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Pitino lauds NCAA for professional probe

(AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Rick Pitino praised the NCAA for its professional approach in the governing body's investigation of a sex scandal involving Louisville men's basketball and the coach pledged his program will be accountable for things that went wrong on his watch.

Pitino spoke Wednesday at the Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball media gathering, a week after the NCAA said Louisville committed four serious violations and criticized Pitino for failing to monitor a former Cardinals basketball staffer who hired escorts and strippers for sex parties with recruits and players.

Pitino skipped media day last year on advice of counsel as the sex scandal broke. Though the case may not be completely resolved for several months, on Wednesday, a smiling, hopeful Pitino was ready to move the conversation back to basketball and his team's chances to compete for a league title.


Duke happy Tatum only has sprained foot

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Latest from Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball media day on Wednesday (all times local):



Duke opens season as ACC favorite

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Duke has been picked to win the Atlantic Coast Conference title ahead of North Carolina, Virginia and Louisville.

Blue Devils guard Grayson Allen was selected the preseason player of the year by a wide margin over Clemson forward Jaron Blossomgame, while North Carolina State point guard Dennis Smith Jr. was voted rookie of the year.


ACC looks to keep strong NCAA run going

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Atlantic Coast Conference has shaken off a four-year Final Four drought with strong back-to-back postseason runs that have included winning one national title, playing for another and putting three teams in the national semifinals.

The trick now is to keep that momentum going for the league that considers itself college basketball's best. The ACC also wants to increase its number of NCAA Tournament bids toward a still-unreached target of 10 invitations.


Kansas counting on top recruit Jackson

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) Kansas lost one of the leading scorers and rebounders in school history, a slashing guard capable of scoring in bunches, a one-and-done prospect with freakish talent and a dazzling 3-point shooter.

And there's a good chance they'll be even better this season.


Oregon tries to handle high expectations

Oregon coach Dana Altman is preparing his team for the high expectations that have come with last season's success.

Oregon won a school-record 31 games while claiming the Pac-12 regular-season and tournament titles. The Ducks earned a first-ever No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and they advanced to Elite Eight for the first time since 2007.


Arizona should contend despite turnover

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Arizona's top recruit left to play overseas and its leading scorer may or may not be facing a suspension.

Looks like a down year at McKale Center.


Texas hopes to play deep into postseason

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Shaka Smart's first season at Texas pumped new life into the Longhorns program. It also ended with another quick departure from the NCAA Tournament.

For year two, the mission is to keep the Longhorns on the upward trend, and keep them playing much deeper in the postseason, even with no returning starters and seven newcomers to the lineup .


ASU ready for next step under Hurley

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Expectations for Arizona State are not exactly high in Bobby Hurley's second season. Despite having what could be one of the conference's best backcourts, the Sun Devils were picked to finish 11th in the Pac-12.

Hurley doesn't want to hear it.


Cavs owner Gilbert donates $15M to MSU

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and wife Jennifer are donating $15 million from the family's foundation to support renovations at Michigan State's basketball arena.

The school announced the donation Wednesday. The Gilberts are both Michigan State alums.

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