Butler gears up for Cross Roads Classic: A walk on story

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Written by: Marko Tomich

Two years ago and some change Butler made a splash in the Cross Roads Classic. A Walk-on point guard by the name of Alex Barlow hit a game winning shot over the No. 1 ranked Hoosiers lifting Butler over Indiana 88-86.

Barlow’s game-winning shot against Indiana two years ago was a finalist for the 2012-13 Geico Play of the Year.The name Alex NCAA Basketball: Crossroads Classic-Butler vs. IndianaBarlow has slowly become a household name for Butler fans ever since his faithful floater toppled the Hoosiers. Now two years later Barlow is starting, a senior and a leader for the Dawgs.

Barlow’s minor role two years ago has flourished into a full time gig where has started 43 consecutive games for the Bulldogs. The former walk-on has 64 career starts at Butler.

Barlow has always been portrayed as a defender, he is currently second in the Big East in steals a game (2.8), but in his senior year has developed an offensive game.

Barlow is averaging a career-high 7.5 points per game more than triple the total of his sophomore season when he knocked off Indiana.

If Barlow scores five points against the Hoosiers he will have matched his entire sophomore year total (80), in just his first 11 games this year.

Barlow and the Bulldogs will be coming off a bad loss to Tennessee after blowing a 12-point lead in the second half.

Second half trailing is an uncharacteristic move by the Dawgs who haven’t trailed in the second half of a game since November.

Butler is the lone team that has yet to lose the Cross Road Classic although of their three wins were decided by less than six points. Butler is 9-2 all together at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Forward Austin Etherington is facing his former collegiate team for the first time.  A graduate student, Etherington transferred to Butler from Indiana this year. Etherington is the only player to play at both schools.

#WallStar Shining Bright

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By William Beal

Fan voting for the 2015 NBA All-Star game has begun, and it’s time for Wizards fans to come out in force and get John Wall the starting spot he deserves on the team.

Wall is currently second in the NBA is assists per game with 10.5 per game, and is tied with Pau Gasol for the most double-doubles in the league with 14 already in 22 games played.

He has led the Wizards to a 16-6 record on the season, winning 7 of their last 8 games.

Wall had his most emotional performance of the season, and possibly his career, on Monday in a thrilling double-overtime victory over the Celtics.

After losing the first game of a two-game set in Boston, the Wizards were cruising to an easy victory in D.C. on Monday.  Then they blew a 16-point, 4th-quarter lead as the Celtics sent the game into OT.

The Wizards erased not one, but two 7-point deficits in the extra periods, one in each OT.  Wall scored the last 10 points for the Wizards in the game to lead them to a 133-132 victory.  He finished with 26 points and 17 assists to save himself from being the goat after contributing to blowing the lead with four of his nine turnovers coming in the 4th quarter.

After the game, a clearly emotional Wall broke down during the post game interview.  His friend Miyah, a 6-year-old girl who had been battling cancer, passed away earlier in the day.  You may remember Miyah from back in March, when Wall helped her meet her idol, Nicki Minaj.

Wall garnered national attention that night, being praised for both his play and his compassion for his little friend.

So let’s show out Wizards fans, and get Wall the start he deserves in Madison Square Garden on February 15.

Butler (8-1) prepares for Tennessee; Kennesaw State (3-7) looks to bounce back against Youngstown State

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The Butler University Bulldogs must feel confident as they are coming off their most dominant win of the season in a 93-51 victory over the Kennesaw State Owls, Monday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Senior Roosevelt Jones who had 19 points in the victory leads the Bulldogs, as they will travel to Knoxville, Tennessee to take on the Tennessee Volunteers on Sunday the 14.

Jones is averaging 11 points, five rebounds, and five assists per game on the season.

Butler’s leading scorer this season; Kellen Dunham (16) will be heavily relied on against the Volunteers this weekend in an attempt to stretch the Volunteers defense.

A sharpshooter, Dunham is shooting 48% from beyond the three-point line, and 86% from the free throw strike.

For the Owls, Kennesaw State stretch-forward Orlando Coleman will be counted on to provide both scoring and defense as they take on an undersized Youngstown State lineup.

The Owls take a sufficient break as they face the Youngstown State Penguins on Wednesday, December 17.

Coleman is averaging nine points, six rebounds, and two assists per game.

With minimal production coming from the inside, Kennesaw State guards Yonel Brown and Nigel Pruitt will continue to be relied on to provide a spark on the offensive end.

The Brown and Pruitt back court combo combines for 23 points per game thus far.

Rallycross: Savior of Motorsports

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By Parker Smith

Motorsports in America are on the brink of extinction. I’ll say it again; motorsports in America are on the brink of extinction. The “hey days” of the 1970’s, 80’s and early 90’s are gone. Kids don’t think about Andretti or Foyt, they think about Johnny Manziel and LeBron James. Why you may ask? Here is why:

Kids do not resonate with motorsports. Back in the day, people had an appreciation for the automobile and how men could push limits of man and machine. Today, kids have technology right in front of them. They don’t want to learn about an engine when they can just go on their phone and watch a machine do the same thing on YouTube. Take it this way, racing is like art. Only so many people will appreciate the “fine points” and the art of racing, and some people will just look at the canvas and see a bunch of cars run around in circle.

Oval racing is the epitome of motorsport death. How do you combat the question “Its not a sport, all they do is turn left”? Here is my answer, Red Bull Global Rallycross.

Red Bull GRC has infused the danger of action sports with the combination of speed and athlete relevance. With global icons like Travis Pastrana, Bucky Lasek, Tanner Foust and Ken Block, GRC is the saving grace of American motorsports.

They don’t just turn left. These 600 horsepower cars go from 0-60 faster than a Formula One car and they race on dirt and asphalt in the same race. That’s not all; they throw in a 65-foot dirt jump for the cars to go side-by-side and race in the air. Holy Shit.

One big name has already made the jump into Red Bull GRC, Michael Andretti. Andretti fields the Andretti Rallycross team with drivers Scott Speed and Tanner Foust. Not only is this team winning on the track, they are winning in the boardroom.

Andretti saw Red Bull GRC has an opportunity to lure in potential clients and existing clients into investing more because his team can now cater to every sponsor demographic. The largest fan base in Red Bull GRC are millenialls, every sponsors dream target. In IndyCar, they have the middle-age college educated man with a family. And in Formula E, they have aligned themselves with the future of auto racing with cars powered by batteries.

Within three years, every major motorsports team will want a piece of the pie in Red Bull GRC, because GRC is young, innovative… and a better product.

College Football Playoff; The top 4 teams

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Written by Chip Bouchard

1. Alabama – The Alabama Crimson Tide are coming off another dominant performance by defeating the Missouri Tigers in the SEC Championship game 42-13. Led by Heisman trophy candidate wide receiver Amari Cooper (pictured above), and senior quarterback Blake Sims, coach Nick Saban has the Tide peaking at the right point. Sims finished the regular season with 32 total touchdowns, connecting with Cooper on 14 of them. The Tide will face the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Sugar Bowl on January 1.

2. Oregon – At no. 2 come in the Oregon Ducks. The Ducks avenged their loss to the Arizona Wildcats back on October 2 by defeating the Wildcats in the Pac-12 Championship game 52-14. Coach of the year candidate Mark Helfrich has his team playing arguably better than anyone in the nation at this point. Quarterback and team leader Marcus Mariotta (pictured above) seemingly has the Heisman Trophy wrapped up with his astronomical season of 52 total touchdowns and only two interceptions. The Ducks will take on the nation’s reigning national champion, and lone undefeated Florida State Seminoles on January 1 in the Rose Bowl.

3. Florida State – Coming off a hard fought ACC Championship game, the Florida State Seminoles still find themselves undefeated. Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston (pictured above) may have hit his stride as he threw for 309 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-35 win over Georgia Tech, his first game without an interception since week six. The battle tested Seminoles have also found a resurgence in their ground game behind true freshman tail back Dalvin Cook. Cook has ran for a combined 321 yards in his last two games, including his 177 yard performance in the ACC Championship game. The Seminoles will take on the high powered Oregon offense in Pasadena, California at the Rose Bowl.

4. Ohio State – The Ohio State University snuck into the college football playoff, but not without making some noise. The Buckeyes defeated the Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten Championship game 59-0. Third string quarterback Cardale Jones stepped in for the injured JT Barrett and played outstanding. Buckeye fans could exhale as they watched Jones throw for 257 yards and three touchdowns, all to wide receiver Devin Smith (pictured above). The Buckeyes will take on the Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Lousiana.

What the Northwestern games tell us about Butler

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Written by: Marko Tomich

1.

The addition Roosevelt Jones into the Bulldog’s line up has been HUGE. Jones is a do it all utility man for the Dawgs as we saw in the Northwestern game. Jones was able to score 12 points, grab six rebounds and toss out four assists as the Bulldogs fended off the Wildcats. Butler last year struggled against bigger and more aggressive opponents the addition of Jones has helped. (As Butler has seen in Battle 4 Atlantis)

2.

The offense is balanced and when one player is having an off night, someone else is able to step up. Last year the Dawgs were a one-person offense (Kellen Dunham in case you missed every game). Kellen struggled in the first half against the Wildcats to be the go to guy and find his shot. Alex Barlow was able to step up or Andrew Chrabascz. The team showed last night if you slow down one the others will step up.

3.

Coach Chris Holtmann is the real deal. He shows leadership and commands respect from his players. It is clear and obvious that the team chemistry is at a completely different level than it was last year. He has the team playing every game like it is a conference game. Although it was a close game Holtmann was able to grind out a win in a match his team never trailed.

4.

The Bulldogs have senior leadership. When Northwestern was hanging in the game late Barlow made a steal that led to a layup at the other end. Barlow’s steal put the Hinkle Fieldhouse fans over the top, which helped the Dawgs regain momentum for the remainder of the game. Barlow has been able to lead by example and vocally for Butler. The team never seems to be lost when the ball is in his hands he is a floor general that Butler has been missing.

Playoff Poll Watch: Week Seven

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By Ben Sieck

Well, we made it. The rankings are in, and this time they’re final.

Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State are headed to the inaugural college football playoff.

Baylor and TCU are left in the cold.

The committee got it wrong.

Baylor, not Ohio State, should be headed for the playoff.

The Bears (11-1) won the Big 12, the top college football conference in the nation according to ESPN’s power rankings. Their lone loss came to a very dangerous West Virginia team. They also beat fellow contender TCU.

Ohio State (12-1) won the Big Ten, the No. 4 conference in ESPN’s power rankings. Their loss came to a bad-to-average Virginia Tech team.

TCU (11-1) was ranked No. 3 last week, beat Iowa State as bad as you can beat a football team, and somehow dropped to No. 6. What changed in those five days that made TCU worse than Florida State, Ohio State and Baylor?

That might be the biggest question facing the committee.

I would be fine with Baylor leapfrogging into the playoff because of their win over TCU, but Ohio State feels like a cop out.

They may have annihilated Wisconsin, but Wisconsin built its reputation on beating lesser Big Ten teams. Ohio State and the Big Ten are overrated, and I think that will show in the bowl season.

However, none of those three teams can ultimately say they were robbed. That’s something reserved for 2004 Auburn or 2010 TCU. All of those teams lost at least once. As soon as you do that, you take the decision out of your hands and put it in the hands of the committee.

To TCU and Baylor fans: I’m sorry, there’s always next year.

But for college football fans outside of the state of Texas, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.