Gardaí have revealed that over 300 drivers have been arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving in the past 13 days of increased checkpoints and road safety campaigning before Christmas. In total, 264 drivers have been detected driving under the influence of alcohol while 37 people have been detected driving under the influence of drugs.Tragically 136 people have lost their lives on Irish roads to date – an increase of 8 in comparison to the same period last year. With less than two weeks to go until the Christmas holidays, Garda have urged all motorists to slow down and never ever drink and drive: “To all persons driving throughout the Christmas period, please be responsible and safe. Do not put yourselves or other road users at risk. Operate within the applicable speed limits and never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.” Over 300 intoxicated drivers not getting the road safety message was last modified: December 12th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
James DeGale has vowed to prove his knee troubles are behind him as he gears up for the latest defence of his WBC Silver super-middleweight title.The Harlesden man says he is now fully fit after undergoing physiotherapy ahead of the fight with American Dyah Davis at Glow, Bluewater, on 16 November.The bout will be DeGale’s third of 2013 and the 28-year-old admitted he hadn’t been at his best in victories over Sebastien Demers and Stjepan Bozic.He said: “I was getting into the ring knowing that I wasn’t 100%. But now, knowing that I’m fully fit and I’ve got no injuries, I’m back to my old self – full of confidence.“I think from the Hadillah Mohoumadi fight [last October] you’ve seen me gradually get better, through the Fulgencio Zuniga, Sebastien Demers and Stjepan Bozic fights.“You’ve seen me bending more, throwing more shots, throwing my combinations, using angles more, so in this one you’ll see another big difference as well.“I’m going to show, once and for all, that my knee problem is behind me.”Tickets for James DeGale’s fight against Dyah Davis at Glow, Bluewater, on 16 November are priced from £40 and are available from the Hennessy Sports Box Office on 01925 755 222, at http://hennessy.ticketline.co.uk or alternatively by contacting Tickeline.co.uk or by phone on 0844 888 4402 or via Ticketmaster.co.uk or by phone on 0844 847 2500. See also:DeGale to take on American DavisDeGale out to prove a point against DavisDeGale given warning by opponent Davis American Davis arrives for DeGale clashConfident DeGale predicts ‘explosive’ winDeGale must prove he is ready for world title shot, says promoterTrainer says DeGale is ‘a million per cent ready’ for world title challengeDeGale weighs in ahead of Davis clashUnderdog Davis is determined to cause an upset against DeGaleJames DeGale v Dyah Davis as it 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
The War on Leaks campaign will train 15 000 young people to mend leaking taps and pipes and help the country save R7 billion in water.Trainees had to have a minimum of matric or an N3 certificate and a science and math background before being accepted for training. (Image: GovZA)Brand South Africa reporterA total of 15 000 young people with the minimum qualification of Grade 12 matric or N3 with maths and science, will be trained for campaign called War on Leaks, set up to save water through stopping water leaks.It was launched by President Jacob Zuma on 28 August in Port Elizabeth. South Africa is said to lose more than R7-billion worth of water annually because of leaking taps and pipes.Given this, the youngsters will be trained to fix leaking taps. They will do repairs, retrofitting and replacements. They will also be able to identify aged infrastructure, one of the causes of the problem.Zuma said the programme was expected to be rolled out countrywide. “Our key message to you today is that we must save water. Water is not unlimited. If we do not look after it, we will lose it.”It was everyone’s responsibility to save water. “When you see a leaking tap, close it. When you see a leaking pipe on the road, inform the authorities. Nobody should waste water; it is very scarce.”A long-term national water plan was needed to address the country’s future needs regarding water and sanitation, he added.Through War on Leaks, the government would train unemployed young people as water agents. “They will be responsible for visiting communities to investigate water leaks and to teach people to save water,” said the president.“We will also train plumbers who will assist to do a number of things such as reducing water losses and repairing the sources of the leaks.”Training is followed by community outreach to find and fix leaks and teach people how to save water. (Image: GovZA)Training will take place in three phases: in phase one, 3 000 people will be trained in the 2015/16 financial year; in phase two, 5 000 will be trained in 2016/17; and in phase three, 7 000 will be trained in 2017/18. About R680- million has been budgeted for the campaign in the current financial year.In addition, Zuma said the Department of Water and Sanitation had committed funding for the construction of the Nooitgedacht Water Scheme, which would boost the water supply to the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality.Construction had started and the scheme was scheduled for completion in February 2017.Earlier in the day, the president visited the home of Cynthia Ncapayi in Zwide. The family’s water bill ran into several thousands of rand and it had been discovered that water leaks were to blame for the consumption figures. The family was unable to pay the high bill.Similar cases are being reported throughout the municipality’s townships and metro.Municipal capacityWater and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said 27 district municipalities in the country were in a dire state in terms of water capacity.“Working together with the water boards, we will train youngsters, give them accreditation through [sector education and training authorities] and they will be attached to our different water boards. That will help us with capacity.”Many young people, she added, would also be placed in district municipalities where interventions were needed.Over and above the first 3 000 trainees, Mokonyane told the SABC, a further 1 000 trainees had been targeted to ” deal with the cleaning of our dams, the cleaning of infrastructure in KwaZulu-Natal”.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A few weeks ago I posted a piece about identifying and controlling poison hemlock on the Fairfield County Extension Facebook page and the response I got back immediately was simply, “It’s everywhere!” Indeed, in recent years it seems to have become widespread throughout many Ohio counties, Fairfield included. Perhaps we are seeing it spreading most quickly in road and other right-of-ways that are difficult to mow and seldom ever sprayed with herbicide. From there this noxious weed seems to be spreading into fence rows, barn lots, hay fields and areas of pasture fields that lack enough competition to keep it crowded out. Last week I received a note from a friend in Seneca County explaining he suspects Hemlock poisoning is what recently killed one of his three year old bulls. That said, let’s take a closer look at poison hemlock.Poison hemlock is a biennial member of the carrot family — Conium maculatum —which can cause respiratory failure and even death when ingested by livestock or humans. It’s a non-native invasive that may, at times, be confused with giant hogweed – Heracleum mantegazzianum – a plant with many similarities and also spreading in parts of Ohio.In fertile soils poison hemlock may easily grow up to 10 or 12 feet, producing small white flowers that are typical of the carrot family. The plant began flowering around Ohio a few weeks ago. The herb has a smooth, purple-spotted stem and dark, glossy bluish-green fern-like triangular leaves. It has a fleshy white taproot. Both the leaves and roots have a disagreeable parsnip-like odor.All parts of the plant are poisonous including the leaves, stems, seeds and roots. Simply handling the plant seldomcauses a toxic reaction in humans, but ingesting it through the eyes, open wounds, or orally causes poisoning. Perhaps poison hemlock’s most famous claim to fame was when it was used to execute Socrates in 329 B.C.The taste of the leaves and seeds of poison hemlock is unpleasant to livestock, so toxic quantities are seldom consumed when ample desirable feed is available for the animals. Cattle can usually survive poison hemlock if consumed in amounts less than 0.4% of their body weight (4 to 5 pounds for mature cows) although abortions are possible at lower rates. The toxicity of the plant changes little if fermented with silage or dried in hay.Being a biennial, poison hemlock is most easily controlled late in the fall after emergence. Crossbow, Banvel and 2,4-D are fairly effective on small poison hemlock even in the spring. Taller plants may need to be controlled with glyphosate. Mowing after the plants have bolted and before seed set will prevent seed production.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Farmers that aren’t enhancing their fertilizer programs may be missing out on some yield potential. Loveland Product’s Proprietary Product Manager Jason Myers gives insights and information about Black Lable ZN and Blackmax 22.
After Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Ram Kadam’s remarks, allegedly offering to “kidnap girls for spurned suitors”, a young woman from Pune issued “an open challenge” to the MLA, daring him to so much as touch her. Minakshi Ganesh Dimble-Patil, in her early 20s, who works with a finance consultancy in the city, posted a video on her Facebook account condemning Mr. Kadam’s remarks. “Mr. Ram Kadam, I challenge you. You call me to Mumbai, or I will come there… Just try and so much as touch me and then see what happens next. Your statement [about kidnapping girls for spurned suitors] is scandalous, crass and shameful… We live in Maharashtra which is the home of Shivraya [warrior King Shivaji]. In this State, a woman is respected as a goddess. So there is no place for your statements, which are in extremely poor taste,” said Ms. Dimble-Patil in her video, which is in Marathi. She further dared the BJP legislator for a face-to- face meeting with her.
Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Facing yet another fight to avoid relegation from the world’s richest league, Palace seems destined to lurch back to survival mode. That likely means regressing to the style of play that Allardyce and Pulis developed, namely being more obdurate at the back and hitting teams on the break.The well-travelled Hodgson does not have a definitive preferred playing style, although his time with England from 2012-16 was marred by dull and cautious performances at major tournaments. He hasn’t coached since leaving the England job after the country’s elimination by Iceland at last year’s European Championship, and his last job as a club manager was at West Bromwich Albion from 2011-12.Arriving on a three-year deal , De Boer had ambitions of making Palace entertaining to watch and integrating more youth-team players. Parish and the club’s American owners — David Blitzer and Josh Harris — backed this bold vision.They have acted decisively, though maybe prematurely, in removing De Boer. BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games MOST READ Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League soccer match against Burnley at Turf Moor, Burnley, England, Sunday Sept. 10, 2017. (Martin Rickett/PA via AP)The impatience and short-term thinking in modern-day soccer was highlighted Monday when Frank de Boer was fired by Crystal Palace only four Premier League games into his task of changing the ingrained playing style of the English team.Hours after Palace chairman Steve Parish called for “some sense” regarding the speculation surrounding De Boer’s position, the club’s board decided to end the Dutchman’s 77-day stint in charge and thanked him for his “dedication and hard work.”ADVERTISEMENT View comments Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Palace has lost all four of its league matches under De Boer, without even scoring a goal. The last team to make such a start in England’s top flight was Preston in 1924.Still, it was undeniable that De Boer needed time to implement a more expansive and entertaining style of play requested by the club’s hierarchy, which is a giant leap from the pragmatism, directness and counter-attacking favored by two of Palace’s three most recent managers — Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIn terms of games played, De Boer’s tenure is the shortest of any permanent manager in Premier League history.Palace lost to Huddersfield, Liverpool and Swansea before the international break, and then 1-0 to Burnley on Sunday despite an improved display at Turf Moor which showed that De Boer’s methods might be starting to take effect. De Boer spoke after the game of having “hope for the future,” but he won’t be part of it. British media reported that former England coach Roy Hodgson, who is 70, was in line to take over at a club where he was a youth-team player in the 1960s.While De Boer was gaining plenty of sympathy for his plight, critics of the decision to fire him placed the blame on those who hired him in the first place. Why ask a manager to implement a new playing approach and not give him a decent opportunity to see the change through, especially after only one transfer window when De Boer was unable to bring in the kind of attacking players to suit the new style?“You try to ask a bit of time for your work,” Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said Monday, when asked about Palace’s decision. “To finish this experience after only four games, I’m sorry for him.”De Boer was in charge of Inter Milan in his previous job for just 84 days before being fired early last season. He didn’t even last that long in his first foray into English soccer.As a former player and coach at Ajax and also a former Barcelona player, De Boer is wedded to a philosophy of possession and fluidity generally favored by the Dutch. It got results at Ajax — he won four straight league titles — but he has found it difficult to transfer that abroad.ADVERTISEMENT Surprising start to season: Madrid struggles, Barcelona thrives
Ex-Real Madrid GM Valdano: Isco must do some soul searchingby Carlos Volcano9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Real Madrid GM Jorge Valdano says Isco needs to “do some soul searching”.Valdano recognises Isco is on the outer of coach Santiago Solari’s plans.He said, “A year ago, Isco and Asensio were the great sources of hope at Real Madrid; [now] one has lost his way and the jury is out on the other.”Everyone knows something’s up, but nobody knows what; it has to be resolved in private. Today, [B-team striker] Cristo played ahead of Isco, [so] the issue has clearly developed into a very serious one. I imagine it’s something they’re discussing within the club. Isco needs to do some soul-searching.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
Companies in this story: (TSX:AGT)The Canadian Press REGINA — AGT Food and Ingredients Inc. has agreed to be taken private by investors including CEO Murad Al-Katib in a deal that values the company at $436 million.The Regina-based company says it has elected to proceed with the $18-per-share transaction proposed last July upon the recommendation of a special committee of independent directors and a fairness opinion from TD Securities.In early trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, AGT shares were up nearly 12 per cent or $1.86 at $17.70.The buyers include Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. — which partnered with AGT and several First Nations communities to buy the restored rail line and port at Churchill, Man., this fall — and Point North Capital Inc.AGT is an international distributor of food and ingredients, as well as a processor of pulses and specialty crops including lentils, peas, chickpeas and canary seed.The deal must be endorsed by a two-thirds majority vote by shareholders and a simple majority vote by shareholders that are not part of the buyer group. AGT has agreed to pay an $11.5-million break fee if the deal fails under certain circumstances.“Following a fairly lengthy process to consider the interests of all stakeholders of AGT and the future of the company, the management group, together with the other members of the buyer group, are excited at the prospect of a new chapter of AGT,” said Al-Katib in a news release.
Houston: India is a very attractive market with high brand recognition for a computer hardware producer like Hewlett Packard, said HP Inc’s President for Asia Pacific and Japan, Tian Chong Ng. The Asia Pacific region — in which India is a key focus area — has been the fastest growing for HP and provided 16 per cent revenue growth last year. In Q1 of FY2019 it registered 8 per cent growth year-on-year, said Ng in the course of the HP Reinvent 2019 conference, the company’s largest global partner event. One reason for that is — India – and also the Asia Pacific region — tick marks on demographics trends which provide clear wins for HP: rapid urbanisation and more millennials are joining the work force. While HP is very positive on India and recognises its potential, there are no plans yet for setting up a manufacturing base in India. Ng said it already has a manufacturing base in China apart from others in Vietnam, Thailand and Japan. “There is an existing ecosystem in China and we don’t have plans for setting up a manufacturing base in India, he said. One focus area is the 3D printer, which offers HP great opportunity. Construction and automotive sectors are the focus areas here. Meanwhile, an MoU has been signed with the Andhra Pradesh government. “To be successful in India demands that we understand it,” he said. HP is also pushing gaming in a big way. However, this has not led to any thinking for manufacturing mobile phones in India, despite the high number of gamers in the country spurred by affordable android phones and cheap data. “Our strength is the PC business and we offer a whole family of products in that space,” Ng said.
Midwest region East region South region Top seed outlook: According to the FiveThirtyEight model, top seed Duke has the best chance of advancing to the Final Four in the entire field (53 percent probability) as well as the best odds of winning the national title (19 percent).The Blue Devils are led by four soon-to-be first-round draft picks, including Zion Williamson, one of the greatest talents in recent memory. Duke is a walking highlight reel on the offensive end and far stingier on defense than many may realize. This is among Mike Krzyzewski’s most-balanced teams and projects to be his first since 2010 to rank inside the top six in Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted offense and defense metrics. That team won the national title.1 Granted, they won the title again in 2015 with a team that fell below that benchmark on defense.What this team lacks, however, is touch along the perimeter. Duke shoots a ghastly 30.2 percent from beyond the arc, the worst mark among tournament-qualifying teams. In an offensive era increasingly dominated by space and perimeter scoring, the Blue Devils could buck the trend punishing the rim.On the other side of the region is the winner of the Big Ten conference tournament, Michigan State. As their reward, the No. 2 Spartans have the honor of a potential matchup against the top overall seed in the Elite Eight. Head coach Tom Izzo was none too pleased. The Spartans have been pummeled by injuries but remain one of the most balanced teams in the country, ranking inside the top eight in Pomeroy’s adjusted offense and defense metrics.Sneaky Final Four pick: No. 4 Virginia Tech. Led by the star pairing of Kerry Blackshear Jr. and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, the Hokies are a balanced squad that ranks among Pomeroy’s Top 25 teams on both offense and defense. Although they’ve lost eight times, only two of those were by double-digits. Virginia Tech also has a not-altogether-unfriendly draw, with extremely winnable opening games against Saint Louis (87 percent) and the Mississippi State-Liberty winner (63 percent) before most likely running into Duke’s juggernaut. We give the Hokies a respectable 25 percent chance against the Blue Devils — and a 54 percent chance against whoever emerges from the bottom of the region if they do manage to knock off Duke.Don’t bet on: No. 3 LSU. With coach Will Wade embroiled in a pay-for-play scandal and his team probably overvalued as a 3-seed, the Bayou Bengals could be ripe for an upset in this tournament. They ranked only 18th in Pomeroy’s ratings — roughly the quality of a No. 5 seed — thanks in large part to a defense that didn’t even crack the nation’s top 60 in adjusted efficiency. (This showed up in the 51 second-half points they allowed to Florida while losing their first game of the SEC tournament.) Their NCAA path isn’t very easy, either: Yale is no pushover as a No. 14 seed, nor is potential second-round opponent Maryland, and we give the Tigers a mere 26 percent chance of beating Michigan State if the teams meet in the Sweet Sixteen. This is easily the lowest-rated top-three seed in the field.Cinderella watch: No. 11 Belmont. The East is top-heavy, with Duke and Michigan State soaking up most of the Final Four odds. But the Bruins are an intriguing lower-seeded team because of an impressive offense led by do-everything swingman Dylan Windler. According to Pomeroy, Belmont ranks 20th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency (and second nationally in raw points per game behind Gonzaga), while Windler was one of only three players nationally to average 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. Although the Bruins do have to win a play-in game against Temple just to make the field of 64 — we give them a 59 percent chance — they would have a very competitive 39 percent probability of upsetting Maryland in the first round and an even better chance against the LSU/Yale winner.Player to watch: Cassius Winston, Michigan StateThree years ago, zzo said he thought his 6-foot-1 freshman could be Michigan State’s best passer since Magic Johnson. The Spartans’ do-everything point guard — one of the best facilitators in the country — is validating his coach’s comment. Only Murray State’s Ja Morant, a surefire lottery pick in this year’s draft, has a higher assist rate than Winston (46.0 percent). And behind Winston, the Spartans assist on the highest rate of field goals in the country.The junior also happens to be Izzo’s leading scorer and one of the country’s top perimeter threats, shooting better than 40 percent from beyond the arc. As injuries have relentlessly sapped the Spartans of their on-court production, Winston has elevated his game to compensate. As he put it to The Athletic, “I have to do a lot for my team to win.”Likeliest first-round upsets: No. 9 Central Florida over No. 8 VCU (47 percent); No. 11 Belmont* over No. 6 Maryland (39 percent); No. 10 Minnesota over No. 7 Louisville (34 percent)(* Must win play-in game first.) Top seed outlook: Can No. 1 Virginia exorcise last year’s demons now that the team is at full strength? Our model thinks so. The Cavaliers have a 49 percent probability of cracking the Final Four and a 31 percent probability of reaching what would be the program’s first national title game.With De’Andre Hunter, who wasn’t on the court last year during UVA’s historic loss to No. 16 Maryland Baltimore County, the Cavaliers have been dominant on both ends — the only team ranking in the top five in Pomeroy’s adjusted offense and defense metrics. Once again, Tony Bennett’s pack line defense is suffocating most every offensive opportunity and successfully turning games into rock fights. But this year’s team is even better on the offensive end and should breeze into the Elite Eight, where it could meet Tennessee. Thanks to Grant Williams and the wonderfully named Admiral Schofield, the No. 2 Volunteers are playing their best basketball in program history. We give them a 22 percent probability of reaching the Final Four.Sneaky Final Four pick: No. 6 Villanova. Is it “sneaky” to pick the team that’s won two of the past three national titles? Maybe not. But this hasn’t been the same team that coach Jay Wright guided to those championships. After losing a ton of its best players from last year’s title-winning team, the Wildcats had an up-and-down year and lost five of their final eight regular-season Big East games. But they also got hot over the past week, capping off a season in which they still won the Big East regular-season and conference-tournament titles — and still had one of the 20 best offenses in the country according to KenPom (powered by an absurd number of 3-pointers). Our power ratings think they’re the fourth-best team in the South despite being the No. 6 seed, and they have a 5 percent chance of making it back to the Final Four for a third time in four seasons.Don’t bet on: No. 4 Kansas State. Coach Bruce Weber’s Wildcats nearly made the Final Four last season, but they might find it tougher this time around. K-State has an elite defense (it ranks fourth in the country according to Pomeroy’s ratings), but its offense is prone to struggles — and could be down its second-leading scorer, forward Dean Wade, who missed the team’s Big 12 tournament loss to Iowa State with a foot injury. A brutal draw that gives the Wildcats tough No. 13 seed UC Irvine in the first round, then places them opposite the Wisconsin-Oregon winner in Round 2, could limit their potential to advance deep into a second consecutive tournament.Cinderella watch: No. 12 Oregon. According to our model, the Ducks have the best Sweet 16 odds (24 percent) of any double-digit seed in the tournament, more than twice that of any other candidate. Oregon struggled to string together wins for most of the regular season, and its chances seemed sunk after 7-foot-2 phenom Bol Bol was lost for the season with a foot injury in January. But the Ducks have rallied to win eight straight games heading into the tournament, including a convincing victory in Saturday’s Pac-12 championship. Oregon fits a similar mold as K-State — great defense with a suspect offense — but that’s telling, given that the Ducks are a 12-seed and the Wildcats are a No. 4. If they meet in the Round of 32, we give Oregon a 47 percent chance at the upset.Player to watch: Grant Williams, TennesseeThe junior has come a long way from being “just a fat boy with some skill.” Williams, the de facto leader of Rick Barnes’s Volunteers, has bullied the SEC over the past two seasons, collecting two consecutive conference player of the year honors.The Vols might just feature the best offense of Barnes’s coaching career — and we’re talking about a guy who coached Kevin Durant! Much of that offensive potency can be traced to Williams, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, who ranks in the 97th percentile in scoring efficiency, according to data courtesy of Synergy Sports.Williams possesses an old-man game you might find at a local YMCA, a back-to-the-basket, footwork-proficient offensive assault that manifests primarily in post-ups, where he ranks in the 98th percentile in scoring efficiency and shoots an adjusted field-goal percentage of 56.1. He can get the Volunteers buckets in the waning moments of games, too, as he ranks in the 96th percentile in isolation scoring efficiency.Likeliest first-round upsets: No. 9 Oklahoma over No. 8 Ole Miss (53 percent); No. 12 Oregon over No. 5 Wisconsin (45 percent); No. 10 Iowa over No. 7 Cincinnati (34 percent) Top seed outlook: On paper, the Midwest seems to be the most open of the four regions, but we still give No. 1 North Carolina the best odds, with a 35 percent probability of reaching the Final Four and an 18 percent probability of appearing in the national championship game. Those odds are at least 8 percentage points lower than any other No. 1 team in the field, though, and for good reason: North Carolina’s offense depends on turning every play into a fast break. The Tar Heels struggle to get to the free-throw line and give up a ton of shots along the perimeter, which, in a slowed-down, half-court matchup, could be quite problematic.After getting waxed by Duke to open the season, No. 2 Kentucky has caught fire in recent weeks while finding balance on both ends of the floor and mostly abstaining from the 3-point line. No. 3 Houston, meanwhile, is in the midst of its best season since Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon were revolutionizing college basketball, and they boast a defense that ranks among the very best along and inside the perimeter.Sneaky Final Four pick: No. 5 Auburn. When the Tigers steamrolled Tennessee 84-64 in Sunday’s SEC title game, it likely got the attention of a lot of bracket-pickers. That wasn’t a one-off — Auburn also beat Tennessee eight days earlier, part of a string of eight straight wins for the Tigers, and 10 in their last 11 games. With an explosive offense (No. 8 in KenPom efficiency) that got more of its points from downtown than any other team in the NCAA field, Auburn can heat up in a hurry. We give the Tigers nearly a coin-flip’s odds of making the Sweet 16 — and a very solid 37 percent chance of beating top-seeded North Carolina if the Tar Heels are waiting for Auburn there. The only kryptonite might be a hypothetical regional-final matchup with No. 2 seed Kentucky, which beat the Tigers by 27 in late February to sweep their season series.Don’t bet on: No. 4 Kansas. The Jayhawks went into the season ranked No. 1 in the AP’s preseason poll, and they appeared to validate the choice by starting the season 10-0. But a 15-9 record (and some key injuries) since then have cast doubt on Kansas’s NCAA Tournament potential. This is a well-balanced team, but to say it doesn’t shoot well from the outside is an understatement — see KU’s 3-for-18 performance from deep in Saturday’s Big 12 ouster against Iowa State. Add an unfavorable draw that puts them on a potential second-round collision course with Auburn (see above), and we give the Jayhawks only an 8 percent chance of making out of the Midwest with their championship hopes intact.Cinderella watch: No. 11 Ohio State. If a Big Ten team that has made 11 Final Fours can be a Cinderella, then you’re looking at it in these Buckeyes. (Hey, the committee’s increasing tendency to seed underwhelming power-conference schools this way really messes with the definition.) OSU went only 18-13 during the regular season, was defeated in its second Big Ten tournament game and has almost twice as many losses as wins since New Year’s. So why are the Buckeyes a potential Cinderella? Despite the seed, this is still a dangerous team, one that ranks 27th in Pomeroy’s adjusted defensive ratings and has star forward Kaleb Wesson back from suspension. So maybe they’ll give Big 12 champ Iowa State trouble. But mainly this tells you something about the other potential Cinderellas in this region: Seton Hall got a very tough first-round matchup with underseeded Wofford; none of the other low seeds here are world-beaters. That leaves the Buckeyes, a team that did all it could to play its way out of the tournament, but has some upset potential regardless.Player to watch: Cameron Johnson, UNCOn a team that doesn’t hoist a ton of shots from the perimeter, Johnson is as lethal as they come. Following an injury-riddled campaign in which he barely made more than one-third of his looks from beyond the arc, the grad student is canning 46.5 percent of his attempts, which ranks inside the top 25 nationally.Johnson has thrived in North Carolina’s every-possession-is-a-transition-opportunity scheme this season. He’s blossomed into one of the best scorers in the ACC, ranking between the 85th and 100th percentiles in scoring efficiency in transition, off screens and on spot-ups.Johnson has elevated his game in conference play, boasting the ACC’s top offensive rating (132.5) and true shooting percentage (64.6). Suddenly, a player who wasn’t seen as a guaranteed professional now projects to be a second-round pick.Likeliest first-round upsets: No. 9 Washington over No. 8 Utah State (49 percent); No. 10 Seton Hall over No. 7 Wofford (37 percent); No. 11 Ohio State over No. 6 Iowa State (33 percent)Check out our latest March Madness predictions.CORRECTION (March 18, 2019, 3:10 p.m.): A previous version of this story misstated the number of Sweet 16s made by Villanova in recent seasons. Although the Wildcats have reached the NCAA Tournament’s “third round” in four of their past five seasons, that round was the Round of 32 until 2016 because of NCAA naming conventions. The NCAA Tournament is finally here! Will we see another No. 16 seed beat a No. 1 seed? Will Gonzaga finally win its first national championship? Will Zion Williamson’s shoe explode again? We can’t tell you exactly what will happen over the next three weeks, but we can help steer you in the right direction when picking your bracket using our March Madness prediction model. You can read about how the system works here, and read on to learn what the model has to say about the top seeds’ fates, dark horses and Cinderellas to watch, and favorites to avoid. Let the madness begin… West region From ABC News: Top seed outlook: Gonzaga is the best team in the West by a considerable margin, but the Zags, despite reaching the final two years ago, haven’t always performed well under the bright lights of the tournament. Still, Gonzaga has a 70 percent probability of reaching the Elite Eight, according to our model, and the third-best odds of any team to reach the national championship game (26 percent).Should Gonzaga face Syracuse in the second round, the zone defense of the Orange could give the Bulldogs trouble. This is the best offense Mark Few has had in Spokane, but it may be tested by any of the terrific defenses in the West: Four of the top 15 can be found in this region, including the top two in Texas Tech and Michigan.Sneaky Final Four pick: No. 4 Florida State. A fixture in the KenPom Top 20 for most of the season, the Seminoles are hoping to build on last season’s tournament run, which saw them come within a 4-point margin of making the Final Four. FSU has a dominant defense (No. 9 in Pomeroy’s ratings) and a balanced roster that saw four players accumulate at least 2.5 win shares. This draw isn’t terrible, either: Vermont isn’t especially difficult as a first-round foe, and Marquette is very beatable (more on that below). No. 1 seeded Gonzaga probably looms after that, and we give FSU a 24 percent chance against the Zags — but the Seminoles would have a 48 percent chance of making the Final Four if they were to pull off the upset.Don’t bet on: No. 5 Marquette. Teams seeded fifth aren’t usually good bets to make it past the Sweet 16 anyway, but Marquette might be an especially bad pick. According to the FiveThirtyEight power ratings, the Golden Eagles are by far the worst No. 5 seed in the field, and a first-round date with breakout mid-major superstar Ja Morant didn’t do them any favors. Marquette has some star power of its own in junior guard Markus Howard, who ranks sixth in the nation with an average of 25 points per game, but this team lost five of its last six games and has a tough tournament road ahead of it.Cinderella watch: No. 10 Florida. The Gators may have been one of the final bubble teams to sneak into the field of 68, but they could be poised to do some damage now that they are here. They drew Nevada, a so-so No. 7 seed, in the first round, and we give Florida a 42 percent chance of pulling the upset there. Last year’s national runner-up, Michigan, likely waits in Round 2, and that is a tough matchup (23 percent odds for Florida) — but if the Gators win, they have a 38 percent chance of making the Elite Eight. In a region with a number of good-but-flawed options, Florida looks better than the typical 10-seed.Player to watch: Brandon Clarke, GonzagaThe linchpin of the Zags isn’t the consensus lottery pick, nor the two veteran guards who have together started 87 percent of Gonzaga’s games over the past two seasons. It’s Brandon Clarke, a transfer from San Jose State who is in his first active season with the team. He’s perhaps the most underappreciated player in the country.On a team that typically features a 7-footer protecting the rim, it’s Clarke, at 6-foot-8, who is tasked with protecting the paint this season. Clarke has responded by setting a single-season blocks record and posting the highest block rate of any team under Few.“If I feel like if I can get a good, quick jump first, I’ll pretty much jump with anybody,” Clarke told me. “I mean, I’ve seen Zion (Williamson) coming down through the lane before on TV, and if I can’t jump at the right time, I probably wouldn’t jump with him, but … I don’t really see myself not jumping with anybody.”Likeliest first-round upsets: No. 9 Baylor over No. 8 Syracuse (48 percent); No. 10 Florida over No. 7 Nevada (42 percent); No. 12 Murray State over No. 5 Marquette (32 percent)
Courtesy of MCTMajor League Baseball’s All Star Game featured both up-and-coming players making their first appearance in addition to veterans who have been there many times before. This year’s Mid-Summer Classic saw a pair of Cleveland Indians who had never been invited to the game before and a trio of Cincinnati Reds that have been the part of festivities multiple times. The American League defeated the National League 3-0 Tuesday night, to earn home-field advantage in the World Series.Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has made an incredible turnaround after a tough start to the season. At the end of April, there was probably not a single Tribe fan who believed he would get invited to the All Star Game. With a batting average hovering around .200 at the beginning of May, it was difficult not to think 2013 may be a long season for Kipnis.However, the second baseman solidified his spot on the American League All Star roster with a terrific month of June, hitting a scorching .419 and posting an on-base percentage of .517, both of which led the AL. Kipnis leads the Indians in hits, RBI, batting average and on-base percentage at the break, and if the they have any chance of making the playoffs they are going to need more of the same from him.Aside from Kipnis, Justin Masterson is Cleveland’s other All Star. Also making his first appearance in the game, Masterson has been the one pitcher for Cleveland that the team has received consistency from during the first half.For the Reds, first baseman Joey Votto seemingly has cemented himself as a member of the All Star Game since winning NL MVP in 2010. He leads the National League with a .434 on-base percentage and is seventh in the league with a .318 batting average. The Reds star leads the league in on-base percentage because his plate discipline is something like we have never seen before, and he refuses to swing at pitches out of the zone.Three-time Gold Glove winner Brandon Phillips typically earns a trip to the All Star game due to his defensive abilities, but his bat is also a good reason he played in New York Tuesday. Phillips’ 74 RBI is second in the NL, and that kind of production from a second baseman can be attributed to him consistently hitting fourth in the lineup, a spot that is designated for driving in runs. Reds manager Dusty Baker has put Phillips in the leadoff or second spot in the lineup in years past, but leaving him to bat after Votto is where he really thrives.Aroldis Chapman made his second appearance at the Mid-Summer Classic Tuesday night. Known as the “Cuban Missile” across baseball for his fastball that tops out over 100 miles per hour, the Reds’ closer is on pace to finish the season with over 40 saves. If it were not for the bullpen in front of him blowing leads prior to the ninth inning, Chapman would easily have another five saves to his name.Kipnis doubled in a run in his only plate appearance Tuesday night, and Masterson was not sent to the hill by manager Jim Leyland. Votto and Phillips both went 0-2, and Chapman was able to show off his skills in the seventh inning as he struck out Adam Jones to end the inning.Regardless of each players production Tuesday night, it’s clear that both Cleveland and Cincinnati need their All Stars to keep playing like All Stars as they push toward the playoffs.
Redshirt-sophmore safety Tyvis Powell (23) makes a tackle during a game against Penn State on Oct. 25 in State College, Pa. OSU won in double overtime, 31-24.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorTyvis Powell is living a dream.The redshirt-sophomore safety and Bedford, Ohio, native, who came to OSU in 2012 as a top-100 defensive back according to ESPNU, committed to the Buckeyes when Luke Fickell was the interim coach in 2011, amidst the Tattoo-Gate scandal.Powell said Monday that it didn’t matter who the coach was, he was set on being a Buckeye from day one.“This is a dream. You’re not going to give up your dreams. No matter who is the coach, you grow up your whole life and you watch one certain team, and you root for this team all your life, that’s where you want to go,” Powell said. “Your heart is always going to be with that team. The only place I felt like I would give 100 percent effort all the time would be here.”Once in Columbus, however, Powell said he had thoughts about leaving OSU after being redshirted in 2012.“My redshirt year I struggled a lot,” he said. “Adjusting to college and everything, watching everybody else, all my teammates that came in with me were actually playing and me being a redshirt, it was kind of frustrating. I had some doubts about even being here in the first place, I can honestly admit that.”Powell said a talk with his high school coach Sean Williams helped him to realize OSU was the right place for him.“I had a serious conversation with my mentor, my high school head coach, about what I was going through,” Powell said. “He just kind of reminded me why I came here in the first place, and it kind of triggered some stuff off in my head. I just realized that if you really want something, you got to work for it. They are not just going to give it to you.”Just a year later, Powell was appearing in games for the Buckeyes, starting five as a redshirt-freshman and totaling 48 tackles.Powell said he stepped up his work ethic to earn playing time because he did not want to be just another footnote in OSU football history.“People get here and they say, ‘Oh I arrived, I am just happy with being here.’ I kind of fell (in) with that a little bit, but then, like, I wanted more,” Powell said. “I wanted to be known, I wanted to make plays.”His biggest play as a redshirt-freshman came against Michigan when he stepped in front of a pass from then-redshirt-junior quarterback Devin Gardner on a two-point conversion that sealed a 42-41 OSU victory.The play is considered by some to be one of the biggest plays in recent OSU history, but Powell said he was only thinking about one thing when he made the catch.“I just thought it was something that would help get my seniors get their last pair of gold pants,” Powell said.The gold pants being an accolade Buckeyes receive following a win over Michigan, in the form of a small charm that usually bears the players initials and score of the game.Now a redshirt-sophomore and a full-time starter, Powell has made his presence felt again this season as he is currently second on the team in tackles with 40 and is tied with three other players for first on the team for interceptions with two.The second interception proved to be one of the biggest plays of Saturday’s game against Penn State as Powell dove in front of a pass from sophomore Christian Hackenberg in the second half of a 31-24, double-overtime win.Cornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator Kerry Coombs said he was particularly impressed with the play Powell made.“I thought that interception Saturday night was spectacular,” Coombs said. “Coming across the field, running in front of the receiver, laying out and making that play. That’s just typical of what Tyvis is doing right now.”Heading into Saturday’s game against Illinois at Ohio Stadium, Coombs added that the improvement of Powell from last season to this season has been exceptional.“I noticed, I think we all have, in Tyvis tremendous leaps and strides in this season,” Coombs said Monday. “Knowing that he is coming in, he is going to be a starter. There’s a difference when you are fighting to get a job and when you have a job. And he has got a job and so he can take another step, I think, in his development.”Powell said his development has resulted in a practice drill being named after him by the coaches.“We got a drill on Tuesday that he (co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chris Ash) calls the ‘Tyvis Powell drill’ where we (just) tackle,” Powell said. “He calls it that, because at first I dreaded it, but now I love it. I embrace it. You got to embrace the things that suck.”Now, being one of OSU’s leaders and having a drill named after him, he still credits Williams for helping him achieve his dream.“At first I thought it wasn’t going to be a reality, but then me and my high school head coach came up with this plan,” Powell said. “I told him I wanted to come here, he said ‘Tyvis, you have the talent to get there and I can show you the way.’ He showed me some things, he created the work ethic inside of me that I didn’t know that I had and that ultimately helped me get here.”Powell said being in Columbus was the only choice entering college, adding he would have walked on as a Buckeye before accepting a scholarship elsewhere.“(It was) OSU or nothing,” Powell said.
Ohio State associate head coach Mike Stafford played for the Buckeyes from 1994 to 1998, serving as the closer his last two seasons. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsMike Stafford had spent the last seven seasons coaching pitchers at Ball State on the staff of then-head coach Greg Beals. But when Ohio State head coach Bob Todd retired in 2010, Beals emerged as the front-runner to take over the position.Stafford played for the Buckeyes from 1994 to 1998, serving as the closer his last two seasons. After graduating from Ohio State, he dreamed of returning to his alma mater to coach. And with Beals potentially heading to Columbus, the dream looked like a possibility.All this excitement was stored in the back of Stafford’s mind while on a recruiting trip to Chicago. While evaluating a recruit, his phone rang.“[Beals] called me on his way home from somewhere and said that ‘[Ohio State Athletics Director] Gene Smith just called and said that he offered me the job,’” Stafford said. “And I remember I was in Chicago, I took the call and went running behind the stadium and I was like ‘Wow this is, this is another life-changing moment.’”The opportunity had been a lifetime in the making for Stafford, who recently became Ohio State’s associate head coach.Stafford was born into a baseball family. He’s the only son of pitcher Bill Stafford, who won two World Series titles with the New York Yankees in the 1960s.Stafford said he constantly felt pressure from the media in Canton, Michigan, to live up to his father’s level. “There was awfully a lot of pressure to either match what my dad did or be better,” Stafford said. “But at the same time I felt like I learned a lot from it and made me a better player and person, and now a coach because of that.”Growing up 9 miles from Ann Arbor, Michigan, meant a majority of Stafford’s friends attended either Michigan or Michigan State, but he wanted to do something different. He wanted to leave the state. His high school baseball coach knew Todd, and after a visit, Stafford knew Ohio State was the place for him.Settling into first base to begin his Ohio State career in 1994, Stafford saw little playing time until his redshirt junior year. The Buckeyes had several left-handed pitchers leave the program and an opportunity appeared.“The biggest thing I wanted to tell coach Todd was, ‘I pitched in high school, I can help this team as a pitcher,’” Stafford said.The coaches gave him a shot in fall workouts and he won the closing role in the bullpen.Stafford saved six games in his redshirt senior season of 1998, 12th most all-time in a single season at Ohio State. His ERA was the lowest on the team in both 1997 and 1998. The Toronto Blue Jays felt Stafford was worth a 41st-round draft pick and he played in the minor leagues for four seasons. His professional career came to an end with the High Desert Mavericks, the Advanced Class-A team of the Brewers, after the 2001 season.“I was looking in the mirror, just thinking, ‘I’m 27 years old, I’m in high-A. I’m not making the progress that I feel like I need to to make my career as a big leaguer,’” Stafford said. “I felt like the writing was on the wall and I really needed to think about my future, and my future was I wanted to stay in the game of baseball somehow.”Doors soon blew open. The Yankees called Stafford to ask if he would be interested in becoming a scout. He accepted the opportunity and made plans to train for the position. But his plans changed.“A week before I was supposed to go to Arizona to go to scout school, my dad passed away,” Stafford said. “Scout school’s only offered once a year, this many days. And I wasn’t going to be able to do that and make that a priority over my family.”After some time off to grieve, Stafford instead became the bullpen coach for the Columbus Clippers. His stint lasted two seasons, ending a short time before Beals entered the picture.“After my first year at Ball State, I realized that I needed to have somebody to take care of our pitching staff,” Beals said. “Coach Stafford’s name came up a couple of times from professional scouts.”The same scouts told Stafford about the opportunity and worked to get him a phone interview. Beals called him in fall 2003.For almost an hour, the two discussed pitching, coaching philosophy and player development. Both recall an instant connection. “It almost felt like we knew each other before we even knew each other,” Stafford said.After an on-campus interview it was a done deal. Stafford was Beals’ choice for pitching coach.Fast forward more than 14 years, Stafford has produced five players selected in the first 10 rounds of the MLB draft and more than a dozen total picks. He’s won two conference titles with Beals. Now, before the 2018 season, he has been promoted to associate head coach.“The promotion is a loyalty thing for me,” Beals said. “One thing that you never want to have in your program is status quo, so to say. I want for there to be progression. I want there to be progression in our program, and so I want there to be progression in our coaching staff.”John Kuchno, a player who failed to make the team at Wake Forest as a freshman, was recruited to Ohio State by Stafford. He finished his collegiate career as a draft pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Current major-league pitchers Brad Goldberg and Drew Rucinski still ask for Stafford to evaluate them and offer advice.“Whether they win 12 games or two games, the work they put in, the accountability and the commitment that they have to get their education and play baseball at Ohio State is second to none,” Stafford said. “I still have a great relationship with all of them.”Beals made clear that one of Stafford’s greatest attributes is his ability to relate to players.Redshirt senior pitcher Adam Niemeyer was a fan of Stafford’s personality before even arriving at Ohio State, having met Stafford when he was recruited.“He seemed like a really genuine, down-to-earth person that wasn’t telling me stuff for me to believe him just to get recruited,” Niemeyer said. “He was telling me stuff that I could genuinely learn from.”Through the years, Stafford and Beals have maintained a strong relationship that has clicked since the early days at Ball State. Stafford is more laid back and soft spoken. Beals is a high-energy guy.After 14 seasons together, the promotion is a signifier of the camaraderie between two coaches who might coach together until one or both retire.“We have a friendship that goes beyond just our jobs,” Beals said. “You develop a level of trust, there’s more than just ‘this is your job, this is my job’ when you spend that much time with somebody.”Stafford sees himself staying at Ohio State for the foreseeable future.“I don’t feel like I have any aspirations of going anywhere else,” Stafford said. “I’m a Buckeye, I’ve always been a Buckeye, and this is my home.”
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has revealed he is not worried about his future at the club as he dismisses speculation regarding signing a new contract.The former Athletic Bilbao manager’s deal with the Catalan club expires at the end of the season and the 54-year-old has continually been unwilling to speak about a new contract.Valverde won the league and cup double in his first season in charge but Barca suffered a shock Champions League quarter-final exit to Roma in 2017-18.The former Barca player was asked about his future again after the club’s 4-2 win over Sevilla on Saturday, however, he insists his focus in on the upcoming clashes with Inter and fierce rivals Real Madrid.“My future at Barca does not matter to me, I do not care,” said Valverde, according to FourFourTwo.Quiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.“I’m focused on the two matches that come and the noise that there is always around the team is the usual and you cannot do anything.”Barcelona’s win against Sevilla came at a heavy cost after captain and talisman, Lionel Messi fractured his arm at Camp Nou.The Spanish champions, who are a point clear atop LaLiga, next face Inter in the Champions League on Wednesday at the Camp Nou before entertaining Madrid in Sunday’s Clasico.