On Saturday night, men’s volleyball ended its road trip with a visit up Highway 1 to Pepperdine. In their first match of the year in late January, the Trojans upset the No. 8 Waves at the Galen Center 3-2. Two months later, they were looking for similar magic on the road to keep their postseason hopes alive.The now-No. 6 Waves fought off the Trojan onslaught to win in straight sets (31-29, 25-22, 25-23) and tie the season series at one apiece. The Waves improved to 12-7 overall and 11-7 in the MPSF and secured a MPSF Tourney bid over the weekend. They currently sit in fifth place in the MPSF, three games behind No. 4 Long Beach State and one ahead of No. 7 UC Santa Barbara.On Saturday, Pepperdine was playing to secure that fifth seed in the MPSF while 10th-place USC (4-14, 6-16 MPSF) was fighting toward that elusive eighth seed. Hence, both teams played all-in from the first point.The first set was gut-wrenching through all 62 points. USC took its largest lead at 21-17, and Pepperdine took its only 2-point lead to win 31-29. There were eight lead changes and 26 ties. Pepperdine took the set by winning 3 points in a row off USC errors — the only 3-point run in the game.Errors continued to be a problem for the Trojans. They suffered 18 errors from the service line and nailed only two aces. Their attacking came together nicely, though. As a team, they hit .356. Junior outside hitter Lucas Yoder hit .500 with 19 kills. Senior middle blocker Tommy Leonard, who did not play in Thursday’s match at Stanford, hit .714 with 5 kills plus an ace and a block.Pepperdine was sharp offensively, too. The Waves hit .381 and served five aces. Redshirt senior opposite Matt Tarantino hit .462 with 15 kills and 3 aces. The Waves only tallied four blocks as redshirt senior middle blocker Tommy Carmody had a quiet night, but USC only tallied 6.5.After USC fell behind 14-9, head coach Jeff Nygaard took a timeout, and whatever he said worked. The Trojans 9-5 run after the timeout brought their deficit to just one point. However, a service error by senior middle blocker Tommy Leonard backed up by an ace from Pepperdine’s Matt Tarantino put the set out of USC’s reach.In set three, the two teams came out nose-to-nose once again. Finally, USC broke the game open with a 3-0 run to take an 18-14 lead. They traded points with the Waves until they had a 23-20 lead, and the set looked to be theirs. However, Pepperdine ended the match on a 5-0 run which included two Tarantino kills and three USC attack errors.It was an abrupt end to an intense match that went the way of the favorites. In the box score, this one will go down as a three-setter with no big surprises, but the match felt a lot closer.USC has four matches left this season. Next up, their final two home games will be against UC San Diego on April 2 and UC Irvine on April 3.
The Bharatiya Janata Party government in Rajasthan on Saturday announced an ex-gratia assistance of ₹5 lakh to the family of the migrant labourer from West Bengal, Mohammed Afrazul, who was hacked and burnt to death in Rajsamand. The video of the horrific incident, circulated on social media, has caused a nation-wide outrage.Director-General of Police O.P. Galhotra, who arrived in Rajsamand to take stock of the situation, told reporters that the State government had decided to give financial assistance to the family, and that Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had sent him to the town to assure the minority community that she was with them.Civil rights groups in the State have demanded Ms. Raje’s resignation for what they describe as her failure to stop the lynching of Muslims for the past several months. A day earlier, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had declared a compensation of ₹3 lakh to the victim’s family, residing in Malda district, and offered a job to one of his family members.Also Read Bengal MPs, Ministers meet Rajasthan victim’s family Rajasthan labourer killing not a case of love jihad: Naqvi Mr. Galhotra, accompanied by Additional Director-General (Crime) P.K. Singh, inspected the site of offence and interacted with community members to assure them of full security measures. “I have supervised the investigation which is under way. The accused was promptly arrested. It was a very serious offence,” he said.The DGP said the police would file the charge sheet in the court within a month. “The investigating team has collected scientific and forensic evidence from the spot. The accused is being intensely interrogated,” he said.In the video of the incident, accused Shambhu Lal Raigar was seen hitting Afrazul, 48, with an axe and then burning him alive after pouring an inflammable liquid on him. After setting the victim ablaze, Raigar asked the minority community to leave the country and warned that those who indulge in faith-related violence would be met with the same fate.Also Read Social activist and Magsaysay Award winner Aruna Roy on Saturday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemn Afrazul’s murder and assure the people of the country of firm steps to deal with the atmosphere of “fear and hatred”. “Mr. Modi, who talks on small issues in Mann Ki Baat, should also speak up on lynching of Muslims,” she said.Ms. Roy said at a press conference in Ajmer that the accused had deliberately chosen the day of 25th anniversary of demolition of Babri Masjid for killing the Muslim labourer. She demanded an immediate ban on “hate programmes” of Sangh Parviar outfits and strict action against the BJP leaders who she said were protecting the criminals involved in the lynching incidents.
Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Sakakibara already has a possible opponent in Takanori Gomi for Pacquiao if he ever decides to compete in the Japanese MMA promotion.Gomi is an MMA legend in Japan. He is a former Pride lightweight champion with fighting experience in the UFC. Gomi also has the same age as Pacquiao.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES The Rizin card will feature Japanese rising star Tenshin Nasukawa going up against Filipino Fritz Biagtan in a kickboxing match. READ: Japan’s ‘Ninja Boy’ aims to take down Floyd Mayweather Nasukawa is best known for fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a three-round boxing exhibition where he lasted for only a round and was knocked down thrice by the former pound-for-pound king.Meanwhile, Biagtan, who has a 4-1 mixed martial arts record and last fought in the URCC eight months ago, was a fighter personally suggested by Pacquiao himself.Sakakibara also said he is opening Rizin’s doors for a potential Pacquiao fight in the future.READ: Floyd Mayweather clobbers Japanese kickboxer for TKO winADVERTISEMENT Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony PLAY LIST 00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony01:25Manny Pacquiao signs deal with Japan MMA promotion Rizin but won’t fight00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ I’m here in the Philippines. RIZIN.15 will have this man involved in a way. We will be ready to announce as I get back to Japan! #rizin15 #MannyPacquiao pic.twitter.com/58lv5xwPMb— NOBUYUKI SAKAKIBARA (@nobu_sakakibara) April 7, 2019MANILA, Philippines—Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao will be the special guest when the Rizin Fighting Federation stages its 15th event on April 21 at Yokohama Arena in Japan.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsAccording to the Japan Times, RFF founder Nobuyuki Sakakibara recently flew to the Philippines where he and Pacquiao agreed to a “promotional deal.”ADVERTISEMENT Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting PBA: San Miguel ousts TNT, sets semis showdown with Phoenix Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated View comments SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte
Wisconsin—18245%<1%<1% Iowa9122925%7%<1% USC—20530%4%1% Mississippi18171020%8%2% Texas A&M193016<1%<1%<1% Houston25233330%2%<1% Stanford1161346%19%3% Michigan State731915%22%3% Northwestern214257<1%<1%<1% Oklahoma1516315%14%5% Mississippi St.201917<1%3%<1% What to watch for this weekSECThe No. 4,1All the rankings I’m using in this article are the committee’s. one-loss Crimson Tide face No. 2, undefeated LSU in what is as close to a play-in game for the playoff as can be devised at this point in the season. Vegas has the Tide favored by about 6 points. That seems about right. After all, the game is in Tuscaloosa, and the FiveThirtyEight model gives home teams a 3.5-point advantage. But Alabama also has a slight edge over LSU according to FPI, despite its earlier loss to Ole Miss.The FiveThirtyEight model gives Alabama a 41 percent chance of making the playoff, largely because they’re favored in this game; LSU’s playoff odds are 30 percent. But let’s answer our first what-if question: How will those odds change after this game? My colleague Jay Boice ran additional simulations contingent on each team winning. In this thought experiment, if the Tide win, their odds would rise to 53 percent; but if the Tigers were to win, their odds would tick up to 45 percent. The Tigers’ odds are still lower, even if they beat Alabama, because their remaining schedule is so grueling. A road game against Ole Miss and a matchup with Texas A&M at home stand out on what is, going into this week, the toughest remaining schedule.(As a diehard fan who was born and raised in Baton Rouge, I’d like to be able to tell my fellow LSU faithful that these numbers favoring ’Bama are made up. But I can’t. What we Tiger fans do have going in our favor is Leonard Fournette, the Heisman Trophy favorite and, as Wright Thompson wrote, emerging legend.)Interestingly, though Alabama is favored to win and gets higher odds of making the postseason, because LSU is undefeated, the Tigers have higher odds (22 percent) of winning the conference, according to our model. (That’s because if LSU stumbles, Ole Miss is in position to win the SEC West with a tiebreaker over Alabama.) But beyond Alabama and LSU, Florida is waiting in the wings with an 18 percent chance of squeezing into the playoff. The Gators are looking like a good bet to win the SEC East, as they face only creampuffs for the remainder of their conference schedule; and if they emerge as a one-loss champion of the SEC, it will be hard for the committee not to include them.Big 12Baylor and TCU are putting up basketball scores each week. High-powered offenses drive the two highest-ranked teams according to FPI. Our model gives undefeated, No. 8 TCU the best chance of breaking into the playoff, even though Baylor is notionally better according to FPI. That’s because the Horned Frogs host the No. 6 Bears on Nov. 27 in what amounts to (assuming both teams are undefeated) a Big 12 championship game the conference never planned.The Big 12 is deep — very deep. Take this week’s biggest game: TCU faces No. 14 Oklahoma State. Although the Horned Frogs look strong according to our model — which gives them a 31 percent chance of making the playoff — the Cowboys can’t be ignored (they have a 6 percent chance themselves). The conference also includes a strong Oklahoma team, whom our model gives a 14 percent chance of making the postseason.Big TenThe FiveThirtyEight model gives No. 3 Ohio State the best odds of making the playoff: 61 percent. Furthermore, we give the Buckeyes a 16 percent chance of repeating as national champs. But look beyond them and you’ll see a strong conference, with the winner likely to be placed in the playoff.Ohio State has a difficult schedule ahead. Like the LSU vs. Alabama game this week, the Nov. 21 matchup against No. 7 Michigan State could be viewed as a de facto national quarterfinal game; Michigan State has a 22 percent chance of being in the final four. The winner likely will face currently undefeated Iowa in the Big Ten championship game.ACCAfter those three conferences, there’s a huge dropoff in quality. With the exception of Clemson, the ACC looks wobbly. That said, the undefeated Tigers are viewed favorably by the selection committee, which gave them their No. 1 ranking. Our model gives them a 51 percent chance of making the postseason (the best after Ohio State), but after them, Florida State is the next best ACC squad, with a 5 percent chance. That said, the Tigers face what is probably their toughest remaining challenge at home against the Seminoles on Saturday. If they survive, a what-if simulation we ran gives the Tigers a 61 percent chance of making the playoff. Furthermore, if they run the table in their remaining games, they’re likely to make the playoff (our model would put their chances at 99 percent), but if they don’t win out, the ACC champion won’t have a guaranteed spot. Why? Because if Clemson loses this week, our model would give both Clemson and FSU about a 15 percent chance.Pac-12What a total mess. Among Pac-12 teams, Stanford has the best chance of making the playoff, at 19 percent. Despite having just one loss, Utah does poorly in our model, registering a 6 percent chance — little better than unranked USC. FiveThirtyEight reckons that if Stanford does win out, it’s 90 percent likely to make the playoffs. In other words, the Pac-12 is not guaranteed a spot right now. To push the Cardinal’s odds up, Clemson would have to slip, and still a second team from the SEC or Big Ten might leapfrog the Pac-12 champ.Beyond The Power FiveThe best bet outside the five major conferences is No. 5 Notre Dame, with a 25 percent chance of making the playoff. Memphis and Houston, as impressive as they’ve been, stand only a 6 percent and 2 percent chance, respectively, of being included. In other words, the stellar mid-major teams should keep rooting for those in the major conferences to cannibalize each other. Baylor610132%31%13% RankingProbability of … Penn State—2741<1%<1%<1% Florida1091241%18%4% Temple22324541%<1%<1% Michigan1722187%6%<1% Clemson17756%51%12% Ohio State31447%61%16% TeamCFPEloFPIConf. TitlePlayoffNat. Title FiveThirtyEight can’t stop the CFP from screwing your team, but we’re going to try to use numbers and our football knowledge to prevent you from being blindsided.Each week, we’ll break down the latest CFP rankings, preview the big upcoming games and explore what-if questions. As we did last year, we’ll take an iterative and probabilistic approach to project which four teams the CFP committee will select into the playoff on Dec. 6.We’ll cover the Power Five conferences and make a special effort not to ignore the mid-major darlings. Translation: we’ll show Memphis and Houston some love. And as a born-and-raised LSU fan, I’m obliged to exhibit a cocky and blatant SEC bias intended to solicit all your angry emails.Before we dive into the new rankings and preview games by conference, a few nitty-gritty details about the model are worth reiterating from what editor-in-chief Nate Silver has written in greater detail elsewhere on FiveThirtyEight:Game predictions are based on a tweaked version of ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) for each team.Based on game results, each team is given an Elo rating that reflects, primarily, its strength of schedule and, to a lesser extent, the margin of victory in its games.Each team is given a new projected ranking based on the previous week’s ranking, the outcome of the game it has just played and its Elo rating.Then the model iterates through the season’s remaining games and, using past coaches’ polls as a guide, tries to predict what the CFP committee will decide.Latest CFP RankingsJust like last year, the CFP committee angered Big 12 fans. Baylor and TCU were ranked sixth and eighth, respectively, while Ohio State is third. One-loss Alabama sneaked in at No. 4 and LSU at No. 2, a clear sign that the committee respects an SEC schedule. But the committee really has a penchant for Clemson, the squad at No. 1. That also helps Notre Dame, whose only loss is to Clemson. The committee puts the Fighting Irish just outside the party at No. 5. Oklahoma St.14111415%6%1% Notre Dame589—25%5% Good gosh o’mighty, what a college football season so far. It’s early November, and fans have already witnessed:a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown as time expired;an eight-lateral kickoff return that was returned for a touchdown as time expired;a blocked field goal that was returned for a touchdown as time expired; andthe ongoing dominance of the next Herschel Walker.Amid all this excitement, in walks the selection committee to cut the ribbon on its first iteration of this season’s College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings. Unveiled over the next month, these CFP rankings will determine who plays in the second-ever four-team playoff. But reading the CFP tea leaves can be overwhelming.Confused by the CFP committee’s weird pronouncements? Fearful that Condoleezza Rice and her comrades will stab your team in the back? (Baylor and TCU fans, you know the feeling.) Trying to interpret the CFP rankings probably makes you feel like the Michigan guy who made his way around the Internet: UCLA2321225%1%<1% Memphis13143621%6%<1% Toledo24244328%<1%<1% Utah12152118%6%<1% Florida State16131513%5%<1% North Carolina—262323%<1%<1% LSU25822%30%8% TCU84237%31%11% Alabama42614%41%11% Arkansas—3926<1%<1%<1% Oregon—2532<1%<1%<1%
Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /00:00 Houston Bike PlanThe Lamar Street bikeway connects downtown Houston to the Buffalo Bayou. The ultimate goal of the City of Houston’s bike plan is to have a network of over 1,780 miles by the year 2026.The City of Houston’s grand opening of the East End’s Guadalupe Plaza Park is set for July 30th. After a renovation, it will have a splash pad and pedestrian walkways.The park will also feature new bike lanes as part of the city’s bicycle network, which is growing.Besides the popular trails along the Buffalo Bayou, there are new lanes, like the one connecting downtown to the bayou through Lamar Street.Mary Blitzer, who serves as advocacy director of Bike Houston, says the expansion is crucial.“We wanna be a world class city,” says Blitzer, from the non-profit that promotes bicycle use in Houston. “San Francisco is doing it, Austin is doing it, New York, DC, Chicago. We gotta keep up and we wanna be competitive.”The City of Houston’s bike plan is the blueprint to develop an ambitious bicycle network. The goal is to have over 1,780 miles of bikeways by the year 2026. The City estimates the total cost will be between $100 and $170 million.Patrick Walsh is the Director of the Houston’s Planning and Development Department. He says the city will commit funding to the bike plan, but it cannot do it alone.“We are gonna be needing to talk to partners like the Houston Parks Board, who are doing such a great job with Bayou Greenways,” Walsh says. “We are gonna look at other special districts, like management districts and TIRZs (Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones) and see if maybe they could participate.”The Houston City Council still has to formally approve the bike plan. Walsh says that could happen sometime in the next two months. X Share