much about 2015 as it is about those seniors who are leaving.

"Just like getting extra practices for Spring Ball," said Fedora. "We're trying to get as many reps with those guys who are going to be with us and we feel like can help us in the future."
 

A picture of Jonathan Stewart.
Panthers.com

In the NFL, the Carolina Panthers defeated the Cleveland Browns 17-13.

Quarterback Cam Newton returned to the gridiron 12 days after a car accident fractures parts of his lower back.

Newton threw for one touchdown and ran for another.

A picture of Derek Anderson.
Panthers.com

In the NFL, the Carolina Panthers defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19-17 yesterday.

Quarterback Derek Anderson started in place of Cam Newton. Newton was sidelined while recovering from a car accident Tuesday that left him with two fractures in his lower back.

Anderson threw for 277 yards and a touchdown, and Graham Gano kicked four field goals.

via NBC Charlotte / Twitter

Update 3:48 p.m.:

 @FozzyWhitt's 26-yard touchdown
Carolina Panthers via Twitter

In the NFL, the Carolina Panthers beat the New Orleans Saints yesterday, 41-10. 

Panthers Coach Ron Rivera said he was pleased to end a six-game losing streak.

“It's been a while since we've really felt good about what we felt we could do in terms of the guys that we had playing, getting used to the guys that we're playing,” Rivera says. “I think everything just kind of fell into place and came together.”

Katherine Perry
UNC Women's Golf

Katherine Perry never won a tournament when she was on scholarship for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's women's golf team. But she's made it through the first two phases of the LPGA Qualifying School. Today is the start of the third and final phase. If Perry is one of the top 20 women, she will earn a spot on the LPGA Tour.

 Panthers lose to Minnesota and fall to 3-8-1 on the season.
Carolina Panthers via Twitter

Charlotte native Charlie Sifford was the first African-American to earn a PGA tour card. On Monday, President Obama honored Sifford with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Obama said Sifford is one of the country’s “trailblazers who bent the arc of our nation toward justice.”

action shot of carolina panthers
Carolina Panthers via Twitter

The Carolina Panthers' losing streak has reached five games with yesterday's 19-to-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

Panthers kicker Graham Gano missed one field goal and had another blocked in the final seconds to preserve the victory for Atlanta. Carolina head coach Ron Rivera says he told the team that the season isn't over for them yet:

"I don't know. Maybe somebody's trying to tell us something, because New Orleans lost... So, who knows?  I talked to the players about it, and said we're still in the middle of this, believe it or not."

A picture of Cam Newton passing.
Matt Rourke/AP Photo / Panthers.com

In the NFL, the Carolina Panthers lost 45-to-21 to the Philadelphia Eagles last night. That that puts the team on a four-game losing streak. 

The Eagles' defense sacked Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton nine times.  

 

Carolina Coach Ron Rivera says he is standing behind Newton, instead of replacing him with a backup quarterback.  Rivera says he wants to give Newton more time to find his rhythm.

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