UCLA Basketball: a leaderless program in chaos, says SI report


ucla

The debate about whether or not UCLA Bruins head coach Ben Howland is on the hot seat is about to end. Now that a new Sports Illustrated study has been released, which profiles physical fighting between players, rampant alcohol and drug abuse, and most importantly, Howland’s aloof, hands-off approach, he may want to start enhancing his resume.

According to the AP, the past four years of UCLA players and coaches say that Howland:

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Photo: Danica Patrick’s High School Yearbook


danica_patrick

Danica Patrick finished a disappointing 38th in the Daytona 500. It was a fitting end to a less-than-inspirational week. Patrick qualified 29th but dropped to the rear of the field at the start per NASCAR rules, as a crash in Thursday’s Gatorade Duel Qualifying race forced her to a back-up car. She also crashed in the Nationwide series race (the only one in which she can earn championship points) on Saturday, bringing her total of wrecks for the week to three; not the best way to begin her NASCAR career.

And now…her high school yearbook picture revealed, see it after the jump. Click it for a larger view.

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Fighting Illini’s tournament hopes on life support, need win against Michigan


trey-burke

After a 1-9 stretch that included losses at Penn State, Minnesota, Nebraska, a torrent of criticism directed at Bruce Weber and a crying Meyers Leonard, Illinois managed to revive their at-large hopes with an 11-point win over Iowa on Sunday. It was their first double digit win since early in the preconference.

Beating the Hawkeyes likely won’t matter to the selection committee unless the Fighting Illini can turn around and upset the Wolverines on Thursday.

Michigan enters this Thursday matchup at Assembly Hall looking to right the ship after suffering a 14-point beatdown at home against Purdue. Freshman point guard Trey Burke struggled, as did nearly everybody else. The Wolverines need to prove that Saturday night’s result was a blip, and not an indication of bigger problems.

Although this isn’t a must-win for the Maize and Blue—as is the case for the Illini—losing two straight against two inferior opponents would be a bad sign heading into the Big Ten tournament next weekend.

guest post from bigtenorbust.com

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White Sox are more of a Moneyball team than you might think


moneyball

“Moneyball,” one of the most acclaimed movies of 2011 was released on video last month. The Billy Beane biopic and adaptation of Michael Lewis’ best-selling novel was nominated for six Academy awards including best picture, best actor (Brad Pitt) and Jonah Hill (best supporting actor). Because of it’s popularity, more baseball fans are wondering how SABR-friendly their favorite MLB team is.

The Chicago White Sox don’t have a reputation as being the most sabermetric-focused of teams, and the front office is fine with having that rep, according to the member of the Sox front office that we spoke with. Dan Fabian, White Sox Director of Baseball Operations joined us Sox bloggers on conference call, and what he had to say may surprise you.

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White Sox Marketing VP Brooks Boyer Creates Fireworks


The Chicago White Sox Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Brooks Boyer recently shared his opinions on the upcoming 2012 White Sox season, from the perspective of the fan experience.  What marketing fireworks might he be creating for the team in 2012?

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Indiana Hoosiers appear tourney-bound after win against Michigan State


No. 1 Kentucky? Check.

No. 2 Ohio State? Check.

No. 5 Michigan State? Check.

Each of those three teams, while ranked as listed, has fallen at Assembly Hall this season, adding a feat to the already deep lore of Indiana University basketball: the Hoosiers (23-7, 10-7 Big Ten) have knocked off three top-5 teams in the regular season for the first time ever.

Knocking off the Spartans in a 70-55 win Tuesday night adds yet another key victory to IU’s tournament resume — one that probably doesn’t need any more work to ensure the Hoosiers will go dancing for the first time under coach Tom Crean. For Crean, the players and Hoosier Nation, that has to feel good.

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Michigan State Spartans get beat-down at Indiana’s Assembly Hall


IU-MSU

If you still had doubts that the Big Ten was a physical conference, the game at Assembly Hall between the Spartans and Hoosiers silenced any critics.

The problem is, the game also silenced the Spartans, too.

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Danica Patrick’s first NASCAR race, race week a major dud


danica-patrick-bikini

Danica Patrick was caught in a multi-car accident not of her making on the third lap of Monday night’s rain-delayed 54th Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and finished a disappointing 38th. It was a fitting end to a less-than-inspirational week.

Patrick qualified 29th but dropped to the rear of the field at the start of the event per NASCAR rules as a crash in Thursday’s Gatorade Duel Qualifying race forced her to a back-up car. She also crashed in the Nationwide series race on Saturday, bringing her total of wrecks to three for the week; not the best way to begin her NASCAR career.

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2012 NFL Draft Combine winners and losers: DBs


harrison-smith

It’s combine time, the male version of a swimsuit calendar shoot. But don’t get too high or too low about this stuff. Like my friend Bill Smith says, “beware the workout warrior.” The site of the past Super Bowl, Indianapolis is also hosting the 2012 NFL Draft Scouting Combine. Let’s take a look at who’s draft stock is trading higher and who’s trading lower after the workouts.

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2012 NFL Draft Combine winners and losers: linebackers and D linemen


luke-kuechly

It’s combine time, the male version of a swimsuit calendar shoot. But don’t get too high or too low about this stuff. Like my friend Bill Smith says, “beware the workout warrior.” The site of the past Super Bowl, Indianapolis is also hosting the 2012 NFL Draft Scouting Combine. Let’s take a look at who’s draft stock is trading higher and who’s trading lower after the workouts.

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Plaxico Burress says he wants to join the Philadelphia Eagles


plaxico burress

Embattled NFL receiver Plaxico Burress appeared on 97.5 The Fanatic on Tuesday and stated, “nothing else would make me happier” than joining the Eagles. Burress said the Eagles had “a lot” of interest in him last year. Although the New York Jets obviously were more interested.

It appears the former Michigan State star would like to trade in last year’s green-and-white for green-and-silver. Burress made $3 million on a one-year-deal last season with the Jets. But don’t expect a ton of teams to be fawning over him at this point.

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2012 NFL Draft Combine winners and losers: O line and tight ends


jeff-allen

It’s combine time, the male version of a swimsuit calendar shoot. But don’t get too high or too low about this stuff. Like my friend Bill Smith says, “beware the workout warrior.” The site of the past Super Bowl, Indianapolis is also hosting the 2012 NFL Draft Scouting Combine. Let’s take a look at who’s draft stock is trading higher and who’s trading lower after the workouts.

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