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Sports Minute: Here is the latest North and South Carolina sports news from The Associated Press

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - Panthers defensive end Mario Addison has spent his entire life shedding labels. Now Addison appears on the verge of joining the upper echelon of NFL defensive ends despite being undersized at 254 pounds. The former undrafted rookie from Troy was waived by three other NFL teams. But Addison is entering his eighth NFL season and started all 16 games for the Panthers in 2017. He had 11 sacks and 44 tackles and says his goal is top 11 sacks this year.

(AP) - Georgia coach Kirby Smart gave mentor Nick Saban and Alabama a run for their money in the national championship game _ and did it again in the offseason. Smart brought in the nation's top recruiting class and stayed on point with Saban-like messages. The Bulldogs and Crimson Tide are the favorites to meet in a rematch of the national title game _ this time for the Southeastern Conference championship.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - IndyCar Series leader Scott Dixon has signed a contract extension with Chip Ganassi that will likely take the four-time champion through the end of his career. Dixon is in his 17th season driving for Ganassi. He joined Ganassi four races into the 2002 season and is considered the best IndyCar driver of his generation. His tenure is the longest of any Ganassi driver. Dixon has won the Indianapolis 500 and his 44 career victories trail only A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti on the all-time win list.

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