How unpredictable has this year’s NCAA men’s tournament been? The most lopsided win of the Elite Eight belonged to an 11 seed that advanced to its first Final Four appearance in 55 years. At the same time, the three national semifinalists other than Loyola of Chicago — Kansas, Villanova and Michigan — are among the most successful programs in college basketball history. Together, they fill out a Final Four that nicely mixes the traditional with the unexpected.Loyola is the most compelling story of the tourney, thanks to a run that slowly turned them from a fun Cinderella into something much more special. But they’re not merely a George Mason or Virginia Commonwealth that’ll be easy to knock off, despite the identical seed numbers. According to our Elo ratings — a measure of a team’s strength that is based on game-by-game results — the Ramblers were the 25th-best team in the field going into the tournament, compared with No. 44 for George Mason in 2006 and No. 52 for VCU. (Loyola is a little more like LSU in 1986, which ranked 32nd in the field before the tournament and became the first double-digit seed ever to make a Final Four.) Going back to the start of the 64-team era in 1985, Loyola’s pre-tourney Elo ranks sixth-best among the 14 Final Four teams who were seeded seventh or worse: Either way, Michigan’s defense has been dominant — it’s holding opponents to 38 percent shooting from the field in the NCAAs thus far — and in some ways the Wolverines will be facing a smaller and less-heralded version of themselves in the defensive-minded, slow-paced Ramblers. Plus, for all the talk of Loyola’s last championship coming in 1963, it’s also been nearly three decades since Michigan, behind Glen Rice and coach Steve Fisher, last cut down the nets — a somewhat surprising title drought for a marquee program like UM. Our prediction model gives Michigan a 69 percent chance of advancing to its second title game in six years under John Beilein.2In 2013, the Wolverines lost in the final to Louisville, which later vacated its title.Meanwhile, for all the chaos of this tournament, chalk prevailed in the other regional finals, producing a pair of No. 1 seeds in Kansas and Villanova. It’ll be the tournament’s 15th battle of top-seeded teams in the national semifinals, and the first since Wisconsin-Kentucky in 2015.Kansas had its hands full with Duke in the Midwest region’s titanic 1-vs-2 clash. According to our excitement index, which measures how thrilling a game was by computing the average change in win probability on each play, the Jayhawks and Blue Devils tied for the second-most heart-pounding game of the entire tournament so far, trailing only Michigan vs. Houston from the Round of 32. It was the kind of game Kansas hasn’t tended to come out on top of in recent years — it’d lost a regional final in each of the past two seasons, and was 1-3 in chances to go to the Final Four since last winning the championship in 2008.When we looked at March Madness’s best coaches — in terms of exceeding the record we would expect a team to earn in their tournament games based on Elo — the statistical contrast between Kansas’s Bill Self and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski pretty much summed up the narrative for the two coaches. While each had guided tournament teams with roughly the same seed on average (Self’s teams had an average seed of 2.7, while Coach K’s were at 2.2), Self had played almost exactly to his expected record over the years (+0.1 wins, 188th-best among all coaches), while Krzyzewski had outpaced his expectations by 5.8 wins (seventh-best) since 1985.But Self and the Jayhawks found redemption behind the outstanding play of Malik Newman, who scored 32 against the Blue Devils, including all 13 Kansas points in overtime. We weren’t fully sold on the Jayhawks before the tournament began — we thought there was a glimmer of hope for Penn to upset them in the first round — but KU has now worked itself up to the fourth-highest power rating of any team in the nation, giving itself a 23 percent title probability according to our model. Villanova’s path was easier than Michigan’sPregame Elo ratings for Villanova’s and Michigan’s 2018 NCAA tournament opponents, by round Source: Sports-Reference.com/cbb, ESPN 1827Average1867 32014KentuckyMidwest81876 SeasonTeamRegionSeedPre-Tournament Elo 102013Wichita StateWest91791 62018Loyola (IL)South111838 Alabama1795Rd. of 321934Houston 122017South CarolinaEast71747 The best low-seeded Final Four teamsBest pre-tournament Elo rating for Final Four teams seeded seventh or lower, 1985-2018 142011VCUSouthwest111725 112016SyracuseMidwest101772 132006George MasonWashington111747 Radford1552Rd. of 641693Montana So you can build a case that the Ramblers are much better than the typical low-seeded Final Four squad. Still, history has not been kind to Cinderellas in the tournament’s third weekend. In fact, the Final Four is right around when the clock strikes midnight: Teams seeded ninth or worse are 0-6 all-time in the national semifinal.Michigan is an especially interesting opponent for the Ramblers, given that both teams are riding double-digit winning streaks (Loyola has won 14 straight, and Michigan has won 13) and that the chief knock on Michigan’s otherwise stellar tournament play has been a lack of difficult opponents. If they do beat Loyola, the Wolverines will become the first team in history to make it to the national title game without facing a single team seeded better than sixth. But that probably overstates how easy Michigan’s path was: The average Elo of the Wolverines’ opponents is not notably low by Final Four standards,1It ranks 82nd-lowest out of 136 Final Four teams since 1985. and what’s more, it’s not even the lowest of 2018. (Villanova has faced a much easier path to the Final Four, in terms of its opponents’ average Elo ratings.) 12015Michigan StateEast71914 Villanova Opp.Elo RatingRoundElo RatingMichigan Opp. 42011ButlerSoutheast81875 91985VillanovaSoutheast81802 81986Louisiana StateSoutheast111804 22014ConnecticutEast71909 West Virginia1972Sweet 161892Texas A&M 72000North CarolinaSouth81822 52000WisconsinWest81871 Texas Tech1988Elite Eight1948Florida State Source: Sports-Reference.com/cbb Villanova remains our favorite to win the tournament, however, with nearly a 50 percent chance against the field. Unlike Kansas versus Duke, the Wildcats were comfortably in control of their Elite Eight matchup with Texas Tech for practically the entire game, helping it produce the lowest excitement index of any regional final (even lower than Loyola’s rout of K-State). Aside from some midgame jockeying with West Virginia in the Sweet 16, Nova’s victories have seldom been in doubt on the road to the Final Four.Even when the Wildcats’ offense has sputtered — and against the Red Raiders, they were not impressive by any means, generating their fifth-fewest points per possession in any game this season — their defense has come through. During the tournament, only West Virginia has managed to crack 95 points per 100 possessions against Villanova, and even the Mountaineers were held to their sixth-worst offensive game of the season. Against the Red Raiders, the Wildcats’ two most dynamic players –Mikal Bridges and Jalen Brunson — combined to shoot 7-for-24 from the floor (including 0-for-9 from deep), and yet the defense was strong enough to help Nova not just overcome problems on offense, but cruise to victory.A Villanova win would put an uncharacteristically routine capper on what has been a wild season in college basketball. According to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, the Wildcats won their 134th game in the last four seasons when they beat Texas Tech, breaking the Division I record for the most wins by a program in a four-year span. If they win a couple more, they’d become the fourth program to win at least two championships in a three-year span since 1985.But it feels premature to speculate about that. This year has already offered some of the most unexpected moments in tournament history. So who knows, maybe the tourney still has a few surprises left in its final weekend. read more

first_imgA man smokes an electronic cigarette inside a vape shop in Washington. Alastair Pike / AFP/Getty Images On Saturday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that its officials are working with state health authorities to examine a growing number of pulmonary illnesses linked to e-cigarette use. But it’s not the only federal agency actively investigating vaping-related health issues.Earlier this month, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it has continued to look into a potential link between vaping and seizures. As of Aug. 7, the agency has received 127 reports of seizure or other neurological symptoms, such as fainting or tremors, that occurred after vaping between 2010 and 2019. That’s 92 additional cases since April 3, 2019, when the FDA issued its first statement, alerting people to the potential link. Read more: A timeline of recent Juul and vaping controversies “Although we still don’t have enough information to determine if e-cigarettes are causing these reported incidents, we believe it’s critical to keep the public updated on the information we’ve received based on the agency’s initial request for reports earlier this year,” Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless said in the latest statement.  Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice Get your vitamins by vaping 4:37 Post a commentcenter_img More than 100 cases over nine years isn’t a lot — especially compared to the total number of people using e-cigarettes — but the FDA believes cases may have gone unreported and that the potential issue warrants a scientific investigation regardless. There’s certainly a sound basis for concern: Seizures are a known potential side effect of nicotine poisoning and there have been case studies showing that people who accidentally or intentionally swallow e-liquids that contain nicotine experience seizures or seizure-like movements. juul-and-podsJuul devices are small and easy to hide from authority figures, which is likely one reason they’ve become so popular with teens. truthinitiative.org While vaporizer cartridges contain varying levels of nicotine, some e-cigarettes design features can make it easy for a user to consume high levels of nicotine quickly. For instance, Juul Labs’ Juulpods contain as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes and the company claims its nicotine salt formulation is as easy to inhale as cigarettes and delivers nicotine up to 2.7 times faster than other e-cigarettes. Packaging can also be misleading: One study found that some e-liquids contained up to 52% more nicotine than stated. Proving a direct connection between vaping and seizures, however, has proven difficult. The reports the FDA has received haven’t provided enough detail to establish a clear pattern or cause, according to the FDA’s first statement:  “Seizures have been reported among first-time e-cigarette users and experienced users. In a few situations, e-cigarette users reported a prior history of seizure diagnosis. A few reported cases indicated that the seizures occurred in association with the use of other substances such as marijuana or amphetamines. Seizures have been reported as occurring after a few puffs or up to one day after use.”As the FDA continues its investigation, the agency is asking that consumers report any unexpected health or product issues experienced with e-cigarettes or any tobacco product to the FDA through the Safety Reporting Portal. Read more: How to quit Juuling, according to addiction expertsThe information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.  0 Tags Wellnesslast_img read more

first_imgVirat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.ReutersBoard of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) may split the Indian team captaincy. Rohit Sharma may probably become the ODI captain and Virat Kohli may lead the Test squad, as per a report by IANS. An official of BCCI has told IANS that the board is keen to discuss the issue of splitting captaincy as, according to him, every good team starts preparation for the next World Cup immediately after the campaign in the latest one ends. He also believes that Rohit is the right man to lead the ODI squad and the reason behind England’s World Cup 2019 win is the planning they did after getting ousted from the group stage in 2015.”This would be the right time for Rohit to take over the mantle of the captaincy in the 50-over format. There has been immense support to the present captain and the management and it is time to plan ahead for the next World Cup and for that the existing ideas and plans need a fresh look. We all know some areas need a relook. Rohit would be the right man for the job,” the official said as quoted by IANS. The entire nation will be looking up to Kohli during the World Cup. GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty ImagesAccording to the official, the biggest concern at this moment are the rumours of a rift between Kohli and Rohit which can cause major damage to the team. If the team gets divided into two camps, then it will become a major roadblock for the future success of the Men in Blue. The matter will be discussed when the review meeting happens with coach Ravi Shastri, captain Kohli and chief selector M.S.K. Prasad in the presence of the Committee of Administrators (CoA).”You are aware that Vinod Rai (CoA chief) has already mentioned that a review meeting will take place. It will have to be ascertained when the review takes place and it is important to get to the bottom of these rumours,” the official added. Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri together.BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty ImagesA few days back Dainik Jagran reported that there are two factions in the Indian team, one supporting skipper Kohli and the other owing its allegiance to vice-captain Rohit. The biggest problem is that the players in Kohli’s camp get preferences in team selection and that is why Ambati Rayudu was not included in the squad, as per the report. The article further added that many players want Ravi Shastri to be given marching orders as they are not happy with him.India exited the World Cup after suffering defeat at the hands of New Zealand by 18 runs in the semi-finals. After the exit of Men in Blue, all these controversies started coming into the open. Now, it will be interesting to see how the future of Team India turns out to be.last_img read more

first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” was first released Nov. 13, 2018, by Penguin Random House’s Crown Publishing, and is being published in 44 languages around the world. The book was a No. 1 New York Times bestseller after one week of sales, and to date has sold more than 5.9 million units in all formats and editions in the U.S. and Canada.Separately, Barack and Michelle Obama have established a production company, Higher Ground Productions, which has a multiyear development deal with Netflix. On Tuesday, Higher Ground named Priya Swaminathan, formerly with Annapurna, and Tonia Davis, who hails from Chernin Entertainment, as co-heads of the venture.The “BookTube” special featuring Michelle Obama comes from the YouTube Originals group, led by global head of original content Susanne Daniels.Last fall, YouTube switched up its strategy on original productions to what it calls “Single Slate,” under which it will make all of its originals available on a free, ad-supported basis — signaling a move toward projects with broad, mainstream appeal rather than those built around YouTube personalities. In many cases, YouTube will window series and movies to premiere first on the YouTube Premium subscription service before making them available for free. YouTube has tapped Michelle Obama to headline an original special, “BookTube,” slated to debut next month during Women’s History Month.The former First Lady will discuss her bestselling memoir “Becoming” with a panel of YouTubers.  John Green — best-selling author of books including “The Fault in Our Stars” and co-founder of YouTube channels vlogbrothers and Crash Course — will moderate the discussion. Along with Michelle Obama, the special will feature a panel of YouTube creators including Jouelzy, Ariel Bissett, Kat O’Keeffe, Jesse George and Franchesca Ramsey.YouTube plans to release the original special in March, to be available for free, with an exact date yet to be determined. “BookTube” will comprise seven short-form “chapters,” each under 10 minutes, based on the questions from the YouTube creators for Michelle Obama.center_img Popular on Variety last_img read more