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Player Of The Week: Tyus Jones 26 Jan 2015, 8:34 am

Andy Katz explains why Duke freshman Tyus Jones deserves to be named the top player in college basketball this week.

Big Wins By Arizona and Miami 26 Jan 2015, 8:33 am

Andy Katz discusses the key victories this week by Arizona and Miami.

Which Conference Is King? 26 Jan 2015, 8:32 am

The Big 12 is strong from top to bottom, but the ACC has multiple Final Four contenders. Dino Gaudio and Matt Schick decide which is the best conference in America.

Jedinak excited for UAE clash 26 Jan 2015, 8:16 am

Ange Postecoglu and Mile Jedinak spoke ahead of Australia's AFC Asian Cup Semi final match against UAE.

Mourinho looking for positive response 26 Jan 2015, 8:15 am

Jose Mourinho wants Chelsea's FA Cup exit to Bradford to spark a positive reaction in the second leg of their Capital One Cup semi final with Liverpool on Tuesday.

Racket Smash! 26 Jan 2015, 7:31 am

Tom Rinaldi revisits some of the best racket smashes of recent memory.

 

 

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01/25/2015 03:44 PM
Michael Cuddyer brings card tricks, optimism to Mets clubhouse

After finalizing a seven-year, $210 million contract with free agent Max Scherzer, it appears the rest of the NL East will need nothing short of a miracle or perhaps even some magic to overcome the Washington Nationals. With that in mind, it's probably a good thing the New York Mets had already gone out and hired a magician this offseason, signing outfielder Michael Cuddyer to a two-year, $21 million deal in November.

And no, we're not exclusively referring to Cuddyer's baseball skills, though many times he has looked like a magician at the plate. Especially 2013, when he took home the NL batting crown. He's actually a magician with a wide range of card tricks. It's a unique talent, but it's a talent he's used for years in the clubhouse to keep teammates loose and entertained.

On Thursday, Cuddyer spent part of his afternoon sharpening his skills in the Mets clubhouse. Only this time, he had a different audience. The Mets brought in students from PS 92 in Queens, and as you might expect, the kids were quite impressed with Cuddyer's slight of hand.

As you also might expect, because this is New York after all, the topic of the day eventually turned to the Mets outlook this season. In this case, Cuddyer didn't attempt to pull the wool over anyone's eyes. He acknowledged the Nationals are the team to beat, but made it known that the Mets will also compete for that position.

From MLB.com:

"I don't see why we couldn't. Obviously, they're going to have a great staff, there's no question about it. They've got All-Stars on the staff. They've got ERA champions on the staff, strikeout champions on the staff. But at the same time, we've got guys that can compete with that as well. I think the 'Baseball Almanac' would be written a lot differently if you donned a champion in February every year."

Admittedly, Cuddyer can't see the future, but he does make good points. Often times the favorites in February are afterthoughts by August. However, the Nationals are a different animal. Their starting rotation is as loaded as we've ever seen in recent years, and should they elect to not immediately trade from that depth, will be equipped to handle absorb some adversity.

Where the Mets should make some noise is in the wild-card race, and we don't think that will require magic. Just good health should do the trick. If Cuddyer, David Wright and returning ace Matt Harvey can hold up for 162 games, the Mets will have staying power and an opportunity to reappear in the postseason following an eight-year absence.

Actually believing they can do it won't hurt either.

BLS H/N: Cut 4

More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

 

01/25/2015 11:57 PM
Brent Grimes makes insane, back-to-the-ball interception in Pro Bowl

GLENDALE, Ariz. — In a game with 1,063 combined yards of offense, it was a defensive play that was the highlight of the Pro Bowl.

Miami Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes — aka "Optimus Grimes" — was one of the few defenders who really showed up to play in the 32-28 Team Irvin over Team Carter game. J.J. Watt might have won defensive MVP honors, but Grimes' interception was ridiculous.

Covering Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, Grimes never turned around to find the ball on a fade route in the end zone, instead playing the receiver. No problem — Grimes reacted to the ball when Hilton leaped to make the catch, and Grimes — without ever really seeing the ball — just stole it. Like it was his lunch money.

Grimes' interception this season while covering Detroit Lions wideout Calvin Johnson was the better play because it happened against Megatron in a heated tight, regular-season game. But this Pro Bowl pick might have had an even higher degree of difficulty.

It was that good.

- - - - - - -

Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

 

 

 

 

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01/23/2015 11:48 PM
Klay Thompson sets NBA record with 37 points in a quarter

Take a bow, Klay. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)The Western Conference is full of deserving All-Star guard candidates, to the point where many terrific players will be left off the list through no fault of their own. Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson, averaging 21.9 ppg for the NBA's best team, is one of those guys. If he doesn't make it with that resume, then you know the conference is stacked.

You can now forget about that possibility. In one quarter of Friday night's game against the Sacramento Kings, Thompson ensured that he will end up in the All-Star Game. Because he scored 37 points in the third quarter to set an NBA record.

[Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

Yes, you read that correctly. After the Kings opened the half on a 7-0 run to take a 58-56 lead, Thompson redefined "on fire" by hitting all 13 of his field-goal attempts, including nine three-pointers. Perhaps most remarkably, Thompson set the mark by shooting only two free throws to finish off his scoring with four seconds remaining in the period. Everyone knew he was getting the ball and they just couldn't stop him. The video does not lie:

The shot chart isn't bad either:

It was also enough to make Detroit Pistons forward Anthony Tolliver say that he'd give up his livelihood if Thompson doesn't make the All-Star team:

Thompson topped the previous record of 33 points in a quarter shared by San Antonio Spurs legend George Gervin (1978) and then-Denver Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony (2008). His 37 points outscored all other Kings and Warriors, who managed just 26 in the third.

With 50 points at the end of the third, it looked as if Thompson could make a run up the all-time single-game scoring list. However, he played just a few minutes in the fourth before leaving the game up 104-74 with 9:27 remaining in regulation. Considering the score was 60-60 when he started his scoring barrage, I'd say he earned the rest.

Thompson finished the night with 52 points (16-of-25 FG, 11-of-15 3FG, 9-of-10 FT), five assists, four steals, and two blocks. That scoring total is a career high, topping his previous best of 41 points set on November 1 vs. the Los Angeles Lakers. Yes, he was just four points off his own personal record over the course of 12 minutes. Egads.

- - - - - - -

Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at efreeman_ysports@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

 

01/25/2015 09:32 PM
NHL All-Star rookies thrown into spotlight Sunday

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Florida defenseman Aaron Ekblad sat on the Team Toews bench at the 2015 NHL All-Star Game and started to get a little nervous. There was such anxiousness in the 18-year-old’s body that he started to shimmy a little.

“I was sitting on the bench getting the shakes a little bit. I was trying not to try too hard,” he said. “That’s kind of like the thing to do almost. It is hard to do. I got chirped a little bit for trying too hard.”

An All-Star Game for a first year player is tough. You want to play at your regular season pace. You want to look good in front of your boyhood heroes. You don’t want to embarrass yourself. But really, it’s just a glorified exhibition.

“That was like summertime hockey,” Ekblad later said.

With several players pulling out at the last minute before the mid-winter classic/sponsor-fest, there were few replacements close and available. So the league had to add its pool of rookies it originally designated for the Saturday skills competition.

Ekblad, Nashville's Filip Forsberg and Calgary's Johnny Gaudreau all found their way into the big game Sunday and all found out about it during the weekend. This led to some interesting emotional drama for the youngsters and some travel rearrangements.

“I heard some rumors I was playing at first and I got kind of a little bit excited. I heard I wasn’t playing, which wasn’t very fun,” Gaudreau said. “Then I got a chance to play and I was extremely excited about it.”

Ekblad led the way with four assists. Forsberg notched two goals and ‘Johnny Hockey’ notched two assists. Interestingly, Gaudreau and Forsberg played on a line with one another.

“You just have to try to make plays when they’re there,” Forsberg said. “Just try to have some fun out there and I think everyone did a pretty good job at that.”

At points, the two rookie forwards were lined up with crafty veteran Patrik Elias, the oldest player in the game at age 38. And Elias didn’t need to calm down the youngsters. In fact they brought him up to speed when he notched an assist on Forsberg’s first goal.

“I think they fit in fine. I think we had a really good group of guy here and made it easier for them to be around us,” Elias said. “Their skills, their hands. You can see the game they play, the vision. It was pretty impressive.”

But all in all they were still rookies and still got the young guy treatment. When it was brought up to Florida's Roberto Luongo that Ekblad had four assists, he gently ribbed his Panthers teammate.

"Did he? But how many was he on the ice for against?" Luongo said.

Ekblad was a minus-2 in a game with no penalties, Bobby Lu.

- - - - - - -

Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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Enjoy a Motor Race Properly
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It is undeniable that we all get excited to attend any sports event. But it is also true that a proper knowledge of the game makes it even more interesting. Motor races are not any exception. You can get the most of it only when you know what is happening. So check out for some proper strategies.

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01/25/2015 11:57 PM
Brent Grimes makes insane, back-to-the-ball interception in Pro Bowl

GLENDALE, Ariz. — In a game with 1,063 combined yards of offense, it was a defensive play that was the highlight of the Pro Bowl.

Miami Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes — aka "Optimus Grimes" — was one of the few defenders who really showed up to play in the 32-28 Team Irvin over Team Carter game. J.J. Watt might have won defensive MVP honors, but Grimes' interception was ridiculous.

Covering Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, Grimes never turned around to find the ball on a fade route in the end zone, instead playing the receiver. No problem — Grimes reacted to the ball when Hilton leaped to make the catch, and Grimes — without ever really seeing the ball — just stole it. Like it was his lunch money.

Grimes' interception this season while covering Detroit Lions wideout Calvin Johnson was the better play because it happened against Megatron in a heated tight, regular-season game. But this Pro Bowl pick might have had an even higher degree of difficulty.

It was that good.

- - - - - - -

Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

 

 

 

 

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