Latest North Carolina, South Carolina sports

LGBT RIGHTS-NORTH CAROLINA

NCAA set to pick title sites, could leave North Carolina out

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The NCAA will start deciding on locations for its upcoming championships next week and has indicated it will leave North Carolina out of that process if the state hasn't changed a law that limits LGBT rights by that time.

In a statement Thursday, the sports organization said its committees will begin picking championship sites for 2018-22 and will announce those decisions April 18. The statement says "once the sites are selected by the committee, those decisions are final."

The NCAA says its position has not changed since last fall, when it pulled seven championship events from the state because of the law known as HB2.

The law requires transgender people to use restrooms at schools and government buildings corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates. It also excludes gender identity and sexual orientation from local and statewide antidiscrimination protections.

HURRICANES-CANADIENS

Stempniak scores twice, Hurricanes down Canadiens 4-1

MONTREAL (AP) -- Lee Stempniak scored twice and the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 on Thursday night to extend their point streak to nine games and keep their playoff hopes alive.

Elias Lindholm and Jeff Skinner also scored for the Hurricanes, while Eddie Lack stopped 21 shots.

Carolina, undefeated in regulation time in nine straight games (6-0-3), is five points out of the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 10 regular-season games left.

Alex Galchenyuk scored the lone goal for Montreal. Carey Price stopped 19 of 22 shots.

NC CENTRAL-COACH

NC Central fires women's basketball coach Vanessa Taylor

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina Central says it will not bring back women's basketball coach Vanessa Taylor.

Athletic director Ingrid Wicker McCree on Thursday said Taylor's contract will not be renewed.

Taylor was 33-113 in five seasons with the Eagles. They went 8-21 this season and finished 7-9 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Associate head coach Kendra Eaton is taking over as the interim head coach.

UMASS COACH BACKS OUT

Pat Kelsey backs out as UMass coach, cites personal reasons

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) -- Former Winthrop coach Pat Kelsey has backed out of an agreement to take over at UMass, citing personal reasons.

UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford said Thursday that Kelsey asked to be let out of his contract that was signed Tuesday, making clear that it was for "very personal" reasons.

Kelsey said in a statement released by the university that he is sorry and felt welcome while on campus.

Kelsey was scheduled to meet with reporters on Thursday, but UMass abruptly canceled just before the press conference was set to begin.

UMass fired Derek Kellogg after the Minutemen finished 15-18 this season. The team was 155-137 overall in nine seasons under Kellogg and just 67-83 in Atlantic 10 play.

DUKE-JETER TRANSFERRING

Duke says Chase Jeter to transfer to a school closer to home

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Duke says backup big man Chase Jeter will transfer at the end of the semester.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski announced the move Thursday, saying he is in good academic standing.

Jeter appeared in just 16 games as a sophomore this season, and didn't play after suffering a herniated disk in his back in mid-January. He averaged 2.1 points and 2.7 rebounds while playing about 15 minutes per game.

Four of his six starts came early in the season while three key freshmen were injured, and his last start came in his hometown of Las Vegas against UNLV. The 2015 McDonald's All-American says he plans to transfer to a school closer to home.

His announcement came a day after Jayson Tatum said he would enter the NBA draft after one season.

TENNESSEE-PARKER

Guard Kwe Parker to transfer from Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Guard Kwe Parker is leaving Tennessee after one year with the program.

Tennessee athletic department spokesman Tom Satkowiak said Thursday that Parker plans to transfer at the end of the spring semester. Satkowiak said Parker has requested his release and that "pending the achievement of some specific academic goals and benchmarks, the program intends to grant it."

Parker averaged 8.1 minutes, 1 point, 0.8 rebounds and 0.9 assists as a freshman this season while helping Tennessee post a 16-16 record. The 6-footer from Fayetteville, North Carolina, played 25 games and made one start for the Volunteers.

NASCAR-OBIT-HAMILTON

Daytona and two time Talladega winner Hamilton dead at 74

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) --Pete Hamilton, who captured the Daytona 500 in 1970 and won twice at Talladega Superspeedway the next year, has died at 74.

His death Wednesday was announced by Richard Petty Motorsports and NASCAR.

Hamilton won four Cup races, including a Daytona 500 qualifying race in 1971. He had 26 top-five finishes in 64 starts from 1968 to 1973.

His 1970 Daytona victory was in the No. 40 Plymouth Superbird fielded by Petty Enterprises. His teammate was Hall of Famer Richard Petty.

"We ran two cars in 1970, and Plymouth helped introduce us to Pete," Petty said in a statement. "They wanted us to run a second car with him on the bigger tracks."

Hamilton was teamed with Hall of Fame mechanic Maurice Petty. Richard Petty said that tandem was the difference.

"Pete and 'Chief' won the race, and it was a big deal," Petty said. "It was great to have Pete as part of the team. He was a great teammate."

Maurice Petty said Hamilton was "as fast as anyone on the superspeedways in 1970."