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Dec 20, 2012 7:38pm
Medium lingzi 1454 posts

New York, NY (Sports Network) – Alabama remained the top team in the latest
Associated Press college football poll, but next weeks SEC opener against
Arkansas will not be a matchup of top 10 teams after the Razorbacks tumbled all
the way out of the rankings following Saturdays overtime loss to
Louisiana-Monroe. Alfred Morris Womens Jersey . Arkansas was
ranked eighth this past week, but lost quarterback Tyler Wilson during Saturdays
34-31 setback and will be unranked when the Crimson Tide invade Fayetteville
next weekend. Its the second-largest drop-out of any team in the AP rankings.
Only Michigan had a bigger fall, dropping out of the poll after losing to
Appalachian State as the fifth-ranked team in 2007. Alabama, which ascended to
the top spot last week following a season-opening win over Michigan, rolled to a
35-0 rout of Western Kentucky on Saturday. This week, the Crimson Tide received
48 first-place votes—three more than last week—and a total of 1,486 points
from a nationwide media panel. Southern California, which started the season at
No. 1, is again ranked second this week. The Trojans, after a 42-29 win over
Syracuse in New Jersey, picked up eight first-place votes—three fewer than
last week. LSU, which again earned four top tallies, remained third, followed
again by Oregon. Florida State and Oklahoma tied for fifth, while Georgia, South
Carolina, West Virginia and Michigan State round out this weeks top 10. The
second 10 consists of Clemson, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Texas, Kansas State,
TCU, Michigan, Florida, Louisville and Notre Dame. Kansas State and Florida each
moved up six places. Stanford and newcomers UCLA, Tennessee, Arizona and BYU are
the last five teams ranked this week. UCLA beat then-No. 16 Nebraska, 36-30,
sending the Cornhuskers out of the poll, while Arizona knocked off then-No. 18
Oklahoma State to drop the Cowboys out. In addition to Arkansas, Nebraska and
Oklahoma State, Wisconsin also fell from the rankings. The Badgers were 13th
last week and dropped a 10-7 decision at Oregon State. After Saturdays action
was void of any top-25 matchups, next weeks schedule features a trio of such
games as Stanford welcomes Southern California, Florida visits Tennessee and
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. Patterson is eligible for Monday nights game at New Orleans (2-5). Patterson
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Sabathia steadied New Yorks rocky rotation with eight sharp innings,
Alex Rodriguez passed Willie Mays for eighth on the career RBIs list and the
Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers 6-2 on Sunday despite leaving an astonishing 14
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(4), 6-0, 7-6 (5).OKLAHOMA CITY —James Hardens return to Oklahoma City was
only a small part of an emotional day for the Houston Rockets. Kevin Durant
matched his season high with 37 points and the Thunder beat Houston 120-98 on
Wednesday night, after the Rockets made a stop in Minnesota earlier in the day
to attend the funeral of coach Kevin McHales daughter. Harden scored 17 points,
but was limited to 3-for-16 shooting. He had six shots blocked by the Thunder.
After a draining 24 hours, he was ready to put it behind him. “It felt good just
to be competing against those guys and finally get this over with, to play here
and get it over with,” Harden said. “Now, I can continue on with the season.”
Harden missed his first nine shots, and by the time he made one, the Rockets
were down by double digits in the second half. They never got closer than 10
after that. Harden, the NBAs Sixth Man of the Year as Oklahoma City made it to
the finals last season, was unable to agree on a contract extension with the
Thunder and was traded just before the season started. Harden said before the
game that he thought there was a “very slight chance” that hed be traded. He has
complained that general manager Sam Presti gave him only one hour to mull over
Oklahoma Citys final offer before the trade. “One minute, I was at dinner with
my family. The next minute, Im headed to Houston,” Harden said. “It happened
pretty quick.” Harden then agreed to a maximum contract worth $80 million with
Houston—something Oklahoma City wasnt willing to offer; there would have been
severe salary cap ramifications if it had. Harden said he felt “relaxed” and not
pressured by the circumstances, although it didnt show in his game. Only a
meaningless 3-pointer in the final 3 minutes prevented him from his worst
shooting percentage yet with Houston. “I just couldnt finish the ball around the
basket,” Harden said. “I had a couple of good looks. I think the other guys feel
the same way.” Harden was at the centre of a heated first-half incident that got
Thunder backup centre Hasheem Thabeet temporarily ejected. Thabeet and Harden
exchanged words after Thabeet blocked two consecutive shots by Harden. Thabeet
then bumped into referee Marc Davis and pushed him away, resulting in an
ejection. But Davis went to instant replay and downgraded the punishment to a
single technical foul. Fans gave Thabeet a standing ovation when he returned to
the court, and booed lustily as Harden made his free throw. It was Hardens first
point of the game and one of only two in the first half. Harden missed all eight
of his shots from the field as Houston fell behind 57-45, never really
threatening after that. “Its crazy,” said Durant, who admitted he couldnt sleep
overnight or when he tried to take a nap Wednesday. “Seeing him before the game
and in chapel just in a different uniform is a little different. Weve moved on
past it, man. Were happy to see him, glad hes doing well out there in Houston
but we wanted this win bad. “For all those days in practice where him, Daequan
(Cook) and Eric Maynor beat the first group, I wanted this win real bad,” Durant
added. The Rockets had flown to Minnesota after blowing out Toronto on Tuesday
night, arriving at thhe team hotel between 1:30 and 2 a. Alfred Morris Jersey. .m. They were back up
by 8 for a team brunch and a scouting report in suits and ties before they went
to the funeral. Acting coach Kelvin Sampson said McHale and his wife, Lynn, were
arranging candles near some photos of Sasha and didnt immediately see the team
walk in. “We didnt know what to do or say, so we just waited for them to get
finished, then they turn around and at the same time they looked at us,” Sampson
said. “Really, really, really emotional.” McHale hugged everyone in Houstons
travelling party and shared a few words with each person. He took a leave of
absence from the team on Nov. 10. Sasha died Saturday at age 23 of complications
from lupus. “Just to see our faces, I think, kind of gave him some kind of joy.
Just to show him that we were there, our whole entire organization was there
just to support him,” Harden said. “No matter if it was for 5 minutes or 30
minutes, he just wanted to see our faces. Im glad we got that opportunity to go
out there and share that moment with him.” The team then flew to Oklahoma City,
arriving at the arena less than 5 hours before game time. Sampson said about
half of his players were in the locker room with towels over their heads, trying
to squeeze in a nap during the afternoon. Patrick Patterson scored 27 points and
Omer Asik had 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead the way for the Rockets.
Daequan Cook, also involved in the Harden trade, scored 18 points while starting
in place of injured Rockets forward Chandler Parsons (shoulder). Serge Ibaka
scored 23 points and blocked six shots. Kevin Martin, the centerpiece of the
trade from Oklahoma Citys standpoint, had 17 points. Before the game, the
Thunder flashed a welcome back message to the players who were traded away and
Harden got a warm ovation during starting lineups. Harden and Cook both greeted
coach Scott Brooks and others on the Thunder bench just before tipoff. Harden
missed his first four shots—getting a jumper swatted from behind and out of
bounds by Westbrook, and a fast-break layup blocked as Ibaka followed him to the
basket—and committed two early turnovers. Cook also missed his first three
shots, but then hit a jumper and a 3-pointer for a 19-14 Houston lead. Oklahoma
City took the lead for good with an 18-4 run, including the first nine points of
the second quarter, and went up 36-25 before Thabeet and Harden had their
run-in. The lead grew to 49-33 after Hardens foul allowed Durant to convert a
four-point play. “Every day at practice, we had a war. I knew what each and
every one of those guys do well and what they dont do well and vice-versa,”
Harden said. “I couldnt guard all five of them.” NOTES: Sampson formerly coached
at Oklahoma for 12 seasons. “The circumstances that I took over this position
with, I just dont feel comfortable talking about me. I talk to Kevin every day.
I talked to him the day his daughter died. Im really, really close to Kevin and
Im holding the fort down until he comes back.” ... Parsons hurt his right
shoulder late in Houstons win against Toronto on Tuesday night. “I dont think
its a joint. I think its more soft tissue, but he cant get his elbow past 45
degrees,” Sampson said ’ ’ ’ 

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