Nationals

Top 25 Capsules

Top 25 Capsules

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) Cody Zeller and Christian Watford gave Bryant a rude welcome to big-time college basketball

The 7-foot center had 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Watford added 15 points and 15 rebounds to lead No. 1 Indiana past the Bulldogs 97-54 on Friday night.

Indiana, which has its first No. 1 ranking in 33 years, has now won 15 consecutive season openers and 28 straight home openers.

Bryant, a school from Rhode Island, was playing its first game as a full-time Division I member, and it marked the first time the school had ever faced America's No. 1 team.

The Northeastern Conference member was overmatched. While Alex Francis finished with 15 points and Frankie Dobbs has 12, the Bulldogs had no answers for Indiana's front-line duo.

Zeller, a national player of the year candidate, had 12 points and five rebounds in the first half despite missing 4 of 6 from the free throw line, and he was such a big mismatch inside that Bryant's two tallest players - Andrew Scocca and Vlad Kondratyev - combined for seven fouls less than 16 minutes in.

NO. 3 KENTUCKY 72, MARYLAND 69

NEW YORK (AP) - Junior guard Jarrod Polson scored 10 points and made the clinching free throws with 7.7 seconds to play as Kentucky held off a furious second-half rally by Maryland.

Kyle Wiltjer led Kentucky with 19 points in the second game of the Barclays Center Classic, the first college basketball games played in the new arena in Brooklyn. Archie Goodwin had 16 points for the defending national champions.

Seven-foot-1 sophomore Alex Len led Maryland with 23 points and 12 rebounds, both career highs. His rare three-point play - he made the first free throw then rebounded his own miss of the second - brought the Terrapins within 70-69 with 8.9 seconds left.

Polson was fouled with 7.7 seconds left and made two free throws for a 72-69 lead.

Maryland's Pe'Shon Howard missed the final shot but it was only a 2-point attempt.

NO. 5 MICHIGAN 100, SLIPPERY ROCK 62

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 25 points, surpassing 1,000 for his career in Michigan's win over Slippery Rock.

Trey Burke added 21 points for the Wolverines and freshman Glenn Robinson III had 10 points and eight rebounds. Michigan led 44-30 at halftime and had little difficulty in its season opener against a Division II opponent.

In an odd arrangement, the game counted toward Michigan's record but was considered an exhibition for Slippery Rock. Devin Taylor led the visitors with 14 points.

Hardaway made all five of his 3-point attempts, and the Wolverines went 12 of 19 from beyond the arc in their highest-scoring game since 2007.

Michigan entered with its highest preseason ranking since 1993.

NO. 6 N.C. STATE 97, MIAMI (OHIO) 59

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Richard Howell had 16 points and 10 rebounds to help North Carolina State beat Miami (Ohio) in the season opener for both teams.

Lorenzo Brown added 15 points, six rebounds and seven assists for the Wolfpack, who scored the game's first 10 points and led by 19 at halftime en route to an easy win that kicked off a season of high expectations.

N.C. State did nothing to diminish fan excitement that had built since being named the preseason Atlantic Coast Conference favorite for the first time in nearly four decades, shooting 61 percent and leading by 43 points for its 19th straight season-opening victory.

Allen Roberts scored 16 points for Miami, which shot 22 percent in the first half and finished at 32 percent in the first game under new coach John Cooper.

NO. 7 KANSAS 74, SE MISSOURI STATE 55

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - Ben McLemore had nine points, 12 rebounds and five assists in his Kansas debut, helping the Jayhawks pulled away from pesky Southeast Missouri State.

Jeff Withey finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds, and freshman Perry Ellis added 15 points and eight boards for the Jayhawks, who have won 40 straight season openers at Allen Fieldhouse.

This one was a bit tougher than expected.

The Redhawks managed to close within six midway through the second half, but Kansas slowly extended the lead behind its slew of freshmen to put the game away.

Nick Niemczyk finished with 14 points for the Redhawks, who have lost seven straight season openers, all on the road, and remain winless in six tries against Big 12 schools.

NO. 8 DUKE 74, GEORGIA STATE 55

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Mason Plumlee had 19 points and 14 rebounds to lead Duke to the win over Georgia State.

Seth Curry added 15 points and surprise starter Tyler Thornton had 13 for the Blue Devils.

They shot 51 percent while holding the Panthers to 37 percent and keeping them without a field goal for 5 minutes during a run early in the second half that propelled them to their 31st straight home-opening victory.

Next up for Duke: A showdown with third-ranked defending national champion Kentucky in Atlanta on Tuesday night.

Devonta White had 19 points and R.J. Hunter scored 14 to lead Georgia State, which never got closer than 12 points in the second half and turned it over 16 times.

NO. 11 NORTH CAROLINA 76, GARDNER-WEBB 59

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - James Michael McAdoo set career highs with 26 points and 14 rebounds to help North Carolina beat Gardner-Webb.

McAdoo shot 10 of 20 from the field in the first game of the season for both teams. Dexter Strickland added 13 points for the Tar Heels, who improved to 91-12 in openers.

North Carolina overcame 18 turnovers, 1-of-12 shooting from 3-point range and a 9-of-19 mark at the free throw line to win for the 80th time in its last 82 home openers.

Donta Harper and Max Landis scored 13 points each to lead Gardner-Webb, which dropped to 0-16 against ACC competition. Mike Byron added 10 for the Bulldogs.

North Carolina took its biggest lead at 57-39 midway through the second half. The Bulldogs cut the deficit to 63-54 with 4:55 remaining before the Tar Heels answered with an 8-0 run.

No. 13 UCLA 86, INDIANA STATE 59

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Jordan Adams scored 21 points in his college debut and UCLA defeated Indiana State in its season opener shortly after finding out star recruit Shabazz Muhammad was ruled ineligible by the NCAA.

Adams, the school's first-ever signee out of vaunted Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, was 7 of 12 from the floor and had eight rebounds off the bench for the Bruins (1-0). Travis Wear added 17 points and his twin brother David Wear had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

The long-awaited decision about Muhammad overshadowed the first game in new Pauley Pavilion, which opened after an 18-month, $132 million renovation. He watched the game from the bench dressed in a blue UCLA sweat suit along with a crowd of 13,513 - 287 short of a sellout.

CONNECTICUT 66, NO. 14 MICHIGAN STATE 62

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AP) - Shabazz Napier scored 25 points and UConn upset Michigan State in the Armed Forces Classic, Kevin Ollie's first game as the Huskies' head coach.

UConn led most of the way and by as many as 16 points in the first half of the game, which was played in a hangar at the United States' Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

Keith Appling scored 17 points and Branden Dawson had 15 points for Michigan State.

Gary Harris scored to pull the Spartans to 62-60, but Denzel Valentine and Appling each missed a shot in the last minute that would have tied the game, forcing Michigan State to foul.

Napier hit four free throws in the final 13 seconds to seal the win.

This marks the first season someone other than Jim Calhoun has been UConn's head coach since Dom Perno coached his final game in 1986.

NO. 16 CREIGHTON 71, N. TEXAS 51

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Doug McDermott had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead Creighton to a season-opening victory over North Texas.

About a dozen NBA scouts were on hand to watch McDermott, the returning first-team All-American, and North Texas' Tony Mitchell, projected as a possible lottery pick if he turns pro after this season.

Mitchell finished with 18 points and seven rebounds.

Creighton led 39-25 at halftime and opened the second half on a 14-5 run, with Avery Dingman making back-to-back 3-pointers to stretch the lead to 53-30.

Austin Chatman added 11 points and reserve Avery Dingman had 10 for the Bluejays, who have won 39 straight November regular-season home games.

NO. 19 BAYLOR 99, LEHIGH 77

WACO, Texas (AP) - Baylor freshman center Isaiah Austin scored 22 points in 17 minutes before spraining his right ankle, and Corey Jefferson had 26 points for the Baylor in a season-opening victory over Lehigh.

The 7-foot-1 Austin, a McDonald's All-American considered one of the nation's top freshmen, went to the ground after making a turnaround jumper with about 16 minutes left. He apparently stepped on somebody else's foot coming down.

Austin was 10-of-12 shooting, including three dunks and two 3-pointers. Austin was helped off the floor but returned to the bench before the end of the game.

Preseason AP All-American C.J. McCollum had 36 points for the Mountain Hawks, who as a No. 15 seed in last season's NCAA tournament upset Duke.

NO. 21 GONZAGA 103, SOUTHERN UTAH 65

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Freshman Przemek Karnowski scored 22 points to lead Gonzaga over Southern Utah in the season opener for both teams.

Karnowski, a highly touted 7-foot-1 center from Poland, led six players in double figures. Guy Landry Edi scored a career-high 16 points, Sam Dower had 15, Elias Harris and David Stockton had 12 apiece and Kevin Pangos added 10.

Jackson Stevenett led Southern Utah with 29 points on 11-of-15 shooting. Waded Collie added 10 points for the Thunderbirds.

Gonzaga, which was never threatened after halftime, opened the second half with a 12-2 run and allowed only one Southern Utah field goal in the first 5 minutes. A free throw by Gary Bell Jr. gave the Bulldogs their biggest lead of the night at 83-45 with 7:47 left.

SOUTH ALABAMA 76, NO. 25 FLORIDA ST. 71

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Antoine Allen hit four 3-pointers and scored 21 points to lead South Alabama to a season-opening upset of Florida State.

Augustine Rubit added 12 points and Mychal Ammons had 11 points and 11 rebounds for South Alabama, which shot 9 of 15 from 3-point range.

Terry Whisnant and Montay Brandon had 11 points apiece for the Seminoles, the defending Atlantic Coast Conference champions. Senior guard Michael Snaer had 10 points at halftime but was held scoreless in the second half. He shot 2 of 11 in the game. Terrance Shannon returned from a shoulder injury to score 10 points for Florida State.

Florida State, which had 17 turnovers and just nine assists, had won 11 straight season openers.

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Inside Baseball: The Nationals' bullpen is both currently bad and potentially great

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USA TODAY

Inside Baseball: The Nationals' bullpen is both currently bad and potentially great

Welcome to Inside Baseball. Here, we're taking a quick peek at what's going on ... inside ... baseball. 

We're almost a month into the MLB season, and that sweet noise you hear is the sound of sample sizes starting to become reliable! So far, the Red Sox are very good except for the nights they're getting no-hit, Derek Jeter's Marlins and their .227 winning percentage "aren't accepting a losing culture," and Mike Trout is well on his way to another historically-great 3rd place finish in the MVP race. 

AT NATS PARK

As it stands today, the Nationals are sitting in 4th in the NL East. It's early, they haven't been healthy, etc. etc., whatever. It hasn't been great. Their pitching staff features the best rotation in baseball paired alongside one of the worst bullpens in baseball. No bullpen in baseball has a higher homerun/flyball percentage (18%) than the Nationals. Only two teams - the Rockies and the Royals - strand runners on base at a lower clip than the Nationals (64.0 LOB%). If you really want to get into the weeds, their Win Probabilty and Clutch numbers tell a grim story too. 

Don't smash that panic button yet, though (maybe just lightly rest your hand on it). There are a few reasons to believe that maybe the bullpen isn't actually as bad as they've been the first month.  They're striking out hitters at an elite level so far - only the Brewers and the Yankees have better K/9 and K% numbers than the Nats.  If you take take a look back at which bullpens led the league in strikeout numbers over the last handful of years, you'll see a *lot* of playoff teams. In the three-true-outcome era, having a bullpen that gets swings-and-misses is inarguably valuable. The Nats have that. 

Taking a look at their individual numbers, it's clear there's an excellent backend hidden somewhere in the bullpen right now. Sammy Solis' ERA is almost four runs higher than his FIP (fielding-independent pitching), a clear sign that Solis has pitched well but been a victim of the Nats' shoddy defense. The same goes for Ryan Madson, whose ERA sits at almost seven despite an FIP under three. Assuming that bullpen roles become more established once the data catches up, the Nats' bullpen could look a lot better in a month or two. 

AROUND BASEBALL

What you should know: Manny Machado's half-season showcase is going swimmingly. He's slashing .360/.447/.708 with eight homers through the first month or so of games. He's posted a 208 wRC+, which is a fancy way of saying he's been 108 percent better than league average at the plate so far. He's been the most valuable hitter this season and the second-most valuable player overall. Meanwhile, the Orioles are 6-17 and already 12 games out of first place in the AL East. It hasn't even been a month yet. Is this the year the the MLB trade deadline is exciting?!

What you should watch: Angels @ Astros (4/24-4/25)

Shohei Ohtani is pitching on Tuesday night, so that's reason enough. But, if you need more, there's also Mike Trout, the defending World Series champs, and Justin Verlander pitching on Wednesday. It also happens to be a battle between the best two teams in the AL West, separated by half a game for first place. If there's such a thing as exciting April baseball, it looks like this. 

Player of the week: I know we already talked about him, but no one's been better than Manny Machado over the last seven days. He's hitting .500/.586/1.208 with five homers during that span. After being bit by historically bad luck during the first half of last season, Machado has been putting up monster numbers ever since:

Random baseball gif: 

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When is the NFL Draft 2018? TIme, TV Channel, Online Stream, Draft Order

When is the NFL Draft 2018? TIme, TV Channel, Online Stream, Draft Order

Draft week is finally here. The predictions and projections, mock drafts and prospect rankings can be put to the side.

On Thursday, April 26, the top college football players will hear their names called and find out their first destination in their professional football careers as the 2018 NFL Draft takes place.

More than 250 players will join the league this weekend, starting with the Cleveland Browns and the No. 1 overall pick.

The 2018 NFL Draft will be televised on six television channels: NFL Network, Fox, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ABC. The first round will starts at 8:00 p.m. ET on Thursday and will air on NFL Network, Fox, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.

Round 2 and Round 3 start at 7:00 p.m. ET on Friday and will air on four networks: NFL Network, Fox, ESPN and ESPN2.

The final day of the 2018 NFL Draft (Round 4 through Round 7), will air on NFL Network and ESPN, with ESPN's coverage simulcasted on ABC for the first time ever.

All seven round of the 2018 NFL Draft will be broadcast on national television for the first time ever.

When is the 2018 NFL Draft?

The 2018 NFL Draft starts Thursday, April 26, and ends Saturday, April 28. The first round will take place at 8 p.m. Thursday night, with the second and third rounds happening Friday night.

The final five rounds will be on Saturday.

This year's draft is being held at the Cowboys' home, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. 

2018 NFL Draft Schedule

  • Round 1: Thursday, April 26, 8 p.m. ET
  • Rounds 2-3: Friday, April 27, 7 p.m. ET
  • Rounds 4-7: Saturday, April 28, 12 p.m. ET
     

How to watch or stream the 2018 NFL Draft:

Live coverage of the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft starts at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 26. The draft continues at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 27 for the second and third rounds, and then again at noon on Saturday, April 28 for the final rounds.

This year's draft will be broadcast by Fox and ABC, along with ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, NFL Network.

For the first time, all seven rounds of the three-day event will air live on broadcast TV.

On Thursday, April 26 at 8 p.m. the draft will air on five channels: NFL Network, Fox, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. 

You can also stream the draft on the WatchESPN app or the NFL Mobile app (or ESPN.com or NFL.com), along with Fox Sports Go. 

When do the Redskins pick in the 2018 NFL Draft?

As of now, these are when the Redskins will pick in the 2018 NFL Draft:

  • First Round, Pick No. 13
  • Second Round, Pick No. 44
  • Fourth Round, Pick No. 109
  • Fifth Round, Pick No. 142
  • Fifth Round, Pick No. 163
  • Sixth Round, Pick No. 188
  • Seventh Round, Pick No. 231
  • Seven Round, Pick No. 241
     

2018 NFL Draft Order:

1. Cleveland Browns
2. New York Giants
3. New York jets (via Colts)
4. Cleveland Browns (via Texans)
5. Denver Broncos
6. Indianapolis Colts (via Jets)
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8. Chicago Bears
9. San Francisco 49ers
10. Oakland Raiders
11.  Miami Dolphins
12. Buffalo Bills (via Bengals)
13. Washington Redskins
14. Green Bay Packers
15. Arizona Cardinals
16. Baltimore Ravens
17. Los Angeles Chargers
18. Seattle Seahawks
19. Dallas Cowboys
20. Detroit Lions
21. Cincinnati Bengals (via Bills)
22. Buffalo Bills (via Chiefs)
23. New England Patriots (via Rams)
24. Carolina Panthers
25. Tennessee Titans
26. Atlanta Falcons
27. New Orleans Saints
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
30. Minnesota Vikings
31. New England Patriots
32. Philadelphia Eagles