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Arena to host NCAA tourney games in 2014

College basketball: March Madness will return to Spokane in 2014.

Washington State University and the Spokane Arena will host second- and third-round NCAA men’s games in 2014. The Spokane games are currently scheduled to take place March 20 and March 22.

Second- and third-round games were last held in Spokane in March 2010 and produced two thrilling third-round games with Michigan State edging Maryland 85-83 and Purdue beating Texas A&M in overtime, 63-61.

“This is another great example of how the enthusiasm of this region and the hard work of WSU and the Spokane Public Facilities District results in amazing NCAA events in Spokane,” said Matt Gibson, general manager of the Spokane Arena.

As previously announced, Gonzaga will host first- and second-round games of the 2013 NCAA women’s tournament at the McCarthey Athletic Center, and WSU will host a 2013 women’s regional at the Spokane Arena.

Information on how to purchase men’s 2014 tickets will be announced soon.

Other second- and third-round sites in 2014 will be Buffalo, N.Y.; Milwaukee; Orlando, Fla.; Raleigh, N.C.; San Antonio; San Diego; and St. Louis.

The regional sites will be Madison Square Garden in New York City; Anaheim, Calif., Indianapolis and Memphis, Tenn.

The Final Four will be at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Seattle was selected as a second- and third-round site in 2015.

Jeff Gordon fined $100,000

Auto racing: Four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon avoided suspension Monday when NASCAR instead fined him $100,000 and docked him 25 points for intentionally wrecking Clint Bowyer at Phoenix International Raceway.

Gordon was also placed on probation through Dec. 31. But he’ll be allowed to close out the season Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway despite his actions in Sunday’s race, which triggered a fight in the garage area between the two crews.

“I take responsibility for my actions on the racetrack,” Gordon said in a statement. “I accept NASCAR’s decision and look forward to ending the season on a high note at Homestead.” – AP

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