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USC’s Pac-10 run secures No. 5 seed out east

first_imgStewart, Nick Young and Gabe Pruitt had been pining for this opportunity for years. Their backs were arched and heads tilted to catch a better view of the scoreboard screen from the arena’s plush new seats. They ached to find out who would be their dance partner, and where they would be going. But the selection show teased them for more than 30 minutes, going through the entire West region before USC’s pairing was announced. The Trojans received the No.5 seed in the East Region and will face 12th-seeded Arkansas on Friday in Spokane, Wash. The players, some of whom brought along family members, erupted in cheers. Then they got the unique perspective of watching that delayed reaction on the CBS telecast seconds later. “It was unbelievable,” Young said. “I’ve never been in a situation like that, where we see ourselves on the screen and everybody was yelling, then seeing the No. 5 pop up. That was great.” It will be USC’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament since the 2001-02 season, before any current player was on the team. Online Extra: College Basketball Brackets | Printable Brackets It was a first date of sorts, a date with the NCAA Tournament. LOS ANGELES – USC players sat in the Galen Center stands, two television cameras ready to capture their reactions, and waited. And waited. “My palms were sweaty,” said senior guard Lodrick Stewart. center_img “We’ll get them back to Earth tomorrow, and they can take pats on the back today,” Tim Floyd said. Floyd took over a team coming off a last-place finish in the Pacific-10 Conference and has it in the NCAA Tournament twoyears later. Entering the season , the Trojans were picked by the media to finish sixth in the conference. “It’s absolutely ahead of schedule,” USC athletic director Mike Garrett said. “If you told me, with the team we had coming back and losing Ryan Francis, that we would make the NCAA Tournament, I would have said that was a `Ripley’s Believe It or Not.”‘ Francis, the starting point guard last season, was killed in a shooting in Louisiana during the offseason. The fifth seed is higher than expected. The Trojans had an impressive resume, with seven victories over Top-25 teams, but had bad losses to South Carolina and Arizona State, as well as a No. 40 RPI. USC’s RPI improved last week thanks to its run to the Pac-10 tournament final, but the Trojans (23-11) had an embarrassing blowout loss to Oregon in the title game. “We’re certainly happy with our seed,” Floyd said. “We think we were treated fairly.” USC won its last meeting with Arkansas, in 1986. The Trojans also beat the Razorbacks in 1967, their only other meeting. Arkansas (21-13) tied for eighth in the Southeastern Conference but advanced to the final of the conference tournament before losing to Florida. If USC can get by the Razorbacks, it could set up a second-round game against No. 15 Texas and national player of the year candidate Kevin Durant. “Obviously, he’s a top NBA prospect,” Pruitt said of Durant. “Hopefully we can take care of business against Arkansas and see those guys in the second round.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Too Smart For Valedictorian

first_imgAnjali Datta, 16, a Grapevine-Colleyville senior chalked up a GPA of 5.898, the highest in the high school’s history.But the school will not designate her valedictorian because she sailed through the school in three years. The school district policy states: “The valedictorian shall be the eligible student with the highest weighted grade-point average for four years of high school.”Using that literal criteria, the school has recognized another student with a lower GPA, 18-year-old Tyler Scott Franklin of Colleyville, as valedictorian.“I have not heard of any educational institution penalizing a student for excellence – for completing a demanding set of classes ‘too quickly,’ ” her father, Deepak Datta complained.School officials have created a consolation valedictorian (3 year) designation for Datta.  Related Itemslast_img read more

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Oakland selected Iowa offensive tackle Robert Gallery second overall, and he would go on to start for seven years and play in 104 games.Fifteen years later, Fitzgerald is 227 games deep in his career and set to break another record.With eight more catches, Fitzgerald will surpass Jerry Rice’s 1,281 as a member of the San Francisco 49ers for the most in NFL history with a single team.“The records are really not that meaningful to me,” Fitzgerald said. “I don’t ever talk about them, I don’t ever go home and talk to my kids, ‘Hey, you know I’ve caught more passes with one team more than anybody in history.’“‘That’s cool, dad, let’s go play lacrosse now.’” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Comments   Share   Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Trent Sherfield (16) makes a catch in front of cornerback Deatrick Nichols (39) during an NFL football practice Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) In the midst of the rookie’s live lessons Sunday, Fitzgerald surpassed Terrell Owens for second on the all-time receiving yards list.“Being able just to share that field with him, I’ll be able to tell my kids I was on the field with Larry when he got that. It’s just a blessing, man. I’m grateful for the opportunity.”FITZ THE RAIDERFitzgerald admitted this week that there was a time when he thought his career could begin with the Raiders.In the 2004 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers drafted Eli Manning first overall and traded him to the New York Giants in a package for quarterback Philip Rivers.The Raiders held the second pick.“Mike Lombardi, who was the general manager at the time, you know, he went to Valley Forge Military Academy where I went,” Fitzgerald said. “We kind of connected at the combine. He kind of told me what he felt about me and the plans they would have if I were to come out there.“I remember right after the Giants drafted and the Raiders were on the clock, Mike actually called me. I was thinking that they were going to take me. He was calling to let me know they were going in another direction. Mr. Davis (Owner Al Davis) decided they were going in another direction. It was a real class move to let me know and I appreciate that.” Top Stories TEMPE, Ariz. — Garnering buzz throughout training camp, Trent Sherfield wasn’t a surprise to make the Arizona Cardinals’ 53-man roster.The undrafted rookie out of Vanderbilt beat out veterans Brice Butler and Greg Little to stick, but he’s needed to be patient as his team forged through the 2-7 season so far.By its actions, Arizona made it clear that youth development alongside future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald was a priority in the wide receiver room. The Cardinals committed to Sherfield, fellow rookie Christian Kirk and second-year pro Chad Williams from the start of the year, but Sherfield was the last of those players to get a chance to play. When it came to that Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, he knew the significance.“It felt good, man, just being able to go out there and get my feet wet a little bit,” he said Friday. “I did OK. I had a few mistakes here and there.”Related LinksCardinals leading tackler, Budda Baker, ruled out against RaidersThe Pat Mahomes Challenge is bad for the worldWeek 11 NFL injury report: Oakland Raiders vs. Arizona CardinalsBené Benwikere continues patching holes for CardinalsSherfield didn’t record a reception, but he’ll get another shot to shine Sunday at State Farm Stadium against the Oakland Raiders as Williams sits out once again due to an ankle injury.Sherfield’s debut beyond special teams duty was a learning experience. Cameras captured him taking cues from Fitzgerald, the 15-year pro in the middle of the game. The rookie said his mistakes in 53 snaps were mostly about recognizing coverages.Spending time with Fitzgerald has been a gift in itself, Sherfield said. The rookie has hit up his veteran about everything from budgeting money to relationship advice.Sherfield is taking in all of that — and his snaps alongside Fitzgerald — as he attempts to build on the beginnings of his own career.“Being able to have one of the greatest to learn from is such a blessing. Being able to just talk with him back and forth, he’s letting me know what I can do better on this route or whatever it may be,” Sherfield said.last_img read more