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1,500 athletes in UNC academic fraud

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) More than 3,100 students - nearly half of them athletes - enrolled in classes they didn't have to show up for and received artificially inflated grades in what an investigator called a "shadow curriculum" that lasted nearly two decades at the University of North Carolina.

The report released Wednesday by former high-ranking U.S. Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein found more far-reaching academic fraud than previous investigations by the school and the NCAA.

Many at the university hoped Wainstein's investigation would bring some closure to the long-running scandal, which is rooted in an NCAA investigation focused on improper benefits within the football program in 2010. Instead, findings of a systemic problem in the former African and Afro-American Studies department could lead to NCAA sanctions. At least nine university employees were fired or have had disciplinary procedures started against them in light of the report, chancellor Carol Folt said. She wouldn't identify them.

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Lawyers for O'Bannon seek $50M from NCAA

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) The bill has come in for former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon's successful court challenge of the NCAA - and it's a whopper.

Lawyers for O'Bannon want more than $50 million from the NCAA in attorney fees and other costs as part of the price of winning an antitrust lawsuit that took five years to make its way to trial.

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Kentucky, Florida picked 1-2 in SEC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings believes the Southeastern Conference can play with any of the so-called best basketball leagues in the country.

Leading the way once again this season will be the SEC's Final Four teams of Kentucky and Florida.

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'Nova unanimously picked to win Big East

NEW YORK (AP) Villanova coach Jay Wright is happy to just be talking about basketball this year and not conference realignment.

"Last season, with it being the first year of the new conference we were talking about a lot of different things," Wright said. "Now we can just focus on what's best for basketball."

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Pac-12 officiating remains top priority

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott remains committed to the continual improvement of officiating in the conference for both men's and women's basketball and considers it a top priority.

It's been more than a year since the Pac-12 teamed with the Mountain West Conference to form a men's basketball officiating alliance to better coordinate the two leagues' officiating, putting longtime Mountain West coordinator Bobby Dibler in charge of the programs and of managing a pool of top national and regional officials.

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6 Boston-area teams meet in tripleheader

BOSTON (AP) Six Boston-area college basketball teams are coming back to the TD Garden for the Coaches vs. Cancer tripleheader.

The three Nov. 16 games will feature Boston College against UMass, Harvard against Holy Cross and Northeastern vs. Boston University. It's the second year of the event at the Celtics' home.

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Slander lawsuit vs. Boeheim reinstated

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York's highest court on Tuesday reinstated the slander lawsuit filed by two former Syracuse University ball boys against basketball head coach Jim Boeheim.

Bobby Davis and Mike Lang say Boeheim slandered them in 2011 by calling them liars out for money when they accused his longtime assistant coach Bernie Fine of molesting them as children.

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Experienced Badgers hungry for more

MADISON, Wis. (AP) It's best to get the question out of the way quickly: Yes, the Wisconsin Badgers are hungry to get back to the Final Four.

Anything otherwise would have veteran coach Bo Ryan finding a way to get his team aiming for it. Going into his 43rd year in the profession, Ryan has one accomplishment still missing on his resume - a Division I national championship.

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Manning brings renewed passion to Wake

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) When his Wake Forest players couldn't get a defensive drill quite right, new coach Danny Manning made them do it again - and again.

After about an hour, they finally figured it out.

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St. Francis, NY picked to win NEC

NEW YORK (AP) St. Francis, New York has been picked to win the NEC conference for the first time in school history.

The Terriers were 18-14 last season and return preseason player of the year Jalen Cannon.

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