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Hoosiers banking on small lineup to pay Big Ten dividends

It’s OK to feel conflicted about Indiana.

Truth is, even this late in the season, the Hoosiers might still be figuring it all out themselves.

How else can you explain a team that dominates Michigan in Ann Arbor, then inexplicably loses at Penn State? A team that can jump on top of fourth-ranked Iowa by 16 in the first half only to watch the Hawkeyes score on 13 consecutive possessions and rally to take the lead in the second?

It has helped make the Hoosiers' offense one of the nation's most efficient. (They rank 16th in adjusted offense, according to Ken Pomeroy.) But they’re not exactly a team that comes to mind when the phrase "lockdown defense" is thrown about.

The Hoosiers can be a spurt away from winning or losing just about any game.

Indiana has had runs of 10 or more points in eight of its 12 Big Ten games, including Thursday night’s 85-78 victory over Iowa.

via espn.go.com


Iowa big man Adam Woodbury silences critics

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- Iowa's Adam Woodbury is often viewed as the blue-chip recruit who never lived up to expectations.

Those who have watched Woodbury closely this season might argue he's developed into one of the more underrated players in the Big Ten. The 7-foot-1 senior is among a handful of Hawkeyes who have helped push the program near the top of the rankings.

Woodbury is averaging a career-high 8.5 points and a team-high 7.7 rebounds, with four double-doubles in his last seven outings while guiding a resurgent defense. Woodbury and the fourth-ranked Hawkeyes (19-4, 10-1 Big Ten) play Thursday at Indiana (19-5, 9-2) in one of the program's most important road games in years.

via sports.yahoo.com


Watch UCLA Gymnast Sophina DeJesus Pull Off the 'Formation' of Floor Routines, Dabs and All

During a Saturday meet between the UCLA and Utah gymnastics teams, the Bruins squeaked out the win against the Utes, the two-time defending PAC-12 champions—in no small part thanks to senior Sophina DeJesus’s insane 9.925 (but a 10 in our hearts) floor routine, helping the Bruins clinch the final event.

DeJesus took the floor to the tune of wild applause and the awkward white announcer getting her name wrong. “Sonya Meraz is becoming a house favorite here, isn’t she,” he says—Meraz is another gymnast on the UCLA team—and then corrects himself, as DeJesus struts.

via jezebel.com



Ashley Manning: Peyton Manning’s Wife Is The Reason He Was Able To Play In Super Bowl 50

Ashley Manning is apparently more than just Peyton Manning’s wife — she’s the entire reason he’s playing in Super Bowl 50.

Manning has enjoyed a brilliant second act of his career, setting records during his five-year tenure with the Denver Broncos. It almost wasn’t to be, however.

Back in 2011, Peyton was dealing with a very serious neck injury that many believed would be career-ending. Peyton admitted that he was very seriously thinking of retirement, but it was Ashley Manning who talked him out of it.

“Because, they’re signing you and people are thinking they’re getting the player they had always seen before,” Peyton Manning told Sports Illustrated. “And so, Ashley was the one that was saying, ‘Peyton, you’ve got to try. You’ve got to try.’ ”

Manning noted that there had been weeks without any significant progress on his neck injury, and said he was at peace with the idea that he might never play again.

“I had this unbelievable string of health for 20 years—since I was 15 years old as a sophomore in high school. So who was I to complain now that I’m injured? I’ve given it as good a run as I can give it. I’ve got kids now. I had a peace about it. So I didn’t feel like I had to play to get another win or a touchdown. But she’s like, ‘You’ve got to try.’ So I was glad that she pushed me to do it. Once I did it, I was going at it, and then I started seeing a little bit of light there. So, yeah, she was the one who kind of pushed me through it.”

via www.inquisitr.com


Matt Forte wants to stay with the Bears in part due to Jay Cutler | Chicago Sun-Times

Whether it’s teammates or coaches, Jay Cutler has been blamed for chasing plenty of people out of Chicago. However, if the Bears keep one of their best players this offseason, it will be partially because of their quarterback.

On Friday, Matt Forte spoke to both CBS Sports and NFL Network about his future. Forte said his biggest concern is reaching the Super Bowl. But, if it were up to him, he would already be back in Chicago.

Forte was asked repeatedly why he would want to return to the Bears. The former Pro Bowl running back cited a number of reasons including the history of great running backs with the Bears, his desire to stay with one team throughout his entire career and his belief in the direction John Fox has the team headed.

via chicago.suntimes.com

 


Chicago Cubs' Jason Heyward is just one of the guys now - Chicago Cubs Blog- ESPN

CHICAGO -- He’s never finished higher than 15th in the MVP voting and he’s only had one 20-plus home run season, but new Chicago Cubs center fielder Jason Heyward can live up to expectations by simply being what he has been up to this point in his career: a really solid baseball player.

It might be the ultimate irony that the most expensive player in franchise history doesn't have to carry this team. In fact, he’s not likely to hit in the middle of the lineup, as the Cubs have Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant and perennial MVP candidate Anthony Rizzo. They, along with emerging hitters like Kyle Schwarber and Jorge Soler, will provide the power. So Heyward’s move comes at the perfect time for him. He’s not required to be the face of the franchise -- even though he signed an eight-year, $184 million deal.

“Transitions are always difficult for everyone,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said recently. “He’s transitioning to another team and different expectations. With Jason we feel exceptionally confident. He’s an elite player who does so many things on the field to help teams win.”

via espn.go.com


College Basketball - Rankings - Rivals.com

RankTeamRecordPtsLast Week1. 20-3156612. 21-3149923. 20-3147234. 19-4147145.

via sports.yahoo.com


Iowa's win vs. Illinois keeps Hawkeyes at No. 1 in Top 25 (and one) - CBSSports.com

Iowa moved up to No. 1 in the CBS Sports Top 25 (and one) on Sunday morning, after Oklahoma's loss at Kansas State the previous night, and the Hawkeyes responded Sunday afternoon by winning 77-65 at Illinois. So Fran McCaffery's team is now 19-4 overall, 10-1 in the Big Ten, and all four of their losses are single-digit losses to schools that are also ranked in the Top 25 (and one) - specifically Maryland, Iowa State, Notre Dame and Dayton.

The Hawkeyes have four top-25 RPI wins.

They have six top-50 RPI wins.

Their next game is Thursday night at Indiana.

The entire daily CBS Sports Top 25 (and one) rankings are below.

via www.cbssports.com


NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says cheerleaders 'should be properly compensated' | FOX Sports

NFL cheerleaders, the commissioner has your back.

During his state of the league news conference on Friday, Roger Goodell backed the cheerleaders, who have been at odds with clubs over how much -- how little, actually -- they are paid.

"The cheerleaders perform a very valuable function for us," Goodell said (via The Associated Press). "They are very active in the communities. ... They do a lot of charitable work, and they are passionate about our game. So, I think they should be properly compensated."

via www.foxsports.com


Don Doxsie's after-thoughts from Iowa’s 77-65 win over Illinois : Iowa Hawkeyes Basketball

Iowa has had three different players named Big Ten player of the week this season. It’s not likely to get a fourth this week but if it does, the best candidate is Adam Woodbury. The senior center only scored 15 points in two games during the week but he had 29 rebounds and even led the Hawkeyes in assists Sunday.

• Senior guard Anthony Clemmons continued to make a case for making the All-Big Ten defensive team. For much of the game he defended Illinois’ Kendrick Nunn, who came in averaging 17.3 points per game. Nunn shot 2 for 13 from the field and finished with six points. It wasn’t all because of Clemmons. Iowa played a lot of zone defense in the second half, but Clemmons got in Nunn’s face very early in the game and got him off stride.

via qctimes.com