Bears

DePaul ousted from Big East Tourney with loss

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DePaul ousted from Big East Tourney with loss

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Posted 1:43 p.m. Updated 9:43 p.m.

Associated Press

NEW YORK - Kemba Walkerscored 26 points and Connecticut won a Big East tournament game for thefirst time in six years, beating DePaul 97-71 on Tuesday in the openerof a conference showcase loaded with NCAA contenders.Jeremy Lamb,playing on a sore knee, had 17 of his 19 points in the first half forthe 21st-ranked Huskies (22-9), who got back on track after losing fourof their final five regular-season games. No. 9 seed UConn advanced toplay Wednesday against No. 22 Georgetown, the No. 8 seed at MadisonSquare Garden.The Huskies had lost six straight BigEast tournament games since beating Georgetown in the 2005quarterfinals, a surprising streak of futility for a school that haswon two national championships and six Big East tourney titles underHall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun.
Boxscore Complete RecapBowling Green tops Northern Illinois 74-54 in MAC

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - A'uston Calhoun had 25 points and nine rebounds as Bowling Green routed Northern Illinois 74-54 Tuesday night in the first round of the Mid-American Conference tournament.

The seventh-seeded Falcons (14-18) defeated the 10th-seeded Huskies (9-21) for the fifth time in a row by shooting 51.7 percent (31 for 60) in their final game at Anderson Arena. Northern Illinois, which sought its first MAC tournament win since 2003, had held its previous six opponents to 35.8-percent shooting.

Bowling Green, which will play No. 2 seed Western Michigan in the quarterfinals Thursday, broke the game open in the second half, after leading 34-32 at halftime. The Falcons scored the first seven points of the second half to open a nine-point lead and, once they expanded the lead to double-digits, went on a 14-3 run to push the lead to 21 points.
Tim Toler led Northern Illinois with 13 points.
Box ScoreCopyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Rob Gronkowski "highly unlikely" to play Sunday against the Bears

Rob Gronkowski "highly unlikely" to play Sunday against the Bears

Sunday's game against Tom Brady and the Patriots will be a tough test for the Bears, but it looks like they're going to receive a big break.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski didn't travel with the Patriots to Chicago and is "highly unlikely" to play Sunday.

Avoiding Gronkowski, who is one of Brady's favorite targets, would be a huge break for the Bears' defense. In six games this season, the tight end has 26 receptions for 405 yards and a touchdown; in 14 games last season, Gronkowski had 69 catches for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Khalil Mack appears set to play Sunday after despite dealing with an ankle injury. Between having Mack on the field and Gronkowski off of it, good news keeps coming for Bears' defense.

Final thoughts: Cody Parkey quickly moves on from missed game-winning kick

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USA Today Sports Images

Final thoughts: Cody Parkey quickly moves on from missed game-winning kick

There’s, probably, only one position in sports that can match the you-had-one-job scrutiny of a placekicker attempting a critical field goal late in a football game. As in: If you make the kick, it was expected; if you miss it, well, you didn’t do the one thing you were brought on to do. 

The comparison here is a closer in baseball. The expectation is whoever is called upon with a one-to-three-run lead in the ninth inning will convert the save and win his team the game. 

But when a closer blows a save and is in the spotlight during baseball’s regular season, there’s always a game the next day or, at worst, in two days. The immediacy and pace of a Major League Baseball team’s schedule lends itself to closers having to “flush” a bad outing and move on to the next one, since it might be tomorrow. 

For Bears kicker Cody Parkey, though, he’s had to wait a week until he gets his next “meaningful” chance at making a field goal after missing a game-winning 53-yard attempt last weekend against the Miami Dolphins. But moving on from a critical missed kick has never, and is not, a problem for the fifth-year veteran. 

“(It takes) five minutes,” Parkey said. “You kick the ball, and if it doesn’t go in you’re not going to sit there and cry on the field, you’re going to continue to move on with your life. I don’t think there’s really much to it other than knowing you’re going to have to kick another one sometime throughout the season, next game, in the next week, you never know. You stay ready so you’ll be ready for the next week.”

Not allowing those missed kicks to fester is an important trait for a placekicker to possess. What helps Parkey quickly work through his misses is focusing on having a good week of kicking in practice, and also an even-keel mindset that’s been instilled in him since a young age. 

“I think I’ve always been pretty mellow,” Parkey said. “At a young age, my coaches told me never let the highs get to high, never let the lows get too low. And I’ve kind of taken that to heart. If I miss a game winner, make a game winner, I’m going to have the same demeanor. I’m just going to be super chill and knowing it’s a game, it’s supposed to be fun, we’re supposed to go out there and try our best. I put in a lot of work and I try my best on the field.”

That’s something, too, that special teams coach Chris Tabor sees in Parkey. 

“He's always been like that,” Tabor said. “He hit a good ball, his line was just off. In his career going in he was 7-of-8 over 50 yards. I'll be honest with you, I thought he was going to make it. And next time we have that situation, I know he will make it.” 

Age is just a number

Sunday will mark the 6th time in Tom Brady’s career that the 41-year-old has faced a head coach younger than him, but the first time it’ll be a coach other than Miami’s Adam Gase (who’s 40). Brady is 3-2 against Gase’s Dophins. 

Matt Nagy, meanwhile, is also 40. Brady just missed playing Kyle Shanahan (38) and Sean McVay (32), facing the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams in 2016, a year before both those youthful coaches were hired. 

Meanwhile, the youngest player on the Bears — 21-year-old Roquan Smith — was three years old when Brady made his unassuming NFL debut on Nov. 23, 2000. 

They said it

A couple of amusing one-liners out of Halas Hall this week…

Nagy, when it was brought to his attention that Mitch Trubisky (105.6) has a better passer rating than Brady (98.2), chuckled: “You want to say that one more time?” 

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, when asked if he’d ever heard of “Baby Gronk” Adam Shaheen: “(long pause)… Sometimes.”