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Celtics coach quits

After serving only three years on his 10-year, $50 million contract, Rick Pitino resigned as Boston Celtics coach and president on Monday. Pitino ended his Celtic career with a 102-146 record. It wasn't his first stint as an NBA head coach. While with the New York Knicks, he went 90-74 in 1987-88 and 1988-89 before returning successfully to the college ranks at the University of Kentucky, where he won a national title in 1996. Pitino had hinted for months that he would resign if the team did not improve this season, setting a mid-January deadline for a decision. But as recently as November he promised, "I'm definitely finishing out the season. No question about that."

Super contenders

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The Baltimore Ravens advanced to the American Football Conference title game this Sunday after beating the Tennessee Titans, 24-10, last weekend. They meet the Raiders in Oakland. The Ravens went the entire month of October without scoring a touchdown, but still managed to win two of the five games, thanks to its defense, which set an NFL record for fewest points allowed in a season (165). In the National Conference, the New York Giants advanced to their first NFC title game since 1990, defeating Philadelphia, 20-10. Sunday the Giants host the Minnesota Vikings, who beat New Orleans, 34-16. The winners of the two games meet in Tampa, Fla., for Super Bowl XXXV Jan. 28.

Stanford back at the top

Stanford moved into the No. 1 spot in the AP college basketball poll this week. The Cardinal went from No. 2 to No. 1, replacing Michigan State, which lost to Indiana, 59-58, and dropped to No. 3. Stanford (13-0), whose No. 1 ranking last season was the first in school history, received all 70 first-place votes.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society


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