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No. 15 Texas Tech, No. 4 K-State show similarities

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No. 15 Texas Tech, No. 4 K-State show similarities

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) Tommy Tuberville remembers having a conversation with Bill Snyder shortly after the longtime Kansas State coach had returned to the sideline from a brief retirement.

Tuberville was working as a broadcaster at the time, and remembers Snyder telling him how much work had to be done with the Wildcats to get the program back where he wanted it.

``He decided to get out, and then hated to see how the program was going and decided to go back and take it over again,'' said Tuberville, now the coach of Texas Tech. ``I'm proud for him and his family. Him wanting to get back in it, and going through the grind again.''

Well, the program is just about back to where Snyder wanted it these days, and little could Tuberville have known that his 15th-ranked Red Raiders could present the biggest hurdle to the No. 4 Wildcats' perfect regular season on Saturday.

``They've done a heck of a job. They go a different approach than a lot of other teams, but everything that they do is sound,'' Tuberville said. ``I've learned a lot from him watching how they coach, how they prepare, and they're not going to be fancy. They go out and try to make mistakes happen and capitalize on them, and that's football.''

Certainly there is no better example of ``not going to be fancy'' than Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, who has thrust himself to the forefront of the Heisman Trophy race.

Klein's coming off the finest performance of his career in one of the most dominant showings in school history. He was 19 of 21 for 323 yards and three touchdowns through the air, and had 41 yards and four TDs on the ground, in a 55-14 whitewashing of then-No. 17 West Virginia.

``We have a lot of weapons,'' Klein said, as usual deflecting the attention from himself. ``It helps everybody when you have a lot of guys that are able to contribute and make those plays.''

The Wildcats (7-0, 4-0 Big 12), who also boast a road win over No. 8 Oklahoma, rose to No. 3 in the latest BCS standings on the strength of their win in Morgantown last Saturday.

Of course, Texas Tech (6-1, 3-1) handled the Mountaineers just as easily.

The Red Raiders rolled to a 49-14 win two weeks ago, when West Virginia was still unbeaten, in some ways drawing up a blueprint for Kansas State. Texas Tech followed that up with a thrilling, triple-overtime victory over TCU last Saturday to make two straight wins over Top 25 teams.

``They throw it, they catch it, they have an extremely talented quarterback, as good of wide receivers as there are anywhere in the country, some returning guys. They're just very successful at what they do,'' Snyder said. ``They execute extremely well.''

That quarterback is Seth Doege, the Red Raiders' own Heisman Trophy candidate.

After throwing three interceptions in a loss to Oklahoma, the senior has been phenomenal over the past couple of weeks. He threw for 499 yards and six touchdowns against the Mountaineers, and then had 318 yards passing and seven touchdowns last week against the Horned Frogs.

Just like Klein, the Heisman Trophy is the last thing on his mind.

``I'm just enjoying the ride,'' Doege said. ``I think if you worry about stuff like that too much and start thinking about it, you kind of lose focus on what the big goal is.''

While the headliners on Saturday will no doubt be the quarterbacks, and the potent offenses that they direct, neither team would be chasing a Big 12 title without their defenses.

The Wildcats limited the Sooners to a season-low 19 points at their own place, and last week put a crimp in West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith's Heisman hopes. He threw his first two picks of the season and finished 21 of 32 for 143 yards, his only touchdown toss - the Mountaineers' only offensive score - coming with 7:31 left and his team trailing by 45 points.

``I think our performance is due to our preparation throughout practice, and being able to see our performance,'' Wildcats linebacker Arthur Brown said. ``It is really just the confirmation that we need to continue to be successful throughout the season.''

Texas Tech is no slouch on the defensive side of the ball, either, a marked departure from the days when Mike Leach was running the program.

The Red Raiders are seventh nationally in total defense, making them one of two teams in the country - Florida State being the other - to be ranked in the top 12 in total offense and defense.

``We've got to play our game,'' Tuberville said. ``We've got to get ready, play much better, prepare much better, focus, understand what we're getting ready to get into. It will be a big-time atmosphere, playing one of the top teams in the country.''

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Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

In what is perhaps the most unexpected Stanley Cup Final pairing in recent memory, the Washington Capitals and the Las Vegas Golden Knights are going to make history this year.

Either it is going to be the first expansion team to win a title in their first season, or it will be a team looking to end a 27-year title drought for one of the biggest cities in the United States.

But what it will not be is the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup.

Going even farther back than the Capitals last Stanley Cup appearance (1998), the Georgetown Hoyas and UNLV Rebels met in the 1991 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Sin City took the first, and up until now, the only postseason bout between these two cities. The Larry Johnson-led University of Las Vegas squad powered right past the Hoyas in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.

[D.C. sports and Second Rounds, I know right?]

Coming fresh off the NCAA title in 1990, UNLV waltzed right to the Final Four before meeting their demise against Duke. It also ended up being the last game for Dikembe Mutombo in a Georgetown uniform.

While in all likely-hood this will not be the final game/ series for Alex Ovechkin rocking the red, it may be his last and only chance for him to play this far into a postseason.

In the past two seasons, Vegas has gone from zero professional teams to having a Stanley Cup contender, a WNBA franchise, and lined up to take over the Oakland Raiders in 2020. 

Now time for the Golden Knights' Cinderella story to come up a little bit short. 

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Bradley Beal receives zero All-NBA votes, which itself is a snub

Bradley Beal receives zero All-NBA votes, which itself is a snub

On Thursday the NBA revealed the All-NBA teams for the 2017-18 season.

Not surprisingly, Bradley Beal and John Wall did not make it to one of the three five-player teams. Of the two superstars, only Wall has been recognized once in his career.

What is surprising is that neither Beal nor Wall received a single vote in the whole process, especially Beal.

The 2017-18 season was without question the best in Beal’s career. He played in all 82 games, coming right off of the heals of his All-Star recognition. Beal seems to agree in his snubbing, tweeting this minutes after the teams were announced:

Looking at the list of players who made the top three teams, it shouldn’t be an issue, but these three guys got more votes than the Wizards' duo combined: Steven Adams, Trevor Ariza, and Dwight Howard. It is not surprising that Beal and Wall did not make an All-NBA team. It is odd that Beal didn’t receive a vote.

Here is a list of the full All-NBA Teams:

ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM: 

LeBron James (Cavaliers), James Harden (Rockets), Anthony Davis (Pelicans), Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers), Kevin Durant (Warriors)

ALL-NBA SECOND TEAM:

Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks), Russell Westbrook (Thunder), Joel Embiid (76ers), LaMarcus Aldridge (Spurs), DeMar DeRozan (Raptors)

ALL-NBA THIRD TEAM:

Stephen Curry (Warriors), Victor Oladipo (Pacers), Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves), Jimmy Butler (Timberwolves), Paul George (Thunder)

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