Women’s NCAA teams best men in grad rates

ORLANDO, Fla. – Women's teams competing in the NCAA tournament are graduating their players at a higher rate than their male counterparts.

A study released Tuesday by the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport shows the women graduating at a rate of 87 percent, compared to 72 percent for the men.

The women's field has 21 teams graduating at 100 percent.

Northwestern State University was the lone women's NCAA tourney team to fall below the NCAA-mandated Academic Progress Rate score of 930, or 50 percent graduation rate equivalent. Eight men's teams were below that standard.

The women also saw 1 percentage point decrease in the disparity between the graduation rates of white and African-Americans. That gap is five percentage points. It is a 24-point gap for men's teams.

Study author Richard Lapchick said the women's success in consistently closing the gap between white and African-American players is proof that the men's gap can also be reduced.

"Clearly the thing that troubles me in these reports the most is the gap between white and African-American athletes, though for women it's very different, and it includes a number of situations where the rates for African-Americans are higher than whites," Lapchick said.

Lapchick said he would like to see disparity gaps be factored into APR calculations to motivate both men and women's teams to improve their numbers.

"If (the gap) is narrowing, it should be a positive impact, but if there is a 30 percentage point or more gap and not narrowing, they should be facing penalties," he said.

Currently, teams scoring below a 925 APR can lose up to 10 percent of their scholarships. Teams can also be subject to penalties for poor academic performance over time.

Beginning with 2012-13 championships, teams must earn a minimum 900 four-year APR or a 930 average over the most recent two years to be eligible for NCAA championships.

The APR was developed by the NCAA in 2004 as a way to improve graduation rates. It is a four-year rolling average of academic performance that takes into account academic eligibility and retention.

The NCAA recently voted to institute stricter policies with regards to APR performance and postseason participation. The new legislation will require teams to have a four-year APR above 930 to qualify for postseason participation the following year.

For 2014-15, teams must earn a 930 four-year average APR or a 940 average over the most recent two years to participate in championships. In 2015-16 and beyond, teams must earn a four-year APR of 930.

To that end, the women in this year's tournament are well on their way to surpassing those benchmarks.

All of the teams in the women's field graduated more than 60 percent of their players except Florida Gulf Coast (40 percent). Eighty-eight percent of the teams in the men's tournament currently graduate at least 60 percent of their players.

"Some people say `What's your real aim with these studies, not anything less than a 100 percent (graduation rate)?' I'm always going to be somebody who wants to see people get the best possible mark they can get," Lapchick said. "There still can be improvement and the area is the gap between white and African-American athletes. If the women can do that, obviously the men can do that."

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press

Read The Original Article

NCAA Tournament Bubble: Take a Blind Taste Test

Georgetown and Providence are in the bubble test

The final examination is getting close. Persons are debating the bubble. (and I might have a post on some of my pet peeves this week). Let’s do a blind check of teams. But rather than talk about how teams did against the RPI high 50 (sure, one of my pet peeves), let’s break it down. The RPI might be misleading, and after we break it down that way, we embrace losses to #1 seeds in the same breath as wins over groups that may not be within the match.

Taking a look at different mock brackets, I divided groups into teams of 15, based mostly on where they have been projected, from top seeds, to bubble teams, to teams probably within the NIT who have fallen off the bubble in recent weeks. This also helps, by the way in which, conceal the identification, as a result of most individuals are used to taking a look at Prime 50. I additionally embody a few other things, my “Wins over Bubble” rating, which takes your complete schedule, together with where video games are performed, and who (so there, even a game at #1 is handled method otherwise than at residence in opposition to #12), plus the general RPI vary a workforce is at present occupying. Few bubble groups have a great successful percentage towards the best groups within the nation. I highlighted in green (good) or orange (bad) when a team was above or below average in a particular category. There are 14 groups right here. 7 should make it, 7 shouldn't.

NCAA Bubble Test

So take the take a look at, who's in and who is out entering match weekend? Mark down the animals you want, after which decide as much as 7 groups to make the event.

Read The Original Article

NCAA Tournament Bubble: 5 Spots for 19 Teams With One Month to Go

Wichita State v Gonzaga

Choice Sunday is nearly a month away (March sixteenth), and we’re starting to get a good suggestion of who is on the dreaded NCAA Match bubble. Before you dive into this, take a look at the newest RPI conference ratings, through CBS Sports: Large 12, Massive Ten, Pac-12, Huge East, ACC, A-10 and then the SEC. Keep that in mind once you check out the bubble.

Right here’s the Bubble – 19 groups for five spots. The “Prime 50″ is the RPI High 50. I’ll put an asterisk by my 5:

Oregon (RPI: forty two, SOS: 14, 1-6 vs. Top 50) *
Xavier (RPI: 43, SOS: 61, 2-four vs. High 50) *
Saint Joseph’s (RPI: 44, SOS: 49, 2-5 vs. Prime 50)
Stanford (RPI: 46, SOS: 30, four-6 vs. Prime 50) *
Missouri (RPI: forty eight, SOS: 74, 1-2 vs. Top 50)
California (RPI: forty nine, SOS: sixty two, three-5 vs. Top 50)*
NC State (RPI: fifty one, SOS: 39, 1-6 vs. High 50)
Baylor (RPI: fifty three, SOS: 12, three-7 vs. High 50)*
Providence (RPI: 55, SOS: fifty eight, 2-four vs. Top 50)
Georgetown (RPI: fifty seven, SOS: 27, 3-5 vs. Prime 50)
Dayton (RPI: 58, SOS: 59, 3-four vs High 50)
Boise State (RPI: 59, SOS: 28, 1-5 vs Prime 50)
St. John’s (RPI: 61, SOS: 34, 1-5 vs. High 50)
Ole Miss (RPI: sixty two, SOS: ninety six, 1-four vs. Prime 50)
Florida State (RPI: sixty four, SOS: forty three, 2-6 vs. High 50)
LSU (RPI: 65, SOS: 87, 3-three vs. Prime 50)
West Virginia (RPI: 66, SOS: 51, 3-8 vs. Prime 50)
Washington (RPI: seventy one, SOS: 38, 4-6 vs. Prime 50)
Indiana (RPI: ninety one, SOS: 70, 2-5 vs. Top 50)

Energy Conferences – 46 Bids (forty one in)

Huge 12 (6)

In: Kansas, Texas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Iowa State, Oklahoma State (RPI: 35, SOS: 16, Three Prime 25 Wins)

Bubble: Baylor (RPI: fifty three, SOS: 12, Three High 50 Wins), West Virginia (RPI: 66, SOS: 51, Three Top 50 Wins)

andrew wiggins wow

Massive 10 (6)

In: Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Minnesota

Bubble: Indiana (RPI: ninety one, SOS: 70, Two High 25 wins)

Pac 12 (four)

In: Arizona, UCLA, Arizona State, Colorado

Bubble: California (RPI: forty nine, SOS: sixty two, Three High 50 wins), Stanford (RPI: forty six, SOS: 30, Four High 50 wins), Oregon (RPI: forty two, SOS: 14, 1 Top 50 Win) Washington (RPI: seventy one, SOS: 38, Four Top 50 wins)

ACC (5):

In: Syracuse, Virginia, Duke, Pittsburgh, North Carolina

Bubble: NC State (RPI: 51, SOS: 39, 1 Top 50 win), Florida State (RPI: 64, SOS: 43, Two High 25 wins)


American (5)

In: Cincinnati, Louisville, SMU, Memphis, UConn

Bubble: None

SEC (three)

In: Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee (RPI: 50, SOS: eight, Two High 50 wins)

Bubble: Ole Miss, (RPI: 62, SOS: 96, 1 Top 50 win), LSU (RPI: sixty five, SOS: 87, Three High 50 wins), Missouri (RPI: forty eight, SOS: seventy four, 1 Top 50 win),

Large East (2)

In: Villanova, Creighton 

Bubble: Xavier (RPI: forty three, SOS: 61, Two Top 50 wins), St. John’s (RPI: sixty one, SOS: 34, 1 High 50 win), Georgetown (RPI: 57, SOS: 27, Two Top 25 wins), Windfall (RPI: fifty five, SOS: 58, Two Top 50 wins)

Doug McDermott flagrant 1

Atlantic 10 (5)

In: Saint Louis, VCU, Massachusetts (RPI: 20, SOS: 69, Three Top 50 wins), Richmond (RPI: forty one, SOS: 36, Two Top 50 Wins), George Washington (RPI: 26, SOS: ninety eight, 2-2 vs. High 50)

Bubble: Saint Joseph’s (RPI: forty four, SOS: 49, Two Top 25 wins), Dayton (RPI: 58, SOS: 59, Three Top 50 wins)

Mountain West (3)

In: San Diego State, New Mexico, UNLV

Bubble: Boise State (RPI: 59, SOS: 28, 1 Top 50 win)

West Coast (2)

In: Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s BYU (RPI: 45, SOS: 23, Two High 50 wins)

Bubble: BYU

Saint Mary’s (RPI: fifty six, SOS: ninety two, One Prime 50 win)

Auto Bids (22 teams from 22 leagues)

America East – Vermont
Atlantic Sun – Mercer
Huge Sky – Weber State
Large South – Coastal Carolina
Huge West – UC Irvine
Colonial – Delaware
Convention USA – Southern Miss
Horizon – Green Bay
Ivy – Harvard
MAAC – Iona
Mid-American – Toledo
MEAC – North Carolina Central
Missouri Valley – Wichita State
Northeast – Robert Morris
Ohio Valley – Belmont
Patriot League – Boston College
Southern – Davidson
Southland – Stephen F. Austin
SWAC – Southern University
Summit League – North Dakota State
Sun Belt – Georgia State
WAC – Utah Valley

Read The Original Article

Keith Allen, GM of Flyers’ title teams, dies at 90


Allen coached the Flyers to first in their division in their first season. (Flyers.com)
Allen coached the Flyers to first in their division of their first season. (Flyers.com)Extra NHL: Scores | Standings | League Leaders | Odds | Injuries | Power Rankings

The Philadelphia Flyers lost a franchise icon on Tuesday when the franchise’s first head coach and former basic supervisor Keith Allen died. He was 90 years previous.

Allen truly joined the Flyers the year before they performed their first sport and served as their head coach from Day 1. In that first season the Flyers won the West Division. Allen remained behind the bench till 1970.

He additionally took over the role of normal supervisor beginning in 1969 and held that title for the subsequent 14 years. He was instrumental in building the roster that won a pair of Stanley Cups for the Flyers in 1974 and 1975, the only two titles in Flyers history.

“Keith was the primary coach in the history of the Philadelphia Flyers and a person for whom I have large respect,” Philadelphia Flyers Chairman Ed Snider said in a release. “In my mind, he was and always shall be one of many best General Managers in the historical past of hockey. He was referred to as ‘Keith the Thief,’ I never knew of a bad deal he made. This workforce would never have reached the extent of success we have had over the previous 48 years if it were not for Keith.

“Through the years he became certainly one of my closest confidants and considered one of my greatest pals. I will never forget all of the many reminiscences we shared together.” added Snider. “I want to prolong my condolences to Keith’s household, his spouse Joyce, their sons, Brad and Blake, and their daughter, Traci, and their 4 grandchildren, Chelsea, Shay, Jillian, and Chase. He will sorely be missed by all of us.”

You won’t discover many individuals in hockey who didn’t have the utmost respect for Allen. That features Jody Clarke, the daughter of Flyers great Bobby Clarke.

Keith Allen took a chance on my dad when nobody else would. A hockey icon and superb human being. RIP Mr Allen. #philadelphiaflyers #thief— Jody Clarke (@jodylclarke) February 4, 2014

Commissioner Gary Bettman also launched a statement on behalf of the league.

“Keith Allen all the time found a solution to deliver distinctive talent to Broad Road and weave it into the fabric of a workforce that would succeed and endure on the highest level, as a result of in Philadelphia, for his Flyers and their followers, no different stage was acceptable.

“The Nationwide Hockey League sends heartfelt condolences to Keith’s household, to his friends and to the Flyers organization, which has lost one in all its patriarchs.”

Allen was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992 as part of the Builders category.

As a participant, Allen solely appeared in 28 career NHL games, with the Red Wings in 1953-54 and fifty four-fifty five. He did not rating a aim however did have 4 assists as a defenseman.






Read The Original Article

5 teams Looking at Tankara

The list of Tanaka hopefuls has reportedly already been whittled down.

(USATSI)The list of Tanaka hopefuls has reportedly been whittled down. (USATSI)
a lot more: Tanaka vs. past NPB exports As the Masahiro Tanaka free agency saga gets to the end-game stages (the deadline for him to make a decision is this Friday), 5 teams have reportedly surfaced as the strongest candidates in order to sign the coveted japan right-hander. MLB. com's Joey Nowak writes that the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, White Sox and Diamondbacks are regarded as the leading suitors at this past due hour.

The implication is that formerly named hopefuls like the Astros, Mariners and Angels not necessarily presently in the running with regard to Tanaka's services. Also associated with note is that CBSSports. com's Jon Heyman back upon Jan. 9 named those same Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, white-colored Sox and Diamondbacks as the biggest players for Tanaka.


As for Tanaka himself, the 25-year-old is coming off a 2013 season with the Rakuten fantastic Eagles in which he proceeded to go 24-0 with a 1. twenty-seven ERA and struck away 182 batters in 212 innings. In addition to the $20 mil posting fee owed in order to Rakuten, Tanaka is expected to fetch a contract that will pay him around $20-25 mil per over at least 6 years.

Tanaka meeting with as many as 12 MLB teams

Masahiro Tanaka is expected to meet with as many as a dozen MLB teams by Friday.

(USATSI)Masahiro Tanaka is expected to meet with as many as a dozen MLB teams by Friday. (USATSI)
Superstar free-agent pitcher Masahiro Tanaka kicked off his free agency in earnest with clandestine meetings Wednesday and will see as many as a dozen or so teams by Friday in the Los Angeles area. The Dodgers, Angels, Cubs, White Sox, Yankees and Diamondbacks are believed to be among teams to have meetings planned. Tanaka, who is expected to receive in excess of $100 million, and perhaps well in excess of that figure, is scheduled to be seen by a Los Angeles doctor while there in order to provide a medical status to all the interested teams.

There was no official word from any of the teams said to have meetings planned, as it appears this is being taken as a heavily guarded secret.


The Dodgers, Angels, Cubs, Yankees and Diamondbacks have long been known to have a keen interest in the 25-year-old righthander who went a magical 24-0 with a 1. 27 ERA for Rakuten, and earned virtual free agency via a revamped posting system that only will require the winning team to give $20 million to Rakuten, far short of what the Japanese teams received for previous Japanese pitching stars Daisuke Matsuzaka and Yu Darvish.

The Jays are among several others teams to have had multiple discussions with team Tanaka, but there was no word they had a meeting planned as of yet. Other teams reported to have some interest have included the Mariners, Twins and Rangers. It isn't known which other teams have a meeting planned besides the two Los Angeles teams, the two Chicago teams, the Yankees and Diamondbacks.

It is believed Tanaka, with agent Casey Close there, may have as many as five or six meetings planned per day, and the meetings are definitely continuing today.

The Yankees along with the Dodgers are the richest teams and in the best financial position to win the pitcher, but New York's case is complicated a bit by its desire to stay under the $189-million luxury-tax threshold. Should the Yankees sign Tanaka, they may have to offload a few other contracts to have any chance to get under the $189-million mark, though their desire for the player may ultimately cost them the ability to do so – especially if Alex Rodriguez receives a favorable ruling from baseball's arbitrator and doesn't have to sit out the entire 2014 season in the Biogenesis/PED case.

Teams love the fact that Tanaka is only 25 (he just turned 25) but the one question is the heavy workload he's had early – a question that could be alleviated to some degree with the medical exam.

Scouts marvel at Tanaka's exceptional poise and mound presence, and though most suggest Darvish may be more talented, others aren't so sure. Said one GM, whose team isn't even believed to be involved, “Tanaka's the better pitcher. ”

Read The Original Article

NHL doubling NBA in teams playing to full houses

Chicago is one of 15 NHL cities selling out every game. (Getty Images)
Chicago is one in all 15 NHL cities promoting out each sport. (Getty Photographs)

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

In relation to watching reside sports, many individuals will agree that nothing beats hockey. It can be robust for some to watch and follow on television however in particular person? It is excellent. From the board-rattling hits to the juice that a scrap offers the gang and simply the pace of the sport, hockey is a superb spectator sport.

Maybe that’s why the NHL can boast better attendance numbers this season than its calendar counterpart, the NBA. The two leagues run almost congruently from begin to finish and that results in comparisons occasionally. This is one the NHL will take pleasure in.

From CSN Chicago:

According to the latest attendance data, the NHL is averaging more sellout crowds than the NBA.

All through the 2013-14 season, 15 NHL markets have averaged no less than 100% capability in their house stands: The Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, Minnesota Wild, Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets.

The NBA, on the other hand, has only eight markets averaging a minimum of 100 percent capacity this season: The Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks, Miami Warmth, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder and Houston Rockets.

It’s hard to complain a couple of league doing poorly when half the groups are enjoying to a mean of 100% capacity or better this season. Not unhealthy for a sport that many fans mentioned they were going to swear off after another lockout last 12 months.

Actually it helps to have seven franchises in Canada where hockey is the national pastime however note that 10 American hockey markets are saying they’ve sold out each game. That alone is greater than the NBA’s record.

This does not imply that the NHL’s reputation is bigger than that of the NBA, TELEVISION rankings will tell a a lot different story, however it no less than shows that hockey continues to develop, significantly in the States. Hopefully this does not encourage the NHL and NHLPA to suppose they can proceed the lockout patter every seven or so years as a result of the followers will not give up coming.

S/t Nina Falcone

Read The Original Article


Three SEC teams fined over fans storming field

Auburn fans celebrate on the field after beating Alabama in the Iron Bowl.

The SEC is fining Auburn, Ole Miss and Missouri for allowing fans to rush the field after big wins this fall.Auburn and Missouri will be fined $5, 000 each, while Ole Miss will be fined $25, 000, since this is its second offense.

Auburn’s violation occurred after its dramatic win over Alabama on Nov. 30 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Missouri’s came after its win over Texas A&M, also on Nov. 30. Ole Miss’ violation came following its win over LSU on Oct. 19.


“These were some of the most exciting and intriguing games of the college football season and we understand the exuberance of our fans in the celebration of their schools’ victories, ” said SEC commissioner Mike Slive in a release. “But these incidents pose a significant risk of injury and we must always make the health and safety of our student-athletes and fans the top priority. ”

Read The Original Article


US and Canadian women’s hockey get into a fight


GRAND FORKS, N. D. – The United States and Canadian women’s hockey teams brawled again late in the Americans’ 4-1 pre-Olympic exhibition game Friday night.

The two teams also fought in October late in a game in Burlington, Vt., with all 10 skaters squaring off late in the third period. They had another big scrap in 2010.

This time, Americans Hilary Knight, Gigi Marvin, Monique Lamoureux, Jocelyne Lamoureux and Kacey Bellamy brawled with Canada’s Melodie Daoust, Jocelyne Larocque, Meaghan Mikkelson, Vicki Bendus and Brianne Jenner with nine seconds left. They all received fighting majors in a string of penalties.

“I’m not a proponent of fighting in hockey, but I am a proponent of standing up for yourself, ” U. S. coach Katey Stone said. “We will not be pushed around. ”

Jocelyne Lamoureux body-checked Jenner and was at the center of the melee.

“We thought (Jenner) took a little run (at Josephine Pucci), ” said Lamoureux, a former University of North Dakota star playing in her home rink. “I think we came in and defended our teammates, did what we had to do. It’s always going to be heated (against Canada). The intensity is always going to be there. ”

Jocelyn and Monique Lamoureux, Knight and Brianna Decker scored for the Americans.

Emotions began boiling over midway through the third period after a pair of roughing penalties against Decker and Canada’s Meghan Acosta-Marciano.

“We’re prepared to play whatever game we have to play, ” Stone said. “We’ll go hard, we’ll play clean, but if the game gets out of hand we’ll manage that as well. ”

Young girls in the crowd cheered wildly as Jocelyne Lamoureux was led to the penalty box. The Grand Forks native recalled watching as youngster when the U. S. women’s team played a game at the arena before the 2002 Olympics.

“I remember thinking, this is where I want to be and this is what I want to do, ” Lamoureux said. “So if I can do that for someone else and our team can be an inspiration for some of these little girls that came out here tonight, then that’s pretty cool. ”

Haley Irwin scored for Canada.

Kevin Dineen, fired last month as coach of the NHL’s Florida Panthers, directed the Canadian team for the first time after taking over for Dan Church.

“It was up and down, ” Dineen said. “We had some good spurts and we fell off. Moving forward, we’ll look for a little more consistency out of this group. Certainly there’s some skill out there. ”

Church resigned Dec. 12, hours before the two teams met in Calgary, Alberta, saying he felt others lacked confidence in his ability to lead the country to a fourth consecutive gold medal.

The teams will meet again Dec. 28 in Paul, Minn.

Read The Original Article


Pitino vs. Pitino

Louisville coach Rick Pitino and Minnesota coach Richard Pitino may play a unique father-son game in following season’s Armed Forces Classic at the Oughout. S. Coast Guard’s Air Place Borinquen in Puerto Rico.

[+] EnlargePitinosAndy Lyons/Getty PicturesLouisville coach Rick Pitino (left) and his son coached towards each other in 2012 when Richard has been at Florida International. They’ll try it again next season when the Cardinals perform Minnesota in the Armed Forces Classic.

The overall game, to be played on Nov. fourteen, 2014, is sponsored by the Division of Defense and ESPN.

The third-annual online game follows up last month’s Oregon victory over Georgetown at Camp Humphreys within Pyeongtaek, South Korea, played in a U. S. Army base.

A year ago, Connecticut beat The state of michigan State in a game for the Air Push at Ramstein Air Base within Germany.

The particular inaugural military game on the USS Carl Vinson off Coronado Tropical isle in 2011, a game won by Northern Carolina over Michigan State, was in combination with the U. S. Navy yet isn’t a part of the five-year rotation from the Armed Forces Classic.

ESPN and the DOD also introduced Wednesday the 2015 Armed Forces Traditional with teams to be determined is going to be held on a U. S. Ocean base, likely outside the United States, upon Nov. 13, 2015.

The fifth and last game in this series may be the the majority of anticipated. The 2016 event is a doubleheader at a Naval base within a hangar at Pearl Harbor upon Nov. 11, less than a month prior to the 75th anniversary of the infamous assault on the Honolulu base.

The four teams for your 2016 event will be announced at a later time.

Read The Original Article


NBA Prediction Week 7 Game Preview/Pick- Clippers vs. Spurs


San Antonio Spurs (19-4) @ Los Angeles Clippers (16-9) 12/16- 10:30PM EST


Line: SAS -1.5

Over/Under: 201


The Los Angeles are finally home Monday night after a long seven-game road trip and waiting for them will be one of the best teams in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs.


The Clippers (16-9) survived their road trip going 4-3 and now will be met with another challenge at home with their longtime nemesis.


It’s a test, a good test,” forward Blake Griffin said. “To be away for a long period of time and come home and play a top-notch team, a team that always executes and plays the right way, so that’s why I think it will be a good test for us.”


This will be the first meeting for the two teams with the Spurs go in having won four straight and the Clips having won three of their last five, but beating the Spurs is something the Clippers have struggled mightily with losing 34 of 39, with Chris Paul having lost eight of eleven, including a four-game sweep to the Spurs in the 2012 playoffs.


After a slow start in his first 13 games, Tim Duncan has been on his game since November 29 averaging 17.9 points on 56.9 percent shooting with 10.3 boards.


It’s not really that hard to do much better,” Duncan said of his early season struggles. “I’m still not shooting the ball well, but I’m trying to play hard and find ways to contribute.”


Duncan went for 22 and 12 in a 100-84 win over Utah on Saturday and has refused to sit out a game and rest with the road trip coming up.


We were never worried about Timmy. I’ve been saying (it) since the beginning of the season,” point guard Tony Parker said. “He’s the last guy we ever need to worry about. But now he’s getting aggressive and getting his shot back.”


Both teams can put point on the boards, but if the Clippers want to have a better chance to get a victory, they will need a better performance from Blake Griffin, who has been struggling with an average of just 16.0 points on 41.0 percent shooting over his last six games.


The Clippers go in scoring 103.7 points per game and the Spurs put up 103.3 points per contest, but the oddsmakers have made the Spurs a slight favorite of (minus -1.5) point on road with their long success on the Clippers. Get the latest spread on the game up until tip off right here at Wonder Punter.


San Antonio has owned the Clippers in recent years, but I predict the Clips putting together a complete game and sending the Spurs out of Staples Center with a loss.


Prediction/Pick- Los Angeles Clippers

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter


NCAA Prediction Week 14 College Football Game Preview/Pick- #1 Alabama vs. #4 Auburn


#1 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-0) @ #4 Auburn Tigers (10-1) 11/30- 3:30PM EST


Line: ALA -10.5

Over/Under: 55.0


With the biggest game of the year or perhaps ever for this in-state rivalry for both No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 Auburn set for Saturday afternoon, both teams are treating this SEC showdown as “any other game.” Don’t tell the fans in hundreds of RVs who are already parked down the way from Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium a week before both teams get ready to battle that it’s “just other game.”


The let’s not give them any billboard material game is well underway between both teams…


Quarterback A.J. McCarron of Alabama says the Tigers are merely “the next team in our way,” regardless of their record.


Auburn’s H-back Jay Prosch says Iron Bowl preparation has been business as usual.


Between Alabama and Auburn, they have been the winners of the last four national championships and these teams are in a position to make a return appearance once more.


Saturday’s potential classic in the making will mark the first time these two teams have met since both being ranked in the top five since 1971 when Bama was No. 3 and the Tigers No. 5 which saw the Tide roll over Auburn 31-7.


Alabama (11-0, 7-0) controls their own destiny in pursuit of their third straight BCS title, whereas the Auburn Tigers (10-1, 6-1) will need No. 2 Florida State or No. 3 Ohio State to lose, if they can pull off a victory on Saturday.


However, the Iron Bowl winner was still need to get past either No. 5 Missouri or No. 10 South Carolina in the Southeastern Conference championship game. Tough road for all teams involved.


Alabama coach Nick Saban has his team focused to capture their third consecutive national title and fourth in five years with a one game at a time approach.


AJ McCarron echoed his coaches sentiments about their approach to each and every game.


I really don’t care what their record his,” he said. “They’re still the next team in our way trying to take what we worked for.”


Prosch agreed…. “It feels like we’ve been preparing for every other team, not really anything different,” he said. “We all know it’s a huge game and we’re going to play our hearts out, preparing like we normally do.”


Players who are recruited by either school quickly learn what it means to play in the Iron Bowl and to be part of something special.


Auburn tight end C.J. Uzomah had this to say about the rivalry…


You step on the campus and that’s the first thing you hear,” Uzomah said. “You get recruited and that’s the focal point that can define the season, like it is this upcoming season.”


The students, the fans, the RVs, the hype… “This is going to be huge.


It’s going to be the most unbelievable atmosphere I’ve ever gotten to play in,” he said.


It’s been a somewhat special season for the Tigers who put themselves in this position by a miraculous “Hail-Mary” last minute win over Georgia 43-38 back on November 16.


With early opening lines giving the Tide a (minus) -10.5 point favorite over Auburn on the road, oddsmakers believe it’s going to take more then a miracle for the Auburn Tigers to beat the Crimson Tide, but get all the updated lines for the game here at Wonder Punter up until kickoff.


Coach Saban is a master at keeping his teams poised and focused for the next task at hand and following the Chattanooga game last Saturday said this…


Our focus obviously needs to immediately shift to the opportunities that we have created for ourselves and the games that we have in the future,” Saban said. “Obviously the one that we have this week coming up against Auburn is a very important game. They have a great team. They’ve had a great season.


It’s going to be important for everybody in our organization to make a commitment to doing their very best job to play their best football, because that’s probably what’s it going to take to have success against a very good team.”


Alabama had Iron Bowl victories in 2012 and 2011. The Tigers last victory over Bama was in their national championship year in 2010 when Cam Newton rallied the Tigers to victory 28-27.


Both teams have a well balanced offensive attack with strong running games—Bama with sophomore T.J. Yeldon with 164 rushes for 1022 yards and 12 touchdowns and the Tigers with junior Tre Mason with 208 carries for 1153 yards with 17 touchdowns.


It’s the defensive side of the ball for Alabama that is impressive, where their stingy defense has allowed only 9.3 points per contest.


It’s going to be a good one and may be closer then the spread indicates, but in the end… Alabama will prevail.


It’s definitely good because when you have something to play for, you just have a lot of motivation to play your best,” Tide receiver Kevin Norwood said. “ And we know they are going to play their best.”


Alabama to me is just a well coached and well disciplined football team. And let’s not forget how great of a quarterback A.J. McCarron is. He doesn’t get all the Heisman Trophy hype like most of the QBs in the nation get because he doesn’t put up the outrageous numbers…. all he does is win football games and national championships. McCarron is 190 of 277 with 2,399 yards passing with 23 touchdowns.


PICK: Alabama



By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter


NCAA Week 12 Picks and Predictions

NCAA Week 12 Picks – Mario Martinez

Some teams you’re contemplating in your 2014 NCAA predictions had been lousy in November but great in February. Different groups had been superb in November however no good in February. In case your picks for the 2014 NCAA tournament have a crew going far, the previous is extra probably better than the latter. However do not assign an excessive amount of significance in your 2014 NCAA predictions to the last two or three games of the common season. From a predictive perspective, being nice in December and superb in February is best than enjoying poorly in December and nice in February. Because the Selection Committee rightly says, the total physique of labor issues.
Some NCAA tournament teams beat the teams they’re purported to beat, and lose to the teams they’re speculated to lose to. Different NCAA groups in 2014 have beaten some higher teams, however have misplaced to some actual stinkers. In case your 2014 NCAA predictions have a excessive consistency, they are less prone to knock off a a lot better opponent, but are also less likely to get upset by a match underdog. Our Consistency ratings may help you make your NCAA predictions in 2014 by identify which groups match the above descriptions.

When making your NCAA predictions in 2014, an important consideration when selecting your NCAA predictions for the latter rounds is a crew’s total odds of making that round. But another factor is the percentages of winning any individual recreation. We publish particular person game NCAA predictions for every single first spherical match up. Okay, that’s not unusual. We additionally publish individual sport odds for every single hypothetical NCAA match matchup Using our Matchup Predictor you may see NCAA predictions from six different pc models for any pair of teams. That may be very useful when filling within the later rounds of your 2014 NCAA predictions.

Convention Tournament Winners – The media likes to make an enormous deal about NCAA conference champions being “scorching” going into the tournament, however normally, that does not make those teams good winners for your NCAA predictions. A three recreation successful streak doesn’t make a dominant workforce, so be wary of basing your 2014 NCAA predictions solely on conference event play. Connecticut last season is clearly a counterexample of a sizzling team that was a god NCAA pick, but keep in mind that the Huskies had been incredible in their non conference schedule, and their Massive East event run featured 5 games, not simply three.

That is our favorite time of 12 months at WonderPunter.


At home in new stadium, Sporting KC no longer city’s “stepchild” despite other pro teams’ success

Picture Credit:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The first two years of Sporting Kansas Metropolis’s surge in popularity, after years of getting stepchild standing in taking part in other groups’ stadiums, came with the town’s two other main sports franchises mired in mediocrity or worse.

The same can’t be mentioned this year, with Major League Baseball’s Royals coming off a uncommon profitable season and the NFL’s Chiefs surging from last season’s 2-14 debacle to a 9-zero start earlier than last weekend’s 27-17 setback in Denver. But Sporting’s passionate assist has only continued to develop as they intention for their first MLS Cup closing berth since 2004.

Sporting Park is bought out to fireside-code capacity for Saturday’s Jap Conference Championship in opposition to Houston (7:30 pm ET; NBCSN, Univision Deportes, RDS2 in Canada) – and if Sporting come out on top in that match, their residence floor will probably be jammed again on Dec. 7 for the Cup ultimate.

That is especially gratifying to manager Peter Vermes, who remembers the times when the then-Wizards, even in probably the most profitable season in membership history, struggled to draw fans to cavernous Arrowhead Stadium, the home of the Chiefs.

“I feel it’s nice that the Chiefs are finding success,” Vermes informed MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday. “I believe it’s nice for town. But the different factor is that, in the midst of all that, we have discovered our niche and our fan base is there. It says a lot in regards to the group. It says quite a bit concerning the workforce. It says rather a lot concerning the fan base.”

Vermes was a member of the 2000 crew that gained Kansas Metropolis’s solely MLS Cup – in a 12 months where the Chiefs completed 7-9 and did not make the playoffs. However the NFL group still persistently drew a capacity crowd to Arrowhead, while the Wizards’ dramatic extra time win against LA in the Cup semifinals came in front of only 8,320 fans.

Sporting routinely draw greater than twice that number for normal-season matches in Sporting Park, which opened in 2011 – the identical 12 months the membership rebranded and commenced to take the city by storm.

“We now have our own place now that we call residence,” Vermes mentioned. “The followers have a spot we’re not leasing or renting from anyone else, where we’re the stepchild there.”

But a shiny new stadium solely goes to this point in gaining and protecting fan assist. Despite stumbling towards the Dynamo within the playoffs in 2011 and last year, Sporting have been among the many league’s strongest groups and gained the 2012 US Open Cup since shifting into their new digs.

And with a win on Saturday, they might ship something Kansas Metropolis hasn’t had because the Royals received the 1985 World Series – an opportunity to win it all at home.

“It’s superior,” stated left again Seth Sinovic, who grew up in close by Overland Park, Kan. “If you happen to’d told me at the start of the year that we might have two video games at residence to win the championship, I would take it. Hopefully, we get that opportunity with a victory on Saturday.”


Read The Original Article


Forbes releases first MLS Most Valuable Teams list since 2008

Photograph Credit:

The Seattle Sounders might have been bounced from the playoffs within the Convention Semifinals, but they’re MLS’s prime-valued club, based on Forbes.

The outlet, famous for its many enterprise-associated rankings, launched the primary listing of MLS’s Most Helpful Teams since 2008, and the Sounders, who weren’t even in MLS again then, got here out on prime. The LA Galaxy, who topped the 2008 listing, got here in second, follwed by the Portland Timbers, who’re in simply their third yr in MLS.

High 5 on MLS’s Most valuable Teams record, per Forbes:

  1. Seattle Sounders, $175m
  2. LA Galaxy, $170m
  3. Portland Timbers, $141m
  4. Houston Dynamo, $125m
  5. Toronto FC, $121m

See the total record at Forbes.com

Read The Original Article


Pacquiao and Rios teams get into a brawl at the gym

Roach, left, with Manny Pacquiao. (Reuters/Tyrone Siu)Roach, left, with Manny Pacquiao. (Reuters/Tyrone Siu)

A verbal and physical altercation erupted between Freddie Roach, Robert Garcia, and a number of other other members of each Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios’ teams on Wednesday. Pacquiao and Rios sq. off on Saturday in Macau.

Roach was kicked in the chest by Rios’ conditioning coach Alex Ariza, and a number of people involved in the scuffle exchanged profanities before members of the media and camera crews.

“[Ariza] bodily assaulted me,” Roach mentioned. “And I’m calling the police right now.”

“The very first thing he mentioned was, ‘Get out of right here you piece of [expletive],” Garcia stated. “That was the first thing he told me. I used to be like, ‘What?’ He was like, ‘Get the [expletive] out of right here.’ He called me a bit of [expletive]. Then he known as my good friend ‘a [expletive] Mexican,’ and he known as [reporter] Elie [Seckbach], ‘a [expletive] Jew.’ What the [expletive] is that?”

roach rios

Ariza, who beforehand served as Pacquiao’s energy and conditioning coach earlier than being fired by Roach, claimed he had been attacked first.

“[Roach] was going to hit Robert [Garcia] … He checked out me, cocked his fist back and I kicked him in the chest. … While you elevate your fist at somebody, the other person has the fitting to defend themselves and that’s what I used to be doing.”

When requested by a reporter if he regretted kicking Roach in the chest, Ariza didn’t again down.

“Regret what? I remorse that he couldn’t act like a professional and are available over and have some dignity and class.”


Read The Original Article


Celtics’ Ainge denies talking to teams about Rondo


Rajon Rondo is in trade rumors... again. (USATSI) Rajon Rondo is in trade rumors.. again. (USATSI)


Getting a bit bored with the identical track and dance, Danny.

On Monday, the Boston Herald spoke to Danny Ainge, who denied, yet once more, that the Celtics are in any respect concerned about trading Rajon Rondo or have fielded calls in pursuit of such a deal.

“I have never talked to any groups about Rajon Rondo,” Celts’ president of basketball operation Danny Ainge informed the Herald [Monday] morning.

He has, nevertheless, fielded quite a few calls desirous to now if the rumors are true.

“It is irritating,” Ainge said.

He went on to reiterate that Rondo, nonetheless rehabbing from ACL surgical procedure, is a significant part of the Celtics’ plans going ahead.

via Celtics Insider | Boston Herald.

Have you learnt what number of occasions we have heard this? Rondo has been concerned in commerce rumors for 3 years. You really think that’s all made up? Simply different GMs pranking Ainge? Are these rumors just journalists compromising their integrity across multiple outlets and timespans to try and sully the good Celtics identify?

In that case, you should not.

Ainge is purchasing everybody. He can toe the “We do not rebuild, we reload” line all he wants, however the staff is awful whether or not Rondo comes again from ACL surgery or not, and Rondo has vexed the Celtics by being each an All-Star and a participant of questionable ceiling for years. He’s a phenomenal level guard who doesn’t get alongside great with others, clashes along with his coaches, struggles shooting and might make a few of the most wonderful plays at each ends you’ll see within the league.

That is the very model of a commerce asset.

However hey, a GM says they don’t seem to be buying and selling their most beneficial participant, in order that’s clearly the tip of it.

We’ll see you subsequent week when the subsequent spherical of Rondo commerce rumors “inexplicably” pop up.

Read The Original Article


NCAA Week 13 BCS Top 25 Standings


NCAA College Football Top 25 standings


With 12 full weeks of College Football in the books, here is the latest BCS Top 25 rankings going into week 13. The top 10 for the most part remains about the same with the exception of teams moving up and previous No. 4 Stanford falling five spots to No. 9 with their loss to USC on Saturday night and Oklahoma State earning a top 10 spot.

Three new teams… USC, Ole Miss and Minnesota enter the Top 25 as the college football season begins to wind down and teams continue to jockey for a BCS major bowl-bid which is granted to the top 16 teams.


Ranking, team, points and previous ranking in parentheses will be displayed for you.



1 Alabama (10-0) .9914 (1)

2 Florida St. (10-0) .9661 (2)

3 Ohio St. (10-0) .8869 (3)

4 Baylor (9-0) .8856 (5)

5 Oregon (9-1) .7917 (6)

6 Auburn (10-1) 7860 (7)

7 Clemson (9-1) .7681 (8)

8 Missouri (9-1) .7231 (9)

9 Stanford (8-2) .6238 (4)

10 Oklahoma St. (9-1) .5890 (12)

11 South Carolina (8-2) .5883 (10)

12 Texas A&M (8-2) .5394 (11)

13 Michigan St. (9-1) .4646 (16)

14 UCLA (8-2) .4615 (13)

15 Fresno St. (9-0) .4134 (14)

16 N Illinois (10-0) .3729 (15)

17 Arizona St. (8-2) .3414 (19)

18 UCF (8-1) .3033 (17)

19 Wisconsin (8-2) .2907 (22)

20 Oklahoma (8-2) .2760 (18)

21 Louisville (9-1) .2664 (20)

22 LSU (7-3) .2645 (21)

23 USC (8-3) .1070 (NR)

24 Ole Miss (7-3) .1048 (NR)

25 Minnesota (8-2) .0604 (NR)


In the following days I will have Week 13’s Top 25 schedule with the latest lines spread.

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter



Fan sues Royals for mascot hot dog thrown at face

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – If it had been a foul ball or broken bat that struck John Coomer within the eye as he watched a Kansas City Royals sport, it’s unlikely the courts would have pressured the staff to pay for the surgeries and struggling he’s endured.

But as a result of it was a sizzling dog thrown by the crew mascot – behind the again, no much less – he just might have a case.

The Missouri Supreme Court is weighing whether the “baseball rule” – a legal normal that protects teams from being sued over fan accidents caused by events on the field, courtroom or rink – ought to apply to accidents caused by mascots or different personnel that groups employ to engage followers. As a result of the case may set a legal precedent, it may change how teams in other cities and sports approach interacting with fans at their games.

Kansas City Royals mascotA fan hit within the eye by a hot canine thrown by Sluggerrr, the mascot for the Kansas Metropolis Royals, has had two surgical procedures after struggling a indifferent retina. He’s suing the Royals.

Coomer, of Overland Park, Kan., says he was injured at a September 2009 Royals game when the group’s lion mascot, Sluggerrr, threw a four-ounce, foil-wrapped wiener into the stands that struck his eye. He needed to have two surgeries – one to restore a indifferent retina and the opposite to remove a cataract that developed and implant a synthetic lens. Coomer’s imaginative and prescient is worse now than before he was hurt and he has paid roughly $4,800 in medical prices, mentioned his lawyer, Robert Tormohlen.

Coomer, fifty three, declined to debate the case. His lawsuit seeks an award of “over $20,000″ from the workforce, but the actual amount he is searching for is likely a lot higher. Tormohlen declined to debate the precise amount.

The Jackson County jurors who first heard the case two years in the past sided with the Royals, saying Coomer was fully at fault for his harm because he wasn’t conscious of what was occurring around him. An appeals court docket overturned that decision in January, nonetheless, ruling that whereas being struck by a baseball is an inherent risk followers assume at video games, being hit with a sizzling dog isn’t.

The state Supreme Court heard oral arguments final month however didn’t point out when it would challenge its ruling.

Few circumstances have addressed the level of authorized responsibility, or obligation, a mascot owes to fans, so Coomer’s case is being closely watched by teams all through the nation, mentioned Tormohlen.

“If a jury finds that the activity at situation is an inherent and unavoidable risk, the Royals owe no obligation to their spectators,” Tormohlen stated. “No case has prolonged the no-duty rule to the activities of a mascot.”

The Royals, whose spokesman declined to comment on the case whereas it’s pending, have argued that the hot canine toss has been a popular fan attraction at Kauffman Stadium since 2000 and is as much part of the game expertise as strikeouts and home runs.

With such amenities as mascot races, T-shirt cannons, free Wi-Fi and sushi stands, teams have been doing all the things they can to persuade followers that the live expertise is well worth the high ticket and concession prices and is better than watching games on television.

“You have got this competitors with teams engaged in pushing the envelope making an attempt to make the experience at the occasion better than what you can experience at residence,” mentioned Jordan Kobritz, a professor within the sports activities management division at SUNY Cortland. “You also have the fan mentality through which risk in the present day is extra tolerable than it’s been in our historical past.”

A ruling in Coomer’s favor, or one which at the very least assigns partial blame to the mascot, might pressure teams to rethink their promotions, or not less than take extra measures to keep spectators secure, Kobritz mentioned.

Bob Jarvis, a sports activities law professor at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, stated a 1997 California case set an vital precedent when a state appeals court docket dominated that mascots are usually not a necessary part of a baseball game. In that case, a minor league baseball team’s dinosaur brushed towards a fan, distracting him proper earlier than he was struck by a ball that broke several bones in his face. The court mentioned mascot antics aren’t important or integral to the enjoying of a game.

Furthermore, not all courts have treated the baseball rule as sacrosanct. Earlier this year, the Idaho Supreme Court docket allowed a fan who misplaced a watch to a foul ball at a minor league game to proceed together with his lawsuit towards the workforce. The court docket stated that since baseball fan accidents are so uncommon in Idaho, there didn’t appear to be a compelling motive for the court to step in.

Within the Kansas City case, a ruling within the Royals’ favor would point out that mascots are, indeed, an essential a part of the sport expertise, Jarvis said. If that happens, the Kansas Metropolis case would likely turn into the one attorneys have a look at when deciding whether or not to file a lawsuit on behalf of an injured fan.

“Should you could get a court docket to go the other manner and say in-recreation leisure is a pure a part of taking part in baseball within the U.S. in the 21st century, that may be an amazing precedent that might reduce off future lawsuits,” Jarvis said.

Read The Original Article


NFL unveils teams for three 2014 London games

Next season, London will host three NFL common-season games. (USATSI)

Earlier this month, the NFL mentioned there would be three video games in London for the 2014 season, and the Jaguars, Falcons and Raiders would be the “residence” group at Wembley Stadium. On Thursday, the league introduced the who these teams will face.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons

Miami Dolphins vs. Oakland Raiders

The dates and times might be announced at a later date.

“Our fans in the UK proceed to exhibit their passion for extra soccer,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell mentioned. “Subsequent year for the primary time we will play three common-season video games in London. We now have scheduled three engaging video games with four teams playing of their first International Collection game. The rising enthusiasm for the NFL internationally is exciting and we look ahead to continuing to reply to this curiosity in our game.”

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones mentioned a few weeks in the past that he’d like to play in London but with one stipulation: He didn’t want it to come back on the expense of a home game at AT&T Stadium.

“We might never play a house sport in London, in any respect,” he stated. “All of our home games are too important to us. It’s a must to have a situation the place somebody’s keen to be the house workforce, which supplies up a sport at their dwelling. … That’s potential.”

And now it is a reality.

For more NCAA NBA MLB NFL, Scores, Reviews, Previews, and Picks & Predictions,  feel free to check out our sections from the tabs on top of the page where I will be updating on a daily basis

Would you like to show off your writing skills? opinions? for the sports world to see? If so feel free to contribute and we will publish your stories and reviews Info@wonder-punter.net

The NEW BetOnline

Read The Original Article

Read The Original Article