Friday, November 16, 2018

Soccer Referees Play Rock, Paper Scissors in Protest

Posted By on Fri, Nov 16, 2018 at 4:04 PM

On Oct. 26, Women’s Super League referee David McNamara accidentally left his coin in the dressing room before the start of the game between Manchester City and Reading, which was televised.

In soccer, a coin is tossed before the game to determine who gets to start with the ball and what side of the pitch the teams will play on. Without the coin, McNamara had to improvise and made the team captains play rock, paper, scissors as a decider.

Soon after, McNamara was suspended by the Football Association for not following the rules and acting unprofessionally. 

This has provoked reactions from around the world at the absurdity of something so small and harmless ending in punishment but has also provoked reactions from several grass-root soccer referees who intend on using rock, paper, scissors this weekend out of protest.

BBC quotes several anonymous referees as saying:

"I'll have a coin just in case anyone is unhappy but I don't see it being an issue. Rock, paper, scissors is an equally fair way of doing things. The suspended ref has shown initiative and thought quickly on his feet. The whole thing is a bit ridiculous..."

“I will be doing it to show support. It will probably serve as a light-hearted way to introduce myself to both captains.”

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El Tour Expanding to Marana

Posted By on Fri, Nov 16, 2018 at 11:02 AM

Not all of El Tour is in Tucson. This year’s new 25-mile segment will start at Marana Heritage River Park, located at 12375 N Heritage Park Dr.

This new option provides cyclists with a shorter distance, later start and easier parking than the 75 or 100-mile routes.

For those who don’t know, El Tour de Tucson is an annual event in the Tucson area that has been going on for 36 years. Cyclists make their way around “the loop,” a 130-mile bike path that goes in and around Tucson and Marana.

This year’s loop will end at Armory Park for the Downtown El Tour Fiesta, featuring live music, awards ceremony, a beer garden and plenty of food vendors to refuel.

The Marana route starting line will also have food trucks, information booths and music. The starting time for the Saturday, Nov. 17 event will be at 1 p.m. sharp. Festivities will begin at the park a little earlier at 12.

The registration fee for the 25-mile route is $125 for cyclists 15 and older and $44 for those 14 and younger.

Learn more about Marana’s El Tour route here.

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Three and Out: Arizona Heads to Pullman to take on Gardner Minshew and the Washington State Cougars

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 11:22 AM

Arizona sophomore quarterback Khalil Tate strides past Robert Taylor of Washington State during the Wildcats 58-37 victory on Oct. 28, 2017. - CHRIS HOOK | ARIZONA ATHLETICS
  • Chris Hook | Arizona Athletics
  • Arizona sophomore quarterback Khalil Tate strides past Robert Taylor of Washington State during the Wildcats 58-37 victory on Oct. 28, 2017.
The Arizona Wildcats have a shot at throwing the college football world into complete and utter chaos this weekend.

The Wildcats (5-5, 4-3) travel to Pullman, Washington to face off against seventh-ranked Washington State (9-1, 6-1).

It's a game that means a great deal to both sides, with the visiting Wildcats desperately seeking a sixth win, which would guarantee a bowl game for Kevin Sumlin's squad. The Cougars, meanwhile, are two wins away from clinching their first-ever appearance in the Pac-12 football championship game.

A win over the Wildcats, teemed with a victory over in-state rival Washington in next week's Apple Cup showdown could vault the Cougars into the College Football Playoff discussion. It's a stage that the Cougs' haven't been in very often, making the Rose Bowl four times in school history (1915, 1930, 1997 and 2002).

Mike Leach's squad has reached the pinnacle of Pac-12 excellence, thanks to its usual pass-happy offense that's spearheaded by mustache-aficionado Gardner Minshew.

Continue reading »

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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Arizona Routs Houston Baptist in Season Opener

Posted By on Thu, Nov 8, 2018 at 3:01 PM

Sophomore forward Brandon Randolph throws down a dunk against the University of Oregon during his freshman season on Jan. 13, 2018. - STAN LIU | ARIZONA ATHLETICS
  • Stan Liu | Arizona Athletics
  • Sophomore forward Brandon Randolph throws down a dunk against the University of Oregon during his freshman season on Jan. 13, 2018.
The University of Arizona Wildcats overcame a night of skittish play and erratic offense to rout visiting Houston Baptist in the home side's opener on Wednesday, 90-60.

Ninth-year Wildcats Coach Sean Miller described the team's play against the Huskies as a tale of two halves.

Fortunately for Miller and his players, the tale had a happy ending, thanks to shooting 57.6 percent from the field in the latter half of the contest, with the squad hitting seven of their final nine shots.

"We didn't have a great deal of confidence, which, you know, that's kind of who we are right now," Miller said. "We're a group of guys kind of playing together for the first time and I think our hope is to continue to work, practice, go through experiences, we will improve."

The Wildcats were led on Wednesday by sophomore guard Brandon Randolph, who scored a game-high 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting in 31 minutes of action.

"Brandon Randolph has done really well and it's more about opportunity, confidence that he's done really well this whole week," Miller said. "Sometimes that jump from a freshman to a sophomore is significant, and Brandon has always been able to shoot the ball. I think he is learning the game and he is more of a complete player."

Miller heaped praise on Duke University transfer Chase Jeter, who pulled down a double-double (11 points and 10 rebounds) in the victory.

"Chase is really bright kid. Great student, maybe the best student we've had. Very cerebral, thinks things through, and intelligent," Miller said. "Not many big guys draw charges, he does that a lot."

Miller has high hopes for freshman guard Brandon Williams, who scored 13 points in his collegiate debut.

That confidence stems from Williams' ability to get to the free throw line in his first start, making 8-of-9 attempts to finish as the team's second-leading scorer, despite shooting 2-of-11 from the field.

"He didn't have his typical night," Miller said of Williams. "I will say this though, he had five assists and zero turnovers playing in a game like that, against that type of pressure. That's a job well done."

Looking forward

The Wildcats return to McKale Center to face California Polytechnic University at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

The Mustangs have not played a regular season game this season, coming off a year in which they went 9-22, with a 4-12 record against fellow Big West opponents.

Miller said he hasn't watched much of Cal Poly's tape from last season, but expects his team to be ready for the challenge come Sunday.

"I think we've got a great group of kids," Miller said. "[They're] very coachable, they like each other, they want to do things the right way. And how all that comes together, we'll see."

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Pac-12 Power Rankings: Washington State Survives Cal, Stays Atop the Conference

Posted By on Thu, Nov 8, 2018 at 12:20 PM

Welcome to another wild and (sure-to-be) wacky weekend in the Conference of Champions, which nobody wants to win, evidently.

Last week, we saw the Washington State Cougars win an ugly game in the Palouse against Cal, the Sun Devils hammering an injury-stricken Utah squad, the Arizona Wildcats surviving against a woebegone Colorado team and much, much more.

This week, we'll be treated to a trap game of sorts for Mike Leach's bunch, as they'll travel to the libertarian enclave known as Boulder for a Saturday matinee against the Buffs.

ASU hosts a UCLA squad that squashed any of its midseason momentum by losing to Utah and Oregon in succession by a sum of 83-31.

Elsewhere, the Oregon Ducks head to the SLC to face the Utes, the Oregon State Beavers head to Palo Alto to face Stanford, and Cal heads to the City of Angels to face the USC Trojans in Saturday's nightcap.

It'll be interesting to see whether the conference's relative heavyweights, in Washington State and Washington, can avoid a face-planting defeat this week.

It'll also be interesting to see whether Utah can keep its Pac-12 title game hopes alive, now that starting quarterback Tyler Huntley is out indefinitely with a broken collarbone.

Without further ado, here's how I see the conference that made bad officiating and Bill Walton famous shaking out:

1. Washington State Cougars (8-1, 5-1)

Last Week: Beat Cal, 19-13

This Week: At Colorado, 1:30 p.m. (ESPN)

The Cougars proved that they can win ugly in their six-point victory over Cal in Pullman last Saturday. The Cougars did so, thanks to a last-minute heave by mustache aficionado-turned-quarterback Gardner Minshew, who hit receiver Easop Winston Jr. for a 10-yard score with 32 seconds remaining to ensure the home side's victory. The win propelled the Cougs' to their first 8-1 start since Mike Price led the team to the Rose Bowl in 2002. The mighty Cougars will be put to the test again this Saturday, when they'll head to Colorado to face a Buffs squad that's fallen and can't get up, before closing out the year with consecutive home games against Arizona and Washington. A win over the Buffs, and the Cougars might be in for a year that no one in scarlet and silver will forget. A loss, and it's Alamo Bowl or bust for Leach's band of misfits in Pullman. 

Continue reading »

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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Derrick Rose Scores Career-High Against Utah Jazz

Posted By on Thu, Nov 1, 2018 at 3:35 PM

Rose with the Cavaliers in 2017 - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • Rose with the Cavaliers in 2017
It’s not easy to bring a bunch of NBA fans together with teams like the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers holding fierce rivalries. But all of that was put on pause last night after Derrick Rose was able to put a smile on everyone’s face achieving an unexpected career-high 50 points, last night against in a tight win over the Utah Jazz.

The Minnesota Timberwolves were not necessarily expecting to win with Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague sitting out with minor injuries. This meant Derrick Rose was moved to starting point-guard and made sure not to disappoint.

Derrick Rose played 41 minutes, more than any other player, and put up a stat line of 50 points, six assists and four rebounds. Despite his offensive success, it was ultimately his clutch defense that secured the win for Minnesota.

With the game only at a three-point difference, Dante Exum received the ball for the Jazz in the corner to tie the game, but Rose had other plans as he leaped perfectly for the shot-block, putting the icing on the cake to a wholesome basketball night.

To say Rose’s career has had its ups and downs is understatement. After winning MVP in 2011, consistent injuries left fans wondering if they would ever see the dominant force that Rose was in his younger years, ever again.

Rose’s 50 points are the fourth most scored by an NBA player so far this season.

5 things to think about:
1. With Teague coming back, will Tom Thibodeau still keep Rose on the bench?
2. Can Rose put together his first successful healthy season since 2012?
3. Will a Butler exit give Rose a more important role with the team?
4. Does a team want to involve Rose in a Butler trade after his great performance?
5. Would Thibodeau even want to give Rose up, if a trade was offered?

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Three and Out: Khalil Tate and Arizona host Colorado in Friday night showdown

Posted By on Thu, Nov 1, 2018 at 10:35 AM

Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate readies a throw against the University of Southern California on Saturday, Sept. 30. - ARIZONA ATHLETICS
  • Arizona Athletics
  • Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate readies a throw against the University of Southern California on Saturday, Sept. 30.
Welcome to the home stretch of the college football season, better known as the time when Arizona football jumps out of the bushes to ambush unsuspecting pray.

That's exactly what happened to the Oregon Ducks a week ago at Arizona Stadium.

The Ducks, who entered last week's contest with a 5-2 record and a spot in the AP top-25, fell flat instantaneously, with junior QB Khalil Tate hitting generational wide receiver talent Shaun Poindexter for a 22-yard touchdown some 3 minutes and 52 seconds into the evening.

The Wildcats never let off the gas, torching the Ducks' staunch defense to the tune of 276 rushing and 189 passing yards in a 44-15 Wildcats win.

Fast-forward some 144 hours, and the Wildcats are back within the concrete walls of their home stadium, with a wounded Colorado Buffaloes squad toeing the opposing side.

The Buffs of Boulder enter Friday night's contest on a sour note, after somehow choking away a surefire win at home against Oregon State.

The Buffaloes entered the final quarter of that game with a 31-10 lead, against a Beavers team that entered with 22-straight conference road losses.

The Buffs left with a 41-34 sucker-punch of a loss, with the Beavers clinching the victory in overtime on a one-yard rushing touchdown by Jack Colletto.

Continue reading »

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Three and Out: Arizona Hosts Justin Herbert and the Oregon Ducks on Homecoming Saturday

Posted By on Thu, Oct 25, 2018 at 11:36 AM

Arizona linebacker Colin Schooler chats with teammates Tristan Cooper and Scottie Young Jr. during the Wildcats' 31-30 loss to UCLA on Saturday, Oct. 20. - CONNOR BUSS, FOREWORD FILMS
  • Connor Buss, Foreword Films
  • Arizona linebacker Colin Schooler chats with teammates Tristan Cooper and Scottie Young Jr. during the Wildcats' 31-30 loss to UCLA on Saturday, Oct. 20.

The course of the University of Arizona's football season hinges on the outcome of Saturday's contest with a juggernaut from the Pacific Northwest.

The Wildcats (3-5, 2-3) return to Arizona Stadium this Saturday, with the Oregon Ducks coming to Tucson for the first time since their stunning loss to the Wildcats in 2014.

That loss, which stemmed from a late strip-sack by do-it-all linebacker Phillip 'Scooby' Wright, propelled the Wildcats to a 10-2 regular season and their first (and only) appearance in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game.

Fast-forward some 48 months and much has changed. The Ducks have gone through two coaches (Mark Helfrich and Willie Taggart), while Arizona canned Rich Rodriguez in the offseason.

The Ducks have emerged from their recent slumber with vigor, thanks to first-year coach Mario Cristobal and junior QB Justin Herbert, with a 5-2 record, despite recent losses to Washington State and Stanford.

It'll be a tall task for the Wildcats to spring the upset at home this week, with Vegas putting the home team as a 9.5-point underdog.

It's hard to blame them, given Arizona's anemic defense, which ranks 10th in the conference in points allowed (29.0), 11th in yards per game allowed (440.6) and 11th in rushing yards per game allowed (195.9).

The Ducks, meanwhile, have found their groove offensively, ranking second overall in yards per game (460.7), with Herbert averaging 269.0 passing yards per game (second-best in the Pac-12).

It'll be interesting to see how Arizona's linebacking unit, led by sophomore Colin Schooler fares against Herbert and his stacked wideout corp.

Schooler has been a tour de force defensively for defensive coordinator Marcel Yates, with a team-high 81 tackles and 14.5 tackles for loss this season.

Schooler is also solid in defending the pass this season, sitting in a tie atop the team leaderboard with two interceptions this season.

He'll go against a Ducks offense that includes his brother, Brenden, who has 10 catches for 116 yards this season.

It's unclear whether Khalil Tate or sophomore backup Rhett Rodriguez, who completed 15-of-34 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns in his first collegiate start last week, will start on Saturday night.

This contest looks like it'll be one-sided (and not in Arizona's favor), though odd things are known to happen for the Ducks when they toe the lines of Arizona Stadium after dark.

How to Watch: Arizona and Oregon will play at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, with ESPN carrying the contest.

Who to Watch: Oregon junior quarterback Justin Herbert is a Heisman candidate and potential first round pick in next year's NFL Draft. He's thrown for 1,883 yards and 18 touchdowns, with 5 interceptions in 212 pass attempts. Junior receiver Dillon Mitchell has been solid for Cristobal's team as well, with a team-high 608 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns on 42 receptions this season.

How to Bet: Vegas has Oregon as a 9.5-point favorite, as of Thursday morning. The over/under for the contest is listed at 65.

Score Prediction: Oregon is far too good of a team to lose back-to-back road games, so I'll say that the Ducks will win this one easily. Oregon 42, Arizona 10

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