A Cinderella story no guarantee of success

first_imgGeorge Mason became the best NCAA tournament story in years, riding the league’s first at-large bid to wins over Michigan State, North Carolina and Connecticut and all the way to the Final Four before getting knocked out by eventual champ Florida. The only people who weren’t charmed by the Patriots’ success were the commissioners of the major conferences, whose second-tier finishers were left out of the tourney to make room for George Mason and a handful of college basketball’s other little guys. What we’ll find out Sunday is whether they can do anything about that. The NCAA tournament is at a tipping point, something the selectors finally acknowledged last year in a big way. What began as a subtle shift in the balance of power a dozen years ago is beginning to look more and more like parity across the landscape. The reduction of scholarships per team in 1993 from 15 to 13 freed up roughly 200 players who would have sat on the benches at powerhouse programs in the Big East, ACC and Big Ten to sign on with mid-majors and play right away. The best underclassmen still land with the name programs, but they head to the NBA after a season or two, forcing the coaches and teammates they leave behind to reshuffle the deck season after season. The increased pressure to recruit top 100 players means Roy Williams at North Carolina and Jim Calhoun at Connecticut can’t take on projects and wait for them to develop into stars, but that teams like George Mason can. And do. And for all the Dragons’ heroics this season – they have a 23-8 record, road wins at St. Joseph’s, Villanova, Syracuse and Creighton, and an RPI hovering near 50 – Drexel will still need some breaks and a few friends on the selection committee just to get an invitation. Whether that’s progress depends on who’s talking. Last season, the committee took a flyer on another Colonial Athletic Association team with a similar profile and everybody knows how it turned out. “Then there’s the TV factor,” Larranaga said. “So many games are on that kids don’t have to be at the big programs to get exposure. Then factor in how many big games these kids play in high school, and how many times they face each other in summer leagues and camps and such and the fear factor tapers off pretty quickly.” Even before the critics weighed in, NCAA selection committee chairman Craig Littlepage justified the inclusion of so many mid-majors by saying, “I think the message in this is that there’s great basketball played throughout the country.” Backers of the Big East and ACC still think that means their leagues should send nine teams to the tournament, and they’ve got a good argument. Marquette, for example, is the sixth seed in the upcoming Big East tournament and there were plenty of times this season when you would be hard- pressed to name five teams in the country, let alone the league, that was better. But the other message the committee passed along last season to the big guys was to give their mid-major brethren the nonconference games they bargained, begged, taunted and even threatened lawsuits to get. Drexel went on the road 18 times to build a resume and won 13 of those games. Compare that to the two road wins Michigan State and Georgia Tech had combined. “I think the committee will do what it’s said it will do for a number of years now and that’s to reward teams that challenge themselves in nonconference play,” Larranaga said. “Take the other team from our league that could surprise some people, Old Dominion. They went and played Georgetown, the No. 1 seed in the Big East this week, in a building where Georgetown hadn’t lost in something like 27 years. “I’m not saying that conference play isn’t important, don’t get me wrong. But with unbalanced schedules in some of those big conferences, you may not even play the best team in the league twice. … So the league you play in shouldn’t determine the final decision. I think what the committee has to look at is the total package, what you bring to the tournament.” What the mid-majors bring is a little romance and a large chip on their shoulder. What they’ve got going for them is a 10-man selection committee that will again feature a majority of voters from outside the power conferences. Whether that adds up to a few choices that will have people shaking their heads once more won’t be known for a few days. But keep in mind an unlikely invitation is the jumping-off point for one of the most enduring fairy tales of all time, one that ends with the party-crasher eventually snaring the biggest prize of all. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img GETTING tabbed as a tournament darling in the days leading to Selection Sunday is like catching the bouquet the bride tosses over her shoulder at a wedding. It’s an endorsement, not a guarantee. “For starters, I like two teams from our league, but if we’re talking about somebody coming from way back, say an 11th seed like us, instead of a No. 5,” George Mason coach Jim Larranaga said Tuesday, “I’ll take Drexel.” last_img read more

Kompany strikes beauty to send Man City closer to title

first_imgCity move back one point clear of Liverpool and will become the first side in a decade to retain the title at Brighton on Sunday as long as they match or better the Reds’ result at home to Wolves.After edging past Newcastle 3-2 on Saturday night, Liverpool, who have not won the league since 1990, were left praying that former manager Brendan Rodgers could do them a favour at the Etihad.Leicester’s marked improvement since Rodgers took charge in February was on show in an impressive display from the visitors as City were made to sweat but just got over the line for a vital three points.Ricardo Pereira scored the winning goal for the Foxes when the sides last met in December and was first to threaten again with a purposeful break into the box before his shot was blocked by Kompany.City took time to settle, but the hosts began to impose themselves as the first half wore on.Sergio Aguero came closest to opening the scoring with a header that clipped the inside of the post and was palmed clear by Kasper Schmeichel.David Silva also flashed a shot across goal and Schmeichel forced into another comfortable save by Bernardo Silva before the break.Yet, it was not until after the break that City upped the tempo to lay siege on the Leicester goal.Raheem Sterling headed a glorious chance over then skewed wide as the pressure built.Leroy Sane was soon thrown on as an extra attacking weapon and Ilkay Gundogan sent another warning shot across the bows of Schmeichel’s goal.Sterling then saw huge shouts for a penalty waived away for a shove by Ben Chilwell, but Leicester had the chance to provoke panic inside the Etihad when Harry Maguire drove forward and fed James Maddison, who curled inches wide.City thought their moment had come when the ball fell kindly for Aguero inside the area, only for Schmeichel to make a miraculous stop.Guardiola’s men have now scored 157 goals this season but there will not be a more spectacular or unexpected one than that which may deliver the title.Kompany looked short of options as he strode forward before unleashing a rocket of a shot that arrowed into the top corner.Leicester still had a huge chance to answer Liverpool’s prayers three minutes from time, but against his former club Kelechi Iheanacho shot wide with just Ederson to beat and a titanic tussle for the title remains in City’s hands heading into the final day.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Leading by example: Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Leicester on Monday© AFP Oli SCARFFMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, May 6 – MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, May 6 – Manchester City moved to within one win of retaining the Premier League title as captain Vincent Kompany’s thunderous strike earned a nervy 1-0 win over Leicester City on Monday.The English champions were not as their fluent best, but got the one moment of real quality they needed from an unlikely source as centre-back Kompany unleashed a long-range shot into the top corner 20 minutes from time.last_img read more

Georgia court frees teen sentenced to 10 years in oral sex case

first_imgWilson, who is black, was 17 when he was caught on videotape having oral sex with a 15-year-old girl at a drug- and alcohol-fueled New Year’s Eve party in 2003. Wilson was convicted of aggravated child molestation for the act, a charge that carried a mandatory minimum prison term so harsh it shocked his jury and prompted an international outcry from critics who asserted that prosecutors had been overzealous and racially motivated. The law, critics said, was meant to keep child molesters behind bars, not to curb teenage sexual activity. The jury was not told of the mandatory sentence before it issued its verdict. The year after Wilson was sentenced, the Georgia General Assembly changed the law to make consensual sex between teenagers a misdemeanor punishable by no more than a year in prison, but the Legislature declined to apply the law retroactively to Wilson. That set up a test of wills between the lawmakers and judges, as Wilson’s lawyer appealed to both camps to free her client, who had been an honors student and star athlete. Writing for the majority on Friday, Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears noted that changes to the law made after Wilson’s conviction “represent a seismic shift in the Legislature’s view of the gravity of oral sex between two willing teenage participants.” “The severe felony punishment and sex offender registration imposed on Wilson make no measurable contribution to acceptable goals of punishment,” she wrote. But dissenting judges said the Legislature had clearly not intended to make the new law retroactive to Wilson’s case. As a result, Justice George H. Carley wrote in a dissenting opinion, the punishment should not be deemed cruel and unusual. Carley said the majority decision represented an “unprecedented disregard for the General Assembly’s constitutional authority” and wrote that it would open the door for others convicted of aggravated child molestation to be “discharged from lawful custody.” Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker indicated in a written statement that he would not challenge the court’s decision. “I respectfully acknowledge the court’s authority to grant the relief that they have crafted in this case,” Baker said. “I hope the court’s decision will also put an end to this issue as a matter of contention in the hearts and minds of concerned Georgians and others across the county who have taken such a strong interest in this case.” A diverse group of supporters, including a conservative talk-show host and a prominent New York hedge fund manager who pledged $1 million for bail, had called for Wilson’s release. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., called the case “one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in Georgia in modern times.” “Each day this young man spent in jail is one day too long,” Lewis said in a statement. “It was unbelievable for this young man to go through what he went through.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.In a 4-3 ruling, the court’s majority said the sentence was “grossly disproportionate” to the crime, which “did not rise to the level of culpability of adults who prey on children.” Wilson said he was in “total disbelief” when he first heard the news of the court’s ruling from another inmate who had heard it on the radio. “It didn’t seem real,” Wilson said. “I stopped trying to figure the courts out.” He got a laugh from reporters who asked where his welcome-home party would be. “It’s not going to be any more parties for a while,” he said. ATLANTA – After more than two years in prison for having consensual oral sex with a fellow teenager, Genarlow Wilson shook the hand of a warden Friday at the Al Burruss Correctional Training Center in Forsyth, Ga., and smiled shyly as he walked into the arms of his waiting mother and young sister. Wilson’s mother had skipped up to the prison door to wait for him. “I ran around inside the house 20 times,” said Juanessa Bennett, his mother, describing her reaction to hearing that her son would be set free. Wilson, who is now 21, was released just hours after the Georgia Supreme Court ended his 10-year prison sentence. The court said the sentence for the act, which was considered a felony at the time, violated the Constitution’s protection against cruel and unusual punishment. last_img read more

CALL FOR WEEKEND POLL FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

first_imgÓgra Fianna Fáil in Donegal has launched a campaign calling on the Government to keep its commitment of holding polling in elections and referenda at weekends.As part of the campaign Ógra has launched an Email Lobby Tool on the organisations website which allows members of the public to easily communicate a message to the Government.Ógra Fianna Fáil has set an ambitious target of over 10,000 emails to be delivered from members of the public over the next 30 days. Speaking at Saturday’s campaign launch, Spokesperson for Donegal Ógra Fianna Fáil Michael Regan said “The Fine Gael and Labour Government’s decision to renege on their promise, by holding the upcoming Presidential election on Thursday 27th October and not on a weekend date, must be reversed, as committed to during the General Election Campaign.“Midweek Polling prevents many students and employees living or working outside the constituency from exercising their democratic franchise.“Ógra is inviting all members of the public to participate in the online campaign calling for Weekend Polling by logging on to the website www.ogra.ie and using the Email Campaign Tool to send a message to the Government.”CALL FOR WEEKEND POLL FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION was last modified: August 9th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ogra fianna fail donegalweekend ballot campaignlast_img read more

MAN EXPECTED TO APPEAR IN COURT TODAY IN CONNECTION WITH GLENSWILLY SHOOTING

first_imgA man is expected to appear before Letterkenny District Court today in connection with a shooting incident in Glenswilly on Saturday morning.The scene of the incident in Glenswilly in which a man was shot in the face while using a digger.The 46 year old was arrested at his home yesterday and taken to Milford Garda station for questioning. A 42 year old man is still receiving treatment at Galway University Hospital following the incident.The man was struck in the face and the shoulder when a shotgun was discharged at the scene of the incident at Ballykillna at around 10.30am.MAN EXPECTED TO APPEAR IN COURT TODAY IN CONNECTION WITH GLENSWILLY SHOOTING was last modified: January 6th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:arrestcourtGardaiglenswillyshootinglast_img read more

Daniel’s ‘Late Late Show’ superfan charged in connection with cocaine haul

first_imgA superfan of Daniel O’Donnell has been charged in connection with the running of a suspected cocaine factory. Molly Sloyan, 25, became an overnight internet sensation when she appeared on the Late Late Show during a St Valentine’s Day special.Molly was left outraged when she thought Daniel O’Donnell was singing on the RTE show but was left visibly horrified when Daniel turned out to be impersonator Mario Rosenstock. Her shocked expression went viral on the internet.Daniel was told of Molly’s plight and arranged to meet up with her and even invited her to his sold-out show in the Killarney INEC in August 2016.Yesterday, the young woman was amongst four people charged in relation to a garda raid on a suspected cocaine extraction factory in Bantry, Co Cork.Gardaí recovered more than €70,000 in drugs from the Bantry property which they believed was at the centre of a sophisticated operation where cocaine-soaked into clothing imported from Brazil was removed via a special chemical process and then sold on the Irish market. Four people, three men and a woman, were arrested during the garda operation and all appeared before Bandon District Court yesterday.Judge Mary Dorgan was told the State was objecting to bail being granted for all four defendants.The defendants included three men with Dublin addresses – Sean McManus (36) from Burrowfield Road, Baldoyle, Dublin, William (51) and Dean(26) Gilsenan, both of Kilmahuddick Green, Clondalkin, Dublin – as well as one woman with Spanish and Cork addresses, Molly Sloyan (25), from Abbey Court, Kinsale, Cork but also with an address at Benidorm , Alicante, Spain.Daniel’s ‘Late Late Show’ superfan charged in connection with cocaine haul was last modified: December 2nd, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:cocainedaniel o’donnellLate Late ShowMolly SLoyanlast_img read more

Council power sharing agreement “significant development” – Cllr

first_imgThe power-sharing agreement settled on by Donegal’s new county councillors has been described as a “significant achievement”. Cllr Marie Therese Gallagher was speaking after the 37 elected members of Donegal County Council took their seats on Friday to begin the council term following last month’s local elections.At the AGM of the council, it was revealed that all parties and independents had agreed upon a set of priorities and targets they wanted to achieve over the five-year term of the council. These included the establishment of a number of new committees to reflect the challenges currently facing county Donegal, including Brexit, mica redress, health, fisheries, agriculture and emergency response.They also agreed that the council would appoint a Disability Officer, set targets on reducing emissions, increase roads funding and improve standards in the Council’s housing stock.Speaking this evening, Cllr Gallagher said: “This power-sharing agreement reflects the needs and aspirations of all the people throughout Donegal who have engaged with the 37 Councillors over the course of the recent election campaign.“The people of Donegal elected us to represent them, and the priorities we have set out today are a reflection of the feedback we received on the doors and what they want us to work towards during the term of this council. “It is a significant development for the future of our county that all 37 Councillors have reached a consensus on the priorities for the next five years, and how we are going to set about achieving our targets,” she added.“We are facing into some of the biggest issues this county has ever had but I am satisfied that by agreeing on this programme for Local Government we have ensured that this council will be working for the betterment of all our citizens during our term.”Council power sharing agreement “significant development” – Cllr was last modified: June 9th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Giants buzz: Kikuchi sweepstakes, plan for Posey, A’s trades

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO–The Mets shipped out top prospects for All-Star closer Edwin Diaz and veteran hitter Robinson Cano. The Nationals shelled out $140 million for free agent starter Patrick Corbin. The St. Louis Cardinals completed a massive trade, acquiring Paul Goldschmidt in exchange for three prospects from the Diamondbacks.So what are the Giants waiting for?CLICK HERE if you are having trouble viewing the photos on your mobile device.That’s a loaded question that can’t be answered succinctly, …last_img

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid” Author Talks Geocaching

first_imgGeocaching partnered with Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney to create a fun set of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul trackable tags to celebrate the book’s release last year. What you may not know is that the Wimpy Kid trackables came about because Jeff Kinney is a geocacher. He enjoys taking his kids out on geocaching adventures. We are thrilled that he wanted to share one of his geocaching experiences with us.If you are following his series, you will be excited to learn that the next book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School, will be released on November 3, 2015. This book is particularly exciting because it will go on sale on the same day in 90 countries around the world, which has never been done by any book before!Kinney shared one of his geocaching experiences with us, in his own words.Geocacher and author, Jeff Kinney poses with Greg Heffley from his Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.By Jeff KinneyWhen I first learned about geocaching a few years back, I was thoroughly confused. People have stored little treasures in hiding places all around me? It seemed like an odd pastime to me. But mysterious and exciting at the same time.I was looking for something fun (and cheap) to do with my two sons. And so I downloaded the Geocaching app. I was ready to head off into the wilderness some miles away, armed with a walking stick and an iPhone, braving ticks and scrambling over felled trees. But as a swarm of blue dots filled the map on my screen, I was surprised (alarmed?) to find that there was a hidden treasure not 200 yards from the back of my house.Now this was exciting. I made sure my kids had adequate footwear and we headed out, stepping from the verdant grass of our backyard into actual raw nature. There was some scrambling and some hopping over creeks formed by snow melt runoff. There was some negotiating of brambles. There may have even been some burs. I’ll admit, I’m not exactly the outdoor type, so the thrill of forging my way through the wild… with two of my progeny in tow… had the feeling of real danger.Eventually, we reached a clearing where power lines cut through the woods (OK, so maybe it wasn’t raw nature). By now, we were getting close. The pulsing blue dot was nearby, but where could the hiding spot be? These were early days of GPS pinpointing, and the dot hopped madly around the screen. It seemed that our quarry was on the move, taunting us.I was waiting for the dot to stop. Then we’d creep up on it, look down, and find the treasure at our feet.My kids must’ve detected the confusion on my face. This was a strange ordeal for them to begin with, so the sight of me spinning in place and shaking my iPhone violently didn’t give them a feeling of confidence.But then I realized I needed to start thinking like the first person who had decided that this was the place to hide a cache. I gave up on the teleporting dot on my phone and started using my eyes.My eyes fell to a fallen tree. It was all starting to come together. But where was the cache? Under the tree? Oh no! Did someone place a cache in this spot and a tree fell on it? This was going to be very hard to explain to my sons.By then, my eldest son had climbed over the tree to investigate it from a different angle. And that’s when he found it. A plastic box, hidden in a hole in the log.A real eureka moment. Inside the box was a giant pencil. A decent treasure for the effort put in. We added our names to the log, proud members of a long list of explorers who had come to the same spot, but from different starting places.Neither of my kids saw me palm a baseball I had brought from home and slip it into the box before putting it back in the fallen tree. I didn’t need the tears.A good bite-sized adventure and one I’ve repeated in locales further from home.I never did teach them how to throw a baseball.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedDiary of a Wimpy Kid Trackables on the Move!August 1, 2014In “Community”Inside Geocaching HQ Podcast Transcript (Episode 11): The Magic of trackable promotionsMay 10, 2018Similar postFeatured Geocacher of the Month Award WinnersAugust 25, 2011In “Community”last_img read more

Over 120 Andhra Pradesh Farmers to Visit Singapore to Learn Business Practices

first_imgThe Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) will send 123 farmers, who gave their land in the Amaravati capital region under the land pooling scheme for residential and commercial plots, to Singapore so that they can learn about best business practices. The state government is going to pay for the food, accommodation and tour within Singapore city for four days while the farmers will bear the cost of flights, insurance and visa.Around 32,000 farmers have given their land for the construction of Amaravati, the capital of Andhra Pradesh.Initially, the government planned to send 100 farmers to Singapore but Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu selected 123 farmers by allocating an additional Rs 12 lakh for the trip. The government believes that Singapore is the best place to learn entrepreneurship for the farmers.“Farmers are the original citizens of the capital and they should be happy. Their transition into the entrepreneurship sector must be smooth, so we must ensure that skill building is a continuous process,” Naidu said at an APCRDA meeting at Vijayawada last week.The farmers have given up land ranging from 250 sq yards to 1,000 sq yards. In return, they received plots depending on the size of the plot they surrendered.Farmers can be helped through entrepreneurship and business development skills and may become role models for others, officials said. The state government is trying to make 32,000 farmer families self-sustaining, Naidu said. The trip to Singapore was not a free one as officials feared that all the farmers who had given up their land would come forward for the trip, which was not possible to arrange for the government.However, some farmers feel that spending Rs 25,000, which is the cost they will have to bear, was not a big deal compared to the experience they would gain. The government is spending Rs 30,000 per head.Andhra Pradesh-Singapore MoU for Amaravati MasterplanThe Andhra Pradesh state government and Singapore had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in May 2017 to enhance cooperation for the Amaravati masterplan.“A high-level Joint Implementation Steering Committee (JSIC), co-chaired by the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and the Singapore Minister of Trade and Industry, will provide leadership and direction for the implementation of the MoU,” Sreedhar Cherukuri, commissioner, Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority, had said at the time.The MoU will also allow Singapore entities to invest in Amaravati while also allowing them to contribute their expertise to the state’s economic development.Singapore’s masterplan was accepted by Andhra Pradesh through a “Swiss Challenge” method. Two Singapore-based companies — Ascendas-Singbridge and Sembcorp Development — had formed a consortium to do the capital construction for the upcoming state capital. The government is expected to spend Rs 33,000 crore in 7-8 years for developing the state capital’s infrastructure.Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were divided into two states in 2014, with Hyderabad declared as the capital of Telangana and the de jure capital of the former. Related ItemsAmaravati SingaporeAndhra farmers SingaporeAndhra Pradesh Capital Region Development AuthorityAndhra Pradesh Singapore MoUAPCRDAChandrababu NaiduLittle Indialast_img read more