NFL Draft Returns to Chicago Next Month

For the eighth straight year, the Chicago Blackhawks are heading to the Stanley Cup playoffs after they beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 on Sunday night.

In just four weeks, the NFL draft will once again return to Chicago, and this year’s draft experience will offer even more.

“With a second year we have a second chance and that means bigger and better, and more ways to engage fans,” said Chicago Sports Commission executive director Kara Bachman.

“You will see even more kids and family activities out here where they can touch and feel the game. We’re building a massive Ferris wheel that will be just fun and will showcase each car wrapped in a different team logo,” O’Reilly said.

The NFL and the city both said the 2015 “Draft Town” experience turned out to be a success, and had an $86 million dollar economic impact for the city.

Other cities tried to steal the draft, but the NFL said Chicago offered the best venue for its fans.

“Chicago showcased the passion of our game in a way that we had never seen around the draft before so coming back here was an opportunity to not only reward the city and those fans for that but also build on that success,” O’Reilly said.

The Chicago Blackhawks will be looking to keep their Central Division title hopes alive on Thursday night, but they’ll be battling the St. Louis Blues with one arm tied behind their backs.

The Blackhawks will look to keep the momentum going on Sunday night when they head to Vancouver to take on the Canucks.

He had a rough first inning, but he settled down and cruised like he always does,” Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. “He’ll be ready. It’s hard to get the juices flowing at the end of spring, but we’ll be able to in a few days.”

If Von Miller were in charge, Johnny Manziel would already be on Broncos

The “can’t win a playoff game” narrative isn’t some fictional creation. Lewis is 0-7 in 13 years with the Bengals, including five straight losses in the Bengals’ opening round.

But it’s worth noting the Bengals didn’t go to the playoffs for 13 straight years before Lewis arrived — the last time Cincy made the playoffs before Lewis’ arrival was in 1990. They were the laughingstock of the NFL during the ’90s, the modern-day Browns before the Browns returned.

Speaking at what appears to be an A&M event, Miller said if he could make the call he’d have Manziel on the Broncos right now.

There’s a big “but” there.

And it involves John Elway, who has done an effectively superb job of analyzing the quarterback market so far. He rooted out the Tim Tebow problem in Denver, brought in Peyton Manning, managed to nearly coax a Super Bowl out of Manning when he played well and actually got Manning to win a Super Bowl when he wasn’t.

You may want to make sure to use a washable red marker though, you know, just in case this Clausen thing doesn’t work out for the Bears.

If you’d rather not be seen in a Clausen jersey — and I wouldn’t blame you — then you have another option: Kevin Butler. The former Bears kicker (1985-95) was also No. 6 and his name is ridiculously close to Cutler’s.

If you want my two cents: Go with Butler. It will give you an excuse to talk about the 1985 Bears all day.

Syracuse Women Beat Washington 80-59, Reach NCAA Title Game

Alexis Peterson scored 18 points and Brittney Sykes added 17 to help Syracuse roll past Washington 80-59 and into the program’s first women’s national championship game.

The Orange (30-7) will face UConn, the three-time defending champions, on Tuesday night in Indianapolis. The Huskies set a semifinal round record with a 29-point victory over Pac-12 champion Oregon State in the early game.

Syracuse made it look almost as easy.

The story line looked awfully familiar.

In their first meeting this season, Syracuse built a 21-point lead before Washington rallied to within one. The Orange held on for a 66-62 victory.

This time, Syracuse never let it get that close.

When Washington cut the halftime deficit to 43-31, Peterson hit a 3 to start a 9-4 spurt that made it 52-35. When the Huskies got within 11, Syracuse used a 15-2 run to make it 67-43. And when Washington closed to 72-59 midway through the fourth quarter, Sykes and Brianna Butler made back-to-back 3s to seal it.

Now the Orange will try to prevent their former Big East foe, UConn, from winning a fourth straight national title and finishing another perfect season.

The two teams came into the night averaging 16.2 3-pointers. They nearly matched that total in the first half and wound up combining for 23. Syracuse made 12 and broke UConn’s 15-year-old record most 3-point attempts in a Final Four game. UConn had 31 in a semifinal game against Notre Dame. Washington finished 11 of 25. Until Sunday, only two teams had ever made 11 in a Final Four game.

That player is Blackhawks winger Artemi Panarin, who was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week for his performances over the last seven days. In his last three games, Panarin has racked up eight points, with three goals and five assists over that span.

Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks was named the league’s Second Star of the Week, and Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matthew Murray was the league’s Third Star.

The Blackhawks’ offense was struggling to score goals on a consistent basis as the season drew closer to its end, but Panarin and Patrick Kane have helped things get back on track in the team’s last two games. Kane notched a hat trick and reached the 100-point plateau in Sunday’s win over the Boston Bruins, and Panarin added a goal and three assists as the Hawks clinched at least the third spot in the Central Division standings.

Former NBA, UConn Star Sentenced for Real Estate Ponzi Scheme

Previous NBA player and University of Connecticut star Tate George was sentenced Thursday to nine years in jail for running a true estate Ponzi scheme.

A federal decide in Trenton also ordered George to spend $two.5 million in restitution and serve a few several years of supervised release.

George was convicted more than two a long time ago on 4 wire fraud counts. His victims incorporated existing NBA participant Charlie Villanueva, previous player Brevin Knight and “The Apprentice” winner Randal Pinkett. They lost a number of hundred thousand dollars entirely, prosecutors said.

On the last day of a sentencing procedure that spanned many days beginning in December, George argued for much more than an hour and a 50 % for leniency while sustaining his innocence.

He did not provide an apology, but alternatively continued to say he was a properly-intentioned businessman whose true estate projects and investments unexpectedly fell by way of. He repeated that his ventures had been even now alive and the income even now out there but outside of his grasp in jail.

“For the umpteenth time, I am sorry — I am sorry the initiatives acquired delayed,” he said.

He also blamed prosecutors for withholding proof that he stated would enable him to demonstrate his innocence.

“I never slumber at night time,” he added. “I am begging to go to the law library (in jail) to get the data out.”

The U.S. attorney’s office mentioned George persuaded victims to spend in true estate options by lying about his firm’s assets and initiatives, then took their funds and utilised it for private costs and to shell out off earlier buyers.

George, a 6-foot-5 guard, performed for the NBA’s New Jersey Nets and Milwaukee Bucks. The Newark indigenous is greatest remembered for a buzzer-beating shot for UConn in a 1990 NCAA match recreation in opposition to Clemson.

Assistant U.S. Legal professional Zach Intrater pleaded with U.S. District Choose Mary Cooper to lock George up for as prolonged as achievable to shield modern society. Federal tips known as for a sentencing range of about seven many years to nine years.

“There was a expressing about Michael Jordan that you couldn’t quit him — you could only incorporate him,” Intrater explained. “I submit your honor that is just Tate George. … You know that he will commit far more crimes.”

Intrater mentioned George had everything likely for him: a full experience to UConn, a very first-round NBA draft select and the charisma to make enterprise connections and draw investors.

The prosecutor claimed George’s crimes are the “monstrous end result of our culture’s elevation and celebration of professional athletics.”

NFL Playoffs: Seahawks Escape With 10-9 Win Over Vikings After Walsh Miss

Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks needed more than three quarters to warm up at Minnesota.

Then, the Vikings kicked away their chance to beat the two-time defending NFC champions.

Blair Walsh’s 27-yard field goal try into the frigid wind hooked left with 22 seconds remaining, handing the Seahawks a 10-9 victory over the stunned Vikings on a Sunday afternoon in their wild-card round playoff game in below-zero weather that tied for the third-coldest NFL game on record.

The Seahawks (11-6) didn’t score until Russell Wilson’s short touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin early in the fourth quarter, and a fumble by Adrian Peterson for the Vikings on the next possession set up a field goal by Steven Hauschka.

The Vikings (11-6) took the ball back with 1:42 left at their 39 and, aided by a pass interference penalty on Kam Chancellor, drove deep into Seattle’s territory. After draining the clock for the seemingly inevitable win, Walsh missed the winner. He made all three of his earlier attempts.

Seattle will play next weekend at Carolina, where the Panthers had a first-round bye in balmy mid-50s weather.

Huddled around sideline heaters and wearing huge capes, the Seahawks sideline on the shaded side of the stadium was a largely lethargic place for much of the game. Trailing 9-0, Wilson nearly took a huge loss on first down when he fumbled a shotgun snap. But the quarterback who Vikings coach Mike Zimmer called “Houdini” during the week darted right and found Tyler Lockett wide open for a 35-yard completion to set up the score to Baldwin.

Chancellor, who ripped the ball away from Peterson, quickly became the goat after his penalty and subsequent missed tackle on tight end Kyle Rudolph’s 24-yard reception to the 18. But Chancellor and all of his “Legion of Boom” buddies were amazingly celebrating a few seconds later after Walsh’s miss.

Replays showed the laces on the ball were turned in — instead of facing out — by holder Jeff Locke.

The Seahawks left their last visit to Minnesota with a 38-7 victory, pure domination on both sides of the ball that left no doubt that Dec. 6 afternoon they’d be a legitimate contender to reach their third straight Super Bowl even without the ear-splitting advantage of their home by the bay at CenturyLink Field.

For all their skills, experience and swagger, though, the combination of these conditions and a well-prepared, embarrassed-by-the-previous-performance Vikings team proved to be quite the challenge for the Seahawks.

This was a fittingly frigid finish for Minnesota’s two-year stint outdoors at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium during construction of the new covered downtown stadium. For the first au naturel postseason game here since the NFC championship game in 1976, the grizzled coach of that team, Bud Grant, served as an honorary captain. He strolled out for the coin flip in a Vikings cap and a purple short-sleeved polo shirt, looking ready for a round of golf.

The 88-year-old Grant got a roar of approval from the crowd, most of which was dressed in as many layers as those purple replica jerseys would allow. The announcement of the minus-25 degree wind-chill factor a few minutes later drew an equally loud cheer.

Every mistake and break was magnified in a game like this, and the Vikings were the benefactors for the majority of the first three quarters.

Punter Jon Ryan had to pick up a low snap on Seattle’s first possession and, avoiding a potential block, tried to run up the middle before being upended by Jason Trusnik well shy of the first down. Ryan landed on his face, bloodying his nose, and the Vikings turned the shortened field into their first field goal.

Wilson, who led the NFL in passer rating after racking up a remarkable 24 touchdown passes with only one interception over the last seven games, was essentially reduced to a scrambler in the deep freeze. He had to run around a lot, too, against a relentless defense that was missing three key players in the previous matchup but back to full strength for this one.

The Seahawks, who scored 30-plus points in six of their last seven games, were all out of sorts on offense, with trouble getting some of the plays off in time.

Facing the wind in the second quarter, Wilson had Baldwin wide open behind the safeties at the goal line, but the ball hung in the air and was easily batted down. Headed the same direction toward the open end of the stadium in the third quarter, Wilson overthrew Chase Coffman, and Trae Waynes intercepted the deflected pass to set the Vikings up for another field goal. Cliff Avril’s roughing-the-passer penalty gifted Minnesota 15 yards on that drive.