NCAA members, Atlanta mayor announce start of Final Four

first_imgATLANTA — The press conference announcing the final stretch of an event called March Madness was much more low key than its name would suggest.High-ranking members of the NCAA, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, U.S. Ambassador for the United Nations Andrew Young and others who helped bring the Final Four to Atlanta spoke to a crowd of about 50 people, most of who were with the media, at 3 p.m. Thursday in the Georgia World Congress Center. Syracuse plays Michigan on Saturday at 8:49 p.m. in the Georgia Dome for a chance to advance to the national championship.“We’re going to have some of the best college basketball in the United States of America over the next few days,” Reed said. “I couldn’t be more excited.”People who spoke at the press conference discussed what the event means to the city in the short and long term, as well as charitable efforts related to the Final Four.After thanking the NCAA and partners such as the Georgia Institute of Technology and Coca-Cola Co., Reed talked about the economic effects of the Final Four for the city. Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson and John Rutledge, vice president of market unit sales operations for Coca-Cola, addressed the crowd before Reed.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textReed said more than 100,000 people are expected to travel to Atlanta for the Final Four games, which is expected to generate $70 million in economic activity for places such as hotels and restaurants.“This tournament brings energy and excitement,” he said. “And you can feel it when you go outside.”Earlier in the press conference, Dan Gavitt, vice president of men’s basketball championships for the NCAA, talked about the significance of holding the 75th NCAA Tournament in Atlanta. This year also marks the first time the Division-II and Division-III championship games are being played in the same city.Gavitt said 7,500 pairs of shoes and 2,500 food boxes will be distributed to people in need throughout Atlanta with the help of local groups. The NCAA will work with another group to refurbish a local community center, he said.“We, along with the local organizing committee at the NCAA, are excited to leave a lasting legacy here in Atlanta through a number of initiatives,” he said.Young, the U.S. ambassador for the U.N. and a civil rights activist, was the last person to speak at the conference. He spoke freely, not reading from a prepared speech.Young spoke about the role of sports in society, which he said extends “far beyond that which anything anybody could imagine.” He cited the ability for a table tennis match to change foreign policy, and then joked that if the North Koreans played basketball, problems could be solved very quickly.Another example of the effect of sports in society he provided was with the civil rights movement, saying Martin Luther King Jr. “grew up” in the Butler Street YMCA.“Even in our movement, and particularly as we went around the country trying to organize young people for nonviolent activities, we found that the only way you could catch up with them was quite often on a basketball court,” Young said. “And they wouldn’t listen to you until you got in the game with them.”He ended the conference by going back to the positive effects the tournament will have on the city.Said Young: “Here for the next few days, the world will be focused on Atlanta, as much as it has, I think, since the Olympics in 1996.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 5, 2013 at 1:46 am Contact Dylan: dmsegelb@syr.edu | @dylan_segelbaumlast_img read more

Men’s volleyball: USC falls short to No. 12 UC Santa Barbara

first_imgIn a back and forth match, the Trojans fell to the No. 12 ranked UC Santa Barbara Gauchos in five sets on Wednesday. Gauchos junior Jacob Delson led the way with 22 kills and 4 aces in the 25-21, 21-25, 25-18, 19-25, 15-10 victory. The Trojans now stand at 2-4 overall and 1-2 in the MPSF.For the Trojans, getting another win against a top 25 team would have been a confidence-booster, but they fell just short this time. On the positive side, they once again received solid contributions from several players. Senior Lucas Yoder finished with 17 kills, while freshman Aaron Strange added 14 kills and eight digs. On top of that, senior Andy Benesh had 11 kills (hitting .526) and six blocks and sophomore Matt Douglas had seven digs.The Trojans could grow a lot from this game. Though the final result wasn’t what they were looking for, they fought hard against one of the nation’s top teams and nearly pulled out a win. It was especially important for them to put up a strong effort following a devastating 3-0 loss to CSUN in the previous match.It will be key for the Trojans to continue their physical and consistent play as they take on No. 2 UCLA on Friday at 8 p.m.last_img read more

NFL Week 14 Weather Updates: Rain, wind could impact fantasy start ’em, sit ’em choices for Ravens-Bills, Giants-Eagles, more

first_imgWEEK 14 NON-PPR RANKINGS:Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | KickerNFL Week 14 weather updatesRavens @ Bills. This figures to be the windiest game of the week — and likely the biggest weather worry. Temperatures will be around 40 degrees, but a 15-20-mph sustained wind with gusts over 30 mph will push “feels-like” temps closer to 30 degrees. The wind really is the primary concern and could be an issue for kicks and longer throws. Still, we are talking about a pair of athletic, mobile, and strong-armed quarterbacks, so even with an expected eight-percent decrease to passing and scoring, I wouldn’t call this a “stay away” game (stats courtesy of WeatherEdge).Bengals @ Browns. This will be another breezy game, but maybe just a tick less windy than in Buffalo. I’d expect sustained winds around 15 mph with gusts around 25 mph. That will have a slight impact to passing/kicking.Redskins @ Packers. It’s going to be cold, but not overly frigid or unusual for Green Bay standards. There’s also a chance for showers/drizzle and some occasionally gusty winds. None of the individual factors are enough to recommend fading this game. It’s not perfect, but it’s not bad enough to worry about. Week 14’s NFL weather forecast has a few worrisome spots, and with the fantasy playoffs underway, fantasy football owners can’t afford to botch any start ’em, sit ’em decisions because of weather. The Ravens-Bills and Giants-Eagles are the most worrisome spots because of potentially cold, wind, and rainy conditions, but will any be bad enough to cause you to sit normally reliable players. Before we break down the Week 14 forecast, here’s a reminder that if you have any questions about sports weather or how weather could impact play (and, potentially, your fantasy, DFS, and gambling decisions), don’t hesitate to reach out on Twitter @KevinRothWx or check our hourly NFL weather forecasts on RotoGrinders. To take your game to the next level, subscribe to RotoGrinders’ exclusive WeatherEdge tool and see how different weather conditions have impacted historical scoring. Giants @ Eagles. There’s nothing like watching two bad teams play in bad weather on Monday Night Football. We’re still a few days out here (and I’d recommend checking Twitter before kickoff — @KevinRothWx), but this games presents the best chance of seeing heavy rain this week. With winds aro und 15 mph, it’s a bump down for passing elements and a slight bump up to RBs.WEEK 14 DFS LINEUPS:DK Cash | DK GPP | FD Cash | FD GPP | Y! Cash | Y! GPPAs always, all forecasts are subject to change prior to kickoff. You can follow me on Twitter (@KevinRothWx), check out the hourly automated NFL weather forecasts on RotoGrinders, or take a look at WeatherEdge for updates. We’ve also added automated College Football Weather for those NCAA football fans looking for a little weather insight.last_img read more