1-9-24 roundup: Pro football and basketball, College football and basketball, High school basketball

By Richard Walker

To call the Carolina Panthers’ 2023 season a disappointment would be a gross understatement.

Panthers owner David Tepper

Not only did they finish 2-15 overall for the 2nd-worst record in its 29-year franchise history, but their owner David Tepper was fired $300,000 by the NFL for “unacceptable conduct” after he tossed the contents of a drink cup towards a fan at a Dec. 31 26-0 loss at Jacksonville.

That defeat was the 1st of back-to-back shutout losses – and only the 4th and 5th shutout losses in franchise history – during a season in which Tepper fired his 3rd head coach in his 6 years as team owner.

Tepper, now 31-68 as Panthers’ owner, also fired general manager Scott Fitterer at the end of the season.

It was a season that featured multiple lowlights, among them former Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield quarterbacking Tampa Bay to the NFC South title in the season-ending 9-0 win over Carolina a year after the Panthers released him, former Panthers players Christian McCaffrey (San Francisco 49ers) and D.J. Moore (Chicago Bears) having outstanding seasons after being traded away and former Panthers interim coach Steve Wilks becoming defensive coordinator for the 49ers’ top-seeded NFC playoff team.

Also, No. 2 overall draft pick C.J. Stroud guided the Houston Texans to the playoffs after the Panthers – with Tepper reportedly pushing for him – drafting Bryce Young with the No. 1 overall pick.

Young struggled throughout the season, was sacked 62 times to tie a franchise record, and has many around the NFL wondering whether he should’ve been picked ahead of Stroud in the recent draft.

As part of the deal with Chicago to get rights to pick Young No. 1 last year, the Panthers traded away Moore and the upcoming No. 1 overall selection to the Bears.

Following the end of the season, the Panthers now have 21 players eligible for unrestricted free agency, among them top defensive players Brian Burns and Frankie Luvu and key special teams players Sam Franklin Jr. and J.J. Jansen.

The franchise tag exists as a possibility for a player like Burns and the Panthers will have significant cap room this offseason for whomever the general manager and coach is that is hired.

Here’s the complete list of free agents: T David Sharpe, G Gabe Jackson, G Justin McCray, WR D.J. Chark, WR Laviska Shenault, DE Deshawn Williams, DE Henry Anderson, DE Chris Wormley, OLB Brian Burns, OLB Marquis Haynes, OLB Yetur Gross-Matos, LB Frankie Luvu, LB Kamu Grugier-Hill, LB Deion Jones, LB Tae Davis, CB C.J. Henderson, CB Troy Hill, CB Shaquill Griffin, S Jeremy Chinn, S Sam Franklin Jr. and LS J.J. Jansen.

Already, the franchise has requested interviews with 9 potential head coaching candidates.

They are Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, Houston Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik, Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan, Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Frank Smith, Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken and Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales.

No in-person interviews can be conducted until Jan. 22, but Zoom interviews can be conducted.

And the Panthers know their opponents for next season, with the full schedule to be announced later this year.

Here are the Carolina Panthers’ opponents for next season: Home games – Atlanta, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Dallas, N.Y. Giants, Kansas City, L.A. Chargers, Arizona, Cincinnati, Away games – Atlanta, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Washington, Denver, Las Vegas, Chicago.

The 2023 Carolina Panthers’ results:

Sept. 10 at Atlanta (L 10-24)
Sept. 18 New Orleans (L 17-20)
Sept. 24 at Seattle (L 27-37)
Oct. 1 Minnesota (L 13-21)
Oct. 8 at Detroit (L 24-42)
Oct. 15 at Miami (L 21-42)
Oct. 22 OFF WEEK
Oct. 29 Houston (W 15-13)
Nov. 5 Indianapolis (L 13-27)
Nov. 9 at Chicago (L 13-16)
Nov. 19 Dallas (L 10-33)
Nov. 26 at Tennessee (L 10-17)
Dec. 3 at Tampa Bay (L 18-21)
Dec. 10 at New Orleans (L 6-28)
Dec. 17 Atlanta (W 9-7 )
Dec. 24 Green Bay (L 30-33)
Dec. 31 at Jacksonville (L 0-26)
Jan. 7 Tampa Bay (L 0-9 )











College football

The Big South/OVC Football Association announced league schedules for the upcoming season.

The announcement gives Gardner-Webb 10 of its 11 games for next season.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs are coming off a league title in their first year in the Big South/OVC and 2 straight league championships.

Here’s the 2024 Gardner-Webb schedule so far:

Sept. 7 at James Madison
Sept. 14 at Charlotte
Sept. 28 Tennessee Tech-*
Oct. 5 at UT Martin-*
Oct. 19 Lindenwood-*
Oct. 26 at Southeast Missouri-*
Nov. 2 at Charleston Southern-*
Nov. 9 Eastern Illinois-*
Nov. 16 Tennessee State-*
Nov. 23 at Western Illinois-*







High school basketball

Here are the area’s results and schedule:

(Tuesday, Jan. 9)
Crest at Ashbrook, ppd., Jan. 10
Forestview at North Gaston, ppd., Jan. 10
Kings Mountain at Huss, ppd., Jan. 10
South Point at Cramer, ppd., Jan. 11
Burns at Thomas Jefferson, ppd., no date
East Gaston at Cherryville, ppd., Jan. 10
Shelby at Bessemer City, ppd., Jan. 10
North Iredell at North Lincoln, ppd., Jan. 10
West Iredell at East Lincoln, ppd., Jan. 17
Bunker Hill at West Lincoln, ppd., Jan. 10
Lincolnton at Bandys, ppd., Jan. 10
Gaston Christian at Gaston Day, ppd., Jan. 22
Piedmont CC at Carolina International, ppd., Jan. 10

(Wednesday, Jan. 10)
Crest at Ashbrook
Forestview at North Gaston
Kings Mountain at Huss
East Gaston at Cherryville
Shelby at Bessemer City
East Lincoln at Hickory
North Iredell at North Lincoln
Bunker Hill at West Lincoln
Mountain Island Charter at Langtree
Piedmont CC at Carolina International
Sugar Creek at Highland Tech

(Thursday, Jan. 11)
South Point at Cramer

(Friday, Jan. 12)
Ashbrook at Forestview
Cramer at Crest
Kings Mountain at North Gaston
South Point at Huss
Cherryville at Bessemer City
Shelby at Highland Tech
Thomas Jefferson at East Gaston
Polk County at Burns
Foard at East Lincoln
St. Stephens at North Lincoln
Newton-Conover at West Lincoln
West Caldwell at Lincolnton
Gaston Christian at Northside
Westminster Catawba at Gaston Day
Lincoln Charter at Bradford Prep
Mountain Island Charter at Corvian

(Saturday, Jan. 13)
Huss at Butler

(Tuesday, Jan. 16)
Crest at South Point
Forestview at Kings Mountain
Huss at Cramer
North Gaston at Ashbrook
Bessemer City at Burns
East Gaston at Shelby
Highland Tech at Cherryville
North Lincoln at Foard
St. Stephens at East Lincoln
Lincolnton at East Burke
West Caldwell at West Lincoln
Hickory Grove at Gaston Christian
Northside at Gaston Day
Christ the King at Lincoln Charter
Mountain Island Charter at Bradford Prep
Apprentice Academy at Piedmont CC

(Wednesday, Jan. 17)
West Iredell at East Lincoln
Shelby at Ashbrook

(Thursday, Jan. 18)
Metrolina at Gaston Christian
NCSSM-Morganton at Cherryville

(Friday, Jan. 19)
Cramer at Ashbrook
Forestview at Huss
Kings Mountain at South Point
North Gaston at Crest
East Gaston at Burns
Highland Tech at Bessemer City
Shelby at Thomas Jefferson
East Lincoln at North Iredell
North Iredell at West Iredell
East Burke at West Lincoln
Lincolnton at Maiden
Gaston Christian at Concord Academy
Gaston Day at Hickory Grove
Lincoln Charter at Mountain Island Charter

(Saturday, Jan. 20)
Kings Mountain vs. West Charlotte at Hopewell HS














Pro football

The 2023-24 NFL playoffs schedule:

Wild Card round: Jan. 13-15

No. 1 Baltimore (13-4), bye
(Sunday, Jan. 14)
No. 7 Pittsburgh (10-7) at No. 2 Buffalo (11-6), 1 p.m. (CBS)
(Saturday, Jan. 13)
No. 6 Miami (11-6) at No. 3 Kansas City (11-6), 8:15 p.m. (Peacock)
(Saturday, Jan. 13)
No. 5 Cleveland (11-6) at No. 4 Houston (10-7), 4:30 p.m. (NBC)

No. 1 San Francisco (12-5), bye
(Sunday, Jan. 14)
No. 7 Green Bay (9-8) at No. 2 Dallas (12-5), 4:30 p.m. (FOX)
(Sunday, Jan. 14)
No. 6 L.A. Rams (10-7) at No. 3 Detroit (12-5), 8:15 p.m. (NBC)
(Monday, Jan. 15)
No. 5 Philadelphia (11-6) at No. 4 Tampa Bay (9-8), 8 p.m. (ESPN/ABC)

Divisional round: Jan. 20-21

Conference championships: Jan. 28
AFC, 3 p.m. (CBS)
NFC, 6:30 p.m. (FOX)

Super Bowl LVIII: Feb. 11
At Las Vegas, 6:30 p.m. (CBS)










Pro basketball

Here is the Charlotte Hornets’ 2023-24 regular season schedule:

Wed. 25 ATLANTA (W 116-110)
Fri. 27 DETROIT (L 99-111)
Mon. 30 BROOKLYN (L 121-133)
Wed. 1 at Houston (L 119-128)
Sat. 4 at Indiana (W 125-124)
Sun. 5 at Dallas (L 118-124)
Wed. 8 WASHINGTON (L 116-132)
Fri. 10 at Washington (W 124-117)
Sun. 12 at New York (L 107-129)
Tue. 14 MIAMI (L 105-111)
Fri. 17 MILWAUKEE (L 99-130)
Sat. 18 NEW YORK (L 108-122)
Mon. 20 BOSTON (W 121-118, OT)
Wed. 22 WASHINGTON (W 117-114)
Sun. 26 at Orlando (L 117-130)
Tue. 28 at New York (L 91-115)
Thu. 30 at Brooklyn (W 129-128)
Sat. 2 MINNESOTA (L 117-123)
Wed. 6 at Chicago (L 100-111)
Fri. 8 TORONTO (W 119-116)
Mon. 11 MIAMI (L 114-116)
Wed. 13 at Miami (L 104-115)
Fri. 15 NEW ORLEANS (L 107-112)
Sat. 16 PHILADELPHIA (L 82-135)
Mon. 18 at Toronto (L 99-114)
Wed. 20 at Indiana (L 113-144)
Sat. 23 DENVER (L 95-102)
Tue. 26 at LA Clippers (L 104-113)
Thu. 28 at LA Lakers (L 112-133)
Fri. 29 at Phoenix (L 119-133)
Mon. 1 at Denver (L 93-111)
Tue. 2 at Sacramento (W 111-104)
Fri. 5 at Chicago (L 91-104)
Mon. 8 CHICAGO (L 112-119, OT)
Wed. 10 SACRAMENTO 7 p.m.
Fri. 12 at San Antonio 8 p.m.
Sun. 14 at Miami 6 p.m.
Wed. 17 at New Orleans 8 p.m.
Fri. 19 SAN ANTONIO 7 p.m.
Sat. 20 PHILADELPHIA 7 p.m.
Mon. 22 at Minnesota 8 p.m.
Wed. 24 at Detroit 7 p.m.
Fri. 26 HOUSTON 7 p.m.
Sat. 27 UTAH 7 p.m.
Mon. 29 NEW YORK 7 p.m.
Wed. 31 CHICAGO 7 p.m.
Fri. 2 at Oklahoma City 8 p.m.
Sun. 4 INDIANA 6 p.m.
Mon. 5 LA LAKERS 7 p.m.
Wed. 7 TORONTO 7 p.m.
Fri. 9 at Milwaukee 8 p.m.
Sat. 10 MEMPHIS 7 p.m.
Mon. 12 INDIANA 7 p.m.
Wed. 14 ATLANTA 7 p.m.
Thu. 22 at Utah 9 p.m.
Fri. 23 at Golden State 10 p.m.
Sun. 25 at Portland 9 p.m.
Tue. 27 at Milwaukee 8 p.m.
Thu. 29 MILWAUKEE 7 p.m.
Fri. 1 at Philadelphia 7 p.m.
Sun. 3 at Toronto 6 p.m.
Tue. 5 ORLANDO 7 p.m.
Fri. 8 at Washington 7 p.m.
Sat. 9 BROOKLYN 7 p.m.
Mon. 11 at Detroit 7 p.m.
Wed. 13 at Memphis 8 p.m.
Fri. 15 PHOENIX 7 p.m.
Sat. 16 at Philadelphia 7 p.m.
Tue. 19 at Orlando 7 p.m.
Sat. 23 at Atlanta 7:30 p.m.
Mon. 25 at Cleveland 7 p.m.
Wed. 27 CLEVELAND 7 p.m.
Fri. 29 GOLDEN STATE 7 p.m.
Sun. 31 LA CLIPPERS 6 p.m.
Mon. 1 BOSTON 7 p.m.
Wed. 3 PORTLAND 7 p.m.
Fri. 5 ORLANDO 7 p.m.
Sun. 7 OKLAHOMA CITY 6 p.m.
Tue. 9 DALLAS 7 p.m.
Wed. 10 at Atlanta 7:30 p.m.
Fri. 12 at Boston 7:30 p.m.
Sun. 14 at Cleveland 1 p.m.










College football

Here are the full 2023-24 college football bowl results/schedule:

Myrtle Beach Bowl: Ohio U. vs. Georgia Southern – Ohio U. 41-21
Dec. 16, Conway, S.C., ESPN, 11 a.m.

New Orleans Bowl: Jacksonville State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette – Jacksonville State 34-31 (OT)
Dec. 16, New Orleans, La., ESPN, 2:15 p.m.

Cure Bowl: Appalachian State vs. Miami (Ohio) – Appalachian State 13-9
Dec. 16, Orlando, Fla., ABC, 3:30 p.m.

New Mexico Bowl: New Mexico State vs. Fresno State – Fresno State 37-10
Dec. 16, Albuquerque, N.M., ESPN, 5:45 p.m.

LA Bowl: UCLA vs. Boise State – UCLA 35-22
Dec. 16, Inglewood, Cal., ABC, 7:30 p.m.

Independence Bowl: Texas Tech vs. California – Texas Tech 34-14
Dec. 16, Shreveport, La., ESPN, 9:15 p.m.

Famous Toastery Bowl: Western Kentucky vs. Old Dominion – Western Kentucky 38-35 (OT)
Dec. 18, Charlotte, Jerry Richardson Stadium, ESPN, 2:30 p.m.

Frisco Bowl: Marshall vs. Texas-San Antonio – Texas-San Antonio 35-17
Dec. 19, Frisco, Tex., ESPN, 9 p.m.

Boca Raton Bowl: South Florida vs. Syracuse – South Florida 45-0
Dec. 21, Boca Raton, Fla., ESPN, 8 p.m.

Gasparilla Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. Central Florida – Georgia Tech 30-17
Dec. 22, Tampa, Fla., ESPN, 6:30 p.m.

Birmingham Bowl: Duke vs. Troy – Duke 17-10
Dec. 23, Birmingham, Ala., ABC, noon

Camellia Bowl: Northern Illinois vs. Arkansas State – Northern Illinois 21-19
Dec. 23, Montgomery, Ala., ESPN, noon

Armed Forces Bowl: James Madison vs. Air Force – Air Force 31-21
Dec. 23, Fort Worth, Tex., ABC, 3:30 p.m.

Idaho Potato Bowl: Utah State vs. Georgia State – Georgia State 45-22
Dec. 23, Boise, Id., ESPN, 3:30 p.m.

68 Ventures Bowl: Eastern Michigan vs. South Alabama – South Alabama 59-10
Dec. 23, Mobile, Ala., ESPN, 7 p.m.

Las Vegas Bowl: Northwestern vs. Utah – Northwestern 14-7
Dec. 23, Las Vegas, Nev., ABC, 7:30 p.m.

Hawaii Bowl: Coastal Carolina vs. San Jose State – Coastal Carolina 24-14
Dec. 23, Honolulu, Hi., ESPN, 10:30 p.m.

Quick Lane Bowl: Bowling Green vs. Minnesota – Minnesota 30-24
Dec. 26, Detroit, Mich., ESPN, 2 p.m.

First Responder Bowl: Texas State vs. Rice – Texas State 45-21
Dec. 26, Dallas, Tex., ESPN, 5:30 p.m.

Guaranteed Rate Bowl: Kansas vs. UNLV – Kansas 49-36
Dec. 26, Phoenix, Ariz., ESPN, 9 p.m.

Military Bowl: Tulane vs. Virginia Tech – Virginia Tech 41-20
Dec. 27, Annapolis, Md., ESPN, 2 p.m.

Duke’s Mayo Bowl: North Carolina vs. West Virginia – West Virginia 30-10
Dec. 27, Charlotte, Bank of America Stadium, ESPN, 5:30 p.m.

Holiday Bowl: Louisville vs. Southern California – Southern California 42-28
Dec. 27, San Diego, Cal., Fox, 8 p.m.

Texas Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M – Oklahoma State 31-23
Dec. 27, Houston, Tex., ESPN, 9 p.m.

Fenway Bowl: Boston College vs. SMU – Boston College 23-14
Dec. 28, Boston, Mass., ESPN, 11 a.m.

Pinstripe Bowl: Miami (Fla.) vs. Rutgers – Rutgers 31-24
Dec. 28, Bronx, N.Y., ESPN, 2:15 p.m.

Pop-Tarts Bowl: N.C. State vs. Kansas State – Kansas State 28-19
Dec. 28, Orlando, Fla., ESPN, 5:45 p.m.

Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Arizona – Arizona 38-24
Dec. 28, San Antonio, Tex., ESPN, 9:15 p.m.

Gator Bowl: Clemson vs. Kentucky – Clemson 38-35
Dec. 29, Jacksonville, Fla., ESPN, noon

Sun Bowl: Oregon State vs. Notre Dame – Notre Dame 40-8
Dec. 29, El Paso, Texas, CBS, 2 p.m.

Liberty Bowl: Iowa State vs. Memphis – Memphis 36-26
Dec. 29, Memphis, Tenn., ESPN, 3:30 p.m.

Cotton Bowl: Ohio State vs. Missouri – Missouri 14-3
Dec. 29, Arlington, Tex., ESPN, 8 p.m.

Peach Bowl: Penn State vs. Mississippi – Mississippi 38-25
Dec. 30, Atlanta, Ga., ESPN, noon

Music City Bowl: Auburn vs. Maryland – Maryland 31-13
Dec. 30, Nashville, Tenn., ABC, 2 p.m.

Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Georgia – Georgia 63-3
Dec. 30, Miami Gardens, Fla., ESPN, 4 p.m.

Arizona Bowl: Toledo vs. Wyoming – Wyoming 16-15
Dec. 30, Tucson, Ariz., 4:30 p.m.

ReliaQuest Bowl: Wisconsin vs. LSU – LSU 35-31
Jan. 1, Tampa, Fla., ESPN2, noon

Citrus Bowl: Iowa vs. Tennessee – Tennessee 35-0
Jan. 1, Orlando, Fla., ABC, 1 p.m.

Fiesta Bowl: Oregon vs. Liberty – Oregon 45-6
Jan. 1, Glendale, Ariz., ESPN, 1 p.m.

(College Football Playoff)
Rose Bowl: Michigan vs. Alabama – Michigan 27-20 (OT)
Jan. 1, Pasadena, Cal., ESPN, 5 p.m.

Sugar Bowl: Washington vs. Texas – Washington 37-31
Jan. 1, New Orleans, La., ESPN, 8:45 p.m.

CFP championship game: Michigan vs. Washington – Michigan 34-13
Jan. 8, Houston, Tex., ESPN, 8 p.m.











College basketball

Results and schedule for area men’s college basketball:

(Tuesday, Jan. 9)
North Greenville at Belmont Abbey, ppd., Jan. 10
Rhode Island 79, Davidson 74

(Wednesday, Jan. 10)
Charleston Southern at Gardner-Webb
Florida Gulf Coast at Queens
North Greenville at Belmont Abbey
Tulsa at Charlotte

(Thursday, Jan. 11)
Gaston College at Spartanburg Methodist

(Friday, Jan. 12)
Stetson at Queens

(Saturday, Jan. 13)
Bryant and Stratton at Cleveland CC
Charlotte at UTSA
Davidson at George Washington
Presbyterian at Gardner-Webb
UNC Pembroke at Belmont Abbey

(Sunday, Jan. 14)
Brunswick CC at Gaston College

(Tuesday, Jan. 16)
Charlotte at Rice

(Wednesday, Jan. 17)
Belmont Abbey at Lees-McRae
Cleveland CC at Southwest Virginia
Davidson at Fordham
Gardner-Webb at Radford

(Thursday, Jan. 18)
Queens at Jacksonville

(Saturday, Jan. 20)
Cape Fear CC at Gaston College
Erskine at Belmont Abbey
Fayetteville State at J.C. Smith
North Texas at Charlotte
Queens at North Florida
Richmond at Davidson
Winthrop at Gardner-Webb