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No. 11 Cincinnati beats Md-Eastern Shore 92-60

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No. 11 Cincinnati beats Md-Eastern Shore 92-60

CINCINNATI (AP) Winless and short-handed, Maryland-Eastern Shore couldn't keep up with one of the nation's top teams.

Point guard Cashmere Wright set a career high with six 3s, and Sean Kilpatrick scored 19 of his 23 points in the first half Saturday, keeping No. 11 Cincinnati unbeaten with a 92-60 victory over the Hawks.

The Bearcats (9-0) have opened the season with nine wins for the 10th time in school history. They also did it in during the 2010-11 season, winning their first 15 games.

Cincinnati dominated every aspect, including rebounds, where it had a 55-31 advantage.

``They killed us on the boards with their size, their strength, their athleticism,'' Maryland-Eastern Shore coach Frankie Allen said. ``We were playing really short-handed. We only had seven or eight guys available to even play.''

Kyree Jones led the Hawks (0-9) with 25 points. The Hawks shot 29.9 percent from the field.

The Hawks' front line was depleted by injuries, forcing Allen to play a guard at the power forward position.

``I thought we got out of this unscathed,'' Allen said. ``I haven't gone downstairs and talked to them in the locker room yet, but I hope our injury report is not any worse.''

One of Cincinnati's main areas for improvement is the half-court offense. Wright ran it smoothly, getting 20 points with nine assists and only one turnover in 24 minutes.

``Right now, the coaches are giving me the green light to shoot,'' Wright said. ``If you feel you're open, you take the shot. At the same time, I'm trying to walk the thin line between shooting the ball and not shooting so much. So it's like an ongoing progression for me to get into the best of that.''

Coach Mick Cronin has been urging him to take charge.

``He's a wonderful kid,'' Cronin said. ``He's just too nice at times. He's got to stay mentally focused at all times. I try to tell him great players aren't the nicest people on the floor. You need to be arrogant out there and in command at all times.''

Cincinnati moved up to No. 11 this week - its highest ranking since it finished the 2003-04 season at No. 11 - off impressive wins over Iowa State, Oregon and Alabama. The Bearcats had back-to-back home games this week against overmatched teams.

They set a school record with 23 steals during an 87-53 win over Arkansas-Little Rock on Thursday, getting easy baskets in transition off 32 turnovers. This time, they hit open shots against a team that has lost all of its games by double-digits.

The Hawks are one of the nation's worst shooting teams, making only 34 percent from the field and 23.7 percent behind the arc. They missed 22 of their first 24 shots - six were swatted away - while falling behind 32-10.

One of the loudest ovations came during a timeout when the public address announcer told the crowd that Tommy Tuberville would be introduced as the next Cincinnati football coach on the basketball court after the game.

Cronin wasn't happy with the Bearcats' half-court offense during the win over Arkansas-Little Rock. The Bearcats had no problems finding open shots against a much smaller defense on Saturday.

``It was decent, but it can always get better,'' Kilpatrick said. ``We're still finding little ways to score easy baskets. It's something we've got to keep progressing on. Today it was a little better than the last one.''

Cincinnati opened with an 18-8 run that included 10 points by Kilpatrick. The Hawks went only 2 of 15 during the spurt and shot three air balls on one possession. Four of their shots were knocked away.

Wright hit a pair of long 3s against a defense that let him shot away, and made his first five from beyond the arc overall. He had 15 points while Cincinnati pushed the lead to 32-10.

The Bearcats used 10 players in the first half - one more than Maryland-Eastern Shore had on its bench - while pulling ahead 52-23 at halftime. Kilpatrick had 19 points in the half on 8-of-11 shooting, and Wright made all five of his shots from behind the arc for 15 points.

Kilpatrick and Wright started the second half resting. Forward Justin Jackson hit a 3 over the Hawks' soft defense, leaving him 2 for 18 career on 3s. Wright got into the game and missed his first shot from behind the arc, ending his streak at five straight 3s. He finished 6 of 7.

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Follow Joe Kay on Twitter:http://twitter.com/apjoekay

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NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Power Rankings: The West is set while the Caps still have work to do

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USA TODAY Sports

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Power Rankings: The West is set while the Caps still have work to do

There are only two series left in the first round that have yet to be decided. The Caps just so happen to be playing in one of those series.

After falling into a 0-2 hole to start, Washington has rattled off three straight wins and now sits just one away from putting away the Columbus Blue Jackets and advancing to the second round.

Should the Capitals advance, they will play the Pittsburgh Penguins for the third consecutive season.

<<NHL POWER RANKINGS: STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS>>

The Penguins ended their series against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday in Game 6. Jake Guentzel scored four goals in the effort proving once and for all that yes, goaltending is important in the playoffs. Head coach Mike Sullivan has still yet to lose a playoff series as the head coach of Pittsburgh as he led the Penguins to a Stanley Cup in each of the past two seasons.

In the Atlantic, the Tampa Bay Lightning await the winner of the Boston Bruins - Toronto Maple Leafs series after dispatching the New Jersey Devils in five games. After a strong regular season, the Maple Leafs looked poised to take the next step, but Auston Matthews has only two points in five games and Toronto faces elimination at the hands of the Bruins Monday in Game 5.

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All four series in the West, meanwhile, have already been decided. Both the Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks managed four-game sweeps in the first round and will face one another in the second  The miraculous season of the Golden Knights continues and it would be hard to argue at this point that they are not legitimate Stanly Cup contenders considering all they have accomplished in both the regular season and the playoffs.

Wins by the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets now sets up a second-round battle between the top two teams in the league from the regular season.

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The betting houses are bearish on the 2018 Redskins

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Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

The betting houses are bearish on the 2018 Redskins

With the NFL schedule dropped last week, many fans and media types went through and predicted wins and losses for the teams they follow, just for fun. But others predict the records of teams and it’s not for laughs, it’s for very high stakes.

The betting houses in Las Vegas and offshore have established their lines for over/under in wins. They then take this a step further and go through the playoffs to establish the odds of winning the Super Bowl. 

Over the weekend, BetOnline published one of each and let’s just say that they do not like what the Redskins have done this offseason. Or, more accurately, they think that the public perception is that the Redskins will not be a very good team this year. 

Their over/under for wins is 5.5. They won seven games last year so the under would represent a decline of at least two wins. This line seems to be low. The Redskins won seven games last year with the worst injury situation in the league, per the numbers crunchers at Football Outsiders. They also faced one of the toughest schedules in the league in terms of opponent winning percentages. 

Yes, they did lose Kirk Cousins to free agency but they replaced him with Alex Smith, who, like Cousins, is not elite or even in the top 10 but in the category of solid, reliable quarterbacks. The QB exchange was close to a wash. But despite the fact that the chances are they will suffer fewer injuries and face a schedule that isn’t as much of a meat grinder, this over/under has the Redskins producing double-digit losses. They have managed to stay out of 10-plus loss territory for three straight years. 

There are more reasons to think that they will win at least as many games as they did last year than there are to think that they will win fewer. If I’m betting, which I’m not, I’d be tempted to hit the over on that pretty hard. 

I would keep my money in my pocket when it comes to betting on the Redskins’ chances of winning the Super Bowl. I don’t think they’re close, but I think they’re much closer than the Browns but BetOnline has Cleveland and Washington with the same odds of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. The Redskins, Browns, and Bucs are at +6600 to win it all. The Redskins odds are worse than all but six other teams. 

Again, I don’t think that the Redskins are going to win the Super Bowl. Winning a playoff game would be quite an accomplishment for them. But same could be said of the Colts, Giants, Chargers, and 49ers, but they all have considerably better odds than the Redskins. 

In fact, there may be some irrational exuberance with the 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo. They have the seventh-best odds at +1600. Sure, Jimmy G was very good in five meaningless games at the end of last season. Let’s see how he does with some pressure on and after defensive coaches have had a chance to study how to take away his strengths. It just goes to show you how little real analysis goes into this. 

I get a little annoyed when teams play the disrespect card, especially when they have to look too hard to find it. But if the Redskins look at this, they certainly can embrace the underdog role if they want to. What they do with it, we will find out starting September 9. 

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.