2012-13Louisville31–6–Sweet 16 2014-15Duke425.5– 2011-12Kentucky736.3– SeasonChampionNumberWin Share 2010-11Connecticut513.4– 2017-18Villanova726.1– 2006-07Florida1033.7– 2008-09North Carolina20–17–NIT Back-to-back has become a pipe dreamHow men’s NCAA champions have fared the following season in college basketball’s one-and-done era 2011-12Kentucky21–12–NIT 2015-16Villanova32–4–2nd Round 2017-18Villanova2–0? 2005-06Florida35–5–Champion 2008-09North Carolina926.6– 2005-06Florida21.5– The NCAA Tournament’s First Four was known as the First Round until the 2015 tournament.Source: Sports-Reference.com SeasonChampionWinsLossesPostseason Source: Sports-reference.com 2013-14Connecticut20–15–NIT Villanova fans might choose to view things in a more optimistic way, instead thinking themselves as fortunate that they only lost four players, especially seeing the Wildcats of Kentucky lose an unimaginable six players after their championship in 2012 and then stumbling into the NIT a year later. Nova’s relatively tiny rotation last year — Villanova ranked 302nd in total bench usage, according to KenPom — could be a blessing in disguise as the likes of Eric Paschall and Phil Booth are still available to make the leap to the top of the college ranks and potentially beyond.Still, Villanova fans thinking of a repeat might want to curb the enthusiasm.Any team not named Duke, Kentucky or Kansas — whose recruiting prowess means a revolving door of NBA-bound super freshmen — has struggled to be relevant again immediately. If you look past these three blue bloods, Louisville is the only reigning champion to reach the Sweet 16 the year following championship in the last dozen years. It’s why the 2010 North Carolina Tar Heels couldn’t even make the NCAA Tournament after winning the whole thing a year earlier. It’s why last year’s Tar Heels were swept aside in the second round of the tournament by Texas A&M. 2010-11Connecticut20–14–2nd Round The Villanova Wildcats produced one of the most dominant seasons in NCAA history last year, going 36-4, including a complete dissection of a strong Michigan team to win the championship game. The Wildcats scorched teams on offense, ranking No. 1 in the country in offensive efficiency and effective field goal percentage, according to college basketball stats guru Ken Pomeroy. This helped them beat the Wolverines by 17 points.But the team that is defending that title — currently ranked eighth heading into Wednesday’s rematch with Michigan — is hardly recognizable eight months later, as four of coach Jay Wright’s stalwarts from a season ago are now in the NBA.The departure of Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges — a pair of juniors left over from the 2015-16 national title-winning team — has left a crater in Wright’s lineup. Along with the exits of Donte DiVincenzo and Omari Spellman, the outgoing quartet combined for a whopping 26.1 win shares last season1Win shares represent the number of estimated wins that a player produces for their team.It’s typical for reigning national champions to lose a large chunk of their talent the following season, especially in the one-and-done era. And while the Wildcats may not have lost the most win shares of past champions, the immediate exodus of talent will have huge consequences for their prospects to repeat as champions this season. This is perhaps a long way of saying winning back-to-back titles, or even coming close, has become very difficult in college basketball — and for good reason. The Florida Gators, in 2006 and 2007, and the Duke Blue Devils, in 1991 and 1992, are the only programs in the past 45 years to repeat as NCAA men’s basketball champions, after John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins capped off seven consecutive titles. Back then, Wooden had the luxury of coaching future NBA Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar2Then Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton for three seasons, something that is largely unheard of in today’s game.3Ironically, those two weren’t allowed to play their freshmen years because of a bygone rule, skipping what likely would be the only year they would play at UCLA today. Likewise, Mike Krzyzewski was able to develop chemistry with college stars like Christian Laettner, Grant Hill, and Bobby Hurley — all of whom stayed a full four years.And when it comes to the one-and-done era, the Gators are an anomaly themselves, as Donovan managed to persuade the likes of Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer to remain in Gainesville for their junior years before winning another title and then moving to lengthy careers in the NBA.For most champions, winning a national title usually means saying goodbye to their best talent — the nation’s top freshman are forced to use college as a stopgap for a year before jumping to the NBA, and upperclassmen often ride their team’s success to test the NBA’s waters. For his part, Wright did well to keep Brunson and Bridges in Philadelphia for another two years after winning their first title, which built a bridge to that second championship.But the team that cut down the nets last year has been gutted, particularly on the offensive side. Among the top four players of each champion since 2006, when the one-and-done began, Villanova’s departed quartet leave the greatest offensive hole for a reigning champion, a hole that might be too great to overcome. 2007-08Kansas27–8–Sweet 16 2016-17North Carolina26–11–2nd Round Departing players Season after championship … 2015-16Villanova511.4– 2016-17North Carolina721.8– 2013-14Connecticut719.8– 2012-13Louisville412.3– 2009-10Duke32–5–Sweet 16 2014-15Duke25–11–Sweet 16 Villanova’s departures have left a sizable holeTotal win share of players who left NCAA championship teams the season after their championship, since the beginning of college basketball’s one-and-done era 2006-07Florida24–12–NIT 2007-08Kansas935.3– 2009-10Duke620.7– Joining senior Paschall, who’s being touted as a first-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, and redshirt senior Booth, who netted 23 in his season debut last week, is the 12th best recruiting class, according to ESPN. Five-star recruit Jahvon Quinerly is considered one of the best freshman point guards in the nation, and four-star forwards Cole Swider and Brendan Slater both also have a place on the ESPN 100. Whenever this is enough for Wright’s team to make waves again in March is a question for the season ahead. However, with currently the fifth-best ranked recruiting class for next year, Wildcats fans may have another title-winning team in the not-too-distant future, maybe just not in the immediate one.CORRECTION (Nov. 14, 2018, 3:30 p.m.): An earlier version of this article incorrectly said the Florida Gators were the only team in 45 years to repeat as national champions in men’s college basketball. Duke also did, winning back-to-back titles in 1991 and 1992.
OSU redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett. Credit: Courtesy of OSUAs Ohio State prepares for its season opener against the Navy Midshipmen on Saturday, some players are preparing for their first taste of college football.While the Buckeyes return seven starters on defense, including all four across the defensive line, OSU returns just four starters on offense.One of those returning starters, senior wide receiver Evan Spencer, said although the Buckeyes are more inexperienced, it will create opportunities for young players to step up.“The difference I would say, from this year compared to last, is obviously our depth,” Spencer said Monday. “With as many playmakers as we have on the offense and on defense — but more specifically offense — we’re going to find ways to get people the ball.”One of those players will be touching the ball every play, as redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett is set to make his first career start in place of senior quarterback Braxton Miller, who will miss the season because of a shoulder injury.Spencer said while he feels bad for Miller, he is not worried about the offense operating under Barrett.“It’s definitely a change. But I mean at the same time, all throughout camp J.T. and both (redshirt-sophomore quarterback Cardale Jones) have been getting so many reps with the ones,” Spencer said. “They’ve been throwing the ball so much all throughout camp, and really all throughout the offseason that it’s not that much of a transition for us just because that’s what we’ve been going through.”OSU co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said while Barrett might not be a Big Ten Player of the Year candidate right now, Herman is sure of the quarterback situation.“I am very confident,” Herman said Wednesday. “I think J.T. has had an excellent camp. Cardale has actually had his best week as a Buckeye this week.”Herman went on to say he thinks there are other teams in the nation that would envy having a player like Barrett or Jones under center.“I would think there are a lot of schools right now that would take our scenario over what they got,” he said.Despite Spencer and Herman’s praise for Jones, coach Urban Meyer said there isn’t a plan in place for Jones to come in Saturday and take playing time away from Barrett.Not only does the quarterback position feature a freshman starter, the Buckeye defense will likely start at least two freshmen, and others are also expected to see the field.OSU co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell said Wednesday that although the defense is young, he is excited to see how the group performs in what is, for some of them, their first taste of college football action.“We got a lot of youth, and sometimes with youth, you are not exactly sure how they act or respond at the start,” Fickell said. “We know that we want to play 19 to 20 guys.”Among that group will likely be redshirt-freshmen cornerbacks Eli Apple and Gareon Conley and highly-recruited freshman linebacker Raekwon McMillan.Fickell said both Apple and Conley, who are listed as co-starters for week one, have shown they are worthy of playing time in practice, but added he is nervous about sending them out on the field Saturday.“Now you are looking at two guys who are young. We’ve seen what they can do, we love who they are, we love what they have done throughout camp. We are not sure how they will do in front of 80,000 people,” Fickell said. “That is one of those things that keeps you laying awake at night.”The young Buckeyes are scheduled to take on the Navy Midshipmen on Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Kickoff is set for noon.
OSU freshman guard D’Angelo Russell (0) dribbles the ball up the floor during a game against James Madison on Nov. 28 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 73-56.Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / For The LanternAfter securing five double-digit victories at home to begin the season, the No. 14 Ohio State men’s basketball team is set to hit the road to take on a top-five opponent.OSU (5-0) will look to pass a major test against No. 5 Louisville (5-0) in Louisville, Ky., on Tuesday.For the four freshmen in OSU’s rotation, including guard D’Angelo Russell, the game will mark the first on the road in their collegiate careers.“I’m definitely looking forward to the atmosphere,” Russell said.However, senior guard Shannon Scott said he has been stressing to the younger players to not think too much of Tuesday’s challenge.“It’s another game, really. At the end of the day, somebody’s going to have a win and somebody’s going to have a loss,” Scott said. “It’s not really a special game where we have to feel like if we lose this game we can’t play no more basketball for the rest of our lives.”Despite being an away game for OSU, the game will be played at home for Russell.Russell is a Louisville native, though he played his final three years of high school basketball at Montverde Academy outside Orlando, Fla.The freshman said he has had the game circled on his calendar all year, and is looking forward to playing in his hometown.“It’s definitely a dream come true, to either play with them or play against them,” Russell said.Russell, the leading scorer for the Buckeyes this season, said Louisville offered him a scholarship, but he preferred the “vibe” he felt when he visited OSU.OSU coach Thad Matta said Russell’s hometown school did not present a large obstacle in landing the 2014 McDonald’s All-American.“I don’t honestly remember Louisville being hot and heavy after him,” he said.Russell said he has played with several players on the Cardinals’ roster, including his former Louisville Magic AAU teammate and freshman guard Quentin Snider.Louisville comes into the game ranked fifth in the country in rebounding margin at +13.6 per game, while OSU ranks 64th.Scott said avoiding that trend would be a key for the Buckeyes.“We know Louisville’s one of the best, if not the best, rebounding team in the country, so we know we’re going to have to find a way to keep them off the boards,” he said.Matta agreed with his point guard’s assessment that a major key to the game will be the battle on the glass.“I think that they do a tremendous job of getting on the glass and not only getting put-backs but keeping the ball alive, knocking them out, those types of things. And they’re big. They have a very unique team in terms of how they play,” Matta said.Louisville has four players averaging more than 11 points per game, led by forward Montrezl Harrell.Matta had high praise for the junior, who is leading the team in points and rebounds per game.“He’s special,” Matta said. “He plays at a high level, a high motor, very energetic. He’s got a lot of different ways that he scores.”The coach had additional levels of praise for Louisville coach Rick Pitino, a two-time national champion.“I view coach Pitino as one of the all-time greats in this profession,” Matta said.However, despite the respect he has for the opponent, Matta said that the unselfishness coming from his starting backcourt of Scott and Russell has given him confidence that OSU can come out of Kentucky with a victory.“I love the fact that both D’Angelo and Shannon have had great command of our offense, and in a game like tomorrow night, they’re going to have to be able to do it,” he said. “They’re going to have to make quick reads and good decisions, and I feel pretty comfortable with their ability to do that.”Russell leads the Buckeyes in scoring with 18 points per game and has added 5.4 assists per contest, while Scott leads the nation in assists with 10.4 per game.Louisville and OSU each rank in the top-10 for longest active NCAA Tournament appearance streaks, at eight and six years, respectively. The Cardinals cut down the nets in 2013 after defeating Michigan in the championship game.Regardless of the result Tuesday night, Matta said that both playing on the road for the first time and facing an opponent as strong as Louisville will give him insight into his team moving forward.“Tomorrow night, at the conclusion of the game, we’ll know a little bit more about our team and we’ll be a better team coming out of it,” he said.Tip is set for 9:30 p.m.
Kolkata: Age is no bar for finding love, as was evident at a companionship meet in the city, where eleven senior citizens came together in search of a new lease of life. The senior citizen matrimony and companionship meet was organised on Sunday by NGO Anubandh Foundation at Calcutta Sports Journalists Club.One of the participants, a woman in her mid-60s, said she had been running her business successfully since her divorce from her husband in the late 1970s but there is “nothing more to look forward to” in her life. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights”I am looking for someone who can love me unconditionally as a friend, someone I could rely on”” the woman, who did not wish to be named, said.Another woman, a retired school teacher, said she wanted to be with someone with a progressive outlook.”My son does not ask about my whereabouts. A true life-long friend can provide me with the much needed security and solace,” she said.Amitava Desarkar, the founder-secretary of Anubandh Foundation said the project was an attempt to bring cheer to aged singletons, who often fall victim to depression. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedMost of the participants favoured live-in relationships over marriage, Desarkar said.”The void in their lives life, after retiring from a job, can sometimes make them miserable. They want a company, a friend who would support them in difficult times – be it in a marriage or a live-in,” he said.Desarkar said 40 other persons, both men and women, had applied for Sunday’s meet but backed out at the last moment.”Many people do not want to be sighted at an event like this because they are skeptical about the reactions of people around them. We are sure they will try and connect with us on Facebook,” Desarkar said. The participants had to submit their age certificate, stipulating that they were above 50 years. Each of them also submitted a copy of the death certificate of their spouses or a divorce document and a signed declaration of his or her marital status.The NGO will also soon organise a ‘Togetherness Tour’ to an outstation destination for interested senior citizens, the founder-secretary of the NGO said.”The members could find out about each other and bond well during the trip,” he added.
Setting up the festive mood ahead of the upcoming festivals– Durga Puja and Dussehra, a nearly two week-long exhibition to showcase an array of exquisite and exclusive handloom and handicrafts creations of master weavers and crafts persons of rural Bengal was opened in the national Capital on Saturday.The 5th edition of the ‘Bengal Pre-Puja Exposition’, being organised by the Office of the Resident Commissioner, Government of West Bengal, from September 17 – 29, was formally inaugurated at Handloom Haat, Janpath, in the gracious presence of Sanjay Mitra, Secretary, Transport, Government of India, Bhaskar Khulbe, Secretary to the Prime Minister, RD Meena, Officer on Special Duty, Office of the Resident Commissioner as well as other senior officials of the Government of West Bengal. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAround 50 artisans from various districts of West Bengal will participate in the exposition which is aimed at promoting the rich and glorious tradition of Bengal handicrafts and handloom and also ensuring commercial benefits to the crafts persons and weavers before the festive season. A special attraction will be the representation of the rural craft hubs, being developed in ten locations across the state by the Department of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Textiles (MSME&T) in partnership with UNESCO. The artisans from the craft hubs have been brought to Delhi in collaboration with banglanatak.com, an implementing agency of the project. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSpecial cultural soirees had been organised at the courtyard of Handloom Haat on the weekend, with performance by Bengali folk fusion band and mystic baul singers showcasing the vibrant cultural heritage of the state.The initiative is being supported by the Departments of MSME&T, Tourism and Information and Cultural Affairs, Government of West Bengal. The Office of the Development Commissioner (Handlooms), Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, which is the controlling authority of Handloom Haat, has extended valuable assistance and cooperation to this endevour.