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Men’s basketball winter break preview

Men’s basketball winter break preview

first_imgAll stats and records are through Dec. 9.Saturday, Dec. 13 — vs. Nicholls State (1-4):After a grueling stretch of games against Georgetown, Oklahoma, Duke, Marquette and even UW-Milwaukee, Wisconsin finally gets a “cupcake” when they host the Colonels this Saturday. Nicholls State, from the Southland conference, is a typical low-mid major program that often schedules games against power conference opponents to earn money for its program. The Colonels have already played UCLA, Wake Forest and Michigan and the Badgers should have no problem taking care of them at the Kohl Center.Monday, Dec. 22 — at. California (7-1):After a nine-day break, the Badgers will continue their non-conference schedule when they head to Berkeley, California, to take on the Golden Bears. California should be Wisconsin’s toughest remaining non-conference opponent, as their only loss this season came to then No. 10 Texas in the 2K Classic tournament. Currently, the Golden Bears are receiving votes in both the AP Top 25 and Coaches’ Top 25 polls. California is led by junior guard Tyrone Wallace, who is averaging team-highs in points (19.5), rebounds (8.9) and assists (4.6).Sunday, Dec. 28 — vs. Buffalo (5-2):The Badgers will close out their non-conference schedule with a matchup against Buffalo of the Mid-American Conference at the Kohl Center. The Bulls won’t be afraid of Wisconsin as they led No. 1 Kentucky at halftime — before eventually losing — Nov. 16. Regardless, UW should be able to take care of Buffalo at home despite the Bulls having two players — Justin Moss (16.6) and Shannon Evans (15.1) — averaging over 15 points.Wednesday, Dec. 31 — vs. Penn State (8-1):Wisconsin will finish 2014 and begin the Big Ten season when the Nittany Lions come to the Kohl Center New Year’s Eve. Penn State finished last season in second-to-last place in the Big Ten with a 6-12 conference record. The Badgers beat the Nittany Lions in their lone matchup last season, escaping Happy Valley with a 71-66 victory. UW will have to contain Penn State guard D.J. Newbill, who as of Dec. 10, leads the Big Ten in scoring with an average of 23.3 points per game.Sunday, Jan. 4 — at Northwestern (5-3):As of Dec. 10, the Wildcats have lost three straight games to Northern Iowa, Georgia Tech and Butler. Northwestern currently ranks 308 out of 351 teams in Division I in points per game (60.3) and has yet to score more than 70 points this season. Last season, the Wildcats finished in a tie with Penn State for second-to-last in the Big Ten with a 6-12 record. But, the Wildcats did record a 65-56 upset of the Badgers at the Kohl Center after being blown out by UW earlier in the season, 76-49, in Evanston, Illinois. Northwestern is led by center Alex Olah, who leads the team in points (10.9) and rebounds (6.9).Wednesday, Jan. 7 — vs. Purdue (7-2):The Boilermakers have yet to play an away game this season, losing both contests at home to Kansas State and an ugly loss to North Florida. The Badgers had no trouble taking care of Purdue in their two matchups last season, disposing of the Boilermakers on the road 72-58 before earning a 76-70 victory at home. The Boilermakers are one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the Big Ten, hauling in 13.2 per game, and are first in the Big Ten in blocked shots (59), averaging more than six per game. Junior center A.J. Hammons leads the conference in blocked shots per game (3.2).Sunday, Jan. 11 — at Rutgers (5-4):The Badgers will make the trek to Piscataway, New Jersey, for the first time Jan. 11 when they take on Big Ten newcomer Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights have one of the worst scoring offenses in the nation, ranking 334th in scoring, averaging 57.4 points per game. Rutgers already has losses against George Washington, Saint Peter’s, Virginia and Seton Hall. In its game against Virginia, Rutgers managed to score only 26 points. Senior guard Myles Mack paces the Scarlet Knights, averaging 14.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.9 steals per game.Thursday, Jan. 15 — vs. Nebraska (5-2):Wisconsin ends its stretch of winter break games when the Cornhuskers come to Madison Jan. 15. Nebraska has losses to Rhode Island and Creighton this season but did knock off Florida State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Cornhuskers are led by preseason all-Big Ten selection Terran Petteway, who is averaging 21.0 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. The Badgers will have to be ready for the upset-minded Cornhuskers, who, last season, ended UW’s eight-game winning streak, beating Wisconsin in the regular-season finale 77-68 in Lincoln.last_img read more

Chelsea to take on Man City in top two clash

Chelsea to take on Man City in top two clash

first_imgVictory over City would give them a substantial lead in the title race, though they will be without striker Diego Costa. That game will kick-off at half five.Hull will welcome Newcastle in the early game at quarter to one with a draw enough to get them out of the bottom three, for a few hours at least.The two sides just above the relegation zone meet when Sunderland welcome Burnley. While in the three o’clock kick-offs, Manchester United will be out for a measure of revenge when they meet Leicester in the Premier League this afternoon.They suffered a surprise 5-3 defeat at the home of the top flight’s bottom team when they met earlier this season.Manager Louis van Gaal says his side will have to be at their very best if they’re to avoid another upset at Old Trafford.The rest of the three o’clock kick-offs sees sixth place Tottenham visit West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool are at home to West Ham.QPR, without an away point, are at Stoke.Crystal Palace take on Everton at Selhurst Park.last_img read more

NBA tries a new format for 2018 All-Star Game at Staples Center

NBA tries a new format for 2018 All-Star Game at Staples Center

first_imgThe leading vote-getters will be the team captains and they’ll pick from a pool of players.It’ll be an old-fashioned schoolyard pickup game.Suffice to say, no one wants to be picked last.The league’s 67th All-Star Game will be the first without an East vs. West matchup.Curry’s starting five could look something like this: Curry and James Harden of the Houston Rockets in the backcourt, with Draymond Green of the Warriors, Kevin Love of the Cavaliers and Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks up front. Imagine it: Western Conference captain Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors and Eastern Conference counterpart LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers standing at midcourt choosing sides before the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 18 at Staples Center.Except it’s not a dream. It could be reality.(Details on the actual choosing of the All-Star teams will be announced at a later date.)Curry and James won’t be representing their conferences, though. None of the 24 All-Stars will be once the game begins. James’ starters could look something like this: Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Klay Thompson of the Warriors in the backcourt, with James, Kevin Durant of the Warriors and Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans up front.Who knows?Maybe Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball will be a starter. Or the Clippers’ Blake Griffin.That’s the point of this exercise. The teams won’t be known until the picks are made.In another new wrinkle, the teams will select a Los Angeles-area charity and play for it.A cynic might say this is just a ploy to avoid a lopsided result in favor of the more dominant Western Conference, which includes Curry’s star-studded defending champion Warriors, the James Harden- and Chris Paul-led Houston Rockets and the Westbrook-led Oklahoma City Thunder.James’ Cavaliers are the lone superteam in the East.So, in order to mix things up, the NBA and the players’ association decided to go with something new and different. Will it work? Will the game be competitive? Will the players actually try to play a little bit of defense? Or will it devolve into another dunk contest?“I’m thrilled with what the players and the league have done to improve the All-Star Game, which has been a priority for all of us,” said Paul, a former Clippers guard who also serves as president of the players’ union. “We’re looking forward to putting on an entertaining show in L.A.”As in the past, 12 players from each conference will be selected as All-Stars. Ten starters once again will be chosen by a combination of voting by the fans (50 percent), current players (25 percent) and basketball media members (25 percent). The All-Star coaches will select the reserves.The coaches will be those whose teams have the best records in each conference two weeks before the All-Star Game. Steve Kerr of the Warriors and Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics are ineligible because they coached in last season’s game.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more