And Graham poured cold water on Trump’s idea, telling Politico: “I don’t think now’s the time for me to do that. I don’t know if that’s even possible.”However Trump is set to keep pushing his “Obamagate” agenda as he works overtime to stir enthusiasm in his right-wing base ahead of the November 3 presidential election.Among the figures he is now targeting is Obama’s vice president Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic challenger this November.The conspiracy theory seeks to turn on its head a two-year investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller into Trump’s Russia contacts.Mueller determined that Trump and his election campaign had extensive, sometimes murky contacts with Russians, and that Moscow directly interfered in the tense 2016 election.But he said there was no hard evidence of collusion between the two sides.Trump has called for punishing the probe’s backers, calling the entire affair a “hoax.” Despite saying that he was “greatly concerned by the precedent that would be set by calling a former president” to testify, Graham promised to hold hearings in June on the Russia-Trump investigation in general. Topics : The claim is that Obama’s administration and a “deep state” tried to scuttle Trump’s presidency using probes into his contacts with Russian entities.”Just do it,” Trump tweeted, addressing Senator Lindsey Graham, one of his most loyal Republican allies, who chairs the powerful Senate judiciary committee.”The first person I would call to testify about the biggest political crime and scandal in the history of the USA, by FAR, is former President Obama,” Trump said in the tweet.Shortly after, Obama appeared to respond on Twitter, writing simply: “vote.” President Donald Trump broke with tradition Thursday by calling for investigation of his White House predecessor Barack Obama in the latest attempt to push a conspiracy theory about his Democratic opponents.Washington operates under unwritten rules that presidents and ex-presidents avoid public clashes.However Trump, less than six months from a volatile reelection showdown, called for Obama to testify in the Senate over a conspiracy theory he has dubbed “Obamagate.”
Ships transiting the Panama Canal could face price hikes of over 30% by April 1, 2020, due to new charges imposed by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) said. Last month, the ACP introduced a series of new measures beginning February 15 to sustain an operational level of water and provide reliability to users while it implements a long-term solution to water.Imposed on February 15, the freshwater charge of USD 10,000 applies to vessels over 125 feet long. There will also be a variable surcharge based on the level of the Gatun Lake at the time of transit.The ICS calculates that this move will increase costs to ships passing through the Panama Canal by up to 15%.The new freshwater charge comes ahead of significant changes in rates to the Panama Canal Authority 2020 Tolls Modification, which is due to become effective on April 1, 2020. This toll modification could see additional cost increases of up to 17% for ships passing through the waterway, according to the ICS.If the charges are combined, some ships passing through the Panama Canal could face price hikes of over 30% by April 1. The period between the announcement of the new freshwater charges and their date of implementation is only a month, giving little time to consider the decision and its potential effects. All stakeholders were engaged in the decision-making process for the toll modification last year, and the Panama Canal Authority at this time agreed to defer increases to allow shipowners to factor in the rise, the ICS added.For shipowners, the proposed fees amount to yet another rise in toll charges.“While we have worked with the Panama Canal Authority to manage the upcoming implementation of toll modification rise on April 1st, the introduction of the freshwater charges’ have taken the shipping industry by surprise,” Guy Platten, Secretary General ICS, commented.“The industry is currently facing increased price pressures globally, as demand has been hit hard by coronavirus and markets are adjusting to the new regulations on sulphur levels. It is therefore highly inadvisable for the Panama Canal Authority to put increased strain on industry and the wider global economy at this time. Shipping already operates on the slimmest of margins. Cost hikes in this range, without sufficient warning, place undue pressure on the industry at a sensitive time when we are being asked to invest in a low emissions future.”“We encourage the Panama Port Authority to consider postponing the introduction of the freshwater charge to give industry a chance to better prepare,” Platten continued.Established in 1921, ICS is the principal international trade association for the shipping industry, representing shipowners and operators in all sectors and trades.
Share Tweet Sharing is caring! LifestyleLocalNews Fire Service Responds to 13 Fires on Sunday, Warns Against Unnecessary Burning by: – May 11, 2020 180 Views no discussions Share Share (Fire Service) The Dominica Fire and Ambulance Services Division responded to multiple Fire Calls on Sunday 10th May 2020. Two house Fires and eleven Bush Fires were responded to by crews around the island.At approximately 4:59am Crews at the Roseau Fire Station responded to a call at the landfill in Fond Cole; the said call involved fire within the landfill and crews were required to engage in firefighting procedures throughout the day. Two Fire Trucks and crew were required to challenge the blaze. Outside resources were needed to be employed in executing these procedures. Assistance came from DOWASCO in the form of use of a water truck and ADA Trucking, with use of an excavator for movement of earth and debris. Operations at the Landfill were completed at approximately 5:20pm.At approximately 2:30pm the Roseau station also got information of a Bush Fire at Newtown. Information was relayed to crews at the Landfill and simultaneously a crew was dispatched utilizing an Ambulance to investigate. Information returning from the investigating crew at approximate 2:40pm indicated that vehicles near the fire were engulfed in flames. At approximately 2:50pm the first arriving Fire Truck and crew commenced firefighting procedures and were later joined by a second Truck and crew. The blaze involved eleven non-functional vehicles some of which were undergoing mechanical repairs and two building at Victoria Street: a mechanic garage owned by Mr. Reggie Burke was completely destroyed. A second unoccupied building, the Old Newtown Infant School, also sustained damage. Investigations into this fire are ongoing. Information though, is suggesting that the fire resulted from persons burning debris in the area.Additionally, at approximately 4:30pm, crews of the Roseau Fire Station responded to a bush fire in the King Hill area and at approximately 5:24pm also responded to a Bush Fire in the Glasgow area in Fond Cole. A call was also responded to at King Lane, Roseau at approximately 5:59pm. These fires were all extinguished. The Roseau Fire Station was again called into action in the Fond Cole/Glasgow area at approximately 8:20pm.The Grandbay Fire Station on Sunday 10th May 2020 was also involved in it fair share of Bush Fires, responding to two calls during the day. One at approximately 2:06pm in the Grandbay Village area and at approximately 3:40pm, one at Tete Morne. Both fires were extinguished without any significant damage to property.Portsmouth Fire Station responding to three Bush Fires during the day: at about 1:26 pm in the community of Bioche, at 7:03pm in the Community of Bourne and at 8:37pm in the Community of Gutter. All fires were controlled and extinguished without significant damage.On Sunday 10th May 2020 crews at the Melville Hall Fire Station responded to two Fire Calls, both of which were in the Community of Wesley. At approximately 12:00am a response was to a house fire in Wesley. The owner and sole occupier was Mr. Edmund Andrew of Wesley. No one was injured during the Blaze and investigations are still ongoing into the cause of fire and the cost of damage. Crews at the Melville Hall Station also responded to a Bush Fire in Wesley on Sunday at approximately 4:00pm. The fire was controlled and subsequently extinguished without significant damage.The Dominica Fire and Ambulance Services Division remains committed to protection of the life and property of citizens of the Commonwealth of Dominica and visitors to our shores. We extend our sincerest empathy to all who lost property during these fires and continue to ask citizens to act responsibly with caution during the Dry Season and refrain from indiscriminate burning. All burning in Residential Areas should be terminated and burning for agricultural purpose should be done with outermost caution.
Lois Carol McCormack, 91, Greensburg, passed away on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at Arbor Grove Village in Greensburg. Born, August 20, 1927 in Greensburg, Indiana, she was the daughter of Henry E. and Nannie L. (Gibson) Brown. Lois Carol graduated in 1945 from Greensburg High School. She was a member of the First Baptist Church. She played the piano and the organ for many years at the church. She also played the piano and organ for many weddings and funerals over the years. She taught piano from her home. Lois Carol had served as a Den Mother for the Cub Scouts. She is survived by two nieces, Cynthia (Ron) Grace, Reynolds, IN, Christina (Mike) Dunne, Tampa FL; one nephew, Mark A. Brown, Ocala, FL. She was preceded in death by her parents, her fiancé, George W. Granholt; one brother, Ray E. Brown; one nephew, Ray Patrick Brown. There will be no public services by Lois Carol’s request. Porter-Oliger-Pearson Funeral Home in Greensburg has been entrusted with the arrangements. Online condolences can be made to the family at www.popfuneralhome.com
Tony Adams has undergone minor heart surgery in Azerbaijan – an operation the former England and Arsenal defender has said saved his life. “After feeling some acute chest pain whilst exercising in Azerbaijan, and liaising with Gabala Club doctors, I went to The Medical Plaza Hospital in Baku where I was admitted for an angiogram, and then following diagnosis of a severely blocked vein, an immediate angioplasty,” Adam said in a statement. “The brilliant surgeons at the Medical Plaza did a fantastic job – as has been reiterated to me by my cardiologist in the UK. “I know full well that without the brilliance of Dr Uzeyir Rahimov and his team I would not be alive now: a minor heart operation saved my life. “I can’t begin to thank Tale Heydarov and all at Gabala Football Club, as well as the Cardiac Unit at the Medical Plaza Baku enough. “I would just like to say that if you, like me, have a history of heart disease in your family and you feel chest pains, get yourself to the doctor’s now.” Adams is now said to be recuperating with his family in the UK, while Gabala travel to Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League on Thursday. After racking up 669 appearances and 10 major trophies with the Gunners, the 49-year-old moved into management with Wycombe, Portsmouth and then Gabala. Adams is now the Azerbaijani club’s director of football and recently went under the knife after feeling unwell. Press Association
A heartwarming story this Wednesday afternoon.On Saturday, Boynton Beach Police were dispatched to a local park after receiving a call about an abandoned basket of puppies.But when Officer Chris Schalk arrived at the scene to find the animals, he soon realized they were not puppies but actually baby bunnies!He was able to make the identification with the help of a friend from the Coral Springs Animal Hospital.Officer Schalk then took the baby bunnies to East Coast Rabbit Rescue, a nonprofit in West Palm Beach, that rescues abandoned or injured rabbits.The organization also works to help the animals find a forever home.
Sports Ministry had criticised BCCI for not coming under NADA.Sports Ministry had said BCCI could not conduct dope tests.BCCI had been vehemently opposed to signing up with NADA. highlights For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: Sports Secretary Radheshyam Jhulaniya on Friday said that the Indian cricket board has agreed to come under the ambit of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), ending years of defiance. Jhulaniya, who met BCCI CEO Rahul Johri here on Friday, said the Board has given in writing that it would adhere to the anti-doping policy of NADA. “All cricketers will now be tested by NADA,” Jhulaniya told PTI. “The BCCI raised three issues before us about the quality of the dope testing kits, competence of pathologists and sample collection. We assured them that whatever facilities they want, we will provide but there will be some charge for it. BCCI is no different from others,” he added.The BCCI had been vehemently opposed to signing up with NADA, claiming that it is an autonomous body, not a National Sports Federation and does not rely on government funding. However, the sports ministry has also been steadfast in maintaining that it had to come under the NADA ambit.Till date, Sweden-based International Dope Testing Management (IDTM) has been collecting the cricketers’ samples and submitting them to the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL). “IDTM was an outside agency hired by BCCI to take samples. Now that agency will be NADA. I explained to BCCI you don’t have a discretion to abide by law or not. The law applies to everyone equally,” Jhulaniya said after the landmark development following a meeting with the BCCI officials. Every federation is on the same footing for enforcement of law. You don’t have to sign an agreement. We categorically told them no MOU is required as law is applicable to everyone.”The primary concern of the Board was the contentious ‘Whereabouts Clause’ with regards to Out of Competition Testing, something that all star India players have been wary of as they considered it an invasion of their privacy.On that, the top sports ministry official said, “Yes, NADA will carry out the test whenever and wherever they want. World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) clause 5.2 gives the authority to the national anti-doping agency to carry all testing in its territory irrespective of the athletes’ country. “All athletes irrespective of their country of origin or country of citizenship come under the jurisdiction of the national anti doping agency, that’s the WADA’s charter and we are a partner.”The Sports Ministry had heavily criticised the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s anti-doping programme. According to a report in the Indian Express, a letter was written to the CEO Rahul Johri, the sports ministry and it has said the BCCI’s anti-doping programme lacks robustness. It also hinted at a conflict of interest since the BCCI tests and hands out the quantum of punishment to the players. The Sports Ministry quoted article 5.2 of the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Code which said sampling of athletes can be done only by an Anti-Doping organisation with testing authority. Since the BCCI has not signed up with NADA (National Anti-Doping Agency) for several years, the Sports Ministry has argued that the BCCI does not have the rights to conduct dope tests.The letter pointed out the lack of robustness in the BCCI anti-doping programme. “In 2018, 215 samples were sent by BCCI to National Dope Testing Laboratory, India, for testing. Of these, 5 tested positive. There is no information as to how these athletes who tested positive have been dealt with,” the letter stated.The Ministry has raised questions about BCCI’s overarching involvement in dope cases. As per WADA rules, which are also adopted by NADA, an independent panel which has no prior involvement with the parties involved must be formed. In the BCCI’s case, this was not done in accordance and it raised the question of natural justice.- With PTI inputs-
DEREK MONTGOMERY/Herald photoCrazy, psychotic, fanatical.These are words not typically used to describe the heart, intensity and work ethic of your average athlete. But, then again, anyone who’s ever witnessed Mike Newkirk’s insane work ethic would understand why coaches, players and even Newkirk himself use these words to describe the redshirt freshman.”He’s a little bit of a psycho. You get done running sprints and then he’ll want to run 10 more sprints in the summer when you don’t need to do it, so … he’s a little intense,” defensive line coach John Palermo said.That intensity has been the trademark for the Ladysmith native. Even before he set foot on campus, Newkirk was focused on his goal of playing football. As a youngster attending UW camps, Newkirk endeared himself to Palermo and other coaches in large part because of the hard work he put in and love of the game he displayed.”Some of the guys, they think I’m crazy,” Newkirk said. “I had worked real hard through high school, and I don’t think they realized how hard I was working before, and I knew myself that I could handle it because I’d been trained to handle it.”However, not everybody was supportive of his tireless work ethic at first. Coaches originally worried that the extra stress Newkirk placed on his body would wear him down for the long grind of the regular season. Yet eight games into the season, Newkirk has proved the doubters wrong, instead earning the support of the same people who once questioned him.”When you start making plays and you establish yourself and they see you can take advantage of it, they’re all for it,” Newkirk said. “They want to see a player who’s interested in making the team better, making themselves better and just doing anything they can. They were cautious about it at first, but now they’re real supportive of it.”Wrestler’s mentalityGrowing up in northern Wisconsin, Newkirk picked up his intense work habit from, among other places, a schedule that included school, working with his dad and starring in three sports. Like many high school athletes, Newkirk was a multi-sport star, lettering in wrestling and track as well as football.He was an all-state performer on the gridiron, earning the 2003 Offensive Player of the Year award from the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association, and won the Division 2 state shot put title as a senior. But it was wrestling that held, and still holds, a special place in Newkirk’s heart.It was wrestling that taught him, at a young age, the meaning of hard work and dedication. The lessons paid off, too, as Newkirk became the first wrestler in the history of Rusk County to win a state title. Newkirk took home top honors in the heavyweight class as a junior, posting a 42-0 record while defeating opponents as much as 50 pounds heavier than he was.”I think you have to be really tough now to be a wrestler,” Palermo said. “Mentally tough, and Mike’s mentally tough. I don’t think you get that from other sports.”Eventually the toughness and work ethic he learned led Newkirk to find a childhood hero in Iowa State wrestler and Iowa head coach Dan Gable. Gable’s career accomplishments are world renowned, as the former college star went 181-1 in his four years of college and later earned a gold medal at the 1972 Olympic Games. The former Iowa State star’s influence on Newkirk is obvious, as Gable, much like Newkirk, was called crazy for his unending work ethic.”The mentality of Dan Gable, that’s the wrestler’s mentality right there,” Newkirk said. “If you know anything about Dan Gable and his quotes, stuff like that, that’s just stuff you try to carry … not just on the mat, but on the football field.”Beating the oddsThe Gable mentality has paid huge dividends for Newkirk throughout his young UW career. Originally slated to play middle linebacker in his first fall camp, Newkirk quickly showed his talents would be better utilized along the defensive front, eventually finding a home at defensive tackle to open this season. It’s at his newest position that the 260-pound Newkirk has found his wrestling background the most useful.”I’m a lighter guy playing in the middle. You definitely have to stay low, and sometimes you learn that the hard way,” Newkirk said. “When I get high on some plays, I’ll get pushed back, and it’s a reminder that you have to use leverage and stay low.”The reminders have set in, and Newkirk has found himself becoming an integral part of a UW defensive line rotation that’s shrunk considerably throughout the year. Newkirk’s play has impressed coaches so much that he earned his first start of the season against Purdue, responding with six tackles — including one for a loss — one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.”Mike was very patient — is probably the best way to put it — in waiting for his opportunity to be the guy,” Palermo said. “I think he proved on Saturday that he can be the guy as long as he continues to improve every week.”But Newkirk, as is to be expected, isn’t satisfied with his play or even with the start. Rather, both have served as a motivating tool for the freshman, driving this “psychotic” player into an even “crazier” routine. “Never be satisfied, no matter how many plays you make, no matter how good you are. You really need to work hard,” Newkirk said. “The hard thing to do is work when nobody is watching, and that’s really what defines what kind of player you are.”
Published on March 16, 2016 at 12:18 pm With the NCAA tournament about to kick off, our beat writers have put together their favorite first-round games, high seeds that might lose, sleepers and more. Check it all out below.Connor Grossman’s superlativesFavorite first-round game: Syracuse (4) vs. Army (13)It’s a homer pick, but it’ll be a culminating moment for the Syracuse program when head coach Quentin Hillsman sends his starters onto the Carrier Dome floor for tipoff against Army on Friday afternoon. The first-ever home game for SU in the NCAA tournament validates a program on the rise for the last half-decade, and a fast-paced, unorthodox style of play blueprinted by Hillsman and his coaching staff. An Orange team that garnered the second-lowest home attendance in the Atlantic Coast Conference should get it’s best showing of the season for the most important home game in program history.High seed most likely to lose first weekend: Florida State (5)AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn arguably the most top-heavy college sport, monumental women’s basketball upsets are few and far between. That’s why the Seminoles are the likeliest “high seed” to go down in round one, having lost three of their last five games. FSU struggled to hang with national powerhouse Notre Dame four days after losing to Syracuse, and lost in the opening round of the ACC tournament. Meanwhile their opponent, Middle Tennessee, is riding a six-game win streak and a Conference USA championship run. The Blue Raiders are primed for an upset of slow-rolling Florida State.Sleeper team: Ohio State (3)Equipped with electric scorer Kelsey Mitchell, averaging the fourth-most points per game with 25.7, Ohio State has an avenue to make a run with it’s third-best offense in the nation. The advantage of being a No. 3 seed means the Buckeyes won’t have to face one of the vaunted top-seeded squads (South Carolina in this case) until the Elite Eight. Assuming OSU wins its first two games, it’s toughest test could come against No. 2-seeded Arizona State, a team that allowed only 54 points per game this season. It’d be a classic matchup of a premier offense and defense, and one that could put Ohio State into one of the tournament’s final games.Final Four: South Carolina (1, Sioux Falls region), Connecticut (1, Bridgeport region), Notre Dame (1, Lexington region), Baylor (1, Dallas region)In a tournament that doesn’t lend itself to upsets, it’s going to be the nation’s top teams duking it out for this year’s crown. Each team boasts plenty of two-way players who could flip the dynamics of these games from shootouts to standoffs, or vice-versa. The stage is set, however, for the nation’s best all-around team to square off against a familiar opponent in the season’s final game.National Champion: Connecticut over Notre DameIt’s awfully hard to pick against three-time defending champions. In one of the most dominant runs of any team in college sports, the Huskies statistically boast the game’s most prolific offense and toughest defense. It’s about a lethal of a recipe as possible to spell out a fourth consecutive national championship. The Fighting Irish jockeyed hard in one of women’s basketball’s toughest conference to come out as the top seed, but for a second straight year can’t match the level of competition brought forth by UConn.Tournament MVP: Breanna StewartStewart’s the most valuable piece to Connecticut’s offense, and frankly one of the best players in women’s basketball history. In each of the past three years she’s been honored as the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player, and UConn has won it all each time. The 6-foot-4 forward is pacing the Huskies with a hair over 19 points per game and rightfully takes the most shots in the game’s best offense. It’s no stretch to think she’ll be the key ingredient to a national championship sweep of her career.MORE COVERAGE:Brittney Sykes on Syracuse hosting NCAA tournament games: ‘I’m at a loss for words right now’Syracuse will host NCAA tournament games for 1st time ever after earning No. 4 seed Courtesy of Adam Pennavaria | Kentucky KernelFinal Four: South Carolina (1, Sioux Falls), Connecticut (1, Bridgeport), Notre Dame (1, Lexington), Oregon State (2, Dallas)National Champion: Connecticut over South CarolinaThis is Connecticut’s tournament to lose and it’s unlikely the Huskies will. Each of the last three years, UConn came, it saw and it conquered. This year is no different. Brenna Stewart is still leading the way in her final year and the Huskies have already toppled its most worthy opponents this season. It’s amazing to think that Connecticut could end this season perfect for the sixth time and have its senior class go 4-for-4 with national championships. The scariest part is that it’s almost crazier to think the Huskies won’t do that.Tournament MVP: Breanna StewartStewart is the centerpiece of a very potent Connecticut team. With her, the Huskies have proven to be nearly unstoppable. If UConn wins the national championship — it probably will — Breanna Stewart will be the reason why. She’ll earn her fourth tournament MVP title in four years. Not too shabby.Paul Schwedelson’s SuperlativesFavorite first-round game: Tennessee (7) vs. Green Bay (10)This is Tennessee’s lowest seed in program history. Let that sink in a little bit. And the Vols are merely a 7 seed and will still be favored in the Round of 64. After dropping out of the Top 25 for the first time in 31 years earlier this season, the nation came to realize this is not your parents’ Tennessee team. Meanwhile, Green Bay is 28-4 and has only lost two games since the start of December. Say what you want about the Horizon League, but the Phoenix beat Vanderbilt in November and has the experience of playing in eight of the past nine NCAA tournaments. In a sport marred by haves and have nots, this matchup should transcend that.High seed most likely to lose first weekend: Arizona State (2)Jessica Sheldon | Staff Photographer Facebook Twitter Google+ Arizona State will have a tough matchup in the Round of 32 regardless of who wins the Tennessee-Green Bay game. The Sun Devils’ 2 seed was earned in the early portion of the season, knocking off ranked opponents like Syracuse, Florida State, California and Stanford all before Jan. 5. But ASU has lost its last two games and three of its last four against ranked teams and has yet to develop dynamic scorers as Sophie Brunner averages 10.7 points and no one else averages more than 10. Tennessee, a team that’s been up and down this season, could smell blood in the water if the Vols and ASU play in the Round of 32.Sleeper team: Louisville (3)Of the four No. 1 seeds, Baylor is the least proven as Notre Dame and South Carolina’s only losses have come against Connecticut. So the attention immediately turns to the Dallas region when looking for a potential sleeper. Louisville’s squad includes ACC Player of the Year Myisha Hines-Allen, a forward with ball-handling skills of a guard, fellow first-team All-ACC member Mariya Moore and All-ACC Freshman team member Asia Durr. The Cardinals lost just two games since Dec. 11 and even in a loss to Syracuse, the Cardinals scored 75 points against one of the most ferocious defenses in the country. Final Four: South Carolina (1, Sioux Falls), Connecticut (1, Bridgeport), Notre Dame (1, Lexington), Louisville (3, Dallas)National Champion: Connecticut over South CarolinaConnecticut is the best team in the country and it’s not even close. And until a team proves everyone wrong, there’s no reason to think the Huskies will lose. Not only is UConn undefeated, but it’s also already knocked off its two biggest threats in Notre Dame and South Carolina. The three-time defending champs make it a four-peat as Geno Auriemma wins his 11th national title and finishes off his sixth perfect season.Tournament MVP: Breanna StewartAfter the North Syracuse native spurned hometown SU for Connecticut, Stewart set the goal of winning four national titles. She’s got three so far and is six wins away from the fourth. Already the only player in history to be named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player three times, what’s a fourth? It’s Breanna’s world and we’re all just living in it. Comments Jon Mettus’ superlativesFavorite first-round game: Florida (5) vs. Albany (12)Albany has a habit of getting oh-so-close to pulling off the upset in the NCAA tournament. Last season, the Great Danes came within two points of 4th-seeded Duke in the opening round. Two years before that, they were just five points behind No. 3 seed North Carolina in the first game. Upsets are fun. And with the nation’s sixth-leading scorer in Shereesha Richards, who averages 23.7 points per game, Albany just might be able to get over that hump and pull off the upset in the Carrier Dome.High seed most likely to lose first weekend: Syracuse (4)The Orange is hosting its first-ever NCAA tournament games, but despite being just a 13 seed Army has a decent shot at spoiling the weekend. The Black Knights boast Kelsey Minato, a senior guard was the first active cadet to have her jersey retired. She’s seventh leading scorer and second in 3-point percentage. Syracuse has struggled against teams that shoot the 3 well — Notre Dame, Maryland, even Drexel in parts of that game — and Army is the best in the country with a 41.6 percent success rate from beyond the arc. The Black Knights only played one Top 25 team all season, but its defense was still fourth-best in points allowed and fifth in 3-point defense. If Army can stop SU from making some shots and keep the Orange out of its press, that’ll be the key to victory.Sleeper team: Kentucky (3)Kentucky could make a deep run into the postseason because it literally doesn’t have to go anywhere. The Wildcats will host the first two games (if they win). But they’re also in the Lexington region. While some teams have to travel to South Dakota, or to Lexington, Kentucky can stay at home until the final four. The Wildcats will go about as far as Makayla Epps goes. She’s an all-around player that’s been the focal point of UK’s offense . In December, she shot over 90 percent and scored 24 points in a dominating win over Louisville. The Wildcats will most likely have to get through No. 1 seed Notre Dame. But if the Wildcats meet No. 1 seed South Carolina in the final four, you can bet they’ll want to avenge their three losses to the Gamecocks already this year — Kentucky’s only losses to a ranked opponent.
“He wasn’t surviving. He was kicking their butt,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said of Madsen. “If everybody played as hard as he played, we would be a much better basketball team too. He lays it on the line.”The Lakers (8-17) could use any help they can when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder (12-13) on Friday at Staples Center. “I’ll dive on the floor and flop around. I can’t quite shoot or dribble like these guys. So I got to do something to contribute,” Madsen told the Los Angeles News Group after participating in his third practice this season. “My whole thing is don’t mess the game up. Don’t mess it up and make it competitive so they get something out of it.”The Lakers took notice in what Madsen said. “Mad Dog will bring that dog,” said Lakers forward Nick Young, referring to Madsen’s nickname. “You saw him on the floor diving? He wasn’t showing off for ya’ll. He was doing that all in practice.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Switching teamsLakers rookie guard Jordan Clarkson was re-assigned to their Development League affiliate, the D-Fenders. He played in Thursday’s game against Sioux Falls. The Lakers could recall him back for Friday’s game against Oklahoma City before reassigning him again for Saturday’s game against Reno. The Lakers moved up and down the floor at a brisk place, showing an intensity in five-on-five scrimmages that is usually reserved for actual games.Kobe Bryant pouring out his unmatched competitive fire once again?Nope. The Lakers’ star only completed the first half of Thursday’s practice before spending the rest of his day receiving treatment and resting. Instead, the Lakers’ energy source came from 38-year-old assistant coach Mark Madsen, who once entertained the Lakers with dancing during championship parades and unmatched hustle.Madsen showed that again in Thursday’s scrimmage and even dove for a loose ball despite last playing in an NBA game five years ago. Madsen practiced, while Lakers forward Jordan Hill went home with flu symptoms.