Capitals

Top 25 Capsules

Top 25 Capsules

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Mason Plumlee had 21 points and a career-high-tying 17 rebounds, and No. 2 Duke rallied late and held on to beat No. 4 Ohio State 73-68 on Wednesday night.

Freshman Rasheed Sulaimon scored all 17 points in the second half and Ryan Kelly added 15 including 3-pointers on consecutive possessions during the 20-7 run that put the Blue Devils (7-0) ahead to stay and sent them to their third win over a top-five team this month.

Deshaun Thomas scored 16 points for Ohio State (4-1), while Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. had 11 apiece.

Shannon Scott pulled the Buckeyes within 66-64 with a free throw with 28.9 seconds left before Quinn Cook sealed it by hitting six free throws in the final 27.3 seconds.

Cook finished with 12 points for Duke, which shot 58 percent in the second half to remain unbeaten at home in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and preserve its school-record winning streak at home against nonconference opponents.

The Blue Devils - who beat then-No. 3 Kentucky in Atlanta and then-No. 2 Louisville in the Bahamas - won their 97th straight against non-ACC visitors to Cameron Indoor Stadium.

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No. 9 ARIZONA 93, NORTHERN ARIZONA 50

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Mark Lyons scored 18 points and Nick Johnson had 10 points and seven assists for Arizona.

The Wildcats (4-0) overwhelmed the Lumberjacks from the get-go, showing no signs of rust after an eight-day break.

The Wildcats built an 18-point lead in the first half and shut down Northern Arizona in the second for their 29th straight win over the Lumberjacks (2-4).

Arizona shot 58 percent, made 12 of 21 from 3-point range and had 22 assists on 30 field goals to kick off a stretch of four games in 11 days.

Solomon Hill had 17 points, Brandon Ashley grabbed 11 rebounds and Johnson added four steals for the Wildcats.

Dewayne Russell had 13 points and Blake Hamilton 11 for Northern Arizona, winless in 24 all-time games against ranked opponents.

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BOISE ST. 83, No. 11 Creighton 70

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Derrick Marks scored a career-high 35 points, including 18 straight in the second half, to lead Boise State to the upset.

The Broncos (5-1) beat a ranked opponent for the first time in four seasons and beat one on the road for the first time since March 2005.

Creighton (6-1) hadn't lost a regular-season November home game since 1989.

Anthony Drmic had 17 points and Jeff Elorriaga added 12 for the Broncos.

Doug McDermott led Creighton with 21 points.

Creighton got within five points in the last 3 minutes of the game, but Drmic scored twice and Marks made four free throws to seal the Broncos' first win over a ranked opponent since they beat Utah State in February 2009.

The Broncos had come into the game having lost 18 of 19 on the road against ranked teams, with the lone win against Nevada in March 2005.

Marks scored 28 points in the second half.

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MIAMI 67, No. 13 Michigan St. 59

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) - Senior Trey McKinney Jones scored a career-high 18 points and Miami held Michigan State without a field goal for a 5 1/2-minute stretch in the second half.

McKinney Jones went 5 for 7 from 3-point range, including a basket that capped a 14-2 run to start the second half that put them ahead 41-33. The lead grew to 57-45, and Miami (4-1) went 8 for 8 from the free throw line over the final 2:11 to seal the victory.

Keith Appling had 15 points for the Spartans (5-2), who lost for the first time since the season opener against Connecticut.

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No. 22 ILLINOIS 75, GEORGIA TECH 62

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Joseph Bertrand made 3-pointers on consecutive possessions and scored every point in a 10-0 run for Illinois in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

Illinois (8-0) took charge behind Bertrand, who also scored on a drives in the decisive surge to lift the Illini from a 58-54 deficit late in the second half.

The Illini finished the game on a 21-4 run.

Bertrand, a redshirt junior, scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half. Brandon Paul also scored 15 points for the Illini while forward Tyler Griffey and guard D.J. Richardson had 14 points apiece.

Kammeon Holsey led Georgia Tech (4-2) with 14 points while Jason Morris and Mfon Udofia scored 10 points apiece.

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No. 24 UNLV 85, UC IRVINE 57

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Freshman Anthony Bennett and junior Mike Moser scored 19 points apiece to lead UNLV.

Using tenacious defense, the Rebels held UC Irvine scoreless during a crucial 5 minutes of the second half, long enough to widen their lead to 20 points and take the Anteaters out of the game. UNLV outscored UC Irvine 51-31 in the second half to pull away for the easy win.

Katin Reinhardt added 13 points for the Rebels (4-1).

UC Irvine (3-4) scored just 21 points over the final 14:59 of the game - nine of which came from the free throw line.

Daman Starring had 18 points and Adam Folker added 12 for the Anteaters.

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No. 25 NEW MEXICO 76, MERCER 58

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - Alex Kirk had 16 points and 13 rebounds and Cameron Bairstow added a career-high 16 points for New Mexico.

It was Kirk's second straight double-double for the Lobos (7-0).

Travis Smith scored 16 points to lead the Bears (3-4).

Bairstow and Tony Snell combined for 14 points in a 17-2 New Mexico run that put the Lobos up 19-5.

Mercer was never able to get closer than eight points the rest of the way.

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Trotz's future in Washington remains unsettled on eve Stanley Cup Final

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USA TODAY Sports

Trotz's future in Washington remains unsettled on eve Stanley Cup Final

Caps Coach Barry Trotz doesn’t have a contract beyond the Stanley Cup Final, and any potential talks about an extension will wait until the trophy is awarded, GM Brian MacLellan said Friday.

“No,” MacLellan said, asked if a decision on Trotz’s future had been made. “We’re going to address everything after the playoffs are over.”

Trotz’s four-year contract expires at season’s end.

It’s rare for a head coach to enter a season while in the final year of his deal. But that’s how the Caps decided to handle Trotz’s situation last offseason after another strong regular season performance ended with yet another second round playoff exit at the hands of the Penguins.

It was a suboptimal situation for Trotz, a 55-year-old who ranks fifth all-time in regular season victories but, until this year, had never led any team beyond the conference semifinals.

Despite his lame duck status, all Trotz did was produce his best coaching performance to date. 

Consider:

  • While visiting his son in Russia last summer, Trotz visited Alex Ovechkin in Moscow to discuss the changes he’d like to see the Caps’ captain make to his training and his game.
  • When the Caps reconvened for training camp in September, it was clear there were still some hurt feelings in the locker room. So Trotz and his assistants backed off, allowing some necessary healing to occur.
  • When the team suffered back-to-back blowout losses in Nashville and Colorado back in November, Trotz initiated a tell-it-like-it-is team meeting that many players have pointed to as the turning point of the regular season, which ended with the team’s third straight Metropolitan title.
  • Trotz also got his highly-skilled lineup to buy into a more structured, detailed style of play late in the campaign, a transformation that prompted MacLellan to call this playoff run the most defensively responsible of Trotz’s tenure.
  • In each of the two previous conference semifinals, Washington was defeated by Pittsburgh and, as a result, the Penguins had become a physical and a mental hurdle for the Caps. Earlier this month, Trotz helped direct Ovechkin and Co. past the two-time Cup champions.

Although MacLellan wouldn’t say much about Trotz’s contract, he did say that he’s noticed a big change in Trotz’s day-to-day approach to his job, a change possibly prompted by the coach’s free agent status.

“I think his demeanor has changed a little bit,” MacLellan said. “He seems a little lighter, a little looser, a little less pressure. Maybe a little more freedom about how he goes about things. He’s more relaxed, I guess would be the way to describe him.”

MacLellan also acknowledged the job Trotz’s has done this season, beginning with his delicate handling of the dressing room to start the year.

“I think he’s done a good job managing it,” MacLellan said. “To come in this year with so many questions—from my point of view, the lineup questions weren’t that big of a deal—but just the emotional state of our coming into to start the year [and] how to handle that. I think he’s done an outstanding job.”

Indeed, Trotz’s situation remains unclear on the eve of the Final. But we do know this much: He’s having one of the best contract years in NHL coaching history.

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Small Virginia town changes name to Capitalsville ahead of Stanley Cup Final

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FB/The Town of Lovettsville

Small Virginia town changes name to Capitalsville ahead of Stanley Cup Final

Welcome to Capitalsville, Va., population: #ALLCAPS

Hoping to become the Washington Capitals' Stanley Cup headquarters, the small Northern Virginia town of Lovettsville has renamed itself to Capitalsville, Va.

Caps superfan and Mayor of Lovettsville, Bob Zoldos, had a lightbulb moment while watching Game 7 in a local bar and restaurant, Velocity Wings. Overcome with emotion from the win, he decided to take his idea to the town council meeting Thursday and Capitalsville was born after a unanimous vote to "unleash the fury."

This is not the first time name changes have occurred ahead of a big game. Ahead of the Caps' first-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Blue Jacket Brewery located in downtown D.C. changed its Twitter handle to "Grujacket Brewery" in support of goaltender Philipp Grubauer.

The name change from Lovettsville to Capitalsville is temporary, with the plan to keep the new name through the end of the Stanley Cup Final. However, Zoldos hopes the sign brings in other Caps superfans from across the DMV to take in a piece of history 20 years in the making. 

Here's to hoping Capitalsville brings the city some luck heading into Game 1 on Memorial Day.

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