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Northern Iowa beats No. 15 Wichita State 57-52

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Northern Iowa beats No. 15 Wichita State 57-52

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) Anthony James scored 16 points and Northern Iowa beat 15th-ranked Wichita State 57-52 on Saturday, sending the Shockers into their first losing streak of the season.

Seth Tuttle had eight points, eight rebounds and four blocks for the Panthers (12-11, 5-6 Missouri Valley Conference). They took control with a 14-0 run in the second half and became just the fourth Valley team in the last 23 games to beat Wichita State at home.

The Shockers (19-4, 8-3) pulled within 52-50 on Carl Hall's steal and bucket with 1:18 left. But Northern Iowa's Seth Tuttle blocked a Nick Wiggins try that would have tied it and then sealed the win with a breakaway dunk.

Hall led Wichita State with 20 points. The Shockers, who lost to Indiana State on Tuesday, have dropped a game behind league-leading Creighton in the Valley race.

The Shockers gave up sole possession of first place in the Valley when they lost to the Sycamores, snapping a 19-game home winning streak.

Wichita State started and finished this one in much the same manner.

The Shockers went over seven minutes without scoring in the first half, allowing Northern Iowa to take an early edge. But Wichita State steadied itself long enough to pull even at halftime, 23-all.

The Shockers then jumped on the Panthers with seven quick points, which can be huge against a slow-paced team such as Northern Iowa. But the Panthers responded behind a pair of Marc Sonnen 3s, jumping back ahead 37-36.

Sonnen had three 3s for Northern Iowa, which scored 23 of the game's next 29 points after falling behind 30-23.

The Panthers, who earned national acclaim with their stunning upset of top-seeded Kansas in the NCAA tournament in 2010, will almost certainly miss the tourney for the third year in a row.

Northern Iowa played a brutal non-league slate that included losses to Louisville, Stanford, Memphis, Iowa and UNLV, and it opened Valley play with a 25-point loss at Wichita State.

The Panthers have been unlucky of late. They lost their last home game when Indiana State drew contact on a desperation heave and hit free throws just before the final buzzer. They also lost in overtime at Evansville, 54-51, on Tuesday.

Northern Iowa didn't need much luck against the Shockers, whose offense went into a funk for the final 12 minutes.

Wichita State finished with 13 turnovers and a season-low 52 points. It hasn't cracked 60 in either of their recent losses.

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Ravens reportedly agree to a deal keeping John Harbaugh in Baltimore long term

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USA Today Sports

Ravens reportedly agree to a deal keeping John Harbaugh in Baltimore long term

The Ravens have reportedly agreed in principle to a new contract extension with head coach John Harbaugh, a move already being praised by national pundits everywhere. 

It was nearly a month ago that the Ravens announced Harbaugh would be returning as the team’s head coach in 2019, which was noteworthy considering his status as a potential lame duck head coach.

In the same release, the team announced they were working towards a contract extension with Harbaugh, whose current deal was set to expire next year.

Despite reports from national NFL insiders, including Jason La Canfora and Peter King, that Harbaugh might prefer to hit free agency as a highly sought-after head coach after the 2019 season, it appears the Ravens will keep him in Baltimore for the foreseeable future. 

This news comes on the heels of a busier-than-usual coaching carousel, with a quarter of the 32 NFL teams changing head coaches in the last month, including two AFC North rivals. Harbaugh almost certainly would have been the cream of the crop among coaching free agents no matter when he became available, so the Ravens were looking to lock him up long term.

After a tough November home loss to the Steelers that put the team at 4-5, Harbaugh was asked about his job security, and he remained steadfast and confident.

"I've never been someone who's worried about keeping a job," Harbaugh said. "It's always been, for me, [about] doing the job. I've got a bunch of great coaches and a bunch of great players that bust their tails every day to do the best job they can. I feel really good about the way this team has been coached for the last 11 years, and for the last number of weeks we've been in the season. So, there are no regrets. Never been any regrets here with me."

After that game, the Ravens rattled off six wins in seven games to make the playoffs, and many players credited Harbaugh with keeping the team together. It was prior to Week 16 when the front office announced Harbaugh would be returning no matter how the season ended, but the strong finish and AFC North title certainly made the decision easier.

A coach with a special teams background, Harbaugh is an anomaly in the current era of young, offensive-minded head coaches. He won Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, and holds a 104-72 career record in Baltimore.

The terms of the new deal have not yet been released, but it will be interesting how many years the team is committing to Harbaugh.

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Bradley Beal's agent says guard's not looking for a trade: 'He wants to win'

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Bradley Beal's agent says guard's not looking for a trade: 'He wants to win'

Bradley Beal, his agent Mark Bartlestein told Bleacher Report, would like to stay in Washington - even as he's a hot topic among front offices as the trade deadline approaches.

From Bleacher Report:

His agent, Mark Bartelstein, is not looking for a trade. "Brad wants to win, Bartelstein told B/R. "He wants to win at the highest level, and he wants to compete for championships. I think he's seeing progress, and he's going to do everything he can to lead this team. They got themselves into a huge hole, and he's going to do his best to get them out of it.

The Wizards are facing tough decisions when it comes to the future of the franchise as this season's trade deadline approaches. Beal, as NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig detailed this week, is among the most tradable assets they have, especially when it comes to their three major contracts. But owner Ted Leonsis took a firm stance against tanking while speaking to reporters in London, and Beal is integral to their playoff hopes with John Wall sidelined. 

This isn't the first time this season that Beal has denied wanting to be anywhere but DC. When drama swirled around the team earlier this season, Beal denied a report that he had requested a trade.

"That's nonsense," he said at the time. "I heard it earlier before the game and I was like, 'If it didn't come from the horse's mouth, it wasn't me.' I got this Washington jersey on and I come here and work everyday, you know, until otherwise. This is where I wanna be."

Earlier this season, it was reported that the Raptors were interested in Beal but couldn't afford what the Wizards were asking for him. According to the latest report on Beal from Bleacher Report, there are a number of teams who may still be interested. 

Again, from Bleacher Report:

There are so many teams in the mix trying to make that extra push that want Beal," a Western Conference executive told B/R.

But even if some fans are clamoring for a big trade at the deadline, the price tag for Beal - who had 26 points in the Wizards' comeback win over the Knicks this week - only seems to be rising. 

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