Nationals

The Top Twenty Five

The Top Twenty Five

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Dec. 23, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week's ranking:

Record Pts Prv

1. Duke (63) 11-0 1,623 1

2. Michigan (2) 12-0 1,551 2

3. Arizona 11-0 1,463 4

4. Louisville 11-1 1,422 5

5. Indiana 11-1 1,383 6

6. Kansas 10-1 1,309 9

7. Missouri 10-1 1,157 12

8. Cincinnati 12-0 1,144 11

9. Syracuse 10-1 1,140 3

10. Ohio St. 9-2 965 7

11. Minnesota 12-1 878 13

12. Illinois 12-1 875 10

13. Gonzaga 11-1 824 14

14. Florida 8-2 772 8

15. Georgetown 10-1 674 15

16. Creighton 11-1 589 17

17. San Diego St. 11-1 557 18

18. Butler 9-2 512 19

19. Michigan St. 11-2 416 20

20. UNLV 11-1 382 21

21. Notre Dame 12-1 337 22

22. Oklahoma St. 10-1 318 24

23. NC State 9-2 264 25

24. Pittsburgh 12-1 189 -

25. Kansas St. 9-2 152 -

Others receiving votes: New Mexico 66, Kentucky 37, Temple 36, Wyoming 28, North Carolina 16, VCU 16, Wichita St. 11, Maryland 7, Oregon 6, UConn 6.

Ballots Online:http://tinyurl.com/43u6jr6

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How will MLB's new extra inning with a runner on second rule work strategically?

How will MLB's new extra inning with a runner on second rule work strategically?

Major League Baseball is going to be bizarre in 2020. A 60-game schedule. The designated hitter in the National League. No fans.

But the change a lot of baseball fans might have the toughest getting used to is the tweak to extra innings. Each team will begin each extra inning with a man on second base. The crew from the Nationals Talk podcast had differing opinions on the new rule.

“I absolutely love it,” NBC Sports Washington's Nick Ashooh said.

Team reporter Todd Dybas did not agree.

“The rule is dumb. It goes against everything that baseball is about.”

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Chase Hughes broke the tie. “I’m a no on the rule too. I’m with Todd.”

What about the strategy of starting with a man on second base? Could team's exploit or alter the ending of the previous frame to set up a new inning? 

The rule states: “The runner placed on second base at the start of each half-inning shall be the player (or a substitute for such player) in the batting order immediately preceding that half-inning’s leadoff hitter.”

Dybas wondered if it would be wise to end the previous inning on purpose if a speedster is at the plate with two outs.

“Would it behoove [Giants'] Billy Hamilton to make the final out? So the next inning he would start at second base?” Hamilton is a career .242 hitting but has 299 stolen bases in 809 games played. 

RELATED: COULD MORE OPT-OUTS BE COMING? 

Frustration will also be inevitable. “I can’t wait to hear from the players on the first team to lose by that rule,” Hughes said. “What are they going to say?” 

2020 has already thrown us plenty of curveballs, the changes to baseball will just be a couple more the sports world will have to adjust to. 

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Charles Barkley jokingly admits he doesn't know anyone on the Wizards besides John Wall and Bradley Beal

Charles Barkley jokingly admits he doesn't know anyone on the Wizards besides John Wall and Bradley Beal

Without John Wall, Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans, Washington's three best players, the Wizards hopes of making the playoffs in the NBA's Orlando restart have taken a hit.

On Thursday, Wizards coach Scott Brooks joined the Inside the NBA team on TNT, where Charles Barkley genuinely asked him who has to step up for the team when the games begin.

Brooks' response was unexpected, yet also hilarious. Here was the exchange:

Barkley: "Obviously, without John and Bradley, your two best players, give us two names that really need to step up for you guys."

Brooks: "Well, I think we should play that game where you name two guys on our team besides those two guys." 

Barkley: "Let me tell you something, I don't know anybody on your team! So I want you to tell us two players on your team."

To Barkley's credit, much of the national media has not paid any attention to the Wizards this season. The team only had one game on national TV this season, a November clash with the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers.

RELATED: ISH SMITH SAYS BUBBLE FOOD ISN'T THAT BAD

When basketball does resume, the Wizards are six games back of the Orlando Magic for the eighth spot in the East. Washington needs to make up two games over the final eight contests in order to force a play-in game for the conference's final playoff spot.

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