More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Embed Code FiveThirtyEight Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (Jan. 10, 2017), we take a look at the Clemson Tigers’ stunning fourth-quarter defeat of Alabama in the College Football Playoff championship game. Next, we explore whether a Miami frolic on a boat is to blame for Odell Beckham Jr.’s poor playoff performance and the Giants’ 38-13 loss to the Packers on Sunday. Finally, we chat with Neil Greenberg, who writes for the Washington Post’s Fancy Stats blog, about winning streaks in the NHL this season — and what it might mean for the playoffs down the road. Plus, a significant digit that’s in part about Hot Takedown’s own Kate Fagan.Links to what we discussed:ESPN’s Edward Aschoff recapped the CFP championship game, which had a particularly wild fourth quarter.Neil Paine wrote about how Clemson made history defeating Alabama.The Washington Post’s Cindy Boren reported on Beckham and his yacht trip last week.Beckham is likely not going to have a fun offseason, writes The Ringer’s Kevin Clark.Last weekend was one of the worst wild-card weekends in NFL history.Last week, the New York Times recapped the game that ended the Columbus Blue Jackets’ 16-game winning streak, just one win shy of tying the NHL record.Do winning streaks in the NHL help us to predict anything about the playoffs? ESPN Stats & Information’s Mike Wilson explores.Significant Digit: 53, the number of consecutive free throws that Lexie Brown, a guard for the Duke women’s basketball team, has hit in a row. This is a new ACC record, and more than our very own Kate Fagan had when she set the Big 12 record.
Junior distance runner Nicole Hilton jumps a fence during the 3000-meter steeplechase as part of the Jesse Owens Track Classic April 19 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Hilton won the race.Courtesy of OSU AthleticsUnder sunny skies, the Ohio State men’s and women’s track and field teams stood tall at the Jesse Owens Track Classic.Leading the way for the Buckeyes at the two-day meet was the women’s 4×100-meter relay team of sprinters sophomore Aliyah Everson, redshirt-junior Chesna Sykes, senior Alycia Prior and redshirt-senior Ashlee Abraham, who scampered to a time of 44.56 seconds. The result is a season-best time for the squad and the best in the Big Ten this year.Several individual events also scored high, as junior distance runner Nicole Hilton won the 3000-meter steeplechase under the lights Friday with a time of 10:37.78. Saturday afternoon, senior sprinter and jumper Adenike Pedro claimed the long jump title with a personal-best jump of 6.13 meters. Senior jumper Bianca Walton jumped 12.31 meters in the triple jump, earning her second place. In the 100-meter dash, Abraham ran 11.65 seconds putting her in the runner-up position. Finally, junior mid-distance runner Katie Borchers finished third in the 800-meter with a time of 2:11.56Women’s associate head coach Rosalind Joseph was excited by the outcome of the meet and how each of the players built on the foundations they had coming in to the meet.“Everybody was aggressive,” Joseph said. “Everyone came out to get something done. We asked them all to take something away from this meet that we can fine tune.”Pedro agreed with Joseph that the meet helped identify what needs to get done in the next few weeks in practice as the team prepares for the conference meet, scheduled for May 16-18 in West Lafayette, Ind.“There’s always something to improve on,” Pedro said. “From now on, every day in practice I know I have to work hard because there is somebody else out there who is working just as hard as me.”This meet proved to be an emotional one for Pedro — it was the last time she will compete in Columbus wearing the Scarlet and Gray.“(This is the) last home meet, I knew I had to go out there and give it my best,” Pedro said. “I’m just glad we all came out as a team and fought hard and fought together.”Joseph said the women’s team immediately turned the focus back to practice and where each athlete can improve for next week.“We aren’t trying to change a bunch of things or add a bunch of things,” Joseph said. “We are just fine tuning. There are a lot of things to fine tune, but at the same time I think this meet really helped us identify what they were.”In the men’s 4×100-meter relay, sprinters redshirt-freshman Donovan Robertson, junior Nick Batcha, junior Timothy Faust and senior Brandon Blackwell were victorious and ran their fastest time this season of 40.14 seconds. The time earned them a Top 30 performance nationally.The men’s 4×400-meter relay had similar results. The relay, ran by sophomore Armand Austin, senior sprinter and hurdler Jordan Rispress, redshirt-senior Javon Walker and freshman LaMar Bruton, won with a time of 3:10.40.Rispress also ran a personal-best time in the 400-meter hurdles of 51.51, earning him first place. Walker finished second in the 400-meter dash. Sophomore distance runner Jordan Redd finished third in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Finally, two Buckeye runners placed Top 5 in the 1500-meter run. Redshirt-sophomore distance runner Josh Sabo placed second and graduate senior Andy Arnold finished fourth.Women’s coach Karen Dennis said while many athletes have made their way back to the track after injuries, they are still focused on getting everyone 100 percent healthy.“There are things that are going well, but we have to continue to get people healthy, and in a better competitive posture for the future,” Dennis said.Looking head, the men’s team is slated to compete Friday and Saturday at the Ole Miss Open in Oxford, Miss., and the women’s team is set to compete Thursday through Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa, at the Drake Relays.
McGuff-led Ohio State has never shied away from playing some of the top teams in the county in its early season nonconference schedule. That will not change this year.The Buckeyes will challenge themselves again this season as the kick off the 2017-18 campaign with top-10 matchups against No. 10 Stanford at 6 p.m. Friday at St. John Arena and versus No. 9 Louisville at 4 p.m. Sunday at Nationwide Arena. “It’s always a big game coming right out,” senior guard Kelsey Mitchell said. “But I think we’ve prepared ourselves. I think we’ve done everything that we needed to prepare for a team like Stanford. It’s all about just going out there and trying to do it.”Though Ohio State returns most of the core players on a team that made the Sweet 16 last season, McGuff said he never truly knows what the team will look like until it steps onto the court for the first regular season game.“We’re going to find out something. We’re going to find out where we’re at one way or another,” McGuff said. “They have a great team, they’re one of the best in the country. We aspire to compete with those types of teams, so we’re going to find out where we’re at.” Ohio State redshirt junior guard Sierra Calhoun drives into the lane during the Buckeyes’ 110-80 exhibition win against Ashland on Oct. 29. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorThe stakes are high for the No. 5 Ohio State women’s basketball team. If the Buckeyes fulfill their potential and advance further in the tournament than they have since 1993, they could play host to the Final Four. But if things go wrong, Ohio State could be looking at an early exit from the NCAA tournament and a bleak future, since the team will graduate five key players.Since head coach Kevin McGuff arrived in 2013, Ohio State has yet to reach beyond the Sweet 16, where its season ended the past two years. Preseason All-American guard Kelsey Mitchell has led Ohio State in scoring the past three years and will once again be the offensive catalyst in her final collegiate season. The preseason Big Ten Player of the Year leads a high-paced offense which averaged 85.7 points per game last season, the fourth-most in the country. A first-team All-American in 2016 and a second-team All-American in 2015 and 2017, Mitchell has owns the program record for most points in a single season (889 in 2015-16) and the Big Ten record for most career 3-pointers made (368). Though she would need to average more than 27 points per game, which she has never done in a single season, Mitchell has a chance to break former Washington guard Kelsey Plum’s NCAA record for most career points scored. The 5-foot-8 guard led the Big Ten with 22.6 points per game last season.“She’s an unbelievable player,” McGuff said. “It’s great to see her get the recognition she truly deserves. There’s not a person in college basketball working harder than she is. Those results have been shown on the court. She’s a great kid, great leader, and an unbelievable work ethic.”Mitchell will be joined in the starting lineup by three guards and one post player, redshirt senior Stephanie Mavunga. Mavunga was honored as a preseason All-Big Ten selection and was picked for the second-team All-Big Ten last season, despite missing 13 games due to injuries. She became the third player in program to average a double-double last season with 11.4 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.Guards Linnae Harper, Sierra Calhoun and Asia Doss will accompany Mitchell and Mavunga in the starting five. Harper enters the starting lineup after being named the Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year last season. Though Harper stands just 5-foot-8, the redshirt senior offers Ohio State the ability to use her as a guard or inside due to her scrappy style. The former Kentucky transfer averaged 8.4 points and five rebounds per game last season.Calhoun, one of the team’s top shooters, started every game last season and put up 9.5 points per game. She will play a similar role to last year — when she was second on the team with 68 3-pointers made and first with 38.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc— as an off-ball shooter. The team’s most effective defender, Doss finished with 41 steals last game and will be one of the key components of an Ohio State defense which must improve.Last season, the Buckeyes gave up an average of 71.5 points per game, 313th-best in the country. McGuff has focused on improving defense and rebounding in the offseason with the hope of correcting the team’s most prominent weakness.“Overall, our defense has just not been good,” Mitchell said at media day on Oct. 10. “I’m not going to lie to you, it’s been bad all four years I’ve been here. We’ve been good in spurts, but it’s bad because we can’t piece it together for the whole season.”Though Ohio State possesses a talented starting lineup, its depth leaves much to be desired as it has just nine players on scholarship, two of which have scarcely played. The graduation of forward Shayla Cooper and transfers of a pair of talented freshmen — guard Kiara Lewis and forward Tori McCoy — left Ohio State with less-than-optimal depth. Any key injury during the season could devastate the Buckeyes.Senior forward Alexa Hart and redshirt junior forward Makalyla Waterman will be the two most important players off the bench, but both have dealt with injuries which kept them on the bench for the first of two exhibition games. Hart, a 6-foot-3 post player, will be key for situations in which Mavunga gets in foul trouble. A stretch forward, Waterman will help replace Cooper, who averaged 10.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game last season.McGuff has heralded sophomore guard Jensen Caretti as someone who had a good offseason and could make a substantial leap. She played 17 games last season, but scored just 40 points and dished 20 assists.“We need her to be good,” McGuff said at media day on Oct. 10. “We need her to step up and to have the season she’s capable of having.”
INDIANAPOLIS — Denzel Ward had a decision to make.As a highly regarded NFL prospect who might slot among the top 10 picks of the 2018 NFL Draft, he had to make a choice of whether to play in the Cotton Bowl against USC on Dec. 29. He went back and forth, but ultimately chose to sit out and focus on improving his draft stock.However, had the Buckeyes’ made the College Football Playoff rather than end up outside the top-four teams, he would have played. When asked at the NFL combine Sunday whether he would have suited up in scarlet and gray for either the Sugar Bowl or the Rose Bowl, he had a simple answer: “Yes sir.”Former Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward (12) on the sidelines during the Buckeyes’ Cotton Bowl victory against USC on Dec. 29, 2017. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorWard said he did not tell the coaches he would not be playing on the final day, but it was a late, difficult decision. He said he ultimately sat out the bowl game to “not risk injury.”“It’s not that I didn’t want to play the game,” Ward said. “I wanted to play. It was hard. I’m glad I got the win, though.”He said NFL teams have asked him about the decision, but does not believe teams have held the decision against him.“They just want to hear my thoughts of why I did sit out the bowl game,” Ward said.Though Ward did not play in the bowl game as a junior, he practiced the entire week. He said he practiced to help the younger corners, such as then-freshman Jeffrey Okudah who played the most snaps of his career against the Trojans.Ward played three seasons and had a combined 67 tackles, 24 pass deflections and two interceptions. As a junior, he was named a first-team All-American. Ward has a chance to become the fourth Ohio State cornerback selected in the first round, following in the footsteps of Eli Apple, Marshon Lattimore and Gareon Conley.
The Costa Rican footballer was chosen over Roma’s Alisson, Juventus’ Gianluigi Buffon, Barcelona’s Marc-André Ter Stegen, and Chelsea’s Thibaut CourtoisDuring the 2018-2019 UEFA Champions League group draw, the Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas was chosen the best one on his position from last season’s tournament.The Costa Rica national team keeper received 222 points, followed by ex-Roma and now Liverpool footballer Alisson Becker with 197.The Top 10 goalkeepers of the 2017-2018 season were published in the UEFA official website.Nava played in 11 matches during the last season, having conceded 13 goals but with two clean sheets.“Keepers stand up to be counted in big games like these. It was a difficult second leg and he gave us so much, he gave us life,” former coach Zinedine Zidane said about him after beating Bayern Munich.Zidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“He’s a keeper that I love. He’s won three consecutive Champions League titles, earned us lots of points and ensured we win games – but above all, I’d praise him as a person,” his teammate Dani Carvajal added.Goalkeeper of the Season top tenKeylor Navas (Real Madrid) – 222 pointsAlisson Becker (Liverpool/Roma) – 197 pointsGianluigi Buffon (Paris/Juventus) – 92 pointsMarc-André Ter Stegen (Barcelona) – 47 pointsThibaut Courtois (Chelsea, now Real Madrid) – 28 pointsEderson (Manchester City) – 26 pointsHugo Lloris (Tottenham) – 18 pointsJan Oblak (Atlético) – 16 pointsDavid de Gea (Manchester United) – 7 pointsSven Ulreich (Bayern) – 5 pointsBravo, @NavasKeylor! ?#UEFAawards #UCLdraw pic.twitter.com/NR4Jk7kLnt— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 30, 2018
The former UEFA president has said many times that he doesn’t like the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology in football.Former Juventus legend and former UEFA president Michel Platini has repeatedly said he hates the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology.But today he was quoted by Calcio Mercato, on how he believes journalists are guilty of making the VAR technology appear in the world of football.“Do I like VAR? No. It was a forced choice,” he said.“The fault of you journalists, that you pressured: whenever a referee was wrong, you asked for more justice.”“But that gimmick no longer gives justice. I know, because I played in front of the cameras,” he continued.“There are undoubtedly positive things, like on the offside or the ball in and out of the lines.”England and Bulgaria on a collision course over racism George Patchias – September 13, 2019 England’s concerns over racism in Bulgaria has sparked a furious row.Recently England manager Gareth Southgate expressed his concern over racist abuse being aimed at…“Instead the interpretation of fouls cannot work. If I support a hand on an opponent’s shoulder, on TV it is very clear-cut rigour,” Platini added.“But the images mica can show you the strength that was in that pat. It is no longer possible to go back: however, adjustments are needed.”“How do youth today differ? They have the doors of the world wide open. They reason faster, they are more informed,” he explained.“They have internet and a different culture. But in our time there were fewer problems and more work.”“How has football changed? It is more beautiful than in my time. The new rules also helped,” he said.“Efforts have been made to eliminate time losses, putting the balls around the field, limiting the possibility of passing the ball back to the goalkeeper. And then the players’ physique has changed, primarily the speed.”