Syracuse falls to Miami, 69-65, in overtime to close regular season

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Joe Girard III sized up his defender at the elbow, stepped back and squared his shoulders in a shooting motion. There were just over 30 seconds left in overtime. His runner at the end of regulation had prolonged a largely inconsequential game. But Girard telegraphed this one. The shots hadn’t fallen most of the game. Girard looked for them anyway because, in spots, he was Syracuse’s only chance. He willed his team to score and took it himself in the game’s biggest moments.After SU’s loss, Girard shrugged. In the grand scheme of the game where he shot 5-of-17, his regulation heroics were a short-lived outlier. His overtime pull-up rimmed out. “Throughout the whole game, we have to make shots like (the one at the end of regulation), and we didn’t do that,” Girard said. “That one just happened to go in at that time.”On paper, Saturday’s matchup with Miami (15-15, 7-13 Atlantic Coast) was an anomaly in the sense that Syracuse (17-14, 10-10) won’t be the more talented team often, if ever, in the coming weeks as the ACC tournament looms. Still, against one of the worst teams in the ACC and without Elijah Hughes for the final 25 minutes, Syracuse was out-rebounded, out-hustled and outplayed on its way to a 69-65 overtime loss filled with missed shots around the arc. In the final game before a stretch where it’s not only critical but also necessary that the Orange explode, SU fell flat, going 5-for-25 (20%) from behind the arc. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe result Saturday meant little: Win or lose, an ACC tournament title is the only sure track to the NCAA Tournament. A loss only worsens its ACC seeding. For as good as the flashes the Orange had given all year long, there are games like this interspersed. Ones that bring back reality. Ones that prove head coach Jim Boeheim right that Syracuse is “not good enough.”“Maybe we’re not a good 3-point shooting team,” Boeheim said. “I mean, the evidence is there.”The start to Saturday’s game was perhaps the Orange’s ugliest of the season. Syracuse shot terribly and the game, though sloppy, took no stoppages as missed shots clanked off the rim and into the hands of the opposite team. There were live-ball turnovers and contact rarely led to a whistle. As a result, SU’s mistakes meshed together.Hughes missed a layup at the rim. Bourama Sidibe was stripped down low. Buddy Boeheim and Girard missed shot after shot. Howard Washington — whose two-minute stretch usually comes as a palate-cleanser after early-game mistakes — passed the ball to Quincy Guerrier in the corner, followed the pass and led his defender over to trap Guerrier in the corner with the ball.The Orange entered the second half down two, and Hughes scratched his head from the SU bench with his hood pulled over. He wouldn’t return for the Orange because of an apparent head injury, and the second half perhaps started even uglier. Aside from a Girard 3-pointer, SU scored little in the first 10 minutes. But Miami scored less. After Guerrier bumped a Hurricane defender and scored as he was knocked down, Syracuse looked primed to pull away. When he missed the free throw, though, Boeheim sunk his chin into his hand on the bench and the Hurricanes answered with multiple 3-pointers to tie the game once again.The mistakes kept coming: Buddy lost a ball on a breakaway and had his layup blocked. Syracuse missed crucial free throws. It didn’t rotate when even the smallest contest had caused the Hurricanes to struggle shooting. And the shots that Syracuse has used to create its biggest runs all season long eluded them.“You never want to shoot bad,” Buddy said.There was always an opening, and that continued. Girard hit a runner when Syracuse needed it in the final seconds of regulation. Then, Isaiah Wong traveled and Syracuse tied the game one final time. But in overtime, Miami’s offense was there. Syracuse’s wasn’t. After Wong’s 3-pointer fell through the basket midway through the overtime period, SU quickly took it out of bounds. Girard waved his hand and the ball came right to him. This time he didn’t have a plan. There wasn’t one shot that could bring SU back into the game. Syracuse needed to put together multiple. Girard ushered the momentum and asked his teammates to follow, a request that had been futile all game long. The result put them in the same spot they were before: An underdog in the conference tournament. And it can’t lose again.“I feel like I don’t want to lose or we can’t lose any game,” Girard said. “So, it’s nothing new.” Comments Published on March 7, 2020 at 6:41 pm Contact Michael: [email protected] | @MikeJMcClearylast_img read more

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FC Ifeanyi Ubah Unveil New Manager; Ladan Bosso

first_imgFormer Flying Eagles coach Ladan Bosso has been unveiled as the new head coach of FC Ifeanyi Ubah.Bosso takes over from former Ghanaian International Yaw Preko, who left the club at the end of last season following the expiration of his one-year contract with the Nnewi club.He ended his two-year reign with El-Kanemi Warriors at the end of last season after guiding the team to a respectable sixth place position in the table.The former Wikki Tourists coach was courted by Katsina United and was also linked with the vacant managerial position at the former Nigeria Professional Football League champions, Enyimba.FC Ifeanyi Ubah finished in a disappointing ninth position in the NPFL last season.The club also surrendered their Federation Cup title, going out in the last four and also failed to impress in their first appearance in the continent, losing out in the first round of the CAF Confederation Cup.RelatedFC Ifeanyi Ubah Unveil Former Assistant Coach as Head CoachDecember 12, 2018In “Nigeria”Ladan Bosso unveiled as Gombe United ManagerDecember 26, 2018In “Nigeria”Abdullahi Biffo Now Technical Adviser for Kastina United As Baldwin Bazuaye ResignsNovember 9, 2017In “Nigeria”last_img read more

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FA Cup final: Man City 0-1 Wigan

first_imgIf this FA Cup final was to be the beginning of the end for Roberto Martinez and Roberto Mancini, one was leaving on a magic carpet while the other was being smuggled out of the back door.Wigan Athletic manager Martinez apologised for his late arrival in Wembley’s media theatre – “sorry gents we’re not used to celebrating” – and declared he had watched movies with worse scripts than this truly remarkable tale.History was written by Wigan when substitute Ben Watson glanced home Shaun Maloney’s corner just as the board was hoisted for three minutes’ stoppage time.The entertaining and often mystifying team created by Spaniard Martinez had won their first major trophy in 81 years and put English football’s most romantic piece of silverware alongside all those won by their Rugby League counterparts.For Manchester City, it was sheer misery.In football parlance, City barely turned up – and for Mancini the irritation at events on and off the pitch was all too plain to see. The Italian awoke to reports that City had concluded a deal to replace him with Malaga’s Manuel Pellegrini and the non-performance of his team darkened both his mood and his chances of keeping his job.After insisting the reports were incorrect, he wavered somewhat and turned on Manchester City officials for not killing speculation when it started six months ago.Whether this was clever timing moments after an empty-handed season was confirmed remains to be seen.For Wigan and Martinez there was little other than unbridled joy – at least until Tuesday when they travel to Arsenal in their latest attempt to avoid relegation to the Championship.Martinez likes to sign off his match notes with the Spanish phrase “Sin Miedo” – Without Fear – and if 90 minutes summed up that philosophy then this was it. Wigan were magnificent. Fearless, refusing to take a backward step. Composed in possession and, for once, fiercely disciplined at the back. They were truly worthy winners.There was symmetry too. Only those inhabiting a different planet would not know chairman Dave Whelan felt he had unfinished business with this competition and venue after breaking his leg playing for Blackburn Rovers in the 1960 FA Cup final against Wolves.Whelan had his moment here, leading the team out, then watching as the winner was scored by Watson, only just back after a broken leg sustained at Liverpool in November that was expected to rule him out for the season.He was the goal hero but Wigan had excellence everywhere. James McArthur overshadowed Yaya Toure in midfield but the real star of this show was Callum McManaman. It was not so long McManaman was being vilified for his challenge on Newcastle United’s Massadio Haidara – but Martinez insisted this “diamond” was a special talent.He is a diamond that is still rough around the edges but this was one of the stand-out FA Cup final performances.McManaman took Gael Clichy to the cleaners with a display of wing play Manchester City’s left-back will never forget, and not in a good way.He was almost unplayable at times and it was no surprise he was the victim of Pablo Zabaleta’s challenge that led to the Argentinian’s second yellow card and dismissal.The backdrop to this final was conjecture about the future of the two managers – so what will they face? Martinez once more skirted around speculation linking him with replacing David Moyes at Everton but this was a display of tactical excellence and sheer positivity that makes a manager’s stock rise.He may yet take Wigan into the Championship but he has done something that means his name will never be forgotten there. He and his club chased an FA Cup dream and caught it at Wembley. So much rests on Wigan’s last two games. If they stay up, with European football secured, Whelan will have a stronger hand to play with his manager once the season ends.If they do not then Martinez may finally be persuaded away and, make no mistake, players such as McManaman, James McCarthy, McArthur and Shaun Maloney will attract potentially irresistible interest.For Everton owner Bill Kenwright, as he searches for his next manager, Wigan’s victory means he could sell Martinez as a winner to any doubters. After all, he now has one more major trophy to his name than the departing David Moyes. As Martinez said, these are discussions for another day. For now Wigan – a quirky, unpredictable team – deserve the highest praise.For a side to play with such freedom of expression in a Wembley FA Cup final is a credit to themselves and their manager.Mancini must now wait to see if reports of his demise are true but there has been no denial from City, which the Italian clearly feels there should have been. This lack of a denial may be for a very good reason.City’s supporters clearly sympathise with Mancini. His name rang out constantly at Wembley, along with the odd unflattering reference to Pellegrini.It is a sign of the demands City now make that he faces such questioning two years after winning the FA Cup to secure their first major trophy in 35 years and only 12 months after winning their first Premier League title in 44 years. Mancini cannot, however, complain too loudly about football’s ruthless nature. After all, he was waiting in the wings to take over from Mark Hughes on the night he was sacked in December 2009.All will be revealed but the mood music around Wembley struck a sombre note for Mancini – and Manchester City’s players did not make an eloquent case in support of their manager.Wigan’s heroes mirrored the approach of manager Martinez. “Sin Miedo” from first whistle to last.last_img read more

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B&H Football Players Returned to Guaruja

first_imgB&H football representation returned to Guaruja.The team conducted a training after they watched the game Nigeria and Iran.Players who did not have opportunity to play against Argentina will have a training today, while for the other will be a free day.The team will have two more trainings on Wednesday in Guaruja, and on Thursday afternoon is planned departure to Cuiaba, where on Saturday, at midnight, they will play second round match of World Cup, against Nigeria.(Source: Fena)last_img

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Why MLB needed the Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa home run race then — and must celebrate it now

first_imgMcGwire vs. Sosa came at a time when baseball was getting lost on the map, and re-established the game as a capital city. While the franchises with bigger fan bases dominate the landscape in 2020, it’s been hard to make baseball as cross-country compelling. Like college football is to the northeast, baseball can become a sports blind spot for much of America without one unifying national storyline involving the same scale of individual magnetism.For those who think McGwire and Sosa committed the ultimate Cardinal and Cub sin with their PEDs, consider that issues involving owner vs. player, diversification, adaptation and marketing are obstacles toward increasing the popularity of the game in 2020, well removed from the steroid era.McGwire vs. Sosa wasn’t just a band aid that created a bandwagon. It was the type of rare phenomenon baseball desperately needed then and could use much of now. Keeping with what those two guys and those home runs meant, maybe a different kind of work stoppage will lead to a similar revitalization. https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/6/38/mcgwire-sosa-sncoverjpg_sp2ac8chsold1kfydm8uh0m7g.jpg?t=-1452195478&w=500&quality=80McGwire vs. Sosa were the right superstars, despite their wrongsWhen the steroid revelations came to light, there was major irreparable damage to the reputations of McGwire and Sosa. When the collective ignorance went away, it also revoked all of the innocence involved with the dreamlike state of their home run race.As flawed as they were as players, it’s their personalities which explain why McGwire vs. Sosa still conjures fond memories, in St. Louis, Chicago or elsewhere. A long 22 years later, there are few times when those strong feelings toward baseball resurface, most recently with Giancarlo Stanton vs. Aaron Judge trying to re-created some of that magic in 2017.Mike Trout, Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts are considered the best position players in the game in 2020. But consider that in ESPN’s World Fame 100, ranking the biggest, most famous names in sports worldwide in 2019, only one MLB player, Bryce Harper, made the list at No. 99. MORE: Ranking the top 10 unbreakable baseball recordsMcGwire ended up edging Sosa 70-66 as both shot past Maris in the record books before Barry Bonds reset the mark to 73 just three years later. ESPN’s latest “30 for 30” sports documentary “Long Gone Summer” couldn’t come at a better time (8 p.m. ET, Sunday), during a summer of longing for baseball.Here’s why McGwire vs. Sosa was so important to baseball then and what lessons the game could still learn from it now.McGwire vs. Sosa made baseball larger than lifeWhen the players’ strike put an end to the final two months and postseason in 1994, it soured many of the game’s most loyal fans. The Yankees’ return to dominance as a World Series dynasty and the Red Sox starting to rise were key to helping the healing with two storied franchises having budding success at the same time. That was great for big American League markets on the East Coast, but MLB needed something the entire country could embrace, too.Enter the National League, and the ultimate rivals in America’s heartland, McGwire’s Cardinals and Sosa’s Cubs. That it was St. Louis vs. Chicago as well as McGwire vs. Sosa made it extra special.  It didn’t matter that the Cardinals and Cubs finished well behind the Astros in the then NL Central and the latter limped into the playoffs as a wild card. Baseball had the equivalent of October drama play out from March through September, with McGwire and Sosa trading majestic bomb after majestic bomb. At some point, they stopped becoming very good power hitters and turned into part classic mythical figures, part comic-book superheroes enjoying their own version of a summer blockbuster MLB or Hollywood couldn’t have written a better script in an attempt to erase all the negative vibes from four years earlier. Consider that in ’98 the NBA had its “Last Dance” with Michael Jordan’s Bulls and the NFL had yet to see its great modern QB era ushered in by Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.The stars aligned for baseball to get back to being “America’s Pastime,” a status it has struggled to maintain since. No stars were built to be better or brighter for the moment than McGwire and Sosa. (SN cover) Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/d6/5b/19981007sosamcgwire-sn-embedjpg_1g4fj4qtdfy8211kkffoaddq25.jpg?t=-1219585739&w=500&quality=80McGwire vs. Sosa challenged our thoughts and discussions on raceFor Cardinals and Cubs fans, there wasn’t much conflict for whom to root to break Maris’ mark. But for some, there was taking sides on their favorite hero or villain between McGwire and Sosa. Unfortunately, some of that was related to McGwire being a white Californian and Sosa being a black Dominican.For some, McGwire, at 6-5, 215 pounds, represented the ideal image, often associated with baseball’s past, to replace Maris atop the list. For others, Sosa, with his energy and more flamboyant home run trots, was indicative of baseball future’s with the Latin influx about to change the faces of the sport.What helped is that McGwire and Sosa genuinely liked each other, laughing and smiling all the way through their heated but friendly competition. They were making baseball fun for others and, unlike Maris, who had a tough grind to 61 while being overshadowed, personality- and stature-wise by teammate Mickey Mantle, McGwire and Sosa were having a blast while blasting balls into the stands.Two guys with very different backgrounds found their common ground and that did help to make the race less about race. Many of those tracking their daily exploits may have thought otherwise, but McGwire and Sosa also played an important role in bringing many together and working to break some stereotypes.MORE: 10 single-season MLB feats we’ll never see againMcGwire vs. Sosa delivered must-see TV for casual fansA few years before there were “Survivor,” “American Idol,” and “The Bachelor” leading the boom of intense, popular reality competition series, television had a natural such program play out like never before in sports, often in prime time. Every time McGwire and Sosa came up to the plate, they were drop-everything-and-just-watch moments. Incredibly, McGwire and Sosa often lived up to the tension, with line-drive beauties and tape-measure shots to victimize many intimidated pitchers.The biggest highlight came when the Cardinals and Cubs started a two-game set at Busch Stadium on Labor Day. McGwire, up 60-58 on Sosa, hit the Maris-tying home run on the holiday afternoon, following by the record-breaker Tuesday night in front of a national audience on Fox. Sosa was right there after McGwire circled the bases to join in the rejoicing.Baseball is more about numbers than any of the other major North American team sports, and there can be paralysis and overanalysis. But the basic emotions that come with the game are what truly make it a great, and nothing still does that better than a home run.McGwire vs. Sosa was like two NFL QBs or two NBA scorers dueling with the backdrop of team, but also with the direct individual athletic appeal of boxing, tennis, golf or the Olympics. At the time, the home run race was the best of all sports, including baseball, which is what allowed it to transcend sports. McGwire vs. Sosa both demanded and commanded or attention, and even with the aftermath, that was much more for the better than for the worse. Given what all is known now about Major League Baseball’s epic home run race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998, it might be hard to respect what they did together for the game for one magic season. But as time heals, it’s never been worthier of honor and celebration.Ignorance was bliss in ’98 as the nation was captivated by McGwire and Sosa’s battle to break Roger Maris’ single-season record, 36 years after he smashed 61 homers for the Yankees in 1961. While McGwire’s admission of using performance-enhancing drugs and Sosa’s adamant denial of doing the same thing have kept both sluggers out of the Baseball Hall of Fame, there’s no question MLB needed to embrace the fairytale reality of them combining for 136 homers. (SN cover)last_img read more

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