Originally created 07/24/99

Overtime: Georgia may open 'Pack's hoops arena



Georgia basketball may step in for Southeastern Conference brethren Mississippi State in opening North Carolina State's new basketball arena in November, the Raleigh News & Observer reported Friday.

Wolfpack athletics director Les Robinson confirmed N.C. State and Georgia have discussed the Bulldogs playing at the new Entertainment and Sports Arena on Nov. 19, with a contract to seal the deal possibly coming as early as next week. The new 23,000-seat facility is on the grounds of the N.C. State Fairgrounds and will be the home of the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes this season.

Mississippi State originally was scheduled to play but backed out last week. A school official at Mississippi State said its basketball schedule for this upcoming season has not been completed yet. N.C. State's goal for the opener has been to bring in a nationally recognized opponent with a winning basketball tradition.

Although Georgia is coming off its worst season (15-15) since 1994, the program has been to the postseason seven of the past 10 years, including the last five, and has new coach Jim Harrick on board.

BOXING:

Progress is being made toward an undisputed heavyweight championship rematch between Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis, but negotiations have not reached the contract stage.

"This week we came to agreement with all major issues between HBO and (promoter Don) King, but it's a handshake agreement," Lou DiBella, senior vice president of HBO Sports, said Friday. "There is no contract, and none has been drafted."

If the fight is made, it will be held Nov. 13, apparently in the Thomas & Mack Center at Las Vegas. Their March 13 fight in Madison Square Garden ended in a highly controversial draw, with most observers feeling Lewis won.

HBO is guaranteeing the purse of WBC champion Lewis, with whom it has a multiple-fight deal. King is supposed to pay WBA-IBF champion Holyfield and the undercard fighters.

TELEVISION:

Jim McKay, a fixture at ABC Sports, signed a three-year contract extension with the network. The 77-year-old broadcaster will continue to provide commentary on the Triple Crown horse races and the British Open. He also will appear on "ABC's Wide World of Sports." McKay was the original host of "Wide World" and has been with the show 38 years.