No. 15 seed Middle Tennessee State shocks No. 2 seed Michigan State, will face Syracuse on Sunday


first_imgWhen Matt Costello’s and-one cut the lead to two early in the second half, MTSU scored six points in the span of 47 seconds to make the lead eight. Bryn Forbes responded with a 3. Then Potts hit now of his own.Costello cut it to 65-64 with a layup. Then Harris hit an and-one. Colby Wallenman made two free throws to bring it to 77-76, then Perrin Buford hit an and-one layup. Every sniff at a run or any hope of momentum was always dashed by a Blue Raiders basket.“In my wildest dreams I didn’t think they’d hit some of the shots they hit,” MSU head coach Tom Izzo said in a tear-filled press conference. “We didn’t guard them real good. But, man, they made some shots. Boy, really take my hat off to the shots they made.”After the game, players in the MTSU locker room spoke with large throngs of reporters. A lot of them looked as their phones started blowing up. Some, like Jaqawn Raymond stood with an ear-to-ear, smile on his face.“We know it’s a big win. We know nobody think we was gonna win this game,” Raymond said. “I’m pretty sure there’s some brackets that’s not gonna win no money … We got our jobs done.”For the Spartans, the locker room was quiet. In the press room, Izzo cried. He shot back at a reporter who asked about what the game meant for the future, saying he refused to look past today. Denzel Valentine lamented MTSU’s changing defense — everything from a 1-3-1 to 2-3 zone to man-to-man.The loss pits Michigan State with Duke and Missouri from 2012, both No. 2 seeds that lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. But Michigan State was arguably the best team in the country. It had been snubbed of a No. 1 seed. It had Valentine, the consensus best player in the country. And suddenly, it was all over.Margaret Lin | Senior Staff Photographer“I will never forget this day,” Michigan State’s Marvin Clark said. “I just can’t let this happen again.”The Blue Raiders will spend all of Friday night relaxing and celebrating. Then at 6 a.m. on Saturday, they’ll meet and go over tape. Assistant coach Win Case already spent the week watching Syracuse tape, he’s seen six of its games.They were readying for a game that only they thought was possible. On Friday morning, Middle Tennessee State was just another 15 seed. Now, it’s a Cinderella story. It’s the winner of one of the greatest upsets in college basketball history.“We weren’t scared of the moment,” Buford said. Comments Published on March 18, 2016 at 7:31 pm Contact Sam: sblum@syr.edu | @SamBlum3 ST. LOUIS — The game wasn’t over, but Darnell Harris raised both his arms as high as they would go. Just 6.6 seconds were on the clock — a fraction of a game that was already in Middle Tennessee’s grasp.The Blue Raiders cheering section, The Blue Zoo, was small but loud, synchronizing in one continuous roar. This was a moment that seemed possible as soon as MTSU jumped out to a 15-2 lead, but wasn’t a certified reality until it actually was.“We played our ass off today, man,” Giddy Potts said.15th-seeded MTSU (25-9, 13-5 Conference USA) shocked second-seeded Michigan State (29-6, 13-5 Big Ten) and the college basketball world with its 90-81 win on Friday afternoon at the Scottrade Center. Every Spartan run was met with an MTSU answer.All five of MTSU’s starters scored in double figures. They combined to make 11 3s, take 21 free throws and never let the Spartans take a lead or score more than eight consecutive points. The Blue Raiders will now face Syracuse on Sunday afternoon. The Orange defeated Dayton in the first round earlier on Friday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“It’s so much national attention,” head coach Kermit Davis said. “And on CBS, on a Friday afternoon, and when you beat a team like that … And to do it on that kind of stage, it’s a great day for our whole university.”MORE COVERAGE: Time Machine: 15th-seeded Richmond upsets 2nd-seeded Syracuse, 73-69Syracuse puts 2014 NCAA Tournament loss to Dayton in past with 70-51 win over FlyersFast Reaction: 3 quick takeaways after Syracuse’s 70-51 blowout of DaytonTyler Roberson falls 1 rebound short of Syracuse’s NCAA Tournament record in win over DaytonGallery: Syracuse beats Dayton in Round of 64 NCAA Tournament matchup Related Stories Gallery: Syracuse beats Dayton in Round of 64 NCAA Tournament matchupDayton collapses under pressure of Syracuse’s early second-half runFast Reaction: 3 quick takeaways after Syracuse’s 70-51 blowout of DaytonSyracuse dominates Dayton center Steve McElvene in the paintTime Machine: 15th-seeded Richmond upsets 2nd-seeded Syracuse, 73-69 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

How the Buccaneers became Tom Brady’s best fit in his quest to win a Super Bowl without the Patriots


first_imgMORE: Why Tom Brady is joining the BuccaneersThe Bucs weren’t the obvious choice when it became apparent Brady could leave New England. But they reportedly were willing to give him the most bucks — potentially $30 million per season over two years, according to NFL Media — on top of selling him on the winning potential of a team that finished 7-9 last season.As with most moves in NFL free agency, a familiar face helped make the deal possible for Brady — Bucs general manager Jason Licht, who once served as Patriots director of.player personnel under Bill Belichick. Licht was intent on working with Brady again, so much so that he gave Brady a $7 million raise despite his coming off a down season at age 42.The next layer was a respected coach with whom Brady could mesh as well as he did with Belichick. That’s Bruce Arians, who is exactly the same age (67) with the same confidence in his own football philosophies and zero tolerance for players not doing their jobs.MORE: Fantasy analysis of Brady to Bucs (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/db/ab/bruce-arians-09222019-getty-ftr_1l3v9t5bwygz816pznd9v2hgsj.jpg?t=-349703496&w=500&quality=80 (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/27/74/tom-brady-021220-getty-ftrjpg_u82zfrkhip2c1j8ik5xe3uvvx.jpg?t=989915864&w=500&quality=80 Tom Brady to Tampa Bay will soon be a reality.Hours after the greatest NFL quarterback of all time officially parted ways with the Patriots, reports indicate the 42-year-old has made his long-awaited NFL free agency decision to join the Buccaneers. When digging deeper into the Bucs, it was clear that of all the QB-needy teams, they offered the best resume with the most upside. It doesn’t hurt that they are in the NFC, which just crowned an unpredictable big-turnaround champion in the 49ers last season.There was some talk of Brady fitting in a place such as Los Angeles with the Chargers, Las Vegas with the Raiders and even Nashville with the Titans. But in the end, throughout his career, his favorite landing spot has been the Super Bowl.Guess where Super Bowl 55 will be played: In Tampa. Outside of New England, for Brady, the Bucs represented both the extended journey and the destination no other team could match. (SN Illustration) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/1b/7d/tom-brady-bucs-031720-getty-ftr_174e708jcyg8q141y3obmutxvi.png?t=-352271920&w=500&quality=80 The bonus is that Arians is offensive-minded, a QB guru at heart who has worked to get the best out of Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, Carson Palmer and, yes, despite those interceptions, Jameis Winston. Both Arians and his offensive coordinator protege Byron Leftwich will be malleable to adjust their offense to Brady’s strengths and style. At only 40 and as a former NFL QB, Leftwich can be more of a peer to Brady, much like Josh McDaniels was in New England.While Brady saw the cupboard go bare in New England with tight end Rob Gronkowski retiring and makeshift wide receivers beyond Julian Edelman, Tampa Bay is fully stocked for his convenience. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are now the best staring duo in the league, and the potential re-signing of Breshard Perriman — even without the crazy wild card of bringing in Antonio Brown — might give the Bucs the best trio, too. That’s before getting to the fact the Bucs have not one, but two Gronk-light receiving tight ends in O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate.The Bucs did see Winston throw for 5,109 yards and 33 TDs last season. But he had 30 interceptions to lead the league, while Brady, even in a grind of a season physically, had only eight. Arians likes his QBs flinging it in the downfield passing game. Brady likes to be efficient in his distribution of the ball all over the field. With the receiving personnel the Bucs have, including some strong after-the-catch skills, they can find a happy medium of enough big plays with much fewer big mistakes. The Bucs’ defense was No. 1 against the run in a vast improvement last year. The key now is re-signing Ndamukong Suh. Their pass rush got going in the first year of Todd Bowles’ 3-4 scheme, with Shaquil Barrett (19.5 sacks) leading the league and Jason Pierre-Paul rejuvenated. Both of those players will be back. As the season progressed, the Bucs found more answers in the secondary to back that up.During his last season with the Patriots, Brady was supported by the No. 1 total defense in the NFL. The Buccaneers finished 15th, but that was an amazing improvement from being a terrible No. 27 the season before. The arrow is pointing up for Bowles’ defense to push into the top 10.You can bet Brady, beyond hearing the money the Bucs were willing to pay him, made sure Tampa Bay was the best possible place for him to try to win a championship apart from Belichick and the Patriots.MORE: Patriots among losers of NFL free agency The Bucs have more to do on offense. They must get better at right tackle and right guard, but they’re better than you think at left tackle through center. Brady will make the protection look better regardless with his ability to shuffle in the pocket and get the ball out quickly instead of holding it and looking for the deep shot. Regardless, the Bucs should aim to land a dominant edge blocker in the first round of the draft.The Buccaneers ranked only 24th in rushing offense last year. But the Patriots were only a few notches better at No. 18. If the Bucs don’t replace Ronald Jones as the power back, too, they at least need a strong pass-catching back from either the rest of free agency or in the draft. At this point, no one will be surprised if Melvin Gordon is sharing the backfield with Brady soon.When the Bucs make a big short-term “all in” move like signing Brady, with their ample salary cap space, their next move is doing everything they can to support their big investment with smart smaller ones tailored to the QB.last_img read more

AC Milan cancel former Portsmouth star’s contract


first_img1 Sulley Muntari in action for AC Milan AC Milan have cancelled the contract of former Portsmouth midfielder Sulley Muntari.The Ghanaian had been expected to leave the San Siro this summer after making just 17 appearances last season.The 30-year-old is said to be keen for a new challenge after three and a half years at Milan and he has now got his wish with the club terminating his contract . “AC Milan and Sulley Muntari announce that they have consensually resolved the sporting contract that bound them today,” read a statement on acmilan.com.“AC Milan would like to thank Muntari for the commitment, devotion and professionalism that he always demonstrated while wearing the Milan shirt and in the defence of the Rossoneri colours.“We wish him every success for the remainder of his playing career.”last_img read more

Fantasy Premier League tips: The transfers you should make in gameweek 22


first_img 12 12 In: Per Mertesacker (Arsenal): £5.3m – Click the right arrow for more advice – In contrast, with two clean sheets in his last three, and a price tag £1.5m less than that of Chris Smalling, Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker seems much more deserving of a place in your fantasy side. Out: Jamie Vardy (Leicester): £7.3m – Click the right arrow for more advice – Whisper it quietly (because we don’t want to chat too much s*** about this fella), but Jamie Vardy has now not scored in his last five matches. The not so mild-mannered Englishman, renowned for his eloquent turns of phrase on Facebook, has struggled with injury lately and so, as much as we hate to say it, it might finally be time to let him go. 12 12 Out: Chris Smalling (Manchester United): £6.8m – Click the right arrow for more advice – With just one clean sheet in his last five matches, and a price tag of almost £7m, Chris Smalling simply isn’t doing enough to justify his place in your team’s defence at present. In: Dimitri Payet (West Ham): £7.9m – Click the right arrow for more advice – We said it before the midweek games, but we thought we’d say it again… Dimitri Payet is back! On his first start since returning from injury, Payet recorded a goal and an assist and the Frenchman looks to have fully recovered from his time on the sidelines. 12 It’s week 22 of this season’s Fantasy Premier League and, after a hectic schedule of FA Cup fixtures followed by midweek matches, it’s nice to be able to return to the simple format of Saturday/Sunday games.Nobody’s going to be caught out by that surprise Tuesday night deadline this gameweek!It is worth noting there have been few injuries to talk about this week, with only one of the players on this week’s ‘OUT’ list being there through a fitness issue. Even Liverpool have managed to make it through this week without a member of their squad picking up another hamstring injury!This means most of the players on this week’s ‘OUT’ list have been picked because you are likely to have them in your side and need to be aware of their declining form, so be sure to keep an eye out for those too.Check out the Fantasy Premier League transfers you might need to make this week by clicking the right arrow above… Out: Marco Arnautovic (Stoke): £6.7m – Click the right arrow for more advice – Two weeks ago, after his stellar performances against United and Everton, there was barely a Fantasy Premier League manager in the country who wasn’t jumping aboard the Arnautovic express. Now, however, it seems the train might have run out of steam and with some tough upcoming fixtures it might already be time for you to trade in the Austria midfielder. Out: Theo Walcott (Arsenal): £8.3m – Click the right arrow for more advice – Theo Walcott returned from injury on good form, but since his screamer against City, has neither scored nor recorded an assist for his team. Walcott is simply too inconsistent to justify his £8.3m price tag at the moment. In: Olivier Giroud (Arsenal): £9.2m – Click the right arrow for more advice – If you were one of those unfortunate enough to invest in Andy Carroll before his latest injury blow, and you have a few extra million available in your budget, you might want to swap him for Olivier Giroud. As well as his two goals at Anfield on Wednesday night, Giroud has recorded two assists in his last three games and so has been consistently among the points of late. 12 In: Antonio (West Ham): £5.2m – Click the right arrow for more advice – At a minimal price of just £5.2m, West Ham’s Antonio might be the perfect cheap replacement for Arnautovic. Antonio has two goals and four assists in his last four games, a record unheard of for a player so cheap. 12 In: Robert Huth (Leicester): £4.3m – Click the right arrow for more advice – At the opposite end of the spectrum, Robert Huth and the rest of his Leicester defence have now kept three consecutive clean sheets. The Foxes will be looking to extend this run as they face Villa (away) and Stoke (at home) in their next two games. 12 Out: Andy Carroll (West Ham): £6.4m – Click the right arrow for more advice – It’s the same old story for Andy Carroll. The injury prone striker looked to be finding good form once again in the league, before reminding us all that he is made of glass. 12 Out: Scott Dann (Crystal Palace): £5.8m – Click the yellow arrow above, right, for more transfer tips – Dann and the rest of his Palace defence have not kept a clean sheet in their last two matches and so, with fixtures against Man City (away) and Spurs (at home) coming up, he may be worth moving out of your team – at least for the next two weeks. 12 12 12 In: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City): £13.2m – Click the right arrow for more advice – If somehow you can afford him, it could be a clever move to replace Vardy with Argentina’s Sergio Aguero. City’s main man has now fully recovered from his injuries and it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which he won’t soon rediscover his consistent scoring touch.last_img read more