Aces’ Compton, Manuel marvel at ‘special player’ Brownlee

first_img‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Alaska head coach Alex Compton was also left impressed with what he saw in Brownlee.“I really thought Justin made some tough shots today, we were there, they did a good job and he still made it,” said Compton, whose team dropped to 3-1 and saw its three-game winning streak get snapped.Alaska was still hanging around with Ginebra with three minutes left in the game trailing by just four with 2:41 left.That was when Brownlee worked his wizardry first scoring on a power move underneath lead then followed it up with a driving layup against the outstretched arms of Noy Baclao for Ginebra’s 102-94 lead with two minutes left.“Justin’s a special player, they (Gin Kings) deserved that win,” said Compton.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew MOST READ LATEST STORIES Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Pangilinan hints Guiao could be permanent Gilas coach Peza offers relief to ecozone firms It’s undeniable that Justin Brownee has that unbridled charisma that endeared him not just to the Barangay Ginebra supporters but also to the general population that watches the PBA.On top of that immense likability is a basketball ability that sometimes leaves watchers in awe and Brownlee once again displayed that artistry on Friday when Ginebra held off Alaska, 109-101, in the PBA Governors’ Cup.ADVERTISEMENT Brownlee lit up the boards with 45 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists that even his opponents had nothing to say but praise for the import who wants to become a naturalized Filipino citizen.“He really is the Best Import, I can’t help but salute him,” said Alaska forward Vic Manuel in Filipino. “He’s so hard to guard, he can make ways to score and he will score. It was really difficult guarding him and I got tired defending him.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’Manuel, for his part, had 28 points but that wasn’t enough to trounce Brownlee’s efforts who put up 33 points in the second half alone.It wasn’t just Manuel who was left in awe of Brownlee’s magnificence. Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWslast_img read more

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Players deliberately losing to get Mourinho sacked, Man United legend claims

first_img And questioned Paul Pogba’s desire for the cause Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update tense After being dumped out of the Carabao Cup by Championship side Derby County, a thrashing at the hands of West Ham United followed before a stoic performance in the Champions League against Valencia.With Jose Mourinho’s head firmly on the Old Trafford chopping board, Ince launched an impassioned defence for the Portuguese boss.Writing in his column for Paddy Power, the former England captain made the outlandish claim his former side are no playing for their manager on purpose, just to get him sacked.“It looks to me as though they’re not interested in playing for Jose Mourinho anymore,” Ince wrote. The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 Ince criticised Lukaku for his lack of effort Ince played 206 times for United Gerrard launches furious touchline outburst as horror tackle on Barisic sparks chaos “When I played for the club, I saw it as an honour and although I didn’t always play well, no one could ever accuse me of not putting the work in.“What I find disappointing is those players are happy for Mourinho to take the blame.“They should be admitting the fact that they are responsible for the way they’re playing. They’re throwing him under the bus, despite putting in poor performances every week. And they’re getting away with it.“Some players want Man United to get beat, just so there’s pressure on Mourinho to be sacked.” Alexis Sanchez’s last Premier League goal came against Swansea on March 31 “If I’m Ed Woodward, paying Sanchez top cash, I’d be asking why he hasn’t even been making the team in certain games. If I’m splashing that kind of money, I want to see what I’m getting for it.“If the argument is that he has a bad attitude, then why does Mourinho still insist on playing Paul Pogba?“There’s no one in the team has had such an openly negative attitude toward the club, yet he plays every game. This is Man United we’re talking about. Players must do better. While much has been made of the Pogba v Mourinho debacle, Ince was quick to share the blame amongst other culpable members of the squad.With Alexis Sanchez collecting more than half a million pounds per week in wages and Romelu Lukaku misfiring as well, the 50-year-old wants the so-called superstars of this star-studded squad to start firing.He continued: “Of course the fans were quiet at Old Trafford against Valencia! The players should be giving it their all, showing how up for it they are.“Why would the supporters want to cheer the Man United side they’re seeing at the moment? The Alexis Sanchez situation, for example. He was a world class player at Arsenal. Now, it’s hard to believe he’s even the same person. 5 silverware latest Most Popular Football News scrap Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions 5 Paul Ince has sensationally claimed Manchester United players are losing on purpose in a deliberate attempt to get Jose Mourinho sacked.The Red Devils are enduring their worst start to a season in over half a century and have not enjoyed victory in their last four games in all competitions. The former Chelsea and Real Madrid is seemingly way on his way out at United England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won 5 Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City gameday cracker revealed Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT BEST OF 5 5 “Romelu Lukaku has been atrocious, against Valencia he was terrible to watch. His scoring record is phenomenal, and he’s evidently talented, but he must contribute more.“When you look at what someone like Sergio Aguero does for Man City – it doesn’t compare. He contributes to all aspects of the game.“Lukaku has to have the ball right in front of him, and even then, he’s missing clear chances.last_img read more

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Giant Rockfall Enlarged Zion Canyon Recently

first_imgWithin Bronze Age dates, a cataclysmic landslide enlarged Zion Canyon, forming a large lake.Geological change can happen quickly. Picture enough material to cover New York’s Central Park with 275 feet of debris; that’s how much material fell from the walls of Zion Canyon about 4,500 years ago, according to estimates announced by PhysOrg. The Sentinel Slide began when a crack in the Navajo sandstone gave way.  The BBC News shows maps of the landslide’s progress over the next few moments.“It’s a spectacular volume of material. You get, essentially, one of Zion’s most massive cliffs collapsing, running across the canyon in 20 seconds with peak velocities of 90 metres per second (200mph),” said Dr [Jeff] Moore [University of Utah].Within 60-90 seconds, it was all over. The dust probably took a long time to settle. Flowing south, the Virgin River backed up behind the landslide, forming a lake that lasted for about 700 years before overtopping the debris and carving a channel out. During the lake period, sediments settled on the bottom, flattening the canyon floor and making it easy for today’s visitors to drive into the canyon. The remains of the Sentinel Slide begin south of Zion Lodge and continue downriver for two miles. Moore estimates its volume at 286 million cubic meters of debris.Lake sediments formed the flat floor of Zion Canyon. By David Coppedge, 2014This is probably one of many landslides that created Zion Canyon, Moore believes. A smaller one in the northern regions of the park happened about 2,600 years ago. Moore dated the slide by measuring cosmic ray damage in the newly-exposed rocks. New slides could occur at any time, with catastrophic consequences for today’s visitors. Such an event is unlikely, however. If it did, there would be no warning. There is no evidence of an earthquake or other trigger for the Sentinel Slide.This event is another example of a large, rapid geological change within historic times. Consider also the Gros Ventre slide near Yellowstone, the explosions of Santorini and Krakatoa, and the near-instant changes around Mt. St. Helens in 1980. We have eyewitness testimony for cases like this. From others, we can infer what must have taken place, such as at the Heart Mountain detachment east of Yellowstone, the Chile dam breach (2/18/16), the Channeled Scablands, and now Zion.Creationists believe changes before, during and after the Flood differed only in scale. There’s no need for millions of years.Project: At the rate of known catastrophes over the last 10,000 years or so, including all sources from tsunamis, volcanoes, landslides, megafloods and other rapid events, could any point on a continent expect to remain unmodified for millions of years? (Visited 33 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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NCAA Season 93’s Best 7: Week 10

first_imgBSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight View comments MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  (1) MJ Ayaay – F, Lyceum Pirates20 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 stealsLast Week: N/AMJ Ayaay. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netCoach Topex Robinson has been stressing it all season that Lyceum is more than just a CJ Perez team.And this past week, the man the Pirates refer to as their glue guy stepped forward and came through.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City LATEST STORIES Last Week: N/AJerome Garcia. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netEmilio Aguinaldo College just can’t catch a break.After Hamadou Laminou tore his ACL, it was starting forward Juju Bautista who went down with a shoulder injury.Luckily for EAC, Jerome Garcia went on a blaze against Mapua, drilling six treys on his way to a career-high 27 points and help the Generals take an 85-72 victory.Odds may not be on EAC’s favor, but with players like Garcia stepping up, the Generals’ Final Four dreams remain alive.(4) Edward Dixon – F, St. Benilde Blazers21 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 stealsLast Week: N/AEdward Dixon. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netWhat a way to silence St. Benilde’s doubters.After winning the first game due to technicality, the Blazers made sure there won’t be any questions asked this time, taking the convincing 83-55 rout of Perpetual. For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Last Week: 6Kent Salado. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netArellano guard Kent Salado was on his way to being the biggest villain for Lyceum.Seeking to put the first dent in the Pirates’ seemingly impenetrable shield, the Chiefs banked on its speedy guard to take a 13-point lead.But the fourth quarter was an entirely different story, and though Salado still kept the fight going, it was just too much Lyceum, as Arellano’s roller coaster season continues.Salado’s herculean effort deserved another mention in this list, but his teammates need to step up with the Chiefs (4-7) are in danger of missing the Final Four after settling for a runner-up finish last season.(7) Michael Calisaan – F, San Sebastian Golden Stags23 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assistLast Week: 5Controversy surrounded Michael Calisaan this week after San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez alleged him of being a dirty player, while San Sebastian coach Egay Macaraya was quick to come to his defense.What’s undeniable, though, is the forward being the catalyst for the Golden Stags this season.center_img E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Performances like these are expected from Calisaan, but just like Salado, the supporting cast must deliver, especially for San Sebastian which is just on the outside looking in at the Final Four picture with a 5-6 card. Read Next Edward Dixon was the one at the forefront of the fight, scattering 21 points and seven rebounds to shut out the Altas and sweep the season series.More importantly, it kept St. Benilde’s flickering hopes of making it to the Final Four after proving that it is capable of pulling off upsets like these.(5) Tey Teodoro – G, JRU Heavy Bombers15 points (2/6 3PT), 3 rebounds, 3 assistsLast Week: 7Tey Teodoro. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netIt may not be a stellar shooting night for Tey Teodoro, but he did enough for Jose Rizal University to eke out the 77-68 win over Letran.Leading the balanced attack for the Heavy Bombers, Teodoro’s decent showing did the trick as they swept their season series with the Knights, and more importantly, tighten their grip of the third place with a 7-4 card.JRU needs to claim more of these tight wins against its fellow middle-ranked teams if it wants to go smooth-sailing to the semifinals again. (6) Kent Salado – G, Arellano Chiefs24 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists With the collegiate season in full swing, INQUIRER lists the week’s top seven performers in the ongoing NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament. From their game statistics to their overall impact in the outcomes, everything is weighed to come up with the best players from the week that was.ADVERTISEMENT Rain once again wiped away one NCAA gameday this past week, but fortunately for hoop fans, action resumed right away.And with the sun shining, all 10 teams got a piece of the action as the race to the Final Four just gets tougher and tougher.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutLyceum averted disaster, San Beda and San Sebastian fought a tough battle in a potential Final Four preview, and College of St. Benilde played to its full potential and to possibly play a possible spoiler for semifinal-dreaming squads.But again, the games are won and lost by heroes and these are the best players of the past week. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MJ Ayaay came up big for Lyceum, dropping 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to help his team rally from 13 points down and preserve its immaculate 12-0 slate with a 94-92 win over Arellano.Though Ayaay’s contributions isn’t surprising, the bigger picture here is the affirmation of what makes the Pirates a deadly team: that anyone can step up at any given day.(2) Javee Mocon – F, San Beda Red Lions17 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocksLast Week: 3Javee Mocon. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netWith San Beda engaged in a tight battle against San Sebastian, it was Javee Mocon who stabilized the fort for the Red Lions.Dropping yet another double-double performance, the hardworking forward’s efforts kept the Red Lions’ winning streak alive and extend it to 10 after pulling off a 76-65 win over the Golden Stags.Robert Bolick may be the undoubtful leader of San Beda, but it also has Mocon to rely on in endgames.(3) Jerome Garcia – F, EAC Generals27 points (6/12 3PT), 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal Ex-PBA veteran Cris Bolado dies in road crash in Cambodia Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf PLAY LIST 01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Gameslast_img read more

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Will Maken spot the googlies in his innings?

first_imgNewly appointed sports minister Ajay Maken.Within a few days of Ajay Maken taking over the reins, divergent views have emerged over what kind of sports minister MS Gill’s successor would turn out to be. But sports officials are sure that the new minister’s style of functioning as well as his preferences will be known sooner rather than later.On his first day in office, Maken called for “out-ofthe-box” thinking and introducing new programmes to increase participation of the youth in sports. He also said that a blueprint would be prepared with an eye on next year’s Olympic Games in London. But experts have questioned whether a fresh policy can be prepared and implemented in pursuit of medals at the highest platform in sports, especially with just 550-odd days left for the Games. They say that long-term planning is needed to win medals and that has always been missing in India for various reasons.Top sports administrators point out that Maken was off target when he spoke about such a blueprint. “A blueprint for the 2012 Olympics is already in place. Either he was not aware or he was probably driven by the need to say something to the media on his first day in office,” said a senior official. “At the most, we can tinker a bit with the existing policy pertaining to the 2012 Olympics. But you can’t have a completely fresh policy so close to the world’s biggest sports extravaganza.”Remarkably, Maken also said that he would pursue a non-confrontationist approach towards the national sports federations (NSFs) and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) with regard to the age and tenure guidelines of the ministry.advertisementA senior ministry official clarified that this statement should not be misconstrued to present that the new minister would be lenient towards the NSFs. “There would be no change in the policies that we have been pursuing till now. For instance, there are five-six court cases with the NSFs going on and our stance will not change with regard to those. Law, of course, will take its own course,” he said. Maken is young and is expected to bring in a new forward-looking approach in the working of the sports administration.”Even Gill was forwardlooking in his approach, but his attitude towards the NSFs was confrontationist, something that Maken wants to avoid.Then there was the age factor in Gill’s case,” said a senior sports official. Gill was 70-plus while Maken is just 47. “We will come to know Maken’s style of functioning in 10-15 days.” Another point that Maken made was about the introduction of new schemes and programmes.But it will not be a bad idea to streamline the various existing schemes, many of which are currently being neglected.For instance, the existing schemes of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) have largely been ignored in the last few years, including during the tenure of Gill which lasted nearly three years.SAI is responsible for training and nurturing athletes and appointing coaches besides other tasks. But the number of trainees with the various SAI schemes has reportedly gone down remarkably.”No interest has been shown in this direction and as a result, the number of trainees across India has gone down. The projection for 2010 under the five-year plan was to have 50,000 trainees, but the actual current strength is far, far less than that,” an official pointed out.On the issue of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) defying the ministry over registering itself with the ministry, as other NSFs have done, Maken again seems to be non-confrontationist. He said he would speak to BCCI officials, but ministry officials say that the issue has reached a certain point and action could well be taken against the richest sports body of the country for being arrogant.last_img read more

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10 months agoSouthampton goalkeeper Kingsley Latham extends Dorchester loan

first_imgTagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Southampton goalkeeper Kingsley Latham extends Dorchester loanby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveSouthampton goalkeeper Kingsley Latham has extended his loan with Dorchester to the end of the season.The deal has been rubberstamped by the Southern League and the FA so Latham is eligible for the Magpies’ trip to Taunton Town.Latham’s initial loan spell was announced in August of last year, and has kept six clean sheets in his time with the Magpies so far.Ollie Griggs, who returned to the Magpies from a loan spell at Winchester after Tuesday, will also be eligible for the Taunton match. last_img

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Former Kansas Football Player Found Dead

first_imgBrandon Bourbon cheers from the sideline.Former Kansas football player Brandon Bourbon, who had been missing since the night of April 2, was found dead Friday, according to 13 News WIBW.Former @KU_Football and @WU_Football player Brandon Bourbon found dead. https://t.co/cVfsNOFvVB pic.twitter.com/eIuyhlCRZW— WIBW (@wibw) April 9, 2016According to the Maries County Sheriff’s Office, Bourbon’s body was discovered on a secluded riverfront property, just north of Vienna, Missouri. The sheriff’s office revealed the cause of death to be suicide.Bourbon was a member of Kansas’ football team from 2010-2013 before missing his senior season with an injury. As a junior, Bourbon started all 12 games for the Jayhawks and was named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team. His former Kansas teammate Ben Heeney posted this tribute to Twitter following the tragic news. Rest in peace to my best friend, my brother, my beard bro. U affected so many lives Brandon. I love u more than you know. @BeastmodeBourb— Ben Heeney (@henbeeney) April 9, 2016Our thoughts are with Bourbon’s friends and family during this difficult time. [13 News]last_img read more

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Someday Well Appreciate Alabama And Clemsons Historic Dominance

There’s perhaps nothing more alluring in sports than the notion of unpredictability, that what you’re witnessing isn’t scripted, that anything could happen. George Mason. Leicester City. Buster Douglas. These narratives are the reason we keep coming back year after year.Recently, though, it seems like the improbable has taken a back seat to the foreseeable — at least in a few major American sports.On Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern, the Alabama Crimson Tide and Clemson Tigers will clash in the College Football Playoff final. It will mark the fourth consecutive season the two will have met in either the finals or semifinals. On the hardwood, the Cleveland Cavaliers have battled the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals in four consecutive seasons.1That streak, however, will … not continue. And on the ice, the Washington Capitals have skated into the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round of three consecutive Stanley Cup Playoffs.But though it might seem like it happens all the time, it’s actually pretty rare for the same teams to square off in the postseason year after year.For example, the MLB playoffs date back to the late 19th century and feature only three instances of teams meeting three seasons in a row.2The Anaheim Angels and Boston Red Sox played each season from 2007 to 2009, the Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees played each season from 1976 to 1978, and the New York Yankees and New York Giants played each season from 1921 to 1923. The NFL playoffs have seen a single instance of teams meeting exactly four years in a row3The San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers played each season from 1995 to 1998. and a single instance of teams meeting five years in a row.4The Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers played each season from 1972 to 1976. In the WNBA, the Minnesota Lynx and Phoenix Mercury played in four consecutive playoffs from 2013 to 2016. In the men’s NCAA basketball tournament, there have been eight instances of teams meeting in three consecutive tournaments.5Seattle and Oregon State played each season from 1962 to 1964, Utah State and Arizona State played each season from 1962 to 1964, UCLA and San Francisco played each season from 1963 to 1965, UCLA and New Mexico State played each season from 1968 to 1970, UCLA and Long Beach State played each season from 1970 to 1972, Providence and Pennsylvania played each season from 1972 to 1974, and Utah and Kentucky played each season from 1996 to 1998. And in the women’s NCAA basketball tourney, Notre Dame and UConn faced off in the Final Four, in either the semifinals or finals, an incredible five consecutive times from 2011 to 2015. Boston Celtics-Philadelphia 76ers1965-695 MLB MatchupSpanYears Oakland Raiders-Pittsburgh Steelers1972-765 Nebraska-Penn State1994-963 10 matchups tied3 NBA/ABA Florida State-Miami1987-926 Alabama-Oklahoma1978-803 Baltimore/Washington Bullets-New York Knicks1969-746 Boston Celtics-New York Knicks1951-555 NFL New York Yankees-New York Giants1921-233 Consecutive postseason meetings really are few and far between. And in college football, where turnover among top-tier programs is unavoidable and injuries are prevalent, it’s striking that the same two contenders are about to produce a tetralogy. After bruising, monthslong schedules, we’re left with orange and crimson once again.Even though the teams are familiar, there’s still plenty to be excited about in Monday’s title game. Don’t let the betting line fool you; this year’s installment promises to be the best matchup yet between the two schools. Source: ESPN Boston Celtics-Syracuse Nationals1953-575 Green Bay Packers-San Francisco 49ers1995-984 Possible matchupSpanYears MatchupSpanYears Kansas City Royals-New York Yankees1976-783 33 matchups tied2 In college football, the playoff is so new that it’s harder to look at consecutive matchups in a historical context. But we can guess at which teams might have faced off in a playoff by looking at the teams that ended each season since World War II in the top four of Elo ratings. Anaheim Angels-Boston Red Sox2007-093 Playoff rematches are rare in the big three pro sportsLongest streaks of the same teams meeting in consecutive postseasons for MLB, NBA/ABA and NFL Fort Wayne Pistons-Rochester Royals1950-545 Time spans considered are 1903-2018 for MLB, 1933-2018 for the NFL and 1947-2018 for the NBA/ABA.Source: Sports-Reference.com LSU-USC2005-073 MatchupSpanYears Alabama-Oklahoma1973-764 Florida-Nebraska1995-973 Programs that missed out on playoff rematchesPairs of college football teams with the longest streaks of finishing a season in the top four in Elo ratings, 1946-2013 7 matchups tied4 Nebraska-Oklahoma1971-744 The ESPN Stats & Information Group has tracked total efficiency back to 2005. This year’s Alabama squad ranks first (96.9) of all Football Bowl Subdivision teams in that time frame, and Clemson ranks 15th (91.6). Each enters the game racking up more than 525 yards and 44 points per contest, so it will no doubt be the best offensive matchup we’ve seen in the playoff between the two programs. Compared with each previous meeting, this will be the worst Alabama defense Clemson has faced and the best Tigers’ defense the Tide has played — though the two teams are separated by only about 4 points of defensive efficiency.Alabama’s program has never been known as a high scorer, but it now features the most efficient offense of any team in the past 14 years. But the Tide will stare down a defensive line that is months away from playing in the NFL,6With the notable exception of Dexter Lawrence, who remains suspended over a banned substance found in a drug test. which is likely why the Tigers tout the nation’s third most-efficient defense since 2005.Quarterbacks under Alabama head coach Nick Saban are often more game manager than gunslinger and generally operate in a system that skews conservative. Not this year. No team averages more yards per passing attempt than Alabama’s 11.34. Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts have each posted Total Quarterback Ratings that would rank in the top five among quarterbacks with at least 100 action plays in a season since 2004.7The first season for which we have data for that stat. In total, Alabama QBs have contributed 247.09 expected points on passes this year, 105.8 more than any previous season under Saban and the fourth-most by any team in a season since 2004, the first year for which data is available. The passing attack has accounted for 50 touchdown passes8To just six interceptions. and a team Total Quarterback Rating of 94.1, the best marks produced by an SEC offense over at least the past decade.The offense of Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney features an elite rushing attack, and quarterback Trevor Lawrence could become the first freshman QB to lead a team to a national championship since Oklahoma’s Jamelle Holieway in 1985. Where the team is most improved, however, is in its ability to dominate the line of scrimmage on the defensive end. “They wanted to be the best ever,” Swinney said of his defensive line, which leads the nation in sacks (52), quarterback contacts9Which measures the total number of times opposing quarterbacks were hit by a team’s defense. (312) and pressure rate10Which is the percentage of dropbacks in which the opposing quarterback was sacked, was under duress or was hit by a team’s defense. (43.7 percent). Under defensive coordinator Brent Venables, the unit averages 7.96 expected points added per contest on run defense, the fifth-best mark since the statistic was first tracked in 2004.The trophy case at both schools is getting full: Alabama is looking for its third title in the past four years, while Clemson is looking for its second in the past three. But don’t think these two programs are approaching the game as just the humdrum, foregone conclusion of their seasons. The matchup may have become predictable to us as viewers, but the teams are as eager as ever to face off for college football’s ultimate prize.“It is Clemson,” Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. said. “So it is a little more personal.”Neil Paine contributed research.Check out our latest college football predictions. read more

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Thomas the Tank takes advantage of playing time

In Sunday’s 82-61 win against Indiana, freshman forward Jared Sullinger was relegated to the bench after picking up his second foul with 8:16 to play in the first half. In an unfamiliar predicament, Ohio State coach Thad Matta needed a contribution from someone other than his National Player of the Year candidate. In went freshman Deshaun Thomas off of Matta’s thin bench. The first half lacked consistent flow for the Buckeyes, and “Thomas the Tank” entered, doing what he does best: shoot. Almost immediately, the southpaw hit back-to-back 3-pointers to ignite his 14-consecutive-point run that opened the floodgates to OSU’s big win against Indiana. “I think that he’s got such a knack for finding the ball and finding open areas,” Matta said. “The shots were going down for him and it was great to see because we’ve seen at times when he can score in bunches like that.” Thomas finished the first half with 16 of his 22 total points on 6-for-7 shooting, including 2-for-3 from 3-point range and four rebounds. It was just two points short of his career high, which came on Nov. 12 when he scored 24 against North Carolina A&T. “It felt great. Every day it’s like this. … Coach is always in my ear telling me, ‘We need you — this team needs you,’” Thomas said. “I just come in and work hard in practice to help my teammates win ball games, and today was one of them.” Thomas said the key to his performance was finding his hot spots on the floor. He said he’s gotten to know those spots during the team’s practices. “We see it every day in practice,” fifth-year senior forward David Lighty said. “Once he gets it going there’s really no way to stop him.” As the seventh man in Matta’s usual six-man rotation, Thomas has been an enigma for OSU this season. Since a key eight-point performance in the Jan. 22 road win against Illinois, Thomas had been nearly invisible. Over his next eight games, Thomas just managed to hit two of nine 3-point attempts and average 3.3 points per game. He didn’t make a single 3-pointer from Jan. 29 until Feb. 22, only attempting five in limited minutes. Since his strong performance in Champaign, Ill., Thomas has averaged just more than 10 minutes per game. In Sunday’s win, he played 24 minutes, with 14 of them coming in the second half after Matta elected to give him some extra minutes and Sullinger some extra rest. The team has a quick turnaround as it plays at Penn State on Tuesday. The Fort Wayne, Ind., native is third on the state’s all-time high school scoring list with 3,018 points. Thomas said he didn’t treat the game against a team from his home state any differently than he would any other. “It was just another game,” Thomas said. “I just came in and was ready.” read more

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