By adjusted efficiency, the Pac-12 was the worst of college basketball’s power conferences this year. More than one-fifth of all Pac-12 games this year have been decided by 20 points or more, a trend of blowouts that reflects the huge gap between the top of the conference and the bottom. Compared to other conferences, few games have been close at the end.
There’s been relatively little drama. If the final features some combination of Arizona, UCLA, and Oregon, we might see some. UCLA and Oregon played a thriller in December, and Arizona and UCLA played a tight one in February. There’s a good chance the first few days of this tournament are boring, but we could get power-on-power at the end.
The upper-middle tier of the conference is holding firm, with Virginia Tech, Louisville, and Virginia all appearing to be tournament-bound. Virginia’s defense remains stout, if its ability to score has become something of a liability. The Cavaliers own the conference’s second-to-last scoring average with just 66.6 points per outing.
Louisville was again a team to watch heading into the ACC tourney after Rick Pitino’s club churned out early-season wins over Purdue, Kentucky, and Indiana. Breakout star Donovan Mitchell has been stellar this year, averaging 15.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. He’s long and athletic, and if the Cardinals make a deep push into the Dance this year, Mitchell will be there, pulling off impressive acrobatics.
Still, the Cardinals couldn’t hold the line against Duke in Thursday’s quarterfinal round action, and they’ll have to wait to see where they’re seeded on Selection Sunday.
The ACC tournament will be a standard 15-team bracket Tuesday through Saturday this week. The top four seeds receive byes into the quarterfinal round, and the bottom six seeds duke it out in the opening round. The championship final is Saturday night at 9 p.m.
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No one seems to jump off the page here as deserving of this spot. Jason Day is bad and sick right now. Adam Scott hasn¡¯t won since this week last year. Tyrrell Hatton seems to deserve this spot as much as any based upon recent play, but I¡¯m going with Rahm since he¡¯s got a win and huge upside this season.
In his last 18 events, DJ¡¯s finished outside the top nine exactly four times. How far back does that run stretch? Last year¡¯s Byron Nelson in May 2016. His dominant win at Riviera, a top-three finish at Pebble, and a runner-up in Abu Dhabi would indicate he¡¯s showing no signs of letting up after reaching the top spot in the OWGR.
Youth Vernon Butler Jersey Week to week, there¡¯s no one more reliable in golf right now to contend for the title than DJ ¡ª and he¡¯s deserving of his new top world rankings. But, hey, this blogger likes wins and Hideki has five since the Tour Championship to DJ¡¯s one. Check back with us next week.
Let’s spin this forward. If it doesn’t work ¡ª and by work I mean a solid playoff contender with win totals trending toward the upper 40s ¡ª how tricky does that make the Pels’ situation at next year’s deadline?
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Unless this is a total disaster, I’m holding on to this idea for as long as I can for the same reasons I thought the Kings should have continued trying with Boogie: Great players only come along every so often. But I’m curious how you would view that scenario.
ZILLER: You have to be a no-brainer playoff team to walk into July 2018 fully confident you’re keeping Cousins. At this point in his career, he knows he needs to win games to protect his reputation. If New Orleans is winning, I struggle to see him leaving for anywhere.
If New Orleans isn’t above .500 a year from now, I think that’s a disaster. I wouldn’t say the same of missing the 2017 playoffs ¡ª as I mentioned, they dug a pretty deep hole due to some unavoidable circumstances ¡ª but falling short this year probably costs Alvin Gentry his job. Next year, below .500 at the deadline? I think Cousins’ value will be so low you might as well keep him. He’s graded on a different curve now.
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Greg Holland Game Jersey The defense was led by a fierce pass rush which sacked Ryan Tannehill four times. Kansas City made the playoffs last season on a formula based on great defense and solid, but not spectacular offense. Alex Smith and the Chiefs offense controlled the ball, limited turnovers and hit big plays with the help of Charles. After struggling to do that during the first two weeks, Kansas City looked strong last week. Smith played a clean game while the running attack led the way and the defense got after Miami. Going against a solid defense, the Chiefs may need to be even better. They lost the turnover battle last week, but still outclassed the Dolphins. The return of Charles should help. The Chiefs’ running back is expected to play despite an ankle injury.
The Cowboys have run up the scoreboard behind a balanced offensive attack led by Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray, and Dez Bryant. While Romoballs and fumbles remains an issue, stopping Dallas’ offense remains a difficult task for most teams.
Limited Chris Conte Jersey Saints quarterback Drew Brees is off to a strong start, completing over 70% of his passes and averaging over 280 passing yards a game. However, Brees has turned the ball over at a higher rate than normal, tossing two interceptions and fumbling away another turnover. New Orleans’ running game looks improved over a year ago, with rushers averaging 4.8 yards a carry, eighth best in the NFL. Unfortunately, lead back Mark Ingram will miss about a month with a broken hand.
The Cowboys’ 2-1 start has as much to do with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan’s conscious effort to keep his running backs in the game plan. Through three games, Dallas has attempted 89 passes against 92 planned runs, a near equal mix. The vast majority of the carries have gone to DeMarco Murray, who rushes at clip of 5.1 yards per carry. He’s been involved in the passing game too, catching eight balls on eight targets for 61 yards.
After a season spent out of football, K’Waun Williams has a new home.
The San Francisco 49ers announced Wednesday that the cornerback signed a one-year deal with the team.
Williams had fielded four contract offers, including one from the Jets, according to NJ Advance Media, but chose the Niners.
While that could mean anything, perhaps it was a bit of foreshadowing in Kraft’s case. Aside from the highs, he was inevitably asked about the controversies the Patriots have encountered over the past decade.
“When anyone wins at anything too often then you start to bring out feelings that aren’t maybe the most collegial in other people,” Kraft said.
He added: “Envy and jealousy are incurable diseases. The haters still hate. And I understand it and we’ll do our best to keep them in that position.”
On Brady, Kraft said “He’s just not the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL. He’s an amazing human being and it’s genuine. And as nice as everybody thinks he is, he’s nicer. And to see anyone attack him as an individual or his integrity, that just was unfair.”
Some other notable items from the interview:
On drafting Tom Brady: “I’ll always remember him coming down the stairs at the old stadium. He said to me ‘Hi. I’m Tom Brady.’ He looked me in the eye and said, ‘And I’m the best decision this organization has ever made.'”
Williams sought a second opinion on his injury, and the independent specialist from the Cleveland Clinic informed him he needed surgery to remove bone spurs. Twelve days after his suspension, Williams was released by the Browns.
“There’s a variety of changes that can be undertaken,” Manfred said. “I’m committed to the idea that we have a set of proposals out there and we continue to discuss those proposals in private.”
MLB has studied whether to restore the lower edge of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level — at the top of the kneecap. Management would like to install 20-second pitch clocks in an attempt to speed the pace of play — they have been used at Triple-A and Double-A for the past two seasons.
Players also have been against limiting mound meetings.
The least controversial change appears to be allowing a team to call for an intentional walk without the pitcher having to throw pitches. MLB approved that change to the intentional walk rule, from the traditional four-pitch walk to a dugout signal, team and union sources told ESPN’s Howard Bryant on Tuesday night.
Cousinsâ€™ dilemma isnâ€™t limited to just the NBA. The NFL is littered with stars in need of a fresh landscape where their talents wonâ€™t be squandered. Joe Thomas is a nine-time All-Pro who has averaged fewer than five wins a season languishing in Cleveland.
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They arenâ€™t the only players who need new homes. Hereâ€™s a list of players who could be hypothetically set for the Boogie treatment this offseason, what the lowest possible return for them could be, and where weâ€™d like them to end up.
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Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald to the New England Patriots in exchange for a sixth-round pick
Tom Brady has played with some good wide receivers in his storied career, but only one elite one â€” Randy Moss. While Fitzgerald is nearing the end of his rope as a pro, heâ€™d still give the Patriots a premier weapon at a position of need for 2017. With Danny Amendola a candidate to be cut and Michael Floyd a free agent, New England could trot out a three-receiver starting lineup featuring Fitzgerald, Julian Edelman, and either Chris Hogan or 2016 draft pick Malcolm Mitchell.