No. 1 Gonzaga¡¯s perfect season ends in shocking loss to BYU

Gonzaga has been the most polarizing team in the country for the bulk of the 2016-17 college basketball season. Critics have pointed to their lack of competition in the West Coast Conference, while fans and defenders have noted their impressive non-conference victories and, oh yeah, the little fact that they appeared destined to be just the fifth team in the last 40 years to begin a season 30-0.

That defense is no longer on the table.

BYU stormed back from an early 18-2 deficit and stunned the top-ranked Bulldogs on their home court Saturday night. The 79-71 defeat in the regular season finale for both teams dropped Gonzaga to 29-1 heading into next week¡¯s WCC tournament.
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Despite the fact that he was squaring off against Gonzaga¡¯s 7¡¯1 behemoth Przemek Karnowski, BYU big man Eric Mika proved to be the star of stars on Saturday. The sophomore controlled the paint after his team¡¯s slow start, finishing with 29 points on 10-of-14 shooting while also hauling down 11 rebounds. The Zags lost despite getting 19 points from All-American candidate Nigel Williams-Goss.

Jameis Winston has the potential to be a franchise quarterback. Physically, Winston has every tool. But his off-field issues won¡¯t be ignored. Neither will his on-field decision-making. Winston has thrown an alarming number of interceptions this season and seems to start games slow.

After those two, there is a steep dropoff. Michigan State¡¯s Connor Cook has a good combination of tools, though he may return for his senior season. Brett Hundley of UCLA is another player with tools, but struggles from the pocket. Sean Mannion of Oregon State and Bryce Petty of Baylor are traditional pocket passers who don¡¯t wow you in any particular area.

Basically, if your team needs a quarterback, good luck.

Authentic Bill Barber Jersey Missing from this list who could otherwise be in the top five is Utah State¡¯s Chuckie Keeton. The belief is that he¡¯ll be back in college next season and receive a medical redshirt after playing in just three games in 2014.

Anthony Lynn not worried by ex-head coaches on staff

Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn was roundly praised for the coaching staff he was able to put together in Los Angeles. The luring of former Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley to be defensive coordinator and the retaining of offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt gives Lynn a deep pocket of knowledge to draw from as a first-time head coach.

But does it also give the organization a deep pocket of replacement candidates to choose from should they not be happy with their original choice?

“That doesn’t bother me,” Lynn said, via The San Diego Union-Tribune. “I know those guys. Those guys have my back.”

“He’s one of several veterans who are still considering whether they want to play, whether they want to not play, retire, walk away,” NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport explained on Wednesday’s edition of NFL Total Access. “A lot of things in play here for Jay Cutler.”

The other veteran quarterbacks Rapoport alluded to are Carson Palmer, Ben Roethlisberger and Tony Romo, all of whom have contemplated retirement since the end of the 2016 season.

Palmer has since committed to the Cardinals, while Roethlisberger and Romo are expected to play provided their bodies cooperate and their football situations are to their liking.

This isn’t to suggest that Cutler has one foot out the door as he enters his mid-thirties. It’s simply the new reality of the modern NFL in which established quarterbacks settling into their twilight years adopt a year-to-year approach, taking the time to weigh whether it’s worthwhile to continue playing after setting themselves and their families up for life.

Jameis Winston experiencing weakness in his throwing shoulder, according to report

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Jameis Winston has run into his first bump at the NFL Scouting Combine. Winston is experiencing “weakness in his throwing shoulder,” according to a report by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

To figure out the source of the problem, the former Florida State quarterback has undergone an electromyography on the affected shoulder. Shoulder weakness or “dead arm” isn’t common among quarterbacks, but it is a regular occurrence for baseball pitchers. Though best known for his football work, Winston also plays baseball for the Seminoles, splitting time between the outfield and the pitcher’s mound.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the doctors at the combine believe Winston’s issues are nerve related. However, the condition isn’t considered serious and he will not need treatment.

This wasn’t the first time that Davis had a 50-10 game this season. He had 50 points and 15 rebounds in a loss to the Nuggets on opening night.

Kevin Durant’s triple-double was the fourth in All-Star Game history, joining Dwyane Wade (2012), LeBron James (2011) and Michael Jordan (1997).

Russell Westbrook finished with 41 points, giving him 113 in the past three All-Star Games. That’s the most points by a player in the span of three All-Star Games. Elias Sports Bureau research shows that the previous mark of 104 was held by Durant (2012-14). Westbrook has three 30-point games, tied with Bryant for second in All-Star Game history. Durant leads in that stat with four.

Jimmer Fredette Authentic Jersey The other item of note was that DeMarcus Cousins played only two minutes, the fewest by a player in an All-Star Game in 46 years. But as it turned out, there was a reason (and a trade) behind that.

Smith said he loves Thomas Rawls and believes Rawls can develop into a No. 1 back

The Indians were able to splurge for what seems like a small upgrade because they are so strong and deep everywhere else on the roster. And the payroll is so lean that, even after adding Encarnacion, Cleveland still projects to finish in the bottom half of the majors in salary. Also, even if the upgrade turns out to be just a few runs, maybe those will be just the ones Cleveland needs to get over the top for the first time since 1948. After all, last season, one more well-timed run would have made all the difference.
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Boston Red Sox: Speaking of marginal upgrades …

I’m a big believer in the notion of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” when it comes to professional sports. Of course, the trick is to know when something is either broken or is about to break. The Red Sox weren’t broken last season. They won 93 games with the run differential of a 100-win team. They scored 101 more runs than any other team in the American League, finished third in team ERA and fourth in defensive runs saved. Sure, it all went sour in the ALDS against Cleveland, but randomness is a thing come October, and the Indians were (and are) a terrific team.

Nevertheless, with the retirement of David Ortiz, standing pat was not an option for Boston. That’s especially so for a team that during the past five years has been all or nothing, with two first-place finishes and three last-place finishes. So it was a challenging winter for team president Dave Dombrowski, who wouldn’t have it any other way.

Smith said he loves Thomas Rawls and believes Rawls can develop into a No. 1 back. However, Rawls has to “free his mind up.” Smith explained that Rawls put too much pressure on himself in 2016 and would get frustrated when he made mistakes.
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When asked about what the Seahawks need to do to win another Super Bowl, Smith said the players need to regain their hunger. He acknowledged that could be difficult for a team that has won and possesses so many players who have been paid and achieved superstar status.

I can’t stop laughing at this portrait of me by my 28-year-old coworker

“Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.” — Salvador Dali

When I saw the portrait, I realized that I was bearing witness to a kind of greatness that only comes along once every 400 years. That I was probably going through something close to what the first beholder of the Mona Lisa experienced upon viewing Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece. Because this picture was evidence of an artistic ability so pure, so otherworldly, that it transcended this plane of humanity and soared toward the divine.

Here it is, the greatest drawing ever drawn, a portrait of me by SB Nation’s own 28-year-old Alex Rubenstein:

The biggest change to the roster this year is the addition of Semi Ojeleye, a 6’8 combo forward who sat out last season after transferring from Duke. Ojeleye had the pedigree to be a star player as a top-50 recruit out of the class of 2013, but it was hard to know exactly what SMU had in him because he rarely got on the floor for Duke. They know now: Ojeleye is an inside-outside force who can score all over the court and should be the conference player of the year.

Ojeleye does most of the heavy lifting on offense, leading the team with 18.2 points per game. He’s an impossible cover because of his combination of shooting (42.3 percent from three) and strength. After never scoring more than 10 points in a college game before this year, Ojeleye has scored 20 or more nine times already this season.

Rubenstein began drawing around age 7, but, instead of paraphrasing, I’m just going to provide the transcript of our interview.
Like any true artistic genius, Rubenstein is a bit of a recluse. He shies away from social media, refusing to use Twitter (besides keeping a few tabs open on his browser so that he can lurk). He is very careful about what commissions he accepts, for fear of over-saturating the market. As a result, the average going price for a Rubenstein original has risen from one lukewarm beer to at least three in one year.

Floyd was winding down the final year of his rookie contract when he was released.

Richardson is a talented player, but his four seasons in New York have been marred by two league suspensions (total: five games) and a lack of maturity in his own locker room. He needs a fresh start. So do the Jets, who considered trading him last October at the deadline. Chances are the Jets will restart trade talks later this month. He has one year and $8.1 million left on his contract.

Game Kids Tyrann Mathieu Jersey “That feeling is great knowing that you can stay on one team for your whole career, so obviously it was heartbreaking the stuff that happened,” Floyd said. “If I could go back, definitely I would love to be where I was.”

Floyd was winding down the final year of his rookie contract when he was released.

Floyd was found unconscious behind the wheel of his running vehicle at a Scottsdale intersection early on the morning of Dec. 12, police said. Floyd’s black Cadillac Escalade sat through at least two green-light cycles with him passed out behind the wheel. Officers barricaded his SUV between their cars as they prepared to wake him up, according to the police report detailing the arrest. The SUV’s engine was running and Floyd’s foot was on the brake, the report said.

Oher missed the final 13 games this past season after being diagnosed with a concussion a few days before a Week 4 game against Atlanta.

Coach Ron Rivera said during an appearance on ESPN’s “NFL Insiders” during Super Bowl week that Oher is “continuing through the protocol.”

Limited Womens Mike Nugent Jersey “He’s had some really good days working out and working himself back in,” Rivera said. “We’re pretty optimistic. The doctors will continue to work with him.”

NHL scores 2017: Islanders are finally thriving in season of drama

Drama won¡¯t leave the New York Islanders alone this season, but for once it seems the players aren¡¯t affected by it one bit.

In the weeks since firing head coach Jack Capuano, and days after news broke that cast their future in Brooklyn in doubt, the Islanders have dragged themselves out of the NHL muck into the thick of the Stanley Cup Playoffs race.
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New York¡¯s win over the Washington Capitals (the league¡¯s best over the last month) on Tuesday leaves them three points back of the struggling Philadelphia Flyers for the final playoff berth. That¡¯s a 6-0-1 run and 11 of 12 possible points claimed since Doug Weight took over for Capuano.
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They¡¯re getting healthy (Mikhail Grabovski is expected back at some point after rehabbing an injury), they¡¯re locking up key pieces of their immediate future, and they¡¯re finding their stride as a strong team again after the worst start imaginable. And distractions will continue to mount; their arena crisis is far from over.

But they¡¯ve climbed this far. Belief is a strong shield.

Cogliano assisted on Silfverberg¡¯s second goal of the game (and 15th of the season) in the third period to give Anaheim a commanding 3-1 lead over the Avalanche. The two players are the unheralded Ducks duo that make the difference between a loss or a win on so many nights. Now that Corey Perry is beginning to show signs of life while John Gibson continues to excel in net, the Ducks are primed for a strong second-half push in the Pacific.

Maple Leafs players admitted as much after their 6-3 loss in Dallas, in which they fell behind 5-1 in the first 20 minutes. Perhaps because of their youth and reckless abandon, the Leafs are usually a robust road team. But they need something to kickstart them again: the Leafs are in the midst of a 2-3-1 slide they can¡¯t afford in a tight Eastern Conference playoffs race.

The Falcons’ defensive shakeup comes on the heels of a 34-28 overtime loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI

Acquiring Kirk Cousins could be high on the 49ers’ wish list, with new coach Kyle Shanahan having worked with the quarterback in Washington.

It’s too early to pinpoint which direction Shanahan wants to go, especially since he hasn’t even had time to evaluate the various college prospects yet. But, yes, there will be options on the trade and free-agent market that could make sense as short and long-term options of Shanahan’s Niners. There will be no shortage of competition, though as teams like the Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, Houston Texans, Buffalo Bills and Denver Broncos could be in the market for immediate starters, with others like the San Diego Chargers and Arizona Cardinals possibly looking for future solutions.
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“I hadn’t thrown Witten a touchdown all year long,” Prescott said. “That was the game he broke the record for starters. To get that touchdown to Witten, a guy I respect so much, that’s made me a better player; that was a special moment for me.”

The Cowboys’ loss to the Green Bay Packers still hurts Prescott. He and Ezekiel Elliott, as well as the offensive line and some other offensive players, made a postseason trip to Las Vegas. The week in Houston for the Super Bowl was another chance to unwind. He said he will take a couple of weeks off before getting back to work at the end of the month.

He will head down to Orlando, Florida, to train, like he did for the scouting combine, and then begin taking part in the optional workouts at The Star in March.

His time inside NRG Stadium will serve as motivation.

Elite Kids Marqise Lee Jersey “It allows the chip to grow again,” he said.

Manuel also was the assistant secondary coach in Seattle when Quinn served as the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator.

The Falcons’ defensive shakeup comes on the heels of a 34-28 overtime loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. The Falcons blew a 28-3 third-quarter lead and surrendered 546 total yards, including 446 passing yards to Tom Brady.

Linebacker Deion Jones was one of four rookie starters on the young Falcons defense

The 49ers were the biggest opening line favorite in Super Bowl history (-17.5) and tied the Colts in Super Bowl III as the biggest closing line favorite. Unlike the Colts, San Francisco proved why they deserved to be such a big favorite, leading 28-10 at halftime and covering the spread easily.
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While Ryan provided the backbone, a young core of defenders gave a glimpse of the Falcons’ bright future. Quinn, the former Seahawks defensive coordinator who had a fast and physical defense in Seattle, insisted on building the same type of unit in Atlanta. They found players who fit that philosophy in the 2016 draft with strong safety Keanu Neal (first round), linebacker Jones (second) and linebacker De’Vondre Campbell (fourth).

“For sure, it hurts like hell,” second-year Falcons coach Dan Quinn told Fox. “I thought our guys battled hard and made plays. We know how good and what they are capable of doing. You thought this game would come down to the end, and it did. Two good teams battling for it. We knew what they were capable of as well.”

Elite Kids Matt Barkley Jersey The loss put a damper on what was a spirited effort for the Falcons, sparked by a young defense that made plays early and often. Rookie linebacker Deion Jones set the tone early with a strip and forced fumble that was recovered by cornerback Robert Alford. Then Alford read Brady as he was pressured by Dwight Freeney, picked off the pass and returned it 82 yards for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead.

But all of it went for naught as the defense eventually succumbed to Brady¡¯s brilliance. And offensively, the Falcons seemed to lose all the juice that made them the highest-scoring offense in the league.