Sunday night, the 2015 NCAA Tournament field was revealed, and unsurprisingly, Kentucky was named the overall No. 1 seed. The Wildcats are also the odds-on favorite to win this year’s national title, per Bovada. In fact, Kentucky is almost at even money to take home the trophy – they’re currently listed at 6:5 to win it all.Arizona, the 2-seed in the West Region, actually has the second-highest odds. Wisconsin checks in third, with Duke fourth. Villanova and Virginia come in at 10:1.Here’s a list of all 68 tournament teams, along with their odds to win the championship. You could make a lot of money betting on a 16-seed to win it all, but we wouldn’t advise it. No 16-seed has ever even won an NCAA Tournament game, much less a title.Who are you betting on?
3Roger FedererSwitzerland55.5 7Juan BalcellsSpain54.3 In particular, Dominic Thiem, who knocked out Nadal in Madrid, was able to significantly erode Rafa’s second-serve dominance with a 7-5, 6-3 win. It was the only match Nadal lost on clay this season.What have these players done to put a dent — however temporary — in Nadal’s second serve? To answer that question, we must first look at why it’s so dominant to begin with.In the men’s game at the pro level, the first serve is a statistical powerhouse. It’s a guessing game for the returner — a nightmare of speed, spin and precision. When a player connects on his first serve, he usually wins the point.When a player misses the mark, it’s time for the second serve. That’s when anything can happen and where break points are won. It’s the real contest. It’s also where Nadal is making everyone else look like fools, statistically speaking.What makes Nadal’s second serve so goodThe second-best second server on clay is John Isner, a 6-foot-10 acing titan who can hammer balls more than 150 mph. Many of the career leaders in this second-serve category are like Isner — they bring the heat. 2John IsnerUnited States55.7 The clay-court masters of the second serveCareer leaders in share of points won off second serves on clay courts Alexander Zverev2ndItalian Open38–– Source: ATP OpponentSetTournamentSecond-Serve Points Won 1Rafael NadalSpain56.7% 5Andy RoddickUnited States54.8 10Thomas MusterAustria54.0 8Stan WawrinkaSwitzerland54.2 Dominic Thiem1stMadrid Open40%–– Beating Nadal means beating back his second serveShare of second-serve points that Rafael Nadal won in the four sets he lost on clay this season Fabio Fognini1stItalian Open50–– Rafael Nadal is likely more dominant at clay-court tennis than any other athlete is at any one thing. Winning a set, let alone a match, against Nadal on clay can seem almost hopeless. As he nears 32 years old, he’s already won 56 clay-court titles and a record 10 French Open championships — with a chance to add an 11th next week.While his forehand is explosive and his backhand is relentless, it’s possible Nadal’s greatest advantage is that he turns an element of the game that’s a weakness for so many others into a weapon: the second serve. He has had more success on his second serve than any player in tennis history, and on clay, his prowess here is even more pronounced.In his career, Nadal has won 56.7 percent of his second-serve points on clay. In the past year, he’s upped that percentage to 66.4 percent.1Data reflects his numbers going into the French Open. On Thursday, Nadal advanced to the third round with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 win over Guido Pella. For most pro players, anything better than break-even on second serve is considered good. Nadal has taken the safety net of the sport and turned it into a battle ax.This also unlocks the secret to beating him on his favorite surface. Occasionally players can and do make Nadal more human in this area. Bringing him back to Earth by cracking into his second-serve points, players can make the King of Clay look more like … just a prince, let’s say.This clay-court season, Nadal has lost exactly four sets of tennis. Notice what happened to the percentage of second-serve points Nadal won in those four sets: 6Stefanos TsitsipasGreece54.4 But Rafa’s not about speed on the serve. He’s not even close to the ATP Tour leaders in aces. In fact, his 1.9 career aces per match on clay is the lowest on the table above. (Isner’s rate is 16.3.) Nadal averages around 110 to 115 mph on his first serve and less than 100 mph on this statistically dominant second serve. Very meh speeds.The elements that make his second serve so crushing, particularly on clay, are part intuitive and part mystery. Nadal plays left-handed — a topsy-turvy problem for players conditioned to a world full of right-handed serves. A lefty slice serve travels the opposite way of what players are used to.But slice isn’t the menace on clay that it is elsewhere because players have more time to get to balls on this surface. So if slice is mitigated, why would Nadal’s lefty slice be more potent on clay?John Yandell is a tennis editor and coach who has examined the spins and techniques of hundreds of professional tennis players. He analyzed Nadal’s serve spins and concluded that while Nadal’s second serve “has an element of topspin” and is “heavy” at around 4,000 rotations per minute, it’s not categorically different from other serves on tour, which combine slice and topspin.“Most likely it’s just Rafa,” Yandell said. “What he does after he puts the serve in play.”So the secret could be in what he’s doing when that second serve comes back — a shot sometimes called “the plus-one.”How to win points off his second serveRafa has become a master at managing space on European red clay, where balls travel so far off the bounce that the court plays bigger and wider. On returns, he famously stands far back behind the baseline to take a big swing at the serve, then repositions himself according to where his shot lands. Though he can’t start deep behind the baseline when he serves, he uses that same repositioning approach with his plus-one shot, taking advantage of errors by overzealous returners to dominate these second-serve points.At the French Open on Tuesday, Nadal won a straight-sets victory in what was considered a tough first-round match. He not only took 62 percent of second-serve points, he also tempted Simone Bolelli into going for too much on those points and committing an unforgivable 23 errors — with only four winners.So what about the tougher competition? In Rome on May 19, Nadal faced Novak Djokovic, one of the greatest returners in tennis. The two clashed intensely before Nadal won the first set in a tiebreak. It was a set in which Nadal hit a lot of second serves and won his usual high percentage of second-serve points. It’s also a good case study in what Nadal does so well here in terms of positioning.In this video, Nadal’s second serve puts Djokovic in a defensive position early. An extended rally ensues until Nadal sees his opportunity to step into the court and strike with a forehand winner.But even what Djokovic did above is preferable to the alternative, which is missing the return all together. If you can prolong the rally, at least you have a fighting chance: Contrary to his reputation, Nadal doesn’t do nearly as well in long rallies as he does in short ones.Take note, Rafa challengers. Dominic Thiem2ndMadrid Open29–– RKPlayerCOUNTRYSecond-serve point win share 4Borna CoricCroatia55.2 Source: ATP 9Juan Carlos FerreroSpain54.1
Terrelle Pryor admitted he doesn’t have the most talent or the glitziest numbers. But he proved Saturday he can make plays when it counts. The junior quarterback rallied Ohio State (10-1, 6-1) to a fourth-quarter comeback to escape Iowa City, Iowa, with a 20-17 victory and keep the Buckeyes in the hunt for their sixth straight conference title. “I might not be the best quarterback or have the best stats,” Pryor said, “but I guarantee I can bring my team back and make them believe that we were coming back.” It wasn’t pretty. Pryor scrambled for 14 yards to convert a fourth-and-10 at midfield to revive a game-winning drive that was on life support. Five plays later, running back Dan “Boom” Herron punched in a 2-yard touchdown to cap the 12-play, 76-yard march and give OSU a 20-17 lead with 1:47 remaining. “Our guys don’t panic,” coach Jim Tressel said. “They believe and keep fighting. We felt like it was going to be a four-quarter heavyweight bout.” Herron rushed for 69 yards on 20 carries. The junior has scored at least one touchdown in 10 consecutive games. Iowa’s final crack at tying or winning the game was short-lived. Defensive lineman Cameron Heyward sacked quarterback Ricky Stanzi to force the Hawkeyes into a fourth-and-22, which they couldn’t convert. “I think we knew we really needed a stop,” Heyward said. “The defensive line just took that personally and went out there and played.” Pryor raved all week about OSU’s offensive game plan for Iowa, but aside from the go-ahead series, the Buckeyes struggled to muster up any sort of offensive rhythm. The junior signal-caller tossed a pair of costly interceptions, and officials flagged the Buckeyes eight times for 73 yards, including three false start penalties. “Throughout the game, a lot of things were going on,” Pryor said. “A lot of dropped passes, a lot of bad throws, a lot of inaccurate throws. We lived for another day.” Pryor’s miscues nearly cost OSU the game. Facing third-and-10 with the score tied 10-10 in the fourth quarter, Pryor, looking for receiver Dane Sanzenbacher, threw into double coverage off his back foot. Iowa’s Shaun Prater collected the errant throw after a deflection, returning the pick eight yards to the OSU 27-yard line. The pick “was kind of B.S.,” Pryor said. “It kind of bounced off Dane and bounced up. They made a great play on that.” Two plays later, running back Marcus Coker scored the first touchdown of his career from one yard out to provide Iowa a 17-10 edge. Coker totaled 70 yards on nine carries as he started in place of Adam Robinson, whom Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz benched for the first quarter for what he called “academic indigestions.” “He didn’t do anything wrong, illegal or what have you,” Ferentz said. “But just not dotting the ‘I’s and crossing the ‘T’s.” Robinson, who gained 27 yards on nine carries, left the game on Iowa’s final drive after taking a brutal hit from OSU safety Jermale Hines. With 7:38 to play, Devin Barclay converted a career-long 48-yard field goal to cap an 11-play, 30-yard drive that cut OSU’s deficit to 17-13. One play before Pryor rescued the Buckeyes on fourth down, receiver DeVier Posey, all alone in the end zone, let a downfield heave fall through his fingers. He strutted back to the huddle, hands on his helmet, shaking his head. “Was I pissed? Yeah, I was mad,” Pryor said. “But we had a fourth-and-10 to get to or we were going to lose another game. I hate losing with a passion.” Pryor atoned for Posey’s drop and his own mistakes on the next play, as Tressel opted against punting on fourth down from midfield with more than four minutes left. Instead, the notoriously conservative coach put his trust in an offense that tallied just three points in the first half. “When it was fourth-and-10 and (Pryor) went scrambling, I almost threw up on myself,” linebacker Brian Rolle said. “I held my breath the whole play.” On the Buckeyes’ final possession before halftime, Pryor tried to squeeze a pass into triple coverage for receiver Taurian Washington. After a deflection, Iowa safety Micah Hyde snagged the ball with one hand while falling to the ground to preserve the Hawkeye lead. Following the play, Pryor pleaded his case with Tressel and quarterbacks coach Nick Siciliano, insisting that the turnover wasn’t his fault. “He was probably upset about the fact he threw an interception,” Tressel said. “But in the heat of a game when you’re screaming and yelling at each other, there’s no place for the meek and mild. You need to be screamed at and you need to scream. “I don’t know if I was screaming at him or if he was screaming at me or if we were screaming at each other, but we still love each other.” Pryor completed 18 of his 33 pass attempts for 195 yards. He found backup tight end Reid Fragel for a 5-yard touchdown to cap a 12-play, 77-yard drive to start the second half and turn a 7-3 deficit into a 10-7 advantage. The score was the first of Fragel’s career. Iowa responded with a 10-play, 65-yard march of its own, which culminated in a 31-yard field goal to tie the game. Last season, the teams also entered the fourth quarter knotted at 10-10. Herron and running back Brandon Saine scored touchdowns early in the quarter before Iowa erased a 14-point deficit to send the contest into overtime. After Iowa failed to score, Barclay punched the Buckeyes’ ticket to Pasadena, Calif., with a 39-yard field goal. OSU hosts rival Michigan at the Horseshoe at noon Saturday. A victory would clinch the Buckeyes at least a share of the Big Ten title. Michigan State and Wisconsin remain tied with OSU atop the Big Ten standings with one conference loss. The Badgers beat Michigan, and the Spartans rallied to defeat Purdue.
Fans of Ohio State sports are lucky, spoiled even, you could say. Not only is Columbus home to one of the country’s best football programs with Urban Meyer at the helm, but the basketball team, under the watch of Thad Matta, has developed into a national power. Over the last five years, OSU leads all schools in the two-sport winning percentage of football and men’s basketball. The past academic year witnessed a flawed but driven football team go undefeated and a basketball squad, having to replace a two-time all-American and the program’s third all-time leading scorer, come within a game of matching its NCAA Tournament run from a season ago. As the photo editor of The Lantern, I was privileged to witness each of OSU’s 12 football games in person. I also covered the majority of the basketball team’s contests, including all of the Big Ten Tournament in Chicago and the NCAA Tournament games in Dayton and Los Angeles. Here’s the best that was on the gridiron and the hardwood in 2012-13 at OSU: Best game: OSU 73, Arizona 70, NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Playing in one of America’s basketball cathedrals, OSU advanced to its second Elite Eight in as many seasons at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The No. 6-seeded Wildcats, coached by Sean Miller, Matta’s former assistant at Xavier, raced out to a 26-17 lead. Junior forward Deshaun Thomas hit a couple 3-pointers to help the Buckeyes claw back to within four points at halftime. Out of the break, No. 2 seed OSU used a 10-2 run to take hold of the contest. The Buckeyes lead got as high as eight points with 7:42 to play, but an and-one layup from senior guard Mark Lyons tied the game at 70-70 with 21 seconds remaining. With the ball in his hands less than a week after hitting the game-winner in a third round contest against Iowa State, junior guard Aaron Craft passed to LaQuinton Ross with two seconds left. The sophomore forward and occupant of Kobe Bryant’s locker during the stay in L.A. hit a 3-pointer from the left arc to catapult the Buckeyes past the Wildcats. Best player: Then-sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller Thomas made a strong case for himself being the name in this category, leading the Big Ten in scoring and being OSU’s only offensive option for the most of the season. But as much as the junior forward was relied on this winter, Miller was to an even greater extent with the football team. The then-sophomore set a school record for total yards in a season and was a serious Heisman contender until the trophy’s finalists were announced in early December. In 2012, Miller totaled 3,310 yards and 28 touchdowns. With Thomas declaring himself eligible for the NBA Draft, Miller is likely to see his name in this category again next year. Best play: Craft’s game-winning 3-pointer vs. Iowa State Two plays made by players on the football team came to mind when trying to decide who would win this category. There was the scrambling run for a touchdown by Miller at Penn State that involved multiple juke moves before a leap into the end zone. And the superman-esque dive by then-sophomore linebacker Ryan Shazier into Wisconsin then-senior running back Montee Ball forced a fumble at the goal line and stopped history (Ball was a touchdown away from setting the NCAA career record). But neither of those, nor any play made by the football or basketball team this year, were better than the 3-pointer Craft hit in Dayton against Iowa State to send OSU into the Sweet 16. Dribbling the ball at the top of the key, the junior guard waved off calls for the ball by Thomas and junior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. With Cyclone freshman forward Georges Niang isolated on him, Craft waited until there was one second left before firing a 3-pointer that found nothing but the bottom of the net. “I hope someday they put a statue in front of our building of him,” Matta said on CBS after the game. “Coaches were telling me he’s exhausted. He’s too tough to be tired. What a big-time shot.” Best moment: Then-redshirt junior quarterback Kenny Guiton leads comeback against Purdue OSU’s dream of an undefeated season nearly came to a screeching halt at the end of the third quarter of the Buckeyes’ Oct. 20 game against Purdue in Columbus. Miller had just suffered an injury, left the field on a cart and exited the stadium in an ambulance. OSU was trailing the Boilermakers, 20-14, and with its best player out, the team’s perfect 7-0 record was almost assuredly going to be handed a blemish. In stepped Guiton, who did little to help the Buckeyes’ cause until the game was just about over. With 2:40 left and the score 22-14, the then-redshirt junior threw an interception. Meyer grabbed Guiton, who was noticeably distraught. “I said, ‘You’re going to win us a game,’” Meyer said. “He looked right at me. I think he was down but I think that moment kind of picked him up.” OSU got the ball back, and Guiton led a 61-yard drive with 47 seconds left that ended with a touchdown pass to then-redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Fields. The Buckeyes tied the game with a two-point conversion on a lobbed throw to then-freshman tight end Jeff Heuerman and won the contest in overtime. Best underdog story: Zach Boren’s move to linebacker OSU’s defense had shredded in back-to-back games against Nebraska and Indiana in mid-October. The Buckeyes allowed a combined 87 points in those two contests, and at the heart of Meyer’s concerns about his defense was the linebacker position. Boren, then-senior and 30-game starter at fullback, had played linebacker in high school and was recruited to OSU to play that position. Sensing that his team needed someone to step up and fill a void, Boren asked Meyer if he could play linebacker during an October practice. Meyer obliged to the request, and Boren responded by helping revamp a defense that allowed just 57 points in November. The Pickerington native recorded 50 tackles on the season and averaged 8.2 tackles per game in his six games at linebacker, including a career-high 12 in the overtime win at Wisconsin. “Talk about Zach Boren. You want someone to write a book on, wow, that would be good if you go write a book on Zach Boren,” Meyer said. Best team: Football The basketball team can make its arguments: Big Ten Tournament champions, an Elite Eight Appearance and an 11-game winning streak. The football team only needs to make one, though. Undefeated. Meyer and his squad literally accomplished everything they could in 2012, winning all 12 of their games and recording the school’s first perfect season since 2002.
Newcastle United have rejected an offer thought to be around £25million from West Ham for defender Jamal Lascelles, according to talkSPORT.West Ham are interested in signing the 24-year-old defender for Newcastle but have had their first offer rejected by the Toon side.The Hammers are currently undergoing a squad overhaul as new boss Manuel Pellegrini looks to improve the quality of his playing squad.West Ham have already completed the signing of Issa Diop, Ryan Fredericks, Lukasz Fabianski and Jack Wilshere.But Pellegrini is keen on adding Lascelles to his squad to improve his defence.Virgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.West Ham are hoping to lure the former Nottingham Forest centre-back to the Olympic Stadium in London but Rafael Benitez is hoping to keep his captain at the club.Newcastle have made their intentions of retaining the services of the English man known and have rejected West Ham’s bid for him.
Photo by Benoit Tessier/Reuters/PBS NewsHourFormer U.S. president Barack Obama speaks at a conference during his first visit to France since he left the White House, Paris, France December 2, 2017. The session, organized by an association called “Les Napoleons” is hosted by Orange CEO Stephane Richard. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier – RC1299EF4EF0Former President Barack Obama is calling President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran deal a “serious mistake” that will erode America’s global credibility.Obama’s administration brokered the deal. He says Tuesday that Trump’s decision to withdraw is “misguided,” especially because Iran has been complying.Obama also warned: “The consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America’s credibility, and puts us at odds with the world’s major powers.”Obama says that without the deal, the U.S. “could eventually be left with a losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East.”He says the deal remains a model for what diplomacy can accomplish, including when it comes to North Korea.There are few issues more important to the security of the US than the potential spread of nuclear weapons or the potential for even more destructive war in the Middle East. Today’s decision to put the JCPOA at risk is a serious mistake. My full statement: https://t.co/4oTdXESbxe— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 8, 2018 Share
January 30, 2013The 2013 Arcosanti Resident Art Show is scheduled to open on February 9. until April 14. A range of original art pieces and crafts will be available for viewing and for sale from 9 am to 5 pm each day of the exhibit. On Saturday, February 9., from 1pm to 5 pm, the artists welcome the public for a special reception in the Arcosanti Cafe to mark the opening of the Art Show, including refreshments and an opportunity to discuss the pieces with the artists. This year, the exhibit will feature bronze sculpture, paintings, jewelry, fine woodworking, weaving, photographs, and more. For more information, please contact the exhibit curator, Cliff Hersted, at 928 632-6200.[photo: part of the 2012 Resident art exhibit]
The BBC plans to launch its first ‘companion screen’ app associated with its Antiques Roadshow show in September.Victoria Jaye, head of IPTV and TV online content at the BBC, revealed at the Connected TV World Summit yesterday that the first public launch of a companion screen service will be an app based around the popular BBC1 antiques and collectables show. The BBC will introduce an app for smartphone, tablet and desktop that allows viewers to guess the value of collectables brought by members of the public on the show. There will also be a red button version of the app available.The app, which will also feature background stores about the collectables featured on the show, will be introduced by Antiques Roadshow presenters. “We believe we’re building on a genuine audience need,” she said.Jaye said that over the next 18 months the BBC would focus on developing a handful of pilot versions of synchronous companion screen apps that would build on audience needs related to programmes as they are being watched, using its experience with red button services as a guide.The BBC has already piloted apps around its Frozen Planet and Secret Fortune series on BBC1.Secret Fortune, a quiz show, has been accompanied for some time by a playalong service accessible via the red button. Jaye said that the BBC wanted to develop a companion app taking people on their own journey through the format either playing alone or in a multiplayer format. “It’s all about togetherness,” she said, either with the family or with the audience at large. She said that an app where the audience selected answers on the iPad, similar to what was happening on the show, worked well.At the other end of the programming spectrum the BBC also developed an app for natural history programme Frozen Planet, based on information about the animals and giving viewers the opportunity to identify the app as a ‘favourite’, which enabled them to return and look up information after the show had aired. Jaye said this appealed to families with children. Audiences particularly like the ability to ‘favourite’ the content and come back to it. She said they also expressed a preference for ancillary content from the show’s makers rather than from a third party source like Wikipedia. “They wanted people to orientate them into the companion experience,” she said.Jaye said that the companion screen market was still at a very early stage. One of the main challenges was scale, she said. To enable apps to work, “we need to get numbers of people onto these platforms”, said Jaye.