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No. 17 Cincinnati beats Alabama 58-56 on last shot

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No. 17 Cincinnati beats Alabama 58-56 on last shot

CINCINNATI (AP) Point guard Cashmere Wright had never made a buzzer-beater to win a game. Coach Mick Cronin had never seen one of his teams pull one off at the end.

No surprise, then, that both were a little stunned when the ball went in.

Wright's fadeaway jumper at the buzzer gave No. 17 Cincinnati a 58-56 victory over Alabama on Saturday in a matchup of stingy unbeaten teams. In the final seconds, Cincinnati was a bit better on defense.

And the struggling Wright made the shot that decided it.

Trevor Releford had a chance to give Alabama the lead, but Justin Jackson swatted away his driving jump shot. Cincinnati (7-0) got the rebound and called timeout with 6 seconds left.

Wright took the inbound pass at midcourt, drove to the left side of the basket and hit his fadeaway 12-footer over the outstretched arm of 7-foot center Moussa Gueye. Wright fell on his back after releasing the ball and didn't see it go through the hoop. He knew he'd won the game when teammates rushed at him.

Ever do that before?

``Never,'' Wright said. ``It was the least I could do. I basically was throwing away the whole game at the end. I felt if they could take me that far, I could make the shot.''

Wright was only 3 of 8 from the field with four turnovers when Cronin drew up the final play, putting the game in his hands. If Wright saw leading scorer Sean Kilpatrick open, he was supposed to pass to him. If not, take the shot.

When the ball left the guard's hands, all Cronin could think about was the many times he'd lost a game on a buzzer-beater.

``That was the first time,'' Cronin said. ``In 17 years of college coaching, five of high school, I don't think I've ever been part of a game-winner at the buzzer. One of those has to fall at some point for the Bearcats.''

JaQuon Parker and Kilpatrick had 13 apiece for Cincinnati. Trevor Lacey scored 16 for Alabama (6-1).

Cincinnati opened the game with a 17-4 run, but the Crimson Tide regrouped and kept it tight throughout the second half, which featured five ties and eight lead changes. The Bearcats went more than 6 minutes without a field goal.

After the opening minutes, the game was even.

``We knew coming in that their defense was outstanding and they were going to apply pressure,'' Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. ``We didn't do a very good job of handling it early. I told our guys what we needed to do was just settle down, it's going to be a 40-minute game, we're going to have an opportunity if we took care of the basketball.''

Alabama was the next team into the Top 25 this week, getting the 26th-most points while going 6-0 for the second season in a row. The Crimson Tide spent the first half overcoming a bad start, then had it come down to Wright's shot.

The Crimson Tide had eight turnovers during Cincinnati's opening 17-4 run. The Crimson Tide got back into the game by dominating the boards and taking care of the ball - only eight turnovers the rest of the way.

Alabama's 7-foot-1 center Carl Engstrom fell on the court and hurt his left knee less than 4 minutes into the game. He limped off and didn't return. Grant said Engstrom would have tests on the knee to determine the severity of the injury.

Cincinnati's defensive pressure quickly had an effect, setting up that early run. The Crimson Tide settled down and started playing a little pressure defense of their own during an 11-2 spurt that cut it to 21-18. Lacey's back-to-back baskets completed the run.

Alabama kept it close in the first half by dominating the boards 20-11 against Cincinnati's three-guard lineup. Releford's 3-pointer at the buzzer cut the Bearcats' lead to 33-27 at halftime.

Releford missed the last game with a stomach virus, but was back in form on Saturday, playing 37 minutes and scoring 12 points.

The Crimson Tide didn't shoot a free throw in the first half, while Cincinnati went 8 of 11 from the line. Gueye had a three-point play - including Alabama's first point from the line - during an 11-4 run that opened the second half. Lacey's pull-up jumper from the baseline gave Alabama its first lead, 38-37, with 14:16 to go.

Neither team led by more than three points the rest of the way.

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Alex Ovechkin takes home ESPY for Best Male Athlete Award

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Alex Ovechkin takes home ESPY for Best Male Athlete Award

Alexander Ovechkin's offseason continues to be one for the books. 

Just a week removed from celebrating with the Stanley Cup in Moscow, Ovechkin was named Best Male Athlete Wednesday night at the 2018 ESPYs. 

The 32-year-old is the first NHL player to win the award since it was first introduced in 1993. 

"The Great Eight" beat out Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros, James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. 

Ovechkin was not in Los Angeles to accept the award.

 

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Redskins ranked as the fourth most valuable NFL franchise by Forbes

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Redskins ranked as the fourth most valuable NFL franchise by Forbes

Annually, Forbes releases the worth of all professional sports franchises in the world. Once again, the Washington Redskins are sitting near the top. 

This year the Redskins are ranked the fourth most valuable NFL franchise at $3.1 billion. 

That marks a five percent worth increase from a year ago. They leapfrogged the San Francisco 49ers for a spot in the top four after placing fifth in 2017. They still trail the Dallas Cowboys ($4.8 billion), the New England Patriots ($3.7 billion), and the New York Giants ($3.3 billion).

Compared to other leagues and franchises, the Redskins jumped into the top-10. They are tied for the tenth overall value with the Golden State Warriors who are coming off of their third NBA title in four years.

From year-to-year there is never much movement from the top of the ranking. Once again, the Cowboys are the top team in the world by over $600 million. They were followed by three European soccer teams. In total four NFL teams made up the top-10, the most of any sport. 

2018 Top-10 World’s Most Valuable Sports Teams according to Forbes:

1. Dallas Cowboys, $4.8 billion (NFL)

2. Manchester United, $4.123 billion ( Soccer)

3. Real Madrid, $4.09 billion (Soccer)

4. Barcelona, $4.064 billion (Soccer)

5. New York Yankees, $4 billion (MLB)

6. New England Patriots, $3.7 billion (NFL)

7. New York Knicks, $3.6 billion (NBA)

8. Los Angeles Lakers, $3.3 billion (NBA)

8. New York Giants, $3.3 billion (NFL)

T-10. Golden State Warriors, $3.1 billion (NBA)

T-10. Washington Redskins, $3.1 billion (NFL)

Next five NFL franchises:

13. San Francisco 49ers, $3.05 billion

T-14. Los Angeles Rams, $3 billion 

17. Chicago Bears, $2.85 billion 

T-19. Houston Texans, $2.8 billion

21. New York Jets, $2.75 billion

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