At this point most of us, probably all of us, can admit that the next Nostradamus does not walk among us. Of course in reference to everyone’s brackets that have been busted by now, if somebody has picked an entirely correct bracket to this point, a line is probably filing outside his or her front door waiting to ask whether the world will truly end in 2012. And ain’t it grand?As much as we all check our brackets game by game, especially through those first two manic days of the tournament – hoping for the mythological perfect bracket – it would be pretty boring if pick-by-pick went according to plan.If someone “knew” that Norfolk State and Lehigh were going to pull upsets over number two seeds Missouri and Duke, respectively, that would really ruin the moment of 2012 being the first tournament year with two 15 seeds advancing. The unpredictability, the fickle games that lower seeds win every year is what keeps us all coming back for more.Nobody saw Kyle O’Quinn of Norfolk State or C.J. McCollum of Lehigh causing the fits they did. In fact, commentators couldn’t stop gushing over O’Quinn’s 26 points and 14 rebounds, incredulous of the fact that no one outside the Spartans offered him a scholarship.McCollum’s 30-point, 6-rebound, 6-assist outburst nearly left Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski speechless, saying, “[Lehigh] had the best player on the court tonight in McCollum. He’s been their player of the year, and he’s really one of the outstanding players in the country. You could see why tonight.”The first four-day stretch of the tournament – six, if you count the round one play-in games – all led to this, the elimination of 52 teams and an essentially new bracket. Cue the Sweet 16.And now with the field of 16 preparing for another hotly-contested four days, more than ever, teams will look to rely on the players who have gotten their respective teams this far and try to squeeze a few more ounces of talent out of their quieter players to help push them over the top, just like O’Quinn and McCollum did in their opening round.Here’s a look at half of the field.Kentucky: POY candidate Anthony Davis is the easy choice for who the Wildcats relied on most, but his biggest contributions come on the defensive end, where all of Coach Calipari’s players play well. If Kentucky wins the national championship, it will most likely come from the contributions of Marquis Teague. The freshman guard has averaged 18 points and 5.5 assists per game for Kentucky in the tournament after averaging just 9.4 points and 4.8 assists prior to the Big Dance. If he can keep up those numbers, Kentucky will be almost as impossible to stop.Wisconsin: Everybody knows the Badgers wouldn’t be anywhere near the Sweet 16 without Jordan Taylor. Then again, opponents know that too. Expect double-teams galore on the Wisconsin star from now on, after he torched Montana and Vanderbilt. With that, someone will need to execute when Taylor kicks to the open man. After the win against Vanderbilt, Wisconsin will continue to rely on steady contributions between Mike Bruesewitz and Ben Brust. In the two games prior to the tournament, neither scored a single point but after two games in the tournament have registered 32 points. This production from the role players must continue if Wisconsin hopes to continue dancing in Boston.Indiana: Interestingly enough, the Hoosiers will be forced to navigate the waters of the tournament without a senior leader a la Kentucky, having lost Verdell Jones III to an ACL tear in the Big Ten tournament. Likely, the responsibility will fall on the shoulders of freshman forward Cody Zeller, who led Indiana in points (15.5) and rebounds (6.5) this season. The Hoosiers really need sophomore guard Victor Oladipo to step up, especially to get past Kentucky. Oladipo has been relatively invisible his last five games (7.2 ppg) after averaging 15.6 points per game in seven previous contests.Syracuse: Not often is a reserve relied on to win games, but Syracuse’s Dion Waiters is the Orange’s best player. In his last five games, Waiters is averaging 17.8 points per game off the bench. Kris Joseph and Scoop Jardine get a lot of the fanfare as seniors, but forward C.J. Fair will need to contribute inside, especially with the loss of Fab Melo.Michigan State: Is there any need to say more than Draymond Green? The guy has breathed life into MSU all season, working in wondrous ways. Need proof? Check out his triple-double against LIU-Brooklyn. As far as finding a Robin to Green’s Batman, the Spartans have an array of talent waiting to be utilized, and junior forward Derrick Nix is the beast to get it done. Listed at 6-foot-9, 270 pounds, Nix is a load on the block that many teams can’t match up against. Averaging 14 points per game in the tournament, Nix allows Green to play the perimeter when needed to stretch the defense.North Carolina: Harrison Barnes just became the de-facto man for the Heels with Kendall Marshall breaking his wrist, as sophomore guard Reggie Bullock must step up in the absence of the injured UNC point guard. He’s only scoring 8.7 per game, but with Marshall’s absence, Bullock must score in double digits if UNC hopes to reach the Final Four.Marquette: Jae Crowder, Big East Player of the Year, somehow still manages to fly under the radar and is killing teams every game. Averaging a ridiculous 21 points and 14.5 boards in the tourney, if someone doesn’t find a way to slow him down, Marquette could win it all. Darius Johnson-Odom is already a star, so some offense from Madison-product Vander Blue would be nice. Blue has only scored 12 points in the tourney, and any significant contributions from him would really hinder opposing defenses’ ability to focus on Crowder or DJO.Ohio State: The casual fan would expect Jared Sullinger or William Buford to be the names of the man who has taken the Buckeyes to this point, but it’s not. Sophomore forward Deshaun Thomas is in beast mode right now and shows no signs of stopping. The perfect complement to Thomas has been all-world defensive point guard Aaron Craft, but lately Craft has found his offensive rhthym. Against Gonzaga, Craft scored 17 points, doubled his average and dished out 10 dimes. When Kraft is on his offensive grind, it’s hard to imagine OSU losing.Brett is a senior majoring in journalism. If you had a clean slate on your bracket, who out of the Sweet 16 would you pick to reach the Final Four, or win the NCAA Championship? Let Brett know by tweeting him at @BAsportswriter or email him at email@example.com.
Last but not least, 100 Thieves will be hoping to steal a trophy or two as they officially enter the franchise system. Led by the esports experience of Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag, and the sporting expertise of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the organisation has already secured the services of pr0lly, one of the most respected coaches in the LCS.Unfortunately, the acceptance of so many new brands comes at the cost of old ones, the most contentious of which was undoubtedly Immortals’ exit from the NA LCS. The team has since made a statement on its dismissal, in which Noah Whinston addressed the fans and urged them to continue to support the organisation in other endeavours.Esports Insider says: It’s been a real rollercoaster for the NA LCS since the franchise system was announced; finally, that ride comes to an end, just in time for all the juicy drama of off-season player transfers to kick in. Good luck to all ten organisations who made the cut, and even more to those who didn’t. We look forward to seeing the NA LCS reach even greater heights under the new system. It’s been a long time coming, but amidst the dramatic hubbub of a crazy start to the transfer window, North American LCS teams have been making official statements on their bids into the new franchise system.Copyright – ESL | Helena KristianssonIn case you haven’t heard, the NA League of Legends Championship Series will be reformatting from 2018 onwards, with the league franchising and existing teams forced to compete with fresh applicants for spots in the new system.The news was followed by a steady stream of reports last month that leaked the supposed successful entrants, which reached a finale on the 20th of October as the Houston Rockets were the tenth and last application rumoured to have been granted a spot.Those reports have finally been granted credence as Riot Games made an official team announcement down on the corner of the LoL Esports site. The page includes a brief introduction to each organisation, some social links, and groovy wallpapers which also give us a glimpse into the new team logos.The teamsThe Golden Guardians come from arguably the NBA’s biggest team, and they’ll be hoping to replicate the success of the Golden State Warriors in League of Legends. The team has just announced Hunter Leigh as the head of its esports division to lend them his know-how in their pursuit of success.Echo Fox have confirmed their re-entry. The team was recently included as part of an investment partnership between Vision Esports and the New York Yankees. A dramatic announcement video features some spicy words from famous owner Rick Fox, who has one simple goal: to win.Clutch Gaming (previously rumoured to be called Clutch City Gaming) are the squad bankrolled by the Houston Rockets, and they’re already “looking forward to kicking ass”. They will also rock one of the tastiest logos in the NA LCS.It’s definitely no surprise to see Team SoloMid back in the league. The team is one of the most established and well known esports organisations in the world, and have dominated the NA LCS since its inception. Their announcement was accompanied by a video from Reginald promising an increase in budget, which is sure to please TSM fans.Fan favourites Cloud9 are another squad looking to build on past success in North America. They have attended every Worlds since storming into the NA LCS in 2013, a history that doesn’t look too shabby when recounted in their video announcement.FlyQuest are a team who some were surprised to see make the cut, but news of their successful application to franchising was accompanied by a heart-on-sleeve open letter, in which they promised “We WILL do better”. A video heavily featuring AD carry Wildturtle might suggest they are looking to build a new team (or brand) around him, and accompanies a fresh new logo. Team Liquid are back “with something to prove”, and it certainly seems that way after the team has seemingly been involved with every rumoured player purchase in the offseason so far. Their announcement was embellished by a pair of videos with quotes and memes aplenty, including a terrific shot of co-CEO and co-owner Steve Arhancet shooting dollar bills whilst a dirty dubstep beat drops in the background. 10/10.Famed FPS powerhouse OpTic Gaming make their entry into League of Legends official. The organisation is reputed for having one of the fiercest followings in esports, and now the Green Wall is coming to the NA LCS.It wouldn’t be the LCS without Counter Logic Gaming, and CLG is back for another run at success. The oldest competitive League of Legends team will again take to the Rift on the North American stage, and they have a lot of history to live up to.
There are only eight days left until the beginning of the biggest sports event in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) after the 14th Olympics, the European Youth Olympic Festival EYOF in Sarajevo and East Sarajevo, Federal News Agency reports.General Secretary of the Olympic Committee (OC) of BiH Said Fazlagic stated that “preparations are going as planned even with certain problems that are being solved”.“We are all excited for EYOF and the opening ceremony, which will be great. We want to organize the best EYOF ever,” Fazlagic told FENA.He added that representatives of EOC, led by President Janez Kocijancic and vice presidents, will arrive in Sarajevo two days before EYOF.“Guests will also include presidents and general secretaries of all 50 European national Olympic committees, the entire Executive Board of EOC, as well as representatives of the International Olympic Committee – IOC. We still expect confirmation for the attendance of IOC President Thomas Bach and a few other members of this umbrella Olympic organization,” emphasized Fazlagic.
A substantial reward is being offered for information on the troubling death of a bottle-nosed dolphin on the west coast of Florida.NOAA announced yesterday a bottle-nose dolphin was stabbed to death over a month ago off Upper Captiva Island in Lee County. A necropsy shows a deadly six-inch wound in the head likely from a spear.NOAA is offering a $38,000 reward for information on a suspect. The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 makes willfully killing a dolphin punishable of up to a $100,000 fine and up to a year in jail.If you know who is responsible for this heinous act, please call 800-853-1964
Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victims “This is a great achievement, we’re expecting to play our best and our goal is to reach the Final Four and this win really helps our confidence,” said Madayag.Co-captain Kat Tolentino paced the Ateneo’s potent scoring with a game-high 22 points to lead four Lady Eagles who finished in double figures.Maraguinot had 16 points while Madayag and Jules Samonte added 13 and 11 points, respectively, for the Lady Eagles.Shaya Adorador led UE with 21 points while Mendrez added 10.RELATED VIDEOADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ateneo gained further momentum in its quest for a Final Four spot after stopping University of the East, 25-14, 18-25, 25-13, 25-18, in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Centre.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ Conor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerism In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recovery The Lady Eagles momentarily took hold of the second seed with a 7-3 record but can share the spot with National U at the end of the day depending on the outcome of the second game.Ateneo methodically kept the Lady Warriors at bay in the final moments of the game despite Mary Ann Mendrez trying to give UE a semblance of hope with a crosscourt kill that trimmed the lead to six, 23-17.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkJhoanna Maraguinot gave Ateneo the 24-17 match point before Bea De Leon denied Mendrez up top to stamp the Lady Eagles’ fourth straight win.Captain Maddie Madayag said she’s expecting her team to keep playing in the level they’re in and to strive for that eighth win that will ensure them of at least a playoff for a Final Four spot. Cavs’ Korver leaves team following brother’s death Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenters Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil LATEST STORIES View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.