NCAA College Basketball Prediction- #2 Wisconsin vs. #1 Arizona

NCAA Free Pick & Prediction Badgers vs. Wildcats

#2 Wisconsin Badgers (29-7) @ #1 Arizona Wildcats (33-4) 03/29- 8:49PM EST- Honda Center, Anaheim CA

 

Line: ARI -3.0

Over/Under- 131.0

 

With a spot for the Final Four up for grabs on Saturday night, No. 2 seed Wisconsin and No. 1 seed Arizona will take to the court at the Honda Center in Anaheim with the winner of the West Final punching their ticket to next weeks Final Four.

 

It’s hard to go to the Final Four,” said Arizona Wildcat coach Sean Miller, who began his coaching career as the Wisconsin Badgers assistant coach way back in 1992. “You can be really good and not make it, both as a coach, a team and a player.”

 

That will be the challenge for this Arizona team that is looking to advance out of the West Regional for the first time since 1998. The Wildcats (33-4) have failed the previous three times when playing in Anaheim, but this years team who was ranked No. 1 in the polls for eight weeks and went on a 21-game win streak have to be feeling good about their chances.

 

The Arizona program has gone the last five years going unnoticed, but now want to deliver for coach Miller who has restored this once proud basketball program back to prominence this season.

 

What we have done during the season has validated how good we are,” said 7-foot center Kaleb Tarczewski.

 

Tarczewski hopes to have a more productive game after struggling with foul trouble in Thursday’s night semifinal game in which they staged a comeback against the San Diego Aztecs.

 

For Wisconsin (29-7), they haven’t tasted the Final Four since 2000 and reached the regional final just once in 13 straight trips in the NCAA tournament under long-time coach Bo Ryan. Ryan turned 69 earlier this week and his team feels they need to finally deliver for their coach who became was an assistant for the Wisconsin program from 1976-85.

 

Badger guard Josh Gasser had this to say about his coach… “He deserves it. We all want it and we all want it for him.”

 

These two teams are similar in their defensive approach and go after it when it comes to rebounding.

 

We are tough, nasty and relentless,” said Arizona freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

 

Expect a good battle between both 7-foot centers, Arizona’s Tarczewski and Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky, who had 19 points and six blocks in helping to lead the Badgers to their semifinal win over the Baylor Bears.

 

We’re looking to draw fouls and throw them off-balance a little bit with early foul trouble,” said Wisconsin’s three-point specialist Ben Brust.

 

The Badgers are a slightly better team from beyond the arc shooting 38 percent to Arizona’s 36, so containing any damage done from 3point range will be a priority for both teams.

 

We have to close out the high ends and keep them off line,” said Hollis-Jefferson. “They’re going to play tough in guarding us too.”

 

One person the Badgers will need to guard closely will be Nick Johnson, the Pac-12 Player of the Year.

 

It still makes you say, ‘Wow,’ every time you see them,” says Badger’s Sam Dekker on Johnson and his high-flying teammates. “Dunks aside, they are a very solid team that can go out there and defend. They get after people and make you work.”

 

Both teams enter averaging 73 points per contest while limiting opponents to 42 percent shooting or less and with that, oddsmakers are expecting a tightly close played game making the Wildcats a slight (minus -3.0) point favorite with an O/U of just 131.0, so stay up to date on the latest spread up until tipoff right here at Wonder Punter.

 

I expect the same… a close game from beginning to end but will have to predict the slightly stronger Arizona Wildcats doing just enough to punch their ticket to the Final Four next weekend.

 

Prediction/Pick- Arizona

 

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

 

 

NBA Prediction NBA Saturday Night Preview/Pick- Clippers vs. Rockets

NBA Free Pick & Prediction L.A Clippers vs. Rockets

Los Angeles Clippers (51-22, 20-17 away) @ Houston Rockets (49-22, 29-7 home) 02/29- 8:00PM EST

 

Line: HOU -1.5

Over/Under: 216.5

 

Yet another big Western Conference showdown will take place on Saturday night when Los Angeles visits the Houston Rockets as the Clippers will be going for the season sweep.

 

The Rockets (49-22) will be in quest of their 12th straight home victory on Saturday night and a win against a team they have yet to defeat this season will draw them into a third-place tie in the tough Western Conference.

 

Houston is also riding a five game win streak, having won three of those without center Dwight Howard who was sidelined with a left ankle strain and he responded in his second game back with 17 points and 13 boards in their 120-98 smack down of the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.

 

James Harden continued his all-star season performance by recording a triple-double with 26 points, 10 boards and 10 assists.

 

We did a great job of coming out tonight and taking care of business,” said Harden who’s been on a scoring tear averaging 31.3 over his last three games. He is also 12 of 23 from behind the arc in that same span.

 

Speaking of tears, the Rockets have been lighting up the scoreboard to the tune of 118.2 points per game during their win streak and are averaging the same amount of points over their last nine games at the Toyota Center beating opposing teams by an average of 14.6 points per contest.

 

Having Howard back in the mix and with the team putting points on the board, the Rockets will need all they can muster against the Clippers…. a team that has dominated them winning eight of nine, including taking the first three games by an average of 13.3 points this season.

 

Los Angeles (51-22) is challenging the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs for the West’s best record and are closing in on their second straight Pacific Division crown. However, the Clippers sit just one game ahead of fourth place Houston after dropping two consecutive games before bouncing back with a big 109-103 road victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night.

 

The big three of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan all responded against the Mavs after losing the night before to New Orleans and understand there is no room for nights off if they want to challenge come playoff time and make some noise.

 

We knew it was going to be a playoff-type game,” Paul said. “They’re just not playing for their playoff lives; we’re trying to gear up for the playoffs too.”

 

Despite the Clips having their way with Houston of late, the oddsmakers have faith the home town Rockets will get it done on Saturday night making them a slight (minus -1.5) point favorite with an over/under of 216.5, but as always… stay up to date with the latest spread up until game time right here at Wonder Punter.

 

Tough one to call between these two teams, but I too am going to agree with the oddsmakers on this one and predict the Rockets to finally find some success and find a way to defeat the visiting Clippers in a close one.

 

Prediction/Pick- Houston

 

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

 

Why You Shouldn’t Have a Problem with the Tanking Philadelphia 76ers

michael carter williams 76ers record

The Philadelphia 76ers will more than likely set an NBA report for futility Saturday night when they lose to the Detroit Pistons. It’ll be Philly’s 27th loss in a row, eclipsing Cleveland’s file of 26 set just a few years in the past. From coast-to-coast, the 76ers are being hammered for tanking this season. I’m a hundred% on board with the tank job, and it makes complete sense. Let’s count the methods:

1) Anytime a new leader takes cost at a corporation, change happens. Sometimes, it's gradual change, so as to not upset too many of us. Many individuals are deathly afraid of sudden change. Different occasions, as has happened in Philadelphia, the teardown is swift, and the gutting fairly brutal. The 76ers ripped off the band-assist as a substitute of slowly taking it off. In sports activities, this makes full sense. Still, teams are terrified they’ll “lose” the fanbase. That’s criminally dumb. Build a winner. Fans will come.

2) This is the way you go from the dreaded middle of the NBA (or below common), to the basement, shortly: Since losing recreation seven to Boston in the 2012 Eastern Convention semifinals, Philadelphia has traded its greatest participant (Andre Igoudala) for a participant who didn’t play one minute (Andrew Bynum), fired a coach (Doug Collins), hired a new GM (Sam Hinkie), traded its 2nd finest player (Jrue Vacation) for a draft choose who was injured and sat out the entire year (Nerlens Noel), and traded away its former No. 2 general pick (Evan Turner) for essentially nothing.

michael carter williams dancing with nerlens noel

3) No group goes into the 2014 NBA draft – a really, very good draft, not simply at the top, but into the 2nd spherical – in better position than Philadelphia. As of at this time, it seems to be like they’ll have two lottery picks (absolute best-case: 1 and 6) and 4 or 5 2nd round picks. Before you scoff at 2nd spherical picks, enjoy watching these current 2nd spherical picks play a job within the upcoming NBA playoffs: Chandler Parsons (Houston), Draymond Green (Golden State), Patrick Beverley (Houston), Danny Green (San Antonio) and Lance Stephenson (Indiana). Oh, and you’re not locked into utilizing all of them – you now have flexibility to make a trade. Flexibility, cap room, high draft picks … these are good things.

4) After Cleveland misplaced 26 games in a row, guess what the outcome was? It acquired Kyrie Irving, a very talented point guard who they thought they may build round (still can, in case you ask me). Why is Cleveland nonetheless a mess? As a result of it didn’t follow up that draft decide with any good moves. Drafting Dion Waiters 4th (over Harrison Barnes or Andre Drummond) and then Anthony Bennett 1st (over Victor Oladipo) is what set the Cavaliers again.

5) You already know what’s worse than tanking? The Knicks being stuck in cap hell, not having any draft picks, and being just bad enough to miss the playoffs. When the 76ers land Andrew Wiggins and Aaron Gordon within the draft, after which choose up Russ Smith, DeAndre Kane and Nick Johnson in the second spherical, let me know if tanking was a foul concept.

 

Johnny Football’s Replacement, Texas A&M Quarterback Kenny Hill, Arrested For Public Intoxication

kenny-hillKenny Hill, the sophomore Texas A&M quarterback set to take over for Johnny Manziel next season, was arrested early this morning for public intoxication. Police found the 19-12 months previous Hill handed out in entrance of a Chimy’s, a Faculty Station bar simply before 3am. If that wasn’t sufficient, he was sleeping in a planter stuffed with rocks and vegetation. From The Eagle:

When asked who the present president of the United States was, Hill reportedly answered “Bush” and told officers his title was “Kennedy,” authorities said.

You could recall that Johnny Manziel was arrested the summer earlier than he was anticipated to compete for the starting job at Texas A&M.

 

Kevin Ollie Gave a UConn Player a Celebratory Face Slap

Kevin Ollie slapped Terrence SamuelAfter UConn beat Iowa State tonight, head coach Kevin Ollie exited his sideline interview with recent TBL profile topic Allie LaForce and gave freshman guard Terrence Samuel a celebratory slap to the face. After which the other Huskies huddled around were like OH NO HE DIDN’T, and everybody appeared to stay happily ever after.

 

Chris Culliver Arrested For Hit and Run After Threatening a Witness With Brass Knuckles

chris culliver SF 49ers cornerback has some thoughts on gays

Chris Culliver, the San Francisco 49ers cornerback, was arrested on Friday in San Jose. Culliver was charged with hit and run and felony weapons possessions expenses following a collision with a bicyclist. An eyewitness followed Culliver and tried to nook him. That’s when Culliver obtained out of his automotive and threatened the eyewitness with brass knuckles and even clipped the witness’ automotive as he left.

In 2013 Culliver bravely got here out in opposition to the concept of a homosexual teammate, suggesting any gay players “stand up out of right here.”

 

Alexander Shlemenko Guillotine Submits Brennan Ward in Bellator 114 Headliner

Alexander Shlemenko caught Brennan Ward abruptly.

 


Brennan Ward left his neck uncovered, and Alexander Shlemenko made him pay.

Shlemenko submitted “The Irish Bad Boy” with a second-round guillotine choke to retain his Bellator MMA middle weight championship in the Bellator114 foremost occasion on Friday on the Maverik Center in West ValleyCity, Utah. Ward (9-2, 5-2 Bellator) conceded defeat 1:22 intoround two, his modest four-battle successful streak halted.

The champion was compelled to tread water via a lot of the firstround, as Ward twice transitioned to his again and fishedunsuccessfully for rear-naked chokes. Shlemenko invested heavily inkicks to the physique, slowing the standup advances of the Season 9tournament winner. Within the second round, the Russian “Storm” caughtthe combat-ending guillotine during an ill-advised single-legtakedown try from Ward. Quickly after, the challenger tapped.

Shlemenko (50-7, 11-1 Bellator) has won 28 of his previous 30 fights,including 13 straight.

“I’m very glad that I got this victory, and I hope my next 50victories come in a row,” he mentioned. “Thanks very a lot to BrennanWard for the good fight. I used to be waiting. I knew he would get tiredby the second round, so I used to be simply ready. It is a fight, youknow?”

Weichel Wins Fifth Straight, Eliminates Bessette

 

Photograph: D.Mandel/Sherdog.com

Weichel was more accurate than Bessette.

Former M-1 Global champion

DanielWeichel

prolonged his present successful streak to 5 fights witha unanimous verdict over

MattBessette

in their Season 10 featherweight match semifinal.Weichel (33-8, 2-0 Bellator) swept the scorecards with 29-28, 29-28and 30-27 nods from the cageside judges.

Weichel managed rounds one and three with an active top sport,neutralizing “The Mangler” and forcing him to expend power fromhis again. Bessette (thirteen-5, 4-1 Bellator) appeared to show a cornerin the second round, the place he landed together, attacked withclose-quarters knees and shocked the German grappler with a shortright hand.

Nevertheless, Weichel discovered his second wind over the ultimate five minutes,pinning the Connecticut-primarily based Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt to thecanvas and riding out the choice.

Green Outpoints Martinez in Semis

 

Photograph: D.Mandel/Sherdog.com

Green was a step faster than Martinez.

Takedowns and a suffocating high sport carried

DesmondGreen

to a unanimous determination over

WillMartinez

in the Season 10 featherweight tournament semifinals.All three judges scored it for Green (11-2, three-1 Bellator): 29-28,29-28 and 30-27.

Exterior of a crisp left hook in the third spherical, Martinez (9-three-1,5-1 Bellator) was largely ineffective from an offensive standpoint.Green pecked away from the outside with punches and leg kicks,mixing in tactical takedowns throughout the 15-minute battle. “ThePredator” has rattled off five wins in his last sixappearances.

The defeat halted an eight-combat profitable streak for Martinez.

Cooper KOs Grove, Advances to Remaining

 

Photo: D.Mandel/Sherdog.com

Cooper put Grove to sleep with leather.

Reign MMA’s

BrettCooper

knocked out

KendallGrove

with an overhand right and a violent volley of observe-upground strikes in the Season 10 middleweight tournament semifinals.Cooper (20-9, 7-4 Bellator) drew the curtain on the lanky Hawaiian3:33 into round two.

Grove (19-14, 1-1 Bellator) practically finished it within the first round,the place he struck for a takedown, cinched a body lock and unloadedwith punches from again mount. “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 3winner’s chin betrayed him in spherical two, as Cooper cracked him withan overhand, trailed him to the canvas and left him unconsciousagainst the cage.

“He whooped my ass [in] the primary round,” Cooper stated. “I thinkthat was fairly apparent. I knew I needed to come again. All people saidto maintain going ahead. He’s a tall guy, so the plan was obviouslyto come excessive, because out-jabbing any person who is 6-foot 5is not exactly straightforward.”

Cooper will face the winner of the Bellator a hundred and fifteen semifinal matchupbetween Dan Cramerand JeremyKimball within the tournament final.

Prelims: Wilcox, Jenkins Notch Unanimous Selections

 

Photo: D.Mandel/Sherdog.com

Wilcox held Fischer down and owned position.

Strikeforce veteran

JustinWilcox

(14-6, three-1 Bellator) coasted to a unanimous decisionagainst

JasonFischer

(6-three, 3-3 Bellator) in a non-descript lightweightencounter, earning 29-28 scores from all three judges; onetime NCAAwrestling champion

BubbaJenkins

(6-1, three-1 Bellator) cruised to a unanimous verdict over

SeanPowers

(eight-5, 1-1 Bellator) in a lopsided 155-pound affair,sweeping the scorecards by similar 30-27 marks; Cage WarriorsFighting Championship alum

LintonVassell

(thirteen-three, 2-0 Bellator) submitted

TrevorCarlson

(7-2, zero-1 Bellator) with a rear-bare choke 1:fifty four intothe second round of their gentle heavyweight tilt;

GavinSterritt

(6-1, 2-0 Bellator) tapped

 

Picture: D.Mandel/Sherdog.com

B. Jenkins was in total control for quarter-hour.

MikeEstus

(6-2, zero-2 Bellator) with an arm-free guillotine choke3:29 into round one among their clash at 170 pounds;

JoeRodriguez

(three-2, 1-1 Bellator) submitted

Eric Wahlin

(5-three, zero-1 Bellator) with an arm-triangle choke 2:06 into the secondround of their middleweight scrap; and

RadMartinez

(15-three, 5-1 Bellator) notched a unanimous decisionagainst EliteXC veteran

Edson Berto

(17-12-1, 1-2 Bellator) in a featherweight matchup.

 

Marquez vs. Alvarado Headlines May 17 HBO Card; Victor Battles Pacquiao-Bradley Winner

Whowill win: Marquez or Alvarado? Please inform us below in the commentssection. | Picture Courtesy: Top Rank

 


Boxing returns to The Discussion board in Inglewood, Calif., Could 17 as Juan Manuel Marquez takes on Mike Alvarado in an HBO-televised 147-poundcontender showdown.

Being billed as an official 12-round WBO welterweight titleelimination bout, the winner is assured a shot at the victor ofApril 12’s Manny Pacquiao vs.Timothy Bradley, Jr. rematch.

“The opportunity to go back and struggle on the Discussion board where Ideveloped as a professional fighter was too great to pass up,” saidMarquez (55-7-1, forty KOs) in a press launch. “I expect a toughfight towards Mike Alvarado and one which the fans will trulyenjoy.”

Marquez, of Mexico City, final saw action in a cut up determination lossto Bradley in October of final yr. Previous to that tussle, Marquezhanded Pacquiao a brutal sixth-round knockout.

“I'm so excited. We have been training already for four weeks.Marquez has all the time been on our radar and he's the one I alwayswanted to combat,” stated Alvarado, of Denver, Colo. “This fight is myredemption to all of my fans. I know how essential this combat is.What a struggle with such a reward – to combat the winner of Pacquiaovs Bradley. That is an incredible alternative. I will likely be fullyprepared to fight Marquez on Might 17.”

Alvarado holds a professional document of 34-2, with 23 KOs.

“Marquez vs. Alvarado needs to be a battle from bell to bell. Bothreally need this combat and that can make for an excitingencounter,” declared promoter Bob Arum.

 

Mike Tyson-Promoted Showtime Card Rocks Pittsburgh April 18

MikeTyson's Iron Mike Productions struck a take care of Showtime. | Picture:Rey Sanchez/Iron Mike Productions

 


Mike Tyson’s Iron Mike Promotions will make its Showtime networkdebut with an April 18 Pittsburgh-area card, headlined by three ofhis prized undefeated fighters.

Undefeated heavyweight prospect Alexei “The Hurricane” Collado(18-zero, 16 KOs), of Miami, Fla., will battle Rod Salka (18-three, 3KOs), of Bunola, Pa., in a ten-round attraction; Olympic goldmedalist Felix Diaz (14-zero, eight KOs), of Oxnard, Calif., will tanglewith Emmanuel Lartey (15-1-1, 7 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and SammyVasquez, Jr. (13-zero, 9 KOs), of Monesson, Pa., will lock horns withJuan “The Beast” Rodriguez, Jr. (eleven-zero, 5 KOs), of Union Metropolis, N.J.,in an eight-round welterweight conflict.

“Iron Mike Productions is pretty younger but is a shortly growingcompany that has expeditiously risen to the achievement ofworld-class competitors,” mentioned Tyson. “I'm looking forward tocontinuing our rise to prominence within the subject of championshipboxing. I was the first fighter to deliver Showitme to the apex ofits prominence and it's great to have my firm begin off the place Ifinished.”

The cardboard airs reside on Showtime and goes down at the MonroevilleConvention Middle in Monroeville, Pa., positioned just outsidePittsburgh.

 

UND, Union, Friars, Ferris survive and advance

CINCINNATI – Mark MacMillan was standing his ground in front of the goal when the puck caromed off his side and into the net. His deflection set up an NCAA tournament upset.

MacMillan's goal broke a tie with 1:44 to go, and North Dakota added a pair of open-net goals in the final minute Friday night, pulling away to a 5-2 victory over top-seeded Wisconsin in the NCAA tournament's Midwest Regional semifinals.

No. 3 North Dakota (24-13-3) will face second-seeded Ferris State for the regional title Saturday and a trip to the Frozen Four. Ferris State beat Colgate 1-0 in the other semifinal.

The seven-time national champions got an at-large berth when Wisconsin (24-11-2) beat Ohio State for the Big Ten title, eliminating the Buckeyes. North Dakota then knocked out its longtime rival with three late goals, the most important one coming quite by chance.

Brendan O'Donnell shot from the right wing, and the rising puck hit MacMillan and went past goaltender Joel Rumpel for a 3-2 lead.

"I was just trying to go to the net," MacMillan said. "It just went off my side and bounced into the net. Bit of a lucky one, but we'll take it."

The goal was reviewed to see whether the puck deflected off MacMillan's raised stick or whether he had interfered with Rumpel.

"The ref did come over and say the North Dakota player did not bump your goaltender," Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves said. "It hit him and it went in."

Rocco Grimaldi scored a pair of empty-net goals in the final minute, giving him three goals in the game and ending the latest installment of a long-standing hockey rivalry.

It was the 164th game between the schools. They've met three times in the NCAA tournament, and North Dakota has won all three – 5-2 in the 1982 title game and 3-2 in overtime in a 2008 regional final.

Union 5, Vermont 2

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Max Novak and Matt Hatch each scored two goals to help top-seeded Union beat Vermont 5-2 on Friday in the opening game of the NCAA East Regional.

Mat Bodie also scored for Union, which came into the tournament as the nation's top-ranked team for the first time in program history after winning the ECAC tournament for the third straight season. Kevin Sullivan added three assists and Daniel Carr had two for the Dutchman (29-6-4).

Chris McCarthy had two goals for Vermont (20-15-3), which was making its first NCAA appearance since 2010.

Union is 13-0-1 in its past 14 games.

The Catamounts took eight penalties, and Union converted three times on special teams.

The Dutchmen got on the board 4:15 into the game with a short-handed goal. Hatch went almost end-to-end unimpeded, skating down the right half-wall before cutting into the slot and beating goalie Brody Hoffman to the glove side.

"That really got the bench going," Bodie said. "Special teams often dictate who wins, and I thought our special teams did it tonight."

Vermont tied in the period when McCarthy went behind the Union net, threw the puck in front and saw it ricochet back to him for an easy shot past Colin Stevens, who made 23 saves. Hoffman had 34 for Vermont.

Union took the lead back just more than a minute later with a power-play goal. Carr's slap shot rebounded to Sullivan, who found Novak to the left of the goalie. Novak backhanded it into the net from his knees.

Carr played give-and-go with Novak on the power play to give the Dutchman a 3-1 lead in the second. Novak's pass back to Carr hit the stick of Vermont's Yvan Pattyn and into the net.

"We were moving the puck well, but more importantly we were winning the battles down low, and that's a huge component to the power play," Novak said.

Bodie made it 4-1 on a 4-on-1 rush after taking a pass from Sullivan in front of the net.

Vermont cut the deficit to two goals on a backhander by McCarthy at 13:19 of the third. But Hatch got his second goal on an empty net to put the game away.

"Our kids played their hearts out, but just took too many penalties," said Vermont coach Kevin Sneddon, who coached Union from 1999 to 2003.

The Dutchmen, who lost to Quinnipiac in last year's regional championship game in Providence, will face the Friars, winners of Friday's second East Regional game, on Saturday for a berth in the Frozen Four.

"We're very honored to be going to that game," coach Rick Bennett said.

Providence 4, Quinnipiac 0

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Jon Gillies made 37 saves, and third-seeded Providence beat second-seeded Quinnipiac 4-0 on Friday night in an NCAA East Region semifinal.

Mark Jankowski, Anthony Florentino, Shane Luke and Trevor Mingoia scored for Providence (22-10-6). The Friars led 1-0 after the first and scored three second-period goals.

That was more than enough with Gillies in net.

"It's unbelievable when you have a goalie like Jon behind you," Jankowski said. "If we bend a little too much, we have Jon back there to help us out."

The Friars will play top-seeded Union on Saturday in the regional championship game. The Dutchmen beat Vermont 5-2 in the first semifinal.

The game will pit Providence coach Nate Leaman against the program he led from 2003 to 2011 and former assistant Rick Bennett, a former Friars star.

"I think once the puck is dropped, I don't think anyone on the ice is going to think about it," Leaman said. "It's one game to see who advances. That's our goal, and there's really nothing that's going to distract me or the team, I think, from that."

Providence is making its first tournament appearance since 2001. It last won an NCAA game during a three-game first-round series with Minnesota in 1991.

Michael Garteig made 22 saves for Quinnipiac, which finished the season 24-10-6, a year after making it to the national championship game.

"It was a different game out there than what we've been used to all year," Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said. "There was a lot of obstruction and hooking and holding, and we've got to find a way to fight through it a little bit better."

Ferris State 1, Colgate 0

CINCINNATI – C.J. Motte got past his rough weekend with an NCAA tournament shutout.

The Ferris State junior goalie turned away 35 shots Friday, making Gerald Mayhew's power-play goal midway through the first period hold up for a 1-0 victory over Colgate in the NCAA tournament regional semifinals.

The second-seeded Bulldogs (29-10-3) advanced to the Midwest Regional final, where they will meet North Dakota, by pulling off their sixth shutout of the season, their fifth with Motte in goal.

The Bulldogs finished the season by giving up eight goals in two games at the WCHA Final Five championship last weekend. Coach Bob Daniels thought it had more to do with leaky defense in front of Motte than with the goalie himself.

Both were solid Friday, repeatedly turning away a Colgate (20-14-5) team that had more shots on goal but couldn't get one to go in.

"He's always good," defenseman Scott Czarnowczan said of his goalie. "He might have been better today."

Motte made two impressive stops during a power play in the third period. He also made a glove save on Spiro Goulakos' slap shot with 1:37 to go. Colgate's Tyson Spink was called for cross checking with 57.9 seconds left, allowing Ferris State to finish it off on a power play.

"We just didn't get a bounce tonight," Goulakos said.

Colgate freshman goaltender Charlie Finn was solid Friday, stopping 26 shots. Mayhew flipped the puck over his leg from in front of the goal for the only score.

Mayhew, a freshman forward, had a pair of goals at the Final Five championship last weekend, including the game winner during a 5-4 victory over Anchorage Alaska.

"He's played well as of late," Daniels said. "Gerald's got a very quick stick. You could see the chances coming more and more."

Once he scored, it was a matter of holding on.

"They played their game," Colgate coach Don Vaughan said. "They did a great job defending the lead when they got it."

 

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Pro Bowl receiver Jackson released by Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles on Friday launched extensive receiver DeSean Jackson, a move that comes just two years after the playmaker signed a five-12 months contract extension.

The Eagles' resolution to cut ties with one of the electrifying players in membership history comes after the workforce uncovered details about Jackson's off-area connections and activities, a source instructed ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. In addition, the source said, the Eagles decided to release Jackson rather than trade him to a different staff that could be unaware of the information.

"After careful consideration over this offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles have decided to part ways with DeSean Jackson. The staff knowledgeable him of his launch right now," the Eagles said in an announcement.

Earlier Friday, a report by NJ.com mentioned the Eagles had grow to be increasingly concerned about Jackson's off-discipline actions and his reputed ties to Los Angeles street gang members.

A league supply told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio that the Eagles determined to launch Jackson for quite a few causes due principally to "work ethic and angle."

The Eagles, in line with the supply, discovered about Jackson's associations in Los Angeles on Wednesday night, and that report "raised their level of concern," the supply stated.

Coach Chip Kelly, basic supervisor Howie Roseman and owner Jeffrey Lurie mentioned the situation with the membership's legal professionals over the past 24 hours and decided the most effective plan of action would be to launch Jackson. After the NJ.com report, the Eagles stopped talking to different teams about buying and selling Jackson.

Following his release, Jackson, 27, issued a press release that each thanked the Eagles for initially giving him a chance and denounced reviews like the one by NJ.com.

"First I wish to thank the Eagles organization, the Eagles fans and town of Philadelphia for my time in Philly," the assertion learn. "I might also prefer to thank [former] coach Andy Reid for bringing me in.

"Secondly, I wish to address the misleading and unfounded experiences that my launch has something to do with any affiliation that has been speculated surrounding the corporate I preserve off of the field. I would like to make it very clear that I'm not and never have been part of any gang. I am not a gang member, and to speculate and assume that I'm involved in such exercise off the sector is reckless and irresponsible.

"I work very onerous on and off the sphere and I am an excellent individual with good values. I'm happy with the accomplishments that I've made each on and off the field. I have labored tirelessly to offer again to my community and have a constructive influence on those in want. It's unlucky that I now should defend myself and my intentions. These studies are irresponsible and simply not true. I stay up for working laborious for my new group."

NFL groups have turn into extra cautious since last summer, when former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who additionally reportedly had gang ties, was arrested and charged with first-degree homicide.

The Eagles' resolution to release Jackson was supported by center Jason Kelce on Twitter:

Jackson was because of make $10.5 million in 2014 and was owed $30.5 million over the remainder of his contract, however none of that money was guaranteed.

He received reward from Reid, who drafted him in the second spherical in 2008.

"I've nothing but good issues to say in regards to the kid," said Reid, now the coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. "I did draft him. I had an amazing relationship with him. When his father handed away, that was a hard thing for him to go through at a younger age. They were greatest pals. I've experienced life issues with him, so I'd tell you he was nice for me when I was there."

At the very least six groups already have reached out to Jackson's agent, in keeping with a league supply. One which may be interested is the Carolina Panthers, who need a wide receiver after releasing Steve Smith earlier this month.

"We would be interested. He's an intriguing player, and we'll take a look at him," Panthers coach Ron Rivera advised USA Right now Sports. "I simply got phrase, and that is stunning to hear. He's an explosive player who has great vertical velocity and is powerful going to the ball."

Nevertheless, sources informed ESPN.com's David Newton that the Panthers aren't focused on Jackson for quite a lot of reasons.

Current experiences surfaced that the Eagles were trying to trade Jackson. There also had been rumors that Jackson isn't a match in the locker-room culture that Kelly, getting into his second season, is trying to domesticate.

On the NFL owners meetings Wednesday, Kelly stated he preferred Jackson but would not decide to him for 2014, saying the Eagles would do "what's finest for the football crew."

There may have been indicators earlier in the offseason that the Eagles were seeking to transfer on from Jackson. The crew moved shortly in free agency to finish new offers with huge receivers Jeremy Maclin, coming off a torn ACL, and Riley Cooper.

Jackson's offseason additionally acquired off to an unsettling begin.

After the Eagles misplaced in the wild-card spherical of the playoffs to the Saints, Jackson said he needed to renegotiate his contract, then a few days later he instructed police his South Philadelphia home was robbed of more than $250,000 in money and jewellery, along with a handgun. No arrests have been made within the case.

Jackson excelled in Kelly's fast-paced offense, setting career highs in receptions (eighty two) and yards (1,332) and while also amassing nine touchdowns. His 6,177 receiving yards are the second-most in franchise historical past, and his four punt-return scores are tops in membership historical past.

Jackson additionally has 21 TD catches for at the very least 30 yards, tied with Miami's Mike Wallace for essentially the most in the league. No other player on the Eagles' roster has more than eight (Maclin).

 

Michigan repels Tennessee rally to advance

Michigan Closes Out Tennessee To Advance

 

INDIANAPOLIS – Michigan coach John Beilein had watched his group blow almost all of a 15-level lead, and he was sure he knew how Tennessee would try to take the lead.

With 6 seconds left and trailing 72-71, Cuonzo Martin would probably send the ball into Jarnell Stokes, who would attempt to back into the post or drive. Beilein urged his defenders to buckle down and keep Stokes away from the rim.

Jordan Morgan, who scored 15 points, heeded his coach's recommendation and stood his ground until Stokes lowered his shoulder. The senior forward immediately crashed to the floor – perhaps embellishing the contact – but drawing the call that saved the sport for Michigan and infuriated Tennessee's "Rocky High" contingent.

Huge Ten player of the yr Nik Stauskas made a late free throw and nobody was more relieved than Beilein when Jordan McRae's 70-foot heave fell harmlessly to the ground because the buzzer sounded on a seventy three-seventy one Michigan victory.

"We received simply sufficient stops," Beilein stated.

Tennessee thought they acquired one stop unfairly.

"With the magnitude of this recreation, I do not suppose you can call a charge at that time," McRae said dejectedly after scoring 24 factors.

But the officers did name it, allowing Michigan to reach a second straight regional final.

The Wolverines (28-8) have gained 10 of their last eleven, none as tenuous or excruciating as this one to set up a Sunday showdown towards eighth-seeded Kentucky, the 2012 nationwide champion. The Wildcats received seventy four-69 over fourth-seeded Louisville, which beat Michigan in final yr's nationwide championship recreation.

Tennessee nearly pulled off one of the vital stunning comebacks in current regional reminiscence.

With 10:55 to go, Spike Albrecht's layup gave Michigan a seemingly insurmountable 60-45 lead.

When Stauskas made the final of his three 3-pointers with three:forty to go, the Wolverines still led 70-60. Stauskas finished with 14 points.

For some motive, Michigan went into panic mode and, simply two weeks after nearly blowing two huge leads within the Big Ten match, they nearly threw this one away.

The Volunteers staunch protection restricted Michigan to only one basket over the final three:forty and compelled 4 turnovers within the closing ninety seven seconds to offer themselves a chance within the closing seconds.

"I do not think I fouled him," mentioned Stokes, who had 11 factors and six rebounds after two straight double-doubles. "However it was a wise play for him to try to take the charge. He just about anticipated it."

Just as Beilein had predicted.

For a lot of the evening, Michigan relied on its taking pictures stars to remain in control against a defense that had allowed just 54.zero factors in its previous eight games.

The Wolverines took a thirteen-point lead in the first half and nonetheless led 45-34 at halftime as a result of they have been shooting 61.5 p.c from the sector and made 7 of 9 on three-pointers. Michigan did not slow down early within the second half, both, taking the most important lead of the sport at 60-forty five.

But one way or the other Tennessee played itself right back into the sport.

The eleventh-seeeded Vols, who had a primary-spherical recreation in time beyond regulation at Dayton, Ohio, just to start their surprising postseason run, lower the deficit to sixty two-56 with 6:forty five left. They acquired within 72-sixty seven when McRae completed a 3-point play with 1:fifty six to go. They made it seventy two-sixty nine when Josh Richardson scored the final of his 19 points on a layup with 24.6 seconds left. McRae's layup following one other Michigan turnover made it 72-seventy one with 10.eight seconds remaining.

So when the officers ruled Michigan's Caris LeVert caught the ball with one foot on the baseline and 9.6 seconds left, Martin made the sensible name by giving Stokes an opportunity to win it with a basket or draw the foul.

"We bought the ball to Jarnell. Jordan set a display screen for him to get him proper to isolate him, assault him within the center," Martin explained. "Obviously we got the ball the place we needed."

Nonetheless, the call went against them.

"We heard all week about they'd mismatches and the way we could not guard them inside," Morgan stated after letting out a scream on the end. "We're not really mushy round here. That is not who we're."

 

Angels lock up Trout for 6 years, $144.5M

L. A. – Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels agreed Friday night to a $one hundred forty four.5 million, six-yr contract, protecting baseball's brightest younger star beneath membership control through 2020.

The Angels mentioned the 22-yr-previous, two-time All-Star and his household shall be at a information convention Saturday in Anaheim to formally announce the contract along with owner Arte Moreno, supervisor Mike Scioscia and general supervisor Jerry Dipoto.

Few gamers in main league history have approached Trout's accomplishments in his first two full main league seasons. The speedy outfielder is a 5-software player and one of the darlings of baseball's sabermetrics crowd, known for putting up old style highlights and statistical superlatives on a regular basis.

"I feel all people is obviously thrilled that it got finished," Scioscia mentioned Friday night time at Dodger Stadium after the Angels' exhibition sport, which Trout missed with a abdomen virus. "He's a special participant and a particular individual."

The Millville, N.J., product was a unanimous selection for AL Rookie of the 12 months in 2012, and he completed second in AL MVP voting to Miguel Cabrera the past two years.

Mike Trout

The Angels agreed with star slugger Mike Trout on a $one hundred forty four.5 million, six-year contract extension.

Trout's deal came on the same day Cabrera finalized a $292 million, 10-12 months take care of the Detroit Tigers, the richest contract in American sports.

The free-spending Angels had been decided to reward Trout whereas locking up their prized possession past his first few years of eligibility for arbitration and free company. Los Angeles has been quietly negotiating with Trout's representatives all through spring training, and the club closed the deal three days before Opening Day at Angel Stadium.

Trout agreed on Feb. 26 to a $1 million, one-12 months contract for 2014, far more than the Angels have been required to supply him. His new deal runs from 2015-20.

The outfielder would have been eligible for arbitration for the primary time after this season, and without spending a dime agency following the 2017 World Sequence. Now, he cannot turn out to be a free agent until no less than age 29.

It is the latest massive-cash deal for the Angels, who are getting into the third season of a $240 million, 10-year contract with first baseman Albert Pujols, the second season of a $a hundred twenty five million, five-12 months settlement with outfielder Josh Hamilton and the third season of an $eighty five million, five-12 months contract with pitcher Jered Weaver.

But whereas the Angels' offers for Pujols and Hamilton have been criticized for their lavish nature and the 30-one thing sluggers' ensuing lack of manufacturing, Los Angeles is locking up Trout early in an uncommonly promising career.

Trout's contract is not worth as a lot as Cabrera's deal in Detroit, however it nonetheless would allow Trout to hit free agency at an age when he might be within the prime of his career.

And when his new deal ends, Trout will nonetheless be younger than the 30-yr-previous Cabrera is now.

Trout's average wage of $24,083,333 under the brand new deal is ninth in the majors, trailing only those of Clayton Kershaw, Cabrera, Alex Rodriguez, Justin Verlander, Ryan Howard, Hamilton, Felix Hernandez and Zack Greinke.

Trout is batting314 with 62 homers and 196 RBIs in just 336 profession video games, including 40 games in 2011. He additionally has stolen 86 bases while playing stellar protection and making two All-Star teams, starting for the AL last summer.

He's one in all 4 players in baseball history to bat320 with 50 homers and 200 runs in his first two full seasons, becoming a member of Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Pujols.

Trout has achieved nearly all the pieces besides group success during his quick major league career. The Angels have missed the playoffs in four consecutive seasons, and they finished seventy eight-eighty four final yr, their worst record in a decade.

The deal offers huge security for Trout. He obtained a bonus of $1,215,000 when he signed after the Angels selected him with the twenty fifth general choose within the 2009 newbie draft. He made $482,500 two years in the past and earned a $10,000 bonus for successful the rookie award, then was unilaterally renewed by the Angels last 12 months at $510,000 – $20,000 above the large league minimal on the time.

That deal sparked criticism from many Angels fans who thought Trout deserved more compensation for his outstanding play. They also nervous the relatively meager deal – and the Angels' resolution to maneuver Trout from his preferred middle subject to left final season – may bitter the budding famous person on the group.

Trout is again in middle discipline this season, and Moreno made certain Trout couldn't doubt the Angels' monetary dedication to him.

 

UK surges to boot defending champ L’ville

Kentucky Upsets Louisville

 

INDIANAPOLIS – No one will accuse these Kentucky youngsters of being the fastest learners. Not this season. And positively not during most of Friday evening's game against Louisville.

But once again, late within the game with everything on the road, they figured issues out just in time.

Aaron Harrison hit a 3-pointer for the go-forward rating with 39 seconds left and Julius Randle made a pair of clutch free throws to elevate the implausible freshmen of Kentucky to a seventy four-sixty nine victory over their in-state rivals.

The eighth-seeded Wildcats (27-10) led for a grand total of sixty five seconds on this Midwest Regional semifinal. They will play Michigan on Sunday for a visit to the Remaining 4.

"I advised them before the game, you will get punched in the mouth and you are going to taste blood," coach John Calipari said. "You'll be able to fight or you possibly can brace yourself for the next shot. They fought."

Fourth-seeded and defending champion Louisville ends its season at 31-6.

Few expected a run this deep for the Wildcats as this season performed out and their five freshman starters struggled to play a staff game. However they have been learning slowly. They trailed by thirteen midway via the primary half, then by seven with four half minutes left.

Abruptly, issues kicked in.

Really, it was a sophomore, Alex Poythress, who scored 5 factors and blocked a Russ Smith layup try throughout a 7-0 run that tied the sport at 66 with 2:11 left.

"Alex Poythress gained the game for us," Calipari stated. "We were begging him the entire game to start taking part in, and he performed at the right time."

From there, it was the Kentucky freshmen who showed all of the poise in opposition to the defending national champs, who were led by seniors Smith (23 points) and Luke Hancock (19).

Harrison took a move from Randle and noticed up in the nook for the go-forward shot. Each finished with 15 factors, as did yet another freshman starter, Dakari Johnson.

On the following possession, Louisville's Wayne Blackshear got fouled. The seventy one percent profession free throw shooter missed the first. Randle got here down and made two free throws to place Kentucky forward by three. Harrison guarded Smith and forced him to overlook a tricky 3-pointer on the next possession – "His first cease of the game," Calipari quipped.

Just a few seconds later, the Wildcats were chest bumping and Calipari was pumping his fists to a loud stadium that was about two-thirds Kentucky blue, one-third Cardinals red.

Kentucky now has knocked off previously undefeated Wichita State and defending nationwide champion Louisville, and has a gathering with final year's runner-up, Michigan, coming next. Earlier, the Wolverines beat Tennessee seventy three-71.

The newest win for Kentucky was the last word lesson in persistence for a team that, for therefore lengthy, had bother exhibiting any. The Wildcats were touted on T-shirts as the workforce that would go 40-zero and win the nationwide title, then all head off to the NBA.

Two out of three remains to be potential.

"They finally have surrendered and misplaced themselves within the workforce," Calipari stated. "It is just taken a long time."

Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who fell to 11-1 in Candy 16 games, produced a matchup zone that the Wildcats had hassle working by.

The Playing cards took the double-digit lead early, yet went to halftime up solely three regardless of holding Kentucky to 33 percent from the ground.

The difference in Pitino's mind: Louisville went 13-for-23 from the free throw line whereas Kentucky went 22-for-27. And the Wildcats had a 37-29 rebounding edge, which additionally led to eight more second-likelihood factors.

"I informed them we in all probability beat ourselves a little bit bit down the stretch," Pitino mentioned. "But how can any of us complain with the run we've been on?"

Louisville's string of Closing Fours will end at two, and there will likely be a brand new national champion.

Making this win much more impressive for the Wildcats: They played almost all the sport with out Willie Cauley-Stein, an NBA-caliber forward who damage his left ankle early.

"It's not a superb ankle damage, let me simply put it that means," Calipari mentioned.

One other NBA prospect, James Young, fouled out with 5:32 left.

That left it to Harrison, his twin brother, Andrew (14 factors), and Randle, a lottery pick in waiting who was a monster inside. He had 12 rebounds to go along with the 15 points. He has had a double-double in all three match games.

Calipari makes no apologies for recruiting the perfect expertise and taking his probabilities they will depart before they actually arrange shop at Kentucky. That technique helped him convey the eighth national title again house two years ago. Now, Kentucky is a win away from this system's sixteenth trip to the Ultimate Four.

 

Michigan St. prevails, ousts top-seeded UVa

Michigan State Knocks Off Virginia

 

THE BIG APPLE – Michigan State turned the defensive tables on Virginia, and the Spartans advanced to the Elite Eight, placing them back in a place the place they've had a number of success.

Branden Dawson had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and the Spartans compelled prime-seeded Virginia right into a horrible shooting efficiency in a sixty one-fifty nine victory Friday evening to advance to East Regional final of the NCAA event.

The fourth-seeded Spartans (29-8) will play Connecticut (29-eight) on Sunday with a Closing 4 berth at stake. The seventh-seeded Huskies beat third-seeded Iowa State 81-seventy six earlier Friday.

Michigan State overcame a horrible begin to the second half after which withstood a late run by the Cavaliers (30-7) to advance to the regional finals for the eighth time since 1999 – all underneath coach Tom Izzo. The Spartans have a 6-1 report in those games, and in 2000 they went on to win all of it.

Joe Harris and Malcolm Brogdon every had 17 factors for Virginia, which turned the second No. 1 seed to be eradicated, joining Wichita State.

Adreian Payne had 16 points for Michigan State, and his three-pointer with 1:29 left gave the Spartans the lead for good at 54-fifty one. After a miss by Brogdon, the 6-foot-10 Payne turned point guard, discovering Dawson with a line-drive lob pass for a dunk with fifty two seconds to go.

Harris hit a three with 39 seconds left to bring the Cavaliers within 56-fifty four.

Payne found one other way to assist the Spartans, making two free throws with 32 seconds left for a 58-fifty four lead.

Brogdon hit a 3 with 1.1 seconds left to deliver Virginia within 60-59. Gary Harris made one in every of two free throws to make it sixty one-fifty nine, and Virginia's last attempt was effectively off the mark.

Michigan State got here up with the sort of defensive effort that Virginia is understood for. The Spartans held the Cavaliers to 35.1 % taking pictures (20-of-fifty seven), nicely off the 45.7 % they shot during the season and nowhere near the 54.3 % they shot of their two previous NCAA event games.

"I believe I undoubtedly should credit their defense," Brogdon stated. "They have lots of good athletes. They contest pictures. However we also missed some easy layups inside for positive. However I am unable to take away from their defense."

Dawson, who averages 11 points per sport, has scored in double figures in six straight games, and he had a career-high 26 points in the third-round win over Harvard. He missed 9 games this season with a broken proper hand, an harm he inflicted on himself when he hit a table while watching movie.

"It was powerful, being out for those 9 games," Dawson mentioned. "For me, simply making the dangerous choice that I made, I learned from it rather a lot. That did not stop me from coming in and working onerous, and I believe that being out for these 9 games, I just advised myself that my team wants me, and I just have to step up and be a man. And that is what I did."

Izzo called Dawson "a freak athlete," each in strength and athletic skill.

"He isn't been an excellent shooter. He's worked arduous on it," Izzo mentioned. "I advised him God may need taken his hand when he broke it, however he gave him a soar shot when he returned, as a result of he's loads better shooter."

Payne missed seven games with a proper foot sprain, and Gary Harris and Keith Appling were bothered a lot of the season with nagging injuries. For the reason that Huge Ten tournament started and the Spartans did not have much hassle profitable it, everyone has been wholesome.

"They have expertise and they're a bodily workforce. I believe they're taking part in the perfect ball," Virginia coach Tony Bennett mentioned. "Dawson makes all the difference; he did as we speak. He was a matchup downside for us."

Michigan State began the second half by missing seven of its first eight photographs and committing 5 turnovers. Virginia took advantage to show a 31-27 halftime deficit right into a 38-34 lead.

"I believed the beginning of the second half, I think we had five turnovers within the first six, seven minutes," Izzo stated. "They regarded like they were actually operating. They have been cranking that offense up… I give our guys lots of credit."

The Spartans went on a thirteen-2 run to go up 49-42 with 6:10 to go.

Virginia, the Atlantic Coast Convention regular-season and tournament champion, answered with a 7-0 run to tie the sport at 51 with 1:51 left, after which Payne accounted for Michigan State's next seven points.

Michigan State shot 44.7 % (21-for-47) from the sphere and was able to score simply greater than the 55.5 points per game Virginia had allowed all season in leading the nation in that statistic.

The Spartans, who started the season 18-1 and spent three weeks at No. 1 in the Associated Press Prime 25, shot 52.three percent of their past 4 games.

"It is life," Bennett mentioned of the loss that ends the season for the Cavaliers and the careers of seniors Joe Harris, Akil Mitchell and Brogdon. "We had so many good things occur this 12 months. Unbelievable things. That is part of it."

These were the first NCAA tournament games performed at Madison Square Backyard since 1961.

 

UConn holds off Iowa State at MSG

 

THE BIG APPLE – DeAndre Daniels' UConn teammates were going to keep passing him the ball until he cooled off.

By the time that happened, it was too late for Iowa State.

Daniels scored 19 of his 27 points in the second half, and the Huskies hung on for an 81-seventy six victory Friday to reach the East Regional final a year after UConn was barred from the NCAA match.

"DeAndre's a scorer, and once you are feeling that you've that confidence, the following shot's going to go in," said senior Shabazz Napier, who knows a thing or two about scoring himself. "We stored feeding him, and he bought super scorching."

Daniels hit his first six photographs after halftime, the one Husky to make a area aim for over eight half of minutes. His three-pointer gave seventh-seeded UConn a forty nine-32 lead.

The third-seeded Cyclones rallied late, pulling within sixty seven-63 with 2 half minutes remaining. However senior Niels Giffey hit a three in the nook for his first factors because the recreation's opening moments, and when the Huskies (29-8) made their free throws within the remaining minute, the UConn followers packing Madison Sq. Backyard could have a good time.

The Huskies will face fourth-seeded Michigan State on Sunday for a trip to the Final 4.

Dustin Hogue scored a profession-excessive 34 factors for Iowa State (28-8), but Large 12 participant of the year Melvin Ejim was three of 13 for seven points, greater than eleven below his average.

The Cyclones, within the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2000, had been enjoying their second game with out third-leading scorer Georges Niang, who broke his foot of their tournament opener.

They trailed by sixteen with less than 7 half of minutes to go however almost came all the way again behind Hogue's scoring inside.

"That is who these guys are, they're fighters," coach Fred Hoiberg stated.

With UConn clinging to a 70-sixty five lead and fewer than a minute left, Iowa State's Naz Lengthy missed a three-pointer, and the 6-1 Napier pulled down the rebound and was fouled by Hogue. The guard calmly drilled each free throws.

UConn was 20 of twenty-two from the foul line, while Iowa State was 6 of 15.

Napier, the American Athletic Conference player of the 12 months, drained 4 early three-pointers, then made just one more area purpose the remainder of the best way. However the quick start by Napier and backcourt mate Ryan Boatright opened up house for the 6-foot-9 Daniels, an inconsistent junior who can score all over the courtroom when he is on.

Since a stretch in late February and early March when he failed to achieve double figures in 4 straight games, Daniels had averaged 15 in his last six outings before Friday. Then towards Iowa State, he shot 10 of 15 and pulled down 10 rebounds.

"With our seniors on this staff, I simply need them to exit with a bang," Daniels stated.

Ejim and DeAndre Kane, Iowa State's prime scorers, have been a mixed 9 of 31. But Hogue, from nearby Yonkers, discovered plenty of space, shooting 15 for 19.

"To play within the Backyard, it's one thing I dreamed about as a child," he mentioned.

After Napier's tough early 3-pointers – he was falling away on two of them and stepping back to open a sliver of space on a 3rd – Boatright and Daniels took over. The three combined for all however six of the Huskies' factors as they constructed a 36-26 halftime lead.

Second-year coach Kevin Ollie is now 3-zero within the NCAA event after taking over for mentor Jim Calhoun, who gave him a giant hug after this one was over. The final time UConn made it this far, the Huskies won a nationwide title when Napier and Giffey have been freshmen.

The current upperclassmen might have transferred after this system's low scores on the NCAA's tutorial progress measure stored UConn from final yr's Large East and NCAA tournaments.

"We were banned from quite a lot of issues," Ollie stated. "We couldn't come here for the match, but they weren't banned from loving and pushing and encouraging one another, and that is what it's all about. Those darkish times, if you don't surrender at nighttime instances, it can reverse, the wind will begin going in your favor, your path.

"And I think that is what's happened now."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Related Press

 

NBA Prediction Friday Night Preview/Pick- Memphis vs. Golden State

NBA Free Pick & Prediciton Grizzlies vs. Warriors

Memphis Grizzlies (43-28, 20-14 away) @ Golden State Warriors (44-27, 23-12 home) 02/28- 10:30PM EST

 

Line: GSW -2.0

Over/Under- 188.0

 

With the NBA season winding down and teams in the Western Conference still battling for positioning, the Memphis Grizzlies will try to move even with the Golden State Warriors when both teams take the floor in Oakland on Friday night.

 

The playoff seedings are still up for grabs and with not many games separating the fifth and ninth place teams in the tough Western Conference… both the Grizzlies and Warriors understand what is needed the rest of the way so they are not sitting at home come playoff time.

 

With a win over the Warriors, the surging Memphis Grizzlies (43-28) will have a chance to draw even with six-place Golden State… although I feel confident both teams will advance to the postseason.

 

The Grizzlies, since Jan. 10 have been one of the hottest and better teams in the league having won 28 of their 37 games, with only the San Antonio Spurs, which has won 15 straight the only hotter team with a better winning percentage. But, prior to the Grizzlies playing the type of basketball we’ve come to expect, they were sitting at the bottom of the Southwest Division at 15-19.

 

Memphis has won three straight and nine of 11 games and with the likes Portland, Golden State, Dallas and Phoenix all fighting for the final four playoff spots, the Grizzlies must continue to use what has gotten them to where they are… defense.

 

We know how important each of these games are for us,” said Marc Gasol, who along with Zach Randolph and Mike Conely are the cornerstones of this team.

 

With a win in Oakland, a place where they have had success in recent years, the Grizzlies can move a season-high 16 games above .500 and having won 15 of 19 games versus the West with the Trail Blazers coming up on Sunday, Memphis is poised to continue their success and make a strong playoff push.

 

After five days off, a well rested Golden State team will try to bounce back following last Saturday’s 99-90 home loss to San Antonio, a team that won without Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili in the lineup.

 

It’s a disappointing loss,” said Warriors’ coach Mark Jackson, who along with the Grizzlies are 13-5 since the All-Star break. “It’ll make us better.”

 

Starting swingman Andre Iguadala will be back in the lineup after missing the last three games due to a sore right knee and will give the Warriors another offensive weapon along with Stephen Curry, David Lee and Klay Thompson to go up against the tough defense of the Grizzlies who have allowed an NBA-low 90.2 points per game since the return of Gasol back on Jan. 14.

 

Golden State is a team that lives and dies from the outside and it’s all-or-nothing for them, where in their seven wins since March 5 have averaged 110.1 points per game and in their three losses have averaged only 94.0 ppg.

 

Memphis has won the last five contests in Oakland holding the home Warriors to only 88.8 points per game, but the oddsmakers are giving Golden State the slight edge making them a (minus -2.0) point favorite with an over/under of 188.0, but get the latest odds on the game up until tipoff right here at Wonder Punter.

 

It will be the high powered offense of Golden State versus the stingy defense of Memphis on Friday night and we all know defense wins games. Expect a good close game between these two teams but I predict the Grizzlies to continue form and leave Oakland with a tough road victory.

 

Prediction/Pick- Memphis

 

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

Arsenal to face New York Red Bulls in July friendly in USA

Thierry Henry: Arsenal legend to face Gunners in New York

Thierry Henry: Arsenal legend to face Gunners in New York

Up To £30 Free Matched Bet

Arsenal have introduced they’re to play a pre-season pleasant in opposition to the New York Red Bulls within the United States this summer season.

The Gunners will take on the MLS membership at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey on Saturday July 26.

Arsenal’s all-time leading goalscorer Thierry Henry now captains the Red Bulls after joining them in 2010, while former Everton midfielder Tim Cahill and Bradley Wright-Phillips, son of Arsenal legend Ian Wright, are additionally prone to function against Arsene Wenger’s aspect.

Wenger informed his club’s official website: “This shall be an amazing likelihood to play in front of supporters who haven’t seen the team play earlier than.

“The New York Red Bulls will probably be halfway by their season, so they may present a very good take a look at.

“Obviously it is going to be good to play against Thierry. He’s a really special participant in our club’s history and I do know the gamers and the supporters will enjoy this very much.”

Henry stated: “It goes without saying that hosting Arsenal at Red Bull Arena shall be a particular moment for me each on a professional and personal stage.”

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Two tie for 50-yard freestyle title at NCAAs

AUSTIN, Texas – Three months ago, Alabama's Kristian Gkolomeev lived in Greece. Two months ago, Arizona's Brad Tandy was ineligible for NCAA competition.

On Thursday, they shared a national title in the 50-yard freestyle at the NCAA men's swimming championships, each finishing in 18.95 seconds.

Tandy, cleared by the NCAA last month after its investigation of his year off after high school spent in South Africa training to make the country's Olympic team, held a slim lead after the first 25 yards.

But Gkolomeev, who moved to the United States in January, rallied in the final 25.

"Usually my first 25 is the strongest, so I'm kind of used to having that open water," Tandy said. "I hit (the turn) fine, I just couldn't quite get the grab to maintain my speed from the first 25. Luckily, it was a tie, so I'm pretty happy with that."

Texas, serving as this year's host, is looking for its first NCAA men's swimming title since 2010. Led by freshman Michael Dixon, who won an individual championship in the 1-meter springboard, the Longhorns, with 146 points, had a one-point lead over California after the first of three days.

"Have you ever seen a meet like this in your life? There's never been one like it," Texas coach Eddie Reese said. "If we win one here, I can turn the guys loose Saturday night and I can go home."

The Golden Bears, who won the 400 medley and 200 freestyle relays Thursday, are trying to capture their third title in four years.

"You don't get to do that too often in a sport where you put four guys together and let them go after it," Cal coach David Durden said. "Relays are fun. It was never one split or one person. It was kind of the collective group that did the job."

Florida's Marcin Cieslak won the 200 individual medley in 1:40.58. The Gators were third with 137 points.

Defending champion Michigan was fourth with 109 points, followed by Georgia with 74.

Southern California's Cristian Quintero won his first individual NCAA championship with a pool-record 4:10.02 in the 500 freestyle, an event he finished third in last year and second the year before.

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press

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Texas Relays: Rotich, Dalton, Vollmer win titles

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas-El Paso junior Anthony Rotich won the steeplechase at the Texas Relays on Thursday, finishing in 8 minutes, 38.68 seconds.

BYU senior Chase Dalton won the decathlon with 7,642 points. Arkansas’ Kevin Lazas was second at 7,592, and defending NCAA champion Johannes Hock of Texas followed at 7,753.

Kansas junior Lindsay Vollmer won the heptathlon with 5,625 points, 15 ahead of Penn State’s Brittney Howell. Vollmer had a 17-point lead entering the final event, the 800 meters, and the pair finished 0.15 seconds apart, with Vollmer holding onto her overall lead.

Florida’s Brittney Harrell was third with 5,620 points.

Baylor won the women’s 3,200 relay in 8:46.85, and Arkansas took the men’s race in 7:24.12.

Florida’s Kyle Strawn won the hammer with a toss of 218 feet, 4 inches.

Kansas’ Casey Brown and Rice’s Chris Brown shared the pole vault title after each cleared 18-0½.

Olympian Leo Manzano won the 800 invitational in 1:47.43, breaking his own meet record.

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press

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