Johnson, Arizona heat up, rally over SDSU

 

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Nick Johnson put an awful first half behind him and came up large for Arizona in the closing 2:forty five.

The Pac-12 player of the year scored all of his 15 factors over that span after lacking his first 10 photographs and helped Arizona maintain off San Diego State 70-sixty four on Thursday night time to reach the Elite Eight of the NCAA match.

"After I hit one shot, it simply began to feel a little bit bit better," he mentioned. "I just saved on hitting shots."

Largely, Johnson hit free throws, making all 10 of his attempts to go together with a discipline goal and a three-pointer after the Aztecs shut him down for the first 37 minutes.

"He simply exploded within the second half," stated San Diego State's Dwayne Polee II, who guarded Johnson. "I can not say that we didn't play onerous protection, however he just made a variety of good pictures."

Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 15 points each for the highest-seeded Wildcats (33-4), who will try to win a West Regional last for the primary time in Anaheim. They're 0-3 at Honda Heart going into Saturday's game towards second-seeded Wisconsin (29-7).

Arizona coach Sean Miller joined brother Archie in the ultimate eight. The younger Miller coached Dayton to an 82-72 victory over Stanford of the Pac-12 in the South Regional semifinals.

"We watched the sport in our locker room," Sean Miller stated. "The truth that two of us are within the Elite Eight is a really unique situation, but we'll see."

Xavier Thames scored 25 factors and Polee added thirteen points for the Aztecs (31-5). Those two tried to bail out SDSU within the final minute, every hitting 3-pointers before Thames' basket minimize the deficit to 65-61 with 38 seconds left.

The drama wasn't over but in a game that includes tenacious defense and rabid depth by both groups.

SDSU acquired known as for a 10-second violation, and the Wildcats regained the ball. Johnson obtained fouled and made each for a 67-61 lead with 26 seconds to go. Thames obtained fouled on a 3-level try, and he sank all three pictures to depart SDSU trailing 67-64.

The Aztecs had Johnson trapped close to their bench, however he handed out of the double-team and Gabe York bought fouled at the other end. He missed the first and made the second, maintaining Arizona forward 68-64. Thames missed, and Johnson once more went to the road, where he ended the scoring with two free throws.

San Diego State led by eight factors early within the second half after leading by that many simply earlier than halftime. The Aztecs managed the boards 37-29, with three of them often battling without delay on the defensive finish. Josh Davis had 14 rebounds for SDSU.

The Aztecs were making an attempt to reach the final eight for the primary time at school history below sixty nine-year-outdated coach Steve Fisher.

"One in every of as of late, we will get to a Closing 4," Fisher mentioned.

Johnson's 2-of-12 taking pictures wasn't the Wildcats' only drawback. Kaleb Tarczewski returned late within the sport with four fouls, and Hollis-Jefferson fouled out with four:forty two to play.

However Johnson made his first basket a couple of minutes later and carried the Wildcats across the end line after they trailed a lot of the second half.

"It is wonderful for a kid to be able to try this after not making shots for about 25, 30 straight minutes," Miller mentioned.

T.J. McConnell's layup gave Arizona its first lead, 50-49, of the second half after the Wildcats got within one 3 times. SDSU answered with baskets the primary two occasions however couldn't cease McConnell, who finished with 11 factors.

The Wildcats started getting a number of the offensive rebounds that eluded them a lot of the sport, and Tarczewski scored after his teammates grabbed two on the identical possession to keep Arizona ahead 54-51.

Polee's protection helped maintain Johnson scoreless within the first half, when he went zero-for-7 and missed all three of his 3-point makes an attempt. He lastly hit a jumper at the buzzer, however typical of Arizona's early luck, it was dominated no good. Tarczewski picked up his third foul with 5:13 to go, leaving the Wildcats without their 7-footer to guard the basket.

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No. 1 Arizona easily defeats Gonzaga to reach Sweet 16

SAN DIEGO – Arms waving and legs churning, Arizona is racing again into the Sweet 16.

The rest of the bracket should take discover of this one. If they play like this, the Wildcats are going to be awfully robust to beat.

Overwhelming Gonzaga with its contest-everything protection, Arizona seemed very very similar to the top seed within the West, blowing out the Bulldogs 84-sixty one on Sunday to succeed in the Sweet sixteen for the third time in 4 years.

”That Arizona crew we noticed tonight was as good a team as we’ve faced, that I can keep in mind,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few stated. ”It was simply too much for us tonight.”

Coming off a shaky NCAA event opener, Arizona (32-4) ended a wild first weekend of upsets and buzzer beaters with a show of domination.

This was not the epic double-overtime recreation these teams performed within the 2003 NCAA Event. This was an eye fixed-popping display of what one of many nation’s greatest groups can do when it gets rolling.

The Wildcats overran Gonzaga (29-7) with their size, athleticism and fast palms to blow the eighth-seeded Bulldogs out of the bracket.

Turning one of school basketball’s most efficient teams on its head, Arizona scored 31 points of Gonzaga’s 21 turnovers – 15 on steals – and never gave the Zags an opportunity after racing out to a 21-level lead in the first half.

Aaron Gordon had 18 points, six rebounds and six assists for Arizona. Fellow freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson additionally had 18 points and Nick Johnson completed with 17.

Next up for Arizona is fourth-seeded San Diego State – a crew it beat in this same area early within the season – within the Sweet sixteen simply up the coast in Anaheim.

”Tonight was certainly one of our season’s greatest performances,” Arizona coach Sean Miller stated. ”Obviously, you need to play nicely in the NCAA match and that is exactly what our staff did tonight.”

Gonzaga has relied on its capacity to regulate the game and take care of the ball during a run of 16 straight NCAA event appearances.

Arizona’s pressure ran the Zags ragged, leaving them trailing the Wildcats as they raced off to at least one layup after one other.

Przemek Karnowski scored 14 points and Kevin Pangos added 12 for Gonzaga, which hasn’t reached the Candy sixteen since 2009.

”We did not do ourselves any favors,” said Pangos, who saved enjoying after turning his ankle early in the sport. ”We allow them to feel pretty good about themselves. But they’re a very good team and they did pace it up slightly bit.”

Arizona was jittery in its opener against Weber State, starting sluggish and permitting the Wildcats from Utah to claw their way back from a 21-point deficit within the second half to make it shut.

The first-sport nervousness out of their system, the Wildcats played with confidence and plenty of power towards Gonzaga, sprinting up the ground after steals and defensive rebounds to set up simple shots in transition.

Arizona made it look simple at times, dropping off passes for layups, flying in for alley-oops and recognizing up for 3-tips on the break.

It was so good even Gordon, whose outdoors shot has been questioned, dropped in a 3-pointer. For good measure, he went in for what appears to develop into his signature move on the break, soaring up for a reverse dunk on an alley-oop from Johnson to put Arizona up 38-20.

Gonzaga shot nicely against one of many nation’s best defenses – when it could get pictures off.

The Bulldogs struggled with Arizona’s they’re-all over the place defense, enjoying catch-up on the break because the Wildcats snared passes and stripped dribblers for eight steals within the first half. Gonzaga had eleven turnovers that Arizona become 19 factors for a 47-34 halftime lead that may have been extra if the Bulldogs didn’t make a late run.

Arizona had one turnover and 13 assists on its 17 discipline goals – 34 attempts – with Gordon and Hollis-Jefferson combining to hit 8 of 9 pictures whereas scoring 12 factors every.

”What we did as we speak was push the tempo,” Gordon stated. ”We seen they weren’t getting again as well as they need to and we simply kept that going all through the sport.”

The second half began like this: two possessions by Gonzaga, two turnovers.

Arizona kept the present going from there.

Johnson had the defensive spotlight of the half, tracking down David Stockton to block what appeared to be a breakaway layup and the ball went off a Gonzaga player, besides. The offensive reel was highlighted by Gordon, who soared in for a rebound slam over two Gonzaga gamers.

No probability for the Bulldogs and, if Arizona retains taking part in like this, not much of one for anyone else.

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Johnson, Arizona survive Stanford threat

 
Arizona Survives Against Stanford
 

 

STANFORD, Calif. – For nearly nine minutes, Arizona made protective stop right after stop. For the reason that critical sequence, the top-ranked Wildcats kept Stanford scoreless and assisted preserve their own perfect begin to the season.This assured, unbeaten team believes it should be doing that every game. Regarding Arizona, 3 straight protective stops is called a "kill. "

Nick Manley kept Arizona's unblemished report going for one more game, striking a go-ahead 3-pointer along with 51 mere seconds remaining and two free of charge throws along with 5. eight seconds still left as Arizona survived to get a 60-57 triumph Wednesday evening for its school-record 21st directly win.

"We're an outstanding defensive group. It isn't as if we changed any scheme; we simply buckled lower and had plenty of players playing very hard, and our capability to hold these to what we did is a huge reason we won. Our own defense earned the game tonight, " Arizona coach Sean Miller stated. "No query we have to carry out better on offense and have to be well informed at the collection. "After Manley hit a jumper in the middle of the key along with 2: thirty six remaining to make it 55-53, Dwight Powell answered on a baseline drive along with 1: 21 to go before Johnson delivered once more.

Johnson completed with sixteen points, 5 rebounds plus four helps, and To. J. McConnell added eleven points, 8 rebounds and four helps for Arizona (21-0, 8-0 Pac-12), off to the program's best start in conference play in more than the usual decade.

Arizona is one of three unbeaten teams left in Division We, joining Number 2 Syracuse, which furthermore won Wednesday night. Fourth-ranked Wichita State hasn't lost, either.Powell plus Josh Huestis each obtained 13 factors for Stanford (13-7, 4-4), which outshot Arizona 37 percent in order to 36 percent.

"For 38 mins, I thought we were right there, " Stanford trainer Johnny Dawkins said. "Credit Arizona to make the plays they had for making at the end. Computer chip Johnson upgrading, whether on the foul line or regardless of whether it was the 3-point container late. I have watched lots of tape of these; he's done it all yr. "

Johnson missed a free toss with twenty-eight seconds left, and Stanford called a timeout. Huestis missed a 3 from the left side and Aaron Gordon guaranteed the come back, but he also missed a free throw, giving the particular Cardinal 1 final photo.

Chasson Randle skipped a long 3 just before the last buzzer with regard to Stanford.

After a 3-pointer by Huestis with 10: 03 leftover, Stanford did not score once again until Powell's layin at 1: twenty one – plus Powell missed two free of charge throws from 4: 36 that would have put his team forward.

"That's what we should have done the whole online game. We arrived a little lackadaisical, and after that people turned up when the sense of emergency turned up, and after that we kind of locked down, " Gordon said. "It was great to come on the highway and get a win, whether or not we earned by twenty or all of us won simply by three such as we do. "

Arizona, ranked No . one for a school-record eighth consecutive week, overrode a slower start on the best way to an eighth straight earn against Stanford.

The Cardinal defeat two Best 25 groups already with victories in then-No. 10 Connecticut and at then-No. 17 Oregon earlier this month.

Although not this time, given their challenges in the waning moments in Maples Pavilion, which hosted a Number 1 mens team initially since losing 72-69 in order to Arizona upon March 1, 2003.

The Wildcats had a large contingent associated with fans within the crowd cheering, "U of A! U of the! "

Anthony Brown beat the halftime buzzer with a container to put Stanford ahead 31-30. Arizona had trailed from halftime several times already this year only to produce a big second half.

Arizona is usually on this type of roll that the players expect to win, even if they might not be at their finest in an aggressive environment.

"One from the things we have to do is usually play defense at a high level more consistently, and I think that will assist us out a lot, " forward Brandon Ashley stated. "When we were down, we all weren't thinking of being straight down. For any group to be competitive, at any level, you need to be confident within yourself. inch

Stanford's last home win towards a No . 1 group came towards Arizona, 82-74, on February. 4, 1988.

Phoenix Coyotes will officially be Arizona Coyotes

The team isn't changing locations but the city name is? (Getty Images)
The workforce isn’t altering areas but the metropolis identify is. (Getty Images)

More NHL: Scores | Standings | League Leaders | Odds | Accidents | Energy Rankings

Enjoy the Phoenix Coyotes whilst you can as a result of they won’t be round much longer.

Oh sure, the group is staying in Glendale for a long time to return with new ownership, however the Phoenix Coyotes? Nope. After this season finishes, they may formally turn out to be the Arizona Coyotes.

“We are very excited to announce that our franchise identify will change to Arizona Coyotes for the beginning of the 2014-15 NHL season,” stated owner Anthony LeBlanc. “Turning into the Arizona Coyotes is smart for us since we play our games in Glendale and the town is such an excellent partner of ours. We additionally wish to be acknowledged as not simply the hockey crew for Glendale or Phoenix, but the group for the whole state of Arizona and the Southwest. We hope that the name ‘Arizona’ will encourage more followers from all over the state, not just the valley, to embrace and assist our staff.”

This identify change shouldn’t be a shock as it got here up throughout the negotiations with the city of Glendale for a new lease agreement. You’ll be able to understand why Glendale, which is paying an excellent amount of money to assist the staff, wouldn’t want the name of a nearby city connected to the franchise. Now, just like the NFL Cardinals throughout the parking zone, the crew will as a substitute carry Arizona.

What this is not going to do, though, is alter the uniforms. The Coyotes have no uniforms that say Phoenix on them, just small patches that indicated town name. Those patches shall be changed to fit with Arizona. They are going to be unveiled in the first Arizona Coyotes preseason game.

It’d sound bizarre at first (OK, it does sound bizarre) however finally it should sound right. Just not yet.

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There’s a 42 Percent Chance Arizona, Syracuse or Wichita State Finishes the Regular Season Unbeaten

Arizona, Syracuse and Wichita State are the contenders.

* Arizona, the very best crew in the nation, is eighteen-zero, and the Pac-12 has been a disappointment. The Wildcats have NBA length on the frontline, and above-common guards. Many will point to shaky 3-point taking pictures as a weakness, but 37 percent from deep isn’t dangerous. I’d be more fearful about 67 % on FTs. I predicted during a December podcast that Arizona may run the desk within the Pac-12. I used to be laughed at. The Wildcats don’t play a ranked group the rest of the way in which. Keep an eye on that Feb. 1 journey to Cal (14-5). The Bears are unbeaten at house.

Aaron Gordon vs UCLA

* Syracuse is 18-0, but I’m not almost as high on the Cuse as everybody else is. They’ve left the State of New York twice since December 1. Still have to journey to Pitt, Duke, Florida State and Virginia. And I remain unsure in regards to the frontline depth/talent. Grant is hard, however solely 6-foot-8; if Rakeem Christmas – who picks up fouls like he does rebounds – will get in foul bother, they’ll get taken apart inside.

* Wichita State is 19-0 and like Arizona, doesn’t play one other ranked staff. Additionally, in Kem Pom’s stat-primarily based ratings, the Shockers are the bottom of the unbeatens (7th; Syracuse is four, Arizona is 1). I imagine the Shockers are more likely to have a slip-up on the road within the Missouri Valley Conference than Arizona is in the Pac-12. Wichita State dug itself a 19-level gap against Missouri State … however rallied to win in additional time. Keep an eye on Feb 5-eight – road journeys to Indiana State (11-eight) and Northern Iowa (10-9).

The last group to finish the college basketball common season unbeaten? The St. Joseph’s Hawks in 2003-2004. That team, which featured Delonte West and Jameer Nelson, lost within the Atlantic-10 tourney after which to Oklahoma State in the Elite 8.

 

Arizona withstands UCLA run to stay perfect

LOS ANGELES – Arizona took its lumps against UCLA last season, losing three times to its Pac-12 rival. Those defeats stuck in the minds of the Wildcats, especially when they let a commanding lead slip away in the latest matchup.
Nick Johnson scored 22 points and the top-ranked Wildcats withstood UCLA's late 15-1 run to beat the Bruins 79-75 Thursday night, equaling the best start in school history at 16-0.
 

The Wildcats (3-0 Pac-12) blew a 13-point lead with 6: 16 to play and committed a season-worst 17 turnovers. UCLA shot 41 percent in the second half against a team that had been holding opponents to 36 percent in the final 20 minutes.

"Losing to them three times last year definitely made us more hungry, " said Gabe York, who had 12 points. "None of us forgot that. "

Johnson added: "It was definitely a chip on my shoulder. "

Kaleb Tarczewski made all six of his field goal attempts and scored a career-high 16 points for the Wildcats in the lone regular-season meeting between the longtime conference powers. The 1931-32 Wildcats also began the season 16-0.

"Our common goal is to get to the national championship, " York said. "We don't really talk about it. We take it one game at a time and I think that's what's giving us a great record right now. "

Freshman Zach LaVine hit a 3-pointer that got UCLA to 77-75 with 15 seconds left, but he missed another one with 2 seconds to go that would have left the Bruins down one.

"We knew they were going to make their run, " Johnson said. "We couldn't blow them out really, but we just tried to respond when they made their run and we did. "

Kyle Anderson had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Jordan Adams added 12 points and a career-high 11 rebounds for the Bruins (12-3, 1-1). They haven't beaten a top-ranked team since March 13, 2003, when they took down Arizona in overtime in the Pac-12 tournament.

UCLA's other two losses came against Missouri and Duke.

"Being down to a very good team, we did a good job of fighting back, " Anderson said. "I'm not one for moral victories, but we did fight hard. "

Buoyed by loud chants of "U of A" in sold-out Pauley Pavilion, the Wildcats pulled away to a 12-point lead midway through the second half after UCLA kept it close in the first 20 minutes. Arizona starters Aaron Gordon (16 points), Brandon Ashley (nine points) and T. J. McConnell (eight points) all played with four fouls in the second half.

Johnson's dunk gave Arizona its largest lead of the game, 68-55.

That's when the Bruins reeled off a 15-1 run, including 13 consecutive points, to take their last lead at 70-69.

Adams hit a 3-pointer for a 68-all tie. He, Anderson and Bryce Alford combined to outscore the Wildcats, who made just one free throw during that stretch. Alford finished with 12 points.

"Being down one was a little bit nerve-racking, but Coach Miller is a really good coach, " Gordon said. "He gathered us and said, `OK, stick together, it's really time to come together and just stick with and just do what we'd been doing the whole game. It's a process and just stick to Arizona principles. "

The Wildcats were limited to one field goal over the final 1: 27, when they went 8 of 10 from the free throw line to hang on.

"Gabe York and Aaron Gordon making those four free throws at the very end really solidified things, " Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "That's not easy to do if you're Gabe because he came in off the bench, and those are two huge free throws. "

The Bruins' 79 points were the most scored by an Arizona opponent this season. They missed five straight free throws before their big run.

"They were huge, " Anderson said. "That's something we can fix. "

Arizona controlled the boards, 37-36, as it has done in all 16 games so far.

Arizona led 42-38 at the break, hitting three 3-pointers over the final 2: 56, when UCLA twice tied the game.

Retired Lakers coach Phil Jackson and Clippers coach Doc Rivers attended the game, along with former Bruins Baron Davis, Jordan Farmar and Ryan Hollins. Injured Lakers guard Steve Nash, actor John Lithgow, who sat with Jackson, and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea were there, too.

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Hoops poll: Arizona, Cuse, Ohio State still 1-2-3

The Orange are still undefeated, and in the eyes of some the best team in hoops. (USATSI)
The Orange are nonetheless undefeated, and in the eyes of some the perfect team in hoops. (USATSI)

Syracuse is creeping in on No. 1 Arizona, but barely. The Wildcats are No. 1 within the Associated Press' high 25 ballot for the fourth week in a row, however got 60 first-place votes this time, as opposed to the 63 from per week ago. Syracuse took up the other five.

Syracuse is riding high and heading into 2014 with out a loss in wake of its house victory over beforehand unbeaten Villanova on Saturday. The rest of the highest five? Hello, B1G. The Large Ten occupies 60 % of the quintet; Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State are 3, four and 5 in the AP ballot.

 

 

Louisville took a tumble to No. 14 within the AP ballot after falling at Kentucky – but stay ranked forward of the Wildcats. The votes for these polls came in effectively earlier than news of Chane Behanan's dismissal from the Cardinals was recognized.

And but once more, the highest 25 within the AP remained the same when it comes to the totality of the poll. No new teams into the fold this week.

AP Poll

  1. Arizona (60)
  2. Syracuse (5)
  3. Ohio State
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Michigan State
  6. Oklahoma State
  7. Duke
  8. Wichita State
  9. Baylor
  10. Oregon
  11. Villanova
  12. Florida
  13. Iowa State
  14. Louisville
  15. Kentucky
  16. Kansas
  17. Connecticut
  18. Memphis
  19. North Carolina
  20. Colorado
  21. San Diego State
  22. Iowa
  23. UMass
  24. Gonzaga
  25. Missouri

Jumped in: None
Dropped out: None

This web page will replace with the USA Immediately Coaches ballot as soon as it's launched in full.

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AP top 25 poll

John Calipari's Wildcats took a tumble but remained ranked in both polls this week. (USATSI)
John Calipari’s Wildcats took a tumble but continued to be ranked in both polls this week.(USATSI)

The top 8 of this week’s Associated Press in a number of basketball Top 25 Poll continues to be unchanged from a week ago. That can happen during a week of titles, when fewer games are performed. In fact , no teams left the particular rankings within this week’s top twenty five in the AP, a rarity without a doubt. But that doesn’t mean we did not have some big shifts within the rates, however.

 

 

UNC’s jump to No . fourteen was the biggest leap this week within the polls (four spots), while Kentucky’s fall to No . 19 signified the biggest dip (eight). Meanwhile, St Mary’s, Tulane and Pittsburgh stay undefeated teams who’ve yet in order to crack either poll this season.

In the Coaches Election, Syracuse and Ohio State changed positions. And despite beating the very best three preseason teams in the AP Poll, North Carolina sits at an typical of No . 16 between this particular weeks’ rankings.

AP Poll

  1. Arizona (63)
  2. Syracuse (2)
  3. Ohio State
  4. Wisconsin
  5. The state of michigan State
  6. Louisville
  7. Oklahoma Condition
  8. Duke (tie)
  9. Villanova (tie)
  10. Connecticut
  11. Wichita State
  12. Baylor
  13. Oregon
  14. North Carolina
  15. Memphis
  16. Florida
  17. Iowa State
  18. Kansas
  19. Kentucky
  20. Colorado
  21. Gonzaga
  22. UMass
  23. Missouri
  24. San Diego State
  25. Iowa

Jumped in: None
Dropped out: None

Instructors Poll

  1. Arizona (30)
  2. Syracuse (1)
  3. Ohio State (1)
  4. Louisville
  5. Michigan State
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Oklahoma State
  8. Duke
  9. Wichita State
  10. Connecticut
  11. Or
  12. Villanova
  13. Iowa State
  14. Memphis
  15. Baylor
  16. Gonzaga
  17. California
  18. North Carolina
  19. Kansas
  20. UMass
  21. Kentucky
  22. UCLA
  23. San Diego Condition
  24. Colorado
  25. Missouri

Jumped in: Co, Missouri
Dropped out there: Iowa (22), Indiana (25)

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Michigan State, Arizona 1-2 in AP hoops poll

Indiana To Try To Crack Syracuse Zone

 

Michigan State stays No. 1 for a third straight week in The Associated Press’ Top 25 poll, receiving all but two of the first-place votes.

Arizona moved from fourth to second Monday, drawing the other No. 1 votes from the 65-member national media panel.

Kentucky remains third, while Syracuse jumps from eighth to fourth. Ohio State moves up two spots to fifth and is followed by Kansas, which had been second.

Completing the top 10 are Louisville, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State and Duke.

Memphis and Syracuse used wins in holiday tournaments to make the week’s biggest moves in the Top 25.

The Tigers won the Old Spice Classic, beating then-No. 5 Oklahoma State 73-68 in the championship game to move from 21st to No. 16. It was an impressive win, considering Memphis lost 101-80 at Oklahoma State two weeks earlier.

Syracuse beat Minnesota, California and then-No. 18 Baylor to win the Maui Invitational. The Orange moved from No. 8 to fourth with the three wins.

The Blue Devils dropped four spots after losing to Arizona in the NIT Season Tip-Off.

Villanova beat Kansas and Iowa to win the Battle 4 Atlantis and enters the poll at No. 14.

Gonzaga, which lost Dayton in the opening round at the Maui Invitational before beating Chaminade and Arkansas in the consolation bracket, had the week’s biggest fall from 11th to No. 19.

The Atlantic 10 has two teams in the rankings as No. 25 Dayton joined No. 21 UMass. Dayton finished third at the Maui Invitational by beating then-No. 11 Gonzaga in the opening round, losing to Baylor in the semifinals when a last-second shot didn’t fall, and beating California for third place. The Flyers’ last appearance in the Top 25 was the first two weeks of 2009-10.

The other newcomer is No. 24 San Diego State, which earned wins over Creighton and Marquette en route to the championship run of the Wooden Legacy. The Aztecs were ranked in 12 of the first 13 weeks last season.

Three teams dropped out of the poll this week, with North Carolina’s fall from No. 16 the biggest exit after a 63-59 loss to UAB on Sunday.

The Tar Heels were 12th in the preseason poll and the first poll of the regular season. Their home loss to Belmont dropped them to No. 24. North Carolina turned that drop around the next week when the upset of then-No. 3 Louisville moved it to No. 16.

The others to fall from the ranks of the ranked this week were Big East members who both lost two games. Creighton fell from 20th after losses to San Diego State and George Washington in the Wooden Legacy. Marquette dropped from No. 25 after losing at Arizona State and to San Diego State in the Wooden Legacy.

There were no changes at the top of the conference race in the Top 25 with the Big Ten still having five teams, followed by the Big 12 with four.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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Johnson to Arizona

Stanley Johnson will immediately be one of the best scorers in the Pac-12. (Adidas)
Stanley Johnson will immediately be one of the best scorers within the Pac-12. (Adidas)

Of the four prime-six recruits to announce their college choices on Friday, it appeared that Stanley Johnson would be the one with the least quantity of drama.

And it stayed true – as heavy favourite Arizona ended up being the selection for Johnson.

For many of his recruitment, the Wildcats were thought to be the favorite to land Johnson, a 6-foot-6 wing forward from Mater Dei (Calif.). Kentucky made a push within the fall, and USC additionally made a late run as his decision date neared, but Sean Miller and Arizona had the edge in this one for awhile. The Wildcats have had success with players from the Oakland Soldiers AAU program in the past, and former Troopers Brandon Ashley and Aaron Gordon are currently enjoying in Tucson. Oregon and Florida had been also in Johnson’s prime five, however didn’t seem to make enough headway.

Arizona will be getting arguably the best motor in the 2014 class in Johnson. Ranked No. 6 in the 247Sports Composite, Johnson is physical and one of many hardest-working players in the country. Along with his strength and aggressiveness, Johnson is a matchup nightmare for most defenders. He not simply overpowers defenders, as he has greatly improved his ball-handling abilities, as well as his skill to knock down perimeter pictures. When it comes right down to it, though, Johnson is just impossible to keep out of the lane – and he loves contact at the rim.

Johnson is the fourth dedication for Miller within the 2014 class. Los Angeles level guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright (No. fifty six in 247Sports Composite) pledged in February, forward Craig Victor (No. 28) popped in August, and junior college transfer Kadeem Allen committed final month. The Wildcats ranked No. 10 nationally before Johnson’s dedication – and his decision solidifies Arizona as the most effective recruiting class in the Pac-12. The Wildcats have also performed an incredible job with available 5-star forward Justise Winslow, however Duke and Florida are also in the mix.

Jordin Mayes is the lone senior on this year’s Arizona crew, although freshman forward Aaron Gordon is almost assuredly going professional. Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski are also NBA prospects, but they could stick around for their junior seasons. Both approach, Miller and Arizona are well-positioned to be a Ultimate Four threat again in 2014-15. Johnson’s dedication cements that thought.

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USC WR Lee suffers injury lost to Arizona State

TEMPE, Ariz. – USC extensive receiver Marqise Lee suffered a left knee harm in the fourth quarter of the Trojans’ sixty two-forty one loss to Arizona State on Saturday.

Lee was injured around midfield after he was tackled following an 18-yard punt return early within the fourth quarter whereas USC was down 48-21. Lee laid down on the field for a number of minutes after the play earlier than being carried off the sector by two teammates to the staff’s coaching desk.

“Obviously it did not look very good,” Trojans coach Lane Kiffin stated after the sport. “It didn’t sound very good or look very good, so that’s all I obtained for you.”

While USC’s medical staff looked at Lee’s left knee, a number of teammates came by to examine on Lee as he hid his face underneath a towel. Lee was later carted back to the locker room.

Earlier than his harm, Lee grew to become USC’s all-time receiving yards leader with three,238 yards. He had seven catches for 92 yards within the game.

Lee was not accessible for comment after the game but a team official said Lee left the locker room on crutches and would get tests accomplished in Los Angeles.

Lee, who figures to be picked high within the NFL draft, has lack of value insurance coverage ought to he slip considerably within the draft. He additionally has a $10 million complete incapacity policy, however must never play football once more to collect that sum.

ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell contributed to this report.

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Josh Freeman sent out back to see Tampa Bay buccaneers lose to Arizona

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Josh Freeman. (US Presswire)

There are quite a lot of dumpster fires within the NFL at this moment — wanting proper at you, Giants and Steelers — but fingers down, the ugliest personnel state of affairs within the league is writhing its way by means of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers group.

On the end of last season, Freeman was Tampa Bay’s starting quarterback and one of its captains. He lost the captaincy in a vote earlier this month, and lost the starting job after an zero-3 start. And on Sunday, he wasn’t even allowed on the freaking discipline for the game towards the Cardinals. Freeman was forced to watch the sport, a thirteen-10 Tampa Bay loss, from a collection at Raymond James Stadium. After an zero-3 start, Freeman was dropped from No. 1 to No. 3 on the QB depth chart. In Freeman’s place, Mike Glennon received the beginning.

Naturally, Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano painted the choice to banish Freeman to a suite as a “mutual resolution.” And just as naturally, Freeman’s agent termed that “a lie. Obviously.” Freeman was already in the metaphorical doghouse for missing a workforce picture, and this appears to be a literal embodiment of that.. though, presumably, Freeman’s “doghouse” had drinks on ice, a non-public toilet and maybe a steam tray of egg rolls.

In recent days, Freeman has made no secret of his desire to be traded, and clearly Schiano and the remainder of the Bucs organization consider him such a festering sore that they don’t need him infecting the remainder of the staff. (Good image, huh?) Tampa Bay has a bye week coming up; chances are high good that by the time the Bucs welcome the Eagles to city on Oct. 13, Freeman can be nowhere close to the state of Florida.

 

 

 

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Arizona Cardinals lose top 10 pick before season starts, as rookie Jonathan Cooper heads to IR

(USA At present Sports activities Pictures)

The Cardinals have not had the perfect of luck with first-spherical picks.

Beanie Wells. Matt Leinart. Bryant Johnson and Calvin Pace. Wendell Bryant. Andre Wadsworth. You get the point. And what makes it worse is that, because the Cardinals’ file is typically bad, numerous those wasted picks have come very excessive within the first spherical.

You can’t put guard Jonathan Cooper in that listing yet, of course. But Cardinals followers must wonder when this curse will likely be lifted, as a result of Cooper won’t play this season. Cooper, the seventh overall pick of the draft, will probably be placed on injured reserve, the staff announced.

That’s fairly a blow to an offensive line that desperately wanted an infusion of expertise (which is why the Cardinals spent such a excessive pick on a guard), and to the group as a whole.

Cooper broke his leg in the staff’s third preseason sport, and there was some hope that he would be capable of return earlier than the tip of the season. The door to that is closed with the announcement he is on injured reserve. Cooper will try again in 2014.

Cooper, from North Carolina, kept rising up draft boards after the college season, as his blend of measurement and athleticism appealed to many groups. And Cooper ought to be capable to recover from this and have an important career. In the meantime, Cardinals followers can wonder what their workforce did to deserve such unhealthy draft fortune.

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Marathon season-opening game in Arizona starts Friday, finishes Saturday … without OT

It received late very early through the season opening soccer recreation for a state champ in Arizona. In truth, it obtained so late that the sport spanned two days.

Arizona champ Ironwood Ridge's title defense started with a 5 hour, 32 minute marathon — USA TodayArizona champ Ironwood Ridge’s title defense started with a 5 hour, 32 minute marathon — USA Today

As reported by the Arizona Republic and a variety of other information shops, the season-opening matchup between Tuscon (Az.) Ironwood Ridge and Peoria (Az.) Liberty finished as a 42-forty Ironwood victory on Saturday, August 24. The trick was that the game began on the evening of August 23.

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There have been no main climate delays, though there were a two pretty transient (relatively speaking, forty five minutes and an hour) stoppages for lightning strikes. There have been no different unanticipated stoppages of play.

Rather, the marathon face-off was mainly a reflection of a seesaw game that including 42 points and a large second half rally from annual state title contender Ironwood Ridge, which misplaced 21 of its starters from 2012’s title-winning squad. Liberty lead 17-7 at halftime before Ironwood Ridge’s running recreation sparked the Nighthawks’ rally.

You can see highlights from the season opener right here, courtesy of Tuscon CBS and Fox associates KOLD and KMSB.

The game lastly wrapped up at 12:32 a.m. on Saturday following it’s 7 p.m. kickoff on Friday, a total time of 5:32, counting the two delays. Extremely, it may have gone even longer, too; Ironwood Ridge stopped a two-point conversion following a Liberty touchdown in the fourth quarter that will have tied the sport and compelled time beyond regulation.

“It’s a rebuilding yr,” Ironwood Ridge soccer coach Matt Johnson advised the Republic. “But we have now athletes.”

Those athletes began the season with extra endurance than most, that is for sure.

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Jonathan Cooper, Arizona Cardinals’ first-rounder, could be done for year with broken leg

(USA Right now Sports activities Photos) The Cardinals made the good, un-sexy transfer to draft left guard Jonathan Cooper excessive in the first spherical this April to aid probably the most troublesome part of their soccer staff from 2012. The worrying about the offensive line, nonetheless, now extends into this season.

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Cooper reportedly suffered a damaged left fibula within the Cardinals’ 24-7 loss to the Chargers, leaving Arizona with a huge gap to fill up entrance. The injury occurred midway through the third quarter when a Chargers player was blocked into him, and Cooper needed to be helped off the sector.

Afterwards, a very downtrodden Bruce Arians, suffering his first preseason loss as head coach of his new group, sounded reasonably helpless following the news of Cooper’s well being.

“We will appropriate the way we performed,” Arians mentioned. “We will’t appropriate the accidents.”

All indicators point to Cooper being carried out for the season, although Arians held out some hope that the athletic rookie may return in the latter phases of the season. The Cardinals may choose to designate Cooper as their single quick-staff injured reserve candidate with the hope of bringing him again into the fold down the stretch.

His backup is listed as journeyman Chilo Rachal, though starting right guard Daryn Colledge stepped in on the left side final 12 months when things fell apart on the road. Nothing is off the table, in keeping with Arians, who was dismayed along with his group’s effort within the loss, calling it “most likely the dumbest first 30 minutes of soccer I’ve ever seen.”

Dumb and relatively unfortunate for a crew for which things really had been trying up previous to Saturday.

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Arizona coach Sean Miller leads push for changes to July recruiting calendar

Sean Miller (Getty Images)

Convinced that changes made last year to the format of the July evaluation period place too great a strain on prospects and their families, Arizona coach Sean Miller voiced his displeasure during a 14-tweet rant Monday afternoon.

Miller railed against a format that only allows coaches to watch potential recruits in person at summer grassroots tournaments during three five-day evaluation periods in consecutive weeks in July.

Chief among Miller’s complaints was that many families needlessly stay in out-of-state hotels because they either can’t afford to fly home between tournaments or don’t see a purpose in doing with so little time in between events. Those families who do go home between evaluation periods typically fly to the next out-of-state tournament Tuesday night after not being able to return home from the previous event until Monday morning in case their sons’ team advanced to a Sunday night title game.

“I cannot comprehend the rationale of [three five-day] periods,” Miller wrote. “For coaches [and] prospects on the West Coast, there is a chance that they could fly to Augusta, Ga., [and] return home, then two days later fly back to Washington D.C. for the next five-day period.

“I invite anyone that created this model to either jump in a van with one of the travel teams for a month or follow me – this makes no sense. As a coach or parent, you can’t purchase your departing tickets until after the last day of a tournament in case you make it to the finals. However, if you lose earlier in the tournament [and] then can’t afford to go home in between events, you stay in hotels with no games for five days.”

From chatting with a handful of high school prospects, parents and AAU coaches the past two Julys, it’s abundantly clear Miller is not alone in his distaste for the new format.

Top 10 class of 2014 recruit Stanley Johnson tweeted he was “In ATL bored..” on Sunday after his Oakland Soldiers team was eliminated from the Peach Jam in Augusta the previous day. AAU coach and Pangos All-American camp founder Dinos Trigonis tweeted his agreement with Miller, telling the Arizona coach, “It’s about time a major college coach stood up [and] spoke out against a recruiting model that puts the kids last in priority.”

Of course, the irony is the NCAA adopted the current format last year in response to complaints about the previous model of two 10-day evaluation periods separated with a week in between. Many coaches felt players were burnt out by the end of both 10-day periods after playing two and three games a day so many days straight, making it more difficult to effectively evaluate the caliber of prospects.

So is there a solution that will satisfy everyone? Miller’s idea was to create a 12- to 15-day evaluation period in July with no breaks in between, but frankly that would exacerbate many of the same problems seen under the previous format.

The better solution came from those who suggested spreading the five-day periods out more during July. Portland coach Eric Reveno also offered an interesting proposal, suggesting the NCAA eliminate the evaluation period altogether and instead allot coaches a certain number of days they’re allowed to recruit on the road in April and July and let them choose when and where to use them.

Regardless, it’s clear this is a topic that needs further study and discussion, this time hopefully with parents of prospects included.

“The smartest idea the NCAA can do to improve so many of these rules is to create a panel consisting of the prospects’ parents after they have gone through several summers,” Miller tweeted. “Nobody knows better than them.”

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Arizona Cardinals salary cap outlook: Larry Fitzgerald’s cap number jumps in 2014

Sam Acho is a bargain for the Cardinals (USA Today Sports Images)

The “Shutdown Countdown” is underway. In addition to previewing each team, “Shutdown Corner” will be taking a brief look at each team’s salary cap situation heading into the 2013 season and beyond. We continue the series with the Arizona Cardinals.

2013 Adjusted Cap Number: $126.459 million (18th-highest adjusted cap number in the league)

[Related: Cardinals hope to find some offensive punch]

2013 Cap Room Remaining: $10.64 million (10th-most in the league, as of July 6, 2013)

Best Bargain: This is the third entry in this series and one trend readers will notice, if they haven’t already is that thanks to rookie pay being sacrificed in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, the “best bargains” will almost always be players still on their rookie contracts. For the Cardinals, the best bargain is linebacker Sam Acho, who will earn the league minimum salary ($555,000) and count just $673,607 against the cap in the third year of his four-year, $2.51 million rookie contract.

After notching seven sacks while playing a part-time role as a rookie, Acho started 16 games and played in 92.2 percent of the Cardinals’ defensive snaps last season. Acho was outstanding against the run and was a continued presence in the pass rush, totaling four sacks and tying for the team lead with 12 quarterback hits. Acho also picked up the first two interceptions of his NFL career and has become part of the franchise’s defensive nucleus moving forward.

Potential Camp Casualty: Earlier this offseason, the Cardinals shed most of the players that would have found themselves on the roster bubble. Stewart Bradley, Early Doucet, William Gay, Beanie Wells, Kerry Rhodes, Adrian Wilson, Adam Snyder and, of course, Kevin Kolb. Those moves left just a few players remaining who have high salaries and high cap numbers, but there’s little chance of Larry Fitzgerald, Calais Campbell, Levi Brown or Daryn Colledge (who received a $1 million roster bonus in March) going anywhere this summer. A potential, albeit unlikely cut could be Darnell Dockett, a 32-year-old defensive lineman who lost his captaincy last season and is due $4.45 million in base salary with a $7.7 million cap figure this season. Dockett was not a happy camper in 2012, but Ray Horton, the source of Dockett’s frustration, is gone and No. 90 should be a happier, more productive player under Todd Bowles.

Larry Fitzgerald has an $18 million cap hit in 2014 (USA Today Sports Images)

Looming Contract Issue: The base salary in wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s mega-extension jumps from $5 million in 2013 to $12.75 million with his cap figure increasing from $10.25 million to $18 million. Fitzgerald also turns 30 in August and is coming off his least productive season since he was a rookie. Most of Fitzgerald’s dip in productivity can be attributed to the quarterback play. Fitzgerald’s numbers will likely improve with the arrival of head coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Carson Palmer, but the Cardinals will certainly look to reduce Fitzgerald’s impact on the salary cap.

Secondary contractual issues the Cardinals face in 2014 belongs to Daryl Washington. The Pro Bowl-caliber inside linebacker was signed to a four-year, $32 million extension last September, but renegotiated the contract on March 12, 2013 in a move that pushed his $10 million option bonus from 2013 to 2014. Washington led the Cardinals in tackles and sacks last season, but has had some off-field issues and will serve a four-game suspension after violating the league’s substance abuse policy. It appears to be a “no-brainer” at this point, but the Cardinals will also have to decide on whether or not to exercise the fifth-year option on cornerback Patrick Peterson’s contract. That option is worth the transition tender for the 2014 season, which is projected to be worth just over $9 million based on a $123 million league-wide salary cap number in 2014.

Long-Term Cash/Cap Outlook: The Cardinals have around $125 million in cap commitments for the 2014 season, including $3 million in “dead” money from the “post-June 1″ release of Adam Snyder, which puts them in the top half of the league. In 2015, the Cardinals are projected to have about $120 million in cap commitments, which is currently the third-highest amount in the league.

Previous salary cap outlooks

32. Oakland Raiders
31. Jacksonville Jaguars