MLB Ranks in WAR from… This looks familiar …MLB-wide ranks in wins above replacement (WAR) per game from each category, 2015 Kansas City Royals vs. 2018 Milwaukee Brewers The Brewers’ bullpen has been positively Royals-esqueBest record when leading after six innings, 2014-15 and 2018 seasons 6PIT24292.37MIN1131290.4 TeamWinsLossesWin % 9SD20290.99STL1401689.7 2015Royals58.616th12th1st21st2nd On the basepaths, the Brewers have the majors’ most successful rate of taking extra bases, a category the famously aggressive Royals also excelled in. Milwaukee’s ability to track down balls in the field, led by Cain in the outfield and Orlando Arcia at shortstop, easily recalls the rangy Royals of, well, Cain and Alcides Escobar. And with reliever Josh Hader rewriting the all-time strikeout record book (to say nothing of the 0.60 ERA season Jeremy Jeffress is having), the Brewers have been even more unbeatable with a lead in the late innings than the Royals were in their Wade Davis-led heyday. So far this season, Milwaukee is a perfect 27-0 when leading through six innings, making it the only team in baseball that can say it hasn’t blown such a situation yet. 3BOS32294.13MIA107992.2 2018Brewers61.7%17th10th3rd20th3rd 1MIL270100.0%1KC1501093.8% TeamWinsLossesWin % 10CIN18290.010PIT1391689.7 2CHC24196.02SD108992.3 Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, Fangraphs.com Kansas City combined for a staggering 150-10 mark across those situations in 2014 and 2015, including the postseason, so the Brewers still have some work to do before catching up to their doppelganger. And the Royals comparison isn’t 100 percent perfect — Milwaukee isn’t quite the batting average machine K.C. was, for instance, because the Brewers strike out at a normal clip, not the freakishly low rate Kansas City did at its peak. But the Brew Crew might be the closest thing we’ll get in the homers-and-strikeouts world of 2018 baseball.Questions also remain about Milwaukee’s place among the pantheon of 2018 contenders. According to The Baseball Gauge, only the Seattle Mariners have gotten luckier this year, in terms of sequencing and winning close games (although the latter can be explained in part by the Brewer bullpen’s aforementioned dominance). After the Brewers dropped two of three to the lowly Chicago White Sox over the weekend,4Which, in fairness, the Royals also did twice in 2014 and 2015, plus they were swept by the White Sox on another occasion. our Elo forecast now thinks Milwaukee will go 54-48 over the rest of the season and be caught by the Cubs in the Central before too long — though it does give the Brewers a 67 percent chance of making the playoffs. (That projection is also on the high side; FanGraphs thinks the Brewers will go 48-54 from here on out, with less than a coin flip’s shot at the postseason.)But that’s just another way in which the Brewers evoke memories of Kansas City’s World Series-era teams. With their unconventional mix of strengths and weaknesses, those Royals squads spent multiple seasons bucking the odds and poking holes in the statistical arguments against them. Maybe now it’s Milwaukee’s turn to do the same.Check out our latest MLB predictions. When the Kansas City Royals made back-to-back World Series in 2014 and 2015 — coming agonizingly close in the former and winning the latter — they launched a thousand think pieces about whether manager Ned Yost’s brand of small ball would spread throughout the game. But then it looked like it might never get the chance: Right after the Royals’ revival, baseball embarked on a record-setting home run explosion, and the appeal of a team built primarily around speed, defense and a lights-out bullpen seemed to wane.1The Cubs and Astros shared some of those strengths, mind you, but each was also packed with ample power up and down the lineup.One of 2018’s top teams is taking a page out of K.C.’s championship playbook anyway. It isn’t just that the Milwaukee Brewers share the same center fielder with those Royals — although another All-Star caliber season from Lorenzo Cain hasn’t exactly hurt the comparison. The Brewers are also leading the NL Central with a strikingly similar combination of fielding, relief pitching and clever base running, even as the advanced metrics remain skeptical. (Sound familiar, Royals fans?) All that’s left is for postseason history to repeat — assuming Kansas City’s winning formula still works in a game that looks very different than it did just a few seasons ago.Going into the season, the Brewers were not expected to build much on last year’s surprising 86-win performance, despite loading up on players such as Cain and Christian Yelich over the winter. In fact, both the Vegas bookmakers and computer projections such as FanGraphs’ depth charts and Baseball Prospectus’s PECOTA picked Milwaukee to take a step backward, averaging out to about 83 wins for the season with only a meager chance of making the playoffs. In theory, the 2017 Brewers had gotten slightly lucky both in terms of wins and losses — they overshot the record their statistics predicted2At least, according to Base Runs, which estimates how much a team “should” win with neutral luck, based on its raw statistics. by a couple of games — as well as in career seasons from both batters (Eric Thames, Domingo Santana, Travis Shaw) and pitchers (Jimmy Nelson, Chase Anderson, Corey Knebel). So it wasn’t too hard to argue that a tumble would be on its way this summer.But remember, Milwaukee wasn’t supposed to be very good last year, either; all it proceeded to do was hang around the NL Central race far longer than anyone in the media — or on the presumptive division-favorite Chicago Cubs — thought possible. The Brewers led the Central well into late July before the Cubs (along with the Diamondbacks and Rockies) overtook them down the stretch. It was a good enough showing to convince general manager David Stearns to accelerate the club’s recent rebuilding project and raise the franchise’s expectations sooner than originally anticipated. And the result has been the best record in the National League through the season’s first two months.The Brewers aren’t alone in beating projections this year, but what stands out is how they’ve done it. Despite the new firepower in the lineup — and the emergence of hard-hitting first baseman Jesus Aguilar — Milwaukee ranks in the middle of the major league pack in runs scored, with middling numbers for both power and walks. Their starting rotation has also slipped, from ninth in MLB in wins above replacement3Using an average of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.com’s WAR metrics. per game in 2017 to 20th this season, with Anderson struggling to replicate last year’s form and Nelson missing the entire season to date because of injury.Milwaukee is making up for the difference, though, with the majors’ 10th-best base running WAR per game, along with the third-best WAR per game from both defense and relief pitching. It’s a combination of metrics eerily similar to the one Kansas City produced during its own championship run three years ago: 6ATL24292.36SF1441590.6 4SF27293.14CLE1341391.2 2018 Season2014-15 Seasons SeasonTeamWin %BattingBase RunningFieldingStartersRelievers 5BAL13192.95NYY1331391.1 Includes postseason for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Through June 3 for the 2018 season.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group 8NYY31391.28LAA1391590.3
9Cincinnati84.486.382.8—83.7-13.20.3 16F. Dickinson66.269.364.0—66.7—0.00.0 16Austin Peay68.771.566.1—68.8—0.00.0 5Purdue89.590.688.4—88.6-212.82.6 COMPUTER RATINGS 2Villanova92.295.288.6-0.391.3—22.46.4 5Maryland86.588.285.3—87.4-16.31.3 The strongest region in this year’s tournament boasts what our power ratings consider the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 teams — Kansas and Villanova — at its top. But it also contains a whole host of underseeded squads down the seed line, which will probably make for some real carnage in the early rounds. For instance, “first four” opponents Wichita State and Vanderbilt, both vying for the right to be a lowly 11-seed, would have been seeded five or six slots higher if the committee’s S-curve had followed our ratings. (Instead, one will be eliminated before the tourney even begins in earnest.) Our model also says that Maryland, Iowa and UConn deserved better seeds and that sixth-seeded Arizona had a case to be moved all the way up to No. 3 on the basis of its talent, now that Kaleb Tarczewski and Allonzo Trier are back at full strength. (Instead, the Wildcats will be mild favorites at best in the first round against either the Shockers or the Commodores.)As a byproduct of all this wacky seeding, the South will have claimed at least eight of the nation’s 26 highest-rated teams as victims by the middle of the second weekend, after beginning the tournament with 10. But amid this havoc is also opportunity: Regardless of the Vandy-Wichita victor, seven teams in the region will have at least a 29 percent shot at the Sweet 16 before the round of 64 starts Thursday. With so many solid teams stuffed into such close proximity within the bracket, chalk in the first few rounds would be surprising.But for all the South’s potential turmoil, Kansas still has the best Final Four probability of any team in the tournament. UConn is a trendy dark horse for those thinking that 2011 will repeat itself, and it’s possible that Villanova will stand in KU’s way. But our ratings consider the Jayhawks the nation’s top team, and they may be the only No. 1 team this season that played like it deserved the mantle after re-assuming it late in the season. 3Miami (FL)87.989.686.3—87.1+14.91.0 4Iowa State86.889.184.6-0.886.5+26.41.0 4Duke87.990.486.0-1.187.3—12.11.7 11Northern Iowa79.781.578.3—80.2—0.80.0 SEEDTEAMAVGHIGHLOWINJURY538 RATING+/- SEEDFINAL 4CHAMPS 9Connecticut85.786.684.7—85.4-22.10.3 More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed 9Providence82.684.281.6—82.5—0.80.1 12SD State78.880.974.4—78.6—0.20.0 14Green Bay75.778.474.1—76.2—0.10.0 14Fresno St.77.680.076.0—76.6—0.00.0 Our sports podcast Hot Takedown previews March Madness. 13Hawaii80.081.076.9-1.278.0—0.00.0 4California86.287.885.3—86.5+14.00.7 1Oregon89.091.987.5-0.288.0+222.62.6 PROBABILITY OF… 16Holy Cross66.069.463.6—66.9—0.00.0 10Pittsburgh83.184.982.2-0.182.3—1.20.1 7Iowa86.887.984.8-0.285.9-13.20.6 8Colorado81.983.781.2—81.5+20.40.0 14Buffalo74.976.573.3—75.7—0.00.0 15UNC Asheville74.976.772.2—74.2—0.00.0 9Butler84.085.783.0—84.2-12.50.3 1Virginia92.594.890.9—92.5—30.39.8 12Little Rock80.483.074.7—79.0—0.20.0 16Hampton67.971.965.6—68.6—0.00.0 5Indiana88.389.387.4-0.687.4-15.71.1 The East is the second-best region in the tournament, not far behind the South. Although our model thinks No. 2 Xavier was slightly overseeded, the East has the second-best No. 1 seed (with UNC fairly close on Kansas’s heels), the best No. 3 seed (West Virginia) and the best No. 4 seed of any region (Kentucky). There’s a reason we give the top four seeds here such an overpowering likelihood of making the Final Four.The East figures to be a relatively chalky region, particularly in the early going. Aside from ninth-seeded Providence, a 62 percent favorite to oust Southern Cal, tantalizing first-round upset picks are hard to come by. The closest are Pitt over Wisconsin and the Michigan/Tulsa winner over Notre Dame, but each of those are less than 40 percent likely to happen. Our model might be missing how well a few of the underdogs match up against the favorites, but this region just doesn’t seem like it’s going to provide a lot of teary-eyed upset footage for this year’s “One Shining Moment” montage.However, there are two potential confrontations further down the line that everyone’s already circled on their brackets: Kentucky-Indiana in the round of 32 and its winner vs. North Carolina in the Sweet 16. If each happens, you might not see a better pair of matchups at that stage of the tournament; our model says UNC is a deserving No. 1, Kentucky is basically a two-seed that got dropped to a No. 4 and Indiana deserved a No. 4 seed instead of a No. 5. The combination of history and talent in each game would be tremendous — but before we get too excited, our simulations say there’s a 26 percent chance that at least one of the teams will lose before the matchups can come together.North Carolina’s a pretty good bet to hold up its end of the bargain, though. The Tar Heels rank second in our power ratings and have the second-best Final Four probability of any team, trailing Kansas by a single percentage point. KU and UNC’s odds would diverge slightly after that — to make the title game, Carolina would have to go through the presumably tougher Midwest champ — but a North Carolina-Kansas showdown is the most likely final according to our method. As far as top two seeds go, it’s hard to get better than the Midwest’s combo of Virginia and Michigan State. According to our power ratings, they’re the nation’s third- and fourth-best teams, squeezed into the same region only because, well, nobody’s really sure why.And yet, their collision course is not the most certain of any top two seeds, according to our model. (Kansas and Villanova, the top-seeded teams in the South region, are more likely to meet in the Elite Eight.) Why? Because the Midwest also has its share of spoilers situated elsewhere in the bracket. In addition to solid Utah and Iowa State teams as the third and fourth seeds, our ratings say Purdue is a No. 3 seed masquerading as a No. 5 and Gonzaga is a No. 6 in a No. 11’s clothing.In fact, Purdue could be an interesting dark horse Final Four pick. Our simulations say they have a 13 percent shot at it, easily the best chance of any team seeded fifth or lower in its region. And for Gonzaga, an underdog run could be like old times again. The FiveThirtyEight model says the Zags have a 60 percent probability of pulling a first-round “upset” over Big East champ Seton Hall and a break-even shot against whichever team they’d end up facing the round after that (Utah, most likely).But in spite of all the ways in which it could be thwarted, an MSU-UVA regional final matchup is still the most likely way that the Midwest will reach its crescendo. If it happens, Virginia will be slightly favored according to our power ratings, though we’ve learned over the years to never discount a Tom Izzo-coached team.And in a year as wide open as this, why not Michigan State? Or Virginia, or Oklahoma, Villanova and West Virginia? Or the basketball blue blood in Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky? With so much uncertainty, sometimes the best forecast is to pick out the handful of most likely winners and see what happens from there. Compared with the seeming imbalance of last year, this season’s parity might make for a more exciting tournament anyway.Check out FiveThirtyEight’s 2016 March Madness Predictions. 4Kentucky90.391.189.9—90.7-216.04.5 7Oregon State80.681.778.9-2.877.6+60.20.0 2Mich. St.93.293.992.5-0.591.9-134.2%9.0% 15CS Bakersfield75.978.472.4—75.0—0.10.0 PROBABILITY OF… 11Vanderbilt85.987.985.0—85.6-52.40.5 PROBABILITY OF… In the Final Four, the winner of the South — this year’s strongest region — will face the winner of the West — the weakest region. Our model says top-seed Oregon was tied for the third-most overseeded team of any in the field and is by far the worst of the No. 1s. Second-seeded Oklahoma is rated a bit higher than the Ducks in our numbers, with Texas A&M and Duke in close pursuit. Each of the top four seeds has at least a 12 percent probability of reaching the Final Four.At a minimum, the West might prove a favorite region for fans of first-round upsets. Our model gives 10th-seeded VCU a 73 percent probability of “knocking off” No. 7 Oregon State — the best odds it assigns to any lower-seeded team in the round of 64. (Oregon State is the most overseeded team in the field; based on their rating, the Beavers deserved a No. 13 seed.) It also thinks No. 9 Cincinnati has a 60 percent probability of beating eighth-seeded Saint Joe’s and No. 11 Northern Iowa has a 30 percent chance against Texas. And if, like us, you’re a fan of 12-over-5 upsets, it assigns Yale a healthy 39 percent chance of toppling Baylor.Those Cinderellas may not have much of a chance after pulling their initial upset(s), though, because there’s a good amount of separation between the top four seeds and the rest of the field, and making the Sweet 16 will require beating one of those top four teams. After the East, where the top four seeds combine for an 86 percent chance of making the Final Four, the West is the most likely region to have a top-four seed represent it in Houston (79 percent). But, let’s face it, we don’t know which of those top-four seeds it will be — no region has a smaller spread in Final Four odds among its top four seeds than the West. 13Iona78.781.876.8-0.078.2-10.10.0 10Temple78.780.777.3-0.778.5+20.20.0 SEEDTEAMAVGHIGHLOWINJURY538 RATING+/- SEEDFINAL 4CHAMPS 1N. Carolina93.396.192.0—93.9—43.6%14.9% 10Syracuse83.184.382.3—82.7-11.30.1 8Tex. Tech82.183.580.4—81.3+30.40.0 2Xavier88.290.086.5—87.7+19.81.8 15MTSU75.377.474.0—75.0—0.00.0 PROBABILITY OF… 6Arizona88.890.187.7+0.789.0-36.01.8 12Yale81.683.178.7-0.680.2-11.00.0 6Seton Hall85.687.584.3—84.5+21.80.2 3Utah85.686.584.3+0.486.6+25.30.8 11Michigan82.284.480.9-2.579.6—0.30.0 5Baylor85.386.484.1—85.5+26.11.0 Team ratings: West 14S.F. Austin82.084.378.8—81.0-30.40.0 11Tulsa80.281.978.9-0.079.9—0.20.0 16Southern67.771.762.3—68.0—0.00.0 7Dayton82.484.181.2—82.4+21.60.1 COMPUTER RATINGS 16Florida G.C.71.373.968.2—71.4—0.00.0 COMPUTER RATINGS COMPUTER RATINGS 7Wisconsin84.386.882.5—84.8—2.90.4 11Wichita St.86.988.386.1+0.086.6-62.70.7 SEEDTEAMAVGHIGHLOWINJURY538 RATING+/- SEEDFINAL 4CHAMPS 11Gonzaga86.487.685.4-0.386.0-53.20.5 Team ratings: Midwest 15Weber State74.076.868.7—73.3—0.00.0 A year ago, it seemed like the NCAA Tournament’s era of parity was under attack. Kentucky had just wrapped up an undefeated regular season and was looking so powerful that the FiveThirtyEight model assigned the Wildcats a 41 percent probability of winning the tourney before it even began. (By comparison, most pre-tournament favorites of recent vintage sported odds roughly twice as long.) It was enough to make some wonder whether superteams like the Wildcats had sucked the equality right out of the sport.Of course, Kentucky’s unbeaten run eventually ended, and its dominance to that point had concealed the overall balance of the field, anyway. Then came this upset-crazy season, with an abnormally mediocre set of top teams and no clear favorite to win it all. Kansas, our most likely champ this year, caught fire down the home stretch, aided in part by a newfound reliance on the 3-pointer, but the Jayhawks still have only a 19 percent shot at the title. Parity has officially delivered its counterpunch.Our latest model does, however, think there’s around a 3 in 4 chance that this year’s champ will emerge from these eight schools: Kansas, North Carolina, Virginia, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Villanova, Kentucky and West Virginia. Our power ratings also think those are the nation’s top eight teams — though they’re not all distributed evenly throughout the bracket. Let’s take a look at how the committee placed them (and the other 60 tournament-bound teams) in this year’s field. 6Texas83.984.982.7+0.784.7+15.90.9 3Texas A&M88.089.386.7-0.186.8+212.32.3 SEEDTEAMAVGHIGHLOWINJURY538 RATING+/- SEEDFINAL 4CHAMPS Embed Code 1Kansas94.298.292.4—94.5—45.0%19.1% Team ratings: East 12Chattanooga76.678.872.8—76.6+20.00.0 2Oklahoma89.891.886.7—90.0—32.1%6.8% 10VCU84.085.983.2-0.682.9-12.10.2 Team ratings: South 3W. Virginia90.291.788.0—89.3-116.13.4 13UNC-Wilmington78.580.475.4—77.7—0.20.0 8Saint Joseph’s83.084.182.1—81.7+21.20.1 6Notre Dame83.885.082.8—84.4+22.60.3 By Neil Paine 8USC82.483.780.9—81.4+20.20.0 13Stony Brook78.079.375.4-0.477.1—0.10.0
After the first quarter of Ohio State’s game against New Mexico State, one might have thought it was April Fools’ Day rather than Halloween. Neither team had put a single point on the board. But the Buckeyes quickly turned it around to leave at the half up 28-0 and finish the game off 45-0 against the Aggies.Posey switches roles, completes touchdown passWith five minutes left in the first half, coach Jim Tressel drew up a play to have DeVier Posey pass the ball to Terrelle Pryor in the end zone. But, when push came to shove, Posey ended up completing a touchdown to fellow receiver Dane Sanzenbacher.“Because [New Mexico State] had been such a man team and chased so hard against Louisiana Tech, we thought we could get a little throw back to the quarterback,” Tressel said. “So it wasn’t such a great idea, but he found a second receiver.”Tressel said the decision to run the play came because of what they had seen on films and not because they wanted to prove something before the Penn State game next weekend.Bauserman takes over in the second halfTerrelle Pryor went 11 for 23 for 135 yards and a touchdown in the first half while rushing for 83 yards. Even with numbers like that, Tressel decided to have sophomore Joe Bauserman take over for Pryor after the half.“He’d been tackled and banged around a little bit, and we had a significant lead and didn’t want to wait to put Joe in until the lead was even greater,” Tressel said. “We wanted him to go in and have to do all of our offense and throw the ball, and I’m not exactly sure how many throws he got, but he got a handful and got to run the team when the game was still in question.”Bauserman went two for nine for 75 yards.“It feels good anytime you get out there and get experience. It was nice to go against an actual team instead of the scout team,” Bauserman said. “I gained some confidence today.”Herron returns with a ‘boom’Sophomore Dan “Boom” Herron returned to play for the first time since his injury against Wisconsin on Oct. 10. Herron carried six times for 66 yards. He broke out for a 53-yard touchdown with five seconds left in the third quarter. It was Herron’s longest touchdown run of the season.With Herron’s return, the Buckeye’s depth at running back seems to be improving. “We thought after Wednesday’s practice he was starting to turn the corner off that ankle, and then Thursday he looked real good, and we wanted to get him some limited time so that maybe he could be back full speed ahead come next week,” Tressel said. “It’s good to get him back.”Buckeye defense continues to dominate playThe Buckeye defense handed out its third shutout of the season, previously holding Toledo and Illinois scoreless.The defense held the Aggies to a total of 62 offensive yards, with seven tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. The New Mexico State offense had only two first downs and had to punt the ball 11 times.“The [defense] has been working hard every day to get better, and that’s a testament to our coaches. I really like where we’re headed,” senior captain Kurt Coleman said.Linebacker Brian Rolle was definitely headed somewhere: straight to the end zone. Rolle recovered an Aggie fumble for a defensive touchdown late in the third quarter to put the Buckeyes up 38-0.Pettrey injured, return next week uncertainKicker Aaron Pettrey went down in the second quarter with an apparent knee injury and did not return to the game. Tressel said that he is unsure if Pettrey will be ready to return next week against Penn State.Before his injury, Pettrey missed two field goals, both from 52 yards out. Junior Devin Barclay stepped in for Pettrey, missing two field goals himself from 42 and 36 yards out.But the backup ended up with five points on the board, making good on two extra points and a 29-yard field goal.Onside kick leads to two Buckeye touchdowns within two minutesAt the start of the second half, Ohio State completed a five-minute drive with an 8-yard run to the end zone from Pryor.Having gone 15 minutes into the game without scoring, the Buckeyes decided to try and take the ball back and Pettrey successfully recovered his own onside kick. What followed was the quickest touchdown drive of the game as the Buckeyes scored on five plays in one minute and 55 seconds when Pryor connected with Sanzenbacher in the end zone.“It was a surprise, but our special teams coach had been drilling for that all week. But it’s a teachable moment,” said New Mexico Sate coach DeWayne Walker. “We’ll sit down and watch the tape and learn from it.”
Senior midfielder Mona Frommhold (8) stands over her goalkeeper during a match against Louisville Oct. 1 at Buckeye Varsity Field. OSU lost, 6-3.Credit: Ritikia Shah / Asst. photo editorThe Ohio State field hockey team ended its three game losing streak Wednesday, defeating Ball Ball State, 2-1.The Buckeyes hadn’t won a match since beating Ohio University Oct. 6.The teams did not score in the first half Wednesday.Sophomore back Emma Royce notched her first goal of 2013 when she hit the back of the cage during the 55th minute. Five minutes later, Ball State tied the game when freshman Lexi Kavanaugh got past the Buckeye defense.OSU was able to bounce back quickly, though, when senior midfielder Mona Frommhold brought the team ahead in the 65th minute and secured the fifth win of the season for the Buckeyes.It was Frommhold’s fifth goal of the season for OSU.“We had a slow start during the first half I think,” Coach Anne Wilkinson said. “(OSU) really stepped up and played well during the second half.”She said she moved some of her players around, like senior midfielder Nora Murer shifting to forward, to create a different look on the field hoping to confuse the Cardinals.“We wanted to create more space and move people around,” Wilkinson said. “Mona (Frommhold) and Nina (Laudahn) created good plays and bumped off each other well. We were able to find space and create scoring opportunities.”Wilkinson said overall it was a “good win.”The Buckeyes are set to return to Columbus to face Indiana Saturday at 1 p.m. with the hopes of building off the victory and securing their first Big Ten win.
Senior guard Aaron Craft (4) carries the ball down the court in a game against Dayton. OSU lost, 60-59, at First Niagara Center March 20. Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editorBUFFALO, N.Y. — As he entered the First Niagara Center locker room, Aaron Craft paused, hunched over a water cooler and tried to collect himself before greeting the media for the last time after a game as an Ohio State Buckeye.Turning to answer questions, Craft made it clear — as with every other game in his career — he did all he could to leave it on the floor.“I tried to,” Craft said. “I tried to.”For the senior guard from Findlay, Ohio — a three-year starter, two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and three-time Academic All-American — his career was finished in the blink of an eye.“I loved my time here,” Craft said. “Wouldn’t trade it for anything and obviously this year has been unbelievably up and down and different than any other year that we’ve had. It’s made me a better player and it’s made me a better person.”Twenty minutes before joining his teammates in the locker room for the last time, Craft had a chance to repeat his magic — and win the game for the Buckeyes.As time expired, he watched his layup float from his hand, to the backboard, to the front of the rim and, ultimately, out of the basket, ending his tournament, his season and his career.“(I) just tried to get up the floor as quickly as possible,” Craft said in the postgame press conference. “There’s only four seconds left. That’s kind of how our season’s gone. Thought I got it up there high enough, and I obviously didn’t.”The 60-59 loss in the second round against Dayton Thursday wasn’t the first close game in the NCAA Tournament Craft had played in his time at OSU. All four of his career NCAA Tournament losses were by less than five points, something Craft said is what hurts the most.“Lost by nine points total in my four NCAA Tournament losses,” Craft said. “Two points, two points, four points and now one point. So those are all one-possession, two-possession games, and that’s the most frustrating part.”When coach Thad Matta joined his players in the locker room, he didn’t require the same time to gather himself, but was still left at a loss for words to describe Craft’s career.“I honestly don’t know. I can never put into words what he’s meant to my life, to my program, to Ohio State. I think without a doubt, he’s going to go down as one of the greatest players to ever wear the Scarlet and Gray. It’s unfortunate that it ends this way, it’s unfortunate for him that he’s not going to a fourth-straight Sweet Sixteen,” Matta said.But unlike his coach, Craft said it wasn’t the end of a career that hurt the most — but the ending of one last game.“To be honest, I’m more upset we lost the game,” Craft said. “I’m not upset that I don’t get to play for Ohio State again. I’m upset with the way we lost the game. Angry at myself for letting (Dayton redshirt-senior guard Vee Sanford) get a shot over me to his right hand. I’m upset at myself for not making one more play down the stretch. That’s what I’m upset about because that’s what hurts right now.”Matta added, though, that were it not for Craft’s ability and tenacity in his career, the Buckeyes would never have achieved such heights.“I thought he was great,” Matta said. “Just from the standpoint of, we wouldn’t have been in this position had he not been doing the things that he had done to get us here. You look at his career, in my mind, in the 10 years I’ve been at Ohio State, he’s going down as one of the all-time greatest players … Obviously, you don’t like this season to end the way it ends, but just that kid has probably meant more to this program than anybody’s ever meant to this program.”Craft will go down as one of the most successful Buckeyes in program history, finishing his career as the school’s all-time leader in assists and the conference’s leader in steals.He was, along with fellow senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr., also the fastest player in OSU history to reach the milestone of 100 wins.Matta said Craft’s ability to affect a game, in particular on defense, was something that will be remembered for a long time.“He had such an ability over the course of his four years to change the tide of a basketball game,” Matta said. “I think from that perspective, we’ll have to look all (next) season at changing some things, especially on the defensive end … He won 119 games in his career, just short of 30 a year, and so many of those games he won just by being on the defensive end of it.”But it wasn’t just his on-the-court play where Craft’s influence spread, with both his now-fiancee and roommates becoming minor celebrities in Columbus.With his career done, though, Craft couldn’t say how it was he wished to be remembered at OSU, adding it was up to others to decide.“I have zero thoughts on that right now,” Craft said. “I’m upset at the way that we played this game and the way that we didn’t take the opportunity and make the most of it.“So that’s for you guys to decide and discuss, but right now, I can’t move past this game yet.”He did say though, he hoped what he’s done in his four years with the Buckeyes has left an impact on the program and the school.“I’ve been given a phenomenal platform and stage since I’ve been here. The worst thing that I’ve tried to avoid is taking that for granted,” Craft said. “Whether that’s diving on the floor or doing whatever I have to do … it amazes me. There’s so many people that go out there that just love to watch the game and to be able to hear and listen to them talk about they like the way I play, I mean that’s … that’s bigger than me being done. Hopefully that … my short time here has made a difference somewhere.”But unlike the player himself, there was zero doubt in Matta’s mind about the legacy of Aaron Craft.“As time marches on, I think that without a doubt, I know this from my perspective, he’s as special as they come.”
Then-redshirt senior offensive lineman Darryl Baldwin (76) prepares for the snap during the Big Ten Championship Game against Wisconsin on Dec. 6 in Indianapolis. OSU won, 59-0.Credit / Lantern file photoWhile three of the eight former Ohio State players entered in the 2015 NFL draft did not hear their names called this weekend, the opportunity to achieve their professional dreams is not dead.Two of the three undrafted players agreed to a deal with a NFL team shortly after the draft commenced on Saturday.Offensive lineman Darryl Baldwin agreed to a deal with the Baltimore Ravens, Baldwin confirmed to The Lantern on Saturday.Baldwin started all 14 games at right tackle for the Buckeyes during their national championship run. The redshirt senior was named an All-Big Ten honorable mention by the coaches and media in 2014.He arrived in Columbus in 2010 as a defensive end, eventually redshirting in his first year. Baldwin received sporadic playing time as a defensive end throughout the 2011 campaign. In the spring of 2012, he was moved to the other side of the trenches, becoming an offensive tackle.In 2012, he was on the field in all 12 games for the Scarlet and Gray but predominantly on special teams. He received minimal time elsewhere, as he was stuck behind former All-American offensive tackle Jack Mewhort on the depth chart.Baldwin found himself behind Mewhort again in 2013. He continued to see the field on special teams, but as a junior, he did receive more snaps from scrimmage as an offensive lineman.After Mewhort departed to the Indianapolis Colts prior to the 2014 season, Baldwin finally got an opportunity as the starting right tackle.For Baldwin — and the rest of the OSU offensive line — the 2014 season got off to a rocky start. As a unit, the starting five allowed seven sacks in the Buckeyes’ second game of the year, a loss to Virginia Tech on Sept. 6 at Ohio Stadium. But as the year progressed, Baldwin and the rest of the unit improved drastically. By season’s end, many credited their improvement as a major reason why OSU was able to capture the national championship.Curtis Grant also agreed to a deal as an undrafted free agent Saturday, as he is heading to the San Diego Chargers, according to the Chargers’ official website.As a senior in 2014, Grant started all 15 games for the Scarlet and Gray. He finished the season with 69 tackles, five of which were for a loss, a sack and an interception.Grant saw the field in all four of his seasons at OSU, receiving more and more playing time each passing year. He primarily played on special teams as a freshman in 2011, recovering a key blocked punt in the Buckeyes’ 33-29 upset over Wisconsin.During the 2012 campaign, Grant began to see more consistent reps at the linebacker spot. The 6-foot-2 Richmond, Va., product played in eight games, starting in three, and recorded eight tackles overall.He was in the starting lineup on a more consistent basis as a junior in 2013, cracking the top of the depth chart in 12 of OSU’s 14 games. As a result of more time on the field, his production soared. Grant racked up 52 tackles and 2.5 sacks.One more undrafted former Buckeye — defensive lineman Steve Miller — was still unsigned as of Saturday evening.Five members of OSU’s national championship team — wide receivers Devin Smith and Evan Spencer, tight end Jeff Heuerman, defensive lineman Michael Bennett and cornerback Doran Grant — were selected in the draft.
Then-redshirt freshman Jincy Dunn skates up the ice while then-redshirt sophomore Kassidy Sauve watches from the net. Credit: Magee Sprague | For the LanternThe Ohio State women’s hockey team is set to start its season Tuesday with an exhibition game against an unlikely opponent: the South Korean Olympic Team.Though the Buckeyes have played international teams from Canada in the past, Tuesday’s game will mark the first time Ohio State will face off against an Olympic opponent from outside North America.Head coach Nadine Muzerall made the matchup possible by reconnecting with former teammate and South Korea’s head coach Sarah Murray. Knowing that South Korea was already touring the United States and playing other college teams, Muzerall worked with Murray to fit in a stop in Columbus.“Hockey is a small world and we have to lean on each other and do what we think is best for our student-athletes and our players, so Sarah thought of it as a great opportunity for her team … to have another [Western Collegiate Hockey Association] opponent on the schedule to prepare them,” Muzerall said. “We’re their last stop before they fly home, so I really want to publicly appreciate South Korea and their team for doing the detour.”It is common for Olympic teams to travel to the U.S. to face college teams during an Olympic year. The opportunity to play against an Olympic team gives collegiate athletes not only a chance to face off against stiff competition, but also leaves a lasting memory for those involved.“[The game] is about the experience of playing an Olympic team,” Muzerall said. “Most [players] will never get that experience, so they should cherish that as it only happens every four years, so those that are here won’t get to do that again unless they’re playing for their respective country.”Senior forward Julianna Iafallo recalled the Buckeyes’ locker room “went nuts” upon hearing the team would be playing South Korea. Although Ohio State is heading into the game with a competitive attitude, Iafallo said the team is most excited about the awareness the game will bring to women’s ice hockey.“The main takeaways, I think, will definitely be that women’s ice hockey exposure, getting it to the national level and showing the Olympics that we’re getting them prepared, and just showing everybody else what it’s going to be like,” Iafallo said. “For us, it gets us prepared for the season and lets us know what we have to improve on for three days later when we play [Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute].”The Buckeyes finished their 2016-2017 campaign with a 14-18-5 overall record and a 7-16-5 record in the WCHA. Tuesday’s game is set to start at 7:07 p.m. at the OSU Ice Rink.
Ohio State redshirt senior tight end Marcus Baugh hurdles a defender as he scores during the second quarter of the Buckeyes’ victory against Maryland on Oct. 7 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorWith five minutes remaining in the second half, redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett found his tight end, redshirt senior Marcus Baugh, on a crossing route just in front of the line of scrimmage. Baugh caught the pass and appeared to run out of room with sophomore defensive back Antoine Brooks charging toward him at the 4-yard line, but the 6-foot-5, 250-pound tight end hurdled the defender, landed in bounds and lumbered the rest of the four yards into the end zone to extend Ohio State’s lead to 26-7.“I [hurdled] in high school a couple times, but yeah got to protect myself,” he said after the game Saturday. “You just waiting and looking at their body language when they try to come and make the tackle and you just react.”Though Baugh’s impact was felt in Saturday’s game, and the athleticism he showed on his touchdown highlighted why expectations remain high on Baugh, he has fallen short of the lofty standards set by Ohio State tight ends during Urban Meyer’s tenure as head coach.Since Meyer took the reins in 2012, tight ends have been responsible for 13 percent of receiving touchdowns. Meyer has relied heavily on tight ends like Jeff Heuerman and Nick Vannett during his tenure, but has not been able to count on the same level of production from Baugh. Ranked as the fourth-best tight end in the 2013 class by 247Sports’ composite rankings, Baugh began his Buckeye career with expectations that he could continue production at the position.In Baugh’s second season as the starting tight end, he has accounted for only three touchdowns and 367 yards — 7 percent of the team’s receiving touchdowns and 7.8 percent of the receiving yards in that time span. Meyer mentioned on Sept. 28 that Baugh still has a ways to go until he is ready to be a reliable weapon in the passing game. He said he is seeing improvements in Baugh and by forcing targets to the tight end, Meyer can help him realize his potential.Since Meyer said that, Baugh has made four catches for 29 yards and caught his lone touchdown of the season. Though the strides Baugh are making have been far from the progress the team hoped for him to make, Meyer has noticed an improvement.“Marcus Baugh is really coming on at the right time,” Meyer said after Saturday’s game. “So I think he’s getting much better. And he’s hitting his stride a little bit.”Injuries and personnel changes have affected the bulk of Baugh’s career to this point. He reportedly dealt with a shoulder injury for most of 2016 and had offseason surgery to correct the issue. He also dealt with a foot injury in this summer.That combined with the coaching changes — most recently with Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day taking over as co-offensive coordinators — has made it challenging for Baugh to find consistency as a starter.Despite the circumstances he has faced, the fifth-year tight end said he has more to give the offense and hopes he will be able to provide the team with the reliable target Meyer wants out of the position. And especially as seemingly every offensive player has improved as of late, Baugh wants to be able to do his part to contribute to the team’s success.“I’m playing good, but I could play better,” Baugh said. “I’ll probably always feel like I could play harder and execute better. So that’ll always come week by week.”
The researchers say the results highlight the link between mental illness and violent crime. The idea of giving pills before a crime has been committed is likely to prove controversial Prof Seena Fazel of the University of Oxford’s Department of Psychiatry, who led the research, said: “This study raises the possibility that prescribed medications may provide a way to cut the risk of violent reoffending, as part of a wider package of support. The research also highlighted that medications seem to work beyond their immediate effects on symptoms.“We have shown that in a population with many mental health problems and high risks of reoffending, improving adherence and links with community health services may offer an effective way to improve outcomes for the individual prisoner and also public health and safety more broadly.”The researchers say the results highlight the link between mental illness and violent crime. Prescribing anti-psychotic medication to violent criminals when they leave prison could prevent around 1,500 serious crimes in Britain each year, a new study suggests.Although medicating prisoners on their release is controversial, the University of Oxford believes that it could dramatically cut the risk of violent offending.Researchers studied 22,275 prisoners who were released from jails in Sweden between 2005 and 2010, some of whom were prescribed drugs.There was a 42 per cent reduction in the rate of violent reoffending for those prescribed anti-psychotic drugs and 52 per cent reduction for those given medication for addictive disorders. Antidepressants were found to have no impact on reoffending rates.Around 3,000 serious violent crimes are committed by ex-prisoners in Britain each year but the study suggests the number could be halved if criminals were given drugs on their release. In the past drugs have been used in the past to ‘chemically castrate’ sexual offenders, but always after abuse has taken place.Many of the therapies used also have serious side effects such as breast growth, bone thinning, mood changes.But the new treatment would be more controversial because it would work before a crime has been committed. It is likely that any treatment would have to be on a voluntary basis.Earlier this year, experts in Sweden announced they are trialling a drug which can prevent paedophiles from abusing children.The medication degaralix stops the brain from making testosterone and can combat hyper-sexuality and aggression, turning off the need to seek out sexual contact with youngsters.Four men who rang a sexual offenders helpline have so far agreed to take part in the study.The new research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
The hearing was told TUI did not carry out frequent security risk assessments on resorts or hotels before the atrocity.TUI appointed security consultancy company Covenant to carry out an audit in the resort in July, excluding the five-star Riu Imperial Marhaba hotel where the attack had just taken place, the inquest heard.In a witness statement, Jacque Reynolds, a director of risk and compliance for TUI, based in the UK, said: “TUI did not carry out regular security risk assessments of resorts or hotels prior to the Sousse attack. The only security reviews (of hotels) that had been commissioned before then were in Egypt.”Covenant’s briefing note after its audit said that staff’s understanding was considered to be “weak”, and a section with the heading “Emergency plans and procedures” said: “The current level of emergency planning and the associated procedures such as evacuation and invacuation need to be enhanced to meet the challenges of the evolving security situation. Police officers patrol the beach near the Imperial Marhabada resort, which was attacked by a gunman in Sousse, TunisiaCredit:REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra “A best guess at this is simply not good enough. This is something that should be designed by security specialists alongside the hotel management because they will need to understand the plans and procedures and also communicate them to their staff together.”The briefing note in July came soon after the Sousse attack and three months after another terror attack at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis.Andrew Ritchie QC, counsel for the families of the victims, put it to Ms Reynolds that, had TUI instigated the security audit after the Bardo attack, the company had 11 weeks to make changes, and “might have saved quite a few lives by having those things in place”.