NCAA

Strong staying as Louisville football coach

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Strong staying as Louisville football coach

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Charlie Strong's decision to stay at Louisville is the second major coup for the Cardinals in eight days.

After reports linking Strong to several openings in the Southeastern Conference, he said Thursday that he wasn't going anywhere. Keeping the coach had become a priority for Louisville after announcing last week it will join the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014.

``I knew this would be a big opportunity,'' Strong said during a press conference at the Cardinals' football stadium. ``It was the best decision to stay here, continue to build a program and fulfill our dreams on the football field and in the classroom.''

Strong turned down an offer from Tennessee on Tuesday night to replace Derek Dooley, who was fired on Nov. 18. Strong had been in discussions with the Volunteers since last Thursday but did not provide any details of their offer.

Now that Louisville knows Strong is staying, athletic director Tom Jurich said they will begin re-negotiating the seven-year contract Strong received last year that currently pays him $2.3 million per season.

Jurich said Strong didn't use the Tennessee offer as leverage for a new deal and that they only began taking about it an hour before Thursday's press conference. Nonetheless, Jurich wants to work out a deal that will keep Strong at Louisville eight more years beyond this season and increase the salary of his assistant coaches.

Jurich admitted he has been a bit nervous these last few days. After Louisville announced its ACC plans, Jurich vowed to beat any offer made to his coach. But he didn't know for sure what Strong would do.

The AD said Strong's choice to remain with the Cardinals ``says that we're committed. But we've always been committed. Everybody always looks at us as a longshot, but we're not an underdog. I'm probably biased, but I truly believe that as of 7:40 last Wednesday morning when (ACC President) John Swofford called, this is a top-10 job in the country in football.''

At Louisville Strong became a coveted asset and his stock rose with the Cardinals' success.

Under Strong, the No. 22 Cardinals (10-2) won a share of the Big East Conference championship again this season and a BCS berth in the Sugar Bowl, where they'll face Florida. On Thursday he was named as the conference's coach of the year.

With his services in high demand, Louisville wanted to ensure he would stay - especially after announcing it is leaving the Big East, which is struggling to remain relevant in the constantly changing college football landscape.

``The stability of this program is always going to be solid and they're going to do everything to make this one of the best programs in the country,'' Strong said.

Strong's decision to stay with the Cardinals ends the flirtation with the SEC, where he spent much of his 29-year coaching career. He was defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer at Florida when the Gators won national championships in 2006 and 2008, the last of four stints in Gainesville beginning in 1983.

The Arkansas native was also considered a solid candidate to coach the Razorbacks before Strong's name came up in recent weeks for jobs at Auburn and eventually Tennessee, which made a hard push for the 52-year-old.

The lure of returning to the SEC was something Strong couldn't just dismiss.

He talked with the Volunteers for several days and appeared to be leaning toward heading to Knoxville.

``They made an offer (Tuesday) and I said I'd think about it and talk about it with my family,'' Strong said.

But in an environment when coaches are fired with winning records, Louisville's commitment to Strong last year played a major role in his decision to turn the Vols down. The Cardinals gave him his deal last year when the team was 2-4.

Thursday culminated what has been a whirlwind few days for Strong.

There were reports that linked him to the Auburn job and raised questions about Strong's future. The Tigers ended up hiring their former offensive coordinator and Arkansas State coach Gus Malzahn on Tuesday, a day after Strong was mentioned as Tennessee's top target.

On Monday, Strong held a bizarre news conference in which he managed to stir up more questions about his future when he didn't definitively say he would be staying at Louisville. He also criticized the Cardinals' fan base for their attendance at football games.

But when the dust settled Thursday, Strong decided to stay at the school that gave him his first head coaching job. He is 24-14 in three seasons at Louisville.

``You look at those jobs, but I have a great job here,'' Strong said. ``I have a great person that I work for, and I think that's what it comes down to. When you talk to an athletic director it's more about not only your job, but it's about your family and caring about your family. When they ask about your daughters, that's when you know they care more about you as a person.

``It became clear to me that it was best to stay in Louisville,'' Strong said. ``We haven't finished the job yet.''

James Madison at Delaware College Basketball: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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James Madison at Delaware College Basketball: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Winners of two straight, James Madison will hope to continue its victorious run against rival Delaware. 

The Blue Hens, meanwhile, have won four of their first six conference games and will be looking to keep pace in the competitive CAA when they host the Dukes at Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, Del. on Thursday, Jan. 17.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m ET and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington Plus.

James Madison at Delaware How to Watch

What: James Madison Dukes at Delaware Blue Hens
Where: Bob Carpenter Center, Newark, Del. 
When: 7 p.m. ET
TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington Plus (Channel Finder)

James Madison at Delaware Preview

Conference: Colonial Athletic Association
Record: James Madison (9-9, 2-3)  Delaware (12-7, 4-2)
Last Game: 74-65 win vs. Towson 1/12 (James Madison), 71-58 loss at College of Charleston, 1/12 (Delaware)
Leading Scorers: Stuckey Mosley, 15.7 ppg (James Madison), Eric Carter, 17.3 ppg (Delaware)

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Wizards vs. Knicks: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Wizards vs. Knicks: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Wizards have traveled across the pond and will take on the New York Knicks in London, England Thursday (3 pm, NBC Sports Washington) as part of the NBA Global Games slate. 

Washington has brought some momentum with it on its journey to the United Kingdom, the Wizards winning five of their last eight. 

The Knicks, meanwhile, have lost three straight, and are just a game and a half above the basement-dwelling Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference standings.

Here's is what you need to know for Thursday's game.

WIZARDS vs. KNICKS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks, Game 45 of the 2018-19 NBA season
Where: The 02 Arena, London, England
When: 3:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: The Wizards vs. Knicks will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Knicks on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the new MyTeams App.
Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. KNICKS TV SCHEDULE

2:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)
2:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)
3:00 PM: New York Knicks @ Wizards (LIVE)
5:30 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (LIVE)
6:00 PM:Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)

WIZARDS vs. KNICKS INJURY REPORT:

Wizards: Dwight Howard (Back, Out), Markieff Morris (Neck, Out), John Wall (Heel, Out)
Knicks: Tim Hardaway Jr. (Hamstring, Day-to-day), Mitchell Robinson (Ankle, Day-to-day), Enes Kanter (Personal reasons, Out), Kristaps Porzingis (Knee, Out)

WIZARDS vs. KNICKS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bradley Beal, Wizards: With John Wall out for the season, Beal has played like a true superstar, averaging almost 30 points per contest in his last eight games. Can he put on a show for the London crowd Thursday? 
Emmanuel Mudiay, Knicks: Mudiay has been a bright spot for the Knicks during a troublesome season. The 22-year old is scoring a career-high 14.5 points per game, second on the team only to Tim Hardaway Jr.'s 19.8.

WIZARDS vs. KNICKS SERIES HISTORY

Number of all-time Meetings: 335 games (36 playoff games)
Regular Season Record: Knicks lead 169-130
Playoff Record: Knicks lead 23-13
Last Meeting: Wizards win 110-107 on 12/3/18
Last 10: Wizards lead 9-1

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