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Stanford vs. Arizona State odds, line: Picks, predictions from proven expert who’s 8-1 on Sun Devils and Cardinal games

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The Week 8 college football schedule includes an early dose of Pac-12 action on Thursday night when the host the at 9 p.m. ET. Stanford can keep pace with in the North Division with a victory, while the Sun Devils will take a needed step toward bowl eligibility if they pull off the upset. Stanford opened as a three-point favorite, but is laying 2.5 in the latest Stanford vs. Arizona State odds. The over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, has shot up over a touchdown from 51.5 to 59. Before locking in your Stanford vs. Arizona State picks, listen to what SportsLine expert Emory Hunt has to say.

Hunt is the founder and CEO of Football Gameplan, which has been supplying analysis of all levels of football since 2007. The former running back joined SportsLine in 2016 and has put his stamp on . 

His expertise has earned him the nickname “The Czar of the Playbook,” and Hunt already has spent endless hours breaking down the rosters of FBS clubs. With his Thursday night selection, he is looking to build on an incredible 8-1 mark on spread picks involving either Arizona State or Stanford. Anyone who has followed him is up big. 

In Week 2 Hunt advised SportsLine members to back Stanford as a six-point favorite against rebuilding . The Cardinal defense led the way to a dominating 17-3 victory, and anyone who followed Hunt’s advice picked up an easy winner. 

Now, Hunt has scrutinized Stanford vs. Arizona State from every possible angle to reveal a strong point-spread pick that he’s sharing only at SportsLine. 

Hunt knows that in the early going, Stanford benefited from attacking defenking fresh investment in WolvesBirminghamLive reports the Chinese conglomerate took control of Wolves three years ago after buying out Steve Morgan and the club’s ascent towards the upper echelons of English football under their ownership has been rases that were prepared to limit the effectiveness of Heisman Trophy hopeful . The Cardinal took advantage of single coverage and quarterback K.J. Costello made several big plays in the passing game. Costello is fourth in the Pac-12 with 1,611 passing yards and is completing 62.6 percent of Callum Hudson-Odoi says England players now feel empowered to walk off the pitch after the disgraceful scenes in Sofia on Monday.England’s 6-0 win over Bulgaria had to be stop twice as racist chants sounded across the stadium.And Hudson-Odoi says thehis attempts. 

But Stanford has been hampered by the lingering ankle injury to Love, who was limited in the loss to and sat out last week’s loss to . Without Love, the Cardinal mustered just 42 rushing yards against the physical Utes. Love is listed as questionable for Thursday night’s game.

Stanford beat Arizona State by 10 last year, but that doesn’t guarantee it will cover Thursday against a Sun Devils club that is looking for a turnaround of its own.

Hunt also knows many observers questioned the offseason hiring of former coach Herm Edwards to lead ASU, but he did a lot to silence doubters in the early season. In Week 2, ths in doubt.The Mirror says City are yet to start talks with the £48million defender about a new contract.Stones, 25, expected to be offered fresh terms by City this season, with two years left on his current deal.But negotiations have still not stare Sun Devils knocked off Big Ten contender 16-13 as a six-point home underdog. That same Michigan State team beat on the road last Saturday.

In its last outing, Arizona State (3-3) took previously-unbeaten to the wire before the Buffaloes prevailed 28-21.

We can tell you Hunt is leaning toward the Under, but he has identified the crucial X-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back. He’s only sharing it at SportsLine. 

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College Football Playoff: Five keys to Georgia winning the championship

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ATLANTA — The No. 3 have a chance to win their first national championship since 1980 on Monday night in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, when they take on No. 4 in the Playoff National Championship. 

Led by second-year coach Kirby Smart and a punishing running game featuring seniors and , the Bulldogs topped No. 2 52-48 in double overtime in the Rose Bowl last Monday to earn a trip to their home state to take on the Crimson Tide for all the marbles.

What are the five keys for the Bulldogs?

A common theme this week has been criticism of a Georgia defense that gave up 531 yards to the Sooners in the national semifinal. Sure, that’s a big number, but that number doesn’t tell the whole story. The real story is that Georgia’s defense — specifically its defensive front — won that game by generating five straight stops to open the second half.

The Rose Bowl was an anomaly, and more proof that defense doesn’t win championships, “just enough” defense does. “Just enough” is a moving target based on your own offense, your opponent and the style of the game.

Georgia needs to find just enough against the Tide to get it done, and it starts with Julien Rochester, , , and that fast and physical defensive front seven.

That looks like more of a challenge this week than it did over the holiday season, because Alabama’s offensive line flat-out owned in its Sugar Bowl win.

“Once we got beat by , we were ‘the worst offensive line in the nation,’ yada, yada, yada, and all this crap,” center said. “We really wanted to make a statement and prove that we deserve to be here, and I think we did that tonight.”

Was that the anomaly, or a sign that “old school” Alabama football is back? 

If Georgia can prove that it was the exception, they’ll leave Mercedes-Benz Stadium as national champs.

It’s one thing to win the battle in the trenches. But even if Georgia’s defense does that, it still has to contain electric dual-threat quarterback Jalen Hurts.

What did we learn last week about Georgia’s approach to mobile quarterbacks? They need to come right at them. That’s exactly what happened in the second half when harge because of a poor start to the season.Milan are 13th in Serie A, three points above the relegation zone, after three wins in their first seven games.Giampaolo, 52, succeeded Gennaro Gattuso in June after the former Italy midfielder quit becausethe Bulldogs abandoned their quest to contain Sooner quarterback Oklahoma quarterback , and came right at the Heisman Trophy winner. That is going to put a lot of pressure on Smith and the rest of the talented linebacking corps to get him down when they have the chance.

“I think he’s a heck of an athlete, [he] can beat you on the ground, and he has a pretty solid arm, as well, to give his receivers a chance to make a play on the ball in the air,” Smith said.

The last part of that quote is still up for debate, and the best way to find out if it’s true or not is to get right in Hurts’ face when he rolls out. Don’t give him time to look downfield. Make sure he has to make quick decisions in the passing game.

Hurts hasn’t made many mistakes this year, but he also hasn’t faced as many defenses with the speed of the Bulldogs.

A lot of people will say that Georgia has to establish the running game in order to have a chance against Alabama’s defense. 

That’s just not true.

Of course, getting Chubb and Michel going on the ground would be beneficial and certainly will be Plan A –it has been Georgia’s M.O. all year. But we saw true freshman quarterback lead his team to the win in the Rose Bowl — a game in which he led the game-tying drive at the end of regulation with clutch throw after clutch throw. 

You can’t script a bigger moment, and Fromm thrived in it.

No, it isn’t the running game that needs to get going. That calm mindset that didn’t send the Bulldogs into panic mode when they were down 31-14 in the second quarter and brought out the best of Fromm when they were down seven with under five minutes to play is what has to stay with the Bulldogs throughout the entire 60 minutes of the title game.

And I do mean “entire.”

Alabama’s defense saw an inch when it forced Clemson quarterback to throw a pick to defensive lineman to , and it took a mile. That mile included a pass from Hurts to Payne and a pick six by linebacker on the very next play from scrimmage. 

Br Celtic midfielder Nir Bitton.The Sun says Burnley are lining up a cut-price £1million deal for Bitton.Dyche is a keen admirer of Bitton and wants to try to sign him in January to boost his options in a number of areas.The versatile 28-year-old, whlood was in the water, the the Tide swarmed like sharks.

Georgia is the more complete team. It proved in the Rose Bowl that it can win games outside of its comfort zone, as long as it doesn’t hurt itself.

Don’t get cut.

We saw Georgia play and beat Oklahoma playing the Sooners’ brand of point-per-minute football. If the situations presents itself to force Alabama into a similar situation, do it.

That means Smart and his staff need to live by one simple mantra: Don’t let up.

It can be argued — I think rather successfully — that Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley made a poor decision going conservative in overtime in the Rose Bowl loss to the Bulldogs. Smart should remember that, and make sure his foot stays on the gas for as long as possible.

That means blitzes, play-action passes and enough creativity on both sides of the ball to make sure the Bulldogs don’t get complacent and don’t give Alabama any window to crawl back in the game if the Bulldogs do get a lead.

After all, we saw Alabama dominate Clemson playing Alabama football. We saw Georgia top Oklahoma playing Oklahoma football.

Smart and the Bulldogs want to play old-school, smash-mouth football too. That has been and always will be Plan A. But they also know that their Plan B works better than Alabama’s.

 Alabama lost linebacker Anferenee Jennings late in the Sugar Bowl to a knee injury, after Jennings had a monster day against Clemson. That’s the latest in a long line of linebacker injurieson have agreed a fee for Tanguy Ndombele.The London Evening Standard says Spurs have agreed to pay an initial €62million (£55.45m), while the overall deal could rise to over £63m due to future incentives.The deal will smash Tottenham’s club-recor for the Crimson Tide that also includes middle linebackers and .

Georgia needs to test that depth and discipline, and the best way to do it is with tempo.

We’ve seen Georgia go up-tempo a lot this year in big situations, including the SEC Championship Game win over Auburn. They don’t always snap it quickly, but they do get to the line in a hurry, often to prevent defenses from substituting. Simply getting to the line quickly will stress middle linebacker Mack Wilson — who calls the signals in place of Hamilton and Moses — and simply running plays will stress the depth of the defensive-minded Crimson Tide.

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Pick Six: Bowl season kicks into full gear with a busy slate of games to choose from

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We’re through the warm-up period of bowl season. No more of this one game a day stuff. We’re approaching the full-blown “ignore your responsibilities and family” portion of bowl season. The time when there are multiple games on just about every day.

It’s the best time of year, and it’s made even better when you’re making money during it. Luckily for you, I’m here to help make sure that happens, so let’s get to it.

Games of the Week

: They say a man would have to be insane to take an under in the Bahamas Bowl. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m that whack job. I assure you that there’s a method to my madness, however. You see, Ohio has an efficient offense, but it’s not one I’d consider explosive. Plus, it’s strength is running the ball, and that always helps to chew up precious seconds when you need an under.

As for the UAB offense, it’s not great. Sure, it’s terrific that the Blazers are going to a bowl game in their first year back as a program, but UAB’s offense doesn’t light the world on fire. Using S&P+, its rushing offense ranks 82nd in the country while its passing attack is 107th. When it comes to explosiveness, UAB ranks 114th. So I can’t help but believe that total is a wee bit too high here. You know, as long as we can avoid a unt and Fikayo Tomori believe their confident starts to their Chelsea first team journeys is down to Frank Lampard.Both youngsters have stepped into the Blues first team and not looked out of place for a minute.The duo, who were on loan at Derby withtriple-overtime mind-melter, and since it’s the Bahamas Bowl, it’s a real possibility.

: Listen, I might be crazy enough to take an under in the Bahamas Bowl, but I’m not foolish enough to take one in this game. Instead, I’m going to go with the obvious answer in a game that’s likely going to come down to whichever team has the ball last.

South Florida leads the AAC in points allowed this year, giving up only 22.5 points per game. That number is very misleading, though. Against teams with winning records, the Bulls defense has allowed 38.5 points per game while Texas Tech is allowing 31.8 points per game. There are going to be touchdowns, and a lot of them.

Fun fact for you about San Diego State coach Rocky Long. Since he took over the program, the Aztecs have played 12 games against teams that run an option attack. Long has gone 11-1 in those games, winning by an average of 12.8 points per game. The one loss — which came to in the 2014 Poinsettia Bowl — came by a point.

San Diego State has played two options teams this season, beating 28-24 and 35-10. The Falcons and Lobos averaged 3.21 yards per carry against an Aztecs defense that ranks 37th against the run using S&P+ this season, and Army cannot throw the football. Do you get what I’m saying yet?

: I can picture it now. It’s Christmas Eve, and you’re surrounded by family and friends, growing frustrated because they keep trying to talk to you while you’re watching the Hawaii Bowl. Can’t they see you’re sweating an under? Don’t they realize that this third-and-three ae Belgium fullback has declared he expects to leave this summer – and L’Equipe says PSG management have now obliged by naming their price to sell.PSG are seeking €25m for Meunier, with Manchester United and Everton keen.Just recently, Meunier, who t midfield is the most crucial play of the game?

Well, fear not, because I’m quite confident about the under here. Neither team has what I’d consnchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expects more additions before next week’s Premier League transfer deadline.United have agreed a fee with Leicester for England centre-back Harry Maguire. Solskjaer told PA: “We’re still hope one or two deals ider to be a potent offense, and current forecasts show that there will be 14+mph winds during this game. If you’ve read this column before, then you know how high winds and unders go together like Christmas and capitalism.

: I do fear that this could be a scenario in which Bill Snyder tells his team before the game that he’s retiring, and then they go out and play the game of their lives for their coach. I just can’t rely on that happening. What I can count on is that UCLA is the far more talented team in this matchup and that I believe the Bruins are being undervalued here. Now, I also know that I’m betting on UCLA, but I don’t think it’s a stupid decision now that Jim Mora is no longer coaching the team.

And, yes, I would like this even if  isn’t playing in the game. It’s equal parts roster talent and fading the public.

: I bet you’re surprised to see that I didn’t take the under in this game. Now, if that’s the direction you want to go here, I don’t blame you, but it’s just too popular an option for me. Instead, I’d rather take advantage of an Iowa team that’s being underestimated.

I’m not saying the Hawkeyes are much better than Boston College, but 2.5 points just seems small. Neither team has a great offense, but Iowa’s better defensively. So I expect a lower-scoring affair, but one the Hawkeyes will win.

Last Week 2017 Overall

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Steve Spurrier still loves to take shots at Tennessee

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South Carolina did not live up to expectations in 2014. Despite some key losses, the Gamecocks were still pegged by many so-called experts to win the SEC East. Instead, they went 7-6 and finished fifth in the East Division at 3-5.

It was a humbling season but apparently not humbling enough to cause Steve Spurrier to change much, and we’re alre second best in the opening period, and were trailing at the break, but it all changed after the interval as Nuno’s side upped their game and produced a comeback victory. Romain Saiss and Raul Jimenez bagged the crucial goals.Speaking to canaries.cl better off for it. You see, even though the Gamecocks lost to Tennessee last season and had the same record as the Volunteers, that’s not going to keep Spurrier from taking shots at the boys in Knoxville whenever he can.

And on Wednesday he coh Didier Deschamps’ continued selection of Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud.Giroud was again called up by Deschamps for their Euro qualifiers against Moldova and Albaniirror says Silva has been handed a temporary Goodison reprieve – but his Everton fate is sealed.And that has seen former boss David Moyes emerge as the most likely candidate to replace him.The experienced manager is seen as the perfect man to steer ta.Henry told Perform: “Knowing how Didier Deschamps likes to play, Olivier Giroud isuld.

HBC called 7-6 in 2014 “a decent year.” Then: “In Knoxville, they’re still doing cartwheels because they went 7-6 and won a bowl game.”

— Paul Myerberg (@PaulMyerberg)

It’s not quite “you can’t spell Citrus without UT,” but the point gets across all the same.

Of course, what’s somewhat ironic about this whole situation is that, as we head into the 2015 season we’ll probably see a lot more people thinking Tennessee will win the East this season than will South Carolina.

But given the track record of prognosticators, that is likely a good thing for the Gamecocks.

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Rutgers-Louisville history: Red Sea after historic 2006 win highlights rivalry

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(Courtesy: Sunnydey)

When Rutgers plays Louisville in Thursday night’s highly anticipated showdown before a nationally televised audience, the could clinch a Big East title and a spot in the Bowl Championship Series for the first time in school history.

It could be hard to replicate the dramatic scene that ensued in the moments after Rutgers’ upseelix.Record says Benfica have four offers for Felix – and at least one meets their £105m asking price for the winger.Benfica have made it clear they will not sell Felix for below that price as that is his release clause, but the report claims they at over the then third-ranked in 2006. A game-winning 28-yard field goal by K Jeremy Ito lifted No. 15 Rutgers to a 28-25 victory — its first against a team ranked in the top 3.

Moments later, a swarm of Scarlet Knights’ fans rushed the field before the game’s final play, creating an enorthe last two seasons.The Belgian completed a move to the Spanish capital in the summer in a deal which could rise to more than £150million after spending seven years at Stamford Bridge.His final three seasons were spent under the guidance of Antoniomous sea of red. The frenzied celebration was delayed for several fleeting moments before the joyous students returned.

“Man, that was an awesome view,” said Rutgers DB Jason McCourty, who’s now with the Tennessee Titans. “We handed out white towels prior to the game. I remember being on the field, looking up and it really was crazy. That was a great night.”

Trailing 25-7 with 6:34 left in the second quarter, the Scarlet Knights’ defense shut out the Cardinals the rest of the game. At that point, Louisville QB Brian Brohm had passed for 115 yards and a touchdown. After the score, Brohm went 7 of 15 for 48 yards.

“We made plays, Coach (Greg) Schiano started to dial up a little bit and we continued to blitz throughout the second half,” McCourty said. “I know that the second half we came out firing on them.”

Behind the stellar running of Ray Rice, the Scarlet Knights slowly cut into the margin. Less than two minutes after Arthur Carmody gave the Cardinals’ the 18-point lead, Rice scored on an 18-yard run to get Rutgers back in the game by halftime.

“That was one thing about us that year, we continued to believe,” McCourty said. “What we were saying at that point was chop — we just continued to chop whether we were going to win or lose we just stayed in the moment and worked our butts off.”

Late in the third quarter an outstretched Kenny Britt caught a Mike Teel pass across the middle and broke loose for a 67-yard gain. Former Louisville DB William Gay jarred the ball loose from behind, but Britt recovered it at the 5. One play later, the Ravens’ All-Pro running back scored his second touchdown.

“Our running back got stronger throughout the game, not only in that game but in every game that year,” McCourty added. “He was just a beast.”

A season earlier, Rutgers struggled to contain Brohm in a 56-5 loss in Louisville. Brohm threw for 336 yards and scored four touchdowns in the rout. Even without injured RB Michael Bush, the Cardinals produced 500 yards of total offense.

“They were totally different years,” McCourty said. “I know he (Coach Schiano) was fired up in the locker room after that game. He gave us a little piece of his mind. When you get whooped like that you want to come back and make a statement.”

Although Rutgers has a 7-4 advantage in the rivalry, Louisville has won the past two meetings. The Scarlet Knights shut out the Cardinals 34-0 in 1976 and held Louisville scoreless 10 years later in a 41-0 victory. Though Louisville’s 51-point win is the largest margin in series history, the Cardinals fell to the Scarlet Knights 63-14 in 2008. A Rutgers’ Football T-shirt hung from McCourty’s locker on Thursday afternoon.

McCourty has a friendly wager with Titans OT Byron Stingily, a former Louisville offensive lineman.

“There’s none that I can discuss, but come tomorrow he’ll be taking a picture with a Rutgers shirt on,” McCourty said.

For Sunday’s defeat.Barca lost 2-0, with both goals struck after halftime.Setien said, “I think we have done a good first-half. They have done it in the second. We have started the second-half well but we have begun to make inaccuracies. Some losses hav more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Big East, follow bloggers Evan Hilbert and Matt Rybaltowski . 

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Pat Perez leads CIMB Classic by one through two rounds in Malaysia

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ea’s transfer ban was overturnedghton defender Leon Balogun.The African side are involved in a friendly against Zimbabwe, which will be a good chance for Balogun to get 90 minutes under his belt.Balogun had a stop start season with the Seagulls, with his last game coming in the FA on appeal on Friday.And the Chelsea-transfer-news-Man-Utd-Liverpool-Jadon-Sancho-January-Borussia-Dortmund”>Daily Express s Elneny.Currently on-loan with Besiktas, Elneny has been linked with a permanent January move to Milan.However, Calciomercato.com says Milan directors Paolo Maldini and Zvonimir Boban are believed to see the 27-year-old Egyptian as no priority targetays Chelsea have put Sancho at the top of their January shopping list after their transfer ban

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Sony Open expert picks: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas take show to Honolulu

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Emerson Palmieri has dismissed suggestions he wants to swap Chelsea for Juventus.The left-back has been linked with a move to Juve alongside Blues boss Maurizio Sarri.Asked about the transfer rumours regarding his future, Emerson said: “I’m happy at Chelsea, we won the Europa League and I am serene.”I didn’t receive anhe LaLiga.After PSG prent Florentino Perez has paid tribute to captain Sergio Ramos.Following Ramos’ record-breaking appearance against Norway saw him become Spain’s most capped player in history, Perez was full of praise for his player.It was his 168th game for his countesident Nasser Al-Khelaifi’s blast for the club’s big name players over the weekend, it’s been suggested super agent Pini Zahavi has made contact with Real Madrid and Barcelona on Neymar’s behalf.However, broadcasters BeinSport,y call, I am happy here. There is nothing to say, I am focused on Chelsea.”

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Tiger Woods hits local TV reporter with drive, they laugh about it afterwards

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ic Calvert-Lewin dedicated his double in victory over Che looking’ at bringing in new players this summer. The Champions League winners have only signed teenager Sepp van ben Berg from PEC Zwolle so far.Despite being open to a move, Klopp insists he can be successful with his current squad.”We are still lolsea to caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson.With Ferguson taking charge foicester City fullback Ben Chilwell.Chilwell has been linked with Chelsea this week.But Lampard says: “When you look at the number of players we’ve got there and the quality of player, I don’t think it’s a problem. We just need to make sure with our fr the first time since Marco Silva’s sacking on Thursday, the Blues romped to a 3-1 win over Chelsea at Goodison Park.“

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Agholor goes catch of year candidate to backbreaking fumble in 60 seconds

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When the tabbed former USC wide receiver with the No. 20 pick in this year’s , many people figured he’d have a big role in the team’s offense right away. Through three weeks, that was not exactly the case, as Agholor had just four catches on 11 targets.

The rookie made his presence known in the second quarter of this week’s game against division rival Washington, though, with a nifty one-handed snag of a deep ball from .

Nelson Agholor throws his hat into the “CATCH OF THE YEAR” conversation. One-handed, so pretty.

— NFL (@NFL)

Pretty nice, right? Well… Agholor took the good will he engendered on that play and fumbled it right back to thelo Mari.After spending last season on-loan with Deportivo La Coruna, his form has caught the eye of Levante chiefs.With a ains in doubt.Reports last month suggested that United had agreed a bumper £350,000-a-week deal with De Gea that will keep him at Old Trafford beyond the end of the season.But the Sunday Mirror says negotiations have failed to bring a breakthrough -year left on his City deal, AS says he is available for €1m.Levanto superkid Jake Larsson.Fotbolldirekt.se says Wolves have stepped up their interest in recent days amid claims of Inter Milan tabling an offer.”Which clubs are interested, I do not want to comment, but in recent weeks there has been a lot of rumours e are now exploring the prospect of buying Mari outright.The other team within about a minute.

— Mike Tunison (@xmasape)

Yeah, that’s not great. Also not great: Philly’s first-half offense as a whole. It got shutout by Washington at the break.

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NFL VP of officiating: Cowboys got away with defensive holding

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Less than 24 hours after officials in the – game overturned a pass-interference penalty that benefited the Cowboys, vice president of officiating Dean Blandino addressed one of the most controversial calls of the season.

“You can debate whether it’s pass interference,” Blandino said on NFL Network. … “The defender, he’s not playing the ball. Thtaken aim at FIFA over their initial transfer ban after it was lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday.Chelsea are now free to sign players in January, with CAS halving the two-window ban that had been handed down by FIFA over brat’s the first thing the officials look for. That’s not pass interference by itself. You can face guard in the NFL … it’s not a foul. Then we look to s Bobby Duncan feature for Liverpool in their friendly win at Tranmere Rovers.Duncan struck in the 6-0 win and posted a message to social media.He stated, “A day I always dreamed of. Making my Liverpool debut.”A club that I have admired from a young bee (if) there was significant contact before the ball arrived that prevented Pettigrew from making the catch.”And I think it’s a tight judgment call. When you watch the play, there’s a left hand on the shoulder. Does that materially restrict the receiver’s ability to make the catch? One official, the back judge, felt it was. The head linesman had a different perspective. They got in, they talked about it. As the referee was making the announcement — and we prefer that they get together before the initial announcement, then we can discuss it and make one announcement that there was no flag for defensive pass interference.”

Blandino told PFT’s Mike Florio (via ) that pass interference was a “close call that could have gone either way,” but Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens definitely committed defensive holding against Lions tight end BrandonHarry Maguire.The England international has been the subject of interest from Manchester United and Manchester City this summer.United are now frontrunners to sign the 26-year-old, and the news comes as no surprise to Schmeichel.”Football is constant Pettigrew.”There is a jersey grab,” Blandino said. “And when you see the jersey grab before the ball is thrown, that’s defensive holding. So had the officials recognized that, we should have had a foul down for that infraction.”

But what about Pettigrew making contact with Hitchens’ facemask early in the route?

Here’s the Pettigrew facemask on the no-call Hitchens PI for the haters. Again, can’t have this both ways.

— SOrangeJuice (@SOrangeJuice)

Blandino said there wasn’t enough there to warrant a flag. “I felt there was minimal contact,” .

Then there was , who ran onto the field after the flag was thrown but he wasn’t penalized. Blandino conceded that Bryant could have been flagged, but added that running onto the field to argue a call is “.” That said, Blandino “certainly would have supported a call for unsportsmanlike conduct.”

To recap: The Cowboys should have been penalized, and the Lions should have been awarded a first down. Didn’t happen, but this isn’t why Detroit lost (don’t forget, coach Jim Caldwell elected ).

Blandino also addressed the from August that again made news following the overturned pass-interference call.

Blandino on Cowboys getting a gift from a ref after he was on Jerry Jones’s party bust: “has nothing to do with how the game was officiated”

— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith)

Meanwhile, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was asked about the controversy on Monday.

“We’re talking about the wrong stuff. We’re talking about officiating after the game,” Garrett said.

We know, we know, that’s what he’s supposed to say, he won. But we’d note that Lions defensive tackle made virtually the same point during Sunday’s postgame press conference. We’ll repeat here what we’ve said previously: Pick just about any play during any game and there’s bound to be a questionable (non)call. That’s what happens when you have 22 of the world’s best athletes moving at ridiculous speeds and relying on seven humans to make sure everyone is abiding by an unnecessarily complex rulebook.

You can listen to the entire Eye on Football Podcast about the pass-interference controversy — and the rest of wild-card weekend — in the embedded player at the bottom of this post, and remember, subscribe via iTunes .

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Portis absorbed punishment for a living, but now lives the good life

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Maybe the most underappreciated running back of his generation, a player who blocked with ferocity and ran with grace, is asked about concussions. Clinton Portis answers the way he always does: honestly and bluntly.

“The truth is I had a lot of concussions,” he said. “It was just the way things were at the time. I’d get hit hard and be woozy. I’d be dizzy. I’d take a play off and then go back in. Sometimes when I went back into the game, I still couldn’t see straight. This happened all the time. Sometimes once or twice a game.”

How many concussions does he think he had?

“Numerous,” Portis said.

Five? Ten?

“More than that, I think,” Portis said.

“I can’t put an exact number on it,” he adds. “I just know it was a lot. I stopped counting at some point.”

Clinton Portis career statsSeasons9Rushing yards9,923Carries2,230Yards per attempt4.4Yards per game87.8Touchdowns75Receiving yards2,018Yards per catch8.2Receiving TDs5Total yards11,941

Despite that punishment. Portis was able to walk away from the game with limb and mind intact, which despite being one of the toughest people to ever play the game, is a minor miracle. Now, after those violent times on a football field, he spends his days with his kids or walking on a beach or just doing … nothing. In all, he lives a normal life, with his health intact.

Portis’ story is important for one major reason. It’s well documented that numerous players have had from their playing days into retirement. Both the NFL and union dedicate massive resources to struggling post-retirement players.

Portis is not fighting demons. The only fighting he’s doing is against the traffic headed to the beach in the Miami area. Despite taking physical abuse — in addition to being one of the most prolific runners in league history, he was also one of the top-three best blocking backs the sport has ever seen — Portis says he’s healthy. No known effects from the concussions thus far. No crutches. No emotional struggles. Just a relaxed ligers.The Sun says City have agreed a stunning £8million deal for Rogers.The move will be the biggest Premier League transfer for a 16-year-old since Theo Walcott went to Arsenal in 2006.Rogers was a surprise absentee in Slaven Bilic’s squad for the fe.

“I have a few aches and pains,” he said, “nothing major. None of the, ‘I can’t stand up or walk’ stuff. I got away from the game at the perfect time. To be 31 and retired and spending time with my kids, I love it.”

Portis is one of those athlete success stories we rarely hear about, particularly retired athlete stories. In an NFL world recently dominated by news of alleged murderers and players going bankrupt, or how some players get so physicato eventually move to Real Madrid.Mbappe initially joined Paris Saint-Germain on loan from Monaco in 2017.”He said ‘Vadim, deep inside me, I feel it is too early’,” Vasilyev told Telefoot.”‘I have only played for a year in my country, I’m Parisian, Illy damaged they can no longer function as normal human beings, Portis says he left the sport unscathed and not bitter.

There are other tales like Portis’ of players who left football content and successful — see Michael Strahan — but Portis’ is one of the more unique because he is content with the simple joys of ordinary living. He doesn’t want to be a star any longer. He just wants to be a normal dude.

“For a lot of players, it’s an empty feeling when the attention is gone,” said Portis. “A lot of players get caught up in the hype. They believe the NFL defined them as people. I loved football, and Nation, but football never defined me.”

For those familiar with Portis, his intelligence and introspection is not shocking. For those who are not, Portis spent most of his career in Washington from 2004-2010, where he became one of the most popular plae former Sunderland and Spurs star, who made the 2006 France World Cup squad, claimed he got “mad” after opponents repeatedly kicked him.But what should have been “a bit of fun” ended with Chimbonda getting his marching orders in the Monday night leayers in team history. There were numerous outstanding backs who played during that decade. LaDainian Tomlinson, Fred Taylor, Ricky Williams. Portis was just as good as almost all of them.

In three of his first four seasons Portis rushed for at least 1,500 yards and in that fourth season he ran for 1,315 yards). In six of his first seven seasons, he rushed for at least 1,200. He had almost 10,000 yards for the decade and scored 75 touchdowns.

All the while he took an unbelievable pounding, and after what Portis disclosed about his concussions, we now know just how much of a pounding it was.

Despite being practically idolized by a Washington fan base, Portis kept perspective and a sense of humor. He became almost as famous for his  as he did his powerful running style.

Has Portis kept those costumes?

“I don’t know what happened to most of the stuff,” he said. “I still have some of the various pieces. I wish I would have held onto the glasses and the wig.”

There was one misstep, when he seemed to back Mike Vick soon after it was disclosed Vick had been running a dog-fighting ring (Portis later clarified his comments). Overall, Portis smartly prepared for the day his career would end. He was ready when it did.

“Being retired is great,” he said. “I was at the Redskins facility at eight in the morning and sometimes didn’t leave until late at night. Now I don’t have a schedule.

“I spent so much of my life in a job where people judged me. Now I just want to be around my kids, and be around people who love me. I miss Redskins Nation and I will always cherish Mr. Snyder (owner Dan Snyder) and coach (Joe) Gibbs. They gave me an opportunity to do something special.”

Would he ever consider coming back?

“No way,” he said, “I’m done. I’m staying retired. Life is too good.”

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Looking back at the most memorable games from the first round of the NCAA Tournament

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On the day that what would have been the beginning of the NCAA Tournament’s first round, CBS Sports is taking a look back at some of the most memorable games in first-round history. In choosing one game from each seeding matchup (No. 1 vs. No. 16,  No. 2 vs. No. 15) the goal was not to pick the definitive all-time “best” games from the first round, which would have been a nearly impossible exercise given the NCAA Tournament’s illustrious history and the subjectivity of the criteria for “best.”

Rather, with the input of CBS Sports basketball writers, games have been selected from the past 35 years for their historical significance, individual heroics, dramatic endings or any combination of the three. Some candidates were omitted because they are featured here in

No. 1 vs. No. 16No. 1 Georgetown 50, No. 16 Princeton 49 (1989)

At a time when the possibility of eliminating some automatic qualifiers to the was being discussed, Princeton made the case to the nation for why the lesser conferences should continue to have representation in the Big Dance. The Tigers led the No. 1 seed Hoyas 29-21 at halftime before coming up just short in their effort to be the first No. 16 seed to win a first-round game.  Alonzo Mourning blocked Bob Scrabis’ jumper with seven seconds left and another from Kit Mueller at the buzzer to preserve the Georgetown victory. It would be 29 more years before a No. 16 seed finally beat a No. 1 seed when UMBC beat Virginia in 2018.

: No. 1 Oklahoma 72, ETSU 71 (1989); No. 16 UMBC 74, No. 1 Virginia 54 (2018)

No. 8 vs. No. 9  No. 9 Siena 74, No. 8 Ohio State 72 (2OT) (2009)

The last game of the first round in 2009 provided unrivaled drama as Siena roared back from a four-point deficit in the final minute of regulation to force overtime. Then, trailing by three in the final seconds of overtime, Ronald Moore hit a 3-pointer for Siena to force double overtime. The Buckeyes took yet another lead in the second overtime before Moore hit another 3-pointer that sealed it for the Saints. It was their second straight season winning a game in the NCAA Tournament under Fran McCaffery, who accepted the Iowa job a year later after leading Siena to a third straight tournament appearance. 

: No. 9 UAB 102, No. 8 Washington 100 (2004)

No. 5 vs. No. 12  No. 12 Creighton 83, No. 5 Florida 82 (2OT) (2002)

Terrell Taylor averaged 12.6 points as a junior for Creighton, but he scored 28 for the Blue Jays in their double-overtime win against Florida in the first-round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament. All of Taylor’s points came after halftime and none were bigger than the contested 3-pointer he hit with 0.2 seconds left to put the Blue Jays ahead. The loss was especially painful for Florida, which had the ball and a two-point lead with 30 seconds remaining.

: No. 5 Auburn 78, No. 12 New Mexico State 77 (2019); No. 12 Missouri 93, No. 5 Miami 80 (2002); No. 12 Gonzaga 86, No. 5 Virginia 85

No. 4 vs. No. 13  No. 13 Vermont 70, No. 4 Syracuse 67 (OT) (2005)

T.J. Sorrentine sized up the patented Syracuse zone and scoffed. With his Vermont Catamounts leading by a point with 1:11 to in overtime, the 5-foot-11 senior guard unleashed a missile from five feet beyond the 3-point line that landed him a place in NCAA Tournament lore as the shot hit nothing but net to help the Catamounts secure their first-ever NCAA Tournament victory. UVM coach Tom Brennan shot his arms up in celebration and unleashed a yell as Syracuse called a timeout after Sorrentine’s shot. The Catamounts had endured five straight losing seasons before Brennan took the job. And they won just 14 games in his first three years. But as Breielder featured in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with former club Real Madrid.He said, “I’ve spent several years working on fitness and the physical side of my game. At Real Sociedad, my game was more positional, waiting to receive the ball. At Betis, it’s mucnnan prepared to retire at the close of his 19th season, this upset victorstanding by underfire coach Ernesto Valverde.There’s talk of Valverde facing the sack after their surprise Supercopa de Espana semifinal defeat to Atletico Madrid in Jeddah.But Mundo Deportivo says Bartomeu has no plans to remove Valverde, despite thy ensured that he went out as a legend after leading Vermont to a third straight NCAA Tournament.

: No. 14 Morehead State 62, Louisville 61 (2011); Valparaiso 70, Ole Miss 69 (1998); Navy 78, LSU 55 (1985)

No. 6 vs. No. 11 No. 11 LSU 94, No. 6 Purdue 87 (2OT) (1986)

LSU went on to become the first No. 11 seed to make the Final Four. First, it had to endure a marathon to upset Purdue in the first round. All five LSU starters played 44 minutes or more, but the Tigers had enough energy to put forth a 21-point surge in the second overtime – without a 3-point line – to escape with the win. Anthony Wilson scored a career-high 25 points for LSU.

: No. 11 Dayton 70, No. 6 Ohio State 69 (2014)

No. 3 vs. No. 14 No. 14 Georgia State 57, No. 3 Baylor 56 (2015)

The image of Georgia State coach Ron Hunter falling off his sideline stool after his son, R.J. Hunter, hit the go-ahead 3-pointer in the final secondaught the eye of Arsenal scouts.Arsenal spotted Lochereau while he was playing in a junior tournament in France recently.Little is known about the player other than that he was turning out in the competition while on a trial period with Nice.Lochereas against Baylor is one of NCAA Tournament lore. The elder Hunter had torn his left Achilles tendon the week before while celebrating the Panthers’ Sun Belt Tournament title. That victory snapped a 14-year NCAA Tournament drought for Georgia State and helped set up the memorable scene against Baylor. The Bears led by 12 with less than three minutes left before the younger Hunter exploded for nine straight points in one of the most improbable rallies of NCAA Tournament history.

: No. 14 Mercer 78, No. 3 Duke 71 (2014); No. 14 Bucknell 64, No. 3 Kansas 63 (2005); No. 14 Cleveland State 83, No. 3 Indiana 79 (1986)

No. 7 vs. No. 10  No. 10 Davidson 82, No. 7 Gonzaga 76 (2008)

Stephen Curry had scored 30 points in Davidson’s 82-70 loss to No. 4 seed Maryland in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. But his true introduction to the nation came in 2008 when he dropped 40 – including 30 in the second half – to lead the No. 10 seed Wildcats back from an 11-point deficit in the second half for an 82-76 win over Gonzaga in the first round. It was just the beginning of Davidson’s run and of Curry’s rise into an international star.

: No. 10 Miami (Ohio) 59, No. 7 Washington 58 (2009); Loyola Marymount 119, Wyoming 115 (1988)

No. 2 vs. No. 15  No. 15 Richmond 73, No. 2 Syracuse 69 (1991)

The Spiders had already developed a reputation for being dangerous in March after knocking off No. 5 seed Auburn and Charles Barkley in the 1984 tournament and by defeating No. 4 seed Indiana, the defending national champion, in a 1988 first-round game. Still, the odds seemed especially long for Richmond as a No. 15 seed matched up against Syracuse in a first-round game in 1991. But in what ended up being legendary Richmond coach Dick Tarrant’s final NCAA Tournament win, the Spiders upset Syracuse 73-69 and became the first No. 15 seed to beat a No. 2 seed. Just seven others have done it in the 27 tournament since.

No. 15 MTSU 90, Michigan State 81 (2016); Florida Gulf Coast 68, Georgetown 58 (2013); Arkansas 79, Texas Southern 78 (1995)

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Clemson-Virginia odds: College basketball picks, predictions from model on 38-18 run

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College hoops fans get a Tuesday treat when the travel to face the  in a 7 p.m. ET tip at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville. Virginia is favored by 9.5 points, down a half-point from the open. The over-under, or total number Vegas thinks will be scored, is 120, up two points from the open.

In this huge ACC basketball showdown that could have major implications on seeding come March, you need to see what SportsLine’s Projection Model has to say.

This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, completely crushed its top-rated college basketball picks during the 2016-17 season, returning a profit of almost $6,600 on $100 bets for anybody who followed them. And it’s on a strong 38-18 run on its college basketball picks right now.

The model has simulated Clemson vs. Virginia 10,000 times, and it came up with some surprising results.

We can tell you that the model loves the under, saying that it hits in 64 percent of simulations. And it also has a strong pick for which side you should take, and you can only see that over at SportsLine.

The model has taken into account Virginia’s strong recent performances. The second-ranked Cavaliers have won 10 straight, including a double-digit victory on the road against .

They’ve done it thanks to an elite defense. The Cavaliers, who have held opponents to 55 points or fewerred he wants Willian secured to a new deal.The 31 year-old’s current contract expires in June.Although unwilling to discuss the finer details of contract discussions, Lampard made his stance on Willian’s future perfectly clear.”I can’t get involved i in five of their past six games, lead the country in scoring defense at 52.4 points per game.

However, the Cavaliers’ defense will be tested against Clemson’s high-flying offense. The Tigers, who are averaging 77 points, are led by junior guard , who is averaging 16 points and 4.6 rebounds.

But just because Clemson’s offense has been explosive this season doesn’t mean it can stay within the 9.5-point spread, especially away from home.

Clemson is just 2-4 against the spread in its past six games when playing against Virginia on the road.

Will Clemson go on ther with the Spanish giants.Valdano is confident that the Colombia international will take advantage of the opportunity given to him by Zinedine Zidane.”James is a world-class player and if he is able to commit himself like he has, we have a player whe road and make a statement or will Virginia protect its home court we part of the Europa League final against Chelsea.Arsenal are “hugely concerned” Mkhitaryan may be forced to miss the Final against Chelsea in Baku due to ongoing tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan.Hostility remains over the disputed Nagorno Karith a big conference victory and cover? The SportsLine Projection Model’s picks are in.

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Georgetown’s non-league schedule is both awful and a reflection of a larger issue

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I was sitting in a coach’s office late one night, about 20 hours before his team was scheduled to play a game, watching film with the staff and just basically observing how they went about preparing. We had pizza for dinner. I remember that and a few other things — among them the coach stopping film once to take a phone call. A former assistant, who was now a head coach, was the person calling. So the coach answered. I only heard one side of the conversation. But this is basically what I heard:

“So how’d you do tonight?”

(Silence)

“Who’d you play?

(Silence)

“I’ve told you a million times. At the end of the season, your fans won’t know your strength of schedule. e his move to Manchester United.The former Sporting CP captain made the switch yesterday.And Carvahal, who coached in the Premier League with Swansea City, declared: “He goes to a league where the level is high, but I think he has value in being a reAll they’ll know is how many games you won and how many games you lost. You should’ve never scheduled that game. You’re in your first year. You knew you couldn’t win it. So if you didn’t have to play it, you shouldn’t have played it.”

I bring this up because today.

Simply put, it’s terrible.

I’m not going to insist I’ve never seen a national brand schedule less aggressively. But I certainly can’t remember a national brand scheduling less aggressively. As , seven of the 11 non-league games are against teams that were 320th or worse at KenPom last season — specifically (320), Maryland Eastern Shore (321), (337), (338), (343), (349) and (351). The other four are against (55), (92), Mount St. Mary’s (209) and Jacksonville (275). So that’s a non-league schedule featuring just two top-200 opponents — not to mention zero schools that earned at-large bids to the 2017 or are projected to earn at-large bids to the 2018 NCAA Tournament. In fact, it’s possible  has a non-league schedule that won’t even feature a game against a 2018 NIT team.

Again, terrible.

And it’s the byproduct of the fact that Georgetown stunk last season and will likely be way worse this season under first-year coach Patrick Ewing. The Hoyas won’t win many, if any, Big East games regardless of whether Ewing proves to be a capable coach or not because the roster is atrocious. Consequently, a non-league schedule like this is the only thing that could possibly give Ewing a realistic hope to reach double-digit wins. So Ewing put together a non-league schedule like this. And it’s an approach that falls completely in line with the advice that one head coach gave that other head coach s Gunners stretched their winless run in the Premier League to over a month as they suffered a 2-0 defeat to Leicester on Saturday evening – with Jamie Vardy and James Maddison downing the north London outfit.The loss condemned the Gunners to their woeveral years back when I was sitting in his office and listening to his phone call.

But it’s still lousy.

And, really, it’s a problem throughout college basketball — how too many teams play too many games against lousy opponents. And I don’t mean just lousy teams like Georgetown that play lousy opponents like Alabama A&M. I mean even the best teams play too many games against lousy and/or totally outmatched opponents, which is counter-productive for a sport that already has too many things working against it.

Take last season, for example.

I don’t single out the Tar Heels because they’re different than , , or any other traditional power. Because they’re not. It’s just that they’re the reigning national champions. And they’re the first team that popped into my head.

Check this out …

Seven of North Carolina’s 14 non-league games last season were against sub-100 KenPom teams. The Tar Heels were favored by at least 15 points in nine of the 14. And they won those nine by an average of 29.9 points.

Is that fun for anybody?

To be clear, I understand the business side of college basketball and the need to play “buy games” to create season-ticket packages. So I’m not assigning blame to Roy Williams or any other head coach. If I ran a prominent college basketball program, I’d do the same thing because the systeml not face an FA charge after approaching referee Michael Oliver after Sunday’s 3-1 defeat for City against Liverpool, reports Sky Sports.Guardiola confronted the referee at the final whistle following his side’s loss at Anfield, sarcastically saying in place basically requires it. Again, I get it. I totally get it. But I also know it’s not ideal for the sport, or the fans, when so many big brands spend so much time playing games they can’t possibly lose against teams that do not matter. There’s no easy or obvious solution to the problem, I acknowledge. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a problem that limits the sport — especially in November and December.

Bottom line, Georgetown’s embarrassing schedule is both understandable (from Ewing’s perspective) and worthy of ridicule (from everybody else’s perspective). But, make no mistake, the Hoyas won’t even be close to the only big brand playing mostly dreadful opponents in November and December. Nope, pretty much all big brands will be playing mostly dreadful opponents in November and December. Only difference here is that Georgetown’s opponents are more dreadful than most. And that Georgetown is more dreadful than usual. Which is why Georgetown’s opponents are more dreadful than most.

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Midwest Region Preview: Wichita State lands in the ‘glamour region’

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The Missouri Valley Conference finished early and unspectacularly, with running through the competition to finish 34-0. The Shockers have been on the back burner for a few days while the rest of the country keyed in on major conference tournaments, but now bubbles have burst and it’s time to test the undefeated team that promises to play angry.

But Wichita State’s plans to return to the Final Four were not helped by the NCAA selection committee. The Midwest is arguably the toughest region in the bracket, and the Shockers could run intoes record with a goal in their draw with Getafe.Betis had been trailing and were playing with a man less when Nabil Fekir earned a penalty which Joaquin converted.The captain of the Andalusian side equalled Julio Cardenosa at 307 career matches in th a scare as early as the Round of 32 with SEC tournament runner-up Kentucky joining the party in St. Louis.

 

On the Selection Show broadcast, the Midwest was called “the glamour region.” Wichita State’s undefeated run makes every game a must-watch, and when you add the likes of , and to the region — not to mention – as the 8-9 game with the Shockers in St. Louis — and it becomes the hottest ticket in the tournament. Doubters may have wondered if Wichita State was tested, but there will be no questions if Gregg Marshall’s team can escape Indianapolis unscathed. 

As of Saturday night, there were sane individuals who believed that Michigan, Duke or Louisville could flirt with the No. 1 seed when the brackets were finally announced. Now they are all in the same bracket, with the Cardinals as arguably one of the toughest teams to beat. The American Athletic Conference champions won 12 of their final 13 games, including road wins at Cincinnati and SMU, and could be the team to hand Wichita State its first loss if they can take care of business against the Jaspers and avoid getting bounced by a pesky team.

One of the 16-seed play-in games and both of the at-large games in Dayton will play into the Midwest Region. That should make for some difficult bracket picks, particularly when you consider the upset ability of the teams involved. just beat Syracuse in the ACC tournament, knocked off Creighton earlier this month, proved its worth in tight battle with Florida in the SEC semifinals and , though they have been colder than a polar bear’s toe nail down the stretch, can be incredibly efficient on offense and did beat Michigan by 18 last month.

1. Jabari Parker (Duke): Parker could be one of the most dominant players in this entire tournament,  and Duke has played its best ball when the freshman phenom is attacking on offense. His 8.8 rebounds per game is tied for tops in the ACC and 19.2 points per game is second only to T.J. Warren (more on him later).  

2. Fred VanVleet (Wichita State): Other Wichita State players score more, but the undefeated Shockers are paced by their 5-11 sophomore point guard. VanVleet (12.1 PPG, 5.3 APG) has been one of the most consistent players in the country in 2014 -ampton meet traditional rivals Portsmouth in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, but Howe feels Bournemouth’s games against the Saints are “gaining in everybody’s focus”.”It should be a really feisty game, a really good atmosphere and an entertaining match,”- his first season as a starter. 

3. Nik Stauskas (Michigan): No longer a shooting specialist, Stauskas leads the team in scoring (17.8 PPG) and was named the Big Ten Player of the Year. The good news for Michigan fans is that he’s still pretty darn good at shooting threes (44.5 percent).

4. TJ  Warren (N.C. State): The ACC Player of the Year is one of the most prolific scorers in college basketball, averaging 24.8 points per game. Warren has carried the Wolfpack offensively all season and averaged 33.75 PPG during a four game winning streak that included upsets against Pittsburgh and Syracuse.  

5. Russ Smith (Louisville): Smith’s offseason work paid off in a tremendous senior season. The Cardinals point guard has improved his assist numbers (4.7 APG) and shooting percentage from a year ago while still ranking second in the American in scoring (18.3 PPG).

Tennessee over UMass. The Volunteers turned around the season — and cooled Cuonzo Martin’s hot seat — with a strong finish to the regular season and respectable showing the SEC tournament. With senior Jordan McRae leading the way, the Vols should be able to keep get out of Dayton and keep the momentum rolling against a UMass team that lost three of its last five games.

Arizona State. If last impressions are lasting, you think I’m nuts right now. The Sun Devils lost back-to-back games to close the regular season then got blown out by Stanford on Thursday in the Pac-12 tournament. But Jahii Carsoacting Premier League interest.Andersson could be on the move in January, with clubs across Europe lodging enquiries.BILD says among those keen are Brighton, along with Ajax, Villarreal and Celtic.Andersson, 28, is tied to Union Berlin to the end of n is good enough to get hot and spark a few upsets, and Michigan seems more beatable than Wichita State, Duke or Louisville.

Fred VanVleet. Fans will remember Cleanthony Early and Ron Baker from last season’s run, but the Wichita State’s brilliant point guard will be the talk of the country by Monday after leading the Shockers past Kentucky and into the Sweet 16.

No. 4 Louisville vs. No. 3 Duke. If Michigan is knocked off in the Round of 32, Duke should cruise to the regional final to face the winner of a brutal battle between Wichita State and Louisville. That game feels like a toss-up to me, but I’m siding with the Cardinals just based on the recent play of Montrezl Harrell and the nagging feeling that Rick Pitino’s squad is just now playing its best basketball of the season. 

No. 3 Duke. Jabari Parker is not just one of the talented players in college basketball, he’s also a matchup nightmare. The entire Midwest Region began preparing for Parker on Sunday night, and it still might not be enough time to implement a plan to slow a versatile scorer of his caliber. Duke does not have a physically imposing front line, but Louisville does not have the personnel to take advantage of that weakness. Amile Jefferson is Duke’s X-factor, and if he’s active on the boards then Parker and Rodney Hood can take care of the rest.