Around the nation: Kansas-Oklahoma State matchup highlights weekend schedule

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 17, 2014 at 4:25 am No. 9 Oklahoma State at No. 15 Kansas, 4 p.m., CBSAt the beginning of the season, Oklahoma State sophomore guard Marcus Smart was angered by the publicity the incoming freshmen were receiving. One of those freshman was Andrew Wiggins, and Smart will get his chance to prove his worth against the freshman phenom when the Cowboys (15-2, 3-1 Big 12) travel to Lawrence, Kan., to take on the Jayhawks (12-4, 3-0) on Saturday. The Jayhawks also have top freshmen in Joel Embiid and Wayne Selden Jr., and they will test their early season pedigree against a veteran conference foe.No. 25 Oklahoma at No. 12 Baylor, 2 p.m., ESPN2Oklahoma has been a big surprise this season, sneaking into the Associated Press Top 25 poll this week. Now the Sooners (13-4, 2-2 Big 12) will look to upset Baylor (13-3, 1-2) in Waco, Texas. The Sooners average the eighth-most points per game (85.8) in the nation, and the Bears’ long, active defense will look to slow down the high-octane attack. Cory Jefferson, who’s averaging 13.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game for Baylor, is a matchup problem for just about every team, and Saturday should be no different.Indiana State at No. 5 Wichita State, 4 p.m., ESPN2AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWho’s going to stop the Shockers? It’s looking increasingly likely that Wichita State (18-0, 5-0 Missouri Valley) could run the table in a weak mid-major conference. Either way, the Sycamores (14-3, 5-0) will be one of the Shockers’ toughest conference tests. Indiana State has beaten a ranked opponent — then-No. 17 Notre Dame on Nov. 17 — while Wichita State has not, further punctuating a wildly easy schedule. For both teams, the contest will provide a measuring stick for how far they could potentially go this season.Michigan at No. 3 Wisconsin, 6 p.m., ESPNWhen these two teams met on Feb. 9 last season, Wisconsin’s Ben Brust made what was arguably the shot of the college basketball season: a half-court heave that sent the game into overtime in Madison, Wis. Now Michigan (12-4, 4-0 Big Ten) is the underdog after Wisconsin (16-1, 3-1) suffered its first loss of the season to Indiana earlier this week. Like last season, it’s almost a definite that sparks will fly in this one, with sharpshooters Brust and Josh Gasser for the Badgers, and Nik Stauskas and Spike Albrecht for the Wolverines.No. 18 Louisville at Connecticut, 9 p.m., ESPNThis is the best matchup the newly formed American Athletic Conference has to offer, and with Louisville moving to the ACC next season, it’s one of the last chances to see the two square off as conferences foes. Both teams are coming off big wins on Thursday night: Louisville (15-3, 4-1 American Athletic) throttling Houston 91-52, and Connecticut upsetting No. 17 Memphis 83-73. This matchup is all about guard play, placing the Cardinals’ Russ Smith and Chris Jones against the Huskies’ Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright.–compiled by Jesse Dougherty, asst. sports editor, jcdoug01@syr.edu  Commentslast_img read more

Utah State’s Andersen is Wisconsin’s next coach

first_imgUtah State head coach Gary Andersen led the Aggies to an 11-2 record and Idaho Potato Bowl win in 2012, one of the best seasons in school history.Utah State’s Gary Andersen will be the next head coach of the Wisconsin football program, according to an initial report from the Wisconsin State Journal Tuesday night that was later confirmed by several other reports and Utah State players via Twitter. News broke earlier Tuesday that Andersen – who had not previously been linked to UW’s head coaching vacancy – had already interviewed for the job. Andersen is in his fourth year leading the Aggies and is fresh off a 41-15 victory over Toledo in the Idaho Potato Bowl Dec. 15 that improved No. 18 Utah State’s record to 11-2 record on the year.The Salt Lake Tribune later reported that Andersen started informing his players he was heading for Wisconsin Tuesday night. According to the Tribune, Utah State defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and offensive coordinator Matt Wells are both likely to follow Andersen to Madison, but Wells may be a candidate to succeed his boss in Logan. Ironically, Cal reportedly offered Aranda its defensive coordinator spot before he turned it down and UW linebackers coach accepted the position with the Bears. Wells also apparently earned an offer for the offensive coordinator job at N.C. State before Wisconsin offensive coordinator Matt Canada took that job on former UW defensive coordinator Dave Doeren’s staff. Andersen will also pry away second-year defensive line coach Chad Kauha’aha’a – who coached the Aggies’ defensive line from 2009-10 – from Utah to join him with the Badgers, according to multiple reports. Utah State went undefeated (6-0) in the Western Athletic Conference in 2012 and took home the conference title, with the rout of Toledo marking the program’s first bowl win in 19 years. One of the best seasons in Aggies history, it marked the first time in over 50 years that Utah State finished the season ranked in the AP Top 25.Andersen’s name comes as a surprise partially because the 48-year-old has no clear ties to the Big Ten or even the Midwest. He played at Utah in the mid-’80s before serving as the Utes’ defensive coordinator from 2004-2008 and spent a year as the head coach at Southern Utah in 2003.The offense he ran in Logan, Utah, is also a far cry from the Badgers’ run-heavy, pro-style attack as dual-threat quarterback Chuckie Keeton led a spread-type system in 2012.Andersen visited Madison earlier this fall when Utah State nearly pulled off an upset over the Badgers Sept. 15, but the Aggies missed a potential game-winning field goal and allowed UW to escape with a 16-14 win.His only two losses this season came by a combined five points against Wisconsin and BYU. In his four years at Utah State he collected a 26-22 record and was rumored as a candidate for recent openings at Colorado, California and Kentucky.In the four years before he arrived, Utah State won a total of just nine games. The Aggies would made modest improvements in his first two years with back-to-back four-win seasons in 2009 and 2010, before Andersen started turning the program around. In 2011 Utah State finished 7-6 and lost in the Idaho Potato Bowl, the school’s first appearance in a bowl game in 14 years. Athletic Director Barry Alvarez said he had interviewed two candidates Sunday evening, one of them believed to be Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator and former Badger defensive back Mel Tucker. Tucker seemed to have his sights set on a head coaching job in the NFL, but it is not clear if Alvarez ever offered him the job.Many Wisconsin fans were growing anxious as the coaching search lingered on for two weeks with no clear leading candidate after Bret Bielema left the Badgers for the same position at Arkansas Dec. 4. The deadline to apply for Wisconsin’s head coaching job is tomorrow, so Alvarez could make an official announcement on who Bielema’s successor will be very soon. In accordance with state law, the university had to keep the application process open for two weeks.At Utah, Andersen served as defensive coordinator under Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer for a season before spending four more years under current Utes coach Kyle Whittingham. In his final year on Whittingham’s staff in 2008, Andersen helped guide the Utah to an undefeated 13-0 record that included a victory over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and a No. 2 ranking at season’s end.For more updates on the Wisconsin coaching situation, follow @BHeraldSports on TwitterFollow Ian on Twitterlast_img read more

Copa America: Brazil crash out with shootout defeat to Paraguay

first_imgParaguay knocked Brazil out of the Copa America on penalties for the second successive tournament, setting up a semi-final clash against Argentina.Brazil crashed out of the 2011 competition with a penalty shootout defeat to Paraguay, and history repeated itself – as Dunga’s side failed to improve on that showing, lacking creativity and invention in the final third with Neymar missing through suspension.However, the Selecao took the lead after just 15 minutes, with Robinho finishing Dani Alves’ cross into the box from the right wing. But Paraguay restored parity after the break, with Derlis Gonzalez converting from the spot after a blatant handball inside the area by Thiago Silva.And Paraguay – who picked up their display in the second half – claimed victory and a place in the semi-finals in the penalty shootout – with Everton Ribeiro and Douglas Costa missing from the 12 yard spot as Brazil crashed out.–last_img read more