#1 lfpack and Big Easts Xavier Musketee von smith bonnie 22.05.2019 03:34

It was John Wooden who so poetically put it best - Sports do not build character, they reveal it. It was not a good week for the character of football followers. A day on from a very good Manchester derby, many fans are still talking about the referee. What a way to remember a game. I know how I will remember it. A game decided by Sergio Agueros superb goal that came in an action-packed, thoroughly entertaining second half after Manchester United had lost both of their ineffective centre-backs - one through two moments of stupidity causing him to be withdrawn from the game with a red card and the other, on a stretcher, with a dislocated shoulder and a dislocated reputation. There were other small things to take from the match. Uniteds shaky high line bending, but not breaking, until a moment of class from the leagues sharpest shooter. Michael Carrick, again, impressing in a big game, looking easily the most comfortable centre-back United have shown us this season, despite being a midfielder. Wayne Rooneys role before the red card, where he dropped into midfield alongside Marouane Fellaini, and kept a close eye on Yaya Toure and the reemergence of the Ivorian, who looked a bit more like his old self. You may or may not have any of these observations in your mind and, if you followed the game on social media, there is an excellent chance you came away from the game thinking more about the referee than any of these. Twitter can be a depressing place. A world of Vines and vitriol await a visitor and, if you follow a game without watching it, you can easily get the wrong idea completely of how a match played out. If you want a balanced view of what is happening, this is not the place you can rely on. We are supposed to be a far more smarter generation than the past. Never has it been easier to find the answer to a question we have and never has it been easier to know the laws of the game.Yet, those rules may as well not exist to footy fans. It was the second successive weekend in the Premier League where a monumental match was, in the opinion of many, affected by incompetence of the match official. The games obviously had different cases, but in the end, the overriding feeling for many was frustration, anger and/or bitterness towards the official. What a pity. Unlike other sports, where players and fans are encouraged to see it from an official’s point of view – and, in the case of the participants, cannot simply argue otherwise – football has been allowed to get away with nonsensical abuse to officials for far too long, creating a forever growing thought process that referees deliberately go out of their way to favour one team over the other. People actually run stats about how good teams perform under certain referees. How depressing. No one in sport does depressing more than a soccer fan. Sitting in the stands at a Premier League match can be a life-altering experience, where you can be surrounded by so much anger and frustration that you can’t help but wonder about people’s priorities. Yes, it is a release from life’s daily trials but, for many, it is taken far too seriously. It is rarely a place for relaxation or to sample the entertainment for which you have paid good money. Watching a game via Twitter can be the same, yet the only thing you pay for is the company you keep whilst hanging out there. Many fans go through multiple steps to avoid putting any blame on their own team for their incompetence. Much of the time the first step is easiest. Let us blame the referee. You may recall that referee Phil Dowd was trending following the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford between Manchester United and Chelsea last Sunday, as many believed the referee had made multiple high-profile errors including missed penalties, fouls and a questionable red card. Dowd, in fact, had very little influence on the game and his decisions were impacted by two crucial factors – The letter of the law and what he could actually see. Another top Premier League referee, Michael Oliver, was thrown into the limelight during the Manchester derby. Oliver was called to the stand for questioning by angry fans and United’s went first. Joe Hart rushed out to talk to the official following the yellow card to Chris Smalling and wrongly touched Oliver’s head with his own head while communicating. The contact was for a split-second. Yet on Twitter, the still images raged and millions of fans turned into officials around the world and demanded he should have been sent off. But what for? For Hart to be sent off it would fall under the act of violent conduct, outlined in the laws of the game in this manner: The man in charge of deciding if Hart used excessive force was the man who was on the opposite end of the altercation. In other words, the perfect witness. Oliver decided Hart did not use excessive force or brutality and that should be the end of it. Except millions around the world think they had a better idea of Hart’s actions than the man who was there on the end of it. Minutes later, it was City fans who turned on Oliver when Fellaini kicked Toure in the box. It was a foul, they screamed. It was a penalty. Yes, it was hard to argue against such accusations, but Oliver didn’t have the comforts of your view from the couch and the multiple replays soon after. His positioning was spot-on, but the incident took place with a crowd of players around it. Unless Oliver had the ability to attach a rocket to his back and somehow elevate himself in the air 20 feet to fly over the incident and see it in real time, then he can do no more than what he did. Soon after that, both sets of fans had a moment to sink their teeth into as Toure raced towards goal unmarked and prepared to receive a ball in the six-yard box with no defender between him and the goal. Then Marcos Rojo kicked him before the ball arrived. City fans screamed Penalty and red card!, a stance the commentators stuck to the entire match, afterwards, yet Oliver decided he didn’t see a foul. Had he done so, it is important to note it doesn’t have to be a red card, particularly in this situation, as Toure may not have gotten the ball as the second description in the laws of the game dictates: In a fast-paced game featuring 22 supreme athletes, it is clear that, occasionally, a game’s ultimate result can be directly impacted by mistakes made by an official. After all, if the sport were to be created today, it wouldn’t be taken seriously if only one man, usually older than all of the players, was put in charge of the game. Yet, this is how it remains. Occasionally, mistakes will happen. However, drawing a line between that mistake and a deliberate act of incompetence is something far too many football fans are willing to do. A football referee has one of the hardest jobs in sports, so to think that any of them would actually make it more difficult by finding ways to screw over your team deliberately is absolutely laughable. If fans actually stop to think about this, they would surely enjoy the game more. This sport continues to serve up delicious dishes of entertainment where fans can sink their teeth into some spectacular storylines, yet they are missing out on them because they, and not the referees, are the ones blinded by bias. Alexander Mogilny Jersey . 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The Arena das Dunas in the northeastern city of Natal sustained minor damage during the protests, but demonstrators stayed away on Sunday and officials said the stadium passed its first test, with only minor adjustments needed going forward.Dayton, OH - The 2014 NCAA Tournament tips off tonight at the University of Dayton Arena, as No. 16 seeds the Albany Great Danes and the Mount St. Marys Mountaineers face off in South Regions first round, with the winner advancing to play No. 1 seed Florida on Thursday. In the Midwest Region of the bracket, the ACCs NC State Wolfpack and Big Easts Xavier Musketeers will battle it out for the vacant position at UD Arena in Dayton. The winner advances through the first round and will clash with the fifth- seeded Saint Louis Billikens. You can watch live streaming coverage of both games tonight beginning at 6:40pm et/3:40pm pt, exclusively on TSN GO. Albany finished the regular season in fourth place in the American East Conference, but it blazed through the conference tournament with three straight wins, beating both top-seeded Vermont (67-58 in the semifinals) and second-seeded Stony Brook (69-60 in the championship) en route to the automatic bid. The Great Danes have played in the NCAA Tournament three previous times (2006, 2007, 2013) but have yet to earn a win. Mount Saint Marys also played the spoiler in its conference tournament. After entering the Northeast Conference Tournament as the No. 4 seed at just 13-16 overall, it pieced together three straight wins over St. Francis-Brooklyn (72-71), Wagner (77-72) and Robert Morris (88-71). The Mountaineers have also qualified for the Big Dance on three other occasions, having previously defeated Coppin State in the 2008 play-in game (69-60) before losing to top- seeded North Carolina (113-74). This marks the first-ever meeting between Albany and Mount St. Marys on the hardwood. The Great Danes lost control of a halftime lead in the America East Tournament title game but finished the game on a 23-8 run over the final 6:47 to punch their ticket. Sam Rowley led the way with 18 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field. DJ Evans and Peter Hooley netted 16 and 15 points, respectively, while Gary Johnson tallied eight points and 10 rebounds. Scoring points hasnt been Albanys speciality this season, as it scores a mere 66.0 ppg on less than 44 percent shooting from the field, but it has excelled on the defensive end of the floor in yielding just 63.8 ppg on 41.9 percent shooting. Hooley pours in a team-best 15.7 ppg on 69-of-172 shooting from beyond the arc (.401). Rowley (11.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg) is a mainstay in the paint, while Evans (11.2 ppg) and Johnson (10.9 ppg) have also been solid. The Mountaineers made easy work of Robert Morris in the NEC championship bout, running out to a commanding 16-point lead at intermission before cruising to the easy double-digit victory. They shot a blistering 60.4 percent from the field in the triumph and had five players register in double figures, paced by Rashad Whacks 20 points. Julian Norfleet had 17 points, Taylor Danaher and Sam Prescott netted 15 apiece and Will Miller scored 11 off the bench. Mount St. Marys plays an opposite style of basketball as Albany, as it rarely has trouble filling up the scoreboard (76.2 ppg) yet leaves itself vulnerable on the defensive end of the court (78.0 ppg). The squad has a dynamic scoring duo in Whack (17.7 ppg) and Norfleet (17.5 ppg), with Norfleet also finding time to dish out 5.4 apg. Prescott rounds out the double-digit scorers by putting up 11.0 ppg. NC State made some waves in the ACC Tournament ovver the weekend by defeating Miami-Florida and then Syracuse to advance to the conferences semifinal round.ddddddddddddThe Wolfpack were taken down by Duke, 75-67, and were considered one of the most on-the-fence teams when it came to the tournaments selection. Xavier narrowly edged out Marquette in the Big East Tournaments quarterfinal round, but lost to Creighton, 86-78, in the semifinals. The Musketeers will need to prove their way into the field of 64. This will be the first-ever meeting between NC State and Xavier. Each team has a deep history in the NCAA Tournament, however. The Wolfpack own a 34-21 all-time record in the tournament, and were present in last seasons round of 64. Xavier comes in at 21-23 all-time, and made it to the Sweet 16 back in 2012. NC State and Duke had quite the battle going in Saturdays ACC Tournament semifinal, as the Blue Devils had just a one-point lead over the Wolfpack at the end of the first half. But Dukes defense stepped it up in the second frame by holding the Wolfpack to 35.5 percent shooting from the floor as the Blue Devils ended NC States quest for a conference title. T.J. Warren has been spectacular this season, and is now the programs all-time leader in a single season with 29 20-plus point contests. He had 21 with eight rebounds to lead the Wolfpack against Duke (his 17th consecutive 20-point game), while Lennard Freeman chipped in 13 points with nine boards and Anthony Barber scored 12 in the loss. N.C. State couldnt keep Duke from netting 57.1 percent of the teams shot attempts in the game. Warrens beastly season has led to much acclaim as he could very well enter the NBA after this season, earning ACC Player of the Year. The athletic forward is averaging an astounding 24.8 ppg for the Wolfpack, proving to be the go-to scorer when a basket is needed. He also leads the team with a 7.2 rpg average, and adds 57 steals to his season resume. Ralston Turner is the only other player on the Wolfpack roster to average a double-digit point total, netting 10.2 ppg. Barber tops the squad with 124 assists, and BeeJay Anya leads with 40 blocked shots. NC State averages 70.8 ppg through 33 games played, and gives up 69.5 ppg to opponents. Things looked bad for Xavier early on against Creighton in the Big East Tournament semifinals, as the Bluejays took a 45-33 lead into the intermission. But the Musketeers formed a comeback attempt in the second period, and started to cut into the lead as time went on. However, Creighton, behind the nations leading scorer Doug McDermott and his 32-point effort, was able to fend off Xavier down the stretch. Forward Isaiah Philmore scored a career-high 23 points for Xavier, while Semaj Christon chipped in 18 points with six assists in the loss. Justin Martin added 12 points before he fouled out of the contest. Christon, who has had his name mentioned in NBA talks as well, leads the Musketeers in scoring on the season with a 17.1 ppg average, netting 47.7 percent of his shots from the floor. He adds 138 assists on the year (second to Dee Daviss 147), and leads the team with 44 steals. Martin contributes 11.8 ppg for the Musketeers, and center Matt Stainbrook, who missed some time at the beginning of the conference tournament with a strained calf, adds 10.4 ppg with a team-leading 7.3 rpg mark. 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