Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on February 27, 2011 at 12:00 pm Syracuse took possession with about 50 seconds left in the third quarter and held for what it hoped would be the last shot.As the clock ticked down to 20 seconds, senior midfielder Jovan Miller started his run near midfield.Once the help came from an Army defender to cut Miller off, he dished the ball to junior attack Tim Desko behind the net. Desko worked his way out front with the clock dipping below 10 seconds. Army sent a double team at him, eventually popping the ball free.SU senior attack Stephen Keogh scooped up the loose ball on the right side with three seconds left. He sent a desperation pass behind his back to the front of the crease. But the buzzer sounded as the pass fell harmlessly to the Carrier Dome turf.And that failed possession epitomized the Orange’s offense for much of its 11-9 win over the Black Knights on Sunday in the Dome. After scoring seven goals in less than 12 minutes to open the game, SU mustered four scores the rest of the contest. It endured a scoreless stretch that lasted just less than 27 minutes. The Orange tallied four shots on goal after halftime.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘I think we came out in the second half impatient,’ head coach John Desko said. ‘I thought that we wanted to make something happen right away and maybe relaxed a little too much looking at the scoreboard.’The offense’s struggles started in the second quarter when Army switched to a zone defense. That helped the Black Knights slow the pace of the game more to their style of play, as the Orange couldn’t find the back of the net with its shots.After scoring seven goals on nine shots in the first quarter, SU tallied two on 16 shots in the second. Only half of those attempts were on target, and by then John Desko felt Army goaltender Tom Palesky started seeing the ball better.The Orange still managed to take a 9-3 lead into halftime. But it started falling apart right out of the break.‘We became less patient,’ sophomore attack JoJo Marasco said. ‘Once we would get the ball, we’d try to go to the goal right away. We’d get it around maybe once, and we thought we had a couple opportunities. We need to take high percentage shots, and we weren’t taking them.’Syracuse’s first possession of the third quarter ended with an offside violation. Its second ended with an Army goal.Keogh started the possession with a shot from the middle that Palesky deflected out of bounds. SU kept the ball, and the Orange then worked the ball around for nearly two minutes.Senior midfielder Josh Amidon finally got a look from the middle of the zone. But as he wound up for a shot, the ball popped out of his stick into the air. Black Knights midfielder Brandon Butler scooped it up and took off the other way. He sped down the right side and bounced a shot past Syracuse goalie John Galloway to put the score at 9-4.Fortunately for SU, that was the only goal Army scored in the third. But as the Orange offense continued to sputter, its defense finally started to give way, allowing the Black Knights to storm back.‘It’s really frustrating for them to get back in the game like that,’ Tim Desko said. ‘And how well we played in the first half, we couldn’t keep that up.’As Army’s offense began to click, Syracuse still couldn’t find any rhythm. After the Black Knights pulled within four, Desko was stripped coming out from behind the goal. Army scooped up the loose ball and turned it into a goal a minute later.The Orange again took possession with the score at 9-6. But Palesky made a kick save on a Marasco shot, and Army converted again with a goal about 30 seconds later.SU did manage to end the scoring drought with two late goals and hold off the Black Knights’ comeback attempt. But it was the offense’s disappearance that allowed Army to claw its way back in the first place.‘It was frustrating, but we’d like to be more patient on offense in the second half,’ Tim Desko said. ‘We weren’t doing that.’email@example.com
Captain John Mikel Obi has vowed to make his last Africa Cup of Nations one to remember for Nigeria and believes his presence in the squad could be a crucial factor in their bid for success.The midfielder, 32, concedes this will certainly be his last appearance on the continental showpiece event and possibly for Nigeria.“It’s been an amazing ride for me in the national team,” Mikel told BBC Sport. “Thirteen years I think is enough. I’ve won trophies, I’ve had a lot of amazing time. I think it’s time for these young guys to carry on.“I’m mostly here in Egypt to support the young guys and make sure they’re on the right track.“I think my presence is always important for them, hopefully I can finish with the trophy.”Mikel has won a total of 89 caps for Nigeria, playing for them in the past two World Cups and helping the Super Eagles win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. John Mikel Obi, He also helped Nigeria finish third at the 2006 and 2010 Nations Cups.He has made two appearances for his country at the ongoing tournament in Egypt, but missed their last-16 tie through injury as Nigeria secured a quarter-final date against South Africa with a 3-2 win over bitter rivals Cameroon.Now Mikel is determined to play a part in Nigeria’s quest for a fourth continental title.“If I’m fit, I’d love to play in the quarterfinal, but no need to rush,” he added.“Hopefully if we can make it to the semi-finals I’ll probably be ready then and help the team if I’m needed.A finalist with the youth side at the under-20 World Cup in 2005, the former Chelsea player believes he has had a successful run for the West African nation.“Obviously winning the Nations Cup in South Africa was the high point, that’s why I want to help this young team to hopefully achieve their dreams,” he said.“If we are able to win it here, I’ll be proud and they’ll be proud, then they can carry on from here.”He was also one of Nigeria’s three over-age players as the African side won a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
West Region (Dani Congdon/SN Illustrations) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/82/5/vinnie-midwest-bracket-picks-031819-sn-ftr_wncg3he7cqra1apidzke1e3vy.jpg?t=-1859869871&w=500&quality=80 (Dani Congdon/SN Illustrations) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/c2/44/vinnie-east-bracket-picks-031819-sn-ftr_1f8yidie9owkf15g7hxibud32q.jpg?t=-1859812983&w=500&quality=80 Final Four picks (Dani Congdon/SN Illustrations) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/22/3e/vinnie-iyer-west-picks-031819-sn-ftr_1dov5gebdwksl1xldy4m08dxy0.jpg?t=-1859959871&w=500&quality=80 The NCAA Tournament winner is . . .Duke. Let’s try this again. The Blue Devils are the KenPom-influenced SN pick for a second consecutive year, as they finished No. 3 in KenPom rankings again. In relation to the top KenPom team in 2018 (No. 1 Villanova winning it all and No. 2 Virginia losing in the first round), Duke falling to Kansas in overtime in the Midwest regional final was much closer to the champions’ fate.This time, however, Duke is properly seeded No. 1 in the East instead of No. 2. Its path through the East is favorable, save for the potential regional final with No. 2 Michigan State, which should have really been the No. 1 in the Midwest over North Carolina, based on KenPom.This year, Duke, No. 6 in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency, is looking up this year at No. 1 KenPom Virginia (No. 2 in offense, No. 5 in defense) and No. 2 KenPom Gonzaga (No. 1 in offense, No. 16 in defense).MORE BRACKET PICKS: DeCourcy (Duke) | Bender (Duke) | Fagan (Duke) If you’re not consulting KenPom ratings before making your 2019 NCAA Tournament bracket picks all the way through the Final Four, then you would be doing it wrong. It may be called March Madness because of those unforeseen upsets, early exits and fantastic finishes — but in the end, it’s still about statistical sanity.Sure, Dick Vitale is awesome, baby, and Charles Barkley gives you a lot more than Chuck-les, but Ken Pomeroy’s in-depth, numbers-based bracket breakdown is no longer fancy analytics — it also carries a history of success. (Dani Congdon/SN Illustrations) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/e1/21/vinnie-south-bracket-picks-031819-sn-ftr_lfel4wszy6xe1fah0vm4n3q3x.jpg?t=-1859904511&w=500&quality=80 Midwest Region (Dani Congdon/SN Illustrations) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/4e/83/vinnie-final-four-picks-031819-sn-ftr_y1mb6lmhovlb14dgnzdjwxl3x.jpg?t=-1859839431&w=500&quality=80 SN’s MARCH MADNESS HQPredictor tool | Best bracket names | TicketsYou can learn a lot by looking at the results of the last 11 NCAA Tournaments. From Kansas cutting down the nets in 2008 to Villanova taking its second title in three years in 2018, only five teams (11 percent) that went into the tourney ranked outside the top 20 in KenPom advanced to the Final Four.Seven of the last 11 NCAA champions were rated No. 1 in KenPom. Another, Gonzaga in 2017, made the championship game. Yet another, Kentucky in 2015-16, made the Final Four.So that’s where you find the right chalk. But KenPom can also help you identify bracket sleepers and busts based on two signature stats: adjusted offensive efficiency and adjusted defensive efficiency. If a team is highly rated in either area, it can make up for deficiencies on the other end.MARCH MADNESS: Get your printable NCAA Tournament bracketLast year, when Loyola-Chicago crashed the Final Four, it had the No. 17 KenPom defense on its side. Two years ago, South Carolina ranked 91st in offense, but made a Cinderella run to the Final Four as a No. 7 seed thanks to its third-ranked defense. In 2013, Louisville rode its seventh-ranked offense and top-ranked defense to the Final Four.Throw out the two teams that were the biggest statistical anomalies since 2010 — VCU and Butler in 2010-11 — and nothing has been shocking in the national semifinals when taking KenPom into account. If a team is rated higher on both offense and defense, it can expect to beat anyone in any part of the tournament.But before using KenPom to make your March Madness bracket picks, here are some things to know about this year’s NCAA Tournament field, based on his ratings:SN’s BRACKET GUIDES: SOUTH | EAST | WEST | MIDWESTKenPom:Top eight teams in NCAA Tournament1. Virginia (No. 1 in South)2. Gonzaga (No. 1 in West)3. Duke (No. 1 in East)4. Michigan State (No. 2 in East)5. Michigan (No. 2 in West)6. North Carolina (No. 1 in Midwest)7. Kentucky (No. 2 in Midwest)8. Tennessee (No. 2 in South)Top eight teams in adjusted offensive efficiency1. Gonzaga (No. 1 in West)2. Virginia (No. 1 in South)3. Tennessee (No. 2 in South)4. Michigan State (No. 2 in East)5. Purdue (No. 3 in South)6. Duke (No. 1 in East)7. North Carolina (No. 1 in Midwest)8. Auburn (No. 5 in Midwest)NCAA BRACKET PICKS: DeCourcy (Duke) | Bender (Duke) | Iyer (Duke)Top eight teams in adjusted defensive efficiency1. Texas Tech (No. 3 in West)2. Michigan (No. 2 in West)3. Wisconsin (No. 5 in South)4. Kansas State (No. 4 in South)5. Virginia (No. 1 in South)6. Duke (No. 1 in East)7. VCU (No. 8 in East)8. Michigan State (No. 2 in East)Four most likely first-round upsets1. No. 9 Oklahoma over No. 8 Mississippi (South)2. No. 10 Florida over No. 7 Nevada (West)3. No. 10 Iowa over No. 7 Cincinnati (South)4. No. 11 Saint Mary’s over No. 6 Villanova (South)I HATE MARCH MADNESS BRACKETWhat do you hate about March Madness? Vote in SN’s poll Eight most underrated teams in NCAA Tournament1. Michigan State (No. 2 in East, No. 4 in KenPom)2. Wisconsin (No. 5 in South, No. 12 in KenPom)3. Auburn (No. 5 in Midwest, No. 13 in KenPom)4. Iowa State (No. 6 in Midwest, No. 16 in KenPom)5. Louisville (No. 7 in East, No. 17 in KenPom)6. Wofford (No. 7 in Midwest, No. 19 in KenPom)7. Florida (No. 10 in West, No. 28 in KenPom)8. Saint Mary’s (No. 11 in South, No. 31 in KenPom)Eight most overrated teams in NCAA Tournament1. North Carolina (No. 1 in Midwest, No. 6 in KenPom)2. Houston (No. 3 in Midwest, No. 15 in KenPom)3. LSU (No. 3 in East, No. 18 in KenPom)4. Kansas State (No. 4 in South, No. 23 in KenPom)5. Marquette (No. 5 in West, No. 27 in KenPom)6. Ole Miss (No. 8 in South, No. 44 in KenPom)7. Washington (No. 9 in Midwest, No. 51 in KenPom)8. Belmont (No. 11 in East, No. 54 in KenPom)March Madness bracket picks East Region South Region With Zion Williamson healthy, Duke’s balanced play on both ends is most appealing, while recent tournament results show Virginia is more volatile and Gonzaga’s defense can let down at any point.Virginia is still set up to come through to meet Duke in an all-ACC national title game. Texas Tech is built to ruin Gonzaga’s quest for the West with the top KenPom defense in 2018-19. No. 2-seeded Kentucky rounds out our Final Four with its well-roundedness and by virtue of being in a Midwest region where the other three top-four seeds — North Carolina, Houston and Kansas — have inflated value.As talented as last year’s Duke team was, it didn’t get all the bracket breaks needed vs. the rest of the elite field. This year, how the Blue Devils stack up in KenPom makes them due to rule the court for the first time in four years.
Perry said when the meeting’s discussion turned to a proposed regional shared service agreement he was immediately intrigued, but admits pulling it off could take some effort, especially when Middletown stands to shoulder a great deal of the operational burden. “What we’re looking to see is if, as employees retire, instead of replacing completely, can the three of us share the costs of bringing in someone new to oversee all of our operations,” Gonzales said. “These are the types of things that will save taxpayers and the towns money. And it aligns with what the state is looking to do.” Perry views the new town hall construction as a possible centerpiece for this regional shared service accord and called it a potential resource for the entire Bayshore community. “We don’t need the state to tell us that shared services are the way to go. We’ve all been doing that already,” Middletown Mayor Tony Perry said. “Reducing duplication and allowing for cost savings to occur is our responsibility.” “We used to use a database so we can seeif Joe Smith had been arrested previously inother municipalities. There is other softwarein use today, but it proves how useful regionalservices can be.” According to Middletown Township administrator Tony Mercantante, the investigation could go out to bid in July. Bayshore area towns share a similar geography and comparable maintenance obstacles. That has some municipal officials pondering the benefits of a regional shared service agreement. “There’s absolutely a benefit to shared services in general, let alone regional collaboration. We would not be doing our job if we didn’t consider it. Fiscal responsibility lies with all of us,” Hubeny said. “Right now, if we want to do work with Union Beach or Hazlet, we can’t, because we don’t have an agreement in place and there is a process we would need to go through,” Gonzales said. “With a joint agreement in place, any town in the Bayshore region could opt in if they wanted to.” County and municipal government reform and the use of additional shared services is a pillar of the state Legislature’s Path to Progress, a bipartisan plan to rescue New Jersey from what Senate President Steve Sweeney called a “fiscal crisis.” In addition to expanding interlocal shared services, Path to Progress calls for pension and benefit reform, leveraging assets to stabilize the pension system, education reform at the administrative level – including the concept of regional districts to create fewer administrative-level employees – and reworking the state and municipal tax structure. According to Gonzales, Highlands is currently using free DCA services for an audit of each of the borough’s municipal departments to determine if future personnel sharing is an option with the neighboring boroughs of Atlantic Highlands and Sea Bright. Last week Middletown broke ground at the future site of its new town hall complex, a 72,000-square-foot facility that will place all municipal operations, including the police department and court services, under one roof. Some think it could work, and one borough administrator says she’s already taking the steps to test the viability. Hubeny said his borough currently works with neighboring Highlands for mechanic work on municipal vehicles, as well as courtroom services. Another agreement is in place for Middletown to handle the borough’s brush and leaf collections. Earlier this month, Middletown announced its plans to investigate the Bayshore’s main thoroughfare, Route 36, as an area in need of redevelopment. The investigation will study about five miles of highway from the border of Keansburg at Palmer Avenue to the intersection of Leonardville Road and Route 36 near Atlantic Highlands. The goal is to create mechanisms that will entice developers to work with tricky properties that remain undeveloped, underutilized or abandoned. “A lot of towns are leaning on Middletown and it’s because of our size and resources. But there’s benefits to us. One of the reasons we’re building the new town hall is because of the potential it creates to expand our shared services. I already see the potential court sharing, which already happens a lot in the Two River area. The more we share, the more we can reduce taxes for residents,” Perry said. Though the investigation is limited to Middletown properties, better collaboration and a pooling of resources could lead to similar research and development in other Route 36 municipalities. Since the meeting, which occurred in May and included representatives of Aberdeen, Atlantic Highlands, Hazlet, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Matawan and Middletown, Gonzales said she has had preliminary discussions with the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to lay the groundwork for an eventual feasibility study. Atlantic Highlands Borough administrator Adam Hubeny is a former police officer who said he’s witnessed the fruits of similar collaborative efforts at the technological level. During a recent monthly meeting of the Bayshore mayors the topic was broached and approximately “90 to 95 percent” of the municipalities in attendance expressed interest in striking such an accord, said Highlands Borough administrator Kim Gonzales. “We investigate every shared service and sometimes proposals don’t get implemented because we don’t see enough of a benefit for the town. For this to work each governing body is going to have to weigh in on what they can bring to the table, Middletown included, and compare it to what they’re getting back. It will be a process, but it’s possible,” Perry said. But a regional agreement could expandthe benefits. The Bayshore mayors are due to meet again Friday, June 28.
By Bruce FuhrThe Nelson Daily SportsNo doubt the Nelson Leafs are happy to see the close of 2011.Because after playing perhaps one of their worst games of the season New Year’s Eve things can’t get any worse for the Green and White heading into 2012.Brandon Amatto stopped 24 of 26 shots to backstop the Spokane Braves to a 3-2 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League victory over the Leafs Saturday afternoon at the NDCC Arena.The loss erases a perfect opportunity for Nelson to climb up the Murdoch standings after division-leading Beaver Valley was beaten twice this weekend by the Castlegar Rebels and comes on the heels of a 7-1 trouncing the Leafs dealt Spokane Friday in the Lilac City.”I think (Friday) we came into the game prepared but today we had a bit of complacency,” said Leaf captain Tyler Parfeniuk.””We came in pretty confident . . . after the first it was all right,” Parfeniuk added. “But the second period kind of killed us.”Critics may disagree with the Leaf captain.Needing a late goal by Nick Newman in the first period to finish the frame tied against a team Nelson dominated the night before is not the way Leaf coach Frank Maida explained the game plan to the team before the game started.And it definitely wasn’t the way the game was to play out in the second when Spokane scored twice in the period, the second goal coming on a breakaway by Alex Marmon after the Leafs defence whiffed on a puck at the opposition blue line.Trailing 3-1 after two periods, Nelson got some life in the second when Dallon Stoddart crashed the net to beat Amatto from close range.But the 20-year-old Spokane native slammed the door on the Leaf shooters the rest of the game shedding some light on what has been a less than great season.”I think the past month hasn’t been the greatest of hockey for us so I will be nice to go into the next month fresh,” Parfeniuk said, looking to take some positive out of the conclusion to 2011.”It will be nice to get a week off and get right back at it next week.”Dylan Tappe, on the power play in the first period, and Uriah Machuga in the second completed the scoring for the 15-18-1 Braves.Nelson, 20-14-0-2, out shot Spokane 26-20 in the game, but only after a third-period push that saw the hosts with a 13-6 advantage.Friday, the Leafs held a 39-31 advantage including an 11-5 total in the second period.The Leafs finish the month of December 3-5 with four losses coming against Murdoch Division opponents.Nelson begins a three-game home stand Friday when the team hosts Princeton Posse at 7 p.m. in the NDCC Arena.Saturday, the Leafs welcome the lowly Grand Forks Border Bruins.LEAF NOTES: Friday, Brett Norman led the charge with two goals and three assists. Jonathon Petrash also scored twice while adding a helper. Carsen Willans, Matti Jmaeff and Nick Newman had singles. Newman and Linden Horswill each had three points while Jmaeff and Colten Schell had two points. Kurtis Redding scored the lone goal for the Braves. Andrew Walton earned the win in goal for Nelson. . . .Friday’s game was delayed 45 minutes when glass at the Spokane end of the ice was shattered during warm-up. The result saw the Leafs get back into Nelson at 3:30 a.m. . . . Forward Colton Malmsten and defenceman Julian Davis were scratches for Saturday. . . .The Leafs currently have 22 players on the roster, which means coach Frank Maida has one more card available before the upcoming B.C. Hockey roster deadline. . . . The Braves played Saturday’s game without head coach Mike Bay behind the firstname.lastname@example.org