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Here is the latest North and South Carolina sports news from The Associated Press

Here is the latest North and South Carolina sports news from The Associated Press
Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 3:33 AM EDT
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NEW YORK (AP) — Coach Dawn Staley would be prepping the U.S. women’s basketball team for the Tokyo Olympics this week if not for the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, she’ll hold a Zoom conference call with players who are vying for a spot on the roster in 2021, if the postponed Olympics are held next year. Staley says they'll say hello and get a virtual hug. Staley’s focus these days involves getting her South Carolina women’s team back on campus in a safe environment. Her team finished No. 1 in the last AP poll and won the SEC Tournament before the NCAA Tournament was canceled because of the coronavirus. Some players will return in mid-July, but they won’t get on the basketball court until August.

UNDATED (AP) — The auto racing calendar heats up this weekend. NASCAR and IndyCar are in Indianapolis for their first cross-over event. IndyCar and NASCAR's Xfinity Series will race on the road course on Saturday. Then NASCAR's Cup Series drivers will race on the big oval on Sunday. Formula One also kicks off its much-delayed season with the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The one thing NASCAR has always gotten right is its ability to keep racing through a crisis. In 2001, the stock car series raced a week after the death of Dale Earnhardt. This year, NASCAR has kept racing through controversy surrounding race relations. A week ago, NASCAR united behind Black driver Bubba Wallace after a noose was found in his garage stall at Talladega in Alabama. Since then, three more Cup Series races have been completed. The conversation has moved away from the noose, NASCAR's ban on the Confederate flag and racial equality.

UNDATED (AP) — The Patriots have turned to former Panthers quarterback Cam Newton to replace Tom Brady, who defected to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after 19 years, six Super Bowls and three NFL MVP awards. Newton gets his fresh start in New England after nine seasons in Carolina, where his own MVP-winning career had stalled because of injuries. Newton has drawn more attention for his postgame outfits than his play while fighting injuries over the past few seasons. But if the marriage with hoodie-wearing Patriots coach Bill Belichick is going to work, it will be more about football than fashion.

UNDATED (AP) — So much for rust from that three-month break for golf. In the three weeks since the PGA Tour resumed its schedule, there have been 56 rounds of 64 or better. And there have been 14 players who posted career-low rounds. To put it into context, the PGA Tour says there has been a 64 or lower once every 24 rounds. In the 22 tournaments before the shutdown, there was a score of 64 or lower once every 54 rounds. Some of that is due to players eager to get going, and the fields being stronger than usual.

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