NCAA

Wake Forest upsets No. 18 NC State 86-84

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Wake Forest upsets No. 18 NC State 86-84

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) Jeff Bzdelik has watched his Wake Forest program stumble time after time, fumbling away close games, getting blown out in others. This time, the Demon Deacons didn't let the moment get away - even against a team picked to win the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Freshman Devin Thomas had a season-high 25 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks to help Wake Forest upset No. 18 North Carolina State 86-84 on Tuesday night, the program's first win against a ranked opponent in nearly three years.

Travis McKie added 16 points for the Demon Deacons (10-8, 3-3 ACC), including two free throws with 3.4 seconds left that helped Wake Forest hold on down the stretch in a wild final 4 1/2 minutes.

N.C. State led by 16 points in the first half and 12 at halftime, then the Demon Deacons rallied to take a 10-point lead before the Wolfpack's frantic final push to set up a tense finish.

Ultimately, Wake Forest - a program filled with freshmen and trying desperately to return to relevance in the ACC - did just enough to earn a win that sent their fans storming midcourt to celebrate.

``There were a lot of moments,'' Bzdelik said of the game's swings, ``but we finished with a beautiful moment.''

The Demon Deacons had done little other than struggle in three seasons under Bzdelik, going a combined 5-27 in league play the previous two years. That included losses to the Wolfpack (15-4, 4-2) by 36 and 25 points in the past two meetings in Winston-Salem.

But Wake Forest is 3-0 at home in league games this season and now has its first win against a team ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 since beating Georgia Tech in February 2010 under former coach Dino Gaudio, according to STATS LLC.

The win also managed to deny N.C. State its first 5-1 ACC start since 1988-89.

``I'm just sad to see that we lost this game like that,'' said Lorenzo Brown, one of several N.C. State starters hampered by foul trouble. ``We definitely shouldn't have let them come back. That was our fault. We've just got to come back with more intensity.''

Freshman Rodney Purvis scored 18 points to lead the Wolfpack, who fell to 1-2 since upsetting top-ranked Duke on Jan 12. Fellow rookie T.J. Warren scored 14 points, while C.J. Leslie scored 13 despite playing just 18 minutes due to foul trouble.

``It's not like we're still living in the moment of beating Duke,'' Purvis said. ``That game has been over with. ... We've just got to find our way and find ourselves and get back to playing the way we need to play.''

Wake Forest got 40 of its 51 points after halftime from freshmen behind Thomas. The 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward more than doubled his previous scoring high (12 points) on 10-for-13 shooting while also matching his season high for rebounds and blocks.

Thomas' performance came against a front line that included Leslie, the preseason ACC player of the year, and double-double machine Richard Howell.

``I think we're growing up every game,'' Thomas said. ``We're learning a lot from every game, every practice. I think we're doing a better job of finishing around the rim. That's one of our weaknesses but we're doing a better job of it.''

Fellow rookie Codi Miller-McIntyre added 15 points for the Demon Deacons, who shot 59 percent after halftime. Wake Forest won despite going the final 4:11 without a field goal, the last coming on Arnaud William Adala Moto's layup for an 82-72 lead.

But N.C. State made things interesting with a 10-1 run to close the gap to 83-82 on Leslie's free throw with 1:01 left.

But Leslie missed two free throws for the lead with 29.9 seconds left, then Scott Wood missed an open 3-pointer off an offensive rebound following Leslie's second miss. Then, after a free throw from C.J. Harris, the Wolfpack came up empty on two shots from inside the paint - one from Leslie while taking contact and a runner off a loose rebound by Purvis - with the chance to tie.

The Wolfpack had a final chance to tie or win after Leslie scored on a layup with 1.2 seconds left to cut it to two following McKie's late free throws. Warren stole a long inbounds pass near midcourt, but his final desperate heave wasn't close as the horn sounded and fans poured onto the court.

``What's that thing at the NCAA tournament: `One Shining Moment'?'' said McKie, a junior. ``It's definitely mine. This will be mine right here. I'll definitely remember this always.''

The 9 craziest things that happened in Week 8 of the college football season

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USA TODAY Sports

The 9 craziest things that happened in Week 8 of the college football season

Illinois ruined next week's undefeated matchup between Wisconsin and Ohio State with the biggest upset of the year, a football game turned into a dance-off, Virginia Tech won a six-overtime thriller and Louisville is still insane.

Here are the six craziest things that happened in Week 8 of the college football season.

31-point underdog Illinois upsets Wisconsin

Were you looking ahead to a game of unbeatens between Ohio State and Wisconsin? Well, I've got some bad news....

Wisconsin entered Saturday's game in Champaign 6-0. Four of those six wins were shutouts. The defense had only allowed 29 combined for the season. Illinois entered the game as a 31-point underdog and yet, the Fightin' Illini pulled off the biggest upset of the season with a field goal as time expired for the 24-23 win.

What the heck happened on that Tennessee goal-line play?

The fact that Tennessee lost to Alabama isn't crazy. The Crimson Tide have now won 13 straight so it would have been crazy had Alabama not won. What was lost in the win and all the injury news on Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was a goal-line play by Tennessee that went horrifically wrong in what was still a close game.

Trailing 28-13 in the fourth quarter, Tennesse lined up for a 4th and goal from Alabama's 1-yard line. Then this happened.

Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano fumbled the ball and Trevon Diggs returned it all the way down the field to turn what could have been a one-possession game into a three-possession game.

Unfortunate play? No, it goes beyond that.

There's a lot going on with that offensive line. It looks like the guard pulls which would never happen on a quarterback sneak. Guarantano doesn't come close to getting into the end zone and he gets smacked backward. We will never know exactly what happened on that play, whether he called the wrong play or there was a different run called and he decided to try to sneak it in himself. Head coach Jeremy Pruitt, however, was pissed and met his quarterback on the field so he could yell at him and grab his face mask. He said after the game he was mad because Guarantano tried to go over the top instead of trying to push his way through the middle, but again...the guard pulls so...?

Seven players ejected after a dance-off

Things got pretty heated in Saturday's game between Coastal Carolina and Georgia Southern. How heated you ask? Well between the third and fourth quarters both teams had to be separated because...a dance-off broke out!

No, this is not the script for a Footloose sequel, this actually happened.

In the most intense dance-off since West Side Story, both teams began dancing on the field when the song "Mo Bamba" played over the loudspeakers. 

Unfortunately, the referees apparently have no love for the art of dance so they gave every single player a penalty which resulted in seven players getting ejected.

Kansas almost beat Texas because a Tom Herman quote was taken out of context

Texas needed a field goal as time expired to beat Kansas on Saturday which would probably be weird enough to warrant landing on this list on its own. What really made things weird was why this game was so close.

After the game, several quotes came out of Kansas players saying they were motivated by disrespectful comments Texas head coach Tom Herman made at his Monday weekly press conference. When asked about Kansas, Herman said, "We actually play a game this week?"

OK, you can see why Kansas players would be upset...until you hear the context of the quote.

Herman was not asked a single question about Kansas during his press conference until it was almost 17 minutes in. His remark seemed aimed at the writers for not bringing up that week's game sooner, but I guess Les Miles and his coaches decided the Kansas players did not need to know that part.

The Sooner Schooner crashed

This is one of those stories that is only funny because everyone was OK.

The Sooner Schooner comes out onto the field at Oklahoma to celebrate Sooner touchdowns. In the second quarter, however, things went awry as the Schooner tipped over when making too sharp a turn.

As mentioned above, the school sent out a Twitter update saying no one was injured.

This is actually not the first time this has happened as the Schooner toppled over 26 years ago in a game against Colorado as well.

Louisville needs to chill, part 2

Last week we were all introduced to Louisville defensive line coach Mark Ivey who got bloodied during some intense warmups.

Evidently, he is not the only insane intense coach on the staff. This is just a thing at Louisville.

Here you can see the Cardinals getting pumped up by several coaches including the quality control coach. Because how could you not get pumped up by a rousing speech from the quality control coach?

Louisville lost by 35.

The worst fake punt ever?

When you're looking at the possibility of losing your 15th straight conference game, you get desperate. Arkansas certainly must have been desperate when it dialed up perhaps the worst fake punt in the history of college football.

A six overtime game

Virginia Tech and North Carolina fought through six overtimes before the Hokies finally emerged victorious and that's fine because six overtimes are still better than a tie. This marathon game gave us our first look at the new overtime rules in which each team gets a two-point conversion try starting in the fifth overtime instead of going series after series after series. The best part about this is that it mercifully took special teams out of the equation which is good because both teams had already missed two field goals in overtime.

Air Force gets a bizarre pick-6

Late in the fourth quarter, Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald dropped back to pass. Air Force safety Grant Theil read the play perfectly and jumped a route to get his hands on the football. He could not come up with the catch and the ball bounced out of his hands when he hit the ground. It bounced off his hip, rolled to his knee and his leg kicked it up in the air and right into the hands of teammate Milton Bugg. The ball never touched the ground and Bugg proceeded to run it 92 yards for the touchdown.

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Caps come out on top after crazy third period in Chicago

Caps come out on top after crazy third period in Chicago

The Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks exchanged five goals in the third period, but it was the Caps who came out on top on Sunday in a 5-3 win. The game is the first of a five-game road swing for Washington who have now won three straight.

Here is how the Caps beat the Blackhawks.

Special teams

Washington held a 2-1 lead at the end of two periods with one power play goal and one shorthanded goal. Chicago was firing pucks at the net from everywhere with 84 total shot attempts for the game at 5-on-5. The Caps did not appear to be getting outplayed, but clearly Chicago was getting more pressure at even strength. The special teams definitely gave the Caps the edge with one power play goal while yielding none to the Blackhawks.

Both units the power play and shorthanded were perfect on the night, the power play converting on its lone opportunity and the penalty kill fending off all four of Chicago’s power plays.

Great work on the power play

This is how you draw it up.

Alex Ovechkin came charging in on Jonathan Toews to force a turnover off the faceoff. Nicklas Backstrom chipped the puck into the corner away from the penalty killers. Evgeny Kuznetsov won a puck battle with Duncan Keith to take possession of the puck. T.J. Oshie then came charging into the slot for the pass from Kuznetsov and fired the shot high glove side for the goal.

That was a beautiful all-around play by the top unit.

Two quick responses

Drake Caggiula tied the game at 1 in the second period and suddenly the momentum was all on Chicago’s side. Just one minute later, Chandler Stephenson was given a double-minor for high-sticking Kirby Dach. This was Chicago’s moment to take control of the game. Instead, it proved to be the turning point for Washington. Patrick Kane turned the puck over on the power play and Carl Hagelin picked it up and was off to the races, sparking a 2-on-1 with Nic Dowd. Hagelin made the pass to Dowd who fired a shot. Crawford was beaten glove-side for the second time for what was Dowd’s second goal in as many games.

Chicago was given the double-minor power play exactly one minute after tying the game. Just 28 seconds after that, the Caps retook momentum with the shorthanded goal. The Blackhawks’ power play, which had looked dangerous to that point, completely fizzled through the rest of the double-minor.

Washington dominated most of the game, but a Patrick Kane goal in the third period tied the game at 3 and once again, momentum seemed to be entirely in Chicago's favor. Once again, the Caps responded.

Lars Eller took the puck in the offensive zone, wheeled around behind the net and fired a puck on the sharp angle at Crawford. He made the save, but it went right to Hagelin. He centered the puck to Wilson who roofed it into the net for the game-winning tally.

Wilson's goal came less than two minutes after Kane had tied it at 3.
 
John Carlson’s brilliant pass

A slap shot from Michal Kempny went wide of the net and curled around the wall back towards the blue line. Carlson collected it and immediately fired it on the first touch cross-ice to Ovechkin for the one-timer. The assist gave Carlson his 18th point of the season which makes him the NHL’s sole leader in points.

Braden Holtby

Chicago was throwing a lot of rubber around in this one. They finished with 84 total shot attempts. Only 44 of those attempts made it on net, but Holtby was brilliant and turned aside 41 of those shots.

Until the shorthanded marker that took the wind out of the power play’s sails, Holtby was Washington’s best penalty killer with nine saves on the man advantage. Again he tracked the puck well in a game in which the Blackhawks were showing off their puck-moving skills with great passing plays and a lot of shots.

Holtby looks much improved after his brief reset and now has strung together two strong starts in a row.

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