The Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus has released the following statement in response to the tragedy at Half Moon Bay, CA that left seven dead and one person wounded, all of whom were people of color
Highlights from the Democrats 2023 legislative agenda.
A historic drought and recent heat waves tied to climate change have made wildfires harder to fight in the American West and scientists say warming weather will continue to make fires more frequent and destructive.
Washington is one of nine states without an income tax, and its heavy reliance on sales and fuel taxes to pay for schools, roads and other public expenses falls disproportionately on low-income residents.
SEATTLE (AP) — A man suspected of breaking into a Seattle home has refused to come clean about his intentions, even though police found him fully clothed in a bathtub filled with water. A woman returned to her home Friday night to find a window smashed and an unknown man inside the...
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — One of the two men charged with vandalizing electrical substations in Washington state over the holidays to cover a burglary was ordered released from federal custody Friday to seek substance abuse help. A federal judge issued the order for Matthew Greenwood,...
NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Seneca Knight scored 24 points and Kendall Lewis secured the victory with a jump shot with 37 seconds remaining as Illinois State took down Southern Illinois 72-66 on Sunday. Knight shot 6 for 8, including 3 for 4 from 3-point range, and 9 of 10 from the free...
CHICAGO (AP) — Duke Deen had 21 points to lead Bradley to an 83-76 win over Illinois-Chicago on Sunday. Deen shot 5 for 10 from the floor (4 for 6 from 3-point range) and 7 of 8 from the free-throw line for the Braves (15-8, 8-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Malevy Leons added 19...
SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — “Your education. Your way. Be original. Be you.” That's how New College of Florida describes its approach to higher education in an admission brochure. The state school of fewer than 1,000 students nestled along Sarasota Bay has long been known for its...
ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency Thursday, giving him the option of calling in the Georgia National Guard in response to a violent protest in downtown Atlanta over the killing by authorities of an environmental activist said to have shot a state trooper. ...
NEW YORK (AP) — It's been nearly a decade since Smokey Robinson's last album, but new music from the King of Motown is on the horizon. Robinson will release the nine-track album “Gasms” on April 28, the music legend behind hits like “My Girl” and “The Way You Do the Things...
NEW YORK (AP) — The next novel by Jesmyn Ward, the two-time National Book Award winner, is the story of an enslaved teenage girl that the publisher is calling a blend of magical realism, historical narrative and Dante's “Inferno.” Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster,...
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes was forced to rely on his badly sprained right ankle rather than his...
“Avatar: The Way of Water” claimed the No. 1 spot on the domestic box office charts for the seventh weekend in...
ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey's president has suggested his country might approve Finland's application for NATO...
KALYNIVSKE, Ukraine (AP) — When night falls in Tatiana Trofimenko’s village in southern Ukraine, she pours...
In this Dec. 18, 2012, file photo, Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins calls to his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against North CarolinaState in Raleigh, N.C. If Johnny Dawkins and Craig Neal were still playing -- instead of coaching -- against each other, there's no doubt which one you'd pick. The two will be back on opposing benches Friday night March 21, 2014, 28 years after they faced off as players. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)
Welcome to BracketRacket.
Think of it as one-stop shopping on game days for all your NCAA tournament needs. We'll have interviews with celebrity alums drawn from sports, entertainment and politics, plus occasional "bracket-buster" picks, photos, news, gossip, stats, notes and quotes from around the tourney sites — all of it bundled into a quick read that gives diehard fans and office-poolers alike something to sound smart about.
So without further ado:
TAKE THIS JOB ... AND DUNK IT
The business of America is business, and the NCAA tournament is bad for business; ergo, the NCAA tournament is bad for America.
The outplacement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas proved it by wasting a few hours again this year calculating how much U.S. employers could lose while employees (like this one, via wordpress.com: http://bit.ly/1fYuFac ) obsess over the tournament. In an annual report, the company set the figure at $1.2 billion for every unproductive hour.
"You have employees talking about which teams made or didn't make the tournament. You have other workers setting up and managing office pools. Of course, there are the office pool participants," Challenger's statement cautioned, "some of whom might take five minutes to fill out a bracket, while others spend several hours researching teams, analyzing statistics and completing multiple brackets."
Never mind that the math behind the estimate is fuzzy, or that both academic researchers and corporate managers who looked at the problem concluded the real numbers were considerably lower, mostly because employees tend to make up for lost time by working outside traditional hours.
So what should an employer do?
"Despite all of the scary numbers, Challenger suggests that employers not try to clamp down on March Madness," the statement added. "Initiatives to block access to sports sites and live streaming in order to boost productivity in the short term, could result in long-term damage to employee morale, loyalty and engagement."
Is this a great country or what?
Think the folks in Congress have trouble making up their minds now? Just wait. Nothing gets politicians procrastinatin' and prevaricatin' like the NCAA tournament.
Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia dispatched at least one representative into the 68-team field that began play Tuesday night. California topped the list with five, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas boasted four each, six others had three and Indiana — a.k.a, the "heartland of hoops" — had zero.
Generally speaking, elected officials from states with more than one entrant fear voters so much they'd rather talk about raising taxes than which school they're backing. They make picking between them sound like "Sophie's Choice."
That made Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow thumbing her nose at the maize-and-blue recently seem refreshing.
"Oh, MichiganState! MichiganState," she gushed during a groundbreaking ceremony at the university Monday.
"I have to tell you, after yesterday," Stabenow added, referring to the Spartans' win over state rival Michigan in the Big Ten championship game, "we are back. We've got the full team going, Coach (Tom) Izzo is primed and ready and I think we'll take it all."
Just to rub it in, she unveiled the little rhinestone number — courtesy of MSU Today alumni magazine — pictured here: http://bit.ly/1eiqiFK
Stabenow received both her undergraduate and graduate (magna cum laude) degrees from MichiganState, so while she might need those Democratic votes over in Ann Arbor someday, it won't be until 2018 at the earliest.
Even then, Stabenow barely cracks the "how-to-alienate-alumni" list. Since-retired North Carolina Sen. (and UNC alum) Brad Miller locked up the top spot in 2012 when he told BracketRacket: "I have said very publicly that if Duke was playing against the Taliban, then I'd have to pull for the Taliban."
DON'T I KNOW YOU FROM SOMEWHERE?
Speaking of "Sophie's Choice," a Pennsylvania high school coaching legend named John Miller could be facing one come early April.
That's when Miller's sons — Sean, who coaches No. 1 West seed Arizona; and younger brother Archie, who coaches No. 11th South seed Dayton — could meet in the Final Four. It's a longshot, sure, especially since the Flyers only got off the bubble and into the bracket after winning nine of their last 10 games.
Then again, what were the odds that brothers from a tiny town in western Pennsylvania would wind up coaching in the same tournament? (Short answer: Who knows? The BeaverCounty (Pa.) Times said it was believed to be the first time that's happened, but added such record-keeping at the NCAA was "sketchy.")
"Sean, you kind of always figured he was going to be a coach. Archie always said he wasn't going to coach," John Miller, who won four state titles and more than 650 games before retiring from Blackhawk High in BeaverFalls, told the newspaper. "It was only three or four days after graduation, though, when we talked. He said, 'All my contacts are in basketball, maybe I should try coaching.'"
After a number of stints as an assistant elsewhere, Archie's best contact (and brother) came through with a two-year deal at Arizona.
"No question, being part of the tournament is going to be great for him," Sean said.
John will be on hand Thursday in Buffalo, when Archie makes his NCAA tournament debut against OhioState and coach Thad Matta, whom both Millers served under as assistants. But he'll have to settle for watching Arizona's opener Friday against WeberState in San Diego on TV. And even if both boys somehow get their teams to Arlington, Texas, on the tourney's final weekend, John, who still coaches a youth team now and then, isn't making any promises.
"This March Madness," he fumed, "is getting in the way of basketball."
DON'T I KNOW YOU FROM SOMEWHERE (Part 2)?
If Johnny Dawkins and Craig Neal were still playing — instead of coaching — against each other, there's no doubt which one you'd pick.
The two will be back on opposing benches Friday night, 28 years after they faced off as players. But it looks like Neal has the upper hand now. His No. 7 New Mexico squad will be a slight favorite over Dawkins' No. 10 Stanford when they meet in St. Louis.
The last time they did — competitively speaking — was the 1986 ACC tournament title game. Neal, who kicked around basketball's minor leagues for seven seasons, played for Georgia Tech in that one. Dawkins, who was in his senior year at Duke, went on to win the game and become the ACC tourney MVP in 1986, as well as Duke's career scoring leader until 2006.
Small wonder the Cardinal coach was happy to reminisce with AP's Janie McCauley.
"He was younger than I was, so it was a little different," Dawkins recalled. "We played in a great game. ... It was an amazing environment."
After a nine-year NBA career, the coaching racket hasn't gone quite as smoothly. Stanford finally made the tourney in Dawkins' sixth season there, amid talk that his job depended on it.
STAT OF THE DAY
From 2005 through 2009, a No. 1 seed was like an invitation to the Sweet 16. During that stretch all 20 top seeds got there. More recently, though, the big dogs haven't been quite as lucky, according to research by STATS. One No. 1 has been eliminated in the first weekend three of the last four years. The mighty who fell: Kansas in 2010 (to Northern Iowa), Pittsburgh in 2011 (to Butler) and Gonzaga in 2013 (to WichitaState).
But if it's any consolation, Butler and WichitaState wound up riding those upsets all the way to the Final Four.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"She'll probably be in tears, so that will be good." — Peter Hooley, one of four Australians who play for the University of Albany, about how his mother and 20 other family members who got up at 3 a.m. to watch the game back home would react to the Great Danes' win over Mount St. Mary's.
At Dayton, Ohio
Albany (N.Y.) 71, Mount St. Mary's 64
N.C.State 74, Xavier 59
Cal Poly (13-19) vs. Texas Southern (19-14), 6:40 p.m.
Iowa (20-12) vs. Tennessee (21-12), 30 minutes following
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.