Kentucky Top Seed For NCAA Hoops

Posted On Nov 18 2019 by

first_imgThe Kentucky Wildcats ended up where everyone expected them on Selection Sunday: seeded No. 1 on their quest to become the first undefeated team since 1976.Oh, but there were surprises when the NCAA Tournament bracket came out, too. Big-conference UCLA and Texas made it. Colorado State and Temple did not.Wisconsin is a No. 1 seed for the first time in program history. But the Badgers must play in the West Region, where second-seeded Arizona is certain to draw more fans.As for those play-in games that start March 17 in Dayton. Well, one of the teams playing is Dayton — a No. 11 seed that will have a distinct home-court advantage March 18 against Boise State.Generally, that’s not allowed during the tournament, but there’s an exception because the committee said the Flyers were the last team in the 68-team field, and thus, had to play in the opening-round game.“It falls within our policies and procedures,” selection committee Chairman Scott Barnes said. “It’s obviously a home-court advantage but we didn’t waver from that decision.”Fans have a few days to fill out their brackets (Sorry, no billion-dollar prize available for a perfect one this year), then the action starts in full on March 19, when Kentucky headlines the slate against the winner of a play-in game between No. 16 seeds Manhattan and Hampton. A ‘1’ has never lost to a ’16.’The other No. 1 seeds were Villanova in the East and Duke in the South. Those were pretty easy picks.And then there was the total no-brainer — placing Kentucky at the top of the Midwest Region, and at the very top of the bracket. The Wildcats defeated Arkansas 78-63 on March 15 to improve to 34-0. If they win six more, they’ll become the first team since then 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers to go undefeated.“I think I have the best team and the best players,” said coach John Calipari, trying to lead the program to its ninth national title. “Does that mean we’ll win? No, it doesn’t.”The Wildcats are even-money picks in Las Vegas to win it all, and at least one coach, Bill Self of Kansas, thinks that might be a bargain.“I shouldn’t be talking about Vegas, but my point is, I think they’re a pretty heavy favorite,” said Self, whose Jayhawks are seeded No. 2 in the Midwest. Other No. 2 seeds are Gonzaga in the South and Virginia in the East.Barnes said Arizona and Virginia were the other teams in the mix for the top seed. He defended placing Duke there, saying the Blue Devils’ road wins over Virginia, North Carolina and Louisville carried more weight than their lack of a conference title.“Those strong, very elite wins, wins on the road — and let’s not forget the eye test with Duke — all were considerations,” he said.Barnes called placing UCLA in the bracket as a No. 11 seed “one of the tougher decisions we had to make.” But he defended putting the Bruins (20-13) in with an RPI of 48, which is 18 spots lower than Colorado State and 14 below Temple.“We felt they were gaining steam,” Barnes said. “They did have a good strength-of-schedule, they were playing better against tough competition. An example is the last game against Arizona (a 70-64 loss in the Pac-12 title game). I think the ‘eye test’ was also a plus in putting them in the field.”The Big Ten and Big 12 led the way with seven teams each in the bracket.Other teams that just missed were Old Dominion and Richmond, which lost out to teams like Ole Miss and Texas that have stronger schedules baked into the cake because they play in major conferences.As is custom, Barnes was short on specifics, though he said Wyoming’s surprise victory in the Mountain West Conference stole away an at-large bid that would’ve gone to Temple — the last team out.The next team out was Colorado State. Rams coach Larry Eutaschy broke away from his team’s “viewing party” to make a brief statement. “They are devastated, and they should be, because they are certainly an NCAA Tournament team,” Eustachy said.The bracket includes its usual share of quirks and tear-jerkers.—UCLA’s first game is against SMU, coached by Larry Brown, the 74-year-old turnaround artist who is taking his third team to the NCAA Tournament. The first team? UCLA, of course.—Harvard, coached by former Duke star Tommy Amaker, faces his old rival, North Carolina, in the first round.—Georgia State coach Ron Hunter watched the bracket unveiling with his left foot in a cast. He tore his Achilles’ tendon while celebrating his program’s first trip to the tournament since 2001. The 14th-seeded Panthers open against Baylor.—Also seeded No. 14 is Albany, which made the tournament on a 3-pointer with 1 second left by Peter Hooley, whose mother died six weeks ago from colon cancer. No. 14 Albany opens against Oklahoma.—Wichita State is in the same region with Kansas, an in-state program that won’t schedule the Shockers, and Kentucky, which ended Wichita State’s undefeated season last year in the second round.This year, it’s Kentucky that comes in with a ‘0’ in that loss column. “Everyone is zero-and-zero now,” Calipari said. “That’s the key to this. It’s a one-game shot. It’s not best-of-5.”(EDDIE PELLS, AP National Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more


Over 3500 Amazon staffers urge company to step up climate change fight

Posted On Sep 10 2019 by

first_img Share your voice Amazon employees urge the company to take more aggressive actions on climate crisis.  Alexander Pohl via Getty Images Amazon employees want the company to put more effort into fighting climate change.In an open letter to CEO Jeff Bezos and the company’s board published Wednesday, 3,541 Amazon employees ask the e-commerce giant to take more aggressive actions on climate change.”Amazon has the resources and scale to spark the world’s imagination and redefine what is possible and necessary to address the climate crisis,” reads the letter. “We believe this is a historic opportunity for Amazon to stand with employees and signal to the world that we’re ready to be a climate leader.”The staff members included a to-do list for Amazon in the letter. They asked the company to make a corporation-wide plan to reach 100% renewable energy in a timely manner, to stop selling Amazon’s cloud service to the oil and gas companies so they won’t expand fossil fuel extraction, to stop donating to regulators who vote against climate legislation and more.  In response, an Amazon spokesperson said the company has launched several major and impactful programs and is “working hard to integrate this approach fully across Amazon.””Our dedication to ensuring that our customers understand how we are addressing environmental issues has been unwavering — we look forward to launching more work and sharing more this year,” the spokesperson said in an email.  Tags Tech Industry Politics Now playing: Watch this: This isn’t the first time Amazon employees voiced their concerns over the company’s business conduct. Last June, the e-commerce giant’s staff wrote to Bezos to stop selling facial recognition technology to US law enforcement. They feared how the company’s Rekognition software would be used by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security in the current political climate. “In our mission to become ‘Earth’s most customer-centric company,’ we believe our climate impact must be a top consideration in everything we do,” wrote the staff. “We have the power to shift entire industries, inspire global action on climate, and lead on the issue of our lifetimes.”Originally published April 10, 11:13 a.m. PT.Update, 1:04 p.m. PT: Adds statement from Amazon spokesperson.  8 Amazon kills plans for NYC headquarters 4:00 Comments Amazon Jeff Bezoslast_img read more