189

How Notre Dame beat UConn in overtime in the Final Four

Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale made a 17-foot jumper with one second left in overtime as UConn lost in overtime in the Final Four for the second consecutive year. This time it was Notre Dame ending UConn’s unbeaten season 91-89.

The Fighting Irish advanced to the NCAA wholesale nfl jerseys championship game for the first time since 2015. Notre Dame will play Mississippi State — which beat Louisville in overtime earlier Friday — in Sunday’s title game (ESPN, 6 p.m. ET).

UConn twice came back to tie the score Friday, first at the end of regulation and again near the end of overtime. With 26 seconds left in the extra period, UConn’s Crystal Dangerfield made a 3-pointer, giving Notre Dame the final possession. It ended in the hands of Ogunbowale, the Irish’s leading scorer. After a timeout, Ogunbowale faded away and released her shot over Napheesa Collier for the winner.

It’s rare that a team gets one shot to beat UConn. Notre Dame had two, leading 79-74 with 21.3 seconds left in regulation, but a 3-pointer by Collier and a steal and layup by Kia Nurse tied the score. A second Irish turnover in the final seconds gave UConn a chance to win, but Gabby Williams’ short, off-balanced fadeaway jumper missed and the game went to overtime knotted at 79.

UConn has fallen short of the championship game in consecutive years for the first time since 2011 and 2012. nfl jerseys china Williams and Nurse played their final games at UConn, losing only twice. Williams had 12 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 blocks. Nurse struggled with her shooting, going 4-of-13 from the field and had 10 points.

188

For UConn, déjà vu hurts a little bit more

Ohio — UConn seniors Gabby Williams and Kia Nurse embraced in the hallway of Nationwide Arena on Friday, the reality sinking in that their college careers were over. And for the second year in a row, they were not playing in the national championship game.

Could it really have happened again? An overtime loss in the national semifinals, authentic nfl jerseys thanks to a big shot from an opposing guard? Yeah, it really did.

Just like in 2017, the Huskies’ only loss all season came at the Women’s Final Four. This program has been to a record 19 of those, 11 in a row. The Huskies have never lost an NCAA final; they are 11-0 in those. But the semis have been the round that’s gotten them, now for the eighth time.

Last year, it was Mississippi State’s Morgan William who beat them at the overtime buzzer. This year, it was Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale, who sank a jump shot with 1 second left for a 91-89 overtime victory.

Last season, the Bulldogs ended UConn’s 111-game winning streak. This year, the Irish ended a 36-game win streak. Both years, the Huskies were the overall No. 1 seed and considered a heavy favorite to win the championship. Both years, they were going for the program’s seventh perfect season, but came up short.

Consider, though, it was just 13 days ago, when UConn opened the tournament with a 140-52 victory over No. 16 Saint Francis (Pennsylvania), that there was the typical “the Huskies are unbeatable and bad for the sport” claptrap from the peanut gallery that doesn’t really watch women’s basketball.

Yet for the second year in a row, the Huskies have, indeed, proved to be beatable.

“When you do something, and it seems like it’s so effortless, you do get numb and forget.wholesale nfl jerseys It’s difficult. It’s very, very difficult,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “There are no bad teams. There’s no bad players. You can’t luck into a national championship. You have to play great.”

180

Doug Marrone hopes Donte Moncrief buys into Keenan McCardell

Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Marrone has one bit of advice that he nike nfl jerseys for cheap hopes newly-signed receiver Donte Moncrief will follow when players return next month for the start of the offseason conditioning program.

Absorb everything receivers coach Keenan McCardell says and does.

After watching what McCardell did with the Jaguars’ young and inexperienced group of receivers in 2017, Marrone believes that Moncrief can finally take the next step in his development and become a consistent big-play threat if he’s willing to commit to the plan.

“I do believe that if Moncrief is open-minded to have a coach like Keenan McCardell, who’s done it before, [he] could reap great benefits, not only for our football team but for him personally because I think we’ve seen what Keenan’s been able to do with younger players,” Marrone said Monday evening at the NFL’s annual meetings. “… If he’s open, which he seems to be, of this relationship with Keenan McCardell, I think great things can happen in that relationship, just like it’s happening with [Keelan] Cole, [Dede] Westbrook, [and] Marqise Lee coming back.”

Moncrief signed with the Jaguars earlier this month after four seasons with Indianapolis. He caught 64 passes for 733 yards and six touchdowns in his second season when Andrew Luck and Matt Hasselbeck started a combined 15 games. However, Moncrief caught only 56 passes in the past two seasons combined and battled injuries that cost him 11 games. It didn’t help that Luck missed the 2017 season with a shoulder injury, either.

Still, the Jaguars saw enough potential in the 6-foot-2, 221-pound Moncrief to give him a one-year contract worth $9.6 million guaranteed. Moncrief knows he’s running out of time to prove that he can be one of the NFL’s better receivers, which is where it appeared he was headed after his second season.

“Just having a chip on my shoulder to go out and show what I can actually do,nike nfl jerseys cheap china and have another year to come out here and compete and show the league what I’ve got,” Moncrief said. “I know what I’m capable of and I’m going to hold myself to it.

179

The real reason Jets pulled one-year offer to Ndamukong Suh

The New York Jets are sending mixed signals on their decision to bail out of the Ndamukong Suh sweepstakes.

One day after CEO Christopher Johnson said the Jets rescinded their offer because it didn’t fit their customized nfl jerseys cheap “longer-term plan,” general manager Mike Maccagnan told reporters Monday at the NFL league meetings that Suh “still has the ability to be a dominant player.”

If he’s that good, why pull the offer?

Maccagnan said the Jets issued Suh’s agent a deadline. When the deadline passed, they decided to withdraw.

“We made him an offer. We had a deadline on that offer,” Maccagnan said. “When that deadline passed, myself and Christopher — Todd [Bowles] was informed of this the whole time — we made the determination if we wanted to stay in the race for him or pull out. We decided at that time to pull out.”

Maccagnan said it was a one-year proposal. He didn’t say the amount, but it was a “pretty big offer,” Johnson said. It was Suh’s best offer, based on what he told Yahoo! Sports. No doubt, the Jets didn’t want that information to become public.

Here’s what I believe happened: When the deadline passed, the Jets, sensing that their chances of landing Suh were slim, made the face-saving move to rescind the offer in a very public way: an announcement by Johnson.

If the Jets had remained in the hunt and lost, it would’ve been their second prominent defeat in which they had the best offer on the table. It happened with quarterback Kirk Cousins, who accepted $2 million per year less from the Minnesota Vikings than what the Jets had proposed.

That was a tough one for the Jets. They didn’t want to go through it again with Suh, who probably was shopping their offer around the league.

Maccagnan left no doubt that he wanted Suh, 31, a former All-Pro who was cut recently by the Miami Dolphins.

“Suh is [a] very good player still, not from a statistical standpoint,nike nfl jerseys for cheap but when you watch him on tape, he still has the ability to be a dominant player,” Maccagnan said. “We felt pretty good about potentially adding him to the roster. We did quite a bit of work with our scouts and coaches, and we felt very comfortable with him.”

166

Shohei Ohtani uneven in final spring game; Mike Scioscia calls it ‘great outing’

Still, the Angels said they were happy with the performance. Manager Mike Scioscia called it a “great outing.”

“There were some things he was working on, nfl jersey for cheap he’s trying to nail down,” Scioscia said afterward. “When it’s in sync, it [his fastball] comes out hot. Early on, it was somewhat erratic. He’s working on some things. He’ll be fine.”

Ohtani was hovering around 92-94 mph on his fastball while bouncing as many pitches as he was missing bats early. He pitched better as the outing continued but won’t dissuade critics after a spring in which he compiled a 27.00 ERA in just two Cactus League starts. The rest of his appearances came on the back fields.

“I feel like I’ve done everything I can to get ready for Opening Day, and I felt like I’ve done everything 100 percent, but it’s hard,” Ohtani said through his interpreter. “Every other year, even in Japan, I was never 100 percent [ready] on Opening Day, so it’s going to go gradually into the season. I think it’s going to be the same this time.”

Ohtani concurred with Scioscia that he was working on other things than his fastball, so he wasn’t concerned with the results with that pitch Saturday. He did break off some curveballs, which froze hitters for strike three several times.

“I was focusing on my splitter and breaking ball more than my fastball, nfl jerseys cheap authentic and I felt like I was able to work on my fastball in my previous outings, so I was more focused on breaking balls,” Ohtani said. “That’s probably why my velocity was a little bit down.”

165

Lefty Wade LeBlanc returns to Mariners

Left-hander Wade LeBlanc has rejoined the Seattle Mariners, best nfl jerseys two days after he asked for his release from the New York Yankees.

The Mariners signed the 33-year-old LeBlanc on Sunday.

The move could help shore up a Mariners bullpen that lost David Phelps to a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Phelps is set to undergo Tommy John surgery Monday.

LeBlanc made 50 relief appearances for Pittsburgh last season, going 5-2 with one save and a 4.50 ERA. He was 3-0 with one save and a 4.50 ERA for Seattle in 2016, making eight starts and pitching three times in relief. The Mariners traded him to the Pirates late in the season.

“Wade is a veteran with a track record of success, including in Seattle, particularly over the past two seasons,” Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “His skill set is unique in that he gives us depth as both a reliever and as a starting pitcher.”

LeBlanc signed with the Yankees in January.nfl jersey for cheap He had a 5.27 ERA in seven spring training games for New York.

He is 30-35 with three saves and a 4.40 ERA for seven teams over nine seasons.

154

Rams safety Lamarcus Joyner ‘at a good place’ with franchise tag

Free agency can be an alluring and often times elusive destination for the NFL’s top performers. But Los Angeles Rams defensive back Lamarcus Joyner said he is “at a good place” with the franchise tag in 2018.

“The goal is to get a long-term deal done — customized nfl jerseys we’re still in the process of that — but I’m fine with it,” Joyner said on a conference call with Los Angeles-based reporters last week. “I have a lot more good years left, I believe. So this deal won’t hurt anything as far as my career and my future.”

Joyner’s first three seasons were spent as a slot corner who only played in sub packages. He grew to excel in that role, but he played in only 51 percent of the team’s defensive snaps from 2014 to 2016. One of Wade Phillips’ first tasks as the Rams’ defensive coordinator was to figure out a way for Joyner to stay involved. He moved to safety, and Joyner proved worthy, finishing as the NFL’s third-highest-graded safety by Pro Football Focus last season.

Having that year under his belt, Joyner said, should make him even better in 2018.

“When I sit back and I think about, I think about the progress I made as a nickelback in the league, coming in from college, just my first year, when I couldn’t cover a cold,” Joyner said. “I just got better, and I learned all the things to work on to be successful in this league. I think I started off a little faster at the safety position, which would’ve been my natural position. But now just knowing, just getting more of the knowledge of how to take the right angles, how to read the quarterback and how to see things on the back end. I think the first year really helped me transition into my second year, so I’m expecting a much better season.”

Joyner, a standout safety at Florida State, recorded his first three career interceptions in 2017. cheap nfl nike jersey He allowed a 31.8 passer rating when targeted and 0.36 yards per coverage snap, according to Pro Football Focus. He was also one of just two safeties to not miss a single tackle in the passing game.

153

Trumaine Johnson, the Jets’ $72 million man: ‘I’m a game-changer’

For the amount of money he’s getting, Trumaine Johnson must be better than good. He must be a shutdown cornerback. He must be something close to Darrelle Revis 1.0.

“I’m a game-changer,” Johnson said Thursday, speaking to the media for nfl jerseys cheap china the first time since he signed with the New York Jets. “I’m a playmaker. I bring leadership to the team. I’m big. I’m fast. I used to be a receiver if you go back to college, so my hands have always been strong for me.”

Desperate for a CB1, the Jets signed Johnson to one of the biggest contracts in franchise history: five years, $72.5 million, including $34 million guaranteed at signing. Only Revis ($39 million in 2015) and Muhammad Wilkerson ($37 million in 2016) received larger guarantees from the Jets.

“No pressure at all,” Johnson said. “I know what I can do. I know what I can bring to the game. I’ve been confident all my life. I love winning — I really love to win — and I can’t wait to get started with this defense.”

Johnson said he loves football so much that he’d “play this game for free. Money doesn’t really matter.” Heck, the Jets could’ve saved a lot of money on the signing bonus ($20 million) if they knew that.

Johnson will be a good fit from a scheme standpoint (he excels in press-man coverage), and he should feel comfortable because he already knows his position coach, Dennard Wilson, a former Los Angeles Rams assistant. That, Johnson said, is one reason why he picked the Jets after six seasons with the Rams.

Johnson will be paired with Morris Claiborne on the outside, with Buster Skrine in the slot. customized nfl jerseys That could change, though, because the Jets visited with Buffalo Bills free agent E.J. Gaines. If Gaines signs, it could be curtains for Skrine, who is entering the final year of his contract and has a cap charge of $8.5 million.

Asked if he and Claiborne could be the top cornerback tandem in the league, Johnson replied, “Why not? Why not? I’m going to hold him accountable and I know he’s going to hold me accountable.”

142

Cardinals among three teams to push start time changes to help body clocks

The Arizona Cardinals will face both the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Chargers on the field this season.

But off of it, the three teams have come together in an effort to help their schedules.

The teams submitted a proposal to the NFL bylaws ahead of next week’s owners meetings that nfl nike jerseys cheap would prevent teams from playing more than three games “with a scheduled kickoff time prior to 1 p.m. in the time zone of their home stadium.” For the NFL schedule to require a team to play more than three games before 1, the team would have to give permission.

This season the Cardinals could have four road games starting at either 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. in Arizona: at Green Bay, Minnesota, Kansas City and Atlanta. Because the state doesn’t observe daylight saving time, Arizona will be two hours behind Central Time and three behind Eastern Time until Nov. 4. After that, Arizona will be an hour behind Central and two behind Eastern.

According to the formal proposal, the effect of playing games before 1 p.m. Arizona time can “reduce the competitive equity that exists between teams who have morning body clock start times on long road trips.”

If the proposal passes — it will be voted on next week by team representatives at the owners meeting in Orlando, Florida — the Cardinals could have at least one of their games in the Central or Eastern time zone start in the 4 p.m. ET time slot.

According to the NFL, road teams with long trips that play in the early time slot on Sundays see their win rate reduced from 45.2 percent to 33.5 percent.

Last season, the Cardinals played six road games that started before 1 p.m. in Arizona — including their game in London, which was played at 10 a.m. Arizona time. They went 1-5.

By comparison, the Seattle Seahawks played all five of last season’s games in nike nfl jerseys for cheap Central or Eastern time after 1 p.m. Pacific time. They went 2-3.

In 2016, Arizona went 0-4 in games that started earlier than 1 p.m. in Arizona and 0-1 in road games in Eastern Time that started after 1 p.m. in Arizona.

141

Does Derek Carr remind Jordy Nelson of Aaron Rodgers?

It was Michael Crabtree who famously compared Derek Carr to Brett Favre a few years back, in that “gunslinger” kind of way.

But many observers thought Carr’s skill set more closely resembled that of Favre’s successor with the Green Bay Packers, nfl jerseys cheap authentic future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers.

So who better to compare and contrast Carr and Rodgers than a guy who spent the past 10 years with Rodgers and who, oh yeah, is essentially replacing Crabtree with the Oakland Raiders?

Especially since Carr met Jordy Nelson at the airport last week when Nelson arrived for his free-agent visit.

“He told me they gave him my number earlier, but he was like, ‘I wasn’t going to text you and add to the flood of text messages coming in. … If you come into town, I’ll meet up with you.’ So he did,” said Nelson.

“We spent pretty much the whole day together. In the building here. He was the one who drove me around some of the area. I was actually about to meet his wife and two boys. Get a feel for the area and obviously a feel for him. I knew a lot about him from James Jones, who played here, and Davante Adams, who he played with him at Fresno State. I knew a lot about him before I even came out here. It was great to get to know him a little bit more. I think it’s a great fit to be with him for the next couple of years.”

With Rodgers throwing him the ball, Nelson authored three seasons with at least 1,250 receiving yards and at least 13 touchdown catches. Only Hall of Famers Jerry Rice, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens have had more, with six, five and four, respectively.

Yet, Nelson is coming off a subpar season in which he had just 53 catches for 482 yards and six touchdowns, albeit, with Rodgers limited to just seven games by injury.

So can Carr, known in some circles as a mini-Rodgers, jump-start “White Lightning?”

Be careful who you ask. Former Oakland defensive backs coach Rod Woodson (yes, the Hall of Fame player) skewered the notion.

“I don’t want to sound like a scorned lover because I was fired by the Raiders,”nfl nike jerseys cheap Woodson said recently on Fox Sports. “I love Mark Davis; I love the Davis family. But you can’t tell me, you got rid of Michael Crabtree and you put Jordy Nelson in there and Jordy Nelson is better than Michael Crabtree? That’s a lie. And, I love Derek Carr; Derek Carr is not Aaron Rodgers.”