By Lucy McCalmont – The Huffington Post
For the first time since 1999, the FIFA Women’s World Cup is back in the hands of the U.S. Women’s National Team, who defeated Japan 5-2 on Sunday before an estimated crowd of 53,341 in Vancouver, Canada. It is the USWNT’s third World Cup title.
The U.S. squad set the pace early and continued to dominate throughout the match in what would become the highest scoring final in Women’s World Cup history. The match was hardly the expected rematch of the 2011 World Cup final, in which the U.S. lost to Japan in a penalty shootout, as the U.S. shot out of the gate, scoring four goals in the first 16 minutes of play.
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Duke beat Wisconsin 68-63 to win the 2015 NCAA Championship Game on Monday. Freshman Tyus Jones led Duke with 23 points and five rebounds. Fellow freshman Grayson Allen chipped in 16 points.
The win marks Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s fifth national title. Krzyzewski, who also recorded his 1,000th win earlier in the season, now trails only John Wooden in national championships.
Wisconsin and Duke battled for the entire 40 minutes Monday. The Badgers’ Frank Kaminsky posted 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Badgers, who were playing in the school’s first championship title game since 1941.
The game was tied at the half, 31-31, the first NCAA championship halftime tie since 1988, and the Badgers came out strong in the second half. But Duke’s Allen reignited his team’s momentum, first by diving for a ball, then with a lay-up and additional free throw that brought the Blue Devil’s within three points, 48-45.
With less than seven minutes to go, Duke tied the game 54-54 and took their first lead of the half nearly two minutes later with a basket from Allen.
“We were kind of dead in the water … and Grayson just kind of put us on his back,” Krzyzewski said of Allen’s performance after the game.
Each team was relentless, handing over the lead between the next couple possessions. By 3:22, the lead had been exchanged 16 times, CBS announced.
A big play from freshman Jahlil Okafor and a shot clock violation from Wisconsin gave the Blue Devils an edge in the remaining minutes. Another rebound and basket from Okafor gave Duke a five-point lead, 63-58, with less than two minutes left.
Tensions running high, the officials reviewed an out-of-bounds possession call, ultimately giving the ball to Duke. A 3-pointer from Jones extended the lead, 66-58, but Kaminsky responded with a three of his own.
With 42 seconds left, Duke held onto a 66-63 lead as the Badgers turned to fouling their opponent. Jones sunk a pair of free throws for a 5-point lead. By then it was too late for Wisconsin.
“That’s the biggest thing about this team, we never want to let one another down,” Duke’s Jones said after the game.
His sentiments were echoed by Okafor.
“They had my back the entire season, and it was no different tonight,” the center said.
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan expressed frustration with the physical nature of Monday’s game afterward.
“There was more body contact in this game than any game we’ve played all year,” Ryan told CBS Sports’ Tracy Wolfson in a post-game interview. “I just feel sorry for my guys that all of sudden a game was like that.”
“I think they’re struggling with that a little bit,” he said. “We missed some opportunities. They hit some tough shots. It’s just a shame that it had to be played that way.”
INDIANAPOLIS (WITI) — For the first time in school history, the Wisconsin Badgers are back in the Final Four — for the second straight year! This means fans are also getting ready for a return trip!
Even though Jeff Willms says his Club Paragon Sports Bar in Milwaukee is a great place to “back Bucky,” on Monday, March 30th, Willms suggested folks go to Indianapolis for the Final Four if they can.
“‘Let’s go Badgers, and you’ve got 200 people chanting. The excitement at the Final Four is unbelievable,” Willms said.
Jeremy Leibfried made the trip to the Final Four last year, and now, he’s putting plans in place to head back this year.
“I knew we had a really good shot to make it back this year,” Leibfried said.
Having driven to Dallas for the Final Four last year, Leibfried says he learned a few lessons. One being — prepare to party.
“One of the coolest things that we experienced last year was all the different concerts that they have that are free,” Leibfried said.
Another lesson: Practice patience when purchasing NCAA Tournament tickets.
“A lot of people from the losing teams, the two teams that lose on Saturday usually skip town, so they`re looking to get rid of their Monday tickets for the championship pretty cheap,” Leibfried said.
Mike Holzberger with Connections Ticket Service says even being in the business for 20 years, he doesn’t know what’s going to happen to the ticket prices as we get closer to tip-off.
“Better seats, $700 to $750 for Saturday. About $900 to $1,000 for the package. Entry level seats — starting about $450 with about $650 for the package,” Holzberger said.
Holzberger says better seats aren’t great seats. Those, he says, will run you several thousand dollars.
With three of this year’s Final Four teams coming from within driving distance of Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, he says he doesn’t expect ticket prices to go down.
The Badgers face the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday, April 4th, and tip-off is set for 7:49 p.m.
The North Carolina Tar Heels defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday to reach the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament. As a result they go to Los Angeles to face the Wisconsin Badgers and try to win the West Region.
Wisconsin represents perhaps the hardest team that the Tar Heels could face, yes harder than Kentucky. Kentucky at least plays the same tempo that the Heels do. There is also game tape from earlier in the season to reference.
Wisconsin is the king of the current trends in college basketball. Slow patient basketball with grinding defense is the way of the Badger, taught by Bo Ryan himself. Ryan adds good shooting from the three point line. The Badgers therefore limit possessions in the game, hold for good shots, and try to maximize those shots.
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For Immediate Release
He was also given a 3-year suspended sentence for a firearms conviction.
Pistorius’ attorney, Barry Roux, told Reuters he expects the double-amputee athlete to serve only 10 months of the sentence in prison, with the rest of the time under house arrest, while prosecutors believe he will be jailed for at least 20 months.
Last month, Judge Thokozile Masipa found Pistorius not guilty of murder, but guilty of culpable homicide.
Pistorius, 27, did not dispute that he shot and killed Steenkamp. However, Pistorius argued that he believed she was an intruder when he shot her through a locked bathroom door at his home in Pretoria in the early-morning hours of Feb. 14, 2013.
Prosecutors had called for a minimum of 10 years in prison, while attorneys for Pistorius suggested a lighter sentence combining house arrest with community service, saying prisons would not be able to accommodate his disability, according to The Associated Press.
But the judge didn’t buy that argument.
“Yes the accused is vulnerable, but he also has excellent coping skills,” she said in court.
His attorneys also said the leader of a prison gang had threatened Pistorius.
Pistorius rose to fame by competing in running events while wearing the blade-like prosthetics that gave him his nickname, “Blade Runner.” In 2012, he became the first amputee to compete in an Olympic track event, running in two events in the 2012 Summer Games in London.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that Pistorius had been given a suspended sentence. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison for the count of culpable homicide, and 3 years suspended for the firearms count.
South Africa has sent a 187 strong member team to participate in the 2014 Commonwealth Games taking place from 23 July to 3 August 2014 in Glasgow City, Scotland. The games are another chance for South Africans to rally behind our sporting heroes and heroines. Sporting events have always served to unite the country as was the case during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 2012 Olympics and the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations and the recently held African Championship of Nations.
Minister Faith Muthambi said “government is confident that the nation will support our men and women as they strive for gold at the 20th Commonwealth Games. The games will serve to further unite the nation in the year that we celebrate 20 Years of Freedom”.
Our sportsmen and women carry the nation’s hopes and dreams. Government is convinced that they will represent our nation’s values of democracy, equality and respect for all. Our sportsmen and women are an extension of South Africa’s core values of non‐racialism and non‐sexism.
South Africans abroad are invited to show their support for Team SA by visiting the Ekhaya, a hospitality centre that is a home away from home. Government is fully behind the Team SA, and we believe that they will do us proud. Team South Africa won 33 medals in the last Commonwealth Games; and is looking to match and exceed its previous record.
All South Africans are also encouraged to support the teams by watching the Games that will be broadcast on DSTV and SABC channels daily at: 10h00 and 22h00.
Let us all support our team in the spirit of moving South Africa forward.
Issued by: Department of Communications