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Raiders Playoff Future Is Still Uncertain

On April 9, 2018, in Sporting News, by Bud Thornton

Oakland+Raiders+Jon+Gruden+head+coachAfter bringing head coach Jon Gruden back many fans are optimistic that the Oakland Raiders can reach the postseason once again but thinking playoffs may be a step ahead too soon as the Raiders need a lot of work after what was perceived around the league as an underachieving season.

Oakland, after all, has not made a lot of noise this offseason during the free agency period and the other division teams are also reloading. In other words, expect the Raiders to have a lot of competition not only from other conference powerhouses but also from within their own division as well as the AFC West will most likely be a very good and tough division to play in.

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kawhi-leonard-san-antonio-spurs-2017The San Antonio Spurs announced on Saturday that Kawhi Leonard has left the team again dashing the hopes that he would be back on the court with the team this season and further meddling his whole future with the organization.

After yesterday’s 100-83 upset of the Houston Rockets (sans Chris Paul) the question seems to be, do the Spurs even really want Leonard on the team?

It’s clear that a healthy Leonard definitely makes the Spurs better, but they have been doing just fine without him recently. They are 8-2 in their last 10 games and have climbed to the fourth spot in the Western Conference at a time when LaMarcus Aldridge seems to be thriving without Leonard on the team.

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Clutch Game Has Loyola On Improbable Path to Title

On March 26, 2018, in Sporting News, by Bud Thornton

loyola-chicago-ramblers-2018The Loyola Ramblers have been on an improbable run to the Final Four, starting out as an 11th seed and beating four opponents, all ranked above them.

After beating Kansas State 78-62 to become only the fourth 11th seed to make the Final Four, it’s worth considering that perhaps it was the tournament organizers who screwed up their work by seeding Loyola too low.

Keep in mind that this was a team that went 31-5, won the Missouri Valley Conference, was 12th in the nation in defensive rating and had, Clayton Custer, the MVC player of the year, on their team.

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umbc win against virginiaWhen the mighty Virginia Cavaliers, the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, entered the Spectrum Center in North Carolina, they were expected to continue the long line of first-seeded teams never to lose a first-round game. Instead, they lost 74-54 in stunning fashion to the UMBC Retrievers, a team that a lot of college basketball fans had never heard of.

Virginia was the not only the number one team in the country but also the number 1 seed in the South Regional bracket. They were highly regarded as the favorite pick to make not only the Final Four but to win the NCAA tournament.

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lonzo ball los angeles lakersLos Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball has seemingly turned around his long-range shooting this season as he’s gone from shooting bricks to pure money from three-point land.

He’s becoming a clutch three-point killer in his rookie season after struggling early and getting a lot of criticisms for his all-around poor shooting.

Although he won’t start hitting fade-away threes like Kobe anytime soon, Lonzo has been sinking a lot of threes lately, which is remarkable considering that at one point in the season he was shooting less than 30 percent from three-point range.

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