Associated Press For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25___This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.com UCLA looks to sweep Utah LEADING THE WAY: Utah’s Timmy Allen has averaged 17.6 points and 7.2 rebounds while Rylan Jones has put up 10.1 points and 4.4 assists. For the Bruins, Chris Smith has averaged 13.3 points and 5.5 rebounds while Jalen Hill has put up 9.1 points and 6.8 rebounds.SOLID SMITH: Smith has connected on 31.3 percent of the 64 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 6 of 19 over his last three games. He’s also made 85.8 percent of his foul shots this season.UNDEFEATED WHEN: UCLA is a perfect 14-0 when it holds an opponent to 68 points or fewer. The Bruins are 1-11 when opponents score more than 68.STREAK SCORING: Utah has won its last four home games, scoring an average of 66.8 points while giving up 57.8.DID YOU KNOW: UCLA is ranked first among Pac-12 teams with an offensive rebound percentage of 35 percent. The Bruins have averaged 12.2 offensive boards per game.___ Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditUCLA (15-11, 8-5) vs. Utah (14-11, 5-8)Jon M. Huntsman Center, Salt Lake City; Thursday, 10:30 p.m. ESTBOTTOM LINE: Utah seeks revenge on UCLA after dropping the first matchup in Los Angeles. The teams last faced each other on Feb. 2, when the Bruins outshot Utah from the field 49 percent to 39.3 percent and made 13 more foul shots on the way to the 73-57 victory. February 19, 2020
Freshman David Caban’s goal with four minutes remaining pushed the Wisconsin men’s soccer team (4-3-1) past Loyola Marymount (2-6) for a 2-1 win Sunday afternoon.The Badgers started the game off with a forceful offensive presence attacking the ball. Early on, junior Tamislav Zadro scored the first goal of the game for the Badgers at the 22:21 mark, the sixth time Zadro has scored a goal for the Badgers in the previous six games. With the end of the first half nearing, the Badgers defensive unit made a more dominant showing on the field.“It’s really nice, especially being a freshman, to get my first goal,” Caban said. “It was a bit of a relief, especially so late in the game. It’s pretty nice to come out on a Sunday and win.”Caban’s goal was made possible with the assist from senior Josh Thiermann. After transferring to Wisconsin and being sidelined with injuries, Thiermann has been waiting to contribute to the team in a meaningful way.“Everybody always says, ‘Oh, you know it’s so emotional,’ but it honestly was for me,” Thiermann said. “To put the jersey on for the first official game meant the absolute world to me.” Loyola Marymount scored a goal with three minutes remaining in the half to tie the game at 1-1. Although the game was tied entering halftime, the Badgers had plenty of reasons to hold their heads high, especially considering they were out-shooting LMU 8-5.Opening the second half of the game, Wisconsin continued its heavy defensive showing. The second half proved to be very physical with lots of pushing around and fighting for the ball.The Badgers came off with four yellow cards in the second half as well as a few offside calls that seemed to be a struggle late in the game. Nevertheless, UW wasn’t slowed.After Thiermann capped the night with the game-winning assist, head coach John Trask came away confident and impressed with Thiermann’s offensive play.Trask felt Thiermann showed real knowledge for the game and the team Sunday, realizing he needed to pass the ball off to Caban rather than go after the goal himself in the final minutes.“Josh is playing hurt, and God love him for it but he is a fifth-year senior, and this is his last hurrah,” Trask said. “He is playing for the school, he is playing for the fans and he is playing for his teammates.”Trask also felt it was UW’s overall athleticism that contributed to the victory against LMU. The Badgers out-shot the Lions 18-11, and with Sunday’s win, the Badgers find themselves sitting with a 3-2 home record.“I thought it was a hard fought win today, and sometimes that’s all that college soccer is about, is winning,” Trask said.The win is a solid confidence booster for the Badgers with a three-game home series approaching with games against in-state rival Marquette and No. 1-ranked Indiana.“They are home games. You almost don’t need to say anything else,” Thiermann said. “Home games are the best; nothing is better than getting a ‘W’ at home in front of your home fans.”
College football is obsessed with records. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it isn’t a good one either. At times, it can cloud someone’s vision and allow one to overlook the talent and current play of a team just because of its record. Other times, focusing on records completely makes sense. I know what you’re thinking; she’s probably talking about USC. I am, but Penn State also falls into the same discussion. After beating Michigan this past Saturday, it seems like Ohio State is a lock for the playoff. Last week, both the AP and the College Football Playoff rankings mirrored each other. This week, the AP has Ohio State sitting at No. 2, so one could reasonably guess that the Buckeyes will hold that spot for the CFP.So that looks good for the Big Ten, right? Wrong. The Big Ten is in an interesting situation. The Buckeyes are sitting at No. 2 in the nation with an 11-1 overall record, so that means they’re playing in the conference championship, right? Wrong, again. Facing off for the conference title for the Big Ten will be Penn State and Wisconsin. Both teams are sitting at 10-2, and Penn State has a bit of an advantage with its win over Ohio State thanks to a blocked field goal that was returned for a touchdown toward the end of the fourth quarter. The CFP Committee always talks about how they like conference champions, but with Ohio State as the likely candidate for the second spot in the playoff, that goes against what they typically like. If Penn State ends up beating Wisconsin, they will have a viable shot at the playoff, because Ohio State’s only loss was at the hand of the Nittany Lions. It’s a mess, and the committee could have one heck of a headache going into the release of its rankings on Sunday. While a 11-2 conference champion looks great and is more or less a dream team for the committee based on rankings alone, it isn’t really better than an 11-1 team with quality wins throughout the season. What makes this whole Big Ten debacle even more interesting is that the first protocol — according to the CFP committee selection protocol — is winning a conference championship. The other three are strength of schedule, head-to-head competition (if possible) and outcomes of common opponents (without considering margin of victory). Looking at the committee’s protocol from their standpoint, a Wisconsin win will make their lives easier. Now, what about USC? Its chances of making the playoff are virtually impossible. Just imagine how many people would freak out if a three-loss team made it to the playoff. While the Trojans won’t see themselves playing in one of the semifinals, they could still see themselves playing at the Rose Bowl, somewhere they haven’t played since 2009. USC has played in the most Rose Bowls (33) and has won the most Rose Bowls (24) of any college program. With the Trojans back in the national discussion and a number of analysts, such as Kirk Herbstreit, saying that USC is the one team that no one wants to play right now, other than Alabama. He also made the argument that if the CFP is looking for the best teams that USC should be higher. Vegas even has the Trojans as the No. 3 team in the country. The Trojans’ success makes the case that the playoff should be expanded. An expansion would allow for teams like USC that started their season rough but have completely flipped the script to close out the year. The Trojans that upset No. 4 Washington 26-13 and have handily outscored their rivals 81-41 are nowhere near the team that started its season 1-3 with losses to Alabama, Stanford and Utah. If the committee wants the best teams playing for a championship, a team like USC fits the bill. Through their eight-game win streak, the Trojans have beaten everyone except Colorado by double digits. A surging USC team following a shaky start brings back memories of Pete Carroll’s 2002 Trojans. That season, USC started out 3-2, but finished 11-2 on the back of senior quarterback Carson Palmer. Palmer performed so well that he caught national attention and won the Heisman Trophy, USC’s first quarterback to do so. The Trojans finished No. 5 in the BCS and beat No. 3 Iowa in the Orange Bowl, 38-17. There are a number of similarities between the 2002 season and this season, such as dominating victories over UCLA and Notre Dame and a quarterback garnering national attention. If the similarities continue, the Trojans could see themselves in the Rose Bowl instead of the Orange Bowl. On top of it, USC would set a foundation for national championships for years to come, cementing it as a national powerhouse once again. Jodee Storm Sullivan is a junior majoring in broadcast and digital journalism. Her column, “The Storm Report,” ran Tuesdays.