NCAAFB Podcast with Daniel Dullum: Crimson Tide go perfect; Central Florida stays undefeated; Clemson finishes undefeated: plus more

photo from al.com: Alabama defensive lineman LaBryan Ray (89) exits the field after the Iron Bowl Nov. 24, 2018

NCAAFB podcast with Daniel Dullum:

1) Poll and playoff update, coaching rumors Helton stays with USC Trojans contrary to the firing rumors, Texas Tech fires Kingsbury, Illinois Lovie Smith was extended for next season.

2) No. 1 – Alabama steamrolls Auburn to complete undefeated regular season

3) No. 9 – Central Florida remains unbeaten, loses quarterback McKenzie Milton to possible knee injury

4) No. 2 – Clemson is 12-0 after lopsided win over South Carolina State; Florida State’s bowl streak ends at 36 after loss to No. 11 Florida

5) Arizona State comes back for wild win over U of Arizona in Tucson, Sun Devils improve to 7-5; Minnesota reclaims Axe Trophy in win over Wisconsin 37-15; Stanford win over UCLA

Daniel Dullum is filling in for Michelle Richardson for the NCAAFB podcasts this week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NCAAFB podcast with Daniel Dullum: New AP Top 25; Cardinal back in hunt for the bowl; USC coach Helton on the bubble after loss to Cal

photo from Louisville Courier: Bobby Petrino didn’t have answers as Wake Forest beat the Cards 56-35, giving Louisville a record of 2-6 start, its worst season since 1997’s 1-10. Oct. 27, 2018.(Photo: Matt Stone/Louisville Courier Journal)

On the NCAAFB podcast with Daniel:

1. Louisville Cardinal Bobby Petrino (36-26) fired their coach during his show on WAVE TV. The announcement came from the crawl on the screen below.

2 The New AP Top 25.

3 Stanford romps past Oregon State, Cardinal now Bowl Eligible.

4 Cal slips past USC, Trojans coach can begin packing his bags; Bears are Bowl Eligible.

5 Arizona State stuns UCLA, Sun Devils now Bowl Eligible under Herm Edwards!

6 Boise State upsets No. 16 Fresno State in the Mountain West.

7 Minnesota upsets Purdue 41-10, same Boilermakers who drubbed Ohio State 49-20 on Oct. 20.

Daniel does the NCAAFB podcasts each Sunday for Michelle Richardson at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Towns, Timberwolves blow out Kings 119-96

Sacramento Kings forward Zach Randolph (5) reaches for the ball in front of Minnesota Timberwolves center Taj Gibosn (67) in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves defeated the Kings 119-96. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

By: London Marq

The explosive Minnesota Timberwolves welcomed the Sacramento Kings in a midseason tilt with plenty of young talent to go around. The Kings, who are 5-5 over their last 10 games, continue to search for rhythm and consistency. The Timberwolves, led by Karl-Anthony Towns, would prove difficult for the Kings to handle.

Slow starts have been a problematic trend for Sacramento. On the road in hostile territory, the Kings fell behind early and were outclassed by the Timberwolves stars: Towns and Jimmy Butler, whose offensive prowesses were too much for the Kings, who are inconsistent and exhibit poor defense.

The Timberwolves were in control from start to finish. All five of Minnesota’s starters scored double-digit points. Towns led all scorers with 30 points and 14 rebounds.

George Hill led the Kings in scoring with 16 points.

16 points was all the Kings could muster in the third quarter, as the Minnesota defense came out rolling in all cylinders after halftime.

The Timberwolves walked away with a 119-96 blowout win over the Kings at the Target Center.

Up Next: Kings visit the Raptors on Sunday, December 17 at 12:30 pm PST.

Barracuda Defenseman Michael Brodzinski – Profile

Photo: sjbarracuda.com

SAN JOSE—“Those first few steps [on the ice] are huge in moving on to different levels [of hockey], and just seeing yourself getting better every day is a huge accomplishment,” defenseman Michael Brodzinski said of his earliest days on skates.

Born in Ham Lake, Minnesota to a family of hockey stars, Brodzinski, 22, was placed on the ice as soon as he could walk. His father, a lifelong hockey player, played for both the University of Minnesota and St. Cloud State University, the latter for which all three of his brothers previously played or have committed to.

Originally selected by the Sharks in 2013 (141st overall), Brodzinski first played for the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL and then took the college route, playing for Minnesota while studying Business Marketing. In 2015-2016, he made his AHL debut with the Barracuda, appearing in six games total that season. The following season, he played in nine games with the Cuda and 37 with the Allen Americans of the ECHL.

Brodzinski scored his first AHL goal this season, and it was the most impressive of any player thus far. During their second away game against the Cleveland Monsters (who had beat them the day before), the match remained entirely scoreless. With one second left in the overtime interval, Brodzinski got the monkey off his back (as he described the moment) and scored on Matiss Kivlenieks, Cleveland’s goalie.

Since relocating to San Jose, in addition to the weather, Brodzinski has been enjoying the Northern California beaches, a far cry from Lake Superior, the closest landmark Minnesota has to a beach.

Fun fact: Brodzinski’s older brother, Jonny, 24, plays for the Ontario Reign and notched the hat trick in their 4-2 win over the Cuda on November 1 (one of the goals went off of Michael himself). Jonny was selected 148th overall by the LA Kings in 2013. The two brothers last played alongside one another at Blaine High School in their home state.

Sacramento Kings Wednesday game wrap up: Turnovers cost Kings in Minnesota

by Michael Martinez

picture credit: NBAE– Minnesota Timberwolves Karl Anthony Towns (32) goes up on the Sacramento Kings Wednesday night

SACRAMENTO- The Kings had to play without DeMarcus Cousins after he injured his right knee in Monday’s contest in Chicago. As the Kings headed into tonight’s game, the team has struggled all season when he hasn’t suited up. Without the All Star center in the lineup, the Timberwolves looked to capitalize on that with their rookie center Karl Anthony Towns.

Towns had a huge game as DMC watched from the sidelines. The missing presence of Cousins in the middle allowed Minnesota to score a total of 64 points in the paint.

Sacramento was able to stay in the game for most of the game thanks to Rajon Rondo. Rondo totaled 14 points in the first quarter alone for his highest total in a quarter all season. The point guard kept the Kings in a good position all through the first half, as the T-Wolves led 50-48.

Minnesota broke it open in the third quarter as the the T-Wolves shot 70% from the field in the quarter. Sacramento was unable to play tough defense and allowed their opponent to out score them by ten in the quarter. Minnesota would lead 84-72 to end the the third.

The Kings did however try to make a come back to start the fourth. They were able to go on a 15-5 run and get the score to within two points at 89-87. But Minnesota was able to hit  A 6-0 run and open their lead back up. After getting back ahead, the T-Wolves never looked back and won by nine, 113-104.

The Kings turned the ball over 17 times, which led to 22 points for Minnesota. Towns totaled 26 points and 11 rebounds. Andrew Wiggins and Zach Lavine both added 23 more as the T-Wolves shot 56.3%. The Kings turnovers cost them the gave as they did get some good production out of other players. Kosta Koufus scored 15 points and grabbed 15 boards for a double double as he started in place of Cousins . Rondo finished with a team high 25 points and added 8 rebounds and 12 assists.

The three young Minnesota players dominated the Kings offensively and Sacramento missed DMC’s presence. With the season winding down, it could be interesting to see if the Kings can win a couple ball games for pride maybe just want to get a better lottery pick.

The Kings will head back to Sacramento after their 4 game road trip. They’ve struggled at home in the past month, but hopefully the team can pull out a couple more wins as the arena’s days come to an end. The Kings take on the Suns at home on Friday, March 25, at 7 p.m.

Norris’ 11th-Inning Homer Salvages Oakland’s Afternoon As Johnson’s Woes Continue

By Matthew Harrington

Athletics closer Jim Johnson blew his second save of the season, but a Derek Norris three-run homer in the eleventh inning salvaged a 7-4 A’s win in Minnesota Wednesday afternoon. Oakland took a 4-0 led over the Twins in the first inning from Target Field, but a home team rally capped by a two-run ninth forced extra innings for A’s for the second time this season.

Athletics starter Jesse Chavez had a second-straight solid start spoiled, picking up a no-decision after seven innings and only one run allowed. Chavez also was the victim of circumstance in the A’s previous extra-inning game, a 12-inning 3-2 walk-off over the Mariners last Thursday.

Phil Hughes failed to retire the first six batters he faced Wednesday, walking leadoff man Sam Fuld and Jed Lowrie before giving up four-straight base hits including a two-RBI single by Brandon Moss and run-producing hits by Josh Donaldson and Alberto Callaspo for a 4-0 lead with no outs. Hughes righted the ship, yielding no runs for the next four innings then four relievers combined to leave the A’s scoreless over the next five innings before Norris’ blast.

Designated hitter Jason Kubel cut the lead to three, launching a 2-0 Chavez delivery to deep right for a solo home run. It’d be the lone run the Twins produced off Chavez but second baseman Brian Dozier pulled the Twins within two on a solo blast of his own off A’s reliever Sean Doolittle to cut the lead in half.

The ninth inning continued to be a rocky ride with the two-time MLB saves leader Johnson on the mound. The leadoff hitter Kubel reached base on a single to center then ex-Athletic Kurt Suzuki drew a walk with two strikes to put runners on first and second. Johnson coaxed a bunting pop-up off the bat of Chris Hermann but Aaron Hicks took ball four with on another two-strike count to load the bases.

In a series of strange events, the Twins scored runs on the next two plays, but not without an umpire review for each. Eduardo Escobar flared a ball to left that Yoenis Cespedes scooped up and fired to third, looking for the force-out. The umpires ruled Suzuki safe at third after protest from Melvin, who then lifted his closer on the verge of blowing a second lead in three save opportunities in favor of Dan Otero.

Otero suffered the same fate as Johnson when guarding the one-run led. Brian Dozier lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, but Josh Reddick unleashed a laser to home plate to try to cut down Suzuki at home. After review, the call on the field was upheld, Suzuki was ruled safe and the Twins had forced a tie. Otero would walk Joe Mauer before ending the ninth with a ground out off the bat of Trevor Plouffe.

Neither team found the scoreboard in the tenth, with Glen Perkins and Otero pitching perfect innings to set up Norris’s blast. Norris, a pinch-hitter in the ninth who remained in at catcher for John Jaso, rocketed a delivery from Jared Burton (0-1, 9.00 ERA) to deep center to knock in Daric Barton and Callaspo for the decisive blow. It’s the right-handed backstop’s second dinger, both coming off right-handed pitchers. Otero (1-0, 1.69 ERA) walked a tight rope in the 12th, loading the bases on two singles and a walk before retiring Plouffe for the victory.

The A’s wrap up the series against Minnesota with another early afternoon game Thursday. Oakland’s Dan Straily and Minnesota’s Mike Pelfrey each take the hill looking for their first win of 2014.

A’s a cinch to clinch after smashing the Twins

Twins Athletics Baseball.JPEG-0a1baby Morris Phillips

With their magic number reduced to one, the A’s won’t be doing a whole lot of scoreboard watching on Sunday.
 
In fact, if the burdened Rangers lose or the A’s top Minnesota for the fourth straight day, all eyes will be on uncanny, unlikely back-to-back division winners in Oakland.  The A’s set up the comfy scenario on Saturday, by routing the Twins at the Coliseum, 9-1.
 
“Right now we got to do what we do,” Jarrod Parker said of capturing the AL West title.  “We know it’s right there.  If we handle what we do and we win games, it’s going to happen.”
 
So self assured were the A’s on Saturday that they shook off a two-hour rain delay and more clubhouse sewage issues only to smash the Twins in basically two acts—inning number one and number two.   Alberto Callaspo’s two-run shot capped Oakland’s five-run second inning and basically ended the afternoon for Minnesota starter Pedro Hernandez.  The A’s led 6-0 at that point and Parker did his part, shutting down the Twins through six innings.
 
Afterwards, the A’s watched intently in their clubhouse—as did a smattering of fans in the stadium—as the Rangers closed out the Royals in Kansas City, 3-1, to keep their divisional hopes alive.  Earlier, Cleveland also won, 4-1 over the Astros, to keep the A’s from clinching a wild card playoff berth.
 
But none of that seemed to matter to the A’s even as the attendants removed the plastic covering the lockers, if only for one more day.  Now the best case scenario would be the A’s clinching the division title while they’re on the field Sunday, if Texas loses their game that starts approximately two hours prior to the A’s game at 1:05pm.
 
“We’re going to continue to go out there and try to play our kind of baseball,” Josh Donaldson said.  “We’re going to try and win tomorrow even if (Texas losing) comes about.  I’m sure if we’re playing they’ll do something on the loudspeaker or something.”
 
Since trailing the Rangers on August 30 by three games, the A’s have won 17 of 22, the best run in the major leagues since that date.  With 92 wins under their belt, the A’s are just two short of their 2012 total of 94 with seven games yet to play.  And the Twins will be happy to see the A’s go away:  in the last two weeks, Minnesota has dropped games to the A’s by 15 runs (18-3), 11 runs (11-0) and six runs (8-2) prior to Saturday’s eight-run difference.
 
Callaspo, Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes each homered on Saturday to support the A’s 16-hit attack.  Parker picked up his 12th win of the season and Jerry Blevins pitched two scoreless innings to end it. 
 
On Sunday, the A’s have rookie Sonny Gray slated to throw the first pitch of the afternoon with Minnesota’s Cole De Vries as his opposition.