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Path: /college-football/north-carolina-tar-heels-2015-schedule-and-analysis
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Larry Fedora is entering a critical season in Chapel Hill.

 

The Tar Heels are 13-11 in ACC play in three seasons with him at the helm and it’s a big reason why he made a big switch on defense. Gene Chizik is now running the unit in an effort to produce the same way the defense has under Fedora.

 

The bad news is the schedule isn’t easy and the defense needs fixing. The good news is nine of UNC’s 12 tilts will come inside the state and the Tar Heels have one of the more talented rosters in the ACC.

 

Related: Cover 2 College Football Podcast: 2015 ACC Preview

 

2015 North Carolina Schedule

 

Bye: Week 6; * - Thurs. 

 

WkOpp.DateLocation
1.Sept. 3*Charlotte, NC
SEC-ACC These two haven't played often since 1991 (twice) but there is plenty of history to keep this rivalry going. South Carolina has won both meetings since the Cocks joined the SEC but North Carolina holds a 34-18-4 advantage all-time.
2.Sept. 12Chapel Hill, NC
North Carolina A&T has never faced its big brother from Chapel Hill so energy levels should be running high for the Aggies in Week 2. Don't expect a close score, however.
3.Sept. 19Chapel Hill, NC
This marks just the third meeting ever between the Big Ten and ACC programs. The Heels won both previous get-togethers in 1971 and '87. Watch for Illinois quarterback Wes Lunt to test that reworked UNC defense.
4.Sept. 26Chapel Hill, NC
Joe Flacco isn't walking through that door anytime soon for Delaware. The quality FCS program would need a Flacco-esque performance to go into Chapel Hill to win.
5.Oct. 3Atlanta, GA
Elimination Game Tech won the division last year and might be the front-runner again this fall. But it's North Carolina that won the showdown last year (48-43), snapping a five-game losing streak to the Jackets. The winner takes control of the Coastal Division.
7.Oct. 17Chapel Hill, NC
This has been a back-and-forth affair in the ACC over the last decade. The Deacons pulled off the upset in 2012, winning 28-27 in Winston-Salem. In fact, Wake Forest has won three out of four and five out of eight against the fellow triangle program. Watch out for revenge from UNC this fall.
8.Oct. 24Chapel Hill, NC
One of the longest played series in the nation has gone the way of the Heels of late. North Carolina has won five straight (relatively easily) in a series that has featured 119 games. Virginia was closer last year (28-27) than it had been since its last win in 2009.
9.Oct. 31Pittsburgh, PA
The heart of the Tar Heels '15 schedule begins with a road trip to The Keystone State. This has been a wild series in the ACC befitting a Halloween date. The Heels have won both game by one score.
10.Nov. 7Chapel Hill, NC
Rivalry Game I Duke-Carolina is special no matter the sport. But with Duke's recent success on the football field, this gridiron battle has been elevated significantly. The Heels snapped a two-game losing streak to Duke with a convincing 45-20 win in Durham last season.
11.Nov. 14Chapel Hill, NC
Elimination Game II This game constantly seems to deliver since the duo landed in the same division. The series is 6-5 Miami in 11 ACC meetings with six games decided by one score. The Hurricanes crushed the Heels 47-20 a year ago and North Carolina will look for revenge at home this fall.
12.Nov. 21Blacksburg, VA
North Carolina has beaten Tech just twice in 11 tries since the Hokies joined the ACC — and one of those (2009) has been vacated. Frank Beamer has owned this series, including double-digit wins in each of the last two seasons.
13.Nov. 28Raleigh, NC
Rivalry Game II Dave Doeren made his presence felt last year by putting a whipping on rival North Carolina 35-7. Fedora had won his first two meetings in the rivalry. The Pack has won seven of the last nine meetings.

 

Listen to the Cover 2 Podcast: Early 2015 ACC Preview



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Teaser:
North Carolina Tar Heels 2015 Schedule and Analysis
Post date: Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/florida-state-seminoles-2015-schedule-and-analysis
Body:

Florida State still might be the top dog in the ACC.

 

The Seminoles clearly boast the most talented roster in the conference and have a proven leader in head coach Jimbo Fisher. 

 

But this league is getting better around FSU and there are more concerns with the Noles’ depth chart than fans in Tallahassee have seen in years.

 

Needless to say, there are plenty of speed bumps this team will need to navigate if it wants to win a fourth consecutive ACC title.

 

Related: Cover 2 College Football Podcast: Early 2015 ACC Preview

 

2015 Florida State Schedule

 

Bye: Week 4, * - Fri.

 

WkOpp.DateLocation
1.Sept. 5Tallahassee, FL
The season opener features a quickly improving program under Dennis Franchione in the Sun Belt that has never faced Florida State. The Bobcats aren't ready to compete with FSU but this is way more interesting than, say, Savannah State.
2.Sept. 12Tallahassee, FL
These two in-state rivals have met only twice in history, splitting meetings in 2009 and '12. The Bulls sparked their eight-win season with a 17-7 win in Tallahassee in '09 while Fisher cruised to an easy win in Tampa four years later. Willie Taggart has improved USF in two seasons but the Bulls will be a heavy underdog in Doak Campbell.
3.Sept. 18*Chestnut Hill, MA
Florida State has won five straight in the series but the last time these two teams met in Massachusetts, BC nearly pulled the upset over the eventual national champ. Steve Addazio has done well with the Eagles but this Friday night tilt could be one-sided as Boston College enters the year in rebuilding mode.
5.Oct. 3Winston-Salem, NC
Long gone are the days when Wake Forest won three in a row over the Noles. While the Deacons topped FSU in 2011, the Noles have pulverized little Wake Forest ever since. Florida State has won by a combined score of 154-6 in the last three meetings. Expect more of the same.
6.Oct. 10Tallahassee, FL
Rivalry Game I Florida State was won five straight in this series as well, but this rivalry has been much closer than Wake Forest. This was a four-point game last year and Miami has played well in Doak Campbell over the years. Since 2000, Miami is 4-3 in Tallahassee, including a close, four-point loss in 2011.
7.Oct. 17Tallahassee, FL
Florida State is 13-2 all-time against Louisville and this year the rebuilding birds must come to the panhandle. However, they've only played once since Louisville topped the Noles in 2002 — an epic 42-31 road win for FSU last year.
8.Oct. 24Atlanta, GA
ACC Title Preview? A potential rematch of last year's title game could also be a preview of this year's title match. The triple option is always tough to stop and Tech returns most of its offense. This is the first regular season meeting between the two since Tech won in 2008-09. Those are the only two wins for Georgia Tech in the series in 16 tries since 1975.
9.Oct. 31Tallahassee, FL
Syracuse beat FSU 37-21 in 1966. Florida State has won every meeting since (7-0), including a 97-23 combined score in two ACC games. The Orange are potentially the worst team in the Atlantic Division and the Noles could use a breather before heading to Clemson the next week.
10.Nov. 7Clemson, SC
Atlantic Division Championship Clemson has been the top team in the Atlantic Division not named Florida State for quite some time now. The Tigers were one fumble away from winning in Doak Campbell last year and get the Noles at home in '15. That said, the last time these two met in Death Valley, Florida State rolled to a 51-14 win. These two have split the last 12 meetings.
11.Nov. 14Tallahassee, FL
This rivalry has been sneaky good... in Raleigh. This year's bout comes in Tallahassee, however, where FSU has been excellent against NC State. The Noles have won four straight over the Pack at home by a combined score of 155-69. NC State is getting better but isn't ready to knock off the big dog on the road.
12.Nov. 21Tallahassee, FL
Talk about an SEC-style warm-up. Chattanooga is nothing more than a tune-up and breather between a tough final month and a trip to The Swamp.
13.Nov. 28Gainesville, FL
Rivalry Game II Fisher has won four of his five meetings with Florida — which snapped a six-game losing streak under the previous regime. Interestingly enough, this game has been much closer in Tallahassee. Fisher is 2-0 in Gainesville with wins by 24 points ('10) and 30 points ('13).

 

Listen to the Cover 2 Podcast: Early 2015 ACC Preview



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

Teaser:
Florida State Seminoles 2015 Schedule and Analysis
Post date: Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 09:30
Path: /10-greatest-masters-champions-all-time-2015
Body:

The Masters is the world's greatest golf tournament, so it's not surprising that it has produced an elite list of champions. We've identified the 10 greatest, who collectively possess 32 Green Jackets and have provided countless classic moments.

 

1. Jack Nicklaus

Wins - 6
Runner-ups - 4
Top 5 - 15
Top 10 - 22
Notes:
Nobody owns Augusta like Jack. His six wins spanned 23 years of stunning brilliance. In the decade of the 1970s, he never finished lower than 8th. As if to put an exclamation point on his unparalleled career amid the Georgia pines, Jack made one final run in 1998 at age 58, finishing sixth and beating the defending champion, 22-year-old Tiger Woods. Here's a record that may never be broken: Nicklaus made an astounding 37 cuts at Augusta; for reference, Woods has been alive only 37 years.

 

2. Arnold Palmer

Wins - 4
Runner-ups - 2
Top 5 - 9
Top 10 - 12
Notes:
Arnie came along at the perfect time, the dawn of golf's TV age, and he galvanized an army of fans with his domination at Augusta. Between 1957 and 1967, Palmer won four times and finished in the top 10 every year. He eclipses the No. 3 player on this list only because he made The Masters what it is today.

 

3. Tiger Woods

Wins - 4
Runner-ups - 2
Top 5 - 10
Top 10 - 12
Notes:
Woods' 12-shot demolition of the field at the 1997 Masters was one of golf's signature moments and ushered in the Tiger era in golf. His epic chip-in in 2005 was another classic moment, although that remains his last green jacket to date. Tiger is the all-time scoring average leader at The Masters for players with 50 or more career rounds.

 

4. Phil Mickelson

Wins - 3
Runner-ups - 0
Top 5 - 10
Top 10 - 14
Notes:
Lefty's record at Augusta rivals Tiger's. His 2004 breakthrough was perhaps the most eagerly awaited major championship win in history. Phil still has a shot to move up this list given that he's finished out of the top 5 only five times since 2001 and always seems rejuvenated by the trip up Magnolia Lane.

 

5. Gary Player

Wins - 3
Runner-ups - 2
Top 5 - 8
Top 10 - 15
Notes:
Player made his Masters bones in the 1960s as part of golf's Big Three with Nicklaus and Palmer, but he had some of his greatest Augusta moments in the 1970s, winning in 1974 and charging from seven strokes back in the final round in 1978, shooting 64 to win at age 42.

 

6. Sam Snead

Wins - 3
Runner-ups - 2
Top 5 - 9
Top 10 - 15
Notes:
Slammin' Sammy enjoyed some of his greatest successes at Augusta, winning three Masters in a six-year span, including a playoff win over rival and defending champion Ben Hogan in 1954.

 

7. Ben Hogan

Wins - 2
Runner-ups - 4
Top 5 - 9
Top 10 - 17
Notes:
The great Hogan set a Masters record during his Triple Crown season of 1953 with a 14-under total (it would be broken by Jack Nicklaus in 1965), part of an unparalleled run of golf in which he won six majors in eight appearances. In 1967, at age 56, he shot a 66 and finished 10th. His 17 Masters top 10s are second only to Nicklaus' 22.

 

8. Tom Watson

Wins - 2
Runner-ups - 3
Top 5 - 9
Top 10 - 15
Notes:
Watson's Augusta exploits are overshadowed by his dominance at the British Open, but between 1975 and 1988, no one was better at The Masters — two wins, three runner-ups and 12 top-10 finishes.

 

9. Jimmy Demaret

Wins - 3
Runner-ups - 0
Top 5 - 6
Top 10 - 8
Notes:
One of golf's most colorful showmen, Demaret was the first three-time Masters winner and parlayed his quick wit and flamboyant wardrobe into an appearance on "I Love Lucy."

 

10. Byron Nelson

Wins - 2
Runner-ups - 2
Top 5 - 7
Top 10 - 14
Notes:
Lord Byron's love for The Masters was epitomized by the fact that he kept playing at Augusta even after retiring from competitive golf to run his ranch. He probably would have won one or two more Green Jackets had the tournament been held during World War II.

 

Honorable Mention


• Nick Faldo - A three-time Masters winner, Faldo gets penalized for benefiting from three meltdowns in his three Masters wins — Scott Hoch, who missed a two-foot putt in their playoff in 1989; Ray Floyd, who made a late bogey to fall into a playoff with Faldo and then hit into the water at 11 in Sudden Death; and most notoriously, Greg Norman, who squandered a six-shot lead over Faldo with a final-round 78. Plus, Faldo's three wins were his only Masters top 10s.

 

• Seve Ballesteros - The late, great Ballesteros won twice and finished second twice. He also had the decency to step aside and allow Nicklaus to charge to his sixth Green Jacket in 1986.

 

• Horton Smith - The event's first two-time winner, Smith won Green Jackets in 1934 (the tournament's first year) and 1936.

 

• Ben Crenshaw - Crenshaw's Masters win in 1994, shortly after the death of longtime mentor Harvey Penick, provided one of the most emotional moments in golf history. Crenshaw, a two-time winner, finished in the top 10 11 times. He's announced that the 2015 Masters will be his last.

 

• Jose Maria Olazabal - Less heralded than his countryman Seve Ballesteros, Olazabal was every bit Seve's equal at Augusta, winning in 1994 and 1999 and finishing the top 10 six other times.

 

• Bernhard Langer - Langer had his greatest major success at The Masters, winning twice and posting eight top 10s.

 

• Fred Couples - Couples made 23 consecutive Masters cuts between 1983 and 2008, although he didn't play in 1987 or 1994. He's the only Masters competitor not to miss a cut at Augusta in the 20th Century. He won the tournament in 1992.

 

• Gene Sarazen - His "Shot Heard Round the World" — a double eagle at 15 during the 1935 Masters — put the tournament on the map and helped establish its major bona fides. It also allowed Sarazen to claim a modern career Grand Slam, the first in history.

 

• Raymond Floyd - Floyd won the 1976 Masters by a dominating eight strokes, matching Nicklaus' record 17-under total (which would be broken by Woods in 1997). Floyd finished second at Augusta three times, including a crushingly disappointing playoff loss to Nick Faldo in 1990, and had 11 top-10 finishes.

 

• Bubba Watson - Bubba has won two of the last three Masters. Add another Green Jacket to his closet this year, and Bubba works his way into the Top 10.

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 09:15
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Monthly
Path: /monthly/best-and-worst-sports-supplements-men
Body:

Men’s magazines are loaded with recommendations for supplements aimed at hard-core athletes. But are any of them actually effective? And what about the average guy who’s not competing at a high level? We asked Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN, Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a nutritional consultant to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals, among others. Here’s Bonci’s best advice on what to use, and what to avoid. 

 

The Best

Omega 3 Fat: “The antiinflammatory benefit and heart healthy benefits will have an impact,” Bonci says. “And it’s really hard to get that much in your daily diet.” If fish oil doesn’t work for you, algae-based Omega 3’s are a good alternative.
 
Protein Isolate: Bonci favors powdered protein isolates for their versatility. “A protein in powder form will be more versatile,” she says. “You can mix it into oatmeal or in a shake.” You can also choose from different types of protein — whey, casein, etc. “Also, premixed shakes can be loaded with unnecessary calories.”

 

The Recovery Trifecta: “Ginger, turmeric and boswellia all have really big anti-inflammatory effects,” Bonci says. She recommends ginger and turmeric for combatting delayed-onset muscle soreness after hard workouts, while boswellia is more effective for alleviating muscle tweaks, like a strained hamstring. “Take a mix of the three before bed,” she says, recommending 500mg of ginger, 400mg of boswellia and 1200mg of turmeric. “The effects are faster than glucosamine/chondroitin and it works on a larger population.”

 

What to Avoid

Energy Shooters:  “The name ‘5-hour Energy’ is really very misleading,” she says. “It’s not calories, it’s a stimulant, so you’ll get a boost for about half an hour and that’s it.” Also, the high concentration of caffeine can raise a heart rate that’s already elevated when you exercise. 


The Cleanses: “I’ve confiscated many of them from my athletes,” Bonci says. “It’s so counterproductive to performance.” Her aversion to the trendy cleanses is due to their diuretic (and diarrheal) properties. “It can totally dehydrate and lead to electrolyte imbalance.”


Growth Stacks: “Avoid anything you see like animal pack or growth or anabolic on the label,” she says. “It probably won’t do what it says, and it’ll be adding a hormone to the body,” which affects its ability to make its own hormones. “Protein isolate will do a lot more and it’ll cost you a lot less.”

 

—by Billy Brown

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 20:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Monthly
Path: /monthly/eat-fan-bbq-bacon-wrapped-jumbo-shrimp-recipe
Body:

Everyone likes bacon, right? Well, here’s a new way to ingest it and make you look much fancier than you actually are. These can be served as hors d’oeuvres for a romantic dinner at home or on a paper plate to be devoured in sweatpants alone on the couch. (Probably the latter.) Add BBQ sauce and jalapeño peppers to taste and enjoy the fruits of your labor — which should take about 20 minutes from start to finish. Here’s the recipe for BBQ bacon-wrapped jumbo shrimp:

 

Step One | Pregame Prep

1. Preheat oven to 400°F
2. Place rack over large foil-lined baking sheet

 

Step Two | Makin’ Bacon

1. Arrange uncooked bacon on rack
2. Bake bacon about 8 minutes, until partially cooked but still pliable
3. Drain bacon on paper towel-lined plate

 

Step Three | BBQ Time

1. Combine barbecue sauce and olive oil in medium bowl
2. Add jumbo shrimp to bowl
3. Coat jumbo shrimp in barbecue sauce

 

Step Four | Wrapper’s Delight

1. Wrap each jumbo shrimp with a half-piece of bacon
2. Arrange bacon-wrapped shrimp on rack
3. Bake 10 minutes — until shrimp are cooked and bacon is crisp

 

Step Five | Overtime Options

1. Run toothpick through shrimp
2. Slather in barbecue sauce
3. Add fresh jalapeño 

 

Ingredients
    24    Jumbo shrimp — peeled and deveined, tails on
    12    Bacon slices — cut into halves crosswise
    6    Tablespoons barbecue sauce
    2    Tablespoons olive oil
    1    Jalapeño — sliced to garnish (optional)

 

Utensils
Baking sheet, Baking rack, Medium bowl, Toothpicks


—Recipe by Laraine Perri 

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 17:20
All taxonomy terms: MLB
Path: /mlb/did-%E2%80%9Cback-future-part-ii%E2%80%9D-successfully-predict-anything-world-sports
Body:

Did “Back to the Future Part II” successfully predict anything in the world of sports?

—Biff T., Las Vegas, Nev.

 

Good question, Biff — if that is your real name. When Marty McFly and “Doc” Brown time travel in the 1989 cult classic "Back to the Future Part II," they go all the way to the year 2015. So, the future is now. In the movie, the Chicago Cubs win the World Series over a Florida team with an alligator mascot. Since the release of the film, the Sunshine State has landed two MLB teams — the Miami Marlins (1993) and Tampa Bay Rays (1998). But the Cubs have not won the World Series. Maybe this year? Nike will also sell the self-tying sci-fi shoes worn by Michael J. Fox in the film. And the infamous “Left Shark” from Katy Perry’s Super Bowl XLIX halftime show looks suspiciously like the hologram billboard shark from the movie. But still no functional hover boards… even in 2015.

 

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 16:02
All taxonomy terms: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, Nick Young, NBA
Path: /nba/byron-scott-says-he-wouldn%E2%80%99t-want-be-foxhole-his-lakers-roster
Body:

The Los Angeles Lakers are facing a crucial offseason. After missing the playoffs — and not even whiffing them — for two straight seasons, they’ve got a lot of work to do if they’re going to come close to living up to their dazzling franchise legacy.

 

Head coach Byron Scott seems to already have a pretty good idea who he doesn’t want back in 2015-16. "I got a sense of a whole lot of them I wouldn't want to be in a foxhole with," Scott said about his roster, after Lakers practice on Monday. "I think they'd end up shooting me in the back. So I've got a pretty good sense of the guys that I think are going to be around, that we will build around, build together in this process and go through it.”

 

Statements like this one have been par for the course in contemporary Lakerland. The current Los Angeles squad is a comic disaster, with $24 million in salary committed to an icon who doesn’t play, Kobe Bryant, and a lot of media attention shifting to Nick Young, who’s better at being a celebrity than he is at playing basketball.

 

Rational Lakers optimists have two chief hopes heading into the summer:

 

1. That the team’s history and heraldry, in combination with the appeal of living in L.A., are going to be enough to lure big-name free agents to the Lakers.

 

2. That the front office is not buying what it’s selling the fanbase, and is in fact employing Scott and his roster in a covert tanking effort. No tanking team says they’re tanking, and Lakers fans are praying that they’re one of the league’s intentional losers, and haven’t actually compiled this army in an earnest attempt to win. Because if they have, then the future doesn’t look bright.

— John Wilmes
Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 15:15
Path: /7-greatest-shots-masters-history-0
Body:

We don’t have footage of Gene Sarazen’s famous double eagle from 1935, but on Masters Sunday 2012, we saw something just as good and just as rare — Louis Oosthuizen's double eagle, the first at the par-5 second hole in Masters history. Later, Bubba Watson joined our countdown with his stunning recovery shot from the pine straw in the playoff. Here are our choices for the seven greatest shots in Masters history.

 

7. Louis Oosthuizen, 2012

Before Sunday, there had been 19,809 rounds at The Masters, but this was a first: a double eagle at No. 2. Had Oostie gone on to win, his shot would rank No. 1; as it is, he'll have to settle for second in The Masters and seventh on our list.

 

6. Sandy Lyle, 1988

Lyle had a front-row seat for Jack Nicklaus' charge to the 1986 Masters title. Two years later, he made history of his own with an incredible bunker shot on the 72nd hole, using the slope of the green to set up a clinching birdie. This is great execution for a Tuesday practice round; under Masters pressure, it's one of history's greatest shots.

 

5. Bubba Watson, 2012

After a day that included a double eagle and two holes in one, Bubba's shot at 10 will be the one they'll still be talking about at the 2050 Champions Dinner.

 

4. Jack Nicklaus, 1986

Jack’s near hole-in-one on 16 during his final-round 65 was only one of many magic moments that day — but it was pretty epic. As a bonus, this video includes his birdie putt on 17 (the putt that ultimately clinched his win) and his tap-in on 18, as well as commentary from the man himself.


 

3. Phil Mickelson, 2010

Mickelson’s 6-iron second shot to four feet on the par-5 13th was the kind of hero shot that only he and Tiger Woods would even attempt.



2. Larry Mize, 1987

Playing a few miles from his home, the quiet, unassuming Mize hit the shot of his life, or anyone else’s for that matter, holing an impossible 140-foot pitch shot on the second playoff hole to deny Greg Norman a green jacket.



1. Tiger Woods, 2005

It's a scenario apparently drawn up in the Nike marketing offices — the ball hanging tantalizingly on the edge of the cup, the Nike logo momentarily freeze-framed on our television screens before the ball tumbles into the cup, unleashing an awkward golfer high-five between Tiger and caddie Steve Williams that detracts only slightly from the moment. To answer your question, Verne Lundquist — no, in our lives, we’ve never seen anything like it.

Teaser:
<p> 7 Epic Moments from Golf's Greatest Tournament</p>
Post date: Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 12:00
All taxonomy terms: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA
Path: /nba/anthony-davis-pelicans-beat-warriors-after-trash-talk
Body:

You shouldn’t give Anthony Davis any extra motivation. The 22-year-old is, by any measure, as good as any 22-year-old has ever been in the NBA, and he’s all but carried an awkward, poorly coached New Orleans Pelicans roster into a playoff spot in the loaded Western Conference.

 

Last night, we got a preview of the potentially fierce first round matchup Davis and New Orleans would face, against the Golden State Warriors. Davis took words said by an unnamed Warriors player to heart. "They came out and said it was going to be a scrimmage game," Davis said in a TV interview after the game, a 103-100 Pelicans win. "We kind of took that personal.”

 

"I don't know who said it,” Davis said. “We don't want to be this pushover team, guys come in and do whatever they want. That's how we want to look at ourselves.”

 

Davis was his usual sensational self in the game, gathering 29 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in the cornerstone victory.

 

Warriors skeptics may look at the last few days and see some slippage. After getting trounced by the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, they lost to an inferior Pelicans squad Tuesday after what could be seen as a stroke a hubris.

 

More likely, Golden State is just finally displaying some signs of malaise after having their foot on the pedal all season and racing out to a historically dominant record. The Warriors have had the West’s top seed locked down for a while now, and they may be getting a bit bored by the spate of exhibition games standing between them and a title run.

 

But if they draw Davis in the first round — a scenario that looks more likely with every Oklahoma City Thunder loss — they’ll have a compelling initial challenge on their hands.

 

— John Wilmes

@johnwilmesNBA

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 10:52
Path: /college-football/byu-cougars-2015-schedule-and-analysis
Body:

Bronco Mendenhall has never had a losing season at BYU.

 

He’s grown accustomed to winning, posting five seasons with at least 10 wins during his decade-long career in Provo.

 

But a move to independence has increased scheduling difficulty and has led to three straight 8-5 seasons.

 

The good news in 2015 is dual-threat quarterback Taysom Hill appears poised to return to form. The bad is one of the toughest schedules Mendenhall has faced since BYU left the Mountain West four years ago.

 

2015 BYU Cougars Schedule

 

Bye: Week 9, * - Fri.

 

WkOpp.DateLocation
1.Sept. 5Lincoln, NE
Sneaky Good Opener Generally, Week 1 is the best weekend of non-conference action nationally and this one in Lincoln is sneaky good. BYU and Nebraska have never played, but the blues and reds will look great on the turf of Memorial Stadium.
2.Sept. 12Provo, UT
These two western powers have played five times total, but will play for the fourth straight season this fall. BYU is just 1-4 in the series but the Cougars' lone win came the last time they met in Provo, 37-20 in 2013.
3.Sept. 19Los Angeles, CA
The Bruins and Cougs have met 10 times total with UCLA winning seven of these matchups. However, BYU has won the past two meetings (2007-08), including a 59-0 drubbing the last time they met. The Cougars are 1-3 all-time in Pasadena against the Bruins.
4.Sept. 26Ann Arbor, MI
Remember When? BYU fans shouldn't have any trouble remembering the only meeting between the Cougars and Wolverines. BYU topped Michigan 24-17 in the 1984 Holiday Bowl en route to a 13-0 record and the program's only national championship.
5.Oct. 2*Provo, UT
The Cougars topped the Huskies 35-10 in last season's opener in Connecticut in the first-ever meeting between the two programs. UConn will attempt to exact revenge in Provo this time around.
6.Oct. 10Provo, UT
East Carolina is replacing a lot of talent but has been a solid program for years and will be a tough out. This marks the first-ever meeting between these two programs, which are separated by 2,235 miles.
7.Oct. 17Provo, UT
QB Showcase Much like ECU, Tommy Tuberville and the Bearcats are always a tough out and should be once again in 2015. This game in particular could be must-see TV because of the potential Taysom Hill/Gunner Kiel quarterback duel.
8.Oct. 24Provo, UT
What can you really say about a historic first-ever meeting between BYU and... Wagner?
10.Nov. 7San Jose, CA
A team BYU is pretty familiar with, Mendenhall has split two career meetings with San Jose State. These teams have squared off 16 times with BYU winning 10. However, the Spartans won the last time they met — which also was in San Jose.
11.Nov. 14Kansas City, MO

Not-so Neutral Field BYU will face Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City in a "neutral field" tilt. The crowd figures to favor the black and gold in what should be a great late-season meeting. The only other time these two teams have met on the field was in the 1983 Holiday Bowl, which BYU won 21-17.

11.Nov. 21Provo, UT
BYU and Fresno have played each other nine times, but the last meeting was back in 1998. This has been a high-scoring affair with the loser posting at least 21 points in five straight matchups.
13.Nov. 28Logan, UT
Rivalry Game The heated in-state rivalry game will cap Mendenhall's 11th season in Provo. He's 6-2 all-time against the Aggies, but saw his team fall 35-20 last year in Provo. BYU leads the series 46-35-3.
Teaser:
BYU Cougars 2015 Schedule and Analysis
Post date: Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 10:30
All taxonomy terms: Phil Mickelson, Golf
Path: /golf/golf-experts-poll-will-phil-mickelson-ever-win-another-major
Body:
Athlon polled a number of golf insiders on a variety of topics, but we start with this question: Are Tiger's problems primarily physical or mental? - See more at: http://athlonsports.com/golf/golf-experts-poll-are-tigers-problems-mental-or-physical#sthash.ovLdgVAh.dpuf
Athlon polled a number of golf insiders on a variety of topics, but we start with this question: Are Tiger's problems primarily physical or mental? - See more at: http://athlonsports.com/golf/golf-experts-poll-are-tigers-problems-mental-or-physical#sthash.ovLdgVAh.dpuf

After a winless 2014, Lefty's game seems to be rounding into shape just in time for The Masters, where he's at his most comfortable. But major championship wins are hard to come by for guys in their mid-40s who are also battling arthritis. The heart says yes, he can win another one, but what do smart observers of the game say? We asked some.

 

Participants

Jay Coffin, Editorial Director, Golf Channel, @JayCoffinGC

Jason Deegan, Senior Staff Writer and Golf Advisor with The Golf Channel online, @WorldGolfer

Steve DiMeglio, USA Today, @Steve_DiMeglio

Bob Harig, ESPN, @BobHarig

Dan Jenkins, Author, Golf Digest Contributor, @danjenkinsgd

Garrett Johnston, Golf journalist, @JohnstonGarrett

Dave Kindred, Golf Digest, Sports on Earth Contributor, @DaveKindred

Alex Miceli, Senior Writer, Golfweek, @alexmiceli

Dan O’Neill, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Dave Shedloski, Golf World, @DaveShedloski

Art Spander, Global Golf Post, @artspander

 

Will Phil Mickelson ever win another major?
Yes          6
No           4

Maybe     1

Comments

• Yes, the U.S. Open this year.

 

• Augusta National suits lefties, and if he has one magical putting week, he can win another green jacket.

 

• He has one more in him.

 

• Yes, Mickelson has given some back that he should’ve won.  Mickelson will for the next 3 to 5 years always have a chance at Augusta, but the other majors are close to out of his reach.

 

• He has a better chance to win one than Tiger, but he’s also older and history shows you don’t win majors at Phil’s age.

 

• His British Open performance at Muirfield tells me never to count him out, but it’s getting late early.

 

• Phil came close once more at the PGA last year, but couldn't hold on. That has happened more times than not when he was been in contention. He's at an age now where it seems unlikely he will be in contention many more times.

 

• No. He's 45.

 

• The window has closed greatly on Phil, but the view here is he's got one more in him.

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 10:26
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /golf/tiger-woods-injury-history-visual-break-down
Body:

Tiger Woods has suffered an alarming litany of injuries, to the point that we have to wonder whether he’ll ever be truly 100% healthy again. As he prepares for this year’s Masters, we look back on the “break down” of this iconic athlete. 

 

(Click image to enlarge)

Tiger Woods Injuries

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 10:16
All taxonomy terms: Rory McIlroy, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2015-majors-no-1-rory-mcilroy
Body:

They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2015 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee.

 

No. 1: Rory McIlroy

 

Born: May 4, 1989, Holywood, Northern Ireland | Career PGA Tour Wins: 9 (10 on European Tour) | 2014 Wins (Worldwide): 4 | 2014 Earnings (PGA Tour): $6,883,785 (1st) World Ranking: 1

2014 Key Stats:

      Strokes Gained, Total: 2.266 (1st)

      Driving Distance: 310.5 (3rd)

      Par-4 Performance: -39 (1st)

 

Brandel Chamblee's Take

McIlroy, should he win The Masters at age 25, will be the second-youngest player to complete the career grand slam. Of the five men who have won all four of golf’s major championships, Ben Hogan completed the slam when he was 40, Gene Sarazen was 33, Gary Player was 29 and Jack Nicklaus was 26. Only Tiger Woods, who completed the slam at 24, did so at a younger age then what Rory is now. Of those five, three players — Hogan Nicklaus and Woods — completed the slam by winning the Open Championship; Player did so at the U.S. Open in 1965; and only Sarazen completed the slam at The Masters when he won in 1935. Unlike the other majors venues, which rotate from year to year, Augusta National is the home of the Masters, so Rory has the rest of his career to conquer one course and join the most exclusive club in golf.

But there is a reason he has not won The Masters. Rory is a streaky putter but not a great one, and in particular he struggles on really fast greens, which are the distinguishing feature at Augusta National. In the last four years he has averaged more than 30 putts per round at Augusta, and his 125 putts en route to an eighth-place finish in 2014 equaled his worst performance on the greens all year, matched only at the U.S. Open. Nor is Rory great around the greens; he finished 88th and 145th in scrambling the last two years, respectively, and invariably even the best ball-strikers miss upwards of 20 greens through four rounds in vying for the Green Jacket.

But the primary reason why Rory is likely to struggle in getting the fourth leg of the career Grand Slam is his tendency to miss left, and there is a severe penalty for missing left at Augusta. An even greater penalty, though a less obvious one, comes with the timidity that plagues a player who is prone to left misses. At Augusta it’s not the hook that kills you — it’s the fear of hitting the hook. This fear shows up on the par 5s, where Rory made five bogeys last year and played them even par, eight shots worse than winner Bubba Watson, who finished eight shots ahead of Rory for the tournament. It is no coincidence that Ben Hogan didn’t win the Masters until he was 40 years old — a few years after he learned to play the game without the fear of hitting a hook.

The Masters aside, 2015 will be another great year for McIlroy, who has done what everyone is trying to do from a fitness standpoint. In increasing his flexibility and strength, his swing has gotten longer and faster. As a result, Rory has improved his clubbed speed every year he’s been on tour, making his driver one of the most lethal weapons in golf — which, combined with his mile high irons, makes him a threat to accumulate wins at a rate reminiscent of Tiger Woods in his prime.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 25
Wins: 4

2014 Performance:
Masters - T8
U.S. Open - T23
British Open - 1
PGA Championship - 1

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - T8 (2014)
U.S. Open - 1 (2011)
British Open - 1 (2014)
PGA Championship - 1 (2012, '14)
Top-10 Finishes: 10
Top-25 Finishes: 15
Missed Cuts: 4

 

—Brandel Chamblee is lead analyst for the Golf Channel. Be sure to follow him @ChambleeBrandel on Twitter.

 

Athlon's 2015 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Billy Horschel, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. BUY IT NOW.

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 10:12
Path: /college-football/penn-state-nittany-lions-2015-schedule-and-analysis
Body:

James Franklin enters his second season in Happy Valley with his work cut out for him.

 

The quarterback position is settled and the defense should be in good shape under star coordinator Bob Shoop, but his offensive line and running game are still major question marks.

 

There is a lot to like about this team considering it claims one of the best rosters in the league, but it won just twice in Big Ten play last year and is facing another brutal East Division schedule.

 

Related: 2015 Penn State Spring Football Preview

 

2015 Penn State Nittany Lions Schedule

 

Bye: Week 11

 

WkOpp.DateLocation
1.Sept. 5Philadelphia, PA
The in-state rivalry has been played 43 times and the Owls haven't won since 1941. Penn State owns a 39-3-1 record all-time, but this Matt Rhule-coached Temple team is much better than Phily has seen in years.
2.Sept. 12State College, PA
These two met in 1900 (Buffalo won) and 2007 (Penn State won) but that's it. Look for Penn State to try to get the ground game going against a team that ranked 78th against the run a year ago.
3.Sept. 19State College, PA
The sneaky good Northeast and now Big Ten East rivalry has been played 25 times with PSU winning 23 of the meetings. This was an instant classic a year ago after a Christian Hackenberg rally. Rutgers last defeated the Lions in 1988.
4.Sept. 26State College, PA
The Aztecs will be a long way from home — try 2,541 miles — when they travel to State College for the first time in school history. In fact, this will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
5.Oct. 3State College, PA
One team runs the ball like crazy and the other one can't run it at all. This long-time East Coast matchup has been played 25 times dating back to the 1800s. Penn State is 13-10-2 all-time against the Knights but has won every meeting (9-0) since 1966.
6.Oct. 10State College, PA
Penn State has dominated this series since moving to the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions are 17-1 all-time again the Hoosiers, with the only loss coming two years ago in Bloomington.
7.Oct. 17Columbus, OH
Eastern Heavyweights The Buckeyes' toughest challenge en route to their national title last season was an overtime win over PSU in Happy Valley. Ohio State holds the series lead 17-13, has won three straight and five of the last six. However, Penn State is actually 2-2 in its last four trips to Columbus.
8.Oct. 24Baltimore, MD
Budding Rivalry Much like Rutgers, this rivalry should continue to blossom as James Franklin looks to recruit the DC/Maryland corridor. Until last year's 20-19 win, the Terps hadn't beaten Penn State since 1961. The Lions brag a 35-2-1 all-time mark against Maryland.
9.Oct. 31State College, PA
Revenge Game I A shocking late-season loss (16-14) in Champaign helped get Illinois to a bowl. Penn State can't afford to lose this game again in 2015. The Lions are 17-5 vs. the Illini all-time, including 8-1 at home.
10.Nov. 7Evanston, IL
Revenge Game II Losing at home to a team that failed to make a bowl game was no way to start Big Ten play a year ago for Franklin. Look for Penn State to exact revenge in Evanston this year — a place where the Lions have won three straight.
12.Nov. 21State College, PA
Should Penn State win this rivalry game and survive most of the Big Ten schedule, they could be in a good spot heading into the final weekend. Michigan is one of only a few B1G programs with an all-time winning record against Penn State (11-7). Penn State won 18-13 in Ann Arbor a year ago.
13.Nov. 28East Lansing, MI
Land Grant Trophy One of the most bizarre rivalry trophies in college football is on the line when these two meet in the regular-season finale. Additionally, grasp of the all-time series record also hangs in the balance, as the two have split 29 previous meetings (14-14-1).

 

Listen to the Cover 2 Podcast: Early 2015 Big Ten Preview



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

Teaser:
Penn State Nittany Lions 2015 Schedule and Analysis
Post date: Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 10:00
All taxonomy terms: NBA
Path: /nba/ranking-nbas-best-kentucky-alumni
Body:

On the heels of Kentucky’s nearly perfect season, we rank the school's best alumni now in the NBA.

 

13. Tayshaun Prince, Detroit Pistons

One of only two players on this list with a championship ring, Prince was once of the very best wing defenders in basketball. Now, he’s a 35-year-old journeyman with a bank of knowledge that any locker room would be lucky to have.

 

12. Patrick Patterson, Toronto Raptors

Patterson has found a home in Toronto after bouncing around with with the Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League. This season, the big man has been an invaluable defense-stretcher with his 37 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

 

11. Jodie Meeks, Detroit Pistons

The Pistons’ sharp shooter earned himself a $19 million contract with Detroit over the summer—one that turned some heads—by having an excellent season with the Los Angeles Lakers. Now the Nashville native is a key piece of a Pistons squad with a promising future.

 

10. Enes Kanter, Oklahoma City Thunder

Enes Kanter loves playing for the Thunder. After languishing in the thick of a log-jammed Utah Jazz front court, his trade to OKC has seen him develop uncanny chemistry with Russell Westbrook, and become one of the most productive down-low scorers in the league. Look for Kanter, an upcoming free agent, to lobby for a longer stay in Oklahoma.

 

9. Terrence Jones, Houston Rockets

The Rockets’ young power forward has struggled with some scary health issues, including a collapsed lung and some recurring nerve problems. But the former NCAA champion (with the 2012 iteration of the Wildcats) is a freewheeling terror when he’s healthy, and a big X-factor for this title-contending Houston squad.

 

8. Brandon Knight, Phoenix Suns

If Knight has indeed found a landing place in Arizona—after a mid-season trade from the Milwaukee Bucks—it’s a fitting one. Alongside fellow Wildcat of the past Eric Bledsoe, he could make up one half of one of the league’s most exciting young backcourt duos.

 

7. Rajon Rondo, Dallas Mavericks

Rajon Rondo certainly isn’t what he used to be. The only other NBA champion on this list (with the 2007-08 Boston Celtics), he’s seen a huge decline in his scoring ability, including a dip in free-throw percentage that’s frankly hard to believe. But Rajon still possesses an elite gamer gene, and could surprise some people anew in a Mavericks postseason run this May.

 

6. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte Hornets

One of the NBA’s best perimeter defenders, Kidd-Gilchrist has failed to reach the proper level of attention from fans due to a mismatched Hornets roster that’s too short on shooting to do much winning at all. Perhaps one day, though, MKG’s tenacious efforts will find a better context.

 

5. Nerlens Noel, Philadelphia 76ers

The Sixers are widely criticized for eschewing functional talent in the name of future, asset-based goods, but in Noel they have themselves a blooming winner. As a rookie, he’s already one of the fiercest rim protectors in the NBA, with terrific hair to boot.

 

4. Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix Suns

Bledsoe, like Kidd-Gilchrist, has seen his star fade some for reasons beyond his control. The off-court mayhem that has been the Suns’ season has robbed us of a playoff run from Phoenix and “Mini LeBron,” the full-court terror that is Bledsoe. Don’t be surprised to see him shutting down other elite point guards in the years to come, though.

 

3. DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings

DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins is the most compelling big man talent in the NBA. His mixture of bullying post moves, deft footwork and outside shooting makes him essentially unguardable when he’s on. If Sacramento can provide him with some coaching and roster consistency… watch out.

 

2. John Wall, Washington Wizards

Wall has developed into more than an All-Star in his fifth season. The Wizards’ superstar is one of the very best players in the game, matching his speed and instincts with a new court vision that takes Washington to another level at times. If his team decides to can his underachieving coach and replace him (maybe with John Calipari?), Wall will quickly invade even more living rooms.

 

1. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

The Brow is the future of the NBA—but he’s the present, too. As a 22-year-old, Davis is already a bonafide MVP candidate, reaching the rare air of a 30.0 player efficiency rating in just his third season. There’s truly no precedent for how good this guy can get.

 

— John Wilmes
@johnwilmesNBA

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 15:34
Path: /nfl/can-dominique-easley-fill-key-holes-patriots-defense
Body:

When the New England Patriots took Dominique Easley in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, they knew they were getting a player coming off back-to-back ACL tears, but they also hoped they were taking a player with incredible explosion off the line and the ability to generate instant disruption up front.

 

A torn ACL injury used to signify a major blow to a player's career, but with modern medicine and rehabilitation techniques, an ACL tear can now be little more than a 10-month bump in the road. However, it can often take a full year after the injury for a player to become completely confident in their rebuilt joint.

 

The Pats are hoping Easley's confidence in both knees has returned so he can wreak some pass-rushing havoc.

 

Easley showed some flashes in his rookie season, notably moving to defensive end after the Pats lost Chandler Jones to injury. Most saw Easley as solely a defensive tackle until that point, but in limited action at defensive end he showed an ability to not only set the edge, but also play on his feet, see below.

 

 photo easley_zpsdklmkqif.gif
(GIF courtesy of NFL.com's Game Rewind)

 

The rookie played 261 snaps, appearing in 11 games with two starts and logging nine tackles, one sack and one interception.

 

Easley was shut down near the end of the 2014 season so he could focus on getting fully healthy for the 2015 season. A number of other minor injuries seemed to catch up with him, including a separated shoulder, while his knee seemed to continue to be an issue and his explosion never quite returned.

 

The lack of interior pass rush has long been a problem for the Patriots, but some of it is related to the evolution of their scheme. Last decade, the Pats primarily played a 3-4 defense, with their front three defensive linemen two-gapping and allowing the four linebackers to make plays.

 

As the game evolved, the Pats slowly transitioned to playing the majority of snaps in sub packages, but because they were playing early downs they couldn't just sell out to a full pass-rushing nickel front.

 

That's why Vince Wilfork became the key player for New England's defense, he alone was a major run deterrent, as the Pats shifted to more of a 2-5 "double nose" front.

 

However, that would come at the expense of interior pass rush, a vital element against the top quarterbacks in the league since they get the ball out before any edge rusher can get to them. The two big defensive tackles never generated enough push, as they were being asked to primarily hold their ground.

 

On clear passing downs, the Pats would employ a defensive end or more traditional 4-3 upfield defensive tackle next to Wilfork, but few caused consistent disruption that would collapse the pocket. Mike Wright's career ended due to concussions and promising young player Myron Pryor had his career derailed by injuries.

 

As a result the Patriots' pass rush hasn't been one with enough athletes to win one-on-one matchups and get to the quarterback.

 

This brings us back to Easley, who showed the kind of explosion in college that could win instantly off the snap. 

 

The Patriots need this presence from their defense more than ever this season. With Wilfork departing to Houston there's a big hole in the defensive tackle rotation. And with Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner gone from the secondary, it only puts more pressure on the front seven to attack quarterbacks.

 

Easley will not replace the three-down, two-gapping effectiveness of Wilfork, however he's arguably the most talented defensive tackle on the roster now. Could he become the kind of weapon for Bill Belichick in the passing game that Wilfork was against the run? The answer just might determine the ceiling of this next incarnation of the Patriots' defense.

 

Initial signs this offseason are that Easley will be a full go by the time training camp rolls around. If the burst off the snap that he showed in college returns, Easley could be due for a breakout year, while becoming a key pass-rushing piece in a defense that desperately needs it.

 

— Written by Mike Dussault, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and writer/editor of PatsPropaganda.com (@PatsPropaganda), a comprehensive blog covering the New England Patriots.

 

(Easley photo courtesy of New England Patriots Web site, www.patriots.com)

Teaser:
They key player to replacing Wilfork, Revis and Browner might already be on New England's roster.
Post date: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 15:15
Path: /overtime/25-nastiest-bullies-sports-history
Body:

“For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name, / He writes — not that you won or lost — but how you played the Game,” Grantland Rice famously wrote in his 1908 poem, “Alumnus Football.”

Not everyone in sports has lived by those words, obviously. With that mind, we look back at the 25 biggest bullies in sports history:


25. Richie Incognito

A threatening, profanity-laced, half-N-bomb, yo-mamma voicemail left for his Miami Dolphins O-linemate Jonathan Martin moved Incognito from “NFL’s Dirtiest Player” to “Notorious B.U.L.L.Y.”


24. Dale Earnhardt Sr.

The “Intimidator” was quick to remind his competition to “put a kerosene rag around your ankles so the ants won’t climb up there and eat that candy ass.” Dale Sr. had no problem putting other cars into the wall with his No. 3 Monte Carlo.


23. Michael Jordan

Isiah Thomas was bullied off the Dream Team; Steve Kerr was punched in the face; Jerry Krause’s Croatian sensation Toni Kukoc was harassed; and a teenage Kwame Brown was broken down to tears by “His Airness.” Plus, MJ absolutely abused everyone in the NBA during his reign.

 

22. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Sports Illustrated declared Mayweather “a bully, one neatly wrapped in a cut 5-foot-8, 147-pound package. Like most bullies, Mayweather is intimidating. He sends promoters, managers and networks cowering in the corner with the mere threat of withholding his services. He holds the boxing world hostage by saying he will take his gloves and go home unless the fight isn’t when he wants, where he wants and at what weight he wants. He perpetuates a lie … because he is confident in the fact that no one in the industry will stand up to him.”


21. Randy Savage

“Oooooh, yeah!” The “Macho Man” broke into the WWF as a heel who bullied the “First Lady of Wrestling,” Miss Elizabeth, and was quick to “snap into” anyone who dared look at his manager.


20. Kermit Washington

“The Punch” nearly killed Rudy Tomjanovich but also inspired the John Feinstein book, The Punch: One Night, Two Lives, and the Fight That Changed Basketball Forever.


19. Ron Artest

The Artest currently known as “Metta World Peace” was not always the lovable, flagrant-fouling, elbow-throwing, physical defender we know today. He was once the instigator of the infamous “Malice at the Palace.” That poor fat fan in the stands didn’t stand a chance.

 

18. Quinton Jackson

“Rampage” is a terror in and outside the ring. Making countless MMA fighters tap out, dry-humping ring girls and driving on the sidewalk during an extended police chase.

 

17. Todd Bertuzzi

The consummate goon and longtime NHL enforcer, Bertuzzi ended Steve Moore’s hockey career with a sucker punch in 2004.

 

16. Jack Tatum

“The Assassin” paralyzed Darryl Stingley with a vicious hit over the middle in 1978. Tatum was the leader of a gang of bullies in the Oakland Raiders' secondary who were known for headhunting.

 

15. Vince McMahon

The Chairman and CEO of the WWE is a marketing genius, but he has no problem taking a metaphorical folding chair (or a real folding chair) to the back of anyone standing in his way. McMahon has bullied and bulldozed his way to the top of the ropes. Look out below.

 

14. Ndamukong Suh

The Albert Haynesworth 2.0 of dirty defensive tackles, Suh saves his worst for Thanksgiving dinner, stomping in 2011 and kicking in '12. He's also bullied friends and cable guys off the field, making Suh arguably the young bully with the most upside.

 

13. Bill Romanowski

Romo was psycho — spitting on opponents, beating up teammates and causing widespread chaos everywhere he roamed. Romanowski's rage was often steroid-fueled, as the linebacker told "60 Minutes" he received the juice from none other than Victor Conte himself.

 

12. John Kreese

Cobra Kai's screw-loose leader had a simple instruction: "Sweep the leg."

 

11. Daniel Snyder

The Washington Post's Dave McKenna has previously documented Snyder's bullying from A to Z, reminding us why the Redskins' owner is everyone's least favorite NFL power player.

 

10. Bob Gibson

Don't crowd the plate or drive reckless when Gibson is in fastball range. The two-time Cy Young winner and 1968 NL MVP has no patience. After years of plunking batters to establish his dominance on the mound, Gibson was cited for assault in a road rage case in 2002 after establishing he was king of the road.

 

9. Bill Laimbeer

Laimbeer was the dirtiest of the Detroit Pistons' "Bad Boys," a group that also included noted bullies like Dennis Rodman and Rick Mahorn. Motown's modus operandi in the late 1980s and early '90s was to punish anyone who dared take the ball to the rim — looking at you, Michael. There were even "Jordan Rules" used to intimidate the Pistons' fiercest rival from Chicago.

 

8. Mike Tyson

"Iron Mike" was the youngest heavyweight champion (20 years, 4 months) in history and one of the most feared fighters of all time. With 44 KOs in 50 career wins, Tyson was a bully among bullies. The tortured champ was also convicted of rape in 1991 and served three years in the penitentiary. And one more thing… Tyson bit off part of Evander Holyfield's ear in Las Vegas back in 1997.

 

7. Broad Street Bullies

Philadelphia Bulletin scribes Jack Chevalier and Pete Cafone coined the "Broad Street Bullies" nickname for the Philadelphia Flyers crew back in 1973. HBO Films made a documentary about the team that included Hart Trophy winner Bobby Clake.

 

6. Ty Cobb

Always angry? Check. Documented racist? Check. Slides into bases with his spikes up? Oh yeah. "I was the most hated man in baseball," Cobb famously told biographer Al Stump. Cobb was proud of his bullying.

 

5. Tonya Harding

The surreal attack on Nancy Kerrigan in 1994 made Harding and her goon ex-husband Jeff Gillooly a national scandal. After finishing eighth (to Kerrigan's silver medal) at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics, Harding has gone on to a hodgepodge of pro wrestling and amateur boxing.


4. Lance Armstrong

"Live Strong" to beat testicular cancer. Blood dope to win seven Tours de France. Sue anyone who dares speak the truth about said blood doping. Most important, never apologize for anything — even if you're on Oprah. Because of Lance, millions of American sports fans will never again watch the Tour de France.

 

3. Bobby Knight

With his sideline, chair-throwing tirades, Robert Montgomery Knight evolved into the stereotypical coach who takes himself too seriously and uses his position of power to bully those cowering beneath.

 

2. Roger Goodell

The "Ginger Hammer" will not rest until the NFL has become a flag football league with an 18-game schedule and a team in London.

 

1. NCAA

The NCAA rakes in nearly $1 billion in revenue annually. Roughly 80 percent of that comes from television deals, with college football and men's basketball being the primary cash cows. How much do "student-athletes" profit from the NCAA's non-profit monopoly? Oh, that's right. The NCAA is as big and corrupt as any bully in sports history. HBO's John Oliver explained it about as well as anyone:

 

Teaser:
Richie Incognito is just the latest in a long line of bullies in sports.
Post date: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 12:00
All taxonomy terms: Masters, Overtime, Golf, Overtime, News
Path: /weirdest-food-masters-champions-dinner
Body:

It's one of the great traditions of Masters week: the Tuesday night Champions Dinner, where the defending champ gets to pick the cuisine for everyone — although not everyone has to eat it, as diners are free to order from the menu. Defending champion Bubba Watson seems like a grilled steak and potatoes kind of guy, although several of his predecessors obviously aren't. Giving golfers this much latitude can apparently result in some stomach-churning choices. Here's the proof.

 


Menu: Haggis, mashed potatoes, mashed turnips
Sandy Lyle, 1989

You know what they say about haggis — it looks the same coming out as it does going in. For the uninitiated, this Scottish dish is basically stuff fished out of the trash at the butcher shop: sheep's heart, liver and lungs cooked in the stomach, with a few bits of actual food (onions, oatmeal, spices) thrown in to confuse you. 
 


Menu: Elk, wild boar, Arctic char, Canadian beer
Mike Weir, 2004

Apparently they were fresh out of grizzly bear, so this had to do. Well, at least there was a little liquid bread to wash down all the animal flesh. Hey Mike, how about a salad?

 


Menu: Cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, french fries, milkshakes
Tiger Woods, 1998

At first glance, this sounds fine. But when you have access to great chefs and an unlimited budget, do you really want to reproduce the drive-thru of the Augusta McDonald's?

 


Menu: Seafood tom kah, chicken panang curry, baked sea scallops with garlic sauce, rack of lamb with yellow kari sauce, baked filet Chilean sea bass with three flavor chili sauce, lychee sorbet
Vijay Singh, 2001

Surely this overly pretentious selection was part of some elaborate practical joke perpetrated by Vijay. We’re pretty sure Tiger and Phil hit the Augusta McDonald's drive-thru afterwards.


 
Menu: An Argentine asado, a multicourse barbecue featuring chorizo, blood sausage, short ribs, beef filets and mollejas (sweetbreads)
Angel Cabrera, 2010

Sampling another culture's cuisine can be a mixed bag. This menu is evidence. Short ribs and beef filets sound good, but anything with blood in the title doesn't. And sweetbreads? That's just a tasty-sounding name for the thymus gland of some animal. No. Just, no.
 


Menu: Bobotie (a spiced minced meat pie with an egg topping), sosaties (type of chicken skewer), spinach salad, milk tart and South African wines
Trevor Immelman, 2009

Rule of thumb: If I can't pronounce it, I ain't eating it. The wine sounds good, though.  

Teaser:
<p> Winning golfers select haggis, wild boar and some foods we can't pronounce.</p>
Post date: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 11:50
Path: /college-football/cover-2-college-football-podcast-2015-sec-early-preview
Body:

 

Hosts Braden Gall and Steven Lassan go in-depth with an early 2015 SEC conference preview.

 

Does the balance of power in the SEC West still lie in the State of Alabama or has the State of Mississippi taken control? What do the guys make of the coaching changes and quarterback issues for LSU and Texas A&M? Or is Arkansas ready to challenge for the division?

 

How does a new coach and improving roster at Florida and Tennessee change they way the East is perceived? Is Georgia the clearcut frontrunner? And what about those pesky Mizzou Tigers — the two-time defending East champs?

 

Related: SEC East 2015 Spring Preview and Power Rankings
Related: SEC West 2015 Spring Preview and Power Rankings

 

The fellas touch on every team and how the predictions might shake out in the SEC in 2015.


Send any ideas, questions or comments to @BradenGall or @AthlonSteven or email [email protected]. The podcast can be found on athlonsports.com, iTunes, Stitcher and our podcast RSS feed.

Teaser:
Cover 2 College Football Podcast: 2015 SEC Early Preview
Post date: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 11:27
Path: /nba/joakim-noah-wants-face-lebron-cavaliers-playoffs
Body:

Things haven’t gone exactly as planned for the Chicago Bulls this season. With the return of Derrick Rose, the additions of Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic and the continuity between reigning Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah and hard-charging coach Tom Thibodeau, many slotted them in as the favorites to win the Eastern Conference.

 

Rose, of course, is injured again — though believed to be close to a return — Thibodeau’s job is in question, and Noah hasn’t been himself for much of the season after knee surgery over the summer. The Bulls can still surge into the NBA Finals, but in the eyes of most analysts they’ve taken a distinct backseat to the Atlanta Hawks, and the team who beat them Sunday afternoon 99-94 — the Cleveland Cavaliers.

 

But outside perception (and even scoreboard results) don’t seem to change the Bulls’ swagger. “I think we're a confident group," Noah said after the game. "And it would be great to play [the Cavs] in the playoffs. It would be very, very exciting, something that I really hope happens.”

 

This, of course, after Noah called LeBron James some nasty words amidst the heated contest. Feast on this, lip-readers:

 

Noah also stoked an old fire, by clowning on the city of Cleveland — a place he finds very boring. "This is a great place to play basketball," he said. "Other than that, there's not much else to do. But when you get onto that court, it's a great place to play basketball. That's as much love as I'll give to Cleveland.”

 

 

If the Bulls and Cavs do indeed meet in the playoffs, there will be one clear winner: us. This is a fun, old-school rivalry, with major characters who have genuinely negative feelings for each other, and a ton of personality on both sides of the court. This is not to mention the potentially terrific level of play, if Rose comes back in effective form.

 

— John Wilmes

@johnwilmesNBA

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 10:39
Path: /college-football/big-12-2015-football-schedule-analysis
Body:

The Big 12 isn’t the best conference in college football but it sure is one of the most entertaining.

 

Baylor-TCU might have been the best game of the year regardless of conference. Oklahoma-TCU wasn’t far behind. Both the Bedlam Series and the Red River Shootout were extremely heated. And any game played in Morgantown felt like it ended in thrilling fashion.

 

Because everyone plays everyone, the Big 12 is guaranteed another collection of instant classics in 2015.

 

Here is what you need to know about the Big 12’s football schedules this fall:

 

Biggest Games of the Year:

 

1. Baylor at TCU (Nov. 27)

High-powered, high-scoring throwdown decided the Big 12 championship last year. This tilt shouldn’t be any less important in 2015.

 

2. TCU at Oklahoma (Nov. 21)

The Sooners — more specifically Trevor Knight — will be looking for revenge after losing a thriller off a pick-six last fall. This one could decide the Big 12 title.

 

3. Oklahoma vs. Texas (Oct. 10, Dallas)

The Red River Shootout (I refuse) is always one of the biggest games of the year regardless of conference. Especially, with both teams likely picked in the upper half of the league.

 

4. Oklahoma at Oklahoma State (Nov. 28)

Who could forget how the Bedlam Series ended last year. With both programs eyes a run at a Big 12 title, this rivalry could carry serious weight in ’15.

 

5. Baylor at Oklahoma State (Nov. 21)

To win a title, the Bears may have to do something they haven’t done since 1939 — win in Stillwater. And on the season’s penultimate weekend, nonetheless.

 

Related: 2015 Big 12 Spring Preview and Power Rankings

 

Toughest Road Slate: West Virginia

Not only does West Virginia have to travel the farthest of any Big 12 program every year, it has to face the league’s best this fall. The Mountaineers draw TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma, Kansas State and Kansas on the road this fall. At least, Texas and Ok-State come to Morgantown.

 

Easiest Road Slate: Oklahoma State

The Pokes have a very manageable road slate in the Big 12 this fall with trips to Texas, West Virginia, Texas Tech and Iowa State. In fact, if Oklahoma State is picked fourth in the league (which is very possible), every road trip in the Big 12 will be played against a team picked behind them in the standings. Kansas State gets honorable mention with trips to Austin, Stillwater, Lubbock and Lawrence.

 

Five Big 12 Home Games: Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Kansas

 

Five Big 12 Road Games: TCU, West Virginia, Iowa State

 

Texas and Oklahoma play on a neutral field every year in the Cotton Bowl. Texas Tech and Baylor have started playing their series in Arlington. Frankly, it’s a trend that needs to continue for all Big 12 teams because it solved the home-road split in a nine-game conference slate. The other six teams need to get on board.

 

Upset Alert: Baylor at Kansas State (Nov. 5, Thurs.)

The biggest four games of the year for Baylor come in the final four weeks. But before that (and after a bye), the Bears must go into Manhattan and win on a Thursday night. Beware of Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

 

Upset Alert II: TCU at Oklahoma State (Nov. 7)

TCU will be focused on Oklahoma and Baylor in the final two weeks of the year all season. The Frogs will have a few extra days to prepare but Ok-State could be playing its best ball by November and TCU should be unbeaten.

 

Season-Ticket Special: Oklahoma State

The Pokes have arguably the best home slate in the Big 12. It may not translate into wins but season ticketholders in Stillwater are going to get their money's worth. Rival Oklahoma, the top two teams in the league in Baylor and TCU and both programs from Kansas have to visit Boone Pickens Stadium. Kansas State also gets a juicy home slate with TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Iowa State coming to town.

 

Beware of the Committee: Baylor

With SMU, Lamar and Rice in the non-conference, Baylor could once again see its weak out-of-conference resume hurt it come playoff time. This was the issue with the Bears last season (and that game in Morgantown), so Art Briles needs to address this moving forward.

 

Top Non-Conference Games:

 

 AwayHomeDate
1.Sept. 5
2.Sept. 12
3.Sept. 3*
4.Sept. 19
5.Sept. 26
6.Sept. 19
7.Sept. 12
8.Sept. 19
9.Sept. 19
10.Sept. 12

 

Teaser:
2015 Big 12 Football Schedule Analysis
Post date: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 10:30
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /golf/10-amazing-masters-records-may-last-forever
Body:

Consider this the appetizer before the main course. We scoured The Masters record book and found these amazing numbers:

 

10

The record for consecutive under-par rounds at The Masters belongs to Tiger Woods, who shot 10 consecutive rounds under par from the third round in 2000 through the final round in 2002. Not surprisingly, he won the green jacket in 2001 and 2002, after finishing fifth in 2000. Tiger's scoring average for those 10 rounds was 68.5.

 

25 

Phil Mickelson holds the record for most birdies in a single Masters, with 25 in 2001. Lefty finished 13-under that year, three shots behind winner Tiger Woods, who was able to muster only 23 birdies for the week.

 

37 

Among many Masters records held by Jack Nicklaus is his astounding 37 cuts made at Augusta. That's especially remarkable when you consider that Tiger Woods has only been alive 39 years. Between 1960 and 2000, Jack played in 40 Masters, missing the cut twice (in 1967 and 1994) and withdrawing in 1983. Among Nicklaus' other Masters records: He won a record six Masters, was runner-up a record four times, and he finished in the top 5 a record 15 times, in the top 10 22 times, and in the top 25 29 times.

 

23 

Gary Player and Fred Couples share the record with 23 consecutive made cuts at The Masters. Player didn't miss a cut between 1959 and 1982 (he didn't compete in 1973 due to illness). During that span, he won three times and finished in the top 10 15 times. Couples' streak ran from 1983 to 2008, although he didn't play in 1987 or 1994.

 

50 

Arnold Palmer holds a record that will likely never be equaled, playing in 50 consecutive Masters from 1955 to 2004. Thankfully, the King is still a fixture in April at Augusta, hitting a ceremonial tee shot along with fellow legends Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.

 

66 

That's the record score for a "Senior" player (age 50 or above). Fred Couples shot a 66 at age 50 in 2010's first round; and Ben Hogan, long past his prime at age 54, shot a 66 in the third round in 1967, going on to finish tied for 10th in his final Masters appearace.

 

66 

The lowest score by an amateur was a 66 by Ken Venturi, in 1956's first round. Venturi actually held a four-shot lead entering the final round and was in prime position to become the only amateur winner in the event's history, until a windswept final-round 80 left him one shot behind Jack Burke.

 

-12 

The lowest total by a first-time Masters competitor was a 12-under 276 in 2011 by Jason Day, who finished tied for second, two shots behind Charl Schwartzel.

 

The largest lead lost after three rounds is Greg Norman's 1996 collapse from a six-stroke lead to a five-stroke loss to Nick Faldo following a final-round 78. Coming off the eighth green on that Masters Sunday, Norman was only 1-over par for the day and still held a three-shot lead over Faldo. But three bogeys and two double-bogeys down the stretch doomed Norman to the most painful failure of his star-crossed career.

 

Fred Couples won the 1992 Masters, but here's an interesting distinction for Boom-Boom: He's the only player to have never missed a Masters cut in the 20th Century. Couples first played in the tournament in 1983 and didn't miss a Masters weekend until 2008.

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 10:15
All taxonomy terms: Tiger Woods, Golf
Path: /golf/clone-golf-experts-poll-game-trouble-if-tiger-never-regains-his-form
Body:
Athlon polled a number of golf insiders on a variety of topics, but we start with this question: Are Tiger's problems primarily physical or mental? - See more at: http://athlonsports.com/golf/golf-experts-poll-are-tigers-problems-mental-or-physical#sthash.ovLdgVAh.dpuf
Athlon polled a number of golf insiders on a variety of topics, but we start with this question: Are Tiger's problems primarily physical or mental? - See more at: http://athlonsports.com/golf/golf-experts-poll-are-tigers-problems-mental-or-physical#sthash.ovLdgVAh.dpuf

The media frenzy surrounding the decision to play The Masters of a player who hasn't won a major in seven years is a clear indication that Tiger is still the game's dominant figure. But what if he never finds his game again? Can golf survive on a crowded sports landscape? Athlon asked the experts for their opinions.

 

Participants

Jay Coffin, Editorial Director, Golf Channel, @JayCoffinGC

Jason Deegan, Senior Staff Writer and Golf Advisor with The Golf Channel online, @WorldGolfer

Steve DiMeglio, USA Today, @Steve_DiMeglio

Bob Harig, ESPN, @BobHarig

Dan Jenkins, Author, Golf Digest Contributor, @danjenkinsgd

Garrett Johnston, Golf journalist, @JohnstonGarrett

Dave Kindred, Golf Digest, Sports on Earth Contributor, @DaveKindred

Alex Miceli, Senior Writer, Golfweek, @alexmiceli

Dan O’Neill, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Dave Shedloski, Golf World, @DaveShedloski

Art Spander, Global Golf Post, @artspander

 

Is the game in trouble if Tiger never regains his form?
Yes    6
No     5

 

Comments

• It (the game’s popularity) will never again be what it was at Tiger's peak.

 

• Whenever he is in contention, TV ratings soar. America either needs a great rivalry ... Rickie Fowler vs. Rory McIlroy? ... or great individual - Jordan Spieth? - to emerge.

 

• He was the ONLY needle. The PGA Tour can tells us it won’t hurt, that the Tour will be just fine, but you can’t say a drop in TV ratings, hits on websites for stories won’t suffer. Outside of the majors, Tiger is the only one that got on the front pages of major newspapers.

 

• No. The spectacle of the circus coming to town, and the importance of the majors, will always be of more value than any individual.

The game was fine before Tiger and will be fine after Tiger. He gave the game a huge spike, because he transcended the sport and bring in casual observers. Some of them have stuck around and golf is better for it. But the game remains a niche sport and will also appeal to those who are avid about it.

• The game's popularity is stable. Whether it continues to reach a broad audience without Tiger is questionable.

 

• No, the professional game is strong with or without Tiger. It’s the other game, the one where you go out and play with your friends, that is in trouble with or without Woods.

 

• Certainly it won’t help without Tiger, but the game isn’t going anywhere. There are plenty of young stars who have shown potential to do great things over the next two decades. There may never be another Tiger Woods, but that doesn’t mean that four or five men doing great things can’t help sustain interest.

 

• The game's popularity already is in trouble. Tiger impacts audience, but the game has been losing popularity for years.

 

• Yes, because be brought in the non-golfers.

 

• Yes, it is in trouble with the general sports fan.

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 10:09
All taxonomy terms: College Basketball, News
Path: /college-basketball/ranking-college-basketballs-national-champions-1985
Body:

Not all national champions are created equal, especially in college basketball.

 

With 64 teams — and now 68 — competing for a national title, the odds for a random result in the postseason is almost certain.

 

In some ways, that makes sustained greatness through the course of the season even more impressive. Only one team since the field expanded has gone wire-to-wire as a No. 1 team in the country, far fewer than the number of great teams that didn’t win a title.

 

Thanks to the three weeks of the NCAA Tournament, a handful of teams that won a national title might not end up on a list of the top 40 or 50 teams of the era. Instead, they got hot that the right time, caught the right matchups or got lucky that upsets in the bracket helped clear the way for a title.

 

In ranking the top national champions of the 64-team era, starting in 1985, we attempted to look at the entire picture — chiefly, how the team performed from beginning to end during the season, who each team had to beat in the Tournament and the overall talent on the roster.

 

Check back after Monday’s title game to find where this year’s winner ranks — and if that team is able to claim the No. 1 spot.

 

1. 1992 Duke

Record: 34-2, 14-2 ACC

Championship game: Defeated Michigan 71-51

Coach: Mike Krzyzewski

Duke won the national title a year earlier, vanquishing undefeated UNLV in the Final Four. That was only the beginning. The Blue Devils went wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in the country, ending the season with a rout of the Fab Five in the championship game. Before that, national player of the year Christian Laettner hit the the greatest shot in NCAA history for the Blue Devils to defeat Kentucky in overtime in the Elite Eight. In the next game, Mike Krzyzewski had to out-duel mentor Bob Knight in an 81-78 win over Indiana in the Final Four.

 

2. 1996 Kentucky

Record: 34-2, 16-0 SEC

Championship game: Defeated Syracuse 76-67

Coach: Rick Pitino

“The Untouchables” outscored opponents by 22 points, and their only regular season losses came to teams that reached the Final Four. Kentucky atoned for one of those losses by defeating UMass, national player of the year Marcus Camby and coach John Calipari in the national semifinal. Led by Tony Delk, Ron Mercer and Antoine Walker, Kentucky finished off Syracuse in the title game for the Wildcats’ first national title since 1978.

 

3. 2001 Duke

Record: 35-4, 13-3 ACC

Championship game: Defeated Arizona 82-72

Coach: Mike Krzyzewski

The Blue Devils featured two national players of the year in Shane Battier and Jay Williams, who won the award a year earlier. Duke spent the entire season in the top five but needed the biggest comeback in Final Four history to that point to advance to the title game. Duke trailed Maryland by 22 in the first half before rallying for a 95-84 win to face Glibert Arenas and Richard Jefferson for Arizona in the title game.

 

4. 2012 Kentucky

Record: 38-2, 16-0 SEC

Championship game: Defeated Kansas 67-59 

Coach: John Calipari

Perhaps the Kentucky team with John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe a year earlier was more talented, but this squad was pretty darn close. Anthony Davis won pretty much every award in the sport before being the No. 1 overall draft pick. Despite the two losses, Kentucky defeated every team it faced — the Wildcats lost in the SEC tournament to Vanderbilt, a team it had defeated twice during the regular season, and then atoned for its one-point loss to Indiana in December with a 102-90 win over the Hoosiers in the Sweet 16. Teammates Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist were the top two picks in the following NBA draft.

 

5. 2009 North Carolina

Record: 34-4, 13-3 ACC

Championship game: Defeated Michigan State 89-72

Coach: Roy Williams

Led by national player of the year Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington, North Carolina was a dominant team for most of the season but especially in the postseason. The Heels’ 72-60 win over Blake Griffin and Oklahoma was their closest game in the NCAA Tournament.

 

6. 1990 UNLV

Record: 35-5, 16-2 Big West

Championship game: Defeated Duke 103-73

Coach: Jerry Tarkanian

The 1991 team that went to the Final Four with a 34-0 record was the better UNLV team of the two during this stretch, but the 1990 squad won the national title behind the play of Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon and Greg Anthony. The Rebels stunned Duke 103-73, setting the stage for the Blue Devils’ win over UNLV the following year in the Final Four.

 

7. 2005 North Carolina

Record: 33-4, 14-2 ACC

Championship game: Defeated Illinois 75-70

Coach: Roy Williams

North Carolina’s first championship team since 1993 and Roy Williams’ first title-winning team spent most of the season in the shadow of 37-2 Illinois. The Tar Heels settled that once and for all with a 75-70 win over the Illini in the national title game. In the following NBA draft, four Tar Heels (Marvin Williams, Raymond Felton, Sean May and Rashad McCants) were lottery picks.

 

8. 2008 Kansas

Record: 37-3, 13-3 Big 12

Championship game: Defeated Memphis 75-68 (OT)

Coach: Bill Self

Kansas’ first championship team in 20 years wasn’t quite a sure thing, even though the Jayhawks spent all but one week of the season ranked in the top five. To reach a Final Four that included all No. 1 seeds, Kansas had to survive Stephen Curry-led Davidson with a 59-57 win in the Elite Eight and then needed a Mario Chalmers miracle shot and missed free throws from Memphis to clinch the title.

 

9. 1999 UConn

Record: 34-2, 16-2 Big East

Championship game: Defeated Duke 77-74 

Coach: Jim Calhoun

After knocking on the door several times, UConn won the national title in its first trip to the Final Four. Led by Rip Hamilton and Khalid El-Amin, the Huskies spent the entire season ranked in the top four before defeating Elton Brand, Shane Battier and Duke in the national title game.

 

10. 2004 UConn

Record: 33-6, 12-4 Big East

Championship game: Defeated Georgia Tech 82-73

Coach: Jim Calhoun

Calhoun’s second national title team was loaded with NBA Draft picks. Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon were selected second and third overall, respectively, in the 2004 draft, and Charlie Villanueva followed as a first-round pick in the 2005 draft. Josh Boone and Marcus Williams, late first-rounders in 2006, were both freshmen on this team.

 

11. 1987 Indiana

Record: 30-4, 15-3 Big Ten

Championship game: Defeated Syracuse 74-73

Coach: Bob Knight

The first season with the 3-point shot was indeed a game-changer as this Final Four was marked more by run Rick Pitino’s Providence team made to the national semifinal. Knight’s team, led by Steve Alford, showed plenty of ability to adjust, defeating UNLV 97-93 in the semifinals and Syracuse 74-73 in the title game.

 

12. 2015 Duke

Record: 35-4, 15-3

Championship game: Defeated Wisconsin 68-63

Coach: Mike Krzyzewski

This Duke team will be remembered for what it accomplished for Krzyzewski — his fifth national title and his 1,000th career win, among other records broken this season. It was also one of his most unique teams, starting three freshmen and playing zone from time to time. The Blue Devils spent all season in the top five and lost twice after Jan. 13, both to the same Notre Dame team that took Kentucky to the wire in the Elite Eight. All-American Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow could be top-five picks, and Tyus Jones could be a first-rounder.

 

13. 1991 Duke

Record: 32-7, 11-3 ACC

Championship game: Defeated Kansas 72-65

Coach: Mike Krzyzewski

The Blue Devils made up for a 30-point loss to UNLV in the title game a year earlier by spoiling UNLV’s undefeated season in the Final Four. Though this was a team amid a run of five Final Fours and on the front end of back-to-back titles, this Duke team spent most of 1990-91 chasing UNLV, Ohio State, Arkansas and Indiana in the rankings.

 

14. 2007 Florida

Record: 35-5, 13-3 SEC

Championship game: Defeated Ohio State 84-75

Coach: Billy Donovan

The second of Florida’s back-to-back champions had the tougher mountain to climb, not just because the Gators were the preseason No. 1. This Florida team needed to defeat Aaron Brooks-led Oregon in the Elite Eight, UCLA in the Final Four and then a Greg Oden/Mike Conley Ohio State team in the championship game.

 

15. 1994 Arkansas

Record: 31-3, 14-2 SEC

Championship game: Defeated Duke 76-72

Coach: Nolan Richardson

Arkansas and the 40 Minutes of Hell won the first title for the SEC since 1978, going through Michigan (with four of the Fab Five still remaining), Arizona and Duke (led by Grant Hill).

 

16. 1993 North Carolina

Record: 34-3, 14-2 ACC

Championship game: Defeated Michigan 77-71

Coach: Dean Smith

Smith’s final national championship run had to go through four coaches who would finish their careers with national titles or Hall of Fame inclusion or both: Nolan Richardson, Bob Huggins, Roy Williams and Steve Fisher. The title game would end on Chris Webber’s infamous timeout blunder.

 

17. 2002 Maryland

Record: 32-4, 15-1 ACC

Championship game: Defeated Indiana 64-52

Coach: Gary Williams

This might not be the most memorable national champion for a handful of reasons. Juan Dixon lost out on national player of the year to Duke’s Jay Williams, and the team had few other prominent players (Steve Blake ended up as this team’s best pro). The Terrapins lost only one ACC game (at Duke) during the regular season before defeating Kentucky, UConn, Kansas and Indiana in the Tournament.

 

18. 1995 UCLA

Record: 31-2, 16-2 Pac-12

Championship game: Defeated Arkansas 89-78

Coach: Jim Harrick

UCLA’s championship team and the only Bruins title team not coached by John Wooden was saved in the second round by a layup from Tyus Edney for a come-from-behind win over Missouri.

 

19. 2013 Louisville

Record: 35-5, 14-4 Big East

Championship game: Defeated Michigan 82-76

Coach: Rick Pitino

The 2013 Cardinals were the rare national champion to endure a three-game losing streak at some point during its championship season (to Syracuse, Villanova and Georgetown in January). The Cards also faced only one top-three seed (No. 2 Duke in the Elite Eight) in its Tourney run.

 

20. 1998 Kentucky 

Record: 35-4, 14-2 SEC

Championship game: Defeated Utah 78-69

Coach: Tubby Smith

For Kentucky’s second title in three seasons, the Wildcats needed to overcome double-digit deficits in each of their final three games. 

 

21. 2010 Duke

Record: 35-5, 13-3 ACC

Championship game: Defeated Butler 61-59

Coach: Mike Krzyzewski

Duke has had better championships teams and better teams that didn’t win a title. That said, Jon Scheyer, Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler gave us a classic title game that was also one of the sport’s great what-if moments when Gordon Hayward’s final shot attempt fell short.

 

22. 1989 Michigan

Record: 30-7, 12-6 Big Ten

Championship game: Defeated Seton Hall 80-79

Coach: Steve Fisher

One of the truly bizarre national championship runs in the history of the sport. Michigan was a preseason top-three team and then went through a 5-5 stretch in the conference season. All of that was before athletic director Bo Schembechler replaced coach Bill Frieder, who had accepted the job at Arizona State, with Steve Fisher for the NCAA Tournament.

 

23. 2003 Syracuse

Record: 30-5, 13-3 Big East

Championship game: Defeated Kansas 81-78

Coach: Jim Boeheim

One may ask why a Syracuse team led by Carmelo Anthony, Hakim Warrick and Gerry McNamara is this low. Before the Tournament, this was was not one of Boeheim’s best teams. Those three great players lost to Rutgers in January and spent the first two months of the season unranked.

 

24. 1997 Arizona

Record: 25-9, 11-7 Pac-10

Championship game: Defeated Kentucky 84-79 (OT)

Coach: Lute Olson

Even with Mike Bibby and Michael Dickerson, Arizona didn’t have many guarantees entering the 1997 Tournament. They lost seven conference games during the regular season but defeated three No. 1 seeds and a handful of future pros on the way to the title — Kansas (with Paul Piece and Raef LaFrentz), North Carolina (with Vince Carter and Antawn Jamison) and Kentucky (with Scott Padgett, Ron Mercer and Nazr Mohammed)

 

25. 2000 Michigan State

Record: 32-7, 13-3 Big Ten

Championship game: Defeated Florida 89-76

Coach: Tom Izzo

This was the high point of Izzo’s magic touch in March. The Spartans won the Big Ten and earned a No. 1 seed, but they were hardly a dominant team all season. They also had a draw that included a No. 8 seed and a No. 5 in the Final Four.

 

26. 2006 Florida

Record: 33-6, 10-6 SEC

Championship game: Defeated UCLA 73-57

Coach: Billy Donovan

Between his first Final Four and his first national title, Donovan was snakebit for several years in the first weekend of the Tournament. This run from a team that lost six games in the SEC was a major surprise.

 

27. 1988 Kansas

Record: 27-11, 9-5 Big 8

Championship game: Defeated Oklahoma 83-79

Coach: Larry Brown

How can a team coached by a Hall of Famer and led by a national player of the year, Danny Manning, be this low? Danny and the Miracles were 18-11 and unranked entering the NCAA Tournament.

 

28. 1986 Louisville

Record: 32-7, 10-2 Metro

Championship game: Defeated Duke 72-69

Coach: Denny Crum

A great nickname (“Never Nervous” Pervis Ellison) and an upset of Duke in the title game made this Tournament run memorable. Otherwise, Louisville spent only three weeks of the season ranked in the top 10.

 

29. 2011 UConn

Record: 32-9, 9-9 Big East

Championship game: Defeated Butler 53-41

Coach: Jim Calhoun

The Big East was loaded in 2010-11, so that .500 league record has to be taken in context. Still, UConn went 4-7 in its last 11 games before the Big East Tournament. Kemba Walker caught fire in the postseason before a dud of a national title game against Butler.

 

30. 2014 UConn

Record: 32-8, 12-6 American

Championship game: Defeated Kentucky 60-54

Coach: Kevin Ollie

A pedestrian regular season became special when Shabazz Napier led UConn to wins over No. 2 Villanova, No. 3 Iowa State, No. 4 Michigan State, No. 1 Florida and No. 8 Kentucky. The latter was the last time the Wildcats lost a game.

 

31. 1985 Villanova

Record: 25-10, 9-7 Big East

Championship game: Defeated Georgetown 66-64

Coach: Rollie Massimino

A Big East team winning a title wasn’t a surprise in a year when Georgetown and St. John’s spent time as the No. 1 team in the rankings. Villanova, led by top-10 draft pick Ed Pinckney, remains the lowest-seeded team to win the national championship (eighth).

Teaser:
Ranking College Basketball's National Champions since 1985
Post date: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 10:00
All taxonomy terms: Adam Scott, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2015-majors-no-2-adam-scott
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They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2015 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee.

 

No. 2: Adam Scott

 

Born: July 16, 1980, Adelaide, Australia | Career PGA Tour Wins: 11 (9 on European Tour) | 2014 Wins (Worldwide): 1 | 2014 Earnings (PGA Tour): $4,098,588 (13th) World Ranking: 6

2014 Key Stats:

      Par Breakers: 24.18% (2nd)

      Par 5 Birdie or Better Leaders: 55.88% (1st)

      Approaches from 100-125 Yards: 15’8” (2nd)

 

Brandel Chamblee's Take

Scott will be the object of a lot of scrutiny this year, the last in which he’ll be able to use an anchored putter, as he will inevitably have to begin testing alternative methods for 2016. He has said, however, that he will use the long putter until he has to change. If that is the case, then I don’t expect much to change in Adam’s game this year from the previous four. Since 2011, when Adam first went to the anchored putter in majors, he has six top fives in the game’s biggest events, and in two of those years, 2012 and 2014, he did not finish worse than 15th in a major, something Tiger Woods has managed to do only three times in his career (2000, 2005 and 2007).

Scott is the game’s most consistent performer as evidenced by his Tour leadership in consecutive cuts made and the All-Around category at the end of the 2014 season. He simply does not have a weakness. In an age where players seek high launch-low spin numbers to maximize distance and suffer with accuracy off of the tee, Adam does not give into this trend. He has the power to have much more control with low launch-high spin tee shots and then the ability to adjust and hit green-grabbing, towering irons. At 35 of years of age, turning 36 in July, Adam is in the prime of his career, when experience, talent and ability are at their peak, and nobody in golf is better equipped to do more this year than he is.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 55
Wins: 1

2014 Performance:
Masters - T14
U.S. Open - T9
British Open - T5
PGA Championship - T15

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - 1 (2013)
U.S. Open - T9 (2014)
British Open - 2 (2012)
PGA Championship - T3 (2006)
Top-10 Finishes: 13
Top-25 Finishes: 26
Missed Cuts: 15

 

—Brandel Chamblee is lead analyst for the Golf Channel. Be sure to follow him @ChambleeBrandel on Twitter.

 

Athlon's 2015 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Billy Horschel, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. BUY IT NOW.

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