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PraiseIndy’s Indianapolis & National Sports Headlines with Kim Wells

It was a huge weekend in the NFL heading into this Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Day holiday. Before we get to the details…the Pacers were also in action.

The Denver Nuggets used a 45-point fourth quarter to their advantage to take down the Indiana Pacers, who were on a road trip on Sunday 129-126. Pacers rookie center Myles Turner made 11-of-13 shots for 25 points and seven rebounds, which has now lost three straight. The Pacers continue their western road swing with a visit to the Suns Tuesday night.

Four teams remain in the NFL playoffs. The Patriots, Broncos, Cardinals and Panthers all won and advanced this weekend. New England travels to Denver for next week’s AFC title game while Carolina hosts Arizona in the NFC Championship match-up. Odds after Sunday’s games make New England a three and-a-half point favorite over the Broncos in Denver next Sunday. The Panthers are a three-point pick over the Arizona Cardinals in the late game in Charlotte. Early odds favor a hairline defeat by New England over Carolina in Super Bowl 50 on February 7 in Santa Clara, California. (We’ll see who takes home the Lombardi Trophy this year.)

Clyde Christensen’s tenure with the Colts is over. The Dolphins are set to hire the Indianapolis quarterback coach to be their next offensive coordinator, according to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Christensen spent 14 seasons with the Colts, working with both of the team’s superstar QB’s Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck. New Dolphins head coach Adam Gase is expected to handle the play-calling duties for the team.

The Indianapolis Colts are making a sad announcement today. Former Colts head coach Ted Marchibroda has passed away at the age of 84. The team confirmed Marchibroda’s death with his family who say he died on Saturday. Marchibroda is the only man to have coached for both of Baltimore pro-football franchises–the Colts and the Ravens. He spent four years here in Indianapolis and was the first head coach to be inducted into Indy’s Ring of Honor. (Click the link above to watch tribute video.)

Indy also expressed their love for a former star Butler Bulldog cager who lost his two-time battle with cancer. Andrew Smith was remembered as a simple, loving man at memorial services over the weekend. Former Butler coach Brad Stevens, who spoke at the memorial, said Smith packed a lot into his 25-years of life. About 1,500 people turned-out for the basketball player’s memorial, held in Smith’s hometown of Whitestown.

School officials in Wayne Township say they’re “extremely disappointed” in the players that took part in a fight that broke out at a Ben Davis High School girls’ basketball game. The brawl erupted during Saturday’s game against Pike High School. A statement released by Wayne Township Schools says, “This behavior is not representative of our values, beliefs, or how we coach our student athletes.  It is not reflective of the Ben Davis pride our students, alumni, and community share.  And it certainly does not reflect the rich tradition and success of our girls basketball team.”  The statement added, “The Ben Davis players involved will face consequences at school, and we will comply with any consequences we receive from the IHSAA.”

The governing bodies of international tennis say there’s no truth to claims that tennis authorities covered up reports of matches being fixed. The men’s Association of Tennis Professionals, the Women’s Tennis Association, and the International Tennis Federation are out with a statement today saying they “absolutely reject any suggestion that evidence of match fixing has been suppressed for any reason.” This comes after the BBC and BuzzFeed reported their investigation found that players have fixed sets and matches and gambling syndicates in Russia and Italy made money betting on those fixed matches. The report says tennis authorities ignored documents backing up their claims.  The groups released statements today in Melbourne, where the season’s first grand slam, the Australian Open, is underway.

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