20 Dec

Which Warriors are sitting vs. Pelicans?

first_imgKlay Thompson subscribes. You can too for just 11 cents a day for 11 months + receive a free Warriors Championship book. Sign me up!NEW ORLEANS – With the Warriors already cementing the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, they will rest select core players for injuries both real and possibly exaggerated.The Warriors (56-24) will sit Kevin Durant (flu), Klay Thompson (right knee soreness), Andre Iguodala (left knee soreness) and Andrew Bogut (rest) for Tuesday’s game against the New Orleans …last_img read more

15 Dec

Why We’re Not In A Cyberwar With China

first_imgantone gonsalves Tags:#business#China#CISPA#corporate networks#cyberespionage#cyberwar#Government#hackers#Obama administration#spying#u.s. Related Posts IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowcenter_img Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Recent reports of Chinese cyberspying have revealed hacking operations with a shocking scale and level of sophistication. China’s hackers appear to be stealing massive amounts of intellectual property and proprietary information from U.S. companies, including those connected to the nation’s critical infrastructure, such as waterworks, the electrical power grid and oil and gas pipelines. A recent study  by security company Mandiant has shown that, in all probability, some of the snooping has been done by an arm of the Chinese military.The revelations of China’s misbehavior have led some writers to rashly declare that the U.S. is at war with our Asian rival, at least in cyberspace. This could not be further from the truth, and here’s why.There’s No WarFirst, something obviously needs to be done to punish China for its thievery. But to describe the current state as war or cyberwar draws emotions at the expense of rational thinking. We are not at war with China, either in or out of cyberspace.Real cyberwar would start with an attack that destroys something valuable or vital, kills people, or both. If the recipient labels the strike an act of war then time for negotiations is over. “Reacting diplomatically and legally to an act of cyberwar is inadequate,” says Stewart Baker, a partner at Steptoe & Johnson and a former assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security. “It’s an act of war, we need to treat it as such and respond with our own acts of war.”An example of a true cyberattack was the Stuxnet malware that destroyed centrifuges in Iran’s nuclear facilities. Discovered in 2010, Stuxnet was designed by the U.S. and Israel, according to media reports.We are not under attack by China. The country is not our enemy. It is our economic and political rival. There is no evidence China wants to destroy anything. What it wants is information that provides a trade advantage, and at the moment there’s no better way to get data from U.S. competitors than to let your spies loose on the Internet.Most experts assume the U.S. also hacks China’s computers to gather intelligence. The Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank, has identified two growth areas in the U.S. defense industry, drone manufacturing and the development of malware capable of exploiting software vulnerabilities not yet known to the developer.Governments have always spied on each other, so it’s no surprise that China, the U.S. and many other countries are using the Internet to steal information. Where China goes too far is in hacking U.S. companies. By law, the U.S. government cannot break into the computers of private companies for the sole purpose of taking intellectual property. China has no such restrictions.What We Can DoSo the U.S. is within its rights to use every diplomatic, political, legal and economic tool at its disposal to pressure China to stop hacking private companies – or to at least negotiate an informal agreement that sets limits. While it’s true China holds $1.2 trillion in U.S. debt, the U.S. is also the biggest buyer of Chinese goods. The U.S. is not without leverage here.The Obama administration has already put China on notice. On Wednesday, the White House released its strategy for preventing the theft of U.S. trade secrets. The plan includes ratcheting up diplomatic efforts and making prosecution of foreign companies a top priority.Such pressure could eventually lead to informal agreements that start small and grow in scope as trust builds. A starting point for the U.S. and China could be a ban on the destruction or disruption of critical infrastructure or technology driving the global economic system.In the past, nations have reached understandings governing maritime transportation, air transport, the behavior of navies and international trade well in advance of formal treaties on these subjects, according to a recent paper by Richard Clarke, a former White House adviser on cybersecurity and cyberterrorism, entitled “Securing Cyberspace Through International Norms.” For example, the U.S. and Russia are in discussions to establish a cyber hotline in order to prevent cyberspace activity from escalating into a conflict.In the meantime, the U.S. should move much faster to adopt regulations for securing critical infrastructure and corporate networks. A good start would be passage of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which would establish rules for sharing cyberthreat information between private industry and government agencies. Such information is important in strengthening defenses.Eventually, China and the U.S. will draw lines in cyberspace that neither will cross. To get there, we should avoid nonsensical discussions of war that paint China as the enemy, and look for areas of agreement from which we can move forward.Photo by Shutterstock Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

28 Oct

10 months agoBayern Munich goalkeeper Neuer: Liverpool are vulnerable

first_imgBayern Munich goalkeeper Neuer: Liverpool are vulnerableby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer believes Champions League last-16 opponents Liverpool are vulnerable.The German giants have been struggling domestically this season, while Jurgen Klopp’s Reds are top of the Premier League.However, Neuer remains confident Bayern can get the job done over last season’s finalists.He told the club’s official website: “They’re having a very good season and we know they were in the Champions League final last year. “They certainly won’t be delighted with the draw, either. “They can counter quickly and they’re dangerous in front of goal, but they’re also vulnerable, as we’ve seen, and they’ll be up against a good Bayern attack.”It’ll be a great game both at Liverpool and also at home at the Allianz Arena.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

13 Oct

How major US stock indexes fared Thursday

first_imgU.S. stocks climbed Thursday after the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. officials could reduce the new tariffs on Chinese imports as part of trade negotiations between the two countries. It was the latest in a series of potentially conflicting updates on the trade dispute.On Thursday:The S&P 500 index rose 19.86 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 2,635.96.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 162.94 points, or 0.7 per cent, at 24,370.10.The Nasdaq composite added 49.77 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 7,084.46.The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks climbed 12.55 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 1,467.25.For the week:The S&P 500 is up 39.70 points, or 1.5 per cent.The Dow is up 374.15 points, or 1.6 per cent.The Nasdaq is up 112.99 points, or 1.6 per cent.The Russell 2000 is up 19.86 points, or 1.4 per cent.For the year:The S&P 500 is up 129.11 points, or 5.2 per cent.The Dow is up 1,042.64 points, or 4.5 per cent.The Nasdaq is up 449.19 points, or 6.8 per cent.The Russell 2000 is up 118.69 points, or 8.8 per cent.The Associated Presslast_img read more

13 Oct

Councils wants more options for Bylaw enforcement due to parking and illegal

first_imgMayor Ackerman wants the report to look at any actions that can be taken on behalf of the City to motivate those with illegal suites and as the Mayor said, “know darn well they have that suite, to rectify that.”Mayor Lori Ackerman shared other actions are required by the City to motivate people with illegal suites. “I think on the principle of safety, this needs to be dealt with,” said Ackerman in terms of the congestion in neighbourhoods that have several vehicles that block sidewalks and roads, causing visibility and safety issues.Council agreed this report was necessary to know what it will take to equip Bylaw officers with the tools they require for their toolbox to end this problem. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – At Monday’s Council meeting Councillor Grimsrud on behalf of Councillor Bolin put forward a resolution to help improve enforcement and parking issues due to neighbourhoods that have illegal suites.Grimsrud asked that Council direct staff to provide a report on the current staffing hours of Bylaw enforcement employees and to look at when vehicles are allowed to park on the street.Mayor Ackerman said she heard the public’s concerns at the recent Trade Show as well as receiving an email regarding specifically 104 A Avenue.last_img read more

12 Oct

Delhi HC seeks Ayush Ministry reply on plea against decision on Aadhaar-based attendance in colleges

first_imgNew Delhi: The Delhi High Court has sought the response of the Ministry of Ayush on a plea challenging its decision to install Aadhaar-based biometric attendance system in colleges.Justice C Hari Shankar asked the ministry and Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) to file their counter affidavits on the plea and listed the matter for further hearing on May 23. The petition filed by Uttarakhand-based Uttaranchal Ayurvedic College sought quashing of the January 9 minutes of the meeting by which the ministry directed CCIM to conduct surprise inspections of all colleges possessing five-year permission claiming it is in contravention of the ministry’s July 2012 notification and the law laid down by the Supreme Court. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!It said the apex court has held that the inspection may be done on a complaint or otherwise by a team appointed by central council only. The petition, filed through advocate Amit Sahni, said a decision was also taken in the January meeting for implementation of Aadhaar enabled geo-location based biometric attendance system for staff and faculty of the colleges. It claimed that the minutes of meeting are bad in law and liable to be quashed as this attendance system is in violation of the apex court constitution bench judgment in the K S Puttaswamy case in which it was held that Aadhaar and its usage cannot be forced upon any individual. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed”The minutes of meetings were not sent to all ayurvedic colleges and also the same was not uploaded on the official website of the Ministry of Ayush. “The authorities may proceed with the decision taken in minutes of meeting dated January 9, 2019, therefore the present petition,” it said. During the hearing, the court made it clear that if any action is taken by the authorities before the next date of hearing, on the basis of the decision which has been challenged in the petition, they would abide by the outcome of these proceedings. It also issued notice to the authorities on the plea to stay the minutes of meeting and listed it for March 27. The plea also alleged that the ministry has passed several directions which are contrary to law viz, to conduct inspections even in Ayurvedic, Homoeopathic, Unani and Siddha colleges, which were granted permission for five years. The minutes of meeting also stated that the colleges shall have to recruit faculty or staff registered in that particular state, it said.last_img read more

12 Oct

Fraudster caught red-handed; cops recover several fake HP products

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhi Police on Wednesday said that staff from Jyoti Nagar police station have conducted a raid at a sewage pumping house near Loni Road, New Delhi and recovered a carton full of several counterfeit HP products that included printer toners and cartridges among other things.They said that as a result of the raid, one accused, identified as Ajay Kumar (22) was caught red-handed with the counterfeit products. Police had initially filed a case based on a complaint registered by Hewlett Packard (HP) through a person holding powers of attorney in Delhi earlier this year. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderSpeaking to the Millennium Post, DCP Atul Kumar Thakur (North East District) said that upon cursory checking of the carton in possession of the accused, nine HP cartridges with different versions of HP laser jet toners in them were discovered. The raid was conducted in the presence of an expert from the company, who checked and confirmed the nature of these products as being counterfeit. In addition to this, HP has also claimed that a raid was conducted at a computer retail store in the busy business locality of Bhikaji Cama Place where one arrest was made. According to a police seizure report in possession of Millennium Post, this raid was conducted at a basement store in Ansal Chamber-1 where about 25 pieces of different HP counterfeit products were recovered. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsHowever, DCP Thakur said that he cannot disclose any information about this particular raid as investigations in the case are ongoing. In its complaint, the company alleged that certain retailers in Delhi were selling spurious and counterfeit products such as computer toners and cartridges under the brand name of HP, without the company’s consent, thus violating its copyright and intellectual property rights. The company accused these retailers of using its trademark, trade logo, and artwork to dupe unaware consumers into believing they were purchasing products manufactured by HP. The complaint also said that the alleged fraudsters packaged their counterfeit products in a manner similar to their own packaging, further trying to pass off their products as genuine. In addition to the raid in Delhi, HP representatives in India also claimed to have conducted raids with assistance from local authorities in Noida, Gurugram and at least five other states across the country. A case against the accused has been registered under section 63 of the Copyright Act at the Jyoti Nagar police station.last_img read more

28 Sep

Louisville Favored in Final Four but Wichita State Could Become Unlikeliest Champion

This year’s N.C.A.A. tournament has not featured all that many great games — with some exceptions, like Michigan’s come-from-behind win against Kansas on Friday. The flip side is that the four teams that remain have all played exceptionally well, often dominating their opponents.Louisville won its first four games by an average of 22 points — the same margin by which it beat Duke on Sunday. Syracuse has won by 20 points, on average. Michigan’s margin of victory has averaged 16 points, despite the close call against Kansas. Even Wichita State, which has a chance to become the most poorly seeded team ever to win the tournament (and probably the least likely, statistically), has won its games by an average of 11 points.What follows is an overview of the four teams that remain — how their odds have evolved through the tournament and what their chances look like now.LOUISVILLE CARDINALSProbability of reaching Final Four before tournament began: 52.9 percentChance of winning tournament before tournament began: 22.7 percentChance of winning tournament before Round of 16: 32.4 percentChance of winning tournament now: 55.0 percentLouisville began the tournament as the nominal front-runner, with a 22.7 percent chance of winning the title according to the FiveThirtyEight model. Its odds increased sharply after its first two games and have continued to rise after wins against Oregon and Duke, and now stand at 55 percent.This is despite the gruesome injury suffered by the sophomore guard Kevin Ware on Sunday, which will affect Louisville’s depth. Ware had averaged just 17 minutes per game for the Cardinals, but he was productive when he played, shooting efficiently and averaging more than one steal per game despite the limited playing time. The FiveThirtyEight formula, which adjusts for player injuries, estimates that Louisville’s chances of winning the tournament would be closer to 57 percent (rather than 55 percent) if Ware were healthy. The intangible impact of the injury is obviously harder to gauge — especially after the Cardinals’ emotional second-half surge against Duke on Sunday.But there is little reason to doubt that Louisville is the favorite. Wichita State, its opponent in the national semifinal, is dangerous enough — but a favorable opponent for the Cardinals compared with Ohio State or Gonzaga. (The FiveThirtyEight model gives Louisville an 85 percent probability of beating Wichita State, which would translate to its being a 10 1/2-point favorite in the Las Vegas point spread.) Another bonus is that Louisville is the closest of the four remaining teams to Atlanta, the site of the Final Four games, and has had little travel throughout the tournament, which should help to ensure that it is well-rested physically under emotionally trying circumstances.MICHIGAN WOLVERINESProbability of reaching Final Four before tournament began: 12.7 percentChance of winning tournament before tournament began: 2.4 percentChance of winning tournament before Round of 16: 3.8 percent.Chance of winning tournament now: 21.2 percentThe FiveThirtyEight model viewed Michigan as underrated – but it thought that was even more true of Florida, and so had the Gators favored to win the South region. Instead, Michigan blew Florida out on Sunday.Still, Michigan provides some evidence for the hypothesis that the way a team finishes its regular season is not all that important — especially when one fails to account for changes to its strength of schedule. Michigan did not play an especially tough out-of-conference schedule this season, helping it go 13-0 in nonconference play. But the Big Ten was brutally competitive, and most of Michigan’s toughest games were stacked in the second half of its schedule. It’s not clear that Michigan played any worse down the stretch as much as it faced some tougher opponents.Michigan will present a clash of styles against Syracuse, and potentially Louisville. The Wolverines rate as having the best offense in college basketball, according to Ken Pomeroy’s rankings, whereas the Orange and the Cardinals have dominated defensively. Michigan enters the semifinal as essentially even-money against Syracuse (the FiveThirtyEight model gives Michigan a 51.9 percent chance of winning). But the score isn’t necessarily guaranteed to be close: the Wolverines’ reliance on the 3-point shot could yield a blowout or an embarrassment depending on their accuracy from behind the arc.SYRACUSE ORANGEProbability of reaching Final Four before tournament began: 11.7 percentChance of winning tournament before tournament began: 2.0 percentChance of winning tournament before Round of 16: 4.8 percent.Chance of winning tournament now: 19.0 percentWe’ve found that in contrast to how a team plays in the late stages of the regular season, how well it adapts to tournament conditions does have some predictive power. Hence, the FiveThirtyEight model increased Syracuse’s chances considerably after its record-setting opening-round win against Montana, and after its subsequent solid play against California, Indiana and Marquette.The catch is that the other teams in the Final Four have also played so well that it isn’t clear that you would pick Syracuse even if you were determined to choose the hot hand.WICHITA STATE SHOCKERSProbability of reaching Final Four before tournament began: 1.3 percentChance of winning tournament before tournament began: 0.08 percentChance of winning tournament before Round of 16: 1.2 percentChance of winning tournament now: 4.7 percentThe FiveThirtyEight model gave Wichita State only a 1.3 percent chance of reaching the Final Four before the tournament began, or about 75-to-1 odds against. Does that imply that the Shockers’ having reached the Final Four represents a once-every-75-year event –about as rare as Halley’s comet?Actually, the math is a little bit more complicated than that. There are four regions, and in each one, there are a number of long-shot teams, so there are a lot of opportunities every year for someone to defy the odds. Instead, our pretournament model suggested that there was about a 16 percent chance (roughly 1-in-6) that Wichita State or any of the other 37 teams with under a 2 percent chance of reaching the Final Four would do so.Some of the historical cases of teams that defied even longer odds are well-known. Pennsylvania, in 1979, overcame what we estimate were 500-to-1 odds against reaching the Final Four — while Virginia Commonwealth in 2011 was about an 800-to-1 underdog.However, Wichita State’s accomplishment holds up well against some other Cinderella teams, including Louisiana State in 1986 and George Mason in 2006, both of which made the Final Four as No. 11 seeds. Wichita State was a No. 9 seed, and a reasonably good one. The problem is that being a No. 9 seed is probably more difficult than being a No. 11. A No. 9 seed will almost certainly have to defeat a No. 1 seed in its second game (as Wichita State did against Gonzaga) – eliminating the chance of getting lucky because the favorite gets knocked out early. In addition, Wichita State beat a very tough No. 8 seed, Pittsburgh, and a very tough No. 2, Ohio State — and the Shockers have made some of these wins look easy.The issue, as is the case for Syracuse, is that the accomplishments for the other three Final Four teams have been just as impressive — and they began with considerably better regular-season résumés than Wichita State. So the FiveThirtyEight model gives the Shockers only about a 5 percent chance of winning out.But what if they do it? The initial model gave Wichita State only about a 0.08 percent chance of winning the tournament, or about 1,200-to-1 odds against. If the Shockers win the tournament, they would probably qualify as the least-likely champions in history — displacing the 1985 Villanova Wildcats, who won as a No. 8 seed and faced a somewhat more favorable draw.A version of this article appears in print on 04/02/2013, on page B9 of the NewYork edition with the headline: Four Dominant Teams, With One Standout.,This year’s N.C.A.A. tournament has not featured all that many great games — with some exceptions, like Michigan’s come-from-behind win against Kansas on Friday. The flip side is that the four teams that remain have all played exceptionally well, often dominating their opponents.Louisville won its first four games by an average of 22 points — the same margin by which it beat Duke on Sunday. Syracuse has won by 20 points, on average. Michigan’s margin of victory has averaged 16 points, despite the close call against Kansas. Even Wichita State, which has a chance to become the most poorly seeded team ever to win the tournament (and probably the least likely, statistically), has won its games by an average of 11 points.What follows is an overview of the four teams that remain — how their odds have evolved through the tournament and what their chances look like now.LOUISVILLE CARDINALSProbability of reaching Final Four before tournament began: 52.9 percentChance of winning tournament before tournament began: 22.7 percentChance of winning tournament before Round of 16: 32.4 percentChance of winning tournament now: 55.0 percentLouisville began the tournament as the nominal front-runner, with a 22.7 percent chance of winning the title according to the FiveThirtyEight model. Its odds increased sharply after its first two games and have continued to rise after wins against Oregon and Duke, and now stand at 55 percent.This is despite the gruesome injury suffered by the sophomore guard Kevin Ware on Sunday, which will affect Louisville’s depth. Ware had averaged just 17 minutes per game for the Cardinals, but he was productive when he played, shooting efficiently and averaging more than one steal per game despite the limited playing time. The FiveThirtyEight formula, which adjusts for player injuries, estimates that Louisville’s chances of winning the tournament would be closer to 57 percent (rather than 55 percent) if Ware were healthy. The intangible impact of the injury is obviously harder to gauge — especially after the Cardinals’ emotional second-half surge against Duke on Sunday.But there is little reason to doubt that Louisville is the favorite. Wichita State, its opponent in the national semifinal, is dangerous enough — but a favorable opponent for the Cardinals compared with Ohio State or Gonzaga. (The FiveThirtyEight model gives Louisville an 85 percent probability of beating Wichita State, which would translate to its being a 10 1/2-point favorite in the Las Vegas point spread.) Another bonus is that Louisville is the closest of the four remaining teams to Atlanta, the site of the Final Four games, and has had little travel throughout the tournament, which should help to ensure that it is well-rested physically under emotionally trying circumstances.MICHIGAN WOLVERINESProbability of reaching Final Four before tournament began: 12.7 percentChance of winning tournament before tournament began: 2.4 percentChance of winning tournament before Round of 16: 3.8 percent.Chance of winning tournament now: 21.2 percentThe FiveThirtyEight model viewed Michigan as underrated – but it thought that was even more true of Florida, and so had the Gators favored to win the South region. Instead, Michigan blew Florida out on Sunday.Still, Michigan provides some evidence for the hypothesis that the way a team finishes its regular season is not all that important — especially when one fails to account for changes to its strength of schedule. Michigan did not play an especially tough out-of-conference schedule this season, helping it go 13-0 in nonconference play. But the Big Ten was brutally competitive, and most of Michigan’s toughest games were stacked in the second half of its schedule. It’s not clear that Michigan played any worse down the stretch as much as it faced some tougher opponents.Michigan will present a clash of styles against Syracuse, and potentially Louisville. The Wolverines rate as having the best offense in college basketball, according to Ken Pomeroy’s rankings, whereas the Orange and the Cardinals have dominated defensively. Michigan enters the semifinal as essentially even-money against Syracuse (the FiveThirtyEight model gives Michigan a 51.9 percent chance of winning). But the score isn’t necessarily guaranteed to be close: the Wolverines’ reliance on the 3-point shot could yield a blowout or an embarrassment depending on their accuracy from behind the arc.SYRACUSE ORANGEProbability of reaching Final Four before tournament began: 11.7 percentChance of winning tournament before tournament began: 2.0 percentChance of winning tournament before Round of 16: 4.8 percent.Chance of winning tournament now: 19.0 percentWe’ve found that in contrast to how a team plays in the late stages of the regular season, how well it adapts to tournament conditions does have some predictive power. Hence, the FiveThirtyEight model increased Syracuse’s chances considerably after its record-setting opening-round win against Montana, and after its subsequent solid play against California, Indiana and Marquette.The catch is that the other teams in the Final Four have also played so well that it isn’t clear that you would pick Syracuse even if you were determined to choose the hot hand.WICHITA STATE SHOCKERSProbability of reaching Final Four before tournament began: 1.3 percentChance of winning tournament before tournament began: 0.08 percentChance of winning tournament before Round of 16: 1.2 percentChance of winning tournament now: 4.7 percentThe FiveThirtyEight model gave Wichita State only a 1.3 percent chance of reaching the Final Four before the tournament began, or about 75-to-1 odds against. Does that imply that the Shockers’ having reached the Final Four represents a once-every-75-year event –about as rare as Halley’s comet?Actually, the math is a little bit more complicated than that. There are four regions, and in each one, there are a number of long-shot teams, so there are a lot of opportunities every year for someone to defy the odds. Instead, our pretournament model suggested that there was about a 16 percent chance (roughly 1-in-6) that Wichita State or any of the other 37 teams with under a 2 percent chance of reaching the Final Four would do so.Some of the historical cases of teams that defied even longer odds are well-known. Pennsylvania, in 1979, overcame what we estimate were 500-to-1 odds against reaching the Final Four — while Virginia Commonwealth in 2011 was about an 800-to-1 underdog.However, Wichita State’s accomplishment holds up well against some other Cinderella teams, including Louisiana State in 1986 and George Mason in 2006, both of which made the Final Four as No. 11 seeds. Wichita State was a No. 9 seed, and a reasonably good one. The problem is that being a No. 9 seed is probably more difficult than being a No. 11. A No. 9 seed will almost certainly have to defeat a No. 1 seed in its second game (as Wichita State did against Gonzaga) – eliminating the chance of getting lucky because the favorite gets knocked out early. In addition, Wichita State beat a very tough No. 8 seed, Pittsburgh, and a very tough No. 2, Ohio State — and the Shockers have made some of these wins look easy.The issue, as is the case for Syracuse, is that the accomplishments for the other three Final Four teams have been just as impressive — and they began with considerably better regular-season résumés than Wichita State. So the FiveThirtyEight model gives the Shockers only about a 5 percent chance of winning out.But what if they do it? The initial model gave Wichita State only about a 0.08 percent chance of winning the tournament, or about 1,200-to-1 odds against. If the Shockers win the tournament, they would probably qualify as the least-likely champions in history — displacing the 1985 Villanova Wildcats, who won as a No. 8 seed and faced a somewhat more favorable draw.A version of this article appears in print on 04/02/2013, on page B9 of the NewYork edition with the headline: Four Dominant Teams, With One Standout. read more

28 Sep

Football How much will special teams impact the Fiesta Bowl for Ohio

Penn State freshman punter Blake Gillikin (93) and OSU redshirt sophomore wide receiver Terry McLaurin (83) rush towards the ball after a blocked punt in the second half of the Buckeyes game on Oct. 22. The Buckeyes lost 24-21. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorSCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — For weeks, much of the talk for the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl has been about the offensive and defensive capabilities of both No. 3 Ohio State and No. 2 Clemson. However, there has been little discussed in terms of special teams, the unit that the Buckeyes take extremely seriously. Kerry Coombs, the secondary and special teams coach for the Buckeyes, has a knack for coaching some of the best special teamers in the nation year after year. According to him, the effort of his gunners and kick coverage unit could make the difference in a game as evenly matched as OSU versus Clemson.“I think they’re very, very good just like I think we’re very, very good,” he said. “I think there’s going to be a couple of areas in the game … I know that their national championship game last year hinged on some big special teams plays. I think that our kids are extremely well prepared, and I know that there’s are too. So, it’s going to be a lot of fun. I think it will be a factor in the game.”One of the biggest weapons on Coombs’ special teams unit is senior punter Cameron Johnston. Johnston, a native of Melbourne, Australia, who has been punting for the Buckeyes for four years now, and is in his fifth year with the team.Averaging a career-best 46.2 yards per punt in 2016, the Australian born punter has a few goals in mind against Clemson. The most prominent of those goals is limiting the returning ability of the Tigers’ returners.“You never know how many times you’re going to punt, but when you do, you got to make sure it’s in the right area,” Johnston said. “If you get zero return yards for the day, you’ve had a good day.”While netting zero return yards on punts has a lot to do with how the ball is kicked and the trajectory it takes before striking the turf the proper way, having help from teammates is necessary to limiting return yardage. Wide receivers like redshirt sophomore Parris Campbell and Terry McLaurin have been instrumental on kick coverage success, playing predominantly at the outside coverage positions.The players at those positions, known predominately as “gunners,” are known for their speed and athleticism, as well as the ability to hunt down the ball and bring down the returner quickly, or forcing him towards the middle of the field. For McLaurin, the chance to cut his teeth as a special teamer has resulted in his development as a well-rounded player.“You kind of get your feet wet playing special teams,” he said. “Once you start making plays on special teams, you’re going to be making plays on offense. You see it all the time with guys coming through this program. That’s what we preach about competitive excellence.”Although the Buckeyes have yet to score on a punt return this year, it is worth noting OSU has not given up a touchdown on a punt either this season. Part of that statistic has to do with McLaurin’s ability, while another part comes down to how well Johnston has played.With a punter like Johnston who is a master at hang-time on punts, as well as a speedy player on the outside to get to the returner quickly, OSU might very well dictate the game. Pinning an offense deep in its own territory is something that Coombs feels could be the difference maker come Saturday.“All the difference,” he said. “And not just big (plays), but just the innate field position difference. If we can gain yards with special forces throughout the game, which is our objective, it doesn’t show up as a big play. But it makes a dent in the scoreboard.”OSU squares off against Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the University of Phoenix Stadium. read more