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Football Games that Left the World on the Edge of Their Seat

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Football has given us some of the most incredible sporting displays in history. Fans looking to bet on the outcome of these matches could not have predicted the final moments of these incredible football games that left the world on the edge of their seat but using footy match predictions can aid you in getting some of your bets correct.

Liverpool V Chelsea – 2008-09 UEFA Champions League

In the five years leading up to a tie between the Blues and Reds, the two teams had faced each other 24 times. Most of the matches wound up in defensive stalemates. But at this point, Chelsea had a 3-1 lead against Liverpool. Liverpool needed a three-goal margin to win and advance, and they took the right steps when Fabio Aurelio took an impressive 35-yard wide free kick. Then Xabi Alonso doubled the lead in the 28th minute. But after the break, Chelsea scored twice more in the space of six minutes and took the lead thanks to Lampard. Two goals from Lucas and Kuyt in the 81st and 83rd minutes brought Liverpool back to the top and in the final moments, Lampard crushed the Reds’ dreams with a 7-5 edge that saw them advance to the semi-finals.

France V Portugal – 2000 Euro Semi Final

This match was more about the two biggest players in European football battling it out for a spot in the final – Zinedine Zidane and Luiz Figo. Portugal had the lead in the first half, but France equalised in the second half, thanks to the talented Thierry Henry and Nicolas Anelka. Zidane was on top form throughout the entire match, delivering one of his finest performances and earning his title as one of the best players of his generation. So, it’s not surprising that the game ended with his firing the golden penalty past Portuguese goalie Vitor Baia to send France into the finals.

Manchester United V Bayern Munich – 1999 UEFA Champions League Final

Both Manchester United and Bayern Munich came to Barcelona with big dreams of adding the most prestigious piece of silverware to their collection, having won both domestic leagues and cups. Early on in the match, Bayern scored with a free kick by the brilliant Mario Basler and with both Scholes and Keane suspended, the Red Devils couldn’t seem to find their rhythm. But Sir Alex Ferguson had a few tricks up his sleeve. He substituted in Teddy Sheringham and Ole Solskjaer, which was the start of one of the most incredible matches in history. A dominated Manchester United stole Bayern’s hopes of a win with two late strikes in stoppage time, leaving their opponents stunned.

Brazil V Italy – 1997 France Tournament

Brazil V Italy is, for many, the greatest football match to have ever played out. The tournament itself was conceived as a rehearsal for the World Cup kick-off but it turned out to be much more compelling than that. The game gave fans the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, from Italy coming out strong right from the kick-off to the double-whammy of Del Piero and Vieri giving Brazil all they could handle. But Brazil got one back thanks to Roberto Carlos. Brazil then stormed back to equalise behind two goals in a shock tie.

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Mahesh is leading digital marketing initiatives at RecentlyHeard, a NewsFeed platform that covers news from all sectors. He develops, manages, and executes digital strategies to increase online visibility, better reach target audiences, and create engaging experience across channels. With 7+ years of experience, He is skilled in search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, and advertising, and analytics.

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Michigan defeats LSU 86-78 in a Big Ten comeback.

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Michigan defeats LSU 86-78 in a Big Ten comeback.
Michigan defeats LSU 86-78 in a Big Ten comeback.

Michigan defeats LSU 86-78 in a Big Ten comeback.

 

Someone, everyone, from the Big Ten needed to start playing like they belonged there.

The conference is already a part of March Madness thanks to Michigan.

The top-seeded Wolverines, who were longer, broader, and deeper than LSU, gradually wore down the Tigers. In a nail-biting 86-78 win, they got 21 points each from Eli Brooks and Chaundee Brown Jr., giving the conference some hope in the NCAA Tournament.

Maryland had lost to Alabama by the time coach Juwan Howard and his team returned to the hotel after their second-round game, leaving the Wolverines as the only remaining Big Ten team from the nine that had traveled to Indianapolis.

Even if they can’t change what’s happened to the rest of the league, Michigan’s Big Ten experience came in handy in this game, as the Wolverines (22-4) trailed by nine points early and had to fight to stay in the game.

“To be frank, that is the Big Ten test,” Brooks said. “Every night, we are put to the test.”

The Wolverines used the biggest surge of the game — a 14-1 run halfway through the second half — to break away and save face for a conference that had otherwise tanked these four days in Indianapolis.

The Wolverines advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fourth consecutive season, where they will face No. 4 Florida State next weekend. They’ll be the only hope for a conference that has already lost everyone from the top seed (Illinois), to the second-seeded Ohio State, to the 11th-seeded Michigan State, a perennial force that was eliminated in the play-in round.

Brooks explained, “I mean, it’s March Madness for a cause.” “Everyone is going to give you their best shot. I always believe that the Big Ten is a fantastic meeting. We’ve recently suffered some setbacks.”

After the Wolverines took a one-point lead into halftime, this game saw huge momentum swings: LSU went on an 8-0 run early, Michigan went on a 10-0 run, and the Tigers went on another 5-0 run.

Michigan, on the other hand, did what traditional Big Ten teams are expected to do during the 14-1 run that got things going. Even without injured guard Isaiah Livers, they were able to use height and shooting to wear down a smaller, less-deep opponent.

Points off the bench were the most telling stat of the night: Michigan 26, LSU 2.

LSU coach Will Wade said, “They’re a tremendous, tremendous team.” “Coach Howard and his staff, their offensive execution, the way they moved, the way they defended, they’re a great squad. They’re going to be incredibly difficult to beat.”

Brown, a 6-foot-5 guard, caused the most long-term harm, making six free throws and a 3-pointer during the decisive stretch that gave Michigan a 72-64 lead with 5:55 remaining.

Then LSU’s defense was shut down by 7-1 freshman Hunter Dickenson (12 points, 11 rebounds) and 6-9 projected first-round NBA pick Franz Wagner (15 and seven).

Cameron Thomas of LSU went from illuminating Michigan to barely getting a shot off. He scored 30 points, but only after taking 23 shots and going 3 for 10 in the second half.

One of the misses was based on a Dickenson rejection, and Javonte Smart suffered the same fate moments later. Wagner’s 27 points held LSU in the game late in the second half, but he changed his shot underneath at the end.

On the other hand, the Tigers (19-10) shot 39 percent from the field and didn’t have many responses. Michigan made 10 of 25 3-pointers and shot 53%.

Even though the Tigers lost, the majority of this game must have had bracket watchers around the country scratching their heads.

Nobody with eyes and a cable sports bundle would have guessed Loyola Chicago, which defeated Illinois by a score of 13 on Sunday, was a No. 8 seed. LSU had obviously better talent than the eighth-seeded team.

But Michigan looked like a legitimate No. 1, especially after Howard began slamming the table, removing his mask, and asking for a defensive effort that was sorely lacking, particularly in the first few minutes. Thomas scored 12 points in the first eight minutes, none of which came from within the 15-foot line.

Things changed until the Wolverines began protecting the perimeter. They began to resemble a Big Ten team once more. And the Big Ten’s prospects seemed to be much brighter than they had been just a few hours before.

“Today’s slogan was ‘Empty the tank, Empty the tank.’ And our guys took care of it,” Howard said. “Unfortunately, the teams that did not advance had earned the right to be here and participate in this competition. But we only consider what we can influence.”

UPDATE ON INJURIES

Livers is out with a stress fracture in his foot, and when Howard was asked about his condition for next weekend, he was blunt: “It’s over indefinitely.”

STREAK OF SUGAR

The Wolverines have the second-longest active streak with four Sweet 16 appearances, behind Gonzaga’s six.

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Has the mid-major revolt started with today’s big NCAA upset?

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Has the mid-major revolt started with today's big NCAA upset?
Has the mid-major revolt started with today's big NCAA upset?

Has the mid-major revolt started with today’s big NCAA upset?

 

In every other college basketball season, four upsets in the NCAA Tournament’s eight second-round games would be a warning that something major is about to happen.

Was that the start of the long-rumored mid-major revolution? Have enough talented athletes and smart coaches moved to programs outside of the Big Six to tip the power balance?

It’s difficult to tell. Since this season is unlike any other.

Just two of the teams that won on Sunday were mid-majors: eighth-seeded Loyola of Chicago, which dominated No. 1 seed Illinois from the start and won 71-58; and 15th-seeded Oral Roberts, which beat Florida 81-78 thanks to a late surge. No. 12 Oregon State defeated fourth-seeded Oklahoma State 80-70, and No. 11 Syracuse smothered third-seeded West Virginia just enough to win 75-72.

But it felt like the day of the little boys. ORU coach Paul Mills modified his numbers-don’t-mean-anything postgame speech from the upset over Ohio State after being just the second No. 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16.

“We are not capitulating to anybody here,” Mills said bravely, referring to his Golden Eagles’ upcoming matchup with No. 3 Arkansas.

Meanwhile, four more of the 16 teams in action on Monday, including overall top seed Gonzaga and two more, Creighton and Ohio, who are facing each other, can be classified as mid-majors. If Abilene Christian manages to pull the rug out from under UCLA, there will be a total of five mid-majors in the Sweet 16. That would be a significant achievement.

However, it’s also likely that something more subtle is going on.

Teams had to navigate a stop-and-start regular season due to the pandemic, then slapdash conference tournaments before being seeded by an NCAA selection committee that, without the normal analogies, may have been playing “Eenie meenie miney mo.”

Mid-majors are used to being an afterthought. They don’t have the budget to iron out all of the rough patches in regular seasons, and since they’re still farther down the recruitment line, their players stay because only a handful are good enough to go pro early. They are almost always underdogs when they leave the conference.

During normal seasons, those drawbacks are a stumbling block. This time, qualities like resilience and cohesion are transforming moral victories into real victories.

Loyola center Cameron Krutwig, who had 19 points and 12 rebounds in the victory over Illinois, said, “Nobody was really doing something out of body or out of mind.”

Krutwig resembles a grown-up Dick Butkus, but he runs like Justin Timberlake and isn’t easily shaken. He added matter-of-factly, “We all stuck to the game plan.”

Despite this, all of the regular Big Six conference suspects are present, with a few flexing their muscles.

No. 1 seed Baylor defeated Wisconsin 76-63, while No. 5 Villanova thrashed North Texas 84-61. Both No. 2 Houston and No. 3 Arkansas came within a whisker of defeating Rutgers and Texas Tech, but ultimately prevailed.

Syracuse was given an 11 seed, presumably because the selection committee overlooked that a.) the Orange 2-3 zone defense is still uncommon enough in the game to perplex teams that haven’t seen one all season; and b.) Syracuse almost always makes the Sweet 16 when it enters the tournament with a double-digit seeding.

While the Orange’s passing of No. 3 West Virginia to get there was only slightly shocking, the twist of fate this time is that Buddy Boeheim, the son of Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, is driving the bus.

After halftime, he scored 22 of his 25 points, including all but one of his six 3-pointers, and three late free throws helped put the game away. Then he revealed what father told son during what looked like a heartfelt moment just after the buzzer sounded.

Buddy chuckled as he said, “Yeah, you missed the last free throw.”

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The week begins with March Madness.

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The week begins with March Madness.
The week begins with March Madness.

The week begins with March Madness.

 

It’s not like everyone is going to the office in the first place.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a shift in the March Madness schedule, giving basketball fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch eight games on a Monday.

The second-round games begin with a lunchtime (or coffee break) matchup between Oregon and Iowa and end with a game between USC and Kansas that should be completed after midnight in the eastern time zone.

This year, the NCAA compressed the tournament schedule significantly, fitting 67 games into 19 days instead of the regular 21, as it took all 68 teams to Indiana in an effort to create a secure atmosphere in which to play all of the games.

Coaches and players have become immune to the start and stops and games at odd times that have marked this pandemic-tinged season.

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said, “It makes no difference.” “We have a game against Oregon on Monday.”

The new schedule does not include any afternoon games on Thursday, when the chaos usually ramps up.

The Thursday-Friday extravaganza — 32 games spread through four networks in about 36 hours — prompted some serious thought in the IT world, leading to the invention of the now-famous “Boss button,” among other things. While watching the game online, you clicked on the button.

Worker A, for example, is engrossed in a potential upset between Lehigh and Duke. From around the corner, he or she hears the boss. Simple solution: Click the mouse to display a fictitious spreadsheet on the screen.

There’s nothing to see.

However, as we all know, so many meetings around the water cooler — or, in this case, the computer display — have come at a cost over time.

As soon as the brackets are released in March, a slew of studies detailing the missed productivity at work as a result of all those workers watching all those games are released.

According to one survey published in 2019, up to 1.5 million people watched games online from their desks, while others called in sick or took a long lunch. According to the report, employees could lose up to $1.7 billion in missed work time over the tournament’s 16 business days.

Another research, this time from (third-seeded) Kansas, found that fewer and fewer people were attempting to conceal it.

Jordan Bass, one of the study’s contributors, said, “They freely acknowledged they work less during the tournament.” ”It isn’t surprising, but we thought it was awesome that they came out and said they were less productive and scheduled their days accordingly.”

When the ball is tipped Monday, far less people will have to go through the motions of pretending to be busy for all the wrong reasons.

According to a Pew survey conducted last year, only one out of every five employees who could work from home did so prior to the pandemic. That number has risen to 71 percent since the pandemic.

On Monday, there will be an opportunity to make the best of a poor situation. Anyone here use Venmo for all those office pools?

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Inequity in women’s and men’s tournaments is a serious concern.

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Inequity in women's and men's tournaments is a serious concern.
Inequity in women's and men's tournaments is a serious concern.

Inequity in women’s and men’s tournaments is a serious concern.

 

The teams had barely arrived in Texas when social media posts erupted with concerns about inequity between the women’s and men’s tournaments, pointing out that the women’s weight training facilities in San Antonio were severely lacking in comparison to the men’s in Indianapolis. The women’s tournament features 64 teams, while the men’s tournament features 68.

Ali Kershner, Stanford’s women’s basketball sports performance coach, shared a picture of a single stack of weights next to a training table with sanitized yoga mats on Twitter, contrasting it with photos of large facilities for men with towers of free weights, dumbbells, and squat racks.

Kershner tweeted, “These women want and deserve the same opportunities.” “In a year marked by a struggle for equality, this is an opportunity to have a dialogue and improve.”

Several of the best female basketball players believe it’s more than just a bad weight room.

UConn freshman All-American Paige Bueckers said on an AP Twitter chat Thursday night, “We are all happy to be here and it took a lot of time for them to bring this all together.” “It’s more of a philosophical problem. It isn’t just an issue in the weight room. The concern is with the inequity of the weight rooms. Another tweet about the swag bag has emerged. It’s not just about the gym. It’s the disparities and the better treatment that men receive.”

Aliyah Boston of South Carolina agreed with Bueckers on the inequities.

She said, “The men have all in that weight room, and we have yoga mats.” “How are we going to go about doing that? I’m glad we got some body wash, but they got an entire store.”

Several top former college and current WNBA players quickly tweeted support for the women and criticism of the NCAA, and the current players received a lot of attention.

A’ja Wilson, who led South Carolina to the 2017 national championship and now plays for the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces, tweeted, “That NCAA bubble weight room situation is beyond disrespectful.”

Lynn Holzman, the NCAA’s Senior Vice President of Women’s Basketball, stated that the governing body would work to improve the equipment available at the women’s tournament as soon as possible. Due to a lack of available space in San Antonio, the initial setup was limited, with plans to expand once the tournament field shrank in the later rounds.

“We recognize that some of the amenities that teams would normally have access to were not available inside the controlled environment. This is partly due to a lack of space, and the original plan was to expand the workout area once more space became available later in the tournament,” Holzman explained. “However, we want to be responsive to the needs of our participating teams, so we’re working hard to improve existing resources at practice courts, including weight training equipment.”

RESULTS OF THE COVID TEST

So far, the NCAA has administered nearly 2,700 tests, with only one positive result, which is a positive sign for the women’s basketball tournament.

On a conference call with the media on Thursday morning, NCAA Senior Vice President of Women’s Basketball Lynn Holzman revealed the numbers, but did not say who tested positive.

“According to the report I received this morning, close to 2,700 tests were conducted over the past two days, involving members of the travel parties, bus drivers, and staff, with only one confirmed positive test,” she said. “It’s a compliment to everyone who contributed to our championship. So, given the sheer number of people involved in this, I’m pleased with where we’ve gotten to today.”

Holzman also said that all 64 teams announced Monday in the bracket have arrived safely in Texas so none of the replacement teams will be needed.

“We continue to emphasis the need for us to make sure we’re conducting our championship in a safe manner,” she said.

Everyone will continue to be tested daily.

PRESIDENTIAL PICKS

Former President Barack Obama picked Baylor to win the national championship this year beating Stanford in the championship game.

Obama had N.C. State and Maryland in the Final Four with the two No. 1 seeds. That would mean that the Terrapins, who Obama had picked against a few years ago in his bracket when his niece was playing for Princeton and they were tournament opponents, would knock off Dawn Staley’s South Carolina team in the regional final.

On Twitter, Staley poked fun at Obama.

“(at)BarackObama” (at)BarackObama (at)BarackOb I’m telling you, (at)MichelleObama……clear it’s you didn’t consult her. We will forgive, but we will not forget. But you’re still our guy.”

To advance in the first round, Obama mostly chose the higher-seeded teams. He did predict that No. 6 Oregon would be eliminated by 11th-seeded South Dakota.

DEADLINES FOR SUBMISSIONS

The WNBA has set April 15 as the date for this season’s draft.

To make themselves available for the draft, every eligible player must opt-in by renouncing their remaining intercollegiate eligibility.

If a player wishes to opt-in, he or she must email the league by April 1st. If a player is competing in the Final Four, she has up to 48 hours after the conclusion of her last game to notify the league of her intention to enter the draft.

Players who have reached the end of their college eligibility have previously been automatically entered into the draft. This became more of a problem this season, as the NCAA granted all of the players an additional year of eligibility due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Here’s How to Know if an Online Casino Is Legit

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The online gambling industry is booming and there are new casinos popping up just about every other week, all claiming to be the best in the industry. Those who want to play at online casinos will find plenty of them if they do a simple Google search.

However, finding online casinos is easy but ascertaining their legitimacy is difficult. Guest author Klara Czerwinska shares more info on how to find out if an online casino is legit or not. To find out more about Klara Czerwinska, click here.

You need to be an expert at identifying legit online gambling sites. Or you need to trust a third-party site that claims to be an expert at uncovering online casino scams and guiding players to legit online casinos.

This is because there are a number of rogue casinos that also offer online casino games to players with loads of attractive bonuses and special promotions. A lot of players end up signing up with these rogue casinos because of this but end up paying the price later when they face issues with withdrawing their winnings or worse find out that the games are fixed.

It is not always easy to spot these unlicensed or illegal online casinos because they do their best to mirror licensed gaming sites. Here are a few tips to help you identify legit online gambling sites.

Check for Licensing

The best online casinos never hide their licensing details from customers. Scroll down to the footer of an online casino site to find out their licensing details. Double check if the license is still valid by finding out if the website of the licensing authority lists the online casino. This is because many online casinos don’t bother to renew their licenses, and playing at such casinos is dangerous.

Can’t find the licensing information on the casino website? The online casino may still be legit if it is willing to share the details with you. Contact the online casino through phone, live chat, or email to find out. Avoid the online casino if it is not willing to provide the information you are looking for.

The online casino market in Poland is blossoming with every passing month as casino operators launch new casinos to cater to the growing interest amongst Polish players. However, there are also rogue casinos popping up. If you are looking for a reliable online casino in Poland that has good bonuses, try kasyno bez depozytu.

Are the Games Fair?

Several rogue casinos offer pirated software and online casino games on their platforms. Researching the online casino’s software partners is, therefore, of great importance. You can trust an online casino that has partnered with multiple well-known and reputed software providers such as NetEnt, Microgaming, Playtech, Real Time Gaming, Betsoft Gaming, and others.

The above-mentioned software providers have valid online gaming licenses and subject their games to multiple fairness tests before releasing them into the industry. Online casinos also partner with independent auditors such as Technical Systems Testing (TST), eCOGRA, iTech Labs, and others to test their game payout percentages regularly. You can view the fairness certificates that these auditors issue on the casino website.

So that’s another sign of legit online casinos. They are honest and transparent about their payout percentages.

Fast Payouts

Your online casino is legit only if it processes your payouts fast.

Usually, online casinos keep your payout request pending for two to three days. During the pending period, legit online casinos verify your account details. They expect you to cooperate with the verification procedure by providing copies of your identification documents. A customer care representative may also call you during this time.

Online casinos review and approve your payout request after the pending period, and this may take another day or two. The speed of the transaction after this depends on several factors including your preferred payout method, bank, country of residence, and others. Withdrawals through electronic wallets are usually instant while bank wire transfer payouts may take up to seven days.

An online casino is undoubtedly a rogue if it withholds your winnings without any valid reason and takes several weeks or even months to approve your payout request.

Do They Support Responsible Gambling?

Some of the most reputed gambling regulators are located in the United Kingdom, Malta, Gibraltar and Isle of Man. They have strict gambling regulations that require their licensees to support responsible gambling. Legit online gambling sites, therefore, dedicate a separate section of their websites to responsible gambling.

Their responsible gambling policies encompass issues such as minor protection and prevention of compulsive gambling. They may include questionnaires that help players determine if they are prone to problem gambling.

Online casinos that support responsible gambling offer player protection tools such as setting limits, cooling-off periods, self-exclusion, reality checks, and others to help you gamble responsibly. They guide you to non-profit support organizations if you experience any sort of gambling harm.

Security and Privacy

This is probably one of the most challenging areas for the average player to identify and verify. A lot of these illegal online casinos do not have robust security and safety protocols in place to protect and safeguard their player’s personal and financial information. There are a few rogue casinos that tend to use player’s financial information illegally or worse sell this information over to third parties. Always take a few minutes to check the privacy policy and security policy. Some of these rogue casinos do not bother to have a privacy policy or list any of their security measures in their terms and conditions. If this is the case, consider it as a red flag.

If they do have a security and privacy policy, look out for spelling errors and poor grammar as this is another red flag. Sometimes you will find another casino’s name mentioned in this section which tells you that the text has been copied from another casino – which is another red flag.

Conclusion: Research Your Online Casino Well

Are online casinos legit? Most online casinos are legit but not all. You have to research your online casino very well before signing up. Read the casino terms & conditions and clarify doubts, if any, with the customer support. Discuss the online casino with fellow players on social networks and gambling forums and register only when you are sure about its legitimacy.

Always keep an eye out for some of the red flags that we have listed below. Finally, even if you think everything is good with the online casino on the surface but your gut instinct tells you that something is wrong, go with your gut instinct and find another online casino for it is better to be safe than sorry!

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Tiger Woods has returned to his home state of Florida to recover from a car accident.

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Tiger Woods has returned to his home state of Florida to recover from a car accident.
Tiger Woods has returned to his home state of Florida to recover from a car accident.

Tiger Woods has returned to his home state of Florida to recover from a car accident.

 

Tiger Woods has returned to his home state of Florida to begin his rehab from career-threatening leg injuries sustained last month when his SUV went off the road and down a hill in the Los Angeles suburbs.

In a tweet posted Tuesday night, Woods said, “I am pleased to say that I am back home and continuing my recovery.” “I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support that I have got over the last few weeks.”

Two days after the Genesis Invitational at Riviera, Woods was injured. He was driving to a GolfTV shoot shortly after 7 a.m. when his SUV collided with a median, rolled over, and landed on its side near a steep road notorious for accidents, according to police. He had to be dragged out of the car through the windshield.

He had a long operation at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center that day for numerous broken tibia and fibula bones in his lower right leg. A rod in his tibia was used to secure them in place. Additional damage to his foot and ankle necessitated the use of screws and pins.

He was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for further care.

Woods expressed appreciation to the medical staffs at both hospitals for their support.

In a tweet, Woods said, “I will be recovering at home and focusing on getting stronger every day.”

In the final round of the Workday Championship in Florida, a dozen or so players wore black trousers and red tops, the Sunday colors of Woods, who has a record-tying 82 victories on the PGA Tour.

Woods has kept in contact with his friends via text messages, sending them to Bryson DeChambeau before his Bay Hill victory and to Justin Thomas, one of his closest golf friends, before his victory in The Players Championship on Sunday.

In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Rory McIlroy suggested that Woods could be returning to Florida.

McIlroy said, “He’s doing better.” “I guess all of the guys have contacted him. If all goes well over the next week or so, he should be able to return home and continue his recovery there, which will be good for him. Look at his kids and his family.

“But, yes, he’s changing. At this point, I believe we’re all wishing him a speedy recovery.′′

McIlroy and Thomas are among those who live in Jupiter, Florida, near Woods.

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NCAA women’s field is topped by Stanford, while NC State is seeded first.

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The NCAA women's field is topped by Stanford, while NC State is seeded first.
The NCAA women's field is topped by Stanford, while NC State is seeded first.

The NCAA women’s field is topped by Stanford, while NC State is seeded first.

 

In the women’s NCAA Tournament, UConn is seeded first, as it always is. Stanford and South Carolina are both familiar with the region.

It’s a new day for North Carolina State University. And although the Huskies are used to their place in the bracket, coach Geno Auriemma has tested positive for the coronavirus.

For the first time in the women’s tournament, N.C. State is a No. 1 seed, joining Stanford, South Carolina, and Connecticut on the top lines for the San Antonio-themed regions. When the field was announced Monday night, the Cardinal won the overall No. 1.

“Obviously, being the No. 1 seed is a great honor,” N.C. State coach Wes Moore said. “You know me, I’d rather just remain a No. 2 and keep my head down.”

Tara VanDerveer, the head coach at Stanford, downplayed being the favorite.

She said, “What I really tell our team is that seeds don’t matter.” “It’s not like you get any bonus points for going to the gym.”

The most important thing, according to VanDerveer, is to be safe and ready to play. As part of the COVID-19 safety precautions, teams will be confined to hotels with the exception of going to practice or games.

Auriemma’s trip to Texas will be postponed. He’ll be alone for ten days before rejoining the team on March 24. COVID-19 testing was negative for the rest of UConn’s travel party.

Auriemma would miss the Huskies’ NCAA Tournament opener against High Point, one of four first-timers, as well as a likely second-round matchup against either Syracuse or South Dakota State.

“Right now, I’m a helpless bystander. He said, “I’m going to sit back and watch them do their thing.” ”In tournament play, (assistant coach Chris Dailey) is unbeaten. I don’t think you’ll find a coach with a better tournament record than she does.”

Although the coronavirus caused several scheduling delays during the regular season, it appears that the majority of the teams in the field arrived at the tournament in good health.

Stanford, which will play Utah Valley in its season opener, has been through a lot this season due to the coronavirus. After Santa Clara County health officials declared in late November that all contact sports would be banned, the team had to play on the road for nine weeks.

The Cardinal are the top seed in the Alamo area, searching for their third national championship. Other regions include Hemisfair, Mercado, and River Walk.

Earning one of the top 16 seeds used to guarantee a team a home-court advantage in the first two rounds of the tournament, but that won’t be the case this March. Because of the pandemic, every game will be played in San Antonio, with the final four rounds taking place at the Alamodome.

With a dozen teams capable of winning the championship, this might be one of the most open tournaments ever. This year’s Associated Press women’s basketball poll included five No. 1 teams, including the Huskies, who ended the season at No. 1.

The national semifinals will be held on April 2, followed by the championship game on April 4.

Tennessee has now reached the NCAA Tournament in each of the last 39 years. Stony Brook, Utah Valley, and Bradley will join High Point as NCAA rookies.

Notre Dame’s streak of 24 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances came to an end. The Irish were one of the tournament’s first four teams to exit. Houston, DePaul, and Oklahoma followed them just outside the field.

With eight teams, the ACC is well served even without Notre Dame. Each of the SEC and Big Ten conferences had seven schools. The Big 12 had five, while the Pac-12 had six.

Despite the fact that there was no tournament last season due to the flu, Baylor is still the defending champion. Coach Kim Mulkey’s team isn’t the same as the one that won the championship, but it’s still a talented group that won the Big 12 regular season and conference tournaments.

In UConn’s field, the Lady Bears are the No. 2 seed.

The other three two seeds — Louisville, Texas A&M, and Maryland — were also considered for the one line at one point.

Nina King, chair of the NCAA selection committee, said, “We did have a lot of teams, a lot of debate about who are the four who are just right for the one side.”

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A total of 68 teams have punched their tickets. Now comes the difficult part.

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A total of 68 teams have punched their tickets. Now comes the difficult part.
A total of 68 teams have punched their tickets. Now comes the difficult part.

A total of 68 teams have punched their tickets. Now comes the difficult part.

 

The 68 teams whose names appeared in the March Madness bracket just wanted to rejoice: the next four or five days are likely to be the most nerve-wracking of their seasons.

Welcome to Bubble Ball, where no player will turn up for the games in Indianapolis without seven negative COVID checks, and no team is really “in” before the ball is tipped off.

“Which of the two possible season-ending assessments was more stressful? ” Drexel coach Zach Spiker said, referring to the obstacles ahead. “Testing, practicing, boarding the bus in Philadelphia, waiting for that answer, the response time to say, ‘We’re all negative here,’ Let’s get out of here now. Let’s get to Indianapolis,’” says the narrator.

Drexel only played 19 games en route to the Colonial Athletic Conference title due to COVID—19 problems, which is around 11 less than average. The Dragons were granted an automatic bid to the tournament as a result of this. What is the prize? They get a No. 16 seed and an opening-round matchup with top-seeded Illinois, in addition to a battery of nasal swabs.

Other top seeds included Michigan, Baylor, and Gonzaga, which is the overall No. 1 and a 2-1 favorite to win it all and become the first team to go unbeaten since the Indiana Hoosiers in 1976.

Many of the games will be played in and around Indianapolis over the course of 19 days, which is the most significant change from a typical March Madness. There’s no need to be concerned about who was sent to Spokane or stranded in Memphis. However, the NCAA kept the area names — West, East, South, and Midwest — to keep the bracket looking regular.

More on the bracket: A lot of bubble players, including UCLA and Michigan State, are emerging from unlikely locations. Both were widely expected to breeze into the tournament, but they were matched in a First Four matchup on Thursday as 11 seeds. Wichita State takes on Drake in the other 11-11 tie.

Louisville, Saint Louis, Colorado State, and Mississippi, for example, will happily swap places with them. And it’s always possible. The NCAA placed team Nos. 69-72 on standby in case a program in the 68-team draw had to withdraw due to a COVID-19 outbreak, one of many first-of-its-kind moves made to accommodate a one-of-a-kind tournament.

They have until Tuesday night to inform the NCAA that they will be unable to participate. A team that withdraws after that will actually be sent home, while its opponent will receive a walkover into the next round.

“If the teams keep doing the great work that they’ve done just to get to the tournament,” selection committee chairman Mitch Barnhart said, “we’ll have a very safe, very balanced 67-game tournament and we’ll crown a champion.”

But, to emphasize how different and complicated this season has been, the committee spent a lot of time worrying about two shoo-ins, Kansas and Virginia, both of whom withdrew from their conference tournaments last week due to outbreaks.

Both are following correct procedures, according to Barnhart, in order to make it to Indianapolis for their games on Saturday. In the West, Kansas is the No. 3 seed, while Virginia, the defending champion (from 2019), is the fourth seed.

Kansas coach Bill Self said, “The one lesson I’ve learned from this, perhaps more than anything else, is to expect the unexpected.”

After all, that’s what March Madness is all about: three weeks of busted brackets, sudden surprises, teams that finish what they started, and the occasional visit from an old friend.

Can you recall Sister Jean? She’s 101 now, and her squad, Loyola Chicago, is back in the NCAA tournament, aiming to repeat their 2018 “miracle” run to the Final Four.

Do you recall Patrick Ewing? He took Georgetown to national prominence in the 1980s, and now he’s back as coach, leading the Hoyas to a Big East Tournament title and a surprising NCAA Tournament appearance.

And what about Rick Pitino? After being fired from Louisville following the school’s unethical recruitment scandal a few years ago, his career was all but over. He’s also back as coach of Iona, which won its conference tournament and advanced to Indy despite only playing 13 regular-season games. Pitino isn’t used to the Gaels being a 15th seed at this time of year.

“There’s a little role reversal,” he admitted, “but you still have to play the game.”

They’ll play, of course. From the First Four on Thursday to the Final Four on April 5, which finishes with the nets going down.

Between now and then, a lot could go wrong. There’s a lot that has to go well.

It feels nice to have a bracket to fill out a year after the tournament was canceled in the early days of the pandemic.

Even though it is a little unusual.

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Cricket

Why Eddie Jones Is in a Worrying Position as He Prepares England for 2023 World Cup

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Whilst he has been a somewhat divisive figure, there’s no denying that Eddie Jones has done very well as coach of the England rugby team. Three Six Nations Championships, including a memorable Grand Slam win in 2016, and then finishing runner-up in the World Cup in 2019, shows that progress has been made. The defeat to South Africa on the biggest stage was tough to take, but the semi-final win over New Zealand is one that will live long in the memory.
That was the sort of statement victory that saw the team play in the way that Jones wants. England was powerful, disciplined yet aggressive, and ruthless in the way they defended the line and attacked in numbers.


So, despite the loss to South Africa, there was still a real hope that this England team could kick on. Instead, they’ve stuttered. That’s not to say the past two years have been unsuccessful, but performances in the Six Nations recently prove that a lot of work needs to be done.

This is reflected in the latest rugby union betting odds for the World Cup, with Jones’ men now third favourites to win the tournament, behind New Zealand and France. Even though it may seem a long way away, the World Cup in France is what’s on the mind of all connected to England. It’s what they want to win, and it’s what Jones has been working towards since they lost that game to South Africa.

Of course, they are still contenders for the crown, but the reality is that their recent form is a concern – and there are some that believe that a lot of it is down to the coach. The Australian has warned his players that places in the squad for the World Cup are up for grabs, but some feel he is acting too late. There is a very exciting new generation of players coming through with England, and fans are starting to be increasingly annoyed, and bemused, by the constant omissions.

On one hand, you can understand why Jones is keeping faith in the old guard. They are the ones he trusts, and they have generally done well for him over his period in charge. Yet, performances over the past few months mean changes have to be in his thinking.
Plus, standards have started to slip. Captain Owen Farrell hasn’t been at his influential best, whilst the forwards have a worrying tendency to give away penalties. The latter has to be rectified, or it will prove costly when the serious stuff starts.


At this stage of preparations for the World Cup, Jones would’ve wanted to have a clearer mind on who was going to make up his team. Instead, he is having to shuffle the pack, and he must be tempted to turn to some on the fringes for the upcoming internationals.
Whether he does or not remains to be seen. Ultimately, though, the World Cup is looming large on the horizon, and England doesn’t look suitably prepared. So, big, quick decisions need to be made if Jones is to leave as a world champion.

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Alex Smith, the Comeback Player of the Year, has been released by Washington.

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Alex Smith, the Comeback Player of the Year, has been released by Washington.

 

Alex Smith, the AP Comeback Player of the Year, was released by Washington on Friday, a move that was expected but still comes as a shock after the veteran quarterback’s incredible run with the team.

Smith’s release frees up just under $15 million in salary cap space for the Redskins, who are trying to figure out their long-term quarterback situation and fill a slew of holes in the wake of a 7-9 season, NFC East title, and wild-card round loss. Coach Ron Rivera said he met with Smith this week, and both sides decided it was best to move on, so Smith’s request to be released was granted.

Rivera said in a tweet, “I want to thank Alex for his efforts this past year.” “He had such an influence on our young team, and his leadership was a big part of our late-season success and first-time playoff appearance since 2015.”

Last season, two years after breaking two bones in his right leg and having 17 operations to repair it, Smith made a triumphant return to NFL action. Whether he played again or not, his battle against a life-threatening infection and long rehab process to get back on the field became a documentary and an inspirational story. And, of course, he returned to the game.

“It was more about the attempt and the journey to me than the outcome,” Smith said on January 10. “Even if I had failed in my attempt to return, I would have slept soundly knowing I had attempted. It was all in the attitude of putting myself out there and trying, very, really hard.”

Soon after Smith led Washington to its first playoff berth in five years, the warm and fuzzy feelings faded. The financial ramifications of releasing Smith now, as well as comments by Rivera and new executives Martin Mayhew and Marty Hurney, made it clear that he wasn’t in the plans for next season as the team searches for a franchise quarterback.

Smith has confirmed that he intends to continue playing at the age of 37. In his most pointed comments yet, he told GQ that Washington didn’t want him to return from his injury, indicating that he knew his future lay elsewhere.

Smith was Washington’s present and future at the place just three years ago. In February 2018, the previous administration, led by president Bruce Allen, agreed to trade a third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller to Kansas City in exchange for Smith, and to sign him to a $94 million, four-year contract with $71 million guaranteed.

Before breaking his right fibula and tibia in a home game against Houston on Nov. 18, Smith had Washington off to a 6-3 start that season. After being hospitalized for almost a month, he was released with a stabilizer on his leg.

Smith was back in playing shape by last summer after a long rehab and began training camp on the physically unable to perform list. Behind Dwayne Haskins and Kyle Allen on the depth chart in 2005, the No. 1 pick was ranked third.

Smith was finally able to play after Rivera benched and demoted Haskins and Allen was injured. He made his first appearance since the injury against the Rams on Oct. 11 and struggled in inclement weather before being demoted to a backup role.

Smith started at Detroit on Nov. 15 after Allen injured his right ankle and threw for 390 yards in a 30-27 loss. He won his next four starts before injuring the calf muscle in the same right leg he injured two years ago, but he was just in time to lead Washington to a win in the regular-season finale at Philadelphia, clinching the NFC East and a playoff berth.

Taylor Heinicke impressed but fell short in a loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Buccaneers because Smith was unable to play against them in the wild-card game.

“Obviously, it’s not how you want to end the season, so it’s frustrating in that sense,” Smith said. “But, in the big picture, to be back playing a part and even being in this position is something I would have jumped at if you had introduced it to me a year, two years ago.”

Behind the scenes, the wheels were already spinning in favor of Smith’s absence. Though Rivera was vague about Smith’s status for next season, Washington re-signed Heinicke to a two-year contract worth up to $8.75 million and is expected to re-sign Allen.

Washington was 11-5 when Smith started games and 5-26 when he didn’t. He could pique the attention of teams searching for a mentor figure who can also play in a pinch.

The Jacksonville Jaguars, for example, recruited Urban Meyer, Smith’s college coach, to lead their turnaround. The Jaguars have the No. 1 selection, which they are expected to use to select Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, 16 years after Smith was selected first by San Francisco.

In 14 NFL seasons with San Francisco, Kansas City, and Washington, Smith has thrown for 199 touchdowns, 109 interceptions, and 35,650 yards. Due to injury, he missed the first two years of his career.

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