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Top 25 Capsules

Top 25 Capsules

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) Cody Zeller scored 20 points, grabbed eight rebounds, was 8 of 13 from the field and dominated the middle, leading No. 1 Indiana to its most impressive victory this season - a stunning 83-59 rout over No. 14 North Carolina on Tuesady night.

It was a game that pitted two of the nation's most storied college programs - they have combined for 10 national titles and have a combined 3,767 all-time wins.

Dexter Strickland had 14 points, Marcus Paige had 11 and James Michael McAdoo finished with 10 for North Carolina (5-2).

Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey both added 19 points and Jordan Hulls had 13 for Indiana (7-0), which has won 34 consecutive home games in November, dating to a 2005 loss to Duke in the same tournament.

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No. 3 Michigan 79, No. 18 North Carolina St. 72

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Trey Burke had 18 points and a career-high 11 assists without a turnover to lead Michigan.

Freshman Nik Stauskas led the Wolverines (6-0) with 20 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 16.

T.J. Warren had 18 points N.C. State (4-2), which trailed 73-58 before going on a 10-0 run.

Michigan committed only six turnovers - four in the first half. N.C. State shot 57 percent from the field but lost its fifth straight game in the ACC-Big Ten challenge.

Michigan has committed 10 or fewer turnovers in five of its six games this season.

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No. 21 MINNESOTA 77, FLORIDA ST. 68

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Joe Coleman scored 16 points and Rodney Williams added 14 for Minnesota which beat defending Atlantic Coast Conference champion Florida State in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

Coleman made 8 of 13 field goals and had 12 points in the second half while helping the Gophers build a 58-37 lead.

Austin Hollins added 13 points and Andre Hollins had 12 for the Gophers, who never trailed. Elliott Eliason had 10 rebounds.

Minnesota (7-1) led 38-25 at halftime and by as many as 21 points in the second half. The Gophers' lone loss was to No. 2 Duke in the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Reserve Terrance Shannon led Florida State (4-2) with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Michael Snaer finished with 12 points and Terry Whisnant and Okaro White both had 10 for the Seminoles.

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No. 19 COLORADO 85, TEXAS SOUTHERN 80

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) - Josh Scott scored the first two baskets of the second overtime for Colorado, which fought back from an early 15-point deficit.

The Buffaloes (6-0) withstood a 39-point performance by Omar Strong, who made nine 3-pointers, including three in the extra sessions.

Spencer Dinwidde had 24 points to lead Colorado, which is off to its best start since opening 6-0 in 1989-90. Scott finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds, Askia Booker added 15 points and Andre Roberson had 11.

Fred Sturdivant had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Texas Southern (1-6).

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Dominant defense earns Ravens' Za'Darius Smith AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors

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Dominant defense earns Ravens' Za'Darius Smith AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors

The defensive performance on display by the Baltimore Ravens Sunday against the Tennessee Titans in a 21-0 shutout win was flat out historic. So historic that it's earned linebacker Za'Darius Smith AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

A franchise-record 11 sacks were laid on quarterback Marcus Mariota during the Week 6 matchup, with Smith leading the way with three of them.   

So far this season the 26-year-old has 20 combined tackles, 5.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. As someone who is in the final year of his rookie NFL contract, he's certainly proving he is worthy of getting paid this offseason. 

"It feels great, man. It's big," Smith said of the honor during media availability Wednesday. "I know when I first found out I called my mom and she was already looking at it. But I called her and she was trying to congratulate me and was like 'who would've ever thought the guy that played one year of high school football would be where he at now and making so many goals.'"

But earning AFC Defensive Player of the Week isn't the only goal Smith has in mind. His performance through the first six weeks and assisting the No. 1 ranked scoring defense is just a stepping stone to the ultimate honor.

"I was telling her, 'Ma you know this is a good self-goal but my main goal is to get us to the Super Bowl.'" 

The road to the Super Bowl for Smith and the Ravens continues this Sunday vs. Drew Brees and the Saints. 

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4 things to watch as the Caps host the Rangers

4 things to watch as the Caps host the Rangers

The Caps return to action Wednesday as they host the New York Rangers (7 p.m., NBCSN) in a Metropolitan Division clash.

Here are four things you should be watching for in this game.

The schedule finally gives the Caps a break

The early season schedule for Washington has been bizarre to say the least. Finally, they will be catching a break on Wednesday as the Rangers will be playing in the second leg of a back-to-back.

That certainly does not guarantee a victory, but it is something the Caps are very aware of and they hope to take advantage.

“I think speed is a big part of the game and for them to be fatigued off the back-to-back is definitely going to help us whether we move the puck a little quicker than we would in other games just kind of knowing they are coming off that back-to-back,” Nathan Walker said.

“We've got to make them skate, we've got to make their D go back for pucks,” T.J. Oshie said. “I don't feel like they're going to look tired at the start of the game, usually that comes towards the end of the game, second half, and so you've got to work to drain them down a little bit and we've got to take advantage of that opportunity tonight.”

Top-line Stephenson

Stephenson was added to the top line on Saturday with no practice other than the morning skate that day. A few days between games has given him a chance to practice with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov and it should pay dividends on Wednesday.

This game also should be a good opportunity for Stephenson who was added to the top for his speed. Playing a tired Rangers team is something he will need to take advantage of.

“It's always tough to play back-to-back and with the travel and stuff like that,” Stephenson said. “For the most part, I think that that's going to be important and just to play a full 60, that's something that we want to get consistent with and we haven't been so far … But for the most part, I think the start will really help us tonight.”

Nathan Walker returns

The Caps made a change to the lineup for Wednesday’s game as Nathan Walker will be in for Dmitrij Jaskin on the fourth line.

When asked why he made the change, Reirden said, “Just a different look. A team that's on a back-to-back, we wanted to really come at them with some speed, tenacity and intensity that we know we always get from Nathan so thought it was a good add into tonight's lineup.

The Caps have got to get more offense from their bottom six and adding the speedy Walker to the bottom six could provide a boost. He has had trouble playing within the system in the past and his play has been more frenzied than controlled at times, but with Tom Wilson still suspended, there’s definitely an opportunity for Walker to earn more playing time depending on how he plays Wednesday.

King Henry remains on his throne

In addition to a tired Rangers team, the Caps are also expected to face a tired goalie.

Henrik Lundqvist started New York’s game on Tuesday and is expected to start again on Wednesday against Washington. That is not confirmed as the Rangers did not have a morning skate because of the back-to-back, but it is believed Lundqvist will play again.

There was a time when Lundqvist was considered the best netminder in the NHL and he is off to a phenomenal start this season with a 1.99 GAA and .939 save percentage in five games thus far.

But how will the 36-year-old goalie handle a back-to-back?

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