Duke freshman guards Tyus Jones & Grayson Allen deliver in the 2nd half as the Blue Devils come back to beat Wisconsin in Final:
Via The Associated Press:
INDIANAPOLIS — Call them freshmen. Please, do not call them kids.
Led by Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor, Duke’s talented group of youngsters outscored Wisconsin by 14 points over the final 13 minutes Monday night to grit out a 68-63 victory for the program’s fifth national title.
Okafor, the likely first pick in the NBA draft if he decides to leave, got outplayed by Badgers center Frank Kaminsky but came through like a veteran when the pressure was highest. He made two straight buckets over Kaminsky, sandwiched between a pair of 3-pointers from Jones, to help the Blue Devils (35-4) turn a one-time nine-point deficit into an eight-point lead with 1:22 left.
A furious Wisconsin rally ensued, but it came up short. Then, it was Okafor on the bottom of a rowdy, raucous dog pile — a scene very reminiscent of the last time the Final Four was Indianapolis, back in 2010 when Duke edged out Butler in another scintillating final. Read the rest of this entry
Kentucky, Duke, and Wisconsin are the remaining No.1 seeds in a NCAA Tournament headlined by dominant undefeated Kentucky:
The Kentucky Wildcats ended up where everyone expected them on Selection Sunday: seeded No. 1 on their quest to become the first undefeated team since 1976.
“Everyone is 0-0 right now,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said in an appearance on ESPN. “This is a one-game shot.
“All I want for my team right now is individually to be the best version of yourself.”
Wisconsin secured the first top seed in program history after overcoming an 11-point deficit Sunday against Michigan State to win 80-69 in overtime in the Big Ten championship.
“It felt like everything aligned perfectly,” Wisconsin star Frank Kaminsky said. “Just how we played at the end of the game, how we pulled out a come-from-behind victory down 11. … It was just crazy, like it was written in the stars.”
But the Badgers (31-3) must play in the West Region, where second-seeded Arizona is certain to draw more fans.
The other No. 1 seeds were Villanova in the East and Duke in the South. Read the rest of this entry
Boxing: Floyd Money Mayweather Finally Set To Fight Manny Pacquiao May 2nd At MGM Vegas In Mega Fight
After years of hype, anticipation & differing agendas, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pac-Man close deal to fight on May 2nd:
Via Yahoo Sports:
LAS VEGAS – After years of frustration and disappointment, following many starts and stops, perhaps the most talked about boxing match in history is finally a reality.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. announced Friday that he’s agreed to fight Manny Pacquiao in a welterweight bout May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas. It’s a bout the public has been calling for since late 2009 and pits the two finest boxers of their generation in a historic event.
“I am glad my decision to meet with Manny and discuss making this fight happen helped get the deal done,” said Mayweather. “Giving the fans what they want to see is always my main focus. This will be the biggest event in the history of the sport. Read the rest of this entry
NBA All-Star rosters set as Bulls Jimmy Butler, Kings DeMarcus Cousins, Warriors Klay Thompson notable 1st time All-Stars:
Official NBA Release:
NEW YORK — Three members of the Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta Hawks — Al Horford, Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague — headline the list of 14 players selected by the coaches as reserves for the 2015 NBA All-Star Game, the NBA announced Thursday. Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors earned his first All-Star selection, joining teammate and starter Stephen Curry to give the Western Conference-leading Warriors two All-Stars for the first time since Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway in 1993.
The 64th NBA All-Star Game will tip off Sunday, Feb. 15, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The game will be seen by fans in 215 countries and territories and will be heard in 47 languages. TNT will televise the All-Star Game for the 13th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports’ 30th year of NBA All-Star coverage.
The Hawks’ trio is joined in the East by Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat, the Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving. Read the rest of this entry
MMQB previews the key Super Bowl matchups and storylines between the defending champion Seahawks and NE Patriots:
SEAHAWKS’ OFFENSE VS. PATRIOTS’ DEFENSE
1) Seattle’s passing game
The Patriots have the best man coverage in football. The Seahawks’ passing attack is heavy on isolation routes, and we just saw their receivers get stifled for 55 minutes by the Packers’ man-centric defense. Expect Darrelle Revis to shadow Doug Baldwin, eliminating Russell Wilson’s top target. The Seahawks might be able to occasionally work Baldwin open from the slot with short-area pick routes, stack releases, and their staple wheel routes, but Revis is phenomenal at working through traffic to defend those (see his interception in the AFC Championship Game). Most likely, Wilson will have to look elsewhere. But with two safeties in help coverage—a tactic the Patriots use often and will certainly employ against the mobile Wilson—do we really foresee Jermaine Kearse consistently separating from Brandon Browner? Or Ricardo Lockette shaking free from Kyle Arrington and a safety?
Ohio State’s run game the big difference as Buckeyes defeat the Oregon Ducks for 2015 College Football Playoff’s National Title:
ARLINGTON, Texas — Ohio State was done when Braxton Miller got hurt in August.
Ohio State was done when it lost at home to Virginia Tech in September.
A funny thing happened: Every time the Buckeyes looked done, they kept getting better. And in the new era of college football, that was enough to earn a chance to win a championship.
They took advantage of an opportunity they never would have had in the BCS, shrugging off questions about whether they belonged among college football’s final four. Cardale Jones, Ezekiel Elliott and the Buckeyes won the first College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T, upsetting Marcus Mariota and Oregon 42-20 on Monday night.
Behind their bullish backup quarterback Jones and the relentless running of Elliott, the Buckeyes (14-1) completed a remarkable in-season turnaround with a dominating performance against the Ducks (13-2). Read the rest of this entry
NBA: The Boston Celtics finally trade Rajon Rondo who goes to Dallas to join an already loaded Mavs team as Boston rebuilds:
Via ESPN Dallas:
DALLAS — The opportunity to play for a contender again has Rajon Rondo feeling revitalized after leaving a rebuilding franchise in the Boston Celtics.
“There’s one goal that you have in mind, and I’m dying to get another ring again,” Rondo said in his introductory news conference after joining the Dallas Mavericks in a blockbuster trade. “I want another parade.”
The Mavs acquired Rondo along with rookie power forward Dwight Powell from the Celtics in exchange for center Brandan Wright, point guard Jameer Nelson, small forward Jae Crowder, a protected first-round pick, a second-round pick and a $12.9 million trade exception in a deal finalized Thursday night.
College Football: Alabama vs Ohio State, Oregon Ducks vs Florida State Advance To College Football Playoff
1st Annual College Football Playoff is set; Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State set for championship showdown:
Game Previews via ESPN:
NO. 2 OREGON DUCKS (12-1) vs. NO. 3 FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES (13-0)
JAN. 1, 5 P.M. ET, ROSE BOWL, PASADENA, CALIFORNIA (ESPN)
Season highlight: Winning the Pac-12 championship. The Ducks’ 38-point win against Arizona made up for the fact the Wildcats gave the Ducks their only blemish of the season. But when you come back and absolutely dominate that opponent in the most important game of the season, those wounds seem to heal pretty quickly. Quarterback Marcus Mariota had more than one Heisman moment and finished the day with three rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns. Read the rest of this entry
Sports Illustrated and Sports Media World sit down with Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler in Portland for extensive SI NBA feature:
Jimmy Butler’s smile says it all: It’s been a good month for the Bulls’ budding star.
Back in Butler’s hometown of Tomball, Texas, they might even use a phrase like “boom times” to describe his strong start this season. Chicago’s defensive-minded shooting guard is averaging 20.8 points and posting career-high numbers across the board. Not only is Butler looking like a leading candidate to become a first-time All-Star, he is also emerging as one of the most-coveted free agents of the 2015 class.
The smile crept across Butler’s face again as he thought back to the Tomball teenager who, even though he wasn’t recruited by a single Division-I school, was convinced that he was the best player in the country.
“Derrick [Rose] and I were both in the Class of 2007,” Butler told SI.com during an extended interview in Portland, where the Bulls were playing, on Saturday. “At that time, I never paid attention to the game. I didn’t know this guy was No. 1 in the nation or this guy was No. 10. Some of my teammates did and obviously Derrick was No. 1 in the nation. They’d come to the games and say, ‘Did you see what Derrick Rose did last night? Simeon High School! Chicago, Illinois!’ Everyone in the nation knew who Derrick Rose was.
“Me being myself, I was like, ‘Let him come down here, I’ll give him 40.’”
2014 MVP: Dodgers Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw also wins NL MVP as Angels slugger Mike Trout wins his first AL MVP:
NEW YORK (AP) — For once, Clayton Kershaw was glad to see a long shutout streak end.
Kershaw became the first pitcher to win the National League MVP award since Bob Gibson in 1968, coasting to an easy victory Thursday.
”A little bit of shock, honestly,” the Dodgers ace said on a conference call. ”I guess I never really anticipated to win that.”
A day after unanimously taking the NL Cy Young Award, Kershaw completed a Los Angeles sweep. A little earlier, Angels outfielder Mike Trout was a unanimous pick for the AL MVP. Read the rest of this entry