Sunday, March 31, 2013

Alford Is Hired as the Coach at U.C.L.A.

Eleven days ago, New Mexico announced  a 10-year contract extension for Coach Steve Alford, who agreed to coach the Lobos until 2023. But on Saturday, U.C.L.A. announced that Alford would be its next coach, the latest man charged with returning the Bruins to glory.

After his seven-year, $18.2 million deal with U.C.L.A. was announced, Alford said in a teleconference that he loved New Mexico, the university and his team. He said he loved Albuquerque, and that his family did, too.
“I thought this was long term,” he said, but that he was leaving because his new job was a chance to coach “the premier basketball program in the country.”
“It goes back to the four letters: it’s U.C.L.A,” he said.
Even if, it seems, that what he is inheriting is no longer the U.C.L.A. of John Wooden and his 10 national titles.
Coach Ben Howland was fired last week after 10 seasons. He took the Bruins to three straight N.C.A.A. Final Fours through 2008 but failed to make the tournament’s Round of 16 in five seasons since. This season, U.C.L.A. (25-10) lost its opening game by 20 points.
Coaches were not fighting one another for Howland’s job. Virginia Commonwealth’s Shaka Smart and Butler’s Brad Stevens were said to prefer their current positions. They have found success, especially in the tournament. Alford has not.
In six seasons, Alford coached New Mexico to three N.C.A.A. tournament appearances — as a No. 3 seed in 2010, a No. 5 in 2012, and a No. 3 this season — but never reached the Round of 16. And yet U.C.L.A.’s athletic director, Dan Guerrero, said he believed Alford could deliver “sustained success.”
Guerrero was vague in defining success. He did not demand championships or Round of 16 berths or conference titles. He praised Alford, 48, as a competitor, a teacher and a builder of programs.
He said Alford, most important, was “an individual who wanted to accept the challenge of being the head coach at U.C.L.A.”
Asked if he could handle the pressure, Alford pointed to his decorated high school career, his participation in the 1984 Summer Olympics for the United States, his four seasons at Indiana under Bob Knight and his 22 years as a college coach.
“So nobody understands pressure any more than I do,” he said.
Guerrero said: “He’s not the kind of guy that will shy away from what U.C.L.A. basketball is all about. He’ll handle the expectations with dignity, with understanding and with class.”
Alford started his coaching career in 1991 at Manchester College, a Division III program in Indiana. He made stops at Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State), Iowa and then New Mexico, where he went 155-52 but lost to Harvard in the opening round this season.
At U.C.L.A., Alford’s “first order of business,” Guerrero said, would be to re-establish the program’s recruiting presence in Southern California. That connection, which was “critically important,” had been lost, Guerrero said.
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Google honors Cesar Chavez on Easter

On Easter Sunday, Google is honoring the birthday of the late labor organizer Cesar Chavez by placing a Chavez portrait within the middle “o” of the Google logo that appears on the homepage of the popular search engine.
While Google frequently decorates its logo to celebrate various holidays and special events, it is unclear why the company chose specifically to honor Chavez’s birthday, instead of Easter Sunday.
Chavez co-founded the organization now known as the United Farm Workers union (UFW). He became an iconic figure in the labor movement, with his stature only increasing since his death in 1993.

President Barack Obama released a statement in 2011 proclaiming March 31 “Cesar Chavez Day,” declaring, “I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate service, community, and educational programs to honor Cesar Chavez’s enduring legacy.”
Google CEO Eric Schmidt was an informal adviser to both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns, a member of the Obama White House transition team in 2009 and a onetime prospect for an Obama Cabinet post during the president’s second term.
As The Daily Caller has reported, Schmidt is also a steadfast climate-change activist, and has advocated for the complete termination of the oil, natural gas, and coal industries, and predicted that Washington, D.C. will soon be completely underwater due to climate change.
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Wichita State Upsets Ohio State to Emerge From Topsy-Turvy West

LOS ANGELES — Gregg Marshall sat atop a stage, squinted at the bright lights that reflected off his glasses and tried to make sense of all that had occurred the past two weeks. He needed a few more hours, both to process and to explain.
Let’s see. The N.F.L. quarterback Tim Tebow addressed Marshall’s Wichita State Shockers on their team plane. His forward, Carl Hall, cut off his dreadlocks and mailed them home to his mother. His glasses, the ones with the bright yellow frames, were analyzed on social media.
At the end of all that, his team, the one that lost its top five scorers from last season, the one with a mascot called WuShock, dispatched Ohio State in a 70-66 thriller on Saturday at Staples Center to advance to the Final Four. There stood the Shockers (30-8) atop a ladder late Saturday, scissors in hand, snipping at the nets.
Back on stage, Marshall took one final question, “West Regional Champion” spelled out on the banner behind him. He was asked, as he is often asked, whether he considered this a lucky N.C.A.A. tournament run, a confluence of favorable factors, whether he considered Wichita State a Cinderella.
“If you get to this point, you can win the whole thing,” Marshall said. “I think Cinderella just found one glass slipper. I don’t think she found four.”
In two weeks, Wichita State managed to introduce its basketball team to the casual sports fan, advance to the N.C.A.A. tournament national semifinals for the first time since 1965 and somehow redefine its nickname. From upset to upset to upset, the Shockers became less about wheat and more about, well, shock.
Perhaps it should have been less shocking.
On Saturday, the Shockers faced another team favored to end their season. There was Ohio State, the second seed in the West Region, the Big Ten bully, its roster stocked with prized recruits, its athletics’ budget among the country’s largest.
In comparison, Wichita State was smaller. It did play in a less prominent conference. But the term midmajor also provided an inaccurate description. The Shockers flew to away games on private planes, same as the major schools. Marshall’s salary reportedly went over $1 million.
Marshall knew his team could rebound, knew it could play defense. Beyond that, he told the Shockers to play angry, which became their mantra, which meant tough and physical, football without pads. Then his team began to shoot well, or better, which made the Shockers dangerous, served three ways.
They did not, it should be noted, luck into a national semifinal into Atlanta. They battered four opponents, beat each soundly, beat two by double digits. Along the way, three higher seeds fell: first Pittsburgh (No. 8), then Gonzaga (No. 1), then the Buckeyes.
“I understand they’re shooting off fireworks back in Wichita,” Marshall said.
After upsets became the new normal, of course the West Region of the N.C.A.A. tournament ended this way, with the No. 9 seed left standing. A team with a nickname sure to inspire puns from coast to coast until the Final Four tips off.
Ohio State had taken the improbable route to this point, behind back-to-back buzzer-beaters, a pair of shots hoisted in the final seconds to snatch consecutive victories over Iowa State and Arizona. Aaron Craft made the first and assisted on the second, and the Internet nearly exploded. Someone even said Chuck Norris planned to shave his head to look more like Craft, after Craft battered him in a fistfight.
So there was that.
Wichita State entered this game with its usual underdog status and a more impressive tournament résumé. The Shockers won their first three tournament games by a combined 38 points.
Fans filed into the Staples Center early, the majority clad in red. Supporters of the Shockers filled the section behind the team bench, a spot of yellow in a sea of red, and the assembled refused to sit until the halftime buzzer sounded.
Wichita State made its run over the final 11 minutes of the first half. The score was 19-15, advantage Shockers, when guard Tekele Cotton made a 3-pointer. Guard Demetric Williams followed with another 3 from almost the same spot. As Ohio State called a timeout, Williams danced back to the sideline, full of swagger, as WuShock implored the crowd to stand.
They were already standing.
Ohio State (29-8) trailed by 20 points with 12 minutes 39 seconds left. As the second half continued, that 20-point lead dwindled.Deshaun Thomas, so cold in the first half he nearly froze solid, called for the ball, fought into double teams, scored and rebounded as if possessed. At the end of a 28-11 run, Ohio State trailed, 62-59.
Here was the same Wichita State team that lost at home against Evansville in late February, that lost twice to Creighton in early March. Another Buckeyes comeback seemed inevitable.
In the stands, a fan waved a sign that read “100 percent Cotton.” Indeed. Indicative of a team that lacks a true superstar but makes up for it with balance, Cotton, quiet for much of Saturday, made a series of key plays down the stretch. This included the 3-pointer that made it 65-59 and an offensive rebound that extended the next possession.
“We just did what we’ve been doing all year,” guard Fred VanVleet said.
Afterward, Ohio State could only lament its missed shots, 42 of them, to be exact. The Shockers had wanted to stop Craft from driving, to force the Buckeyes outside. That game plan worked well. Ohio State took 25 3-point attempts. It made five.
Asked for his assessment of why the Buckeyes lost, Coach Thad Matta clenched his teeth and started back at his questioner.
“Were you in there?” Matta said, then added, referring to the team’s field goal percentage: “Thirty-one percent.”
When the final horn sounded, the Shockers’ fans were standing, clad in yellow, as they waved their signs. Coaches fist-bumped other coaches. WuShock signed autographs and posed for photographs. Forward Cleanthony Early made a beeline for Marshall, nearly knocked him over, nearly knocked off those yellow glasses.
Early screamed, “Here we go, baby!” Next stop: Atlanta for the national semifinals.
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'Doctor Who' Review: 'Bells of St. John' Is a World Wide Web of Intrigue

This is only the second time in Doctor Who history that the phone in the police callbox-shaped TARDIS has rung. The first time was in “The Doctor Dances,” a season 1 (or season 27/28, depending on how you count it) episode, but that was an effect of electricity and nanogenes and whatnot. “The Bells of St. John” marks the first time that the phone box has actually been used to receive a telephone call.
There were other firsts in this episode, the plot of which was best described by the Doctor (Matt Smith) himself: “Human souls trapped like flies in the world wide web.” For example, the Doctor temporarily abandoned his TARDIS in favor of a motorcycle. And then there was the use of the words “Doctor Who.” He asks a young nanny whose aid he comes to, the enigmatic Clara Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman), to repeat it. “I never realized how much I enjoyed hearing that said out loud,” he says. It was a wonderfully conspicuous shout-out to the fact that we refer to the character as Doctor Who, but we’re still not sure it’s his name.
There are also some wonderful callbacks to the Doctor who has been sorely missed these many months away. We smile as he reunites with his fez and shrine-worthy bowtie, enjoys a jammie dodger, and makes declarations of what is (or in this case, isn’t) cool.
But the best callback of all is to Clara. As we know from the episode, “Asylum of the Daleks,” Oswin Oswald was from the future and died young; as we know from the episode, “The Snowmen,” Clara Oswin Oswald was the same young woman, this time from Victorian England, who also died young. Both times, her last words were, “Run, you clever boy, and remember.”
Although the episode starts with the Doctor Who version of The Ring, we soon see the Doctor has been holing up in a monastery in Cumbria, 1207, meditating on the mystery of Oswald, when his TARDIS phone rings. And wouldn’t ya know it, it’s Clara, this time a 21st century version of herself, calling for tech support about her Wi-fi. (Wonderfully, the Doctor provides it.) Her password? It’s rycbar123, the mnemonic for the words, “Run you clever boy, and don’t forget, because you don’t want to have to reset your router to the factory default.”
The Doctor arrives at her doorstep, hoping for a reintroduction, but Clara (sans Oswin) Oswald doesn’t recognize him. Soon, thanks to a creepy encounter with a robot “spoonhead” child who is controlled by the ruthlessly efficient Miss Kislet (Celia Imrie), her mind is partially uploaded to a datacloud, where Clara could remain trapped in Wi-fi forever. However, the Doctor intervenes, and Clara is returned safe and sound…and imbued with new leet computer skillz.
Our ever-curious Time Lord takes the opportunity to snoop around Clara’s bookshelf while she rests from her ordeal. On it is a book, 101 Places to See, with a leaf pressed into its pages. Adorably, the Doctor has left flowers and jammie dodgers, one of which is half-eaten, at her bedside.
So what about those human souls trapped like flies? It seems Kislet is busy uploading minds for “the client,” and her control room is filled with all the very confused people she’s grabbed so far. To be targeted, hapless victims connect to a mysterious Wi-fi network, which steals their identity figuratively, after which a spoonhead robot turns up to steal it literally. The body left behind is under Kislet’s control, subject to override commands, including adjusting their emotions from her touchpad.
Soon, Kislet’s group, the Shard (seemingly both their name and the building in which they work), use some formidable power to toss an airplane at the Doctor and Clara’s heads, but not before we get a look at Kislet’s managerial skills: She wants to kill an employee, but since he’s about to go on vacation and she doesn’t want to be unreasonable, she decides to wait until he returns. Har har.
Our heroes escape in the TARDIS, and after the inevitable but all-too-brief, “It’s bigger on the inside” moment, they land inside the airplane, where the Doctor manages to avert a crash landing. The next morning (or a few seconds later, it’s hard to tell time in a time machine), back in London, the Doctor wants to track the Shard, as well as untangle the mystery that is Clara. Why did this Clara choose to be a nanny, as the 19th century version did? She evades him like a boss.
Clara insists that her new hacking skills can get him the location he needs and shoos him away to get her coffee. In an incredibly cool scene, the Doctor then encounters Kislet, or rather, the people she is controlling. Kislet uses the bodies of several people to relay a message equivalent to “resistance is futile.”
The Doctor returns—but it’s a bait and switch. It’s a spoonhead Doctor, who sucks Clara’s mind into the datacloud, successfully, this time. The real Doctor finds her body slumped over a table. The Doctor immediately pursues the Shard…with his antigravity motorcycle (as you do). He crashes into Kislet’s office, and he means business. Clara-restoring business. Kislet refuses. The Doctor then reveals he’s actually Spoonhead Doctor and uploads her into the datacloud. From the beyond, Kislet quickly orders her flunkie to download everyone, herself included.
In yet another wonderful callback, UNIT troops appear to help Shard employees who are returning to their former, uncontrolled selves.
But the best callback of all: the being behind the world wide web of intrigue is the Great Intelligence, the main antagonist in the episode, “The Snowmen,” using the body of its accomplice, Dr. Simeon (Richard E. Grant). Since Kislet has failed the Great Intelligence, it tells her, “It’s time for you to reduce.” With that, he restores a previous version of her—a scared little girl who poignantly wants her mummy and daddy.
Later, Clara speaks with the Doctor inside his TARDIS, and he invites her to join him. She coyly tells him to ask her again tomorrow. Still trying to understand Clara, he asks her about the pressed leaf in her travel book. “That wasn’t a leaf,” she said. “That was page one.”
With that, the Doctor is ready to find out who Clara is. And so are we.
What I Liked
- The repartee between the Doctor and Clara is a delight. Their banter is sparkling and clever, and the writers have given her a wit that they never gave Amy. While Martha Jones had intellect and Rose Tyler brought the gosh-wow enthusiasm, Martha was serious and Rose was street smart but not brainy. Clara Oswald, after only three episodes, is a terrific combination of smart and fun. How much do I like her? I’m already putting her in the same league as Sarah Jane Smith.
- The dialog is terrific. Clara, thinking that the Doctor had invited her into the police box-sized TARDIS as an excuse to get close to her, calls his time machine “a snogbox.” Then there’s the Doctor’s throwaway line, “I don’t know the future. I just work there.”
- The Great Intelligence looks like an extremely powerful and malign entity and seems like the perfect foil to our happy-go-lucky Doctor. I sincerely hope Richard E. Grant is the recurring bad guy for this season.
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Phil Ramone, Producer for Music’s Biggest Stars, Dies at 79

Phil Ramone, a prolific record producer and engineer who worked with some of the biggest music stars of the last 50 years, including Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, Billy Joel and Barbra Streisand, died on Saturday in Manhattan. He was 79. Though it was widely reported that he was 72, public records and his family confirm that he was born Jan. 5, 1934.
Phil Ramone, left, and Paul Simon, won the Grammy for best album for “Still Crazy After All These Years” in 1976.
His death was confirmed by his son Matthew. He did not immediately give the cause, but Mr. Ramone was reported to have been admitted to a Manhattan hospital in late February for treatment of an aortic aneurysm.
In his 2007 memoir, “Making Records: The Scenes Behind the Music,” written with Charles L. Granata, Mr. Ramone defined the role of record producer as roughly equivalent to that of a film director, creating and managing an environment in which to coax the best work out of his performers.
“But, unlike a director (who is visible, and often a celebrity in his own right), the record producer toils in anonymity,” he wrote. “We ply our craft deep into the night, behind locked doors. And with few exceptions, the fruit of our labor is seldom launched with the glitzy fanfare of a Hollywood premiere.”
Mr. Ramone’s career was one of those exceptions. He was a trusted craftsman and confidant in the industry who was also one of the handful of producers widely known to the public. He won 14 Grammy Awards, including producer of the year, nonclassical, in 1981, and three for album of the year, for Mr. Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years” in 1976, Mr. Joel’s “52nd Street” in 1980, and Mr. Charles’s duets album, “Genius Loves Company,” in 2005. He also produced music for television and film, winning an Emmy Award as the sound mixer for a 1973 special on CBS, “Duke Ellington ... We Love You Madly.”
Mr. Ramone was born in South Africa and grew up in Brooklyn. His father died when he was young, and his mother worked in a department store. A classical violin prodigy, he studied at the Juilliard School but soon drifted toward jazz and pop, and apprenticed at a recording studio, J.A.C. Recording.
In 1958, he co-founded A & R Recording, a studio on West 48th Street in Manhattan, and built a reputation as a versatile engineer, working on pop fare like Lesley Gore as well as jazz by John Coltrane and Quincy Jones. He ran the sound when Marilyn Monroe cooed “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy in 1962, and three years later won his first Grammy as the engineer on Stan Getz and João Gilberto’s landmark album “Getz/Gilberto.”
As a producer, he had a particularly close association with Mr. Joel and Mr. Simon; the back cover of Mr. Joel’s 1977 album “The Stranger” features a photograph of Mr. Ramone posing with Mr. Joel and his band at a New York restaurant.
“I always thought of Phil Ramone as the most talented guy in my band,” Mr. Joel said in a statement on Saturday. “He was the guy that no one ever, ever saw onstage. He was with me as long as any of the musicians I ever played with — longer than most. So much of my music was shaped by him and brought to fruition by him.”
Mr. Ramone’s relationships with those men were deep enough that he named two of his sons after them: Simon and William (known as B. J.); they survive him, along with Matthew, his third son, and his wife, Karen.
As a producer, Mr. Ramone was known for a conservative sound rooted in jazz and traditional pop, and in later years his biggest successes included albums with Mr. Charles, Tony Bennett, Elton John and others.
But he was also a proponent of new technologies. He was an early advocate for digital recording, and pushed for Mr. Joel’s “52nd Street” to be one of the first commercially released albums on compact disc, in 1982. Mr. Sinatra’s 1993 album “Duets,” featuring stars like Bono, Ms. Streisand and Natalie Cole, was made by connecting Mr. Sinatra’s studio in Los Angeles with others around the world using fiber-optic cables.
In an interview with Billboard magazine in 1996, Mr. Ramone explained why he believed a producer should not leave too much of his “stamp” on a recording.
“If our names were on the front cover, it’d be different, but it’s not on the front cover, and the audience doesn’t care,” he said. “If you think you have a style and you perpetrate that onto people, you’re hurting the very essence of their creativity.”
“The reward of producing,” he continued, “comes when somebody inside the record company who has a lot to do with what’s going on actually calls you and says, ‘Boy, this record really came out great.’ Or when other artists call you and want to work with you.” 

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Harvard pulls NCAA tournament shocker vs. New Mexico

SALT LAKE CITY – Before he would do anything else, see his family, do a television interview, Tommy Amaker needed a hug.
The Harvard coach scanned the crowded court amid the chaos of his team's NCAA Tournament upset win against New Mexico, and found his freshman point guard Siyani Chambers, and gave him a big squeeze.
It was the perfect picture of March happiness.
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Amaker's No. 14-seeded Harvard team pulled off the first stunner of the tournament with its 68-62 win against No. 3 New Mexico in a game the Crimson led nearly start to finish.
Harvard, the Ivy League champions, was smaller, sure, but it shot better, hustled more and very much earned its first NCAA tournament win in school history. It is no fluke that it is Harvard, and not New Mexico, is advancing to play No. 6 Arizona on Saturday.
"What a sensational, gutsy effort by our team," Amaker said.
Amaker's players came up with more adjectives to describe the locker room in the aftermath of their historic win.
REACTION: Jeremy Lin shows his Harvard pride
"Pandemonium," said senior Christian Webster.
"Jubilation," said sophomore guard Wesley Saunders.
What about you, Laurent Rivard?
"I don't know any other words for that," Rivard said, laughing.
Fine, Rivard, you get a free pass on the vocabulary quiz this time after a making five baskets, all of them three-pointers in Thursday's upset win, a win that still didn't seem real.
And truly, plenty has been surreal about this Harvard run. The Crimson lost two captains before the season began when they dropped out of school amid a massive academic scandal and lost back-to-back games to Princeton and Pennsylvania on the first two days of March. This was a team led by a freshman point guard, playing in only its second NCAA Tournament since 1946.
Harvard lost to Vanderbilt in the second round of the tournament last year.
This didn't seem like a favorable matchup. New Mexico seemed to feel slighted after receiving a No. 3 seed, and brought a brutish lineup and a rabid fan base to Salt Lake City, all intent on advancing to at least the Sweet 16.
Harvard, it seemed, would be little more than an opening-game nuisance for a team with three players who stood at least 6-foot-8.
But Harvard, much like No. 16 Southern University did here hours before, was undaunted. The Crimson's players drove right at the Lobos' big men, regardless of the whistles they drew. Harvard's 6-foot-8 center Kenyatta Smith picked up his fourth foul early in the second half, leaving Harvard with an even-smaller four-guard lineup.
But size didn't matter from the three-point line, and it seemed Harvard couldn't miss.
Harvard, which hit five three-pointers in the first half, never trailed in those first 20 minutes, and even as the Lobos quickly tied the game early in the second half, the Crimson managed to quell every rally. Instead, Harvard appeared to grow increasingly more confident with each passing minute.
"We didn't wilt or cave in," Amaker said. "The composure that our kids displayed, I'm very, very proud of that."
Before Amaker left the court, he shook hands with Steve Alford, New Mexico's head coach. The two were collegiate basketball contemporaries, Amaker at Duke and Alford at Indiana, and longtime coaching peers.
Thursday night was Amaker's greatest as a coach, at least that's what he told his players, but for Alford, it was a bitter, frustrating loss. The Lobos haven't advanced beyond the tournament's opening weekend since 1974, and have now suffered an early loss as a No. 3 seed for the second time in four years.
The Lobos made only 37.5 percent of their shots against Harvard and missed seven free throws, and none of their guards managed to score in double figures.
"We've dodged this bullet a lot this year by having bad shooting nights and still able to get wins," Alford said. "We weren't able to dodge that bullet tonight."
The Lobos and Alford will return now to Albuquerque, and Alford's new 10-year contract begins next month. All five New Mexico starters are expected to return, but Alford said the group would need to make significant offensive improvements in the offseason.
Amaker and Harvard, meanwhile, are starting to study Arizona after becoming just the second Ivy League school to win an NCAA Tournament game since 2000. Cornell advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2010.
"It's unbelievable," Webster said. "We were talking in the back, we're still in disbelief. We wanted to put everything in it, and believed in it, but this is as good as it gets right."
  • West Regional (Salt Lake City): Harvard guard Siyani Chambers celebrates the school's first NCAA tournament win after the 14th-seeded Crimson defeated No. 3 seed New Mexico.
  • West Regional (Salt Lake City): New Mexico became the third team from the Mountain West to lose in the NCAA tournament this year.
  • East Regional (San Jose): Syracuse had no trouble shaking off Montana for an 81-34 win, earning its largest margin of victory in a tournament game since 1986.
  • East Regional (San Jose): Montana fell behind Syracuse 38-15 by the half.
  • Midwest Regional (Lexington): Colorado State rode a hot start to a 84-72 win over Missouri.
  • Midwest Regional (Lexington): Dorian Green scored 17 of his 26 points in the second half for Colorado State.
  • South Regional (Auburn Hills): Virginia Commonwealth blitzed shorthanded Akron for an 88-42 win.
  • South Regional (Auburn Hills): Akron had 21 turnovers against VCU's "havoc" defense.
  • East Regional (San Jose): No. 12 seed Cal weathered a late push by No. 5 seed UNLV for a 64-61 upset. Forward Richard Solomon had 11 points and seven rebounds.
  • East Regional (San Jose): UNLV became the second No. 5 seed to lose to a No. 12 seed from the Pac-12 -- Oklahoma State lost to Oregon earlier in the day.
  • West Regional (Salt Lake City): Arizona kept Belmont winless in the NCAA tournament with an 81-64 victory. Wildcats guard Nick Johnson notched 12 points.
  • West Regional (Salt Lake City): Arizona posted a 42-15 rebounding advantage over Belmont.
  • South Regional (Auburn Hills): Michigan's frontcourt propelled the Wolverines to a 71-56 win against South Dakota State. Forward Mitch McGary tallied 13 points and nine rebounds.
  • South Regional (Auburn Hills): South Dakota State and forward Jordan Dykstra (42) couldn't make up for Nate Wolters' 3-of-14 shooting performance.
  • Midwest Regional (Lexington): No. 1 seed Kentucky rolled a 79-48 win against North Carolina A&T. Cardinals guard Peyton Siva dished out eight assists and grabbed five steals.
  • Midwest Regional (Lexington): Playing just two days after a First Four win against Liberty, North Carolina A&T had 25 turnovers against Louisville.
  • Midwest Regional (San Jose): Twelfth-seeded Oregon easily took care of business against fifth-seeded Oklahoma State, winning 68-55. Damyean Dotson had a team-high 17 points.
  • Midwest Regional (San Jose): Markel Brown put up 16 points for Oklahoma State, but it wasn't nearly enough to avoid being upset.
  • West Regional (Salt Lake City): Top-seeded Gonzaga nearly stumbled big time against 16th-seeded Southern University. The Bulldogs held on, though, for a 64-58 win. Kelly Olynyk had 21 points for Gonzaga.
  • West Regional (Salt Lake City): Southern University nearly pulled off a huge stunner against Gonzaga
  • East Regional (Lexington): Third-seeded Marquette held off 14th-seeded Davidson for a 59-58 win. Vander Blue had a team-high 16 points, including what proved to be the game winner.
  • East Regional (Lexington): Joke Cohen scored a game-high 20 points, but it wasn't enough for Davidson to pull off the upset.
  • Midwest Regional (Auburn Hills): Matthew Dellavedova's 3-pointer from the right wing sailed long as time expired, allowing sixth-seeded Memphis to hold on for a 54-52 win over 11th-seeded Saint Mary's.
  • Midwest Regional (Auburn Hills): Memphis guard Joe Jackson did a little of everything in the win, scoring 14 points, hauling in six rebounds and dishing out seven assists.
  • Midwest Regional (San Jose): Saint Louis' Dwayne Evans scored 24 points, Cody Ellis added 12 points and the fourth-seeded Billikens overwhelmed the New Mexico State 64-44.
  • Midwest Regional (Auburn Hills): Bandja Sy was the only New Mexico State player to score more than six points in this game, going for 17 of his team's 44.
  • West Regional (Salt Lake City): No. 9 Wichita State toppled No. 8 Pittsburgh 73-55 behind the Shockers' Malcolm Armstead's 22 points and Cleanthony Early's 21 points.
  • West Regional (Salt Lake City): Steven Adams was the only Pittsburgh player to score in double figures. He had 13.
  • East Regional (Lexington): Andrew Smith posted a double-double with 14 points and 16 rebounds to help lead sixth-seeded Butler to a 68-56 win over 11th-seeded Bucknell.
  • East Regional (Lexington): Patriot League player of the year Mike Muscala was held to just nine points on 4-of-17 shooting.
  • Midwest Regional (Auburn Hills): Derrick Nix had 23 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to help power third-seeded Michigan State past 14th-seeded Valparaiso 65-54.
  • Midwest Regional (Auburn Hills): The Crusaders were no match for Michigan State in their first NCAA tournament in nine years, just as they weren't as a first-round loser in 2000 to the eventual champion Spartans.
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Top-seeded Gonzaga survives upset bid by pesky Southern


SALT LAKE CITY -- It was every front-runner's nightmare.
Top-seeded Gonzaga ran into a No. 16 seed that wasn't playing like one, a crowd itching for an upset and the very real prospect of making history in a most embarrassing way.
Somehow, the Zags maneuvered their way out of that mess Thursday with a 64-58 win over Southern University, but not before they provided plenty of fodder for all those who wondered whether that small school from the small conference really belonged at the top of the West Region bracket.
"The more I watched film on them, the more I thought, 'This could be a real grinder,'" coach Mark Few said of the Jaguars, champions of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. "They don't give you many easy opportunities. They're very patient on offense."
Gonzaga's win wasn't safely in hand until the final buzzer sounded. No. 1 seeds improved to 113-0 since the NCAA tournament field was expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Led by Derick Beltran's 21 points, Southern (23-10) made life hard on the West Coast Conference champions from beginning to end, blocking eight shots, making 10 3-pointers, harassing star player Kelly Olynyk and never letting the Bulldogs out of striking range.Olynyk scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half to help the Zags (32-2) advance to Saturday's game against Wichita State.But there was no celebration. 
Just a big sigh of relief."That crowd gets going, everyone wants to see that first 1-16 loss," Few said. "My guys deserve credit. They showed a lot of poise down the stretch when things weren't going their way."And the Jaguars, the team from the school in Baton Rouge, La., with enrollment 6,900, never stopped scrapping.This was a program nearly wiped off the map three years ago because of an NCAA investigation into problems in the classroom. 
The Jaguars still have players on the roster who were around for the 20-plus-loss seasons that ensued. Their coach, Roman Banks, looked to Gonzaga -- tiny school with big dreams -- as the program his players should try to emulate.
"We were basically an unknown ballclub that showed they can play the game of basketball," Banks said. "But we came here to win a ballgame, not play a ballgame."Although Olynyk was the force that kept Gonzaga ahead through the second half, it was a pair of 3-pointers -- one by Gary Bell Jr., the next by Kevin Pangos -- that gave the Bulldogs their small cushion after Southern tied things at 56 with 3:45 left.Bell's 3 made it 59-56 after Beltran hit a 14-footer on the baseline to close out a 15-4 Southern run and tie the game.
Beltran answered with two free throws to cut the deficit to one, but Gonzaga responded by working the ball to Pangos, whose 3 made it a four-point game.YonDarius Johnson and Malcolm Miller both had open looks on the next possession for Southern but neither could convert.The Jaguars did almost everything right in this game but missed five open shots down the stretch that could have put them over the top.
"From a coaching perspective, you learn that two or three bad possessions can cost you a ballgame," Banks said.Pangos (16 points) made two free throws with 14.3 seconds left to seal the game. Only then did the Gonzaga cheering section rile up and the rest of the crowd, pulling for the underdog, settle down.
"Everyone was so moved by their effort, their resilience, their confidence," Few said. "If I wasn't coaching on the other sideline, they'd be a tough team not to root for.
"These Jaguars will go down among the teams that produced the closest calls in the history of 1 vs. 16 matchups, next to the 1989 Princeton squad that barely lost to Georgetown and the East Tennessee State team that lost to Oklahoma by one in the opening round of the same tournament.
This game provided a fitting start to March Madness 2013 -- the closing act to a season filled with upsets, shifts atop the Associated Press poll and no dominant team.Gonzaga's critics felt the Zags got to No. 1 by default more than anything.The Zags shut out that talk and said they'd take their first game as NCAA tournament front-runners the way they'd taken the previous 33.
The Jaguars fell behind 7-0 over the first 3½ minutes but reeled off eight straight points after that. For the rest of the afternoon, this looked nothing like a typical 1-16 matchup. Southern took away the high-low game between Olynyk and forward Elias Harris, frustrated the Zags relentlessly, and, during one stretch early in the second half, blocked three of Gonzaga's inside shots in the span of 48 seconds.
Despite its struggles, Gonzaga kept working the ball to Olynyk in the second half. At one point, he had 17 of Gonzaga's 20 second-half points."We started calling his number, directing the ball his way a little bit, and guys figure out where we're having success," Few said. 
"Tonight, it was with K.O."At the end, what the Bulldogs really needed was another option. Not until then did Bell and Pangos come through."Any win in the tournament is a good win," Olynyk said. "We have to kind of take that into consideration and move forward."
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
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Powerball Jackpot Soars To $320 Million Prior To Drawing On Saturday, March 23


The Powerball jackpot surged to $320 million after no one ticket matched all six numbers Wednesday night. The jackpot could grow even bigger prior to the next drawing on Saturday, March 23, the Associated Press reports. 

According to ABC News, this is the twelfth consecutive drawing without a jackpot winner. However, three ticket holders won $1 million each after matching five numbers in Wednesday's drawing. The winning tickets were sold in Kentucky, Ohio and Florida.

The largest jackpot in the history of the multi-state lottery was worth $580 million, and was split between winners in Missouri and Arizona in November 2012. A Missouri couple who shared in the winnings made headlines earlier this year when they decided to invest their prize in their community, purchasing a new fire station and ball field, and earmarking $50,000 for a new sewage system. 

Powerball is played in 42 states, Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In April 2013, California will begin selling Powerball lottery tickets, according to a press release by the state's lottery commission.

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Amanda Bynes Tweets Raunchy Message to Drake—or She Was Twitter Hacked


Amanda Bynes wants who to do what to her what?!  (Take a deep breath, guys, this one's a doozy.)
The former What I Like About You star, who has undergone a dramatic makeover and just this morning showed off her cheek piercings, has already made it known that she thinks rapper Drake is a "hot fellow," and, well, he is.
But a recent tweet describing exactly what she wants this "hot fellow" to do to her lady bits just took things over the edge.
Amanda Bynes shows off cheek piercings
Amanda Bynes Tweet Courtesy of Twitter
"I want @drake to murder my vagina," she wrote (and has gotten retweeted 6,392 times in over an hour). Yes, really.
And then she posted, "Twerking out." No word on whether or not Miley Cyrus joined her on that.
Once you let the gasps and OMGs subside, let's remember that celebrity Twitter accounts are always getting hacked, so this could very much be a product of someone going in and taking her account over.
But either way—wow.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lindsey Vonn once mocked Tiger Woods during pro golfer's 2009 cheating scandal

Vonn, who just announced she’s dating Woods, made light of the star’s claim to a sex addiction in an old Time Magazine article. 

Even Tiger Woods' new gal pal, Lindsey Vonn, had something to say about the pro golfer when his cheating scandal broke in 2009.
Woods, 37, and Vonn, 28, took to their Facebook pages Monday to announce they were officially a couple.
"Something nice that's happened off the course was meeting Lindsey Vonn," he wrote of the gold medalist skier.
"Lindsey and I have been friends for some time, but over the last few months we have become very close and are now dating.”
“Our relationship evolved from a friendship into something more over these past few months and it has made me very happy,” Vonn added on her page.
However, in a Time Magazine article posted in 2010 and pointed out three years ago by The Daily News, the now “happy” Vonn, actually mocked her future boyfriend after the news broke that he cheated on his wife, Elin Nordegren, with a slew of women.
"And like millions of Americans, Vonn can't help poking fun at Woods' staged event. When a member of her Vonn-tourage tells her that Woods gave a few friends hugs after ending his statement, she cracks, ‘They're like, 'Yeah, you're awesome, you go have that sex,’" the article reads.
" The room breaks into a laugh. Then she describes a skit she would want to perform if asked to host Saturday Night Live: picture Vonn at Woods' podium, blue backdrop and all. ‘There's something you don't know about me,’ Vonn says in a faux solemn, apologetic voice. ‘Tiger, you're like my idol, and I too have a sex problem." More laughter.That would be freaking funny.’"

If Woods was her idol, then she certainly has her wish now that the two are Facebook-official.
Despite their digital declaration, according to E! News, Vonn waited in the car Monday while Tiger and his ex-wife watched their 5-year-old daughter, Sam, play soccer in Jupiter, Fla.
Woods’ ex-mistress Devon James expressed doubt that her former fling had renounced his torrid ways.
“You know when the pics came out of Tiger and his new girlfriend...somewhere, 15 other girls were going ‘Huh? I thought i was his girlfriend,” James sniped on TMZ.
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'Dancing With the Stars' Season 16: Who's the Star to Beat?

Twelve stars have been tapped to compete in the new season of "Dancing With the Stars," which begins tonight on ABC. The batch includes athletes, comedians and reality-TV stars, but who is the favorite to win the Mirror Ball trophy?
Try Olympic gold medal winner Aly Raisman, one of the members of the U.S. "Fierce Five" gymnastics team at last summer's London Olympics. Las Vegas oddsmaker Johnny Avello pegs Raisman to be the early front-runner, giving her odds of 5 to 1 to win.
"She's just 115 pounds of energy. And if she follows someone like Shawn Johnson. Who knows, maybe she can win it all." Avello told ABC News radio. "Now, it is early, but I think she'll be a contender."
It's a flattering comparison for Raisman: Johnson, a gymnast herself, is a former "Dancing With the Stars" champion.
On the other hand, Avello believes comedian Andy Dick and the star of Bravo's "Vanderpump Rules," Lisa Vanderpump, are the most likely celebrities to be bounced early from the competition. Fortunately for them, the first results show doesn't take place until Tuesday, March 26.
Annie Barrett, a longtime "Dancing With the Stars" recapper for Entertainment Weekly, said Raisman is the contestant to beat, and that Dick will be on a short leash with viewers.
"I really don't think many 'Dancing With the Stars' fans will want to see Andy Dick week after week. I really don't," she told ABC News Radio. "I think he's pretty offensive. He's been through a lot of recent troubles, and I just wouldn't want it to become a freak show starring Andy Dick."
Vanderpump's "Vanderpump Rules" castmate, Stassi Schroeder, a server at Sur, the restaurant featured on the series, told ABC News Radio that Vanderpump thinks she'll be voted out early.
"I thought, she would do amazing, but she keeps talking herself down," Schroeder said. "She's like convincing me that she's not going to do well. She's like, 'I'm only going to last one week, maybe two, if I'm lucky if my fans come out and vote for me.'"
Still, the Sur server doesn't believe the self-deprecating Brit, and says "she'll last a while."
Schroeder's on-again, off-again boyfriend Jason "Jax" Taylor feels the same way. "I think she'll last longer just because of her popularity, regardless if she's good or bad," he told ABC News Radio.
And while neither has seen Vanderpump shake a tail feather inside Sur, they're curious to see what Vanderpump's husband, Ken, thinks of his wife's dance moves.
A reality-TV show star has yet to score top prize on "Dancing."
"Keeping Up With the Kardashians" star Rob Kardashian was the closest one, placing second on season 13 with professional partner Cheryl Burke.
Barrett said that recent Super Bowl winner Jacoby Jones of the Baltimore Ravens is a wild card in the competition and could use his charm to his advantage. If Jones has the footwork like fellow NFL players Emmitt Smith and Donald Driver, who each took home the Mirror Ball trophy, he could come out a winner.
Figure skater Dorothy Hamill might also be a top contender to beat. The 1976 Olympic gold medalist could follow in the footsteps of fellow Olympic figure skating-champion and "Dancing With the Stars" season six champ Kristi Yamguchi's footsteps to take home the Mirror Ball trophy. Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno took home the grand prize on season four. 
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'Biggest Loser' champ Danni Allen says Chicago marathon in the running

In a show built around dramatic transformations, Allen's was particularly stunning. When filming began in the fall, she was at her all-time heaviest: 258 pounds. By the time she took the stage in Hollywood to step on the "Biggest Loser"
scale one last time, a beaming, tearful Allen was almost half that weight at 137 pounds.

"She worked harder than everyone the entire season," her proud coach Jillian Michaels said during the finale, where Allen sent jaws dropping to the floor when she walked out in a red Halston Heritage dress.

"My theme song was 'This Girl Is on Fire' and that was my fire dress," said Allen, who tried on at least 100 outfits before hitting pay dirt with the one-shoulder frock. "I felt like I was on fire that night."

Her boss at Lincolnshire's Viper Alley, where she's been a part-time bartender for about a year, couldn't believe what he saw while watching the finale with close to 100 others at a viewing party at the suburban club.

"She was like a supermodel," said general manager Jon Larson, who wouldn't be surprised if Allen's days of slinging cocktails are over. "If I won $250,000 I wouldn't bartend Friday nights either."

The architecture major's full-time job is advertising account coordinator for Camping World in Lincolnshire -- for now.

"I'm not sure if I'll continue," she said. "I do have a little extra cash under my belt. It's given me the opportunity to think beyond the desk. I've been given that gift of time to really evaluate my life and find new things for me to try."

Allen may not know how she's going to spend all of her winnings, but she knows how she wants to spend her time: training for this year's Chicago marathon.

"That's going to be my first fitness goal after 'Biggest Loser,'" said the former Mundelein High School varsity athlete, who was on the soccer team and went on to play water polo at Clemson University in South Carolina. More recently, you could find her running, swimming and taking spin classes at Lifetime Fitness in Vernon Hills, where she first started working out during a December break in filming.

"We were the only ones in the gym on Christmas Day," fitness instructor Kim Moody said. "She was the perfect client from Day 1. She just has a sense of fire and energy."

Allen, who's making a shadow box to showcase her old jeans (size 20) and her new ones (size 4), worked especially hard to stay in shape after filming wrapped in mid-January.

"One of my biggest fears was putting the weight back on," Allen said. She turned her Wheeling apartment into a "safe zone," purging it of ice cream, potato chips and "stuff I knew I couldn't resist if I had a weak moment."

While she won't deprive herself of a daily nibble of dark chocolate, she's eating more Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and other healthful foods in reasonable portions -- something she struggled with in the past. Her healthy habits even have trickled down to her father, whose cardiovascular health scare last year inspired her to try out for the show.

Shortly before winning the $250,000 grand prize, Allen renewed the lease on her Wheeling apartment for a year.

After that, it might be time for more change.

"I'm thinking warmer climates," she said. "The cold is a lot more difficult to bear without 100 pounds of insulation on you."

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