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Sports Then and Now


The Case for Gonzaga to Win the National Championship

Posted on March 30, 2017 by Bernie Stein
After years of coming close, Gonzaga is finally in the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four.

After years of coming close, Gonzaga is finally in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four.

Gonzaga played as close to perfect as perfect as you can imagine in its Elite 8 annihilation of Xavier on Saturday. With the Musketeers on a red-hot run through the first three rounds of the tournament, most pundits figure they’d run out of gas at some point, but a 24-point whipping wasn’t what most had in mind.

The Bulldogs are now two wins away from not just a national championship, but one of the single greatest seasons in NCAA college basketball history. Two wins would get them to 38-1, tying them for the most wins in a single season with Kentucky’s 2012 and 2015 teams and Memphis’s 2008 squad – interestingly enough all three coached by John Calipari.

The Bulldogs’ best number is their +22.3 points per game differential entering the Final Four. Only Duke’s 1998-1999 team had a higher average (25.9 ppg).

The Bulldogs are exciting because they have one of the best inside-outside combinations in the country in junior guard Nigel Williams-Goss and Premek Karnowski. Williams-Goss is the straw who stirs the drink, leading the team in minutes (32.4 per game), points per game (16.7), assists per game (4.6), steals per game (1.8), and free-throw percentage (.882).

How Karnowski responds to the pressure of this round will determine a lot. He’s 7-feet, 1-inch and weighs 300 pounds, but the Bulldogs have won in spite of him so far during the tournament. Against Xavier last weekend, he had just five points and three rebounds and sat a bunch with four fouls. During the tournament, he’s averaging 9.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. He’s not a banger but being that tall should be good for 15 and 8 every game.

The X factors for the Bulldogs are Jordan Mathews and Johnathan Williams, the team’s third- and fourth-leading scorers. Mathews is putting up 10.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game, while Williams leads the team in rebounds at 6.6 per game and adds in 10.3 points per contest. Read the rest of this entry →

Online Gambling as a Great Sponsorship Opportunity

Posted on March 24, 2017 by Rik Snuiverink

Make no mistake about it … online gambling and bingo have become huge business. Billions of dollars in revenue is now being generated online, and it’s not just with basic apps that rely on advertising; it’s in direct wagers and betting from players. There’s a massive market for companies and merchants to tap into, as long as you hit the right market.

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Knowing the Market

Anyone worth their weight understands how important it is to know the market. A football league isn’t going to be targeting a general audience who has no interest in this or other sports.

The online gambling world is massive and it draws in a wide range of people from all walks of life and from around the world and that can make it seem as though marketing to such a wide audience would be difficult, but think about this: they love games, they love competition, and they’re a captive audience. What’s not to love about that?

Sponsorship Deals

When you have a sports league, like football (soccer to those fans across the pond), you drive business by sponsorship deals. When you have the name of your league, team, or even a favorite player front and centre, it gets people thinking about that sporting event.

Nothing really goes together better than sports and online gaming and bingo. That’s because many of the people who love these online games also have a thrill for either watching and cheering on a favorite team or placing some well thought out wagers on an upcoming game.

Sky Bingo is one of those online gaming sites that draws in thousands of fans every day. These men and women are riveted to their computer screen, tablet, or even their smartphones while engaged in some heated bingo. They wait almost impatiently for the next number to be called, checking their cards, and waiting for that precious word ‘bingo’ to be highlighted on the screen.

But a person isn’t going to just be staring at the numbers … they’re going to be looking around that screen and that’s where these sponsorship/advertising opportunities are so powerful. Read the rest of this entry →

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Injury Prevention Tips for Sports Coaches

Posted on March 23, 2017 by Dixie Somers

Coaching - baseballAs a coach, it should be your top priority to keep your athletes safe. In fact, it may be a higher priority than trying to win the game. The good news is that there are many steps that you can take to keep your players safe while also putting them in the best position to succeed.

Take a Conservative Approach to the Game

It may be possible to keep injuries to a minimum by taking a conservative approach to the game. For instance, you may want to prevent younger pitchers from throwing pitches involving the use of their elbow. Football coaches may discourage quarterbacks from throwing passes to wide receivers in the middle of the field.

Make Players Wear Optional Safety Equipment

Athletes will do anything for a competitive edge even if it may put their physical health at risk. This means that they may wear smaller pads or even forego pads at all if it slows them down or otherwise hinders their ability to play the game properly. As a coach, you should only play those who wear all required and even optional equipment as well to make sure no one gets hurt. Read the rest of this entry →

Understanding Point Spreads In Sport Betting

Posted on March 19, 2017 by Christina Sommers

betting-3Sports betting is an art to predict the outcome of a game or competition.  It seems to be as simple as winning the bet by intuition; however, it is not always clear for everyone how the winning amounts and odds are spread.  To make an efficient bet, one has to be aware of the current sports events and have good analyzing skills. The understanding of odds and chances is also necessary. The knowledge of basic math will be helpful there as well.

Types of bets

Different bookmakers offer various types of wagers. Here are the most common ones:

  • Spread betting
  • Fixed odds betting
  • Live betting
  • Pari-mutuel betting

Spread betting is not a simple win-or-lose wager. This type of bet depends on the accuracy of the prediction. In the recent the spread betting has become more popular in the UK than ever before, reaching almost one million of sports bet gamblers. This type of wager is applied not only to sports but also to financial betting, regulated by Financial Conduct Authority.  In Spread betting, the bookmaker suggests the point to be spread for the result of a match. It works as follows:  for example, the suggested point is 3. The gambler will wager on team A:

If the score is A-7, B-9, 7+3 = 10, which is more that B’s result. This means that the gambler wins.

If the score is A-7, B-15, the gambler loses, as B’s result exceeds the sum of A’s outcome and the spread (7+3 = 10)

Fixed-odds-betting is still favourite wager for many gamblers, in particular beginners. It has simple rules and is based on the simple win-lose prediction. Live betting may be an exciting process, as the odds change during the match or race, fitting to the current result. Pari-mutuel betting is similar to pull in the lottery: a group of gamblers unite and settle different wagers. After the win, the amounts will be distributed proportionally to the wagers and the winning gambler is paid from the common pull. Read the rest of this entry →

5 Tech Items Changing the Way We Watch Sports

Posted on March 17, 2017 by John Harris

socialmedia-sportsWe’ve all seen and laughed at the commercial where the guy is pretending to pay attention to his girlfriend when he’s actually sneaking a peek at his phone to catch the game. For better or worse, this is a reality these days, as there is almost no way for you to miss watching a sporting event. Technology has not only made missing the big game impossible, but it’s also completely altered the way in which we watch our favorite sporting events. From social media and high def TV to tablets and even drones, read on for more info on five tech items that are changing the way we watch sports. What’s the over/under you’re going to love this? We’ll take the over!

1. Social Media

Remember when we thought social media was just a phase? We’ll give you a minute to LOL. Not only is this not a passing fad but it’s also quickly picking up speed in its reach and in its mediums. As with nearly everything in modern day life, this form of media has had a direct effect on the way we watch sports. From watching live events online and interacting with the actual players on Twitter to video highlights on Facebook and following the Instagram feeds of our favorite athletes, social media has made us all even bigger superfans. Head of Sports Broadcast Partnerships at Twitter Andrew Barge has even dubbed Twitter “the world’s largest digital sports bar.” Not only does social media give us access to the actual events, but it also gives us a way to chat about our favorite games/matches for days (or even months!) after they’ve happened. Fast food chain Wendy’s recently upped the madness ante on March Madness by offering an online sports bracket. This is a sports fan’s dream and social media only adds to the hype.

2. Drones

While drones used in an official capacity for sporting events are fairly strictly regulated, there are people using commercial drones to capture incredible footage. They were used in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi to film skiing and snowboarding. According to this article on sUAS News, “Drones have also been used to film Formula One races, the X Games, the AMA Supercross Series, high school football practices, and extreme sports events such as surfing, snowboarding, and skateboarding.” The NFL primarily uses CableCam systems, which is actually the case in point in favor of drones, as these cable-suspended camera systems are limited in the areas they can cover. While the future of drones used in an official capacity for sports coverage is uncertain due to FAA and other regulations, many are pushing for drone use due its ability to catch otherwise impossible angles. Read the rest of this entry →

North Carolina and Duke Take Center Stage at ACC Tournament in Brooklyn Behind Decades of Storied History

Posted on March 10, 2017 by Chris Kent

It is college basketball royalty when North Carolina (27-6) and Duke (25-8) meet in the semifinals of the 2017 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. The two will battle at 7 pm EST tonight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY with a trip to the ACC Tournament Championship game on the line. It is round three for the duo this year as the two posted home victories over each

The ACC Tournament is one of the richest traditions in all of college sports.

other in their two regular season meetings this season. The two met less than a week ago with the Tarheels winning 90-83 at home on March 4 in the regular-season finale for both.

North Carolina is the top seed in the tournament for the second straight year and has played in the last two championship games. A fifth seed in 2015, the Tarheels lost 90-82 to third-seeded Notre Dame in the title game before beating second-seeded Virginia 61-57 in the 2016 championship game as the top seed. The Blue Devils have not reached the championship game since 2014 when they were the third seed and lost to top-seeded Virginia 72-63.

Duke and North Carolina have not met in the ACC Tournament since 2011 when the second-seeded Blue Devils won 75-58 over the top-seeded Tarheels in the title game. The long and storied history of these two ACC and national powers is well documented. Since 1997, one or the other has reached the tournament semifinals for a now 21 straight seasons during which both have been in the round 12 times. During that same time period, the two have met in two tournament semifinals and played in four title games.

Besides the 2011 title meeting, the other three championship game battles came in a four-year span between 1998 and 2001 when one or the other was the tournament’s top seed. Duke won two of the three title games, winning 96-73 as the top seed in 1999 and posting a 79-53 win in 2001 as the second seed. The other title game came in 1998 when North Carolina, the second seed, won 83-68 over the top-seeded Blue Devils.

This four-year stretch of ‘98-‘01 was a marquee time period for both schools as they boasted some of their great all-time players. Both schools were at the top of the ACC and competed – as they always have and continue to do – at such a high level. Recalling each school’s history during this time is like reading a hall-of-fame biography. When you combine the personnel of the teams, their coaches, and their achievements, one can see why the two have had such a perennial strong conference and national presence. Read the rest of this entry →

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