The Daily Puppy

Monday, October 17, 2011

No Need To Sell People On Network Marketing

Network Marketing: No Need To Sell One of the biggest mistakes most new affiliates make is arguing and attempting to "sell" people on the network marketing business at the wrong time. Think about it a moment. So what does it accomplish for a new affiliate to stay on the phone with his friend trying

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Network Marketing: Success Results More From Attitude Than Ability

Network Marketing: Enthusiasm Because attitude rather than ability leads to real success in network marketing, your biggest asset is enthusiasm. But I'm not talking about some fake excitement that is a learned behavior, or following some script written by your upline associate. I'm talking about na

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Network Marketing: Target Marketing and Three-Way Calling

Network Marketing: Target Marketing and Three-Way Calling

Network Marketing:  Target Marketing In network marketing, you may want to consider prioritizing your warm list by using target marketing. This involves focusing your prospecting efforts on selected groups of people within your inner circle of influence who have a potential interest either in the

Friday, October 14, 2011

Network Marketing: Qualifying The Leads

Network Marketing vs Traditional Business There is a critical difference between traditional business and network marketing or MLM. Traditional sales and marketing reps are taught to always qualify their prospects. To qualify a prospect is to determine, before an attempted sale, if needed that pro

Network Marketing: Embarrassment From Prior Failure In MLM

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Network Marketing: Embarrassment From Prior Failure In MLM

Network Marketing: Embarrassment Another more common reason people will use to justify not approaching warm market leads in network marketing  is embarrassment. They are mortified because they're already been in three MLM deals and they can't stand the thought of approaching their family and close

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Network Marketing: Fear Of Losing Credibility

Network Marketing: Be Confident As more professionals enter the network marketing industry, it is natural that they will want to postpone acknowledging their participation until the time is right. For example, some will pretend that it's their wives' business. The problem is that if you're a profes

Network Marketing: Fear Of Losing Credibility

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Syntek XFT Xtreme Fuel Treatment: Does It Really Work?

Syntek XFT Xtreme Fuel Treatment: Does It Really Work?

An Assessment Of Syntek Xtreme Fuel Treatment Syntek XFT Xtreme Fuel Treatment is a fuel treatment that you give to your car at the pump, and it has numerous advantages which includes improved mileage and reduced fuel cost, prolonged engine life, reduced engine maintenance cost, and a reduction in

Sunday, October 9, 2011

KB Gold Is Still A Buy

KB Gold: Good Investment If you’re looking for a safer place to park your money these days, KB gold may be it. Gold and silver bullion and coins are good investments, but don’t expect to make a quick buck. Bullion coins are not about making a profit — rather they are about wealth preservation

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Live Your Dream With ZeekRewards: You Can Get Wealthy Without Becoming A Sponsoring Magnet!

ZeekRewards: Get Paid Every Day How would you like to share in ZeekRewards every day product sales!! Each day that sales are produced you are in a position to take part in the profits. You have the opportunity to get paid 7 days a week for just taking 3-5 minutes out of your day to post an ad. The

Friday, October 7, 2011

Network Marketing: Warm List Lack Of Self-Esteem

Network Marketing: Poor Self-Image Many people avoid their warm market in network marketing because of their poor self-image. It's a delicate issue, and one that must be approached with sensitivity. Some people do not feel that their friends and relatives respect them. In fact, many people believe

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Network Marketing: The Warm List Warhead

Network Marketing: Lack Of Conviction Network marketing is the process of sharing one's belief in a marketing concept that is so unique and about which you are so enthusiastic that you can't hold it inside. You lose sleep at night. You can hardly wait to tell people of your discovery. When this lev

Network Marketing: The Warm List Warhead

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Network Marketing: Prospecting For A Warm List

Network Marketing: Prospecting For A Warm List

Network Marketing: The Warm List Fundamental to the establishment of a network marketing business is the creation of what is called the "warm list." In fact, it's so critical to success. A "warm list" is a group of individuals from your past and present whom you know well enough that were you to pi

Monday, October 3, 2011

Network Marketing: The Time Needed To Succeed

Network Marketing: Time Investment The next problem area, time investment, is certainly worth mentioning because it so often misleads prospective affiliates about one of the most important aspects of network marketing. While I've seen many associates reach five figure monthly incomes, not many do.

Network Marketing: The Time Needed To Succeed

Network Marketing: Time Investment The next problem area, time investment, is certainly worth mentioning because it so often misleads prospective affiliates about one of the most important aspects of network marketing. While I've seen many associates reach five figure monthly incomes, not many do.

Network Marketing: The Time Needed To Succeed

Network Marketing: Time Investment The next problem area, time investment, is certainly worth mentioning because it so often misleads prospective affiliates about one of the most important aspects of network marketing. While I've seen many associates reach five figure monthly incomes, not many do.

Network Marketing: The Time Needed To Succeed

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Network Marketing: Numbers Needed To Succeed

Beware of the unrealistic assumptions about the number of individuals that you need to personally recruit in network marketing. Some companies have joined with affiliates in an effort to further the myth that you need not be particularly prolific in sponsoring people in order to prosper. While there

Network Marketing: Numbers Needed To Succeed

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Network Marketing: Use Affirmations

Network Marketing: Affirmations Are Trigger Tools An affirmation is a network marketing trigger tool--a statement of belief, written and repeated as if the goal were already an accomplished fact. Affirmations have the power to effect that outcome. Many prominent behavioral scientists have documente

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Network Marketing: Create A Positive Environment From The Inside Out

Network Marketing: Positive Information We are irrevocably convinced that putting positive information into our brains is essential to network marketing success. We do that by reading uplifting books and articles, listening to inspiring tapes, and practicing daily affirmative communication with our

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Network Marketing: Look For Optimism

Network Marketing: A Case for Optimism The underlying embarrassment some professionals feel after joining network marketing and the negative reactions of their peers are two causes of depression, though they aren't easily admitted. In order for professionals to be successful in network marketing, t

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Network Marketing: Dodging The Depression Torpedo

Network Marketing: Depression Torpedo Although the network marketing business is 90 percent fun after the "learning curve" months, the Depression Torpedo is among the more difficult challenges facing new and seasoned network marketers alike. The Depression Torpedo  ahs this name because it seems t

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Network Marketing: Helpful Tips For Success

Network Marketing: Leadership Skills The truth is that success in network marketing does not result from extensive management. Success comes from a  person with leadership skills having the vision, enthusiasm, and willingness to recruit other frontline leaders who, in turn, use and share the produ

Monday, September 19, 2011

Network Marketing: The Buy-In

Network Marketing: "Real" vs "Promotional" Volume Of all the possible fiascoes stemming from the Management Trap, "buying in" for your downline or teaching them to do this for their affiliates is the worst. Network marketers who get caught spending more time management than recruiting often get sn

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Network Marketing: Baby-Sitting the Downline

Network Marketing: Baby-Sitting the Downline I wanted to share with you a story that I heard from someone recently that I thought was very appropriate for network marketing. I will use fictitious names for this example. There is a group led by a couple, Gary and Laurie, who were self-sufficient wit

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Network Marketing: Go Wide Fast

Network Marketing: Just Recruit a Few and Drive Their Lines Deep One common misconception in the network marketing industry has led people down into the administration pit. Certain leaders contend that the key to success in our industry is finding four or five good people, then driving their groups

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Affiliate Marketing: Creating Your Own Streams Of Passive Income

Affiliate Marketing: Put Your Products On Autopilot You can earn residual or passive income through your own affiliate marketing products and services. In fact, I would highly recommend creating a recurring income business as soon as you reasonably can, because recurring income gives you leverage

Friday, September 9, 2011

Managing Your Home Based Business

Home Based Business: Time Is An Asset Daily home based business management really comes down to three core areas: Money People Tools and time Time is likely your most valuable asset in your home based business, so let's address that first. Creating a daily management plan will really he

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Kent D. Smith

I am in Network Marketing and own my own business in Virginia Beach, Va. I offer free tools to others who want to be successful in their own business. I hope these tools can be used to make a difference in your business. In this day and age, business transparency is a must. It’s those people wh

Monday, September 5, 2011

Creating Your Online Business Product: Part Four

I have enjoyed writing about creating your online business product. It not only helps me stay focused on what I need to do to become successful but also what others can do to improve their businesses. In this article will discuss using themed collections,  membership sites, and paid blogs for your

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Earn a daily residual income today!

Earn a daily residual income today!

Xtreme Fuel Treatment- How Syntek XFT Fuel Treatment Works

IBOSOCIAL (Kent Smith) - BUSINESS BLOG

"For the Love of Peeps".........: Think & Grow Rich Affirmations

"For the Love of Peeps".........: Think & Grow Rich Affirmations: We are what we think we are, we become what we believe!
These daily powerful affirmations will transform your life of mediocrity into a lif...

Fuel Treatment Do They Work?- Xtreme Fuel Treatment Sure Does

IBOSOCIAL (Kent Smith) - BUSINESS BLOG

Best Fuel Treatment- How Do You Know?

Best Fuel Treatment- How Do You Know?

Xtreme Fuel Treatment- How Syntek XFT Fuel Treatment Works

Xtreme Fuel Treatment- How Syntek XFT Fuel Treatment Works

Fuel Treatment Do They Work?- Xtreme Fuel Treatment Sure Does

Fuel Treatment Do They Work?- Xtreme Fuel Treatment Sure Does

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Courting justice with Joanne St. Lewis

Joanne St. Lewis is an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa. Professor St. Lewis is has held positions with the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Ontario Race Relations Directorate. In this profile piece, St. Lewis tells us why she initiated the POWER: Africa-Canada project.

Now is the time to invest in gold and silver!

Now is the time to invest in gold and silver!

MLM Recruiting On Facebook

I just posted a new blog! Please take a look...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

KESA Collections: The Blessing

KESA Collections: The Blessing: "The Blessing 18 x 24 x 1.5 in 45.7 x 61 x 3.81 cm
I don't necessarily think that you have to fight for what you want, but I do beli..."

IBOSOCIAL (Kent Smith) - BUSINESS BLOG

IBOSOCIAL (Kent Smith) - BUSINESS BLOG

Endless Lead Generations: 5 Different Tactics and Tools

Endless Lead Generations: 5 Different Tactics and Tools

IBOSOCIAL (Kent Smith) - BUSINESS BLOG

IBOSOCIAL (Kent Smith) - BUSINESS BLOG

Lead Generation: 4 Top Lead Generation Ideas

Lead Generation: 4 Top Lead Generation Ideas

Lead Generation: 4 Top Lead Generation Ideas

Lead Generation: 4 Top Lead Generation Ideas

The All In One SEO Plugin: How To Optimize Your Blog and Website

The All In One SEO Plugin: How To Optimize Your Blog and Website

Lead generation: MLM Business Blueprint

Lead generation: MLM Business Blueprint

Endless Lead Generations: 5 Different Tactics and Tools

Endless Lead Generations: 5 Different Tactics and Tools

Friday, August 5, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

Smooth and Tighten Skin with Rodan + Fields Dermatologists Anti Age Regimen http://ping.fm/aYt4E

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

Public Advised To Stop Using Some Skin-Lightening Products http://ping.fm/xIrCe

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Skin Care Tips Help Reveal How To Brighten A Complexion And Slow The Aging Process http://ping.fm/KW064

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Serums: This Summer’s Must-Have Beauty Item is the Easy Way to Get Smooth, Radiant Skin http://ping.fm/vxXxj

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Best Acne Products And Treatment: Rodan + Fields Dermatologists http://ping.fm/GD5OH

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New Skype product for network marketers, internet marketers, and affiliate marketers...http://ping.fm/m1k0v

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Win Hot Items for Pennies! Bid on Name Brands and Win! Save 90% or More! http://KentSmith.zeekler.com
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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blake Griffin, Four Celtics Headline 2011 NBA All-Star Reserves http://ping.fm/NmXdx

Blake Griffin, Four Celtics Headline 2011 NBA All-Star Reserves

NEW YORK  -- Blake Griffin is going to his first All-Star game, and Kevin Garnett matched an NBA record with his 14th straight selection as one of a record-tying four Boston Celtics headed for the midseason event.

Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen will accompany Garnett, who equaled Jerry West, Shaquille O'Neal and Karl Malone for the most consecutive selections. The Celtics joined the 2006 Detroit Pistons as the only teams to have four players picked as reserves by the coaches.

Griffin, the Rookie of the Year favorite of the Clippers, will be playing on his home floor in the Feb. 20 game at Staples Center. Joining him on the Western Conference team were Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili of the NBA-leading Spurs; forwards Dirk Nowitzki of Dallas and Pau Gasol of the Lakers; and guards Deron Williams of Utah and Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City, who joins Griffin as the lone first-time selections.

Chris Bosh will go to Los Angeles with Miami teammates LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, who were elected as starters. The other East reserves picked Thursday were Atlanta's Joe Johnson and Al Horford.            

The reserves were selected in voting by the head coaches in each conference, who had to vote for two forwards, two guards, a center and two players regardless of position.

They went for the winning teams in the East, whose reserves are represented by just three teams.

The voting was much more difficult in the West, where coaches bypassed the likes of Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Zach Randolph and Lamar Odom at the forward spot.

Tony Parker missed out despite being the second-leading scorer on the Spurs, who entered play Thursday with a 40-8 record. Veteran Steve Nash of the Suns and the Warriors' Monta Ellis, the league's sixth-leading scorer, all fell short.

The starters were chosen by fan voting and announced last week. Orlando's Dwight Howard, Chicago's Derrick Rose and Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire are the other East starters, while the Lakers' Kobe Bryant, Hornets guard Chris Paul, forwards Carmelo Anthony of Denver and Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City, and Houston center Yao Ming were the winners from the West.

Yao is injured and Commissioner David Stern will choose a replacement. That gives another chance to Love, who is averaging 21.4 points and a league-best 15.5 rebounds, and shooting 43.9 percent from 3-point range. He has 34 straight double-doubles, but was undoubtedly hurt by his Minnesota Timberwolves' 11-37 record.

But the coaches couldn't overlook Griffin, even though the Clippers are also below .500. The No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft has been spectacular after sitting out last season following knee surgery, averaging 23 points and 12.7 rebounds while compiling a half season of highlights with his array of dunks.

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Bill Belichick Wins Coach of the Year, Joins Tom Brady With AP Honors http://ping.fm/l64Kd

Bill Belichick Wins Coach of the Year, Joins Tom Brady With AP Honors

For the second straight night a member of the New England Patriots has been recognized for an outstanding 2010 regular season as Bill Belichick was selected as the Coach of the Year by The Associated Press. This is the third time Belichick has won the award, only one less than Hall-of-Famer Don Shula, as he received 30 votes from the 50-member voting panel, and joined his quarterback, Tom Brady, who won Offensive Player of the Year honors on Tuesday.

"I accept the award on behalf of the entire organization -- ownership, our assistant coaches and certainly the players -- they're the ones that stepped up and made the plays this year," Belichick said in an NFL Network phone interview. "We had a lot of new people on the team, young players that contributed. It's certainly an honor to receive this award on behalf of our performance in the regular season. Unfortunately, we weren't able to carry that over into the playoffs."

Tampa Bay's Raheem Morris finished second with 11 1/2 votes after engineering an impressive turnaround with the Bucs, but it was not enough to outdo Belichick, who led New England to a league-best 14-2 record. He did so with his youngest team in years and without Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins for the first seven games, picking up steam after trading wide receiver Randy Moss to Minnesota.

With the departure of Moss it was thought by many that the Patriots' offense would struggle, but then Belichick put together a trade with Seattle that brought about the return of Super Bowl XXXIX MVP Deion Branch at wide receiver and the offense didn't miss a beat. Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis broke the 1,000-yard rushing barrier and New York Jets castoff Danny Woodhead provided the spark that was missing after all-purpose back Kevin Faulk suffered a season-ending knee injury.

"When I chose him, people at the league office, people in this town, sent me tapes of him in Cleveland and said, 'You don't want to hire this guy,'" Patriots owner Robert Kraft said. "And, remember, he went 5-11 (in his first year with Patriots) and we gave up a No. 1 draft choice (to the Jets to get him). People thought we were nuts. So I think that probably was one of the best decisions I've made in football."            

Belichick also won the award in 2003 and 2007 and his record with the Patriots is 126-50, plus a 14-5 mark in the postseason, with losses in the last three tries with teams that went a collective 40-8. His career winning percentage of .716 ranks eighth, tied with Hall of Famer Paul Brown, and no other coach has four 14-victory regular seasons.

Also receiving votes were Kansas City's Todd Haley (4), whose team went 11-5 and won the AFC West; and four coaches with one selection apiece: Atlanta's Mike Smith, Philadelphia's Andy Reid, Chicago's Lovie Smith and St. Louis' Steve Spagnuolo.



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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Syracuse Ends Skid, Beats No. 6 UConn http://ping.fm/ECMar

Syracuse Ends Skid, Beats No. 6 UConn

Brandon Triche led Syracuse with 16 points and Rick Jackson added 13 points and 13 rebounds as Syracuse finally got back to its winning ways Wednesday at Connecticut.

No. 6 Connecticut (17-4, 5-4) scored the first six points of the game and led for much of the first half, but Jackson's short jumper gave Syracuse a slight halftime lead. The Orange came out hot in the second half, reeling off seven straight points and they would lead by as many as nine. UConn was able to cut the lead to one late, but was never able to get over the hump.

No. 17 Syracuse (19-4, 6-4) needed a win badly after dropping four straight games, culminating with back-to-back losses to Seton Hall and Marquette.

Jeremy Lamb led all scorers with 22 points for the Huskies, and no other Connecticut player reached double figures.

Containing Kemba: For the first time this season, Kemba Walker didn't score in double figures. He had only eight points on 3-of-14 shooting, continuing his recent struggles. After starting the season white hot, Walker has only averaged 14.5 points a game over his last four.

Friendly Confines? Though they have come against ranked teams, Connecticut has now lost back-to-back games at home after breezing through its non-conference slate. It's certainly not panic time yet, especially with the Huskies' next three against unranked foes, but holding home court is imperative if they hope to stay in the race for the Big East Crown.

New Streak: After winning their first 18 games, the Orange dropped four straight. Now, after a tough win on the road, perhaps they are poised to put another streak together. They go to South Florida this weekend before getting Georgetown at home and traveling to Louisville. It's a tall order just to reel off four straight in the Big East -- especially for a team that has looked as out of sorts as Syracuse recently -- but the Orange should at least be close in their next three.


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Tom Brady Named Offensive Player of Year http://ping.fm/zZqAR

Tom Brady Named Offensive Player of Year

When you put together the kind of season quarterback Tom Brady did for the New England Patriots, you better expect your fair share of postseason accolades. And Brady added another one to his mantle on Tuesday -- Associated Press Offensive Player of the Year.

The three-time Super Bowl winner was the epitome of efficiency in 2010, throwing 36 touchdown passes while only being intercepted four times for a ridiculous touchdown-to-interception ratio of 9-to-1. His string of 339 consecutive pass attempts without an interception is a new NFL record and he also threw for 3,900 yards while completing 66 percent of his passes.

Brady was the unanimous winner, receiving 21 votes from the 50-member panel to finish 10 votes ahead of second-place Michael Vick (11 votes). Houston Texans running back Arian Foster finished third with seven votes, followed by San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers with five and Atlanta Falcons receiver Roddy White, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson two apiece.            

Three years ago, Brady also won the award and set an NFL record for most touchdown passes in a single season with 50 in leading New England to a perfect 16-0 record in the regular season, but his and the Patriots' dream of going 19-0 overall to eclipse the 1972 Miami Dolphins' 17-0 record fell short in a 17-14 loss to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII. This time around his 111.0 passer rating was the fifth best all-time and New England rolled to a 14-2 regular-season record only to lose to the New York Jets in the AFC divisional playoffs.

Shortly after the official announcement was made on the NFL Network, Brady, just 10 days removed from foot surgery, hobbled onto the set on crutches to do an interview with Steve Mariucci. He addressed the broken bone in his foot that plagued him down the stretch in the regular season but didn't keep him off the field.

"Over the course of the season, a lot of players throughout the league, a lot of players on our team deal with these type of injuries," Brady said. "Part of having a little bit of mental toughness is putting those things aside and still going out and trying to perform your best each week. I have a great training staff and my friend Alex (Guerrero) that works with me weekly.

"I'm in great hands and they were able to get me out on the field feeling good and I was able to go out there and help our team win the AFC East, which we're all very proud of."

Brady might not be finished racking up the hardware as he is the favorite to take home the AP's Most Valuable Player award on Sunday. If he does win it he will become the first player ever to sweep Offensive Player of the Year and MVP honors twice (he accomplished the feat in 2007). His head coach, Bill Belichick, also is one of the favorites to win Coach of the Year.


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Chris Warren 3-Pointer Buries No. 10 Kentucky at Mississippi http://ping.fm/Rmrrw

Chris Warren 3-Pointer Buries No. 10 Kentucky at Mississippi

Chris Warren hit a deep, contested three with 2.9 seconds remaining to lift Ole Miss to a huge upset win over visiting Kentucky, 71-69.

Warren's three came after Kentucky took a brief one-point lead after trailing by as many as 11 in the second half. He took a ball screen, went left and fired the shot over the outstretched arm of Terrence Jones.

A 13-0 Ole Miss run gave the Rebels a nice cushion early in the second half, but a run led by Kentucky's trio of freshmen pulled the 'Cats back into it. Two free throws from Jones gave Kentucky a brief lead with just over a minute to play.

Ole Miss (14-8, 2-5) has had trouble in conference play so far, but it will have a significantly easier schedule in the second half of the season.

Warren led the Rebels with 22 points and fellow senior Zach Graham added 16, including a perfect 7-for-7 from the line.

No. 10 Kentucky (16-5, 4-3) was led by Jones with 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Doron Lamb added 20 and Brandon Knight had 15.

How it was won: Execution. Not only did Ole Miss shoot the ball well, it also forced several turnovers and got the short-benched Wildcats into early foul trouble. In addition, the Rebels were able to stay afloat after Warren went to the bench early with foul trouble.

How it was lost: It would be easy to hang this one on UK's turnovers, but it lay more in the play of Kentucky's upperclassmen. Earlier this week, John Calipari called on Darius Miller, DeAndre Liggins and Josh Harrellson to guide the young Wildcats on the road. Tuesday night, the three freshmen combined for 57 of UK's 69 points.

Botched late possession: After Kentucky took the one-point lead, the Wildcats were able to get the ball back after stopping the Rebels on the other end. Late in UK's possession, Miller seemed to have a wide-open look at a three but he passed it up, penetrated and finally kicked it out to Liggins, who didn't realize the shot clock was winding down. He was forced to hoist a wild three which didn't hit the rim, setting up Ole Miss for the game winner.

Where to from now: Just as Ole Miss' schedule lightens, Kentucky's gets much tougher -- which is bad news for the Wildcats, seeing as how they have not been good on the road. They play at Florida Saturday night before getting Tennessee at home and then another tough road game to Vanderbilt.


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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Troy Polamalu Named NFL http://ping.fm/SsnVi

Troy Polamalu Named NFL's Defensive Player of Year

When Pittsburgh faces Green Bay in Super Bowl XLV on Sunday, one Steeler will already be able to claim victory over a Packer. Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu was named The Associated Press 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year on Monday, scoring 17 first-place votes from the AP's panel of 50 media members; Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews came in second with 15 votes.

Polamalu didn't have his best season statistically, but he did tie for second in the league with seven interceptions (one for a touchdown), while continuing to show a knack for making big plays. Polamalu came up huge in Week 13 against the Ravens, forcing a crucial fumble in a Pittsburgh win that would ultimately decide the division.            

Despite missing two games, in which Pittsburgh went 1-1, Polamalu became the sixth Steeler to win the award. He had seven interceptions this season along with 63 tackles, but made his mark with big plays. In a late-season victory at Baltimore, his leaping tackle forced a fumble that set up the winning touchdown.

"With all due respect, I honestly think Troy Polamalu is probably the greatest player I've ever played with or even seen play in person," said Jets receiver Santonio Holmes, an ex-Steeler. "Everybody has their one person they think is the greatest player. In my eyes, I think he's the greatest player I've ever played with."

"In my eyes, I think he's the greatest player I've ever played with."
-- Santonio Holmes
Matthews finished with 13 1/2 sacks, good for fourth in the league in his second professional season. He also returned an interception 62 yards for a touchdown against the Cowboys in a mid-season blowout victory. In Green Bay's Week 17 win against the Bears that secured their spot in the playoffs, Matthews recorded a fourth-quarter sack on Jay Cutler on third down, proving he also had the ability to come up big in critical situations.

Matthews' defining game came in Week 1, when he recorded three sacks against the Philadelphia Eagles, knocking Kevin Kolb out of the game (and eventually out of a starting role). The next week, Matthews sacked Buffalo QB Trent Edwards three times in what would be Edwards' last game with the Bills.

Polamalu's teammate James Harrison, the 2008 AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year, finished third in the balloting with eight votes after recording 100 total tackles, 11 sacks and two interceptions. Julius Peppers finished fourth with six votes in his first season with the Bears while Chicago linebacker Brian Urlacher received two votes. Baltimore's Ed Reed and Haloti Ngata each picked up a vote as well.


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Cavaliers Crumble Again as Wade, Bosh Turn Up the Heat http://ping.fm/57G6i

Cavaliers Crumble Again as Wade, Bosh Turn Up the Heat

MIAMI -- The Miami Heat handed the Cleveland Cavaliers their 21st consecutive loss with a 117-90 blowout at the AmericanAirlines Arena in yet another reminder of how much LeBron James' departure and arrival has impacted both teams. It's been 44 days and counting since Cleveland's last victory back on December 18th against the New York Knicks and while they were missing key players including Anderson Varejao, Daniel Gibson and Mo Williams to injury, the Cavs managed to make it interesting as they got within 70-67 early in the third quarter until they fell apart and order was restored quickly.

While the Cavs offense generally did a decent job attacking the Heat's interior defense which netted several easy buckets in the paint, culminating in a 37-point second quarter outburst, their defense continuously allowed Dwyane Wade and James to attack the basket unimpeded which freed up the Heat's shooters to also do their damage. Cavs guard Anthony Parker could only look back in frustration as his team goes through one of their most futile stretches in franchise history.

"They're a good team," Parker said. "They've got some players that can make plays even if you do everything right and I thought we tried to do, for the most part, the right things but it didn't go our way for a stretch. It's unfortunate because we fought so hard to get back into it."            

Heat's Big 3 finally return to Miami

Heat fans had to wait nearly a month to see James, Wade and Chris Bosh together on the floor again in Miami and the wait was certainly worth it. While Bosh struggled throughout the game, likely as a result of playing 36 minutes on Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder in his first action since returning from an ankle sprain, with only 10 points and 7 rebounds, the duo of Wade and James was more than enough to liven up the crowd. One such play featured James making a spectacular dunk with three Cavs defenders all over him, bringing Wade to his feet in celebration from the bench.

"Since he's landed in Miami, we haven't seen too much of that," teased Wade with James sitting next to him. "He left a little bit back in Cleveland so I've been waiting on it and it kind of happened so fast that it threw me off. When he goes to the basket I always expect him to do that. That's about the first time in 48 games so it was great to see. Hopefully he'll get that left leg pumping and we can get some more of that in the second half of the season."

James reaches out to Harris

Immediately following the conclusion of the game, James made his way towards the Cavs bench and first exchanged some friendly words with Jamario Moon before talking extensively with undrafted rookie Manny Harris who recently moved into the starting lineup and was one of the few bright spots for Cleveland with his second consecutive 20-point game.

"I've known Manny since he was in high school all the way through college in Michigan," explained James. "I think he's a very talented young player. I just told him no matter what's going on with the team he has to continue to play well, be aggressive and have his confidence and don't let any distractions on and off the court stop him from trying to be a really good player in this league. I've seen him get his opportunity with the injuries that they've had and he's played exceptionally well."

Harris told reporters it was one of the first instances all year that an opposing player had talked to him after a game. James was his favorite NBA player growing up and he was all ears as James gave him some veteran wisdom.

"I think my confidence will be the same but coming from a player like him and his caliber, it means a lot," he noted. "Everything he said was right."

Bosh declines to continue war of words with Kevin Durant

With Kevin Durant's surprising comments after Oklahoma City's loss to Miami on Sunday about Bosh's toughness, the Heat forward was given the opportunity Monday night to respond but casually dismissed the criticism.

"Oh yeah, I heard it," he replied. "I'm not even known for that, I just play ball and that's really it. When you play the game, things will get heated, you have a couple of words and there might be a scuffle but that's really it. I left it where it was, it wasn't that big of a deal for me."


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Surprising Louisville Stalls on Potential Ride From Good to Great http://ping.fm/11Jdp

Surprising Louisville Stalls on Potential Ride From Good to Great

WASHINGTON -- Preston Knowles' head was hanging as he sat at his locker in Verizon Center Monday night, not long after Louisville's rally against Georgetown fell short, 62-59. Like his teammates, he had played a role in the 15th-ranked Cardinals' dud of a first half, and in the charge back into the lead in the second half, then its stumbles in the final two minutes as the 13th-ranked Hoyas held them off.

As a follow-up to Louisville's electrifying double-overtime victory at Connecticut two days earlier -- one that elevated the Cardinals, unranked in the preseason, to their highest poll position so far -- this was far from an embarrassment. Yet Knowles, Louisville's only senior starter and its leading scorer, couldn't find any satisfaction either from the unexpected overall showing (they are now 17-5 and tied for second in the Big East at 6-3) or the near-miss against Georgetown.

"We were picked eighth in our conference,'' he said. "I think we exceeded not our expectations, not our team's, but everybody's expectations for us. But we want to become a great team, and we have to sacrifice and do the things to become a great team.''

Knowles' reaction indicates that he heard and absorbed coach Rick Pitino's post-game lesson for his team: that he was "really, really upset with them," for a reason.

"We gave them a speech before the game about good to great, that good is the enemy of great,'' Pitino continued. "And I want them to understand that as you try to go up the ladder to become a good basketball team, you've got to hate losing. It's got to gnaw at you. You can't say, 'Well, that was unbelievable, what a great comeback,' be satisfied with the comeback and the moral victory. That's what an inexperienced team can be. It doesn't matter if you have great heart, you have to win the game.            

"Don't tell me that you have great heart, don't tell me that you have great character -- you've got to win the game. Nobody remembers great heart and character. They just remember the win.''

"Don't tell me that you have great heart, don't tell me that you have great character -- you've got to win the game. Nobody remembers great heart and character. They just remember the win.''
-- Louisville coach Rick Pitino
Wins like the one at Connecticut Saturday, its most impressive in a season no one rationally expected from a team as young and depleted by graduations, early departures and defections as this one. It also was shorthanded Monday, with forward Rakeem Buckles still out with a broken finger, freshman Gorgui Dieng out for a second straight game with a concussion, and Jared Swopshire still not having suited up yet this season with a groin injury that needed surgery. Those three are 6-foot-8 or taller, leaving Pitino to start four guards against the Hoyas.

It all nearly didn't matter -- but in the end, Louisville wasn't able to recapture the magic in its second straight road game against a nationally-ranked Big East team. The Cardinals were sloppy and shot poorly in the first half, their lowest-scoring half of the year (trailing 22-18 at the break), then fell behind by 11 eight minutes into the second half.

But Louisville came back in trademark Pitino-coached fashion: with pressure defense and 3-point shooting. The full-court press flummoxed Georgetown (17-5, 6-4) just enough to take the ball away, and Knowles and his teammates started hitting shots, five different players knocking down six threes in the second half. The last came with 6:14 left, from Mike Marra, and it gave Louisville its first lead since late in the first half, at 54-53.

Yet down the stretch, Georgetown handled the dire straits better than Louisville. It didn't hurt that they starts three seniors, including guard Chris Wright, who scored 16 of his 24 points in the second half and was both as cool and hot as he had to be. His twisting, ducking scoop of a layup with 2:55 left tied the game at 55, and his free throws with 4.4 seconds left provided the winning margin and made Louisville have to hoist up a desperate three-pointer as time expired.

Amidst all of that, Hollis Thompson drained a back-breaking 3-pointer with 2:03 to go to put the Hoyas ahead 58-55, setting up off a perfect backcourt pick by another senior, Julian Vaughn. And junior Jason Clark saved his only two points of the game for the biggest moment, two free throws with 24.7 seconds left to maintain the lead at three.

This, however, was how Louisville handled the final moments, and it bears little resemblance to the multiple heroics pulled off in Storrs on Saturday:

With 4:24 left and with a gift of a chance to push their lead to four after a foul by Nate Lubick on a three attempt, Kyle Kuric missed two of the three free throws.

Then, with 1:25 left and the deficit at three, Knowles missed a three, got his own rebound, missed a runner in the lane, got it back after another Louisville offensive rebound and missed another three; eventually, the Cardinals got a pair of free throws out of their 51-second possession.

Finally, with the Georgetown lead at 60-57 with 24.7 seconds left, sophomore guard Peyton Siva, all but perfect in the clutch in the wins over Connecticut and West Virginia last week, brain-locked briefly. Siva dribbled around trying to find someone for a three, as Pitino jumped, waved and yelled just across the court from him, and with too much time having wound off, finally dumped it to Terrence Jennings for a dunk that cut the lead to one, and would've helped more much earlier in the possession.

All things considered, it was tough to be too harsh with Siva, who had a Jekyl-and-Hyde game, seven turnovers in the first half and one in the second. "I see him,'' he said of Pitino. "I tried to get off a shot, but when I couldn't, I just tried to get it to the big man down low while he was open. I tried to hurry up and score, but they're a good defensive team.''

Siva wasn't accepting compliments for pushing Georgetown to the end: "'Almost' doesn't count. We came back, it was a hard-fought game. But if we lose by one or by 15, we still lost. We could've had the game.''

Georgetown got it, and the reason was simple -- or at least it seemed that way for a team that had pulled off a scintillating road win of its own Saturday at Villanova.
"I think it's our players,'' coach John Thompson III said, reflecting on his team's fifth straight win, all in the Big East, to overcome a 1-4 conference start. "Poised group, went through a difficult portion (of the season) where we weren't making shots. We were getting good shots; they weren't going in. We're past that. We have a veteran group, a good group, unselfish.''

On this night, Wright pointed out, Georgetown kept its head about it when Louisville was pressing themselves back into the game. "We weren't executing as well as we wanted to. We just had to be patient and attack them,'' he said. "Their press is very aggressive; they don't sit back and wait for you to come to them. We wanted to be the aggressor on the press.''

It worked. Now, Pitino can only hope that the lesson of this loss sinks in for his team, which surprisingly has a chance to be a major factor in the Big East and the nation. The consequences are, as it's been proven by so many other teams, that it can sink as quickly as it can rise if it lets chances like Monday slip away.

"In this league,'' he said, "you really don't know where the W's are gonna come. You have to fight for every win.''


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Monday, January 31, 2011

Bubba Watson Edges Phil Mickelson to Win at Torrey Pines http://ping.fm/nDE5a

Bubba Watson Edges Phil Mickelson to Win at Torrey Pines

SAN DIEGO -- With a 5-under final-round 67 Sunday at Torrey Pines, Bubba Watson won the Farmers Insurance Open -- his second PGA Tour title -- by one shot over Phil Mickelson and put the PGA Tour on notice.

He's serious.

"It just shows that I can do it," Watson said. "I did it twice now. I'm only like 50 behind Phil and 80 behind Tiger, so they better watch out."

Watson, no malice intended, is seen by many as something of a golf goof ball. The 32-year-old self-taught player from the little Florida Panhandle town of Bagdad, likes to post Internet videos featuring trick shots and comedy. One of his favorites is a wedge shot from out of a tiny loving cup, over a swimming pool and into a sand pail.

He also has posted a "Happy Birthday" tribute to Ellen DeGeneres, and, last December at the Shark Shootout, dressed as Santa Claus to sign autographs after finishing play.            

"Well, I think I'm funny. But I still have fun with the game, I still have fun with my life," he says. "But for me to just go through the motions or for me to be good at what I do, I needed to take stuff serious.

"So on the golf course, my 30 seconds before I hit and 30 seconds while I'm hitting, I've got to be serious. The rest, who cares. So, you know, it's growing on me. This is my sixth year on Tour, so I'm getting used to all the attention, all the ropes, all the media, all the people. Just getting used to it, so it's becoming more natural now for me."

The odd thing about that is despite Watson's lighter side, most of his public exposure has come with tears.

Last year, after making the Travelers his first PGA Tour victory, Watson broke down, acknowledging his father, Gerry, who was home in Pensacola, Fla., losing a battle to cancer. In September, while Bubba was in Wales playing his first Ryder Cup, he was calling home ever day during Gerry's final weeks.

"More than likely, I am never going to be in the military," Watson said of playing for the U.S.. "So this is a chance to be like my dad."

"I did it twice now. I'm only like 50 behind Phil and 80 behind Tiger, so they better watch out."
-- Bubba Watson
Finally, the former Green Beret, who served in Vietnam, and later taught his son to play the game, died in October.

Sunday's 16-under finish and victory, Watson's first since his dad's death, again brought emotion.

"It means a lot," Watson said of the victory. "You know, everyone is special. We do not know if we are going to have them or not. So I'm probably going to cry all day, just like I did last time."

The long-hitting left-hander was 13 under on the par-5s for the week, birdieing all four on Sunday. He led the field in greens in regulation -- 59 of 72. He also led the field in driving distance, averaging 308 yards.

And he made clutch putts on the last two holes, a 10-footer to save par at No. 17 and a 12-footer for birdie at 18 that secured the victory over a charging Mickelson.

"Well, what I believe in life as a Christian, I believe that, yes, he's up there he's watching and he's cheering me on," Watson said of his father. "It's my sister's birthday today, so it was nice for our family that I won on my sister's birthday. So, yeah, I thought about him a little bit.

"I thought about him after I made the putt on 18. I looked up to the sky, but at the same time I knew that Phil Mickelson's a great wedge player, so I can't get too emotional yet."

Mickelson, a hometown favorite who has won the event three times, was one shot behind as he went to the par-5 finishing hole, just before Watson sank what would be the winning putt.

Watson's birdie left Mickelson needing to hole a 72-yard wedge shot for eagle to tie.

Mickelson had his caddie, Jim "Bones" Mackay, tend the flag. His shot landed about four feet behind the hole, but stopped well short of spinning back and into the hole. Mickelson closed with a 69.

"Bubba played some terrific golf," Mickelson said. "I really felt like starting out with the wind and the difficult conditions that if I shot something in the 60s, I thought that would be enough. I did what I thought would be enough, and it just wasn't.

"Bubba played too good. Made some great shots after great shots. I saw and made putt after putt. It was a wonderful round for him."

Seriously, folks.       


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DeAngelo Hall Paces NFC to 55-41 Pro Bowl Romp http://ping.fm/BV96I

DeAngelo Hall Paces NFC to 55-41 Pro Bowl Romp

HONOLULU -- MVP DeAngelo Hall had one of his team's five interceptions and returned a fumble 34 yards for a touchdown to help the NFC match a Pro Bowl scoring record in a 55-41 victory over turnover-prone AFC in a game that was not nearly as interesting as the final would indicate.

AFC quarterbacks Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning and Matt Cassel each threw first-half interceptions to help the NFC blow open a 42-0 lead in a performance ugly even by the historically low standards of this game.

Fittingly for this strange contest, center Alex Mack of Cleveland scored the final touchdown on a 67-yard pass play that featured two laterals with 16 seconds left.            

Carolina's Jon Beason returned the fifth interception thrown by the AFC, and second by Matt Cassel, 59 yards for the NFC's final touchdown to match the single-team scoring record set in the NFC's 55-52 victory in 2004.

New England coach Bill Belichick, after his Super Bowl favorite Patriots lost to the New York Jets in the divisional playoffs, had to watch his AFC squad muddle through the one-sided first half.

Pro Bowls are, by their nature, laid-back affairs, seemingly played at half speed by players whose biggest concern is to get on the plane home without injury.

The AFC, though, took that attitude to an uncomfortable extreme early on before coming back to outscore the NFC 41-13.

The NFC led 42-0 after Steven Jackson waltzed through the AFC defense for a 21-yard touchdown-and there still was 4 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter.

Rivers, starting in place of injured Tom Brady, was picked off twice in the first quarter, the second by Hall.

Manning, in his 11th Pro Bowl, came on briefly in relief and his second pass was picked off. Then Cassel got his chance and quickly joined in the spirit of things, throwing his second pass of the game directly into the hands of Minnesota cornerback Antoine Winfield.

But just when it appeared it would be the most one-sided game in Pro Bowl history, eclipsing the Joe Theismann-led 45-3 NFC rout of the AFC in 1984, the AFC scored three touchdowns in a row. The last came on the game's seventh turnover, when Devin Hester tried to hand the kickoff return to Hall, but the ball fell to the turf. Montell Owens of Jacksonville scooped it up and ran it in 10 yards for the score to make it 42-21 with 10 minutes left in the third quarter.

With his seven extra points, tying a Pro Bowl record, along with two field goals David Akers moved ahead of Morten Andersen (45) for most Pro Bowl points with 52. The Philadelphia kicker would have had more but his 36-yard field goal try in the fourth quarter bounced off the right upright.

A tropical downpour preceded the game but subsided just before kickoff as the game returned to its traditional home in Hawaii after a one-year detour to Miami .

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick started but played only the first quarter, completing 5 of 10 passes for 59 yards.

Adrian Peterson rushed for 80 yards in 14 carries for the NFC, including a 14-yarder to set a Pro Bowl record with four career rushing touchdowns. Atlanta got good performances from Matt Ryan (9 of 13 for 118 yards and two touchdowns with an interception), Michael Turner (eight carries for 53 yards) and Roddy White (five catches for 69 yards).


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St. John http://ping.fm/L2bU5

St. John's stuns No. 3 Duke, 93-78

NEW YORK -  Teams that beat Duke have reason to celebrate. Teams that blow Duke out of the building should be able to party all night.

So, how long will the St. John's players be allowed to celebrate Sunday's 93-78 victory over No. 3 Duke - a game that wasn't as close as the final score indicated?

"Coach Lav said we had two hours to celebrate and then we have to get ready for Rutgers," senior forward Justin Burrell said, referring to first-year coach Steve Lavin and the Red Storm's next opponent on Wednesday.

Two hours? It will take longer than that just to go over the highlight plays of a game that St. John's had won by halftime. Those last 20 minutes were just a formality.

"I felt like we were ready. The guys wanted to play this game," Duke guard Nolan Smith said. "We wanted to be here but they came out from the jump ball and kicked our butts."

It wasn't that St. John's (12-8) beat the Blue Devils (19-2), it was the way it happened.

St. John's was finishing a stretch of eight straight games against ranked teams. This win gave them three wins in that span. It was enough to have Lavin waving his arms to the crowd at a media timeout in the second half.

"You're caught up in the moment of the game and I wanted St. John's fans to come to the party in terms of supporting the players on the court," Lavin said. "We had this arduous stretch of games and having lost five of six, at that moment it was just wanting to jumper cable the crowd and bring energy for our players because they deserved a pat on the back and some appreciation for the yeoman's effort and the cohesive brand of basketball they had been playing against the defending national champion."

The Red Storm, who had lost three straight and five of six, took control early and had a 46-25 lead at halftime. Duke, which came into the game shooting 40 percent from 3-point range, missed its first 10 shots from behind the arc and made one of 13 in the half.

The Blue Devils' overall shooting wasn't a whole lot better as they shot 29.6 percent (8 of 27) in the half - they entered the game shooting 48.1 percent from the field - and they were careless with the ball as well, committing 11 turnovers, one off their season average for a game.

St. John's had a lot to do with how poorly Duke played, using a three-quarter court trap to force the Blue Devils into low percentage passes that almost all seemed to either be stolen by St. John's or just thrown away.

"It's not an Xs and Os thing today," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "I felt we were not ready to compete, we had blank expressions on our faces and guys weren't talking and that's my responsibility. Our program didn't do well today and that is all our responsibilities."

There was plenty of praise to go around for the Red Storm, who gave the Big East a 6-1 record against teams ranked in the top 10 this season. They were 16 of 28 from the field (57.1 percent) in the first half, well above the 45.2 percent the Red Storm were shooting coming into the game.

Dwight Hardy had 26 points for St. John's, while Justin Brownlee had 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists and Paris Horne added 15 points and six assists. St. John's shot 58.2 percent for the game (32 of 55) and was 26 of 33 from the free throw line.

"I thought our team from the outset executed with precision on offense and brought great intensity to the defensive end of the floor," Lavin said, "and we were able to maintain a high level of basketball for 40 minutes and that was the difference."

Duke's loss continued the weekend of misery for members of the Top 25. On Saturday, four teams in the top 10 and 11 ranked teams overall lost.

Smith led Duke with 32 points and Kyle Singler added 20. Duke finished 5 of 26 from 3-point range - they missed 21 of the first 22 attempts - and had 17 turnovers.

"To sum it up they got whatever they wanted and we just weren't able to bounce back and match them," Singler said.

The sellout crowd of 19,353 at Madison Square Garden - about 60 percent of whom were cheering for St. John's - seemed to be waiting for a run by the Blue Devils, who had won four straight since its loss at Florida State, that would make their nightmare half go away.

St. John's came out and scored the first two baskets of the second half - one on a dunk by D.J. Kennedy 10 seconds in, the other on a layup by Hardy off a nice pass from Dwayne Polee II - to take its biggest lead of the game, 50-25 1:04 into the second half.

St. John's had doubled Duke and the Red Storm managed to score enough the rest of the way to keep the Blue Devils at bay. The closest Duke would get would be 11 points after they hit four straights 3-pointers to pull to 87-76.

"I was really excited," said Burrell who had eight points and five rebounds. "I'm one of those guys who really enjoys college basketball and I was excited to be a part of this."

The Red Storm started their run against ranked teams with a 61-58 victory over then-No. 13 Georgetown. After losses to Notre Dame and Syracuse, they beat then-No. 9 Notre Dame 72-54 in a rematch. Losses to Louisville, Cincinnati and Georgetown preceded the win over Duke. All three wins were at Madison Square Garden.

"This was an interesting stretch as a coach," Lavin said. "I don't think it had ever happened. The mathematical probabilities have got to be one in a zillion. "We've had to temper things with them and be mindful of that frustration. The concern was that our players realize this conference is really tough and you can lose five of six and not be playing bad basketball."

Duke had been as comfortable at the Garden as St. John's. The Blue Devils had won their last five and 12 of 13 there and were 25-14 all-time.

The game got chippy for a while in the second half and double technicals were called twice before things settled down.       


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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Marquette Takes Down Reeling Syracuse http://ping.fm/IaQ2w

Marquette Takes Down Reeling Syracuse

MILWAUKEE - Jae Crowder scored 13 of his 25 points in the second half and Marquette handed No. 10 Syracuse its fourth straight loss, 76-70 on Saturday.

C.J. Fair's layup tied the game at 64, but Crowder's layup put Marquette ahead by two. Kris Joseph's jumper tied it for the last time for Syracuse which never led in the game. Jimmy Butler hit a 3-pointer with 1:51 to go and then Darius Johnson-Odom made another 3 as Marquette withstood the charge.

Joseph led the Orange with 18 points, but it wasn't enough as Syracuse (18-4, 5-4 Big East) who have lost four in a row for the first time since Jan. 16-29, 2006.

Butler finished with 19 for Marquette (14-8, 5-4).

Butler and Dwight Buycks each made one of two free throws and Johnson-Odom made two in the final minute to seal the victory.

A porous defense figured prominently in the Orange's previous three losses. Then-No. 5 Pittsburgh shredded the Syracuse zone for a 74-66 victory Jan. 17. Villanova, ranked eighth at the time, hit 11 3-pointers in an 83-72 victory last Saturday at the Carrier Dome. On Tuesday, Seton Hall made 10 of 17 3s in a 90-68 rout, the worst home loss since an 85-61 defeat on Feb. 7, 1998.

The Orange had won five straight over Marquette since it joined the conference in 2005 and held a 7-2 all-time record coming into the game. The Golden Eagles had beaten every Big East opponent except for Syracuse, but Crowder and Butler changed that.

Darius Johnson-Odom added 17 points for Marquette which had open Big East play with victories over West Virginia and Rutgers. Then, the Golden Eagles lost four of six to nationally ranked teams, including consecutive defeats to then 16th-ranked Notre Dame last Saturday and fifth-ranked Connecticut on Tuesday. The Golden Eagles, 2-7 overall against ranked teams this season, had frittered away second-half leads in each of their last three losses because of defensive breakdowns.

Scopp Jardine's reverse layup off a Marquette turnover capped a 25-14 run, erased Marquette's 11-point halftime lead and tied the game at 56 with 8:18 to go.

Syracuse started the second half with an 8-1 run while holding Marquette scoreless for almost four minutes to pull to 43-39 with 16:38 left. The Orange cut off Marquette's driving lanes which had been wide open in the first half and forced the Golden Eagles to shoot from the outside. Marquette missed three shots in the span and turned the ball over once as Syracuse finally made it a close game.

Crowder and Johnson-Odom each had 12 points to pace Marquette's attack that went over and through Syracuse's zone defense. The Orange contested Marquette's drives through the paint, but couldn't stop the scoring. The Golden Eagles made 13 of 15 free throws to Syracuse's 1 of 2.

Marquette led by 11 points three times in the first, the last on Jimmy Butler's close-in jumper that gave Marquette a 42-31 lead at the half.

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Novak Djokovic Dominates Andy Murray to Win 2011 Australian Open Title http://ping.fm/7Zfvs

Novak Djokovic Dominates Andy Murray to Win 2011 Australian Open Title

Novak Djokovic of Serbia thrashed Andy Murray 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 to win his second career Australian Open singles title on Sunday and second Grand Slam title overall.

The third-seeded Djokovic dominated the fifth-seeded Murray in every aspect of the final match. Djokovic won his first Australian Open title in 2008. The 23-year-old Murray finishes runner-up for the second consecutive year in Melbourne Park.

The aggressive Djokovic had better statistics throughout the board. Djokovic won 70 percent of his first-serve points, 60 percent of his second-serve points and was only broken three times. Murray, who was hesitant throughout the match, was broken seven times and committed 47 unforced errors. Additionally, the Brit only won 39 percent of his net approaches in the match.            

The contest was only tight for the very beginning of the first set, when both players held serve for the opening nine games. Djokovic opened the match up by claiming the first break of serve in the tenth game. The Serb's serve was dominating, winning 16 of 17 first-serve points in the first set.

A focused Djokovic capitalized on the momentum from his first-set win and took the first five games to begin the second set. Djokovic suddenly rattled off seven straight games to go up 5-0 in the second. Even after breaking Djokovic for the first time in the match during the seventh game of the set, Murray was unable to garner any type of momentum. A focused Djokovic broke back in the next game to take a commanding two-set lead.

Djokovic continued his excellence into the third set where a frustrated Murray continued to be severely outplayed.

It has been quite the run for the 23-year-old Serbian. After finishing runner-up at the 2010 U.S. Open, Djokovic led the Serbian team to their first Davis Cup victory to end the 2010 season. The third-ranked Djokovic only lost one set throughout the tournament, sending yet another message to the tennis world.


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