Sportige The Sports Know-It-All Sun, 01 Mar 2015 14:17:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 NFL Rumors – Philadelphia Eagles Interested in Drafting Marcus Mariota Sun, 01 Mar 2015 14:17:47 +0000 More ]]> Marcus Mariota e1425219407552 NFL Rumors   Philadelphia Eagles Interested in Drafting Marcus Mariota

The Oregon connection can go a long way, and which is why Marcus Mariota, probably the second quarterback to be taken off the board in the 2015 NFL draft, is being linked so strongly to the Philadelphia Eagles and his former head coach.

Chip Kelly coached Mariota for just one season at Oregon, but that’s enough to generate hype. It also helps that the Eagles’ quarterback situation is up in the air. Nick Foles didn’t play well last season and missed the second part of it with an injury, while Mark Sanchez is who he is – a good backup, but for a team thinking about playoffs and Super Bowls, he’s nowhere near good enough when playing as a starter.

The Buccaneers are likely to make Jameis Winston their number one overall pick. So what about Mariota? He’s going to be taken a lot earlier than the 20th spot the Eagles have, which is why they’ll have to start moving up in order to grab him, and move up a lot, which means breaking the bank almost. Is he worth it?

According to ESPN Insider, KC Joyner, they shouldn’t even think about it. Mariota fits the team and its offensive system, and Mariota is the type of player who seems very likely to develop into a franchise quarterback. Common wisdom suggests there isn’t a price to high to pay for a guy you know is going to turn into that kind of player.

So? Is it going to happen, or is this just fantasy talk? According to Jimmy Kempski of, it’s very real:

Every day, with little things I hear, evidence continues to build that the Eagles are going to make a strong play for Marcus Mariota. To note, this is something I had previously thought to be unrealistic, so as bits of information have trickled in, they’ve been absorbed on my end with skepticism. But it appears the Eagles are determined to get their guy.

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Match Highlights – Liverpool vs Manchester City Sun, 01 Mar 2015 13:59:06 +0000 More ]]> Liverpool beat Manchester City e1425217936152 Match Highlights   Liverpool vs Manchester City

Two super goals from Jordan Henderson and yes, once again, Philippe Coutinho, led Liverpool to their biggest win of the season, 2-1 over Manchester City, playing second fiddle to their Anfield hosts, and maybe raising a white flag in the Premier League title race this season.

It’s not that Manchester City were bad, but except for their equalizing goal in the 25th minute by Edin Dzeko after a wonderful assist from Sergio Aguero and some lazy marking from Emre Can, never really tested Simon Mignolet. They crossed and were close to the box, but were the less dangerous side by far.

FrankPaleCrab Match Highlights   Liverpool vs Manchester City

The best player on the pitch was Jordan Henderson, opening the scoring for Liverpool with a goal we didn’t know he had in him. He got the ball on the edge of the box and instead of moving it along to a more technically gifted player, he made the most of the space given to him by Vincent Kompany and rocketed it into Joe Hart’s net in the 11th minute.

DependableHarmfulIndusriverdolphin Match Highlights   Liverpool vs Manchester City

A lot of things happened between Dzeko’s equalizer and Coutinho’s winning goal. Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana missing twice from very comfortable situations, and overall the pace of the match slowing down, which favored City and their forwards. Sterling became less and less accurate, Daniel Sturridge was introduced, but it was Coutinho, just like last season at Anfield in the same encounter, that made the difference.

ShrillScentedBarnowl Match Highlights   Liverpool vs Manchester City

The Brazilian midfielder, having a wonderful season, took the ball on the edge of the box and just like in Henderson’s case, was given just enough time and space to send a perfect shot into Hart’s goal, once again facing something he simply couldn’t stop.

The win over the champions puts Liverpool a bit closer to the fourth spot in the Premier League. Right now they’re fifth, level on points with Arsenal at fourth and two points behind Manchester United at third. United still have to play at Anfield this season, and so do league leaders Chelsea, now five points ahead of Manchester City and one match in hand.

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Oklahoma City Thunder – Russell Westbrook Injury Can be Disastrous Sun, 01 Mar 2015 13:41:37 +0000 More ]]> Russell Westbrook injury e1425217274739 Oklahoma City Thunder   Russell Westbrook Injury Can be Disastrous

While Kevin Durant is out, Russell Westbrook has been doing everything to keep the Oklahoma City Thunder in the playoff picture and more. But his fluke injury by the hands (or more like knee) of his own teammate could be disastrous for the team’s postseason hopes if he’s out for a long time.

Westbrook underwent a successful procedure to take care of the fracture in the zygomatic arch bone of his right cheek. That fracture was easy to spot at the end of the loss to the Portland Trail Blazers after Andre Roberson collided with Westbrook’s face and a dent appeared on the right side of his face. He’ll miss the Thunder’s next game (@ Lakers, March 1), and from that moment they’ll start evaluating it on a daily basis.

Now, this isn’t a serious injury – Westbrook shouldn’t miss too many games. Maybe one week. But the Thunder are pretty much nothing without him while Durant is also out, although his return is also imminent. The Western conference is tight. The Thunder have managed to claw their way back into the top 8, but both the Suns and the Pelicans are breathing down their necks.

And something worth remembering about Westbrook. He might be on a triple double streak of three games, but that included two losses. He might be more dominant than ever for the Thunder this season, even at the expense of Durant, but it doesn’t make him more important to the Thunder. As good as he can be on an individual level, it doesn’t always make the Thunder better, unless he’s the only option they have, which has been the case for too many times this season.

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San Antonio Spurs – Things Starting to Look Better Sun, 01 Mar 2015 13:27:08 +0000 More ]]> Kawhi Leonard e1425216369813 San Antonio Spurs   Things Starting to Look Better

March comes, and with it the San Antonio Spurs immediately get better, beating the Phoenix Suns 101-74 behind an excellent game from Kawhi Leonard, making it two in a row and signaling to the rest of the Western conference that it might be time to take them seriously once again.

After losing four in a row, the Spurs bounce back and cap off their Rodeo road trip with a 27 point win over the Suns, which included holding the Suns to their worst halfin franchise history, scoring just 24 points in the first half and 41 points through the first three quarters. They shot just 18.6% from the field in the first half, and went through a stretch of 7:51 minutes without scoring a field goal. They shot 29.8% from the field overall in the game.

Tony Parker went back to his struggles with just six points and 3-of-13 from the field, but a lot of other things worked quite well for the Spurs, not needing anything too special from Tim Duncan, or Manu Ginobili. It’s rare to see the Spurs doing so well while their big three combine to score just 14 points, but the sign of this team’s strength is the ability of other players to take over when the aging stars are nowhere near as dominant.

Leonard hasn’t made the extra step towards superstardom this season, but he has become an incredibly important part of this team on both ends of the floor, maybe the most important. He finished with 22 points to lead the Spurs, grabbing 10 rebounds as well. The long minutes of garbage time allowed Aron Baynes to finish with a double double as well, scoring 12 points to go with 10 boards.

What does this mean for the seeding in the NBA playoffs? The Suns fall to 1.5 games behind the Thunder, who have lost their last two. The Spurs are 7th, 10.5 games behind the Warriors but four games ahead of the Thunder, giving them plenty of breathing room. Assuming that their worst is behind them, the very small (2 games) lead the Mavericks and Clippers have over them won’t last for ever.

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Dallas Mavericks – Rajon Rondo Returning Doesn’t Make Things Better Sun, 01 Mar 2015 13:13:49 +0000 More ]]> Deron Williams e1425215578795 Dallas Mavericks   Rajon Rondo Returning Doesnt Make Things Better

The return of Rajon Rondo from a one game suspension didn’t help the Dallas Mavericks get back to their winning ways, losing 104-94 to the Brooklyn Nets at home as Deron Williams played like the last few years of decline haven’t actually happened.

Good players, old, and hobbled, will still have very good games. Williams is averaging just 13.2 points per game, but it wasn’t so long ago that he was regarded as one of the best point guards in the league, and not all of that ability has disappeared. Williams made quite a fool of someone who thinks of himself as the best in the league, but never has been and never will be.

Williams finished with 25 points, one of five Nets players to score in double figures. This is a team that tried trading pretty much everyone, but is still in the hunt for a playoff spot. In the East, going 24-33 puts you square in the middle of the race. In the West, it would be considered tanking.

The Mavericks did get 20 points from Dirk Nowitzki, but their three guard approach, with J.J. Barea starting next to Monta Ellis and Rajon Rondo didn’t do all too well. Ellis scored just 12 points, Rondo finished with 8, although not having any altercations and shouting contests with head coach Rick Carlisle is something of an achievement.

But while it’s easy to pin a lot of the issues on Rondo, the Mavericks are better when he’s on the floor. The better record before his arrival? It has something to do with depth that was hurt by the trade. Right now the bigger issue is Tyson Chandler not playing more than anything else. Dallas is outscoring opponents by 5.3 points per 100 possessions with him on the court since he made his debut back on December 20th, but on this day, they were a -22 with Rondo on the floor.

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Texas Longhorns – Best Coaching Job in College Football, According to ESPN Sun, 01 Mar 2015 12:59:49 +0000 More ]]> Texas head coach e1425214740641 Texas Longhorns   Best Coaching Job in College Football, According to ESPN

A very interesting project at ESPN ranked the 65 power conference programs by the attractivity of the head coaching job. The “winners”? Texas, despite their lack of success, followed by Alabama, USC, Ohio State and surprisingly, Florida.

So why do the Texas Longhorns get the distinction of being the best spot for a head coach to land in? Austin is a great place to live in and help attract talent; the facilities are among the best in the nation; the school’s administration is on a constant hunt to improve and invest money, and having the ability to pay for everything as good as anyone else in the nation or even better.

They’re dominant in recruiting in a talent-rich state like Texas and have a huge fan base, although it isn’t as demanding as in other places like Alabama, Ohio State or Florida. The Longhorns might have just one national title to showcase in the last 44 years, but they provide what is considered the perfect balance for a head coach to want.

And who is below? Alabama got the number two spot, with the almost impossible expectations to live by being the only deterrent (especially after Saban’s tenure, whenever it ends). USC are third, especially now that the sanctions and restrictions have ended, followed by Ohio State, the defending national champions and heading into 2015 as the very early preseason favorite. The biggest surprise? Florida in the top 5, Florida State outside of it.

LSU, the Seminoles, Georgia, Oklahoma and Notre Dame round up the top 10. Oregon and Texas A&M tied for 11th. As for the worst? Wake Forest, getting stern competition from Iowa State for its desolation (Ames), Kansas, Washington State and Purdue.

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ESPN rankings
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NFL Rumors – Washington Redskins & Tampa Bay Buccaneers Interested in Signing Mike Iupati Sun, 01 Mar 2015 12:43:01 +0000 More ]]> Mike Iupati e1425213759477 NFL Rumors   Washington Redskins & Tampa Bay Buccaneers Interested in Signing Mike Iupati

A Pro Bowl selection over the last three years, Mike Iupati is heading into the free agency market knowing he’s going to get paid, and while the San Francisco 49ers will try to keep him, the Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are probably willing to offer a little bit more.

Iupati completed five very successful seasons with the 49ers, which included making the First All-Pro team in 2012. The 49ers are the third best team in rushing yards before contact since Iupati joined them as a 1st round pick in 2010 (17th overall), surprisingly coming out of Idaho. He has missed four games overall in the last couple of seasons, and overall there have been very few guards better than him in the NFL since the beginning of the 2012 season.

It’s hard to find any team in the NFL without some sort of need in their offensive line, but both the Redskins and the Buccaneers aren’t just one quick fix away from being pleased with their line. Adding Iupati isn’t going to be cheap, but it’s a major addition, and also quite a blow to the 49ers themselves who were already having problems in protecting their quarterback this season on a lot of occasions.

So how much will Iupati get paid? He made $4.6 million last season, but will be looking to get a total package worth at least $6-7 million a season. The Buccaneers are already paying Logan Mankins $7 million next season. He’s the highest paid left guard in the NFL, and adding Iupati to that line will mean moving either one of them to the right side of center.

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Kentucky Beat Arkansas – Getting Better as Time Goes By Sun, 01 Mar 2015 12:31:30 +0000 More ]]> Kentucky beat Arkansas e1425212943610 Kentucky Beat Arkansas   Getting Better as Time Goes By

Playing Arkansas is probably the last time Kentucky face a ranked team before the NCAA tournament, and they passed a slightly tricky test in flying colors with an 84-67 win over the second best team in the SEC.

But this is the difference between Kentucky and the rest of the conference. They’re bigger, deeper, better. They are now at 29-0 and 16-0 in the SEC, with two games to go. If nothing went wrong until now and Kentucky have already been through their rougher patch in terms of their own ability, it’s hard seeing something happening in their two remaining games to close out a perfect regular season. The SEC tournament? Anything can happen in one game.

Unlike a lot of other Kentucky games, there wasn’t any doubt about the winner in this one – the Wildcats broke away very quickly and never looked back. Andrew Harrison scored 18 points and Trey Lyles, the “X Factor” as John Calipari has referred to him over the last few games, added 18 as well. Calipari used only three of his bench players for more than one or two minutes, and got a combined 24 points from Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker.

It’s not like anyone had any doubt, but the win gave Arkansas their fourth conference loss, and clinched the regular season title for Kentucky. They now have 46 conference championships, 36 more than the next in line in the SEC (LSU with 10). Kentucky finish the regular season with a 5-0 record against ranked teams, outscoring their opponents in those games by 16.6 points. That’s the highest scoring margin against ranked opponents by any team during the last 15 regular seasons.

And that tells us something about the mentality of Calipari’s players. He finds it difficult in some situations to motivate his guys against the less threatening names, but his players are more than prepared for the big games, from their first appearance this season in a big game against Kansas who were absolutely shell shocked to the rather comfortable win against the Razorbacks. How will they treat tournament games?

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New York Knicks – Turns Out They’re Not the Biggest Joke in the League Sun, 01 Mar 2015 12:17:37 +0000 More ]]> Knicks beat Raptors e1425212199410 New York Knicks   Turns Out Theyre Not the Biggest Joke in the League

The Toronto Raptors are doing so badly that their losing streak just got a whole lot worse with a 103-98 loss to the New York Knicks of all teams, on most days the worst in the NBA.

But with the Raptors playing awful, selfish basketball, even the D-League plus team known as the 2015 New York Knicks was able to beat them. Not just beat them, but actually win two games in a row, something that has happened only twice before this season. Yes, it’s been that poor, pathetic and sad for those visiting the Madison Square Garden on a regular basis, but even for someone occupying the bottom of the Eastern conference, there are days which bring up a smile on the players’ faces.

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 22 points to lead a Knicks team that wasn’t great; they simply weren’t the worst bunch on the court. Andrea Bargnani started and scored 19 points against his former team, but the Knicks actually played better without the Italian center, getting a bit more energy and defense when Cole Aldrich was on the floor, scoring 9 points in 17 minutes. Alexey Shved, another player coming off the bench, finished with 15 points in 20 minutes.

For the Raptors it was another day of their two backcourt players being unable to put the ball in the net at an efficient rate. Kyle Lowry wasn’t playing, but Greivis Vasquez didn’t do a lot better, shotting 5-of-13 from the field to score 14 points. DeMar DeRozan was only 3-of-15 from the field and is shooting an appalling 29.6% from the field over the last five games. Lou Williams didn’t provide an answer off the bench, shooting just 6-of-16 from the field to score 22 points.

The Knicks aren’t going anywhere this season except for a high draft pick, probably. But the Raptors? They’ve lost the second place in the East to the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers have done an excellent job of making up for lost ground and time. It’s hard seeing the Raptors doing a lot worse than they are now and maybe this Knicks loss is really rock bottom, but don’t be surprised to see this free fall carrying on a little bit longer.

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NFL Rumors – Dallas Cowboy Franchising Dez Bryant, Making DeMarco Murray a Free Agent Sun, 01 Mar 2015 11:50:29 +0000 More ]]> Dez Bryant NFL Rumors   Dallas Cowboy Franchising Dez Bryant, Making DeMarco Murray a Free Agent

The Dallas Cowboys intend to use the franchise tag on Dez Bryant and work out a long term deal later, but that also means that DeMarco Murray will be allowed to test the waters of the free agent market, which might lead the leading running back in the NFL last season to sign with a different team.

But the NFL is not a league that’s about overpaying running backs, who seem to be the most expendable commodity these days. Murray enjoyed his first healthy season since entering the league in 2011. He led the NFL with 1845 rushing yards (his second consecutive season with 1100 yards or more) and scoring 13 touchdowns. The Cowboys also changed their offensive outlook due to their offensive line, going to the run a lot more than in previous years.

DeMarco Murray e1425210583186 NFL Rumors   Dallas Cowboy Franchising Dez Bryant, Making DeMarco Murray a Free Agent

Bryant has caught 88 passes or more for three years in a row, resulting in 1200 yards or more in each season, catching 41 touchdown passes since 2012. With both offensive juggernauts hitting free agency, it was always Bryant that was going to get preference over Murray. Murray is perceived as a good running back, but one who depends more on the quality of his offensive line, which is the perception of must running backs in the league right now.

Bryant? Maybe the best wide receiver in the NFL, producing at an elite level for the last three years and being one of the toughest man to man covers in the league. The franchise tag will be worth $13 million, and Bryant will be the fourth player in Cowboys history to get the tag, following Flozell Adams, Ken Hamlin and Anthony Spencer (twice). If any team wants to sign Bryant to an offer sheet, they’ll have to give up two first round picks for his services.

As for Murray? Jerry Jones has cited past cases of Darren Woodson and Jay Novacek as Cowboys players testing free agency and coming back to the team after not exactly finding what they were looking for. The Cowboys would love to sign Murray, but they don’t want to overpay him with his position supposedly easy to replace with younger, cheaper players if need be. Free agency begins on March 7 with teams allowed to talk to them. They can’t be signed until March 10.

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