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Diamond DeShields
goheels.com

The UNC women's basketball team is one win away from its first trip to the NCAA Women's Final Four in seven years. 

Brett Farmiloe / Creative Commons/Flickr

Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford announced on Thursday that the league's men's basketball tournament will come back to North Carolina after a few years away:

  • Charlotte will host the tournament in 2019. 
  • Greensboro will see the event return in 2020. 

(Earlier, the ACC announced it will take the men's tournament to Brooklyn's Barclays Center for two years.)  

Swofford says new membership has mandated a broader reach.

Lady TarHeels advance to sweet sixteen over Michigan St. 2014
University of North Carolina Athletics

This photo from Carolina Athletics says it all:

The photo was first shared on Facebook with a caption that reads: "How sweet it is! Carolina got the win over Michigan State and is headed to the Sweet 16!"

More about the game and the NCAA championship here. Or follow the team's journey in the tourney on Facebook.

LeVelle Moton
LeVelle Moton via Twitter

Updated Saturday March 22, 2014:

LeVelle Moton's Twitter profile says it all:

"Basketball is what I do, not who I am. Child of God, Hattie Mac's Baby boy. Head Coach At North Carolina Central University."

Moton seemed destined to be the head coach at NCCU. He grew up in Raleigh, and lived with his mother in a housing project. He was a McDonald's All American Nominee at Enloe High School, was Wake County Player of the Year, and was selected for All State.

Merge Records

Merge Records is celebrating their 25th anniversary this weekend.

Laura Ballance & Mac McCaughan of the band Superchunk founded the label. "When I see pictures about what we looked like and what the bands that we worked with looked like then it feels like a long time," says Mac. "But it did go by quickly. It's gone by fast."

Superchunk is still releasing new stuff. They debuted"I Hate Music" last year.

TJ Warren
gopack.com

N.C. State lives to play another game in this year's NCAA Tournament.  

LaVelle Moton
nccuealepride.comg

Four North Carolina universities -- all located in the Triangle -- have earned bids to this year's National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament.  The highest seed is Duke.  The Blue Devils are third in the Midwest region.  But the Atlantic Coast Conference runner-up will open tournament play against Mercer University at PNC Arena in Raleigh on Friday. North Carolina Central University is making its first ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.  The Mid Eastern Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament champions are seeded 14th in the East region.  They will put a 20-game win streak on the line against third-seed Iowa State Friday in San Antonio.  

With at least one deacon looking on, Wake Forest topped Notre Dame 81-69, for its first ACC Tournament win since 2007.
Jeff Tiberii

 

The 61st annual A-C-C Men’s Basketball Tournament is underway in Greensboro. Wake Forest beat Notre Dame Wednesday afternoon earning its first win at the event in seven years. The Demon Deacons beat Notre Dame and ensured that beleaguered fourth-year head coach Jeff Bzdelik will last another day. There is widespread speculation Bzdelik will be fired when Wake's season concludes. 

Annabeth Barnes
AB Racing

Annabeth Barnes knows exactly what she wants. She wants to make it to the top level of NASCAR. She'd like to be the first woman to win the Daytona 500. Her family is fully behind her and is willing to sell their home to make it happen.

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

Former UNC-Chapel Hill men's basketball coach Dean Smith's 83rd birthday was last week, and several major news organizations have marked his life and legacy with extraordinary articles. Smith has dementia now, and that makes both of the articles we'll highlight here so moving.

The Tar Heel bench
J.D. Lyon, Jr.

In case you've been living under a rock, there's an exciting basketball game happening this weekend. Duke and UNC will play again. The last game, on February 20 was really a nail-biter.

basketball
mvongrue via Flickr/Creative Commons

Daniel Vermeer grew up in Iowa with a passion for basketball. When his academic studies took him to Nepal, he discovered an interesting influence of American cable television: local love for the Atlanta Hawks.

"So you can imagine," says Vermeer, "[I'm] in this little hut in Kathmandu, watching TV and an Atlanta Hawks game came on.  With these enormous guys, jumping through the roof, slamming the ball..." 

Atlantic Coast Conference

It's tournament time for Atlantic Coast Conference women's basketball. 

Wake Forest starts things off tonight in Greensboro against Pittsburgh.  Meanwhile, North Carolina, Duke and NC State have either one or two rounds off, thanks to good conference records. 

The Wolfpack is ranked number 14 in the country, and has an automatic bid to the tournament quarterfinals.  That's despite a flurry of injuries in the middle of the conference schedule. 

Head Coach Wes Moore said he wants to take advantage of the time off.

Duke Blue Planet

There's a group of students at Duke  called The Crazies. They are the kids who get all decked out and painted up and sit in the most coveted spot during basketball games at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Crazies are the uber fans. They camp out for 6-8 weeks in order to be in the front row when Duke plays UNC at home.

Charleston Forge table featured on Sochi Olympic set
Charleston Forge

Do the Olympics seem far away? N0t many North Carolinians are competing. (Before the games, we told you about speed skater Heather Richardson, but her games were a bust.) And with no hometown heroes to cheer on, well, humph.

But then, with the swell of the Olympic theme...seemingly from nowhere....we find these three local connections to the world-wide games.

1. Handmade in Boone, NC-Made Table Dresses Up Set

Duke Photography

Last week's winter storm canceled the men's basketball game between fierce rivals North Carolina and Duke. 

Meetings between coaches, athletic directors and the Atlantic Coast Conference resulted in the contest being rescheduled for this Thursday night in Chapel Hill.  That means both teams will be playing four games in eight days. 

The Tar Heels beat Pittsburgh over the weekend while the Blue Devils got past Maryland.  Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told Sirius-XM it's a challenging week.

Duke men's basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski
D. Myles Cullen / defense.gov

The UNC/Duke men's basketball game has been postponed, and rescheduled for February 20th.

Originally, Steve Kirschner, the communications director for UNC Athletics said everyone who needed to be at the game, would be:

"The ACC policy is if the team and officials can safely arrive at the site, then we should try and play the game. And the ACC has three officials that are local that will be able to get here. Duke has said that it will be able to get here. Our kids are on campus and will be able to go as well."

Empty speed skating rink at the Sochi Olympics
Heather Richardson / Twitter

Heather Richardson was born to skate. She found success on rollerblades first, and then moved onto the ice. Before the Sochi Olympic games, she was favored to win three medals in speed skating. But she's come up empty.

Sports Illustrated writes:

The report aims at bringing a better balance between academics and sports at UNC at Chapel Hill.
Tnbailey09 voa Creative Commons

Over the past week, a new iteration of the UNC-Chapel Hill sports/academic scandal has been making headlines.

UNC Athletics Logo
UNC-Chapel Hill

The UNC football team meets Cincinnati Saturday at the Belk Bowl in Charlotte.  For a while this fall it looked like the Tar Heels would be home for the holidays. Carolina started the season with one win and five losses. The 5th defeat came by just four points at home to 10th ranked Miami.

Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers have secured a spot in this year's NFL playoffs.  But, they now know they have a chance at being the top seed in their conference.   League officials have determined that a Panthers' victory over Atlanta this Sunday along with a San Francisco victory and a Seattle loss would give Carolina home field as long as they remain alive in the postseason.  Head Coach Ron Rivera said his message to the team will be to not worry about anyone other than the Falcons.  

ECUPirates.com

Vinatavious Cooper rushed for a career-best 198 yards, setting a Beef `O' Brady's Bowl record and leading East Carolina to a 37-20 victory over Ohio on Monday. The Pirates (10-3) grabbed the lead for good on the first of Cooper's two touchdowns runs in the fourth quarter, a 31-yard burst with just under 10 minutes remaining.

ECUPirates.com

In college football, East Carolina meets Ohio in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s bowl this afternoon.  The Pirates of ECU face off with the Ohio Bobcats. East Carolina had one of the nation’s best passing offenses this season and won nine games.

"We have an acronym called OPAAT – one play at a time – OPAAT. And we get better at one thing a day and yesterday it was routine plays. And to be successful in our bowl game we will have to make routine plays," said head coach Ruffin McNeill

Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones

Every college football season, there’s usually one team that turns out to be a surprise. This year, it’s Duke.

The Blue Devils have won ten games-- the most in school history. It’s a big turnaround for a team long overshadowed by basketball and a laughingstock of the Atlantic Coast Conference. But now, Duke is headed to the ACC championship game.

The team earned its invitation to the ACC over the weekend, after it beat UNC.  At a sports bar near campus, lifelong Duke fans Larry Goss and Bobbi Harris hugged each other with tears in their eyes.

Kenan Stadium
goheels.com

Number 24 Duke and North Carolina are getting ready for their annual football rivalry matchup. 

The Tar Heels host the Blue Devils on Saturday in the final game of the regular season.  There's a lot at stake for Duke, which needs the win to advance to the ACC championship game against Florida State.  It would be the school's first trip to the title game. 

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe says it's fitting that the deciding game is against UNC.

"It's enough that it's just Duke and North Carolina," Cutcliffe says.

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