Redskins

Top 25 Capsules

Top 25 Capsules

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) Michael Carter-Williams scored a career-high 18 points and added 13 assists, and No. 7 Syracuse beat Central Connecticut State 96-62 on Monday to give coach Jim Boeheim his 902nd career win.

Boeheim tied Bob Knight for second all-time in victories among Division I men's coaches. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski leads with 939.

Syracuse (12-1) completed its nonconference schedule with its 32nd straight home win, the longest active streak in the nation. Boeheim's first chance to pass Knight comes in the Orange's Big East opener Wednesday night at home against Rutgers.

CCSU (4-7) lost its fourth straight and was overmatched against the much taller Orange.

Carter-Williams posted his seventh double-double of the season. C.J. Fair finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, Dajuan Coleman had 13 points and nine rebounds, and Brandon Triche added 13 points.

The Orange finished 10 of 22 from behind the 3-point arc after going 11 of 39 in the previous two games, outrebounded the Blue Devils 57-32 and had a 56-18 advantage in the paint.

Matt Hunter had 18 points to lead Central Connecticut.

NO. 5 INDIANA 69, IOWA 65

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Cody Zeller had 15 of his 19 points in the second half and Indiana opened Big Ten play by holding off Iowa.

Victor Oladipo scored 14 points for the Hoosiers (13-1, 1-0), who snapped a four-game losing streak in Iowa City and have now won four straight since losing to Butler two weeks ago.

Oladipo beat the shot clock with a putback with 1:04 left to put the Hoosiers ahead 65-60. He also made two key free throws with 26 seconds to go to make it a two-possession game.

Aaron White had 15 points to lead Iowa (11-3, 0-1), which might have pulled off the upset had it shot better than 3 of 17 from 3-point range.

NO. 9 MINNESOTA 76, NO. 18 MICHIGAN ST. 63

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Andre Hollins had 22 points and six assists, and Rodney Williams added 15 points and six rebounds to lift Minnesota to a victory over Michigan State.

Trevor Mbakwe had 11 points and 12 rebounds and the Golden Gophers (13-1, 1-0 Big Ten) shot 56.6 percent to open conference play with an emphatic victory over a team that has owned them for years.

Keith Appling had 15 points and five assists and Gary Harris scored 12 for the Spartans (11-3, 0-1), who had beaten Minnesota 13 of the last 15 times the two teams had met.

Minnesota slammed the door with an 18-2 run over the final seven minutes, withstanding the inevitable charge from the Spartans in the second half.

NO. 10 GONZAGA 69, NO. 22 OKLAHOMA ST. 68

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) - Kevin Pangos scored 23 points and hit the clinching free throws with 4.3 seconds left, Kelly Olynyk scored all 21 of his points in the second half and Gonzaga edged Oklahoma State to spoil one of the Cowboys' most anticipated nonconference home games in decades.

Marcus Smart led Oklahoma State (10-2) with 23 points but missed two free throws with 8.7 seconds left with the Cowboys trailing by two. Pangos followed with his two free throws.

Phil Forte then connected on a 3-pointer at the buzzer for Oklahoma State. Markel Brown contributed 16 points and Forte scored 15 for the Cowboys.

Gonzaga (13-1) completed a perfect five-game sweep of Big 12 competition in nonconference play.

NO. 14 CINCINNATI 70, NO. 24 PITTSBURGH 61

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Cashmere Wright scored 18 points and Sean Kilpatrick added 16 to help Cincinnati surged past Pittsburgh in Big East play.

The Bearcats (13-1, 1-0) bounced back from a loss to New Mexico last Thursday by dominating the Panthers over the final 20 minutes. Cincinnati trailed by as much as eight early but used a 14-2 run midway through the second half to take control.

Talib Zanna led Pitt (12-2, 0-1) with 16 points, and Lamar Patterson had 13 points, four rebounds and four assists, but the Panthers missed all 10 of their 3-point attempts as their eight-game winning streak ended with a thud.

SAINT LOUIS 60, NO. 20 NEW MEXICO 46

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Cory Remekun scored a career-high 15 points and Cody Ellis had 13 to lead Saint Louis to an upset of New Mexico.

Mike McCall Jr. added 12 points for Saint Louis (10-3), which won its seventh in a row - the Billikens' longest win streak since they won eight in a row in 2003

Kendall Williams led New Mexico (13-2) with 15 points and Alex Kirk added 13. Lobos coach Steve Alford was ejected after receiving back-to-back technicals with 9:26 left in the game.

New Mexico was coming off a 55-54 upset at then-No. 8 Cincinnati on Thursday.

Saint Louis used early runs of 12-0 and 11-2 to take a 31-12 lead.

NO. 23 N.C. STATE 89, UNC GREENSBORO 68

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - C.J. Leslie scored 21 points and North Carolina State pulled away in the second half to beat UNC Greensboro.

Scott Wood and Lorenzo Brown added 15 points apiece, and the Wolfpack (11-2) kept UNC Greensboro off the boards after halftime while using a timely run to break open a surprisingly tight game.

Richard Howell had 11 points and 13 rebounds, and the nation's most accurate shooting team shot 53 percent in matching its longest winning streak since 2008 at seven games.

Freshman Kayel Locke had 21 points for the Spartans (2-9). The Southern Conference's top 3-point shooting team was just 2 of 17 from beyond the arc.

NO. 25 KANSAS ST. 70, SOUTH DAKOTA 50

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) - Nino Williams scored 16 points to help Kansas State beat South Dakota.

Rodney McGruder added 15 for the Wildcats (11-2), who dominated the boards and shot 50 percent to South Dakota's 32.7 percent.

Karim Rowson led the Coyotes (6-9) with 14 points. Juevol Miles, who transferred from Kansas State to South Dakota, had 13 points.

Trailing by 12 points, South Dakota started the second half with an 11-5 burst. Trevor Gruis' two foul shots with 15:13 to play cut the deficit to six points.

Kansas State led 44-39 with under 8 minutes left before taking control with a 12-0 run.

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NFL implementing significant changes to kickoff rules in 2018 season

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AP Images

NFL implementing significant changes to kickoff rules in 2018 season

The NFL is not eliminating kickoffs altogether for the 2018 season. But at the NFL spring meetings in Atlanta, Ga., owners did agree to make significant changes to the third phase of football.

The NFL's new kickoff rules begin with having five players on each side of the ball (previously they could line up six on one side). Also, they cannot line up more than 1-yard from the restraining line, which is the line where the ball is placed on the tee. This prohibits the kickoff team from getting a running start downfield. 

At least two players must be lined up outside the yard-line numbers and at least two players lined up between the numbers and the hash mark. In years past, three players had to be lined up outside the inbounds line with one outside the yard-line number. At least eight players need to be in the 15-yard "setup zone," leaving three players outside of the "setup zone." Before, all kickoff return players had to be behind their restraining line. These changes will place players closer to where the ball is kicked in order to reduce speed and the amount of space on the play. 

Wedge blocks are no longer allowed. Players who were initially lined up in the "setup zone" are the only ones who can now come together for a double-team block. In the past, only 2-man wedge blocks were allowed and could take place on the field anywhere. The purpose of this change is to limit the possible blocking schemes by the kickoff return team. 

No player on the receiving side of the ball can cross the restraining line or block in the 15-yard area from the kicking team's restraining line until the ball is touched or hits the ground. Before, the receiving team could move past their restraining line and block as soon as the ball was kicked. This change gets rid of the "jump-set/attack" block.

Finally, a ball will be considered dead if it's not touched by the receiving team and touches the ground in the end zone. In the past, the ball was dead once it was downed in the end zone by the receiving team. This change means there's no requirement for the kickoff returner to down the ball in the end-zone. 

If that was a lot to dissect, check out the video below. 

In addition to new kickoff rules, ejections are now reviewable. In March, a rule passed that officials can make an ejection after a replay, but not they can also undo an ejection after a replay. 

The league also adjusted the official language for Use of a Helmet rule. 

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5 keys for the Caps to win Game 7 and advance to the Stanley Cup Final

5 keys for the Caps to win Game 7 and advance to the Stanley Cup Final

It all comes down to this.

The Eastern Conference Championship is on the line Wednesday as the Capitals take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in Tampa. Here are five keys for how the Caps can win and advance to face the Vegas Golden Knights for the Stanley Cup.

Score first

Game 7 is in Tampa Bay, the Lightning are deeper offensively and defensively and have a goalie capable of shutting down an offense.

Oh, and the Lightning are 8-1 when scoring first this postseason.

The Capitals are at their best when they are dictating the play. They want to play physical, trap the blue line and counter against the Lightning. None of those are particularly great strategies for chasing a game.

That makes the first goal critical.

The Lightning fans have seen their team lose twice at home already this series and fail to close out the Caps in Game 6. They have watched their team reach the conference finals two straight years in 2015 and 2016, fail to win the Stanley Cup in either year and fail to even make the playoffs in 2017.

Not only does playing with a lead better suit their game plan, but if Washington scores first that crowd is going to get very uncomfortable very quickly.

Gauge the referees

The Caps were very physical in Game 6 and they found success with that game plan. You would expect them to have a similar approach to Game 7, but they need to be careful.

In Game 6, it was clear the referees had put away the whistles. There were a few questionable plays on both sides that the referees let go. In a Game 7, you would hope the referees take the same approach, but they may not.

Tampa Bay’s power play is very good and the Caps cannot afford to give them many opportunities, but Washington will still want to play a physical style. It’s a fine line to walk so the Caps will need to quickly figure out how strictly the referees are calling the game and adjust accordingly.

Win the goalie matchup

In this series, Andrei Vasilevskiy has had two bad games and four good ones. He lost both of his bad games and won three of his good ones. He did not win the fourth, however, because he was outplayed by Braden Holtby.

Vasilevskiy was great in Game 6, but Holtby matched him save for save as both teams battled to get on the board. When the Caps finally did, Holtby shut the door to make sure the Lightning could not climb back. Vasilevskiy allowed just two goals on 32 shots, but Holtby turned away all 24 of the shots he faced for the shutout.

This is Game 7. There is no Game 8 just because you run into a hot goalie. If Vasilevskiy is on his game again on Wednesday, Holtby will have to be just as good if not better to make sure the Caps win.

Beat the fourth line

Playing at home in Game 6 allowed the Caps to get away somewhat from the Alex Ovechkin vs. fourth line matchup the Lightning have found success with. At 5-on-5, Chris Kunitz played 6:55 against Ovechkin, Ryan Callahan played 6:22 and Cedric Paquette played 6:12, considerably less than the 13:04, 13:46 and 13:42 each respectively logged in Game 5.

With Game 7 in Tampa, Barry Trotz will not be able to get away from that matchup. That means Ovechkin will just have to beat it.

That does necessarily mean he has to score a hat-trick. Ovechkin was one of the team’s top performers in Game 6 despite not logging a point as he helped establish a physical tone that ignited the team. But he has to make sure at the very least that his line is not outscored by the fourth like it was in Game 5 when Paquette and Callahan each scored.

Have a short memory

If you have a bad game in Game 1, you know you can bounce back in the series. A Game 7, however, is winner take all. If there’s a bad bounce, a bad call by the referees, a bad play, a missed save, whatever it may be, the Caps have to be able to put it out of their minds quickly.

There is no room for the “here we go again” mentality on Wednesday. The fate of this season will be determined within 60 minutes. If Holtby is not on his game, the Caps will have to battle through it. If Ovechkin has a bad night, the Caps will have to battle through it. If the referees decide they are going to call everything down to the letter of the law, the Caps will have to battle through it.

If something goes against them, they cannot allow it to bog them down mentally as we have seen at times in Game 7s of the past.

Likewise, if things go well they need to put that out of their heads as well. Desperation will grow among the Lightning as the game goes on. This is not the time to sit on a lead or circle the wagons.

Washington can’t let mistakes or success go to their head until the clock hits 00:00.