Thursday, February 27
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Welcome back, Pete Carroll. [Carroll] returned to the USC campus for the first time as a Super Bowl Champion on Wednesday night. While Carroll has been cultivating a culture conducive to winning world titles up north, USC has been slowed by some of the heaviest sanctions ever imposed by the NCAA. Despite his success at the next level, he's still not happy about it. "I never felt it was dealt with properly," Carroll said of USC's case with the NCAA. ... He admits during his time at USC they "made some mistakes along the way," but in no way, shape, or form does he feel the punishment handed down to USC fits the crime. "I just think it was not handled well," Carroll said. "I sat in the meetings. I listened to people talk. I listened to the venom that they had for our program." (FOX Sports West) Comment
A few days after adding Glen Davis, Doc Rivers may have himself another option for the lineup. [The Clippers] have emerged as the frontrunners to sign forward Danny Granger, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Once Granger clears waivers in the next 48 hours, the Clippers' ability to offer him significant playing time and championship contention under [Rivers] makes them the most attractive destination, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Still, the San Antonio Spurs remain a viable possibility for Granger, league sources said. The Spurs are selling Granger on a modern-day variation of the Robert Horry role in San Antonio, league sources said. Granger is expected to speak with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and general manager R.C. Buford in the near future, sources said. (Yahoo! Sports) Comment
The Browns will enter the 2014 season not only in the midst of great change but also without their most popular leader, linebacker D'Qwell Jackson. [Jackson] said Wednesday that he was "more than willing to restructure" his contract to remain with the Browns, but that the two sides couldn't agree on the number. "My agent Brian Mackler and I made the decision that if I was going to take that offer I'd go somewhere else where there's a little bit more stability and a situation that's a little bit better for me," Jackson said. ... If he had stayed, his cap number would've been $9.43 million. "I definitely would've stayed if they would've payed the $4.0 million bonus," Jackson said. "I want to be around when Cleveland turns the corner. My feeling was always that 'this year is going to be the year.'" (The Plain Dealer) Comment
Blake Griffin tallied 23 points and 16 rebounds in the Clippers' 101-93 win over the Rockets on Wednesday night. Griffin has scored at least 20 points in each of his last 19 games. (Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Marcus Paige went coast to coast to hit a game-winning layup with 0.9 seconds remaining to help North Carolina knock off NC State 85-84 and extend the Tar Heels' recent winning streak to 10 games.
New York Knicks at Miami Heat, 8 p.m. ET
- SI Vault: Mickey Mantle
- 1963 -- Outfielder Mickey Mantle signs a then-record $100,000 contract with the New York Yankees.
- 2003 -- The Dallas Cowboys release all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith. The star running back played with Dallas for 13 seasons.
- 2007 -- The Edmonton Oilers retire Mark Messier's No. 11 jersey. He played for the team from 1979-91, winning the Stanley Cup five times.
- 2012 -- Matt Kenseth wins his second Daytona 500. Dale Earnhardt Jr. comes in second, and Greg Biffle comes in third.